1917 C. T. STUDD | ALFRED BUXTON. 200pp Diary Regarding Heart of Africa Mission. Incredible.
1917 C. T. STUDD | ALFRED BUXTON. 200pp Diary Regarding Heart of Africa Mission. Incredible.
1917 C. T. STUDD | ALFRED BUXTON. 200pp Diary Regarding Heart of Africa Mission. Incredible.
1917 C. T. STUDD | ALFRED BUXTON. 200pp Diary Regarding Heart of Africa Mission. Incredible.

1917 C. T. STUDD | ALFRED BUXTON. 200pp Diary Regarding Heart of Africa Mission. Incredible.

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An exceptional and historically important unpublished manuscript diary kept by Alfred Buxton [1891-1940]. Buxton traveled from Cambridge, where he had been in medical school, to work with C. T. Studd in the Belgian Congo. Studd and Alfred’s father had worked together in China under J. Hudson Taylor. In 1917, Alfred married Studd’s daughter and became, for many years, Studd’s second.

The diary is absolutely riveting stuff with everything we would want to see. His personal devotional life, the victories and challenges of the mission, powerful instances of conversion, and, perhaps most fascinating of all, his never-ending efforts to keep C. T. Studd out of trouble. Studd was always a wild card . . . a holy wild card . . . but a wild card. There are inserted into the diary typed manuscript letters explaining Studd’s behavior with personnel, etc., including the signature of C. T. Studd affixed to them to affirm the account in some places.

Buxton was not able to defend his actions forever. Traveling to the United States in 1920 to repair relationships injured by Stuff, Buxton decided to separate and join the Sudan Interior Mission for the health of his relationship with his wife, his father-in-law, and because he was quite tired of defending the eccentricities and relational challenges.

The present diaries cover the earliest years of his association, including the marriage to Studd’s daughter. An irreplaceable and archive worthy document. 

c.200 pages in two 8 x 11 limp bound journals with nearly ever page full top to bottom. Additionally, there are inserted at various points, typed and signed official correspondent documents on behalf of the mission written and signed by Buxton and, at times, also attested by Studd’s signature.

Diary one covers September 21, 1917 through April 15, 1918.

Diary two covers April 20, 1918 through September 24, 1918.

Two chiefs Vengba & Napodia came to claim women whom they said belonged to them or men belonging to them. Since we started the girls school we have had these difficulties. There are two laws that are quite contrary to native ideas & customs; and they are the ones that enable us to act as a sort of City of Refuge for girls. They are:

1. Women are no longer cattle, but are allowed to choose their husbands & no women can be forced to marry any man.

2. When a woman’s husband dies, she is not obliged to accept his heir as her husband.

The chiefs went away disappointed & annoyed as usual, so I told them to come when the official returned & he would decide the case. It is very difficult as to annoy the chief, usually means to close the door of his territory to the Gospel.

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The boys who went out into the bush preaching are dribbling back, with different accounts of their success. Today I was able to act as peacemaker to a man & his wife. He had attacked his wife & given her a wound on the head & knocked out a tooth. He had to pay a knife for the wound & 5 francs for the tooth before she & her brother would be satisfied.

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Mrs. Philips has been very ill, so that we have wondered if she would live. Today especially has been critical, but underlying all we have felt that as she came out trusting in God, so He will abide faithful for His own name’s sake, even though we are faithless.

We had to good market services. Barraguieni, Sambro’s successor, & Maduga have left to visit Mombeko, who has always been a loyal friend to us, but is grievously ill. He has received the Gospel & should become a great asset as he is a big chief. In Bangala, “to receive” and “to believe” is expressed by the same word. When I say he has received the Gospel, I mean he is desirous of it & prayers & gathers his people to service, though he is as yet probably not changed by it as regards his evil practices, though he consents to destroy the witchcraft houses.

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Toda, two Christian Manigbetus – Libadi & Beka were married. It was a joy t ofind two who seemed really happy in being married & realling loving towards each other. During the day I translated 1 Corinthians 5 & in the evening we were obliged to put the injunctions of that chapter in regard to putting away the evil from amongst us, into practice. We separated Mangorora, who has been carpenter & is a most intelligent man, & Nala who has sadly fallen away, though once he was the best boy in the school & approved by all. Both were guilty of fornication.

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Usually Sunday has been a day for a general dispersion to preach in the surrounding villages, but we have no decided to make it more a day of instruction, & hope to set apart another day in the week for going out. With this end in view we began the day with the Lord’s Supper. At 10 we had a general service at which I tried to explain the need of faith in everything from Wesley’s favourite text, “Christ is made unto us wisdom & righteousness & sanctification & redemption.” But I fear few understood. With a poor language like Bangala, Illumination of the Holy Spirit is if possible more necessary. In the afternoon, C. T. led an informal service & in the evening we had the lantern.

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Telegraph, September 1917, “Germans report George killed in flying encounter. Dearest love. Godfrey Buxton.” [actual telegraph included]. Accompanied by detailed personal reflections on George’s death.

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Typed letter from George to Alfred and Edith, dated just three months before his death regarding his service as a pilot in the war, the death of other pilots, etc.,

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At 7, C. T. had a select prayer meeting for the 12 most prominent Christians in order to stir each other up to free love & good.

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As I was translation today, four of the men who are building the new women’s quarters came to see me. They all said that they had believed God & wanted to know when they could be baptized. In course of conversation they said, “Oh yes, we black people are God’s first children, & you white men are his younger ones. We always say this & know it must be so, because a father always likes his younger son better than his older & look at the machines & books & wisdom God has given you, & we have nothing!”

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C. T. spoke at the early prayer meeting on Mary anointing Jesus’ feet & showed how our oblation to Jesus should be our hearts. C. T. has written 3 hymns – one to the tune of “Three Blind Mice.”

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I spent the morning in writing to C. T. & answer a letter of M Jenkyns about wine & polygamy. I have refused to say more on these subjects until he brings his proof from Scripture that we are wrong.

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A sad case of the evil effects of slavery came before me today. The woman had a paper of release from the Gov’t & her husband had come to reclaim her. Her two children were with her. She said that her owner, who was also her husband, had caused her to change hand 5 times & the last time she was separate from her little 5 year old daughter. In desperation she escaped to the gov’t & got her own & her daughter’s release. Her owner now wants to take her as his wife properly & pay knives for her. I therefore urged her to return to him for her children’s sake, but she only laughed. When I asked her what she would do about her younger girl who was clinging to the father, she said, “Oh that is his share. I am going to my village.” This is the “open sore of Africa” that Livingstone pleaded for. Thanks to his & his followers efforts it is no long an open sore, but it is still a hidden abscess. Domestic slavery still survives. It is against the law, but the law is not enforced, though all who like can take advantage of it & obtain freedom. We have one slave here, who ran to us with his back terribly scarred.

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Scathing tls from November 1, 1917 by Alfred Buxton to the Committee of the Mission, expressing his disdain for the controversy over polygamy, wine, etc., and insisting they will just continue on following what they see in Scripture [i.e. permitting these activities as non-essential, but moving people toward a higher ethic].

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Full manuscript of the Annual Report

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Handwritten manuscript regarding the objectives of the mission, which Studd and Buxton argue is to bring Jesus back rather than evangelize the world.

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What a week of work & labour, but also of encouragement and joy this has been. 111 entered their names by baptism in the Lamb’s book of life. But I must begin at the beginning.

The services last week became preparatory for baptism & at the close of each we had confessions from the candidates. Here are a few typical ones:

I left the world to come here & get life. I don’t want to suffer the 2nd death. I have been a bad man, continually fighting & beating my wife. All my sins I want to leave off and give to God.

Another, I have been a man of much quarrelling and son. My friends have urged me not to take baptism. But I have thought much about it & I believe & want Jesus to wash my sins.

Another, I am going to give up sin. God can wash me; His Son died for me. Satan’s service is sorrow & I want to go to that holy place in Heaven.

Antoher, I slew Jesus. I am the worst man here. You white men cannot wash me. I am too bad. Only Jesus can & I give Him all my sin.

Another, I was a wicked man, but I want Jesus to wash me & give me His Spirit. Etc.,

On Sunday we had a royal time. I was hors de combat for C. T.’s service, but managed to take mine in the church at 10 & spoke on the blind man healed at the Pool of Siloa & in the afternoon we gave an opportunity to four of our prominent Christians to give a word to the candidates. Maduga spoke with great vehemence, urging full confession of sin. “I was an adultery, a vile man, a liar, a ‘Beli’ man, a fighter. I have done all sin, but I swear, he cried pointing up to heaven, that by God’s power I have given it up. There, that is the way to confess & cast away your sins.”

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Letter of Mrs [TL] F. Gardner to Mrs. C. T. Studd regarding a book by J. R. Mott.

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Extensive 3pp TLS, signed by Buxton and signed by C. T. Studd regarding the controversy with the Gardners. Again on the controversies surround Studd and the mission.

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Fascinating accounts of dreams bringing people to Christ

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Extensive Typed Manuscript, “A. B. Buxton’s Defence of C. T. Studd’s Action in Sacrificing One Set of Workers Rather than the Whole Work. T.Signed by C. T. Studd.

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Fascinating TLS by Alfred regarding the need of missionaries to bring two sets of false teeth with them and asks about how they can serve the dental needs of missionaries best, i.e. just do extractions or should they fill, clean, etc.,

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Another extensive letter, handsigned by both Buxton and C. T. Studd, regarding the polygamy controversy. Blisteringly hot.

Etc. etc.

This document is publication and academic research worthy.