Guido De Brès, Protestant martyr and author of the Belgic Confession, born Mons, near Brussels, 1522, executed 31 May 1567. A refugee in London in 1548 because of his support for the Reformation including selling bibles and preaching, from 1552 he developed an itinerant ministry based in Lille. He was forced to move to Frankfurt in 1556. A meeting with Calvin led him to Geneva where he was ordained in 1558 before returning again to Belgium, to Tournai. There he married Cathérine Ramon. Caught in the Lowland revolt against Spain, from 1561 he was once more on the run. He was eventually captured, jailed and hung. His ‘Belgic Confession’ (Confession de Foi des Églises Réformées, Rouen, 1561) was translated and adopted by a number of synods, becoming after 1619 one of the major standards of the Dutch Reformed Church.


Hogg, Alfred George,. Missionary philosopher and theologian, born Ramleh, Alexandria, Egypt, 23 July 1875, died Elie, Fife, 31 December 1954. Son of American United Presbyterian missionaries, he was educated in Edinburgh (MA, 1897) and Halle (1902). He was appointed to Madras Christian College in 1903 as a lay missionary and remained for 35 years becoming principal in 1928. He married Mary Paterson in 1907 and was ordained by the Edinburgh United Free Presbytery in 1915. His publications included Karma and Redemption (1910), Christ’s Message of the Kingdom (1911) and Redemption from this world (1922). Known as an acute thinker who refused easy answers, he provided an alternative voice to Kraemer at the 1938 meeting of the International Missionary Council. He then returned to Scotland, assisted in parishes during the War, and retired to Fife.


Larsen, Lars Peter Danish missionary to India born Baarse, Denmark, 8 November 1862, died Denmark 23 June 1940. The son of a blacksmith who went to university supported by a local landowner, in 1889 he was sent to Madras by the Danish Missionary Scoiety. He became independent in 1899 and worked among students under the YMCA. In 1910 joined the new United Theological College in Bangalore, and was shortly made principal (1911-1924). Combining devotional piety with liberal theology, he was a widely appreciated speaker, though distrusted by confessional Lutherans. From 1924 to 1932 he was engaged with the revision of the Tamil Bible, and retired to Denmark in 1933. An outstanding linguist and scholar he wrote in Danish, English and Tamil, including Hindu-Aandsliv og Kristendommen (1907).


Lebbe, Frédéric Vincent Catholic missionary to China, born Ghent, Belgium, 19 August, 1877, died Chongqing, China, 24 June 1940. Inspired by the martydom of the Vincentian, Perboyre, he joined the order in 1895 and left for China in 1901. Completing his studies in Beijing, he was ordained priest 28 October, 1901. Radically committed to China and the Chinese church in dress, language and attitude, he organized Catholic Action and helped publish Catholic newspapers. In 1916 he denounced attempts to annex land in Tientsin and was sent back to Europe (1920-1927). He laid the groundwork for the ordination of six Chinese bishops in 1926 and the 1839 revocation of the condemnation of Chinese rites. He obtained Chinese citizenship in 1928. Captured by communists in 1940, he died soon after his release.
BDCM IBMR Jan 1999


Legge, James, Missionary to China and pioneer sinologist, born Huntly, Scotland, 20 December 1815, died Oxford, England, 29 November 1897. A member of Huntly Congregational Church, Legge studied at Kings College, Aberdeen (MA, 1835) and Highbury College, London. In 1839 he married Mary Morison and the LMS appointed him to the Anglo-Chinese College at Melaka. In 1840 he took over as principal and following the Opium War of 1839-1842 moved the College to Hong Kong. He ministered to English and Chinese congregations and translated the Chinese classics. He developed a deep appreciation for Confucius and believed that the early religion of China had been monotheistic. In 1876 he was appointed to the newly created Chair of Chinese at Oxford University. He never retired and his translations remain in print.


McDougall Francis Thomas, Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak, born Sydenham, 30 June 1817; died November 1886. He spent his childhood in Malta and Corfu, trained as a surgeon in London (MRCS 1839, FRCS 1854) and studied at Magdalen College Oxford (BA 1844, MA 1845). He married Harriette Bunyon in 1843. At the request of Rajah James Brooke, they went to Kuching, Sarawak in 1848. McDougall became Bishop of Labuan in 1855 and of Sarawak in 1856. He survived a Chinese revolt in 1857, but his enthusiasm attacking “pirates” in 1862 brought controversy and he was remembered more as a doctor and sailor than as a missionary. They left Sarawak in 1867 and in 1868 he became Vicar of Godmanchester.  His Book of Common Prayer in Malay was published in 1858 and his Malay catechism in 1868. 


Millar, Robert, Minister of Paisley Abbey, apologist for missions, born Dailly, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1672, died Paisley, 16 December 1752. He studied at Glasgow University, was ordained at Port Glasgow in 1697 and was minister at Paisley Abbey from 1709 until his death. His two volume History of the Propagation of Christianity and overthrow of Paganism (Edinburgh, 1723) had 468 subscribers for its first edition and ran to a Dutch translation and two further editions (London, 1726, 1731). His writing predates Carey by 70 years. He advocated a missionary lifestyle of renunciation and his providential view of history and apologetic on the limitations of natural religion provided a measured approach to other religions. He also published a History of the Church under the Old Testament (1730).


Milne, William, Pioneer LMS missionary to Malaya, born Kennethmont, Scotland, April 1785; died Melaka, 2 June 1822. After study at Marischal College Aberdeen (1806-1807) and at Gosport as an LMS candidate, in 1812, he was ordained, married Rachel Cowie, and left to join Robert Morrison in Canton. He and his family moved to Melaka in May 1815. He was the first principal of the Anglo-Chinese College (1818). Others joined the mission, and their material published in English, Chinese, and Malay is part of the early history of printing in the region. Milne edited the Indo-Chinese Gleaner (1817-1822) and a monthly magazine in Chinese. His tract Two Friends, was widely used and he collaborated with Morrison translating the Chinese Old Testament. In 1820 Glasgow University awarded him an honorary D.D.


Morrison, Robert, Pioneer Protestant missionary to China, born Morpeth, England 5 January 1782, died Canton, China, 1 August 1834. Brought up in Newcastle, he joined the Presbyterian Church and in 1802 decided to be a missionary. Appointed by the LMS to China, he was ordained in January 1807 and arrived in Canton that September. In 1809 he married Mary Morton in Macao and was appointed East India Company translator which provided support and legitimacy. By 1813 he had translated the New Testament. Because of the difficulties faced by a Protestant mission based either in China or Macao, he sent his LMS colleague William Milne to Melaka where the Anglo-Chinese College was established in 1818. He visited Britain (1824-1826) after his Chinese-English dictionary and translation of the Old Testament were completed.
IBMR April 1998, BDCM


Schwartz, Christian Friedrich Lutheran missionary to South India, born Sonnenburg, Neumark, Prussia (now Stonsk, Gorzow, Poland) 22 October 1726, died Thanjavur, India, 13 February 1798. Showing early gifts as a linguist and an interest in missions, he trained at Halle, was ordained in Copenhagen in 1749 and sent to India. He arrived at Tranquebar in June 1750 to build on the work of Ziegenbalg and Plütschau begun in 1706. In 1760 he visited Jaffna, and in 1764 moved to Tiruchirapalli ministering to English and Indians in local conflicts. In 1768 he became an East India chaplain. He maintained his missionary role and trained helpers to work in villages. In 1778 he moved to Thanjavur. His outstanding integrity, teaching and missionary gifts were widely applauded.


BDCM:  Gerald H. Anderson, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1998.

DAC: John Chew, David Wu and Scott Sunquist, eds., Dictionary of Asian Christianity, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans (forthcoming).

DEB: Donald M. Lewis, ed. The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1730-1860. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995.

DEM:  Nicholas Lossky, et al, eds. Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans / Geneva: WCC, 1991.

DSCHT: Nigel M. de S. Cameron, ed. Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1993.

IBMR: International Bulletin of Missionary Research

ML: Gerald H. Anderson, et al, eds. Mission Legacies.  Biographical Studies of Leaders of the Modern Missionary Movement, Maryknoll: Orbis, 1994.


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