Primary Sources for the Presbyterian Masses

Welbon’s Scrapbook: “First Things First”

In Modernism, Welbon's Scrapbook on 28/05/2009 at 17:34

An interesting (then) contemporary response to Pearl Buck, from The Sunday School Times, 13 May 1933:

First Things First.–The best answer to Mrs. Pearl Buck’s false antithesis between “preaching and living” is her own lovely account in The Presbyterian Survey of her missionary father’s life.  She tells us that he was a man whose chief joy was preaching the Gospel, that he was untiring in his pioneer labors, that he could never be satisfied to settle in one place, but ever felt the call to regions beyond.  And this indefatigable preacher was an indefatigable exemplar of the good works of the Gospel,–self denying, always helping others, relieving distress, an incarnation of Christian goodness and love.  Mrs. Buck’s petulant words “tired of preaching” seem very trivial against this parental background.  It is just such preachers and livers that Christians prize on the mission field,–not the golf-playing, novel reading, novel writing skeptics who have entered the places which their parents filled so worthily.  “I have never had so much occasion to use a dinner coat as since I came to Shanghai,” wrote home one young missionary shortly after arriving on “the field.”  The pressing need in the Far East is the return to America of these Modernist epigoni (“off-spring”).

From the Rev. Henry G. Welbon’s scrapbook #1, page 15, clipping no. 5.

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