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An Indian Prophet

Through all the ages to come the Indian Church will rise up in gratitude to attest the heroism and self-denying labours of the missionary body. You have given your goods to feed the poor. You have given your bodies to be burned. We also ask for love. Give us FRIENDS!

VS Azariah was born in Tamil Nadu in 1874. He grew up to be an evangelist with the YMCA in Southern India before being ordained as an Anglican priest and eventually consecrated as a Bishop. in 1910, he was one of the few non-white people to address the Edinburgh Missionary conference. His call for mutual respect and interdependency between Western missionaries and “native” Christians is as important today as it ever was.

Whatever others may think, I do not myself look forward to any time in the near future when we in India will not need the western missionary to be our spiritual guides and helpers. Through your inheritance of centuries of Christian life, you are able to impart to us many things that we lack. And in this sphere, I think the westerner will be, for years to come, a necessity. It is in this co-operation of joint study at the feet of Christ that we shall realise the oneness of the Body of Christ. The exceeding riches of the glory of Christ can be fully realised not by the Englishman, the American, and the Continental alone, nor by the Japanese, the Chinese, and the Indians by themselves- but by all working together, worshipping together, and learning together the Perfect Image of our Lord and Christ. It is only  “with all Saints” that we can “comprehend the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fulness of God.” This will be possible only from spiritual friendships between the two races. We ought to be willing to learn from one another and to help one another. 

Through all the ages to come the Indian Church will rise up in gratitude to attest the heroism and self-denying labours of the missionary body. You have given your goods to feed the poor. You have given your bodies to be burned. We also ask for love. Give us FRIENDS!

http://www.rasmusen.org/special/Azariah.1910.pdf
The exceeding riches of the glory of Christ can be fully realised not by the Englishman, the American, and the Continental alone, nor by the Japanese, the Chinese, and the Indians by themselves- but by all working together, worshipping… Click To Tweet

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