Arthur Gostick Shorrock


Arthur Gostick Shorrock

War against Opium

Arthur was horrified by the impact of the opium trade. In 1890 he was a founding member of the "Permanent Committee for the Promotion of Anti-Opium Societies". Fellow committee members included the prominent missionaries John Glasgow Kerr MD, American Presbyterian Mission in Canton; B.C. Atterbury MD, American Presbyterian Mission in Peking; Archdeacon Arthur Evans Moule, Church Missionary Society in Shanghai; Henry Whitney MD, American Board of Commissioners for foreign Missions in Foochow; the Rev Samuel Clarke, China Inland Mission in Kweiyang and the Rev Griffith John, London Missionary Society in Hankow.cite book | last = Lodwick | first = Kathleen L. | title = Crusaders Against Opium: Protestant Missionaries in China, 1874-1917 | publisher = University Press of Kentucky | year = 1996 | isbn = 0813119243] They resolved to continue their opposition to the opium traffic, urging Christians in China to arouse public opinion against it. The desire of the missionaries that their ideas be carried out caused them to form “continuation committees” that were assigned tasks to assure that action would be taken on whatever matters had been approved by the conferences. He continued working with other missionaries opposed to the opium trade, including writing to Alexander Hosie about poppy cultivation and corruption associated with attempts to end the cultivation.

Xinhai Revolution

Once the Xinhai Revolution reached Shaanxi, resulting in the death of eight foreigners, an evacuation of all missionaries and other foreigners in the region was planned. The Rev J C Keyte and the explorer Arthur de Carle Sowerby planned the relief expedition, and all but a handful of the mission was successfully evacuated due to their efforts. However, Arthur, Maud and their daughter Mary remained in Shaanxi. Arthur gave the following reason for remaining: -

::cquote|"It would be un-Christian, as well as most unwise, for the doctors to leave at this stage. Their help has been earnestly sought, and the appreciation shown by soldiers and leaders has been most unmistakable. If we desert the people here in their extremity, they are not likely to give us much consideration in the days to come..."cite book | last = Borst-Smith | first = Ernest F. | title = Caught in the Chinese Revolution | publisher = T Fisher Unwin | year = 1912]

Anti-Christian movement

His wider contributions to China were rewarded with the awarding of the "Order of the Excellent Crop, Third Class," conferred upon him by the President of the Republic of China in 1917.Citation| title = Court and Social | newspaper = The Times | pages = p. 9 | date = Wednesday, 7 March 1917 | volume=41420 ] Popular sentiment in the 1920s in China was directed against missionaries, foreign merchants, Christian schools, churches and hospitals which were viewed as ‘imperialistic'.cite journal | last = [http://cip.cornell.edu/DPubS?service=Repository&version=1.0&verb=Disseminate&view=body&content-type=pdf_1&handle=seap.indo/1107010225 Yamamoto] | first = Tatsuro | coauthors = Sumiko Yamamoto | title = The Anti-Christian Movement in China, 1922-1927 | journal = The Far Eastern Quarterly | volume = 12 | issue = 2 | pages = 133–147 | year = 1953 | doi = 10.2307/2941975]

Arthur Shorrock helped organise the 1925 "Shensi Baptist Conference", writing a book that argued that missionaries were not imperialist.cite book | last = Shorrock | first = Arthur | title = Shensi in Sunshine and Shade | publisher = Presbyterian Mission Press | year = 1926 | location = Shanghai] At the time he wrote:

::cquote|"And so when the anti-Christian movement was at its height during the Christmas week, our reply to it was an effort in 'good deeds' visiting the prisoner in his prison, the orphan and the widow, and leaving with each a small gift in bread or cloth or some other useful gift. This is being repeated at the Chinese New Year, and so advantage is taken to show that Christianity is really the witness of a life touched with the feeling of brotherliness, rather than a force to bind the letters of Imperialism, or any other 'ism' It is encouraging to know that 21 have been baptized this year-not so many as we would have hoped, but considering the year, and all its opposition and propaganda, the result is good."

Many missionaries were forced to leave China in the following years. For the Baptist Missionary Society such experiences resulted in them becoming more sensitive to the political situation of different mission fields.cite book | last = Stanley | first = Brian | title = The History of the Baptist Missionary Society 1792-1992 | publisher = T&T Clark | year = 1992 | location = Edinburgh | isbn = 0567096149]

Evangelical Methods

The evangelical methods used at the time in Shaanxi were described as follows: ::cquote|"Our Lord Jesus Himself, set us the example of "preaching, teaching, and healing" to spread the knowledge of His Kingdom, and many and varied were the methods He used to carry out these three principles of action. ... To accomplish this end we find Him adopting the following methods, at least, to win men."
* "Itinerating through the villages"
* "Preaching in the synagogues"
* "Preaching to city crowds"
* "Talking to an individual"
* "Visiting homes"
* "Attending feasts"
* "Teaching by allegories and parables"
* "Teaching in retreats"
* "Teaching continually a group"
* "Healing by prayer alone"
* "Healing by prayer and material means"
* "Healing instantaneously"
* "Healing by degrees"
* "Sending out Evangelists" "In all these ways we are engaged to-day, with the additional method of literary propaganda, which we are assured our Lord sanctions, for how often did He ask His hearers 'Have your never read?"'

Return to England

While missionaries and other foreigners were besieged in Sianfu,Arthur's wife, Maude, died on 25 September 1925 of typhoid.Citation| title = The Chinese Civil War: Besieged Missionaries released | newspaper = The Times | pages = p. 13 | date = Thursday, 14 October 1926 | volume=44402 ] After his retirement, he returned to Wraysbury and became the minister of the Baptist Chapel there. He died on 13 June 1945 in Windsor, aged 83, and is buried in Wraysbury together with his wife.Citation| title = Legal Notices | newspaper = The Times | pages = p. 1 | date = Thursday, 16 May 1946 | volume=50453]

References


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