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South America

In thinking of the missionary, most of us dwell upon the heroic self-denial he practices and the bravery with which he faces the gravest dangers. Certainly, the missionary in Brazil is due a good share of such appreciation. He has been called upon to endure shameful indignities, painful personal dangers and the enervating perils of a hostile climate. Our own missionaries have been beaten, stoned, thrown into streams, arrested and haled before courts, shot at and in many instances saved only by the most signal dispensations of Providence. Dr.

I was dining one day with a very successful business man who, although his business had extensive relations in many lands, was meagerly informed about the work of missions. I thought I might interest him by telling him something of the effects of missions upon commerce. So I told him about how the civilizing presence of missionary effort creates new demands which in turn increases trade.

This very breaking away in some places is piling up additional burdens and the pitifully inadequate force is called upon to meet demands that twice their number could hardly satisfy. If we had the same distribution of Baptist ministers in our Southern country that we have in Brazil there would be only four ministers in Texas, two in Virginia, three in Georgia and other States in like proportion. Think of E. A. Nelson, the only representative of our board in the Amazon region, trying to spread himself over four States which comprise a territory five times as large as Texas.

We had sailed in a southeasternly direction from New York twelve days when we rounded Cape St. Roque, the easternmost point of South America. A line drawn due north from this point would pass through the Atlantic midway between Europe and America. If we had sailed directly south we should have touched the western instead of the eastern coast, for the reason that practically the entire continent of South America lies east of the parallel of longitude which passes through New York.

There was a time in the life of the Anglo-Saxon race When it became necessary for at least a portion of it to go out into a new country in order that it might achieve the larger destiny it was to fulfill in the world. God was behind that exodus as truly as he was behind the transplanting of Abraham into a new environment. Here in our country, unfettered by despotic traditions and precedents, the Anglo-Saxon achieved religious and political liberty with a rapidity and thoroughness that could not have been possible in the old Continent of Europe.

One day in 1908, when my presidential term was coming to a close, Father Zahm, a priest whom I knew, came in to call on me. Father Zahm and I had been cronies for some time, because we were both of us fond of Dante and of history and of science - I had always commended to theologians his book, "Evolution and Dogma." He was an Ohio boy, and his early schooling had been obtained in old-time American fashion in a little log school; where, by the way, one of the other boys was Januarius Aloysius MacGahan, afterward the famous war correspondent and friend of Skobeloff.

On the afternoon of December 9 we left the attractive and picturesque city of Asuncion to ascend the Paraguay. With generous courtesy the Paraguayan Government had put at my disposal the gunboat-yacht of the President himself, a most comfortable river steamer, and so the opening days of our trip were pleasant in every way. The food was good, our quarters were clean, we slept well, below or on deck, usually without our mosquito-nettings, and in daytime the deck was pleasant under the awnings.

The morning after our arrival at Corumba I asked Colonel Rondon to inspect our outfit; for his experience of what is necessary in tropical travelling has been gained through a quarter of a century of arduous exploration in the wilderness. It was Fiala who had assembled our food-tents, cooking-utensils, and supplies of all kinds, and he and Sigg, during their stay in Corumba, had been putting everything in shape for our start.

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