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clinical material ? Can we give each student a sufficient number of beds to look after to admit of his gaining sufficient experience ? Can we afford all the necessary appliances in these progressive days for proper treatment of every case ? Can we show our students how the work ought to be done ? We have been in the habit of doing medical mission work, like so many other forms of mission work, in such a haphazard, inefficient fashion in the past that we frequently find several hospitals in one large centre, sometimes open and sometimes shut, all doing miserably poor work compared with what could have been done had sectarian differences not prevented efficient departmentalised work in an institution where a sufficient staff did things as they are done at home.
We cannot drag students from hospital to hospital to do clinical work ; classes are too numerous to admit of this waste of time, and even if we could, these separate hospitals are all inefficient and the student could not get the training he ought to get and could get had forethought and intelligence and Christian charity had its way in the establishment of one strong union place instead of three or four weak separate hospitals.
A union institution would go on independent of furloughs and sick-leave and summer holidays. Each doctor would be happy in having a special department or section of the work which he could do thoroughly. He would be free, to a large extent, from the carking care of financial burdens and the load of responsibility which crushes so cruelly the single man in face of dangerous operations and overwhelming calls. And above all he would be able to find time to follow his healing touch with the saving message which at present he is too tired to deliver or which he scarcely feels fit to declare because waiting patients are clamouring for the attention which he cannot give promptly, or which, when given, is not what he would like it to be. How all such drawbacks will affect the student who is going out to preach, as well as to heal, can be readily conceived.
There are many proposals on foot for starting medical education. It would be well if the highest spiritual results are to be achieved that the greatest care and forethought be used and that the ripest experience be called in for this great work.
It is an enormously expensive one, and we have got at the outset to ask ourselves, Are we justified in starting it? And, if we are, are we using every means in our power to secure adequate results for the expenditure of men and time and money involved ?
No work will leave a more lasting impression on the land and do more good physically, inorally, spiritually, and socially, than medical education, associated as it must be with hospital work, when the whole is carried on thoroughly by earnest devoted Christian men. But on the other hand, if we fall short of our aim it is open to doubt whether our money would not have brought greater results if spent on evangelistic or other work.
I have tried to show that we are not reaping the full benefit from our hospital work as it is carried on now, and we must be sure that we are not adding medical education to our present responsibilities in a way which will perpetuate existing mistakes.
In embarking on new schemes of this sort it is necessary to consider every detail with an eye to the main issue, which is not the glory of some particular mission nor the swelling of statistics, but the advancement of God's kingdom, -the salvation of men. It is too often taken for granted that, given Christian men to run the scheme, all is well. Yes all is well if you have enough men and proper facilities to ensure the result aimed at, but not otherwise. If the doctor has no time to stand in the hospital chapel or take prayers with the patients or services on Sundays, we cannot expect the students we turn out to do any better. It is true we can do much humanitarian work, and our influence is all the time for good, but is this all we intend to aim at ? I know several men who were trained by Christian doctors who are now in touch with the very highest in the land. One of these has testified to my knowledge to the saving power of Christ in the presence of a Viceroy, but I often ask myself, Are they doing what they would have done had it been possible to spend more time on their spiritual development ? Our work is one of the most potent influences for the downfall of suffering and error. Its Christ-like characteristics reveal the beauties of our religion to those who will not read our books or come to our chapels. By its means we can get near to men in their most receptive moments and we can influence in a unique way those who control great destinies and who are beyond our reach by other means. What a splendid weapon; how sad that sometimes when it is forged we have neither time nor strength to wield it with effect.
Happily we are waking up in these last days to realize that a sectarian name on a building or a sectarian label on our drugs is less than the small dust of the balance ; we are beginning to see that we need, in these strenuous times—when the latent non-Christian forces are beginning to move and to follow our example, though with no Christian motive behind them nor high spiritual ideal in front of them, but with plenty of money and with men in the making-to stand shoulder to shoulder and to do together what we could never achieve separately.
Having then by the widest union, the most comprehensive plans, and the best possible equipment for the most thorough work put ourselves in the commanding position which all this secures, we then come to the question of students. Our doors will, I presume, be thrown open to Christians and non-Christians alike, but if we can secure say a two-thirds majority of Christians we shall go far towards ensuring a predominantly Christian tone in the school. Here again is a reason for wide union and, in the meantime, only a limited number of colleges. We here find it difficult to get enough Christian students with the requisite attainments, although we have been receiving men from the extreme south and from the extreme north of the empire as well as from the surrounding country. We have now seventy-five students in the college, fifty-three of whom are Christians.
But the quality of the Christians is another matter of the most vital importance. Many men come to us professing to be Christians, who are, after all, Christians only in name. Our aim is to turn tỉe men out warmer Christians than when they came, but if we fail, the blame does not necessarily rest upon
“Rotten wood cannot be carved.” Such men, during their stay in college, may be soundly converted; this is our hope, but it does not do, when in after life they prove to be failures, to blame the college which sent them out. If the men the churches supply us with are not of the right sort the blame does not rest with us. If their aim, when they leave college, is money-making, we may have supplied thein with the knowledge necessary to attain their end, and we can only deplore that while giving them the knowledge we were unable, in spite of all our efforts, to inspire them with the high Christian ideals which their profession encouraged us to hope they had when they entered. Medical students and assistants
are often spoken of disparagingly. Is this fair ? If the preachers who have remained faithful had been beset by similar temptations, would they have done better? Were the men who entered the hospital as good material to begin with as other mission workers ? Had the doctor who trained them a fair chance to spend the requisite time on the spiritual side of his work ? All these factors have got to be taken into account. There is often a hesitation expressed with regard to giving our workers acquirements which will increase their wage-earning capacity, e.g., a knowledge of English. Medicine comes into the same category. For my part I would bestow lavishly every advantage upon our Christians. I would hold nothing back and would give with no niggardly hand. I would trust them, and at the same time would pray for them without ceasing and seek to establish them in their most holy faith. Some would remain faithful in the highest spiritual sense and some would fail, but the result would be ultimately the best for our cause.
There is often a tendency to do everything possible to retain the brightest and warmest Christian men to enter the ministry; they are considered to be too good for medicine.
This looks almost like a reflection on the medical missionary. I have great sympathy with the desire expressed by many of our men to study medicine, I am not inclined to look upon them with suspicion, and I feel sorry when I see them given unwillingly, remembering how seriously I myself debated the point whether to study for the ministry or for the medical profession, and how I chose the latter from the purest motives.
There are two men in my mind just now who were allowed to enter the medical college very grudgingly by their pastors, who are our very greatest assets in the Christian work and influence of the college.
In our work here our supreme wish is, while giving our students the best training in our power, to ever keep before them the incomparable importance of the highest Christian ideals, and, in the case of those who are not Christians, to do all we can to win them to Christ. We are striving with more or less success to accomplish our object in various ways, some of which are mentioned below. There is no compulsion about attending any of the serivces or Bible classes. We think this the wisest plan for many reasons, and it has the advantage of enabling us to see who is keen about these things and who is not, and thus helping the one and exhorting the other. We have morning and evening prayers. It is necessary for the man at the head of the institution at least to attend these services regularly and for as many of the teachers to do so as possible. When the teachers are too busy to go the students are quick to present the same excuse.
The morning services are conducted as far as possible by the teachers and students in turn. This gives the teacher a chance to meet the students face to face on the religious issues, and in the case of the students it is a great help for the Christian students to take part in direct work of this kind among their fellows. Evening prayers are often conducted by our hospital preacher, who is a college graduate and who, in this way and in Bible class work, takes an interest in the men.
The attendance at prayers which, as I have said, is not compulsory, is very creditable. At evening prayers usually all the resident students attend.
These services are short, but we try to make them bright and to have addresses with a sharp point. We try to get those who come regularly to use their influence to bring any who may be slack, and we ourselves keep a sharp lookout, so that we know who comes and who does not come. We find the Christian students very amenable to a little exhortation. They know they ought to come to prayers, and if they are not coming and can come, a word has usually the desired effect. We try to make them realize that it is only right to begin and end the day with God, and we impress upon them the necessity of setting an example to those students whose only knowledge of Christianity comes through their observation of Christians.
On Sundays we endeavour to look after the students in various ways.
One of us is always present at church, and he gets to know how many of the students have attended service. Other students assist in the street preaching chapel and other again go with one or other of the doctors to surrounding out-stations. In the latter work the students are looked after, for the most part, by the doctor of their particular mission. There are altogether about half a dozen stations which are visited in this way; all of them being within easy reach of the city. The students render very great service in this work and for the most part preach earnestly and eloquently. We often see patients at these places, and this adds to the interest and usefulness of the work.
We opened a new station a few