1864  — 1915

Samuel Pollard

Pioneer missionary among the Chinese and then the Miao and Nosu in Yunnan. Evangelist, pastor, educator, administrator, healer, translator of the New Testament into Miao using the “Pollard Script.”

Note: This story is part two of two parts. Part one is found here.

Among the Tribes of West China 1905–1910

The tribal peoples of Yunnan with whom Pollard worked in the second phase of his missionary career included the Nosu, the Miao, and the Shan. The Nosu were warlike, with feudal lords and serfs. They believed “in one god, perfect and omnipotent, and in a malevolent spirit. After death the good are called to God and the wicked are tormented” (Grist 160). They had no temples or priests or religious ceremonies, but they did worship ancestors. Their lax moral life had weakened them and made them vulnerable to domination by the Chinese.

They had a custom of killing a lamb each year and smearing its blood on the doors of their houses; they roasted the lamb and consumed it the same evening.

The Miao, though very numerous, were under the lordship of the Nosu, being economically dependent on them. In addition to tilling their own plots of land, they also cultivated that of their Nosu overlords. They seemed to have a relatively simple civilization compared to the Chinese. Though without any literature, they had tales about a creation, a flood, and a King of Hades.

Pollard “took [the Miao] to his heart and shared the warmth of his own spiritual faith with them until they revived, and those who were no people became a reinvigorated tribe with the hope and light of a new life shining in their eyes” (Grist 166).

Pollard had for years wanted to reach the people on the other side of the great river. Finally, he became friends with Mr. Long, a Nosu chief who lived on the Chinese side of the Yangtse. With Long as his sponsor and guide, he was able to travel among the tribes in the mountains of western Yunnan. They first visited Long’s home, where the chief asked Pollard to take down his tablet to Heaven and Earth, since he now worshiped the Lord of nature. He also gave his son to Pollard as an adopted son, to whom Pollard gave the name William.

In July 1904, not long after he had returned to Chaotong, Pollard received a visit from four Miao scouts who arrived at his home, bearing a letter from James Adam, CIM missionary in Guizhou. Adam had been deluged by calls from the Miao in his area for more teaching and pastoral care, so he encouraged the Miao to go to Pollard.

Long oppressed by their Nosu overlords, and worn down by drunkenness and sexual indulgence, the Miao were thrilled to hear about a “Hero-Saviour” who would come and deliver them. They had heard that Pollard was a kind foreigner who would welcome them. After staying with the missionary for several days, the four men returned to their kinsmen with a report that Pollard was, indeed a kind man, and that he had good news of a great Savior.

From then on, “a steady stream of Miao pilgrims came – scores, then hundreds … So eager were they to learn to read the New Testament, they would not be restricted by certain hours of tuition,” though it was at first given in Chinese through interpreters (Grist 180–181). Pollard later wrote, “They swarmed around us everywhere. Directly a door was opened in they trooped with their books, begging to be taught. They began at five o’clock in the morning, and at one o’clock the next morning some of them were still reading” (Grist 181).

Faced with such an overwhelming movement, Pollard knew that he had to learn the Miao language and then to teach them basic doctrines in terms they could understand, for their language lacked words for God, Jesus, sin, heaven, hell, redemption, and other basic concepts. He was already stretched to the limit with the needs of ministering to the Chinese, who were still undergoing a great religious awakening. He knew, however, that this mass movement among the Miao must now claim his best energies.

He and his Chinese coworker Stephen Lee began to study the Miao language as hard as they could. Within a few weeks, they had acquired enough Miao to give messages in very elementary fashion. Pollard started writing simple Bible stories in the easiest Chinese characters he could use, for him and Chinese Christians to instruct Chinese-speaking Miao, whom he then trained to teach their own people.

At a special Christmas service for both Chinese and Miao, seven services were held, four for the Miao and three for the Chinese. Hundreds of Miao had come to the city for this celebration, during which several of the Miao spoke of their newfound faith “with evident power” (Grist 186).

Like the Chinese and most religionists around the world, the Miao believed in demons, and sought the help of wizards to deliver them. Pollard taught the new converts to abandon these old ways. On Christmas day, a wizard came and asked Pollard to free him from the demons who were possessing him. During the festival Pollard brought him forward and asked the people to pray for this penitent. Before Pollard could pray for him, however, another wizard came up, and then another, until nine men stood in front of the congregation.

“They were on their faces praying for deliverance. We prayed and prayed. ‘Lord help us! Jesus pity us! Jesus, drive the devils away, and keep us from sin.’ With affecting simplicity, the wizards said, ‘Thank you, Jesus!’ Then the entire congregation prayed, clapped their hands and shouted: ’Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving us and driving the devils away!’ The whole scene was exciting and wonderful. After a while we concluded the service, having won a glorious victory” (Grist 188–189).

A mass movement like this could not go without opposition. Envious wizards, possessive landlords, family members and neighbors threatened the new converts, or physically beat them or chained them. People spread rumors that Pollard was planning to lead the Miao in a revolt against the Nosu and the Chinese. Calling upon his friendly magistrate in Chaotong, Pollard got the governor of the province to write a letter commanding that no one harm the Christians or prevent them from propagating their faith. He then traveled throughout Miao territory to publish this official letter and to trace down the source of rumors that the Miao had poisoned a well.

“This task of suppressing the persecution of the Miao and of conciliating those who were hostile demanded all Pollard’s resourcefulness, firmness, tact, and patience,” but it bore fruit (Grist 190). In these ways, he “became the apostle and protector of this downtrodden race” (Grist 192).

“Everywhere Pollard found fear of persecution” but the formerly meek Miao were now willing to stand firmly for their faith (Grist 197). When he encountered Miao Christians who were being persecuted by their Nosu masters or the Chinese, he often appealed to the rights guaranteed to Christians by the treaties that China had made with foreign nations.

His tours to many of their villages broke down barriers and stirred his compassion and admiration toward them. “He had been in their homes and had found the passport to all hearts… . They opened their hearts and minds to him and told them all their legends and their fears,” as well as some humorous stories (Grist 197).

“Physically Pollard was not strong, but his moral courage was superb. Every time he entered a castle to interview a hostile landlord, he carried his life in his hands: and yet he never flinched from these ordeals” (Grist 198). Despite all his efforts, he could not protect the Miao from harsh and even violent treatment by Nosu and Chinese, but nothing could stop the movement of the Spirit among them; hundreds, and then thousands, continued to attend Christian services and to visit Pollard’s home.

He also helped the Miao to find Christian marriage partners. “Pollard was never too busy for a touch of romance, and never indifferent to the need of securing Christian wives for the young men in the school and the church. He knew there could be no stability in the future of the church unless they could ensure the likelihood of Christian homes” (Grist 193).

The Second Phase of the Mass Movement

When the missionaries held their annual meeting in January 1904, they faced a very difficult question: Should they ignore what God was doing among the Miao? Or should they divert resources from the already overwhelming needs among Chinese north of Chaotong, who were now, after many years, so receptive to the gospel?

In the end, and after heated debate, they decided to set Pollard free to shepherd and guide the movement among the Miao. Pollard continued to do all he could to help with the Chinese work but poured himself wholeheartedly into the awakening among the Miao.

He drew up a plan for regular itineration among the Miao villages, to relieve pressure on the missionaries in Chaotong, who were overwhelmed by the numbers of tribespeople flocking into the town to receive Christian teaching. In the Miao villages, he sought to establish regular worship on the Lord’s Day; he also labored by every means to provide places for them to worship in centrally located villages. To establish a self-supporting church, he taught the converts and inquirers to provide the funds for both buildings and Miao ministers of the gospel.

The Miao who had found new freedom in Christ could not keep the good news to themselves, so they met together regularly for prayer, reading the Bible and Christian books, and mutual exhortation. They also sent messengers of the good news to other villages. Frequently, “Pollard would arrive at some village which he had never visited and find the beginnings of a little church among inquirers who were meeting week by week at each other’s houses. Pollard was splendidly fitted to deal with the situation. He did not create the opportunity; but he was ready to meet it when it came. He was there on the spot – an arresting and magnetic man. And he rose to the height of the new call; he grew daily in stature of mind and heart” (Grist 205).

Pollard was not only the apostle of a new faith to the Miao; he became at one their protector [from the Nosu and the Chinese], one might almost designate him as their lawgiver. It was not enough to build chapels for them; he had to help them to get rid of evil customs which would otherwise hinder them from practicing the Christian way of life. He knew, however, that old evils could be banished only by kindling new interests and higher loves. One of the first things to be done was to change the pernicious character of their most popular customs,” especially drunkenness and sexual immorality” (Grist 207).
For example, he sought to provide alternate engagement and marriage customs and to replace the annual gathering on the hillside that was basically an orgy. Instead, he inaugurated a new celebration, with preaching, singing; in later years, games and contests were added as wholesome entertainment. He also instituted a Christmas celebration to mark the birthday of Jesus. In addition to church services, there was a great feast, along with games and sports. In 1906, the first communion service for the Miao was held. More than a thousand attended. Pollard played the harmonium while his coworker Parsons administered the elements – tea and bread.
The story of what followed is a thrilling account of meetings in which hundreds and sometimes a thousand or more Miao would gather for worship, teaching, singing, and, later, baptisms and celebrations of the Lord’s Supper. Unlike in some similar movements in Christian history, baptisms were not done hastily. Only after systematic instruction and then careful examination, first by Miao elders and then by the missionary and his Chinese assistant Mr. Li, would candidates be allowed to receive baptism. Pollard always valued quality over quantity.

To multiply himself, he trained Chinese Christians to read the Bible to the Miao, even as he began to teach the Miao how to read and to prepare some of them to be catechists and evangelists. These would operate from strategically located centers. Sadly, some of these men quit their ministries for various reasons, but Pollard persisted in preparing others to serve. Evangelists were trained by sending them on short preaching tours and learning from these experiences.

In 1906, when the Pollards were to return to England on furlough, he decided that only his wife and children should leave the field; he thought he must stay and care for the needs of the burgeoning Miao church. Emmie gave birth to a fourth son, Ernest, on April 16, 1906. She and the children returned to England in November of that year. By remaining in Yunnan, Pollard gained even more influence among the Miao, who understood the great sacrifice he was making for them and repaid it with greater love for him.

“As some of them said, he was like a father and mother to them: he listened to their confessions; he gave them comfort; he reconciled women to their estranged husbands and husbands to erring wives. Their first impulse in times of trouble was to seek Pollard” (Grist 216).

On many occasions Pollard had to be stern with his spiritual children. For example, when one of the Christian girls was about to marry a man who already had a wife, he wrote a letter to her that combined expressions of love and affection with very strong language warning her against such a sin.

With keen-eyed insight, he saw the faults and failings of the new believers. His journals frankly describe the struggles he had with their moral weaknesses, as well as the many times when whole villages refused to welcome the preachers. He does not sugar-coat his narrative.

Serving a “parish” covering about one thousand square miles, Pollard spared no effort in “founding dozens of churches, of maintaining pastoral oversight, of directing education, and even of performing a healing ministry among them. He scarcely thought of his own sacrifices; he was too absorbed by the magnitude of the enterprise” in which he rejoiced to see a great and beautiful God at work” (Grist 219).

Describing the communion services, he wrote:

From long distances, in great heat, in heavy rain, in cold and snow, over slippery roads, across swirling mountain torrents, up steep hills, down precipitous paths, bearing children on their backs, tired, hungry, they come again and again in memory of Jesus and from great love to him.
Three years ago, these people were all heathen, immoral, drunkards, devil-worshipers, sorcerers – unable to read. Now they are full of the love of Jesus. They used to fear each other; now they trust and help one another. They read, they worship God, they hate the devil, they have destroyed their houses of sin, and they guard their daughters from temptation. They have passed from death into life; they have become children of God instead (Grist 223). Speaking more personally, he wrote, “The people win my heart wherever I go, and I am sorry to leave” the places he had visited (Kendall 120).

Such a great harvest of souls must arouse opposition. Once, a tall Nosu warrior said to those traveling with him, “We hate Pollard, because he has come into our midst and has destroyed the efficacy of our idols” (Kendall 132). Pollard was threatened with murder several times, but he bravely persisted in visiting new districts and opening new churches.

In the summer of 1907, a Chinese man who hated both the Miao and Christianity was able to organize a mob of thugs to kill the missionary. Though beaten many times with iron clubs, he survived. Dr Savin came to the Miao home in which he was recuperating and discovered that Pollard had been wounded severely and would need months to recuperate. When he had mostly recovered, he resumed his journeys, though now permanently injured.

Second Furlough

Pollard’s health and injuries required that he return to England to rest, reunite with his family, reconnect with supporters at home, and spread the story of God’s work among the Miao to as many as possible.

He captured the interest and love of thousands by his thrilling stories and passionate appeals … The Rev E.F.H. Carey’s account of one of these meetings conveys vividly the impressions which Pollard made as a missionary speaker: “He had an axe to grind, he said; he wanted missionaries, and among the young people of Churches who had [pledged themselves] to do whatever Christ would have them do, he believed he should find them. Christ’s words, he reminded us, with solemn emphasis and insistence, was ‘Go.’ ‘Go ye into all the world.’ One thousand millions had not yet heard the name of Jesus – who would go?”
[Then after mentioning some possible motivations for going, concluding with the example of the sacrificial sufferings of Jesus for us:] For His sake the missionary asked his young hearers to “go.” One thousand millions such as you and I – one Saviour, such as He – “Go.”
The breath of the Spirit that passed over us as we listened to this appeal was as the wind in the trees. Only The Day will declare how many missionaries were born on that day in 1908 (Grist 246–247).

Resuming His Task

When Pollard returned to China in 1908, he left his family behind. His love for them was deep; the separation from them was wrenching, but he could not ignore the spiritual needs of the people in Yunnan and Guizhou. Later, in June 1911, Emmie left England and the children in England to rejoin her husband in Yunnan.

When the Revolution of 1911 overthrew the Manchus and the Republic was born, Pollard had mixed feelings. The high idealism of the revolutionaries encouraged him, but the lack of a theistic basis for their ethical reforms meant that the reformers, though well-intentioned, must fail. Only Christ could save China.

On his journey, he found the churches flourishing, with Miao pastors and evangelists taking the lead. Through the Miao, the Lisu had heard the gospel and were eager to know more. Hearing the gospel through Miao evangelists, many more Nosu had come to Christ and were organizing churches and building chapels for worship. At once he took up the daunting task of translating the New Testament into Miao, even as he plunged once more into preaching, teaching, and pastoral oversight.

A man who traveled with him at this time wrote: “His work took him into unsurveyed regions where ordinary travel entailed the greatest privation … We would arrive at mere hovels where we rested at nights; we were drenched to the skin for days together… But no matter what the conditions, Pollard was never downhearted: he would roll into his wet bed after the crudest meal of maize [corn] cobs and dirty water, and play on his mouth-organ, ‘There’s no place like home’” (Grist 267). Once, when he was staying in the home of a poor Miao Christian, a landlord invited Pollard to his commodious house. Pollard declined, writing later, “I prefer staying in a Miao hovel to the palace of a rich landlord” (Kendall 120).

Pollard himself wrote: “Friends at home can know little of the joy and beauty of it all. There are many trials in one way and another; the monotony of sleeping on boards at night becomes tiring; but travelling together with good companions who laugh at misfortune, joke together, and take troubles with good temper, is a pleasure indeed. In a moment we can turn from fun to the love and goodness of God. These Miao have drunk from the real waters, we are at home around the well, and they will not readily turn to poor, dirty streams” (Kendall 140–141).

Seeing so many previously warlike Nosu turn to Christ and begin to live with gentleness thrilled Pollard’s heart. As with the Chinese and the Miao, he delighted to play with the children, and they returned his love with their childlike affection. Often when he preached the little children would gather at his feet on the platform.

To keep the new church from being thought of as an institution of foreigners, he established a quarterly preachers’ meeting, where important decisions were made by the Christians and not by Pollard. Working with these leaders, he also installed elders in each village church. Sometimes he was asked to help them decide whether to retain old customs. In one case, some women inquired whether they could continue wearing a cone of hair on their heads. “I told them to please themselves,” he responded (Kendall 130).

He did not withhold from the Miao Christians the wealth of Christian civilization in the West, however. To those who could read Chinese he introduced books by Luther and Augustine and Wesley, which these bright men devoured with great delight.

On one journey, he returned to the place where he had been betrayed and beaten nearly to death. He visited the home of the traitor and preached the gospel of Christ to him. The mob that almost killed him began studying Christian books, professing themselves now to be Christians. These converts eventually built a large chapel, where Pollard had the joy of baptizing the son and daughter of the man who had betrayed him.

His buoyant personality reveled in the beauties of the starlight heavens above them on the mountains, and in the rich fellowship he enjoyed with the Miao: “There are many trials, and hard toil day by day and hard boards for a bed at night, but the sunshine and the stars, the cool breezes and al fresco meals with jolly companions are rich compensations … Happy and right merry are we as God’s own troubadours, and we swiftly glide in our conversation from [humorous banter] to grace discourse on God’s love and goodness. There is a bright sunshine religion which we realised as we spent an hour at the well [like Jesus in John 4:1–26]. The Miao know the good waters [of truth] and will not drink of the poor dirty streams” (Grist 275).

Supported by funds from a trust in England, Pollard was able to expand the network of elementary schools and ministers’ training programs for the Miao, upon which he placed great hope. He knew that without proper education for its leaders, the Miao church could not long survive. Always, he aimed to use the students of the schools to train others as well, thus replicating themselves. Furthermore, he wrote, “each school is a centre for mission work, and the aim is not only to make Christians of all scholars [students, but also to win all the folk who live in the neighbourhood” (Grist 285).

His Fundamental Principle of Missionary Work:

To be a missionary in China something very like the Incarnation of our Master is required, Who in all things was like unto His brethren. He came down to our level, looked at things from our standpoint and understood our affairs.
We ought to do the same: First find where the Chinese are, put ourselves in their place and start from there. We must not sacrifice our principles but show how the love of Jesus can be worked out from their standpoint. We do not want to make Europeans of these people, but to make Christians of them in their own environment.
Let us understand the Chinese way of life. As we spend years in studying his language, we should take similar trouble to understand his everyday life …
I must adapt my life so that it wins the respect of a Chinese (Kendall 145).

Pollard identified with them and entered into their lives. When ravenous tigers entered a village and carried off a dog or a pig, he often joined with the men to hunt down the predator and kill it. Likewise, when the local landlord, or “tu mu” – Eyes of the Land” – oppressed the people, he would go straight to the tyrant and try to persuade him to change, often by threatening to appeal to the treaty rights of Christians before the Chinese officials.

Unlike the Chinese, he boldly entered homes ravaged by typhoid or smallpox, treating illness as well as he could and vaccinating as many as possible. He spent many a night holding a sick child in his arms.

The Pollard Script

The trust that had supported Pollard’s schools also stipulated that he devote part of his time to translating the Scriptures into Miao. Since there was no existing written language, Pollard, with the help of Mr. Lee his Chinese coworker, invented the “Pollard Script,” which was a combination of Braille, shorthand, and Roman signs, partly imitating the approach of missionaries among the Cree Indians in North America. The translation team grew to include the best Miao teachers he could find. Pollard drew upon the Greek original, as well as translations into English and Chinese. The translation was checked several times before being sent to the press.

Pollard’s version of the New Testament was a paraphrase that attempted to convey the meaning as accurately as possible in terms understandable by the Miao. The Miao learned to read and write in this script quickly and easily, so it soon replaced the translation in romanized script that James Adam had given them. It is still in use today.

Finishing Well

For a full decade, Samuel Pollard pursued a multi-faceted strategy of building a strong church among the Miao, including: itinerant preaching and teaching, instituting regular observance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, building chapels (at their expense), providing education from primary through secondary levels, training pastors, evangelists, and missionaries to go to other tribes with different language, healing, literature distribution, translation of the New Testament, and forming friendly relationships with local officials.

During these final years, Pollard and his family shared in the sufferings of the Miao. One night, hearing that a cruel landlord was coming to kill them, he took Emmie and his boy Ernest out into the hills, where they were soaked with rain until a Miao Christian family invited them into their hut to dry off. Emmie endured from a long illness that almost claimed her life.

His friends feared that this ceaseless work would break his health, and they eventually proved to be right. He drove himself too hard, but much of this constant labor came from his unwillingness to turn down urgent appeals for help from the Miao and his own sense of calling to their growing church as it faced dangers from within and without.

Another pressure came from the insistence of his colleagues that he limit himself to serving the Miao, while assigning the care of a similar movement among the Nosu to other missionaries. The result was, in effect, a dual church: many villages had a chapel for the Miao and another for the Nosu, with different missionaries superintending them. As the founding pioneer, Pollard thought that he should have sole responsibility for both tribes, and conflict with his fellow missionaries caused him considerable emotional and physical stress.

Nevertheless, his untiring pastoral care often afforded him the joy of seeing both Miao and Nosu Christians worshiping together, their former antagonisms dispelled by the power of the gospel.

When typhoid fever broke out among first the Miao Christians and then the missionaries, Pollard tended his sick colleague and close friend William Hudspeth. Day and night care brought Hudspeth through, but wore down Pollard, who contracted typhoid. Emmie cared for him, and his old friend Frank Dymond cheered him by a visit, but Pollard’s body was too worn out and he died on September 15, 1915.


He does not impress by the originality or greatness of his thought; but he grapples us to his world by the intensity of his will and his splendid enthusiasm. Intellectually he was distinguished by mathematical gifts and organizing abilities. He was chiefly interested in persons and things; abstruse theories and speculations had no attraction for him. He was witty and loved to indulge in fantastic and exaggerated language. He had his mercurial moods and at his best was buoyant and sanguine; but underneath was a stubborn force of character which surprised and sometimes disconcerted his fellow-workers.
Together with his lifelong friend Frank Dymond, he embraced poverty with the ardour of St. Francis. He was a little man about five feet four, with longish pale face, black hair, prominent forehead, and deep-set, large, steady, grey eyes… . By thousands he was loved and revered as their spiritual father – the truest image and pledge of the Invisible Christ.
Among his fellow-missionaries Pollard was differentiated by his quick passionateness, by the vividness of his emotions, and the vehemence of his speech. At times he impressed them by his utter transparency and singleness, and then they were surprised by revelations of complexity: he often startled his friends with the swift changes of his moods… . In his personal religion he was subject to great upheavals. He was modest and at the same time amazingly self-confident: as the years glided by this apparent self-assertiveness appeared less in his speech and more in his actions.
There was great charm about his personality; he early exercised great influence over his companions; yet at times he could sting and stagger men who loved him by indiscriminating reproaches. But beneath all these moods and characteristics was the man himself – chivalrous, whole-hearted, adventurous, cherishing the passion and ambition of a true missionary, enduring heroically, yet buoyant as a schoolboy (Grist vi-vii).

His Spiritual Life: Christ-Centeredness

Jesus was his God. He gave assent to the traditional creed of evangelicalism, but he lived in the Gospels; with vivid imaginative power he visualized the life of his Lord; with intuitive sympathy he entered into the mind of the speaker of the parables and of the Logia [teachings], and into the compassion which was the motive-force of the healing miracles. He dramatized the conversations of Jesus; and he practiced the presence of Jesus. His idea of the Christian life resolved itself simply into obedience to Jesus … The immediacy of the voice of Jesus in his own soul was the true secret of his life and of his amazing moral strength.
This love for Jesus gives us the key to his passionate philanthropy (Grist 99–100).

His Theology

Pollard’s biographer, who knew him well and clearly sympathized with his expanding views of Christianity, records that Pollard gradually developed a “broader” understanding of the Christian faith and of Christian missions. He saw all truth as God’s truth and was eager to introduce to the Chinese Western knowledge, especially mathematics – in which he was unusually brilliant – and astronomy. “He saw that the order of Nature is a part of Divine Providence, and that nature cannot be interpreted as something spiritual” (Grist 100).

It appears that Pollard eventually became something of a proto-liberal in his theology, convinced that Jesus lived in the heart of every person as “the indwelling force of righteousness in every man” (Grist 100).

His Legacy

Samuel Pollard was a great missionary whose brilliance; exuberant love of God, his world, and the people around him; quick wit and marvelous sense of humor; immense labors; powerful preaching, skillful organizing and administration; and personal example made him an inspiration to all who knew him.

He left a strong church among the Miao and other tribes who were won to Christ through the witness of Miao missionaries. Towards the end, he figured that there were ten thousand confirmed Christians, with almost that many preparing for baptism. The New Testament that he translated using the Pollard Script that he invented is still being used today.

A colorful and extraordinarily gifted writer, he bequeathed his journals, magazine articles, and two books. These works not only chronicle the amazing story of God’s marvelous work among both Chinese and tribal people but also contain large stores of information about all aspects of the life and environment of those among whom he worked.

Pollard was a master storyteller, both orally and in writing. His journal and books read like adventure stories, with not a little suspense and mystery, and hold the reader’s attention even today. They also reveal to us a man who loved God and longed to bring the good news of his salvation in Christ to those who had never heard. Reading them draws us deeper into the spiritual wealth of a great soul.


Grist, William Alexander. Samuel Pollard: Pioneer Missionary in China. London: Henry Hooks. United Methodist Publishing House and Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1919.

Kendall, R. Elliott, ed. Eyes of the Earth: The Diary of Samuel Pollard. London: Cargate Press, 1954.

Pollard, Samuel. In Unknown China. London: Seeley Service & Co., Limited. 1921; reprinted by Forgotten Books, a trademark of FB & Co, Ltd., London, 2018.

—. Tight Corners in China. London: Andrew Crombie, 1910; reprinted by University of Michigan Libraries, 2010.

About the Author

G. Wright Doyle

Director, Global China Center; English Editor, Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.