Tag Archives: Samuel Zwemer

Review: Apostle to Islam

Rating: ★★★★★

Author: J. Christy Wilson (Sr.) (1891-1973) was an influential missionary in Persia. He published Apostle to Islam in 1952, the year after Samuel M. Zwemer died. (His son, J. Christy Wilson, Jr., (1921-1999), was a pioneer missionary in Afghanistan, and was also nothing to sneeze at.)

Samuel M. Zwemer (the subject of this biography) was a pioneer missionary among Arabs along the Persian Gulf. His later career was spent writing, teaching and mobilizing for missions among Muslims while he was based in Egypt for many years, and later at Princeton Theological Seminary. (Click here for more on Samuel M. Zwemer, or read his biography.)

Overview: This is probably the most comprehensive biography involving Christian work in the Muslim world. It is engaging, multi-faceted, well-researched, and well-written.

Like Ion Kieth-Falconer and others, Zwemer’s life must be divided into several streams:

  • His academic career, which included a chair at Princeton Seminary in his later life.
  • His literary career, which spans 48 volumes—one writer quips that, like Luther, he “threw his inkpot at the devil”.
  • His pioneer work—Zwemer was one of the earlier student volunteers, and he held a position of influence in the movement—with Lansing and Cantine, he also founded the Arabian Mission, which was remarkable for its ambition and sacrifice.
  • His publishing work—Zwemer was the editor of The Moslem World Quarterly from 1911 to 1947.
  • His mobilization work, which, according to Ruth Tucker, was his most important contribution. Year after year, his annual schedule involved platforms and pulpits in three languages in America, India, South Africa, Indonesia, China, Persia, etc.

With so much travel and so many contributions, Wilson mainly focuses on his work; there is not much “table talk” or personal touch. This book is too big-picture for that. The biography itself reads as an account of the revival of interest in evangelical missions to Muslim-majority people groups, and for that reason it is indispensable.

Meat: One of the high points for me was reading about Lucknow 1911 for the first time—a watershed moment in missions history, in which modern missions to Muslims became focused, intentional and organized.

Zwemer seems to have been steadfast, if a little grave; and orthodox, if a bit staunch. His life work is remarkable and unparalleled, and this is one of the best books it has been my high privilege to bring back into publication.

Bones: Something that will disappoint some readers, as Ruth Tucker points out in From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, is that Zwemer had very few converts in his lifetime. He was an eagle in theology; a seer in writing; a “steam-engine” in mobilization, as his close colleague testified; but he himself did not win many people to Christ in the Arab world. For that reason, some reviewers take this book to be uninspiring; I felt—quite the opposite—that his mobilization work undoubtedly has resulted in innumerable converts through the next generation, and from this I took great encouragement as a missionary in an all-but-forgotten field.

Some personal takeaways from Zwemer’s life as a whole: I take a spur and a warning both from this biography. First, mobilization, writing, and conference work are critical elements of our global task. They must not be neglected. Second, the most important work in ministry will always be not publishing, but people—one at a time—and loving your neighbor is harder and more glorious than a mile-long trail of print. This is exactly why mobilization was Zwemer’s greatest contribution; because that is where he was relationally invested.

 

Review: The Solitary Throne

Rating: ★★★★★

Author: Samuel M. Zwemer was a pioneer missionary among Arabs along the Persian Gulf. His later career was spent writing, teaching and mobilizing for missions among Muslims while he was based in Egypt for many years, and later at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Overview:

As the original cover shows, this book is composed of five addresses given at the Keswick Convention in 1937, “on the glory and uniqueness of the Christian message.” Their actual content is a little less focused than that, but more devotional and less apologetic than the subtitle implies.

Meat:

I have finished only a few of Samuel Zwemer’s books, but I have perused the lot of them enough to know that this may be his very best work. “The Glory of the Impossible”—a title also given to a chapter of Zwemer’s 1911 book The Unoccupied Fields and in an article by Lilias Trotter in the Missionary Review of the World—is a timeless and inspirational theme that resonates especially for apostolic missionaries. “His Ministers a Flame” was an equally compelling chapter on a disturbing but oft-neglected New Testament metaphor.

Zwemer was a voracious reader, and has a marvelous knack for compiling fascinating and rare illustrations and quotations from every imaginable source: history, biography, fiction, hymnology, poetry, and elsewhere. Several of the best are quoted below.

Bones:

The fifth chapter, “The Hinterland of the Soul,” fell a little flat for me because of its imperial language. I am rather certain than when it was written, this language was meant to be mainly spiritual; but here in the 21st century, it resonates more like a call to be united with fallen power structures of this world—an unequal yoke that the crucified Christ never called us to. Nonetheless, if I can take Zwemer’s call to “rule the world for Christ” in a spiritual sense, then I can see its merit.

Quotes:

The Solitary Throne:

Napoleon on St. Helena said: “I know men, and Jesus was no man. Charlemagne, Alexander the Great, and I, founded great empires upon force, and here is One who founded an empire upon love. And now I am alone and forsaken, and there are millions who would die for Him.”

Jean Paul Richter, of Germany, in a wonderful passage, said: “O Thou who art mightiest among the mighty, and the holiest among the holy, Thou with Thy pierced hands, hast lifted empires off their hinges, and turned the tide of human history!”

Jesus Christ is the only religious leader Who came to destroy all race barriers and class hatreds.

His Ministers a Flame:

You cannot keep your wood pile, you cannot keep your coal in the cellar, if you would have a fire on the hearth.

The very presence of Jesus always demands decision.

The Roman Catholic Church believes in Purgatory hereafter. We believe in Purgatory now.

I love to go to the University Library in Princeton. Over the fireplace in the library of that Graduate School there are carved these Latin words from the Vulgate Psalter: “In Meditatione mea exardescet ignis.” “While I sit meditating, the fire burns.”[See Psalm 39:3.]

Once I was to preach a sermon at an anniversary in a Methodist Church; there were a great number of ministers present, and I was greatly honoured to be allowed to preach there. We met in the vestry. And the sexton, whose work it was to take care of the comfort of the preacher, said to me: “Would you like a glass of water in the pulpit?” I said: “No, I would like a bonfire.” He smiled. That is what I felt that day.

Let us often read the Acts of the Apostles. It is a neglected Book amongst those who ought to be leaders of the Church of Christ.

May we never glibly pray the prayer that we may be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Photophobia:

Believe me, the principle of unbelief is not primarily intellectual, but moral.

This groping after the Light was the promise of full enlightenment. It always is, as we missionaries on the foreign field know; and our hearts leap with joy when some Nicodemus comes to us by night, saying: “Sir, we would see Jesus,” whether it be a penitent publican or an irreproachable Pharisee. Those who seek find; to those who knock, the door is opened.

There is no tragedy more real and more moving in all history, and in our own lives, than the deliberate rejection of Christ; because it is due, not to any extraordinary wickedness in the Jews, or the Romans, or the people of New York, or the people of London, but to the ordinary motives of men.

If you are neglecting your morning watch, if you are omitting your daily Bible study, if you are forsaking the assembling together of the saints as the manner of some is, you may be sure that all of these things are early symptoms of photophobia, and will end in spiritual blindness.

The Glory of the Impossible:

In 1923 I spoke on the patience of God in the evangelisation of Mohammedan lands from the text: “Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing. Nevertheless, at Thy word I will let down the nets.”

The history of Missions in every land is the story of the achievement of the impossible.

One of the saintliest of British missionaries, Miss Lilias Trotter, of North Africa, wrote just before her death in Algeria; “We who are engaged in Moslem work live in a land of blighted promises. That is a fact that none of us who love its people best can deny; and the deadly heart-sickness of hope deferred, sometimes makes even the most optimistic of us almost despair of seeing abiding fruitage to the work.”

We need once again to face the glory of this impossible task. . . . There is only one thing that is impossible—it is impossible for God to lie.

It is daybreak, not sunset in the Moslem world.

The Hinterland of the Soul:

In the eighteenth century the future belonged to John Wesley; it did not belong to those influential ecclesiastics who crowded him out of their churches and forced him, against his own inclinations, to preach in the open fields. Now to whom does the future of the twentieth century belong save to those Christians who are already looking beyond the horizon, who can read the signs of the times, and who makes bold adventures for God?

Review: Zigzag Journeys in the Camel Country

Rating: ★★★★½

Authors: Amy E. Zwemer is the co-author of Topsy-Turvy Land and Zigzag Journeys in the Camel Country. A native Australian, she met Samuel M. Zwemer while she was serving as a pioneer missionary in Basra, present-day Iraq.

Samuel M. Zwemer was a pioneer missionary among Arabs along the Persian Gulf. His later career was spent writing, teaching and mobilizing for missions among Muslims while he was based in Egypt for many years, and later at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Overview:

Where Topsy-Turvy Land was focused on daily life in the Arab world—which has, needless to say, changedZigzag Journeys has a narrative basis. Although it’s not always clear who is narrating (whether Amy Zwemer or her husband), the chapters that recount journeys are easy to read and fascinating in their detail.

Meat:

There is a wealth of interest and irony in the Zwemers’ accounts of their journeys, such as “A Pioneer Journey on the Pirate Coast” and “Along Unbeaten Traces in Yemen.” “The Jews in Kheibar” is a particularly interesting and seldom-told tale of the Jews who once inhabited the Arabian Peninsula.

Bones:

This book maintains everything that’s best about Topsy-Turvy Land but in a much less childish style. Adult readers who felt patronized by Topsy-Turvy will find this book much more engaging.

Review: Unoccupied Mission Fields of Asia & Africa

Rating: ★★★

Author: Samuel M. Zwemer was a pioneer missionary among Arabs along the Persian Gulf. His later career was spent writing, teaching and mobilizing for missions among Muslims while he was based in Egypt for many years, and later at Princeton Theological Seminary. (Click here for more on Samuel M. Zwemer, or read his biography.)

Genre:

The genre of this book requires some explanation. Unoccupied Mission Fields, especially the first half, falls into the category of missions survey. Missions survey books sought to compile information from European explorers and pioneer missionaries to explain basic information that we would expect to read today on Wikipedia: geography, demographics, population statistics, religious statistics, as well as other information pertinent for missionaries and intercessors. Missions survey is not well represented today in publishing, but in comprehensive resources and websites such as Operation World, The Joshua Project, and some resources by Voice of the Martyrs. Missions newsletters, biographies, and some large-scale studies (like A Wind in the House of Islam) also may meet the same goals as missions survey.

Overview:

Zwemer writes in the preface:

The purpose of this book is to give a survey of the extent and condition of the wholly unoccupied mission fields in Africa and Asia . . . and to consider the questions that bear on their occupation. (Preface, loc. 18)

This twofold purpose is roughly how the book is divided. After a lengthy rundown of neglected areas (especially Muslim-majority populations), the second half of Unoccupied Fields deals with heart issues and head issues involved with missionary advancement in these pioneer fields.

The book begins with many accounts of geographical areas with no missionaries (as of 1911). These are mildly interesting, since we can clearly see which areas have experienced rapid progress in the past century (mainly sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Asia), and others that have seemingly changed little since Zwemer’s day.

Zwemer then discusses the obstacles to missionary advancement in each region, the social and religious poverty among the unreached, missionary strategy, and the need for pioneer efforts.

Zwemer’s sources are primarily missions reports and missions biographies, with some explorers’ accounts and travelogues.

Despite many dated quotations, the second half of the book shows what made Zwemer famous. Aside from his very thorough research, the book is dripping with a pioneer spirit for the glory of Christ among the unreached, and that is the book’s chief value. The last few chapters are especially potent, and “The Glory of the Impossible” is worth the price of the book.

Quotes:

“These fields are the enemy’s citadels, the high places of his dominion, flaunting defiance in the face of a militant church.” (ch. 1, loc. 167)

“The first Missionary came unto His own and His own received Him not.” (ch. 1, loc. 169)

“God does not deal with mankind in the mass, but as individuals, nor should we. [sic]” (ch. 1, loc. 678)

“Decentralization in the mission field itself is another pressing problem.” (ch. 2, loc. 855)

“Meanwhile, how slowly move the hosts of God
To claim the crown He hath already won!” (ch. 3, loc. 1099)

“The march of missionary progress throughout the past century of Protestant missions has, with some exceptions, been along the line of least resistance. When the whole non-Christian world was awaiting pioneer effort, the Church sometimes postponed the harder tasks. . . . ” (ch. 3, loc. 1128)

“The gradual breaking down of barriers . . . is a call to greater faith and enterprise.” (ch. 3, loc. 1594)

“Long neglect, trying climates, political barriers, national jealousies and religious intolerance in all the unoccupied fields are only a challenge to faith and intended of God to lead us to prayer. All difficulties can be surmounted by those who have faith in God.” (ch. 3, p. 107, loc. 1630)

“The eyes of the Christian world turn as instinctively toward the lands closed to the Gospel in this missionary age, as do the eyes of a conquering army toward the few remaining outposts of the enemy.” (John Muir, qtd. in ch. 6, p. 166, loc. 2546)

“The pioneer stands in a class by himself, like Paul among the Apostles. His glory and joy is the magnitude and the difficulty of the task. The unknown attracts him. Obstacles allure him, and difficulties only knit his moral fibre and strengthen his purpose.” (ch. 7, p. 198, loc. 3027)

” . . . men who do not know what discouragement means. . . .” (ch. 7, p. 200, loc. 3059)

“God does not put the Polar bear on the Congo, nor the hippopotamus in the heart of Arabia . . . Lambs are provided with wool, and it is untrue that God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb. He does not need to temper the wind, because He does not shear the lamb.” (ch. 7, p. 214, loc. 3267)

“Heap the difficulties together recklessly . . . He is the God of the impossible.” (Lillias Trotter, qtd. in ch. 8, p. 225, loc. 3436).

“We are not to choose conditions, but to meet them. The early apostles did not wait until the Roman Empire was ‘opened.'” (S. C. Rijnhart, qtd. in ch. 8, p. 227, loc. 3467)

Zwemer cites Bishop French’s tale, adding that MacKay had called for six young men and only French responded (ch. 8, p. 233, loc. 3572)

Livingstone challenged Cambridge men: “Do you carry out the work which I have begun. I leave it with you.” (ch. 8, p. 240, loc. 3674)

Selected quotes on Arabia and Islam:

“But in its native Arabian soil, the tree planted by the Prophet has grown up with wild freedom and brought forth fruit of its own kind. As regards morality, Arabia is on a low plane . . . ” (p. 142, loc. 2171)

“A religion that does not purify the home cannot regenerate the race.” (Fairbairn, qtd. p. 136, loc. 2085)

“The Gospel is the only hope for the social uplift of the world.” (p. 135, loc. 2061)

Zwemer cites amulet use (p. 118, loc. 1801); open slavery (p. 113, loc. 1729-1730); prostitution in Mecca veiled as ‘temporary marriage’ and the like.

“The chief barrier is that of Moslem political authority and not primarily religious fanaticism.” (p. 94, loc. 1437)

“Northern Oman together with the coast along the western side of the Persian Gulf has a large number of villages and cities. Only the coast towns thus far have been visited by missionaries and colporteurs and the people would welcome medical missions, yet there is no station in the entire area of the map.” (p. 45, loc. 675)

“Missionary work in Arabia so far has been largely preliminary.” (p. 34, loc. 518)

“The eastern tribes . . . are pagan . . . Their dialect is distinct . . . their customs are peculiar and primitive.” (p. 33)

Sources cited with recommendations:

In the Torrid Sudan
With Tibetans in Tent and Temple
Across the Sahara 
(Vischer)
Fighting the Slave-Hunters in Central Africa (Swann, 1910)
The Lower Niger & Its Tribes (Leonard, 1906)
Leaves from an Afghan Scrapbook
Six Months in Meccah
(Keane, 1881)

Free books by Samuel M. Zwemer

Samuel M. Zwemer worked as a pioneer missionary in Iraq, Bahrain, and Egypt, but his most lasting influence was through his conferences and books. He worked tirelessly as a missions mobilizer to make Christians aware of the challenges and opportunities of missions among Muslims.

The following list links to free PDFs of Zwemer’s books from several sources, many of them prepared by the Zwemer Center or by muhammadanism.org.

Across the World of Islam
Arabia: The Cradle of Islam (4th Edition)
Call to Prayer (site down)
Childhood in the Moslem World
The Cross Above the Crescent (site down)
Daylight in the Harem (with Annie van Sommer)
The Disintegration of Islam
Evangelism Today: Message Not Method
The Glory of the Cross  (Arabic Translation)
The Glory of the Manger
The Golden Milestone
Heirs of the Prophets
The Influence of Animism on Islam
Into All the World
Islam, A Challenge to Faith (2nd Edition) (German Translation)
Islam and Missions (editor & contributor)
The Law of Apostasy in Islam
Lucknow, 1911
The Mohammedan World of Today (with E. M. Wherry)
Mohammed or Christ. (Fleming H. Revell edition)
The Moslem Christ
The Moslem Doctrine of God
The Moslem World (revised for students from Islam, A Challenge to Faith)
A Moslem Seeker After God (Arabic Translation)
The Nearer and Farther East (with Arthur J. Brown)
Our Muslim Sisters (editor & contributor)
Raymond Lull: First Missionary to the Muslims (Spanish Translation)
The Solitary Throne
Sons of Adam: Studies of Old Testament Characters in New Testament Light
Taking Hold of God
Thinking Missions with Christ (3rd Edition)
Topsy-Turvy Land: Arabia Pictured for Children (with Amy E. Zwemer)
The Unoccupied Mission Fields of Africa and Asia
Zigzag Journeys in the Camel Country (with Amy E. Zwemer)

This list only includes full-length books. For an exhaustive list of Samuel M. Zwemer’s publications, see our bibliography for Samuel Zwemer.

 

Free Missionary Biographies (150+)

For publishing purposes, I created a database of hundreds of missionary biographies. Here are links to the 183 of them that are available for free online. Several websites assisted in the creation of this list, especially the Internet Archivemissiology.org.uk, and Wholesome Words.

These links can be searched and sorted by country or author on AirTable.

NORTH AMERICA

The Parish of the Pines by Thomas D. Whittles (1873-?)

Canada
The Harvest of the Sea: A Tale of Both Sides of the Atlantic by Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell (1865-1940)
Adrift on an Ice-Pan by Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell (1865-1940)

Greenland
Amid Greenland Snows: The Early History of Arctic Missions by Jesse Page (1805-1883)

Jamaica
Memoir of William Knibb: Missionary in Jamaica by John Howard Hinton (1791-1873)

Missions among Native Americans
An Historical Account of the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts: Containing Their Foundation, Proceedings and the Success of Their Missionaries in the British Colonies to the Year 1728 by David Humphreys (1689-1740)
A journal of the life, gospel labours, and Christian experiences, of that faithful minister of Jesus Christ, John Woolman by John Woolman (1720-1772)
The Triumph of the Reformed Religion in America: The Life of the Renowned John Eliot by Cotton Mather (1663-1728)
An Account of the Life of the Late Rev. David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
By Canoe and Dog-Train: Among the Cree and Salteaux Indians by Egerton Ryerson Young (1840-1909)
On the Indian Trail: Stories of Missionary Work among the Cree and Salteaux Indians by Egerton Ryerson Young (1840-1909)
Stories from Indian Wigwams and Northern Camp-Fires by Egerton Ryerson Young (1840-1909)
Oowikapun: Or, How the Gospel Reached the Nelson River Indians by Egerton Ryerson Young (1840-1909)
Indian Life in the Great North-West by Egerton Ryerson Young (1840-1909)
The Battle of the Bears: Life in the North Land by Egerton Ryerson Young (1840-1909)
The Apostle of the North: Rev. James Evans by Egerton Ryerson Young (1840-1909)
Mirabilia Dei Inter Indicos, or, The Rise and Progress of a Remarkable Work of Grace amongst a Number of the Indians in the Provinces of New-Jersey and Pennsylvania, Justly Representied in a Journal Kept by Order of the Honourable Society (in Scotland) for Propagating Christian Knowledge by David Brainerd (1718-1747)
Memoirs of the Rev. David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), David Brainerd (1718-1747), Sereno Edwards Dwight (1786-1850)
David Brainerd, the Apostle of the North American Indians by Jesse Page (1805-1883)
Brief Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel amongst the Indians in New England, in the Year 1670 by John Eliot (1604-1690)

CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA

A Voice from South America by Captain Allen Francis Gardiner (1794-1851)
South America: The Dark Continent by Emilio Olsson

Argentina
Captain Allen Gardiner of Patagonia: The Dauntless Sailor Missionary by Jesse Page (1805-1883)
The Story of Commander Allen Gardiner by John William Marsh (1822-1882), Waite H. Stirling

Brazil
A Thousand Miles in a Dug-Out: Being the Narrative of a Journey of Investigation among the Red-Skin Indians of Central Brazil by Frederick Charles Glass (1871-1960)
Adventures with the Bible in Brazil by Frederick Charles Glass (1871-1960)

Guyana
In the Tropics: Scenes and Incidents of West Indian Life by Jabez Marrat (1833-1909)

EASTERN EUROPE

Memoir of Mrs. Stallybrass, Wife of the Rev. Edward Stallybrass, Missionary to Siberia by Edward Stallybrass
Jonas King: Missionary to Syria and Greece by F. E. H. Haines

AFRICA

The Flaming Torch in Darkest Africa by William Taylor (1821-1902)
Africa Waiting or The Problem of Africa’s Evangelisation by Douglas Montagu Thornton (1873-1907)
Back to the Long Grass: My Link with Livingstone by Daniel Crawford (1870-1926)
Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa by David Livingstone (1813-1873)
Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries and of the Discovery of the Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa by David Livingstone (1813-1873)
The Last Journals of David Livingstone in Central Africa by Horace Waller
Journal of an Expedition to Explore the Course and Termination of the Niger; with a Narrative of a Voyage Down That River to Its Termination by Richard Lander, John Lander
Central Africa Revisited: A 16,000 Mile Tour Thoughout the Fields of the Africa Inland Mission in Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, Congo, Sudan and Egypt by Daniel Morison Miller (1888-1965)
Garenganze; or, Seven Years Pioneer Mission Work in Central Africa by Frederick Stanley Arnot (1858-1914)
The Life and Explorations of Frederick Stanley Arnot, F.R.G.S. by Ernest Baker
The Personal Life of David Livingstone: Chiefly from his Unpublished Journals and Correspondence in the Possession of His Family by William Garden Blaikie (1820-1899)

Cameroon
Alfred Saker: The Pioneer of the Cameroons by Emily Martha Saker (b. 1849)

Congo River Region
Pioneering on the Congo by William Holman Bentley (1855-1905)
Life on the Congo by William Holman Bentley (1855-1905)
W. Holman Bentley: The Life and Labours of a Congo Pioneer, By His Widow by H. M. Bentley

Ethiopia
John Ludwig Krapf: Explorer-Missionary of Northeastern Africa by Paul Edward Kretzmann (1883-1965)
Eclipse in Ethiopia and Its Corona Glory by Esmé Ritchie Rice

Kenya
In the Heart of Savagedom: Reminiscences of Life and Adventure during a Quarter of a Century of Pioneering Missionary Labours in the Wilds of East Equatorial Africa by Eva Stuart Watt

Madagascar
Through Lands That Were Dark. Being a Record of a Year’s Missionary Journey in Africa and Madagascar by F. H. Hawkins (1863-1936)
Madagascar: Its Mission and Its Martyrs by Ebenezer Prout
The Martyrs’ Isle: or, Madagascar: The Country, the People, and the Missions by Annie Sharman

Malawi
The Life of Robert Laws of Livingstonia by William Pringle Livingstone (b. 1864)
Reminiscences of Livingstonia by Robert Laws (1851-1934)
Streams in the Desert: A Picture of Life in Livingstonia by James Horne Morrison (1872-1947)

Nigeria
The Romance of the Black River: The Story of the C.M.S. Nigeria Mission by F. Deaville Walker

Sierra Leone
Seven Years in Sierra Leone by Arthur Tappan Pierson (1837-1911)

South Africa & Botswana
Narrative of a Journey to the Zoolu Country, in South Africa by Captain Allen Francis Gardiner (1794-1851)
Christina Forsyth of Fingoland: The Story of the Loneliest Woman in Africa by William Pringle Livingstone (b. 1864)
Missionary Labors and Scenes in Southern Africa by Robert Moffat (1795-1883)
Robert Moffat: African Missionary by Jabez Marrat (1833-1909)
Stewart of Lovedale by James Wells
Dawn in the Dark Continent by James Stewart (1831-1905)

South Sudan
New Frontiers in the Central Sudan by C. Gordon Beacham
Seven Sevens of Years and a Jubilee: The Story of the Sudan Interior Mission by Rowland V. Bingham (1872-1942)

Uganda
Two Kings of Uganda by Robert Pickering Ashe (1857-1944)
The Last Journals of Bishop Hannington by Edwin Collas Dawson (1849-1925)
James Hannington, First Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa: A History of His Life and Work (1847-1885) by Edwin Collas Dawson (1849-1925)
Bishop Hannington and the Story of the Uganda Mission by William Grinton Berry (1873-1926)
Mackay of the Great Lake by Constance Evelyn Padwick (1886- )
Mackay of Uganda: The Missionary Engineer by Mary Yule
Uganda’s White Man of Work by Sophia Blanche Lyon Fahs (b. 1876)
Chronicles of Uganda by Robert Pickering Ashe (1857-1944)

Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)
Christians of the Copperbelt: The Growth of the Church in Northern Rhodesia by John Vernon Taylor
The Way of the White Fields in Rhodesia: A Survey of Christian Enterprise in Northern and Southern Rhodesia by Edwin W. Smith (1876-1957)

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Kamil Abdul Messiah by Kamil Abdulmasih (d. 1892)

North Africa
The Gospel in North Africa by John Rutherford (1816-1866)
I. Lilias Trotter, Founder of the Algiers Mission Band by Blanche Anne Frances Pigott (1849-1930)
Pioneering in Morocco: A Record of Seven Years’ Medical Mission Work in the Palace and the Hut by Robert Kerr (d. 1918)

Egypt & Sudan
A Master-Builder on the Nile: Being a Record of the Life and Aims of John Hogg, Christian Missionary by Rena L. Hogg
Douglas M. Thornton: A Study in Missionary Ideals and Methods by William Henry Temple Gairdner (1873-1928)
W.H.T.G. to His Friends by William Henry Temple Gairdner (1873-1928)
The Changing Sudan by W. Wilson Cash
The Sudan: A Short Compendium of Facts and Figures about the Land of Darkness by H. Karl Kumm (1874-1930)

Iraq & the Gulf
The History of the Arabian Mission by Alfred DeWitt Mason

Levant (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, etc.)
Christian Researches in the Mediterrannean, from 1815 to 1820, in Furtherance of the Objects of the Church Missionary Society by William Jowett, James Connor
The Life and Correspondence of Thomas Valpy French by Herbert Alfred Birks
Lethaby of Moab: A Record of Missionary Adventure, Peril and Toil by Thomas Durley
Ventures among the Arabs: 13 Years of Pioneer Missionary Life in Arabia by Archibald Forder (1863-1934)
Fifty-Three Years in Syria: The Autobiography of Henry H. Jessup by Henry Harris Jessup (1832-1910)
Bible Works in Bible Lands: or, Events in the History of the Syria Mission by Isaac Bird (1793-1876)
Memoir of the Rev. Pliny Fisk by Alvan Bond (1793-1882)
Raymund Lull: First Missionary to the Moslems by Samuel Marinus Zwemer (1867-1952)

Yemen
Memorials of the Hon. Ion Keith-Falconer by Robert Sinker (1838-1913)

CENTRAL ASIA

Journals and Letters of the Rev. Henry Martyn by S. Wilberforce
A Memoir of the Rev. Henry Martyn by John Sargent (1780-1833)
Henry Martyn of India and Persia by Jesse Page (1805-1883)

SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh
Bengal as a Field of Missions by Mrs. MacLeod Wylie

India
The Cobra’s Den by Jacob Chamberlain (1835-1908)
Men of Might in India Missions: Their Leaders and Their Epochs, 1706-1899 by Helen Harriet Holcomb
Life and Times of Carey, Marshman and Ward by John Clark Marshman (1794-1877)
History of the Tranquebar Mission by Johannes Ferdinand Fenger (1805-1861)
In the Tiger Jungle and Other Stories of Missionary Work among the Telugus of India by Jacob Chamberlain (1835-1908)
Biographical Sketches of Joshua Marshman by John Fenwick
Things As They Are: Mission Work in Southern India by Amy Carmichael (1867-1951)
A Memoir of Mrs. Margaret Wilson by John Wilson (1804-1875)
Memoir of William Carey by Eustace Carey
The Missionary’s Wife, or, A Brief Account of Mrs. Loveless of Madras; the First American Missionary to Foreign Lands by Richard Knill
Travels in North India by John Cameron Lowrie (1808-1900)
Two Years in Upper India by John Cameron Lowrie (1808-1900)
Two Standard Bearers in the East: Sketches of Dr. Duff and Dr. Wilson by Jabez Marrat (1833-1909)
Memoirs of Mrs. Louisa A. Lowrie : wife of the Rev. John C. Lowrie, missionary to Northern India, who died at Calcutta, Nov. 21st, 1833, aged 24 years by Ashbel Green Fairchild (1795-1864)

Pakistan
An Heroic Bishop: The Life-Story of French of Lahore by Eugene Stock (1836-1928)
Robert Clark of the Panjab: Pioneer and Missionary Statesman by Henry Martyn Clark (1857-1916)

Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)
One Hundred Years in Ceylon: The Centenary Volume of the Church Missionary Society in Ceylon 1818-1918 by John William Balding
Extracts from the Journal and Correspondence of the Late Mrs. M. M. Clough, Wife of the Rev. Benjamin Clough, Missionary in Ceylon by Adam Clarke, Benjamin Clough, Margaret Morley Clough (1803-1827)
Memoirs of Mrs. Elizabeth Harvard Late of the Wesleyan Mission to Ceylon and India with Extracts from Her Diary and Correspondence by William Martin Harvard

NORTHEAST ASIA

Journal of Three Voyages along the Coast of China in 1831, 1832, and 1833, with Notices of Siam, Corea, and the Loo-Choo Islands by Charles Gutzlaff
A Sound of Abundance of Rain by Campbell Naismith Moody (1866-1940)
The War and Missions in the East by A. J. MacDonald (1887-1959)

China
Not Unto Us: A Record of Twenty-One Years’ Missionary Service by Harry Grattan Guinness (1835-1910)
Memoir of William C. Burns, Missionary to China by Islay Burns (1817-1872)
Memoir of the Life and Brief Ministry of the Rev. David Sandeman, Missionary to China by Andrew Alexander Bonar (1810-1892)
A Retrospect by James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)
Three Decades of the China Inland Mission, 1865-1895 by James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)
Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission: The Growth of a Soul by Howard Taylor
The Jubilee Story of the China Inland Mission with Portraits and Map by Marshall Broomhall (1866-1937)
Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission: The Growth of a Work of God by Howard Taylor

Japan
A Maker of New Japan: Joseph Hardy Neesima, President of Doshisha University, Kyoto by Jerome Dean Davis (1838-1910)
Life and Letters of Joseph Hardy Neesima by Arthur Sherburne Hardy

Mongolia
More about the Mongols by James Gilmour (1843-1891)
James Gilmour of Mongolia by James Gilmour (1843-1891), Richard Lovett (1851-1904)

Taiwan (formerly Formosa)
The Saints of Formosa by Campbell Naismith Moody (1866-1940)
The Heathen Heart: An Account of the Reception of the Gospel among the Chinese of Formosa by Campbell Naismith Moody (1866-1940)

Tibet
With the Tibetans in Tent and Temple by Susanna Carson “Susie” Rijnhart (1868-1908)

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Myanmar (formerly Burma)
The Gospel in Burma by Mrs. MacLeod Wylie
An Account of the American Baptist Mission to the Burman Empire by Ann Hasseltine Judson (1789-1826)
Memoir of the Life and Labors of the Rev. Adoniram Judson by Francis Wayland
The Apostle of Burma: A Memoir of Adoniram Judson, D.D. by Jabez Marrat (1833-1909)

SOUTH PACIFIC

Heroes of the South Seas by Martha Burr Banks
Memoir of Mrs. Mary Mercy Ellis, Wife of Rev. William Ellis, Missionary in the South Seas and Foreign Secretary of the London Missionary Society by William Ellis (1794-1872)
John Williams, the Shipbuilder by Basil Joseph Mathews (1879-1951)
A Narrative of Missionary Enterprise in the South Sea Islands by John Williams (1796-1839)
Memoirs of the Rev. John Williams, Missionary to Polynesia by Ebenezer Prout

Fiji
James Calvert: or, From Dark to Dawn in Fiji by R. Vernon
James Calvert of Fiji by George Stringer Rowe (1830-1913)
The Story of Fiji by James Calvert (1813-1892)
Memoir of Mary Calvert by George Stringer Rowe (1830-1913)
The Life of John Hunt, Missionary to the Cannibals by George Stringer Rowe (1830-1913)
John Hunt: Pioneer Missionary and Saint by Joseph Nettleton
Fiji and the Fijians by James Calvert (1813-1892), Thomas Williams (1815-1891), George Stringer Rowe (1830-1913)

New Zealand
Bishop Selwyn of New Zealand, and of Lichfield: A Sketch of His Life and Work with Some Further Gleanings from His Letters, Sermons, and Speeches by George Herbert Curteis (1824-1894)
Among the Maoris; or, Daybreak in New Zealand: A Record of the Labours of Samuel Marsden, Bishop Selwyn, and Others by Jesse Page (1805-1883)
Memoirs of the life and labours of the Rev. Samuel Marsden, of Parramatta, Senior Chaplain of New South Wales: and of his early connexion with the missions to New Zealand and Tahiti by John Buxton Marsden (1803-1870)
A Short Account of the Character and Labours of the Rev. S. Marsden by William Woolls
Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand, performed in the years 1814 and 1815, in company with the Rev. S. Marsden by John Liddiard Nicholas

New Guinea
James Chalmers: Missionary and Explorer of Rarotonga and New Guinea by William Robson
Tamate: The Life and Adventures of a Christian Hero by Richard Lovett (1851-1904)
Greatheart of Papua: James Chalmers by W. P. Nairne
These Thirty Years: The Story of the RBMU by Harry Guinness (1835-1910)
Bishop Patteson: Martyr of Melanesia by Jesse Page (1805-1883)
Life of John Coleridge Patteson, Missionary Bishop of the Melanesian Islands by Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901)

Tonga & French Polynesia
Tonga and the Friendly Islands by Sarah Stock Farmer

Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides)
The Story of John G. Paton: Thirty Years with South Sea Cannibals by John Gibson Paton (1824-1907)
Saints and Savages: The Story of Five Years in the New Hebrides by Robert Lamb

COMPILATIONS

Memoirs of British Female Missionaries by Thomas Timpson (1790-1860)
The Unoccupied Mission Fields of Africa and Asia by Samuel Marinus Zwemer (1867-1952)
A History of Moravian Missions by Joseph Edmund Hutton (1838-1937)
Moravian Missions: Twelve Lectures by Augustus C. Thompson (1812-1901)
A History of Wesleyan Missions in All Parts of the World from Their Commencement to the Present Time by William Moister (1808-1891)
An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens in Which the State of the Different Nations of the World, the Success of Former Undertakings, and the Practicability of Further Undertakings, Are Considered by William Carey (1761-1834)
Conquests of the Cross: A Record of Missionary Work throughout the World by Edwin Hodder (1837-1904)
The History of the Church MIssionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work by Eugene Stock (1836-1928)
The Romance of Missionary Heroism: True Stories of the Intrepid Bravery and Stirring Adventures of Missionaries with Uncivilized Man, Wild Beasts and the Forces of Nature in All Parts of the World by John Chisholm Lambert (1857-1917)
A History of Christian Missions during the Middle Ages by George Frederick Maclear (1833-1902)
The Advance Guard: 200 Years of Moravian Missions, 1732-1932 by Anonymous
Memories of the Mission Field by Christine Isabel Tinling (1869-1943)
Journal of Voyages and Travels by Daniel Tyerman, George Bonnet
Twelve Mighty Missionaries by Esthme Ethelind Enock (1874-1947)
Heroes of Missionary Enterprise by Claud Field
Giants of the Missionary Trail: The Life Stories of Eight Men Who Defied Death and Demons by Eugene Myers Harrison
The Missionary Heroes of Africa by James Horne Morrison (1872-1947)
Three Martyrs of the Nineteenth Century by Elizabeth Rundle Charles (1828-1896)
On the Trail of the Pioneers: A Sketch of the Missions of the United Free Church of Scotland by James Horne Morrison (1872-1947)

Region classifications are based on those used by the Joshua Project.

A Detailed Bibliography of Samuel M. Zwemer

This is a bibliography of works by Samuel Zwemer, adapted and corrected from Apostle to Islam by J. Christy Wilson, Sr.

Zwemer may have been the most famous missions mobilizer of the 20th century. He pioneered in Bahrain, Iraq, and Egypt, in addition to missions tours and conferences virtually everywhere that Islam is found. He preached in English, Arabic, and Dutch. His sermons and books called the Church to acknowledge the challenge of Islam head-on.

While some of his works are left for specialists in religion, his devotional works are just as compelling today. I highly recommend The Glory of the Cross and The Solitary Throne.

Books by Samuel M. Zwemer

  1. Arabia: The Cradle of Islam. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1st Edition, 1900. 434 pages.
    4th Edition, 1912.
    Urdu Translation (Unauthorized): Pesa Akhbar, 1910.
  2. Raymond Lull: First Missionary to the Muslims. Funk and Wagnalls, New York. November 1902. 172 pages.
    German Translation: Sudan Pioneer Mission, Wiesbaden, 1912.
    Arabic Translation: Nile Mission Press, Cairo, 1914.
    Chinese Translation: 1924.
    Spanish Translation: Sociedad de Publicaciones Religiosas, Madrid. 1926. [Raimundo Lulio, Primer Misionero a Los Musulmanes, tr. Alejandro Brachmann.]
    Dutch Translation (Unauthorized): 1928.
  3. The Moslem Doctrine of God. American Tract Society, New York. 1st Edition, 1905.
    2nd Edition, 1924. 120 pages.
  4. Islam, A Challenge to Faith. Student Volunteer Movement, New York. 1st Edition, 1907. 295 pages.
    2nd Edition, Marshall Brothers, London, 1909.
    German Translation: 1909. 324 pages. [Der Islam: Eine Herausforderung an Den Glauben, tr. Elisabeth Grouben.] (Link is view only.)
    Danish Translation: Copenhagen, 1910.
    French Translation: Paris, 1922.
  5. The Moslem World. Young People’s Missionary Movement of the United States and Canada. Eaton, New York, 1908. 239 pages. (Revised edition of Islam, A Challenge to Faith, abridged for use by the Young People’s Missionary Union.)
  6. The Unoccupied Mission Fields of Africa and Asia. Student Volunteer Movement, New York. 1911. 260 pages.
    German Translation: Basel, 1912.
    Danish Translation: Copenhagen, 1912.
  7. The Moslem Christ. Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, London. 1st Edition, 1912.
    2nd Edition, 1927. 198 pages. American Tract Society, New York.
    Arabic Translation: Nile Mission Press, Cairo. 1916.
    German Translation: Stuttgart, 1921. [Die Christologie des Islams, tr. Dr. E. Frick.]
    Urdu Translation: 1929.
  8. Mohammed or ChristSeeley Service and Company, London. 1916. 292 pages.
    Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1916.
  9. Childhood in the Moslem World. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1915. 274 pages.
    Danish Translation: Copenhagen. 1917.
    Arabic Translation: 2nd Edition, Cairo, 1921.
  10. The Disintegration of Islam. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1916. 227 pages.
  11. The Influence of Animism on Islam. Macmillan, New York. 1920. 246 pages.
    S.P.C.K, London. 1921.
  12. Christianity the Final Religion. Eerdmans Sevensma Co., The Pilgrim Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1920. 108 pages.
  13. A Moslem Seeker After God. Life of Al-Ghazali. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1920. 302 pages.
    Arabic Translation: Nile Mission Press, Cairo, 1922.
    Urdu Translation: 1925.
  14. The Law of Apostasy in Islam. Marshall Brothers, London. 1924. 164 pages.
    German Translation: Guetersloh, 1926.
  15. Call to Prayer. Marshall Brothers, London. 1923. 79 pages.
    Dutch Translation: Kampen, 1926.
  16. The Glory of the Cross. Marshall Brothers, London. 1st Edition, 1928. 128 pages.
    2nd Edition, 1935.
    3rd Popular Edition, 1938.
    Arabic Translation: 1928. [السر العجيب في فخر الصليب]
    Urdu Translation: 1929.
    Swedish Translation: 1930.
  17. Across the World of Islam. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1st Edition, 1929. 382 pages.
    2nd Edition, 1932.
  18. Thinking Missions with Christ. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1st Edition, 1934.
    3rd Edition, 1935.
  19. The Origin of Religion. Cokesbury Press, Nashville, Tenn. 1st Edition, 1935.
    2nd Edition, 1936.
    3rd Revised Edition, 1946.
    Loizeaux Brothers, New York. 256 pages.
  20. Taking Hold of God. Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London 1936. 188 pages.
    Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1936.
  21. It is Hard to be a Christian. Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London, 1937. 159 pages.
  22. The Solitary Throne. Pickering and Inglis, London. 1937. 112 pages.
  23. Studies in Popular Islam. Macmillan, New York. 1939. 148 pages.
    Sheldon Press, London.
  24. Dynamic Christianity and the World Today. Inter-Varsity Fellowship, London. 1939. 173 pages.
  25. The Glory of the Manger. American Tract Society, New York. 1940. 232 pages.
  26. The Art of Listening to God. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1940. 217 pages.
  27. The Cross Above the Crescent. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1941. 292 pages.
  28. Into All the World. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1943. 222 pages.
  29. Evangelism Today: Message Not Method. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1st Edition, 1944. 125 pages.  (Copyright renewed.)
    4th Edition, 1948.
  30. Heirs of the Prophets. Moody Press, Chicago. 1946. 137 pages. (Link is view only.)
  31. The Glory of the Empty Tomb. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1947. 170 pages. (Copyright renewed.)
  32. How Rich the Harvest: Studies in Bible Themes and Missions. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1948. 120 pages. (Copyright renewed.)
  33. Sons of Adam: Studies of Old Testament Characters in New Testament Light. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1951. 164 pages.

Works of Joint Authorship

  1. Topsy-Turvy Land: Arabia Pictured for Children, with Amy E. Zwemer. Fleming H. Revell, New York. July 1902. 124 pages.
  2. The Mohammedan World of Today, with E. M. Wherry. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1906. 302 pages.
  3. Our Muslim Sisters, with Annie Van Sommer. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1907. 299 pages.
    Swedish Translation: Stockholm, 1908.
    Danish Translation: Odense, 1909.
  4. The Nearer and Farther East, with Arthur J. Brown. Macmillan, New York. 1908. 325 pages.
  5. Lucknow, 1911, with E. M. Wherry. Madras, 1912. 298 pages.
  6. Zigzag Journeys in the Camel Country, with Amy E. Zwemer. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1st Edition, 1911.
    2nd Edition. 126 pages.
  7. Daylight in the Harem, with Annie Van Sommer. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1911. 224 pages.
  8. Islam and Missions, report of the Lucknow conference with E. M. Wherry. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1912. 300 pages.
  9. Christian Literature in Moslem Lands, with a committee. Doran, New York. 1923.
  10. Moslem Women, with Amy E. Zwemer. United Study Committee, New York. 1926. 306 pages.
  11. The Golden Milestone, with James Cantine. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1938. 157 pages.  (Copyright renewed.)

Short Works and Contributions

  1. “Report of a Mission Tour Down the Euphrates from Hillah to Busrah.” The Christian Intelligencer, Jan. 4 & 11, 1893.
  2. “Report of a Journey into Yemen and Work among the Jews for the Mildmay Mission.” The Christian Intelligencer. c. 1894.
  3. “Epilogue: A Sketch of the Arabian Mission.” Kamil Abdul Messiah. 1898.
    Reprint edition: Kamil Abdulmasih. Pioneer Library. 2017.
  4. “Mohammedan World of Today.” 1898.
  5. “Advice to Volunteers.” The Call, Qualifications and Preparation of Candidates for Foreign Missionary Service Ed. Robert Speer. 1901.
  6. “Thinking Gray in Missions.” n.d.
  7. “The Message and the Man.” Student Volunteer Movement. 1909. (Link is view only.)
  8. “The Impending Struggle in Western Asia.” An address delivered January 2, 1910.
  9. “Are More Foreign Missionaries Needed?” Student Volunteer Movement. 1911. 19 pages.
  10. “Islam, the War, and Missions.” c. 1914.
  11. Introduction to The Progress and Arrest of Islam in Sumatra. Gottfried Simon. London: Marshall Bros., 1914.
  12. Introduction to The Vital Forces of Christianity and Islam: Six Studies by Missionaries to Moslems. W. H. T. Gairdner, et al. Humphrey Milford, London. 1915.
  13. “A Primer on Islam.” Continuation Committee, Shanghai. 1919. 24 pages.
    Chinese Translation: 2nd Edition, 1927. (Link is view only.)
  14. Introduction to A Twice-Born Turk: Reminiscences of the Turkish Revolution. Abdallah Husainy. J. L. Oliver. n.d. [c. 1920.]
  15. “Report of a Visit to Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf and India.” Summer of 1924.  American Christian Literature Society for Muslims, New York. 1924. 31 pages.
  16. “Report of a Visit to India and Ceylon.” September 23, 1927, to February 28, 1928. A.C.L.S.M., New York. 1928. 33 pages.
  17. Introduction to The Foreign Missionary: An Incarnation of a World Movement. Arthur Judson Brown. 1932. (Copyright renewed.)
  18. Introduction to Adventures with God, in Freedom and in Bond. Jenny E. de Mayer. 1942.
  19. “A Factual Survey of the Muslim World.” Fleming H. Revell, New York, 1946. 34 pages.
  20. Introduction to Hidden Highway; experiences on the Northwest Frontier of India. Flora Marion Davidson. New York, London and Glasgow: Fleming H. Revell Co, [1948].
  21. “The Glory of the Impossible.” Church Herald. 1950.