ONE of Dr. MacKellar's vacations was spent in
company with several others of our mission in
visiting Ceylon and South India. The party
nearly lost their lives crossing from Ceylon to India in an open boat. The
Moonsoon burst and they were nineteen hours instead of five in making the
The visit to the old established missions of South India, where Christians
sat down in hundreds to the Lord's Supper, was a great inspiration to Dr.
MacKellar. Full of this subject, she sought an opportunity on her return
to tell the little Christian community of Neemuch of God's work as she had
seen it and to draw from it the great lesson that what God had done for
South India He was able to do for Central India. The daughter of an Indian
Catechist present at the meeting on hearing what God had wrought yielded
herself to God for His service. She subsequently took a four years' course
in the Ludhiana Medical College and became a helper in the medical work at
Neemuch, where she worked until called to "higher service."
A privilege missionaries have on visits to the hills in India is that of
attending conferences for the deepening of the spiritual life. One of
these, four years after she came to India, stands out in Dr. MacKellar's
memory as a time of great blessing, when she was able to say fully,
regarding a matter of controversy with God,
"Renew my will from day to day,
Blend it with Thine and
All that now makes it hard to say,
Thy will he done."
There is, too, at such conferences, the opportunity of coming in touch
with other missionaries. Two of these, Rev. R. P. Wilder and the late Mrs.
Jennie Fuller, were means of special help to Dr. MacKellar. Intercourse
with the latter, during some weeks at the hills, was one of the very
happiest experiences of Dr. MacKellar's life.
In 1899 and 1900 Central India was visited by a severe
and widespread famine, and many of our missionaries dropped other work to
attend to the relief of the sufferers. Dr. Mac- Keller was indefatigable
in her efforts at this time, and like the Good Shepherd, she would go to
any trouble to rescue even one child. The plague epidemics which have
occurred from time to time gave her further opportunities of relieving
suffering, and it was in .recognition of her services in these epidemics
that her name was in the honors list at the time of the King- Emperor's
Coronation Durbar, and the Kaiser-i-Hind Medal for public service in India
was conferred upon her. She was an honored guest—the only missionary—in
the camp of the Political Officers in Central India, at the great Delhi
Durbar in December, 1912.
A few months later, just before her furlough, the new
hospital at Neemuch, the crown of Dr. MacKellar's twenty years' service
there, was opened, and at that time the medal was pinned on her by the
Honourable the Agent to the Governor-General in Central India.
Dr. McKellar's relationships with the representatives
of H. M. Government in Central India have always been most happy, and more
than once her suggestions for helping the people whom she loves have been
welcomed by them.
Shortly after the outbreak of the war the Medical
Missionary Association of India placed their services at the disposal of
Government to relieve, where possible, Government medical officers who
might be needed for service abroad.
On June 29th, 1917, Dr. MacKellar received from the
Director-General of Medical Service in India the following telegram: "Are
you willing to accept employment in a Government hospital in India so as
to set free medical officer for active service." The F.M.B. and W.M.B.
cabled their willingness and the Council in India set her free for war
work. On August the 4th, the 3rd anniversary of the war, she received a
call from Simla to act with three others on a committee of selection to
choose for service in military hospitals units of medical women from among
the many who had offered their services.
One of the helpful ministries of Dr. MacKellar's life
is her letter-writing. Often at great expenditure of time and energy, and
curtailing the time for necessary recreation, she sits at her desk
answering letters. Anyone in need of help who appeals to her can be sure
of a sympathetic and prompt reply. Many letters reach her—from
missionaries, Indian Christians, and from persons of whom she has never
heard, for she is widely known in India. Letters to the church papers, at
one time frequent, have been fewer of late, because of the pressure of
other correspondence, but there are many persons in the homeland who have
felt the heart-beat of her sympathy and have treasured letters she has
written. One of the labors of love which she has added to her list
involving a good deal of correspondence is that of the Secretaryship of
the Bible Success Band. The motto of this Band is found in Josh. I: 8, and
the members promise to memorize one verse of Scripture daily. Through Dr.
MacKellar's ardent advocacy it has—in two years —spread widely in India.
Akin to the ministry of letter-writing is that of
sending out tracts or booklets. Dr. MacKellar has posted thousands of
these. Some years ago she sent out a hundred copies of "A Spiritual
Awakening" to her friends. One copy was sent to Rev. J. Goforth, of China,
and was the means used to lead him out into a line of thoughtful study
that resulted, as we know, in a great work of revival.
One of the annual reports Dr. MacKellar wrote years ago
began with the words: "What we long for most, we see least of"—that is,
the conversion of souls.
Mass movements are only beginning in Central India, if
indeed they can be said to have begun. As yet the joy is over the one
sinner repenting—for, as a rule, they come singly. But in her nearly
twenty-seven years in India Dr. MacKellar has seen a goodly number of
souls brought to Christ through her medical missionary work, and "saved to
serve" Christ in India. Others she has seen dragged back to heathenism
when they were on the point of open confession, but among them also will
there not be found some in the number of the redeemed?