Mr. William Reynolds, of Peoria, Illinois, the well known Sunday school worker, tells the following, which he had from the lips of the missionary himself. The missionary, Rev. E. P. Scott, while labouring in India, saw on the street one of the strangest looking heathen his eyes had ever lit upon. On inquiry he found that he was a representative of one of the inland tribes that lived away in the mountain districts and that came down once a year to trade. Upon further investigation he found that the Gospel had never been preached to them and that it was dangerous to venture among them because of their murderous tendencies. He was stirred with much desire to break unto them the Bread of Life. He went to his lodging-place, fell upon his knees and pleaded for Divine direction. Arising, he packed his valise, took his violin with which he was accustomed to sing and his pilgrim staff, and started in the direction of the Macedonian cry.
As he bade his fellow missionaries farewell, they said,We shall never see you again. It is madness for you to go.For two days he travelled, scarcely meeting a human being, until at last he found himself in the mountains surrounded by a crowd of savages. Every spear was pointed at his heart. Not knowing of any other resource he tried the power of singing the name of Jesus to them. Drawing forth his violin he began with closed eyes:All hail the power of Jesus name! etc.
Afraid to open his eyes he sang on till the third verse, and while singing this verse—Let every kindred, every tribe, etc.—
he opened his eyes to see what they were going to do, when, lo! the spears had dropped from their hands and the big tears were falling from their eyes. They afterwards invited him to their homes, an invitation gladly accepted. He spent two years and a half amongst them. His labours were greatly blessed, and he had so won upon their affections that when he was compelled to leave on account of impaired health for this country, they followed him for thirty miles.O missionary,they said,come back to us again.He has gone back and there is labouring still.
Morrison, pp. 157–58
Note: Two decades later, Scott’s wife wrote that the hymn played by the violinist was Am I A Soldier of the Cross; see An Autobiography of Anna Kay Scott, M. D. (Chicago, Illinois: Anna Kay Scott, 1917), pages 38–39. We do not know which account is more accurate.