Jones, The Reverend Dr. Eli Stanley.

[Dr. Jones (1884-1973), a missionary in India for 36 years, set up the Sat Tal Ashram at Sitapur, United Provinces. The inmates lived simply, wearing Indian dress and eating Indian food so that Indian Christians were not alienated from Indian culture. A friend and admirer of Gandhiji, he met Gandhiji many times and stayed in the Ashram at Sabarmati for ten days. He wrote that Gandhiji "taught me more of the spirit of Christ than perhaps any other man in East or West."103
He was not allowed to visit India during the Second World War because of his support for Indian independence. After the end of the war, he spent six months a year in India.
He was a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and helped popularise Gandhiji and non-violence in the United States. He was the author of several books, including The Christ of the Indian Road (1925), Mahatma Gandhi, an Interpretation (1948) and Gandhi Lives (1948). Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., acknowledged that Mahatma Gandhi, an Interpretation was the first book from which he had learned about "the method and spirit of non-violence."]

Letter, April 24, 1926104

[Dr. Jones requested Gandhiji to send a message for his paper, Fellowship of the Friends of Jesus.]

Ashram, Sabarmati
April 24, 1926

Dear friend,
I have your letter and one copy, not two, of your paper.
Is it a weekly or a monthly? I do not find the information in the copy before me. I shall send you something as soon as I have a little leisure but after I have heard from you in reply to this.
I was going to Mussoorie but the friends who were interested in sending me there have relaxed the pressure and let me stay at the Ashram. I shall await your arrival at the Ashram and look forward to your stay in our midst, be it ever so short. Did you not tell me you had lived at the Ashram before for a day or two? If, for any reason whatsoever, I am away from the Ashram in July, I hope you will still come. There is just a slight probability of my going to Finland for the World Students' Conference. I say only a slight probability because the matter has not progressed beyond the conversational stage.

Yours sincerely,

E. Stanley Jones, Esq.
Sitapur, U.P.

 Letter, July 23, 1926105

[Dr. Jones wrote to Gandhiji on July 20, 1926, thanking him "for the beautiful days you gave me at the Ashram." He said: "I am sure that it has been a great preparation for me in my work in India."
He sent Gandhiji some notes on his stay at the Ashram and informed him that he had ordered Science of Power by Benjamin Kidd for Gandhiji.106]

The Ashram,
July 23, 1926

Dear friend,
I have your letter with your interesting notes for which I thank you. We were all so happy to have you in our midst. I only wish you could have stayed longer with us. Then, perhaps, you would have toned down some of the remarks you have made about the Ashram and revised your criticism about its becoming self- supporting. To make it self-supporting is not our aim so long as we undertake public education in the matter of the spinning-wheel, untouchability, etc.
The suggestion to build a pigeon loft was made by another friend also. We did not take it up because it was suggested that it would simply attract more pigeons without relieving us of their presence in the roof of our cottages. Have you tried the thing yourself with success?
I shall endeavour to go through the Science of Power which you have so kindly ordered for me. 
I have developed the greatest disinclination for writing anything whatsoever. If I could suspend the papers I am editing, I would even do that. But it is a self-imposed task which I dare not shirk. You will, therefore, excuse me at least for the present if I do not write for the Fellowship of the Friends of Jesus.

Yours sincerely,

E. Stanley Jones, Esq.
Sitapur, U.P.

Letter, April 26, 1931107

[The open letter of the Reverend Jones, to which reference is made in this letter, concerns the press report of an interview by Gandhiji in Delhi on March 21, 1931. He was reported to have said in answer to a question as to whether he would favour the retention of foreign missionaries when India secured self- government:
"If instead of confining themselves purely to humanitarian work and material service to the poor, they do proselytising by means of medical aid, education, etc., then I would certainly ask them to withdraw. Every nation's religion is good as any other. Certainly India's religions are adequate for her people. We need no converting spiritually."108
Gandhiji wrote in Young India (April 23, 1931) that he was misquoted and that he could have said:
"If instead of confining themselves purely to humanitarian work such as education, medical services to the poor and the like, they would use these activities of theirs for the purpose of proselytising, I would certainly like them to withdraw. Every nation considers its own faith to be as good as that of any other. Certainly the great faiths held by the people of India are adequate for her people. India stands in no need of conversion from one faith to another."
He explained:
"Let me now amplify the bald statement. I hold that proselytising under the cloak of humanitarian work is, to say the least, unhealthy. It is most certainly resented by the people here. Religion after all is a deeply personal matter, it touches the heart. Why should I change my religion because a doctor who professes Christianity as his religion has cured me of some disease or why should the doctor expect or suggest such a change whilst I am under his influence? Is not medical relief its own reward and satisfaction? Or why should I whilst I am in a missionary educational institution have Christian teaching thrust upon me? In my opinion these practices are not uplifting and give rise to suspicion if not secret hostility. The methods of conversion must be like Caesar's wife above suspicion...
"I am, then, not against conversion. But I am against the modern methods of it."109]

April 26, 1931

Dear friend,
Your open letter has come upon me as a shock, the more so as you yourself distrusted the report and have suffered yourself from misreporting. If you had just dropped a line before writing your long open letter how much precious time, that for you and me belongs to God, would have been saved? As it is, in the language of the Gita, you have been guilty of theft and, in the bargain have done a wrong to a friend. 
It will please you to know that three unknown friends have been more cautious. They have written to me to enquire whether the report correctly sets forth my view. Next time you see something about me which may appear to you to misrepresent me as you have known me, may I ask you to refer to me before you pen another open or private letter? Lastly, if you have loved me before, as I know you have, I hope that after reading my article in Young India on the subject matter of your open letter, you will feel that you have no cause to change your attitude. And why will you not love me even though I may err in your estimation? Or must love require a consideration?

Yours sincerely,

Rev. E. Stanley Jones
Sat Tal Ashram
Sat Tal (Dt. Naini Tal)

Letter, December 4, 1946110

As from Sevagram
Via Wardha (India),
Camp: Srirampur,
East Bengal,
December 4, 1946

Dear Dr. Jones,
Dr. Nelson111 was with me yesterday with Mrs. Alexander and we immediately became as old friends. He gave me your letter which I had not read when I made myself at home with him. The reason for my not reading your letter there and then was that he was in the company of several friends and I was about to go to the prayer meeting in which he took keen interest and wanted to read from a Pelican book in his possession, "Our God, our help in ages past" which I readily let him do, and at the close of the prayer the few words that I said to the audience consisted of a free rendering of the hymn he read but could not or would not sing. I have invited him to drop in again when he wished, to which he said he would do in a few days time.

Yours sincerely
M. K.G.

Rev. Dr. E. Stanley Jones
150 Fifth Avenue
New York City

 Letter, April 19, 1947112

[Dr. Jones wrote on April 15, 1947, that he had visited Sabarmati. He recalled that when Gandhiji went on the Salt March in 1930, he had vowed not to return to the Sabarmati Ashram until freedom was won. Dr. Jones imagined a triumphal return by Gandhiji soon. While he was not enamoured of pagentry, he thought that it could be used to impress upon the world that a non-violent struggle had won. He asked if there was a possibility of Gandhiji returning to Sabarmati.113 Gandhiji was then in Bihar trying to stop violence between Hindus and Muslims.]

April 19, 1947

Dear Dr. Jones,
I got your letter this morning and am so glad to learn that you were able to visit Sabarmati and renew your recollections. I remember well how you missed looking glass in the room that was allotted to you, and how philosophically you took the absence of the article considered so useful in the West.
When the British troops, that powerful emblem of British rule, is removed from India that very fact will be a triumph, besides which every other pageant that can be conceived, must fade into insignificance.
I have no notion when I shall be able to leave my present haunt. I fully appreciate your prayerful sympathy in the task before me.
Please pass on my love to Mrs. Stanley Jones whenever you write to her. I don't know whether she is in India at present or whether she is in U.S.A. Please tell her that I remember the promise I hastily and lightly made to her that I will, when I got the necessary leisure, write out a dialogue for the use of children in the many schools she was conducting. I never got the leisure. But what is more true is that the task was much more difficult than I had imagined and to this day I do not know how I could deal with the delicate subject of the evil habits of children.114

Yours sincerely
M.K. Gandhi

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