WM missionary in China, he studied at Handsworth College and served in the South China District 1922-1937. He lived simply, learned Chinese and was known to his Chinese colleagues as 'the gentle scholar'. He lectured in Cantonese on doctrine and church history in the Union Theological College. From 1937 he was Professor of Church History at Selly Oak, Birmingham, then became the first professor (and later Dean) in the Faculty of Divinity at Glasgow who was not a minister of the Kirk. He had a gift of combining scholarship with popular and lucid presentation and was a successful broadcaster, e.g. in his 'Men of Vision' series, which vividly portrayed outstanding Christians through the centuries. In retirement he published two volumes of a projected history of the Church: The First Advance (1972) and Setback and Recovery (Abingdon Press, 1998). He died at Kilcreggan, Dunbartonshire on 3 November 1973.