The foreign mission employs fifty-two ordained and about as many unordained, medical, industrial and other missionaries, with a large number of native agents, in India, East Africa and China.
The foreign mission committee was formed in 1825, at the instance of Dr John Inglis (1763-1834), a leader of the Moderate party; and Dr Alexander Duff went to India in 1829 as the first missionary of the Church of Scotland.
Debarred from the foreign mission field, he attained high distinction as a preacher and as a teacher of rhetoric in Genoa, Florence and Rome.
In 1837 the membership in Great Britain and Ireland was 318,716; in foreign mission stations, 66,007; in Upper Canada, 14,000; while the American Conferences had charge of 650,678 members.
In 1868 this developed into the Friends' Foreign Mission Association, which now undertakes Missionary work in India (begun 1866), Madagascar (1867), Syria (1869), China (1886),(1886), Ceylon (1896).
Having entered the Society of Jesus, he was set apart for foreign mission service, and sent to Goa in 1588.