Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][graphic][merged small]

ABOUT eighteen or twenty years ago, a young man appeared before the directors of the London Missionary Society, and said he wished to be employed as a missionary to the heathen. You would not have seen much that was very remarkable in his appearance. There was a good deal of determination in his swarthy countenance, especially in his strong-set large dark eyes--but altogether he was a very plain looking little fellow, rather shy and unassuming. He wore a red woollen cravat, a fustian jacket and corderoy trowsers. His person was clean and tidy, but there was no trying to be a dandy, with stiffened collars and tincelled trappings, such as we too often see in

MARCH, 1857.

D

66

34

RISEN FROM THE RANKS.

fast young men now-a-days. His speech was marked by a very broad Scottish accent, with a peculiar “twang," such as the people about Glasgow give to their words, and nobody else. From the time of his early boyhood he had been obliged to work hard for his living, for he was employed as a piecer in a spinning-mill in Lanarkshire.

On putting some questions to him, the directors soon found that there was more in the young Scotchman than at first appeared—that he possessed a clear head and a genuine heart, a heart full of quiet deep love to God, and pity for the souls of heathen men, so that if he had a little more learning, he might become an excellent missionary. They discovered that he had great industry and perseve. rance—that although rising early and working late at the mill, he found time to teach himself Grammar and Latin and Mathematics, and several other important branches of learning. After careful consideration, they resolved to accept his offer, and to help him to finish his education, which he had begun and carried on so well. How he got on at college, or how long he remained there we cannot say, only that he was very careful of his money and his time, and learned or prepared thoroughly whatever he undertook.

On the 15th of December last, we were present at a party in the Milton Club, London; it was a dinner party, and a large number of gentlemen were there. A Member of Parliament was in the chair, and some great and good men had travelled a long way to be present. The dinner was in honour of a short, quiet-looking gentleman with a black moustache, who sat at the right hand of the chairman. He was not old, but there were deep furrows in his face, the marks of much thinking and hard labour. After dinner, his health was proposed by the

RISEN FROM THE RANKS.”

35

chairman, which became the signal for deafening cheers, for every heart was full, and every eye glistening with pride and pleasure. A meeting, which was presided over by the Earl of Shaftesbury, was held the same morning to do honour to this great man; and many other meetings have since been held, some to pass resolu. tions, and others to make up purses of gold to present to him, as tokens of their affection and esteem for his excellent character, his great talents and great discoveries.

Do you ask who he is, and what he has been doing? Why he is the Rev. John-now Dr.-Livingstone, the great African traveller, who was once a poor boy in the Lanark mill, and who appeared before the directors of the London Missionary Society in a fustian jacket !

He has been in Africa as a Missionary for about sixteen years, eight of which he employed travelling into the interior, far beyond the range of any other traveller. He has discovered tracks of country, lakes, rivers, etc., that no one ever heard of before, and tribes of people who had never seen a white man's face. In this way our maps of Africa will, in future, be more complete—what appeared as blanks before will now be filled up-and what is of much greater importance, new fields of Missionary labour will be opened up which were previously unknown. He was exposed to much hardship and dan. ger during his travels, for he had lived so long amongst the natives, as to have almost forgotten his own language; thirty times he had fever, and once he had his left arm broken by a lion, which was never properly “set," and therefore causes him much inconvenience.

The following resolution was passed at one of the meetings we have already referred to:

“That this meeting presents its most cordial congratu

36

ARRIVAL OF THE REV. DAVID SANDEMAN.

lations to the Rev. David Livingstone, LL.D., on his safe arrival in his natire country, after an absence of sixteen years, occupied in Missionary labours and travels in South Africa. It entertains the highest admiration of that Christian benevolence, courage, and perseverance, by which he was animated and sustained throughout his extended and perilous journeys in those hitherto unexplored regions; and the meeting hereby devoutly acknowledges the merciful Providence of God, by which Dr. Livingstone was befriended and preserved amidst the manifold dangers and gigantic difficulties of his noble enterprise, and by which his self-denying and indefatigable efforts to open a channel for the introduction of Christianity, with its unnumbered blessings, to the unenlightened millions of South Africa, have been crowned with the happiest success.”

Dr. Livingstone intends returning to Africa in a month or two, where he hopes to spend the remainder of his days, like his good and honoured father-in-law, Mr. Moffat, in leading the poor benighted Africans to Jesus, who alone can cleanse away their sins.

ARRIVAL OF THE REV. DAVID

SANDEMAN.

You will be glad to hear of the safe arrival of Mr Sandeman in China. He reached Hong-Kong about the beginning of December. The voyage lasted several months, but you must not suppose he was idle all that time. Besides working hard learning the Chinese language, he had often good opportunities for preaching the gospel. Speaking of his passage to Ceylon he says: “ Archdeacon Pratt of Calcutta read prayers and I preached. Service at sea is

ARRIVAL OF THE REV, DAVID SANDEMAN.

37

always interesting; the capstan covered by the union jack, the ensign of England, formed the pulpit; the promiscuous crowd of passengers, interspersed by officers in uniform, were in the foreground of the congregation; behind were those of the crew who attend, mixed with stewards, &c., and behind them there appeared the black faces of Hindoos and Lascars, while, as it happened, five or six Chinese sailors had the charge of arranging the deck church. It was good to preach among all these the full and free forgiveness of sins through the blood of the Lamb.

" At Point de Galle, in Ceylon, I was very hospitably received by Mr. Kessen, a Wesleyan Missionary, and on the Sabbath had an opportunity of preaching in the Dutch Reformed Chapel, to a congregation composed of Portuguese and Cingalese, both of whom understood English. At Penang, in the entrance to the Straits of Malacca, there is a small Presbyterian congregation, and there also occasion offered for preaching the Gospel.

“My present kind host is Dr. Legge, of the London Missionary Society, whose name is so well known in connection with the Chinese Missions. I witnessed a specimen of his labours to-day, in accompanying him on board a ship starting for the Australian gold diggings, with upwards of 300 Chinese emigrants. They soon gathered round Dr. Legge, who explained the Gospel to them, then gave them tracts, and left a nuinber of New Testaments to be distributed

among them.”

Mr. Sandeman was to start for Amoy soon after he wrote, and we learn that he joined Mr. Douglas some time ago. Pray that they may long be spared to work together at Amoy, and that God may give them many souls for their hire.

« PreviousContinue »