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and bonnets from the country, perennially engulfed under the cold shadow of Exeter Hall.
How should this be so? It seems very difficult to answer the question, unless by aid of those same missionary reports, records, and magazines, in which the history, so far as fact goes, of the various exertions of evangelical zeal are to be found. We cannot say that this is a satisfactory or elevating department of literature: a man may be a capital missionary without having at the same time a gift for letter-writing, or for any other species of literary composition; and it is not easy to keep the wider and larger view of apostolic labours in the immediate presence of those long and careful details of the spiritual condition of some special lad or old woman, and the promising signs which have appeared in somebody else's wife or father-signs of grace which exhilarate a whole assembly, and console the writer for all his privations. We know that the Divine Head of the church Himself does not disdain to care for the smallest and most solitary individual of all His worshippers. We know that in the midst of the vast arrangements of His Providence, God Himself, in the sacred word of His truth, turns aside often to an individual history; yet notwithstanding, it is very hard to believe and acknowledge that the uncertain penitences of a single savage, or the doubtful amendatory symptoms which much watching can discover in the miserable hut of a Bushman, are fit equivalents for the expenditure of a trained and educated man. Be it far from us to speak or think lightly of that great end of all gospel exertions-the salvation of individual souls. Let us not even be supposed to regard with a moment's disrespect or levity the solemn and overpowering motive which prompts the devoted servant of God to the extremest limit of earthly labours, if
by any means he might save some; but there is just all this difference between the Divine and the human records of evangelistic experience, that inspiration can never be petty and circumstantial; whereas missionary reports, in most cases, are so, to a very uncomfortable and discouraging
degree. When the sacred writers pause upon an individual instance of conversion, it is to brighten their pages with one vivid glimpse of nature and character, more expressive and telling than all the sermons in the world: but it is very far from this with the missionary records, which give muchdiluted, long-spun - out examples of the oft-repeated vicissitudes of religious feeling; and in the contemplation of these, lose sight, or seem to lose sight, of all larger aims and motives than the formation of a little exotic conservatory of believers, the immediate result and fruit of their own labour. It is not possible, of course, that minds like ours can emulate the Divine mind, which embraces at once the smallest and the greatest in its infinite range of regard and observation; but there can be little doubt that the exclusive and limited personality of most missionary narratives the anxious desire to bring forward instances of individual conversion, and immediate results of a work which must, of its very nature, be gradual-do more than anything else to confine within a special and limited circle the home audience of the missionary, for whose success and progress, in reality, the whole world ought to be far more specially concerned.
For individual details are always more or less petty, and it is impossible to prevent the thought rising, as it must have risen many a time even within the bosom of a May Meetingis this black George-this old Sarah
this half-reclaimed and doubtful savage-this extraordinary spiritual blossom born out of the unameliorat
ed pagan soil-a sufficient compensation for the loss and expatriation of that teacher who has been trained at the cost of toil, and time, and selfdenial-who has been consecrated by a church, and prayed for by a people, and who is probably an efficient and persevering labourer, qualified for good work anywhere?-can we afford to expend him, with all his qualifications, out of our hands, and get only the doubtful convert in exchange? Let him say with tears in his eyesand it is fit he should say so- -that one soul is worth more than all his toil. That is abundant justification
for him, but not so much satisfaction will not be wasted. But the results to us, who have such overpowering of his mission are not solely to inoccasion for the most productive ser- dividuals; he is the ambassador of vices of every workman who can all possible and practicable advanuse his tools. Are we warranted in tages, the underworker, unsuspected operations so costly, we who have and unconscious, of all the developnothing to spare? Can we permit so ments of the future. We do not vast an expenditure for a result so know, save in a very few instances, disproportionate? Or is the result who were the early disciples who indeed disproportionate, and the out- followed even Paul and Peter, and lay beyond rational prudence? The lighted their tributary cressets from question is one of very high and these first bearers of the light; but vital importance to the world, as well we know that by-and-by the Cæsars as to the missionary societies. And and the gods went out like ineffectual it almost seems as if it could be tapers in the spreading of that ilanswered best by dropping to a lumination. We have not a particle secondary place the special infor- of evidence to show how many of the nation of all these reports and re- old islanders opened their hearts to cords, which present themselves as the words of Columb, when he stood the superficial history of the whole a wandering missionary among the enterprise. A missionary is not a western seas-nor much information church-maker-there is no such office as to the early converts of Augustine; established in Providence: he is not but we know what has come in a cultivator of tender exotic plants of the train of the Culdee and the spirituality, suddenly changed from monk, with all the drawbacks of savages into angels, to be the pets of their message. It will not harm the an admiring assembly at home. He immediate converts of the missionary is, let us thank God, the bearer of to lose the congratulations and plaua special good to every individual dits of Exeter Hall, but it will adwho hears him; but he is also, vantage the general interest in that consciously or unconsciously, in great ambassador of God and man, if that course of providential order he will learn to combine more broadly which rules the world, the pioneer of the universal with the particular, and, universal benefits, the beginner of without altering his work, alter in so legitimate intercourse the first ef- far the telling and record of it as to fectual link between the savage and represent the true nature of an enthe civilised man. Like other la- terprise which, in reality, aims at bourers, he must sow his seed, and nothing less than an entire and leave it to the dews and the rains fundamental revolution of nature, which fall day by day; he must not the destruction and dispersion of lay his ear to the soil to listen for savagery, and the making of a new the stirring of the young corn under- world. ground. It is his to fill up the moat, that the universal army of profits, comforts, and advantages, may march into the shut-up soul in triumph. Behind him wait all the white-robed impersonations of old allegory, and all the more real and martial good-doers of modern life. Peace and plenty, old favourites of the human fancy truth, purity, and knowledge-all the principles of a better and higher life, can only get admittance there by treading the footsteps of the first primitive messenger who bears the communication of God to man. And while the husbandman goes his way, the special seed will spring: let him take courage-it is imperishable, and
It is a very difficult and dangerous business to affect or aim at a superior" tone in matters of religion. We speak with submission-but it is rather "humbling," as our evangelical friends might say, to find what a very sad new cant of enlightenment and intellectuality is apt to take the place of that old so-called Puritanic cant which the advanced preachers and teachers of the present time think themselves bound to keep clear of. There is little advantage in altering merely the tone of those solemn pretences of expressions which we are all so apt to take refuge in ; and we certainly should not feel the case improved if missionary narra
tives, instead of well-meaning gossip about particular individuals, became ambitious character-sketches, or essays upon the dawn of civilisation. These are rather more undesirable than the other. We are even but half contented, and can scarcely help suspecting a little undue submission to the supposed likings of the public, when we find the missionary's story a tale of travel, more concerned with the natural products of the country, its unknown geographical features, and all the adventures and escapes of the way, than with the special race to whom he is sent, and the labour which is his primary object. In short, and to make an end of it, we are very hard to please in our ideal, who must, to satisfy our desires, have not only an open eye for all the external wonders of his position, and a wide apprehension of all the ultimate results involved, but be, at the same time, fully and frankly a missionary, knowing and perceiving that his entire standing-ground of advantage lies in the fact that his first message is from heaven, and his primary credentials the word of God. It is some time since any volume has made so much noise, or excited so great an interest, as the narrative of Dr Livingstone. This is the story of a remarkable man, but it is not otherwise a remarkable book; and it is to the credit of this generation, which loves "style" so much, and is so greatly influenced by literary graces, that a work so entirely devoid of both should, nevertheless, have attained so remarkable a popularity. We permit the great Whig historian to put upon record almost anything he pleases, because not a man of us has the heart to condemn a narrative so fascinating; and we receive the wildest caprices of an amateur as serious criticism on art, simply because nature has gifted the said amateur with the most wonderful graces of language; yet we are not so unreasoning in our admirations as we seem. When a man has really something to tell us, we are content that he should tell it in his own way. It is a large testimonial to the good sense of the age, which, after all, cannot be so superficial as people call it. Dr Livingstone has a report
to make, of travels and an enterprise, quite wonderful, and, we presume, almost unparalleled. He says, with evident truth, that he would rather undertake his journey over again than write his account of it; and, accordingly, no one attempts to judge him on a ground which he does not attempt to take. He is not a literary man, nor a dilettanti. He holds the pen in a toil-hardened hand, which has been more familiar with axe and gun than with the dainty implements of civilised life. What he has to tell us of, is an unknown and undeveloped continent, the fourth quarter of the world; a country hitherto shut up and barred by unhealthy coasts and untracked deserts; a great savage impenetrable waste, where the great old lords of the forest still exist and reign; where the least religious race of the world live their naked life of exposure and privation; and upon the coast of which, our own Empire, the biggest policeman in the universe, keeps an expensive and halfsuccessful watch, lest those poor black souls, for whom we can do nothing better, should be stolen and sold away. Dr Livingstone, however, means to do something better for them. He has been high up into the home of the race where there is neither policeman nor slave-trade, but villagefuls and tribes of trainable human creatures like ourselves. He has seen the natural highways which track that silent and unrepresented territory. The soil has disclosed to him its voiceless secrets in leaf of tree and form of weed, which tell tales of unmade fortune to the educated eye. He has found out how men can live and travel in the deserts, and how commerce may enter and flourish. He comes home laden with hopes, prospects, and promises-the noble idea that he is adding power and wealth to his own country, while he carries salvation to another; and it is all this, the promises, the prospects, the hopes-a capacity which seems to him unlimited, yet a want which is touching and excessivewhich make up the importance of Dr Livingstone's book. All this he knows-all this he has come to tell, anxiously and earnestly--and to this with one accord, and without any
depreciatory criticisms, the public has been heartily content to incline its serious ear.
While we write, he is just about returning out of a serious course of lion or hero worship, which, it is to be hoped, has done no worse for him than to bore and weary his spirit. Dr Livingstone's fame and popularity have spread much beyond the limits of any peculiar circle; but for real hearty sincere hero-worship, fooling to the very top of one's bent, there is certainly no community in existence half so successful as the religious public." The lion of the coteries is nothing to the lion of the churches, and we trust the African apostle has not found the ordeal too hard for him. He goes out with all the encouragements and aids which science can bestow upon him, with an unparalleled amount of public sympathy, and with even the recognition and authority of Government to give dignity to his further labours; and it now remains to be seen what capabilities remain in the office which he has already raised in honourable reputation, and from which he has taught us to expect in the future still greater results.
It is not necessary, after everybody has heard from this traveller's own lips so much as it was needful to tell of his own history, to give any sketch of that here. He was one of those Scotch students who never could by any chance be fellows of Christ Church or Trinity-one of those grave labourers towards a special end, who strike through Latin and Greek, perhaps without any remarkable devotion to those exclusive and jealous channels of learning, mastering so much as must be mastered amid the cark of daily labours-a man who did not pursue his education through the hard struggle of its acquirement merely for education's sake, with the disinterested zeal of an Oxford scholar, but who worked hardly through his necessary curriculum as a means, and not as an end. Reading amid the clatter of machinery in a Glasgow mill, taught the future explorer how to read and write amid the clatter of surrounding savages; and the hardness of a poor man's early life trained
him for the privations of his mission. He went out of the heart of the Scottish peasant-world, while most Cottar fathers still justified the picture. of the Saturday Night; he worked his way through medical training and theological lectures, indebted to no one; and, finally, by dint of disappointment in his first idea of going to China, fell into the office and vocation appointed for him, and for which he has shown himself so fit. He went to Africa eighteen years ago, to join the missionary party which has already made itself celebrated by the narrative and labours of Moffat, married there the daughter of his predecessor, and lived the usual life of a missionary-at the parent station in the first place, and afterwards at one founded by himself, which a long drought and a raid of Boers at last compelled him to abandon-for nearly ten years. Then the afflatus of the explorer came upon this prophet in the desert. He began to discover, and the impulse grew upon himbut it is only after a long course of quiet life and unrecorded exertions among those savages - exertions which seem to have spread his influence widely among them, but which it is not easy to trace in his story, where all the ordinary details of missionary experience are omitted, and which is, probably in consequence, somewhat confused and hurried as a narrative, and not to be followed easily,
that the characteristic feature of his personal vocation begins to be developed. This, which is the great distinction of Dr Livingstone's work and book, is a long, toilsome, solitary, and, most remarkable of all, successful journey, from one end to another of the scorching continent, of which this event has made him a kind of moral superior and suzerain.
The occasion of this remarkable undertaking is perhaps as singular as the enterprise itself. The missionary, obliged to abandon the first scene of his independent labours at Kolobeng, where a tyrannical and barbarous colony of African Dutchmen opposed and insulted both himself and his pupils, set out up country towards the lands of a remarkable chief, whose territory he intended to make
his future centre of operations. He carried all his patriarchal and primitive wealth, his wife and his children, with him into the new region-meaning to settle there: but that was not his appointed service, as it appeared. The great chief died almost at the moment of the stranger's arrival; the locality was still unhealthfulposed to fever and malaria; and, most momentous of all, signs of an incipient slave-trade appeared to the jealous eyes of the missionary. The Makololo gentlemen were splendid in garments of red and green baize, and dressing-gowns of printed calico; and the manner in which they had attained these grandeurs was by a beginning of slave-barter fatal to the hopes of their new teacher. The Mambari, a tribe of native traders, had brought these tempting vanities for the first time among the nobler savages for whom Dr Livingstone was chiefly concerned. Sebituane, the chief already mentioned, was a conqueror and warrior, the chief of a superior and triumphant race. He had already subdued under his own sway a population of primitive helots, of whom his Makololo were the patrician and governing class. This primitive prince and legislator could not resist the temptation of acquiring guns even by the sacrifice of servants. He consented to sell the children of his tributaries for those precious firearms, and his subjects followed his example, though not without excuses and compunctions. But the evil had begun, though slightly, and the missionary found himself called upon to act with energy and promptitude. He explains thus, in his own words, his first reason for his journey :
"In talking with my companion over these matters, the idea was suggested, that if the slave-market was supplied with articles of European manufacture by legitimate commerce, the trade in slaves would become impossible.
It seemed more feasible to give the goods, for which the people now part with their servants, in exchange for ivory and other products of the country, and thus prevent the trade at the beginning, than try to put a stop to it at any of the subsequent steps. This could only be effected by establishing a highway from the coast to the centre of the country.
"As there was no hope of the Boers
allowing the peaceable instruction of the natives at Kolobeng, I at once resolved to save my family from exposure to this unhealthy region by sending them to England, and to return alone, with a view to exploring the country in search of a healthy district that might prove a centre of civilisation, and open up the interior by a path to either the east or the west coast."
Thus while the British Empire stood with its pistols and cruisers on the coast, a grand sentry and watchman, to interrupt the guilty convoys on their exit, the stout Scotsman in the interior set himself to dam up the fountain-head of this stream of bitterness. Geographical science and natural history may and do benefit largely by the missionary's discoveries; but this enterprise was not undertaken for the benefit of either. Let the interests of humanity for once triumph over the inquisitions of knowledge. Dr Livingstone's sextant and thermometer were very secondary adjuncts of his mission. He kept his eyes about him wherever he went, and put everything down-savage life, in all its primitive wildness, compelled a savage particularity of observation; but any one who supposes this enterprise a geographical or scientific one, fails entirely in appreciating its true motive. The traveller notes latitudes and longitudes, trees and grasses, wild beasts and insects; he has interest enough in all of them to give a natural enlivenment and occupation to his journey, but his heart is with the humane object he has in hand. Through swamps and tropical forests, through hostile villages and unfriendly savages, he stumbles on upon his “illwilly ox, with one distinct endeavour in his mind, which is, neither to do a feat of travel, nor to make himself a hero of the Geographical Society, but to find or form a practicable highway for the native productions of his Makololo-to make a clear and legitimate way for them, and for all inland Africa, to the markets and merchandise of the world-and to free them, as he hopes, at once and for ever from the trade in slaves.
Such was the real object of Dr Livingstone's journey. It is, beyond everything else, a trenchant and bold