Compiled by

Africa's Greatest Friend

DAVID LIVINGSTONE was born within the humble
        home of "poor and pious parents" at Blantyre, near
Glasgow, on the 19th March, 1813.   At the age of ten he
was put to work in the factory as a piecer, that his earnings
might aid his mother.
   It was in his twentieth year that the great spiritual
change took place
which determined the course of David
Livingstone's future life.   Before this time he had earnest
thoughts about Eternity.   "Great pains," he says, "had
been taken by my parents to instil the doctrines of Chris-
tianity into my mind, and I had no difficulty in under-
the theory of a free salvation by the atonement
of our Saviour; but it was only about this time that I
began to feel the necessity and value of a personal applica-
of the provisions of that atonement to my own case."

He says that about his twentieth year he began to reflect
on his state as a sinner, and became anxious to realise
the state of mind that flows from the reception of the truth
into the heart.   He was hindered, however, from embrac-
ing the free offer of mercy in the Gospel, by a sense of
unworthiness to receive so great a blessing till a super-
natural change should be effected in him by the Holy
.   Conceiving it to be his duty to wait for this, he
continued expecting a ground of hope within, rejecting
meanwhile the only true hope of the sinner, the finished
work of Christ, till at length his convictions were effaced
and his feelings blunted.   Still his heart was not at rest.
Later on God revealed to him his error, and he renounced
all hope in himself; and as a bankrupt, beggared sinner
he trusted in the power and willingness of Christ to save.
To use again his own words: "I saw the duty and inestim-
able privilege immediately to accept salvation by Christ.
Humbly believing that through sovereign mercy and grace
I have been enabled so to do, and having felt in some
measure its effects on my still depraved and deceitful heart,
it is my desire to show my attachment to the cause of Him
who died for me
by henceforth devoting my life to His

   On the 8th December, 1840, he took ship for South

Africa, and landed at Algoa Bay, proceeded inland to
Kuruman, then the most northerly mission station in
South Africa.   It was not long ere he pushed on into the
interior, and wrote: "I had more than ordinary pleasure
in telling these Bakaas of the precious Blood that cleanseth
from all sin.   I bless God that He has conferred on one so
worthless the distinguished privilege and honour of being
the first messenger of mercy that ever trod these regions."

   For over thirty years this marvellous man laboured
unweariedly and heroically for the good of the teeming
millions of his beloved Africa.   Towards the close of his
noble life he became greatly reduced by severe illnesses,
but still he laboured on.   At four in the morning (1st
May, 1873), by the candle still burning, they saw him,
not in bed, but kneeling at the bedside, with his head
buried in his hands upon the pillow.   The sad yet not
unexpected truth soon became evident; he had passed
away on the farthest of all his journeys in the act of prayer,
commending his own spirit, with all his dear ones, as was
his wont, into the hands of his Saviour; and commending
Africa--his own dear Africa--with all her woes, and sins,
and wrongs, to the Avenger of the oppressed and the
Redeemer of the lost.   As Dr. Moffat, the veteran pioneer,
said: "Thus Livingstone died, possessing the blessed
hope, or rather, the assurance, that living or dying he
was the Lord's."

[ Twice-Born Men ] [ Christian Home Bible Course ]