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E key to Dr. Livingstone's life is a birthday Many were the privations he endured in his entry which appears in his Journals : “My missionary labours. He writes: “I do not mention
Jesus, my King, my Life, my All, I again these privations, as if I considered them to be sacridedicate my whole self to Thee.”
fices, for I think that the word ought never to be
applied to anything we can do for Him who came missionaries in their efforts to extend Christianity, and down from heaven and died for us.”
was often the means of averting war. Five months before his death he penned the fol- It was while on his second expedition that Dr. lowing: “The spirit of missions is the spirit of our Livingstone lost his beloved partner, the daughter of Master, the very genius of His religion. A diffusive the venerable patriarch Dr. Moffatt, who spent fifty-four philanthropy is Christianity itself. It requires per- years of his life in Africa. For the greater part of petual propagation to attest its genuineness."
sixteen years Mrs. Livingstone shared her husband's In June, 1852, Livingstone commenced his wonder-anxieties, privations, toils, hardships, and sufferings. ful march, first to the Cape, thence to St. Paul de Writing to his friend Sir Roderick Murchison, Dr. Loanda, the capital of Angola, on the west coast, and Livingstone said : “I must confess that this heavy thence across the continent in an oblique direction to stroke quite takes the heart out of me. Everything Kilimane, in the east, near the mouths of the Zambesi. else that has happened only made me more determined His first great journey, embracing 11,000 miles, was to overcome all difficulties; but after this sad stroke, I successfully accomplished without the advantages of feel crushed and void of strength. . . . I married her ample means—having nothing but a few faithful for love, and the longer I lived with her I loved her followers chosen from the Makololo, over whom his
A good wife and a good, brave, kindheart yearned with a father's love.
hearted mother was she, deserving all the praises you for them are now being answered in the establish- bestowed upon her. . . . I try to bow to the blow as ment of the Lake Nyassa Mission, to which the from our Heavenly Father, who orders all things for hearts of the Scottish people have happily been us. . .. I shall do my duty still, but it is with a drawn.
darkened horizon that I again set about it.” We have Livingstone felt that on the Anglo-American race a touching record in his Last Journuls of how dear his the hope of the world for liberty and progress must wife's memory was to him. When he reached Lake depend. The Bible, which he calls the Magna Charta Bangweolo he saw a forest grave, and he remarks: of the rights and privileges of modern civilisation, with “This is the sort of grave I should prefer : to lie in the inborn energy of Britain to develop the resources the still, still forest, and no hand ever disturb my of a country, he relied upon as the means by which bones. . . . But I have nothing to do, but wait till He Africa was to be raised. He felt his work was that who is over all decides where I have to lay me down of a pioneer, to go before and to reveal the mighty and die. Poor Mary lies on Shupanga brae and beaks rivers and the great chain of inland lakes as the path fornent the sun. A right straightforward woman, no ways by which commercial relationships were to be crooked way was ever hers, and she could act with deopened up,
and extended. None knew the cision and energy when required," is the Doctor's graphic difficulties as he did; none knew better the blighting, summing up of his wife's life. What more need be said? crushing influence of the slave trade, and that Chris- Before he finally resolved on his last journey, it was tianity and lawful commerce could alone redeem the not of himself he thought, but his motherless children, African race.
whose education he desired to direct. The pain of The names of Susi and Chumah will ever be indis- separation, for ever on this earth, as it proved, can be solubly associated with Dr. Livingstone, for their heroic but imperfectly realised. What over-mastered all was march from Ilala to the coast. They displayed tact, that it was borne in upon his heart that his Heavenly sagacity, and shrewdness in fulfilment of their self- Father had laid upon him a work from which he could imposed task, which was prompted by love, faithfulness, not shrink, and for which the dearest earthly ties and reverence to the memory of the explorer, whose must be severed. Sustained by the Master's promise, privations, toils, and dangers they had shared for “Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or so many years. It was not in vain that they had sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or “companied " so long with Dr. Livingstone, when it lands for My name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, had inspired them to show to the world that Africans and shall inherit everlasting life,” he set out on his could exhibit true heroism and devotion, when the last great journey. occasion demanded. To them we owe it that his body The Rev. Chancy Maples tells how he met a native rests with the illustrious dead in Westminster Abbey who had on his shoulder an old coat, mouldy and -a national tribute and a national lesson.
partially eaten away, but evidently of English make Among others, this expedition included the Rev. and material. On asking where the coat came from, Charles Livingstone, a man in every respect worthy of he was told that it was given him by “a white man his brother, at whose invitation he had come from who treated black men as his brothers, whose words America after a ministry of seventeen years there. were always gentle, and whose manners were always Strangely enough, he died within four months of his kind, whom as a leader it was a privilege to follow, brother, seeking on the west coast of Africa, while and who knew the way to the hearts of all men.” It acting as British consul, to establish friendly relation- proved to be Dr. Livingstone's coat, and the rude ships with the seaboard and interior tribes, with the African had kept the coat for ten years in memory of view of extending to them the blessings of commerce. the giver. The incident reveals not only the character In this capacity he had actively co-operated with the of Livingstone, but also that of the African,
READ LUKE xi. 5-10.
THE IMPORTUNATE PRAYER.
Shall be my lot;
N unexpected visitor arrives, in the midille of
the night, at the house of a friend, and seeks It may be mine to drag for years
lodging and food; but he finds his friend illToil's heavy chain;
prepared to receive him, for he has nothing in the Or day and night my meat be tears
house. Hospitality, however, has always been thought On bed of pain.
a great duty in the East; the friend, therefore, goes to Dear faces may surround my hearth
a neighbour's house, and asks him for bread to set With smiles and glee;
before the stranger.
But it is midnight, and the door Or I may dwell alone, and mirth
is shut, and the neighbour and his family have all Be strange to me.
retired to rest. “ Trouble me not,” he answers from
within. My bark is anchored to the strand
“I cannot rise and give thee.” But the other By breath Divine,
man is not so easily sent away. He knocks again, and And on the helm there rests a Hand
repeats his request; and this perhaps many times, till Other than mine.
at length his neighbour, tired of refusing, gets up, One who has known in storm to sail,
though with no good grace, and gives him what he I have on board ;
wants. Above the raging of the gale
By this story or parable our Lord teaches us to be I hear my Lord.
importunate, or persevering in prayer. It arose in this He holds me when the billows smiie
way: Jesus Himself was praying, and His disciples saw I shall not fall ;
Him: and when He left off, one of them came and said, If sharp 'tis short, if long 'tis light:
“Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disHe tempers all.
ciples.” Then our Lord taught them what we call
“ The Lord's Prayer,” and immediately after spoke this Safe to the land ! safe to the land ! The end is this;
parable to them, thus teaching them not only how to And then with Him go hand-in-hand
pray, but also that they must persevere in praying, Far into bliss.
not content with asking once, but asking again and Dean Alford.
The man in the parable would not get up at the first PREPARING TO MEET GOD.
request. He heard his friend's voice, and knew his
wants, but was unwilling to trouble himself to rise. It f we were expecting a call to go into the presence pleases God sometimes not to answer our prayers at
of some great king on earth, we should prepare first. It seems as if they were not heard ; nay, dis
to meet him. If we were looking for a summons couraging circumstances may even lead us to fear appear before a judge and answer a serious accusa- that our petition is refused like that in the parable. tion brought against us, we should prepare our answer But there is this great difference: the man was unwilto the charge. If we were about to go to some rich ling, God is never unwilling. The man's friendship and powerful man to ask a great favour at his hands, was but an imperfeet friendship. If it had been daywe should make preparation for the interview.
time, and he had been up and about, he would have But how many there are who never think of pre- lent the loaves without grudging; but he would not paring to meet their God. They think less of meeting put himself to the trouble of rising at midnight. The Him than of their earthly master or benefactor. They kindness of God, on the other hand, is perfect and act towards Him with less respect and concern than unfailing. If, therefore, our first prayers seem to towards their fellow-creatures. Yet He is the King of receive no answer, it is not because God is unwilling to all kings, the Lord of all lords. His sentence will
grant our request. If it be really for our good, He is decide our eternal state. It will either raise us to quite willing to grant it, and willing from the very heavenly joy or cast us down to hell. We cannot first; and He is as able as He is willing. Even the escape Him, we cannot resist Him. We must meet
man in the parable was able. His “I cannot” meant, Him, and that very soon.
When and how we cannot in truth, “I will not." God is both able and willing. tell. He may come to meet us in the judgments of Again, the man would not rise because the time was His providence, and He will call us to meet Him by unseasonable ; but no time is unseasonable with God. the summons of death. Oh, let us then prepare to “Evening and morning and at noon will I pray and meet Him! But how? Only in one way can we do cry aloud,” said David, “and He shall hear voice." so—by believing in His dear Son and seeking accept-“At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto Thee.” ance through Him. Then we can meet Him without
Time and place make no difference with God. Every fear, and say, “ This is our God; we have waited for place may be a place of prayer, and every time a time Him, and He will save.”
for praying. Prayer to God is never unseasonable.
“ Call upon Me,” He says, “in the day of trouble : I draws from it ; we must, therefore, take them in close will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." When- connection with it. We are not to ask once, and then ever the day of trouble may come, then and there we leave off asking, as if the work were done. We are to are to call upon God. And though He may not deliver ask, and ask again ; to seek with perseverance; to us at once, it is not because we have called upon Him knock repeatedly. Our Lord does not tell us that the at a wrong time. There is no wrong time for prayer blessing shall come on the first application. He will provided it is a time of need. No time is unseasonable bless us when He will, and how He will. The Syrowith God; His kindness is perfect; He is always willing phenician woman had to ask three times before she to hear and bless. Surely, then, He will not turn a received. The first time Jesus answered her not a deaf ear to us when we call upon Him again and again. word, the second time He seemed almost to refuse her If persevering prayer prevailed with an unwilling man, request ; and it was only when she still persevered it will not fail with a gracious God.
that He said, “O woman, great is thy faith; be The lesson, therefore, which our Lord draws from it unto thee even as thou wilt.”
Yet she was the parable is this : “And I say unto you, Ask, heard graciously from the very first; and it was, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall doubtless, only to try her faith that the find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." To was withheld so long. make the exhortation
heard stronger, three different
when first we pray, and words used — Ask,
Even KNOCK, AND IT SHALL BE Seek, Knock; and to each OPENED-UNTOYOU.
the man in the parable is joined a promise. And
heard the very first knock then, lest any humble
of his friend, though he soul should fear that the
would not rise. We are exhortation and promise
heard at our first cry to were not for him, our
God, and heard with no gracious Lord adds, “For
unwillingness to help. If every one that asketh
it please our Father, in receiveth; and he that
His infinite wisdom, and seeketh findeth ; and to
for our good, in order to him that knocketh it
try our faith and thus to shall be opened.”
strengthen it,-if it please It is not to the worthy
Him to keep us waiting that the promise is given;
awhile, that we may pray every one that asketh
again and again, more receiveth ; every one who
humbly and earnestly, can asks in the way of the
we not bide His time? Gospel, humbly and sin.
Must we have what we cerely, in the name of
desire at the very first cry, Jesus Christ. None are
or think that God will not shut out. Whatever they
give it at all ? How often may have done, whatever
does the Psalmist speak they may have been, what
of waiting on the Lord ! ever may be their wants,
" Wait on the Lord : be their sins, their sorrows,
of good courage, and He temptations, infirmities,
shall strengthen thine yet the exhortation and the promise come to them- heart : wait, I say, on the Lord.” Waiting in prayer, “Ask, and it shall be given you ; for every one that praying again and again, and patiently awaiting His asketh receiveth.” The promise is applied more par- good pleasure in faith and hope. ticularly to the gift of the Holy Spirit, but we may For God's promises in Christ never fail. “Every apply it also to every blessing, temporal or spiritual, one that asketh receiveth ; and he that seeketh findeth; that would really be for our good; to the pardon of and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Not all sin, to comfort in trouble, to help in difficulty, to at one time or in one way, but some earlier, some guidance in doubt.
later; some in this way, and some in that; but all Whenever we pray, we may do so in the faith of surely, because God has said it. Let none be east our Saviour's words, “Ask, and it shall be given down or discouraged, let the faith of none fail.“ Be you ;” and the constant remembrance of them will instant in prayer.” “ Ask in faith, nothing wavering." make us more frequent, more earnest, and more God does hear you already, and hears you graciously, believing in prayer.
in every prayer you put up, every cry, every knock at But these words of our Lord come at the close of the door of mercy; and in His own good time He will the parable, and contain the exhortations which He show you that He has heard you
THE TEXT FOUND IN THE COAL-BOX.
NNIE was a general servant at a lodging-house
in one of the pretty watering-places which abound in the West of England.
Her mistress was kind, and, on the whole, she had a comfortable place, but, as is usual in such cases, plenty of hard work early and late. Up and down stairs all day long, waiting on the lodgers and keeping the house in order, her steps were often weary and her limbs aching when she lay down to rest at night.
Annie was very ignorant; she had learned to read, and that was about all she had been taught. She went to a place of worship sometimes, but did not understand much of what she heard, and now these thoughts began to trouble her, and she could not get rid of them. She knew there was a heaven of joy and love, she had heard of its glories, and knew also that sin could never enter there, and she felt she was a sinner. True, she had always been honest and industrious, and thought she had done as well as she could ; but yet her conscience told her she was not fit to stand in the presence of a holy God, and her sins became a heavy burden to her. She had heard that Jesus died to save sinners, and she knew she was one ; but how was she to obtain this great salvation?
She had no Christian friend to help her, none to THE HINDOO MOTHER'S VOW.
whom she could open her heart and tell its deep
distress. Her mistress never spoke of such things, POOR Hindoo mother, seeing one of her
and so, Annie imagined, knew but little about them; children in great danger, made a vow to
but yet, having no one else to speak to, she determined the goddess Kali, that if she would spare her
one day to ask her. child's life, the next son she bore should be sacrificed
It was as she had feared ; her mistress could not to her. The time came for the fulfilment of the vow,
understand her trouble, told her she had always been and for five days husband and wife both engaged in a good girl and done the best she could, but advised worship On the fourth day, in the evening, the her to talk to the lodger, who, she thought, knew more mother lulled her baby to sleep, and then sat gazing about such things. Longing for some relief, the girl at him, without moving even a finger, for at least
watched eagerly for an opportunity to unburden her an hour. (The priest had told her that it would
heart to the lodger. impair the benefit of the sacrifice if she wept or mourned.) At the end of that time, she quietly arose, and placed the child in the arms of its nurse without a word. The next day she never looked at him. About five o'clock, when he was sleeping, she came and quietly took him up. Casting part of her dress over the infant's face, she walked quickly down to the river's brink, and, without pausing an instant, flung the babe from her as far as she could into the water. He sunk, but rose again instantly, and as instantly the immense head and open jaws of an alligator appeared beside him. The next moment the headless trunk of the babe floated before her, staining the water with its blood. With a wild cry, the benighted heathen mother would have flung herself in after the babe, had she not been held back. So greatly was she excited, that she afterwards became very ill. On recovering consciousness, she told those around her never on any account to mention her child to her again. What a contrast this presents to the demands of a loving Saviour, who gave Himself to save the lost !