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By Dr. Peter Hammond
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
By Dr. Peter Hammond
The Fighting Missionary
The hero of the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington,
described Dr. David Livingstone as "The fighting parson."
The Friend of Africa
Jacob Wainwright, who
had been rescued from
slavery by Dr. Livingstone,
described him as:
"The friend of the African."
Practical Christianity
American journalist and explorer,
Henry Morton Stanley, described
Dr. Livingstone as:
"A truly pious man
- a man deeply imbued
with real religious instincts.
His religion…
is of the true,
practical kind,
never losing a chance
to manifest itself
in a quiet,
practical way
- never demonstrative
or loud.
It is always at work,
if not in deed,
by shining example."
An Example of Excellence
Stanley described his attitude when he first arrived in Africa:
"as prejudiced against religion as the worst infidel…"
However, the example of David Livingstone,
who had truly left all to follow Christ, converted Stanley.
Inspiring
David Livingstone
was hailed in his
lifetime as the
greatest Missionary
Explorer of all time.
As one contemporary journalist described it: "the Christian's
Faith in God is strengthened by the author's very survival of
every imaginable danger.
The abolitionist is inspired by the
prospect of stopping the slave trade.
Medical men are
intrigued by
Livingstone's
approach to disease
and the value of his
treatment for fever…"
The incredible courage and sacrifices of David Livingstone
inspired multiplied hundreds of men and women
to dedicate their lives to Missions in Africa.
What can we
learn about
the family and
upbringing of
David
Livingstone,
to understand
his Faith,
courage and
vision?
Born in Blantyre
David Livingstone was born 19 March 1813, in the industrial
town of Blantyre, 8 miles from Glasgow.
The Father
His Father, Neil Livingstone, was a dedicated Christian who
had met his future wife, Agnes,
when he was apprenticed to a local tailor.
He won the hand of the tailor's daughter and became a tea
salesman so that he could travel and preach the Gospel,
distributing Evangelistic tracts to his customers door-to-door.
Neil also taught at Sunday school and was a zealous member
of a local Missionary Society, persistently promoting
prayer meetings and Missionary causes.
David Livingstone later wrote concerning his Father: "He
deserved my lasting gratitude and homage for presenting me
from infancy with a continuously consistent pious example."
Strict Standards
Neil Livingstone
was also a
strict disciplinarian
who sought to bring
up David in
the fear of the Lord.
At age 9, David was challenged to learn the longest chapter in
the Bible: Psalm 119 (all 176 verses) off by heart
in order to receive a copy of the New Testament.
Because Neil had seen the ravaging effects of alcoholism, he
was a teetotaller and persuaded his son to follow his example
in abstaining from alcohol, for life.
The Mother
David's mother, Agnes, was a gentle, small and delicate
woman whose compassionate kindness and loving nature
served as a counter-balance to her husband's strict and
austere rule.
It was said that her son,
David, inherited her
remarkably bright eyes.
Agnes instilled in her family,
a scrupulous concern for
cleanliness and immaculate
appearance.
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
David was born during the last years of the ruinous
Napoleonic wars which devastated Europe.
The Napoleonic Wars
The economic impact of the 25 years of French Revolutionary
and Napoleonic wars had left many unemployed in Britain
and an economically depressed environment.
The Family
The Livingstones lived a very frugal lifestyle
on a miniscule budget. The Livingstone family lived
in a single room, ten feet by fourteen feet.
Two baby boys had died in their infancy, David had one older
surviving brother, John. Another brother, Charles, and two
sisters, Janet and Agnes were born after David.
The Home
There was neither hot nor
cold running water in the
tenement building and David
had to walk many times a day
down the tightly curved, brick
staircase to fetch water from
the pump in the yard, and
heave it back up the stairs and
along the corridor of the 3rd
floor to their room.
The Livingstone's shared their
tenement with 24 other
families. At night mattresses
were pulled out from under
the parents bed which was set
into a recess in the wall.
Privacy was non-existent and the family cooked, ate, sewed,
studied and slept in that single room.
A Passion for Reading
David Livingstone borrowed
extensively from the local
library, particularly books on
travel and science.
William Wilberforce's Practical Christianity
had a major impact on his life
and clearly influenced his life-long crusade
against the slave trade.
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Cotton Mill
At age 10, David began his full-time employment, 14 hours a
day, 6 days a week, for the next 10 years at the Monteith and
Company Cotton Spinning Factory.
He was to be a piecer, to repair broken threads
in spinning frames.
David's day began at 5:30am every morning
as the bell was rung.
Work would
begin at 6am and
continue until
8pm.
The workers in
the cotton mill
had to work in
tremendous heat
and humidity.
Steamed temperatures
of 80 to 90 degrees
Fahrenheit were
considered ideal for the
production of thread.
Physical Training
Every day David would have to walk an average of 34km,
much of this in a crawling or stooping position, amongst and
under the machinery, or balancing over it.
One can imagine what tremendous physical training this was
for his later transcontinental expeditions throughout Africa.
Piecers received
constant
beatings from
their supervisors
to keep them
moving through
such long shifts,
despite fatigue
and exhaustion.
Hunger for
Knowledge
Yet, David used
his first week's wages
to purchase
Ruddiman's
Rudiments of Latin.
David managed to read in the factory by balancing his book
on a portion of the spinning jenny so that he could catch
sentence after sentence as he rushed by at his work.
In this way he maintained fairly constant study undisturbed
by the roar of the machinery. Less than 10% of the children
who worked in the Cotton Mills ever learned to read or write.
David not only learned to read and write,
he taught himself Latin, Greek and Hebrew.
After work, he would attend a night school, 8pm to 10pm.
Then he returned home to
study, often until midnight.
His mother frequently had to
take his books away before he
would go to sleep.
Conversion
At age 12, David Livingstone came under intense conviction of
sin and experienced a radical conversion to Christ.
He wrote:
"In the glow of love that
Christianity inspired,
I resolved to devote my
life to the alleviation of
human misery."
He wrote: "That the Salvation of men ought to be the chief
desire and aim of every Christian."
He made a resolution that he would give to the cause of
Missions all that he might earn beyond what was required for
his subsistence.
Perseverance
At age 13, he attended an extra Latin class. When all the
other students gave up, he alone remained in the class and
the school teacher cancelled the lessons, not seeing the
overzealous son of a tea merchant as worthy of his attention.
David continued to learn Latin on his own.
The Grandfather
David's grandfather, Neil Livingstone Senior, also had an
impact on the upbringing of David. He had been a tenant
farmer on the island of Ulva, off the West coast of Scotland.
He was evicted by
the English to open
up the area for a
vast sheep farm.
He passed on what he had heard from his grandfather:
"I have searched most carefully through all the traditions of
our family, and I never could discover that there was a
dishonest man among your forefathers.
If therefore any of you, or any of your children, should take to
dishonest ways, it will not be because it runs in our blood…
I leave this precept with you; be honest!"
Thomas Burke
Another man who
influenced David
Livingstone was
Thomas Burke,
an old soldier who
would ring his bell to
shatter the peace and
quiet of Blantyre every
Sunday morning to
rouse the people to
attend his
early morning
Prayer meeting.
Burke was abrupt, direct and challenging.
The Livingstone family faithfully
supported him.
David Hogg
Another man who impressed
David Livingstone was David
Hogg, who from his deathbed
challenged the young boy:
"Now lad! Make religion
the everyday business of
your life and not a thing
of fits and starts; for if
you do not, temptation
and other things will get
the better of you!"
The Free Church
1832 was a special
watershed year for the
Livingstone family.
Neil Livingstone,
dissatisfied with the
spiritual life of the
Church of Scotland,
changed his church
membership to the
Free Church.
This required the Livingstones to walk to Hamilton, a nearby
village for their Sunday worship services.
Although they received many invitations to dine with families
of the congregation, they chose to carry their own food and
not impose upon the limited resources of the other families
of the congregation, which they knew were also struggling
financially.
After Sunday lunch, the Livingstone family were treated to
their one luxury, a barley sweet each.
Setting the Captives Free
The Free Church in Hamilton were strong supporters of
Missions.
In 1833, William Wilberforce's lifelong crusade against slavery
was successful. Slavery was abolished throughout the British
Empire, by an act of Parliament.
This inspired ever greater
vision for Missions.
Those who had been freed
from physical slavery,
now needed to be freed
from spiritual slavery.
Missionaries were needed to go to the ends of the earth!
Revival Fires
Books and tracts from the Revival movement sweeping
America reached Scotland and created much excitement and
deepening of spiritual life and vision.
David Livingstone received a
pamphlet written by
Karl Gutzlaff,
of the Netherlands
Missionary Society.
In it Gutzlaff appealed for medical missionaries
to go to China.
David was inspired at how a medical missionary
could be much more effective in converting the lost.
He had learned enough Latin to be able to understand
most medical terms. He was remarkably well read
and easily would pass the University entrance requirements.
His chief obstacle would be lack of finances.
University
Through great determination, he saved most of his money during the
next 18 months to be able to put himself through Medical school and
Theological College.
At the age of 23, David set out
on foot to begin his Theological
and medical studies in
Glasgow. From 1836 to 1838,
he benefited from the best
Theological and medical
training available at that time.
Each weekend he would
walk back home
to Blantyre.
Although he was frequently
offered lifts
in a horse and cart,
David would refuse,
preferring the long walk,
often in the snow,
in order to strengthen
his muscles
for his career in Missions.
London Missionary Society
In his second year at college, David applied to the London
Missionary Society. David's Father was concerned that his
son's application had omitted important facts.
Therefore without David's knowledge, Neil Livingstone wrote
to the LMS Board informing them of his son's diligence in
attending lectures, refusing offers of a lift to town,
his refusals of
secure teaching
posts offered,
of his early
quest for
Latin proficiency
and of his
hard work,
sacrificial
lifestyle
and dedication
to study.
Marriage
Concerns
In response to the question
on whether he was married
or engaged, David wrote:
"unmarried; under no
engagement relating to
marriage, never made
proposals of marriage, nor
conducted myself so to any
woman as to cause her to
suspect that I intended
anything related to
marriage;
and so far as my present
wishes are concerned,
I should prefer going out
unmarried,
that I might be without
that care
which the concerns
of a family
necessarily induce
and give myself wholly
to the work."
Probation
Eight months after his
application,
David was finally invited to
London,
30 August 1838,
for an interview.
After a second interview
in September,
the Directors
accepted Livingstone
on probation.
He was placed under the
mentorship of Rev. Richard
Cecil who described David
as having:
"sense and quiet vigour;
whose temper is good and
his character substantial."
Failure
However, at his first
preaching opportunity,
David froze in the pulpit
and abruptly declared:
"Friends, I have forgotten
all I have to say!“
and hurried
out of the pulpit.
The Directors of the London Missionary Society seriously
considered rejecting his candidacy.
However, a wise man pleaded hard that his probation should
be extended and at future preaching engagements, he proved
himself a capable and energetic communicator.
Integrity
One lady in Ongar, wrote of
David Livingstone:
"I never knew anyone who
gave me more the idea of
power over other men,
such power as our Saviour
showed while on earth,
the power of love and
purity combined."
Uncommon Christians
During his studies, David wrote to his sisters, urging them:
"to seek to be uncommon Christians, that is eminently holy
and devoted servants of the most High…
let us seek - and with the conviction that we cannot do
without it - that selfishness be extirpated, pride banished,
unbelief driven from the mind,
every idol dethroned, and everything hostile to holiness and
opposed to the Divine Will crucified; that Holiness to the Lord
may be engraved on the heart, and evermore characterise our
whole conduct.
This is what we ought to strive after;
this is the way to be happy; this is what our Saviour loves
- entire surrender of heart. May He enable us
by His Spirit to persevere until we attain it!"
Focused on God’s Kingdom
It was noted that David earnestly sought first the Kingdom of
God and His righteousness. He steadfastly sought the Lord's
will for his life and he persevered through every problem.
David Livingstone was described as an idealist, an eccentric
bookworm loner. He took his task and calling most seriously.
Whatever he did he performed thoroughly.
His character was
uncompromising.
He was inflexible in his
adherence to His Word.
Knowledgeable
Dr. Risdon Bennet, of the
Royal College of Physicians
described David Livingstone
as:
"Pure and noble…
simple, modest,
unassuming and
self-reliant…"
Dr. Bennet wrote that he was "struck with the amount of
knowledge that Livingstone had already acquired of those
subjects which constituted the foundation of medical
science…"
Redirected to Africa
David Livingstone's plans to be a medical missionary to China
was frustrated when the Opium war erupted. The LMS
declared China closed.
It was at that
opportune time that
LMS Missionary
Robert Moffat
conducted speaking
engagements in
London.
He inspired David Livingstone as he spoke of: "The smoke of a
thousand villages where no Missionary has ever been."
David switched his focus from Asia to Africa.
Crusade Against Slavery
While attending a meeting of the Society for the Extinction of
the Slave Trade and for the Civilisation of Africa, in Exeter Hall,
on 1 June 1840,
Livingstone heard Thomas Foxwell Buxton speak of the
Importance of Commerce and Christianity
to defeat the slave trade in Africa.
Africans would only be delivered from the slave trade when
they had an alternative to selling their own people to pay for
the beads, cloth, guns and trinkets that they coveted.
Doctorate
During his final medical exams,
David Livingstone argued with
the Board who were not
convinced about the
usefulness of the stethoscope.
Despite Livingstone's unorthodox views, he qualified with a
Licentiate of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons,
November 1840.
Departure
On a bleak November morning, 1840, the Livingstone family
rose at 5am and the 27 year old David read Psalm 121 to his
family. He then read Psalm 135.
The family bowed in prayer
and then Neil walked his son
to the Glasgow docks and
saw his son embark on his
great African adventure.
Ordained
On 20 November 1840,
David Livingstone was
ordained as a Missionary in
the Albion Street Chapel.
On 8 December, he set sail in
the George for Cape Town,
South Africa.
Against All Odds
David had experienced little childhood or adolescence.
In his upbringing he had little, or no play, or recreation.
Against all odds, he had already achieved far more than would have
been thought humanly possible for someone born into such a poverty
stricken and disadvantaged background.
To achieve what
he had,
Livingstone had
had to be
decisive,
goal-orientated
and inflexible.
As time went on, he
became less and less
flexible and showed
little or no time for
those with lower
standards of devotion
to Christ and His Great
Commission.
Let the Earth
Hear His
Voice
To those who said that
the work at home must
be completed
thoroughly before any
Missions be engaged in
abroad, Livingstone
responded:
"All men have the right
to hear God's Word. No
nation ought to hoard
the Gospel like a miser!"
Through Tempestuous Seas
Livingstone described his three month journey to Cape Town:
"Our little vessel went reeling and staggering over the waves
as if she had been drunk.
Our trunks perpetually breaking from their lashings,
were tossed from one side of the cabin to the other,
…huddled together in glorious confusion…
imagine if you can a ship in a fit of epilepsy."
David befriended Captain
Donaldson and learnt all that
he could concerning the
quadrant and the sextant,
frequently staying up until past
midnight
to take lunar observations and work out directions
using the stars.
As the ship rocked and reeled over the perilous seas,
Livingstone studied Theology. Finally a raging storm
split the foremast of the ship and they had to put into
Rio de Janeiro to have it repaired.
Ministry in Brazil
David described battling profusely to refuse bottles of liquor
that were offered to him from all sides in Brazil.
The Brazilians expressed shock that any Englishman should
refuse alcohol, for many of his fellow countrymen and
seamen had continually disgraced themselves in the streets of
Rio by intoxication.
David handed out Gospel
tracts at the notorious
Waterfront Bar and narrowly
escaped with his life as
20 drunk, angry sailors
assaulted him.
He engaged in ministry at the local hospital and witnessed
raging drunken delirium. He shared the Gospel with a dying
French sailor and urged him to trust in Christ alone for eternal
Salvation.
The Cape of Good Hope
On 17 March 1841, Livingstone sighted the majestic Table
Mountain as the George edged into Table Bay.
Thus began one of the most
incredible Missionary careers of
the best friend Africa ever had.
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
“He will rule from sea to sea.” Psalm 72:8
1: Christ shall have dominion over land and sea,
earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be;
they that wilds inhabit shall their worship bring,
kings shall render tribute, nations serve our King.
Christ shall have dominion, over land and sea
earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be
Christ Shall Have Dominion
2: When the needy seek Him, He will mercy show;
yea, the weak and helpless shall his pity know;
He will surely save them from oppression’s might,
For their lives are precious in his Holy sight.
Christ shall have dominion, over land and sea
earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be
3: Ever and forever shall His Name endure,
Long as suns continue it shall stand secure;
And in Him forever all men shall be blest,
And all nations hail Him King of Kings confessed.
Christ shall have dominion, over land and sea
earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be
4: Unto God Almighty, joyful Zion sings,
He alone is glorious, doing wondrous things;
Evermore, ye people, bless His glorious Name,
His eternal glory through the earth proclaim.
Christ shall have dominion, over land and sea
earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone
Frontline Fellowship
PO Box 74
Newlands
7725
Cape Town
South Africa
E-mail: admin@frontline.org.za
Web: www.frontline.org.za

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The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone

  • 1. By Dr. Peter Hammond
  • 5. By Dr. Peter Hammond
  • 6. The Fighting Missionary The hero of the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington, described Dr. David Livingstone as "The fighting parson."
  • 7. The Friend of Africa Jacob Wainwright, who had been rescued from slavery by Dr. Livingstone, described him as: "The friend of the African."
  • 8. Practical Christianity American journalist and explorer, Henry Morton Stanley, described Dr. Livingstone as: "A truly pious man - a man deeply imbued with real religious instincts.
  • 9. His religion… is of the true, practical kind, never losing a chance to manifest itself in a quiet, practical way - never demonstrative or loud. It is always at work, if not in deed, by shining example."
  • 10. An Example of Excellence Stanley described his attitude when he first arrived in Africa: "as prejudiced against religion as the worst infidel…"
  • 11. However, the example of David Livingstone, who had truly left all to follow Christ, converted Stanley.
  • 12. Inspiring David Livingstone was hailed in his lifetime as the greatest Missionary Explorer of all time.
  • 13. As one contemporary journalist described it: "the Christian's Faith in God is strengthened by the author's very survival of every imaginable danger.
  • 14. The abolitionist is inspired by the prospect of stopping the slave trade.
  • 15. Medical men are intrigued by Livingstone's approach to disease and the value of his treatment for fever…"
  • 16. The incredible courage and sacrifices of David Livingstone inspired multiplied hundreds of men and women to dedicate their lives to Missions in Africa.
  • 17. What can we learn about the family and upbringing of David Livingstone, to understand his Faith, courage and vision?
  • 18. Born in Blantyre David Livingstone was born 19 March 1813, in the industrial town of Blantyre, 8 miles from Glasgow.
  • 19. The Father His Father, Neil Livingstone, was a dedicated Christian who had met his future wife, Agnes, when he was apprenticed to a local tailor.
  • 20. He won the hand of the tailor's daughter and became a tea salesman so that he could travel and preach the Gospel, distributing Evangelistic tracts to his customers door-to-door.
  • 21. Neil also taught at Sunday school and was a zealous member of a local Missionary Society, persistently promoting prayer meetings and Missionary causes.
  • 22. David Livingstone later wrote concerning his Father: "He deserved my lasting gratitude and homage for presenting me from infancy with a continuously consistent pious example."
  • 23. Strict Standards Neil Livingstone was also a strict disciplinarian who sought to bring up David in the fear of the Lord.
  • 24. At age 9, David was challenged to learn the longest chapter in the Bible: Psalm 119 (all 176 verses) off by heart in order to receive a copy of the New Testament.
  • 25. Because Neil had seen the ravaging effects of alcoholism, he was a teetotaller and persuaded his son to follow his example in abstaining from alcohol, for life.
  • 26. The Mother David's mother, Agnes, was a gentle, small and delicate woman whose compassionate kindness and loving nature served as a counter-balance to her husband's strict and austere rule.
  • 27. It was said that her son, David, inherited her remarkably bright eyes. Agnes instilled in her family, a scrupulous concern for cleanliness and immaculate appearance.
  • 30. David was born during the last years of the ruinous Napoleonic wars which devastated Europe. The Napoleonic Wars
  • 31. The economic impact of the 25 years of French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars had left many unemployed in Britain and an economically depressed environment.
  • 32. The Family The Livingstones lived a very frugal lifestyle on a miniscule budget. The Livingstone family lived in a single room, ten feet by fourteen feet.
  • 33. Two baby boys had died in their infancy, David had one older surviving brother, John. Another brother, Charles, and two sisters, Janet and Agnes were born after David.
  • 34. The Home There was neither hot nor cold running water in the tenement building and David had to walk many times a day down the tightly curved, brick staircase to fetch water from the pump in the yard, and heave it back up the stairs and along the corridor of the 3rd floor to their room.
  • 35. The Livingstone's shared their tenement with 24 other families. At night mattresses were pulled out from under the parents bed which was set into a recess in the wall.
  • 36. Privacy was non-existent and the family cooked, ate, sewed, studied and slept in that single room.
  • 37. A Passion for Reading David Livingstone borrowed extensively from the local library, particularly books on travel and science.
  • 38. William Wilberforce's Practical Christianity had a major impact on his life
  • 39. and clearly influenced his life-long crusade against the slave trade.
  • 41. The Cotton Mill At age 10, David began his full-time employment, 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, for the next 10 years at the Monteith and Company Cotton Spinning Factory.
  • 42. He was to be a piecer, to repair broken threads in spinning frames. David's day began at 5:30am every morning as the bell was rung.
  • 43. Work would begin at 6am and continue until 8pm. The workers in the cotton mill had to work in tremendous heat and humidity.
  • 44. Steamed temperatures of 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit were considered ideal for the production of thread.
  • 45. Physical Training Every day David would have to walk an average of 34km, much of this in a crawling or stooping position, amongst and under the machinery, or balancing over it.
  • 46. One can imagine what tremendous physical training this was for his later transcontinental expeditions throughout Africa.
  • 47. Piecers received constant beatings from their supervisors to keep them moving through such long shifts, despite fatigue and exhaustion.
  • 48. Hunger for Knowledge Yet, David used his first week's wages to purchase Ruddiman's Rudiments of Latin.
  • 49. David managed to read in the factory by balancing his book on a portion of the spinning jenny so that he could catch sentence after sentence as he rushed by at his work.
  • 50. In this way he maintained fairly constant study undisturbed by the roar of the machinery. Less than 10% of the children who worked in the Cotton Mills ever learned to read or write.
  • 51. David not only learned to read and write, he taught himself Latin, Greek and Hebrew. After work, he would attend a night school, 8pm to 10pm.
  • 52. Then he returned home to study, often until midnight. His mother frequently had to take his books away before he would go to sleep.
  • 53. Conversion At age 12, David Livingstone came under intense conviction of sin and experienced a radical conversion to Christ.
  • 54. He wrote: "In the glow of love that Christianity inspired, I resolved to devote my life to the alleviation of human misery."
  • 55. He wrote: "That the Salvation of men ought to be the chief desire and aim of every Christian."
  • 56. He made a resolution that he would give to the cause of Missions all that he might earn beyond what was required for his subsistence.
  • 57. Perseverance At age 13, he attended an extra Latin class. When all the other students gave up, he alone remained in the class and the school teacher cancelled the lessons, not seeing the overzealous son of a tea merchant as worthy of his attention. David continued to learn Latin on his own.
  • 58. The Grandfather David's grandfather, Neil Livingstone Senior, also had an impact on the upbringing of David. He had been a tenant farmer on the island of Ulva, off the West coast of Scotland.
  • 59. He was evicted by the English to open up the area for a vast sheep farm.
  • 60. He passed on what he had heard from his grandfather: "I have searched most carefully through all the traditions of our family, and I never could discover that there was a dishonest man among your forefathers.
  • 61. If therefore any of you, or any of your children, should take to dishonest ways, it will not be because it runs in our blood… I leave this precept with you; be honest!"
  • 62. Thomas Burke Another man who influenced David Livingstone was Thomas Burke, an old soldier who would ring his bell to shatter the peace and quiet of Blantyre every Sunday morning to rouse the people to attend his early morning Prayer meeting.
  • 63. Burke was abrupt, direct and challenging. The Livingstone family faithfully supported him.
  • 64. David Hogg Another man who impressed David Livingstone was David Hogg, who from his deathbed challenged the young boy: "Now lad! Make religion the everyday business of your life and not a thing of fits and starts; for if you do not, temptation and other things will get the better of you!"
  • 65. The Free Church 1832 was a special watershed year for the Livingstone family. Neil Livingstone, dissatisfied with the spiritual life of the Church of Scotland, changed his church membership to the Free Church.
  • 66. This required the Livingstones to walk to Hamilton, a nearby village for their Sunday worship services.
  • 67. Although they received many invitations to dine with families of the congregation, they chose to carry their own food and not impose upon the limited resources of the other families of the congregation, which they knew were also struggling financially.
  • 68. After Sunday lunch, the Livingstone family were treated to their one luxury, a barley sweet each.
  • 69. Setting the Captives Free The Free Church in Hamilton were strong supporters of Missions.
  • 70. In 1833, William Wilberforce's lifelong crusade against slavery was successful. Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire, by an act of Parliament.
  • 71. This inspired ever greater vision for Missions. Those who had been freed from physical slavery, now needed to be freed from spiritual slavery.
  • 72. Missionaries were needed to go to the ends of the earth!
  • 73. Revival Fires Books and tracts from the Revival movement sweeping America reached Scotland and created much excitement and deepening of spiritual life and vision.
  • 74. David Livingstone received a pamphlet written by Karl Gutzlaff, of the Netherlands Missionary Society.
  • 75. In it Gutzlaff appealed for medical missionaries to go to China. David was inspired at how a medical missionary could be much more effective in converting the lost.
  • 76. He had learned enough Latin to be able to understand most medical terms. He was remarkably well read and easily would pass the University entrance requirements. His chief obstacle would be lack of finances.
  • 77. University Through great determination, he saved most of his money during the next 18 months to be able to put himself through Medical school and Theological College.
  • 78. At the age of 23, David set out on foot to begin his Theological and medical studies in Glasgow. From 1836 to 1838, he benefited from the best Theological and medical training available at that time.
  • 79. Each weekend he would walk back home to Blantyre. Although he was frequently offered lifts in a horse and cart, David would refuse, preferring the long walk, often in the snow, in order to strengthen his muscles for his career in Missions.
  • 80. London Missionary Society In his second year at college, David applied to the London Missionary Society. David's Father was concerned that his son's application had omitted important facts.
  • 81. Therefore without David's knowledge, Neil Livingstone wrote to the LMS Board informing them of his son's diligence in attending lectures, refusing offers of a lift to town,
  • 82. his refusals of secure teaching posts offered, of his early quest for Latin proficiency and of his hard work, sacrificial lifestyle and dedication to study.
  • 83. Marriage Concerns In response to the question on whether he was married or engaged, David wrote: "unmarried; under no engagement relating to marriage, never made proposals of marriage, nor conducted myself so to any woman as to cause her to suspect that I intended anything related to marriage;
  • 84. and so far as my present wishes are concerned, I should prefer going out unmarried, that I might be without that care which the concerns of a family necessarily induce and give myself wholly to the work."
  • 85. Probation Eight months after his application, David was finally invited to London, 30 August 1838, for an interview.
  • 86. After a second interview in September, the Directors accepted Livingstone on probation.
  • 87. He was placed under the mentorship of Rev. Richard Cecil who described David as having: "sense and quiet vigour; whose temper is good and his character substantial."
  • 88. Failure However, at his first preaching opportunity, David froze in the pulpit and abruptly declared: "Friends, I have forgotten all I have to say!“ and hurried out of the pulpit.
  • 89. The Directors of the London Missionary Society seriously considered rejecting his candidacy.
  • 90. However, a wise man pleaded hard that his probation should be extended and at future preaching engagements, he proved himself a capable and energetic communicator.
  • 91. Integrity One lady in Ongar, wrote of David Livingstone: "I never knew anyone who gave me more the idea of power over other men, such power as our Saviour showed while on earth, the power of love and purity combined."
  • 92. Uncommon Christians During his studies, David wrote to his sisters, urging them: "to seek to be uncommon Christians, that is eminently holy and devoted servants of the most High…
  • 93. let us seek - and with the conviction that we cannot do without it - that selfishness be extirpated, pride banished, unbelief driven from the mind,
  • 94. every idol dethroned, and everything hostile to holiness and opposed to the Divine Will crucified; that Holiness to the Lord may be engraved on the heart, and evermore characterise our whole conduct.
  • 95. This is what we ought to strive after; this is the way to be happy; this is what our Saviour loves - entire surrender of heart. May He enable us by His Spirit to persevere until we attain it!"
  • 96. Focused on God’s Kingdom It was noted that David earnestly sought first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. He steadfastly sought the Lord's will for his life and he persevered through every problem.
  • 97. David Livingstone was described as an idealist, an eccentric bookworm loner. He took his task and calling most seriously. Whatever he did he performed thoroughly.
  • 98. His character was uncompromising. He was inflexible in his adherence to His Word.
  • 99. Knowledgeable Dr. Risdon Bennet, of the Royal College of Physicians described David Livingstone as: "Pure and noble… simple, modest, unassuming and self-reliant…"
  • 100. Dr. Bennet wrote that he was "struck with the amount of knowledge that Livingstone had already acquired of those subjects which constituted the foundation of medical science…"
  • 101. Redirected to Africa David Livingstone's plans to be a medical missionary to China was frustrated when the Opium war erupted. The LMS declared China closed.
  • 102. It was at that opportune time that LMS Missionary Robert Moffat conducted speaking engagements in London.
  • 103. He inspired David Livingstone as he spoke of: "The smoke of a thousand villages where no Missionary has ever been." David switched his focus from Asia to Africa.
  • 104. Crusade Against Slavery While attending a meeting of the Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and for the Civilisation of Africa, in Exeter Hall, on 1 June 1840,
  • 105. Livingstone heard Thomas Foxwell Buxton speak of the Importance of Commerce and Christianity to defeat the slave trade in Africa.
  • 106. Africans would only be delivered from the slave trade when they had an alternative to selling their own people to pay for the beads, cloth, guns and trinkets that they coveted.
  • 107. Doctorate During his final medical exams, David Livingstone argued with the Board who were not convinced about the usefulness of the stethoscope.
  • 108. Despite Livingstone's unorthodox views, he qualified with a Licentiate of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, November 1840.
  • 109. Departure On a bleak November morning, 1840, the Livingstone family rose at 5am and the 27 year old David read Psalm 121 to his family. He then read Psalm 135.
  • 110. The family bowed in prayer and then Neil walked his son to the Glasgow docks and saw his son embark on his great African adventure.
  • 111. Ordained On 20 November 1840, David Livingstone was ordained as a Missionary in the Albion Street Chapel. On 8 December, he set sail in the George for Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 112. Against All Odds David had experienced little childhood or adolescence. In his upbringing he had little, or no play, or recreation.
  • 113. Against all odds, he had already achieved far more than would have been thought humanly possible for someone born into such a poverty stricken and disadvantaged background.
  • 114. To achieve what he had, Livingstone had had to be decisive, goal-orientated and inflexible.
  • 115. As time went on, he became less and less flexible and showed little or no time for those with lower standards of devotion to Christ and His Great Commission.
  • 116. Let the Earth Hear His Voice To those who said that the work at home must be completed thoroughly before any Missions be engaged in abroad, Livingstone responded: "All men have the right to hear God's Word. No nation ought to hoard the Gospel like a miser!"
  • 117. Through Tempestuous Seas Livingstone described his three month journey to Cape Town: "Our little vessel went reeling and staggering over the waves as if she had been drunk.
  • 118. Our trunks perpetually breaking from their lashings, were tossed from one side of the cabin to the other,
  • 119. …huddled together in glorious confusion… imagine if you can a ship in a fit of epilepsy."
  • 120. David befriended Captain Donaldson and learnt all that he could concerning the quadrant and the sextant, frequently staying up until past midnight
  • 121. to take lunar observations and work out directions using the stars.
  • 122. As the ship rocked and reeled over the perilous seas, Livingstone studied Theology. Finally a raging storm split the foremast of the ship and they had to put into Rio de Janeiro to have it repaired.
  • 123. Ministry in Brazil David described battling profusely to refuse bottles of liquor that were offered to him from all sides in Brazil.
  • 124. The Brazilians expressed shock that any Englishman should refuse alcohol, for many of his fellow countrymen and seamen had continually disgraced themselves in the streets of Rio by intoxication.
  • 125. David handed out Gospel tracts at the notorious Waterfront Bar and narrowly escaped with his life as 20 drunk, angry sailors assaulted him.
  • 126. He engaged in ministry at the local hospital and witnessed raging drunken delirium. He shared the Gospel with a dying French sailor and urged him to trust in Christ alone for eternal Salvation.
  • 127. The Cape of Good Hope On 17 March 1841, Livingstone sighted the majestic Table Mountain as the George edged into Table Bay.
  • 128. Thus began one of the most incredible Missionary careers of the best friend Africa ever had.
  • 145. “He will rule from sea to sea.” Psalm 72:8 1: Christ shall have dominion over land and sea, earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be; they that wilds inhabit shall their worship bring, kings shall render tribute, nations serve our King. Christ shall have dominion, over land and sea earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be Christ Shall Have Dominion
  • 146. 2: When the needy seek Him, He will mercy show; yea, the weak and helpless shall his pity know; He will surely save them from oppression’s might, For their lives are precious in his Holy sight. Christ shall have dominion, over land and sea earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be
  • 147. 3: Ever and forever shall His Name endure, Long as suns continue it shall stand secure; And in Him forever all men shall be blest, And all nations hail Him King of Kings confessed. Christ shall have dominion, over land and sea earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be
  • 148. 4: Unto God Almighty, joyful Zion sings, He alone is glorious, doing wondrous things; Evermore, ye people, bless His glorious Name, His eternal glory through the earth proclaim. Christ shall have dominion, over land and sea earth’s remotest regions shall His empire be
  • 153. Frontline Fellowship PO Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa E-mail: admin@frontline.org.za Web: www.frontline.org.za