Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Beautiful Land; A Needy People

A selection from a letter by missionary and doctor to Africa, David Livingstone, to J. H. Parker of Homerton College, London. Livingstone had gone to Mabotsa, and area near where another missionary, Robert Moffat, had been. He gives a description of the lovely countryside but comments on the spiritual condition of the people. The letter was written May 11, 1844.

We came here in Feb last and have fairly made a commencement among the Bakhatla. Our cottage is built about 30 miles North West of what is called the Kurechane. We are in a delightful part of the country. Mr. Moffat's description of the region to the East of us answers in almost every respect to our locality. We have fine scenery, the vegetation luxuriant – the mountains covered with trees (many of them evergreens) to their very summits and abundance of excellent water. But when we think of its moral aspect it is as yet a land of darkness – a {vast} howling wilderness which has never yielded any of those fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father.

This letter is found in a collection of Livingstone's letters now online at

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