“I had imagined in my simplicity that both my preaching, conversation, and travel were as nearly connected with the spread of the gospel as the Boers would allow them to be. A plan of opening up a path from either the East or West Coast for the teeming population of the interior was submitted to the judgment of the Directors, and received their formal approbation.
“I have been seven
times in peril of my life from savage men
while laboriously and without swerving pursuing that plan,
and never doubting that I was in the path of duty.
“Indeed, so clearly did I perceive that I was performing good service to the cause of Christy that I wrote to my brother that I would perish rather than fail in my enterprise. I shall not boast of what I have done, but the wonderful mercy I have received will constrain me to follow out the work in spite of the veto of the Board.
“If it is according
to the will of God, means will be
provided from other quarters.”
A long letter to the Secretary gives a fuller statement of his views. It is so important as throwing light on his missionary consistency, that we give it in full in the Appendix.
[Footnote 47: Appendix No. III.]
The Directors showed a much more sympathetic spirit when Livingstone came among them, but meanwhile, as he tells us in his book, his old feeling of independence had returned, and it did not seem probable that he would remain in the same relation to the Society.
After Livingstone had been six weeks at Quilimane, H.M. brig “Frolic” arrived, with ample supplies for all his need, and took him to the Mauritius, where he arrived on 12th August, 1856. It was during this voyage that the lamentable insanity and suicide of his native attendant Sekwebu occurred, of which we have an account in the Missionary Travels. At the Mauritius he was the guest of General Hay, from whom he received the greatest kindness, and so rapid was his recovery from an affection of the spleen which his numerous fevers had bequeathed, that before he left the island he wrote to Commodore Trotter and other friends that he was perfectly well, and “quite ready to go back to Africa again.” This, however, was not to be just yet. In November he sailed through the Red Sea, on the homeward route. He had expected to land at Southampton, and there Mrs. Livingstone and other friends had gone to welcome him. But the perils of travel were not yet over. A serious accident befell the ship, which might have been followed by fatal results but for that good Providence that held the life of Livingstone so carefully. Writing to Mrs. Livingstone from the Bay of Tunis (27th November, 1856), he says: