His desire to be a missionary to China—Medical missions—He studies at Glasgow—Classmates and teachers—He applies to London Missionary Society—His ideas of mission work—He is accepted provisionally—He goes to London—to Ongar—Reminiscences by Rev. Joseph Moore—by Mrs. Gilbert—by Rev. Isaac Taylor—Nearly rejected by the Directors—Returns to Ongar—to London—Letter to his sister—Reminiscences by Dr. Risdon Bennett—Promise to Professor Owen—Impression of his character on his friends and fellow-students—Rev. R. Moffat in England—Livingstone interested—Could not be sent to China—Is appointed to Africa—Providential links in his history—Illness—Last visits to his home—Receives Medical diploma—Parts from his family.
It was the appeal of Gutzlaff for China, as we have seen, that inspired Livingstone with the desire to be a missionary; and China was the country to which his heart turned. The noble faith and dauntless enterprise of Gutzlaff, pressing into China over obstacles apparently insurmountable, aided by his medical skill and other unusual qualifications, must have served to shape Livingstone’s ideal of a missionary, as well as to attract him to the country where Gutzlaff labored. It was so ordered, however, that in consequence of the opium war shutting China, as it seemed, to the English, his lot was not cast there; but throughout his whole life he had a peculiarly lively interest in the country that had been the object of his first love. Afterward, when his brother Charles, then in America, wrote to him that he, too, felt called to the missionary office, China was the sphere which David pointed out to him, in the hope that the door which had been closed to the one brother might be opened to the other.
When he determined to be a missionary, the only persons to whom he communicated his purpose were his minister and his parents, from all of whom he received great encouragement. He hoped that he would be able to go through the necessary preparation without help from any quarter. This was the more commendable, because in addition to the theological qualifications of a missionary, he determined to aquire those of a