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William Garden Blaikie
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about The Personal Life of David Livingstone.

CHAPTER XXIII.

POSTHUMOUS INFLUENCE.

History of his life not completed at his death—­Thrilling effect of the tragedy of Ilala—­Livingstone’s influence on the slave-trade—­His letters from Manyuema—­Sir Bartle Frere’s mission to Zanzibar—­Successful efforts of Dr. Kirk with Sultan of Zanzibar—­The land route—­The sea route—­Slave-trade declared illegal—­Egypt—­The Soudan—­Colonel Gordon—­Conventions with Turkey—­King Mtesa of Uganda—­Nyassa district—­Introduction of lawful commerce—­Various commercial enterprises in progress—­Influence of Livingstone on exploration—­Enterprise of newspapers—­Exploring undertakings of various nations—­Livingstone’s personal service to science—­His hard work in science the cause of respect—­His influence on missionary enterprise—­Livingstonia—­Dr. Stewart.—­Mr. E.D.  Young—­Blantyre—­The Universities Mission under Bishop Steere—­Its return to the mainland and to Nyassa district—­Church Missionary Society at Nyanza—­London Missionary Society at Tanganyika—­French, Inland, Baptist, and American missions—­Medical missions—­The Fisk Livingstone hall—­Livingstone’s great legacy to Africa, a spotless Christian name and character—­Honors of the future.

The heart of David Livingstone was laid under the mvula-tree in Ilala, and his bones in Westminster Abbey; but his spirit marched on.  The history of his life is not completed with the record of his death.  The continual cry of his heart to be permitted to finish his work was answered, answered thoroughly, though not in the way he thought of.  The thrill that went through the civilized world when his death and all its touching circumstances became known, did more for Africa than he could have done had he completed his task and spent years in this country following it up.  From the worn-out figure kneeling at the bedside in the hut in Ilala an electric spark seemed to fly, quickening hearts on every side.  The statesman felt it; it put new vigor into the despatches he wrote and the measures he devised with regard to the slave-trade.  The merchant felt it, and began to plan in earnest how to traverse the continent with roads and railways, and open it to commerce from shore to centre.  The explorer felt it, and started with high purpose on new scenes of unknown danger.  The missionary felt it,—­felt it a reproof of past languor and unbelief, and found himself lifted up to a higher level of faith and devotion.  No parliament of philanthropy was held; but the verdict was as unanimous and as hearty as if the Christian world had met and passed the resolution—­“Livingstone’s work shall not die:  AFRICA SHALL LIVE.”

A rapid glance at the progress of events during the seven years that have elapsed since the death of Livingstone will show best what influence he wielded after his death.  Whether we consider the steps that have been taken to suppress the slave-trade, the progress of commercial undertakings, the successful journeys of explorers stimulated by his example who have gone from shore to shore, or the new enterprises of the various missionary bodies, carried out by agents with somewhat of Livingstone’s spirit, we shall see what a wonderful revolution he effected,—­how entirely he changed the prospects of Africa.

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