The last part of the letter is a description of Lake Nyassa, and a statement of its importance for purposes of civilization and Christianity.
The News of the Churches was projected in 1854 by the late Rev. Andrew Cameron, D.D., and the present writer, and conducted by them for a time; in 1862 it was in the hands of the Rev. Gavin Carlyle, now of Ealing.
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QUILIMANE, 23_d May_, 1856.
THE REV. DR. TIDMAN.
DEAR SIR,—Having by the good providence of our Heavenly Father reached this village on the 20th curt., I was pleased to find a silence of more than four years broken by your letter of the 24th August, 1855. I found, also, that H.M.’s brigatine “Dart” had called at this port several times in order to offer me a passage homeward, but on the last occason in which this most friendly act was performed, her commander, with an officer of marines and five seamen, were unfortunately lost on the very dangerous bar at the mouth of the Quilimane River. This sad event threw a cold shade over all the joy I might otherwise have experienced on reaching the Eastern Coast. I felt as if it would have been easier for me to have died for them than to bear the thought of so many being cut off from all the joys of life in generously attempting to render me a service. As there is no regular means of proceeding from this to the Cape, I remain here in the hope of meeting another cruiser, which the kindness of Commodore Trotter has led me to expect, in preference to going by a small Arab or Portuguese trading vessel to some point on the “overland route to India.” And though I may possibly reach you as soon as a letter, it appears advisable to state in writing my thoughts respecting one or two very important points in your communication.
Accompanied by many kind expressions of approbation, which I highly value on account of having emanated from a body of men whose sole object in undertaking the responsibility and labor of the Direction must have been a sincere desire to promote the interests of the kingdom of our Lord among the heathen, I find the intimation that the Directors are restricted in their power of aiding plans connected only remotely with the spread of the gospel. And it is added, also, that even though certain very formidable obstacles should prove surmountable, the “financial circumstances of the Society are not such as to afford any ground of hope that it would be, within any definite period, in a position to enter upon untried, remote, and difficult fields of labor.”