Missionary Travels And Researches In South Africa By David Livingstone



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The Bakalahari, who live at Motlatsa wells, have always been
very friendly to us, and listen attentively to instruction conveyed - Page 250
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The Bakalahari, Who Live At Motlatsa Wells, Have Always Been Very Friendly To Us, And Listen Attentively To Instruction Conveyed To Them In Their Own Tongue.

It is, however, difficult to give an idea to a European of the little effect teaching produces, because no

One can realize the degradation to which their minds have been sunk by centuries of barbarism and hard struggling for the necessaries of life: like most others, they listen with respect and attention, but, when we kneel down and address an unseen Being, the position and the act often appear to them so ridiculous that they can not refrain from bursting into uncontrollable laughter. After a few services they get over this tendency. I was once present when a missionary attempted to sing among a wild heathen tribe of Bechuanas, who had no music in their composition; the effect on the risible faculties of the audience was such that the tears actually ran down their cheeks. Nearly all their thoughts are directed to the supply of their bodily wants, and this has been the case with the race for ages. If asked, then, what effect the preaching of the Gospel has at the commencement on such individuals, I am unable to tell, except that some have confessed long afterward that they then first began to pray in secret. Of the effects of a long-continued course of instruction there can be no reasonable doubt, as mere nominal belief has never been considered sufficient proof of conversion by any body of missionaries; and, after the change which has been brought about by this agency, we have good reason to hope well for the future - those I have myself witnessed behaving in the manner described, when kindly treated in sickness often utter imploring words to Jesus, and I believe sometimes really do pray to him in their afflictions.

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