However, I Was Admitted
A Licentiate Of Faculty Of Physicians And Surgeons.
with unfeigned delight I became a member of a profession
which is pre-eminently devoted to practical benevolence,
and which with unwearied energy pursues from age to age
its endeavors to lessen human woe.
But though now qualified for my original plan, the opium war was then raging,
and it was deemed inexpedient for me to proceed to China.
I had fondly hoped to have gained access to that then closed empire
by means of the healing art; but there being no prospect of an early peace
with the Chinese, and as another inviting field was opening out
through the labors of Mr. Moffat, I was induced to turn my thoughts to Africa;
and after a more extended course of theological training in England
than I had enjoyed in Glasgow, I embarked for Africa in 1840,
and, after a voyage of three months, reached Cape Town.
Spending but a short time there, I started for the interior
by going round to Algoa Bay, and soon proceeded inland,
and have spent the following sixteen years of my life,
namely, from 1840 to 1856, in medical and missionary labors there
without cost to the inhabitants.
As to those literary qualifications which are acquired by habits of writing,
and which are so important to an author, my African life
has not only not been favorable to the growth of such accomplishments,
but quite the reverse; it has made composition irksome and laborious.
I think I would rather cross the African continent again
than undertake to write another book.
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