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Mary Moffat: Excerpts from Letters

Mary MoffatRobert Moffat when speaking of her letters, said:—

"Into whatever letter I glance there is the transcript of a soul sympathising with, and yearning to serve, the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom."

From Mrs. Moffat to her brother:—

"Before I bade adieu to home, with all its delights, I calculated upon a life of hardships, toil, shame, and reproach, and now my soul can bid it welcome for the sake of Christ."

Writing from South Africa to her father and mother:—

"You can hardly conceive how I feel when I sit in the house of God, surrounded by the natives; though my situation may be despicable, and mean indeed, in the eyes of the world, I feel an honour conferred upon me which the highest of the kings of the earth could not have done me; and add to this, seeing my dear husband panting for the salvation of the people with unabated ardour, firmly resolving to direct every talent which GOD has given him to their good and His glory. I am happy, remarkably happy, though the present place of my habitation is a single vestry-room, with a mud wall and a mud floor. It is true our sorrows and cares we must have, and, in a degree, have them now from existing circumstances at the station; but is it not our happiness to suffer in this cause?"

Mrs. Moffat's unshaken faith:—

"The darkness was long and gloomy beyond compare, but there was no wavering of faith. There were times, indeed, when the brethren Hamilton and Moffat were cast down, and disposed to cry with the prophet, 'Who hath believed our report?' and to ask, 'Is this the right path?' But there was one member of the mission, weak in body but strong in faith, who never faltered. She would but fall back on the promises of the unchangeable God, and say, 'We may not live to see it, but the awakening will come, as surely as the sun will rise to-morrow.'"

In a time of suspense, when writing to her husband, she said:—

"For my own part I do not experience less support on this occasion than on former ones, believing that He who has hitherto been so gracious to us will yet be so, notwithstanding our unfaithfulness to Him. I again assert that I never trusted God in vain, but had often suffered loss by my distrust and unbelief. I do, however, feel it necessary to prepare my heart for further trials, as I have always done under our separations, anticipating at times the most painful occurrences, and have frequently found that such anticipations are a means of deepening a sense of the divine goodness when we were again permitted to meet."

From a letter to her son:—

"In those lone hours I had many meditations, as a matter of course, and I did then fondly hope that the sacrifice I had made was acceptable to my LORD and Master; but little did I think that you, my dear son, would so many years afterwards have your name lisped by those rude barbarians as their missionary. But so it is, and may you and dear E. have grace to persevere with your colleagues till you see the influences of the HOLY SPIRIT descending upon those poor, ignorant men and women, till of such stones God does raise up children unto Abraham. Wonders and miracles of grace are being wrought in all parts of the world where the light of the Word has reached, and why not among the Matebele? Almighty power is needful to enlighten the most polished, as well as those who have not one theological idea, and the Saviour has said: 'All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.' Why, then, should we doubt? You may all have much to suffer; many, many privations to endure, and great sacrifices to make; but nothing is so calculated to quiet our spirits under such trials as to remember what Jesus forsook for us, and what He endured through life from poverty and shame, independent of the sacrifice of the cross. His was all for poor, perishing worms; while we are but worms, doing what we can for fellow-worms. Have good courage. We can never stoop as the Saviour did—He, the mighty God. Many modern missionaries have suffered as much as you may be called to do, but what glorious fruits do we now see!"


Copied for WholesomeWords.org from The Evangelisation of the World: A Missionary Band... 2nd ed. London: Morgan & Scott, [1885?].

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