David Livingstone on Missionary Qualifications

25 years ago I was researching some missions history and came across this quote from Dr. David Livingstone in an 1882 edition of The Regions Beyond magazine/missions journal. Here's what he wrote about missionary qualifications. How much we need this quality in missionaries, even today!


Missionaries ought to be highly qualified in every respect;

good education, good sense, and good temper are indispensable. ...

A sound mind and a sound body, independence of character,

strength of judgment, aptitude both to learn and to teach, are of great consequence.

An ability to acquire and retain languages;

tact in managing others, so as to conciliate and yet to retain proper dignity and self-respect are of great importance.

There should also be an intrepid spirit of enterprise, decision,

cool courage to meet sudden emergencies and to overcome dangers,

gentleness, powers of endurance, and temperance.

We want our best, most able, and greatest men to do the highest and most important of all work, making known Christ's gospel where it has not been hitherto heard.

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