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THE MARRIAGE OF DAVID LIVINGSTONE

A few years ago Doreen Moore wrote a gem of a book entitled Good Christians, Good Husbands? It deals with three marriages: one ugly, one so-so and one great. The ugly one was that of John Wesley and Molly Vazeille—a terrible marriage, much of it Wesley’s fault. The so-so was the marriage of George Whitefield and his wife Elizabeth James—he really married to have a housekeeper! Then there was the sparkling “uncommon union” of Jonathan Edwards and Sarah Pierpont. Wow what a marriage!

Thought of this as I read the following “Friday rambling” of Tim Challies:

“I read a biography of David Livingstone this week and drew out a couple of quotes. The first is taken from a letter he wrote to a friend in which he described his fiancee (soon to be his wife). He described her as “not a romantic. Mine is a matter of fact lady, a little thick black haired girl, sturdy and all I want.” I guess it’s a good thing she was not a romantic for clearly Livingstone was not either!” (Friday Ramblings).

Of course, some might say it was a good thing for Livingstone’s intended that she was not a romantic, since he thought of nothing of prolonged peregrinations in Africa without her. Personally, I think such men should not get married—they only bring disrepute on the holy institution. There must be fire and passion, or why get married?

Michael

On reading the comment about David Livingstone's wife I could not help but think of Mary the wife of the Puritan Christopher Love. The endeavours of Mary in exhorting her husband, as he awaited execution, to remain steadfast in his reliance upon Christ shows a spirit of godliness that of the highest excellency.

Livingstone is an interesting case. It seems that he really did love his wife and he deeply mourned her death. Yet he was willing to leave her for years at a time (up to 4 years!) and pretty well deserted his children. I would tend to agree that such a man should not have married in the first place!

Tim

Was Livingstone's love of the qaulity of Ephesians 5? It would be interesting to know what happened to his children and what they thought of their dad.

Jimmy:

Thanks for the item on Mary Love. Yes, of a remarkable quality. Hope you are well, brother--goodto ehar from you. I hope to see you in the new year.

Michael.

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