Robert Moffat of Kuruman, the pioneer missionary of South Africa, was born in East Lothian, [Scotland], in 1795.
In very early years serious impressions had been made upon the heart of Robert Moffat. The earnest teachings of his minister, combined with his mother's counsels and prayers, left recollections which could never be effaced. These impressions were now to be deepened, and the good seed that had been sown to be quickened.
The Wesleyan Methodists had commenced a good work at High Leigh, and a pious Methodist and his wife induced Moffat to attend some of their meetings. He became convinced of his state as a sinner, and was very unhappy, but after a severe and protracted struggle, he found pardon, justification, and peace, through faith in Christ Jesus, and henceforth his life was devoted to the service of his Lord. Energetically he threw himself into the society and work of his new friends, but by doing so lost the goodwill of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh, who were grieved that one in whom they took so much interest should have become a Methodist, so much were these good people despised by many in those days.
While at High Leigh, Robert Moffat had occasion to visit Warrington, a town about six miles distant. He set off one calm summer evening. All nature seemed at rest, and thoughts of God and a feeling of admiration for His handiworks took possession of the young man's mind. His life was reviewed, and with thoughts full of hope he entered the town. Passing over a bridge, he noticed a placard. It contained the announcement of a missionary meeting, over which the Rev. William Roby, of Manchester, was to preside. He had never seen such an announcement before. He read the placard over and over again, and, as he did so, the stories told by his mother of the Moravian missions in Greenland and Labrador, which had been forgotten for years, came vividly to mind. From that moment his choice was made; earthly prospects vanished: his one thought was, "how to become a missionary?"
After 65 years of unwearied service for his Lord, he died at Leigh in 1883, in his 88th year.
From Twice-Born Men: True Conversion Records of 100 Well-Known Men in All Ranks of Life compiled by Hy. Pickering. London: Pickering & Inglis, [193-?]
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