Moffat, Robert, Dd
Moffat, Robert, D.D.
an eminent English missionary, was born at Inverkeithing, Fifeshire, Scotland, December 21, 1795. He was originally a gardener, and was brought up within the fold of the Secession Church, to which his parents belonged. In 1816, having resolved to become a missionary to the heathen, he offered his services to the London Missionary Society, and arriving at Cape Town in 1817, immediately proceeded beyond the boundaries of Cape Colony to Namaqualand, where he entered upon his labors at the kraal of Africaner, a chief whose name had long been a terror to the people of the neighboring districts of the colony, but who had lately become a convert to Christianity. Here Moffat labored for three or four years with great success, Christianity and civilization advancing together. But the situation being unsuitable for a principal mission-station, he travelled and labored at several stations in succession in the countries to the north and north-east of Cape Colony. His remarkable personal adventures and hairbreadth escapes in these journeys are graphically described in his work, Missionary Labors and Scenes in Southern Africa (Lond. 1842, 8vo), which he wrote and published during a visit of several years to Britain, rendered necessary by the state of his health. In America also Mr. Moffat's book made many friends for the African, and our missionary labors in that field were largely inspired by his appeals. During his stay in England Moffat also carried through the press, at the expense of the British and Foreign Evangelical Society, a version of the New Test. and the Psalms in the Bechuana language. In 1842 he returned to his labors in Africa, and continued his work there, with great success, till 1870, when he returned to Scotland. In 1873 he received a public gratuity of £5800 as a testimonial of his missionary services. He died near London, August 9, 1883. Besides the publication already mentioned, we have from him the Becuana Hymn-book (Lond. Relig. Tract Soc. 1843, 18mo). Moffat's Farewell Services were edited by Dr. Campbell, and published in 1843 (8vo). Moffat's daughter was the wife of the celebrated missionary and traveller, the late Dr. Livingstone. See Yonge, Pioneers and Founders (Lond. 1872, 12mo); Bayard: Taylor, Cyclop. of Mod. Travel (N.Y. 1856), page 561 sq.; Miss. Cyclop. (ibid. 1873, 8vo), s.v.; Christian at Work, August 16, 1883; Life and Labors (N.Y. 1883); (Lond.) Cong. Year-book, 1884, page 311.