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PREFACE. 9023-35 30953
T the conclusion of a second volume, the pub
lisher is happy to announce to his readers the progrels of the missionary spirit, and the extension of the benevolent plans which it has produced.
Among those in whom it was first awakened, he observes no abatement of the union, the zeal, and liberality which it' inspired. Many who formerly were indifferent to their plans, have warmly engaged in the support of them; and not a few who had condemned the whole work, as premature and enthusiastic, have since acknowledged the divine agency in it.
It must be confessed that many difficulties, which were not foreseen, have occurred; some of the most promising plans have been disconcerted, and the most flattering hopes disappointed. By these events superficial observers of the divine dealings have been discouraged, and the faith, as well as patience, of the strongest be. lievers tried. But of what importance is the capture of a ship, the alarm and flight of a few missionaries, or the fruitless expense of a whole voyage, compáred with the “ trial of faith; being much more precious than of gold that perisheth?”
If the Duff has been captured, in that event God hath discovered to the missionaries, and to all who have read the history of their treatment, his faithfulness to his promises, and his power to protect his people and to controul the hearts of their enemies. If the flattering prospect in the South Seas has not been realized, still a beginning has been inade, the good feed has been sown, a few remain to cultivate it, and the disappointment, if such it may be called, has issued in a more extensive decla--' ration of the gospel in New-Holland. If one mission to the interior of Africa has failed, another in the south of it promises great success; and a new society has been established in London, for “ miffions to Africa and the
hal Singh sr
east,” by members of the established church of England. Although it had long been supposed that the cast of the Hindoos opposed an inseparable bar to their conversion; yet, from the Baptist miffionaries who labour among them, very pleasing intelligence has lately been received. Through their united labours, the New Testament has been translated into the prevailing language of that country, and a part, perhaps by this time the whole of it, is printed. Provision is also now making for a tranflation of the scriptures into the Chinese language, which will give them access to millions who are perishing for lack of knowledge,
The cultivation of the missionary spirit in Britain has contributed to its origin or revival in other parts of Europe and America. On the very theatre of war,
and amidst all the horrors of political distraction, in Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands, compassion for the perishing heathen has, in an unusual degree, manifested itself. Besides four societies instituted with the express design of carrying the gospel to the Indians, almost every religious denomination in this country has made some efforts for their conversion, as well as for the instruction of our frontier settlements.
In tracing the progress of the missionary spirit, the extensive, the persevering and successful labours of the United Brethren should not be forgotten. Taking the lead of all other denominations since the reformation, in this important work, they have not in the least remitted their exertions, but derived new vigour from the activity of others. On the whole, it is manifest, that a compassion for the poor heathen is increasing, and the plans prompted by it daily becoming more extensive and successful; the cloud which a few years ago was but as a man's hand, is rapidly overspreading the heavens.
The attention of the christian church, in every part of the world, to this subject, instead of diminishing, is remarkably kept up. The number of periodical publications, to which the revival of the missionary spirit gave rise, has greatly increased. Besides those which are printed in Germany and the Netherlands, upwards of 30,000 numbers are circulated every month in GreatBritain. Since the commencement of this magazine, another, conducted in a very able manner, has obtained a very extensive circulation in this country, and except what arises from the very nature of periodical publications, there has been little diminution of that support which the publisher of this work has heretofore acknowledged to an indulgent public.
As earnestly as ever engaged to merit the countenance of his readers, he solicits the aid of their communications as well as of their punctual contributions, and engages, while they continue their support, to carry on the work as far as possible, in conformity with the conditions under which it commenced, except in the period of publication, which will be the commencement of each month, instead of every two inonths. To this he has been induced by the counsel of his friends, and the defire of making more frequent communications of religious intelligence, which becomes daily more interesting.
The friends of this work are again urged to communicate such materials and articles of intelligence as may be suitable for insertion. Short elucidations of fundamental doctrines, facred criticisın, reviews of religious publications, every thing that inay have a tendency to counteract the pernicious influence of error; anecdotes, remarkable providences, experience of dying christians, well authenticated biography of faithful ministers and eminent saints, incidents respecting the ordination and settlement of ministers, the organization of congregations, and accounts of the revival of religion in particular congregations or districts: with the information upon these subjects which many have it in their power to afford, it is hoped that this work will contribute both to the entertainment and instruction of christians, while it cannot but offer to them continual inducements to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
New-York, Nov. I, 1801.
181, 252, 348
381 Elliot, memoirs of Rev. Mr. .151
146 Experience of J. M. 459
Farmer's brother's address
8 Fuller, Rev. A. letter from 480
17, 89 Gospel its own Witness,
34 Gentiles, first fruits of Ame-
167, 245 Huntington, awakening at 147
479 Haweis, Rev.Dr, letter from 400
477 Massachusetts missionary so-
58, 64 Quebec, intelligence from 477
398 Sheriff, Rev. Francis, me-
8 Scripture images, an essay on 93
118 Sabbath, on the observance