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VOYAGES AND TRAVELS
Rev. DANIEL TYERMAN AND GEORGE BENNET, Esq.
DEPUTED FROM THE
LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY,
TO VISIT THEIR VARIOUS STATIONS
IN THE SOUTH SEA ISLANDS, CHINA, INDIA, &c.
“Glorify ye the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea.-From the
Isaiah xxiv. 15, 16.
From the First London Edition,
BY AN AMERICAN EDITOR.
47 Washington Street.
TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
AMONG the most signal of the moral changes characterizing the present day, are those which have recently taken place in the islands of the Pacific. Ecclesiastical history describes nothing more remarkable, since the apostolic age. The facts proving the marvellous nature of these changes have come to us through so many channels, and from so many sources, that they can no longer be reasonably denied. From the most polluted and savage barbarism and the grossest paganism, whole communities have been elevated to an intelligent profession of Christianity, and to comparative civilization, purity, and comfort. And what renders the fact of this change more interesting and valuable is, that it affords conclusive proof of the efficacy of modern missions, although they have not the miraculous powers with which the first missionaries of the Christian church were endowed. The transformation is wholly the result of the
PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
divine blessing upon modern missions. Until ministers of the gospel visited the Pacific, the progress of society, in all the islands which have since been evangelized, was downward, and with a rapidity which commerce did but accelerate. Indeed, there is nothing in the history of Polynesian missions to countenance the maxim, so often quoted by theoretical men, that barbarians must be civilized before they can be Christianized. Such a process of melioration certainly was not practicable in those islands. The gospel was the only power that could reach the degradation of the inhabitants; and the gospel did reach it, and created a taste and desire in the people, which nothing else could, for the arts and conveniences of civilized life.
Authentic „ccounts of the progress of this work have been given to the world, from time to time, during the fifteen years past, in the journals and letters of missionaries, and in the official documents of missionary societies. The several histories of modern missions, also, which have been written within this period, contain summary views, particularly those of Lord, Winslow, and Jones.
To satisfy the religious community, however, and exert the highest and best influence on public sentiment, there was needed a continuous and comprehensive description of this whole field of triumphant missionary enterprise, from eyewitnesses competent to judge and testify: and such we