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District of Massachusetts, to wit :
District Clerk's Office. Melanie BE it remembered, that on the thirtieth day of January, S SEAL Š A. D. 1819, and in the forty third year of the indepen. rendence of the United States of America, FLAGG & GOULD
of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, viz.-" A Sketch of Missions, or History of the principal attempts to propagate Christianity among the Heathen. By MIRON WINSLOW, A. M., Missionary to Ceylon.-"And they went forth, and preached every where; the Lord working with them." In conformity to the act of the congress of the United States of America, entitled " An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned ; and also to an act, entitled, “ An act supplementary to an act, entitled, An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times cherein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of desigging: eegraving, and eiching historical and other prints."
I W DAVIS. I Clerk of the district
og of Massachusetts.
The design of the following pages will, it is hoped, be generally approved. There is an acknowledged want of information, on the subject of foreign missions, which prevents it from being clearly apprehended by the public, generally. This ignorance might be fa. vourable to a bad cause, but is a great enemy to this. While it shackles the exertions of those, who have im. bibed the spirit of missions, and prevents the diffusion of that spirit, it betrays many, who daily pray, “ Thy kingdom come,” into an undesigned opposition to the appointed means of hastening its coming. Any attempt, therefore, to correct this evil, to bring the cause fairly before the public, and let facts speak for them. selves, will be regarded with favour by the friends of missions; and even those who are indifferent to the subject, may be willing to see what missionaries have done, and to trace events in the lives of these christian heroes, which, if honourable to humanity, and not written in characters of blood, are yet rich with affecting incident; and, if they cannot put us on the torturing stretch of expectation, are capable of exciting all the pleasing varieties of hope and fear. The mere man of the world may be willing to contemplate, for a moment, human nature, in one of her loveliest, if not sublimest
forms—bearing the torch of hope, into the prison of despair; going forth in the midst of privations, dan. gers, and death, “ to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." The heart capable of impression clings to the deeds of such men as Swartz, as Brainerd, as Vanderkemp; and their memory is precious.
Concerning the plan, the writer is less sanguine. It may be thought to admit unnecessary detail. But, not to say that without particularity, the state of the heathen, the nature of the work among them, and the good effected, cannot be understood, a mere skeleton of facts would be lifeless, and destitute of interest. To ani.. mate it, must require either the flesh and colouring of circumstances and description, or such remarks and allusions as would pre-suppose an acquaintance with missionary history.
As to the manner of execution, much might be saidá The materials are drawn from the most authentic soura ces; usually the original documents of missionaries, and missionary societies. To Lord's History of missions, and Brown's History of the propagation of Chris. tianity, however, the compiler cheerfully acknowledge es himself much indebted. It will be seen, tbat, in noting facts, the language in which they were communicated, is sometimes nearly preserved. In no case has there been a studious attempt to depart from the original, when the shape of the thought could not easi. ly be conveyed in other language. The reference to authorities has been omitted where they were numerous, especially when found in the periodical works of the day, that the page might be left more fair. There is