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PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.

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now have, in the volumes of Mr. Stewart on the Sandwich Islands, the Polynesian Researches of Mr. Ellis, and the Voyages and Travels of Messrs. Tyerman and Bennet.

The work last named has been stereotyped by the publishers of the American edition-so great is their confidence that it will come into extensive demand. Never did travellers have such opportunities and facilities, as were enjoyed by Messrs. Tyerman and Bennet, for investigating the state and prospects of missions in so many heathen countries. Never was there such a various mass of original testimony respecting missions, and fields for missionary enterprise, embodied in a single work, as there is in this. The whole seven years' travels of these excellent men were performed, also, as they were commenced, in the exercise of a spirit truly benevolent; and this trait of their characters appears to have continually increased in disinterestedness and ardor. And how conducive is such a spirit to candor and impartiality, to faithfulness and truth! The candid reader will perceive so much evidence of conscientious integrity running through these pages, that he will seldom be tempted to incredulity.

The claims of science and taste were not forgotten. The journals of these intelligent travellers abound in notices of animals, birds, and fishes, in topographical delin

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PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.

eations, and descriptions of natural scenery. But MAN is the grand subject of their inquiries, as he ought to be— in his various habitations, pursuits, relations, and prospects; and not a little of what is related concerning him is in the attractive form of anecdote.

This work is specially commended to the attention of parents and guardians, as a valuable auxiliary in their exertions to cultivate a taste for profitable reading in the youth committed to their care. Nothing less than a circumnavigation of heaven-born charity is described in these volumes; and the accomplished Author has executed his task so well, that the most cultivated minds will find pleasure and advantage in their perusal.

Boston, November, 1831. `

R. A.

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THE Missionary Society,* founded on the Catholic principle of union among Christians of various denominations, was established in the autumn of 1795. The first undertaking of its founders and patrons was to send the gospel to the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Accordingly, in the year following, the ship Duff, commanded by Captain Wilson, sailed with twenty-nine missionaries (of whom several were married, and had their wives and children with them) on board, and arrived, in March 1797, at Tahiti, then, and still, by some reputable writers, miscalled Otaheite, where the greater part of the company took up their residence. Others were settled at St. Christina and Tongatabu. For nearly seventeen years, under many adverse and discouraging circumstances, the work (thus begun) was continued with apparently little success. It afterwards pleased God, in his own good time and way, to display his power and glory among the people who there sat in darkness and the shadow of death; nor hath his word, since

* Now known by the name of the London Missionary Society, to distinguish it from similar institutions of later date, and which are confined principally to the particular bodies of Christians to which they are respectively attached.

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that time, ceased to grow and prevail: island after island has abandoned idolatry, and, while multitudes of the inhabitants have professed obedience to the faith, many have given satisfactory evidence of genuine conversion. All the principal events contributing towards this great change, or accompanying and following it, are touched upon in the volumes here submitted to the public, with sufficient clearness, it is hoped, to render any explanations unnecessary in this place.

In the year 1821, the Rev. Daniel Tyerman, of the Isle of Wight, and George Bennet, Esq. of Sheffield, were deputed by the Parent Society to visit the various stations in those uttermost parts of the sea, both for the purpose of cheering the hearts and strengthening the hands of the missionaries, and, as representatives of the Christian community at home, to witness and report what great things the Lord had done for the heathen there. The following quotations from a circular, issued by the directors, in 1820, will more particularly show their intentions in making the appointment which, at first, embraced the South Sea Islands only, though, in the sequel, it included the stations in the other quarters of the world: "The great objects of the deputation will be, to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the state of the missions, and of the islands; and to suggest, and, if possible, carry into effect, such plans as shall appear to be requisite for the furtherance of the gospel, and for introducing among the natives the occupations and habits of civilized life. In order to the attainment of these objects, it is proposed to form such arrangements as shall tend to the introduction of Christian churches; the establishment and improvements of schools for the children of the missionaries and of the natiyes, and, eventually, of

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trades; and a proper and constant attention to the cultivation of the ground."

These first objects of their appointment being fulfilled, the deputation were subsequently instructed by the directors to proceed to Java, the East Indies, &c., on a like embassy of good-will and friendly inquiry, to the numerous establishments, insular and continental, in that quarter of the world, where the Society had agents, doing the work of evangelists. These additional duties having been likewise accomplished, the deputation, under special circumstances, were authorized to survey another field of missionary labor in Madagascar, where important results might be expected from their presence at that particular time. There, however, Mr. Tyerman was suddenly removed by death; and Mr. Bennet, in consequence of a political revolution in the island, was compelled to leave it. After visiting some of the stations in South Africa, he reached England in the summer of 1829; and, as early as arrangements could be made, the work now presented to the public was undertaken.

The documents, official and private, from which these volumes have been composed, were of great bulk, and exceedingly multifarious. They consisted chiefly of a journal kept by both members of the deputation, jointly, during the first two years of their travels, and a separate one by Mr. Tyerman, continued to nearly the day of his death. Mr. Bennet subsequently furnished several interesting narratives and other valuable contributions. These materials, however, were so extensive and miscellaneous, as well as so minute, that it became the duty of the compiler, instead of abridging or condensing the mass, to recompose the whole, in such a form as should enable him to bring forth, in succession, as they occurred to the travellers themselves,

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