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TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
THE intelligent writer of the LETTERS ON MISSIONS, which compose the principal part of this volume, is under the direction of the London Missionary Society, and is already known to the American reader as the author of an interesting work, entitled, 'Memoir of the late Mrs. Paterson, wife of the Rev. Dr. Paterson, of St. Petersburg,'-from the press of the publishers of this volume. He spent a part of the years 1818 and 1819, in the family of Dr. Paterson, at St. Petersburg, acquiring the Russ language. He then proceeded with his associate, Mr. Yuille, to the field of their missionary labors in Siberia. The Russian government, with a liberal policy, granted a full sanction of their
object, with an assurance of its special protection, and with commendatory letters to the local authorities, and a free passport for horses and postillions through the whole of their long journey. They were more than two months on the road. Making the seat of their mission at Selenginsk, among the worshippers of the Grand Lama, they immediately began to translate the Scriptures into the Buriat-Mongolian tongue, which they completed in the year 1828, with the help of Mr. Stallybrass, who had joined them some time before.
The three brethren then resolved, with commendable disinterestedness, to occupy each a separate post, in order more effectually to promote the object of their mission. Mr. Yuille remained at Selenginsk; Mr. Stallybrass removed to a place called Khodon, in the territory inhabited by the Chorin-Buriats; and Mr. Swan, the author of these letters, commenced a residence on the river Ona, where he is supposed still to remain. The letters, however, must have been written before his removal from Selenginsk.
The Directors of the London Missionary Society thus speak of Mr. Swan's letters, in
their Report for the year ending May, 1829:"Mr. Swan sent to England for publication, some time ago, a small volume of Letters on Missions, which has been carried through the press by the Secretary, and which, on account of its tendency to promote the cause of missions, the Directors beg most cordially to recommend to the attention of the Society, and of all the friends of missions."
Mr. Swan's style is simple, perspicuous, and earnest; and he has performed a work which was greatly needed, in a very satisfactory manNative good sense, enlightened by experience, reflection, and piety, is seen in every one of his pages, and his work is commended to the serious perusal of students in theology, of preachers of the Gospel, and indeed of all the professed disciples of Jesus Christ. If read with a proper spirit, it will not fail to throw new light on the path of their duty; and it is one of the few books, concerning which we may venture to say, that aspirants for the sacred ministry ought by all means to read it, before they determine to spend their lives among the churches, or even the waste-places, of their own country.
As the "New Model for Christian Missions" has been republished in the United States, Mr. Orme's Introduction has a greater importance, than would otherwise be attached to it. Yet it will be found interesting and instructive, and well deserving of an attentive perusal, even by those who have not read the Essay, which it is chiefly designed to controvert. The mind of Mr. Orme was vigorous and well regulated; and though the church of Christ has been called to lament his decease since the publication of this volume, he will long continue to speak, in England and America, by means of his "Life and Times of Richard Baxter."
Boston, Mass., March 4, 1831.