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The Author is enabled, by the kind help of a few friends, to publish this book at a lower price than he could otherwise have done. Any profits arising from its sale will be given to Foreign Missions.
This book is longer than the writer wished to make it. Pascal once excused himself for writing a long letter by saying that he had no time to write a short
The difficulty here is not so much in the want of time as in the abundance of materials. These it is difficult to compress without making a book of dry statistics, which few would care to read. Yet some may say that much has been put in that might have been omitted. This is quite true; and the only reply is, that very much more has been left out which might have been put in.
There must be omissions in such a treatise, and there may be errors. It is hoped that the latter may be few and of little importance. From the number of Churches and Societies at work, and from the way in which they are sometimes mixed up in their working, these can hardly be avoided.
It does not seem out of place to begin with a few paragraphs concerning Jewish Missions, since St Paul writes, “To the Jew first.” Much more might have been said about the Ar
menian persecutions and their bearing on mission work. Some may think that I have said too much. But the lamentable state of Armenia, with its farreaching consequences, is one of the great questions of the day and of the immediate future.
There are still many who are sceptical in regard to missions and their results, though it may be hoped that the number of such people is rapidly decreasing. For as we read in an unpublished essay written by a young lady in connection with the scheme of the Free Church of Scotland for the Welfare of Youth, “Scepticism as to missions is sympathetic with a more ominous scepticism, which strikes at the very root of the Gospel. The best Apologetics is evangelical aggression.” And it is manifest that Churches receive blessing from God and flourish very much in proportion as they engage in such work. “ To him that hath shall be given"; the blessing comes often in the greater abundance of work and in greater capacity for doing it.
A vigorous obedience to the parting words of the Lord Jesus Christ, which the Duke of Wellington said were the marching orders of the Church, will do much more good than a large number of learned books on missions. These may commend themselves to the few, but that to the many who have not inclination or time in this busy age to read them—to the many in whose hands to a great extent lies the future of Christianity. Professor Max Müller's lectures on Missions and kindred subjects, as on other things, may be most valuable, but to the great majority they are inaccessible, and perhaps uninteresting.
Covetousness, the besetting sin of the Church and sometimes of those who make a very high profession