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THE PROCEEDINGS AT LARGE OF THE
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions;
WITH A GENERAL VIEW SE
OTHER BENEVOLENT OPERATIONS.
FOR THE YEAR 1829,
Published at the expense of the AMERICAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR FOREIGN Missions, and
all the profits devoted to the promotion of tho missionary cause
IN commencing another volume of the Missionary Herald, the reader is presented with the following remarks taken from the conclusion of the Nineteenth Report of the Prudential Committee. To those who have not attentively considered how great an undertaking it is to give the Gospel to the world, these remarks may seem to represent the missionary work too much as a work just begun, and the churches too much as if they were just marshalling themselves for an enterprise, which, it may be thought, they have been long and vigorously prosecuting. If such should be the feeling of any one, he is requested to pause, and consider how great a portion of the inhabitants of the world have either no knowledge of the Gospel, or no such knowledge as produces a sanctifying effect on their character; and then to estimate fairly the means now in operation for the conversion of the world, and the results which have been wrought out, and, in view of both, to say whether the work is any thing more than begun.
The efforts made by Christians, within the last thirty years, to send the Gospel into the dark places of the earth, have left a deep impression extensively upon the minds of reflecting men, that the following positions are unquestionable: viz.
That the state of the heathen nations now is substantially the same, as it was in the days of the Apostles;
That, in many countries called Christian, the inventions of men and the accumulated superstitions of ignorant and corrupt ages, have utterly eclipsed the light of revelation, and reduced millions of souls very nearly to the level of absolute paganism;
That, reckoning heathens, Mabomedans, and the ignorant and superstitious in countries nominally Christian, we cannot avoid the conclusion, that more than nine tenths of the human race are without any correct knowledge of God and his government, any just views of sin, or any true apprehension of the way of salvation;
That the Gospel affords the only adequate relief for the temporal, as well as for the spiritual wants of men;
That before it can afford this relief, it must be preached, understood, and obeyed;
That wherever the Gospel is preached in simplicity, and with persevering fidelity, it is proved to be the power of God and the wisdom of God, in some who believe; VOL. XXV.