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TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
DUKE OF SAXE, PRINCE OF COBOURG AND GOTHA, ETC.
THE deep interest which your Royal Highness has taken in the Niger Expedition is not the only reason which prompted the Writer to aspire to the honour of your distinguished patronage. The House of Saxony is pre-eminently identified with the great Reformer; and the protection which it yielded to Luther against the power of Rome will, through all ages, redound to its honour. The force of these considerations is still farther augmented by the alliance of your Royal Highness with the British throne; for, from the commencement of the London Missionary Society, the Kings of England have been the uniform patrons of its literature. The Narrative of its First great Missionary Voyage, performed in the years 1796, 1797, and 1798, was dedicated to George III., by whose order the Voyages of Discovery were first undertaken which brought into view the numerous Islands of the Pacific Ocean. The Voyages and Travels round the World, made by a Deputation from the same Society, between the years 1821 and 1829, were inscribed to William IV. The same sovereign also graciously accepted the dedication of the Missionary Enterprises in the South Seas, by my late lamented brother, the Rev. John Williams. On these grounds I solicited the permission which your Royal Highness has so condescendingly granted, of dedicating this volume to the Illustrious Consort of the British Queen.
benefactors to that afflicted land, nothing remains but to apply the means already at our disposal. In this high enterprise of religion and humanity all may share, and it is surely worthy the combined efforts of all classes of all countries. Nor is there, I humbly conceive, any other undertaking among men so deserving the patronage of Princes and the smile of Kings. In this great work, Merchants, Politicians, Philosophers, Philanthropists, and Statesmen,-all may find an appropriate place and perform a laudable service.
To this stupendous enterprise your Royal Highness enjoys the means of rendering signal benefit. A lively interest on the part of your Royal Highness, in the different Christian Missions which have been, or which may yet be, established in Africa, would be attended with consequences of incalculable value. Of the influence which may be exerted on a whole nation by a single Prince, enlightened by Philosophy and animated by Piety, Don Henry, Duke of Viseo, the fifth son of John I., as your Royal Highness will remember, has left an illustrious example. This distinguished personage was the first royal European friend to Africa. He to whom the School of Modern Navigation owes its origin, and to whom Portugal is indebted for all the glory of her discoveries, was impelled, in all his projects, through a long life, by the spirit of Missions. His achievements in relation to Africa have immortalized his name; but a work immeasurably greater still remains to be accomplished on its behalf. The honour of this work, I would fondly hope, is reserved for my beloved country; and that the historians of future times will record that Prince Henry of Portugal found a successor and superior in Prince Albert of England.
Your Royal Highness is well aware that all methods of effecting the civilization of Africa, apart from the Gospel of Christ, have hitherto proved abortive; but it is presumed that the present Narrative will demonstrate that, in every instance where the Gospel has been introduced, it has effected a complete revolution in the character and habits of its people. Philosophy must evenMay that gracious Providence, to whose protually confess her impotence; the pride of Science tecting power the Writer owes so much, preserve be humbled; and the fact be universally acknow-your Royal Highness, and your Royal Consort, our ledged, that the Gospel of Christ is the only instru- Illustrious Queen, through many years, to promote ment which can civilize and save all kindreds and the glory of God and the welfare of mankind! nations of the earth. This has been verified by the I have the honour to remain, labours of Missionaries in South Africa, and we Your Royal Highness's have only to publish it through the length and breadth of that great Continent, in order to elevate and cheer its degraded and sorrowing inhabitants, and introduce them to the fellowship of civilized nations. To those who sincerely desire to prove
Most humble, most obliged, and
Most grateful Servant,