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improvement among them without some great political and moral changes. They had made but little progress for 2 or 3,000 years, and they appeared not to possess among themselves any power for political improvement, or for making any further progress in civilization. Within a century past great political changes have taken place, and are still in progress through the agency of foreign power and conquest. In these changes the people of the United States have had no direct agency, and no responsibility. Great moral changes have also commenced, and are in progress. In these changes, many in this country have taken an important part. The first missionaries who left the United States for the heathen world, proceeded to India, and there commenced the earliest American missions. From that time India has continued to share largely in the prayers and contributions of many people in the United States. And it is believed that more knowledge of that country and its inhabitants, and of the results of the missionary enterprise and of the facilities which now exist for promoting it, would excite increasing interest in this cause.
In 1827, the writer went to India, expecting to pass his life in the missionary cause in that country. And such continued to be his purpose till the failure of his health in 1853, made it necessary for him, if he would reserve himself for any thing more in life, to return to his native country. Compelled thus to relinquish his purpose of spending his life in the foreign missionary field, he has prepared this work in the hope of exciting feelings of more interest in the foreign missionary cause, and an increasing spirit of prayer and effort for the propagation of Christianity in India, and the other countries in the south part of Asia.
D. O. A.
Boston, Oct. 1, 1855,