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REVISED BY THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLICATION.
AMERICAN SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
13ntered according to the oct of Congress in the year
1831, by PAUL Beck, Jr. Treasurer, in trust for the American
Sunday School Union, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
This volume has been principally compiled from the tenth English edition of the Memoirs of MR. MARTYN, by the REv. JoHN SARGENT.
The author of the present publication has endeavoured to present his subject in a manner which may not mislead the young, in forming their estimate of Christian character, and to propose the humble missionary, as an imitable example, rather than an object of vague and curious admiration. To effect this design, he has avoided, as much as possible, the use of terms of personal eulogy; in hopes that the perusal of the biography will leave upon the youthful reader a deeper impression of the indispensable need of Divine power, to enable any creature to lead a useful and holy life. Children are taught, at least by implication, to believe, that the eminent instances of piety and zeal, which are recorded both in sacred and ordinary history, are exceptions to the joctrine of Christ, who directed his disciples to say—even after they should
have done “all those things which were com: 3
manded--we are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was
our duty to do.” This course is likely not only to create an illusion which more mature knowledge will but imperfectly dissipate, but to diminish the splendor of the single example of perfect righteousness which has blessed our world. Its tendency, moreover, is to foster that hidden corruption of religious vanity in the heart of the young Christian, which usually needs no extraneous aid to assist it in impeding the growth of grace.
It would seem, that the Memoirs of a Christian should be rather adapted to instruct the living, than to applaud the dead ; and it is surprising that so few works of the kind are extant, prepared with evangelical discrimination. It is especially important that this principle should be regarded in biographies designed for pupils in Sunday schools. and it would be a new honor to the institution, if the productions in this department, which claim their patronage, should be marked by this rare moral distinction.