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Had the engagements of the Rev. William Arthur allowed him to undertake the compilation of the following Memoir, the public would have received from his hand a missionary biography as instructive, if not as exciting, as The Successful Merchant. But when Mr Arthur felt constrained to decline the task, the present Editor ventured to attempt it, in the belief that, under the most ordinary treatment, the materials placed at his disposal could scarcely fail to be useful.
The circumstance that Mr Williams belonged to a branch of the evangelical church entirely distinct from his biographer's denomination, has not been felt as any embarrassment in the progress of the work. A man does not repu
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diate his birthplace when he receives the “ freedom” of other cities; and the second home which the Author has found in many a Christian community, has not lessened his affection to his own Mount Zion. On the other hand, literary trusteeship is surely consistent with ecclesiastical integrity; and that writer must be very distrustful of his own sense, or his own honesty, who is afraid that the one will interfere with the other.
For ample details regarding the Patagonian Mission, and for an account of Captain Gardiner and other members of the expedition, the reader is referred to Hope Deferred, not Lost; a Narrative of Missionary Effort in South America, by the Rev. George Pakenham Despard, Honorary Secretary of the Patagonian Missionary Society. To Mr Despard the best thanks of the Editor are due, for repeated and kind communications during the preparation of the following pages.