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COMMANDER OF THE HERMES, ON HER LATE VISIT TO NANKIN.

SEELEY, JACKSON, AND HALLIDAY, FLEET STREET :
AND B. SEELEY, HANOVER STREET.

LONDON : MDCCCLV.

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15-421649

PREFACE.

The writer has less diffidence in submitting this little work to the public, since it was suggested to him by more than one whose opinions he had just reason to value, that he ought to undertake something of the kind; and also from the consciousness, that in publishing, he sought no mere party or personal ends.

Much occupation upon objects of more pressing interest, and having more urgent claims, has prevented the continuous attention being given to the subject that it deserves. It is hoped this will be deemed a sufficient apology for many of its defects.

The object sought in this work has been fairly to state the question in respect to China's present condition and future prospects, with a view to its obtaining a candid and careful examination, such as the importance of the subject demands ;-to shew that unwise interference can neither be beneficial to us, nor our commercial interests, and would, it is more than probable, retard the progress of that country towards better things.

It has been said, that the Insurgents are students of Scripture, and anxious for the dissemination of its truths, and each new fact learnt concerning them seems to establish the truth of this statement.

The last work of theirs, received by the “Styx,” fully justifies the above, for though it is professedly only a work upon political economy, many of the ideas and sentiments set forth in it are certainly drawn from the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, and obviously by themselves ; and though these do not always agree with our general deductions from the same source, they yet establish a very important point or two;-viz., that they admit the supremacy of Scripture, and are desirous of conforming to its requirements.

Nor can their offerings to the Deity be considered an exception, even though these should be esteemed by some as more than thank-offerings, since the tendency in every age has been towards the material in this respect; in forgetfulness that “God is a Spirit, and that they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit.” If it be not the special sin of our day and generation,

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