Wesleyan Methodist Magazine,  3rd ser. 4 (1825), iii–iv.






Travel, Exploration, Amusement, Education, Christianity, Ethnography, Race, Human Species

    Relates that, under John Wesley, the magazine contained a considerable portion of 'Extracts from Books of Voyages and Travels'. Reflects: 'after his example, we have given greater prominence, than in some former volumes, to the same species of literature'. Observes that the selections have been made from recent publications, with the objectives of instruction and entertainment. Defends the inclusion of such material in a 'professedly religious miscellany' on the grounds that it gives a 'varied exhibition of the human character' and that 'these displays of savage or half civilized life' are connected with 'Missionary efforts'. (iii) Considers that British travel narratives are more accurate now than those in fashion at the end of the eighteenth century, since 'religious principles are at present more generally diffused among all classes of the community; and men of education are consequently less under the temptation to represent human savages as "innocent and unsophisticated beings", "perfect models of the men who lived under the golden age", as described by the ancient poets'. Relates that such views were formerly expressed by French savans and by infidels of other nations. Considers that accounts of the 'frivolous' or 'disgusting' conduct and morals of 'heathen tribes' is useful for Christian missions. Welcomes the fact that recent British travellers, 'whether naval, military, or scientific, often conclude their interesting narratives, by recommending the savage tribes whom they have happened to visit, to the favourable attention of those religious and charitable Institutions which have for their object the conversion of the world'. (iv)

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