Monday, March 4

The Missionary Memorial [1846]

While we were in Galveston a couple of weekends ago we stopped into a little curio type shop looking for a place that might have a toy for Ian's son. In this shop they had a bookcase filled with old books. I started browsing the old books and came across one that had been rebound sometime around 1926 and the front was just the name of the school district the book had been donated to. I don't know what interested me to open up the book but I suddenly found I had in my hands a first printing of a book by the title of "The Missionary Memorial". The print date on the book is 1846. I didn't investigate any further than that but grasped the book and made my way to the cashier. 18 dollars later it was mine.

A large part of what made me grab the book was to see what the Christian populas thought about missions in 1846. The other part was that I realized I was holding a book which was 168 years old. This is a book that was as old as the Capital of Texas. When this book was published in New York in 1846 California was annexed, Texas was trying to form up, but the Mexican War had been declared. The US seperated the Northwest Territories from the Bristish, and the Mormons started west, and The Donnor party was stuck in the rockies. (Historical references) James Polk was the 11th president of the United States.

I sat down a few days ago to try and read the book, but the spine has problems and it was late at night and the light was poor. I headed to the internet and found, via, that someone has gone ahead and scanned a copy of the book, and it was available for free in PDF. I downloaded the PDF and loaded it up on my iPad and was then offered up another treasure. For some reason, in this book, there is a poem by Edgar A. Poe. This book was published three years before he died, even though the poem included was written in 1827, it also includes a poem, written the year before by J.R. Lowell entitled, "The Captive".

It's pretty crazy to think about everything this book has seen in it's 168 years. I'm eager to see what the essays, written by various Reverends and people with an interest in missions. Has 168 years done anything to the view of missions in the US? I'm excited to take a look back before so many technologies came into being and see if some of the struggles and hopes are the same or not.

A fun find. We shall see what the contents have held for me for the past 168 years!

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