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The Allegory of this book was prepared by the Author as long ago as the year 1850, and several editions were published by the firm of Charles Scribner, then established at 145 Nassau Street, but afterwards in Broadway.
It was planned and intended as the first volume in a series of works to be issued for the benefit of seamen, as a library of combined instruction and amusement for their leisure hours. It was first published under the title of A Reel in a Bottle, for Jack in the Doldrums. This was afterwards deemed too technical and exclusive, and perhaps misleading; though we believe the Rev. Dr. Tyng was so far pleased with it, that he had an edition printed and circulated at his own expense.
But when the work was republished in Great Britain, with an introduction from my very kind friend, the Rev. T. Binney, of London, the title was by him changed to that of a Voyage to the Celestial Country. Three editions have been published in America, and the work is now reissued, with some additional chapters, in the hope that it may continue to be useful to here and there a PILGRIM, whether by land or sea, from this world to that which is to come.
Many books of thrilling interest have been written, describing the innumerable perils and hardships of a sailor's life; but we have never met with one that attempted to surround them, from the beginning to the end, with the lights from Eternity to Time, and the lessons from Time to Eternity. The effort at least, is sincere, and by the divine blessing may not be in vain.