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important: but his collections in regard to the church in the different dioceses, are perhaps incomplete, although he is furnished with almost all their journals, and thinks himself well informed as to all the material events wbich have occurred, for half a century backward, Besides, there are a few points on which he wished to retain a liberty, that would be inconsistent with the fulness, and, considering what is to be expected in such a work, the fidelity of a history. One of these points is, that he chooses to be silent in regard to a few transactions, which, although sufficiently known and discoursed of when they happened, are not of so much importance to the future concerns of the church, as to induce a wish to perpetuate the remembrance of them; and thereby the personal irritation by which they were accompanied.
Besides these reasons, there is one arising from the desire of avoiding such a development of the characters of agents, as might induce the relating and the unintentional misstatiog of what may have pas. sed in unguarded conversation. It is an unfair advantage taken of a deceased character, for an author to represent him as his own prejudices or his passions dictate; when, perhaps, the otber party would have had the precaution to make his own story
known, had he foreseen such a result of the freedom of social intercourse.
Another license which has grown out of the adopted plan, is the anticipating of some circumstances which took place in England, during the intercourse with his grace the archbishop of Canterbury; when such anticipation might illustrate any matter previously under review. The motive, was the desire to record the said intercourse in the form in which it now appears, that is, in letters to the committee of the church in Pennsylvania: which, having been written when the matters related were fresh on the mind of the narrator, is the more likely to be a faithful exhibition of them. To have enlarged the letters, would have been incorrect; and yet, in what passed in the intercourse, there was such connexion with some points in an earlier part of the work, as was too material to be disregarded. Although there has not been an enlargement of the letters, nor an alteration of them in any instance, there have been attached to them a few notes, containing matters of less moment.
The motive of the author in the statements, is principally to record facts, which may otherwise be swept into oblivion by the lapse of time. For the mixing of his opinions with the facts, a reason may be thought due. It is, that the habits of his life having exercised him much, on subjects which have bearings on the concerns of the church in doctrine, in discipline, and in worship; and his principles having been formed with deliberation and acted on with perseverance, not without prayer to the Father of lights for his holy guidance; there seems to him nothing unreasonable in the wish, to give the weight of long observation, to what are truth and order in his esteem. He has not the presumption to aspire to, nor the vanity to expect to share in the direction of the concerns of the church, after the very few years, in which there will be a possibility of his being present in her councils: but he commits his opinions, to the issue of what may be thought in reason due to them.
On the author's review of his statements and remarks, he had often a painful sensation at the frequent prominence in them of himself. In the
way of apology, let it be remarked, 1st, that the apparent fault is in a great degree inseparable from the delivery of the results of personal observation; and 2dly, that he has had more agency
person, in the transactions recorded: owing to the circumstances in which he was placed; to a cause for which he cannot be sufficiently thankful, the con
tinuance of his health and strength; and to his having attended every general convention, from the beginning to the present time. Under the weight of these considerations, he commits himself to the candour of the reader.
Of the papers in the Appendix, a great proportion are what may be read in the printed journals: but they were thought necessary to the series of the events presented. Those papers which were in the private possession of the author, and were designed to have an influence on the concerns of the church, he has thought it due to the object of this work, to perpetuate. The printing of any document which took the shape of a canon, has been judged unnecessary.
In regard to letters, let it be noticed, that there are none besides those, which like the papers above referred to, were designed to have public influence. In private letters, there is much to confirm the statements made, and to enlarge them, if that were the design.
The capital letters A, B, C, &c., at the ends of certain para-