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The form in which it was originally designed that the following pages should appear, was one which excluded a frequent reference to authorities. The writer has endeavoured to remedy this defect by embodying them in the text, wherever this was practicable, and by the appended list of the principal books consulted. It will be obvious to an attentive reader that it was hardly possible to indicate all the sources of the impressions recorded in these pages, but few of any importance, it is believed, fail to bear with them the means of their own verification.
I cannot include in this list the work of the Rev. Thomas Jackson-by far the most interesting Methodist biography of the Wesleys-without a brief allusion to an interview with this venerable man, from which I derived a sense of the vitality of the system of religion represented by him, which the following record, being wholly occupied with the past, could not attempt to embody.
A note at the end of the volume discusses a point on which the view here taken differs from that of
Wesley's Methodist biographers. It seemed worth while to go into the evidence for this view, because it must be always with hesitation that any one differs from those who have made the object of dissent their special study.
The book is not to be regarded as a biography. It is an attempt to delineate the influence of a particular man upon his age. Hence the background to the central figure is treated with an attention which will seem out of proportion to the slightness of the whole sketch, unless it is constantly borne in mind that the object of representation is not the vicissitude of a particular life, but that element in the life which impressed itself on the life of a nation, an element which cannot be understood without a study of aspects of national thought which on a superficial view might appear wholly unconnected with it.
LIST OF ERRATA.
Page 146, last line, and page 147, top line omit “this writer (whose name is not mentioned, and who possibly might be.'
Page 340, line 5, for ‘Grimley' read “Grumley.'