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TO THE BISHOPS OF THE PROTESTANT
MY MUCH ESTEEMED BRETHREN,
The motive to the prefixing of a dedication to these Memoirs, is the opportunity thus afforded of testifying to the Church at large, the harmony which has subsisted among us in our joint counsels for the conducting of our ecclesiastical concerns. If, at any time there has been a shade of difference of opinion, it has been overbalanced by the pleasure of mutual concession, and by the profit of amicable discussion.
All of you have been ordained to the Episcopacy by my hands. Submission of opinion on this account, is what I have never had the arrogancy to claim: but if any degree of personal respect should be supposed a natural consequence, I can thankfully acknowledge, that it has been bestowed.
Having lived in days in which there existed prejudices in our land against the name, and much more against the office, of a bishop; and when it was doubtful, whether
person in that character would be tolerated in the community; I now contemplate nine of our number, conducting the duties of their office without interruption; and in regard not to them only, but to ten of us who have gone to their rest, I trust the appeal may be made to the world, for their not being chargeable with causes of offence to our fellow Christians and our fellow citizens generally, or with the assuming of any powers within our communion, not confessedly recognised by our ecclesiastical institutions.
Being your senior by many years, I enjoy satisfaction in the expectation of the good which you may be expected to be achieving, in what is now our common sphere of action, when I shall be removed from it: and, with my prayers for the success of your endeavours to this effect,
I subscribe myself,
THE FIRST EDITION.
MANY years ago, the author of the following work began to commit to writing the most material facts which had occurred, relative to the Church of which he is a minister: intending, in the event of the continuance of life and health, to carry on the recital. This was not with a view to early publication, because of the small extent of the sphere, in which the detail of very recent events was likely to interest curiosity. Accordingly, what was thus prepared laid unnoticed, until an application was made, about twelve years ago, by the editor of the American edition of Dr. Rees's Cyclopedia, requesting attention to certain parts of that work, with a view to other objects. On this occasion it occurred, that there might be propriety and use in inserting, in a work of that kind, a brief account of what had heen transacted during some years preceding, within the Episcopal Church. For this reason, there was made a draft from the notes before taken, for the purpose stated. As what remained comprehended sundry matters, not of sufficiently general concern for insertion in the Cyclopedia, it was afterwards reviewed under the impression that the fime might come, when the former labour would not be unacceptable, within the communion for which it had been designed. In the present publication, the narrative has been continued to the present time. With it, there are given the matters kept back from the publication in the Cyclopedia; and a continuation of similar statements and remarks.
It has been occasionally suggested, from a knowledge of the materials in the hands of the author, and in consideration of the opportunities which he has possessed of personal observation of characters and of facts, that it would be better to embody the narrative with the remarks, and to make a history of the whole. The mere melting of them into one mass, after the separation of them as related above, did not seem likely to be fruitful of any considerable advantage; and as to the name of “ a history," it would not only be disproportioned to the work, but perhaps pledge to an attempt, beyond what there are materials to accomplish. Of materials concerning the aggregate Church, the author possesses all that are necessary, and more than will be here given; the view being confined to the more 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 which 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 al 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 misstating of what may have passed in unguarded converKilior. It is an unfair advantage taken of a deceasel