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A historical collection-Corpus Historicum-adequate in all respects to the present and still increasing importance of the Christian Denomination to which the author is confirmed in his attachment, after a systematic scrutiny more persevering than perhaps any other layman ever engaged in-is even yet a deficiency in ecclesiastical literature. So successful has been the accumulation of contumely heaped by interested parties upon our sires, that they who should have inherited their spirit have been deterred from searching into their merits, and from duly displaying their virtues. Their very names seemed about to be lost. Now, however, enough is recovered to evince that our predecessors -our Fathers and Confessors—were mighty in word and deed; and that, to the dismay of their calumniators, their renown is spreading far and wide, with the dominion to which they and their immediate descendants gave existence, and which promises to be as enduring as the world !
The plan whereon the work is executed thus far, and on which it will be proceeded with, is that which admits of compliance with the dramatic unities ;-distingue tempora, et conciliabis scripturas. Words and deeds disposed in the closest connexion with what occasioned them; the exact or nearest succession of events; being the most natural and regular, must ordinarily present the best means of arriving at a correct judgment in relation to them. Accordingly, so much of what is original and documentary, whether amicable or hostile, is here placed, when practicable, in immediate vicinity. Hence, they who are dead, yet speak for themselves; and if all they spake io purpose be not adduced, the deficiency is one which could not be supplied. To prevent precipitancy of judgment, it is necessary to remark that the perplexed subject of Elders will unavoidably pervade the work to its close.
So far, the author-for he has endured all the labours of authorship-is secure in his self-approbation ; but that he has never erred when selecting and arranging his materials, nor ever misconceived his authorities, he cannot affirm : even his desire to be minute has led, in more than one instance, to irrelevancies, which were perceived when they could not be expunged. Thus also, it may be, with respect to the orthography of common names, which he has not hesitated to change when he had discovered what is most authentic. He takes no more credit to himself, for having practised impartiality in contrasting opponents, and adjudicating their merits, than comports with those prejudices, or infirmities, infecting every human breast. Some advantages he apprehends, will have resulted from his not being swayed by any professional interest to seek to elevate unduly the pastoral office and character.
In submitting, therefore, a volume of this description to public scrutiny, the author casts it, as it were, on the waters, knowing full well that he will find a contrariety of requital. Endeavouring, nevertheless, to estimate justly what shall be rendered to him, he will complete the remaining volume, and the index, with so much effort as in the course of Divine Providence he may be enabled. That afflictive event which has befallen him since he applied with vigour to this enterprise, has deprived him of the incitement to prosecute it which sprung from a parent's heart most anxious and delighted to advance the intellectual discernment of his only son, when just rising into manhood.
It remains to express thankful acknowledgments to those several individuals to whom the religious public are indebted for the loan of books; and also to the Trustees of Dr. Daniel Williams, whose kindness is enhanced by the urbanity of their librarian.
MARCH 1st, 1839.
CONTENTS OF VOL 1.
CHAPTER 1.- INTRODUCTION.
DISSERTATION ON TERMS AND PRINCIPLES,
Page 1.-Congregationalists; Independents — Their rise State - Church
Reformers, Presbyterians, or Puritans—Their rise- Progress--Subscription,
CHAP. II. — Temp. ELIZABETH.
OF ROBERT BROWNE, AND BROWNISM.
- Protestants now persecute Protestants-Remote consequences—Browne ;
quences of rigour-Barrowe answers Interrogatories-His Principles fatal
- Particulars in the Church of England blamed, and refused-Óf singing
THE EXILES. -JOHNSON AND AINSWORTH.
Page 83.—The new policy commenced-Francis Johnson expelled the Univer-
sity; excitement occasioned—Admonished against Separation by Jacob, then
— The Separatists refuse judiciary Oaths-Places of their Assembly-Sup-
CHAP. VI. — Temp. James I.
ACCESSION OF JAMES 1.---CONSEQUENT PROCEEDINGS.
Page 120.- Private Judgment; its Triumph-Separatists excluded the Confer-
ence–The Convocation-Certain Canons, with Strictures—Comment-