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JAMES M. CAMPBELL & CO., 98 CHESTNUT STREET.
The best excuse which can be made for the publication of a work such as that which is now offered to the world, is the plain statement of the reasons which originally led to its composition, and of the objects which the author had in view when he commenced the task. And if, when the undertaking is accomplished, the same reasons still exist either in part or whole; if his labours be calculated to supply a want which in any measure continues to be felt, he must trust that the kindness of the public will excuse that vanity which induces him to hope that his exertions may in some degree contribute to supply a desideratum among the elementary works of our country.
The author of the present sketch discovered, after he had been admitted into orders, that the knowledge of English ecclesiastical history which he possessed was very
deficient. It was a point concerning which information was not to be readily obtained, but in which he felt that he ought to have made diligent search during the professional preparation of himself, on which every educated man, who is engaged in the instruction of others, is peculiarly bound to enter; he was distressed, that his knowledge of the sects among the philosophers of Athens was greater than his information on questions which affect the Church of England; and he determined to devote a considerable portion of those few hours which a laborious employment left at his disposal to the study of the history of our own church.
His pursuits were chiefly directed to those particulars which at the same time might supply him with real knowledge in his own profession; and he was disposed to hasten over periods which could furnish little but an acquaintance with facts, and an insight into ecclesiastical abuses. The circumstances in which he was placed furnished him with an abundance of books; but this very fact made him more sensible of the need of some guide to direct him in the selection of them; and notwithstanding the kind assistance provided by a large number of clerical friends, he found a diversity of advice, which perplexed rather than facilitated his progress. He sought in vain for a general history of the Church of England, which might furnish him with a map of his intended
iານີ້ JUN 26 1901