« PreviousContinue »
HISTORY OF THE PURITANS;
A NEW EDITION, IN FIVE VOLUM Es:
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM BAY NES AND SON,
The volume of Mr. Neal's History of the Puritans now presented to the public, besides the additions made to it in the form of notes, is considerably enlarged by supplemental chapters. These comprise the continued history of the English Baptists and Quakers, and furnish the reader with the substance of Mr. Crosby's history of the former, and a full abstract of Mr. Gough's work concerning the latter sect. The editor hopes, that in this part of his undertaking he has not only done justice, and shewed respect, to two denominations who, in the last century, were treated neither with humanity nor equity, but afforded the reader information and entertainment. Where he has seen reason to animadvert on and correct Mr. Neal, it were sufficient to rest his justification on the plea of impartiality and the love of truth. But to the honour of his author he can add, he has only done what was wished by him; who, in his preface to the first volume, has said,” “I shall be always thankful to any that will convince me of my mistakes in a friendly manner;” and in that to the third volume has more fully expressed himself in this manner: “In historical debates, nothing is to be received upon trust, but facts are to be examined, and a judgment formed upon the authority by which those facts are supported; by this method we shall arrive at truth, and if it shall appear that, in the course of this long history, there are any considerable mistakes, the world may be assured, I will take the first opportunity to retract or amend them.”t The editor can declare, that it has been his own aim to do full justice to the sects and characters of those who have, in this work, come before him in review, and he can boldly appeal to his pen itself to prove the sincerity of his declaration. He scarcely would have thought of making this appeal, if in an early stage of his undertaking it had not been insinuated, that it was his design to make this work a vehicle for conveying particular opinions in theology, and that his own sentiments made him an unfit person for the task. He has, indeed, sentiments of his own; but he can estimate good
* P, xiv. + P. xii.