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greater and more numerous, had it been written in a hurry, immediately after the death of Mr. Wesley.
When I began to write the Life of Mr. Charles Wesley, I did not expect it would have been so long as it is. But the materials increased so fast upon me, as I proceeded, that I could easily have filled the whole volume with them. As they were new, and appeared to me important, I could not prevail on myself to abridge them, more than I have done. I thought it a pity that a man of so excellent a character should lie hid under a heap of rubbish, which envy had thrown upon him. A part of this rubbish, at least, I have removed, and he will again stand forward to the view of the public. I doubt not but his friends will recognize him in the following sheets; and I hope will be introduced to his company with pleasure and profit,
As the Life of Mr. John Wesley comprehends a great variety of subjects, on which men think very differently, it cannot be expected that it should be so written, as to obtain universal approbation. But my leading object in writing this Life, has not been, either general approbation, or profit; but truly and fairly to delineate Mr. Wesley's character, in doing which, I hoped to promote religion and virtue.
I return my warmest thanks, to those persons who have communicated to me any private papers, or letters, that were in their possession; and also
to those who have assisted me in the presenta Work, by their advice. In the early part of Mr.
John Wesley's Life, I have made use of the origin : nal papers relating to him, published by Dr. Priestley. His collection alone is defective ; and so was that in my possession, without his. Dr. Priestley tells us in his preface, “ The following letters were given to me by the late Mr. Badcock, as great curiosities of their kind, with a view to their publication after the death of Mr. John Wesley. They were given to him by the granddaughter of Mr. Samuel Wesley, the eldest brother of John, and I believe with the same view. Mir. John Wesley, as I learned from Mr. Badcock, was very desirous of getting these letter into his possession, but the daughter and grand-daughter of Mr. Samuel, being offended at his conduct, would never deliver them to him." Thus far Dr. Priestley. I am not at all disposed to call Dr. Priestley's veracity in question, but it appears to me, there is some mystery in the affair, which I wish to see removed, and which is the reason of bringing the matter forward. Mr. Badcock wrote to Mr. Wesley, on the subject of his brother Samuels Manuscripts, and at the same time sent one, which he had obtained. His letter is dated South-Molton, Devonshire, April 22d, 1780'; and the part of it that relates to the manuscripts, is as follows:
" Rev. Sir, es The M.S. which accompanies this address, will, I doubt not, carry its own authenticity with it, to you. It fell into my hands some time since, by means of the departure of a Mr. Mansell, for Ireland, on account of debts contracted at Barna staple. This person married a daughter of your niece, Mrs. Earle. They both died soon after he absconded. Of these particulars, it is likely you are not ignorant. A gentleman of Barnstaple, was for some time in possession of the books and M.SS. Many of them were sold : and others, together with some papers of a family nature, were sent to Mansell; who, if I mistake not, lives with his mother at, or near Dublin.
“ I have seen some other M.S$. of your mother's ; and wish I could have secured them for you. I think they have much intrinsic excellence: and to a son, they must be doubly acceptable. If I should have it in my power to get more of these papers, I will take care to send them to you."
The attentive reader will perceive, that these two accounts, not only differ, but in one instance flatly contradict each other. After Mr. Badcock's letter, there certainly was a 'fault somewhere in Dr. Priestley's obtaining possession of the manu. scripts : but where the fault lay, I do not pretend to detcrmine.
7. W. ADVERTISEMENT.
TO liberal minded Christians, of whatever Denomination, the present Undertaking cannot be unacceptable—the truly venerable Characters, the Subjects of this work, are still fresh in the Memory of the Religious World; their indefatigable and unprecedented Labours are well known, and the good Effects, it is hoped, will continue till the Consummation of all Things !
Dr. Whitehead has been very fortunate in obtaining Materials which give so interesting an Account of the Ancestors of those two faithful Men, beginning with their Great Grand Father, and minutely detailing the conduct of a Family, “eminent for Learning, conspicuous for Piety, and firmly attached to those Views of Christianity which they had formed from the sacred Scriptures.”
In the Appendix, subjoined to this Edition, is briefly inserted, the Opinion formed of the Rev. Messrs. Wesleys, by Men of Eminence in the Religious World, which the Publisher hopes, will considerably add to the Value of the Work, Ne.go, Bride-street, Dublin,