« PreviousContinue »
ness and worth wherever they are found. He has sentiments of his own, but he rejoices in the consciousness of a disposition to grant to others a full liberty to avow, defend, and disseminate, their sentiments, though opposite to his own; and can give them the praise due to their abilities and characters.
It is a pleasure to him, that the examination of the writers who have censured Mr. Neal with severity, has eventually established the authenticity of the history, and the candour and impartiality of the author, in all the main parts of his work. It reflects high and lasting honour on this ecclesiastical history, that if the author were convicted by a Warburton, a Maddox, and a Grey, of partiality, it could be only such à partiality as might arise from a żeal against tyrants and oppressors. The work has, on the whole, a liberal
. cast ; it is on the side of civil and religious liberty; it is in favour of the rights of Englishmen, against unconstitutional prerogative; it is in favour of the rights of conscience, against an imperious and persecuting hierarchy, whether Episcopal or Presbyterian; it is in favour of the great interests of mankind; and, to adopt the words of a most able and liberal writer ;* “A history that is written without any regard to the chief privileges of human nature, and without feelings, especially of the moral kind, must lose a considerable part of its instruction and energy.”
* Dr. Kippis : Preface to the first volume of the second edition of the Biographia Britannica, p, 21.
DR. TOULMIN'S ADVERTISEMENT
VOL. V. OF THE FORMER EDITION.
Some books of great authority were obligingly handed to him by Henry Waymouth, esq. of Exeter. His thanks are also due to the Rev. Josiah Thompson, of Clapham, and to Edmund Calamy, esq. To the former, for the free use of his manuscript collections, relative to the history of the dissenting churches; and to the latter, for the opportunity of perusing a manuscript of his worthy and learned ancestor, Dr. Edmund Calamy, entitled, "An Historical Account of my own Life, with some Reflections on the Times I have lived in." He has been likewise much indebted to a respectable member of the society of Quakers, Mr. Morris Birkbeck, of Wanborough, Surrey, for his judicious remarks on Mr. Neal, and for furnishing him with Gough's valuable history of that people.
Taunton, August 11th, 1796.
IN revising Dr. Toulmin's edition of this work for republication, it was found to abound with typographical errors, to a degree almost unprecedented in the present day, owing probably, to the great distance at which he resided from the place where it was printed. These have consequently been corrected; but both Mr. Neal's text, and the notes of his former edition, remain as in the last edition. Considerable alterations, however, have been made in the disposal of his supplemental matter. Valuable as the doctor's additions to Mr. Neal's History certainly are, every one must have been struck with the extreme awkwardness and injudicious method of arranging his materials; particularly as it regarded the size of his volumes; some of which comprised seven or eight hundred pages, while the fifth contained only half that number. In order to render the volumes, in this new edition, as near as possible, of an equal size, the history of the Baptists and Quakers, which Dr. Toulmin had dealt out by piecemeal, and interspersed throughout the volumes, is now collected into an unbroken narrative, and given as a SUPPLEMENT to vol. V. This, it is presumed, will be generally regarded as a material improvement in various respects, and cannot fail to confer upon the present edition a decided superiority to all that have preceded it. Some important additions have also been introduced into this part of the work, by which, it is hoped, the value of the publication is still farther augmented : and, upon the whole, the work cannot fail in its present state to recommend itself to every friend of civil and religious liberty as the most valuable history of the kind that is extant in our language.
THE FIFTH VOLUME.
HISTORY OF THE PURITANS.
No. VII. Articles of the church of England, revised by
the assembly of divines in 1643 ·
Scotland, and ratified by parliament in 1645.
people called Quakers