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forth in such manner that they shall be intelligible to the most uninformed reader. As stated in the Introduction, I have also avoided, as much as possible, except in the last chapter of the volume, any merely didactic treatment of its subjects, but have studied to give it throughout popular attraction and effect, by historical facts and style. The first three chapters, however, are alone in purely narrative or chrono. logical form, and are such only so far as the founding of Methodism in England and America is concerned, or as they can best answer historically the question, What is Methodism ? by showing its evan. gelical stand-point. This chronological narrative could not be further extended without making the work too large; and it must be borne in mind that it is the founding of Methodism that is to be celebrated in the Centenary Jubilee. Its subsequent results are classified and embodied in other chapters. It would seem desirable that the good and, in many instances, truly great men who have built up the denomination during its first century, should have some record in the volume, but this is obviously impossible; they have their place in its history, but this is not its history.
I indulge the hope that you, and other readers, who have followed me through my larger works on Methodism, will not find this more compendious and more classified review of its first century in America uninteresting, though it must necessarily be, to a great extent, a repetition of my former data, and in some instances, with but slight modifications of style. The similar books, officially published by different branches of the denomination at its General Centenary in 1839, have been retained as manuals in their literature. I have endeavored to secure to the present volume the same advantage, by so presenting the history and official statistics of the various institutions and interests of the Church as to make the book a permanent standard for reference, affording, in the most convenient form, the chief data which may be needed by writers, preachers, or others, respecting its history, theology, discipline, literature, education, missions, Sundayschools, etc.
I shall always consider it no small honor to have co-operated, however slightly, with you and your colleagues of the Centenary Committee in the onerous labors with which you have been preparing the Church for its approaching festival, an occasion which I doubt not will be rendered forever memorable.
ABEL STEVENS. MAMARONECK PARSONAGE, Oct., 1865.
Comparative Strength in differ-
Methodism in New York.. 69 The “ Class Meeting"
69 "General Rules”
70 Church Officers..
Outspread of Methodism, 75 | Circuits, Districts, Conferences 111
Examples of Wesley's Liber-