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respect, but exerts as much authority as the most democratic Christian could desire. Although the author considers that many regulations similar to those of the American Church might be adopted in England with safety and advantage, he believes it must be plain, that a large portion of the peculiarities of the system are exclusively American, and would be exotics in any other portion of Christendom.
The reader is supposed to be acquainted with the general features of the political government of the United States, since they have been often and well explained by travellers and other writers. For instance, it is taken for granted, that he is aware of the fact that every State is a distinct sovereignty, possessing its own legislative, executive, and judicial departments, while Congress provides for the general welfare of all, and their necessary intercourse with foreign powers. The present object of the author is merely to give such a description of America as will add interest to his work, and afford a sufficient ground-work for his more particular account of the Church and its institutions. It
may be said, that the author has given too favourable a character of the American people. In reply to this he can only aver that he has stated all those facts which he considered necessary to the illustration of his subject; and that he has not intentionally concealed what he believes to be wrong, nor unduly extolled that which he considers to be praiseworthy. He is persuaded that many writers on the United States have attacked human nature in general, while they intended to be severe on the Americans in particular, and he has endeavoured to avoid the error into which they have fallen. He believes that the circumstances in which he has been placed, have qualified him to judge impartially, though not infallibly. On the one hand, as a British subject, he is attached to his country and his sovereign by a thousand early associations ; on the other hand, he loves America as the birthplace of his wife and children, and as the residence of some of the purest characters which the world has produced. He believes, also, that he has seen enough of America to correct the first vague impressions, whether painful or agreeable, experienced by every one on his first arrival in a foreign country. He has resided nearly ten years in the United States, and has travelled no less than eight thousand miles within their spacious boundaries. As a student, he has mingled with students, as a teacher with teachers, and as a clergyman with clergymen. He has seen society in the log-cabin as well as in the drawing-room, while in his pastoral capacity he has been called to study the foibles of his parishioners, no less than their excellencies.
Regarding his subject more as a traveller and a spectator, than as an essayist, he has been constrained to give more prominence to himself and to his own experience than he would otherwise have desired. Yet he has endeavoured to avoid a wearisome uniformity; and he hopes that by presenting his description in the varied form of letters, journals, narratives, and biographies, the interest of the work to the general reader will be materially enhanced. If it should throw any light on the fundamental principles of ecclesiastical polity; if it should in any degree promote charity between two great nations, and a spirit of Catholic union between two important portions of the One Apostolic Church, the author will consider himself amply rewarded for his novel and laborious undertaking.
Madison, INDIANA, UNITED STATES, 1838.
Falls.-Sandusky.- Arrival at Gambier...