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MINISTRY AND MEMBERSHIP
CONNECTED WITH THE
TROY ANNUAL CONFERENCE,
THIS HUMBLE VOLUME
The First Part of this work does not assume to be any thing like a full, connected history of Methodism within the region of which it treats; this would have required a separate volume. A mere outline, and that relating chiefly to our early history, is all that has been attempted.
THE Second Part is intended as a brief, accessible, and permanent memorial of those men of God, who have been instrumental in the establishment of that form of Christianity in our midst, which is known by the name of Methodism. With but one or two exceptions, no record of their lives or labors remains, save what is found in the Minutes, and the notices that appeared in the papers, at the time of their death; and these are preserved by but few. Gratitude demands that their memories should be cherished, and such recollections must be promotive of piety.
A very common fault of biographical works, is, that they are overwrought ; every defect is concealed, every real virtue is exaggerated, while many excellencies are attributed to the subjects which they never possessed. However gratifying such memoirs may be to personal friends, they are not calculated to . answer the ends contemplated by this class of writings. With the example of the inspired biographers before him, the writer of the following sketches determined that, whatever defects they might possess, they should be truthful, as far as he is capable of making them so. Meagre and defective, some of them, especially, are; and possibly some of the friends of these exscellent men may think that justice has not been done them. To
such, I can only say that I have done the best I could under the circumstances, within my prescribed limits, and with the materials at my command. It will be seen that a few of these sketches were written by other, and more able pens.
Of the Third Part I might speak more freely. Those contributions, which, with one or two exceptions were written expressly for this work, will be appreciated by the public for their intrinsic worth, and specially valued by the numerous personal friends of the authors as the productions of those whose ministrations have been made a blessing to thein in by-gone days.
No pains have been spared to make the tables of the APPENDIX as correct as possible. The kindness of those who have aided in collecting materials is gratefully acknowledged. The writer has drawn upon any, and all sources of information within his reach, giving credit, very generally, in the body of the work.
These pages have been prepared with a special reference to their circulation and use as a book of reference, within the range of the Troy Conference.
One fact the writer sincerely deplores; the work has been prepared in haste, and amid the incessant cares and duties of a heavy pastoral charge. Other engagements must have his attention for some time to come; and under the necessity of committing it to the press thus hastily, or delaying it indefinitely, he has chosen the former.
Courteous reader, such as it is, this unpretending volume is committed to your hands, in the humble hope that it will do good Albany, February 15, 1854.