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ton; and the Rev. Lancelot Sharpe. The two last-named have kindly aided in revising the press, and the author is greatly indebted to their critical acumen and accuracy. Among the laity of the English Church, Sir R. H. Inglis aided him much by his influence. To his beloved friend Mr. Faulkner of Phillippines, whose acquaintance he first formed in Italy, who then relieved him by his sympathy in hours of deepest anguish, and who has, ever since, been more like a brother than a friend, he wishes to pay this public tribute of regard, not only for his aid in the present work, but for all that he has done heretofore.
The labour of superintending the press confined the author in London, and prevented his enjoying the delight of visiting the venerable Catholic remainder of the Scottish Church; but her bishops have cheered him by their correspondence and kind encouragement.
As to his own country, beside the sanction given to his work by the proceedings of the bishops, which will be found in the following extracts from the Journals of the General Convention, he is happy to say, not only that the members of the Protestant Episcopal Church generally, but many other intelligent and pious persons, who are not of his own communion, have evinced an interest in the undertaking highly honourable to their charity. But he is bound more especially to return his thanks to the friends who first suggested and counselled his voyage to England. To that suggestion and counsel he is ultimately indebted for one of the brightest periods of his clouded life. But there is one, to whose open hand and generous heart an especial tribute is due. Others can bear like testimony for most efficient and vigorous assistance; and indeed there is no one, and especially no American, whose labours tend to promote the cause of learning and science, and who has come within the reach of his influence, who will not join
with the author in this tribute of heartfelt gratitude to Mr. R. K. Haight, of New York.
And now having discharged what he deemed a duty towards his fellow-Christians, the author cannot conclude without humbly imploring the Divine blessing on the work now submitted to the public eye. Though a distinct work in itself, it is only the commencement of those labours which the office of an historiographer of the Church requires. But all depends on His will, "without whom nothing is strong, nothing is Holy." Vigour of body, and healthiness of mind—a discernment of truth amid conflicting opinions-a charity ever warm though dispassionate among angry assailants-an enduring patience under the fatigues of research,—all these are as much the gifts of the Holy Spirit now, as were those more expanded gifts which on the day of Pentecost were shed abroad on the infant Church. May the same Holy Spirit dwell in the author's heart, and in the hearts of all who shall read these pages.
Extracts from the Journals, of 1838 and 1841, of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
House of Bishops, Saturday, 16th September 1838. "On motion of the Right Rev. Bishop Hopkins, the two following resolutions were passed, and sent to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies for concurrence.
"Resolved, (the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies concurring), That the Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis, D.D., LL.D., be appointed Historiographer of the Church, with a view to his preparing, from the most original sources now extant, a faithful Ecclesiastical History, reaching from the Apostles' times, to the formation of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States."
The second resolution had reference to the History of the Protestant Episcopal Church, by the Rev. Dr. Hawks. House of Deputies, Journal, p. 79.
"A message was received from the House of Bishops, transmitting certain resolutions, appointing the Rev. Drs. Jarvis and Hawks to prepare an Ecclesiastical History.
"Whereupon, on motion, the House concurred with the House of Bishops in passing the said resolutions."
House of Bishops, Wednesday, October 13th, 1841. "A letter from the Rev. Dr. Jarvis, Historiographer of the Church, accompanied by certain manuscripts, was read as follows:
RIGHT REVEREND FATHERS IN CHRIST :-Having been honoured by the General Convention of 1838, with the appointment of "Historiographer of the Church," I think it my duty to report to the House of Bishops, with whom the resolution originated, the progress which has been made.
It seemed to me that in order to effect the object proposed, it would be necessary, if possible, to settle several contested points, in such a manner as to satisfy both learned and unlearned readers. This could be done in no other way than by laying before them in English, that evidence which is now locked up in foreign languages, and scattered through a great number of volumes, and which, from the paucity of public libraries in our country, is inaccessible even to persons who by their education are fitted to examine the original authors. It is obvious, indeed, that this cannot be done in the whole course of ecclesiastical history, without swelling the work to an enormous extent. It must be confined, therefore, to points of great importance; and with respect to the rest, much must be left to the fidelity and accuracy of the historian. But if he be found faithful, and accurate in the discussion of these important points, he will establish a character, both as a reporter and a judge, which will make his readers more ready to trust him when called upon to credit his assertions.
The exact time of the birth and death of our Saviour, the key-stone by which prophecy as well as history must be sustained, seemed to be one of those important points. This I have attempted to ascertain; and the attempt has succeeded beyond my most sanguine expectations. With no theory to sustain, and fearing to be misled by the theories of others, I have made use of modern writers, only so far as to be led by them to their authorities. In all cases where it was possible, I have gone back directly
to ancient heathen as well as Christian authors, as being, in the language of your resolution, "the most original sources now extant." Not only has every question been settled on their testimony, but the testimony itself has also been exhibited. With regard to Latin writers, the original text has been generally subjoined. The fear of swelling the work too much and increasing the expense of publication, has prevented the addition of Greek quotations; an omission which I regret, but which I have endeavoured as much as possible to remedy by exact references.
I have laboured hard to finish the work before the session of the present Convention; but the cares of a parish, the necessary instruction of pupils, and domestic afflictions, have rendered it impossible to get it ready for the press. I am obliged, therefore, to lay it before you in an imperfect state, but it is sufficiently advanced to show its plan, its object, and its
If it be honoured, Right Reverend Fathers, with your approbation, I propose, after it is published, to add some other dissertations which are nearly ready for the press, and then to go on with the Ecclesiastical History, down to the great schisms by which the Catholic Church was rent in the fifth century. Whether I shall be able to accomplish this, or more than this, depends upon the will of Him, "to whom alone belong the issues of life and death."
Being unable myself to attend the General Convention, I have re quested my assistant, the Rev. John Williams, to proceed to New York, for the purpose of submitting my manuscript to your venerable body. I have the honour to remain, Right Reverend Fathers, Your faithful son, and servant in the Lord,
SAMUEL FARMAR JARVIS, Rector of Christ Church, Middletown.
Whereupon, on motion of Bishop Hopkins, seconded by Bishop Doane, it was resolved, that the letter and manuscripts be referred to a committee of the House.
"Bishops Hopkins, Doane, and Whittingham, were appointed the Committee.
"The Committee to whom were referred the letter and manuscripts of the Rev. Dr. Jarvis, reported as follows:
The Committee to whom were referred the letter and the manuscripts of the Rev. Dr. Jarvis, Historiographer of the Church, beg leave to report as follows:
That they regard, with great satisfaction, the progress which the
learned author has made, in preparing for the press the first volume of the series which his appointment as Historiographer was designed to bring forth and consider it a duty on the part of the Church, to give all the encouragement in their power to its publication. It appears to them, as well from the synopsis of its contents, as from the best examination which their limited time would allow, to be a thorough and comprehensive analysis of all the evidence extant, whether sacred or profane, upon the most difficult and important points in ecclesiastical chronology, namely, the precise years of the birth and death of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Committee take pleasure in the acknowledgment, that notwithstanding their familiarity with the author's long-established reputation for deep and accurate learning, they were struck with the extraordinary research and exact fidelity exhibited in the work submitted to them, and hail its production as being calculated to reflect honour upon himself, and the body to which he belongs. With these views, the Committee respectfully recommend the following resolution :
Resolved, That the House of Bishops receive with great satisfaction, the assurance that the first volume introductory to the Ecclesiastical History of the Rev. Dr. Jarvis, their Historiographer, is now ready for publication. They have examined and approve the plan of the work, and commend it to the patronage of the Church,
JOHN H. HOPKINS,
G. W. DOANE.
W. R. WHITTINGHAM.
Whereupon, on motion of Bishop de Lancey, seconded by Bishop Onderdonk of New York.
"Resolved, That the resolution appended to the Report be adopted."