The pretensions of this volume are very humble. It is hardly more than a mere record of facts. It is intended for that large class of readers who require small publications. Consequently, the facts are briefly stated. Some will consider this a defect; others, a merit. None, it is presumed, will blame the author for the unavoidable result of his design. No doubt, the following pages contain other and more serious defects than that of brevity; which indeed, unless it degenerate into obscurity, is not a defect. The lynx-eyed tribe of fault-seekers seldom seek in vain; here, however, even persons of candor will find occasions for its exercise. But the object of the author's solicitude is, that his work may prove beneficial to the readers; for that it will deeply interest them, he does not doubt. So rare an example of so many virtues -- the example of Adam Clarke -- can scarcely be exhibited in vain. While some may, perhaps, be stirred up to imitate his industry in the acquirement of useful knowledge, many, it may be hoped, will be incited to emulate his faith, his zeal, his piety. But that in which he is most worthy of imitation is, making everything subservient to the religion of Christ. It is true that his example is not perfect. His faults, however, were few. They were obvious also, and not very pernicious either as respected himself or others. Those who may follow in his footsteps will not fall into many or great errors. With respect to some things which have been made matters of complaint against him, he was, at least, more sinned against than sinning.* [*Perhaps a better way of expressing the preceding thought is: "he was, at least more wronged than in the wrong." -- DVM]
It is proper to state that the honor of having composed the Historical Sketch of the Controversy concerning the Sonship of Christ, does not belong to the author of the previous narrative. But its immediate connection with Dr. Clarke's personal history would be a sufficient apology for its introduction, were apology required. May its timely publication save the Wesleyan-Methodist Conference from tumbling down the precipice upon the brink of which it stands!
London, Feb. 20, 1834 * * * * * * *