Methodist Episcopal Church
By Nathan Bangs, D.D.
Volume III, Published in 1841 (From The Year 1816 To The Year 1828)
NOTICE TO THE READER
The favorable manner in which the first and second volumes of this History have been received, induces me to add a third, in the hope that it may increase the stock of useful information in reference to the work which God has wrought in this country by the instrumentality of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
In the conclusion of the second volume it was remarked, that it was my intention, when the History was commenced, to bring it down near to the present time, in two volumes; but, as I proceeded in the work, it was found impracticable to fulfill this intention, without such an abridgment as would either compel me to omit some important transactions and edifying incidents, or so to shorten them as to render them uninstructive and uninteresting. I was therefore compelled, contrary to my first design, to close the second volume in the year 1816.
That this alteration in the plan at first contemplated has been generally approved of, I have evidence from numerous testimonies. Indeed, the greatest fault I have heard, from those who are disposed to judge charitably of my work, has been, that it is not sufficiently particular, or that its details are not as numerous as is desired. This defect, however, if it be one, I am unable to remedy, as I have, with but few exceptions, wrought up all the materials within my reach, unless I were injudiciously to encumber the volume with irrelevant matter.
The present volume, however, I consider rich in matter, particularly in relation to the doings of the General Conference, and to the enlargement of our work by means of our Missionary Society, and other auxiliary appliances. And I have endeavored to give such a detailed account of the origin, character, and progress of this society as will, if the history be continued on the same plan, supersede the necessity of a separate history of that institution. Indeed, this society, together with the tract, Sunday school, and education causes, is so interwoven in our general plan of operations, that a history of our Church would be quite imperfect which did not embrace a narrative of these things.
It being desirable to have the alphabetical list of preachers unbroken, it has been thought advisable to transfer that list from the third to the fourth volume; and the more so as that volume is sufficiently large without it, containing, as it does, upward of four hundred pages.
In adverting to this list I consider it proper to mention the following facts, as furnishing good reasons for an apology for any errors which have been or may be detected, in the spelling of names, dates, or otherwise.
When the reader duly considers these perplexing discrepancies and defects, he will be prepared to make some allowance for the unavoidable errors which grow out of them; and the more so, when he considers that this History has been written by a hand equally fallible as those which prepared the authorized records.
Some unintentional omissions of names in the former volume are supplied in this; and if others should be detected, as doubtless they will be, the correction will be made with the more pleasure, because it will add to the perfection of the work. The reader may rest assured, however, that no pains have been spared by either the author or printer to make every thing as accurate as possible; and hence, if errors are detected, he must attribute them to a want of ability, under the circumstances, to avoid them.
To God, -- who alone is absolutely perfect, but whose boundless mercy inclines him to pardon the aberrations of his creatures, for the sake of his Son Jesus Christ, be ascribed the honor and glory for what he has done for this branch of his Church.
N. BANGS. New York, Jan.1, 1840.
 In one instance I found a preacher returned located and expelled in the same year! In another, located in one year and expelled the next.