XV1 PREFACE. judge for himself now."* These were the grand principles of their nonconformity. The author of these volumes has spared no labour nor expense in the collection of materials, and has used the utmost care to retain whatever appeared interesting, curious, and useful. Not writing to please any particular sect or party, he has endeavoured to observe the strictest impar- tiality. In the lives of these worthies, he has not suppressed their imperfections, nor even the accu- sations of their adversaries ; but has constantly stated their faults; as well as their excellencies, without reserve. Neither has he at any time con- nived at bigotry and persecution, whether found among prelates, presbyterians, or any others. Whoever were the persecutors or aggressors, their case is represented, as near as possible, as it is found in the faithful pages of history. His sole object has been to give a lucid and impartial statement offacts. Indeed, the documents are frequently transcribed in the very words of the authors ; and, wishing to retain the genuine sense and originality of the whole as entire as possible, he has constantly avoided dressing them in any garb of his own. Through the whole, he has invariably given his authorities. These might easily have been mul- tiplied ; but, when two or more authors have given accounts of the same facts, he has invariably chosen that which appeared the most authentic * Calamy's Contin. vol. i. Pref.