EDWIN S. GORHAM, PUBLISHER
Chapter I. Early Years, and Ordination. 1729-1753
Chapter II. First Years of Ministry. 1753-1756
Chapter III. Transition Period. 1756-7.
Chapter IV. Accession to the Jamaica Parish. 1757.
Chapter V. Residence in Jamaica. 1757-1766.
Chapter VI. Residence in Jamaica. Continued.
Chapter VII. The Rectorate of St. Peter's, West Chester. 1766.
Chapter VIII. The B. W. Controversy. 1768-1769.
Chapter IX. The Colonial Episcopate
Chapter X. Political Experiences. 1774-1783.
Chapter XI. A Westchester Farmer. 1774.
Chapter XII. Vae Victis! 1783.
Chapter XIII. The Election to the Episcopate. 1783.
Chapter XIV. Illusions. 1783-1784.
Chapter XV. The Free, Valid, and Purely Ecclesiastical Episcopacy. 1784.
Chapter XVI. The Mediation of the Scottish Episcopate.
Chapter XVII. Last Days in England. 1784-1785.
Chapter XVIII. The Field of Work. 1785-1786.
Chapter XIX. The Ecclesiastical Union. 1784-1789.
Chapter XX. The Book of Common Prayer. 1789.
Chapter XXI. Concerning Prerogative. 1786-1792.
Chapter XXII. The Decline of Life.
Chapter XXIII. The Departure.
THE life of Bishop Seabury published by Dr. Beardsley in 1881, gives the only extended account of him which has yet appeared; although there have been very many commemorations of him in casual, and therefore in some sense ephemeral publications, some of which, nevertheless, have been of great and permanent value. Notwithstanding, however, the undoubted excellence and faithfulness of Dr. Beardsley's book, it has seemed to many that it was not in all respects such as to preclude the usefulness of another treatment of the subject; for which, indeed, there has of late been all the greater need from the fact that Dr. Beardsley's book has been long since out of print. These considerations, and the urgency of some whose wishes could not be other than influential with me, have led me to undertake the present Memoir.
Now that it is completed I am conscious that the Memoir has not accomplished all that I could have wished, nor all that is due to the subject of it. In the marshalling of the materials at my disposal I have often been deeply impressed with the value of what I could not possibly use without extending the book beyond readable limits; and I confess that what I have proposed to myself has been above all to give such an account of Bishop Seabury as should at least be readable, and thus tend to promote the more general knowledge of a man really worth knowing. How to do this, and at the same time to treat fully and fairly those grave topics and important principles without the understanding of which the subject of the Memoir could not be understood, has been the problem which I have tried to solve. Whether I have succeeded in this effort the reader will, of course, judge for himself, but my aim has been to keep the life of the man always in view, so that the story might have a personal interest which would add some zest to the treatment of the more abstract matters which were necessary to be considered.
In the performance of my work I have had the benefit of the traditions imparted to me by my father, Dr. Samuel Seabury; and, as a part of these, of the considerable collection of papers inherited or gathered by him, and also of memoranda made by him, relating to the earlier part of the life of his grandfather, which it was always his purpose to complete, but which, unfortunately, he did not live to accomplish. I am greatly indebted to my brother, the Revd. Henry Ainsworth Parker, of Massachusetts, for an arrangement and classification of the collection of papers referred to, without which it would have been next to impossible for me to utilize them. I have also been indebted to him, and to the Revd. Joseph Hooper, of Connecticut, for several valuable additions to my stock of material.
My many obligations to various writers are, of course, noted in the text; but I ought, I think, to express my particular sense of the benefit of having had Dr. Beardsley's treatment of the subject before me; and of having had also the knowledge of those invaluable Memoirs, for which the Church in this country is profoundly indebted to the venerable Bishop White. No one can know the history of that Church without knowing Bishop White's Memoirs; and to the knowledge of Bishop Seabury they largely contribute, describing him and his position not only with great fairness, but with an affectionate appreciation which is truly gratifying.
As to the need, or usefulness, of a work of this kind there may perhaps be a difference of opinion. My own feeling, of course, is that there is much in the life of the subject of this Memoir which may profitably be considered and applied by anyone who is open to the influence of salutary personal example. But apart from that, I am disposed to think it a very wholesome thing to import into the consideration of the existing order of things in Church and State, the contemplation of a life which may be regarded as a fair exponent of principles recognized as fundamental in those Institutions at the time of their original establishment in this country. If the work shall prove in any degree serviceable in promoting the better appreciation of these principles, it will not be without a usefulness to which I shall be glad to have contributed.
8 Chelsea Square, New York, 1908.
W. J. S.