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Author: Cotton Mather
Excerpt from Magnalia Christi Americana, Vol. 1 of 7: Or the Ecclesiastical History of New-England The Publisher of this second Edition of Dr. Mather's Magnalia, has long been sensible of the great demand for the Work, both by literary men and all others who wish to be acquainted with the early history of our country. The first Edition was published in London in the year 1702, in a Folio Volume of 788 pages. A considerable number of Copies were soon brought into New-England; yet, as many of these are lost, and the work is not to be obtained in England but with difficulty, it has become very scarce. In some instances it has been sold at a great price, but, in most cases, those who have been desirous to possess, or even to read the volume, have been unable to procure it. The Magnalia is a standard work with American Historians, and must ever continue to be such, especially, respecting the affairs of New-England. To this portion of our country, always distinguished for emigrations, a great part of the population of New-York, the most important state in the American confederacy, and of all the western states north of the Ohio, will always trace their origin. Nor will the lapse of ages, diminish their respect for the land of their forefathers. The work now presented to the American public contains the history of the Fathers of New-England, for about eighty years, in the most authentic form. No man since Dr. Mather's time, has had so good an opportunity as he enjoyed to consult the most authentic documents. The greater part of his facts could be attested by living witnesses and the shortest tradition, or taken from written testimonies, many of which have since perished. The situation and character of the author afforded him the most favourable opportunities to obtain the documents necessary for his undertaking. And no historian would pursue a similar design with greater industry and zeal. The author has been accused of credulity. This charge, however, will not be advanced with confidence by those well acquainted with the character of the times of which he treats. The great object of the first Planters of New-England was to form A Christian Commonwealth - a design without a parallel in ancient or modern times. The judicious reader would expect to discover, in the annals of such a people, characters and events not to be found in the history of other communities. - The geography and natural history of the country were not the principal objects of the author's attention, and, on these subjects, he has fallen into some mistakes. The work is both a civil and an ecclesiastical history. - The large portion of it devoted to Biography, affords the reader a more distinct view of the leading characters of the times, than could have been given in any other form. The author's language is peculiarly his own. In the rapidity of his manner, he could pay but little attention to his style. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.