Numerous individuals and organizations have facilitated the production of this book. Special thanks are due in particular to several, chief among whom is my former student and now research assistant Ursula Leahy who, as always, has given willingly of her time and effort over several years in pursuit of what at times seemed an ever-receding goal.
Near one half of the sermon material in this book has been reconstructed from Charles's original shorthand manuscripts and though I have examined every stroke of those at times infuriating texts, I doubt that I would have had either the time or patience to work at them completely from scratch. In this context the pioneering initial work that was carried out on these MSS by Dr Oliver A. Beckerlegge of York, the Revd Tom Albin of Nashville, Tennessee, and Mr and Mrs Douglas G. Lister of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, needs to be clearly acknowledged at this early juncture. Mr and Mrs Lister have also been exceptionally kind in assisting and advising on several passages of shorthand that appear here in transcribed form for the first time. The contributions of these earlier scholars have in a real sense made this volume possible.
Thanks are due too to Wanda Willard Smith, Methodist Archives Assistant at the Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, who has shared with me the fruits of her extensive labours in compiling John Wesley's sermon log. Mrs Jocelyne Rubinetti, Methodist Library Associate at Drew University, was generous in sending material, often by fax, at almost a moment's notice. Gareth Lloyd of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester has also been more than helpful in giving assistance in tracing MSS central to this book; my election to an honorary research fellowship by the Board of the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester, brought with it the provision of very welcome working space and, most importantly, full access to the Methodist collections. All the counter staff at the Rylands have been exceptionally helpful in assisting me to locate material.
Thanks are due also to the Bodleian Library for permission to reproduce the text of Sermon 8. All the remaining sermons are reproduced from manuscript and published sources held in the Methodist Archive at the John Rylands University Library of Manchester. Thanks are due to the Methodist Archives and History Committee for permission to publish this material.
I am particularly indebted to the Arts and Humanities Research Board who funded research leave during part of 1999 to enable me to complete this volume. My institution, Liverpool Hope University College, has generously supported this and other research projects and provided ideal conditions in which such extended work can be carried out. Particular thanks are due to my line manager Professor Ian Markham and to the senior management team, especially Professor Simon Lee