THE following Publication originated in the great desire, which some of the children of the Author expressed, to have him write a history of his life. Being on a visit in Kentucky, in the winter of 1789 and 1790, I joined my Brothers in persuading him to indulge us, by spending his leisure hours, in committing his life to writing. We had often been entertained by him with anecdotes of his life, which we supposed would be instructive and amusing to others, and, therefore, had a wish that the public might reap a benefit from the same source. No doubt, the partiality of a child, may feel a peculiar interest in many things relative to a fond, indulgent, and affectionate parent, which may be uninteresting to strangers. Yet, upon mature deliberation, I conceived the publication of his biography, might conduce to the edification of serious readers,
and exhibit the important fact, (which infidelity rejects,) that there are in the world, real christians.
As the following sketches were written by him in an advanced age, and chiefly from memory, the dates are wanting. This deficiency is, however, not so important, as it does not invalidate the truth of the narration. It has been the object of the editor, to keep as near as possible to the original in language, merely making some grammatical corrections. Some few things have been supplied, from, having heard them related by the author; and their having made an indelible impression on the memory.
The author's death renders a preface to his life proper, if not necessary: and as these biographical memoirs were bequeathed to me by my father, in his last illness, my own feelings, if not my duty, prompted me to undertake the task of writing it. Whatever may be thought amiss in it, I hope the candid reader will attribute to the affection and
partiality of a son, for a kind and indulgent father. "The memoirs of departed friends, which revive a tender recollection of there worth, and protract the approach of that oblivion which hastens to cover the memory of man, are dear to the heart of sympathy. Natural partiality and affection are extended from the persons, to the works and conduct of our friends; and even after death, our imaginations are kept alive by every object, with which they were connected. We find something really estimable in whatever we love, and we are anxious that the world should approve of what has been approved by us. In honouring the memory of the dead, we enjoy the consciousness of doing justice. We seem to discharge anew the pleasing duties of friendship, and soothe our grief by demonstrations of affectionate respect."
With regard to what the author has related concerning that event, which proclaimed the United States a "free and independent" empire, it may be proper to observe, that he has not attempted to relate any particulars
concerning that period, other than what he was concerned in, and so far only as would throw light upon his own history. This could not be done, without mentioning the situation in which he was placed in the army; and the various campaigns and marches of that army.
Although of small stature, yet he was very athletic, and of a remarkable good constitution. While I was in Kentucky, in the years 1789 and 90, after he had been preaching all day, though much afflicted with the influenza, he remarked to me; that he had not been deprived from attending public worship for upwards of thirty years, on account of indisposition. Of his private life, much need not be said. The reader will discover his character in the following sheets; but it is but a testimony of respect in me, just to say, that as a husband, he was faithful and loving; - as a father; kind and indulgent; - as a friend, sincerity ever shone in his heart; - and as a Christian, he was emphatically
the follower of Jesus Christ, in all his imitable examples.
That the following Biography may prove to the edification of many souls, be instrumental to the building up of the Redeemer's kingdom, and redound to the glory and honour of God, is the fervent prayer of the public's well wisher,
STEPHEN GANO 30, 1806. Providence, (Rhode-Island,) August Biographical Memoirs of the Late Rev. John Gano
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