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HISTORY has been called Philosophy teaching by example. But a question immediately occursWhat is the Philosophy that History should teach? What is the utility which ought to be its main and principal object? The answer is obvious:-The moral improvement of man, his duties here, and the means which prepare him for happiness hereafter. These, though not the sole, are certainly the highest aims which both the writer and the reader of History should have in view. Faithful Ecclesiastical History, therefore, being an exhibition of the conduct of Providence in and towards the Church, must be of paramount importance: it has infinite relations and uses, and may be regarded as an inexhaustible mine of the most valuable knowledge. In this department of History, which relates to the support which Christianity has received from the secular power, together with the benefits or disadvantages resulting from this support--and also, to the more internal adminiswration of the Church, its constitution and discipline, its doctrine and worship, and its corruptions and reformation-the patriot and the philosopher will trace the reciprocal influence of many of those causes and circumstances which have operated to produce and accelerate, or to stop and retard the progress of civil and religious liberty, and the advancement of the various branches of science and literature. Ecclesiastical History, therefore, ought to be studied, not only in its religious, but also in its political point of view; for whoever reflects on the power and the policy which the Popes exercised for many centuries in the various states of Europe-on the wars arising from the Reformation, and on the wonderful change in the political character and power of the great body of the people, which that event produced-will not fail to discern the importance of an acquaintance with it, both by itself, and in connexion with the history of the different states of Europe.

But, while the Christian can appreciate as fully as others the civil and political importance of Ecclesiastical History, to him it possesses a peculiar and higher interest. As he deems it his highest honour to be a subject of that kingdom which Jesus Christ died to establish, and which he now lives to govern, he cannot but feel interested in the History of that kingdom. And cold, indeed, must his heart be, if he feel no pleasure in tracing the wondrous administration of its glorious Head. In the Holy Scriptures, he is informed that the Church is the subject of prophecies and promises, which have respect to its history to the end of time; and knowing that by it, more than by all things else, is made manifest the manifold wisdom of God, the same feeling which leads him to pray, "Thy kingdom come," will prompt him also to say, "Come, and let us behold what the Lord hath wrought."

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On the particular merits of Mosheim's History of the Church, it were superfluous to enlarge; it may be sufficient to say, that it has long been the most popular Work of that class in the English language. The learned Bishop Warburton remarks concerning it: "MOSHEIM's Compendium is excellent, the method admirabie; in short, the only one deserving the name of an Ecclesiastical History.' Hitherto, however, its size and price have precluded its coming into the hands of the great majority of the community. In the present Edition, however, these obstacles to its usefulness are completely obviated; so that the humblest Mechanic who appreciates its value, will find it easy to become the possessor of a Copy. The publishers, therefore, feel confident that their endeavours to circulate this valuable Work will be honoured with high and extensive patronage, and be crowned with complete success.

GLASGOW, 1st Nov. 1826.

בית הספרים הלאמי והאוניברסיטאי




JOHN LAWRENCE MOSHEIM was born at Lubeck, in 1695, of a noble family. He is said to have given early indications of a promising capacity, and of a strong desire of mental and literary improvement. When his parents proposed to him the choice of a profession, the church suggested itself to him as a proper department for the exercise of that zeal which disposed him to be useful to society. Being ordained a minister in the Lutheran church, he soon distinguished himself as an eloquent and useful preacher. His reputation in this character, however, was local and confined, but the fame of his literary abilities diffused itself among all the nations of Christendom. He was invited by the king of Denmark to settle at Copenhagen, and was called thence by the duke of Brunswick to Helmstadt, where he filled the academical chair, and presided over the colleges of Wolfenbuttle and Blackenburg. He was afterwards nominated to the chancellorship of the university of Gottingen by George II., the duties of which he discharged with zeal and fidelity, until his death, which took place in the year 1755. His character as an author is given by Dr. Maclaine, in his Preface to the present work. His works were:-Observationes Sacræ et Historico-criticæ. Amst. 1721, 8vo.-Vindicia Antiquæ Christianorum Disciplinæ, adv. J. Tolandi Nazarenum. Hamb. 1722, 8vo.-De Ætate Apologetici Tertulliani et Initio Persecutionis Christianorum sub Severo, commentatio. Helm. 1724, 4to.-Gallus gloriæ J. Christi, Spiritusque Sancti obtrectator, publicæ contemtioni expositus. Helm. 1736, 4to.-Historia Tartarorum Ecclesiastica. Helm. 1741, 4to.-De Rebus Christianorum ante Constantinum Magnum commentarii. Helm. 1753, 4to.-Historia Mich. Serveti, &c.-But the production by which he is best known in this country is his Church History. This was at first a small work, which appeared under the title of "Institutiones Historiæ Christianæ," and passed through several editions. Considering this history, afterwards, as too meagre for the importance of the subject, he employed two years in its extension and improvement, and published it in its present form in 1755, shortly before his death. It soon became popular all over the continent, and the English translation of it by Dr Maclaine is now a standard book in our libraries.




ARCHIBALD MACLAINE, the translator of the present work, was born at Monaghan, in Ireland, in 1722, and educated at Glasgow, under the celebrated Mr. Hutcheson, for the presbyterian ministry. About the time of the rebellion in 1745, when in his twenty-second year, he was invited to Holland, and succeeded his uncle, Dr. Milling, as pastor of the English church at the Hague, and remained in that situation until the invasion of the country by the French, in 1794, compelled him to take refuge in England. During his residence at the Hague, he was known and highly respected by all English travellers, and not unfrequently consulted, on account of his extensive erudition and knowledge of political history, by official men of the highest rank. On his arrival in Engiand, he fixed his residence at Bath, as affording the best opportunities of union with many of those numerous friends he had known on the continent, and here he died, Nov. 25th, 1804, and was interred in the abbey church of Bath, where a monument has been since erected to his memory by his friend Henry Hope, Esq. His superior endowments of mind and heart, his genius, learning, and industry, constantly directed by a love of virtue and truth, by piety and charity, diffused a beneficial influence over the whole of his professional and domestic sphere. As a scholar, a gentleman, and a divine, uniformly displaying a judicious taste, an amiable deportment, and an instructive example, 'ne was admired and loved by all who enjoyed his society.

Dr. Maclaine published in 1752 a sermon on the death of the prince of Orange. In 1764 his masterly translation of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History made its first appearance in 2 vols. 4to., dedicated to William, Prince of Orange. It experienced a most favourable reception, and was reprinted, 1782, in six vols. 8vo., in which form it has had several subsequent editions.-His other works were-A series of Letters to Soame Jenyns, on occasion of his View of the Internal Evidences of Christianity. Lond. 1777, 12mo.-Religion a Preservation against Barbarism and Anarchy; a Sermon. Lond. 1793, 4to.-The Solemn Voice of Public Events considered; a Sermon. Lond. 1797, 4to.-Discourses on Several Subjects. Lond. 1799, 8vo.

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