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more finished. Had I been translating Cicero or Tacitus, I should not have thought such freedom pardonable. The translation of a classic author, like the copy of a capital picture, must exhibit not only the subject, but also the manner of the original; this rule, however, is not applicable to the work now under consideration.

The reader will easily distinguish the additional notes of the Translator from the original ones of the Author; the references to the latter being included in parentheses, while those that indicate the former, are marked with a hand, thus .

When I entered upon this undertaking, I proposed rendering the additional notes more numerous and ample than the reader will find them. I soon perceived that the prosecution of my original plan would render this work too voluminous; and this induced me to alter my purpose. The notes I have given are not, however, inconsiderable in number; I wish I could say as much with respect to their merit and importance. I would only hope, that some of them will be looked upon as not altogether unnecessary.

Hague, Dec. 4, 1764.




The favourable reception which the first edition of this work met with, has encouraged the Translator to employ his utmost care in rendering the second still less unworthy of the acceptance of the Public. He has corrected a passage erroneously translated in the second volume, at the 574th page of the quarto edition; and he has revised the whole with a degree of attention, which he hopes will secure him against the charge of any other inadvertency. He takes this opportunity of acknowledging the goodness of the learned and worthy Dr. Neve of Middleton Stoney, who favoured him with several notes, and with some hundreds of additional articles and corrections for the Index. Many of these are inserted in this edition, and an N. subjoined to each, to distinguish them from those of the Translator.



THE different editions of the Elements of the Christian History [a] met with such a favourable reception from the public, and the demand for them was so great, that they were, in a little time, out of print. Upon this occasion, the worthy person at whose expense they had been presented to the public desired earnestly to give a new edition of the same work improved and enlarged, and thus still more worthy of its gracious acceptance. The other occupations in which I was engaged, and a prudent consideration of the labour I must undergo in the correction and augmentation of a work in which I myself perceived so many imperfections, prevented my yielding, for a long time, to his earnest solici. tations. The importunities of my friends at length prevailed upon me to undertake this difficult work and I have employed assiduously my hours of leisure, during the space of two years, in bringing it to as high a degree of perfection as I am capable of giving it.. So that now these Elements of Ecclesiastical History appear under a new form, and the changes they have undergone are certainly advantageous in

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[a] A small work published by Dr. Mosheim many years ago, in two volumes, 12mo.

every respect. I have retained still the division of the whole into certain periods ; for though a continued narration would have been more agreeable to my own taste, and had also several circumstances to recommend it, yet the counsels of some learned men, who have experienced the great advantages of this division, engaged me to prefer it to every other method. And, indeed, when we examine this matter with due attention, we shall find, that the author who proposes comprehending in one work all that variety of observations and facts that are necessary to an acquaintance with the state of Christianity in the different ages of the church, will find it impossible to execute this design, without adopting certain general divisions of time, and others of a more particular kind, which the variety of objects, that demand a place in this history, naturally points out.

And as this was my design in the following work, I have left its primitive form entire, and made it my principal business to correct, improve, and augment it in such a manner, as to render it more instructive and entertaining to the reader.

My principal care has been employed in establishing, upon the most solid foundations, and confirming by the most respectable authority, the credit of the facts related in this history. For this purpose, I have drawn from the fountain head, and have gone to those genuine sources from whence the pure and uncorrupted streams of evidence flow. I have con. sulted the best authors of every age, and chiefly those who were contemporary with the events they relate, or lived near the periods in which they happened; and I have endeavoured to report their contents with brevity, perspicuity, and precision. Abbreviators, generally speaking, do little more than reduce, to a short and narrow compass, those large bodies of history that have been compiled from original authors; this method may be, in some measure, justified by several reasons, and therefore is not to be entirely disapproved. From hence, nevertheless, it happens, that the errors, which almost always abound in large and voluminous productions, are propagated with facility, and passing from one book into many, are unhappily handed down from age to age. This I bad formerly observed in several abridgments; and I had lately the mortification to find some instances of this in my own work, when I examined it by the pure lamp of antiquity, and compared it with those original records that are considered as the genuine sources of sacred history. It was then that I perceived the danger of confiding implicitly even in those who are the most generally esteemed on account of their fidelity, penetration, and diligence;

and it was then also that I became sensible of the necessity of adding, suppressing, changing, and correcting several things in the small work which I formerly published, and which has been already mentioned. In the execution of this necessary task, I can affirm, with truth, that I have not been wanting in perseverance, industry, or atten. tion; and yet, with all these, it is extremely difficult to avoid mistakes of every kind, as those who

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