The value of the source-book has long been recognized in the teaching of general history. In ecclesiastical history quite as much use can be made of the same aid in instruction. It is hoped that the present book may supply a want increasingly felt by teachers employing modern methods in teaching ecclesiastical history. It has grown out of classroom work, and is addressed primarily to those who are teaching and studying the history of the Christian Church in universities and seminaries. But it is hoped that it may serve the constantly increasing number interested in the early history of Christianity.
to the Patrology of Migne or Mansi's Concilia. Although use has been freely made of the aid offered by existing translations, especially those of the Ante-Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, yet all translations have been revised in accordance with the best critical texts available. The aim in the revision has been accuracy and closeness to the original without too gross violation of the English idiom, and with exactness in the rendering of ecclesiastical and theological technical terms. Originality is hardly to be expected in such a work as this.
An author may not be conscious of any attempt to make his selection of texts illustrate or support any particular phase of Christian belief or ecclesiastical polity, and his one aim may be to treat the matter objectively and to render his book useful to all, yet he ought not to flatter himself that in either respect he has been entirely successful. In ecclesiastical history, no more than in any other branch of history, is it p
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