« הקודםהמשך »
ANCIENT AND MODERN;
THE RISE, PROGRESS, AND VARIATIONS OF CHURCH POWER, ARE CONSIDERED IN THEIR
POLITICAL HISTORY OF EUROPE DURING THAT PERIOD;
BY THE LATE LEARNED
JOHN LAURENCE MOSHEIM, D. D.
CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF GOTTINGEN:
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL LATIN,
AND ILLUSTRATED WITH NOTES, CHRONOLOGICAL TABLES, AND AN APPENDIX,
BY ARCHIBALD MACLAINE, D.D.
A NEW EDITION-IN TWO VOLUMES,
CONTINUED TO THE YEAR 1826.
BY CHARLES COOTE, L. L. D.
AND FURNISHED WITH
A DISSERTATION ON THE STATE OF THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH,
BY THE RIGHT REV.
DR. GEORGE GLEIG, OF STIRLING.
I CANNOT persuade myself, that the complaints which we hear frequently of the frivolous nature of the public taste in matters of literature, are so far to be relied on, as to make me despair of a favourable reception of the following work. A History of the Christian Church, composed with judgment, taste, and candour, drawn with uncommon discernment and industry from the best sources, enriched with much useful learning and several important discoveries, and connected with the history of arts, philosophy, and civil government, is an object that will very probably attract the attention of many, and most undoubtedly excite the curiosity of the judicious and the wise. A work of this nature will be considered by the philosopher, as an important branch of the history of the human mind; and I need not mention a multitude of reasons that render it peculiarly interesting to the Christian. Besides, there has not hitherto appeared, in English, any complete history of the church, that represents its revolutions, its divisions, and doctrines, with impartiality and truth, exposes the delusions of popish legends, breathes a spirit of moderation and freedom, and, keeping perpetually in the view of the reader the true nature and design of the Christian religion, points out those deviations from its beautiful simplicity, which have been too frequent among all orders of men and in all ages of the world.*
How far justice has been done to this excellent work, in the following translation, is a point that must be left to the decision of those who
think proper to peruse it with attention. I can say, with the strictest truth, that I have spared no pains to render it worthy of their gracious acceptance; and this consideration gives me some claim to their candour and indulgence, for any defects they may find in it. I have endeavoured to render my translation faithful, but never proposed to render it entirely literal. The style of the original is by no means a model to imitate, in a work designed for general use. Dr. Mosheim affected brevity, and laboured to crowd many things into few words; thus his diction, though pure and correct, became sententious and harsh, without that harmony which pleases the ear, or those transitions which make a narration flow with ease. This being the case,
I have sometimes taken considerable liberties with my author, and followed the spirit of his narrative without adhering strictly to the letter. Where, indeed, the Latin phrase appeared to me elegant, expressive, and compatible with the English idiom, i have constantly followed it; but, in all other cases, I have departed from it, and have often added a few sentences, to render an observation more striking, a fact more clear, a portrait 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.
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. * We omit the intervening part of Dr. Maclainc's Preface, because its insertion is rendered unnecessary by the biographical sketch which the Editor has given.