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ANCIENT AND MODERN,
BIRTH OF CHRIST, TO THE BEGINNING OF THE PRESENT CENTURY.
THE RISE, PROGRESS, AND VARIATIONS OF
ARE CONSIDERED IN THEIR CONNECTION WITH THE STATE OF
LEARNING AND PHILOSOPHY,
POLITICAL HISTORY OF EUROPE DURING THAT PERIOD.
BY THE LATE VON
And Chancellor of the University of Gottingen.
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL LATIN, AND ACCOMPANIED WITH NOTES
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL ETHERIDGE, JR. .
I CANNOT persuade myself, that the complaints 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 must 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. Beside, 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 the deviations from its beauti. ful simplicity, that have been too frequent among all orders of men, and in all ages of the world.
The following work has the best claim of any I know, to these characters;a and its peculiar merit is pointed out as
a Some time after I had undertaken this translation, I was honoured with a letter from the learned bishop of Gloucester, in which he was so good as to testify his approbation of my design, and to speak of the work I here offer to the public in an English dress, in the following manner;