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OCT. 16, 1940

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1833, by the Rev R DAVIS & BROTHER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


THE edition of Eusebius here offered to the public, is the first that has been issued in this country. It had its origin in the want of health, to sustain the ordinary labours of the ministry, and a wish to promote the knowledge, and advance the cause of religion. The nature of the work, and the estimation in which it has usually been held by the learned and pious, sanction the measure the publisher was induced to adopt, as being well calculated to answer the design. Circumstances attending the rise and early progress of Christianity, in a great measure peculiar to the character, condition, and wants of an infant Institution, established by divine authority, and protected to its completion by evident tokens of the divine presence and approbation, highly interesting in their nature, and extremely important to be known, invest the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, (especially as it succeeds immediately to the Acts of the Apostles, and is for a considerable period the only work of the kind,) with a degree of value, to subsequent ages, that no other uninspired document is entitled to claim. The undersigned is firmly persuaded that its extensive circulation will, as it furnishes the means in a good degree of comparing modern with primitive times, and of viewing them in contrast with each other, tend to increase useful knowledge, promote soundness and unity in the faith, advance the cause of the church, and maintain peace and quietness among all Christian people. In the confident opinion, that a general acquaintance with primitive Christianity would effect much for its cause, he has frequently wished to see the more important works of that period accessible to the community at large. The following was selected as an experiment, in the confident expectation of success and is now at length issued, though the patronage re


ceived will not defray more than half the entire expense of the publication. He trusts, however, that its value as a history, and its merits as a version, together with the pains and expense incurred, to render the volume worthy of public approbation, will secure the success of a laudable enterprize. It is his wish to give that which he is persuaded the Christian community will be gratified to receive—the History of the Primitive Church, by Eusebius, accessible to common readers, and executed and finished with fidelity.

Deeming it exceedingly important to the interests of religion, that the eye of Christians, generally, should be directed to primitive times, the undersigned contemplates the publication of some of the choicer works of that period. Should the patronage of Christian denominations, generally, warrant the undertaking, a regular series of the entire works, and parts of works, of primitive Christianity, as nearly in their chronological order as may be, adapted to the use of parish, congregational, and other public libraries, will, as soon as the important arrangements necessary to its being executed in good faith can be made, be commenced.

Philadelphia, March 22d, 1833.


The following history ends A. D. 324. The Council of Nice met A. D. 325. The Author's life and eulogy of Constantine, and that Emperor's address to the Council, are therefore, together with the history of Socrates, highly important and useful works, without which a proper acquaintance with that important period of the Church cannot be acquired.







ACCORDING to the testimony of Socrates,† a book relative to the life of Eusebius, was written by Acacius, the scholar of that prelate, and his successor in the see of Cæsarea. This book, however, through that negligence in antiquity to which the loss of many others is to be ascribed, is not now extant; but from the testimonies of the several writers that have mentioned Eusebius, no exertions of ours shall be wanting to supply the defect.

It appears that Eusebius was born in Palestine, about the close of the reign of Gallienus. One proof of which is, that by the ancients, particularly by Basilius and Theodoret, he is frequently termed a Palestinian. It is not impossible, indeed, that he might have received that name from his being the bishop of Cæsarea, yet probability is in favour of his having derived it from his country. In short, he himself affirms, that he was educated, and when a youth, dwelt in Palestine, and that there he first saw Constantine, when journeying through Palestine in the suit of Diocletian Augustus. Eusebius, too, after repeating the contents of a law, written in favour of the Christians, by Constantine to the Palestinians, observes, "This letter of the Emperor's is the first sent to us."

On the authority of Eusebius himself, it may be affirmed, that he

• In this version, the sense, more than the expression of Valesius, is regarded. † Eccles. Hist. lib. 2. c. 4.

+ In his first book concerning the life of Constantine, chap. 19.

§ Life of Constantine, book ii. chap. 43, where see note a. Cambr. edit. 1692.

was born in the last part of the reign of Gallienus; for, in his Ecclesiastic History, he informs us, that Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, lived in his own age.* Eusebius, therefore, since Dionysius died in the twelfth year of the reign of Gallienus, must have been born before, if he lived within the time of that prelate. The same inference, also, follows, from his stating,† that Paul of Samosata, had revived the heresy of Artemon, in his‡ age. And in his history of the occurrences during the reign of Gallienus, before he begins the narrative of the error and condemnation of Paul of Samosata, he observes, "but now, after the history of these things, we will transmit to posterity an account of our own age.”

Whom he had for his parents is uncertain; neither do we know by what authorities, Nicephorus Callistus is warranted in affirming, that his mother was the sister of Pamphilus the martyr. Eusebius of Cæsarea, in Arius's letter,§ is termed brother to Eusebius of Nicomedia. Though he possibly might, on account of his friendship, have received this appellation, yet it is more probable that he was nearly related to the Nicomedian bishop; especially since, Eusebius of Cæsarea only, though many others there are mentioned, is termed by Arius, brother to that prelate. Besides the Nicomedian Eusebius was a native of Syria, and bishop first of Berytus: nor was it then the usage, that foreigners and persons unknown, should be promoted to the government of churches.

Neither is it known what teachers he had in secular learning; but in sacred literature, he had for his preceptor Dorotheus, the eunuch, presbyter of the Antiochian church, of whom he makes honourable mention, in his Seventh Book. Notwithstanding Eusebius there says only, that he had heard Dorotheus expounding the Holy Scriptures with propriety, in the Antiochian church, we are not inclined to object to any one hence inferring, with Trithemius, that Eusebius was Dorotheus's disciple. Theotecnus being at that time dead, the bishopric of the church of Cæsarea was administered by Agapius, a person of eminent piety and great liberality to the poor. By him Eusebius was admitted into the clerical office, and with Pamphilus, a presbyter of distinction at that time in the Cæsarean church, he

See lib. 3. c. 28.

† Eccles. Hist. book v. chap. 28. + Eusebius's. Arius's letter to Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, will be found in Theodoret's Eccles. Hist. lib. 1. c. 5. edit. Val.

I Chap. 1. p. 2.

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