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THE

GREEK

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORIANS

OF

THE FIRST SIX CENTURIES OF

THE CHRISTIAN ERA.

IN SIX VOLUMES.

CONTAINING-

1. EUSEBIUS'S LIFE OF CONSTANTINE, ORATION, ETC.

II. EUSEBIUS'S ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, TO 324 A.D.

III. SOCRATES SCHOLASTICUS'S HISTORY, FROM ABOUT 305 TO 445 A.D.
IV. SOZOMEN'S NARRATIVE, 324 TO ABOUT 440 A.D.

V. THEODORET'S ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, FROM 322 TO 428 A.D.
VI. EVAGRIUS'S ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, FROM 431 TO 594 A.D.

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SAMUEL BAGSTER AND SONS;

WAREHOUSE FOR BIBLES, NEW TESTAMENTS, PRAYER-BOOKS, LEXICONS,
GRAMMARS, CONCORDANCES, AND PSALTERS, IN ANCIENT
AND MODERN LANGUAGES;

PATERNOSTER ROW.

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LONDON:

PRINTED BY JOHN WERTHEIMER AND CO.,

CIRCUS PLACE, FINSBURY CIRCUS.

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WAREHOUSE FOR BIBLES, NEW TESTAMENTS, PRAYER-BOOKS, LEXICONS,
GRAMMARS, CONCORDANCES, AND PSALTERS, IN ANCIENT
AND MODERN LANGUAGES;

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PREFACE.

IF history be accurately defined as philosophy teaching by examples, no branch of it can contain lessons of philosophy so interesting and important as the history of the church. Taking the terms in the most comprehensive sense, church history for more than four thousand years is matter of express revelation. It is the history of man and of Divine providence in their most momentous aspects, and has therefore been selected from the common trains of history to form the subject of an inspired chronicle. The Acts of the Apostles complete the annals; thenceforth ecclesiastical history flows from a different origin. It is written by the pen of man, and therefore marked by errors and defects; but the thought of ecclesiastical writers being, in a manner, continuators of the record of scripture, followers in the train of evangelists and apostles,-while it is calculated deeply to impress every author who enters on this field of literature with a sense of his personal responsibility, must also impart, in the estimation of the reader, a degree of interest to such compositions that no others can possess.

Of all the periods of church history, the first three or four centuries are in many respects the most important. They exhibit to us the early struggles and triumphs of Christianity, the means by which it was disseminated, and the extent to which it prevailed; the sufferings and heroism of martyrs-the development of theology as a science the effects of false philosophy upon the simple truths of revelation—the activity of the human mind in aiming at discoveries beyond its reach, and the forms of government and polity which the early churches assumed; subjects worthy the examination not only of the Christian, but of the philosopher.

While ecclesiastical history in general, now receives a growing measure of attention, the period just specified is the subject of most minute and critical investigation. Whatever throws light upon the character of those eventful times, possesses at the present day more than ordinary value. But though most of the ecclesiastical writers of that age contain information relative to the history of Christianity, no professed historian of that period remains except EUSEBIUS. Hegesippus, who lived in the second century, wrote a history of the church in five books, but the only fragments handed down to us have been preserved by Eusebius. He is then, truly, the father of ecclesiastical history, the only compiler we have of a narrative of Christian

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