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The spirit of inquiry into the monuments and history of primitive Christianity, which characterises the present day, has unlocked such treasures of antient learning, and rendered them so accessible to the general reader, that some degree of familiarity with them could hardly fail to awaken, on the author's part, a desire to collect a few of their varied and scattered details into a single point of view.
The many valuable publications to which this spirit of the age has already given rise might, perhaps, seem to render such an attempt as the present unnecessary.
Yet, in order to understand and fully to appreciate the peculiar trials and difficulties of the early Christians, they should be viewed in juxtaposition with heathenism :
we must follow them to their hearths and homes, and the daily