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Universal Church History.
REV. DR. JOHN ALZOG,
Professor of Theology at the University of Freiburg.
TRANSLATED, WITH ADDITIONS, FROM THE NINTH AND LAST GERMAN EDITION,
F. J. PABISCH,
Doctor of Theology, of Canon and of Civil Law, President of the Provincial
Rev. THOS. S. BYRNE,
Professor at Mount St. Mary's Seminary.
In Three Volumes.
With Three Chronological Tables And Three Ecclesiastico-geographical, Maps*.
ROBERT CLARKE & CO.
Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1876, by
ROBERT CLARKE & CO., In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Stereotyped by Ogden, Campbell & Co., Cincinnati.
The second volume of the translation of Dr. Alzog's Universal Church History, like the first, enjoys the sanction of the proper ecclesiastical authorities. The translators take this occasion to thank many prelates of the country for their cordial approbation; and reviewers, Catholic and non-Catholic, at home and abroad, for their judicious notices and words of encouragement.
Much will of course be said of the bulk of the present volume, but no one can be more alive to the fact than the translators themselves, or more sincerely wish the pages were fewer than they are. Under the circumstances it could not be otherwise. First of all, the work of editing has been far more extensive and laborious in this than the preceding volume. While conscientiously careful not to omit a single sentence of the original, the translators have introduced much that is wholly new, from reliable sources, relating chiefly to countries where the English language is spoken, and in some sections—as, for instance, in that treating of the British Isles— have used the text only as an outline for their guidance. The labor which such additions unavoidably entailed, will, in a measure, account for the delay in bringing out the book.
Again, the author has himself made very important changes and considerable additions in the later German editions of his history, which are now reproduced for the first time in a translation. In preparing his eighth edition Dr. Alzog entirely recast his former text-book of one volume, added much new matter, partially improved the faults of brevity and obscurity in his sentences by the employment of a more copious diction, and issued the work as a Manual in two volumes. In the ninth edition he made similar improvements, both as to matter and form, many portions being not only revised, but entirely rewritten.
The fourth and last edition of the French translation by Goesehler and Audley, edited by Abbe Sabatier, and published in 1874-75, is, as far as the French Revolution, based on the seventh German, and from 1789 to our own time on the eighth, which appeared respectively in 1859 and 1867. The English translation is the only one made on the ninth and last German edition, published at Mentz in 1872, and contains, moreover, the latest additions and amendments of the author, which he was kind enough to send the translators in September last, and which include the latest historical researches. The author has also promised to send others in time to be embodied in the next volume.
It may be well to state here that Dr. Alzog has given this translation his fullest approbation, has generously foregone the privileges of his copyright, and allowed the work to be put on sale in Great Britain and Ireland.
Lest any one should think that the translators are inclined to put too high an estimate on Dr. Alzog's work, it may be well to quote here what has been said of it by Dr. Eraus, himself the author of an excellent Church History,1 and therefore entitled to speak with some authority. "Since Dollinger's Text-book," says he (Ch. Hist., Preface), "is incomplete, and Hitter's Manual has, in a great measure, grown obsolete, the only available book we have now is Dr. Alzog's Manual and Abridgment of Church History." They may furthermore add that they have been most conscientious as to the truth of every statement made, whether in the original or in their own additions, and have in no instance rested content with anything short of absolute accuracy where this was pos
1 Dr. F. X. Kraus, Text-book of Ch. H.} 3 vols., Treves, 1872-1875.
sible. "To arrive at truth," says a distinguished modern writer,1 "is the object, the duty—nay, the joy—of the historian. Once he has found it, he admires its dignhty, appreciates its convenience—because it alone clears up all difficulties—never ceases to pursue and love it, and constantly aims at portraying it or something which he mistakes for it." Such also has been their aim and recompense. Any other policy would be dishonest and fraught with disaster. These are serious times ; there are only two camps and two standards in the intellectual and religious world now. Under the one are ranged the defenders; under the other, the enemies of the Church, for those who are not with her are against her. The eyes of all, friends and foes alike, are turned toward those centuries which it is the custom to call the Middle or Dark Ages, whose history, traditions, and institutions modern scientists, because they fear their influence, affect to despise. But, for good or for evil, their history is being studied and studied thoroughly. Is it not, therefore, the highest duty, as well as the highest wisdom of the historian, to tell the naked, unvarnished truth about them? Is it honest, is it profitable, to conceal disagreeable facts—facts which, though humiliating, are far better told frankly by a friend than openly paraded and misrepresented by an enemy? Such has been the course pursued in this history. The truth has been plainly spoken, without addition and without diminution, irrespective of whom it may benefit or harm. "Ought history," asks Pere Lacordaire, " hide the faults of men and orders? It was not," he replies, "in this sense that Baronius understood his duty as an historian of the Church. It was not after this fashion the Saints laid open the scandals of their times. Truth, when discreetly told," he continues," is an inestimable boon to mankind, and to suppress it, especially in history, is
1 M. ThieTsy Histoire du Consulat et de VEmpire, Vol. XVI., p. 418.