« PoprzedniaDalej »
BY DR. JOHN C. L. GIESELER.
Translated from the Fourth Revised German Edition,
BY SAMUEL DAVIDSON, LL.D.,
PROFESSOR OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE AND ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY IN THE
A NEW AMERICAN EDITION, REVISED AND EDITED
BY HENRY B. SMITH,
PROFESSOR IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, NEW YORK.
VOL. I. A.D. 1–726.
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
PEARL STREET, FRANKLIN SQUARE,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five, by
HARPER & BROTHERS,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.
In this new edition of Gieseler's Church History a thorough revision of the translation has been made, with additional references to the English and later German works. The alterations are numerous, giving more exactly the sense of the original, and correcting frequent mistranslations.
The entire history to the epoch of the Reformation will be comprised in three volumes, following the divisions of the original German. The subsequent history, to 1848, can probably be embraced in two additional volumes. At the time of Gieseler's decease, his work was completed to the year 1648, in three volumes, subdivided into six parts, each of which was separately issued. The history is to be continued under the editorial supervision of his colleague, Dr. E. R. Redepenning. The volume for the period from 1814 to 1848 is just published; we have taken from it, with slight abridgments, an account of Gieseler's life and writings. The narrative of the ecclesiastical events of this period was written out by Gieseler himself; unlike the previous volumes, it is an extended history, with comparatively few notes. The intervening volume, for the period from the Peace of Westphalia, 1648 to 1814, is promised for the next year. Thus the work will form a complete and authentic history of the Christian Church, to A.D. 1848, composed with abundant and careful learning, especially adapted to the wants of students, and indispensable as a guide to any who would examine the original sources. The aid it gives in the critical investigation of the original authorities is its chief merit, apart from its use as a text-book for classes in Theological Seminaries. It is cold, but cautious; it is more rational than sympathetic; it has not the warmth of Neander's incomparable work, but it is more complete; it has not the
vividness of Hase's delineations, but it is more full, and gives copious extracts from the sources, such as can nowhere else be found.
The first three volumes of the present edition correspond with volumes one and two of the original. The first extends to the year 726. The second will be from 726 to 1305; the third from 1305 to 1517. The whole period, 726 to 1517, was published by Gieseler as his second volume, in four subdivisions. The third volume of the German, in two parts, will be the fourth in this translation; and a fifth volume will probably embrace the fourth and fifth of the original.
In the German edition, both parts of the first volume, and also the first two divisions of the second volume (to 1305), are in their fourth edition; the third division of the second volume has reached a second edition; its fourth division, and the whole of the third volume (1517 to 1648), are still in their first edition; and the publisher states that a new one is not to be expected, as a sufficiently large number of copies was struck off to meet the demand.
The first English translation of Gieseler's work was well executed from the third edition of the earlier volumes by Francis Cunningham, and published in Philadelphia, in 1836, in three volumes, extending to the Reformation. The version published in Clark's Library, from which this edition is in part reprinted, is by different translators: the first and second volumes are by Dr. Davidson; the third and fourth by Rev. J. W. Hull. The Edinburgh edition is inconveniently arranged; the first volume breaks off in the middle of the second period; the second, in the midst of the third period; and the fourth, about two hundred pages short of the Reformation. This defect is remedied in the present edition, and a translation added of the portion needed to complete the history to the Reformation. This will be followed, as soon. as practicable, by a translation of the additional volumes.
The least satisfactory portion of Dr. Gieseler's work is undoubtedly that of the first century. It is disproportionately concise; and the bias of the author is more marked. But here, too, the sources for correcting his opinions are near at hand to all our students.
NEW YORK, Sept. 1, 1855.