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À Ë R I D G E M E N T

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Ě D Í N B U R G H :
Printed for JOHN BELL; and sold by J. NOURSE,

and RICHARDSON & URQUHART, London.

M,DCC,LXXVI.

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2-23-1932

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HE Christian Church may be con

sidered as a vast coinmunity, a great and noble republic, founded on Divine institution, and governed by peculiar laws both of a religious and political nature. Its internal constitution, its system of doctrine, discipline, worship and polity, and its external situation and circumstances in the world, whether prosperous or adverse, depressed or triumphant, do justly merit attention. Here must open a wide field for curious research and ob

servation.

THE

The support and government of fo immense a society, the movements of such a complicated machine, and, --whilst it points to sublimer objects, and would steer a course to celestial habitations, its intimate connection, in mean time, with this world, with princes and potentates, with states and kingdoms, with transactions of peace and war, with any new event or revolution, and with men of every rank and character,--all this ferves remarkably to enrich and diversify the scene of Ecclesiastical History,

THIS, however, it must be owned, is too little known by many ; and whilst they roam at large through other lefs valuable volumes of history, they preposterously neglect this more curious and interesting one, calculated to improve a solid, fagacious taste ; and even to gratify, in fome degree, an imagination turned

for

;

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for romance, considering the numerous and marvellous incidents with which it is crouded,

To remove a considerable objection made by some, I have, in the following performance, lopped off numberless excrescencies which over-load our Churchhistories in general ; whilst, however, I have judged it proper, to introduce a variety of episodes and observations omitted by others. Yet, I find, that some, on the other hand, have affected such a short, systematic method, as to render their account of things little better than a mere ehronological index, jejune and uninteresting, whilst they have neglected to lay open the true springs of action, to trace the movement and gradual evolution of affairs, or to resolve into their proper causes the various events and revolutions which they too transiently relate,

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