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anterior sects, he has noticed, from the best authorities, as large a number as is thought necessary for the comparison of ancient with modern creeds.
The Church and Missionary Statistics are believed to be as accurate as can be constructed from materials which annually undergo greater or less changes.
The Biographical Sketches are derived from the most authentic sources. While they convey useful knowledge in regard to the fathers and defenders of the various systems of religious faith, they may also stimulate our readers to the practice of those Christian virtues and graces which adorned the lives of many of them, and render their names immortal.
A few only of the works from which valuable aid has been received, can be mentioned:-Mosheim and McLaine's Ecclesiastical History; Gregory and Ruter's Church History; Encyclopædia Americana; Brown's Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge; Adams's View of Religions, and History of the Jews; Benedict's History of all Religions; Evans's Sketches; Buck's and Henderson's Theological Dictionaries; Eliot's, Allen's, and Blake's Biographical Dictionaries; Davenport; Watson; Grant's Nestorians; Coleman's Christian Antiquities; Ratio Disciplinæ; Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, &c.
To clergymen and laymen of all denominations, who have assisted the Editor in presenting their various views with clearness and fairness; to the secretaries of the several missionary boards; to editors of religious journals, and to other persons who have kindly furnished documents for the Statistics and Biographical Sketches, he tenders acknowledgments of unfeigned gratitude.
While the Editor assures the public that the whole has been prepared with much diligence and care, and with an entire freedom from sectarian zeal or party bias, he cannot but indulge the hope that his "Book of Religions" will prove acceptable and beneficial to the community, as imbodying a great variety of facts on a subject of deep concern, worthy of the exercise of our highest faculties, and requiring our most charitable conclusions.