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CHRISTIAN CHURCHES AND SECTS
Earliest Ages of Christianity.
INCUMBENT OF ST. PETER'S, BIRMINGHAM,
NEW BURLINGTON STREET ;
The following pages owe their existence, and the work itself something of its character, to the suggestions of Mr. Bentley. A compendious volume on the HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES AND SECTS, written fairly, and, as far as possible, in an impartial spirit, seems to be much wanted. The value of such a work will be at once acknowledged by those who have sought for information on matters of ecclesiastical history, where alone they have hitherto been met with, in the countless volumes of writers, intricate and antiquated, or deeply prejudiced, or imperfectly informed. An ecclesiastical history worthy of the name, and suited to the wants of the age, it is no presumption to say, has not yet been written ; and such are the labours and the difficulties of the enterprise, that it is not, I fear, likely to be undertaken by competent hands. Meantime the following outlines are presented to the student in this important field. The younger clergy will find in them some assistance and information which, if I may judge by my own experience, is not easily to be met with, and yet is wanted daily. As a book of reference, too, the volume, when complete, will, I hope, be found worthy of a place in the library of the general reader.
Of the execution I will say nothing more than that I have endeavoured to place myself in the situation of a candid member of the church or sect whose story was before me, and to avoid