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A Hstory Of The Councils Of The Church Volumes 1 to 5 by Charles Joseph Hefele D.D.

EIGHTEEN years have passed since the first Volume of this History of the Councils was originally published. Whatever additional light has, to my knowledge, been thrown on the subject in subsequent publications, I have taken care to avail myself of; and even where no such help was to be found, many improvements and corrections, sometimes enlarging, sometimes abbreviating it, have been introduced into the work. I may specify the alterations in the Introduction and in Sections 2, 6, 13, 37, 51, 71, and 81; as also the great assistance I have derived, as regards the important Synod of Elvira (Sec. 13), from the Kirchengeschichte Spaniens of Dr. P. Pius Gams, O.S.B. The general plan, idea, and character of the work remain unchanged. It has been my aim, in contradistinction from what may be called the former fragmentary method of treating the history of Councils, to present each important Synod as a link in the general historical development of the Church, and thereby to make its true significance understood. And thus this History of the Councils becomes in many ways very like a history of the Church and of dogmas, which will be no prejudice to it. As in the former edition, so has it here also been my first object everywhere to consult original sources, without forming preconceived opinions, and to state the results derived from a conscientious examination of them. May this second edition meet the same favourable reception as the first. I readily admit that a searching revision would have been desirable; but in my present position, and where the matter was urgent, this was not possible.

A second edition has just appeared at Edinburgh of an English Translation of this first Volume, as far as the end of the Council of Nicæa, by the Rev. W. Clark, but without the corrections of my second edition being incorporated into it. I have observed at the close of the Introduction that a French Translation of the whole work, down to the end of the eleventh century, has appeared in six octavo volumes. My consent has been asked, and received, for an Italian Translation; but I have heard no more about it since.

ROTTENBURG, January 1873.








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