The Author's chief desire in giving to the Public this short History, has been to meet what he believes to be a real want among general readers; not to make a student's book, for we have already many able works of this kind, but a popular handbook, such as might be read with profit by those who have no time or inclination for a more exhaustive study. In short, he has endeavoured to gather together, in a single volume, all that is interesting and essential, and to so write his history that the mind of the reader may not be wearied even while the dullest facts are passing before it. These are high aims, and only those who have attempted a similar task can understand the difficulties by which the Author has been surrounded. An outline knowledge of Church History is not only useful to the class of readers referred to, butnecessary to all who would tread firmly in the present day, when rationalism on the one hand, and superstition on the other, are luring the unwary into by-paths of worldliness and unrest. In the open page of history we may see the infidelity of the one, and the idolatry of the other; and, admonished by the miserable consequences of each, may be prepared against their insidious approaches in the future. We have not yet seen the end of mystic Babylon, or the beast that carries her. The Author has been sparing of quotations, save from such writers as were contemporaneous with the events described; but he has not scrupled to avail himself of the thoughts of others, when they have commended themselves to his judgment, because of their peculiar fitness and importance. He would cover this liberty by the reflection, that truth is the property of all seekers. The authors to whom he is chiefly indebted, and whose works he has had in constant reference, are: — Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and St. Augustine, among old writers; Waddington, James White, Haweis, Timpson, Barth, and Andrew Miller, for complete epitomes; Cave, Milman, Milner, and Edward Burton, for histories of the early church; and for the period of the Middle Ages, Fleury, Hallam, Monastier, Dr. Gilly, Dr. Muston (Hazlitt's translation), Keightley, and Jane Willyams; as well as the author of a valuable little work, "The Church in the Middle Ages." For the period of the Reformation, Fox, the Martyrologist, Burnet, Robertson, McCrie, Scott, D'Aubigne, Ludwig Hausser, Ranke, Green, etc.; and the works of the English reformers published by the Parker Society. Southey (for his "Book of the Church"), and the French historians Sismondi and Michela, have also been frequently consulted, together with the authors of sundry biographies, outline histories, etc., whose names it is needless to enumerate. From this it will be seen that the Author makes no pretensions to originality, in the strict sense of the word, although he would claim for his book that it is more than a mere compilation. It is, in fact, the result of the earnest labour of several months; and while he has gone much to other books, it has been with the purpose of reference and not of plunder. Others have laboured, and he has entered into their labours. In conclusion, he would commend these fruits of his labour to the blessing of God, without which they can only prove a failure but, crowned with this, they may succeed beyond his hopes, and in spite of every defect. October, 1888.