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THE SECOND ECUMENICAL COUNCIL TO THE END OF
THE FOURTH CENTURY.
JOHN HENRY PARKER.
The publication of a portion of Fleury's elaborate work in English has been undertaken in consequence of the growing interest which is felt at this time in the history of the Church, and the want of works in our language which may be considered to satisfy it. The learned Mosheim, who is most familiarly known to the English reader, has not, properly speaking, written a history; unless, indeed, that deserves the name, which contains no action, pursues no line of narrative, discovers no curiosity about individual character and its influence upon the course of events, and throws no light upon the philosophy of doctrine and its developments. We are presented with a vast multitude of isolated facts in their external aspect; without any relief of the oppression they create from ethical tone, eloquence of style, or skill in composition, on the part of the narrator. His work, therefore, is rather fitted for reference than for reading. A similar judgment has been pronounced by one, whose memory is very dear to the writer of these lines. “Let any one take up “ Mosheim," says Mr. Rose in his Second Divinity Lecture delivered at Durham, “—and I mention his name without “ any disrespect, for he has done whatever could be done in “ his way, by actually wedging and driving in one fact after “ another into his pages till they bristle with facts, and the “ heart and the imagination are alike beaten down and “ crushed to pieces—and see, when one has read his careful “ and laborious conglomeration of facts, what more we know
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