ANTE-NICENE CHRISTIAN LIBRARY.
MESSRS CLARK of Edinburgh, Publishers of the Foreign Theological Library, beg respectfully to invite attention to the Prospectus of a Collection of all the works of the Fathers of the Christian Church, prior to the Council of Nicaea, to be Edited by
REV. ALEXANDER ROBERTS, D.D.,
JAMES DONALDSON, LL.D.,
THE writings of the early Christians are allowed on all hands to be of great importance, and to be invested with a peculiar interest; and regrets have often been expressed that it should be so difficult to know their contents. Many of them are mere fragments; and where complete works exist, the text is often so corrupt, and the style is so involved, that even a good classical scholar is repelled from their perusal. If the student of Latin and Greek meets with obstacles, the merely English reader is absolutely without the means of information. The greater part of the most important writings have never been translated; and those translations which have been made are, with the exception of the few executed in recent times, for the most part loose, inaccurate, and difficult to procure. To supply this great want is the object of the Ante-Nicene Christian Library. All the Christian writings antecedent to the Nicene Council have been put into the hands of competent translators. These will make it their first and principal aim to produce translations as faithful as possible, uncoloured by any bias, dogmatic or ecclesiastical. They will also endeavour, in brief notes, to place the English reader in the position of those acquainted with the original languages. They will indicate important variations in the text; they will give different translations of the same passage where more than one have been proposed; they will note the various meanings attributed to the words in ecclesiastical controversies; and when the ancient documents appear in widely different forms, the various forms will be presented. At the same time, they will strive to combine with this strict accuracy and faithfulness as much elegance as may be consistent with the main aim. Short biographical [Pg 526] and explanatory notices will be prefixed to each translation; and in every case where there is variety of opinion, the writer will abstain from expressing his own sentiments, and confine himself simply to an impartial statement of the opinions of the most noteworthy critics on the point.
The following are the works which are now being translated: --
I. The Apostolical Fathers, including the Epistles of Clemens Romanus, the Epistles of Ignatius in their various forms, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Epistle of Polycarp, the Epistle to Diognetus, and the Pastor of Hermas, with the Martyria of Ignatius and Polycarp.
II. The undoubted and doubtful works of Justin Martyr, -- the Apologies, the Dialogue with Trypho, the Oratio ad Gentiles, the Cohortatio, the De Monarchia, and the fragments on the Resurrection, along with the Martyrium of one Justin.
III. The works of Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Hermias, and the fragments of the rest of the Apologists.
IV. Irenaeus: All his extant works.
V. Clemens Alexandrinus: All his extant works.
VI. Origen. The Series will include the De Principiis, and the Contra Celsum. The rest of his works will be translated if the Series is successful.
VII. The fragments of Julius Africanus, and of the other writers given in Dr Routh's Reliquiae Sacrae.
VIII. The works generally ascribed to Hippolytus, along with the recently discovered Refutatio Omnium Haeresium.
IX. The works ascribed to Dionysius of Alexandria, Gregory Thaumaturgus, Methodius, and others of the same period.
X. The Recognitions and the Clementine Homilies, the Letters of Clemens on Virginity, the Constitutions, the Canons of the Apostles, Decrees of Councils till the period of the Nicene Council, and the Martyria written within the period, and generally believed to be genuine.
XI. The Apocryphal Gospels, and other Apocryphal Literature of the New Testament.
XII. The Octavius of Minucius Felix.
XIII. The entire works of Tertullian.
XIV. All the genuine works of Cyprian.
XV. Arnobius adversus Gentes.
XVI. The works of Lactantius.
XVII. The extant works of Novatian, Victorinus, Commodianus, and other Christian Latin writers preceding the Council of Nice.
It is intended to include in the Series every Christian writing and document produced before the Nicene Council, whether in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, AEthiopic, or in any other language. The list includes a number of works, some portions of which are generally believed to have been written after the Council of Nice; but as other portions were, or may have been, written before that time, it has been thought the safer course to give them fully. Only those works which are now allowed on every hand to have been written after the Nicene Council, will be excluded.
It is believed that the writings comprised in the above Synopsis will form about sixteen or eighteen Volumes, in demy octavo, of a size similar to the Publishers' Foreign Theological Library; and the Series will be published at the same rate to Subscribers, namely --
FOUR VOLUMES for ONE GUINEA.
Each work will have a separate Index; and a very complete Index to the whole Series will be published in a separate Volume, especial care being taken hi its compilation.
The Publishers' arrangements are such, that the publication, once commenced, will proceed very rapidly; so that, whilst no Subscriber will be required to take the work more rapidly than four Volumes annually, it is highly probable that the whole may be finished at a much earlier period, for the convenience of those who may desire to have their sets completed. The Volumes will be handsomely bound in cloth, with red edges; but Subscribers may have them with uncut edges, by intimating their wish with their order.
They will be greatly obliged by intending Subscribers filling up the accompanying Slip, and returning it to them speedily, as this will very much facilitate their arrangements.
** When not paid in advance, the retail Bookseller is entitled to charge 24s
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I request Messrs Clark to insert my name in their list of Subscribers to the ANTE-NICENE CHRISTIAN LIBRARY, and to forward the books as published, through my bookseller,
If it is preferred to have the works forwarded direct per railway or book post (at cost of postage), It is requested that it be so stated. The Subscription is payable in advance, annually, on or before the FIRST Issue for each Year.
Now ready, in Four Volumes, demy 8vo, price 32s., handsomely bound in cloth,