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A Key to the Knowledge of Church History (Ancient)   By: (1823-1884)

Book cover

First Page:


E text prepared by Al Haines

Transcriber's notes:

Page numbers in this book are indicated by numbers enclosed in curly braces, e.g. {99}. They have been located where page breaks occurred in the original book. For its Index, a page number has been placed only at the start of that section.

In the original book, its various chapters' subsections were denoted with the "section" symbol (ยง). In this e text, that symbol has been replaced with the word "SECTION". Where two of these symbols were together, they have been replaced with the word "SECTIONS".

In the original book, footnotes in a chapter were numbered from 1 to 9. If a chapter had more than 9 footnotes, the numbering sequence was repeated, resulting in several footnotes with the same number. In this e book, all footnotes have been re numbered sequentially from 1. Footnotes have been moved to the end of their respective chapters.

The original book had many side notes in its pages' left or right margin areas. Some of these sidenotes were at the beginning of a paragraph, and in this e text, are placed to precede their host paragraph. Some were placed elsewhere alongside a paragraph, in relation to what the sidenote referred to inside the paragraph. These have been placed into the paragraph near where they were in the original book. Some sidenotes were split into two or more parts, distributed down the margin of their host paragraph. Occasionally, such multi part sidenotes had sections in adjacent paragraphs. If all parts of such sidenotes were within a single paragraph, they were treated as separate sidenotes, unless that meant the splitting of sentences, in which case they were amalgamated into a single sidenote and positioned near where their first section was. If a multi part sidenote had sections in adjacent paragraphs, those sections were treated as if they belonged to their host paragraph. Sidenotes inside paragraphs are always placed between sentences. All sidenotes have been enclosed in square brackets, and preceded with "Sidenote:".



Edited by


Editor of "The Dictionary of Theology," "The Annotated Book of Common Prayer;" Author of "Household Theology," Etc. Etc.

"This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations. " St. Matt. xxiv. 14

Rivingtons Waterloo Place, London Oxford, and Cambridge MDCCCLXXVII [New Edition]


This Volume offers to the reader a short and condensed account of the origin, growth, and condition of the Church in all parts of the world, from the time of our Lord down to the end of the fifteenth century, the narrative being compressed into as small a compass as is consistent with a readable form.

In such a work the reader will not, of course, expect to find any full and detailed account of so vast a subject as Pre Reformation Church History. Its object is rather to sketch out the historical truth about each Church, and to indicate the general principles on which further inquiry may be conducted by those who have the opportunity of making it.

It is hoped that those whose circumstances do not admit of an extended study of the subject will find in the following pages a clear, though condensed, view of the periods and Churches treated of; and that those whose reading is of a less limited range will be put in possession of certain definite lines of thought, by which they may be guided in reading the statements of more elaborate histories.

It may be added, that the writer's stand point throughout has been that of a loyal attachment to the Church of England, as the authorized exponent and upholder of Catholic doctrine for English people.

M. F. B. P.

July , 1869.



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