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GENERAL PREFACE.

THE present volume of the Ancient and Modern Ljórary

of Theological Literature is one of a series intended to instruct the general reader in the knowledge of the early Fathers of the Christian Church. With this view we have placed as a background the learned and well-written history by the late Professor Burton, of the first century. It may thus be learned how the Church passed through the Apostolic era into that of the "Apostolic Fathers." These Fathers belong to the period between the close of the New Testament Canon and the days of St Irenæus (A.D. 160)—a period during which the record of the progress of the Church and of its heroes is very scanty. From the time of the great Bishop of Lyons onwards we have an abundant Church literature, and much fuller details in history than before. at that epoch how the Church had spread itself far and wide, but the seed had grown almost secretly. There were many writers during the interval whose works have perished, though, as we shall presently see, it is even now possible that some of them may yet be found buried away in the lumber rooms of Eastern monasteries.

The Apostolic Fathers thus belong to the intervening period we have named. The present volume contains the works of

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three. The next will comprise the remainder. How far we may accept the genuineness of the Epistles, their claim to be the work of the writers whose names they bear, will be discussed in the Introduction to each as it comes. That they all belong to the period we have named, let the authors be whom they may, is an indisputable fact. The translation which is offered to the reader is that of Archbishop Wake, with the exception of some portions of the Epistles of Clement. That exception may as well be explained here instead of in the Introduction to St Clement.

The two Epistles ascribed to this Father are contained in a Manuscript now enshrined in the British Museum, the Codex Alexandrinus. This famous and priceless document, technically known as “Codex A," was presented by Cyril Lucar, Patriarch, first of Alexandria, then of Constantinople, to King Charles I. In 1757 it passed from the Royal Library to the Museum. That MS., written about the middle of the fifth century, is in four volumes, and contains the LXX. version of the Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. And immediately following the Book of Revelation are found the two Epistles of St Clement. This, until our own times, was the only copy of that Father known to exist. It has been many times printed, and it was from this that Archbishop Wake's translation was made. But a leaf from the first Epistle was missing (chapters 58 to 63), and all the latter portion of the second Epistle, though quotations from the missing parts were not infrequent in the writings of later Fathers. Thus the case stood until the year 1875. Then a remarkable discovery was made by Philotheos Bryennios, Metropolitan of Serræ in Ancient Macedonia. He found a complete copy of the two works in the Library of the Most Holy Sepulchre in Fanar of Constantinople. The date of the transcript was upon it, 1056. The

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volume which contained the precious discovery had other works with it, among them one which we shall have in a sub

a sequent volume, entitled, The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. He published the Clement at Constantinople in 1875, and thus for the first time the complete works were in the hands of the Christian world. As we have said, sentences from the recovered portion were already known through quotations. They are found here in their context, and no one questions the genuineness of the work. From Bryennios's reprint the missing portions have been translated by the present Editor and added in their place. They will be found at pp. 200-204, within square brackets. A splendid edition of these Epistles has been published by the Bishop of Durham, and his learned notes are full of light. It is to be hoped that his lordship will shortly publish a complete edition of the Apostolic Fathers. The value of such a work from his pen to the student of Church History cannot be over-estimated,

W. B.

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