It was not my original purpose to do more than summarise and combine the labours of previous students, and hence this outline was written mainly from memory. In deference to the wishes of others, I have now provided it with a modest furniture of references and citations for the guidance of readers unfamiliar with the subject (in doing which I have had the expert assistance of Mr. Dudley Wright); but I need not say that these notes give a very inadequate idea of the material actually drawn upon. It is as a work of interpretation, and not as a work of reference, that the volume has been planned, and the only scientific merit it can pretend to is that claimed by Bossuet for his Universal His tory, the merit of a general chart which shows the relations between different provinces. Current literature is seriously deficient in comprehensive surveys of the kind and I may be allowed to pay a tribute in passing to Professor Myres' lucid sketch, The Dawn of H istory, which I could wish to be read by way of introduction to these pages.
So far as I am aware this is the first attempt at a complete outline of the Christian evolution in the light of modern knowledge, and perhaps the chapters dealing with the rise of monotheism may be found to bridge a real gap. No reader can feel so strongly as the writer how tentative and provisional every work of this kind must be for a long time to come but if we were to wait for perfect certainty in the field of history, we should wait for ever.
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