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INTRODUCTION

TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.

THE name of De Pressensé, the eminent leader of evangelical Protestantism in France, is favorably known in England and America by his published works, especially his "Life of Christ," and his "Religion and the Reign of Terror." By his clear maintenance of Christian truth, his ripe scholarship, his fresh and pictorial style, and the tone of modern liberality that pervades his firm conservatism in behalf of fundamental verities, he has placed himself in the highest rank of modern defenders of the primitive Christian faith. Had he, like Renan, the advantage of the zest of opposition to ancient opinions, and of a factitious originality, arising from an unrestrained liberty of shaping, coloring, and grouping the facts and characters of history to his own fancy, Pressensé could bring to the work an insight not less clear, and a style not less vivid. But he holds himself solemnly bound to TRUTH alone, whether that truth be marvelous and picturesque, or commonplace and brown. Yet truth, like wisdom, is justified of her children. She is infinitely valuable for her own sake; she is often capable of an ever-varying freshness as viewed by successive ages; and the truths which Pressensé unfolds must forever possess for the earnest spirit an unsurpassable interest and an eternal youth.

While maintaining evangelical truth in its true spirit, Pressensé, with a genuine Protestant freedom, expresses individual views from which many devout Christians dissent, and in regard to which the publishers are not to be held as expressing opinions. He adopts, for instance the view of Van Oosterzee and others in regard to the divine nature of Christ, modifies the Anselmian theory of the atonement, and strenuously maintains immersion to be the sole mode of New Testament baptism. Some of the views furnish grounds even for 14denominational differences; but Pressensé speaks from that elevated stand-point which may induce even those who differ from him to give him a liberal hearing.

We may add, that this is the only edition issued from the press in this country, and that it is printed by agreement with an English publishing house, under the proper arrangements with the author and translator.

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