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CHARLES H. H. WRIGHT, D.D., M.A., Ph.D.
on the Septuagint (1893-1897), in the University of Oxford
AND THE REV.
CHARLES NEIL, M.A.
Editor of “ The Comprehensive Scripture Lesson Scheme"
WITH PLATES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
HODDER AND STOUGHTON
27 PATERNOSTER ROW
As the word “Protestant,” which occurs in the title of this work, is often misrepresented, a few remarks respecting its meaning may be useful. “Protestant” and “Catholic” are terms which, when rightly understood, are not conflicting. True Protestantism holds firmly to the truths set forth in the Creeds of the Apostolic Church, and protests only against unscriptural additions made to the Primitive Faith. Protestantism is the re-affirmation of that Faith combined with a distinct protest against those errors of doctrine, ritual, and practice which were brought, as St. Peter says, “ privily” into the Church of Christ (2 Pet. ii. 2), but which were accepted as “Church teaching” in mediæval times, and are still too prevalent. The word Protestantism stands for the return to Primitive and Apostolic Christianity. It is the reassertion of “the faith once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). When Protestantism is negative in its declarations, it is only to preserve and accentuate some truth which is being perverted. Like the great “Ten Words,” as the Jews were wont to term “the Ten Commandments,” truths sometimes appear to be simply negations, when in reality they are very far from having that character, as our Lord's summary of that Law (Matt xxü. 36-40) abundantly proves.
The present work, therefore, although constructive, is necessarily controversial. Persons who object to controversy ignore the fact that the teaching of Christ and His Apostles was controversial. Truth was set forth by them in contrast with the errors of their times. The first teachers of Christianity were compelled to draw attention to “the weakness and unprofitableness” of the old Mosaic Law (Heb. vii. 18) then passing away, and to oppose the “tradition of men” (Mark vii. 7-9) which had perverted and misrepresented the nobler elements of that Law. The Apostolic Age has been described by the inspired writer as “a time of Reformation ” (Heb. ix. 10). The Creeds of the Church were the outcome of controversy. The most brilliant periods of the Church's history were times of controversy. The battle of truth will not be finally won until He that is “Faithful and True” Himself appears on the scene of conflict (Rev. xix. 11, f.), and until that day arrives, it is faithlessness on the part of the soldiers of Christ to lay aside their armour, and to put into its scabbard “the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Eph. vi. 17).
The book now presented to the public may, no doubt, be found fault with both for containing too much and for containing too little. Certain subjects necessarily recur in articles by different writers. The object of providing a handy work of reference for Protestants on the Romish controversy had always to be borne in mind. The Protestant Dictionary does not profess to be complete as a historical or theological lexicon.
The work, as it is, covers an extensive field of discussion. It is, perhaps, the first attempt made on the Protestant side to deal with the points in dispute by means of a dictionary. But on the Roman Catholic side such aids