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PREFACE.

The Life of Jesus Christ has excited a powerful interest in the minds of Christians at every period. St. Matthew wrote his gospel from personal knowledge of the Saviour, in Hebrew or Syriac, for the Jewish converts, a few years after Christ's ascension. St. Mark's gospel was written in Greek, from St. Peter's dictation, for the church established at Rome. St. Luke's was written in Greek, from information furnished by the Redeemer's companions. St. John's Greek gospel was written about sixty years after Christ's death, at the request of the Asiatic churches, to supply omissions in the other Evangelists.

Besides these canonical gospels, many others of doubtful authority, or baneful tendency, were circulated in the earliest ages of Christianity. Brief notices of those still extant will be found in the succeeding pages ; and Fabricius has industriously collected every particular relating both to those still remaining, and those entirely lost, in Codicis Apocryphi Novi Testamenti. The seventh

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