Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/15

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xv
PREFACE.

tiquities. M. Renan belongs to those religious thinkers who are known as the “advanced school.” Hence the public, generally, in France, heard with something like astonishment of his appointment to the chair of the Hebrew, Chaldaic, and Syriac Languages in the College of France, as the successor of M. Quatremère. They were partly prepared, also, for the result of his inaugural lecture—the suspension of further lectures. This proceeding is one of much importance in the literary history of Europe, and that importance has been the sole inducement to add an English version of the lecture to the present volume. M. Renan is compiling a life of Christ, and the history of the origin of Christianity, a great portion of which was written amidst the scenes to which it has immediate reference. His peculiar views are as well known