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Introductory Notice

[A.D. 277.] The Manichaean heresy, which was destined to operate so terribly against the Church and the purity of the Gospel, encountered its earliest successful antagonism in the Thebaid; and I have not doubted the wisdom of prefixing this Disputation to the veritable name and work of Alexander of Lycopolis, as important to the complete history of the great Alexandrian school. The Edinburgh translator of this work regards it as an "authentic relic of antiquity," in spite of Beausobre, who treats it as a romance. I have forced myself, in this republication, to reject no theory of the Edinburgh collaborators to which I have not been able to give as much critical attention, at least, as they have evidently bestowed upon their work. It seems to me a well-sustained presumption that the work is fundamentally real, and Dr. Neander admits its base of fact. It is useful, at any rate, in its form and place, as here presented, and so much may be inferred from the following:-

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