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The following Lectures were delivered extempore to a class of some six hundred students drawn from all the Faculties in the University of Berlin. An enthusiastic listener took them down in shorthand, and at the close surprised Professor Harnack with a complete report of what he had said. A few alterations sufficed to transform the Lectures into a book, and German readers everywhere were thus happily enabled to share in some of the privileges of the original audience.

I deem it an honour to have any hand in offering to my fellow-countrymen a similar advantage. Goethe, writing in his last years to Carlyle, described translators, in grandiloquent language, as the agents of intellectual commerce among the nations. The duty of such agency in regard to the contents of this volume I have done my humble best to discharge, convinced as I am that in the traffic in ideas between Germany and the English-speaking peoples all over the world both the matter of Professor Harnack’s discourse and the spirit in which he treats it are alike worthy of attention.


London, November, 1900.

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