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ANALYTICAL AND COMPARATIVE
VIEW OF ALL RELIGIONS
NOW EXTANT AMONG MANKIND:
WITH THEIR INTERNAL
DIVERSITIES OF CREED AND PROFESSION.
BY JOSIAH CONDER,
THE MODERN TRAVELLER," ETC. ETC.
" For though there be that are called gods ..... to us there is but one (iod,
JACKSON AND WALFORD,
18, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD.
Some explanation is due to my friends, with regard to the length of time that has elapsed since this work was first announced as in preparation for the press. The plan was drawn up, and the first two chapters were written, several years ago; and as my original intention was to exhibit little more than a classified synopsis of the generic divisions and specific subdivisions of the Religious World, agreeably to the principles laid down in the introductory chapter, I had imagined that this might be comprised within the limits of a very small volume, without its being more meagre of information than Evans's “ Sketch of all Religions.” That volume has had the singular good fortune to obtain extensive circulation on the credit of its attractive title, without the slightest portion of literary merit, or any other intrinsic recommendation ; and its success amply proves that a well-written work upon the same subject was a desideratum. It is remarkable that English literature, rich as it is in every department, but more especially in
theology, should not have abounded with works of this description. “ The Religious World Displayed,” by the Rev. Robert Adam, in two vols. 8vo., published several years ago, is a very respectable performance, and I have occasionally consulted it: it is not for me, therefore, to speak of its defects, among which want of candour cannot be included. The “ Dictionary of All Religions,” jumbles together under one alphabet sects and creeds, of all ages, extant and non-existent, without the smallest attention to their mutual relation or their proportionate importance. Besides these, the only recent work of the kind is the “ Book of the Denominations,” which has passed through an edition since my work was nearly completed for the press. This volume treats only of the denominations of Christendom.
There would still appear to be ample room, therefore, for the present work, which embraces a wider range. In filling up the original outline of my plan, I have found it necessary to go more into detail than I had intended, till the volume has expanded to a size much exceeding my original calculations. I have studied compression, however, to the utmost ; and flatter myself that a larger portion of information upon the topics embraced will be found condensed within this volume, than has hitherto been brought into the same compass.
The most difficult, or at least the most delicate part of my task has been, to preserve that impartiality which may reasonably be looked for in an account of Religious Opinions, without affecting an irreligious neutrality,