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P R E F A C E.
WHEN I undertook the task of preparing for the press the Syriac Version of S. Cyril's Commentary upon the Gospel of S. Luke, discovered among the manuscripts lately obtained from Egypt, and deposited in the British Museum, I was aware that my labours would be of little practical benefit, unless I also made it accessible to theologians generally by means of an English translation. In the performance of this duty, my chief assistance has been derived from the Nova Bibliotheca Patrum of Cardinal Mai, published in 1844–58 at Rome: for so miserably defective is even the best Syriac Lexicon, that it has repeatedly happened that I have only been able to arrive with something like certainty at the meaning of a passage, by waiting until I found in some extract in Mai the equivalent in Greek of the word or phrase in question. Wherever this help has failed, I have carefully examined the use of words in other Semitic dialects, or in the numerous Syriac works which during the last few years have issued from the press, and in which I had been in the habit of noting the occurrence of all new and unusual terms. To