Edited from a variety of translations (mentioned in the preface) by H. R. Percival
It now only remains that I thank all those who have assisted me in this work, and especially I must mention his Excellency the High Procurator of the Holy Governing Synod of Russia, who directed the bibliographical table of Russian editions of the Canons, etc., which is found in this volume, to be prepared for me by Professor Glubokoffski of the Ecclesiastical Academy at St. Petersburgh. My special thanks are due to the learned professor just named for the very admirable manner in which he has performed the work, and to Mr. W. J. Birkbeck, who has added one more to his numerous labours for making the West better acquainted with the East by translating the Russian ms. into English. I cannot but pause here to remark how deep my regret is that my ignorance of the Russian and Slavic tongues has prevented me from laying before my readers the treasures of learning and the stores of tradition and local illustration which these volumes must contain. I am, however, extremely well pleased in being able to put those, who are more fortunate than myself in this respect, in the way of investigating the matter for themselves, by supplying them with the titles of the books on the subject. I desire also to offer my thanks to Professor Bolotoff for the valuable information he sent me as well as for a copy of his learned (and often most just) strictures upon Professor Lauchert's book, "Die Kanones der wichtigsten altkirchlichen Concilien nebst den Apostolischen Kanones." (Freiburg in B. und Leipzig, 1896.)
The Rev. Wm. McGarvey has helped me most kindly by translating parts of the Second Council of Nice, and one or more of the African Canons; and by looking over the translation of the entire African Code.
The Rev. F. A. Sanborn translated two of St. Cyril's letters, and the Rev. Leighton Hoskins the Sardican Canons. To these and many other of my friends, who in one way or another helped me, I wish to return my deep thanks; also to the Nashotah Theological Seminary and to the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, for having placed their libraries entirely at my disposal; nor can I end this list without mention of my sister, who has assisted me most materially through the entire progress of the work, and without whom I never could have undertaken it.
When I think of the great number of authors cited, of the rapidity with which most of the translation has had to be done, of the difficulty of getting access to the necessary books, and of the vast range of subjects touched upon (including almost every branch of ecclesiastical and theological learning), I feel I must throw myself and my work upon the reader's indulgence and beg him to take all this in consideration in making his estimate of the value of the work done. As for me, now that it is all finished, I feel like crying out with the reader, in deep shame at the recollection of the many blunders he has made in reading the lesson,--"Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis!"
In conclusion I would add that nothing I have written must be interpreted as meaning that the editor personally has any doubt of the truth of the doctrines set forth by the Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church, and I wish to declare in the most distinct manner that I accept all the doctrinal decrees of the Seven Ecumenical Synods as infallible and irreformable.
H. R. Percival
Reference address : https://www.elpenor.org/ecumenical-councils/introduction.asp?pg=3