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AND
DATIONS.

"They that goe downe to the sea in ships, and occupie by the great waters, they see the workes of the Lord, and his wonders in the deepe. For God is marvellous in the surges and tempests of the sea: he is marvellous in the firmament of heaven: but much more marvellous is he in the surges and stormy tempests of his church. Heere may we behold the worke of his hands. This is the shop of his power, of his wisedome, of his light, and truth, and righteousnesse, and patience, and mercy. Heere may we see the children of light, and the children of darknesse: the vessels of honor, and the vessels of shame: the assaults of falshood, and the glorie and victorie of truth. Heere shall we see how God leadeth even into hell, and yet bringeth safely backe: how he killeth, and yet reviveth: how he refuseth the full, and feedeth the hungrie: how he is the ruine of many, and the resurrection of many. Heere may we see the wonderfull waies, and the unsearcheable judgements of God,"

BISHOP JEWEL, Sermon on Josh. vi. 1.

PREFACE.

THE Reformation is one of the most remarkable events in our history, whether considered in relation to politics or religion; for its influence was most powerful upon both. My own reading, profession, and taste have led me to regard it in the latter rather than in the former light; and therefore, brief as the following sketch is, it will not be found of the nature of an abridgment of larger histories of the Reformation, which have contemplated it in all its many bearings, but a continuous, though succinct account, of its rise, progress, and consummation, chiefly considered as a great Revolution of the Church. I have avoided, as far as I could, taking my materials at second hand. I have been governed in my choice of them by a desire to seize upon such as, being characteristic in kind, might not be oppressive in number; and I have worked them up into a whole, with less regard to the line and rule by which others may have wrought already, than to the positions into which they seemed of them

selves to fall most naturally. If in my treatment of the many delicate and difficult questions which such a subject stirs, I have former writers with me, it is well. I have not, however, constrained myself to seek out their path and ensue it, though I am too conscious of my own deficiencies, and of the extreme uncertainty of history, to be otherwise than pleased, if I happen to strike into it unawares. If, on the same occasions, I have the good fortune to agree with the voice of my own times, it is well too: it is folly to be singular, except for the purpose of being right; but still I have not hearkened out for that voice, and studiously walked by it—I have gone as my facts directed me, taking them as I found them, unpacked. For those facts I have generally given my authorities, that my readers may judge for themselves of the credit due to them; and for the speculations which accompany them, whether doctrinal or practical, I may say that they are meant to serve the cause of truth and equity, not of party; it is for others to say whether they are reasonable, and to let them prevail only so far as they prove so valeant quantum valent.

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