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ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by HERMAN Cope, Treasurer, in trust for the American Sunday-school Union, in the Clerk’s Office of the District court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
**wn L. JoHNSON, STEREOTYPER, PHILADELPHIA.
THE Protestant Reformation was one of those great and surprising events which attract the notice of succeeding generations, and mark the periods in which they occur as epochs in the history of the world. In many particulars, this event resembled the first triumph of Christianity; and among all the revolutions which the earth has witnessed, was second only to that in point of interest and importance. It sundered the chains of debasing ignorance and inveterate superstition. It broke the yoke of the most grinding moral and spiritual oppression. It unlocked the longsealed fountains of knowledge, and gave the Bible to the nations. In the course of a few years, it enlightened and emancipated half Europe. Nor was its influ
curred. Its blessed results have rolled down the tide of time, in a constantly widening and increasing current, from generation to generation, and they will continue thus to roll, till time shall be no In Ore. In all true history the hand of God is more or less visible; but never have his power and grace been more strikingly displayed than in the series of events connected with the Protestant Reformation. By a succession of remarkable, though often mysterious, providences, he prepared the way for the purification of his church. It was his providence and grace which raised up and qualified the individuals by whom this work was chiefly conducted; which protected and sustained them in the midst of trials and dangers; and which brought, at length, the mighty enterprise in which they were engaged to a successful issue. At every stage in the progress of the work, we find these individuals humbly looking to God for direction; and in every season of encouragement and deliverance, they devoutly ascribed to him the glory. Let those who come after them, and who read the story and reap the fruits of their toils and perils, do the Same. The object of the writer in the following history (as the intelligent reader must perceive) has not been so much to be profound or original, as to be instructive and entertaining. As he writes more especially for the benefit of the young, he has endeavoured to give to the narrative somewhat of a scenic character, and to embody as much of stirring incident as was consistent with the necessary brevity of the work. In preparing these pages, the author has had access to nearly all the histories of the Reformation, both Romish and Protestant. He has been chiefly indebted, however, to the new history of President D’Aubigné, whose course of narrative he has more generally followed, and whose language he has, in some instances, adopted. s He now commits the work to the beloved youth of our land, in the hope and prayer that it may tend to open their eyes to the errors, the evils and dangers of that system of darkness with which the Romish church has covered so large a portion of this world, and may deeply impress them with a sense of obligation to those often traduced but ever memorable reformers, who braved for us the terrors of ecclesiastical tyranny and persecution, and at the expense of whose toils, sacrifices and blood, we have received the Bible, and nearly all those blessings, whether civil or religious, which we now enjoy. Next to the apostles and evangelists of the primitive church, the Reformers of the sirteenth century should be remem bered with gratitude and honour by Chris tians in all coming time.