« AnteriorContinuar »
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND, &c.
J. H. MERLE D'AUBIGNÉ,
PRESIDENT OF THE THEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF GENEVA,
AND MEMBER OF THE · SOCIETÉ EVANGELIQUE.'
D. WALTHER, 42, PICCADILLY.
PREF A CE.
The work I have undertaken is not the history of a party. It is the history of one of the greatest revolutions ever effected in human affairs,—the history of a mighty impulse communicated to the world three centuries ago,—and of which the operation is still every where discernible in our own days. The history of the Reformation is altogether distinct from the history of Protestantism. In the former all bears the character of a regeneration of human nature, a religious and social transformation emanating from God himself. In the latter, we see too often a glaring depravation of first principles,the conflict of parties,-a sectarian spirit,—and the operation of private interests. The history of Protestantism might claim the attention only of Protestants. The history of the Reformation is a book for all Christians,—or rather for all mankind.
An historian may choose his portion in the field before him. He may narrate the great events which change the exterior aspect of a nation, or of the world; or he may record that tranquil progression of a nation, of the church, or of mankind, which generally follows mighty changes in social relations. Both these departments of history are of high importance. But the public interest has seemed to turn, by preference, to those periods which, under the