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despotic designs, his contemptible artifices, and his ridiculous superstitions.

Several persons, and even some of our leading Senators, suppose that Popery has long since been abundantly meliorated. But I wish they may not be nearer the truth, who think that the spirit of Protestantism has sadly degenerated. Both these points may receive much illustration from that part of this History which is yet unfinished. In the mean time, the true nature and character of Protestantism, as well as of Popery, ought to be carefully examined, and ascertained with all possible accuracy. And for this purpose, the diligent study of the same memorable period, and especially of the first eight years of it, namely, from 1517 to 1525, will be found peculiarly useful. During these years, Luther stood almost alone; and the documents contained in this and the preceding Volume will leave no doubt on the mind of the inquisitive Reader as to the real motives by which he was actuated. Then the doctrines of Luther are well known to be, in the main, the doctrines of every branch of the Protestant Reformation. These, with the rapidity of lightning, penetrated almost every part of Europe; became the fruitful source of various Christian institutions and establishments; and, as hitherto they were supported rather by the blood of the martyrs, than the power of princes and prelates, they beautifully exhibit the native vigour of the reviving Church of Christ.

Doubtless, in describing thus at length the interesting scenes which immediately led to our blessed deliverance from papal darkness and iniquity, the Historian's progress through the sixteenth century is inevitably retarded; but it should be remembered, that he is in no degree deviating from the original plan of the work; and that he is hereby laying a good foundation for brevity, precision and perspicuity, in the continuation of the History.

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