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THE ENGLISH REFORMATION IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

J.H. Merle D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation of The Sixteenth Century (New York: Hurst & Company; [1853]; Vol. IV, pp. iv, v).

 

‘[T]he English Reformation has been, and still is, calumniated by writers of different parties, who look upon it as nothing more than an external political transformation, and who thus ignore its spiritual nature. History has taught the author that it was essentially a religious transformation, and that we must seek for it in men of faith, and not, as is usually done, solely in the caprices of the prince, the ambition of the nobility, and the servility of the prelates. A faithful recitation of this great renovation will perhaps show us that beyond and without the measures of Henry VIII, there was something – everything, so to speak – for therein was the essence of the Reformation, that which makes it a divine and imperishable work. . . . An active party in the Episcopalian Church is reviving with zeal, perseverance, and talent, the principles of Roman-catholicism, and striving to impose them on the Reformed Church of England, and incessantly attacking the foundation of evangelical Christianity. . . . It is good to call to mind that the primitive Christianity of Great Britain perseveringly repelled the invasion of the popedom, and that after the definitive victory of this foreign power, the noblest voices among kings, lords, priests, and people, boldly protested against it. It is good to show that, while the word of God recovered its inalienable rights in Britain, in the sixteenth century, the popedom, agitated by wholly political interests, broke of itself the chain with which it had so long bound England.’

 

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