Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

LIVES OF THE PURITANS. INTRODUCTION: CONTAINING A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF NONCONFOR- MITY FROM THE REFORMATION, TO THE PASSING OF THE ACT OF UNIFORMITY, IN 1662. SECT. I. From the Commencement of the Reformation, to the Death of Queen Mary. PREVIOUS to the accession of King HENRY VIII. popish darkness overspread the whole island of Britain. This was followed by a train of most unhappy consequences. Ignorance, superstition, immorality and persecution were, predominant in every part of the kingdom. Those who presumed to think for themselves on religious subjects, and to dissent from the national church, underwent all the oppressions and severities of persecution. From the days of Wickliffe to this time, great numbers of excellent Chris- tians and worthy subjects, fell sacrifices to popish cruelty. This proudmonarch being at firsta most obedient son of the pope, treated the bold confessors of truth as obstinate rebels ; and because their piety and integrity condemned his licentiousness, he put multitudes to cruel tortures and to death. Soon after Luther arose in Saxony, England became affected by his bold and vigorous opposition to the errors of the church of Rome. The young king, vain of his scholastic learning, was unwise enough to meet the bold reformer on the field of controversy, and published a book