Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

P R E F A C E . pointed at the popifh mfonaries in England a that time, is not only in- confiftent with the proteftant reformation (as I obfirved before), but muff feelually prevent the propagating of chr f ianity among the idolatrous na- tions off the eaftern and weftern Indians, without a new power of working miracles, which we have no ground to expel ; and Imay venture to affure his lord(hip and the world, that the good archbfop lived to fie his.miftake; and could naine the learned perfon to whom he frankly conf fed it after force hours converfation upon the fubjel : But human authorities are of little weight in points of reafon and fpeculation. It was from this miflaken principle, that the government pried fo hard upon theft puritans, whofe h f ory is now before the reader ; in which he will obferve how the transfering the fupremacy from the pope to the king, . united the church andfiate into one body under one head, infomuch that 'writing againfl the church was conflrued by the judges in We(tminfter- Hall, a feditious libelling the queen's government, and was punifhed with exorbitant fines, imprifonment and death. He will obferve further, the rife and progrefs of the penal laws; the extent of the regal fupremacy in thfe times ; the deplorable ignorance of the clergy ; with the oppofite prin- ciples of our church reformers, andof the puritans, which I havefit in a true light, and have purfued the controverfy as an h f orian in its fe.- veral branches, to the endof the-long reign of queen ELIZABETH ; to all which Ihave added forno fhort remarks of my own, which the reader will receive according to their evidence. And becaufe the principles of the faits reformers were much the fame with thole of the englifh puritans, aitd the impofing a liturgy and b f ops upon them, gave rife to the confufions of the next age, Ihave inferted a fhort account of their religious meat; and have enlivened the whole with the lives and charaelers of the principalpuritans of thole times. A hiflory of this kindwas long expeeledfrom the late reverendand learn- ed Dr. John Evans, who had for Tome years been colletling materials for this purpofi, and had he lived to perfebl his dfgn, would have done it to much greater advantage ; but I have I fien none of his papers, and am, informed, that there is but a very fmall matter capable of being put in or- der for the pref. Upon his deceafe I found it.neceffary. to undertake this province, to bring the hiflory forward to thole times wben the puritans had the power in their own hands; in examining into which I have (pent my: leifure hours for fome years; but the publifhing thole. collelions will depend under God, upon the continuance of myhealth, and the acceptance this meets; with. in the world *. I r. This hHfòry was firít publithed in four volumesettava. Each volume was publiíhed: feparately at the diftance of a. year or two from each other. X111