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AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF THE

ENGLISH REFORMATION.

BY JOHN LEWIS, M. A.

MINISTER OF MEREGATE.

A NEW EDITION.

OXFORD,
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.

MDCCCXX.

msul

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THE

PR'E FACE

Notis Ec

THE most learned and reverend Archbishop Usher observed, 1613, that " at that time the Papists disputed “ with Protestants, and particularly with those of the “ Church of England, the antiquity of their religion, and “ the perpetual succession or continuation of it to that “ time. The former of these,” his Grace said, “the learned “ Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, defended with the best suc“ cess, and claimed to us Protestants the first six hundred “ years, as the most ancient, as well as the best part of “ time. The other part, the perpetual succession, is,” he said, “ greater and more obscure, containing the space of “ nine hundred years ; in all which time, the Papists pre“ tend, that either our Church was no where at all, or was Bellarm. de “ compelled to serve strange gods, to adore idols, and de

su cles. c. 5. " communicate with the sacrilegious.” This the Archbishop undertook to confute, and for that purpose wrote Jan historical explication of the most important question of the continual succession of the Christian Churches, especially in the Western parts, from the Apostles' times to that in which he lived. But they being times of danger and trouble, and his Grace being robbed in Wales of the MSS. which he had purchased for that purpose, he exWecuted this good design no farther than the times of our famous Dr. John Wiclif. To continue this history therefore, I wrote the Life of Doctor Wiclif, and gave as particuar an account as I could of his opinions. It was, I found, no difficult matter to do this, and to shew their opposi

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