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OF THE

CHURCH OF CHRIST,

FROM

THE DIET OF AUGSBURG 1530,

TO

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

ORIGINALLY DESIGNED AS A CONTINUATION OF MILNER'S HISTORY.

BY

HENRY STEBBING, D.D.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. III.

LONDON:

T. CADELL, STRAND,

AND

W. BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH.

LONDON:

PRINTED BY JAMES AND LUKE J. HANSARD,

NEAR LINCOLN'S-INN FIELDS.

CENTURY XVI.-XVII.

. .

HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, FROM THE

DIET OF AUGSBURG,

CHAP. I.

STATE OF THE PROTESTANT CHURCHES-DIVISIONS AND

CONTROVERSIES-MELANCTHON,

A NEW era is dawning upon us in the history of the Church of Christ. The period described in the preceding volumes, was chiefly remarkable for the open conflict of antient authority, with the roused and indignant spirits which its fearful abuses had so long oppressed. We should be falling into a common error were we to conclude, because the parties most conspicuously opposed to each other during the struggle, did, after a certain time, retreat to distant parts of the field, that, therefore, the conflict was at an end, or that either party could fairly lay claim to the victory. Advantages were gained on both sides; and sufficient to inspire the leaders on each to look forward to a renewal of the warfare at some distant period. These advantages consisted, on the one part, in the successful defence of a power, and of pretensions, which seemed scarcely able to resist the awakening of general intelligence; and, on the other, in the assertion of an independence, and the establishment of principles of which mankind had scarcely dreamed since the earliest ages of Christian truth. if indeed we were to consider the former party as possessing an inalienable right to the authority which it had

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