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were delivered over to hell, or at least to pur._ gatory, until their relations should relieve them by rendering satisfaction for them, by masses or purchasing indulgences. The preaching of the word of God was the least of the performances of the clergy ; continual processions and other jugglaries were considered more necessary. The number of clericks was immense and their conduct was as scandalous as possible. The bible was not to be had, and even those small portions of scripture, which were translated, were forbidden to be read."*

the M

In England there was a law enacted, during the reign of Henry V. and still in force in the beginning of the 16th century, that whoever should read the scriptures in the mother tongue, should forfeit land, cattle, life and goods, and be condemned for heretics to God, enemies to the crown and mostarrant traitors to the land.

* Milner's Church history.

From these testimonies we cannot help observing that the darkness of those times must have been great indeed, and that there was but very little difference, except in name, between christians and heathens.

This, then, was the state of christianity at the beginning of the 16th century, when Martin Luther stepped forward to begin the great work of reformation,

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PART I.

HISTORY

OF THE

Evangelical Luthersti

CHURCH.

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works ; inuse on the work of thy hands.

David, Ps. 143, 5

B2

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