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WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, to uit:
Be it remembered, That on the tenth day of January, in the fifty-fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1831, P. Rafferty, of the said district, hath deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
“A short History of the Protestant Reformation; chiefly selected from Protestant authors. By the Red. P. Rafferty. Memor fui dierum antiquorum. I remembered the days of old. Ps. cxlii. 5."
In conformity to the act of the congress of the Uni.
E. J. ROBERTS,
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In writing the following pages, I intended only to select the most striking events which occurred since the commencement of the Protestant Reformation, by Martin Luther, in 1517. These facts I found scattered up and down, through various authors of different casts of mind, and of different interests; some were Roman Catholics, some Protestants, and some of no religion of any kind; the Catholic had interest in what he said, the Protestant was tinctured with the same, and the man of no religion was also imbued with his share of prejudice. As my object was to steer clear of those difficulties as well as I could, and, if possible, arrive safe at truth, I threw off party interest as far as possible. This I hope I did, if not entirely, at least in a great degree. The reason is this I at first selected passages merely for my own private information, as I found it very difficult to be obliged every moment to search book after book, many of which are very large, to find some historical fact; at length, tired out thus, I made a selection of
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events from different authors, rather giving their opinions than my own. My design was to write only the principal transactions that took place since the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and the effect they had upon those nations in which they happened. I was obliged to omit many facts for brevity sake, which, should this little work be found worthy of a second edition, may be added. Many of my friends advised me to pub. lish this work as it is; while others said I ought to make it larger; but I wish it to be sold cheap, and therefore I shall let it try its for. tune in the world just as it is; and should it be found of benefit to the public, I shall think myself handsomely rewarded.
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THE STATE OF RELIGION IN CHRISTENDOM,
BEFORE THE REFORMATION.
In the year of our Lord 1517, the Greek and Latin eburehes, though they had been united in the general council of Florence, were then again divided. Muscovy followed the fate of the Greek Church, and the Spanish West Indies were, as they are now, in the communion of the Church of Rome. The Greeks differed from the Latins only in the article relating to the procession of the Holy Ghost, which, however, drew unavoidably after it that of the supremacy. In all athor doctrinal points whatever they agreed with the Church of Rome, as they do at present. For proof, I refer the reader to the learned book entitled, “The Church of Christ shewed by the," &c. part I. chap. p. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; where he may likewise be satisfied, that the Nestorians, Armenians, Cophtes, Syrians and Ethiopians, also rejected the doctrine of the Reforma. tion in all points wherein it differs from the Roman Catholic Church.
As to the Latin Church, that is, the Church in com. munion with the See of Rome, at the time when Luther set up for a reformer, she was spread over all the principal kingdoms of Europe: England, Scotland, Jre. land, the whole empire, with the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands, the large kingdoms of France and Spain, all Italy, with the kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, &c. were all united in the same faith, acknowledging the Pope for their common father, the true vicar of Christ, and supreme head of their Church, So that Luther had not any in the wholo Pr
world to communicate with. And was it not a presumption, even to a degree of madness, for a private monk to set up his own private judgment in opposition to all Christendom, and stand single against the whole world? Truly, it would look like a dream, rather than a serious truth, were it not attested by all writers, and Luther himself. For in the preface to his works he boasts, that he was alone at first, Primo Solus eram. And, in his preface to the book De abroganda Missa privata, he writes thus: "With how many medicines, and powerful evidences of scripture, have I scarce yet settled my conscience to be able alone to contradict the Pope, and to believe him Antichrist; the bishops his apostles, and the universities his stews? How oft did my heart tremble, and reprehend me by objecting their strongest and only argument, 'art thou alone wise? and do all err?'"
It seems the poor man had some terrible gripes of conscience, before he could work himself into a be. lief that the successor of St. Peter was Antichrist; that all the bishops in the world were the devil's apostles; and the great nurseries of piety and learning his stews. How troublosome is it to havo too ten.
But Kate Boren cured him soon bold roug der a conscience! efter, of all his gripes and qualms.
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