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THEODORE DWIGHT WOOLSEY,
A FRIEND AND EXAMPLE OF ALL GOOD LEARNING,
THIS WORK IS INSCRIBED,
AS A TOKEN OF RESPECT AND AFFECTION,
BY THE AUTHOR.
This work has grown out of a course of lectures which were given at the Lowell Institute in Boston early in the spring of 1871. I may be permitted to say that when I engaged to prepare these lectures, the subject was not new to me; and that the interval since they were delivered has been devoted to studies in the same field, the results of which are incorporated in this volume. It has appeared to me practicable to present to intelligent and educated readers, within the compass of a volume like the present, the means of acquainting themselves with the origin and nature, the principal facts and characters of the Reformation ; while, at the same time, through notes and references, the historical student should be guided to further researches on the various topics which are brought under his notice. There are two features in the plan of the present work to which it may not be improper to call attention. With the religious and theological side of the history of the period, I have endeavored to interweave and to set in their true relation the political, secular or more general elements, which had so powerful an influence in determining the course of events. The attempt has also been made to elucidate briefly, but sufficiently, points