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VII. The suppression of Monasteries.... Celibacy of the Clergy... I'm.

portance of domestic and social relations.... Utility of a married Clergy.... Morality of the Monks.... Literary character and influence of Monasteries ... Their political tendencies

97 VIII. The Reformation vindicated from the charge of “ devastation"..

Character of Cromwell, Earl of Essex.... Legality of his measures .... Insurrections on account of the suppression of Monasteries.... The plunder of Monasteries overrated.... Their wealth useless to the nation.... Dishonourably and unjustly obtained.... Tombs of Austin, Alfred, and Becket.

113 IX. State of the 'Reformation at the accession of Edward VI.... The

manner in which the memory of Henry VIII. has been treated .... Cobbett's false statements of the early events of Edward's reign.... The charge of “the love of plunder” examined.... Impoverishment of the Romish Church necessary and justifiable.... Cranmer's Bible, &c..... Insurrections.... Causes of public sufferings and popular discontents

• 120 X. Character of Mary.... Cobbett's eulogy.... Facility of her acces

sion. .. Her dishonesty and treachery.... Conduct of the Parliament.

.. Mary's marriage.... Her tyranny and oppression.... War with France.... Reconciliation of England with the Church of Rome.... Dreadful persecutions.

• 145 XI. Recapitulation ... State of the nation at the accession of Eliza

beth.... Facility of her accession.... Conduct of the Pope.... Mary Queen of Scots.... Foreign transactions.... Massacre of St. Bartho. lomew.... Prosecution of Roman Catholics.

. 161 XII. Review of Events from the accession of James I. to the abdication

of James II..... The Revolution of 1688.... The American and French Revolutions.

177 XIII. On the population of England and Wales.... National wealth.... Political power and freedom... Poverty of the people.

.198 XIV. General Review of the History of Popery.... Its intolerant and

persecuting spirit..... Its oppressive exactions.... Its injurious influence on the political liberty of nations.. Its hostility to mental improvement....Imperfection of its policy, and the certainty of iu destruction.


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Had the Author, when he commenced the following work, fully. opntemplated its appearance before the public in ils present complete form, he would probnlly have shrunk from the responsibility incurred; and have declined the undertakiny, from a fear of his incompetency to engaye public attention. Local excitements prompted the effort, and litile was at first proposed but the gratification of a few friends; and if the undertaking, comnienced with some portion of acknowledged inconsideration, should be found unworthy the approval of the impartial and distant reader, it will not occasion the disappointment of ambition in authorship, so much as prevent that feeling for the future, which has never been excessively indulged hitherlo. There is, however, one consideration, which he proposes as a mitigation of the severity of the just, and as a humble claim on the regard of the candid and condescending-the facts of the English Reformation have seldom been condensed, so as to put persons of restricted reading and little leisure in possession of answers to the popular calumnies of Roman Catholics. Burnet's History will always be valued for the variety and minuteness of its detail ; and destroys the necessity of any elaborate and extended publication of the same nature. But Burnet will never be read by the majority of Protestants of the present day; independent of which the statement of old facts by a new writer, may invest them again with that influence over the public mind which the lapse of time had destroyed, and the renewal of which is necessary to perpetuate the interests, and spread the triumphs of truth. Beside, the prejudices of men are always shifting, and objections which the original historian of a great event scarcely thought worthy his notice, become of great magnitude in the estimation of others, and require to be specifically met on account of their influence..

The attempts which have recently been made in various parts. of the country for the revival of Popery, have roused the attention of many Protestant writers; and it is matter of congratulation, that in the excitement of Controversy, the History of Popery, and of Protestant Reformations, has been discusscd with learning and care. The various publications of Dr. Southey, the Rev. J. B. White, and Mr. Butler, will no doubt possess an important influence, in fixing the attention of the present generate tion on facts, which once recorded, are too frequently forgotten.

ADistory of the Proirstant Reformation in England and Ireland,boy the ruthor of the Political Registrs,efcited #urprize among all parties. And though its effect in favour of the Roman Catholies in this country has been rery weak, and many have considered that whatever is published by this writer, at the present period of his career, is unworthy a reply, because doubted by every one, it appeared to the writer of the following pages to afford a fair opportunity for reviewing our own religious history, and for providing, in a compendious form, an historical refutation of those calumnies, which are repeated'in various publications, and echoed. by almost every Papist in the kingdom. Historical misrepresentations ought not to be left to circulate without correction, for though the sophistry of an argument may sometimes be left to common sagacity to detect, the perversion of a foct can only be exposed by a fon for the satisfiction of the many. The progress of the English Reformation is instructive, its events are illustrative of the principles at issue'; and a careful enquiry will shon', that whatever were the imperfections and crimes by which it was occasionally impeded and injured, it gives us many rules for our conduct exhibits many patterns for our imitation-and is the source of the most valued privileges we enjoy. Any attempt, therefore, to familiarize the history of this event should be encouraged, honoured its success, and deplored in its failure.

The author is aware that he is open to critical objections, on nccount of an apparent confusion in his arrangement, and many errors of composition. But while he prepares himself to bon to any correction he has merited, he ventures de remind his reader, that the publicatian of a work in numbers, at different periods, and in ansner to another at the same time in course of publication, did not allow of a clear and prospective arrangement, which might have prevented many irregularities and repetitions. For errors in composition, he can offer as his only apology, what perhaps may itself require an apology, as inconsistent with the respect due to the public, that much of it was written in hoste, And amidst numerous interruptions. Conscious of its imperfections, he does not presume to offer ut at the temple of Literature ; but casts it, mistrustinyly, into the current, which, though occusionally beneficial in its course, soon consigns its burden to ablivion.

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OBJECTIONS exploded in one age, are generally revived in the next. Distortions of facts, and puerile arguments, which the triumphant disputant considered as consigned to oblivion; aud for defending whicb, his opponents were exposed to public disgrace, are often, after the lapse of a few years, repeated with unblushing effrontery, as if they had never been previously answered, nor even announced. This is the case with Cobbett's History of the Reformation in England and Ireland. The facts and arguments employed by this writer, have long since been discussed and disposed of, and while the blackened page

of the calumniator has been forgotten, the Reformation has taken its place in all standard and authentic History, as the most'splendid era of liberty and truth. It is, however, unfortunately our fate, to behold in Cobbett the revival of defeated hostility, with no small portion of original effrontery. Scarcely á misrepresentation can be found in the pages of the most blundering and dishonest scribe of former ! days; scarcely a calumny was ever invented by hatred the most profound; nor any disgusting artifice resorted to by the ) basest drudge of the Romish Chureh, for the purpose of distotting truth, libelling excellence, and deceiving the multilude,

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which this modern Champion does not seize with an avidity the most amusing, and dwell on with an irritation the most splenetic. It is difficult to imagine that a man of Cobbett's age aud reading can believe the things on which he so strongly. insists, and equally difficult to suppose that he can expect to be believed by others. He must either himself bave þega so much engaged iu examining the Politics of the day, and in the manufacture of Straw Hats, together with the culture of Ruta Baga, as with perfect ignorance of Popery and Pro. testantism, to become the dupe of the former ; or he is drawings Jargely on the ignorance of his readers, and treating them as void of discrimination. Our readers way,

choose which sup, position they please, we have no doubt of being able to assist them to the concluions, that he is either to be derided for bis igvorance, or condemned an insuit on their understauding:

If the History of the Reformation before us, had been distinguished by nothing but a perversion of facts, we should calmly examine it without any allusion to the author ; but, when the most unqualified abuse is heaped on whole bodies of Christians, and on all who vonture to protest agaiosť tlie Church of Rome, -when solely on account of our Protestantism, we are to be proclaimed as ignorant, our motives are to be defamed, and all our activity denounced as mischievous, we are obliged to tell our opponent what we think of his character, - to express the bonest feelings his treatment natarally awakens, and to avalyze his proud claims to infallibility Cobbett evidently frusts to the confidence of his spirit and the buldness of bis assertions for success; if, therefore, we can show that he outrages in these respects all that is decorous and decent, our efforts will not be useless in warning the reader against an influence of which be ought always to jealous. " Who is this upcircumcised Philistipe, that he should desy the armies of the living God?”. It may perhaps be considered an unprecedented violation of propriety, to com mence a controversial discussion with such personalties'; bus

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