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CONTENTS OF VOL. VII.
Ir the title-page to this work be thought singular; and it be demanded-wherefore the Portrait of a Bishop of the Sixteenth century, rather than of any other century? The answer is at hand. This was the era, which, in reference to the religion of this country, might well be called, 'the golden age of the church.'
The nation had lately emerged from popery: there were no schisms, no party spirit, no diversity of forms of worship, throughout the whole realm. It might have been said at this time, as it was in the days of the apostles, "the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul." The pure fountain of religion, which, by long running over the strata of bigotry and superstition, in the cloisters of monkish darkness, had imbibed thereby a foulness and acerbity, was now refined and sweetened; and having risen again to its own original level, flowed with clearness through the land, diffusing its healthful streams in every direction.
From the commencement of the reign of Edward the Sixth may be dated the origin of the reformed church. In this period, we behold a king, encircled with his court; the
• Though the reformed church, strictly speaking, may be said to have had its rise during the reign of Henry the Eighth; yet, it is notorious to every one acquainted with the history of those times, that Henry himself, notwithstanding his quarrel with the pope, lived and died a papist.