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Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1835,
BY D. VAN NOSTRAND, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of
STEREOTYPED BY F. F. RIPLEY
The ensuing volume comprises a rapid survey of the reformation of religion which was accomplished in the sixteenth century; with a biographical notice of twenty-four of the principal christian heroes, who were instrumental in carrying on the warfare with the Papal hierarchy, until they achieved their wondrous triumph. A concise review of the beneficial effects which have resulted from their labours closes the narrative.
No biographical records, except those in the sacred oracles, are so interesting as the lives of the chief Reformers: and this volume contains a small gallery of medallion portraits, drawn by Mr. Ormsby's pentographer, which are intended as a memorial of those glorious champions of evangelical truth and freedom, "of whom the world was not worthy." They are excellent likenesses of the immortal men whose names they bear. On the reverse of the ori. ginal medals was a brief inscription in Latin, in the form of an epitaph for a tablet. Those lines have been translated into English, and are placed at the end of the memoir which is given of each Reformer.
The frontispiece represents Virtue resounding the unfading honours of those men who by their toils and sufferings, and learning and piety promoted the welfare of the human family-Christian Benefactors; the memory of whose philanthropy shall never die. The encircling motto may aptly be condensed into the words of the Apostle respecting the sacrifice of Abel-By them being dead they yet speak.
The two engravings prefixed to the essay on the Reformation, represents Martin Luther affixing his famous ninety-five propositions against indulgences on the door of the church at Wittemberg, on the thirty-first of October 1517: and a figurative delineation of his increasing the light of divine truth, by snuffing candle which had become so dim as to be useless.
The portraits and biographical sketches of the Reformers are arranged chronologically, according to the periods of their departure to receive the gift of God, eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. To those glorified worthies, evangelical sensibility ever recurs with the fondest retrospect: and modern believers in Jesus exultingly indulge the hallowed prelibation of enjoying celestial communion with the triumphant hosts of the sixteenth century, among “the spirits of just men made perfect."
These biographies of the Reformers have been compiled from various authentic sources; and not only the details, but also the language of the previous writers in many instances has been adopted. This general acknowledgment is made that the Editor may not be charged with plagiarism. The volume is issued from a solicitude, under the Divine blessing, to promote an acquaintance among young Christians, Bible classes, and Sabbath schools, with the most exemplary characters, and the most edifying topics of instruction in modern ages; and thus to stimulate them to more elaborate and extensive researches into the history of the Christian church, and the mysterious dispensations of Jehovah in reference to the establishment, predominance and overthrow of that mystical Babylon, which is “poted in the Scripture of truth," by the prophet Daniel, and the Apostles Paul and John.
These portraits of the Reformers are therefore presented to American youth as a constellation of examples for their imitation; that junior Protestants may be emulous through divine grace to fulfil the admonition of the Apostle, Hebrews 6: 12; “Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises."
New-York, 4th May, 1835.
PLATE I.--p. 37.
JEROM OF PRAGUE,
PLATE II.--p. 56.
PLATE III.--p. 72.
PLATE IV.-p. 97.
PLATE V.--p. 119.
PLATE VI.--p. 134.