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President:-The Right REVEREND M. Creighton, D.D.,
LORD BISHOP OF LONDON.
Eccl. Hist. At King's COLLEGE, LONDON.
The English Reformation and
WILLIAM EDWARD COLLINS, M.A.,
EXAMINING CHAPLAIN TO THE LORD BISHOP OF ST. ALBANS.
PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE TRACT COMMITTEE,
BRIGHTON: 129 NORTH STREET.
In this little volume an endeavour is made to deal with some of the more important aspects of the English Reformation. I have not attempted to consider all the facts of the period in detail, believing that there is such a thing as not to see the wood for the trees. That which was temporary and evanescent is therefore passed over very shortly, whilst more emphasis is laid upon the solidarity of the English Church throughout the period, and the catholic character of the movement (so far as England was concerned) in its broad outlines. It was a noble attempt to clear away much that was merely intrusive, and to vindicate as the Faith, in the words of the Canon for Preachers made in 1571, “ the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, and that which the catholic Fathers and ancient Bishops have collected thence.” Nothing of primary importance was lost in the process ; and since then the English Church has had to adopt no new principle, but simply to act more fully in accordance with this fundamental principle of the Reformation.
The four lectures which make up the volume were delivered in October last at St Ann's Church, Manchester, and not long afterwards, in substance, at St Mary-leTower, Ipswich. A full report of them appeared in the Church Times, and they are now published with a certain amount of revision and expansion, especially in the last lecture. Full notes are added, and an appendix of documents and other illustrative matter. None who have already made any attempt at historical reading will need to be directed especially to these latter; but for the benefit of those who have not, the writer may perhaps be permitted to commend them to their study. More is to be learned from the contemporary records themselves than from any amount of commentary upon them.
Readers of the last two lectures will see that I am greatly indebted to twò distinguished men who have been connected with King's College, London: viz. the late George Herbert Curteis, Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Canon of Lichfield; and especially to a greater than he, Frederick Denison Maurice, who formerly occupied the Chair of Ecclesiastical History at King's College which I now unworthily hold. In reverent gratitude for all that I have learned from this great teacher, I would venture to connect his name with this little book.
W. E. COLLINS.
ALLHALLOWS BARKING, E.C.
February 25, 1898.