Grace, peace, and increase of knowledge in our Lord Jesus Christ, be with thee, reader, and with all that call on the name of the Lord unfeignedly and with a pure conscience. Amen.
Let it not make thee despair, neither yet discourage thee, O reader, that it is forbidden thee in pain of life and goods, or that it is made breaking of the king's peace, or treason unto his highness, to read the word of thy soul's health. But much rather be bold in the Lord, and comfort thy soul: forasmuch as thou art sure, and hast an evident token through such persecution, that it is the true word of God; which word is ever hated of the world, neither was ever without persecution, (as thou seest in all the stories of the Bible, both of the New Testament and also of the Old,) neither can be, no more than the sun can be without his light; and forasmuch as contrariwise thou art sure that the pope's doctrine is not of God, which (as thou seest) is so agreeable unto the world, and is so received of the world; or which rather so receiveth the world and the pleasures of the world, and seeketh nothing but the possessions of the world, and authority in the world, and to bear a rule in the world; and persecuteth the word of God, and with all wiliness driveth people from it, and with false and sophistical reasons maketh them afraid of it; yea, curseth them, and excommunicateth them, and bringeth them in belief that they be damned if they look on it, and that it is but doctrine to deceive men; and moveth the blind powers of the world to slay with fire, water, and sword, all that cleave unto it: for the world loveth that which is his, and hateth that which is chosen out of the world to serve God in the Spirit, as Christ saith to his disciples, John. 15. "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but I have chosen you out of the world, and therefore the world hateth you."
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