The freedom of the 19th century has been prolific of religious fads, fancies and monstrosities. The preceding centuries of superstition and despotism which dominated the human conscience and enforced conformity to human creeds were productive, on ...
the one hand, of a dead formalism, and on the other of the miseries of persecution - all in the name of orthodoxy. Millions went to the dungeon and the stake for the testimony of Jesus Christ; but the horrors of religious sterility and tyranny were largely compensated by martyr zeal and spirituality constantly kindled by suppression. The reign of light and liberty which dawned in the Reformation of the 1 6th Century opened the world to the truth which might have a fair field upon which to combat error; and the great floodgate of evangelical Christianity has been lifted and the tide of salvation turned upon the nations of the earth.
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