Excerpt from English Men of Letters, Vol. 6: Bunyan; Johnson; Bacon From the time when the Reformation brought them a translation of it, the Bible was the book most read - it was Often the only book which was read - in humble English homes. Familiarity with the words had t yet trampled the sacred writings into practical barrenness. NO doubts or questions had yet risen about the Bible's nature or origin. It was received as the authentic word of God Himself. The Old and New Testament alike rep resented the world as the scene of a struggle between good and evil spirits; and thus every ordinary incident of daily life was an instance or illustration of God's provi dence. This was the universal popular belief, t admit ted only by the intellect, but accepted and realised by the imagination. N 0 one questioned it, save a few speculative philosophers in their closets. The statesman in the House of Commons, the judge on the Bench, the peasant in a midland village, interpreted literally by this rule the phe mena which they experienced or saw. They t only believed that God had miraculously governed the Israelites, but they believed that as directly and immediately He governed England in the seventeenth century. They t only believed that there had been a witch at Endor, but they believed that there were witches in their own villages, who had made compacts with the devil himself. They believed that the devil still literally walked the earth like a roaring lion that he and the evil angels were perpetually labouring to destroy the souls of men; and that God was equally busy overthrowing the devil's work, and bringing sin and crimes to eventual punishment. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.