This here's a question for my Renaissance peeps (and scholars of religion and lit or religious history more generally):
How common is the term "Protestant," when applied to the people we now call Protestants, by the people we now call Protestants?
My sense has been that "Christian" (or something similarly broad and/or vague, like "our church") is usually preferred, and that "Protestant" is more often used by Catholic polemicists than by actual Protestants--but that's just my sense, and although there's been a lot of scholarship challenging "Anglican" and "Puritan" as meaningful descriptive labels, I can't remember reading anything similar about "Protestant."
A preliminary EEBO search reveals that there are actually quite a few positive or neutral usages of the word, even in the sixteenth century. But since it's hard to search for the terms people use if they're NOT using "Protestant," that still doesn't give me a sense of its relative frequency or popularity.
Anyone have any sources or data points--either scholarly or Early Modern--to throw my way?