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faith, his seizing on those lands, and applying them to profane uses, was absolute sacrilege, in the strongest sense of the word; having been bequeathed by princes and pious men to sacred
In the reign of this prince, the church and court of Rome had arrived to such a height of corruption, in doctrine and discipline, as gave great offence to many wise, learned, and pious men through most parts of Europe; and several countries agreed to make some reformation in religion. But, although a proper and just reformation were allowed to be necessary, even to preserve Christianity itself, yet the passions and vices of men had mingled themselves so far, as to pervert and confound all the good endeavours of those who intended well : and thus the reformation, in every country where it was attempted, was carried on in the most impious and scandalous manner that can possibly be conceived. To which unhappy proceedings we owe all the just reproaches that Roman catholics have cast upon us ever since. For when the northern kingdoms and states grew weary of the pope's tyranny, and when their preachers, beginning with the scan dalous abuses of indulgences, and proceeding farther to examine several points of faith, had credit enough with their princes, who were in some fear lest such a change might affect the peace of their countries, because their bishops had great influence on the people by their wealth and power; these politic teachers had a ready answer to this purpose: “ Sir, your majesty need not be in any pain or apprehension : take away the lands, and sink the authority of the bishops : bestow those lands on your courtiers, on your nobles, and your great officers in your army; and then you will
be secure of the people” This advice was exactly followed. And in the protestant monarchies abroad, little more than the shadow of episcopacy is left; but, in the republics, it is wholly extinct.
In England, the reformation was brought in after a somewhat different manner, but upon the same principle of robbing the church. However, Henry VIII., with great dexterity, discovered an invention to gratify his insatiable thirst for blood, on both religions. *****