a history of the church from the earliest ages to the reformation

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. CHAPTER XIV. On the Government, Character and Projects of the Church during the Ninth and Tenth Centuries. That we may avoid the confusion usually attending the compression of a long series of incidents, we shall here endeavour to distinguish the points which chiefly claim our notice, rather than follow chronologically the course of events; and though it may not be possible, nor even desirable, to prevent the occa- j sional encroachments of subjects in some respects similar, yet in others very different, we shall not allow them to perplex our narrative. It is an obscure and melancholy region into which we now enter; but it is not altogether destitute of interest and instruction, since we can discern, through the ambiguous twilight, those misshapen masses and disorderly elements, out of which the fabric of Papal despotism presently arose, and even trace the irregular progress of that stupendous structure. We shall best attain this end by giving a separate consideration to threq subjects, which will be found to include the whole ecclesiastical policy of the ninth and tenth centuries. Other matters relating to that period, and possessing perhaps even greater general importance, will be treated in the next chapter; but at present we shall confine our inquiry to the following objects:—1. The endeavours of the popes to free their own election from imperial interference of every description, whether to nominate or confirm. II. The efforts of the Church to usurp dominion over the Western empire; and generally to advance the spiritual, as loftier and more legitimate than the highest temporal, authority. III. The exertions of the See of Rome to subdue to itself the ecclesiastical body, and thus toestablish a despotism within the Church. In the two first of...
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