spirit of Protestantism. If the Church required their support she must yield to their exigencies; she could no longer claim to decide peremptorily and without appeal as to the boundary-line between the spiritual and the temporal authority in the dominions of each of them; and she could no longer shield her criminals from their justice. Together with the progress of the Reformation, a phase of absolute monarchy had developed itself through which the European nations passed, and the enforcement of the regalia put an end to a large part of the grievances which had caused the Church of the fifteenth century to be so fiercely hated. Whether or not the populations were benefited by the change of masters, the Church was no longer responsible; and for the loss of her temporal authority and the final secularisation of her temporalities she has found recompense tenfold in the renewed vigour of her spiritual vitality.
Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/728
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