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Unformatted text preview: atical, stand in diametrical opposition to each other; and a large portion of the latter must necessarily fall to his share, who is so couragious as to control authority, and so assuming as to obtrude his own innovations upon the world. Hence that rage of dispute, which every where seized the new religionists; that disdain of ecclesiastical subjection; that contempt of ceremonies, and of all the exterior pomp and splendor of worship. And hence too, that inflexible intrepidity, with which they braved dangers, torments, and even death itself; while they preached the doctrine of peace, and carried the tumults of war, thro’ every part of Christendom. However obstinate and uncomplying this species of religion, it necessarily received some alteration, according to the different situation of civil affairs, and the different species of government, which it met with in its progress. In the electorates of Germany, in Denmark, and in Sweden, where the monarch was early converted, and, by putting himself at the head of the reformers, acquired authority amongst them; as the spirit of enthusiasm was somewhat tempered by a sense of order, episcopal jurisdiction, along with a few decent ceremonies, was preserved in the new establishment. In Switzerland and Geneva, which were popular governments; in France, Scotland, and the low countries, where the people reformed themselves in opposition to the prince; the genius of fanaticism displayed itself in its full extent, and affected every circumstance of discipline and worship. A perfect equality was established among the ecclesiastics; and their inflamed imagination, unconfined by any forms of liturgy, had full liberty to pour out itself, in wild, unpremeditated addresses to the Divinity. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 7 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 They were the preachers of Switzerland, France, and the low countries, who carried the reformation into England: But as the government was there monarchical, and the magistrate took the lead in this grand revolution; tho’ the speculative doctrines were borrowed from the more fanatical churches, yet were the discipline and worship naturally mitigated with a more humane spirit of religion. But after the persecutions of Mary had chased abroad all the most obstinate reformers, who escaped her fury; they had leisure to imbibe a stronger tincture of the enthusiastic genius; and when they returned, upon the accession of Elizabeth, they imported it, in its full force and virulence, into their native country. That renowned Princess, whose good taste gave her a sense of order and decorum, and whose sound judgment taught her to abhor innovations, endeavored, by a steddy severity, to curb this obstinate enthusiasm, which, from the beginning, looked with an evil aspect, both on the church and monarchy. By an act of parliament in 1593, all persons above the age of sixteen, who were absent from church a month, or who, by word or writing, declared their sentiments against the established religion, were to be imprisoned, till they made an open declaration of...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08