clergy of any other catholic country. In all 
the disputes which their sovereign has had 
with the pope, they have almost constantly 
taken part with the former. This independency 
of the clergy of France upon the court 
of Rome seems to be principally founded upon 
the pragmatic sanction and the concordat
In the earlier periods of the monarchy
the clergy of France appear to have been as 
much devoted to the pope as those of any 
other country. When Robert, the second 
prince of the Capetian race, was most unjustly 
excommunicated by the court of Rome
his own servants, it is said, threw the victuals 
which came from his table to the dogs, and 
refused to taste any thing themselves which 
had been polluted by the contact of a person 
in his situation. They were taught to do so, 
it may very safely be presumed, by the clergy 
of his own dominions
The claim of collating to the great benefices 
of the church, a claim in defence of 
which the court of Rome had frequently shaken
and sometimes overturned, the thrones 
of some of the greatest sovereigns in Christendom
was in this manner either restrained 
or modified, or given up altogether, in 
many different parts of Europe, even before 
the time of the reformation. As the clergy 
had now less influence over the people, so the 
state had more influence over the clergy
The clergy, therefore, had both less power
and less inclination, to disturb the state. 
The authority of the church of Rome was 
in this state of declension, when the disputes 
which gave birth to the reformation began in 
Germany, and soon spread themselves through 
every part of Europe. The new doctrines 
were everywhere received with a high degree 
of popular favour. They were propagated 
with all that enthusiastic zeal which commonly 
animates the spirit of party, when it attacks 
established authority. The teachers of those 
doctrines, though perhaps, in other respects
not more learned than many of the divines 
who defended the established church, seem in 
general to have been better acquainted with 
ecclesiastical history, and with the origin and 
progress of that system of opinions upon 
which the authority of the church was established
and they had thereby the advantage 
in almost every dispute. The austerity of 
their manners gave them authority with the 
common people, who contrasted the strict 
regularity of their conduct with the disorderly 
lives of the greater part of their own clergy
They possessed, too, in a much higher degree 
than their adversaries, all the arts of popularity 
and of gaining proselytes; arts which the 
lofty and dignified sons of the church had 
long neglected, as being to them in a great 
measure useless. The reason of the new 
doctrines recommended them to some, their 
novelty to many; the hatred and contempt of 
the established clergy to a still greater number
but the zealous, passionate, and fanatical
though frequently coarse and rustic eloquence
with which they were almost everywhere 
inculcated, recommended them to by 
far the greatest number
The success of the new doctrines was almost 
everywhere so great, that the princes, who at 
that time happened to be on bad terms with 
the court of Rome, were, by means of them, 
easily enabled, in their own dominions, to 
overturn the church, which having lost the 
respect and veneration of the inferior ranks 
of people, could make scarce any resistance. 
The court of Rome had disobliged some of 
the smaller princes in the northern parts of 
Germany, whom it had probably considered 
as too insignificant to be worth the managing
They universally, therefore, established 
the reformation in their own dominions
The tyranny of Christiern II., and of Troll 
archbishop of Upsal, enabled Gustavus Vasa 
to expel them both from Sweden. The pope 
favoured the tyrant and the archbishop, and 
Gustavus Vasa found no difficulty in establishing 
the reformation in Sweden. Christiern II. 
was afterwards deposed from the 
throne of Denmark, where his conduct had 
rendered him as odious as in Sweden. The 
pope, however, was still disposed to favour 
him; and Frederic of Holstein, who had 
mounted the throne in his stead, revenged 
himself, by following the example of Gustavus 
Vasa. The magistrates of Berne and 
Zurich, who had no particular quarrel with 
the pope, established with great ease the 
reformation in their respective cantons, where 
just before some of the clergy had, by an 
imposture somewhat grosser than ordinary, rendered 
the whole order both odious and contemptible
In this critical situation of its affairs the 
papal court was at sufficient pains to cultivate 
the friendship of the powerful sovereigns of 
France and Spain, of whom the latter was at that 
time emperor of Germany. With their assistance
it was enabled, though not without great 
difficulty, and much bloodshed, either to suppress 
altogether, or obstruct very much, the 
progress of the reformation in their dominions
It was well enough inclined, too, to be complaisant 
to the king of England. But from the 
circumstances of the times, it could not be so 
without giving offense to a still greater sovereign
Charles V., king of Spain and emperor 
of Germany. Henry VIII., accordingly, 
though he did not embrace himself the greater 
part of the doctrines of the reformation was 
yet enabled, by their general prevalence, to 
suppress all the monasteries, and to abolish 
the authority of the church of Rome in his 
dominions. That he should go so far, 
though he went no further, gave some satisfaction 
to the patrons of the reformation
who, having got possession of the government 
in the reign of his son and successor, completed,