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THE SUPPRESSION OF THE RELIGIOUS
SAUNDERS AND OTLEY, CONDUIT STREET.
249. w. 382.
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CHAPTER I. How it began .
THE SUPPRESSION OF THE RELIGIOUS HOUSES.
HOW IT BEGAN.
May be I have written the heading of this, my first chapter, in haste. To tell how it began, would be to go back to no matter how far back. But, to fix a period, say, to the creation of the first pope: to the time when Religion was made a thing to strive and struggle, not suffer for. When, in place of the Martyr, the Persecutor arose; when there were rank and wealth, and power, and pride in the Church; when simplicity was superseded by ceremony, faith lost in fanaticism. But-how it began! Even in England, it were too much to say. From the time when the crafty Dunstan, through his savage myrmidons, did cruelty upon the gentle
, and loving Elgiva; from the time when the ungrateful Becket outraged his country; to the days of Wolsey, whose pride and pomp went the length and breadth of the land. But passing the faults, follies, and crimes, which led to Wickliffe, the Lollards, to William Sautre—the first martyr for the Reformation I would speak of the events more directly connected with the occasion that brought about the rupture of Rome and England: that freed the latter from the former, and-giving me the second title of this taledid away with the monasteries.
Pope Leo the Tenth, being in want to supply his extravagancies, and to support the luxury of his court, availed himself of an ancient custom, practised by the Catholic Church, of raising money by the sale of "Indulgencies.” These Indulgencies, which permitted to the purchaser the practice of several sins, and promised an exemption from the pains of purgatory hereafter, met with a brisk demand in the German and Italian States, and brought an enormous