Many years ago a contributor to the Dublin Review wrote about the XV century: “ This epoch was an eclipse—a very Egyptian darkness; worse than Chaos or Erebus—black as the thick preternatural night under which Our Lord was crucified ”.I Had this statement been true it would have been easy to account for the Reformation. It is false, and the Reformation has still to be explained. In the last chapter it became clear that there were many scandals in the clerical estate, but that the clergy were by no means so black as they have sometimes been painted. In this chapter it should become clear how, in spite of wickedness and superstition, there was a popular religion—real, sincere and active. There have never been any good old times; but in reviewing the past it is possible to overestimate our superior enlightenment.
KeywordsHigh Altar Guild Merchant Parish Church Parish Priest Service Book
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