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State of Religion and Morals in Europe at the Commencement of the Sixteenth Century-Rise of the Reformation-Luther's Ap peal to a Council--His Condemnation by Leo X.-Diet of Worms-Adrian VI. and the Diet of Nuremburg-The Hundred Grievances-Clement VII.-Diet of Augsburg-Expectation of a Council-Peace of Nuremburg-Paul III.-A Council summoned-Its Postponement--Commission of Cardinals to inquire into Abuses-Their Report-Convocation of a Council at Trent -Its Suspension--Diet of Spire-Re-assembly of the Council at Trent.

THE state of religion and morals in Europe, at the commencement of the sixteenth century, was truly deplorable. In the general depravation of manners that prevailed, the ecclesiastics, even of the highest order, largely participated. The murmurs and complaints of all Christendom, frequently and unequivocally expressed, verify this fact beyond the possibility of contradiction. It is also confirmed by the reluctant admissions of the parties themselves.

History bears ample testimony to the truth of these remarks. The writers of the period above-mentioned agree in confessing that gross immorality and cruel oppression distinguished the priesthood, and justly exposed it to the contempt and hatred of the community. A volume might be compiled from the statements of unexceptionable witnesses, who possessed personal knowledge of the facts which they relate. From such sources we learn the following facts:-that the forced celibacy of the priests produced among them unbridled and shameless licentiousness, concubinage being generally practised; that they had contrived to obtain pos

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