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The great Ecclesiastical movement of the sixteenth century is capable of being viewed from many points, and exhibited in many lights. Each view may be made the instrument of conveying valuable instruction. It is designed at present to consider it in the light of a revolt of the human mind against the mediæval systems of Dogmatic Theology and Church Government. It may, perhaps, be said that this is looking at it in two points of view at once. But the truth is, that the mediæval systems of Theology and Ecclesiastical Polity are so closely connected, that the revolt against both may be considered as a single effort of the human mind. The two things are undoubtedly in their nature distinct, and it is not easy to see any logical connection between them; but the practical connection is, notwithstanding, very close. So close, that it is difficult to imagine how the Reformation could have succeeded upon either point, if it had not succeeded upon both.
The mediæval system of Church Government grew out of the struggles between the Church and the State, in the different kingdoms and principalities of Western Christendom. The clergy, in each of these, found themselves unable to contend with the power of the civil rulers, and were obliged to form a kind of federation, as widely extended as they could make it. Circumstances pointed out the Bishop of Rome as the head of