Excerpt from The Lives of the Popes, Vol. 2: From the Dawn of the Reformation to Pope Pius the Ninth
No empire, of ancient or modern times, has experienced such marvellous and varied vicissitudes as those which have befallen the empire of the Roman church. Born in obscurity, and reared in adversity, that church nevertheless succeeded in climbing to a loftier throne, and grasping the sceptre of a more absolute dominion, than either a Xerxes or an Alexander could boast. Pretending to despise mere worldly gains, she cunningly turned the channels of riches towards herself, and emptied them without scruple into the reservoirs of her own -wealth. When the day of her humiliation had arrived, and her intolerable arrogance and selfishness provoked fierce vengeance from the indignant world, she did not, like other empires, fall beneath the violent blow.
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