ught into being a new check upon the Crown by enriching the nobles and the lesser gentry, the religious changes it brought about gave fire and vigour to the elements of opposition which were slowly gathering. What did most to ruin the king-worship that Cromwell set up was Cromwell's ecclesiastical policy. In reducing the Church to mere slavery beneath the royal power he believed himself to be trampling down the last constitutional force which could hold the Monarchy in check. What he really did was to give life and energy to new forces which were bound from their very nature to battle with the Monarchy for even more than the old English freedom. When Cromwell seized on the Church he held himself to be seizing for the Crown the mastery which the Church had wielded till now over the consciences and reverence of men. But the very humiliation of the great religious body broke the spell beneath which Englishmen had bowed. In form nothing had been changed. The outer constitution of the Church remained utterly unalt
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