In looking back, with our present experience, we are driven to the melancholy conclusion that, instead of diminishing the number of wars, ecclesiastical influence has actually and very seriously increased it. We may look in vain for any period since Constantine, in which the clergy, as a body, exerted themselves to repress the military spirit, or to prevent or abridge a particular war, with an energy at all comparable to that which they displayed in stimulating the fanaticism of the crusaders, in producing the atrocious massacre of the Albigenses, in embittering the religious contests that followed the Reformation.
Chapter 5 (3rd edition p.254)
Whence has come thy lasting power.William Edward Hartpole Lecky
The stately ship is seen no more,The fragile skiff attains the shore;And while the great and wise decay,And all their trophies pass away,Some sudden thought, some careless rhyme,Still floats above the wrecks of Time.William Edward Hartpole Lecky
There have certainly been many periods in history when virtue was more rare than under the Caesars; but there has probably never been a period when vice was more extravagant or uncontrolled.William Edward Hartpole Lecky