(2) During the second period the successive interventions of France, Spain and Holland extended the naval war till it ranged from the West Indies to the Bay of Bengal.
The Church, too, never failed to oppose itat first not so much on account of her own ambitions as in a more Christian spiritand proceeded to weaken the royal jurisdiction by repeated interventions on behalf of those under sentence, afterwards depriving it of authority over the clergy, and then setting up ecclesiastical tribunals in opposition to those held by the dukes and counts.
Of all these interventions the most justifiable and beneficent, perhaps, was that which related to the Swiss cantons.
The facts of history must be explained, not by providential interventions, but by referring them to conditions inherent in the successive stages of social existence.
Such interventions with an Eastern king demanded great moral courage, for, though to some extent protected by their sacred character, the persons of the prophets were by no means legally inviolable (i Kings xix.