But in spite of statutes and proclamations, of occasional severities and of the patriotic example of Queen Elizabeth, the practice of fasting fell more and more into disuse.
During the Polish insurrection Gorchakov rebuffed the suggestions of Great Britain, Austria and France for assuaging the severities employed in quelling it, and he was especially acrid in his replies to Earl Russell's despatches.
He assisted others who came to him for spiritual advice; and seeing the fruit reaped from helping his neighbour, he gave up the extreme severities in which he had delighted and began to take more care of his person, so as not needlessly to offend those whom he might influence for good.
Church and State, citizenship in the one and membership in the other, thus became identical, and the foundation was laid for those troubles and consequent severities that vexed and shamed the early history of Independency in New England, natural enough when all their circumstances are fairly considered, indefensible when we regard their idea of the relation of the civil power to the conscience and religion, but explicable when their church idea alone is regarded.
His severities were the result of a narrow mind and not of a vindictive spirit, and their number has certainly been exaggerated.