During the days of this beast’s power, i.e., the Roman Church exercising temporal power in conjunction with the Holy Roman Empire, that is exactly what happened. In Europe during the Middle Ages, the days of the power of the Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Church, every person who was born was born into the Roman Church. … They did what the Church instructed them to do, and thought as the Church taught them to think. No other authority existed … (Identifying Works: The Mark of His Name, pp. 174, 175).
“The church as a visible organization never had greater power over the minds of men. She controlled all departments of life from the cradle to the grave. She monopolized all the learning, and made sciences and arts tributary to her. … She founded universities, built lofty cathedrals, stirred up the crusades, made and unmade kings, dispensed blessings and curses to whole nations. The medieval hierarchy centering in Rome re-enacted the Jewish theocracy on a more comprehensive scale. It was a carnal anticipation of the millennial reign of Christ. It took centuries to rear up this imposing structure, and centuries to take it down again.”
Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 4, pg. 13.