In his hastily drafted Ninety-five Theses he sought to limit the potency of indulgences, and so indirectly raised the question as to the power of the pope.
Such differentiations and integrations of living bodies are the subject-matter of discussions on evolution; some will see in the play of circumambient media, natural or supernatural, on the simplest forms of living matter, sufficient explanation of the development of such matter into the highest forms of living organisms; others will regard the potency of such living matter so to develop as a mysterious and peculiar quality that must be added to the conception of life.
In the blessing of the holy water (cap. ii.), the essential instrument of all benedictions, the object is clearly to establish its potency against evil spirits.
When a pretence was made of opening, with an iron instrument, the mouth of the divine statue, to the accompaniment of recited formulae, this can hardly be termed anything but magic. Similarly, the potency attributed to ushebli-figures and the copies of the Book of the Dead deposited in the tombs is magical in quality.
Magical act passes into sign or symbol, not however without the accompanying conception that underlies it still persisting that a mysterious effectuating potency belongs to the symbolic act.
Then, too, there is in German literature a fine reserve which I like; but its chief glory is the recognition I find in it of the redeeming potency of woman's self-sacrificing love.
In the earlier experiments on smaller animals the potency of the toxin was modified for the first injections, but in preparing antitoxin for therapeutical purposes the toxin is used in its unaltered condition, the horse being the animal usually employed.
And by those negations, considered along with the affirmative fact of his prodigious bulk and power, you can best form to yourself the truest, though not the most exhilarating conception of what the most exalted potency is.
The pre-existence of souls is another inference from the immutability of God, although Origen also deduced it from the nature of the soul, which as a spiritual potency must be eternal.
Thus, while Christendom was still preoccupied with the Crusades, two main forces of the Renaissance, naturalism and enthusiasm for antique modes of feeling, already brought their latent potency to light, prematurely indeed and precociously, yet with a promise that was destined to be kept.