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This was one of Lord Acton's essays, that was in response to the publication of the letters between Sir Robert Peel and Lord Macaulay. Lord Acton hoped to refute the common prejudice that the religious practice of sacrificing human victims was not always carried out by unfeeling and uncivilized people, but was in some cases the development of an advanced theology. At the insistence of Lord Stanhope, Acton published the essay in the Home And Foreign Review in 1863.
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