Henry Offley Wakeman.

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The history of the Reformed Church of England between
the years 1570 and 1660 is too often treated as if it
were but the history of a Government department of
education and morals. The close connexion which un-
doubtedly existed between Church and State under the
Tudors and the Stuarts has tended to obscure the
fact, that during those years within the bosom of the
Church itself was being worked out, independently
of the Government, a problem which was essentially
religious in its nature, and which only affected politics
when men felt bound to put their principles into
practice and try to enforce them upon others. That
problem was no less than whether England as a na-
tion should or should not cut itself off from historical
Christianity, from the principles of Christianity as they
had been understood for sixteen centuries ; or, in other
words, whether Puritanism should or should not succeed
in establishing itself as legitimately within the pale of
the English Church. That question was decided once
for all in the negative by the Laudian movement, but

vi The Church and the Puritans

by that movement not in its political, but in its re-
ligious development, by Hooker and Andrewes and
the opponent of Fisher, not by Charles I. and the Pre-
sident of the High Commission Court. Like all great
questions, it was solved by the action of the human
mind much more than by courts or governments. For
this reason, therefore, I have tried to make this ques-
tion the central one of those with which this volume
has to deal, and have devoted more space to the con-
sideration of the origin and intellectual basis of the
Laudian movement than might at first sight seem

Among the original authorities upon whom I have
mainly relied may be mentioned, besides the State
Papers, Cardwell, Strype, the Zurich Letters, Laud's
Diary, Hooker, Heylin, Prynne, May, Clarendon, Baillie,
Eushworth, and Cromwell ; while among recent his-
torians I should like to express my great indebtedness
to Dr. Hook's Lives of the Archbishops of Ganterbury^ Mr.
Perry's History of the Ghiirch of England, Dr. Stoughton's
History of Bsligion in England, Mr. Simpson's Lfe of
Campion, and Mr. Barclay's interesting sketch of the
Inner Life of the Religious Societies of the Gommomvealth.
For the reigns of James I. and Charles I. the assistance
of Mr. Gardiner's History of England from the Accession
of James I. has been simply invaluable.





The character of the Keformation in England — The aims of
Elizabeth — Prerogative government in Church and State —
The Elizabethan settlement — English ecclesiastical parties
— The Koman Catholics — The Protestants — The Anglicans —
The isolation of England — The lowering of j)ublic morals —
The dependence of the Church upon the Crown ... 1



The Papacy in 1569 — The bull of deposition — The attitude of
Elizabeth — Two parties among the Eoman Catholics, the
loyal and the disloyal — Elizabeth attacks both equally — The
penal laws — The plots against Elizabeth's life — The perse-
cution — The Armada — Continuance of the persecution — Its
injustice and impolicy 17



The growth of Calvinism— Its danger to the Government— The
Puritans and the Nonconformists— Kepression of Noncon-
■ formity by EHzabeth— The Advertisements— Formation of
the two bodies of the Presbyterians and the Independents-
Suppression of the Prophesyings - Attempt of the Presby-

viii The Church and the Puritans

terians to organise themselves within the Church — The poli-
tical character of Presbyterianism — The spiritual character
of Independency — Measures of Whitgift — The Lambeth
Articles- -Persecution of Nonconformists — Partial success of
Whitgift — The principles of Puritanism — Witness of Spenser,
Milton, and Eliot — Its moral strength — Its intellectual in-
compatibility with the Church 34



The character and political attitude of James — Altered nature of
the Eoman Catholic question at home and abroad — James's
attempt at toleration — Increased severity of the penal
laws after the Gunpowder Plot— The Hampton Court Con-
ference — James's treatment of the Puritan question — Main-
tenance of the supremacy of the Church by Whitgift and
Bancroft — Growth of Church principle— Inherent weakness
of the Church system 62



Reaction against Calvinism — Hooker, Bacon, Andrewes, and
Laud — The intellectual strength of the Arminian move-
ment — Its political and moral weakness — Close connexion
between politics and religion — Weakness of Puritanism and
strength of Arminiauism as religious princii)les . . .79



The primacy of Abbot— Early training of Laud— Rivalry between
him and Abbot — Laud as Dean of Gloucester — His conference
with Fisher— His intimacy with Buckingham and influence

Contents ix

with Charles I. — His character and principles- His attempt
to silence opponents and promote his friends by court in-
fluence — The bad results of this policy— His reliance on the
royal prerogative — His claim of independence from Parlia-
mentary control — The cases of Montague, Sibthorpe, and
Mainwaring — Distinct breach between Charles and the Com-
mons on ecclesiastical questions 9^



Cosin's Book of Devotions— Laud determines to enforce Church
discii^line by royal prerogative — His measures against the
careless Bishops, the Lecturers, and the Feoffees — His revival
of ceremonial — The metropolitical visitation— The removal
of the altars — His activity appears innovating and becomes
unpopular — Enforcement of discipline upon the laity —
Political results of this policy — Fall of Laud and his political
system — Eventual triumph of his religious principles — Their
exemplification by Herbert, Crashaw, and Nicholas Ferrar . 119



Fall of Laud's system— Growth of an anti-Church party— Failure
of attempts at compromise — Attacks on Episcopacy at first
unsuccessful — Formation of an Episcopal and Royalist party
— The Civil War— The King's success renders alliance with
the Scots necessary for the Parliament— Practical overthrow
of the Church by the Solemn League and Covenant— Grow-
ing importance of the Independents— Their supremacy in
the Army — Disputes in Parliament and the Assembly —
Formal establishment of Presbyterianism and practical
supremacy of Independency — Persecution of the Church—
Failure of Williams's attempt to establish a limited Episco-
pacy—Ejectment of the Eoyalist clergy— Wrecking of the
Cathedrals — Execution of Laud and Charles . • • 1-iO


X The Church and the Puritans




The supremacy of Independency under Presbyterian forms prac-
tically religious anarchy — Outbreak of fanaticism — The State
becomes censor of public morals — Weakness of the Long
Parliament — Its expulsion — Failure of the Little Parliament
— Cromwell's ecclesiastical policy — His toleration of all
but Papists, Prelatists, and the unruly — His ejectment and
silencing of the clergy — His failure to give the nation peace
— Growth of a party of order favourable to a Restoration . 170



Difficulties of the Kii .g — Different kinds of clergy in possession
of benefices — Restoration of the Church — Attempts at com-
prehension of the Puritans — Impossibility of comprehension
of the Independents — Uselessness of comprehension of the
Presbyterians — Fundamental differences of opinion — Failure
of Charles's proposal for a limited Episcopacy — The Savoy
Conference — Triumph of Laud's principles in the revision of
the Prayer Book — Ejectment and persecution of the unor-
dained ministers— Milton's attack on the Restoration — In
reality it is a step towards civil and religious liberty . . 184




the state of religion at the beginning of
Elizabeth's reign.

The changes in the Church of England begun at the
Reformation were not completed until the Restoration,
The charac- ^hen Church and State agreed to accept the
Refonnation P^aycr Book in its revised form, and to enforce
in England conformity to it by law ; but the direction
which the movement was eventually to take was settled
in the reign of Elizabeth. It was under her that the
system of the Church became fixed after the struggles
of the sixteenth century. It was her guiding hand
that marked out the middle course between the Catho-
licism and the Protestantism of the day, which it has
been the special boast of the Church of England ever
since to have attempted to keep.

Henry VIII. contented himself with asserting, in
ecclesiastical affairs, the same principles which in civil
affairs had already proved to be the chief supports of
his throne, and to a great extent the cause of his

C.H, B


2 The Church and the Puritans

popularity, i.e. the independence of the nation and the
supremacy of the Crown. He did not hesitate to apply
these principles to his own advantage, with no greater
regard to right and justice than he displayed in his
dealings with the constitution. Still, in spite of much
tyranny to individuals, of much rapacity, of much open
violation of pledges solemnly given, Henry succeeded
with singular dexterity in making the nation realise
that the ecclesiastical change through which it was
passing, was in its main essence a return to, and not
a subversion of, the old principles of the ecclesiastical
organisation ; a re-assertion of buried but not forgotten
precedent, in part a revival, in part a development, but
in no sense a revolution.

Edward VI. and Mary went much further. By
their rival attempts to alter the character of the Church
as it had been left by Henry — the one to make it
Protestant, the other to make it Papal — they plunged
England into the storm of continental controversy and
continental politics, which it had been one of the great
objects of Henry to avoid. Men were obliged to range
themselves on one side or the other under the banners
of the great leaders of the continental struggle. To be
opposed to the Pope was to be a Protestant in the
sense of Luther or Calvin. Not to be a Protestant was
to be a Papalist in the sense of Ignatius Loyola or
Philip II. It is significant that Reginald Pole, who in
1541 was the leader of the party of conciliation between
the Catholics and the Lutherans at the diet of Ratisbon,
was in 1555 the abettor, if not the leader, of the Marian
persecutions. Men were opposed to each other, not, as
in Henry's reign, because they looked upon themselves

Religion in Elizabeth's Reign 3

as belonging to different parties of tlie same religious
body, but as belonging to different religious bodies.
When Swiss Protestant theologians were placed in the
teaching chairs of the Universities, when persons who
had never received Episcopal Ordination were put into
English benefices, or when English bishops were pro-
ceeded against for heresy because they had rebelled
against the Pope, it was evident that principles were
working among the leaders on both sides far removed
from the doctrinal orthodoxy and national independence
of Henry VIII.

It was the great aim of Elizabeth to take up and
pursue the policy of her father. To this she adhered
Theaimf3of cousistcntly throughout her reigu. In all her
Elizabeth dealings with the difficulties which sur-
rounded her, whether abroad or at home, she never
forgot that she was the daughter of Henry VIII. She
tried as far as she could to act as she believed he
would have acted. In the affairs of the Church this
tendency was more marked than in her domestic or
foreign policy, for she was more free to follow her own
inclinations. In the Acts of Supremacy and Unifor-
mity, passed soon after her accession to the throne, she
re-asserted, almost in the language originally used by
Henry VIII., the supremacy of the Crown and the in-
dependence of the Church. She was careful to declare
in the very title of the Act of Supremacy that she was
but restoring to the Crown an ' ancient jurisdiction,' and
not investing it with fresh powers. By her Royal
Injunctions issued in 1559 she explained the true
scope of the Eoyal Supremacy to extend only to ' that
authority used by the noble kings of famous memory,

B 2

4 Tee Church and the Puritans

Henry VIII. and Edward VI., which is and was of
ancient time due to the imperial Crown of this realm ;
that is, under God, to have the sovereignty and rule over
all manner of persons born within these her realms,
dominions and countries, of what state, either ecclesias- '
tical or temporal, soever they be, so as no other foreign
power shall or ought to have any superiority over them.'
By her repudiation of the title of Supreme Head, she
was careful to dissociate herself from the evil traditions
of the dictatorships of Cromwell and of Northumberland.
By the pains she took that Archbishop Parker should 1
be canonically consecrated ; by her sanction of the re-
introduction into the Prayer Book of 1559 of the rubric
which enjoined the use of the eucharistic vestments ; by
her introduction into the twentieth Article of 1571
(probably with her own hand) of the acknowledgment of
the authority of the Church in controversies of faith ;
by her dislike of clerical marriage, and by her retention
of much of the old ceremonial in the services of her
private chapel, she showed how anxious she was to
insist upon the continuity of the life of the Church as
an obvious historical fact as well as a useful contro-
versial argument.

Elizabeth was thus prepared not merely to admit,
but to insist upon, the independent character of the or-
Prero ative g^nisation, and the reality of the uninterrupted
government j^fg ^f ^j^g Church. She was careful to make

in Church '

and State ^^ clear that, from her point of view, the
schism, if there was schism, was the act of Rome, and
not of England. Yet to her, as to her father, the
maintenance of her crown and the strength of her
government were ever the first considerations. All else

Religion in Elizabeth's Reign 5

must be sacrificed. No possible rival could be per-
mitted within the sphere of her own influence. Scotland
was too near for a rival queen to be allowed freedom of
action. The first mutterings of the awakening spirit
of Parliamentary liberty were jealously watched and
suppressed. Above all, religion, the strongest of the
powers which swayed men and nations in the sixteenth
century, was to be tied to the chariot wheels of royalty.
No religion but that of the Queen was to be allowed
to exist in her dominions. The Church herself — free
though she was proclaimed to be in her jurisdiction by
her Articles ; independent of all worldly power in her
origin and organisation though she was acknowledged
to be in her Prayer Book, now a statute of the realm ;
strong though she was in the traditions of ten centuries
of vigorous life — was to be the humble handmaid of
monarchy. Her freedom, like that of the State, was a
freedom after the Tudor pattern — a child too carefully
cherished by its mother ever to dare to lift up its hand
against her, too fondly embraced ever to be permitted
to grow.

Just as in her civil government Elizabeth habitu-
ally exercised an amount of personal authority which
Parliament, as it grew in political capacity, was soon
to find incompatible with the constitutional liberties of
the nation ; so in her ecclesiastical government she was
permitted a license of prerogative which was soon found
incompatible with the constitutional liberties of the
Church. By the 17th clause of the Act of Supremacy^
the Crown was stated to be invested with power ' to
visit, reform, redress, order, correct and amend all such

• 1 Eliz. c. 1.

6 The Church and the Puritans

errors, heresies, schisms, abuses, offences, contempts
and enormities which by any manner, spiritual or eccle-
siastical power, authority, or jurisdiction, can or may
lawfully be reformed, ordered, redressed, corrected, or
amended; ' and by the following clause it was empowered
to appoint commissioners to give effect to this jurisdic-
tion. Such was the origin of the Court of High Com-
mission^ which was a powerful eilgine of ecclesiastical
government in the hands of Elizabeth and the earlier
Stuarts, but was declared to be unconstitutional by
the Long Parliament of 1641 and the Restoration
Parliament of 1661. The right of legislation over the
Church by virtue of the Royal Supremacy, without the
consent of either Convocation or Parliament, was fre-
quently exercised by Elizabeth by the issue of injunctions
and declarations ; but after her time this questionable
practice gradually gave way to a more orderly and
constitutional procedure, much as the analogous right
of legislating in civil matters by proclamation fell into
gradual disuse. After the Restoration the most noted
exercise of it was the admittedly unconstitutional De-
claration of Indulgence of James IT. in 1687. In her
treatment of Church property too she showed herself an
apt pupil of her father, and even challenged comparison
with some of the worst sovereigns that ever disgraced
the English throne. Like William Rufus, she kept
sees vacant, and appropriated the revenues during the
vacancy. Like Henry VIIL, she re-annexed to the
Crown the first fruits of benefices which since the thir-
teenth century had been paid to the Pope, and were not
restored to the Church to whom they rightfully belonged
till the reign of Anne. She even obtained an Act of

Religion in Ehzabrth's Reign y

Parliament in 1559 to authorise her to exchange manors
belonging to Bishoprics for tithes which Henry VIII.
had taken from the monasteries ; and as in such exchanges
the value of what was given was always much less than
the value of what was taken by the Crown, the Queen
rendered herself liable to the accusation of using the
proceeds of one robbery as an instrument whereby to
effect anotlier.

Such was the character of the settlement of religion
effected by Elizabeth. It bears on every part of it the
TheEiizabe- marks of the practical wisdom and the disre-

than settle- t p • • i i • • r

meut gard 01 prmciple, characteristic of the Tudor

race. Like the Elizabethan sovereignty, it seemed that
it could never escape from the dangers which surrounded
it in its cradle, yet before the death of the Queen it
had won for itself respect abroad and pre-eminence at
home. It was a compromise, and, like all religious
compromises, it won the politicians and the indifferent,
it lost the earnest, and it pleased nobody ; yet before
fifty years had passed it had given birth to a school of
religious philosophy which has earned a permanent
place in the history of religious thought. It was essen-
tially the work of a statesman, it was carried out in the ;
interests of government far more than in the interests
of truth ; yet in less than a century it had shown itself
capable of inspiring enthusiastic love, and had weathered
the storms of persecution. The secret of the strength ,
of the Church of England since the Reformation lay,;
not where Cranmer sought for it, in the power of the >/
Church to influence and moderate the Protestantism of
the Continent, with which it was politically allied ; not
where Elizabeth and James I. tried to place it, in the

8 The Church aa'd the Puritans

support that the Church gave to and derived from the
power of the Crown ; but where Hooker, and Laud, and
George Herbert found it. It lay in the right of the
Church to the prestige and the traditions of the Church
of the Apostles and of the Middle Ages, in her fearless
appeal to history, in the fact that, however great might
be for the time her helplessness in the hands of the
Crown, however severe the buffetings of discordant
opinion she had to endure, though she might change
her mode of worship, and in part remodel her constitu-
tion, nevertheless she preserved unimpaired the faith
and the discipline of the Catholic Church.

A crisis so acute as the Reformation could not fail
to bring in its train results of its own quite difierent
English from any which had been experienced by the
ticai parties Churchmeu of the Middle Ages. New pro-
blems, difficult enough to tax all the statesmanship of
the leaders of Church and State, presented themselves
for solution ; and first among these problems came the
existence of religious division.

The policy of Edward VI. and of Mary had left
three religious parties distinctly defined in England.
(1) The Roman Catholics, who, attached to the old forms
of worship, had preserved a hearty loyalty to the Pope
as the vicar of Christ, and had seen with misgiving the
relations between Rome and England impaired in the
reign of Henry VIII. They had been unable to follow
Somerset and Northumberland in their Protestant
policy in the years 1552 and 1553. Startled at the
threatening declension of England into heresy, they
threw themselves into the arms of the Pope, welcomed
the reconciliation of Mary with Rome, acquiesced in

Religion in Elizabeth's Reign g

the persecution which followed, and learned to look upon
Philip II. as the leader and champion of orthodoxy.

The accession of Elizabeth put them into a consider-
able difficulty. They were anxious to be loyal to her
government. Most of them saw but little objection to
the Prayer Book or the services of the Church. It was
rumoured that the Pope himself was willing to give his
sanction to the Prayer Book, if only his Supremacy was
recognised. On the other hand, after having been the
dominant party in the reign of Mary, after having iden-
tified themselves with the Papal claim of Supremacy,
they could not in honour draw back from demands which
the Pope might make upon them. They accordingly
consulted their own convenience, and perhaps their in-
clinations, in conforming outwardly to the Government
by attendance at Church, while Mass was said privately
in their own houses.

(2) The Protestants were for the most part followers
of Zwingle and Calvin. In thorough sympathy with
the Reformation in Switzerland and Scotland, they
professed doctrines wholly incompatible with historical
Christianity. To them the Church of the Fathers was
as corrupt as the Church of Mary and of Pole. The
Pope was undoubtedly Antichrist. Pure Christianity
had been unknown from the times of the Apostles to
those of Luther. Such men looked upon the Reforma-
tion in England as a movement which was merely
in its infancy. In the reign of Edward VI. a good
beginning had been made, but much still remained to
be done. The Marian persecution, and the exile which
resulted from it, whetted the zeal of the reformers, and
made them the more determined to destroy from out of

10 The Church and the Puritans

the Church of England, whatever might be left which
savoured of the old superstition. It required the earnest
expostulations of their leading theologians to induce men
like these to acquiesce in the Elizabethan settlement.
As it was, they merely acquiesced in it, they never
accepted it.^ They looked upon it as an instalment,
and eagerly watched for an opportunity of carrying it
further. They conformed to the Church, not like the
Roman Catholics, because they did not wish to quarrel
with the Government, but because they hoped in a
few years to make the Church different from what it

(o) The most powerful, perhaps the most numerous
of these parties g^^the Anglican/ the source of whose
strength lay in the inertness of the mass of mankind.
They included in their ranks all who were neither

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