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38
The Romanes Lecture 1892

contempt. So great a writer as Lord Macaulay[1] finds in Strafford a character of 'great abilities, eloquence, and courage,' but in Laud only a man of 'narrow understanding,' of a 'nature rash and irritable,' and of small 'commerce with the world.' Yet these two men were the Pylades and Orestes of civil life; there seems to have been established a thorough community of soul between them; and it might be hard to show any single point of action or opinion on which they differed. For the political sentiments and judicial acts of either I have not a word to say except that they were expiated by both upon the scaffold, and that they in no way enter into the ground of the present estimate. Of Laud as a Churchman it ought to have been remembered, at least in extenuation, that he was the first Primate of all England for many generations who proved himself by his acts to be a tolerant theologian. He was the patron not only of the saintly and heroic Bedell[2], but on the one hand of Chillingworth and Hales; on the other of Ussher, Hall, and Davenant: groups of names sharply severed in opinion, but unitedly known in the history of ability and of learning. It is directly to the present purpose to compare the Calvinistic Oxford, to which Laud came as a youth, with the Anglican Oxford which he quitted to pass out into the government of affairs.

The change in this place almost recalls what was said of Augustus, that he found Rome brick, and

  1. History, i. 86–89.
  2. Mant, History of the Church of Ireland, vol. i. p. 434.