Page:Historical Lectures and Addresses.djvu/170

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


in the case of Jewel. He was a learned theologian, strongly imbued with continental Protestantism when he returned to England, and a decided Calvinist But he grew out of his Calvinism and became one of the chief founders of Anglicanism, and one of the last things he did was to denounce the Puritans in language far stronger than any that Hooker ever used against them. So it was with most of the other bishops.

The general mass of the clergy were of course as much disorganised as the bishops by the recent changes. Cecil, when accompanying the Queen on a progress through the eastern counties, exclaimed, "Here be many slender ministers and much nakedness of religion". Here was the Church and its formularies, but either there were no clergy or there were only clergy who did not know what to do. In some places they would not conform in various ways to Church order, refusing for instance to wear surplices; the bishops did not know how to deal with heretics and schismatics; everything was at sixes and sevens. Owing to the wave of iconoclasm that had passed over the country, many churches were reduced to ruins, and the difficulty of finding men who would conduct public worship in an orderly fashion was enormous. How were things to be put straight? How were the difficulties to be met? I frankly admit that the form taken by Anglicanism largely arose from the desire to express the wishes of the English people so far as it was possible to do so. That simply and solely was the desire which prevailed. Seeing that England had succeeded in maintaining