Page:An Academic Sketch.djvu/39

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The Romanes Lecture 1892

Wolsey, intercepted in his great career by his yet more masterful sovereign; Laud, who stands upon the historic stage halfway between culprit and martyr; and finally John Wesley, whose single will, energy of character, and devotion, rather than power purely intellectual, are now after a century and a half represented in the English-speaking race by organised bodies with adherents estimated, I believe, by none at less than twelve millions in number, and by some at a much higher figure.

There are others, such as Grostête, and Gardiner in his later period: great names in history, but hardly competing with those previously produced. Again, there are men who have played conspicuous and weighty parts, such as Cranmer: a prelate of vigorous and comprehensive talents, but one who, in a great post and period (and always excepting the last, and more than heroic scene), seems in action mainly to represent minds other than his own. Again, there was Simeon, who was contented, through his long life, with the fallentis semita vitæ in a Fellowship at King's, yet who deserves a place, and a very honourable place, in the history of both Church and University. But there are two, who perhaps ought to stand even on the same level with the five great names I have selected, making seven in all; subject however to this qualification, that they were not statesmen of the Church, or men in whom action eclipsed or overshadowed thought, but were thinkers whose written word passed, indeed, into action as wine into the blood, but mediately, through the minds and in the deeds of others, rather than their own.