SIDNEY FIVE DEANS John Colet John Donne Jonathan Swift Arthur Penrhyn Stanley William Ralph Inge NKW VORKL IIARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY COPYRIGHT, 1928, BY HARCOURT, BRACE AN T D COMPANY, IMC. MADE IN THE U. S A BY POUYCflAPHlC COMPANY OF AMERICA. INC Nl W YORK, N Y CONTEN TS PREFACE Page 7 JOHN COLET I JOHN DONNE 54 JONATHAN SWIFT 1 09 ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY I 4 WILLIAM RALPH INGE 209 PREFACE IN the studies in this book, I have been mainly concerned to suggest the relation of each of the individuals whom I have considered to the movements and reactions of his time. Of the five Deans, Donne and Swift were far more distinguished as men of letters than as Churchmen, and Dr. Inge is far more interested in philosophy than in piety. But it is mainly as Churchmen that I have considered the three Deans of St. Pauls, the one Dean of Westminster and the one Dean of St. Patricks, as Churchmen and as typical representatives of the English Church in the years immediately before the Reformation, in the years that immediately followed it, in the eighteenth, in the nine teenth and in the twentieth centuries. It may be sug gested, not unjustly, that there is no place for Swift in a volume devoted to ecclesiastics and ecclesiastical affairs. Thackeray would have it that the great ironist was a great scoundrel, but no man has suggested that he was a great Churchman. To me the fact of importance is that Swift was a Churchman at all. The Church was to him and to Donne the only possible means of livelihood. That they were ordained is much less a reflection on their characters than a criticism of the Church and a demonstration of its character in the times in which they lived. Action and reaction have marked the history of the English Church during the last five centuries as they mark the history of every institution in all the ages. The high hopes of the Oxford humanists, at the beginning of the sixteenth century were swamped in the chaos of the Reformation with its destruction of European unity and its sorry gift to the world of a new, colourless, negative religion. The fight of the English Church to preserve something of its Catholic character against the eager PREFACE onslaughts of the Puritans lasted from Elizabeth to the Non-jurors who, though they went out into a lonely and arid wilderness, were responsible for the religious revival of the last two decades of the seventeenth century which left as a legacy to the Church two great societies - the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. There followed the dead years of the eighteenth century with their prevailing Latitudinarianism and the decay of the Church to a spiritual deadness against which Methodism and the Evangelical revival were the revolt. Methodism, almost against the will of Wesley, grew into a schism, and the evangelical revival had no great lasting effect on the life of the Church itself, which, in the years immediately before the beginning of the Oxford Movement, was as worldly and as dead as it had been in the preceding century. From 1833 until to-day two antagonistic influences have contended for supremacy within the English Church. I have endeavoured to make the character of these influences clear in my study of Dean Stanley who, while himself a Liberal Erastian, had a toleration which was all his own and which was shared neither by his master, Arnold, nor by the Liberal Erastians of our time who still secure the most desirable preferment and sit in the seats of the ecclesiastical mighty. Stanley was the apostle, if he was not the inventor, of comprehensiveness Arnold would have driven the Tractarians out of the Church into which he was eager to welcome Unitarians. Stanley defended Pusey as he defended Colenso. He was per fectly consistent, because if the Church of England is, as he contended, mainly to be regarded as an invaluable national possession, then it is clear that the wider its boundaries, the better...
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