The English Church in the Eighteenth Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 807 pages of information about The English Church in the Eighteenth Century.

[Footnote 698:  Bishop Butler, in his Charge to the Clergy of Durham in 1751, complains very justly, ’It is cruel usage we often meet with, in being censured for not doing what we cannot do, without, what we cannot have, the concurrence of our censurers.  Doubtless very much reproach which now lights upon the clergy would be bound to fall elsewhere if due allowance were made for things of this kind.’]

[Footnote 699:  Calamy’s Life and Times, vol. ii. p. 531.]

[Footnote 700:  Skeats’s History of the Free Churches, pp. 248, 313.  ’The strictness of Puritanism, without its strength or piety, was beginning to reign among Dissenters.’]

[Footnote 701:  Life of Archbishop Sharp, by his Son, edited by T. Newcome, p. 214.]

[Footnote 702:  Id. p. 217.]

[Footnote 703:  See The History of the Present Parliament and Convocation, 1711; and Cardwell’s Synodalia, vol. ii. for the years 1710, 1712, 1713, 1715.]

[Footnote 704:  See Secker’s Charges, passim.]

[Footnote 705:  The circumstances in the Isle of Man were of course exceptional.  For specimens of the rigour with which good Bishop Wilson maintained ecclesiastical discipline there see Stowell’s Life of Wilson, pp. 198, 199, &c.]

[Footnote 706:  Le Clerge de Quatre-vingt-neuf, par J. Wallon, quoted in the Church Quarterly Review for October 1877, art. v., ’France in the Eighteenth Century.’]

[Footnote 707:  W.M.  Thackeray, English Humorists of the Eighteenth Century.]

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The middle part of the eighteenth century presents a somewhat curious spectacle to the student of Church history.  From one point of view the Church of England seemed to be signally successful; from another, signally unsuccessful.  Intellectually her work was a great triumph, morally and spiritually it was a great failure.  She passed not only unscathed, but with greatly increased strength, through a serious crisis.  She crushed most effectually an attack which, if not really very formidable or very systematic, was at any rate very noisy and very violent; and her success was at least as much due to the strength of her friends as to the weakness of her foes.  So completely did she beat her assailants out of the field that for some time they were obliged to make their assaults under a masked battery in order to obtain a popular hearing at all.  It should never be forgotten that the period in which the Church sank to her nadir in one sense was also the period in which she almost reached her zenith in another sense.  The intellectual giants who flourished in the reigns of the first two Georges cleared the way for that revival which is the subject of these pages.  It

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