ABSTRACT

IT is a commonplace with historians to write of the last eight years of Henry VIII.’s reign as the first of those periods of reaction which have followed on each successive stage of England’s progress from Roman Catholicism. The Lutheran tendencies of 1529–38 gave way to Catholic influence during the remainder of Henry’s reign. The rapid Protestant advance of Edward VI. was succeeded by the violent Romanism of Mary. Elizabeth’s reign was marked by a steady growth of Puritan feeling; and on its heels trod the High Anglican reaction of Laud and the other Caroline divines which culminated in the attempts of Charles II. and James II. to bring England again within the Roman fold. The revolution of 1688 was religious no less than political, and its effects upon the Church were the complete predominance of the State, the abeyance of Convocation, and the supremacy of Low Church and Latitudinarian views. Against this last phase Newman and Pusey raised their protest, and the movement which they started may not even now have reached its flood.