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missionaries not to mix in politics, which some obeyed and some disregarded. The explanatory declaration given by Gregory XIII in 1580 to Campion and Parsons (that the Bull was binding upon Catholics when its fulfilment was possible, but not as things were) seemed to justify the charge that the Pope had spoken with different voices in private and in public, allowing submission while commanding opposition. We have not space even to summarise the discussion of the charge against Gregory XIII that he encouraged the assassination of Elizabeth; but the correspondence of Sega (the nuncio in Madrid) with the Cardinal of Como leaves no possible doubt. The Pope recognised the rightfulness of the deed; but that simply means, our author thinks, that he was not as a leader of religion should have beenabove the average level of his day. The strain upon the loyalty of Papists was great. The Pope would not permit them to be good Englishmen ; the State would not permit them to exercise their religion. But, from its point of view, the State too had its difficulties; and, while he does justice to the heroism of some of the martyrs, Dr Meyer describes the persecution as statesmanlike, adapted both to attain its ends and to suit specific cases, and not needlessly severe. The description of the contest between England and the Papacy as a phase in the struggle between the medieval Church and the modern State is peculiarly happy and well put; to that aspect of it we shall return. Meanwhile, we must recognise the power as well as the industry of this valuable book.
Passing over many smaller books which deserve notice, such as Mr Kennedy's interesting life of Parker, we come to Dr Usher's volumes on 'The Reconstruction of the English Church.' This work, while based on research, is more than a product of learning. Briefly put, Dr Usher's argument is this. The problem of the reconstruction of the English Church was left over by Elizabeth and her advisers. The theological and doctrinal foundation was laid, but a legal and administrative building-up was needed. The Canon Law had been dealt with in a curious way. The renunciation of the papal obedience had left large gaps in the legal and administrative fabric; much was taken away, more was left incoherent. The commission of thirty-two for its
codification had not done its work; a reconstruction, such as had been worked out at Trent, was needed. Henry VIII had thought himself called to the work of destruction, but had put off until a more convenient day the more difficult work of reconstruction. The reigns of Edward and Mary had intensified both the existing disorder and the need of revision. The discordant impulses of opposite parties, Catholics and Puritans, under Elizabeth had the same effect. The English Church was now deliberately basing itself upon the principle of episcopacy, joined to the Royal Supremacy in things temporal. This was the meaning of Parker's administration, of Jewel's appeal to antiquity, of Elizabeth's control. But long dependence upon papal support, the growing laxity of episcopal administration, and the disuse of visitationsthe medieval instrument of efficiency-had weakened episcopal power. Some of Elizabeth's prelates, moreover, were not men to add dignity to their office; and many of their subordinates had shown that they had no belief in the theory of episcopacy by their organisation of 'classes' beneath the cloak of the prophesyings. The bishops thus found themselves powerless just when Elizabeth was calling upon them to administer discipline.
Dr Usher's contention is that Whitgift, at Bancroft's suggestion, made the Court of High Commission—which by its visitations had done so much to restore order—a means of permanently strengthening the machinery. It is true that the alleged suggestion by Bancroft is without exact proof; and this author's view of the change—which was rather in the use than in the nature of the Courtis doubtful. Bancroft had already appeared as the advocate of Episcopacy against Presbyterianism, and had in 1584 unmasked the Presbyterian conspiracy to undermine the Church. The High Commission, which had worked, in temporary form, under Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and then under Elizabeth, had been of great use as a visitorial body; but it was administered chiefly by laymen. By 1593 it has lost its purely visitorial character and become a permanent part of the ecclesiastical machinery; and ecclesiastics, not laymen, are prominent on it. From it now came the coercion which was the impelling force behind the medieval ecclesiastical system. The changing ideas of men, the stress laid upon
the royal power, made this new source of strength seem just what was needed. The importance of Church organisation in the sixteenth century is sometimes overlooked; but the success of the Calvinistic model, and that of the Counter-Reformation working upon the reformed and Tridentine system and by the agency of the Jesuits, illustrate it. In England the organisation of the Puritan ' classes,' suppressed by Whitgift with Bancroft's help, and the struggle over the Arch-Priest-so well sketched by the late Mr T. G. Law and discussed both by Meyer and Usher -are further illustrations. The Puritan organisation was put down; the Papal organisation remained.
Dr Usher's story of Bancroft's dealing with this problem in 1600 is interesting and suggestive. His view, well supported by documents and evidence, is this. Bancroft understood that the Romanist laity were loyal at heart, and that the influence of the gentry was decisive. It was their inaction or hostile action which had paralysed the Recusancy Acts, so that, oddly enough, where Roman Catholics were plenty, the conversions were often few. Bancroft also knew that the majority of the Romanist priests in England-certainly the seculars and some of the Jesuits-desired first and foremost to minister to the needs of their brethren, rather than to meddle with politics or even to make converts. Hence Bancroft supported the seculars in their appeal to Rome in the ArchPriest troubles; hence, too, he was inclined to tolerance. The secular appellants were fairly successful in their appeal; but the Jesuit mission, with deep devotion and real spirituality, had by this time gained too firm a hold of the Romanist laity for their power to be shaken.
Another phase of Bancroft's activity was concerned with the assailants of Episcopacy grouped under the banner of Martin Marprelate.' It is astonishing that these writers-whatever sympathy their treatment should arouse-should have been magnified into heroes. Coarseness and unscrupulous abuse were their weapons; and these, in the hands of writers who know their public, are only too frequently effective. They had just that literary instinct which seems to belong as of right to oppressed nationalities and suppressed movements; they had the human touch so often lacking in the literature of the day; but the humanity was the worse side of mankind. The
campaign, underground as well as above ground, by which Bancroft' unmasked Puritanism,' included the suppression of Martin Marprelate and his illegal press.
Dr Usher, in short, brings out Bancroft's importance as the centre of the anti-Puritan movement. The turning-point,' he says, 'in the history of Elizabethan nonconformity was Bancroft's sermon at Paul's Cross, on the assembling of Parliament, February 9, 1588-9.' The sermon, no less than the whole history, shows up the littlenesses and meannesses which, in spite of its real spirituality, disgraced the Puritan movement. We have long had our history viewed through a haze of Puritan tradition. As Dr Usher says, for one of their historians, Benjamin Brook, 'every man is either " this learned man," or "this admirable scholar," or "this eloquent preacher."' And Dr Frere, speaking of the same uncritical writer, reminds us that truthfulness never was the Puritans' strong point.' Yet, because of their undoubted piety, every general statement, every scandal, every picturesque detail, given by them has been accepted as fact. It is the merit of most of these works we are criticising that facts are judged as they are, not as Puritans coloured them and as we have long taken them on trust. But Dr Usher has given us besides a broad general view of the whole period, which is original and impressive. On the one hand, he emphasises the incompleteness of the English Reformation upon its constructive and administrative sides; on the other hand, he summarises the work, begun by Bancroft under Elizabeth and finished by him under James I, of giving to the Church of England an effective episcopal organisation, a constructive polity which was formed amid the disturbances of Papist and Puritan. We think he has proved his case. But Bancroft's work in the Canons in 1604 and the Visitation Articles of 1605 lie outside our subject.
The earlier part of Elizabeth's reign was a time of general political and religious settlement for Europe at large. In politics the rivalry of France and Spain was now firmly fixed; the smaller Powers, and the tangled policies of Germany, stand ranged around them much as they were to stand until the Thirty Years' War. The one uncertain thing in politics was the part which England
was to play. Spanish influence was strong, and Spanish pensioners in England were many, although sometimes ungrateful; Mary's reign had, however, brought hatredperhaps unjustly-upon the name of Spaniard. In religious matters the same kind of settlement was taking place. Too much stress is often laid upon the first quarter of the century, as if, in comparison with it, all the rest were unimportant. With the influence of the Renaissance, and with the tide of individualism which rose as the Middle Ages waned, with the advent of Lutheranism and the outcry for reform, forces of division and of disunion had been brought into active play. There were some who sought peace and ensued it, but to others it seemed impossible or undesirable.
At any rate, until the century was some half-way over, it could not be said what the end would be. Some rulers, especially the Emperor and the King of France, had strong political reasons for seeking religious unity; even theologians, in spite of those hatreds from which Melanchthon hoped to escape in Heaven, did not think eventual unity impossible. The mediating theologiansGropper, Pflug, and others-were a strong party at the Imperial Court; and their influence at the Conference of Regensburg (1541), with its platform of doctrinal unity, had made even that seem far from hopeless. Many thought that a General Council bent on reform and headed by a reforming Pope might bring it about. Not until the Council of Trent was well under way did that hope seem plainly stricken; and even at the final reassembling of the Council political needs galvanised it into fresh life. But, when the Council of Trent was ended, all doubts as to the position of Catholics were set at rest; the policy of the Papacy, and its theological position, biblical and doctrinal, were defined, far enough at any rate to shut out any but medieval solutions. This was for theory; in practice the Jesuits, with their devotion, their learning, and their educational skill, worked for the Papacy and with it. Episcopacy, even if fettered, justified itself under Rome as in England. Once more the Papacy was a conquering power, and at the head of a compact and solid force. Nothing short of political necessity was likely to tempt it from its path.
Until somewhere about the same time Protestantism