Separatists denounced it as an idolatrous institution,
false to Christianity and to truth: the Puritans considered it as the temple of God, in which they were to worship, though its altars might need purification; the Separatists regarded the truths which it might profess, as holy things in the custody of the profane, the Ark
of the Lord
in the hands of Philistines.
The enmity between the divisions of the party eventually became bitter.
The Puritans reproached the Brownists with ill-advised precipitancy, and in return were censured for paltering cowardice.
The one party abhorred the ceremonies which were a bequest of Popery; the other party reprobated the Establishment itself.
The Puritans desired to amend; the Brownists, to destroy and rebuild.
The feud became bitter in England
, and eventually led to great political resuits; but the controversy could not be continued beyond the Atlantic
, for it required to be nourished by the presence of the hierarchy.
The accession of Whitgift
marks the epoch of ex-
treme and consistent rigor in the public councils; for the new archbishop was sincerely attached to the English church, and, from a regard to religion, enforced the conformity which the queen desired as the best support of her power.
He was a strict disciplinarian, and wished to govern the clergy of the realm as he would rule the members of a college.
Subscriptions were now required to points which before had been eluded;1
the kingdom rung with the complaints for deprivation; the most learned and diligent of the ministry2
were driven from their places; and those who were introduced to read the liturgy, were so ignorant, that few of them could preach.