Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The cry of English puritans

Thought I would share this, a classic expression of the puritan ethos, in a letter from two English clergy, Laurence Humphrey and Thomas Sampson, to Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger, in 1566:

Why should we receive Christ rather maimed than entire, and pure, and perfect? Why should we look for precedents from our enemies, the papists, and not from you, our brethren of the reformation? We have the same confession in our churches, the same rule of doctrine and faith; why should there be so great a dissimilarity and discrepancy in rites and ceremonies? The thing signified is the same; why do the signs so differ as to be unlike yours, and to resemble those of the papists?

From H. Robinson, ed., The Zurich Letters (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1842-45), 162; cited in Eamon Duffy, “Continuity and Divergence in Tudor Religion”, in Unity and Diversity in the Church, ed. R. N. Swanson (Oxford: Blackwell [for the Ecclesiastical History Society], 1996), 185.


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