Reference > Cambridge History > The Age of Dryden > Divines of the Church of England 1660–1700 > Old and New Influences on the Style of the English Pulpit in the Period Following the Restoration
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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

XII. Divines of the Church of England 1660–1700.

§ 1. Old and New Influences on the Style of the English Pulpit in the Period Following the Restoration.


WITH the restoration of the church came a vociferous outburst of loyalty to the king, which threatened to engraft upon the style of the pulpit not a little of the extravagance of the puritan manner, adapted to other themes than those of its origin. But the influence of the older tradition of restraint proved too strong. The leaders of the restored church were men trained in the school of Laud; disciples, in the second generation, of Andrewes, and, in the first, of Hammond; scholars in whom the classical habit was still strong, but who had learnt a severer simplicity of expression. The divines to whom men listened, and whom they read and copied, were, in literature, of the type rather of Sanderson and Hammond than of Donne or even Jeremy Taylor; and, before long, their language was deeply affected by Bunyan and Izaak Walton. Pedantry, crabbed conceit, elaboration of metaphor or illustration, gave way to advanced directness, and the English language was made to show of what it was capable when it was not strained: style, casting off imitation, became direct and plain. During the forty years which followed the return of Charles II, English divines, in their treatment of serious themes, laid the foundations on which Addison based his mastery over the language of his day.   1

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
   Gradual Transition  
 
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