An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Monday, 10 March 2014

C. S. Lewis on the Puritans: "bishops, not beer, were their special aversion"

We can hardly help calling them 'Puritanism' and 'humanism', but neither word meant the same as it does in modern America. By purity the Elizabethan Puritan meant not chastity but ‘pure’ theology and, still more, ‘pure’ church discipline. That is, he wanted an all-powerful Presbyterian Church, a church stronger than the state, set up in England, on the model of Calvin’s church at Geneva. Knox in Scotland loudly demanded, and at least one English Puritan hinted, that this should be done by armed revolution. Calvin, the great successful doctrinaire who had actually set up the ‘new order’, was the man who had dazzled them all. We must picture these Puritans as the very opposite of those who bear that name today: as young, fierce, progressive intellectuals, very fashionable and up-to-date. They were not teetotallers; bishops, not beer, were their special aversion. 
C. S. Lewis "On Edmund Spenser". Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature.  p. 121.

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