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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

§ 16. Samuel Parker’s Discourse of Ecclesiastical Polity

South affords an agreeable diversion to the student of later seventeenth century religious writing. Under Charles II, James II and William III, theologians seem more concerned to be serious than to be attractive, and it was natural that they should seek rather to convince than to entertain. Among those who attained distinction by writing sharply, Samuel Parker, whom James II made bishop of Oxford, in his Discourse of Ecclesiastical Polity, merits attention, because he shows (as, indeed, do not a few theologians by affinity or contrast) the marked influence of Hobbes. He was a clever satirist, too, and he had views on toleration which were in advance of his age. But he did not leave any permanent impression on letters.