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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

XI. Platonists and Latitudinarians

§ 17. George Rust (Bishop of Dromore)

It was certainly no reassuring note that was sounded in 1655, when George Rust, another member of the same society—who had been elected to a fellowship from St. Catharine’s, in 1649—deemed it incumbent on him to call attention to the impending peril. In terms remarkable for their vigour and precision, the future bishop of Dromore, preaching from St. Mary’s pulpit in Cambridge, declared that the very foundations on which “men had so long built their opinions and faith” were “shaken and staggered in this sceptical age”:

  • Every one, upon a particular and several sect, is in quest of Truth; and so foolish and full of vain affectation is the mind of man, that each one confidently believes himself in the right, and, however others call themselves, that he and those of his party are the only Orthodox. Should we go abroad in the world, and ask as many as we meet, What is Truth?, we should find it a changeable and uncertain notion, which every one cloath’s his own apprehensions with. Truth is in every sect and party, though they speak inconsistencies among themselves and contradictions to one another. Truth is the Turkish Alcoran, the Jewish Talmud, the Papists’ Councils, the Protestants’ Catechisms and Models of divinity,—each of these in their proper place and region. Truth is a various uncertain thing, and changes with the air and the climate,—’t is Mahomet at Constantinople, the Pope at Rome, Luther at Wittemberg, Calvin at Geneva, Arminius at Oldwater, Socinus at Cracow; and each of these are sound and orthodox in the circuit of their own reign and dominion.