Home  »  Volume VIII: English THE AGE OF DRYDEN  »  § 19. Sancroft’s Fur Praedestinatus

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

§ 19. Sancroft’s Fur Praedestinatus

When William and Mary were called to the throne by the convention parliament, there was a large number of clergy who thought it impossible to take the oath of allegiance anew, the sovereign to whom they had already taken it being still alive. The doctrine of the Divine right of kings, Hobbism, the theory of passive obedience, united to confirm their refusal. And a large number of conscientious men, with the primate of all England at their head, went into voluntary exile from the main current of national life. It was natural that among such men should be some of the leaders of the learning and literature of the age. Sancroft himself had ceased to contribute to literature or learning; but, in his day, he had wielded the pen adroitly. His Fur Praedestinatus, a delightful satire on Calvinism, was an early work; but archbishops cannot afford to be satirical in print, and, when he became a non-juror, Sancroft refrained from all written works.