The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XII. The Romantic Revival.

XIV. Historians

§ 12. William Bright

Stanley’s successor in his Oxford chair, William Bright, will be remembered, if only for his extraordinary industry in the amassing of materials, which he arranged with so much lucidity that his History of the Church, A.D. 315–451 (1860) has been accepted as a standard manual for theological students. Although this book was composed for the special purpose it has fulfilled, and is unfrequently illuminated by sayings so fine as that concerning Constantine the Great, who, “while he gave much to his religion, did not give himself,” the author writes with a suppressed, but, at times, caustic, zeal that appears to have been one of his characteristics. His Chapters of Early English Church History (1878), though full of learning, are less attractive. He was, also, a hymn-writer of much power.