The Soul of Samuel Pepys

By Gamaliel Bradford | Go to book overview

VII
PEPYS AND GOD

I

WHAT religious training Pepys received from his mother, what childish prayers he murmured at her knee, we shall never know. We have already seen that the Diary does not indicate any very great respect for her character or her admonitions; but doubtless in this matter the child was different from the man. The only direct reference to the religious aspect of the relation that I have noted is argumentative: "After supper she and I talked very high about religion, I in defence of the religion I was born in." 1

Though during the Diary period Pepys was a loyal member of the Church of England, it seems likely that in his youth his sympathies were distinctly with the prevailing Puritanism in some form, he not being the sort of man to court martyrdom for any faith, religious or political. Late in 1660 his pleasure in meeting an old schoolfellow was much tempered by the fear that his anti-royalist proclivities would be remembered, 2 and probably his anti-clericalism was not less ardent. He is apt to speak of the Puritans with respect, not to say, awe. Towards the very end

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