THE LAUDIAN MOVEMENT AND THE COUNTER-REFORMATION
RELIGION, for the seventeenth century, had lost none of its dominance over the intellect, the emotions, and the imagination. The ardors of Reformist zeal had not wholly spent themselves; and, since the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church had exhibited, in learned argument against heretics and schismatics, in missionary exploits, in devotional life, and in the arts, a persistent and passionate activity.
The seventeenth century was the Golden Age of the Anglican Church: it dominated the intellectual life of England, included within its communion scholars like Ussher, Burton, Evelyn, Selden, and attracted to it such as Casaubon; it produced such preachers as Andrewes, Donne, and Taylor; it harbored the sceptical fideism of the Religio Medici; and it expressed itself in religious poetry as various as that of George Herbert, Joseph Beaumont, Quarles, and Vaughan.
Then, as now, the Church was comprehensive. In the seventeenth century, the Establishment housed the High, the Low, the Broad -- or, as they then were termed, the Laudians, the Puritans, and the