History has not been kind to Symon Patrick. His fifty years of ministry spanned the closing years of Cromwell's rule and the start of Queen Anne's reign, and ranged from service as a Church of England minister in two fashionable London parishes to appointment as the "latitudinarian" Bishop of Ely. He influenced a major change in the character of the Established Church, as it moved from a confrontational fundamentalism to the broad tolerance that exists today. Patrick, recognised by his contemporaries as one of the three or four leading clergy of his generation, wrote over one hundred books that helped to define his Church, such as his pastoral work The Heart's Ease, his devotional The Parable of the Pilgrim and his biting polemic against nonconformism, A Friendly Debate.This book assesses the significance and quality of Patrick's contribution to the Church of England, carefully placing it against the background of the history and politics of the time and suggesting why his reputation faded after his death. Puritanism, Latitudinarianism, pilgrimage, women's religion and spirituality, and prose style are all topics touched on here.
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages: 309
Dimensions: 212 x 148 mm
Edition: Unabridged edition
"With Symon Patrick (1626-1707) and His Contribution to the Post-1660 Restored Church of England, Nicholas Fisher has written what is in essence an intellectual biography. He focuses on Patrick's printed works, believing these must have been more influential than were sermons that were left unpublished [...] Fisher also brings to his analysis the literary scholar's sensitivity to style and tone. Fisher, now an ordained minister in the Anglican Church himself, clearly admires Patrick and the style of churchmanship for which he stood. Nevertheless, his account is balanced and sensitive to Patrick's shortcomings: Fisher wants to rehabilitate Patrick and do justice to the quality of his pastoral work and his contributions to reshaping the Restoration church, but Fisher also recognizes that at times Patrick got the tone wrong."Tim HarrisBrown University, Journal of British Studies, 59.3, 2020