Reference > Cambridge History > Cavalier and Puritan > Caroline Divines > Richard Mountague
  William Laud Joseph Hall  


The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan.

VI. Caroline Divines.

§ 18. Richard Mountague.

Laud, as a controversialist, is the true successor of Andrewes, and his whole attitude, as well as his particular quotations, shows him to be a disciple of Hooker. As a controversialist, he is, to some extent, in contrast to Richard Mountague, a man of his own age and school, who is happily described by Fuller in the words “very sharp the nib of his pen, and much gall mingled in his ink, against such as opposed him.” Mountague, who afterwards, by Laud’s influence, became a bishop, was famed for his tart tracts A New Gag for an old Goose who would needs undertake to stop all Protestants’ mouths even with 276 places out of their own English Bible; Appello Caesarem: a Just Appeal from two Unjust Informers; and a treatise on the invocation of saints with the title Immediate Address unto God alone. In each of these he anticipated a good deal that modern writers have advanced as new; his general position is that of Laud and Andrewes, asserting the “catholicity” of the English church; and his manner is biting and epigrammatic, as he stands “in the gap against Puritanism and Popery, the Scylla and Charybdis of ancient Piety.” But the importance of Mountague in English history is theological and, perhaps even more, political, rather than literary. He is in style and language a man of his age, and his age has better men in both. He was not an influence on others. He stood rather at the wing of the anti-Roman army of writers, and the permanent impression was made by men who, if not more earned—for Mountague was well read and won the admiration of the pedant king James—were more sober and, therefore, more effective.   28

  William Laud Joseph Hall  
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