If we would drive out the demon of fanaticism from the people, we must begin by exorcising the spirit of Epicureanism from the higher ranks, and restore to their teachers the true Christian enthusiasm, the vivifying influences of the altar, the censer, and the sacrifice.
In every grand or main public duty which God requireth of his church, there is, besides that matter and form wherein the essence thereof consisteth, a certain outward fashion, whereby the same is in decent manner administered.
Churches have names; some as memorials of peace, some of wisdom, some in memory of the Trinity itself, some of Christ under sundry titles; of the blessed Virgin not a few; many of one apostle, saint, or martyr; many of all.
Antiquity, custom, and consent, in the church of God, making with that which law doth establish, are themselves most sufficient reasons to uphold the same, unless some notable public inconvenience enforce the contrary.
Manifest it is, that the very majesty and holiness of the place where God is worshipped hath, in regard to us, great virtue, force, and efficacy; for that it serveth as a sensible help to stir up devotion.
When neither the evidence of any law divine, nor the strength of any invincible argument otherwise found out by the law of reason, nor any notable public inconvenience, doth make against that which our own laws ecclesiastical have instituted for the ordering of these affairs, the very authority of the church itself sufficeth.
The church has many times been compared by divines to the ark of which we read in the book of Genesis; but never was the resemblance more perfect than during that evil time when she rode alone, amidst darkness and tempest, on the deluge beneath which all the great works of ancient power and wisdom lay entombed, bearing within her that feeble germ from which a second and more glorious civilization was to spring.
Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay: History of England.
We do not see that while we still affect, by all means, a rigid external formality, we may as soon fall again into a gross conforming stupidity, a stark and dead congealment of wood, hay, and stubble, forced and frozen together; which is more to the sudden degenerating of a church than many subdichotomies of petty schisms.