Swift as an Ecclesiastical Statesman
The sincerity of Swift’s religion has been a matter of controversy from his own day to ours. The gibe of his contemporary, Smedley, that he
echoes the tradition that it was Queen Anne’s pious horror of A Tale of a Tub which prevented Swift’s elevation to the episcopal bench. This interpretation of Swift’s religious position has been elaborated by later writers and as elaborately confuted. But final decision in such a dispute is impossible. The evidence of what a man really believed is bound to be of such a nature that our interpretation of it will depend upon our estimate of the man himself; and in fact all the writers on Swift’s personal religion have, consciously, or unconsciously, approached the subject with their minds made up.1
… might a bishop be in time
Did he believe in God
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© Macmillan & Co. Ltd. 1967