In 1652 John Milton reminded Cromwell that the chief end for which the Civil War had been fought—to gain religious liberty—had not yet been attained:
New foes arise,
Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains.
Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whose Gospel is their maw.
Yet, despite the fervor of Milton's plea, it was plain to the clear-sighted Englishman in the early 1650's that by far the greater threat to religion was the lack of order and government in the church. Thus, when Cromwell became Lord Protector in 1653 no problem seemed graver than that of restoring order in the church. He must furthermore do this in such a way as to keep the support of all the sects. The ship of state must be carefully steered between the Scylla of intolerance and the Charybdis of ecclesiastical disorder.