Much has been written on the political behavior of the Stuart Church of England. And much too has been written on its monotonous reiteration of the divine right of kings' doctrine—with its ancillary ideas of passive obedience and non-resistance to the commands of authority. Indeed, for this perspective on the institution there exists abundant evidence: seventeenth century sermons and treatises were filled with “church politics.” Morever, Figgis' study remains indispensable: before, and perhaps even more clearly and vehemently after the Puritan Revolution, insistence on absolute obedience to existing authority—especially to the king—reverberated in the parish churches of England. Thus, at this point in time little doubt exists as to the political attitudes of clerics; and indeed a consensus exists also on the probable motives for those clerical attitudes: they followed unavoidably upon the second great conquest in English history, the conquest of the church by Henry VIII. But the church was not unwillingly conquered: it both bound itself and was bound to the destiny of the monarchy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—its newly-granted constitutional legality protected it while it nourished the hope that the Crown would act as sponsor of reform in Christian society. In a word, the institution of the church, keenly aware of both its relative impotence and its relative strength with regard to the monarchy, made the best of circumstances by offering virtually unqualified support to Stuart kingship, with certain unintended consequences for the church. Given this perspective, it is easy to understand why, apart from special problems and issues, the thought of Anglican clerics commands little attention today. But perhaps another view of clerical thought will yield as much or more understanding than the traditional perspective has so far yielded: it is the purpose of this essay to offer another view.