It is by no means certain that he made the remark often attributed to him, "Let us enjoy the papacy since God has given it to us," but there is little doubt that he was by nature devoid of moral earnestness or deep religious feeling.
Artists have been known to use the left hand in the hope of checking the fatal facility which practice had conferred on the right; and if Hood had been able to place under some restraint the curious and complex machinery of words and syllables which his fancy was incessantly producing, his style would have been a great gainer, and much real earnestness of object, which now lies confused by the brilliant kaleidoscope of language, would have remained definite and clear.
He is indeed far below $ossuet, whose robust and sublime genius had no rival in that age; he does not equal Bourdaloue in earnestness of thought and vigour of expression; nor can he rival the philosophical depth or the insinuating and impressive eloquence of Massillon.
The swift, unhesitating charge was more than unusual in the wars of the time, and was possible only because of the peculiar earnestness of the men who fought the English war.
He wandered from village to village and town to town, preaching to enormous audiences, always in the open air; the earnestness and straightforward eloquence with which he insisted that true repentance came from the heart, that pious pilgrimages and the absolution of the Church were mere outward symbols, appealed to all classes.