Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/448

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CHAPTER XXVI.

SCARS AND PURIFICATION.

THE Jewish Church wished to follow up its excommunication with civic consequences, and petitioned the magistrates to banish the "Blasphemer" from the city. The affair was laid before the synod of the reformed ministry for decision, and the quiet thinker often found himself distracted from his investigations by citations and writs. With profound reflections on the regulation of the commonwealth, and the consumption of human material required by it, he often wandered through the long passages of the law courts, or sat waiting in the ante-rooms. The martyrdom of the modern world is composed of a long array of thousands of trifling annoyances, and our philosopher had yet more to experience.

His friends pressed him to leave his native land of his own free will; he, however, maintained that for justice' sake he must submit himself to the judgment of the laws appealed to. It was Oldenburg's last act of friendship, when sent to England as the envoy of the Lower Saxon Union, to free his friend from these annoyances. He repeatedly entreated Spinoza to follow him, but Spinoza wished