Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/114

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

Paritan writers. It is worse to lose one's ears and one's liberty for life than even to be deprived of Church livings; and it is noticeable that bodily mutilations came to an end with the clipping of the talons of the Crown and the Church at the beginning of the Long Parliament.

Taking now in order the works of a political nature that were condemned by the House of Commons to be burnt by the hangman, we come first to the Speeches of Sir Edward Dering, member for Kent in the Long Parliament, and a greater antiquary than he ever was a politician. He it was who, on May 27th, 1641, moved the first reading of the Root and Branch Bill for the abolition of Episcopacy." The pride, the avarice, the ambition, and oppression by our ruling clergy is epidemical," he said; thereby proving that such an opinion was not merely a Puritan prejudice. But Bering appears only really to have aimed at the abolition of Laud's archiepiscopacy, and to have wished to see some purer form of prelacy re-established in place of the old. Naturally his views gave offence, which he only increased by republishing his speeches on matters of religion, Parliament being so incensed that it burned his book, and