Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/125

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Book-Fires of the Rebellion.

cannot understand what detriment could redound either to Church or Commonwealth by toleration of religions."

His heresy consisted in thinking that pagan ideas had been imported into, and so had corrupted, the original monotheism of Christianity. "We may perceive how by iniquity of time the real truth of God hath been trodden under foot by a verbal kind of divinity, introduced by the semi-pagan Christianity of the third century in the Western Church." He certainly did not hold the doctrine of the Trinity in what was then deemed the orthodox way, but his precise belief is rather obscurely stated, and is a matter of indifference.

One is glad to learn that he escaped hanging after all, and was released about the end of 1647, probably at the instance of Cromwell. He then retired to the family seat in Yorkshire, where he combined farming with his favourite theological studies for the ten remaining years of his life. His career at Cambridge had been distinguished, as might also have been his career in the world but for that unfortunate bent for theology, and the use of his reason in its study, that has led so many worthy men to disgrace and destruction.

But, in spite of the Assembly of Divines,