Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/127

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111
Books Condemned to be Burnt.

reprinted the same year. The year following (1648) the House passed an ordinance making a denial of the Trinity a capital offence; in spite of which Bidle published his Confession of Faith touching the Holy Trinity, according to Scripture, and his Testimonies of Different Fathers regarding the same,, the last of which manifests considerable learning. The Assembly of Divines then appealed to Parliament to put him to death; yet, strange to say, Parliament did not do so, but soon after released their prisoner. In 1654 he published his Twofold Catechism,for which he was again committed to the Gatehouse, and debarred from the use of pens, ink, and paper; and all his books were sentenced to be burnt (December 13th, 1654). After a time, his fate being still uncertain, Cromwell procured his release, or rather sent him off to the Scilly Isles. But his enemies got him into prison again at last, and there a blameless and pions life fell a victim to the power of bigotry. One may regret a life thus spent and sacrificed; but only so has the cause of free thought been gradually won.

Bidle has also been thought to have been the translator of the famous Racovian Catechism, first published in Polish