Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/131

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
115
Book-Fires of the Rebellion.

actual divinity, and to superiority to all moral laws.

On September 27th, 1650, Clarkson's Single Eye: all Light, no Darkness, was condemned to be burnt by the hangman; and Clarkson himself not only sent to the House of Correction for a month, but sentenced to be banished after that for life under a penalty of death if he returned.

These books have their value for students of human nature, and so have the next I refer to, the works of Ludovic Muggleton, most of which were written during this period, though not condemned to be burnt till the year 1676, and which in other respects seem to touch the lowest attainable depth of religious demoralisation. The extraordinary thing is that Muggleton actually founded a sort of religion of his own; at all events, he gave life and title to a sect, which counts votaries to this day. Only so recently as 1846 a list of the works of Muggleton and his colleague Reeve was published, and the books advertised for sale. These two men claimed to be the two last witnesses or prophets, with power to sentence men to eternal damnation or blessedness. Muggleton had a decided preference for exercising the former power, especially in