Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/134

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

of which Neal speaks in his history of the Puritans. The sentiments follow exactly those of Rutherford's Lex Rex; as, for example, "The Crown is but the kingdom's or people's livery. . . . The king bears the relation of a political servant or vassal to that state, kingdom, or people over which he is set to govern." But the commonplaces of to-day were rank heresy in a chaplain to Cromwell.

There seems to be no evidence to support Bishop Burnet's assertion that Ck)odwin was the head of the Fifth-Monarchy fanatics; and his story is simply that of a fearless, sensible, and conscientious minister, who took a strong interest in the political drama of his time, and advocated liberty of conscience before even Milton or Locke. But his chief distinction is to have been marked out for revenge in company with Milton by the miserable Restoration Parliament.

Milton's Eikonoklastes and Defensio Populi Anglicani rank, of course, among the masterpieces of English prose, and ought to be read, where they never will be, in every Board and public school of England. In the first the picture of Charles I., as painted in the Eikon Basilike, was unmercifully torn to pieces. Charles's