Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/139

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Book-Fires of the Restoration.

His book was an answer to the Sacra Sancta Regum Majesty in which the Divine Right of kings, and the duty of passive obedience, had been strenuously upheld. Its appearance in 1644 created a great sensation, and threw into the shade Buchanan's De Jure Regni apud Scotos, which had hitherto held the field on the popular side. The purpose and style of the book may be gathered from the passage in the preface, wherein the writer gives, as his reason for writing, the opinion that arbitrary government had "over-swelled all banks of law, that it was now at the highest float . . . that the naked truth was, that prelates, a wild and pushing cattle to the lambs and flocks of Christ, had made a hideous noise; the wheels of their chariot did run an unequal pace with the bloodthirsty mind of the daughter of Babel." The contention was, that all regal power sprang from the suffrages of the people. "The king is subordinate to the Parliament, not co-ordinate, for the constituent is above the constituted." "What are kings but vassals to the State, who, if they turn tyrants, fall from their right?" For the rest, a book so crammed and stuffed with Biblical quotations as to be most unreadable. And indeed, of all the features of that miserable seventeenth