Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/147

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Books-Fires of the Restoration.

of the nonconforming sects, has since descended and still clings to her.

Dr. Calamy, one of the King's chaplains, had preached and printed a sermon called Scrupulous Conscience, challenging to, or advocating, the friendly discussion of points of difference between the Church and the Nonconformists. Delaune, who kept a grammar school, was weak enough to take him at his word, and so wrote his Plea, a book of wondrous learning, and to this day one of the best to read concerning the origin and growth of the various rites of the Church. Thereupon he was whisked off to herd with the commonest felons in Newgate, whence he wrote repeatedly to Dr. Calamy, to beg him, as the cause of his unjust arrest, to procure his release. Delaune disclaimed all malignity against the English Church, or any member of it, and, with grim humour, entreated to be convinced of his errors "by something more like divinity than Newgate." But the Church has not always dealt in more convincing divinity, and accordingly the cowardly ecclesiastic held his peace and left his victim to suffer.

It is difficult even now to tell the rest of Delaune's story with patience. He was indicted for intending to disturb the