Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/149

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Book-Fires of the Restoration.

persecution in Protestant England was very much the same as in Catholic France, with, if possible, less justification.

The main argument of Delaune's book was, that the Church of England agreed more in its rites and doctrines with the Church of Rome, and both Churches with Pagan or pre-Christian Rome, than either did with the primitive Church or the word of the Gospel—a thesis that has long since become generally accepted; but his main offence consisted in saying that the Lord's Prayer ought in one sentence to have been translated precisely as it now has been in the Revised Version, and in contending that the frequent repetition of the prayer in church was contrary to the express command of Scripture. On these and other points Delaune's book was never answered—for the reason, I believe, that it never could be. After the Act of Toleration (1689) it was 'often reprinted; the eighth and last time in 1706, when the High Church movement to persecute Dissent had assumed dangerous strength, with an excellent preface by Defoe, and concluding with the letters to Dr. Calamy, written by Delaune from Newgate. Defoe well points out that the great artifice of Delaune's time was to make the persecution of Dissent appear necessary, by repre-