Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/158

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

if possible, to reconcile ecclesiastical differences; he even dreamt of uniting the Protestant Churches of England and of the Continent, and his Comprehension Bill, had it passed Parliament, might have made the English Church a really national Church; and it was from his sympathy with the broad ideas of the King that Bury wrote his pamphlet, intending not to publish it, but to present it to the members of Convocation severally. Unfortunately he showed or presented a few copies to a few friends, with the natural result that the work became known, the author admonished for heresy and driven from his rectorship, and the book publicly burnt, by a vote of the university, in the area of the schools (August 19th, 1690). He should have reflected that it is as little the part of a discreet man to try to reconcile religious factions as to seek to separate fighting tigers.

The unexpected commotion roused by his book led the author to republish it with great modifications and omissions; a fact which much diminishes the interest of the second edition of 1691. For instance, the preface to the second edition omits this passage of the first: "The Church of England, as it needs not, so it does not, forbid any of its sons the use of their own