Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/171

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

A book that was very famous in its day, on the opposite side to Defoe, was Doctor Drake's Memorial of the Church of England, published anonymously in 1705. The Tory author was indignant that the House of Lords should have rejected the Bill against Occasional Conformity, which would have made it impossible for Dissenters to hold any office by conforming to the Test Act; he complained of the knavish pains of the Dissenters to divide Churchmen into High and Low; and he declared that the present prospect of the Church was " very melancholy," and that of the government "not much more comfortable." Long habit has rendered us callous to the melancholy state of the Church and the discomfort of governments; but in Queen Anne's time the croakers' favourite cry was a serious offence. The Queen's Speech, therefore, of October 27th, 1705, expressed strong resentment at this representation of the Church in danger; both Houses, by considerable majorities, voted the Church to be "in a most safe and flourishing condition"; and a royal proclamation censured both the book and its unknown author, a few months after it had been presented by the Grand Jury of the City, and publicly burnt by the hangman. It was