Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/176

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

was a more than usually narrow-minded priest; but in judging of the preacher we must think also of the look and the voice and the gestures, and these probably fully made up, as they so often do, for anything false or illogical in the sermon itself.

At all events, Sacheverell won for himself a place in English history. That he should have brought the House of Lords into conflict with the Church, causing it to condemn to the flames, together with his own sermons, the famous Oxford decree of 1683, which asserted the most absolute claims of monarchy, condemned twenty-seven propositions as impious and seditious, and most of them as heretical and blasphemous, and condemned the works of nineteen writers to the flames, would alone entitle his name to remembrance.[1] So incensed indeed were the Commons, that they also condemned to be burnt the very Collections of Passages referred to by Dr, Sacheverell in the Answer to the Artides of his Impeachment.

  1. See Somers' Tracts (1748), VII., 223, and the Entire Confutation of Mr. Hoadley's Book, for the decree itself, and the authors condemned. After the Rye House Plot, which caused this decree, Oxford addressed Charles II, as "the breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord"; Cambridge called him "the Darling of Heaven!" Could the servility of ultra-loyalty go further?