Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/178

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

As the subordination of the Church to the State is now a principle of general acceptance, there is less need to give a summary of Tindal's ailments, than to quote some of the passages which led the writer to predict, when composing it, that he was writing a book that would drive the clergy mad. The promoting the independent power of the clergy has, he says, "done more mischief to human societies than all the gross superstitions of the heathen, who were nowhere ever so stupid as to entertain such a monstrous contradiction as two independent powers in the same society; and, consequently, their priests were not capable of doing so much mischief to the Commonwealth as some since have been." The fact, that in heathen times greater differences in religion never gave rise to such desolating feuds as had always rent Christendom, proves that "the best religion has had the misfortune to have the worst priests," '"Tis an amazing thing to consider that, though Christ and His Apostles inculcated nothing so much as universal charity, and enjoined their disciples to treat, not only one another, notwithstanding their differences, but even Jews and Gentiles, with all the kindness imaginable, yet that their pretended successors should make it their