Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/180

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

he certainly succeeded, for the pulpits raged and thundered against his book. But the only sermon to which he responded was Dr. Wotton's printed Visitation sermon preached before the Bishop of Lincoln; and his Defence of the Rights of the Christian Church (55 pages) was burnt in company with the larger work. It contained the "Letter from a Country Attorney to a Country Parson concerning the Rights of the Church," and the philosopher Le Clerc's appreciative reference to Tindal's work in his Bibliotèque Choisie.

Nevertheless, Queen Anne had given Tindal a present of £500 for his book, and told him that she believed he had banished Popery beyond a possibility of its return. Tindal himself, it should be said, had become a Roman Catholic under James II. and then a Protestant again, but whether before or after the abdication of James is not quite clear. He placed a high value on his own work, for when, in December 1707, the Grand Jury of Middlesex presented The Rights its author sagely reflected that such a proceeding would "occasion the reading of one of the best books that have been published in our age by many more people than otherwise would have read it." This probably was the case, with the result that it was burnt.