Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/181

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165
Book-Fires of the Revolution.

as aforesaid, by the hangman in 1710 by order of the House of Commons, at the instance of Sacheverell's friends, in the very same week that SacheverelFs sermons themselves were burnt! The House wished perhaps to show itself impartial. The victory, for the time at least, was with Sacheverdl and the Church. The Whig ministry was overturned, and its Tory successor passed the Bill against Occasional Conformity, and the Schism Act; and, had the Queen's reign been prolonged, would probably have repealed the very meagre Toleration Act of 1689. Tindal, however, despite the Tory reaction, continued to write on the side of civil and religious liberty, keeping his best work for the last, published within three years of his death, when he was past seventy, namely, Christianity as Old as the Creation; or, the Gospel a republication of the Religion of Nature (1730). Strange to say, this work, criticised as it was, was neither presented nor burnt. I have no reason, therefore, to present it here, and indeed it is a book of which rather to read the whole than merely extracts.

About the same time that Sacheverell's sermons were the sensation of London, a sermon preached in Dublin on the Presbyterian side was attended there with the