Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/182

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

same marks of distinction. In November 1711 Boyse's sermon on The Office of a Scriptural Bishop was burnt by the hangman, at the command of the Irish House of Lords. Unfortunately one cannot obtain this sermon without a great number of others, amongst which the author embedded it in a huge and repulsive folio comprising all his works. The sermon was first preached and printed in 1709, and reprinted the next year: it enters at length into the historical origin of Episcopacy in the early Church, the author alluding as follows to the Episcopacy aimed at by too many of his own contemporaries: "A grand and pompous sinecure, a domination over all the churches and ministers in a large district managed by others as his delegates, but requiring little labour of a man's own, and all this supported by large revenues and attended with considerable secular honours." Boyse could hardly say the same in these days, true, no doubt, as it was in his own. Still, that even an Irish House of Lords should have seen fit to burn his sermon makes one think that the political extinction of that body can have been no serious loss to the sum-total of the wisdom of the world.

The last writer to incur a vote of burning from the House of Commons in Queen