Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/184

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168
Books Condemned to be Burnt.

God, for our sins, permitted the spirit of discord to go forth, and by troubling sore the camp, the city, and the country (and oh! that it had altogether spared the places sacred to His worship!), to spoil for a time the beautiful and pleasing prospect, and give us, in its stead, I know not what— our enemies will tell the rest with pleasure." Writing to Bishop Burnet, he expresses himself still more strongly: "I am afraid England has lost all her constraining power, and that France thinks she has us in her hands, and may use us as she pleases, which, I daresay, will be as scundly as we deserve. What a change has two years made! Your lordship may now imagine you are growing young again; for we are fallen, methinks, into the very dregs of Charles the Second's politics." Assuredly Bishop Fleetwood had done better to reserve his political opinions for private circulation, instead of exposing them to the world under the guise and shelter of what purported to be a religious publication.

But he belonged to the age of the great political churchmen, when the Church played primarily the part of a great political institution, and her more ambitious members made the profession of religion subsidiary to the interests