Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/188

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

interests of religion; as when, on December 8th, 1693, they ordered to be burnt by the hangman the very next day a pamphlet that had been sent to several of them, entitled A Brief but Char Confutation of the Trinity, a copy of which possibly still lies hid in some private libraries, but about which, not having seen it, I can offer no judgment At that time Lords and Commons alike disquieted themselves much over religious heresy, for in 1698 the Commons petitioned William III. to suppress pernicious books and pamphlets directed against the Trinity and other articles of the Faith, and gave ready assent to a Bill from the Lords " for the more effectual suppressing of atheism, blasphemy, and profaneness." But it would seem that these efforts had but a qualified success, for on February 12th, 1720, the Lords condemned a work which, "in a daring, impious manner, ridiculed the doctrine of the Trinity and all revealed religion," and was called, A Sober Reply to Mr Higgs' Merry Arguments from the Light of Nature for the Tritheistic Doctrine of the Trinity y with a Postscript relating to the Rev. Dr. Waterland. This work, which was the last to be burnt as an offence against religion, was the work of one Joseph Hall, who was a gentleman