Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/50

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Books Condemned to be Burnt.

oath whatsoever they pleased. Niclas, according to Fuller, "wanted learning in himself and hated it in others." This is a failing so common as to be very probable, as it also is, that his disciples allegorised the Scriptures (like the Alexandrian Fathers before them), and counterfeited revelations. Fuller adds that they "grieved the Comforter, charging all their sins on God's Spirit, for not effectually assisting them against the same . . . sinning on design that their wickedness might be a foil to God's mercy, to set it off the brighter." But that they were Communists, Anarchists, or Libertines^ there is no evidence; and the Queen's menial servant who wrote and presented to Parliament an apology for the Service of Love probably complained with justice of their being "defamed with many manner of false reports and lies." This availed nothing, however, against public opinion; and so the Queen commanded by proclamation "that the civil magistrate should be assistant to the ecclesiastical, and that the books should be publicly burnt" The sect, however, long survived the burning of its books.

But already it was not enough to burn books of an unpopular tendency, cruelty against the author being plainly progres-