Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/79

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Book-Fires under James I.

reproach should rest as any stain upon his memory.

Next to the question of the rights of kings over their subjects, the most important one of that time was concerning the rights of popes over kings—a question which, having been intensified by the Reformation, naturally came to a crisis after the Gunpowder Plot James I. then instituted an oath of allegiance as a test of Catholic loyalty, and many Catholics took the oath without scruple, including the Archpriest Blackwell. Cardinal Bellarmine thereupon wrote a letter of rebuke to the latter, and Pope Paul V. sent a brief forbidding Catholics either to take the oath or to attend Protestant churches (October 1606). But it is remarkable that, so little did the Catholics believe in the authenticity of this brief, another—and an angry one—had to come from Rome the following September, to confirm and enforce it. King James very fairly took umbrage at the action and claims of the Pope, and spent six days in making notes which he wished the Bishop of Winchester to use in a reply to the Pope and the Cardinal. But when the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely saw the King's notes, they thought them answer enough, and so James's Apology for the