Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/81

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
65
Book-Fires under James I.

same high pretensions were claimed for the Pope as were claimed by Suarez.

The question at issue remains, of course, a burning one to this day. To James I., however, is due the credit of having been one of the earliest and ablest champions against the Temporal Power; and therefore side by side on our shelves with Bellarmine and Suarez should stand copies of the Apology and the Premonition—both of them works which can scarcely fail to raise the King many degrees in the estimation of all who read them.

But we have yet to see James as a theologian, for on his divinity he prided himself no less than on his king-craft. The burnings of Legatt at Smithfield and of Wightman at Lichfield for heretical opinions are sad blots on the King's memory; for it would seem that he personally pressed the bishops to proceed to this extremity, in the case of Legatt at least. Nor in the case of poor Conrad Vorst did he manifest more toleration or dignity. It was no concern of his if Vorst was appointed by the States to succeed Arminius as Professor of Theology at Leyden; yet, deeming his duty as Defender of the Faith to be bound by no seas, he actually interfered to prevent it, and rendered Vorst's life a burden to him.