Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/82

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

when he might just as reasonably have protested against the choice of a Grand Lama of Thibet.

Vorst's book—the Tractatus Theohgicus de Deo, an ugly, square, brown book of five hundred pages—is as unreadable as it is unprepossessing. Bayle says that it was shown to the King whilst out hunting, and that he forthwith read it with such energy as to be able to despatch within an hour to his resident at the Hague a detailed list of its heresies. Nothing in his reign seems to have excited him so much. Not only did he have it publicly burnt in St. Paul's Churchyard (October 1611), and at Oxford and Cambridge, but he entreated the States, under the pain of the loss of his friendship, to banish Vorst from their dominions altogether. No heretic, he said, ever better deserved to be burnt, but that he would leave to their Christian wisdom. "Such a Disquisition deserved the punishment of the Inquisition." If Vorst remained, no English youths should repair to "so infected a place" as the University of Leyden.

The States resented at first the interference of the King of England, and supported Vorst, but the ultimate result of James's prolonged agitation was that in 1619 the National Synod of Dort de-