Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/83

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Book-Fires under James I.

clared Vorst's works to be impious and blasphemous, and their author unworthy to be an orthodox professor. He was accordingly banished from the University and from Holland for life, and died three years afterwards, fully justified by his persecution in his original reluctance to exchange his country living for the dignity of a professorship of theology.

Bayle thinks he was fairly chargeable with Socinian views, but what most offended James was his metaphysical speculations on the Divine attributes. I will quote from Vorst two passages which vexed the royal soul, and should teach us to rejoice that the reign of such discussions shows signs of passing away:—

"Is there a quantity in God?
There is; but not a physical quantity,
But a supernatural quantity;
One nevertheless that is plainly imperceptible to us,
And merely spiritual."

Or again:—

"Hath God a body? If we will speak properly. He has none; yet is it no absurdity, speaking improperly, to ascribe a body unto God, that is, as the word is taken improperly and generally (and yet not very absurdly) for a true substance, in a large signification, or, if you will, abusive."