Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/88

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

Popery and Arminianism, and full of bitter invectives against the Puritans. After the matter had been long under the consideration of Parliament, the House prayed Charles to punish Montagu, and to suppress and burn his books; and this Charles did in a remarkable proclamation (January 17th, 1628), wherein the Appello Cæsarem is admitted to have been the first cause of those disputes and differences that have since much troubled the quiet of the Church, and is therefore called in, Charles adding, that if others write again on the subject, "we shall take such order with them and those books that they shall wish they had never thought upon these needless controversies." It appears, however, from Rushworth that, in spite of this, several answers were penned to Montagu, and that, they were suppressed. And what, indeed, would life be but for its "needless controversies"?

Nothing could be more praiseworthy than Charles's attempt to put a stop to the idle disputations and bitter recriminations of the combatants on either side of religious controversy. Could he have succeeded he might have staved off the Civil War, which we might almost more fitly call a religious one. But in those days few men, unfortunately, had the cool