Beware of Defoe

‘It appears difficult to comprehend the author’s [Defoe’s] views of Toleration: for while he pleaded for the most perfect liberty of worship in England, he opposed the use of the Liturgy in Scotland. His disingenuousness, not to say dishonesty, is obvious in the preceding extracts. It was never attempted to force the Liturgy upon the Church of Scotland. All that was required was the liberty to use the Book of Common Prayer in Episcopal congregations. His parallel between the Liturgy and the Presbyterian discipline is unsustained: for any congregrations, in England, separating from the [established] Church, were at liberty to adopt the Presbyterian discipline, or any form which might suit their inclinations. The Episcopalians only required the same liberty in Scotland, without wishing to interfere with the national establishment: but this reasonable request was denied by the Presbyterians.’

— Thomas Lathbury, A History of the Nonjurors (London: 1845), 453


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