Twelve Arguments Drawn Out of Scripture, Wherein...
Date: 1645, 1652, 1654, 1655, 1662
Artist: John Biddle (1615 - 1662)
Confronting Bodies: English Parliament, Anglican religious officials
Dates of Action: 1645, 1652, 1654, 1655, 1662
Description of Artwork: Biddle wrote the Twelve Arguments Drawn Out of Scripture, Wherein the Commonly-Recieved Opinion Touching the Diety of the Holy Spirit Is Clearly and Fully Refuted. He argues that the idea of the Holy Spirit in the Christian Trinity is not supported by the bible. He also wrote a half-dozen other works also espousing Unitarianism.
The Incident: Biddle had been arrested numerous times (1645, 1652, 1654) and all of his writings were banned and burned. He was forced to print his work secretly, to avoid prosecution under England's blasphemy laws. Biddle would have been put to death had King Charles I not been executed and Oliver Cromwell had not taken control of the country. Cromwell abolished the Blasphemy Ordinance in 1649, but cited it in 1655, when Biddle was sentenced to exile on Scilly Isle, 40 miles off the coast of England. Biddle returned in 1658 only to land back in prison in 1662 for conducting "unauthorized worship," contrary to the Anglican Act of Uniformity.
Results of Incident: Biddle died in prison in 1662, where he spent most of his life.
Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones; English Dissenters: Socinian (http://www.exlibris.org/nonconform/engdis/socinians.html)