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Chapter 4 looks at ways the Bible functioned as an instrument of legal power around the turn of the eighteenth century in county assizes, in reports by the ordinary of Newgate, and in the majority of printed sermons from the period. I then discuss the different responses to that legal power in writing about the Bible by John Locke, Anthony Collins, and Matthew Henry. This chapter argues that it is not the aesthetic, narrative dimensions of the Bible that have been eclipsed in the modern age, as Hans Frei contends, so much as the scope of its legal and political address.
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