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grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?" The Presbyterians had been from the first hypocritical in their advocacy of freedom. They only preferred the Genevan gown to the cassock. They would permit the publication of no book which their illiterate or illiberal licensers could not understand, or which contained sentiments above the vulgar superstition. But under the Protectorate, when this Speech was read by CROMWELL, whose genuine greatness triumphed over enslaving precedents, its lofty eloquence and faultless argument induced him to establish by law that perfect freedom of the intellect without which all other liberty is a mockery.

For a while Milton returned to those more elegant pursuits to which he was led by the genial power of nature, and in 1645 brought out a collection of his early poems. The execution of Charles in 1648, however, caused the direction of his attention once more to public affairs, and a few weeks after that event he published The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, wherein he maintained that it is lawful and had been held so through all ages for any who have the power to call to account a tyrant, and after due conviction to depose and put him to death. Sir Edgerton Bridges remarks of this proposition, that it is so objectionable as in these days to require no refutation; but in the United States, where the divine right of any man to oppress his fellows is not held, we think differently; and our admiration of Milton suffers no abatement, but rather is greater, for this and other works of like spirit which have been the prime causes of the unjust estimation in which he continues to be held in his own country. No one questions that CHARLES was a “ traitor, a murderer, and a public enemy,” whose very existence was perilous to every sort of liberty in England; and though the constitution was defective in providing no way for convicting and punishing the first officer of the state, however flagrant might be his crimes, the right to call him to account remained with the people, forever possessing ultimate sovereignty over every authority but that of the Almighty.

Soon after the death of Charles, a book appeared under the title of Eixo Baciasun, or a Portraiture of his Sacred Majesty in his Solitudes and Sufferings, purporting to be by the “royal martyr” himself, but since ascertained to be the production of Dr. Gauden, bishop of Exeter. In this he is represented in the constant exercise of prayer to God for the justice and mercy which were denied him by men. It was calculated to produce a strong reaction in the public mind in his favour, and the sale of fifty thousand copies in a few weeks showed the necessity of counteracting its influence. For this purpose the Council of State determined to avail itself of the abilities of its new secretary, who wrote with his customary rapidity the Eixovoxlaotus, one of the most extraordinary of his works, of which his great learning, clear and energetic style and acute and close reasoning, lead the reader's conviction with his admiration to the end.

Milton had scarcely finished this unanswerable work when he was called upon to do battle for the republican party on a wider field. Thus far his audience had been the English nation; he was now to address the family of civilized mankind. The son of the late king having found a refuge in the states of Holland, prevailed upon Claudius SALMasius, in the general estimation the first scholar of the age, to undertake the vindication of prelacy and monarchy in his Defensio Regia pro Carolo Primo ad Carolum Secundum, which was published near the close of the year 1649. Although this book disappointed the learned by its want of method and occasional feebleness, the arsenal whence BURKE drew the artillery of his most powerful declamation cannot be so contemptible a performance as it has been the custom to represent it. Certainly, addressed as it was to the fraternity of kings, and with the weight it derived from the name of Salmasius, it was likely to produce an effect, and the Council of State saw at once that it must be answered. Milton was present at their sitting when they resolved that he should meet the champion of the Pretender. His sight was already greatly impaired, and he was warned by his physicians that total blindness would inevitably result from such labours; but he would listen to no voice opposed to that of the heavenly monitor within his breast. VOL. I.




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He finished early in 1651 the immortal Defensio pro Populo Anglicano contra Claudii Salmasii Defensionem Regem, the most masterly work in all written controversy; and while the darkness was stealing upon his eyes, overplied in the defence of liberty, he heard “all Europe ring from side to side” with his great triumph over the insolent and mercenary defender of despotism, who stole from amid a storm of hisses into obscurity and died.

Notwithstanding his blindness, Milton continued to discharge the duties of his office; and two years after his loss of sight he contracted a second marriage with Catherine, a daughter of Captain Woodcock, to whom he was bound by the fondest affection. Within a year after their union however she died, like his first wife, in giving birth to a child, who soon followed her to the grave.

Several replies to the Defence by Milton were published, but the only one which he condescended to notice was Regii Sanguinis Clamor ad Cælum adversus Parricidas Anglicanos, written by De Moulin, a Frenchman, but printed at the Hague, under the editorship of one Alexander More, who for a considerable time was reputed to be its author. It was full of the grossest abuse of the parliament as well as of Milton, who in his answer, entitled Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano contra Infamem Libellum anonymum cui titulus Regii Sanguinis Clamor, etc. treated More with merited severity, exploring the privacies of his licentiousness as well as the falsehood of his slanders. This Second Defence is not equal to the reply to Salmasius, though it has passages of unsurpassed power and beauty, and is valuable for the information it contains respecting Milton's own history and the motives by which he regulated his actions, and for its striking portraitures of CromWELL and some other members of the republican party. With this and two subsequent answers to More, he closed his controversial labours, though he still continued to serve the state as foreign secretary. The greatness of his intellect and the purity of his heart are too conspicuous in all his works for any one to doubt the inherent grandeur of his character; and nearly the only ground upon which any one ventures now to assail him is that of his having continued in office under the Protector, whom it is a custom of English sophomores to denounce as a parricide and an usurper, but whom the intelligent and true hearted in all nations look upon as one of the noblest patriots and statesmen who ever guided the course of empire. His victories won, and an imperial crown within his grasp, with an unparelleled moderation he gave his countrymen the most free and persect of constitutions, reserving to himself powers scarcely equal to those of a president of our own republic. The career of no ruler was ever marked by more justice, wisdom, or genuine love of country; and though Milton may have disapproved of some acts of his administration, it was not inconsistent with any of his professions or principles, or with anything that has been said in praise of him, that he continued to be his associate in office and his friend.

Until the close of the Protectorate, Milton's leisure hours were principally devoted to the collection of materials for a Latin Thesaurus, the composition of two additional books of his History of England, and the laying of the foundation of his immortal epic poem. In the autumn of the year 1658 OLIVER Cromwell died; and the extraordinary conflict of parties which followed, resulted in the restoration of the monarchy.

In the interval between the death of the great Englishman and the return of Charles the Second, Milton was not inactive. In the year 1659 he published a Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, showing that it is not lawful for any authority to compel in matters of religion; Considerations touching the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church, in which he contended for the voluntary system of supporting religion, which has since so successfully obtained in the United States but which was then everywhere regarded as impracticable or dangerous; a Letter to a Friend concerning the Ruptures of the State; and his Letter to General Monk. In 1660 appeared the Re: Jy and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, and The Excellence thereof compared with the inconveniences and Dangers of readmitting Kingship into the Realm; and soon after, Brief Notes upon a late Sermon entitled The Fear of God and the King, preached and published by Matthew Griffith, Chaplain to CHARLES the First, in which, upon the very eve of the restoration, he continued to assert his republican principles.

Milton had acted too conspicuous a part to live openly with safety in the capital, and before CHARLES entered London, therefore, he concealed himself in the house of an acquaintance, where he remained until the passage of the act of oblivion, in the exceptions of which his name was happily omitted, through the intercessions of some of his friends. Soon after returning to society, he was a third time married, in consequence of the neglect and unkindness of his daughters, upon whom he had depended for the management of his domestic affairs. To this period he alludes in the passage of his Samson Agonistes in which he says,

Dark in light, exposed
To daily fraud, contempt, abuse, and wrong,
Within doors or without: still as a fool
In power of others, never in my own:
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half..
Oh dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse

Without all hope of day! To this period has been generally referred Milton's recently discovered T'reatise on Christian Doctrine; but that work, which he would never have given to the press himself, and which is on every account less worthy of praise than any of his other productions, was probably composed during the first years after his return from Italy, and is the substance of familiar lectures on theology to his pupils. He had studied the nature of our Saviour before his mind attained the strength of its maturity, as some have looked upon the sun, until his sight for a while was darkened. In the end he was right. In none of his great works is there a passage from which it can be inferred that he was an Årian ; and in the very last of his writings he declares that “the doctrine of the Trinity is a plain doctrine in Scripture."

In earlies manhood Milton had excelled the greatest uninspired authors of all ages and nations as a theologian and political philosopher. "Now, poor and old and blind, he erected the stateliest structure,

With pyramids and towers, From diamond quarries hewn and rocks of gold, in the regions of the imagination, in which, with his garland and singing robes about him,” he celebrates the throne and equipage of God's almightiness” in strains which angels paused to hear; and which the wise and pure hearted in the world receive as echoes of the triumphant and glorious harmonies they will listen to in heaven; to enter which place of rest, not more than duly to understand a true poem, requires the simple credulity of childhood, blent with the most profound and expansive knowledge.

Paradise Lost was published in 1667; in 1671 appeared Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes; in 1672 his Artis Logicæ Plenior Institutio; and in 1673 the Treatise on True Religion, Heresy and Schism.

On Sunday, the eighth day of November, 1674, one month before completing his sixty-sixth year, John Milton died.

He was the greatest of all human beings: the noblest and the ennobler of mankind. He has steadily grown in the world's reverence, and his fame will still increase with the lapse of ages.

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Of Reformation touching Church Discipline in England, and the causes that

hitherto have hindered it: in two Books, written to a Friend. ......


Of Prelatical Episcopacy, and whether it may be deduced from the Apostolical

Times, by virtue of those Testimonies which are alleged to that purpose in

some late Treatises; one whereof goes under the Name of James Archbishop

of Armagh...


The Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty. In two Books..... 45

Animadversions upon the Remonstrant's Defence against Smectymnuus.. 88

An Apology for Smectymnuus....


Of Education; to Master Samuel Hartlib.....


V AREOPAGITICA ; a Speech for the liberty of unlicensed Printing, to the Parlia-

ment of England...


The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, restored to the good of both Sexes, from

the Bondage of Canon Law, and other Mistakes, to the true meaning of

Scripture in the Law and Gospel compared, &c.......


The Judgment of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce: written to Edward the

Sixth, in his second Book of the Kingdom of Christ, &c.....


TETRACHORDON : Expositions upon the four chief Places in Scripture which

treat of Marriage, or Nullities in Marriage, &c.......


COLASTERION: A Reply to a nameless Answer against the Doctrine and Disci-

pline of Divorce: wherein the trivial Author of that Answer is discovered,

the Licenser conferred with, and the Opinion, which they traduce,



The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates: proving, that it is lawful, and hath been

held so through all Ages, for any, who have the Power, to call to account a

Tyrant, or wicked King, and, after due Conviction, to depose, and put him to

Death, if the ordinary Magistrate have neglected, or denied to do it, &c.... 374

Observations on the Articles of Peace between James Earl of Ormond, for King

Charles the First, on the one hand, and the Irish Rebels and Papists on the

other hand: and on a Letter sent by Ormond to Colonel Jones, Governor of

Dublin: and a Representation of the Scots Presbytery at Belfast in Ireland.

To which the said Articles, Letter, with Colonel Jones's Answer to it, and

Representation, &c., are prefixed........


EIKONOCLASTES: in answer to a Book, entitled, Eikon Basilike, the Portraiture

of his sacred Majesty in his Solitudes and Sufferings....










SIR, -Amidst those deep and retired thoughts, which, with every man Christianly instructed, ought to be most frequent, 'of God and of his miraculous ways and works amongst men, and of our religion and works, to be performed to him; after the story of our Saviour Christ, suffering to the lowest bent of weakness in the flesh, and presently triumphing to the highest pitch of glory in the spirit, which drew up his body also; till we in both be united to him in the revelation of his kingdom, I do not know of any thing more worthy to take up the whole passion of pity on the one side, and joy on the other, than to consider first the foul and sudden corruption, and then, after many a tedious age, the long deferred, but much more wonderful and happy reformation of the church in these latter days. Sad it is to think how that doctrine of the gospel, planted by teachers divinely inspired, and by them winnowed and sified from the chaff of overdated ceremonies, and refined to such a spiritual height and temper of purity, and knowledge of the Creator, that the body, with all the circumstances of time and place, were purified by the affections of the regenerate soul, and nothing left impure but sin; faith needing not the weak and fallible office of the senses, to be either the ushers or interpreters of heavenly mysteries, save where our Lord himself in his sacraments ordained ; that such a doctrine should, through the grossness and blindness of her professors, and the fraud of deceivable traditions, drag so downwards, as to backslide into the Jewish beggary of old cast rudiments, and stumble forward another way into the new-vomited paganism of sensual idolatry, attributing purity or impurity to things indifferent, that they might bring the inward acts of the spirit to the outward and customary eye-service of the body, as if they could make God earthly and fleshly, because they could not make themselves heavenly and spiritual; they began to draw down all the divine intercourse betwixt God and the soul, yea, the very shape of God himself, into an exterior and bodily form, urgently pretending a necessity and obligement of joining the body in a formal reverence, and worship circumscribed; they hallowed it, they fumed it, they sprinkled it, they bedecked it, not in robes of pure innocency, but of pure linen, with other deformed and fantastic dresses, in palls and mitres, gold and gewgaws fetched from Aaron's old wardrobe, or the flamins vestry: then was the priest set to con his Vol. I.



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