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but, the English Government having heard of them, the publication was stopped, and they were sent back to London in a brown paper parcel, which was thrown aside in the State Paper Office.

This was in 1677 ; but in the previous year, 1676, a London bookseller, who had somehow obtained imperfect copies of the Latin State Letters, had published a surreptitious edition of them, entitled Literæ Pseudo-Senatus Anglicani, necnon Cromwelli, nomine et jussu Conscripta. A better edition was printed at Leipsic in 1690, and Phillips's English translation appeared in 1694. Quite different from these Milton State Letters, though sometimes called The Milton Papers, is a thin folio edited in 1743 by John Nickolls, and consisting of Letters and Addresses to Cromwell, and other intimate Cromwellian documents, from 1650 onwards, which had somehow been in Milton's keeping, and which were afterwards in possession of the Quaker Ellwood. Finally, in 1823, attention having been at last called to the brown paper parcel that had been lying in the State Paper Office since 1677, Milton's long lost treatise De Doctrinâ Christiana, part of the contents of the parcel, was published, in 1825, by Dr. Sumner, afterwards Bishop of Winchester, with the addition of an English translation in the same year.

It is from this Treatise of Christian Doctrine that Milton's theological and philosophical opinions at the close of his life, so far as they could be expressed in formal and systematic language, are to be most authentically learnt. The treatise shows him to have been an Anti-Trinitarian, in his later years at least, holding views as to the nature of Christ which were substantially those of high Arianism, as distinct from the lower Socinianism. It shows him also to have been, on the whole, Arminian and Anti-Calvinistic in his views of Free Will and Predestination. It contains, moreover, a very curious doctrine on the subject of Matter and Spirit, Soul and Body, which it is difficult to define otherwise than by calling it Materialistic Pantheism, or Pantheistic Materialism. While Deity himself is represented as One Infinite Spirit, and so Milton starts in his philosophical system with a pure Spiritualistic Theism, yet all that we call Matter or Creation, he avers, including angels and men, the animate and the inanimate, is originally a production or efflux out of the very substance of God, separated from Him only in so far as He has implanted independence and free will into parts of it. Hence the ordinary distinction between soul and body in man is repudiated by Milton. Soul and body, he holds, are one and inseparable ; Man is a body-soul or a soul-body, and is propagated as such from father to son. From this proposition it is one of his deductions that soul and body die together, or, in other words, that there is a total cessation or suspension of personal consciousness between Death and the Resurrection. In such a future Resurrection, or sudden and miraculous reawakening to life of all that have lived and died in the world, Milton declares himself a profound believer. He connects his hope thereof with the Millenarian doctrine of Christ's second coming and of a consequent day of universal judgment, a conflagration or destruction otherwise of the present cosmos, and the succession of a new and grander system of things, in which the perfectly glorified saints and the wicked shall have their several eternal portions, the wicked in some hell, and the saints in the empyrean heaven, or in some new heavens and earth created for them. All this and much more he professes to have derived from the Bible, which he declares again and again to be the sole external rule of Christian faith, to be studied and interpreted by every man for himself, and with texts from which, in masses and coagulations, his treatise is full from first to last. From the same authority he professes to have derived the system of ethics and of church policy which his treatise propounds. He regards the Decalogue as abolished with the rest of the Mosaic Law, and continued literal adhesion to it as inconsistent with true Christian liberty. Hence he is an anti-Sabbatarian, finding no authority for the substitution of the first day of the week for the Jewish Sabbath, and no higher reason for the observance of that day than Christian consent and general convenience. His views of Church discipline are those of Independency or Congregationalism, with a marked tendency to absolute Individualism, or to a kind of Quakerism in some things; and he goes with the Baptists or Anti-Pædobaptists in their particular tenet. He dissents positively from the Quakers in their extreme doctrine of peace or passivity, and in other matters, holding war to be often lawful, resistance by arms to tyranny to be lawful, and finding Scripture warrant also for prayers for rses and calamities upon bad men and enemies. Perhaps the part of the treatise that most shocks modern opinion is that where, not content with repeating his old doctrine of the lawfulness of divorce in cases of mutual incompatibility, he inserts a defence or justification of polygamy. But the treatise gener. ally, it will be seen, contains not a few heterodoxies.


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