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craft and malice be confounded, whether it be homebred mischief or outlandish' cunning. Yea, other nations will then court to serve you; for lordship and victory are but the pages of justice and virtue. Commit securely to true wisdom the vanquishing and uncasing of craft and subtilty, which are but her two runagates. Join your
invincible might to do worthy and godlike deeds; and then he who seeks to break your union, -a cleaving curse be his inheritance to all generations."
To this and to other attacks from puritan pens, bishop Hall thought it necessary to reply. This virtuous and able man had, formerly, at the request of Laud, in the season of that prelate's power when he was pursuing his triumph over his adversaries, composed a treatise on the divine right of episcopacy. This work, however, was so altered
Or views the stone that urged, with painful force,
This alludes to those popish intrigues, which certainly contributed to the calamities of our author's times. The court of Rome by its agents the Jesuits endeavoured in the first in. stance to gain the king and his party, and, by their means, to crush the Puritans. When the steadiness of the king to the Church of England disappointed them of this object, they turned against him, and were accomplices in his ruin.
by the primate before it passed through the press, that its pious author,when called upon, at a later period, for the purpose, found some difficulty in acknowledging the principles avowed in his own book. If the moderation of this conscientious prelate, and of the admirable Usher had happily prevailed, at this juncture, in the ecclesiastical council, the Church, probably, would have stood firm in opposition to all the violence of her wild and enthusiastic adversaries: but the alien spirit of intolerance and fierceness, which she had imbibed from Laud's influence, deprived her of the public affection, and, without this support, she soon tottered and fell.
Bishop Hall's present treatise bore the title of “An humble Remonstrance to the High Court of Parliament:” and about the same time archbishop Usher published “« The Apostolical Institution of Episcopacy.” In answer to these powerful and learned works, Milton wrote two pieces in the same year, the first of which he called, 66 Of Prelatical Episcopacy;" and the second, “ The Reason of Church Government urged against Prelacy." These, like his former controversial productions, are distinguished by force, acuteness, and erudition: but their language, though bearing a greater appearance of ar
tifice and labour, is still evidently that of a man, more conversant with the authors of Greece and Rome than with those of his own country; and seems to be formed without sufficient attention to the genius of his native tongue. This observation will apply with very diminished force to some of his succeeding compositions; but in all of them there is an occasional recurrence of foreign idioms, and of a classic inversion of phrase, not properly admissible in a language, in which prepositions supply the place and office of inflexions.
The point, at issue between these polemics, was the divine or the human origin of episcopacy, as a peculiar order in the church, invested with spiritual rights and powers, distinct in kind and preeminent in degree. That an officer with the title of episcopus, or overseer, (corrupted at first by our Saxon progenitors into bigcop, and afterwards softened into bishop,) had existed in the Church from its first construction by the Apostles, was a fact, which could not be denied: but while this officer was asserted by one party to have been nothing more than the president of the assembly of elders, he was affirmed by the other to have been elevated above these elders, or presbyters by
ing passage respecting the puerile ands
essential privileges, by a separate as well as by a superior jurisdiction. The temporal possessions and rights of the prelacy could not properly constitute any part of the controversy. As a portion of the political system of the country, and tracing their pedigree no higher than the civil establishment of the Church, these adventitious circumstances were to be debated on the ground of expediency alone; and to blend them with the immediate and distinct object in question, seems to have been an unfair practice of the puritan disputants, for the purpose of increasing the unpopularity of their adversaries. Till the Church was adopted by the government, under Constantine, its officers could not be invested with civil rank or with corporate property: but the subsequent accession of political importance would not supersede their spiritual jurisdiction, and could not be denounced as incompatible, because it was not coeval with their original appointment.
As a specimen of our author's manner and spirit in these pieces, I will cite the follow
superstitious Papias, whom Usher had adduced as the link, which connected episcopacy with the apostolical age.
- And this may be a ** Of Prelatical Episco. P.W. vol. i. 69.
sufficient reason to us, why we need no longer muse at the spreading of many idle traditions so soon after the Apostles, whilst such as this Papias had the throwing about, and the inconsiderate zeal of the next age, that heeded more the person than the doctrine, had the gathering them up. Wherever a man, who had been in any way conversant with the Apostles, was to be found, thither flew all the inquisitive ears, although the ex ercise of right instructing was changed into the curiosity of impertinent fabling. Where the mind was to be edified with solid doctrine, there the fancy was soothed with solemn fables: with less fervency was studied what St. Paul or St. John had written, than was listened to one that could say, 'here he taught; here he stood; this was his stature, and thus he went habited:' and, happy house that harboured him, and that cold stone whereon he rested; this village, wherein he wrought such a miracle, and that pavement bedewed with the warm effusion of his last blood, that sprouted up into eternal roses to crown his martyrdom!"-From the last of these works, “ The reason of Church Government, &c.” we have already cited some fine passages, respecting the writer and his poetic contemplations; and with these