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which pressed upon his own title, he ad
mitted all others to unlimited discussion; and : 1p while the most equal justice was distributed, 3. 220 ce under his auspices, through all the ranks of
me the community, his vigorous arm controlled i ang its Europe, and seated Britain, as her queen,
upon the throne. His generous policy, that MENY protected the reformed churches against their
catholic oppressors, one exertion of which, wie die for the Protestants of Piedmont, has already
been mentioned, was alone sufficient to soften the hostility, if it could not entirely engage the affection of Milton.
On the death of Oliver the usurper was no more, but the usurpation survived; and for the vigour and liberality, which he had been accustomed to respect, Milton saw nothing but the weakness and the selfishness of faction, trampling upon the rights and the patience of the nation, and precipitating itself, with the cause which it professed to -support, into irretrieveable ruin.
He was not, however, wanting to the community at this crisis of confusion and alarm. Apprehensive of returning intolerance from the increasing influence of the Presbyterianş, he published two treatises, one called, " A Treatise of the Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes; and the other, “ Considerations
f the price
ried and ha chans
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touching the likeliest Means to remove Hire
, with the si lings out of the Church.” In the first of nada, to the Mississi these works, which he addressed to the Par
tinent beholds the re liament convened by Richard Cromwell
pa asserts the entire liberty of conscience, and, seksisting in indepel with arguments drawn from the sacred writ
munities, breathing ings, he demonstrates that in matters merely of which constitutes its religion the interference of the magistrate is unlawfül: in the second, which he inscribed to the Long Parliament on its revival by the army, he allows the propriety of a maintenance for the christian minister, but, arguing against the divine right as well as the political expediency of tithes
, he is of opi: nder the shade of nion that the pastor ought to be supported by the contributions of his own immediate -flock. To the politician who contemplates in this country the advantages of a church establishment, and sees it in union with the -most perfect toleration, or to the philosopher who discovers, in the weakness of human nature, the necessity of presént motives to awaken exertion and to stimulate attention, the plan recommended by our author would appear to be visionary or pernicious; and we should not hesitate to condemn
man says, “I confd it, if its practicability and its inoffensive consequence were not incontrovertibly established by the testimony of America. From Hud
with its distinct yet b combination of har Hearenly Father.
Milton, as a po been so long withdr servation; and had ment, that his repu suspect him of alie and of hesitation in
entered with so muc opinion of his consi erer, by the publid been speaking; and | him to be still the M
a letter, addressed the first of these til Causham, dated 1
Tacy in the country
and that with mud ship to truth in yo
son's Bay, with the small interruption of Cabe iets nada, to the Mississippi, this immense con
tinent beholds the religion of Jesus, uncon
nected with the patronage of government, i de subsisting in independent yet friendly com
munities, breathing that universal charity
which constitutes its vital spirit, and offering, vi le na with its distinct yet blending tones, one grand
combination of harmony to the ear of its Heavenly Father.
Milton, as a political writer, had now been so long withdrawn from the public observation; and had so long been reposing under the shade of the Protectoral government, that his republican admirers began to suspect him of alienation from their cause, and of hesitation in the race on which he had
entered with so much spirit and effect. Their in opinion of his consistency was restored, how
ever, by the publications of which we have been speaking; and they now acknowledged him to be still the Milton of former times. In a letter, addressed to him, on the subject of the first of these treatises, by a Mr. Wall of Causham, dated may 29, 1659, that gentleman says, “ I confess I have even in my privacy in the country oft had thoughts of
you, and that with much respect for your friendship to truth in your early years and in bad
and to sin
times. But I was uncertain whether your
mand the issue of t relation to the Court, (though I think that a easy Way to establish
: commonwealth was more friendly to you a piece intended -ra than a court) had not clouded your former necessarily conseque light: but your last book resolved that
As the disorders and the disgraces of the year increased, while the earnest protestations any just model of a of Monk and the existence of a Parliament, in which the royalists formed an inconsider-ho," he shows him able party, still supported the hopes of the republicans against the visible and strong current of the national opinion in favour of monarchy, the solicitous apprehension of Milton for the general result, and his indignation at the outrages of the army are discovered in a letter to a friend, dated october 20th, 1659; which, with another paper, addressed, as it is believed, to Monk, and entitled, “ The present Means and brief Delia neation of a free Commonwealth,” was first published by Toland, and is well worthy of the reader's attention.
After an interval of a few months, he inscribed to Monk, who now seemed to com
into its old vassalage monstrate the prefer a monarchical gover
F his work, as well as aqualified appeal to kem incapable of d for their own interes he says, “s will be to dons a not committi shouting of a rude ml
ply those of them
a third or four
• Transcribed from the original by Mr. Owen of Rochdale in Lancashire. Birch's Life of Milton, p. xlii. The whole letter is inserted in P. W. vol.ii. 388, and the reader will find it to be deserying of his notice.
mand the issue of things, “ The ready and
easy way to establish a free Commonwealth ;" be a piece intended - rather to expose the evils Se necessarily consequent to the nation's relapse
into its old vassalage under kings, and to de
monstrate the preference of a republican to Band
a monarchical government, than to propose wapat any just model of a popular constitution. In
this work, as well as in his “ Brief Delinea
tion," he shows himself to be fearful of an ci ile bagli unqualified appeal to the people; and deems
them incapable of determining with wisdom for their own interests. “ Another way," as he
says, " will be to qualify and refine elections;e not committing all to the noise and shouting of a rude multitude; but permitting only those of them who are rightly qualified to nominate as many as they will, and out of that number others of better breeding to choose a less number more judiciously, till, after a third or fourth sifting and refining of exactest choice, they only be left chosen, who are the due number, and seem, by most voices, the worthiest." With the strong prepossession of a party-zealot, he deserts his general prineiple for the attainment of his particular object; and thinks that his own opinions
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P.W. v. iii, 416.