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preached and cried down, with great show of zeal, the avarice and pluralities of bishops and prelates; that one cure of souls was a full employment for one spiritual pastor how able soever, if not a charge rather above human strength. Yet these conscientious men (ere any part of the work done for which they came together, and that on the public salary) wanted not boldness, to the ignominy and scandal of their pastor-like profession and especially of their boasted reformation, to seize into their hands, or not unwillingly to accept (besides, one, sometimes two or more of the best livings) collegiate masterships in the universities, rich lectures in the city, setting sail to all winds that might blow. gain into their covetous bosoms: by which means these great rebukers of non-residence, among so many distant cures, were not ashamed to be seen so quickly pluralists and non-residents 'themselves, to a fearful condemnation doubtless by their own mouths. And yet the main doctrine, for which they took such pay and insisted upon with more vehemence than gospel, was but to tell us in effect that their doctrine was worth nothing, and the spiritual power of their ministry less available than bodily compulsion; persuading the magistrate to use it, as a stronger
means to subdue and bring in conscience, than evangelical persuasion: distrusting the virtue of their own spiritual weapons, which were given them, if they be rightly called, with full warrant of sufficiency to pull down all thoughts and imaginations that exalt themselves against God. But while they taught compulsion without convincement, which long before they complained of as executed unchristianly against themselves; these intents are clear to have been no better than antichristian: setting up a spiritual tyranny by a secular power, to the advancing of their own authority above the magistrate, whom they would have made their executioner to punish church-delinquencies, whereof civil laws have no cognisance.
And well did their disciples manifest themselves to be no better principled than their teachers; trusted with committeeships and other gainful offices, upon their commendations for zealous and (as they sticked not to terịn them) godly men; but executing their places, like children of the devil, unfaithfully, unjustly, unmercifully, and, where pot corruptly, stupidly. So that between them, the teachers, and these, the disciples, there hath not been a more ignominious and mortal wound to faith, to piety, to the work of reformation, nor more cause of blaspheming given to the enemies of God and truth, since the first preaching of reformation.”
The attention of Milton to his Latin thesaurus was not productive of any very profitable result. The materials, which he had amassed, occupied in manuscript the bulk of three large folios: but they were left by him in too indigested a state to be fit for publication: it is said, however, that they were advantageously employed by the editors of the Cambridge dictionary, to whomi they were probably given by Philips. This work, for the execution of which his state of blindness must have peculiarly disqualified him, seems to have formed, till the hour of his death, a part of that change of literary exercise in which he delighted; and if we reflect upon the circumstance, we must certainly be astonished at the mind, which with all its energies could thus instantaneously pass from invention to compilation, from the luxurious sports of fancy to the dry and barren drudgeries of verbal recollection.
Of the third object, on which our author's powers were at this period exerted, his immortal epic, I shall forbear to speak till
» Published in Ato in 1693.
the time of its completion and publication. Some great production in the highest region of poetry had been, as we have observed, in his contemplation from the commencement nearly of his literary life. The idea accompanied him to Italy, where with a more defined object it acquired a more certain shape from the example of Tasso, and the conversation of Tasso's friend, the accomplished Marquis of Villa. From this moment it seeins to have been immoveably fastened in his mind; and, though for a season oppressed and overwhelmed by the incumbent duties of controversy, its root was full of life and pregnant with vigorous vegetation. At the time, of which we are speaking, (the end of 1655 and the beginning of 1656) the mighty work, according to Philips, was seriously undertaken; and it is curious to reflect on the steadiness of its growth under a complication of adverse circumstances; and to see it, like a pine on the rocks of Norway, ascending to its majestic elevation beneath the inclemency of a dreary sky, and assailed in the same moment by the fury of the ocean at its feet, and the power of the tempest above its head.
In this variety of strong and effective intellectual exertion did Milton pass his hours during the usurpation of Cromwell, discharg
ing of course the duties of his secretaryship, but neither engaging in controversy nor addressing the public on any topic of politicaldisquisition. In 1655, he composed, in a strain of peculiar elegance, the manifesto issued by the Protector to justify his war with Spain : and in 1657, Andrew Marvell, a man of whom I shall say more in a note, was associated in
9 Andrew Marvell is a character of too much importance, in the history of Milton and in that of man, to be passed over without some particular attention. He was born in 1620, in the town of Hull, of which his father was the minister. Making an early discovery of talents and a rapid proficiency in learning, he was sent at the age of thirteen to Trinity College, Cambridge. On Acquiring a considerable increase of fortune by the liberality of a Lady, in attending on whose only daughter his father had lost his life as he was crossing the Humber, young Marvell travelled through various parts of Europe, visited Rome, and resided for some time at Constantinople in the character of Secretary to the British Embassy. Soon after his return to England in 1653 he was appointed by Cromwell to be tutor to a Mr. Dutton, and in 1657 was associated, by the same powerful patron, in the office of Latin Secretary with Milton. In the parliament, which was summoned just before the event of the Restoration, he was elected as the representative of his native town, and so entirely did his public conduct obtain the approbation of his constituents that they continued him, with a liberal pension, in his seat to the hour of his death. Though it does not appear that he possessed the power of cloquence, or spoke frequently in the house, it is certain that his influence in Parliament was considerable; and that he preserved the respect of the Court, even when he was the most determined in his hosti. lity to its measures. Charles indeed is said to have been much pleased with his conversation, and to have used every mean, though without effect, to gain him to the Court party,