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Lure been a
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
vi autorite the community, his vigorous arm controlled i ang its Europe, and seated Britain, as her queen, upon the throne.
generous policy, that MENY protected the reformed churches against their en the Pacis catholic oppressors, one exertion of which, siden det 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
man says, “I confd
with its distinct yet b combination of har
to the Long Parliament on its revival by the Heavenly Father. thor would appear to be visionary or perni- Causham, dated
touching the likeliest Means to remove Hire
, with the sun 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, he
nected with the
pa asserts the entire liberty of conscience, and, susiting in indepen 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 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 au
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 mud 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
cious; and we should not hesitate to condemn it, if its practicability and its inoffensive consequence were not incontrovertibly established by the testimony of America. From Hud
racy 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 conwhile
tinent beholds the religion of Jesus, uncon
nected with the patronage of government, i de subsisting in independent yet friendly com. En learn munities, breathing that universal charity
which constitutes its vital spirit, and offering, 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 governLe to be
ment, 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 gentle
“ 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
w the po
and to sin
into its old vassalage
year increased, while the earnest protestations ayjúst model of a in which the royalists formed an inconsider-hon," he shows him nation at the outrages of the army are dis- shouting of a rude m letter is inserted in P. W. vol.ii. 388, and the reader will find
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 pressarily conseque light: but your last book resolved that
As the disorders and the disgraces of the of Monk and the existence of a Parliament, 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 indigcovered 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
• Transcribed from the original by Mr. Owen of Rochdale in Lancashire. Birch's Life of Milton, p. xlii. The whole
them incapable of d
to nominate as mail of that number othe choose a less numbe after a third or four tractest choice, they we the due number, the worthiest. Wi son of
a party-zeald prineiple for the att ubject; and thinks
it to be deserying of his notice.
aler per ti to nominate as many as they will, and out
mand the issue of things, “ The ready and easy Way to establish a free Commonwealth;" a piece intended - rather to expose the evils necessarily consequent to the nation's relapse into its old vassalage under kings, and to de
monstrate the preference of a republican to Beam
a monarchical government, than to propose wanan any just model of a popular constitution. In
this work, as well as in his “ Brief Delineation," he shows himself to be fearful of an
unqualified appeal to the people; and deems be is 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 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
P.W. v. iii, 416.