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things follow as the shadow does the substance: to teach thus were mere pulpitry to them. This is the masterpiece of a modern politician, how to qualify and mould the sufferance of the people to the length of that foot that is to tread on their necks; how rapine may serve itself with the fair and honourable pretences of public good; how the puny law may be brought under the wardship and control of lust and will : in which attempt, if they fall short, then must a superficial colour of reputation by all means, direct or indirect, be gotten to wash over the unsightly bruise of honour. To make men governable in this manner, their precepts mainly tend to break a national spirit and courage, by countenancing open riot, luxury, and ignorance, till having thus disfigured and made men beneath men, as Juno in the fable of Io, they deliver
transformed heifer of the commonwealth to be strung and vexed with the brize and goad of oppression, under the custody of some Argus with a hundred eyes of jealousy. To be plainer, sir, how to solder, how to stop a leak, how to keep the floating carcass of a crazy and diseased monarchy or state, betwixt wind and water, swimming still upon her own dead lees, that now is the deep design of a politician! Alas, sir! a commonwealth ought to be but as one huge Christian personage, one mighty growth and stature of an honest man, as big and compact in virtue as in body;
for look what the grounds and causes are of single happiness to one man, the same ye shall find them to a whole state, as Aristotle, both in his ethics and politics, from the principles of reason, lays down. By consequence, therefore, that which is good and agreeable to monarchy, will appear soonest to be so, by being good and agreeable to the true welfare of every Christian; and that which can be justly proved hurtful and offensive to every true Christian, will be evinced to be alike hurtful to monarchy: for God forbid that we should separate and distinguish the end and good of a monarch from the end and good of a monarchy, or of that, from Christianity."
22. But, to return to the principal objects of his vituperation in this work, which throughout is filled with great splendour of writing; how must the Puritans have chuckled over the following picture of the clergy. “ The emulation that under the old law was in the king towards the priest, is now so come about in the Gospel, that all the danger is to be feared from the priest to the king. Whilst the priest's office in the law was set out with an exterior lustre of pomp and glory, kings were ambitious to be priests ; now priests, not perceiving the heavenly brightness and inward splendour of their more glorious evangelic ministry, with as great ambition affect to be kings, as in all their courses is easy to be observed. Their eyes ever eminent upon worldy matters, their desires ever thirsting after worldly employments, instead of diligent and fervent study in the Bible, they covet to be expert in canons and decretals, which may enable them to judge and interpose in temporal causes, however pretended ecclesiastical,
Do they not board up pelf, seek to be potent in secular strength, in state affairs, in lands, lordships, and domains, to sway and carry all before them in high courts and privy councils, to bring into their grasp the high and principal offices of the kingdom ? Have they not been known of late to check the common law, to slight and brave the indiminishable majesty of our highest court, the law-giving and sacred parliament ? Do they not plainly labour to exempt churchmen from the magistrate ? Yea, so presumptuously as to question and menace officers that represent the king's person, for using their authority against drunken priests ?”
23. Yet, he continues, “they intreat us that we would not be weary of those insupportable grievances that our shoulders have hitherto cracked under; they beseech us that we would think them fit to be our justices of peace, our lords, our highest officers of state, though they come furnished with no more experience than they learned between the cook and the manciple, or more profoundly at the college audit, or the regent-house, or, to come to their deepest insight, at their patron's table. They would request us to endure still the rustling of their silken cassocks, and that we would burst our midriffs, rather than laugh to see them under sail in all their lawn and sarcenet,
- their shrouds and tackle, with a geometrical rhomboides upon
their heads ! They would bear us in hand that we must of duty still appear
before them once a year in Jerusalem, like good circumcised males and females, to be taxed by the
poll, to be sconced our head-money, our twopences, in their chandlerly-shop book of Easter. They pray that it would please us to let them hale us, and worry us with their bandogs and pursuivants ; and that it would please the parliament that they may yet have the whipping, fleecing, and flaying of us in their diabolical courts; to tear the flesh from our bones, and into our wide wounds, instead of balm, to pour in the oil of tartar, vitriol, and mercury. Surely a right-reasonable, innocent, and soft-hearted petition. O, the relenting bowels of the fathers !"
24. From these passages may be discovered how severely the feelings of the Puritans had been exasperated by the persecutions they had endured, and in what light each party beheld the other. However, it is by no means my intention to enter into an analysis of these, or any other of his works, or to introduce specimens of the whole, which, where arguments and beauties lie so thick, would swell this preliminary discourse into volumes. He seems everywhere to maintain his positions fairly, earnestly, and with consummate skill; though, in many places, there is a manifest want of courtesy, and sometimes perhaps even of Christian charity. But this is more a subject of regret than wonder. The spirit of the times was fierce; all parties being known to each other more by the interchange of injuries than of brotherly love, or any thing recommended by the gospel. Abuse was constantly mistaken for logic. Among those who were in power, and those who were out, too many secretly
coveted the same things-rank, distinction, wealth; as the Presbyterians soon made evident when they had succeeded in ousting the prelates.
25. Or all Milton's prose works, none, perhaps, contains passages of greater beauty than his treatises on Divorce. While ostensibly engaged in discussing the question generally, and upon public grounds, he was, it is well known, pleading his
He had married a woman, not wanting, perhaps, in the virtue on which all a woman's peculiar virtues are built, but otherwise worthless; one to whom company, the false and hollow attentions of gay chamberers, show, glitter, and banqueting, were more pleasing than the society and love of her husband. Too late, indeed, he made the discovery; when, in one short month after their marriage, the lady became tired of the unriotous tranquillity of his house, and obtained his permission to return to her father's; where, instead of the modest cheerfulness, the plain repasts, the religious and happy homeliness of a philosophic dwelling, she was surrounded by the brawling sol. diers of the king's army, the most dissolute, depraved, and godless crew that ever disturbed the peace of civil society.
26. With the patience and calmness of a good man, hoping to reclaim the partner chance had brought him, he long bore with her perverseness, beseeching her, again and again, to return to her home. His prayers were disregarded, bis messengers dismissed with contempt. Upon this he naturally grew angry, and resolved, if reason and ar