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he feels and fears the goadings of combined ecclesiastical and civil tyranny to crush the awakened thought of the people, that he writes vehemently.
“In times of opposition, when either against new heresies arising, or old corruptions to be reformed, this cool, unpassioned mildness of positive wisdom is not enough to damp and astonish the proud resistance of carnal and false doctors; then (that I may have leave to soar awhile, as the poets' use) Zeal, whose substance is ethereal, arming in complete diamond, ascends his fiery chariot, drawn with two blazing meteors, figured like beasts, but of a higher breed than any the Zodiac yields, resembling two of those four which Ezekiel and St. John saw; the one visaged like a lion, to express power, high authority, and indignation; the other, of countenance like a man, to cast derision and scorn upon perverse and fraudulent seducers; with these, the invincible warrior Zeal, shaking loosely the slack reins, drives over the heads of scarlet prelates, and such as are insolent to maintain traditions, bruising their stiff necks under his flaming wheels.”
This is, at least, in better taste, and in a better spirit, than his assailants displayed ; one
of whom, a meek and mitred saint, wrote, “ You that love Christ, and know this miscreant wretch, stone him to death, lest you smart for his impunity.”
Great is the faith of Milton; he writes in earnestness ; his faith dictates to his energy. He believes that the principles, for which he and his compeers contend, will run coeval with the progress of the English nation; and not only so, but will be hailed with rapture by distant nations, shooting the beams of light far down into the remotest recesses, where despotism holds its citadel in darkness.
“Much as I may be surpassed in the powers of eloquence and copiousness of diction by the illustrious orators of antiquity, yet the subject of which I treat was never surpassed, in any age, in dignity or in interest. It has excited such general and such ardent expectation, that I imagine myself not in the forum or on the rostra, surrounded only by the people of Athens or of Rome, but about to address in this, as I did in my former Defence,' the whole collective body of people,-cities, states, and councils of the wise and eminent—through the wide expanse of anxious and listening Europe. I seem to survey, as from a towering height, the far-extended tracts of sea and land, and
innumerable crowds of spectators, betraying in their looks the liveliest interest, and sensations the most congenial with my own. Here I behold the stout and manly prowess of the German, disdaining servitude; there, the generous and lively impetuosity of the French; --on this side, the calm and stately valour of the Spaniard; on that, the composed and wary magnanimity of the Italian. Of all the lovers of liberty and virtue, the magnanimous and the wise, in whatever quarter they may be found, some secretly favour, others openly approve ; some greet me with congratulations and applause ; others, who had long been proof against conviction, at last yield themselves captives to the force of truth. Surrounded by congregated multitudes, I now imagine that, from the Columns of Hercules to the Indian Ocean, I behold the nations of the earth recovering that liberty, which they so long had lost ; and that the people of this island are transporting to other countries a plant of more beneficial qualities, and more noble growth, than that which Triptolenius is reported to have carried from region to region ; that they are disseminating the blessings of civilization and freedom among cities, kingdoms, and nations. Nor shall I approach unknown, nor
perhaps unloved ; if it be told that I am he who engaged, in single combat, that fierce advocate of despotism, till then reputed invincible in the opinion of many, and in his own conceit, who insolently challenged us and our armies to the battle : but whom, while I repelled his insolence, I silenced with his own weapons; and over whom, if I may trust to the opinions of impartial judges, I gained a complete and glorious victory.”
But, reader, you must procure for yourself, and study, the writings of this distinguished political teacher. These expositions of liberty ; of civil and religious freedom. They should be read and re-read ; the nervous strength of this language will impart strength and majesty to your own; the grand exaltation of these thoughts will add dignity to your conceptions ;
-and the thickly woven mail of these arguments, will be to the young lover of freedom, as a breastplate from the shafts of the traders in servility, and the lovers of despotism. Let him who would grow in the love and knowledge of true liberty come from the heat and poison of public meetings, and the clap-trap of popular demagogues, to the study of Milton ; let him give his days and nights to the pondering of these books: he will not approve all—for even
Milton was human. But it may safely be questioned, whether any other uninspired writer, will impart to him so vast a fund of knowledge, set off in so brilliant a casket ?
MILTON AND POPERY.
“ Ir is unknown to no man who knows aught of concernment among us, that the increase of popery is, at this day, no small trouble and offence to the greatest part of the nation;" 80 said Milton in his tract “ against the growth of popery." He was placed in the very same dilemma in which some men are placed now. He loved Liberty! He hated Papacy! We suppose his views will not be tolerated in the present day, even by many who hold his general doctrines both in politics and ecclesiastical polity in high estimation; inbrief, Milton will not admit a Papist to the same rank of citizenship as a Protestant; he had declared this in his “ Defence of the People of England,” in reply to Salmasius; and