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against itself, and with the strictest internal independence, the league of all the provinces, for resistance or conquest, was unbroken, federal, and complete.

The Second Defence has furnished life-writers with more materials than all his other works put together; and it has been well gleaned. We have availed ourselves of it, as far as we could, for explanatory, not biographical, purposes; and we would urge all who are not acquainted with it as a whole, and those who may have imbibed prejudices against the author or his party, to peruse, and pause, and ponder over it as the most ingenuous and interesting of memorials, furnished by one of the greatest and best of men ;-the rock and the quarry, at once furnishing the materials to form, and the munition to protect, the edifice of his beautiful character. We pass by the exordium, wherein he recounts in the most impassioned style and with fervent gratitude, his own and the labours of others on behalf of liberty, and in which with prophetic exultation he throws her sacred fires into the heart of the benighted continent; we pass by the eulogium on the Queen of Sweden, in the lustre of which her crown becomes a bauble; we pass by the not less magnanimous than magnificent panegyrick upon Cromwell, in which with consummate art the glowing recital of his achievements is made subservient to the most noble and solemn advice, and the glory of the past gathered up in suspense until the revelation of the future; we pass by the concluding appeal to his countrymen, which the hearts of the illustrious Protector, and his Ironsides, must have felt, had they been harder than the mail which covered them: we pass by these topics, and others which complete the crown, and constitute the political charm, of the work:---for Milton himself is before us! and invective and eulogy, the revolutionary storm and the portentous calm, warriors and their prowess, priests and their craft, vanish with the whole motley drama: the man--the patriot-the bard-the Christian-Milton is before us!

The Second Defence will ever be considered as the most satisfactory refutation of those calumnies and reproaches, which have been so industriously heaped upon its writer, and the men with whom he acted. No one who knows any thing of the character of Milton, would presume to accuse him of profligacy of principle, either in serving the council, or Cromwell. They with whom he condescended to co-operate, did their utmost to place the government on a safe, liberal, and lasting basis; and though the issue of their endeavours was unfortunate, few, now-a-days, will question their abilities in the council and in the field, in peace and in war; or their sincere devotion to the glory and welfare of their country.

The influence of the Second Defence upon public opinion was wonderful. Morus denied the authorship, and published his " Fides Publica;" to which Milton replied in that most tremendous of all castigations" Authoris pro se Defensio contra Alexandrum Morum, Ecclesiasten" The Author's Defence of himself against Alexander More, Ecclesiastic. It is almost a merciless retaliation on poor More; and perhaps the severest, acutest, wittiest specimen of retort or reply on record. Milton's detestation of vice is only equal to the dreadless majesty with which he exposes it. The Latin language, with all its mechanical stubbornness, is perfectly ductile to his will-it melts to his touch, and moulds itself into a fiery essence to do his bidding, and express, like an "airy servitor," the least or the greatest emotions. He was an incomparable reviewer. Nothing escapes him-and he avoids nothing-he always rushes into the midst of the combat, and he comes out of the hottest melée unscathed, and even unbreathed. More was compelled to another struggle; his answer was again briefly refuted by Milton in a piece entitled," Authoris ad Alexandri Mori Supplementum Responsio:" The Author's Answer to the Supplement of Alexander More: and so ended the controversy; and like the last of every thing, its end is affecting. These political writings, so distinguished by every grace and glory of rhetorick, carried the celebrity of their author's name and cause to the very bounds of classic Europe. The fights are over— the victories won-one adversary after another silenced-the Salmasian controversy concluded: that volcano, with its noisy craters, is extinct-the lava is as cold as the Arctic

snows-and we have seen a mighty genius acting upon the sky-ward eruption, like the law of gravitation; and the higher the burning fragments of rage and vituperation may have been thrown, the more hideous falls on the earth-born head that ruin of which we have witnessed the recoil.

The death of Cromwell took place on the 3rd of September, 1659: on that day, it is observable, he was born; on that day he fought the three great battles of Marston-Moor, Worcester, and Dunbar; and on that day he died, in the peaceable possession of the sovereign power. The uncorruptible patriotism of Milton led him to retain office under this usurper—the greatest man that ever sat on an English throne. Hope that he would be able to reconstruct the commonwealth, fear that in case of his desertion the hateful dynasty would be restored, and a desire to maintain the honour of his country abroad, may have been the considerations which led our author, with all his republican predilections, to render the Protector his assistance and support. Grievously, however, must he have been disappointed; not more perhaps by some things which Cromwell did, than by what he left. undone ;-but the conduct of the four factions hardly left him any leisure from curbing their insolence, and defeating their machinations. Milton was not the only distinguished servant of Cromwell-Hale served him as chief justice; Howe and Owen officiated as his chaplains; and Blake refused not to wield the truncheon of the navy under him.

Milton's two next works are valuable additions to our ample stores of what may be termed the literature of ecclesiastical liberty. Devoted to the consideration of two opposite evils, by which the church has always been afflicted or corrupted, two potent words, FORCE and HIRE, comprise the scope of both of these sound and able pamphlets. The first treatise relates to the exercise of force against conscience; the last to the equally dangerous exercise of political power or patronage in favour of any religious system. By the former, “ A Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes; shewing, that it is not lawful for any Power on Earth to compel in Matters of Religion ;" and by the latter, "Considerations touching the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church; wherein is also discoursed of Tythes, Church-fees, and Church-revenues; and whether any Maintenance of Ministers can be settled by Law;" we may consider the great political principle of absolute noninterference by the magistrate for or against Christianity (except on grounds of purely civil emergency, or expediency, or necessity) to be triumphantly settled and fundamentally established. They were both published, with an interval of a few months, in the year 1659. One was addressed to the parliament convened by Richard Cromwell; the other, the doctrines of which yet remain to be realized, was inscribed to the Long Parliament: both the pieces, though their author retained his Latin secretaryship, were private and unofficial. "I write not otherwise appointed or induced than by an inward persuasion of Christian duty, which I may usefully discharge to the common Lord and Master of us all." This was an important declaration. Milton was an avowed, and, on the subject of church-government, a thorough, independent. He was then addressing the presbyterians, who were as averse to toleration as ever were the episcopalians. The only real quarrel which these men had with Cromwell was, that he would not establish them; that he would not lend them his mighty arm to put down all other sectaries, and set up their Scotch inquisition, enforce their synodical censures, and place them in paramount possession of all the benefices and emoluments of the English, Scotch, and Irish hierarchies. This party, with the royalists, and the army, were now on the eve of making good the great usurper's prophecy, that, after his death, they would bring all things into confusion. The independents were not strong enough to cut through this “illunited and unwieldy brigade;" and the mere multitude were incapable of estimating the dangers of a restoration, or the blessings of a commonwealth. Our politic author determined to avail himself of the last moments of expiring liberty, which he had "used these eighteen years on all occasions to assert the just rights and freedoms both of church and state;" and

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in the pamphlets before us, he strikes a two-handed blow at that system of "force" and "hire," of intolerance and patronage, in matters of religion, out of which have arisen nearly all the convulsions of modern Europe. Both the works are written with beautiful simplicity and earnestness. The divine right and the political expediency of tithes are examined and refuted at great length, and with amazing learning and ingenuity. The pith and marrow of the argument, the strength and nerve of the language, will be found to contain all that is necessary, and all that might have been expected. Let it be remembered that he interrupted his four great works-his Poem, his History, his Latin Thesaurus, and his Theological Treatise to write these two manuals. We particularly invite the immediate attention of our countrymen to the last of the two tracts. "In matters of religion," says our author, "he is learnedest who is plainest. The brevity I use, not exceeding a small manual, will not therefore I suppose be thought the less considerable, unless with them perhaps who think that great books only can determine great matters." Truth must triumph. We enjoy toleration, as it is insultingly styled; but we are yet to witness the utter subversion of intolerance, by the severance of the church from the state. Richard Cromwell soon abdicated his brief authority. For near two years after Cromwell's death, the government of England underwent various shapes, and every month almost produced a new scheme. The current of popular opinion ran strongly towards monarchy. The protestations of Monk, indeed, and the existence of the Long Parliament, in which there were few royalists and near fifty or sixty republicans, might support the faint hopes of the commonwealth-men. But Milton, as we find from his " Letter to a Friend concerning the Ruptures of the Commonwealth," dated Oct. 20, 1659, expresses his indignation at the outrages of the army, and his gloomy apprehensions for the future. Soon after, he addressed a letter to General Monk, entitled, "The present Means and brief Delineation of a free Commonwealth." Both these letters are very short, and hardly occupy two pages of this edition. A few months afterwards, he addressed General Monk again, in a more masterly production, " The ready and easy Way to establish a free Commonwealth, and the Excellence thereof, compared with the Inconveniences and Dangers of readmitting Kingship in this Nation." The motto to this performance, hinting probably at the advice which he had publicly given to the Protector,

66 et nos

Consilium Syllæ dedimus, demus populo nunc,"

is as happy as his present counsel was opportune. With many evident inconsistencies, which will be easily excused, when we consider his own and the peril of his party, there is much to commend and more to admire. It is full of splendid writing and powerful antimonarchical appeal. It was replied to both sportively and seriously, but not answered. The last of Milton's controversial productions was, "Brief Notes upon a late Sermon, tiled, The Fear of God and the King; preached, and since published, by Matthew Griffith, D.D. and Chaplain to the late King. Wherein many notorious wrestings of Scripture, and other Falsities, are observed." On the very eve of the Restoration he avows his republicanism. The insolent L'Estrange wrote a reply, entitled, "No Blind Guides."

A volume might be devoted to the critical examination of his letters, both private and official, on account both of their political and literary excellence. They are all written in Latin. There are thirty-one private ones-forty-three are written in the name of the parliament-seventy-eight in the name of the Protector Oliver-eleven in the name of the Protector Richard-and in the name of the " Parliament Restored," two only were written. The private letters will very much interest the reader. Those to his Athenian friend are noble and affecting, and in a biographical point of view, exceedingly valuable. It is to be regretted that so few epistles of so extensive a correspondent should have been handed down to posterity. It is probable that most of his correspondents were foreigners. The official letters are much more numerous. Milton was an universal genius, and it would

be difficult to predicate his failure in any undertaking in which learning or sagacity, wisdom or common sense, could insure success. It is a maxim in the mouth of the many, degrading to all who are above the level of mediocrity, and therefore reiterated by those whom the decree of nature has placed below it, that, with the ordinary or extraordinary business of life, the man of science or genius, the philosopher or scholar, cannot meddle without making himself as ridiculous, as his interference must be prejudicial to the interests intrusted to him. This radical blunder has been acted upon in all ages; nor need we wonder at the remark of a certain chancellor to his son: "See, with what little wit the world is governed!" Not so thought Oliver Cromwell. His selection of servants in all the departments of government, was very honourable to himself, and the mainspring of his success in war and peace, in foreign and domestic policy. Had Milton left nothing else in prose but these letters, we should have considered them as proofs of his great capacity for business. No mechanical drudge could have written them. With all his ardour of temperament he had an amazing share of “sound round-about common sense "-warmed by pervading genius into a nobler power. We need not point out the historical value of these exquisite models of negociation and composition. The foreign policy of the commonwealth cannot be well understood without an acquaintance with them.

The juvenile Latin productions of Milton may be mentioned here--to recommend them merely, for to examine them minutely would be impossible. They are remarkable for felicity and correctness; for masculine energy, and ripeness of thought, and occasional splendour of expression; and as they show by what laborious industry and indefatigable perseverance our countryman realized the utmost excellence which these writings promised, they should be pointed out to the attention of every youth. In fact, selections from his Latin works, for the use of the higher schools, should immediately be made: they would not interfere with the more ancient classics, which they rival, but would necessarily stimulate to their imitation; and, mingled with a few judicious extracts from his English prose, to be translated into Latin or Greek, or to be used as exercises in recitation, the effect upon youths of a proper age, under a teacher worthy of being intrusted with some such plan, would be incredibly beneficial.

Milton's Latin Grammar, (1661,) and his Logic, (1672,) prove his deep interest in all that related to education. The former has been superseded, but the latter (with the interesting life prefixed to it) will always be regarded as a sound and useful system for discovering truth.

We conclude our task. No political actor ever performed a more distinguished part on a more elevated stage, than John Milton; nor, assuredly, did one ever retire from it so suddenly. Another and far different part of the great drama came on. A Stuart monarch was seated on the throne, and we hear no more of our politician. He was spared by Providence, not by royal clemency. What a change from the blaze of public life to the refuge of obscurity! It was an outward change only-made certainly more distressing by public ingratitude and private neglect, by the helplessness of blindness and poverty, and the increasing miseries of "crude old age." But, supported by celestial manna, and invigorated by the illumining Spirit," the joy and solace of created things," his intellectual strength was more than equal to his day. "The troubled sea of noises and hoarse disputes," on which he had been embarked, and on which he had been wrecked, was now exchanged for the final haven of “ a calm and pleasing solitariness, fed with cheerful and confident thoughts;" -and soon he sent forth his immortal poems-the " Paradise Lost”—and "Paradise Regained!" It is sufficient to mention them! His beautiful "Treatise of True Religion, Heresy, Schism, Toleration, and the best means that may be used to prevent the growth of Popery," had not been long published, when he died, in the year 1674, and in the six and sixtieth of his age.


We have only glanced at the contents of this volume. Of itself it is more than sufficient to enable us to form a correct estimate of the literary, political, and religious character of John Milton. Taken in connexion with his poetical works, it will be impossible to produce an author entitled to superior veneration and renown. Equally resplendent in the annals of liberty and of song, the name of the author of these writings is a sufficient guarantee for their interest to the scholar, their value to the politician, and their utility to every patriotic Christian. They are now cast into a proper shape for circulation, and wherever carried, they will administer not less to the delight and profit, than to the intellectual and moral wants and necessities, of the age. In them will be found nothing dangerous or anarchical-dishonourable or polluting. The monarch will not here find any thing to derogate from his just authority. His nobles will here learn true magnanimity-his people be built up in love to their country and to himself, and in "willing homage to the prerogative of the Eternal Throne." The man of taste will be refreshed--the protestant will rejoice the paramount allegiance of the poet to the great principles of the Reformation. The least will find that he may be useful-the greatest, that he may be worthless ;-the most ignorant will here find an "eye-brightening electuary of knowledge and foresight"-the most leamed, that his superior condescended to be most plain. These are the authorized works of a man, who never quailed before a tyrant, or bowed before a mob; but, after exerting the greatest abilities in the greatest of causes, in fortitude, and meekness, and patience possessed his spirit, and became, in adversity and prosperity, an exemplar for a nation of “heroes, of sages, and of worthies."

England is invested with supremacy in literature. She is not indebted for her imperial precedency to many of her sons. Great as is the number of her gigantic minds, two men she has reared and ripened, Milton and Shakspeare, whose achievements alone have raised her to a towering pre-eminence among the nations. Neither the ancients nor the moderns can match these Englishmen. Make the selection from any age, from the bright eras of the past, from the Greek or Roman constellations, to the later luminaries, and theirs will be found to be the brightest names that old Time wears in his gorgeous belt.. To them an Englishman points, and by them settles the supremacy of his country. Without them we might claim equality with other kingdoms; with them we are entitled to superiority. When you think of England, you think of Shakspeare-you think of Milton-they are England. Other nations have heroes, and philosophers, and critics, and scholars, and divines, equal to our own, but they have not Shakspeare and Milton :-we have, and surpass them. Nature gave them to England, and no reverse of fortune can rob us of them. Their works are landmarks, pillars of truth, on these the high places of the earth-and they will be identified with our soil, when our institutions may have been swept from it, and when our political supremacy may have passed away. But, with their works in our hands, and with our Bible, read, and believed, and revered, and upheld, in cottage and in palace, we need not fear the loss of our heritage-the luxury that enfeebles-the vice that enslaves-the wealth that corrupts the anarchy that overwhelms :-intelligence and piety, wisdom, and religion, and power, will be cherished and perpetuated for generations ;-and with those who love these things, and bear the ark of British freedom, we leave, for their guidance and delight, this


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