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There are other subjects, and particularly that of the Holy Spirit, to which the translator had wished to have adverted, had he not been warned, by the length to which the preceding observations have already extended, to abstain from further comment. He cannot however conclude these preliminary remarks, without acknowledging his obligations to W. S. Walker, Esq. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, who has not only discharged the greater part of the laborious office of correcting the press, but whose valuable suggestions during the progress of the work have contributed to remove some of its imperfections.
WINDSOR, July, 1825.
TO THE PRESENT EDITION.
SOON after the original publication of the following Treatise, some additional papers of great importance were discovered in the State Paper Office by the indefatigable industry of the late Mr. Lemon, to which it is right to advert in sending out the present Edition.
The first has reference to the Mr. Skinner spoken of in the foregoing pages, respecting whom much doubt existed. See Preliminary Observations, p. vi.-xiv. The Translator ventured to identify this Skinner with the Daniel Skinner to whom Mr. Perwich, in a communication from Paris, dated March 15, 1677, addressed to Mr. Bridgeman, Secretary to Sir Joseph Williamson, reports that he had delivered a letter from Dr. Barrow, presumed to be Dr. Isaac Barrow, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. See ante, p. xii. The following documents place beyond a doubt the accuracy of this conjecture.
From a Collection of Domestic Papers, Petitions, &c., in the Reign of King Charles II., preserved in His Majesty's State Paper Office. Vol. xix. pp. 165, 167.
DEARE SIR, I doe heartyly thank you for your care of my concerns, and of the College interest. I am sorry for the miscarriages of that wild young man, to whom I have written the enclosed, which you may please to seall and send. I have since received another Letter from Harris, complaining that I do not return any answer to his Letters, yet without direction whither I should send; I should be glad if you should
chance to meet him and inform him. We have no news; therefore, with my best wishes, I rest
Your very affectionate
Please to present my humble duty to my Lord Bishop of Ely. Feb. 13, 1676-7.
I suppose you sometimes see Mr. Dove; when you doe, I pray give him my hearty love and service; and tell him that I shall not, I think, be at London untill my waiting time in April.
friend and servant,
Trin. Coll. Feby. 13, 1676-7.
For Mr. DANIEL SKINNER.
State Paper Office, December 2, 1825.
(The enclosure referred to.)
SIR, By order of a Meeting you are injoined immediately, without delay, upon receiving this, to repair hither to ye College; no further allowance to discontinue being granted to you. This you are to do upon penalty of ye Statute, which is Expulsion from ye College, if you disobey. We doe also warn you that if you shall publish any Writing mischievous to ye Church and State, you will thence incurre a forfeiture of your interest here. I hope God will give you ye wisedome and grace to take warning.
So I rest,
Your loving friend, (Signed)
at Ely House, in Holborn, London.
(Examined) ROBT. LEMON,
Deputy Keeper of State Papers.
A few months later a yet more interesting document was discovered, which is thus described in a letter from Mr. Lemon to the Translator :
"I avail myself of the earliest opportunity of communi
cating to you a circumstance which I flatter myself will be gratifying to you, as it is to me. This afternoon, Mr. Lechmere, a gentleman in this Office, (who is engaged in examining and arranging an immense collection of old miscellaneous papers) brought up to me a document which he had just accidentally found amongst them. It is an original letter from Daniel Elzevir to Sir Joseph Williamson, dated at Amsterdam in November 1676, in which he acquaints Sir Joseph that, about a year before, Mr. Skinner put into his hands a Collection of Letters, and a Treatise on Theology written by the deceased Milton, with directions to print them; but on examining the works, he (Elzevir) found many things in them which, in his opinion, had better be suppressed than divulged; that he, in consequence, declined printing them, and that Mr. Skinner had lately been at Amsterdam, and expressed himself highly gratified that Elzevir had not commenced the printing of them-and then took away the manuscripts.
"It is not less singular than gratifying, that the discovery of this letter so completely confirms the conjectures we had previously formed respecting the Doctrina Christiana; and I think you will agree with me in opinion, that this is the only link wanting in the chain of evidence to prove the authenticity of this work, and that Milton was the undoubted author of it. The letter of Elzevir, above alluded to, is unquestionably an original, as I have carefully collated it with another letter of Elzevir's, which I fortunately have in my possession; and the writing of the two letters is perfect identity.
"State Paper Office, March 22, 1826."
This interesting discovery sets entirely at rest all doubt, if, notwithstanding the internal evidence, any could yet have existed, as to the authenticity of the manuscript translated in the following pages.
FARNHAM CASTLE, Dec. 1852.