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pressed: and yet will have us fight against the supreme

till he remove and punish the inferior magistrate; (for such were greatest delinquents ;) whereas by scripture, and by reason, there can no more authority be shewn to resist the one than the other; and altogether as much, to punish or depose the supreme himself, as to make war upon him, till he punish or deliver up his inferior magistrates, whom in the same terms we are commanded to obey, and not to resist.

Thus while they, in a cautious line or two here and there stuffed in, are only verbal against the pulling down or punishing of tyrants, all the scripture and the reason which they bring, is in every leaf direct and rational, to infer it altogether as lawful, as to resist them. And yet in all their sermons, as hath by others been well noted, they went much further. For divines if we observe them have their postures, and their motions no less expertly, and with no less variety, than they that practise feats in the Artillery-ground. Sometimes they seem furiously to march on, and presently march counter; by and by they stand, and then retreat; or if need be, can face about, or wheel in a whole body, with that cunning and dexterity as is almost unperceivable, to wind themselves by shifting ground into places of more advantage. And providence only must be the drum, providence the word of command, that calls them from above, but always to some larger benefice, or acts them into such or such figures and

prom tions. At their turns and doublings no men readier, to the right, or to the left ; for it is their turns which they serve chiefly; herein only singular, that with them there is no certain hand right or left, but as their own commodity thinks best to call it. But if there come a truth to be defended, which to them and their interest of this world seems not so profitable, straight these nimble motionists can find not even legs to stand upon; and are no more of use to reformation thoroughly performed, and not superficially, or to the advancement of truth, (which among mortal men is always in her progress,) than if on a sudden they were struck maim and crippled. Which the better to conceal, or the more to countenance by a general conformity to their own limping, they would have scripture, they would have reason also made to halt with them for company; and would

his own.

put us off with impotent conclusions, lame and shorter than the premises.

In this posture they seem to stand with great zeal and confidence on the wall of Sion ; but like Jebusites, not like Israelites, or Levites: blind also as well as lame, they discern not David from Adonibezec: but cry him up for the Lord's anointed, whose thumbs and great toes not long before they had cut off upon their pulpit cushions. Therefore he who is our only King, the Root of David, and whose kingdom is eternal righteousness, with all those that war under him, whose happiness and final hopes are laid up in that only just and rightful kingdom, (which we pray incessantly may come soon, and in so praying wish hasty ruin and destruction to all tyrants,) even he our immortal King, and all that love him, must of necessity have in abomination these blind and lame defenders of Jerusalem; as the soul of David hated them, and forbid them entrance into God's house, and

But as to those before them, which I cited first (and with an easy search, for many more might be added) as they there stand, without more in number, being the best and chief of protestant divines, we may follow them for faithful guides, and without doubting may receive them, as witnesses abundant of what we here affirm concerning tyrants. And indeed I find it generally the clear and positive determination of them all, (not prelatical, or of this late faction subprelatical,) who have written on this argument; that to do justice on a lawless king is to a private man unlawful; to an inferior magistrate lawful: or if they were divided in opinion, yet greater than these here alleged, or of more authority in the church, there can be none produced

If any one shall go about, by bringing other testimonies to disable these, or by bringing these against themselves in other cited passages of their books, he will not only fail to make good that false and impudent assertion of those mutinous ministers, that the deposing and punishing of a king or tyrant “is against the constant judgment of all protestant divines," it being quite the contrary; but will prove rather what perhaps he intended not, that the judgment of divines, if it be so various and inconstant to itself, is not considerable, or to be esteemed at all. Ere which be yielded, as I hope it never will, these ignorant assertors in their own art will have proved themselves more and more, not to be protestant divines, whose constant judgment in this point they have so audaciously belied, but rather to be a pack of hungry churchwolves, who in the steps of Simon Magus their father, following the hot scent of double livings and pluralities, advowsons, donatives, inductions, and augmentations, though uncalled to the flock of Christ, but by the mere suggestion of their bellies, like those priests of Bei, whose pranks Daniel found out; have got possession, or rather seized upon the pulpit, as the stronghold and fortress of their sedition and rebellion against the civil magistrate. Whose friendly and victorious hand having rescued them from the bishops, their insulting lords, fed them plenteously, both in public and in private, raised them to be high and rich of poor and base; only suffered not their covetousness and fierce ambition (which as the pit that sent out their fellow-locusts hath been ever bottomless and boundless) to interpose in all things, and over all persons, their impetuous ignorance and importunity?

NOTE.—After what has been said both in the Preliminary Discourse and in the notes to this treatise, it may be scarcely necessary to repeat that the reasonings of Milton are directed only against a wicked tyrant in a despotic state.

The Stuarts, rejecting the principles of the British Constitution, sought to reduce the people of these realms to an equality with the serfs of Russia; and accordingly, in 1688, the measure of their iniquity being full, they were driven from the throne, and our present free constitution established. Since that glorious period, which has placed Great Britain at the head of the civilized world, this work of Milton must be regarded as a mere historical curiosity, which, among ourselves, --where constitutionally “ the king can do no wrong," —could by no possibility, any more than my own remarks on this or upon the other Treatises, have any application to the existing state of things._For this reason men of all parties have from time to time brought it before the public, as an example of the mander in which its author's powerful intellect grappled with the question discussed therein; and however the reader may dissent from his conclusions, he will not deny that, as a literary composition, --for in this light only ought it now to be considered,—it is deserving of high commendation. Not having had the happiness to live to taste of the constitutional freedom we enjoy, Milton had always in view the opposing of absolute monarchy, or mere despotism ; he had had no experience of any other. To lawful constitutional princes he constantly teaches that all obedience and honour are due; and, therefore, making the necessary allowance for the state of excitement in which he wrote, and the angry adversaries he contended with, he may, though sometimes intemperate, be read not only without injury, but with much advantage, at the distance we are now placed from his stormy times.-ED.




Τουλέυθερον δ' εκείνο, ει τις θελει πόλει
Χρησόν τι βούλευμ' είς μέσον φέρειν, έχων.
Και ταύθ', ο χρήζων, λαμπρός έσθ', ο μη θέλων,

Σιγά, τί τετων έσιν ίσαίτερον πόλεις-Euripid. Hicctid.
“ This is true liberty, when free-born men,

Having to advise the public, may speak free,
Which he who can, and will, deserves high praise;
Who neither can, nor will, may hold his peace :
What can be juster in a state than this ? "-Euripid. Hicetid.

EDITOR'S PRELIMINARY REMARKS. Milton's mind, having now reached maturity, yielded in profusion those rich and incomparable fruits which are the natural produce of genius and learning. The “ Areopagitica,” as well as the “ Tractate on Education," was published in 1644, with the design of convincing the presbyterianswho, being now in power, were mimicking the intolerant example set them by the prelates of the iniquity and impolicy of endeavouring the suppression of opinions by force. He saw, with that quick intuition which belongs to elevated minds, how vain the attempt must always prove to confine thought, or the active expression of it, by material shackles; and, with the honesty and magnanimity of a devout Christian, he sought to vindicate for others the liberty he had, while his party was the weaker, contended for himself. In performing this duty he exerted the utmost energy of his mind. Passing in rapid review the practices of the most refined nations of ancient and modern times, he shows freedom in connexion with whatever is of highest excellence in government, or of greatest virtue and enlightenment in society; while licensing and the tyranny of opinion, originating in barbarous super. stition, have always gone hand in hand with bad government, and either found the people' ignorant and slothful, or, if tnmely submitted to, have rendered them so. Injustice, if productive of no other advantage, serves at least to rouse good and noble natures, to express their detestation of it; and thus it has proved serviceable to posterity that the presbyterians misused their power; for had they acted uprightly, the “ Areopagitica” had never been written. By almost all writers this discourse has been regarded as Dlilton's masterpiece. Perhaps it is so. Nothing, in fact, can surpass those vivid, inspiring flashes of eloquence which lighten over its periods, and find their way to the very heart and root of all our noblest sympathies. Nothing can be more replete with grandeur than that creative, life-infusing spirit, which breathes through the whole, kindling up an intense love of the good and the beautiful ; awakening in every breast a devout admiration for those possessors of virtue and genius commissioned by heaven to reveal to us how much of the great and godlike there is in man; animating even the feeble and vacillating with at least a temporary enthusiasm for freedom, and that virtuous spirit of martyrdom by which all its advocates should be inflamed. He works out his problem triumphantly. He proves, what had already been hinted at in the “ Animadversions on the Remonstrant's Defence,that the liberty of the press is no less beneficial to governments than to the people. Nevertheless, his work had not, as Dr. Birch observes, the proper effect upon the presbyterians, who having at that time the ascendant, were as tenacious of continuing the restraints upon others, as they had been loud in their complaints of them when imposed on themselves. According to Toland, however, so great was the influence of the “ Discourse,” that even one of the licencers themselves, by name Mabbot, having first assigned his reasons, retired from the office in 1645. But this, as appears from Whitelocket is erroneous, for Mabbot did not resign office until May 22, 1649 ; when upon his desire, and having assigned his reasons against licensing books to be printed, he was discharged of that employment. We find a particular account of this transaction in a quarto weekly paper, entitled, " A Perfect Diurnal of some Passages in Parliament, and the daily Proceedings of the Army under his Excellency the Lord Fairfax, from May 21 to May 28, 1649.” No. 304, page 2531.

AREOPAGITICA. THEY, who to states and governors of the commonwealth direct their speech, high court of parliament! or wanting such access in a private condition, write that which they foresee may advance the public good; I suppose them, as at the beginning of no mean endeavour, not a little altered and moved inwardly in their minds; some with doubt of what will be the success, others with fear of what will be the censure; some with hope, others with confidence of what they have to speak. And me perhaps each of these dispositions, , as the subject was whereon I entered, may have at other times variously affected ; and likely might in these foremost expressions now also disclose which of them swayed most, but that the very attempt of this address thus made, and the thought of whom it hath recourse to, hath got the power within me to a passion, far more welcome than incidental to a preface.

Which though I stay not to confess ere any ask, I shall be blameless, if it be no other than the joy and gratulation which it brings to all who wish to promote their country's liberty; whereof this whole discourse proposed will be a cer• Life of Milton, p. 23. + Memorials, &c. p. 403, edit. of Lond. 1732.

* Birch's Life of Milton, p. 30. VOL, II.

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