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in a time of revolution, and with the main elements of that revolution he warmly sympathized. But how far can the forces then at work be said to have found expression in his writings? He tells us that the principle for which he strove was the threefold principle of civil, domestic, and religious liberty. This is hardly the principle avowed by the leaders of the Parliaments of 1628 and 1629, or even of the Long Parliament. Until the Independents became a power, Presbyterianism represented Puritanism, and was more intolerant than Anglicanism. In the Grand Remonstrance it is the suppression of innovations that is spoken of as the object of the address. In Church matters the Parliament hold it requisite that there should be throughout the whole realm conformity to that order which the laws enjoin according to the word of God.' Though it was barely a century since the establishment of the Reformation in England, most Englishmen looked on returns to ‘Popish practices' as innovations, and Parliament appealed to the conservative feeling of the English race against these, without misgiving as to the need of innovating to other purposes. Milton's 'Areopagitica,' written in 1644, is a demand for liberty for innovations to approve themselves if they can, though he too always regarded the Roman Church as rendering exceptional precautions needful.

Apart from the relief of physical hardship, the bulk of the people are only then strongly interested in political liberties and in exercising control of the

administration when they feel these indispensable to the satisfaction of aspirations toward things that touch them more nearly than constitutional abstractions. The English had been accustomed to leave administration to the Tudor princes, and even statesmen had then been willing to allow the crown unprecedented power in order to curb the aggressions of the nobles and of the Roman See. At the end of Elizabeth's reign England was content, and no one could have foreseen the coming troubles. It was to be expected indeed that the crown, whoever might be its wearer, would not easily be deprived of the exceptional power which had been entrusted to it for exceptional purposes; it was to be expected also that prescient men of affairs should see the necessity of such deprivation, and should strive to eff it. But they would not have got the majority of the people to support them to the extent of waging resolute and bloody civil war, had not more been involved than political questions, even though the political questions included illegal taxation. The people rose in arms because they were conscious, more or less distinctly, of a great national expansion and development, not in constitutional politics but in spiritual and intellectual life, a development which had produced the Shaksperian stage as well as the Puritan pulpit. The one essential thing for an English king to do who wished to preserve his power, was to find some way of identifying himself with this expansive movement, as Elizabeth had done. A wise and large-minded

king might by this means have successfully maintained the Tudor type of monarchy against Eliot and Pym and Hampden and the minority who were statesmen enough to see the danger of the excessive power of the crown. But the Stuarts were, as we know, by no means wise or large-minded, and instead of identifying themselves in any way with the expansion they tried to stifle it exactly on that side where for the time it was strongest—the side of Puritanism. Puritanism was by no means the only side of it, nor the most likely to gain a permanent hold on the country. The average Englishman has little sympathy with Puritanism; he is fond of sport and good cheer, and does not care to follow a mi. nority, however strenuous, which seems likely to take these from him. His own Reformation indeed was a comparatively easy-going affair, though not without its martyrdoms. But after the defeat of the Armada, England was far too full of receptive and active life to isolate herself from the waves of religious passion which were sweeping over Europe. The first half of the seventeenth century was the age of the Thirty Years' War. No Protestant country could help feeling her Protestantism intensified at such a time. Hence came the strength of Puritanism. If time had been given it, Puritanism would have subsided quietly within the natural limits assigned to it by the character of the English people. But the Stuarts and their bishops tried to dam the river, with what consequence we know.

Furthermore, the instrument with which this

attempt of the Stuart government was made was one by its nature singularly unsuited to the enforcement of any violent restriction, the Established Church of England. Not only had it none of the awful far-reaching traditions which might be put forward to excuse the Church of the Holy Roman Empire, the Church of the Crusaders, in employing the secular arm against heretics, as against traitors to militant Christendom; but also its position at all times must be such as renders any forcible imposition of its claims unbefitting and perilous. The sects may gain by attacking it, it can only lose by attacking them. However active in its own work, it has to avoid aggression and even proselytizing. Its strength is to sit still, to cherish its best elements, and to trust that its tolerant eclecticism, its noble offices and chaste ritual, its scholarly traditions, may win over to it those whose desire for religious rest has been wearied or outraged by the exaggerations of other forms of Christianity. When it forsook the spirit of Hooker for that of Laud it made a false step which could only lead to painful defeat. Presbyterianism, with still less excuse, made a like aggression, and with like result.

To a certain extent therefore Milton is the spokesman of the bulk of his countrymen. Priest and Presbyter alike he forbade in the name of England to fetter by force her free development, her realization of her chosen ideals for the time being. But his own ideals were naturally such as the bulk of his countrymen could hardly as yet comprehend,

much less adopt. Of his controversial pamphlets those on Church matters come the nearest to expressing popular feeling. But Milton's dislike of prelatical episcopacy was based on broader grounds than a dread of the return of Papist abuses. He rejoiced without scruple in the charm of the storied windows and pealing organ, the service high and anthem clear ; for these he had only admiration and love. But he abhorred that association of worldly rank and wealth with spiritual functions which seemed to be involved in an established episcopal church. The taint of gain sullied religion as much as the taint of force.

Further still removed from popular ideas were his pamphlets on 'domestic' liberty, especially on liberty of divorce. Here also aspiration toward a high ideal was the motive of his contention. His ideal of true and perfect marriage seemed to him so sacred that he could not admit that considerations of expediency might justify the law in maintaining immutable any meaner kind, or at least any kind in which the vital element of spiritual harmony was not.

Nor does he stand much less by himself in his judgment of civil liberty. He is equally contemptuous of kings and of mobs, and partly for the same reasons. Both fail to offer the security of virtue and wisdom approved by adequate tests, both are eminently subject to narrow selfishness, to fear, and to the love of flattery. Shakspere has somewhat of this contempt for the populace, though

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