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rights of the crown of England, unless both Charles and Stuart now in banishment, and tainted with his father's principles, and those profligate tutors that he has along with him, had industriously suggested to him what they would have writ. They dictated to him, “ That the whole parliament were liable to be proceeded against as traitors, because they declared without the king's assent all them to be traitors, who had taken up arms against the parliament of England; and that parliaments were but the king's vassals: that the oath, which our kings take at their coronation, is but a cercmony:" And why not that of a vassal too? So that no reverence of laws, no sacredness of an oath, will be sufficient to protect your lives and fortunes, either from the exorbitance of a furious, or the revenge of an exasperated, prince, who has been so instructed from his cradle, as to think laws, religion, nay, and oaths themselves, ought to be subject to will and pleasure. How much better is it, and more becoming yourselves, if you desire riches, liberty, peace, and empire, to obtain them assuredly by your own virtue, industry, prudence, and valour, than to long after and hope for them in vain under the rule of a king? They who are of opinion that these things cannot be compassed but under a king, and a lord, it cannot well be expressed how mean, how base, I do not say, how unworthy, thoughts they have of themselves; for in effect, what do they other than confess, that they themselves are lazy, weak, senseless, silly persons, and framed for slavery both in body and mind? And indeed all manner of slavery is scandalous and disgraceful to a free-born ingenuous person; but for you, after you have recovered your lost liberty, by God's assistance, and your own arms; after the performance of so many valiant exploits, and the making so remarkable an example of a most potent king, to desire to return again into a condition of bondage and slavery, will not only be scandalous and disgraceful, but an impious and wicked thing; and equal to that of the Israelites, who, for desiring to return to the Egyptian slavery, were so severely punished for that sordid, slavish temper of mind, and so many of them destroyed by that God who had been their deliverer.

But what say you now, who would persuade us to become slaves? “The king,” say you,“ had a power of pardoning such as were guilty of treason, and other crimes; which evinces sufficiently, that the king himself was under no law." The king might indeed pardon treason, not against the kingdom, but against himself; and so may any body else pardon wrongs done to themselves; and he might, perhaps, pardon some other offences, though not always. But does it follow, because in some cases he had the right of saving a malefactor's life, that therefore he must have a right to destroy all good men? If the king be impleaded in an inferior court, he is not obliged to answer, but by his attorney: does it therefore follow, that when he is summoned by all his subjects to appear in parliament, he may choose whether he will appear or no, and refuse to answer in person? You say, “ That we endeavour to justify what we have done by the Hollanders’ example ;” and upon this occasion, fearing the loss of that stipend with which the Hollanders feed such a murrain and pest as you are, if by reviling the English you should consequently reflect upon them that maintain you, you endeavour to demonstrate “how unlike their actions and ours are.” The comparison that you make betwixt them I resolve to omit (though many things in it are most false, and other things flattery all over, which yet you thought yourself obliged to put down, to deserve your pension). For the English think they need not allege the examples of foreigners for their justification. They have municipal laws of their own, by which they have acted ; laws with relation to the matter

you, that

in hand the best in the world: they have the examples of their ancestors, great and gallant men, for their imitation, who never gave way to the exorbitant power of princes, and who have put many of them to death, when their government became insupportable. They were born free, they stand in need of no other nation, they can make what laws they please for their own good government. One law in particular they have a great veneration for, and a very ancient one it is, enacted by nature itself, That all human laws, all civil right and government, must have a respect to the safety and welfare of good men, and not be subject to the lusts of princes.

From hence to the end of your book I find nothing but rubbish and trifles, picked out of the former chapters; of which you have here raised so great a heap, that I cannot imagine what other design you could have in it, than to presage the ruin of your whole fabric. At last, after an infinite deal of tittle-tattle, you make an end, calling “God to witness, that you undertook the defence of this cause, not only because you were desired so to do, but because your own conscience told

you

could not possibly undertake the defence of a better.” Is it fit for you to intermeddle with our matters, with which you have nothing to do, because you were desired, when we ourselves did not desire you? to reproach with contumelious and opprobrious language, and in a printed book, the supreme magistracy of the English nation, when according to the authority and power that they are intrusted with, they do but their duty within their own jurisdiction, and all this without the least injury or provocation from them? (for they did not so much as know that there was such a man in the world as you.) And I pray by whom were you desired ? By your wife, I suppose, who, they say, exercises a kingly right and jurisdiction over you ; and whenever she has a mind to it (as Fulvia is made to speak in that obscene epigram, that you collected some centoes out of, page 320) cries, “Either write, or let us fight;" that made you write perhaps, lest the signal should be given. Or were you asked by Charles the younger, and that profligate gang of vagabond courtiers, and like a second Balaam called upon by another Balak to restore a desperate cause by ill writing, that was lost by ill fighting? That may be ; but there is this difference, for he was a wise understanding man, and rid upon an ass that could speak, to curse the people of God: thou art a very talkative ass thyself, and rid by a woman, and being surrounded with the healed heads of the bishops, that heretofore thou hadst wounded, thou seemest to represent that beast in the Revelation.

But they say, that a little after you had written this book you repented of what you had done. It is well, if it be so; and to make your repentance public, I think the best course that you can take will be, for this long book that you have writ, to take a halter, and make one long letter of yourself. So Judas Iscariot repented, to wham you are like; and that young Charles knew, which made him send you the purse, Judas his badge; for he had heard before, and found afterward by experience, that you were an apostate and a devil

. Judas betrayed Christ himself, and you betray his church; you have taught heretofore, that bishops were antichristian, and you are now revolted to their party. You now undertake the defence of their cause, whom formerly you damned to the pit of hell. Christ delivered all men from bondage, and you endeavour to enslave all mankind. Never question, since you have been such a villain to God himself, his church, and all mankind in general, but that the same fate attends you that befell your equal, out of despair rather than repentance, to be weary of your life, and hang yourself, and burst asunder as he did, and to send beforehand that faithless and treacherous conscience of yours, that railing conscience at good and holy men, to that place of torment that is prepared for you. And now I think, through God's assistance, I have finished the work I undertook, to wit, the defence of the noble actions of my countrymen at home, and abroad, against the raging and envious madness of this distracted sophister; and the asserting of the common rights of the people against the unjust domination of kings, not out of any hatred to kings, but tyrants : nor have I purposely left unanswered any one argument alleged by my adversary, nor any one example or authority quoted by him, that seemed to have any force in it, or the least colour of an argument. Perhaps I have been guilty rather of the other extreme, of replying to some of his fooleries and trifles, as if they were solid arguments, and thereby may seem to have attributed more to them than they deserved.

One thing yet remains to be done, which perhaps is of the greatest concern of all, and that is, that you, my countrymen, refute this adversary of yours yourselves, which I do not see any other means of your effecting, ihan by a constant endeavour to outdo all men's bad words by your own good deeds. When you laboured under more sorts of oppression than one, you betook yourselves to God for refuge, and he was graciously pleased to hear your most earnest prayer and desires. He has gloriously delivered you, the first of nations, from the two greatest mischiefs of this life, and most pernicious to virtue, tyranny and superstition; he has endued you with greatness of mind to be the first of mankind, who after having conquered their own king, and-having had him delivered into their hands, have not scrupled to condemn him judicially, and pursuant to that sentence of condemnation, to put him to death. After the performing so glorious

an action as this, you ought to do nothing that is mean and little, not so ? much as to think of, much less to do, any thing but what is great and sub

lime. Which to attain to, this is your only way; as you have subdued your eneroies in the field, so to make appear, that unarmed, and in the highest outward peace and tranquillity, you of all mankind are best able to subdue ambition, avarice, the love of riches, and can best avoid the corruptions that prosperity is apt to introduce, (which generally subdue and triumph over other nations,) to show as great justice, temperance and moderation in the maintaining your liberty, as you have shown courage in freeing yourselves from slavery. These are the only arguments, by which you will be able to evince, that you are not such persons as this fellow represents you, Traitors, Robbers, Murderers, Parricides, Madmen ; that you did not put your king to death out of any ambitious design, or a desire of invading the rights of others, not out of any seditious principles or sinister ends; that it was not an act of fury or madness; but that it was wholly out of love to your liberty, your religion, to justice, virtue, and your country, that you punished a tyrant. But if it should fall out otherwise, (which God forbid,) if as you have been valiant in war, you should grow debauched in peace, you that have had such visible demonstrations of the goodness of God to yourselves, and his wrath against your enemies; and that you should not have learned by so eminent, so remarkable an example before your eyes, to fear God, and work righteousness; for my part, I shall easily grant and confess (for I cannot deny it) whatever ill men may speak or think of you, to be very true. And you will find in a little time, that God's displeasure against you will be greater than it has been against your adversaries, greater than his grace and favour has been to yourselves, which you have had larger experience of than any other nation under heaven.

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A TREATISE

OP

CIVIL POWER IN ECCLESIASTICAL CAUSES;

SHOWING

THAT IT IS NOT LAWFUL FOR ANY POWER ON EARTH TO COMPEL IN

MATTERS OF RELIGION.

(FIRST PUBLISHED 1659.)

TO THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND, WITH THE DOMINIONS THEREOF.

I HAVE prepared, Supreme Council! against the much-expected time of your sitting, this treatise; which, though to all Christian magistrates equally belonging, and therefore to have been written in the common language of Christendom, natural duty and affection hath confined and dedicated first to my own nation; and in a season wherein the timely reading thereof, to the easier accomplishment of your great work, may save you much labour and interruption : of two parts usually proposed, civil and ecclesiastical, recommending civil only to your proper care, ecclesiastical to them only from whom it takes both that name and nature. Yet not for this cause only do I require or trust to find acceptance, but in a twofold respect besides: first, as bringing clear evidence of Scripture and protestant maxims to the parliament of England, who in all their late acts, upon occasion, hare professed to assert only the true protestant Christian religion, as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures: next, in regard that your power being but for a time, and having in yourselves a Christian liberty of your own, which at one time or other may be oppressed, thereof truly sensible, it will concern you while you are in power, so to regard other men's consciences, as you would your own should be regarded in the power of others; and to consider that any law against conscience is alike in force against any conscience, and so may one way or other justly redound upon yourselves. One advantage I make no doubt of, that I shall write to many eminent persons of your number, already perfect and resolved in this important article of Christianity. Some of whom I remember to have heard often for several years, at a council next in authority to your own, so well joining religion with civil prudence, and yet so well distinguishing the different power of either; and this not only voting, but frequently reasoning why it should be so, that if any there present had been before of an opinion contrary, he might doubtless have departed thence a convert in that point, and have confessed, that then both commonwealth and religion will at length, if ever, flourish in Christendom, when either they who govern discern between civil and religious, or they only who so discern shall be admitted to govern. Till then, nothing but troubles, persecutions, commotions can be expected ; the inward decay of true religion among ourselves, and the utter overthrow at last by a common enemy. Of civil liberty I have written heretofore, by the appointment, and not without the approbation, of civil power: of Chris. tian liberty I write now, which others long since having done with all freedom under heathen emperors, I should do wrong to suspect, that I now shall with less under Christian governors, and such especially as profess openly their defence of Christian liberty; although I write this, not otherwise appointed or induced, than by an inward persuasion of the Christian duty, which I may usefully discharge herein to the common Lord and Master of us all, and the certain hope of his approbation, first and chiefest to be sought: in the hand of whose providence I remain, praying all success and good event on your public councils, to the defence of true religion and our civil rights.

JOHN MILTON.

A TREATISE

OP

CIVIL POWER IN ECCLESIASTICAL CAUSES.

Two things there be, which have been ever found working much mischief to the church of God, and the advancement of truth ; force on one side restraining, and hire on the other side corrupting, the teachers thereof. Few ages have been since the ascension of our Saviour, wherein the one of these two, or both together, have not prevailed. It can be at no time, therefore, unseasonable to speak of these things; since by them the church is either in continual detriment and oppression, or in continual danger.The former shall be at this time my argument; the latter as I shall find God disposing me, and opportunity inviting. What I argue, shall be drawn from the Scripture only; and therein from tņue fundamental principles of the gospel, to all knowing Christians undeniable. And if the governors of this commonwealth, since the rooting out of prelates, have made least use of force in religion, and most have favoured Christian liberty of any in this island before them since the first preaching of the gospel, for which we are not to forget our thanks to God, and their due praise; they may, I doubt not in this treatise, find that which not only will confirm thein to defend still the Christian liberty which we enjoy, but will incite them also to enlarge it, if in aught they yet straiten it. To them who yet perhaps hereafter, less experienced in religion, may come to govern or give us laws, this or other such, if they please, may be a timely instruction : however, to the truth it will be at all times no unneedful testiinony, at least some discharge of that general duty, which no Christian, but according to what he hath received, knows is required of him, if he have aught more conducing to the advancement of religion, than what is usually endeavoured, freely to impart it.

İt will require no great labour of exposition, to unfold what is here nieant by matters of religion ; being as soon apprehended as defined, such things as belong chiefly to the knowledge and service of God; and are either above the reach and light of nature without revelation from above, and therefore liable to be variously understood by human reason, or such

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