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THIS 'HIS volume contains all those Prose Writings of Milton in
which he set forth, as he himself thought best, his views on all that is most vital to the body politic. The people make the state, and their well-being is dependent chiefly upon their religious life, their home life, the right training of their children and a civil government adapted to their highest needs. I have grouped Milton's papers under headings which show that they cover all this ground, and deal only with these essentials of citizenship
There are omitted from this volume all the writings in which Milton replied to the opponents of his views. The controversies of 250 years ago travelled by many paths in which we care no longer to assert a right of way. At all times, the Reformer who is answering opponents has his course of argument determined by the reason or the unreason of other men. Forms of reply dependent upon accidents of the attack are only to be read with measured judgment by those who have read the attack also; and often when we have read both, we have heard a sound of battle in the air that has appealed to our imaginations and disturbed our judgment. The battle of opinion rolls forward to new ground from century to century. The great truths are immutable, the applications of them vary with the change of time.
But when a writer who looks to the highest aims of life and is concerned only with its highest interests has resolved to set forth opinions to the world, and having, as Milton says, summoned