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Title: The Life of John Milton Volume 3 1643-1649
 - Narrated in Connexion with the Political, Ecclesiastical, and Literary History of His Time
Author: Masson, David
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Life of John Milton Volume 3 1643-1649
 - Narrated in Connexion with the Political, Ecclesiastical, and Literary History of His Time" ***

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VOL. III. 1643-1649.




JULY 1643--MARCH 1643-4.




I. The Westminster Assembly in Session--The Solemn League and Covenant:
Scottish Commissioners in the Assembly--Debates on Church-Government:
_Apologetical Narration_ of the Independents--Parliamentary
Proceedings--Scottish Auxiliary Army in England

II. Milton unhappy in his Marriage: His First Divorce Tract: Two Editions
of it


MARCH 1644-MARCH 1645.




I. Inactivity of the Scottish Auxiliaries--Spread of Independency and
Multiplication of Sects--Visitation of the University of Cambridge--
Battle of Marston Moor--Fortnight's Vacation of the Westminster Assembly
(July 23-August 7, 1644),--Principle of Toleration and State of the
Toleration Controversy: Synopsis of English Sects and Sectaries in 1644.-
-Resumption of Assembly's Proceedings: Denunciation of Picked Sectaries
and Heretics--Cromwell's Interference for Independency: Accommodation
Order of Parliament--Presbyterian Settlement voted--Essex beaten and the
War flagging: Self-denying Ordinance and New Model of the Army--
Parliamentary Vengeances: Death of Laud

II. Milton among the Sectaries, and in a "World of Disesteem": Story of
Mrs. Attaway--Samuel Hantlib, John Durie, and John Amos Comenius: Schemes
of a Reformed Education, and Project of a London University--Milton's
_Tract on Education_, and Method with his Pupils--His Second Divorce
Tract, or Compilation from Bucer--Mr. Herbert Palmer's Attack on Milton
from the Pulpit--Milton and the Stationers' Company: Their Accusation of
him in a Petition to the Commons--His _Areopagitica_, or Speech for
the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing--Anger of the Stationers, and their
Complaint against Milton to the Lords: Consequence of the Complaint--The
Divorce Question continued: Publication of Mr. Herbert Palmer's Sermon,
and farther Attacks on Milton by Prynne, Dr. Featley, and an Anonymous
Pamphleteer--_Tetrachordon_ and _Colasterion_: Their Replies to
the Assailants.


APRIL 1645-AUGUST 1646.




I. Composition of the New Model, and View of the Work lying before it--
First Actions of the New Model--Cromwell retained in Command: Battle of
Naseby: Other Successes of the New Model--Poor Performance of the
Scottish Auxiliary Army--Episode of Montrose in Scotland--Fag-end of the
War in England, and Flight of the King to the Scots--Fallen and Risen

II. Work in Parliament and the Westminster Assembly during the Sixteen
Months of the New Model--The two continued Church Controversies--
Independency and Sectarianism in the New Model: Toleration Controversy
continued: Cromwell's part in it: Lilburne and other Pamphleteers: Sion
College and the Corporation of London: Success of the Presbyterians in
Parliament--Presbyterian Frame of Church Government completed: Details of
the Arrangement--The Recruiting of the Commons: Eminent Recruiters--
Effects of the Recruiting: Alliance of Independency and Erastianism:
Check given to the Presbyterians: Westminster Assembly rebuked and
curbed--Negotiations round the King at Newcastle--Threatened Rupture
between the Scots and the English: Argyle's Visit to London: The Nineteen
Propositions--Parliament and the Assembly reconciled: Presbyterianizing
of London and Lancashire: Death of Alexander Henderson.

III. Effects of Milton's _Areopagitica_--His Intention of another
Marriage: His Wife's Return and Reconciliation with him--Removal from
Aldersgate Street to Barbican--First Edition of Milton's Collected Poems:
Humphrey Moseley the Bookseller--Two Divorce Sonnets and Sonnet to Henry
Lawes--Continued Presbyterian Attacks on Milton: His Anti-Presbyterian
Sonnet of Reply--Surrender of Oxford: Condition of the Powell Family--The
Powells in London: More Family Perplexities: Birth of Milton's first


AUGUST 1646--JANUARY 1648-9.









I. Charles in his Captivity First Stage of the Captivity: Still with the
Scots at Newcastle: Aug. 1646--Jan. 1646-7.--Balancings of Charles
between the Presbyterians and the Independents--His Negotiations in the
Presbyterian direction: The Hamiltons his Agents among the Scots--His
Attempt to negotiate with the Independents: Will Murray in London--
Interferences of the Queen from France: Davenant's Mission to Newcastle--
The Nineteen Propositions unanswered: A Personal Treaty offered--
Difficulties between the Scots and the English Parliament--Their
Adjustment: Departure of the Scots from England, and Cession of Charles
to the English--Westminster Assembly Business, and Progress of the
Presbyterian Settlement

Second Stage of the Captivity: At Holmby House: Feb. 1646-7--June 1647.--
The King's Manner of Life at Holmby--New Omens in his favour from the
Relations of Parliament to its own Army--Proposals to disband the Army
and reconstruct part of it for service in Ireland--Summary of Irish
Affairs since 1641--Army's Anger at the Proposal to disband it--View of
the State of the Army: Medley of Religious Opinions in it. Passion for
Toleration: Prevalence of Democratic Tendencies: The Levellers--
Determination of the Presbyterians for the Policy of Disbandment, and
Votes in Parliament to that effect--Resistance of the Army: Petitions and
Remonstrances from the Officers and Men: Regimental Agitators--Cromwell's
Efforts at Accommodation: Fairfax's Order for a General Rendezvous--
Cromwell's Adhesion to the Army--The Rendezvous at Newmarket, and Joyce's
Abduction of the King from Holmby--Westminster Assembly Business: First
Provincial Synod of London: Proceedings for the Purgation of Oxford

Third Stage of the Captivity: The King with the Army: June-Nov. 1647.--
Effects of Joyce's Abduction of the King--Movements of the Army: their
Denunciation of Eleven of the Presbyterian Leaders: Parliamentary Alarms
and Concessions--Presbyterian Phrenzy of the London Populace: Parliament
mobbed, and Presbyterian Votes carried by Mob-law: Flight of the two
Speakers and their Adherents: Restoration of the Eleven--March of the
Army upon London: Military Occupation of the City: The Mob quelled,
Parliament reinstated, and the Eleven expelled--Generous Treatment of the
King by the Army: His Conferences with Fairfax, Cromwell, and Ireton--The
Army's _Heads of Proposals_, and Comparison of the same with the
_Nineteen Propositions_ of the Parliament--The King at Hampton Court,
still demurring privately over the _Heads of Proposals_, but playing them
off publicly against the _Nineteen Propositions:_ Army at Putney--
Cromwell's Motion for a Recast of the _Nineteen Propositions_ and Re-
application to the King on that Basis: Consequences of the Compromise--
Intrigues at Hampton Court: Influence of the Scottish Commissioners
there: King immoveable--Impatience of the Army at Putney: Cromwell under
Suspicion: New Activity of the Agitatorships: Growth of Levelling
Doctrines among the Soldiers: _Agreement of the People_--Cromwell breaks
utterly with the King: Meetings of the Army Officers at Putney: Proposed
Concordat between the Army and Parliament--The King's Escape to the Isle
of Wight

Fourth Stage of the Captivity: In the Isle of Wight: Nov. 1647-Nov.
1648.--Carisbrooke Castle, and the King's Letters thence--Parliament's
New Method of the _Four Bills_--Indignation of the Scots: their
Complaints of Breach of the Covenant--Army Rendezvous at Ware:
Suppression of a Mutiny of Levellers by Cromwell, and Establishment of
the Concordat with Parliament--Parliamentary Commissioners in the Isle of
Wight: Scottish Commissioners also there: the King's Rejection of the
Four Bills--Firmness of Parliament: their Resolutions of No Farther
Addresses to the King: Severance of the Scottish Alliance--_The
Engagement_, or Secret Treaty between Charles and the Scots in the Isle
of Wight--Stricter guard of the King in Carisbrooke Castle: His Habits in
his Imprisonment--First Rumours of _The Scottish Engagement_: Royalist
Programme of a SECOND CIVIL WAR--Beginnings of THE SECOND CIVIL WAR:
Royalist Risings: Cromwell in Wales: Fairfax in the Southeast: Siege of
Colchester--Revolt of the Fleet: Commotion among the Royalist Exiles
abroad: Holland's attempted Rising in Surrey--Invasion of England by
Hamilton's Scottish Army: Arrival of the Prince of Wales off the
Southeast Coast: Blockade of the Thames--Consternation of the Londoners:
Faintheartedness of Parliament: New Hopes of the Presbyterians: their
Ordinance against Heresies and Blasphemies: their Leanings to the King:
Independents in a struggling minority: Charge of Treason against Cromwell
in his absence--The Three Days' Battle of Preston and utter Defeat of the
Scots by Cromwell: Surrender of Colchester to Fairfax: Return of the
Prince of Wales to Holland: Virtual End of THE SECOND CIVIL WAR--
Parliamentary Treaty with the King at Newport: Unsatisfactory Results--
Protests against the Treaty by the Independents--Disgust of the Army with
the Treaty: Revocation of their Concordat with Parliament, and Resolution
to seize the Political Mastery: Formation of a Republican Party--
Petitions for Justice on the King: The _Grand Army Remonstrance_--
Cromwell in Scotland: Restoration of the Argyle Government there:
Cromwell at Pontefract: His Letter to Hammond--The King removed from the
Isle of Wight to Hurst Castle--The Army again in possession of London

II. Troubles in the Barbican Household: Christopher Milton's Composition
Suit: Mr. Powell's Composition Suit: Death of Mr. Powell: His Will: Death
of Milton's Father--Sonnet XIV. and Ode to John Rous--Italian
Reminiscences: Lost Letters from Carlo Dati of Florence: Milton's Reply
to the last of them--Pedagogy in the Barbican: List of Milton's known
Pupils: Lady Ranelagh--Educational Reform still a Question: Hartlib
again: The Invisible College: Young Robert Boyle and William Petty--
Removal from Barbican to High Holborn--Meditations and Occupations in the
House in High Holborn: Milton's Sympathies with the Army Chiefs and the
Expectant Republicans--Still under the Ban of the Presbyterians:
Testimony of the London Ministers against Heresies and Blasphemies:
Milton in the Black List--Another Letter from Carlo Dati: Translation of
Nine Psalms from the Hebrew--Milton through the Second Civil War: His
personal Interest in it, and Delight in the Army's Triumph: His Sonnet to
Fairfax--Birth of Milton's Second Child: Another Letter from Carlo Dati

III. The Two Houses in the Grasp of the Army: Final Efforts for the King:
Pride's Purge and its Consequences--The King brought from Hurst Castle to
Windsor: Ordinance for his Trial passed by the Commons alone:
Constitution of the Court--The Trial in Westminster Hall: Incidents of
the Seven successive Days: The Sentence--Last Three Days of Charles's
Life: His Execution and Burial


JULY 1643--MARCH 1643-4.





The Westminster Assembly held its first formal meeting in Henry the
Seventh's Chapel on Saturday, July 1, 1643, after the impressive opening
ceremonial of a sermon preached before a great congregation in the Abbey
Church by the appointed Prolocutor, Dr. Twisse, on the text John xiv. 18,
"_I will not leave you comfortless_!" About 69 of the members were
present at that first meeting, many who attended afterwards not having
yet come up from the country. Among the 69 were the few of "the Episcopal
persuasion" who afterwards dropped off; and these were conspicuous by
their canonical dresses among the bulk of the members in all sorts of
plain Puritan suits. The average attendance subsequently seems to have
been from 60 to 80. The place of meeting for some time continued to be
King Henry the Seventh's Chapel; but this was changed, when the weather
grew colder, for the celebrated Jerusalem Chamber, also in the close
vicinity of the Houses of Parliament. [Footnote: The Ordinance of
Parliament authorizing the change of the place of meeting to the
Jerusalem Chamber is dated Sept. 23, 1643 see Lords Journals for that
day] None but members of the Assembly were allowed to be present, and
there was no deviation from this rule except on the very rarest occasions
and by special authority from Parliament. The Assembly sat commonly from
nine in the morning till one or two P.M. The Prolocutor sat at one end of
the room on a raised chair; his two Assessors were near him; and a table
ran through the whole length of the room, at one end of which sat the
Scribes, close to the Prolocutor, while the members were seated in tiers
at the sides and other end. The forms of debate and voting were very much
those of the House of Commons. Besides the meetings of the Assembly as
such, there were afternoon meetings of Committees for the preparation of
business for the Assembly. There were three such chief Standing
Committees, to one or other of which every member belonged. [Footnote:
Lightfoot's Notes of Assembly Works (ed. 1824), Vol. XIII, pp. 4, 5; and
Baillie, II. 107-109]


Not till Thursday, July 6, or indeed Saturday, July 8, was the Assembly
constituted for actual business. On the first of these days the
Regulations which had been drawn up by the two Houses of Parliament for
the procedure of the Assembly were duly received; and on the second all
the members of Assembly present took the solemn Protestation which had
been settled for them by the Commons with the concurrence of the Lords.
It was in these terms: "I, A. B., do seriously and solemnly protest, in
the presence of Almighty God, that in this Assembly, wherein I am a
member, I will not maintain anything in matters of Doctrine but what I
think in my conscience to be truth, or in point of Discipline but what I
shall conceive to conduce most to the glory of God and the good and peace
of His Church." So sworn, the members were ready for their first work.
That also had been rigidly prescribed for them by Parliament. On July 5
the Commons had ruled and the Lords had agreed "that the Assembly, in
their beginning, in the first place shall take the ten first Articles of
the Church of England into their consideration, to vindicate them from
all false doctrine and heresy." In other words, it was the pleasure of
Parliament that the first business of the Assembly should consist in a
revision and amendment of the Thirty-nine Articles, and that, by way of a
commencement in this business, or specimen to Parliament of the manner in
which it might be done, they were to confine themselves at first to the
first Ten of the Articles. Accordingly, the Assembly at once addressed
themselves to this business. It was with a view to it that they first
adopted that machinery of Committees which was to be employed
subsequently, with so much effect, in all the deliberations. The Divines
of the Assembly were distributed, in the order in which their names stood
in the Ordinance calling the Assembly, into three Committees for
preparatory revision of the said Articles in such a manner that the whole
Assembly might more clearly exercise its final judgment on them; while a
fourth Committee, in which the lay-members were included, was to assist
the others by procuring the most correct copies of the text of the
Articles. To the first revising Committee, of which Dr. Burges was
appointed chairman, were entrusted the first four Articles; to the
second, of which Dr. Stanton was chairman, the fifth, sixth, and seventh
Articles; and to the third, which had Mr. Gibbon for chairman, the
eighth, ninth, and tenth.

Imagine the Assembly collectively in Henry the Seventh's Chapel, and its
Committees distributively there or in other places of meeting, busy day
after day, through the rest of the hot month of July, and then into
August, over its appointed revision of the Articles. "_I. Of Faith in
the Holy Trinity; II. Of the Word, or Son of God, which was made very
Man; III. Of the going down of Christ into Hell; IV. Of the Resurrection
of Christ; V. Of the Holy Ghost; VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy
Scriptures for Salvation; VII. Of the Old Testament; VIII. Of the Three
Creeds; IX. Of Original or Birth Sin; X. Of Free Will_;" imagine the
Articles under these headings discussed successively, sentence by
sentence and clause by clause, most of the sentences and clauses allowed
to pass without change as perfectly satisfactory, but here and there at
intervals a phrase modified or omitted, or a slight addition made, so as
to bring the meaning more sharply into accord with the letter of
Scripture or the Calvinistic system of doctrine. Such mere imagination of
the general process will suffice, and it is unnecessary to take account
of the actual changes proposed in the phraseology of particular Articles.
For, in fact, these first weeks of the Assembly's pains over the Articles
of the Church were to be labour wasted. Before the end of August, and
while they were still probing through the first Ten Articles, events had
taken such a course that the Assembly was called upon to co-operate with
the Parliament in matters of greater urgency.


The war, which had been on the whole in the King's favour hitherto, was
going more and more against Parliament. In the north, Lord Fairfax had
been beaten at Atherston Moor by the Earl of Newcastle (June 30); Sir
William Waller, the hitherto unconquered, had been beaten twice in the
south-west (at Lansdowne, July 5, and at Roundway Down, July 13); the
Queen, coming from the north, had joined the King in his quarters, amid
great rejoicing, after their seventeen months of separation; and Bristol,
inefficiently defended by Nathaniel Fiennes, was on the point of yielding
to Prince Rupert. It was time, in short, to do what it had long been in
the mind of Parliament to do--call in once more the aid of the Scots.

On this the Parliament had already resolved. As it was judged likely,
however, that the Scots would listen more readily to the application for
armed aid if it were accompanied with some distinct proof of a desire for
"uniformity of religion" between the two kingdoms, the Assembly was
required to assist Parliament in pleading with the Scots. The Scottish
Convention of Estates was then sitting (it had met, by express call, June
22); and the Scottish General Assembly was to meet on the 2nd of August.
Let there be Commissioners from both the English Parliament and the
Westminster Assembly to these two bodies; let the Assembly write letters
to the Scottish Assembly, backing the political application with
religious arguments; let every exertion be made to secure a new alliance
with the Scottish nation! Accordingly, while the Assembly was pursuing
its revision of the Articles, or occupying itself with such incidental
matters as the appointment of ministers to preach before the two Houses,
and the recommendation of a Fast Day extraordinary in London, their
thoughts, like those of Parliament, were chiefly fixed on the issue of
their joint embassy to Edinburgh. [Footnote: Lightfoot's Notes for July
1643; and my MS. chronology of events]

The Scots had foreseen the application. Three courses were before them.
They might remain neutral; they might interfere as "redders," or
mediators between the King and the English Parliament; or they might
openly side with the Parliament and help it in the war. Great efforts had
been made by the King to induce the Scots to the first course. [Footnote:
Burnet's Dukes of Hamilton (ed. 52), pp. 279-298] Five or six of the
Scottish noblemen who were with the King at Oxford had been sent back
among their countrymen to labour for this end. All in vain. It had become
clear to Argyle, Loudoun, Warriston, and the other Scottish leaders, that
neutrality would be ruinous. Things were in this state when the
Commissioners from the English Parliament and the Westminster Assembly
arrived in Edinburgh (Aug. 7). The Scottish Convention of Estates was
then still sitting; and the General Assembly of the Scottish Kirk, with
Alexander Henderson again its Moderator (the third time he had been
raised to this Presidency), was in the middle of its annual fortnight or
so of Scottish ecclesiastical business--one item of the business this
time being, I find, "the late extraordinar multiplying of witches,"
especially in Fifeshire. Both the Convention and the Assembly had been
anxiously waiting for the English Commissioners, and were delighted when
they arrived. They were six in all--Sir William Armyn, Sir Harry Vane the
younger, Mr. Hatcher, and Mr. Darley, from the Parliament; and Stephen
Marshall and Philip Nye from the Westminster Divines. And what moving
letters they brought with them--official letters from the Parliament and
the Westminster Assembly to the Scottish Convention of Estates and
General Assembly, and also a more private letter signed by about seventy
English Divines! And how the Scots were impressed by the letters! The
private letter of the seventy Divines in especial was "so lamentable"
that, when it was read in the General Assembly, "it drew tears from
many." And how all were struck by the ability and gravity of young Sir
Harry Vane, and liked him and Stephen Marshall, but did not take so much
to Mr. Nye, because of his known Independency! In short, in conferences
between the English Commissioners and Commissioners appointed by the
Scottish Convention and General Assembly to meet them, it was all
arranged. There was, indeed, still some lingering question at first among
the Scottish leaders whether it might not do to "go as redders or friends
to both, without siding altogether with the Parliament;" but Warriston
alone "did show the vanity of that notion and the impossibility of it."
And so Vane and the other Commissioners could write to England that their
mission had been successful, and that the armed aid of the Scottish
nation might be expected.

Ay, but there was a special condition. The Commissioners had come to
treat about "Scottish assistance to Parliament and a uniformity of
religion," and it was the prospect held out in the second phrase that
most reconciled the Scots to all that was involved in the first. The
extension of Scottish Presbyterianism over all England and Ireland, or,
at all events, the union of the two kingdoms in some common form of
Church-government not essentially differing from Scottish
Presbyterianism--for that object the Scots _would_ strike in; for
that object they _would_ shed their blood, as fellow-soldiers with
Englishmen, in the fields of England! Now the English Commissioners, like
wary men, and probably in accordance with their instructions, would fain
have avoided any too definite a pledging of England to a particular
ecclesiastical future. Nye, in especial, as an Independent, must have
desired to avoid this; and Vane, as a man who did not know how far from
his present opinions continued reasoning might carry him, may have felt
with Nye. Hence, on the religious question, they tried to get off with
generalities. If there were a league between the two kingdoms for their
civil liberties, would not a uniformity in Church matters naturally
follow? But this was not quite satisfactory to the Scottish
Commissioners. "The English were for a civil league, we for a religious
covenant," says Baillie; and the event has made the sentence memorable
historically. Let England and Scotland unite first in subscribing one and
the same document, swearing one and the same oath, which should base
their alliance on a certain amount of mutual engagement in the matter of
Religion! To such oaths of mutual allegiance the Scots, among themselves,
had long been accustomed. They called them "Covenants." This agency of
"Covenanting" had been a grand agency in Scottish History. Was not the
present liberation of Scotland, the destruction of Episcopacy root and
branch within its borders, the result of the "National Covenant" sworn to
only five years and a half ago--that Covenant being but the renewal, with
slight additions, of a document which had done not unimportant work in a
former age? Why not have another Covenant for the present emergency--not
that National or purely Scottish Covenant, but a Covenant expressly
framed for the new purpose, and fit to be a religious pact between the
two kingdoms? So argued the Scots with the English Commissioners; and,
that the English Commissioners might see what was meant, Alexander
Henderson, who was probably the author of the idea, and to whom, at any
rate, the preparation of any extremely important document was always
entrusted, produced a draft of the proposed Covenant. The English
Commissioners did not altogether like this draft; but, after a good deal
of discussion, and apparently some suggestions from Vane tending to
vagueness in the religious part and greater prominence of the civil, the
draft was modified into a shape in which it was agreed to unanimously. On
the 17th of August it was reported by Henderson to the General Assembly,
and passed there not only unanimously and with applause, but with a most
unusual show of emotion among old and young; and on the same day it
passed the Scottish Convention. "This seems to be a new period and crise
of the most great affair," writes Baillie, recording these facts.
[Footnote: Acts of Scottish General Assembly of 1644; Baillie's Letters,
II. 81-90; Burnet's Hamiltons, 298-307.]

Baillie was right. THE SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT, as Henderson's amended
document of August 1643 was called (not the same thing at all, it is to
be remembered, as the SCOTTISH NATIONAL COVENANT of 1638, though
generally confounded therewith), became a most potent instrument in
England. This, however, could not be foreseen at first. It remained to be
seen whether the English Parliament would adopt the document which had
been agreed to by their Commissioners in Edinburgh. In the faith that
they would, or that they might be induced to do so, the Scottish General
Assembly, before its rising (Aug. 19), not only sent cordial and
sympathetic answers to the letters received from the Parliament and the
Westminster Divines, but also complied with that request of the
Parliament which desired the nomination of some Scottish ministers to be
members of the Westminster Assembly. The ministers nominated were
Henderson, Mr. Robert Douglas, Baillie, Mr. Samuel Rutherford, and Mr.
George Gillespie; but it was thought right, if only to accustom the
English to the principle of lay-eldership, to associate with these
ministers the Earl of Cassilis, Lord Maitland, and Johnstone of
Warriston. Of the eight Commissioners so appointed three were to be a
quorum. Accordingly, Henderson, Gillespie, and Lord Maitland sailed for
London at once (Aug. 30), leaving the others to follow more at leisure.
[Footnote: Acts of Scottish Assembly of 1643; and Baillie's Letters, II.

When Henderson reached London, he found his "Covenant" the universal
topic. The Parliament had lost no time in referring the document to the
Westminster Divines for their consideration; and there had been three or
four days of debate over it in that Assembly (Aug. 28 and onwards). Some
members, especially Dr. Cornelius Burges, took exceptions. On the whole,
however, the feeling of the Assembly decidedly was that the Covenant was
a splendid invention, might be adopted with a few verbal changes, and
might lead to fine results. This was reported to Parliament Aug. 31; and
Dr. Burges, continuing in his captiousness against this judgment of the
Assembly, found himself in disgrace. The two Houses then proceeded to
examine the Covenant for themselves. They also proposed some
modifications of the document, and referred it back, with these, to the
Assembly (Sept. 14). The arrival of Henderson and his two colleagues at
this nick of time accelerated the conclusion. On the 15th of September,
when they first appeared among the Westminster Divines, and Henderson
first opened his mouth in the Assembly and expounded the whole subject of
the relations between the two kingdoms, all opposition came to an end.
The document passed, with only the modifications that had already seemed
reasonable, and to which the Scots Commissioners had assented; and,
"after all was done, "Mr. Prolocutor, at the desire of the Assembly, gave
thanks "to God for the sweet concurrence of us in the Covenant." The
words are Lightfoot's; who adds that, to make the joy complete, Dr.
Burges came in radiant and repentant, expressing his complete
satisfaction now with the Covenant, and begging to be forgiven.
[Footnote: Burges had actually been suspended by Parliament from being a
member of the Assembly for his contumacy in this affair, Sept. 2, 1643;
but he was restored on his own humble petition, Sept. 15, the very day of
his repentant reappearance in the Assembly. He had already on that day
been called in before the Commons and had explained "that it was very
true he had unhappily taken exception to some things in the Covenant,"
but that "he hears there had been a review of this Covenant," and such an
alteration "as will give him satisfaction." See Commons Journals of the
two dates named.] The Covenant having thus been finally adjusted, the two
Houses of Parliament were swift in enacting it. On the 21st of September,
they ordered that it should be printed and published, and subscribed and
sworn to by the whole English realm; and, on Monday the 25th, to set the
example, there was a solemn meeting of the members of the two Houses and
of the Divines of the Assembly in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, at
which 220 of the Commons and all the Divines then present swore to the
new pact, and signed it with their names.--This was but the beginning.
The Covenant was thenceforth the Shibboleth of Parliamentarianism. In
London first, and then gradually through England, in towns, parishes, and
parish churches, wherever Parliament prevailed, all had to sign it or
swear to it if they would be considered friends to the cause of
Parliament and allowed action and standing-room as true Englishmen.
Oliver Cromwell, as a member of the House of Commons, signed it--if not
among the 220 of the Commons who signed it originally on the 25th of
September (at which time there is proof that he was absent from London),
at least in due course; and Milton must have signed it, as a London
householder. But, in fact, the signing went on for months and months, the
Royal Proclamation from Oxford forbidding the Covenant (Oct. 9) only
increasing the zeal for it. From Sept. 1643, onwards for some years, the
test of being a Parliamentarian in England was "Have you signed the
Covenant?" and the test of willingness to _become_ a Parliamentarian, and
of fitness to be forgiven for past malignancy or lukewarmness, was "Will
you _now_ sign the Covenant?" Such was the strange fortune of the hurried
paper drawn up by Henderson's pen in some room in the High Street of
Edinburgh.--In Scotland, it need hardly be said, the Covenant was sworn
to with alacrity. As the document was, in its very nature, a pact between
the two kingdoms, proposed by the Scots, it was useless for them to swear
until they had seen whether the English would accept the pact. But, as
soon as it was known in Scotland that the Covenant had been adopted by
the English and that the swearing in England had begun, the Scots did
their part. There was some little grumbling at first over the verbal
changes that had been made by the English in the text of the Covenant;
but this ceased, and it was even agreed that the changes were for the
better. Accordingly, on the 13th of October, 1643, most of the Scottish
nobles in Edinburgh, including 18 of the Privy Council, swore solemnly to
the Covenant in one of the city churches; and from that day on, for weeks
and months, there was a general swearing to the Covenant by the whole
people of Scotland, as by the Parliamentarians in England, district by
district, and parish by parish. Thus the Scots came now to have two
Covenants. There was their own _National Scottish Covenant_, peculiar to
themselves; and there was the _Solemn League and Covenant_, in which they
were joined with the English Parliamentarians. [Footnote: Lightfoot,
XIII. 10-16; Baillie, II. 98, 99, and 102; Neal, III. 65-70; Stevenson,
515, 516; Parl. Hist. III. 172-174; Carlyle's Cromwell (ed. 1857), I.
137, 138.]

And what was this _Solemn League and Covenant_, the device of
Henderson and the Scots for linking the Scottish and English nations in a
permanent civil and religious alliance? The document is not nearly
Henderson at his best, and it has not the deep ring, the fervour and
fierceness, of the old Scottish Covenant. For its purpose, however, it
was efficient enough, and not so very illiberal either, the necessity of
such a league being allowed, and the time and other things considered.
Here are the essential parts:--

We, Noblemen, Barons, Knights, Gentlemen, Citizens, Burgesses, Ministers
of the Gospel, arid Commons of all sorts, in the Kingdoms of England,
Scotland, and Ireland ... with our hands lifted up to the most high God,
do swear:--

I. That we shall sincerely, really, and constantly, through the grace of
God, endeavour, in our several places and callings, the preservation of
the Reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland, in Doctrine, Worship,
Discipline and Government, against our common enemies; [also] the
Information of Religion in the Kingdoms of England and Ireland, in
Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government, according to the Word of
God and the example of the best Reformed Churches: and we shall endeavour
to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdoms to the nearest
conjunction and uniformity in Religion, Confession of Faith, Form of
Church-Government, Directory for Worship and Catechising, that we and our
posterity after us may, as brethren, live in faith and love, and the Lord
may delight to dwell in the midst of us.

II. That we shall in like manner, without respect of persons, endeavour
the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy (_i.e._ Church-government by
Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors and Commissaries, Deans, Deans
and Chapters, Archdeacons, and all other ecclesiastical Officers
depending on that Hierarchy), Superstition, Heresy, Schism, Profaneness,
and whatsoever shall be found to be contrary to sound doctrine and the
power of godliness; lest we partake in other men's sins, and thereby be
in danger to receive of their plagues, and that the Lord may be one and
his Name one in the three Kingdoms.

III. We shall with the same sincerity, reality, and constancy, in our
several vocations, endeavour with our estates and lives mutually to
preserve the rights and privileges of the Parliaments, and the liberties
of the Kingdoms, and to preserve and defend the King's Majesty's person
and authority, in the preservation and defence of the true Religion and
Liberties of the Kingdoms; that the world may bear witness with our
consciences of our loyalty, and that we have no thoughts or intentions to
diminish his Majesty's just power and greatness.

IV. We shall also with all faithfulness endeavour the discovery of all
such as have been or shall be Incendiaries, Malignants, or evil
Instruments, by hindering the Information of Religion, dividing the King
from his People, or one of the Kingdoms from another, or making any
faction or parties among the People contrary to the League and Covenant;
that they may be brought to public trial, and receive condign punishment
as the degree of their offences shall require or deserve, or the supreme
judicatories of both Kingdoms respectively, or others having power from
them for that effect, shall judge convenient.

V. And, whereas the happiness of a blessed Peace between these Kingdoms,
denied in former times to our progenitors, is by the good Providence of
God granted unto us, and hath been lately concluded and settled by both
Parliaments, we shall, each one of us, according to our places and
interest, endeavour that they may remain conjoined in a firm Peace and
Union to all posterity, and that justice may be done upon the wilful
opposers thereof in manner expressed in the precedent Article.

VI. We shall also, according to our places and callings, in this common
cause of Religion, Liberty, and Peace of the Kingdoms, assist and defend
all those that enter into this League and Covenant in the maintaining and
pursuing thereof, and shall not suffer ourselves, directly or indirectly,
by whatsoever combination, persuasion, or terror, to be divided and
withdrawn from this blessed union and conjunction, whether to make
defection to the contrary part, or give ourselves to a detestable
indifferency and neutrality in this cause, which so much concerneth the
glory of God, the good of the Kingdoms, and the honour of the King; but
shall all the days of our lives zealously and constantly continue therein
against all  opposition, and promote the same according to our power
against all lets and impediments whatsoever; and what we are not able
ourselves to suppress or overcome we shall reveal and make known, that it
may be timely prevented or removed: all which we shall do as in the sight
of God... [Footnote: Rushworth, V. 478-9, and Lords Journals, Sept. 18,
1643.--"Not so very illiberal either," I have said of the League and
Covenant in the text; and reader of the Second Article, pledging to
"endeavour the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, Superstition, Heresy,
Schism, Profaneness," will naturally demur. This Article, however, was
but a repetition of what all, of both nations, who might sign the
Covenant, including the English Parliament, were, by past actions and
resolutions, already pledged to, neck-deep or more. The illiberality is
to be charged not upon this particular League and Covenant, but upon the
entire British mind of the time, with individual theorists excepted. It
belonged to the Royalists equally with the Parliamentarians; the only
difference being that the objects for "extirpation" in _their_
policy were and had been the Calvinisms and Presbyterianisms that were
now exulting in the power of counter-extirpation.--The most important
Article of the six is the First, pledging to a recognition and defence of
the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and to an endeavour after a
Reformation of Religion in England and Ireland "according to the Word of
God," with a view to uniformity in the three Kingdoms. The insertion of
the caution "according to the word of God" is said to have been owing to
Vane, who did not want to pre-commit the English too much to exact
Scottish Presbytery. The few other changes made by the English Parliament
and Westminster Assembly in Henderson's original Edinburgh draft of the
Covenant may be traced by a diligent reader in the proceedings of the
Lords and Commons on this subject as recorded in their Journals between
Aug. 31 and Sept. 15. The parenthetical definition of Prelacy in Art. II.
was a suggestion of the Assembly's; the bringing in of Ireland into the
Covenant seems to have been a notion of the Commons.]

Ono effect of the Solemn League and Covenant was to clear away from the
Westminster Assembly the few Anglicans who had till then tried to hang on
to it. Dr. Featley alone, of this party, persisted in keeping his place
for some time longer; but, on the discovery that he was acting as a spy
in the King's interest and corresponding with Usher, he was expelled by
the Parliament, sequestrated from his livings, and committed to prison
(Sept. 30). On the other hand, the Assembly had now an accession of
strength in the Commissioners deputed to it from the Kirk of Scotland.
Two of these, Mr. Douglas and the Earl of Cassilis, never made their
appearance; but the other six duly took their places, though not all at
once. They were admitted by warrant of the Parliament, entitling them "to
be present and to debate upon occasion"; but, as Commissioners from the
Church of another nation, they declined being considered "members" in the
ordinary sense. Practically, however, this was a mere formality; and the
reader has now therefore to add to the list of the Assembly the following


ALEXANDER HENDERSON: since 1639 one of the ministers of Edinburgh, and
since 1640 Rector of the University of Edinburgh (annually re-elected).
_ætat._ 60.--As Henderson has appeared again and again in this
History, I have only to add here that my researches have more and more
convinced me that he was, all in all, one of the ablest and best men of
his age in Britain, and the greatest, the wisest, and most liberal, of
the Scottish Presbyterians. They had all to consult him; in every strait
and conflict he had to be appealed to, and came in at the last as the man
of supereminent composure, comprehensiveness, and breadth of brow.
Although the Scottish Presbyterian rule was that no churchman should have
authority in State affair's, it had to be practically waived in his case:
he was a Cabinet Minister without office. The tradition in Scotland is
perfectly just which recollects him as the second founder of the Reformed
Church in that part of the island, its greatest man after Knox. Such is
the tradition; and yet you may look in Encyclopædias and such-like works
of reference published of late years in Scotland, and not find
Henderson's name. The less wonder that he has never received justice in
general British History! I undertake, however, that any free-minded
English historian, investigating the course of even specially English
History from 1638 to 1646, will dig up the Scottish Henderson for himself
and see reason to admire him.--Henderson, it will be remembered, had been
in London, on the Anglo-Scottish business, before. But his stay then had
been for but seven months (Nov. 1640-June 1641). Now, as Scottish
Commissioner to the Westminster Assembly, he was to remain in England for
the best part of three years (Aug. 1643--Aug. 1646). It was the easier
for him to give this service to English Parliamentarianism because he was
an unmarried man. His Edinburgh congregation and Edinburgh University had
to endure his absence as well as they could. Letters between Edinburgh
and London could go and come by sea in ten or twelve days.

GEORGE GILLESPIE: one of the ministers of Edinburgh (formerly minister of
the parish of Wemyss in Fifeshire): _ætat._ 3l.--He had flashed into
notice in Scotland in 1637, when he was only four-and-twenty years of
ago. He was then but tutor in the household of the Earl of Cassilis; but
he had written "_A Dispute against the English--Popish Ceremonies
obtruded upon the Church of Scotland_;" and the publication of this
treatise, happening opportunely in the crisis of the Scottish revolt
against Laud's novelties, attracted immediate attention to him, and
caused him to be regarded as one of the young hopes of Scottish
Presbyterianism. Hence his appointment to the parish of Wemyss (1638);
and hence his previous mission to London, in company with Henderson,
Baillie, and Blair (1640-41). Returning from that mission, he had been
translated from Wemyss to Edinburgh; but hardly had he settled in
Edinburgh when he was again sent off to London on this new business. His
wife and family joined him in London. He took a very active part in the
business of the Assembly. He died in 1648, soon after his return to
Scotland, aged only 35, leaving various writings besides his first one.
Among these were Notes of the Proceedings of the Assembly, chiefly during
1644. They were first published from the MSS. in 1846.

ROBERT BAILLIE: Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow
(formerly minister of Kilwinning in Ayrshire): _ætat._ 4l.--Baillie
also had been on the former Scottish Commission to London; and it way
sorely against his will that he was appointed on this second one. He
followed Henderson and Gillespie in November 1643, leaving his wife and
family in Glasgow. He also remained fully three years in London,
attending the Assembly punctually, but not speaking much. Fortunately,
however, he kept up his habit of jotting down in his note-books and his
correspondence all he saw and heard, Baillie's _Letters and Journals_
(first properly edited by Mr. David Laing in 1842) are among the most
graphic books of contemporary memoir to be found in any language. His
faculty of narration in his pithy native Scotch is nothing short of
genius. Whenever we have an account from Baillie of anything he saw or
was present at, it is worth all other accounts put together for accuracy
and vividness. So in his account of Stratford's trial; and so in his
account of his first impressions of the Westminster Assembly.

SAMUEL RUTHERFORD: one of the ministers of St. Andrews, and also
Professor of Divinity in the University there (formerly minister of
Anwoth, Kirkcudbright): _ætat_. 43.--Of him, as of the others, we
have had to take note before. Much of his celebrity in Scottish
ecclesiastical history and in the history of Scottish theology had yet to
be acquired; but for sixteen years he had been known as one of the most
fervid spirits and most popular preachers in all Scotland. In what mood
he accepted his commission to the Westminster Assembly may be judged from
a private letter of his from St. Andrews, Oct. 20, 1643. "My heart
beareth me witness," he there says, "and the Lord who is greater knoweth,
my faith was never prouder than to be a common rough barrowman in Anwoth,
and that I could not look at the honour of being ane mason to lay the
foundations for many generations, and to build the waste places of Sion
in another kingdom, or to have ane hand in the carved work in the cedar
and almug trees in that new Temple." He went to London along with Baillie
in November 1643, his wife and family either accompanying him or
following him. He also remained in London three years or more, burying
two of his children there. He was a much more frequent speaker in the
Assembly than Baillie.


JOHN, LORD MAITLAND (eldest son of the Earl of Lauderdale), _ætat_.
27.--This young nobleman, who had a long and strange career before him,
was now one of the most zealous of the Scottish Covenanters, and was
selected by the Scottish Kirk, as one of the lay-elders to be sent to the
Westminster Assembly, on account of his great ability and learning. He
accompanied Henderson and Gillespie, and took his place in the Assembly
in August 1645; and, from his first arrival in London, he was much
courted by the Parliamentary leaders. Baillie and the rest were proud of
their young noble. This was hardly, however, on account of his personal
appearance; for he was a large-bodied young fellow, red-haired, of
boisterous demeanour, and with a tongue too big for his mouth, so that he
spluttered and frothed when he spoke. Ah! could the Scots but have
foreseen, could the young fellow himself but have foreseen, what years
would bring about!

SIR ARCHIBALD JOHNSTONE OF WARRISTON, Knt.: one of the Judges of the
Scottish Court of Session (hence by courtesy "Lord Warriston"'): _ætat.
circ_. 35.--He had been, as we know, a leader among the Scottish
Covenanters since 1637, and his knighthood and judgeship, conferred on
him by the King in Edinburgh in 1641, had been the reluctant recognition
of his activity during the four preceding years.--Beside Henderson and
Argyle there is no man of the Scottish Presbyterians of that time more
worthy of mark than Warriston. He had prodigious powers of work,
requiring but three hours of sleep out of the twenty-four: and he was
mutually crafty and long-headed, always ready with lawyer-like
expedients. Bishop Burnet, who was his nephew, adds, "He went into very
high notions of lengthened devotions, in which he continued many hours a
day: he would often pray in his family two hours at a time, and had an
unexhausted copiousness that way. What thought soever struck his fancy
during these effusions, he looked on it as an answer of prayer, and was
wholly determined by it." Such descriptions, and even parts of his own
correspondence, might picture him as a kind of fanatical Machiavelli; but
he seems to have been much liked and trusted by all who knew him.
Baillie, for instance, addresses him familiarly and heartily as
"Archibald" in his more private letters. He had much of his career still
before him.--His judgeship and other business in Edinburgh prevented him
from going to London along with the other Commissioners; but he took his
place in the Westminster Assembly Feb. 1, 1643-4, and was for some time
afterwards in England.

[Besides Lord Maitland and Lord Warriston, there were admitted into the
Westminster Assembly from time to time other Scottish lay-commissioners,
either to make up for the absence of the Earl of Cassilis originally
appointed, or for other reasons. Thus in September 1643, when Henderson,
Gillespie, and Lord Maitland took their places, ROBERT MALDRUM, a
confidential agent of the Scots in London, was admitted along with them;
and the EARL OF LOUDOUN, LORD BALMERINO and even ARGYLE himself, sat in
the Assembly at various times subsequently.]

Every respect was paid to the Scottish Commissioners in London. They had
Worcester House in the City assigned, or rather re-assigned, them for a
residence, with St. Antholin's church again made over to them for their
preachings; [Footnote: Memoir of Baillie, by David Laing, in Baillie's
Letters and Journals, p. li. In Cunningham's "London," and else where,
Worcester House in the Strand, on the site of the present Beaufort
Buildings, afterwards Lord Clarendon's house is mad the residence of the
Scottish Commissioners; but Mr. Laing points out that it was Worcester
House or Worcester Place in the City, which had been the mansion of John
Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester.] and they had a special bench of honour in
the Assembly. And from that bench, day after day, week after week, month
after month, they laboured to direct the Assembly, and, to a great
extent, did direct it. For, as the mainly Presbyterian character and
composition of the Assembly at its first meeting had been the result of
the influence of Scottish example and of continued Scottish action in
England for a year or two, so it was to Henderson's Covenant, and to the
presence of the Scottish Commissioners in London, that the Assembly,
while yet in its infancy, was indebted (if it was a debt) for a new
impulse or twist in the strict Presbyterian direction. English
Presbyterianism might be willing, but it was vague and uninformed;
whereas here, in the Scottish Commissioners, were men who knew all about
Presbyterianism, had every detail of it at their fingers' ends, had
studied it nearly all their lives, and had worked it practically for five
years. What a boon to England to be able to borrow for a year or two such
a group of Scottish instructors! It was as if a crowd of Volunteers,
right-minded and willing to learn, had secured a few highly-recommended
regulars to be their drill-sergeants.


It was not till October 12, 1643, that the real debating in the Assembly
began. Till then they had been occupied with matters in which they could
be pretty nearly of one mind, including their revision of the Thirty-nine
Articles. In that business, where we left them at the Tenth Article
(_antè_, p. 6), they had crawled on through five Articles more: viz.-
"_XI. Of Justification by Faith_"; "_XII. Of Good Works_"; "_XIII. Of
Works before Justification_"; "_XIV. Of Works of Supererogation_"; "_XV.
Of Christ alone without Sin_"; and on the 12th of October they were busy
over Article XVI. "_Of Sin after Baptism._" But on that day they received
an order from the two Houses (and Scottish influence is here visible) to
leave for the present their revision of the Thirty-nine Articles, and
proceed at once to the stiffer questions of the new form of Church-
government and the new Directory of Worship for England. [Footnote:
Lightfoot's Notes, p. 17.] Of these questions the Assembly chose the
first to begin with. On what a sea of troubles they were then launched!

(1) CHURCH OFFICERS AND OFFICES.--Under this heading alone they had
debates extending over nearly three months (Oct. 1643--Jan. 1643-4), and
labouring successively through such topics as these--Christ's Priesthood,
Prophetship, and Kingship, with the nature of his Headship over the
Church; the Church officers under Christ mentioned in Scripture
(Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Doctors or Teachers, Bishops or Overseers,
Presbyters or Elders, Deacons, and Widows), with the nature of their
functions respectively, and the proper discrimination between those of
them that were extraordinary and temporary and those that were to be
ordinary and permanent in the Church; the settling therefrom of the
officers properly belonging to each modern Christian congregation, and
especially whether there should be ruling lay-elders along with the
pastor or minister, and, if so, what should be their exact duties.
Gradually, in the course of this long discussion, carried on day after
day in the slowest syllogistic way, the differences of the Independents
and the Erastians from the Presbyterian majority of the Assembly came
out. On the question of lay-eldership, indeed, there was a more extensive
contest. Such English Presbyterians as Mr. Vines, Mr. Palmer, and Mr.
Gataker, joined with the Erastian Divines, Lightfoot and Coleman, and
with the Independents, in wholly or partially opposing lay-eldership,
against the advocacy of their brethren, Marshall, Calamy, Newcomen, Young
(four of the Smectymnuans), Seaman, Herle, Walker, Whitaker and others,
hacked by the Scottish Commissioners. On the whole, however, the votes
were decidedly in favour of the Scottish Presbyterian arrangement of
church offices. Henderson occasionally waived a point for the sake of

(2) ORDINATION:--This subject and its adjuncts occupied the Assembly
during some fourteen sittings in January 1643-4. Ordination having been
defined to be "the solemn setting apart of a person to some public church
office," it was voted, not without opposition, that such ordination is
always to be continued in the church, and consequently that there should
not be promiscuous preaching by all and sundry, but only preaching by
authorized persons. But then who were to ordain? What were to be the
qualifications for being ordained to the pastoral office? How far were
the congregations or parishioners to have a voice in the election of
their pastors? What was to be the ceremonial of ordination? On these
points, or on some of them, the Independents fought stoutly, being
carefully on their guard against anything that might endanger their main
principle of the completeness of every congregation of believers within
itself. Selden also interposed with perturbing Erastian arguments. On the
whole, however, in this matter also the drift of the Assembly was as the
Presbyterians wished. While it was agreed that "in extraordinary cases
something extraordinary may be done until a settled order can be had," it
was voted that even in such cases there should be a "keeping as near as
possibly may be to the rule;" which rule was indicated, so far at least,
by the resolution that "preaching Presbyters may ordain," or that Bishops
are not required for the act. But, before this subject of Ordination
could be carried farther, it melted into a larger one.

which had been underlying the whole course of the previous debating,
emerged in express terms before the end of January 1643-4. Then began the
real tug of the verbal war. It is unnecessary to enumerate all the items
of the controversy. The battle was essentially between two principles of
church-organization. Was every individual assembly, or association of
Christians (it might be of hundreds of persons, or it might be of as few
as seven persons, voluntarily drawn together), to be an independent
ecclesiastical organism, entitled to elect its own pastor and other
officers, and to exercise the powers of admonition and excommunication
within itself--any action of surrounding congregations upon it being an
action of mere observation and criticism, and not of power or
jurisdiction; and no authority to belong to meetings of the office-
bearers of congregations of the same city or neighbourhood, or to general
synods of office-bearers, however useful for various purposes such
occasional meetings and synods might be? This was what the Independents
maintained; and to this the Presbyterians vehemently said Nay. It was not
desirable, they said in the first place, that congregations themselves
should be mere gatherings of Christians drawn together by chance
affinities. That would be to put an end to the parochial system, with all
the advantages of orderliness and effective administration that belonged
to it. Let every congregation consist, as heretofore, mainly of the
inhabitants of one parish or definitely marked ecclesiastical territory.
Then let there be a strict inter-connectedness of all these parochial
congregations over the whole land by means of an ascending series of
church-judicatories. Let the congregations of the same town or district
be connected by a Presbyterial Court, consisting of the assembled
ministers and the ruling lay-elders of all the congregations,
periodically reviewing the proceedings of the said congregations
individually, or hearing appeals from them; and let these Presbyteries or
Presbyterial Courts be in like manner under the authority and review of
Synods, embracing many Presbyteries within their bounds, and, finally, of
National Assemblies of the whole Church. Fierce and hot waxed the war
between the two systems. Much turned on the practice of the apostolic
churches or primitive Christian communities of Jerusalem Ephesus,
Antioch, Corinth, &c., as it could be gathered from various passages of
Scripture: and great was the display of learning, Hebraic and
Hellenistic, over these passages on both sides. Goodwin as the chief
speaker for the Independents; but he was aided by Nye, Burroughs, Bridge,
and Simpson; and Selden struck in, if not directly for Congregationalism,
at least so as to perplex the Presbyterians. On the other side Marshall
and the other Smectymnuans were conspicuous, with Vines, Seaman, Burges,
Palmer, Herle, and Whitaker. Henderson looked on and assisted when
required. But no one on this side was more energetic than Henderson's
young colleague, Gillespie. His countryman Baillie was in raptures with
him, and in writing to Scotland and to Holland could not praise him
enough. "Of a truth" he says in one letter, "there is no man whose parts
in a public debate I do so admire. He has studied so accurately all the
points that ever yet came to our Assembly, he has got so ready, so
assured, so solid a way of public debating, that, however there be in the
Assembly divers very excellent men, yet, in my poor judgment, there is
not one who speaks more rationally and to the point than that brave youth
has done ever." On one occasion Gillespie, on a question of sheer
learning, dared to grapple even with the great Selden, and with such
effect, according to tradition (Scottish!), that even Selden reeled. And
so on and on, from January 1643-4, through February, March, and April,
the debate proceeded, and there seemed to be no likely end to it. For,
though Congregationalism was maintained but by a small knot of men in the
Assembly, they fought man fully, inch by inch, and there were various
reasons why the majority, instead of overwhelming them by a conclusive
vote or two, allowed them to struggle on. For one thing, though Baillie
thought there was a "woful longsomeness" in the slow English forms of
debating at such a time, it was felt by the English members that, in so
important a business as the settling of a new constitution for the
National Church, hurry would be unbecoming. But, besides this, the
Assembly was not a body legislating in its own right. It had been called
only to advise the Parliament; and, though its deliberations were with
closed doors, was not all that it did from day to day pretty well known,
not only in Parliament, but in London and throughout the country? Might
not the little knot of Independents fighting within the Assembly
represent an amount of opinion out of doors too large to be trifled with?
[Footnote: In Lightfoot's Notes of the Assembly and Gillespie's similar
Notes, the proceedings which I have endeavoured to summarize in this
paragraph and the two preceding may be traced in detail--Lightfoot's
Notes traversing, with great minuteness, the whole of the time under
notice; and Gillespie's beginning at Feb. 2, 1643-4. Prefixed to
Gillespie's Notes, as edited by Meek in 1846, there is, however, a very
useful set of official minutes of the proceedings from Oct. 17, 1643,
onwards, by the Scribes of the Assembly; which may be compared with
Lightfoot's more extensive jottings. There are excellent and luminous
notices of the Assembly's proceedings during most of the time indicated
in Baillie, II. 106-174. Neal is very confused in his account of the
Assembly, and does not seem to have studied its proceedings well. In
Hetherington's _History of the Westminster Assembly_ there is a
fairish popular account, compiled from Lightfoot and Gillespie, but
charged with the author's strong personal Presbyterianism. The
traditional part of the story of Gillespie's fight with Selden (which had
come down, I believe, through the careful Scottish Church antiquary,
Wodrow) is given by Mr. Hetherington in his History of the Assembly, but
more fully and interestingly in his Memoir of Gillespie, prefixed to
Meek's Edition of Gillespie's Notes.]

None knew this better than the little knot of Independents in the
Assembly itself. They had already acted on the knowledge. Foreseeing that
the determination of the great question in the Assembly would inevitably
be against them, they had taken the precaution, before the question came
on in its final form, to record an appeal from the Assembly to Parliament
and public opinion. This they had done in a so-called _Apologetical
Narration_, presented to Parliament, and published and put in
circulation not later than the beginning of January 1643-4. [Footnote: I
find it registered at Stationers' Hall, Dec. 30, 1643.] It is a tract of
some thirty quarto pages, signed openly by the five writers--Thomas
Goodwin, Sidrach Simpson, Philip Nye, Jeremiah Burroughs, and William
Bridge. Having explained first that they had been in no haste to press
their peculiar opinions, and would have preferred to disclose them
gradually, but that recent experience had left them no option but to
appeal to Parliament as "the supreme judicatory of this kingdom," and
"the most sacred refuge and asylum for mistaken and misjudged innocence,"
they proceed to a historical sketch of their doings while they had been
in Holland, and an exposition of their differences from their
Presbyterian brethren. Three principles of practical conduct, they say,
had taken firm hold of them--_first_, that their supreme rule in
church-matters, out of themselves, should be the pattern of the primitive
or apostolic churches; _secondly_, that they would not bind themselves
by their present judgment in any matter against a possible future change
of judgment; and, _thirdly_, that they would study accommodation, as
far as they could, to the judgments of others. Acting on these
principles, but foreseeing the condemnation of their Congregationalism by
the Assembly, they hoped at least that the issue would be so regulated
finally by Parliament that they might not be driven into exile again, but
might be permitted "to continue in their native country, with the
enjoyment of the ordinances of Christ, and an indulgence in some lesser
differences," so long as they continued peaceable subjects. [Footnote:
Neal, III. 131-133, _Narration_ itself, also Hanbury's _Historical
Memorials relating to the Independents_, Vol. II. (1841), pp. 221-

This appeal to Cæsar by the five leading Independents had by no means
pleased the rest of the Assembly. Though they acknowledged the great
ability and even the moderation of the dissentients, they thought it an
unfriendly stroke of policy on their part to have thus sheltered
themselves by anticipation under the power outside. But, indeed, it was
more than a stroke of personal policy. The five knew that they were
speaking not for themselves only, but for all that might adhere to them.
Their act reminded the Assembly of what was otherwise becoming apparent--
to wit, that the Assembly was after all but an imperfect representation
of contemporary English opinion. It was an ark floating on a troubled
sea, with its doors and windows well pitched, and perhaps with Noah on
board, but not all Noah's family, and certainly not specimens of all the
living creatures, even of non-episcopal kinds, that were to survive into
the new order of things. What if, on the subsidence of the waters, the
survivors in this ark should find themselves confronted with another
population, which, having survived somehow on chance spars and rafts,
must be included in the new community, and yet would insist that
questions should be kept open in that community that had been settled by
votes passed within the ark? That such was likely to be the case the
Presbyterians already had proof.

What, then, were they to do? In the first place, as they believed Noah to
be within _their_ ark, they were to trust to his power, and the
veneration that would be accorded to him, when he should re-emerge. In
other words, they were to press on the Presbyterian theory in the
Assembly, allowing "the Five Dissenting Brethren," as they were now
called, the most prolix liberty of speech and reasoning, but always
beating them in the final vote so as to secure a thoroughly Presbyterian
report to Parliament at the last. But, in the second place, as the
Independents had appealed to public opinion against such a contingency,
it was necessary not only to carry Presbyterianism within the Assembly,
but also to argue for it out of doors. Hence, through the year 1644,
among the shoals of pamphlets that came from the London press (including
Fast-day Sermons, Sermons before the Lords and Commons, &c., by the most
eminent members of Assembly) there were not a few pleas for Presbytery,
intended to counteract the effects of the _Apologetical Narration_
and other pleas for Congregationalism. Rutherford's _Temperate Plea for
Paul's Presbytery in Scotland, or Modest Dispute touching Independency of
particular Congregations_, and the same author's _Peaceable Plea for the
Government of the Church of Scotland_, had preceded the _Apologetical
Narration_; but the express answers to the _Narration_ were numerous. One
of the most celebrated of these was a pamphlet entitled _Some
Observations and Annotations upon the Apologetical Narration,_ addressed
to the Parliament and the Assembly by a writer who signs himself merely
"A. S.," but is known to have been a certain Dr. Adam Steuart, a Scot
residing in London, but who soon afterwards received a call to Leyden. To
this pamphlet there were replies on the part of the Independents,
especially one entitled _M. S. to A. S._ (a title changed in a second
edition into "_A Reply of Two of the Brethren to A.S._"); again "A.S."
responded; and so the controversy went on, pamphlets thickening on
pamphlets. [Footnote: Lowndes's Bibl. Manual, by Bohn, Article "Steuart,
Adam;" Baillie, II. 216; and Hanbury's _Hist. Memorials relating to the
Independents_, II. 251 _et seq._, and 341 _et seq._, where there are full
accounts of the pamphlets, with extracts.]


Meanwhile, notwithstanding this ominous difference in the Assembly on the
great question of Church-government, all parties in the Assembly were co-
operating harmoniously with each other and with Parliament in other
important items of the general "Reformation" which was in progress. The
chief of these items may be grouped under headings:--

_Simplification of Church Service, and Suppression of unpopular Rites
and Symbols_.--This process, which had been going on naturally from
the beginning of the Parliament, and more violently and riotously in some
places since the beginning of the war, had been accelerated by recent
Parliamentary enactments. Thus, in May 1643, just when Milton was
preparing to leave London on his marriage holiday, there had been a
tearing down, by authority, with the sound of trumpets and amid the
huzzas of the citizens, of Cheapside Cross, Charing Cross, and other such
street-monuments of too Popish make. At the same time the anti-
Sabbatarian "Book of Sports" had been publicly burnt. Then followed (Aug.
27) an ordinance for removing out of churches all "superstitious images,
crucifixes, altars," &c.; the effect of which for the next few months was
a more or less rough visitation of pickaxing, chipping, and chiselling in
all the parish-churches within the Parliament's bounds that had not
already been Puritanized by private effort. Then, again, on the 20th of
November, the House of Commons recommended to the consideration of the
Assembly a new English Version of the Psalms, which had been recently
executed, and put into print, by the much-respected member for Truro, Mr.
Francis Rous. Ought not Sternhold and Hopkins's Version to be disused
among other lumber; and, if so, might not Rous's Version be adopted
instead, for use in churches? It would be a merited compliment and also a
source of private profit to the veteran Puritan--whom the Parliament, at
any rate, were about to appoint to the Provostship of Eton College (worth
800_l_ a year and more), instead of the Malignant, Dr. Stewart, then
with his Majesty. The Assembly did actually take up Rous's Psalter, his
friends pressing it on the old gentleman's account, but others not
thinking it good enough; and we find Baillie regretting, Scot-like, when
the subject was first brought up, that he had not with him a copy of
another version of the Psalms then in MS., by his friend and countryman,
Sir William Mure of Rowallan. This version he liked best of any he had
seen, and thought decidedly better than Rous's; and; if he had had a
copy, he might have been able to do his friend a good turn! [Footnote:
Common Journals, Nov. 20, 1643; Baillie, II. 101 (and note), and 120-121.
Baillie, at the very time he was privately wishing he had his friend
Rowallan's Psalms to pit against Rous's, was becoming acquainted with
Rous; to whom in a month or two he dedicated a sermon of his preached
before the Commons. He there calls Rous his "much honoured friend."
Rowallan's Psalms remain in MS. to this day; but specimens of them have
been published. See Baillie's Letters, pp. 535-6 of Appendix, Vol. III.;
where there is an interesting and curious history of English Versions of
the Psalms, by the editor, Mr. David Laing.] The adoption of Rous's
Psalter was not immediately voted by the Assembly, but lay over along
with the general business of the new Directory for Worship. In this
business too they were making some private progress in Committee, though
retarded by the debates on Church-government; and there was every
likelihood of substantial agreement here. Independents and Erastians were
pretty sure to agree with Presbyterians on the subjects of the Liturgy,
Sabbath-observance, abolition of Festival-days, and the recommendation of
a plain and Puritan church-service generally. There were significant
proofs of this. Actually on Christmas-day 1643 (who would have thought
it?) the Lords and Commons met for business as usual, thus showing the
example of contempt of the great holiday--all the more to the delight of
the Scottish Commissioners, and of the zealous Puritans of the Assembly
and the City, because the Assembly was still weak-hearted enough as a
whole to adjourn for that day. It was the Scottish Commissioners, indeed,
that had contrived this rebuke to the weaker spirits. And within a week
or two thereafter there was this farther Puritan triumph--also the
contrivance of the Scottish Commissioners through their friends in
Parliament,--that the use of the Liturgy was discontinued in the two
Houses, in favour of extempore prayers by Divines appointed for the duty
by the Assembly. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 120 and 130.]

_Ejection of Scandalous and Malignant Ministers_.--A somewhat
wholesale process, described in such terms by the winning side, had been
going on, everywhere within the sway of Parliament, for several months.
It was part, indeed, of a more general process, for the sequestration to
the use of Parliament of the estates of notorious Delinquents of all
kinds, which had been the subject of various Parliamentary ordinances.
[Footnote: Commons Journals from March 1612-3 onwards. For sequence of
proceedings and dates, see Index to Journals, Vol III. _sub cocc._
"Delinquents." See also the main sequestrating ordinances (March 31 and
Aug. 19, 1643) in Scobell's collection.] By these ordinances a machinery
for the work of sequestration had been established, consisting of a
central committee in London, and of committees in all the accessible
counties. The special application of this machinery to clerical
delinquents had come about gradually. From the very beginning of the
Parliament (Nov. 1640) there had been a grand Committee of the Commons,
of which Mr. White, member for Southwark, was chairman, for inquiring
into the scandalous immoralities of the clergy, and an acting Sub-
committee, of which Mr. White also was chairman, for considering how
scandalous ministers might be removed, and real preaching ministers put
in their places. By the action of these committees month after month--
receiving and duly investigating complaints brought against clergymen,
either of scandalous lives or of notoriously Laudian opinions and
practices--a very large number of clergymen had been placed on the black
books, and some actually ejected, before the commencement of the war.
But, after the war began, sharper action became necessary. For now the
Parliament had to provide for what were called "the plundered ministers"
--_i.e._ for those Puritan ministers who, driven from their parsonages
in various parts of the country by the King's soldiers, had to flock into
London, with their families, for refuge and subsistence. A special
Committee of the Commons had been appointed (Dec. 1642) to devise ways
and means for the relief of these "godly and well-affected ministers;"
and, as was natural, the proceedings of this Committee had become inter-
wound with those of the Committee for the ejection of scandalous
ministers--Mr. White at the head of the whole agency. And so, in the
Commons, we hear ultimately of such determinations as these respecting
"scandalous ministers:"--July 3,1643: "Ordinance to be prepared to enable
the Committees (for sequestration) in the several counties to sequester
their livings;"--July 27: "the Committee for plundered Ministers to
consider of informations against them and to put them to the proof;"--
Sept. 6: "Deputy Lieutenants and Committees in the counties empowered to
examine witnesses against them." The result was the beginning of that
"great and general purgation of the clergy in the Parliament's quarters"
about which there was such an outcry among the Royalists at the time, and
which, after having been a rankling memory in the High Church heart for
seventy years, became the main text of Walker's famous folio of 1714 on
"The Sufferings of the Clergy of the Church of England in the Grand
Rebellion." According to that book, and to Royalist tradition, it was a
ruthless persecution and spoliation of all the best, the most venerable,
and the most learned of the clergy of England. Fuller, however, writing
at the time, and corroborated by Baxter, represents the facts more
fairly. Not a few of the clergy first ejected, he admits, were really men
of scandalous private character, and were turned out expressly on that
account; others, who were turned out for what was called their "false
doctrine," or obstinate adherence to that Arminian theology and
ceremonial of worship which the nation had condemned, might regard
themselves as simply suffering in their turn what Puritan ministers had
suffered abundantly enough under the rule of Laud; and, if gradually the
sequestration extended itself beyond these two categories of "scandalous
ministers" and "ministers of unsound faith," and swept in among
"malignants" generally, or those whose only fault was that they were
prominent adherents to the King, what was that but one of the harsh
natural vengeances of a civil war? At the beginning of the purgation, at
all events, Parliament professed carefulness and even leniency in its
choice of victims. A fifth of the income of every ejected minister was
reserved to his wife and family; and, in order that the public, and even
the Royalists, might judge of the equity with which Parliament had
proceeded in so odious a business, Mr. White, the chairman of the
committees on clerical delinquency, put forth in print (Nov. 19, 1643)
his "First Century of Scandalous Malignant Priests," or statement of the
cases of one hundred of the sequestered clergy, chiefly in London and the
adjacent counties, with the reasons of their ejection. At the time when
Mr. White (thenceforward known as "Century White") put forth this
pamphlet, the number of the ejected must have already considerably
exceeded one hundred, or perhaps even three hundred; and, as the war went
on, and sequestration became more and more co-extensive with
"malignancy," the number swelled till, as is calculated, some 1,500 or
1,600 clergymen in all, or about a sixth part of the total clergy of
England, were thrown out of their livings. [Footnote: Commons Journals of
dates July 3, July 27, and Sept. 6, 1643; White's _First Century_,
Fuller's Church History (ed. 1842), III. 458, 460; Neal's Puritans, III.
23-34. Sec also Hallam's Const. Hist. (10th ed.), II. 164-166.]

_Filling up of Vacant Livings by the appointment of New
Ministers_.--For the sequestered livings there were, of course,
numerous candidates. Not only were there the "plundered" Puritan
ministers, most of them congregated in London, to be provided for; but
there were the young Divinity scholars growing up, for whom, even in a
state of war, or at least for such of them as took the side of
Parliament, it was necessary to find employment. Obviously, however, some
order or method had to be adopted in the exercise of the large patronage
of vacant livings which had thus come suddenly into the hands of
Parliament. The plundered ministers could not be thrust promiscuously, or
by mere lottery, into such livings as were vacant. They had all,
certainly, the qualification of being already ordained; but there were
different sorts of persons among them, and some with very little to
recommend them except their distress. It was essential that there should
be some examination or re-examination of all such petitioners for new
livings, in order that the unfit should not be appointed, and that the
others might be provided for according to their degrees of fitness.
Accordingly, at the request of the two Houses, the Westminster Assembly
(Oct. 1643) appointed two-and-twenty of its Divines to be a committee for
examining and reporting on the qualifications of all such petitioners for
livings as might be referred to it by Parliament. About the same time a
provisional arrangement was made for the more difficult matter of
ordaining new candidates for the Ministry. The whole question of
Ordination having yet to be argued and settled in the Assembly (see
_antè_, p. 20), it was felt on all hands that some temporary
arrangement was imperative. Accordingly, by the advice of the Assembly,
the whole business of deciding who were fit to be ordained, and of duly
ordaining such, was entrusted by Parliament to certain committees or
associations of godly ministers, themselves already ordained, appointed
for certain centres and districts. The chief Ordaining Committee was, of
course, that for London and the country round. This committee, to which
was assigned not only the ordination of new ministers for its important
district, but also the ordination of all chaplains for the army and navy,
consisted of twenty-three associated Presbyters (ten Divines of the
Assembly and thirteen parish-ministers of London not in the Assembly), of
whom seven were to be a quorum. Whosoever, not already ordained, should
presume to preach publicly or otherwise exercise the ministerial office
without having been ordained by this association, or one of the others,
or at least without a certificate of having been approved by the
Examining Committee of the Assembly, was to be reported to Parliament for
censure and punishment. The London Divines were enjoined to be careful
whom they admitted into their pulpits. In short, it was the object of
both the Parliament and the Assembly to proclaim their determination
that, while the question of Church-government was being considered, some
decent rule of practical order should be carefully observed, and England
should not be allowed to lapse, as the loyalists were giving out, into a
mere anarchy of ranters, preaching cobblers, and every fool his own
parson. [Footnote: Neal, III. 88-90, and 138-141.]

_Visitation of the University of Cambridge_.--While the scandalous
and malignant among the parish clergy were being sequestered and ejected,
it was not to be expected that Parliament would spare the Universities.
Oxford, for the present, was beyond reach; but Cambridge was within
reach. Was it to be endured that, while the town of Cambridge was the
very centre of the Associated Eastern Counties, the most zealously
Parliamentarian region in all England, the University should be a
fortress of malignancy, with many of its Heads of Houses and Fellows
notoriously disaffected to Parliament, and showing their disaffection by
sermons, publications from the University press, continuance of the
forbidden usages and symbolisms in the College chapels, and such other
acts of contumacy? For a long time Parliament had been asking itself this
question. As early as June 10, 1643, the subject of "some effectual means
of reforming" the University of Cambridge, "purging it from all abuses,
innovations, and superstitions," and dealing with conspicuous malignants
in it, had been under discussion in the Commons. There had been a
reluctance, however, to proceed too rapidly, or so as to incur the
Royalist reproaches of "invasion of University rights" and "ruin of a
great seat of learning." Hence, whatever dealings with the University had
been necessary had been left very much to the discretion of the ordinary
agencies representing Parliament in the Associated Counties, at the head
of which, since Aug. 1643, had been the Earl of Manchester. There was
even a Parliamentary ordinance (Jan. 6, 1643-4) explaining that, whatever
sequestration there might be of the revenues of individual delinquents in
the University, every regard was to be paid to the property of the
University as such, and not an atom of _it_ should be alienated. By
this time, however, it was felt that the malignancy of the University
must be dealt with more expressly. Accordingly, on the 22nd of January
there was passed "an Ordinance for regulating the University of Cambridge
and for removing of scandalous Ministers in the several Associate
Counties." By this ordinance it was provided that, "whereas many
complaints are made by the well-affected inhabitants of the associated
counties of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertford, Cambridge, Huntingdon, and
Lincoln, that the service of the Parliament is retarded, the enemy
strengthened, the people's souls starved, and their minds diverted from
any care of God's cause, by their idle, ill-affected and scandalous
clergy of the University of Cambridge and the Associated Counties" and
whereas "many that would give evidence against such scandalous ministers
are not able to travel to London," therefore the Earl of Manchester
should be commissioned to take the necessary steps in the University and
the Counties themselves. He was to appoint Committees who were to have
"power to call before them all Provosts, Masters, and Fellows of
Colleges, all students and members of the University, and all ministers
in any county of the Association, and all schoolmasters;" and, after due
inquiry by these Committees, he was to have power "to eject such as he
shall judge unfit from their places, and to sequester their estates,
means and revenues, and to place other fitting persons in their room,
such as shall be approved of by the Assembly of Divines." A very
important ordinance, as we shall see in due time. [Footnote: Commons
Journals, June 10, 1643, and Jan. 20, 1643-4; Lords Journals, Jan. 6 and
Jan. 22, 1643-4; and Neal, III. 105-107.]

The reader need hardly be reminded by what authority all these acts and
changes in the system of England were decreed and carried into effect.
Since the beginning of the war the government of England, except where
the King's troops were in possession, had been in the two Houses of
Parliament sitting at Westminster; but since July 1643 it may be said
rather to have been in these two Houses of Parliament _with_ the
Assembly of Divines. What the reader requires, however, to be reminded of
is the smallness numerically of this governing body. The House of Lords,
in particular, though still retaining all its nominal dignity and keeping
up all its stately forms, was a mere shred of its former self. About 29
or 30 persons, out of the total Peerage of England, as we reckoned (Vol.
II. pp. 430-31), had avowed themselves Parliamentarians; so that, had all
these been present, the House of Lords would have been but a very small
gathering. But, as a certain number even of these were always absent on
military duty or on other occasions, it was seldom that more than 14 or
15 Peers were present in the House around Lord Grey of Wark on the
woolsack as elected Speaker. Sometimes, when the business was merely
formal, the number sank to 4 or 5; and I do not think the Lords Journals
register, during the whole time with which we are now concerned, a larger
attendance than 22. That was the number present on the 22nd of January,
1643-4, when the ordinance for visiting Cambridge University was passed.
[Footnote: As the Lords Journals give the names of the Peers present each
day, very accurate information on this subject is obtainable from them.]
In the Commons, of course, the attendance was much larger. When a "whip"
was necessary, between 200 and 300 could be got together. Thus on the
25th of September, 1643, which was the day of inaugurating the Covenant,
220 were present; and on the above-mentioned 22nd of January, 1643-4--an
important day for various reasons--as many as 280 made their appearance,
while it was calculated that 100 were absent in the Parliamentary
service. [Footnote: Parl. Hist. III. 199.] Usually, however, the
attendance was much less numerous. On a vote taken Nov. 26, 1643, the
division showed 59 against 58, or 117 present; and this appears to be
rather above the mark of the attendance in general.--On the whole, one
may say that the business of the nation in the interest of Parliament was
carried on habitually during those important months by some 12 or 15
Parliamentarian Peers, and some 100 Commoners, keeping up the forms of
the two Houses, and having for their assessors, and in part for their
spurs and tutors, the 60 or 80 Puritan Divines who sat close at hand in
the Jerusalem Chamber.

Was all this to last? Whether it was to last or not depended not a little
on the conduct of the Parliament itself, but greatly more on the conduct
of the generals and armies that held up its banners in various parts of
England. And how, since our last glimpses of the state of the war in the
dark month of Hampden's death and the month following that (June and July
1643), had the war been going on? Much as before. What do we see? A siege
here and a siege there, a skirmish here and a skirmish there, ending
sometimes for the Parliament, but as often for the King; amid all these
sieges and skirmishes no battle of any magnitude, save the first Battle
of Newbery (Sept. 20, 1643), where Lord Falkland, weary of his life, was
slain, and also the Royalist Earls of Carnarvon and Sunderland, but
otherwise the damage to the King was inconsiderable; Essex still heavy
and solemn, an excellent man, but a woful commander-in-chief; little Sir
William Waller still the favourite and set up against Essex, but
confidence in him somewhat shaken by his recent defeats; the Fairfaxes in
the north, and others in other parts, doing at best but respectably;
Cromwell, it is true, a marked man and always successful wherever he
appeared, but appearing yet only as Colonel Cromwell! "For the present
the Parliament side is running down the brae," wrote the sagacious
Baillie, Sept. 22, 1643; and again, more pithily, Dec. 7, "They may tig-
tag on this way this twelvemonth." The only remedy, Baillie thought--the
only thing that would change the sluggish "tig-tagging" of Essex and the
English into something like what a war should be--was the expected
coming-in of the Scots. For this event the English Parliamentarians also
longed vehemently. "All things are expected from God and the Scots" is
Baillie's description of the feeling in London in the winter of 1643-4.
For, though the bringing in of a Scottish force auxiliary to the English
army had been arranged for in the autumn--though it was for that end that
the English Parliament had sent Commissioners to Edinburgh, had accepted
Henderson's "Solemn League and Covenant," and had admitted Scottish
Commissioners into the Westminster Assembly--yet the completing of the
negotiations, and the getting together and equipping of the Scottish army
for its southward march, had been a work of time. About Christmas 1643 it
was understood that the Scots were in readiness to march; but the precise
time when they might be expected to cross the border was yet in anxious
conjecture. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 83, 99, 104-5, and 114-15.]

It was an unusually severe winter, cold and snowy. The Londoners, in
especial, deprived of their coal from Newcastle, felt it severely.
Baillie particularly mentions the comfortable hangings of the Jerusalem
Chamber, and the good fire kept burning in it, as "some dainties in
London" at that date, and duly appreciated by the members of the
Assembly. [Footnote: Ibid. II. 106.] Among the printed broad-sheets of
the time that were hawked about London, I have seen one entitled
"_Artificial Fire; or, Coal for Rich and Poor: this being the offer of
an excellent new Invention_." The invention consists of a proposal to
the Londoners of a cheap substitute for coal, devised by a "Mr. Richard
Gesling, Ingineer, late deceased." Mr. Gesling's idea was that, if you
take brickdust, mortar, sawdust, or the like, and make up pasteballs
thereof mingled with the dust of sea-coal or Scotch coal, and with
stable-litter, you will have a fuel much more economical than coal
itself. But, though this is the practical proposal of the fly-sheet, its
main interest lies in its lamentation over the lack of the normal fuel.
"Some fine-nosed city dames," it says, "used to tell their husbands, 'O
husband! we shall never be well, we nor our children, whilst we live in
the smell of this city's sea-coal smoke! Pray, a country-house for our
health, that we may get out of this sea-coal smell!' But how many of
these fine-nosed dames now cry, 'Would to God we had sea-coal! Oh! the
want of fire undoes us! O the sweet sea-coal fires we used to have! how
we want them now: no fire to your sea-coal!'... This for the rich: a
word for the poor! The great want of fuel for fire makes many a poor
creature cast about how to pass over this cold winter to come; but,
finding small redress for so cruel an enemy as the cold makes, some turn
thieves that never stole before--steal posts, seats, benches from doors,
rails, nay, the very stocks that should punish them; and all to keep the
cold winter away." [Footnote: Folio sheet dated 1644 (_i.e._ winter
of 1643-4), in British Museum Library: Press-mark, 669, f.]--If on no
other account than the prospect of a re-opening of the coal-traffic
between Newcastle and London, what joy among the Londoners when the news
came that, on Friday the 19th of January, 1643-4, the expected Scottish
army had entered England by Berwick! They had entered it, toiling through
deep snow, 21,500 strong, and were already--God be praised!--spreading
themselves over the winter-white fields of the very region where the coal
lay black underground. At their head who but old Field-marshall Leslie,
now Earl of Leven, Scottish commander-in-chief for the third time, and
tolerably well acquainted already with the North of England? Second in
command to him, as Lieutenant-general of the Foot, was William Baillie,
of Letham, in this post for the second time; and the Major-general, with
command of the horse was David Leslie, a third Gustavus-Adolphus man,
and, though a namesake of the commander-in-chief, only distantly related
to him. The marquis of Argyle accompanied the invaders, nominally as
Colonel of a troop of horse; and among the other colonels of foot or
horse were the Earls of Cassilis, Lindsay, Loudoun, Buccleugh,
Dunfermline, Lothian, Marischal, Eglinton, and Dalhousie. The expenses of
the army, averaging 1,000_l._ per diem (6_d._ a day for each
common foot-soldier, 8_d._ for a horse-soldier, and so on upwards)
were, by agreement, to be charged to England. [Footnote: Rushw. V. 604-7;
Parl. Hist. III. 200, 201; Baillie, II. 100 and 137.]

The condition on which the Scots had consented thus to aid the English
Parliament must not be forgotten. It was the agreement of the two nations
in one and the same religious Covenant. In all the negotiations that had
been going on between London and Edinburgh, the Scots had always assumed
the fulfilment of this condition on the part of the English. And, so far,
we have seen, it had already been fulfilled. Since September 1643, when
Henderson's Covenant had first been proposed to the English Parliament
and the Westminster Assembly, and the Commons and the Westminster Divines
had set the example by swearing to it collectively in one of the London
churches, "the Covenant" had been a phrase familiar to the English mouth.
In all the miscellaneous activity of the Parliament for the detection and
disabling of "Malignants," there had been no instrument more effective or
more commonly used. There were other tests and oaths by which the
"malignants" might be distinguished from the "well-affected"; but the
taking or not taking of the Solemn League and Covenant was the test
paramount. Wherever the Parliament had power it had been in operation.
Since December 20, for example, it had been the law that no one could be
a Common Councilman of the City of London who had not subscribed to the
Covenant. Still, in this matter of subscription to the Covenant, the
English, both as the larger nation and as the less accustomed to
Covenants, had remained considerably in arrear of the Scots; and, when
the Scots actually did make their appearance in England, there was a
sudden refreshing of the memory of the English Parliament on the subject,
and a sudden exertion to make up the arrears. "The Scots are among us on
the supposition that we have all taken the Covenant; and lo! we have not
yet all taken it," was virtually the exclamation of the Parliament.
Accordingly, that all might be brought in, that there might be no escape,
and that there might remain to all time coming a vast register of the
names of the Englishmen then living who had entered into this solemn
league with their Scottish neighbours, there was passed, on the 5th of
February, 1643-4, a new and conclusive ordinance on the subject. By this
ordinance it was enacted that true copies of the Covenant should be sent
to the Earl of Essex and other commanders of the army, and to all
governors of towns, &c., to the intent that it might be sworn to by every
man in the army; also that copies should be sent into all the counties,
so that they should punctually reach every parish and every parish-
minister--the instructions being that every minister should, the next
Lord's day after the certified copy of the Covenant reached him, read it
aloud to his congregation, discourse and exhort upon it, and then tender
it to all present, who should swear to it with uplifted hands, and
afterwards sign it with their names or marks. All men over eighteen years
of age, whether householders or lodgers, were to take it in the parishes
in which they were resident; and the names of all refusing, whether
ministers or laymen, were to be reported. [Footnote: See Ordinance in
Lords Journals, Feb. 5, 1643-4.] Nay, by an arrangement about the same
time, the action of the Covenant was made to extend to English subjects
abroad. Notwithstanding all this stringency, there is reason to believe
that not a few soldiers in the army, and not a few ministers and others,
contrived, in one way or another, to avoid the Covenant, without being
called to account for the neglect. Where a minister otherwise
unexceptionable, or an officer or soldier of known zeal and efficiency,
had scruples of conscience against signing, the authorities, both civil
and military, appear in many places to have exercised a discretion and
winked at disobedience or procrastination.--The case of the Earl of
Bridgewater may here be of some interest, on its own account, and as
illustrating what went on generally. The Earl, known to us so long as
"the Earl of Milton's _Comus_" had been living in retirement as an
invalid during the war, his wishes on the whole being doubtless with the
King, but his circumstances obliging him to keep on fair terms with the
Parliament. The test of the Covenant seems to have sorely perplexed the
poor Peer. "He says some things in the Covenant his heart goes along with
them, and other things are doubtful to him; and therefore desires some
time to consider of it." Such was the report to the Lords, Wednesday Feb.
7, 1643-4, by the Earls of Rutland and Bolingbroke, who had been
appointed to deal with him and other absent Peers in the matter. "He
shall have time till Friday morning next," was the entry ordered to be
made. On the Friday named there is no mention of the subject in the Lords
Journals; but on Saturday the 10th Lords Rutland and Bolingbroke were
able to report that it was all right. Two days had convinced the Earl
that signing would be best for him. [Footnote: Lords Journals of dates

Besides this universal imposition of the Covenant by Parliamentary
ordinance upon all who had hitherto neglected to take it, there was
another immediate effect of the presence of the Scots in England. The two
nations being now in arms for the same cause, the fortunes of each nation
depending largely on the conduct of the other, and the two national
armies indeed having to co-operate strategically, there required to be
some common directing power, intermediate between the English Parliament
in Westminster and the Scottish Estates in Edinburgh, representing both,
and acting for both in all matters of military concern. The Scots, on
their part, had made provision accordingly. Besides appointing a
stationary Committee of the Estates to manage matters from Edinburgh, and
another Committee to be with the Scottish army as a kind of Council to
the Earl of Leven, they had nominated (Jan. 9, 1643-4) a Special
Commission of four persons to go to London with full powers to represent
the views and interests of Scotland in the enterprise in which it was now
conjoined with England. These were--the EARL OF LOUDOUN, High Chancellor
of Scotland; LORD MAITLAND (already in London as Scottish Commissioner to
the Westminster Assembly); SIR ARCHIBALD JOHNSTONE OF WARRISTON (due in
London at any rate as a Commissioner to the Assembly); and MR. ROBERT
BARCLAY, Provost of Irvine in Ayrshire. These Commissioners having
presented their Commission to the English Parliament, Feb. 5, the
Parliament were moved to appoint some of its trustiest men from the two
Houses to be an English Committee of Consultation with the Scottish
Commissioners, and in fact to form, along with them, a joint "Committee
of the Two Kingdoms." Such an institution was not at all to the taste of
Lord General Essex, inasmuch as it trenched on his powers as commander-
in-chief. Some opposition was therefore offered. On the whole, however,
the argument that the two kingdoms ought to be "joined in their counsels
as well as in their forces" proved overpowering; and on the 16th of
February an ordinance was passed appointing the following persons (7
Peers and 14 Commoners) to be a Committee for the purpose named--the EARL
BROWNE, JOHN GLYNN, and OLIVER CROMWELL. Six were to be a quorum, always
in the proportion of one Lord to two Commoners, and of the Scottish
Commissioners meeting with them two were to be a quorum. There can be no
doubt that the object was that the management of the war should be less
in Essex's hands that it had been. [Footnote: Lords Journals of dates
Feb. 5 and 16, 1643-4; and Baillie, II. 141, 142]

The name of JOHN PYM may have been looked for in the Committee. Alas! no
longer need his name be looked for among the living in this History. He
had died on the 8th of December, 1643, when the Scots were expected in
England, but had not yet arrived. He was buried magnificently in
Westminster Abbey, all the Lords and Commons attending, and Stephen
Marshall preaching the funeral sermon. England had lost "King Pym," her
greatest Parliamentary man. No one precisely like him was left. But,
indeed, he had done his work to the full; and, had he lived longer, he
might have been loved the less! [Footnote: Rushworth V. 376; Parl. Hist.
III. 186-7; and Baillie, II. 118.]



We left Milton in his house in Aldersgate Street in or about 1643,
waiting for the promised return of his recently-wedded wife at
Michaelmas, and meanwhile comfortable enough, with his books, his pupils,
and the quiet companionship of his old father. We are now seven or eight
months beyond that point in our general History. What had happened in the
Aldersgate household in the interval? A tremendous thing had happened.
Milton had come to desire a divorce from his wife, and had written and
published a Tract on Divorce, partly in the interest of his own private
case, but really also with a view to suggest to the mind of England, then
likely to be receptive of new ideas, certain thoughts on the whole
subject of the English law of Marriage which had resulted from reflection
on his own experience. Here is the story:--

"Michaelmas [Sept. 29, 1643] being come," says Phillips, "and no news of
his wife's return, he sent for her by letter, and, receiving no answer,
sent several other letters, which were also unanswered; so that at last
he despatched down a foot-messenger [to Forest Hill] with a letter,
desiring her return. But the messenger came back not only without an
answer, at least a satisfactory one, but, to the best of my remembrance,
reported that he was dismissed with some sort of contempt. This
proceeding, in all probability, was grounded upon no other cause but
this--viz.: that, the family being generally addicted to the Cavalier
party, as they called it, and some of them possibly engaged in the King's
service, who by this time had his head-quarters at Oxford and was in some
prospect of success, they began to repent them of having matched the
eldest daughter of the family to a person so contrary to them in opinion,
and thought it would be a blot on their escutcheon whenever that Court
should come to flourish again. However, it so incensed our author that he
thought it would be dishonourable ever to receive her again, after such a
repulse; so that he forthwith prepared to fortify himself with arguments
for such a resolution, and accordingly wrote," &c. Here Phillips goes on
to enumerate Milton's various Divorce Tracts, the first of which in order
of time was his _Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_. Aubrey
corroborates Phillips, but has little on the subject but what he may have
picked up from gossip. "She was a ... Royalist, and went to her mother
near Oxford: he sent for her after some time, and I think his servant was
evilly entreated,"--such are Aubrey's brief notes of the facts; after
which come his own reflections on the rupture: "Two opinions do not well
on the same bolster;" and "What man, especially contemplative, would like
to have a young wife environed and stormed by the sons of Mars, and those
of the enemy party?" Finally Wood, in his _Fasti_, does little more
than repeat Aubrey: "Though he sent divers pressing invitations, yet he
could not prevail upon her to come back;" whereupon "he, being not able
to bear this abuse, did therefore, upon consideration, after he had
consulted many eminent authors, write the said book of Divorce, with
intentions to be separated from her." [Footnote: Phillips's Memoir;
Aubrey's Lives; and Wood's Fasti Oxon. I. 482-3.]

On all grounds Phillips's authority is the best. And yet there are
difficulties in his account. According to that account, it was the non-
return of Milton's wife at or about Michaelmas (Sept. 29) 1643, and not
only her non-return then, but her obstinate and repeated refusal to
return after that date, and the insulting conduct of her family to the
messenger he finally sent to urge her return, that roused Milton's
indignation, put the thought of divorce into his mind, and induced him to
write his first Divorce Tract. If so, the tract could hardly have been
ready till some weeks after Michaelmas 1643--say, till about Christmas of
the same year. There is proof, however (and I do not think it has been
observed before), that Milton's first Divorce Tract was already published
and in circulation two months _before_ the Michaelmas in question.
The proof is not, where we might expect it, in the books of the
Stationers' Company; for the Tract, like all Milton's previous pamphlets,
was published by him, rather defiantly, without the required legal
formalities of licence and registration. But there is a precious copy of
it in Thomason's great collection of pamphlets, called "the King's
Pamphlets," in the British Museum. The title in that copy is as follows:
"_The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, Restor'd, to the good of both
Sexes, from the Bondage of Canon Law and other mistakes, to Christian
Freedom, guided by the Rule of Charity; wherein also many places of
Scripture have recovered their long-lost meaning: seasonable to be now
thought on in the Reformation intended._" Underneath this title there
follows on the title-page the quotation "Matth. xiii. 52. Every Scribe
instructed to the Kingdome of Heav'n is like the Maister of a house which
bringeth out of his treasurie things old and new;" and at the foot of the
title-page is the legend "_London, Printed by T. P. and M. S. in
Goldsmiths' Alley_: 1643." [Footnote: Copy in British Museum Library
Press mark, 12. G.F. 17 119.] This printed legend alone would all but
determine the publication to have been prior to Christmas 1643; but the
question is set at rest by a manuscript note on the title-page, "_Aug.
1st_." The note was put there by, or by the direction of, the
collector, Thomason, to indicate the day on which the copy came into his
hands, and is to be relied on implicitly. The Tract, it will be observed,
was anonymous; but the words "_Written by J. Milton_," penned on the
title-page by the same hand that penned the date "_Aug. 1st_," show
that the authorship was no secret from the all-prying Thomason. In short,
on evidence absolutely conclusive, Milton's first Divorce Tract was in
print and on sale in London on the 1st of August, 1643, or two months
before Phillips's fatal Michaelmas. [Footnote: This may be the place for
a word or two about the collector of those Pamphlets in the British
Museum among which I have had so frequently to range for the purposes of
this work, and to which, like other inquiries into English History from
1610 to 1660, I owe more items of information than I can count.--George
Thomason was a London bookseller of the Civil War time; his place of
business being the "Rose and Crown" in St. Paul's Churchyard. He was of
Royalist sympathies; but his hobby was to collect impartially all the
pamphlets, broad-sheets, &c., that teemed from the press on both sides,
and not only those that teemed from the English press, but also all
published abroad that bore on current English questions. He began this
labour in 1641, and pursued it indefatigably till after the Restoration;
so that, at his death in or about 1666, he left a collection of about
33,000 pamphlets, &c. on English affairs, published between 1638 and
1662. The making of this collection had been the delight of his life; it
had been his anxiety that no single tract, or printed scrap of any
interest, should escape him. When he began to collect in 1641, he had
taken pains to obtain copies of publications of the immediately preceding
years; and after that his work had been facilitated by the notoriety of
his passion for collecting. Booksellers and authors (Milton for one) seem
occasionally to have sent copies of their pamphlets to Thomason. "Exact
care hath been taken," he himself tells us in the Introduction to a MS.
catalogue of his treasures, "that the very day is written upon most of
them that they came out;" and this care of his has fixed the dates of
many publications that would else have been unknown or but vaguely
known.--For farther particulars of this interesting person, an account of
the shifts to which he was put to save his collection from the chances of
Parliamentarian pillage, and a history of the fortunes of his collection
till it came to be part of the Library of King George III., and so of the
British Museum, see Edwards's _Memoirs of Libraries_ (1859), Vol. I
pp, 456-460.--I may add that I have seen a pencil jotting in Thomason's
hand on one of the fly-leaves of his collection as fresh and legible,
after 220 years, as if it had been written yesterday.]

One of two suppositions therefore:--(1.) If Phillips is right in his
statement that Milton's first Divorce Tract was caused by the obstinate
refusal of his wife to return to him, and the insulting conduct of her
family in detaining her and laughing at his letters and messages, then
Phillips's dates in the whole matter of the marriage must be a little
wrong. "About Whitsuntide it was (May 21, 1643) that my uncle left us in
Aldersgate Street, on what turned out to be his marriage journey; in
about a month's time he returned, bringing his wife, and some of her
relations, with him (June 1643); the relations stayed about a week,
during which there was much feasting and merriment; for about a month
after they were gone the newly-married wife remained with my uncle; but
then (late in July or early in August 1643), tired of a philosophical
life, and pining for the society of home, she contrived a request from
her family to have her with them during the rest of the summer--to which
my uncle consented, on the understanding that she was to come hack about
Michaelmas (Sept. 29, 1643)." Such, re-expressed in words for the nonce,
is Phillips's account as we have already given it. But, as the Divorce
Tract was published August 1, 1643, it is clear that, if the cause of
that Tract was the persistent, protracted, and contemptuous absence of
his wife, then Phillips's memory must have been at fault, and he must
have somewhat post-dated the marriage itself. The marriage in that case
must have been before Whitsuntide 1643; and the return of the wife to her
relations, her refusal to come hack, and Milton's chagrin and anger so
occasioned, must have been matters not of after Michaelmas 1643, but of
at least a month or two before the August of that year. This is quite a
tenable supposition; for there are other inaccuracies in Phillips, and
the register of the place and date of Milton's marriage with Mary Powell
has not been found. (2) On the whole, however, Phillips's recollections
about the marriage are so circumstantial, and there is such a likelihood
of their being true, that, until contradictory records shall be produced,
it seems right to accept his dating. But then his explanation of the
cause of his uncle's speculations about divorce must be wrong. The cause
in that case cannot have been the obstinate refusal of his wife to
return; for the Divorce Tract must have been written and ready for the
press while she was still with him in the Aldersgate Street house (July
1643), and it was actually out (Aug. 1) before she can have reached her
father's house at Forest Hill on her granted two months of leave till
Michaelmas. What are we to make of this discrepancy? One is puzzled. That
a man should have occupied himself on a Tract on Divorce ere his
honeymoon was well over--should have written it perseveringly day after
day within sound of his newly-wedded wife's footsteps and the very rustle
of her dress on the stairs or in the neighbouring room--is a notion all
but dreadful. And yet to some such notion, if Phillips's dating is
correct, we seem to be shut up. But, if so, more is involved than
Phillips knew. The cause of Milton's thoughts about divorce, in that
case, must have been the agony of a deadly discovery of his wife's utter
unfitness for him when as yet she had not been two months his wife. It
must have been the unutterable pain of the dis-illusioned bridegroom, the
gnawing sense of his irretrievable mistake, The vision must then pass
before our minds of scenes in the Aldersgate Street house, the reverse of
the happily connubial, _before_ that sudden departure of the bride
back to her father's home, and leading to that incident perhaps rather
violently. One seems to hear the sound of differences, of conflicting
opinions about this and that, of weeping girlish wilfulness opposed to
steady and perhaps too austere prohibitions. "Well, then, I will go back
to my mother: I am sure I wish I had never----": "Go": And so the parting
may have come about, not wholly by her arrangement, but harshly and with
some quarrel on his part. There are not wanting subsequent facts that
might lend a plausibility to this version of the story. [Footnote:
Milton's mother-in-law, having occasion, seven years afterwards (1651),
to advert to her daughter's return home so soon after her marriage,
distinctly attributed it to Milton himself. The words are, "He having
turned away his wife heretofore for a long space upon some other
occasion." I do not think Mrs. Powell was a very accurate lady, and she
had no fondness for Milton; but the words seem to imply more than a mere
passive consent of Milton to his wife's proposal to revisit her family.]
Yet it is the other that one would wish to be true, and that would fit in
most naturally with the facts as a whole. That version is that Milton,
good-naturedly and perhaps taken by surprise, allowed his wife to go home
for two months at her own request, or the request of her relatives,
before he had been three months married, and that it was the insult of
her nonreturn that revealed to him his mistake in her, and drove him into
his speculations about divorce. Only, then, we repeat, Phillips's dating
of the marriage and its incidents requires amendment.

In any case the first edition of Milton's _Doctrine and Discipline of
Divorce_ was out in London on the 1st of August, 1643. [Footnote: The
supposition is always open that, by some oversight, Thomason misdated his
copy, putting "Aug." for a much later month. But this is the unlikeliest
thing of all.] It was a pamphlet of forty-eight small quarto pages, with
an extra page supplying two omitted passages. The text was printed
continuously, without division into chapters; at the end.

Both in matter and in manner the Tract was one of the boldest that had
ever been submitted to the reading of England. Its thesis is laid down
near the beginning in these terms: "_That indisposition, unfitness, or
contrarity of mind, arising from a cause in nature unchangeable,
hindering and ever likely to hinder the main benefits of conjugal
society, which are solace and peace, is a greater reason of divorce than
natural frigidity, especially if there be no children, and that there be
mutual consent._" This thesis Milton sets himself to argue in all
sorts of ways--from natural reason and expediency; from the Scripture
doctrine of marriage as it might be gathered from the Mosaic Law and the
right interpretation of texts in the Old and New Testaments,
notwithstanding one or two individual texts (like that of Matth. v. 31,
32) that had been hackneyed and misunderstood by mere literalists; and
from opinions or indications of opinion on the subject that might be
found in the works of some of the Protestant Reformers, and other eminent
writers. His conclusion was that the notion of the indissolubility of
marriage, or even the modified law of England and of other countries,
authorizing divorce only for certain gross reasons, were mere relics of
superstitious tradition, the concoction of the Canonists and
Sacramentalists in the ages of sacerdotal tyranny, unworthy of more
enlarged views of justice and liberty, and a canker and cause of
incalculable misery in the heart of modern society. Again and again he
indicates his consciousness that in announcing this conclusion, and
trying to rouse his fellow-countrymen to the necessity of at once
including a revision of the Marriage Law in the general Reformation then
in progress, he is performing a great public service. Thus, at the very
opening: "By which [the precedent of certain liberal hints on the subject
by Hugo Grotius], and mine own apprehension of what public duty each man
owes, I conceive myself exhorted among the rest to communicate such
thoughts as I have, and offer them now, in this general labour of
Reformation, to the candid view both of Church and Magistrate; especially
because I see it the hope of good men that those irregular and
unspiritual courts have spun their utmost date in this land, and some
better course must now be constituted. He, therefore, that by adventuring
shall be so happy as with success to ease and set free the minds of
ingenuous and apprehensive men from this needless thraldom; he that can
prove it lawful and just to claim the performance of a fit and matchable
conversation no less essential to the prime scope of marriage than the
gift of bodily conjunction, or else to have an equal plea of divorce as
well as for that corporal deficiency; he that can but lend us the clue
that winds out this labyrinth of servitude to such a reasonable and
expedient liberty as this--deserves to be reckoned among the public
benefactors of civil and human life, above the inventors of wine and
oil." [Footnote: This passage is from the first edition; it is not nearly
so full in the second.] As such a benefactor, such a champion of a
neglected truth and a suppressed human liberty, the anonymous writer
offers himself. He knows that he stands alone at present, but he trusts
to the power of demonstration addressed to the mind of England, then
newly awakened and examining all institutions to their roots.

There is not a word of avowed reference to his own case throughout; and
yet from first to last we are aware of young Mary Powell in the
background. Inability for "fit and matchable conversation": this is that
supreme fault in a wife on which the descant is from first to last, and
from which, when it is plainly ingrained and unamendable, the right of
divorce is maintained to be, by the law of God and all civil reason, the
due deliverance. Hopeless intellectual and spiritual incompatibility
between husband and wife: it is on this, though not in these exact words,
that Milton harps again and again as in his view the clearest
invalidation of marriage, the frustration of the noblest and most divine
ends of the institution; an essentially worse frustration, he dares to
say in one place, than even that conjugal infidelity which "a gross and
boorish opinion, how common soever," would alone resent or recognise. It
is marvellous with what richness of varying language he paints to the
reader the horrible condition of a man tied for life to a woman with whom
he can hold no rational or worthy conversation. "A familiar and co-
inhabiting mischief"; "spite of antipathy to fudge together and combine
as they may, to their unspeakable weariness and despair of all sociable
delight"; "a luckless and helpless matrimony"; "the unfitness and
effectiveness of an unconjugal mind"; "a worse condition than the
loneliest single life"; "unconversing inability of mind"; "a mute and
spiritless mate"; "that melancholy despair which we see in many wedded
persons"; "a polluting sadness and perpetual distemper"; "ill-twisted
wedlock"; "the disturbance of her unhelpful and unfit society"; "one that
must be hated with a most operative hatred"; "forsaken and yet
continually dwelt with and accompanied"; "a powerful reluctance and
recoil of nature on either side, blasting all the content of their mutual
society"; "a violence to the reverend secret of nature"; "to force a
mixture of minds that cannot unite"; "two incoherent and uncombining
dispositions"; "the undoing or the disheartening of his life"; "the
superstitious and impossible performance of an ill-driven bargain";
"bound fast to an uncomplying discord of nature, or, as it oft happens,
to an image of earth and phlegm"; "shut up together, the one with a
mischosen mate, the other in a mistaken calling"; "committing two
ensnared souls inevitably to kindle one another, not with the fire of
love, but with a hatred irreconcilable, who, were they severed, would be
straight friends in any other relation"; "two carcases chained
unnaturally together, or, as it may happen, a living soul bound to a dead
corpse"; "enough to abase the mettle of a generous spirit and sink him to
a low and vulgar pitch of endeavour in all his actions": such are a few
specimens of the phrases with which the tract abounds. [Footnote: Some of
the phrases quoted occur in passages added in the second edition; but it
is not worth while to distinguish those. Most of the phrases, and those
of the same, occur in the third edition.] But one passage may be quoted

"But some are ready to object that the disposition ought seriously to be
considered before. But let them know again that, for all the wariness can
be used, it may yet befall a discreet man to be mistaken in his choice,
and we have plenty of examples. The soberest and best-governed men are
least practised in these affairs; and who knows not that the bashful
muteness of a virgin may oft-times hide all the unliveliness and natural
sloth which is really unfit for conversation? Nor is there that freedom
of access granted or presumed as may suffice to a perfect discerning till
too late; and, where any indisposition is suspected, what more usual than
the persuasion of friends that acquaintance, as it increases, will amend
all? And, lastly, it is not strange though many who have spent their
youth chastely are in some things not so quick-sighted while they haste
too eagerly to light the nuptial torch: nor is it therefore that for a
modest error a man should forfeit so great a happiness, and no charitable
means to release him; since they who have lived most loosely, by reason
of their bold accustoming, prove most successful in their matches,
because their wild affections, unsettling at will, have been as so many
divorces to teach them experience; whenas the sober man, honouring the
appearance of modesty, and hoping well of every social virtue under that
veil, may easily chance to meet ... often with a mind to all other due
conversation inaccessible, and to all the more estimable and superior
purposes of matrimony useless and almost lifeless; and what a solace,
what a fit help, such a consort would be through the whole life of a man
is less pain to conjecture than to have experience."

Oh! and is it come to this? Then, as now, nothing so common as that such
mischances of marriage, heard of by the world, and the rather if
published by the sufferers or one of them, should be received only as
excellent amusement for people round about. It is as if the one thing
intrinsically and unceasingly comic in the world, for most people, were
the fact that it consists of man and woman, as if the institution on
which human society is built and by which the succession of earth's
generations is maintained, were the one only subject, with most people,
for nothing else than laughter. Even now perhaps our disposition to
jocosity on this subject, not sufficiently entertained by incidents of
our own day, will range back to that case of Milton and Mary Powell two
hundred and twenty-eight years ago, and join in the gossip which it then
began to circulate through the town. In the lobby of the House of Commons
it must have been heard of: it may have given a relish to the street-talk
of reverend Presbyterian gentlemen talking home together from the
Assembly "Only a month or two married; his wife gone home again; and now,
instead of proper reticence about what can't he helped, all this
hullaballoo of a new doctrine about Divorce! Just like him!" This and
such-like is what we seem to overhear; this and such-like is what Milton
did overhear; not much more than this and such-like are most of us
prepared to say even now when we read the story. And yet the story is
surely worth more. One fails to see, after all, that it yields only
matter for jest and the repetition of commonplaces. What are the facts?
Two human beings, long dead and gone, but then alive and with the,
expectation of many years of life before them, had hardly been banded
together in church when they found, or thought they found, that their
union was for their mutual misery. The one was a poor country-girl in her
teens, ruing the fate to which she had committed herself, but with no
weapons for her relief but her tears, her terror, and the mitigation of
refuge in her father's house. _Her_ case is to be pitied; shame if
it is _not_! The other was a man extraordinary--so extraordinary
that even now we try to follow him in fancy in his walks through the
London streets, and any bit of old wall his arm may have touched is a
sacred antiquity, and we regard the series of thoughts that was in his
mind through any month, or series of months, as something of prime
interest in the spirit of the past, a prize that we would give gold to
recover. Well, here was one series of thoughts that was in this man's
mind for months and months, and that left effects, indeed, to his life's
end. He was moody in his house; he walked moodily in the streets; we can
hear him muttering to himself, we can see his teeth clenched. Morning and
evening, day after day, he is in a great despair. And why? Because he has
made the most fatal mistake a man can make, and is gazing on, morning and
evening, day after day, into the consequences. Lo! into that life which
he had hoped to make worthy of the God who gave it, a pattern life, a
great poem within hose azure fitness other poems should arise to spin
their gleaming courses--into this life what had he imported? Not the
solace and bliss of a kindred soul's society, which had been his intent
and dream; but a darkness, a disturbance, a marring melancholy, a daily
and hourly debasement, a coinhabiting mischief! It was enough, he says,
to drive a man "at last, through murmuring and despair, to thoughts of
Atheism." But was there no remedy? Ah! in the very power of putting this
question lay the advantage of the strong man over the weak Oxfordshire
girl. He could reason, he could delve into the subject, he could revolve
it intellectually. What if the plight in which he found himself were no
necessary and irremediable evil? What if the permanence of marriage once
contracted between two persons utterly unsuitable for each other were no
decree of God, no real requirement of religion or of social well-being,
but a mere superstitious and fallacious tradition, a stupid and
pernicious convention among men? Once on this track, there was light for
Milton. Out of his own private mishap there came the suggestion of a
great enterprise. He would thunder, if not the mishap itself, at least
its public significance, out upon the world. He would rouse his
countrymen on the whole subject of the Law of Marriage. Who knew but his
voice might be heard? Who knew but that, were it loud enough, there would
be a response of assent from the whole land, and his new idea of Divorce,
albeit the proclamation of only one man, might be carried, with other
things, in the current Reformation? There ran a touch of this sanguine
temper, this faith that any ideal might easily be made actual, through
all Milton's life; and it appeared now most conspicuously. His idea, he
was aware, was new; but only let his demonstration be sufficiently
thorough, only let him succeed in disturbing the existing apathy and
setting the thoughts of the nation astir on the subject, "and then,"
what?--"then I doubt not but with one gentle stroking to wipe away ten
thousand tears out of the life of men." [Footnote: This phrase is in one
of the inserted passages in the second edition.] Alas! after the
hurricane of two hundred years the tear-drops still hang, multitudinous
as ever, amid the leaves of that poor forest!

"Just like him" I have imagined to have been a comment on this new
appearance of Milton by some gossip of the day who may have known a
little of him personally. Really, though not as intended, the comment
would have been just. This whole action of Milton, consequent on his
unhappy marriage, was deeply characteristic. And yet there was perhaps no
one then living from whom such a course of action could less have been
expected. From all that we know of the youth and early manhood of Milton,
we should certainly have predicted of him, with whatever heterodoxy in
other matters, yet a life-long orthodoxy on the subject of marriage.
Think of him as we have seen him heretofore, the glorious youth,
cherishing every high ethical idealism, walking as in an ether of moral
violet, disdaining customary vice, building up his character consciously
on the principle that he who would be strong or great had best be
immaculate. Think of him as the author of _Comus_; or think of him
as he had described himself some years later in one of his Italian

  "Young, gentle-natured, and a simple wooer,
    Since from myself I stand in doubt to fly,
    Lady, to thee my heart's poor gift would I
    Offer devoutly: and, by tokens sure,
  I know it faithful, fearless, constant, pure,
    In its conceptions graceful, good, and high.
    When the world roars, and flames the startled sky,
    In its own adamant it rests secure,
  As free from chance and malice ever found,
    And fears and hopes that vulgar minds confuse,
    As it is loyal to each manly thing
  And to the sounding lyre and to the Muse.
    Only in that part is it not so sound
    Where Love hath set in it his cureless sting."

When he wrote thus, to what did he look forward, and to what might others
have looked forward for him? A career, it was probable, of speculative
dissent from his contemporaries in many things, and of undaunted courage
in the vindication of such dissent, but hardly of dissent from the
established moralities of the marriage-institution. Had he been happily
married, had he found himself united at last to one such as his dreams
had figured, who so likely to have persevered fondly in the traditional
doctrine of marriage, to have maintained the mystic sanctity and the
necessary permanence of the marriage-bond, and to have launched
denunciations against all who dared to tamper with this article of the
established ethics? But, as it had chanced otherwise, it was not the less
characteristic that he himself had been the audacious questioner, the
champion of a heresy. Driven by his own experience to investigate, his
speculative boldness had brought him at once to a conclusion the novelty
of which would have made others hesitate, but had no terrors for him. For
(and here was his difference from most men, here was what may be called a
Miltonic peculiarity) he would take no benefit from such private
dispensation as a man might pass for his own relief in such a case, his
neighbours winking at it so long as he did not disturb the forum. He
_would_ disturb the forum! What "Milton" did should be done openly,
should be avowed, should be lawful! Others, circumstanced as he now was,
might, if they liked--and there were examples all round, and especially
in that Bohemian world of wits and men of letters with which he might be
classed, though he abjured the brotherhood--others might, if they liked,
adopt a policy of silence and acquiescence, hypocritically bowing to
their fate, but taking out their protest in secret consolations! No such
policy for him! The word "illicit" and his name should never be brought
into conjunction! Whatever _he_ did should be according to a rule of
right, clear to his own conscience, and held aloft in his hand under the
whole roof of Heaven! And, if such a rule, ratified between himself and
Heaven, should chance to conflict with one of the moralities of the
existing code of men, there was but one course for him. He would assail
the so-called "morality"; he would blast it out of the beliefs of men; he
would perform for his fellows the service of their liberation, along with
himself, from a useless and irrational thraldom! Or, if that work should
prove too hard and toilsome, at least he should have published his own
rule in opposition to the general superstition, and should walk on, as he
had resolved always to walk, unabashed in the daylight.

It was in August 1643, as we have seen, that Milton put forth anonymously
his _Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_. From that time, on through
the rest of the autumn of 1643 and the winter of 1643-4, we are to fancy
him in his house in Aldersgate Street, with his father and his pupils for
his companions, and his thoughts much occupied, like those of other
Englishmen, with the course of public events. On the whole, the
Parliament had no greater admirer than Milton; and there were particular
men in the Parliament that were after his own heart. From the Westminster
Assembly, too, he seems to have expected good. So far as he had formed
views as to the desirable form of Church-government for England, these
views, as we have seen (Vol. II. pp. 376-382), might be described as an
expectant Presbyterianism, not positively fixed and determined at all
points, but kept conveniently fluid. Accordingly, his sympathies, at
first, may well have been with the Presbyterians of the Assembly; among
whom he could reckon, at any rate, his old tutor Young, and his other
friends and fellow-labourers in the Smectymnuan controversy. Or, if some
things among the tenets of the small Independent minority had begun to
gain upon him, he seems still, through the winter of 1643-4, to have
looked forward to some compromise that should be acceptable to England
and yet tend to that conformity between the two kingdoms which the Scots
desired, and to the furtherance of which they had pledged England by
Henderson's international League and Covenant. At all events, Milton did,
some time after September 1643, subscribe to this League and Covenant
with the rest of his Parliamentarian countrymen. There are words of his
own which vouch the fact. [Footnote: In the dedication to Parliament of
his _Tetrachordon_, published March 1644-5, he uses these words,
"That which I saw and was partaker of, your vows and solemn covenants."]

A moody time though the autumn of 1643 and the winter of 1643-4 must have
been for Milton, there was some relaxation for him in society more
general than that of his wife-deserted household. "Our author," says
Phillips, "now as it were a single man again, made it his chief diversion
now and then in an evening to visit the Lady Margaret Ley, daughter to
the--Ley, Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer of England, and
President of the Privy Council to King James the First. This lady, being
a woman of great wit and ingenuity, had a particular honour for him, and
took much delight in his company; as likewise her husband, Captain
Hobson, a very accomplished gentleman." Phillips seems to be sufficiently
accurate in this account, but a few details may be added:--

A man still well-remembered in England, though he had been dead fifteen
years, was James Ley, first Earl of Marlborough, he had attained to that
dignity only in his old age, having advanced to it through a long
previous career. Born about 1552, the younger son of a Wiltshire squire,
he had passed from Oxford to the study of law at Lincoln's Inn, and had
attained to high eminence in his profession before the death of
Elizabeth. Emerging from her reign, aged about fifty, he had been
appointed by James to an Irish Chief Judgeship (1604); then brought back
to England, knighted (1609), baroneted (1620), and made Chief Justice of
the Court of King's Bench (1621); and finally raised by the same King to
the great office of Lord High Treasurer of England, and to a peerage with
the title of Baron Ley of Ley in Devonshire (1624). In recognition of his
long services, Charles, in the first year of his reign (Feb. 5, 1626-7),
had created for him, when he was almost seventy-four years of age, the
Earldom of Marlborough in his native Wiltshire. While thus promoting him,
however, Charles appears not to have found him a minister such as he and
Buckingham wanted. He had accordingly removed him from the High
Treasurership in 1628, on the ground of his old age, but in reality to
make way for the more compliant Lord Weston, and had shelved him into the
less important office of Lord President of the Council. He had died at
Lincoln's Inn, March 14, 1628-9, exactly four days after that ominous
dissolution of Charles's third Parliament which announced his
determination to have done with Parliaments and begin the reign of
"Thorough." The death of the old peer at such a juncture had apparently
the less been forgotten by reason of a tradition that the political
anxieties of the juncture had had something to do with it. Now, at all
events, in the days of the Long Parliament and the Civil War, there was
still some respectful recollection of the old Earl of Marlborough as one
of the best-liked ministers of James's reign and of the first years of
Charles's. "He was a person of great gravity, ability, and integrity;
and, as the Caspian Sea is observed neither to ebb nor flow, so his mind
did not rise or fall, but continued the same constancy in all
conditions." The words are Fuller's, and they probably express the
character of the Earl that had come down among his countrymen. [Footnote:
Dugdale's Baronage (1676), Vol. II. pp. 451, 452; Wood's Athenæ, II. 441,
443; Clar. Hist. (one vol. ed. 1843), p. 20; Fuller's Worthies,
_Wiltshire_ (ed. 1840), III. 328-9.]

The Earl had been three times married; but he had left a family only by
his first wife--Mary, daughter of John Petty, of Stoke-Talmage, co.
Oxon., Esq. Eleven children had been the issue of this marriage:--to wit
(according to Dugdale), "three sons--_Henry, James_, and _William_; and
eight daughters--_Elizabeth_, married to Morice Carant, of Looner, in
com. Somers., Esq.; _Anne_, to Sir Walter Long, of Draycot-Cerne, in com.
Wilts., Knight; _Mary_, to Richard Erisy, of Erisy, in com. Cornw., Esq.;
_Dionysia_, to John Harington, of Kelneyton, in com. Somers., Esq.;
_Margaret_, to ... Hobson, of ... in the Isle of Wight, Esq.; _Hesther_,
to Arthur Fuller, of Bradfield, in com. Hertf., Esq.; _Martha_, died
unmarried; and _Phoebe_, to ... Biggs, of Hurst, in com. Berks., Esq."
[Footnote: Dugdale, _vt. supra_.] All these children, it would appear,
had been born, and most of them married and settled in life, before their
father's promotion to the peerage, and while he was yet only James Ley,
or Sir James Ley, the eminent lawyer. Indeed, his promotion to the
Earldom in his old age had been, in part, a compliment to his third wife-
-Jane, daughter of Lord Butler of Bramfield, whose mother was a sister of
the Duke of Buckingham; and it had been specially provided, in the patent
of the Earldom, that it should descend, by preference, to his heirs by
that lady. That lady having failed, however, to produce heirs, the
benefits of the Earldom had reverted to the Earl's family by his first
wife, Mary Petty. His eldest son by that wife, Henry Ley, had,
accordingly, succeeded him in the title. But this Henry, second Earl of
Marlborough, had died in 1638; and the actual Earl at the time with which
we are now concerned (1643) was _his_ son, James, a youth of only some
three-and-twenty years, but already serving as a general officer of
artillery in the army of the King. He seems, indeed, to have been one of
the finest young fellows on that side; and he had a career before him
which was to entitle him, at his death in 1665, to this notice in a
summary of his character by Clarendon: "He was a man of wonderful parts
in all kinds of learning, which he took more delight in than his title."
[Footnote: Clar. Life, ed. 184 p. 1141.]  For the present, however, it is
with the good ladies his aunts, the surviving daughters of the first
Earl, that we have to do; or rather only with the fifth of them--the Lady
Margaret Ley, the friend of Milton. The husbands of at least two of her
sisters (Long of Wilts., and Erisy of Cornwall) being among the
Parliamentarians of the Long Parliament, it can hardly be doubted that
this lady's husband--Dugdale's "... Hobson of ... in the Isle of Wight,
Esq.," and Phillips's "Captain Hobson, a very accomplished gentleman"--
was also a Parliamentarian, though of less wealth and note, and not in
Parliament. Otherwise, Lady Margaret's house in London could hardly have
been one of Milton's evening resorts. What kind of "Captaincy" her
husband held, compatible with his being domiciled in London in 1643-4, it
might be difficult now to ascertain. Suffice it that he _was_ so
domiciled, and that his wife could receive guests not merely as Mrs.
Hobson, "a woman of great wit and ingenuity," but as Lady Margaret Ley,
the daughter of a well-remembered Earl.

It is not from Phillips alone that we hear of Milton's friendship with
the Lady Margaret. Milton has himself commemorated it in one of his


  Daughter to that good Earl, once President
    Of England's Council and her Treasury,
    Who lived in both unstained by gold or fee,
    And left them both, more in himself content,
  Till the sad breaking of that Parliament
    Broke him, as that dishonest victory
    At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,
    Killed with report that old man eloquent:
  Though later born than to have known the days
    Wherein your father flourished, yet by you,
    Madam, methinks I see him living yet;
  So well your words his noble virtues praise
    That all both judge you to relate them true
    And to possess them, honoured Margaret."

The "old man eloquent" is Isocrates, the Athenian orator, whose
patriotism made him refuse to survive the defeat of the Athenians and
Thebans by Philip of Macedon at Chæroncia, This comparison of the lady's
father to the famous Greek is perhaps the most poetical turn in the
Sonnet. For the rest, it tells us something about the lady herself. She
must have been somewhat, if not considerably, older than Milton; for,
though Milton had been twenty years old at the time of the good Earl's
death, and might therefore well remember his Treasurership and Presidency
of the Council, he speaks of knowing the days wherein the old peer had
flourished chiefly through the Lady Margaret's talk about him and them.
Her conversation, it would therefore seem, ran much upon her father and
his private and political virtues; and Milton listened respectfully,
seeing much in the lady herself of what she praised in her sire. Perhaps
Milton would talk to her freely in return of his own concerns. The Lady
Margaret Ley, and her husband, Captain Hobson, were probably in his
confidence on the subject of his marriage misfortune. The Sonnet was
unquestionably written in 1643 or 1644. [Footnote: It was printed in the
first or 1645 edition of Milton's Poems, and it is placed last in the
series of Sonnets there contained. The draft of it in the Cambridge Book
of Milton's MSS. is in Milton's own hand--the title "To the Lady Margaret
Ley" being likewise his hand.]

A younger and unmarried lady must then also have been among Milton's
acquaintances. How else can we account for this other Sonnet?

  "Lady, that in the prime of earliest youth
    Wisely hast shunned the broad way and the green,
    And with those few art eminently seen
    That labour up the hill of heavenly truth,
  The better part, with Mary and with Ruth,
    Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
    And at thy glowing virtues fret their spleen,
    No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
  Thy care is fixed, and zealously attends
    To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,
    And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure
  Thou, when the Bridegroom with his feastful friends
    Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
    Hast gained thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure."

This Sonnet, to which the heading "_To a Virtuous Young Lady_" is
now prefixed in the editions of Milton, had no such heading prefixed in
his own copy. [Footnote: In the Cambridge MSS. there is a draft in
Milton's own hand immediately before the draft of the Sonnet to Lady
Margaret Ley. In the edition of 1645 the Sonnet was printed in the same
order and without a heading. In the MS. draft there are several erasures
and corrections. Thus Milton had originally written "_blooming
virtue_" in as if with reference to the personal appearance of the
young lady; but in the margin he substitutes the present reading,
"_growing virtues_."] Who the young lady was that so won upon Milton
at this critical time, and seemed to him so superior to the more
commonplace of her sex, we are left uninformed. There is a conjecture on
the subject, which may afterwards appear. It is clear, meanwhile, that
the poor absent Mary Powell may have suffered not only from her own
defects, but also from the opportunity of some such contrast.

The Divorce subject continued to occupy Milton. His tract had been
rapidly bought, and had caused a sensation. Through the cold winter of
1643-4, while the Parliament and the Assembly were busy, and the
auxiliary Scottish army was expected, a good many people had leisure to
read the strange production, or at least to look into it, and be properly
shocked. It seems to have been about this time, for example, that James
Howell, the letter-writer, came, upon a copy. Or rather the copy must
have come upon him; for the poor man, now past fifty years of age, and
ousted from his clerkship to the Privy Council, was in the Fleet Prison
for debt, and dependent for his subsistence there on translations,
dedications and poems to friends, and all sorts of literary odds and
ends. [Footnote: Wood's Ath. III. 745, and Cunningham's London Article
_Fleet Prison_.] In one of his rambling pieces, afterwards published
in the form of Letters, mostly without dates, and addressed to friends
from feigned places, he thus gives what I take to be his impression of
Milton's tract when it first reached him in the Fleet: "But that opinion
of a poor shallow-brained puppy, who, upon any cause of dissatisfaction,
would have men to have a privilege to change their wives, or to repudiate
them, deserves to be hissed at rather than confuted; for nothing can tend
more to usher in all confusion and beggary throughout the world:
therefore that wiseacre deserves," &c. [Footnote: Howell's Familiar
Letters Book IV, Letter 7, addressed "To Sir Edward Spencer, knight," (pp
453-457 of edit. 1754.) The letter is dated "Lond. 24 Jan.," no year
given; but the dates are worthless, being afterthoughts, when the Letters
were published in successive batches.] As Mr. Howell's own notions about
marriage and its moralities were of the lightest and easiest, his severe
virtuousness here is peculiarly representative. More interesting on its
own account is the opinion of another contemporary--no other than
Milton's late antagonist Bishop Hall. In Hall's _Cases of Conscience_
(not published till 1649) he thus describes the impression which Milton's
Divorce pamphlet had made upon him when he first read it in its anonymous
form: "I have heard too much of, and once saw, a licentious pamphlet,
thrown abroad in these lawless times in the defence and encouragement of
Divorces (not to be sued out; that solemnity needed not; but) to be
arbitrarily given by the disliking husband to the displeasing and unquiet
wife, upon this ground principally, That marriage was instituted for the
help and comfort of man: where, therefore, the match proves such as that
the wife doth but pull down aside, and, by her innate peevishness and
either sullen or pettish and froward disposition, bring rather discontent
to her husband, the end of marriage being hereby frustrate, why should it
not, saith he, be in the husband's power, after some unprevailing means
of reclamation attempted, to procure his own peace by casting off this
clog, and to provide for his own peace and contentment in a fitter match?
Woe is me! to what a pass is the world conic that a Christian, pretending
to Information, should dare to tender so loose a project to the public! I
must seriously profess that, when I first did cast my eyes upon the front
of the book, I supposed some great wit meant to try his skill in the
maintenance of this so wild and improbable a paradox; but, ere I could
run over some of those too well-penned pages, I found the author was in
earnest, and meant seriously to contribute this piece of good counsel, in
way of reformation, to the wise and seasonable care of superiors. I
cannot but blush for our age wherein so bold a motion hath been, amongst
others, admitted to the light. What will all the Christian Churches
through the world, to whose notice these lines shall come, think of our
woeful degeneration, &c."? [Footnote: Hall's Works (edit. 1837), VII.
467.] Hall, it will be seen, had noted the literary ability of the
pamphlet, while amazed by its doctrine.

Neither Howell's nor Bishop Hall's opinion can have reached the author of
the pamphlet till long after the date now in view. But other opinions to
the same effect had been reaching him. Especially, it seems, the pamphlet
had caused a fluttering among the London clergy. The consequence had best
be told by himself. "God, it seems, intended to prove me, whether I
durst alone take up a rightful cause against a world of disesteem, and
found I durst. My name I did not publish, as not willing it should sway
the reader either for me or against me. But, when I was told that the
style (which what it ails to be so soon distinguishable I cannot tell)
was known by most men, and that some of the clergy began to inveigh and
exclaim on what I was credibly informed they had not read, I look it then
for my proper season both to show a name that could easily contemn such
an indiscreet kind of censure, and to reinforce the question with a more
accurate diligence, that, if any of them would be so good as to leave
railing, and to let us hear so much of his learning and Christian wisdom
as will be strictly demanded of him in his answering to this problem,
care was had he should not spend his preparations against a nameless
pamphlet." [Footnote: This passage, fitting in here with chronological
exactness, occurs in Milton's _Judgment of Martin Bucer concerning
Divorce_, published in July 1644.] In other words, he resolved to abandon
the anonymous. His pamphlet, easily traced to him from the first by its
Miltonic style, had been sold out, or nearly so; people generally, but
clergymen especially, were saying harsh things about it, and about him as
its author; but some of these critics, he authentically knew, had never
read the pamphlet, and others were making a point of the fact that it had
appeared without its author's name.  Well, there should be an end of
that! He would put forth a second edition of the pamphlet, and avow the
authorship! And this he would do rather because, since the publication of
the first edition, he had been looking farther into the literature of the
question, and could now fortify his own reasoned opinion with authorities
he had been but dimly aware of, or had altogether overlooked.

Accordingly, on the 2nd of February, 1643-4, there did come forth a
second edition of Milton's first Divorce Tract, with this new title:
"_The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. Restor'd to the good of both
Sexes, from the bondage of Canon Law, and other mistakes, to the true
meaning of Scripture in the Law and Gospel compar'd. Wherein are set down
the bad consequences of abolishing or condemning of Sin, that which the
Law of God allowes, and Christ abolisht not. Now the second time revis'd
and much augmented. In Two Books: to the Parliament of England with the
Assembly. The Author J.M._" Underneath this title, the text Matth
xiii. 52 is repeated from the title-page of the first edition; with this
new text added, Prov. xviii. 13: "He that answereth a matter before he
heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." Then follows the imprint,
"_London, Imprinted in the yeare_ 1644." In the copy in the British
Museum which is my authority, the collector Thomason has put his pen
through the final figure 4, and has annexed, in ink, the date "Feb. 2,
1643." [Footnote: Brit, Mus. Press-mark, 12. E.e. 5/141.] This fixes the
exact date of publication as above, Feb. 2, 1643-4.

This second edition is a great enlargement and improvement of the first.
The 48 small quarto pages of the first swell into 88 pages; the text is
divided into Two Books, each of which is subdivided into Chapters, with
carefully-worded headings; and, on the whole, the treatise is made more
inviting in appearance. The bold Introductory Letter, addressed "_To
the Parliament of England, with the Assembly_," consists of six pages,
and is signed not with the mere initials "J.M." which appear on the
title-page, but fully "John Milton." The additions in the text consist
sometimes of a few words inserted, sometimes of expansions of mere
passages of the first edition into two or three pages: in the Second Book
they attain to still larger dimensions, so that much of that Book is
totally new matter. Thus Chapters I., II., and III., of this Book,
forming ten pages, come in lieu of a single paragraph of two pages in the
first edition; Chapters IV., V., VI., and VII., forming together six
pages, are substituted for about a single page of the first edition; and
Chapter XXI., consisting of nearly five pages, is an expansion of about a
page and a half in the first edition. The additions and expansions appear
to have been made on various principles. Sometimes one can see that a
passage has been added for the mere poetic enrichment of the text, and to
prove that the hand that was writing was not that of a musty polemic, but
of an artist, at home in splendours. There is a striking instance in
point in Chap. VI. of Book I., where there is interpolated a gratuitously
gorgeous myth or fable, which may be entitled _Eros and Anteros,_ or
_Love and Its Reciprocation_. The passage is characteristic and may
be quoted:--

Marriage is a covenant the very being whereof consists, not in a forced
cohabitation, and counterfeit performance of duties, but in unfeigned
love and peace. And of matrimonial love no doubt but that was chiefly
meant which by the ancient sages was thus parabled: That Love, if he be
not twin-born, yet hath a brother wondrous like him, called Anteros; whom
while he seeks all about, his chance is to meet with many false and
feigning desires that wander singly up and down in his likeness. By them
in their borrowed garb Love, though not wholly blind as poets wrong him,
yet having but one eye, as being born an archer aiming, and that eye not
the quickest in this dark region here below, which is not Love's proper
sphere, partly out of the simplicity and credulity which is native to
him, often deceived, embraces and consorts him with these obvious and
suborned striplings, as if they were his Mother's own sons, for so he
thinks them while they subtly keep themselves most on his blind side.
But, after a while, as his manner is, when, soaring up into the high
tower of his Apogæum, above the shadows of the Earth, he darts out the
direct rays of his then most piercing eyesight upon the impostures and
trim disguises that were used with him, and discerns that this is not his
genuine brother, as he imagined, he has no longer the power to hold
fellowship with such a personated mate. For straight his arrows loose
their golden heads and shed their purple feathers; his silken braids
untwine and slip their knots; and that original and fiery virtue given
him by Fate all on a sudden goes out and leaves him undeified and
despoiled of all his force; till, finding Anteros at last, he kindles and
repairs the almost faded ammunition of his Deity by the reflection of a
coequal and homogeneal fire. Thus mine author sung it to me; and, by the
leave of those who would be counted the only grave ones, this is no mere
amatorious novel (though to be wise and skilful in these matters men
heretofore of greatest name in virtue have esteemed it one of the highest
arcs that human contemplation circling upwards can make from the glassy
sea whereon she stands); but this is a serious and deep verity, showing
us that Love in Marriage cannot live nor subsist unless it be mutual.

Unless more is meant than meets the eye by _Anteros_ here in
Milton's own case, this interpolation [Footnote: The manner of the
interpolation is so curious that it deserves a note. Milton, perceiving
that such a poetic Fable might be objected to as fitter for a "mere
amatorious novel" than for a controversial treatise, insinuates an
apology for its introduction. The apology is that some of the wisest and
greatest men had allowed the use on occasion of those "highest arcs that
human contemplation, circling upwards, can make from the glassy sea
whereon she stands." In this phrase Milton furnished his critics with a
weapon which they might have used against himself. Even now the most
general objection to his prose writings would be that they contain too
many of those gratuitous grandeurs, those upward arcs and circlings from
the glassy sea. But, in fact, he had his own theory of prose-writing as
of other things, and it was not Addison's, nor any other that has been
common since.] was for literary effect only. Very frequently, however,
the additions are of new reasonings, or farther interpretations of
Scripture. Above all, we have in the second edition the results of
Milton's ranging in the literature of the question since he had published
the first. In that first edition he had been able to make some reference
to Hugo Grotius, having fortunately at the last moment come upon some
notes of Grotius on Matth. v. which he thought reasonable. But since then
he had lighted on a more thorough-going authority on his side in one of
the German theologians of the Reformation period--Paul Fagius (1504-
1550). "I had learnt," he says, "that Paulus Fagius, one of the chief
divines in Germany, sent for by Frederic the Palatine to reform his
dominion, and after that invited hither in King Edward's days to be
Professor of Divinity in Cambridge, was of the same opinion touching
Divorce which these men so lavishly traduced in me. What I found I
inserted where fittest place was, thinking sure they would respect so
grave an author, at least to the moderating of their odious inferences."
[Footnote: This explanation, referring to the second edition of the
_Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_, does not occur in that
treatise itself, but in the _Judgment of Martin Bucer_, published
some months afterwards.]  Accordingly, in the second edition,
considerable use is made of Fagius, as well as of Grotius, while, as
before, other theologians of historical note--Calvin, Beza, Pareus (1548-
1622), Perkins (1558-1602), Rivetus (1572-1651)--are respectfully cited,
sometimes as furnishing a favourable hint, but sometimes as requiring
reply and correction. Not the least interesting perhaps of the added
passages is this in the last chapter: "That all this is true [_i.e._
that Divorce is not to be restricted by Law] whoso desires to know at
large with least pains, and expects not here overlong rehearsals of that
which is by others already judiciously gathered, let him hasten to be
acquainted with that noble volume written by our learned Selden, '_Of
the Law of Nature and of Nations_;' a work more useful and more worthy
to be perused, whosoever studies to be a great man in wisdom, equity and
justice, than all those Decretals and sumless Sums which the Pontifical
clerks have doted on." The particular work of Selden's here referred to
is his folio, _De Jure Naturali et Gentium juxta Disciplinam
Hebræorum_, published in 1640. His work more expressly on Divorce,
entitled _Uxor Hebraica, sive De Nuptiis ac Divortiis_, did not
appear till 1646--_i.e._ it _followed_ Milton's publications on
the subject, and in the main backed the opinion they had propounded. It
seems to me not improbable that in 1643-4, when Milton paid Selden the
compliment we have quoted, he had just made Selden's personal
acquaintance. Selden was then in his sixtieth year; Milton in his thirty-

After the description given of the second edition of the _Doctrine and
Discipline of Divorce_ and its differences from the first, it seems
necessary to quote only some passages from Milton's opening address in it
to the Parliament and the Westminster Assembly:--

... Error supports Custom, Custom countenances Error; and these two
between them would persecute and chase away all truth and solid wisdom
out of human life, were it not that God, rather than man, once in many
ages, calls together the prudent and religious counsels of men deputed to
repress the encroachments, and to work off the inveterate blots and
obscurities wrought upon our minds by the subtle insinuating of Error and
Custom: who, with the numerous and vulgar train of their followers, make
it their chief design to envy and cry down the industry of free
reasoning, under the terms of "humour" and "innovation"; as if the womb
of teeming Truth were to be closed up if she presume to bring forth aught
that sorts not with their unchewed notions and suppositions. Against
which notorious injury and abuse of man's free soul to testify, and
oppose the utmost that study and true labour can attain, heretofore the
incitement of men reputed grave hath led me among others; and now the
duty and the right of an instructed Christian calls me through the chance
of good or evil report to be the sole advocate of a discountenanced
truth: a high enterprise, Lords and Commons, a high enterprise and a
hard, and such as every seventh son of a seventh son does not venture
on.... You it concerns chiefly, worthies in Parliament, on whom, as on
our deliverers, all our grievances and cares, by the merit of your
eminence and fortitude, are devolved: me it concerns next, having with
much labour and diligence first found out, or at least with a fearless
and communicative candour first published to the manifest good of
Christendom, that which, calling to witness everything mortal and
immortal, I believe unfeignedly to be true.... Mark then, Judges and
Lawgivers, and ye whose office it is to be our teachers, for I will now
utter a doctrine, if ever any other, though neglected or not understood,
yet of great and powerful importance to the governing of mankind. He who
wisely would restrain the reasonable soul of man within due bounds must
first himself know perfectly how far the territory and dominion extends
of just and honest liberty. As little must he offer to bind that which
God hath loosened as to loosen that which He hath bound. The ignorance
and mistake of this high point hath heaped up one huge half of all the
misery that hath been since Adam. In the Gospel we shall read a
supercilious crew of Masters, whose holiness, or rather whose evil eye,
grieving that God should be so facile to man, was to set straiter limits
to obedience than God had set, to enslave the dignity of Man, to put a
garrison upon his neck of empty and over-dignified precepts: and we shall
read our Saviour never more grieved and troubled than to meet with such a
peevish madness among men against their own freedom. How can we expect
him to be less offended with us, when much of the same folly shall be
found yet remaining where it least ought, to the perishing of thousands?
The greatest burden in the world is Superstition, not only of ceremonies
in the Church, but of imaginary and scarecrow sins at home. What greater
weakening, what more subtle stratagem against our Christian warfare,
when, besides the gross body of real transgressions to encounter, we
shall be terrified by a vain and shadowy menacing of faults that are not!
When things indifferent shall be set to overfront us, under the banners
of Sin, what wonder if we be routed, and, by this art of our Adversary,
fall into the subjection of worst and deadliest offences! The
superstition of the Papist is "Touch not, taste not!" when God bids both;
and ours is "Part not, separate not!" when God and Charity both permits
and commands. "Let all your things be done with charity," saith St. Paul;
and his Master saith "She is the fulfilling of the Law." Yet now a civil,
an indifferent, a sometime dissuaded Law of Marriage must be forced upon
us to fulfil, not only without Charity, but against her. No place in
Heaven or Earth, except Hell, where Charity may not enter; yet Marriage,
the ordinance of our solace and contentment, the remedy of our
loneliness, will not admit now either of Charity or Mercy to come in and
mediate or pacify the fierceness of this gentle ordinance, the unremedied
loneliness of this remedy. Advise ye well, Supreme Senate, if charity be
thus excluded and expulsed, how ye will defend the untainted honour of
your own actions and proceedings. He who marries intends as little to
conspire his own ruin as he that swears allegiance; and, as a whole
people is in proportion to an ill Government, so is one man to an ill
marriage.... Whatever else ye can enact will scarce concern a third part
of the British name; but the benefit and good of this your magnanimous
example [should they restore liberty of Divorce] will easily spread far
beyond the banks of Tweed and the Norman Isles. It would not be the first
nor the second time, since our ancient Druids, by whom this Island as the
cathedral of philosophy to France, left off their Pagan rites, that
England hath had this honour vouchsafed from Heaven--to give out
reformation to the world. Who was it but our English Constantine that
baptized the Roman Empire? Who but the Northumbrian Willibrod and
Winifrid of Devon, with their followers, were the first Apostles of
Germany? Who but Alcuin and Wicklif, our countrymen, opened the eyes of
Europe, the one in Arts, the other in Religion? Let not England forget
her precedence of teaching nations how to live....

Milton's idea of the greatness of his enterprise, it will be seen from
these passages, had grown and grown the more he had brooded on it. What
if in this Doctrine of Divorce he were to be the discoverer or restorer
of a new liberty, not for England alone, but actually for all
Christendom? Meanwhile what opposition he would have to face, what storms
of scurrilous jest and severer calumny! Might it not have been better to
have written his treatise in Latin? This thought had occurred to him. "It
might perhaps more fitly have been written in another tongue; and I had
done so, but that the esteem I have for my country's judgment, and the
love I bear to my native language, to seive it first with what I
endeavour, made me speak it thus ere I assay the verdict of outlandish
readers." Yet there might have been a propriety, he feels, in addressing
such an argument in the first place only to the learned.

And what, after all, and in precise practical form, _was_ this
tremendous proposition of Milton respecting Divorce? Reduced out of large
and cloudy terms, it was simply this,--that marriage, as it respected the
continued union of the two married persons, was a thing with which Law
had nothing whatever to do; that the two persons who had contracted a
marriage were the sole judges of its convenience, and, if they did not
suit each other, might part by their own act, and be free again; at all
events, that for husbands the Mosaic Law on the subject was still in
force: viz. (Deut. xxiv. 1) "When a man hath taken a wife and married
her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he
hath found some uncleanness in her [interpreted as including any moral or
intellectual incompatibility, any unfitness whatever], then let him write
her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of
his house." Milton avoids as much as possible such reductions of his
proposition to harsh practical form, and would have disowned such brief
popular summaries of his doctrine as _Divorce at pleasure_, or
_Divorce at the Husband's pleasure_; but, in reality, it came to
this. The husband, in modern times, had still, he maintained, the old
Mosaic right of giving his wife a "bill of divorcement," if she did not
satisfy him, and sending her back to her father's house. The right was a
purely personal one. Friends, indeed, might interfere with their good
offices; nay it would be fitting, and perhaps necessary, that there
should be a solemn formality "in presence of the minister and other grave
selected elders," who should admonish the man of the seriousness of the
step he was about to take. But, if he persisted in taking it--if "he
shall have protested, on the faith of the eternal Gospel and the hope he
has of a happy resurrection, that otherwise than thus he cannot do, and
thinks himself and this his case not contained in that prohibition of
divorce which Christ pronounced (Matth. v. 31-32), the matter not being
of malice, but of nature, and so not capable of reconciling"--then the
Church had done her part to the full, and the man was to be left to his
own liberty. This passage, proposing a kind of public oath on the man's
part, as a formality to be required in every case of dissolution of
marriage, occurs near the end of the treatise in both editions; and it
indicates, I think, Milton's recoil from any rough or free and easy
version of his doctrine, and his desire to temper it as much as he could.
Essentially, however, the proposal mattered little. The husband was still
left sole judge of his wife's fitness or unfitness for him, and whether
he should exercise his right of putting her away was a matter finally for
his private conscience.

With reference to Milton's own case, it is worth observing that the
causes of divorce on which he still rings the changes throughout the
second edition of his treatise, as throughout the first, are the
unmatchableness of dispositions, the unfitness of the wife for rational
conversation, her intellectual and moral insufficiency or perverseness.
There is no word of _desertion_. I cannot but think that this
confirms the view that it was not the absence of Milton's wife that
caused his dissatisfaction with his marriage, but that the
dissatisfaction preceded the absence and had helped to occasion it.

Narration, rather than criticism, is my business in this work; and we
have not yet done with Milton's Divorce speculation. At this point,
however, I may venture on three remarks:--

(1.) What is most noticeable in Milton, underneath his whole conduct
here, as in so many other matters, is his intellectual courage. Among men
of thought there are, I should say, two grades of honesty. There is
passive honesty, or the honesty of never saying, or appearing to say,
what one does _not_ think; and it is a rare and high merit to have
attained to this. But there is the greater honesty of always saying, or
indeed asserting and proclaiming, whatever one _does_ think. The
proportion of those who have disciplined themselves to this positive or
aggressive honesty, and are at the same time socially sufferable by
reason of the importance of what they have to say, has always been
wonderfully small in the world. Now, Milton was one of this band of
intellectual Ironsides. Even within the band itself he belonged to the
extremest section. For he dared to question not only the speculative
dogmas and political traditions of his time, which others round him were
questioning, but even some of the established "moralities," which few of
them were questioning. It is not at all uncommon for men the most free-
thinking in matters of religious belief to be immoveably and even
fanatically orthodox in their allegiance to all customary moralities.
They abide by tradition, and think with the multitude, in ethical
questions, if in nothing, else. But on Milton, it appears from his
Address to the Parliament and the Assembly, there had dawned the idea
that, as there had come down in the bosom of society misbeliefs in
science, imperfect views of theology, and conventions of political
tyranny, so there had come down things even worse, in the form of
cobwebbed sacramentalisms and sanctities for private life, factitious
restrictions of individual liberty pretending themselves to be Christian
rules of holiness. Among the greatest burdens and impediments in man's
life, he says, were such pseudo-moralities, such "imaginary and scarecrow
sins," vaunting themselves as suckers and corollaries from the Ten
Commandments. This was a daring track to be upon, but Milton was upon it.
He did not believe that the world had arrived at a final and perfect
system of morals, any more than at a perfect system of science. He
believed the established ethical customs of men to be subject to revision
by enlarged and progressive reason, and modifiable from age to age,
equally with their theories of cosmology, their philosophical creeds, or
anything else. There was no terror for him in that old and ever-repeated
outcry about "sapping the foundations of society." He believed that the
foundations of society had taken, and would still take, a great deal of
"sapping," without detriment to the superstructure. He believed that, as
we may read in Herodotus of ancient communities established on all sorts
of principles, or even whim-principles, and yet managing to get on, and
as these crude polities had been succeeded by other and better ones, to
the latest known in the world, so these last need not look to be
permanent. Of a tendency to this state of feeling Milton had given
evidences from early youth; but I do not think I am wrong in fixing on
the year 1643 as the time when it became chronic, nor in tracing the
sudden enlargement of it then beyond its former bounds to the wrench in
his life caused by his unhappy marriage. At all events, henceforward
throughout his career we shall see the continuous action of this now
avowed Miltonism among others. We shall see him henceforward continually
acting on the principle that, in addition to the real sins forbidden to
man by an eternal law of right and wrong, revealed in his own conscience
and authenticated by the Bible (for Milton did believe in such an eternal
law, and, however it is to be reconciled with what we have just been
saying, was a transcendental or _a priori_ moralist at his heart's
core), the field of human endeavour was overstrewn by a multiplicity of
mere "scarecrow sins," one's duty in respect of which was simply to march
up to them, one after another, and pluck them up, every stick of them
individually, with its stuck-on old hat and all its waving tatters.

(2.) One notes in Milton's first Divorce Tract, as in much else of his
controversial writing, a preference for the theoretical over what may be
called the practical style of argument. The neglect of practical details
in his reasoning throughout this particular Tract amounts to what might
be called greenness or innocence. What are the questions with which an
opponent of the "practical" type would have immediately tried to pose
Milton, or which such an one would now object to his doctrine? No one can
miss them. In a case where divorce is desired by the man only, what is to
become of the divorced wife? Is not the damage of her prospects by the
fact that she has once been married, if but for a month, something to be
taken into account? It is not in marriage as it may be in other
partnerships. The poor girl that has been once married returns to her
father or her friends an article of suddenly diminished value in the
general estimation. What provision is to be made for this? Then, should
there be children, what are to be the arrangements? Or again, suppose the
case, under the new Divorce Law, of a man who has a weakness for a
succession of wives--a private Henry the Eighth. He marries No. 1, and,
after a while, on the plea that he does not find that she suits him, he
gives her a bill of divorcement; No. 2 comes and is treated in like
manner; and so on, till the brutal rascal, undeniably free from all legal
censure, may be living in the centre of a perfect solar system of his
discarded wives, moving in nearer or farther orbits round him, according
to the times when they were thrown off, and each with her one or two
satellites of little darlings! To be sure, there is the public oath
which, it is supposed, might have to be taken in every case of divorce;
but what would such a blackguard care for any number of such oaths?
Besides, you put it to him by his oath to declare that in his conscience
he believes the incompatibility between himself and his wife to be
radical and irremediable, and that he does not find that he comes within
Christ's meaning in that famous passage of the Sermon on the Mount in
which he Christianized the Mosaic Law of Divorce. What does such a fellow
know of Christ's meaning? He will swear, and according to your new Law he
need only swear, according to his own standard of fitness; which may be
that variety is a _sine quâ non_ for him, or that No. 2 is intolerable
when No. 3 is on the horizon. How, in the terms of the new Law, is such
licence to sheer libertinism to be avoided? These and other such
questions are suggested here not as necessarily fatal to Milton's
doctrine: in fact, in certain countries, since Milton's time, the most
thorough practical consideration of them has not impeded modifications of
the Marriage Law in the direction heralded by Milton. They are suggested
as indicating Milton's rapidity, his impatience, or, if we choose so to
call it, his dauntless faith in ideas and first principles. It is
remarkable how little, in his first Divorce Tract, he troubles himself
with the anticipation of such-like objections of the practical kind. The
reason may partly be that, in his own case, some of them, if not all,
were irrelevant. There were no children in his case to complicate the
affair; Mary Powell was probably as willing to part from him as he to
part from Mary Powell; and, if she were to relapse into Mary Powell again
and he to be free as before, the social expense of their two or three
months' mismatch would hardly be appreciable! Doubtless, however, Milton
foresaw many of the practical objections. He foresaw cases, that would be
sure to arise under the new law, much more complicated than that of
himself and Mary Powell. That he did not discuss such cases may have,
therefore, been partly the policy of a controversialist, resolved to
establish his main principle in the first place, and leaving the details
of practical adjustment for a future time or for other heads. On the
whole, however, the inattention to those practical details which would
have formed so much of the matter of most men's reasonings on the same
subject was very characteristic.

(3.) My last remark is that Milton, in his tract, writes wholly from the
man's point of view, and in the man's interest, with a strange oblivion
of the woman's. The Tract is wholly a plea for the right of a man to give
his wife a bill of divorcement and send her home to her father. There is
no distinct word about any counterpart right for a woman who has married
an unsuitable husband to give him a bill of divorcement and send him back
to his mother. On the whole subject of the woman's interests in the
affair Milton is suspiciously silent. There is, indeed, one passage, in
Chap. XV. of the Tract, bearing on the question; and it is very curious.
Beza and Paræus, it seems, had argued that the Mosaic right of
divorcement given to the man had been intended rather as a merciful
release for afflicted wives than as a privilege for the man himself. On
this opinion Milton thinks it necessary to comment. He partly maintains
that, if true, it would strengthen his argument for the restoration of
the right of divorce to husbands; but partly he protests against its
truth. "If divorce wore granted," he says, "not for men, but to release
afflicted wives, certainly it is not only a dispensation, but a most
merciful law; and why it should not yet be in force, being wholly as
needful, I know not what can be in cause but senseless cruelty. But yet
to say divorce was granted for relief of wives, rather than for husbands,
is but weakly conjectured, and is manifest the extreme shift of a huddled
exposition ... Palpably uxorious! Who can be ignorant that woman was
created for man, and not man for woman, and that a husband may be injured
as insufferably in marriage as a wife. What an injury is it after wedlock
not to be beloved, what to be slighted, what to be contended with in
point of house-rule who shall be the head, not for any parity of wisdom
(for that were something reasonable), but out of a female pride! 'I
suffer not,' saith Saint Paul, 'the woman to usurp authority over the
man.' If the Apostle could not suffer it, into what mould is he mortified
that can? Solomon saith that 'a bad wife is to her husband as rottenness
to his bones, a continual dropping: better dwell in a corner of the
house-top, or in the wilderness, than with such a one: whoso hideth her
hideth the wind, and one of the four mischiefs that the earth cannot
bear.' If the Spirit of God wrote such aggravations as these, and, as it
may be guessed by these similitudes, counsels the man rather to divorce
than to live with such a colleague, and yet, on the other side, expresses
nothing of the wife's suffering with a bad husband, is it not most likely
that God in his Law had more pity towards man thus wedlocked than towards
the woman that was created for another?" [Footnote: This passage occurs
in the second edition. There is but the germ of it in the first sentence,
"If Divorce were granted ... senseless cruelty." The inference is that
Milton, when he wrote the first edition, was rather pleased with the idea
of Beza and Paræus that divorce had been given for the relief of the
wife, and that his dissatisfaction with the idea, as promoting the woman
too much at the man's expense, came afterwards.] Here was doctrine with a
vengeance. Man being the superior being, and therefore with the greater
capacity of being pained or injured, God had pitied him, if unhappily
married, more than the woman similarly situated. For him, therefore, and
not for the woman, there had been provided the right of divorce! This is
not positively asserted, but it seems to be implied. The woman's relief,
in the case of a marriage unhappy for her, consisted apparently,
according to Milton, not in her power to cut the knot, but in the
likelihood that her husband, finding the marriage unhappy also for him,
would desire for his own sake to cut the knot, or might be driven by her
management to that extremity. In short, we have here, as another
consequence of Milton's unfortunate marriage, the beginning of that
peculiarly stern form of the notion of woman's natural and essential
inferiority to man which ran with visible effects through his whole
subsequent life. If not his ideal of woman, at least his estimate of what
was to be expected from actual women, and what was on the average to be
accorded to them, had been permanently lowered by a bad first experience.

All this while, what of the poor girl whose hard fate it was to occasion
this experience in the life of a man too grandly and sternly her
superior? One is bound to think also of her, and to remember, in so
thinking, how young she was at the time when her offended husband first
theorized his feeling of her defects, and published his theorizings, with
her image and memory, though not with her name, involved in them, to the
talkative world. She had not been seventeen years and a half old when she
had married Milton; she was of exactly that age when she left him, and
the first edition of his Divorce Treatise was ready; she was just
eighteen when the second and fuller edition appeared. Surely, but for
that fatal visit back to Forest Hill, contrived by her or her relatives,
matters would have righted themselves. As it was, things could not be
worse. Restored to her father's house at Forest Hill, amid her unmarried
brothers and sisters, and all the familiar objects from which she had
parted so recently on going to London, the young bride had, doubtless,
_her_ little pamphlets to publish in that narrow but sympathising
circle. In particular, her grievances would be poured into the confiding
ears of her mother. That lady, as we can see, at once takes the lead in
the case. Never with her will shall her daughter go back to that dreadful
man in Aldersgate Street! Mr. Powell acquiesces; brothers and sisters
acquiesce; Oxford Royalism near at hand acquiesces, so far as it is
consulted; the bride herself acquiesces, happy enough again in the
routine of home, or perhaps beginning to join bashfully again in such
gaieties of officers' balls, and the like, as the proximity of the King's
quarters to Forest Hill made inevitable. And is not the King's cause on
the whole prospering, and is not that in itself another reason for being
at least in no hurry to make it up with Milton? What if it never be made
up with him? It is some time since his letters to Forest Hill by the
carrier ceased entirely, and since the foot-messenger he sent down
expressly all the way from London with his final letter was met at the
gate by Mrs. Powell and told her mind in terms which were doubtless duly
reported. And now, they hear, he is going about London as usual, and
visiting at Lady Margaret Ley's, and giving his own version of his
marriage story, and even printing Tracts in favour of Divorce! People
generally, they say, are not agreeing with him on that subject; but there
is at least one respectable English family that _is_ tempted to
agree with him and to wish him all success!


MARCH 1644-MARCH 1645.





The English Parliamentarians hoped great things from the Scottish
auxiliary army. The Royalists, on the other hand, were both angry and
alarmed. In anticipation, indeed, of the coming-in of the Scots, the King
had ventured on a very questionable step. He had summoned what may be
called an ANTI-PARLIAMENT to meet him at Oxford on the 22nd of January
1643-4, to consist of all members who had been expelled from the two
Houses in Westminster, and all that might be willing, in the new crisis,
to withdraw from those rebellious Houses. On the appointed day,
accordingly, there had rallied round the King at Oxford 49 Peers and 141
Commoners; which was not a bad show against the 22 Peers and 280
Commoners who met on the same day in the two Houses at Westminster. But
little else resulted from the convocation of the ANTI-PARLIAMENT. In
fact, many who had gone to it had done so with a view to negotiations for
peace. Such negotiations were at least talked of. In addition to vehement
denunciations of the doings of the Parliament, there were some abortive
attempts at friendly intercourse. All which having failed, the ANTI-
PARLIAMENT was prorogued April 16, 1644, after having sat nearly three
months. Parliaments, even when they were loyalist Parliaments, were not
the agencies that Charles found pleasantest. He trusted rather to the
arbitrament of the field.


No sudden blow was struck by the Scots. They had fastened themselves, in
proper military fashion, on the north of England, and their presence
there was useful; but that was all. It was a great disappointment to
Baillie. He had expected that the appearance of his dear countrymen in
England would put an end to the mere military "tig-tagging," as he had
called it, of Essex and Waller, and quicken immediately the tramp of
affairs. His belief all along had been that what was needed in England
was an importation of Scottish impetuousness to animate the heavy
English, and teach them the northern trick of carrying all things at the
double with a hurrah and a yell. It was a sore affliction, therefore, to
the good man that, from January 1643-4, on through February, March,
April, May, and even June, the 21,000 Scots under Leslie should be in
England, and yet be stirring so little. Instead of fighting their way
southwards into the heart of the country, they were still squatting in
the Northumbrian coal-region, and sticking there, not without some bad
behaviour and disorder. Doubtless, it was all right in strategy, and
Leslie knew what he was about; but oh, that it could have been otherwise!
For of what use a great Scottish victory would have been at that time to
the cause of Presbyterianism? Faster, more massively, more resistlessly
than all the argumentations of Henderson, Gillespie, and Rutherford,
aided by those of the Smectymnuans, with Vines, Palmer, Burges, and the
rest of the English Presbyterians, such a victory would have crushed down
the contentiousness of the Five Dissenting Brethren, and swept the
propositions of complete Scottish Presbytery through the Westminster
Assembly. Parliament, receiving these propositions, would have passed
them with alacrity; and what could the English nation have done but
acquiesce? But, alas! as things were! The Five Dissenting Brethren and
the other "thraward wits" in the Assembly could still persevere in their
struggle with the Presbyterian majority, debating every proposition that
implied a surrender of Congregationalism, and conscious that in so
impeding a Presbyterian settlement they were pleasing a growing body of
their fellow-countrymen. What, though London was staunchly and all but
universally Presbyterian? Throughout the country, and, above all, in the
Army, the case was different. The inactivity of the Scots was affording
time for the spirit of Independency to spread, and was giving rise to
awkward questions. It began actually to be said of the Westminster
Assembly, that it "did cry down the truth with votes, and was an Anti-
Christian meeting which would erect a Presbytery worse than Bishops." In
the Army especially such Anti-Presbyterian sentiments, and questionings
of the infallibility of the Scots, had become rife. "The Independents
have so managed matters," writes Baillie, April 26, "that of the officers
and sojers in Manchester's army, certainly also in the General's
(Essex's), and, as I hear, in Waller's likewise, more than two parts are
for them, and these of the far most resolute and confident men for the
Parliament party." As regarded Essex's army and Waller's, Baillie
afterwards found reason to think that this was a great exaggeration; but
it appears to have been true enough respecting Manchester's. By that time
there was no doubt either who was at the head of these Army Independents.
It was Cromwell--now no longer mere "Colonel Cromwell," but "Lieutenant-
general Cromwell," second in command in the Associated Counties under
Manchester. As early as April 2 Baillie speaks of him as "the great
Independent." With such a man to look up to, and with patrons also in the
two Houses of Parliament, little wonder that the Independents in the Army
began to feel themselves strong, and to regard the drift of the
Westminster Assembly and the Londoners towards an absolute
Presbyterianism as a movement innocent enough while it consisted in talk
only, but to be watched carefully and disowned in due time.

All might be retrieved, however! What hope there might yet be in a great
Scottish success! With this idea Baillie still hugged himself. "We are
exceeding sad and ashamed," he had written, April 19, "that our army, so
much talked of, has done as yet nothing at all." But again, May 9, "We
trust God will arise, and do something by our Scots army. We are
afflicted that, after so long time, we have gotten no hit of our enemy;
we hope God will put away that shame. Waller, Manchester, Fairfax, and
all, gets victories; but Leslie, from whom all was expected, as yet has
had his hands bound. God, we hope, will loose them, and send us matter of
praise also." The victories of Waller, Manchester, and Fairfax, here
referred to by Baillie, had been nothing very considerable--mere fights
in their several districts, heard of at the time, but counting for little
now in the history of the war; but they contrasted favourably with what
could be told of the Scots. What was that? It was that they had summoned
Newcastle to surrender, but had advanced beyond that town, leaving it
untaken. When Baillie wrote the last-quoted passage, however, they were
more hopefully astir. Fairfax, with his northern-English force, had
joined them at Tadcaster in Yorkshire; the Earl of Manchester had been
summoned northwards to add what strength he could bring from the
Associated Counties; and the enterprise on which the three conjoined
forces were to be engaged--the Scots, Fairfax's men, and Manchester's--
was the siege of York. It was a great business on all grounds; and on
this amongst others, that the Marquis of Newcastle was shut up in the
city. Might not the Scots retrieve their character in this business? It
was Baillie's fervent prayer. But a dreadful doubt had occurred to him.
What if the Scots, mixed as they now were with the English
Parliamentarian soldiers before York, and in contact with the
Independents among them under Manchester and Cromwell, should themselves
catch the prevailing distemper? Writing, May 19, to his friend Mr. Blair,
a chaplain in the Scottish army, Baillie gives him a warning hint on the
subject. "We hear," he says, "that their horse and yours are conjoined,
and that occasions may fall out wherein more of them may join to you. We
all conceive that our silly simple lads are in great danger of being
infected by their company; and, if that pest enter in our army, we fear
it may spread." [Footnote: Baillie, Vol. II. from p. 128 to p. 197.]

Here there must come in an explanation:--The Army-Independency which was
alarming the Presbyterians, and of which they regarded Cromwell as the
head, was a thing of much larger dimensions, and much more composite
nature, than the mild Independency of Messrs. Goodwin, Burroughs, Nye,
Simpson, and Bridge, within the Westminster Assembly. The Independency of
these five Divines consisted simply in their courageous assertion of the
Congregationalist principle of church-organization in the midst of the
overwhelming Presbyterianism around them, and in their claim that, should
their reasonings for Congregationalism prove in vain, and should the
Presbyterian system be established in England, there should be at all
events "an indulgence" under that system, for themselves and their
adherents, "in some lesser differences." The "lesser differences" for
which they thus prospectively craved an indulgence had not been
specifically stated; but it is pretty clear that they were not, to any
great extent, differences of theological belief, but were rather those
differences which would arise from the conscientious perseverance of a
minority in Congregationalist practices after a Presbyterian rule had
been established nationally. "You know that we do not differ from you in
theological doctrines" is what the Five Dissenting Brethren virtually
said to the Presbyterians; "your teaching is our teaching, and what you
call errors we call errors: our difference lies wholly, or all but
wholly, in the fact that _we_ hold every particular congregation of
Christians to be a church within itself, whereas _you_ maintain the
interconnectedness of congregations, and the right of courts of office-
bearers from many congregations to review and control what passes within
each: now, as you, being undoubtedly in the majority, are about to
establish Presbytery in England, but as we cannot in conscience abandon
our Congregationalism, could you not manage at least to allow in the new
national system such a toleration of Congregationalist practices as would
satisfy us, the minority, and prevent us from going again into exile?"
Such was the Independency of the Dissenting Five in the Westminster
Assembly. But, as we know, from our previous survey of the history of
Independency in England, in Holland, and in America, the word
"Independency" had come to have a much larger meaning than that in which
it had originated. It had come to mean not merely the principle of
Congregationalism, or the Independency of Congregations, but also all
that had in fact arisen from the action of that principle, in England,
Holland, or America, in the shape of miscellaneous dissent and
heterodoxy. It had come to mean the Congregationalist principle
_plus_ all its known or conceivable consequences. From policy it was
in this wide sense that the Presbyterians had begun to use the term
Independency. "You are certainly Independents," the Presbyterians of the
Assembly virtually said to Messrs Goodwin, Burroughs, and the rest of the
Five; "but you are the best specimens of a class of which the varieties
are legion: were all Independency such as yours, and were Independency to
end with you, we might see our way to such a toleration as you demand--
which, on personal grounds, we should like to do: but the principle of
Congregationalism has already generated on the earth--in England, in
Holland, and in America--opinions beyond yours, and some heresies at
which even you stand aghast; and it is of these, as well as of you, that
we are bound to think when we are asked to tolerate Independency." Now it
was of this larger and more terrible Independency that the Presbyterians
had begun to see signs in the Parliamentary Army and through England
generally. In other words, sects and sectaries of all sorts and sizes had
begun to be heard of--some only transmissions or re-manifestations of
oddities of old English Puritanism, others importations from Holland and
New England, and others products of the new ferment of the English mind
caused by the Civil War itself. In especial, it was believed,
_Anabaptists_ and _Antinomians_ had begun to abound. Now, though, in
politeness, the Presbyterians were willing occasionally to distinguish
between the orthodox Independents and the miscellaneous Sectaries, yet,
as the Congregationalist principle, which was the essence of
Independency, was credited with the mischief of having generated all the
sects, and as it was for this Congregationalist principle that toleration
was demanded, it was quite as common to huddle all the Sects and the
orthodox Congregationalists together under the one name of Independents.
Nor could the Congregationalists of the Assembly very well object to
this. True, they might disown the errors and extravagancies of the sects,
and declare that they themselves were as little in sympathy with them as
the Presbyterians. They might also argue, as indeed they anxiously did,
that due uniformity in the essentials of Christian belief and practice
would be as easily maintained in a community organized ecclesiastically
on the Congregationalist principle as in one organized in the
Presbyterian mariner. Still, in arguing so, they must have had some
latitude of view as to the amount of uniformity desirable. If every
congregation were to be independent within itself, and if moreover
congregations might be formed on the principle of elective affinities, or
the concourse of like-minded atoms, it was difficult to see why
Congregationalism should not be expected to evolve sects, and why
therefore this progressive evolution of sects should not be accepted as a
law of religious life. Had not the Five Independents of the Assembly
avowed it as one of their principles that they would not be too sure that
the opinions they now held would remain always unchanged? Reserving this
liberty of going farther for themselves, how could they refuse toleration
for those who had already gone farther? Claiming for themselves a
toleration in all such differences as did not affect their character as
good subjects, they could not but extend the benefit of the same plea to
at least a proportion of the Sectaries. But to what proportion? Where was
toleration to stop? At what point, in the course of religious dissent,
did a man become a "bad subject?" To these questions no definite answers
were given by the Five Dissentients of the Assembly; but they could not
but entertain the questions. Hence their Independency, though mild and
moderate so far as they were themselves concerned, was really in organic
connexion with the larger Independency that had begun to manifest itself
in the Army and elsewhere. "The Congregationalist principle and Liberty
of Religious Difference to a certain extent," said the Independents of
the Assembly. "Yes, Liberty of Religious Difference!" said the Army
Independents, simplifying the formula.

Throughout the first half of 1644, therefore, we are to think of the
Presbyterian majority in the Westminster Assembly as not only fighting
against the Independency or Congregationalism proper which was
represented within the walls of the Assembly by men whom they could not
but respect, though complaining of their obstinacy, but also bent on
saving England from that more lax or general Independency, nameable as
Army-Independency, which they saw rife through the land, and which
included toleration not merely of Congregationalism, but also of
Anabaptism, Antinomianism, and other nondescript heresies. Baillie's
groanings in spirit over the multiplication of the sectaries, and the
growth of the Toleration notion, are positively affecting. "Sundry
officers and soldiers in the army," he writes, April 2, "has fallen from
their way [_i.e._ from Independency proper] to Antinomianism and
Anabaptism." Again, later in the same month, "The number and evil humour
of the Antinomians and Anabaptists doth increase;" and more fully, on the
19th, "They [the Independents] over all the land are making up a faction
to their own way, the far most part whereof is fallen off to Anabaptism
and Antinomianism: sundry also to worse, if worse needs be--the mortality
of the soul, the denial of angels and devils; and cast off all
sacraments; and many blasphemous things. All these are from New England."
By May 9 he had begun to despair of the English altogether: "The humour
of this people is very various and inclinable to singularities, to differ
from all the world, and one from another, and shortly from themselves: no
people had so much need of a Presbytery." According to Baillie, it was
precisely owing to the absence of a well-organized Presbyterian system in
England that all those wild growths of opinion had been possible; and,
while they increased the difficulty of establishing Presbyterianism in
England, they were the best demonstration of its necessity. Therefore, he
would not despair. There was yet a faint hope that the Independent
Divines in the Assembly might be made ashamed of the tag-rag of
Anabaptists, Antinomians, and what not, that hung to their skirts, and so
might be brought to an accommodation with the Presbyterians. But, failing
that, the Presbyterians must stand firm, must face Independency and all
its belongings both in Parliament and in the Army, and try at length to
beat them down.--Of course, Baillie and his Scottish brethren were doing
their best to assist the English Presbyterians in this labour. Anti-
Toleration pamphlets had appeared, and more were in preparation. But help
was particularly desired from the Reformed Churches abroad, and most
particularly from Holland. Had not Holland nursed this very Independency
which was troubling England, and was not the example of Holland the
greatest argument with the Independents and others for a toleration of
sects? Representing all this to his correspondent, William Spang,
Scottish preacher at Campvere, Baillie urges him again and again to do
what he can to get any eminent Dutch divines of his acquaintance to write
treatises against Independency, Heresy, and Toleration. He names several
such, as likely to do this great service if duly importuned. There could
be no more helpful service to England--except one! Oh if there could yet
be a great Scottish victory on English soil! _That_ would be worth
all the pamphlets in the world! [Footnote: Baillie, II. 146, 157, 168,
177, 179, 181, 183-4, 191-2, 197, &c.--Several manifestoes against
Independency, such as Baillie wanted, did come, in due time, from Divines
in Holland and elsewhere on the Continent, and were much made of by the
Presbyterians of the Assembly, and put in circulation through England.]


Notwithstanding all this anarchy of ecclesiastical opinion, the practical
or political mastery of affairs remained in the hands of Parliament, and
was firmly exercised by Parliament in a direction satisfactory to the
Westminster Assembly as a whole. For, whatever might be the ultimate
settlement between Independency and Presbyterianism, there was a certain
general course of "Reformation" to which meanwhile all were pledged,
Independents and Sectaries no less than Presbyterians; and on this course
all could advance unanimously, even while battling with each other on the
ecclesiastical questions which the Independents desired to keep open. For
example, during those very months of 1644 in which Independency had been
taking such increased dimensions, there had been fully executed that
great Visitation and purgation of the University of Cambridge which had
been entrusted to the Earl of Manchester by Parliamentary Ordinance in

The Earl, going to Cambridge in person in February 1643-4, with his two
chaplains, Messrs. Ashe and Good, had been engaged in the work through
the months of March and April, summoning refractory Heads of Colleges and
Fellows before him, examining complaints against them, and putting them
in most cases to the test of the Covenant. The result, when complete
(which it was not till 1645), was the ejection, on one ground or another,
of about one half of the _Fellows_ of the various Colleges of
Cambridge collectively, and of eleven out of the sixteen _Heads of
Houses_, and the appointment of persons of Parliamentarian principles
to the places thus made vacant.--Of the crowd of those who were turned
out of Cambridge _Fellowships_, and the crowd of those who were put
in to succeed them, we can take no account in this History. Yet a process
which presents us with the vision of about 150 rueful outgoers from
comfortable livelihoods in one University, met at the doors by as many
radiant comers-in, can have been no unimportant incident, even in a
national revolution. What became of all the rueful outgoers is a question
that might interest us yet. It interested Fuller ten years after the
event. Even then he could give no other answer, he said, than that
proverbial one which the survivors of Nicias's unfortunate expedition
against the Sicilians used to give at Athens when they were asked about
the fate of such or such a comrade who had never returned, [Greek: "E
tethnæken hæ didaskei grammata"] "He is either dead or teaching a school
somewhere." Schoolmastering, according to Fuller, was the refuge of most
of the ejected Cambridge Fellows of 1644-5.--More conspicuous persons,
and with resources that probably exempted them from the prospect of so
painful a fate, were the ejected _Heads of Houses_. Most of these
were ejected at once in March and April 1644; and, apart from our
acquired interest in Cambridge University, there are reasons for
remembering them individually, and noting those who came in their
places:--Of the sixteen Heads of Houses, it is to be premised, one--Dr.
Richard Love, of Bennet or Corpus Christi--was a member of the Assembly,
and therefore all right; while four others managed, by taking the
Covenant, or by other "wary compliance" during the Visitation, to stay
in. Among these four, it does not surprise us to learn, was Dr. Thomas
Bainbrigge of Christ's, Milton's old _durus magister_, with whom he
had had that never-forgotten tiff in his under-graduateship (Vol. I. pp.
135-141); the others were Dr. Eden of Trinity Hall, Dr. Rainbow of
Magdalen, and Dr. Batchcroft of Caius. The ejections were as follows:--

TRINITY COLLEGE:--Master ejected, Dr. THOMAS CUMBER (_ob._ 1654);
Master put in, Mr. THOMAS HILL, one of the Assembly Divines.

ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE:--Master ejected, Dr. WILLIAM BEALE (died at Madrid,
1651); Master put in, Mr. JOHN ARROWSMITH, one of the Assembly Divines.

1649); Master put in, Dr. ANTHONY TUCKNEY, one of the Assembly Divines.

QUEEN'S COLLEGE:--There was a complete sweep of this College, not a
Fellow or Foundationer of any kind being left. President ejected, Dr.
EDWARD MARTIN (survived the Restoration and was made Dean of Ely);
President put in, Mr. HERBERT PALMER, one of the Assembly Divines.

CLARE HALL:--Master ejected, Dr. THOMAS PASKE (survived the Restoration
and had his reward); Master put in, RALPH CUDWORTH, B.D., afterwards the
celebrated author of the "Intellectual System." He was of Somersetshire
birth, and, though now only 27 years of age, had acquired a high
Cambridge reputation, as Fellow and Tutor of Emanuel College, where he
had been educated.

PETERHOUSE:--Master ejected, Dr. JOHN COSINS (already under the ban of
Parliament and a refugee in France: he survived the Restoration and
became Bishop of Durham); Master put in, Mr. LAZARUS SEAMAN, one of the
Assembly Divines.

PEMBROKE COLLEGE;--Master ejected, Dr. BENJAMIN LANEY (survived the
Restoration and held several Bishoprics in succession); Master put in,
Mr. RICHARD VINES, one of the Assembly Divines.

KING'S COLLEGE;--Provost ejected, Dr. SAMUEL COLLINS (see Vol. I. pp. 92,
93); Provost put in, Mr. BENJAMIN WHICHCOT, _ætat._ 34. He had been
a Fellow of Emanuel College, and was a friend of Cudworth's. A
peculiarity in his case was that he was dispensed from taking the
Covenant on his appointment, and succeeded, by his interest with the
ruling powers, in obtaining a like dispensation for most of the Fellows
of the College. He survived the Restoration, conformed then, and is still
remembered as one of the chiefs of the English Latitudinarians.

SIDNEY-SUSSEX COLLEGE:--Master ejected, Dr. SAMUEL WARD (see Vol. I. p.
95); Master put in, Mr. RICHARD MINSHULL, a Fellow of the College,
regularly elected to the Mastership by the other Fellows. He survived the
Restoration, conformed then, and retained the Mastership till his death.

JESUS COLLEGE:--Master ejected, Dr. RICHARD STERNE (great-grandfather of
Laurence Sterne, the novelist). He was a strong Laudian and Royalist, and
had already been in prison on that account. He lived in retirement till
the Restoration; after which he was made successively Bishop of Chester,
and (1664) Archbishop of York. Master put in, Mr. THOMAS YOUNG, one of
the Assembly Divines, Milton's old preceptor, and the chief of the
"Smectymnuans." It was a special compliment to Young that he, not an
English University man at all, but a naturalized Scot, had been chosen
for a Cambridge Mastership.

CATHERINE HALL:--Master ejected (not till 1645, however, and then on a
fresh occasion), Dr. RALPH BROWNRIGGE, nominal Bishop of Exeter since
1642 (_ob._ 1659); Master put in, Mr. WILLIAM SPURSTOW, one of the
Assembly Divines, and one of the "Smectymnuans." [Footnote: Authorities
for this account of Manchester's Visitation of Cambridge and its results
are Fuller's History of the University of Cambridge (edit 1340), pp. 233-
239, and Neal's Puritans, III. 107-119.]

Thus began, in 1644, a new era in the history of Cambridge University,
which extended to the Restoration. Episcopalian principles were
discharged out of the government of the University; and, under the five
retained Masters and the eleven new ones, there was inaugurated a system
of rule and teaching in accordance, more or less in the different
Colleges, with the ascendant State-policy of the Puritans. With the
exception of Cudworth, Whichcot, and Minshull, it will have been noted,
all the newly-appointed Masters were members of the Westminster Assembly,
and leading men among the Presbyterian majority of that body. They do not
appear to have ceased attendance on the Assembly in consequence of their
appointments, but only to have divided their time thenceforward as well
as they could between the Assembly and Cambridge. It is also to be noted
that some of them, including Thomas Young, retained their former livings
along with their new Masterships. [Footnote: The following is a note
furnished to Mr. David Laing by the Rev. John Struthers of Prestonpans,
one of an acting Committee recently appointed by the Church of Scotland
for transcribing and editing the original Minutes of the Westminster
Assembly, preserved in Dr. William's Library, London:--"1643-4, March
15.--A letter read from the Earl of Manchester, stating that he cast out
Drs. Beale, Cosins, Sterne, Martin, Laney, masters, from their
Masterships in Cambridge University, and, subject to the Assembly's
approval, nominated Mr. Palmer, Mr. Arrowsmith, Mr. Vines, Mr. Seaman,
and Mr. Young in their places. The Assembly offered their
congratulations, but desired that their brethren should meanwhile not be
withdrawn from the Assembly." Mr. Struthers adds that, though Dr.
Lightfoot, in his Notes of the Assembly, states that Mr. Vines and Mr.
Young desired to be excused from the new appointments, there is no notice
of any such declinature in the MS. minutes.--See _Biographical Notices
of Thomas Young, S.T.D., Vicar of Stowmarket, Suffolk_, by Mr. David
Laing (Edin. 1870), p. 39.--These accurate and valuable "Notices" of a
man who figures so interestingly in Milton's Biography had not appeared
till Vol. II. of this work was quite printed, or they might have saved me
some research for that volume as well as for its predecessor. Prefixed to
them Mr. Laing gives a portrait of Young, after a photograph taken from
the original picture long preserved in the Vicarage of Stowmarket, but
now in the possession of H. C. Mathew, Esq. of Felixstow, near Ipswich.
The portrait represents Young with hair not at all of the short Puritan
cut, but long, and flowing fully on both sides to his shoulders; and the
face is really fine, with handsome features, and a rich and mild look.
Another interesting insertion in Mr. Laing's little volume is a facsimile
of Young's handwriting, from a Latin inscription in a presentation copy
of his _Dies Dominica_, still extant. The hand is neat and careful;
and, what is rather curious, it has a resemblance to Milton's.] There
were similar instances of retention of livings among those appointed to
Fellowships, and to other offices throughout the country under the
patronage of the Parliament. The excuse was the dearth for the time of
fully qualified ministers of the right Parliamentarian strain; but the
fact did not escape comment. Was Plurality one of the very few
institutions of Prelacy which Presbyterian godliness was willing to

Fresh from his energetic Visitation of Cambridge, the Earl of Manchester
was away, as we have seen, in May 1644, with his Lieutenant-general,
Cromwell, to add the force of the Associated Eastern Counties to the
forces of the Scots and Fairfax, then about to besiege the Marquis of
Newcastle in York. The joint forces, numbering some 25,000 men in all,
were hopefully conducting the siege when the approach of Prince Rupert
out of Lancashire, with a Royalist army of over 20,000, compelled them to
raise it, in order to oppose him (June 30). He avoided them, relieved
York, and then, having added the Marquis's garrison to his own force,
risked all for a great victory. The result was the BATTLE OF MARSTON
MOOR, about seven miles to the west of York, fought on the evening of
July 2, 1644. It was "the bloodiest battle of the whole war," the number
actually slain on the field on both sides in three hours being no fewer
than 4,150. But of these by far the most were on the King's side, and the
battle was a disastrous rout for that side, and a victory for the
Parliamentarians incalculably greater than any they had yet had. Rupert,
with a shred of his army, escaped southwards; the Marquis of Newcastle,
making his way to the sea-coast, embarked for the Continent, with his two
sons, his brother Sir Charles Cavendish, General King, Lord Fauconberg,
the Earl of Carnwath, Bishop Bramhall, and about eighty other Royalists
of distinction, and was no more seen in England till the Restoration.
York surrendered to the victors, July 5; and, save that Newcastle and
some other towns remained to be taken, the whole North of England was
lost to the King and brought within the sway of Parliament. Seldom had
there been such consequences from a battle of three hours. [Footnote:
Clar. Hist. 490-492; Parl. Hist. III. 277, 278; Carlyle's Cromwell, I.
151-154; Markham's Fairfax, 151-178, for a detailed modern account.]

When the news of the battle reached London (July 5), there was nothing
but joy. Within a few days, however, the joy passed into a question
between the Independents and the Presbyterians, or at least the Scots
among them. Which part of the conjoint army had behaved best in the
battle, and to which general did the chief honours of the day belong?
Glad would Baillie have been to welcome Marston Moor as at last that
great success of the Scots for which he had been longing and praying. No
such pleasure could he have. More and more, as detailed accounts of the
battle arrived, it became clear that the Scots could claim only a little
of the merit of the victory--that the mass of them had behaved rather
ill; that the luck or the generalship of Field-marshal Leven had deserted
him, and he had been carried far away in a ruck of fugitives; and that,
in fact, with the exception of David Leslie, the Scottish Major-general,
who really did good service, no Scot in command had shown much head, or
been of any considerable use, at Marston Moor. But, worse and worse for
Baillie's feelings, not only did it appear that the victory had been
gained by the English of the joint army rather than by the Scottish
contingent, but gradually the rumour was confirmed, which had been first
borne to London on the wings of the wind, that the Englishman by whose
conduct, if by that of any one man, the fate of the battle had been
decided, was Lieutenant-general Cromwell. "The left wing, which I
commanded, being our own horse, saving a few Scots in our rear, beat all
the Prince's horse. God gave them as stubble to our swords. We charged
their regiments of foot with our horse, and routed all we charged." These
sentences of Cromwell's own, written on the third day after the battle in
a letter to his brother-in-law, Colonel Valentine Walton, are his private
statement of the truth which became public. In vain it was represented in
London that Cromwell's paramount prowess in the battle was a fiction of
himself and the Independents; in vain did the Presbyterians try to
distribute the merit among Fairfax, David Leslie, and Major-general
Crawford--another Scot, not in the Scottish contingent, but serving in
Manchester's army as next in command under Cromwell, and already known as
representing Presbyterianism in that army in opposition to Cromwell's
Independency; in vain did this Crawford, when he came to London,
asseverate that Cromwell, having been slightly wounded in the neck, had
retired before the crisis, and that the real work in Cromwell's part of
the battle had devolved on David Leslie and himself. It was a comfort to
Baillie to believe all this; but London was persuaded otherwise. For
London and for all England Cromwell stood forth as the hero of Marston
Moor. The victory to which Baillie had looked forward as a triumph for
Presbyterianism had been gained mainly by the "great Independent" of the
English army, and went to the credit of Independency. [Footnote: Baillie,
II. 201, 203-4, 209, and 211; Carlyle's Cromwell, I. 152-3 and 146-150;
Fuller's Worthies, _Yorkshire_; Holles's Memoirs (1699), 15-17.]

Three weeks after the battle of Marston Moor (July 23, 1644) the
Westminster Assembly, with permission of Parliament, adjourned for a
fortnight's vacation. We will share this vacation, and make it the
opportunity for some farther inquiry, on our own account, into the two
subjects which were of paramount interest at that moment. They were the
subjects, if I may so say, that had for some time past been chalked up on
the black board for the consideration of all England, and to the
discussion of which the Assembly and the Parliament were to address
themselves with fresh fervour when the Assembly came together again after
their vacation. These were:--

I. The Principle of Toleration.

II. The English Sects and Sectaries.


The history of the modern idea of TOLERATION could be written completely
only after a larger amount of minute and special research than I am able
here to bestow on the subject. Who shall say in the heads of what stray
and solitary men, scattered through Europe in the sixteenth century,
_nantes rari in gurgite vasto_, some form of the idea, as a purely
speculative conception, may have been lodged? Hallam finds it in the
"Utopia" of Sir Thomas More (1480-1535), and in the harangues of the
Chancellor l'Hospital of France (1505-1573); [Footnote: Hallam's Const.
Hist. (10th edit.), T. 122, Note.] and there may have been others. But
the history of the idea, as a practical or political notion, lies within
a more precise range. Out of what within Europe in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries was the practical form of the idea bred? Out of
pain, out of suffering, out of persecution: not pain inflicted constantly
on one and the same section of men, or on any two opposed sections
alternately; but pain revolving, pain circulated, pain distributed till
the whole round of the compass of sects had felt it in turn, and the only
principle of its prevention gradually dawned on the common consciousness!
In every persecuted cause, honestly conducted, there was a throe towards
the birth of this great principle. Every persecuted cause claimed at
least a toleration for itself from the established power; and so, by a
kind of accumulation, the cause that had been last persecuted had more of
a tendency to toleration in it, and became practically more tolerant,
than the others. This, I think, might be proved. The Church of England
was more tolerant than the Church of Rome, and Scottish Presbyterianism
or Scottish Puritanism was more tolerant (though the reverse is usually
asserted) than the Church of England prior to 1640. Not to the Church of
England, however, nor to Scottish Presbyterianism, nor to English
Puritanism at large, does the honour of the first perception of the full
principle of Liberty of Conscience, and its first assertion in English
speech, belong. That honour has to be assigned, I believe, to the
Independents generally, and to the Baptists in particular.

The principle of religious liberty is almost logically bound up with the
theory of the Independency of particular churches. Every particular
church being a voluntary concourse of like-minded atoms, able to declare
themselves converts or true Christians, it follows that the world, or
civil society, whether called heathen or professedly Christian, is only
the otherwise regulated medium or material in which these voluntary
concourses or whirls take place. It follows that there must be large
expanses or interspaces of the general material always unabsorbed into
the voluntary concourses, and that for the secular power, which governs
the general medium, to try to stimulate the concourses, or to bring all
into them, or to control any part of the procedure of each or any of
them, would be a mingling of elements that are incompatible, of necessary
worldly order with the spiritual kingdom of Christ. And so it was
maintained, against the Roman Catholics, and against the Confessions of
all the various established Protestant Churches, that there could be, and
ought to be, no Imperial or National Church. This being the principle of
some of the early Protestant movements that went beyond Luther,
Zuinglius, or Calvin, and perplexed these Reformers, little wonder that
flashes of the fullest doctrine of Liberty of Conscience should be found
among the records of those movements, whether on the Continent or in
England.[Footnote: See notices of such flashes, among English Baptists of
the reign of Henry VIII., and among the continental Anabaptists, in Mr.
Edward Bean Underhill's "Historical Introduction" to the Reprint of Old
Tracts on _Liberty of Conscience_ by the "Hanserd Knollys Society"
(1846). Mr. Underhill writes as a zealous Baptist, but with judgment and
research.] Little wonder, either, that the principle of Toleration should
be discernible in the writings of Robert Brown, the father of the crude
English Independency of Elizabeth's reign. [Footnote: Baillie
(_Dissuasive_, Part I. 31) expressly makes it a reproach against
Brown that he held the Toleration doctrine.]

But it is one thing to hold a principle vaguely or latently as implicated
in a principle already avowed, and another thing to extricate the implied
principle and kindle it, as on the top of a lighthouse, on its own
account. It is found, accordingly, that the early English Separatists
collectively were much slower in this matter than Brown himself had been.
They wanted toleration for themselves, and perhaps a general mildness in
the administration of religious affairs; but they could not rid
themselves of the notion, held alike by all the established churches,
whether Prelatic or Presbyterian, that it is the duty of the prince, or
the civil power, in every state to promote true religion and suppress
false. Passages which we have already had occasion to quote (Vol. II.
569, 570) from the writings of Barrowe, Greenwood, and even of the
liberal Robinson, the father of Congregationalism proper, prove beyond
all dispute that these chiefs of the Separatists and Semi-Separatists who
followed Brown in the latter part of Elizabeth's reign and in the reign
of James had not worked out Toleration into a perfect or definite tenet.
They did want something that they called a Toleration; but it was a
limited and ill-defined Toleration.--There was, however, _one_ body
or band of Separatists in James's reign who had pushed farther ahead, and
grasped the idea of Liberty of Conscience at its very utmost. Strangely
enough, as it may seem at first sight, they were the Separatists of the
most intense and schismatic type then known, the least conciliatory in
their relations to other churches and communions. They were the poor and
despised Anglo-Dutch Anabaptists who called John Smyth (Vol. II. 539,540)
their leader. In a Confession, or Declaration of Faith, put forth in 1611
by the English Baptists in Amsterdam, just after the death of Smyth, this
article occurs: "The magistrate is not to meddle with religion, or
matters of conscience, nor compel men to this or that form of religion;
because Christ is the King and Lawgiver of the Church and Conscience." It
is believed that this is the first expression of the absolute principle
of Liberty of Conscience in the public articles of any body of
Christians. Contact with the Dutch Arminians may have helped Smyth's
people to a perception of it; and it certainly did not please the English
Pædobaptist Independents of Holland when it appeared among them.
Robinson, for example, objected to it, as he was bound to do by the views
of the civil magistrate's power which he maintained. He attributed the
invention of such an article to the common inability of ignorant men to
distinguish between the use of an ordinance and its abuse. In other
words, he thought the remnant of Smyth's Baptists had been rather silly
in leaping to the conclusion that, because there had been much abuse of
the interference of the civil power in matters of religion, and it had
led to all sorts of horrors, there was nothing left but to set up the
principle of absolute non-interference.

The principle of the Anglo-Dutch Baptists, with the same exact difference
between the Baptists and the rest of the Independents on the Toleration
point, was imported into England. It is supposed that the person who had
the chief hand in drawing up the Confession of the English Baptists of
Amsterdam, after Smyth's death, was Smyth's successor in the Baptist
ministry there, Thomas Helwisse (Vol. II. 540-544). Now, this Helwisse,
returning to England shortly after 1611, drew round him, as we saw, the
first congregation of General or Arminian Baptists in London; and this
obscure Baptist congregation seems to have become the depositary for all
England of the absolute principle of Liberty of Conscience expressed in
the Amsterdam Confession, as distinct from the more stinted principle
advocated by the general body of the Independents. Not only did
Helwisse's folk differ from the Independents generally on the subject of
Infant Baptism and Dipping; they differed also on the power of the
magistrate in matters of belief and conscience. It was, in short, from
their little dingy meeting-house, somewhere in Old London, that there
flashed out, first in England, the absolute doctrine of Religious
Liberty. "_Religious Peace: or, A Plea for Liberty of Conscience_"
is the title of a little tract first printed in 1614, and presented to
King James and the English Parliament, by "Leonard Busher, citizen of
London." This Leonard Busher, there is reason to believe, was a member of
Helwisse's congregation; and we learn from the tract itself that he was a
poor man, labouring for his subsistence, who had had his share of
persecution. He had probably been one of Smyth's Amsterdam flock who had
returned with Helwisse. The tract is, certainly, the earliest known
English publication in which full liberty of conscience is openly
advocated. It cannot be read now without a throb. The style is simple and
rather helpless; but one comes on some touching passages. Thus:--

"May it please your Majesty and Parliament to understand that by fire and
sword to constrain princes and peoples to receive that one true religion
of the Gospel is wholly against the mind and merciful law of Christ."
"Persecution is a work well pleasing to all false prophets and bishops,
but it is contrary to the mind of Christ, who came not to judge and
destroy men's lives, but to save them. And, though some men and women
believe not at the first hour, yet may they at the eleventh hour, if they
be not persecuted to death before. And no king nor bishop can or is able
to command faith. That is the gift of God, who worketh in us both the
will and the deed of his own good pleasure. Set him not a day, therefore,
in which, if his creature hear not and believe not, you will imprison and
burn him.... As kings and bishops cannot command the wind, so they
cannot command faith; and, as the wind bloweth where it listeth, so is
every man that is born of the Spirit. You may force men to church against
their consciences, but they will believe as they did before when they
come there."

"Kings and magistrates are to rule temporal affairs by the swords of
their temporal kingdoms, and bishops and ministers are to rule spiritual
affairs by the word and Spirit of God, the sword of Christ's temporal
kingdom, and not to intermeddle one with another's authority, office, and

"I read that Jews, Christians, and Turks are tolerated in Constantinople,
and yet are peaceable, though so contrary the one to the other. If this
be so, how much more ought Christians not to force one another to
religion! And how much more ought Christians to tolerate Christians,
whenas the Turks do tolerate them! Shall we be less merciful than the
Turks? or shall we learn the Turks to persecute Christians? It is not
only unmerciful, but unnatural and abominable, yea monstrous, for one
Christian to vex and destroy another for difference and questions of

Busher's tract of 1614 was not the only utterance in the same strain that
came from Helwisse's conventicle of London Baptists. In 1615 there
appeared in print "_Objections answered by way of Dialogue, wherein is
proved, by the Law of God, by the Law of our Land, and by His Majesty's
many testimonies, that no man ought to be persecuted for his Religion, so
he testifie his allegeance by the oath appointed by Law._" The
author, or one of the authors, of this Dialogue, which is even more
explicit in some respects than Busher's tract, is pretty clearly
ascertained to have been John Murton, Helwisse's assistant (Vol. II.
544,581). Helwisse himself is not heard of after 1614, and appears to
have died about that time. But his Baptist congregation maintained itself
in London side by side with Jacob's congregation of Independents,
established in 1616 (Vol. II. 544). As if to signalize still farther the
discrepancy of the two sets of Sectaries on the Toleration point, there
was put forth, as we saw, in that very year, by Jacob and the
Independents, a Confession of Faith, containing this article: "We believe
that we, and all true visible churches, ought to be overseen and kept in
good order and peace, and ought to be governed, under Christ, both
supremely and also subordinately, by the civil magistrate; yea, in causes
of religion, when need is."

The year 1616 was the year of Shakespeare's death. Who that has read his
Sonnet LXVI. can doubt that he had carried in his mind while alive some
profound and peculiar form of the idea of Toleration? In Bacon's brain,
too, one may detect some smothered tenet of the kind; and even in the
talk of the shambling King James himself there had been such occasional
spurts about Liberty of Conscience that, though he had burnt two of his
subjects for Arianism, Helwisse's poor people were fain, as we have just
seen, to cite "His Majesty's many testimonies" for the Toleration they
craved. And yet not to any such celebrity as the king, the philosopher,
or the poet, had the task of vindicating for England the idea of Liberty
of Conscience been practically appointed. To all intents and purposes
that honour had fallen to two of the most extreme and despised sects of
the Puritans. The despised Independents, or semi-Separatists of the
school of Robinson and Jacob, and the still more despised Baptists, or
thorough Separatists of the school of Smyth and Helwisse, were groping
for the pearl between them; and, what is strangest at first sight, it was
the more intensely Separatist of these two sects that was groping with
most success. How is this to be explained? Partly it may have been that
the Baptists were the sect that had been most persecuted--that they were
the ultimate sect, in the English world, in respect of the necessary
qualification of pain and suffering accumulated in their own experience,
while the Hobinsonian Independents might rank as only the penultimate
sect in this respect. But there is a deeper reason. Paradoxical as the
statement may seem, there was a logical connexion between the extreme
Separatism of the Baptists, the tightness and exclusiveness of their own
terms of communion, and their passion for religious freedom, This
requires elucidation:--It was on the subject of the Baptism of Infants
that the ordinary Congregationalists and the Baptist Congregationalists
most evidently stood aloof from each other. There had been vehement
controversies between them on the subject. Independent congregations had
ejected and excommunicated such of their members as had taken to the
doctrine of Antipædobaptism; and Smyth's rigid Baptists, in turn, would
not hold communion with Pædobaptist Independents. We are apt now to dwell
on the narrow-mindedness, the unseemliness, of those bickerings of the
two sects over the one doctrine on which they differed. It is to be
observed, however, that even here they illustrated their faith in the
principle which was the essence of their common Congregationalism: to
wit, that the true security for sound faith and good government in the
Church of Christ lay in the power lodged in every particular congregation
of judging who were fit to belong to it, and of constant spiritual
supervision of each of the members of it by all, so that the erring might
be admonished, and the unfit ejected. It was the supreme virtue, the all-
sufficient efficacy, of this power of merely spiritual censure, as it
might be exercised by congregations or particular churches, each within
itself, that both sects were continually trying to demonstrate to
Prelatists and Presbyterians. Their very argument was that truth and
piety would prosper best in a system of Church-government which trusted
all to the vigilance of the members of every particular congregation over
each other, their reasonings among themselves, their practice of mutual
admonition, and, in last resort, their power of excommunicating the
unworthy. Hence perhaps even the excess of the controversial activity of
the two sects against each other, and the frequency of their mutual
excommunications, are not without a favourable significance. Here,
however, it was the Baptists, rather than the Independents collectively,
that had pushed their theory of the all-sufficiency of congregational
censure to its finest issue. To both sects the world or civil society
presented itself as a medium in which there might be Christian vortices,
concourses of true Christian souls, that should constitute, when numbered
together and catalogued unerringly in the books of heaven, the Church or
Kingdom of Jesus. To both sects it seemed a thing to be striven for that
as much of civil society as possible should be brought into these
vortices or concourses; nay, the aspiration of both was that the whole
world should be Christianized. But, looking about them, they knew, in
fact, that the vortices or concourses did and could involve but a small
proportion of the society in which they occurred. They knew that there
must be large tracts of unbelief, profanity, and false worship in every
so-called Christian nation, left utterly unaffected by any of the true
associations of Christ's real people; besides the huge wilderness of
heathenism and idolatry lying all round in the dark lands of the world.
It was on the platform of this contemplation that the Independents
generally and the Baptist section of them had parted company. The
Independents generally held that it was the duty of the civil power in a
State to promote the formation of churches in that State, and to see, in
some general way, that the churches formed were not wrong in doctrine or
in practice. They held that the civil authority might lawfully compel all
its subjects to some sort of hearing of the Gospel with a view to their
belonging to churches or congregations, and might even assist the
preacher by some whip of penalties on those who remained obstinate after
a due amount of hearing. They held, in fact, that every State is bound to
use its power towards Christianizing all its subjects, and may also
institute missions for the propagation of true Christianity in idolatrous
or heathen lands. To all this the Baptists, or some of their leaders, had
learnt to oppose an emphatic "No." They held that the world, or civil
society, and the Church of Christ, were distinct and immiscible. They
held that the sword of the Temporal Power must never, under any
circumstances, aid the sword of the Spirit. They held that the formation
of churches in any State must be a process of the purest spontaneity.
They held that, while every person in a civilized State is a subject of
that State in all matters of civil order, it ought to be at the option of
that person, and of those with whom he or she might voluntarily consort,
to determine whether he or she should superadd to this general character
of subject the farther character of being a Christian and a member of
some particular church. The churches formed spontaneously in any State
were to be self-subsisting associations of like-minded units, believing
and worshiping, arid inflicting spiritual censures among themselves,
without State-interference; and Christianity was to propagate itself
throughout the world by its own spiritual might and the missionary zeal
of apostolic individuals. [Footnote: Among my authorities for this sketch
of the history of the idea of Toleration as far as 1616, I ought to
mention Hanbury's _Historical Memorials relating to the
Independents_, Vol. I., and more particularly Chapters XIII,--XV.;
Fletcher's _History of Independency in England_ (1848), Vol. III.,
Chapters I. and II.; and the Reprint of Old Tracts on _Liberty of
Conscience_ by the Hanserd Knollys (Baptist) Society, with the
Introductory Notices there prefixed to Busher's tract and Murton's by Mr.
Edward Bean Underhill.]

From 1616 onwards this Baptist form of the idea of Liberty of Conscience
had been slumbering somewhere in the English heart. Even through the
dreadful time of the Laudian terrorism it might be possible for research
to discover half-stifled expressions of it. Other and less extreme forms
of the Toleration idea, however, were making themselves heard. Holland
had worked out the speculation, or was working it out, through the
struggle of her own Arminians for equal rights with the prevailing
Calvinists; and it was the singular honour of that country to have, at
all events, been the first in Europe to exhibit something like a
practical solution of the problem, by the refuge and freedom of worship
it afforded to the religious outcasts of other nations. Then among the
so-called Latitudinarian Divines of the Church of England--Hales,
Chillingworth, and their associates--there is evidence of the growth,
even while their friend Laud was in power, of an idea or sentiment of
Toleration which might have made that Prelate pause and wonder. Not, of
course, the Baptist idea; but one which might have had a greater chance
practically in the then existing conditions of English life. Might there
not be a Toleration _with_ an Established or State Church? While it
might be the duty of the civil magistrate, or at least a State-
convenience, to set up one Church as the Church of the nation, and so to
afford to all the subjects the means of instruction in that theology and
of participation in that worship which the State thought the best, might
not State-interference with religion stop there, and might not those who
refused to conform be permitted to hold their conventicles freely outside
the Established Church, and to believe and worship in their own way? Some
such idea of Toleration, but still with perplexing limitations as to the
_amount_ of deviation that should be tolerated, was, I believe, the
idea that had dawned on the minds of men like the loveable Hales and the
hardy Chillingworth. It is much the sort of Toleration that accredits
itself to the average British mind yet. But how greatly the history of
the Church of England might have been altered had such a Toleration been
then adopted by the Church itself! As it was, it remained the half-
uttered _irenicon_ of a few speculative spirits. Nowhere on earth
prior to 1640, unless it were in Holland, was Toleration in any effective
form whatsoever anything more than the dream of a few poor persecuted
sectaries or deep private thinkers. Less even than in the Church of
England is there a trace of the idea in the Scottish Presbyterianism that
had then re-established itself, or in the English Presbyterianism that
longed to establish itself. Scottish Presbyterianism might indeed plead,
and it did plead, that it was so satisfactory a system, kept the souls of
its subjects in such a strong grip, and yet without needing to resort,
except in extreme cases, to any very penal procedure, that wherever
_it_ existed Toleration would be unnecessary, inasmuch as there
would be preciously little error to tolerate. Personally, I believe,
Henderson was as moderate and tolerant a man as any British ecclesiastic
of his time. In no Church where he bore rule could there, by possibility,
have been any approach to the tetchy repressiveness, or the callous
indifference to suffering for the sake of conscience, that characterized
the English Church-rule of Laud. But Henderson, though the best of the
Presbyterians, was still, _par excellence,_ a Presbyterian; and
therefore the Toleration that lay in his disposition had not translated
itself into a theoretical principle. As for the English Presbyterians,
what _they_ wanted was toleration for themselves, or the liberty of
being in the English Church, or in England out of the Church, without
conforming; or, if some of them went farther, what _they_ wanted was
the substitution of Presbytery for Prelacy as the system established with
the right to be intolerant. Finally, even in the New England colonies,
where Congregationalism was the rule, there were not only spiritual
censures and excommunications of heretics, but whippings, banishments,
and other punishments of them, by the civil power. [Footnote: Hallam's
account of the rise and progress of the Toleration idea in England (Hist,
of Europe, 6th ed. II. 442, &c.) is very unsatisfactory. He actually
makes Jeremy Taylor's "Liberty of Prophesying" (1647), the first
substantial assertion of Liberty of Conscience in England--an injustice
to a score or two of preceding champions of it, and to one or two entire
corporate denominations.]

And so we arrive at 1640. Then, immediately after the meeting of the Long
Parliament, Toleration rushed into the air. Everywhere the word
"Toleration" was heard, and with all varieties of meanings. A certain
boom of the general principle runs through Milton's Anti-Episcopal
pamphlets, and through other pamphlets on the same side. But this is not
all. The principle was expressly argued in certain pamphlets set forth in
the interest of the Independents and the Sectaries generally, and it was
argued so well that the Presbyterians caught the alarm, foresaw the
coming battle between them and the Independents on this subject of
Toleration, and declared themselves Anti-Tolerationists by anticipation.
It was in May 1641, for example, that Henry Burton published his
anonymous pamphlet called _The Protestation Protested_ (Vol. II.
591-2). The main purpose of the pamphlet was to propound Independency in
its extreme Brownist form, as refusing any National or State Church
whatever; but, on the supposition that this theory was too much in
advance of the opinion of the time, and that some National Church must
inevitably be set up, a toleration of dissent from that Church was prayed
for. "The Parliament now being about a Reformation," wrote Burton, "what
government shall be set up in this National Church, the Lord strengthen
and direct the Parliament in so great and glorious a work. But let it be
what it will, so as still a due respect be paid to those congregations
and churches which desire an exemption, and liberty of enjoying Christ's
ordinances in such purity as a National Church is not capable of." This
is the Toleration principle as it had been transmitted among the
Independents generally, or perhaps it is an advance on that. Such as it
was, however, Burton's plea for Toleration roused vehement opposition. It
was attacked ferociously, as we saw, by an anonymous Episcopal
antagonist, believed to be Bishop Hall (Vol. II. p. 593). It was attacked
also by Presbyterians, and notably by their champion, Mr. Thomas Edwards,
in his maiden pamphlet called "_Reasons against the Independent
Government of particular Congregations_" (Vol. II. p. 594). But
Edwards did not go unpunished. His pamphlet drew upon him that thrashing
from the lady-Brownist, Katharine Chidley, which the reader may remember
(Vol. II. p. 595). This brave old lady's idea of Toleration outwent even
Burton's, and corresponded more with that absolute idea of Toleration
which had been worked out among the Baptists. For example, Edwards having
upbraided the Independents with the fact that their Toleration principle
had broken down even in their own Paradise of New England, what is Mrs.
Chidley's answer? "If they have banished any out of their Patents that
were neither disturbers of the peace of the land, nor the worship
practised in the land, I am persuaded it was their weakness, and I hope
they will never attempt to do the like." Clearly, from whomsoever in 1641
the Parliament and the people of England heard a stinted doctrine of
Toleration, they heard the full doctrine from Mrs. Chidley. The
Parliament, however, was very slow to be convinced. Petitions of
Independent congregations for toleration to themselves were coolly
received and neglected; the Presbyterians more and more saw the
importance of making Anti-Toleration their rallying dogma; more and more
the call to be wary against this insidious notion of Toleration rang
through the pulpits of England and Scotland. [Footnote: Hanbury's
_Historical Memorials relating to the Independents_, Vol. II. pp.
68-ll7; where ample extracts from the pamphlets mentioned in this
paragraph are given. Fletcher gives a good selection of them in his
_History of Independency_, Vol. III. Chap. VI.]

The debates in 1643 and 1644 between the five Independent or Dissenting
Brethren of the Westminster Assembly and the Presbyterian majority of the
Assembly brought on a new stage of the Toleration controversy. A notion
which might be scorned or ridiculed while it was lurking in Anabaptist
conventicles, or ventilated by a she-Brownist like Mrs. Chidley, or by
poor old Mr. Burton of Friday Street, could compel a hearing when
maintained by men so respectable as Messrs. Goodwin, Burroughs, Bridge,
Simpson, and Nye, whom the Parliament itself had sent into the Assembly.
The demand for Toleration which these men addressed to the Parliament in
their famous _Apologetical Narration_ of January 1643-4 gave sudden
dignity and precision to what till then had been vulgar and vague. It put
the question in this form, "What amount of Nonconformity is to be allowed
in the new Presbyterian Church which is to be the National Church of
England?"; and it distinctly intimated that on the answer to this
question it would depend whether the Apologists and their adherents could
remain in England or should be driven again into exile. Care must be
taken, however, not to credit the Apologists at this period with any
notion of absolute or universal Toleration. They were far behind Mrs.
Chidley or the old Baptists in their views. They were as yet but learners
in the school of Toleration. Indulgence for _themselves_ "in some
lesser differences," and perhaps also for some of the more reputable of
the other sects in _their_ different "lesser differences," was the
sum of their published demand. They too, no less than the Presbyterians,
professed disgust at the extravagances of the Sectaries. It was not so
much, therefore, the Toleration expressly claimed by the Five Dissenting
Brethren for themselves, as the larger Toleration to which it would
inevitably lead, that the Presbyterians continued to oppose and denounce.
As far as the Five Brethren and other such respectable Dissentients were
concerned, the Presbyterians would have stretched a point. They would
have made arrangements. They would have patted the Five Dissenting
Brethren on the back, and said, "It shall be made easy for _you_; we
will yield all the accommodation _you_ can possibly need; only don't
call it Toleration." The Dissenting Brethren were honest enough and
clear-headed enough not to be content with this personal compliment. Nor,
in fact, could the policy have been successful. For there were now
champions of the larger Toleration with voices that resounded through the
land and were heard over those of the Five Apologists. Precisely that
middle of the year 1644 at which we have stopped in our narrative was the
time when the principle of absolute Liberty of Conscience was proclaimed,
for the benefit of all opinions whatsoever, in tones that could never
more be silenced.

About the middle of 1644 there appeared in London at least three
pamphlets or books in the same strain. One of these, "_The Compassionate
Samaritan unbinding the Conscience_," need be remembered by its name
only; but the other two must be associated with their authors. One bore
the striking title "_The Bloudy Tenent_ [i. e. _Bloody Tenet] of
Persecution for cause of Conscience, discussed in a Conference between
Truth and Peace_," (pp. 247); the other bore, in its first edition, the
simple title, "_M. S. to A.S._," and, in its second edition, in the same
year, this fuller title "_A Reply of Two of the Brethren to A.S., &c.;
with a Plea for Liberty of Conscience for the Apologists' Church-way,
against the Cavils of the said A. S_." Though both were anonymous, the
authors were known at the time. The author of the first was that
Americanized Welshman, ROGER WILLIAMS, whose strange previous career,
from his first arrival in New England in 1631, on to his settlement among
the Narraganset Bay Indians in 1638, and his subsequent vagaries of
opinion and of action, has already been sketched (Vol. II. 560-563, and
600-602). He had been over in England, it will be remembered, since June
1643, in the capacity of envoy or commissioner from the Rhode Island
people, to obtain a charter for erecting Rhode Island and the adjacent
Providence Plantation into a distinct and independent colony. He had been
going about England a good deal, but had been mostly in London, in the
society of the younger Vane, and in frequent contact with other leading
men in Parliament and in the Westminster Assembly. The _Bloody Tenent_
was an expression, in printed form, of opinions he had been ventilating
frankly enough in conversation, and was intended as a parting-gift to
England before his return to America. The title must have at once
attracted attention to it and given it an advantage over the other tract.
The author of that other tract was our other well-known friend Mr. JOHN
GOODWIN, Vicar of St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, whom the Presbyterians
had put in their black books as an Arminian, Socinian, and what not (Vol.
II. 582-584). Goodwill's piece may have been out first, for it is heard
of as in circulation in May 1644, while Williams's book is not heard of,
I think, till June or July. But, on all grounds, Williams deserves the
priority. [Footnote: For statements in this paragraph authorities are--
_Apologetic Narration_ (1644); Hanbury's Historical Memorials, II. 341
_et seq._; Reprint of _The Bloody Tenent_ by the Hanserd Knollys Society
(1848), with Mr. Underhill's "Biographical Introduction," pp. xxiii.-iv.;
Jackson's _Life of John Goodwin_, p. 114 _et seq._; Baillie's Letters,
II. 180,181, and 211, 212, and Commons Journals, Aug. 9, 1644.]

Well may the Americans be proud of Roger Williams. His _Bloody
Tenent_ is of a piece with all his previous career. It is a rapid,
hurried book, written, as it tells us, during the author's stay in
England, "in change of rooms and corners, yea sometimes in variety of
strange houses, sometimes in the fields in the midst of travel." One
particularly notes the frequent "&c." in its sentences, as if much
crowded on the writer's mind from moment to moment which he could
indicate only by a contraction. But there is dash in the book, the
keenest earnestness and evidence of a mind made up, and every now and
then a mystic softness and richness of pity, yearning towards a
voluptuous imagery like that of the Song of Solomon. The plan is
straggling. First there is a list of twelve positions which the book
proves, or heads under which its contents may be distributed. Then there
is an address or dedication to "the Right Honourable Both Houses of the
High Court of Parliament," followed by a separate address "To every
Courteous Reader." Then there comes a copy of" Scriptures and Reasons
written long since by a Witness of Jesus Christ, close prisoner in
Newgate, against Persecution in cause of Conscience"--in fact, an extract
from a tract on Liberty of Conscience by Murton, or some other London
Baptist, in 1620. A copy of those Scriptures and Reasons against
Persecution had, it seems, been submitted in 1635 to Mr. Cotton of Boston
for his consideration; and Mr. Cotton had drawn up a Reply, defending
from Scripture, past universal practice, and the authority of Calvin,
Beza, and others of the Reformers, the right of the civil magistrate to
prosecute and punish religious error. This Reply of Cotton's in favour of
persecution is printed at length by Williams; and the first part of the
real body of his own book consists of a Dialogue between Truth and Peace
over the doctrine which so respectable a New England minister had thus
espoused. When this Dialogue is over; there ensues a second Dialogue of
Truth and Peace over another New England document in which the same
"bloody tenet" of persecution had been defended-to wit a certain "Model
of Church and Civil Power" drawn up by some New England ministers in
concert, and in which Mr. Cotton had had a hand, though Mr. Richard
Mather appears to have been the chief author. [Footnote: Some particulars
in this description of the treatise are from Mr. Underhill's Introduction
to the Hanserd Knolly's Society's Reprint of it, but the description in
the main is from the _Bloody Treatment_ itself.]

The texture of Williams's treatise, it will be thus seen, is loose and
composite. But a singular unity of purpose and spirit runs through it.
Here is the opening of the first Dialogue:--

_Truth_. In what dark corner of the world, sweet Peace, are we two
met? How hath this present evil world banished me from all the coasts and
corners of it! And how hath the righteous God in judgment taken thee from
the earth: Rev. vi. 4.

_Peace_. It is lamentably true, blessed Truth: the  foundations of
the world have long been out of course; the gates of Earth and Hell have
conspired together to intercept our joyful meeting and our holy kisses.
With what a wearied, tired wing have I flown over nations, kingdoms,
cities, towns, to find out precious Truth!

_Truth_. The like inquiries in my flights and travels have I made
for Peace, and still am told she hath left the Earth and fled to Heaven.

_Peace_. Dear Truth, what is the Earth but a dungeon of darkness,
where Truth is not?

_Truth_. And what is the Peace thereof but a fleeting dream, thine
ape and counterfeit?

_Peace_. Oh! where is the promise of the God of Heaven, that
Righteousness and Peace shall kiss each other?

_Truth_. Patience, sweet Peace! These Heavens and Earth are growing
old, and shall be changed like a garment: Psalm cii. They shall melt
away, and be burnt up with all the works that are therein; and the Most
High Eternal Creator shall gloriously create new Heavens and new Earth,
wherein dwells righteousness: 2 Pet. iii. Our kisses then shall have
their endless date of pure and sweetest joys. Till then both thou and I
must hope, and wait, and bear the fury of the Dragon's wrath, whose
monstrous lies and furies shall with himself be cast into the lake of
fire, the second death: Rev. xx.

_Peace_. Most precious Truth, thou knowest we are both pursued and
laid for. Mine heart is full of sighs, mine eyes with tears. Where can I
better vent my full oppressed bosom than into thine, whose faithful lips
may for these few hours revive my drooping, wandering spirits, and here
begin to wipe tears from mine eyes, and the eyes of my dearest children.

_Truth_. Sweet daughter of the God of peace, begin.

And so Truth and Peace hold their long discourse, evolving very much that
doctrine of the absolute Liberty of Conscience, as derivable from, or
radically identical with, the idea of the utter distinctness of the
Church of Christ from the world or civil society, which had been
propounded first by the Brownists and Baptists, and had come down as a
tradition from them. But it is evolved by Williams more boldly and
passionately than by any before him. There is a fine union throughout of
warmth of personal Christian feeling with intellectual resoluteness in
accepting every possible consequence of his main principle. Here are a
few phrases from the marginal summaries which give the substance of the
Dialogue, page after page:--"The Church and civil State confusedly made
all one"; "The civil magistrates bound to preserve the bodies of their
subjects, and not to destroy them for conscience sake"; "The civil sword
may make a nation of hypocrites and anti-Christians, but not one
Christian"; "Evil is always evil, yet permission of it may in case be
good"; "Christ Jesus the deepest politician that ever was, and yet he
commands a toleration of anti-Christians"; "Seducing teachers, either
Pagan, Jewish, Turkish, or anti-Christian, may yet be obedient subjects
to the civil laws"; "Christ's lilies may flourish in his Church,
notwithstanding the abundance of weeds in the world permitted"; "The
absolute sufficiency of the sword of the Spirit"; "A National Church not
instituted by Christ Jesus"; "The civil commonweal and the spiritual
commonweal, the Church, not inconsistent, though independent the one on
the other"; "Forcing of men to godliness or God's worship the greatest
cause of breach of civil peace"; "Master of a family under the Gospel not
charged to force all under him from their consciences to his"; "Few
magistrates, few men, spiritually and Christianly good: yet divers sorts
of goodness, natural, artificial, civil, &c."; "Persons may with less sin
be forced to marry whom they cannot love than to worship where they
cannot believe"; "Christ Jesus never appointed a maintenance of ministers
from the unconverted and unbelieving: [but] they that compel men to hear
compel men also to pay for their hearing and conversion"; "The civil
power owes _three_ things to the true Church of Christ--(l)
Approbation, (2) Submission [i.e. interpreted in the text to be personal
submission of the civil magistrate to church-membership, if he himself
believes], (3) Protection"; "The civil magistrate owes _two_ things
to false worshippers--(1) Permission, (2) Protection."--Whoever has read
this string of phrases possesses the marrow of Williams's treatise. At
the end of it there is an interesting discussion of the question whether
only church-members, or "godly persons in a particular church-estate,"
ought to be eligible to be magistrates. To Williams, who was a pure
democrat in politics, and was founding the new State of Rhode Island on
the basis of the equal suffrages of all the colonists, this was an
important practical question. He decides it with great good sense, and
clearly in the negative. Without denying that the appointment of godly
persons to civil offices was a thing to be prayed for, and, wherever
possible, peaceably endeavoured, he points out that the principle that
only Christian persons should be entrusted with civil rule is practically
preposterous. Five-sixths of the world had never heard of Christ, and yet
there were lawful enough civil states in those parts of the world. Then,
in a Christian monarchy, what a convulsion, what a throwing away of the
benefits of hereditary succession, if it had to be inquired, whenever the
throne became vacant, whether the next heir was of the right sort
religiously. Finally, in any Christian colony or town, would it not be a
turning of everything upside down, and a premium upon hypocrisy, to make
church-membership a necessary qualification for magistracy, and so, when
a magistrate lapsed into what was thought religious error, and had to be
excommunicated by his church, to have to turn him out of his civil office

Williams, it is to be remembered, had held these views while he was yet
only a Congregationalist generally, and before he had become a Baptist.
Though he found them among the Baptists, therefore, he may be said to
have recovered them for Independency at large, and to have been the first
to impregnate modern "Independency" with them through and through. Nay,
as he had himself gone out of the camp of the mere Baptist
Congregationalists when he published his treatise,--as he had begun to
question whether there was any true Visible Church in the world at all,
any perfect pastorate in any nation, anything else under the sun of a
Christian kind than a chance-medley of various preaching and effort into
which God might sooner or later send new shafts of light and direction
from heaven--in the view of all this, Williams has to be regarded as the
father of a speculation that cannot be contained within the name of
Independency, even at its broadest. If we were forced to adopt a modern
designation for him, we should call him. the father of all that, since
his time, has figured, anywhere in Great Britain, or in the United
States, or in the British Colonies, under the name of _Voluntaryism_.
This involves a restriction on the one hand. Since his time, there has
been an abundance of speculation in the world as to the true duties and
limits of the power of a State even in civil matters; and the prevailing
effect of these speculations has been to hand over more and more of the
care of human well-being and human destinies, in everything whatsoever,
to the liberty of individuals, the pressure of their competing desires,
and their powers of voluntary association, and so to reduce the function
of the magistrate or any power of corporate rule to a thing becoming
small by degrees and beautifully less. Of late, this tendency, victorious
already in many matters, has tried to assert itself in the question of
Education. It has been maintained that there should be no attention on
the part of the State to the education of the citizens, but that, in the
matter of learning to read and write and of all farther learning or
mental training, the individuals horn into a community should be left to
their hereditary chances, the discretion or kindness of those about them,
and their own power of gradually finding out what they need, and buying
it or begging it. Now with this direction of modern speculation the
intentions of Roger Williams had nothing to do. He was a democrat in
politics, and, as such, he might have gone on to new definitions of what,
in secular matters, should be left to the individual, and what should be
still regulated by the majority; but what these definitions would have
been must be left to inference from the records of his farther political
life in Rhode Island. Respecting Schools and Universities he did, indeed,
hold that they were not to be regarded as the nurseries of a clergy, the
appendages of a Church, or the depositaries and supports of any religious
creed. "For any depending of the Church of Christ on such schools," he
wrote, "I find not a tittle in the Testament of Christ Jesus." He would
certainly, therefore, have been for no expenditure of public money on the
_religious_ education of the young, and he would have been for the
extraction of all theological teaching out of existing schools and
universities. But he "honoured schools," he says," for tongues and arts,"
and I have found no trace in him of a notion that State support of
schools and universities for such secular learning is illegitimate. His
_Voluntaryism_, so far as it was declared, or, I believe, intended, was
wholly Voluntaryism in the matter of Church and Religion. In that sphere,
however, his Voluntaryism was absolute, and went as far as anything
calling itself Voluntaryism that has since been heard of in the English-
speaking world.

Williams's _Bloody Tenent_, as I have said, was his parting gift to the
English nation before his return to America. It was out in June or July
1644; and in September of the same year Williams, after a stay of about
fifteen months in and near London, was on his way back to New England. He
had succeeded in the immediate object of his mission. For, during his
stay in England, the management of the Colonies, till then in the hands
of Commissioners under the Crown, was transferred (Nov. 2, 1643) to a
Parliamentary Commission of Lords and Commoners, at the head of which was
the Earl of Warwick as Lord High Admiral, and among the members of which
were Lord Saye and Sele, Pym, the younger Vane, Sir Arthur Haselrig, and
Oliver Cromwell. Before such Commissioners, with Vane as his personal
friend. Williams had had little difficulty in making out his case; and he
had obtained from them a Patent, dated March 14, 1643-4, associating "the
towns of Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport," into one body-politic by
the name of "the Incorporation of Providence Plantations in Narraganset
Bay in New England." This Patent gave a _carte blanche_ to the colonists
to settle their own form of government by voluntary consent, or vote,
among themselves; and, having it in his pocket, Williams might hope, on
his return to America, to set up, in the polity of Rhode Island and its
adjacencies, such an example of complete civil democracy combined with
absolute religious individualism as the world had never yet seen. The
_Bloody Tenent_ might be left in England as an exposition of his theory
in the sphere of Religion until this practical Transatlantic example of
it should be ready! He had shrewdly taken care, however, to have the
Patent in his pocket before issuing the _Bloody Tenent_. Had that book
been out first, he might have had some difficulty in obtaining the Patent
even from such Commissioners for the Colonies as he had to deal with.
Possibly, however, they granted it with full knowledge of Williams, and
were willing, through him, to try a bolder experiment in the American
wilds than it was possible to promote or to announce in England.
[Footnote: Palfrey's New England, I. 633-4, and II. 215; and Gammell's
Life of Williams, 119, 120.]

While we have been so long with Roger Williams, his colleague in the
Toleration heresy, John Goodwill, has been waiting. He was fifty-one
years of age, or six or seven years older than Williams. Rather late in
life, he had begun to find himself a much-abused man in London. For,
though he had sided with the Parliamentarians zealously from the first,
and had even, it appears, taken the Covenant, [Footnote: That Goodwin had
taken the Covenant appears from words of his own in a tract of 1646
quoted in Fletcher's Hist, of Independency, IV. 47.] his theology was
thought to be lax, [Footnote: The suspicion of Goodwin's Socinianism was
as early as November 1613, when he got into trouble with the Assembly on
that and other grounds (see Baillie's Letters, II. III, and Lightfoot's
Notes, Nov. 8 and 9, 1643).] and the interpretation he was putting on the
Covenant was not the common one. He thought that the oath to seek
"reformation of religion" and to "endeavour to bring the Church of God in
the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity," did not
necessarily imply acceptance of the Presbyterian system which the
Assembly were bent upon bringing in. Therefore, when the Five Dissenting
Brethren of the Assembly appealed to Parliament in their _Apologetical
Narration_, they found a champion outside in Goodwin. His championship
took the form of that answer to "A. S." (_i.e._ the Scotsman, Adam
Steuart, author of the first printed attack on the _Apologetic
Narration_) which we have mentioned as appearing with the brief title _M.
S. to A. S._, and again, in a second edition, with the fuller title _A
Reply of Two of the Brethren to A. S., &c.; with A Plea for Liberty of
Conscience, &c_. As the second title implies, Goodwill had associates in
the work; but it was principally his, and the part on Toleration wholly
his. So far as the tract concerns itself with the question between
Presbytery and Congregationalism, Goodwin avows himself a
Congregationalist. And yet he was not at one in all points with the five
Assembly-men. "I know I am looked upon," he afterwards wrote, "by reason
partly of my writings, partly of my practice, as a man very deeply
engaged for the Independents' cause against Presbytery. But the truth is,
I am neither so whole for the former, nor yet against the latter, as I
am, I believe, generally voted in the thoughts of men to be." [Footnote:
Quoted, from the Preface to Goodwin's _Anapologesiastes Anapologias_, by
Fletcher, IV. 46.] This was written in 1616; but even in 1644 he fought
so much for his own hand that the Independents of the Assembly may have
but half liked his partnership. His Toleration doctrine, at all events,
though uttered in their behalf, was too strong doctrine even for them.
Hear what Baillie writes to his friend Spang, at Campvere, in Holland,
just after the appearance of Goodwin's tract for the Independents: "_M.S.
against A.S._, is John Goodwin of Coleman Street: he names you expressly,
and professes to censure the letter of Zeeland. He is a bitter enemy to
Presbytery, and is openly for a full liberty of conscience of all sects,
even Turks, Jews, Papists, and all to be more openly tolerate than with
you [_i.e._ than even in Holland]." [Footnote: Baillie, II. 180, 181.
Goodwin's mention of Spang, referred to by Baillie, is as follows:--
"There is a Scottish Church, of which one Spang is a very busy agent, at
Trevere [Campvere]... whence the Letter [_i.e._ the Zeeland Letter in
favour of Presbytery] came."] Baillie's representation of Goodwin's
Toleration doctrine is fair enough. It is not so deep, so exceptionless,
and so transcendentally reasoned as Roger Williams's; and indeed there
was none of the sap and mystic richness of nature in Goodwin that we find
in Williams, but chiefly clear courage, and strong cool sense. For most
practical purposes, however, Goodwin's Toleration was thorough. He was
for tolerating not merely the orthodox Congregationalists and such more
heterodox sects as might be thought respectable, but all religions,
sects, and schisms whatsoever, if only the professors of them were
otherwise peaceable in the State. Not, of course, that they were not to
be reasoned with and proved false publicly; or that heretics in
congregations were not to be admonished, and, if obdurate,
excommunicated; or that a whole church tainted with a great heresy ought
not to be put under a ban by all other churches, and communion with it
renounced. All this was assumed in the theory of Church-Independency
which was common to Goodwin and Williams. True, Williams, now that he had
passed beyond the Baptists and saw no true Church anywhere on earth, must
have begun to doubt also the efficacy and validity of even spiritual
censures, as exercised by the so-called churches, to regard as a mere
agency of troublesome moonshine that incessant watchfulness of each
other's errors on which Independency relied, and so to luxuriate in a
mood of large charity, sighing over all, and hoping more from prayer and
longing and pious well-doing all round than from censures and
disputations. To Goodwin, on the other hand, troubled with no such
visionary ideas, and fully convinced that a very good model of a Church
had been set up in Coleman Street, the right and efficacy of disputation
against error, and of ministerial vigilance against error in particular
churches, seemed more important, or at least more worth insisting on in a
public plea for Toleration. Williams and Goodwill did not differ
theoretically, but only practically, over this item in the exposition of
their doctrine. The sole difference, of theoretical import, was that
Goodwin, in dwelling on the duty of disputation by Christian ministers
against false religions and dangerous opinions in society round about
them, and of vigilance against minor heresies in their own congregations,
talked vaguely of a right on the part of the civil magistrate to admonish
ministers in this respect should they be negligent or forgetful of their
duty. This, as we know, would have grated on Williams. Perhaps, however,
Goodwin, even here, was only throwing a sop to Cerberus. At all events,
he comes out finally a thorough Tolerationist. Whatever minister or
magistrate may do towards confuting and diminishing error, there is a
point at which they must both stop. There is not to be a suppression of
false religions, sects and schisms, by fining, imprisoning,
disfranchising, banishment, death, or any civil punishment whatsoever;
and, when it comes to that, they are all to be tolerated. [Footnote:
Jackson's Life of Goodwin. pp. 110, 117; Hanbury's Memorials, II. 341-

We are now prepared to classify the various forms in which the Toleration
Doctrine was urged on the English mind in the year 1644. There were three
grades of the doctrine:--

I. _Absolute Liberty of Conscience, and No National Church, or State-
interference with Religion, of any kind whatsoever._ This was, in
fact, more than Toleration, and Toleration is hardly the fit name for it.
The advocates of this idea were Roger Williams, perhaps the Baptists
generally, also Burton in a certain way; but, above all, Roger Williams.
He did not think there could be Liberty of Conscience, in the perfect and
absolute sense, where there was a National Church, even if free dissent
were allowed from that Church. For, by the establishment of a Church, he
held, a substantial worldly premium was put on certain religious beliefs,
and an advantage conferred on a portion of the community at the expense
of all; and to be compelled to pay for, or even to acknowledge
politically, a Church which one did not approve, was in itself
inconsistent with true Liberty of Conscience, whatever freedom of
nonconformity might be left to individuals. Accordingly, if Roger
Williams, at that crisis, had been a statesman of England, instead of a
mere commissioner from an infant colony in America, his advice would have
been in this strain:--"It is agreed that the Episcopal or Prelatic
Church, called hitherto the Reformed Church of England, is no longer to
exist. That is settled; and the question is, What Church Reformation
shall there now be? My answer is sweeping and simple. Let there be no
National Church, no Church of England, at all, of any kind or form
whatsoever. Let England henceforth be a civil State only, in which
Christianity shall take care of itself, and all forms of Christianity and
all other religions shall have equal rights to protection by the police.
Confiscate for the use of the State all the existing revenues of the
defunct Church and its belongings, giving such compensation for life-
interests therein as may seem reasonable; but create no new Church, nor
stump of a Church, round which new interests may gather. Do not even
implicate the State so far in the future of Religion as to indicate to
the subjects any form of Church as esteemed the best, or any range of
option among Churches as presumably the safest. Leave the formation and
the sustentation of Christ's Church in the English realm, and everywhere
else, entirely to the unseen power of the Spirit, and the free action of
those whom the Spirit may make its instruments."--For nothing like this
was the Long Parliament, or any other legislature in the world, then
prepared; and Williams knew it. But he had faith in the future of his
speculation. In America, whither he was to carry it back, he hoped to be
able to exhibit it in practice on a small scale in the new colony he was
founding; and there could be no harm, he thought, in leaving the leaven
to ferment in the denser society of England.

II. _Unlimited Toleration round an Established National Church._ So
we may express a form of Tolerationism in which there was a concurrence
of persons, and perhaps of bodies of persons, who yet differed from each
other in the motives for their concurrence. Williams, of course, accepted
this form of Tolerationism, as next best to his own absolute
Voluntaryism, Individualism, and universal Liberty of Conscience. "If
there is to be in England a National or State Church of some kind (which
I think wrong, and so wrong that I will take no part in the debate what
kind of National Church would be best, whether a Prelatic, Presbyterian,
or any other), at least, when you have set up such a Church, let there be
a perfect toleration for all subjects of the realm round about that
Church, no compulsion on any of them to belong to that Church, no pains
and penalties for any profession of belief or disbelief, or any form of
worship or no-worship, out of that Church." These are not Williams's own
words, but they exactly express his meaning; and, in fact, he intended
his _Bloody Tenent_ to be a plea for toleration in this practical
sense, if it should fail in winning people to his higher and more
peculiar idea of real Liberty of Conscience. And a most eloquent plea it
was. He insists again and again on the necessity that there should be no
limits to the toleration of Religious Difference in a state. He argues
expressly that not only orthodox or slightly heterodox dissenters should
have the benefit of such toleration, but all kinds of dissentients
without exception, Papists, Jews, Mohammedans, Pagans, or Infidels. He
knew what a hard battle lie was fighting. "I confess I have little hope,"
he said, "till those flames are over, that this discourse against the
doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience should pass current, I
say not amongst the wolves and lions, but even amongst the sheep of
Christ themselves. Yet, _liberavi animam meam_: I have not hid
within my breast my soul's belief." He trusted, doubtless, that his
treatise might have some effect, if not for its highest purpose, at least
as a practical plea for unlimited toleration round the new National
Church of England that was to be. And here most of the Baptists were in
the same predicament with Williams. They would have preferred no National
Church at all; but, as there was to be a National Church, they wanted the
amplest toleration round it. Burton also was pretty nearly in the same
category. He too doubted the lawfulness of a State Church of any kind,
but was earnest that, if such must be established, it should not be
coercive. He did not formally demand unlimited toleration, and indeed
conceded something in words to the effect that in cases of "known heresy,
or blasphemy, or idolatry," offenders would have to be "obnoxious to the
Civil Power;" but I rather think that the concession was prudential, and
that his heart did not go with it. I will retain him therefore among the
Unlimited Tolerationists. Far outshining him in this class, however, was
John Goodwin.--Well, but were the advocates of unlimited toleration in
connexion with an Established Church exclusively persons who would have
prevented the formation of such a Church if they could, or doubted its
righteousness and propriety, and who only insisted on Toleration
_with_ such a Church as a practical necessity to which they were
driven? Were there no theorists in that time who positively desired an
Established Church on its own account, and for the general good of the
community, but who had worked out the conclusion that such a Church might
consist, and ought to consist, with universal Religious Toleration, or
the freest liberty of Nonconformity and Dissent? In view of the fact that
this is the theory of Establishments evolved by some of the best
ecclesiastical spirits in our own later times, the question is
interesting. My researches do not enable me to give a very precise answer
to it applicable to the exact year 1644. If there were such theorists,
however, they were, I should say, among those wiser and younger sons of
the Episcopal Church of England who would fain have preserved that
Episcopal Church, but had privately made up their minds that Laud's basis
for that Church was untenable, and that a very different basis must be
substituted. One thinks of Chillingworth, Hales, and the rest of that
"Latitudinarian" brotherhood; one thinks of Jeremy Taylor; one thinks of
the candid Fuller; one thinks even of the Calvinistic Usher.
Chillingworth had died at Chichester, Jan. 30, 1643-4, at the age of
forty-one, an avowed Royalist, and indeed a Royalist prisoner-at-war,
tended on his death-bed by Presbyterians. [Footnote: Wood's Ath. III. 93,
94; and Life of Chillingworth prefixed to the Oxford edition of his
Works.] Whatever hardy cogitations had been in his mind, pointing to a
revived Episcopal Church of England with an ample toleration within it
and round about it, had gone prematurely to the grave. The others were
still alive, also pronounced Royalists, and acting or suffering more or
less on that side; and whatever thoughts they had in the direction under
notice were irrelevant to their immediate duty and opportunities, and had
to wait for utterance at a more convenient season. [Footnote: Yet there
_had_ been one recent utterance of Hales relating to the idea of
Toleration. It was in the form of _A Tract concerning Schism and
Schismatics_, which he had prepared in 1636, partly for the use of his
friend Chillingworth then engaged on his "Religion of Protestants," but
which, in deference to Laud's private objections and remonstrances, he
had kept unpublished. In 1642, when Laud was in prison and the state of
things wholly changed, the Tract was brought out at the Oxford University
Press. It is vague in its conception and expression; but that it is
decidedly in favour of toleration and free inquiry will appear from the
opening sentences: "Heresy and Schism, as they are in common use, are two
theological [Greek: Mosmos], or scarecrows, which they who uphold a party
in religion use to fright away such as, making inquiry into it, are ready
to relinquish and oppose it if it appear either erroneous or suspicious.
For, as Plutarch reports of a painter who, having unskilfully painted a
cock, chased away all cocks and hens, that so the imperfection of his art
might not appear by comparison with nature, so men, willing for ends to
admit of no fancy but their own, endeavour to hinder an inquiry into it,
by way of comparison of somewhat with it, peradventure truer, that so the
deformity of their own might not appear." Wood's Ath. III. 413, 414, and
Tract itself with letter to Laud, Vol. I. pp. 114-144 of "The Works of
the ever memorable Mr. John Hales," Glasgow, 1765.] On the whole,
however, I judge that any such thoughts in their minds (even in Jeremy
Taylor's as yet) fell considerably short of the Unlimited Toleration
advocated by Williams and John Goodwin, and, if they could have been
ascertained and measured, would have referred their owners rather to the
next category than to the present.

III. _A Limited Toleration round an Established National Church._
This would probably have sufficed the thoughtful Anglicans of whom we
have just been speaking. Their ideal probably was a revived Episcopal
Church of England, liberally constituted within itself, and with a
toleration of all respectable forms of Dissent round about itself, but
still with a right reserved for the Civil Power of preventing and
punishing gross errors and schisms. We are more concerned, however, with
another set of Limited Tolerationists, then much more conspicuous in
England. They were those who had given up all thoughts of the retention
of a Prelatic Establishment, and who indeed regarded the deliverance of
England from such an Establishment as the noblest accomplished fact of
the time. What they were anxious about was the nature of the new National
Church, if any, that was to be substituted, and especially the degree of
conformity to that Church that was to be required. The chief
representatives of this state of feeling in its more moderate form were
the Five Independent Divines of the Assembly, Messrs. Thomas Goodwin,
Bridge, Nye, Simpson, and Burroughs. They were not, I think, distinctly
adverse to a National Church on theoretical grounds, as Williams and
Burton were; and probably what they would have liked best would have been
a National Church on the Congregationalist principle, like that of New
England. For, though Congregationalism and a National Establishment of
Religion may seem radically a contradiction in terms, yet in fact the
case had not been quite so in America. There may be a State Church
without public endowments, or rather there may be endowments and
privileges that are not pecuniary. The New England Church, though
consisting of a few scores of congregations, mutually independent, self-
supporting, and scattered stragglingly over an extensive territory, was
really a kind of State Church collectively, inasmuch as the State
required, by rule or by custom, membership of some congregation as a
qualification for suffrage and office, and also kept some watch and
control over the congregations, so as to be sure that none were formed of
a very heretical kind, and that none already formed lapsed into decided
heresy. How had Mr. Cotton of Boston, the great light of the New England
Church, expounded its principle in respect of the power of the civil
magistrate in matters of Religion? "We readily grant you," he had
written, "liberty of conscience is to be granted to men that fear God
indeed, as knowing they will not persist in heresy or turbulent schism
when they are convinced in conscience of the sinfulness thereof. But the
question is whether an heretic, after once or twice admonition, and so
after conviction, or any other scandalous and heinous offender, may be
tolerated, either in the Church without excommunication, or in the
Commonwealth without such punishment as may preserve others from
dangerous and damnable infection." [Footnote: From Cotton's Answer to the
old Tract of "Scriptures and Reasons against Persecution" (see
_antè_, p. 114). The Answer is printed by Williams in his _Bloody
Tenent_: See Hanserd Knollys Society edition (1848), p. 30.]

Clearly, with such a principle, and with all the particulars of practice
which it implied, the Congregationalist Church of New England was, after
all, a State Church, and a pretty strict State Church too. Now, it was
probably such a National Congregationalist Church, but with an allowance
of toleration somewhat larger than Cotton's, that the Five Independents
of the Assembly would have liked to see set up in England. That, however,
being plainly out of the question, and the whole current of dominant
opinion in Parliament and the Assembly being towards a Presbyterian
settlement, what remained for the Five? In the first place, to delay the
Presbyterian settlement as long as they could, and to criticise its
programme at every stage so as to liberalize its provisions as much as
possible; in the second place, to put in a plea for Toleration for
Dissent under the settlement when it should be enacted. They had
performed, and were performing, both duties. They were fighting the
propositions of strict Presbytery inch by inch in the Assembly, if not
with success, at least so as to impede progress; and in their
_Apologetical Narration_ (Jan. 1643-4) they had lodged with
Parliament and the country a demand for Toleration under the coming
Presbytery. What they had thus expressed in print they had continued to
express in speech and in every other possible way. They were, in a
certain sense, the most marked Tolerationists of the time; Toleration was
identified with them. And yet it was but a limited Toleration, a very
limited Toleration, that they demanded. Indulgence for themselves in
Congregationalist practices after Presbytery should be established, and
indulgence for other respectable sects and persons in "lesser
differences:" that was all. Nothing like Williams's or John Goodwill's
toleration: no liberty, or at least none avowedly, for such glaring
heresies as Antinomianism, Socinianism, and Arianism, not to mention open
Infidelity. Here, I believe, they represented the mass of the ordinary
Independents. Whatever more a few strong spirits among the Independents,
and especially among the lay Independents, desired, the mass of them were
content for the present to be Limited Tolerationists.

Such were the three forms of the Toleration Doctrine in England in 1644.
They were of unequal strengths and confusedly mixed, but constituted
together a powerful and growing force of opinion. And what was the
WHOLE NATION TO THE ONE ESTABLISHED CHURCH: this was the category of the

In this category, now that Prelacy was done with, and it was certain that
the new National Church was to be on the Presbyterian model, the
Presbyterians had succeeded the Laudians. As a body, the Presbyterians of
1644 and subsequent years were absolute Anti-Tolerationists. The proofs
are so abundant, collectively they make such an ocean, that it passes
comprehension how the contrary could ever have been asserted. From the
first appearance of the Presbyterians in force after the opening of the
Long Parliament, it was their anxiety to beat down the rising idea of
Toleration; and, after the meeting of the Westminster Assembly, and the
publication of the _Apologetical Narration_ of the Independents, the
one aim of the Presbyterians was to tie Toleration round the neck of
Independency, stuff the two struggling monsters into one sack, and sink
them to the bottom of the sea. In all the Presbyterian literature of the
time,--Baillie's Letters, Rutherford's and Gillespie's Tracts, the
pamphlets of English Presbyterian Divines in the Assembly, the pamphlets
of Prynne, Bastwick, and other miscellaneous Presbyterian
controversialists out of the Assembly,--this antipathy to Toleration,
limited or unlimited, this desire to pinion Independency and Toleration
together in one common death, appears overwhelmingly. Out of scores of
such Presbyterian manifestoes, let us select one, interesting to us for
certain reasons apart.

Of all the Divines in London, not members of the Assembly, none had come
to be better known for his Presbyterian acrimony than the veteran Mr.
Thomas Edwards, of whose maiden pamphlet of 1641, called _Reasons
against the Independent Government_, with Mrs. Chidley's Reply to the
same, we have had occasion to take notice (_antè_, p. 110). The spirited
verbosity, as we called it, of that pamphlet of Edwards had procured him
a reputation among the Presbyterians, which he felt himself bound to
justify by farther efforts. The appearance of the _Apologetical
Narration_ of the Five Independents in Jan. 1643-4 gave him a famous
opportunity. Various answers were at once or quickly published to that
Independent manifesto--not only that by _A. S._ or Adam Steuart (_antè_,
p. 25), but various others. When it became known, however, that Mr.
Edwards also was preparing an Answer, it was expected to beat them all.
There was a flutter of anticipation of it among the Presbyterians; but it
was rather slow in coming. "There is a piece of 26 sheets, of Mr.
Edwards, against the Apologetick Narration, near printed, which will
paint that faction [the Independents] in clearer colours than yet they
have appeared," writes Baillie, June 7, 1644; in a later letter, July 5,
he says it is expected "within two or three days," but "excresced to near
40 sheets;" and it is not till Aug. 7 that he speaks of it as fairly out:
"Mr. Edwards has written a splendid confutation of all the Independents'
Apology." [Footnote: Baillie, II. 190, 201-2, and 215.] In fact, it
appeared in the end of July, just at the time when the Assembly adjourned
for their fortnight's vacation, and almost contemporaneously with John
Goodwin's _M. S. to A. S._ and Williams's _Bloody Tenent_. Baillie's
measure of "sheets" must have been different from ours, or he had been
under some mistake; for the treatise, though long enough, consisted but
of 367 small quarto pages, with this title: "_Antapologia: or, A Full
Answer to the Apologetical Narration of Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Nye, Mr.
Simpson, Mr. Burroughs, Mr. Bridge, members of the Assembly of Divines.
Wherein many of the controversies of these times are handled: viz. [&c.].
Humbly also submitted to the Honourable Houses of Parliament. By Thomas
Edwards, Minister of the Gospel_." [Footnote: Hanbury's Memorials, II.
366. Mr. Hanbury gives a summary of the _Antapologia_ with extracts (366-
385); but I have before me the book itself in a reprint, of 1646, "by
T.R. and E.M. for Ralph Smith, at the signe of the Bible in Cornhill neer
the Royall Exchange." It consists of 259 pages of text, besides
introductory epistle, and table of contents at the end.]

It was a most remarkable treatise, and ran through London at once. For
the style, though slovenly, was fluent and popular, and Edwards, having
plenty of time on his hands, and having a taste for personalities, had
made minute inquiries into the antecedents of the Five Independents in
Holland and in England, and had interwoven the results of these inquiries
with his arguments against Independency itself. The Five, he tells us in
a preliminary epistle, were among his personal acquaintances. "I can
truly speak it," he says, "that this present _Antapologia_ is so far
from being written out of any malice or ill-will to the Apologists that I
love their persons and value them as brethren, yea some of them above
brethren; and, besides that love I bear to them as saints, I have a
personal love, and a particular love of friendship for some of them; and
I can truly speak it, that I writ not this book, nor any part of it, out
of any personal quarrel, old grudge, or former difference (for to this
day there never was any such difference or unkindness passed between us);
but I have writ it with much sorrow, unwillingness, and some kind of
conflict." This explanation was certainly necessary; for Mr. Edwards does
not spare his friends. He tells all he has found out about them; he
quotes their conversations with himself; he gives them the lie direct,
and appeals to their consciences whether he is not right in doing so.
_They_ martyrs! _they_ poor exiles in Holland, and now whining to
Parliament that they would have to go into exile again if Presbyterianism
were established without a Toleration! Why, they had been in clover in
Holland; they had been living there "in safety, plenty, pomp, and ease,"
leaving the genuine Puritans at home to fight it out with Prelacy; and,
after the battle was won, they had slunk back to claim the rewards they
had not earned, to become pets and "grandees" in English society, to
secure good appointments and assume leading parts, and to be elected
members of the venerable Westminster Assembly! They had not even had the
courage to go to New England, though some of them had talked of doing so!
And then their prate of this emigration to New England, which they had
themselves declined, as the greatest undertaking for the sake of pure
Religion, next to Abraham's migration out of his own country, that the
world had ever seen! Why, the emigration to New England was no such great
affair after all! There had been mixed motives in it; all New England
would not make a twentieth part of London; it had but two or three
Divines in it worth naming in the same breath with the worthies of Old
England, and was on the whole but a kind of outlandish mess; the
"Reformation in Church-government and worship" then going on in Old
England would be a wonder "to all generations to come far beyond that of
New England!" But in Holland, where the cowardly Apologists had preferred
to stay, what had they been doing? Quarrelling among themselves, going
into all kinds of conceits, anointing people with oil, and the like;
respecting all which Edwards had obtained from Rotterdam and Arnheim a
budget of information! Then that lie of the Apologists, that they had,
since their return to England, been careful not to press their peculiar
Congregationalist opinions, or endeavour to make a party, but had waited
in patience to see what course affairs would take! Not press their
peculiar opinions--not endeavour to make a party! Why, Mr. Edwards could
aver (and cite dates, places, and witnesses to prove it) that they had
been doing nothing else, since they came to England, than press their
peculiar opinions and endeavour to make a party! "Suffer me to deal
plainly with you: I am persuaded that, setting aside the Jesuits' acting
for themselves and way, you Five have acted for yourselves and way, both
by yourselves and by your instruments, both upon the stage and behind the
curtain, considering circumstances and laying all things together, more
than any five men have done in so short a time this sixty years. And, if
it be not so, whence have come all these swarms and troops of
Independents in Ministry, Armies, City, Country, Gentry, and amongst the
Common People of all sorts, men, women, servants, children?"

So, on and on, Edwards goes, decidedly more readable than most
pamphleteers of the time, because he writes with some spirit, and mixes a
continual pepper of personalities with his arguments against the tenets
of the Independents. With these arguments we shall not meddle. Their
purpose was to hold up "a true glass to behold the faces of Presbytery
and Independency in, with the beauty, order, strength, of the one, and
the deformity, disorder, and weakness of the other." In other words, the
pamphlet is a digest of everything that could be said against
Independency and in favour of Presbyterianism. But the grand tenet of
Presbyterianism in which Mr. Edwards revels with most delight, and which
he exhibits as the distinguishing honour of that system, and its fitness
beyond any other for grappling with the impiety of men in general and the
disorderliness of that age in particular, is its uncompromising Anti-
Toleration. Throughout the whole pamphlet there runs a vein of
declamation to this effect; and at the close some twenty pages are
expressly devoted to the subject, in connexion with that claim for a
Limited Toleration which the Apologists had advanced. Eight Reasons are
stated and expounded why there should not be even this Limited
Toleration, why even Congregationalist opinions and practice should not
be tolerated in England. It would be against the rule of Scripture as to
the duty of the civil magistrate; it would be against the Solemn League
and Covenant; it would be against the very nature of a national
Reformation, for "a Reformation, and a Toleration are diametrically
opposite;" it would be "against the judgment of the greatest lights in
the Church, both ancient and modern;" it would be an invitation and
temptation to error and "an occasion of many falling who otherwise never
would;" &c. &c. Wherever Presbytery and strict Anti-Toleration had
prevailed since the Reformation had there not been a marvellous
orderliness and freedom from error and heresy? All over the map of Europe
would it not be found that error and heresy had been rank precisely in
proportion to the deviation of a country from Presbytery or to the
relaxation of its grasp where it was nominally professed? What, in
particular, had made Scotland the country it was, pure in faith, united
in action, and with a Church "terrible as an army with banners"? What but
Presbytery and Anti-Toleration? O then let Presbytery and Anti-Toleration
reign in England as well! And, while they were proceeding to the great
work of establishing Presbytery, let them beware of such an inconsistency
as granting the least promise beforehand of a Toleration! On this point
Mr. Edwards addresses the Parliament in his own name, telling them that
Toleration is the device of the Devil. "I humbly beseech the Parliament,"
he says, "seriously to consider the depths of Satan in this design of a
Toleration; how this is now his last plot and design, and by it would
undermine and frustrate the whole work of Reformation intended. 'Tis his
masterpiece for England; and, for effecting it, he comes and moves, not
in Prelates and Bishops, not in furious Anabaptists, &c., but in holy
men, excellent preachers; moderate and fair men, not for a toleration of
heresies and gross opinions, but an 'allowance of a latitude to some
lesser differences with peaceableness.' This is _Candidus ille Diabolus_
[that White Devil], as Luther speaks, and _meridianus Diabolus_ [mid-day
Devil], as Johannes Gersonius and Beza express it, coming under the
merits of much suffering and well-deserving, clad in the white garments
of innocency and holiness. In a word, could the Devil effect a
Toleration, he would think he had gained well by the Reformation and made
a good exchange of the Hierarchy to have a Toleration for it. I am
confident of it, upon serious thoughts, and long searching into this
point of the evils and mischief of a Toleration, that, if the Devil had
his choice whether the Hierarchy, Ceremonies, and Liturgy should be
established in this kingdom, or a Toleration granted, he would choose and
prefer a Toleration before them."

Did Mr. Thomas Edwards in all this represent the whole body of the
Presbyterians of his time? I am afraid he did. In _his_ very sense,
with the same vehemency, and to the same extent, they were all Anti-

Was there no exception? Had no one Presbyterian of that day worked out,
in the interest of Presbytery, a conclusion corresponding to that which
we have seen reason to think some of the wiser Anglicans then within the
Royalist lines were quietly working out in the interest of Episcopacy, in
case Episcopacy should ever again have a chance? Was no one Presbyterian
prepared to come forth with the proposal of a Toleration in England,
either limited or unlimited, round an Established National Church on the
Presbyterian model? That there may not have been some such person among
those Erastian laymen who favoured Presbytery on the whole for general
and political reasons, one would not assert positively. None such,
however, is distinctly in historical view; and it is certain that among
the real or dominant Presbyterians, the _jure divino_ Presbyterians,
English or Scottish, there was no one upon whom the idea in question had
clearly dawned or who dared to divulge it. Perhaps it was the belief in
the absolute _jus divinum_ of Presbytery that made the idea impossible to
them. Yet why should it have been impossible in consistency even with
that belief? It may be _jure divino_ that the square on the hypothenuse
of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on the
sides, that he is a blockhead who believes otherwise, and that a
permanent apparatus should be set up in every land for teaching this
mathematical faith; and yet it may be equally _jure divino_ that no one
shall be compelled to avail himself of that apparatus, or be punished for
doubting or denying the proposition. But the Presbyterians of 1644 did
not so refine or argue. They stood stoutly to the necessary identity of
Presbyterianism and absolute Anti-Toleration. And so Presbyterianism
missed the most magnificent opportunity she has had in her history. Had
her offer to England been "Presbytery with a Toleration," who knows what
a different shaping subsequent events might have assumed? What if
Henderson, in whose natural disposition one sees more of room and
aptitude for the idea than in that of any other Presbyterian leader, had
actually become possessed with the idea and had proclaimed it? Would he
have carried the mass of the Presbyterians with him? or would they have
deposed him from the leadership? It is useless to inquire. The idea never
occurred even to Henderson; and that it did not occur to him constituted
his unfitness for leadership, out of Scotland, in the complex crisis
which had at last arrived, and was the one weakness of his career near
its close.


It was all very well, the Presbyterians argued, to propound the principle
of Toleration in the abstract. Would its advocates be so good as to think
of its operation in the concrete? The society of England was no longer
composed merely of the traditional PAPISTS, PRELATISTS, PRESBYTERIANS,
though sheltering themselves under the unfortunate principle of Church-
Independency, there was now a vast chaos of SECTS and SECTARIES, some of
them maintaining the most dangerous and damnable heresies and
blasphemies! Would the Tolerationists, and especially the Limited
Tolerationists, take a survey of this chaos, and consider how their
principle of Toleration would work when applied to _its_ ghastly
bulk and variety?

This matter, of the extraordinary multiplication of Sects and Heresies in
England, had been in constant public discussion since the opening of the
Long Parliament. It had figured constantly in messages and declarations
of the King; who had first charged the fact of the sudden appearance and
boldness of the Sects and Sectaries to the abrogation of his Kingly
prerogative and Episcopal government by the Parliament, and had then
attributed the origin of the Civil War to the lawless machinations of
these same Sects and Sectaries. It had figured no less, though with very
different interpretations and comments, in the proceedings and appeals of
the Parliament. Now, however, the SECTS and SECTARIES had become the
objects of a more purely scientific curiosity. Without a survey and study
of _them_ as well as of the PAPISTS, the PRELATISTS, the PRESBYTERIANS,
and the ORTHODOX INDEPENDENTS, there could, it was argued, be no complete
Natural History of Religious Opinion in England in the year 1644. The
Presbyterians, for reasons of their own, were earnest for such a survey
and study; and they recommended it ironically to the Orthodox
Independents in their character of Tolerationists. Not the less did the
Presbyterians, with some Prelatists among them, undertake it themselves.-
-Coming after these authorities, and availing myself of their inquiries,
but with other authorities to aid me, and as much of fresh investigation,
and of criticism of my authorities, as I can add, I shall attempt what,
even for our own forgetful and self-engrossed time, ought to be a not
uninteresting portion of the history of bygone English opinion.

This is a case in which the authorities should be mentioned formally at
the outset. They are numerous. They include the Lords and Commons
Journals, Lightfoot's Notes of the Assembly, Baillie's Letters, Pamphlets
of the time _passim_, and even the Registers of the Stationers'
Company. Certain particular publications, however (all of the year 1645
or the years immediately following), are of pre-eminent interest, as
being attempts at a more or less complete survey of the huge medley or
tumult of opinions on religious subjects that had by that time arisen in
English society, with some classification of its elements.

The reader will remember Dr. DANIEL FEATLEY, Rector of Lambeth and Acton,
the veteran Calvinist who had persisted in attending the Assembly in
spite of his disapproval of the Covenant and his adhesion to the theory
of a modified Episcopacy, but who had at length (Sept. 30, 1643) been
ejected for misdemeanour. His misdemeanour had consisted in maintaining a
correspondence with Usher, reflecting on the Assembly and the Parliament,
and divulging secrets in the King's interest. For this he had not only
been ejected from the Assembly by the Commons, and sequestered from his
two livings, but also committed to custody in "the Lord Petre's house in
Aldersgate Street," then used by Parliament as a prison for such
culprits. To beguile his leisure here, he had occupied himself in
revising his notes of a dispute he had held, in Oct. 1642, with a
Conventicle of Anabaptists in Southwark, where he had knocked over a
certain "Scotchman" and one or two other speakers for the Conventicle.
But this revision of his notes of that debate had suggested various
extensions and additions; so that, in fact, he had written in prison a
complete exposure of Anabaptism. It was ready in January 1644-5, and was
published with this title: "_The Dippers Dipt; or, The Anabaptists Duck'd
and Plung'd over Head and Ears_," &c. It is a virulent tractate of about
186 pages, reciting the extravagances and enormities attributed to the
German Anabaptists, and trying to involve the English Baptists in the
odium of such an original, but containing also notices of the English
Baptists themselves, and their varieties and ramifications. It became at
once popular, and passed through several editions. [Footnote:  Commons
Journals, Sept. 30 and Oct 3, 1613; Wood's Athenæ, III. 156 _et seq._;
and Featley's Epistle Dedicatory to his treatise. The copy of the
treatise before me at present is one of the sixth edition, published in
1651, six years after the authors death. It contains a portrait of
Featley by W. Marshall, and, among other illustrations, a coarse _ad
captandum_ print by the same engraver, exhibiting the "dipping" of men
and women naked together in a river.]

A well-known personage in London, of humbler pretensions than Featley,
was a certain EPHRAIM PAGET (or PAGIT), commonly called "Old Father
Ephraim," who had been parson of the church of St. Edmund in Lombard
Street since 1601, and might therefore have seen, and been seen by,
Shakespeare. Besides other trifles, he had published, in 1635, a book
called "_Christianographia_" or a descriptive enumeration of the
various sorts of Christians in the world out of the pale of the Roman
Catholic Church. Perhaps because he had thus acquired a fondness for the
statistics of religious denominations, it occurred to him to write, by
way of sequel, a "_Heresiography; or, A Description of the Hereticks
and Sectaries of these latter times_." It was published in 1645, soon
after Featley's book, from which it borrows hints and phrases. There is
an Epistle Dedicatory to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of
London, very senile in its syntax and punctuation, and containing this
touching appeal: "I have lived among you almost a jubilee, and seen your
great care and provision to keep the city free from infection, in the
shutting up the sick and in carrying them to your pest-houses, in setting
warders to keep the whole from the sick, in making of fires and perfuming
the streets, in resorting to your churches, in pouring out your prayers
to Almighty God, with fasting and alms, to be propitious to you. The
plague of Heresy is greater, and you are now in more danger than when you
buried five thousand a week." Then, after an Epistle to the Reader,
signed "Old Ephraim Pagit," there follows the body of the treatise in
about 160 pages. The Anabaptists are taken first, and occupy 55 pages;
but a great many other sects are subsequently described, some in a few
pages, some in a single paragraph. There is an engraved title-page to the
volume, containing small caricatures of six of the chief sorts of
Sectaries--Anabaptism being represented by one plump naked fellow dipping
another, much plumper, who is reluctantly stooping down on all fours. The
book, like Featley's, seems to have sold rapidly. In the third edition of
it, however, published in 1646, there is a postscript in which the poor
old man tells us that it had cost him much trouble. The sectaries among
his own parishioners had quarrelled with him on account of it, and
refused to pay him his tithes; nay, as he walked in the streets, he was
hooted at and reviled, and somebody had actually affirmed "Doctor
Featley's devil to be transmigrated into Old Ephraim Paget." This seems
to have cut him to the quick, though he avows his sense of inferiority in
learning to the great Doctor. In short, we can see Father Ephraim as a
good old silly body, of whom people made fun. [Footnote: Wood's Athenæ,
III. 210 _et seq._; and Paget's own treatise.]

Another writer against the Sectaries was the inexhaustible WILLIAM

  That grand scripturient paper-spiller,
  That endless, needless, margin-filler,
  So strangely tossed from post to pillar.

There was, indeed, something preternatural in the persistent vitality and
industry of this man. Only forty years of age when the Long Parliament
released him from his second imprisonment and restored him to society, a
ghoul-like creature with a scarred and mutilated face, hiding the loss of
his twice-cropped ears under a woollen cowl or nightcap, and mostly
sitting alone among his books and papers in his chamber in Lincoln's Inn,
taking no regular meals, but occasionally munching bread and refreshing
himself with ale, he had at once resumed his polemical habits and mixed
himself up as a pamphleteer with all that was going on. As many as thirty
fresh publications, to be added to the two-and-twenty or thereabouts
already out in his name, had come from his pen between 1640 and 1645,
bringing him through about one-fourth part of the series of some 200
books and pamphlets that were to form the long ink-track of his total
life. In these recent pamphlets of his he had appeared as a strenuous
Parliamentary Presbyterian, an advocate of the Scottish Presbyterianism
which was being urged in the Assembly, but with more of Erastianism in
his views than might have pleased most of his fellow-Presbyterians. No
man more violent against Independency of all sorts, and the idea of
Toleration. And so, after various other pamphlets against Independency in
general, and this or that Independent in particular, there came from him,
in July 1645, [Footnote: Date from my notes from  Stationer's Registers.]
a quarto of about 50 pages, with this title: "_A Fresh Discovery of some
Prodigious new Wandering-Blazing-Stars and Firebrands, styling themselves
New Lights, firing our Church and State into new Combustions._" The
pamphlet was dedicated to Parliament; and its purpose was to exhibit all
the monstrous things that lay in the bosom of what called itself
Independency. Hence "Independency" is used by Prynne as a common name for
all the varieties of Sectarians as well as for the Congregationalists
proper; and his plan is to shock the public and rouse Parliament to
action, by giving a collection of specimens, culled from pamphlets of the
day, of the "scurrilous, scandalous, and seditious" views put forth, with
impunity hitherto, by some of the "Anabaptistical Independent Sectaries
and new-lighted Firebrands," Accordingly his tract contains a jumble of
the most wild and extravagant sayings against the Assembly, the Scots,
and the Parliament itself, that Prynne could pick out from the
contemporary pamphlets of the Anabaptists and other Sectaries.[Footnote:
Wood's Athenæ, III. 844 _et seq._; Aubrey's Lives (for a notice of
Prynne's habits); and the _Fresh Discovery_ itself. The edition before me
is the second, dated 1646, and swollen by added matter at the end to over
80 pages.]

Much cleverer and more spirited than Featley, old Ephraim Paget, or
Prynne, as a describer and opponent of the Sectaries, was our friend, Mr.
Thomas Edwards, of the _Antapologia_ (_antè_, pp. 130-135). That
"splendid confutation" of Independency and Tolerationism had so increased
Mr. Edwards's fame that the Presbyterians of London had erected a weekly
lectureship for him at Christ Church in the heart of the City, that he
might "handle these questions and nothing else before all that would come
to hear." Thus encouraged, he ranged beyond Independency proper, and
employed himself in collecting information respecting the English
Sectaries generally; and in about eighteen months, or before the end of
1645, he had ready a treatise (his third in order) entitled "_Gangræna:
or, a Catalogue and Discovery of many of the Errors, Heresies,
Blasphemies, and Pernicious Practices of the Sectaries of this time_."
This treatise, consisting of more than 60 pages, he dedicated to
Parliament, in an Epistle of twelve pages, hinting at the remissness of
Parliament in its dealings with the Sectaries up to that time, and
reminding it of its duty. There is all Edwards's fluency of language in
the pamphlet, and some real literary talent; so that not only was
Edwards's _Gangræna_ a popular Presbyterian book at the time, but it is
still valued by bibliographers and antiquarians. As it has come down to
us, however, it is not a pamphlet merely, but a concretion of pamphlets.
For it was enlarged by the author, in the course of 1646, to eight or
nine times its original bulk, by the addition of a Second Part and then a
Third Part, containing "New and Farther Discoveries" of the Sectaries,
and their opinions and practices. This was because Mr. Edwards had
solicited fresh information from all quarters, and it was poured in upon
him superabundantly by Presbyterian correspondents. The First Part, as
the skimming of the cream by Mr. Edwards himself, is perhaps the richest
essentially. The others consist mainly of verifications and additional
details, rumours, and anecdotes. Altogether, the Three Parts of Edwards's
_Gangræna_ are a curious Presbyterian repertory of facts and scandals
respecting the English Independents and Sectaries in and shortly after
the year of Marston Moor. The impression which they leave of Mr. Edwards
personally is that he was a fluent, rancorous, indefatigable,
inquisitorial, and, on the whole, nasty, kind of Christian. [Footnote:
Wood's Fasti, I. 413; Baillie's Letters, II. 180, 193, 201, 215, 251: and
_Gangræna_ itself--the copy of which before me consists of the third
edition of Parts I. and II. (1646) and the first edition of Part III,
(1646) bound in two volumes.]

With Featley, Paget, Prynne, and Edwards, as authorities full of detail,
though also full of prejudice on the subject of the English Sects and
Sectaries of 1644, we may finally name Baillie. We name him now, however,
not on account of his "Letters," but on account of two publications of
his dealing expressly with this subject. One of these, published in
November 1645, in a quarto of 252 pages, was his "_Dissuasive from the
Errours of the Time: wherein the Tenets of the Principall Sects,
especially of the Independents, are drawn together in one Map, for the
most part in the words of their own Authors_;" the other, published in
December 1646, in about 180 pages quarto, and intended as a Second Part
of the "Dissuasive," was entitled "_Anabaptism, the True Fountain of
Independency, Brownisme, Antinomy, &c_." In both publications, but
especially in the former, we see Baillie's characteristic merits. He
writes, of course, polemically and with strong Presbyterian prejudice;
but in clearness of arrangement and statement he is greatly superior to
either the senile Paget, or the fluent and credulous Edwards. His
_Dissuasive_, indeed, is, in its way, a really instructive
book.[Footnote: Both the _Dissuasive_ and its continuation were published
in London (by "Samuel Gellebrand at the Brazen Serpent in Paul's
Churchyard"), and dedicated to "The Right Honourable the Earle of
Lauderdaile, Lord Metellane"--_i.e._ to Baillie's Scottish colleague in
the Assembly, Lord Maitland, then become Earl of Lauderdale.]

The information from these and other sources may be summed up, from the
Presbyterian point of view, under two headings, as follows:--

it seemed, was full of such. There had broken loose a spirit of inquiry,
a spirit of profanity and scoffing, and a spirit of religious ecstasy and
dreaming; and the three spirits together were producing a perfect Babel
of strange sayings, fancies, and speculations. From a catalogue of no
fewer than 176 miscellaneous "errors, heresies, and blasphemies"
collected by Edwards, and which he professes to give as nearly as
possible in the very words in which they had been broached by their
authors in print, or in public or private discourse, take the following

"That the Scriptures are a dead letter, and no more to be credited than
the writings of men."

"That the holy writings and sayings of Moses and the Prophets, of Christ
and his Apostles, and the proper names, persons, and things contained
therein, are allegories."

"That the Scriptures of the Old Testament do not concern nor bind
Christians" (in which belief, says Edwards, some Sectaries had ceased to
read the Old Testament, or to bind it with the New).

"That right Reason is the rule of Faith."

"That God is the author not of those actions alone in and with which sin
is, but of the very pravity, ataxy, atomy, irregularity, and sinfulness
itself, which is in them."

"That the magistrate may not punish for blasphemies, nor for denying the
Scriptures, nor For denying that there is a God."

"That the soul dies with the body, and all things shall have an end, but
God only."

"That there is but one Person in the Divine Nature."

"That Jesus Christ is not very God: no otherwise may he be called the Son
of God but as he was man."

"That we did look for great matters from one crucified at Jerusalem 1600
years ago, but that does us no good; it must be a Christ formed in us:
Christ came into the world to live 32 years, and do nothing else that he
[Thomas Webb, of London, ætat. 20] knew."

"That the Heathen who never heard of Christ by the Word have the Gospel,
for every creature, as the sun, moon, and stars, preach the Gospel to

"That Christ shall come and live again upon the earth, and for a thousand
years reign visibly as an earthly monarch over all the world."

"That the least truth is of more worth than Jesus Christ himself."

"That the Spirit of God dwells not nor works in any; it is but our
conceits and mistakes to think so; 'tis no spirit that works but our

"That a man baptized with the Holy Ghost knows all things even as God
knows all things; which point is a deep mystery and great ocean, where
there is no casting anchor, nor sounding the bottom."

"That, if a man by the Spirit knew himself to be in the state of grace,
though he did commit murder or drunkenness, God did see no sin in him."

"That the guilt of Adam's sin is imputed to no man."

"That the moral law is of no use at all to believers."

"That there ought to be no fasting days under the Gospel."

"That the soul of man is mortal as the soul of a beast, and dies with the

"That Heaven is empty of the Saints till the resurrection of the dead."

"That there is no resurrection at all of the bodies of men after this
life, nor no Heaven nor Hell after this life, nor no Devils."

"That there shall be in the last day a resurrection from the dead of all
the brute creatures, all beasts and birds that ever lived upon the

"That many Christians in those days have more knowledge than the

"That there ought to be in these times no making or building of churches,
nor use of church-ordinances; but waiting for a church, being in a
readiness upon all occasions to take knowledge of any passenger, of any
opinion or tenet whatsoever: the Saints, as pilgrims, do wander as in a
temple of smoke, not able to find Religion, and therefore should not
plant it by gathering or building a pretended supposed House."

"That, in points of Religion, even in the Articles of Faith and
principles of Religion, there's nothing certainly to be believed and
built on; only that all men ought to have liberty of conscience and
liberty of prophesying."

"That 'tis as lawful to baptize a cat, or a dog, or a chicken, as to
baptize the infants of believers."

"That the calling and making of ministers are not _jure divino_, but
a minister comes to be so as a merchant, bookseller, carter, and such

"That all settled certain maintenance for ministers of the Gospel is

"That all days are alike to Christians, and they are bound no more to the
observation of the Lord's day, or first day of the week, than of any

"That 'tis lawful for women to preach; and why should they not, having
gifts as well as men?" ("And some of them," adds Edwards, "do actually
preach, having great resort to them.")

"That there is no need of humane learning, nor of reading authors, for
preachers; but all books and learning must go down: it comes from the
want of the Spirit that men writ such great volumes."

"That 'tis unlawful to preach at all, sent or not sent, but only thus: a
man may preach as a waiting disciple, _i.e._ Christians may not
preach in a way of positive asserting and declaring things, but all they
may do is to confer, reason together, and dispute out things."

"That all singing of Psalms is unlawful."

"That the gift of miracles is not ceased in these times."

"That all the earth is the Saints', and there ought to be a community of

"That 'tis unlawful to fight at all, or to kill any man, yea to kill any
of the creatures for our use, as a chicken, or on any other occasion."
[Footnote: _Gangræna_, Part I. pp. 15-31.]

From this little enumeration it will be seen that we have not, even in
the nineteenth century, advanced so far as perhaps we had thought beyond
English notions of the seventeenth. But there must be added a
recollection of the scurrilities against the Covenant, the Assembly as a
body, its chief Presbyterian members, and the whole Scottish nation and
its agents. These had not reached their height at the time with which we
are at present concerned (Aug. 1644); so that the richest specimens of
them have to be postponed. But already there were popular jokes about
"Jack Presbyter" the "black coats" of the Assembly, and their four
shillings a day each for doing what nobody wanted; and already a very
rude phrase was in circulation, expressing the growing feeling among the
English Independents and Sectaries that England might have managed her
Reformation better without the aid of the Scots and their Covenant. Had
England come to such a pass, it was asked, that it was necessary to set
up a Synod in her, to be "guided by the Holy Ghost sent in a cloak-bag
from Scotland"? The author of this profanity, according to Prynne, was a
pamphleteer named Henry Robinson. It was, in fact, an old joke,
originally applied to one of the Councils of the Catholic Church; and
Robinson had stolen it. [Footnote: Prynne's _Fresh Discovery_, p.27
and p.9; and _Gangræna_, Part I. p.32]

II. RECOGNISED SECTS AND THEIR LEADERS.--In the general welter or anarchy
of opinion there were, of course, vortices round particular centres,
forming sects that either had, or might receive, definite names. Edwards,
when systematizing his chaos of miscellaneous errors and blasphemies,
apportions them among sixteen recognisable sorts of Sectaries; but old
Ephraim Paget, who had preceded Edwards had been much more hazy. By
jumbling the English Sectaries with all he could recollect of the German
Sectaries of the Reformation and all he could hear of the Sects of New
England, he had made his list of Sects and subdivisions of Sects mount up
to two or three scores. Using Edwards and old Ephraim, with hints from
Featley, Prynne, and Baillie, but trying to ascertain the facts for
ourselves, we venture on the following synoptical view of English Sects
and Sectaries in 1644-5:--

BAPTISTS, OR ANABAPTISTS:--These were by far the most numerous of the
Sectaries. Their enemies (Featley, Paget, Edwards, Baillie, &c.) were
fond of tracing them to the anarchical German Anabaptists of the
Reformation; but they themselves claimed a higher origin. They
maintained, as Baptists do still, that in the primitive or Apostolic
Church the only baptism practised or heard of was that of adult
believers, and that the form of the rite for such was immersion in water;
and they maintained farther that the Baptism of Infants was one of those
corruptions of Christianity against which there had been a continued
protest by pure and forward spirits in different countries, in ages prior
to Luther's Reformation, including some of the English Wycliffites,
although the protest may have been repeated in a louder manner, and with
wild admixtures, by the German Anabaptists who gave Luther so much
trouble. Without going back, however, upon the Wycliffites, or even on
the Anabaptists that were scattered through England in the reigns of
Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth, one may date the Baptists
as we have now to do with them from the reign of James.----The first
London congregation of _General Baptists_, or Baptists who favoured
an Arminian theology, had been formed, as we have seen (Vol. II. p. 544),
in 1611 out of the wrecks of John Smyth's English congregation of
Amsterdam or Leyden, brought back into their native land by Smyth's
successor Thomas Helwisse, assisted by John Murton. Although there are
traces of this congregation for several years after that date, it seems
to have melted away, or to have been crushed into extinction by the
persecution of its members individually; so that the Baptists of whom we
hear as existing in London, or dispersed through England, after the
opening of the Long Parliament, appear to have been rather of the kind
known as _Particular Baptists_, holding a Calvinistic theology, and
generated out of the Independent congregations that had been established
in London and elsewhere after Helwisse's and on different principles
(Vol. II. pp. 544 and 585). In some of these congregations, including
that taught by a certain very popular Samuel Howe, called "Cobbler Howe"
from his trade, who died in prison and excommunicated some time before
1640, Pædobaptism appears to have become an open question, on which the
members agreed to differ among themselves. On the whole, however, the
tendency was to the secession of Antipædobaptists from congregations of
ordinary Independents, and to the formation of the seceders into distinct
societies. Thus we hear of a Baptist congregation in Wapping formed in
1633 by a John Spilsbury, with whom were afterwards associated William
Kiffin and Thomas Wilson; of another formed in Crutched Friars in 1639 by
Mr. Green, Paul Hobson, and Captain Spencer; and of a third, formed in
Fleet Street, in 1640, by the afterwards famous Praise-God Barebone:
these three congregations being all detachments from Henry Jacob's
original Independent congregation of 1616 during the ministries of his
successors, Lathorp and Henry Jessey. In spite of much persecution,
continued even after the Long Parliament met, the Baptists of these
congregations propagated their opinions with such zeal that by 1644 the
sect had attained considerably larger dimensions. In that year they
counted seven leading congregations in London, and forty-seven in the
rest of England; besides which they had many adherents in the Army.
Although all sorts of impieties were attributed to them on hearsay, they
differed in reality from the Independents mainly on the one subject of
Baptism. They objected to the baptism of infants, and they thought
immersion, or dipping under water, the proper mode of baptism: except in
these points, and what they might involve, they were substantially at one
with the Congregationalists, This they made clear by the publication, in
1644, of a Confession of their Faith in 52 Articles--a document which, by
its orthodoxy in all essential matters, seems to have shamed the more
candid of their opponents. Even Featley was struck by it, and called it
"a little ratsbane in a great quantity of sugar," and became somewhat
more civil in consequence. It was signed for the seven Baptist
congregations of London by these seven couples of persons--Thomas Gunn
and John Mabbit; John Spilsbury and Samuel Richardson; Paul Hobson and
Thomas Goare; Benjamin Cox and Thomas Kilcop; Thomas Munden and George
Tipping; William Kiffin and Thomas Patience; Hanserd Knollys (Vol. II.
557 and 586) and Thomas Holmes. These fourteen, accordingly, with Praise-
God Barebone, were in 1644 the Baptist leaders or chief Baptist preachers
in London. We hear, however, of other Baptist preachers and pamphleteers
--John Tombes, B.D. (accounted the most learned champion of the sect, and
its intellectual head), Francis Cornwall, M.A., Henry Jessey, M.A. (a
convert to baptism at last), William Dell, M.A., Henry Denne, Edward
Barber, Vavasour Powell, John Sims, Andrew Wyke, Christopher Blackwood,
Samuel Oates, &c. Several of these leading Baptists--such as Tombes,
Cornwall, Jessey, Cox, and Denne--were University men, who had taken
orders regularly; one or two, such as Patience and Knollys, had been
preachers in New England; but some were laymen who had recently assumed
the preaching office, or been called to it by congregations, on account
of their natural gifts. The Presbyterians laid great stress on the
illiteracy of some of the Baptist preachers and their mean origin.
Barebone was a leather-seller in Fleet Street; and, according to Edwards
or his informants, Paul Hobson was a tailor from Buckinghamshire, who had
become a captain in the Parliamentary Army; Kiffin had been servant to a
brewer; Oates was a young weaver; and so on. The information may be
correct in some cases, but is to be received with general caution; as
also Edwards's stories of the extravagant practices of the Baptists in
their conventicles and at their river-dippings. Any story of the kind was
welcome to Edwards, especially if it made a scandal out of some dipping
of women-converts by a Baptist preacher. Baillie, who took more trouble
in sifting his information, and who distinctly allows that the
Anabaptists, like other people, ought to have the benefit of the
principle "Let no error be charged upon any man which he truly
disclaims," and that the errors of some of the sect ought not to be
charged upon all, yet maintains that the Confession of the seven Baptist
Churches of London was but an imperfect and ambiguous declaration of the
opinions of the English Baptists. He attributes to them collectively the
following tenets, in addition to those of mere Antipædobaptism and rigid
Separatism:--"They put all church-power in the hand of the people;" "They
give the power of preaching and celebrating the sacraments to any of
their gifted members, out of all office;" "All churches must be
demolished: they are glad of so large and public a preaching place as
they can purchase, but of a steeple-house they must not hear;" "All
tithes and all set stipends are unlawful; their preachers must work with
their own hands, and may not go in black clothes." According to Baillie,
also, the Baptists outwent even the Brownists in the power in church
matters they gave to women. There were many women-preachers among them;
of whom a Mrs. Attaway, "the mistress of all the she-preachers in Coleman
Street," was the chief. [Footnote: Crosby's _History of the English
Baptists_ (1738), Vol. I. pp. 215-382; Ivimey's _Baptists_, I. 113 _et
seq._; Featley's _Dippers Dipt_, and _Animadversions on the Anabaptists'
Confession_; _Gangræna passim_; Baillie's _Dissuasive_, Part II. p. 47
_et seq._; Neal's Puritans, III. 147-152, with Toulmin's Supplement to
that Vol., 517-530. The Confession of the Baptists is given in Neal;
Appendix to the whole work; also in Crosby, Appendix to Vol. I]

OLD BROWNISTS:--By this name may be called certain adherents of that
vehement Independency, more extreme than mere Congregationalism, which
had been propagated in Elizabeth's reign by Robert Brown himself. Brown's
writings, we learn from Baillie, had totally disappeared in England; so
that the so-called _Brownists_ can hardly have been his direct
disciples, but must have been persons who had arrived at some of his
opinions over again for themselves. Briefly, without being Baptists, they
were more violent Separatists, more fierce in their rejection of the
discipline, worship, and ordination of the Church of England than the
Independents proper. Henry Burton, minister of Friday Street church, now
between fifty and sixty years of age, was one of the chief of them, and
his _Protestation Protested_ (Vol. II. 591-2) may be regarded as a
manifesto of their views. Even the Independents of the Assembly disowned
these views. Mr. Nye had said of the book that "there was in that book
gross Brownism which he nor his brethren no way agreed with him in;" and
Edwards had heard stories of queer goings-on in Mr. Burton's church, and
his quarrel with "a butcher and some others of his church" about
prophesying. Among the Brownists, besides Burton, Edwards names
prominently "Katherine Chidley, an old Brownist, and her son, a young
Brownist, a pragmatical fellow," who preached in London, and occasionally
went on circuit into the country. Edwards characterizes Mrs. Chidley as
"a brazen-faced audacious old woman;" but we know the motive. He had not
forgotten the thrashing in print he had received from Mrs. Chidley in
1641 (Vol. II. 595). [Footnote: Paget's _Heresiography_, pp. 55-82 (a
great deal about the Brownists; but with next to no real information);
Edwards's _Gangræna_, Part I. pp. 62-64 and Part III. 242-248 (gossip
about Burton); and Part III. 170, 171 (about Chidley); Baillie's Letters,
II. 184 and 192; Hanbury's Historical Memorials, II. 108 _et seq._]

ANTINOMIANS:--The origin of this heresy is attributed to Luther
contemporary and fellow townsman, John Agricola, of Eisleben in Saxony
(1492-1566); but the Antinomians of New England, and their chief Mrs.
Hutchinson, had recently been more heard of. The story of poor Mrs.
Hutchinson, the chief of these New England Antinomians, has already been
told by us (Vol. II.371-7), as far as to the beginning of 1643, when we
left her, a widow with a family of children, including a married daughter
and that daughter's husband, beyond the bounds of New England altogether,
and seeking rest for her wearied mind, and a home for her little ones, in
the Dutch plantations somewhere near what is now New York. The sad end
has now to be told. The Indians and the Dutch of those parts were then at
feud; and in September 1643, in an inroad of the Indians into the
plantation where Mrs. Hutchinson was, she and all her family were
murdered, with the exception of a little daughter eight years of age, who
was carried into captivity among the Indians, and not recovered till four
years afterwards. The news of this tragic end of Mrs. Hutchinson had been
brought across the Atlantic, and had added to the interest of pious
horror with which her previous career of heresy in Massachusetts had been
heard of by the orthodox in England. Mrs. Hutchinson and her
Antinomianism, in fact, were already the subjects of a dreadful popular
myth. Here, for example, is old Father Ephraim's account of the New
England Antinomians, as he had compiled it from information received
direct from America:--"Some persons among those that went hence to New
England being freighted with many loose and unsound opinions, which they
durst not here, they there began to vent them ... working first upon
women, traducing godly ministers to be and preach under Covenant of
Works, dropping their baits by little and little and angling yet further
when they saw them take, and fathering their opinions on those of the
best quality in the country; and, by means of Mrs. Hutchinson's double
weekly lecture at Boston, under pretence of repeating Mr. Cotton's
sermons, these opinions were quickly dispersed before authority was
aware." But at length, when the infant church in America had been thus
"almost ruinated," the judgments of God overtook the prime fomenters of
the heresy in a notorious manner. "As, first, Mistress Hutchinson, the
Generalissimo, the high-priestess of the new religion, was delivered at
one time of 30 monstrous births, or thereabouts, much about the number of
her monstrous opinions; some were bigger, some less, none of them having
human shape, but shaped like her opinions: Mistress Dyer also, another of
the same crew, was delivered of a large--" [here follows a minute
description of a feminine monster that would have made the fortune of any
travelling showman, so complexly-horrible was its physiology]. Thus God
punished those monstrous "wretches," But the civil authorities of New
England, as we know, had punished them too. "God put it into the hearts
of the civil magistrates to convent the chief leaders of them; and, after
fruitless admonitions given, they proceeded to sentence: some they
disfranchised, others they excommunicated, and some they banished. A
seditious minister, one Mr. Wheelwright, was one, and Mrs. Hutchinson
another; who, going to plant herself on an island, called Rhode Island,
under the Dutch, where they could not agree, but were miserably divided
into sundry sects, removed from thence to an island called _Hell-
gate_ [_Hebgate_, according to Cotton Mather], where the Indians
set upon her, and slew her and her daughter, and her daughter's husband,
children, and family."--Notwithstanding this dreadful fate of the
Antinomians in America, the heresy had broken out in England. Nothing was
publicly said of the younger Sir Henry Vane in connexion with it; though,
on his return from his Massachusetts governorship, he may have brought
back in his speculative head some of the Hutchinsonian ideas. According
to Paget, the first Antinomian in London had been "one Master John
Eaton," who had been a scholar of his own (_i.e._ at Trinity College,
Oxford), and was afterwards curate of a parish near Aldgate. In fact, as
we learn from Wood, he became a minister in Suffolk, was "accounted by
all the neighbouring ministers a grand Antinomian," and suffered trouble
accordingly. But this Eaton had died in 1641, aged about 66, and leaving
but an Antinomian book or two, including "_The Honeycomb of Free
Justification_;" and the leading Antinomians were new men. One of them
was Mr. John Saltmarsh, a Cambridge graduate, and minister in Kent,
afterwards well-known as an, army-preacher and pamphleteer; another was
"one Randall who preaches about Spittal Yard."--The nature of the
Antinomian doctrines, "opening such a fair and easy way to heaven," made
them very popular, it appears, in London and elsewhere. Many ran after
their preachers, "crowding the churches and filling the doors and
windows," for "Oh, it pleaseth people well," adds old Father Ephraim, "to
have heaven and their lusts too." Notwithstanding this imputation, and
illustrative scandals in Edwards, it really appears that Antinomianism
took itself out in high mystic preaching of justification by faith, the
doctrine of assurance, and the privileges of saintship. The wild phrases
that came in such preaching were the chief offence. [Footnote: Cotton
Mather's _Magnalia_, Book VII. p. 19; Palfrey's Hist. of New England, I.
609, Note; Paget, 105-118; Wood's Athenæ, III. 21 (for more about Eaton);
_Gangræna_ in several places, for references to Saltmarsh and Randall.
Baillie in his _Dissuasive_ (pp. 57-64) has much the same story as Paget
about Mrs. Hutchinson and the New England Antinomians, and attributes the
rise of that heresy to the evil influence of Independency.--The idiotic
and disgusting myth of the monstrous _accouchements_ of the two
Antinomian women seems to have found great favour with the orthodox: and
it figures in many pious books of the time and afterwards. It seems
actually to have originated in America, and to have been widely believed
there, while Mrs. Hutchinson was alive; for Cotton Mather, repeating it,
with the most abject good faith, and in great detail, as late as 1702
(_Magnalia_, VII. 20), quotes a letter of Mr. Thomas Hooker, to the
effect that at the very time of one of the diabolic _accouchements_, Mrs.
Dyer's (Oct. 17, 1637), the house in which her and his wife were sitting
was violently shaken, as if by an earthquake, for the space of seven or
eight minutes. Mather also avers that there was an investigation of the
affair by the magistrates at the time.]

FAMILISTS:--Probably because there had been a continental sect of this
name in the sixteenth century, founded by a David George of Delft,
Edwards includes _Familists_ among his leading English sorts of
Sectaries, and Paget devotes ten pages to them. Paget, however, admits
that they were "so close and cunning that ye shall hardly ever find them
out." If there really was such an English sect, their main principle
probably was that every society of Christians should be a kind of family-
party, jolly within itself in confidential love-feasts and exchanges of
sentiment, and letting the general world and its creeds roar around
unquestioned and unheeded. Baillie, however, in an incidental notice of
Familism in the Second Part of his _Dissuasive_, gives a somewhat
different account. It was, according to him, a wild development of
Anabaptism, of which not a few once "counted zealous and gracious" were
suspected--including "a great man, a peer of the land." It had a public
representative in Mr. Randall, who had "for some years preached peaceably
in the Spital" (already mentioned among the Antinomians), and of whom
Baillie had heard that he entertained such ideas as these, though
reserving them probably as esoteric mysteries for the highest class of
the Family of Love--"that all the resurrection and glory which Scripture
promises is past already, and no other coming of Christ to judgment, or
life eternal, is to be expected than what presently in this earth the
saints do enjoy; that the most clear historic passages of Scripture are
mere allegories; that in all things, Angels, Devils, Men, Women, there is
but one spirit and life, which absolutely and essentially is God; that
nothing is everlasting but the life and essence of God which now is in
all creatures;" &c. We should now call this a kind of Pantheism; but
probably it was coupled with that disposition to privacy, and
indifference to creeds and controversies, which has been mentioned as the
peculiarity of Familism. Even the _Familists_, however, it seems,
had their subdivisions. One John Hetherington, a box-maker, had been a
kind of Familist, but had recanted. [Footnote: Paget,  92 102, and
137,138; _Gangræna_, Part I. 13; Baillie's _Dissuasive_ Part
II. pp. 99-104]

MILLENARIES OR CHILIASTS:--"An Heresy," says old Father Ephraim,
"frequent at this time. This sect look for a temporary [temporal] kingdom
of Christ, that must begin presently and last 1,000 years. Of this
opinion are many of our Apocalyptical men, that study more future events
than their present only." This is substantially all we have from Paget.
In fact, however, the Chiliasts or Millenarians were hardly a mere sect.
The expectation of a Millennium near at hand was very prevalent, or was
becoming very prevalent, among the English Divines of the Assembly
itself. "Many of the Divines here," wrote Baillie, September 5, 1645,
"not only Independents, but others, such as Twisse, Marshall, Palmer, and
many more, are express Chiliasts." In his _Dissuasive_, however,
where he devotes an entire chapter to this heresy of Chiliasm, he
attributes the grosser form of the heresy chiefly to the Independents. A
kind of Chiliasm or Millenarianism, he says, had been held by some former
English Divines, including Joseph Meade; but it had been reserved for two
Independents--"Mr. Archer and his colleague at Arnheim, T. G."
(_i.e._ Thomas Goodwin)--to invent new dreams on the subject; and
these had recently been adopted by Mr. Burroughs. The purport of their
doctrine was that in the year 1650, or, at the furthest, 1695, Christ was
to reappear in human form at Jerusalem, destroy the existing fabric of
things in a conflagration, collect the scattered Jews, raise martyrs and
saints from their graves, and begin his glorious reign of a thousand
years. [Footnote: Paget, 136, 137; Baillie's Letters, II. 313, and
_Dissuasive_, 224-252.]

SEEKERS:--"Many have wrangled so long about the Church that at last they
have quite lost it, and go under the name of _Expecters_ and _Seekers_,
and do deny that there is any Church, or any true minister, or any
ordinances; some of them affirm the Church to be in the wilderness, and
they are seeking for it there; others say that it is in the smoke of the
Temple, and that they are groping for it there--where I leave them
praying to God."--So far Old Ephraim; and what he says, combined with one
of Edwards's miscellaneous blasphemies already quoted, enables us to
fancy the _Seekers_. They were people, it seems, who had arrived at the
conclusion that the Supernatural had never yet been featured forth to man
in any propositions or symbols that could be accepted as adequate, and
who were waiting, therefore, for a possible "Church of the Future;"
content, meanwhile, to dwell in a Temple of smoke, or (for there is the
alternative figure) to see visions of the Future Church in the smoke of
the present Temple.--"Mr. Erbury, that lived in Wales," (but had come to
London, and then settled in Ely, whence he made excursions,) and "one
Walwyn, a dangerous man, a strong head," who laboured somewhere else, are
mentioned by Edwards as men avowing themselves in this predicament.
Baillie mentions also one Laurence Clarkson, who had passed from
Anabaptism to Seekerism, and he speaks of Mrs. Attaway, the Baptist
woman-preacher, and Mr. Saltmarsh, the Antinomian, as tending the same
way.----But the chief of the _Seekers_, perhaps the original founder of
the Sect, and certainly the bravest exponent of their principles, was a
person with whom we are already acquainted. "One Mr. Williams," writes
Baillie, June 7, 1644, "has drawn a great number after him to a singular
Independency, denying any true Church in the world, and will have every
man to serve God by himself alone, without any church at all. This man
has made a great and bitter schism lately among the Independents." Again,
on the 23rd of July, Baillie refers to the same person as "my good
acquaintance Mr. Roger Williams, who says there is no church, no
sacraments, no pastors, no church-officers or ordinance, in the world,
nor has been since a few years after the Apostles." In short, the arch-
representative of this new religion of Seekerism on both sides of the
Atlantic was no other than our friend Roger Williams, the Tolerationist
(Vol. II. 560-3, and _antè_, pp. 113-120). Through the variations of this
man's external adventures we have seen the equally singular series of
variations of his mental condition. First an intense Separatist, or
Independent of the most resolute type, but conjoining with this
Separatism a passion for the most absolute liberty of conscience and the
entire dissociation of civil power from matters of religion, then a
Baptist and excommunicated on that account by his former friends in
America, he had latterly, in his solitude at Providence, outgone Baptism
or any known form of Independency, and, still retaining his doctrine of
the most absolute liberty of conscience, had worked himself into that
state of dissatisfaction with all visible church-forms, and of yearning
quest after unattainable truth, for which the name _Seekerism_ was
invented by himself or others. Though he did not propose that preaching
should be abandoned, he had gradually settled in a notion which he thus
expresses: "In the poor small span of my life, I desired to have been a
diligent and constant observer, and have been myself many ways engaged,
in city, in country, in court, in schools, in universities, in churches,
in Old and New England, and yet cannot, in the holy presence of God,
bring in the result of a satisfying discovery that either the begetting
ministry of the apostles or messengers to the nations, or the feeding and
nourishing ministry of pastors and teachers, according to the first
institution of the Lord Jesus, are yet restored or extant." It was while
he was in this stage of his mental history that Williams came over on his
flying visit to England in the matter of the new charter for the Rhode
Island plantations. Some whiff of his strange opinions may have preceded
him; but it must have been mainly by his intercourse with leading
Londoners during his stay in England, which extended over more than a
year (June 1643--Sept. 1644), that he diffused the interest in himself
and his Seekerism which we certainly find existing in 1644. He can have
been no stranger to the chief Divines of the Westminster Assembly.
Baillie, we see, was on speaking terms with him; and it is curious to
note in Baillie's and other references to him the same vein of personal
liking for the man, running through amazement at his heresy, which
characterized the criticisms of him by his New England opponents and
excommunicants. Incidents of his visit, not less interesting now, were
two publications of his in London, his "_Key into the Language of
America_," published in 1643, and his _Bloody Tenent of Persecution_,
published in 1644.--At least the name of the sect of "The Seekers," I may
add, had struck Cromwell himself, and had some fascination for him,
whether on its own account, or from his acquaintance with Williams. "Your
sister Claypole," he wrote to his daughter Mrs. Ireton, some two years
after our present date (Oct. 25,1646), "is, I trust in mercy, exercised
with some perplexed thoughts. She sees her own vanity and carnal mind,
bewailing it: she seeks after (as I hope also) what will satisfy. And
thus to be a Seeker is to be of the best sect next after a Finder; and
such an one shall every faithful humble Seeker be in the end. Happy
Seeker, happy Finder!" [Footnote: Paget, 150; _Gangræna_, Part I. p. 24,
and p. 38; _Dissuasive_, Part II. pp. 96, 97 and Notes; Baillie's
Letters, II. 191-2 and 212; Gammell's _Life of Roger Williams_ (Boston,
1846), and Memoir of Williams, by Edward B. Underhill, prefixed to the
republication of William's _Bloody Tenent of Persecution_, by the
"Hanserd Knollys Society" (1848); Carlyle's Cromwell, I. 212.]

DIVORCERS:--"These I term _Divorcers_" says Old Ephraim, "that would
be quit of their wives for slight occasions;" and he goes on to speak of
MILTON as the representative of the sect. Featley had previously
mentioned Milton's Divorce Tract as one of the proofs of the tendency of
the age to Antinomianism, Familism, and general anarchy; and Edwards and
Baillie followed in the same strain. Milton's Doctrine of Divorce, it
thus appears, had attracted attention, and had perhaps gained some
following. Among the six caricatures of notable sects on the title-page
of Paget's _Heresiography_ is one of "THE DIVORCER"--_i.e._ a man, in an
admonishing attitude, and without his hat, dismissing or pushing away his
wife, who has her hat on, as if ready for a journey, and is putting her
handkerchief to her eyes. We shall have more to say of Milton in this
connexion. [Footnote: Paget, pp. 150, 151, p. 87, and Epistle Dedicatory,
p. 4; Fentley's _Dippers Dipt_, Epistle Dedicatory, p. 3; Edward's
_Gangræna_, Part I. p. 29.]

ANTI-SABBATARIANS, AND TRASKITES:--These sects, though distinct, may be
named together. The _Anti-Sabbatarians_ were those who denied the
obligation of any Lord's Day or Sabbath: they were pretty numerous, but
were distributed through the other sects. The _Traskites_, on the
other hand, denied the obligation of the Christian Sunday or Lord's Day,
but maintained the perpetual obligation of the Jewish Sabbath on the
seventh day of the week. They were the followers of one John Traske, a
poor eccentric who had been well known to Paget, but was now dead, and
remembered only for his heresy, for which he had been whipt, pilloried,
and imprisoned, about 1618. His opinions had been revived more ably in
certain treatises and discourses, published in 1628 and 1632, by
Theophilus Brabourne, a Puritan minister in Norfolk. Both Brabourne and
Traske had been obliged to recant their opinions and return to orthodoxy;
and indeed Traske had done so in a Tract written against himself, though
he again relapsed. Nevertheless the heresy had taken root, and one heard
in 1644 of Traskites or Sabbatarians dispersed through England. The sect
is continued still in the so-called "Seventh Day Baptists." [Footnote:
Paget, pp. 138-141; with more accurate particulars in Cox's _Literature
of the Sabbath Question_, I. 153-5, 157-8, and 162.]

SOUL-SLEEPERS OR MORTALISTS:--Such was the odd name given to a sect, or
supposed sect, represented by the anonymous author of a, Tract called
_Man's Mortality_. The Tract is now very scarce, if not utterly
forgotten; but, as it made a great stir at the time, and as we shall hear
of it and its author rather particularly again in connexion with Milton's
life, I may here give some account of it from a copy which I have managed
to see. The title in full is as follows: "Man's Mortallitie: or a
Treatise wherein 'tis proved, both Theologically and Phylosophically,
that whole Man (as a rationall creature) is a compound wholy mortall,
contrary to that common distinction of Soule and Body; and that the
present going of the Soule into Heaven or Hell is a meer fiction; and
that at the Resurrection is the beginning of our immortallity, and then
actual Condemnation and Salvation, and not before: With all doubtes and
objections answered and resolved both by Scripture and Reason;
discovering the multitude of Blasphemies and Absurdities that arise from
the fancie of the Soule: Also divers other mysteries, as of Heaven, Hell,
Christ's humane residence, the Extent of the Resurrection, the New
Creation, &c.: opened and presented to the tryall of better judgments, By
R. O. Amsterdam: Printed by John Canne, Anno Dom. 1643." In the British
Museum copy, which is the one I have seen, the word "Amsterdam" is erased
by the collector's pen, and "London" substituted, with the date "Jan. 19"
added; whence I infer that, whatever Canne at Amsterdam had to do with
the printing of the tract, it was virtually a London publication, and out
in January, 1643-4. On the title-page is quoted the text Ecclesiastes
iii. 19, thus--"That which befalleth the sonnes of men befalleth Beasts;
even one thing befalleth them all: as the one dyeth so dyeth the other;
yea they have all one breath, so that man hath no preheminence above a
Beast; for all is vanity." This gives so far the key-note to the 57 pages
of matter of the Tract itself. It is a queer mixture of a sort of
physiological reasoning, such as we should now call Materialism, with a
mystical metaphysics, and with odd whimsies of the author's own--such as
that Christ had ascended into the Sun. The leading tenet, however, is
that the notion of a soul, or supernatural and immortal essence, in man,
distinct from his bodily organism, is a sheer delusion, contradicted both
by Scripture and correct physiological thinking, and that from this
notion have arisen all kinds of superstitions and practical mischiefs.
"The most grand and blasphemous heresies that are in the world, the
mystery of iniquity and the kingdom of Antichrist, depend upon it." So
says the Tract itself; and in the first of two pieces of verse prefixed
to it by an admirer, and entitled "To His worthy Friend the Author, upon
his Booke," there occur these lines:--

  "The hell-hatched doctrine of th' immortal soul
  Discovered makes the hungry Furies howl,
  And teare their snakey haire, with grief appaled
  To see their error-leading doctrine quailed,
  Hell undermined and Purgatory blown
  Up in the air."

There are Latin quotations in the Tract; and some of the physiological
arguments by which the author seeks to refute the opinion of "the
Soulites," as he calls them, are rather nauseous. On the whole, were it
not for the appended concession of a Resurrection, or New Creation, and
an Immortality somehow to ensue thence, the doctrine of the Tract might
be described as out-and-out Materialism. Possibly, in spite of the
concession, this is what the author meant to drive at. Among some of his
followers, however, a milder version of his doctrine seems to have been
in favour, not quite denying the existence of a soul, but asserting that
the soul goes into sleep or temporary extinction at death, to be re-
awakened at the Resurrection. [Footnote: Paget, pp. 148, 149; _Gangræna_,
Part I. pp. 22, 23; Baillie's _Dissuasive_, Part II. 99 and 121; but
mainly the Tract cited.]

and Wightman had been burnt for Arianism (Vol. I. p. 46), this and other
forms of the Anti-Trinitarian heresy had been little heard of in England.
But in the ferment of the Civil War they were reappearing. A Thomas Webb,
a young fellow of twenty years of age, had been shocking people in London
and in country-places by awful expressions against the Trinity; one
Clarke had been, doing the same; one Paul Best had been circulating
manuscripts in which there were "most horrid blasphemies of the Trinity,
of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost;" and John Biddle, of Gloucester, master
of the school there, and of whom, from his career at Oxford, high hopes
had been formed, had begun to be "free of his discourses in a Socinian
direction." Baillie adds Mr. Samuel Richardson, one of the Baptist
ministers of London, to the number of those whose Trinitarianism was
questionable, and charges the Baptists generally with laxity on that
point. In short, there was an alarm of Arianism, and other forms of Anti-
Trinitarianism, as again abroad in England. Mr. Nye, the Independent, had
been heard to say that "to his knowledge the denying of the Divinity of
Christ was a growing opinion, and that there was a company of them met
about Coleman Street, a Welshman being their chief, who held this
opinion." Coleman Street appears, indeed, to have been a very hotbed of
heresy. For here it was that JOHN GOODWIN (Vol. II. 582-4, and
_antè_, pp. 120-122) had his congregation. He had not revealed
himself fully; but the public had had a taste of him in recent pamphlets.
Baillie, on rumour, reports him as a Socinian; and Edwards, who came into
conflict with him in due time, and devotes many consecutive pages of
Billingsgate to him in the Second Part of his _Gangræna_, tells us
that he held "many wicked opinions," being "an Hermaphrodite and a
compound of an Arminian, Socinian, Libertine, Anabaptist, & c." From the
same authority we learn that the Presbyterians had nicknamed him "the
great Red Dragon of Coleman Street." What he really was we have already
seen in part for ourselves, and shall yet see more fully.[Footnote:
Paget, 132--136; _Gangræna_, Part I. pp. 21, 22, 26, 33, Part II 19-
39, and Part III. 111 and 87; Baillie's _Dissuasive_, Part II. p.
98; also Wood's Athenæ, III. 593 (for Biddle); Baillie's Letters, II.
192, and Jackson's _Life of John Goodwin_ (1822), pp. 3 and 14.]

ANTI-SCRIPTURISTS:--"One wicked sect," says Old Ephraim, "denieth the
Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament, and account them as things
of nought; yea, as I am credibly informed, in public congregations they
vent these their damnable opinions." He gives no names; but Edwards
mentions "one Marshal, a bricklayer, a young man, living at Hackney," who
made a mock of the Scriptures in his harangues, and asserted that he
himself "knew the mystery of God in Christ better than St. Paul." A
companion of this Marshal's told the people that "the Scripture was their
golden calf and they danced round it." A Priscilla Miles had been
speaking very shockingly of the Scriptures at Norwich. But the most noted
Anti-Scripturist seems to have been a Clement Wrighter, a Worcester man,
living in London, of whom Edwards gives this terrible character--
"Sometimes a professor of religion and judged to have been godly, who is
now an arch-heretic and fearful apostate, an old wolf, and a subtle man,
who goes about corrupting, and venting his errors; he is often in
Westminster Hall and on the Exchange; he comes into public meetings of
the Sectaries upon occasions of meeting to draw up petitions for the
Parliament or other businesses. This man about seven or eight years ago
(_i.e._ about 1638) fell off from the communion of our churches to
Independency and Brownism; from that he fell to Anabaptism and
Arminianism, and to Mortalism, holding the soul mortal (he is judged to
be the author, or at least to have had a great hand in the Book of the
_Mortality of the Soul_). After that he fell to be Seeker, and is
now an Anti-Scripturist, a Questionist and Sceptick, and I fear an
Atheist." Specimens of his sayings about the Bible are given; and
altogether one has to fancy Wrighter as an oldish man, sneaking about in
public places in London on soft-soled shoes, and with bundles of papers
under his arm. I have seen a little thing printed by him in Feb. 1615-6,
under the title of "_The Sad Case of Clement Writer_," in which he
complains of injustice, to the extent of 1,500_l_., done him by the
late Lord Keeper Coventry and other judges in some suit that had lasted
for twelve years. [Footnote: Paget, 149; _Gangræna_, Part I. pp. 26-
-28; Baillie's _Dissuasive_, Part II. 121.]

SCEPTICS, OR QUESTIONISTS:--They were those who, according to Edwards,
"questioned everything in matters of religion, holding nothing positively
nor certainly, saving the doctrine of pretended liberty of conscience for
all, and liberty of prophesying." Many besides Wrighter had reached this
stage through their anti-Scripturism, and were free-thinkers of the cold
or merely rational order, distinct from the devout and enthusiastic
Seekers. [Footnote: _Gangræna_, Part I. p. 13.]

ATHEISTS:--Although Edwards charitably hints his fear that Mr. Wrighter
had at last sunk into this extreme category, it is remarkable that
neither he nor Paget ventures to reckon _Atheists_ among the
existing Sects. Probably, therefore, there was no body of persons to
whom, with any pretext of plausibility, the name could be applied. But we
are advised of individuals here and there whom their neighbours suspected
of Atheism; and, if Edwards is to be believed, there was alive a certain
John Boggis, an apprentice to an apothecary in London, who, though at
present only a young Anabaptist preacher, and disciple of Captain Hobson,
was to go within a year or two to such unheard-of lengths about Great
Yarmouth that even Wrighter must have disowned him. [Footnote: Ibid. Part
II. 133, 134; and Baillie's _Dissuasive_, Part II. 99.]

Such were the English Sects and Sectaries that had begun to be talked of
in 1644. Not that they were bounded off strictly from each other in
divisions according with their names. On the contrary, they shaded off
into each other; and there were mixtures and combinations of some of
them. Moreover, as the chief of them held by the Congregationalist
principle in some form, and hoped to flourish by taking advantage of that
principle, it was not unusual for Presbyterian writers to include these
along with the Congregationalists proper in the one lax designation of
Independents. At all events, the Sects hung on to the Independents
through that principle of Toleration or Liberty of Conscience which the
Independents had propounded, at first mildly, but with a tendency to less
and less of limitation. All the Sects, less or more, were TOLERATIONISTS;
the heresy of heresies in which they all agreed with each other, and with
the Independents, was LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE.


The foregoing survey of English Sects and Sectaries and of the state of
the Toleration Controversy in 1644 has been our employment, the reader
must be reminded, during the fortnight's vacation of the Westminster
Assembly from July 23 to August 7 in that year. Something of the same
kind was the vacation-employment of the members of that Assembly too, and
especially of the Presbyterian majority. For they had been driven out of
their previous calculations by the battle of Marston Moor (July 2). That
battle had been won mainly by Cromwell, the head of the Army-
Independents, and it went to the credit of Independency. All the more
necessary was it for the Presbyterians of the Assembly to bethink
themselves of indirect means of argument against the Independents. The
means were not far to seek. Let this horrible Hydra of Sects, all bred
out of Independency, be dragged into light; and would not respectable
Independency itself stand aghast at her offspring? The word
_Toleration_ had been mumbled cautiously within the Assembly, and
had made itself heard with some larger liking in Parliament, and still
greater applause among the hasty thousands of the Parliamentary soldiers
and the populace! Let it be shown what this monstrous notion really
meant, what herds of strange creatures and shoals even of vermin it would
permit in England; and would England ratify the monstrosity, or the
Independency consociated with it, even for twenty Cromwells, or ten
Marston Moors? So, in the fort-night's vacation, reasoned Messrs.
Marshall, Lightfoot, Calamy, Palmer, Vines, Spurstow, Newcomen, Herle,
Burges, and other English Presbyterians, incited rather than repressed by
the Scottish anxiety of Rutherford, Gillespie, Baillie, and (I am afraid)

Accordingly, when the Assembly resumed its sittings (Wednesday, Aug. 7,
1644), its first work was to fall passionately on the Sects and the arch-
heresy of Toleration. "The first day of our sitting, after our vacance,"
says Baillie, "a number of complaints were given in against the
Anabaptists' and Antinomians' huge increase and insolencies intolerable.
Notwithstanding Mr. Nye's and others' opposition, it was carried that the
Assembly should remonstrate it to the Parliament." [Footnote: Baillie's
Letters, II. 218; corroborated by Lightfoot's Notes on the very day (p.
299).] And they did remonstrate it, without a day's delay. Friday, May 9,
as we learn from the Lords Journals, it was represented to the House of
Lords, through Mr. Marshall, by order of the Assembly, "That they have
been informed of the great growth and increase of Anabaptists and
Antinomians and other Sects; and that some Anabaptists have delivered in
private houses some blasphemous passages and dangerous opinions: They
have acquainted the House of Commons therewith; and, &c." [Footnote:
Lords Journals, Aug. 9, 1644.] Turning to the Commons Journals of the
same day we find, accordingly, a column and a half on the same subject,
with many details. Dr. Burges and Mr. Marshall had appeared before the
Commons on the same errand from the Assembly: had told the Honourable
House that many ministers and gentry all through England had long desired
to petition it "to prevent the spreading opinions of Anabaptism and
Antinomianism;" that they had been persuaded to forbear; but that now
"these men have cast off all affection and are so imbitterated" that
farther forbearance would be wrong, and the Assembly cannot but represent
to the House that "it is high time to suppress them." That the Commons
might not be left in the vague, a Mr. Picot in Guernsey, and a Mr.
Knolles, recently in Cornwall (Hanserd Knollys?), of the Anabaptist sort,
with a Mr. Randall, a Mr. Penrose, and a Mr. Simson, as of a worse sort
still (see Randall among the Antinomians and Familists in our synopsis),
were denounced by name as proper culprits to begin with. What could the
poor House of Commons do? Agreeing with the Lords, they promised to do
what they could. They would take the whole subject into their grave
consideration; they empowered the Committee for Plundered Ministers, with
a certain addition to their number, to arrest and examine the particular
culprits named; and, to prove their heartiness meanwhile, they resolved,
on that very day, "That Mr. White do give order for the public burning of
one Mr. Williams his book, intituled, &c., concerning the Tolerating of
all sorts of Religion." [Footnote: Commons Journals, Aug. 9, 1644.] This
"one Mr. Williams," as the reader will be aware, was Roger Williams, then
on his way back to America; and "his book" was _The Bloody Tenent_.
There must have been much hypocrisy, and much cowardice, in the English
House of Commons on that day. Where was the younger Sir Harry Vane?
Probably he was in the House while they passed the order, and wondering
how far Roger Williams had got on his voyage, and meditatively twirling
his thumbs.

A good stroke of business by the Westminster Assembly in two days after
their vacation! But they followed it up. There were frequent Solemn
Fasts, by Parliamentary order, in those days, when all London was
expected to go to church and listen to sermons by divines from the
Westminster Assembly. Tuesday, the 13th of August, 1644, was one of those
Solemn Fast-days--an "Extraordinary Day of Humiliation;" and the
ministers appointed by the Assembly to preach in chief--_i.e._ to
preach before the two Houses of Parliament, and the Assembly itself, in
St. Margaret's, Westminster--were Mr. Thomas Hill and Mr. Herbert Palmer.
These two gentlemen, it seems, did their duty: They satisfied even
Baillie. "Mr. Palmer and Mr. Hill," he says, "did preach that day to the
Assembly two of the most Scottish and free sermons  that ever I heard
anywhere. The way here of all preachers, even the best, has been to speak
before the Parliament with so profound a reverence as truly took all edge
from their exhortations, and made all applications of them toothless and
adulatorious. That style is much changed, however: these two good men
laid well about them, and charged public and Parliamentary sins strictly
on the backs of the guilty." [Footnote: Baillie's Letters, II. 220, 221.]
As the sermons themselves remain in print, we have the means of verifying
Baillie's description. It is quite correct. Not only in the "Epistle
Dedicatory" to his sermon when it was printed did Mr. Hill denounce the
Toleration doctrine, and make a marginal reference to Roger Williams's
"_Bloody Tenent_" as a book not too soon burnt; but in the sermon
itself, the subject of which was the duty of "advancing Temple-work"
(Haggai i. 7, 8), he openly attacked two classes of persons as the chief
"underminers of Temple-work." First, he said, there were those who would
allow nothing to be _jure divino_ in the Church, but held that all
matters of Church-constitution were to be settled by mere prudence and
State-convenience--in other words, the Erastians, _They_ are lectured,
but are let off more easily than the second sort of underminers: viz.
"such who would have a toleration of all ways of Religion in this
Church." Parliament is reminded that all tendency to this way of thinking
is unfaithfulness to the Covenant, and is told that "to set the door so
wide open as to tolerate all religions" would be to "make London an
Amsterdam," and would lead to--in fact, would certainly lead to--
Amsterdamnation! So far Mr. Hill; but Mr. Palmer was even more bold.
Preaching on Psalm xcix. 8, this delicate little creature laid about him
most manfully. Parliament are rebuked for eluding the Covenant, for too
great tenderness in their dealings with delinquents, and for remissness
in the prevention and punishment of false doctrine. They are exhorted to
extirpate heresy and schism, especially Antinomianism and Anabaptism,
and, are warned at some length against the snare of Toleration. "Hearken
not--I earnestly exhort every one that intends to have any regard at all
to his solemn Covenant and oath in this second article--to those that
offer to plead for Tolerations; which I wonder how any one dare write or
speak for as they do that have themselves taken the Covenant, or know
that _you_ have. The arguments that are used in some books, well worthy
to be burnt, plead for Popery, Judaism, Turcism, Paganism, and all manner
of false religions, under pretence of Liberty of Conscience." This is
clearly an allusion to John Goodwin; and in the sequel Mr. Palmer makes
another personal allusion of still greater interest. In order to show
what a social chaos would result from toleration of error on the plea of
Liberty of Conscience, he gives instances of some of the horrible
opinions that would claim the benefit of the plea, and among these he
names Milton's Divorce doctrine, then circulating in a book which the
author had been shameless enough to dedicate openly to Parliament itself.
The particulars will be given, and the passage quoted, in due time; the
fact is enough at present. [Footnote: The title of Hill's sermon is "_The
Season for England's Selfe-Reflection and Advancing Temple-work;
discovered in a Sermon preached to the two Houses of Parliament at
Margaret's, Westminster, Aug. 13, 1614; being an extraordinary day of
Humiliation. By, &c., London: Printed by Richard Cotes, for John Bellamy
and Philerion Stephens_ 1644."--The title of Palmer's is "_The Glasse of
God's Providence towards his Faithful Ones; Held forth in a Sermon,_ &c.
[occasion and date as in Hill's]; _wherein is discovered the great
failings that the best are liable unto, upon which God is provoked
sometimes to take vengeance. The whole is applyed specially to a more
carefull observance of our late Convenant, and particularly against the
ungodly Toleration pleaded for under pretence of Liberty of Conscience.
By, &c., London: Printed by G.M. for Th. Underhill at the Bible in Wood
Street,_ 1644." Neither sermon impresses one now very favourably in
respect of either spirit or ability. I expected Palmer's to be better.]

Not content with direct remonstrance to Parliament on the subject of the
increase of sects and heresies, nor with the power of exhorting it on the
subject through the pulpit, the Presbyterians of the Assembly, I find,
resorted to other agencies. They had great influence in the City, and it
occurred to them, or to some of them, to stir up the Stationers' Company
to activity in the matter. The Stationers, indeed, had a commercial
interest, as well as a religious interest, in the suppression of the
obnoxious books and pamphlets, most of which were published without the
legal formalities of licence and registration. It is without surprise
therefore that we find this entry in the Commons Journals for Saturday,
Aug. 24, 1644: "_Ordered_ that the Petition from the Company of
Stationers be read on Monday morning next," followed by this other as the
minute of the first business (after prayers) at the next sitting,
(Monday, Aug. 26): "The humble Petition of the Company of Stationers,
consisting of Booksellers, Printers, and Bookbinders, was this day read,
and ordered to be referred to the consideration of the Committee for
Printing, to hear all parties and to state the business, and to prepare
an Ordinance upon the whole matter and to bring it in with all convenient
speed; and they are, to this purpose, to peruse the Bill formerly brought
in concerning this matter. They are diligently to inquire out the
authors, printers, and publishers of the Pamphlets against the
Immortality of the Soul and _Concerning Divorce_." It had been
determined, it seems, that Palmer's denunciation of Milton in his sermon
a fortnight before should not be a _brutum fulmen_. To the incident, as
it affected Milton himself, we shall have to refer again. Meanwhile it
belongs to that stage of the action of the Westminster Assembly on
English politics which we are now trying to illustrate.

The Assembly, we have shown, besides still carrying on within itself the
main question between Presbyterianism and Congregationalism, had begun a
wider war against Schism, Sectarianism, the whole miscellany of English
heresies, and especially the all-including heresy of Toleration. They
opened the campaign, by private agreement among themselves, in August
1644; and by the end of that month they had succeeded in rousing
Parliament to some action on the subject, and had directed attention to
at least nine special offenders, deserving to be punished first of all.
These were--the Anabaptists, Picot and Hanserd Knollys; the Antinomians,
Penrose and Simson; the Antinomian and Familist, Randall; the Seeker and
Tolerationist, Roger Williams; the Independent, semi-Socinian, and
Tolerationist, John Goodwin; the Anti-Scripturist and Mortalist, Clement
Wrighter; and Mr. John Milton of Aldersgate Street, author of a Treatise
on Divorce. For, though the Committee of Parliament had been instructed
to inquire out the author of the Divorce Treatise, this was but a form.
The second edition, dedicated to the Parliament and the Assembly, and
with Milton's name to it in full, had been out more than six months. Of
the nine persons mentioned, only Clement Wrighter, the Mortalist (if
indeed the tract on _Man's Mortality_ was from his pen), had to be
found out.

Was there to be no check to this Presbyterian inquisitorship? Whence
could a check come? The few Independents in the Assembly, just because
they were fighting their own particular battle, had to be cautious
against too great an extension of their lines. Not from _them_,
therefore, but from the freer Independency of the Army, which was in fact
by this time a composition of all or many of the sects, could the check
be expected. Thence, in fact, it did come. In short, while the
Presbyterians in London were in the flush of their first success against
the Sectaries and the Tolerationists, in walked Oliver Cromwell.


Events had been qualifying Cromwell more and more for the task. His
Independency, or let us call it Tolerationism, had been long known. As
early as March 1643-4, when he had just become Lieutenant-general in the
Earl of Manchester's army, he had been resolute in seeing that the
officers and soldiers in that army should not be troubled or kept down
for Anabaptism or the like. This had been the more necessary because the
next in command under him, the Scottish Major-general Crawford, was an
ardent and pragmatic Presbyterian. "Sir," Cromwell had written to
Crawford on one occasion, when an Anabaptist colonel had been put under
disgrace, "the State, in choosing men to serve it, takes no notice of
their opinions; if they be willing faithfully to serve it, that
satisfies. I advised you formerly to bear with men of different minds
from yourself: if you had done it when I advised you to it, I think you
would not have had so many stumbling-blocks in your way. It may be you
judge otherwise; but I tell you _my_ mind." [Footnote: Carlyle,
Cromwell (ed. 1857), I. p. 148.] Ever since that time there had been a
vital difference between the Presbyterian Major-general Crawford and his
superior, the Lieutenant-general. Gradually, according to Baillie,
Manchester, who was "a sweet, meek man," and greatly led by Cromwell, had
been brought over more to the Presbyterian way by Crawford's reasonings.
It had come to be a question, in fact, whether Cromwell and comfort or
Crawford and precision should prevail in Manchester's army. Marston Moor
(July 2) had settled that. Cromwell, as the hero of Marston Moor, was not
a man to be farther opposed or thwarted; the Independents, who had mainly
won Marston Moor, were not men to submit longer to Presbyterian
ascendancy in the regulation of the army, or to see their large-faced
English chief pestered and counterworked by a peevish Scot. Yes, but
_was_ Cromwell the hero of Marston Moor, or _had_ Marston Moor
been won mainly by the Independents? These were the questions which
Crawford, ever since the battle, had been trying to keep open. He had
been trying, as we have seen, to keep them open in London, though with
but small success; and in the Army his tongue had, doubtless, been louder
and more troublesome. At last Cromwell made up his mind. Either Crawford
must cease to be Major-general of Manchester's army, or _he_ must cease
to be Lieutenant-general. It was on this business that, in September
1644, he came up to London. There had been letters on the subject before
from both parties in the Army, the Independents pressing for Crawford's
dismissal, and the Presbyterians for retaining him. But now Manchester,
Cromwell, and Crawford had, all three, come up personally to argue the
matter out. Cromwell, it appears, was in one of those moods of
ungovernable obstinacy which always came upon him at the right time. "Our
labour to reconcile them," writes Baillie, "was vain: Cromwell was
peremptor; notwithstanding the kingdom's evident hazard, and the evident
displeasure of our [the Scottish] nation, yet, if Crawford were not
cashiered, his [Cromwell's] colonels would lay down their commissions."
There was a plot in all this, Baillie thought. The real purpose of the
Independents was to bring Manchester out of the clutches of
Presbyterianism, or, if that could not be done, to get him to resign, so
that Cromwell might succeed to the chief command; in which case the
Independents would be able to "counterbalance" the Presbyterians, and
"overawe the Assembly and Parliament both to their ends."--It was a very
proper plot, too, as every day was proving. What was the last news that
had reached London? It was that Essex, the General-in-chief, had been
totally beaten by the King in Cornwall (Sept. 1)--Essex himself obliged
to escape by ship, leaving his army to its fate; the horse, under Sir
William Balfour, to fight their way out by desperate exertion; and the
foot, under Skippon, to think of doing the same, but at last to surrender
miserably. Waller's army, also, was by this time nowhere. It had perished
by gradual desertion. Evidently, it had become a question of some moment
for the Parliamentarians _who_ had won Marston Moor, and _who_ should be
chief in Manchester's army. [Footnote: Baillie's Letters, II. 229, 230;
Rushworth V. 699 _et seq._; Whitlocke (ed. 1853), I. 302, 303; Carlyle's
Cromwell, (ed., 1857), I. 158.]

The special business which had brought Cromwell to London was, in fact,
but a metaphor of the general business then occupying the English nation.
Whether a pragmatical Presbyterian Scot should regulate the discipline of
an English Parliamentarian army, and whether the Westminster Assembly
should establish a Presbyterian Inquisitorship over the whole mind of
England, were but forms of the same question. Little wonder, then, that
Cromwell, finding himself in London on the smaller form of the business,
resolved to move also in the larger. And he did. "This day," writes
Baillie on Friday the 13th of September 1644, "Cromwell has obtained an
Order of the House of Commons to refer to the Committee of both Kingdoms
the accommodation or toleration of the Independents--a high and
unexpected Order!" Three days afterwards Baillie is still full of the
subject. "While Cromwell is here," he says, "the House of Commons,
without the least advertisement to any of us [Scottish Commissioners], or
of the Assembly, passes an Order that the Grand Committee of both Houses,
Assembly, and us, shall consider of the means to unite us and the
Independents, or, if that be found impossible, to see how they may be
tolerate. This has much affected us." On turning to the Commons Journals
we find the actual words of the Order: "_Ordered_, That the Committee of
Lords and Commons appointed to treat with the Commissioners of Scotland
and the Committee of the Assembly do take into consideration the
differences in opinion of the members of the Assembly in point of Church-
government, and do endeavour a union if it be possible; and, in case that
cannot be done, do endeavour the finding out some ways how far tender
consciences, who cannot in all things submit to the common Rule which
shall be established, may be borne with, according to the Word, and as
may stand with the public peace, that so the proceedings of the Assembly
may not be so much retarded." Mr. Solicitor St. John appears as the
reporter of the Order. Cromwell, in fact, had quietly formed a little
phalanx of the right men to carry the thing through. The younger Vane was
one of them. Even Stephen Marshall, the Presbyterian and Smectymnuan, had
to some extent aided in the contrivance, without consulting any of his
brethren of the Assembly.

The Order came upon the Presbyterians like a thunder-clap. For, as they
rightly interpreted, it was nothing less than a design to carry in
Parliament a Toleration-clause to be inserted in the Bill for
establishing Presbytery before that Bill was ready to be drafted. Of this
Baillie and his friends complained bitterly. Was it not unfair to
Presbyterianism thus to anticipate so ostentatiously that there would be
many whom it would not satisfy? Was not this framing of a Toleration-
clause, to be inserted into a Bill before the Bill itself was in being,
like a solicitation to the English people to prefer the clause to the
body of the Bill, and so to continue dubious about Presbytery, instead of
cultivating faith in its merits? So argued Baillie and the Presbyterians.
But, indeed, they saw more behind the Accommodation Order. The Toleration
it sought to provide might seem, from the wording, only a moderate
Toleration in the interest of the Independents of the Assembly and their
immediate adherents. From what Baillie says, one infers that Mr.
Solicitor St. John and Mr. Marshall had been drawing up the Order in this
moderate form, and that Cromwell and Vane would fain have had more. "The
great shot of Cromwell and Vane," says Baillie, "is to have a liberty for
all religions, without any exceptions." And of Vane he distinctly says
that he was "offended with the Solicitor" for putting only differences
about Church-government into the Toleration Ordinance, and not also
differences "about free grace, including liberty to the Antinomians and
to all Sects." At all events, he had recently, in the presence of the
Scottish Commissioners themselves, been reasoning "prolixly, earnestly,
and passionately" for universal Toleration. Probably Cromwell and Vane
were content in the meantime with what the long-headed Solicitor saw he
could pass. It could be stretched when necessary. The form was St.
John's, but the deed was Cromwell's. [Footnote: The authorities for the
interesting facts related in this paragraph which seem to have slipped
out of view of most modern writers on the history of the period are
Baillie, II 226, 229, 231, and 236, 237, and Commons Journal, Sept 13,

After the check of this Accommodation Order of Sept. 13, 1644, the
Presbyterians of the Assembly seem to have proceeded somewhat more
temperately. Not that they gave up the fight. Their preachers before
Parliament still followed in the strain of Hill and Palmer. In a Fast-day
Sermon before the two Houses on Sept. 12, the day before the Order, the
Smectymnuan, Matthew Newcomen, had again had a slap at Toleration; on
Sept. 25 Lazarus Seaman was again at it, and actually named in his sermon
four dangerous books for Liberty of Conscience, including Goodwin's and
Williams's--the burning of which lest did not seem enough to the Rabbi,
for "the shell is sometimes thrown into the fire when the kernel is
eaten;" the respected Calamy, also a Smectymnuan, is at it again, Oct.
22, telling the Parliament that, if they do not put down Anabaptism,
Antinomianism, and Tolerationism of all religions, then _they_ are
the Anabaptists, the Antinomians, the Tolerationists; Spurstow, a third
of the Smectymnuans, is not done with it on Nov. 5. [Footnote: My notes
from a volume of the Parliamentary Sermons of 1644, kindly lent me by Mr.
David Laing] In the Assembly itself also the question of heresy,
blasphemy, and their suppression, occasionally turned up. Oct. 17, for
example, there was officially before the Assembly the case of a John
Hart, who had been making a reputation for himself in Surrey by this
hideous joke:--"Who made you? My Lord of Essex.--Who redeemed you? Sir W.
Waller.--Who sanctified and preserved you? My Lord of Warwick." This led
to a conversation in the Assembly on the increase of blasphemy, and to a
new remonstrance to Parliament on the subject.[Footnote: Lightfoot's
Notes at date named] Again, on the 22nd of November, there was a report
to the Assembly of some fresh "damnable blasphemies," more of the
doctrinal kind, and savouring of Mortalism and Clement Wrighter.
[Footnote: Lightfoot's Notes at date named.] Nor had the Assembly agreed
to let even ordinary Anabaptism and Antinomianism alone; for they had
again memorialized Parliament on the subject, and had had a rather
satisfactory response from the Commons, Nov. 15, in the form of a promise
to consider the whole matter, and an order meanwhile that no person
should be permitted to preach unless he were an ordained minister in the
English or some other Reformed Church, or a probationer intending the
ministry and duly licensed by those authorized by Parliament to give such
licence. [Footnote: Commons Journals, Nov. 15, 1644.] On the whole,
however, from September 1644 onwards through October and November, to the
end of the year, there was rather an abatement of the inquisitorial zeal
of the Assembly.


In those months, indeed, the Assembly was unusually active over its main
work. For, though we have seen chiefly the spray of its miscellaneous
interferences with affairs, it must be remembered that it had been called
together for a vast mass of substantial work, and that it had been
steadily prosecuting that work, in Committees, Sub-committees, and the
daily meetings of the whole body. The work expected by Parliament from
the Assembly consisted of (1) the compilation of a _Confession of Faith_,
or _Articles of Religion_, which should supersede the Thirty-nine
Articles, and be the Creed of the new National Church of England about to
be established; (2) the composition of a _Catechism_ or _Catechisms_,
which should be a manual or manuals for the instruction of the people,
and especially the young, in the theology of the Articles; (3) the
devising of a _Frame of Discipline or Church-government_, to come in lieu
of Episcopacy, and form the constitution of the new National Church; and
(4) the preparation of a _Directory of Worship_, which should supplant
the Liturgy, &c., and settle the methods and forms to be adopted in
worship, and on such occasions as baptisms, marriages, and funerals. Here
was a mass of work which, at the ordinary rate of business in
ecclesiastical councils, might well keep the Assembly together for two or
three years. What amount of progress had they made at the date at which
we have now arrived?

Naturally, on first meeting, they had begun with the business of the new
Articles, or Confession of Faith. The particular form in which, by the
order of Parliament, they had addressed themselves to this business, was
that of a careful revision of the Thirty-nine Articles. With tolerable
unanimity (_antè_, pp. 5, 6 and 18,19), they had gone on in this
labour for three months, or till Oct. 12,1643; by which time they had
Calvinized fifteen of the Articles. [Footnote: Whoever wants to compare
the Westminster Assembly's Calvinized Version of the first fifteen
Articles with the original Articles will find the two sets printed
conveniently in parallel columns in _History of the Westminster
Assembly of Divines_ (1842), published at Philadelphia, U.S., by the
"Presbyterian Board of Publication."] Then, however, they had been
interrupted in this labour. The Scottish League and Covenant having come
into action, and the Scottish Commissioners having become an influence at
the back of the English Parliament, the Assembly had been ordered to
proceed to what seemed the more immediately pressing businesses of the
new Model of Church-government and the new Directory of Worship. The
business of a Confession of Faith thus lying over till it could be
resumed at leisure, the Assembly had, for more than a year, been occupied
with the Church-government question and the Directory. What tough and
tedious work they had had with the Church-government question we have
seen. Still, even in this question they had made progress. Beating the
Congregationalists by vote on proposition after proposition, the
Presbyterian majority had, by the end of October 1644, carried all the
essentials of Presbytery through the Assembly, and referred them
confidently to Parliament. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 232.] Add to this that
a new Directory of Worship had been drawn up. The Congregationalist
Brethren had been far more acquiescent in this business; and, though many
points in it had occasioned minute discussion, the Assembly were able, on
the 2lst of November, to transmit to Parliament, unanimously, a
Directory, in which everything in the shape of Liturgy or Prelatic
ceremonial was disallowed, and certain plain forms, like those of the
Scottish Presbyterian worship, prescribed instead. [Footnote: Baillie,
II. 240 and 242-3] By the end of 1644, therefore, the Westminster
Assembly had substantially acquitted itself of two out of four of the
pieces of work expected from it by Parliament--the _New Directory of
Worship_ and the _New Frame of Church-government_; and it only
remained for Parliament to sanction or reject what the Assembly had
concluded under these two heads. During November and December 1644, and
January 1644-5, accordingly, there was much discussion in both Houses of
all the points of Religion and Church-government which the new Directory
and the new Frame were to settle. The debates of the Houses during these
months, indeed, were very much those of the Assembly over again--the
Lords and Commons, though laymen, examining each proposition and each
clause for themselves, and insisting on proofs from Scripture and the
like. January 1644-5 was the great month. On the 4th of that month an
Ordinance from the Commons passed the Lords, abolishing the use of the
Prayer-book, adopting and confirming the new Westminster Directory, and
ordering it to be printed. On the 23rd of the same month, the following
Resolutions were adopted by the Commons:--

"_Resolved_: That there shall be fixed Congregations--that is, a
certain company of Christians to meet in one Assembly ordinarily for
public worship: when believers multiply to such a number that they cannot
conveniently meet in one place, they shall be divided into distinct and
fixed Congregations, for the better administration of such ordinances as
belong to them, and the discharge of mutual duties.

"_Resolved_: That the ordinary way of dividing Christians into
distinct Congregations, and most expedient for edification, is by the
respective bounds of their dwellings.

"_Resolved_: That the minister and other Church-officers in each
particular Congregation shall join in the government of the Church in
such manner as shall be established by Parliament.

"_Resolved_: That these officers shall meet together at convenient
and set times for the well-ordering of the affairs of that Congregation,
each according to his office.

"_Resolved_: That the ordinances in a particular Congregation are
Prayer, Thanksgiving, and Singing of Psalms; the Word read, though there
follow no immediate explication of what is read; the Word expounded and
applied; Catechising; the Sacraments administered; Collection made for
the Poor; Dismissing of the people with a Blessing.

"_Resolved_: That many particular Congregations shall be under one
Presbyterial government.

"_Resolved_: That the Church be governed by Congregational,
Classical, and Synodical Assemblies, in such manner as shall be
established by Parliament.

"_Resolved_: That Synodical Assemblies shall consist both of
Provincial and National Assemblies."

Dry and simple as these Resolutions look, they were the outcome of
fifteen months of deliberation, and they were of immense significance.
They declared it to be the will of Parliament that England thenceforth
should be a Presbyterian country, like Scotland. Just as Scotland was a
little country, with her 1,000 parishes or so, the inhabitants of each of
which were understood to form a particular congregation, meeting statedly
for worship, and taught and spiritually disciplined by one Minister and
certain other church-officers called Lay Elders, so England was to be a
large country of some 10,000 or 12,000 parishes and parochial
congregations, each after the same fashion. As in Scotland the parishes
or congregations, though mainly managing each its own affairs, were not
independent, but were bound together in groups by the device of
Presbyteries, or periodical courts consisting of the ministers and ruling
elders of a certain number of contiguous parishes meeting to hear appeals
from congregations, and otherwise exercise government, so the ten times
more numerous parishes of England were similarly to be grouped into
Presbyteries or Classes (Classes was the more favourite English term),
each Classis containing some ten or twelve congregations. Thus in London
alone, where there were about 120 parishes, there ought to be about
twelve Classes or Presbyteries. Finally, the Presbyteries were to be
interconnected, and their proceedings supervised, as in, Scotland, by
periodical Synods of the ministers and ruling elders of many
Presbyteries--say of all the Presbyteries of one large shire, or of
several small shires taken as a convenient ecclesiastical district. In
Scotland the practice was for all the ministers and ruling elders within
the bounds of a Provincial Synod to attend the Synod personally; but in
England, on account of her size, the plan of Synods of elected
representatives might be advisable--which, however, would not affect the
principle. In any case, the annual National Assembly of the whole Church,
which, under the new Presbyterian system, would be to England the same
Ecclesiastical Parliament that the General Assembly in Edinburgh was to
Scotland, must necessarily, like that Assembly, be constituted
representatively. Nothing less than all this was implied in the eight
Resolutions of the Commons on Friday, Jan. 23, 1644-5. By an order of
Monday the 27th, however, Mr. Rous, who had been commissioned to report
the Resolutions to the Lords, was instructed to report only four of
them,--the 3rd, the 6th, the 7th, and the 8th. The answer of the Lords on
the following day was "That this House agrees with the House of Commons
in all the Votes now brought up concerning Church-government." In
refraining from sending up all the eight Votes, the Commons appear to
have thought it best not yet positively to determine against the
Congregationalists on one or two points, including that of strict
parochialism. But in the four Votes sent up to the Lords and agreed to by
them, all the essentials of Presbytery were involved; so that from the
28th of January 1644-5 it stood registered in the Acts of Parliament that
England should, be Presbyterianized. [Footnote: Commons and Lords
Journals of dates given.]

At this stage of the proceedings we may leave the Westminster Assembly
for a while. On the 26th of December, Johnstone of Warriston and Mr.
Barclay had left it, in order to be present at the Scottish Convention of
Estates, which was to meet at Edinburgh on the 7th of January; [Footnote:
Baillie, II. 251.] and on the 6th of January Baillie and Gillespie left
it, on a weary horse-journey, in order to be present at the General
Assembly of the Scottish Kirk, which was to meet at the same place on the
22nd. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 250.]  Henderson and Rutherford remained in
London. What tidings were carried by the Scottish Commissioners to
Edinburgh of the great things which the Lord had up to that time done for
the cause of Presbytery and true Religion in England may be read to this
day in the records of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish General
Assembly of 1645. Baillie's exulting speech in the Assembly is really
worth reading. [Footnote: It is given in Baillie's Letters, II. 255-257.
But see also Letter of Scottish Commissioners and Letter of Westminster
Assembly to the Scottish General Assembly, both of date Jan. 6, 1645, in
Acts of General Assembly of the Kirk.] Suffice it to say here that there
was great rejoicing in Edinburgh and in all Scotland; that the General
Assembly unanimously ratified the Westminster Directory of Worship (Feb.
3) and the Westminster Frame of Presbyterial government (Feb. 10); and
that the Scottish Parliament (Feb. 6) approved and established, for
Scotland, the Directory already established for England. Let us add that
Baillie had a pleasant holiday, revisited his wife and family in Glasgow,
and would fain have been allowed to remain in his own country
thenceforth. But this could not be. Both he and Gillespie had to obey
orders, and prepare, with sighs, for a return to London in March.


During the six months the transactions of which, as far as the
Westminster Assembly was concerned, we have thus presented in summary
(Sept. 1644-March 1645), the hurry of more general events in England had
been very marked. Of what use was the preparation of a Presbyterian Form
of Church-government, and a Presbyterian Directory of Worship, for
England, so long as it remained uncertain whether England might not be
once again the King's, and the Parliament under his feet? And, really,
there was this danger. Marston Moor had been a great blow to the King: it
had spoilt his cause in the whole of the North. But Essex's defeat in
Cornwall (Sept. 1) had come as a terrible set-off, In the confidence of
that victory, the King was on the move out of the West back to Oxford
(Sept. 30), sending proclamations before him, and threatening a march
upon London itself. The taking of Newcastle by the Scots under Leven
(Oct. 19) was a return of good fortune for the Parliament at the right
moment; at least it provided the Londoners again with their long-missed
coals. But it had come now to be a contest between the King's main force
and the combined forces of Parliament in the South-English midlands. In
the second Battle of Newbury (Sunday, Oct. 27) the issue was tried--the
Earl of Manchester's army, with Cromwell second in it, having been joined
to the recruited armies of Essex and Waller in order to resist the King.
Manchester and Waller were the real Parliamentary commanders, Essex being
ill. It was a severe battle. The King had, on the whole, the worst; but
he got off, as Cromwell and others thought, less thoroughly beaten than
he ought to have been. [Footnote: Rushworth, V. 721-730; Carlyle's
Cromwell (ed. 1857), I. l59.] From the date of this second Battle of
Newbury, accordingly, Cromwell became the spokesman of a dissatisfaction
with the military and political conduct of the cause of Parliament as
deep and as wide-spread throughout England as that dissatisfaction with
the conduct of the religious question of which he had made himself the
spokesman six weeks before.

What Cromwell had thought when he moved the Accommodation Order of Sept.
13 had been virtually this: "Here are you discoursing about strict
Presbytery and what differences from it may be tolerated, when the real
question is whether we shall have a free England for Presbytery or
anything else to exist in, and how we can carry with us all honest men
who will fight to make such a free England." And now, when, after the
second Battle of Newbury, he again reappeared in Parliament, it was in
this prolongation, or profounder state, of the same mood:--"The time has
come when I must speak out. We, of this nation, must turn over a new
leaf. We have been fighting the King now for more than two years, and we
are very much as we were when we began. And why? Because the men who
command our armies against the King do not want really to beat him;
because they want only to _seem_ to be beating him; because the
picture they love to look on, as their heaven on earth to come, is a
picture of their gracious sovereign, after he has been beaten no more
than could be helped, surrounded by themselves as his reconciled and
pardoned ministers and chatting pleasantly with them over the deeds of
the campaigns. I say nothing personally of my Lord of Essex, or of Sir
William Waller: they are most honourable men. But I speak generally as I
feel. If the King is to be beaten, it can only be by generals who want to
beat him, who will beat him to bits, who will use all means to beat him,
who will gladly see in their armies the men who have the right
_spirit_ in them for beating him. Are these the Presbyterians only?
I trow not. I know my men; and I tell you that many of those that you
call Independents, that you call Anabaptists, Sectaries, and what not,
are among the stoutest and godliest in England, and will go as far as
any. Some weeks ago I complained to you of Major-general Crawford,
because he would trouble these men, and would have no soldiers of
Parliament in my Lord Manchester's army that did not agree with his own
notions of Religion and Church-government. _Now_ I complain of my
Lord Manchester himself. In this last Battle of Newbury, I tell you, the
King was beaten less than he might have been. He was allowed to get off.
I advised pursuing him, and my Lord Manchester would not. It was that
over again which has been from the first. And now I speak out what has
long been in my mind, and what brave men in thousands are thinking.
Before the Lord, we must turn over a new leaf in this War. We must have
an Army of the right sort of men, and men of the right sort to command
that Army."

This is a purely imaginary speech of Cromwell's; but it is an accurate
expression of several months of English history. The shrewdest of men at
all times, and also the most sincere, he was yet always the most
tempestuous when the fit time came, and it was the characteristic of his
life that he carried everything before him at such times by his bursts
and tempests. There can be no doubt that, after the second Battle of
Newbury, Cromwell was in one of his paroxysms. Of his vehemence against
Manchester at that time, and of Manchester's recriminations on him, one
may read at large in Rushworth and elsewhere. [Footnote: Rushworth, V.
732-736; Carlyle's Cromwell (ed. 1857), I. 159, 160.] The brief account
of Baillie, who had not yet left London, and was in the centre of the
whole affair, will be sufficient here. "Lieutenant-general Cromwell,"
writes Baillie, Dec. 1, "has publicly, in the House of Commons, accused
my Lord of Manchester of the neglect of fighting at Newbury. That neglect
indeed was great; for, as we now are made sure, the King's army was in
that posture that they took themselves for lost all-utterly. Yet the
fault is most in justly charged on Manchester: it was common to all the
general officers then present, and to Cromwell himself as much as to any
other. Always my Lord Manchester has cleared himself abundantly in the
House of Lords, and there has recriminate Cromwell as one who has avowed
his desire to abolish the nobility of England; who has spoken
contumeliously of the Scots' intention in coming to England to establish
their Church-government, in which Cromwell said he would draw his sword
against them; also against the Assembly of Divines; and has threatened to
make a party of Sectaries, to extort by force, both from King and
Parliament, what conditions they thought meet. This fire was long under
the emmers; now it's broken out, we trust, in a good time. It's like, for
the interest of our nation, we must crave reason of that darling of the
Sectaries [_i.e._ bring Cromwell to a reckoning], and, in obtaining
his removal from the army--which himself by his over-rashness has
procured--to break the power of that potent faction. This is our present
difficile enterprise: we had need of your prayers." [Footnote: Baillie,
II. 243-245.] In this account Baillie mixes up the proceedings in the
Commons on the 25th of November when Cromwell exhibited his charge
against Manchester, and in the Lords a few days after when Manchester
gave in his defence and countercharge, with current gossip, apparently
true enough, of Cromwell and his awful sayings in private. Evidently
Baillie thought Cromwell had ruined himself. Even the hero of Marston
Moor could not beard all respectable England in this way, and it should
not be the fault of the Scottish Commissioners if he did not find himself
shelved! Little did Baillie know with what great things, beyond all
Scottish power of resistance or machination, Cromwell's fury was

While Baillie was writing the passage above quoted, the Scottish
Commissioners, along with the Lord-general Essex, and some of Essex's
chief adherents, including Denzil Holles and Sir Philip Stapleton, were
consulting how they might trip Cromwell up. At a conference late one
night at Essex-house, to which Whitlocke and Maynard were invited, the
Scottish Chancellor Loudoun moved the business warily in a speech which
Whitlocke mischievously tries to report in its native Scotch--"You ken
vary weele that Lieutenant-general Cromwell is no friend of ours," &c.
"You ken vary weele the accord 'twixt the twa kingdoms" &c. Loudoun
wanted to know, especially from the two lawyers, whether the Scottish
plan of procedure in such cases would have any chance in England, in
other words whether Cromwell could be prosecuted as an _incendiary_;
for "you may ken that by our law in Scotland we clepe him an
_incendiary_ whay kindleth coals of contention and raiseth differences in
the State to the public damage." Whitlocke and Maynard satisfied his
lordship that the thing was possible in law, but suggested the extreme
difficulty there would be in proof, represented Cromwell's great
influence in the Parliament and the country, and in fact discouraged the
notion altogether. Holles, Stapleton, and others were still eager for
proceeding, but the Scots were impressed and thought delay would be
prudent. And so, Whitlocke tells us, the Presbyterian intriguers parted
at two in the morning, and he had reason to believe that Cromwell knew
all that had passed before many hours were over, and that this
precipitated what followed. [Footnote:  Whitlocke's Memorials (edit.
Oxford, 1853), I. 3l3 _et seq._]

On Wednesday the 9th of December, at all events, the Commons having met
in grand committee on the condition of the kingdom through the
continuance of the war, there was for a time a dead silence, as if
something extraordinary was expected, and then Cromwell rose and made a
short speech. It was very solemn, and even calm, but so hazy and general
that the practical drift of it could not possibly have been guessed but
for the sequel. Almost the last words of the speech were, "I hope we have
such true English hearts, and zealous affections towards the general weal
of our mother-country, as no members of either House will scruple to
_deny themselves,_ and their own private interests, for the public
good." The words, vague enough in themselves, are memorable as having
christened by anticipation the measure for which Cromwell, as he uttered
them, was boring the way. For, after one or two more had spoken in the
same general strain, Mr. Zouch Tate, member for Northampton, did the duty
assigned him, and opened the bag which contained the cat. He made a
distinct motion, which, when it had been seconded by young Vane, and
debated by others (Cromwell again saying a few words, and luminous enough
this time), issued in this resolution, "That no member of either House of
Parliament shall during the war enjoy or execute any office or command,
military or civil; and that an ordinance be brought in to that effect."
This was on the 9th of December; and on the 19th of that month the
ordinance itself, having gone through all its stages, passed the Commons.
All London was astounded. "The House of Commons," writes Baillie, Dec.
26, "in one hour has ended all the quarrels which was betwixt Manchester
and Cromwell, all the obloquies against the General, the grumblings
against the proceedings of many members of their House. They have taken
all office from all members of both Houses. This, done on a sudden, in
one session, with great unanimity, is still more and more admired by
some, as a most wise, necessary, and heroic action; by others as the most
rash, hazardous, and unjust action that ever Parliament did. Much may be
said on both hands, but as yet it seems a dream, and the bottom of it is
not understood." To the House of Lords the _Self-denying Ordinance_
was by no means palatable. They demurred, conferred with the Commons
about it, and at last (Jan. 15) rejected it. Their chief ground of
rejection being that they did not know what was to be the shape of the
Army to be officered on the new principle, the Commons immediately
produced their scheme in that matter. The existing armies were to be
weeded, consolidated, and recruited into one really effective army of
21,000 men (of which 6,000 should be horse in ten regiments, 1,000 should
be dragoons in ten single companies, and 14,000 should be foot in
regiments of not less than 1,200 each), the whole to cost 44,955_l_.
per month, to be raised by assessment throughout the kingdom. This army,
it was farther resolved by the Commons (Jan. 21), should be commanded in
chief by the trusty and popular Sir Thomas Fairfax, who had done so well
in the North, and, under him, by the trusty and popular Major-general
Skippon, whose character for bull-headed bravery even the disaster in
Cornwall had only more fully brought out. [Footnote: I find, from the
Commons Journals, that there was a division on the question whether
Fairfax should be appointed commander-in-chief of the New Model--the
state of the vote being _Yeas_ 101 against _Noes_ 69, or a majority of 32
_for_ the appointment. The Tellers for the majority were the younger Vane
and Cromwell; for the minority, Denzil Holles and Sir Philip Stapleton.
There was a subsequent division, Feb. 7, on the question whether
Fairfax's choice of officers under him should be subject to Parliamentary
revision. Cromwell was one of the Tellers for the _Noes_--_i.e._ he
wanted Fairfax to have full powers. The other side, however, beat this
time by a majority of 82 against 63. After all it was arranged
satisfactorily between Fairfax and Parliament.] On the 28th of January
the _New Model_ complete passed the Commons. The Lords hesitated about
some parts of it, and were especially anxious for a provision in it
incapacitating all from being officers or soldiers in the new army who
should not have taken the Covenant: there were conferences on this point,
and a kind of compromise on it by the Commons; and on the 15th of
February the _Ordinance for New Modelling of the Army_ was finally
passed. The _Self-denying Ordinance_ was then re-introduced in a changed
form, and it passed the Lords, April 3, 1645. It ordained that all
members of either House who had since November 20, 1640, been appointed
to any offices, military or civil, should, at the end of forty days from
the passing of the Ordinance, vacate these offices, but that all other
officers in commission on the 20th of March, 1644-5, should continue in
the posts they then held.

Thus the year 1645 (beginning, in English reckoning, March 25) opened
with new prospects. Essex, Manchester, Waller, and all the officers under
them, retired into ordinary life, with thanks and honours--Essex, indeed,
with a great pension; and the fighting for Parliament was thenceforward
to be done mainly by a re-modelled Army, commanded by Fairfax, Skippon,
and officers under them, whose faces were unknown in Parliament, and
whose business was to be to fight only and teach the art of fighting.

It was high time! For another long bout of negotiations with the King,
begun as early as Nov. 20, 1644, and issuing in a formal Treaty of great
ceremony, called "The Treaty of Uxbridge," had ended, as usual, in no
result. Feb. 22, it had been broken off after such a waste of speeches
and arguments on paper that the account of the Treaty occupies ten pages
in Clarendon and fifty-six folio pages in Rushworth. It was clear that
the year 1645 was to be a year of continued war. [Footnote: For this
story of the Self-denying Ordinance and the New Modelling of the Army
authorities are--Rushworth, VI. 1-16; Baillie, II. 247; Carlyle's
Cromwell (ed. 1857), I. 160-163. The Uxbridge Treaty is narrated in
Clarendon's Hist. (one-volume ed. 1843), pp. 520-530, and in Rushworth,
V. 787-842.]


Ere we pass out of the rich general history of this year 1644, the year
of Marston Moor, we must take note of a few vengeances and deaths with
which it was wound up. The long-deferred trial of poor Laud, begun March
12, 1643-4, after he had been more than three years a prisoner in the
Tower, and they might have left him there in quiet, had straggled on
through the whole of 1644. The interest in it had run, like a red thread,
through the miscellany of other events. The temper of the people had been
made fiercer by the length of the war, and there was a desire for the old
man's blood. The Presbyterian ministers of the Assembly, I find, fostered
this desire. In that very sermon of Herbert Palmer's before Parliament
(Aug. 13) in which he had called for the extirpation of heresy and
schism, and denounced Milton, there was an express passage on the duty of
"doing justice upon Delinquents impartially and without respect of
persons." [Footnote: Palmer's Sermon, p. 48.] Calamy in his sermon, Oct.
22, followed, and told the Parliament, "All the guilty blood that God
requires you in justice to shed, and you spare, God will require the
blood at your hands." [Footnote: Calamy's Sermon, p. 27.] Mr. Francis
Woodcock, preaching Oct. 30, was even more decided. His sermon, which was
on Rev. xvi. 15, is a very untastefully-worded discourse on the propriety
of always being on the watch so as not to be taken by surprise without
one's garments; and, among the rather ludicrous images which his literal
treatment of the subject suggests, we come upon a passage describing one
of four pieces of raiment which the State ought never to be caught
without. He calls it the "Robe of Justice," and adds, "Would God this
robe were often worn, and dyed of a deeper colour in the blood of
Delinquents. It is that which God and man calls for. God repeats it,
_Justice, Justice_; we, echoing God, cry _Justice, Justice_; and let me
say, perhaps we should not see other garments so much rolled in blood,
did we not see these so little." [Footnote: Woodcock's Sermon, pp 30,
31.] Baillie, I am glad to think, was more tender-hearted. There was,
indeed, one Delinquent for whom Baillie would have had no mercy--Dr.
Maxwell, the Scottish ex-Bishop of Ross, who had published at Oxford, in
the King's interest, "a desperately malicious invective" against Scottish
Presbytery and its leaders. "However I could hardly consent to the
hanging of Canterbury himself, or of any Jesuit," Baillie had written,
July 16, 1644, after his first indignant sight of this book, "yet I could
give my sentence freely against that unhappy liar's [Maxwell's] life."
But, indeed, the Scottish Commissioners and the Scottish nation were
conjoined as parties with the English Presbyterians and the English
Parliamentarians generally (Prynne ruthlessly busy in getting up the
evidence) in the long prosecution of Laud. It was all over on the 10th of
January, 1644-5. On that day Laud, aged 72, laid his head upon the block
on a scaffold in Tower Hill. Hanging had been commuted, with some
difficulty, to beheading. He died brave, raspy, and High-Church to the
last. [Footnote: Rushworth's main account of the trial and last days of
Laud is in Vol. V. pp, 763-786. The "History of the Troubles and Tryal of
William Laud," edited by Wharton, in two vols. folio, appeared in 1695-
1700.]--Minor executions about the same time were those of Hugh Macmahon
and Lord Maguire for their concern in the Irish rebellion and massacre,
Sir Alexander Carew for treachery at Plymouth, and the Hothams, father
and son, for treachery at Hull. One Roger L'Estrange, a younger son of a
Norfolk family, had been condemned to be hanged in Smithfield for an
underhand attempt to win the town of Lynn for the King; but he was
reprieved, lay in Newgate for some years, and lived for sixty years
longer, to be known, even in Queen Anne's time, as Sir Roger L'Estrange,
the journalist.



Ever since August 1643, when Milton had published his extraordinary
_Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_, but more especially since Feb.
1643-4, when he had published the second and enlarged edition of it, with
his name in full, and the dedication to Parliament and the Westminster
Assembly, his reputation with orthodox English society had been definite
enough. He was one of those dreadful Sectaries! Nay he was a Sectary more
odious than most; for his was a _moral_ heresy. What was Independency,
what was Anabaptism, what was vague Antinomianism, compared with this
heresy of the household, this loosening of the holy relation on which all
civil society depended? How detestable the doctrine that, when two
married people found they had made a mistake in coming together, or at
least when the husband could declare before God and human witnesses his
irreconcilable dissatisfaction with his wife, then it was right that the
two should be separated, with liberty to each to find a new mate! True,
it was an able man who had divulged this heresy, one who had brought
applauses from Cambridge, who was said to have written beautiful English
poems, who had served the cause of Parliament by some splendid pamphlets
for Church-reformation and against Episcopacy, and who had in these
pamphlets encountered even the great Bishop Hall. All this only made the
doctrine more dangerous, the aberration more lamentable. This Mr. Milton
must be avoided, and denounced as a Sectary of the worst kind! Some said
it was all owing to the conduct of his wife, a rank Royalist, who had
deserted him and gone back to her friends! If that were the case, he was
to be pitied; but perhaps there were two sides to that story too!

There must have been much gossip of this kind, about Milton and his
Divorce Treatise, in the booksellers' shops near St. Paul's, and even
round the Parliament in Westminster, in the early months of 1644. The
gossip may have affected Milton's relations with some of his former
friends and acquaintances. If Bishop Hall, when he first saw the
treatise, and perceived its literary ability, "blushed for his age" that
so "scandalous" a thing should have appeared, and if even Howell the
letter-writer, in his prison, thought it the impudent production of "a
poor shallow-brained puppy," what could Milton's orthodox and reverend
Smectymnuan friends--Marshall, Calamy, Young, Newcomen, and Spurstow--
think or say about it? Shocked they must have been; and, knowing Milton's
temper, and with what demeanour he would front any remonstrances of
theirs, they probably left him alone, and became scarcer in their visits
to Aldersgate Street. It would not do to keep up the Smectymnuan
connexion too visibly after what had happened. Or, if Young could not
break off so easily, but would still call to see his old pupil, and to
talk with old Mr. Milton about the Bread Street days, how the good man
must have yearned to speak sometimes when the old gentleman was out of
the way, and he and Milton were alone. "O my dear Mr. Milton, how much we
are all concerned about that pamphlet! I am not going to argue it with
you; I know you too well, and how little influence my reasonings could
have with you now in any such matter; and it is my comfort at least to be
able to tell some of my Assembly friends that, if they knew you as well
as I do, they would be sure that nothing you do but is done in a great
spirit and with a high intention. But, dear me! it is a terrible opinion
you have broached!" To something like this Milton may have listened, more
or less patiently; or he may have imagined it in Young's mind, if it was
not uttered. The mutual regard between Young and his old pupil did not
suffer so much from the trial but that we find Milton still willing to
acknowledge publicly the connexion that had subsisted between them.

On the whole, it is certain that one consequence of the outcry about
Milton's treatise among the London Presbyterians, and especially among
the city clergy and the Divines of the Assembly, was to drive Milton more
arid more into the society of those who had begun to dislike and to dread
the ascendancy of the Presbyterians. Finding himself, almost from the
first publication of the treatise, as he tells us, in "a world of
disesteem" on account of it, he naturally held intercourse more and more
with those who, though they may not have approved of _his_ particular
heresy, yet, as being themselves voted heretics on other accounts, were
more easy in their judgments of all extreme opinions. I believe, in fact,
that, could Milton's acquaintanceships in London from the winter of 1643-
4 onwards be traced and recovered, they would be found to have been
chiefly among the Independents, Anabaptists, Antinomians, Seekers, and
other Tolerationists. What were the religious opinions of the Lady
Margaret Ley, that "woman of great wit and ingenuity," and her husband
Captain Hobson, "a very accomplished gentleman," with both of whom he was
so intimate about this time, and who, as Phillips tells us, "had a
particular honour for him and took much delight in his company," must be
left to conjecture. [Footnote: It has been in my mind whether the Captain
Hobson who was the Lady Ley's husband, and whom Dagdale describes as "...
Hobson of... in the Isle of Wight, Esq.," can by possibility have been
the same person as the Baptist preacher, Paul Hobson, who was also a
Captain in the Parliamentary Army, and who figures much in Edwards's
_Gangræna_ and in other books of the time, under the express name of
"Captain Hobson," as a leading Sectary, though Edwards will have it that
he was originally "a tailor from Buckinghamshire" (_antè_, p. 148). The
supposition seems so absurd that I hardly like to mention that I spent
hours in turning over Paul Hobson's published sermons and Baptist
treatises in case I might come on any confirmation of it--which I did

From Milton's Sonnet to the Lady Margaret one may safely infer at least
that she was a woman of liberal principles as well as wit. Probably her
house was the resort of a good many of what would now be called the
"advanced" or "strong-minded" Christians of both sexes then in London;
and Milton may there have extended his acquaintance with such, and have
even been an object of peculiar interest to some of one sex, as "that
handsome, fair gentleman, now talking to Lady Margaret, who is a great
scholar and a poet, and whose wife has left him shamefully, so that he
wants to be divorced from her, and has written a book which quite proves
it." Milton's acquaintance with Roger Williams, at all events, is almost
certainly to be dated from Williams's visit to England in 1643-4, when he
was writing his _Bloody Tenent_; and if Milton, at the same time,
did not become acquainted with John Goodwin of Coleman Street, it would
be a wonder.


We must, I am sorry to say, descend lower in the society of London, in
and about 1644, than the Lady Margaret Ley's drawing-room, or the level
of marked men like Williams and Goodwin, if we would understand how
Milton's Divorce opinion had begun to operate, and with what consequences
of its operation his name was associated. The reader may remember a Mrs.
Attaway, mentioned by us among both the Baptists and the Seekers, and as
perhaps the most noted of all the women-preachers in London (_antè_,
pp. 149, 153). She was, it seems, a "lace-woman, dwelling in Bell Alley
in Coleman Street," and preaching on week-day afternoons in that
neighbourhood, with occasional excursions to other parts of the city
where rooms could be had. Sometimes other "preaching-women" were with
her, and the gatherings, though at first of her own sex only, soon
attracted curious persons of the other. From the descriptions of what
passed in some of them, it would appear that, though the meetings were
for worship, and there were regular discourses by Mrs. Attaway and
others, free talk and criticism was permitted to all present, so that the
conventicle took on sometimes the aspect of a religious debating society.
Well, Mrs. Attaway, among others, had got hold of Milton's Divorce
Treatise, and had been reading it. "Two gentlemen of the Inns of Court,
civil and well-disposed men," who had gone "out of novelty" to hear her,
afterwards told _Gangræna_ Edwards of some "discourse they had had
with her." Among other passages she "spoke to them of Master Milton's
_Doctrine of Divorce_, and asked them what they thought of it;
saying "it was a point to be considered of, and that she, for her part,
would look more into it, for she had an unsanctified husband, that did
not walk in the way of Sion, nor speak the language of Canaan." Edwards
does not give the date of this conversation with Mrs. Attaway; and,
though presumably in 1644, it may have been later. He evidently
introduces it, however, in order to implicate Milton in the subsequent
break-down, which he also reports, of the poor woman morally. For, if Mr.
Edwards is to be believed, Mrs. Attaway did "look more into" Milton's
doctrine, and at length acted upon it. Some time in 1645 she abjured her
"unsanctified husband" Mr. Attaway, who, besides being unsanctified, was
then absent in the army, leaving her alone in her lace-shop, and
transferred herself to a man named William Jenney, an occasional
preacher, who was much more sanctified, and was also on the spot. Mr.
Jenney had, unfortunately, a wife already, some children by her, and one
expected; but ho too had been meditating on the Divorce Doctrine, and had
used his Christian liberty. Mr. Edwards had been most particular in his
investigations. He had actually procured from a sure hand the copies of
two letters-taken from the original letters, and compared by a minister
with the originals--one of William Jenney to his wife since he went away
with Mistress Attaway, the other of Mistress Attaway to William Jenney
before his going away." He refrains from printing the letters
_verbatim_, as they were too long; but he gives extracts. "I thought
good to write to you these few lines," writes Jenney to the deserted Mrs.
Jenney, Feb. 15, 1645, "to tell you that, because you have been to me
rather a disturber of my body and soul than to be a meet help for me----
but I silence! And, for looking for me to come to you again, I shall
never come to you again any more. I shall send unto you never no more
concerning anything." If this actually was Jenney's letter, Mrs. Attaway
was worth ten of him, and deserved a better second. "Dearest friend and
well-beloved in the Lord," so she had begun the letter sent to him while
he was still Mrs. Jenney's, and which had got into Mrs. Jenney's hands,
"I am unspeakably sorry in respect of thy sufferings, I being the object
that occasioned it." The sufferings were Mrs. Jenney's bastings of him
because he was always with Mrs. Attaway. In good time, Mrs. Attaway goes
on to say, he would be delivered from these. "When Jehoshaphat knew not
what to do, he looked to the Lord. Let _us_ look to Him, believing
confidently in Him with the faith of Jesus; and no question but we shall
be delivered. In the mean season I shall give up my heart and affections
to thee in the Lord; and, whatsoever I have or am in Him which is our
Head, thou shalt command it." The event, according to Edwards, was that
Mr. Jenney and Mrs. Attaway eloped together, Mrs. Attaway having
persuaded Jenney that she should never die, but that, in obedience to a
heavenly message, they must go to Jerusalem, and repair that city in
anticipation of the bringing of all the Saints to it in ships to be sent
from Tarshish. I suspect they went only to Jericho. [Footnote: This story
of Mrs. Attaway is from Edwards's _Gangræna_, Part II. pp. 31, 32, 113-
115; _Fresh Discovery_, appended to Second Part of _Gangræna_, p. 9; and
Third Part of _Gangræna_, pp. 25-27 and 188. See also Baillie's
_Dissuasive_, Part II. pp. l00 and 123-4.]

All this on the faith of Mr. Edwards's statements in the _Gangræna_.
But really one should not judge of even a poor enthusiastic woman, dead
two hundred years ago, on that sole authority. Never was there a more
nauseous creature of the pious kind than this Presbyterian Paul Pry of
1644-46. He revelled in scandals, and kept a private office for the
receipt of all sorts of secret information, by word of mouth or letter,
that could be used against the Independents and the Sectaries. [Footnote:
Richard Baxter, as he himself tells us, sent communications from the
country to Edwards. His correspondents were legion, but he concealed
their names.] Yet there was a kind of coarse business-like
conscientiousness in the toad; and, though he was credulous and
unscrupulous in his collections of scandal, I do not believe he invented
documents or lied deliberately. I do not doubt, therefore, that Mrs.
Attaway, whether she went ultimately to Jericho or to Jerusalem, did know
of Milton's Divorce Doctrine, and had extracted suggestions from it
suitable to her circumstances. For, indeed, the Doctrine was likely to
find not a few whose circumstances it suited. Mr. Edwards's book is
strewn with instances of persons who had even found out a tantamount
doctrine for themselves--men who had left their wives, or wanted to do
so, and wives who had left their husbands, and who, without having seen
Milton's treatise, defended their act or their wish on grounds of
religion and natural law. Nay, in the frenzy of inquiry which had taken
possession of the English mind, everything appertaining to Marriage and
the Marriage-institution was being plucked up for fundamental re-
investigation. There were actually persons who were occupying themselves
intently with questioning the forbidden degrees of Consanguinity and
Affinity in marriage, and who had not only come to the easy conclusion
that marriage with a deceased wife's sister is perfectly legitimate, but
had worked out a general theologico-physiological speculation to the
effect that the marriage of near relatives is in all cases peculiarly
proper, and perhaps the more proper in proportion to the nearness of the
relationship. This, I imagine, was a very small sect. [Footnote: But,
unless Edwards and Baillie were both wrong, there _was_ some such
sect. See _Gangræna_, Part III. p. 187, and, more particularly,
Baillie's _Dissuasive_, Part II. pp. 100 and 122-3.]

Let us re-ascend into more pleasant air. There was one rather notable
person in London, of the highly respectable sort, though, decidedly among
the free opinionists, whose acquaintance Milton did make about this time,
if he had not made it before, and who must be specially introduced to the
reader. This was SAMUEL HARTLIB.


Everybody knew Hartlib. He was a foreigner by birth, being the son of a
Polish merchant, of German extraction, who had left Poland when that
country fell under Jesuit rule, and had settled in Elbing in Prussia in
very good circumstances. Twice married before to Polish ladies, this
merchant had married, in Prussia, for his third wife, the daughter of a
wealthy English merchant of Dantzic; and thus our Hartlib, their son,
though Prussian-born and with Polish connexions, could reckon himself
half-English. The date of his birth was probably about the beginning of
the century, _i.e._ he may have been eight or ten years older than
Milton. He appears to have first visited England in or about 1628, and
from that time, though he made frequent journeys to the Continent, London
had been his head-quarters. Here, with a residence in the City, he had
carried on business as a "merchant," with extensive foreign
correspondences, and very respectable family connexions. One of his aunts
(sisters of his mother) had married a Mr. Clark, the son of a former Lord
Mayor of London, and afterwards a Sir Richard Smith, Knight and Privy
Councillor, and again a Sir Edward Savage. The other aunt had married a
country gentleman, named Peak. A cousin of Hartlib's, the daughter of the
first and wealthier aunt, Lady Smith, became the wife of Sir Anthony
Irby, M.P. for Boston in the Long Parliament. But it did not require such
family connexions to make Hartlib at home in English society. The
character of the man would have made him at home anywhere. He was one of
those persons, now styled "philanthropists" or "friends of progress," who
take an interest in every question or project of their time promising
social improvement, have always some iron in the fire, are constantly
forming committees or writing letters to persons of influence, and
altogether live for the public. By the common consent of all who have
explored the intellectual and social history of England in the
seventeenth century, he is one of the most interesting and memorable
figures of that whole period. He is interesting both for what he did
himself and also on account of the number and intimacy of his contacts
with other interesting people. [Footnote: Memoir of Hartlib by H. Dircks,
pp 2-6, where there are extracts from an autobiographical letter of
Hartlib to Worthington, written in 1660. "The Diary and Correspondence of
Dr. John Worthington," edited by James Crossley, Esq., F.S.A. (Chetham
Society), contains many letters from Hartlib to Worthington, between 1655
and 1662, but not this one. Mr. Crossley's Diary and Correspondence of
Worthington, so far as it has gone, is one of the best edited books known
to me, the footnotes being very nuggets of biographical lore; and it is
to be regretted that the connected notices of Worthington, Hartlib, and
Durie, postponed by Mr. Crossley until the work should be completed, have
not yet appeared.]

An early friend of Hartlib, associated with him long before the date at
which we are now arrived, was that John Durie of whom, and his famous
scheme for a union of all the Protestant Churches of Europe, we have
already had to take some account (Vol. II. pp. 367-8 and 517-8). Their
intimacy must have begun in Hartlib's native town of Elbing in Prussia,
where, I now find, Durie was residing in 1628, as minister to the English
company of merchants in the town, and where, in that very year, I also
now find, Durie had the great idea of his life first suggested to him by
the Swedish Dr. Godeman. [Footnote: The proof is in statements of
Hartlib's own in a Tract of his published in 1641 under the title of "A
Briefe Relation of that which hath been lately attempted to procure
Ecclesiasticall Peace amongst Protestants."] Among Durie's first
disciples in the idea must certainly have been Hartlib; and it does not
seem improbable that, when Hartlib left Prussia, in or about 1628, to
settle in England, it was with an understanding that he was to be an
agent or missionary for Durie's idea among the English. That he did so
act, and that he was little less of an enthusiast for Durie's idea than
Durie himself, there is the most positive evidence. Thus, in a series of
letters, preserved in the State Paper Office, from Durie abroad to the
diplomatist Sir Thomas Roe, of various dates between April 1633 and Feb.
1637-8, there is incessant mention of Hartlib. In the first of these
letters, dated from Heilbron April 2/12, 1633, Durie, among other things,
begs Roe "to help Mr. Hartlib with a Petition of Divines of those
quarters concerning an Edition of a Body of Divinity gathered out of
English authors, a work which will be exceeding profitable, but will
require divers agents and an exact ordering of the work." In a subsequent
letter Durie speaks of having sent Roe, "by Mr. Hartlib, whose industry
is specially recommended," an important proposition made by the Swedish
Chancellor Oxenstiern; and in still later letters Roe is requested by
Durie to show Hartlib not only Durie's letters to himself, but also
letters about the progress of his scheme which he has enclosed to Roe for
the Archbishop of Canterbury (Abbot) and the Bishop of London (Laud). At
this point, accordingly, July 20, 1633, there is a letter of Roe's to the
Archbishop, from which it appears that Hartlib was made the bearer of
Durie's letter to his Grace. Roe recommends the blessed work in which
Durie is engaged, says that it seems to him and Durie that "there is
nothing wanting but the public declaration of his Majesty and the Church
of England" in its favour, and beseeches the Archbishop "to give his
countenance to the bearer," described in the margin as "Mr. Hartlib, a
Prussian." As Abbot was then within fifteen days of his death, nothing
can have come of the application to him; and, as we already know, his
successor Laud was a far less hopeful subject for Durie's idea, even
though recommended by Roe and explained by Hartlib. In fact, he thought
it mischievous moonshine; and, instead of giving Durie the encouragement
which he wanted, he wrote to the English agent at Frankfort, instructing
him to show Durie no countenance whatever. Durie felt the rebuff sorely.
In England, he writes, he must depend now chiefly on Roe, who could still
do much privately, apart from Laud's approbation. "Mr. Hartlib will send
anything to Durie which Roe would have communicated to him in a secret
way." So in June 1634; and fourteen months later (Aug. 1635) Durie, who
had meanwhile removed to the Hague, again writes to Roe and again relies
on Hartlib. The Dutch, he says, are slow to take up his scheme; and he
can think of nothing better in the circumstances than that Roe in England
should collect "all the advices and comments of the best divines of the
age" on the subject, and have them printed. His very best agent in such a
business would be Hartlib, "a man well known, beloved and trusted by all
sides, a man exceeding painful, diligent and cordially affected to these
endeavours, and one that for such works had lost himself by too much
charity." On independent grounds it would be well to find him "some place
suitable for his abilities, which might rid him of the undeserved
necessities whereunto his public-heartedness had brought him;" but in
this special employment he would be invaluable, being "furnished with the
Polish, Dutch, English, and Latin languages, perfectly honest and trusty,
discreet, and well versed in affairs." In the same strain in subsequent
letters. Thus, from Amsterdam Dec. 7/17, Roe is thanked for having
bestowed some gratuity on Hartlib, and Hartlib is described as, next to
Roe, "the man in the world whom Durie loves and honours most for his
virtues and good offices in Durie's cause." At the same time Durie "prays
God to free Hartlib from his straits and set him a little on horseback,"
and adds, "His spirit is so large that it has lost itself in zeal to good
things." Again, from Amsterdam Jan 25/Feb 4, 1635-6, Durie writes to Roe
and encloses a letter to be sent to his (Durie's) diocesan in Hartlib's
behalf. "Mr. Hartlib," Durie says to Roe, "has furnished his lordship
(the diocesan) with intelligence from foreign parts for two or three
years, and has not yet got any consideration. Perhaps his lordship knows
not how Hartlib has fallen into decay for being too charitable to poor
scholars, and for undertaking too freely the work of schooling and
education of children. If Hartlib and Roe were not in England, Durie
would despair of doing any good." The diocesan referred to is probably
Juxon, Bishop of London; but, two years later, we find Roe recommending
Durie's business and Hartlib personally to another prelate, Bishop Morton
of Durham. Writing from St. Martin's Lane, Feb. 17, 1637-8, Sir Thomas
"presents the Bishop with a letter from Mr. Durie, and one from Durie to
the writer, from which the Bishop may collect his state, and his constant
resolution to pursue his business as long as God gives him bread to eat.
Such a spirit the writer has never met, daunted with nothing, and only
relying upon Providence. ... Sir Thomas in Michaelmas term sent the
Bishop a great packet from Samuel Hartlib, correspondent of Durie, an
excellent man, and of the same spirit. If the Bishop like his way,
Hartlib will constantly write to him, and send all the passages both of
learning and public affairs, no man having better information, especially
_in re literariâ_." [Footnote: The quotations in this paragraph are
from the late Mr. Brace's accurate abstracts of Durie's and Roe's letters
(sixteen in all) given in the six volumes of Calendars of the Domestic
State Papers from 1633 to 1638.]

These letters enable us to see Hartlib as he was in 1637, a Prussian
naturalized in London, between thirty and forty years of age, nominally a
merchant of some kind, but in reality a man of various hobbies, and
conducting a general news-agency, partly as a means of income and partly
from sheer zeal in certain public causes interesting to himself. His zeal
in this way, and in private benevolences to needy scholars and inventors,
had even outrun prudence; so that, though he could reckon his means at
between 300_l_. and 400_l_. a year, [Footnote: This appears from the
letter of his to Worthington, of date Aug. 3, 1660, quoted in Dircks's
Memoir (p. 4), where he says, "Let it not seem a paradox to you, if I
tell you, as long as I have lived in England, by wonderful providences, I
have spent yearly out of my own betwixt 300_l._ and 400_l._ sterling a
year."] that had not sufficed for his openhandedness. Durie's great
project for a reconciliation of the Calvinists and Lutherans, and a union
of all the Protestant Churches of Europe on some broad basis of mutual
tolerance or concession, had hitherto been his hobby in chief. He had
other hobbies, however, of a more literary nature, and of late he had
been undertaking too freely some work appertaining to "the schooling and
education of children."

This last fact, which we learn hazily from Durie's letters and Roe's, we
should have known, abundantly and distinctly, otherwise. There are two
publications of Hartlib's, of the  years 1637 and 1638 respectively, the
first of a long and varied series that were to come from his pen. Now,
both of these are on the subject of Education. "_Conatuum Comenianorum
Præludia, ex Bibliothecâ S. H.: Oxoniæ, Excudebat Gulielmus Turnerus,
Academia Typographus_, 1637" ("Preludes of the Endeavours of Comenius,
from the Library of S. H.: Oxford, Printed by William Turner, University
Printer, 1637")--such is the general title of the first of these
publications. It is a small quarto, and consists first of a Preface
"_Ad Lectorem_" (to the Reader), signed "Samuel Hartlibius," and
then of a foreign treatise which it is the object of the publication to
introduce to the attention of Oxford and of the English nation; which
treatise has this separate title:--"_Porta Sapientiæ Reserata; sive
Pansophiæ Christianæ Seminarium: hoc est, Nova, Compendiosa et Solida
omnes Scientias et Artes, et quicquid manifesti vel occulti est quod
ingenio humano penetrare, solertiæ imitari, linguae eloqui, datur,
brevius, verius, melius, quam hactenus, Addiscendi Methodus: Auctore
Reverendo Clarissimoque viro Domino Johanne Amoso Comenio_" ("The Gate
of Wisdom Opened; or the Seminary of all Christian Knowledge: being a
New, Compendious, and Solid Method of Learning, more briefly, more truly,
and better than hitherto, all Sciences and Arts, and whatever there is,
manifest or occult, that it is given to the genius of man to penetrate,
his craft to imitate, or his tongue to speak: The author that Reverend
and most distinguished man, Mr. John Amos Comenius"). So far as I have
been able to trace, this is the first publication bearing the name of
Hartlib. Copies of it must be scarce, but there is at least one in the
British Museum. There also is a copy of what, on the faith of an entry in
the Registers of the Stationers' Company, I have to record as his second
publication. "Oct. 17, 1638: Samuel Gillebrand entered for his copy,
under the hands of Mr. Baker and Mr. Rothwell, warden, a Book called
_Comenii Pansophiæ Prodromus et Didactica Dissertatio_ (Comenius's
Harbinger of Universal Knowledge and Treatise on Education), published by
Sam. Hartlib." [Footnote: My notes from Stationers' Registers.] When the
thing actually appeared, in small duodecimo, it had the date "1639" on
the title-page.

The canvas becomes rather crowded; but I am bound to introduce here to
the reader "that reverend and most distinguished man, Mr. John Amos
Comenius," who had been winning on Hartlib's heart by his theories of
Education and Pansophia, prepossessed though that heart was by Durie and
his scheme of Pan-Protestantism.

He was an Austro-Slav, born in 1592, at Comnia in Moravia, whence his
name Jan Amos Komensky, Latinized into Joannes Amosius Comenius. His
parents were Protestants of the sect known as the Bohemian or Moravian
Brethren, who traced their origin to the followers of Huss. Left an
orphan in early life, he was poorly looked after, and was in his
sixteenth year before he began to learn Latin. Afterwards he studied in
various places, and particularly at Herborn in the Duchy of Nassau;
whence he returned to his native Moravia in 1614, to become Rector of a
school at Prerau. Here it was that he first began to study and practise
new methods of teaching, and especially of grammatical teaching, induced,
as he himself tells us, by the fame of certain speculations on that
subject which had recently been put forth by Wolfgang Ratich, an
Educational Reformer then very active in Germany. From Prerau Comenius
removed in 1618 to Fulneck, to be pastor to a congregation of Moravian
Brethren there; but, as he conjoined the charge of a new school with his
pastorate, he continued his interest in new methods of education.
Manuscripts of schoolbooks which he was preparing on his new methods
perished, with his library, in a sack of Fulneck in 1621 by the
Spaniards; and in 1624, on an edict proscribing all the Protestant
ministers of the Austrian States, Comenius lost his living, and took
refuge in the Bohemian mountains with a certain Baron Sadowski of
Slaupna. In this retreat he wrote, in 1627, a short educational Directory
for the use of the tutor of the baron's sons. But, the persecution waxing
furious, and 30,000 families being driven out of Bohemia for their
Protestantism, Comenius had to migrate to Poland It was with a heavy
heart that lie did so: and, as he and his fellow-exiles crossed the
mountain-boundary on their way, they looked back on Moravia and Bohemia,
and, falling on their knees, prayed God not to let His truth fail utterly
out of those hinds, but to preserve a remnant in them for himself. Leszno
in Poland was Comenius's new refuge. Here again he employed himself in
teaching; and here, in a more systematic manner than before, he pursued
his speculations on the science of teaching and on improved methods for
the acquisition of universal knowledge. He read, he tells us, all the
works he could find on the subject of Didactics by predecessors or
contemporaries, such as Ratich, Ritter, Glaumius, Wolfstirn, Cæcilius,
and Joannes Valentinus Andreæ, and also the philosophical works of
Campanella and Lord Bacon; but he combined the information so obtained
with his own ideas and experience. The results he seems mainly to have
jotted down, for future use, in various manuscript papers in his Slavic
vernacular, or in German, or in Latin; but in 1631 he was induced by the
curators of the school at Leszno to send to the press in Latin one book
of a practical and particular nature. This was a so-called "_Janua
Linguarum Reserata_," or "Gate of Languages Opened," propounding a
method which he had devised, and had employed at Leszno, for rapidly
teaching Latin, or any other tongue, and at the same time communicating
the rudiments of useful knowledge. The little book, though he thought it
a trifle, made him famous. "It happened, as I could not have imagined
possible," he himself writes, "that that puerile little work was received
with a sort of universal applause by the learned world. This was
testified by very many persons of different countries, both by letters to
myself congratulating me earnestly on the new invention, and also by
translations into the various popular tongues, undertaken as if in
rivalry with each other. Not only did editions which we have ourselves
seen appear in all the European tongues, twelve in number--viz. Latin,
Greek, Bohemian, Polish, German. Swedish, Dutch, English, French,
Spanish, Italian, and Hungarian; but it was translated, as we have
learnt, into such Asiatic tongues as the Arabic, the Turkish, the
Persian, and even the Mongolian."

The process which Comenius thus describes must have extended over several
years. There are traces of knowledge of him, and of his _Janua
Linguarum Reserata_, in England as early as 1633. In that year a
Thomas Home, M.A., then a schoolmaster in London, but afterwards Master
of Eton, put forth a "_Janua Linguarum_" which is said by Anthony
Wood to have been taken, "all or most," from Comenius. An actual English
translation or expansion of Comenius's book, by a John Anchoran,
licentiate in Divinity, under the title of "The Gate of Tongues Unlocked
and Opened: or else A Summary or Seed-Plot of all Tongues and Sciences,"
reached its "fourth edition much enlarged" in 1639, and may be presumed
to have been in circulation, in other forms, some years before. But the
great herald of Comenius and his ideas among the English was Samuel
Hartlib. Not only may he have had to do with the importation of
Comenius's _Janua Linguarum_ and the recommendation of that book to
such pedagogues as Home and Anchoran; but he was instrumental in
extracting from Comenius, while that book and certain appendices to it
were in the flush of their first European popularity, a summary of his
reserved and more general theories and intentions in the field of
Didactics. The story is told very minutely by Comenius himself.

The _Janua Linguarum Reserata_ was only a proposed improvement in
the art of teaching Language or Words; and ought not a true system of
education to range beyond that, and provide for a knowledge of Things?
This was what Comenius was thinking: he was meditating a sequel to his
popular little book, to be called "_Janua Rerum Reserata" or "Gate of
Things Opened," and to contain an epitome or encyclopædia of all
essential knowledge, under the three heads of Nature, Scripture, and the
Mind of Man. Nay, borrowing a word which had appeared as the title of a
somewhat meagre Encyclopædia of the Arts by a Peter Laurenbergius,
Comenius had resolved on _Pansophia_, or _Pansophia Christiana_
("Universal Wisdom," or "Universal Christian Wisdom"), as a fit
alternative name for this intended _Janua Rerum_. But he was keeping the
work back, as one requiring leisure, and could only be persuaded to let
the announcement of its title appear in the Leipsic catalogue of
forthcoming books. By that time, however, Hartlib of London had become so
dear a friend to Comenius that he could refuse _him_ nothing. Whether
there had been any prior personal acquaintance between Hartlib and
Comenius, by reason of their German and Slavic connexions, I cannot say.
But, since the publication of the _Janua Linguarum_, Hartlib had been in
correspondence with Comenius in his Polish home; and, by 1636, his
interest in the designs of Comenius, and willingness to forward them, had
become so well known in the circle of the admirers of Comenius that he
had been named as one of the five chief Comenians in Europe, the other
four being Zacharias Schneider of Leipsic, Sigismund Evenius of Weimar,
John Mochinger of Dantzic, and John Docemius of Hamburg. Now, Hartlib,
having heard of the intended _Janua Rerum_ or _Pansophia_ of Comenius,
not only in the Leipsic catalogue of forthcoming works, but also, more
particularly, from some Moravian students passing through London, had
written to Comenius, requesting some sketch of it. "Being thus asked,"
says Comenius, "by the most intimate of my friends, a man piously eager
for the public good, to communicate some idea of my future work, I did
communicate to him in writing, in a chance way, what I had a thought of
prefixing some time or other to the work in the form of a Preface; and
this, beyond my hope, and without my knowledge, was printed at Oxford,
under the title of _Conatuum Comenianorum Præludia_." Here we have the
whole secret of that publication from the Oxford University press, in
1637, which was edited by Hartlib and announced as being from his
Library. It was not a reprint of anything that had already appeared
abroad, but was in fact a new treatise by the great Comenius which
Hartlib had persuaded the author to send him from Poland and had
published on his own responsibility. He had apologized to Comenius for so
doing, on the ground that the publication would "serve a good purpose by
feeling the way and ascertaining the opinions of learned and wise men in
a matter of such unusual consequence." Comenius was a little nettled, he
says, especially as criticisms of the Pansophic sketch began to come in,
which would have been obviated, he thought, if he had been allowed
quietly to develop the thing farther before publication. Nevertheless,
there the book was, and the world now knew of Comenius not only as the
author of the little _Janua Linguarum_, but also as contemplating a vast
_Janua Rerum_, or organization of universal knowledge on a new basis.--In
fact, the fame of Comenius was increased by Hartlib's little
indiscretion. In Sweden especially there was an anxiety to have the
benefit of the counsels of so eminent a theorist in the business of
education. In 1638 the Swedish Government, at the head of which, during
the minority of Queen Christina, was the Chancellor Oxenstiern, invited
Comenius to Sweden, that he might preside over a Commission for the
revision and reform of the schools there. Comenius, however, declined the
invitation, recommending that the work should be entrusted to some native
Swede, but promising to give his advice; and, at the same time (1638), he
began to translate into Latin, for the behoof of Sweden and of other
countries, a certain _Didactica Magna_, or treatise on Didactics at
large, which he had written in his Bohemian Slavic vernacular nine years
before. Hartlib had an early abstract of this book, and this abstract is
part of the _Comenii Pansophiæ Prodromus et Didactica Dissertatio_ which
he edited in London in the same year, and published in duodecimo in 1639.
[Footnote: Bayle's Dictionary: Art. _Coménius (Jean-Amos)_; "Geshichte
der Pädagogik," by Karl von Raumer (Stuttgart, 1843), Zweither Theil, pp.
46-49; "Essays on Educational Reformers," by Robert Hebert Quick (1868),
pp. 43-47; Wood's Ath. III. 366, and II. 677. The general sketch of
Comenius in Bayle, and those by Raumer and Mr. Quick, are very good; but
details in the text, and especially the particulars of Hartlib's early
connexion with Comenius, have had to be culled by me from the curious
autobiographical passages prefixed to or inserted in Comenius's various
writings as far as 1642. These form Part I. of his large Folio, _Opera
Didactica Omnia_, published by him at Amsterdam in 1657; and the passages
in that Part which have supplied particulars for the text will be found
at columns 3-4, 318, 326,403,442--444,454-459. Comenius, like most such
theoretic reformers, had a vein of egotism, and a strong memory for
details respecting the history of his own ideas and their reception.]

What, after all, were the new notions propounded from Poland, with such
universal European effort, by this Protestant Austro-Slav, Comenius, and
sponsored in England by the Prussian Hartlib? We shall try to give them
in epitome. Be it understood, however, that the epitome takes account
only of those works of Comenius which were written before 1639, without
including the mass of his later writings, some of which were to be even
more celebrated.

The _Didactica Magna_ is perhaps the most pregnant of the early
books of Comenius. The full title of this treatise is, in translation, as
follows: "Didactics at Large: propounding a universal Scheme for teaching
all Things to all persons; or a Certain and Perfect Mode of erecting such
Schools through all the communities, towns, and villages of any Christian
Kingdom, as that all the youth of both sexes, without the neglect of a
single one, may be compendiously, pleasantly, and solidly educated in
Learning, grounded in Morals, imbued with Piety, and so, before the years
of puberty, instructed in all things belonging to the present and the
future life." In the treatise itself there are first some chapters of
preliminary generalities. Man, says Comenius, is the last and most
perfect of creatures; his destiny is to a life beyond this; and the
present life is but a preparation for that eternal one. This preparation
involves three things--Knowledge by Man of himself and of all things
about him (Learning), Rule of himself (Morals), and Direction of himself
to God (Religion). The seeds of these three varieties of preparation are
in us by Nature; nevertheless, if Man would come out complete Man, he
must be formed or educated. Always the education must be threefold--in
Knowledge, in Morals, and in Religion; and this combination must never be
lost sight of. Such education, however, comes most fitly in early life.
Parents may do much, but they cannot do all; there is need, therefore, in
every country, of public schools for youth. Such schools should be for
the children of all alike, the poor as well as the rich, the stupid and
malicious as well as the clever and docile, and equally for girls as for
boys; and the training in them ought to be absolutely universal or
encyclopædic, in Letters, Arts, and Science, in Morals, and in Piety.
[Footnote: For Miltonic reasons, as well as for others, I cannot resist
the temptation to translate here, in a Note, the sub stance of Comenius's
views on the Education of Women; as given in Chap. IX. (cols. 42-44) of
his _Didactica Magna_:--"Nor, to say something particularly on this
subject, can any sufficient reason be given why the weaker sex"
[_sequior sexus_, literally "the later or following sex," is his
phrase, borrowed from Apuleius, and, though the phrase is usually
translated "the inferior sex," it seems to have been chosen by Comenius
to avoid that implication], "should be wholly shut out from liberal
studies, whether in the native tongue or in Latin. For equally are they
God's image; equally are they partakers of grace and of the kingdom to
come; equally are they furnished with minds agile and capable of wisdom,
yea often beyond our sex; equally to them is there a possibility of
attaining high distinction, inasmuch as they have often been employed by
God himself for the government of peoples, the bestowing of the most
wholesome counsels on kings and princes, the science of medicine and
other things useful to the human race, nay even the prophetical office,
and the rattling reprimand of Priests and Bishops" [_etiam ad
Propheticum munus, et incrependos Sacerdotes Episcoposque_, are the
words; and, as the treatise was prepared for the press in 1638, one
detects a reference, by the Moravian Brother in Poland, to the recent
fame of Jenny Geddes of Scotland]. "Why then should we admit them to the
Alphabet, but afterwards debar them from Books? Do we fear their
rashness? The more we occupy their thoughts, the less room will there be
in them for rashness, which springs generally from vacuity of mind." Some
slight limitations as to the reading proper for young women are appended,
but with a hint that the same limitations would be good for youth of the
other sex; and there is a bold quotation of the Scriptural text (1 Tim.
ii. 12),"_I suffer not a woman to teach_," and of two well-known
passages of Euripides and Juvenal against learned women or bluestockings,
to show that he was quite aware of these passages, but saw nothing in
them against his real meaning.] Here, at length, in the eleventh chapter,
we arrive at the great question, Has such a system of schools been
anywhere established? _No_, answers Comenius, and abundantly proves
his negative. Schools of a kind there had been in the world from the days
of the Pharaohs and Nebuchadnezzar, if not from those of Shem, but not
yet were there schools everywhere; not yet, where schools did exist, were
they for all classes; and, at best, where they did exist, of what sort
were they? Places, for the most part, of nausea and torment for the poor
creatures collected in them; narrow and imperfect in their aims, which
were verbal rather than real; and not even succeeding in these aims!
Latin, nothing but Latin! And how had they taught this precious and
eternal Latin of theirs? "Good God! how intricate, laborious, and prolix
this study of Latin has been! Do not scullions, shoeblacks, cobblers,
among pots and pans, or in camp, or in any other sordid employment, learn
a language different from their own, or even two or three such, more
readily than school students, with every leisure and appliance and all
imaginable effort, learn their solitary Latin? And what a difference in
the proficiency attained! The former, after a few months, are found
gabbling away with ease; the latter, after fifteen or twenty years, can
hardly, for the most part, unless when strapped up tight in their
grammars and dictionaries, bring out a bit of Latin, and that not without
hesitation and stammering." But all this might be remedied. There might
be such a Reformation of Schools that not only Latin, but all other
languages, and all the real Sciences and Arts of life to boot, might be
taught in them expeditiously, pleasantly, and thoroughly. What was wanted
was right methods and the consistent practical application of these.
Nature must supply the principles of the Method of Education: as all
Nature's processes go softly and spontaneously, so will all artificial
processes that are in conformity with Nature's principles. And what are
Nature's principles, as transferable into the Art of Education? Comenius
enumerates a good many, laying stress on such as these: nothing out of
season; matter before form; the general before the special, or the simple
before the complex; all continuously, and nothing _per saltum_. He
philosophizes a good deal, sometimes a little quaintly and mystically, on
these principles of Nature, and on the hints she gives for facility,
solidity, and celerity of learning, and then sums up his deductions as to
the proper Method in each of the three departments of education, the
Intellectual, the Moral, and the Religious. Things before words, or
always along with words, to explain them; the concrete and sensible to
prepare for the abstract; example and illustration rather than verbal
definition, or to accompany verbal definition: such is his main maxim in
the first department. Object-lessons, wherever possible: i.e. if boys are
taught about the stars, let it be with the stars over their heads to look
at; if about the structure of the human body, let it be with a skeleton
before them; if about the action of a pump, or other machine, let it be
with the machine actually at hand. "Always let the things which the words
are to designate be shown; and again, whatever the pupils see, hear,
touch, taste, let them be taught to express the same; so that tongue and
intellect may go on together." Where the actual objects cannot be
exhibited, there may be models, pictures, and the like; and every school
ought to have a large apparatus of such, and a museum. Writing and
drawing ought to be taught simultaneously with reading. All should be
made pleasant to the pupils; they ought to relish their lessons, to be
kept brisk, excited, wide-awake; and to this end there should be
emulation, praise of the deserving, always something nice and rousing on
the board, a mixture of the funny with the serious, and occasional
puzzles, anecdotes, and conundrums. The school-houses ought to be airy
and agreeable, and the school-hours not too long. In order that there may
be time to teach all that really ought to be taught, there must be a wise
neglect of heaps of things not essential: a great deal must be flung
overboard, as far as School is concerned, and left to the chance
inquisitiveness of individuals afterwards. And what sort of things may be
thus wisely neglected? Why, in the first place, the _non necessaria_
(things generally unprofitable), or things that contribute neither to
piety nor to good morals, and without which there may be very sufficient
erudition--as, for example, "the names of the Gentile gods, their love-
histories, and their religious rites," all which may be got up in books
at any time by any one that wants them; and, again, the _aliena_
(things that do not fit the particular pupil)--mathematics, for example,
for some, and music for those who have no ear; and, again, the
_particularissima_, or those excessive minutenesses and distinctions
into which one may go without end in any subject whatsoever. So, at
large, with very competent learning, no small philosophical acumen, much
logical formality and numeration of propositions and paragraphs, but a
frequent liveliness of style, and every now and then a crashing shot of
practical good sense, Comenius reasons and argues for a new System of
Education, inspired by what would now be called Realism or enlightened
Utilitarianism. Objections, as they might occur, are duly met and
answered; and one notes throughout the practical schoolmaster, knowing
what he is talking about, and having before his fancy all the while the
spectacle of a hundred or two of lads ranged on benches, and to be
managed gloriously from the desk, as a skilled metallurgist manages a
mass of molten iron. He is a decided advocate for large classes, each of
"some hundreds," under one head-master, because of the fervour which such
classes generate in themselves and in the master; and he shows how they
may be managed. Emulation, kindliness, and occasional rebuke, are chiefly
to be trusted to for maintaining discipline; and punishments are to be
for moral offences only. How Comenius would blend moral teaching and
religious teaching with the acquisition of knowledge in schools is
explained in two chapters, entitled "Method of Morals" and "Method of
instilling Piety;" and this last leads him to a separate chapter, in
which he maintains that, "if we would have schools thoroughly reformed
according to the true rules of Christianity, the books of Heathen authors
must be removed from them, or at least employed more cautiously than
hitherto." He argues this at length, insisting on the necessity of the
preparation of a graduated series of school-books that should supersede
the ordinary classics, conserving perhaps the best bits of some of them.
If any of the classics were to be kept bodily for school-use, they should
be Seneca, Epictetus, Plato, and the like. And so at last he comes to
describe the System of Schools he would have set up in every country,
viz.: I. THE INFANT SCHOOL, or MOTHER'S OWN SCHOOL, for children under
girls up to the age of twelve; III. THE LATIN SCHOOL or GYMNASIUM, for
higher teaching up to eighteen or so; and IV. THE UNIVERSITY (with
TRAVEL), for the highest possible teaching on to the age of about five-
and-twenty. From the little babble of the Infant School about Water, Air,
Fire, Iron, Bird, Fish, Hill, Sun, Moon, &c., all on the plan of
exercising the senses and making Things and Words go together, up to the
most exquisite training of the University, he shows how there might be a
progress and yet a continuity of encyclopædic aim. Most boys and girls in
every community, he thinks, might stop at the Vernacular School, without
going on to the Latin; and he has great faith in the capabilities of any
vernacular and the culture that may be obtained within it. Still he would
like to see as many as possible going on to the Latin School and the
University, that there might never be wanting in a community spirits
consummately educated, veritable [Greek: polumatheis] and [Greek:
pansophoi]. In the Universities apparently he would allow the largest
ranging among the classics of all sorts, though still on some principle
for organizing that kind of reading. There is, in fact, a mass of details
and suggestions about each of the four kinds of schools, all vital to
Comenius, and all pervaded by his sanguine spirit, but which one can
hardly now read through. [Footnote: A separate little treatise on the
management of "The Infant School," containing advices to parents for home
use, was written by Comenius in Bohemian Slavic, and translated thence
into German in 1633. It appears in Latin among his _Opera Didactica_
collected. He wrote also, he tells us, six little books for "The
Vernacular School," under fancy-titles. These do not seem ever to have
been published. His _Janua Linguarum_ (1631), and one or two
appendages to it, were contributions to the theory and practice of "The
Latin School."] The final chapter is one of the most eloquent and
interesting. It is entitled, "Of the Requisites necessary for beginning
the practice of this Universal Method." Here he comes back upon his
notion of a graduated series of school-books, or rather of an
organization of books generally for the purposes of education. "One great
requisite," he says, "the absence of which would make the whole machine
useless, while its presence would put all in motion, is A SUFFICIENT
APPARATUS OF PAMMETHODIC BOOKS." All, he repeats, hinges on the
possibility of creating such an apparatus. "This is a work," he adds,
"not for one man, especially if he is otherwise occupied, and not
instructed in everything that ought to be reduced into the Universal
Method; nor is it perhaps a work for one age, if we would have all
brought to absolute perfection. There is need, therefore, of a COLLEGIAL
SOCIETY (_ergo Societate Collegiali est opus_). For the convocation
of such a Society there is need of the authority and liberality of some
King, or Prince, or Republic, and also of some quiet place, away from
crowds, with a Library and other appurtenances." There follows an earnest
appeal to persons of all classes to forward such an association, and the
good Moravian winds up with a prayer to God. [Footnote: There is a
summary of Comenius's _Didactica Magna_ in Von Reumer's "Geshichte
der Pædgogis" (pp. 53-59). It is accurate so far as it goes; but I have
gone to the book itself.]

A special part of Comenius's system, better known perhaps at the time of
which we write than his system as a whole, was his Method for Teaching
Languages. This is explained in Chapter XXII. of his _Didactica
Magna_, and more in detail in his _Linguarum Janua Rescrata_, and
one or two writings added to that book:--Comenius, as we already know,
did not overrate linguistic training in education. "Languages are
acquired," he says, "not as a part of learning or wisdom, but as
instrumental to the reception and communication of learning. Accordingly,
it is not _all_ languages that are to be learnt, for that is
impossible, nor yet _many_, for that would be useless, as drawing
away the time due to the study of Things; but only those that are
_necessary_. The necessary tongues, however, are: first, the
Vernacular, for home use; next, Neighbouring Tongues, for conversation
with neighbours,--as, for example, the German for Poles of one frontier,
and the Hungarian, the Wallachian, and the Turkish, for Poles of other
parts; next, Latin, as the common language of the learned, admitting one
to the wise use of books; and, finally, the Greek and Arabic for
philosophers and medical men, and Greek and Hebrew for theologians." Not
all the tongues that are learnt, either, are to be learnt to the same
nicety of perfection, but only to the extent really needed. Each language
should be learnt separately--first, the Vernacular, which ought to be
perfectly learnt, and to which children ought to be kept for eight or ten
years; then whatever neighbouring tongue might be desirable, for which a
year would be long enough; next, Latin, which ought to be learnt well,
and might be learnt in two years; and so to Greek, to which he would give
one year, and Hebrew, which he would settle in six months. If people
should be amazed at the shortness of the time in which he ventured to
assert a language like the Latin might be learnt and learnt well, let
them consider the principles of his method. Always Things along with
Words, and Words associated with new groups of Things, from the most
familiar objects to those rarer and farther off, so that the
_vocabulary_ might get bigger and bigger; and, all the while, the
constant use of the vocabulary, such as it was, in actual talk, as well
as in reading and writing. First, let the pupil stutter on anyhow, only
using his stock of words; correctness would come afterwards, and in the
end elegance and force. Always practice rather than rule, and leading to
rule; also connexion of the tongue being learnt with that learnt last. A
kind of common grammar may be supposed lying in the pupil's head, which
he transfers instinctively to each new tongue, so that he has to be
troubled only with variations and peculiarities. The reading-books
necessary for thoroughly teaching a language by this method might be
(besides Lexicons graduated to match) four in number--I. _Vestibulum_
(The Porch), containing a vocabulary of some hundreds of simple words,
fit for babbling with, grouped in little sentences, with annexed tables
of declensions and conjugations; II. _Janua_ (The Gate), containing all
the common words in the language, say about 8,000, also compacted into
interesting sentences, with farther grammatical aids; III. _Palatium_
(The Palace), containing tit-bits of higher discourse about things, and
elegant extracts from authors, with notes and grammatical comments; IV.
_Thesaurus_ (The Treasury), consisting of select authors themselves, duly
illustrated, with a catalogue of other authors, so that the pupils might
have some idea of the extent of the Literature of the language, and might
know what authors to read on occasion afterwards.--Comenius himself
actually wrote a _Vestibulum_ for Latin, consisting of 427 short
sentences, and directions for their use; and, as we know, his _Janua
Linguarum Reserata_, which appeared in 1631, was the publication which
made him famous. It is an application of his system to Latin. On the
principle that Latin can never be acquired with ease while its vocabulary
is allowed to lie alphabetically in dead Dictionaries, or in
multitudinous variety of combination in Latin authors, about 8,000 Latin
words of constant use are collected into a kind of Noah's Ark,
representative of all Latinity. This is done in 1,000 short Latin
sentences, arranged in 100 paragraphs of useful information about all
things and sundry, under such headings as _De Ortu Mundi_ (Of the
Beginning of the World), _De Elementis_ (Of the Elements), _De
Firmamento_ (Of the Firmament), _De Igne_ (Of Fire), and so on through
other physical and moral topics. Among these are _De Metallis_ (Of
Metals), _De Herbis_ (Of Plants), _De Insectis_ (Of Insects), _De
Ulceribus et Vulneribus_ (Of Sores and Wounds), _De Agricultura_ (Of
Agriculture), _De Vestituum Generibus (Of Articles of Dress), _De
Puerperio_ (Of Childbirth), _De Pace et Bella_ (Of Peace and War), _De
Modestia_ (Of Modesty), _De Morte et Sepultura_ (Of Death and Burial),
_De Providentia Dei_ (Of the Providence of God), _De Angelis_ (Of
Angels). Comenius was sure that due drill in this book would put a boy in
effective possession of Latin for all purposes of reading, speaking, and
writing. And, of course, by translation, the same manual would serve for
any other language. For, the Noah's Ark of _things_ being much the same
for all peoples, in learning a new language you have but to fit on to the
contents of that permanent Ark of realities a new set of vocables.
[Footnote: _Dialectica Magna_ Chap. XXII. first edition of _Janua_, as
reprinted  in _Comenii Opera Didactica_, 1657 (Part I, cols. 255-302).]

Comenius rather smiled at the rush of all Europe upon his _Janua
Linguarum_, or Method for Teaching Languages. That was a trifle in his
estimation, compared with the bigger speculations of his _Didactica
Magna_, and still more with his _Pansophiæ Prodromus_ or _Porta
Sapientiæ Reserata_. A word or two on this last little book:--Comenius
appears in it as a would-be Lord Bacon, an Austro-Slavic Lord Bacon, a
very Austro-Slavic Lord Bacon. He mentions Bacon several times, and
always with profound respect ("_illustrissimus Verulamius_" and so
on); but it appeared to him that more was wanted than Bacon's _Novum
Organum,_ or _Instauratio Magna_, with all its merits. A PANSOPHIA was
wanted, nay, a PANSOPHIA CHRISTIANA, or consolidation of all human
knowledge into true central Wisdom, one body of Real Truth. O Wisdom,
Wisdom! O the knowledge of things in themselves, and in their universal
harmony! What was mere knowledge of words, or all the fuss of pedagogy
and literature, in view of that! Once attained, and made communicable, it
would make the future of the world one Golden Age! Why had it not been
attained? What had been the hindrances to its attainment? What were the
remedies? In a kind of phrenzy, which does not prevent most logical
precision of paragraphing and of numbering of propositions, Comenius
discusses all this, becoming more and more like a Bacon bemuddled, as he
eyes his PANSOPHIA through the mist. What it is he cannot make plain to
us; but we see he has some notion of it himself, and we honour him
accordingly. For there are gleams, and even flashes, through the mist.
For example, there is a paragraph entitled _Scientiarum Laceratio_,
lamenting the state of division, disconnectedness, and piece-meal
distribution among many hands, into which the Sciences had fallen. Though
there were books entitled Pansophias, Encyclopædias, and the like, he had
seen none sufficiently justifying the name, or exhausting the
universality of things. Much less had he seen the whole apparatus of
human intelligence so constructed from its own certain and eternal
principles that all things should appear mutually concatenated among
themselves from first to last without any hiatus! "Metaphysicians hum to
themselves only, Natural Philosophers chaunt their own praises,
Astronomers lead on their dances for themselves, Ethical Thinkers set up
laws for themselves, Politicians lay foundations for themselves,
Mathematicians triumph for themselves, and for themselves Theologians
reign." What is the consequence? Why, that, while each one attends only
to himself and his own phantasy, there is no general accord, but only
dissonance.  "We see that the branches of a tree cannot live unless they
all alike suck their juices from a common trunk with common roots. And
can we hope that the branches of Wisdom can be torn asunder with safety
to their life, that is to truth? Can one be a Natural Philosopher who is
not also a Metaphysician? or an Ethical Thinker who does not know
something of Physical Science? or a Logician who has no knowledge of real
matters? or a Theologian, a Jurisconsult, or a Physician, who is not
first a Philosopher? or an Orator or Poet who is not all things at once?
He deprives himself of light, of hand, and of regulation, who pushes away
from him any shred of the knowable." From such passages one has a glimmer
of what Comenius did mean by his Pansophia. He hoped to do something
himself towards furnishing the world with this grand desideratum. He had
in contemplation a book which should at least show what a proper
Encyclopædia or Consolidation of Universal Truth ought to be. But here
again he invites co-operation. Many hands in many lands would have to
labour at the building of the great Temple of Wisdom. He appeals to all,
"of every rank, age, sex, and tongue," to do what they can. Especially
let there be an end to the monopoly of Latin. "We desire and protest that
studies of wisdom be no longer committed to Latin alone, and kept shut up
in the schools, as has hitherto been done, to the greatest contempt and
injury of the people at large and the popular tongues. Let all things be
delivered to each nation in its own speech, so that occasion may be
afforded to all who are men to occupy themselves with these liberal
matters rather than fatigue themselves, as is constantly the case, with
the cares of this life, or ambitions, or drinking-bouts, or other
vanities, to the destruction of life and soul both. Languages themselves
too would so be polished to perfection with the advancement of the
Sciences and Arts. Wherefore we, for our part, have resolved, if God
pleases, to divulge these things of ours both in the Latin and in the
vernacular. For no one lights a candle and hides it under a bushel, but
places it on a candlestick, that it may give light to all." [Footnote:
_Pansophici Libri Delineatio_ (_i.e._ the same treatise which Hartlib had
printed at Oxford in 1637) in _Comenii Opera Didactica_, Part I. cols.
403-454.] Such were the varied Comenian views which the good Hartlib
strove to bring into notice in England in 1637-9. Durie and
Reconciliation of the Churches was still one of his enthusiasms, but
Comenius and Reformed Education was another. But, indeed, nothing of a
hopeful kind, with novelty in it, came amiss to Hartlib. He, as well as
Comenius, had read Lord Bacon. He was a devoted admirer of the Baconian
philosophy, and had imbibed, I think, more deeply than most of Bacon's
own countrymen, the very spirit and mood of that philosophy. That' the
world had got on so slowly hitherto because it had pursued wrong methods;
that, if once right methods were adopted, the world would spin forward at
a much faster rate in all things; that no one could tell what fine
discoveries of new knowledge, what splendid inventions in art, what
devices for saving labour, increasing wealth, preserving health, and
promoting happiness, awaited the human race in the future: all this,
which Bacon had taught, Hartlib had taken into his soul. His sympathy
with Durie and Religious Compromise and his sympathy with Comenius and
School Reform were but special exhibitions of his general passion for new
lights. The cry of his soul, morning and night, in all things, was

  Phosphore, redde diem! Quid gaudia nostra moraris?
  Phosphore, redde diem!

[Footnote: This is no fancy-quotation. Hartlib himself, in 1659, uses it
in a letter to the famous Boyle, as the passionate motto of his life (see
Diary of Worthington, edited by Crossley, I, 168, and Boyle's Works, ed.
1744, V. 293).]

Naturally this passion had a political side. Through the reign of
Thorough, it is true, Hartlib had been as quiet as it became a foreigner
in London to be at such a time, and had even been in humble
correspondence in Durie's behalf with Bishops, Privy Councillors, and
other chiefs of the existing power. But, when the Scottish troubles
brought signs of coming change for England, and there began to be stir
among the Puritans and the miscellaneous _quidnuncs_ of London in
anxiety for that change, Hartlib found himself in friendly contact and
acquaintanceship with some of these forward spirits. One is not
surprised, therefore, at the fact, previously mentioned in our History
(Vol. II. p. 45), that, when Charles was mustering his forces for the
First Bishops' War against the Scots, and Secretary Windebank was busy
with arrests of persons in London suspected of complicity with the Scots,
Hartlib was one of those pounced upon. Here is the exact official
warrant:--"These are to will, require, and authorize you to make your
repair to the house of Samuel Hartlib, merchant, and to examine him upon
such interrogatories as you shall find pertinent to the business you are
now employed in; and you are also to take with you one of the messengers
of his Majesty's Chamber, who is to receive and follow such order and
directions as you shall think fit to give him; and this shall be your
sufficient warrant in this behalf.--Dated at my house in Drury Lane, 1
May 1639.--Fran. Windebank. To Robert Reade, my Secretary." [Footnote:
Copied by me from the original in the S.P.O.]--The reader may, at this
point, like to know where Hartlib's house was. It was in Duke's Place,
Aldgate. He had been there for more than a year, if not from his first
settling in London; and it was to be his residence for many years to
come.[Footnote: Among the Ayscough MSS. in the British Museum there is
one (No. 4276) containing a short letter from Joseph Meade to Hartlib,
dated from Christ's College, Cambridge, June 18, 1638, and addressed "To
his worthie friend Mr. Samuel Hartlib at his house in Duke's Place,
London." There is nothing of importance in the letter; which is mainly
about books Meade would like Hartlib to send to certain persons named--
one of them Dr. Twisse, afterwards Prolocutor of the Westminster
Assembly. Meade died less than four months after the date of this
letter.] He was married, and had at least one child.--Reade and the
King's officer appear to have discovered nothing specially implicating
Hartlib; for he is found living on much as before through the remainder
of the Scottish Presbyterian Revolt, on very good terms with his former
Episcopal correspondents and others who regarded that Revolt with dread
and detestation. The following is a letter of his, of date Aug. 10, 1640,
which I found in his own hand in the State Paper Office. It has not, I
believe, been published before, and letters of Hartlib's of so early a
date are scarce: besides, it is too characteristic to be omitted:--

"Right Hon. [no farther indication of the person addressed: was it Sir
Thomas Roe?]

"These are to improve the leisure which perhaps you may enjoy in your
retiredness from this place. The author of the Schedule of Divers New
Inventions [apparently enclosed in the letter] is the same Plattes who
about a year ago published two profitable treatises concerning Husbandry
and Mines. He is now busy in contriving of some other Tracts, which will
more particularly inform all sorts of people how to procure their own and
the public good of these countries. [Footnote: Gabriel Plattes, author of
"A Discovery of Subterraneall Treasure: viz. of all manner of Mines and
Minerals from the Gold to the Coale: London 1639, 4to." This is from
Lowndes's _Bibliographer's Manual_ by Bohn; where it is added that
"Plattes published several other works chiefly relating to Husbandry, and
is said to have dropped down dead in the London streets for want of
food." Among other things, he was an Alchemist; and in Wood's Athenæ by
Bliss (I. 640-1) there is a curious extract from his Mineralogical book,
giving an account of a process of his for making pure gold artificially,
though, as he says, not with profit. One thinks kindly of this poor
inventive spirit hanging on upon Hartlib with his "Schedule of New
Inventions," and of Hartlib's interest in him.] Some of my learned
friends in France do highly commend one Palissi to be a man of the like
disposition and industry. The books which he hath written and printed
(some of them in French) are said to contain a world of excellent matter.
[Footnote: This, I think, must be the famous Bernard Palissy, "the
Potter," who died in 1590, leaving writings such as Hartlib describes. If
so, Hartlib was a little behind time in his knowledge, for one might
fancy him speaking of a contemporary.] I wish such like observations,
experiments, and true philosophies, were more known to other nations. By
this means not only the Heavens, but also the Earth, would declare the
glory of God more evidently than it hath done.---As for Mr. Durie, by
these enclosed [a number of extracts from letters about Durie's business
which Hartlib had received from Bishops and others] your Honour will be
able to see how far I am advanced in transactions of his affairs. My Lord
Bishop of Exeter [Hall], in one of his late letters unto himself [Durie],
uses these following words: '_Perlegi quæ_,' &c. [A long Latin
passage, which may be given in English: 'I have read through what you
have heretofore written to the most illustrious Sir Thomas Roe respecting
the procuring of an ecclesiastical agreement. I like your prudence and
most sagacious theological ingenuity in the same: should Princes follow
the thread of the advice, we shall easily extricate ourselves from this
labyrinth of controversies. The Reverend Bishop of Salisbury has a work
on the Fundamentals of Faith, which is now at press, designed for the
composing of these disputes of the Christian world; doubtless to the
great good of the Church. Proceed busily in the sacred work you have
undertaken: we will not cease to aid you all we can with our prayers and
counsels, and, if possible, with other helps']: I hear the worthies of
Cambridge are at work to satisfy in like manner the Doctors of Bremen:
only my Lord Bishop of Durham [Morton] is altogether silent. It may be
the northern distractions hinder him from such and the like pacifical
overtures. I am much grieved for his book _De [Greek: polutopia]
corporis Christi_ [on the Ubiquity of Christ's Body], which is now in
the press at Cambridge; for both the Bishop of Lincoln [Williams] and Dr.
Hacket told me, from the mouth of him that corrects it (an accurate and
judicious scholar), that it was a very invective and bitter railing
against the Lutheran tenets on that point, insomuch that Dr. Brownrigg
had written unto his lordship about it, to put all into a milder strain.
I confess others do blame somewhat Mr. D[urie] for certain phrases which
he seems to yield unto in his printed treatise with the Danes, '_De
Omnipræsentiâ et orali manducatione_' [Of the Omnipresence and Eating
with the Mouth]; yet let me say this much--that Reverend Bucer, that
prudent learned man, who was the first man of note that ever laboured in
this most excellent work of reconciling the Protestants, even in the very
first beginning of the breach, and who laboured more abundantly than they
all in it (I mean than all the rest of the Reformers in his time): Bucer,
I say, yielded so far for peace' sake to Luther and his followers in some
harsh-sounding terms and words that the Helvetians began to be suspicious
of him, lest he should be won to the contrary side, although the good man
did fully afterwards declare his mind when he saw his yielding would do
no good. It is not then Mr. D.'s case alone, when so brave a worthy as
Bucer goes along with him, a man of whom great Calvin uttered these words
when news was brought him of his death, '_Quam multiplicem in Bucero
jacturam fecerit Dei Ecclesia quoties in mentem venit, cor meum prope
laccrari sentio_' ['As often as it comes to my mind what a manifold
loss the Church of God has had in Bucer, I feel my heart almost
lacerated']. So he wrote in an epistle to Viret. But enough of this
subject.----I have had these 14 days no letters from Mr. D.; nor do I
long much for them, except I could get in the rents from his tenant to
pay the 70 rixdollars to Mr. Avery's brother in London. The Bishop of
Exeter seems to be a man of excellent bowels; and, if your Honour would
be pleased to second his requests towards my Lord's Grace of Canterbury,
or to favour Bishop Davenant's advice in your own way, perhaps some
comfortable effects would soon follow. My Lady Anna Waller doth highly
affect Mr. D. and his endeavours; and, if any donatives or other
preferments should be recommended to be disposed this way by my Lord
Keeper (who is a near kinsman of her Ladyship), I am confident she would
prove a successful mediatrix in his behalf. If your Honour thinks it fit,
I can write also to my Lord Primate [Usher] to intercede with my Lord's
Grace [Laud] for Mr. D. He is about to bring forth a great universal
work, or Ecclesiastical History. The other treatise, put upon him by his
Majesty's special command, '_De Authoritate Regum et Officio
Subditorum,_' ['On the Authority of Kings and the Duty of Subjects']
will shortly come to light.----Thus, craving pardon for this prolixity of
scribbling, I take humbly my leave; remaining always

"Your Honour's most obliged and most assured Servant,

SAM. HARTLIB. [Footnote: Copied by me from the original in the S.P.O.]

London: the 10 of Aug. 1640."

Three months after the date of this letter the Long Parliament had met,
and there was a changed world, with changed opportunities, for Hartlib,
as well as for other people. The following digest of particulars in his
life for the years 1641 and 1642 will show what he was about:--

"A Briefe Relation of that which hath been lately attempted to procure
Ecclesiasticall Peace amongst Protestants. Published by Samuel Hartlib.
London, Printed by J. R. for Andrew Crooke, and are to be sold at his
shop in Paul's Churchyard at the sign of the Green Dragon. 1641."--This
little tract is an exposition of Durie's idea, and a narrative sketch of
his exertions in its behalf from 1628 onwards.

"A Description of the famous Kingdom of MACARIA, shewing its excellent
Government, wherein the Inhabitants live in great prosperity, health, and
happiness; the King obeyed, the Nobles honoured, and all good men
respected; Vice punished, and Virtue rewarded: An example to other
nations. In a Dialogue between a Scholar and a Traveller. London 1641"
(4to. pp. 15).--There is a Dedication to Parliament, dated "25th October
1641," in which it is said that "Honourable Court will lay the
cornerstone of the world's happiness." The tract is an attempt at a
fiction, after the manner of "More's Utopia" and Bacon's "New Atlantis,"
shadowing forth the essentials of good government in the constitution of
the imaginary Kingdom of MACARIA (Happy-land, from the Greek makarios,
happy). The gist of the thing lies in the rather prosaic statement that
MACARIA has Five Councils or Departments of State: to wit, _Husbandry_,
_Fishery_, _Land-trade_, _Sea-trade_, and _New Plantations_.--Although
there is no author's name to the scrap, it is known to be Hartlib's; who,
indeed, continued to use the word MACARIA, half-seriously, half-
playfully, till the Restoration and beyond, as a pet name for his Ideal
Commonwealth of perfect institutions. [Footnote: See Worthington's Diary
edited by Crossley (L 163). Hartlib's original _Macaria_ is reprinted in
the Harleian Miscellany, Vol. I.]

In 1641 Hartlib was in correspondence with Alexander Henderson. The
reader already knows how "the Scottish business," or the King's
difficulty with the Scots, led to the calling of the Long Parliament, and
how for six or seven months (Nov. 1640-June 1641) that business
intertwined itself with the other proceedings of the Parliament, and
Henderson and the other Scottish Commissioners, lay and clerical, were in
London all that time, nominally looking after that business, but really
co-operating with Pym and the other Parliamentary leaders for the Reform
of both kingdoms, and much lionized by the Londoners accordingly (Vol.
II. pp. 189-192). Well, Hartlib, who found his way to everybody, found
his way to Henderson. lie probably saw a good deal of him, if not of the
other Scottish Commissioners; for, after Henderson had returned to
Scotland, at least three letters from Hartlib followed him thither. Here
is the beginning of the third: "Reverend and Loving Brother in Christ: I
hope my two former letters were safely delivered, wherein I gave you
notice of a purpose taken in hand here to make Notes upon the Bible. What
concurrence you think fit to give in such a work I leave to your own
piety to determine. Now I have some other thoughts to impart to you,
which lie as a burthen on my heart." The thoughts communicated to
Henderson are about the wretched state of the Palatinate, with its
Protestantism and its University of Heidelberg ruined by the Thirty
Years' War, and the "sweet-natured Prince Elector" in exile; but Hartlib
slips into Durie's idea, and urges theological correspondence of all
Protestant divines, in order to put an end to divisions. The letter,
which is signed "Your faithful friend and servant in Christ," is dated
"London, Octob. 1641." All this we know because Hartlib kept a copy of
the letter and printed it in 1643. "The copy of a Letter written to Mr.
Alexander Henderson: London, Printed in the yeare 1643," is the title of
the scrap, as I have seen it in the British Museum. Even so we should not
have known it to be Hartlib's, had not the invaluable Thomason written
"_By Mr. Hartlib_" on the title-page, appending "_Feb._ 6, 1642" (_i.e._
1642-3) as the date of the publication.

"A Reformation of Schooles, designed in two excellent Treatises: the
first whereof summarily sheweth the great necessity of a generall
Reformation of Common Learning, what grounds of hope there are for such a
Reformation, how it may be brought to passe. The second answers certaine
objections ordinarily made against such undertakings, arid describes the
severall parts and titles of workes which are shortly to follow. Written
many yeares agoe in Latine by that reverend, godly, learned, and famous
Divine, Mr. John Amos Comenius, one of the Seniours of the exiled Church
of Moravia; and now, upon the request of many, translated into English
and published by Samuel Hartlib for the general good of the Nation.
London: Printed for Michael Sparke, Senior, at the Blue Bible in Greene
Arbour: 1642" (small ito. pp. 94).--This is, in fact, a reproduction in
English of the views of Comenius in his Didactica Magna, &c. As I find it
registered in the books of the Stationers' Company "Jan. 12, 1641"
(_i.e._ 1641-2), it must have been out early in 1642.

These traces of Hartlib in the years 1641 and 1642 are significant, and
admit of some comment:--In the _Description_ _of the Kingdom of Macaria_,
I should say, Hartlib broke out for himself. He had all sorts of ideas as
to social and economic improvements, and he would communicate a little
specimen of these, respecting Husbandry, Fishery, and Commerce, to the
reforming Parliament. But he was still faithful to Durie and Comenius,
and three of his recovered utterances of 1641-2 are in behalf of them.
His _Brief Relation_ and his _Letter to Henderson_ refer to Durie and his
scheme of Protestant union. It is not impossible that Hartlib was moved
to these new utterances in the old subject by Durie's own presence in
London; for, as we have mentioned (Vol. II. p. 367), there is some
evidence that Durie, who had not been in London since 1633, came over on
a flying visit after the opening of the Long Parliament. It is a
coincidence, at least, that the publisher of Hartlib's _Brief Relation_
about Durie brought out, at the very same time, a book of Durie's own
tending in the same direction. [Footnote: "Mr. Dureus his Eleven
Treatises touching Ecclesiastical Peace amongst Protestants" is the title
of an entry by Mr. Crooke in the Stationers' Registers, of date Feb. 15,
1640.] Quite possibly, however, Durie may have still been abroad, and
Hartlib may have acted for him. In the other case there is no such doubt.
When, in Jan. 1641-2, Hartlib sent to the press his new compilation of
the views of Comenius under the title of _A Reformation of Schools_,
there was good reason for it. Comenius himself was at his elbow. The
great man had come to London.

Education, and especially University Education, was one of the subjects
that Parliament was anxious to take up. In the intellectual world of
England, quite apart from politics, there had for some time been a
tradition of dissatisfaction with the existing state of the Universities
and the great Public Schools. In especial, Bacon's complaints and
suggestions on this subject in the Second Book of his _De Augmentis_
had sunk into thoughtful minds. That the Universities, by persistence in
old and outworn methods, were not in full accord with the demands and
needs of the age; that their aims were too professional and particular,
and not sufficiently scientific and general; that the order of studies in
them was bad, and some of the studies barren; that there ought to be a
bold direction of their endowments and apparatus in the line of
experimental knowledge, so as to extract from Nature new secrets, and
sciences for which Humanity was panting; that, moreover, there ought to
be more of fraternity and correspondence among the Universities of
Europe, and some organization of their labours with a view to mutual
illumination and collective advance: [Footnote: "De Augmentis:" Bacon's
Works, I. 487 _et seq._, and Translation of same, III. 323 _et seq._
(Spedding's edition).] all these Verulamian speculations, first submitted
to King James, were lying hid here and there in English intellects, in
watch for an opportunity. Then, in a different way, the political crisis
had brought Oxford and Cambridge, but especially Oxford, under severe
revision. Had they not been the nurseries of Episcopacy, and of other
things and principles of which England was now declaring herself
impatient? All this, which was to be more felt after the Civil War had
begun and Oxford became the King's headquarters, was felt already in very
considerable degree during the two-and-twenty months of preliminary
struggle between the King and the Parliament (Nov. 1640-Aug. 1642). Why
not have a University in London? There was Gresham College in the city,
in existence since 1597, and doing not ill on its limited basis; there
was Chelsea College, founded by Dean Sutcliffe of Exeter in 1610, "to the
intent that learned men might there have maintenance to answer all the
adversaries of religion" but which, after a rickety infancy, and laughed
at by Laud as "Controversy College," had been lost in lawsuits: why not,
with inclusion or exclusion of these and other foundations, set up in
London a great University on the best modern principles, abolishing the
monopoly of Oxford and Cambridge?

Of these rumours, plans, or possibilities, due notice had been sent by
the zealous Hartlib to Comenius at Leszno. Ought not Comenius to be on
the spot? What had he been hoping for and praying for but a "Collegial
Society" somewhere in some European state to prepare the necessary
"Apparatus of Pammethodic Books" and so initiate his new system of
Universal Didactics, or again (to take the other and larger form of his
aspiration), a visible co-operation of kindred spirits throughout Europe
towards founding and building the great "Temple of Pansophia" or
"Universal Real Knowledge"? What if these Austro-Slavic dreams of his
should be realized on the banks of the Thames? People were very willing
thereabouts; circumstances were favourable; what was mainly wanted was
direction and the grasp of a master-spirit! Decidedly, Comenius ought to
come over.--All this we learn from Comenius himself, whose account of the
matter and of what followed had better now be quoted. "The _Pansophiæ
Prodromus_," he says, "having been published, and copies dispersed
through the various kingdoms of Europe, but many learned men who approved
of the sketch despairing of the full accomplishment of the work by one
man, and therefore advising the erection of a College of learned men for
this express business, in these circumstances the very person who had
been the means of giving the _Prodromus_ to the world, a man strenuous in
practically prosecuting things as far as he can, Mr. S. H. [_strenuus
rerum quâ datur [Greek: ergodioktæs], D. S. H._], devoted himself
laboriously to that scheme, so as to bring as many of the more forward
spirits into it as possible. And so it happened at length that, having
won over one and another, he, in the year 1641, prevailed on me also by
great entreaties to go to him. My people having consented to the journey,
I came to London on the very day of the autumnal equinox [Sept. 22,
1641], and there at last learnt that I had been invited by the order of
the Parliament. But, as the Parliament, the King having then gone to
Scotland [Aug. 10], was dismissed for a three months' recess [not quite
three months, but from Sept. 9 to Oct. 20], I was detained there through
the winter, my friends mustering what Pansophic apparatus they could,
though it was but slender. On which occasion there grew on my hands a
tractate with this title, _Via Lucis: Hoc Est, &c._. [The Way of Light]:
That is, A Reasonable Disquisition how the Intellectual Light of Souls,
namely Wisdom, may now at length, in this Evening of the World, be
happily diffused through all Minds and Peoples. This for the better
understanding of these words of the oracle in _Zachariah XIV._ 7, _It
shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light._ The
Parliament meanwhile having reassembled, and our presence being known, I
had orders to wait until they should have sufficient leisure from other
business to appoint a commission of learned and wise men from their body
for hearing us and considering the grounds of our design. They
communicate also beforehand their thoughts of assigning to us some
College with its revenues, whereby a certain number of learned and
illustrious men, called from all nations, might he honourably maintained,
either for a term of years or in perpetuity. There was even named for the
purpose _the Savoy_ in London; _Winchester College_ out of London was
named; and again, nearer the city, _Chelsea College_, inventories of
which and of its revenues were communicated to us; so that nothing seemed
more certain than that the design of the great Verulam, concerning the
opening somewhere of a Universal College, devoted to the advancement of
the Sciences, could be carried out. But the rumour of the Insurrection in
Ireland, and of the massacre in one night of more than 200,000 English
[Oct.-Nov.], and the sudden departure of the King from London [Jan. 10,
1641-2], and the plentiful signs of the bloody war about to break out,
disturbed these plans, and obliged me to hasten my return to my own
people. It happened, however, that letters came to me from Sweden, which
had been sent to Poland and thence forwarded to England, in which that
magnanimous and energetic man, Ludovicus de Geer, invited me to come to
him in Sweden, and offered immediate means of furthering my studies and
those of any two or three learned men I chose to associate with me.
Communicating this offer to my friends in London, I took my departure,
but not without protestations from them that I ought to let my services
be employed in nothing short of the Pansophic Design." [Footnote:
Autobiographic Introduction to the "Second Part" of the _Opera Didactica_
of Comenius (1657), containing his Didactic writings from 1642 to 1650.]
This is very interesting, and, I have no doubt, quite accurate.
[Footnote: I have not been able to find in the Lords or Commons Journals
for 1641 and 1642 any traces of those communications between Comenius and
the Parliament of which he speaks. There may be such, for the Indexes are
not perfect; and there is not the least reason to doubt the word of
Comenius.] And so, through the winter of 1641-2 and the spring of 1642,
we are to imagine Hartlib and Comenius going about London together,
Hartlib about forty years of age and Comenius about fifty, the younger
man delighted with his famous friend, introducing him to various people,
and showing him the chief sights (the law-chambers and house of the great
Verulam not omitted, surely), and all the while busy with Pansophic talk
and the details of the Pansophic College. We see now the reason of
Hartlib's publication in Jan. 1641-2 of Comenius's two treatises jointly
in a book called _A Reformation of Schools_. It was to help in the
business which had brought Comenius to London.

It was a great chagrin to Hartlib when the London plan came to an abrupt
end, and Comenius transferred himself to Sweden. Thither we must follow
him, for yet one other passage of his history before we leave him:--
"Conveyed to Sweden in August of the year 1642," proceeds Comenius, "I
found my new Mæcenas at his house at Nortcoping; and, having been kindly
received by him, I was, after some days of deliberation, sent to
Stockholm, to the most illustrious Oxenstiern, Chancellor of the Kingdom,
and Dr. Johannes Skyte, Chancellor of the University of Upsal. These two
exercised me in colloquy for four days; and chiefly the former, that
Eagle of the North (_Aquila Aquilonius_). He inquired into the
foundations of both my schemes, the Didactic and the Pansophic, so
searchingly that it was unlike anything that had been done before by any
of my learned critics. In the first two days he examined the Didactics,
with at length this conclusion: 'From an early age,' said he, 'I
perceived that our Method of Studies generally in use is a harsh and
crude one [_violentum quiddam_]; but where the thing stuck I could
not find out. At length, having been sent, by my King of glorious memory
[Gustavus Adolphus], as ambassador into Germany, I conversed on the
subject with various learned men. And, when I had heard that Wolfgang
Ratich was toiling at an amended Method, I had no rest of mind till I had
got that gentleman into my presence; who, however, instead of a talk on
the subject, offered me a big volume in quarto to read. I swallowed that
trouble; and, having turned over the whole book, I saw that he detected
not badly the maladies of our schools, but the remedies he proposed did
not seem sufficient. Yours, Mr. Comenius, rest on firmer foundations. Go
on with the work.' I answered that I had done all I could in those
matters, and must now go on to others. 'I know said he, 'that you are
toiling at greater affairs, for I have read your _Prodromus Pansophiæ_.
We will speak of that to-morrow: I must to public business now.' Next
day, beginning to examine, but with greater severity, my Pansophic
Attempts, he opened with this question, 'Are you a man, Mr. Comenius,
that can bear contradiction? [_Potesne contradicentem ferre_?]' 'I can,'
replied I, 'and therefore that _Prodromus_ or Preliminary Sketch was (not
by me either, but by friends) sent out first, that it might meet with
judgment and criticism. Which if we admit from all and sundry, why not
from men of mature wisdom and heroic reason?' He began, accordingly, to
discourse against the hope of a better state of things conceived as lying
in a rightly instituted study of Pansophia, first objecting political
reasons of deep import, and then the testimonies of the divine
Scriptures, which seem to foretell for the latter days of the world
rather darkness and a certain deterioration of things than light and
amended institutions. To all which he had such answers from me that he
closed with these words, 'Into no one's mind do I think such things have
come before. Stand upon these grounds of yours: either so shall we come
some time to agreement, or there will be no way at all left. My advice,
however, is (added he) that you proceed first to do a good stroke in the
School business, and to bring the study of the Latin tongue to a greater
facility, and so prepare a broader and clearer way for those bigger
matter.' The Chancellor of the University did not cease to urge the same;
and he suggested this as well: that, if I were unwilling to remove with
my family into Sweden, at all events I should come nearer to Sweden by
taking up my abode in Prussia, say in Elbing. As my Mæcenas, to whom I
returned at Nortcoping [Ludovicus de Geer], thought that both advices
ought to be acquiesced in, and earnestly begged me that nothing should be
done otherwise than had been advised, whether in respect of the place of
my abode, or of priority to be given to any other task, I agreed at
length, always with the hope that within a year or two there would be an
end of the hack-work."--In fact, Comenius went to Elbing in Prussia
(Hartlib's native place, as the reader may remember), to be supported
there by the generosity of Ludovicus de Geer, with subsidies perhaps from
Oxenstiern, and to labour on at a completion of his system of School
Education, with a view to its application to Sweden.--"But this good-
nature of mine in yielding to the Swedes vehemently displeased my English
friends; and they sought to draw me back from any bargain by a long
epistle, most full of reasons. 'A sufficient specimen,' they argued, 'had
been given in Didactics; the path of farther rectification in that
department was open enough: not yet so in Real Science. Others could act
in the former department, and everywhere there were rising up
Schoolmasters provoking each other to industry by mutual emulation;
whereas the foundations of Pansophia were not yet sufficiently laid bare.
Infinitely more profit would redound to the public from an explanation of
the ways of true Wisdom than from little trifles about Latin.' Much more
in the same strain; and S. H. [Samuel Hartlib] added, '_Quo, moriture,
ruis? minoraque viribus audes_?' in this poetical _solecism_ [Comenius
calls the hexameter a solecism, I suppose, on account of the false
quantity it contains in the word _minora_], reproaching my
inconsiderateness. Rejoiced by this recall into the road-royal, I sent
on this letter to Sweden; and, nothing doubting that they would come
round to the arguments there expressed, I gave myself up wholly to my
Pansophics, whether to continue in them, or that, at all events (if the
Swedish folk did wish me to dwell on in my Scholastics and it were my hap
to die in that drudgery), the foundations of Pansophia, of the
insufficient exposition of which I heard complaints, might be better dug
down into, so that they might no longer be ignored. But from Sweden the
answer that came was one ordering me to persevere in the proposal of
first finishing the Didactics; backed by saws to this effect: 'One would
rather the _better_, but the _earlier_ must be done first,' 'One doesn't
go from the bigger to the smaller, but _wicey warsey_,' and all the rest
of it. Nothing was left me but to obey, and plod on against my will in
the clay of logomachies for eight whole years. Fortunately this was not
till I had printed at Dantzic, in the year 1643, my already-made efforts
at a better detection of the foundations of Pansophia, under the title of
'_Pansophiæ Diatyposis Ichnographica et Orthographica_,' reprinted
immediately at Amsterdam and Paris." [Footnote: Introd. to Part II. of
_Opera Didactica_.]

Poor Comenius! He had a long life before him yet; but at this point we
must throw him off, shunted into his siding at Elbing, to plod there for
four years (1642-1646) at his Didactics, while he would fain have been
soaring among his Pansophics. [Footnote: Though, as he has told us, his
drudgery at the Didactics continued for _eight_ years in all, there
was a break of these eight years in 1646 when he returned to Sweden to
report proceedings to his employers.] Letters from his London friend,
Hartlib, would reach him frequently in Elbing, and would doubtless
encourage him in the humbler labour since he could not be at the higher.
For Hartlib himself, we find, also laid aside the Pansophics for a time,
seeing no hope for them in London without the presidency of Comenius, but
continued to interest himself in the Didactics. In fact, however, he was
never without interests of some kind or another. Thus, in Feb. 1642-3, or
when Comenius may have been about a year at Elbing, Hartlib was again at
the Durie business. "A Faithfull and Seasonable Advice, or the Necessity
of a Correspondence for the Advancement of the Protestant Cause: humbly
suggested to the Great Councill of England assembled in Parliament:
Printed by John Hammond, 1643," is the title of a new tract, of a few
pages, which we know to be Hartlib's. [Footnote: In the copy in the
King's Library, British Museum, there is the MS. note "Ex dono Authoris,
S. Hartlib" with the date "Feb. 6, 1642," (_i.e._ 1642-3).] Then, in
July 1643, the Westminster Assembly met; and what an accession of topics
of interest that brought to Hartlib may be easily imagined. There was the
excitement of _The Solemn League and Covenant_ (Aug.-Sept.), with
the arrival in London of the Scottish Commissioners, including Hartlib's
friend Henderson, to take part in the Assembly; there was the beginning
of the great debate between Independency and Presbyterianism; nay, in
Nov. 1643, Durie was himself appointed a member of the Assembly by the
Parliament (Vol. II. p. 517), and so drawn over from the Continent for a
long period of service and residence in England.

That Hartlib _was_ interested in all this, and led into new
positions and relationships by it, there is very varied proof.--For
example, he was one of the witnesses in Laud's trial, which began Nov.
13,1643, and straggled on through the rest of that year and the next. His
evidence was wanted by the prosecution in support of that one of the
charges against Laud which alleged that he had "endeavoured to cause
division and discord between the Church of England and other Reformed
Churches." In proof of this it was proposed to show that he had
discouraged and impeded Durie in his Conciliation scheme, on the ground
that the Calvinistic Churches were alien from the true faith, and that,
in particular, he had "caused letters-patent granted by the King for a
collection for the Palatinate ministers to be revoked after they had
passed the great seal"; and it was to the truth of both these statements
that Hartlib, with others, was required to testify. He was, as we know, a
most competent witness in that matter; and he gave his evidence duly,
though, as I should fancy, with no real ill-will to Laud. [Footnote: See
particulars in Prynne's _Canterburie's Doome_ (1646), pp.539-542.
Laud, in this part of his defence, names both Durie and Hartlib. He says
he did not discourage Durie, but rather encouraged him, as he could prove
by letters of Durie's which he had; to which the prosecution replied that
the contrary was notorious, and that Durie had "oft complained to his
friends" of Land's coldness.]--Now that Episcopacy was done with, and it
was to a Parliament and an Assembly mainly Presbyterian that England was
looking for a new system of Church-government, Hartlib's anxiety was, as
Durie's also was, to make the best of the new conditions, and to instil
into them as much of the Durie idea as possible. Might it not even be
that a Reformed Presbyterian Church of England would be a more effective
leader in a movement for the union of the Protestant Churches of Europe
than the Episcopal Church had been? This explains another short tract of
Hartlib's, put forth Nov. 9, 1644, and entitled, "The Necessity of some
nearer Conjunction and Correspondency amongst Evangelical Protestants,
for the Advancement of the National Cause, and bringing to passe the
effect of the Covenant." [Footnote: Though the tract, which consists of
but eight small quarto pages, is anonymous, it is verified as Hartlib's
by the inscription on the British Museum copy, "By Mr. Hartlib, Novemb.
9th." The tract itself bears only "London Printed 1644."]--Well, but how
did Hartlib stand in the great controversy between the Independents and
the Presbyterians? This too can be answered. As might be expected, he was
in sympathy with the Independents, in as far as their claim for a
Toleration was concerned. The reader will remember Edwards's famous
_Antapologia_, published in July 1644, in answer to the _Apologetical
Narration_ of the Five Independent Divines of the Assembly, and which all
the Presbyterian world welcomed as an absolutely crushing blow to
Independency and the Toleration principle. Here, then, is the title of a
smaller publication which that big one provoked: "A Short Letter modestly
entreating a Friend's judgment upon Mr. Edwards his Booke he calleth an
Anti-Apologia: with a large but modest Answer thereunto: London, Printed
according to order, 1644." Actually it was out on Sept. 14th, or about
two months after Edwards's book. The title exactly indicates the
structure of the publication. It consists of a short Letter and a longish
Reply to that Letter. The Letter begins, "Worthy Sir, I have heard of Mr.
Edwards's Anti-Apologeticall Book, as I needs must doe, for all the City
and Parliament rings with it," and it goes on to request from the person
addressed _his_ opinion of the hook. At the end of the letter we find the
writer's name "Sam Hartlib": and the dating "from my house in Duke's
Place in great haste, Aug. 5." And who was the friend addressed? He was a
Hezekiah Woodward, B.A. (Oxon.), preacher in or near Aldermanbury, about
fifty years of age, long a zealous Puritan, latterly a decided
Parliamentarian and champion of the Solemn League and Covenant, and
already known as an author by some Puritanic books, and one or two of a
pedagogic kind, referable to an earlier period of his life when he had
been a London schoolmaster. Hartlib had known him, he says in his letter,
for sixteen years, that is to say from his first coming to London in 1628
or 1629. It is this long friendship that justifies him in asking
Woodward's opinion of Edwards's book. The opinion is given in a reply to
Hartlib, signed "Hezekiah Woodward," and dated "from my house in
Aldermanbury, 13 Aug. 1644"; and it is, as far as I remember, quite
against Edwards, and a real, though hazy and perplexed, reasoning for
Toleration.[Footnote: The publication was duly registered, and has a long
appended _Imprimatur_ by Joseph Caryl; and the exact date of the
publication (Sept 14) is from a MS. note in the British Museum copy, For
a sketch of Woodward and a list of his writings see Wood, Ath. III, 1034-


It had been Hartlib's chance, he himself tells us, to be "familiarly
acquainted with the best of Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, Viscounts,
Barons, Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen, ministers, Professors of both
Universities, Merchants, and all sorts of learned or in any kind useful
men." This he wrote at a considerably later date in his life; [Footnote:
In Aug. 1660, See Letter in Dircks's Memoir, p. 4.] but, from what we
have already seen, we may vote it substantially true even in 1644. In
that year, we know for certain, the circle of Hartlib's friends included

The acquaintanceship may have begun some years before that. It may have
begun in 1639 when Milton, on his return from abroad, took lodgings in
St. Bride's Churchyard, or in 1640, when he first set up house in
Aldersgate Street. At all events, when Milton's Anti-Episcopal pamphlets
of the next two years made him a public man, he is not likely to have
escaped the cognisance of Hartlib. I should not wonder if Milton were one
of those "more forward spirits" whom Hartlib wanted to enlist in the
great scheme of a Pansophic University of London to be organized by
Comenius, and whom he tried to bring round Comenius personally during the
stay of that theorist in London in 1641-2, when the experiment of some
such University was really in contemplation by friends in Parliament, and
Chelsea had been almost fixed on as the site. But, if so, I rather guess,
for reasons which will appear, that Milton gave the whole scheme the cold
shoulder, and did not take to the great Comenius. Quite possibly,
however, it was not till Comenius was gone, and was fixed down at Elbing
in Prussia, that there was any intimacy between Milton and Hartlib. It
may have come about after Milton had been deserted by his wife in July
1643, and when a few pupils, besides the two nephews he had till then had
charge of, were received into his wifeless household. Would not this in
itself be an attraction to Hartlib? Was not Milton pursuing a new method
with his pupils, between which and the method of Comenius there were
points in common? Might not Comenius himself, in his retirement at
Elbing, be interested in hearing of an eminent English scholar and poet
who had views about a Reform of Education akin to his own?

This is very much fancy, but it is the exact kind of fancy that fits the
certainty. That certainty is that, before the middle of 1644, Milton and
Hartlib were well acquainted with each other, had met pretty frequently
at Milton's house in Aldersgate Street, or at Hartlib's in Duke's Place,
and had conversed freely on many subjects, and especially on that of
Education. Nay more, Hartlib, trying to indoctrinate Milton with the
Comenian views on this subject, had found that Milton had already certain
most positive views of his own upon it, in some things agreeing with the
Comenian, but in others vigorously differing. Hence, after various
colloquies, he had made a request to Milton. Would he put a sketch of his
views upon paper--no elaborate treatise, but merely a sketch, such as one
could read in half-an-hour or so, and, if permitted, show to a friend, or
print for more general use? Urged more and more pressingly, Milton
complied; and the result was the appearance, on June 5, 1644, on some
booksellers' counters, of a thin little quarto tract, of eight pages in
rather small type, with no author's name, and no title-page at all, but
simply this heading atop of the text on the first page, "OF EDUCATION: TO
MASTER SAMUEL HARTLIB." The publication had been duly registered, and the
publisher was the same Thomas Underhill, of Wood Street, who had
published Milton's first three Anti-Episcopal pamphlets. The inference is
that the thing was printed by Milton himself, and not by Hartlib. It
would be handier for Hartlib to have it in print than in manuscript.
[Footnote: "June 4, 1644: Tho. Underhill entered for his copy under the
hands of Mr. Cranford [the licenser] and Mr. Man, warden, a little tract
touching Education of Youth," is the entry in the Stationers' books;
without which we should not have known the publisher's name. The date of
the publication is fixed, and the fact that the authorship was known at
the time is proved, by this MS. note of Thomason on the copy among the
King's Pamphlets in the British Museum (Press mark  12. F. e. 12./160)
"By Mr. John Milton: 5 June, 1644."--Milton reprinted the tract in 1673,
at the end of the second edition of his Minor Poems, with the words
"Written above twenty years since" added to the original title.]

Hartlib must have been pleased, and yet not altogether pleased, with the
opening of the Tract. Here it is:--


"I am long since persuaded that to say or do aught worth memory and
imitation no purpose or respect should sooner move us than simply the
love of God and of Mankind. Nevertheless, to write now the Reforming of
Education, though it be one of the greatest and noblest designs that can
be thought on, and for the want whereof this Nation perishes, I had not
yet at this time been induced, but by your earnest entreaties and serious
conjurements; as having my mind for the present half diverted in the
pursuance of some other assertions, the knowledge and the use of which
cannot but be a great furtherance both to the enlargement of Truth and
honest living with much more peace. [Footnote: This passage, the wording
of which clearly implies that Milton was prosecuting his Divorce
speculation, with whatever else in addition, sets aside a hypothesis
(which may have occurred to the reader as well as to myself) that the
Tract on Education, though not published till June 1644, may have been
written, and in Hartlib's hands, as early as 1641-2, when Comenius was in
London. The hypothesis, which might have been otherwise plausible, will
not accord with the particular words of the tract now presented; and the
conclusion is that, whether Milton knew Hartlib or not as early as 1641-
2, when Comenius was with him, the tract was not written till shortly
before its publication in June 1644, when Comenius had been two years in
Elbing.] Nor should the laws of any private friendship have prevailed
with me to divide thus, or to transpose, my former thoughts, but that I
see those aims, those actions, which have won you with me the esteem of a
person sent hither by some good providence from a far country to be the
occasion and the incitement of great good to this Island. And, as I hear,
you have obtained the same repute with men of most approved wisdom, and
some of highest authority among us; not to mention the learned
correspondence which you hold in foreign parts, and the extraordinary
pains and diligence which you have used in this matter both here and
beyond the seas, either by the definite will of God so ruling, or the
peculiar sway of nature, which also is God's working, Neither can I think
that, so reputed and so valued as you are, you would, to the forfeit of
your own discerning ability, impose upon me an unfit and over-ponderous
argument, but that the satisfaction which you profess to have received
from those incidental discourses which we have wandered into hath
pressed, and almost constrained, you into a persuasion that what you
require from me in this point I neither ought nor can in conscience defer
beyond this time, both of so much need at once and of so much opportunity
to try what God hath determined. I will not resist, therefore, whatever
it is either of divine or human obligement that you lay upon me; but will
forthwith set down in writing, as you request me, that voluntary Idea
which hath long in silence presented itself to me of a better Education,
in extent and comprehension far more large, and yet of time far shorter
and of attainment far more certain, than hath been yet in practice. Brief
I shall endeavour to be; for that which I have to say assuredly this
Nation hath extreme need should be _done_ sooner than _spoken_.
To tell you, therefore, what I have benefited herein among old renowned
authors, I shall spare; and to search what many modern JANUAS and
DIDACTICS, more than ever I shall read, have projected, my inclination
leads me not. But, if you can accept of these few observations, which
have flowered off, and are as it were the burnishing of, many studious
and contemplative years altogether spent in the search of religious and
civil knowledge, and such as pleased you so well in the relating, I here
give you them to dispose of."

What must have pleased Hartlib in this was the tone of respectful
compliment to himself; what may have pleased him less was the slighting
way in which Comenius is passed over. "To search what many modern JANUAS
and DIDACTICS, more than ever I shall read, have projected, my
inclination leads me not," says Milton, quoting in brief the titles of
the two best-known works of Comenius. It is as if he had said, "I know
your enthusiasm for your Pansophic friend; but I have not read his books
on Education, and do not mean to do so." This was barely polite;
[Footnote: The manner of the allusion to Comenius rather forbids the idea
that Milton had met him during his London visit. Like most high-natured
men,  Milton had a kindly side to the merits of those whom he personally
knew.] but Hartlib was a man of sense: and he would be glad, in reading
on, to find that, with whatever independence Milton had formed his views,
not even Comenius had outgone him in denunciations of the existing system
of Education. Thus:--

"Seeing every nation affords not experience and tradition enough for all
kind of learning, therefore we are taught chiefly the languages of those
people who have at any time been most industrious after wisdom; so that
Language is but the instrument conveying to us Things worthy to be known.
And, though a linguist should pride himself to have all the tongues that
Babel cleft the world into, yet, if he have not studied the solid things
in them as well as the words and Lexicons, he were nothing so much to be
esteemed a learned man as any yeoman or tradesman competently wise in his
mother-dialect only. Hence appear the many mistakes which have made
Learning generally so unpleasing and so unsuccessful. First, we do amiss
to spend seven or eight years merely in scraping together so much
miserable Latin and Greek as might be learnt otherwise easily and
delightfully in one year. And that which casts our proficiency therein so
much behind is our time lost, partly in too oft idle vacancies given both
to Schools and Universities, partly in a preposterous exaction, forcing
the empty wits of children to compose themes, verses, and orations, which
are the acts of ripest judgment, and the final work of a head filled, by
long reading and observing, with elegant maxims and copious invention.
These are not matters to be wrung from poor striplings, like blood out of
the nose, or the plucking of untimely fruit: besides the ill habit which
they get of wretched barbarizing against the Latin and Greek idiom with
their untutored Anglicisms, odious to read, yet not to be avoided without
a well-continued and judicious conversing among pure authors digested,
which they scarce taste; whereas, if, after some preparatory grounds of
speech by their certain forms got into memory, they were led to the
praxis thereof in some chosen short book lessoned thoroughly to them,
they might then forthwith proceed to learn the substance of good Things
and Arts in due order, which would bring the whole language quickly into
their power. This I take to be the most rational and most profitable way
of learning _Languages_, and whereby we may best hope to give
account to God of our youth spent herein. And, for the usual method of
teaching _Arts_, I deem it to be an old error of Universities, not
yet well recovered from the scholastic grossness of barbarous ages, that,
instead of beginning with Arts most easy (and these be such as are most
obvious to the sense), they present their young unmatriculated novices at
first coming with the most intellective abstractions of Logic and
Metaphysics; so that they, having but newly left those grammatic flats
and shallows where they stuck unreasonably to learn a few words with
lamentable construction, and now on the sudden transported under another
climate to be tossed and turmoiled with their unballasted wits in
fathomless and unquiet deeps of controversy, do for the most part grow
into hatred and contempt of Learning, mocked and deluded ail the while
with ragged notions and babblements, while they expected worthy and
delightful knowledge; till poverty or youthful years call them
importunately their several ways, and hasten them, with the sway of
friends, either to an ambitious and mercenary or ignorantly zealous
Divinity: some allured to the trade of Law, grounding their purposes not
on the prudent and heavenly contemplation of justice and equity, which
was never taught them, but on promising and pleasing thoughts of
litigious terms, fat contentions and flowing fees. Others betake
themselves to State affairs, with souls so unprincipled in virtue and
true generous breeding that flattery and court-shifts and tyrannous
aphorisms appear to them the highest points of wisdom; instilling their
barren hearts with a conscientious slavery, if (as I rather think) it be
not feigned. Others, lastly, of a more delicious and airy spirit, retire
themselves, knowing no better, to the enjoyments of ease and luxury,
living out their days in feasts and jollity; which indeed is the wisest
and the safest course of all these, unless they were with more integrity
undertaken. And these are the errors, and these are the fruits of mis-
spending our prime youth at the Schools and Universities as we do, either
in learning mere Words, or such Things chiefly as were better unlearnt."

Having thus denounced the existing system of Schools and Universities,
Milton goes on to explain what he would substitute. As he poetically
expresses it, he will detain his readers no longer in the wretched survey
of things as they are, but will conduct them to a hill-side where he will
point out to them "the right path of a virtuous and noble education,
laborious indeed at the first ascent, but else so smooth, so green, so
full of goodly prospect and melodious sounds on every side, that the Harp
of Orpheus was not more charming." The rest of the tract is a redemption
of this promise. To represent it by mere continued quotation would be of
small use, and is perhaps unnecessary. We will, therefore, try a stricter

Milton does not formally concern himself in this tract with the complete
problem of National Education. In this respect the passion and the
projects of Comenius were a world wider than Milton's. Comenius aimed at,
and passionately dreamt of, a system of Education that should, in every
country where it was established, comprehend all born in that country, of
both sexes, and of every rank or class, and take charge of them from
their merest infancy on as far as they could go, from the first or
Mother's School through the subsequent routine of the Public Vernacular
School, the Latin School or _Ludus Literarius_, and the University.
This last stage of the complete routine might extend to the twenty-fourth
or twenty-fifth year of life; and, though few could proceed to that
stage, and the majority must, from sheer social necessity, drop off in
the earlier stages, yet all were to be carried through the stage of the
Vernacular Public School, and progress beyond that, where possible, was
not to be denied to girls any more than to boys. Compared with this, what
Milton contemplates, or at least discusses, is but an important fragment
struck off from the total mass. True, he gives a tolerably broad
definition of Education at the outset. "I call therefore a complete and
generous Education," he says, "that which fits a man to perform, justly,
skilfully, and magnanimously, all the offices, both private and public,
of Peace and War." This definition, if meant as verbally perfect, would
not have been satisfactory to Comenius, whose express notion of
Education, as we know, was that it included preparation for the life to
come as well as for that which now is. But, if he had known Milton, he
might have let the omission pass as certainly and most solemnly implied,
and might even have liked, for the sake of effect, the practical and
straightforward utilitarianism of the definition. But then, when Milton's
precise phrasing of the definition was examined, one could not but guess
limits in his mind. "That which fits a _man_ to perform" are the
words of the definition; and to perform what? "All the offices, both
private and public, of _Peace and War_," are the words that follow.
And, as one reads on, the conjecture suggested by this phrasing is
confirmed. By _man_ Milton did not mean _Homo_, but _Vir_. When he framed
his definition of Education, only one of the sexes was present to his
mind; and throughout the whole tract, from first to last, there is not a
single recognition of girl, woman, or anything in female shape, as coming
within the scheme proposed. But more than that. Not only is it the
education of one sex only that Is discussed in the tract, but it is the
education only of a portion of that sex, and of that portion only at a
particular period of life. There is nothing about the Infant Education,
or what we should now call the Primary Education, of male children; and
there is nothing about ways and means for the secondary or higher
education of any others than those whose parents could pay for such
education out of their own resources. In short, the tract is a proposal
of a new method for the education of English gentlemen's sons between the
ages of twelve and twenty-one. It is this, and nothing more, except in so
far as hints in the general philosophy of education may be implied in the
particular exposition. Milton himself was careful, ere the close of the
tract, to avow that he had so restricted himself. It was a "general
view," he said, such as Mr. Hartlib had desired, and meant also "for
light and direction" to "such as have the worth in them to make trial,"
but "not beginning as some have done [_e.g._ Comenius] at the cradle,
which might yet be worth many considerations," and omitting also "many
other circumstances" that might have been mentioned had not brevity been
the scope. All this it is necessary to remember in justice to the tract.
It is a tract on the education of gentlemen's sons, or of such boys and
youths as had hitherto been accustomed to go to the English Public
Schools and Universities.

Within his avowed limits, Milton is very like himself, _i.e._ very
grand and very bold. At the first start, for example, he tells us that he
would abolish Universities altogether, or roll Public Schools and
Universities into one. Here is his recipe: "First to find out a spacious
house and ground about it fit for an ACADEMY, and big enough to lodge 150
persons (whereof 20 or thereabout maybe attendants), all under the
government of one who shall be thought of desert sufficient, and ability
either to do all or wisely to direct and oversee it done. This place
should be at once both School and University, not needing a remove to any
other house of Scholarship, except it be some peculiar College of Law or
Physic, where they mean to be practitioners; but, as for those general
studies which take up all our time from Lilly to the commencing (as they
term it) Master of Art, it should be absolute. After this pattern, as
many edifices may be converted to this use as shall be needful in every
city throughout this land; which would tend much to the increase of
learning and civility everywhere." Milton clearly did not like the
deputation of all the higher education of England to two seats of
learning, like Oxford and Cambridge, but wanted his Academies to be
distributed all over England, in numbers proportionate to the population,
and chiefly in cities.

He takes one of these imagined Academies as a model, and shows how it
might be conducted. He divides the subject into the three heads of
STUDIES, EXERCISES AND AMUSEMENTS, and DIET. On this last, however, he is
extremely brief. "For their Diet there cannot be much to say, save only
that it would be best in the same house; for much time else would be lost
abroad, and many ill habits got; and that it should be plain, healthful,
and moderate, I suppose is out of controversy:" _i.e._ Milton would
prefer that all the pupils should be boarded in the Academy, and have
their meals there at a common table. It is to the Studies and the
Exercises and Amusements that most space is devoted.

I. THE STUDIES:--Here Milton appears decidedly as an innovator, but yet
with a curious mixture of what would now be called rank Conservatism. The
innovation consists in a total departure from the use and wont of his
time, in respect of the nature of the studies to be pursued and the order
in which they should be taken. There was to be an end of that wretched
torture of Latin and Greek theme-making and versifying, and that dreary
toiling amid obsolete subtleties of scholastic Logic and Metaphysics,
which he had denounced in a previous passage, and which had made
University Education, he says, nothing better than "an asinine feast of
sow-thistles and brambles." Instead of these he would have studies useful
in themselves and delightful to ingenuous young minds. Things rather than
Words; the Facts of Nature and of Life; Real Science of every possible
kind: this, together with a persistent training in virtuous and noble
sentiment, and a final finish of the highest literary culture, was to
compose the new Education. Here Milton and Comenius are very much at one;
here Milton and the modern advocates of the Real or Physical Sciences in
Education are very much at one. Given a lofty and varied idea of utility,
no man has ever been more strenuously utilitarian than Milton was in this
tract. The very novelty of the scheme it proposed consisted in the
proclamation of utility as the test of the studies to be pursued and as
ruling the order in which they should come.--What, then, was that "rank
conservatism," as some might call it now, which accompanied the novelty?
It was that the medium of liberal education should still be mainly Latin
and Greek. A sentence in one of the passages of the tract already quoted
has prepared us for this. Language, Milton had there admitted, is
valuable in education only as an instrument of real knowledge, a vehicle
of "things worthy to be known." But then all languages were not equally
fitted for this function, inasmuch as every people could put into its
language only what it had in its head or heart, and so different
languages had come down freighted with very different weights and worths
of matter. Now, what were the languages pointed out by this principle as
apt for the purposes of education? They were Greek, Latin, and Italian,
with (on religious grounds) Hebrew and one or two of its cognates. These
were the tongues to be taught, and to be taught in, and mainly, of these,
Latin and Greek. Of English there is not one word. This may partly be
accounted for. The acquisition of useful information in all kinds of
subjects was to be a great part of the education in each of the proposed
Miltonic Academies; and at that time information on all kinds of subjects
was locked up chiefly in Latin and Greek books. All modern or mediaeval
books of information, all the standard text-books in the Sciences and
Arts, that had been written by Englishmen themselves or by Continentals,
were in the common Latin; the library of such books, original or
translated, in the vernacular was yet but scanty. One could not be
_learned_ by means of English alone. Well, but Milton recognised a
culture of the feelings, the imagination, the sense of art and nobleness,
as also something needed in education, and to be helped by books; and in
this respect, if not in the other, were there not available materials and
means in the native English Literature? That Literature contained, at all
events, the poetry of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and not a few
others, rated more or less highly by Milton himself. That Milton did not,
on this account, include some teaching and reading of the vernacular in
the curriculum of his Academy, may have arisen from the fact that the
best in English Literature was then all recent, and of such small bulk
collectively that acquaintance with it might be expected as a matter of
mere chance and delicious odd hours in window-corners. Here he but
followed the custom. All Public or Grammar Schools were Latin and Greek
Schools: English at that stage was, by common consent, to shift for
itself. And yet there were dissentients from the custom, and advocates of
the claims of the vernacular. Comenius, as we have seen, had blown a
blast on the subject for all lands; and in Milton's own school of St.
Paul's there had been a rather remarkable tradition of English. Not only
had the elder Gill, the Head-master of the school in Milton's time, been
a purist in English, and an inventor of new methods for teaching in and
through English (see Vol. I. pp. 60-64), but Gill's predecessor in the
school, Mulcaster, had pleaded for English. "Is it not a marvellous
bondage," he had written as early as 1582, "to become servants to one
tongue, for learning's sake, the most part of our time, whereas we may
have the very same treasure in our own tongue with the gain of most time:
our own bearing the joyful title of our liberty and freedom; the Latin
tongue remembering us of our thraldom and bondage? I love Rome, but
London better; I favour Italy, but England more; I honour the Latin, but
I worship the English." [Footnote: Richard Mulcaster's "First Part of the
Elementarie; which entreateth chiefelie of the Right Writing of our
English Ton.," (1582). My quotation, however, is not directly from the
book itself, but from an extract in the Appendix to Mr. Quick's "Essays
on Educational Reformers" (1868), pp. 301-2.] After this and the
tradition of English in St. Paul's, Milton's total omission of English
from the curriculum of his Academy is rather remarkable. There are proofs
that, when he wrote his Tract on Education, he had settled in a lower
estimate of the worth of all the previous English Literature than is
common now, and that he thought the greatness of English still to come.
This may have had something to do with the omission. Possibly, however,
he reserved a large daily use of English in his Academy which does not
appear in the programme.

What does appear in the programme is that the curriculum of eight years
or so was to be arranged, not rigidly but in a general way, in four
classes or stages, thus:--

(1) _First Class or Stage_ (ætat. l2-l3?):--The business here was to
be Latin, Arithmetic, and Elementary Geometry. The Latin rudiments and
rules were to be learnt from "some good Grammar, either that now used
[Lilly's], or any better," and the Italian or Continental mode of
pronouncing Latin, instead of the customary English, was to be carefully
taught from the first; but as to the first reading-books to be used along
with the Grammar, or any method for simplifying and accelerating entrance
into Latin, whether that of Comenius or any other, there is no hint as
yet. Neither is there any hint as to the manner of learning Arithmetic
and the Elements of Geometry, save that the latter might be picked up
"even playing, as the old manner was." On another part of the training of
this First Class, however, Milton is more specific. Most especially at
this stage, the boys were to be inured to noble and hardy sentiments and
a sense of the importance of the education they were beginning; they were
to be "inflamed with the study of Learning and the admiration of Virtue";
nay, they were to be "stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave
men and worthy patriots, dear to God, and famous to all ages." This might
be done by reading to them aloud, from Greek or Latin, "some easy and
delightful Book of Education" not yet accessible to themselves. "CEBES,
[Footnote: The Pinax (Table) of CEBES of Thebes, a disciple of Socrates.
"This Pinax is a philosophical explanation of a table on which the whole
of human life, with its dangers and temptations, was symbolically
represented, and which is said to have been dedicated by some one to the
temple of Cronos at Athens or Thebes. The author introduces some youths
contemplating the table, and an old man who steps among them undertakes
to explain its meaning. The whole drift of the book is to show that only
the proper development of the mind and possession of real virtues can
make us truly happy" (Dr. L. Schmitz in Smith's Dict. of Greek and Roman
Biog.: Art. _Cebes_.) There were in Milton's time Latin translations
of Cebes, and at least one in English.] PLUTARCH, [Footnote: This must be
some such portion of PLUTARCH'S "Moral Works" as that relating to
Pedagogy. An English translation of the "Morals," by Philemon Holland,
had been published in 1603.] and other Socratic Discourses," are
mentioned as fit for the purpose in Greek; and, in Latin, "the two or
three first Books of QUINTILIAN." [Footnote: I do not find in Lowndes any
early English translation of QUINTILIAN'S "Institutes." The first two or
three Books of this work are an excellent dissertation on the importance
of Education and survey of what it ought to include; and it gives us an
idea of Milton's purpose that he wanted them to be read to pupils at the
outset. He wanted to fire them with high notions of that business of
education on which they were entering.] Most, however, would depend on
the explanations and precepts of the master himself at every opportunity,
and on the influence of his own example, "infusing into their young
breasts such an ingenuous and noble ardour as would not fail to make many
of them renowned and matchless men." Always, too, at evening, there was
to be Religious teaching and reading of the Bible.

(2) _Second Class or Stage_ (_ætat_. 13-16?):--This stage, it
must be presumed, was to be considerably longer than the first; for its
business was to consist in Latin continued, with Greek added, and in the
acquisition through these tongues, and otherwise, of a knowledge of all
the useful Sciences and Arts. Here, indeed, Milton's utilitarian bent,
his determination to substitute a pabulum of real knowledge for the
studies then customary in schools, asserts itself most conspicuously.
Here it is that he approaches most to Comenius in the substance, though
with a difference in the manner. For what were the books he would
exercise his pupils on at this stage, _i.e._ as soon as they had got
through the Latin Grammar, and could make out a bit of Latin? First,
CATO, VARRO, and COLUMELLA, the three Latin writers on Agriculture.
[Footnote: CATO is the famous "Cato the Censor" of Roman history, or M.
Porcius Cato (B.C. 231-141), among whose preserved writing, is an
agricultural treatise, _De Re Rustica_; VARRO is M. Terentius Varro
(B.C. 116-28), reputed the most learned of all the Romans, and among
whose various works is also one _De Re Rustica_; COLUMELLA, the
author of a systematic work on Agriculture, in twelve Books, lived in the
first century of the Christian era. I do not know that there were any
English translations of these Latin works on Agriculture in Milton's
time.] If the language of these unusual authors was difficult for the
pupils, "so much the better; it is not a difficulty beyond their years."
They would, at all events, find the matter useful and interesting, and
might, by these readings, and due modern comments, be "incited and
enabled" for the great work of "improving the tillage of their country"
when they should grow to be men. Hartlib, we may be sure, would like this
on its own account; but Milton had an additional reason for it. The
pupils, after having read these writers, would have a good grasp of the
Latin vocabulary, and would be masters of any ordinary Latin prose. They
might then, therefore, learn Geography, with "the use of the Globes and
all the Maps," through any good modern (Latin) treatise on that subject,
and also the elements of "Natural Philosophy" in the same way. Milton
does not specify any manual on either subject. But, about this time, he
says, the pupils would be learning Greek. This they would do "after the
same manner as was before prescribed in the Latin; whereby, the
difficulties of Grammar being soon overcome, all the historical
Physiology of ARISTOTLE and THEOPHRASTUS are open before them, and, as I
may say, under contribution." In other words, the first Greek readings of
the pupils would be in such works of Aristotle as his "History of
Animals," his "Meteorology," and parts of his general "Physics," and in
the "History of Plants" of Aristotle's disciple, Theophrastus; [Footnote:
Lowndes mentions no English translations of ARISTOTLE or THEOPHRASTUS as
early as Milton's time.] and the purpose of such readings would be to
enlarge their knowledge of the Physical Sciences at the same time that
they were breaking themselves into Greek. But now, Latin being thoroughly
in their possession, they might be ranging at large, in quest of the same
and analogous kinds of information, in VITRUVIUS (Architecture), SENECA's
"Natural Questions," MELA (Geography), CELSUS (Medicine), PLINY (Natural
History), and SOLINUS (Natural History and Geography). [Footnote:
VITRUVIUS and CELSUS do not seem to have been translated into English so
early as Milton's time; but there were translations of all the others.
The works of SENECA, both Moral and Natural, had been "done into English"
by Thomas Lodge (1614); PLINY'S "Natural Historie of the World,"
translated by Philemon Holland, Doctor of Physic (1601), was a well-known
book; and MELA and SOLINUS had been made accessible together in "The rare
and singular work of Pomponius Mela, that excellent and worthy
Cosmographer of the Situation of the World, most orderly prepared, and
divided every parte by it selfe; with the Longitude and Latitude of
everie kingdome, &c.; whereunto is added that learned worke of Julius
Solinus _Polyhistor_, with a necessarie table for this Booke, right
pleasant and profitable for Gentlemen, Merchants, Mariners, and
Travellers, Translated into Englyshe by Arthur Golding, gent." (1585-7.)]
What next? Why, "having thus passed the principles of Arithmetic,
Geometry, Astronomy, and Geography, with a general compact of Physics,
they may descend, in Mathematics, to the instrumental science of
Trigonometry, and from thence to Fortification, Architecture, Enginry, or
Navigation; and, in Natural Philosophy, they may proceed leisurely from
the History of Meteors, Minerals, Plants, and Living Creatures, as far as
Anatomy. Then also in course might be read to them out of some not
tedious writer the Institution of Physic; that they may know the tempers,
the humours, the seasons, and how to manage a crudity." Text-books are
not mentioned here; and, though some must have been in view for such
subjects as Trigonometry, Fortification, Engineering, and Navigation, yet
it is clear, from Milton's language, that he meant a good deal of the
miscellaneous instruction to be by lectures and digests of books by the
teacher. Nay, there were to be more than lectures. "To set forward all
these proceedings in Nature and Mathematics, what hinders but that they
may procure, as oft as shall be needful, the helpful experiences of
Hunters, Fowlers, Fishermen, Shepherds, Gardeners, Apothecaries, and, in
the other sciences, Architects, Engineers, Mariners, Anatomists; who,
doubtless, would be ready, some for reward, and some to favour such a
hopeful Seminary." Hartlib must here have rejoiced again. But there comes
in a Miltonic touch at the end. Hitherto he has debarred the pupils of
his Academy, it will have been noticed, from all the ordinary classics
read in schools. But, just about the end of this, the second stage of
their studies, devoted to the Real or Physical Sciences and their
applications, he would admit them to such classic readings as would
impart a poetic colouring to the knowledge so acquired. In Greek, they
and DIONYSIUS, and in Latin to LUCRETIUS, MANILIUS, and the Georgics of
VIRGIL. [Footnote: Of the ORPHIC POEMS Milton must here have intended
those relating to Nature and her phenomena. Of the "Works and Days" or
"Georgics" of HESIOD, there had been an English translation by George
Chapman (1618); and at least some of the Idylls of THEOCRITUS had been in
English since 1588. The _Phnomena_ and _Diosemeia_ of Aratus
(circ. B.C. 270) were, as we know, a favourite book with Milton, and he
had had a copy of the Paris edition of 1559 in his possession since 1631
(see Vol. I. p. 234, Note), with MS. notes of his own in the margin. In
looking at the specimens of these MS. notes facsimiled by the late Mr.
Leigh Sotheby in his Milton _Ramblings_ from the original book, now in
the British Museum, I can see, by my test of the shaping of the letter e
(Vol. II. p. 121, Note), that, while some of the notes were written
before the journey to Italy, or between 1631 and 1638, others were
written after the return from Italy, _i. e._ after 1639. This proves that
Milton kept using the book in his manhood. There was, I think, then no
English translation of it. Neither was there a translation of the
_Theriaca_ and _Alexipharmaka_ (Poems on Venomous Animals and Poisons) of
the Greek NICANDER (circ. B.C. 150); nor of the _Halieutics_ and
_Kynegetics_ (Poems on Fishing and Hunting) of OPPIAN (circ. A.D. 210).
There was, however, as early as 1572, an English translation "by Thomas
Irvine, gentl." of the _Periegetes_ or Geographical Poem of DIONYSIUS
AFER (third century after Christ). Of the Latin Poems mentioned--
LUCRETIUS _De Rerum Natura_, the _Astronomica_ of MANILIUS, and the
Georgics of VIRGIL--only the last had been Englished as yet. They had
been Englished in 1589 by an Abraham Fleming, and in 1628 by Thomas May.]

Some of these books which were "counted most hard" would be, in the
circumstances, facile and pleasant.

(3) _Third Class or Stage_ (_ætat_. 16-19?):--The work of this
stage was also to be very composite. It was to embrace Ethics, Economics,
Politics, Jurisprudence, Theology, Church History and General History,
together with Italian, Hebrew, and possibly Chaldee and Syriac, varied
throughout by such carefully-arranged readings in Latin and Greek
classics as would harmonize with those studies while they relieved them.
For by this stage the reason of the pupils would have been so far matured
that they might pass from the Physical to the Moral Sciences. For Ethics,
they might be led "through all the Moral Works of PLATO, XENOPHON,
was then no complete English translation of PLATO, but individual
Dialogues had been translated, and he had been accessible complete in
Latin since 1484. The _Cyropædia_ of XENOPHON had been twice translated
into English, the second translation (1632) being by Philemon Holland;
but Lowndes mentions no translation yet of the _Memorabilia_. The _De
Officiis_ of CICERO had been translated again and again, and others of
his writings. The Morals of PLUTARCH, as we have already seen, were
accessible in English. The book on the History of Philosophy by the Greek
DIOGENES LAERTIUS was not yet in English, but a Latin translation was
extant. By the LOCRIAN REMNANTS seem to be meant reputed remains of those
LOCRIAN philosophers from whom PLATO had derived instruction.] but still
to be reduced, in their nightward studies wherewith they close the day's
work, under the determinate sentence of DAVID or SOLOMON, or the EVANGELS
and APOSTOLIC SCRIPTURES." For Economics and Politics, to follow the
Ethics, no books are named; but the Greek and Latin books in view may be
guessed. In Jurisprudence, which was to come next, they would find the
substance "delivered first, and with best warrant, by MOSES"; and then,
"as far as human prudence can be trusted, in those extolled remains of
Grecian Lawgivers, LYCURGUS, SOLON, ZALEUCUS, CHARONDAS, and thence to
all the Roman Edicts and Tables, with their JUSTINIAN, and so down to the
this in other words, Milton, to ground his English students in the
Science of Law, would have begun first with the MOSAIC LAWS in the
Pentateuch, and would then have led them through a course of: I. _The
Greek Legislation_, so far as it could be recovered, of LYCURGUS the
Spartan (B.C. 884, according to Aristotle), SOLON the Athenian (_circ._
B.C. 600), ZALEUCUS, the Lawgiver of the Locrians (_circ._ B.C. 660), and
CHARONDAS, the Lawgiver of Catana and other Greek cities in Sicily and
Italy (_circ._ B.C. 500); II. _The Roman Law_, in all its ancient
fragments, and especially in its great compilation and completion by the
Emperor JUSTINIAN (A.D. 527-534); III. _Native English Law_, as
represented in the preserved codes of the old Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of
Kent, Wessex, &c., and in the traditional and written Laws of England
since the Conquest.] For History, General or Ecclesiastical, no manuals
are spoken of; and, as respects Theology, it is only indicated that this
might be the employment of Sundays, though not exclusively so.--The
Italian language was to be acquired "at any odd hour" in an early part of
this stage, and the Hebrew, with Chaldee and Syriac, farther on; but
there is no specification of means, or of the Grammars to be used.--The
poetical and oratorical readings interspersed with these various and
progressive studies were to be, in the earlier part of the stage, "some
choice Comedies, Greek, Latin, and Italian," selected "with wariness and
good antidote," and a Tragedy or two of the domestic kind, such as the
_Trachiniæ_ of SOPHOCLES, and the _Alcestis_ of EURIPIDES; and so
gradually to the chief Historians (HERODOTUS, THUCYDIDES, &c.), the
Heroic Poets (HOMER, VIRGIL, &c.), the "Attic Tragedies of stateliest and
most regal ornament" (more of SOPHOCLES and EURIPIDES), and "the most
famous Political Orations" (DEMOSTHENES and CICERO). [Footnote: Chapman's
translation of HOMER into English had been complete in 1616. Nothing of
ÆSCHYLUS, SOPHOCLES, or EURIPIDES, appears to have  been translated into
English. Two Books of HERODOTUS had been translated into English as early
as 1584; and Hobbes' translation of THUCYDIDES had appeared in 1628.
There were English translations of some Orations of DEMOSTHENES and
CICERO; and of the Æneid of VIRGIL, or separate portions of it, there had
been many translations, including Caxton's (1480), Gawin Douglas's in
Scotch (1553), the Earl of Surrey's (1557), Phær and Irvine's (1573), and
Sandys's (1627).] Milton recommends that passages of the Orators and
Tragedians should be got by heart and solemnly recited aloud. He does not
name Æschylus among his Tragedians. Euripides, we know, was his

(4) _Fourth Class or Stage_ (_ætat._ 19-21?):--This was to be the
finishing stage, and was to be devoted to Logic, Rhetoric, and Poetics,
with practice in Composition. Such training in form and literary theory,
Milton argued, would come best after the pupils had acquired a
sufficiency of _matter_, or somewhat of "an universal insight into
_things_." As to the masters for Logic he says nothing in the tract; but
we know otherwise that he had a fancy for Ramus, as qualifying Aristotle.
For Rhetoric the masters were to be "PLATO, ARISTOTLE, PHALEREUS, CICERO,
HERMOGENES, LONGINUS." [Footnote: PLATO comes in here, I suppose, for his
style generally, and for disquisitions on Rhetoric in one or two of his
Dialogues; ARISTOTLE, of course, for his _Rhetoric_ (not then translated,
I think). PHALEREUS is Demetrius Phalereus, the Athenian orator (B.C.
345--283), and reputed author of a work "On Elocution" (not translated in
Milton's time, I think); CICERO is brought in, of course, for his _De
Oratore_, &c. (translated into English, I should think, before Milton's
time, but I am not sure); HERMOGENES (second century after Christ) is the
Greek author of a system of Rhetoric in several Books, all written in his
youth (not in English in Milton's time, if yet); and LONGINUS was
Longinus' "On the Sublime" (waiting to be put into English).] By Poetics
Milton did not mean mere Prosody, which he assumed the pupils to have
learnt long ago under the head of Grammar, but "that sublime Art which,
in ARISTOTLE'S _Poetics_, in HORACE, and the Italian Commentaries of
CASTELVETRO, TASSO, MAZZONI, and others, teaches what the laws are of a
true Epic Poem, what of a Dramatic, what of a Lyric, what decorum is,
which is the great masterpiece to observe. [Footnote: Lowndes does not
mention any very early translation of the _Poetics_ of ARISTOTLE. Of the
_De Arte Poetica_ of HORACE there had been at least two translations--one
by "Tho. Drant" in 1567, and one by Ben Jonson (published 1640). One work
of TASSO referred to in the text is, I suppose, his _La Cavaletta; overo
della Poesia Toscana;_ CASTELVETRO (1505--1571) and MAZZONI (_circa_
1590) were two Italian scholars who had written on Poetry. The omission
by Milton here of such English books as Sir Philip Sidney's _Apologie for
Poetrie_ (1595) and Puttenham's _Arte of English Poesie_ (1589) is a
striking instance of his resolute non-regard of everything English.] This
would make them soon perceive what despicable creatures our common
Rhymers and Play-writers be, and show them what religious, what glorious
and magnificent use, might be made of Poetry both in divine and human
things." Observe the contempt which Milton here expresses of the English
Literature of his age. It had by this time become one of his habitual
feelings. He goes on, however, to express the same contempt of the
contemporary English Pulpit. By that practice in speaking and writing
which he proposed as the final and crowning discipline in his Academy, he
hoped to turn out young men fitted to teach the English Pulpit a new
style of preaching, as well as to excel in public and Parliamentary life.

II. EXERCISES AND AMUSEMENTS:--These were to be of three kinds: (1)
_Gymnastics and Regular Military Drill._ Milton is most emphatic on
this subject. He would have the course of Education in his Academy to be
as good for war as for peace; and therefore he would blend the Spartan
discipline with the Athenian culture. The pupils were to be taught
Fencing, so that they might be excellent swordsmen, with "exact use of
their weapon, to guard, and to strike safely with edge or point." They
were also to be "practised in all the locks and gripes of Wrestling,
wherein Englishmen were wont to excel, as need may often be in fight to
tug or grapple, and to close." So much for their gymnastics individually.
But the main thing was to be their military drill collectively. There was
to be no mistake about this; it was to be no mere school-play. The 120 or
130 youths in each Academy, under its head-master, with his twenty
attendants, were to be treated sometimes as a single company of Foot, and
at other times as two troops of Horse; and they were to be regularly and
continually drilled in all the art both of Infantry and Cavalry. As we
have already quoted the substance of the passage where this is insisted
on (Vol. II. p. 480), we need here note only that portion of the passage
in which Milton points out how, by such a system of training, the pupils
of his Academy might be expected, "as it were out of a long war," to
"come forth renowned and perfect commanders in the service of their
country."  "Commanders" observe; _i.e._, as we said before, the
contemplated Academy was one for gentlemen's sons only. (2) _Music_.
There was to be abundance of this in the Academy, both for recreation and
for the noble effects of music on the mind. The music was to be both
vocal and instrumental; and of the various instruments the organ is named
in chief. (3) _Excursions_. "In those vernal seasons of the year
when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness
against Nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her
rejoicing with Heaven and Earth. I should not therefore be a persuader to
them of studying much then, after two or three years that they have well
laid their grounds, but to ride out in companies, with prudent and staid
guides to all the quarters of the land, learning and observing all places
of strength, all commodities of building, and of soil for towns and
tillage, harbours and ports for trade; sometimes taking sea as far as to
our navy, to learn there also what they can in the practical knowledge of
sailing and of sea-fight."

Dr. Johnson's criticism of Milton's new Method of Education is well
known, and is perhaps the criticism most operative to the present day.
The scheme is a mere air-hung fancy, the _utinam_ of a sanguine
spirit, put forth as a possible institution! But the real question in
every such case is, Does the proposal contain some important improvement
which _is_ practicable? Does it move in the right direction? This is
the question to be asked respecting Milton's plan for a Reformed
Education, How does Dr. Johnson answer it? "The truth is that the
knowledge of external nature, and the sciences which that knowledge
requires or includes, are not the great or the frequent business of the
human mind. Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we
wish to be useful or pleasing, the first object is the religious and
moral knowledge of right and wrong; the next is an acquaintance with the
history of mankind, and with those examples which may be said to embody
truth, and prove by events the reasonableness of opinions. Prudence and
justice are virtues and excellences of all times and all places; we are
perpetually moralists, but are geometricians only by chance. Our
intercourse with Intellectual Nature is necessary; our speculations upon
Matter are voluntary, and at leisure. Physiological learning is of such
rare emergence that one man may know another half his life without being
able to estimate his skill in hydrostatics or astronomy; but his moral
and prudential character immediately appears. Those authors, therefore,
are to be read at schools that supply most axioms of prudence, most
principles of moral truth, and most materials for conversation; and these
purposes are best served by poets, orators, and historians."[Footnote:
Johnson's Life of Milton, in his _Lives of the Poets_ (Cunningham's
edit. I.91-93)] What an egregious misrepresentation this is of Milton's
project the reader, who already knows the project itself in its
completeness, will see at once. Milton included all that Johnson wanted
to have included, and more largely and systematically than Johnson would
have dared to dream of, and for the same reasons. The introduction of
Natural and Physical Science into schools was but a portion, though an
emphatic portion, of Milton's project. And, with respect to this portion
of his project--a novelty at the time, though Milton had Comenius and
Hartlib and all the Verulamians with him--subsequent opinion has more and
more pronounced, and is more and more and more pronouncing, for Milton
and against Johnson. The fairer criticism now would be as to the
_mode_ in which Milton proposed to teach Natural and Physical
Science, and knowledge generally. Milton, who himself possessed in really
encyclopædic extent all the scientific knowledge of his time, must have
been right in supposing that the knowledge _could_ then be taught
through Latin and Greek books. Even then, however, he perhaps overrated
the necessity of Latin and Greek for this particular business of
education, and underrated what could be done in sheer English. And, now
that Science has burst all bounds of Latin and Greek, and it would be
ludicrous to go merely to the Greek and Latin authors named by Milton for
our Geography, or Astronomy, or Natural History, or Physics, or
Chemistry, or Anatomy and Physiology, it is clear that the claims of
Latin and Greek in education must not rest on their instrumental value in
giving access to the stores of science, but on quite another basis. In
short, that in Milton's scheme which is now obsolete is its determinate
intertwining of the whole business of the acquisition of knowledge with
the process of reading in other languages than the vernacular. This taken
out of the Scheme, all the rest lasts, and is as good now, and perhaps as
needful, as it was in Milton's time. Above all, the noble moral glow that
pervades the _Tract on Education_, the mood of magnanimity in which
it is conceived and written, and the faith it inculcates in the powers of
the young human spirit, if rightly nurtured and directed, are merits

The plan of the tract was not speculative only. Since 1639, when he lived
in the St. Bride's Churchyard lodging, Milton had been teaching his two
nephews, and had had the younger nephew, Johnny Phillips, boarding with
him entirely; when he removed in 1640 to the house in Aldersgate Street,
the elder nephew, Edward Phillips, also came under his roof; and in 1643,
after his wife had deserted him, and his father had come to live with
him, he had received into his house, as boarders or day-boarders, a few
additional pupils. How many there were we do not know: probably, with the
two nephews, not more than eight or a dozen at most. Part of his daily
work, therefore, at the very time when he wrote the tract to Hartlib, was
the teaching of these few boys. Accordingly, it is at this point that we
may best quote Edward Phillips's account of his uncle's method with his
pupils. He had himself had four or five years' experience of the method,
and was now (1644) fourteen years of age. In his account, however, though
he inserts it as early as the year 1639 in his Memoir, he inweaves
recollections that must span from 1639 to 1646, so as to describe in one
passage his uncle's training of boys from the age of ten to that of
fifteen or sixteen:--

"And here, by the way, I judge it not impertinent to mention the many
authors both of the Latin and Greek which, through his excellent judgment
and way of teaching, far above the pedantry of common Public Schools
(where such authors are scarce ever heard of), were run over within no
greater compass of time than from ten to fifteen or sixteen years of
age:--Of the Latin, the four grand authors _De Re Rusticâ_, CATO, VARRO,
COLUMELLA, and PALLADIUS; a great part of PLINY'S 'Natural History';
VITRUVIUS his 'Architecture'; FRONTINUS his 'Stratagems'; with the two
egregious Poets, LUCRETIUS and MANILIUS: Of the Greek, HESIOD, a poet
equal to Homer; ARATUS his _Phænomena_ and _Diosemeia_; DIONYSIUS AFER
'_De Situ Orbis_'; OPPIAN'S 'Cynegetics' and 'Halieutics'; QUINTUS
CALABER his Poem of the Trojan War continued from Homer; APOLLONIUS
RHODIUS his 'Argonautics'; and, in prose, PLUTARCH'S '_Placita
Philosophorum_' and [Greek: Peri Paidon Agogias]; GEMINUS'S Astronomy,
XENOPHON'S _Cyri Institutio_ and _Anabasis_, ÆLIAN'S 'Tactics,' and
POLYÆNUS his 'Warlike Stratagems.' Thus, by teaching, he in some measure
increased his own knowledge, having the reading of all these authors as
it were by proxy.... Nor did the time thus studiously employed in
conquering the Greek and Latin tongues hinder the attaining to the chief
Oriental languages, viz. the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac, so far as to go
through the Pentateuch, or Five Books of Moses, in Hebrew, to make a good
entrance into the Targum, or Chaldee Paraphrase, and to understand
several chapters of St. Matthew in the Syriac Testament: besides an
introduction into several Arts and Sciences, by reading URSTISIUS his
Arithmetic, RIFF'S Geometry, PITISCUS his Trigonometry, JOANNES DE SACRO
BOSCO _De Sphæra_; and into the Italian and French tongues, by reading,
in Italian, GIOVAN VILLANI'S History of the Transactions between several
petty States of Italy, and, in French, a great part of PIEREE DAVITY, the
famous geographer of France in his time.----The Sunday's work was for the
most part the reading each day a chapter of the Greek Testament and
hearing his learned exposition upon the same (and how far this savoured
of Atheism in him I leave to the courteous backbiter to judge); the next
work after this was the writing from his own dictation some part, from
time to time, of a Tractate which he thought fit to collect from the
ablest of Divines who had written of that subject (AMESIUS, WOLLEBIUS,
&c.)--viz. A Perfect System of Divinity; of which more hereafter."
[Footnote: The books named in this extract from Phillips, but not in
Milton's tract, may be noted:--The PALLADIUS, who is here added to the
three Latin writers on Agriculture mentioned in the tract, lived probably
in the fourth century, and left a treatise _De Re Rustica_, very popular
through the Middle Ages. It had not been translated into English.
FRONTINUS (who had preceded Agricola as Roman Governor of Britain, and
died _circ_. A.D. 106) was the author of _Stratagematicon Libri IV._, a
kind of anecdotic treatise on the Art of War; ÆLIANUS (time of the
Emperor Hadrian) and POLYÆNUS the Macedonian (second century) were Greek
writers on the Military Art. Though Milton does not name them in his
tract, he doubtless had them in view among Military Books to be read. Two
of them had been translated into English--Frontinus, by "Richarde
Morysine" (1539), and Ælianus by "John Bingham" (1616-31). QUINTUS
CALABER, the nature of whose Poem in 14 Books is sufficiently described
in the text (really a native of Smyrna, but called "Calaber" because the
best known copy of his Poem was found in Calabria), lived late in the
fourth century; APOLLONIUS RHODIUS, so called because he lived long in
Rhodes, though born in Alexandria, is a much earlier and much better
known Greek poet (_circ._ B. C. 200). Neither of these Greek poets seems
to have been translated in Milton's time. GEMINUS was a Greek
mathematician of the first century, who seems to have lived in Rome, and
who left an [Greek: Pisagogæ kis ta phainomena], or treatise on the
Sphere. Lowndes mentions no English version of it. URSTISIUS, who is
mentioned for his Arithmetic, is CHRISTIAN WURZTICIUS, an Italian
mathematician (1544-1588); RIFF I have not farther identified; PITISCUS
is Bartholomew Pitiscus (1561-1613); and JOANNES DE SACRO BOSCO is the
famous Englishman John Holywood (died 1256), whose treatise _De Sphæra_,
often re-edited and re-published, was the most popular manual of
Astronomy in the Middle Ages. VILLANI, the Florentine historian, died
1348; DAVITY, the French geographer, is unknown to me; AMESIUS, author of
the _Medella Theo logia_ and other theological works, is the William Ames
(1576-1633), already known to us (Vol. II. p 579); and WOLLIBIUS (1536-
1626) was a Divine of Basle and author of _Compendium Theologiæ_.]

What a busy domicile the wifeless house in Aldersgate Street must have
been through the year 1644! Pupils and their lessons through the solid
part of the day; only a margin, morning and evening, for Milton's own
readings and meditations; the father sometimes with him for an hour or so
of music, but oftener in his own room, "retired to his rest and devotion,
without the least trouble imaginable;" every hour of the day crammed with
work; even on the Sundays those expositions of the Greek Testament to his
pupils, and those dictations to them in Latin of portions of a System of
Divinity which he had resolved to compile from the Scriptures and the
works of the best Protestant theologians! And yet it was out of this
quiet and industrious household that there had burst upon the English
public that thunderbolt of the Divorce heresy!


The Divorce idea still occupied Milton. On the 15th of July, 1644 (five
weeks after the publication of the _Tract on Education_ addressed to
Hartlib, and five months and a half after the publication of the Second
Edition of the _Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_), there was
entered at Stationers' Hall another tract, which appeared on that day, or
immediately afterwards, with this title: "_The Judgement of Martin
Bucer concerning Divorce. Writt'n to Edward the Sixt, in his Second Book
of the Kingdom of Christ. And now Englisht. Wherein a late Book restoring
the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, is heer confirm'd and justify'd
by the authoritie of Martin Bucer. To the Parlament of England_. John
3, 10: Art thou a teacher in Israel, and know'st not these things?
_Publisht by Authoritie. London, Printed by Matthew Simmons_, 1644."
Martin Bucer [Footnote: The entry in the Stationers' Hall Registeris as
follows:--"_July 15, 1614: Matt. Symmons cut. for his copie, under
which, of Mr. Downham, and Mr. Parker, warden, the Judgment of Martin
Bucer concerning Divorce, written to King Edw. ye 6th in the 2nd Book of
the Kingdom of Xt.: Englished by Mr. Milton._"] The tract consists of
40 small quarto pages in all; of which, however, only 24 are numbered.
These numbered pages, forming the body of the tract, are abridged
translations by Milton of the passages from Martin Bucer which he wished
to introduce to the English public. They are preceded by six pages of
"Testimonies of the high approbation which learned men have given of
Martin Bucer" (viz. quotations by Milton from Calvin, Beza, Sturmius, and
others, to show what a man Bucer was), and then by eight pages of closer
type, addressed by Milton to the Parliament and signed with his name in
full. At the end, after the numbered pages, there is a postscript of two
pages, in which Milton again speaks directly, and winds up the tract.

The title-page of the tract indicates Milton's purpose in it, His
original Divorce treatise had been put forth as the result of his own
reasonings and meditations, without the knowledge that any had preceded
him in the same track to anything like the same extent. While preparing
the second edition he had become aware that strong support from learned
authorities might be adduced for his doctrine; in especial, he had become
aware that he had had a forerunner in the famous Reformer Paul Fagius.
Much of the added matter in the second edition consisted, accordingly, in
the citation of Fagius and other witnesses to strengthen his argument.
Strangely enough, however, he was still unaware that he might have the
benefit of a witness more renowned even than Paul Fagius. Not till May
1644 did he chance to learn this fact. "When the book," he says, "had
been now the second time set forth well-nigh three months, as I best
remember, I then first came to hear that Martin Bucer had written much
concerning Divorce: whom earnestly turning over, I soon perceived, but
not without amazement, in the same opinion, confirmed with the same
reasons, which in that published book, without the help or imitation of
any precedent writer, I had laboured out and laid together." The
particular writing of Bucer's in which Milton found this extraordinary
coincidence with his own views was the _De Regno Christi ad Edw.
VI._, written by Bucer about 1550, but first published at Basle in
1557. There was reason, Milton is careful to impress on his readers, why
Bucer, and Fagius along with Bucer, should be remembered with unusual
reverence by the Protestants of England. Coming over to England in 1549,
each with his great continental fame already won, they had been placed in
Cambridge by the young Edward VI., then desirous of completing and
perfecting the Reformation of his kingdom--Bucer as Professor of
Divinity, and Fagius of Hebrew. Fagius had died in Cambridge in the same
year, when he had barely begun to teach; Bucer, after he had taught for
about eighteen months, died in the same place, Feb. 28, 1550-51. Both had
thus breathed the last strength of their spirits into the Protestantism
of England. Nay, they might be reckoned among the martyrs of English
Protestantism; for, when Mary had succeeded Edward, had not their bodies
been dug up, as the bodies of heretics, and publicly burnt to ashes in
the Cambridge market-place? Let all this be remembered, and especially
let it be remembered that Bucer had addressed his _De Regno Christi_
to Edward VI., and intended its admonitions and instructions for the use
of that monarch and his people. In that writing Bucer, though he had been
dead a hundred years, was still speaking to the people of England, and
telling them what remained to be done before their national reformation
could be called thorough. Well, in that treatise there was a great deal
about Divorce. Bucer had evidently made a study of the topic, and
attached great importance to it. A large portion of the Second Book of
the treatise consisted of nothing else; and it was this portion of the
treatise only that Milton, partly in delight and partly in amazement at
its accordance with his own doctrine, proposed to recover out of the
neglected Latin, and present in plain English. Not that such drudgery of
translation was to his taste. "Whether it be natural disposition or
education in me, or that my mother bore me a speaker of what God made
mine own, and not a translator," is his proud phrase of explanation why
he could "never delight in long citations, much less in whole
traductions." Even in this case he would only digest and epitomize.
Beginning at Chap. XV. of the Second Book of Bucer's treatise, he would
go on to Chap. XLVII. inclusively, indicating the contents of the
successive chapters by headings, omitting what was irrelevant to his own
purpose, and translating the passages that were most relevant. This is
what is done in the 24 numbered pages which form the body of Milton's
tract. They are a concatenation of dryish morsels from Bucer, duly
labelled and introduced; but they make it clear that Bucer's notion of
marriage was substantially the same as Milton's.

As respects Milton himself, the portion of his new Tract which is of
greatest interest is the prefixed Address to the Parliament. It is
noteworthy that, whereas the Second Edition of his original Divorce
treatise is dedicated to "the Parliament of England _with_ the
Assembly," the new tract is dedicated to the Parliament only. The Address
makes the reason of this plain. It is here, in fact, that we first hear
from Milton himself of the obloquy to which his Divorce Doctrine had
subjected him. It had begun, he now tells us (and we have already used
the information), almost immediately after the publication of the first,
and anonymous, edition of his original treatise--his style then betraying
him to be the author, and some of the clergy opening loud cry against him
in consequence. This had induced him to bring out the second edition, not
anonymous, but openly acknowledged. Though aware of the declared
hostility among the clergy, he had not then deemed it proper to descant
on that subject, but had, in courtesy, dedicated the Second Edition to
the Assembly in conjunction with the Parliament. Even then he had no
doubt from which of the two bodies he would receive the fairer treatment.
"I was confident," he says in his present address of the Bucer tract to
the Parliament, "if anything generous, anything noble and above the
multitude, were yet left in the spirit of England, it could be nowhere
sooner found, and nowhere sooner understood, than in that House of
Justice and true Liberty where ye sit in Council." Here the Assembly is
ignored, and the insinuation is that, though he had included _them_
in the dedication, it was rather by way of form than in real trust. This
had been in Feb. 1643-4, and now, in July 1644, he knew his position so
precisely that there was no need for farther reticence. He had not been
disappointed in the Parliament. He had had hope in them; "nor doth the
event hitherto, _for some reasons which I shall not here deliver_,
fail me of what I conceived so highly."  The words I have put in italics
can bear no other construction than that Milton had reason to know, from
private assurances, which he regarded as confidential, that some leading
men in Parliament thought him perfectly entitled to broach his doctrine,
and would take care that he should not be troubled for it. He was not
uninformed either, he adds, that "divers learned and judicious men," both
in and out of Parliament, had "testified their daily approbation" of his
treatise. With the Assembly, however, he knew it to be all over. Though
from them above all, by reason of "their profession and supposed
knowledge," his treatise had deserved a fair hearing, all that he had
received was to be "esteemed the deviser of a new and pernicious
paradox." He does not, indeed, name the Assembly while intimating this,
but only refers to the clergy generally and dispersedly. That he had the
Assembly distinctly in view, however, appears not only from the tenor of
the whole, but also from a passage in the Postscript, where he hints that
such action was at work against him that he might be stopped any day by
the official censorship and prevented from printing. If, therefore, this
new tract should be permitted to appear, only to the Parliament would he
dedicate it. But, while dedicated to the Parliament, it was intended for
the Assembly. It was a challenge to _them_. The Reverend gentlemen
had refused to consider the Doctrine of Divorce when propounded by their
contemporary, a private layman and reasoner. They had thought it worthy
only of denunciation as an impious paradox, destructive of morality and
social order. What would they now say to the same Doctrine exhibited to
them, chapter and verse, as the doctrine of one of the great European
Reformers and Divines, whose name was often in their mouths, though they
knew so little about him?

While the Address to Parliament thus makes clear Milton's consciousness
that the Assembly were watching him and might at any time denounce him,
there is yet another curious strain in it, interesting as an illustration
of the writer's character. Milton was evidently divided between delight
in having found Bucer his predecessor in the doctrine and a proud feeling
of his own self-earned property in the same. Not even to Bucer would he
yield the palm of this discovery; nay, generally, he did not care though
it should be known that, while he reverenced Bucer and such men of the
past, he did not think that God's power to create and endow exceptional
human spirits had so exhausted itself in that time and that group of men
but that work higher than aught of mere discipleship to any of them might
be reserved for himself. Here Milton is in one of his constitutional
moods; and it is interesting to observe with what constancy to it he
treats the small fact of a discovered coincidence in opinion between
himself and Bucer. The following passage will suffice in this respect,
and also as a specimen of the whole tract:--

"I may justly gratulate mine own mind with due acknowledgment of
assistance from above, which led me, not as a learner, but as a
collateral teacher, to a sympathy of judgment with no less a man than
Martin Bucer. And he, if our things here below arrive him where he is,
does not repent him to see that point of knowledge which he first, and
with an unchecked freedom, preached to those more knowing times of
England, now found so necessary, though what he admonished were lost out
of our memory, yet that God doth now again create the same doctrine in
another unwritten table [the _tabula rasa_ of Milton's mind], and
raises it up immediately out of his pure oracle to the convincement of a
perverse age, eager in the reformation of names and ceremonies, but in
realities as traditional and as ignorant as their forefathers. I would
ask now the foremost of my profound accusers whether they dare affirm
that to be licentious, new and dangerous, which Martin Bucer so often and
so urgently avouched to be moot lawful, most necessary, and most
Christian, without the least blemish. to his good name among all the
worthy men of that age and since who testify so highly of him. If they
dare, they must then set up an arrogance of their own against all those
churches and saints who honoured him without this exception. If they dare
not, how can they now make _that_ licentious doctrine in another
which was never blamed or confuted in Bucer or in Fagius? The truth is,
there will be due to them, for this their unadvised rashness, the best
donative that can be given them--I mean a round reproof [_a hint to
Parliament about the Assembly?_]; now that, where they thought to be
most magisterial, they have displayed their own want both of reading and
of judgment: first, to be so unacquainted in the writings of Bucer, which
are so obvious and so useful in their own faculty; next, to be so caught
in a prejudicating weakness as to condemn that for lewd which, whether
they knew or not, these elect servants of Christ commended for lawful,
and for new that which was taught by these, almost the first and greatest
authors of Reformation, who were never taxed for so teaching, and
dedicated without scruple to a royal pair of the first Reforming kings in
Christendom [Edward VI., for whom Bucer's _De Regno Christi_ was
written, and Christian III. of Denmark, to whom it was dedicated when
published at Basle in 1557], and confessed in the public Confession of a
most orthodoxal Church and State in Germany [the church and community of
Strasburg, in whose Confession, according to Milton, Bucer's Divorce
Doctrine had been adopted]. This is also another fault which I must tell
them--that they have stood now almost this whole year clamouring afar
off, while the Book [Milton's _Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_]
hath been twice printed, twice bought up, and never once vouchsafed a
friendly conference with the author, who would be glad and thankful to be
shown an error, either by private dispute or public answer, and could
retract as well as wise men before him: might also be worth the gaining,
as one who heretofore hath done good service to the Church, by their own
confession. ... However, if we know at all when to ascribe the
occurrences of this life to the work of a special Providence, as nothing
is more usual in the talk of good men, what can be more like to a special
providence of God than in the first Reformation of England that this
question of Divorce, as a main thing to be restored to just freedom, was
written, and seriously commended to Edward the Sixth, by a man called
from another country to be an instructor of our nation, and now, in this
present renewing of the Church and Commonwealth, which we pray may be
more lasting, that same question should be again treated and presented to
this Parliament by one enabled to use the same reasons without the least
sight or knowledge of what was done before. It were no trespass, Lords
and Commons, though something of less note were attributed to the
ordering of a Heavenly Power. This question, therefore, of such prime
concernment to Christian and Civil welfare, in such an extraordinary
manner not recovered, but plainly twice-born to these latter ages, as
from a divine hand, I tender to your acceptance and most considerate


Whether up to this time (July 1644) there had been any open mention of
Milton and his Doctrine in the Westminster Assembly, anything more than
muttered thunder among the Divines in their private colloquies, can be
but guessed. It is quite possible that he _was_ publicly named, and
not by mere implication, among the Sects and Sectaries generally. There
may even be record of the fact somewhere, though I have found none in
Lightfoot's Notes of the Assembly, nor in Gillespie's, nor in Baillie's
Letters. But the peal was coming, and this daring challenge to the
Assembly in his Bucer tract may have helped to provoke it.

When the tract was published, the Assembly was about to break up for that
fortnight's vacation (July 23-Aug. 7) which we have represented as so
important a notch in its proceedings. Or, indeed, the Assembly may have
been _in_ its vacation when the tract appeared; for, though
registered at the Stationers' Hall July 15, it may not have been in
circulation till a week later. At all events, when the Assembly met
again, and when, as we have seen, it fell, as if by concert, on the
subject of the multiplication of the Sectaries and their insolences, then
Milton was among the first attacked. He was one of a batch of eleven
persons, including also Roger Williams, John Goodwin, Clement Wrighter,
and some Anabaptists and Antinomians, whom the Assembly denounced to
Parliament as prime offenders. This fact, already noticed in its place in
our general history, has now again to be presented more in detail.

The first publicly to blow the trumpet against Milton, the reader already
knows, was Mr. Herbert Palmer. He did so in his Sermon before the two
Houses of Parliament in St. Margaret's, Westminster, on the Extraordinary
Day of Humiliation, Tuesday, Aug. 13, six days after the Assembly had
resumed its sittings. Here is the particular passage in the Sermon:--

"But against a Toleration in general even the COVENANT itself, in that
very Article [Article II.], hath a reason suitable to the Text [Psalm
xcix, 8]. 'Lest we partake of other men's sins, and be in danger to
receive of their plagues.' saith the Covenant; which in the language of
the Text is 'Lest God take vengeance on their inventions' and ours
together. It is true that the name of Conscience hath an awful sound unto
a conscientious ear. But, I pray, judge but in a few instances whether
all pretence of Conscience ought to be a sufficient plea for Toleration
and Liberty:--1. There be those that say their conscience is against all
taking of an oath before a magistrate. Will you allow an universal
liberty of this? What then will become of all our legal and judicial
proceedings? which are confined to this way of proof: and so it was by
God appointed, and hath been by all nations practised. 2. There be some
that pretend Liberty of Conscience to equivocate in an oath even before a
magistrate, and to elude all examinations by mental reservations. Will
you grant them this liberty; or can you, without destroying all bonds of
civil converse, and wholly overthrowing of all human judicature? 3. If
any plead Conscience for the lawfulness of Polygamy; or for Divorce for
other causes than Christ and His Apostles mention (_of which a wicked
look is abroad and uncensured, though deserving to be burnt, whose Author
hath been so impudent as to set his name to it and dedicate it to
yourselves_); or for liberty to many incestuously--will you grant a
toleration for all this?"

Palmer goes on to instance four other opinions which might ask for
toleration, but which are in their nature so subversive of all authority
and all civil order that the bare imagination of their being tolerated
is, he thinks, a _reductio ad absurdum_ of the idea of a Universal
Toleration. What has been quoted, however, will show whereabouts among
the Sectaries he placed Milton. He cited him as the advocate of an
opinion so monstrous that no sane person could think of tolerating
_it_. And it is to be noted that, though he gives other instances of
such monstrous opinions tending to practical anarchy, Milton is the only
person openly referred to in this extreme category, and his book the only
book. On the same day, Mr. Hill, Palmer's fellow-preacher before
Parliament, referred by implication to Roger Williams's _Bloody
Tenent_, which had been burnt by the hangman a day or two before; and
here was Palmer mentioning with less reserve, Milton's _Doctrine and
Discipline of Divorce_ as richly deserving the same fate. Williams, we
know, was happily on his way back to America at the time; but Milton was
at hand, in his house in Aldersgate Street, whenever he should be wanted.

To be preached at before the two Houses of Parliament, on a solemn Fast
Day, by an eminent Divine of the Westminster Assembly, was, I should say,
a ten times greater trial of a man's equanimity in those days than it
would be in these to waken one morning and find oneself the subject of a
scathing onslaught in the columns of the leading newspaper. It was
positively the worst blast from the black trumpet of the wind-god Æolus
then possible for any inhabitant of England; and not even that poor
company of suitors to whom, in Chaucer's poem, fickle Queen Fame awarded
this black blast from the wind-god, instead of the blast of praise from
his golden trumpet which they were expecting, can have been more
discomfited than most persons would have been had they been in Milton's
place a day or two after Palmer's sermon. [Footnote: Cromwell was away
with the Arms, but Vane may have heard Palmer's sermon. Baillie was
certainly present, with the other Scottish Commissioners; and he was
delighted with Palmer's outspokenness. See _antè_, p 162]

  What did this Æolus, but he
  Took out his black trumpe of brass,
  That fouler than the Devil was,
  And gan this trumpe for to blow
  As all the world should overthrow.
  Throughout every regioun
  Went this foule trumpe's soun,
  As swift as pellet out of gun
  When tire is in the powder run;
  And such a smoke gan outwend
  Out of the foule trumpe's end,
  Black, blue, greenish, swartish, red,
  As dote where that men melt lead,
  Lo! all on high from the tewelle.
  And thereto one thing saw I well--
  That, the farther that it ran,
  The greater waxen it began,
  As doth the river from a well;
  And it stank as the pit of Hell.
[Footnote: Chaucer's "House of Fame" III. 516-564. _Teaelle_ is the
trumpet's mouth (French _tuyau_, pipe or nozzle).]


Among the haunts and corners of London into which the smoke of Mr.
Palmer's pulpit-blast against Milton had penetrated, and where it had
whirled and eddied most persistently, was the Hall of the Stationers'
Company, the centre of the London book-trade. Actually, as the reader has
been informed Palmer's sermon, and the general frenzy of the Assembly on
the subject of the increase of heresy and schism, had so perturbed the
whole society of booksellers that, on Saturday the 24th of August, the
eleventh day after the sermon, they presented a petition to the Commons,
exonerating themselves from all responsibility in the growing evil, and
pointing out that the blasphemous and pernicious opinions complained of
were ventilated in unlicensed and unregistered pamphlets, grievous to the
soul of the regular book-trade, injurious to its pockets, and contrary to
the express ordinance of Parliament. That such was the tenor of the
Petition of the Stationers, and that they gave instances of illegal
pamphlets of the kind described, and laid stress on Milton's _Doctrine
and Discipline of Divorce_ as one most flagrant instance, appears from
the action of the House of Commons in consequence. Without a day's delay
(Aug. 26), the Commons referred the Petition to "the Committee for
Printing," with instructions to hear parties, consider the whole
business, consult the existing Parliamentary Ordinance for the regulation
of Printing, and bring in a new or supplementary Ordinance with all
convenient speed. They were likewise "diligently to inquire out" the
authors, printers, and publishers of the Divorce Pamphlet, and of
another, then in circulation, against the Immortality of the Soul. That
the Committee might have fresh energy in it for the purpose, four new
members were added, viz. Sir Philip Stapleton, Sir Thomas Widdrington,
Mr. Stephens, and Mr. Baynton. [Footnote: See the text of the order,
_antè_, pp. 1645, I now add the names of the new members of
Committee from the Commons Journal, Aug. 26, 1641.]

Here then, in the end of August 1644, Milton was not only within the
smoke of infamy blown upon him by Palmer's sermon, but also within the
clutches of a Parliamentary Committee. They might call him to account not
only for publishing dangerous and unusual opinions, but also for having
broken the Parliamentary Ordinance for the regulation of Printing. We
must now explain distinctly what that Ordinance was.

From the beginning of the Long Parliament, as we know sufficiently by
this time, there had been a relaxation, or rather a total breakdown, of
the former laws for the regulation of the Press. In the newly-found
liberty of the nation to think and to speak, all bonds of censorship were
burst, and books of all kinds, but especially pamphlets on the current
questions, were sent forth by their authors very much at their own
discretion. The proportion of those that went through the legal
ceremonial of being authorized by an appointed licenser, and registered
in the Stationers' books by the Company's clerk under farther order from
one of the Company's wardens, must, I should say, have been quite
inconsiderable in comparison with the number that flew about printed
anywhere and anyhow. Milton had been conspicuously careless or bold in
this respect. Not one of his five Anti-Episcopal pamphlets, published in
1641 and 1642, had been licensed or registered; nor did any one of them
bear his name, though he made no real concealment of that, and though
each of them bore the printer's or publisher's name, or the address of
the shop where it was on sale. Milton's friends, the Smectymnuans, had
attended to the legal punctualities in some of _their_ publications;
but Milton's practice seems to have been the more general one among
authors and pamphleteers. Nor did they need to resort any longer to
clandestine presses, or to printers and booksellers who, not being
members of the Stationers' Company, had no title to engage in such book-
commerce at all, and were liable to prosecution for doing so. Even
regular booksellers and printers who _were_ freemen of the Stationers'
Company had been infected by the general lawlessness, and had fallen into
the habit of publishing books and pamphlets without caring whether they
were licensed, and without taking the trouble of registering their
copyright; which, indeed, they could hardly do if the books were
unlicensed. All Milton's Anti-Episcopal pamphlets, I think, were
published by such regular printers or booksellers. But worse and worse.
Some of the less scrupulous members of the Stationers' Company had found
an undue advantage in this lax conduct of the book-business, and had
begun to reprint and vend books the copyright in which belonged to their
brethren in the trade. This last being the sorest evil, it was perhaps as
much in consequence of repeated representations of its prevalence by the
authorities of the Stationers' Company as on any grounds of public damage
by the circulation of political libels and false opinions, that the
Parliament still kept up the fiction of a law, and made attempt after
attempt to regain the control of the Press. That they did so is the fact.
Entries on the subject--sometimes in the form of notices of petitions
from the Stationers' Company, sometimes in that of injunctions by
Parliament to the Stationers' Company to be more vigilant--are found at
intervals in the Journals of both Houses through 1641 and 1642.
Particular books were condemned, and their authors inquired after or
called to account, and offending printers and publishers were also
brought to trouble. The Parliament had even tried to institute a new
agency of censorship in the form of Committees for Printing, and
licensers appointed by these Committees. Such licensers were either
members of Parliament selected for the duty, or Parliamentary officials,
or persons out-of-doors in whom Parliament could trust. Through 1641 and
1642 I find the following persons, among others. licensing books--John
Pym, Sir Edward Deering, the elder Sir Henry Vane, Mr. (Century) White,
and a Dr. Wykes, but I find evidence that the Parliament and its
Committees for Printing had really, in a great measure, to leave the
licensing of books to the Wardens of the Stationers' Company. [Footnote:
My MS notes from the Stationers' Register for the years named] In short,
the Press had escaped all effective supervision whatsoever. This is most
strikingly proved by the Stationers' Registers for 1642. While for the
previous year, ending Dec. 31, 1641, the total number of entries on the
Register had been 240, the total number in this year, ending Dec. 31,
1642, was only 76; of which 76 less than half fell in the second half of
the year, when the Civil War had just commenced. Actually, of all the
publications which came out this year in England, not more than at the
rate of three a fortnight regularly registered throughout the whole year,
and hardly more than one a week during the second half of the year!
Clearly, censorship and registration had then become an absolute farce.

The same state of things continued into the first half of the year 1643.
Between Jan. 1 of that year (Jan. 1, 1642-3, as we now mark it) and July
4, I find the number of entries to have been not more than 35--still a
preposterously small number in proportion to the crowd of publications
which these six months must have produced. But exactly at the middle of
this year the Registers exhibit a remarkable phenomenon. Although in the
first half of the year only 35 new publications had been registered, the
entries in the second half of the year swell suddenly to 333, or ten
times as many as in the first half. In the month of July alone there were
63 entries, or nearly twice as many as in the preceding six months
together; in August there were 57; in September 58; in October 48; in
November 56; and in December 51. Little wonder that, on going over the
Registers long ago, I made this note in connexion with the year 1643:
"Curious year: the swelling out in the latter half, so that only 35 in
first half and 333 in second: inquire into causes." I ought to have known
the chief cause at the time I made the note. It was the parsing, in June
1643, of a new, strict, and minutely framed Ordinance for Printing.

Forced by the public necessities of the case, including the necessity of
preventing the diffusion of Royalist tracts and sheets of intelligence,
or by the trade complaints of the Stationers' Company, or by both
combined, the Commons at last addressed themselves to the subject
resolutely. On June 10 an "Ordinance to prevent and suppress the Licence
of Printing" was read in their House, agreed to, and sent to the Lords;
on June 14 the Lords concurred, and signified their concurrence to the
Commons; and, certain farther arrangement of detail having been made by
the Commons on the 16th, the 20th, and the 21st of the same month, the
Ordinance forthwith came into operation. The Ordinance (with the omission
of clauses relative to printing of Parliamentary papers and to mere
piracy of copyrights) is as follows:--

"Whereas divers good orders have been lately made by both Houses of
Parliament for suppressing the late great abuses and frequent disorders
in printing many forged, scandalous, seditious, libellous and unlicensed
Papers, Pamphlets and Books, to the great defamation of Religion and
Government--which orders (notwithstanding the diligence of the Company of
Stationers to put them in full execution) have taken little or no effect,
by reason the Bill in preparation for the redress of the said disorders
hath hitherto been retarded through the present distractions, and very
many, as well Stationers and Printers, as others of sundry other
professions not free of the Stationers' Company, have taken upon them to
set up sundry private printing-presses in corners, and to print, vend,
publish and disperse Books, Pamphlets and Papers, in such multitudes that
no industry could be sufficient to discover or bring to punishment all
the several abounding delinquents.... It is therefore ordered that no ...
Book, Pamphlet, Paper, nor part of any such Book, Pamphlet or Paper,
shall from henceforth be printed, bound, stitched, or put to sale by any
person or persons whatsoever, unless the same be first approved of and
licensed under the hands of such person or persons as both or either of
the said Houses shall appoint for the licensing of the same, and entered
in the Register Book of the Company of Stationers according to ancient
custom, and the Printer thereof to put his name thereto.... And the
Master and Wardens of the said Company, the Gentleman-Usher of the House
of Peers, the Sergeant of the Commons House, and their Deputies ... are
hereby authorized and required from time to time to make diligent search
in all places where they shall think meet for all unlicensed printing
presses ... and to seize and carry away such printing-presses ... and
likewise to make diligent search in all suspected printing-houses,
warehouses, shops and other places ... and likewise to apprehend all
Authors, Printers, and other persons whatsoever employed in compiling,
printing, stitching, binding, publishing and dispersion of the said
scandalous, unlicensed and unwarrantable Papers, Books and Pamphlets  ...
and to bring them, afore either of the Houses, or the Committee of
Examinations, that so they may receive such farther punishments as their
offences shall demerit.... And all Justices of the Peace, Captains,
Constables and other officers, are hereby ordered and required to be
aiding and assisting to the foresaid persons in the due execution of all
and singular the premises, and in the apprehension of offenders against
the same, and, in case of opposition, to break open doors and locks.--And
it is further ordered that this Order be forthwith printed and published,
to the end that notice may be taken thereof, and all contemners of it
left inexcusable."

Such was the famous _Ordinance for Printing_ of the Long Parliament,
dated June 14, 1643. Within a week afterwards it was brought into working
trim by the nomination of the persons to whom the business of licensing
was to be entrusted. For Books of Divinity a staff of twelve Divines was
appointed, the _imprimatur_ of any one of whom should be sufficient--to
BACHELER, and Mr. JOHN ELLLS, junior. The first seven of these, it will
be noted (if not also the eighth), were members of the Westminster
Assembly; the others were, I think, all parish-ministers in or near
London. For what we should call Miscellaneous Literature, including
Poetry, History, and Philosophy, the licensers appointed were Sir
NATHANIEL BRENT (Judge of the Prerogative Court), Mr. JOHN LANGLEY
(successor of Gill the younger in the Head-mastership of St. Paul's
School), and Mr. FARNABIE. The licensing of Law-Books was to belong to
certain designated Judges and Serjeants-at-law; of Books of Heraldry, to
the three Herald Kings at Arms; of Mathematical Books, Almanacks, and
Prognostications, to the Reader in Mathematics at Gresham College for the
time being, or a certain Mr. Booker instead; and for things of no
consequence--viz. "small pamphlets, portraitures, pictures and the like"
--the Clerk of the Stationers' Company for the time being was to be
authority enough.[Footnote: The Ordinance is printed in the Lords
Journals under date June 14, 1644. Rushworth prints it under the same
date (V. 335-6), and adds the names of the licensers, as appointed by the
Commons June 20 and 21.]

The effects of this new Ordinance of Parliament were immediately visible.
Whether because Parliament itself now seemed in earnest for the control
of the Press, or because the new staff of licensers were determined to
exercise their powers and earn their perquisites, or because the Master
and Wardens of the Stationers' Company then in. office felt their hands
strengthened and worked hard (Mr. Samuel Bourne was Master, and Mr.
Samuel Man and Mr. Richard Whittaker were Wardens), certain it is that
authors, printers, and publishers were brought at once into greater
obedience. Ten times as many books, pamphlets and papers, we have shown,
were duly licensed and registered in the second half of the year 1643, or
from the date of the new Ordinance onwards, as had been licensed and
registered in the preceding half-year.[Footnote: I ought to note,
however, that the swelling out is caused chiefly by the shoals of
_Mercuries, Diurnals, Scouts, Intelligencers_,&c. that were now
registered. These news-sheets of the Civil War, the infant forms of our
newspapers, had previously appeared at will; and there seems to have been
particular activity in bringing them under the operation of the
Ordinance, so as to deprive Royalism of the aid of the Press.]

Now, it so chanced that the first edition of Milton's _Doctrine and
Discipline of Divorce_ had been ready for the press exactly after the
new Ordinance had come into operation. What had been his behaviour? He
had paid no attention to the Ordinance whatever. He had been one of those
"contemners" of it whom the Ordinance itself had taken the precaution of
rendering inexcusable by the clause ordering its own publication! The
treatise had appeared on or about the 3rd of August, unlicensed and
unregistered, just as its predecessors, the Anti-Episcopal pamphlets, had
been. Nay, there was this difference, that there was no printer's full
name on the title-page of the Divorce treatise, but only the semi-
anonymous, declaration "Printed by T. P. and M. S. in Goldsmiths' Alley"
[Footnote: See full title-page, _antè_, p. 44. ] That Milton had
acted deliberately in all this there can be no doubt. Not that we need
suppose him to have made it a point of honour to outbrave the new law in
general by continuing to publish without a licence; but because, in this
particular case, he had no choice but to do so, and did not mind doing
so. He wanted to publish his new Doctrine of Divorce: was he to go the
round of the twelve Reverend Gentlemen who had just been appointed
licensers of all books of Theology and Ethics, and wait till he found one
of them sufficiently obtuse, or sufficiently asleep, to give his
_imprimatur_ to a doctrine so shocking? Clearly, nothing remained
but to get any printer to undertake the treatise that would print it in
its unlicensed state, the printer trusting the author and both running
the risk. Whatever hesitations the printer may have had, Milton had none.
He had taken no pains to conceal the authorship; and, when he found the
doctrine of the treatise in disrepute, he had disdained even the pretence
of the anonymous. The second edition, published in February 1643-4,
appeared, as the first had done, without licence or registration, and
indeed with no more distinct imprint at the foot of the title-page than
"_London, Imprinted in the yeare_ 1664"; but, to make up for this
informality, it contained Milton's dedication to the Parliament and the
Assembly signed with his name. It was as if he said, "I do break your
Ordinance for Printing, but I let you know who I am that do so." Since
then Milton had published two more pamphlets--his _Tract on Education_,
addressed to Hartlib (June 1644), and his _Bucer Tract_, continuing the
Divorce subject (July 1644). In both of these he had conformed to the
Ordinance. Both are duly registered in the Stationers' Books, the former
as having been licensed by Mr. Cranford (_antè_, p. 233), the latter by
Mr. Downham (_antè_, p. 255). In licensing the new Divorce Tract, even
though it did consist mainly of extracts from Bucer, Mr. Downham must
have been either off his guard or very good-natured.

Milton's carelessness or contempt of the Ordinance for Printing had now
found him out. The charge of heresy, or of monstrous and dangerous
opinion, preferred against him by Palmer and the clergy, was one about
which there might be much argument _pro_ and _con_, and with
which most Parliamentary men might not be anxious to meddle. But here, in
aid of that charge, another charge, much more definite, had been brought
forward. The officials of the Stationers' Company were chosen from year
to year; and the Master for the year beginning in the middle of 1644 was
Mr. Robert Mead, with Mr. John Parker and Mr. Richard Whittaker for
Wardens. It was these persons, if I mistake not, who thought themselves
bound, either by sympathy with the horror caused by Milton's doctrine, or
by sheer official duty, to oblige Mr. Palmer and his brethren of the
Assembly by pointing out that both the editions of Milton's obnoxious
pamphlet had been published in evasion of the law. There can be little
doubt that the Assembly divines and the London clergy generally were at
the back of the affair; but it was convenient for them to put forward
others as the nominal accusers. "The Stationers' Company," these accusers
virtually said, "knows nothing of these two publications, and has none of
the discredit of them; they are not registered in the Company's books,
and do not appear to have been ever licensed; and, if Mr. Milton, who has
avowed himself the author, is to be questioned for the doctrine advanced
in them, perhaps it would be well that he should at the same time have
the imprints on his two title-pages put before him--_'Printed by T. P.
and M. S. in Goldsmiths' Alley,'_ and _'London, Imprinted in the
yeare_ 1644'--and asked how he dared defy the law in that way, and who
the printers are that abetted him." Such, studying all the particulars,
is the most exact interpretation I can put on the Petition of the
Stationers' Company to the Commons, Aug. 24, as it affected Milton. There
was a trade-feeling behind it. There was a resentment against certain
printers and booksellers (probably quite well known to the Master and
Wardens) for their contempt of trade-discipline, as well as against
Milton for his part in the matter. It was really rather hard on Milton.
For, doubtless, the new Ordinance for Printing had been passed by
Parliament not with a view to any application of it to sound
Parliamentarians like him, but as a check upon writers of the other side;
and, doubtless, he was not singular in having neglected the Ordinance.
Probably scores of Parliamentarian writers had taken the same liberty.
Still, as he had offended against the letter of the law, and as those
whom his doctrine had shocked now chose to avail themselves of this
offence of his against the letter of the law, he found himself in an
awkward position. All depended on the discretion of that "Committee of
Printing," reinforced by four additional members, to which the Commons
(Aug. 26) had entrusted the delicate task of dealing with him, and the
farther task of revising the Ordinance of the previous year and seeing
whether it could be improved or extended. They might trouble him much, or
they might let him alone.

They let him alone. The Committee, I find, did indeed proceed so far in
the general business assigned to them. They must have even drafted some
new or supplementary Ordinance for the regulation of Printing, and
obtained the agreement of the House to the draft; for, though I am unable
to find any record of such proceeding in the _Commons' Journals_,
there is this distinct entry in the _Lords' Journals_ under date
Sept. 18, 1644: "A message was brought from the House of Commons by Mr.
Rous and others, to desire concurrence in two Ordinances--(1) Concerning
Ordination of Ministers, (2) Concerning Printing. The answer returned
was, That this House will send an answer to this message by messengers of
their own." The Lords, it appears in the sequel, did apply themselves to
the Ordination Ordinance, so that the Commons received it back amended,
and it passed, Oct. 1. But I find no farther mention of the new Printing
Ordinance. Cromwell's great Accommodation or Toleration motion, passed in
the Commons, in Solicitor St. John's modified form, on the 13th of
September, had, it may be remembered, caused a sudden pause among the
Presbyterian zealots. It may have helped indirectly to strangle many
things; and I should not wonder if among them was the prosecution of the
business prescribed to the Committee of Printing by the Order of Aug. 26.
The Accommodation Order was a demand generally for clearer air and
breathing-room for everybody, more of English freedom, and less of
Scottish inquisitorship. If there had been ever any real intention among
the Parliamentary people to proceed against Milton, it had now to be


One good effect the incident had produced. It had prescribed for Milton a
new piece of work. This Parliamentary Ordinance for Printing with which
it had been proposed to crush him; this whole system of Censorship and
licensing of books that had prevailed so long in England and almost
everywhere else; this delegation of the entire control of a nation's
Literature to a state-agency consisting of a few prejudiced parsons and
schoolmasters seated atop, to decide what should go into the funnel, and
a Company of Stationers seated below, to see that nothing else came out
of the funnel:-was not this a subject on which something might be said?
Would it not be more than a revenge if Milton were to express his
thoughts on this subject? Would it not be a service of moment to England?
What might not be hoped for from the Parliament if they were fitly
addressed on such a theme? It was the great question of Liberty in all
its forms that England was then engaged in. Civil Liberty, Liberty of
Worship, Liberty of Conscience, were the phrases ringing in the English
air. But in the midst of this general clamour for Liberty no one yet had
moved for one form of Liberty, which would be a very substantial
instalment of the whole, and yet was practicable and perhaps within
sight--the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing. Let this then be Milton's new
undertaking! In the fact that it had been so clearly assigned to him,
nay, forced upon him by circumstances, he began to discern a certain
regulation, not quite dependent on his own forethought, of the recent
course of his life. "When the Bishops at length had fallen prostrate,
aimed at by the shafts of all, and there was no more trouble from
_them_," he afterwards wrote, reviewing this portion of his life,
"then I turned my thoughts to other matters--if I might in anything
promote the cause of true and solid liberty; which is chiefliest to be
sought for not without, but within, and to be gained not by fighting, but
by the right basing and the right administration of life. When,
therefore, I perceived that there are in all three sorts of liberty,
without the presence of which life can hardly anyhow be suitably gone
through--Ecclesiastical, Domestic or Private, and Civil--then, as I had
already written on the first, and as I saw that the Magistrate was
sedulously occupied with the third, I took to myself that which was left
second, viz. Domestic Liberty. That also appearing to consist of three
parts--whether Marriage were rightly arranged, whether the Education of
Children were properly conducted, and whether, finally, there were the
power of free Philosophising--I explained what I thought, not only
concerning the due contracting of Marriage, but also, if it were
necessary, the due dissolution of the same.... On that subject I put
forth some books, exactly at that time when husband and wife were often
the bitterest enemies, he at home with his children, and she, the mother
of the family, busy in the camp of the enemy, threatening death and
destruction to her husband.... Then I treated the Education Question
more briefly in one little book.... Finally, on the subject of the
liberation of the Press, so that the judgment of the true and the false,
what should be published and what suppressed, should not be in the hands
of a few men, and these mostly unlearned and of common capacity, erected
into a censorship over books--an agency through which no one almost
either can or will send into the light anything that is above the vulgar
taste--on this subject, in the form of an express oration, I wrote my
_Areopagitica_." [Footnote: The Latin of the passage will be found
in the _Defensio Secunda pro Popalo Anglicano._] In this passage,
written in 1654, there is a slight anachronism. _All_ Milton's
Marriage and Divorce tracts had not yet been published: two of them were
still to come. At the moment at which we have arrived, however, that
mapping out of his labours on the Domestic or Private form of the general
question of Liberty which the passage explains must have already been in
his mind. He had written largely on a Reform in Marriage and Divorce, and
more briefly on a Reform in Education. In the Marriage and Divorce
subject he had found himself met with an opposition which did not permit
him yet to lay it aside; but meanwhile, in consequence of that
opposition, nay, of the very form it had taken, there had dawned on him,
by way of interlude and yet of strictly continuous industry, a great
third enterprise. In any lull of war with the Titans what is Jove doing?
Fingering his next thunderbolt. Released from all trouble by the
Committee of the Commons, and left at leisure in Aldersgate Street,
through September, October, and November, 1644, what was Milton doing?
Preparing his _Areopagitica_.

It appeared November 24, a month after the Second Battle of Newbury, and
the very day before that outbreak by Cromwell, against the Earl of
Manchester for slackness in the battle, which led to the Self-Denying
Ordinance and the New-Modelling of the Army. It was a small quarto of 40
pages with this title:--


A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicens'd Printing, to
the Parlament of England.

  [Greek: Touleutheron d'ekeino, ei tis thelei polei
  Chræston ti bouleum eis meson pherein, echon.
  Kai tauth o chræzon, lampros esth, o mæ thelon,
  Siga ti touton estin isaiteron polei;]
                             _Euripid. Hicetid._

  This is true Liberty, when free-born men
  Having to advise the public may speak free,
  Which he who can, and will, deserv's high praise,
  Who neither can nor will, may hold his peace;
  What can be juster in a State than this?
                             _Euripid. Hicetid_.
  London, Printed in the yeare 1644.

There was no printer's or bookseller's name to the pamphlet; and it came
forth unlicensed and unregistered. It would have been indeed absurd to
ask one of the Censors to license a pamphlet cutting up the whole system
of Censorship. Still here was another deliberate breach of the law by
Milton. It was probably to soften and veil the offence that the pamphlet
was cast into the form of a continuous Speech or Pleading by Milton to
Parliament directly, without recognition of the public in preface or
epilogue. [Footnote: That Nov. 24, 1644, was the day of the publication
of the _Areopagitica_ I learn from Thomason's MS. note "Novemb. 24"
in the copy among the King's Pamphlets in the British Museum; Press Mark
12. G. e.9./182.]

The _Areopagitica_ is now by far the best-known of Milton's
pamphlets, and indeed the only one of his prose-works generally read.
Knowing his other prose-writings, I have sometimes been angry at this
choice of one of his pamphlets by which to recollect him as an English
prose-writer. I have ascribed it to our cowardly habit of taking delight
only in what we already agree with, of liking to read only what we
already think, or have been schooled into considering glorious,
axiomatic, and British. As there are parts of Milton's prose-writings
that would be even now as discomposing and irritating to an orthodox
Briton as to an orthodox Spaniard or Russian, a genuine British reader
might be expected perhaps to tend to those parts by preference. Hence
there is something not wholly pleasing in the exclusive rush in our
country now-a-days upon the _Areopagitica_ as representative of
Milton's prose. And yet the reasons for the fact are perhaps sufficient.
Though the doctrine of the Treatise is now axiomatic, one remembers, as
one reads, that the battle for it had then to be fought, that Milton was
the first and greatest to fight it, and that this very book did more than
any other to make the doctrine an axiom in Britain. But, besides this
historical interest, the book possesses an interest of peculiar literary
attractiveness. It is perhaps the most skilful of all Milton's prose-
writings, the most equable and sustained, the easiest to be read straight
through at once, and the fittest to leave one glowing sensation of the
power of the author's genius. It is a pleading of the highest eloquence
and courage, with interspersed passages of curious information, keen wit,
and even a rich humour, such as we do not commonly look for in Milton. He
must have taken great pains to make the performance popular.

After an exordium of respectful compliment to the Parliament, the
rhetorical skill of which is as masterly as the sincerity is obvious,
Milton announces his purpose. He thinks so highly of the Parliament that
he will pay them the supreme compliment of questioning the wisdom of one
of their ordinances and asking them to repeal it. He then quotes the
leading clause of the Printing Ordinance of June 14, 1643, enacting that
no Book, Pamphlet, or Paper should thenceforth be printed unless it had
previously been approved and licensed by the official censors or one of
them. He is to challenge, he says, only that part of the Ordinance. He is
not to challenge the part for preventing piracy of copyright; which he
thinks quite just, though he can see that it may be abused so as to annoy
honest men and booksellers. From a passage farther on we learn also that
Milton did not object to a prohibition of anonymous publication; for he
refers with entire approbation to a previous Parliamentary Ordinance,
enacting that no book should be printed unless the names of the author
and printer, or at least that of the printer, were registered. If
Parliament had stopped at that Order, they would have been well advised;
it is the licensing Enactment of the subsequent Order of June 1643 that
he is to reason against. Books, indeed, were things of which a
Commonwealth ought to take no less vigilant charge than of their living
subjects, "For Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a
potency of life in them to be as active as that soul whose progeny they
are." All the more reason to beware of violence against books. "As good
almost kill a man as kill a good book. Who kills a man kills a reasonable
creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason
itself, kills the image of God as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a
burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a
master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond
life." And how had this slaying of books, and even the prevention of
their birth, by a Censorship, grown up? After a historical sketch of the
state of the law and practice respecting books among the Greeks, the
Romans, and the early and mediaeval Christians, Milton arrives at the
conclusion that the system of Censorship and Licensing was an invention
of the worst age of the Papacy, perfected by the Spanish Inquisition. He
gives one or two specimens of the elaborate _imprimaturs_ prefixed
to old Italian books, and makes much fun of them. The Papal invention, he
continues, had passed on into Prelatic England. "These are the pretty
responsories, these are the dear antiphonies that so bewitched our late
prelates and their chaplains with the goodly echo they made, and besotted
us to the gay imitation of a lordly _imprimatur_, one from the
Lambeth House [the Archbishop of Canterbury's Palace, where MSS. had to
be left by their authors for revision by his chaplains], another from the
west end of Paul's [the site of Stationers' Hall]."

Yes! but, whoever were the inventors, might not the invention itself be
good? To this question Milton next proceeds, and it leads him into the
vitals of the subject.

He contends, in the first place, for the scholar's liberty of universal
reading at his own peril, his right of unlimited intellectual
inquisitiveness. What though there are bad and mischievous books? "Books
are as meats and viands are, some of good, some of evil substance, and
yet God in that unapocryphal vision said, without exception, 'Rise,
Peter, kill and eat.'" Good and evil are inextricably mixed up together
in everything in this world; and the very discipline to virtue and
strength consists in full walking amid both, distinguishing, avoiding,
and choosing. "I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue,
unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out to see her adversary,
but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for
notwithstanding dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the
world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies is trial, and
trial is by what is contrary." There is much more in the same strain, a
favourite one with Milton, with instances of readings in evil books
turned to good account. Plato's Censorship of Books, or general
regulation of literature by the magistrate, is handled gently, as only
Plato's whimsy for his own airy Republic. What if the principle of State-
licensing were carried out? "Whatever thing we hear or see, sitting,
walking, travelling, or conversing, may be fitly called our book." Well,
shall the State regulate singing, dancing, street-music, concerts in the
house, looking out at windows, standing on balconies, eating, drinking,
dressing, love-making? "It would be better done to learn that the law
must needs be frivolous which goes to restrain things uncertainly, and
yet equally, working to good and to evil. And, were I the chooser, a dram
of well-doing should be preferred before many times as much the forcible
hindrance of evil-doing." Besides, suppression even of such tangible
things as books by a Censorship was really impracticable, and everybody
knew it. In spite of the existing Censorship, were not Royalist libels
against the Parliament in everybody's hands in London every week, wet
from the press? The system was a monstrous injustice and annoyance, and
it did not answer its own end.

If the end were honestly the suppression of false and bad books, and if
that end were in itself proper, and also practicable with sufficient
means, all would still depend on the qualifications of the Licensers. And
here Milton frankly lets the existing English licensers of Books, and
especially the twelve parish-ministers among them, know his opinion of
their office:--

"It cannot be denied but that he who is made judge to sit upon the birth
or death of Books, whether they may be wafted into this world or not, had
need to be a man above the common measure, both studious, learned, and
judicious: there may be else no mean mistakes in the censure of what is
passable or not; which is also no mean injury. If he be of such worth as
behoves him, there cannot be a more tedious and unpleasing journey-work,
a greater loss of time levied upon his head, than to be made the
perpetual reader of unchosen books and pamphlets, ofttimes huge volumes.
There is no book that is acceptable unless at certain seasons; but to be
enjoined the reading of that at all times, and in a hand scarce legible,
whereof three pages would not down at any time in the fairest print, is
an imposition which I cannot believe how he that values time and his own
studies, or is but of a sensible nostril, should be able to endure. In
this one thing I crave leave of the present Licensers to be pardoned for
so thinking: who doubtless took this office up, looking on it through
their obedience to the Parliament, whose command perhaps made all things
seem easy and unlaborious to them. But that this short trial hath wearied
them out already, their own expressions and excuses to them who make so
many journeys to solicit their license (!) are testimony enough. Seeing
therefore those who now possess the employment by all evident signs wish
themselves well rid of it, and that no man of worth, none that is not a
plain unthrift of his own hours, is ever likely to succeed them, except
he mean to put himself to the salary of a press-corrector, we may easily
foresee what kind of Licensers we are to expect hereafter--either
ignorant, imperious, and remiss, or basely pecuniary.... How much it
hurts and hinders the Licensers themselves in the calling of their
ministry, more than any secular employment, if they will discharge that
office as they ought, so that they must neglect either the one duty or
the other, I insist not, because it is a particular, but leave it to
their own conscience how they will decide it there."

Closely following this glance at the Licensers and _their_ business
is a description of the true Author and _his_ business, and of the
indignities and discomforts put upon him by the Licensing system:--

"When a man writes to the world, he summons up all his reason and
deliberation to assist him; he searches, meditates, is industrious, and
likely consults and confers with his judicious friends: after all which
done he takes himself to be informed in what he writes, as well as any
that writ before him. If in this, the most consummate act of his fidelity
and ripeness, no years, no industry, no former proof of his abilities,
can bring him to that state of maturity as not to be still mistrusted and
suspected unless he carry all his considerate diligence, all his midnight
watchings and expense of Palladian oil, to the hasty view of an
unleisured Licenser--perhaps much his younger, perhaps far his inferior
in judgment, perhaps one who never knew the labour of book-writing; and,
if he be not repulsed or slighted, must appear in print like a punie
[child] with his guardian, and his censor's hand on the back of his
title, to be his bail and surety that he is no idiot or seducer;--it
cannot be but a dishonour and derogation to the Author, to the Book, to
the privilege and dignity of Learning. And what if the Author shall be
one so copious of fancy as to have many things well worth the adding come
into his mind, after licensing, while the book is yet under the press--
which not seldom happens to the best and diligentest writers, and that
perhaps a dozen times in one book? The Printer dares not go beyond his
licensed copy: so often then must the Author trudge to his leave-giver,
that those his new insertions may be viewed; and many a jaunt will be
made ere that Licenser (for it must be the same man) can either be found,
or found at leisure. Meanwhile either the press must stand still (which
is no small damage) or the Author lose his accuratest thoughts, and send
the book forth worse than he had made it; which is the greatest
melancholy and vexation that can befall. And how can a man teach with
authority, which is the life of teaching, how can he be a _doctor_
in his book, as he ought to be or else had better be silent, whenas all
he teaches, all he delivers, is but under the tuition, under the
correction, of his patriarchal Licenser, to blot or alter what precisely
accords not with the hide-bound humour which he calls his judgment?"

The last half of the pamphlet is perhaps more knotty and powerful than
the first. Milton's well-known retrospect of what he had seen in Italy,
with his reminiscence of Galileo, occurs here. But his drift has now been
made sufficiently apparent; and we shall best discharge what remains of
our duty by presenting certain pieces of autobiographical information
which the pamphlet supplies:--

We learn, for one thing, that Milton did not stand alone in his
detestation of the Censorship, but represented a considerable
constituency in the matter, and had even been solicited to be their
spokesman and write this pamphlet. Those very words of complaint, he
says, which he had heard, six years before, uttered by learned men in
Italy against the Inquisition, it had been his fortune to hear uttered of
late by "as learned men" in England against the Licensing Ordinance of
the Parliament. "And that so generally," he adds, "that, when I had
disclosed myself a companion of their discontent, I might say, if without
envy, that he whom an honest quæstorship had endeared to the Sicilians
[Cicero] was not more by them importuned against Verres than the
favourable opinion which I had among many who honour ye, and are known
and respected by ye, loaded me with entreaties and persuasions that I
would not despair to lay together that which just reason should bring
into my mind toward the removal of an undeserved thraldom upon Learning.
That this is not therefore the disburdening of a particular fancy, but
the common grievance of all those who had prepared their minds and
studies above the vulgar pitch to advance truth in others, thus much may

Again, in a pamphlet the subject of which is Books and Authors, we have
naturally some incidental indications of Milton's literary tastes and
preferences. The most interesting of these are perhaps the following:--He
was as fond as ever of Spenser, "our sage and serious poet" as he calls
him, "whom I dare be known to think a better teacher than Scotus or
Aquinas." He thought Arminius "acute and distinct," though perverted. He
would be no slave even to Plato, but would take the liberty of quizzing
any of the oddities even of that gorgeous intellect. On moral grounds, he
could not bear Aristophanes, and wondered how Plato could have
recommended "such trash" as the comedies of that writer to the tyrant
Dionysius. His great liking for Euripides is shown by his taking four
lines from that poet's _Hiketides_ as the motto for the pamphlet.
Lord Bacon is again mentioned reverently, once as "Sir Francis Bacon" and
again as "Viscount St. Albans." There is a tribute of high admiration to
the Parliamentarian peer, Lord Brooke, so recently lost to England, and
to the tract on the _Nature of Episcopacy_ he had left behind him:
those last words of his dying charge which "I know will ever be of dear
and honoured regard with _ye_, so full of meekness and breathing
charity that, next to His last testament who bequeathed love and peace to
his disciples, I cannot call to mind where I have read or heard words
more mild and peaceful." Selden is again referred to and complimented:
"one of your own now sitting in Parliament, the chief of learned men
reputed in this land." Acquaintance, on the other hand, is implied or
avowed, on Milton's part, with some of the most notoriously ribald
writers that the world had produced: with Petronius Arbiter, and him of
Arozzo "dreaded and yet dear to the Italian Courtiers," and an Englishman
whom he will not name, "for posterity's sake," but "whom Harry the Eighth
named in merriment his Vicar of Hell." We may add, that Wycliffe and Knox
are both honourably mentioned in the _Areopagitica_: Knox as the
"Reformer of a Kingdom," and Wycliffe as an Englishman who had perhaps
had potentially in him all that had since come from the Bohemian Huss,
the German Luther, or the French Calvin.

A more special piece of information supplied, or rather only confirmed,
by the _Areopagitica_, is that Milton, when he wrote it, had broken
off utterly from the Presbyterians, and regarded the domination of that
party in the Westminster Assembly with complete disgust. "If it come to
inquisitioning again, and licensing," he says, "and that we are so
timorous of ourselves, and so suspicious of all men, as to fear each
book, and the shaking of every leaf, before we know what the contents
are,--if some, who but of late were little better than silenced from
preaching, shall come now to silence us from reading, except what they
please,--it cannot be guessed what is intended by some but a second
tyranny over Learning; and will soon put it out of controversy that
Bishops and Presbyters are the same to us, both name and thing." Again, a
little farther on, "This is not, ye Covenants and Protestations that we
have made, this is not to put down Prelaty: this is but to chop an
Episcopacy; this is but to translate the Palace _Metropolitan_ from
one kind of dominion into another." Again, "A man may be a heretic in the
Truth; and, if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the
Assembly so determines, without knowing other reason, though his belief
be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy." Again, "He who
hears what praying there is for light and clearer knowledge to be sent
down among us would think of other matters to be constituted, beyond the
discipline of Geneva, framed and fabricked already to our hands." Again,
of Ecclesiastical Assemblies in general, and the Westminster Assembly in
particular, "Neither is God appointed and confined where and out of what
place these his chosen shall be first heard to speak; for He sees not as
man sees, chooses not as man chooses, lest we should devote ourselves
again to set places, and Assemblies, and outward callings of men,
planting our faith one while in the old Convocation House, and another
while in the Chapel at Westminster; when all the faith that shall be
there canonized is not sufficient, without plain convincement and the
charity of patient instruction, to supple the least bruise of conscience,
to edify the meanest Christian who desires to walk in the spirit and not
in the letter of human trust, for all the number of voices that can there
be made--no, though Harry the Seventh himself there, with all his liege
tombs about him, should lend them voices from the dead to swell their
number," [Footnote: The original meeting-place of the Westminster
Assembly, and their meeting-place in the summer months, was Henry the
Seventh's Chapel. In winter it was the Jerusalem Chamber--which had been
the Convocation House of the English clergy before the Long Parliament.]
Again, he says that, if the Presbyterians, themselves so recently
released from Episcopal tyranny, should not have been taught by their own
suffering, but should continue active in suppressing others, "it would be
no unequal distribution in the first place to suppress the suppressors

Milton, however, the _Areopagitica_ proves, had not passed away from
Presbyterianism only to become an ordinary Congregationalist or
Independent. In the fight between the Presbyterians and the Independents
of the Assembly he would now, undoubtedly, have taken part with the
Independents; but Messrs. Goodwin, Nye, and the rest of them, had they
interrogated him why, would have found him a strange adherent. For he had
passed on into an Independency, if it could be called "Independency,"
more extreme than theirs, and resembling rather the vague Independency
that Cromwell represented, and that was rife in the Army. The very notion
of an official "minister of Religion," anyhow appointed, had become
comical to him. It had come to seem to him supremely ridiculous that
there should be anything like a caste of Brahmins or officers of Religion
in England, by whatever means that caste should be formed or recruited.
To curtail proof under this head, let me give but one extract. It is the
richest bit of sheer humour that I have yet found in Milton, and is
better and deeper, in that kind, than anything in Sydney Smith:--


"There is not any burden that some would gladlier post off to another
than the charge and care of their Religion. There be--who knows not that
there be?--of Protestants and professors who live and die in as arrant
and implicit faith as any lay Papist of Loretto. A wealthy man, addicted
to his pleasure and profits, finds Religion to be a traffic so entangled,
and of so many piddling accounts, that of all mysteries he cannot skill
to keep a stock going on that trade. What should he do? Fain he would
have the name to be religious; fain he would bear up with his neighbours
in that. What does he therefore but resolves to give over toiling, and to
find himself out some factor, to whose care and credit he may commit the
whole managing of his religious affairs: some Divine of note and
estimation _that_ must be. To him he adheres; resigns the whole
warehouse of his Religion, with all the locks and keys, into his custody;
and indeed makes the very person of that man his Religion--esteems his
associating with him a sufficient evidence and commendatory of his own
piety. So that a man may say his Religion is now no more within himself,
but is become a dividual movable, and goes and comes near him according
as that good man frequents the house. He entertains him, gives him gifts,
feasts him, lodges him; his Religion comes home at night, prays, is
liberally supt and sumptuously laid to sleep, rises, is saluted; and,
after the malmsey or some well-spiced brewage, and better breakfasted
than He whose morning appetite would have gladly fed on green figs
between Bethany and Jerusalem, his Religion walks abroad at eight, and
leaves his kind entertainer in the shop, trading all day without his

What light does the _Areopagitica_ throw on Milton's notion of
Toleration, or Liberty of Conscience, and on his feelings towards the
Sects and Sectaries generally among whom he was now ranked? It is not
uncommon to regard the _Areopagitica_ as one of the first and
greatest English pleas for Liberty of Conscience; and, broadly viewed, it
is. But strictly it is not a plea for Liberty of Conscience or for
Toleration, but only for the liberty of unlicensed Printing. Milton's
views of Liberty of Conscience appear only by implication in the course
of this one argument. So far as they do appear, it cannot be said that
Milton advocated a Liberty of Conscience so complete and absolute as
Roger Williams's or John Goodwin's. He even saves himself from the
imputation of doing so. "If all cannot be of one mind," he says, "this
doubtless is more wholesome, more prudent, and more Christian, that many
be tolerated, rather than all compelled. I mean not tolerated Popery and
open superstition; which, as it extirpates all religious and civil
supremacies, so itself should be extirpate--provided first that all
charitable and a compassionate means be used to win and regain the weak
and the misled. That also which is impious or evil absolutely, either
against faith or manners, no law can possibly permit that intends not to
unlaw itself." There are hints also to the effect that, while Milton
wanted liberty of unlicensed publication for all kinds of books, he did
not deny the right of the magistrate to call writers to account, in
certain cases, for the opinions they had published. On the whole,
therefore, in his theory of Toleration, Milton was decidedly behind some
of his contemporaries. One can see, however, that he was uneasy in his
exceptions, and had little care for them in comparison with the principle
he meant them to limit. Practically he stands forth in the _Areopagitica_
as the advocate of a Toleration that would have satisfied all the
necessities of the juncture, by giving full liberty not only to orthodox
Congregationalists, but also to Baptists, so-called Antinomians, and
Seekers, and perhaps all other Protestant sects that had any real rooting
at that time in English society. His whole oration breathes the full
principle rather than the exceptions. "Give me," he says, "the liberty to
know, to utter and to argue freely according to my conscience, above all
liberties." And he makes a brave defence of the existing Sects, without
putting a mark of exclusion on any. Those Sects and Schisms, Sects and
Schisms, which weak men were bewailing, and the Presbyterians were
calling on Parliament to crush, appeared to Milton not only something
that must be permitted because it could not be prevented, but positively
the finest English phenomenon of the time, and the richest in promise:--

"The light which we have gained was given us not to be ever staring on,
but by it to discover onward things more remote from our knowledge. It is
not the unfrocking of a Priest, the unmitring of a Bishop, and the
removing him from off the Presbyterian shoulders, that will make us a
happy nation. No, if other things as great in the Church, and in the rule
of life both economical and political, be not looked into and reformed,
we have looked so long upon the blaze that Zuinglius and Calvin hath
beaconed up to us that we are stark blind. There be who perpetually
complain of Schisms and Sects, and make it such a calamity that any man
dissents from _their_ maxims.... Lords and Commons of England,
consider what Nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the
governors: a Nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and
piercing spirit, acute to invent, subtle and sinewy to discourse, not
beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar
to.... Now once again, by all concurrence of signs, and by the general
instinct of holy and devout men, as they daily and solemnly express their
thoughts, God is decreeing to begin some new and great period in his
Church, even to the reforming of Reformation itself. What does He then
but reveal himself to his servants, and, as his manner is, first to his
Englishmen--I say, as his manner is, first to us, though we mark not the
method of his counsels and are unworthy? Behold now this vast City, a
city of refuge, the mansion-house of Liberty, encompassed and surrounded
with His protection. The shop of war hath not there more anvils and
hammers working, to fashion out the plates and instruments of armed
Justice in defence of beleaguered Truth, than there be pens and heads
there, sitting by their studious lamps, musing, searching, revolving new
notions and ideas, wherewith to present, as with their homage and their
fealty, the approaching Reformation: others as fast reading, trying all
things, assenting to the force of reason and convincement. What could a
man require more from a Nation so pliant and so prone to seek after
knowledge? What wants there to such a towardly and pregnant soil, but
wise and faithful labourers, to make a knowing people, a Nation of
prophets, of sages, and of worthies?... Where there is much desire to
learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many
opinions; for Opinion in good men is but Knowledge in the making. Under
these fantastic terrors of Sect and Schism we wrong the earnest and
zealous thirst after knowledge and understanding which God hath stirred
up in this city. What some lament of we rather should rejoice at, should
praise rather this pious forwardness among men to reassume the ill-
deputed care of their Religion into their own hands again.... As in a
body, when the blood is fresh, the spirits pure and vigorous, not only to
vital, but to rational faculties, and those in the acutest and the
pertest operations of art and subtlety, it argues in what good plight and
constitution the body is, so, when the cheerfulness of the people is so
sprightly up as that it has not only wherewith to guard well its own
freedom and safety, but to spare, and to bestow upon the solidest and
sublimest points of controversy and new invention, it betokens us not
degenerated, nor drooping to a fatal decay, but casting off the old and
wrinkled skin of corruption to outlive these pangs and wax young again,
entering the glorious ways of Truth and prosperous virtue destined to
become great and honourable in these latter ages. Methinks I see in my
mind a noble and puissant Nation rousing herself like a strong man after
sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; methinks I see her as an eagle
mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full
midday beam; purging and unsealing her long-abused sight at the fountain
itself of heavenly radiance, while the whole noise of timorous and
flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about,
amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate
a year of Sects and Schisms."

After this it is bathos to speak of the Stationers' Company; but we must
do so. For, at the end of the _Areopagitica_ there is a distinct
insinuation by Milton that the Ordinance he was asking the Parliament to
repeal was less the invention of Parliament itself than of some cunning
Stationers. "If we may believe those men," he says, "whose profession
gives them cause to inquire most [_i.e._ some worthy booksellers of
Milton's acquaintance] it may be doubted there was in it the fraud of
some old patentees and monopolisers in the trade of bookselling; who,
under pretence of the poor in their Company not to be defrauded, and the
just retaining of each man his several copy--which God forbid should be
gainsaid--brought divers glozing colours to the House, which were indeed
but colours, and serving to no end except it be to exercise a superiority
over their neighbours." Milton makes a farther and worse insinuation.
"Another end," he says, "is thought was aimed at by some of them in
procuring by petition this order--that, having power in their hands,
malignant books might easier scape abroad [_i.e._ get about the
country], as the event shows." Here was a hit for some of the good people
about Paternoster Row.


It might have been safer for Milton to let the Stationers alone. For,
within five weeks after the publication of the _Areopagitica_, I
find him again in trouble, and all by the doing of the Stationers'
Company, in revenge for his past offences and this new insult. The story,
as I have dug it out of the _Lords' Journals_, with some help from
old pamphlets, is as follows:--

Monday the 9th of December, 1644, there being twenty-one Peers present,
and Lord Grey of Wark in the chair, "a scandalous printed libel against
the Peerage of this realm was brought into the House and read; and this
House ordered, that the Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers
shall attend this House at four of the clock this afternoon, to know of
them whether they do know of the print and can discover the author of
it." That same afternoon, accordingly, there being now but fifteen peers
present, the three gentlemen who had been sent for--Messrs. Mead, Parker,
and Whittaker--appeared, and with this result: "The Master and Wardens of
the Company of Stationers desired some longer time, and they will do
their best endeavours to find out the printer that printed the scandalous
libel brought into this House this day; and this House gave two or three
days longer." On Friday the 13th of December they have not yet found
either the author or the printer; but they have caught a poor fellow,
George Jeffrey, apprentice to a hosier in Cornhill, who had been
dispersing copies of the libel in London. Examined by the Earls of
Salisbury and Kent, aided by the Judges, this George Jeffrey confesses
all about it. On Monday morning last (the very day on which the Lords
first discussed the subject) he had found two-and-twenty copies of the
thing between the stall-boards of his master's stall, put there by he
knew not whom. He had taken them into the shop, read one of them, and
been so greatly amused by it that he had told his neighbours of the
prize. Some of the more unruly of the neighbours had snatched at copies
and carried them off, so that he had only two left. When he found that
there was a hue and cry on the matter, and that he had got himself into
trouble, he had done what he could. He had sent his own two remaining
copies to the Lord Mayor, and had recovered six of the other copies and
sent them to the Mayor too, naming the persons from whom he got them
back. One was an exciseman, one an oilman; and one or two were
apprentices like himself; but there was also one Thomas Heath, who was
actually the Lord Mayor's kinsman. This was positively all he knew of the
matter; and he could not tell where the papers came from, nor where any
more were to be found. Apparently the Peers believed him, for he was
discharged on his own promise to attend again if he should be called for.

The libel, however, seems to have been unusually flagrant. The Peers sent
a copy of George Jeffrey's examination to the Lord Mayor, with
instructions that he should both give an account of what he had already
done in the business and also prosecute it farther. It is not till Dec.
26 that we hear more. On that day, two-and-twenty Peers being present,
and nothing having been farther reported either by the Lord Mayor or the
Stationers, it was ordered "that the Lord Mayor of London and the
Printers be sent to, to give an account of the scandalous paper printed
and dispersed, what they have done in discovering the Author, Printer,
and Publisher." The Mayor and the Stationers still not responding, the
order was repeated more peremptorily on Saturday, Dec. 28, one-and-twenty
Peers being present. The gentleman-usher of the House went there and then
for the two Wardens of the Stationers' Company, who forthwith appeared
and gave this account: "They have used their best endeavours to find out
the printer and author of the scandalous libel, but they cannot yet make
any discovery thereof, the letter [type] being so common a letter; and
further _complained of the frequent printing of scandalous Books by
divers, as Hezekiah Woodward and Jo. Milton._"--Here was an extremely
clever trick of Messrs. Parker and Whittaker! They were themselves in
trouble for not being good detectives: what if they diverted the
attention of the Peers, while they were in this angry mood, upon other
objects? It is as if they said to the Peers, "It is a very hard matter
sometimes to find out the authors and printers of scandalous tracts; but
really the abuse has attained to frightful dimensions, and perhaps the
leniency of your Lordships in cases where the authors of scandalous
tracts are well enough known encourages others. Last August, for example,
we took the liberty of calling the attention of the House of Commons to a
Tract on Divorce by Mr. John Milton, which the Assembly unanimously
condemns as containing horrid doctrine, and which Mr. Palmer denounced on
that ground in the hearing of your Lordships. It was our duty to do so,
because the Tractate, in any case, was unlicensed and unregistered, and
therefore a violation of the Printing Ordinance. The Commons referred the
subject to their Committee for Printing, but nothing appears to have been
done. And now, as your Lordships have sent for us on this other matter,
in which we are sorry not to have succeeded as we could have wished,
allow us to mention that the same Mr. Milton has since then--in fact,
only last month-put forth another pamphlet, called _Areopagitica_,
with his name to it certainly and addressed to your Lordships and the
other House, but with no printer's name, and unlicensed and unregistered,
like most of its predecessors. The pamphlet contains some very injurious
personal reflections on us; but we should not think of mentioning it
merely on that ground. It is very bold and strange altogether, very
disrespectful to the Assembly, and is an attack on the whole Ordinance
for Printing which it wilfully breaks. Besides Mr. Milton there are
others as bad: for instance, Mr. Hezekiah Woodward."

Who Mr. Hezekiah Woodward was the reader already, in some degree, knows.
He was that old friend of Samuel Hartlib's to whom Hartlib, in Aug. 1644,
had addressed a letter requesting his opinion of Edwards's _Antapologia_,
and who had furnished that opinion, which was published, with Hartlib's
letter, in the following month (_antè_). He must have been fond of using
his pen; for I find him to have been the author of at least seven other
pamphlets, published before our present date, viz. _The Kings Chronicle_
(1643); _Three Kingdoms made One_ (1643); _The Cause, Use, and Cure of
Fear_ (1643); _A Good Soldier maintaining his Militia_ (1644); _The
Sentence from Reason and Scripture against Archbishops and Bishops, with
their Curates_ (1644); _As you were_ (1644); _Inquiries into the Causes
of our Miseries_ (1644). The last-named but one of these pamphlets gives
at least one additional particular about Woodward. Its full title is "_As
you were: or a Reducing (if possibly any) seduc't ones to facing-about,
turning head-front against God, by the Recrimination (so intended) upon
Mr. J. G. (Pastor of the Church in Coleman Street) in point of fighting
against God. By an unworthy auditor of the said (Juditious pious Divine)
Master John Goodwin._" This may have been the very pamphlet, or one of
the pamphlets, of Woodward which the Stationers had in view when they
complained of him; for it was published Nov. 13, 1644, or exactly eleven
days before the _Areopagitica_, and it appeared anonymously and without a
licence. Out of the confused wording of the title we gather that Woodward
was a hearer and admirer of John Goodwin, and that the tract was intended
as in some sort a vindication of that Sectary against attacks that had
been made upon him in connexion more especially with a pamphlet of his
entitled _Theomachia_. All this, though slight, is not uninteresting. It
presents to us Woodward as a London citizen of what maybe called the
Hartlib-Goodwin connexion, and possibly therefore known to Milton
personally. He lived in Aldermanbury, and was addicted to writing
pamphlets. From what I have read of them I judge him to have been a mild,
hazy-headed person, with a liking for indefiniteness and elbow-room
rather than Presbyterian strictness, and therefore ranking among the
Sectaries, but of such small mark individually that, but for his
incidental association with Milton in the business under notice, we
should not now have had any particular interest in inquiring about him.
For some reason or other, however, the Stationers thought him worth their
hostility. Had they any trade dislike to Hartlib? It is somewhat curious
that the two persons they selected to be complained against were two of
Hartlib's friends. [Footnote: For particulars here about Woodward, in
addition to those already given (_antè_ pp. 230-1), my authorities are
(1) The British Museum Library Catalogue: _Woodward, Hezekiah_; (2) The
two publications named as consulted by myself, viz., Woodward's _As You
Were_, and his joint-tract with Hartlib, _A Short Letter, &c., with a
large but modest answer_, which last is not given in the Museum Catalogue
among Woodward's publications, but came in my way in my researches for
Hartlib; (3) MS. notes of Thomason in Museum copies of these two
publications: viz., in the first the words "suposed to be Ezech.
Woodward's," and the date "Novemb. 13, London;" in the second the date
"Sept 14."]

To resume our story from the _Lords' Journals_:--The device of the
two Wardens for diverting the attention of the Peers was for the moment
successful. The Peers on the same day (Sat. Dec. 28), as soon as the
Wardens had withdrawn, passed this order: "Hereupon it is ordered, that
it be referred to Mr. Justice Reeves and Mr. Justice Bacon to examine the
said Woodward and Milton, and such others as the Master and Wardens of
the Stationers' Company shall give information of, concerning the
printing and publishing their Books and Pamphlets, and to examine also
what they know concerning the Libel [the Libel against the Peers of which
George Jeffrey had dispersed copies], who was the author, printer, and
contriver of it; and the Gentleman-Usher shall attach the parties, and
bring them before the Judges; and the Stationers are to be present at
their examinations, and give evidence against them."

This was clearly a tighter action against Milton than the former one by
the Commons. What came of it?--Woodward's business came up on the next
Tuesday, Dec. 31, when Mr. Justice Bacon informed this House of some
papers which Ezechiell Woodward [it was "Hezekiah" before] confessed he
made: "Hereupon it is ordered, that Mr. Serjeant Whitfield shall peruse
them over, and report them to this House; and, because the said Woodward
is now in custody of the Gentleman-Usher, it is ordered, He shall be
released, giving his own bond to appear before this House when he shall
be summoned." Woodward's offence, it would therefore seem, was considered
venial. He had nothing to do with the Libel that was the special subject
of inquiry; and, though he had confessed to the authorship of some
anonymous papers recently published, there seemed to be nothing
formidable in them. He might go back to his house in Aldermanbury on his
own recognisances. [Footnote: "_Soft Answers unto Hard Censures_,
London 1645," is the title of a tract of Woodward's subsequent to the
incident of the text, and possibly referring to it; after which I find
him, so far as there is evidence, totally silent till 1656. In that year
he published four new religious or politico religious pamphlets; which is
the last I know of him at present.] But what of Milton? Not a word about
_him_ in the Journals of the same day. He was not in the custody of
the Gentleman-Usher then at all events; and so far he had been more
fortunate than Woodward. Possibly, he had had a call from the Usher in
his house in Aldersgate Street on the Saturday or Monday, had accompanied
him to the chambers of Mr. Justice Reeve or Mr. Justice Bacon, had
confronted the Master and Wardens of the Stationers' Company there, and
had there given such a satisfactory and straightforward account of his
questioned pamphlets that there was no need for detaining him, or
troubling him farther. Some report may have been made to the Peers by the
Justices; but if so, it was of such a kind, and the Peers themselves had
such information about Milton, that they thought it best to let the
matter drop without the least farther mention of it. If even two or three
of them had read the _Areopagitica_ (and probably even more had),
that alone would have honourably acquitted him. It appears, however, from
a subsequent allusion by Milton himself, as if the _Doctrine and
Discipline_ of Divorce was still the real stumbling-block. On that
subject too the Peers may have been a little liberal by this time. Was
not the great Mr. Selden understood to hold opinions on Marriage and
Divorce very much the same as those Mr. Milton had published? So the
Peers may have reasoned for themselves; and it is not at all improbable
that Selden, Vane, and others of the Lower House may have given them a
hint what to do. And so the Booksellers were baulked again. Baillie and
Gillespie, who did not leave London for their Scottish holiday till Jan.
6, 1644-5, may have been a little disappointed, and the Presbyterians
generally. [Footnote: Authorities for this curious story are the entries
in the Lords' Journals of the dates named--Vol. VII. pp. 91, 92, 97, 115,
116, and 118. The one-and-twenty Peers who were present on Saturday, Dec.
28, when the order for Milton's examination was issued were--Lord Grey of
Wark, as Speaker; the Lord General the Earl of Essex; the Lord High
Admiral the Earl of Warwick; Earls Rutland, Kent, Pembroke, Salisbury,
Bolingbroke, Manchester, Nottingham, Northumberland, Denbigh, and
Stamford; Viscount Saye and Sele; and Lords North, Montague, Howard of
Escrick, Berkeley, Bruce, Willoughby of Parham, and Wharton. The same
Peers, with the omission of the Earl of Northumberland and Lord Wharton,
and the addition of the Earl of Suffolk (_i.e._ twenty Peers in
all), were present on Dec. 31, when a report was made on Woodward's case,
but none on Milton's.--Selden's _Uxor Ebraica_ was published in
1646, and was then much welcomed by Milton.--That the Divines of the
Westminster Assembly were at the back of this second prosecution of
Milton, though the authorities of the Stationers' Company were the
nominal accusers, is not only probable in itself, but is distinctly
implied by Anthony Wood's reference to the affair (Fasti I. 483). "Upon
the publication of the said three books of marriage and divorce," says
Wood, with a slight error as to the number of the books on that subject
then published, "the Assembly of Divines then sitting at Westminster took
special notice of them; and thereupon, though the author had obliged them
by his pen in his defence of _Smectymnuus_, and other their controversies
had with the Bishops, they, impatient of having the clergy's jurisdiction
(as they reckoned it) invaded, did, instead of answering or disproving
what those books had asserted, cause him to be summoned before the House
of Lords: but that House, whether approving the doctrine, or not
favouring the accusers, did soon dismiss him."]


And now we are in the winter of 1644-5, when Parliament and all London,
and all England, were astir with the two great businesses of the New-
Modelling of the Parliamentary Army and the Self-Denying Ordinance. It
was with public talk about these matters, and about such contemporary
matters as the execution of Laud, the death of Century White, and the
abortive Treaty of Uxbridge, that any immediate influence from Milton's
_Areopagitica_ must have mingled. In the midst of it all he had
other labours on hand. They were still on the woful subject of Divorce.

Not only had the subject fastened on Milton with all the force of a
propagandist passion, urging him to repeated expositions of it; there
were, moreover, fresh external occasions calling on him not to desist. Of
four such external occasions, amid others now unknown to us, we may here
take note:--[Footnote: Palmer's Dedication of the Sermon.] Herbert
Palmer's sermon, with the attack on Milton still remaining in it, had now
been published. "Some bodily indispositions" had prevented Palmer from at
once complying with the request of the two Houses that he would print the
sermon; but at length, in September or October 1644, it had appeared.
[Footnote: "By William Prynne, of Lincoln's Inn, Esquier: London, Printed
for Michael Sparke, Sem., and are to be sold at the Blew Bible in Green
Arbour, 1644." The Exact date of publication I ascertain from Thomason's
note, "Sept. 16," in a copy in the British Museum.] About the same time
(more precisely the 16th of September, 1644) there appeared one of
Prynne's interminable publications, entitled "_Twelve considerable
serious Questions touching Church government: sadly propounded (out of a
Reel Desire of Unitie and Tranquillity in Church and State) to all sober-
minded Christians, cordially affecting a speedy settled Reformation and
Brotherly Christian Union in all our Churches and Dominions, now
miserably wasted with Civill Unnaturall Wars, and deplorably lacerated
with Ecclesiastical Dissensions._" Though with so long a title, the
thing consists but of eight largish quarto pages, with a bristle of
marginal references. "Having neither leisure nor opportunity," says
Prynne, "to debate the late unhappy differences sprung up amongst us
touching Church-government (disputed at large by Master Herle, Doctor
Steward, Master Rutherford, Master Edwards, Master Durey, Master Goodwin,
Master Nye, Master Sympson, and others), ... I have (at the importunity
of some Reverend friends) digested my subitane apprehensions of these
distracting controversies into the ensuing considerable Questions."
Accordingly, the Tract consists of 12 Queries propounded for
consideration, each numbered and beginning with the word "Whether." We
are concerned mainly with Query 11. It runs as follows:--"Whether that
Independent Government which some contend for ... be not of its own
nature a very seminary of schisms and dangerous divisions in the Church
and State? a floodgate to let in an inundation of all manner of heresies,
errors, sects, religions, destructive opinions, libertinism and
lawlessness, among us, without any sufficient means of preventing or
suppressing them when introduced? Whether the final result of it (as
Master Williams, in his late dangerous licentious work, _A Bloudy
Tenent_, determines) will not really resolve itself into this
detestable conclusion, that every man, whether he be Jew, Turk, Pagan,
Papist, Arminian, Anabaptist, &c., ought to be left to his own free
liberty of conscience, without any coercion or restraint, to embrace or
publicly to profess what Religion, Opinion, Church government, he
pleaseth and conceiveth to be truest, though never so erroneous, false,
seditious, detestable in itself? And whether such a government as this
ought to be embraced, much less established among us (the sad effects
whereof we have already experimentally felt by the late dangerous
increase of many Anabaptistical, Antinomian, Heretical, Atheistical
opinions, as of _The Soul's Mortality, Divorce at Pleasure_, &c.,
lately broached, preached, printed in this famous city; which I hope our
Grand Council will speedily and carefully suppress), &c." Here, and by no
less a man than Prynne, Milton's Divorce Doctrine is publicly referred to
as one of the enormities of the time, and coupled, as of coequal infamy,
with the contemporary doctrine of the Mortality of the Soul vented in an
anonymous tract. (3) Farther, in the month of November, or while the
_Areopagitica_ was in the press, there had appeared the first
distinct Reply to Milton's original Divorce Treatise. It was a pamphlet,
in 44 pages of small quarto, with this title:--"_An Answer to a Book,
Intituled, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, or A Plea for Ladies
and Gentlewomen, and all other Married Women, against Divorce. Wherein
Both Sexes are vindicated from all bondage of Canon Law, and other
mistakes whatsoever: And the Unsound Principles of the Author are
examined and fully confuted by Authority of Holy Scripture, the Laws of
this Land, and Sound Reason. London, Printed by G. M. for William Lee at
the Turk's-Head in Fleet Street, next to the Miter Taverne._ 1644."
[Footnote: Entered at Stationers' Hall, Oct. 31, 1644 (my notes from the
Registers); Licensed Nov. 14 (the pamphlet itself); out in London, Nov.
19 (Thomason's note in copy in British Museum, Press Mark 12 G. o.
12/181)] Milton had now his wish: one of his adversaries had written a
book, and could be wrestled with. Nay more, though the writer had not
given his name, the licenser, Mr. Joseph Caryl, had, in his prefixed
"Imprimatur," applauded the sentiments of the tract, and spoken
slightingly of Milton. Mr. Caryl, therefore, on his own account, might
deserve a word. (4) Finally, in January 1644-5, Dr. Daniel Featley, from
his prison in "the Lord Peter's house in Aldersgate Street," close to
Milton's own dwelling, had sent forth his "_Dippers Dipt, or the
Anabaptists Duck'd and Plung'd over Head and Eares_" [Footnote: See
_antè, p._ 138.] dedicating it publicly to the Parliament and
privately to his "Reverend and much-esteemed friend, Mr. John Downam,"--
the very person, by the bye, who had good-naturedly licensed Milton's
Bucer pamphlet. Now, Featley, in this book, had been at Milton among
others. Denouncing the Anabaptists on all sorts of grounds in his Epistle
Dedicatory to the Parliament, he charges them especially with originating
odious heresies beyond their own. "For they print," he says, "not only
Anabaptism, from whence they take their name, but many other most
damnable doctrines, tending to carnal liberty, Familism, and a medley and
hodge-podge of all Religions. Witness the Book, printed 1644, called
_The Bloudy Tenent_, which the author affirmeth he wrote in milk;
and, if he did so, he hath put some ratsbane in it [Footnote: Featley
blunders here. Roger Williams did not say he had written his book in
milk, but that the Baptist Tract of 1620 which he reprints in his book
was said to have been written in milk in prison on pieces of paper sent
to the writer as stoppers to his milk-bottle--his friends outside
deciphering the writing by heating the papers.]--as, namely, 'that it is
the will and command of God that, since the coming of his son the Lord
Jesus, a permission of the most Paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or Anti-
Christian consciences and worships, be granted to all men in all nations
and countries,' ... Witness a Tractate on Divorce, in which the bonds of
marriage are let loose to inordinate lust and putting away wives for many
other causes besides that which our Saviour only approveth, viz. in case
of Adultery. Witness a Pamphlet newly come forth, entitled _Man's
Mortality_, in which the soul is cast into an Endymion sleep from the
hour of death to the day of Judgment. Witness," &c. One other dreadful
pamphlet is mentioned; but it is worthy of note that the persons with
whom Milton now, as before, is most pertinaciously associated are Roger
Williams and the author of _Man's Mortality_.

These external occasions and provocations co-operating with his unabated
interest in the Divorce doctrine on personal and general grounds, Milton
was busy, through the winter of 1644-5, on two new Divorce Treatises.
They both appeared on the same day--March 4, 1644-5. The one was his
TETRACHORDON; the other was his COLASTERION. Neither was licensed, and
neither was registered. [Footnote: The date of publication is ascertained
from copies of both among the King's Pamphlets in the British Museum--
both with the Press Mark 19. G. e. 11/195. In both the printed year of
publication on the title-page is 1645; but in both Thomason, the
Collector, has put his pen through the 5, and has annexed in manuscript
the date "March 4, 1644." Books published near the 25th of March were
generally dated in the year then to begin.] Some account of these two
Treatises must conclude our present section of Milton's Biography.


We shall take the TETRACHORDON first. It is a bulky treatise, consisting,
in the original edition, of 104 small quarto pages; of which 6, not
numbered, are occupied with a Dedication to Parliament, and the remaining
98 are numbered and form the body of the work. The following is the
complete title:--


Expositions upon the foure chief places in Scripture, which treat of
Marriage, or nullities in Marriage.

  Gen. i. 27-28, compar'd and explain'd by Gen. ii. 18, 23, 24
  Dent. xxiv. 1-2.
  Matth. v. 31-32, with Matth. xix., from the 3 v. to the 11th.
  1 Cor vii., from the 10th to the 16th.

Wherein the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, as was lately publish'd,
is confirm'd by explanation of Scripture, by testimony of ancient
Fathers, of civill lawes in the Primitive Church, of famousest Reformed
Divines, and lastly, by an intended Act of the Parlament and Church of
England in the last yeare of Edward the Sixth. By the former Author J.

  [Greek: skaioisi kaina prospheron sopha
  doxeis achreios k oy sophos pephykenai
  ton d ay dokounton eidenai ti poikilon
  kreisson nomistheis en polei lupros phanæ.]
                        _Euripid. Medea_
  London: Printed in the yeare 1645.

As the title indicates, the body of the Treatise consists mainly of an
elaborate examination and comparison of the four chief passages of
Scripture relating to Marriage and Divorce, viz. _Genesis_ i. 27-28, with
ii. 18, 23, 24; _Deuteronomy_ xxiv. 1-2; _Matthew_ v. 31-32, with xix.
3-11; and 1 Corinth, vii. 10-16. This labour of Biblical exegesis Milton
had undertaken, he tells us, in consequence of the representations of
some judicious friends, who thought that, while there was "reason to a
sufficiency" in his first Divorce Treatise, a fuller discussion of the
texts of Scripture there alleged might be desirable. How he performed the
labour--how he plods through the four passages in succession, explaining,
commenting, answering objections, and in the end construing each and all
together into a ratification of his own Doctrine of Divorce, or at least
into consistency with it--must be learnt, if it is learnt at all, from
the _Tetrachordon_ itself. Very few now-a-days will care to read it. For
it is decidedly, according to our modern ideas, a heavy pamphlet. The
_Areopagitica_ bites into modern interests and the constitution of the
modern intellect; the _Tetrachordon_, though it must have occupied the
author longer, has, I should say, quite lost its bite, except for
students of Milton, and for reasoners who would debate his Divorce
Doctrine over again by the same method of the interpretation of Biblical
texts. For Milton is most submissive to the Bible throughout. Clearly it
was his opinion that whatever the Bible could be found to have ruled on
any point must be accepted as the decision. There is no sign of any
dissent by him from the most orthodox idea of the verbal inspiration of
Scripture. Not the less he contrives that the Bible shall support his own
free conclusions. It is evident that the method of his exegesis was not
so much to extract positive injunctions from particular texts as to let
the doctrine of the Bible as a whole invade and pervade his mind, uniting
there with whatever of clear sense or high views of affairs it could
find, and so forming a kind of organ of large and enlightened Christian
reason, by which the Bible itself could then, in all mere particulars, be
safely interpreted. Once and again, in the course of his _Tetrachordon_,
he expresses his contempt for the grubbing literalists, who, in their
microscopic infatuation over one text at a time, miss the view of the
whole waving field of all the texts together. Yet he shows much ingenuity
in parts of the verbal proof, and produces also commentators of repute
who agreed with him.

There is, and doubtless purposely, in order to give weight to the new
book, a large display of learning in its pages. Besides the motto from
Euripides to begin with, there are references, in the course of the
commentary, to Plato, Philo, Josephus, Cicero, Horace, Cellius, Justin
Martyr, Eusebius, Tertullian, St. Augustine, Beza, Paræus, Rivetus,
Vatablus, Dr. Ames, Spanheim, Diodati, Marinaro, Cameron, and many more.
At the end of the commentary on the Texts, also, there is an express
synopsis of testimonies, for the benefit, as Milton is careful to
explain, of the weaker sort who are led by authorities, and not because
he sets much store on that style of proof himself. Here we have Justin
Martyr again, Tertullian again, Origen, Lactantius, several early
Councils, Basil, Epiphanius, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine again, the Laws
of Theodosius and Valentinian, Leo, Wycliffe, Luther, Melanchthon,
Erasmus, Bucer of course, Fagius of course, the Confession of the Church
of Strasburg, Peter Martyr, Musculus, Gualter of Zurich, Hemingius,
Hunnius, Bidenbachius, Harbardus, Wigandus, Beza again, Aretius of Berne,
Alciat of Milan, Corasius, Wesembechius, and Grotius. When he quotes one
of the Fathers, I may observe in passing, Milton is true to the Puritan
instinct, and never prefixes to the name the title of Saint; it is always
"Austin," for example, and not "St. Austin." Also it may be noted that he
is punctual in making it clear whether he quotes from his own knowledge
or at second hand. Thus, referring to Wycliffe's view of Marriage as put
forth in one of his writings, he says, "This book, indeed, through the
poverty of our Libraries, I am forced to cite from Arnisæus of
Halberstadt on the Right of Marriage, who cites it from Corasius of
Toulouse, _c._ 4., _Cent. Set._, and he from Wicklef _l._ 4. _Dial c._
2l."--Appended to the collation of Testimonies, and winding up the whole
treatise, is a historical statement to which Milton attached great
importance, and which is really interesting. It was only by chance, he
says, that a notion of Divorce not far short of his own was not then
actually part and parcel of the Law of England. For, when young Edward
VI. had abolished the Canon Law out of his dominions, a Committee of two-
and-thirty select persons, Divines and Lawyers, had been appointed by
Parliament--Cranmer, Peter Martyr, Walter Haddon, and Sir John Cheke, the
King's tutor, being members of this Committee--to frame a new set of
ecclesiastical laws. The draft was actually finished, and it included a
law of Divorce substantially such as Bucer had then recommended to the
English. It allowed complete Divorce not only for the causes usually
esteemed grave and capital, but for such causes as desertion, cruel
usage, or even continued contentiousness and wrangling. The untimely
death of the young King alone had prevented this Law from coming into
effect. This fact in English history, it is evident, together with the
knowledge of such an amount of scattered opinion in his favour lying in
the works of other authors besides his formerly quoted Bucer, Fagius,
Erasmus and Grotius, had been acquired by Milton by fresh research since
he had published his Bucer Tract. And here again there is the curious
struggle between Milton's delight in finding auxiliaries and his feeling
of property in his own idea. "God, I solemnly attest him," he says,
"withheld from my knowledge the consenting judgment of these men so late
until they could not be my instructors, but only my unexpected witnesses
to partial men that in this work I had not given the worst experiment of
an industry joined with integrity, and the free utterance though of an
unpopular truth." Again, in a passage where he points out that a truth is
never thoroughly sifted out in one age, and that some of those who had
preceded him in the Divorce notion had only hinted it in vague terms, and
others who had been more explicit in the assertion of it had still left
it to be fully argued, he concludes with a gentle remark that perhaps,
after all, it will be his fortune "to meet the praise or dispraise of
being something first."

There is no abatement in the _Tetrachordon_ of the bitterness of
Milton's feeling on the subject of an unsuitable marriage. Rather the
bitterness is more concentrated and intense. It is as if eighteen months
of rumination over his own unhappy condition had made him savage. There
is careful abstinence still from all direct allusion to his own case; but
there are again the repeated phrases of loathing with which he
contemplates, chiefly from the man's side, the forced union of two
irreconcileable or ill-matched minds:--"a creature inflicted on him to
the vexation of his righteousness"; "a carnal acrimony without either
love or peace"; "a ransomless captivity"; "the dungeon-gate as
irrecoverable as the grave"; "the mere carcase of a marriage"; "the
disaster of a no-marriage"; "counter-plotting and secret wishing one
another's dissolution"; "a habit of wrath and perturbation"; "heavenly
with hellish, fitness with unfitness," &c. "God commands not
impossibilities," he bursts out, "and all the ecclesiastical glue that
Liturgy or Laymen can compound is not able to sodder up two such
incongruous natures into the one flesh of a true beseeming marriage." Or
take this remarkable passage, repeating an opinion we have already had
from him, "No wise man but would sooner pardon the act of adultery once
and again committed by a person worth pity and forgiveness than to lead a
wearisome life of unloving and unquiet conversation with one who neither
affects nor is affected, much less with one who exercises all bitterness,
and would commit adultery too, but for envy lest the persecuted condition
should thereby get the benefit of his freedom." This assertion that
adultery is more venial than mental unfitness is reiterated in another
place, with a bold addition: "Adultery does not exclude her other
fitness, her other pleasingness; she may be otherwise loving and
prevalent." Occasionally, it may be added, in a less startling way than
this, Milton leaves the man's point of view and tries to be considerate
about the woman. Not that he recants his doctrine of the inferiority of
her sex to man's. On the contrary he repeats it, extracting out of
Genesis the absolute certainty that it was Man that was made primarily
and immediately in the image of God, and that the image of God is in
Woman only by derivation from Man. But he qualifies the doctrine at once
gallantly and shrewdly. "Nevertheless," he says, "man is not to hold
woman as a servant, but receives her into a part of that empire which God
proclaims him to,--though not equally, yet largely, as his own image and
glory; for it is no small glory to him that a creature so like him should
be made subject to him. Not but that particular exceptions may have
place, if she exceed her husband in prudence and dexterity, and he
contentedly yield; for then a superior and more natural law comes in,
that the wiser should govern the less wise, whether male or female."

This may be taken as the summary of Milton's doctrine about Woman's
Rights. Incidentally also the Treatise furnishes us with his opinion on
Teetotalism and the Permissive Bill. It comes in thus:--The Mosaic Law
(Deut. xxiv. 1-2) allowing a man to give his wife a writing of
divorcement and send her away, if he did not like her, had been
interpreted by some, in consequence of Christ's comment upon it (Matt.
xix. 8), as only a Permissive Bill on this subject to the hard-hearted
Jews. To continue it in modern times would be to open the door to
license: it would be abused; everybody would be putting away his wife;
there must therefore be no longer any such Permissive Bill, but a strict
Law of indissoluble marriage. Well then, by the same reasoning, Milton
argues, there ought to be a great many more strict laws, that nobody had
ever thought of. "What more foul and common sin among us than
drunkenness; and who can be ignorant that, if the importation of wine,
and the use of all strong drink, were forbid, it would both clean rid the
possibility of committing that odious vice, and men might afterwards live
happily and healthfully without the use of those intoxicating liquors?
Yet who is there, the severest of them all, that ever propounded to lose
his sack, his ale, toward the certain abolishing of so great a sin; who
is there of them, the holiest, that less loves his rich canary at meals,
though it be fetched from places that hazard the religion of them who
fetch it, and though it make his neighbour drunk out of the same tun?
While they forbid not, therefore, the use of that liquid marchandise,
which forbidden would utterly remove a most loathsome sin, and not impair
either the health or the refreshment of mankind, supplied many other
ways, why do they forbid a Law of God, the forbidding whereof brings into
an excessive bondage oft-times the best of men, and betters not the
worse? He, to remove a national vice, will not pardon his cups, nor think
it concerns him to forbear the quaffing of that outlandish grape in his
unnecessary fulness, though other men abuse it never so much; nor is he
so abstemious as to intercede with the magistrate that all manner of
drunkenness be banished the Commonwealth: and yet, for the fear of a less
inconvenience, unpardonably requires of his brethren in their extreme
necessity to debar themselves the use of God's Permissive Law, though it
might be their saving, and no man's endangering the more! Thus, this
peremptory strictness, we may discern of what sort it is, how unequal and
how unjust." Lest the meaning of this passage should be mistaken, we may
point out that the Permissive Bill in the matter of drinking which it
defends by implication is a Permissive Bill to drink and not a Permissive
Bill to prevent drinking. The passage, therefore, cannot be quoted as
Milton's testimony in favour of the so-called modern Permissive Bill. It
is dead the reverse. And yet there is a lurking kindness in the passage
towards a Permissive Bill of that sort, contemplated as possible, though
yet unheard of; and, though Milton's principle of Liberty would have
bound him to oppose it, he would perhaps have done so reluctantly. The
idea of a country cleared of all its apparatus of Bacchus, and in which
wine, or ale, or any other form of intoxicating fluid, ruby, amber, or
crystal at its purest, should be unattainable by any mortal breathing on
its surface, had, so far as his personal tastes and habits were
concerned, no terrors for Milton. Had it been a matter of personal
preference, instead of principle, he would gladly, I doubt not, have
consented to a Permissive Bill in England to prevent absolutely the
drinking of intoxicating liquors, if it had been accompanied by a
ratification of Moses's Permissive Bill in quite the contrary sense, by
which the sobered nation should have the right of divorcing.

Nothing has been said yet about the few pages prefixed to the
_Tetrachordon_, in which Milton dedicates the treatise, as he had
done three already (the _Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_, the
_Buear Tract_, and the _Areopagitica_), to the Parliament of
England. These pages, though put first, were doubtless written last. They
are signed with the writer's name in full. In respect of biographical
information, of the external kind at least, they are more interesting
than the treatise itself. Most of the information, however, will now be
sufficiently intelligible, if given in the form of mere extracts, without
more of explanation than may be supplied by Italic headings:--

_Thanks to Parliament for Past Favour and Protection_:--"Although it
be generally known how and by whom ye have been instigated to a hard
censure of that former Book entitled _The Doctrine and Discipline of
Divorce_--an opinion held by some of the best among Reformed writers
without scandal or confinement, though now thought new and dangerous by
some of our severe Gnostics, whose little reading and less meditating
holds ever with hardest obstinacy that which it took up with easiest
credulity--I do not find yet that aught, for the furious incitements that
have been used, hath issued by your appointment that might give the least
interruption or disrepute either to the Author or the Book. Which he who
will be better advised than to call your neglect, or connivance at a
thing imagined so perilous, can attribute it to nothing more justly than
to the deep and quiet stream of your direct and calm deliberations, that
gave not way either to the fervent rashness or the immaterial gravity of
those who ceased not to exasperate without cause. For which uprightness,
and incorrupt refusal of what ye were incensed to, Lords and Commons--
though it were done to justice, not to me, and was a peculiar
demonstration how far your ways are different from the rash vulgar--
besides those allegiance of oath and duty which are my public debt to
your public labours, I have yet a store of gratitude laid up which cannot
be exhausted; and such thanks perhaps they may live to be as shall more
than whisper them to the next ages."

_Punishment for Mr. Herbert Palmer_:--"I shall here briefly single
one of them [his detractors], because he hath obliged me to it--who, I
persuade me, having scarce read the book, nor knowing him who writ it, or
at least feigning the latter [!], hath not forborne to scandalize him,
unconferred with, unadmonished, undealt with by any pastorly or brotherly
convincement, in the most open and invective manner, and at the most
bitter opportunity that drift or set design could have invented. And
this, whenas the Canon Law, though commonly most favouring the boldness
of their priests, punishes the naming or traducing of any person in the
Pulpit, was by him made no scruple. If I shall therefore take licence by
the right of nature, and that liberty wherein I was born, to defend
myself publicly against a printed calumny, and do willingly appeal to
those Judges to whom I am accused, it can be no immoderate or unallowable
course of seeking so just and needful reparations. Which I had done long
since, had not these employments which are now visible deferred me.--It
was preached before ye, Lords and Commons, in August last, upon a special
Day of Humiliation, that 'there was a wicked book abroad;' and ye were
taxed of sin. that it was yet 'uncensured, the book deserving to be
burnt;' and 'impudence' also was charged upon the Author, who durst 'set
his name to it, and dedicate it to yourselves.' First, Lords and Commons,
I pray to that God before whom ye then were prostrate so to forgive ye
those omissions and trespasses which ye desire most should find
forgiveness, as I shall soon show to the world how easily ye absolve
yourselves of that which this man calls your sin, and is indeed your
wisdom and your nobleness, whereof to this day ye have done well not to
repent. He terms it 'a wicked book,' and why but 'for allowing other
causes of Divorce than Christ and his Apostles mention;' and with the
same censure condemns of wickedness not only Martin Bucer, that elect
instrument of Reformation, highly honoured and had in reverence by Edward
the Sixth and his whole Parliament--whom also I had published in English,
by a good providence, about a week before this calumnious digression was
preached, so that, if he knew not Bucer then, as he ought to have known,
he might at least have known him some months after, ere the Sermon came
in print; wherein, notwithstanding, he persists in his former sentence,
and condemns again of wickedness, either ignorantly or wilfully, not only
Martin Bucer, and all the choicest and holiest of our Reformers, but the
whole Parliament and Church of England in those best and purest times of
Edward the Sixth. All which I shall prove with good evidence at the end
of these Explanations. And then let it be judged and seriously considered
with what hope the affairs of our Religion are committed to one among
others [the Westminster Assembly] who hath now only left him which of the
twain he will choose--whether this shall be his palpable ignorance, or
the same 'wickedness' of his own Book which he so lavishly imputes to the
writings of other men; and whether this of his, that thus peremptorily
defames and attaints of wickedness unspotted Churches, unblemished
Parliaments, and the most eminent Restorers of Christian Doctrine,
deserve not to be 'burnt' first. And, if his heat had burst out only
against the _opinion_, his wonted passion had no doubt been silently
borne with wonted patience. Eut, since, against the charity of that
solemn place and meeting, it served him further to inveigh opprobriously
against the _person_, traducing him with no less than 'impudence,'
only for setting his name to what he had written, I must be excused not
to be so wanting to the defence of an honest name, or to the reputation
of those good men who afford me their society, but to be sensible of such
a foul endeavoured disgrace--not knowing aught, either in mine own
deserts or the laws of this land, why I should be subject, in such a
notorious and illegal manner, to the intemperancies of this man's
preaching choler. ... But, if only to have writ my name must be accounted
'impudence' how doth this but justify another, who might affirm, with as
good warrant, that the late Discourse of _Scripture and Reason_,
which is certain to be chiefly his [Palmer's] own draft, was published
without a name out of base fear, and the sly avoidance of what might
follow if the party at Court should hap to reach him! And I, to have set
my name where he accuses me to have set it, am so far from recanting that
I offer my hand also, if need be, to make good the same opinion which I
there maintain by inevitable consequences drawn parallel from his own
principal arguments in that of _Scripture and Reason_; which I shall
pardon him if he can deny without shaking his own composition to pieces.
The 'impudence,' therefore, since he weighed so little what a gross
revile that was to give his equal, I send him back again for a phylactery
to stitch upon his arrogance, that censures not only before conviction so
bitterly without so much as one reason given, but censures the
Congregation of his Governors to their faces, for not being so hasty as
himself to censure." [Footnote: The discourse _Scripture and
Reason_, which Milton here ascribes to Palmer, charging him with
cowardice in having published it anonymously, was a quarto pamphlet of 80
pages, published in April 1643, and purporting to be "by divers Reverend
and Learned Divines." More fully its title was _Scripture and Reason
Pleaded for Defensive Armes: or the whole Controversie about Subjects
taking up Armes_. It was, in fact, an elaborate proof, from Scripture
and Reason, of the right of the English Parliament and People to make war
upon the King. Doubtless Milton had ascertained that Palmer was its chief
author: hence, rather unnecessarily, his taunt. Palmer had also published
more recently (Dec. 1644), but _with_ his name, the First Part of a
Book called _Memorials of Godliness and Christianity_. It was afterwards
completed by two additional Parts, also with his name, Part II.
containing, among other things, a set of aphorisms entitled "The
character of a Christian in Paradoxes and seeming Contradictions." It had
so chanced, however, that, before he had published this Part II. of his
_Memorials_, a surreptitious edition of the aforesaid Aphorisms had found
its way into print, with no author's name attached (July 1645). Hence a
strange result. Palmer died in 1647, _ætat _. 46; and in the following
year--though his _Memorials_, containing the "Christian Paradoxes," were
in circulation with his name--the "Christian Paradoxes" by themselves, as
they had been published anonymously in the surreptitious edition of July
1645, were published as Lord Bacon's in a quarto volume of Bacon's
"Remaines." The blunder was probably then detected; but it was again
committed in 1730, when the "Paradoxes" were included in Blackburn's
Edition of Bacon's works. From that date till 1864 the "Paradoxes" were
printed as Bacon's, and, though suspected by some, yet often written
about as Bacon's; but in the last-mentioned year the mistake was
rectified, and Herbert Palmer reinstated in the authorship of the
"Paradoxes," by the Rev. Alexander B. Grosart (See his little volume
_Lord Bacon not the Author of "The Christian Paradoxes:"_ see also
Spedding's _Bacon_, VII. 289 _et seq._).]

_Punishment for Dr. Featley_:--"Some whose necessary shifts have
long inured them to cloak the defects of their unstudied years and hatred
now to learn under the appearance of a grave solidity--which estimation
they have gained among weak perceivers--find the ease of slighting what
they cannot refute, and are determined, as I hear, to hold it not worth
the answering. In which number I must be forced to reckon that Doctor
who, in a late equivocating Treatise plausibly set afloat against the
_Dippers_, diving the while himself with a more deep prelatical
malignance against the present State and Church Government, mentions with
ignominy the 'Tractate of Divorce;' yet answers nothing, but instead
thereof (for which I do not commend his _marshalling_), sets Moses
also among the crew of his Anabaptists, as one who to a holy nation, the
Commonwealth of Israel, gave laws 'breaking the bonds of marriage to
inordinate lost' These are no mean surges of blasphemy--not only
'dipping' Moses the Divine Lawgiver, but dashing with a high hand against
the justice and purity of God Himself; as these ensuing Scriptures,
plainly and freely handled, shall verify to the lancing of that old
apostemated error. Him, therefore, I leave now to his repentance."
[Footnote: Poor Dr. Featley died April 17, 1645 (_ætat_ 65), only six
weeks after this punishment of him was published. He had then been
restored to liberty, for he died in his house at Chelsea. Milton knew him
perfectly when he characterized him as one of those who had gained among
"weak perceivers" a reputation for "grave solidity." And yet it is
touching to have before me, as I now have in a copy of the Sixth Edition
of the _Dippers Dipt_ (1651), not only an elaborate portrait of Featley
by the engraver Marshall, done in the ordinary way, but also an engraving
representing the old man most painfully  as he looked when lying in his
winding-sheet before they put him into his coffin. Over the corpse are
these words, "I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I
have kept the faith;" and underneath is Featley's Latin Epitaph, telling
that he was "Impugnator Papismi, Propugnator Reformationis," and
"Theologus Insignis, Disputator Strenuus, Conscionator Egregius."--The
word "_marshalling_" which I have italicised in the extract from Milton
about Featley is, no doubt, a punning allusion to an engraving by
Marshall in the _Dippers Dipt_, giving caricatures of different kinds of
Sectaries, with a representation of men and women bathing in the centre
(see _antè_, p. 188, Note). ]

A fact which might have been guessed independently, but which it is
interesting to have told us by Milton himself, is that there were some
persons who were particularly courteous in acknowledging the ability
shown in the Divorce treatise, the "wit and parts" of the author, his
"elocution," and the more than ordinary "industry, exactness, and labour"
he had expended on the subject, but who made all this only an excuse for
not discussing his proposition seriously. On this class of his critics
Milton is very severe. They were like those, he said, who used to get off
from Socrates, when they could not resist the force of his truths, by
saying that Socrates could at any time make the worse cause seem the
better. To what would the world, to what would England, come, if this
habit of regarding all novelty as sophistry, of making the very ability
and learning bestowed upon a doctrine an objection to the receipt of that
doctrine, were to become general? "Ignorance and illiterate presumption,"
he says, "which is yet but our disease, will turn at length into our very
constitution, and prove the hectic evil of this age." He hoped better of
the Parliament; he hoped that they would not overlook the necessity of a
change of the Law in this matter of Divorce. At all events he had done
his part. "Henceforth, except new cause be given, I shall say less and
less. For, if the Law make not a timely provision, let the Law, as reason
is, bear the censure of those consequences which her own default now more
evidently produces. And, if men want manliness to expostulate the right
of their due ransom, and to second their own occasions, they may sit
hereafter and bemoan themselves to have neglected, through faintness, the
only remedy of their sufferings, which a seasonable and well-grounded
speaking might have purchased them. And perhaps in time to come others
will know how to esteem what is not every day put into their hands, when
they have marked events, and better weighed how hurtful and unwise it is
to hide a secret and pernicious rupture under the ill counsel of a
bashful silence." Here Milton seems to be speaking for himself. He seems
to be giving warning what he means to do without leave of the Law if the
Law will not give him leave,


COLASTERION is Greek for "Punishment." Now Mr. Herbert Palmer and Dr.
Featley had each had his _colasterion_ in the Dedication prefixed to
the TETRACHORDON. Three other persons were waiting for their turn of the
lash. These were the anonymous author of that Answer to Milton's Treatise
which had been published in the preceding November; [Footnote: See its
full title, _antè_, pp. 299-300.] the Rev. Mr. Joseph Caryl, the
licenser of that Answer; and the famous Mr. Prynne. The COLASTERION,
expressly so called, published by Milton on the same day with the
TETRACHORDON, settled accounts with these gentlemen. It is a short tract
of twenty-seven pages, without preface. Its full title was as follows;--
"_Colasterion: A Reply to a Nameles Answer against 'The Doctrine and
Discipline of Divorce,' Wherein the trivial Author of that Answer is
discovver'd, the licenser conferr'd with, and the Opinion which they
traduce defended. By the former author, J. M._ Prov. xxvi. 5. Answer
a Fool according to his folly, lest hee bee wise in his own conceit.
_Printed in the year_ 1645."

First for Mr. Caryl. What was _his_ offence? It was that, not
content with merely licensing the anonymous answer to Milton, he had
become godfather to it by expressing the license thus:--

"To preserve the strength of the Marriage-bond and the Honour of that
estate against those sad breaches and dangerous abuses of it which common
discontents (on this side Adultery) are likely to make in unstaid minds
and men given to change, by taking in or grounding themselves upon the
opinion answered and with good reason confuted in this Treatise, I have
approved the printing and publishing of it.--November 14, 1644. Joseph

Now Caryl was not a nobody. He was one of the Assembly of Divines, and in
that Assembly was tending by this time to the side of the Independents.
He was also Lincoln's Inn preacher, had published some sermons, and was
known to be engaged on an exposition of the Book of Job; which attained
at length, when it was published (1648-66), the vast dimensions of twelve
quarto volumes. [Footnote: Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual, by Bohn:
Art. _Caryl_; and Wood's Athenæ, III. 979--983.] He was about four
years older than Milton; who thus "confers with" him:--

_Punishment for Mr. Caryl_:-"A Licenser is not contented now to give
his single "Imprimatur," but brings his chair into the title-leaf; there
sits and judges up or judges down what book he pleases. If this be
suffered, what worthless author, or what cunning printer, will not be
ambitious of such a stale to put off the heaviest gear?--which may in
time bring in round fees to the Licenser, and wretched mis-leading to the
people. But to the matter. He approves 'the publishing of this Book, to
preserve the strength and honour of Marriage against those sad breaches
and dangerous abuses of it.' Belike then the wrongful suffering of all
these sad breaches and abuses in marriage to a remediless thraldom is
'the strength and honour of Marriage!' A boisterous and bestial strength,
a dishonourable honour, an infatuated doctrine, worse than the _salvo
jure_ of tyrannizing which we all fight against! Next he saith that
'common discontents make these breaches in unstaid minds and men given to
change.' His words may be apprehended as if they disallowed only divorce
for 'common discontents in unstaid minds,' having no cause but a 'desire
for change;' and then we agree. But, if he take all discontents 'on this
side adultery' to be common, that is to say, not difficult to endure, and
to affect only 'unstaid minds,' it might administer just cause to think
him the unfittest man that could be to offer at a comment upon Job, as
seeming by this to have no more true sense of a good man in his
afflictions than those Edomitish friends had, of whom Job complains, and
against whom God testifies his anger. Shall a man of your coat, who hath
espoused his flock, and represents Christ more in being the true husband
of his congregation than an ordinary man doth in being the husband of his
wife--and yet this representment is thought a chief cause why marriage
must be inseparable--shall this spiritual man, ordinarily for the
increase of his maintenance, or any slight cause, forsake that wedded
cure of souls that should be dearest to him, and marry another and
another; and shall not a person wrongfully afflicted, and persecuted even
to extremity, forsake an unfit, injurious, and pestilent mate, tied only
by a civil and fleshly covenant? If you be a man so much hating change,
hate that other change; if yourself be not guilty, counsel your brethren
to hate it; and leave to be the supercilious judge of other men's
miseries and changes, that your own be not judged. The reasons of your
licensed pamphlet, you say, 'are good.' They must be better than your own
then . ... Mr. Licenser ... you are reputed a man discreet enough,
religious enough, honest enough--that is, to an ordinary competence in
all these. But now your turn is to hear what your own hand hath earned
ye, that when you suffered this nameless hangman to cast into public such
a despiteful contumely upon a name and person deserving of the Church and
State equally to yourself, and one who hath done more to the present
advancement of your own tribe than you or many of them have done for
themselves, you forgot to be either honest, religious, or discreet."
[Footnote: In 1645, according to Wood (Ath. III. 979), Mr. Caryl was
appointed to the living of St. Magnus near London Bridge.  It is probably
with this readiness of his to leave one congregation and wed another that
Milton twits him. Evidently Milton would not spare an Independent, any
more than a Presbyterian or Prelatist, who had given him offense.]

The punishment for Mr. Prynne is milder, and it comes in incidentally at
the very beginning of the _Colasterion:_--

_Punishment for Mr. Prynne_:--"After many rumours of confutations
and convictions forthcoming against _The Doctrine and Discipline of
Divorce_, and now and then a bye-blow from the Pulpit, feathered with
a censure, strict indeed, but how true more beholding to the authority of
that devout place which it borrowed to be uttered in than to any sound
reason which it could oracle,--while I still hoped, as for a blessing, to
see some piece of diligence or learned discretion come from them--it was
my hap at length, lighting on a certain parcel of _Queries_ that
seek and find not, to find not seeking, at the tail of 'Anabaptistical,'
'Antinomian,' 'Heretical,' 'Atheistical' epithets, a jolly slander called
'_Divorce at Pleasure_.' [Footnote: See the quotation from Prynne's
"Queries" antè, pp. 298-9.] I stood a while and wondered what we might do
to a man's heart, or what anatomy use, to find in it sincerity; for all
our wonted marks every day fail us, and where we thought it was we see it
is not--for alter and change residence it cannot sure. And yet I see no
good of body or of mind secure to a man for all his past labours, without
perpetual watchfulness and perseverance, whenas one above others
[_i.e._ Prynne] who hath suffered much and long in the defence of
Truth shall, after all this, give her cause to leave him so destitute,
and so vacant of her defence, as to yield his mouth to be the common road
of Truth and Falsehood, and such falsehood as is joined with the rash and
heedless calumny of his neighbour. For what book hath he ever met with,
as his complaint is, 'printed in the city,' maintaining, either in the
title or in the whole persuance, '_Divorce at Pleasure?_' 'Tis true
that to divorce upon extreme necessity, when, through the perverseness or
the apparent unaptness of either, the continuance can be to both no good
at all, but an intolerable injury and temptation to the wronged and the
defrauded, to divorce then there is a book that writes it lawful. And
that this law is a pure and wholesome national law, not to be withheld
from good men because others likely enough may abuse it to their
pleasure, cannot be charged upon that book, but must be entered a bold
and impious accusation against God himself, who did not for this abuse
withhold it from his own people. It will be just, therefore, and best for
the reputation of him who in his _Subitanes_ hath thus censured, to
recall his sentence. And if, out of the abundance of his volumes, and the
readiness of his quill, and the vastness of his other employments,
especially in the great Audit for Accounts, he can spare us aught to the
better understanding of this point, he shall be thanked in public, and
what hath offended in the book shall willingly submit to his correction--
provided he be sure not to come with those old and stale suppositions,
unless he can take away clearly what that discourse hath urged against
them, by one who will expect other arguments to be persuaded the good
health of a sound answer than the gout and dropsy of a big margent,
littered and overlaid with crude and huddled quotations."

But it is the anonymous author of the pamphlet which Mr. Caryl had
licensed that comes in for the most ferocious and protracted punishment.
On the evidence of the pamphlet itself one can see that he was some very
insignificant person, not worth Milton's while on his own account, but
only because Milton wanted to toss and gore somebody publicly for a whole
hour, by way of deterring others.

The Answerer begins by announcing that he is first to show what the
Doctrine or Discipline of Divorce really is, then to give some reasons
"why a man may not put away his wife for indisposition, unfitness, or
contrariety of mind, although manifested in much sharpness," and finally
to reply to the arguments to the contrary brought forward in Milton's
book. Nine pages having sufficed for the first two divisions, the
remaining thirty-five are devoted to Milton. They are dull and plodding,
the punctuation and expression showing that the author was ill-educated
and little accustomed to write; and, from the frequent use of scrivener-
like or attorney-like phrases and illustrations, one soon comes to
conjecture the pamphlet to have been written by some one in a small way
of law-business. Occasionally there is a little hit of personal
reference, proving that the writer knew something about Milton and his
reputed habits. Thus, speaking of Milton's complaint of a wife "to all
due conversation inaccessible," he says, "It is true, if every man were
of your breeding and capacity, there were some colour for this plea; for
we believe you to count no woman to due conversation accessible as to
you, except she can speak Hebrew, Greek, Latin and French, and dispute
against the Canon Law as well as you, or at least be able to hold
discourse with you. But other gentlemen of good quality are content with
fewer and meaner endowments, as you know well enough." Sometimes he
criticises Milton's phraseology. "The rankest politician," Milton had
said in one of his sentences; on which this is the comment: "Is this the
fine language that your book is commended for? Good your worship, look a
little more upon your rhetoric in this one piece, shall I say of
nonsense? However, I am sure it is contrary to all laws and customs of
speaking. 'Rankest politician!' Wonderful!" Milton's phrase describing a
dull woman as "an image of earth and phlegm" likewise attracts notice.
"We confess," he says, "this is something of a sad case; but yet I
believe you speak but hyperbolically (as they use to say): for women are
usually more than earth and phlegm; they have many times spirit enough to
wear the breeches, if they meet not with a rare wit to order them. I
wonder you should use such phrases: I know nor hear of maids or women
that are all earth and phlegm, much less images of earth and phlegm. If
there be any such, yet you need take no thought for them; there are
enough dull enough to own them; and, for yourself or any other who desire
them, there are spirited dames enough who are something besides mere
images of earth and phlegm." Here is a specimen of the argumentation:--
"Suppose you should covenant with a man at Hackney that he should dwell
in your house at Aldersgate Street, and you in requital should dwell in
his house at Hackney, for a time: I doubt not but your main end in this
your covenant was your own solace, peace, refreshing. Well, but suppose,
when you came there, the Cavaliers or other soldiers should trouble you,
and should be quartered there; who, peradventure, if they did not quite
put you out, yet would lie in your most pleasant chamber, best situate
for your solace, peace, and refreshing, and divers other ways would annoy
you, by means whereof you could not enjoy that pleasure and delight which
you intended in your covenant when you changed houses with the other.
Think you in this case it would be lawful or accepted on by the other
party if now you should come to him and say 'Sir, I covenanted for your
house at Hackney for my own refreshing, comfort, and solace; but I am
disturbed of it, I do not enjoy the end of my covenant: give me my own
house again, and go you and live there.' He would tell you, and so he
might justly, 'Stay, Sir; take your own fortune; a bargain is a bargain;
you must even stand to it.'" Sometimes the writer thinks he will rebuke
sharply. Thus:--"This is a wild, mad, and frantic Divinity, just like to
the opinions of the maids of Aldgate [some Antinomian young women that
had been making themselves notorious]. 'Oh,' say they, 'we live in Christ
and Christ doth all for us: we are Christed in Christ and Godded in God,
and at the same time that we sin here we, joined to Christ, do justice in
him.' ... Fie, fie, blush for shame, and publish no more of this loose
Divinity." But the choicest bit shall come last. Criticising the
conclusion of a passage in Milton's treatise, the language of the first
portion of which is pronounced "too sublime and angelical for mortal
creatures to comprehend it," the Answerer declares, "This frothy
discourse, were it not sugared over with a little neat language, would
appear so immeritous, so contrary to all humane learning, yea truth and
common experience itself, that all that read it must needs count it
worthy to be burnt by the hangman."

Milton's first glance at the anonymous pamphlet, he tells us, had shown
him the sort of person he had to deal with. He could be no educated man,
for in the very first page of his pamphlet, where he quotes Greek and
Hebrew words, he misspells them. This was no serious crime in itself;
only a man falsely pretending to know a language would do worse! "Nor did
I find this his want of the pretended languages alone, but accompanied
with such a low and homespun expression of his mother-English all along,
without joint or frame, as made me, ere I knew further of him, often stop
and conclude that this author could for certain be no other than some
mechanic." It was singular also that, while the Second Edition of the
_Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_ had been out for months before
the publication of this Answer, only the First Edition was referred to in
the Answer. This, indeed, had enabled Milton to find out who the Answerer
was, and the whole history of his pamphlet. For, in the course of the
preceding summer, he had been amused by hearing that there was in the
press, half printed, an Answer to the First Edition of his Divorce Book,
concocted by a committee of heads, in the centre of whom was--"let the
reader hold his laughter," he says, and hear the story out--"an actual
serving-man." At least, he _had_ been a serving-man, waiting at
table, cleaning trenchers, and the like; but he was ambitious of rising
in the world, and had turned Solicitor. Zeal for public morality, or some
farther ambition for literary distinction, had put it into his head to
answer the First Edition of Milton's treatise; and, taking into his
confidence one or two raw young Divines of his acquaintance, he had
actually composed something, and sent it to the press. Milton had
resolved that, if the thing did appear, he would leave it unnoticed. For
some months, during which it had been lying unfinished in the press, he
had quite dismissed it from his mind. But lo! here it was at length,
stitched and published--this precious composition of the Serving-man
turned Solicitor. Not quite as it had come from his pen, however! A
Divine of note--no other, in fact, than Mr. Caryl himself, the Licenser--
had looked over the thing, and "stuck it here and there with a clove of
his own calligraphy to keep it from tainting." This, and Caryl's
approbation prefixed, had rather altered the state of matters; and Milton
had resolved that, when he had leisure for a little recreation, his man
of law "should not altogether lose his soliciting."

Nor does he. Never was poor wretch so mauled, so tumbled and rolled, and
kept on tumbling and rolling, in ignominious mire. Milton indeed pays him
the compliment of following his reasonings, restating them in their
order, and quoting his words; but it is only, as it were, to wrap up the
reasoner in the rags of his own bringing, and then kick him along as a
football through a mile of mud. We need not trouble ourselves with the
reasonings, or with the incidental repetitions of Milton's doctrine to
which they give rise; it will be enough to exhibit the emphasis of
Milton's foot administered at intervals to the human bundle it is
propelling. "I mean not to dispute Philosophy with this Pork." he says
near the beginning; "this clod of an antagonist," he calls him at the
next kick; "a serving-man both by nature and function, an idiot by
breeding, and a solicitor by presumption," is the third propulsion; after
which we lose reckoning of the number of the kicks, they come sometimes
so ingeniously fast. "Basest and hungriest inditer," "groom," "rank
pettifogger," "mere and arrant pettifogger," "no antic hobnail at a
morris but is more handsomely facetious;" "a boar in a vineyard," "a
snout in this pickle," "the serving-man at Addlegate" (suggested by 'the
maids at Aldgate'), "this odious fool," "the noisome stench of his rude
slot," "the hide of a varlet," "such an unswilled hogshead," "such a
cock-brained solicitor;" "not a golden, but a brazen ass;" "barbarian,
the shame of all honest attorneys, why do they not hoist him over the bar
and blanket him?"--such are a few of the varied elegancies. Two or three
of them break the bounds within which modern taste permits quotation. "I
may be driven," he says in the end, "to curl up this gliding prose into a
rough Sotadic, that shall rime him into such a condition as, instead of
judging good books to be burnt by the executioner, he shall be readier to
be his own hangman. So much for this nuisance." After which, as if
feeling that he had gone too far, he begs any person dissenting from his
Doctrine, and willing to argue it fairly, not to infer from this
_Colasterion_ that he was displeased at being contradicted in print,
or that he did not know how to receive a fair antagonist with civility.
Practically, however, I should fancy that, after the _Colasterion_,
most people would be indisposed to try the experiment of knowing what
Milton meant by being civil to an antagonist.


April 1645-August 1646.





By the Ordinance for New-Modelling the Parliamentarian Army, passed
February 15, 1644-5, and by the Self-Denying Ordinance, which followed
April 3, 1645, excluding all members of either House from commands in the
New Army, the prospects of the war had been completely altered. From
these dates people everywhere were talking of the _New Model_, and
what it was likely to accomplish, the only difference being that the bulk
of the Parliamentarians expected great things from it, while the
Royalists, and perhaps also those of the Parliamentarians who resented
the removal of Essex from the chief command, and their own removal from
commands under him, regarded the whole experiment rather sneeringly, and
ridiculed it as the _New Noddle_. Which of these sets of prophets
were in the right will appear presently; meanwhile it is desirable that
we should know as exactly as possible what the _New Model_ or _New
Noddle_ really was.


The following is an account of the organization of the New Model, with a
list of its chief Officers when it was first organized:--


_Commander-in-Chief_: SIR THOMAS FAIRFAX (_ætat._ 33).

_Second-in-Command_ (for the present): PHILIP SKIPPON, with the rank
of Serjeant Major-General.

_Chief of Ordnance_: THOMAS HAMMOND. He was a brother of the
Royalist Divine and King's faithful Chaplain, Dr. Henry Hammond (see Vol.
II. 519 and 526, Note); and the split of the Hammond family into
Royalists and Parliamentarians was much noticed.

_Scout-Master-General_: LEONARD WATSON, "originally a goldsmith in

_Chaplain to the Commander-in-Chief_: Mr. EDWARD BOWLES.

_Secretary to the Commander-in-Chief_: JOHN RUSHWORTH.

I. FOOT = 14,400.

These consisted of twelve Regiments, each of 1,200 men, and each divided
into ten Companies, The officers of the Regiments, respectively, were as

1. (The Commander-in-Chief's Regiment):--Colonel SIR THOMAS FAIRFAX;
Lieutenant-Colonel JACKSON; Major COOKE; and seven Captains.

2. (The Serjeant-Major-General's Regiment):--Colonel PHILLIP SKIPPON;
Lieutenant-Colonel FRANCIS; Major ASHFIELD; and seven Captains.

3. Colonel HOLBORN; Lieutenant-Colonel COTTESWORTH; Major SMITH; and
seven Captains.

4. Colonel CRAWFORD or CRAYFORD, succeeded soon by young Colonel ROBERT
HAMMOND (_ætat._ 24), a nephew of the chief of the Ordnance and of
the Royalist Dr. Henry Hammond; Lieutenant-Colonel ISAAC EWER (reported
to have been "a serving man"); Major SAUNDERS; and seven Captains.

5. Colonel BARCLAY; Lieutenant-Colonel EWINS (INNES?); Major COWELL; and
seven Captains.

6. Colonel EDWARD MONTAGUE (_ætat._ only 20: he was cousin of the
Earl of Manchester, being son of the Earl's brother, Sir Sidney Montague,
who had been M.P. for Hunts, but was now dead); Lieutenant-Colonel ELLIS
GRIMES; Major KELSEY; and seven Captains.

7. Colonel ALDRIDGE; Lieutenant-Colonel WALTER LLOYD (who succeeded to
the Colonelcy); Major READ; and seven Captains.

8. Colonel JOHN PICKERING (of the family of the Pickerings, of Tichmarsh,
Northamptonshire, "a little man," quite young, and cousin of the boy who
was to be known as the poet Dryden); Lieutenant-Colonel JOHN HEWSON
(originally a shoemaker in Westminster, but who had risen from the ranks
by his valour); Major JUBBS; and seven Captains, one of whom was a
Captain AXTELL.

9. Colonel FORTESCUE; Lieutenant-Colonel BULSTRODE; Major RICHBELL; and
seven Captains.

10. Colonel RICHARD INGOLDSBY (_ætat._ 23: his father was Sir
Richard Ingoldsby of Lenthenborough, and his mother was a cousin of
Cromwell's); Lieutenant-Colonel FARRINGTON; Major PHILIP CROMWELL (a
cousin of Cromwell's: second son of his uncle Sir Philip Cromwell); and
seven Captains.

11. (Artillery) Colonel THOMAS RAINSBOROUGH (once "a skipper of Lynn,"
who had seen service at sea); Lieutenant-Colonel OWEN; Major DOVE;  and
seven Captains.

12. (Artillery) Colonel RALPH WELDEN, a veteran; whose under-officers I
have not ascertained, save that one of them seems to have been ROBERT
LILBURNE (brother of John Lilburne), who in time succeeded to the


The Horse (6,600) consisted of eleven Regiments, each of 600, divided
into six troops; the Dragoons consisted of one Regiment (1,000), in ten
troops of 100 each. They were officered thus:--

1. (The Commander-in-Chiefs Regiment):--Colonel SIR THOMAS FAIRFAX; Major
JOHN DESBOROUGH (a brother-in-law of Oliver Cromwell's: married to his
younger sister, Jane Cromwell); and four Captains, one of them a Captain

2. Colonel MIDDLETON; Major RICHARD NORTON; and four Captains.

3. Colonel THOMAS SHEFFIELD (a younger son of the aged Earl of Mulgrave,
and uncle of Sir Thomas Fairfax); Major SHEFFIELD (the Colonel's son or
brother?); and four Captains.

4. Colonel CHARLES FLEETWOOD (a young man of a good Buckinghamshire
family, and well known to Milton from his childhood, as Milton himself
tells us: he had served first as a private trooper in the Earl of Essex's
guards, and had rapidly distinguished himself); Major THOMAS HARRISON
(formerly an attorney's clerk in London); and four Captains.

5. Colonel EDWARD ROSSITER; Major TWISTLETON; and four Captains.

6. Colonel VERMUYDEN (a Dutchman, who resigned after a month or two of
good service, and returned to Holland, where his father, Sir Cornelius
Vermuyden, was engaged in engineering works); Major HUNTINGDON (who
succeeded Vermuyden in the Colonelcy); and four Captains.

7. Colonel ALGERNON SIDNEY (famous long afterwards for his death: now
_ætat._ 23: third son of the Earl of Leicester: had served as a
Captain in Manchester's army--he and his eldest brother, Philip, Lord
Lisle, being more actively Parliamentarian than their father); Major
ALFORD; and four Captains.

8. Colonel SIR ROBERT PYE, junior (son of the Sir Robert Pye who had been
M.P. for Woodstock, as colleague with Speaker Lenthall, since the
beginning of the Long Parliament, and was now a conspicuous man in the
House); Major MATTHEW TOMLINSON (said to have been "a gentleman-usher to
a lady"); and three Captains, one of whom was HENRY IRETON (a B.A. of
Oxford, and barrister of the Middle Temple, _ætat._ 35, who had
taken to soldiering: described as of "a melancholic, reserved, dark
nature," and great ability).

9. Colonel EDWARD WHALLEY (rumoured by the Royalists to have been "a
woollen-draper or petty merchant in London," who had got into debt and
migrated to Scotland for a time; but certainly of a Nottinghamshire
family of mark, and certainly a cousin of Cromwell's; recently also known
for excellent service under Cromwell as Major in Cromwell's own
regiment); Major BETHELL; and four Captains.

10. Colonel RICHARD GRAVES; Major ADRIAN SCROOP; and four Captains.

11. Colonel Sir MICHAEL LIVESEY, Bart., of Co. Kent; Major SEDASOUE; and
four Captains.

_Regiment of Dragoons_: Colonel JOHN OKEY (originally, it is said, a
"drayman," then "stoker in a brewhouse at Islington," and next a "most
poor chandler in Thames Street;" said also to have been "of more bulk
than brains;" but certainly of late an invincible dragoon-officer); Major
WILLIAMS or GWILLIAMS; and eight Captains.

N.B. Some of the above-mentioned officers (such as Colonels Middleton,
Livesey, Holborn, and Barclay) do not seem to have taken the places
assigned them in the New Model. Others therefore had to be brought in by
Fairfax almost at once. Among these were:--1. As _Colonels of
Horse_: Colonel BUTLER; the Hon. JOHN FIENNES (third son of Viscount
Saye and Sele); CHARLES RICH (he had been nominated in the Commons for a
Colonelcy Feb. 28 and March 1, 1644-5, and rejected both times; but must
have been appointed soon afterwards). 2. As _Colonels of Foot_:
EDWARD HARLEY (whose Lieutenant-Colonel was THOMAS PRIDE, a foundling who
had been a drayman); JOHN LAMBERT (who had been a Colonel under Fairfax
in the North); SIR HARDRESS WALLER (_ætat._ 41, cousin of Sir
William Waller). [Footnote: In the Lords Journals, date March 18, 1644-5,
there is a list of the intended officers of the New Model as then agreed
to, after a month or two of choosing, between the Lords and the Commons.
This has been my chief authority; but it has been aided and checked by
the _Anglia Rediviva_ of the New Model chaplain Sprigge (pp. 8-10
_et seq._ of Oxford Edition of 1854) and by Rushworth (VI.13-17
_et seq._). Mr. Clements Markham's account of the New Model Army in
his life of Fairfax (pp. 188-202) has likewise been of use, though it
does not profess to be more than general, nor to be calculated for the
very commencement of the New Model. Some particulars of information
respecting persons I have taken from Mr. Markham; others I have had to
gather miscellaneously from the Parliamentary Journals, Wood, Carlyle's
_Cromwell_, Walker's Hist. of Independency, Reprint of _The
Mystery of the Good Old Cause_ (a satirical tract of 1660) at end of
Vol. III. of Parl. Hist., &c. I have had to rectify the spellings of some
of the names in the original Lords Journals list, and to find out the
Christian names where possible. It is not always so easy as one might
suppose to ascertain the Christian name of a man who may have been of
considerable note in his day and have left his mark.]

Such was the famous New Model. [Footnote: In the New Model the reader
ought to note three things:--(1) The comparative youth of the officers.
There _were_ veterans; but the Commander-in-chief was but thirty
three years of age, and most of the Colonels were still younger. (2) The
blending of different ranks of society in the body of the officers. The
majority were decidedly from the ranks of the aristocracy and gentry--
peers' younger sons, knights, sons of knights and country-gentlemen, &c.;
but in men like Skippon, Colonel Okey, Colonel Rainsborough, Lieutenant-
Colonel Ewer, Lieutenant-Colonel Hewson, Lieutenant-Colonel Pride, Major
Harrison, and Major Tomlinson, there was a conspicuous sprinkling of
stout representatives of a lower and more popular stratum. The Royalists,
and even the Presbyterians, fastened on this fact and exaggerated it. All
the army, from the general to the meanest sentinel, could not muster
£1,000 a year in lands among them; so it was laxly said. (3) Another
fact, of which the Presbyterians and the Royalists, and other anti-
Cromwellians, afterwards made the most, was the unusual number of
relatives of Cromwell that there were among the officers. To those who
regarded the whole invention and organization of the New Model as a deep
design of Cromwell's craft, with Fairfax as his temporary tool, this fact
was blackly significant. But, apart altogether from that theory, the fact
_is_ important, and ought to be borne in mind. There was not only
much of the Cromwell spirit in the New Model from the first, but a large
leaven of the Cromwell _kin_.] Where was it first to be employed?
This was an anxious question; and, to understand it, we must have the map
of England before us as it appeared to the Parliamentarians in the early
months of 1645.

England then, in the eyes of the Parliamentarians, consisted of four
regions, as follows:--(I.) The _Pre-eminent and assured Parliamentarian
Region_. This included London and Middlesex, with the Eastern and
South-Eastern counties at their back, or immediately flanking them north
and south--viz.: Herts, Essex, Cambridge, Bedford, Northamptonshire,
Hunts, Suffolk, Norfolk, and almost all Lincoln, together with Kent,
Surrey, and Sussex. All this sweep of country was now thoroughly in the
possession of the Parliament, and constituted the region whence it drew
its main strength. The services of the New Model were not required in it;
for it was the main feeder and support of the New Model. (II.) _The
Northern Counties_. Here, beyond the Humber and Mersey, or perhaps
even beyond the Trent, the cause of Parliament was also in the ascendant.
Since Marston Moor Royalism lingered here only in a few towns and
garrisons. In Cumberland, Carlisle still held out for the King, and the
siege of this city, together with the preservation of the North
generally, was the work now specially expected from the Scottish
auxiliary army. In Yorkshire, the castles of Skipton, Pontefract,
Scarborough, Sandal, and Bolton, and, in Lancashire, Latham House and
Greenhaugh Castle, kept up the King's flag, but were surrounded by local
Parliamentary besiegers. On the whole there was no reason for anxiety now
about the North within itself; and the hope was that the Scottish Army
and other stray forces in those parts might be able soon to move
southwards and co-operate with the New Model. (III.) _The South-West
and Mid-Southern Counties._ Here the King was vastly in the ascendant.
Cornwall was absolutely his; Devon was wholly his, with the exception of
the port of Plymouth, still held for the Parliament, but besieged by the
King's forces; Somerset was wholly his, save that Taunton was holding out
for Parliament in great distress; all Wilts was his, except Malmesbury
Castle; in Dorset he was nearly master, though the three port-towns of
Poole, Lyme, and Weymouth (Melcombe) had Parliamentary garrisons; and
even in Hants, where the Parliament divided the power with him more
equally, he held the two strong places of Winchester and Basing. The
King's field-forces in all this southwestern and southern region were
extremely numerous, apart from the garrisons, and were commanded by Lords
Goring and Hopton, Sir Richard Greenville, Major-General Sir John Digby,
and others. With them was the Prince of Wales, now fifteen years of age.
He had been recently sent from Oxford into those parts, with a view both
to his own safety and to the effects of his influence. (IV.) _The
English Midlands, backed by Wales._ Here also the King was firmly
established. Here it was that, with the Princes Rupert and Maurice as his
chiefs in command, he directly faced the massed Parliamentarianism of
London and the Eastern Counties. In Bucks and Berks, indeed, his forces
and those of the Parliament overlapped each other. Aylesbury, the chief
town in Bucks, was the Parliament's, while Boarstall House, ten or twelve
miles east from it, was the King's; and, similarly, the east of Berks,
with Windsor, Reading, and Abingdon, were mainly held by Parliament,
while in the same county the King had some strong garrisons. Oxford,
however, the county of the King's head-quarters, was wholly in his
possession, with the exception of Henley on the Berks border. To the
north of Oxfordshire was Warwickshire, all the King's except Warwick
Castle, though bordered by Northamptonshire, which was all the
Parliament's; and farther north were the shires of Leicester, Nottingham,
and Stafford, in each of which, though the Parliament held the county-
town, the King had countervailing strongholds. Then, at the back of this
row of central counties facing the massed Parliamentarianism of the East,
there were the shires of Gloucester, Worcester, Salop, and Chester, in
which Parliament had scarcely any hold; that of Hereford, in which it had
no hold; and the whole bulk of Wales, in which the two castles of
Pembroke and Montgomery were the sole Parliamentarian specks. Leaning
back upon Wales, and the English counties of the Welsh border, the King,
from Oxford, with its flanking counties north and south, fronted
Parliament very formidably. [Footnote: In this survey of the state of the
war over all England in April 1645, I have availed myself of the
introductory Tables in Sprigge (pp. xi-xvi, Edit. 1854), repeated in
Rushworth, VI. pp. 18-22. The geographical information in the Tables is,
however, somewhat confused, and I have recast it.]


Clearly, it was against one or other of the two last-mentioned regions
that the New Model must first show its prowess. Which of the two should
it be?

The West had many claims. Besides the importance of relieving the
besieged Parliamentary garrisons in that direction, there was the
necessity of taking precaution against the possible advance from it of
Goring's forces towards London. Accordingly, even before the Self-Denying
Ordinance had become law, Cromwell and Sir William Waller had been
ordered on a special expedition into the West (February 27), "for relief
of Melcombe and the garrisons and places adjacent, and for preventing and
breaking the enemy's levies and recruits." Cromwell's men were very
reluctant to go on this expedition, probably because they did not like to
serve with Waller. But, Cromwell having managed them, he and Waller did
go into the West as far as Dorset and Somerset, and, after as much
success as was possible, returned about the middle of April. The Self-
Denying Ordinance was then law; and on the 22nd of April Cromwell was at
Windsor, to resign his command, and take leave of Fairfax.

Suddenly, on the following morning, a message from the Committee of the
two Kingdoms came to Windsor ordering Fairfax to employ Cromwell on a new
enterprise of pressing moment. [Footnote: This "Committee of the two
Kingdoms" originally appointed in Feb. 1643-4, after the coming in of the
Scots Auxiliary Army (see list of members _antè_, p. 41) is found
very active after the organization of the New Model--a quorum always
sitting in Derby House, Canon Row, Westminster, close to Parliament (the
house in which Pym had died) and sending orders, &c., to Fairfax.
Manchester, Saye and Sele, Wharton, and Vane the younger, of the English
members of the Committee, and Loudoun and Sir Archibald Johnstone of the
Scottish members, signed most such orders and letters in May and June
1645 (see Rushworth, VI. 27-33).] He was to ride with all haste into
Oxfordshire, to intercept, if possible, a convoy of 2,000 horse, which
Prince Rupert was to detach from Worcester, then the head-quarters of the
King's main army, for the purpose of fetching off the King and his
Artillery-train from Oxford. As the forty days of grace fixed by the
Self-Denying Ordinance did not expire till the 13th of May, Cromwell
would have time to perform this service before the exact day on which his
resignation was required! In fact, he performed it thoroughly in two
days. On the 24th of April he met the enemy, consisting of the Queen's
own regiment, the Earl of Northhampton's, and Lord Wilmot's, at Islip
Bridge, routed them utterly, slew many, and took about 200 prisoners and
400 horses, besides the Queen's standard. Not only so; but, some of the
fugitives having taken refuge in Bletchington House, then commanded by
Colonel Thomas Windebank, son of the ex-Secretary, with a garrison of 200
men, Cromwell had summoned the house to surrender, and, though a defence
might easily have been made, Windebank had actually surrendered that same
night, giving up all his stores.

Such were the first actions of the New Model; and, as they carried joy
into the Parliamentarian heart, so in the King's quarters they caused
rage and vexation. Windebank was tried by court-martial for cowardice,
and, notwithstanding his connexions, was shot to death in the court of
Merton College, Oxford (May 3). [Footnote: For facts in the preceding
three paragraphs see _Commons Journals_, Feb. 27 and 28, and March 4
and at 20, 1644-5; Sprigge's _Angliæ Reduc._ (1854) 11-13:
Carlyle's _Cromwell_ (ed. 1857) I. 163-167; Rushworth, VI. 23-25.
We had a glimpse of young Windebank at an earlier period, when he little
foresaw this end. See Vol. II. p. 70.]


On the 1st of May, while Cromwell was still absent in Oxfordshire, the
main body of the New Model, under Fairfax and Skippon, was on the move in
another direction. It had seemed on the whole that it would be of most
use in the South-West. In especial, there was great anxiety for the
relief of Taunton. But, when Fairfax had got as far as into Dorset, on
his way to Taunton, he was overtaken by an Ordinance of the two Houses,
in conformity with a resolution of the Committee of both Kingdoms (May
6), recalling him and Skippon, with the bulk of the New Model, for
service, after all, in the Mid-English Counties. For Goring had carried
much of the South-Western force thither, and had joined Rupert and
Maurice, so that there was a great stir of something new intended about
Oxford and round the King's person. Accordingly, detaching only a brigade
of some 7,000, consisting of Welden's, Lloyd's, Fortescue's, and
Ingoldsby's foot-regiments, and Graves's horse-regiment, with some other
district forces, all under Welden's chief command, to push on for the
relief of Taunton, Fairfax wheeled his main force back north-east, and,
after forced cross-country marching, found himself (May 14) at the well-
known Newbury, on his way to Oxford. By this time he knew, if he had not
known it before, that he was to have the help of other generalship under
him than that of Skippon. If it had ever been really intended that
Cromwell should retire from the Army with the others, according to the
strict terms of the Self-Denying Ordinance, the successes at Islip Bridge
and Bletchington House had put it into all men's minds to inquire how the
Army could get on without him. The Army itself had but one opinion on the
subject. For many months past he had been the darling of the entire
force, so that, whenever he appeared unexpectedly on the field, there
were shouts of "_A Cromwell! A Cromwell!_" Willingly or unwillingly,
Parliament had to defer to this sentiment; and on May 10, three days
before the expiry of the forty days of grace fixed by the Self-Denying
Ordinance, a special ordinance of the Commons continuing Cromwell in his
employment for forty days longer, i.e. till June 22, was agreed to by the
Lords. There was murmuring among the Presbyterians and the friends of the
late generals, Essex, Manchester, and Waller; but the thing was
inevitable. Nay, when Fairfax and other officers of the New Model, not
content with the vague and brief additional use of Cromwell's services
thus offered, petitioned distinctly for his appointment as Lieutenant-
general, with chief command of the horse, that also had to be conceded.
The petition was read in the Commons and agreed to, June 10; on which day
a letter was drawn up, signed by the Speaker, and despatched to Fairfax,
"to desire him, if he shall so think fit, to appoint Lieutenant-general
Cromwell to command the horse during so long time as the House shall
dispense with his absence." [Footnote: Commons Journals of days named.]

Within four days after the formal appointment of Cromwell to the
Lieutenant-generalship under Fairfax there came that great action of the
year which more than justified the appointment. The circumstances were
these:--While Fairfax had been on the march towards Taunton, the King,
with his Artillery-train, &c., had left Oxford (May 7) and taken the
field with his main army of the Midlands under Prince Rupert. Cromwell,
who had remained in Oxfordshire, kept hovering after him and watching his
movements. These were uncertain; but it appeared as if he were tending
northwards, to relieve Chester, then besieged by a Parliamentarian force
from Lancashire and Cheshire under Sir William Brereton. [Footnote: It is
to be remembered that, apart from the New Model, there were still English
Parliamentary garrisons, and field forces, here and there, doing
necessary district work. Sir William Brereton, M.P. for Cheshire, had had
in his hands much of the management of the war in those parts; and as he
was still useful, Parliament had exempted him as well as Cromwell, from
the same hate operation of the Self Denying Ordinance, extending his
command (May 12) for forty days. The same extension, on the same day, was
given to Sir Thomas Middleton, M.P. for Denbighshire, at work on the
Welsh border, but with a reserve that, after the forty days his command
was to be resigned to a Colonel Mitton Common Journal.] When, therefore,
Fairfax had wheeled back from his South-Western expedition, and was once
more in the Midlands, the question arose whether he and his New Model
should besiege Oxford in the King's absence, or whether they should
pursue his Majesty and fight him in the field. The siege of Oxford seemed
the preferable course; and, accordingly (May 22), Fairfax, now rejoined
by Cromwell, sat down before that city. Soon, however, it became
questionable whether the war-committee had judged rightly. For
discomfiting the King's design for the relief of Chester the Parliament
had trusted to the Scottish Army, aided by the English Parliamentarians
of the Northern Counties, and by a band of the New Model horse despatched
north under Colonel Vermuyden. But the Scots, out of humour with the New
Model altogether, had been backward or careless; the King, through
Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, had made his way into
Cheshire; his approach had relieved Chester; he had then turned eastwards
into Staffordshire, had crossed that county, entered Leicestershire, and
(May 30) taken the town of Leicester by storm. He was thus on the very
verge of the Parliament's own faithful Association of the Eastern
Counties, and might be expected to break into that Association.
Immediately, therefore, the plans of the Parliament were changed. On the
very day on which the news of the storming of Leicester arrived, Cromwell
was off from Oxford into the Eastern Counties, and on the 5th of June,
Fairfax, with the rest of the New Model, raised the siege of Oxford and
marched north. June 13, he was in the north-west of Northamptonshire,
within sight of the King's main force, which had advanced out of
Leicestershire into that county. Early on that morning, while he was
holding a council of war, Cromwell came in, fresh from his work in the
Association, and welcomed as the man most wanted. He at once assumed his
Lieutenant-generalship; and on the next day, Saturday, June 14, 1645,
there was fought the great BATTLE OF NASEBY. There had been nothing like
it since Marston Moor. The King's Army, commanded by the King in person,
Prince Rupert, Prince Maurice, Sir Jacob Astley (now Lord Astley), Lord
Barnard Stuart, Sir George Lisle, Sir Marmaduke Langdale, and Colonel
Howard, was utterly defeated and ruined. The prisoners taken amounted to
5,000, and included many of the King's chief officers; all the artillery
was captured, and much baggage, including the King's cabinet, with his
private papers and correspondence. These papers were speedily published
by Parliament under the title of _The Kings Cabinet Opened_; and, by
the revelations they made of the King's duplicity, his absolute
subjection to the Queen, and his secret dealings with the Irish and
Papists, they did as much to discredit his cause as the battle itself.
[Footnote: Sprigge, 21-51; Rushworth, VI. 29-48; and Carlyle's
_Cromwell_, I. 169-l76.--Here is a note from the Stationers' Registers,
July 9 (1645): "Robert Bostock entered for his copy, by special command,
under the hands of Mr. Henry Parker and Mr. Thomas May, Secretaries, and
Mr. Miller, Warden, a Book entitled _The King's Cabinet Opened, or
certain Packets of Secret Letters and Papers, written by the King's own
hand, taken in his Cabinet at Naseby Field_." For an account of Naseby
battle and review of previous accounts, see Markham's _Fairfax_, 213-

Though Fairfax was voted everywhere the brave and worthy commander-in-
chief at Naseby, and though Skippon had behaved like himself and kept his
post after having been seriously wounded, much of the credit of the
battle, as of that of Marston Moor, went to Cromwell. He had commanded
the Horse on the right wing, and his success there against the enemy's
left had been effectual and decisive. Moreover, in the whole marshalling
of the battle, and in what had prepared for it, people saw, or thought
they saw, Cromwell's influence. The horse regiments engaged were, on the
right wing, Fairfax's Life-guards, Cromwell's Ironsides, Colonel
Whalley's, Colonel Sir Robert Pye's, Colonel Rossiter's, Colonel
Sheffield's, and Colonel Fiennes's, and, on the left wing, Colonel
Butler's, Colonel Vermuyden's (now Huntingdon's), Colonel Rich's, Colonel
Fleetwood's, and another; and the foot regiments engaged were Fairfax's
own, Skippon's, Colonel Sir Hardress Waller's, young Colonel Pickering's,
young Colonel Montague's, young Colonel Hammond's, Colonel
Rainsborough's, and Lieutenant-colonel Pride's. Fairfax in person, with
Skippon, commanded the foot or main body; Cromwell, as we have seen,
commanded the right wing; but who commanded the left wing? It was the
Colonel of that horse-regiment which we have left anonymous. And who was
he? No other than that HENRY IRETON, the melancholic, reserved lawyer of
the Middle Temple, who was only a Captain in Sir Robert Pye's regiment at
the formation of the New Model three months before (_antè_, p. 327).
He had been recently promoted to a Colonelcy, and on the eve of the
battle Fairfax had made him Commissary-general of Horse, with command of
the left wing, over the heads of the other Colonels. This was at
Cromwell's request, who had reason to know Ireton, and had special
confidence in him. Nor did the result belie Cromwell's judgment. Ireton's
wing, indeed, had given way and fled under the shock of Rupert's charges,
but not till Ireton himself had had his horse shot under him, received
two wounds, and been taken prisoner in a counter-attack. Rescued by the
turn of the battle, he came in for a share of the praise. [Footnote:
Rushworth, VI. 42, 43. Carlyle's _Cromwell_, I. 176.--It came to be
an assertion with the Presbyterians, thought I do not believe they
believed it themselves, that Cromwell's military fame had been gained by
systematic puffing on the part of the Independents. "The news books
taught to speak no language but Cromwell and his party, and were mute on
such actions as he and they could claim no share in," wrote Clement
Walker a year or two after Naseby (Hist. of Indep. Part I, 30). We have
see Baillie writing rather in the same way after Marston Moor.]--When the
news of the victory reached London, the Parliament, amid their various
rejoicings, and their voting of a day of public thanksgiving to God, a
jewel worth 500_l_. to Fairfax, and the like, did not forget one
practical inference from what had happened. That same day (June 16) the
Commons signified to the Lords their desire that Cromwell's exceptional
Lieutenant-generalship should be prolonged; and, accordingly, on June 18
it was agreed by both Houses "That Lieutenant-general Cromwell shall
continue as Lieutenant-general of the Horse, according the established
pay of the Army, for three months from the end of the forty days formerly
granted to him." This extended his command under Fairfax only to Sept.
22; but, that we may not have to refer to the matter again, we may here
state that, before that date arrived, the term of his service was
stretched for other four months, with an understanding in fact that it
was to be indefinitely elastic. [Footnote: Commons and Lords Journals of
days named.]

Naseby proved the beginning of the end. It was the shivering of the
central mass of Royalism in England, and the subsequent events of the war
may be regarded as only so much provincial addition, and tedious pursuit
of the fragments. A sketch of these events will suffice.

The beaten King having fled, with the wrecks of his army, back through
Leicestershire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire, into Wales, and the
Midlands thus being safe, Fairfax was at liberty to transfer his
victorious New Model to the part of England where its presence was then
most sorely needed, i.e. the West and South-West.--The brigade which he
had detached, under Colonel Welden, for the relief of Taunton, when
recalled himself from his former march westward, had successfully
accomplished that object (May 12), but only itself to be shut up in
Taunton by a second and severer siege by Goring's forces, returned into
those parts. By way of a temporary arrangement for action in the West in
these circumstances, Parliament had by an ordinance, May 24, entrusted a
separate command in chief of whatever forces could be raised for the West
to Major-general Edward Massey, an officer well acquainted with that part
of the country, and distinguished by his previous services in it
throughout the war. [Footnote: The Ordinance is in the Lords Journals
under the date named.] But Massey was to hold the separate command only
till Fairfax could assume it in person. Accordingly, when Fairfax, after
seeing the King fairly chased away from Naseby, turned once more
southwards, and, by rapid marches through Warwickshire and
Gloucestershire, arrived in Wilts  (June 27), the conduct of the war in
the South-West became the regular work of the New Model, with Massey as
but an auxiliary. The progress was rapid. July 3, Taunton was relieved
the second time, and Goring's forces obliged to retire: July 10, Lamport
Battle was fought, in which Goring was defeated with great loss; July 23,
Bridgewater was taken by storm; July 30, the city of Bath surrendered.
Thus in one month the King's power was broken all through Somersetshire.
August sufficed for the same result in Dorsetshire, where Sherborne
Castle was battered and stormed on the 15th. On the 10th of September
came the splendid success of the storming of Bristol. This great city was
defended by Prince Rupert, who had made his way again into the South-West
for the purpose, and who had assured the King that he would hold it to
the last. Nevertheless, after a siege of eighteen days, he was glad to
surrender--himself and his men marching out with their personal baggage
and the honours of war, but leaving all the ordnance, arms, and
ammunition in the city as the spoil of the Parliament. [Footnote: Young
Major Bethell was mortally wounded in the storming of Bristol; and here
is a touching little incident of the same action from Mr. Markham's
_Life of Fairfax_. "Among the slain (in one of the attacks) was a
young officer named Pugsley, who was buried by Fairfax's order, with
military honours in a field outside the fort. He was just married, and
his wife survived him for 60 years. On her death, in 1705, she was
buried, according to her expressed wishes, without a coffin, in her
wedding dress, and with girls strewing flowers and fiddlers playing
before her. In this way she was borne to her final resting place by the
side of her husband, and the place is still known as Pugsley's Field."]
It was the greatest blow the King had received since Naseby; and he was
so enraged with Rupert that he revoked all his commands, and ordered him
to leave England. Rupert, however, having gone to the King, a
reconciliation was brought about; and, though he held no high command
again during the rest of this war, he remained in the King's service. The
surrender of Bristol was followed by that of Devizes Castle (Sept. 23)
and that of Laycock House (Sept. 24) in Wilts, and by the storming of
Berkeley Castle (Sept. 23) in Gloucestershire. [Footnote: This summary is
chiefly from Sprigge; where, in addition to the text there is an
excellent chronological table of actions and sieges: one or two of the
facts are from Clarendon, and Carlyle's _Cromwell_.]


Let us leave the West and South-West for a time, and turn to the North.--
As late as May and June 1645, Baillie, then back in London and again on
duty in the Westminster Assembly, had still been hoping great things from
his beloved Scottish Army in the North. Since the taking of Newcastle
(Oct. 1644), indeed, the services of this army had been mainly dumb-show,
so that the English had begun to despise it and to ask whether it was
worth its wages. Baillie's hope, however, was that, somehow or other
after all, it would be the Scottish Army, and not this New Model, the
invention of the Independents and the Sectaries, that would perform the
finishing action, and reap the final credit. What then were his thoughts
when the news of Naseby reached him? "This accident," he writes, June 17,
1645, three days after the Battle, "is like to change much the face of
affairs here. We hope the back of the Malignant [Royalist] Party is
broken; [but] some fears the insolence of others, to whom alone the Lord
has given the victory of that day." The news of the taking of Carlisle at
last by the Scots (June 28) may have helped to revive his spirits; but
that also may have been an indirect consequence of Naseby, and the
subsequent small success of the Scots during those months when Fairfax,
Cromwell, and the New Model were succeeding so splendidly in the South-
West, again threw Baillie into despondency. The taking of Pontefract
Castle (July 21) and of Scarborough (July 25) in Yorkshire, and finally
that of Latham House in Lancashire, after its two years' defence by the
Countess of Derby (Dec. 4), were the work of the English Parliamentarians
of the Northern Counties; and all the Scots did was very disappointing.
From Carlisle they did, indeed, march south, to keep a watch on the
King's movements in the Midlands after Naseby, and, after hovering about
in those parts, they laid siege to the town of Hereford, by the desire of
Parliament (July 31). But early in September they raised the siege, Leven
pleading that he had not received the promised support and was unable to
remain. With such grumblings and complaints of arrears in their pay, the
Scots returned northwards, through the mid-counties, to Yorkshire, the
English Parliament thinking worse and worse of them, but still speaking
them fair, and desiring to retain them for minor service somewhere in
England while the New Model was doing the real work. [Footnote:
Rushworth, VI. 118-127; and Baillie, II. 286-316.]


It was not only the small performance and continued grumbling of the
Scottish Auxiliary Army in England that had begun, by September 1645, to
disgust the English Parliamentarians with their friends of the Scottish
nation. In Scotland itself there had been an extraordinary outbreak of
Royalism, which had not only perturbed that country throughout, but had
latterly advanced to the very borders of England, threatening to connect
itself with all of English Royalism that was not already beaten, and so
undo the hard work and great successes of the New Model. Who that has
read Scott's _Legend of Montrose_ but must be curious as to the
facts of real History on which that romance was founded? They are
romantic enough in themselves, and they form a very important episode in
the general history of the Civil War.

Our last sight of the young Earl of Montrose was in November 1641, when
the King, during his visit to Scotland, procured his release, and that of
his associates in the Merchiston House Compact, from their imprisonment
in Edinburgh Castle (Vol. II. p. 307). The life of the young Earl had
then been given back to him, but in what circumstances! Not only had all
his expectations from the Merchiston House Compact been falsified,
expectations of the overthrow of the Argyle supremacy in Scotland, and of
the establishment of a new government for the King on an aristocratic
basis; but, by the King's own acts, Argyle was left doubly confirmed in
the supremacy, with the added honour of the Marquisate, and the
Presbyterian clergy dominant around him. Such a Scotland was no country
for Montrose. Away from Edinburgh, therefore, on one or other of his
estates, in Perthshire, Forfarshire, Stirlingshire, or Dumbartonshire,
and only occasionally in the society of his wife and his four little
boys, we see him for some months, thrown back moodily upon himself,
hunting now and then, corresponding with his friends Napier and Keir, but
finding his chief relief in bits of Latin reading, dreams of Plutarch's
heroes, and the writing of scraps of verse. Thus:--

  "An Alexander I will reign,
    And I will reign alone;
  My thoughts did evermore disdain
    A rival on my throne:
  He either fears his fate too much,
    Or his deserts are small,
  That dares not put it to the touch
    To gain or lose it all."

Alas! in a Scotland abject under a squint-eyed Argyle, with Loudoun and
Warriston for his lieutenants, and a thousand rigid and suspicious black-
coats giving the law singly in their pulpits and parishes, and thundering
it collectively from their Assemblies, what room or opening was there for
any such Plutarchian life? It was little better in England, from which
anyhow he was debarred. He would go abroad. Were there not great strifes
in Europe, struggles other than Presbyterian, into which a young Scottish
Earl might fling himself, to win a glorious name, or die sword in hand?
[Footnote: Napier's _Montrose_ (1856), 371-3, and Appendix to Vol.
I. p. xxxiv.; Wishart's Memoirs of Montrose (translation of 1819 from the
original Latin of 1648), Preface, p. vi.] So till August 1642, when the
King raised his standard for the Civil War in England. Then there was
again hope. The King remembered the fiery young Scottish Earl, and
communications had passed between them. Montrose went into England; saw
the Queen immediately after her landing at Burlington Bay (February 1642-
3); and pressed upon her his views as to the way in which Scotland might
be roused in the King's behalf. He seemed to her Majesty but a brave
young enthusiast; and, the Marquis of Hamilton having hastened from
Scotland to counteract him, and to promise that he himself and his
brother Lanark would keep Scotland firm to the King's interest without
that open rising against the Argyle government which Montrose
recommended, the cooler counsel had prevailed, Hamilton and Montrose had
thus gone back into Scotland together, Hamilton with the new title of
Duke (April 12, 1643) to encourage him in his difficult labour, and
Montrose disappointed, watched, and in fresh danger. Again, however, as
months had passed on, the chance of some such bold enterprise for
Montrose as he himself had projected had become more likely. How ill
Hamilton and Lanark had succeeded in _their_ milder undertaking we
already know. They had not been able to check the tide of sympathy in
Scotland with the English Parliamentarians; they had not been able to
prevent that sudden Convention of the Scottish Estates which Argyle
thought necessary in the crisis (June 1643); they had not been able to
prevent the cordial reception there of the Commissioners from the English
Parliament, nor the offer of armed aid from Scotland to the cause of the
Parliament on the terms of Henderson's _Solemn League and Covenant_
(August 1643). Montrose, who had foreseen this result, and had been
trying in vain to engage the Marquis of Huntley and other Scottish nobles
in an independent coalition for the King, had not gone near the
Convention, but, while it was yet deliberating in Edinburgh, had taken
care to be again in England, on his way to the King with his budget of
advices. A Scottish Covenanting army would certainly invade England in
the cause of the Parliament: let their Majesties be in no doubt about
that! He had himself the best reason to know the fact; for had not the
Covenanting chiefs been secretly negotiating with him, and offering to
forgive him all the past, if only now he would return to his allegiance
to the Covenant, and accept the Lieutenant-generalship of their projected
army under the Earl of Leven? If he had seemed to dally with this
temptation, it had only been that he might the better fathom the purposes
of the Argyle government, and report all to their Majesties! No service,
however eminent, under Argyle, or with any of the crafty crew of the
Covenant, was that on which his soul was bent, but a quite contrary
enterprise, already explained to the Queen, by which the Argyle
government should be laid in the dust, Scotland recovered for the King,
and all her resources put at his disposal for the recovery of his power
in England also! Hitherto their Majesties had not seen fit to confide in
him, but had trusted rather the Hamiltons, with their middle courses and
their policy of compromise! Were their Majesties aware what grounds might
be shown for the belief that these Hamiltons, with all their
plausibilities and fair seeming, were in reality little better than
traitors, who had wilfully mismanaged the King's affairs in Scotland for
interests and designs of their own? So, through the autumn of 1643, had
Montrose been reasoning with the King and Queen, as yet to little
purpose. But, when the autumn had passed into winter, and there had
gathered round the King, in his head-quarters at Oxford, other refugee
Scottish Royalists, driven from their country by the stress of the new
League and Covenant, and bringing intelligence that Leven's invading army
was actually levied and ready to march, then the tune of the Royal mind
did somewhat change. The Duke of Hamilton and his brother Lanark, coming
to Oxford, December 16, to clear themselves, were immediately arrested on
charges suggested by Montrose and the other Scots at Court. To wait trial
on these charges, the Duke was sent as a prisoner to Pendennis Castle;
whence he was removed to St. Michael's Mount in the same county of
Cornwall. Lanark, escaping from his arrest at Oxford, took refuge for a
time in London, was cordially received there by the Scottish
Commissioners and the English Parliamentarians, and returned thence to
Scotland, converted by the King's treatment of him into an anti-Royalist
and Covenanter to all temporary appearance, whatever he might still be at
heart. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 73, 74; Wishart, 31-47; Napier, 373-384;
Burnet's _Hamiltons_ (edit. 1852), 280-349. Burnet gives the charges
against the Hamiltons, with their answers, at length, and narrates events
anxiously in their behalf.]

The Hamiltons being out of the way, Montrose obtained a better hearing
for his plan. In the main, it was that the King should openly commission
him as his Majesty's Lieutenant in Scotland, and furnish him with some
small force with which to cut his way back into the heart of the country,
and there rouse the elements, whether Lowland or Highland, that were
ready for revolt against the Argyle supremacy. In connexion with this,
however, there was the scheme of an Irish contingent. Was not the Earl of
Antrim then with his Majesty at Oxford--that very Randal Macdonnell, Earl
of Antrim, whom it had been proposed, as far back as 1638, to send
secretly into Argyleshire with a force of Irishry, to aid the King in his
first strife with the Covenanters (Vol. II. p. 23)? Six years had elapsed
since then; but there was still extant in Antrim, as the head of the
great Scoto-Irish clan of the Macdonnells and Macdonalds, that power for
mischief in Scotland which consisted in the hereditary feud between this
clan and all the family of the Campbells. Let Antrim go back to Ireland,
raise a force of his Macdonnells and Macdonalds and whatever else, and
make a landing with these on the West Scottish coast; and then, if the
time could be so hit that Montrose should be already in Scotland as his
Majesty's commissioned Lieutenant, might there not be such a junction of
the two movements that the Argyle government would be thrown into the
agonies of self-defence, and the recall of Leven's army from England
would be a matter of immediate necessity? So much at least might be
surely anticipated; but Montrose promised still larger results. Listening
to his arguments, iterated and reiterated at Oxford through January 1643-
4, the King and Queen hardly knew what to think. Montrose's own
countrymen round about the King were consulted. What thought Traquair,
Carnwath, Annandale, and Roxburgh? They would have nothing to do with
Montrose's plan, and talked of him as a would-be Hotspur. Only a few of
the younger Scottish lords at Oxford, including Viscount Aboyne (the
Marquis of Huntley's second son) and Lord Ogilvy (the Earl of Airlie's
son and heir), adhered to him. Among the King's English counsellors, of
course, there were few that could judge of his enterprise. One of these,
however, whom a kindred daring of spirit drew to Montrose, helped him all
he could. This was the young Lord Digby. Chiefly by his means, the King's
hesitations were at length overcome. Late in January, Antrim, created a
Marquis for the occasion, did go over to Ireland, vowing that, by the 1st
of April 1644, he would land so many thousands of men in Scotland with
himself at their head; and on the 1st of February 1643-4, or when Leven's
Scottish army had been ten days in England, a commission was made out
appointing Montrose Lieutenant-general of all his Majesty's forces in
Scotland. It had been proposed to name him Viceroy and Commander-in-
chief; but he had himself suggested that this nominal dignity should be
conferred rather on the King's nephew, Prince Maurice. For his own work
in Scotland the subordinate commission, with some small force of
volunteer Scots and English troopers to assist him in displaying it,
would in the meantime be quite enough. [Footnote: Wishart, 47-52;
Baillie, II.73, 74, and 164; Clarendon, 533-537; Rushworth, V. 927; and
Napier, 385-388.]

Leaving Oxford, with a slender retinue of Scots, among whom were Aboyne
and Ogilvy, Montrose went to York, and thence to Durham, where he
attached himself to the Marquis of Newcastle, then engaged in resisting
the advance of Leven's army. From that nobleman he implored, in the
King's name, some troops for his convoy into Scotland. Newcastle, himself
ill-supplied, could spare him but 200 horse, with two brass field-pieces.
There was an accession from the Cumberland and Northumberland militia, so
that the band with which Montrose entered Scotland (April 13, 1644) was
about 1,000 strong. Hardly, however, had he entered Scotland when most of
the English mutinied and went back. With what force he had left he pushed
on to Dumfries, surprised that town into surrender, and displayed his
standard in it with a flourish of trumpets. But nothing more could be
done. Of Antrim's Irish contingent, which was to have been in the West
Highlands by the 1st of April, there were no tidings; and Scotland all to
the north of Dumfries was full of Covenanters now alarmed and alert. To
try to dash through these at all hazards, so as to lodge himself in the
Highlands, was his thought for a moment; but he had to give up the
attempt as impossible. From Dumfries, therefore, he backed again, most
reluctantly, into the North of England, pursued by the execration of all
Presbyterian Scotland, and by a sentence of excommunication pronounced
against him in the High Church of Edinburgh. [Footnote: Wishart, 52-55,
Napier, 385-397, Rushworth, V. 927-9.]

"Montrose's foolish bravado is turned to nothing," Baillie was able to
write early in May 1644. This was the general impression. True, in
recognition of his bravery, a patent for his elevation to the Marquisate
had been made out at Oxford. It was fitting that, if ever he did come to
represent the King in Scotland, it should be a Marquis of Montrose that
should contend with the Marquis of Argyle. But would there ever be such a
contest? Few can have entertained the belief besides Montrose himself.
For some weeks after his retreat into England we hear of him as mingling
actively in the war in Northumberland and Durham, taking and pillaging
Morpeth, and the like; then we hear of him hurrying southwards to join
Prince Rupert in his effort to raise the siege of York, but only to meet
the Prince beaten and fugitive from the field of Marston Moor (July 2).
"Give me a thousand of your horse; only give me a thousand of your horse
for another raid into Scotland," was the burthen of his talk with Rupert.
The Prince promised, and then retracted. Though a younger man than
Montrose, he had more faith in what he could himself do with a thousand
horse in England than in what any Scot could do with them in Scotland.
And so, though Lord Digby, Endymion Porter, and some others still spoke
manfully for Montrose with the King, he is found back in Carlisle, late
in July, with only his little band of Scottish adherents. Then ensued the
strangest freak of all. With this very band he set out again distinctly
southwards, as if all thought of entering Scotland were over, and nothing
remained but to rejoin the King at Oxford. The band, however, had been
but two days on their march when they found that their leader had given
them the slip, and left the duty of taking them to Oxford to his second,
Lord Ogilvy. He himself had returned to Carlisle. It was barely known
that he had done so when he mysteriously disappeared (Aug. 18). No one,
except Lord Aboyne, whom he had left in Carlisle with certain secret
instructions, could tell what had become of him; but it was afterwards
remembered, like the beginning of a novel, that on such an autumn day
three persons had been seen riding from Carlisle towards the Scottish
border, two gentlemen in front, one of whom had a club foot, and the
third behind, as their groom, mounted on a sorry nag, and leading a spare
horse. The two gentlemen were a Colonel Sibbald and a lame Major Rollo,
intimate friends of Montrose, and the supposed groom was Montrose
himself. [Footnote: Wishart, 56-64; Napier 396-413; Rushworth, V. 928]

There was a distinct cause for Montrose's entry into Scotland in this
furtive manner. The Scottish Parliament (a regular Parliament, and not an
informal Convention of Estates like that of the previous year) had met on
the 4th of June, with Argyle, Loudoun, and twenty other Peers, more than
forty lesser Barons, and about the same number of Commissioners from
Burghs, present at the opening. On the 12th of July, when they were
approaching the end of their business, there had been this occurrence:
"Five several letters read in the House from divers persons of credit,
showing of the arrival of fifteen ships, with 3,000 rebels in them, from
Ireland, in the West Isles, with the Earl of Antrim's brother, and the
sons of Coll Kittoch, and desiring the States with all expedition to send
the Marquis of Argyle there by land, with some ships likewise by sea, and
powder and ammunition." On subsequent days there were corrections of this
intelligence, bringing it nearer to the exact fact. That fact was that
Antrim's invasion of Scotland, arranged by him with the King and Montrose
at Oxford six months before, had at last come to pass, not indeed in the
shape of that full Irish army with Antrim himself in command which had
been promised, but in the shape of a miscellany of about 2,000 Irish and
Scoto-Irish who had landed at Ardnamurchan in the north of Argyleshire
under the command of a redoubtable vassal of Antrim's, called (and here,
for Miltonic reasons, the name must be given in full) Alastair Mac
Cholla-Chiotach, Mhic-Ghiollesbuig, Mhic-Alastair, Mhic-Eoin Chathanaich,
_i.e._ Alexander, son of Coll the Left-Handed, son of Gillespie, son
of Alexander, son of John Cathanach. This long-named Celt was already
pretty well known in Scotland by one or other of the abbreviations of his
name, such as Mac-Coll Mac-Gillespie, or Alaster Mac-Colkittoch, or
Alexander Macdonald the younger of Colonsay. His father, Alexander
Macdonald the elder, was a chief of the Scottish Island of Colonsay, off
the Argyleshire coast, but nearly related by blood to the Earl of Antrim,
professing himself therefore of the same race, kin, and religion as the
Irish Macdonnells, and sharing their ancient grudge against the whole
race of the Campbells. He had the personal peculiarity of being
ambidexter, or able to wield his claymore with his left hand as well as
with his right; and hence his Gaelic name of Coll Kittoch, or Coll the
Left-Handed. The peculiarity having been transmitted to his son Alaster,
it was not uncommon to distinguish the two as old Colkittoch and young
Colkittoch. The old gentleman had for some time been in durance in
Edinburgh; but his sons had remained at large, and Alaster had been
recently figuring in Antrim's train in Ulster, and acting for Antrim
among the Irish rebels, with great repute for his bravery, and his huge
stature and strength. Not inclined at the last moment for the command of
the Scottish expedition himself, Antrim had done his best by sending this
gigantic kinsman as his substitute. It was certainly but a small force,
and most raggedly equipped, that he led; but, thrown as it was into the
territories of King Campbell, and with a hundred miles of Highland glens
before it, all rife and explosive with hatred to the name of Campbell, it
might work havoc enough. So the Parliament in Edinburgh thought. On the
16th of July, or four days after the first rumour of the invasion, the
Marquis of Argyle received a full commission of military command against
the invaders, and left Edinburgh for the region of danger. [Footnote:
Balfour's Annals, III. 215 _et seq._; Napier, 416-7 and 504; Wishart, 67;
Baillie, II. 217; Rushworth, V. 928. There is a curious, but confused,
story of the wrongs which old Colkittoch and his family had received at
the hands of Argyle in Walker's Hist. of Independency (1660), Appendix to
Part I. pp. 3-6.]

This was what had caused Montrose's inexplicable restlessness about
Carlisle through the latter part of July, and at length, on the 18th of
August, his desperate plunge into Scotland in disguise, and with only two
companions. By what route the three adventurers rode one does not know;
but on the 22nd of August they turned up at the house of Tullibelton in
Perthshire, near Dunkeld. It was the seat of Patrick Graham of
Inchbrakie, a kinsman of Montrose. Received here by Inchbrakie himself,
and by his eldest son, Patrick Graham the younger, locally known as
"Black Pate," Montrose lay close for a few days, anxiously collecting
news. As respected Scottish Royalism, the reports were gloomy. The Argyle
power everywhere was vigilant and strong; no great house, Lowland or
Highland, was in a mood to be roused. Only among the neighbouring
Highlanders of Athole, or North Perthshire, known to Montrose from his
childhood and knowing him well, could he hope to raise the semblance of a
force. All this was discouraging, and made Montrose more eager for
intelligence as to the whereabouts of Colkittoch and his Irish. He had
not long to wait. Since their landing at Ardnamurchan (July 8) they had
been making the most of their time in a wild way, roving hither and
thither, ravaging and destroying, taking this or that stronghold, sending
out the fiery cross and messages of defiance to Covenanting Committees.
They had come inland at length as far as Badenoch, the wildest part of
Inverness-shire, immediately north of Athole and the Grampians; and there
were reasons now why they should be inquiring as anxiously after Montrose
as he was inquiring after them. For their condition was becoming
desperate. The great clan of the Seaforth Mackenzies, north of
Argyleshire, from whom they had expected assistance, had failed to give
any; other clans refused to be led by a mere Macdonald of Colonsay; the
fleet of vessels in which they had landed had been seized and burnt by
Argyle; that nobleman was following them; and orders were out for a
general arming for the Covenant north of the Grampians. Accordingly,
Colkittoch, imagining that Montrose was still in Carlisle, had written to
him there. The rude postal habits of those parts being such that the
letters came into the hands of Black Pate, Montrose received them sooner
than the writer could have hoped. His reply, dated from Carlisle by way
of precaution, was an order to Macdonald to descend at once into Athole
and make his rendezvous, if possible, at Castle Blair. [Footnote: Napier,
413-419; Wishart, 64-68; Rushworth, V. 928-9. I have had the satisfaction
of rectifying a portion of the tale of Montrose's romantic adventure into
Scotland as it is told by his biographers. Wishart distinctly makes him
first hear of the landing of Colkittoch and his Irish _after_ he had
come into Scotland and was hiding about Tullibelton; and Mr. Napier's
narrative conveys the same impression. But the idea is absurd. As the
landing of Colkittoch and his Irish at Ardnamurchan on the 8th of July
was known in Edinburgh, and discussed in the Parliament there, on the
12th of the same month, it must have been well known about Tullibelton at
that time too, or six weeks before Montrose appeared there; and the news
must have reached Montrose about July 13 or 14, when he was yet in the
North of England, and must have been, in fact, the cause of his
resolution to make his way into the Highlands. It is possible, of course,
that, after Montrose came to Tullibelton, he may have been uncertain for
a time of Colkittoch's exact whereabouts; and there is a seemingly
authentic anecdote to the effect that Montrose himself related that he
first learnt that Colkittoch had broken into Athole by meeting in the
wood of Methven a man running with a fiery cross to carry the dreadful
news to Perth. A misconstruction of this anecdote, with inattention to
dates, has led to the larger, and intrinsically absurd, hypothesis.]

A walk of twenty miles over the hills brought Montrose and Black Pate to
the rendezvous. They found there a mixed crowd, comprising, on the one
hand, the Irish, with a few Badenoch Highlanders, whom Colkittoch had
brought with him, and on the other, the native Athole Highlanders,
looking askance at the intruders, and, though willing enough to rise for
King Charles, having no respect for an outlandish Macdonald from
Colonsay. The appearance of Montrose put an end to the discord. He had
put on the Highland dress, and looked "a very pretty man," fair-haired,
with a slightly aquiline nose, grey eyes, a brow of unusual breadth, and
an air of courage and command; but the Irish, noting his rather small
stature, could hardly believe that he was the great Marquis. The wild joy
of the Athole-men and the Badenoch-men on recognising him removed their
doubts; and, amid shouts from both sides, Montrose assumed his place as
Lieutenant-general for his Majesty, adopting the tall Macdonald as his
Major-general. The standard was raised with all ceremony on a spot near
Castle Blair, now marked by a cairn; and, when all was ready, the troops
were reviewed. They consisted of about 1,200 Irish, with a following of
women and children, and 1,100 Scottish Highlanders (Stuarts, Robertsons,
Gordons, &c.). Artillery there was none; three old hacks, one of them for
the lame Major Rollo, were the cavalry; money there was none; arms and
ammunition were, for the most part, to seek, even clothing was miserably
deficient. So began Montrose's little epic of 1644-5. He was then thirty-
two years of age. [Footnote: Rushworth, V. 928-9; Napier, 419-422.]

It was the track of Mars turned into a meteor. Marches and battles,
battles and marches: this phrase is the summary of the story. Flash the
phrase through the Highlands, flash it through the Lowlands, for a whole
year, and you have an epitome of this epic of Montrose and his triumph.
Our account of the details shall be as rapid as possible.

Breaking forth southwards from Athole, to avoid Argyle's advance from the
west, Montrose crossed the Tay, and made for Perth. Having been joined by
his kinsman, Lord Kilpont, eldest son of the Earl of Menteith, Sir John
Drummond, son of the Earl of Perth, and David Drummond of Maderty, he
gave battle, at Tippermuir, near Perth, on Sunday, Sept. 1, 1644, to a
Covenanting force of some 6,000 men, gathered from the shires of Perth
and Fife, and under the command of Lord Elcho, the Earl of Tullibardine,
Lord Drummond and Sir John Scot. The rout of the Covenanters, horse and
foot, was complete. They were chased six miles from the field, and about
2,000 were slain. Perth then lying open for the victors, Montrose entered
that town, and lie remained there three days, issuing proclamations,
exacting fines and supplies, and joined by two of his sons, the elder of
whom, Lord Graham, a boy of fourteen, accompanied him from that time. But
movement was Montrose's policy. Recrossing the Tay, and passing north-
eastwards, he came in sight of Dundee; but, finding that town too well
defended, he pushed on, still north-east, joined on the way by the Earl
of Airlie, and his two younger sons, Sir Thomas and Sir David Ogilvy, and
came down upon Aberdeen. That city, too familiar with him in the days of
his Covenanting zeal, was now to experience the tender mercies of his
Royalism. Defeating (Sept. 12) a Covenanting force of Forbeses, Erasers,
and others, who opposed him at the Bridge of Dee under Lord Burleigh and
Lord Lewis Gordon (third son of the Marquis of Huntley, and for the time
on this side), he let his Irish and Highlanders loose for four days on
the doomed Aberdonians. Then, as Argyle was approaching with a
considerable army, and no reinforcement was forthcoming from
Aberdeenshire and Banffshire, he withdrew west, into the country of the
upper Spey. Thence again, on finding himself hopelessly confronted by a
muster of Covenanters from the northern shires of Moray, Ross,
Sutherland, and Caithness, he plunged, for safety, into the wilder
Highlands of Badenoch, and so back into Athole (Oct. 4). Not, however, to
remain there! Again he burst out on Angus and Aberdeenshire, which Argyle
had meanwhile been traversing on behalf of the Covenant. For a week or
two, having meanwhile despatched his Major-general, Macdonald, into the
West Highlands to fetch what recruits he could from the clans there, he
made it his strategy, with the small force he had left, to worry and
fatigue Argyle and his fellow-commander the Earl of Lothian, avoiding
close quarters with their bigger force, and their cannon and horse. Once
at Eyvie Castle, which he had taken October 14, they did surprise him;
but, with his 1,500 foot and 50 horse, he made a gallant stand, so that
they, with their 2,500 foot and 1,500 horse, had no advantage. As much of
this time as he could give was spent by him in the Marquis of Huntley's
own domain of Strathbogie, still in hopes of rousing the Gordons. At
length, winter coming on, and the distracted Gordons refusing to be
roused, and Argyle's policy of private dealings with Montrose's
supporters individually having begun to tell, so that even Colonel
Sibbald had deserted him, and few people of consequence remained to face
the winter with him except the faithful Ogilvies, Montrose, after a
council of war held in Strathbogie, retired from that district (Nov. 6),
again by Speyside, into savage Badenoch. But here, ere he could take any
rest, important news reached him. Argyle had certainly sent his horse
into winter-quarters; but he had gone with all his foot to Dunkeld,
whence the more easily to ply his craft of seduction among Montrose's
trustiest adherents, the men of Athole. No sooner had Montrose heard this
than, clambering the Grampian barrier between Badenoch and Athole, he
brought his followers, by one tremendous night-march of twenty-four
miles, over rocks and snow, down into the region in peril. He was yet
sixteen miles off, when Argyle, bidding his men shift for themselves,
fled from Dunkeld, and took refuge with the Covenanting garrison of
Perth, on his way to Edinburgh. [Footnote: Wishart, 71-105; Napier, 426-
469; Rushworth, V. 929-931.]

Argyle's soldiering, it had been ascertained, was not the best part of
him. He knew this himself, and, on his return to Edinburgh in the end of
November, insisted on resigning his military commission. It was difficult
to find another commander-in-chief; but at length it was agreed that the
fit man was William Baillie, the Lieutenant-general, under Leven, of the
auxiliary Scottish army in England. He had recently been in Edinburgh on
private business, and was on his way back to England when he was recalled
by express. Not without some misgivings, arising from his fear that
Argyle would still have the supreme military direction, he accepted the
commission. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 262: also at 416 _et seq._,
where there is an interesting letter of General Baillie to his namesake
and kinsman.] Then Argyle went off to his own castle of Inverary, there
to spend the rest of the winter.

It was time that Argyle should be at Inverary. Montrose, left in assured
possession of his favourite Athole, had been rejoined by his Major-
general, Mac-Colkittoch, bringing reinforcements from the Highland clans.
There was the chief of Clanranald with 500 of his men; there were
Macdonalds from Glengarry, Glencoe, and Lochaber; there were Stuarts of
Appin, Farquharsons of Braemar, Camerons from Lochiel, Macleans,
Macphersons, Macgregors. What was winter, snow more or less upon the
mountains, ice more or less upon the lakes, to those hardy Highlanders?
Winter was their idlest time; they were ready for any enterprise: only
what was it to be? On this point Montrose held a council of war. "Let us
winter in the country of King Campbell," was what the Macdonalds and
other clans muttered among themselves; and Montrose, who would have
preferred a descent into the Lowlands, listened and pondered. "But how
shall we get there, gentlemen? It is a far cry to Lochawe, as you know;
how shall we find the passes, and where shall we find food as we go?"
Then up spoke Angus MacCailen Duibh, a warrior from dark Glencoe. "I
know," he said, "every farm in the land of MacCallummore; and, if tight
houses, fat cattle, and clean water will suffice, you need never want."
And so it was resolved, and done. From Athole, south-west, over hills and
through glens, the Highland host moves, finding its way somehow--first
through the braes of the hostile Menzieses, burning and ravaging; then to
Loch Tay (Dec. 11); and so through the lands of the Breadalbane
Campbells, and the Glenorchy Campbells, still burning and ravaging, till
they break into the fastnesses of the Campbell in chief, range over
Lorne, and assault Inverary. Argyle, amazed by the thunder of their
coming, had escaped in a fishing-boat and made his way to his other seat
of Roseneath on the Clyde; but Inverary and all Argyleshire round it lay
at Montrose's mercy. And, from the middle of December 1644 to about the
18th of the January following, his motley Highland and Irish host ranged
through the doomed domain in three brigades, dancing diabolic reels in
their glee, and wreaking the most horrible vengeance. No one knows what
they did. One sees Inverary in flames, the smoke of burning huts and
villages for miles and miles, butcheries of the native men wherever they
are found, drivings-in of cattle, and scattered pilgrimages of wailing
women and children, with relics of the men amongst them, fugitive and
starving in side glens and corries, where even now the tourist shudders
at the wildness. [Footnote: Rushworth, V. 930, 931; Baillie, II. 262;
Wishart, 106-108; Napier, 470-473.]

The Scottish Parliament had reassembled for another Session on the 7th of
January, without Argyle in it, but in constant communication with him;
and about the same time General Baillie and a Committee of the Estates
had gone to consult with Argyle at Roseneath. About the middle of the
month they became aware that Montrose was on the move northward, out of
Arglyeshire by Lorne and Lochaber in the direction of the great Albyn
chain of lakes, now the track of the Caledonian Canal. They knew,
moreover, that directly ahead of him in this direction there was a strong
Covenanting power, under the Earl of Seaforth, and consisting of the
garrison of Inverness and recruits from Moray, Ross, Sutherland and
Caithness. Evidently it was Montrose's intention to meet this power and
dispose of it, so as to have the country north of the Grampians wholly
his own. In these circumstances the arrangements of Baillie and Argyle
seemed to be the best possible. Baillie, instead of going on to
Argyleshire, as he had intended, went to Perth, to hold that central part
of Scotland with a sufficient force; and Argyle, with 1,100 seasoned
infantry, lent him by Baillie, and with what gathering of his own broken
men he could raise in addition, went after Montrose, to follow him along
the chain of lakes. Of this army Argyle was to be nominally commander;
but he had wisely brought over from Ireland his kinsman Sir Duncan
Campbell of Auchinbreck, a brave and experienced soldier, to command
under him. The expectation was that between Seaforth, coming in strength
from the north end of the trough of lakes, and Argyle, advancing
cautiously from the south end, Montrose would be caught and crushed, or
that, if he did break eastward out of the trough between them, he would
fall into the meshes of Baillie from his centre at Perth. [Footnote:
Balfour's Annals, III. 246 _et seq._; Wishart, 109, 110; Napier,
475-477; and General Baillie's letter to his cousin Robert Baillie, in
Baillie's Letters, II. 417t.]

Then it was that Montrose showed the world what is believed to have been
his most daring feat of generalship. On the 29th and 30th of January he
was at Kilchuilem on Loch Ness near what is now Fort Augustus. Thence it
was his purpose to advance north to meet Seaforth, when he received news
that Argyle was thirty miles behind him in Lochaber, at the old cattle of
Inverlochy, at the foot of Ben Nevis, near what is now Fort William. He
saw at once the device. Argyle did not mean to fight him directly, but to
keep dogging him at a distance and then to come up when he should be
engaged with Seaforth! Instantly, therefore, he resolved not to go on
against Seaforth, but to turn back, and fall upon Argyle first by
himself. Setting a guard on the beaten road along the lakes, to prevent
communication with Argyle, he ventured a march, where no march had ever
been before, or could have been supposed possible, up the rugged bed of
the Tarf, and so, by the spurs of big Carryarick and the secrets of the
infant Spey, now in bog and wet, now knee-deep in snow, over the
mountains of Lochaber. It was on Friday the 31st of January that he began
the march, and early in the evening of Saturday the 1st of February they
were down at the foot of Ben Nevis and close on Inverlochy. It was a
frosty moonlight night; skirmishing went on all through the night; and
Argyle, with the gentlemen of the Committee of Estates who were with him,
went on board his barge on Loch Eil. Thence, at a little distance from
the shore, he beheld the battle of the next day, Sunday, Feb. 2. It was
the greatest disaster that had ever befallen the House of Argyle. There
were slain in all about 1,500 of Argyle's men, including brave
Auchinbreck and many other important Campbells, while on Montrose's side
the loss was but of a few killed, and only Sir Thomas Ogilvy, among his
important followers, wounded mortally. And so, with a heavy heart, Argyle
sailed away in his barge, wondering why God had not made him a warrior as
well as a statesman; and Montrose sat down to write a letter to the King.
"Give me leave," he said, "after I have reduced this country to your
Majesty's obedience and conquered from Dan to Beersheba, to say to your
Majesty then, as David's general did to his master, 'Come thou thyself,
lest this country be called by _my_ name.'" [Footnote: Rushworth, V.
931-2; Wishart, 110-114; Napier, 477-484. Mr. Napier winds up his account
of the Battle of Inverlochy by quoting entire (484-488) Montrose's
supposed letter to the King on the occasion. The letter, he says, was
first "obscurely printed by Dr. Welwood in the Appendix to his Memoirs,
1699;" but he adds an extract from the _Analecta_ of the Scottish
antiquary Wodrow, to the effect that Wodrow had been told, by a person
who had seen the original letter, that Welwood's copy was a "vitiated"
one. No other copy having been found among the Montrose Papers, Mr.
Napier has had to reprint Welwood's; which he does with great ceremony,
thinking it a splendid Montrose document. It certainly is a striking
document; but I cannot help suspecting the genuineness of it as it now
stands. There are anachronisms and other slips in it, suggesting
posthumous alteration and concoction.]----The Battle of Inverlochy was
much heard of throughout England, where Montrose and his exploits had
been for some time the theme of public talk. The King was greatly elated;
and it was supposed that the new hopes from Scotland excited in his mind
by the success of Montrose had some effect in inducing him to break off
the Treaty of Uxbridge then in progress. The Treaty was certainly broken
off just at this time (Feb. 24, 1644-5).

On Wednesday the 12th of February, ten days after Inverlochy, the Marquis
of Argyle was in Edinburgh, and presented himself in the Parliament,
"having his left arm tied up in a scarf." The day before, the Parliament
had unanimously found "James, Earl of Montrose" (his title of Marquis not
recognised) and nineteen of his chief adherents, including the Earl of
Airlie, Viscount Aboyne, Alexander Macdonald MacColkittoch, and Patrick
Graham younger of Inchbrakie, "guilty of high treason," and had
forfaulted "their lives, honours, titles, lands and goods;" also ordering
the Lyon King of Arms, Sir James Balfour, to "delete the arms of the
traitors out of his registers and books of honour." The General Assembly
of the Kirk was then also in session, rather out of its usual season
(Jan. 22-Feb. 13), on account of important ecclesiastical business
arising out of the proceedings of the Westminster Assembly; and Baillie
and Gillespie had come from London to be present. Of course, the
rebellion of Montrose was much discussed by that reverend body; and, in a
document penned by Mr. Gillespie, and put forth by the Assembly (Feb.
12), there was this passage:--"In the meantime, the hellish crew, under
the conduct of the excommunicate and forfaulted Earl of Montrose, and of
Alaster Macdonald, a Papist and an outlaw, doth exercise such barbarous,
unnatural, horrid, and unheard-of cruelty as is beyond expression." But,
though Parliament might condemn and proscribe Montrose, and the General
Assembly might denounce him, the real business of bringing him to account
rested now with General Baillie. To assist Baillie, however, there was
coming from England another military Scot, to act as Major-general of
horse. He was no other than the renegade Urry, or Hurry, who had deserted
from the English Parliament to the King, and been the occasion of
Hampden's death in June 1643 (Vol. II. 470-1). Though the King had made
him a knight, he had again changed sides. [Footnote: Sir James Balfour's
Annals, III. 270-273; Baillie's Letters II. 258-263; Acts of General
Assembly of the Church of Scotland (edition of 1843), p. 126.]

After Inverlochy, Montrose had resumed his northward march along the
chain of lakes to meet Seaforth. That nobleman, however, had been cured
of any desire to encounter him. Feb. 19, Elgin surrendered to Montrose;
and here, or at Gordon Castle, not far off, he remained some little time,
issuing Royalist proclamations, and receiving new adherents, among whom
were Lord Gordon and his younger brother Lord Lewis Gordon, nay Seaforth
himself! Lord Gordon remained faithful; Lord Lewis Gordon was more
slippery; Seaforth had yielded on compulsion, and was to break away as
soon as he could. At Gordon Castle Montrose's eldest son and heir, who
had been with him through so many hardships, died after a short illness.
Hardly had the poor boy been buried in Bellie church near, when his
father, now reinforced by the Gordons, so that he could count 2,000 foot
and 200 horse, was on his "fiery progress" south through Aberdeenshire,
"as if to challenge Generals Baillie and Urry." March 9, he was at
Aberdeen; March 21, he was at Stonehaven and Dunnottar in
Kincardineshire, burning the burgh and its shipping, and the barns of
Earl Marischal's tenants under the Earl's own eyes. Baillie and Urry kept
zig-zagging in watch of him; but, though he skirmished with Urry's horse
and tried again and again to tempt on battle, they waited their own time.
Once they nearly had him. He had pushed on farther south through
Forfarshire, and then west into Perthshire, meaning to cross the Tay at
Dunkeld on his way to the Forth and the Lowlands. The desertion of Lord
Lewis Gordon at this point with most of the Gordon horse obliged him to
desist from this southward march; but, having been informed that Baillie
and Urry had crossed the Tay in advance of him to guard the Forth
country, he conceived that he would have time for the capture of Dundee,
and that the sack of so Covenanting a town would be a consolation to him
for his forced return northwards. Starting from Dunkeld at midnight,
April 3, he was at Dundee next morning, took the town by storm, and set
fire to it in several places. But lo! while his Highlanders and Irish
were ranging through the town, still burning and plundering, and most of
them madly drunk with the liquors they had found, Baillie and Urry, who
had not crossed the Tay after all, were not a mile off. How Montrose got
his drunken Highlanders and Irish together out of the burning town is an
inexplicable mystery; but he did accomplish it somehow, and whirled them,
by one of his tremendous marches, of three days and two nights, himself
in the rear and the enemy's horse close in pursuit all the while, past
Arbroath, and so, by dexterous choice of roads and passes, in among the
protecting Grampians. "Truly," says his biographer Wishart, "I have often
heard those who were esteemed the most experienced officers, not in
Britain only, but in France and Germany, prefer this march of Montrose to
his most celebrated victories." [Footnote: Wishart, 115-127; Rushworth,
VI. 2.8; Napier, 490-497.]

Except Inverlochy, his most celebrated victories were yet to come. There
were to be three of them. The first was the Battle of Auldearn in
Nairnshire (May 9, 1645), in which Montrose's tactics and MacColl's mad
bravery beat to pieces the regular soldier-craft of Urry, assisted by the
Earls of Seaforth, Sutherland, and Findlater. [Footnote: Rushworth, VI.
229; Wishart, 128-138; Napier, 500-506.] The second was the Battle of
Alford in Aberdeenshire (July 2, 1645), where Montrose defeated Baillie
himself. MacColkittoch was not present in this battle, the commanders in
which, under Montrose, were Lord Gordon, Nathaniel Gordon, Lord Aboyne,
Sir William Rollo, Glengarry, and Drummond of Balloch, while Baillie was
assisted in chief by the Earl of Balcarres. Montrose's loss was trifling
in comparison with Baillie's, but it included the death of Lord Gordon
[Footnote: Wishart, 133-152; Napier, 526-536]. To the Covenanting
Government the defeat of Alford was most serious. The Parliament, which
had adjourned at Edinburgh on the 8th of March, was convoked afresh for
two short sessions, at Stirling (July 8-July 11), and at Perth (July 24-
Aug. 5); and the chief business of these sessions was the consideration
of ways for retrieving Baillie's defeat and prosecuting the war
[Footnote: Balfour's Annals, III. 292 307.]. Baillie, chagrined at the
loss of his military reputation, wanted to resign, throwing the blame of
his disaster partly on Urry for his selfish carelessness, and partly on
the great Covenanting noblemen, who had disposed of troops hither and
thither, exchanged prisoners, and granted passes, without regard to his
interests or orders. The Parliament, having exonerated and thanked him,
persuaded him at first to retain his commission, appointing a new
Committee of Estates, with Argyle at their head, to accompany and advise
him (July 10). Not even so was Baillie comfortable; and on the 4th of
August he definitively gave in his resignation. It was then accepted,
with new exoneration and thanks, but with a request that, to allow time
for the arrival of his intended successor (Major-general Monro) from
Ireland, he would continue in the command a little longer. Goodnaturedly
he did so, but unfortunately for himself. He was in the eleventh day of
his anomalous position of command and no-command, when he received from
Montrose another thrashing, more fatal than the last, in the Battle of
Kilsyth in Stirlingshire (Aug. 15, 1645). On both sides there had been
great exertion in recruiting, so that the numbers in this battle were,
according to the estimate of Montrose's biographers, 6,000 foot and 1,000
horse under Baillie against 4,400 foot and 500 horse under Montrose.
Baillie would not have allowed this estimate, for he complains that the
recruiting for him had been bad. Anyhow, his defeat was crushing. In
various posts of command under Montrose were the aged Earl of Airlie,
Viscount Aboyne, Colonel Nathaniel Gordon, Maclean of Duart, the chief of
Clanranald, and MacColkittoch with his Irish. Acting under Baillie, or,
as he would have us infer, above him and in spite of him, were Argyle,
the Earls of Crawfurd and Tullibardine, Lords Elcho, Burleigh, and
Balcarres, Major-general Holborn, and others. Before the battle,
Montrose, in freak or for some deeper reason, made all his army, both
foot and horse, strip themselves, above the waist, to their shirts
(which, with the majority, may have implied something ghastlier); and in
this style they fought. The battle was not long, the Macleans and
Clanranald Highlanders being conspicuous in beginning it, and the old
Earl of Airlie and his Ogilvies in deciding it. But, after the battle,
there was a pursuit of the foe for fourteen miles, and the slaughter was
such as to give rise to the tradition of thousands slain on Baillie's
side against six men on Montrose's. Many prisoners were taken, but the
chief nobles escaped by the swiftness of their horses. Argyle was one of
these. Carried by his horse to Queens-ferry, he got on board a ship in
the Firth of Forth (the third time, it was noted, of his saving himself
in this fashion), sailed down the Firth into the open sea, and did not
come ashore till he was at Newcastle. [Footnote: Wishart, 162-171;
Napier, 542-541. But see General Baillie's touching and instructive
vindication of himself in three documents, printed in his cousin
Baillie's Letters and Correspondence (II. 4l7-424). Baillie goes over the
whole of his unfortunate commandership against Montrose, from his meeting
with Argyle at Roseneath after Inverlochy (Jan. 1644-5) to the Battle of
Kilsyth (Aug. 15. 1645); and the pervading complaint is that he had never
been allowed to be real commander-in-chief, but had been thwarted and
overridden by Argyle, Committees of Estates, and conceited individual

The Battle of Kilsyth placed all Scotland at Montrose's feet. He entered
Clydesdale, took the city of Glasgow under his protection, set up his
head-quarters at Bothwell, and thence issued his commands far and wide.
Edinburgh sent in its submission on summons; other towns sent in their
submissions; nobles and lairds that had hitherto stood aloof gathered
obsequiously round the victor; and friends and supporters, who had been
arrested and imprisoned on charges of complicity with him during his
enterprise, found themselves released. Dearest among these to Montrose
were his relatives of the Merchiston and Keir connexion--the veteran Lord
Napier, Montrose's brother-in-law and his Mentor from his youth; Sir
George Stirling of Keir, and his wife, Lord Napier's daughter; and
several other nieces of Montrose, young ladies of the Napier house. In
fact, so many persons of note from all quarters gathered round Montrose
at Bothwell that his Leaguer there became a kind of Court. The great day
at this Court was the 3rd of September, eighteen days after the victory
of Kilsyth. On that day there was a grand review of the victorious army;
a new commission from the King, brought from Hereford by Sir Robert
Spotswood, was produced and read, appointing Montrose Lord Lieutenant and
Captain-general of Scotland with those Viceregal powers which had till
then been nominally reserved for Prince Maurice; and, after a glowing
speech, in which Montrose praised his whole army, but especially his
Major-general, Alaster Macdonald MacColkittoch, he made it his first act
of Viceroyalty to confer on that warrior the honour of knighthood. On the
following day proclamations were issued for the meeting of a Parliament
at Glasgow on the 20th of October. Montrose then broke up his Leaguer, to
obey certain instructions which had come from the King. These were that
he should plant himself in the Border shires, co-operating there with the
Earls of Traquair, Hume, and Roxburgh, and other Royalists of those
parts, so as to be ready to receive his Majesty himself emerging from
England, or at least such an auxiliary force of English as Lord Digby
should be able to despatch. For Montrose's triumph in Scotland had been
reported all through England and had altered the state and prospects of
the war there. Kilsyth (Aug. 15) had come as a considerable compensation
even for Naseby (June 14) and the subsequent successes of the New Model.
The King's thoughts had turned to the North, and it had become his idea,
and Digby's, that, if the successes of the New Model still continued, it
would be best for his Majesty to transfer his own presence out of England
for the time, joining himself to Montrose in Scotland. [Footnote:
Baillie, II. 313-314; Rushworth, VI. 231; Wishart, 190; Napier, 552-569.]

In obedience to his Majesty's instructions Montrose did advance to the
Border. For about a week he prowled about, on the outlook for the
expected aid from England, negotiating at the same time with some of the
Border lords, and in quest of others with whom to negotiate. On the 10th
of September he was encamped at Kelso; thence he went to Jedburgh; and
thence to Selkirk. [Footnote: Napier, 570-575.] While he is at this last
place, let us pause a little to ask an important question.

What was Montrose's meaning? What real political intention lay under the
meteor-like track of his marches and battles? What did he want to make of
Scotland? This is not a needless question. For, as we know, Montrose was
not, after all, a mere military madman. He was an idealist in his way, a
political theorist (Vol. II. 296-298). Fortunately, to assist our
guesses, there is extant a manifesto drawn up under Montrose's dictation
at that very moment of his triumph at which we have now arrived. The
document is in the handwriting of Lord Napier, his brother-in-law and
closest adviser, and consists of some very small sheets of paper, in
Napier's minutest autograph, as if it had been drawn up where writing
materials were scarce. It was certainly written after Kilsyth, and in all
probability at one of Montrose's halts on the Border. In short, it was
that vindication of himself and declaration of his policy which Montrose
meant to publish in anticipation of the meeting of a Scottish Parliament
at Glasgow which he had summoned for the 20th of October.

The document is vague, and much of it is evidently a special pleading
addressed to those who remembered that Montrose had formerly been an
enthusiastic Covenanter Still there are interesting points in it. His
defence is that it was not _he_ that had swerved from the original
Scottish Covenant of 1638. He had thoroughly approved of that Covenant,
and had gone on with Argyle and the rest of the Covenanters, perhaps
"giving way to more than was warrantable," till their deviation from the
true purposes of the Covenant had passed all legal hounds. He had seen
this to be the ease at the time of the Treaty of Ripon at the conclusion
of the Second Bishops' War; and at that point he had left them, or rather
they had finally parted from him (Oct. 1640). He had since then gone on
in perfect consistency with his former self; and they had gone on, in
their pretended Parliaments and pretended General Assemblies, from bad to
worse. The State was in the grasp of a few usurpers at the centre and
their committees through the shires; finings and imprisonings of the
loyal were universal; and all true liberty for the subject was gone. The
Church too had passed into confusion, "the Brownistical faction"
overruling it, joined "in league with the Brownists and Independents in
England, to the prejudice of Religion." [Footnote: Several times in the
course of the document this accusation of Brownism or Independency comes
in--an absurdly selected accusation at the very time when the most patent
fact about the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland was its deadly antagonism to
Independency and all forms of Brownism. Montrose and Napier were probably
a little behind-hand in their knowledge of English Ecclesiastical
History, and merely clutched  "Brownism" as a convenient phrase of
reproach, much sanctioned by the King in his English proclamations
against Parliament.] So much for a review of his past acts; but what were
his _present_ grounds? Here one listens with curiosity. One of his
"grounds" he lays down definitely enough, and indeed with extraordinary
and repeated emphasis. Let his countrymen be assured that he retained his
hatred of Episcopacy and would never sanction its restoration in
Scotland! He would not, indeed, be for uprooting Episcopacy in England,
inasmuch as the King and his loyal subjects of that country did not
desire it; nor was he pledged to that by any right construction of the
Scottish Covenant of 1638. That Covenant referred to Scotland only, and
it was that Covenant, and not the later League and Covenant of 1643, that
he had signed. But he had not forgotten that the very cause of that
original Scottish Covenant was the woe wrought by Prelacy in Scotland.
"It cannot be denied," says the document, "neither ever shall be by us,
that this our nation was reduced to almost irreparable evil by the
perverse practices of the sometime pretended Prelates; who, having abused
lawful authority, did not only usurp to be lords over God's inheritance,
but also intruded themselves in the prime places of civil government,
and, by their Court of High Commission, did so abandon themselves, to the
prejudice of the Gospel, that the very quintessence of Popery was
publicly preached by Arminians, and the life of the Gospel stolen away by
enforcing on the Kirk a dead Service-book, the brood of the bowels of the
Whore of Babel." For the defence, therefore, of genuine old Scottish
Presbyterianism, he protests "in God's sight" he would be "the first
should draw a sword." But a spurious Presbyterianism had been invented,
and "the outcasting of the locust" had been the "inbringing of the
caterpillar." As he abjured Episcopacy, so he thought the system that had
been set up instead "no less hurtful;" wherefore, he concludes,
"resolving to eschew the extremities, and keep the middle way of our
Reformed Religion, we, by God's grace and assistance, shall endeavour to
maintain it with the hazard of our lives and fortunes, and it shall be no
less dear to us than our own souls."--Allowing for the fact that
Montrose, or Napier for him, must have considered it politic to
conciliate the anti-Prelatic sentiment, we cannot but construe these
passages into a positive statement that Montrose really was, and believed
himself to be, a moderate Presbyterian. His programme for Scotland, in
fact, was Moderate Presbyterianism together with a restoration of the
King's prerogative. In this, of course, was implied the annihilation of
every relic of the Argyle-Hamilton machinery of government and the
substitution of another machinery under the permanent Viceroyalty of the
Marquis of Montrose. [Footnote: The document described and extracted from
in the text is printed entire by Mr. Napier, who seems first to have
deciphered it (Appendix to Vol. I. of his Life of Montrose, pp. xliv.-
liii.), and whose historical honesty in publishing it is the more to be
commended because it must have jarred on his own predilections about his
hero. Many of Montrose's admirers still accept him in ignorance as a
champion and hero of high Episcopacy; and for these Mr. Napier's document
must be unwelcome news.]

Ah! how Fortune turns her wheel! This manifesto of Montrose was to remain
in Lord Napier's pocket, not to be deciphered till our own time, and the
Parliament for which it was a preparation was never actually to meet.

In England there had been amazement and grief over the news of Montrose's
triumph. The Parliament had appointed Sept. 5 to be a day of public fast
and prayer in all the churches on account of the calamity that had
befallen Scotland; and on that day the good Baillie, walking in London to
and from church, was in the deepest despondency. Never, "since William
Wallace's days," he wrote, had Scotland been in such a plight; and "What
means the Lord, so far against the expectation of the most clear-sighted,
to humble us so low?" But he adds a piece of news, "On Tuesday was eight
days" (_i.e._ Aug. 27), in consequence of letters from Scotland,
David Leslie, the Major-general of Leven's Scottish army in England, had
gone in haste from Nottingham towards Carlisle and Scotland, taking with
him 4,000 horse. This was the wisest thing that could have been done.
David Leslie was the very best soldier the Scots had, better by far than
Lieutenant-general Baillie, whom Montrose had just extinguished, and
better even than Monro, whom the Scottish Estates had resolved to bring
from Ireland as Baillie's successor. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 313-315.]

Actually, on the 6th of September, Leslie passed the Tweed, with his
4,000 Scottish horse from Leven's army, and some 600 foot he had added
from the Scottish garrison of Newcastle. He and Montrose were, therefore,
in the Border counties together, watching each other's movements, but
Leslie watching Montrose's movements more keenly than Montrose watched
Leslie's. Montrose does not seem to have known Leslie's full strength,
and he was himself in the worst possible condition for an immediate
encounter with it. It was the custom of the Highlanders in those days,
when they had served for a certain time in war, to flock back to their
hills for a fresh taste of home-life; and, unfortunately for Montrose,
his Highlanders had chosen to think the review at Bothwell a proper
period at which to take leave. They had been encouraged in this, it is
believed, by Colkittoch, who, having had the honorary captaincy-general
of the clans bestowed upon him by Montrose in addition to knighthood, had
projected for himself, and for his old father and brothers, the private
satisfaction of a war all to themselves in the country of the Campbells.
Montrose had submitted with what grace he could; and the Highlanders,
with some of the Irish among them, had marched off with promises of
speedy return. But, at the same critical moment, Viscount Aboyne,
hitherto the most faithful of the Gordons, had "taken a caprice," and
gone off with his horse. He had been lured away, it was suspected, by his
uncle Argyle, who had come back from his sea-voyage to Newcastle, and was
busy in Berwickshire. Then Montrose's negotiations with the Border lords
had come to nearly nothing, David Leslie's presence and Argyle's counter-
negotiations having had considerable influence. Finally, of the King
himself or the expected forces from England there was no appearance. It
was, therefore, but with a shabby little army of Irish and Lowland foot
and a few horse that Montrose, with his group of most resolute friends--
Lord Napier, the Marquis of Douglas, the Earls of Airlie, Crawfurd, and
Hartfell, Lords Ogilvy, Erskine, and Fleming, Colonel Nathaniel Gordon,
Sir John Dalziel, Drummond of Balloch, Sir Robert Spotswood, Sir William
Rollo, Sir Philip Nisbet, the young master of Napier, and others--found
himself encamped, on the 12th of September, at Philiphaugh near Selkirk.
His intention was not to remain in the Border country any longer, but to
return north and get back among his Grampian strongholds. But somehow his
vigilance, when it was most needed, had deserted him. The morning of
Saturday, Sept. 13, had risen dull, raw, and dark, with a thick grey fog
covering the ground; and Montrose, ill-served by his scouts, was at early
breakfast, when Leslie sprang upon him out of the fog, and in one brief
hour finished his year of splendour. Montrose himself, the two Napiers,
the Marquis of Douglas, the Earls of Airlie and Crawfurd, with others,
cut their way out and escaped; but many were made prisoners, and the
places where the wretched Irish were shot down and buried in heaps, and
the tracks of the luckier fugitives for miles from Philiphaugh, are now
among the doleful memories of the Braes of Yarrow. [Footnote: Rushworth,
VI. 231-2; Wishart, 189-207; Napier, 557-580.  I have seen, in the
possession of the Rev. Dr. David Aitken, Edinburgh, a square-shaped
bottle of thick and pretty clear glass, which was one of several of the
same sort accidentally dug up some few years ago at Philiphaugh, in a
place where there were also many buried gunflints.  There were traces, I
am told, from which it could be distinctly inferred that the bottles had
contained some kind of Hock or Rhenish wine; and the belief of the
neighbourhood was that they had been part of Montrose's tent-stock, on
the morning when he was surprised by Leslie.]

Montrose and his fellow-fugitives found their way back to their favourite
Athole, and were not even yet absolutely in despair. The venerable
Napier, indeed, had come to his journey's end. Worn out by fatigue, he
died in Athole, and was buried there. Montrose's wife died about the same
time in the eastern Lowlands, and Montrose, at some risk, was present at
her funeral. To these bereavements there was added the indignant grief
caused by the vengeances taken by the restored Argyle Government upon
those of his chief adherents who had fallen into their hands. Sir William
Rollo (the same Major Rollo who had crossed the Border with Montrose in
his disguise), Sir Philip Nisbet, young Ogilvy of Innerquharity, and
others, were beheaded at Glasgow; and Colonel Nathaniel Gordon, Captain
Andrew Guthrie, President Sir Robert Spotswood, and William Murray, the
young brother of the Earl of Tullibardine, were afterwards executed at
St. Andrews--Lord Ogilvy, who had been condemned with these last, having
contrived to escape. The desire of retaliation for these deaths co-
operating with his determination to make his Captaincy-general in
Scotland of some avail still for the King's cause, Montrose lurked on
perseveringly in his Highland retirement, trying to organize another
rising, and for this purpose appealing to MacColkittoch and every other
likely Highland chief, but above all to the Marquis of Huntley and his
fickle Gordons. In vain! To all intents and purposes Montrose's
Captaincy-general in Scotland was over, and the Argyle supremacy was
reestablished. All that could be said was that he was still at large in
the Highlands, and that, while he was thus at large, the Argyle
Government could not reckon itself safe. And so for the present we leave
him, humming to himself, as one may fancy, a stanza of one of his own

  "The misty mounts, the smoking lake,
    The rock's resounding echo,
  The whistling winds, the woods that shake,
    Shall all with me sing _Heigho_!
  The tossing seas, the tumbling boats,
    Tears dripping from each oar,
  Shall tune with me their turtle notes:
    'I'll never love thee more!'"
[Footnote: Rushworth, VI. 232; Wishart, 208-258; Napier, 581-630, with
Montrose's Poems in Appendix to Vol. I.]


Montrose's defeat at Philiphaugh (Sept. 13, 1645) having relieved the
English Parliament from the awkwardness of the Royalist uprising in
Scotland while the New Model was crushing Royalism in England, and the
storming of Bristol by the New Model (Sept. 10) having just been added as
a most important incident in the process of the crushing, the war in
England had reached its fag-end.

The West and the Southern Counties were still the immediate theatre of
action for the New Model. Cromwell, fresh from his share with Fairfax in
the recent successes in Somersetshire, Gloucestershire, and Wilts, was
detached into Hants; and here, by his valour and skill, were accomplished
the surrender of Winchester (Oct. 8), and the storming of Basing House,
the magnificent mansion of the Marquis of Winchester, widower of that
Marchioness on whom Milton had written his epitaph in 1631, but now again
married (Oct. 14). Thus, by the middle of October, Royalism had been
completely destroyed in Hants, as well as in Wilts, Dorset, and Somerset,
and what relics of it remained in the south-west were cooped up in the
extreme shires of Devon and Cornwall, whither the Prince of Wales had
retired with Lord Hopton. Here they lingered through the winter.
[Footnote: Chronological Table in Sprigge.]

Meanwhile the King had been steadily losing ground in the Midlands and
throughout the rest of England. Not even after Philiphaugh had he given
up all hopes of a junction with Montrose in Scotland; and a northward
movement, from Hereford through Wales, which he had begun before the news
of that battle reached him, was still continued. He had got as far as
Welbeck in Nottinghamshire (Oct. 13) when he was induced to turn back,
only sending 1,500 horse under Lord Digby and Sir Marmaduke Langdale to
make their way into Scotland if possible. Though defeated by the
Parliamentarians in Yorkshire, Digby and Langdale did get as far as the
Scottish border; but, finding farther progress hopeless, they left their
men to shift for themselves, and escaped to the Isle of Man, whence Digby
went to Dublin. The King himself had gone first to Newark, on the eastern
border of Nottinghamshire, which was one of the places yet garrisoned for
him; but, after a fortnight's stay there, he returned once more to his
head-quarters at Oxford (Nov. 5). Here he remained through the winter,
holding his court as well as he could, issuing proclamations, and
observing the gradual closing in upon him of the Parliamentarian forces.
The position of the Scottish auxiliary army in particular had then become
of considerable importance to him.--We have seen (_antè_, p. 339)
how, in September, that army had raised the siege of Hereford, and had
sulkily gone northward as far as Yorkshire, as if with the intention of
leaving England altogether. There was some excuse for them in the state
of Scotland at the time, where all the resources of the Argyle Government
had failed in the contest with Montrose; but not the less were the
English Parliamentarians out of humour with them. Angry messages had been
interchanged between the English Parliament and the Scottish military and
political leaders; and a demand had been put forth by the Parliament that
the Scots should hand over into English keeping Carlisle and other
northern towns where they had garrisons. At length, Montrose having been
suppressed by David Leslie's horse, and great exertions having been made
by the Scottish Chancellor Loudoun to restore a good feeling between the
two nations, Leven's army did come back out of Yorkshire, to undertake a
duty which the English Parliament had been pressing upon it, as a
substitute for its late employment at Hereford. This was the siege of
Newark. About the 26th of November, 1645, or three weeks after the King
had left Newark to return to Oxford, the Scottish army sat down before
Newark and began the siege. The direct distance between Oxford and Newark
is about a hundred miles.--Through the winter, though the New Model had
not quite completed its work of victory in the South-west, the chief
business of the King at Oxford consisted in looking forward to the now
inevitable issue, and thinking with which party of his enemies it would
be best to make his terms of final submission. Negotiations were actually
opened between him and the Parliament, with offers on his part to come to
London for a personal Treaty; and there was much discussion in Parliament
over these offers. The King, however, being stubborn for his own terms,
the negotiations came to nothing; and by the end of January 1645-6 it was
the general rumour that he meant to baulk the Parliament, and take refuge
with the Scottish army at Newark. Till April 1646, nevertheless, he
remained irresolute, hoping against hope for some good news from the

No good news came from that quarter. Operations having been resumed there
by the New Model, there came, among other continued successes of the
Parliament, the raising of the siege of Plymouth (Jan. 16, 1645-6), the
storming of Dartmouth (Jan. 19), and the storming of Torrington (Feb.
16). The action then came to be chiefly in Cornwall, where (March 14)
Lord Hopton surrendered to Fairfax, giving up the cause as hopeless, and
following the Prince of Wales, who had taken refuge meanwhile in the
Scilly Isles. On the 15th of April, 1646, the picturesque St. Michael's
Mount yielded, and the Duke of Hamilton, the King's prisoner there, found
himself again at liberty. The surrender of Exeter  (April 13) and of
Barnstaple (April 20) having then cleared Devonshire, the war in the
whole South-west was over, save that the King's flag still waved over far
Pendennis Castle at Falmouth. [Footnote: Chronological Table in Sprigge]

The New Model having thus perfected its work in the South-west and being
free for action in the Midlands, and Cromwell being back in London, and a
body of Royalist troops under Lord Astley (the last body openly in the
field) having been defeated in an attempt to reach Oxford from the west,
and Woodstock having just set even the Oxfordshire garrisons the example
of surrendering, procrastination on the King's part was no longer
possible. His last trust had been in certain desperate schemes for
retrieving his cause by help to be brought from beyond England. He had
been intriguing in Ireland with a view to a secret agreement with the
Irish Rebels and the landing at Chester or in Wales of an army of 10,000
Irish Roman Catholics to repeat in England the feat of MacColkittoch and
his Irish in Scotland; he had been trying to negotiate with France for
the landing of 6,000 foreign troops at Lynn; as late as March 12 he had
fallen back on a former notion of his, and proposed to invoke the aid of
the Pope by promising a free toleration of the Roman Catholic Religion in
England on condition that his Holiness and the English Roman Catholics
would "visibly and heartily engage themselves for the re-establishment"
of his Crown and of the Church of England. All these schemes were now in
the dust. He was in a city in the heart of England, without chance of
Irish or foreign aid, and hemmed round by his English subjects,
victorious at length over all his efforts, and coming closer and closer
for that final siege which should place himself in their grasp. What was
he to do? A refuge with the Scottish army at Newark had been for some
time the plan most in his thoughts, and actually since January there had
been negotiations on his part, through the French Ambassador Montreuil,
both with the Scottish Commissioners in London and with the chiefs of the
Scottish army, with a view to this result. Latterly, however, Montreuil
had reported that the Scots refused to receive him except on conditions
very different from those he desired. The most obvious alternative,
though the boldest one, was that he should make his way to London
somehow, and throw himself upon the generosity of Parliament and on the
chances of terms in his favour that might arise from the dissensions
between the Presbyterians and the Independents. But, should he resolve on
an escape out of England altogether, even that was not yet hopeless.
Roads, indeed, were guarded; but by precautions and careful travelling
some seaport might be reached, whence there might be a passage to
Scotland, to Ireland, to France, or to Denmark. [Footnote: Twenty-two
Letters from Charles at Oxford to Queen Henrietta Maria in France, the
first dated Jan. 4, 1645-6 and the last April 22, 1646, forming pp. 1-37
of a series of the King's Letters edited by the late Mr. John Bruce for
the Camden Society (1856) under the title of "_Charles I. in_ 1646."
See also Mr. Bruce's "Introduction" to the Letters. They contain curious
facts and indications of Charles's character.]

It was apparently with all these plans competing in Charles's mind, that,
on Monday the 27th of April, his Majesty, with his faithful groom of the
bedchamber Mr. John Ashburnham and a clergyman named Dr. Hudson for his
sole companions, slipped out of Oxford, disguised as a servant and
carrying a cloak-bag on his horse. He rode to Henley; then to Brentford;
and then as near to London as Harrow-on-the-Hill. He was half-inclined to
ride on the few more miles that would have brought him to the doors of
the Parliament in Westminster. At Harrow, however, as if his mind had
changed, he turned away from London, and rode northwards to St. Alban's;
thence again by crossroads into Leicestershire; and so eastwards to
Downham in Norfolk. Here he remained from April 30 to May 4; and it is on
record that he had his hair trimmed for him here by a country barber, who
found much fault with its unevenness, and told him that the man who had
last cut it had done it very badly. It was now known in London that his
Majesty was at large; it was thought he might even be in hiding in the
city; and a Parliamentary proclamation was issued forbidding the
harbouring of him under pain of death. On the 5th of May, however, he
ended all uncertainty by presenting himself at the Scottish Leaguer at
Newark. He had made up his mind at last that he would remain in England
and that he would be safer with the Scots there than with the English
Parliament.--It was a most perilous honour for the Scots. The English
Parliament were sure to demand possession of the King. Indeed the Commons
did vote for demanding him and confining him to Warwick Castle; and,
though the vote was thrown out in the Lords, eight Peers protested
against its rejection (May 8). In these circumstances the resolution of
the Scots was to keep his Majesty until the course of events should be
clearer. Newark, however, being too accessible, in case the Parliament
should try to seize him, Leven persuaded the King to give orders to the
Royalist governor of that town to surrender it to the Parliament; and,
the siege being thus over, the Scottish army, with its precious charge,
withdrew northward to the safer position of Newcastle (May 13).
[Footnote: Iter _Carolinum_ in Gulch's, Collectanea Curiosa(178l),
Vol. II. pp. 445-448; Rushworth, VI. 267-2/1; Clar 601-2; Baillie, II.

On the 10th of June the King issued orders from Newcastle to all the
commanders yet holding cities, towns, or fortresses, in his name,
anywhere in England, to surrender their trusts. Accordingly, on the 24th
of June, the city of Oxford, which the King had left two months before,
was surrendered to Fairfax, with all pomp and ceremony, by Sir Thomas
Glenham. The surrender of Worcester followed, July 22; that of
Wallingford Castle in Berks, July 27; that of Pendennis Castle in
Cornwall, Aug. 17; and that of Raglan Castle in Monmouthshire, Aug. 19.
Thus the face of England was cleared of the last vestiges of the war. The
defender of Raglan Castle, and almost the last man in England to sustain
the King's flag, was the aged Marquis of Worcester. [Footnote: Rushworth,
VI. 276-297; and Sprigge's Table of Battle, and Sieges.]


In August 1646, therefore, the long Civil War was at an end. The King
being then at Newcastle with the Scots, where were the other chief
Royalists? I. _The Royal Family._ The Queen had been abroad again
for more than two years. In July 1644, having just then given birth at
Exeter to her youngest child, the Princess Henrietta Maria, she had
escaped from that city as Essex was approaching it with his army, and had
taken ship for France, leaving the child at Exeter. Richelieu, who had
kept her out of France in her former exile, being now dead, and Cardinal
Mazarin and the Queen Regent holding power in the minority of Louis XIV.,
she had been well received at the French Court, and had been residing for
the two past years in or near Paris, busily active in foreign intrigue on
her husband's behalf, and sending over imperious letters of advice to
him. It was she that was to be his agent with the Pope, and it was she
that had procured the sending over of the French ambassador Montreuil to
arrange between the Scots and Charles. The destination of the Prince of
Wales had for some time been uncertain. From Scilly he had gone to
Jersey, accompanied or followed thither by Lords Hopton, Capel, Digby,
and Colepepper, Sir Edward Hyde, and others (April 1646). Digby had a
project of removing him thence into Ireland, and Denmark was also talked
of for a refuge; but the Queen being especially anxious to have him with
her in Paris, her remonstrances prevailed. The King gave orders from
Newcastle that her wishes should be obeyed, and to Paris the Prince went
(July). The young Duke of York, being in Oxford at the time of the
surrender, came into the hands of the Parliament; who committed the
charge of him, and of his infant brother the Duke of Gloucester, with the
Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, to the Earl of Northumberland in London.
The baby Princess Henrietta, left at Exeter, had also come into the hands
of the Parliament on the surrender of that city (April 1646), but had
been cleverly conveyed into France by the Countess of Morton. The King's
fighting nephews, Rupert and Maurice, who had been in Oxford when it
surrendered, were allowed to embark at Dover for France, after an
interview with their elder brother, the Prince Elector Palatine, who had
been for some time in England as an honoured guest of the Parliament; and
an occasional visitor in the Westminster Assembly. II. _Chief Royalist
Peers and Counsellors._ Some of these, including the Duke of Richmond,
the Marquis of Hertford, the Marquis of Worcester, and the Earl of
Southampton, remained in England, submitting moodily to the new order of
things, and studying opportunities of still being useful to their
sovereign. Others, and perhaps the majority, either disgusted with
England, or being under the ban of Parliament for delinquency of too deep
a dye, dispersed themselves abroad, to live in that condition of
continental exile which had already for some time been the lot of the
Marquis of Newcastle and other fugitives of the earlier stage of the war.
Some, such as Digby and Colepepper, accompanied the Prince of Wales to
Paris; others, among whom was Hyde, remained some time in Jersey. The
Queen's conduct and temper, indeed, so much repelled the best of the
Royalist refugees that, when they did go to France (as most of them were
obliged to do at last), they avoided her, or circled round her at a
respectful distance.

While these were the descending or vanishing stars of the English
firmament, who were the stars that had risen in their places? As the
question interests us now, so it interested people then; and, to assist
the public judgment, printers and booksellers put forth lists of those
who, either from the decisiveness and consistency of their
Parliamentarianism from the first, or from its sufficiency on a total
review, were entitled, at the end of the war, to be denominated _The
Great Champions of England._ [Footnote: One such fly sheet, published
July 30, 1646 by "Francis Leach at the Falcon in Shoe Lane," has been
already referred to (see Vol. II, p. 480, _Note,_ and p. 433, _Note_).
The lists there given, though very useful to us now, contain a great many
errors--misspellings of names, entries of persons as still alive who were
dead some time, &c. In those days of scanty means of publicity, it was
far more difficult to compile an accurate conspectus of contemporaries
for any purpose than it would be now.]

There were two classes of these Champions, though not a few individuals
belonged to both classes:--I. _The Political Champions, or Champion
Peers and Commoners._ The Champion Peers were reckoned as exactly
twenty-nine; and, if the reader desires to know who these twenty-nine
were, let him repeat here the list already given of those who were
Parliamentarian Peers at the outset (Vol. II. pp. 430-1), only deleting
from that list the heroic Lord Brooke and the Earls of Bolingbroke and
Middlesex as dead, and the Earls of Bedford, Clare, and Holland, as
having proved themselves fickle and untrustworthy, and adding a new Earl
of Middlesex (son and successor of the former), an Earl of Kent, an Earl
of Nottingham, and a Lord Montague of Boughton (successors of the
deceased Royalists or Non-effectives who had borne these titles), and
Lord Herbert of Cherbury, once a Royalist, but now passing as a
Parliamentarian. The Champion Commoners were, of course, a much larger
multitude. At the beginning of the war, as we saw (Vol. II. pp. 431-4).
about three-fifths of the Commons House as then constituted, or 300 of
the members in all, might be regarded as declared or possible
Parliamentarians. Of these, however, death or desertion to the other side
in the course of four years had carried off a good few, so that, with
every exertion to swell the list of the original Commoners who at the end
of the war might be reckoned among the faithful, not more than about 250
could be enumerated in this category. On the other hand, it has to be
remembered that, since August 1645, when the New Model was in its full
career of victory, the House of Commons had been increased in numerical
strength by the process called Recruiting, _i.e._ by the issue of
writs for the election of new members in the places of those who had
died, and of the much larger host who had been disabled as Royalists. Of
this process of Recruiting, and its effects on the national policy, we
shall have to take farther account; meanwhile it is enough to say that,
between Aug. 1645, when the first new writs were issued, and Aug. 1646,
when the war ended, as many as 179 Recruiters had been elected, and were
intermingled in the roll of the House with the surviving original
members. [Footnote: This is my calculation from the Index of new Writs in
the Commons Journals between August 21, 1645, and August 1, 1646. See
also Godwin's _Commonwealth_, II. 84-39.] Now, most of these Recruiters,
from the very conditions of their election, were Parliamentarians, and
some had even attained eminence in that character since their election.
About 140 of them, I find, were reckoned among the "Champions;" and, if
these are added to the 250 original members also reckoned as such, the
total number of the Champion Commoners will be about 390. [Footnote: In
Leach's fly-sheet the exact number of Champion Commoners given is 397.
Among these he distinguishes the Recruiters from the original members by
printing the names of the Recruiters in italics. In at least _eleven_
cases, however, I find he has put a Recruiter among the original members.
Also I am sure, from a minute examination of his list throughout, that he
admitted into it, from policy or hurry, a considerable number whose
claims were dubious.] It must not be supposed that they had all earned
this distinction by their habitual presence in the House. Only on one
extraordinary occasion since the beginning of the war had as many as 280
been in the House together; very seldom had the attendance exceeded 200;
and, practically, the steady attendance throughout the war had been about
100. Employment in the Parliamentary service, in various capacities and
various parts of the country, may account for the absence of many; but,
on the whole, I fancy that, if England allowed as many as 390 original
members and Recruiters together to pass as Champion Commoners at the end
of the war, it was by winking hard at the defects of some scores of them.

II. _Military Champions_. Here, from the nature of the case, there
was less doubt. In the first place, although the Army had been remodelled
in Feb. 1644-5, and the Self-Denying Ordinance had excluded not a few of
the officers of the First Parliamentary Army from commands in the New
Model, yet the services of these officers, with Essex, Manchester, and
Sir William Waller, at their head, were gratefully remembered.
Undoubtedly, however, the favourite military heroes of the hour were the
chief officers of the victorious New Model, at the head of whom were
Fairfax, Cromwell, Skippon, Thomas Hammond, and Ireton. For the names of
the Colonels and Majors under these, the reader is referred to our view
of the New Model at the time of its formation (_antè_ pp. 326-7).
Young Colonel Pickering, there mentioned, had died in Dec. 1645, much
lamented; Young Major Bethell, there mentioned, had been killed at the
storming of Bristol, Sept. 1645, also much lamented; but, with allowance
for the shiftings and promotions caused by these deaths, and by the
retirement of several other field-officers, or their transference to
garrison-commands, the New Model, after its sixteen months of hard
service, remained officered much as at first. While, with this allowance,
our former list of the Colonels and Majors of the New Model proper yet
stands good, there have to be added, however, the names of a few of the
most distinguished military coöperants with the New Model: _i.e._ of
those surviving officers of the old Army, or persons of later appearance,
who, though not on our roll of the New Model proper, had yet assisted its
operations as outstanding generals of districts or commanders of
garrisons. Such were Sir William Brereton, M.P. for Cheshire, and Sir
Thomas Middleton, M.P. for Denbighshire, in favour of whom, as well as of
Cromwell, the Self-Denying Ordinance had been relaxed, so as to allow
their continued generalship in Cheshire and Wales respectively (_antè_,
p. 334, Note); such was General Poyntz, who had been appointed to succeed
Lord Ferdinando Fairfax in the chief command of Yorkshire and the North;
such were Major-general Massey, who had held independent command in the
West (_antè_, p. 337), and Major-general Browne, who had held similar
command in the Midlands; and such also were Colonel Michael Jones
(Cheshire), Colonel Mitton (Wales), Colonel John Hutchinson (Governor of
Nottingham), Colonel Edmund Ludlow (Governor of Wardour Castle, Wilts),
and Colonel Robert Blake (the future Admiral Blake, already famous for
his Parliamentarian activity in his native Somersetshire, his active
governorship of Taunton, and his two desperate defences of that town
against sieges by Lord Goring). Several of these distinguished coöperants
with the New Model, as well as several of the chief officers of the New
Model itself, had already been honoured by being elected as Recruiters
for the House of Commons. [Footnote: My authorities for this list of the
military stars in August 1646, besides those already cited for the New
Model at its formation (_antè_, p. 327, _Note_) and an imperfect list in
Leach's fly-sheet (_antè_, p. 376, _Note_) are stray passages in the
Lords Journals, in Whitelocke, and in more recent Histories. I think I
have picked out the chief coöperants with the New Model, but cannot vouch
that I have done so. When one has done one's best, one still stumbles on
a Colonel _this_ or a Lieut-colonel _that_, evidently of some note,
perplexing one's lists and allocations.]

If one were to write out duly the names of all the Englishmen that have
been described or pointed to in the last paragraph as the risen stars of
the new Parliamentary world of 1646, whether for political reasons or for
military reasons, there would be nearly five hundred of them. Now, as
History refuses to recollect so many names in one chapter, as the eye
almost refuses to see so many stars at once in one sky, it becomes
interesting to know which were the super-eminent few, the stars of the
highest magnitude. Fortunately, to save the trouble of such an inquiry
for ourselves, we have a contemporary specification by no less an
authority than the Parliament itself. In December 1645, when Parliament
was looking forward, with assured certainty, to the extinction of the few
last remains of Royalism, and was preparing Propositions to be submitted
to the beaten King, it was anxiously considered, among other things, who
were the persons whose deserts had been so paramount that supreme rewards
should be conferred upon them, and the King should be asked to do his
part by admitting some of them, and promoting others, among the English
aristocracy. This was the result:--

THE EARL OF ESSEX:--King to be asked to make him a Duke. The Commons had
already voted him a pension of £10,000 a year.

THE EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND:--To be made a Duke, and provision for him to
be considered.

THE EARL OF WARWICK (Parliamentary Lord High Admiral):--To be made a
Duke, with provision; but the dukedom to descend to his grandchild,
passing over his eldest son, Lord Rich, who had taken the wrong side.

THE EARL OF PEMBROKE AND MONTGOMERY:--To be made a Duke, and all his
debts to the public to be cancelled.

THE EARL OF MANCHESTER:--To be made a Marquis, and provision to be
considered for him.

THE EARL OF SALISBURY:--To be made a Marquis.

VISCOUNT SAYE AND SELE:--To be made an Earl,

LORD ROBERTS:--To be made an Earl.

LORD WHARTON:--To be made an Earl.


DENZIL HOLLES:--To be made a Viscount.

GENERAL SIR THOMAS FAIRFAX:--To be made an English Baron and an Estate of
£5,000 a year in lands to be settled on him and his heirs for ever: his
father LORD FERDINANDO FAIRFAX at the same time to be made an English

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL CROMWELL:--To be made an English Baron, and an Estate
of £2,500 a year to be settled on him and his heirs for ever.

SIR WILLIAM WALTER:--To be made an English Baron, with a like Estate of
£2,500 a year.

SIR HENRY VANE, SEN.:--To be made an English Baron. As the peerage would
descend to his son, SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER, the honour included

SIR ARTHUR HASELRIG:--£2,000 a year to him and his heirs for ever.

SIR PHILIP STAPLETON:--£2,000 a year to him and his heirs for ever.

SIR WILLIAM BRERETON:--£1,500 a year to him and his heirs for ever.

MAJOR-GENERAL PHILIP SKIPPON:--£l,000 a year to him and his heirs for
ever. [Footnote: Commons Journals, Dec 1, 1645.]

Had Pym and Hampden been alive, what would have been the honours voted
for them? They had been dead for two years, and the sole honour for Pym
had been a vote of £10,000 to pay his debts, It mattered the less because
these Dukedoms, Earldoms, Viscountcies, and Baronages were all to remain
_in nubibus_. They were contemplated on the supposition of a direct
Peace with the King; and such a peace had not been brought to pass, and
had been removed farther off in prospect by the King's escape at the last
moment to the Scottish Army. It remained to be seen whether Parliament
could arrange any treaty whatever with him in his new circumstances, and,
if so, whether it would be worth while to make the proposed new creations
of peers and promotions in the peerage a feature of the treaty, or
whether it would not be enough for the Commons to make good the honours
that were in their own power--viz. the voted estates and pensions. For
Essex, who was at the head of the list, the suspense (if he cared about
the matter at all) was to be very brief. He died at his house in the
Strand, September 14, 1646, without his dukedom, and having received
little of his pension. Parliament decreed him a splendid funeral.



During the sixteen months of those New Model operations in the field
which had brought the war so decisively to an end (April 1645--August
1646), there had been a considerable progress in Parliament, in the
Westminster Assembly, and in the public mind of England, on the seemingly
interminable Church-business and its collaterals.


That the Church of England should be Presbyterian had been formally
decided in January 1644-5 (_antè_, pp. 172--175). Not even then,
however, could the Presbyterians consider their work over. There were two
reasons why they could not. (1) Although the essentials of Presbytery had
been adopted, the details remained to be settled. What were to be the
powers of the parochial consistories and the other church courts
respectively? What discretion, for example, was to be left to each
minister and his congregational board of elders in the matter of
spiritual censure, and especially in the exclusion of offenders from the
communion? Was there to be any discretion; or was the State to regulate
what offences should be punished by excommunication? Again, were the
various Church-courts, once established, to act independently of the
Civil courts and the State; or was there to be an appeal of
ecclesiastical questions at any point from Presbytery, or Synod, or the
entire National Assembly, to the Civil courts and Parliament? (2) Another
great question which remained undetermined was that of Toleration. Should
the new Presbyterian State Church of England be established with or
without a liberty of dissent from it? A vast mass of the English people,
represented by the Army-Independents and some leading Sectaries, demanded
an absolute, or at least a very large, freedom of religious belief and
practice; the Independent Divines of the Assembly claimed a certain
amount of such freedom; nay, Parliament itself, by its Accommodation
Order of September 1644, had recognised the necessity of some toleration,
and appointed an inquiry on the subject. In the universal belief of the
Presbyterians, on the other hand, Toleration was a monster to be attacked
and slain. Toleration was a demon, a chimera, the Great Diana of the
Independents, the Daughter of the Devil, the Mother and Protectress of
blasphemies and heresies, the hideous Procuress of souls for Hell!

Such were the questions for continued controversy between the
Presbyterians and their opponents in England in the beginning of 1645,
when the New Model took the field. What progress had been made in these
questions, and what changes had occurred in the attitudes of the two
parties mainly concerned, during the victorious sixteen months of the New


The New Model itself, as we know, had been a great chagrin to the
Presbyterians. Fairfax, indeed, was understood to be Presbyterian enough
personally; but the Army was full of Independents and Sectaries, it was
largely officered by Independents, and its very soul was the Arch-
Independent Cromwell. For a while, accordingly, it was the secret hope of
the Presbyterians that this Army might fail. But, when evidently it was
not to fail, when NASEBY was won (June 14, 1645), and when all the while
the Scottish Presbyterian army in England was doing so ill in comparison,
a sense of departing superiority sank on the spirits of the
Presbyterians. "Honest men served you faithfully in this action," were
Cromwell's words to Speaker Lenthall in his letter from Naseby field:
"Sir, they are trusty; I beseech you, in the name of God, not to
discourage them. I wish this action may beget thankfulness and humility
in all that are concerned in it. He that ventures his life for the
liberty of his country, I wish he may trust God for the liberty of his
conscience, and you for the liberty he fights for." [Footnote: Carlyle's
Cromwell, I. 176.] This immediate use by Cromwell of the victory of
Naseby as an argument for Toleration did not escape the notice of the
Presbyterians. "My Lord Fairfax," writes Baillie, June 17, "sent up, the
last week, an horrible Anti-Triastrian [Anti-Trinitarian]: the whole
Assembly went in a body to the Houses to complain of his blasphemies. It
was the will of Cromwell, in his letter of his victory, to desire the
House not to discourage those who had ventured their life for them, and
to come out expressly with their much-desired Liberty of Conscience. You
will see the letter in print, by order, as I think, of the Houses."
[Footnote: Baillie, II. 280] The horrible Anti-Trinitarian here mentioned
was Paul Best (see _antè_, p. 157). He was accused of "divers
prodigious blasphemies against the deity of our Saviour and the Holy
Ghost." Parliament, informed thereof by the Assembly, had been appalled,
and had committed the culprit to close confinement in the Gatehouse to
await his trial (June 10). The next day (June 11) the impression had been
deepened by a complaint in the Commons against another culprit on similar
grounds, and the House had instructed Mr. Millington, member for
Nottingham, to prepare an ordinance on the subject of blasphemy
generally. [Footnote: Commons Journals of dates given. Paul Best's case
lasted two years.] All this only a day or two before Naseby; and now from
the field of Naseby, in Cromwell's hand, a pleading of that victory on
behalf of Toleration! Would Cromwell tolerate a Paul Best?

What Cromwell and the Army-Independents would have said about Paul Best
must be left to conjecture. What they were saying about the state of
things in general we learn from the Presbyterian Richard Baxter. Being at
Coventry at the time of the battle of Naseby, Baxter, then a pious
preacher of twenty-nine years of age, with a lean cadaverous body, and
the gauntest hook-nosed face ever seen in a portrait, paid a visit of
curiosity to the field immediately after the battle, and went thence to
the quarters of the victorious army at Leicester, to seek out some of his
acquaintances. "When I came to the army, among Cromwell's soldiers," he
says, "I found a new face of things which I never dreamt of: I heard the
plotting heads very hot upon that which intimated their intention to
subvert both Church and State. Independency and Anabaptistry were most
prevalent; Antinomianism and Arminianism were equally distributed; and
Thomas Moor's followers (a weaver of Wisbeach and Lynn, of excellent
parts) had made some shifts to join these two extremes together.
Abundance of the common troopers, and many of the officers, I found to be
honest, sober, orthodox men, and others tractable, ready to hear the
Truth, and of upright intentions; but a few proud, self-conceited, hot-
headed sectaries had got into the highest places, and were Cromwell's
chief favourites, and by their heat and activity bore down the rest, or
carried them along with them, and were the soul of the Army. ... They
said, What were the Lords of England but William the Conqueror's
colonels, or the Barons but his majors, or the Knights but his captains?
They plainly showed me that they thought God's providence would cast the
trust of Religion and the Kingdom upon them as conquerors." They were
full of railings and jests, Baxter adds, against the Scots or _Sots_, the
Presbyterians or _Priest-biters_, and the Assembly of Divines or _Dry-
vines_; and all their praises were of the Separatists, Anabaptists, and
Antinomians.--Grieved at what he found, and thinking he might be of some
use by way of antidote, Baxter at once gave up his charge at Coventry, to
become chaplain to Col. Whalley's regiment. He had the more hope of being
useful because he had some previous acquaintance with Cromwell. But his
reception was far from satisfactory. "As soon as I came to the army," he
says, "Oliver Cromwell coldly bid me welcome, and never spoke one word to
me more while I was there, nor once all that time vouchsafed me an
opportunity to come to the headquarters, where the councils and meetings
of the officers were." Baxter never forgave that coolness of Cromwell to
him. Hugh Peters, who was constantly with Cromwell as his chaplain, and
would make camp-jokes at Baxter's expense, was never forgiven either.
[Footnote: Baxter's Autobiography (_Reliquiæ Baxterianæ), 1696, pp. 50,

Not only in the New Model Army was there this ferment of Anti-
Presbyterianism, Anti-Scotticism, Independency, and Tolerationism,
passing on into a drift of universally democratic opinion. Through
English society, and especially in London, there was much of the same.

Since the publication of Edwards's _Antapologia_ in July 1644 the
war of pamphlets on the questions of Independency and Toleration had been
increasingly virulent. The pamphleteers were numberless; but the chief of
them, on the side of Presbyterianism and Anti-Toleration, were perhaps
Prynne, Bastwick, and John Vicars, and, on the side of Independency and
Toleration, Henry Burton, John Goodwin, and Hanserd Knollys, If
Bibliography were to apply itself to the investigation of the popular
English Literature of the latter half of the year 1644 and the first half
of the year 1645, it would come upon these, and other controversialists
whose names have been long forgotten, writhing together like a twisted
knot of serpents, not to be uncoiled except by a distinct enumeration of
several scores or hundreds of the most quaintly-entitled pamphlets, in
the exact order of their publication, and with an account of the nature
of each. London contained so many of these pamphleteers that the most
deadly antagonists in print could not avoid each other in the streets,
and Burton, for example, meeting Dr. Bastwick, would ask him with
irritating politeness when his new book was coming out. Many of the
pamphlets, however, and these the most daring and intemperate in
expression, were anonymous. Such was _The Arraignment of
Persecution_, purporting to be "printed by Martin Claw-Clergy for
Bartholomew Bang-Priest," and to be on sale at "his shop in Toleration
Street, right opposite to Persecution Court." In this and other popular
squibs, to which neither authors nor printers dared to put their names,
the toleration which Goodwin and Burton argued for gravely and logically
was demanded with passionate vehemence, and with the most unsparing abuse
of the Presbyterians, the Scots, and the Westminster Assembly. [Footnote:
Wood's Ash. III. 860 (Prynne) and 308-9 (Vicars); Jackson's Life of John
Goodwin, 61--79; Hanbury's Memorials, II. 385 et seq. (Prynne and
Burton), and III. 68, 69 (Bastwick, Burton, and others). Notes of my own
from the Stationers' Registers.]--One Tolerationist, here deserving a
notice by himself, was John Lilburne. An avowed Independent even before
the meeting of the Long Parliament, and forward as a Parliamentary
captain from the very beginning of the war (Vol. II. 175, 458, and 588-
9), Lilburne had been one of those who regarded the Solemn League and
Covenant of 1643 as incompatible with Liberty of Conscience, and whom no
persuasions could induce to sign that document. He had risen,
nevertheless, by Cromwell's arrangement, to be Lieutenant-colonel in
Manchester's own dragoon regiment, and he had served bravely at Marston
Moor. Between him and Cromwell there was the most friendly understanding.
Lilburne looked upon Cromwell as "the most absolute single-hearted great
man in England;" and Cromwell owned a kindly feeling for Lilburne. But
there was a pig-headedness in Lilburne's honesty which even Cromwell
could not control. "If only John Lilburne were left in the world, then
John would quarrel with Lilburne and Lilburne with John" was Henry
Marten's witty, and yet perfectly true, description of him. Having been a
witness for Cromwell in Cromwell's impeachment of Manchester, he thought
Cromwell culpably weak in allowing the impeachment to drop and not
bringing Manchester to the scaffold; and he had himself brought a charge
against a superior officer, named King. Then he had become utterly
disgusted with the general conduct of affairs and the subservience of
Parliament to the Presbyterians. He would leave the army; he would "dig
for turnips and carrots before he would fight to set up a power to make
himself a slave." His two brothers, Robert and Henry, continued to hold
commands in the New Model; but not all Cromwell's arguments could induce
Lilburne himself to come into it. On the 30th of April, 1645, he had
resigned his commission, presenting at the same time a petition to the
Commons for his arrears of pay, amounting to £880 2_s_. He had resolved
to be thenceforward a political agitator, a link between the Independency
of the Army and what Independency there was already in London itself.
Accordingly, from the beginning of 1645, Lilburne, still not more than
twenty-seven years of age, is to be reckoned as one of the most prominent
Anti-Presbyterians in London, an especial favourite of all the sectaries,
and even of the populace generally, on account of his boundlessly
libertarian sentiments and his absolute fearlessness of consequences.
There was talk of trying to get him into Parliament on a convenient
opportunity. Meanwhile he took to pamphleteering, selecting as his first
object of attack his old master, Prynne. In the first half of 1645
Lilburne and Prynne were seen wrestling with each other, Lilburne for
toleration and Independency, and Prynne for coercion and Presbyterianism,
with a ferocity hardly paralleled in any contemporary duel, and made more
piquant to the public by the recollection of the former intimacy of the
duellists. [Footnote: Godwin's Hist. of the Commonwealth, II. 1-24, and
418-19; Wood's Ath. III. 353-4, and 860; Edwards's _Gangræna,_ Part I.
46, 47, Part II. 38, and Part III. 153 _et seq._; Commons Journals, Jan.
17, 1644-5; Prynne's _Fresh Discovery._]

The denunciation of Paul Best (June 10, 1645) was a Presbyterian
masterstroke. Even moderate people stood aghast at the idea of tolerating
opinions like his; and that the wretched owner of them could plead his
liberty of conscience (which Best did in prison) was more likely than
anything else to put people out of patience with Conscience and its
Liberty. But, about the same time that Paul Best was put in prison to be
tried for his life for Blasphemy, there were persecutions and punishments
of others, whose offence was far less theological heterodoxy than mere
Independency or Anti-Presbyterianism. "Blessed be God," writes Baillie,
July 8, 1645, "all the London ministers are with us: Burton and Goodwin,
the only two that were Independent, are by the Parliament removed from
their places." In other words, John Goodwin had just been ejected from
his vicarage of St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, and Henry Burton for the
second time from his living in Friday Street, nominally for irregular
practices in their ministry, but really because they were in the way of
Prynne and the Presbyterians. Mr. Goodwin, who had a large following in
the City, had little difficulty in setting up an Independent meeting-
house of his own in Coleman Street; but poor old Mr. Burton seems to have
been in sad straits for some time. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 299; Jackson's
Life of Goodwin, 79 _et seq._; Hanbury's Memorials, III. 78, note.--
Burton, I believe, migrated to Stepney.]----Burton and Goodwin having
been called to account, the next blow was at John Lilburne. With
characteristic bluntness Lilburne had been for some months pressing the
business of his own petition for arrears of pay upon the House of
Commons, going to the House personally, waiting on the Speaker,
circulating printed copies of his petition among the members, and always
with outspoken comments on affairs, and attacks on this person and on
that. On one occasion he and Prynne had met by chance, and there had been
a violent altercation between them. Twice, in consequence, Lilburne had
been in custody for examination as to his concern in certain Anti-
Presbyterian pamphlets, but on each occasion he had been discharged. He
had then gone down to the Army, and procured a letter from Cromwell,
recommending his case to the House. "He hath done both you and the
kingdom good service," wrote Cromwell, "and you will not find him
unthankful." Returning to London, Lilburne had caused this letter to be
printed and had circulated copies of it. No effect followed, and Lilburne
still haunted Westminster Hall, waylaying members as they went into the
House, till they abhorred the sight of him. On the 19th of July he was in
the Hall, and was overheard by his enemies Colonel King and Dr. Bastwick
taking part in a conversation in which dreadful things were said of the
Speaker, his brother, and other public men. The information was
immediately reduced to writing by King and Bastwick, and sent in to the
Speaker, with this result: "_Resolved_, That Lieutenant-colonel
Lilburne be taken into custody, and so kept till the House take further
order." Questioned in custody by a committee of the House, Lilburne
refused to answer, stood on his rights as a freeborn citizen, &c. He also
caused to be printed _A Letter to a Friend_, stating his case in his
own way; this Letter, as increasing his offence, was reported to the
House, Aug. 9; and, on the 11th of August, having been again contumacious
in private examination and committed to Newgate, he was ordered to remain
there for trial at Quarter Sessions. He remained in Newgate till Oct. 14,
when he was discharged, by order of the House, without trial. [Footnote:
Godwin's Hist. of the Commonwealth, II. l5-21; Commons Journals of dates
given; Wood's Ath. III. 860.]

Such prosecutions of individuals formed an avowed part of the method of
the Presbyterians for suppressing the Toleration heresy. Cromwell, away
with the Army, could only continue to hint his remonstrances to
Parliament in letters; but this he did. The greatest success of the New
Model after Naseby was the storming of Bristol, Sept. 10, 1645; and in
the long letter which Cromwell wrote to the Speaker, giving an account of
this success (Sept. 14), he recurred to his Toleration argument.
"Presbyterians, Independents, all," he wrote, "have here the same spirit
of faith and prayer, the same presence and answer; they agree here, have
no names of difference: pity it is it should be otherwise anywhere! All
that believe have the real unity, which is most glorious, because
_in_ the Body and _to_ the Head. For being united in forms, commonly
called Uniformity, every Christian will, for peace sake, study and do as
far as conscience will permit. And for brethren, in things of the mind,
we look for no compulsion but that of light and reason." By order of
Parliament this Letter was read in all the churches of London on Sunday,
Sept. 21, and also circulated in print. It does not seem, however, to
have sunk very deep. [Footnote: Carlyle's Cromwell, I. 188.--As late as
1648 I find this passage of Cromwell's letter quoted and largely
commented on by the Scottish Presbyterian Rutherford (_A Survey of the
Spiritual Antichrist._ 1648, p. 250 _et seq._) in proof of Cromwell's
dangerousness, and his sympathy with Familism, Antinomianism, and other

Cromwell's hints from the field in favour of Liberty of Conscience may be
regarded as little "Accommodation Orders" in his own name, reminding
Parliament and the Westminster Assembly of that formal "Accommodation
Order" which he had moved in the House a year before, and which had then
been passed (_antè,_ pp. 168-9). What had become of this Accommodation
Order? The story may be given in brief:--The Grand Accommodation
Committee had immediately appointed a small Sub-Committee, consisting of
Dr. Temple and Messrs. Marshall, Herle, and Vines, for the Presbyterians,
and Messrs. Thomas Goodwin and Philip Nye for the Independents. The
business of this Sub-Committee, called "The Sub-Committee of Agreements,"
was to reduce into the narrowest compass the differences between the
Independents and the rest of the Assembly. The Sub-Committee did their
best, and reported to the Grand Committee; but for various reasons the
Grand Committee postponed the subject. Meanwhile these proceedings had
obtained for the Independents a re-hearing in the Assembly itself. The
five original Independents in the Assembly, Messrs. Goodwin, Nye, Bridge,
Burroughs, and Simpson, with Mr. William Carter and Mr, William Greenhill
now added to their number, presented in writing (Nov. 14, 1644) their
Reasons of Dissent from the propositions of Presbytery most disagreeable
to them; [Footnote: The increase of the number of avowed Independents in
the Assembly at this point from Five to Seven is worth noting. From the
very first, however, there must have been a few in sympathy to some
variable extent with the leading Five. Thus Baillie, as early as Dec. 7,
1643 (Letters, II. 110), speaks of "the Independent men, whereof there
are some _ten_ or _eleven_ in the Synod, many of them very able men," and
mentions Carter, Caryl, Phillips, and Sterry, as of the number. (See our
List of the Assembly, Vol. II. 516-524,) There had been efforts on the
part of the Independents in Parliament to bring more representatives of
Independency into the Assembly. Actually, on the 2nd of Nov. 1643, the
very day on which the Lords agreed with the Commons in the nomination of
John Durie to succeed the deceased Calibute Downing, the Lords on their
own account nominated John Goodwin of Coleman Street to ho of the
Assembly, and with him "Dr. Homes of Wood Street, and Mr. Horton,
Divinity Lecturer at Gresham College" (Lords Journals of date). The
Commons, whose concurrence was necessary, seem quietly to have withheld
it, and thus the Assembly missed having John Goodwin in it as well as
Thomas. "Homes" (Nathaniel Holmes: Wood's Ath. III. 1, 168) was also an
Independent, and probably "Horton" leant that way (Thomas Horton: Wood's
Fasti, II. 172).] and the Assembly produced (Dec. 17) an elaborate
Answer. Copies of both documents were furnished to Parliament; but,
without reference to the objections of the Independents, the essential
parts of the Frame of Presbyterial Government had been ratified by
Parliament in January 1644-5. [Footnote: The Reasons of Dissent by the
Seven Independents and the Assembly's Answer were not published till
1648. They then appeared by order of Parliament; and they were
republished in 1652 under the title of _The Grand Debate concerning
Presbytery and Independency_.] Affairs then took a new turn in the
Assembly. The Independents having often been taunted with being merely
critical and never bringing fully to light their own views, one of them
was led in a moment of heat to declare that they were quite willing to
prepare their own complete Model of Congregationalism, to be contrasted
with that of Presbytery. The Assembly eagerly caught at the imprudent
offer, and the Seven Independents were appointed to be a committee for
bringing in a Frame of Congregational Church Government, with reasons for
the same. This was in March 1645; and from that time the Seven, supposed
to be busy in Committee upon the work assigned them, had a dispensation
from attendance at the general meetings. Spring passed, summer passed,
September arrived; and still the Independents had not brought in their
Model. The Assembly became impatient, and insisted on expedition. At
length, on the 13th of October, the Seven presented to the Assembly--
what? Not the Model on which they were supposed to have been engaged for
seven months, but a brief Paper of Reasons for not bringing in a Model at
all! "Upon these considerations," they said in concluding the Paper, "we
think that this Assembly hath no cause to require a Report from us; nor
will that Report be of any use: seeing that Reports are for debates, and
debates are for results to be sent up to the Honourable Houses; who have
already voted another Form of Government than that which we shall
present."--It was the astutest policy that the Independents could
possibly have adopted; and the Presbyterians, feeling themselves
outwitted, were furious. The machinery of the Accommodation Order had
again to be put in motion by Parliament (Nov. 14). There were conferences
of the Divines with members of the two Houses. What was the upshot? "The
Independents in their last meeting of our Grand Committee of
Accommodation," writes Baillie, Nov. 25, "have expressed their desires
for toleration, not only to themselves, but to other sects." That was the
upshot! Army Independency and Assembly Independency had coalesced, and
their one flag now was Indefinite Toleration. [Footnote: Hetherington's
Hist. of the Westminster Assembly (1843), pp. 220-236; Hanbury's
Memorials, II. 548-559, and III. 1-32; Baillie, II. 270-326; Commons
Journals, Nov. 14, 1645.]

The Presbyterians behaved accordingly. There was an end to their
endeavours to reason over the few Independents in the Assembly, or
arrange a secret compromise with them; and there was a renewed onset on
the Toleration principle by the whole Presbyterian force. As if on a
signal given, there was a fresh burst of Anti-Toleration pamphlets from
the press. Prynne published one; Baillie sent forth his _Dissuasive_
(_antè_, p. 142); and Edwards was printing his immortal _Gangræna_
(_antè_, p. 141). But appeals to the public mind through the press were
not enough. The real anxiety was about the action of Parliament. The
expectation of the Presbyterians, grounded on recent experience, as that
Parliament, even if left to itself, would see its duty clearly, and
repudiate Toleration once and for ever. Still it would only be prudent to
bring to bear on Parliament all available external pressure. Through
December 1645 and January 1645-6, accordingly, the Presbyterians were
ceaseless in contriving and promoting demonstrations in their favour. And
with signal success:--Only a certain selected number of the parish-clergy
of London and the suburbs, it is to be remembered, were members of the
Assembly: the mass of them remained outside that body. But this mass,
being Presbyterian almost to a man, had organized itself in such a way as
both to act upon the Assembly and to obey it. Since 1623 there had been
in the city, in the street called London Wall, a building called SION
COLLEGE, with a library and other conveniences, expressly for the use of
the London clergy, and answering for them most of the purposes of a
modern clubhouse. Here, as was natural, the London clergy had of late
been in the habit of meeting to talk over the Church-question, so that
at length a weekly conclave had been arranged, and Sion College had
become a kind of discussion forum, apart from the Assembly, and yet in
connexion with it. At Sion College the London Presbyterians could concoct
what was to be brought forward in the Assembly, and a hint from the
Assembly to Sion College in any moment of Presbyterian difficulty could
summon all the London clergy to the rescue. At the moment at which we
have arrived such a hint was given; and on the 18th of December, 1645,
there was drawn up at Sion College a Letter to the Assembly by all the
ministers of the City of London expressly against Toleration. "These are
some of the many considerations," they say in the close of the Letter,
"which make a deep impression upon our spirits against that Great Diana
of Independents and all the Sectaries, so much cried up by them in these
distracted times, namely, A Toleration--A Toleration. And, however none
should have been more rejoiced than ourselves in the establishment of a
brotherly, peaceable, and Christian _accommodation_, yet, this being
utterly rejected by them, we cannot dissemble how, upon the fore-
mentioned grounds, we detest and abhor the much-endeavoured _Toleration_.
Our bowels, our bowels, are stirred within us, &c." The Letter was
presented to the Assembly Jan. 1, 1645-6, and the Assembly took care that
it should be published that same day.[Footnote: Cunningham's London, Art.
_Sion College_; Hanbury's Memorials, III. 97-99; Stationers' Registers,
Jan. 1, 1645-6.]--The Corporation of London was as staunchly Presbyterian
as the clergy, and they too were stirred up. "We have gotten it, thanks
to God, to this point," writes Baillie, Jan. 15, "that the Mayor,
Aldermen, Common Council, and most of the considerable men, are grieved
for the increase of sects and heresies and want of government. They have
yesterday had a public Fast for it, and solemnly renewed their Covenant
by oath and subscription, and this day have given in a strong Petition
for settling Church-government, and suppressing all sects, without any
toleration." The Petition was to the Commons; and it was particularly
represented to that House, by Alderman Gibbs, as the spokesman for the
Petitioners, that "new and strange doctrines and blasphemies" were being
vented in the City by women-preachers. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 337;
Hanbury, III. 99, 100; Commons Journals, January 15, 1645-6.]

Environed by such a sea of Presbyterian excitement, what could the
Parliament do? They did what was expected. They shook off Toleration as
if it had been a snake. Not only did they assure the Aldermen and Common
Council that there would be due vigilance against the sects and heretics;
but on the 29th of January, or within a fortnight after they had received
the City Petition, they took occasion to prove that their assurance was
sincere. The two Baptist preachers Cox and Richardson, it seems, had been
standing at the door of the House of Commons, distributing to members
printed copies of the Confession of Faith of the Seven Baptist
Congregations in London (see _antè_, p. 148). It was as if they had
said, "Be pleased to look for yourselves, gentlemen, at the real tenets
of those poor Anabaptists who are described as such monsters." But the
Commons were in a Presbyterian panic; Cox and Richardson were taken into
custody; and orders were issued for seizing and suppressing all copies of
the Baptist Confession that could be found. This alone would prove that
as late as the end of January, 1645-6, the Presbyterians, in their
character of Anti-Tolerationists, were still masters of the field.
[Footnote: Commons Journals, Jan. 29, 1645-6.]


Hardly less successful had the Presbyterians been in their more proper
task of perfecting their Frame of Church-government. Here, indeed, they
had encountered little or no opposition from the Independents. The
essentials of the Presbyterian scheme having been voted by Parliament,
the Independents had quietly accepted that fact; and, though they tended,
as was natural, more and more to doubts whether there ought to be any
National Church at all, they had left Parliament and the Presbyterians of
the Assembly to construct the detailed machine of the future English
Presbytery very much as they pleased. [Footnote: Absolute Voluntaryism,
as we know, was already represented in Roger Williams. The _Seekers_, his
followers, were bound to the same conclusion; and accordingly, I find a
little tract of six pages, in 1645, by John Saltmarsh, the Seeker and
Antinomian (_antè_, p. 151-3), entitled "A New Quere, at this time
seasonably to be considered, &c.. viz. Whether it be fit, according to
the principles of true Religion and State to settle any Church-government
over the Kingdom hastily or not." Burton was already in the same mood of
hypothetical Voluntaryism (_antè_, p. 109), and I think it was spreading
now among the Independents. Certainly, however, the perception of the
necessary identity of the principle of Independency with absolute
Voluntaryism, or the doctrine of No State Church, was not universal among
them.] It was the Erastians rather than the Independents that were here
the clogs upon the thorough-going Presbyterians. Selden especially was
their torment. He was quite willing, O yes! that the Church of England
should be thenceforward Presbyterian; but then what about the rights of
the individual subject and the relations of the Church to the State? The
State or central Power in every community must be, in the last resort,
the guardian of all the rights and liberties of the individual subjects;
there had been but one Sanhedrim in the Jewish Commonwealth, supreme in
causes ecclesiastical as well as in causes civil; but the Presbyterian
Divines of the Assembly, with the Scots for their advisers, wanted the
Church in England to be a separate Sanhedrim, supreme in ecclesiastical
causes, and irresponsible to the State! Plying his learning in this
fashion, and assisted by Whitlocke, St. John, and the other lawyers in
the Assembly and in Parliament, Selden had, throughout 1645, kept up an
Erastian obstruction to the Presbyterians. Now, as Prynne out of doors,
with all his Presbyterianism, was also lawyer-like, and therefore
staunchly Erastian, and as the Independents in Parliament made common
cause with the Erastians wherever they could, the obstruction had been
very formidable. "The Erastian party in the Parliament is stronger than
the Independent, and is like to work us much woe," wrote Baillie in May
1645; "Mr. Prynne and the Erastian lawyers are now our _remora_" he wrote
in September; and he kept repeating the complaint throughout the year.
[Footnote: Baillie, II. 277, 315, and also in intermediate and following

Nevertheless great progress had been made in devising and settling the
details of the Presbyterian system. What it was will be best exhibited in
a dated series of paragraphs, digesting the proceedings of the Assembly
and the Parliament:--

_May 1645: Presbyterian Arrangements for all England prospectively, and
for London to begin with_:--That every English Congregation or Parish
have its lay-elders along with its minister, just after the Scottish
fashion; That the meetings of the Presbyterians be once a month; That the
ecclesiastical provinces of England be about sixty in number (about co-
numerous with the shires, and, in most cases, identical with them), and
that the Synods of these provinces be held twice a-year, and consist of
delegates from the Presbyteries; That the National Assembly be held once
a year, and consist of delegates from the sixty Synods, at the rate of
three ministers and two ruling elders from each, so as to form a House of
about 300 members.--That London, reckoned by a radius of ten miles from
its centre, be one of the Synodical Provinces, and that the number of
Classes or Presbyteries in the Synod of London be fourteen.--
_Baillie_, II. 271, 272.

_Aug._ 23: Ordinance of Parliament, calling in all copies of the old
Liturgy, enforcing the use of the new Westminster Directory of Worship,
and forbidding any use of the Liturgy, even in private houses, under
penalties.--_Commons Journals._

_July-Sept. 1645; Directions for the Election of Ruling Elders in
Congregations, and for the Division of the English Counties into
Presbyteries._ July 23, the Commons resolved that Ruling Elders in
congregations should be chosen by the ministers and all members duly
qualified by having taken the Covenant and being of full age, save that
servants without families were not to have votes: no man to be a ruling
elder in more than one congregation, and that in the place of his usual
residence. July 25, they appointed a committee of forty-seven of their
own body to find out the fittest persons to be a committee for
superintending the elections of Elders for the Congregations and
Presbyteries of London, and at the same time to prepare a letter to be
sent down into the counties by the Speaker, giving instructions for the
formation of County-Committees to consider the best division of the
counties respectively into Presbyteries. The letter was ready Sept. 17,
when it was ordered to be sent down into the counties, with a copy of the
Votes and Ordinances on the subject of the election of Elders that had
then passed and been concurred in by the Lords.--_Commons Journals._

_Sept.-Dec. 1645: Special Presbyterian Arrangements for London._ It
having been resolved by the Commons (Sept. 23) that there should be a
choice of Elders forthwith in London, the aforesaid Committee of forty-
seven reported to the House (Sept. 26) the names of the persons judged
most suitable to be TRIERS of the ability and integrity of the Elders
that should be elected, and of the validity of their election according
to the Parliamentary regulations. In each of the twelve London Classes or
Presbyteries (there were only _twelve_ as yet) there were to be nine
of these Triers--three ministers and six lay citizens; and they were to
decide all questions by a majority of votes. Thus there were to be 108
Triers in all in London. Their names are all registered. The machinery
being thus ready, the Lord Mayor was requested, Oct. 8, to intimate to
all the London ministers the desire of Parliament that Congregations
should at once proceed to the election of their Elders.--Dec. 5, it was
ordered that the whole world of the lawyers--_i.e._ the Chapel of
the Rolls, the two Serjeants' Inns, and the four Inns of Court--should be
constituted into a Presbytery by itself, but divided into two Classes.
Triers were also appointed for the Elders in this peculiar Presbytery,
one of them being William Prynne.--_Commons Journals of dates

_Nov._ 8, 1645: _New Ordinance for the Ordination of Ministers._ In this
long Ordinance the original identity of Bishop and Presbyter is asserted,
and consequently the right of Presbyters, without any so-called Bishop
among them, to ordain; nevertheless the ordinations by the late Bishops
are recognised as valid. Directions are then given to Presbyters for the
examination of candidates for the ministry in future, and for the
formalities to be observed in their ordination. Every candidate must be
twenty-four years of age at least, and must be tried not only in respect
of piety, character, preaching ability, and knowledge of divinity, but
also in respect of skill in the tongues and in Logic and Philosophy; and
congregations were to have full opportunity of stating exceptions against
ministers offered them. From a clause in the Ordinance it appears that
certified ordination in Scotland was to be accepted in England.--_Lords

_Powers of the Congregational Elderships in suspending from Church-
membership, and excluding from the Communion._ This was perhaps the most
important subject of all, for it involved the mode of the action of the
new Presbyterian system at the heart of social life and its interferences
with the liberties of the individual. Parliament was naturally slow and
jealous on this subject, so that the discussion of it, part by part,
extended over the whole year 1645. The briefest sketch of results must
suffice here:--The Assembly having sent in to Parliament a Paper
concerning the exclusion of ignorant and scandalous persons from the
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the Parliament had desired a more
particular definition by the Assembly of what they included in the terms
_ignorant_ and _scandalous_. The Assembly having then sent in an
explanation, in which, under the head of the _ignorance_ that should
exclude from the Lord's Table, they mentioned "the not having a competent
understanding concerning the Trinity," the Commons (March 27, 1645) had
desired to know what the Assembly considered to be a competent
understanding concerning the Trinity, The Assembly having farther
declared, under the same head of _ignorance_, that no persons ought to be
admitted to the Lord's Table who had not a "competent understanding" of
the Deity, of the state of Man by Creation and by his Fall, of Redemption
by Jesus Christ and the means to apply Christ and his benefits, of the
necessity of Faith, Repentance and a Godly life, of the Nature and Use of
Sacraments, and of the Condition of Man after this Life, the Commons had
still demurred about the "competent understanding," and had begged the
Assembly to be more precise and business-like (April 1). At length, some
resolutions having been come to about the "competent understanding," and
there being less difficulty in deciding who should come under the
category of the _scandalous_, the Commons had before them a pretty
extensive index of the kinds of persons, whether _ignorant_ or
_scandalous_, whom the Congregational Elderships were to be empowered to
suspend or debar from the Communion. The index was not complete, I think,
till January 1645-6; by which time, after numerous discussions, it
included, in addition to the grossly ignorant in the elementary articles
of Christianity, and to murderers, notorious drunkards, swearers, _et hoc
genus omne_, a considerable list of such varieties of offenders as these--
makers of images of the Trinity, worshippers of saints, persons sending
or accepting challenges, persons playing at games selling wares or
unnecessarily travelling on Sunday, persons consulting witches, persons
assaulting magistrates or their own parents, persons legally convicted of
perjury or bribery, persons consenting to the marriage of their children
with Papists, and, finally, the maintainers of errors that subvert the
prime Articles of Religion. To provide, moreover, for cases not
positively enumerated, there were to be commissioners in every
ecclesiastical province authorized to decide on such cases, when
represented to them by ministers and the elderships. All this, with much
more of the same kind, was partly agreed upon, partly still under
Parliamentary consideration, in the beginning of 1646.--_Commons
Journals, with references there to the Lords Journals_.


January 1645-6, I think, was the month in which Presbyterianism was in
fullest tide. After that month, and through the spring and early summer
of 1646, there was a visible ebb. The cause may have been partly that
continued triumph everywhere of the New Model Army which had brought the
War obviously to its fag-end, and now, perhaps, suggested to Parliament
and the Londoners the uncomfortable idea that the marching mass of
Independency, relieved from its military labours, would soon be re-
approaching the capital, and at leisure to review the proceedings of its
masters. There was, however, a more obvious cause. This was the increase
of the Independent Vote in the House of Commons by the gradual coming in

By the outbreak of the Civil War in August 1642, and the consequent
desertion of the House of Commons by two-thirds of its members, most of
whom were then or afterwards formally disabled, the House, as we know,
had been reduced to a mere stump of what it ought to have been
constitutionally. There had been complaints about this outside, and
regrets within the House itself; but it was felt that a time of Civil War
could not be a time for Parliamentary elections. How could there be such
elections while the King's forces were in possession of large regions of
England, and these the very regions where most seats were vacant? For
three years, therefore, the House had allowed the vacant seats in it to
remain vacant, and had persisted in the public business in the state to
which it had been reduced, _i.e._, with a nominal strength at the
utmost of about 280, and a constant working attendance of only 100 or
thereabouts. Not till after Naseby, and the recovery of more and more of
English ground for Parliament by the successes of the New Model, was it
deemed prudent to begin the issue of new writs; and even then the process
was careful and gradual.

The first new writs issued were in Aug. 1645, and were for Southwark, St.
Edmundsbury, and Hythe; in September there followed 95 additional new
writs for boroughs or counties; in October there were 27 more; and so on
by smaller batches in succeeding months, until, by the end of the year,
146 new members in all had been elected. This did not complete the
process; for 89 new members more remained to be elected in the course of
1646, bringing the total number of the Recruiters up to about 235. Now,
among these Recruiters, all of them Parliamentarians in the main sense,
there were both Presbyterians and Independents. As Presbyterians, more or
less, may be reckoned, among those elected before January 1645-6, Major-
general RICHARD BROWNE (Wycombe), Major-general EDWARD MASSEY (Wootton
Bassett), WALTER LONG, Esq. (Ludgershall, Wilts), and CLEMENT WALKER,
Esq. (Wells): this last a very peculiar-tempered person from
Somersetshire, a friend of Prynne's, and described by himself as an
"elderly gentleman, of low stature, in a grey suit, with a little stick
in his hand." Decidedly more numerous among the Recruiters, however, were
men who might be called Independents, or were at least Tolerationists.
Among such, all elected before January 1645-6, or not later than that
month, may be named Colonel ROBERT BLAKE (Taunton), Sir JOHN DANVERS,
brother of the late Earl of Danby (Malmesbury), the Hon. JOHN FIENNES,
third son of Viscount Saye and Sele (Morpeth), GEORGE FLEETWOOD, Esq.
(Bucks), Colonel CHARLES FLEETWOOD (Marlborough), Sir JAMES HARRINGTON
(Rutland), the Hon. JAMES HERBERT, second son of the Earl of Pembroke
(Wilts), Colonel JOHN HUTCHINSON (Notts), Commissary-general HENRY IRETON
(Appleby), HENRY LAWRENCE, Esq., a gentleman of property and some taste
for learning and speculation (Westmoreland), Sir MICHAEL LIVESEY
(Queenborough), Colonel EDMUND LUDLOW (Wilts), SIMON MAYNE, Esq.
(Aylesbury), young Colonel EDWARD MONTAGUE (Hants), Colonel RICHARD
NORTON (Hants), Colonel CHARLES RICH (Sandwich), Colonel EDWARD ROSSITER
(Great Grimsby), THOMAS SCOTT (Aylesbury), young Colonel ALGERNON SIDNEY
(Cardiff), Colonel WILLIAM SYDENHAM (Melcombe Regis), and PETER TEMPLE,
Esq. (Leicester). Of this list, nearly half, it may be noted, were or had
been officers in the New Model. The fact was very significant. It was
still more significant that among these New Model officers elected among
the first Recruiters there was a knot of men who were already recognised
as in a special sense Cromwellians. Almost all the New Model officers
were devoted to Cromwell; but Ireton was his _alter ego_, and young
Fleetwood, young Montague, young Sidney, and young Sydenham, belonged to
a group known in the Army as Cromwell's passionate admirers and
disciples. [Footnote: The statistics of the Recruiting in this paragraph
are from my own counting of the New Writs from Aug. 1645 onwards in the
Commons Journals, checked by Godwin's previous counting or calculation
(Hist. of Commonwealth, II. 38, 39), and by the noting of new writs in
the list of members of the Long Parliament given in the Parl. Hist. (II.
599-629). Among the individual Recruiters named I have tried not to
include any whose election was _later_ than Jan. 1645-6, and have
trusted, in that particular, to the notices of new writs in the Commons
Journals and the Parl. Hist.; but one cannot be perfectly sure that in
each case an election immediately followed the new writ. My often-cited
fly-sheet authority, Leach's _Great Champions of England_, has been
of use. It distinguishes 131 Recruiters as of Parliamentary note before
the end of July, 1646; but its list of Recruiters up to that date is
neither complete nor accurate.--The description of Clement Walker is from
his own _Hist. of Independency_ (edit. 1660), Part I. p. 53.--The
county in which there had to be most Recruiting, _i.e._in which
there were most vacant seats, was Somersetshire. Nearly all the seats
were vacant there. A large proportion of the seats was vacant in Notts,
Yorkshire, Sussex, Westmoreland, and Wales.--The Recruiting went on not
only through 1646, but also in stray cases through subsequent years; and
himself among civilians, came at length into the House.]

Not _called_ Recruiters, but practically such for the Independents,
were two original members who, after having been out of the House for a
long while, were now restored to their places. These were Nathaniel
Fiennes, _alias_ "Young Subtlety," and the witty and freethinking
Henry Marten. Fiennes, having been tried by court-martial and sentenced
to death in December 1643, for his surrender of Bristol (_antè_, p.
6), had been forgiven and allowed to go abroad; but opinion of his
conduct in that affair had meanwhile become more favourable, and before
the end of 1645 he returned and resumed his seat. Marten (Vol. II. p.
166) had been expelled from the House by vote, Aug. 16, 1643, for words
too daringly disrespectful of Royalty--in fact, for premature
Republicanism; but, the House having become less fastidious in that
matter, and his presence being greatly missed, the vote was rescinded
January 6, 1645-6, and the record of it expunged from the Journals.
[Footnote: Godwin's Commonwealth, II. 77, 78; Wood's Ath. III. 878 and
1238; and Commons Journals of dates given.]

Although as many as 146 Recruiters had been elected before the end of the
year, they appear to have taken their places but slowly. Not till January
26, 1645-6, does one perceive any considerable effect on the numbers of
the House. On that day there was a House of at least 183, the largest
there had been for many a day--larger by 13 than the House that had made
Fairfax commander-in-chief twelve months before. And thenceforward the
numbers keep well up. On two occasions early in February there were
Houses of 203 and 202 respectively; and before the summer of 1646 there
were members enough at hand to form on great field-days Houses of from
250 to 270. By that time some of the military men among the Recruiters
were able to be present. [Footnote: My notes of Divisions, from the
Commons Journals.]


As soon as the Recruiting had begun to tell upon the _numbers_ of the
House, an effect on the _policy_ of the House is also perceptible. Thus
on Feb. 3, the very day when the Commons mustered a House of 203, a
division took place involving Toleration in a subtle form. The question
was whether in a Declaration setting forth the true intentions of the
House in Church-matters this clause should be inserted: "A fitting care
shall be taken of tender consciences, so far as may stand with the Word
of God and the Peace of the Kingdom." This, though mild enough,
displeased the Presbyterians, and was proposed from their side that the
words "Church and" should be inserted before the word "Kingdom." On a
division the _Yeas_ (for adding the words and so making the pledge of a
toleration weaker) were 105, and had for their tellers the Presbyterian
party-chiefs, Denzil Holles and Sir Philip Stapleton; but 98 _Noes_
rallied round Sir Arthur Haselrig and Sir Henry Mildmay, the tellers for
the Opposition. [Footnote: Commons Journals of date.]  A wavering of the
balance towards Independency and Toleration was indicated by this vote;
but it was not till the following month that the balance was decisively
turned, and then not directly on the Toleration question, but on that
great related question of the "Power of the Keys" which the Presbyterians
of the Assembly wanted to see settled in their favour before they could
consider the Presbyterian establishment perfect. If the phrase "Power of
the Keys" should seem a mystic one to English readers now, it will
perhaps be cleared up by the following story of what happened in March

On the 5th of that month the Commons passed and sent up to the Lords one
all-comprehensive Ordinance, recapitulating in twenty-three Propositions
the substance of their various Presbyterian enactments up to that date.
[Footnote: See the Ordinance in the Commons Journals of the date. It is a
clear and excellent summary of what had been done and what was intended
in the matter of Presbyterian Establishment.] What these were we have
just seen (_antè_, pp. 397-400). They amounted, as one might now
think, to a sufficiently strict Presbyterianizing of all England, with
London first by way of example. The Presbyterian Divines were not ill
satisfied on the whole; but they had not succeeded to the full extent of
their wishes, and there were various matters in the Recapitulating
Ordinance that they hoped yet to see amended. In particular,
notwithstanding all their efforts for months past to indoctrinate the
Parliament with the right Presbyterian theory of the independent
spiritual jurisdiction of the Church, the natural Erastianism of the lay
mind had been so strong in the Commons that the 14th Proposition of the
Recapitulating Ordinance stood as follows:--

"XIV. That, in every Province, persons shall be chosen by the Houses of
Parliament that shall be Commissioners to judge of scandalous offences
(not enumerated in any Ordinance of Parliament) to them presented: And
that the Eldership of that Congregation where the said offence was
committed shall, upon examination and proof of such scandalous offence
(in like manner as is to be done in the offences enumerated), certify the
same to the Commissioners, together with the proof taken before them: And
before the said certificate the party accused shall have liberty to make
such defence as he shall think fit before the said Eldership, and also
before the Commissioners before any certificate shall be made to the
Parliament: And, if the said Commissioners, after examination of all
parties, shall determine the offence, so presented and proved, to be
scandalous, and the same shall certify to the Congregation, the Eldership
thereof may suspend such person from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper,
in like manner as in cases enumerated in any Ordinance of Parliament."

Here was wormwood for the Presbyterians; and over this 14th Article, and
one or two subsequent articles, settling farther details of the
superiority of the proposed Parliamentary Commissioners over the Church
Courts, and also reserving the appeal of ecclesiastical questions to
Parliament, they prepared to fight a most strenuous battle. The Assembly,
the City Corporation, the City ministers in their Sion College conclave,
and the Scottish Commissioners, all flew to arms. Their first hope was
with the Lords; and _them_ they nearly conquered. On the 13th of
March there was a long debate in that House on the whole Ordinance, and
especially its 14th Article; and, out of twenty-one Peers present,
_nine_ were so opposed to that Article that, before the vote was
taken, they begged leave to be allowed to register their protest if the
vote went against them. These Peers were the Earls of Essex, Manchester,
Warwick, Bolingbroke, and Suffolk, and Lords Willoughby, Roberts, Dacres,
and Bruce. There were, however, _twelve_ Peers in favour of the
Erastian Article: viz. the Earls of Northumberland, Kent, Pembroke,
Salisbury, Denbigh, Nottingham, Stamford, and Middlesex, and Lords North,
Howard of Escrick, Wharton, and Grey of Wark. Pour of the minority, viz.
Essex, Manchester, Bolingbroke, and Bruce, did then protest, on the
ground that they considered the institution of Parliamentary
Commissioners apart from the Church Courts inconsistent with the Solemn
League and Covenant. The entire Ordinance, with insignificant amendments,
thus passed the Lords; and, the Commons having accepted the amendments,
it became law on the 14th of March. [Footnote: Commons Journals, Feb. 27,
and March 3, 5, and 14, 1645-6; and Lords Journals, March 13 and 14.]

Was it, then, such a mongrel Presbytery as this, an Erastian Presbytery,
a Presbytery controlled and policed by Parliamentary Commissioners, that
was to be set up in England? Not if the Presbyterian clergy of England,
with all Scotland to aid them, could prevent it! "We, for our part [the
Scottish Commissioners]," writes Baillie, March 17, "mind to give in a
remonstrance against it; the Assembly will do the like; the City
ministers will give the third; but that which, by God's help, may prove
most effectual is the zeal of the City itself. Before the Ordinance came
out, they petitioned against some materials of it. This both the Houses
voted to be a breach of their privilege, to offer a petition against
anything that is in debate before them, till once it be concluded and
come abroad. This vote the City takes very evil: it's likely to go high
betwixt them. Our prayers and endeavours are for wisdom and courage to
the City." [Footnote: Baillie, II. 361.] Within a fortnight, however
(March 31), Baillie writes, in a postscript to the same letter, in a much
more downcast mood. "The leaders of the people," he says, "seem to be
inclined to have no shadow of a King, to have liberty for all Religions,
to have but a lame Erastian Presbytery, to be so injurious to us [the
Scots] as to chase us home with the sword. ... Our great hope on earth,
the City of London, has played _nipshot_ [_i.e._ miss-fire or burnt
priming]: they are speaking of dissolving the Assembly." [Footnote:
Ibid. II. 362.]--To understand this wail of Baillie's we have again to
turn to the Journals of the Commons.

Having passed the all-conclusive Ordinance for Presbytery, the two Houses
had resolved to stand on their dignity, and resent the attempted
dictation of the City, the Sion College conclave, the Assembly, and the
Scottish Commissioners. They had already, as Baillie informs us, made a
beginning, while the Ordinance was yet in progress, by voting a petition
of the City against some parts of it to be a breach of privilege. At
this, as late as March 17, the City was in proper dudgeon, and vowed that
Parliament should hear from it again on the subject. Before a fortnight
had elapsed, however, there was a wonderful change. News had come to
London of Hopton's final surrender to the New Model in Cornwall, of the
defeat of Astley in Gloucestershire with the last shred of the King's
field-force, and in fact of the absolute ending of the war, except for
the few Royalist towns and garrisons that had yet to make terms. In the
midst of the universal joy, why dwell on a difference between the City
and Parliament as to the details of the Presbyterian mechanism?
Accordingly, on Friday, March 27, divers Aldermen and others were at the
door of the House of Commons, not to remonstrate farther this little
difference, but to beg that the House would "so far honour" the City as
to dine with the Corporation at Grocers' Hall on the following Thursday,
being Thanksgiving Day, after the two usual sermons! The House was most
gracious, and accepted the invitation; and this restoration of good
feeling between Parliament and the City was probably the "nipshot" or
miss-fire which Baillie lamented on the 3lst.--The City being out of the
business for the time, it was easier for the Parliament to deal with the
other parties. To the Scottish Commissioners hints were conveyed, as
politely as possible, that Parliament would prefer having less of their
valuable assistance in the governing of England. With the Westminster
Assembly and the London Divines there was less ceremony. The Assembly
_had_ drawn up a Petition or Remonstrance against the Articles of
the conclusive Ordinance of March 14, providing for an agency of
Parliamentary Commissioners to aid and supervise the Church judicatories.
"The provision of Commissioners," they said, "to judge of scandals not
enumerated appears to our consciences to be contrary to that way of
government which Christ hath appointed in his Church, in that it giveth a
power to judge of the fitness of persons to come to the Sacrament unto
such as our Lord Jesus Christ hath not given that power unto;" and they
added that the provision was contrary to the Solemn League and Covenant,
and besought Parliament to cancel it and put due power into the hands of
the Elderships. This Petition, signed by the Prolocutor, one of the
Assessors, and the to Scribes of the Assembly, was presented to the two
Houses, most imposingly, March 23, When Baillie wrote his lamentation he
did not know the precise result, but he guessed what it was to be.

It was worse than Baillie could have guessed. After much inquiry and
consultation about the Assembly's Petition, the Commons, on the 11th of
April 1646, came to two sharp votes. The first was on the question
"Whether the House shall first debate the point concerning the Breach of
Privilege in this Petition;" and it was carried in the affirmative by 106
_Yeas_, told by Evelyn of Wilts and Haselrig, against 85 _Noes_, told by
Holles and Stapleton. The question was then put "Whether this Petition,
thus presented by the Assembly of the Divines, is a Breach of Privilege
of Parliament;" and on this question, the tellers on both sides being the
same, 88 voted _Yea_ and 76 _No_: _i.e._ it was carried by a majority of
12 that the Assembly, in their Petition, had been guilty of a grave
political offence, for which they might be punished individually, by fine
or imprisonment or both. No such punishment, of course, was intended. It
was enough to shake the rod over the Assembly. A Committee, including
Haselrig, Henry Marten, the younger Vane, and Selden, was appointed to
prepare a Narrative on the whole subject, with a statement of the
particulars; and this Narrative, ready April 21, was discussed clause by
clause, and adopted. It is a striking document, quiet and tight in style,
but most pungent in matter. It begins with an assertion of the supremacy
of Parliament in all matters whatsoever; it recites the specific purposes
for which the Assembly had been called by Parliament, and the limitations
imposed upon it by the Ordinance to which it owed its being; and it
proceeds to this rebuke: "The Assembly are not authorized, as an
Assembly, by any Ordinance or Order of Parliament, to interpret the
Covenant, especially in relation to any law made or to be made; nor,
since the Law passed both Houses concerning the Commissioners, have [the
Assembly] been required by both or either of the Houses of Parliament, or
had any authority before from Parliament, to deliver their opinions to
the Houses on matters already judged and determined by them. Neither have
they the power to debate or vote whether what is passed as a Law by both
Houses be agreeing or disagreeing to the Word of God, unless they be
thereunto required." On the day on which the Narrative containing this
passage of rebuke was adopted (April 21) a Committee was appointed to
communicate it, with the appertaining Vote of the Commons, "in a fair
manner," to the Assembly. Actually, on the 27th of April the
communication was made most ceremoniously, and from that day the Assembly
knew itself to be under curb. [Footnote: For the facts of this and the
preceding paragraph the authorities are Commons and Lords Journals, March
23, 1645-6, and Commons Journals of April 1, 3, 8, 11, 16, 18, 21, and
24, 1646. The Lords Journals give the Assembly's Petition; the Narrative
of the Commons is in their Journals for April 21.--It is strange, in
modern times, to note the frequency with which the Parliament, and even
the popular party in it, resorted to the fiction of Breach of Privilege
in order to quash opposition to their proceedings. Sometimes, as in the
Vote about the City Petition recently mentioned, it was the Breach of
Privilege to assume to know what was going on in Parliament or petition
against any measure while it was pending; at other times, as now, it was
a Breach of Privilege to question by petition a measure already
determined. In the present case, however, the Commons seem to have
founded on the fact that the Assembly, "as an Assembly," had transgressed
its powers. Individually, they seem to say, the Divines might have
petitioned, but not as an Assembly, the creature of the Parliament whose
acts they censured.]

Not only under curb, but thrown to the ground, and baited with sarcasms
and interrogatories! Thus, on the 17th of April, six days after the Vote
of Breach of Privilege, but four days before the Vote and the
accompanying Narrative had been communicated officially to the Assembly,
there was finally agreed upon by the Commons that Declaration as to their
true intentions on the Church question which had been in preparation
since February 3, and in this Declaration there was a double-knotted lash
at the prostrate Assembly. Parliament, it was explained, had adopted most
of the Assembly's recommendations as to the Frame of Church-government to
be set up, with no exception of moment but that of the Commissioners; in
which exception Parliament had only performed its bounden duty, seeing it
could not "consent to the granting of an arbitrary and unlimited power
and jurisdiction to near 10,000 judicatories to be erected in this
kingdom." Farther it was announced that Parliament reserved the question
of the amount of toleration to be granted under the new Presbyterial rule
to "tender consciences that differ not in fundamentals of Religion." But
there was more to come. Selden and the Erastians, and Haselrig, Vane,
Marten, with the Independents and Free Opinionists, had been nettled by
those parts of the Assembly's Petition which assumed that the whole frame
of the Presbyterian Government scheme by the Assembly was _jure
divino_. They resolved to put the Assembly through an examination about
this _jus divinum_. On the 22nd of April, therefore, there was presented
to the House, by the same Committee that had prepared the Narrative of
the Breach of Privilege, a series of nine questions which it would be
well to send to the Assembly. "Whether the Parochial and Congregational
Elderships appointed by Ordinance of Parliament, or any other
Congregational or Presbyterial Elderships, are _jure divino_, and by the
will and appointment of Jesus Christ; and whether any particular Church-
government be _jure divino_, and what that government is?"--such is the
first of the nine queries; and the other eight are no less incisive. They
were duly communicated to the Assembly; it was requested that the Answers
should be precise, with the Scripture proofs for each, in the express
words of the texts; every Divine present at a debate on any of the
Queries was to subscribe his name to the particular resolution he might
vote for; and the dissentients from any vote were to send to Parliament
their own positive opinions on the point of that vote, with the Scripture
proofs. Selden's hand is distinctly visible in this ingenious insult to
the Assembly. [Footnote: Commons Journals, April 17 and April 22, 1646;
Baillie, II. 344.] It was a more stinging punishment than adjournment or
dissolution would have been, though that also had been thought of, and
Viscount Saye and Sele had recommended it in the Lords.

In the midst of these firm dealings of the Parliament with the Assembly,
Cromwell was back in London. He was in the House on the 23rd of April
1646, and received its thanks, through the Speaker, for his great
services. He probably brought a train of his young Cromwellians with him
(Ireton, Fleetwood, Montague, &c.) to swell the number of Recruiters that
had already taken their seats. In the course of May, at all events, there
were Houses of 269, 241, 261, 259, and 248, and the Recruiters had so
increased the strength of the Independents and Erastians that a relapse
into the policy of ultra-Presbyterianism and No Toleration appeared
impossible. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 369, and Commons Journals for several
days in May 1646.]


Suddenly, by the King's flight to the Scottish Army at Newark (May 5),
and by the retreat of that army, with the King in their possession, to
the safer position of Newcastle (May 13), the whole condition of things
was changed. The question between Independency and Presbyterianism, and
the included question of Toleration or No Toleration, were thrown, with
all other questions, into the crucible of the negotiations, between the
English and the Scots, round the King at Newcastle.

It was known that the strife between the Independents and the
Presbyterians had long been a solace to Charles, and a fact of great
importance in his calculations. Should he fail to rout both parties and
reimpose both Kingship and Episcopacy on England by force of arms, did
there not remain for him, at the very worst, the option of allying
himself with that one of the parties with which he could make the best
bargain? Now that he had been driven to the detested alternative, he had,
it appeared, though not without hesitation, and indeed partly by
accident, given the Presbyterians the first chance. He had done so, it
was true, in a circuitous way, but perhaps in the only way open to him.
To have surrendered himself to the English Presbyterians was hardly
possible; for, had he gone to London with that view, how could the
Presbyterians of the Parliament and the City have protected him, or kept
him to themselves, when the English Army that would then instantly have
closed round London was an Army of Independents? By placing himself in
the hands of the Scottish Army, had he not cleverly avoided this
difficulty, receiving temporary protection, and yet intimating that it
was with the Presbyterians that he preferred to treat? So, in fact, the
King's flight to the Scots was construed by the English Presbyterians.
They were even glad that it had fallen to the Scots to represent for the
moment English Presbyterianism as well as Scottish, advising Charles in
his new circumstances, and ascertaining his intentions. And the Scots, on
their part, it appeared, had accepted the duty.

Hardly was the King at Newcastle when there were round him not only
General Leven, Major-general Leslie, and the Earls of Lothian, Balcarres,
and Dunfermline, all of whom had chanced to be at Newark on his reception
there, but also other Scots of mark, expressly sent from Edinburgh and
from London. The Earl of Lanark was among the first of these. Argyle
himself, who had been excessively busy in Scotland and in Ireland since
the defeat of Montrose, thought his presence now essential in England,
and hastened to be with his Majesty. The Chancellor Loudoun made no
delay, but was off from London to Newcastle on the 16th of May. Above
all, however, it was thought desirable that Alexander Henderson should be
near his Majesty at such a crisis. Accordingly, some days before
Loudoun's departure, Henderson had taken leave of his brother-divines,
Baillie, Rutherford, and Gillespie, with Lauderdale and Johnstone of
Warriston, in their London quarters at Worcester House, and, though in
such a state of ill-health as to be hardly fit to travel, had gone
bravely and modestly northwards to the scene of duty. How much was
expected of him may be inferred from a jotting in one of Baillie's
letters just after he had gone. "Our great perplexity is for the King's
disposition," wrote Baillie on the 15th of May: "how far he will be
persuaded to yield we do not know: I hope Mr. Henderson is with him this
night at Newcastle." [Footnote: Baillie, II. 370 _et seq._]

The immediate object of the Scots round Charles was to induce him to take
the Covenant. That done, they had little doubt that they would be able to
bring him and the English Parliament amicably together.--Charles,
however, at once showed by his conduct that the current interpretation of
the meaning of his flight to the Scots had been too hasty. It was not
because he wanted to bargain with the Presbyterians as against the
Independents that he had come to the Scots; it was because he had the
more subtle idea that he might be able to bargain with the Scots as such
against the English as such. He hoped to wrap himself up in the
nationality of the Scots; he hoped to appeal to them as peculiarly their
sovereign, born forty-six years before in their own Dunfermline, once or
twice their visitor since, always remembering them with affection, and
now back among them in his distress. [Footnote: On the verge of a wooded
dell or glen close to the burgh of Dunfermline, in Fife, there still
stands one fine length of ruined and ivy-clad wall, the remains of the
palace in which, on the 19th of November 1600, Charles I. was born.  The
dell, with the adjacent Abbey, is sacred with legends and stony memorials
of the Scottish royal race, from the days of Malcom Canmore and his Queen
Margaret.] Of course, in such a character, concessions to _their_
Presbyterianism would have to be made; but these concessions had all, in
fact, been made already, and involved no new humiliation. It was about
Episcopacy in England, his English coronation oath, his English
sovereignty, that he was mainly anxious; and what if, from his refuge
among the Scots, and even with the Scots as his instruments, he could
recommence, in some way or other, his struggle with the English? Charles
did labour under this delusion. When he had come among the Scots it was
actually with some absurd notion that Montrose, who still lurked in the
Highlands, might be forgiven all the past and brought back, as one of his
Majesty's most honoured servants, though recently erratic, into the
society of Argyle, Loudoun, Lanark, and the rest of the faithful.
[Footnote: See in Rushworth (VI. 266-7) a Letter of the King's to the
Marquis of Ormond in Ireland, dated from Oxford, April 13, 1646, and
explaining his reasons for his then meditated flight to the Scots.  "We
are resolved to use our best endeavours, with their assistance," says
Charles, speaking of the Scottish Army, "and with the conjunction of the
forces under the Marquis of Montrose and such of our well-affected
subjects as shall rise for us, to procure, if it may be, an honourable
and speedy peace."  At the same time (April 18) Charles had written to
Montrose himself to the same effect.  The infatuation that could believe
in the possibility of such a combination was monstrous.]--A day or two
among the Scots had undeceived him. They repudiated at once any supposed
arrangement with him arising out of the negotiations of Montreuil; they
repudiated expressly the notion that they could by possibility have been
so false to the English Parliament as to have pledged themselves to a
separate treaty. Charles, they maintained, had come among them
voluntarily and without any prior compact. Most willingly, however, would
they do their best for him in the circumstances. If he would declare his
renunciation of Episcopacy and acceptance of Presbyterianism for England,
and especially if he would do this in the best mode of all, by personally
taking the Covenant, then they did not doubt but a way would be opened
for a final treaty with England in which they could assist.

Perforce Charles had now to disguise the real motive of his coming among
the Scots, and let the interpretation at first put upon it continue
current. Not, of course, that he would take the Covenant, or in any way
commit himself even now to Presbytery. But, while he stood firm against
the proposal that he should himself take the Covenant (which would have
been to abjure Episcopacy personally), and while he refrained from
committing himself to an acceptance of Presbytery for his English realm,
he does not appear to have objected to the impression that on this second
matter he might yield to time and reason. And so, while writing in cipher
to Queen Henrietta Maria, complaining of the "juggling" of the Scots,
because they would not break with the English Parliament in his behalf,
and while urging the Queen in the same letters to press upon Cardinal
Mazarin, and through him on the Pope, the scheme of a restitution of
Episcopacy in England by Roman Catholic force, on condition of "free
liberty of conscience" for the Catholics in England and "convenient
places for their devotions," he was patiently polite to the Presbyterians
around him, and employed part of his leisure in penning, from the midst
of them, letters of a temporizing kind to the two Houses of Parliament,
and the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council of London. The letter to the
City (May 19) was short and general, but cordial. That to the Parliament
(May 18) was a proposal of terms. A speedy settlement of the Religious
Question by the wisdom of Parliament with the advice of the Assembly (no
word of Episcopacy or Presbytery, but some compromise with Presbytery
implied); the Militia to be as proposed in the Treaty of Uxbridge--
_i.e._ to be for seven years in the hands of Parliament, and after
that a fresh agreement to be made; Ireland to be managed as far as
possible as Parliament might wish: such were his Majesty's present
propositions. [Footnote: Letters of Charles numbered XXV. XXVI. and
XXVII. (pp. 39-43) in Mr. Bruce's _Charles I. in_ 1646; Parl. Hist.
III. 471 _et seq._] He would be glad, however, to receive those of

There was a Presbyterian ecstasy in London on the receipt of these
letters. The Corporation, which had, to Baillie's grief, so inopportunely
played "nipshot" in the end of March, and left the Assembly and Sion
College to bear the brunt, now hastened to make amends. Headed by
Alderman Foot, a famous City orator, they presented, May 26, a
Remonstrance to both Houses of Parliament, couched in terms of the most
unflinching Presbyterianism, Anti-Toleration, and confidence in the
Scots. "When we remember," they said, "that it hath been long since
declared to be far from any purpose or desire to let loose the golden
reins of discipline and government in the Church, or to leave private
persons or particular congregations to take up what form of divine
service they please; when we look upon what both Houses have resolved
against Brownism and Anabaptism, properly so called; when we meditate
upon our Protestation and Covenant; and, lastly, when we peruse the
Directory and other Ordinances for Presbyterial government; and yet find
private and separate congregations daily erected in divers parts of the
city and elsewhere, and commonly frequented, and Anabaptism, Brownism,
and almost all manner of schisms, heresies, and blasphemies, boldly
vented and maintained by such as, to the point of Church-government,
profess themselves to be Independents: we cannot but be astonished."
After more complaints, they end with petitions for Presbyterian
Uniformity, the suppression of Independent congregations, the punishment
of Anabaptists and other sectaries, strict union with the Scots, &c., all
to be combined with immediate "Propositions to his Majesty for settling a
safe and well-grounded Peace." There was but one meaning in this. The
City was the mouthpiece; but in reality it was the united ultra-
Presbyterianism of the City, the Assembly, Sion College, and some of the
Presbyterian leaders in Parliament, trying to turn the King's presence
with the Scots into an occasion for any practicable kind of peace
whatsoever that would involve the overthrow of Independency, the Sects,
and Toleration. The House of Lords bowed before the blast, and returned a
gracious answer. The Commons, after two divisions, of 148 to 113, and 151
to 108, in favour of returning some kind of answer, returned one which
was curt and general. The divisions indicate the gravity of the crisis.
The Independents, thinned perhaps in numbers by the action of the
Newcastle peace-chances upon weaker spirits, but with Cromwell, Haselrig,
and Vane as their leaders, formed now what was avowedly the Anti-Scottish
party, profoundly suspicious of the doings at Newcastle, and taking
precautions against a treaty that should be merely Presbyterian. The
Presbyterians, on the other hand, with Holles, Stapleton, and Clotworthy
as their chiefs, were as avowedly the Pro-Scottish party, anxious for a
peace on such terms as the King might be brought to by the help of the
Scots. [Footnote: Parl. Hist. III. 474-480; Lords Journals,  May 26,
1646; Commons Journals of same date; Whitlocke's Memorials (ed. 1853),
II. 27.]

Through June the struggle of the parties was continued in this new form.
At Newcastle the Scottish Commissioners, with Henderson among them, were
still plying the King with their arguments for his acceptance of the
Covenant and Presbytery. To these, in their presence, he opposed only the
most stately politeness and desire for delay; but in his letters to the
Queen he characterized them as "rude pressures on his conscience." The
phrase is perfectly just in so far as there was pressure upon him to
accept Presbytery and the Assembly's Directory of Worship for himself and
his family, and it might win our modern sympathies even beyond that range
but for the evidences of incurable Stuartism which accompanied it. He
amuses the Queen in the same letters with an analysis he had made of the
Scots from his Newcastle experience of their various humours. He had
analysed them into the four factions of the "Montroses" or thorough
Royalists, the "Neutrals," the "Hamiltons," and the "Campbells" or
thorough Presbyterians of the Argyle following. He estimates the relative
strengths of the factions, and has no doubt that the real management of
Scotland lies between the Hamiltons, leading most of the nobility, and
the Campbells, commanding the votes of the gentry, the ministers, and the
burghs; he refers individual Scots about him to the classes to which he
thinks, from their private talk, they belong respectively; he tells how
they are all "courting" him, and how he is behaving himself "as evenly to
all as he can;" and his "opinion upon this whole business" is that they
will all have to join him in the end, or, which would be quite as
satisfactory to himself and the Queen, go to perdition together. What
could be done with such a man? Quite unaware of what he was writing about
them, the Scots were toiling their best in his service. There were
letters from Edinburgh (where the General Assembly of the Kirk had met
Jun. 3) to Newcastle and London; there were letters from Newcastle to
Edinburgh and London; there were letters from London back to Newcastle
and Edinburgh. And still, in the English Parliament, the Pro-Scottish
party laboured for the result they desired, and the Anti-Scottish or
Independent party maintained their jealous watch. Pamphlets and papers
came forth, violently abusive of the Scottish nation; and more than once
there were discussions in the Commons in which Haselrig and the more
reckless Independents pushed for conclusions that would have been
offensive to the Scots to the point of open quarrel. It did not seem
impossible that there might be a new and most horrible form of the Civil
War, in which the English Army and the Independents should be fighting
the Scottish Army and the Presbyterians. [Footnote: King's Letters,
xxix.-xxxiv. in Bruce's _Charles I. in_ 1646; Baillie, II. 374-5;
Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 1646. Parl.
Hist. III. 482-488; and Commons Journals of various days in May and June,
when there were divisions.]

What mainly averted such a calamity was the prudent behaviour of the
much-abused Scots. Anxious as they naturally were to save their Scottish
Charles from too severe a reckoning from his English subjects, and very
desirous, as was also natural, that the issue of the present dealings
with him should be one favourable to Presbytery and Religious Conformity,
they do not seem to have permitted these feelings to disturb their sense
of obligation to the English Parliament, and of a general British
responsibility. That this was the case arose, I believe, from the fact
that Argyle had come to England to take the direction, and that he
imparted a deep touch or two of his own to their purely Presbyterian
policy. It is interesting, at all events, to have a glimpse of the great
Marquis at this point, not as a fugitive from Montrose, not in the
military character which suited him so ill, but in his more proper
character as a British politician. He had been at Newcastle for some
time, "very civil and cunning," as the King wrote to the Queen; but on
the 15th of June he went to London. He was received there with the
greatest respect by the English Parliament. A Committee of 20 of the
Lords and 40 of the Commons, composed indifferently of Presbyterians and
Independents, was appointed to meet him in the Painted Chamber to hear
the communication which, it was understood, he desired to make.
Accordingly, to this Committee, on the 25th of June, the Marquis
addressed a speech, which was immediately printed for general perusal.
Here are portions of the first half of it, with one or two passages
Italicised which seem peculiarly pregnant, or peculiarly characteristic
of Argyle himself:--

"MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN,--Though I have had the honour to be named by the
Kingdom of Scotland in all the Commissions which had relation to this
Kingdom since the beginning of the war, yet I had never the happiness to
be with your lordships till now; wherein I reverence God's providence,
that He hath brought me hither at such an opportunity, when I may boldly
say it is in the power of the two Kingdoms, yea I may say in your
lordships' power, to make us both happy, if you make good use of this
occasion, by settling of Religion and the Peace and Union of these
Kingdoms. .. .As the dangers [in the way of the first enterprise,
'Reformation' or the 'settling of Religion'] are great, we must look the
better to our duties; and the best way to perform these is to keep us by
the Rules which are to be found in our National Covenant,--principally
the Word of God, and, in its own place, the Example of the best Reformed
Churches; and in our way we must beware of some rocks, which are
temptations both upon the right and left hand, so that we must hold the
middle path. Upon the one part we should take heed not to settle lawless
liberty in Religion, whereby, instead of uniformity, we should set up a
thousand heresies and schisms; which is directly contrary and destructive
to our Covenant. _Upon the other part, we are to look that we persecute
not piety and peaceable men who cannot, through scruple of conscience,
come up in all things to the common Rule; but that they may have such a
forbearance as may be according to the Word of God, may consist with the
Covenant, and not be destructive to the Rule itself, nor to the peace of
the Church and Kingdom._--As to the other point, the Peace and Union of
these Kingdoms [here the mutual good services of the two Kingdoms since
1640 are recited]: let us hold fast that union which is so happily
established betwixt us; and let nothing make us again two who are so many
ways one; all of one language, in one island, all under one King, one in
Religion, yea one in Covenant; so that, in effect, we differ in nothing
but in name (as brethren do): _which I wish were also removed, that we
might be altogether one, if the two Kingdoms think fit_.... I will
forbear at this time to speak of the many jealousies I hear are
suggested; for, as I do not love them, so I delight not to mention them:
only one I cannot forbear to speak of,--as if the Kingdom of Scotland
were too much affected with the King's interest. I will not deny but the
Kingdom of Scotland, by reason of the reigns of many kings, his
progenitors, over them, hath a natural affection to his Majesty, whereby
they wish he may be rather reformed than ruined: _yet experience may
tell that their personal regard to him hath never made them forget that
common rule, 'The Safety of the People is the Supreme Law._'"

Altogether Argyle's speech in the Painted Chamber, June 25, 1646,
produced a great impression in London; and, as he remained in town till
the 15th of July, he was able to deepen it, see all sorts of people, and
make observations. He may not have met Cromwell at this time, who was
away all June looking after the siege and surrender of Oxford, and the
marriage, in that neighbourhood, of his eldest daughter Bridget to
General Ireton; but be must have renewed acquaintance with Vane. He
renewed acquaintance, at all events, with an older friend--no other than
the Duke of Hamilton, recently released from his captivity in Cornwall,
and now again busy with affairs. He also took his place in the
Westminster Assembly for a few days by leave of the parliament.
[Footnote: King's Letter xxii. in Bruce's _Charles I, in_ 1646;
Baillie, II. 374-378; Lords Journals, June 23 and July 7, and Commons
Journals, June 25; and Parl. Hist. III. 488-491, where Argyle's Speech is
reprinted from the original edition, published by authority, at London,
by Laurence Chapman, June 27, 1646.]

Part of Argyle's purpose in coming to London had been to co-operate with
the resident Scottish Commissioners there in moderating as much as
possible, or at least delaying, the _ultimatum_ which the English
Parliament were preparing to send to the King. For, though the Parliament
had taken small notice hitherto of the King's letters from Newcastle,
they had been anxiously constructing such an _ultimatum_. in the
form of a series of Propositions exhibiting in one viev, all the terms
which they required Charles to accept at once and completely if he would
retain the sovereignty of England. Without being much influenced,
apparently, by the appeals of Scottish Commissioners for moderation and
clemency to the King in the purely English portions of this document, and
having the perfect concurrence of these Commissioners in the other
portions, Parliament did at length complete it, and, on the 14th of July,
send it to Charles. The document is remembered by the famous name of "The
Nineteen Propositions," and was altogether most comprehensive and
stringent. All the late Royal Acts and Ordinances were to be annulled;
the King was to take the Covenant and consent to an Act enjoining it
afresh on all the subjects of the three kingdoms; he was to consent to
the abolition of Episcopacy, root and branch, in England, Wales, and
Ireland; he was to approve of the proceedings of the Westminster
Assembly, and of the establishment of Presbytery as Parliament had
ordained or might yet ordain; he was to surrender to Parliament the
entire control of the Militia for 20 years, sea-forces as well as land-
forces; he was to let Parliament have its own way in Ireland; and he was
to submit to various other requirements, including the outlawing and
disqualification of about 120 persons of both nations named as
Delinquents--the Marquis of Newcastle, the Earls of Derby and Bristol,
Lords Cottington, Digby, Hopton, Colepepper and Jermyn, with Hyde,
Secretary Nicholas, and Bishops Wren and Bramhall, in the English list,
and the Marquises of Huntly and Montrose, the Earls of Traquair,
Nithsdale, Crawford, Carnwath, Forth, and Airlie, Bishop Maxwell, and
MacDonald MacColkittoch, in the Scottish list. As bearers of these fell
Propositions to the King the Lords appointed the Earls of Pembroke and
Suffolk, and the Commons appointed four of their number. These six
persons were at Newcastle on Thursday the 23rd of July; and the next day
they had their first interview with the King, Argyle and Loudoun being
also present. The rough Pembroke took the lead and produced the
Propositions. Before letting them be read, Charles, who had had a copy in
his possession privately for some time, asked Pembroke and the rest
whether they had powers to treat with him on the Propositions or in any
way discuss them. On their answering that they had no such powers, and
had only to request his Majesty's _Ay_ or _No_ to the Propositions as
they stood, "Then, but for the honour of the business," said the King
testily, "an honest trumpeter might have done as much." Recovering
himself, he listened to the Propositions duly read out, and then said he
was sure they could not expect an immediate answer in so large a
business. They told him that their instructions were not to remain in
Newcastle more than ten days, and so the interview ended. Charles, in
fact, in anticipation of their coming, had been planning how to act. "All
my endeavours," he had written to the Queen, "must be the delaying of my
answer till there be considerable parties visibly formed; to which end I
think my proposing to go to London, if I may be there with safety, will
be the best put-off, if (which I believe to be better) I cannot find a
way to come to thee." And so, day after day, though it was the effort of
all who had access to him, and especially of Argyle and Loudoun, to
persuade him to accept the inevitable, he remained stubborn. When the
Commissioners at length told him they must return to London, all the
answer they could obtain from him was a letter, dated Aug. 1, and
addressed to the Speaker of the House of Peers _pro tempore_, in which he
said a positive and immediate answer was impossible, but offered to come
to London or its neighbourhood to treat personally, if his freedom and
safety were guaranteed, and also to send for the Prince of Wales from
France. With this answer the Commoners left Newcastle on Sunday, Aug. 2,
and they reported their success to the two Houses on Wednesday, Aug. 12.
And here, so far as the King is concerned, we shall for the present stop.
[Footnote: King's Letters, xxxiv.-xl. (June 24--July 3) in Bruce's
_Charles I. in_ 1646; Baillie, II. 379; Lords Journals, July 11, and
Commons Journals, July 6; Rushworth, VI. 309-321; and Parl. Hist. III.
499-516. Both Rushworth and the Parl Hist. give the text of the nineteen


Not the less, while the two Houses had thus been watching the King at
Newcastle and corresponding with him, had they been acting as the real
Government of England without him.

The King's flight to the Scots having, as we have seen, turned the
balance once more in favour of Presbyterianism, the combined Erastians
and Independents had not been able to keep Parliament steady to that mood
of sharp mastership over the Assembly and the London Divines in which we
left it in the months of March and April (_antè_, pp. 407-411). It
had been necessary to make a compromise in that question of "The Power of
the Keys" on which the Parliament and the Assembly had been so angrily at
variance. The compromise was complete in June. On the 3rd of that month
the two Houses agreed on an Ordinance modifying, in a somewhat
complicated fashion, their previous device of Parliamentary Commissioners
to assist and control the Congregational Elderships. Instead of the
contemplated sets of Commissioners in each ecclesiastical Province, there
was now to be one vast general Commission for all England, consisting of
about 180 Lords and Commoners named (Cromwell, Vane, and everybody else
of any note among them); which Commissioners, or any nine of them, should
be a Court for judging of non-specified offences, after and in
conjunction with the Congregational Elderships, with right of reference
in certain cases to Justices of the Peace, and with the reserve of a
final appeal from excommunicated persons to Parliament itself. It does
not very well appear why this arrangement, as Erastian in principle as
that which it superseded, should have pleased the London Presbyterians
better. Perhaps it was made palatable by an accompanying increase of the
list of scandalous offences for which the Elderships were to be entitled
to suspend or excommunicate without interference by the Commissioners. At
all events, when Parliament again required the London ministers and
congregations by a new Ordinance (June 9) to proceed in the work which
had been interrupted, and elect Elders in all the parishes of the
province of London, there was no reluctance. At a meeting at Sion
College, June 19, the London ministers, the Assembly Presbyterians in
their counsels, agreed to proceed. They contented themselves with a paper
of _Considerations and Cautions_, explaining that the Parliamentary
Rule for Presbyterianism was not yet in all points satisfactory to their
consciences. [Footnote: Commons Journals, June 3 and 9, 1646; Baillie,
II. 377; Neal's _Puritans_ (ed. 1795) III. 106.]

Nothing now hindered the establishment of Presbytery in London; and,
actually, through the months of July and August 1646, while the King was
making his solitary personal stand for Episcopacy at Newcastle, the
Presbyterian machinery was coming into operation in the capital. "Matters
here," writes Baillie, July 14, "look better upon it, blessed be God,
than sometimes they have. On Sunday, in all congregations of the city,
the Elders are to be chosen. So the next week church-sessions in every
paroch; and twelve Presbyteries within the City, and a Provincial Synod,
are to be set up, and quickly, without any impediment that we apprehend.
The like is to be done over all the land." On the 13th of August Baillie
was able to report that the Elders had been elected in almost all the
parishes, and approved by the Triers; and he adds, "We expect classical
meetings speedily." These "classical meetings," or meetings of the twelve
London Presbyteries and the two Presbyteries of the Inns of Court, were
somewhat later affairs, and the crowning exultation of the first meeting
of the Provincial Synod of London did not come for some months; but from
August 1646 the city of London was ecclesiastically a Scotland
condensed.--Though there was, and continued to be, a general Presbyterian
stir throughout England, only in Lancashire was the example of London
followed in effective practice. The division of that shire into classes
or Presbyteries was already under consideration, with the names of the
persons fit to be lay-elders in each Presbytery. There were to be nine
Presbyteries. Manchester parish, Oldham parish, and four other parishes,
were to form the first; Rochdale parish came into the second; Preston
parish into the seventh; Liverpool did not figure by name as a distinct
Lancashire parish at all, but it had one minister, Mr. John Fogg, and he
was put into the fifth Presbytery. The names of all the Lancashire
ministers thus classified, and of the Lancashire gentlemen, yeomen, and
tradesmen, to the number of some hundreds, thought fit to be lay-elders
in the different Presbyterial districts, may be read yet in the Commons
Journals. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 378 and 388; Neal, III. 307-310 (List
of classes or Presbyteries of London). The division of Lancashire into
Presbyteries is given in the Commons Journals, Sept. 15,1646. See also
Halley's "Lancashire: its Puritanism and Nonconformity" (1869), Vol. I.
pp. 432 et seq., where there are many details concerning the first
introduction of the Presbyterial system into Lancashire. According to Dr.
Halley, the system was set up more rigidly in Lancashire than in London
itself, chiefly in consequence of the activity and energy of Richard
Heyricke, or Herrick, M.A., warden of the Collegiate Church, Manchester.
He was one of the Divines of the Westminster Assembly (see Vol. II. p.
510); but he had returned to Lancashire, prefering Presbyterian
leadership in that county to second rank in London.]

The compromise in the matter of "The Power of the Keys" having been
accepted, with such practical consequences, the Assembly might consider
the long and laborious business of _The Frame of Church Government_
out of its hands, and laid on the shelf of finished work beside the
_New Directory of Worship_ concluded and passed eighteen months
before. It was free, therefore, to turn to the other great pieces of
business for which it had been originally called: viz. _The Confession
of Faith_ and _The Catechisms_. Notwithstanding interruptions,
good progress had already been made in both. Incidentally, too, the
Assembly had concluded a work which might be regarded as an appendage to
their Directory. They had discussed, revised, and finally approved Mr.
Rous's Metrical Version of the Psalms, referred to them by Parliament for
criticism as long ago as Nov. 1643. Their revised copy of the Version for
the purposes of public worship had been in the hands of the Commons since
Nov. 1645; the Commons had ratified the same, with a few amendments,
April 15, 1646; and it only wanted the concurrence of the Lords to add
this "Revised Rous's Psalter" (which Rous meanwhile had printed) to the
credit of the Assembly, as a third piece of their finished work. The
Lords were too busy, or had hesitations in favour of a rival Version by a
Mr. William Barton, so that their concurrence was withheld; but that was
not the fault of the Assembly. Rous's Psalter, therefore, as well as the
Directory and the Frame of Government being done with, what was to hinder
them longer from the Confession and Catechisms? Only one impediment--
those dreadful _jus divinum_ interrogatories which the Parliament,
by Selden's mischief, had hung round their necks! Here also a little
management sufficed. "I have put some of my good friends, leading men in
the House of Commons," says Baillie, July 14, "to move the Assembly to
lay aside our Questions for a time, and labour that which is most
necessar and all are crying for, the perfecting of the Confession of
Faith and Catechise." The order thus meritoriously procured by Baillie
passed the Commons July 22. The Assembly, in terms of this order, were to
lay aside other business, and apply themselves to the _Confession of
Faith_ and _Catechisms_. And so at this point the Assembly had
come to an end of one period of its history and entered on a second. As
if to mark this epoch in its duration, the Prolocutor, Dr. Twisse, had
just died. He died July 19, 1646, and there is a record of the fact in
the Commons Journals for that same July 22 on which the Assembly was
ordered to change the nature of its labours. Mr. Herle was appointed his
successor. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 378-9; Commons Journals, July 22,
1646; and Mr. David Laing's Notices of Metrical Versions of the Psalms in
Appendix to Baillie, Vol. III. pp. 537-540.]


There was a death about this time more important than that of Dr.
Twisse:--The health of Henderson had for some time been causing anxiety
to his friends in London; and, when he left them, early in May, on his
difficult mission to Newcastle, they had followed him in their thoughts
with some foreboding. Actually, from the middle of May to the end of
July, these two strangely-contrasted persons--the wise, modest, and
massive Henderson, the chief of the Scottish Presbyterian clergy, and the
sombre, narrow, and punctilious Charles I., the beaten sovereign of three
Kingdoms--were much together at Newcastle, engaged in an encounter of
wits and courtesies. Charles had seen a good deal of Henderson before (at
Berwick in 1639, in Edinburgh during the royal visit to Scotland in 1641,
and more recently during the Uxbridge Treaty of Feb. 1644-5), and had
always singled him out as not only the most able, but also the most
likeable, man of his perverse tribe. He had therefore received him
graciously on his coming to Newcastle; and, though there arrived
subsequently from Scotland three other Presbyterian ministers, Mr. Robert
Blair, Mr. Robert Douglas, and Mr. Andrew Cant, all commissioned by the
General Assembly to work upon his Majesty's conscience, it was still with
Henderson that he preferred to converse. The main subject of their
conversations was, of course, the question between Presbytery and
Episcopacy. Could the King lawfully do what was required of him? Could he
lawfully now, on any mere plea of State-necessity, give up that Church of
England in the principles of which he had been educated, which he had
sworn at his coronation to maintain, and which he still believed in his
conscience to be the true and divinely-appointed form of a Church? If Mr.
Henderson could prove to his Majesty even now that Episcopacy was not of
divine appointment, then the plea of State-necessity might avail, and his
Majesty might see his way more clearly! It was on this point that the
repeated conversations of the King and Henderson at Newcastle did
undoubtedly turn. Nay, there was more than mere conversation: there was
an elaborate discussion in writing. The King, it is said, would fain have
had a little council of Anglican Divines called to assist him; but, as
that could not be, he was willing to adopt Henderson's suggestion of a
paper debate between themselves. Accordingly, there is yet extant, in the
_Reliquiæ Sacræ Carolinæ_ or Printed Works of Charles I., what
purports to be the actual series of Letters exchanged between the King
and Henderson. The King opens the correspondence on the 29th of May;
Henderson answers June 3; the King's second letter is dated June 6;
Henderson's reply does not come till June 17; the King's third letter is
dated June 22; Henderson replies July 2; and two short letters of the
King, being the fourth and fifth on his side, are both dated July 16.
There the correspondence ends, Henderson having, it is believed, thought
it fit that his Majesty should have the last word. In the King's letters,
as they are printed, one observes a stately politeness to Henderson
throughout, with very considerable reasoning power, and sometimes a
really smart phrase; in Henderson's what strikes one is the studied
respectfulness and delicacy of the manner, combined with grave decision
in the matter.--The controversy, whether in speech or in writing, was
unreal on the King's part, and for the purpose of procrastination only;
and Henderson, while painfully engaging in it, had known this but too
well. His heart was already heavy with approaching death. He had been ill
when he came to Newcastle; and in July, when he is said to have let the
King have the last word in the written correspondence, he was hardly able
to go about. His friends in London, hearing this, were greatly concerned.
"It is part of my prayer to God." Baillie writes to him affectionately on
the 4th of August, "to restore you to health, and continue your service a
time: we never had so much need of you as now." In the same letter,
referring to the King's obstinacy, and to the grief on that account which
he believes to be preying on Henderson, he implores him to take courage,
shake off "melancholious thoughts," and "digest what cannot be gotten
amended." But Baillie knew what was coming. "Mr. Henderson is dying, most
of heartbreak, at Newcastle," he wrote, three days later, to Spang in
Holland. No! it was not to be at Newcastle. "Give me back one hour of
Scotland: let me see it ere I die." Some such wish was in Henderson's
mind, and they managed to convey him by sea to Edinburgh. He arrived
there on the 1lth of August, and was taken either to his own house, in
which he had not been for three years, or to some other that was more
convenient. He rallied a little, so as to be able to dine with one friend
and talk cheerfully, but never again left his room. There his brother-
ministers of the city, and such others as were privileged, gathered round
him, and took his hands; and the rest of the city lay around, making
inquiries; and prayers went up for him in all the churches. On the 19th
of August, eight days after his return, he died, aged sixty-three years,
and there began a mourning in the Scottish Israel over the loss of their
greatest man. They buried him in the old churchyard of Greyfriars, where
his grave and tombstone are yet to be seen. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 381-
387; Burnet's Memoirs of the Hamiltons (ed. 1852), 356-7; Wodrow's
Correspondence (Wodrow Society), III. 33, 34; Life of Mr. Robert Blair,
by Row (Wodrow Society), 185-188; and "_Reliquiæ Sacræ Carolinæ_:
or, The works of that great Monarch and glorious Martyr King Charles the
I." (Hague edition of 1651), where the Letters are given in full. There
is a fair abstract of them in Neal's _Puritans_ (ed. 1795), III.
311-324. The death of Henderson at so critical a moment, and so closely
after his conferences with the King at Newcastle, made a deep impression
at the time, and became an incident of even mythical value to the
Royalists. Hardly was the breath out of his body when there began to run
about a lying rumour to the effect that he had died of remorse,
acknowledging that the King had convinced him, and confessing his
repentance of all he had said or done against that wisest and best of
monarchs. Baillie, in London, was indignant. "The false reports which
went here of Mr. Henderson," he wrote to Spang in Holland, Oct. 2, 1646,
or less than six weeks after Henderson's death, "are, I see, come also to
your hand. Believe me (for I have it under his own hand a little before
his death) that he was utterly displeased with the King's ways, and over
the longer the more; and whoever say otherwise, I know they speak false.
That man died as he lived, in great modesty, piety, and faith."  But the
lie could not be extinguished; it circulated among the Royalists; and
within two years it was turned into cash or credit by some scoundrel Scot
in England, who forged and published a document entitled _The
Declaration of Mr. Alexander Henderson, principall Minister of the Word
of God at Edinburgh, and chief Commissioner from the Kirk of Scotland to
the Parliament and Synod of England, made upon his death-bed._ This
forgery was immediately denounced by the General Assembly of the Scottish
Church in a solemn Declaration set forth by them Aug. 7, 1648, stating
particulars of Henderson's last days, and vindicating his memory.
Nevertheless the fiction was too convenient to be given up: it lasted;
was embalmed by Clarendon in his History (605); and still leaves its
odour in wretched compilations.--The genuineness of the series of Letters
on Episcopacy between the King and Henderson, first printed in 1649,
immediately after Charles's death, and included since then in all
editions of Charles's works, does not seem to have been questioned by
contemporaries on either side, or by subsequent Presbyterian critics. In
the year 1826, however, the eminent and acute Godwin, in an elaborate
note in his _History of the Commonwealth_ (II. 179-185), did
challenge the genuineness of the correspondence. He was inclined to the
opinion that there had been no interchange of written Papers between the
King and Henderson at all, but only "discourses and conferences," and
that the whole thing was a Royalist forgery of 1649, contemporary with
the _Eikon Basilike_, and for the same purpose. In venturing on so
bold an opinion, Godwin, besides undervaluing other evidence to the
contrary, seems to have dismissed too easily Burnet's information, in his
_Lives of the Hamiltons_ in 1673, as to the manner in which the
Letters were written and kept. No less eminent a man than Sir Robert
Moray, one of the founders of the Royal Society, and its first President,
and of whom Burnet elsewhere says, "He was the wisest and worthiest man
of his age, and was as another father to me," had told Burnet, "a few
days before his much-lamented death" (June 1673), that he had been the
amanuensis employed in the correspondence. Being with the King at
Newcastle in 1646, then only as Mr. Robert Moray, it had fallen to him,
as a person much in his Majesty's confidence, to receive each letter of
the King's as it was written in his own royal hand, and make the copy of
it which was to be given to Henderson, and also, Henderson's hand being
none of the most legible, to transcribe Henderson's replies for the
King's easier perusal; and with his Majesty's permission he had "kept Mr.
Henderson's papers and the copies of the King's." After all, however,
Godwin's sceptical inquiry leaves a shrewd somewhat behind it. For,
granted that a written correspondence did take place, "the question
remains," as Godwin asserts, "whether the papers now to be found in King
Charles's works are the very papers that were so exchanged at Newcastle.
The suspicion here suggested tells, in my mind, more against the King's
letters as we now have them than against Henderson's. The King's letters,
we may be sure, would be pretty carefully _edited_ in 1649; and what
may have been the amount and kind of _editing_ thought allowable?"]

The last of Baillie's letters to Henderson, dated Aug. 13, 1646, contains
a curious passage, "Ormond's Pacification with the Irish," writes
Baillie, "is very unseasonable; the placing of Hopes (a professed
Atheist, as they speak) about the Prince as his teacher is ill taken."
The _Hopes_ here mentioned is no other than THOMAS HOBBES, then just
appointed tutor to the Prince of Wales in Paris. As the letter must have
reached Edinburgh after Henderson was dead, he was not troubled with this
additional piece of bad news before he left the world. Doubtless,
however, he had heard of Hobbes, and formed some imagination of that
dreadful person and his opinions. Hobbes indeed was now in his fifty-
eighth year, or not much younger than the dying Henderson himself. But he
was of slower constitution, and had begun his real work late in life, as
if with a presentiment that he had plenty of time before him, and did not
need to be in a hurry. He was to outlive Henderson thirty-three years.



The effect of Milton's _Areopagitica_, immediately after its
publication in November 1644, and throughout the year 1645, seems to have
been very considerable. Parliament, indeed, took no formal notice of the
eloquent pleading for a repeal of their Licensing Ordinance of June 1643.
As a body, they were not ripe for the discussion of the question of a
Free Press, and the Ordinance remained in force, at least as an
instrument which might be applied in cases of flagrant transgression. But
public opinion was affected, and the general agitation for Toleration
took more and more the precise and practical form into which Milton's
treatise had directed it: viz. an impatience of the censorship, and a
demand for the liberty of free philosophising and free printing. "Such
was the effect of our author's _Areopagitica_," says Toland, in his
sketch of Milton's life, "that the following year Mabol, a licenser,
offered reasons against licensing, and, at his own request, was
discharged that office." [Footnote: Toland's Memoir of Milton prefixed to
the Amsterdam (1698) edition of Milton's Prose Works, p. 23.]  Toland is
in a slight mistake here, at least in his dating. The person whom he
means--Gilbert Mabbott, _not_ 'Mabol'--was Rushworth's deputy in the
office of Clerk to the House of Commons, doing duty for him while he was
away with the New Model as Secretary to Fairfax: and not only did this
Mabbott occasionally license pamphlets and newspapers, as it would have
been Rushworth's part to do, through the year 1645, but he was expressly
recommended to be licenser of "weekly pamphlets" or newspapers, Sept. 30,
1647, and he continued to act in this capacity till May 22, 1649, at
which time it was, and not in 1645, that he was released from the
business at his own request.[Footnote: My notes from the Stationers'
Registers of 1645 and subsequent years; Lords Journals, Sept. 30, 1647;
and Commons Journals, May 22, 1649. There is some evidence, however,
that, before this last date, Mabbott had found the duty irksome (see
Commons Journals, Aug. 31, 1648).] The effect of Milton's argument on
Mabbott in particular, therefore, was not so immediate as Toland
represents. There can be no doubt, however, that as Milton, in his
_Areopagitica_, had tried to make the official licensers of books,
and especially those of them who were ministers, ashamed of their office,
so his reasons and sarcasms, conjoined with the irksomeness of the office
itself, did produce an immediate effect among those gentlemen, and modify
their official conduct. Several of them, among whom appears to have been
Mr. John Downham, who had licensed Milton's own Bucer Tract (_antè_,
p. 255, note), became more lax in their censorship than the Presbyterians
thought right; and there was at least one of them, Mr. John Bachiler, who
became so very lax, from personal proclivity to Independency, that he was
denounced by the Presbyterians as "the licenser-general not only of Books
of Independent Doctrine, but of Books for a general Toleration of all
Sects, and against Pædo-Baptism." [Footnote: _Gangræna_: Part I.
(ed. 1646), pp. 38, 39. In Part III. Edwards devotes three pages (102--
105) to a castigation of Mr. Bachiler for his offences as a licenser.
Bachiler, he says, "hath been a man-midwife to bring forth more monsters
begotten by the Devil and born of the Sectaries within the last three
years than ever were brought into the light in England by all the former
licensers, the Bishops and their Chaplains, for fourscore years." He was
in the habit, Edwards adds, of not only licensing sectarian books, but
also recommending them; and among the Toleration pamphlets he had
licensed was the reprint of Leonard Busher's tract of 1614 called
_Religious Peace_ (see _antè_, p. 102). "I am afraid," says Edwards,
"that, if the Devil himself should make a book and give it the title _A
Plea for Liberty of Conscience, with certain Reasons against Persecution
for Religion_, and bring it to Mr. Bachiler, he would license it, and not
only with a bare _imprimatur_, but set before it the commendations of 'a
useful treatise' or 'a sweet and excellent book.'"] The _Areopagitica_,
in fact, found out, even among the official licensers of books, men who
sympathised with its views; and it established prominently, as one of the
practical questions between the Independents and the Presbyterians, the
question of the liberty of Unlicensed Printing. It was Milton that had
taught the Independents, and the Anti-Presbyterians generally, to bring
to the front, for present purposes, this form of the Toleration tenet.
For example, one finds that John Lilburne had been a reader of the
_Areopagitica_, and had imbibed its lesson, and even its phraseology. "If
you had not been men that had been afraid of your cause," is one of
Lilburne's addresses to the Presbyterians and the Westminster Assembly
Divines, "you would have been willing to have fought with us upon even
ground and equal terms--namely, that the Press might be as open for us
as for you, and as it was at the beginning of this Parliament; which I
conceive the Parliament did of purpose, that so the free-born English
subjects might enjoy their Liberty and Privilege, which the Bishops had
learnt of the Spanish Inquisition to rob them of, by locking it up under
the key of an _Imprimatur_." [Footnote: Lilburne, as quoted by Prynne in
his _Fresh Discovery of Blazing Stars_, p. 8.] There is proof, in the
writings of other Independents and Sectaries, that Milton's jocular
specimens of the _imprimaturs_ in old books had taken hold of the popular
fancy. It became a common form of jest, indeed, in putting forth an
unlicensed pamphlet, to prefix to it a mock licence. Thus, at the
beginning of the anonymous _Arraignment of Persecution_, the author of
which was a Henry Robinson (_antè_, p. 387), there is a mock order by the
Westminster Assembly, with the names of the two Scribes appended, to the
effect that the author, "Young Martin Mar-Priest," be thanked for his
excellent treatise, and authorized to publish it, and that no one except
"Martin Claw-Clergy," appointed by the author to print the same, presume
to do so. [Footnote: Quoted by Prynne in his _Fresh Discovery_, p. 8.]
Prynne quotes this as an example of the contempt into which the Ordinance
for Licensing had fallen with the Sectaries, and of their supreme
effrontery, Robinson, he says, was one of the chief publishers of
scandalous libels, having brought printers from Amsterdam, and set up a
private printing press for the purpose. [Footnote: I may take this
opportunity of announcing a rather curious fact, of which I have ample
and incontestable proof, thought the proper place for stating it in
detail is yet to come. It is that Milton, the denouncer of the Licensing
System, and the satirist of the official licensers of 1644, was himself
afterwards an official censor of the Press. He was one of the licensers
of newspapers through 1651 and a portion of 1652, doing the very work
from which Mabbott had begged to be excused. The fact, however, is
susceptible of an easy explanation, which will save Milton's

On the whole, then, Milton's position among his countrymen from the
beginning of 1645 onwards may be defined most accurately by conceiving
him to have been, in the special field of letters, or pamphleteering,
very much what Cromwell was in the broader and harder field of Army
action, and what the younger Vane was, in Cromwell's absence, in the
House of Commons. While Cromwell was away in the Army, or occasionally
when he appeared in the House and his presence was felt there in some new
Independent motion, or some arrest of a Presbyterian motion, there was no
man, outside of Parliament, who observed him more sympathetically than
Milton, or would have been more ready to second him with tongue or with
pen. Both were ranked among the Independents, as Vane also was; but this
was less because they were partisans of any particular form of Church-
government, than because they were agreed that, whatever form of Church-
government should be established, there must be the largest possible
liberty under it for nonconforming consciences. If this was Independency,
it was a kind of large lay Independency; and of Independency in this
sense Milton was, undoubtedly, the literary chief. Only, when he was
thought of by the Independents as one of their champions, it was always
with a recollection that his championship of the common cause was
qualified by a peculiar private crotchet. He figured in the list of the
chiefs of Independency, if I may so express it, with an asterisk prefixed
to his name. That asterisk was his Divorce Doctrine. He was an
Independent with the added peculiarity of being the head of the Sect of
Miltonists or Divorcers.


In 1645 Milton still gloried in the asterisk. All the copies of the
second and augmented edition of _The Doctrine and Discipline of
Divorce_ having been sold, there was a reprint of it in this year,
forming substantially the third edition of the original treatise. None of
his writings hitherto had been in such popular demand; and as, besides
the three editions of the original Divorce treatise, there were also in
circulation his _Bucer Tract_, his _Tetrachordon_, and his
_Colasterion_, he had identified himself with the Divorce subject by
a total mass of writing larger than he had yet devoted to any other.
While his five Anti-Episcopal pamphlets, of 1641-42, make together 326
pages of his prose works in Pickering's edition, the four Divorce
treatises, of 1643-45, make 378 pages of the same; so that, in mere
quantity, Milton was 52 pages more a Divorcer than an Anti-Prelatist. He
had now, however, as he had announced in his dedication of the
_Tetrachordon_ to Parliament, done all that he meant to do on the
subject through the medium of mere pamphleteering. But he had hinted to
Parliament, while making that announcement, that a man with his opinions
might do more than write pamphlets in their behalf. "If the Law make not
a timely provision," he had said, "let the Law, as reason is, bear the
censure of the consequences." There was a covert threat here that Milton,
if the Law would not allow him to marry again, might marry again in
defiance of the Law.

Early in 1645, at all events, Milton did think of marrying again. His
wife had been away from him for the better part of two years; and she was
now nothing more in his memory than a girl who had been in his house in
Aldersgate Street as his bride for a few weeks, whom he had found out in
that short experience to be stupid and uncompanionable, who had then left
him on some pretence, and gone back to her father's house, and whose only
communications with him since had been a message or two of contempt and
insult. Law or no law, it was all over between him and that girl! All the
circumstances where known: his unfortunate position was the talk of
neighbours; often, as we have imagined, kindly souls of women, young and
older, must have had their colloquies and whispers about his pitiable
bachelorhood caused by the shameful desertion of his wife. Kindly talk
was all very well: but was there any unmarried lady willing to take the
place of the deserter, if asked to do so? This was really the question in
Aldergate Street, and in all the round of Milton's acquaintances.
Candidates were not likely to be numerous, even among those freer
Christian opinionists among whom Milton principally moved; and there was,
moreover, a complication in the general difficulty. Milton, having
blundered in his choice once, and having principled himself now with very
high notions of feminine fitness, was very likely to be careful in a
second choice. Was there accessible any lady in whom the two
indispensable conditions of fitness and willingness could be found
united? This was the problem for Milton, and it is on record that he
tried to solve it. One remembers his sonnet "_To a Virtuous Young
Lady_," written about the same time as that to the Lady Margaret Ley,
and wonders whether the "virgin wise and pure" there commemorated for her
excellencies of mind and character was thought of by him as the possible
successor of Mary Powell. Can her name have been Miss Davis? That, at all
events, was the name of the lady who _was_ thought of as Mary Powell's
probable successor. It is from Phillips that we have the particulars of
the story:--

"Not very long after the setting forth of these treatises," says
Phillips, referring to the Divorce Treatises, "having application made to
him by several gentlemen of his acquaintance for the education of their
sons, as understanding haply the progress he had infixed by his first
undertakings of that nature, he laid out for a larger house, and soon
found it out. But, in the interim, before he removed, there fell out a
passage which, though it altered not the whole course he was going to
steer, yet it put a stop, or rather an end, to a grand affair, which was
more than probably thought to be then in agitation: it was indeed a
design of marrying one of Dr. Davis's daughters, a very handsome and
witty gentlewoman, but averse, as it is said, to this motion. However,
the intelligence hereof, and the then declining state of the King's
cause, and consequently of the circumstances of Justice Powell's family,
caused them to set all engines on work to restore the late married woman
to the station wherein they a little before had planted her. At last this
device was pitched upon:--There dwelt in the Lane of St. Martin's-le-
Grand, which was hard by, a relation of our author's, one Blackborough,
whom it was known he often visited; and upon this occasion the visits
were the more narrowly observed, and possibly there might be a
combination between both parties, the friends on both sides concentring
in the same action, though on different behalfs. One time above the rest,
he making his usual visit, the wife was ready in another room, and on a
sudden he was surprised to see one whom he thought to have never seen
more, making submission and begging pardon on her knees before him. He
might probably at first make some show of aversion and rejection; but
partly his own generous nature, more inclinable to reconciliation than to
perseverance in anger and revenge, and partly the strong intercession of
friends on both sides, soon brought him to an act of oblivion, and a firm
league of peace for the future; and it was at length concluded that she
should remain at a friend's house, till such time as he was settled in
his new house at Barbican, and all things for her reception in order. The
place agreed on for her present abode was the Widow Webber's house in St.
Clement's Churchyard, whose second daughter had been married to the other
brother [Christopher Milton] many years before."

Phillips tells the story very clearly, and a little annotation is all
that is wanted:--The lady whom Milton thought of, and had perhaps been
thinking of for some time, as a possible substitute for Mary Powell, was
"one of Dr. Davis's daughters." Who this Dr. Davis was, Phillips, writing
at a time when the mere name was probably enough for Londoners, does not
inform us; nor have I been able, with any certainty, to identify him.
[Footnote: There had been a Thomas Davies, M.D., born about 1564, and
educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he had graduated in
medicine in 1591, and who was afterwards a medical practitioner in
London, and Licentiate and Censor of the Royal College of Physicians
there. As he had died in 1615, the youngest of any surviving daughters of
his in 1645 must have been past her thirtieth year. But, on the whole,
Phillips's words suggest that the Dr. Davis he means was alive in 1645 or
had recently been alive; so that this is not likely to have been the one.
There was a Nicholas Davis, or Davys, M.D., who had taken that degree at
Leyden in 1638, had been incorporated in the same degree at Oxford in
1642, and may have been afterwards in practice in London (Munk's Roll of
the Royal College of Physicians of London, and Wood's Fasti, II. 9). The
date of his graduation at Leyden, however, seems rather late for the
hypothesis that he was Phillips's Dr. Davis. After all, there may have
been some other conspicuous Dr. Davis among Milton's acquaintances, and
he need not have been a medical doctor.] Dr. Davis, at all events, dead
or living, had daughters, one of them "a very handsome and witty
gentlewoman," between whom and Milton there was some attempt to arrange a
marriage. She herself, however, was naturally "averse to this motion;"
and, indeed, one can hardly understand what kind of proposition could
have been made to her or her friends. That something was in agitation,
nevertheless, and that it was talked of more particularly in the spring
and early summer of 1645, Phillips had a positive recollection, more by
token because at that very time, he also remembered, his uncle had offers
of more pupils than he could accommodate in the house in Aldersgate
Street. He had consequently been looking about for a larger house, and
had found one suitable close at hand, in the street called Barbican.

Was Miss Davis to be persuaded to be mistress of this new house? Would
the "several gentlemen" of Milton's acquaintance who meant to board or
half-board their sons with him, or would the spouses of those gentlemen,
have been satisfied with that arrangement? The experiment was not to be
tried. The house in Barbican had been taken, but Milton had not yet
removed into it, when, to Miss Davis's relief, another arrangement was
brought about.

Rumours of what was going on, and of the new house in Barbican, had been
borne to Oxford, and the Foresthill mansion of the Powells. In any case
the news of the Miss Davis project, the "grand affair," as Phillips calls
it, could not but have caused some excitement there. But the news came at
a time when the family-fortunes were no longer what they had been when
Mary Powell had left her Parliamentarian husband and taken refuge again
under the maternal wing, amid her Royalist relatives and acquaintances,
close to the King's head-quarters. Crippled already, like other Royalist
families, by necessary contributions to the King's cause, the Powells had
begun to be aware, and more poignantly than others because of their more
straitened means, that their sacrifices were likely to be all in vain--
that Parliament was to be master, and to have the power of pains and
penalties over those whom it called Delinquents. Especially after the
shattering blow to the King at Naseby (June 14, 1645), doubt on the
subject was nearly at an end. What was then more natural than that
distressed Royalist families should be looking forward anxiously to the
amount of new distress which the final triumph of Parliament would
inflict upon them? And so in the Foresthill mansion there had been grave
consultations between Mr. and Mrs. Powell and between Mrs. Powell and her
daughter, ending in a resolution, in which Mrs. Powell was perhaps the
last to acquiesce--for the daughter afterwards pleaded that her mother
all along had been "the chief promoter of her frowardness" [Footnote:
Wood, Fasti, I. 482.]--that it would be best for the daughter to return
to London and try to make it up with Mr. Milton. At least one member of
the family would thus have a roof over her head in the hard time coming;
and might not Milton, with his Parliamentarian connexions, be able to
befriend the family generally when the time did come? Soon after Naseby,
accordingly, we are to imagine the poor young wife taking the journey to
London, accompanied by her mother or some other relative, on her
humiliating and dubious errand.

How were they to manage when they were in London? It was not a simple
matter of going straight to the house in Aldersgate Street and obtaining
admission. Ingenuity was necessary, and preparation of a mode for
approaching Milton. But that, too, had been thought of. Communications
were opened or had already been opened, with those of Milton's friends
who, it was supposed, would be willing t