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the church noble service, as Apollos and others. It is but an orderly form of receiving a man already fitted, and committing to him a particular charge; the employment of preaching is as holy, and far more excellent; the care also and judgment to be used in the winning of souls, which is thought to be sufficient in every worthy minister, is an ability above that which is required in ordination; for

many may be able to judge who is fit to be made a minister, that would not be found fit to be made ministers themselves; as it will not be denied that he may be the competent judge of a neat picture, or elegant poem, that cannot limn the like. Why, therefore, we should constitute a superior order in the church to perform an office which is not only every minister's function, but inferior also to that which he has a confessed right to, and why this superiority should remain thus usurped, some wise Epimenides tell us. Now for jurisdiction, this dear saint of the prelates, it will be best to co ider, first, what it is: that sovereign Lord, who in the discharge of his holy anointment from God the Father, which made him supreme bishop of our souls, was so humble as to say, “Who made me a judge, or a divider over ye?' hath taught us that a churchman's jurisdiction is no more but to watch over his flock in season, and out of season, to deal by sweet and efficacious instructions, gentle admonitions, and sometimes rounder reproofs : against negligence or obstinacy, will be required a rousing volley of pastoral threatenings; against a persisting stubbornness, or the fear of a reprobate sense, a timely separation from the flock by that interdictive sentence, lest his conversation unprohibited, or unbranded, might breathe a pestilential murrain into the other sheep. In sum, his jurisdiction is to see the thriving and prospering of that which he hath planted : what other work the prelates have found for chancellors and suffragans, delegates and officials, with all the hell-pestering rabble of sumners and apparitors, is but an invasion upon the temporal magistrate, and affected by them as men that are not ashamed of



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the ensign and banner of antichrist. But true evangelical jurisdiction or discipline is no more, as was said, than for a minister to see to the thriving and prospering of that which he hath planted. And which is the worthiest work of these two-to plant as every minister's office is equally with the bishops, or to tend that which is planted, which the blind and undiscerning prelates call jurisdiction, and would appropriate to themselves as a business of higher dignity? Have patience, therefore, a little, and hear a law case. A certain man of large possessions had a fair garden, and kept therein an honest and laborious servant, whose skill and profession was to set or sow all wholesome herbs, and delightful flowers, according to every season, and whatever else was to be done in a well-husbanded nursery of plants and fruits. Now, when the time was come that he should cut his hedges, prune his trees, look to his tender slips, and pluck up the weeds that hindered their growth, he gets him up by break of day, and makes account to do what was needful in his garden: and who would think that any other should know better than he how the day's work was to be spent ? Yet, for all this, there comes another strange gardener, that never knew the soil, never handled a dibble or spade, to set the least potherb that grew there, much less had endured an hour's sweat or chilliness, and yet challenges as his right the binding or unbinding of every flower, the clipping of every bush, the weeding and worming of every bed, both in that and all other gardens thereabout. The honest gardener, that ever since the day-peep, till now the sun was grown somewhat rank, had wrought painfully about his banks and seedplots, at his commanding voice turns suddenly about with some wonder; and although he could have well beteemed to have thanked him for the ease he proffered, yet, loving his own handywork, modestly refused him; telling him withal, that, for his part, if he had thought much of his own pains, he could for once have committed the work to one of his fellow-labourers, forasmuch as it is well known



to be a matter of less skill and less labour to keep a garden handsome, than it is to plant it, or contrive it; and that he had already performed himself. No, said the stranger, this is neither for you nor your fellows to meddle with, but for me only, that am for this purpose in dignity far above you ; and the provision which the lord of the soil allows me in this office is, and that with good reason, tenfold your wages, The gardener smiled, and shook his head; but what was determined, I cannot tell you till the end of this Parliament.”

Early in the year 1642 appeared an anonymous reply to the “Animadversions,” supposed to have been written by the son of the prelate (Bishop Hall) with whom Milton had dealt so unsparingly. It bore the title of “a Modest Confutation against a Slanderous and Scurrilous Libel,” and was evidently written under the strongest impulse of resentment. The writer heaped upon Milton the most atrocious and unfounded calumnies, and the degree of malignity he displayed may be estimated by a single passage, in which he called upon all Christians to stone his opponent “as a miscreant whose impunity would be their crime.” This drew from Milton his “ Apology for Smectymnuus;" which was published in the year 1642, and, in accordance with the nature of the attacks which occasioned it, was to a considerable extent a vindication of himself. Still it must ever occupy a high rank among the prose works of Milton. “ We may well wonder,” says Mr. St. John, “that out of a gladiatorial controversy of this sanguinary kind, anything should have arisen so richly teeming with beautiful thoughts, so full of youthful and cheering reminiscencesso varied, so polished, so vehemently eloquent, as the "Apology for Smectymnuus,' which, as a noble and justifiable burst of egotism, has never, perhaps, in any language been excelled.”

Milton commences by vindicating his right to take the part he had adopted in the great controversy of the day, notwithstanding his youthful age, and the fact that the object of his hostility was a system which the State had been wont to

* Prose Works, vol. iii. pp. 78–80.

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cherish and honour. He next justifies the warmth with which he had defended religious liberty, by quoting the words of Gregory Nyssen, justifying his asperity in the defence of his brother Basil. “It was not for himself,” he said, “ but in the cause of his brother; and in such cases, perhaps, it is worthier pardon to be angry than to be cooler.” Then having cleared himself from the charges of immorality brought against his university life, he thus alludes to his subsequent studies :

“ Thus, from the laureat fraternity of poets, riper years and the ceaseless round of study and reading led me to the shady spaces of philosophy; but chiefly to the divine volumes of Plato, and his equal, Xenophon: where, if I should tell ye what I learnt of chastity and love, I mean that which is truly so, whose charming cup is only virtue, which she bears in her hand to those who are worthy (the rest are cheated with a thick intoxicating potion, which a certain sorceress, the abuser of love's name, carries about); and how the first and chiefest office of love begins and ends in the soul, producing those happy twins of her divine generation, knowledge and virtue. With such abstracted sublimities as these, it might be worth your listening, readers, as I may one day hope to have ye in a still time, when there shall be no chiding.”

His opponents had further reproached him for his satirical vein, and for those severities against the prelates which he designates “libels.” In a passing notice of the first charge, he shelters himself under the authority of Horace, alluding to two passages, one of which occurs in the tenth satire of the first book :

.“ Ridiculum acri Fortius et melius magnas plerumque secat res;" and to another in the first satire of the same book:

Quanquam ridentem dicere verum
Quid vetat? ut pueris olim dant crustula blandi

Doctores, elementa velint ut discere prima." The charge of libelling he thus retorts :—“Neither can religion receive any wound by disgrace thrown upon the

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prelates, since religion and they surely were never in such amity. They rather are the men who have wounded religion, and their stripes must heal her. I might also tell them what Electra, in Sophocles, a wise virgin, answered her wicked mother, who thought herself too violently reproved by her the daughter:

" 'Tis you that say it, not I; you do the deeds,

And your ungodly deeds find me the words." If, therefore, the Remonstrant complains of libels, it is because he feels them to be right aimed. For I ask again, as before in the · Animadversions,' how long is it since he disrelished libels? We never heard the least mutter of his voice against them while they flew abroad without control or check, defaming the Scots and Puritans.” *

From justifying himself, he next turns to the Defence of the Parliament, whom his opponent had similarly slandered. This body he vindicates in the following stately passage :-

“Now although it be a digression from the ensuing matter, yet because it shall not be said I am apter to blame others than to make trial myself, and that I may, after this harsh discord, touch upon a smoother string, awhile to entertain myself and him that list, with some more pleasing fit, and not the least to testify the gratitude which I owe to those public benefactors of their country, for the share I enjoy in the common peace and good by their incessant labours; I shall be so troublesome to this disclaimer for once, as to show him what he might have better said in their praise; wherein I must mention only some few things of many, for more than that to a digression may not be granted. Although certainly their actions are worthy not thus to be spoken of by the way, yet if hereafter it befall me to attempt something more answerable to their great merits, I perceive how hopeless it will be to reach the height of their praises at the accomplishment of that expectation that waits upon their noble deeds, the unfinishing whereof already surpasses what others before

* Prose Works, vol. iii. p. 133.


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