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Whom else no creature can behold: on thee
Impress'd th' effulgence of his glory abides ;
Trausfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests,' B. iii. 350–89.
• Effulgence of my glory, Son belov'd,
Son, in whose face invisible is beheld
Visibly, what by Deity I am ;
And in whose hand what by decree I do,
Second Omnipotence.
Go then, tbou Mightiest, in thy Father's might.'

B. vi. 680–4; 710.
Thus the Filial Godhead answering spake." Ib. 722.
• Then shall thy saints unmix'd, and from the impure
Far separate, circling thy holy mount,
Unfeigned hallelujahs to thee sing,
Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief. B. vi. 742–5.
• Father Eternal, thine is to decree ;
Mine, both in Heaven and Earth, to do thy will
Supreme; that Thou in me, thy Son belov'd,
Mayst ever rest well pleased.'
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose
Of high collateral glory.' B. X. 68-71; 85, 6.
• Because thou hast, though throned in highest bliss
Equal to God, and equally enjoying
God-like fruition, quitted all, to save
A world from utter loss, and hast been found
By merit more than birthright, Son of God,

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all power

I give thee; reign for ever, and assume
Thy merits.; under thee, as head supreme,
Thrones, princedoms, powers, dominions, I reduce;

All knees to thee shall bow. B. iii. 305—21.
In these passages, Mr. Sumner thinks that there occurreal
and important contradictions;' but, we must confess, we have
not been able to detect them. They appear to us in systematic
accordance with the opinions which are advocated in this
Treatise ; nor have we been able to discover any other incon-
sistency in the Author, than is involved in the Arian hypothesis
itself. At what period of his life Milton embraced that hypo-
thesis, can be matter only of conjecture. It must have been,
at all events, subsequent to the publication of his Treatise on
Reformation, in 1641,* in which occurs that sublime apostrophe,

Milton was then thirty-three years of age.

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when, in the fifth book, the Almighty is introduced as addressing the Son,

Nearly it now concerns us to be sure
Of our Omnipotence, and with what arms
We mean to hold what anciently we claim

Of deity or empire,'the theological sentiments of the Poet are lost sight of in this boldly dramatic representation of the Deity, which recals to mind the Jupiter Olympius of Homer, rather than the High and Lofty One who inhabiteth eternity:* We wish to bear in mind what Dr, Johnson says, much to his honour, with regard to such passages in the Paradise Lost as may deserve, or seem . to deserve censure. What Englishman can take delight in

transcribing passages which, if they lessen the reputation of • Milton, diminish in some degree the honour of our country?" Still, we deem it important to point out the real character of the theological tenets not indistinctly avowed (though by many overlooked) in his great poem; for, in our view, his piety, though it cannot consecrate his errors, is, by the very tenets which he held, cleared from the imputation that might seem to attach to him, of making theology bend to poetry. Where he erred, he erred through mistake, not through levity, never surrendering the reins to fancy so far as to forget his office as the expositor of celestial truth. The present Treatise shews, as Mr. Sumner remarks, that • the opinions of Milton were in reality nearly Arian, ascribing to the Son as high a share of divinity as was compatible with the denial of his self-existence and eternal generation, but not admitting his coequality and co-essentiality with the Father.'

Although, in the present work, he enters at great length into the vindication of these opinions, it contains no paragraph more explicit on this subject, than the following passages in the Paradise Lost.

• Thee, Father, first they sung Omnipotent,
Immutable, immortal, infinite,
Eternal King, the Author of all being.

Thee next they sang, of all creation first,
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,
In whose conspicuous countenance, without cloud
Made visible, th' Almighty Father shines,

* Milton would, perhaps, have referred to Gen. iii. 22. in defence of this passage, but nothing, in our view, can justify such language.

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finitely removed from scepticism, for it requires quite as entire and implicit a surrender of mind to the authority of Scripture, as the orthodox belief. On Revelation, and on Revelation only, it professedly rests for support; and as large a portion of positive belief, if we may be allowed the expression, goes the composition of the hypothesis, as of that for which it is substituted.

Milton's 'bias against the authority of the Church' originated, we apprehend, in what has always been the most fruitful occasion of heresies,—the erroneous statements and dangerous tenets of the orthodox. The Church of Rome, in order to exalt her own authority as a pretended living oracle, and to establish the necessity of Tradition, denies that the doctrine of the Trinity is capable of being proved from any passage Scripture ; thus, as Chillingworth remarks, doing the princi'pal and proper work of the Socinians for them." Milton ad. verts to this dangerous position of the Romanists in the prefatory remarks to this part of his Treatise, adding:

• But since I enrol myself among the number of those who acknowledge the word of God alone as the rule of faith, and freely advance what appears to me much more clearly deducible from the Holy Scriptures than the commonly received opinion, I see no reason why any one who belongs to the same Protestant or Reformed Church, and professes to acknowledge the same rule of faith as myself, should take offence at my freedom, particularly as I impose my faith on no one, but merely propose what I think more worthy of belief than the creed in general acceptation. I only entreat that my readers will ponder and examine my statements in a spirit which desires to discover nothing but the truth, and with a mind free from prejudice. For, without intending to oppose the authority of Scripture, which I consider inviolably sacred, I only take upon myself to refute human interpretations as often as the occasion requires, conformably to my right, or rather to my duty as a man. p. 81.

This belief that he was only attacking human interpretations,' had, evidently, no small influence on the mind of the Writer; and this idea must have been not a little strengthened by the scholastic and unscriptural manner in which it was at that time customary with theologians to state and explain the orthodox doctrine. We have little doubt that this circumistance first suggested to Milton the idea of the present Treatise. His biographers inform us, that the Sunday's work for

his pupils,' after reading a chapter of the Greek Testament and hearing his exposition of it, was, to write from his dic' tation some part of a system of divinity which he collected from the most eminent writers upon that subject, as Amesius, Wollebius, &c. An attachment to the systematic mode of or rather invocation to the Trinity: Thou, therefore, that

sittest in light and glory unapproachable, Parent of angels • and men! Next thee I implore, omnipotent King, Redeemer • of that lost remnant whose nature thou didst assume, ineffa·ble and everlasting love! And Thou, the third subsistence

of Divine infinitude, illumining Spirit, the joy and solace of 'created things ! one tripersonal "Godhead! look upon this 'thy poor and almost spent and expiring church. During the next fifteen years, Milton's pen was chiefly employed in the service of his country, and all the energy of his mind was thrown into the bitter polemical warfare in which he was almost incessantly occupied. In the year 1655, he retired from his office of Latin Secretary, having, between two and three years before, lost his sight. in liberty's defence.' And it was about the time that he was thus released from public business, that he is known to have entered upon the composition of three great works,--Paradise Lost, a Latin Thesaurus, and the Treatise now brought to light. The Paradise Lost was finished about 1665, having been in hand about ten years. The change in the Author's theological tenets must, therefore, have taken place at some period between 1641 and 1665; and it seems highly probable, that it resulted from the studies to which he gave himself up on retiring from public life.

In attempting to account for this change in his tenets, we cannot adnit that much stress is to be laid on his supposed

bias against the authority of the Church' on the ground intimated by Mr. Sumner, who remarks, that Milton was pre

disposed by the political constitution of his mind to such ‘unbounded freedom as can hardly consist with any established

system of faith whatever.' Between the love of liberty and a sceptical spirit, we should be reluctant to admit the existence of any natural connexion. But Milton's mind was singularly free from any tendency to scepticism; and for this unbounded freedom he was no advocate. His temperament and bis habits of thinking were those of the poet, rather than of the philosopher. His love of freedom was that of the patriot, not of the theorist; and his republicanism was the result of his classic passion for antiquity, not of any fondness for innovation. The implicit manner in which he uniformly defers to the authority of Scripture as to a final law of faith, is the very opposite of what might be expected to characterize a free-thinker. Let us,' he says,' discard reason in sacred * matters, and follow the doctrine of Holy Scripture exclu

sively! How opposite is this language to a spirit of such unbounded freedom as can hardly consist with any established system of faith! In fact, the Arian creed is one which is in

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finitely removed from scepticism, for it requires quite as entire and implicit a surrender of mind to the authority of Scripture, as the orthodox belief. On Revelation, and on Revelation only, it professedly rests for support; and as large a portion of positive belief, if we may be allowed the expression, goes to the composition of the hypothesis, as of that for which it is substituted.

Milton's bias against the authority of the Church' originated, we apprehend, in what has always been the most fruitful occasion of heresies,—the erroneous statements and dangerous tenets of the orthodox. The Church of Rome, in order to exalt her own authority as a pretended living oracle, and to establish the necessity of Tradition, denies that the doctrine of the Trinity is capable of being proved from any passage of Scripture ; thus, as Chillingworth remarks, doing the princi'pal and proper work of the Socinians for them.' Milton adverts to this dangerous position of the Romanists in the prefatory remarks to this part of his Treatise, adding:

• But since I enrol myself among the number of those who acknowledge the word of God alone as the rule of faith, and freely advance what appears to me much more clearly deducible from the Holy Scriptures than the commonly received opinion, I see no reason why any one who belongs to the same Protestant or Reformed Church, and professes to acknowledge the same rule of faith as myself, should take offence at my freedom, particularly as I impose my faith on no one, but merely propose what I think more worthy of belief than the creed in general acceptation. I only entreat that my readers will ponder and examine my statements in a spirit which desires to discover nothing but the truth, and with a mind free from prejudice. For, without intending to oppose the authority of Scripture, which I consider inviolably sacred, I only take upon myself to refute human interpretations as often as the occasion requires, conformably to my right, or rather to my duty as a man.' p. 81.

This belief that he was only attacking human interpretations,' had, evidently, no small influence on the mind of the Writer; and this idea must have been not a little strengthened by the scholastic and unscriptural manner in which it was at that time customary with theologians to state and explain the orthodox doctrine. We have little doubt that this circumistance first suggested to Milton the idea of the present Treatise. His biographers inform us, that the Sunday's work for

his pupils,' after reading a chapter of the Greek Testament and hearing his exposition of it, was, 'to write from his dic• tation some part of a system of divinity which he collected

from the most eminent writers upon that subject, as Amesius, • Wollebius, &c.' An attachment to the systematic mode of

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