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dicated it to the Parliament of England with the Assembly of Divines, that as they were then consulting about the general reformation of the kingdom, they might also take this particular case of domestic liberty into their consideration. And then, as it was objected, that his doctrine was a novel notion, and a paradox that nobody had ever asserted before, he endeavoured to confirm his own opinion by the authority of others, and published in 1644 the Judgment of Martin Bucer, &c. and as it was still objected, that his doctrine could not be reconciled to Scripture, he published in 1645 his Tetrachordon, or Expositions upon the four chief places in Scripture, which treat of marriage, or nullities in marriage". At the first appearing of the Doctrine and Dicipline of Divorce the clergy raised a heavy outcry against it, and daily solicited the Parliament to pass some censure upon it; and at last one of them, in a sermon preached before the Lords and Commons on a day of humiliation in August 1644, roundly told them, that there was a book abroad which deserved to be burnt, and that among their other sins they ought to repent, that they had not yet branded it with some
mark of their displeasure".
And Mr. Wood informs
•us, that upon Milton's publishing his three books of Divorce, the Assembly of Divines, that was then sitting at Westminster, took special notice of them; and
* Gen. i. 27, 28. (with ii. 18, 23, 24.) Deut. xxiv. 1, 2. Matt. v. 31, 32. (with xix. 3–11.) 1 Cor. vii. 10–16. E.
* The title of this Sermon is, “The Glasse of God's Provi“dence towards his faithful ones,
“held forth in a Sermon, &c. by
“Herbert Palmer, B. D. &c." There was a copy of it in the curious library of James Bindley, Esq. The author was a member of the Assembly of Divines, and parliamentary Master of Queen's College, Cambridge. Todd.
notwithstanding his former services in writing against the Bishops, caused him to be summoned before the House of Lords: but that House, whether approving his doctrine, or not favouring his accusers, soon dismissed
him. He was attacked too from the press as well as from the pulpit, in a pamphlet entitled Divorce at pleasure, and in another entitled an Answer to the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, which was licensed and recommended by Mr. Joseph Caryl, a famous Presbyterian Divine, and author of a voluminous Commentary on the book of Job: and Milton in his Colasterion or Reply published in 1645 expostulates smartly with the licenser, as well as handles very roughly the nameless author". And these provocations, I suppose, contributed not a little to make him such an enemy to the Presbyterians, to whom he had before distinguished himself a friend. He composed likewise two of his sonnets on the reception his book of Divorce met with, but the latter is much the better of the two. To this account it may be added from Anthony Wood, that after the King’s restoration, when the subject of divorce was under consideration with the Lords upon the account of John Lord Ros or Roos's separation from his wife Anne Pierpoint, eldest daughter to Henry Marquis of Dorchester, he was consulted by an eminent member of that House, and about the same time by a chief officer
* Milton's doctrine was also merates several other pieces, one animadverted upon, but without so late as 1670, in which Milton's any mention of the author's name, doctrine is noticed; and shews by Bishop Hall, in his Cases of that there was even a sect called conscience decaie, iv. case 2. from his writings Divorcers, and Note signed J. B. Lives of the Miltonists. E. Poets, ed. 1794. Mr. Todd enu
of state, as being the prime person who was knowing in that affair. But while he was engaged in this controversy of divorce, he was not so totally engaged in it, but he attended to other things; and about this time published his letter of Education to Mr. Samuel Hartlib, who wrote some things about husbandry, and was a man of considerable learning, as appears from the letters which passed between him and the famous Mr. Mede, and from Sir William Petty’s and Pell the mathematician's writing to him, the former his treatise for the Advancement of some particular parts of learning, and the latter his Idea of the Mathematics, as well as from this letter of our author'. This letter of our author has usually been printed at the end of his poems, and is as I may say the theory of his own practice; and by the rules which he has laid down for education we see in some measure the method that he pursued in educating his own pupils". And in 1644 he published his Areopagitica or Speech for the liberty of unlicensed printing to the Parliament of England. It was written at the
* Hartlib was a native of Holland. He was concerned in publishing some of the pieces written by his friend John Dury; among which are two new projects for the education of youth. In 1654, he published three treatises by different authors on The true and ready way to learn the Latin tongue. Hartlib took great pains to frame a new system of education answerable to the perfection and purity of the new common-wealth. But his chief pursuits seem to have been in
natural and mechanical science.
desire of several learned men, and is perhaps the best vindication, that has been published at any time or in any language, of that liberty which is the basis and support of all other liberties, the liberty of the press: but alas it had not the desired effect; for the Presbyterians were as fond of exercising the licensing power, when they got it into their own hands, as they had been. clamorous before in inveighing against it, while it was in the hands of the Prelates. And Mr. Toland is mistaken in saying, “that such was the effect of this “piece, that the following year Mabol a licenser “offered reasons against licensing; and at his own “request was discharged that office.” For neither was the licenser’s name Mabol, but Gilbert Mabbot; neither was he discharged from his office till May 1649, about five years afterwards, though probably he might be swayed by Milton's arguments, as every ingenuous person must, who peruses and considers them". And in 1645 was published a collection of his poems, Latin and English, the principal of which are, On the morning of Christ's nativity, L’Allegro, Il Penseroso, Lycidas, the Mask, &c. &c.; and if he had left no other monuments of his poetical genius behind him, these would have been sufficient to have rendered his name immortal. But without doubt his Doctrine of Divorce, and the maintenance of it, principally engaged his thoughts at this period; and whether others were convinced or not by his arguments, he was certainly convinced himself that he was in the right; and as a proof of it he
Seeafull account of G. Mab for it, in Birch's Life of Milton, bot's resignation, and his reasons p. xxx. ed. 1753. E.
determined to marry again, and made his addresses to a young lady of great wit and beauty, one of the daughters of Dr. Davis. But intelligence of this coming to his wife, 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 wife again to her husband. And his friends too for different reasons seem to have been as desirous of bringing about a reconciliation as her's, and this method of effecting it was concerted between them. He had a relation, one Blackborough, living in the lane of St. Martin’s Le Grand, whom he often visited; and one day when he was visiting there, it was contrived that the wife should be ready in another room; and as he was thinking of nothing less, he was surprised to see her, whom he had expected never to have seen any more, falling down upon her knees at his feet, and imploring his forgiveness with tears. At first he showed some signs of aversion, but he continued not long inexorable; his wife's entreaties, and the intercession of friends on both sides, soon wrought upon his generous nature, and procured a happy reconciliation, with an act of oblivion of all that was past". But he did not take his wife home immediately; it was agreed that she should remain at a friend’s, till the house, that he had newly taken, was fitted for their reception; for some other gentlemen of his acquaintance, having observed the great success of his method of education, * Fenton observes, that the in the tenth book of Paradise impression which this interview Lost, in which Eve sues to Adam made on Milton's imagination for pardon and peace. See the probably contributed much to the note, P. L. x. 940. E.
painting of that pathetic scene