As a young student, John Milton (1608-1674) dreamed of bringing the poetic elocution of Homer and Virgil to the English language. Milton realized this dream with his graceful, sonorous Paradise Lost, now considered the most influential epic poem in English literature. In sublime poetry of extraordinary beauty, Paradise Lost has inspired generations of artists and their works, ranging from the Romantic poets to the books of J. R. R. Tolkien.
A Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes (Illustrated)by John Milton, Charles River Editors
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John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost.He was a scholarly man of letters, a polemical writer, and an official serving under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval in England, and his poetry and prose reflect deep convictions and deal with contemporary issues, such as his treatise condemning licensing, Areopagitica. He wrote in Latin and Italian as well as in English, and had an international reputation during his lifetime.
From March 1649 until the restoration of monarchy in the person of King Charles II in 1660, Milton served the commonwealth as Secretary for Foreign Tongues. The job entailed, among other things, official correspondence with representatives of other states, most of it in Latin. Not until 1659 did Milton return to writing pamphlets in English on pressing topics of church and state affairs. A Treatise of Civil Power is one of a pair of such pamphlets; the other is Considerations touching The likeliest means to remove Hirelings out of the church. Both were published in 1659, the first in February and the second in late summer. Gordon Campbell and Thomas Corns remark in their biography of Milton that the two booklets "look a matched pair." Both include addresses to Parliament (though to two very different parliaments, the first to Richard Cromwell's first parliament and the second to the restored Purged Parliament).
Of Civil Power argues against the use of civil power to enforce orthodoxy in religious belief and Hirelings argues against state funding for clergy. Milton wrote these two treatises during a turbulent time. By late April 1659, this parliament was dissolved under direct pressure from a disgruntled army occupying London. By May Richard Cromwell had resigned and the reins of state power came to the General Council of the Army and the Purged Parliament from Oliver's days. Milton probably regarded these as promising developments because he always was suspicious of power in the hands of an individual. But the restoration of monarchy and a state church, complete with beneficed clergy, bishops and archbishops was lurking on the horizon. By late May 1660, King Charles II had returned in triumph to assume power in England.
This edition of Milton’s Treatise on Civil Power is illustrated and specially formatted.
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