Macaulay's Essay on Milton

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Ginn and Company, 1896 - 82 pages
 

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Page 34 - As being the contrary to his high will Whom we resist. If then his providence Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labour must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil...
Page 43 - Many politicians of our time are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim. If men are to wait for liberty till they become wise and good in slavery, they may indeed wait forever.
Page 59 - With a view to the same great object, he attacked the licensing system in that sublime treatise which every statesman should wear as a sign upon his hand and as frontlets between his eyes.
Page 50 - The ostentatious simplicity of their dress, their sour aspect, their nasal twang, their stiff posture, their long graces, their Hebrew names, the Scriptural phrases which they introduced on every occasion, their contempt of human learning, their detestation of polite amusements, were indeed fair game for the laughers.
Page 42 - Such a spirit is Liberty. At times she takes the form of a hateful reptile. She grovels, she hisses, she stings. But woe to those who in disgust shall venture to crush her ! And happy are those who, having dared to receive her in her degraded and frightful shape, shall at length be rewarded by her in the time of her beauty and her glory ! There is only one cure for the evils which newly-acquired freedom produces ; and that cure is freedom.
Page 38 - We accuse him of having given up his people to the merciless inflictions of the most hot-headed and hardhearted of prelates ; and the defence is, that he took his little son on his knee and kissed him ! We censure him for having violated the articles of the Petition of Right, after having, for good and valuable consideration, promised to observe them ; and we are informed that he was accustomed to hear prayers at six o'clock in the morning...
Page 53 - Events which short-sighted politicians ascribed to earthly causes, had been ordained on his account. For his sake empires had risen, and flourished, and decayed. For his sake the Almighty had proclaimed his will by the pen of the evangelist and the harp of the prophet. He had been wrested, by no common deliverer, from the grasp of no common foe. He had been ransomed by the sweat of no vulgar agony, by the blood of no earthly sacrifice.
Page 52 - If they were unacquainted with the works of philosophers and poets, they were deeply read in the oracles of God. If their names were not found in the registers of heralds, they were recorded in the Book of Life. If their steps were not accompanied by a splendid train of menials, legions of ministering angels had charge over them.
Page 52 - Their palaces were houses not made with hands ; their diadems crowns of glory which should never fade away ! On the rich and the eloquent, on nobles and priests, they looked down with contempt : for they esteemed themselves rich in a more precious treasure, and eloquent in a more sublime language, nobles by the right of an earlier creation, and priests by the imposition of a mightier hand.
Page 52 - Not content with acknowledging, in general terms, an overruling Providence, they habitually ascribed every event to the will of the Great Being for whose power nothing was too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too minute. To know Him, to serve Him, to enjoy Him, was with them the great end of existence.

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