2 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2018
    1. And in like manner if the forme of the Ministery be grounded in the worldly degrees of autority, honour, temporall jurisdiction, we see it with our eyes it will turne the inward power and purity of the Gospel into the outward carnality of the law; evaporating and exhaling the internall worship into empty conformities, and gay shewes. And what remains then but that wee should runne into as dangerous and deadly apostacy as our lamented neighbours the Papists, who by this very snare and pitfall of imitating the ceremonial law, fel into that irrecoverable superstition, as must needs make void the cov'nant of salvation to them that persist in this blindnesse.

      Milton makes the point to his audience is that if they Ministry is turned from being about the Lord Jesus Christ and the simple truth of the gospel into a system of religious works, then they would fall into the same pitfall that the Papists (Catholics) have; making the new covenant void by trying to attain salvation by works.

    2. began from the book of Genesis, as a prologue to his lawes; which Josephus right well hath noted. That the nation of the Jewes, reading therein the universall goodnesse of God to all creatures in the Creation, and his peculiar favour to them in his election of Abraham their ancestor, from whom they could derive so many blessings upon themselves, might be mov'd to obey sincerely by knowing so good a reason of their obedience. If then in the administration of civill justice, and under the obscurity of Ceremoniall rites, such care was had by the wisest of the heathen, and by Moses among the Jewes, to instruct them at least in a generall reason of that government to which their subjection was requir'd, how much more ought the members of the Church under the Gospell seeke to their understanding in the reason of that government which the Church claimes to have over them: especially for that the Church hath in her immediate cure those inner parts and affections of the mind where the seat of reason is; having power to examine our spirituall knowledge, and to demand from us in Gods behalfe a service intirely reasonable.

      Milton draws on the biblical account of God choosing Abraham to be the father of the Jews, and when Moses was chosen to lead the Jews to the promised land while instructing them in the law that God gave them. Milton argues that if Moses instructed the Jews in a theocracy under the law, how much more is the church supposed to instruct and govern its members?