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THE

DOCTRINE AND DISCIPLINE

OF

DIVORCE:

In Two Books:

ALSO THE

JUDGEMENT OF MARTIN BUCER;

TETRACHORDON;

AND AN

ABRIDGEMENT OF COLASTERION.

BY JOHN MILTON.

WITH

A Preface,
Referring to Events of deep and powerful Interest at the present Crisis ;

INSCRIBED

TO THE EARL OF LIVERPOOL.

BY

A CIVILIAN.

« Crede mihi, non est parvæ fiduciæ polliceri opem decertantibus, consiliun dubiis,

lumen cæcis, spein dejectis, refrigerium fessis. Magna quidem hæc sunt, si fiant ;
parva, si promittantur.”

PETRARCH:- De Vita Solitaria.

London :
PRINTED FOR SHERWOOD, NEELY, AND JONES,

PATERNOSTER-KOW.

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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE

EARL OF LIVERPOOL.

MY LORD,

The name of Milton requires not the sanction of rank or greatness : But as the subject of the present volume must necessarily engage the deep attention of his Majesty's Government; and as there is no other work in which that subject is so ably and impartially discussed, I have presumed to inscribe it to your Lordshipand am, my Lord, with profound respect,

Your Lordship's most

Obędient Servant,

THE EDITOR,

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PREFACE

THE EDITOR.

Public opinion whether founded in truth or falsehood is uncontroulable. The institutions of religion and the laws of society may oppose formidable barriers to restrain, but they must ultimately yield to its influence. It is the irrevocable law of human nature that the general will consentaneously and firmly expressed shall triumph. Erroneous opinion, the result of ignorance and prejudice, and sanctioned by custom, has ever been mighty for evil, and in the ages that are past has exercised and maintained an almost omnipotent dominion. Against this usurpation of her throne, Truth has modestly ventured to assert her claims; but her voice has been drowned in the loud clamour of popular indignation, and those who with superhuman courage have dared to espouse her cause have been vicariously immolated to appease the dæmon invested with her awful and high prerogatives. Many a victim has perished in the gloom

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