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On the New Forcers of Conscience under the Long Parliament

by John Milton, 1909

Because you have thrown off your Prelate Lord,
  And with stiff vows renounced his Liturgy,
  To seize the widowed whore Plurality,
  From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorred,
Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword
  To force our consciences that Christ set free,
  And ride us with a Classic Hierarchy,
  Taught ye by mere A. S. and Rutherford?
Men whose life, learning, faith, and pure intent,
  Would have been held in high esteem with Paul
  Must now be named and printed heretics
By shallow Edwards and Scotch What-d'ye-call!
  But we do hope to find out all your tricks,
  Your plots and packing, worse than those of Trent,
        That so the Parliament
May with their wholesome and preventive shears
Clip your phylacteries, though baulk your ears,
        And succour our just fears,
When they shall read this clearly in your charge:
New Presbyter is but old Priest writ large.

Published in The Complete Poems of John Milton

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