On the New Forcers of Conscience under the Long Parliament

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.

John Milton

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