Visionary Milton: Essays on Prophecy and Violence by ..

The prayer for renewal and divine guidance was eventually answered in a swift-moving series of events which began with Colonel Pride's ejection of the Presbyterian members from Commons in December 1648 and ended with the decisive action of the Army and Rump in bringing Charles Stuart to trial and execution in January 1649. "The sum is", Milton declared of this latter event in (October 1649), "they thought to limit or take away the of his negative voice, which like to that little pest at Sea, took upon it to arrest and stopp the Common-wealth stearing under full saile to a Reformation." ( III, p. 501) The new Israel had been given a second chance. And God's English prophet was not slow to warn the new rulers of their responsibilities and tell them that, although they had received manifest tokens of divine favour, that grace would be withdrawn for failure to carry forward the work of reformation. Even when addressing himself to a European audience in (February 1651), he was not adverse to admonishing the Rump directly: "should you, . . . after having found the divine power so favourable to yourselves and so stern towards your foes, fail to learn . . . that you must fear God and love justice, then . . . you shall soon find that God's hatred of you will be greater than was his anger towards your foes or his kindly grace towards you above all people now on earth." ( IV, i, p. 536)
By the time the appeared in May 1654 the longed-for consummation of reformation, the establishment of the English New Jerusalem, seemed almost within grasp. Despite the misgivings he must have felt at the abrupt dissolution of the Rump and institution of the Protectorate, Milton--unlike Hutchinson and Vane who retired from active political life--continued to serve the Council of State. And with a buoyant idealism recalling the tone of ten years earlier, he took up his pen to praise his nation: "I was born at a time in the history of my country when her citizens, with pre-eminent virtue and nobility and steadfastness surpassing all the glory of their ancestors, invoked the Lord, followed his manifest guidance, and after accomplishing [100] the most heroic and exemplary achievements since the foundation of the world, freed the state from grievous tyranny and the church from unworthy servitude." ( IV, i, pp. 548-9) By 1654, however, "the whole burden of affairs" had fallen on Oliver Cromwell. And for Milton, who had been disappointed by the Westminster Assembly and the Long Parliament, the Lord Protector represented the last refuge of a dream. Yet Cromwell was the instrument of Providence, an elect remnant of one; the signs were unmistakable, and England need have no fear while her destiny lay in his hands: "For while you, Cromwell, are safe, he does not have sufficient faith even in God himself who would fear for the safety of England, when he sees God everywhere so favorable to you, so unmistakably at your side." (Ibid., p. 670)
Like Cicero, Cromwell is the father of his country; and he is of all Englishmen "the man most fit to rule" (ibid., p. 672). There is, however, a note of apprehension in this last phrase. In 1652 Milton had counselled this man, who had been "Guided by faith and matchless Fortitude" on the battlefield, that "peace hath her victories / No less renownd then warr" (). Would God's warrior, now king in all but name, be as adept in the arts of government and peace as he had been on the field at Marston Moor and Naseby? The task is not an easy one, and Milton turns aside from his encomium to warn the Lord Protector of the heavy burden he has assumed: "These trials will buffet you and shake you; they require a man supported by divine help, advised and instructed by all-but-divine inspiration." ( IV, i, p. 674) The tone is less assured here than it was only four pages earlier. Cromwell is the indispensable man, "the man most fit to rule"--but will he prove equal to "this most exalted rank" to which he has been "raised by the power of God beyond all other men"? Only the issue will decide. And what if Cromwell and the nation should prove unfaithful to their election and their covenanted mission? Then, "be sure that posterity will speak out and pass judgment":

the most recent of which is "Visionary Milton: Essays in Prophecy and Violence."

Angel Nephi / Moroni as First Vision Angelic Visitor. There is no evidence that Joseph told anyone before about 1835, including his family, about the first vision story we know today. There is evidence that he told many about the Angel Moroni visit, and it often seems conflated with, or a substitution of, the first vision story we know today. It is confusing and suspicious that it was not mentioned in either the History of the Church written in 1835 by Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith (Messenger and Advocate Vol 1) or by Joseph's own mother, Lucy Mack Smith, in the original version of her biographical sketch of Joseph . And in those accounts (6 of them) Nephi is declared to be the angelic visitor who told Smith about plates of gold.

Milton: Essays on Prophecy and Violence.

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President George Q. Cannon in 1887 wrote an editorial appearing in the Juvenile Instructor, which called for some caution relative to Book of Mormon geography and noted that there "is considerable anxiety manifested [among Latter-day Saints] to identify the sites of the ancient cities of the Nephites and to locate the exact spots where the stirring scenes described in the Book of Mormon were enacted." Cannon then declared that there are only "a few points which can be identified." The "hill known as Cumorah among the Nephites," he wrote, "and as Ramah among the Jaredites, is a spot which we are now familiar with, it being the place where Moroni concealed the records of his father, and to which the Prophet Joseph was directed by his angel guide." ()