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more objection to its public endowment than to the payment of members of parliament. “To hold that Hirelings (as they are term'd by some) or an indowed Ministry ought to be remov'd out of the Church," he wrote in 1659, alluding to Milton's pamphlet, “is inconsistent with a Commonwealth.” 1

But to prevent the corruption which attends the acquisition of civil interest by the clergy, illustrated by the whole course of history from the occasion when the Jewish people submitted to the influence of the priesthood and raised the cry, “Crucify Him; Crucify Him," down to the latest intrigue of the Pope, he proposed to restrict their power. Following the example of Venice, where the clergy were ineligible for secular offices, and the Netherlands, where a pair of shoes used to be sent as a gentle hint to the minister that meddled in politics, Harrington proposed to make it illegal for preachers to sit in parliament. This had already been done in England itself under its republican form of government, and it was in close accord with Harrington's general views on the separation of powers.

The State Church, which he proposed, differed considerably from the organisation which the Puritans had overthrown. He realised, as few others of his time did, that the politician is wise to keep clear of doctrine, and made no attempt to supply his Church with a creed, or state what sects it would be able to embrace. He merely made provisions for its material welfare. In the hope of encouraging better men to come forward, he proposed to increase all stipends and to make the ministry, like all other offices, elective. Candidates were to be sent to the various parishes for

'Political Aphorisms," p. 516. · See the approbation of this measure in Thuanus, Lib. 23. Veneti Historia,” Lib. i. Raleigh. “Works," vii. 44.

Oceana,” p. 181.


"Interdicti 60


one year on probation. At the end of this time a ballot was to be taken, at which they would require a two-third's majority in their congregations to be elected. He felt, however, that there was a certain risk in thus democratising the Church, and hoped to counteract it by making a university education a necessary qualification for the ministry. Milton had protested against this ;' the Quakers also held that

being bred at Oxford or Cambridge is not enough to fit or qualify men to be ministers of Christ”; and the following stanza from a contemporary song shows that the prevalent practice was not held in great respect :

“Oxford and Cambridge make poor preachers,

Each shop affordeth better teachers,

Oh, blessed Reformation." 2 But Harrington with his fear of demagogy, his interest in scholarship, and his conviction that the purity of religion depends largely on the correct translation of the Bible adhered to his point.3 And he further hoped to prevent disorder by the establishment of an elective national Council of Religion to which dissenters as well as members of the State Church were invited to refer disputes.

After religion, military problems must have seemed of greater importance than anything else to the age which we are discussing. England possessed a large standing army for the first time in its history, and was virtually governed by its greatest general, Oliver Cromwell. Discontent at the military régime was rife, and cries for the disbanding of the army were widespread. Harrington, remembering the history of Rome and the double functions of her greatest magistrates, the consul, the prætor, and the tribune, did

1 Masson, v. 614. · Percy Soc. Publications, “ Political Ballads of the Commonwealth," III. ü.

Oceana," p. 179.



not share in the general feelings of disgust at the confusion of civil and military power, but nevertheless he proposed measures framed to prevent its abuse. This is the interpretation of the extraordinary proposal to extend the principles of election and rotation to the army.

The details of the system are described in a somewhat complicated manner and call for a brief summary. What is called the first “ essay

essay" is formed by the election of one-fifth of all the youth, not destined for a commercial or professional life, in every parish. They are elected for one year, and are ineligible for a second year's service without a vacation. They are themselves elected in the parishes, and they elect their officers at the hundreds. The second


is formed by the election out of these of 600 foot and 200 horse from each tribe. These taken together form the standing army of 30,000 foot and 10,000 horse. If these are mobilised they become ipso facto the third essay, together with the armies 5000 strong in foot and 1000 in horse elected at the same time as the second out of the first essay for three years' service in Scotland and Ireland, and another second essay is elected. Men over thirty are to be encouraged to come forward for active service as “ volunteers," i in which case the unfittest of the youth are to be dismissed to keep the numbers right. In case of invasion the whole male population is expected to take

The Commander-in-Chief is elected annually in Parliament.

This imitation of the military organisation of Rome, with the elective principle extended from officers to men, is one of the most interesting of Harrington's proposals. It would not appear so

1 “The Art of Lawgiving," p. 455.




curious to the seventeenth century as it does to the twentieth ; for the election of the constable was a common practice in the English parish, while in the Netherlands the officers of the militia were in many places chosen by the men. Nor would the compulsory periods of vacation seem so absurd. A continuous and specialised military training was not essential to the simple conditions of warfare at the time, and the problem before the country was not how to produce but how to check a successful army which had assumed

civil power.

In calculating the numbers of his army, Harrington was doubtless guided to some extent by the actual size of the armed forces in Great Britain at the time. The numbers in the New Model fluctuated considerably. In 1652 it had comprised some 70,000 men. But by 1654 it had been reduced to rather under 53,000 ; and Harrington, who was writing

Oceana at about this time, was willing to accept these numbers as on the whole suitable for his new England. The idea of electing the soldiers in the counties may have been also suggested by contemporary practice. For,

, up to the time when the forces would be maintained at sufficient strength by voluntary enlistment, it had been the duty of the separate counties to provide the men. The quota of each country was fixed, and the men had to be found by a given date. Election might well seem to Harrington a more constitutional method of supplying the army than impressment. In this problem as in all the other problems with which he dealt Harrington was willing to accept much in the existing state of things. Ancient Rome and Venice were at the back of his mind, but contemporary England was before his eyes. 1 Firth, “ Cromwell's Army,” p. 35.

3 Ibid. p. 36.



powers, which

The attempt made by Harrington to separate civil and ecclesiastical functions and the precautions suggested against the abuse of the confusion of military and civil power lead naturally to another large question, of which they form a part. The doctrine of the separation of


be traced back to the period of the Commonwealth, was not at first restricted to the definite form, under which it was made famous by Montesquieu. It differed from it in two respects. In the first place the strict division of government into legislative, executive, and judicial functions was not universally accepted. As late as 1689 Locke wrote of legislative, judicial, and federative organs, while in our own period we find the functions of “Legislative, Judiciary, and Military Power" discussed. In the second place the terms executive and judicial had not yet come to represent two entirely different functions of government. In his “Excellence of a Free-State ” Nedham spoke of the power of the judge as executive ; and a similar use of the word occurs in Oceana"

itself, where Harrington wrote: “A Commonwealth

must consist ... of the three general Orders; that is to say of the Senat debating and proposing, of the People resolving, and of the Magistracy executing. . . . The third Order is executive, to which answers that part of the same Science which is stil'd of the Frame and Course of Courts or Judicatorys."1 But without the exactness of form which it assumed with Montesquieu, the doctrine was widely held by the supporters of the Commonwealth.

In practice the three functions of government had not been separated. The confusion of judicial and legislative functions in mediæval England has been


1 "Animadversions upon General Monk's letter to the gentry of Devon,"

E. 1015

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