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But the failure of the Puritan theocracy--or rather abortive series of theocracies--made necessary a fundamental revision of the original conception formulated in the early 1640s.
In the second place, as the task of fulfilling the national vocation devolved upon an (ever decreasing) elect remnant representing the "true" England, Milton's emphasis shifts perceptibly from national election in its broadest sense to a concern for individual calling and renovation.From Areopagitica on, the prose works stress the importance of private religious experience, and there is a growing prominence accorded such topics as conscience, the inner light, and the role of recta ratio.Indeed, by the time one reaches the tracts of 1659-60, the actual political theories there propounded-- although these are the pamphlets' ostensible raisons d'tre--are less important than the spiritual doctrines that underpin them; for, in the final analysis, these last pamphlets must be approached as essays on the right use of Christian liberty and oblique statements of the regenerative process on which that individual liberty depends.It is a case of the letter killing but the spirit giving life.While many aspects of Milton's theology in De Doctrina Christiana might be (or have already been) profitably explored for the light they can throw on Paradise Lost, there is perhaps none so fruitful as his view of personal vocation, renovation, and regeneration.
 When he took occasion in The Reason of Church-Government to "covnant with any knowing reader" about his poetic aspirations, Milton had not yet decided definitely on the subject or form of the great work that he promised to compose "some few yeers" hence, once the nation "had . However, despite his indecision over theme and mode, there were certain aspects of the projected poem that he was able to describe with precision and conviction, even in 1642.