Tags: England, Cromwell, the Protector, Oliver, Ireland, Scotland, Oliver Cromwell, Charles, God is our refuge and strength, Charles Stuart, London, Lord Deputy of Ireland, Dick Cromwell, Charles II., Sir Thomas Fairfax, Richard Baxter, Richard Cromwell, the knowledge of Christ Jesus
Content: THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARY HISTORY THE PROTECTOR by J.H. Merle D'Aubigne D.D Bo o ks Fo r The Ages AGES Software · Albany, OR USA Hartland Publications · Rapidan, VA USA Version 1.0 © 1997
2 THE PROTECTOR: VINDICATION BY J. H. MERLE D'AUBIGNE, D.D. I know God has been above all ill reports, and will in His own time vindicate me. -- Oliver Cromwell : Letter to Col. Norton, 28 March, 1648. Tota cohors Papistica veram molitur conjurationem in nostros, in nos... Sit Deus Zabaoth Protector Protectoris et Ecclesiae? -- Diplomatic Dispatch from Zurich, 20 January 1654 TO THE THEOLOGICAL FACULTY Of The FREDERICK-WILLIAM UNIVERSITY, AT BERLIN, As A Mark Of Gratitude From THE AUTHOR
3 ADVERTISEMENT STRUCK with the light thrown on the character and history of Cromwell by the various documents which have issued from the press during the last few years, I felt a desire to publish in a Continental Review the result of my examination. But so great was the interest I found in my subject, that I have written a Book rather than an Article, and am now compelled to renounce my first intentions, and to lay this Historical Essay before the Public in the form of a distinct work. Before I had attentively read Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, edited by Mr. THOMAS CARLYLE, I thought it would be beneficial to translate his volumes into French; but my opinions in that respect are changed. They appear to us generally on the Continent to possess so much originality of thought and manner as to defy all possibility of rendering them into any of our languages. I would not be understood as censuring an undertaking, which, in my judgment, is one of the most remarkable that has been produced in Great Britain for a long period; indeed I have rarely met with any publication combining greater depth of research with remarks as acute as they are just. I have profited greatly by the scattered documents which Mr. Carlyle has so happily brought together. I am not insensible to the imperfections of the volume I now present to the English public. I therefore beg my readers to call to mind that my original design was merely to write an article for a Review. The object of this work, ...the rectification of the common opinion with regard to Cromwell's religious character, has obliged the Author to introduce many quotations from his Letters and Speeches. Mere assertion or argument without proof would have been useless. It is not we who ought, in this day, to justify the great Protector; he should justify himself; and fortunately authentic and authoritative testimony is not wanting for this purpose. This circumstance will explain the difference between the volume now submitted to the reader and the Author's other historical compositions. But he may also observe that the special nature of this work seemed occasionally to require him to introduce reflections, somewhat more extended perhaps than properly belong to history.
4 Should any of my friends be surprised at the choice of my subject, I would remind them that the epoch to which it relates is, perhaps, one of the most important in modern times, so far as concerns the new developments of nations; that Southey has said, "there is no portion of history in which it so much behooves an Englishman to be thoroughly versed, as in that of Cromwell's age;" and above all, that "life would be nothing worth, if it were not employed to tell and to maintain the truth," more especially a truth overlooked or forgotten. Ubi plura nitent ...non ego paucis Offendar maculis. I will make one observation more; although the Protector is the subject of this sketch, its main interest does not consist in him, but in Protestantism. Protestantism in Cromwell's mind was far above his own person. No book can treat worthily of the great Oliver, if the Protestant interest does not hold the foremost place in it. We speak in his spirit when we respect the ancient motto: Deo soli gloria, omnia humana idola peteant! Protestantism is the great interest of Europe, of the world, -- and, especially at this moment, the great interest of England. While revising this essay, I met with a learned and distinguished work by an anonymous author on German Protestantism. I was delighted to find that my ideas in many cases agreed with his, and I have, in several instances, profited by them. All the Protestant forces must now be aroused; and to that end, it is the duty of every evangelical writer to point them out. This task I have here feebly attempted, and I shall perhaps resume it at some future period, by publishing a few recollections of the journey I made in 1845 through Germany, England, and Scotland. The Theological Faculty of the University of Berlin having recently conferred upon me the degree of Doctor in Divinity, -- a title which I had received some years ago from the College of Princeton, New Jersey, United States, -- I think it my duty to conform with the German custom, and dedicate to that learned body the first Work published by me subsequently to that high honor. This will explain to my British readers the motives for the Dedication prefixed to this Volume.
5 J H. MERLE D'AUBIGNE Geneva, May 1847 The Author having observed that in England he is frequently called Dr. D'Au bigne, takes the liberty of reminding his readers that his name is Merle d'Aubigne; the latter appellation being assumed by his grandfather to prevent a name from becoming extinct which deserved well of Protestantism. As it proceeds from a matrimonial alliance, it is not sufficient of itself to designate the Author.
6 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 1 CROMWELL'S PRIVATE LIFE Tendency of the Stuarts -- The Protestant Interest -- Letter from a Country Gentleman -- A Family on the Banks of the Ouse -- The Earl of Essex -- Oliver -- His Birth and Parentage -- A Hunting Match -- James I. -- O1iver at the University, and in London -- His Morality -- His Marriage -- His Conversions -- His Connections -- Pleasantry -- Charles I. -- His Marriage, and the Twelve Capuchin Friars -- Influence of the Queen -- Oliver's Conscientiousness CHAPTER 2 CROMWELL'S PARLIAMENTARY LIFE Cromwell's Election and First Appearance in Parliament -- His Portrait -- Tonnage and Poundage -- Struggle in Parliament -- Dissolution -- John Hampden's Refusal -- Absolutism and Popery installed -- Evangelical Ministers -- Persecutions: Leighton, Prynne, Bastwick, Burton -- Scotland and the Covenant -- New Parliament -- Strafford -- Charles's Insincerity -- Irish Massacre -- Remonstrance -- Militia Bill -- Cavaliers and Roundheads -- Charge against Five Members -- Beginning of the Revolution -- Cromwell and his Sons become Soldiers -- Necessity -- Hampden's Opinion of Cromwell
7 CHAPTER 3 SCHISM BETWEEN THE KING AND THE PARLIAMENT Conquest of Liberty -- Beginning of the War -- Cromwell's Frankness -- Letter to Barnard -- Intervention in Favor of Hapton Parish -- Doubtful Advantages -- Cromwell's Expedient -- Fortune of War changes -- Cromwell refuses to take part in Disorderly Living -- Death of Hampden -- The two Parliaments -- Battle of Marston Moor -- A Letter and an Episode -- Prudence and Compassion -- Cromwell's Military Character -- Becomes the Real Chief -- Battle of Naseby -- The King's Cabinet opened -- Storming of Bristol -- Glory to God! -- Christian Union -- Discipline -- Piety -- King surrenders to the Scots -- Ireton -- Cromwell's Letter to his Daughter Bridget -- King given up to Parliament -- Cromwell's Illness -- Letter to Fairfax -- Cromwell and his Soldiers -- Unity of Man CHAPTER 4 SCHISM BETWEEN THE PARLIAMENT AND THE ARMY The Two Parties, Presbyterians and Independents -- Claims of the Army -- Joyce -- The King's Leaning towards the Independents -- Army manifesto -- Religious Liberty -- Eleven Members accused -- Errors -- Influence of Oppression -- Unlawful Intervention of the Presbyterians -- Opposition of the Army -- Independent Influence -- Cromwell favorably disposed towards the King -- Charles's Blindness -- Letter found in the Saddle -- The Silk Garter and the Hempen Halter -- Cromwell despairs of Charles -- The King's Flight -- He reaches the Isle of Wight -- Cromwell suppresses the Levellers -- Treaty with the Scots -- Charles's Reply to Parliament -- The Pit and he that diggeth it
8 CHAPTER 5 DEATH OF THE KING Parliament resolves to hold no further Communication with the King -- Prayer-meeting at Windsor -- Second Civil War -- Royalist Insurrection -- Scotch Invasion -- Cromwell's Victories -- Parliament again treats with the King -- Charles's Treachery -- Great Alternative -- Army remonstrates with Parliament -- Cromwell justified by Facts -- The Woodman and the Sower -- Cromwell to Hammond -- Truth and Error -- The King at Hurst Castle -- Parliament rejects the Remonstrance -- Composition of the Army -- The Army at London -- Pride's Purge -- Cromwell's Hesitation about the King -- Cromwell's religious Error -- Prayers -- The Will of God -- Death Warrant -- The Execution censured -- Revelation of the King's Treason -- Principles of the Roman Church -- Of Milton -- Charles's Children -- Cromwell to his Daughter-in-law -- Cromwell and Charles's Corpse -- The European Powers CHAPTER 6 IRELAND The Irish Saint Bartholomew -- Romish Cruelties -- A Priest -- Surgery or Slaughter -- Cromwell's Appointment -- Sailing of the Army -- Cromwell's Plan -- Theocracy -- Storming of Drogheda, Wexford, and Ross -- Peace and Prosperity -- Cromwell's charge to the Popish Prelates -- Early days of Richard's Marriage -- Cause of Ireland's Sufferings CHAPTER 7 SCOTLAND Two Kings and two Loyalties -- Charles II. in Scotland -- Cromwell's Letter to the General Assembly and to the Scotch Commander in Chief -- Battle of Dunbar -- Dispatch to Parliament -- The Edinburgh Preachers in
9 the Castle -- Cromwell's Letter -- All Christians ought to preach Christ -- The Malignants -- Cromwell's Illness -- Two Letters -- Cromwell concerning his Son Richard -- Worcester -- Prosperity of Scotland -- Cromwell's Military Career -- Two Symbols CHAPTER 8 THE PROTECTORATE Blake -- Love and Fear -- The Rump Parliament -- Dissolved by Cromwell -- The Little Parliament -- Speech -- Cromwell's Integrity -- Reforms -- Cromwell's Longing for Peace -- The End -- The Protectorate -- Constitution -- New Parliament -- Cromwell's Apology -- Death of his Mother -- Obstructions to Religious Liberty -- Cromwell dissolves the Parliament -- His Plans -- L'etat, c'est moi -- The Two French Invasions -- Revival of English Liberty CHAPTER 9 ORGANIZATION OF CHURCH AND STATE Necessity of Organization -- Ecclesiastical Commission -- Errors -- Impartiality -- Baxter's Testimony -- Cromwell's -- The State -- Discontents -- Letter to Fleetwood -- Bridget's Anxiety -- Indulgence -- The Major-Generals -- Cromwell's System in Ireland -- Official and Popular Protestantism -- Puritan Mannerism -- A better Christianity CHAPTER 10 RELIGIOUS LIBERTY Milton to Cromwell -- Cromwell's Part with regard to Religious Liberty -- Opposition to Radicalism, Political and Religious -- Established Religion and Liberty -- Milton, a Champion of the Separation of Church and State -- Cromwell's System of Religious Liberty -- The Two Great
10 Interests -- The Protector's Catholicity -- George Fox and Cromwell -- Nayler -- Cromwell and the Episcopalians -- Roman Catholics and Jews -- State and Protestantism Identical -- Principia Vitae -- A Danger -- True Means of Diffusing Christianity -- Ely Cathedral -- State and Church: Church and People CHAPTER 11 MORALITY, GLORY, AND ANTIPOPERY OF ENGLAND The State -- Principal Duty -- The Glory of England -- Morality -- Triumphs of Great Britain -- Commerce -- Justice -- Opposition to Spain -- Antipopery -- Cromwell's Name -- The Lion of the Tribe of Judah CHAPTER 12 DEFENDER OF THE FAITH Defense of Protestantism -- Letter to a Protestant Prince -- Piedmontese Massacre -- The Protector interferes -- Geneva -- Cromwell's Advice to the Protestants -- Portugal -- France: Nismes -- Intervention -- Switzerland -- Germany -- Austria -- Council for the general Interests of Protestantism -- The Protector's living Christianity -- The eternal Truths -- Pompeii, Nineveh, and the Bible CHAPTER 13 THE KINGSHIP New Parliament -- Ludlow -- The Protector's Speech -- Exclusions -- Proposals about the Kingship -- Discussions on this Subject between the Parliament and the Protector -- Struggles -- Cromwell's Refusal -- Was he right? -- His character -- Ambition
11 CHAPTER 14 LAST PARLIAMENT AND DEATH OF THE PROTECTOR The Installation -- Two Houses of Parliament -- The grand Design -- Petty Quarrels -- Parliament dissolved -- Conspiracies -- Death of Lady Claypole -- Consolations -- Fever -- George Fox at Hampton Court -- Cromwell's Words on his Deathbed -- Confidence -- The Storm -- Cromwell's Successor -- His Prayer and Last Words -- His Death -- Mourning -- Cromwell's Christian Character -- Oliver and the Pope -- Restoration of Mankind -- The Protestant Way -- Oliver's Principles -- The Pope's Policy -- Conflicts and Dangers of the State -- The Two Men of the Seventeenth Century -- Conclusion
12 THE PROTECTOR INTRODUCTION THERE are great crises in the history of man, in which the sovereignty of God over kings and people, however it may be hidden for a time from the eyes of the multitude, is manifested with such demonstrations of power as to excite the conviction of even the most incredulous. While favoring breezes bear the ship smoothly over the wide ocean, the crew and passengers, careless and inattentive, forget the arm of God, and perhaps give way to blasphemy. But when "the Lord commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind," -- when the billows dash over the vessel, -- when the sails are torn away and the masts are broken, -- when these thoughtless people "mount up to the heaven, and go down again to the depths," ...then the Almighty appears to them in the midst of the storm: -- All eyes behold Him; all hearts tremble before Him; and the most impious, falling on their knees, cry to Him from the bottom of their souls. When man will not hear the "still small voice" in which Jehovah ordinarily addresses him, then, to use the language of Scripture, "He passes by in a great and strong wind, rending the mountains and breaking the rocks in pieces." Of all the events which diversify human history, there is none in which mankind more readily acknowledge the intervention of the Deity than in the revolutions of empires, -- the setting up and pulling down of kings. These great changes are usually attended by circumstances so unexpected and appalling, that the eyes of the blindest are opened. Such events happened in England in the middle of the seventeenth century, when an attempt was made to revive the papal power. In every country, this enemy, under the direction of the Jesuits, was rising from beneath the heavy blows inflicted on it by the Reformation. It possessed one spiritual head, which gave unity to its movements; and to support it, Spain, a stirring and fanatical power, was devoted to its interests, and ready to give to it "her seat and great authority." (Revelation 13:2.) Thus the Papacy
13 was recovering a great part of the ground it had lost in Germany, France, the Low Countries, Spain, and even in Italy. It was imagined that if Rome could possibly succeed in reconquering England, her cause would be gained and her triumph secured throughout the world; the fruits of the Reformation would be forever lost; and Great Britain and Europe, peopled anew with priests, Jesuits, and monks, would sink as low as Spain has sunk. The fearful commotions and sanguinary conflicts which shook the British isles in the middle of the seventeenth century, were in the main a direct struggle against Popery. They were like the shakings and shuddering of the earth, in a country threatened with conflagration by subterranean fires. If a traveler in self-defense slays a highway robber, the responsibility of bloodshed does not rest on him. In ordinary times his hand would have been pure from its stain. War is war, and calls, alas! for blood. In the days of Louis XIV. and of the Stuarts it was a real war that Popery waged against the British islands. In our days, Rome is striving to re-enter England by means of certain teachers: then, it was through its kings. It was the misfortune and the crime of the Stuarts to have rallied around Rome, and to have desired to range their subjects under the same banner. Charles I. was the victim of this attempt; for Popery ever destroys both the princes and the people who espouse it. Of this truth the Stuarts and the Bourbons are memorable examples. Strong measures, no doubt, were employed to save England from the danger with which it was threatened. But so formidable a disease could not be averted, except by the most active remedies. Royalty was overthrown; and yet royalty possessed -- as it does still -- the respect of this nation. A republic was established; and yet a republic in so vast all empire is a madman's dream. Episcopacy was abolished; and yet this is the form of the Church which the nation prefers. The blood of a king was shed; and yet the inspired Preacher saith, Curse not the king, (10:20). But all these things were accomplished, because the counsel of God had determined before that they should be done, (Acts 4:28;) and thus the prophecy was fulfilled, which saith, I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. (Hosea 13:11.)
14 If England desired in the present day, as her princes desired in the seventeenth century, to restore Popery; -- if the number of those unfaithful ministers, who abjure the Gospel for the Pope, should multiply in her bosom; -- if that superstitious madness should spread to their congregations; -- -if the heads of the Church should continue to slumber, and, instead of rescuing their flocks, allow them to proceed towards the wolf that is waiting to devour them; -- if the government, not satisfied with granting liberty to Popery, should encourage it still farther by endowing its seminaries, paying its priests, building its churches, and restoring throughout Great Britain the power of the Roman bishop .... then would England probably be convulsed by a crisis, different, it might be, from those which startled the reign of Charles, but not the less formidable. Again the earth would quake; again would it open to pour forth devouring flames. On this account the study of that remarkable era, in which the first contest took place, was never more necessary than in the present day. In glancing over those times, however, we must make a distinction between acts and men. There are deeds which we are bound openly and vehemently to condemn; but we should proceed too far were we to throw upon individuals the responsibility of the results. Does it not sometimes happen ill the course of ages that circumstances occur so calculated to shake the mind, that, dazzled, stunned, and blinded, men can no longer see their way, and are mere instruments in the hand of God to punish and to save? Such is the idea put forth by an eminent writer, equally great as an historian and a statesman, when treating of this epoch: "The time had now come when good and evil, salvation and peril, were so obscurely confounded and intermixed, that the firmest minds, incapable of disentangling them, had become mere instruments in the hand of Providence, who alternately chastises kings by their people, and people by their kings."1 But why should we endeavor to blacken the character of those whom God has employed in His work? Is it improper in this instance, more than on other occasions, to entertain respect for those minds which remain sincere, even when they are misguided, and are doing what they believe to be right, and to be the will of the King of kings?
15 From the beginning of the seventeenth century England was on a steep declivity, which she seemed inevitably doomed to descend, and be carried by it into the gulf of Popery. The blood of the Stuarts was mingled with the blood of the Guises. What the Bourbons were effecting in France, the sons and descendants of Queen Mary, older veterans than they in Roman fanaticism, considered themselves called upon to accomplish on a larger scale on the other side of the Channel. Of a truth these unfortunate princes cannot all be placed in the same rank; but there is visible in them a constant progression towards the Church of Rome. Charles I. (1625) is more averse from the Word of God, and more inclined to tradition and hierarchy than James I (1603); Charles II. (1660) more so than Charles I.; and James the Second surpasses all his predecessors. This progression has all the strictness of a mathematical law. The despotic counter-revolution attempted by the two last Stuarts demonstrates the necessity of the democratic revolution which it pretended to combat. It plainly showed that, in the eighteen years between 1642 and 1660, the English nation had not risen up against mere phantoms. Charles II. -- who, as his mother Henrietta Maria declared to Louis XIV., "had abjured the heresy of his education, and was reconciled to the Church of Rome;"2 -- Charles II. composing a treatise to prove that there could be but one Church of Christ upon earth, and that that was the Church of Rome; -- Charles II. acknowledging to his brother, the Duke of York, that he also was attracted to the mother-church; -- Charles II. sounding his ministers on their intentions with regard to Popery, and prepared to follow the duke's advice by a plain and public declaration of Romanism, if he had not been checked by the prudent counsel of Louis XIV.; -- Charles II. refusing on his death-bed the sacrament from the Protestant bishop of Bath -- replying to his brother, who proposed in a whisper to send him a Romish priest, "Do so, for the love of God!" -- confessing to the missionary Huddlestone, declaring his wish to become reconciled to the Roman Church, and receiving from him absolution, the host, and even extreme unction; -- these most assuredly were not phantoms. James II., his successor, declaring to the French ambassador, immediately after his accession, that the English were unconsciously Roman Catholics, and that it would be easy to induce them to make a public declaration; -- James II. hearing mass in the Queen's chapel with open doors on the first
16 Sunday of his reign; -- James II., in contemptuous defiance of the laws, filling his army with Roman Catholic officers; and when Protestant clergymen went over to the Church of Rome, giving them dispensations to continue in the receipt of their stipends, and even in the administration of their cures; -- great number of Roman churches rising, even in the metropolis; -- a Jesuit school opened without any attempt at concealment; -- Roman Catholic peers admitted into the privy council, and along with them Father Petre, a covetous and fanatical Jesuit, who possessed his most intimate confidence; -- Roman Catholic bishops in full activity in England; -- Magdalen College, Oxford, receiving a popish president; -- seven Anglican bishops who had protested against these encroachments, conveyed to the Tower through crowds of people who fell on their knees as they passed, and who, when these patriots were acquitted by the jury, lighted up bonfires in every part of the city, and burnt the pope in effigy; -- William of Orange, landing on the coast of Devonshire, on the 5th of November, 1688, with the English flag waving at the masthead of his ships, and bearing this inscription: THE PROTESTANT RELIGION AND LIBERTIES OF ENGLAND; -- James II. next seeking an asylum at St. Germain en Laye, where he met with a magnificent reception from Louis, the persecutor of the Protestants, and where the two monarchs remained some minutes in each other's embrace, amidst a crowd of courtiers astonished at the sight of this foreign prince, who, as they said, "had given three kingdoms for a mass" .... . these are facts of History, -- facts which tell us what was to be expected of the Stuarts, -- facts which show that the evil against which England revolted in the seventeenth century was not mere imagination. If, during the eighteen year's of the Revolution, the evangelical faith and Protestant spirit had not been reanimated and greatly strengthened, England would not have been able to resist the invasions of the Papacy under James the Second. It was the Revolution which began in 1642, rather than the Dutch prince, that overthrew that King. The extirpation of Popery required an ingens aliquod et proesens remedium, as Erasmus said of the work of the Reformation in the sixteenth century -- "a physician who cuts deep into the flesh, or else the malady would be incurable."3 There is not in England a single royalist or episcopalian, who, if he is a Protestant, and at the same time a good citizen, can fail to acknowledge the
17 necessity of the violent remedy then applied to the disease that was destroying Great Britain. And if the revelations of history show us that the men of those times were more sincere, more pious, and even more moderate than is usually believed, it is the duty of every friend of justice not to close his eyes against this new light. We may be deceived, but, in our feeble judgment, the address in which the peers of England thanked the Prince of Orange, in December, 1688, for having delivered the country "from slavery and Popery," might have been presented by the nation to the authors of the Revolution of 1642, with more propriety than to William the Third. In studying the life of Cromwell, the reader will undoubtedly have frequent reason to bear in mind the saying of holy Scripture, In many things we offend all. He interfered violently in public affairs, and disturbed the constitutional order of the state. This was his fault, -- a fault that saved his country. With the documents before us which have been published at various times, we are compelled, unless we shut our eyes to the truth, to change our opinion of him, and to acknowledge that the character hitherto attached to this great man is one of the grossest falsehoods in all history. Charles II., who succeeded him after Richard's short protectorate; this monarch's courtiers, not less immoral, but still more prepossessed than himself; the writers and statesmen too of this epoch, -- all of them united in misrepresenting his memory. The wicked followers of the Stuarts have blackened Cromwell's reputation. Protestantism was on its trial. There can be no doubt that the principles of civil liberty, which the family of James the First desired to crush, but which eventually triumphed in the English nation, and which have raised it to such an elevation, had a great share in this struggle; and no one man did more titan Oliver towards their development. But the principal thing which drew down the anger of his enemies was Protestantism, in its boldest not less than its clearest form; and the false imputation borne by this eminent man was essentially the work of Popery. In the seventeenth century, when the Protestant princes were everywhere intimidated, weakened, and dumb, and when some of them were making ready for a fatal apostasy, Cromwell was the only one to declare himself in the face of all Europe the protector of the true faith. He even induced Cardinal Mazarin, a prince of the Romish Church, to connive at his generous designs. This is a crime for which he has never
18 been pardoned, and for which his enemies have inflicted a scandalous revenge. In this task so much perseverance and skill have been employed, that not only enlightened Catholics, but even Protestants themselves have been deceived. We feel no inclination to adopt the hatred and the calumnies of Rome, and we sympathize with Protestantism wherever it is to be found. This will not lead us to extenuate the faults of those who have been its supporters; but their defects will not shut our eyes to their good qualities. In the struggle between Protestantism and Popery, which took place in the British isles in Cromwell's time, the noblest part indisputably belongs to the former; and the mistakes of its adherents are unimportant compared with the excessive immorality and the frightful cruelties of which the friends of Rome were guilty. The erroneous traditions of which we have spoken have spread everywhere, and have been adopted by France, that ancient ally of the Stuarts. But Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, which have been recently published by Mr. Thomas Carlyle, and even some older works, such as the Memoirs of the Protector and his Sons, Illustrated by Family Papers (1820), Oliver Cromwell and his Times (1821), and Dr. Vaughan's Protectorate (1839), ought to produce some sensation on the Continent. Mr. Carlyle complains of the errors of most of the writers who have preceded him, and with reference to two of the ablest he speaks as follows: "Our French friends ought to be informed that M. Villemain's book on Cromwell is, unluckily, a rather ignorant and shallow one. -- Of M. Guizot, on the other hand, we are to say that his two volumes, so far as they go, are the fruit of real ability and solid study applied to those transactions."4 Although we agree in the homage paid by Mr. Carlyle to the most profound of our historians, we think that M. Guizot's Cromwell ought also to be recast; and that the idea of the Protector given by this great writer, not only in his History of the English Revolution, but also in a more recent work, his Essay on Washington, is contrary to reality. M. Guizot is a native of Nismes, and on this ground alone there are reasons why he should be, to say the least, impartial towards Cromwell. But he is now so busily engaged as one of the actors of contemporaneous annals, that it will be long before we shall dare call upon him to complete that other history, which has become one of the masterpieces of the French language. With regard to M. Villemain, it is desirable that he should devote
19 his leisure, his impartiality, and his great talents in reconstructing a work by which he has made himself known with great advantage to the friends of literature. I will not speak of Viscount Chateaubriand's work on the Four Stuarts: it is characterized by the great talent of the first writer of our age, and often by an honorable frankness; but not less by the prepossessions and prejudices of the author of Buonaparte and the Bourbons. The imperfect work now submitted to the reader has no pretensions to be a more perfect biography of the Protector: its sole aim is to indicate, especially to continental Protestants, that it is a page of history which ought to be written anew. My first idea was simply to publish in French some of Cromwell's most Christian letters, with a running commentary on the whole. But I have gradually been led farther than I originally intended. I asked myself, what is the worth of all the fine phrases used by this great ruler, if they are contradicted by facts? In consequence of this I was compelled to take his actions also into account, to weigh them impartially, to distinguish between good and evil, and above all to examine deeply into his mind in order to find out the law, -- a law that easily escapes the observation of the inattentive eye, -- which, by an invisible bond, unites great errors with great piety. I have endeavored to ascertain his character as a whole: it was my wish to reconstruct an entire existence, and not offer merely a few fragments and startling contradictions of his life. The majority of historians, indeed, have also sought for this unity, and have easily discovered it: according to their views, it is found in his deep hypocrisy. But the documents now before us are a striking contradiction to this hypothesis; and no writer who possesses the smallest portion of good faith, will ever venture to put it forward again. There is no man in history who has a better title than Cromwell to say with Saint Paul: -- as deceivers and yet true. We must therefore seek for some other explanation. To this task I applied myself; and in the chapter on the death of the king I have more fully set forth the result of my inquiries. Of the authors who have treated of Cromwell, some justify not only his principles, but even the worst of his actions: this is going too far. Others, on the contrary, censure not only all his acts, but his character: and in this they commit a serious injustice. These are summary ways of rendering a man's life consistent. By adopting such methods the historian's task is
20 soon ended; but I could not have recourse to them. I was compelled to blame some of the actions of this great man, and to rescue his Christian morality. This I have done. The solution I have given seems to me to be correct: I do not know whether it will produce the same effect on others. May I be allowed to direct attention to a circumstance of which I had not thought when I began this work, but which may in some measure be its justification? Cromwell, during the season of his power, was really the Protector of European, and, in particular, of French Protestantism. As I am myself descended from Huguenot refugees, it seemed to me that I had a debt to pay to this illustrious man. There were, perhaps, some of my forefathers among those inhabitants of Nismes, whom the powerful intervention of the English chief rescued from the vengeance of the soldiers of Louis XIV., already marching against that city to execute the orders of the court to the last extremity.5 "Nobody can wonder," said Clarendon, a man who, it is well known, had no great love for the Protector, and who wrote shortly after the event, "that Cromwell's memory still remains in those parts and with those people in great veneration." Gratitude is a debt that no lapse of time should cancel. I hope that no person, in the nineteenth century, will feel that wonder from which the prime minister of Charles II. was exempt: and what he considered very natural then, in the midst of party feelings, will doubtless be thought so still by an unimpassioned posterity. The vindication, or rather the restoration, of the Protector's memory, has already begun; and perhaps no one can do more for it than Mr. Carlyle has accomplished. I think, however, that there is room for some improvement. Oliver has been presented as a hero to the world; I present him as a Christian to Christians -- to Protestant Christians; and I claim boldly on his behalf the benefit of that passage of Scripture: Every one that 1oveth God that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of Him. Although these pages will bear no comparison with the work of the writer I have just named, they may, notwithstanding, advance the same object in some degree, particularly when considered under a religious point of view. Others, I hope, will hereafter throw a still greater light on one of the most astonishing problems that time has handed down to us. It is only gradually and by slow degrees that darkness is scattered in history, as well as in the natural world.
21 I am well aware that the task I have undertaken is a difficult one. We have so deeply imbibed in our early youth the falsehoods maintained by the Stuart party, and by some of Cromwell's republican rivals -- among others the narrow-minded Ludlow and the prejudiced Holles -- that these falsehoods have become in our eyes indisputable truths. I know it by my own experience, by the lengthened resistance I made to the light that has recently sprung up, and illuminated, as with a new day, the obscure image of one of the greatest men of modern times. It was only after deep consideration that I submitted to the evidence of irresistible facts. I have no desire to write a literary work, but to perform an act of justice. I do not forget the maxim of pagan antiquity, that we should render to every person his due; I feel that among all the good things a man may possess, there is one which, according to the saying of the wisest of Eastern kings, surpasses all the rest, a good name is better than precious ointment; and above all, I remember, that if a Christian ought to confess the Lord upon earth in order that he may be one day confessed before the angels in heaven, it is also his duty to confess the disciples of the Lord, particularly when they are disowned, calumniated, and despised by the multitude. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
22 CHAPTER 1 CROMWELL'S PRIVATE LIFE Tendency of the Stuarts -- The Protestant Interest -- Letter from a Country Gentleman -- A Family on the Banks of the Ouse -- The Earl of Essex -- Oliver -- His Birth and Parentage -- A Hunting Match -- James I -- Oliver at the University, and in London -- His Morality -- His Marriage -- His Conversion -- His Connections -- Pleasantry -- Charles I. -- His Marriage, and the Twelve Capuchin Friars -- Influence of the Queen -- Oliver's Conscientiousness. THE Tudors, and particularly Elizabeth, had exalted England by maintaining the cause of the Reformation; but subsequently to the year 1603, and especially after 1625, the Stuarts, and principally Charles the First, had weakened it by inclining anew towards Catholicism. Not only did they desert their stations as the chiefs of European Protestantism; not only did they cease to withstand fanatic Spain; but a Romish princess, Henrietta of France, was placed upon the throne. That, however, was of little moment: another power than theirs prevented this mighty country from being placed by its monarchs under the yoke of the Italian pontiff. The people no longer walked with their princes. The cause of the Reformation was dear to them; and they were ready to abandon their Kings rather than the Gospel. This unhappy family, by wishing to exalt a traditional power in the Church, destroyed their own. While the monarchical authority was increasing everywhere on the Continent, it gradually declined in England; and a new force, the Commons, the middle classes, daily acquired greater strength, liberty, and courage. The ancient charters of England contained extensive guarantees in favor of the national independence. But these institutions had long been, as it were, dead and neglected; yet they still existed, and the skeleton, so long motionless, was about to be reanimated with a new life. If England had been a nation devoted merely to secular policy, these charters might forever have remained little better than old parchments; but a new motive power -- evangelical faith and the interest of Protestantism -- was about
23 to revivify these great institutions, and, by saving England from the abyss towards which the Stuarts were rapidly hurrying it, raise it erelong to the highest degree of influence and glory. This evangelical spirit possessed great strength among the English people: godly families, lovers of the Bible and of liberty, peopled its cities and its fields. The following letter, written by a country gentleman, the father of a numerous family, may reasonably be considered one of the many symptoms of that christian life, which, in that age as in all others, alone possessed sufficient strength to withstand the encroachments of Popery:-- "To my beloved Cousin, Mrs. St. John, at Sir William Masham his house called Otes, in Essex: Present these. "Ely, 13th October, 1638. "Dear Cousin, "I thankfully acknowledge your love in your kind remembrance of me upon this opportunity. Alas, you do too highly prize my lines and my company. I may be ashamed to own your expressions, considering how unprofitable I am, and the mean improvement of my talent. "Yet to honor my God, by declaring what He hath done for my soul, in this I am confident, and I will be so. Truly, then, this I find: that He giveth springs in a dry barren wilderness where no water is. I live, you know where, -- in Meshec, which they say signifies Prolonging; in Kedar, which signifies Blackness: yet the Lord forsaketh me not. Though He do prolong, yet He will, I trust, bring me to His tabernacle, to His resting-place. My soul is with the congregation of the First-born, my body rests in hope: and if here I may honor my God either by doing or by suffering, I shall be most glad. "Truly no poor creature hath more cause to put himself forth in the cause of his God than I. I have had plentiful wages beforehand; and I am sure I shall never earn the least mite. The Lord accept me in His Son, and give me to walk in the light, -- and give us to walk in
24 the light, as He is the light! He it is that enlighteneth our blackness, our darkness. I dare not say, He hideth His face from me. He giveth me to see light in His light. One beam in a dark place hath exceeding much refreshment in it: -- blessed be His Name for shining upon so dark a heart as mine! You know what my manner of life hath been. Oh, I lived in and loved darkness, and hated light; I was a chief, the chief of sinners. This is true: I hated godliness, yet God had mercy on me. O the riches of His mercy! Praise Him for me; -- pray for me, that He who hath begun a good work would perfect it in the day of Christ. "Salute all my friends in that Family whereof you are yet a member. I am much bound unto them for their love. I bless the Lord for them; and that my son, by their procurement, is so well. Let him have your prayers, your counsel; let me have them. "Salute your Husband and Sister from me: -- He is not a man of his word! He promised to write about Mr. Wrath, of Epping; but as yet I receive no letters: -- put him in mind to do what with conveniency may be done for the poor cousin I did solicit him about. "Once more farewell. The Lord be with you: so prayeth, "Your truly loving cousin." We must say a few words on the individuals mentioned in this letter. Along the banks of the Ouse, near Huntingdon, lay a wide extent of fertile pasture-lands, bathed by the melancholy waters of that river, and broken here and there by little wood-covered heights. Towards the south, as you approach from Cambridge, stood an aged oak: Querculus anilis erat.1 Over those meadows a little boy frequently disported, and perhaps climbed the stately oak-tree in quest of bird-nests. His parents, who were descended from an old and popular Saxon family, which does not appear to have mingled with the Norman race, lived in a house at the northern extremity of Huntingdon. The old mansion exists no longer: a solid yellow brick building occupies its place.
25 The origin of the family was this. The Earl of Essex, vicar-general under Henry VIII, had a nephew named Richard, who had been very active in the great work accomplished by his uncle, namely, the suppression of monasteries. In this business he had acquired a considerable fortune. The sale of church property and the division of the ecclesiastical estates were among the causes that had enriched the middle classes of England, and had made them sensible of their strength. At the commencement of the seventeenth century, five grandsons of this Sir Richard were alive in England, all sons of Henry called "the Golden Knight." These were Sir Oliver, Henry, Richard, Sir Philip, and Robert. This last had married Elizabeth Steward, who, say the genealogists, was descended from the royal family of Scotland, from one Walter Steward, namely, who had accompanied Prince James of Scotland into England in the time of Henry IV, and there settled. On the 25th of April, 1599, while Shakspeare was yet alive, and in the latter years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, at a time when England already began to feel a presentiment of the greatness to which she would be called by her resistance to Rome, the wife of Robert Cromwell bore to him a child, who was to do more than any of his contemporaries in accelerating this glorious destiny. He was named Oliver, and was christened on the 29th of the same month. This is the little boy of whom we have already spoken. This family possessed certain lands round Huntingdon, producing a revenue of about Ј300 a year, equivalent perhaps to Ј1000 of our present money. It was the same Oliver then thirty-nine years of age, who wrote the letter we have given above. Mrs. St. John, to whom it is addressed, was the wife of a celebrated barrister, and then on a visit at the house of Sir William Masham, a zealous puritan, and also a busy man in the politics of his time. The Golden Knight's eldest son, Sir Oliver, uncle to our hero, was as expensive a man as his father, and dwelt in a stately mansion at Hinchinbrook, on the left bank of the Ouse, half a mile west of Huntingdon. It has been denied, both in France and England, that the Protector was related to the powerful minister of Henry VIII; but without other foundation than the impatient answer he returned to a fawning bishop, who reminded him of this relationship. The malleus monachorum, the
26 mauler of monasteries, as the Earl of Essex was denominated, was great uncle to that Oliver, who proved a still more potent "mauler" than his ancestor: one Morgan Williams having married the vicar-general's sister, whose eldest son Richard took the name of Cromwell. There are still in existence two letters from this Sir Richard Cromwell, Oliver's greatgrandfather, addressed to the Earl of Essex, in both of which he signs himself, your most bounden nephew.2 We must therefore class this denial with all those other falsehoods with which Cromwell's history has hitherto been overloaded; such as the prophetic specters that appeared to him in his childhood, his orchard robbing, and his tyrannous combats with the boys of the neighborhood. These are stories "grounded on human stupidity," says his latest biographer, "to which we must give christian burial once for all." Unfortunately it is not only by such unimportant circumstances that falsehood has obscured the real life of Cromwell. Oliver was four years old, when the shouts of a magnificent hunting party re-echoed along the banks of the Ouse. On the afternoon of Wednesday, the 23d of April, 1603, a royal train, -- hounds, horses, and cavaliers -- approached the green lawns and winding avenues of elder and willow trees that led to the manor-house. King James, son of the unhappy Mary Stuart, was coming from the north to take possession of the English crown. Elizabeth, the last of the Tudors, after raising England to the first place among the nations, had been dead little more than a month, having with her latest breath named her cousin of Scotland as her successor. On his way to London the king was to lodge at Hinchinbrook, the stately mansion of Oliver's uncle, where preparations were made to receive him in the most sumptuous manner. James came hunting all the way: and he appeared at last, possessing none of his mother's graces. He was of middle stature, and wore a thickly wadded dagger-proof doublet. He alighted in the court-yard, but his legs were too weak to carry his body, and he needed support to enable him to walk. He was almost seven years of age before he began to run alone. He took his seat at the table of the Golden Knight: he drank with difficulty, and it seemed as if he masticated what he drank. On the other hand, he made a great show of learning, and his conversation was full of theological apophthegms and political maxims, which he delivered in the most pedantic fashion.
27 This royal visit to Hinchinbrook House must have been a great treat for little Oliver. He was an active and resolute boy; but his quarrel and battle with young Prince Charles, then Duke of York, is probably a fable. The king arrived on Wednesday, and set off again on Friday; Sir Oliver giving him costly presents at his departure. Knights were created in the great hall, and among the number was the Protector's paternal uncle, and in the next year Thomas Steward of Ely, his maternal uncle. The king moved on towards London, although he had been informed that the plague was raging in that city: a circumstance which vexed him exceedingly; as he was deficient in courage. But the crown of England awaited him there, and this rendered him superior to fear. Amid such scenes as these young Oliver grew up to manhood, in the bosom of an austere family, and at a time when the north seemed preparing for a struggle against the south, -- Great Britain and Scandinavia against Rome and Spain. The intrigues of the Jesuits; the tendency of the Anglican party, which was ere long to muster under the banner of Laud; the rights and the power of the Word of God -- these were the engrossing subjects of thought and conversation in the midst of which the child increased in strength in this rural solitude. In 1616, Oliver, at the age of seventeen quitted the banks of the Ouse and the home of his boyhood, for the University of Cambridge, about fifteen miles from Huntingdon. On this important occasion it is most likely that he was accompanied by his father. He was entered at Sidney Sussex College on the festival of the Annunciation. Cromwell, it is true, never had any pretensions to learning; but he was far from being so deficient in this respect as has been represented. He possessed a familiar acquaintance with the historians of Greece and Rome; and on one occasion in particular he conversed in Latin with a foreign ambassador. In June, 1617, when only eighteen years old, he lost his father. In the same year died his grandfather Steward at Ely; and his mother saw herself at once fatherless and a widow, left with six daughters and an only son. Oliver returned no more to Cambridge, but took his father's place at Huntingdon. A few months after, he proceeded to London to gain some knowledge of law. The stories that he led a dissolute life in the capital or elsewhere are exaggerated, or rather without any basis in truth. They are principally
28 founded, so far as we can see, on that portion of his letter to Mrs. St. John, in which he calls himself the chief of sinners. This merely shows how ignorant his accusers are of true religion. Every Christian, even the most moral man, is ready to declare himself with Saint Paul, the chief of sinners. Oliver's greatest enemies have not been able to reproach him with any notorious vice. Welwood acknowledges that he was not addicted to profane swearing, gluttony, drunkenness, gaming, avarice, or the love of women. In later times he distributed in one year Ј40,000 from his own purse to charitable uses. Among the families that he visited in London was Sir James Bourchier's. This gentleman had a daughter, Elizabeth, to whom, on the 22d of August, 1620, though only twenty-one years of age, Oliver was married at Saint Giles's Church, Cripplegate. He immediately returned with his wife to Huntingdon, and settled down in the mansion of his fathers. The next ten years were passed in seclusion -- years in which a man is formed for life. Cromwell busied himself in farming, and in industrial and social duties; living as his father before him had lived. But he was also occupied with other matters. Ere long he felt in his heart the prickings of God's law. It disclosed to him his inward sin; with St. Paul, he was disposed to cry out: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? and like Luther pacing the galleries of his convent at Erfurth, exclaiming, "My sin! my sin! my sin!" Oliver, agitated and heartwrung, uttering groans and cries as of a wounded spirit, wandered pale and dejected along the gloomy banks of the Ouse, beneath a clouded sky. He looked for consolation to God, to his Bible, and to friends more enlightened than himself. His health and even his strong frame were shaken; and in his melancholy he would often send at midnight for Dr. Simcott, physician in Huntingdon, supposing himself to be dying. At length peace entered into his soul. "It is therefore in these years," says Mr. Carlyle, "that we must place what Oliver, with unspeakable joy, would name his Conversion -- his deliverance from the jaws of Eternal Death. Certainly a grand epoch for a man: properly the one epoch .... . He was henceforth a Christian man," continues his biographer, "not on Sundays only, but on all days, in all places, and in all cases."3
29 Cromwell now zealously attended the Puritan ministry, and chose his friends from among the gentry and nobility of his neighborhood who held the same opinions. He became intimate with Hampden, Pym, Lord Brook, Lord Say, and Lord Montague. Almost all the serious thought of England was then Puritan. In the midst of them all was Oliver, modest, devout, conscientious, and seriously intent "to make his calling and election sure." His intercourse with his friends was full of cordiality. He has been reproached with a fondness for buffoonery; but we must recollect that such a characteristic trait is often found in the most christian and truly serious men. It is a weakness that is thrown off with difficulty. Many sallies and jests imputed to him have been grossly exaggerated, and made grievous charges against his piety. We must condemn all ill-timed levity; but we should also remember that no prince, descended from the blood of kings, ever showed himself more jealous of his dignity, on great occasions, than the Protector did. From his early youth he possessed true seriousness. He fervently devoted himself to works of christian piety. "Building of hospitals," wrote he to his friend, Mr. Storie, in January, 1636, "provides for men's bodies; to build material temples is judged a work of piety; but they that procure spiritual food, they that build up spiritual temples, they are the men truly charitable, truly pious."4 An important work, as we have seen, was finished in Oliver during the nine or ten years of obscurity and seclusion that intervened between his marriage and his obtaining a seat in parliament. Milton, who knew him well, says of him: "He had grown up in peace and privacy at home, silently cherishing in his heart a confidence in God, and a magnanimity well adapted for the solemn times that were approaching.5 Although of ripe years, he had not yet stepped forward into public life, and nothing so much distinguished him from all around as the cultivation of a pure religion, and the integrity of his life."6 Oliver was henceforth a Christian in earnest. He had been called by God to the knowledge of Jesus Christ: his mind had been enlightened and his heart renewed by the Divine Word. To this call from on high, this great call from God, which so many souls despise, or at least neglect, he had replied from the depths of his heart, and had laid hold of the grace presented to him, with a new and unalterable will. He had believed in the name of the Lord,
30 in the blood of Jesus Christ: he had been delivered from the penalty of sin, and from the dominion of evil. A new birth had given him a new life. He was at peace with God: he possessed the spirit of adoption, and an easy access to the throne of Grace. From that time he became a man of prayer, and so he remained for the rest of his life. He lived and he died in prayer. It was not he who had loved God first: he had been loved by Him, and had believed in this love. He had not acted like those who, enchanted by the world, always defer the moment of their conversion, and thus become guilty of the greatest sin and the greatest folly. Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis, at ille Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis aevum. In regard to the kingdom of heaven, he had learnt that it is the violent who take it by force; and with the whole energy of his soul, regenerated by the Holy Ghost, he had seized upon it. Oliver was now a real Christian: he remained one to his latest breath; and, if we except a few moments of trouble, to which the most godly men are subject, he persevered in faith and confidence till his course of mortality was completed. Events were now becoming more serious every day, and thick clouds were already gathering over the people and the throne. The accession of Charles I. had been hailed with pleasure. His morals were virtuous; and what might not the nation hope from a prince only twentyfive years old? But when the king gave England a papist queen in the person of Henrietta of France, the affection that had. been entertained towards him immediately cooled. Nor was it without a cause. In the marriage-contract, drawn up under the eyes of the Pope, there were several clauses favorable to the Romish faith. Henrietta arrived in London, fortified by the instructions of Mother Magdalen of St. Joseph, a Carmelite nun, and under the direction of Father Berulli, accompanied by twelve priests of the Congregation of the Oratory. These having been sent back to France, were soon replaced by twelve Capuchin friars. Henrietta, a worthy pupil of her native court, wished at first to make everything bend to her religion and her humor; and her followers desired to celebrate their worship in all its splendor. The queen had even a liking for intrigue; and it was soon seen that the blood which flowed in her veins was that of the Medici. It was more particularly after the death of Buckingham, (23rd
31 August, 1628,) that she wished to take advantage of her husband's affection to enable her to domineer over the country, and that the most zealous Roman-catholics, admitted into the queen's cabinet, sought there the power they required for the accomplishment of their designs. At the time when Popery was thus reappearing at the court of England, the Gospel was flourishing in the house of Oliver, who was occupied with his flocks and fields, his children, the interests of his neighbors, and above all in putting into practice the commandments of God. Salvation was come to his house, and his light shone before men. He possessed great delicacy of conscience, and of this we shall give one instance which occurred a little later. After his conversion to God, he remembered what Zaccheus said to Jesus, as He went into his house: Behold, Lord, if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. Cromwell had taken nothing in that way; but, like other men of the world, he bad won some money formerly in gambling. This he returned, rightly considering it would be sinful to retain it. The sums were large for those days; one of them being Ј80, and the other Ј120. His means were not ample, his family had increased; but such things had no weight with him. His religion was one not of words but of works. As soon as his conscience spoke, he acted on its suggestions, however great the sacrifice he was compelled to make. He remembered Christ's remark, and acted on it during his whole life: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven.
32 CHAPTER 2 CROMWELL'S PARLIAMENTARY LIFE Cromwell's Election and first Appearance in Parliament -- His Portrait -- Tonnage and Poundage -- Struggle in Parliament -- Dissolution -- John Hampden's Refusal -- Absolutism and Popery installed -- Evangelical Ministers -- Persecutions: Leighton, Prynne, Bastwick, Burton -- Scotland and the Covenant -- New Parliament -- Strafford -- Charles's Insincerity-Irish Massacre -- Remonstrance -- Militia Bill -- Cavaliers and Round-heads -- Charge against Five Members -- Beginning of the Revolution -- Cromwell and his sons become Soldiers -- Necessity -- Hampden's Opinion of Cromwell. ON the 29th of January, 1628, writs were issued for a new Parliament, in which, on the 17th of March, Cromwell took his seat as member for Huntingdon. His father also, in earlier years, had been returned for the same town. After a prorogation of three months, the legislature assembled again on the 20th of January, 1629. On the 1lth of February, the House of Commons resolved itself into a grand Committee of Religion, in which one of the new members, Oliver, then thirty years of age, rose to speak for the first time. All eyes were turned upon him, and the House listened to him with attention. He wore a plain cloth suit, which seemed to have been made by a bad country tailor; his linen was not of the purest white; his ruffles were old-fashioned; his hat was without a band; his sword stuck close to his side; his countenance was swollen and reddish; his voice sharp and untunable: but his delivery was warm and animated; his frame, although exceeding the middle height, strong and well-proportioned; he had a manly air, a bright and sparkling eye, and stern look.1 Certain ecclesiastics were then gaining notoriety by their zeal in forwarding, within the pale of the Church, the power of the king and the doctrines of Rome. Cromwell complained that the bishops permitted and even recommended the preaching of "flat Popery." "If these are the steps to church preferment," exclaimed he, "what are we to expect!" -- What are we to expect? .... asked Oliver; and this was in truth the great question of
33 the age. The re-establishment of Popery was the object of the seventeenth century, and Cromwell's first public words were against it. He then set up the landmark which determined and marked out the course he had resolved to follow until his death. Even Hume, generally so hostile to him, is struck by seeing his first words correspond so exactly to his character. Cromwell, indeed, was from the beginning to the end of his life quite consistent; he was faithful to the one idea, which he proclaimed upon the housetops. And it is this man, so decided, so open, who has been termed a hypocrite! History was never guilty of a greater error. The Commons did not for the present stop at the extravagant doctrines of such semi-papists as Mainwaring, Sibthorp, and Montague, whom the Bishop of Winchester had taken into favor. It was a different question that led to the dissolution of Parliament. The king required that they should vote the duties of tonnage and poundage for life, which the Commons refused. The speaker Finch, a courtier, was desirous of adjourning the house immediately, according to the orders of his master; but some of the members, among whom was Mr. Holles, resisted, and in despite of his supplications and tears, held him by main force in the chair. The king sent orders to the sergeant-at-arms to withdraw with the mace, which would suspend all deliberation; but he also, like the speak, was kept in his seat. At the same time the keys of the hall were taken from him, and the doors were locked. Shortly after, a knock was heard on the outside: "Open," said the usher of the black rod: "a message from the king." It was of no avail: the doors remained closed. Charles now grew furious, and sending for the captain of his guard, ordered him to force the door. But in the meanwhile the Commons had carried three resolutions: the first, against Arminianism; the second, against Popery. In a portion of the Anglican clergy there was a combined tendency towards these two errors, and they are evils which possess in truth a great resemblance. Finally, by the third resolution, the House declared the levying of tonnage and poundage illegal, and those guilty of high treason who should levy or even pay such dues. When the captain of the guard arrived, he found the hall deserted. The House had adjourned in conformity with the king's order. On the 10th of March, Charles went down to the Lords and dissolved the Parliament, complaining of the behavior of the Lower House, particularly of "certain vipers, who must look for their reward." In effect, Holles Sir John Elliot, William
34 Strode, and some others, were fined and imprisoned. This was the last Parliament in England for more than eleven years. Cromwell returned to Huntingdon. One of Oliver's aunts, Elizabeth Cromwell, had married William Hampden, of Great Kimble, in Buckinghamshire, and was left a widow with two sons, John and Richard. John was a quiet and amiable man; no great talker, but a good listener; yet under this moderation and simplicity lay concealed a will of iron and a most determined resolution. It was the destiny of this individual to give the signal of resistance to Charles's arbitrary measures. He was called upon for the sum of twenty shillings, his portion of the rate which the Commons had forbidden to be paid. He refused modestly, but firmly, being determined to try the issue at law. The judges, who would have preferred being silent, decided against him by a majority of eight to four. But the people looked upon him as the victor, and he became dear to all true hearts in England. Thus it was the family of Cromwell that began the struggle against Charles. In 1631, Oliver, who had left Huntingdon, settled at Saint Ives; and it was while busied with farming at this place, that he wrote the letter which we have quoted above; in which, laying down, as it were, the future course of his life, he declares himself ready TO DO and TO SUFFER for the cause of God. It may be, however, that the simple obedience to the Word of God, which should be the essential characteristic of a Christian's practical life, does not stand forth in it with sufficient clearness, and that in its stead there is a somewhat mystic tendency. Cromwell afterwards became clearer and more sober in his views. The agitation of England continued to increase. Charles was endeavoring to dispense with a Parliament, and to govern his kingdom by drawing more or less near to France and Spain. His ministers drove him into violent measures, and with a view to augment their strength, they soon formed an alliance with an unsound prelatism. Laud, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of all England, to whom Rome had offered a cardinal's hat, restored many of the practices and ceremonies of Popery. The communion table was replaced by an altar raised on several steps at the east end of the church; the crucifix, pictures, and tapers were restored; and the officiating
35 clergy, in gaudy dresses, made genuflection's before the altar after the Romish custom. The middle classes took the alarm. Associations were formed for the propagation of the Gospel; funds were raised to send preachers into various places, where it would be their duty not only to proclaim Jesus Christ, but to combat the popish superstitions under which it was now attempted to reduce the nation. The evangelical Christians of London, among whom was Mr. Storie, one of Cromwell's friends, supported Dr. Wells, one of these "lecturers" at Saint Ives. He was "a man of goodness and industry, and ability to do good every way" (as Cromwell writes to Mr. Storie on the 11th January, 1686), "not short of any I know in England." Wells's preaching and conversation advanced Cromwell and his family in the ways of true piety. "Since his coming, the Lord hath by him wrought much good among us," adds Oliver. Soon afterwards, the news of the cruel persecutions against Laud's adversaries reached Saint Ives. They were placed in the pillory (such was the report), their ears were cut off, they were heavily fined, and condemned to imprisonment for life; but they endured these sufferings with indomitable courage. On one occasion, as the executioner was driving back the crowd, the martyr, foreseeing the evils that Charles would bring upon his people, interfered, exclaiming, "Let them come, and spare not, that they may learn to suffer." Dr. Leighton, father of the celebrated archbishop of that name, for publishing "an Appeal to the Parliament, or Zion's Plea against Prelacy," was condemned to pay a fine of Ј10,000; to be set in the pillory at Westminster, and publicly whipped; to lose his ears, have his nostrils slit, and his cheeks branded with the letters S.S. -- "Sower of Sedition" -- a sentence that was executed in all its severity. Prynne, a very remarkable man, was a barrister of Lincoln's Inn. The first crime that he committed, and for which he lost his ears, was his having published a work entitled "Histriomastix, -- the Player's Scourge," directed against all stage-plays, masques, dances, and masquerades. The king and queen were fond of masques and dances, and Henrietta of France often won loud applause in the court theatricals. Prynne was accordingly accused by Laud of sedition. His second crime was a work against the
36 hierarchy of the Church. As he had already lost his ears by the first sentence, the stumps on this occasion were literally sawed off. "I had thought," said Lord Chief Justice Finch, feigning astonishment, "that Mr. Prynne had no ears!" -- "I hope your honors will not be offended," replied Prynne; "pray God give you ears to hear." -- Oliver's ear heard, and his heart throbbed with emotion. As Dr. Bastwick ascended the scaffold on which he was to suffer mutilation, his wife rushed up to him, and kissed the ears he was about to lose. Upon her husband's exhorting her not to be frightened, she made answer: "Farewell my dearest, be of good comfort: I am nothing dismayed." The surrounding crowd manifested their sympathy by loud. acclamations. On descending from the scaffold he drew from his ear the sponge soaked with his blood, and, holding it up to the people, exclaimed: "Blessed be my God, who hath counted me worthy, and of his mighty power hath enabled me to suffer anything for his sake; and as I have now lost some of my blood, so I am ready and willing to spill every drop that is in my veins in this cause, for which I now have suffered: which is, for maintaining the truth of God, and the honor of my king against popish usurpations. Let God be glorified, and let the king live forever."2 When Mr. Burton, a puritan divine, was brought on the platform, and was asked if the pillory were not uneasy for his neck and shoulders, he answered: "How can Christ's yoke be uneasy? He bears the heavier end of it, and I the lighter; and if mine were too heavy, He would bear that too. Christ is a good Master, and worth the suffering for! And if the world did but know His goodness, and had tasted of His sweetness, all would come and be His servants."3 Such were the acts of Charles I. -- acts that filled Oliver's soul with horror and anguish. In Scotland also the evil had reached a great height. Charles wished to abolish Presbyterianism in that country, and establish Laud's prelacy in its place, the sure way to the restoration of Popery. On the 23d of July, 1637, the missal in disguise was to be solemnly installed in Saint Giles's kirk at Edinburgh. As soon as the dean began to read the service, a terrible
37 uproar broke out. The Scotch swore fidelity to their ancient institutions, signed the Covenant, and took up arms in its defense. Their banners were unfolded. When the Scotch armies advanced against Charles, they were marching against Rome, as Gustavus Adolphus was proceeding in Germany at the head of his warriors, "meek as lambs, terrible as lions." Scotland was at that time the vanguard of Protestantism. Upon the refusal of the English army to fight against the Scots, the King was compelled to submit to a new Parliament, which met on the 11th of April, 1640, to the unspeakable joy of the people: Cromwell was returned for Cambridge. This assembly proceeded energetically to prosecute the authors of all the miseries of the nation. On Monday, the 10th of May, 1641, his majesty signed the death-warrant of his former minister, Strafford, who was beheaded on the Wednesday following. "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the sons of men, for in them there is no salvation," exclaimed the earl, raising his hands to heaven, when he was told that the king had given his assent to the bill for his execution. Oliver's name does not appear in the proceedings. In August of the same year, Charles resolved to visit Scotland, and endeavor to gain over its people, always distinguished for their loyalty. Here he was observed to listen attentively to the long sermons of the Presbyterian preachers, and attend devoutly to their frequent prayers; but it was soon discovered that there was a ravening wolf beneath the sheep's clothing. They learnt that he was secretly collecting documents by which he hoped to overthrow his enemies in both kingdoms. He was anxious to obtain proofs of the correspondence which had taken place between the English Parliament and the Scotch Covenanters, and thus procure the condemnation of the leaders of both people, as being guilty of hightreason. From that hour many felt that Charles was a man without faith, and that an open opposition could alone save England. Of this the leaders of the nation were more firmly convinced by a fearful catastrophe. In the midst of this agitation and mistrust, on the 1st of November, 1641, an alarming report suddenly reached London. The Irish, sheltering themselves behind the names of the king and queen, holding in one hand a commission they pretended to have received from Charles, and bearing fire and sword in the other, were ravaging the country with fearful
38 desolation. The plot, contrived with the greatest secrecy, had broken out in horrible massacres. In London and Edinburgh, in town and country, the most distressing accounts passed from mouth to mouth, and terror filled the hearts of all the Protestants of Great Britain. The most serious members of the Commons immediately called for a Remonstrance to the King, as the nation was attacked in all that it held most dear. The Remonstrance was passed at midnight, of the 22d November, by a majority of eleven votes. "Had it been rejected," said Oliver, as he came out, "I would have sold everything I possess, and never seen England more." But it was not Cromwell that was destined to quit London. On the 7th of December a bill was proposed to the Commons, that the organization of the militia and the nomination of its officers should for the future only take place with the concurrence of Parliament. This bill in some measure undermined the royal power, and yet the preservation of the liberty and Protestantism of England depended on it. The nobility immediately hastened to London from their country seats, and rallied round the menaced throne. The names of Cavaliers and Roundheads now first began to distinguish the two parties: the latter deriving their title from the shortness of their hair, which was cut close about their ears. Their violent contests perpetually disturbed the peace of the capital. At the opening of the next year all hearts were disquieted by the anticipation of coming events. On the 3d of January, (1642,) Charles began the attack by calling upon the Lower House to give up to him five of its most influential members: Pym, Hampden, Haselrig, Holles, and Strode. On the morrow it was announced that the King was advancing towards St. Stephen's, escorted by three or four hundred armed men. At his entrance, the whole house stood up uncovered. "Since I see the birds are flown," said he, casting his eyes round on the assembly, "I expect that you will send them to me; otherwise I must take my own course to find them." Cries of "Privilege! Privilege!" rose from several parts of the house, as the King withdrew. Charles learnt soon after that the people, the militia, and even the Thames watermen were preparing to bring back the five members to Westminster in triumph. "What!" said he, "do these water-rats, too, forsake me!" Of all the
39 population of London, Charles thought himself most certain of the affection of these boatmen. This device having failed, the King left Whitehall on the 10th of January, 1642. This was the beginning of the Revolution: the commencement of the struggle between the Parliament and the King. The ruin of the throne was in this movement, and yet it was inevitable. The maintenance of the liberty and religion of England could not be procured except at this cost. It has been said -- and let us ever bear it in mind -- that the English Revolution, by proclaiming the illegality of absolute power, did nothing new. It was legitimate. "If the feudal aristocracy," says an eminent author, "took part in the development of nations, it was by struggling against royal tyranny, by exercising the rights of resistance, and by maintaining the maxims of liberty."4 The commonalty, the middle classes, did in the seventeenth century what had hitherto been done by the nobles. Cromwell was now forty-two years old, and the father of six children: Oliver, Richard, and Henry, Bridget, Elizabeth, and Mary. He was living quietly, like many other good citizens and loyal subjects, who, as well as he, had never once thought of the profession of arms. But new times called for new measures. Every day these men, who felt the truest affection for their country, were disturbed in their homes at London, or in their more tranquil rural retreats, by reports of the massacre of the Protestants in Ireland, of the King's connivance at it, of his insincerity and falsehood, of his projects, of the punishments already inflicted on many of their brethren, of the acknowledged Popery of the Queen, of the semiRomanism of the King, of the persecutions in Scotland, the daily banishment of the best Christians in the kingdom, and by other signs and events no less alarming. When everything seemed to announce that the Protestants of England would ere long be either trampled down by Popery or massacred by the sword, these serious men arose, and called upon the King, through the Commons, not to deceive the expectations of his subjects. But when they found that prince, deaf to their prayers, raising troops to overawe the Parliament, and already victorious in several encounters, they resolved in a spirit of devotedness, to save with God's assistance their country and
40 their faith, by withdrawing from their families and exposing their lives in arms. Oliver now exchanged his parliamentary career for another that had become more necessary. The Huntingdonshire yeoman, who had given the Commons some proofs of his eloquence, was about to astonish the army still more by his courage and genius. The fervent orator was now to show himself a great general, and to become one of the greatest statesmen of modern times. On the 7th of February, Cromwell contributed Ј300, a large sum for his small fortune, towards the salvation of Protestantism and of England. He then joined the parliamentary army with his two sons, respectively twenty and sixteen years of age; and shortly after raised two companies of volunteers at Cambridge. The departure of his sons Oliver and Richard must have caused great sorrow in the peaceful abode of the Huntingdon farmer. With difficulty could these young men tear themselves from the embraces of their mother and of their sisters. But the hour was come, when their country called for the greatest sacrifices. All must now be prepared either to stretch their necks to the sword, or to bow them beneath the yoke of the Pope. Cromwell's domestic society was a pleasing one; he had a wife whom he loved most tenderly; his good mother was still living; he had passed the age of ambition; yet he became a soldier. "You have had my money: I hope in God I desire to venture my skin. So do mine," said he, with noble simplicity, on a later occasion. For the space of seventeen years, from this day until that of his death, all his thoughts, however well or ill conceived, were for Protestantism, and for the liberty of his fellowcitizens. It is from this moral point of view that we must study Cromwell; this was his ruling principle; and this alone explains his whole life. Can we look upon the departure of the Huntingdon volunteer as an insignificant event? There was a great work to be accomplished: no less than the settlement of England upon its double foundations of Protestantism and liberty; for on these depended her future destinies. Where was the man to be found great enough for so important a task?
41 One day, a member rose and addressed the House in an abrupt but warm tone. His appearance was anything but courtly, and his dress did not add to his importance. Lord Digby leant forward and with astonishment inquired of Hampden, the name of the speaker. Hampden, who was a man of excellent abilities, and whom, said Baxter, "friends and enemies acknowledged to be the most eminent for prudence," answered with a smile: "That sloven whom you see before you hath no ornament in his speech; that sloven, I say, if we should ever come to a breach with the King, (which God forbid!) in such a case, I say, that sloven will be the greatest man in England." The sloven was Oliver Cromwell. To those who like his cousin Hampden, had enjoyed the intimacy of his private life, he had already revealed the strength of his will and the greatness of his genius; and he was then beginning to manifest both to the nation in his parliamentary life. Ere long, in his military and political career, he was to make himself known to the world as the greatest man of his age, but at the same time as a godly Christian.
42 CHAPTER 3 SCHISM BETWEEN THE KING AND THE PARLIAMENT Conquest of Liberty -- Beginning of the War -- Cromwell's Frankness -- Letter to Barnard -- Intervention in Favor of Hapton Parish -- Doubtful Advantages -- Cromwell's Expedient -- Fortune of War changes -- Cromwell refuses to take part in Disorderly Living -- Death of Hampden-The two Parliaments -- Battle of Marston Moor -- A Letter and an Episode -- Prudence and Compassion -- Cromwell's Military Character -- Becomes the Real Chief -- Battle of Naseby -- The King's cabinet opened -- Storming of Bristol -- Glory to God! -- Christian Union -- Discipline -- Piety -- King surrenders to the Scots -- Ireton -- Cromwell's Letter to his Daughter Bridget -- King given up to Parliament -- Cromwell's Illness -- Letter to Fairfax -- Cromwell and his Soldiers -- Unity of Man. THE time had come when one of the noblest victories ever gained by the human race, was to be achieved. Constitutional liberty was about to be won for all future ages. This could not be attained without a terrible struggle -- without great sacrifices; for it is only by such means, alas! that society advances. The despotism about to be struck down was destined to furnish one distinguished victim. "Charles," says a royalist writer, "struggled ineffectually against the force of things; the age had outstripped him; it was not his nation only, but the whole human race, that dragged him along; he desired what was no longer possible. The liberty that had been won was first to be swallowed up in a military despotism that deprived it of its anarchy; but what was taken from the fathers was restored to the children, and remained as a final result to England.1 On the 22d of August, 1642, at six o'clock in the evening, the King planted the royal standard at Nottingham, and formally called his subjects to arms; but the wind, which was very tempestuous, blew it down the very night it had been set up. At a short distance from the same place, the Earl of Essex was organizing the parliamentary army, in which Cromwell was immediately made a captain.
43 He immediately inspected his troop, and marked the commencement of his military career by that frankness which is one of the distinctive features of his character. He was unwilling to follow the tortuous and hypocritical path of the Parliament -- fight against the King and pretend at the same time that they were marching in his defense. It is Clarendon himself who gives us this information. "Soldiers," said he to his company, "I will not deceive you, nor make you believe, as my commission has it, that you are going to fight for the King and Parliament."2 Cromwell carried his frankness even to rudeness: and this, rather than duplicity, is the fault we detect in him. He was determined to fight against all whom he found opposed to him, whoever they might be. He continued, according to Clarendon's account: "If the king were in front of me, I would as soon shoot him as another; if your conscience will not allow you to do as much, go and serve elsewhere." These latter words have been doubted; and in truth Clarendon, or rather those from whom he derived the report, may have easily exaggerated what Oliver actually said. But, even if we are to admit the correctness of the report, we may look upon it simply as an energetic manner of saying: "Do not be mistaken: we are fighting against the king." Cromwell was not simply a captain: his vigilant eye was everywhere. He knew how to baffle conspiracies, and give sound advice to men whose sentiments differed from his own. Mr. Robert Barnard, a gentleman of his acquaintance, but a bad Protestant, was favorable to the royalists, and associated with those who frequented suspicions meetings. Oliver wrote to him, on the 23d of January, 1643, a letter of advice, in which we find another proof of his frankness: -- "Subtlety may deceive you; integrity never will. With my heart I shall desire that your judgment may alter, and your practice. I come only to hinder men from increasing the rent, -- from doing hurt; but not to hurt any man: nor shall I you; I hope you will give me no cause. If you do, I must be pardoned what my relation to the public calls for."3 This language is full of firmness, and at the same time of true charity. He particularly busied himself with the protection of those who were suffering for their faith. In the county of Norfolk, the parishioners of Hapton were much oppressed by an individual named Browne, for their attachment to the Gospel. On their behalf Cromwell wrote to Mr. Thomas
44 Knyvett, of Ashwellthorpe, in the following terms: "London, 27th July, 1646 .... I am bold to ask your favor on behalf of your honest poor neighbors of Hapton, who, as I am informed, are in some trouble, and are likely to be put to more, by one Robert Browne, your tenant, who, not well pleased with the way of these men, seeks their disquiet all he may. "Truly nothing moves me to desire this more than the pity I bear them in respect of their honesties, and the trouble I hear they are likely to suffer for their consciences. And however the world interprets it, I am not ashamed to solicit for such as are anywhere under pressure of this kind; doing even as I would be done by .... Sir, it will not repent you to protect these poor men of Hapton from injury and oppression."4 It was in this manner that he manifested his brotherly charity, -- "that charity, which," according to Milton, "is the strongest of all affections, whereby the faithful, as members of Christ's body, mutually love and assist each other."5 Oliver had heard the injunction, Relieve the oppressed (Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 22:3); open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction (Proverbs 31:8), and earnestly fulfilled God's commandments. On the 23d of October, 1642, the battle of Edgehill was fought, the indecisive result of which filled London with alarm. It was perhaps on this occasion that Cromwell lost his eldest son: we shall see hereafter what were the father's feelings under this bereavement. The winter passed away quietly: in spring the war broke out again, with still doubtful success. The legitimate resistance of the Parliament could only be justified and maintained by prompt and decisive victories. Cromwell immediately saw the main cause of weakness in the parliamentary army, and found a remedy for it. He knew that to conquer a strong moral force, there is required another and one still more powerful. Accordingly he began at the beginning. "How can we be otherwise than beaten?" said he to Hampden. "Your troops are most of them old decayed serving-men, and tapsters, and such kind of fellows; and theirs are gentlemen's sons, younger sons, and persons of quality. But I will remedy that. I will raise men who will have the fear of God before their eyes, and who will bring some conscience to what they do; and I promise you they
45 shall not be beaten." With this design he went through the Eastern Counties, calling upon the young freeholders, with whose piety he was acquainted, to take up arms in the cause of God. Fourteen squadrons of zealous Protestants were soon raised. It was this new element that decided the destinies of the war and of England. From that hour the course of events was changed. It was not long before Cromwell's moral and religious character manifested itself in the army, and especially so soon as he was surrounded with persons animated by the same faith. Clarendon informs us that his conduct was in harmony with his principles. "His strict and unsociable humor" -- it is by such terms that men are often pleased unjustly to designate that Christian spirit to which they are strangers -- "his strict and unsociable humor would not allow him to keep company with the other officers in their jollities and excesses, which," adds Clarendon, "often made him ridiculous and contemptible." This historian afterwards informs us that Oliver, instead of frequenting these dissolute meetings, passed his leisure hours in singing psalms with the officers and soldiers who participated in his religious convictions, and in attending with them on the preaching of the Word. There is nothing more characteristic than the judgment here passed on Cromwell. The illustrious Clarendon does not give it precisely as his own, but he has very much the air of agreeing with it. If Oliver had been a gambler and a drunkard; if he had practiced the perfidious art of seducing innocence; if he had taken part in jollities and excesses, it would have been all very well: he would have been a good Cavalier. These are the men whom the world loves, and for whom historians and romance-writers6 keep all their favor. But he loved the assemblings of the saints, according to St. Paul's command. In his hours of repose, he delighted to follow the precepts of this apostle: Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:18, 19) From that hour he was held a contemptible man, and for two hundred years all the servile, imitating race of historians have continued to repeat this
46 absurdity, not to say impiety. Contemptible! says Clarendon. It may well be so: but Cromwell is not the only man who has been undervalued for avoiding bad company, and for not having trod in the way of sinners. David, Saint Paul, and all Christian men have been contemned like him, and for the same reasons. But it is written in the revelations of God: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil. (Isaiah 5:20) We do not think that these false judgments, thus stigmatized by the Divine Word, have ever been practiced on a larger scale than in the case of Cromwell. On the 18th of June a skirmish of cavalry took place some few miles from Oxford. One of the parliamentarian chiefs, who was usually in the foremost rank, was seen slowly quitting the field of battle before the end of the action: his head hung down, his hand was leaning on his horse's neck. "He is certainly wounded," said one of the bystanders. It was Hampden, Oliver's cousin. He died on the 24th of the same month, and the sorrowing people named him the Father of his Country. Who can say what influence, had he lived, he might; have exercised over the developments of the Revolution? Charles, wishing to give the appearance of legality to his power, summoned the two Houses of Parliament to meet at Oxford, and on the 22d of January, 1644, forty-five Peers and a hundred and eighteen members of the Commons obeyed his call. But the Parliament then sitting in London counted twenty-two Peers and two hundred and eighty members of the Lower House, besides about one hundred more who were absent on the service of the State. The King, who in conversation with his courtiers, called his Parliament at one time a "mongrel Parliament," and at another, "cowardly and seditious," adjourned it on the 16th of April. In January, the Scots had entered England, marching knee-deep in snow. In conjunction with the Parliamentary troops, they commenced the siege of York, defended by the Marquis of Newcastle. Prince Rupert flew to its relief; and on the 2d of July, 1644, took place the battle of Marston Moor. The conflict was bloody, but victory finally crowned the Parliamentary army, owing to the invincible courage of its soldiers, and particularly of Cromwell's cavalry, on whom the name of Ironsides was conferred on the very field of battle. The enemy lost more than a hundred flags, which it was proposed to send to the Parliament; but they were torn in pieces by
47 the conquerors, and bound as trophies round their arms. The King lost all the north of England, and the Queen escaped to France. "If you leave your place, you'll lose it," was the message sent to her a short time before by Cardinal Richelieu. The following letter gives an account of one of the most interesting episodes of this great victory: -- "To my loving Brother, Colonel Valentine Walton: These. "5th July, 1644. "Dear Sir, "It's our duty to sympathize in all mercies; and to praise the Lord together in chastisements or trials, that so we may sorrow together. "Truly England and the Church of God hath had a great favor from the Lord, in this great victory given unto us, such as the like never was since this War began. It had all the evidences of an absolute victory obtained by the Lord's blessing upon the Godly Party principally. We never charged but we routed the enemy. The Left Wing which I commanded, being our own horse, saving a few Scots in our rear, beat all the Prince's horse. God made them as stubble to our swords. We charged their regiments of foot with our horse, and routed all we charged. The particulars I cannot relate now; but I believe, of twenty thousand the Prince hath not four thousand left. Give glory, all the glory, to God. "Sir, God hath taken away your eldest son by a cannon shot. It brake his leg. We were necessitated to have it cut off, whereof he died. "Sir, you know my own trials this way; but the Lord supported me in this, That the Lord took him7 into the happiness we all pant for and live for. There is your precious child full of glory, never to know sin or sorrow any more. He was a gallant young man, exceedingly gracious. God give you His comfort. Before his death he was so full of comfort, that to Frank Russel and myself he could not express it, `It was so great above his pain.' This he said to us. Indeed it was admirable. A little after he said, one thing lay upon
48 his spirit. I asked him, What that was. He told me it was, That God had not suffered him to be any more the executioner of His enemies. At his fall, his horse being killed with the bullet, and, as I am informed, three horses more, I am told he bid them open to right and left, that he might see the rogues run. Truly he was exceedingly beloved in the Army, of all that knew him. But few knew him; for he was a precious young man, fit for God. You have cause to bless the Lord. He is a glorious Saint in Heaven; wherein you ought exceedingly to rejoice. Let this drink up your sorrow; seeing these are not feigned words to comfort you, but the thing is so real and undoubted a truth. You may do all things by the strength of Christ. Seek that, and you shall easily bear your trial. Let this public mercy to the Church of God make you to forget your private sorrow. The Lord be your strength: so prays, "Your truly faithful, and loving brother, "Oliver Cromwell."8 In this kind manner he consoles a bereaved father, while the smoke still covers the battle-field. He lays aside all the engrossing cares of the general to fulfill the duties of the Christian. This letter bears indubitable marks of a soldier's bluntness, but also of the sympathy of a child of God. In Oliver these two elements were never far apart. While Cromwell, by his furious charges, was deciding the battle of Marston Moor, the Earl of Essex was suffering great reverses in Cornwall, and his army was forced to capitulate. The former rose as the latter fell: and from the very beginning of the war, clear-sighted men might have been able to foresee that he was destined to be the real leader. There was no officer in the army who braved danger with greater intrepidity. In the very heat of the action, he preserved an admirable presence of mind. He led his soldiers up to within a few paces of the enemy, and never allowed them to fire until their shots were sure to take effect. "His actions," says Chateaubriand, "had all the rapidity and the effect of lightning." At the same time he maintained the strictest discipline in the army. The troops under his command thought themselves sure of victory, and, in fact, he never lost a battle. "There was a certain invincibility in his genius, like the new ideas of which he was the champion."9 Milton furnishes us with the
49 key to Cromwell's superiority: "From his thorough exercise in the art of self-knowledge, he had either exterminated or subjugated his domestic foes, his idle hopes, his fears, and his desires. Having thus learnt to engage, and subdue, and triumph over himself, he took the field against his outward enemies, a soldier practiced in all the discipline of war."10 In 1645, an ordinance -- the famous "self-denying ordinance" -- excluding all members of parliament from commands in the army, passed both Houses, and Cromwell prepared to take leave of his general, Fairfax. But circumstances, which seemed to proceed from the hand of God, prevented him. Hostilities broke out afresh, and Oliver did not think it right at such a moment to return his sword into the scabbard. He rushed upon the enemy at the head of his Puritans, and everywhere the Cavaliers fled before him. Fairfax declared that he could not dispense with him. On the 14th of June the decisive battle of Naseby, so fatal to the royalists, took place. The King fought desperately, but lost his private cabinet of papers and letters, which was sent to London, where it was carefully examined by the Parliament. In it they found the clearest proofs that, notwithstanding his frequent denials, he was perpetually soliciting the aid of foreign princes, and that he had protested against the name of Parliament which he had given to the two Houses. These documents, which were published under the title of "The King's Cabinet Opened," entirely ruined Charles in the minds of his people. There is a justice in heaven which permits neither kings nor the humblest of their subjects to live by falsehood and to make a mockery of oaths. By his deception and perjury, Charles had forfeited the respect of many who were desirous to maintain the dignity of the throne, and from this period no hope remained. Prince Rupert, the King's nephew, still resisted, and had shut himself up in Bristol, which was taken by assault. Of this most important victory Cromwell forwarded an account to Parliament, on the 14th of September, 1645. We suppress the narrative of military transactions, and give only the conclusion of the report, in which we find united the characteristics of a successful general and of an humble Christian: -- "For the Honorable William Lenthall, Speaker of the Commons House of Parliament: These.
50 "I have given you a true, but not a full account of this great business; wherein he that runs may read, That this is none other than the work of God. He must be a very Atheist that doth not acknowledge it. "It may be thought that some praises are due to those gallant men, of whose valor so much mention is made: -- their humble suit to you and all that have an interest in this blessing, is, That in the remembrance of God's praises they be forgotten. It's their joy that they are instruments of God's glory, and their country's good. It's their honor that God vouchsafes to use them. Sir, they that have been employed in this service know, that faith and prayer obtained this city for you: I do not say ours only, but of the people of God with you and all England over, who have wrestled with God for a blessing in this very thing. Our desires are that God may be glorified by the same spirit of faith by which we ask all our sufficiency, and have received it. It is meet that He have all the praise. "Presbyterians, Independents, all have here the same spirit of faith and prayer; the same presence and answer; they agree here, have no names of difference: pity it is it should be otherwise anywhere! All that believe have the real unity, which is most glorious; because inward, and spiritual, in the Body [which is the true Church], and to the Head [which is Jesus Christ]. For being united in forms, commonly called Uniformity, every Christian will, for peace-sake, study and do, as far as conscience will permit. And for brethren, in things of the mind we look for no compulsion, but that of light and reason. In other things, God hath put the sword in the Parliament's hands -- for the terror of evil-doers, and the praise of them that do well. If any plead exemption from that, -- he knows not the Gospel: if any would wring that out of your hands, or steal it from you, under what pretense soever, I hope they shall do it without effect. That God may maintain it in your hands, and direct you in the use thereof, is the prayer of "Your humble servant, "OLIVER CROMWELL."11
51 These are remarkable words. Glory to God in heaven -- union among the children of God upon earth -- such are the General's two grand thoughts. How far superior he shows himself to the petty quarrels which then divided the Presbyterians and the Independents! At the same time, he distinguishes with great precision between spiritual and temporal things. According to his views, love should prevail in the one; the sword, in the other. Full of charity towards his brethren, rejecting every restraint upon religion, and proclaiming the great principles of liberty of conscience, how terrible he appears with the sword in his hands! Oliver did not show severity towards his enemies only. His justice was inflexible, even when it called upon him to punish his own followers. After quitting Bristol, he took several other strong places by storm, and became renowned for his sieges. At Winchester some of the captive enemies having complained of being plundered contrary to the articles of capitulation, he directed that the soldiers accused of this disorder should be tried: six of them were found guilty, one of whom was hanged, and the five others were sent to the royalist Governor of Oxford, who returned them "with an acknowledgment of the Lieutenant-general's nobleness." All who were about him bore testimony to his piety. In reference to this, Mr. Peters writes that he "had spent much time with God in prayer the night before the storming of Basing House; -- and seldom fights without some Text of Scripture to support him. This time he rested upon that blessed Word of God written in the 115th Psalm, 8th verse, They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. Which, with some verses going before, was now accomplished."12 Every day of his life he retired to read the Scriptures and to pray. Those who watched him narrowly relate, that after having perused a chapter in the Bible, he was wont to prostrate himself with his face on the ground, and with tears pour out his soul before God. Who can charge with hypocrisy these inward movements of a soul, which pass all knowledge? For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? The King, who had retired to Oxford, left it in disguise on the 27th of April, 1646. He wandered from castle to castle, and from one county to another, until, not knowing what to do, he surrendered to the Scots army at Newark.
52 One of the most distinguished officers of the Parliamentary army was Colonel Ireton. He had studied at Trinity College, Oxford, had distinguished himself in the army by his bravery, and had risen rapidly. He had long known Cromwell, and had made the acquaintance of his daughter Bridget, who, by her decision of character, was more like her father than was her younger sister Elizabeth, afterwards Mrs. Claypole. On the 15th of January, 1646, Ireton married Cromwell's daughter. On the 25th of October, in the same year, her father wrote the following letter to her, when as yet she did not exceed twenty-two years of age, touching some of the duties of the Christian life. It is short and simple; but perhaps no parent at the head of an army has ever written one more suitable and more affecting. "For my beloved Daughter, Bridget Ireton, at Cornbury, the General's Quarters: These. "London, 25th October 1646. "Dear Daughter, "I write not to thy husband; partly to avoid trouble, for one line of mine begets many of his, which I doubt makes him sit up too late; partly because I am myself indisposed [i.e. not in the mood] at this time, having some other considerations. "Your friends at Ely are well: your sister Claypole is, I trust in mercy, exercised with some perplexed thoughts. She sees her own vanity and carnal mind; bewailing it: she seeks after (as I hope also) what will satisfy. And thus to be a seeker is to be one of the best sect next to a finder; and such a one shall every faithful humble seeker be at the end. Happy seeker, happy finder. Who ever tasted that the Lord is gracious, without some sense of self, vanity, and badness? Who ever tasted that graciousness of His, and could go less in desire [i.e. become less desirous], -- less pressing after full enjoyment? Dear Heart, press on; let not thy Husband, let not anything cool thy affections after Christ. I hope he [thy husband] will be an occasion to inflame them. That which is best worthy of love in thy Husband is that of the image of Christ
53 he bears. Look on that, and love it best, and all the rest for that. I pray for thee and him; do so for me. "My service and dear affections to the General and Generaless. I hear she is very kind to thee; it adds to all other obligations. I am "Thy dear Father, "Oliver Cromwell."13 Delicacy of sentiment, the domestic virtues, and paternal love, are among the features by which Cromwell is best characterized. Towards the end of the year 1646, the Parliament offered the Scots army Ј400,000 on condition of their returning into their own country. The terms were accepted, and the King thus fell into the hands of the English Parliament. At the beginning of 1648, Cromwell fell dangerously ill: on his recovery he wrote the following letter to the commander-in-chief: -- "For his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, General of the Parliament's Armies, at Windsor: These. "London, 7th March, 1648. "Sir, "It hath pleased God to raise me out of a dangerous sickness; and I do most willingly acknowledge that the Lord hath, in this visitation, exercised the bowels of a father towards me. I received in myself the sentence of death, that I might learn to trust in Him that raiseth from the dead, and have no confidence in the flesh. It's a blessed thing to die daily. For what is there in this world to be accounted of! The best men according to the flesh, are things lighter tHan Vanity. I find this only good, To love the Lord and his poor despised people; to do for them, and to be ready to suffer with them: -- and he that is found worthy of this hath obtained great favor from the Lord; and he that is established in this shall (being confirmed to Christ and the rest of the Body, i.e. `the Church') participate in the glory of a Resurrection which will answer all.
54 "Sir, I must thankfully confess your favor in your last Letter. I see I am not forgotten; and truly, to be kept in your remembrance is very great satisfaction to me; for I can say in the simplicity of my heart, I put a high and true value upon your love, -- which when I forget, I shall cease to be a grateful and an honest man. "I most humbly beg my service may be presented to your Lady, to whom I wish all happiness, and establishment in the truth. Sir, my prayers are for you, as becomes "Your Excellency's| "Most humble servant, "OLIVER CROMWELL."14 This letter from one general to another characterizes alike the men and their times. Such was Oliver in the midst of battle. His troops, not less than their general, have been the object of bitter attack on the part of worldly-minded writers. This we can understand: proofs are now before us which explain their conduct. Take, for instance, the manner in which the orators of Exeter Hall are treated in Parliament, although, even in the opinion of their adversaries, they are some of the most worthy men in England. If soldiers lead a disorderly and irreligious life, provided they are brave, there are writers who can never be sufficiently loud in their praise; but soldiers, professing Christianity, merit, according to their views, nothing but blame and ridicule. Cromwell's regiment, after the battle of Edgehill, gave decided testimony of the spirit by which it was animated. Wishing to form what they called "a gathered church," the officers looked about for a fitting pastor, and to the honor of their Christian character selected Richard Baxter, the most eminent minister of the seventeenth century. The author of the Saints' Rest was equally distinguished for his blameless manner of life, his lively piety, and his extraordinary talents. Where can we now find a regiment that would invite such a man to take charge of their spiritual concerns? Although Baxter was rather royalist and Episcopalian in his sentiments, Cromwell and his followers looked only to his faith and holy life. He was invited to Cambridge, where Oliver happened then to be quartered, and a
55 call signed by all the officers was put into his hands. Baxter refused; for which he afterwards expressed his deep regret. "These very men," he says, "that then invited me to be their pastor, were the men that afterwards headed much of the army, and some of them were the forwardest in all our changes; which made me wish that I had gone among them, however it had been interpreted; for then all the fire was in one spark." Oliver not only desired a faithful preacher for his soldiers, but required them to observe a Christian behavior and an exact discipline. In these latter objects he succeeded admirably. One of the journals of the day, quoted by the royalist Southey in his elegant little biography of Cromwell, says of these troops, "no man swears but he pays his twelvepence; if he be drunk, he is set in the stocks, or worse; if one calls the other round-head, he is cashiered; insomuch that the countries where they come leap for joy of them, and come in and join with them. How happy were it, if all the forces were thus disciplined!" The piety generally prevailing among Oliver's soldiers has been so much ridiculed for two centuries past, and the public opinion has been so misled on this point, that it will be long ere men's minds will be in a condition to appreciate them aright. We, however, will never consent to call good evil, or pretend that men can gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles. In our views, the heart and life form a great and profound harmony. The act cannot be good, unless the feeling be good also; the words cannot be true unless the thought be true likewise. When I meet with a pure stream, I conclude that it springs from a clear fountain. Man, thinking, speaking, and acting, forms an indivisible unity. A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. This has been forgotten in the case of Oliver Cromwell.
56 CHAPTER 4 SCHISM BETWEEN THE PARLIAMENT AND THE ARMY The Two Parties, Presbyterians and Independents -- Claims of the Army -- Joyce -- The King's Leaning towards the Independents -- Army Manifesto -- Religious Liberty -- Eleven Members accused -- Errors -- Influence of Oppression -- Unlawful Intervention of the Presbyterians -- Opposition of the Army -- Independent Influence -- Cromwell favorably disposed towards the King -- Charles's Blindness -- Letter found in the Saddle -- The Silk Garter and the Hempen Halter -- Cromwell despairs of Charles -- The King's Flight -- He reaches the Isle of Wight -- Cromwell suppresses the Levellers -- Treaty with the Scots -- Charles's Reply to Parliament -- The Pit and he that diggeth it. THERE were now two parties in England, which every day assumed a more distinct character: the Presbyterians and the Independents, or Parliament and the Army. "Modern readers, mindful of the French Revolution," says Carlyle, "will perhaps compare these Presbyterians and Independents to the Gironde and the Mountain. And there is an analogy; yet with differences. With a great difference in the situations; with the difference, too, between Englishmen and Frenchmen, which is always considerable; and then with the difference between believers in Jesus Christ and believers in Jean Jacques, which is still more considerable."1 Some of the leading men of the Presbyterian party in Parliament (Holles, Stapleton, Harley, Sir William Waller, etc.) were old officers, who, being unsuccessful under Lord Essex, had no great love for the victorious army or its brave general. They wished to disband it; but the soldiers, who had shed their blood in the lawful defense of their country, claimed, prior to their disbanding, not recompense and reward, but simply their due -- forty-three weeks arrears of pay. Oliver, who had resumed his seat in Parliament, was deputed by that body to go to the army and endeavor to quiet it. On his return, he received the thanks of the House.
57 On the 2d of June, (1647,) an unexpected event occurred to accelerate the course of events. A body of five hundred men, under the orders of Cornet Joyce, proceeded to Holmby House, where the King was staying, and brought him off along with them. Charles flattering himself that this struggle between the Presbyterians and independents would end in the extirpation of both, and greatly delighted with anything that would embitter their disputes, willingly accompanied the soldiers. Another motive led him to incline to the side of the Independents and of the Army. It was held impossible for Charles to come to an understanding with the Presbyterians, considering, as he did, that Episcopal government was essential to Christianity, while the Presbyterians were bound by their Covenant to abolish Episcopacy. On the other hand, there was always an opening for some arrangement with the Independents, who were disposed to use all their exertions with Parliament to tolerate Episcopacy, as well as the other sects. They were convinced that if the opposite party once got the upper hand, they would tyrannize over conscience, as much as the bishops themselves had done in the early years of Charles's reign. In fact the Presbyterians, whenever they offered to treat with the King, always proposed that steps should be taken to suppress the Independent opinions, as well as those of other sectaries.2 On the 10th of June, the principal officers of the army (Fairfax, Cromwell, Hammond, Ireton, Lambert, and others) wrote to the Lord Mayor and Common Council of the City of London,3 demanding satisfaction for their undoubted claims as soldiers; protesting against the misrepresentations of which they had been made the victims; declaring that their cause could not be separated from that of the Parliament and the people; and desiring "a settlement of the peace of the kingdom and of the liberties of the subject," according to the promises made before the war, -- promises for which many-of their dearest companions in arms had lost their lives. But the principal point of the army-manifesto was religious liberty. The Independents consented that the Presbyterian religion should be the religion of the nation; thus, granting to the latter body a superiority over their own party; but they claimed for all Christians the full enjoyment of civil and religious rights. This, says Lord Clarendon, was their great charter, and they were determined not to lay down their arms until they
58 had obtained it. The Independents had shed their blood for Parliament in maintaining the liberties of England, and they thought it strange they should be allowed no other liberty than that of expatriation. The Presbyterians in the English Revolution represented, generally, order, moderation, and respect for the Constitution; but the Independents, it must be acknowledged, knew much better than they the great principles of religions liberty. If we call to mind the manner in which Presbyterianism afterwards vanished from England, leaving behind it only a small number of Unitarian congregations, we cannot help thinking that some bad principle must have crept into this party. Scotland is the true country for this system of church-constitution, which has never been able to maintain its footing on the south of the Tweed, though it has borne the fairest fruits in the north, and is now producing fairer fruits than ever.4 The officers of the army, in their petition to the Lord Mayor and city of London, continue thus: -- "We have said before, and profess it now, we desire no alteration of the civil government. As little do we desire to interrupt, or in the least to intermeddle with the settling of the Presbyterian government. Nor did we seek to open a way for licentious liberty, under pretense of obtaining ease for tender consciences. We profess, as ever in these things, when once the state has made a settlement, we have nothing to say but to submit or suffer. Only we could wish that every good citizen, and every man who walks peaceably in a blameless conversation, and is beneficial to the Commonwealth, might have liberty and encouragement; this being according to the true policy of all states, and even to justice itself." This was no doubt written by Cromwell, and it is impossible to find terms at once more just, wise, and moderate. Perhaps in no other case has a victorious party employed language similar to it. Every politician and age will know how to appreciate such examples. On the 16th of June, the army, still at Saint Albans, accused of treason eleven members of the House of Commons: Holles, Waller, Stapleton, and eight others, all of whom asked leave to retire for six months. This is one of the epochs in the Protector's life that has been the most severely handled by English, French, and German historians. "The old narratives," says Mr. Carlyle,5 "written all by baffled enemies of
59 Cromwell, (Holles, Waller, etc.) are full of mere blind rage, distraction, and darkness; the new narratives, believing only in `Machiavelism,' etc., disfigure the matter still more. Common history, old and new, represents Cromwell as having underhand, -- in a most skillful and indeed prophetic manner, -- fomented or originated all this commotion of the elements; steered his way through it by `hypocrisy,' by `master-strokes of duplicity,' and such like. As is the habit hitherto of history." To this we will add the opinion of Lilburne, the most unmanageable and least credulous of the republicans, who had several sharp altercations with Cromwell, and who wrote to him on the 25th of March in this same year in the following terms: -- "I have looked upon you, as among the powerful ones of England, as a man with heart perfectly pure, perfectly free from all personal views." Such testimony as this is deserving of far more confidence than the insinuations or the clamors of Ludlow and the Protector's other enemies.6 We have no desire to make an indiscriminate apology for Cromwell and his friends; but we wish to be equitable, and to take into consideration the influences by which he must have been acted upon. There was at that time a twofold oppression in England. The friends of liberty had been oppressed by the tendency of the crown towards absolute power; and the popular independent church had been harassed from the reign of Elizabeth, and even prior to that, by the state-church. Oppression may sometimes have a good effect upon the sufferers, but it also has a bad one. In England it gave greater energy to the love of liberty and to the religious life; but it also produced in the friends of civil and religious freedom a certain rudeness, acrimony, violence, and exaggeration. This will be found at all times in political and religious parties which have long been trodden down. To whom must we ascribe the blame? Are not the oppressors far more guilty than their victims? Cromwell and his party would no longer permit themselves to be checked, not even by their old friends. The torrent, kept for a time within its channel, bursts forth with the greater fury, when once the banks are broken through. It overthrows every obstacle, and deep gulfs mark its devastating course. Parliament was now in the greatest perplexity, not knowing what to do to satisfy the Presbyterians and the City of London on the one hand, the
60 Independents and the army on the other. The Presbyterians called upon God to incline the hearts of the Scotch to come to their support. It would seem that their ecclesiastical system was an exotic plant in England, which could not be kept alive without the hand that had first transported it thither. On the 26th of July, some citizens of London attached to that system, forgetful of the character of moderation which belonged to them, went down to Westminster, accompanied by a mob of apprentices and mechanics, to demand that the actual officers of the army should be dismissed, and their commissions given to men devoted to the Presbyterian cause. They entered the House of Commons with their hats on, calling out, "Vote, vote!" and did not retire until the House had complied with their wishes. Upon this the Duke of Manchester, speaker of the House of Lords, with eight peers, and Lenthall, speaker of the House of Commons, attended by a hundred members, privately withdrew from Westminster, and joined the army. At their request the soldiers marched to London and restored the fugitives to their seats, when it was resolved to exclude from Parliament the ringleaders of the late tumult. From that time the Independent influence supplanted the Presbyterian in the Lower House. At first they showed themselves well-disposed towards Charles, and Oliver made a most temperate use of the power which the course of events had placed in his hands. One of his cousins, John Cromwell, had heard him say at Hampton Court: "I think the king the most injured prince in the world, but this," -- touching his sword -- "shall right him." He shrank from a revolution: he sought to prevent it, and to re-establish his sovereign in the enjoyment of a legitimate authority. Everything shows that he was sincere in this desire. "May God be pleased to look upon me," said he, "according to the sincerity of my heart towards the king." He did not as yet despair of Charles, and he desired to save this prince not less from the excesses of his own despotism than from those of the Levellers. This even the prejudiced historian of the Four Stuarts seems to acknowledge.7 Oliver and Ireton had frequent interviews with the King and his agents, and the propositions they made were, ill the actual state of affairs, very equitable. Parliament had required that the regal authority should be limited for twenty years; Cromwell asked for ten only, and declared that the King's conscience ought to be left free as regarded episcopacy. Sir John Berkeley,
61 one of Charles's attendants, entreated him to accept these terms; and hence, for some time, strong hopes were entertained of a pacification. Cromwell's wife and daughters were presented to the King at Hampton Court, where the latter received them with great honors. Even the general himself and Ireton were seen walking with him in the Park, and were known to be often closeted with him. It was this monarch's destiny to be the contriver of his own ruin. The graciousness displayed at Hampton Court was mere treachery. Misled and perhaps excited by messages from France, conveyed to him by Mr. Ashburnham, the King rejected the most favorable offers. "I can turn the scale which way I please," said he to his agents; "and that party must sink which I abandon." "Sire," replied Berkeley, "a crown so near lost was never recovered on easier terms." Charles in fact did turn the scale but to his own destruction. Negotiations were not yet terminated; the King even appeared desirous of resuming them; and spoke of giving Cromwell the order of the Garter and the command of the army, when information was sent to this great leader, that in the course of the same day a letter addressed to the queen would be dispatched for France, carefully sewn up in the flaps of a saddle, which a man, not in the secret, would carry on his head, about ten o'clock at night, to the Blue Boar, in Holborn, whence it would be forwarded for France by way of Dover. Cromwell and Ireton at once determined to seize this opportunity of learning the King's thoughts; for a feeling of uneasiness had constantly pursued them amidst all his promises and favors. They left Windsor, disguised as private soldiers, and on reaching the tavern, placed a trooper they had brought with them on watch at the door, sat down, and called for some beer. At ten o'clock the messenger appeared; they seized the saddle under the pretext that they had orders to search everything, carried it into the inn, ripped up the lining, found the letter, closed up the saddle again, and returned it to the terrified messenger, saying that it was all right, that he was an honest fellow, and might continue his journey without fear. The impatient Generals then withdrew to a private room, and opened the letter. "My time is come at last," wrote the King. "I am now the man whose favor they court. I incline rather to treat with the Scotch than with
62 the English army. For the rest, I alone understand my position; be quite easy as to the concessions I may grant; when the time comes, I shall know very well how to treat these rogues, and instead of a silken garter, I will fit them with a hempen halter." Ireton and Cromwell looked at each other. This was the truth, then, as regarded Charles, and what the nation might expect of him. With perfidious hand he had rent the compact which united him to England. He no longer possessed any moral value ill the eyes of his people. All confidence and respect were lost: and yet he was still a king. The two chiefs left the Blue Boar with the deepest emotion, and rode hastily back to Windsor. Not long after, Cromwell waited upon Mr. Ashburnham, one of the King's attendants, and declared that he was now satisfied that his majesty could not be trusted. From this time the separation between Charles and the future Protector -- between the King and England -- was complete. The letter enclosed in the saddle was a divorce between his people and the unhappy monarch, who, by refusing a garter, conferred a crown. It was not long before he perceived that things had changed. His most trusty servants received orders to depart; his guards were doubled; his walks restricted; and Cromwell wrote with uneasiness to Colonel Whalley, that "there were rumors abroad of some intended attempt upon his Majesty's person." The King's anxiety grew more painful every day; a trivial circumstance of a very different nature led him to take a decisive step. One night, while agitated by painful dreams, his lamp suddenly went out .... He resolved to fly, but whither? He gave a woman five hundred pounds, the half of all he possessed, and commissioned her to go to London and consult the famous astrologer, William Lilly. But he did not wait the return of his messenger, and the oracles which the stars might give. Anonymous letters pressed him to escape. On the 11th of November, at nine in the evening, he left his chamber, attended by a single servant, and quitted the palace, the park, the forest, without the least difficulty. It seemed as if there were a hand behind him, urging him forward, and another before him clearing the way. Were not these two mysterious hands the hands of Cromwell? Convinced that everything was finished between the King and England, and wishing to avoid the bloody catastrophe that was approaching, he, as William of Orange did somewhat later with regard to James II., made every effort to favor Charles's flight and his retreat to
63 France. Cromwell, says the republican Ludlow, informed the King of his danger, and assured him of his services. A report was current that the strict watch of the garrison at Hampton Court had been relaxed on the 11th of November, and that sentinels had been withdrawn from the posts they usually guarded. At the same time it was asserted, that a vessel sent by the queen was cruising off the coast, towards which his majesty was to proceed, for the purpose of taking him off. But when he reached the shore, no ship, not even a fishing-boat, was in sight. Being now without resource, he surrendered to Colonel Hammond, governor of the Isle of Wight. He placed in that officer's hands a communication he had received from Oliver shortly before leaving Hampton Court, in which the latter informed him of the risk he would incur by staying any longer in that palace. "It was evident," says Ludlow," that the King had escaped by Cromwell's advice." If Oliver desired to see Charles leave England, he also wished to repress the disorders of the Levellers. With one hand he removed tyranny; with the other he suppressed the demagogues. The latter entered into associations, and made propositions to their officers and to the Parliament "to introduce an equality into all conditions, and a parity among all men." "The suppression of this license," says Clarendon, "put Cromwell to the expense of all his cunning, dexterity, and courage." He still believed that Parliament was capable of governing, and desired to maintain the authority of that body. Having been informed that the Levellers were holding a meeting with a view to seduce the army, he immediately proceeded to the place of assemblage, attended by a few men only of whom he was sure. Without being disconcerted, he put several questions to those who appeared the most seditious. And upon receiving an insolent reply, chastised some of them with his own hand, and with the assistance of his friends dispersed the others. Non civium ardor prava jubentium, Non vultus instantis tyranni Mente quatit solida. On several occasions Oliver subdued those demagogues. "If this factious spirit," says Clarendon, "had not been encountered at that time with that rough and brisk temper of Cromwell, it would presently have produced al1 imaginable confusion in the parliament, army, and kingdom."8
64 Ere long fresh hopes agitated Charles in his retreat in the Isle of Wight. The House of Commons voted that four propositions should be presented to him; and if he accepted them, he should be allowed to treat in person with the Parliament. Commissioners were accordingly sent to the King, whom they found in appearance favorably disposed, but in reality more determined than ever to resist them. His plan was to put himself at the head of the Irish, and march against England; and he secretly prepared to leave the island, although he swore to the contrary. A fresh chance was now offered the King, and the division among his adversaries gave him hopes of recovering all his power. Lord Lauderdale and two other Scotch Commissioners, shrouding themselves in the deepest secrecy, arrived at Carisbrook Castle nearly at the same time with the deputation from Parliament. They promised the King the intervention of a Scottish army to re-establish him in his rights; but with stipulations to the advantage of Scotland which would have been offensive to the honor of England; and on condition that the King would confirm the Presbyterian establishment in England for three years. Charles accepted everything: in two days the treaty was concluded and signed, and then hidden mysteriously in a garden in the island, until it could be made known with safety. When this was settled, he gave his answer to Lord Denbigh and the other Parliamentary Commissioners. He requested to treat in person without being pledged to accept anything beforehand; and the Commissioners returned to make their report to Parliament. His majesty's position was now worse than ever, and he was the artificer of his own ruin. It had been Oliver's wish to save the King, and re-establish him on a constitutional and honorable throne. He, like many others, had been subjugated by his sovereign's amiability. He is said to have declared that the interview between Charles and his children, when they were first allowed to visit him, was "the tenderest sight that his eyes ever beheld;" and to have wept plentifully when he spoke of it, "which he might well have done without hypocrisy, for in private life he was a man of kind feelings and of a generous nature."9
65 Cromwell desired to save his King, and that, too, at the very moment the latter designed to hang him. Alas! it was the unfortunate Stuart who was caught in the snare he was laying for others. He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him. Such is the language of God's Word; and there faileth not aught of any good thing which the Lord hath spoken. (Joshua 21:45)
66 CHAPTER 5 DEATH OF THE KING Parliament resolves to hold no further Communication with the King -- Prayer-meeting at Windsor -- Second Civil War -- Royalist Insurrection -- Scotch Invasion -- Cromwell's Victories -- Parliament again treats with the King -- Charles's Treachery -- Great Alternative -- Army remonstrates with Parliament -- Cromwell justified by Facts -- The Woodman and the Sower -- Cromwell to Hammond -- Truth and Error -- The King at Hurst Castle -- Parliament rejects the Remonstrance -- Composition of the Army -- The Army at London -- Pride's Purge -- Cromwell's Hesitation about the King -- Cromwell's religious Error -- Prayers -- The Will of God -- Death Warrant -- The Execution censured -- Revelation of the King's Treason -- Principles of the Roman Church -- Of Milton -- Charles's Children -- Cromwell to his Daughter-in-law -- Cromwell and Charles's Corpse -- The European Powers. THE Parliamentary Commissioners, on their return from the Isle of Wight to London, presented the report of their journey and its results. On the 3d of January, 1648, Sir Thomas Wroth rose in the House of Commons and said: "Mr. Speaker, Bedlam was appointed for madmen, and Tophet (i.e. the grave or hell) for kings (Isaiah 30:33); but our King of late hath carried himself as if he were fit for no place but Bedlam; I propose we lay the King by, and settle the kingdom without him." Ireton supported the motion. "The King," said he, "by denying the four bills has denied safety and protection to his people." The Parliamentary or Presbyterian party strongly resisted the proposition. Cromwell had not yet spoken. In his view, Charles's bad faith had reached the point at which civil tribunals deprive a man of the management of his family; and he therefore thought that the management of the kingdom should be taken from a prince who was no longer the father, but the deceiver of his people. "Mr. Speaker," he said, "the King is a man of great sense, of great talents, but so full of dissimulation, so false, that there is no possibility of trusting him. While
67 he is protesting his love for peace, he is treating underhand with the Scottish Commissioners to plunge the nation into another war. It is now expected the Parliament should govern and defend the kingdom." The motion was immediately adopted by the Commons, and by the Lords after some little hesitation. This important vote caused a great sensation, and rendered the posture of affairs daily more embarrassing. A Scotch army talked of delivering the King from the hands of the sectarians; and in England three parties, in addition to the soldiers, were agitating the nation. The royalist party threatened to rise every moment with shouts of "God and King Charles;" the great Presbyterian party, with the city of London at their head, became hourly more discontented with the state of things; and a third party, the Levellers or radicals, still further increased the terror and confusion. One day, about the beginning of 1648, the army leaders met at Windsor. "The longest heads and the strongest hearts in England were there," says an historian. And what did they there? The answer will be found in the following report which Adjutant-General Allen has transmitted to us. -- "We met at Windsor Castle about the beginning of Forty-eight, and there we spent one day together in prayer; inquiring into the causes of that sad dispensation; coming to no further resolve that day; but that it was still our duty to seek. And on the morrow we met again in the morning, where many spake from the Word and prayed; and the then Lieutenant-General Cromwell did press very earnestly on all there present to a thorough consideration of our actions as an army, and of our ways, particularly as private Christians: to see if any iniquity could be found in them, and what it was; that if possible we might find it out, and so remove the cause of such sad rebukes as were upon us at that time. And to this end," he added, "let us consider when we could last say that the presence of the Lord was among us, and rebukes and judgments were not as then upon us. We concluded this second day with agreeing to meet again on the morrow. "Which accordingly we did, and were led by a gracious hand of the Lord, to find out the very steps by which we had departed from Him, and provoked Him to depart from us. Which we found to be those cursed carnal conferences our own conceited wisdom, our fears, and want of faith had prompted us, the year before, to entertain with the King and his party.
68 And on this occasion did the then Major Goffe make use of that good Word, Proverbs 1:23 -- Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. And the Lord so accompanied this invitation by His Spirit, that it had a kindly effect, like a word of His, upon most of our hearts that were then present; which begot in us a great sense, a shame and loathing of ourselves for our iniquities, and a justifying of the Lord as righteous in His proceedings against us. He led us, not only to see our sin, but also our duty; and this so unanimously set with weight upon each heart, that none was able hardly to speak a word to each other for bitter weeping, partly in the sense and shame of our iniquities; of our unbelief, base fear of men, and carnal consultations with our own wisdom, and not with the Word of the Lord .... And yet we were also helped, with fear and trembling, to rejoice in the Lord, who no sooner brought us to His feet but He did direct our steps, and we were led to a clear agreement amongst ourselves, that it was the duty of our day, with the forces we had, to go out and fight against our potent enemies, with an humble confidence in the name of the Lord only. "And we were also enabled then, after serious seeking the Lord's face, to come to a very clear and joint resolution, that it was our duty to call Charles Stuart, that man of blood, to an account for that blood he had shed, and mischief he had done to his utmost against the Lord's cause and people in these poor nations."1 It is a striking spectacle to witness the bold and formidable leaders of the Parliamentary army assembled for three days in prayer in the palace of Windsor to seek for the guidance of the Lord. Who can entertain any doubt of their uprightness, of their true piety, and of their lively faith? Who, on contemplating their example, can help feeling humiliated as he looks sorrowfully into his own heart? Who will not acknowledge that the continual falsehoods of Charles I., and the conviction at which the champions of liberty had arrived, that this prince was betraying them, and would only be satisfied with the destruction of Protestantism, were well calculated to alarm the chiefs of the army, and lead them on to decisive measures?
69 And yet, were they really in the right path? We entertain some doubt on this point. There is perhaps, no case in which we see more clearly the importance of being enlightened on the true principles of Christian conduct. When the leaders of the army wished to know what they ought to do, they examined into what they had done when they felt happiest and nearest to God: such are not the means prescribed by Heaven. They should have asked themselves, "What does God command us in His word?" It is not by our feelings that He will guide us, but by his commandments. Our feelings may lead us astray. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. The Word of God never misleads us. A Christian's walk is in the Divine commandments: to act according to one's own sensations, one's interior illumination, is the walk of the mystic. If the officers assembled at Windsor did not then fall into fanaticism, they were at least in a path which might lead to it; and some of them fell into it afterwards. Meanwhile Cromwell still endeavored to check the movement which was hurrying on towards a violent catastrophe. He strove to restrain the pretensions of the republicans and enthusiasts. He was grieved to see the power passing from the hands of moderate men, and extended to earnest and active persons of inferior condition, but who were void of experience and wisdom. He assembled one day at dinner the principal Independents and Presbyterians, and earnestly en-treated them to suspend their quarrels and combine together. But it was without result; the minds of all were inclined to war; and Oliver was at length compelled to yield. The King and the royalists on their side were not less heated than the republicans. Charles was intriguing with England, Scotland, and Ireland. At one time, at the table of some rich gentleman, at another time, at the assizes or in the markets, the cavaliers plotted, worked upon the people, and their exertions seemed everywhere crowned with success. A discontent, hourly becoming more general, announced itself in the spring of 1648, among the Presbyterians and the loyalists in Wales and in Kent. "The gentry are all for the king," writes a contemporary; "the common people understand nothing, and follow the gentry."
70 In South Wales, several officers, who had gained distinction in the Parliamentary army, joined the cavaliers beneath the royal flag. In Scotland, the Parliament voted a levy of 40,000 men in the King's defense. At this signal the royalists in the north of England broke out, and the chiefs of the parliamentary army in Ireland went over to the King's standard. Shortly after this event, the Kentish royalists drew together in great numbers. Even in London troops were raised for the King, and armed bands marched through the streets to join the insurgents. At this news, Cromwell, at the head of five regiments, took his departure for Wales, where lay the principal strength of the royalists; and letters were soon after received from him, promising that in a fortnight Pembroke Castle would be in his power. It was not only his own person, his own and his children's lives, that Cromwell offered to his country: he was also lavish of his property; he could despise small interests and sacrifice them to great ones. This is shown by the following letter addressed to the Parliament: -- "To the Honorable the Committee of Lords and Commons for the affairs of Ireland, sitting at Derby House: The offer of Lieutenantgeneral Cromwell for the service of Ireland. "21st Martii, 1648. "The Two Houses of Parliament having lately bestowed Ј1680 per annum upon me and my heirs, out of the Earl of Worcester's Estate; the necessity of affairs requiring assistance, I do hereby offer one thousand pounds annually to be paid out of the rents of said lands; that is to say Ј500 out of the next Michaelmas rent, and so on, by the half year, for the space of five years, if the War in Ireland shall so long continue, or that I live so long: to be employed for the service of Ireland, as the Parliament shall please to appoint; provided the said yearly rent of Ј1680 become not to be suspended by war or other accident. "And whereas there is an arrear of pay due unto me whilst I was Lieutenant-general unto the Earl of Manchester, of about Ј1500, audited and stated; as also a great arrear due for about two years
71 being governor of the Isle of Ely: I do hereby discharge the State from all or any claim to be made by me thereunto. OLIVER CROMWELL."2 Still, he found it necessary to accelerate matters. On the 8th of July the royalist army from Scotland crossed the border; but the hearts of the Scottish nation were not with their army. The faithful Presbyterians complained loudly that, while everything was done to restore the King to his rights, nothing was done to put Christ in possession of His. Pembroke Castle surrendered three days after the Scotch invasion. On the very next day the victor hastened northwards, writing to his friends at Derby House: "Send me some shoes for my poor tired soldiers; they have a long march to take." With those ill-shod, ill-clad soldiers he traversed England from west to east, and then from north to south, with the rapidity of lightning; and suddenly the cavalry sent word to the Duke of Hamilton, who commanded the Scotch army, that Cromwell was approaching. "Impossible," replied the Duke; "he has not had time to come." But the outposts were already engaged with the advanced guard of the Parliamentarian general. Cromwell defeated the royalists, dashed upon the Scots, whom he found near the Ribble, routed them thoroughly, crossed the river with them, followed them close as they fled, still continuing their invasion, to the southward, came up with them in a defile near Warrington, and compelled them to surrender. A fortnight's campaign had sufficed to sweep away the whole northern army. The conqueror marched into Scotland, where he was joined by the Presbyterians, who gave him a magnificent reception at Edinburgh. During this time, the English Parliament, alarmed at the success of their own army, were taking steps to come to a reconciliation with Charles. This body was continually oscillating between the two parties: it was "like the wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord." This declaration of Scripture was destined soon to be realized in respect to the things of this world. Parliament, which had invited the eleven proscribed members to resume their seats, was resolved on making new and favorable proposals to the King. On the 30th of June the vote forbidding any further address to his majesty was rescinded. "You know not in what condition you are," said Sir Symond d'Ewes; "your silver is clipped, your gold shipped, your
72 ships are revolted, yourselves contemned; your Scots friends enraged against you, and the affection of the city and kingdom quite alienated from you. Judge then, whether you are not in a low condition, and also if it be not high time to endeavor a speedy settlement and reconcilement with his majesty." Parliament growing daily more and more alarmed at the success of the army, voted that they would not persist in requiring from Charles the adoption of the four preliminary bills, and that fresh negotiations should immediately be opened with the King in the Isle of Wight (July 29). Fifteen commissioners (five members of the Upper House and ten of the Commons) left London to present themselves before the King. Twenty of his most faithful servants, lords, divines, and lawyers, had been permitted to advise with him; and he was attended by his chamberlains, pages, equerries, secretaries, and grooms of the chamber. The commissioners exhorted him to accept their proposals before the army should have time to return to London. The King seemed inclined to do so; but, true to his double-dealing, he nourished in his heart a far different hope. Ormond had quitted France, and was about to reappear in Ireland, provided with money and ammunition to enter upon a vigorous war. Charles's heart was there: he thought of escaping and putting himself at the head of that army. He solemnly promised to give orders for the cessation of all hostilities in Ireland; but at the same time secretly wrote to Ormond on the 10th of October: "Trouble not yourself about my concessions as to Ireland: Obey my wife's orders, not mine." And on the 9th of the same month, he wrote to Sir William Hopkins: "My great concession this morning was made only with a view to facilitate my approaching escape." Such was the prince whose dupe the Parliament became. There never perhaps was any body of men who showed themselves so simple, or who gave such evidence of folly and inexperience. Oliver's principal "crime" was his having more sagacity and discernment. This crime was almost a virtue. What would now be done by those men who, after prodigies of valor, long labors, great sacrifices and astonishing victories, in which the intervention of Providence had been manifested to them, had arrested the progress of despotism, secured liberty of conscience, and rescued Protestantism and England?
73 They saw that, unless they interfered, Charles, popery, and tyranny, would resume the superiority; that good men would be oppressed, they themselves beheaded, their brethren compelled to flee by thousands, if they could, into the wilds of America, and the Protestant would-be church crushed. One alternative offered itself to them. Must they abandon what they have done, and let things take their course? Or must they interfere irregularly in those irregular times, and once more rescue England and the Church? Some of Cromwell's friends, and in particular Colonel Hammond, to whom he wrote a letter about that time, a portion of which we shall quote, was for the first alternative; Oliver inclined to the second. The army, no doubt at his suggestion (he had not yet returned from his northern expedition), presented a Remonstrance to Parliament, and moved from Saint Albans to Windsor on the 25th of November, 1648. Of the two alternatives, which was the better? The second was desperate, -- monstrous, -- and yet we must acknowledge that facts have several times spoken in its favor. The liberties and Protestantism of England were on the verge of shipwreck, when Cromwell intervened; and all his life he upheld in Great Britain religious liberty and the national prosperity. And what became of the country after his death? -- The Stuarts returned; and "when the rejoicings were over, the illuminations extinct, then .... punishments followed."3 One hundred corpses were exhumed, among which were the great Oliver, his old and venerable mother, his dearly beloved daughter Bridget Pym, and the famous admiral Blake. Their moldering bodies were hung on the three corners of the gallows at Tyburn, and the cavaliers found a subject of merriment and pleasantry in this revolting exhibition. Ears were cut off, noses were slit, and numbers lost their heads on the scaffold. The sentence pronounced against them all was conceived in the following terms: -- "You shall be drawn on a hurdle to the place of execution, and there you shall be hanged by the neck; and being alive, you shall be cut down and mutilated; your entrails shall be
74 taken out of your body, and (you living) the same to be burnt before your eyes; and your head to be cut off, and your body to be divided into four quarters."4 The Stuarts, as if this were not enough, filled the country with immorality; and an illustrious Royalist of the present day can find no other excuse for Charles II. than by saying that, in propagating this corruption of morals, "it is probable that this prince merely followed the course of his own inclinations and the fickleness of his character."5 Two thousand ministers were driven from their benefices; the churches were oppressed; the noblest hearts of the country were forced to seek a refuge in distant lands; vast colonies in America were peopled by them; and England would have become like Spain, and worse than Spain, had not William III resumed the task so energetically begun by Cromwell. If, so long after the war, and after a pacific recall to their native land, the Stuarts committed such atrocities, what would they not have dared when men's passions and animosities were in full vigor? In one of his writings Luther compares himself to a woodman, (or as we should now say, a pioneer,) who goes into a forest, into the midst of thorns, thickets, and lofty trees, and there, manfully wielding his axe, hews down the wood and clears the ground; and he compares Melancthon to the husbandman who follows him, ploughing the soil thus prepared for him, and with liberal hand scattering the precious seed, ere long to cover with a rich harvest the once uncultivated ground. This comparison is also applicable to Cromwell and William of Orange. Cromwell was the pioneer, and William the husbandman. The former of these champions wrote the letter, of which we proceed to give a portion, to Colonel robert hammond, governor of the Isle of Wight, to justify to his friend the cause of the army in the struggle with Parliament, and to gain him over to his own views. "To Colonel Robert Hammond: These. 25th November, 1648. "Dear Robin, "Thou desirest to hear of my experiences. I can tell thee: I am such a one as thou didst formerly know, having a body of sin and death; but I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, there is no
75 condemnation, though much infirmity; and I wait for the redemption. And in this poor condition I obtain mercy and sweet consolation through the Spirit. And find abundant cause every day to exalt the Lord and abase the flesh, -- and herein I have some exercise. "As to outward dispensations, if we may so call them, we have not been without our share of beholding some remarkable providences and appearances of the Lord. His presence hath been amongst us, and by the light of His countenance we have prevailed. We are sure the goodwill of Him who dwelt in the bush (Exodus 3) has shined upon us; and we can humbly say, we know in whom we have believed; who can and will perfect what remaineth, and us also in doing what is well pleasing in His eyesight. "I find some trouble in your spirit, occasioned the dissatisfaction you take at the ways of some good men whom you love with your heart, who through this principle, that it is lawful for a lesser part, if in the right, to force a numerical majority, etc... "You say: `God hath appointed authorities among the nations, to which obedience is to be yielded. This resides in England in the Parliament. Therefore resistance,' etc. "[This is true, but] I do not therefore think the authorities may do anything [i.e. whatsoever they like], and yet such obedience be due. All agree that there are cases in which it is lawful to resist. If so, your ground fails, and so likewise the inference. "I desire thee to see what thou findest in thy own heart to two or three plain considerations. Whether the whole fruit of the war is not likely to be frustrated [by this treaty with the King], and all most like to turn to what it was, and worse? And this, contrary to engagements, explicit covenants with those who ventured their lives upon those covenants and engagements? Whether this army be not a lawful power, called by God to oppose and fight against the King; and being in power to such ends, may not oppose one name of authority, as well as another name?"6
76 No doubt there are errors in this letter. "It is lawful for the lesser party, when in the right, to force the majority," says Cromwell. But where is the "lesser party," the minority, that does not think it is in the right? "An army is a power," most certainly; but it is a power to fight, and not to deliberate. Had Oliver gone into the midst of the Parliament, and by his eloquence brought it over to his own views, he would have acted legally; but this he did not do. It has, however, been frequently remarked that irregular times may justify an irregular intervention. And he himself pronounced somewhat later, in his own justification, the following words which reveal the motives of his conduct: "The throat of the nation may be cut, while we send for some to make a law."7 Let us not forget that the balance of power was then forming; that the constitutional world was coming forth, as it were, out of chaos; and that to these remarkable times we are indebted for our greatest luminaries. Hammond had had several painful discussions with the King. Charles, after concluding contradictory arrangements with the English, Irish, and Scotch, had made preparations with Berkeley and Ashburnham for his escape. But while he was in conversation with them on the best means of getting away safely, the gates of the castle were closed, and all possibility of evasion was cut off. The King sent for Hammond, and complained bitterly of what had been done. "Sir, you are too high," said the colonel. "It is my shoemaker's fault, then," replied his majesty; "and yet my shoes are of the same last." This paltry jest he repeated several times, as he walked the room. But the castle gates still remained shut. Hammond was no longer at the Isle of Wight when Cromwell's letter arrived there, his charge having been previously transferred to Colonel Ewer. The new governor, who entered the King's lodgings during a night of storm and pouring rain, had conducted him in the morning to Hurst Castle on the opposite beach. In London a crisis was approaching. The Army, as we have said, had presented a Remonstrance to Parliament, requiring among other things that the sovereignty of the people should be proclaimed, and that the King should be elected by their representatives. This prayer was rejected; and some of the members of the Commons proposed that the remonstrants should be accused of high treason. From that moment the question, as
77 regarded the Independents, became one of self-preservation. They had to select between two roads: -- that which led to the wilds of America, and that to London. They chose the latter. We should here remark, that Cromwell often asserted that the composition of his army was very different from that of ordinary armies. And we should also call to mind that the Parliamentary soldiers, having always been defeated by Charles's cavaliers, the Protector had gone and dragged from their daily labors and from their families, those pious freeholders and farmers by whose means all his victories had been gained. "These poor men," said he on the 21st of April, 1657, "thought they had ventured their lives, and had some interest to inquire after these things. They were not mercenary men, but men who had wives and children in the nation; and who therefore might a little look after satisfaction in what would be the issue of the business."8 The army, after spending one day in prayer, marched from Windsor under the command of General Fairfax, and arrived in London on the 2d December. On Monday (4th December) Parliament resumed the question; and on Tuesday, at five in the morning, decided in favor of the King against the army. One hundred and twenty-nine against eighty-three resolved that his majesty's reply was an adequate basis of peace. On Wednesday, two regiments were posted around Westminster Hall, and Colonel Pride, with a list of names in his hand, prevented the entrance of forty-one of the most determined members; others were sent to the Tower or scared away into the country. Charles was now brought back to Windsor. He was delighted to re-enter one of his own palaces, and be served with all the etiquette of court. He dined in public, in the hall of state, under a canopy; the chamberlain, esquire-carver, master of the ceremonies, and cup-bearer, waited upon him in the accustomed manner; the cup was presented to him kneeling, and all the ceremonial of kingly state was preserved. But the sky so clear and bright at Windsor was covered with dark and angry clouds at London. On the very day when the last of the Presbyterians retired from the Commons, Cromwell returned from Scotland, and resumed his seat in Parliament. The House received the pacificator of Britain with the liveliest demonstrations of gratitude. "God is my witness," said he, "that I know
78 nothing of what has been doing in this House; but the work is in hand; I am glad of it, and now we must carry it through." It was now proposed in the Commons to bring the King to trial on a charge of high treason, as the cause of all the blood which had been shed during the last war. Oliver hesitated: "Sir," said he, addressing the Speaker, "if any man whatsoever have carried on this design [of deposing the King, and disinheriting his posterity], or if any man have still such a design, he must be the greatest traitor and rebel in the world. But since the Providence of God hath cast this upon us, I cannot but submit to Providence, though I am not yet prepared to give you my advice." The initiative in the case of Charles's trial did not proceed from Cromwell. His scruples and his anxiety grew stronger every day. Should he yield to the powerful tide that was hurrying him along, and which no one seemed capable of resisting? or should he withdraw from public affairs, and, sacrificing the great interests of civil and religious liberty, in behalf of which the struggle had first begun, commit the direction of state affairs to unskillful hands, whose weakness would inevitably lead to the return of despotism and of Popery? Seldom or never has there been a more terrible conflict in human breast. The Episcopalians, the English Presbyterians, the Church of Scotland, protested all against the King's trial. Several foreign princes did the same through their ambassadors. The Parliament, without paying any attention to their intercession, erected a High Court of Justice for trying the sovereign to consist of one hundred and thirty-five commissioners, with John Bradshaw as Lord-President. On the 20th of January (1649) Charles was brought to the bar. Cromwell leant towards the window, and as his eyes met the King's, he turned away as pale as death. We are approaching a catastrophe which we would willingly avoid; but which we must in justice acknowledge, differs essentially from that which startled the world in 1793. If the safety of the nation was incompatible with Charles's remaining on the throne, was it necessary that he should pass from the throne to the scaffold? Most certainly not. To connive at his escape into a foreign country would have been the most befitting course, -- an expedient that was afterwards adopted in the case of James II., and, in our own days, in that of Charles X. It was also that which in all
79 probability, as we have seen, Cromwell once desired to have followed. But the fear of compromising the future tranquillity of the nation now condemned the King to a severer penalty. We must deplore such times as those, when men were so prodigal of human blood: we must lament that even the majesty of the throne could not protect a guilty prince; but all the documents of the 16th and 17th centuries attest that men were in those ages condemned to death as we now condemn them to a brief imprisonment. We cannot forbear quoting in this place the remarkable words of Clarendon, in which the royal historian terminates his judgment of the Protector's character. "To conclude his character," says he, "Cromwell was not so far a man of blood as to follow Machiavel's method; which prescribes, upon a total alteration of government, as a thing absolutely necessary, to cut off all the heads of those, and extirpate their families, who are friends to the old one. It was confidently reported, that, in the council of officers, it was more than once proposed that there might be a general massacre of all the royal party, as the only expedient to secure the government; but that Cromwell would never consent to it."9 Thus, according to the testimony of this great political adversary, the General had no appetite of blood. The manner in which he was at length led to sign Charles's death-warrant has not, perhaps, been sufficiently appreciated. We have already remarked that his great religious error was his assuming for the mainspring of his actions those inward impulses which he ascribed to God in preference to the explicit commands of the Holy Scriptures. He believed in what has been denominated "a particular faith." If, while engaged in prayer or immediately after, he felt a lively conviction in his mind, he thought that this impression proceeded immediately from heaven, and that he ought to follow it as the very voice of God. If, on the contrary, his devotions remained languid, he concluded that he ought to abstain from the meditated act. This is a common error in pious minds, and we might point to one denomination of Christians, celebrated for their spirit of meekness and peace, who partially participate in such sentiments. It was this which guided him in the sentence passed on Charles, and freed him from all his doubts and scruples. John Cromwell, at that time in the
80 Dutch service, had come to England with a message from the Princess of Wales and of Orange to endeavor to save the King's life. When introduced to his cousin Oliver, he reminded him of the royalist opinions he had formerly entertained at Hampton Court. The latter, still uncertain as to the line of conduct which he ought to pursue, replied, that he had often fasted and prayed to know the will of God with respect to the King, but that God had not yet pointed out the way. When John had withdrawn, Cromwell and his friends again sought by prayer the path they ought to follow; and it was then the Parliamentary hero first felt the conviction that Charles's death alone could save England. From that moment all was fixed: God had spoken; Oliver's indecision was at an end; it remained now merely to act and accomplish that will, however appalling it might be. At one o'clock in the morning a messenger from the General knocked at the door of the tavern where John Cromwell lodged, and informed him that his cousin had at length dismissed his doubts, and that all the arguments so long put forward by the most decided Republicans were now confirmed by the will of the Lord. Enthusiasm, then, was the cause of Cromwell's error. This is a serious fault in religion; but may it not extenuate the fault in morals? Is a man who desires to obey God equally guilty with him who is determined to listen to his passions only? Is not God's will the sovereign rule of good and evil? Chateaubriand, a witness beyond suspicion on this point, speaking of the times at which we have been glancing, if not of the particular act under examination, proceeds thus: "At this epoch faith was everywhere, except in a small number of libertines and philosophers; it impressed on the faults, and sometimes even on the crimes, something grave, and even moral, if the expression may be allowed, by giving to the victim of policy the conscience of the martyr, and to error the conviction of truth."10 This error in religion is, in our opinion, the only important blemish to be found in Cromwell. At the same time it is the key which opens and explains his whole life. His piety was sincere but it was not always sober. Yet if this error be a great extenuation of the Protector's fault, the crime to which it led him must ever remain, in history, as a warning to terrify those who may base their conduct on their inward impressions, rather than on
81 the sure, positive, and ever-accessible inspirations of that Word of God which never deceives. We now proceed to give a document which we think of too great importance to be omitted: -- -it is the King's DEATH-WARRANT "To Colonel Francis Hacker, Colonel Huncks, and LieutenantColonel Phayr, and to every of them. "AT THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE FOR THE TRYING AND JUDGING CHARLES STUART, KING OF ENGLAND, 29TH JANUARY, 1648 [1649. N. S.]. "WHEREAS Charles Stuart, King of England, is and standeth convicted, attainted and condemned of High Treason and other high Crimes; and Sentence upon Saturday last was pronounced against him by this Court, To be put to death by the severing of his head from his body; of which Sentence execution yet remaineth to be done: "These are therefore to will and require you to see the said Sentence executed, in the open Street before Whitehall, upon the morrow, being the Thirtieth day of this instant month of January, between the hours of Ten in the morning and Five in the afternoon, with full effect. And for so doing this shall be your warrant. "And these are to require all Officers and Soldiers, and others the good People of this Nation of England, to be assisting unto you in this service. "Given under our hands and seals, "JOHN BRADSHAW. "THOMAS GREY [Lord Groby]. "OLIVER CROMWELL." (And fifty-six others.)
82 We will not attempt to describe the death of the unhappy Charles. Whose heart would not be wrung by the contemplation of those mournful scenes? Our feelings revolt against the fanaticism which led a prince to the scaffold; we burn with indignation against those feet swift to shed blood; we desire to arrest the deadly axe, and spurn away the fatal block .... . And yet we cannot be blind to the conviction that the divorce between England and the Stuarts was inevitable, -- that it was the decree of God himself. Succeeding ages have branded the scaffold; but they have also ratified the solemn sentence. Charles I. was superior to his son; he was virtuous and sober, and would have desired to adopt (what is impossible) a certain middle course between Protestantism and Popery, rather than Popery itself. But there was no sincerity in him; and he was from long habit too docile to the fatal suggestions of the Bourbons. It is evident that if he had been victorious in the contest, the liberty and religion of England would have been destroyed. His continual falsehoods had disgusted the greater number of his partisans. "Incurable in his duplicity, because he held himself bound to no engagement with rebellious subjects, Charles meditated their ruin, while he was imploring their aid."11 His treasons have subsequently been brought to light. After the Restoration, the Earl of Glamorgan, the king's secret agent in Ireland, wrote a letter to be laid before Charles II., in which be discloses the perfidious designs of Charles I. In this letter, published by the Roman Catholic historian Lingard,12 Glamorgan says: "One army of ten thousand men was to have come out of Ireland, through North Wales; another, of a like number at least, under my command-in-chief, have expected my return in South Wales, which Sir Henry Gage was to have commanded as lieutenant-general; and a third, should have consisted of a matter of 6000 men, 2000 of which were to have been Liegois, commanded by Sir Francis Edmonds, 2000 Lorrainers, to have been commanded by Colonel Browne, and 2000 of such French, English, Scots, and Irish, as could be drawn out of Flanders and Holland .... . The maintenance of this army of foreigners was to have come from the Pope, and such Catholic Princes as he should have drawn into it, having engaged to afford and procure Ј30,000 a month; out of which the foreign army was first to be provided for, and the remainder to be divided among the other armies. And for this purpose had
83 I power to treat with the Pope and Catholic princes, with particular advantages promised to Catholics for the quiet enjoying their religion, without the penalties which the statutes in force had power to inflict upon them. And my instructions for this purpose, and my powers to treat and conclude thereupon, were signed by the King under his pocket-signet, with blanks for me to put in the names of Pope or Princes, to the end the King might have a starting-hole to deny the having given me such commissions, if excepted against by his own subjects; leaving me as it were at stake, who, for his majesty's sake, was willing to undergo it, trusting to his word alone." Such were the intrigues of Charles I. While the Church had often repeated these words of Saint Isidore, contained in the canons of the Fourth Council of Toledo: "He is a king who governs his people justly; if he does otherwise, he shall be king no longer;" while the Papacy claimed the privilege of dethroning tyrants, and on that ground had publicly preached against Henry III and Henry IV of France; many of the most pious men of the age we are describing (Milton and others), claimed the same right for the people. "If I blame tyrants," asked the poet, "in what does that concern kings?" These men thought that Charles by his perfidy was deserving death, and that his quality of king was no hindrance to the exercise of justice by the Parliament. "Parliament," said they, "is prince in the land like the king, and more than the king." This was a mistake. We do not think that a king should ever be condemned to death; and one of the most glorious results of modern constitutional principles is the irresponsibility of monarchs, which screens them from the faults of their governments. The death of the King must forever bear in history a mark of reprobation. We condemn it in the most explicit manner. But if the ideas of Milton and of so many Englishmen in the seventeenth century are erroneous, their error is akin to that of Melancthon, Farel, and Calvin; and of the churches of Berne, Zuric, Schaffhausen, and Basle, in the case of Servetus. We shrink with as much horror from the death of the heretic as from that of the despot. We abhor these executions, as we abhor the piles of John Huss, of Savonarola, and of the thousands of victims whom Rome has immolated. And yet we should take the peculiarities of
84 the times into consideration. Between the 30th of January, 1649, and the 21st of January, 1793, there had elapsed not merely one hundred and forty-four years, but many ages. One of the first essentials for the proper understanding of history is to transport ourselves into the times we are describing; but there are few individuals who possess the intellectual strength required for such a task, and hence arise so many prejudices. Let us add one circumstance which makes a notable difference between the deaths of the guilty Charles I. and the innocent Louis XVI. An income of Ј1000 was assigned to each of the King's children who chanced still to be in England. And more than this, the Commons ordered that Charles's corpse should be buried at Windsor Palace, in a vault in Saint George's Chapel which already contained the remains of Henry VIII and of his third queen, Jane Seymour. Six horses, covered with black cloth drew the hearse; other coaches followed, and the Earl of Richmond, accompanied by the Marquis of Hertford, the Earls of Southampton and Lindsey, Bishop Juxon, and a few of the King's attendants paid the last sad honors to their former master. To banish these mournful scenes, we will quote one of Oliver's private notes. We have need to read it that we may recover from the impression produced by the death-warrant of Charles I. With Cromwell we pass suddenly from bitter to sweet, and from sweet to bitter. His son Richard had just married; and the following letter addressed to the young wife is like soft music in the midst of a howling tempest. "To my beloved Daughter, Dorothy Cromwell, at Hursley. These. "From aboard the John, 13th August, 1649. "My Dear Daughter, "Your Letter was very welcome to me. I like to see anything from your hand; because indeed I stick not to say, I do entirely love you. And therefore I hope a word of advice will not be unwelcome nor unacceptable to thee. "I desire you both to make it above all things your business to seek the Lord: to be frequently calling upon Him, that He would manifest Himself to you in His Son; and be listening what return
85 He makes to you, -- for He will be speaking in your ear and in your heart, if you attend thereunto. I desire you to provoke your Husband likewise thereunto. As for the pleasures of this Life, and outward Business, let that be upon the bye. Be above all these things, by Faith in Christ; and then you shall have the true use and comfort of them, -- and not otherwise. I have much satisfaction in hope your spirit is this way set; and I desire you may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and that I may hear thereof. The Lord is very near: which we see by His wonderful works: and therefore He looks that we of this generation draw near to Him. This late great mercy of Ireland is a great manifestation thereof." [News had just arrived that the Irish army before Dublin had been defeated]. "Your husband will acquaint you with it. We should be much stirred up in our spirits to thankfulness. We much need the spirit of Christ to enable us to praise God for so admirable a mercy. "The Lord bless thee, my dear Daughter, "I rest, thy loving Father, "Oliver Cromwell." "I hear thou didst lately miscarry. Prithee take heed of a coach by all means; borrow thy Father's nag when thou intendest to go abroad."13 It is delightful to read Cromwell's letters to his children. What wisdom, what tender affection in that we have just selected! "Be above all these things by Faith in Christ; and then you shall have the true use and comfort of them, -- and not otherwise!" What truth in these words! What indications of a soul that has descended into the depths of a christian life! And how striking a contrast between the gentle amiability of the postscript and the iron front and stern eye that we have observed in him at other times. After the King's death a circumstance occurred which we cannot pass by unnoticed before concluding this chapter. It was one of those acts which, says a recent writer most hostile to Cromwell, "were committed by him against a good-nature, not in the indulgence of a depraved one." We may,
86 however, question if it was "against his good-nature." Charles was dead. In Oliver's opinion, the life of this prince had been justly cut short; but we have seen how long the future Protector shrunk from before this terrible extremity, and how he wept when the royal father embraced his children for the last time. Cromwell desired to view the monarch's decapitated body. His greatest adversaries testify that he was not cruel, and if he had really committed a crime, would he have sought so mournful a spectacle? But there was a solemn lesson in his sovereign's lifeless corpse. He opened the coffin himself, and sadly gazed upon the cold in animate body without cruelty, or anger, or exultation, but with reverential fear as he thought of the judgments of God. To Cromwell, who had so often met it face to face, and had so often braved it on the battle-field, death had nothing strange: it had long been familiar to him. The only feeling to which he gave utterance was the thought that death had surprised Charles in a healthy state, and that his body, alas! had been well made for length of life. We cannot doubt that Oliver's soul was filled with that solemn feeling which is usually experienced in the presence of a dead body. And who was it that lay before him? ...A descendant of kings, -- a mighty prince, -- a ruler of three kingdoms, -- who had presumed to check the new impulses that were urging his people onwards to liberty and truth, and who with one hand had torn the time-honored charters of the nation, while he stretched the other towards the despotic Pope of Rome. As he looked at this King, now dead, what sensations must have crowded into his saddened heart! Thy pomp is brought down to the grave; the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms? Cromwell before the dead body of Charles I. is a scene worthy to be described by a Milton or a Shakspeare, or by some genius still more sublime than they. England was not alone guilty of the King's death. "The powers of Europe," says Southey, "had most of them secretly fomented the rebellion, and made no attempt to avert the catastrophe which it brought about. France more especially had acted treacherously towards the King."
87 Clarendon complains bitterly of the apathy of the princes of Christendom at this crisis. "The rebellion of subjects against their prince," he says, "ought to be looked upon by all other kings as an assault of their own sovereignty."14 And the writer first quoted considers "the miseries which France has undergone, and which Spain is undergoing, and to undergo," as so many pages for man's instruction, written in what Lord Bacon has denominated Historia Nemesios. We must, at least, remember that the execution of Charles I. was the crime of many, and renounce the prejudices which would impute it solely to one man, who sought so long to avert it.
88 CHAPTER 6 IRELAND Irish Saint Bartholomew -- Romish Cruelties -- A Priest -- Surgery or Slaughter -- Cromwell's Appointment -- Sailing of the Army -- Cromwell's Plan -- Theocracy -- Storming of Drogheda, Wexford, and Ross -- Peace and Prosperity -- Cromwell's charge to the Popish Prelates -- Early days of Richard's Marriage -- Cause of Ireland's Sufferings. THE Irish Roman Catholics, as we have seen, had broken out into rebellion, and massacred an incredible number of Protestants, varying, according to different accounts, from 50,000 to 200,000 victims. This was the Hibernian Saint Bartholomew. At that time, the Roman Catholics of Ireland had no cause of complaint: Charles I. had taken care of them. They had their archbishops, bishops, vicars-general; and above all, a great number of Jesuits. It was in such a state of things that, shrouding themselves in the deepest secrecy, like the West Indian negroes meditating a plot for the massacre of the white men, the Irish conceived the design, not only of erasing from their country every trace of the English nation, and of Protestantism, but also of crossing over into England, of becoming its masters, with the aid of Spain and of the Pope, and of abolishing the Reformed Religion in that island. The massacre was frightful; and we must recall it to our minds that we may be able to appreciate with justice the war which re-established peace and order. "On all sides," writes a great historian, "the Protestants of Ireland were attacked unawares, ejected from their houses, hunted down, slaughtered, exposed to all the perils, all the tortures that religious and patriotic hatred could invent ...A half-savage people, passionately attached to its barbarism, .... eager to avenge in a day ages of outrage and misery, with a proud joy committed excesses which struck their ancient masters with horror and dismay."1 In fact, the Catholics burnt the houses of the Protestants, turned them out naked in the midst of winter, and drove them, like herds of swine, before
89 them. If ashamed of their nudity, and desirous of seeking shelter from the rigor of a remarkably severe season, these unhappy wretches took refuge in a barn, and concealed themselves under the straw; the rebels instantly set fire to it and burned them alive. At other times they were led without clothing to be drowned in rivers; and if, on the road, they did not move quick enough, they were urged forward at the point of the pike. When they reached the river, or the sea, they were precipitated into it in bands of several hundreds, which is doubtless an exaggeration. If these poor wretches rose to the surface of the water, men were stationed along the brink to plunge them in again with the butts of their muskets, or to fire at and kill them. Husbands were cut to pieces in presence of their wives; wives and virgins were abused in the sight of their nearest relations; and infants of seven or eight years were hung before the eyes of their parents, Nay, the Irish even went so far as to teach their own children to strip and kill the children of the English, and dash out their brains against the stones. Numbers of Protestants were buried alive, as many as seventy in one trench. An Irish priest, named Mac Odeghan, captured forty or fifty Protestants, and persuaded them to abjure their religion on a promise of quarter. After their abjuration, he asked them if they believed that Christ was bodily present in the host, and that the Pope was the head of the Church? and on their replying in the affirmative, he said, "Now, then, you are in a very good faith;" and, for fear they should relapse into heresy, cut all their throats.2 Cruel fighting, desperate violence, and frightful misery, afflicted the unhappy land during eight years. Armies, or savage hordes rather, full of hatred, disobedience, and cruelty, met and fought. Murder, pillage, conflagration wasted the most fertile parts of Ireland. Cromwell was destined to restore order and peace, and give to that country a prosperity which it had not known for many a year. But how was he to attain this end? "To those who think that a land overrun with sanguinary quacks," says one of the Protector's biographers,3 be healed by sprinkling it with rose-water, these letters [of Cromwell] must be very horrible. Terrible surgery this: but is it surgery and judgment, or atrocious murder merely? Oliver Cromwell did believe in God's judgments; and did not believe in the rose-water plan of surgery, in
90 philanthropic sentimentalism .... . He arrives in Ireland an armed soldier, solemnly conscious to himself that he is the soldier of God the Just; -- an armed soldier, terrible as death, relentless as doom; doing God's judgments on the enemies of God!" It will easily be conceived how great were the difficulties to be encountered in reducing Ireland to submission; and on this account few persons cared to undertake it. All parties concurred in Cromwell's appointment to the Lord-lieutenancy of that province, with the supreme civil and military authority. He was deeply sensible of the importance of the task which devolved upon him, and appeared the next day in Parliament full of anxiety and seriousness. At first he declared "his unworthiness and disability to support so great a charge;" but, as he was not one of those who shrink from a duty because the duty is difficult, he announced his "entire resignation to the commands of the House, and his absolute dependence upon God's providence and blessing, from whom he had received so many signal marks of favor and protection." Yet he did not conceal the obstacles he should have to encounter in the mission conferred on him: "That kingdom," said he, "is reduced to so great straits that I am willing to engage my own person in this expedition, because of the difficulties which appear in it; and more out of hope, with the hazard of my life, to give some obstruction to the successes which the rebels are at present exalted with. And all that I desire is, that no more time be lost in the preparations which are to be made for so great a work."4 In compliance with his wishes, and under his direction, the Commons made incredible exertions to raise money, provide ships, and collect troops. Cromwell departed for Ireland at the head of 12,000 men. Before they embarked, the troops observed a day of fasting and prayer: three ministers solemnly invoked the blessing of God on the expedition; and three officers, the Colonels Gough and Harrison, with the Lord-lieutenant himself, expounded certain pertinent passages of Scripture. The army was under the strictest discipline: not an oath was to be heard throughout the whole
91 camp, the soldiers spending their leisure hours in reading their Bibles, in singing psalms, and in religious conferences. Oliver now began, as a general, to consider the plan he ought to follow for the restoration of order. Should he employ a few weeks, with the sacrifice of 5000 men, or several years, with the loss of perhaps 20,000? This was an important question. If he took prompt and formidable measures, such as were calculated to spread terror on every side, he would immediately check the disease. If, on the contrary, he proceeded with a light and hesitating hand, he would prolong it indefinitely. To Cromwell the most energetic way appeared the most humane. He acted as men do in a great conflagration, where the adjoining houses are pulled down to save the more remote, or as in a hospital, where a diseased limb is cut off to preserve the others. Having weighed everything, he decided for the hand of iron. That hand is never amiable; but yet there are cases in which it is salutary. On the approach of the general of the English republic, all the parties that ravaged Ireland had united. Catholics of different shades, Episcopalian and Presbyterian royalists, had rallied round Ormond's standard. So that, at the moment when Cromwell set foot in that island, there remained only two towns, Dublin and Londonderry, that held for the Commonwealth; both of which were beleaguered by the enemy's troops. The success of the republican army was prodigious. "Oliver descended on Ireland," says Carlyle, "like the hammer of Thor; smote it, as at one fell stroke, into dust and ruin, never to reunite against him more." We shall not follow Cromwell through all his military exploits; but we must extract one at least of those terrible pages which cannot be read without emotion and pain, but which, as we have observed, present this great man to us as following the most skillful course to arrive at a prompt and universal pacification. This hero, so affectionate towards his friends, so tender to his wife and children, and then inflexible as death before the enemies of the Commonwealth, is an enigma for which we naturally seek a solution. One solution readily offers itself, and I think it is a true one. We should cease to regard him in his individual character, and look upon him only as a general and a judge, -- the representative of that inexorable Justice whom the pagans represented with a bandage over her eyes and a sword in her hand.
92 There is, however, another solution, which explains not only this famous expedition, but also the whole of Cromwell's life. This great man shared in the error which the Papacy had held during the Middle Ages, and which most of the Reformers entertained during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He did not make a sufficient distinction between the old and the new covenant, between the Old and the New Testament. He thought that a Christian, and particularly a public man, ought to seek his rules of conduct in the Hebrew theocracy. The terrible judgments inflicted by God's command on the unbelieving nations in the times of the judges and kings of Israel, appeared to him not only to authorize but to necessitate similar judgments. He thought that, like Moses and Joshua, he might slay Balaam with the sword (Numbers 31:8; Joshua 13:22). It may be that he did not follow this out explicitly; but it was with this prejudice and under this impulse that he usually acted. This was wrong. The Jewish theocracy existed no longer; and its rules of conduct had been abolished with it. The precepts which ought to direct the life of a Christian are contained in our Savior's sermon on the mount and in other of his discourses, as well as in the writings of the Apostles. But we may understand how men of upright mind easily took for the guidance of their lives all the declarations comprised in the Word of God, even those which are no longer applicable under the change of covenant. As soon as Ormond was informed of Cromwell's arrival, he withdrew his army from the neighborhood of Dublin, and resolved to put Drogheda in a position to resist the enemy. He threw into this strong town all the flower of his army, and gave the command to Sir Arthur Ashton, an officer of great reputation. On the day following the Lord-lieutenant's appearance before this city he ordered a general assault, which being renewed the next morning, he entered it by two different breaches. We give the conclusion of his report to Parliament, dated Dublin, 17th September, 1649.5 "Divers of the enemy retreated into the Millmount, a place very strong and of difficult access; being exceedingly high, having a good graft [ditch], and strongly palisadoed. The governor, Sir Arthur Ashton, and divers considerable officers being there, our men getting up to them, were ordered by me to put them all to the
93 sword. And, indeed, being in the heat of action, I forbade them to spare any that were in arms in the town: and, I think, that night they put to the sword about 2000 men; -- divers of the officers and soldiers being fled over the bridge into the other part of the town, where about 100 of them possessed Saint Peter's church steeple, some the west gate, and others a strong round tower next the gate called Saint Sunday's. These, being summoned to yield to mercy, refused. Whereupon I ordered the steeple of Saint Peter's Church to be fired, when one of them was heard to say in the midst of the flames: `God damn me! God confound me! I burn, I burn!' "The next day, the other two towers were summoned; in one of which was about six or seven score; but they refused to yield themselves; and we, knowing that hunger must compel them, set only good guards to secure them from running away until their stomachs were come down. From one of the said towers, notwithstanding their condition, they killed and wounded some of our men. When they submitted, their officers were knocked on the head; and every tenth man of the soldiers killed; and the rest shipped for the Barbadoes. The soldiers in the other tower were all spared, as to their lives only; and shipped likewise for the Barbadoes. "I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood; and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future. Which are the satisfactory grounds to such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret." It is consolatory to read these words, which reveal to us the motives of the general's severity. ..."And now," he continues, "give me leave to say how it comes to pass that this work is wrought. It was set upon some of our hearts, that a great thing should be done, not by power or might, but by the Spirit of God .... . It was this Spirit who gave your men courage, and took it away again; and gave the enemy courage, and took it away again; and gave your men courage again, and therewith
94 this happy success. And therefore it is good that God alone have all the glory." This extract will suffice. Cromwell acted in Ireland like a great statesman, and the means he employed were those best calculated promptly to restore order in that unhappy country. And yet we cannot avoid regretting that a man, a Christian man, should have been called to wage so terrible a war, and to show towards his enemies greater severity than had ever, perhaps, been exercised by the pagan leaders of antiquity. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. In the midst of this terrible war, there are actions which elevate at once the character of the struggle and of the general in command. Is it not a feature that deserves our admiration in history, when we hear Cromwell, after the most glorious of his victories, declaring that he will mention no man by name, because his soldiers fight for the cause of God, and not for their own glory? And is it not affecting to see him, in his dispatch to Parliament on the taking of Drogheda, preserve an absolute silence as to his own exploits, and abstain from relating that he mounted to the assault in person, after his troops had met with a severe check, and that the success of this affair was due to his own intrepidity? This certainly is not the hypocritical braggart whom some historians have described. From Drogheda he marched to Wexford, which he summoned to surrender. In this county the rebels had exercised more than their usual cruelty. They had seized on "all the castles and houses of the English, and had driven them out with their wives and children stripped naked." They had further proclaimed that any Irish who should harbor or relieve an Englishman, should be put to death.6 Just as the governor of the city was on the point of surrendering to Cromwell's summons, the Earl of Castlehaven brought him a relief, which induced him to hold out. The Lord-lieutenant, being resolved not to procrastinate, immediately gave orders for the assault, and became master of the place, with a loss to the enemy of 2000 men, who were put to the sword. On the 17th of October he appeared before Ross. This was the third place to which he laid siege. The same day he sent to the commander-in-chief the following summons : -- 7
95 "17th October, 1649. "Sir, "Since my coming into Ireland, I have this witness for myself, that I have endeavored to avoid the effusion of blood; having been before no place to which such terms have not been first sent as might have turned to the good and preservation of those to whom they were offered; this being my principle, that the people and places where I come may not suffer, except through their own willfulness. "To the end I may observe the like course with this place and people therein, I do hereby summon you to deliver the town of Ross into my hands, to the use. of the Parliament of England. Expecting your speedy answer, I rest, "Your Servant, "Oliver Cromwell." As the governor did not immediately reply to this summons, Cromwell ordered the batteries to be prepared. Ormond, Ardes, and Castlehaven, who were on the other side of the river, threw 1500 men into the town; and on the 19th the heavy artillery of the English army opened their fire. The Irish commander, Lucas Taaf, immediately sent out a flag of truce, to which the assailants replied by the offer of favorable terms; That the besieged army should march out with their arms, bag and baggage, with drums beating and colors flying; and the English general promised that the inhabitants should be permitted "to live peaceably, free from the injury and violence of the soldiers." The two lessons of Drogheda and Wexford had produced their effect. These terms were accepted. And it was not only at Ross that the same policy succeeded. The arms fell from the rebels' hands in every quarter of Ireland, before the formidable name of Cromwell. By the middle of May the whole country was reduced, with the exception of one or two places which Ireton subsequently captured. Ormond escaped to France. Thus, by inflicting these two terrible blows at Drogheda and Wexford, the victor
96 taught the murderers the necessity of submission, prevented a greater effusion of blood, and restored peace in Ireland. Historians, even those most opposed to Cromwell, acknowledge that no statesman ever did so much as he for the good of that poor country. Public order and security, such as had not been known for many years, revived. The province of Connaught, then a vast desert district, was soon changed into a fruitful country, and the rest of Ireland was everywhere cultivated with activity and confidence. In the space of little more than two years, the whole kingdom was covered with elegant and useful buildings, fine plantations, and new inclosures. Peace, ease, and industry had returned to that unhappy land. Clarendon, and M. Villemain after him, cannot conceal their astonishment at it; and there is no impropriety in applying the rule of Scripture to Cromwell's conquest of Ireland: the tree is known by its fruit. We need not wonder at these results, if we call to mind Milton's description of Cromwell's soldiers: -- "He raised an army as numerous and well-equipped as was ever before done within so short a period; lessoned to the most perfect obedience, high in the affections of its fellowcitizens, and not more formidable to its enemies in the field than admirable for its behavior to them out of it; having so forborne all injury to their persons or properties, in comparison with the violence, intemperance, profaneness, and debauchery of their own royalists, as to make them exult in the change, and hail in them a host not of fiends but of friends (non hostes sed hospites:) a protection to the good, a terror to the bad, and an encouragement to every species of piety and virtue."8 The model of this armament was new, and has never been recovered. Oliver in Ireland was not content to wield the sword; he also labored with the pen. He was not only a general, but put himself forward as a theologian. The popish hierarchy of Ireland had assembled at Clonmacnoise in December 1649, where they drew up a manifesto. To this he immediately replied, and his .Declaration9 is one of the most remarkable documents ever composed by a soldier. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the mental movement was so powerful, that all callings were confounded in one. Zwingle was a diplomatist, almost a general; and Oliver Cromwell assumed the duties of a doctor in divinity Let us listen to a
97 powerful protestant voice; the like of which, perhaps, was not heard in the seventeenth century. The Irish prelates had spoken of the Clergy and Laity. Cromwell thought with Luther, "that all Christians belong to the spiritual estate, and that there is no other difference between them than in the functions they discharge." He believed in the words addressed by St. Peter to all believers: ye are a royal priesthood. And accordingly, on this subject, the English general administers a sharp lesson to the popish prelates of Ireland. He says: -- "The subject of this reconciliation was, as they say, `the Clergy and Laity.' The discontent and division itself was grounded on the late difference of opinion happening amongst the `Prelates and Laity.' I wonder not at differences in opinion, at discontents and divisions, where so antichristian and dividing a term as `Clergy and Laity' is given and received. A term unknown to any save the antiChristian Church, and such as derive themselves from her; Ab initio non fuit sic. The most pure and primitive times, as they best knew what true union was, so, in all addresses to the several Churches they wrote unto, not one word of this. The members of the Churches are styled `Brethren and Saints of the household of Faith:' and, although they had orders and distinctions amongst them for administration of ordinances, -- of a far different use and character from yours, -- yet it nowhere occasioned them to say contemptim, and by way of lessening in contra-distinguishing, `Laity and Clergy.' It was your pride that begat this expression. And it is for filthy lucre's sake that you keep it up; that by making the people believe that they are not so holy as yourselves, they might, for their penny, purchase, some sanctity from you; and that you might bridle, saddle, and ride them at your pleasure; and do (as is most true of you) as the Scribes and Pharisees of old did by their `Laity,' -- keep the knowledge of the Law from them, and then be able in their pride to say, `This people that know not the Law are cursed.'" The prelates had declared that they were "as one body united," to forward by their counsels and actions "the advancements of his Majesty's rights
98 and the Catholic religion." Oliver will not allow that men should have recourse to carnal means for the advancement of religion. In this he shows himself superior to his age, and almost to himself: -- "And now surely if these [the rights of the Church,] that are outward things, may not thus be contended for; how much less may the doctrines of Faith, which are the works of Grace and the Spirit, be endeavored by so unsuitable means! He that bids us `contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints,' tells us that we should do it by `avoiding the spirit of Cain, Corah and Balaam; and by `building up ourselves in the most holy Faith,' not pinning it upon other men's sleeves. Praying `in the Holy Ghost;' not mumbling over matins. Keeping `ourselves in the love of God;' not destroying men because they will not be of our Faith. `Waiting for the mercy of Jesus Christ;' not cruel, but merciful! -- But, alas, why is this said? Why are these pearls cast before you? You are resolved not to be charmed from `using the instrument of a foolish shepherd!' You are a part of Antichrist, whose kingdom the Scripture so expressly speaks should be `laid in blood;' yea, `in the blood of the Saints.' You have shed great store of that already: -- and ere it be long, you must all of you have `blood to drink;' `even the dregs of the cup of the fury and the wrath of God, which will be poured out unto you.'" The prelates, after constituting themselves the defenders of the hierarchy and of the king, had finally alluded to the people. Cromwell thought that in reality the people were the last subject of their cares. He rallied them bitterly on this point; and, after reminding them of an expression of Cardinal Wolsey's, he prophesied a futurity, which the French Revolution of 1789 has realized: -- "In the last place, you are pleased, -- having after your usual manner remembered yourselves first, and `his Majesty,' as you call him, next; like a man of your tribe with his Ego et Rex meus, -- you are pleased to take the people into consideration. Lest they should seem to be forgotten; or rather you would make me believe they are much in your thoughts. Indeed I think they are! Alas, poor `Laity!' That you and your king might ride them, and jade them, as your
99 Church hath done, and as your king hath done by your means, almost in all ages! But it would not be hard to prophesy, That, the beast being stung and kicking, this world will not last always. Arbitrary power is a thing men begin to be weary of, in kings and churchmen; their juggle between them mutually to uphold civil and ecclesiastical tyranny begins to be transparent. Some have cast off both; and hope by the grace of God to keep so. Others are at it! Many thoughts are laid up about it, which will have their issue and vent. This principle, That people are for kings and churches, and saints are for the pope or churchmen, as you call them, begins to be exploded; -- and therefore I wonder not to see the fraternity so much enraged. I wish `the people' wiser than to be troubled at you; or solicitous for what you say or do." The popish bishops had spoken of their obligations to their flocks. At this word Cromwell becomes indignant; his features flush up, and he examines whether they are really pastors, and whether they really have .flocks. "To which last a word or two. I wonder how this relation was brought about! If they be `Flocks,' and you ambitious of the relative term? Yes, you are Pastors; but it is by an antiphrasis, -- a minime pascendo! You either teach the people not at all; or else you do it, as some of you came to this conventicle who were sent by others, tanquam Procuratores, -- teach them, as your manner is, by sending a company of silly ignorant priests, who can but say the mass, and scarcely that intelligibly; or with such stuff as these your senseless Declarations and Edicts! But how dare you assume to call these men your `Flocks,' whom you have plunged into so horrid a rebellion, by which you have made them and the country almost a ruinous heap? And whom you have fleeced, and polled, and peeled hitherto, and make it your business to do so still. You cannot feed them! You poison them with your false, abominable, and antichristian doctrine and practices. You keep the Word of God from them; and instead thereof give them your senseless Orders and Traditions. You teach them `implicit belief:' -- he that goes amongst them may find many that do not understand anything in the matters of your religion. I have had few better answers from any since I came into Ireland that are of your flocks than this, `that
100 indeed they did not trouble themselves about matters of religion, but left that to the Church.' Thus are your `Flocks' fed; and such credit have you of them. But they must take heed of `losing their religion.' Alas, poor creatures! what have they to `lose?'" The Conventicle of Clonmacnoise had referred to the danger of seeing the Catholic religion extirpated. Cromwell replies that you cannot extirpate what has never been rooted, and that for eighty years past the saying of mass had been prohibited in Ireland. He excluded Popery, or at least the mass, from the privilege of religious liberty. He appears to have afterwards changed his opinions on this subject, as we shall see from a letter to Mazarin. He continues thus: -- "First, therefore, I shall not, where I have power, and the Lord is pleased to bless me, suffer the exercise of the mass, where I can take notice of it. No, nor in any way suffer you that are papists, where I can find you seducing the people, or by any overt act violating the laws established; but if you come into my hands, I shall cause to be inflicted the punishments appointed by the laws -- to use your own term, secundum gravitatem delicti -- upon you; and shall try to reduce things to their former state on this behalf. As for the people, what thoughts they have in matters of religion in their own breasts, I cannot reach; but shall think it my duty, if they walk honestly and peaceably, not to cause them in the least to suffer for the same. And shall endeavor to walk patiently and in love towards them, to see if at anytime it shall please God to give them another or a better mind. And all men under the power of England, within this dominion, are hereby required and enjoined strictly and religiously to do the same." It was from Youghal in the month of January that the Lord-lieutenant addressed this archiepiscopal charge to the popish priests and bishops. He possessed, at one and the same time something of the characters of Joshua and Aaron. But he was always a father, and a Christian father. I am at a loss to understand how those who doubt Cromwell's real Christianity can explain his letters to his children. If the mighty ones of the earth insert a few words of religion in their public speeches, no conclusion can be drawn
101 from them. It is a mere form, they say. But when the truest expressions of Christian piety are found in the sanctuary of a father's heart, who but God placed them there? In the midst of the terrible campaign in Ireland, in the interval between the civil war in England, that was terminated by the death of the king, and the war in Scotland, we meet with a family episode, one feature of which has already been pointed out. Cromwell's eldest son had just married. There is no great man recorded in history into whose domestic life we can see more clearly than into Oliver's. In his case the wish of the ancient was realized: "his house is of glass," -- a fortunate circumstance, of which the historian should be eager to profit. While the general was preparing to embark for Ireland, Richard and Dorothy took advantage of the sunny days of July to make their joyful marriage excursion. Oliver, in great delight, wrote from Bristol (19th July, 1649) to the bride's father: "I am .very glad to hear of your welfare, and that our children have so good leisure to make a journey to eat cherries: -- it's very excusable in my daughter; I hope she may have a good pretense for it! I assure you, sir, I wish her very well; and I believe she knows it. I pray you tell her from me, I expect she writes often to me; by which I shall understand how all your family doth, and she will be kept in some exercise. I have delivered my son up to you; and I hope you will counsel him: he will need it; and indeed I believe he likes well what you say, and will be advised by you. I wish he may be serious; the times require it." Yes, in truth, the times did require young men to be serious, -- and so does the present day! Yet Oliver feared that the sweets of matrimony would have too engrossing a hold upon his son's heart; and on the 13th of August, 1649, he again addressed his "loving brother, Richard Mayor," his son's father-in-law, "from aboard the John:" "I would have him (Richard) mind and understand business, read a little history, study the mathematics and cosmography: -- these are good, with subordination to the things of God. Better than idleness, or mere outward worldly contents. These fit for public services, for which a man is born." In these little notes, we ever find some pregnant sentences.
102 On the 13th of November, 1649, Cromwell was at Ross, in the very midst of the war. He had been ill; but he still thought of his son, and never did parent more earnestly desire to see his child giving his whole heart to God. He wrote thus to Mr. Mayor: -- "I have been crazy in my health; but the Lord is pleased to sustain me. I beg your prayers. I desire you to call upon my son to mind the things of God more and more: alas, what profit is there in the things of this world? -- except they be enjoyed in Christ, they are snares. I wish he may enjoy his wife so, and she him; I wish I may enjoy them both so." Somewhat later Oliver was filled with pleasure. During the winter he had received letters from his son, which led him to believe that Richard was beginning to set his affections on heavenly things. On the 2d of April, 1650, the Lord-lieutenant wrote to Mr. Mayor from Carrick: -- "I have committed my son to you; I pray counsel him. Some letters I have lately had from him have a good savor: the Lord treasure up grace there, that out of that treasury he may bring forth good things." But it was to his son in particular that the Christian father felt impelled to write. The same messenger conveyed the following letter to Richard: -- "For my beloved Son, Richard Cromwell, Esquire, at Hursley in Hampshire: These. "Carrick, 2d April, 1650. "Dick Cromwell, "I take your letters kindly: I like expressions when they come plainly from the heart, and are not strained nor affected. "I am persuaded it's the Lord's mercy to place you where you are: I wish you may own it and be thankful, fulfilling all relations to the glory of God. Seek the Lord and His face continually: -- let this be the business of your life and strength; and let all things be subservient and in order to this! You cannot find nor behold the face of God but in Christ; therefore labor to know God in Christ; which the Scripture makes to be the sum of all, even Life Eternal. Because the true knowledge is not literal or speculative; no, but inward, transforming the mind to it. It's uniting to, and
103 participating of, the Divine Nature. (2 Peter 1:4): `That by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.' It's such a knowledge as Paul speaks of (Philippians 3:8-10:) `Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.' How Little of this knowledge is among us! My weak prayers shall be for you. "Take heed of an unactive vain spirit! Recreate yourself with Sir Walter Raleigh's history: it's a body of history; and will add much more to your understanding than fragments of story. Intend (i.e. endeavor) to understand the Estate I have settled: it's your concernment to know it all, and how it stands. I have therefore suffered much by too much trusting to others. I know my brother Mayor will be helpful to you in all this. "You will think, perhaps, I need not advise you to love your wife! The Lord teach you how to do it; -- or else it will be done illfavoredly. Though marriage be no instituted sacrament, yet where the undefiled bed is, and love, this union aptly resembles that of Christ and His Church. If you can truly love your wife, what love doth Christ bear to His Church and every poor soul therein, -- who `gave Himself' for it and to it! ...Commend me to your wife; tell her I entirely love her, and rejoice in the goodness of the Lord to her. I wish her every way fruitful. I thank her for her loving letter. "I have presented my love to my sister and cousin Ann, etc., in my letter to my Brother Mayor. I would not have him alter his affairs because of my debt. My purse is as his: my present thoughts are but to lodge such a sum for my two little girls; -- it's in his hand as well as anywhere. I shall not be wanting to accommodate him to his
104 mind; I would not have him solicitous. -- Dick, the Lord bless you every way. I rest Your loving Father, "Oliver Cromwell."10 In July (1650) Cromwell, after his return from Ireland, was on his way to Scotland. His daughter-in-law had given birth to a son, and in these terms he addressed her father. "For my very loving Brother, Richard Mayor, Esguire, at his house at Hursley: These. "Alnwick, 17th July, 1650. "Dear Brother, "The exceeding crowd of business I had at London is the best excuse I can make for my silence in this way. Indeed, Sir, my heart beareth me witness I want no affection to you or yours; you are all often in my poor prayers. "I should be glad to hear how the little Brat doth. I could chide both father and mother for their neglects of me: I know my son is idle, but I had better thoughts of Doll. I doubt now her husband hath spoiled her; pray tell her so from me. If I had as good leisure as they, I should write sometimes. If my daughter be breeding, I will excuse her; but not for her nursery! The lord bless them. I hope you give my son good counsel; I believe he needs it. He is in the dangerous time of his age; and it's a very vain world. O how good it is to close with Christ betimes; there is nothing else worth the looking after. I beseech you call upon him, -- I hope you will discharge my duty and your own love; you see how I am employed. I need pity. I know what I feel. Great place and business in the world is not worth the looking after; I should have no comfort in mine but that my hope is in the Lord's presence. I have not sought these things; truly I have been cared unto them by the Lord; and therefore am not without some assurance that He will enable His poor worm and weak servant to do His will and to fulfill my generation. In this I desire your prayers. Desiring to be lovingly
105 remembered to my dear sister, to our son and daughter, to my cousin Ann and the good family, I rest "Your very affectionate brother, "Oliver Cromwell."11 Such was Cromwell as a father, -- a model of parents. Was he the same in public affairs? In these days he will be severely reproached for his intolerance of Popery in Ireland. "I shall not suffer the exercise of the mass," he said. Let us examine the matter seriously. If Cromwell had truly at heart the prosperity of Ireland, it is evident that he must have desired to see that country renounce the mass and the pope. Nothing can be more superficial, nothing, more false, than those opinions so prevalent on the Continent, and even in the British isles, which ascribe all the misery of Ireland to the absenteeism of the great gentry, to the conduct of the English government, and to other causes of a similar nature. We may admit that these circumstances have exerted a certain influence on the condition of this unhappy people; but the true source of the evil must be looked for elsewhere. Can we see the difference which exists between episcopalian England, presbyterian Scotland, and popish Ireland, and not immediately perceive the origin of the woes of the last named country? Or will it be pretended that the Irish people are of a race inferior to others? The influence of religions is immense. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. It is the priests who have made the Irish what they are; or rather it is a degrading religion which has debased alike priest and people; -- a gross superstition, a corrupt system of morals, ideas false and out of date, which have robbed this nation of its energy, and engendered in it carelessness, imprudence, and misery. Priests, degraded by error, have themselves degraded their poor flocks. We would say nothing to diminish the responsibility of England and of her government; she is great in every way; but all impartial judges must acknowledge, that it is from the seven-hilled city whence flow those torrents which have inundated this interesting and unhappy nation with ignorance, superstition, servility, and wretchedness,
106 with humiliation, famine, pestilence, and death. The papacy, by vitiating the revelations of Christianity, by establishing again in the world a sacerdotal caste, which it was the object of the Gospel to abolish everywhere, by retarding the nations wherever she was dominant, and by keeping them in all respects in the rear of the others, -- will have to answer before God and man for the poverty and sufferings she has entailed on an island, which, before it was subjected to the pope, was at the head of all Christian countries, and which is now, alas! at the lowest step in the scale. The Oratorians,12 charmed, it would seem, by the fruits which the waters of Popery have produced in Ireland, have formed the pious design of introducing them into England. They are digging at the foot of the Quirinal Hill to draw from the bowels of the earth the bitter water that causeth a curse, and their friends in England are as earnestly engaged in making the canals and reservoirs for its reception. The special danger of their exertions consists in this: the workmen have been brought up in the midst of Protestantism, whose light and strength they are now turning against it. If it were merely a question of some few dirty and ignorant monks, such as Rome manufactures in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and elsewhere, there would be no cause for fear. But these vermin will not creep in until later, to eat into the tree and destroy its fruits. The fashionable Oratorians have the task of clearing the way for them. If the state and the church envy England the condition of Ireland, let them hasten to give their aid to this noble project, conceived at Oxford, carrying on at Rome, and which will soon be in execution throughout England. But if the misery of Ireland, if its dead and living corpses, fill their hearts with sorrow and alarm; then let church and state act energetically, each in its own sphere, and let them labor earnestly in building dikes to stop the water that cometh by the way of Edom, water as red as blood. A question of suicide is now pending in England. The condition of other nations confirms these sad prognostications. Portugal, Spain, and Italy are sunk by their clergy into the mire from which they cannot extricate themselves. France would be in the same state, if it had not always preserved a Protestant element, which for some time was predominant, and which has never entirely perished. And if we desire to see what Popery makes nations in these days, we have only to cast our
107 eyes on Belgium, which next to Ireland is the most popish country in Europe. We shall find there a fertile soil, a land offering immense resources, and a people once at the head of European manufactures and commerce, but of whom the fourth part is now reduced to mendicancy and is dying of hunger. Will it be said that here, as in England, the government is in fault? Impossible! for the Belgian government since 1831 has been the most catholic in Europe. In consequence of the prevalence of jesuitism in that kingdom, subsequent to the Revolution, the number of priests has been augmented by 2600. More than 400 convents have been opened, whence issue in all directions Franciscan friars, capuchins, and other sluggards of the same brood (we are not aware if there are any Oratorians); and these priests and monks have invaded everything, enslaved everything. The result soon appeared: Belgian pauperism has taken its place at the side of Irish pauperism; and in Belgium its intensity is in direct proportion to that of Popery. The wretchedness is far more aggravated in the Flemish provinces, which are entirely subject to the priests, than in the Walloon (French) provinces, which were once Protestant, and whose spirit is nearer that of Protestantism. "Such," says a correspondent,13 "is the state to which Belgium has been reduced by the clerical party in less than fifteen years." If therefore Oliver Cromwell loved Ireland, if he desired its happiness and prosperity, he must have wished above all things to see Popery and the mass disappear, and to behold the establishment of evangelical Christianity and of the Bible. But if his end was good, were the means he employed good also? Not altogether. Speaking to the leaders of the popish clergy, he said to them: -- "If you come into my hands, I shall cause to be inflicted the punishments appointed by the laws on you." If this was the way of proceeding in Cromwell's time, it is no longer so in ours. As the Gospel is the only means of saving Ireland, how then can we impart to its wretched inhabitants this infallible remedy? In the first place, let there be no attempt to introduce either a clerical and traditional religion, or a rationalist and Unitarian system. What we must give them is the Gospel, nothing but the Gospel, the entire Gospel. Fashionable people may amuse themselves in their drawing-rooms and boudoirs with Puseyite or Socinian notions; but a nation requires positive
108 and living elements. Christianity in all its simplicity, with all its richness and its strength, can alone save from this mortal sickness. If truth is the first means, christian love is the second. Charity never faileth: its effect is sure, it is a living word which shall never fall unto the earth. To preserve Ireland, there must be a great manifestation of the spirit of truth in the fruits of christian love. I will add, however, a third means. A respectable ecclesiastical form is necessary to encourage the poor Catholics, whom the calumnies of their priests perpetually alarm with the disunion and disorder of Protestant sects. In their house of bondage, they have contracted certain wants which ought to be respected. The two Protestant churches, which are the most numerous in Ireland, the Episcopalian and the Presbyterian, present all that can be desired; but let them be circumspect, and walk together in harmony. Another question here occurs: To gain the Irish people, must we not first put out of sight that which offends them, break the bonds which unite the Episcopalian church to the state, and by giving the former powerful community more liberty, give it also greater energy and life? An eminent minister of the Church of England has eloquently explained his views on this point.14 I can give no decided opinion on the question, as I have not before me all the necessary elements. But it is evident, on the one hand, that the more Protestantism shall appear in that country without those privileges which shock and repel the Irish people, the more, on the other hand, it will be able (as it ought) to act with freedom and with life, and the nearer also will be Ireland's conversion. We should learn how to sacrifice whatever becomes unnecessarily a stumbling-block to our brethren. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. Jesus Christ should be set before this people; but He should be without arms, without privileges, poor, meek, and lowly of heart. In these thoughts we approximate to the ideas recently enunciated in connection with Ireland by one of the most estimable Christians and public men in England. "I will call upon you, deserted as you may have been by men of first rate in the hierarchy and in the state, to look, under God's blessing, to your own exertions only ...I believe that wherever good is done
109 on a christian principle, the blessing of the prophet will be found to be realized almost literally; the barrel of meal will never fail, and the cruse will never be exhausted, if there be a blessing from on high."15 We coincide with the worthy baronet's sentiments; we think that we may go still farther, and that if it were clearly established that the cause of evangelical Protestantism in Ireland has been abandoned by the state, then our own exertions would, under God's blessing, have far more strength and efficiency. Faith which worketh by love has power in spiritual things only. Such thoughts as these were not altogether foreign to Cromwell. Although he desired to have recourse to the law against the chiefs of Popery, he was willing to behave very differently towards the people. We cannot forbear transcribing once more those noble words of his, which are worthy of being repeated by the Crown of England in the nineteenth century -- "As for the people, what thoughts they have in matters of religion in their own breasts I cannot reach; but shall think it my duty, if they walk honestly and peaceably, not to cause them in the least to suffer for the same. And shall endeavor to walk patiently and in love towards them, to see if at any time it shall please God to give them another or a better mind. And all men under the power of England, within this dominion, are hereby required and enjoined strictly and religiously to do the same." This is the remedy. "Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth." (Isaiah 2:10) Let the ministers and parliament of England do all that is possible for them to do, and even more, to alleviate the misery of the sister country. God and Europe will demand an account of them. But for what is not in their power they will never be called to a reckoning. So long as her friends look to governmental measures only for a remedy adapted to heal the wounds of this people, Ireland will always be that "certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse." (Mark 5:25, 26)
110 One means alone can save her, as it saved this woman; and that will be, as soon as she shall have heard of Jesus and touched his garment. Then, after Popery has disappeared from her unhappy soil, she will feel in her body that she is healed of that plague. Cromwell returned to London in the month of May, and was received by the Parliament and people "as a soldier who had gained more laurels, and done more wonders in nine months, than any age or history could parallel."16
111 CHAPTER 7 SCOTLAND Two Kings and two Loyalties -- Charles II. in Scotland -- Cromwell's Letter to the General Assembly and to the Scotch Commander in Chief -- Battle of Dunbar -- Dispatch to Parliament -- The Edinburgh Preachers in the Castle -- Cromwell's Letter -- All Christians ought to preach Christ -- The Malignants -- Cromwell's Illness -- Two Letters -- Cromwell concerning his son Richard -- Worcester -- Prosperity of Scotland -- Cromwell's Military Career -- Two Symbols. THE Scots had begun the great movement whose object was at once to resist the tyranny of the Stuarts and the tyranny of Rome, and which was destined to result in incalculable consequences for Europe. But now they retraced their steps, and put themselves in opposition to the Commonwealth of England. They wanted a leader. "With Oliver Cromwell born a Scotchman," says Carlyle; "with a Hero King and a unanimous Hero Nation at his back, it might have been far otherwise. With Oliver born Scotch, one sees not but the whole world might have become Puritan."1 Without shutting our eyes to the truth there may be in this passage, we find the cause of this northern war elsewhere. In spiritual things the Scots acknowledged Jesus Christ as their king; in temporal, they recognized Charles the Second. They had no wish that the latter should usurp the kingdom of the former; but they also had no desire that Cromwell should seize upon the Stuarts' throne. They possessed a double loyalty -- one towards the heavenly king, and another to their earthly sovereign. They had cast off the abuses of the latter, but not the monarchy itself. They accordingly invited the prince, who was then in Holland, to come to Scotland, and take possession of his kingdom. We may believe that this was a great fault and a great misfortune: we may regret that loyal men should have carried their fidelity so far as to bring the youthful monarch from the midst of the debaucheries in which he was indulging at Breda, to replace him on the throne of his fathers. This rendered a second revolution
112 necessary: and yet we cannot forbear respecting the Scots even in this their error. Charles at this time was conniving at Montrose, who was spreading desolation throughout Scotland; and the young king hoped by his means to recover a throne without having to take upon himself any embarrassing engagement. But when the marquis was defeated, he determined to surrender to the Scottish parliament. One circumstance had nearly caused his ruin. Among Montrose's papers was found a commission from the king, giving him authority to levy troops and subdue the country by force of arms. The indignant parliament immediately recalled their commissioners from Holland; but the individual to whom the order was addressed treacherously concealed the document from his colleagues, and by showing it to none but the prince, gave him to understand that he could no longer safely temporize. Charles being thus convinced hurried on board, and set sail for Scotland, attended by a train of unprincipled men. The most serious thinkers in the nation saw that they could expect little else from him than duplicity, treachery, and licentiousness. It has been said that the Scotch compelled Charles to adopt their detested Covenant voluntarily. Most certainly the political leaders cannot be entirely exculpated of this charge; but it was not so with the religious part of the government. When he declared his readiness to sign that deed on board the ship, even before he landed, Livingston, who doubted his sincerity, begged him to wait until he had reached Scotland, and given satisfactory proofs of his good faith. But it was all to no effect; and when again, at Dunfermline, Charles wished to append his signature to a new declaration, by which he renounced popery and episcopacy, and asserted that he had no other enemies than those of the Covenant, the Rev. Patrick Gillespie said to him: "Sire, unless in your soul and conscience you are satisfied, beyond all hesitation, of the righteousness of this declaration, do not subscribe it: no, do not subscribe it, not for the three kingdoms." "Mr. Gillespie, Mr. Gillespie," replied the king, "I am satisfied, I am satisfied; ...and therefore will subscribe."2 If Charles Stuart had thought of ascending his native throne only, Cromwell and the English would have remained quiet; but he aimed at the recovery of the three kingdoms, and the Scotch were disposed to aid him.
113 Oliver immediately saw the magnitude of the danger which threatened the religion, liberty, and morals of England, and did not hesitate. On the 26th of June, 1650, he was appointed commander-in-chief of all the armies of the Commonwealth, and set out immediately. Cromwell's feelings, as he marched against Scotland, were different from those which had led him to Ireland. To him the people were brethren -- brethren who had gone astray when they invited over the licentious Charles II. That country was afterwards to feel, by twenty-eight years of horrible persecution (from 1660 to 1688), that the Protector was not deceived. Oliver determined to do all in his power to restore Scotland to herself. It was Cromwell's belief that, if sin had divided men and nations against one another, the aim of Christianity was to bring together all the families of the earth, and establish unity among them. He thought that the Gospel, by sanctifying the people, would make them one vast community of brethren. Wherever he saw disciples of Christ, there his heart beat for them. It was therefore a remarkable and a sorrowful spectacle which might then be viewed on the borders of Scotland, -- one Christian army advancing against another Christian army! This sight, no doubt, has been too often witnessed in history. But in most cases the troops which march against each other are Christian only in name, while the two forces of Scotland and of England possessed, to speak generally, both the spirit and the reality of Christianity. This was a misfortune. Cromwell remembered that although a Christian may be sometimes summoned to war, he should at least cast aside all hatred, and ever be inclined towards peace. He sent letters accordingly both to the general assembly and to the commander-in-chief: to the latter of whom he wrote as follows: -- "For the Right Honorable David Lesley, Lieutenant-general of the Scots Army: These. "From the Camp at Pentland Hills, 14th August, 1650. "Sir,
114 "I received yours of the 13th instant, with the paper you mentioned therein, inclosed, -- which I caused to be read in the presence of so many officers as could well be gotten together; to which your Trumpet can witness. We return you this answer; by which I hope, in the Lord, it will appear that we continue the same we have professed ourselves to the Honest People in Scotland; wishing to them as to our own souls; it being no part of our business to hinder any of them from worshipping God in that way they are satisfied in their consciences by the Word of God they ought, though different from us. "But that under the pretense of the Covenant, mistaken, and wrested from the most native intent and equity thereof, a King should be taken in by you, to be imposed upon us; and this be called `the cause of God and the kingdom;' and this done upon `the satisfaction of God's people in both nations,' as is alleged, -- together with a disowning of Malignants; although he [Charles Stuart] who is the head of them, in whom all their hope and comfort lies, be received; who, at this very instant, hath a Popish army fighting for and under him in Ireland; hath Prince Rupert, a man who hath had his hand deep in the blood of many innocent men of England, now in the head of our ships, stolen from us upon a Malignant account; hath the French and Irish ships daily making depredations on our coasts; and strong combinations by the Malignants in England, to raise armies in our bowels, by virtue of his commissions, who hath of late issued out very many to that purpose: -- How the Godly interest you pretend you have received him upon, and the Malignant interests in their ends and consequences all centering in this man, can be secured, we cannot discern. "And how we should believe, that whilst known and notorious Malignants are fighting and plotting against us on the one hand, and you declaring for him on the other, it should not be an `espousing of a Malignant party's Quarrel or Interest;' but be a mere `fighting upon former grounds and principles, and in defense of the cause of God and the kingdoms, as hath been these twelve years last past,' as you say: how this should be `for the security and satisfaction of
115 God's people in both nations;' or how the opposing of this should render us enemies to the Godly with you, we cannot well understand .... "And if our hope be not in the Lord, it will be ill with us. We commit both you and ourselves to Him who knows the heart, and tries the reins; with whom are all our ways; who is able to do for us and you above what we know: which we desire may be in much mercy to His poor people, and to the glory of His great name. "And having performed your desire, in making your papers so public, as is before expressed, I desire you to do the like, by letting the State, Kirk, and Army have the knowledge hereof. To which end I have sent you inclosed two copies of this letter; and rest "Your humble servant, "Oliver Cromwell."3 It was not until after great trials -- until after the destruction of the constitution of the church, and the slavery of the people -- until the blood of numerous martyrs had been poured forth like water, that Scotland understood the truth of Cromwell's words. The Scots marched against the English army. Cromwell at first retreated before them; but seizing the opportunity when they had quitted a favorable position, he attacked them at Dunbar on the 3d of September. This was one of Cromwell's most important victories. It placed Scotland at his feet. The Scots' word was The Covenant; Cromwell's, The Lord of Hosts. He took 10,000 prisoners, besides officers. His heart was filled with gratitude towards God; but even while at the head of the army, Oliver did not lose sight of the civil order and prosperity of England :4 -- "Thus you have the prospect of one of the most signal mercies God hath done for England and his people," said the commanderin-chief in his dispatch to Parliament. "By these eminent mercies, God puts it more into your hands, to give glory to him. We that serve you, beg of you not to own us -- but God alone. We pray you, own his people more and more; for they are the chariots and horsemen of Israel. Disown yourselves; -- but own your
116 authority; and improve it to curb the proud and the insolent, such as would disturb the tranquillity of England, though under what specious pretenses soever. Relieve the oppressed, hear the groans of poor prisoners in England. Be pleased to reform the abuses of all professions: -- and if there be any one that makes many poor to make a few rich, that suits not a Commonwealth. [Oliver here glances at the lawyers.] If He that strengthens your servants to fight, please to give your hearts to set upon these things, in order to His glory, and the glory of your Commonwealth, -- then, besides the benefit England shall feel thereby, you shall shine forth to other Nations, who shall emulate the glory of such a pattern, and through the power of God turn into the like. "These are our desires. And that you may have liberty and opportunity to do these things, and not be hindered, we have been and shall be (by God's assistance) willing to venture our lives. "Since we came in Scotland, it hath been our desire and longing to have avoided blood in this business; by reason that God hath a people here fearing His name, though deceived. And to that end have we offered much love unto such, in the bowels of Christ; and concerning the truth of our hearts therein, have we appealed unto the Lord. The Ministers of Scotland have hindered the passage of these things to the hearts of those to whom we intended them. And now we hear, that not only the deceived people, but some of the Ministers are also fallen in this battle. This is the great hand of the Lord, and worthy of the consideration of all those who take into their hands the instruments of a foolish shepherd, -- to wit, meddling with worldly policies, and mixtures of earthly power, to set up that which they call the kingdom of Christ, and neglect, or trust not to, the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit; which is alone powerful and able for the setting up of that Kingdom ...Oh, that they might return again to preach Jesus Christ, according to the simplicity of the Gospel; -- and then no doubt they will discern and find your protection and encouragement. "Your most obedient servant, "OLIVER CROMWELL."
117 One of the general's proclamations issued on the field of battle breathes such humanity towards the Scots, that it deserves to be introduced here: --5 "PROCLAMATION" "Forasmuch, as I understand there are several soldiers of the enemy's army yet abiding in the field, who by reason of their wounds could not march from thence: "These are therefore to give notice to the inhabitants of this nation, That they may have, and hereby have, free liberty to repair to the field aforesaid; and, with their carts or in any other peaceable way, to carry away the said soldiers to such places as they shall think fit: -- provided they meddle not with, or take away, any of the arms there. And all officers and soldiers are to take notice that the same is permitted. "Given under my hand, at Dunbar, 4th September, 1650. "OLIVER CROMWELL." The same day Cromwell wrote to his son-in-law Ireton, whom he had left as deputy-lieutenant in Ireland.6 This letter also proves Cromwell's affection for the Scotch. "To Lieutenant-general Ireton, Deputy-lieutenant of Ireland: These. "Dunbar, 4th September, 1650. "Sir, "Though I hear not often from you, yet I know you forget me not. Think so of me too; for I often remember you at the Throne of Grace. I heard of the Lord's good hand with you in reducing Waterford, Duncannon and Carlow: His name be praised. "We have been engaged upon a service the fullest of trial ever poor creatures were upon. We made great professions of love; knowing we were to deal with many who were godly, and who pretended to be stumbled at our invasion: indeed our bowels were pierced again and again; the Lord helped us to sweet words, and in sincerity to
118 mean them. We were rejected again and again; yet still we begged to be believed that we loved them as our own souls; they often returned evil for good. We prayed for security [against Charles Stuart's designs upon England]: they would not hear or answer a word to that. We made often appeals to God; they appealed also. We were near engagements three or four times, but they lay upon advantages. A heavy flux fell upon our army; brought it very low, from fourteen to eleven thousand: three thousand five hundred horse, and seven thousand five hundred foot, the enemy sixteen thousand foot, and six thousand horse." On the same day, the morrow after the battle, Cromwell wrote to his wife. His letter is brief, but full of piety and affection: -- "For my beloved Wife, Elizabeth Cromwell, at the Cockpit:7 These. "Dunbar, 4th September, 1650. "My Dearest, "I have not leisure to write much. But I could chide thee that in many of thy letters thou writest to me, that I should not be unmindful of thee and thy little ones. Truly, if I love you not too well, I think I err not on the other hand much. Thou art dearer to me than any creature; let that suffice. "The Lord had showed us an exceeding mercy; -- who can tell how it is! My weak faith hath been upheld. I have been in my inward man marvelously supported; though I assure thee, I grow an old man, and feel infirmities of age marvelously stealing upon me. Would my corruptions did as fast decrease! Pray on my behalf in the latter respect. The particulars of our late success, Harry Vane or Gilbert Pickering will impart to thee. My love to all dear friends. I rest thine, "Oliver Cromwell."8 The Protector now advanced to Edinburgh. Part of the Scotch army had retired into the castle built on the precipitous rocks which rise in the midst of that beautiful city. The ministers of the town also had taken refuge in the same fortress. Cromwell immediately informed the governor that he
119 would permit the pastors to come down and preach in their respective churches, without being in any manner disquieted The ministers replied that they were fearful of persecution, and could not accept his offer. The following is his answer: -- 9 "For the Honorable the Governor of the Castle of Edinburgh: These. "Edinburgh, 9th September, 1650. "Sir, "The kindness offered to the ministers with you was done with ingenuity [ingenuously], thinking it might have met with the like. If their Master's service (as they call it) were chiefly in their eye, imagination of suffering would not have caused such a return. "The ministers in England are supported, and have liberty to preach the Gospel; though not to rail, nor, under pretense thereof, to overtop the Civil Power, or debase it as they please. No man hath been troubled in England or Ireland for preaching the gospel; nor has any minister been molested in Scotland since the coming of the army hither. The speaking truth becomes the ministers of Christ. When ministers pretend to a glorious Reformation, and lay the foundations thereof in getting to themselves worldly power, they may know that the Sion promised will not be built with such untempered mortar .... "I have nothing to say to you but that I am, "Sir, "Your humble servant, "Oliver Cromwell." "The Scotch clergy," says Carlyle, "never got such a reprimand since they first took ordination." On the 12th of September, Cromwell sent another letter to the governor,10 to refute the complaints made by the inhabitants, and particularly by the ministers.
120 "You say," writes Oliver, "you regret that men of civil employments should usurp the calling and employment of the ministry; to the scandal of the Reformed Kirks. -- Are you troubled that Christ is preached? Is preaching so exclusively your function? Doth it scandalize the Reformed Kirks, and Scotland in particular? Is it against the Covenant? Away with the Covenant, if this be so! I thought the Covenant and these professors of it could have been willing that any should speak good of the name of Christ: if not, it is no Covenant of God's approving; nor are these Kirks you mention in so much the spouse of Christ. "Where do you find in the Scripture a ground to warrant such an assertion, that preaching is exclusively your function? I hope He that ascended up on high may give His gifts to whom He pleases: and if those gifts be the seal of Mission, be not envious though Eldad and Medad prophecy (Numbers 11:27). You know who bids us covet earnestly the best gifts, but chiefly that we may prophesy; which the Apostle explains there to be a speaking to instruction and edification and comfort. "Indeed you err through mistaking of the Scriptures. Approbation [i.e. ordination, solemn approbation and appointment by men] is an act of conveniency in respect of order; not of necessity, to give faculty to preach the Gospel. Your pretended fear lest error should step in, is like the man who would keep all the wine out of the country lest men should be drunk. It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy, to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon a supposition he may abuse it. When he doth abuse it, judge. If a man speak foolishly, ye suffer him gladly because ye are wise; if erroneously, the truth more appears by your conviction of him. Stop such a man's mouth by sound words which cannot be gainsaid. If he speak blasphemously, or to the disturbance of the public peace, let the civil magistrate punish him; if truly, rejoice in the truth. And if you will call all our speakings together since we came into Scotland, -- to provoke one another to love and good works, to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and repentance from dead works; and to charity and love towards you, to pray and mourn for you, and for your bitter returns to our love of you, and your
121 incredulity of our professions of love to you, of the truth of which we have made our solemn and humble appeals to the Lord our God, which He hath heard and borne witness to: if you will call (these) things scandalous to the Kirk, and against the Covenant, because done by men of civil callings, -- we rejoice in them, notwithstanding what you say . . . "Your loving friend and servant, "OLIVER CROMWELL." It is impossible not to admire the just mean observed by Cromwell. He rejects alike the disorder of some who would have no ministry, and the bigotry of others who would permit none but priests to proclaim Jesus Christ. He is here in advance of his age: he holds the balance between the two extremes by which he is surrounded. In this day all enlightened Christians are of his opinion; even the episcopalian church has its lay evangelists. The Edinburgh ministers persisted in their determination to remain in the castle. It was now resolved to excavate the immense rocks on which that fortress stands, and blow it into the air. While the miners from Derbyshire were toiling below, the ministers sat quietly above. On the 12th of December, Cromwell summoned the governor to surrender, and the latter after several parleys agreed to capitulate. The Protector made a distinction between the two parties he found in Scotland: on the one hand there were the Malignants, the friends of Charles Stuart, as dissolute and popishly inclined as himself; on the other, the godly people of the nation, the true Presbyterians. The 4th of December he wrote on this subject to the speaker of the English parliament.11 "I can assure you, that those that serve you here find more satisfaction in having to deal with men of this stamp [the Malignants] than with others; and it is our comfort that the Lord hath hitherto made it the matter of our prayers, and of our endeavors (if it might have been the will of God) to have had a Christian understanding between those that fear God in this land and ourselves ...Those religious people of Scotland that fall in this cause, we cannot but pity and mourn for them; and we pray that all good men may do so too. Indeed there is at this time a very great distraction,
122 and mighty workings of God upon the hearts of divers, both ministers and people." Cromwell was pleased with this agitation, hoping that it would lead to an understanding between the two kingdoms. Perhaps there never was a general at the head of an army, who entertained a more cordial affection towards his enemies. He had shown this at his very entrance into Scotland. The inhabitants of Dunbar being in great distress for want of provisions, he distributed among them pease and wheat to the value of Ј240. Anxiety, severe labor, and a rigorous winter, seriously affected his health. During his sojourn in Edinburgh, where he was lodged in the sumptuous mansion of Earl Murray in the Canongate, he fell dangerously ill. He felt again that hand of God, which had weighed so heavily on him at St. Ives. He again experienced, as Augustin says,12 that "there are many deaths, and that the cause of all is sin." He saw in this malady the chastening of God; but in him this chastening bore a peaceable fruit of righteousness; it revived in him the heavenly life. He was sensible that the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and sayeth such as be of a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:19). Of this the next letter is a proof: -- "To the Right Honorable the Lord President of the Council of State: These. "Edinburgh, 24th March, 1651. "My Lord, " ...Indeed, my Lord, your service needs not me: I am a poor creature; and have been a dry bone: and am still an unprofitable servant to my master and you. I thought I should have died of this fit of sickness; but the Lord seemeth to dispose otherwise. But truly, my Lord, I desire not to live, unless I may obtain mercy from the Lord to approve my heart and life to Him in more faithfulness and thankfulness, and to those I serve in more profitableness and all diligence. And I pray God, your Lordship, and all in public trust, may approve all those unparalleled experiences of the Lord's wonderful workings in your sight, with singleness of heart to His glory, and the refreshment of his people...
123 Oliver Cromwell"13 This is truly the language of a convalescent christian man. Shortly after this, he addressed the following letter to his wife. "For my beloved wife Elizabeth Cromwell, at the Cockpit: These. "Edinburgh, 12th April, 1651. "My Dearest, "I praise the Lord I am increased in strength in my outward man: but that will not satisfy me except I get a heart to love and serve my Heavenly Father better; and get more of the light of His countenance, which is better than life, and more power over my corruptions: -- in these hopes I wait, and am not without expectation of a gracious return. Pray for me; truly I do daily for thee, and the dear Family; and God Almighty bless you all with His spiritual blessings. "Mind poor Betty [Elizabeth Claypole] of the Lord's great mercy. Oh, I desire her not only to seek the Lord in her necessity, but in deed and in truth to turn to the Lord; and to keep close to him; and to take heed of a departing heart, and of being cozened with worldly vanities and worldly company, which I doubt she is too subject to. I earnestly and frequently pray for her and for him [her husband]. Truly they are dear to me, very dear; and I am in fear lest Satan should deceive them; -- knowing how weak our hearts are, and how subtle the adversary is. Let them seek Him in truth, and they shall find Him. "My love to the dear little ones; I pray for grace for them. I thank them for their letters; let me have them often ...Truly I am not able as yet to write much. I am weary; and rest "Thine, "Oliver Cromwell."14 The council of state had sent Cromwell two distinguished physicians, one of whom, Dr. Bates, although of a different party from his patient, has
124 borne him honorable testimony. Oliver thanked the council for their regard to "so frail a thing as he was:" but the whole letter is worthy of being read. "To the Lord President of the Council of State: These. "Edinburgh, 3d June, 1651. "My Lord, "I have received yours of the 27th of May, with an order from the Parliament for my liberty to return into England for change of air, that thereby I might the better recover my health. All which came unto me whilst Dr. Wright and Dr. Bates, whom your Lordship sent down, were with me. "I shall not need to recite the extremity of my last sickness: it was so violent that indeed my nature was not able to bear the weight thereof. But the Lord was pleased to deliver me, beyond expectation, and to give me cause to say once more, He hath plucked me out of the grave! My Lord, the indulgence of the Parliament expressed by their order is a very high and undeserved favor: of which although it be fit I keep a thankful remembrance, yet I judge it would be too much presumption in me to return a particular acknowledgment. I beseech you give me the boldness to return my humble thankfulness to the Council for sending two such worthy persons so great a journey to visit me. From whom I have received much encouragement, and good directions for recovery of health and strength, -- which I find now, by the goodness of God, growing to such a state as may yet, if it be His good will, render me useful according to my poor ability in the station wherein He hath set me. "I wish more steadiness in your affairs here than to depend, in the least degree, upon so frail a thing as I am. Indeed they do not, -- nor own any instrument. This cause is of God, and it must prosper. Oh, that all that have any hand therein, being so persuaded, would gird up the loins of their mind, and endeavor in all things to walk worthy of the Lord! So prays, "My Lord, "Your most humble servant,
125 "Oliver Cromwell."15 We have already remarked that the most striking feature in Cromwell, as unveiled to us by his correspondence, is his character as the head of a family. He possessed a tenderness and wisdom most worthy of admiration. There are many other letters of this kind which we should like to quote, but we must refrain. We shall, however, give one more, in which he appears as a father, at once firm, prudent, and enlightened.16 Mr. Mayor, to whom the letter is addressed, was, it will be remembered, the father of his son Richard's wife. Cromwell had sought this gentleman's daughter for his son, preferring her to other more brilliant matches, because her father and his family were religious people. He remained ever after attached to this pious man, and corresponded with him, as with a brother, in the most remarkable periods of his military career. "To my very loving Brother, Richard Mayor, Esquire, at Hursley: These. "Burntisland, 28th July, 1651. "Dear Brother, "I was glad to receive a letter from you. I believe your expectation of my son's coming is deferred. I wish he may see a happy delivery of his wife first, for whom I frequently pray. "I hear my son hath exceeded his allowance, and is in debt. Truly I cannot commend him therein ...I desire to be understood that I grudge him not laudable recreations, nor an honorable carriage of himself in them; nor is any matter of charge, like to fall to my share, a stick [stop] with me. Truly I can find in my heart to allow him not only a sufficiency, but more, for his good. But if pleasure and self-satisfaction be made the business of a man's life, and so much cost laid upon it, so much time spent in it, as rather answers appetite than the will of God, -- I scruple to feed this humor; and God forbid that his being my son should be his allowance to live not pleasingly to our heavenly Father, who hath raised me out of the dust to be what I am.
126 "I desire your faithfulness to advise him to approve himself to the Lord in his course of life; and to search His statutes for a rule to conscience, and to seek grace from Christ to enable him to walk therein. This hath life in it, and will come to somewhat: what is a poor creature without this? This will not abridge of lawful pleasures; but teach such a use of them as will have the peace of a good conscience going along with it. Sir, I write what is in my heart: I pray you communicate my mind herein to my son. Truly I love him; he is dear to me; so is his wife; and for their sakes do I thus write. They shall not want comfort nor encouragement from me, so far as I may afford it. But indeed I cannot think I do well to feed a voluptuous humor in my son, if he should make pleasures the business of his life, -- in a time when some precious saints are bleeding, and breathing out their last for the safety of the rest .... . I desire your prayers; and rest "Your very affectionate brother and servant, "Oliver Cromwell." During his stay at Glasgow, Cromwell attended divine worship in the Presbyterian churches. The Scottish ministers, preaching before this mighty and victorious general, did not hesitate to pray for the king and call Oliver a usurper. We do not find that he punished them in any way; on the contrary, knowing very well that no confidence could be placed either in Charles Stuart or in his political party, he endeavored to form a connection with the religious body, as the only one with which a lasting peace could be made. Charles, seeing that his cause was ruined in Scotland, resolved to march into England, in the hope that all the royalists in the north would rise at his approach; but he was thoroughly defeated at Worcester, on the 3d of September, 1651, on which day, twelve months before, Cromwell had gained the battle of Dunbar. The expedition being thus ended, Charles fled to France, and sought to forget his discomfiture in debauchery and dissipation. Cromwell's dispatch to Parliament17 of this new victory terminates with the following passage: --
127 "The dimensions of this mercy are above my thoughts. It is, for aught I know, a crowning mercy. Surely, if it be not, such a one we shall have, if this provoke those that are concerned in it to thankfulness; and the Parliament to do the will of Him who hath done His will for it and for the nation; -- whose good pleasure it is to establish the nation and the change of the government, by making the people so willing to the defense thereof, and so signally blessing the endeavors of your servants in this late great work. I am bold humbly to beg, that all thoughts may tend to the promoting of His honor who hath wrought so great salvation; and that the fatness of these continued mercies may not occasion pride and wantonness, as formerly the like hath done to a chosen nation. [Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: and thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness: then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. Deuteronomy 32:15.] But that the fear of the Lord, even for His mercies, may keep an authority and a people so prospered, and blessed, and witnessed unto, humble and faithful; and that justice and righteousness, mercy and truth, may flow from you, as a thankful return to our gracious God. This shall be the prayer of, "Sir, "Your most humble and obedient servant, "OLIVER CROMWELL." Cromwell commissioned a number of the most godly men (Gillespie and some of his brethren) to arrange the affairs of the Scottish Church; and it was his desire that, in the election of pastors, they should have regard to the choice of the most religious portion of the flock, although these should not constitute the majority. Dr. Hetherington, the historian of the Scottish Church, bears the following testimony to Oliver's policy: "Throughout the whole of Scotland, during the period of Cromwell's domination, there prevailed a degree of civil peace beyond what had almost ever before been experienced."18
128 An old historian, Kirkton, speaks thus of the religious condition of Scotland: -- "I verily believe there were more souls converted to Christ in that short period of time, than in any season since the Reformation, though of triple its duration." -- Such are the testimonies of two native writers. Thus the result of Cromwell's campaigns both in Ireland and in Scotland was the peace and prosperity of those two countries. There are few wars recorded in history which have produced such beneficial consequences. Here, properly speaking, terminates Oliver's military life. Before bidding it farewell, let us call to mind the testimony which Cromwell more than once has borne to his army. "I hope," wrote he to Colonel Walton, in September, 1644, "I hope the kingdom shall see that, in the midst of our necessities, we shall serve them without disputes. We hope to forget our wants, which are exceeding great, and ill cared for; and desire to refer the many slanders heaped upon us by false tongues to God, -- who will, in due time, make it appear to the world that we study the glory of God, and the honor and liberty of the Parliament. For which we unanimously fight; without seeking our own interests. Indeed we never find our men so cheerful as when there is work to do. I trust you will always hear so of them. The Lord is our strength, and in Him is all our hope." With these soldiers he performed wonders. Before the battle of Worcester, the alarm in London was very great. "Both the city and the country," says Mrs. Hutchinson, "were all amazed, and doubtful of their own and the commonwealth's safety. Some could not hide very pale and unmanly fears, and were in such distraction of spirit, that it much disturbed their councils."19 Even Bradshaw, "stout-hearted as he was," trembled for his neck. But when Oliver came to Worcester, advantageous as that position was to the enemy, he rushed upon them immediately, as a lion on his prey; and not troubling himself with the formality of a siege, ordered his troops to fall on in all places at once. The loss on his side did not exceed 200 men; yet it was, he said, "a stiff business -- as stiff a contest for four or five hours as ever he had seen." In one of his letters, Cromwell has preserved an anecdote characteristic of the times, and which relates to one of his early battles. "A poor godly man," he says, "died in Preston, the day before the fight; and being sick, near the hour of his death, he desired the woman that cooked to him, to
129 fetch him a handful of grass. She did so; and when he received it, he asked whether it would wither or not, now it was cut? The woman said `yea.' He replied, `so should this army of the Scots do, and come to nothing, so soon as ours did but appear,' or words to this effect; and so immediately died?"20 In this symbolical language there is a something reminding us of the Old Testament. The war of Scotland was ended, and its results were prosperity and peace. Another symbol was now required. One of the dying soldiers on the battle-field of Worcester, directing his eyes towards his distant home in Scotland, had sufficient strength to take up a handful of corn, and say, as he threw it on the ground: "There shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth." (Psalm 72:16.)
130 CHAPTER 8 THE PROTECTORATE. Blake -- Love gFear -- The Rump Parliament -- Dissolved by Cromwell -- The Little Parliament -- Speech -- Cromwell's Integrity -- Reforms -- Cromwell's Longing for Peace -- The End -- The Protectorate -- Constitution -- New Parliament -- Cromwell's Apology -- Death of his Mother -- Obstructions to Religious Liberty -- Cromwell dissolves the Parliament -- His Plans -- L'etal, c'est moi -- The Two French Invasions -- Revival of English Liberty. As soon as Ireland and Scotland were pacified, Cromwell turned his attention to the peace and prosperity of England. This was a more difficult task than either of those which he had accomplished in the two sister countries. The same elements which had overthrown despotism in England were then agitating the people, and were likely to banish from it all order and tranquillity. For some time foreign affairs had diverted men's minds from home matters. The fleet under the command of Admiral Blake had just triumphed over the Dutch; but now the thoughts of all were concentrated anew on internal matters. After having commanded in the battle-field, the Protector was now to rule in the council-chamber. But let us first listen once more to the voice of the father and the Christian. The following letter addressed to Fleetwood, commander-in-chief in Ireland, who had married Bridget Cromwell, Ireton's widow, will remind us of another in which the fond parent displays the same anxiety for the soul of his daughter: -- "For the Right Honorable Lieutenant-General Fleetwood, Commander-in-chief of the Forces in Ireland: These. "Cockpit, December (?) 1652 "Dear Charles, "I thank you for your loving letter. The same hopes and desires, upon your planting into my family, were much the same in me that
131 you express in yours towards me. However, the dispensation of the Lord is, to have it otherwise for the present; and therein I desire to acquiesce; -- not being out of hope that it may lie in His good pleasure, in His time, to give us the mutual comfort of our relation: the want whereof He is able abundantly to supply by His own presence; which indeed makes up all defects, and is the comfort of all our comforts and enjoyments. "Salute your dear wife from me. Bid her beware of a bondage spirit. Fear is the natural issue of such a spirit; -- the antidote is, Love. The voice of Fear is: If I had done this; if I had avoided that, how well it had been with me! -- I know this hath been her vain reasoning. "Love argueth in this wise; what a Christ have I; what a father in and through Him! What a Name hath my Father: Merciful, gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth; forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. What a Nature hath my Father: He is Love; -- free in it, unchangeable, infinite! What a Covenant between Him and Christ, -- for all the Seed, for every one: wherein he undertakes all, and the poor Soul nothing. The new Covenant is Grace, -- to or upon the Soul; to which it (the Soul) is passive and receptive; I'll do away their Sins; I'll write my Law, etc.; I'll put it in their hearts: they shall never depart from me, etc. "This commends the love of God: it's Christ dying for men without strength, for men whilst sinners, whilst enemies. And shall we seek for the root of our comforts within us, -- What God hath done, what He is to us in Christ, this is the root of our comfort: in this is stability; in us is weakness. Acts of obedience are not perfect, and therefore yield not perfect Grace. Faith, as an act, yields it not; but only as it carries us into Him, who is our perfect rest and peace; in whom we are accounted of, and received by, the Father, -- even as Christ Himself! This is our high calling. Rest we here, and here only. "Commend me to Harry Cromwell: I pray for him, that he may thrive, and improve in the knowledge and love of Christ. Commend me to all the Officers. My prayers indeed are daily for them. Wish
132 them to beware of bitterness of spirit; and of all things uncomely for the Gospel. The Lord give you abundance of wisdom, and faith, and patience. Take heed also of your natural inclination to compliance. "Pray for me. I commit you to the Lord; and rest "Your loving father, "Oliver Cromwell" "The Boy and Betty are very well. Show what kindness you well may to Colonel Clayton, to my nephew Gregory, to Claypole's brother."1 The Long Parliament, or the Rump, as it was called, was drawing near its end. This assembly was in reality a mere remnant of the parliament, containing a very small number of members, the residue of Pride's purge. It was also unpopular in the nation, and attacked by every party. From all sides it was called upon to dissolve itself, and thus gratify the wishes of the universal people. But the Rump could not make up their minds to such a decided measure. A new power was required for the new task that remained to be accomplished. This power must be essentially one; for if the many can destroy, a single power is more capable of organizing and building up. It was not until a later period that Cromwell assumed the title of Protector; but his protectorate in reality began immediately after his return from Scotland. He and his officers thought that, since the Rump could not come to the determination of resigning their powers, they ought of themselves to take measures for its dissolution. A new pretension of this body accelerated its end. On the 20th of April, 1653, Colonel Ingoldsby informed Cromwell that the parliament was passing a bill to prolong its own duration. Indignant and greatly excited, he exclaimed: "It is not honest; yea, it is contrary to common honesty." He then hastened down to the House, followed by a company of musketeers, whom he left in the lobby. He entered the hall, and composedly seated himself in his usual place, listening attentively to the debate. His dress was a plain suit of black cloth, with
133 gray worsted stockings, -- the ordinary costume of the Puritans. For about a quarter of an hour he sat still; but when the Speaker was going to put the question, he whispered to Lieutenant-general Harrison, -- "This is the time, I must do it." Alluding to this crisis, he said at a subsequent period, "When I went to the House, I did not think to have done this; but perceiving the Spirit of God strong upon me, I would no longer consult flesh and blood." After pausing for a minute, Cromwell rose, and taking off his hat, addressed the members at first in laudatory terms. Gradually becoming warmer and more vehement, he charged them with injustice and selfinterest, and then declared that he had come down to put an end to a power of which they had made such bad use. He was very excited, walking up and down, and occasionally stamping the floor with his feet. "You are no parliament," he said; "I'll put an end to your sitting. Some of you are drunkards (and he pointed to those whom he had in view); others live a corrupt and scandalous life (and his eyes glanced formidably upon them) "I say you are no parliament. Get ye gone! Give way to honester men." Speaker Lenthall declared that he would not retire until forced. Harrison then took him by the hand and led him from his chair. "What shall we do with this fool's bauble?" said Cromwell, fixing his eyes on the mace. -- "Here, take it away," -- and he gave it to a musketeer. After all the members of the Rump, to the number of eighty, had vanished, the Protector locked the door, put the key in his pocket, and returned to Whitehall. What he said to the Parliament was indeed the truth. It was well that this assembly was dissolved, and the General, by desiring another, looked really to the welfare of the people. Nevertheless, on this occasion, he not only violated the principles by which states are governed; but he was misled with regard to those by which religion should guide men's actions. His mainspring, as he tells us himself, was again, in this as in other occurrences, certain impulses which he looked upon as the Spirit of God. No doubt the Holy Spirit leads men; but we repeat, that it is by the precepts in the Word of God that he leads them, and not by inward illuminations, more or less vague, which they think to be the voice of the Almighty himself, but which may be merely the voice of their own passions. Nevertheless, whatever might have been the motive which
134 influenced Cromwell's conviction, what he did was truly for the good of the commonwealth. Numerous addresses from the army, the fleet, and other quarters approved his conduct, and set upon this daring act the seal of popular opinion. Impartial posterity, contemplating the use he made of his power, and adopting the expression of an illustrious bishop, will, with Warburton, entitle him, "the most magnanimous of usurpers." As he now had the supreme power entirely in his own hands, he immediately sought to employ it in reorganizing the nation. In conjunction with a council of state, consisting of twelve members, he endeavored to form an Assembly of Notables, to whom the great work he had in view might be confided. Desirous of seeing the best men called together to provide for the good of their country, he thought that their choice should be intrusted to no one but himself. Besides, England was tired of parliaments and anarchy. He therefore sought in every quarter for persons of approved fidelity and honesty, known for their fear of God, their intelligence, and renunciation of worldly passions, and summoned them to undertake the renovation of the state. He selected one hundred and thirtynine representatives for England, six for Wales, six for Ireland, and five for Scotland. On the 4th of July, 1653, the Protector, supported by a numerous body of officers, opened this assembly in the Council-chamber at Whitehall, and addressed them as follows: -- 2 "Gentlemen, " ...I beseech you, -- but I think I need not, -- have a care of the Whole Flock! Love the sheep, love the lambs; love all, tender all, cherish and countenance all, in all things that are good. And if the poorest Christian, the most mistaken Christian, shall desire to live peaceably and quietly under you, -- I say, if any shall desire but to lead a life of godliness and honesty, let him be protected. "I think I need not advise, much less press you, to endeavor the Promoting of the Gospel; to encourage the Ministry; such a Ministry and such Ministers as be faithful in the Land; upon whom the true character is. Men that have received the Spirit ...I speak not, -- I thank God it is far from my heart, -- for a
135 Ministry deriving itself from the Papacy, and pretending to that which is so much insisted on, `Succession.' The true Succession is through the Spirit. The Spirit is given for that use, To make proper Speakers forth of God's eternal Truth; and that's right Succession... "I confess I never looked to see such a day as this, -- it may be nor you neither, -- when Jesus Christ should be so owned as He is, this day, of you .... . God manifests this to be the day of the power of Christ; having, through so much blood, and so much trial as hath been upon these nations, made this to be one of the great issues thereof; To have his people called to the Supreme Authority. He makes this to be the greatest mercy, next to His own Son. Perhaps you are not known by face to one another; coming from all parts of the Nation as you do: but we shall tell you that indeed we have not allowed ourselves the choice of one person in whom we had not this good hope, That there was in him faith in Jesus Christ and love to all His People." If Cromwell's words express the truth, this assembly was really one without example before or since in this world. A celebrated writer has called this speech and the emotion which accompanied it, "mere nonsense;" but he adds: "Beneath all this nonsense new manners were forming, and institutions were taking root. These characters would not have been so ridiculous, but for their eccentricity; still, everything that is strongly constituted contains a principle of life. The courtiers of Charles II. might laugh; but these honest fanatics left a posterity which has freed the world from these courtiers, and punished them as they deserved.3 With increased elevation Cromwell still showed the strictest integrity. He was neither a spendthrift nor a miser. Mammon was not his god, as it has been of so many men in power; and his descendants in England are far from belonging to the most opulent families of that country. Richard Mayor, it would seem, desired to make an advantageous purchase of land, which called forth the following reply from him: -- 4
136 "For my loving Brother, Richard Mayor, Esquire, at Hursley, in Hampshire: These. "Dear Brother, "Whitehall, 4th May, 1654 "I received your loving letter, for which I thank you: and surely were it fit to proceed in that business, you should not in the least have been put upon anything but the trouble; for indeed the land in Essex, with some money in my hand, should have gone towards it. "But indeed I am so unwilling to be a seeker after the world, having had so much favor from the Lord in giving me so much without seeking: and am so unwilling that men should think me so which they will though you only appear in it (for they will, by one means or other, know it), that indeed I dare not meddle or proceed therein. Thus I have told you my plain thoughts. "My hearty love I present to you and my sister, my blessing and love to dear Doll and the little one. With love to all, I rest, "Your loving brother, "Oliver P." Oliver knew that the love of money is the root of all evil. We often find him giving away considerable sums for useful purposes, but never a prey to those foolish and hurtful lusts, of which the apostle speaks, and which exist in those that will be rich. The Parliament, for this was the name assumed by the Notables, showed themselves equal to their vocation, and endeavored with conscientious zeal to introduce the most important ameliorations into the commonwealth. They established order and economy in the finances, bettered the condition of the prisoners, and suppressed a tax that was reckoned arbitrary. They further desired to give the nation that inestimable benefit -- a code of laws; to abolish presentations, so that every parish might choose its own minister; to suppress tithes; diminish the army; and purify the clergy. All these projects excited a strong opposition.
137 Oliver endeavored to reconcile every exasperated feeling, and sought after that blessing which is promised to the peace-makers. He said with St. Paul: If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. But all was ineffectual; for his enemies were entirely blind to the spirit of that love which possessed him. On this subject he poured out his soul to Fleetwood. History scarcely presents us another example of a statesman in whose heart we can read so plainly as in Cromwell's; all is clear and transparent; there is not, so to speak, in his mind a single deep affection hidden from us; and yet this is the man whom historians have charged with dissimulation! We shall give the letter he wrote to his son-in-law, with reference to the quarrels excited by the Little, or as it was more frequently called in derision, Barebone's Parliament.5 "For the Right Honorable Lieutenant-general Fleetwood, Commander-in-chief of the forces in Ireland: These. "Cockpit, 22d August, 1653." "Dear Charles, "Although I do not so often as is desired by me acquaint you how it is with me, yet I doubt not of your prayers in my behalf, That, in all things, I may walk as becometh the Gospel. "Truly I never more needed all helps from my Christian Friends than now! Fain would I have my service accepted of the Saints, if the Lord will; -- but it is not so. Being of different judgments, and those of each sort seeking most to propagate their own, that spirit of kindness that is (in me?) to them all, is hardly accepted of any. I hope I can say it, My life has been a willing sacrifice, -- and I hope, -- for them all. Yet it much falls out as when the Two Hebrews were rebuked: you know upon whom they turned their displeasure (Exodus 2:14). "But the Lord is wise; and will, I trust, make manifest that I am no enemy. Oh, how easy is mercy to be abused: -- Persuade friends with you to be very sober! If the Day of the Lord be so near as some say, how should our moderation appear! If every one, instead
138 of contending, would justify his form of judgment by love and meekness, Wisdom would be `justified of her children.' But, alas! -- "I am, in my temptation, ready to say: `Oh, would I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness, I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest,' (Psalm 55:6, 7, 8): but this, I fear, is my `haste.' I bless the Lord I have somewhat keeps me alive: some sparks of the light of His countenance, and some sincerity above man's judgment. Excuse me thus unbowelling myself to you; pray for me, and desire my friends to do so also. My love to thy dear wife, -- whom indeed I entirely love, both naturally, and upon the best account; -- and my blessing if it be worth anything, upon thy little Babe. "...Remember my hearty affections to all the officers. The Lord bless you all. So prayeth "Your truly loving father, "Oliver Cromwell." "P. S. -- All here love you, and are in health, your children and all." The opposition which the Little Parliament met with paralyzed its exertions. Of all the projects discussed, none caused so great excitement as that concerning the purification of the clergy. The debate continued ten days, and at last, early on Monday the 12th of December, while the strict evangelical party had not yet assembled in the House, it was moved and carried that as the sitting of that parliament any longer would not be for the good of the commonwealth, it should deliver up to the Lord General Cromwell, the powers which it had received from him. This body had sat five months and twelve days. With the exception of the Levellers, all parties -- Royalists, and Episcopalians, Soldiers and Lawyers -- now turned their eyes to Cromwell as the sole means of safety for England.
139 When he learnt the resolution of Parliament, he testified much emotion and surprise; and there is nothing to authorize the supposition, entertained by several historians, that his sentiments were not sincere. The army-leaders, finding themselves a second time invested with the supreme power, resolved unanimously to adopt a form of government more nearly assimilating to a monarchy, the necessity of which all men acknowledged. It was decided that Cromwell should assume the title of LORD PROTECTOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND; and that a parliament of 460 members should be elected every three years. If the Protector neglected to issue the writs, the commissioners of the great seal, and, in their default, the high sheriffs of the counties, were to do so under pain of high-treason. The parliament could not be dissolved without their own consent in less than five months. All the courts of Europe recognized and congratulated the new governor of England. The elections took place, and on the 4th of September, 1654, Parliament met. The Protector rode in state to the abbey-church in Westminster, and after the sermon, went to the Painted Chamber, in which the sittings of this assembly were to be held. Lenthall, Fairfax, and the most illustrious men of the revolution were present. Taking his seat in the chair of state, Oliver addressed the members in a speech which lasted three hours.6 "Gentlemen," said he, "you are met here on the greatest occasion that, I believe, England ever saw; having upon your shoulders the interest of three great nations; and truly, I believe I may say it without any hyperbole, the interests of all the Christian people in the world." The result corresponded very meagrely with such high expectations. Instead of busying themselves with the organization and prosperity of the nation, the Parliament began to examine whether, or not, the government should be vested in the hands of a single person. On the 12th of September the Protector again addressed them thus: -- 7 "Gentlemen, "...I called not myself to this place: of that, God is witness: -- and I have many witnesses who, I do believe, could lay down their lives bearing witness to the truth of that .... If my calling be from God,
140 and my testimony from the people, -- God and the people shall take it from me, else I will not part with it .... . . "I was by birth a gentleman; living neither in any considerable height, nor yet in obscurity. I have been called to several employments in the nation. I did endeavor to discharge the duty of an honest man, in those services, to God and His people's interest, and to the Commonwealth.... I begged to be dismissed of my charge; I begged it again and again: -- and God be Judge between me and all men if I lie in this matter .... . . "In every government there must be somewhat fundamental, somewhat like a .Magna Charta, which should be standing, be unalterable .... That Parliament should not make themselves perpetual is a Fundamental ...Liberty of conscience in religion (equally removed from profaneness and persecution) is a Fundamental .... . Another Fundamental is that the power of the Militia should be shared between the Protector and the Parliament .... . ." To these fundamentals Cromwell added a fourth, requiring all the members of the House to sign a paper engaging themselves "to be true and faithful to the Protector and the Commonwealth." Three hundred members with the speaker at their head, appended their signatures; the others absented themselves from parliament. A painful domestic event occurred at this time to divert Cromwell's cares. His mother, an aged woman of ninety-four, resided with him at Whitehall. This venerable lady combined the sincerest faith with the tenderest maternal affection: she cared little for the royal pomp around her. The sound of a musket struck terror to her heart; she thought it was perhaps aimed at her son, and could not be satisfied unless she saw him once a-day at least. The close of her earthly career was approaching. On the 15th of November she called the mighty Protector of England to her bedside. He had ever entertained for her the most respectful and sincere affection. Stretching out her feeble hands she blessed him in these words: "The Lord cause his face to shine upon you; and comfort you in all your adversities; and enable you to do great things for the glory of the Most High God, and to be a relief unto His people. My dear Son, I leave my heart with thee.
141 Good night!" and therewith she fell asleep in the Lord. Her son was heartbroken, and burst into a violent flood of tears. The Parliament did not answer the expectations either of Cromwell or of the nation. Forgetful of the wants of the people, they thought their whole duty consisted in struggling against the Protector, and in refusing to grant him, so far as they were able, either supplies or power. They went farther, and infringed upon religious liberty. The House voted that none should be tolerated who did not profess the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, and appointed a committee to draw up and lay before parliament a catalogue of these doctrines. This committee presented sixteen fundamental articles,8 excluding not only deists, socinians, and papists, but arians, antinomians, quakers, and others. Thus the noble principle of religious liberty, which Oliver was called to maintain throughout the world, was seriously compromised. The revolution was sliding back towards bigotry and intolerance. Could the Protector, the enemy of both, permit such an erroneous course to be persevered in? On the 22d of January, 1655, the five months -- five lunar months only -- fixed by the constitution having elapsed, the Lord-general summoned the House to meet him in the Painted Chamber. "Numerous dangers threaten the nation," he said, "and you have done nothing to prevent them. The Cavalier party have been designing and preparing to put this nation in blood again; the Levellers are endeavoring to put us into confusion. And these two extreme parties have labored to engage some in the army; and I doubt that not only they, but some others also, very well known to you, have helped to this work of debauching and dividing the army. The enemies of the State have confessed that they built their hopes upon the assurance they had of the Parliament. You have given them great advantages by losing the precious moments in your power for effecting the happiness of the people. You might have settled peace and quietness among all professing Godliness; you might have healed the breaches of these nations, and rendered them secure, happy, and well satisfied. You have done none of these things. But instead of that, you have been disputing about things
142 already settled by the Constitution. You have thus consumed all your time, and have done nothing." Cromwell reproaches with equal severity their attacks upon religious liberty. He continued: "Is there not yet upon the spirits of men a strange itching? Nothing will satisfy them unless they can press their finger upon their brethren's consciences, to pinch them there. To do this was no part of the contest we had with the common adversary. And wherein consisted this more than in obtaining that liberty from the tyranny of the bishops to all species of Protestants to worship God according to their own light and consciences? For want of which many of our brethren forsook their native countries to seek their bread from strangers, and to live in howling wildernesses; and for which also many that remained here were imprisoned, and otherwise abused and made the scorn of the nation. These that were sound in the Faith, how proper was it for them to labor for liberty, for a just liberty, that men might not be trampled upon for their consciences! Had not they themselves labored, but lately, under the weight of persecution? And was it fit for them to sit heavy upon others? Is it ingenuous to ask liberty, and not to give it? .... . What greater hypocrisy than for those who were oppressed by the bishops to become the greatest oppressors themselves, so soon as their yoke was removed? I could wish that they who call for liberty now also had not too much of that spirit if the power were in their hands! -- As for profane persons, blasphemers, such as preach sedition; the contentious railers, evil speakers, who seek by evil words to corrupt good manners, persons of loose conversation, -- punishment from the civil magistrate ought to meet with these."9 Thus spoke Cromwell. The partisans of the tyranny, the popery, and the debauchery of the Stuarts may have made it fashionable to defame him; but when we hear him calling with so much energy for toleration towards his adversaries in religion, we cannot refuse him the tribute of our admiration. "I think it my duty to tell you," he added in conclusion, "that it is not for the profit of these nations, nor for common and public good, for you to continue here any longer. And therefore I do declare unto you, That I do dissolve this Parliament." Oliver was eager to promote the well-being and glory of England; and he dissolved the parliament, that he might be more at liberty in his actions.
143 This was the object he had in view during all his wars. On his medals and his coins were engraved these characteristic words: PAX QUAERITUR BELLO. Such was the device he wore on his coat of arms on the day of battle. Peace and the blessings of peace were all that he had sought in war: he now wished to impart them to his people. On earth peace! It may be objected that this dissolution of the parliament was a crime against constitutional principles; it may be said that under their influence the prince (and Cromwell was a prince) ought not to do good, if the other constitutional powers are opposed to it. That may be true; but if he committed a fault -- which is still a matter of discussion -- it was a virtuous fault. It was not from Henry VIII, nor from Elizabeth, nor from the Stuarts that England could learn this duty of a sovereign to annihilate himself. The development of the modern theory and its realization in practice was the task of the eighteenth century. That of the seventeenth was of a different kind. Cromwell had tried various means to accomplish the work which the condition of the country rendered necessary. At first he had had recourse to an Assembly of Notables, nominated by himself; and next, to a Parliament elected by the nation. Neither one nor the other attained the object. He then thought that since others were either unable or unwilling to do anything, he must apply himself to the task. He was soon found employing the same activity in organizing and building up, which he had made use of in dissolving and throwing down. On the 19th of May, 1649, the Commonwealth was proclaimed in England by an act to the following effect: "Be it declared and enacted by this present Parliament, and by the authority of the same, that the People of England, and of all the dominions and territories thereunto belonging, are and shall be, and are hereby constituted, made, established, and confirmed to be, a Commonwealth or Free State; and shall from henceforth be governed as a Commonwealth and Free State -- by the Supreme Authority of this :Nation, the Representatives of the people in Parliament, and by such as they shall appoint and constitute officers and ministers under them for the good of the People; and that without any King or House of Lords."
144 Cromwell had now become the head of this Free State. Many notable men of the age had signified their adhesion and their homage. The great Conde, the victor of Rocroi, Friburg, and Nordlingen, the friend of Boileau and Racine, addressed Cromwell in a letter (December 1653), which is but little known, and which we shall give here. "I am exceedingly delighted with the justice that has been paid to your Highness's merit and virtue. It is in that only that England can find her safety and repose, and I consider the people of the Three Kingdoms in the height of their glory at seeing their goods and their lives intrusted at last to the management of so great a man. For my part, I beg your Highness to believe that I shall think myself most happy, if I can serve you on any occasion, and prove to you that no one will be so far as myself, "Sir, "Your Highness's "Most affectionate servant, "LOUIS DE BOURBON."10 Thus wrote Conde, that great prince, over whose tomb was heard the same voice,11 which over the grave of Henrietta, queen of England, proclaimed the nothingness of human grandeur. In many respects posterity has been more severe towards Oliver than his contemporaries were. The reason may be, that the latter saw the events without disguise; the former has too often viewed them through the mists of prejudice and the confusion of parties. Great Britain is certainly not fitted for a Republic; and the establishment of this form of government in England has at all times excited great opposition. We are by no means inclined to be its apologist; but did not this form really proceed from the developments of history? Will any one venture to assert that at the era of its existence it was really all evil? The ancient English principles were disappearing. New and foreign principles were intruding themselves into the nation. The political ideas of France were imported into England. Richelieu had urged forward the great work to which he had devoted his life, ...the royal supremacy, absolute power; and Louis XIV. was then completing the revolution begun by that
145 powerful minister, and proclaiming in Europe a new system, one unknown to the Middle Ages, all the articles of which were reduced to this brief but significant phrase: L'etat, c'est moi. When Charles I. sought a French wife, he sought also a new policy, Henrietta brought to the court of England the manners, amusements, and spirit of France. Nor was that all: she desired also to give it a king after the French model. That was the main point. The monarch was to become a sort of deity placed on a lofty pedestal, and the people, crowding around its base, were to fall down, admire, and worship. Charles earnestly applied to the task, and some of his first exploits were, as we have seen, to silence the representatives of the people, to levy taxes forbidden by the Commons, and to govern without a Parliament. He would, indeed, have allowed a few petitions, ...very humble petitions; but that was all. There must be no opposition. There must be in England, as in France, but one will. Magna Charta was banished to the state-paper-office, and the barons found a master. Absolutism had ascended the English throne. Thus it was a real revolution which Charles I. undertook to effect, and the English people, by opposing it, opposed a revolt against the oldest institutions of the country. The cavaliers were the revolutionists: the roundheads the conservatives. The establishment of the democratical system was a necessary reaction against the invasion of the absolute system. The founder of the English Republic was not Cromwell, but in reality Charles the First. Not only liberty, but nationality also was at stake. The cavaliers were Versailles courtiers with British faces and an English tongue. The roundheads were good, honest old Englishmen. Charles's efforts to establish Richelieu's system in England was a French invasion, which, if it had succeeded, would have been far more disastrous than that of William the Conqueror. The arms of the English were more successful in the 17th century than Harold's had been. There was not then a battle of Hastings, but there was, alas! a battle of Whitehall; and in this struggle also a king perished. The king of Hastings contended with his people against the foreigner; the king of Whitehall fought with the foreigner against his own people. The result of the one was the subjugation of England; of the other its deliverance. The conquest which ruined the Stuarts was the defeat of
146 modern despotism, of the French spirit, and of the papal supremacy. The history of absolutism in England was an ephemeral romance, a French novel, which has served as the ground-work of other romances and graphic novels in more recent days. But was this its only use? ...Undoubtedly not; there were others certainly of greater importance. The onset of absolutism awoke English liberty, which lay sleeping, and which would have slept longer still, and all Europe with it. But this violent blow aroused her: she rose, she stood erect, as she is to this day, and will remain so, Deo juvante, until the end of time. Liberty did more than simply awake from her slumbers. Re-tempered in modern times, she started up stronger, more complete, and more profound. This awakening was almost a new creation. Perhaps this interlude of despotism, accompanied a la Francaise with music and dancing, was destined to be placed between these two liberties, ...of the Middle Ages and of modern times, in order to decide their transformation. It was necessary that all the elements of feudality, of corporations, of classes, whose rights and privileges constituted the liberty of the Middle Ages, should be mingled and confounded together, in order that a new power, .... . the power of the common-law, should rise above and rule over them. The liberty of the Great Charter and of the Middle Ages was, in an especial manner, that of the aristocracy. The liberty of the people was now to be inaugurated. The charter of the thirteenth century was the emancipation of the Barons; the revolution of the seventeenth century was the manumission of the Commons. Freedom is as necessary for the people as for the peers. The commons bad been too long trodden under foot alike by prince and baron. They then took their place at the side of these two powers, and there Westminster still beholds them seated and enjoying great influence. The nobles had often been more despotic over the people, than the king. Do we not see this, even in the present day, in Scotland, where, while the crown asserts and nobly maintains religious liberty, a small number of landed proprietors, among whom are men of noble character and of great respectability, refuses to a portion of the poor the liberty of assembling in peace to sing their psalms and worship God?12 Notwithstanding the revolution of the seventeenth century and the two centuries which have since elapsed, aristocratic despotism is not entirely effaced in Great Britain; and while, generally speaking, liberty has no more
147 noble defenders than the powerful lords who are to be found immediately below the throne, there are still here and there in certain castles a few dark recesses, in which absolutism lies concealed. But it is at its last gasp; it can no longer defend itself, and the attack made upon it by the progress of the age will no doubt soon drive it from its gloomy lair, to be sacrificed in the open light of day. I may be mistaken, but I hope the victim will fall by the hands of these noble lords themselves. Thus the French absolutism, thrust by the Stuarts on the people of England, produced the effect of those iced waters which, being poured over the body, excite immediately a powerful reaction, increase the circulation of the blood, and give to the entire man a new warmth and a new life. The despotism of Charles I. brought on the transition from an imperfect state, which still lived on privileges, to a real and rational state, in which liberty was proclaimed a common good. If Charles began this transformation by following the lessons of despotism, which he had learnt of a popish court, Oliver Cromwell accomplished it by the principles of Christianity and true liberty, which he had found in the Gospel. He accomplished it not only by spurring the coursers so long as they had to climb the hill, but by holding them back when the summit was reached and they had to descend. It will no doubt be urged that he sometimes had recourse to the same means as Charles I., and that he also could dismiss the Commons. We do not absolve him from all blame; but it should be remembered, that the same act in different circumstances may have very contrary meanings. By sad experience in our age, the idea has become a truism, that liberty may be preserved, not only by combating despotism, but also by saving it from its own excesses. The soldier who defends his flag against the enemies who attack him in front, may afterwards face round and defend it from those who attack him from behind. He has certainly turned his back, but he still wields his sword in the same cause; he is still faithful to the same colors.
148 CHAPTER 9 ORGANIZATION OF CHURCH AND STATE Necessity of Organization -- Ecclesiastical Commission -- Errors -- Impartiality -- Baxter's Testimony -- Cromwell's -- The State -- Discontents -- Letter to Fleetwood -- Bridget's Anxiety -- Indulgence -- The Major-Generals -- Cromwell's System in Ireland -- Official and Popular Protestantism -- Puritan Mannerism -- A better Christianity. CROMWELL was not the only one who thought he had received a call from heaven: many of the greatest men of the kingdom were of the same opinion. Milton in particular believed that the Protectorate was a thing required by the necessities of the times and the everlasting laws of justice, and that the Protector ought now to fulfill the duties of the charge to which he had been summoned by the nation, like a Christian hero, as he had been used to do in things of less importance. It is an honor to Oliver to have received this testimony of respect and approbation from the bard of Paradise Lost. He knew how to satisfy such great expectations. In a country like England, after a revolution which had just shaken it to its foundations, it was of primary importance to regulate religion and the clergy. Episcopacy was nearly overthrown, and Presbyterianism was not yet established. Old abuses frequently existed by the side of new errors. Cromwell did not think the Church capable of organizing itself, and he felt it his duty to put his hand to the work. We should have preferred his leaving to the Church the power of self-government, but must in all truth acknowledge, that without this mighty aid it would have been difficult to bring order and regularity out of the chaos in which the country was then laboring. It was therefore one of the first objects of the Protector's solicitude. Even before the dissolution of parliament, he had been seriously engaged in the organization of the Church. On the 20th of March, 1654, he had nominated thirty-eight chosen men, the acknowledged flower of puritanism, who were to form a Supreme Commission for the Trial of
149 Public Preachers. Any person pretending to hold a church-living, or levy tithes or clergy-dues, was first to be tried and approved by these men. Of these thirty-eight, nine were laymen, and twenty-nine were clergymen. The Protector had no wish that this Commission should be composed of Presbyterians alone, fearful that in this case they would admit none but men of their own persuasion. It contained Presbyterians, Independents, and even Baptists. He had cared for one thing only, that they should be men of wisdom, and had the love of the Gospel in their hearts. Among their number were Owen, Sterry, Marshall, Manton, and others. To this ordinance he added another on the 28th of August following, nominating a body of commissioners selected from the Puritan gentry. These latter, who were distinct from the former, were from fifteen to thirty in each county of England; and it was their duty to inquire into "scandalous, ignorant, and insufficient ministers," and to be a tribunal for judging and ejecting them. In case of ejection, a small pension was to be allowed those who were married. These commissioners judged and sifted until by degrees they had winnowed the Church. This was undoubtedly a very republican arrangement, but it was found in practice to work well. Of the lay inquisitors not a few were Cromwell's political enemies; but that mattered not; they were men of pious probity, and that was enough for him. The task assigned to these persons was by no means easy, and nothing was more calculated to excite discontent. And accordingly, loud complaints were heard both from Episcopalians and heterodox dissenters. These Triers, as they are sometimes called, were charged with paying little attention to knowledge or learning, and. with inquiring too much into the internal marks and character of the grace of God in the heart. No doubt they committed many errors -- inevitable errors; but a great number of cases might be produced in refutation of the charges brought against them. For example, the celebrated historian Fuller, who as the king's partisan, had lost his place under the Parliament, and whose principles were not only Episcopalian, but High Church, who afterwards showed such activity for the recall of Charles II., who became this king's chaplain, and who would have been made a bishop if death had not cut short his career in 1661, -- this very man was presented to a living by the Triers at Cromwell's recommendation, although they could find no other evidence
150 of the grace of God in him than this: That he made conscience of his thoughts. The excellent Richard Baxter has left us the following fair and candid account of these Commissioners: -- "Because this assembly of Triers is most heavily accused and reproached by some men, I shall speak the truth of them, and suppose my word will be taken, because most of them took me for one of their boldest adversaries: the truth is, though some few overrigid and over-busy independents among them were too severe against all that were Arminians, and too particular in inquiring after evidences of sanctification in those whom they examined, and somewhat too lax in admitting of unlearned and erroneous men, that favored antinomianism or anabaptism; yet, to give them their due, they did abundance of good to the Church. They saved many a congregation from ignorant, ungodly, drunken teachers, that sort of men who intend no more in the ministry than to read a sermon on Sunday, and all the rest of the week go with the people to the alehouse, and harden them in sin; and that sort of ministers who either preached against a holy life, or preached as men that were never acquainted with it: these they usually rejected, and in their stead admitted of any that were able, serious preachers, and lived a godly life, of what tolerable opinion soever they were; so that though many of them were a little partial for the Independents, separatists, fifth-monarchy men, and Anabaptists, and against the prelatists and Arminians, yet so great was the benefit above the hurt which they brought to the Church, that many thousands of souls blessed God for the faithful ministers whom they let in, and grieved when the prelatists afterwards cast them out again."1 We must observe that the ejected ministers were only excluded from the privileges of the national ministry; they were not deprived of religious liberty. The regulations of the Triers had especial reference to moral incapacity. The ordinance of the 28th of August, 1654, enjoined the dismissal of all ministers who should be guilty of profane cursing and swearing, perjury, adultery, fornication, drunkenness, common haunting of taverns or alehouses, frequent quarrellings or fightings, etc. Those who maintained popish opinions were also to be ejected.
151 The Episcopalians were not proscribed; but a frequent use of the book of Common Prayer in public was a ground of exclusion: this was alike intolerant and inconsistent. Still there were certain specious reasons for this limitation, and undoubtedly it has never been maintained that a man cannot be a conscientious Episcopalian without the Prayer-book; which would be setting it on a level with the Bible. Cromwell in his speech to the second parliament, delivered on the 21st of April, 1657, thus alludes to these ordinances: -- "And truly we have settled very much of the business of the ministry. But I must needs say, if I have anything to rejoice in before the Lord in this world, as having done any good or service, it is this. I can say it from my heart; and I know I say the truth, let any man say what he will to the contrary, -- he will give me leave to enjoy my own opinion in it, and my own conscience and heart; and to dare bear my testimony to it: there hath not been such a service to England, since the Christian religion was perfect in England! I dare be bold to say it; however, there may have, here and there, been passion and mistakes. And the ministers themselves will tell you, it is beside their instructions, if they have fallen into passions and mistakes, if they have meddled with civil matters.... . . "And if the grounds upon which we went will not justify us, the issue and event of it doth abundantly justify us, God having had exceeding glory by it, -- in the generality of it, I am confident, forty-fold! For as heretofore the men that were admitted into the ministry in times of episcopacy -- alas, what pitiful certificates served to make a man a minister! If any man could understand Latin and Greek, he was sure to be admitted...I am sure the admission granted to such places since has been under this character as the rule: That they must not admit a man unless they (the Triers) were able to discern something of the grace of God in him. Such and such a man, of whose good life and conversation they could have a very good testimony from four or five of the neighboring ministers who knew him, -- he could not yet be admitted unless he could give a very good testimony of the grace of God in him."2
152 But if it was necessary to set the Church in order, it was not less necessary to do the same thing for the State. The royalists and the levellers coalesced, and the latter boldly declared that they would prefer Charles Stuart to Cromwell. Even some of the men for whom the Protector entertained the sincerest affection inclined to the side of the discontented republicans. Among them was his own son-in-law, then lord-lieutenant of Ireland. Cromwell endeavored to remove prejudices and to maintain peace. He sent to Fleetwood his second son Henry, a man of real insight, veracity, and resolution, and at the same time wrote the following letter, in which he manifests his great anxiety for concord. "To the Lord Fleetwood, Lord Deputy of Ireland. "Whitehall, 22d June, 1655. "Dear Charles, "I write not often: at once I desire thee to know I most dearly love thee; and indeed my heart is plain to thee, as thy heart can well desire: let nothing shake thee in this. The wretched jealousies that are amongst us, and the spirit of calumny, turn all into gall and wormwood. My heart is for the people of God; that the Lord knows, and will in due time manifest; yet thence are my wounds; -- which though it grieves me, yet through the grace of God doth not discourage me totally. Many good men are repining at everything; though indeed very many good are well satisfied, and satisfying daily. The will of the Lord will bring forth good in due time. "It's reported that you are to be sent for, and Harry to be Deputy; which truly never entered into my heart. The Lord knows, my desire was for him and his brother to have lived private lives in the country: and Harry knows this very well, and how difficultly I was persuaded to give him his commission for his present place. This I say as from a simple and sincere heart. The noise of my being crowned, etc., are similar malicious figments.... . . "Dear Charles, my dear love to thee; and to my dear Biddy, who is a joy to my heart, for what I hear of the Lord in her. Bid her be cheerful, and rejoice in the Lord once and again: if she knows the
153 Covenant (of Grace), she cannot but do so. For that Transaction is without her; sure and steadfast, between the Father and the Mediator in His blood. Therefore, leaning upon the Son, or looking to Him, thirsting after Him, and embracing Him, we are his Seed; -- and the Covenant is sure to all the Seed. The Compact is for the Seed; God is bound in faithfulness to Christ, and in Him, to us. The Covenant is without us; a Transaction between God and Christ. Look up to it. God engageth in it to pardon us; to write His law in our heart; to plant His fear so that we shall never depart from Him. We, under all our sins and infirmities, can daily offer a perfect Christ; and thus we have peace and safety, and apprehension of love, from a Father in Covenant, -- who cannot deny himself. And truly in this is all my salvation; and this helps me to bear my great burdens. "If you have a mind to come over with your dear wife, take the best opportunity for the good of the public and your own convenience. The Lord bless you all. Pray for me, that the Lord would direct, and keep me His servant. I bless the Lord I am not my own; but my condition to flesh and blood is very hard. Pray for me; I do for you all. Commend me to all friends. "I rest "Your loving father, "Oliver P."3 This letter, although somewhat obscure, is nevertheless important to the knowledge of Cromwell's Christian character. We have already reproached him with a kind of mysticism, nearly resembling that of certain pious but unenlightened Christians who set what they call the inner Word above what they denominate the outer Word, and who seek the rule of their conduct not essentially without them, -- in the commandments of God as given in the Bible; but preferably within them, -- in impulses and feelings in the correctness of which it is easy to be deceived. The Protector's mysticism might have gone farther. There are indeed Christians for whom the cause of salvation is not essentially the work accomplished by the Redeemer on the cross, but that perfected by the Holy Ghost in their hearts. Both are absolutely necessary: but the first is the cause of
154 salvation; the second, the means of applying or appropriating it, without which the other is a thing foreign to the individual. Those who think that the Christian ought to look at what is within him, to have the assurance of his salvation (as certain, mystics, both Papist and Protestant, do) and not to the blood of the victim slain on Calvary, deprive the soul, which is looking for justification and peace, of every real source of consolation in the day of trouble and of sorrow. The work of Christ's expiation is perfect; but that of our own sanctification is always attended with great wretchedness, and therefore can give no assurance, -- no confidence to an alarmed conscience. Cromwell protests energetically against any such error. Wishing to comfort his daughter Bridget, who appears to have felt some uneasiness with regard to her soul, he bids her look to the covenant of grace: he reminds her that this covenant is independent of her; that it is between the Father and the Son by the blood of the Mediator; that it is without us, -- a transaction between God and Christ. This letter (and there are other of Cromwell's declarations which have the same bearing) seems to me important in proving that if in one special point, -- the rule of a Christian's conduct, he deviated a little from the path traced out for us by the Gospel, he remained steadfast in it so far as concerns the foundation of faith, -- the work of redemption. The royalists, and above all the levellers, continued their agitation. The latter especially caused great disturbance; and yet Oliver always behaved mildly towards them. There may have been a degree of politic discretion in this forbearance, but it would be difficult to find many examples of the like disposition. Although indulgence might be seasonable, it was not the less necessary to maintain order. For this purpose the Protector divided all England into twelve districts, placing in each, with the title of Major-general, a man most carefully chosen, -- fearing God, possessed of real wisdom, and of unimpeachable integrity. These officers were invested with a universal superintendence, as well civil as military, even to the control of the ministers. "These Major-generals," said he in his speech of the seventeenth September, 1656, "have been effectual for the preservation of peace. It hath been more effectual towards the discountenancing of vice and settling religion, than anything done these fifty years. I will abide by it, notwithstanding the envy and slander of foolish men." Not long after,
155 however, he reduced their power, which had occasioned several abuses, and as the state of the country became daily more satisfactory, he finally suppressed them. Such were the first exertions of Cromwell for the civil and ecclesiastical regeneration and organization of England. At the same time his eyes were turned towards Ireland, and his policy with regard to that unhappy country, was at once patient, moderate, and firm. It was still agitated: hatred, revolt, and anarchy had yet to be dealt with. Let us see what directions he gave his son Henry. "For my Son, Henry Cromwell, at Dublin, Ireland. "Whitehall, 21st November, 1655. "Son, "I have seen your letter writ unto Mr. Secretary Thurloe; and do find hereby that you are very apprehensive of the carriage of some persons with you, towards yourself and the public affairs. "I do believe there may be some particular persons who are not very well pleased with the present condition of things, and may be apt to show their discontent as they have opportunity: but this should not make too great impressions in you. Time and patience may work them to a better frame of spirit, and bring them to see that which, for the present, seems to be hid from them; especially if they shall see your moderation and love towards them, if they are found in other ways towards you. Which I earnestly desire you to study and endeavor, all that lies in you, Whereof both you and I too shall have the comfort, whatsoever the issue and event thereof be. "For what you write of more help, I have long endeavored it; and shall not be wanting to send you some farther addition to the Council, so soon as men can be found out who are fit for the trust. I am also thinking of sending over to you a fit person who may command the north of Ireland; which I believe stands in great need of one; and I am of your opinion that Trevor and Colonel Mervin are very dangerous persons, and may be made the heads of a new
156 rebellion. And therefore I would have you move the Council that they be secured in some very safe place, and the farther out of their own countries the better. "I commend you to the Lord; and rest "Your affectionate father, "Oliver P."4 Cromwell was familiar with this beautiful passage of Scripture: If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. What are his directions to his son for that unhappy Ireland, where the most obstinate enemies of the commonwealth still existed? Patience, moderation, and love, even towards those who entertain the contrary sentiments against him. Such is the law he imposes on his representative. No hatred, no revenge! On the contrary, let him strive to win their hearts. Since the time when Christianity first announced these great principles to the world, the governments of the earth have rarely been found to put them in practice, as the Protector did. We are far, however, from approving indiscriminately that kind of religion which became dominant in England. There was an evil universally felt, and which we must point out once for all: -- religion was too closely allied with politics. We do not sympathize either with what was then the religion of the state, or with what might be called the religion of the people. Both forms were tainted with the same disease, although in contrary directions. Episcopalian or official Protestantism was closely united with the political principle of the absolute power of the crown. There was a compact and a bond of obligation between arbitrary monarchy and Laud's episcopacy. From this evil there arose an analogous one in the independent and popular form of Christianity. We find it allied with the parliamentary power and with what may be called the liberty-party. Politics were confounded with religion. The major-generals, as we have seen, were a sort of bishops.
157 These worldly alliances exercised a prejudicial influence over the two forms of Protestantism in England. Whenever a system of religion subjects itself to a political system, it forfeits its exalted aims, its liberty, and its vitality; its real shape is lost, and it becomes embarrassed and enslaved. Vital Christianity did not expand in the establishment, as might have been expected from a church which had had its Latimers and its Ridleys; and the worship of the state was attached, on the contrary, to forms and ceremonies which assimilated it in some degree with royalty. A similar evil, though in appearance very opposite to it, existed in the independent form of Christianity. That free expansion, which should always characterize the Gospel, was checked; and in its stead there was a form, truthful indeed and respectable, but in which a Judaic and legal spirit, a puritan formality, a certain biblical affectation in the language and in all outward matters, were too predominant. This imperfection has been exaggerated by worldly writers: even real piety has not escaped the shafts of their ridicule. A great number of those who bore this factitious coloring, and Oliver Cromwell in particular, were sincere and earnest Christians. But this tinge obscured the beauty of their holiness. We may go farther: under the conventional dress, assumed by the Christians of the 17th century, unregenerate minds often concealed their wickedness, and performed the works of iniquity. The evil which we have pointed out was a spot upon a noble vesture. Unreflecting writers, taking offense at it, have desired to throw aside the garment. For our own part, we should wish to remove the stain, but not on its account undervalue the white robe which it disfigures. In the great struggle which took place between England and the Stuarts, two things characterize the popular party. On the one hand, there was a great principle of liberty and christian truth, for the triumph of which the people contended: this deserves our admiration. But, on the other hand, rust may defile the brightest weapon. Christianity, becoming subservient to a political idea, contracted, as we have seen, a certain narrowness and mannerism.
158 These two elements, -- the good and the bad, -- bore their respective fruits. The good produced that civil and religious liberty, those political and christian institutions, which are the glory of England, and which, in our days, are called to a still nobler expansion. The evil element, the rust on the sword, a narrow and legal formalism, brought on by reaction a contrary evil; namely, a lifeless latitudinarianism, an exaggerated liberalism in religion, and a deplorable relaxation of morals. The human mind, equally disgusted at excessive puritanism and official Christianity, recoiling from the struggles of parties, and desiring neither the servile forms of the state religion, nor the fanaticism of the sectaries, sought another atmosphere in which it could breathe more freely. The freethinkers gave way to incredulity, which, although serious in England, terminated in France in a lamentable materialism. Fortunately the consequences of this evil were but transitory, while the results of the good principle were permanent. In describing the Christianity of England during the Revolution, and in defending it against unjust reproaches, we do not offer it to our own times as an irreproachable model. The present age should profit by the salutary lessons bequeathed to it by the past. We require a better Christianity, -- one more free, more evangelical, more extensive, more spiritual, more enlightened, more moral, and more emancipated from every political bias. May God grant it to us!
159 CHAPTER 10 RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. Milton to Cromwell -- Cromwell's Part with regard to Religious Liberty -- Opposition to Radicalism, Political and Religious -- Established Religion and Liberty -- Milton, a Champion of the Separation of Church and State -- Cromwell's System of Religious Liberty -- The Two Great Interests -- The Protector's Catholicity -- George Fox and Cromwell -- Nayler -- Cromwell and the Episcopalians -- Roman Catholics and Jews -- State and Protestantism Identical -- Principia Vita -- A Danger -- True Means of Diffusing Christianity -- Ely Cathedral -- State and Church: Church and People. CROMWELL'S exertions were not confined to civil liberty only: he was an instrument in the hand of God to introduce a new principle into the world, .... . one till then entirely unknown and overlooked. It was with reference to this, that the great bard of England composed the following lines: -- TO OLIVER CROMWELL. Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud Not of war only, but distractions rude, Guided by faith and matchless fortitude, To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough'd, And on the neck of crowned fortune proud Hast rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursued. While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued, And Dunbar field resound thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureate wreath. Yet much remains To conquer still; peace hath her victories No less renown'd than war: new foes arise Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains; Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves, whose Gospel is their maw.
160 The Protector needed not this appeal. Without doubt the question of religious liberty did not present itself to him as it does to our contemporaries. It is now something more positive and abstract. The love of truth, most assuredly, burnt no less brightly in his heart than the love of liberty; and yet he could respect convictions which differed from his own. At that period these principles were very necessary. The parliamentarians, bigoted successors of the hierarchists, had called for the suppression of that "new heresy" entitled "liberty of conscience," and had labored earnestly to this end. Oliver did the very contrary. The Protector's ruling passion was religious liberty, and its establishment was his work. Among all the men of past ages, and even of the times present, there is not one who has done so much as he in this cause. It has almost triumphed in every Protestant nation; its great victory is yet to come among those which profess the Romish creed: and under God, it is to Cromwell in particular that men's consciences are beholden. It frequently happens that those who advocate liberty when they are in opposition, no sooner attain power than they employ it to oppress the freedom of others. It was not thus that Oliver acted. Not seldom also, when the cause of liberty is triumphant, its partisans carry it to excess, and indulge in senseless theories of equality and socialism. He steered cautiously between these two shoals. His speeches contain sentiments of admirable wisdom on the extreme disorder of men's minds, as well in temporal as in spiritual things. No one could express himself more forcibly than he did against the principles of the radicals and levellers, who aimed at destroying all moral and social distinctions. He was aware that men might as well look for ships without frames, bodies without bones, mountains without rocks, as for a nation without authority and obedience. "What was the face that was upon our affairs as to the interest of the nation?" asked Cromwell in his second speech to parliament.1 "As to the authority in the nation; to the magistracy; to the ranks and orders of men, whereby England hath been known for hundreds of years? -- A nobleman, a gentleman, a yeoman .... the distinction of these, that is a good interest of the nation and a great one! The natural magistracy of the nation, was it not almost trampled under foot, under despite and contempt, by men of
161 levelling principles? I beseech you, for the orders of men and ranks of men, did not that levelling principle tend to the reducing of all to an equality?" He also complains of a similar tendency in spiritual matters, and contrasts it with the former evil, -- the evil of prelacy and popery. He continues: "The former extremity we suffered under was, that no man, though he had never so good a testimony, though he had received gifts from Christ, might preach, unless ordained. So now I think we are at the other extremity, when many affirm, That he who is ordained hath a nullity stamped thereby upon his calling; so that he ought not to preach, or not be heard." The prudent firmness with which Oliver combated these extremes at a time when they were so potent, and when the true principles of liberty were not generally acknowledged, deserves our highest admiration. Even his adversaries have confessed it. Mr. Southey, although a zealous Episcopalian, and an enemy to the commonwealth, .and who regarded the disastrous restoration of Charles II. as the salvation of England, says in his book of the Church: -- "Cromwell relieved the country from Presbyterian intolerance; and he curbed those fanatics who were for proclaiming King Jesus, that, as his Saints, they might divide the land amongst themselves. But it required all his strength to do this, and to keep down the spirit of religious and political fanaticism."2 Perhaps his zeal was the more remarkable, as it did not reach the point to which many of his friends had arrived, -- the separation, namely, of Church and State. In his third speech, even when professing the doctrine of an established state-religion, he boldly claims liberty of conscience for all.3 "So long as there is liberty of conscience for the supreme magistrate to exercise his conscience in erecting what form of church government he is satisfied he should set up, why," asks Oliver, "should he not give the like liberty to others? Liberty of conscience is a natural right; and he that would have it, ought to give it. Indeed that hath been one of the vanities of our contest. Every sect saith: `O, give me liberty!' But give it him and to his power -- he will not yield it to anybody else! ...Where is our ingenuousness? Liberty of conscience is a thing that ought to be very reciprocal. I may say it to you, I can say it: All the money of this nation would not have tempted men to fight upon such an account as they have here been engaged in, if they had not had hopes of liberty of conscience
162 better than Episcopacy granted them, or than would have been afforded by a Scots Presbytery, or an English either. This, I say, is a fundamental. It ought to be so. It is for us and the generations to come. And if there be an absoluteness in the imposer, without fitting allowances and exceptions from the rule, -- we shall have the people driven into wildernesses. As they were, when those poor and afflicted people, who forsook their estates and inheritances here, where they lived plentifully and comfortably, were necessitated, for enjoyment of their liberty, to go into a waste howling wilderness in New England; where they have, for liberty's sake, stript themselves of all their comfort; embracing rather loss of friends and want, than be so ensnared and in bondage!" Why did Cromwell, when he stood forth as the champion of religious liberty, maintain the principle of a special Church established by the State? It has been supposed that he was guided by political considerations, being unwilling to strip the public authority of every sort of direction in religious matters, which exert so great an influence over the people. In the speech we have just quoted, he assigns another reason: -- "The supreme magistrate should exercise his conscience in erecting what form of church government he is satisfied should be set up." In his mind probably both these motives were combined. The doctrine of the complete separation of Church and State found other not less illustrious defenders. The Protector's secretary, the great poet of the seventeenth century, was its resolute champion, Milton thought that the state ought not to interfere in the interests of religion. In his treatise on Christian Doctrine, first published by the Rev. C.R. Sumner, now Bishop of Winchester, he says: -- "It is highly derogatory to the power of the Church, as well as an utter want of faith, to suppose that her government cannot be properly administered without the intervention of the civil magistrate."4 The bard of Paradise Lost explained his views more particularly in his Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, and in his considerations on The likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church. In his opinion, this thesis is incontrovertibly established by four arguments. The first is, that every individual has an exclusive right in determining the choice of his own convictions; the second reposes on the wholly spiritual nature of the Gospel; the third is derived from the consequences which christian liberty brings with it; and the fourth, from
163 the uselessness or the danger of the influence of the civil power in ecclesiastical matters, even when that action is protective. Milton was not satisfied with writing treatises; he demanded of the powerful Protector the complete independence of the Church. "If you leave the Church to the Church, and thus judiciously, disburthen yourself and the civil magistracy in general of a concern forming half their incumbrance, and wholly incongruous with their appropriate functions; not permitting the two heterogeneous authorities of Church and State to continue their intrigues (with an apparent, though deceitful, reciprocity of support, but to the actual enfeebling and eventual subversion of both); not allowing any constraint upon conscience -- which, however, will necessarily continue as long as gold, the poison of the Church, and the very quinzy of truth, shall continue to be extorted from the laity to pay the wages of the clergy -- you will cast down the money-changers, and hucksters not of doves, but of the Dove itself; I mean the Holy Spirit of God."5 Such was Milton's language; but he could not induce Cromwell to act upon the ideas of which he was the representative.6 Yet, if the Protector did not accept the system of Church and State separation, he continually showed the greatest zeal and perseverance in favor of religious liberty. When we think of the times in which he proclaimed these principles -- principles so long unrecognized -- we cannot forbear a sentiment of admiration. In his fifth recorded speech, delivered on the 17th of September, 1656, he expressed his opinions in the following words: -- "I will tell you the truth: Our practice since the last Parliament hath been, To let all this nation see that whatever pretensions to religion would continue quiet, peaceable, they should enjoy conscience and liberty to themselves; and not to make religion a pretense for arms and blood. All that tends to combination, to interests and factions, we shall not care, by the grace of God, whom we meet withal, though never so specious, if they be not quiet! And truly I am against all liberty of conscience repugnant to this. If men will profess -- be they those under baptism, be they those of the independent judgment simply, or of the presbyterian judgment
164 -- in the name of God, encourage them; so long as they do plainly continue to be thankful to God, and to make use of the liberty given them to enjoy their own consciences! For, as it was said today (in Dr. Owen's sermon before Parliament), undoubtedly `this is the peculiar interest all this while contended for.' "Men who believe in Jesus Christ, and walk in a profession answerable to that Faith; men who believe in the remission of sins through the blood of Christ, and free justification by the blood of Christ; who live upon the grace of God, are members of Jesus Christ, and are to Him the apple of his eye. Whoever hath this faith, let his form be what it will; he walking peaceably without prejudice to others under other forms: -- it is a debt due to God and Christ; and He will require it, if that Christian may not enjoy his liberty. "If a man of one form will be trampling upon the heels of another form; if an independent, for example, will despise him who is under baptism, and will revile him, and reproach him, and provoke him, I will not suffer it in him....God give us hearts and spirits to keep things equal. Which, truly I must profess to you, hath been my temper. I have had some boxes on the ear, and rebukes, on the one hand and on the other. I have borne my reproach: but I have, through God's mercy, not been unhappy in hindering any one religion to impose upon another."7 Oliver felt a just pride, as he thought of these great principles of liberty, which he had (so to speak) created among his nation; and he boldly declared that he had received this task from God himself, and that to Him he would give an account. To this effect he spoke on the 3d of April, 1657. "My Lords, "....You have been zealous of the two greatest concernments that God hath in the world. The one is that of Religion, and of the just preservation of the professors of it; to give them all due and just liberty; and to assert the truth of God. And I pray it may not fall upon the people of God as a fault in them, in any sort of them, if they do not put such a value upon this that is now done as never
165 was put on anything since Christ's time, for such a catholic interest of the people of God! "The other thing cared for is, the Civil Liberty and Interest of the Nation. Which, though it is, and indeed I think ought to be, subordinate to the more peculiar interest of God, yet it is the next best God hath given men in this world; and if well cared for, it is better than any rock to fence men in their other interests. Besides, if any whosoever think the interest of Christians and the interest of the nation inconsistent, or two different things, I wish my soul may never enter into their secrets! .... . .Upon these two interests, if God shall account me worthy, I shall live and die. And I must say, If I were to give an account before a greater tribunal than any earthly one, I could give no answer that were not a wicked one, if it did not comprehend these two ends."8 The Protector realized in his life that wide catholicity which he expressed in his public speeches. He was a Protestant Christian; but did not join himself to any party. Although an independent by principle, he thought that all the reformed churches were part of the Catholic Church, and he looked with equal favor upon Independents, Presbyterians, and Baptists: his chaplains belonged to these several denominations. In this sincere catholicity, he was so far in advance of his age, that it has called forth a singular remark from M. Villemain: "Cromwell's neutrality for forms of worship, compared with the fervor which he always affected, would of itself be enough to convict him of hypocrisy. In that fanatical age, faith was never distinct from intolerance, and if Cromwell had been sincere, he would have chosen the sect he preferred to follow."9 In this manner has Oliver been judged! Even his virtues have been distorted to prove that he was vicious. Where can we find a man whose character might not similarly be perverted by so odious a method? It is not easy to show greater ignorance of the power and spirit of the Gospel, than this eloquent biographer has done in these few lines. The Protector excluded no Christians from his fraternal sentiments, however much they might vary from the forms to which he was attached. Towards the quakers in particular he showed great charity.
166 George Fox, who, while tending his master's sheep, had indulged in religious meditations, and had deduced the corruption of the Church from its forgetfulness of the inward for the outward light, had then begun his mission. He had heard a voice within him calling him, as he thought, to preach repentance; and, docile to this spiritual admonition, he exhorted all men to listen to that internal revelation, which was in his opinion the source of life. In this there was much with which Cromwell sympathized. But Fox's preaching agitated the people, and in several instances divine worship was disturbed. The quaker was seized and thrown into prison, and dragged from jail to jail by the inferior officers of justice, or else frequently compelled to sleep in some cave, or in the open air. In the midst of these persecutions he found means to write to the Protector and ask for an interview. This was granted; and one morning, while Oliver was dressing, the quaker was introduced. "`Peace be in this house,' said he. `Thank you, George,' was Cromwell's mild reply. `I am come,' resumed the other, `to exhort thee to keep in the fear of God, that thou mayst receive wisdom from Him, and by it be ordered, and with it mayst order all things under thy hand to God's glory. Amen!' He listened to me very attentively;" continues Fox10 "I had much fearless discourse with him about God and his apostles of old time, and of his ministers of new; about death and the unfathomable universe, and the light from above; and he would often interrupt me by saying: `That is very good -- That is true!' and he carried himself with much moderation towards me. As people were coming in, he caught me by the hand, and with tears in his eyes, said: `Come again to my house, for if thou and I were but an hour a-day together, we should be nearer one to the other;' adding, that he wished me no more ill than he did to his own soul. -- `Hearken then to God's voice,' said I, as I was going. Captain Drury begged me to stay and dine with Oliver's gentlemen; but I declined, God not permitting."11 With such mildness, with such a mixture of piety, sympathy, and respect did the ruler of England treat those sects to which he did not belong. Many of the Friends at that time indulged in great excesses. Nayler in particular, who was called by his partisans The Everlasting Sun of Righteousness, the Prince of Peace, the Only-begotten Son of God, and to whom his disciples paid divine honors, crying before him: "Holy, holy,
167 holy is the Lord God of Hosts," is a striking example. When parliament, after several sittings, had condemned the fanatical quaker, who at Bristol had parodied Christ's entry into Jerusalem, Cromwell felt a desire to interfere. He was doubtful, as it would appear, of the justice of the sentence passed upon him, and would have saved him. With this view he sent the following message to parliament: -- "To our Right Trusty and Right Well-beloved Sir Thomas Widdrington, Speaker of the Parliament: To be communicated to the Parliament. "O. P. "Right Trusty and Well-beloved, We greet you well. Having taken notice of a judgment lately given by yourselves against one James Nayler: although We detest and abhor the giving or occasioning the least countenance to persons of such opinions and practices, or who are under the guilt of the crimes commonly imputed to the said person: yet We, being intrusted in the present government, on behalf of the people of these nations, and not knowing, how far such proceeding, entered into wholly without Us, may extend in the consequences of it, -- do desire that the House would let Us know the grounds and reasons whereupon they have proceeded. "Given at Whitehall, the 25th of December, 1656."12 It does not, however, appear that Nayler was pardoned. He was looked upon as a blasphemer, and liberty had not yet gone so far as to believe that such a person should pass unpunished. It would have been wiser to have treated him as a madman. Episcopalians were not excluded from the Protector's catholicity. He showed them respect and affection, although the decided royalism of most of them compelled him to maintain a certain reserve. Dr. George Bates, an eminent royalist and a great opponent of Cromwell, writes, "That the Protector indulged the use of the common prayer in families and in private conventicles; and though the condition of the Church of England was but melancholy, yet it cannot be denied, they had a great deal more favor and indulgence than under the Parliament; which would never have been interrupted, had they not insulted the Protector, and forfeited their liberty
168 by their seditious practices, and plottings against his person and government."13 The behavior of the royalists, who threatened Cromwell with death, and were actually in arms against him, having led to the publication of an order on the 24th of November, 1655, which still further restricted the Episcopalian clergy, the Protector, at the solicitation of Dr. Gauden and Archbishop Usher, promised to recall his declaration, "provided the clergy would not meddle with matters of state." But when he laid the affair before his council, the latter were of opinion that by so doing he would encourage the enemies of his government, and they would only consent to suspend its execution, so far as the behavior of the clergy should deserve. Cromwell in fact allowed the Episcopalian ministers, who were moderate in their political sentiments, to preach publicly in the churches at London and in the country. Among these were Dr. Pearson, bishop of Chester, and Dr. Hall, his successor in that see, with the Drs. Ball, Wild, Hardy, and Griffith. "It is certain," says Bishop Kennet, "that the Protector was for liberty, and the utmost latitude to all parties, so far as consisted with the peace and safety of his person and government; and even the prejudice he had against the Episcopal party was more for their being royalists, than for being of the good old church."14 And Mr Southey even goes so far as to assert that "he would gladly have restored the Episcopal church in England."15 Nay, Oliver went farther than this: he was opposed to the Roman-catholics, not on account of their religion, but because they were enemies to the government and to the country. It was the Jesuits rather than the Catholics whom he restricted. The motives of his conduct are thus set forth in a declaration of the 31st of October, 1655: -- "It was not only commonly observed, but there remains with us somewhat of proof, that Jesuits have been found among discontented parties of this nation, who are observed to quarrel and fall out with every form of administration in church and state."16 Even in regard to Roman-catholicism, the Protector then professed more liberal opinions than are perhaps entertained by many religious men and politicians of the present day. This will appear from the following letter: -- "To his Eminency Cardinal Mazarin.
169 "Whitehall, 26th December, 1656. "The obligations, and many instances of affection, which I have received from your Eminency, do engage me to make returns suitable to your merits. But although I have this set home upon my spirit, I may not (shall I tell you, I cannot?) at this juncture of time, and as the face of my affairs now stands, answer to your call for toleration [to the Catholics here]. "I say, I cannot, as to a public declaration of my sense in that point; although I believe that under my government your Eminency, in the behalf of Catholics, has less reason for complaint as to rigor upon men's consciences than under the Parliament. For I have of some, and those very many, had compassion; making a difference. Truly I have (and I may speak it with cheerfulness in the presence of God, who is a witness within me to the truth of what I affirm) made a difference; and, as Jude speaks, plucked many out of the fire, -- the raging fire of persecution, which did tyrannize over their consciences, and encroached by an arbitrariness of power upon their estates. And herein it is my purpose, as soon as I can remove impediments, and some weights that press me down, to make a further progress, and discharge my promise to your Eminency in relation to that .... "...I will conclude with giving you assurance that I will never be backward in demonstrating, as becomes your brother and confederate, that I am "Your servant, "OLIVER P."17 Cromwell would have desired to go still farther, but was prevented. A learned Portuguese Jew of Amsterdam, Manasseh Ben Israel, had been residing for some time in England, whence the Jews had been banished four hundred years before, and had in vain petitioned both the Long and the Little Parliament that they should be permitted to settle in that country again. The Protector was favorable to his request, and on the 12th of December 1655, a conference composed of divines, lawyers, and merchants, met at Whitehall to consult upon the affair. Cromwell spoke in
170 favor of liberty, and, says an eye-witness, "I never heard a man speak so well." -- "Since there is a promise in Holy Scripture of the conversion of the Jews," he said, "I do not know, but the preaching of the Christian religion, as it is now in England, without idolatry or superstition, may not conduce to it." The majority of the assembly declared against his propositions. Both merchants and divines were equally opposed to them. The Jews could not reside in England except by private sufferance of the Protector.18 His zeal for freedom of conscience is one of the noblest pages in his history, and in the history of every age. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. This religious liberty was a real good. There was, however, an evil; it was not sufficiently complete. On the one hand, the Episcopal church was too constrained; on the other, the Independent church was too much favored. Both were injured by this protection and this restraint. Cromwell did not entirely escape the shoal on which his predecessors had struck, namely, that of patronizing his own party too much, and restricting the others. He did, perhaps, all that might reasonably have been expected of him. He feared that if Religion were left entirely to herself, she would be rent in pieces and annihilated, as it were, in the struggle of sects and parties. But unrestricted movement, governed solely by the Word of God, is necessary to the prosperity of religion. There are dangers peculiar to a national church, and those who love such an establishment, particularly its rulers, should endeavor to find them out. The state-church in England did not escape these shoals in the sixteenth and in the early part of the seventeenth century; and hence arose essentially those remarkable deviations to which it yielded under Laud's direction. The patronage of the political power may be no less hurtful to a church, than its persecution. For this reason the liberty and independence of the Church should be, in our opinion, greater than they were under Cromwell. The remedy which he applied partially failed in its effect, because it was tainted with the disease which it was intended to cure. I must explain myself. The state had identified itself with Protestantism. The doctrine of the Church, the 39 articles, the offspring of a free and lively faith, had received
171 a juridical meaning and a political existence. These articles, first drawn up in the reign of Edward VI by Cranmer and Ridley, and revised by the synod of London in the reign of Elizabeth (anno 1562), had become, by statute in 1571, a law of the state and part of the English constitution. They gave laws to the political as well as to the religious body. What had been the true origin of Protestantism? -- An act of Parliament? -- No! It was to a spiritual life, a moral force, and an intellectual power, all in intimate alliance with each other, that Protestantism owed its birth. These three elements were the springs of its life. In order that it should exist, with the vitality that was peculiar to it, it was requisite that these principia vitae should be maintained in their pristine activity. There can be no doubt that the doctrines contained in the thirty-nine articles were a glorious fruit of these three original forces, and might thus concur, to a certain point, in preserving them in full vigor. This really happened in some cases; not always, however; and there was frequently a contrary result. In fact an unexpected danger soon made its appearance. It seemed that the Church and State had taken possession of the truth forever: they were upon sure grounds. Who could take away from the congregation of the children of God the living doctrines of salvation? They were secured by the statute of 1571! In the name of the State the Church was in possession of its dogmas, its forms, its organization, and all that was necessary to the development of its religious life. The Act of Uniformity of 1562 and 1563 was a supererogatory safeguard to them. They were guaranteed by all the three orders of the government. But sometimes, by too great earnestness in guarding a treasure, we run the risk of losing it. True Protestantism had not been formed by the crown, the peers, and the commons; but by the struggles of the fathers, by their confessions, by their burning stakes, by the word of their testimony and the blood of the Lamb. Could the precious fruits of these trials be transmitted by inheritance to their children? Could they receive them, as they receive the estates and mansions of their ancestors? Was it enough that the conflicts of the Reformation were severe and bloody, for the blessings acquired by them to become a sure and inalienable possession? No doubt, in the latter half of the sixteenth century and in the first of the seventeenth,
172 the Protestants could easily imagine that after a time of war, a time of peace had come at last; -- after the conquest, the enjoyment of its fruits. This imagination was in harmony with human nature; but what would be the result of such a delusion? The longing after enjoyment ordinarily leads to a dangerous security. Men desire to possess without the labor of acquiring: they would fain eat without toiling, -- and yet the Word of God has declared, If any will not work, neither shall he eat. Christian truth is a reward bestowed on the exertions of the champion, and is not to be acquired without an inward struggle, which alone causes the truth to live in us, and alone makes us partakers of the heavenly calling. England possessed episcopacy, the liturgy, and the articles, to all of which an exaggerated importance was attached. To the ceremonies of the church was ascribed a peculiar and creative efficacy, which they have not in themselves, and which they cannot possess without the animating breath of the Holy Ghost. For the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. There are means established by the Head of the Church, and by which alone the Kingdom of God expands and is maintained. These are neither episcopal succession, nor the opus operatum of the sacraments, nor other similar institutions. We must faithfully preach the Word of God, teach the people, and pray to the Lord without ceasing; we must foster and extend the reading of the Holy Scriptures, enlighten men's minds, and convince their consciences by pious conversations; we must diligently labor at the cure and consolation of their souls; we must make the light of a christian life shine before the world, and by our example lead men to be imitators of Jesus Christ. In this manner the good seed is scattered anew in the field of each successive generation. It is thus the earth bringeth forth, first the blade, then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear: thus the evangelical life unfolds itself. A church is continued in the same manner as it was begun; that is, by the same Word and Spirit of God. No Protestant can deny these truths, for they are the very essence of Protestantism. Oliver most justly appreciated them. He would have substituted the spiritual strength of the Word of God for the pomps and
173 prayers, more or less material, which Archbishop Laud had patronized. We will quote an example selected from the period when he was governor of Ely. As the Rev. Mr. Hitch persevered in celebrating divine worship in the cathedral with all the forms and usages which the Archbishop of Canterbury had recommended, Governor Cromwell addressed to him the following letter: "To the Rev. Mr. Hitch, at Ely: These. Ely, 10th January, 1644. "Mr. Hitch, "Lest the soldiers should in any tumultuous or disorderly way attempt the reformation of the cathedral church, I require you to forbear altogether your choir-service, so unedifying and offensive: -- and this as you shall answer it, if any disorder should arise thereupon. "I advise you to catechize, and read and expound the Scripture to the people; not doubting but the Parliament, with the advice of the assembly of Divines, will direct you farther. I desire your Sermons too, where usually they have been, -- but more frequent. "Your loving friend, Oliver Cromwell." Here we see Oliver recommends catechizing, reading and expounding Scripture, and more frequent sermons. This was what he desired to substitute for the choir services. It is in truth by such means that a church is vivified and built up; and to them even Popery has recourse (at least to catechizing and sermons) whenever she finds herself attacked. But here was the evil: this order proceeded from a general, -- from a governor; and Cromwell appeals to the directions of parliament. And to this matters had arrived at last. Protestantism had become the law of the country by a vote of the legislature, and as such was imposed on all men.
174 A law of this kind cannot give life. Since even the law of God does not produce it, how much the less can it be the effect of the law of man? Have Ye received the Spirit by the works of the law, asks St. Paul, or by the hearing of faith? The civil power, by laying its rude and unskillful hands on the tree of faith, may shake down a few beautiful flowers or break off some noble branches, but cannot impart to it that sap, which alone bringeth forth much fruit. One only can give it: He who is the true Vine, and without whom we can do nothing. And even should the civil power endeavor to do good by the establishment of really evangelical institutions, party spirit will interfere and excite a formidable opposition. This Cromwell often experienced. "When we come to the other trials, as in that case of Wales, of establishing a preaching ministry in Wales, which I must confess for my part, I set myself upon, -- if I should relate what discountenance that business of the poor people of God there had (who had men watching over them like so many wolves, ready to catch the lambs so soon as they were brought forth into the world); how signally that business was trodden under foot in Parliament, to the discountenancing of the honest people, and the countenancing of the malignant party, of this commonwealth!" Next to its union with Christ, the great essential for a church is its position with regard to the Christian people, its intimate and constant connection with souls, for the field is the world. Nothing can be more lamentable than for the Church to forget this, and to make its position with respect to the State the material point. It will imagine that it has done its duty, if it preserves the state in a rigid orthodoxy. But of what consequence is it that parliament should be the champion of Protestantism, if true Protestantism, the spiritual and christian life, is found no longer among the people? A church may then appear brilliant and flourishing from afar, but he that hath the seven Spirits of God will address it in these words: Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. To sum up all in a few words: a national church is secure only when, far from boasting of its union with the state, it places no confidence in the guarantees given it by the constitution, and looks for its life and its prosperity solely in union with its Head, in the strength that the Spirit and the Word of God should develop in it, and in the free and energetic exercise
175 of the intellectual, spiritual, and moral forces of each of its members and of the whole community. This is a useful lesson for the times present. Cromwell went very far in religious liberty, but still not far enough. He did wrong in transferring his patronage from Episcopacy to the Independents. Had he left all sects free, without protection as without restraint, -- had evangelical Episcopacy, in particular, been able to move freely, religion would have been developed with more simplicity, and would probably have escaped that narrow mannerism, that cant with which it hag been reproached, sometimes perhaps with reason, by men of the world. Puritanism would have exercised a vivifying influence on the Episcopal religion; and the Episcopal religion would have had a regulating and moderating influence on puritanism. Yet Oliver accomplished an immense work for his times; and England should now raise to him a monument, a triumphal arch, with this inscription: TO THE FOUNDER OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. We submit this to the consideration of those who have earnestly taken to heart Canning's motto and Cromwell's work.
176 CHAPTER 11 MORALITY, GLORY, AND ANTIPOPERY OF ENGLAND The State -- Principal Duty -- The Glory of England -- Morality -- Triumphs of Great Britain -- Commerce -- Justice -- Opposition to Spain -- Antipopery -- Cromwell's Name -- The Lion of the Tribe of Judah. To Cromwell the State was a divine institution, the maintaining and governing of which belonged supremely to God. He would not, like certain parties, look upon it as a purely human society. He did not think that it was based simply on terrestrial facts, such as conquests, treaties, and constitutions. He was not indeed blind to the influence of these things, but over all, according to his views, the intervention of the Deity was to be recognized. In some of his applications of this principle he went too far. The State is an institution against iniquity. The prince is the minister of God to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. In this respect, we may believe that the civil power and the Church have regard to the same object, since Christ, the Head of the Church, came into the world to take away sin. But that resistance to evil, which characterizes the Church and the State alike, must be accomplished in two different ways. It is by very dissimilar and by very opposite means that these great societies attain the end they have in view. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. This is the means whereby the Church suppresses evil: and in this there is no connection with that constraint and with that sword which a ruler beareth not in vain. From these paths, so different and so distinct, laid down for each of these societies, there results a rule which is too frequently overlooked. The State should be careful not to aim at producing what is beyond its function: the Church should not presume to do that from which it ought to abstain. As in the State it is necessary to keep the legislative, judicial, and executive powers distinct, that all may go on harmoniously; so, in the nation, we must distinguish between the sphere of the Church and of the State, that
177 the people may be happy and prosperous. We cannot deny that Oliver seems occasionally to have gone too far, as a political chief, in matters of religion. But there is one point which he saw very clearly, and in regard to which his notions were true .... the prosperity and power of a nation are based essentially on its morality and on its faith. He understood more distinctly perhaps than any other ruler, that no country can exist and flourish unless it have within itself some principle of life. He had, indeed, other passions not less noble than that of religious liberty. The greatness, prosperity, and glory of England was a no less potent necessity in him, and he worthily acted up to it. He said one day in council: "I hope to make the name of an Englishman as great as ever that of a Roman has been." And in effect he so augmented the general resources and maritime power of the nation, that he procured for it a more extensive European celebrity and influence than it had ever possessed under any of its kings. But the Protector knew that righteousness exalteth a nation, and it was by this means he desired to elevate his own. God himself spoke to this people. The army was subjected to an admirable moral discipline, which, with the piety that animated most of the officers and soldiers, concurred in keeping up a purity of manners till then unknown, especially in the garrison and in the camp. The same morality prevailed at the Protector's court. Everything was becoming and honorable: everything in strong contrast with the levity and debauchery that surrounded the unfortunate son of Charles I. in a foreign country, and of which the catholic court of France ere long presented so deplorable an example. The moral purity which distinguished the epoch of the Protectorate is a fact of great importance. We are here, in truth, called upon to apply the rule given in the Word of God: Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. When unbelievers and libertines pronounce for the reign of Charles II., -- a reign characterized by great public licentiousness, -- and against the commonwealth, so remarkable for
178 its christian virtues, -- we can easily understand them. But when moral and religious people do the same, we are at a loss to account for their motives. This is a matter of such consequence that we feel it our duty to quote on this point the opinions of writers both English and French, -- writers very Romish, very royalist, and very hostile to the Protector. Dr. Lingard, a witness beyond suspicion, does homage to the morality of his government, although, with the candor habitual to the mass of Papists, he will not see in it anything besides appearances. "Among the immediate consequences of the Restoration [of Charles II., in 1660], nothing appeared to the intelligent observer more extraordinary than the almost instantaneous revolution which it wrought in the moral habits of the people. Under the government of men making profession of godliness, vice had been compelled to wear the exterior garb of virtue; but the moment the restraint was removed, it stalked forth without disguise, and was everywhere received with welcome. The cavaliers, to celebrate their triumph, abandoned themselves to ebriety and debauchery; and the new loyalists, that they might prove the sincerity of their conversion, strove to excel the cavaliers in licentiousness. Charles, who had not forgotten his former reception in Scotland, gladly availed himself of the opportunity to indulge his favorite propensities."1 Such is the testimony of an English writer; and now let us hear what a Frenchman says. Chateaubriand, in spite of all his prejudices against Protestantism, is struck with the difference in a moral light between the two revolutions of France and England. "This brief republic," he observes, "was not without glory abroad, or without virtue, liberty, and justice at home ...This difference between the two revolutions, which have nevertheless led to the same result, the same liberty, proceeds from the religious sentiment which animated the innovators of Great Britain." He adds farther on: "Setting aside the illegality of Cromwell's measures illegality necessary perhaps after all to maintain his illegal power ...the ursupation of this great man was a glorious one. At home, he asserted the reign of order. Like many despots, he was the friend of justice in everything which did not touch his own person; and justice serves to console a people for the loss of their liberty."2
179 Such are the avowals which truth has extorted from these writers, so eminent but so blinded by obstinate prejudices. The superior morality which characterized England in the time of Cromwell, showed itself abroad by incontestable proofs. The English nation, which, under the two first Stuarts, foreigners had begun to regard as pusillanimous, suddenly displayed the most striking valor both by land and sea. Freedom and piety, equally dear both to the soldiers and sailors, gave them fresh energy, and urged them on to fight everywhere, as if in defense of the most sacred rights. We shall not recount all the high deeds of arms by which England gave token to the world of the renewal of her power. We are not writing a history of Great Britain. The victories gained over Holland by the English fleets under the command of Blake and Monk; the gallant Van Tromp, shot to the heart with a musket ball, and his shattered fleet escaping in disorder to the Texel; Cromwell in person reading to parliament the account of these victories, and proposing a national recompense to the victorious admirals; the United Provinces acknowledging the supremacy of the British flag, making to the English a tardy reparation for old injuries, and even excluding the House of Orange from the stadtholdership, because of its alliance with the Stuarts; Spain the first to come forward and do homage to the Protector, and even urging him openly to seize upon the crown of England .... . a flattery to which his only reply was a disdainful silence; Portugal, France, the Elector of Brandenburg, at that time almost unknown in Europe, all the other states, and even Christina of Sweden, then on her way to Rome, laying at the feet of Great Britain and of her chief the tribute of their respect and admiration; the fleets of Spain beaten again and again; the Viceroy of Mexico, surrounded with his treasures, expiring on the deck of his burning ship; millions of ingots of gold carried to London as a monument of triumph; other ships and other galleons bringing fresh treasures from the New World, burnt and sunk a second time in the bay of Teneriffe; Gibraltar attracting the eagle eye of the Protector -- "the town and castle of Gibraltar, if possessed and made tenable by us, would be both an advantage to our trade and an annoyance to the Spaniard;" .... . these are some of the facts which show how the Protector exalted and maintained in the sight of the foreigner the might and the glory of England.
180 But it was not in battles only that Cromwell sought the power of his country; his practiced eye easily discerned what ought to make the prosperity of Great Britain, and his zeal for commerce surpassed that of all the sovereigns who had preceded him. He appointed a committee of merchants for the purpose of developing the resources of British trade. They first met in the Painted Chamber on the 27th November, 1655, and continued their labors until the day of his death. Everywhere we find the same impulse given by his potent hand. Southey acknowledges that Oliver's "good sense and good nature would have led him to govern equitably and mercifully, to promote literature, to cherish the arts, and to pour wine and oil into the wounds of the nation;" and adds that the dangers to which he was exposed prevented him from carrying out his wishes3 If, however, he did not do all he desired, he still effected much. The judges discharged their functions with equity; the laws had their course, nothing being allowed to prevent their execution; the finances were administered with economy; the army and the navy were paid regularly; and the arts of peace flourished throughout the length and breadth of the kingdom. The admiration was general: "Cromwell," says an historian, "appeared like a blazing star, raised up by Providence to exalt this nation to a distinguished pitch of glory, and to strike terror into the rest of Europe." France and Spain contended for his alliance; he did not hesitate, and united with France. The treaty was signed on the 23d of October, 1655. Such were the respect and fear then inspired by England, that in this treaty he assumed among his other titles that of Protector of the kingdom of France, and his name preceded Louis the Fourteenth's, who was allowed to style himself merely King of the French. While with the one hand Oliver secured to England an alliance with France, with the other he offered her the power and the treasures of Spain. Seeing that his country was called to take the place of that mighty peninsula, he displayed no hesitation in his policy. Most certainly no one ever did more than he to accelerate the double ascending and descending movement then going on, and which was destined to reduce that kingdom to the humiliating weakness in which she is now sunk, and make England the Queen of Nations. When Spain solicited an alliance, he required two main conditions;
181 namely, that the trade to the West Indies and South America should be thrown open to his flag, and the suppression of the Inquisition, so that every man might read the Bible and worship God as he pleased. When the Spanish ambassador heard these two strange requests, he exclaimed in alarm: "It is like asking for my master's two eyes!" One of these eyes has lost Spain, and she herself has lost the other. In his opposition to that country Cromwell was guided by two motives. If he wished to ruin the strength of that state, it was not only with the intention of giving it to England, but of taking it away from the pope. Of these motives the second appears to have been the more powerful. "Your great enemy is the Spaniard," said the Protector in his speech of the 17th of September, 1656; "he is naturally so throughout -- by reason of that enmity that is in him against whatsoever is of God ...An enmity is put into him by God. I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed; -- which goes but for little among statesmen, but is more considerable than all things ...No sooner did this nation form what is called (unworthily) the Reformed Religion,4 after the death of Queen Mary, by the Queen Elizabeth of famous memory, -- we need not be ashamed to call her so! -- but the Spaniard's design became, by all unworthy, unnatural means, to destroy that person, and to seek the ruin and destruction of these kingdoms ...Here then is some little foundation laid to justify the war that has been entered upon with the Spaniard! and not only so: but the plain truth of it is, Make any peace with any state that is popish and subjected to the determination of Rome and of the pope himself, -- you are bound and they are loose. Peace is to be kept so long as the pope saith Amen to it .... . . "All the honest interests; yea, all the interests of the Protestants, in Germany, Denmark, Helvetia, and the Cantons, and all the interests in Christendom, are the same as yours. If you succeed, if you succeed well and act well, and be convinced what is God's interest, and prosecute it, you will find that you act for a very great many who are God's own. Therefore, I say that your danger is from the common, enemy abroad [Spain]; who is the head of the papal interest, the head of the antichristian interest. Except you will deny the truth of the Scriptures, you must needs see that that state is so described in Scripture [Ep. to Thessalonians and Revelation] to be
182 papal and antichristian, I say, with this enemy, and upon this account, you have the quarrel with the Spaniard."5 Thus in Cromwell's views Rome was the antichristian spiritual power, and Spain the civil power by which she had long been abetted. There may be persons who will dispute that this can be found in the Apocalypse, but no one will dispute that it is really found in history. The verdict of posterity has ratified his opinion. If the positive principle he gave to the British state was morality and faith, the negative principle was resistance to Popery. He held each of these in equal importance, for at bottom they concentre in one, .... in the Gospel. With their aid England has seen the days of her exaltation; when they are neglected, or set aside, then will come the day of her decline. While the Protector made war upon Spain, he was in reality fighting against Rome. This he did in England most essentially by the development of the evangelical spirit. But he disdained not to cause her other alarms, and took advantage of every opportunity to make her sensible of his power. Admiral Blake was sent with a fleet into the Mediterranean to obtain satisfaction from the Bey of Tunis for the losses of the British merchants from Turkish pirates. He sailed right into the harbor, and though the shore was planted with heavy guns, he burnt nine of the Turkish vessels, and brought the tyrant to reason. But he did not confine himself to this mission: he spread the terror of the English name over all Italy, even to Rome itself. The alarmed citizens, every moment fearfully expecting the arrival of Blake and his twenty-four ships, hastily put Civita Vecchia in a state of defense. At the same time, processions were made in the pontifical city; and the host was exposed for forty hours to avert the judgments of Heaven, and preserve the patrimony of St. Peter. Not long before, there had been great rejoicings in Rome, at the extirpation of Protestantism in Calabria and the Valteline. Cromwell meditated retaliation: "Their expected triumph," writes Mr. Pell to Secretary Thurloe, on the 9th of June, 1655, "would be turned into sad processions, if, instead of rooting out their old Italian inland churches, they should see an English colony planted in one of their sea-towns, which seems not impossible to be effected, if England would but attempt it."6 It was not at
183 Malta, as in the nineteenth century, but under the very walls of the pope, so to speak, that Cromwell then thought of making a settlement. "Set up your banners in the name of Christ," the Protector wrote to Viceadmiral Goodson, in October, 1655; "for undoubtedly it is His cause. And let the reproach and shame that hath been for our sins, and through (also we may say) the misguidance of some, work up your hearts to confidence in the Lord, and for the redemption of His honor from the hands of men." [Cromwell alludes to the failure of an expedition sent against the Spanish settlement of Hispaniola.] "`Though He hath torn us, yet He will heal us; though he hath smitten us, yet He will bind us up; after two days He will revive us, in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.'" (Hosea, 6:1, 2.) "The Lord himself hath a controversy with your enemies; even with that Roman Babylon, of which the Spaniard is the great under-propper. In that respect, we fight the Lord's battles; -- and in this the Scriptures are most plain. The Lord therefore strengthen you with faith, and cleanse you from all evil: and doubt not but He is able, and I trust as willing, to give you as signal success as He gave your enemies against you. Only the Covenant-fear of the Lord be upon you."7 It is the Protector's glory that he discerned in Rome the chief enemy to the liberty, prosperity, and piety of nations. This in our days is called prejudice and superstition. Severe lessons will teach the nations, to their cost, which of the two is right -- their modern leaders, or the great man of the seventeenth century. Such was Oliver Cromwell. "Lord of these three kingdoms," says Southey, "and indisputably the most powerful potentate in Europe, and as certainly the greatest man of an age in which the race of great men was not extinct in any country, no man was so worthy of the station which he filled." His glory was not confined to Great Britain only; it filled Europe, reached Asia, and was re-echoed from the shores of America. A French writer comparing Oliver with Napoleon, says that the former was exclusively an English hero, whilst the latter carried his name into every quarter of the
184 world. It is true that Cromwell did not launch his destroying legions into Spain and Russia, and even into Egypt. It is true that he thought it the highest excellence to live in Christ, to the end that God in all things might be glorified, and to bear, like Simon the Cyrenean, the cross and the shame of the Lord. But it is a grand mistake to suppose that his name was hardly known beyond the British isles. So great was his renown that it extended even to the distant plains of Asia, where the descendants of Abraham in agitation inquired of one another whether this was not the servant of the Lord whom they were looking for, and the branch promised to David (Jeremiah 23:5). "Such was the reputation which Cromwell obtained abroad by his prodigious elevation, the lofty tone of his government, and the vigor of his arms, that an Asiatic Jew is said to have come to England for the purpose of investigating his pedigree, thinking to discover in him the Lion of the tribe of Judah."8 With his own name Oliver spread afar the name of England, which he was the first to engrave on the distant landmarks of the nations. It is he who opened to his people that path of glory and of power, which their ships now traverse in every sea. The life of Britain, which had lost all vigor under the Stuarts, was aroused, electrified, as it were, by the same principle which animated its chief; and once more was seen the accomplishment of the ancient promise: The Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth.
185 CHAPTER 12 DEFENDER OF THE FAITH Defense of Protestantism -- Letter to a Protestant Prince -- Piedmontese Massacre -- The Protector interferes -- Geneva -- Cromwell's Advice to the Protestants -- Portugal -- France: Nismes -- Intervention -- Switzerland -- Germany -- Austria -- Council for the general Interests of Protestantism -- The Protector's living Christianity -- The eternal Truths -- Pompeii, Nineveh, and the Bible. CROMWELL was not satisfied with merely frightening the Pope in his own Babylon, and with directing his efforts in every quarter against the Roman power; he at the same time zealously pursued the great cause of the Reformation in Europe and in the world, and thus assigned to England that station as Queen of the Protestant world, which has been, and ever will be, her glory and her strength, so long as she shall remain true and faithful to this great calling. This was his third ruling passion, -- religious liberty, -- the greatness of England, -- the prosperity of Protestantism. Where is the statesman that has ever had in view nobler and more beneficial objects? He entertained the same affection for the several reformed churches abroad as for those of Great Britain. Writing to a Protestant prince, he congratulated him on his inviolable zeal for the evangelical churches, "A zeal the more worthy of praise, at a time when such flattering hopes are given to persons of your rank, if they will forsake the orthodox faith; and where those who continue steadfast are threatened with so many troubles. I call God to witness (adds Cromwell) that I desire nothing so much as an opportunity to answer the favorable opinion the churches have of my zeal and piety, by endeavoring to propagate the true faith, and procure rest and peace for the Church. Hold firm to the orthodox religion which you have received from your fathers: nothing will bring you greater glory, than to protect it as much as lies in your power."1
186 Cromwell thought it his vocation to be in the whole world what he was at home -- the great champion of religious liberty. "His Highness," wrote Secretary Thurloe, on the 7th of July, 1654, "continues his ancient zeal to the Protestant religion, whereof nobody need doubt nor have the least scruple, but may build the greatest resolutions thereupon."2 A noble opportunity ere long occurred for proclaiming this to the whole world. On the 3rd of June, 1655, sad tidings reached England from Piedmont, and filled all Protestant hearts with sorrow, but particularly that heart which beat strongest for the cause of the Gospel. The descendants of the Waldenses, those great evangelists of the Middle Ages, were living peaceably in the valleys of Lucerne, Peroza, and St. Martin, between Piedmont and Savoy. This very year a persecution broke out against them with inconceivable violence: the natural result of the desire to convert the heretics, occasioned by the great jubilee of 1650. To bring about this act of severity, the pope put forward a singular motive, -- that the country of the Waldenses might be given to the Irish who were banished for their concern in the massacre of the Protestants in Ireland. Early in 1655 an order was sent from the court of Turin to the heads of the reformed families dwelling at La Torre, the little capital of the Vaudois, enjoining them to quit their homes within three days, and retire with their families to certain districts that were assigned them. They were also required to prove within the space of twenty days, either that they had themselves become Romanists or had sold their property to Catholics. Many hundreds of families were compelled to flee in the midst of the rigors of winter. In the spring an army of 15,000 men entered their valleys. Twenty-two villages were reduced to ashes; aged people of both sexes were burnt in their houses; the men were hewn in pieces; the women were impaled naked; children were torn from their mothers' arms, and their brains dashed out against the rocks. One hundred and fifty females were beheaded, and their heads were used in a game at bowls.3 The bard of Paradise Lost, when he heard of this massacre, seized his lyre, and called to God for vengeance in this noble strain: --
187 Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold; Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, When all our fathers worshipt stocks and stones, Forget not; in thy book record their groans, Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Slain by the bloody Piedmontese that roll'd Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they To heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow, O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple tyrant; that from these may grow A hundredfold, who, having learn'd thy way, Early may fly the Babylonian woe. In this terrible desolation the poor inhabitants of the valleys first looked to God, and then to England. Their eyes were turned towards the Protector, and they said to one another, that no doubt he would show compassion to their churches, although they hardly dared implore his succor.4 When the Protector received this sad intelligence, he burst into tears. "The sufferings of these poor people," he said, "lie as near, or rather nearer, to my heart, than if it had concerned the nearest relations I have in the world." That very day he was to sign the treaty with France; but he refused to do so, until the king and Mazarin had bound themselves to assist him in seeing justice done to these unfortunate inhabitants of the valleys. He sent them two thousand pounds from his own purse, and Milton was employed to address letters to all the Protestant states of Europe, the kings of Sweden and Denmark, to the United Provinces of Holland, to the reformed Cantons of Switzerland, and to the several churches of Germany and France. He wrote with his own hand to the French king, to Cardinal Mazarin, and to the Duke of Savoy. Finally, he appointed a day of fasting and humiliation, and a general collection all over England. This contribution amounted to Ј37,097, 7s. 3d., a very large sum for that period. "I believe we shall at length see the need we have of a union, and that a cordial one too," wrote Secretary Thurloe, on the 25th of May 1655, to Mr. Pell, the English minister in Switzerland; "what is executed upon the poor Piedmontese is intended against us all, as they have opportunity and means."5
188 As soon as it was known on the Continent that Cromwell took the interests of the Waldenses so much to heart, the persecutors began to feel the greatest alarm. The Piedmontese, and their allies, already fancied they saw an English army landing from their ships and overrunning their country. In fact the English minister in Switzerland spoke of this design as of very easy execution, and to that end called for an alliance with the United Provinces.6 This was Cromwell's intention, and he insisted that the matter should be taken into serious consideration. "To do it slightly," wrote Thurloe on the 8th of November 1655, "will not be either honorable for us, or profitable for the people; and the opinion here [at Whitehall] is, not to begin it unless there be resolution firm and fixed to go through with it effectually."7 In the meanwhile the Protector sent Samuel Morland to the Duke of Savoy with a letter, in which, after representing the cruelty and injustice of the duke's behavior towards the Protestants of the valleys, he added, "that he was pierced with grief at the news of the sufferings of the Vaudois, being united to them not only by the common ties of humanity, but by the profession of the same faith, which obliged him to regard them as his brethren; and he should think himself wanting in his duty to God, to charity, and to his religion, if he should be satisfied with pitying them only (whose miserable condition was enough to raise compassion in the most barbarous minds); unless he also exerted himself to the utmost of his ability to deliver them out of it." On the Continent there was no people that took a greater interest in the fate of the Waldenses than the Genevese. As soon as the news of the massacre reached their city, a fast-day was appointed (10th May, 1655), collections were made from house to house to send aid to the suffering brethren, and the garrison was augmented; for it was thought that Savoy was planning an attack on Geneva. Morland on his way back from Turin stayed some time in that city, which was, so to speak, the center of Cromwell's protestant action on the Continent. Intelligence of the necessities of the reformed churches was most frequently sent to England by Professor Tronchin, and money was forwarded to the Waldenses through the hands of the banker, Mr. James Tronchin. The names of Colladon and Calandrini occur also in this correspondence. Mr. Pell, the English minister in Switzerland, repaired in person to Geneva. He was in
189 that city on the 12th of December, 1655, a day of thanksgiving in commemoration of its deliverance, fifty-three years before, from the attempt of the Duke of Savoy to enter the town by ladders in the night. After the morning sermon two of the senators took Pell over the fortifications, and showed him their weakness on the side towards Savoy, giving him to understand that they hoped the Protector would furnish them with the means of completing these works. About a month later, Cromwell replied by Thurloe, "that he not only wished their welfare and prosperity with all his heart, but would be ready to contribute to it as far as God should enable him."8 When Morland was recalled towards the end of the next year, the Protector renewed his assurances to the same effect. Geneva has always reckoned on the affection of the mighty and protestant England. The zeal of the English chief was crowned with success. Even Mazarin, at his instigation, wrote in the most pressing language to the court of Turin, and an agreement was signed at Pignerol, restoring religious liberty to the Waldenses. There was not a potentate in Europe so bold as to dare expose himself to Cromwell's displeasure by refusing his request. At the same time this Defender of the Protestant faith, wishing to give the pope and the petty princes of Italy a lesson calculated to strike them with terror, gave out, that as he was satisfied they had been the promoters of this persecution, he would keep it in mind, and lay hold of the first opportunity to send his fleet into the Mediterranean to visit Civita Vecchia and other parts of the ecclesiastical territories, and that the sound of his cannon should be heard in Rome itself. He further declared publicly that he would not suffer the true faith to be insulted in any part of the world.9 In his eyes (and he was one of the most clear-sighted of statesmen), this was not merely an isolated attack against Protestantism, but the first step of a general conspiracy which had for its object the annihilation of the reformed faith. He often recurred to this idea, and orders were sent to all his foreign ministers to lay clearly before the evangelical states the danger with which they were threatened.
190 This he did more particularly in a letter of the 7th of July, 1655, addressed to his minister in Switzerland. Secretary Thurloe writes thus to Mr. Pell:-- "I have formerly desired you would endeavor to understand fully and particularly what is the true mind and intention of the Protestant cantons as to this business. It is certain that the design of crushing Protestantism was general; and to speak of the duke's word in any agreement which shall be made is frivolous. The poor Protestants [of the valleys] ought to have another kind of security than that, and it is time for the Protestants in all the world to consider their own security also. If this does not awaken us, we are under a prejudicial slumber. The whole nation is with the Protector," adds Thurloe.10 With these views Cromwell stipulated in all his treaties for religious liberty in behalf of the Protestants. He required of Portugal the free exercise of the evangelical faith; but he met with difficulties which gave him a fresh opportunity of expressing his sentiments with regard to the pope. On the 6th of May, 1656, he wrote in the following terms to the admirals Blake and Montague, then at sea: -- "In one of the articles agreed with the [Portuguese] ambassador, it was expressed, that the [English] merchants [in Portugal] should enjoy liberty of conscience in the worship of God in their own houses and aboard their ships; enjoying also the use of English Bibles, and other good books; taking care that they did not exceed this liberty. Now, upon the sending of Mr. Meadows [under-secretary of state], unless we will agree to submit this article to the determination of the pope, we cannot have it; whereby he would bring us to an owning of the pope; which, we hope, whatever befall us, we shall not, by the grace of God, be brought unto."11 Never was there statesman more decided than he with regard to the see of Rome. Nor did the Protector confine himself to one particular country. He showed the same zeal for the Protestants of France as he had manifested for those of the valleys. From the commencement of the English revolution, the oppressed Huguenots began to be filled with hope, and to implore the succor of their British brethren. Bordeaux was at that time the center of this Protestant
191 resistance; and Mazarin was greatly alarmed at their proceedings. "I am assured," wrote M. de Gentillot, one of his secret agents in London, "that if the citizens of Bordeaux had plainly abandoned the affections and interests of the princes and of royalty to look solely to their own liberty and to the interest of the poor people, an alliance would undoubtedly have been formed with them."12 The example of England was a strong temptation to the French Protestants. They would willingly have trodden in the same paths of liberty and emancipation. A Scotch doctor, named More, appears to have encouraged them in this. In Lower Languedoc and at Bordeaux a project was formed for setting up a parliament of a hundred members, similar to that of England. More presented this manifesto to the Council of State in London in November, 1653, and entreated their support. Other agents sent by the Protector into France, seriously urged him to declare in favor of the oppressed and persecuted religion. The most influential French pastors corresponded with the heads of the Council of State in England. The fermentation and enthusiasm were general throughout all the south, and the Protestants, imagining the eve of their deliverance to be at hand, fasted and prayed publicly for the preservation of the Protector, calling him plainly "their only hope next to God!"13 But Cromwell was no less prudent than brave. He knew that if he should inconsiderately lend his aid to the Protestants, he might by that very step cause their total ruin. He called to mind the saying of our Lord: What king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Among the agents of the Foreign Office was one Stoupe, a Grison by birth, then minister of the French church in the Savoy, and afterwards brigadiergeneral in the French armies, an intriguing man, and who, says Bishop Burnett, who knew him well, was only a Protestant in outward appearance. The Protector believed, and, as it appears, with reason, that such a person might be very serviceable in this affair. He was summoned to Whitehall. "You will make a tour through France," said Cromwell to him; "you will communicate with the chief Protestants; you will carefully examine into the resources of the Huguenot party, into their present
192 disposition, the oppressions they lie under, and their inclinations to trust the Prince of Conde. You will assure the reformed of our zeal and our care to procure them liberty of faith; but," added he, "you will talk to them merely as a traveler." Stoupe departed. He reached Paris, descended the Loire, arrived at Bordeaux, visited Montauban, and traversed the south of France on his way to Lyons. He was astonished at all he saw. Mazarin, influenced by his awe of Cromwell, took care that the edicts in favor of the Protestants should be observed with an exactitude till then unknown. "We are not discontented," was the general reply to Stoupe, "and we are not inclined to rise. We have no confidence in the Prince of Conde; he is an ambitious man, ever ready to sacrifice all his friends and every cause he espouses to his own projects of greatness." Stoupe made his report to the Protector, and it was sufficient to decide Cromwell.14 He understood that it was by other means he should come to the support of the Protestants, -- by his moral influence and not by his armies; and to this he turned his attention. In May, 1 Secretary Thurloe wrote to Mr. Pell: "There are great endeavors used by the French to make an alliance here, but no progress is made therein as yet; nor will there be, without making full provision for the Protestants, and that you may be confident upon on all occasions."15 The French ambassador positively refused "that those of the reformed religion in France should have the exercise of their religion as full as they ought by any law granted." "If he persists in his resolution," writes Thurloe on the 14th of July in the same year, "little is to be expected from the treaty;" and he adds on the 24th of November, "his Highness is very willing to accommodate things with France, but cannot for any outward advantage do that which is prejudicial to the Protestants, nor forsake their interests." In 1656 there happened a quarrel between the reformed citizens of Nismes and the magistrates and bishop of the city. The intendant of the province having interfered, a disturbance broke out, of which an account was immediately sent to court. The Protestants submitted and begged pardon;
193 but the minister, delighted with the opportunity, resolved to ruin them. Upon this they dispatched a messenger privately to Cromwell, and begged his interposition. After giving audience to their delegate, he bade him "refresh himself after so long a journey, and he would take such care of his business that by the time he came to Paris he should find it dispatched." Accordingly, an express was immediately sent off with a letter to the King of France, under cover of the following to Cardinal Mazarin. "To his Eminence the Lord Cardinal Mazarin. "Having thought necessary to dispatch this gentleman to the king with the inclosed letter, I commanded him to salute your Eminence on my part; and having charged him to communicate to you certain affairs which I have intrusted him with: I therefore pray your Highness to give credit to what he shall say, having an entire confidence in him. "Your Eminence's most affectionate "OLIVER CROMWELL, "Protector of the Commonwealth of England, etc. "Whitehall, Dec. 28th, 1656." He moreover added the following postscript in his own hand: -- "I have been informed of the tumult at Nismes: I recommend to your Highness the interest of the reformed."16 At the same time the Protector forwarded instructions to his ambassador at Versailles, commanding him to insist peremptorily "that the tumult of Nismes be forgiven," or else immediately to leave the country. Mazarin complained of this usage as being too high and imperious; but at the same time, he stood in so much awe of the English ruler, that he changed countenance whenever he heard his name mentioned; and it was a current saying in France, that the cardinal was more afraid of Cromwell than of the devil. The French court gave way, and sent orders to the intendant to make up matters at Nismes as well as he could. Had Cromwell's spirit animated the English government in our days, the iniquity of Otaheite would never have been committed; and we should not
194 have seen the priest-party in France inveighing, on the one hand, against the three northern powers for annihilating the independence of Cracow, and, on the other, making war upon a people who have never known a master, and who, as regards moral power and political and religious life, are certainly far superior to the Cracovian citizens. The energy with which this little nation has held in check for several years the people who consider themselves the first in the world, is a pretty clear proof that it deserves to be independent. The priest-party of France, by protesting against the occupation of Cracow and by provoking the assault on Otaheite, has had the unenviable honor of furnishing the civilized world with the most notorious example in modern times of that blindness which strains at a gnat and swallows a camel. Oliver carried into practice in the seventeenth century that famous motto which was the glory of one of the greatest Englishmen of the nineteenth... civil and religious liberty in all the world. Practice, in our opinion, is much better than theory; but the example set by the Protector, which had no precedent, has unfortunately met with no imitation. The French Protestants were abandoned, both at the peace of Ryswick in 1697, and again at that of Utrecht in 1713, although hundreds of Huguenots were perishing in dungeons or groaning on board the galleys. If Cromwell's spirit had continued to govern England, the revocation of the Edict of Nantes would never have taken place. May we be permitted to pay a feeble tribute of esteem to the great man who was the protector of our ancestors, and who would have been the vindicator of Protestant France if he had lived, or if he had survived in successors worthy of him. His attachment to the great cause of Evangelical Protestantism extended over all Europe. In Switzerland, for instance, he endeavored to arouse and reanimate the interests of the Reformation. "You stand so much in awe of your popish neighbors," said his minister in May, 1655, to the Evangelical Swiss, "that you dare not budge a foot in favor of any Protestant church, lest the popish cantons should fall upon you. If Geneva should need you, the greater number among you would answer, We cannot, for want of money! We dare not, for fear of our popish neighbors!"17 Cromwell, knowing at the same time that the Romish cantons were strongly supported by the princes of their faith, ordered his minister (22d
195 February, 1656,) "to assist the evangelical cantons to make a good and honorable peace, and to that end to counterbalance by his endeavors the interposition of the public ministers of other princes, who may be partial to the popish cantons."18 He interposed also in Germany in defense of the religious liberty of the reformed states. In a Latin letter from a very considerable person, which was forwarded to Cromwell in January, 1655, we read: "The whole popish cohort is plotting against us and ours. We must consider and inquire into everything with prudence. We must deliberate on the means to be employed for our common preservation; for we know the aim of all our Babylonian adversaries. The Lord of Hosts be the Protector of the Protector and of the Church."19This writer added: "The persecution continues in Austria and in Bohemia, and it is very easy to foresee a general league of the Papists against the Protestants of Germany and Switzerland." Against this, Oliver made provision. If he could not reach them with the arm of his power, he sent them proofs at least of his sympathy. Collections were made by his order in behalf of the persecuted Protestants of Bohemia; and again in 1657, when delegates from the Polish and Silesian Protestants arrived in England complaining of the persecutions directed against them, public subscriptions were immediately opened in their favor throughout the whole country.20 Desirous of giving regularity to all these movements, Cromwell conceived the idea of a great institution in favor of the evangelical faith. He proposed to unite all the various members of the Protestant body, and by this means place them in a condition to resist Rome, which was at that time preparing for conquest. To this end he resolved to found a council for the General Interests of Protestantism, and he was probably led to this idea by the establishment of the Roman congregation for the propagation of the faith. He divided the Protestant world out of England into four provinces: the first included France, Switzerland, and the Piedmontese valleys; the second comprised the Palatinate and other Calvinistic countries; the third, the remainder of Germany, the north of Europe, and Turkey; the colonies of the East and West Indies (Asia and America) formed the fourth. The council was to consist of seven members and four secretaries, who were to
196 keep up a correspondence with all the world, and inquire into the state of religion everywhere, to the intent that England might suitably direct her encouragement, her protection, and her support. The yearly sum of Ј10,000, with extraordinary supplies in case of need, was to be placed at the disposal of the council, whose sittings were to be held in Chelsea College.21 No doubt many objections might be urged against this plan. It was perhaps to be feared that, in certain cases, such diplomatic interposition might injure the spiritual character and true life of the reformed religion. But Cromwell's chief object was to maintain religious liberty in all the world as he was maintaining it in England. It is right that the Protestants on the Continent should know what a friend they had in the illustrious Protector. A Catholic historian, one of those who have perhaps the least appreciated his christian character, cannot here repress a movement of admiration. "When we think of the combats of the Protestant religion against the Catholic faith," says M. Villemain, "it was undoubtedly a noble and a mighty thought to claim for himself the protection of all the dissident sects, and to regulate in a fixed and durable manner the support which England had granted them on more than one occasion. If it had not been interrupted by death, Cromwell would no doubt have resumed a design so much in accordance with his genius, and which his power would have allowed him to attempt with courage." Such was the Protector's activity. In every place he showed himself the true Samaritan, binding up the wounds of those who had fallen into the hands of the wicked, and pouring in oil and wine ...He is the greatest Protestant that has lived since the days of Calvin and Luther. More than any other sovereign of England he deserved the glorious title of DEFENDER OF THE FAITH. Cromwell was something more than the champion of an outward and official Protestantism. Had his task been limited to that, it would excite but little sympathy in us, and it would have produced no very great results. None perhaps compromise true Protestantism so much as those who, forgetful of the spiritual nature of the movement of the sixteenth century, reduce it to a mere political system. The Protestantism of the reformers is the evangelism of the apostles, neither more nor less. Let us beware of
197 making it a mongrel existence, half-spiritual and half-secular. Cromwell employed his power to protect religious liberty in all Europe; but the origin of his foreign activity is found in the fact of his having felt in his own soul the truth of this scripture: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. The ancient religious life of the Reformation was lost: it had been replaced by an attachment to forms. Men carefully inquired whether there was or was not apostolical succession; they examined whether the prayers, the sacraments, and the worship were in conformity with the canons and with the liturgy; they placed their hands everywhere to try all things -- everywhere except on their own heart -- to feel if it still beat. They were earnestly occupied with conformities; but they forgot one, -- that which renders man conformable to Jesus Christ. A religious revival took place; truth and the Christian life reappeared. A dry orthodoxy, a clerical system, was followed by a Christianity as fruitful as it was sincere. Oliver is one of those in whom this spiritual revolution was the most striking. In every page of his history we meet with proofs of his faith. Rarely has there appeared in the world a heart that beat so strongly for everlasting truth. This faith, of which Oliver constituted himself the defender, cannot perish. It may be covered and hidden, at one time by the and sands of infidelity, and at another by the tumultuous waves of human passions, or by the images, surplices, and relics of superstition; -- but it always revives, lifts up its head, and reappears. The revelations of God are for all times, and they have in all ages the same eternal truth, the same eternal beauty. They are like those rocks in the midst of the ocean, which the flood-tide covers, and which seem swallowed up forever, but which always raise their tops again above the waters. In vain does one generation imagine it has hidden the everlasting rock of God's truth; it will become visible in the next. There is a continual alternation, a constant struggle between light and darkness; but the light prevails at last. And even should there come an age which fancies it has forever buried God's truth, -- should any volcanic eruption of society overwhelm it with the ashes of another Vesuvius,.... Pompeii after seventeen centuries has again restored to the light of day its houses and its tombs, its palaces and its temples, its circus and its amphitheaters.
198 Can it be thought that the truth and the life, which God has given in His Gospel, will be less perennial than the frail tenements of man? There are perhaps now subterranean fires threatening the truth of God. A daring pantheistic and socialist philosophy imagines that it has done with the crucified One. And should it even so far succeed as to throw a little dust and lava on the eternal doctrine, the Lord of Heaven will blow upon it, and the dust shall be scattered and the lava be melted. Cromwell, as a Christian, is the representative of one of those epochs in which the light reappears after darkness, according to the device of a city which shone forth with a new and great brightness in the days of the Reformation.22 It was not to England alone that he wished to restore the doctrine of the Gospel; he put his candle on a candlestick, and the house which he desired by this means to illumine was Europe, -- nay, the whole world. He has been compared to Bonaparte, and there are, indeed, striking features of resemblance between them. Neither was satisfied with confining himself to his own country alone, and both exerted their activity abroad. But while Napoleon bore to other nations French tyranny and indifference, Cromwell would have given them religious liberty and the Gospel. The everlasting revelations having reappeared in England and received the homage of a whole people, it was Cromwell's ambition to present them to the entire world. He did not succeed, and to the majority of European countries the Bible is a book hidden in the bowels of the earth. But this noble design, which Oliver could not accomplish, has again been undertaken in our own days on the banks of the Thames. The revelations of God are printed in the language of every people. The time will come when the thick veil, which still hides these sacred characters from so many nations, shall be rent at last. The massive walls, the proud courts, the magnificent porches of Nineveh are now rising from beneath the sands of the desert. Its inscriptions, numbering two, three, and four thousand years, are reappearing to the eyes of the civilized and astonished children of the distant and barbarous Europe, and the light of day once more falls upon the antique characters traced by Ninus, Sardanapalus, or Nabopolassar! .... . The books which Moses began, not as ancient than these Assyrian inscriptions, possess, we may be sure, more vitality than they; and future ages, by giving to Europe religious liberty, will realize the mighty plan which Cromwell could not accomplish.
199 CHAPTER 13 THE KINGSHIP New Parliament -- Ludlow -- The Protector's Speech -- Exclusions -- Proposals about the Kingship -- Discussions on this Subject between the Parliament and the Protector -- Struggles -- Cromwell's Refusal -- Was he right? -- His character -- Ambition. THE Protector could not perform all these various tasks without difficulty. Notwithstanding the religious liberty he gave to England at home, and the glory with which he encircled her name abroad, the strict republicans were discontented, and often told him to his face that his government was illegitimate, and that they and their friends had not been lavish of their blood for the purpose of enthroning anew the power of one man. In 1656, he determined to call a new Parliament. This was necessary for the approval of hostilities with Spain, and for obtaining the needful supplies. But he feared that the republicans, who were determined to oppose everything, would vote against this war -- a war so glorious in his eyes and so advantageous to England. He accordingly sent for Majorgeneral Ludlow, the leader of this party, and required him to give security not to act against the present government. Ludlow answered, "I desire to have the nation governed by its own consent." -- "And so do I," replied Oliver; "but where shall we find that consent; among the prelatical, presbyterian, independent, anabaptist, or levelling parties?" -- "Among those of all sorts," rejoined the other, "who have acted with fidelity and affection to the public." The Protector feeling convinced that Ludlow was for throwing England again into confusion, said to him: "All men now enjoy as much liberty and protection as they can desire; and I am resolved to keep the nation from being imbrued again in blood. I desire not," he continued, "to put any more hardships upon you than upon myself; nor do I aim at anything by this proceeding but the public quiet and security. As to my own circumstances in the world, I have not much improved them, as these gentlemen (pointing to his council) well know."1 All that he said was strictly true. After a revolutionary storm, liberty exists most of all in order; and to possess order there must be strength.
200 When the Parliament met according to appointment on the 17th of September, 1656, Dr. Owen, vice-chancellor of Oxford, preached a sermon before them in Westminster Abbey, from the text: What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? that the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall trust in it (Isaiah 14:32). It was not only the poor of her own people, but the poor of other nations that trusted in the protection of England. Voices might be heard from the shores of France and from the lofty valleys of the Alps, replying to this sermon: "Yea, verily, Amen!" The members having adjourned to the Painted Chamber, the Protector took off his hat and delivered one of the noblest, most sensible, energetic, and religious speeches ever uttered by a statesman. After touching in succession upon Spain, the Papists, the Levellers, the equality of all sects, on the reformation of morals, and on the necessity of prompt and extraordinary remedies for sudden and extraordinary maladies, he concluded in the following words: -- "Therefore I beseech you in the name of God, set your hearts to this work. And if you set your hearts to it, then you will sing Luther's Psalm (Psalm 46). That is a rare Psalm for a Christian! -- and if he set his heart open, and can approve it to God, we shall hear him say: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. If Pope and Spaniard, and Devil and all set themselves against us, -- though they should compass us like bees, as it is in the hundred and eighteenth Psalm, -- yet in the name of the Lord we should destroy them! And, as it is in this Psalm of Luther's, We will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled; though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved. Then the Psalmist repeats two or three times, The Lord of Host is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."
201 Cromwell did well in thus recalling Luther to mind. We fancy we can hear the reformer in the castle of Coburg during the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. In political views there was the most marked distinction between these two great men; but in more essential things, and in their opposition to the papacy, modern history does not present us with two more similar minds. "I have done," continues Oliver. "All I have to say is, To pray God that He may bless you with His presence; that He who hath your hearts and mine would show His presence in the midst of us. -- I desire you will go together, and choose your Speaker:"2 The Protector, remembering what had happened before, and how easy it was for a few minds, unfriendly to order, to disturb the state, was resolved to take such measures as he judged best to prevent the Parliament from thwarting his views and checking the prosperity and glory of England. To this end he had recourse to a step which in our days would excite a just astonishment. A guard was placed at the door of the house, and no one was allowed to enter without a certificate from the council. By this means about a hundred members were excluded. Oliver's penetration was unequaled: his sagacity and knowledge of mankind were most remarkable. If there was a man in England who excelled in any faculty or science, he found him out, and rewarded him according to his merit. But he also knew his private enemies and those of the public prosperity, and his firm hand either put them aside or kept them down. This he showed in the case in question. He consented, however, to give a pledge for the freedom of the national representation. It was agreed that for the future no member should be excluded from parliament except by a vote of the house. The war with Spain was approved of, and supplies to the amount of Ј400,000 were voted to carry it on. If we allow, as we are bound to do, that the measure employed by Cromwell was inconsistent with the freedom of parliament and with the principles of constitutional government, we must also acknowledge that these stretches of power were at that time necessary to the stability of his authority, and that without these somewhat despotic acts, the nation would inevitably have been again involved in war and confusion. Above all, we should remember that the necessary check upon representative governments -- an upper house -- no longer existed in England. The right,
202 therefore, which he claimed of rejecting a portion of the representatives, must in his mind have been intended to supply the want of a House of Lords. There was, therefore, a constitutional element in this measure of exclusion. The beginning of the year 1657 nearly realized the gloomy foresight of Cromwell. One of the chief levellers, Quartermaster Sindercombe, after several ineffectual attempts at assassination, endeavored to set fire to Whitehall. He was apprehended, but eluded his punishment by taking poison. Parliament went in a body to offer their congratulations to the Protector on his escape from danger, to which he replied with his usual good sense and piety.3 It was now felt necessary to settle the order and prosperity of England on a more solid basis; and many even of the republicans felt that royalty was essential to so desirable an end. The initiative in this matter did not proceed from Cromwell, but from the Parliament. Colonel Jephson, one of the members for Ireland, moved that the Protector should have the crown, with the title of KING, and was seconded by Alderman Pack, one of the representatives for the city of London. When the Protector was informed of this, says the republican Ludlow, he mildly reprimanded the colonel one day at table, and said to him: "I cannot imagine what you were thinking of, when you made such a motion." Upon Jephson's replying that he begged the liberty to follow the impulse of his conscience, Oliver patted him on the shoulder, saying: "Go, go! you are mad." The strict republicans opposed the motion with great vehemence, Lamber, Desborough, and Fleetwood, Cromwell's son-in-law, taking the lead. These men, who belonged to his family and enjoyed his friendship, "confidently undertook to know," says Clarendon, "that Oliver would never consent to it; and therefore it was very strange that any men should importune the putting such a question." But as the majority of the lawyers, whose opinions in such a matter must have had great weight, declared in favor of royalty, the motion passed. On the 31st of March, the House of Commons presented a petition to the Protector, inviting him to take the title and office of king, which, said the Parliament, would be most conformable to the laws and temper of the people of England. Cromwell prayed for time to deliberate on their
203 request: "I have lived the latter part of my age in the fire; in the midst of troubles," said he. "But all the things that have befallen me since I was first engaged in the affairs of this Commonwealth would not so move my heart and spirit with that fear and reverence of God that becomes a Christian, as this thing that hath now been offered by you to me. "And should I give any resolution in this matter suddenly, without seeking to have an answer put into my heart, and so into my mouth, by Him that hath been my God and my guide hitherto, -- it would savor more to be of the flesh, to proceed from lust, to arise from arguments of self. And if my decision in it have such motives in me, it may prove even a curse to you and to these three Nations."4 Three days after (on Friday, 3d April, 1657) a committee of the house, among whom were Lord Broghil, General Montague, the Earl of Tweeddale, Whitelocke, and others, having waited on the Protector, he said to them: "I return the Parliament my grateful acknowledgment. But I must needs say, that that may be fit for you to offer, which may not be fit for me to undertake. I am not able for such a trust and charge." On the 11th of April, the committee, nominated by Parliament to present their reasons in favor of the petition of the house, attended at Whitehall. Lord Whitelocke, Lord Chief-justice Glyn, Lenthall, once speaker of the long parliament, and several others, spoke in turn. The latter maintained that the title of Protector was unknown to the English Constitution: Nolumus leges Anglioe mutari! exclaimed he. Oliver required time for reflection. The latter motive could not fail to have great weight with him. He also was unwilling that the laws of England should be changed, and notwithstanding all appearances to the contrary, he had at heart a strong conservative feeling. When he sacrificed trifling things, it was to preserve greater ones. Protestantism and liberty were in his eyes the law, and as it were the essence, of England. In comparison with these a prince and a dynasty were mere accidents. The whole question resolves itself into this: In a nation what must we preserve -- essential or secondary things?
204 On the 13th of April a committee of ninety-nine attended again at the palace, when the Protector delivered his eleventh recorded speech. On the one hand he felt all the force of the reasons urged by Parliament, and more particularly by the lawyers; but, on the other, he considered it his duty not to alienate the godly men with whose help he had restored peace and order to England. "I undertook the place I am now in," said he, "not so much out of hope of doing any good, as out of a desire to prevent mischief and evil, -- which I did see was imminent on the nation. I say, we were running headlong into confusion and disorder, and would necessarily have run into blood; and I was passive to those that desired me to undertake the place which I now have. "And therefore I am not contending for one name compared with another; -- and therefore have nothing to answer to any arguments that were used for preferring the name kingship to protectorship. For I should almost think any name were better than my name; and I should altogether think any person fitter than I am for such business; and I compliment not, God knows it. "But this I should say, that I do think, you, in the settling of the peace and liberties of this nation, which cries as loud upon you as ever nation did for somewhat that may beget a consistence, ought to attend to that; otherwise the nation will fall in pieces! And in that so far as I can, I am ready to serve not as a king, but as a constable, if you like! :For truly I have, as before God, often thought that I could not tell what my business was, nor what I was in the place I stood in, save comparing myself to a good constable set to keep the peace of the parish. "I say, therefore, I do judge for myself there is no such necessity of this name of king. "I must say a little; I think I have somewhat of conscience to answer as to the matter, and I shall deal seriously as before God. "If you do not all of you, I am sure some of you do, and it behooves me to say that I do ` know my calling from the first to this day.' I was a person who, from my first employment, was
205 suddenly preferred and lifted up from lesser trusts to greater; from my first being a captain of a troop of horse; and did labor as well as I could to discharge my trust; and God blessed me therein as it pleased Him. And. I did truly and plainly -- and in a way of foolish simplicity, as it was judged by very great and wise men, and good men too -- desire to make my instruments help me in that work. I had a very worthy friend then; and he was a very noble person, and I know his memory is very grateful to all, -- Mr. John Hampden. At my first going out into this engagement [enterprise], I saw our men were beaten at every hand. I did indeed; and desired him that he would make some additions to my Lord Essex's army, of some new regiments; and I told him I would be serviceable to him in bringing such men in as I thought had a spirit that would do something in the work. This is very true that I tell you; God knows I lie not. `Your troops,' said I, `are most of them old decayed serving-men and tapsters, and such kind of fellows; and,' said I, `their troops are gentlemen's sons, younger sons, and persons of quality: do you think that the spirits of such base and mean fellows will ever be able to encounter gentlemen, that have honor, and courage, and resolution in them? You must get men of a spirit; and take it not ill what I say, -- I know you will not, -- of a spirit that is likely to go on as far as gentlemen will go: -- or else you will be beaten still.' I told him so; I did truly. He was a wise and worthy person; and he did think that I talked a good notion, but an impracticable one. Truly I told him I could do somewhat in it. I did so, and the result was, -- impute it to what you please, -- I raised such men as had the fear of God before them, as made some conscience of what they did; and from that day forward, I must say to you, they were never beaten, and wherever they were engaged against the enemy, they beat continually. And truly this is matter of praise to God: and it hath some instruction in it, to own men who are religious and godly. And so many of them as are peaceably, and honestly, and quietly disposed to live within rules of government, and will be subject to those Gospel rules of obeying magistrates -- I reckon no godliness without that circle! Without that spirit it is diabolical, -- it is devilish, -- it is from diabolical spirits, -- from the depth of Satan's wickedness.
206 "I will be bold to apply this [what I said to Mr. Hampden] to our present purpose; because there are still such men in this nation; godly men of the same spirit, men that will not be beaten down by a worldly or carnal spirit while they keep their integrity. And I deal plainly and faithfully with you, when I say: I cannot think that God would bless an undertaking of anything [kingship or whatever else] which would, justly and with cause, grieve them. I know that very generally good men do not swallow this title. It is my duty and my conscience to beg of you that there may be no hard things put upon me; things, I mean, hard to them, which they cannot swallow. By showing a tenderness even possible (if it be their weakness) to the weakness of those who have integrity, and honesty, and uprightness, you will be the better able to root out of this nation all those who think their virtue lies in despising and opposing authority."5 Thus did Cromwell, although struck undoubtedly by the numerous and powerful reasons urged by Parliament for substituting the title of King for that of Protector, refuse to ,accept it. He was prevented by the fear of offending the honest republicans, whom he might so easily have reduced to silence, and of injuring the prosperity of England. There was much to be said on both sides. Clarendon informs us, that if he had once been made king he would have received the allegiance of most of the royalists, of which he had been assured by several of the principal nobility. But Cromwell could not resolve to alienate his old friends, even should he gain over his former enemies. A man of power has rarely shown such condescension to the opinions of others, at the very moment, too, when he thinks them ill founded. These are not the manners of a despot. The struggle between him and the Parliament still continued. The great committee of ninety-nine did not consider itself beaten, and returned seriously to the contest. On the 16th of April, another conference took place. Whitelocke urged on the Protector, that by refusing the crown he would do what king of England had never done, -- reject the advice of his Parliament. Another of the committee declared that it was his duty to accept, and added, that he ought by no means to shrink from his duty. Others put forward many weighty arguments, but Oliver would not give way.
207 On the 20th of April, there was a new conference, in which the Protector refuted the reasonings of the 16th. He said, "I have not desired the continuance of my power or place either under one title or another. I speak not this vainly or as a fool, but as to God. If the wisdom of this Parliament should have found a way to settle the interests of this nation, upon the foundations of justice, and truth, and liberty to the people of God, and concernments of men as Englishmen, I would have lain at their feet, or at anybody else's feet, that things might have run in such a current. I know the censures of the world may quickly pass upon me, and are already passing; but I thank God I know where to lay the weight of reproach, and contempt, and scorn, that hath been cast upon me."6 Who has any right to accuse Cromwell of dissimulation when he made these solemn declarations? If he was calumniated in his day of power, it is still more easy to calumniate him now that he is dead; and in this, many individuals have shown no lack of zeal. We feel no inclination for so dishonorable a task. In studying the Protector's character, let them only exercise a little of that impartiality which is due to every man, even to the most useless and obscure, and I entertain no doubt they will shake off the prejudices which darken his memory. The Protector handed to the committee a paper explanatory of his motives for refusing the title of king. It was in truth a mere question of title. In his eyes, and according to the just and picturesque expression he employed, it was merely asking him whether or not he would put a feather in his cap. Unfortunately the document above mentioned is lost. A crown had never been his aim. The object of his ambition was the liberty, peace, and glory of England. And he attained what he had so earnestly thirsted after. On the 21st of April he delivered another speech, in which casting a retrospective glance on his past life and on the course of Providence, he said, "After it had pleased God to put an end to the war of this nation; a final end; which was done at Worcester, I came up to the Parliament that then was; and though I had not been well skilled in Parliamentary affairs, having been near ten years in the field, I desired to put a good issue to all those transactions which had disordered the nation: believing verily that all the blood which had been shed, and all the distemper which God had
208 suffered to be amongst us, -- were not the end, but the means, which had an end and were in order to somewhat. Truly the end then was, I thought, Settlement; that is, that men might come to some consistencies, -- to some settled order of things." Here Oliver shows a more exalted intelligence than Napoleon Bonaparte, who never ceased from battles, and who made them rather the end than the means. But it was necessary to put an end to this contest between the Protector and the Parliament. On the 7th of May the committee presented a new petition; and the next day he summoned the House before him, when, after a rather long speech, he said in a manner that admitted no further question: "I cannot undertake this government with the title of king. And that is mine answer to this great and weighty business." -- Thus he refused to place on his brows the crown of the Stuarts and of the Tudors. There are few men recorded in ancient or modern history who have been able, like him, to resist a similar temptation. For this posterity has not shown him much gratitude. His sole reward has been insult. We will be more just: we will give justice to whom justice is due, honor to whom honor. Royalist writers have blamed Oliver for not accepting the kingship. "In thus yielding to men of weaker minds than his own," says one of these historians,7 "Cromwell committed the same error which had been fatal to Charles. The boldest course would have been the safest. The wisest friends of the royal family were of opinion, that if he had made himself king de facto, and restored all things in other respects to the former order, no other measure would have been so injurious to the royal cause." The same writer goes even further, and adds: "His mind (Oliver's) had expanded with his fortune....Fain would he have restored the monarchy, created a House of Peers, and re-established the episcopal church." A singular fate is Cromwell's! Some reproach him for having desired to be king; others blame him for not having desired it.... . .Both are wrong. He evidently thought that monarchy was a form necessary to Great Britain; but it must be a constitutional monarchy, such as exists in the present day. He would have nothing to do with the republic of one party, or with the despotism of another. He could not establish this form of government during his
209 lifetime; but he did establish it after his death. Oliver is the real founder of the constitutional monarchy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is in this portion of Cromwell's life that writers have been the most active in search of hypocrisy, although on many other occasions, both before and after, the same reproach has been made against him. But he could say with St. Paul: Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. At the very beginning of his public life, he said to his friend Mr. St. John (11th September, 1643), "I desire not to seek myself." At a season when all minds were the most disturbed, and insults the most frequent, he remained calm, and opening his heart to Fairfax, wrote to him with Christian serenity and firmness: "Never were the spirits of men more imbittered than now. Surely the devil hath but a short time. Sir, it's good the heart be fixed against all this. The naked simplicity of Christ, with that wisdom he is pleased to give, and patience, will overcome all this." (11th March, 1647.) Oliver never lost his assurance in God: he never doubted that, sooner or later, the just Judge would vindicate him. "Though it may be for the present a cloud may lie over our actions to those who are not acquainted with the grounds of them," wrote he to Colonel Jones on the 14th of September, 1647; "yet we doubt not that God will clear our integrity and innocency from any other ends we aim at but His glory and the public good." The cloud has long hung over Cromwell's memory; but God has cleared it away at last, and the most prejudiced eyes will now look -- not upon the "monster" which their own imaginations had created, but -- upon an upright and sincere man, -- upon a Christian, and at the same time upon a hero. Oliver knew how to profit by the abuse of men. He was not puffed up by it, as is frequently the case; it the rather made him feel more keenly his own poverty and weakness; but it did not crush him. "When we think of our God, what are we?" he wrote to Lord Wharton, on the 2nd of September, 1648. "Oh, His mercy to the whole society of saints, -- despised, jeered saints! Let them mock on. Would we were all saints! The best of us are, God knows, poor weak saints; -- yet saints; if not sheep, yet lambs; and must be fed. We have daily bread, and shall have it, in
210 despite of all enemies. There's enough in our Father's house, and He dispenseth it." Was there no ambitious sentiment in the Protector, especially in this affair of the kingship? To deny this absolutely would be making him superior to the conditions of mortal existence. There is no man that sinneth not, says the Scripture. Oliver was not exempt from this general rule. All that we would say is, that he was conscientious in this struggle, and that if the flesh lusted against the spirit, the spirit fought against the flesh. Cromwell possessed a living faith; and that faith is a power which every day grows stronger in the heart. The object for which God places this heavenly and divine power in man is to overcome the evil, the earthly, and the sensual powers that have taken up their abode in his bosom. The question, therefore, is not whether these two contrary elements, -- the new man and the old man, -- do not exist together in the same individual; but whether the struggle between them is sincere and loyal. In Oliver the struggle was indeed sincere.
211 CHAPTER 14 LAST PARLIAMENT AND DEATH OF TIIE PROTECTOR The Installation -- Two Houses of Parliament -- The grand Design -- Petty Quarrels -- Parliament dissolved -- Conspiracies -- Death of Lady Claypole -- Consolations -- Fever -- George Fox at Hampton Court -- Cromwell's Words on his Deathbed -- Confidence -- The Storm -- Cromwell's Successor -- His Prayer and Last Words -- His Death -- Mourning -- Cromwell's Christian Character -- -Oliver and the Pope -- Restoration of Mankind -- The Protestant Way -- Oliver's Principles -- The Pope's Policy -- Conflicts and Dangers of the State -- The Two Men of the Seventeenth Century -- Conclusion. ON the 26th of June, 1657, Cromwell, after his refusal of the kingship, was again solemnly inaugurated Protector. The Speaker in the name of the Parliament presented to him in succession a robe of purple velvet, a bible, a sword, and a scepter of massive gold. The parliament was afterwards prorogued until the 20th of January in the following year. On its re-assembling it consisted of two houses. The Protector had told the Commons that he would not undertake the government unless there was some body which, by interposing between him and the lower house, would be able to keep seditious and turbulent persons in check. This was readily granted; and as soon as the regulating power was established, Oliver thought himself bound to revoke the exceptional measure by which he had supplied its place at the time of the first meeting of the Commons. Their number was augmented by the hundred excluded members, ...a bold and dangerous concession. The other house (as the Lords were called) consisted of sixty-one hereditary members, nominated by the Protector, among whom were his two sons and his two sons-in-law. Cromwell opened this new Parliament on the 20th of January, 1658, beginning with the usual form, My Lords and Gentlemen of the House of Commons. He returned thanks to God for His favors, at the head of which he reckoned peace and the blessings of peace, namely, the possession of
212 political and spiritual liberty. As religion was always the first of interests in his estimation, Oliver, when speaking of this power, which is the strength of nations, called to their remembrance "that England had now a godly ministry [clergy], a knowing ministry; such a one as, without vanity be it spoken, the world has not ...If God," added he in conclusion, "should bless you in this work, and make this meeting happy on this account, the generations to come will bless us." The proceedings of this Parliament did not answer to the Protector's expectations. The Commons would have no other house. One republican, Haselrig, refused to be made a peer, and took his seat in the Commons. Cromwell endeavored to raise the attention of parliament above all these trivialities, and direct it to the great questions which concerned the country. Summoning both houses before him on the 25th of January, the Protector said to them: -- "Look at affairs abroad. The grand design now on foot, in comparison with which all other designs are but low things, is, whether the Christian world shall be all Popery? Is it not true that the Protestant cause and interest abroad is quite under foot, trodden down? The money you parted with in that noble charity which was exercised in this nation, and the just sense you had of those poor Piedmonts, was satisfaction enough to yourselves of this, That if all the Protestants in Europe had had but that head, that head had been cut off, and so an end of the whole. "But is this of Piedmont all? No. Look how the houses of Austria, on both sides of Christendom, both in Austria Proper and in Spain, are armed and prepared to destroy the whole Protestant interest."1 After demonstrating his thesis, Oliver continued thus: -- "And look to that that calls itself the head of all this -- a pope! He influences all the powers, all the princes of Europe to accomplish this bloody work. So that what is there in all the parts of Europe but a consent, a co-operating, at this very time and season, of all popish powers to suppress everything that stands in their way?"2 All this was perfectly true. The statesmen of England did not then give way to fatal delusions. The Protector had eyes to see, and ears to hear.
213 Cromwell, after pointing out the dangers abroad, examined next into those at home; inquiring what blessings ought to be preserved, and what precautions should be taken for that purpose. All his thoughts were for the happiness of his people. "We have," said he, "two blessings: Peace and the Gospel. Let us have one heart and soul; one mind to maintain the honest and just rights of this nation. If you run into another flood of blood and war, this nation must sink and perish utterly. I beseech you and charge you in the name and presence of God, and as before Him, be sensible of these things, and lay them to heart.3 If you prefer not the keeping of peace, that we may see the fruit of righteousness in them that love peace and embrace peace, -- it will be said of this poor nation: Acturm est de Anglia, It is all over with England.4 "While I live, and am able, I shall be ready to stand and fall with you. I have taken my oath to govern according to the laws, and I trust I shall fully answer it. And know, I sought not this place. I speak it before God, angels, and men; I DID NOT. You sought me for it, you brought me to it."5 This noble language did not produce the effect that might have been expected from it. The Commons had not the Protector's piercing eye. Instead of embracing, like him, all Europe and its destinies, they squabbled about paltry interests and petty rivalries. The house lost itself in useless and dangerous discussions. Quarrels, dissension, and civil war were at the door, and "the English hydra," says Carlyle, "cherished by the Spanish Charles Stuart invasion, would have shortly hissed sky-high again, had that continued."6 There was a rumor of an army of 20,000 men appearing with a petition for the re-establishment of Charles Stuart, and of another force of 10,000 landing in England; "by the jealousy (to say no worse) of our good neighbors," wrote Hartlib, Milton's friend, to Pell.7 "Besides," continues he, "there was another petition set on foot in the city for a commonwealth, which would have gathered like a snowball." The well-disposed members endeavored, but without effect, to maintain order, and to direct the attention of the house to useful objects of
214 legislation. Many violent attacks were made upon the members of the other house, who were resolved to defend themselves. They forgot the great aims of the Protector, ...the liberty, prosperity, and glory of his country, and gave way to wretched personalities. Cromwell had far outstripped his age: his contemporaries could not follow him. The public men of England required that constitutional education which genius and the Gospel had given the Protector. This they have now received, and for it they are in an especial manner indebted to him. Yet for a time the nation was again placed between the democracy of the levellers and the despotism of the Stuarts, -- between the hammer and the anvil. It was necessary for such a state of things to be brought to a speedy termination. On the 4th of February, 1658, while the lower house was forgetting its dignity in some idle discussion, the usher of the Black Rod announced that his Highness, the Protector, was in the House of Lords, and desirous of speaking with the Commons. The first house (for such was their title) hastily complied with the summons. "My Lords and Gentlemen," said the Protector, "I would have been glad to have lived under my woodside, to have kept a flock of sheep, rather than undertaken such a government as this. But undertaking it by the advice and petition of you, I did look that you who had offered it unto me should make it good. "Yet, instead of that, you have not only disjointed yourselves but the whole nation, which is in likelihood of running into more confusion in these fifteen or sixteen days that you have sat, than it hath been from the rising of the last session to this day. They are endeavoring to engage the army, which is nothing else but playing the King of Scots' game (if I may so call him); and I think myself bound before God to do what I can to prevent it. I think it high time that all end be put to your sitting. And I do dissolve this parliament; and let God be judge between you and me."8 These were the last words uttered by him in public. He was then rapidly approaching that solemn moment when the judgment of the Almighty, to which he had appealed, was to be accomplished.
215 The most enlightened men thought with Cromwell. Hartlib wrote a few days after to Mr. Pell: "Believe me, it was of such necessity that, if their session had continued but two or three days longer, all had been in blood, both in city and country, upon Charles Stuart's account."9 As Oliver felt convinced that these disturbances originated chiefly with the principal officers of the army, he set aside Harrison and Ludlow, recalled Fleetwood from his government in Ireland, and canceled Lambert's commission; the rest were obliged to take an oath not to oppose the present government. All these measures were insufficient to check the fanatical republicans. Having failed in their design in parliament, they determined upon killing the Protector, and proclaiming King Jesus. The conspiracy was discovered, and the leaders were apprehended. A more formidable combination was preparing among the cavaliers. For three weeks the Marquis of Ormond had been living privately in London, engaged in promoting the kings affairs. Charles Stuart had an army of 8000 men and twenty-two ships ready to sail. Three of the conspirators were arrested, and, on the 8th of June, one of them, Doctor Hewet, was beheaded on Tower-hill. Although Cromwell was so occupied at home, he did not forget the evangelical Christians abroad. One of the last documents, which relate to his foreign policy, evinces his love for the suffering brethren. The poor Waldenses of Piedmont were again disquieted, and by Oliver's directions Milton addressed the following letter to Louis XlV.10 "To the most serene and potent Prince, Louis, King of France. "MOST SERENE AND POTENT KING, MOST AUGUST FRIEND AND ALLY. "Your Majesty may recollect that during the negotiation between us for the renewing of our alliance (which many advantages to both nations, and much damage to their common enemies, resulting therefrom, now testify to have been very auspiciously done), there happened that miserable slaughter of the people of the Valleys; whose cause, on all sides deserted and trodden down, we
216 recommended with the greatest earnestness and commiseration to your mercy and protection. Nor do we think your Majesty, for your own part, has been wanting in an office so pious and indeed so human, in so far as either by authority or favor you might have influence with the Duke of Savoy: we certainly, and many other princes and states, by embassies, by letters, by entrearies directed thither, have not been wanting. "After that most sanguinary massacre, which spared neither age nor sex, there was at last a peace given; or rather, under the specious name of peace, a certain more disguised hostility. The terms of the peace were settled in your town of Pignerol: hard terms indeed, but such as those indigent and wretched people, after suffering all manner of cruelties and atrocities, might gladly acquiesce in; if only, hard and unjust as they are, they were adhered to. They are not adhered to: the purport of every one of them is, by false interpretation and various subterfuges, eluded and violated. Many of these people are ejected from their old habitations; their religion is prohibited to many; new taxes are exacted; a new fortress has been built over them, out of which soldiers frequently sallying plunder or kill whomsoever they meet. Moreover, new forces have of late been privily got ready against them; and such as follow the Romish religion are directed to withdraw from among them within a limited time; so that everything seems now again to point towards the extermination of all those unhappy people whom the former massacre had left. "Which now, O most Christian King, I beseech and obtest thee, by thy right hand which pledged a league and friendship with us, by the sacred honor of that title of Most Christian, -- permit not to be done; nor let such license of butchery be given, I do not say to any prince (for indeed no cruelty like this could come into the mind of any prince, much less into the tender years of that young prince, or into the woman's heart of his mother), but to those most cursed assassins, who, while they profess themselves the servants and imitators of Christ our Savior, who came into the world to save sinners, abuse His merciful name and commandments to the cruelest slaughterings of the innocent. Snatch, thou who art able,
217 and who in such an elevation art worthy to be able, those poor suppliants of thine, from the hands of murderer's, who, lately drunk with blood, are again athirst for it, and think convenient to turn the discredit of their own cruelty upon the score of their prince's. Suffer not either thy titles or the frontiers of thy kingdom to be polluted with that discredit, or the all-peaceful Gospel of Christ to be soiled by that cruelty, in thy reign. Remember that these very people became subjects of thy ancestor, Henry, that great friend to Protestants; when Lesdiguieres victoriously pursued the Savoyard across the Alps, through those same valleys, where indeed lies the most commodious pass to Italy. The instrument of their surrender is yet extant in the public acts of your kingdom: in which this among other things is specified and provided against, That these people of the valleys should not thereafter be delivered over to any one except on the same conditions under which thy invincible ancestor had received them into fealty. This protection they now implore: the protection promised by thy ancestor they now suppliantly demand from thee, the grandson. To be thine rather than his whose they now are, if by any means of exchange it could be done, they would wish and prefer: if that may not be, thine at least by succor, by commiseration and deliverance. "There are likewise reasons of state which might induce thee not to reject these people of the valleys flying to thee for refuge: but I would not have thee, so great a king as thou art, be moved to the defense of the unfortunate by other reasons than the promise of thy ancestors, and thy own piety and royal benignity and greatness of mind. So shall the praise and fame of this most worthy action be unmixed and clear; and thyself shalt find the Father of Mercy, and his Son Christ the King, whose name and doctrine thou shalt have vindicated from this hellish cruelty, the more favorable and propitious to thee through the whole course of thy life. "May the Almighty, for His own glory, for the safety of so many most innocent Christian men, and for your true honor, dispose your Majesty to this determination. "Your Majesty's most friendly
218 "OLIVER, PROTECTOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND. "Westminster, 26th May, 1658." Cromwell at the same time forwarded the most earnest recommendations to Sir William Lockhart, his ambassador at the French court. We shall quote the last paragraph only, in which the hint given to Louis XIV. is more fully developed. "One of the most effectual remedies, which we conceive the fittest to be applied at present is, that the King of France would be pleased to make an exchange with the Duke of Savoy for those valleys; resigning over to him some other part of his dominions in lieu thereof, -- as, in the reign of Henry IV, the marquisate of Saluces was exchanged with the duke for La Bresse. Which certainly could not but be of great advantage to his Majesty, as well for the safety of Pignerol, as for the opening of a passage for his forces into Italy, -- which passage, if under the dominion and in the hands of so powerful a prince, joined with the natural strength of these places by reason of their situation, must needs be rendered impregnable."11 This was a happy idea. Had the geographical situation permitted the union of the Waldenses to the Swiss, for instance, it would have been a great blessing for that poor people. But most certainly it would not have been right to place them under the scepter of Louis XIV. In 1685, when this mighty king was no longer restrained by the Protector, who had been laid in the tomb many years before, it was at the instigation of France that new persecutions burst upon the unfortunate Protestants of Piedmont. It has often been said in these latter days, with reference to an alliance between Spain and France, that the government of the latter nation had shut their eyes to the necessities of the present moment; that formerly it was right for France to unite with Spain, because she was at war with England; but that now every international proceeding ought to be subordinate to the cordial understanding between France and England. This is true: but if the French government has committed a great fault, what shall we say of the sagacity of Cromwell, who, outstripping his
219 contemporaries by two centuries, inaugurated so long ago the alliance of those two countries? The Protector's health was now gradually declining: he was sinking under the weight of care and fatigue. England was pressing on and killing him. A domestic affliction increased his disorder. Lady Claypole, his favorite daughter, lay dangerously sick at Hampton Court. During fourteen days the unhappy father, unable to attend to any public business whatever, did not quit her bedside. On the 6th of August she died. His heart was crushed; but he soon found the Christian's consolation. Having withdrawn to his closet he called for his Bible, and desired a godly person there present to read to him a passage from the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians: I have learnt, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere, and by all things, I am instructed; both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things, through Christ which strengtheneth me. After these verses were read, the afflicted parent remarked: "This Scripture once saved my life; when my eldest son died; which went as a dagger to my heart; indeed it did." Thus did Oliver, when near his end, reveal to us all the magnitude of that deep sorrow, which the Bible calls the bitterness for a first-born (Zechariah 12:10). He declared that he was then on the point of dying of grief; adding that he was now once more reduced to the like extremity; but at the same time he exclaimed with King David: Thy word hath quickened me! After this, the bereaved father began to read the eleventh and twelfth verses, on St. Paul's contentment and submission to the will of God in all conditions of life. "It's true, Paul," said he, "you have learnt this, and attained to this measure of grace: but what shall I do? Ah, poor creature, it's a hard lesson for me to take out! I find it so!" The afflicted ruler, like Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they were not, read on to the thirteenth verse, where St. Paul says, I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me. These words began to reanimate his faith: Christ's omnipotence was felt in his soul; his heart found consolation, and he said to himself: "Yes, I feel it,
220 I see it -- He that was Paul's Christ .... is my Christ too!" What a beautiful sentiment! what an affecting scene! There are not many great men in history, who have shown themselves such true Christians in their hours of sorrow. Did the piety of Charlemagne, of St. Louis, or of the Electors of Saxony in the days of the Reformation, exceed that of the Protector of England? On the 21st of August he was attacked with a fever. He took, however, a few rides in the park at Hampton Court; and it was on one of these occasions that he received the last visit from George Fox. Several quakers had been sent to prison, and two years before, when the Protector was in London, Friend George had remonstrated with him on such proceedings. As he was taking his evening drive in Hyde Park surrounded by his guards, Fox rode up to the carriage door, in spite of all opposition. Oliver lowered the window, and welcomed him very cordially. But on the following day, at Whitehall, when Fox felt certain of success, the scene changed. "Cromwell spoke lightly of me," said the quaker. "As I was standing by the table, he came and sat on the end, and spake light things to me, ...and treated me scornfully. He said to me that my enormous self-confidence (he meant my confidence in God who was within me) was none of the least of my attainments." The quaker retired somewhat discontented. Fox thus describes his last interview. "I took a boat and went up to Kingston, and from thence went afterward towards Hampton Court, to speak with the Protector about the sufferings of the Friends. I met him riding into Hampton Court Park; and before I came at him, as he rode at the head of his life-guard, I saw and felt a waft (whiff or apparition?) of death go forth against him; and when I came to him, he looked like a dead man. After I had laid the sufferings of the Friends before him, and had warned him, according as I was moved to speak to him, he bid me come to his house .... . Then next day when I came he was sick, and I never saw him any more."12 These interviews between Oliver and George Fox are remarkable. It was a doctrine very similar to that of the Friends which had misled the former. He had believed it his duty to follow the inward voice instead of inquiring simply what the Almighty prescribes in his Word. Now, he blames the quaker for this very idea -- that God is in him and speaks in him. He
221 perceives in this pretended voice of Heaven "an enormous selfconfidence." Did the excesses to which the Friends carried the doctrine which had at first actuated Cromwell cause him to throw them off? Did he, before his death, forsake that erroneous theory which had led him so far? Did he die, as a simple and humble Christian man, exclaiming with Isaiah: To the law and to the testimony! Everything would seem to indicate it. Cromwell's disorder grew worse. He was soon advised to keep his bed, and as the ague-fits became more severe, he was removed to Whitehall. Prayers, both public and private, were abundantly offered up on his behalf. The Protector's language on his sick-bed unveiled his thoughts and the favorite occupations of his heart. According to the words of St. Paul, he set his affections on things above, and not on things on the earth. The sick man, tortured by fever, spoke much of the covenant between God and his people. He saw, on the one side, the covenant of works; but, on the other, he hailed with rapture the saving covenant of grace. "They were Two," he exclaimed, as he tossed on his bed; "Two, ...but put into One before the foundation of the world!" He was then silent for a time, but resumed: "It is holy and true, it is holy and true, it is holy and true! .... . Who made it holy and true? The Mediator of the covenant!" After a brief silence, he spoke again: "The covenant is but One. Faith in the covenant is my only support. And if I believe not, ...He abides faithful!" Cromwell's sole hope, when thus brought low, was in Him who cannot deny Himself. These words of Scripture seemed continually resounding in his heart: By grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8.) The dying Protector heard this declaration of the Apostle, and confidingly responded, Amen. As his wife and children stood weeping round his bed, he said to them: "Love not this world! I say unto you, it is not good that you should love this world! I leave you the covenant to feed upon!"
222 What a legacy! he knew its value -- a value far above that of the Protectorship of England. What the dying Christian begged for his children was that inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, of which St. Peter speaks, which fadeth not away, reserved for us in heaven. "Lord," he exclaimed, "Thou knowest, if I desire to live, it is to show forth Thy praise and declare Thy works." -- Another time he was heard moaning: "Is there none that says, Who will deliver me from the peril? ...Man can do nothing; God can do what he will." Thus did he place himself in the Lord's hands, according to that saying of the Apostle: If I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor; yet what I shall choose I wot not. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Oliver's mind, however, for a time returned to earthly things; but only as regarded his own responsibility in the sight of God and His judgment. At this solemn hour, feeling, as it were, in the presence of eternity, he declared that all he had done had been for the welfare of the nation, to save it from anarchy and from another war. As a public man, he showed no regret for his actions. We have seen that, deceiving himself, no doubt, in some cases, he had acted with an honest and firm conviction that all his proceedings were in conformity with the Divine will. Yet he could not escape from those anxieties which so frequently disturb sincere minds in the hour of death. He knew that he was a sinner. He could say with the Psalmist: - My sin is before me; and cry with Job: The terrors of God set themselves in array against me. Thrice over he repeated these words of Scripture: It is a fearful thing to fall into the Hands of the living God. But this trouble did not last long. Cromwell knew Him who died once unto sin, and could exclaim with David: Blessed is he whose sin is covered. He resumed: "All the promises of God are in Him: Yes, and in Him, Amen; to the glory of God by us us in Jesus Christ ...The Lord hath filled me with as much assurance of His pardon, and His love, as my soul can hold .... . I think I am the poorest wretch that lives: but I love God; or rather, am beloved of God ...I am a conqueror, and more than a conqueror, through Christ that strengtheneth me!"13 Such were Cromwell's engrossing reflections in those solemn moments, when the soul, no longer master of itself, shows what it really is. All his thoughts were for the Savior, for His covenant, for heaven. No projects of
223 ambition, no designs of his adversaries then occupied his mind. He thought of God alone. This is a decisive proof. We have seen men who have played a distinguished part in the world unbosom themselves entirely in the agitated dreams which precede death. A certain cardinal, for instance, who had led a dissolute life, but who had been at the same time an influential statesman, was heard to give utterance in his last moments to the language of obscenity. The brilliant veil of his glory and power was rent, and disclosed nothing but infamy and corruption. In like manner the veil, if indeed there was a veil, of Cromwell was torn asunder; in these .awful moments we may see to the bottom of his heart, and all that we can find there is the love of God and of His Gospel. May the Almighty give his accusers the power of sustaining, as well as he did, this terrible trial! On Monday (August 80), a dreadful hurricane burst over London. The wind howled and blew with such violence that travelers feared to set out on their journeys, and the chambers of Whitehall re-echoed with its hollow roar. Thurloe, on behalf of the council, asked the dying man, who was to be his successor? He replied that his name would be found at Hampton Court in a sealed paper, lying in a place which he pointed out. That document was never discovered; it was thought that Richard, his eldest son, was the person selected; but why should there have been so much mystery, if it was merely Cromwell's natural successor? We cannot refrain from the supposition that Henry was the name contained in that secret paper, -- his own second son, and who appeared to possess most, if not all of his father's great qualities. When we think of Oliver's character and discernment; when we reflect that he did not wish his choice to be made known until after his death; we cannot entirely reject the thought that it was Henry the former Governor and pacificator of Ireland, whom the Protector had pointed out as alone capable of carrying on in England his work of liberty, prosperity, and peace. That same night, in the midst of the tempest, several persons being in his chamber, and Major Butler among the rest, the dying Christian was heard offering up a solemn prayer, of which it has been said, by way of reproach, that it was the invocation of a mediator between God and his people, rather than that of a poor sinner. Whether he felt himself a sinner
224 or not, this very prayer will tell us; but by what right, if we regard the supplications of a dying parent for his children as a solemn and affecting thing what right do men presume to reproach the chief of a great people, if he prays for that people, at the very moment when God is resuming the reins He had placed in his hands, and is calling him to eternity? We cannot forbear wishing that God would give all the rulers of the nations that love of their people which is stronger than death, and of which the Protector has left us one of the noblest examples recorded in history. PRAYER "Lord, though I am a miserable and wretched creature, I am in covenant with Thee through grace. And I may, I will come to Thee for Thy people. Thou hast made me, though very unworthy, a mean instrument to do them some good, and Thee service; and many of them have set too high a value upon me, though others wish and would be glad of my death; Lord, however Thou dispose of me, continue and go on to do good for them. Pardon Thy foolish people! Forgive their sins and do not forsake them, but love and bless them. Give them consistency of judgment, one heart, and mutual love; and go on to deliver them, and with the work of reformation; and make the name of Christ glorious in the world. Teach those who look too much on Thy instruments, to depend more upon Thyself. Pardon such as desire to trample upon the dust of a poor worm; for they are Thy people too. And pardon the folly of this short prayer. And give me rest for Jesus Christ's sake, to whom, with Thee and Thy Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever! Amen."14 In such words Cromwell pardoned his enemies, and prayed for the misguided republicans; in fact he prayed even for Charles Stuart and his wretched satellites, who afterwards trampled upon the illustrious ashes of the Protector. On the Thursday following, Maidstone, who was in attendance on his Highness, heard him saying with an oppressed voice: "Truly God is good; indeed He is; He will not" his voice failed him; what he would have
225 added was undoubtedly ...... "leave me: He will not leave me." He spoke again from time to time, in the midst of all his sufferings, with much cheerfulness and fervor of spirit. "I would be willing to live," he said, "to be farther serviceable to God and His people; but my work is done. Yet God will be with His people." Ere long he betrayed by his movements that agitation which often precedes death; and when something was offered him to drink, with the remark that it would make him sleep, he answered: "It is not my design to drink or sleep; but my design is to make what haste I can to be gone." Towards morning he showed much inward consolation and peace, annihilating and judging himself before God. This was the 3d of September, 1658, the anniversary of his famous battles of Dunbar and Worcester; a day always celebrated by rejoicings in honor of these important victories. When the sun rose, he was speechless, and between three and four o'clock in the afternoon, he expired. God shattered all his strength on this festival of his glory and his triumphs. Most of my readers are familiar with Pascal's remarks on the death of the Protector. "Cromwell," he says, "would have laid waste all Christendom, the royal family would have been forever ruined, and his own forever in the ascendant, but for a little grain of sand which stuck in his urethra. Rome herself would have trembled under him, but this little morsel of gravel, for it was nothing else, stopping in that place .... . behold him lying dead, his family brought down, and the King restored." -- This passage shows that Pascal was not so well versed in history, as in Christianity and in mathematics. Instead of a grain of sand, it was a violent fever caught in the same palace where his favorite daughter had breathed her last, which carried off the greatest Englishman of the seventeenth century. Under one form or under another, it is always the worm that eats into all human power and glory. All flesh is grass, and all the goodness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it. The sorrow of the Protector's friends and of the majority of the nation cannot be described. "The consternation and astonishment of all people," wrote Fauconberg tO Henry Cromwell, "are inexpressible: their hearts seem as if sunk within them." -- "I am not able to speak or write," said
226 Thurloe; "this stroke is so sore, so unexpected, the Providence of God in it so stupendous, considering the person that has fallen, the time and season wherein God took him away, with other circumstances, I can do nothing but put my mouth in the dust and say, It is the Lord ...It is not to be said what affliction the army and people show to his late Highness: his name is already precious. Never was there any man so prayed for."15 We have said that a violent tempest burst over London shortly before Cromwell's death. Many of the large trees in St. James's Park were torn up by the roots. The poet Waller, in his celebrated lines, represents the Protector's dying groans shaking the island of Great Britain, and the ocean swelling with agitation at the loss of its master, who, like the founder of Rome, had disappeared in a storm. We must resign! Heaven his great soul doth claim In storms, as loud as his immortal fame: His dying groans, his last breath shakes our isle; And trees, uncut, fall for his funeral pile; About his palace their broad roots are tost Into the air. So Romulus was lost! New Rome in such a tempest miss'd her king, And from obeying, fell to worshipping. On OEta's top thus Hercules lay dead, With ruin'd oaks and pines about him spread. The poplar, too, whose bough he wont to wear On his victorious head, lay prostrate there. These his last fury from the mountain rent: Our dying hero from the continent Ravish'd whole towns, and forts from Spaniards reft, As his last legacy to Britain left. The ocean, which so long our hopes confined, Could give no limits to his vaster mind; Our bounds' enlargement was his latest toil, Nor hath he left us prisoners to our isle: Under the tropic is our language spoke, And part of Flanders hath received our yoke. From civil broils he did us disengage, Found nobler objects for our martial rage, And, with wise conduct, to his country show'd The ancient way of conquering abroad.
227 Ungrateful then! if we no tears allow To him that gave us peace and empire too. Princes that fear'd him grieve, concern'd to see No pitch of glory from the grave is free. Nature herself took notice of his death, And, sighing, swell'd the sea with such a breath, That, to remotest shores her billows roll'd, The approaching fate of their great ruler told. Most of the sovereigns of Europe went into mourning, and even Louis XIV. showed this outward sign of respect. The liberties of Europe, religious freedom, and the great cause of Protestantism, might with better reason have covered themselves with the funeral crape. But the death of their illustrious supporter was not destined to bring them down with him to the tomb. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but THE WORD OF OUR GOD SHALL STAND FOR EVER. Richard gave his father a magnificent funeral. For two months the embalmed body of the Protector lay in state at Somerset House, in a hall hung with black, and illuminated by a thousand wax-lights. An inscription was placed over the coffin, on which these words might be read: -- He died with great assurance and serenity of soul. This is the truth, and the fact that it establishes is more glorious to the Protector than all the parade of velvet pall and funereal torches. It is seldom that a great man is a Christian; but Cromwell was both. The result has been, that men of the world have scouted him as a hypocrite. By honor and dishonor, he could say with St. Paul, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true. It would be an act of great meanness, a criminal falsehood, if those who, by studying the life of this great man, find in him an upright heart and a sincere piety, should unite their voices with those of his detractors. We, on our part, desire to the utmost of our ability to renounce all participation in this gross imposture. What most distinguishes Cromwell above all great men, and especially above all statesmen, is the predominance in him, -- not only in his person, but also in his government, -- of the evangelical and Christian element. He thought that the political and national greatness of Britain could not be established in a firm manner, unless the pure Gospel was communicated to the people, and unless a truly christian life flowed through the veins of the
228 nation. Its blood was frozen; and he thought that in order to restore their former vigor to the British people, Christianity must again set their hearts beating. Of all political systems, surely this is as good as any other. The Reformation and the Romish hierarchy, Oliver and the pope, both thought that the influence of the Church was necessary to the prosperity of the State. But although they agreed on the necessity of this influence, they differed wholly as to its nature. In Oliver's system the influence of the Church upon the State is purely internal -- it is moral or religious; while in the papal system this influence is essentially external, being ecclesiastical or political. For Cromwell the Church was the invisible Church with its spiritual powers; for the pope, it was the visible hierarchy of Rome with its plots and intrigues. Humanity ought to be sanctified and glorified: this is the function of Christianity. But, according to Oliver and Protestantism, this great object will be obtained by the conversion of every individual man. Faith brings to man a new life, purifies all his natural capacities and consecrates them to God. Undoubtedly the Church is the means by which this work of restoration is accomplished. But it is not by its outward organization, by its clerical frame-work, by magical virtues concealed in the sacraments, that it is effected; it is brought about by the preaching of the Word, and by the operation of the Holy Ghost. To advance this work of regeneration is not exclusively the province of the ministers of the Church; it belongs to all Christians. We have seen how Oliver insisted on this point in Scotland. Christ dwells in every believer, and He cannot abide there in inactivity. If in heaven He is, for the salvation of His people, prophet, priest and king; on earth they should imitate Him, and be, for His glory, prophets, priests, and kings. Life and activity -- a life and activity conformable to the law of God -- being thus carried by evangelical Christianity into each individual, are also carried into the mass, into society, into the Church, and into the State. In those nations where the evangelical spirit prevails, the moral, religious, and intellectual life will be developed; every force will be set in motion; liberty on the one hand, submission to the laws on the other, will be blessings
229 permanently acquired; and the nation will arrive at a degree of power, greatness, and glory, that others will never attain. Although in the bosom of Protestant nations evangelical Christianity is far from having reached the perfection it ought to possess, it is sufficient to compare these nations with others, in order to perceive that such is, in general, the effect of those principles of which Oliver was one of the most eminent advocates. In Great Britain and Spain we have a signal illustration of this truth. If Cromwell salutes the English nation, as "a very great people -- the best people in the world," -- it is because they are "a people that have the highest and clearest profession among them of the greatest glory, namely Religion." If some who desire to have "horse-races, cock-fightings, and the like," say, "They in France are so and so!" Oliver replies, "Have they the Gospel as we have? They have seen the sun but a little. We have great lights!" ...He declares what has been the principal means employed by him to effect the good of the British nation: "I have been seeking of God, -- from the great God, -- a blessing upon you (the Parliament), and upon these nations." In his closet, alone, and on his knees, he wrestled with God to promote the good of his people. One cause was with him superior to all the political interests of his people -- the cause of Christ; and Cromwell knew that it was by being faithful to this, that he could secure the true interests of his nation. "It is your glory," said he to Parliament, "and it is mine -- if I have any in the world is my glory that I know a cause which yet we have not lost; but do hope we shall take a little pleasure rather to lose our lives than lose!" .... In what did Oliver place his hope and his confidence for the great cause which he upheld? "Supposing this cause or this business must be carried on," said he to the first Parliament, on the 22d of January, 1655, "it is either of God or of man. If it be of man, I would I had never touched it with a finger. If I had not had a hope fixed in me that this cause and this business was of God, I would many years ago have run from it. If it be of God, He will bear it up. If it be of man, it will tumble; as everything that hath been of man since the world began hath done. And what are all our histories, and other traditions of actions in former times, but God manifesting himself, that He hath shaken, and tumbled down, and trampled
230 upon, everything that he hath not planted? And as this is, so let the Allwise God deal with it. If this be of human structure and invention, and if it be an old plotting and contriving to bring things to this issue, and that they are not the births of Providence, -- then they will tumble. But if the Lord take pleasure in England, and if He will do us good, -- He is very able to bear us up! Let the difficulties be whatsoever they will, we shall in His strength be able to encounter with them. And I bless God I have been inured to difficulties; and I never found God failing when I trusted in Him. I can laugh and sing, in my heart, when I speak of these things to you or elsewhere .... . "For I look at the people of these nations as the blessing of the Lord: and they are a people blessed by God. They have been so; and they will be so, by reason of that immortal seed which hath been, and is among them: those regenerated ones in the land, of several judgments, who are all the flock of Christ, and lambs of Christ: His, though perhaps under many unruly passions and troubles of spirit, whereby they give disquiet to themselves and others. Yet they are not so to God; since to us He is a God of other patience; and He will own the least of truth in the hearts of His people. And the people being the blessing of God, they will not be so angry but they will prefer their safety to their passions, and their real security to forms, when necessity calls for supplies. Had they not well been acquainted with this principle, they had never seen this day of Gospel liberty." Nothing was more offensive to Oliver than to hear it said that it was his wisdom and his skill which had given liberty, dominion, and glory to his people. He tore off the wreath that some would thus have placed around his brows, and like those mysterious beings in the Apocalypse, he cast his crown before the throne of the Lamb, saying: "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power!" "`It was,' say some, `the cunning of the Lord Protector,' -- I take it to myself, -- `it was the craft of such a man, and his plot, that hath brought it about! And as they say in other countries, There are five or six cunning men in England that have skill; they do all these things.' Oh, what blasphemy is this! Because men that are
231 without God in the world, and walk not with Him, know not what it is to pray or believe. These men that live upon their mumpsimus and sumpsimus, their masses and service-books, their dead and carnal worship, -- no marvel if they be strangers to God, and to the works of God, and to spiritual dispensations. And because they say and believe thus, must we do so too? We in this land have been otherwise instructed; even by the Word, and Works, and Spirit of God. "To say that men bring forth these things when God doth them, -- judge you if God will bear this! I wish that every sober heart, though he hath had temptations upon him of deserting this cause of God, yet may take heed how he provokes and falls into the hands of the living God by such blasphemies as these! According to the tenth of the Hebrews: If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin. A terrible word! It was spoken to the Jews who, having professed Christ, apostatized from Him. What then? Nothing but a fearful falling into the hands of the living God! -- They that shall attribute to this or that person the contrivances and production of those mighty things God hath wrought in the midst of us; and fancy that they have not been the revolutions of Christ Himself, upon whose shoulders the government is laid, -- they speak against God, and they fall under His hand without a Mediator. "If we deny the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the glory of all His works in the world, by which He rules kingdoms, and doth administer, and is the rod of His strength, -- we provoke the Mediator: and He may say: I will leave you to God, I will not intercede for you; let Him tear you to pieces! I will leave thee to fall into God's hands; thou deniest me my sovereignty and power committed to me; I will not intercede nor mediate for thee; thou fallest into the hands of the living God! -- I may be thought to press too much upon this theme. But I pray God it may stick upon your hearts and mine. The worldly-minded man knows nothing of this, but is a stranger to it; and thence his atheisms, and murmurings at instruments, yea, repining at God Himself. And no wonder; considering the Lord hath done such things amongst us as have not been known in the
232 world these thousand years, and yet notwithstanding is not owned by us!" When Oliver set forth religion as the true source of a nation's prosperity, it was not a religion of impressions only, an enthusiastic and fanatical religion; no! it was a moral religion. In his eyes, morality was quite as important as doctrine: he knew that faith without works is dead. "I did hint to you my thoughts about the reformation of manners," he said to Parliament on the 17th of September, 1656. "And those abuses that are in this nation through disorder, are a thing which should be much in your hearts. It is that which, I am confident, is a description and character of the interest you have been engaged against, the cavalier interest; the badge and character of countenancing profaneness, disorder, and wickedness in all places, -- and whatever is most of kin to these, and most agrees with what is Popery, and with the profane nobility and gentry of this nation! In my conscience, it was a shame to be a Christian, within these fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years, in this nation! Whether in Caesar's house, or elsewhere! It was a shame, it was a reproach to a man; and the badge of `Puritan' was put upon it. -- We would keep up nobility and gentry: -- and the way to keep them up is, not to suffer them to be patronizers or countenancers of debauchery and disorders! And you will hereby be as laborers in that work of keeping them up. "A man may tell as plainly as can be what becomes of us, if we grow indifferent and lukewarm in repressing evil, under I know not what weak pretensions. If it lives in us, therefore; I say, if it be in the general heart of the nation, it is a thing I am confident our liberty and prosperity depend upon -- Reformation. Make it a shame to see men bold in sin and profaneness, and God will bless you. You will be a blessing to the nation; and by this, will be more repairers of breaches than by anything in the world. The mind is the man. If that be kept pure, a man signifies somewhat; if not, I would very fain see what difference there is betwixt him and a beast. He hath only some activity to do some more mischief." Oliver exerted all his eloquence to persuade the parliament that piety and decision in God's cause could alone save England and Protestantism. There was never, perhaps, a man more decided than Cromwell, and he would fain
233 have imparted some of this spirit to all who had the means of influencing the prosperity of Great Britain and of the Protestant world. "Now if I had the tongue of an angel," he continued in the speech we have just quoted; "if I was so certainly inspired as the holy men of God have been, I could rejoice, for your sakes, and for these nations' sakes, and for the sake of God, and of his cause which we have all been engaged in, if I could move affections in you to that which, if you do it, will save this nation! If not, -- you plunge it, to all human appearance, it and all interests, yea and all Protestants in the world, into irrecoverable ruin! -- "Therefore, I pray and beseech you, in the name of Christ, show yourselves to be men; quit yourselves like men! It doth not infer any reproach if you do show yourselves men: Christian men, which alone will make you `quit yourselves.' I do not think that, to this work you have in hand, a neutral spirit will do. That is a Laodicean spirit; and we know what God said of that Church: it was lukewarm, and therefore he would spue it out of his mouth! It is not a neutral spirit that is incumbent upon you. And if not a neutral spirit, it is much less a stupefied spirit, inclining you, in the least disposition, the wrong way! "Men are, in their private consciences, every day making shipwreck; and it's no wonder if these can shake hands with persons of reprobate interests: -- such, give me leave to think, are the popish interests. It is not such a spirit that will carry this work on! It is men in a Christian state; who have works with faith; who know how to lay hold on Christ for remission of sins, till a man be brought to glory in hope. Such a hope kindled in men's spirits will actuate them to such ends as you are tending to. "If men, through scruple, be opposite, you cannot take them by the hand to carry them along with you, -- it were absurd: if a man be scrupling the plain truth before him, it is in vain to meddle with him. He hath placed another business in his mind; he is saying, `Oh, if we could but exercise wisdom to gain civil liberty, -- religion would follow!' Could we have carried it thus far, if we had sat disputing in that manner? I must profess I reckon that difficulty more than all the wrestling with flesh and blood. Doubting,
234 hesitating men, they are not fit for your work. You must not expect that men of hesitating spirits under the bondage of scruples, will be able to carry on this work, much less such as are merely carnal, natural; such as, having an outward profession of godliness, whom the apostle speaks of so often, are enemies to the cross of Christ; whose god is their belly; whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things. "Give me leave to tell you, -- those that are called to this work, it will not depend for them upon formalities, nor notions, nor speeches! I do not look the work should be done by these. No, but by men of honest hearts, engaged to God; strengthened by Providence; enlightened in His words, to know His Word, -- to which He hath set His seal, sealed with the blood of His Son, with the blood of His servants: that is such a spirit as will carry on this work. "Therefore I beseech you, do not dispute of unnecessary and unprofitable things which may divert you from carrying on so glorious a work as this is. I think every objection that ariseth is not to be answered; nor have I time for it. I say, Look up to God; have peace among yourselves. It is a union this between you and me: and both of us united in faith and love to Jesus Christ, and to His peculiar interest in the world, -- that must ground this work. If I have any peculiar interest which is personal to myself, which is not subservient to the public end, -- it were not an extravagant thing for me to curse myself: because I know God will curse me, if I have! I have learned too much of God to dally with Him, and to be bold with Him, in these things. And I hope I never shall be bold with Him! -- though I can be bold with men, if Christ be pleased to assist! -- "I say, if there be love between us, so that the (Three) Nations may say, `These are knit together in one bond, to promote the glory of God, against the common enemy; to suppress everything that is evil, and encourage whatsoever is of godliness,' -- yea, the nation will bless you! And really that and nothing else will work off these disaffections from the minds of men; which are great, --
235 perhaps greater than all the other oppositions you can meet with. I do know what I say. When I speak of these things, I speak my heart before God; -- and, as I said before, I dare not be bold with Him. I have a little faith: I have a little lived by faith, and therein I may be bold. If I spoke other than the affections and secrets of my heart, I know He would not bear it at my hands! Therefore in the fear and name of God: Go on, with love and integrity, against whatever arises of contrary to those ends which you know and have been told of; and the blessing of God will go with you! -- "I have but one thing more to say. I know it is troublesome: -- but I did read a Psalm yesterday, which truly may not unbecome both me to tell you of, and you to observe. It is the Eighty-fifth Psalm; it is very instructive and significant: and though I do but a little touch upon it, I desire your perusal at pleasure. "It begins: Lord, Thou hast been very favorable to Thy land; Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy people; Thou hast covered all their sin. Thou hast taken away all the fierceness of Thy wrath. Thou hast turned Thyself from the fierceness of Thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause Thine anger towards us to cease. Wilt Thou be angry with us for ever; wilt Thou draw out Thy anger to all generations? Wilt Thou not revive us again, that Thy people may rejoice in Thee? Then he calls upon God as the God of his salvation, and then saith he: I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints; but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear Him! Oh! -- that glory may dwell in our land! Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good, and our land shall yield her increase. -Righteousness shall go before Him, and shall set us in the way of His steps."
236 Such, then, was Oliver's policy: "Be united in faith and love to Christ! Suppress everything that is evil, and encourage whatsoever is of godliness." This is not the policy of the pope. The kingdom of God, says he, is in the Church; the Church is in the hierarchy and the hierarchy is in the pope. The Church finds the State far from God, without life from above; and imparts to it that life, not by regenerating the individuals who compose that society, but by attaching them in a mass to its own ecclesiastical organization. If the State submits to the Church, it is a Christian state; if it opposes the Church, i.e. the pope, it is not of Christ or of His covenant. Popery does not positively exclude the internal work, which is the essence of Protestantism; but no great importance is attached to it. All that Romanism requires is submission to the papacy, and an outward, legal morality. And how low the standard of that morality has been brought may be learned from the class-books employed in her theological seminaries. While the Protestant principle gives a nation liberty, life, and order; the Romanist principle, on the contrary, brings to it slavery, disorder, and death. The Romish Church would fain take the State under its guardianship, and insinuates itself everywhere in order to direct it. Hence there arise at every moment conflicts and disputes. The State complains that the Church infringes on its rights; and the Church, that the State encroaches on religion; and as the State and the Church have each their partisans, this may lead to a civil war. Such struggles are not rare in the countries subjected to Roman-catholicism, and of this in our days, France, Spain, and other popish kingdoms present frequent examples. When I see the British government proposing the formation of a political connection with the pope, I fancy I behold those kings of the ancient nations, whom the Roman arms subdued, humbly stretching out their enfeebled hands to Rome that she may rivet on them the manacles of the conqueror. The centralization, which is the characteristic of Popery, confers on it great strength. Doubtless the time is past when by a papal bull an interdict was pronounced against a whole people, and when even kings were compelled to bend the knee before it. Yet the allocutions, the encyclical
237 letters, and the confessional, still possess a certain power, and even in these times, many states (Prussia for instance), which have had to deal with Rome, have experienced ample proof of this. The Romish Church is so much the more formidable to the peace and prosperity of nations, as she has no fixed political principles, but seeks merely her own power, and willingly allies herself with every party, provided some advantage can be derived from it. She will unite with kings against their subjects, and with subjects against their kings, just as her interest may require. She will be despotic, she will be liberal: she will be proud, and she will be meek. She aims at one thing only -- to bind prince and people under the throne of the Vatican, and to maintain herself erect above them, treading with one foot on the hand of the sovereign, and with the other on the heart of the people. This servitude, which Popery brings on the nations, necessarily leads in their case to a moral and intellectual torpor, which ere long becomes a political and industrial death. Unhappy Ireland, as we have before remarked, is the true substratum of Roman-catholicism. Such is the system which Oliver Cromwell rejected, and for which he substituted the Gospel. He was wrong when he determined to forbid the mass; and we have seen that afterwards he was willing to tolerate it. Full liberty of conscience to all was his great principle, and it will gradually become the device of the whole world. But that was not properly the question, which was political rather than religious. It was this: Could the subjects of a foreign prince be active citizens in another state, and take part in its administration? If individuals were excluded from the government of Great Britain, who had made oath of fidelity to the princes of Versailles, of the Escurial, or of the imperial castle of Vienna, why should the subjects of the prince of the Quirinal be admitted? It might have been said that the cases were very different. If there was a difference, was it not in this, that in England, for instance, there was greater danger from the Pope than from the King of France? The latter had no pretensions on England, while the former had many. A foreign king communicates but seldom with his subjects who may be in London, while the virtue and fidelity of a subject of the prince of the
238 Quirinal consist in being as constantly as possible in communication with that prince or with his agents. I will not solve the question: it is not my business. Others may consider it their duty to examine it; I content myself with stating it as I should imagine it must have appeared to Oliver Cromwell. For him there was, however, another element in this question. The prince of the Vatican was in his eyes a malignant power, the man of sin, who necessarily brings desolation and destruction upon the nations. The statesmen of our days reject this thought, and regard it as a folly. We believe that they are mistaken, and that they will see their error before long. Much has been said of Cromwell's ambition. This made him take up arms, this made him become Protector, this agitated him during the discussion on the kingship! The ambition of one man! ...and is this all that man can see in his life? It is a paltry manner of viewing history. In truth it was a very different thing, and very different thoughts which filled Oliver's bosom. It was not a feather in his cap that occupied his mind: he was fighting the great battle against the papacy and royalty of the Middle Ages, -- the greatest that history has had to describe since the establishment of Christianity and the struggle of the Reformation. The result of this battle was the deliverance of the present age and of ages yet to come. Without Cromwell, humanly speaking, liberty would have been lost not only to England, but to Europe. Even Hume in one place ascribes this immense and glorious result to the puritans. We must add, that the defeat of liberty would have been the defeat of the Gospel. In the seventeenth century there were but two men: Louis XIV. and Oliver Cromwell; the former representing absolutism and Roman-catholicism; the latter, evangelical Christianity and liberty. There were certainly in that age other important personages; and who will not recall to mind the generous Gustavus Adolphus? But the two chief figures are Louis and Oliver. Between them -- between their systems, if not between their persons, -- the struggle was fought; and the victory, although slow and long disputed, particularly in France, remained with Oliver. They are the representatives of two principles, -- of two worlds. The two gigantic figures are each
239 raised on a lofty pedestal; and their shadows fall not only on their own age, but extend over all future times. I have been in England; I have seen in her great manufacturing cities the miracles of that activity which covers the whole world with the productions of a petty island in Europe. In the ports of London, of Liverpool, and other places, I have gazed upon those floating isles, those thousands of masts which bear afar over every sea the riches and power of the nation. I have admired in Scotland a simple, energetic, and active people, ready to sacrifice everything rather than abandon Christ and His Word. I have been present at the debates of the Parliament of the three kingdoms, and I have admired that eloquence which, not content with words, goes right to the heart of the matter, and impels the nation onwards in its great destinies. I have found everywhere, from the lower classes of the people to the exalted stations of nobles and princes, an enthusiastic love of liberty. I have wandered through those halls from which are conveyed to the four quarters of the world Bibles printed in every known language. I have prayed in the churches, and at the religious meetings have been transported by the powerful eloquence of the speakers and the acclamations of the audience. I have found in the families a morality comparatively greater than in other countries; and pious customs, both private and public, more generally prevalent. I have been struck with admiration at beholding the people of those islands, encompassing the globe, bearing everywhere civilization and Christianity, commanding in the most distant seas, and filling the earth with the power and the Word of God. At the sight of such prosperity and greatness, I said: Ascribe ye strength unto God: His excellency is over Israel, and His strength is in the clouds. O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places! the God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people ...Blessed be God! This is the work of the Reformation; -- it is Protestantism and the evangelical faith which have so greatly exalted this nation, and given it such influence. But God works by instruments; and if there is any one man who, in times past, has contributed more than another, more than all others, to the wonders of the present day, that man is ...Oliver Cromwell. The existing greatness of England is but the realization of the plan he had conceived.
240 If that enthusiasm for the Gospel; if that opposition to Popery, -- those two distinctive characteristics of his mind, which Cromwell has imprinted on the people of Great Britain, should ever cease in England; -- if a fatal fall should ever interrupt the christian course of that nation; -- and if Rome, which has already ruined so many kingdoms, should receive the homage of Old England .... . . Then, should I at any future period revisit her shores, I should find her glory extinct, and her power humbled to the dust. But this melancholy presentiment will never be realized. Great Britain will be faithful to the path which God, in Oliver's day, traced out for her. She will remain a city set upon a hill, which cannot be hid, and which scatters over the world light, civilization, and faith. Calling these things to mind, as I composed this sketch, I obeyed the dictates of my conscience. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. I BELIEVED, AND THEREFORE HAVE I SPOKEN
241 FOOTNOTES INTRODUCTION 1 Guizot, Hist. de la Revolution d'Angleterre, 1. 278. 2 See a letter from Pell, English minister in Switzerland, to Secretary Thurloe, dated 8 May, 1656, in Dr. Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 402, London, 1839. 3 Saying of Erasmus on Luther. 4 Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, 1. 236; 2d edit., Lond. 1846. 5 One of the Author's ancestors quitted Nismes a few years after Cromwell's intervention, and found a refuge at Geneva. CHAPTER 1 1 Barnabae Itinerarium, quoted by Carlyle 1. 33. 2 Carlyle's Cromwell, 1. 39. 3 Letters and Speeches, 1. 68. 4 Carlyle's Cromwell, 116 -- In the original this letter is dated, January, 1635, but the reader will bear in mind that the English year in those times did not begin until the 25th of March, which was New-year's day; this custom obtained in England until 1752. In all cases we give the year according to the new style, to prevent confusion. Thus, the last three months of 1635, old style, will be the first three of 1636, new style. 5 Domi in occulto creverat, et ad summa quaeque tempora fiduciam Deo fretam et ingentem animum tacito pectore aluerat. Defensio Secunda. 106 Hagae, 1654. 6 Religionis cultu purioris et integritate vitae cognitus. Ibid.
242 CHAPTER 2 1 Memoirs of Sir Philip Warwick, 247, London, 1701. 2 Prynne's New Discovery, etc. p. 57. 3 State Trials, 3. 748-752. 4 Gaizot, Hist. de la Rev. d'Angleterre; Preface, p. 11. CHAPTER 3 1 Les Quatre Stuards, by M. de Chateaubriand. OEuvre completes, 6. 2 Clarendon, Hist. Rebellion, book 10. 3 Letters and Speeches, Carlyle, 1. 158. 4 Gentleman's Magazine, 1787. Carlyle's Cromwell, 1. 269. 5 Charitas fraterna seu Christiana est omnium maxima; qua fideles, ut membra Christi, inter se diligunt atque adjuvant. J. Miltonis Doctrina Christiana, edidit R. Sumner, p. 483. 6 Ex. gr. Sir Walter Scott. 7 His own son, Oliver, who had been killed not long before. 8 Ellis, Original Letters, (First Series,) 3. 299. Carlyle, 1. 207. 9 Chateaubriand, Les Quatre Stuards. 10 In se prius imperator, sui victor, de se potissimum triumphare didicrat. Miltoni Defensio Secunda, 106, 107. 11 Rushworth, 6. 85; Carlyle, 1. 248. 12 Cited in Carlyle, 1. 258. 13 Harleian MSS. No. 6988, fol. 224; Carlyle, 1. 277. 14 Sloane MSS. 1519, fol. 79; Carlyle, 1. 324. CHAPTER 4 1 Letters and Speeches, 1. 289. 2 Neale, History of the Puritans, 2. 440. London, 1837.
243 3 Carlyle, 1. 296-300. 4 A young "Presbyterian Church in England," professing the principles of the Free Church of Scotland, at present numbers about eighty congregations; and the good spirit by which it is animated would seem to be a warrant of its progress and duration. 5 Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, 1. 287. 6 M. Guizot seems to have placed too much confidence in Ludlow's Memoirs. 7 Chateaubriand, Les Quatre Stuards, p. 149. 8 Clarendon, 3. 87, 88. 9 Southey, Life of Cromwell, 58. London, 1846. CHAPTER 5 1 Somers's Tracts, 6. 499-501; cited by Carlyle, 1. 337-340. 2 Commons Journals; 5. 513. Carlyle, 1. 326. 3 Chateaubriand. 4 Exact and impartial Account of the Trial, etc., of twenty-nine Regicides, p. 57. London, 1660. 5 Chateaubriand. 6 Birch, p. 101; Carlyle, 1. 432-435. 7 Birch, 3. 292. Speech 5, Sept. 17, 1656. 8 Speech 13, in Somers's Tracts, 6. 389, etc. Carlyle, 3. 333. 9 History of Rebellion, book 15, conclusion. 10 Les Quatre Stuards. OEuvres completes, 6. 147. 11 Guizot, Reval. d'Angleterre, 2. p. 180. 12 History of England. 10. Note C. London, 1839. 13 Carlyle, 2. 46. 14 Rebellion, book 6. See also end of book 11.
244 CHAPTER 6 1 Guizot, Revol. d'Anglcterre, 1. 202. 2 Sir J. Temple, Irish Rebellion, p. 109. London, 1646. 3 Carlyle, 2. pp. 59, 53. 4 Clarendon book 12. 5 Newspapers, in Parl. Hist., 19. 201. Carlyle, 2. 61. 6 Lingard, Hist. Eng. 10. Note A. Sections 4,6. 7 Newspaper in Cromwelliana, 67. Carlyle, 2. 83. 8 Virtutis etiam omnis et pietatis hortatores. Defensio Secunda 108. 9 Carlyle, 2. 120-139. 10 Memoirs of the Protector, by O. Cromwell, 1. 369. London, 1822, Carlyle 2. 160. 11 Harris, p. 513. Carlyle, 2. 177. 12 Mr. Newman and his friends. 13 In the Paris Journal, Le National. 14 The Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, in his Letter to the Bishop of Cashel. 15 Sir Robert Inglis, Speech at the Annual Meeting of the London Hibernian Society, 18th May, 1847. 16 Neale, History of the Puritans, 2. 554. London, 1837. CHAPTER 7 1 Letters and Speeches, 2. 169. 2 Hetherington, History of the Church of Scotland, 117. Edinburgh, 1843. 3 Newspapers, Parl. H. 19. 331. Carlyle, 2. 191-193. 4 Newspapers in Cromwelliana, p. 87. Carlyle, 2. 217. 5 Carlyle, 2. 209. 6 Russell's Cromwell, vol. 47 of Constable's Miscellany, 317. Carlyle, 2. 255.
245 7 The Cockpit was then and long afterwards a sumptuous royal lodging in Whitehall; Henry the Eighth's place of cock-fighting. Cromwell's family removed thither, by vote of the Commons, during the Irish campaign. The present Privy-council office is built on its site. 8 Carlyle, 2. 223. 9 Thurloe, 1. 159. Carlyle, 2. 232. 10 Thurloe 1. 158. Carlyle, 2. 236. 11 Newspaper Cromwelliana, p. 94. Carlyle, 2. 264. 12 De Civitate Dei, 13. 12. 13 Newsp. Cromwelliana, 101. Carlyle, 2. 302. 14 Carlyle, 2. 303. 15 Kimber's Life of Oliver Cromwell (Lond. 1724), 201. Carlyle, 2. 315. 16 Harris' Life of Cromwell, 513. Carlyle, 2. 323. 17 Cromwelliana, 113. Carlyle, 2. 339. 18 Hist. Church of Scotland, 120. 19 Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, 356. London, 1846. 20 Letter to St. John, 1st September, 1648. Carlyle, 1. 385. CHAPTER 8 1 Carlyle, 2,376. 2 Milton, State Papers, 106-114. Carlyle, 2.411, etc. 3 Chateaubriand, Les Quatre Stuards 179. 4 Noble, 1.330. Carlyle, 3.11. 5 Harl. MSS. No. 7502, f. 13. Carlyle, 2. 424. 6 Parl. Hist. 20. 318. Carlyle, 3. 23. 7 Parl. Hist. 20. 349. Carlyle, 3. 51, etc. 8 Neale, History of the Puritans, 2. 621. 9 Parl. Hist. 20. 404. Carlyle, 3. 103. 10 Revue Nouvelle, 1846, 399.
246 11 Bossuet. 12 The refusal of sites, against which some of the chiefs of the present ministry have protested in the Commons. CHAPTER 9 1 Baxter's Life, part 1. 72. 2 Somers' Tracts, 6. 389. Carlyle, 3. 360. 3 Carlyle, 3. 136. 4 Thurloe, 1. 726. Carlyle, 3. 165. CHAPTER 10 1 Parl. Hist. 20. 318. Carlyle, 3. 26, 30. 2 Southey, Book of the Church, 508. London, 1837. 3 Parl. Hist. 20. 349. Carlyle, 3. 68. 4 Derogant ita multum potestati Ecclesiae atque diffident, etc. J. Miltoni de Doctrina Christiana libri duo posthumi, edidit Carolus Ricardus Sumner, p. 371. 5·Pecunia Ecclesiae toxicum, veritatis angina, enuntiandi Evangelii merces. . .ejeceris ex Ecclesia nummularios illos, non columbas sed Columbam, Sanctum ipsum Spiritum, cauponantes. Milton, Defensio Secunda, p. 117. 6 Milton's system has been expounded by M. Albert Rilliet of Geneva, in his articles in the Semeur (Paris) entitled Un Individualiste Oublie, published in the numbers of that distinguished Christian journal of the 18th and 25th of February, and the 18th of March, 1847. 7 Burton's Diary, 1. 158. Introd. Carlyle, 3. 220-222. 8 Parl. Hist. 23. 161. Carlyle, 3.273, 274. 9 Villemain, Cromwell, 2. 200. 10 Fox's Journal, 1. 265. Leeds, 1836. 11 Ibid. Carlyle, 3. 149.
247 12 Burton, 1. 370. Carlyle, 3. 265. 13 Neale, 2. 624. 14 Neale, 2. 651. 15 Book of the Church, 509. 16 Neale, 2. 651. 17 Thurloe, 5. 735. Carlyle, 3. 249. 18 Harl. Miscel. 7. 617. CHAPTER 11 1 Lingard, Hist. England, 11. 244. London, 1839. 2 Les Quatre Stuards. 3 Life of Cromwell, p. 77. 4 Cromwell, it seems, did not think the Anglican reform sufficiently complete to deserve that name. 5 Burton's Diary, 1. 158. Carlyle, 3. 196-203. 6 Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 194. 7 Thurloe, 4. 633. Carlyle, 3. 157. 8 Southey's Life of Cromwell, 81. CHAPTER 12 1 Letter to the Prince of Tarente, quoted in Neale, 2. 640. 2 Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 21. 3 Leger, Histoire des Vaudois. -- Villemain and Victor Hugo have confounded the Vaudois of Piedmont with the inhabitants of the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. 4 Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 140. 5 Vaughan's Proctectorate, 1. 186. 6 Pell to Thurloe; Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 222. 7 Letter to Pell, ibid, 291.
248 8 Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 333. 9 Neale, Hist. Puritans, 2. 654, 655. 10 Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 214. 11 Thurloe, 4. 768. Carlyle, 3. 175. 12 Revue Nouvelle, 1846, 403. 13 See the dispatch of M. de Bordeaux, envoy of the King of France, to M. de Brienne, ibid. 14 Burnet, 89, 90. Lond. 1753. 15 Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 2, 21. 16 Neale, 2. 668. See also Clarendon's Rebellion, end of book 15. 17 Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 181,182. 18 Ibid. 1. 355. 19 Tota cohors papistica veram molitur conjurationem in nostros, in nos. Omnia prudentur consideranda, penetranda. Deliberandum de modis conservationis mutuae; quia scopum adversariorum Babylonicorum scimus .... . Sit Deus Zabaoth Protector Protectoris et Ecclesiae. Vaughan's Protectorate, 1. 114. 20 Vaughan's Protectorate, 2. 258. 21 Burnet, 1. 109. 22 Post tenebras Lux is the motto of Geneva: on its shield is also a sun bearing in its center the name of Jesus, I. H. S. CHAPTER 13 1 Neale, 2. 658. 2 Burton's Diary, 1. 158. Letters and Speeches, 3. 238. 3 Speech 6 in Carlyle, 3. 254, etc. 4 Barton's Diary, 1. 413. Carlyle, 3. 271. 5 Somers' Tracts, 6. 365. Carlyle, 3. 305-310. 6 Somers' Tracts, 6. 387. Carlyle, 3. 320. 7 Southey (Life of Cromwell), who in this agrees with Clarendon.
249 CHAPTER 14 1 Burton, 2. 351. Carlyle's Cromwell, 3. 405, 406. 2 Carlyle's Cromwell, 3. 407. 3 Ibid. 423. 4 Ibid. 424. 5 Carlyle's Cromwell, 3. 424. 6 Ibid. 426. 7 Vaughan's Protectorate, 2. 442 8 Burton, 2. 465. Carlyle's Cromwell, 3. 427-432. 9 Vaughan's Protectorate, 2. 442. Parl. Hist. 21. 205. 10 Milton's Prose Works, p. 815. Lond. 1833. 11 Ayscough MSS. 4107, f. 89; in Carlyle, 3. 446. 12 Fox, Journal, 1. 381, ed. 1656. Carlyle, 3. 452. 13 These details are taken from Carlyle, 3. 450, etc. Maidstone's Pamphlet. 14 Letters and Speeches 3. 457. Neale, 2. 696. 15 Letter to H. Cromwell in Thurloe State Papers, 7. 372.


File: the-protector.pdf
Title: D'Aubine - The Protector
Author: JHMDA DD
Author: J. H. Merle d'Aubigne
Subject: Reformation History
Keywords: Cromwell
Published: Fri Oct 24 02:48:56 1997
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