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ters to the
at Dunbar ; where, notwithstanding the superiority of their CHARLES numbers, the Scots were entirely defeated. Before the battle, the Kirk, relying on the strength of their forces, and being confident of success, would neither permit the king nor the English royalists to appear in the army : as for Cromwell, he lost no time in improving this victory. He marched farther into the country, and made himself master of Leith and Edinburgh, excepting the castle of the latter. And the better to recommend his moderation, and make them believe the fight- Whitlock. ing their religion was no part of his business, he sent word to
governor of Edinburgh castle, that the ministers with him self from the might return to their churches, and preach without being dis- disturbing turbed. To this the ministers' answer was,
that they found the Scotch in nothing expressed from whence they might infer security for liyion. their persons; and therefore they resolved to reserve themselves for better times, and wait upon him who had hidden his face for a while from the sons of Jacob."
Cromwell, to vindicate himself from the imputation of insidious dealing, replied in a letter to the governor to this effect: 6 that his kindness offered to the ministers in the His two letcastle was meant fairly, and without
governor of and that he expected to have met with the same candour and Edinburghfrankness; and that if their Master's service, as they pretend, this sulyject. was their principal concern, the fancy of suffering would not have made them so excessively cautious: that these divines misreport the conduct of his party when they charge them with drawing a persecution upon the ministers of Christ in England.
“ The ministers of England,” continues Cromwell, “are countenanced and supported: they have the liberty to preach the Gospel, though not to rail at discretion, nor under any pretended privilege of character to top the civil authority, and sink it towards insignificancy. No man, as he goes on, has been disturbed in England or Ireland for preaching the Gospel; nor has any minister been molested in Scotland since the English forces came thither.” And to deliver the rest of the letter in Cromwell's language, “ The speaking truth,” says this gentleman, 66 becomes the ministers of Christ. When ministers pretend to a glorious reformation, and lay the foundation thereof in getting to themselves power, and can make worldly mixtures to accomplish the same, such as their late agreement with their king, and hopes by him to carry on their designs ;
they may know that the Sion promised and hoped for will not be built with such untempered mortar.
“ And for the unjust invasion they mention, time was when an army of Scotland came into England, not called by the supreme authority. We have said in our papers, with what hearts, and upon what account we came, and the Lord hath heard us; though you would not, upon as solemn an appeal as any experience can parallel.
“Let them trust purely to the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, which is powerful to bring down strongholds, and every imagination that exalts itself, which alone is able to square and fit the stones for the New Jerusalem,
“ Then, and not before, and by that means and no other, shall Jerusalem (which is to be the praise of the whole earth), the city of the Lord, be built, the Sion of the Holy One of Israel: I have nothing to say to you, but that I am,
Id. Sept. 9.
“Sir, your humble servant,
66 O. CROMWELL."
The Scotch ministers returning an answer to this letter, Cromwell sent them a second proof of his rhetoric, much in the same strain with the former.
“ We look," saith he,“ upon ministers as helpers of—not lords over-the faith of God's people. I appeal to their consciences, whether any denying their doctrines and dissenting shall not incur the censure of sectary? And what is this, but to deny Christians their liberty, and assume the infallible chair?
“Where do you find in Scripture that preaching is included in your function? Though an approbation from men hath order in it, and may do well, yet he that hath not a better than that, he hath none at all. I hope He that ascended up on high may give his gifts to whom he please ; and, if those gifts be the seal of mission, be not envious, though Eldad and Medad prophesy : 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, which the instructed, edified, and comforted, can best tell the energy and effect of.
“ If such evidence be, I say again, take heed you envy not
for your own sakes, lest you be guilty of a greater fault than CHARLES Moses reproved in Joshua for envying for his sake.
“ Indeed you err through the mistake of the Scriptures : approbation 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 deny a man the liberty he hath by nature, upon a supposition he may abuse it. When he doth abuse it,— Id. p. 458. judge."
Some few days after the victory at Dunbar, the governor of Edinburgh-castle charged Cromwell and the Westminster juncto with falling off from their first principles, and not being true to the ends of the covenant; and, secondly, he objected, that, in England, men of secular employments had usurped the office of the ministry, to the scandal of the reformed Kirks.
In answer to the first part of this expostulation, Cromwell p. 476, &c. desired to know, whether their bearing witness to themselves He purges was good evidence of their having prosecuted the ends of the further imcovenant, and whether their own affirmation is sufficient to being false to justify their conduct? He tells them, that to infer this, is to the covenant. have too favourable an opinion of their own judgment and impartiality ; that their doctrines and practice must be tried by the touchstone of God's Word ; that other people must have a liberty of examining them upon these heads; and, where there is a right to try the cause, there must be a liberty allowed for giving sentence.
As to the charge of indulging the use of the pulpit to the laity, Cromwell replied in these words: “Are ye troubled,” He de saith he, “ that Christ is preached? Does it scandalize the the preachreformed Kirks, and Scotland in particular? Is it against the men and covenant? Away with the covenant, if it be so.
I thought reasoning the covenant and these men would have been willing that any from events. should speak good of the name of Christ : if not, it is no covenant of God's approving ; nor the Kirk you mention so much, the spouse of Christ.
“ In answer to the witness of God upon our solemn appeal,” continues Cromwell, “ you say you have not so learned Christ, as to hang the equity of a cause upon events. We could wish
that blindness had not been upon your eyes to those marvellous dispensations which God hath lately wrought in England. But did not you solemnly appeal and pray? Did not we do so too? And ought not we and you to think with fear and trembling of the hand of the great God, in this mighty and strange appearance of his, and not slightly call it an event ? Were not your expectations and ours renewed from time to time, whilst we waited on God to see how he would manifest himself upon our appeals? And shall we, after all these our prayers, fastings, tears, expectations, and solemn appeals, call these bare events? The Lord pity you
This canting logic sufficiently showeth the fallacy of reasoning from success. Thus, Cromwell argued closely ad hominem against the Scotch Covenanters, and turned their own artillery upon them. This fortunate campaign in Scotland raised the spirits of the independent party at Westminster, and made them more hardy in executing their scheme; and now, to recommend themselves farther to the populace, and draw all the sectaries to their interest, they passed a repeal of several penal statutes for not coming to church. The preamble sets forth, that, “ by the said acts, divers religious and peaceable
people, well affected to the prosperity of the commonwealth, Sept. 27.
have not only been molested and imprisoned, but also brought Penal star into danger of abjuring their country, or, in case of return, tutes against Dissenters to suffer death as felons, to the great disquiet and utter ruin repealed.
of such good and godly people.”
This year, George Fox, an ordinary mechanic, preached his Acts, &c.
new light,” and began the sect of the Quakers.
The defeat the Scots received at Dunbar brought the apply to the Covenanters to some temper, and recovered them towards king, and
uty to the government; and, for a proof of their recollec
tion, they invited the king to return from the Highlands, and Hist. of In- crowned him at Scone, with the customary ceremony and dependents, part. 4. magnificence.
" It is to be regretted that Collier's History of the Reign of Charles II. is so much shorter and less elaborate than his account of the reigns preceding. What we might have expected and desired is precisely the reverse ; for the historic notices of our monarchs, and the affairs of the Church, ought to grow and expand the nearer they approach to our own times. But whether Collier's health and patience were exhausted, or whether, finding himself treading on dangerous ground, in suppositos cineres,-he indulged a degree of timidity and diffidence, which were foreign to his nature and his usual conduct, we know not; but certain it is, that his reign of Charles II. is the least under the reign of
At Westminster, the house had a warm debate upon a bill CHARLES for turning all law-books and proceedings in courts of justice into English. To make way for the bill, Whitlock, a member An arguof the long-robe, declared he did not think it reasonable the turning the
law books generality should implicitly depend upon the skill of others, into English. nor altogether rely upon foreign integrity; and that, since the lives and fortunes of the people are governed by law, and subject to it, he thought it should be penned in the mothertongue, and lie open to common view.
To support this opinion, he observes that Moses read the law to the Jews in the Hebrew tongue; that God commanded him to write and explain this public provision in the language of the country; that they were deeply concerned to know where their rights, their privileges, were settled, where the forfeitures were marked out; and not be kept in ignorance of the rule by which their interest was directed. The laws of the Eastern nations (continues this gentleman) were in their mother-tongue. The laws at Constantinople were in Greek ; at Rome, in Latin ; and in France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and other places, their laws stand published in their native language. As for your own country (saith he), everybody, that can read the Saxon character, may find the laws of your ancestors in the English tongue. Pursuant to this regulation, William, duke of Normandy, commanded the laws to be proclaimed in English, that none might pretend ignorance. 865. And, to reinforce these authorities, he takes notice, that 36 Edward III. it was ordered in parliament that pleadings should be made in English ; and in the reigns of those times, when our statutes were enrolled in French, the sheriffs were Whitlock's obliged to proclaim them in English. In this speech, this Memorials, member endeavours to disprove the English laws being intro- deinc. duced by the Conqueror : and here his reasoning seems to Hist. pt. 9.
William the satisfactory of the series. It consists of no more than forty-four pages, though it should Conqueror. have been extended to six times as many; and is defective in that compass of conception and minuteness of detail, for which its author's other works are celebrated. The plan of this edition will not permit me to add those large stores of valuable matter, which might be selected from other sources, to illustrate the text. But should the public favour my design of composing a continuation of Collier's History (a design, the execution of which depends on the encouragement of subscriptions), I shall endeavour to make the reign of Charles II. a far more complete and inclusive work. Nor shall I be less careful to make the ecclesiastical records of his successors as full of useful facts and reflections as my opportunities of study shall permit.