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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 gainsayed. 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 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 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 things scandalous to the Kirk, and against the Covenant, because done by men of Civil callings,—we rejoice in them, notwithstanding what you say.
For a conclusion: In answer to the witness of God upon our solemn Appeal,2 you say you have not so learned Christ'as' to hang the equity of your Cause upon events. We, 'for our part,' could wish blindness have not been upon your eyes to all 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 you and we to think, with fear and trembling, of the hand of the Great God in this mighty and strange appearance of His; instead of slightly calling it an “event!"3 Were not both your and our expectations renewed from I With a patient victorious feeling.
2 At Dunbar. 3 but can slightly call it an event,' in orig.
time to time, whilst we waited upon God, to see which way 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.
Surely we, 'for our part,' fear; because it hath been a merciful and gracious deliverance to us. I beseech you in the bowels of Christ, search after the mind of the Lord in it towards you; and we shall help you by our prayers ; that you may find it out: for yet (if we know our hearts at all) our bowels do, in Christ Jesus, yearn after the Godly in Scotland. We know there are stumbling-blocks which hinder you: the personal prejudices you have taken up against us and our ways, wherein we cannot but think some occasion has been given,2 and for which we mourn : the apprehension you have that we have hindered the glorious Reformation think
you were upon :- I am persuaded these and such like bind you up from an understanding, and yielding to, the mind of God, in this great day of His power and visitation. And, if I be rightly informed, the late Blow you received is attributed to profane counsels and conduct, and mixtures3 in your Army, and such like. The natural man will not find out the cause. Look up to the Lord, that He may tell it you. Which that
. He would do, shall be the fervent prayer of,
Your loving friend and servant,
'P.S.' These 'following' Queries are sent not to reproach you, but in the love of Christ laying them before
"Me, Oliver Cromwell.
I have often, in Parliament and elsewhere, been crabbed towards your hidebound Presbyterian Formula ; and given it many a fillip, not thinking sufficiently what good withal was in it.
3 Admission of Engagers and ungodly people. VOL. II.
you; we being persuaded in the Lord that there is a truth in them. Which we earnestly desire may not be laid aside unsought after, from any prejudice either against the things themselves, or the unworthiness or weakness of the person that offers them.
If you turn at the Lord's reproofs, He will pour out His Spirit upon you; and you shall understand His words; and they will guide you to a blessed Reformation indeed,—even to one according to the Word, and such as the people of God wait for: wherein you will find us and all saints ready to rejoice, and serve you to the utmost in our places and callings. *
ENCLOSED is the Paper of Queries ; to which this Editor, anxious to bring out my Lord General's sense, will take the great liberty to intercalate a word or two of Commentary as we read.
1. Whether the Lord's controversy be not both against the Ministers in Scotland and in England, for their wresting and straining of the Covenant,' and employing the Covenant against the Godly and Saints in England (of the same faith with them in every fundamental) even to a bitter persecution; and so making that which, in the main intention, was Spiritual, to serve Politics and Carnal ends, -even in that part especially which was Spiritual, and did look to the glory of God, and the comfort of His People ?
The meaning of your Covenant was, that God's glory should be promoted : and yet how many zealous Preachers, unpresby
1 glorious Reformation,' “ blessed Reformation,' &c. are phrases loud and current everywhere, especially among the Scotch, for ten years past. * Thurloe, i. 158-162.
improving in the original.
terian but real Promoters of God's glory, have you, by wresting and straining of the verbal phrases of the Covenant, found means to menace, eject, afflict and in every way discourage !
2. Whether the Lord's controversy be not for your and the Ministers in England's sullenness at God's great providences,' and 'your darkening and not beholding the glory of God's wonderful dispensations in this series of His providences in England, Scotland and Ireland, both now and formerly, — through envy at instruments, and because the things did not work forth your Platform, and the Great God did not come down to your minds and thoughts.
This is well worth your attention. Perhaps the Great God means something other and farther than you yet imagine. Perhaps, in His infinite Thought, and Scheme that reaches through Eternities, there may be elements which the Westminster Assembly has not jotted down? Perhaps these reverend learned persons, debating at Four shillings and sixpence a day, did not get to the bottom of the Bottomless, after all ? Perhaps this Universe was not entirely built according to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, but by other groundplans withal, not yet entirely brought to paper anywhere, in Westminster or out of it, that I hear of ? O my reverend Scotch friends !
3. Whether your carrying on a Reformation, so much by you spoken of, have not probably been subject to some mistakes in your own judgments about some parts of the same, - laying so much stress thereupon as hath been a temptation to you even to break the Law of Love, the greatest of all laws,' towards your brethren, and those whom' Christ bath regenerated ; even to the reviling and persecuting of them, and to stirring up of wicked men to do the same, for your Form's sake, or but ‘for some
parts of it.
A helpless lumbering sentence, but with a noble meaning in it.
4. Whether if your Reformation be so perfect and so spiritual, be indeed the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus, it will need such carnal policies, such fleshly mixtures, such unsincere actings as some of these are ?"
some of these are ? To pretend to cry down all Malignants; and yet to receive and set up the Head of them all,' and to act for the Kingdom of Christ in his name, and upon advantage thereof? And to publish so false a Paper,? so full of special pretences to piety, as the fruit and effect of his "repentance,"— to deceive the minds of all the Godly in England, Ireland and Scotland; you, in your own consciences, knowing with what regret he did it, and with what importunities and threats he was brought to do it, and how much to this very day he is against it? And whether this be not a high provocation of the Lord, in so grossly dissembling with Him and His people ?*
Yes, you can consider that, my Friends; and think, on the whole, what kind of course you are probably getting into ; steering towards a Kingdom of Jesus Christ with Charles Stuart and Mrs. Barlow at the helm !
The Scotch Clergy reply, through Governor Dundas, still in a sulky unrepentant manner, that they stick by their old opinions ; that the Lord General's arguments, which would not be hard to answer a second time, have already been answered amply, by anticipation, in the public Manifestos of the Scottish Nation and Kirk;—that, in short, he hath a longer sword than they for the present, and the Scripture says, “There is one event to the righteous and the wicked,” which may probably account for Dunbar, and some other phenomena. Here the correspondence closes ; his Excellency on the morrow morning (Friday 13th September,
| Charles Stuart's : a very questionable 'name' for any Kingdom of Christ to act upon !
The Declaration, or testimony against his Father's sins. * Thurloe, i. 158-162.