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the behalf of us His poor servants, who do appeal to Him whether their desires flow from sincerity of heart or not. I rest,
Your Lordships' humble servant,
The Committee of Estates at Stirling or elsewhere debated about an Answer to this Letter; but sent none, except of civility merely, and after considerable delays. A copy of the Letter was likewise forwarded to Colonels Ker and Strahan and their Western Army, by whom it was taken into consideration; and some Correspondence, Cromwell's part of which is not yet altogether lost, followed upon it there; and indeed Cromwell, as we dimly discover in the old Books, set forth towards Glasgow directly on the back of it, in hopes of a closer communication with these Western Colonels and their Party.
While Ker and Strahan are busy at Dumfries,' says Baillie, 'Cromwell with the whole body of his Army and cannon comes 'peaceably by way of Kilsyth to Glasgow.' It is Friday evening, 18th October, 1650. The Ministers and Magistrates flee all ' away. I got to the Isle of Cumbrae with my Lady Montgo'mery ; but left all my family and goods to Cromwell's courtesy, '—which indeed was great; for he took such a course with his 'soldiers that they did less displeasure at Glasgow than if they 'had been in London; though Mr. Zachary Boyd,' a fantastic old gentleman still known in Glasgow and Scotland, 'railed on them 'all, to their very face, in the High Church;" calling them Sectaries and Blasphemers, the fantastic old gentleman! 'Glasgow, though not so big or rich as Edinburgh, is a much sweeter place; the completest town we have yet seen here, and one of 'their choicest Universities.' The people were much afraid of us till they saw how we treated them. Captain Covel of the Lord 'General's regiment of horse was cashiered here, for holding some blasphemous opinions."2-This is Cromwell's first visit to Glasgow he made two others, of which on occasion notice shall
* Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 93).
1 Baillie, iii. 119; Whitlocke, p. 459.
2 Whitlocke, p. 459; Cromwelliana, pp. 92, 3.
be taken. In Pinkerton's Correspondence are certain 'anecdotes of Cromwell at Glasgow ;' which, like many others on Cromwell, need not be repeated anywhere except in the nursery.
Cromwell entered Glasgow on Friday evening; over Sunday, was patient with Zachary Boyd: but got no result out of Ker and Strahan. Ker and Strahan, at Dumfries on the Thursday, have perfected and signed their Remonstrance of the Western Army;1 a Document of much fame in the old Scotch Books. 'Expressing many sad truths,' says the Kirk Committee. Expressing, in fact, the apprehension of Ker and Strahan that the Covenanted King may probably be a Solecism Incarnate, under whom it will not be good to fight longer for the Cause of Christ and Scotland; -expressing meanwhile considerable reluctancy as to the English Sectaries; and deciding on the whole to fight them still, though on a footing of our own. Not a very hopeful enterprise! Of which we shall see the issue by and by. Meanwhile news come that this Western Army is aiming towards Edinburgh, to get hold of the Castle there. Whereupon Cromwell, in all haste, on Monday, sets off thitherward; 'lodges the first night in a poor cottage fourteen miles from Glasgow ;' arrives safe, to prevent all alarms. His first visit to Glasgow was but of two days.
THE Western Colonels have given-in their Remonstrance to the Committee of Estates; and sat in deliberation on their copy of Cromwell's expostulatory Letter to that Body, the Letter we have just read,—in which these two words, 'security' and ‘satisfaction,' are somewhat abstruse to the Western Colonels. They decide that it will not be convenient to return any public Answer; but they have forwarded a private Letter of acknowledgment with 'Six Queries:' Letter lost to us; Six Queries still surviving. To which, directly after his return to Edinburgh, here is Cromwell's Answer. The Six Queries, being very brief,
1 Dated 17 October; given in Balfour, iv. 141-60.
may be transcribed; the Letter of acknowledgment can be conceived without transcribing :
Query 1. Why is "satisfaction" demanded? 2. What is 'the satisfaction demanded? 3. For what is the "security" de'manded? 4. What is the security ye would have? 5. From 'whom is the security required? 6. To whom is the security to be given ?"-Queries which, I think, do not much look like real despatch-of-business in the present intricate conjuncture!
This Letter, it appears, is, if not accompanied, directly followed by Mr. Alexander Jaffray' Provost of Aberdeen, and a 'Reverend Mr. Carstairs' of Glasgow, two Prisoners of Oliver's ever since Dunbar Drove, who are to 'agent' the same.2
'To Colonel Strahan, with the Western Army: These.'
Edinburgh, 25th October, 1650.
I have considered of the Letter and the Queries; and, having advised with some Christian friends. about the same, think fit to return an Answer as followeth :
'That' we bear unto the Godly of Scotland the same Christian affection we have all along professed in our Papers; being ready, through the grace of God, upon all occasions, to give such proof and testimony thereof as the Divine Providence shall minister opportunity to us to do. That nothing would be more acceptable to us to see than the Lord removing offences, and inclining the hearts of His People in Scotland to meet us with the same affection. That we do verily apprehend, with much comfort, that there is some stirring of your bowels by the Lord; giving some hope of His good pleasure tending hereunto: which we are most willing to comply with, and not to be wanting in anything on our part which may further the same.
And having seen the heads of two Remonstrances, the one of the Ministers of Glasgow, and the other of the 2 Baillie, iii. 120.
1 Balfour, iv. 135.
Officers and Gentlemen of the West,1 we do from thence hope that the Lord hath cleared unto you some things which were formerly hidden, and which we hope may lead to a better understanding. Nevertheless, we cannot but take notice, that from some expressions in the same Papers, we have too much cause to note that there is still so great a difference betwixt us as we are looked upon and accounted as Enemies.
And although we hope that the Six Queries, sent by you to us to be answered, were intended to clear doubts and remove the remaining obstructions; which we shall be most ready to do: yet, considering the many misconstructions which may arise from the clearest pen (where men are not all of one mind), and the difficulties at this distance to resolve doubts and rectify mistakes, we conceive our Answer in Writing may not so effectually reach that end, as a friendly and Christian Conference by equal persons' might.'
And we doubt not we can, with ingenuity and clearness, give a satisfactory account of those general things held forth in the Letter sent by us to the Committee of Estates,2 and in our former Declarations and Papers; which we shall be ready to do by a Friendly Debate,— when and where our answer to these particulars may probably tend to the better and more clear understanding betwixt the Godly Party of both Nations.
To speak plainly in a few words: If those who sincerely love and fear the Lord amongst you are sensible that matters have been and are carried by your State so as
1 Remonstrance of the Western Army is this latter; the other, very conceivable as a kind of codicil to this, is not known to me except at secondhand, from Baillie's eager, earnest, very headlong and perplexed account of that Business (iv. 120, 122, et seqq.).
2 Letter CXXXVII.
that therewith God is not well pleased, but the Interest of His People'is' hazarded, in Scotland and England, to Malignants, to Papists, and to the Profane,—we can, through Grace, be willing to lay our bones in the dust for your sakes; and can, as heretofore we have said,' still continue to say, That, not to impose upon you in Religious or Civil Interests, not dominion nor any worldly advantage, not these,' but the obtaining of a just security to ourselves,' were the motives, and satisfactions to our consciences, in this Undertaking. A just security;' which we believe by this time you may think we had cause to be sensible was more than endangered by the carriage of affairs with your King. And it is not success, and more visible clearness to our consciences arising out of the discoveries God hath made of the hypocrisies of men, that hath altered, or can alter,' our principles or demands. But we take from thence humble encouragement to follow the Lord's providence in serving His Cause and People; not doubting but He will give such an issue to this Business as will be to His glory and your comfort.
Your affectionate friend and servant,
There followed no 'Friendly Debate' upon this Letter; nothing followed upon it except new noise in the Western Army, and a straitlaced case of conscience more perplexing than ever. Jaffray and Carstairs had to come back on parole again; Strahan at length withdrew from the concern: the Western Army went its own separate middle road,-to what issue we shall see.
Here is another trait of the old time; not without illumination for us. 'One Watt, a tenant of the Earl of Tweedale's,
1 securing ourselves' in orig.
* Clarendon State-Papers (Oxford, 1773), ii. 551-2,