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and prime men of the nation, and the chief nobles, came to observe how affairs were proceeding. Just at this time, the self-denying ordinance, intended either to purge parliament, or to change the dominant influences which swayed the army, was in process of administration by the senate. The ordinance was one that required men who were members of parliament and officers of the
to give up either their appointments as officers, or their seats as members of parliament. Numbers of the leaders of the army were therefore in London, Oliver Cromwell among the rest. A great many of the most patriotic and honourable men in the country were also in the me. tropolis, and came to the Jerusalem Chamber to witness the discussions.*
* Conversation between Cromwell and Lord Orrery :
“While we were busied with these thoughts, there came a letter from one of our spies, who was of the king's bed-chamber; which acquainted us, that on that day our doom was decreed ; that he could not possibly tell what it was, but we might find it out if we could intercept a letter from the king to the queen ; wherein he declared what he would do. The letter, he said, was sewed up in the skirt of a saddle, and the bearer of it would come with the saddle on his head, about ten o'clock that night, to the Blue Boar Inn, in Holborn, for there he was to take horse and go to Dover with it. This messenger knew nothing of the letter in the saddle, but some persons in Dover did. We were at Wind. sor when we received the letter, and immediately on the receipt of it, Ireton and I resolved to take one trusty fellow with us; and with trooper's habits to go to the inn in Holborn. Which accordingly we did ; and set our man at the gate of the inn, where the wicket was only open to let people in and out. Our man was to give us notice when a person came there with a saddle, while we in the disguise of common troopers, called for cans of beer, and continued drinking till about ten o'clock. The sentinel at the gate then gave notice, that the man with the saddle was come in. Upon this we immediately rose, and as the man was leading out his horse saddled, came up to him with drawn swords, and told him we were there to search all that went in and out there ; but as be looked like an honest man we would only search his saddle, and so dismiss him. Upon that we ungirt the saddle, and carried it into the stall, where we had been drinking, and left the borseman with our sentinel ; then ripping up one of the skirts of the saddle, we there found the letter of which we had been informed; and having got it into our hands, we delivered the saddle again to the man, telling him he was an honest man, and bidding him go about his business. The man, not knowing what had been done, went away to Dover. As soon as we had the letter, we opened it; in which we found the king had acquainted the queen, that he was now courted by both factions ; the
THE MORAL AND THE MEN.
DURING the time that the house was full of the greatest men, and of those who might be considered the leading spirits, Jeremiah Burroughs, one of the clearest and calmest of the dissenting brethren, rose, and said on behalf of his brethren, that“ if their congregations might not be exempted from the coercive power of the classes”
-a term used for the sectional and subordinate courts of the presbyterian church-according to the synodical discipline, -- " if they might not have liberty to govern themselves in their own way, as long as they behaved themselves peaceably towards the civil magistrate, they were resolved” —what? To fight for their religion ? O no. They were resolved “to suffer, or to go to some other place of the world, where they might enjoy their liberty. But while," added he, “men think there is no other way of peace but by forcing all to be of the same mind-while they think the civil sword is an ordinance of God to determine all controversies of Divinity, and that it must needs be attended with fines and imprisonment to the disobedient—while they apprehend there is no medium betwixt a strict uniformity and a general confusion of all things—while these sentiments prevail, there must be a base subjection of men's consciences to slavery, a Scotch presbyterians and the army; and which bid fairest for him should have him; but he thought he should close with the Scotch sooner than the other, &c. Upon this,” added Cromwell, “ we took horse and went to Windsor ; and, finding we were not likely to have any tolerable terms from the king, we immediately, from that time resolved his ruin."
suppression of much truth, and great disturbance in the Christian world.”
Jeremiah Burroughs has just sat down, with all the innocent complacency of a man who has spoken the truth, and seems to say, “You may try to confute that if you please.” He sits with his hand holding his beard, waiting to see what follows. Philip Nye, vicar of Kimbolton, an intimate friend of the Earl of Manchester, and one of the most active and leading spirits of the independent body:-he was considered a leader, if not the leader of the independents; possessed by inheritance and family connections of respectable property; a man of talent, energy, and generous zeal—rose, and in the name of his brethren, made his declaration. I do not conjecture this ;-Robert Baillie, who sits in great consternation, relates it in his correspondence. He said he was prepared to demonstrate that one way of drawing a whole kingdom under one national assembly," the proposition then under consideration, "as formidable, yea, pernicious, and thrice over pernicious to civil states and kingdoms." He solemnly and distinctly proclaimed as a principle, they held ; that“ by the command of God, the magistrate is discharged to put the least discourtesy on any man, Turk, Jew, Papist, or Socinian, or any religion whatever, for his religious belief." The painting exhibits him declaring that sentiment. You mark the whole aspect of the assembly. “Ah, but that is the painter's fancy," say my honest friends on the other side of presbyterianism. “ That is not true : do not believe it.” Why not believe it ? Robert Baillie says, “all cried him down, and some would have had him expelled the assembly as seditious. We were all highly offended with him. The assembly voted him to have spoken against the order. We would not meet with him except he acknowledged his fault. The independents were resolute not to meet without him, and he resolute, to recal nothing of the
A SCENE-THE CONTRAST.
substance of what he had said ; at last we were entreated by our friends to shuffle it over the best way might be; and to go on in our business.”
Now these are Baillie's literæ scriptæ. This is the fact as Baillie describes it, and the moment to which Baillie's description applies has been chosen for the pictorial incident. The whole scene is exciting, and every person in the assembly is occupied and thoughtful. Here is a gentleman of my name, though no relation of mine, Major-General Massey, looking up at an old soldier and appearing to say, “ Wont we fight that out ?” Here is Lord Warriston, a Major-General in the Scottish army; he seems struck in the breast by a thunderbolt and thrown back in his chair. Even Stephen Marshal, father-in-law to Philip Nye, sits in consternation. That quiet, placid impersonation of the judicial character of England, Sir Matthew Hale, the purest spirit that ever sat on the bench, looks forward with apprehension. But look at the dissenting brethren. Look at Bridge of Yarmouth, at Burroughs of Stepney, at Caryl, who wrote the Commentary on the Book of Job, at Dr. T. Goodwin, of London, Sydrach Simpson, William Greenhill, the writer of the Commentary on Ezekiel, and even Edmund Calamy, of Aldermanbury-look at them and contemplate how they appear. “ That is our principle now," they all confederate to affirm," and we will stand by it.”
Do not let it be supposed that I am doing injustice to my presbyterian forefathers; for I was, as some would boast, born a presbyterian, and speak of them as they
If they had passed through all that I have experienced, they would speak more eloquently on behalf of liberty of conscience than I do. They were not trained in our favourable circumstances; and it would be a shame to us if we were not two hundred years in advance of them in the principle of liberty of conscience. They are thus excited, then, while the principle is declared. There is a good man here, Bulstrode Whitlocke, Beau Brummel, to his shoe ties in puritan antiquity; but less attractive in history, according to Carlyle's judgment, than any other. He calls him “Dryasdust, Parchment, Bulstrode Whitlocke.” I do not think it fair to abuse him ; he had merits of no contemptible order; and if Carlyle were to begin and write his life, he would find it necessary to delineate him as one of the greatest heroes in that or many succeeding ages. He was the ambassador from Oliver Cromwell to the Queen of Sweden. Read his memorials; I have done it, before I would judge his character. You will find that every morning his suite, while he was ambassador, assembled in the saloon of his official residence, where the scriptures were read, and a godly exposition delivered by some member of the embassy, and prayers addressed to the Divine Author of all good, in which they supplicated a blessing on England, the protestant religion, the Queen of Sweden, and the country they dwelt in. Whitlocke might be an honest Erastian or a lax presbyterian. I believe he was a political statesmen. But he was not a man to be sneered at by any writer of this day. He sits turning round to the brethren, and seems to say, "I have been a presbyterian, and was wont to think with the majority. Are you quite clear, if you adopt this maxim, what will become of religion? If the magistrate does not favour religion, and give a man a good office, because he is religious, and give the state patronage to the religion he believes right, what will careless men think of the true religion ?” He is turning to William Bridge, who is ready to reply, with the Bible in his hand, “ There may be difficulties and trials, but we think the kingdom of God is not of this world. We believe it to be not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” “ Well,” Whitlocke says, “if that is the case, I shall be glad to think about it again.”