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A PIOUS Word, shot off to Ireland, for Son Ireton and the
dear Friends' fighting for the same Cause there. That they may rejoice with us, as we have done with them : none knows but they may have ‘need again of mutual experiences for refreshment.
• To Lieutenant-General Ireton, Deputy-Lieutenant of
Ireland : These.'
Dunbar, 4th September, 1650.
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 Catherlogh :1 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 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
1.Catherlogh' is Carlow: Narrative of these captures (10 August, 1650) in a Letter from Ireton to the Speaker (Parliamentary History, xix. 334-7).
good. We prayed for security :1 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 Sixthousand horse.
The Enemy prosecuted the advantage. We were necessitated ; and upon September2 the 3d, by six in the morning, we attempted their Army :-after a hot dispute for about an hour, we routed their whole Army; killed near Three-thousand; and took, as the Marshal informs me, Ten-thousand prisoners; their whole Train, being about thirty pieces, great and small; good store of powder, match and bullet; near two hundred Colours. I am persuaded near Fifteen-thousand Arms left upon the ground. And I believe, though many of ours be wounded, we lost not above Thirty men. Before the Fight, our condition was made very sad, the Enemy greatly insulted and menaced ‘us ;' but the Lord upheld us with comfort in Himself, beyond ordinary experience.
I knowing the acquainting you with this great handiwork of the Lord would stir up your minds to praise and rejoicing; and not knowing but your condition may require mutual experiences for refreshment; and knowing also that the news we had of your successes was matter of help to our faith in our distress, and matter
1 Begged of them some security against Charles Stuart's designs upon England.
2 • 7ber' he writes.
of praise also, - I thought fit (though in the midst of much business) to give you this account of the unspeakable goodness of the Lord, who hath thus appeared, to the glory of His great Name, and the refreshment of His Saints.
The Lord bless you, and us, to return praises; to live them all our days. Salute all our dear Friends with you, as if I named them. I have no more ; — but rest, Your loving father and true friend,
We observe there are no regards to Bridget Ireton, no news or notice of her, in this Letter. Bridget Ireton is at London, safe from these wild scenes; far from her Husband, far from her Father ;— will never see her brave Husband more.
DUBITATING Wharton must not let success' too much sway him ; yet it were fit he took notice of these things: lie, and idle Norton whom we know, and Montague of Hinchinbrook, and others. The Lord General, for his own share, has a better ground than 'success;' has the direct insight of his own soul, such as suffices him,—such as all souls to which the inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding,' are or may be capable of, one would think!
* Russell's Life of Cromwell (Edinburgh, 1829; forming vols. 46, 47 of Constable's Miscellany), ii. 317-19. Does not say whence ;-Letter undoubtedly genuine.
For the Right Honourable the Lord Wharton: These.
My dear LORD,
Dunbar, 4th September, 1650.
Ay, poor I love you! Love you the Lord: take heed of disputing !—I was untoward when I spake last with you in St. James's Park. I spake cross in stating my' grounds: I spake to my judgings of you; which were: That you,- shall I name others ? — Henry Lawrence, Robert Hammond, &c., had ensnared yourselves with disputes.
I believe you desired to be satisfied ; and had tried and doubted your own' sincerities. It was well. But uprightness, if it be not purely of God, may be, nay commonly is, deceived. The Lord persuade you, and all my dear Friends!
The results of your thoughts concerning late Transactions I know to be mistakes of yours, by a better argument than success. Let not your engaging too far upon your own judgments be your temptation or snare: much less • let' success, - lest you should be thought to return upon less noble arguments. It is in my heart to write the same things to Norton, Montague and others : I pray you read or communicate these foolish lines to them. I have known my folly do good, when affection has overcome my reason. I pray you judge me sincere, - lest a prejudice should be put upon after advantages.
1 Decide as the essence of the matter is ; neither persist nor return' upon fallacious, superficial, or external considerations.