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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, unpresbyterian hut 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.
1. improving' in the original.
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 hath 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 ? 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, 2 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, 1650) finding no “reasonable good leisure' to unfold himself farther, in the way of paper and ink, to these men. There remain other
* Charles Stuart's: a very questionable 'name' for any Kingdom of Christ to act upon!
2 The Declaration, or testimony against his Father's sins. * Thurloe, i. 158-162.
ways; the way of cannon-batteries, and Derbyshire miners. It is likely his Excellency will subdue the bodies of these men; and the unconquerable mind will then follow if it can.
Whereas it hath pleased God, by His gracious provi. dence and goodness, to put the City of Edinburgh and the Town of Leith under my power: And although I have put forth several Proclamations, since iny coming into this Country, to the like effect with this present: Yet for further satisfaction to all those whom it may concern, I do hereby again publish and declare,
That all the Inhabitants of the country, not now being or continuing in arms, shall have free leave and liberty to come to the Army, and to the City and Town aforesaid, with their cattle, corn, horse, or other commodities or goods whatsoever; and shall there have free and open markets for the same; and shall be protected in their persons and goods, in coming and returning as aforesaid, from any injury or violence of the Soldiery under my command; and shall also be protected in their respective houses. And the Citizens and Inhabitants of the said City and Town shall and hereby likewise havel free leave to vend and sell their wares and commodities; and shall be protected from the plunder and violence of the Soldiers.
And I do hereby require all Officers and Soldiers of
· Grammar irremediable !
the Army under my command, To take due notice hereof, and to yield obedience hereto. As they will answer the contrary at their utmost peril.
Given under my hand at Edinburgh, the 14th of September, 1650.
To be proclaimed in Leith and Edinburgh, by sound of trumpet and beat of drum.*
Listen and be reassured, ye ancient Populations, though your Clergy sit obstinate on their Castle-rock, and your Stuart King has vanished!— While this comfortable Oyez-oyez goes. sounding through the ancient streets, my Lord General is himself just getting on march again ; as the next Letter will. testify.
The Lord General, leaving the Clergy to meditate his Queries in the seclusion of their Castle-rock, sets off westward, on the second day after, to see whether he cannot at once dislodge the Governing Committee-men and Covenanted King; and get possession of Stirling, where they are busily endeavouring to rally. This, he finds, will not answer, for the moment.
* King's Pamphlets, small 4to, no. 479, art. 16 (The Lord-General Cromwell his march to Stirling: being a Diary of' &c. •Published by Authority').