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indeed the Presbyterian Party has rallied in the House during the late high blaze of Royalism; and got a Treaty set on foot as we saw, and even got the Eleven brought back again.
Jenner and Ashe are old stagers, having entered Parliament at the beginning. They are frequently seen in public business; assiduous subalterns. Ashe sat afterwards in Oliver's Parliaments.* Of this Ashe I will remember another thing: once, some years ago, when the House was about thanking some Monthly-fast Preacher, Ashe said pertinently, "What is the use of thanking a Preacher who spoke so low that nobody could hear him?"t
Colonel Humphrey Mathews, we are glad to discover,‡ was one of the persons taken in Pembroke Castle by Oliver himself in July last brought along with him, on the march towards Preston, and left, as the other Welsh Prisoners were, at Nottingham ; -out of which most just durance some pragmatical official, Ashe, Jenner, or another, by what order I know not,' has seen good to deliver him; him, 'the desperatest promoter of the Welsh Rebellion amongst them all.' Such is red-tape even in a Heroic Puritanic Age! No wonder the Officers have a sense of it,' amounting even 'to amazement.' Our blood that we have shed in the Quarrel, this you shall account as nothing, since you so please; but these 'manifest witnessings of God, so terrible and so just,'-are they not witnessings of God; are they mere sports of chance? Ye wretched infidel red-tape mortals, what will or can become of you? By and by, if this course hold, it will appear that You are no Parliament;' that you are a nameless unbelieving rabble, with the mere title of Parliament, who must go about your business elsewhither, with soldiers' pikes in your rearward!
* Parliamentary History, xxi., 3. Cromwelliana, pp. 41, 42.
† D'Ewes's Ms., p. 414.
'All the Regiments here have petitioned my Lord General against the Treaty' at Newport, and for Justice and a Settlement of the Kingdom. They desired the Lieutenant-General to recommend their Petition; which he hath done in the Letter following;'—which is of the same date, and goes in the same bag with that to Jenner and Ashe, just given.
For his Excellency the Lord General Fairfax, 'at St. Albans: These. Knottingley, 20th November, 1648.
I find in the Officers of the Regiments a very great sense of the sufferings of this poor Kingdom; and in them all a very great zeal to have impartial Justice done upon offenders. And I must confess I do in all, from my heart, concur with them; and I verily think and am persuaded they are things which God puts into our hearts.
I shall not need to offer anything to your Excellency: I know, God teaches you; and that He hath manifested His presence so to you as that you will give glory to Him in the eyes of all the world. I held it my duty, having received these Petitions and Letters, and being 'so' desired by the framers thereof,-to present them to you. The good Lord work His will upon your heart enabling you to it; and the presence of Almighty God go along with you. Thus prays,
Your most humble and faithful servant,
This same day, Monday, 20th November, 1648, the Army from St. Albans, by Colonel Ewer and a Deputation, presents its humble unanimous Remonstrance' to the House; craving that the same be taken into speedy and serious consideration.† It is indeed a most serious Document; tending to the dread Unknown! Whereupon ensue high debates,' Whether we shall take it into consideration? Debates to be resumed this day week. The Army, before this day week, moves up to Windsor;
* Rushworth, vii., 1339.
† Commons Journals, vi., 81; Remonstrance itself in Rushworth, vii.,
will see a little what consideration there is. Newport Treaty is just expiring; Presbyterian Royalism, on the brink of desperate crises, adds still two days of life to it.
THE Army came to Windsor on Saturday, the 25th; on which same day Oliver, from Knottingley, is writing a remarkable Letter, the last of the series, to Hammond in the Isle of Wight, who seems to be in much strait about that Person' and futile Treaty now under his keeping there.
To Colonel Robert Hammond: These.
'Knottingley, near Pontefract,' 25th November, 1648.
No man rejoiceth more to see a line from thee than myself. I know thou hast long been under trial. Thou shalt be no loser by it. All 'things' must work for the best.
Thou desirest to hear of my experiences. I can tell thee: I am such a one as thou didst formerly know, having a body of sin and death; but I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord there is no condemnation, though much infirmity; and I wait for the redemption. And in this poor condition I obtain mercy, and sweet consolation through the Spirit. And find abundant cause every day to exalt the Lord, and abase flesh,-and herein I have some exercise.
As to outward dispensations, if we may so call them: we have not been without our share of beholding some remarkable providences, and appearances of the Lord. His presence hath been amongst us, and by the light of His countenance we have prevailed. We are sure, the good will of Him who dwelt in the Bush has shined upon us; and we can humbly say, We know in whom we have believed; who can and will perfect what remaineth, and us also in doing what is well-pleasing in his eyesight.
I find some trouble in your spirit; occasioned first, not only by the continuance of your sad and heavy burden, as you call it, but also' by the dissatisfaction you take at the ways of some good men whom you
*And in the latter respect at least.'
† At Preston, &c.
love with your heart, who through this principle, That it is lawful for a lesser part, if in the right, to force a numerical majority,' &c.
To the first: Call not your burden sad or heavy. If your Father laid it upon you, He intended neither. He is the Father of lights, from whom comes every good and perfect gift; who of His own will begot us, and bade us count it all joy when such things befal us; they being for the exercise of faith and patience, whereby in the end (James i.) we shall be made perfect.
Dear Robin, our fleshly reasonings ensnare us. These make us say, "heavy," "sad," "pleasant," "easy." Was there not a little of this when Robert Hammond, through dissatisfaction too, desired retirement from the Army, and thought of quiet in the Isle of Wight? * Did not God find him out there? I believe he will never forget this.—And now I perceive he is to seek again; partly through his sad and heavy burden, and partly through his dissatisfaction with friends' actings.
Dear Robin, thou and I were never worthy to be door-keepers in this Service. If thou wilt seek, seek to know the mind of God in all that chain of Providence, whereby God brought thee thither, and that Person to thee; how, before and since, God has ordered him, and affairs concerning him: and then tell me, Whether there be not some glorious and high meaning in all this, above what thou hast yet attained? And, laying aside thy fleshly reason, seek of the Lord to teach thee what that is; and he will do it. I dare be positive to say, It is not that the wicked should be exalted that God should so appear as indeed He hath done.† For there is no peace to them. No, it is set upon the hearts of such as fear the Lord, and we have witness upon witness, That it shall go ill with them and their partakers. I say again, seek that spirit to teach thee; which is the spirit of knowledge and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, of wisdom and of the fear of the Lord. That spirit will close thine eyes and stop thine ears, so that thou shalt not judge by them; but thou shalt judge for the meek of the Earth, and thou shalt be made able to do accordingly. The Lord direct thee to that which is well-pleasing in His eyesight.
As to thy dissatisfaction with friends' actings upon that supposed principle, I wonder not at that. If a man take not his own burden well, he shall hardly others'; especially if involved by so near a relation of love and Christian brotherhood as thou art. I shall not take upon me to satisfy; but I hold myself bound to lay my thoughts before so dear a friend. The Lord do His own will.
*6th September of the foregoing year.
For other purposes that God has so manifested Himself as, in these transactions of ours, He has done.
You say: "God hath appointed authorities among the nations, to which active or passive obedience is to be yielded. This resides in England in the Parliament. Therefore active or passive resistance,"
Authorities and powers are the ordinance of God. This or that species is of human institution, and limited, some with larger, others with stricter bands, each one according to its constitution. 'But' I do not therefore think the Authorities may do anything,* and yet such obedience be due. All agree that there are cases in which it is lawful to resist. If so, your ground fails, and so likewise the inference. Indeed, dear Robin, not to multiply words, the query is, Whether ours be such a case? This ingenuously is the true question.
To this I shall say nothing, though I could say very much; but only desire thee to see what thou findest in thy own heart to two or three plain considerations: First, Whether Salus Populi be a sound position ? Secondly, Whether in the way in hand,‡ really and before the Lord, before whom conscience has to stand, this be provided for ;--or if the whole fruit of the War is not like to be frustrated, and all most like to turn to what it was, and worse? And this, contrary to Engagements, explicit Covenants with those who ventured their lives upon those Covenants and Engagements, without whom perhaps, in equity, relaxation ought not to be? Thirdly, Whether this Army be not a lawful Power, called by God to oppose and fight against the King upon some stated grounds; and being in power to such ends, may not oppose one Name of Authority, for those ends, as well as another Name, -since it was not the outward Authority summoning them that by its power made the quarrel lawful, but the quarrel was lawful in itself? If so, it may be, acting will be justified in foro humano.—But truly this kind of reasonings may be but fleshly either with or against: only it is good to try what truth may be in them. And the Lord teach us.
My dear Friend, let us look into providences; surely they mean somewhat. They hang so together; have been so constant, so clear, unclouded. Malice, swoln malice against God's people, now called "Saints," to root out their name;-and yet they, 'these poor Saints,' getting arms, and therein blessed with defence and more!--I desire, he that is for a principle of suffering|| would not too much slight this. I slight not him who is so minded: but let us beware lest fleshly reasoning see more
Whatsoever they like
The safety of the people the supreme law :' is that a true doctrine or a false one?
By this Parliamentary Treaty with the King.
§ Us soldiers.