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WAR WITH SCOTLAND.
THE Scotch People, the first beginners of this grand Puritan Re. volt, which we may define as an attempt to bring the Divine Law of the Bible into actual practice in men’s affairs on the Earth, are still one and all resolute for that object ; but they are getting into sad difficulties as to realizing it. Not easy to realize such a thing : besides true will, there need heroic gifts, the highest that Heaven gives, for realizing it! Gifts which have not been vouchsafed the Scotch People at present. The letter of their Covenant presses heavy on these men ; traditions, formulas, dead letters of many things press heavy on them. On the whole, they too are but what we call Pedants in conduct, not Poets : the sheepskin record failing them, and old use-and-wont ending, they cannot farther; they look into a sea of troubles, shoreless, starless, on which there seems no navigation possible.
The faults or misfortunes of the Scotch People, in their Puri. tan business, are many : but properly their grand fault is this, That they have produced for it no sufficiently heroic man among them. No man that has an eye to see beyond the letter and the rubric; to discern, across many consecrated rubrics of the Past, the inarticulate divineness of the Present and the Future, and dare all perils in the faith of that! With Oliver Cromwell born a Scotchman; with a Hero King and a unanimous Hero Nation at his back, it might have been far otherwise. With Oliver born Scotch, one sees not but the whole world might have become Puritan ; might have struggled, yet a long while, to fashion itself according to that divine Hebrew Gospel,—to the exclusion of other Gospels not Hebrew, which also are divine, and will have their share of fulfilment here ! But of such issue there is no danger. Instead of inspired Olivers, glowing with direct insight and noble daring, we have Argyles, Loudons, and narrow, more or less opaque persons of the Pedant species. Committees of Estates, Committees of Kirks, much tied up in formulas, both of them: a bigoted Theocracy without the Inspiration, which is a very hopeless phenomenon indeed! The Scotch People are all willing, eager of heart; asking, Whitherward? But the Leaders stand aghast at the new forms of danger; and in a vehement discrepant manner some calling, Halt ! others calling, Backward ! others, Forward !huge confusion ensues. Confusion which will need an Oliver to repress it; to bind it up in tight manacles, if not otherwise ; and say, “ There, sit there and consider thyself a little !"
The meaning of the Scotch Covenant was, That God's divine Law of the Bible should be put in practice in these Nations; verily it, and not the Four Surplices at Allhallowtide, or any Formula of cloth or sheepskin here or elsewhere which merely pretended to be it: but then the Covenant says expressly, there is to be a Stuart King in the business : we cannot do without our Stuart King! Given a divine Law of the Bible on one hand, and a Stuart King, Charles First or Charles Second, on the other : alas, did History ever present a more irreducible case of equations in this world ? I pity the poor Scotch Pedant Governors; still more the
poor Scotch People who had no other to follow! Nay, as for that, the People did get through, in the end ; such was their indomitable pious constancy, and other worth and fortune; and Presbytery became a Fact among them, to the whole length possible for it; not without endless results. But for the poor Governors this irreducible case proved, as it were, fatal ! They have never since, if we will look narrowly at it, governed Scot. land, or even well known that they were there to attempt govern
Once they lay on Dunse Hill, each Earl with his Regi. ment of Tenants round him,' For Christ's Crown and Covenant ; and never since had they any noble National act which it was given them to do. Growing desperate of Christ's Crown and Covenant, they, in the next generation when our Annus Mirabilis arrived, hurried up to Court, looking out for other Crowns and Covenants; deserted Scotland and her Cause, somewhat basely; took to booing and booing for Causes of their own, unhappy mortals ;--and Scotland and all Causes that were Scotland's have had to go on very much without them ever since! Which is a very fatal issue indeed, as I reckon ;-and the time for settlement of accounts about it, which could not fail always, and seems now
fast drawing nigh, looks very ominous to me. For in fact there is no creature more fatal than your Pedant; safe as he esteems himself, the terriblest issues spring from him. Human crimes are many: but the crime of being deaf to the God's Voice, of being blind to all but parchments and antiquarian rubrics when the Divine Handwriting is abroad on the sky,--certainly there is no crime which the Supreme Powers do more terribly avenge!
But leaving all that,—the poor Scotch Governors, we remark, in that old crisis of theirs, have come upon the desperate expedient of getting Charles Second to adopt the Covenant the best he can. Whereby our parchment formula is indeed saved; but the divine fact has gone terribly to the wall ! The Scotch Governors hope otherwise. By treaties at Jersey, treaties at Breda, they and the hard Law of Want together have constrained this poor young Stuart to their detested Covenant; as the Frenchman said, they have compelled him to adopt it voluntarily.' A fear. ful crime, thinks Oliver, and think we. How dare you enact: such mummery under High Heaven! exclaims he. You will prosecute Malignants; and, with the aid of some poor varnish, transparent even to yourselves, you adopt into your bosom the Chief Malignant! My soul come not into your secret; mine honor be not united unto you !
In fact, his new Sacred Majesty is actually under way for the Scotch court;, will become a Covenanted King there. Of himself a likely enough young man ;-very unfortunate he too. Satisfactorily descended from the Steward of Scotland and Catherine Muir of Caldwell (whom some have called an improper female) ; * satisfactory in this respect, but in others most unsatisfactory. . A somewhat laose young man; has Buckingham, Wilmot and Company, at one hand of him, and painful Mr. Livingston and Presbyterian ruling-elders at the other; is hastening now, Covenanted King, towards such a Theocracy as we described. Perhaps the most anomalous phenomenon ever produced by Nature and Art working together in this World !-He had sent Montrose before him, poor young man, to try if war and force
* Horseloads of Jacobites, Anti-Jacobite Pamphlets ; Goodall, Father Innes, &c., &c. How it was settled, I do not recollect.
could effect nothing ; whom instantly the Scotch Nation took, and tragically hanged.* They now, winking hard at that transaction, proffer the poor young man their Covenant; compel him to sign it voluntarily, and be Covenanted King over them.
The result of all which for the English Commonwealth cannot be doubtful. What Declarations, Papers, Protocols, passed on the occasion,-numerous, flying thick between Edinburgh and London in late months,—shall remain unknown to us. The Commonwealth has brought Cromwell home from Ireland ; and got forces ready for him : that is the practical outcome of it. The Scotch also have got forces ready ; will either invade us, or (which we decide to be preferable) be invaded by us.f Cromwell must now take up the Scotch coil of troubles, as he did the Irish, and deal with that too. Fairfax, as we heard, was unwil. ling to go ; Cromwell, urging the Council of State to second him, would fain persuade Fairfax ; gets him still nominated Commander-in-chief; but cannot persuade him ;—will himself have to be Commander-in-chief, and go.
In Whitlocke and Ludlowf there is record of earnest intercessions, solemn conference held with Fairfax in Whitehall, duly prefaced by prayer to Heaven; intended on Cromwell's part to persuade Fairfax that it is his duty again to accept the chief command, and lead us into Scotland. Fairfax, urged by his Wife, a Vere of the fighting Veres, and given to Presbyterianism, dare not and will not go ;-sends - Mr. Rushworth, his Secretary, on the morrow, to give up his Commission,ộ that Cromwell himself may be named General-in-chief. In this preliminary busi. ness, says Ludlow, Cromwell acted his part so to the life that I really thought he wished Fairfax to go.' Wooden-headed that I was, I had reason to alter that notion by and by!
Wooden Ludlow gives note of another very singular interview he himself had with Cromwell, “ a little after,' in those same days or hours. Cromwell whispered him in the House ; they agreed
* Details of the business, in Balfour, iv., 9-22. | Commons Journals, 26 June, 1650.
Whitlocke, pp. 444–6 (25 June, 1650); Ludlow, i., 317. Ś Commons Journals, ubi supra.
to meet that afternoon in the Council of State' in Whitehall, and there withdraw into a private room to have a little talk together. Oliver had cast his eye on Ludlow as a fit man for Ireland, to go and second Ireton there; he took him, as by appointment, into a private room, the Queen's Guard-chamber' to wit; and there very largely expressed himself. He testified the great value he had for me, Ludlow; combated my objections to Ireland ; spake somewhat against Lawyers, what a tortuous ungodly jingle English Law was; spake of the good that might be done by a good and brave man ;-spake of the great Providences of God now abroad on the Earth; in particular talked for almost an hour upon the Hundred-and-tenth Psalm ;' which to me, in
solid wooden head, seemed extremely singular !*
Modern readers, not in the case of Ludlow, will find this fact illustrative of Oliver. Before setting out on the Scotch Expedition, and just on the eve of doing it, we too will read that Psalm of Hebrew David's, which had become English Oliver's : we will fancy in our minds, not without reflections and emotions, the largest soul in England looking at this God's World with prophet's earnestness through that Hebrew Word,—two Divine Phenomena accurately correspondent for Oliver; the one accu. rately the prophetic symbol, and articulate interpretation of the other. As if the Silences had at length found utterance, and this was their Voice from out of old Eternity :
• The Lord said unto my Lord : Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion : rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power; in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord, at thy right hand, shall strike through Kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the Heathen; he shall fill the places with the dead bodies ; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.'
* Ludlow, i., 319