« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
other fierce labor, your foul Chaos has become a World, you cannot have any light, or the smallest chance for any! Honor the Amphion whose music makes the stones, rocks, and big blocks, dance into figures, and domed cities, with temples and habitations: yet know him too; how, as Volker's in the old Nibelungen, oftentimes his "fiddlebow" has to be of "sharp steel," and to play a tune very rough to rebellious ears! The melodious Speaker is great, but the melodious Worker is greater than he. "Our Time," says a certain author, "cannot speak at all, but only cant and sneer, and argumentatively jargon, and recite the multiplication-table. Neither as yet can it work, except at mere railroads and cotton-spinning. It will, apparently, return to Chaos soon; and then more lightnings will be needed, lightning enough, to which Cromwell's was but a mild matter;-to be followed by light, we may hope!""
The following Letter from Whalley, with the Answer to it, will introduce this series. The date is Monday; the Lord General observing yesterday that the poor Edinburgh people were sadly short of Sermon, has ordered the Lieutenant-General to communicate as follows:
"For the Honorable the Governor of the Castle of Edinburgh.
"Edinburgh, 9th September, 1650.
"SIR,-I received command from my Lord General to desire you to let the Ministers of Edinburgh, now in the Castle with you, know, That they have free liberty granted them, if they please to take the pains, to preach in their several Churches; and that my Lord hath given special command both to officers and soldiers that they shall not in the least be molested. Sir, I am your most humble servant,
To which straightway there is this Answer from Governor Dundas:
"To Commissary-General Whalley.'
Edinburgh Castle,' 9th September, 1650.
"SIR,-I have communicated the desire of your Letter to such of the Ministers of Edinburgh as are with me; who have desired me to return this for Answer:
"That though they are ready to be spent in their Master's service and to refuse no suffering so they may fulfil their ministry with joy; yet' perceiving the persecution to be personal, by the practice of your Party* upon the Ministers of Christ in England and Ireland, and in the Kingdom of Scotland since your unjust Invasion thereof; and finding nothing expressed in yours whereupon to build any security for their persons while they are there, and for their return hither;-they are resolved to reserve themselves for better times, and to wait upon Him who hath hidden His face for a while from the sons of Jacob.
"This is all I have to say, but that I am, Sir, your most humble servant,
To which somewhat sulky response, Oliver makes Answer in this notable manner:
For the Honorable the Governor of the Castle of Edinburgh:
Edinburgh, 9th September, 1650.
SIR, The kindness offered to the Ministers with you was done with ingenuity ;† thinking it might have met with the like; but I am satisfied to tell those with you, That if their Master's service (as they call it) were chiefly in their eye, imagination of suffering would not have caused such a return; much less would' the practice of our Party, as they are pleased to say, upon the Ministers of Christ in England, have been an argument of personal persecution.
The Ministers in England are supported, and have liberty to preach the Gospel; though not to rail, nor under pretence thereof to overtop the Civil Power, or debase it as they please. No man hath been troubled in England or Ireland for preaching the Gospel; nor has any Minister been molested in Scotland since the coming of the Army hither. The speaking truth becomes the Ministers of Christ.
When Ministers pretend to a glorious Reformation; and lay the foundations thereof in getting to themselves worldly power; and can make worldly mixtures to accomplish the same, such as their late
* Sectarian Party, of Independents.
Fear of personal danger.
† Means always ingenuously. § Of preaching the Gospel.
Agreement with their King; and hope by him to carry on their design, 'they' may know that the Sion promised will not be built of such untempered mortar.
As for the unjust Invasion they mention, time was* when an Army of Scotland came into England, not called by the Supreme Authority. We have said, in our Papers, with what hearts, and upon what account, we came; and the Lord hath heard us, though you would not, upon as solemn an appeal as any experience can parallel.
And although they seem to comfort themselves with being sons of Jacob, from whom (they say) Goth hath hid His face for a time; yet it's no wonder when the Lord hath lifted up His hand so eminently against a Family as He hath done so often against this, and men will not see His hand, it's no wonder if the Lord hide His face from such; putting them to shame both for it and their hatred of His people; as it is this day. When they purely trust to the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, which is powerful to bring down strongholds and every imagination that exalts itself,-which alone is able to square and fit the stones for a new Jerusalem ;-then and not before, and by that means and no other, shall Jerusalem, the City of the Lord, which is to be the praise of the whole Earth, be built; the Sion of the Holy One of Israel.
I have nothing to say to you but that I am, Sir,
Your humble servant,
The Scotch Clergy never got such a reprimand since they first took ordination! A very dangerous radiance blazes through these eyes of my Lord General's,-destructive to the owl-dominion, in Edinburgh Castle and elsewhere!
Let Dundas and Company reflect on it. Here is their ready Answer; still of the same day.
To the Right Honorable the Lord Cromwell, Commander-in-chief of the English Army.
'Edinburgh Castle, 9th September, 1650. "MY LORD,-Yours I have communicated to those with me whom it concerned; who desire me to return this Answer:
* 1648, Duke Hamilton's time; to say nothing of 1640 and other times. † At Dunbar, six days ago.
Of the Stuarts.
§ Thurloe, i., 159; Pamphlet at Edinburgh.
"That their ingenuity in prosecuting the ends of the Covenant, according to their vocation and place, and in adhering to their first principles, is well known; and one of their greatest regrets is that they have not been met with the like. That when Ministers of the Gospel have been imprisoned, deprived of their benefices, sequestrated, forced to flee from their dwellings, and bitterly threatened, for their faithful declaring the will of God against the godless and wicked proceedings of men,—it cannot be accounted 'an imaginary fear of suffering' in such as are resolved to follow the like freedom and faithfulness in discharge of their Master's message. That it savors not of 'ingenuity' to promise liberty of preaching the Gospel, and to limit the Preachers thereof, that they must not speak against the sins and enormities of Civil Powers; since their commission carrieth them to speak the Word of the Lord unto, and to reprove the sins of, persons of all ranks, from the highest to the lowest. That to impose the name of 'railing upon such faithful freedom was the old practice of Malignants, against the Ministers of the Gospel, who laid open to people the wickedness of their ways, lest men should be ensnared thereby.
"That their consciences bear them record, and all their hearers do know, that they meddle not with Civil Affairs, farther than to hold forth the rule of the Word, by which the straightness and crookedness of men's actions are made evident. But they are sorry they have such cause to regret that men of mere Civil place and employment should usurp the calling and employment of the Ministry:* to the scandal of the Reformed Kirks: and particularly in Scotland, contrary to the government and discipline therein established,-to the maintenance whereof you are bound, by the Solemn League and Covenant.
“Thus far they have thought fit to vindicate their return to the offer in Colonel Whalley's Letter. The other part of yours, which concerns the public as well as them, they conceive hath all been answered sufficiently in the Public Papers of the State and Kirk. Only to that of the success upon your 'solemn appeal,' they say again, what was said to it before, That they have not so learned Christ as to hang the equity of their Cause upon events; but desire to have their hearts established in the love of the Truth, in all the tribulations that befall them. “I only do add that I am, my Lord, your most humble servant, "W. DUNDAS."
On Thursday follows Oliver's Answer,—' very inferior in com
* Certain of our Soldiers and Officers preach; very many of them can preach,—and greatly to the purpose too!
position,' says Dryasdust ;-composition not being quite the trade of Oliver! In other respects, sufficiently superior.
For the Governor of Edinburgh Castle: These.
Edinburgh, 12th September, 1650.
Because I am at some reasonable good leisure, I cannot let such gross mistakes and inconsequential reasonings pass without some notice taken of them.
And first, their ingenuity in relation to the Covenant, for which they commend themselves, doth no more justify their want of ingenuity in answer to Colonel Whalley's Christian offer, concerning which my Letter charged them with guiltiness' and ' deficiency, than their bearing witness to themselves of their adhering to their first principles, and ingenuity in prosecuting the ends of the Covenant, justifies them so to have done merely because they say so. They must give more leave henceforwards; for Christ will have it so, nill they, will they. And they must have patience to have the truth of their doctrines and sayings tried by the sure touchstone of the Word of God. And if there be a liberty and duty of trial, there is a liberty of judgment also for them that may and ought to try; which being so, they must give others leave to say and think that they can appeal to equal judges, Who have been the truest fulfillers of the most real and equitable ends of the Covenant?
But if these Gentlemen dot assume to themselves to be the infallible expositors of the Covenant, as they do too much to their auditories 'to be the infallible expositors' of the Scriptures ‘also,' counting a different sense and judgment from theirs Breach of Covenant and Heresy,—no marvel they judge of others so authoritatively and severely. But we have not so learned Christ. We look at Ministers as helpers of, not lords over, God's people. I appeal to their consciences, whether any 'person' trying their doctrines, and dissenting, shall not incur the censure of Sectary? And what is this but to deny Christians their liberty, and assume the Infallible Chair? What doth he whom we would not be likened unto do more than this?
In the second place, it is affirmed that the Ministers of the Gospel
if' in the original. † 'which do' in the original; dele which. The Pope.