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conscience in the discharge of our duty, and the exercise of faith patience, and charity, in our sufferings." Was there ever such reasoning as this! But the reader will make his own remarks upon these extraordinary paragraphs.
To return back to general Monk in Scotland. As long as the army governed affairs at Westminster, the general was on their side, and entertained Mr. John Collins, an Independent minister, for his chaplain; but upon the quarrel between the army and parliament, and Monk's declaring for the latter, it was apprehended he had changed sides, and would fall in with the Presbyterians; upon which Mr. Caryl and Barker were sent to Scotland with a letter from Dr. Owen, expressing their fears of the danger of their religious liberties upon a revolution of government. The general received them with all the marks of esteem; and after a few days returned the following answer, in a letter directed to Dr. Owen, Mr. Greenhill, and Mr. Hook, to be communicated to the churches in and about London.
"Honourable and dear friends,
"I received yours, and am very sensible of your kindness expressed to the army in Scotland, in sending such honourable and reverend persons, whom we received with thankfulness and great joy as the messengers of the churches, and the ministers of Christ in these three nations. I do promise you for myself, and the rest of the officers here, that your interest, liberty, and encouragement, shall be very dear to us. And we shall take this as a renewed obligation to assert to the utmost, what we have already declared to the churches of Jesus Christ. I doubt not, but you have received satisfaction of our inclinations to a peaceable accommodation. I do hope, that some differences being obviated, we shall obtain a fair composure. I do assure you, that the great things that have been upon my heart to secure and provide for, are our liberties and freedom, as the subjects and servants of Jesus Christ, which we have conveyed to us in the covenant of grace, assured in the promises purchased by the blood of our Saviour for us, and given as his great legacy to his church and people; in comparison of which we esteem all other things as dung and dross, but as they have a relation to and dependence upon this noble end. The others are our laws and rights as men, which must have their esteem in the second place; for which many members of the churches have been eminent instruments to labour in sweat and blood for these eighteen years last past, and our ancestors for many hundred years before; the substance of which may be reduced to a parliamentary government, and the people's consenting to the laws by which they are governed. That these privileges of the nation may be so bounded, that the churches may have both security and settlement, is my great desire, and of those with me. So that I hope you will own these just things, and give us that assistance that becomes the churches of Christ, in pursuance of this work. And we do assure you, we
shall comply as far as possible, with respect had to the security and safety of the nation, and the preservation of our ancient birthright and liberties. And we shall pray, that we may be kept from going out of God's way in doing God's work.
"I do, in the name of the whole army and myself, give all our affectionate thanks for this your work of love; and though we are not able to make such returns as are in our hearts and desires to do, yet we shall endeavour, by all ways and means, to express our care and love to the churches, and shall leave the reward to him who is the God of peace, and has in special assured all blessings to the peacemakers. I conclude with the words of David, 1 Sam. xxv. 32, 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, and blessed be your advice,' and blessed be you all. Now the Lord God be a wall of fire round about you, and let his presence be in his churches, and they filled with his glory. I have no more, but to entreat your prayers for a happy issue of this unhappy difference; which is the prayer of him who is, reverend sirs and dear friends, your very affectionate brother and servant,
"Edinburgh, Nov. 23, 1659.
In one of the general's letters to the parliament, written about June 1659, he declares strongly for liberty of conscience, and an absolute commonwealth, in language which in another would be called the fumes of fanaticism. "You are the people (says he) who have filled the world with wonder, but nothing is difficult to faith and the promises of God are sure and certain. We acknowledge that we ourselves have very much contributed to the Lord's departing from our Israel, but we see God's hour is come, and the time of the people's deliverance, even the set time, is at hand. He cometh skipping over all the mountains of sin and unworthiness, &c. We humbly beseech you, not to heal the wounds of the daughter of God's people slightly, but to make so sure and lasting provision for both Christian and civil rights, as both this and future generations may have cause to rise and call you blessed, and the blackest of designs may never be able to cast dirt in your faces any more. *"-He then desires them to encou rage none but godly ministers and magistrates, that no yoke may be imposed upon conscience but what is agreeable to the word of God, and that they would establish the government in a free state or commonwealth. Signed by general Monk and twentyfive of his chief officers.
Upon the general's coming to London, he was transformed at once into a zealous Presbyterian, and thought no more of the Independent churches; he received the sacrament at Mr. Calamy's church, and would suffer none to preach before him but whom he approved. He consulted the Presbyterian ministers, and asked their advice in all important affairs. It seems these were the gentlemen that beat him out of his commonwealth prin* Welwood's Memoirs, Appendix, No. II.
ciples, if we may believe the reverend Mr. Sharp, afterward archbishop of St. Andrew's, whose words are these, in one of his letters to the reverend Mr. Douglas in Scotland: "Sunday last, March 11, the general sent his coach for Mr. Calamy, Mr. Ash, and me; we had a long conversation with him in private, and convinced him, that a commonwealth was impracticable; and to our sense beat him off that sconce he has hitherto maintained.We urged upon him, that the Presbyterian interest, which he had espoused, was much concerned in keeping up this house, and settling the government upon terms. But the subtle general replied, that in regard he had declared so lately against a house of lords, and the continuing this house of commons, he could not so reputably do it.*" Afterward, when some gentlemen of quality, suspecting the king to be at the bottom, were earnest with the general, that if the king must be brought in by the next parliament, it might be upon the terms of his late majesty's concessions at the Isle of Wight; the general at first recoiled, and declared he would adhere to a commonwealth; but at last seeming to be conquered into a compliance, he intimated to them, that this was the utmost line he could or would advance in favour of the king; and yet when this was moved in the convention-parliament by sir Matthew Hale, the general stood up, and declared against all conditions, and threatened them that should encourage such a motion with all the mischiefs that might follow. Thus the credulous Presbyterians were gradually drawn into a snare, and made to believe, that presbytery was to be the established government of the church of England under king Charles II.
The Scots were equally concerned in this affair, and much more zealous for their discipline. The general therefore sent letters to the kirk, with the strongest assurances that he would take care of their disciplinet. But the Scots, not willing to trust him, commissioned Mr. Sharp to be their agent, and gave him instructions to use his best endeavours, that the kirk of Scotland might, without interruption or encroachment, enjoy the freedom and liberty of her established judicatories, and to represent the sinfulness and offensiveness of a toleration in that kingdom. Sharp was to concert measures with Mr. Calamy, Ash, Manton, and Cowper; but these gentlemen being not very zealous for the discipline, Sharp informed his principals, that it was feared the king would' come in, and with him moderate episcopacy, at least in England, but that the more zealous party were doing what they could to keep on foot the covenant. To which Douglas replied, "It is best that the Presbyterian government be settled simply, for you know that the judgment of honest men here is for admitting the king on no other but covenant-terms."
The Independents and Baptists were in such disgrace, that their leaders had not the honour of being consulted in this weighty
affair. General Monk and the Presbyterians were united, and had force sufficient to support their claims; the tide was with them, and the parliament at their mercy. The Independents offered to stand by their friends in parliament, and to raise four new regiments from among themselves, to force the general back into Scotland. Dr. Owen and Mr. Nye had frequent consultations with Mr. Whitelocke and St. John; and at a private treaty with the officers at Wallingford-house, offered to raise 100,000l. for the use of the army, provided they would protect them in their religious liberties, which they were apprehensive Monk and the Presbyterians designed to subvert; but those officers had lost their credit: their measures were disconcerted and broken; one party was for a treaty and another for the sword, but it was too late; their old veteran regiments were dislodged from the city, and Monk in possession. In this confusion their general, Fleetwood, who had brought them into this distress, retired, and left them a body without a head, after which they became insignificant, and in a few months quite contemptible. Here ended the power of the army, and of the Independents.
Being now to take leave of this people, it may be proper to observe, that the Independents sprang up and mightily increased in the time of the civil wars, and had the reputation of a wise and politic people: they divided from the Presbyterians upon the foot of discipline, and fought in the parliament's quarrel, not so much for hire and reward, as from a real belief that it was the cause of God; this inspired their soldiers with courage, and made them face death with undaunted bravery, insomuch that when the army was new-modelled, and filled up with men of this principle, they carried all before them. When the war was ended, they boldly seized the person of the king, and treated him with honour till they found him unsteady to his promises of a toleration of their principles, and then they became his most determined enemies; when they were assured afterward by the treaty of the Isle of Wight, that they were to be crushed between both parties, and to lose their religious liberty, for which they had been fighting, they tore up the government by the roots, and subverted the whole constitution. This they did, not in consequence of their religious principles, but to secure their own safety and liberty. After the king's death they assumed the chief management of public affairs, and would not part with it on any terms, lest they should be disbanded and called to account by a parliamentary power, and therefore they could never come to a settlement, though they attempted it under several forms: the first was an absolute commonwealth, as most agreeable to their principles; but when the commonwealth began to clip their military wings, they dispossessed them, and set up their own general, with the title of protector, who had skill enough to keep them in awe, though they were continually plotting against his government. After his death they dispossessed his son, and restored the com
monwealth. When these again attempted to disband them, they turned them out a second time, and set up themselves under the title of a Committee of Safety; but they wanted Oliver's head; their new general, Fleetwood, having neither courage nor conduct enough to keep them united. Thus they crumbled into factions, while their wanton sporting with the supreme power made the nation sick of such distractions, and yield to the return of the old constitution.
The officers were made up chiefly of Independents and Anabaptists, most of them of mean extraction, and far from being as able statesmen as they had been fortunate soldiers; they were brave and resolute men, who had the cause of religion and liberty at heart; but they neglected the old nobility and gentry so much, that when they fell to pieces, there was hardly a gentleman of estate or interest in his county that would stand by them. As to their moral character, they seem to have been men of piety and prayer; they called God into all their councils, but were too much governed by the false notions they had imbibed, and the enthusiastic impulses of their own minds. I do not find that they consulted any number of their clergy, though many of the Independent ministers were among the most learned and eminent preachers of the times, as, Dr. Goodwin, Owen, Nye, and Greenhill, &c. some of whom had no small reputation for politics; but their pulling down so many forms of government, without adhering steadily to any, issued in their ruin. Thus as the army and Independents outwitted the Presbyterians in 1648, the Presbyterians in conjunction with the Scots blew up the Independents at this time; and next year the episcopal party, by dexterous management of the credulous Presbyterians, undermined and deceived them both.
This year died Dr. Ralph Brownrigge, bishop of Exeter, born at Ipswich in the year 1592, educated at Pembroke-hall, Cambridge, and at length chosen master of Katherine-hall in that university*. He was also prebendary of Durham, and rector of Barly in Hertfordshire. In the year 1641, he was nominated to the see of Exeter, and installed June 1, 1642, but the wars between the king and parliament did not allow him the enjoyment of his dignity. He was nominated one of the assembly of divines; and was vice-chancellor of the university of Cambridge in the year 1644, when the earl of Manchester visited it; and complied so far as to keep his mastership till the next year, when he was deprived for a sermon he preached upon the anniversary of his
He was esteemed one of the greatest ornaments of his time to this seminary. He was one of those excellent men with whom archbishop Tillotson cultivated an acquaintance at his first coming to London, and by whose preaching and example he formed himself. His sermons were not exceeded by any published in that period; and they derived great advantage, in the delivery, from the dignity of his person and the justness of his elocution. Granger's History of England, vol. 2. p. 161, 8vo.-ED.