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was pleased to deliver me, beyond expectation; and to give me cause to say once more, “He hath plucked me out of the grave!"* — My Lord, the indulgence of the Parliament expressed by their Order is a very high and undeserved favour: of which although it be fit I keep a thankful remembrance, yet I judge it would be too much presumption in me to ** return a particular acknowledgment. I beseech you give me the boldness to return my humble thankfulness to the Council for sending two such worthy Persons, so great a journey, to visit me. From whom I have received much encouragement, and good directions for recovery of health and strength, — which I find ‘now,' by the goodness of God, growing to such a state as may yet, if it be His good will, render me useful according to my poor ability, in the station wherein He hath set me.
I wish more steadiness in your Affairs here than to depend, in the least degree, upon so frail a thing as I am. Indeed they do not, - nor own any instrument. This Cause is of God, and it must prosper. Oh, that all that have any hand therein, being so persuaded, would gird up the loins of their mind, and endeavour in all things to walk worthy of the Lord! So prays,
OLIVER CROMWELL. S The Lord General's case was somewhat grave; at one time, it seemed hopeless for this summer. "My Lord is not sensible that he is grown an old man.” The Officers were to proceed without him; directed by him from the distance. Here, however, is an improvement; and two days after, on the 5th of June, the Lord General is seen abroad in his coach again; shakes his ailments and infirmities of age away, and takes the field in person once more. The Campaign is now vigorously begun; though as yet no great result follows from it.
* Psalm xxx. 3, "hast brought up my soul from the grave;" or, lxxxvi. 3,"delivered my soul from:" but "plucked” is not in any of the texts. ** “not to" in orig.; - dele “ not."
$ Kimber's (anonymous) Life of Oliver Cromwell (London, 1724), p. 201; - does not say whence derived.
On the 25th of June, the Army from all quarters reassembled “in its old Camp on the Pentland Hills;” marched westward; left Linlithgow July 2d, ever westward, with a view to force the Enemy from his strong ground about Stirling. Much pickeering, vapouring, and transient skirmishing ensues; but the Enemy, strongly entrenched at Torwood, secured by bogs and brooks, cannot be forced out. We take Calendar House, and do other insults, before their eyes; they will not come out. Cannonadings there are “from opposite Hills;" but not till it please the Enemy can there be any battle. David Lesley, second in rank, but real leader of the operations, is at his old trade again. The Problem is becoming difficult. We decide to get across into Fife; to take them in flank, and at least cut off an important part of their supplies.
Here is the Lord General's Letter on the result of that enterprise. Farther details of the Battle, which is briefly spoken of here, - still remembered in those parts as the Battle of Inverkeithing, — may be found in Lambert's own Letter concerning it. * “Sir John Browne, their Major-General," was once a zealous Parliamenteer; “Governor of Abingdon” and much else; but the King gained him, growls Ludlow, “by the gift of a pair of silk stockings," – poor wretch! Besides Browne, there are Massey, and various Englishmen of mark with this Malignant Army. Massey's Brother, a subaltern person in London, is one of the conspirators with Christopher Love. - The Lord General has in the interim made his Third Visit to Glasgow; concerning which there are no details worth giving here. ** Christopher Love, on the 5th of this month, was condemned to die. ***
* North Ferry , 220 July 1651 (Whitlocke, p. 472): the Battle was on Sunday the 20th. See also Balfour, iv. 313.
** Whitlocke, p. 471; Milton State-Papers, p. 84 (11th July 1651). *** Wood, iii. 278, &c.
LETTER CLXXV. For the Honourable William Lenthall, Esquire, Speaker of the Parliament of England: These.
Linlithgow, 21st July 1651. After our waiting upon the Lord, and not knowing what course to take, for indeed we know nothing but what God pleaseth to teach us of His great mercy, — we were directed to send a Party to get us a landing 'on the Fife coast' by our boats, whilst we marched towards Glasgow.
On Thursday morning last, Colonel Overton, with about One-thousand four-hundred foot and some horse and dragoons, landed at the North Ferry in Fife; we with the Army lying near the Enemy (a small river parted us and them), and having consultations to attempt the Enemy within his fortifications: but the Lord was not pleased to give way to that counsel, proposing a better way for us. The Major-General 'Lambert' marched, on Thursday night, with two regiments of horse and two regiments of foot, for better securing the place; and to attempt upon the Enemy as occasion should serve. He getting over, and finding a considerable body of the Enemy there (who would probably have beaten our men from the place if he had not come), drew out and fought them; he being about two regiments of horse, with about four-hundred of horse and dragoons more, and three regiments of foot; the Enemy five regiments of foot, and about four or five of horse. They came to a close charge, and in the end totally routed the Enemy; having taken about forty or fifty colours, * killed near Two-thousand, some say more; have taken Sir John Browne their MajorGeneral, who commanded in chief, — and other Colonels and considerable Officers killed and taken, and about Five or Six Hundred prisoners. The Enemy is removed from their ground with their whole Army; but whither we do not certainly know.
* Farther account of these in Appendix, No. 24.
This is an unspeakable mercy. I trust the Lord will follow it until He hath perfected peace and truth. We can truly say, we were gone as far as we could in our counsel and action; and we did say one to another, we knew not what to do. Wherefore it's sealed upon our hearts, that this, as all the rest, is from the Lord's goodness, and not from man. I hope it becometh me to pray, That we may walk humbly and self-denyingly before the Lord, and believingly also. That you whom we serve, as the Authority over us, may do the work committed to you, with uprightness and faithfulness, — and thoroughly, as to the Lord. That you may not suffer anything to remain that offends the eyes of His jealousy. That common weal may more and more be sought, and justice done impartially. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro; and as He finds out His enemies here, to be avenged on them, so will He not spare them for whom He doth good, if by His lovingkindness they become not good. I shall take the humble boldness to represent this Engagement of David's, in the Hundred-andnineteenth Psalm, verse Hundred-and-thirty-fourth, Deliver me from the oppression of man, so will I keep Thy precepts. I take leave, and rest, Sir, your most humble servant,
P. S. The carriage of the Major-General, as in all
of; as also the Colonels Okey, Overton, Daniel, West, Lydcot, Syler, and the rest of the Officers. §
Matters now speedily take another turn. At the Castle of “Dundas” we are still on the South side of the Frith; in front of the Scotch lines, though distant: but Inchgarvie, often tried with gunboats, now surrenders; Burntisland, by force of gunboats and dispiritment, surrenders: the Lord General himself goes across into Fife. The following Letters speak for themselves.
LETTER CLXXVI. "To the Right Honourable the Lord President of the Council of
Dundas, 24th July 1651.
I marched with the Army very near to Stirling, hoping thereby to get the Pass; and went myself with General Dean, and some others, up to Bannockburn; hearing that the Enemy were marched on the other side towards our forces in Fife. Indeed they went four or five miles on towards them; but hearing of my advance, in all haste they retreated back, and possessed the Park, and their other works. Which we viewed; and finding them not advisable to attempt, resolved to march to Queensferry, and there to ship over so much of the Army as might hopefully be master of the field in Fife. Which accordingly we have almost perfected; and have left, on this side, somewhat better than four regiments of horse, and as many of foot.
§ Newspapers (in Parl. Hist. xix. 494; and Cromwelliana, p. 105).