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stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness; so that there is no place clean.
'Whom shall He teach knowledge? Whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little. For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshment;—yet they would not hear.' No. 'The Word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little, That they might go, and fall backward, and be broken and snared and taken!—Wherefore hear ye the Word of the Lord, ye scornful men that rule this people which is in Jerusalem!'
Yes, hear it, and not with the outward ear only, ye Kirk Committees, and Prophesying and Governing Persons everywhere: it may be important to you! If God have said it, if the Eternal Truth of things have said it, will it not need to be done, think you? Or will the doing some distracted shadow of it, some Covenanted Charles Stuart of it, suffice ?—The Kirk Committee seems in a bad way.
David Lesley, however, what as yet is in their favor, continues within his Line; stands steadily to his guns;—and the weather is wet; Oliver's provision is failing. This Letter to the Kirk was written on Friday: on the Monday following,* 'about the Cth of August,' as Major Hodgson dates it, the tempestuous state of the weather not permitting ship-stores to be landed at Musselburgh, Cromwell has to march his Army back to Dunbar, and there provision it. Great joy in the Kirk-and-Estates Committee thereupon: Lesley steadily continues in his place.—
The famine among the Scots themselves, at Dunbar, is great; picking our horses' beans, eating our soldiers' leavings: 'they are much enslaved to their Lords,' poor creatures; almost destitute of private capital,—and ignorant of soap to a terrible extent!j Cromwell distributes among them 'pease and wheat to :fce valus
of 2407.' On the 12th he returns to Musselburgh; finds, as heavy Bulstrode spells it in good Scotch, with a friskiness we hardly looked for in him, That Lesley has commanded ' The gude women should awe come away with their gear, and not stay to brew or bake, any of them, for the English;'—which makes it a place more forlorn than before.* Oliver decides to encamp on the Pentland Hills, which lie or. the other side of Edinburgh, overlooking the Fife and Stirling roads; and to try whether he cannot force Lesley to fight by cutting off his supplies. Here, in the meantime, is a Letter from Lesley himself; written in 'Broughton Village,' precisely while Oliver is on march towards the Pentlands;
"For his Excellency the Lord General Cromwell.
"Bruchton, 13th August, 1650. "My Lord,—I am commanded by the Committee of Estates of this Kingdom, and desired by the Commissioners of the General Assembly, to send unto your Excellency this enclosed Declaration, as that which containeth the State of the Quarrel; wherein we are resolved, by the Lord's assistance, to fight your Army, when the Lord shall be pleased to call us thereunto. And as you have professed you will not conceal any of our Papers, I do desire that this Declaration may be made known to all the Officers of your Army. And so I rest,—your Excellency's most, humble servant,—David Lesley, "t
This Declaration, done by the Kirk, and endorsed by the Estates, we shall not on the present occasion make known, even though it is brief. The reader shall fancy it a brief emphatic disclaimer, on the part of Kirk and State, of their having anything to do with Malignants ;—disclaimer in emphatic words, while the emphatic facts continue as they were. Distinct hope, however, is held out that the Covenanted King will testify openly his sorrow for his Father's Malignancies, and his own resolution for a quite other course. To which Oliver, from the slope of the Pentlands,-f returns this answer:
* Whitlocke, p. 453. X t Newspapers (in Parliamentary History, xix., 330).
t 'About Colinton' (Balfour, iv., 00).
For the Right Honorable David Lesley, Lieutenant- General of the Scots Army: These.
From the Camp at Pentland Hills, 14th August, 1650.
I received yours of the 13th instant; with the Paper you mentioned therein, enclosed,—which I caused to be read in the presence of so many Officers as could well be gotten together; to which your Trumpet can witness. We return you this answer. By which I hope, in the Lord, it will appear that we continue the same we have professed ourselves to the Honest People in Scotland; wishing to them as to our own souls; it being no part of our business to hinder any of them from worshipping God in that way they are satisfied in their consciences by the Word of God they ought, though different from us,—but shall therein be ready to perform what obligation lies upon us by the Covenant.*
But that under the pretence of the Covenant, mistaken, and wrested from the most native intent and equity thereof, a King should be taken in by you, to be imposed upon us; and this 'be ' called " the Cause of God and the Kingdom;" and this done upon " the satisfaction of God's People in both Nations," as is alleged,—together with a disowning of Malignants; although het who is the head of them, in whom all their hope and comfort lies, be received; who, at this very instant, hath a Popish Army fighting for and under him in Ireland; hath Prince Rupert, a man who hath had his hand deep in the blood of many innocent men of England, now in the head of our Ships, stolen from us upon a Malignant account; hath the French and Irish ships daily making depredations on our coasts; and strong combinations by the Malignants in England, to raise Armies in our bowels, by virtue of his commissions, who hath of late issued out very many to that purpose:—How the 'G >dly' Interest you pretend you have received him upon, and the Malignant Interests in their ends and consequence 'all' centering in this man, can be secured, we cannot discern! And how we should believe that whilst known and notorious Malignants are fighting and plotting against us on the one hand, and you declaring for him on the other, it should not be an "espousing of a Malignant-Party's Quarrel or Inte
* Ungrammatical, but intelligible and characteristic.
♦ Charles Stuart.
rest;" but be a mere " fighting upon former grounds and principles, and in defence of the Cause of God and the Kingdoms, as hath been these twelve years last past," as you say: how this should be "for the security and satisfaction of God's People in both Nations;" or 'how' the opposing of this should render us enemies to the Godly with you, we cannot well understand. Especially considering that all these Malignants take their confidence and encouragement from the late transactions of your Kirk and State with your King. For as we have already said, so we tell you again, It is but 'some' satisfying security to those who employ us, and ' who' are concerned, that we seek. Which we conceive will not be by a few formal and feigned Submissions, from a Person that could not tell otherwise how to accomplish his Malignant ends, and ' is' therefore counselled to this compliance, by them who assisted his Father, and have hitherto actuated himself in his most evil and desperate designs; designs which are now again by them set on foot. Against which, How you will be able, in the way you are in, to secure us or yourselves ?—' this it now' is (forasmuch as concerns ourselves) our duty to look after.
If the state of your Quarrel be thus, upon which, as you say, you resolve to fight our Army, you will have opportunity to do that; else what means our abode here? And if our hope be not in the Lord, it will be ill with us. We commit both you and ourselves to Him who knows the heart and tries the reins; with whom are all our ways; who is able to do for us and you above what we know: Which we desire may be in much mercy to His poor People, and to the glory of His great Name.
And having performed your desire, in making your Papers so public as is before expressed, I desire you to do the like, by letting the State, Kirk, and Army have the knowledge hereof. To which end I have sent you enclosed two Copies ' of this Letter;' and rest,
Your humble servant,
The encampment on Pentland Hills, 'some of our tents within sight of Edinburgh Castle and City,' threatens to cut off Lesley's supplies; but will not induce him to fight. 'The gude wives fly with their bairns and gear' in great terror of us, poor gude wives; and 'when we set fire to furze-bushes, report that we are burning their houses.f Great terror of us; but no other result.
* Newspapers (in Parliamentary History, xix., 331-333). \ Narrative of Farther Proceedings, dated ' From the Camp of MusselDurgh Fields, 16th August, 1650;' read in the Parliament 22d August Lesley brings over his guns to the western side of Edinburgh, and awaits, steady within his fastnesses there.
Hopes have arisen that the Godly Party in Scotland, seeing now by these Letters and Papers what our real meaning is, may perhaps quit a Malignant King's Interest, and make bloodless peace with us, 'which were the best of all.' The King boggles about signing that open Testimony, that Declaration against hi3 Father's sins which was expected of him. 'A great Commander of the Enemy's, Colonel Gibby Carre' (Colonel Gilbert Ker, of whom we shall hear farther), solicits an interview with some of ours, and has it; and other interviews and free communings take place, upon the Burrow-Moor and open fields that lie between us. Gibby Ker, and also Colonel Strahan who was thought to be slain :* these and some minority of others are clear against Malignancy in every form; and if the Covenanted Stuart King will not sign this Declaration—!—Whereupon the Covenanted Stuart King does sign it; signs this too,f—what will he not sign ?—and these hopes of accommodation vanish.
Neither still will they risk a Battle; though in their interviews upon the Burrow-Moor, they said they longed to do it. Vain that we draw out in battalia; they lie within their fastnesses. We march, with defiant circumstance of war, round all accessible sides of Edinburgh; escamp on the Pentlands, return to Musselburgh for provisions; go to the Pentlands again,—enjoy one of the beautifullest prospects, over deep-blue seas, over yellow cornGelds, dusky Highland mountains, from Ben Lomond round to the Bass again; but can get no Battle. And the weather is broken, and the season is advancing,—equinox within ten days, by the modern Almanac Our men fall sick; the service is harassing; —and it depends on wind and tide whether even biscuit can be landed for us nearer than Dunbar. Here is the Lord General's
(Commons Journals); reprinted in Parliamentary History (xix., 327) as a 'Narrative by General Cromwell;' though it is clearly enough not General Cromwell's, but John Rushworth's. • Letter LXXXVII., p. 443
f At our Court at Dunfermline this 16th day of August, 1650 (Sir Edward Walker, pp. 170-6; by whom the melancholy Document is, with due loyal indignation, given at large there).