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ours;1 they have a free passage. I fear them not. What is of God in them, would it might be embraced and received !-One of them lately sent, directed to the Under-Officers and Soldiers in the English Army, hath begotten from them this enclosed Answer ;2 which they desired me to send to you: not a crafty politic one, but a plain simple spiritual one ;— what kind of one it is God knoweth, and God also will in due time make manifest.
And do we multiply these things,3 as men; or do we them for the Lord Christ and His People's sake ? Indeed we are not, through the grace of God, afraid of your numbers, nor confident in o’rselves. We could, - I pray God you do not think we boast, - meet your Army, or what you have to bring against us. We have given, -humbly we speak it before our God, in whom all our hope is, -some proof that thoughts of that kind prevail not upon us. The Lord hath not hid His face from us since our approach so near unto you.
1 Our people.
? The Scotch Paper To the Under-Officers,' &c., received on the last day of July ; and close following on it, thisAnswer' which it hath begotten from them,' addressed To the People of Scotland (especially those among them that know and fear the Lord) from whom yesterday we received a Paper directed To the Under-Officers, &c.; of date “Musselburgh, 1 August, 1650 :' in King's Pamphlets, small 4to, no. 475, § 10 (Printed, London, 12 August, 1650). — This Answer by the UnderOfficers,' a very pious and zealous Piece, seems to have found favour among the pious Scots, and to have circulated among them in Manuscript Copies. A most mutilated unintelligible Fragment, printed in Analecta Scotica (Edinburgh, 1834), ii. 271, as 'a Proclamation by Oliver Cromwell,' turns out to be in reality a fraction of this • Answer by the UnderOfficers :'--printed there from a Copy evidently made at the time, evidently a most ruinous Copy, “and now in the possession of James Macknight, Esq.
3 Papers and Declarations.
Your own guilt is too much for you to bear: bring not therefore upon yourselves the blood of innocent men, -deceived with pretences of King and Covenant; from whose eyes you hide a better knowledge! I am persuaded that divers of you, who lead the People, have laboured to build yourselves in these things; wherein you have censured others, and established yourselves “ upon the Word of God.” Is it therefore infallibly agreeable to the Word of God, all that you say? I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. Precept may be upon precept, line may be upon line, and yet the Word of the Lord may be to some a Word of Judgment; that they may fall backward, and be broken and be snared and be taken !? There may be a spiritual fulness, which the World may call drunkenness ;- as in the second Chapter of the Acts. There may be, as well, a carnal confidence upon misunderstood and misapplied precepts, which may be called spiritual drunkenness. There may be a Covenant made with Death and Hell !1 I will not say yours was so. But judge if such things have a politic aim: To avoid the overflowing scourge ;! or, To accomplish worldly interests? And if therein we3 have confederated with wicked and carnal men, and have respect for them, or otherwise have drawn them in to associate with us, Whether this be a Covenant of God, and spiritual ? Be. think yourselves; we hope we do.
I pray you read the Twenty-eighth of Isaiah, from
| Bible phrases. ? As you now do of us; while it is rather you that are “ drunk." 3 i.e. you,
the fifth to the fifteenth verse. And do not scorn to know that it is the Spirit that quickens and giveth life.
The Lord give you and us understanding to do that which is well-pleasing in His sight. Committing you to the grace of God, I rest,
Your humble servant,
Here is the passage from Isaiah : I know not whether the General Assembly read it and laid it well to heart, or not, but it was worth their while,—and is worth our while too:
In that day shall the Lord of Hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people. And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in ‘judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
• But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink ,are out of the way! The Priest and the Prophet have erred through strong drink; they are swallowed ' up of wine; they are out of the way through strong drink. • They err in vision, they 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 stam
mering 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
* Newspapers (in Parliamentary History, xix. 320-323).
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 favour, 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 Saturday: on the Monday following,' * about the 6th 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 ! Cromwell distributes among them 'pease and wheat to the valne of 2401. 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 1 Balfour, iv. 89.
· Whitlocke, p. 452.
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 on 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 Eccellency the Lord General Cromwell.
“ Bruchton, 13th August, 1650. “My Lord, I am commanded by the Committee of Es“ tates 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 assist“ ance, 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,
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
1 Whitlocke, p. 453.
Newspapers (in Parliamentary History, xix. 330).