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delic 20, in thehere is an was publiche 7th, rosas ex.

an entry of some kind or other made, but it was expunged by order of parliament, January 7th, 1659. In Mercurius Politicus, which was published by authority at that time, there is an article, dated Westminster,

April 20, in the following words: “The lord general
• delivered in parliament divers reasons wherefore a pre-

sent period Thould be put to the fitting of this parlia-
ment; and it was accordingly done; the speaker and
the members all departing. The grounds of which

proceedings will (its probable) be shortly made pub. click.' Writers of Gazettes in all ages and countries are pretty much the same. --- If the reader will turn

(*) History to Mr. Hume, he may see this story of the dissolution of of the parliament highly embellished (*). lc may well Britain, vol, enough be thought a transaction of this nature must ii. p. 44. have been variously censured. The common people, delighted with change, were far enough from being dilpleased; the Cavaliers and the other Royalists with pleasure faw those men displaced from that power they judged they had no right to assume; the Dutch were in hopes of obtaining peace on better terms than those steady and resolute men ever would willingly have given them; whilst the true Republicans could not help crying out on Cromwell, who had interrupted the parliament in their career of glory. Mr. Whitlock's censure we have just seen. Another author thus exclaims against him.-- His falseness and ingratitude, says he,

appeared superlatively in turning out his masters, who

had not only advanced him, but made themselves ' more odious by their partial affection towards him,

and in his doing it with the breach of a positive ne'gative oath, taken once a year, when made a coun.

sellor of state, besides the breach of all other en'gagements, voluntary imprecations, protestations and • oaths, taken frequently upon all occasions in dis

course and declarations; and yet further (when " he had turned them out, and left them void of pro• tection, and exposed them to the fury of the peop'e) mistake in ' in pursuing them wi:h false reproachful deciarations, Oliver enough to have stirred up the rude multitude to have somwell,

P. 15. 410. defroyed them, wherever they had met them (3). Lond. 1163, Y a




to justify it, as well as his apologists (xx). The grounds and reasons of this proceeding be


Mr. Lud'ow talks much in the same strain. Cromwell's defence will be found in the following note.

(xx) Oliver attempted to justify it, as well as his apologists.] On the twenty. second of April, two days after the interruption or diffo'ution of the parliament, a declaration was published in the name of the lord-general and his council of officers, shewing the grounds and reasons thereof. In this the neglect of the parliament, in settling a due liberty in reference both to civil and spiritual things, is lamented, and a desire of perpetuating themselves in the fupream government asserted. • For which purpose,' says the general and his officers, • the corrupt party [the majority] long opposed, and 6 frequently declared themselves against having a new

representative : and when they saw themselves neces• sitated to take that bill into consideration, they re• solved to make use of it to recruit the house with < persons of the same spirit and temper: and the better • to effect this, divers petitions preparing from several • counties for the continuance of this parliament were

encouraged, if not set on foot by many of them.' They go on to say, “That, having a meeting with about ' twenty members of parliament, they laid before them • their judgment, that the supream authority should o be by the parliament devolved upon known persons, • men fearing God, and of approved integrity, and the • government of the commonwealth committed unto • them for a time, as the most hopeful way to encou

rage and countenance all God's people, reform the

law, and administer justice impartially.' This, it feems, found no acceptance: but, instead thereof, it ' was offered, that the way was to continue still this

present parliament, as being that from which we

might reasonably expect all good things. And this « being vehementiy inlisted upon, did much confirm us . in our apprehentions, that not any love to a repre

6 sentative,

ing published, they were approved by the


«sentative, but the making use thereof to recruit, and « so perpetuate themselves, was their aim. They be<ing plainly dealt with about this, and cold, that nei• ther the nation, the honest interest, nor we ourselves,

would be deluded by such dealings, they did agree to • meet again the next day in the afternoon for mutual 6 satisfaction, it being consented to by the members < present, that endeavours should be used, that nothing « in the mean time Tould be done in parliament that "might exclude or frustrate the proposals above men

tioned. Notwithstanding this, the next morning the • parliament did make more halte than usual, in carrying • on their said act, being helped on therein by some of

the persons engaged to us the night before; none of

them which were then present endeavouring to op• pose the fame : and being ready to put the main

question for consummating the said act, whereby

our aforesaid proposals would have been rendered 4 void, and the way of bringing them into a fair and

full debate in parliament obstructed; for preventing 6 whereof, and all the sad and evil consequences, which 6 must, upon the grounds aforesaid, have ensued, and 6 whereby, at one blow, the interest of all honest

men, and of this glorious cause, had been in danger "to be laid in the dust, and these nations embroiled (in new troubles, at a time when our enemies abroad « are watching all advantages against us, and some of

them actually engaged in a war with us: we have « been neceffitated, though with much reluctancy, to

put an end to this parliament; which yet we have 6 done (we hope) out of an honest heart, preferring

this cause above our names, lives, families, or inte

rests, how dear soever ; with clear intentions and real • purposes of heart, to call to the government persons • of approved fidelity and honest, believing, that as .« none wise will expect to gather grapes of thorns, lo good men will hope, that, if persons fo qualified be




chief officers in the feet and army, and




410. 1653•

I chosen, the fruits of a juft and righteous resor

'mation, so long prayed and wilhed for, will, by the (z) Decla- ' blessing of God, be in due time obesined, to the refation of the « freshing of all those good hearts who have been pantLord General, &c.

cing after those things (z).'- Mr. Maidfon, steward London of the household to Cromwell, a member of his parliaIrinted by ments, and well acquainted with his actions, speaking Henry Hills

Thomas of his return to London from the victory at Worcester, Bewster, adds, He had not long continued here, before it was printers to "ftrongly imprest upon him by chose, to whom he had

o no reason to be utterly incredulous, and Itrengthned

by his own observation, that the persons then called " the parliament of the commonwealth of England, as < from whom he had derived his authority, and by vir« tue whereof he had fought so many holy men in Scot. land into their graves, were not such as were spirited ' to carry the good interest to an end, wherein he and " they had jeoparded all that was of concern to them (in this world; and I wish cordially, that there had ! not been too great a ground for those allegations. The

result of them, after many debates betwixt the mem

bers then sitting, and the general, with some who

• joined with him, was the diflolution of that parlia(a) Thur: "ment by a military force since called by a softer word,

" interruption (a).'-- These were the pleas in the deP: 765.

fence of the dissolution by those who had accomplished it. Since this others have taken up the argument, and in behalf of Cromwell observe, • That the presbyte. « rian party being expelled the house, the small re. "mainder was only a junto, which derived their autho. o rity from the power of the sword; their votes and " acts were no farther laws than the sword constrained o obedience to them ; they were only continued in their < seats by Cromwell for a present convenience; and • therefore as they were only countenanced and support"ed by the power of the sword, which was then in the • hands of Cr:mwill, they were to be looked upon as no

o other

the general thereupon proceeded to nomi




other than a party set up by him, and owing their au

thority to him. So that when they began to extend " that authority beyond its limits, and assumed to them• felves a democratical power in opposition to him from

whom they derived their subsistence, they were rather • rebels to Cromwell, than Cromwell to them ; and as

he set them up in hopes that they might be serviceable to him for the good of tie nation, might pull them down again, when he saw them exceeding their commislion. Now whether the design for the bringing of

which to pass, Cromwel fixed them in their fears pri tempore, were good or bad, is not the question : but

whether they who were no lawful authority, but only " acted under the safeguard of another unlawful aucho'rity, had power to make any act good or evil, as it ' suited with their interest, or opposed their designs. • For if they had not, which is moit probable, Crom

well is never a jot the more impious, the more perjured, the more villain, because they call him fo.

For being a junto of his own erecting, upon such and < such considerations, he might without any fear of those " reproaches, send them a grazing when be found them • deviating from those ends for which he had suffered (6) Modest • them to keep their places (6).'--Mr. Repin is an Vindication advocate on the same side of the question. The re

of Oliver publicans, says he, were enraged against Cromwell, p. 49.

and deemed him the most perfidious of men. This is • not very strange, since he had wrested from that pari liament the sovereign power, seized by these repub

licans without any lawful authority. But what was < this parliament? It was an assembly of independents, • anabaptists, fanaticks, enthusiasts, and others of no " religion, who under colour of establishing a free com(monwealth, held the nation in servitude; who, to

confirm their own authority, had treated their fellow • members with unheard of violence, and dared to embrue their hands in the blood of the late King,

Y 4


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