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nate a new council of state, and to call a


• at a time when he had almost granted every thing " that was desired; who, in fhort, were induftrious to

break the union of the church, to subvert all religion,

I or introduce the most ridiculous and extravagant one. (1) History « Was it therefore more eligible for England to be goof England, - verned by these men, than by a Cromwell (c)?' These vol. ij. p. 601. Foi. things are all easily spoken. But whoever will consider, Lond. 1733. that Crimwell in this affair was deftitute of the plea of

neceflity and self-preservation ; that he had received very great favours from, and had actually sworn to be true and faithful to the commonwealth, that he had approved of their actions, and zealously concurred with them in the most exceptionable of them ; that he charges them not with the ill things done, but only some good things omitted, a charge to which every government on earth is, and always will be liable : I say, whoever considers these things, and withal calls to mind that they were

about to pass an act for their own dissolution, and for (d) Journal, the calling and settling of future and successive parliaAp. 13. ments (d), even at the time Cromwell used this force, 3653. 53. will, I am persuaded, not be over hafty in his justifica

tion. Of this however the considerate and unprejudiced reader must be the judge.

Mr. Harringtin, after censuring the form of government of the commonwealth, as an oligarchy,' because it was a council without a ballance, or as he before expresies it, • A parliament confifting of a single « assembly elected by the people, and invested with the • whole power of the government, without any coveI nants, conditions or orders whatsoever :' I say, after thus censuring the form of that government, proceeds to take notice of its dissolution by Cromwell in the following terms: 'I come now to the army, says he, of • which the most victorious captain and incomparable • patriot Olphaus Megaletor was now general: who be' ing a much greater master of that ari, whereof I have • made a rough draught in these preliminaries, had so

• sad

parliament. This was surnamed the Little,


rad reflections upon the ways and proceedings of the o parliament, as cast him upon books, and all other « means of diversion, among which he happened upon • this place of Machiavel: Thrice happy is that peo

ple which chances to have a man able to give them < such a government at once, as without alteration may

secure them of their liberties ; seeing it is certain, that

Lacedemon, in observing the laws of Lycurgus, conti6 nued about eight hundred years without any dange« rous tumult or corruption. My lord general (as it is « said of Themistocles, that he could not sleep for the • glory obtained by Miltiades at the battle of Maratho) s took so new and deep impression at these words of the 6 much greater glory of Lycurgus, that being on this side 6 assaulted with the emulation of his illustrious object,

on the other with the misery of the nation, which 6 seemed (as it were ruined by his victory) to cast her«self at his feet, he was almost wholly deprived of his « natural rest, until the debate he had within himself « came to a firm resolution, that the greatest advantages s of a commonwealth are, first, that the legislator should I be one man: and secondly, that the government « should be made altogether, or at once. For the first,

it is certain, faith Machinvel, that a commonwealth o is seldom or never well turned or constituted, except (it have been the work of one man : for which cause ca wise legislator, and one whose mind is firmly set, o not upon private but the publick intereft, not upon his

posterity but upon his country, may juftly endeavour ' to get the sovereign power into his own hands; nor 6 shall any man who is master of reason, blame such ,

extraordinary means as in that case shall be necessary, o the end proving no other, than the conftitution of a • well ordered commonwealth. The reason of this is • demonstrable ; for the ordinary means not failing, the

commonwealth hath no need of a legislator; but the • ordinary means failing, there is no recourse to be had


or Praisegod Barebone's parliament (YY),


() Com... " but to such as are extraordinary (€). This was write monwealth

ceana. ten, I suppose, to stimulate Cromwell's ambition, and p. 49. Fol. excite him by the desire of real glory to establish a perLond. 1656. fect commonwealth, and to launch immediately forth

« into an empire of laws.' But he had no such intention as this, and therefore cannot be entitled to this vindication. To come to a conclufion- Whatever crime the general was guilty of in this affair, it certainly was a proof of his superior ability. For, as Dr. Warburton observes, Cromwell seemeth to be distinguished in the ' most eminent manner, with regard to his abilities, < from all other great and wicked men, who have over

turned the liberties of their country. The times in « which others fucceeded in this attempt, were such as

saw the spirit of liberty suppressed and stified by a « general luxury and venality : but Cromwvell subdued « his country, when this fpirit was at its height, by a

' successful struggle against court-oppreslion; and while Notes "it was conducted and supported by a set of the greatest an Pope's "geniuses for government the world ever saw (f): Essay on

in his What an idea is here given of the capacity of this exWorks, vol. traordinary man! What an eulogium on his masters iii. p. 89. whom he displaced, and ruled over! Lond. 8vo.

(YY) He conftitited a council of state, and summoned 1751.

Barebone's parliament.] The parliament being dissolved by Cromwill, no visible power was in being, but the soldiery. This must have been an alarming confideration. To prevent the ill effects of it, a declaration was set forth in the general's name in the following words: • Whereas the parliament being dissolved, persons of • approved fidelity and honesty, are (according to the • late declaration of the 22d of April last) to be called " from the several parts of this commonwealth to the

supream authority; and although effectual proceedings care and have been had for perfecting these resolutions, (vet some convenient time being required for the al• jembling of those persons, it hath been found necel



the subject of ridicule, reproach and censure,



sary for preventing the said mischiefs and inconvenien(ces which may arise in the mean-while to the pubclick affairs, that a councel of state be constituted, to

take care of, and intend the peace, safety and present management of the affairs of this commonwealth: ( which being settled accordingly, the same is hereby • declared and published, to the end all persons may • take notice thereof, and in their several places and • stations demean themselves peaceably, giving obedi«ence to the laws of the nation as heretofore : in the • exercise and administration whereof, as endeavours • shall be used, that no oppression or wrong be done to < the people, so a strict account will be required of all ' such as shall do any thing to endanger the publick (x) Mercu. peace and quiet upon any pretence whatsoever (g).'rius Politi

cus, No. This bears date April 30, 1653. In this high tone spoke Cromwell, who now, having all power in his 2410. hands, printed an order for the continuance of the af. 01.10. sessment for the payment of the army and the navy for i 57. e. six months (h), after the rate of one hundred and twen. 2506. ty thousand pounds a month, and issued out warrants for several persons to appear at Whitehall, and receive from him the supream power. In the Journal of the house of commons, July 4th,' 1653, we have the following account of the calling this assembly. Se6 veral letters having issued, under the band and seal of

the lord general, directed unto divers persons, in this form ; Forasmuch as, upon the dissolution of the late

parliament, it became necessary that the peace, safety, ' and good government of this commonwealth should

te provided for; in order whereunto, divers persons, ' fearing God, and of approved fidelity and honesty,

are by myself, with the advice of my council of officers, nominated; to whom the great charge and trust

of so weighty affairs is to be committed ; and having • good assurance of the love to, ard courage for God, " and interest for his cause, and of the good people of

o this

from men who knew little of its real cha


• this commonwealth : I, Oliver Cromwell, captain-ge• neral and commander in chief of all the armies and « forces raised, and to be raised in this commonwealth, 6 do hereby summon and require you • (being one of the said persons nominated) personally to 6 be and appear at the council-chamber in Whitehall,

within the city of Westminster, upon the fourth day of 6 July next ensuing the date hereof, then and there to I take upon you the said trust, unto which you are « hereby called and appointed, to serve as a member for • the county of

: and hereof you are • not to fail. Given under my hand and seal the fixth day of June, 1653.


. This day there was a great appearance of those per« fons (to whom the letters were directed) in the coun, <cil-chamber at Whitehall; when the lord-general de « clared unto them the grounds and end of calling them; 6 and delivered unto them an instrument, in writing un. • der his hand and seal; and afterwards left them.' In the Mercurius Politicus there is an article from Whit:hall of the same date, in which it is said, " That the gen. • tlemen that were called to the supream authority, met, • to the number of above one hundred and twenty, in 6 the council-chamber, and being set round about the • table, the lord-general standing by the window oppoo site to the middle of the table, and having as many c of the army officers as the room could well contain, I on his right hand and on his left; bis lordship made a ( very grave, christian and reasonable speech, and ex

hortation to them ; wherein he briefly recounted the o many great and wondrous mercies of God towarus " this nation ;- he set forth also the progress of af• fairs since the famous victory at Worcester, wherein " that arch-enemy of this nation was wholly subdued. • He likewise laid down the actings of the army there

• uon,

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