« ZurückWeiter »
ue the Westminster confession, but rather to answer the desires of that assembly, by publishing to the world such a declaration of their faith and discipline as they liad demanded. And the confession was so far from raising any new divisions, that Mr. Philip Henry observes, upon the death of Cromwell, that there was a great change in the tempers of good people throughout the nation, and a mighty tendency to peace and unity, as if they were by consent weary of their long clashings. However, the independents lost their best friend in the protector, who was not only their patron upou the principle of liberty, but a balance to the presbyterian pretences to ecclesiastical power. The hierarchy of the church of England was now at a very low ebb, and in danger of being lost beyond recovery; for if the bishops, who were now very ancient, had all died off, before others had been consecrated, the line of succession must have failed; for the church of Rome was so far from supporting it, that they published a treatise this year, of the nature of the catholic faith, and of heresy ; in which they endeavor to invalidate the English ordinations, and revived the story of the Nags-head club; for the truth of which they appealed to Dr. JMoreton, the ancient bishop of Durham, who in a solemn speech made in full parliament (say they) declared in express words, that our first bishops after the reformation had been consecrated in a tavern; and that this was so far from being doubted, that it was a fact most notorious to all the world; adding, that the rest of the bishops present rather approved, than in the least opposed what he had said. The bishop, then in the ninety-fourth year of his age, being advised of this calumny, sent for a public notary from London, and in the presence of proper witnesses, made a solemn protestation of the falshood of this story, and signed it in due form July 17, 1658. He then sent his chaplain Dr. Barwick, to all the lords spiritual and temporal then alive, who had sat in that parliament, desiring, that if they believed him undeservedly aspersed, they would attest it by subscribing their names; which was done by six bishops, and fourteen temporal lords, and by the several clerks and registers of the house. The bishop died soon after, but his protestation, with the proofs, was afterwards published by Dr. Bramhal, bishop of Derry, in a treatise entitled, The consecration and succession of protestant bishops justified; the bishop of Duresme vindicated; and the fable of the ordination of the .N'ags-head club clearly confuted. This awakened the clergy to enter upon measures for the continuance of a succession of bishops, though they could not be regularly chosen, lest the validity of the episcopal ministry shauld cease; which will come under consideration in the transactions of the next year. Lord Clarendon mentions an address of the anabaptists to the king, who, being disappointed in their expectations of a commonwealth, threw themselves at his majesty's feet, offering their assistance to pull down the present government. In their address they say, “they took up arms in the late war for liberty and reformation, but assure his majesty that they were so far from entertaining any thoughts of casting off their allegiance, or extirpating the royal family, that they had not the least intent to abridge him of his just prerogatives, but only the restraining those excesses of government, which were nothing but the excrescencies of a wanton power, and were rather a burthen, than an ornament to the royal diadem.” They then go on to declaim against the protector, calling him, that grand impostor, that loathsome hypocrite, that detestable traitor, the prodigy of nature, the opprobrium of mukind, a landskip of iniquity, a sink of sin, a compendium of baseness. And then, begging pardon for their former offences, they promise to sacrifice their lives and fortunes for his majesty’s restoration, provided his majesty would be so gracious as to restore the remains of the long parliament; to ratify the treaty of the Isle of Wight; to establish liberty of conscience; to take away tithes, and provide some other maintenance for the national clergy; and to pass an act of oblivion, for all who had been in arms against his father and himself, except those who should adhere to that ungodly tyrant who calls himself protector. His lordship adds, that the messenger that brought these propositions, asking the sum of two thousand pounds to carry on the project, his majesty dismissed him with civil expressions, telling him, he had no designs to trouble any man for his
| Life, p. 40.
opinion. However, if there had been such an address from the body of the anabaptists, it is a little strange that after the restoration it was not remembered to their advantage. But his lordship seems to have had no great acquaintance with these men, when he says, they always pretended a just esteem and value for all men who faithfully adhered to the king, whereas they were of all sects the most zealous for a commonwealth, and were enemies to the protector for no other reason but because he was for government by a single person. In truth, this whole affair seems no more than an artifice to get a little money out of the poor king's purse.} The protector’s health was now declining, through his advanced age, and excessive toils and fatigues. The restless spirits of the royalists and republicans put him upon his guard, insomuch that he usually wore under his clothes a piece of armor, or a coat of mail. The loss of his beloved daughter Claypole, who died this summer, had also a very sensible influence on his health. About the middle of August he was seized with a slow fever, which turned to a tertian ague; but the distemper appeared so favorable for a while, that he walked abroad in the gardens at Hamptoncourt. Ludlow says, the protector had a humor in his leg, which he desired the physicians to disperse, by which means it was thrown into his blood: At length his pulse began to intermit, and he was advised to keep his bed; and his ague fits growing stronger, it was thought proper to remove him to Whitehall, where he began to be lightheaded; upon which his physicians declared his life in danger, and the council being summoned to desire him to nominate his scoessor, he appointed his eldest son Richard. In the intervals of his fits, he behaved with great devotion and piety, but manifested no remorse for his public actions; he declared in general, that he designed the good of the nation, and to preserve it from anarchy and a new war. He once asked Dr. Goodwin, who attended at his bed-side,
§ Notwithstanding the suspicions which rest upon this affair, Crosby has seen fit to preserve the address, propositions, and letter, in the Appendix to his first volume, No. v. Ed.
and is said to have expressed an unbecoming assurancet to Almighty God in prayer of his recovery, whether a man could fall from grace & which the doctor answering in the negative, the protector replied, then I am safe, for I am sure I was once in a state of grace.f. About twelve hours before he died he lay very quiet, when major Butler being in his chamber, says he heard him make his last prayer to this purpose: “Lord, I am a poor foolish creature; this people would fain have me live; they think it best for them, and that it will redound much to thy glory, and all the stir is about this. Others would fain have me die; Lord pardon them, and pardon thy foolish people, forgive their sins, and do not forsake them, but love and bless, and give them rest, and bring them to a consistency, and give me rest, for Jesus Christ's sake, to whom, with thee, and thy Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and for ever, Amen.” The protector died, Sept. 3, 1658, about three in the afternoon, the day on which he had triumphed in the battles of Marston-Moor,S Dunbar, and Worcester, when he had lived fifty-nine years, four months, and eight days : four years and eight months after he had been declared protector by the instrument of government; and one year and three months after his confirmation by the humble petition and advice. As he had lived most part of his life in a storm, his death was attended with one of the greatest hurricanes
t The language of Dr. Goodwin was thus extravagant: “Lord, we beg not for his recovery; for that thou hast already granted and assured us of; but for his speedy reeovery.” And when news was brought of his death, Mr. Peter Sterry stood up, and desired them not to be troubHed. “For” said he, “this is good news: beeause if he was of great use to the people of God when he was amongst us, now he will be much more so, being ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of Jesus Christ, there to intercede for us, and to be mindful of us on all oceasions.” Ludlow's Memoirs, 4to. p. 258, 9. Dr. Grey does not fail to notice these strange flights. And Sewel the historian’s reflection on this last instance of the flattery, or phrensy. of these courtiers, was just. “O horrid flattery Thus I call it, though he had been the greatest saint on earth; which he came much short of, though he was once endued with some eminent virtues.” History of the Quakers, p. 189. Ed.
# Baxter's Life, p. 98.
§ This, as Br. Grey notices, is an error; the battle of Marston-Moor was fought on the 2d of July, 1644. Ed.
that had been known for many years.” Some have said that next night after his death, his body was wrapped up in lead and buried in Naseby-field, according to his desire. Others, more probably, that it was deposited privately in a vault in king Henry the seventh’s chapel, sometime before the public funeral, which was performed Nov. 23, with all imaginable grandeur and military pomp, f from Somersethouse, where he had lain in state, to the Abbey-church in Westminster, where a fine mausoleum was erected for him, on which his effigies was placed, and exhibited to the view of all spectators for a time; but after the king's restoration, his coffin was taken out of the vault, and drawn upon a sledge to Tyburn, where he was hanged up till sun-set, and then buried under the gallows. Thus died the mighty Oliver CroMwell, the greatest soldier and statesman of his age, after he had undergone excessive fatigues and labors in a long course of warlike actions, and escaped innumerable dangers from the plots and conspiracies of domestic enemies. Few historians have spoken of him with temper, though no other genius, it may be, could have held the reigns, or steered the commonwealth, through so many storms and hurricanes, as the factions of these times had raised in the nation. He was
* Dr. Grey tells us also, that on the day his coffin was taken up and hung at Tyburn, almost as remarkable a storm rose in the northern parts of the kingdom. Superstition and a hatred of Cromwell construed these circumstances as appearances of nature or the God of nature, by physical phoenomena, expressing an abhorrence of his character. Bat sound philosophy sees nothing but a singular coincidence of events happening together, but without any correspondence in their causes: and will reflect, how many storms disturb the elements, when no wicked tyrant dies in the political world ! Ed.
# The expenees of Cromwell’s funeral amounted to 60,000l. The body laid in a more private apartment, till the first of November; in imitation of the solemnities used upon the like occasion for Philip II. king of Spain, who was thus represented to be in purgatory for two months. It was then removed into the great hall of oil. the part where the bed stood was railed in, and the rails and ground within covered with crimson velvet. Four or five hundred eandles set in flat shining candlesticks were so placed round near the roof of the hall, that the light they gave seemed like the rays of the sun; by all which he was represented to be in a state of glory. This folly and profusion so far provoked the people, that they threw dirt, in the night, on his escuteheon, placed over the great gate. Ludlow's Memoirs, 4to. p. 360. Ed.