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by craft, dissimulation, hypocrisy, and the usual arts of meni bent on defeating the designs of their foes, and advancing their own.”
In the notes on this passage, he very ingenuously gives the general opinion of Cromwell's Cotemporaries, with respect to his hypocrisy, which is farther corroborated by particular facts, cited from good authority. The general accusations are as follow : “ If craft he wisdom, says Mr. Cowley, and distimulation wit, (alisted both and improved with hypocrisies and perjuries) I must not deny him to have been singular in both; but so gross was the manner in which he made use of then, that as wise men ought not to have believed him at first, so no man was fool enough to believe him at last : neither did any man seem to do it, but those who thought they gained as much by that diffembling, as he did by his. His very actings of godliness grew at last as ridiculous, as if a player by putting on a gown, should think he represented excellently a woman, though his beard at the same time were seen by all the spectators. If you ask me why they did not hiss, and explode him off the stage, I can only answer that they durit not do so, because the actors and door-keepers were too strong for the company. I must confess that by thesc arts (how grofly soever managed, as by hypocritical praying, and filly preaching, by unmanly tears and whinings, by falthoods and perjuries, even diabolical) he had at first the good fortune (as men call it, that is the ill fortune) to attain his ends; but it was because his ends were fo unreasonable, that no human wisdom could foresee them, which made them whohad to do with him believe that he wasrather a well-meaning and deluded bigot, than a crafty and malicious impostor. Another writer, who also lived in Cromwell's time, and wrote when he was in the height of his power, expresses himself in the following manner : Had not his Highness had a faculty to be fluent in his tears, and eloquent in his execrations ; had he not had spongy eyes, and a supple conscience; and besides to do with people of great faith, but little wit; his courage, and the reft of his moral virtues, with the help of his janissaries, had never been able so far to advance him out of the reach of justice, that we should have need to call for any other hand to remove him, but that of the hangman. And again: He hath found, indeed, that in godliness there is great gain ; and that preaching ard praying, well managed, will obtain other kingdoms, as well as that of heaven. His, indeed, have been pious arms; for he hath conquered most by those of the church, by prayers and tears. But the truth is, were it not for our 2
honour to be governed by one that can manage both the spiritual and temporal sword, and, Roman like, to have our emperor our high priest, we might have had preaching at a much cheaper rate, and it would have cost us but our tythes, which now costs us all.”
But these being general declamations, Mr. Harris candidly cites facts, of which we have only room to extract the following, taken from Burnet. “ When the House of Commons and the Army were a quarelling, at a meeting of the dificers, it was proposed to purge the army better, that they mighé know whom to depend on. Cromwell, upon that, said, he was sure of the army; but there was another body that had more need of purging, naming the house of commons, and le thought the army only could do that. Two officers that were present brought an account of this to Grimston, who carried them with him to the lobby of the house of commons, they being resolved to justify it to the house. There was another debate then on foot, but Grimston diverted it, and said he had a matter of privilege of the highest fort to lay before them : it was about the being and freedom of the house. So he charged Cromwell with the design of putting a force on the house. He had his witnesses at the door, and defired they might be examined. They were brought to the bar, and justified all that they had said to him, and gave a full relation of all that had paffed at their meetings. When they withdrew, Cromwell fell down on his knees, and made a folemn prayer to God, attesting his innocence, and his zeal for the service of the house. He submitted himself to the providence of God, who it seems thought fit to exercise him with calumny and Nander, but he submitted his cause to him. This he did with great vehemence, and with many tears. After this strange and bold preamble, he made fo long a speech, justifying both himself and the rest of the officers, except a few that seemed inclined to return back to Egypt, that he wearied out the house, and wrought so much on his party, that what the witnesses had said was so little believed, that had it been moved, Grimston thought that both he and they would have been sent to the Tower. But whether their guilt made them modest, or that they had no mind to have the matter much talked of, they let it fall; and there was no strength in the other side to carry it further. To complete the scene, as foon as ever Cronwell got out of the house, he resolved to trust himself no more amongst them, but went to the army, and in a few days he brought them up, and forced a H 2
great many from the house." He likewise takes notice of the circumstances of Cronwell's indignation against Joyce, who, by his own orders, scized the King, though Cromwell “ lifted up his hands in the Parliament, and called God, Angels, and Men to witness, that he knew nothing of Joyce's going for the King.” He next quotes fome instances of his hypocrisy, practised on Ludlow; and then exclaims, with a kind of exulting approbation of his hero's craft, that “ he must have had a peculiar knack at diffimulation who was capable of imposing on Ludlow, who had many times before found himfelf deceived by him.” But our Author's manner of reconciling these flagrant instances of hypocrisy, with a real sense of religion, common honesty, and fair dealing, is the most extraordinary that ever was attempted. “ That enthusiasm, (says he) to which Cromwell was subject, is a very variable thing; it admits of much devotion, and many crimes. Men who think themselves under the special and extraordinary influence of the Deity, attribute to him their feelings, fentiments, and desires, and whatever proceeds from him must be wise, just, and good.” What! could Cromwell then suppose himself under the special influence of the Deity, when he fell on his knees, and made a folemn prayer to God, attesting his innocence of a fact, wherein his own conscience bore witness of his guilt? Could he think himself under a divine influence, when he called God, angels, and men, to witness a notorious falfhood, in saying that he knew nothing of Joyce's going for the King? It is possible that he might have thought himself exempted from the common rules of morality, and that the end would sanctify the means, had that end been juft and virtuous. But can we suppose him weak enough to have imagined that God directed his feelings, and prompted him not only to usurp the sovereignty, but to violate every moral and political duty, to support himfelf in his ill-gotten authority ? Such a supposition would be absurd : besides, real enthusiasm acts by fits, is irregular and inconftant in its motions and appearances. But Cromwell's enthusiasm was uniform and fyítematic: in short, Cromwell was not an enthusiast in religion, but an hypocrite, which is the most profligate of all characters; for there can be no hypocrify in religion without flagrant impiety.
Mr. Harris nevertheless thinks, that some allowances should be made for Cromwell's hypocrisy; and he adds, that James I. and Charles I. acted the same part, but with less art, and worfe grace."--What then? As he has very justly repre
hended it as a detestable quality in them, why should he endeavour to apologize for it in Cromwell, who, as being more artful, was the more noxious enemy to fociety? In the name of reason and virtue let us conclude, that if it was odious in a lawful King, who practised it to extend prerogative beyond its just limits, it was doubly odious in Cromwell, who used it as a means to acquire a lawless power, which he exercised with such arbitrary violations of justice and public liberty, as were never attempted by the sovereign whose blood he spilt, as he pretended, on account of a tyranny, which at worst was mild in comparison with his own.
Our Author is, indeed, obliged to confess that Cromwell, who had opposed and punished Charles for his illegal acts, became an imitator of them, and in some instances even went beyond him. Among other oppressions, he instituted MajorGenerals, who in a variety of respects lorded it over and oppressed the country.--He made use of packed juries on some occafions, and displaced judges for refusing to follow his directions.—He committed men illegally to prison, and suffered them not to enjoy the benefit of the laws. He caused men to be tried before new-created tribunals, and adjudged to death without the verdict of a jury. These courts were stiled High Courts of Justice, the terror of Royalists, as their enemies were their judges. --Add to these, that he openly violated the privileges of parliament.
After such a catalogue of tyrannical, and some of them unprecedented oppressions, it is matter of amazement that any friend to liberty should attempt to apologize for a character so obnoxious and injurious to civil society. Had Cromwell used his ufurped authority, in order to inlarge and confirm the basis of public freedom, his name might justly be adored ; but all his virtues, and all his vices, were made subservient to the mean ambition of aggrandizing himself, and of supporting by force and oppression, what he had acquired by violence and craft. Even his war with Spain was directed to this end, and his successes therein were more owing to the courage and vigour of those intrusted with the execution of the projected enterprizes, than to any skill or sagacity in forming the plans. In truth, Cromwell's capacity for government secms rather to have been of that narrow nature, adapted for the management of domestic parties, than of that comprehensive kind, which judges of the true interest of a kingdom, from a knowlege of its foreign relations.
Yet he sometimes erred even in his own sphere of limited policy; witness his injudicious treatment of his Major-Ge
nerals, who had been the instruments of his tyranny, and whom he afterwards wantonly disgusted, which was the occafion of their opponition to his alluming the title of King. We wonder that our Author has omitted these circumstances, so fully related in the Parliamentary History.
Cromwell, however, was not only an enemy to civil, but religious freedom. Mr. Harris, indeed, affirnis, that “he conftantly was a friend to religious liberty.” Nevertheless he acknowleges, how consistently let the Reader determine, that « his edict against the episcopal clergy was very cruel, as it deprived them in a good measure of their maintenance, and of their liberty of worshipping God, according as appeared best to their own understandings.
In few words, Cromwell was, as the Author of the Me: moirs of Brandenburgh well characterizes him, “ a bold, cunning, and ambitious man; but unjust, violent, and void of virtuc; a man, in fine, who had great qualities, but never a good one : who therefore did not deserve the surname of Great, which is due only to virtue. And it would (the Memoir Writer concludes) be degrading Lewis XIV. to compare him to such a rival.”
At this Mr. Harris fires with indignation. " What (he asks) were the faults imputed to Cromwell? Diffimulation, hypocrisy, bringing Charles to the block, and ingratitude towards the long parliament. --- Let these crimes he adds) be weighed in the nicest balance, they must be light as air when opposed to those of Lewis, who was an aduterer, who was not ashamed to confess that he waged war inerely for his glory, who broke through all oaths and treaties.” He concludes, « that the painting out such enemies of liberty, and mankind, in the finest colours and by the finest pens, is the greatest reproach of letters, and most dangerous to the interests of common humanity.”
In these last sentiments we readily concur. What then Shall we think of a Writer, who has endeavoured to paint Cromwell, the most inveterate enemy to liberty, in the finest colours, though we cannot say with the finest pen? If Lewis waged war for glory, so did Cromwell : and we believe it will be paying him a compliment to affign no worse reason for his war with Spain. If Lewis broke through his oaths, neither did Cromwell, we find, pay any regard to oaths, or even scruple to make the most folemn invocations on God, to witness the most notorious falfhoods. But then the crime of