Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Greatest Englishman: Oliver Cromwell

Cromwell, 1599-1658 became Lord Protector of England after he led the rebellion against the tyrant Charles I. After Cromwell helped free England of Monarchy, he helped form a Republic. Cromwell's  Calvinism was no secret:
The commons declared that he silenced all opposition to popery, and in the debate on the pardons to Montagu, Cosin, and Sibthorpe his conduct furnished Oliver Cromwell with the subject of his first speech in the house. On 13 June the commons voted that Dr. Neile, Bishop of Winchester, and Dr. Laud, Bishop of Bath and Wells, be named to be those near about the king who are suspected to be Arminians, and that they are justly suspected to be unsound in their opinions that way. His defence was based on the Anglican theory which found so little favour in the commons, but he was careful to purge himself from all suspicion of popery by severity towards recusants (Cal. of State Papers, Dom. passim).
The Puritan Cromwell believed true biblical faith rests in Calvinism in his letter to his cousin.




Ely, 13th October, 1638.


DEAR COUSIN,


I thankfully acknowledge your love in your kind remembrance of me upon this opportunity. Alas, you do too highly prize my lines, and my company. I may be ashamed to own your expressions, considering how unprofitable I am, and the mean improvement of my talent.


Yet to honour my God by declaring what He hath done for my soul, in this I am confident, and I will be so. Truly, then, this I find: That He giveth springs in a dry barren wilderness where no water is. I live, you know where,-in Meshec, which they say signifies Prolonging; in Kedar, which signifies
Blackness: yet the Lord forsaketh me not. Though He do prolong, yet He will I trust bring me to His tabernacle, to His resting place. My soul is with the Congregation of the Firstborn, my body rests in hope; and if here I may honour my God either by doing or by suffering, I shall be most glad.

Truly no poor creature hath more cause to put himself forth in the cause of his God than I. I have had plentiful wages beforehand; and I am sure I shall never earn the least mite. The Lord accept me in His Son, and give me to walk in the light,-and give us to walk in the light, as He is the light! He it is that
enlighteneth our blackness, our darkness. I dare not say, He hideth His face from me. He giveth me to see light in His light. One beam in a dark place hath exceeding much refreshment in it:-blessed be His Name for shining upon so dark a heart as mine! You know what my manner of life hath been. Oh, I
lived in and loved darkness, and hated light; I was a chief, the chief of sinners.This is true; I hated godliness, yet God had mercy on me. O the riches of His mercy; Praise Him for me;-pray for me, that He who hath begun a good work would perfect it in the day of Christ. Salute all my friends in that Family whereof you are yet a member. I am much bound unto them for their love. I bless the Lord for them; and that my Son, by their procurement, is so well. Let him have your prayers, your counsel; let me have them.

Salute your Husband and Sister from me:-He is not a man of his word! He promised to write about Mr. Wrath of Epping; but as yet I receive no letters:- put him in mind to do what with conveniency may be done for the poor Cousin I did solicit him about.

Once more farewell. The Lord be with you: so prayeth

Your truly loving Cousin,

OLIVER CROMWELL.

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