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LXI.

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CHA P these men, now assembled together, the supreme

authority, they must have been very ungrateful, if,

in their turn, they had been wanting in complaisance
4th July. towards her. They immediately voted themselves a

parliament; and having their own consent, as well
as that of Oliver Cromwel, for their legislative au-
thority, they now proceeded very gravely to the ex-
ercise of it.

In this notable assembly were some persons of the
rank of gentlemen; but the far greater part were
low mechanics; fifth monarchy men, anabaptists,
antinomians, independents; the very dregs of the
fanatics. They began with seeking God by prayer:
This office was performed by eight or ten gifted
men of the assembly; and with so much success,
that, according to the confession of all, they had
never before, in any of their devotional exercises,
enjoyed so much of the holy spirit as was then com-
municated to them. Their hearts were, no doubt,
dilated when they considered the high dignity, to
which they supposed themselves exalted. They had
been told by Cromwel, in his first discourse, that he
never looked to see such a day, when Christ should
be so owned.' They thought it, therefore, their

duty
9 Parl. Hist. vol. xx. p. 182.
" These are his expressions :

- Indeed I have but one word more
" to say to you, though in that perhaps I shall shew my weak-

ness: It is by way of encouragement to you in this work; give

me leave to begin thus: I confess I never looked to have seen
"s such a day as this, it may be nor you neither, when Jesus Christ
“ should be so owned as he is at this day and in this work. Je-

sus Christ is owned this day by your call, and you own him by
your willingness to appear for him, and you manifest this (as far
as poor creatures can do) to be a day of the power

of Christ. I
“ know you will remember that scripture, he makes his people
" willing in the day of his power. God manifests it to be the day
“ of the power of Christ, having through so much blood and so
“ much trial as has been upon this nation, he makes this one of the

greatest mercies, next to his own son, to have his people called " to the supreme authority. God hath owned his son, and hath owned

and hath made you to own him. I consess, I never looked to have seen such a day: I did not." I suppose at

this

you,

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duty to proceed to a thorough reformation, and to CHA * pave the way for the reign of the Redeemer, and for that great work which, it was expected, the Lord was to bring forth among them. All fanatics being consecrated by their own fond imaginations, naturally bear an antipathy to the ecclesiastics, who claim a peculiar sanctity, derived merely from their office and priestly character. This parliament took into consideration the abolition of the clerical func tion, as savouring of popery; and the taking away of tithes, which they called a relict of Judaism. Learning also and the universities were deemed heathenish and unnecessary: The common law was denominated a badge of the conquest and of Norman slavery; and they threatened the lawyers with a total abrogation of their profession. were even taken towards an abolition of the chancery,' the highest court of judicature in the kingdom; and the Mosaical law was intended to be established as the sole system of English jurisprudence.'

Of all the extraordinary schemes adopted by these legislators, they had not leisure to finish any, except that which established the legal solemnization of marriage by the civil magistrate alone, without the interposition of the clergy. They found themselves exposed to the derision of the public. Among the fanatics of the house, there was an active member, much noted for his. long prayers, sermons, and harangues. He was a leather-seller in London : His name Praise.god Barebone. This ridiculous name, which seems to have been chosen by

Some steps

some

this passage he cried : For he was very much given to weeping, and could at any time shed abundance of tears. The rest of the speech may be seen among Milton's State Papers, page 106. It is very curious, and full of the same obscurity, confusion, embar. rassment, and absurdity, which appear in almost all Oliver's productions.

• Whitlocke, p.543, 548. Conference held a Whitehall.

CHA P. some poet or allegorist to suit so ridiculous a perLXI.

sonage, struck the fancy of the people; and they 1653. commonly affixed to this assembly the appellation of

Barebone's parliament."

The Dutch ambassadors endeavoured to enter into negotiation with this parliament; but, though protestants and even presbyterians, they met with a bad reception from those who pretended to a sanctity so much superior. The Hollanders were regarded as worldly-minded men, intent only on commerce and industry; whom it was fitting the saints should first extirpate, ere they undertook that great work, to which they believed themselves destined by providence, of subduing Antichrist, the man of sin, and extending to the uttermost bounds

of " It was usual for the pretended saints at that time to change their names from Henry, Edward, Anthony, William, which they regarded as heathenish, into others more sanctified and godly : Éven the New Testament names, James, Andrew, John, Peter, were not held in such regard as those which were borrowed from the Old Testament, Hezekiah, Habbakuk, Joshua, Zerobabel. Sometimes a whole godly sentence was adopted as a name. Here are the names of a jury said to be enclosed in the county of Sussex about that time. Accepted, Trevor of Norsham. Return, Spelman of Watling. Redeemed, Compton of Battle. Be Faithful, Joiner of Britling. Faint not, Hewit of Heathfield. Fly Debate, Roberts of the same. Make Peace, Heaton of Hare. Fight the good Fight of Faith, God Reward, Smart of Five- White of Emer. Hurst.

More Fruit, Fowler of East Standfast on High, Stringer of Hadley. Crowhurst.

Hope for, Bending of the same, Earth, Adams of Warbleton. Graceful, Harding of Lewes. Called, Lower of the same. Weep not, Billing of the same. Kill Sin, Pimple of Witham. Meek, Brewer of Okeham. See Broome's Travels in England, p. 279. “Cromwel," says Cleveland, “ hath beat up his drums clean through the Old Tes

You may learn the genealogy of our Saviour by the names of his regiment. The muster-master has no other list so than the first chapter of St. Matthew.” The brother of this Praise-god Barebone had for name, If Christ had not died for you, you had been damned, Barebone. But the people, tired of this long name, retained only the last word, and commonly gave him the appellation of Damn'd Barebone.

16 cament.

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of the earth the kingdom of the Redeemer. The CH A P. ambassadors finding themselves proscribed, not as enemies of England, but of Christ, remained in astonishment, and knew not which was most to be admired, the implacable spirit or egregious folly of these pretended saints.

CROMWEL began to be ashamed of his legislature. If he ever had any design in summoning só preposterous an assembly beyond amusing the populace and the army, he had intended to alarm the clergy and lawyers; and he had so far succeeded as to make them desire any other government, which might secure their professions, now brought into danger by these desperate fanatics. Cromwel himself was dissatisfied, that the parliament, though they had derived all their authority from him, began to pretend power from the Lord, and to insist already on their divine commission. He had been careful to summon in his writs several persons entirely devoted to him. By concert, these met early; and it was mentioned by some among them, that the sitting of this parliament any longer would be of no service to the nation. They hastened, therefore, to Cromwel, along with Rouse, their speaker; and, by a for- Decem. mal deed or assignment, restored into his hands that ber. supreme authority which they had so lately received from hiin. General Harrison and about twenty more remained in the house; and that they might prevent the reign of the saints from coming to an untimely end, they placed one Moyer in the chair, and began to draw up protests. They were soon interrupted by colonel White, with a party of soldiers. He asked them what they did there ? “We " are seeking the Lord,” said they.

may go elsewhere," replied he: “ certain knowledge, he has not been here these many years."

THE Thurloe, vol. i. p. 273, 591. Also Stubbe, p. 91, 92. * Thurloe, vol. i. p. 393.

12th of

" Then you 66 For to my

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CH A P.

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tector.

The military being now in appearance, as well

as in reality, the sole power which prevailed in the 1653. nation, Cromwel thought fit to indulge a new fancy:

For he seems not to have had any deliberate plan in all these alterations. Lambert, his creature, who, under the appearance of obsequiousness to him, indulged an unbounded ambition, proposed in a council of officers to adopt another scheme of government, and to temper the liberty of a commonwealth by the authority of a single person, who should be known by the appellation of protector. Without delay, be prepared what was called the

instrument of government, containing the plan of Cindre pro this new legislature; and, as it was supposed to be

agreeable to the general, it was immediately voted by the council of officers. Cromwel was declared protector ; and with great solemnity installed in that high office.

So little were these men endowed with the spirit of legislation, that they confessed, or rather boasted, that they had employed only four days in drawing this instrument, by which the whole government of three kingdoms was pretended to be regulated and adjusted to all succeeding generations. There appears no difficulty in believing them ; when it is considered how crude and undigested a system of civil polity they endeavoured to establish. The chief articles of the instrument are these: A council was appointed, which was not to exceed twentyone, nor be less than thirteen persons. These were to enjoy their office during life or good behaviour; and in case of a vacancy, the remaining members named three, of whom the protector chose one. The protector was appointed supreme magistrate of the con monwealth : In his name was all justice to be administered; from him were all magistracy and lionours derived; he had the power of pardoning all crimes, . excepting murder and treason; to him the benefit of all forfeitures devolved.

The

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