Oliver Cromwell, Defender of Biblical Faith in Christ: Letter to his Son, Richard, 1650

Eric Jon Phelps
By Eric Jon Phelps October 17, 2010 17:19 Updated

Oliver Cromwell, Defender of Biblical Faith in Christ: Letter to his Son, Richard, 1650

Oliver Cromwell, 1645

The following letter was written on April 2, 1650, by Oliver Cromwell to his son Richard after the God and Father of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ had given Oliver victory over all his enemies within the realm of Great Britain.  In answer to the prayers of the Lord’s Bible-believing Puritan Calvinists of England, Cromwell went on to close the treasonous, popish Parliament, he then to become “the Protector of the Commonwealth of England and the Defender of the Protestant Faith” from 1653 to 1658—until he was cumulatively poisoned with arsenic by Jesuit Temporal Coadjutor Dr. George Bate.  (A full narration of Cromwell’s murder by “the poison cup” can be viewed in The Death of Oliver Cromwell by H. F. McMains (Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2000).  This greatest of religious, military and political men of England, indeed the paramount political enemy of Rome over the last 500 years, could be as hard as steel towards his enemies and gentle as silk towards his loved ones and dear friends.  His short missive to Richard is illustrative of the latter.

“I take your Letters kindly:  I like expressions when they come plainly from the heart, and are not strained nor affected.

“I am persuaded it’s the Lord’s mercy to place you where you are:  I wish you may own it and be thankful, fulfilling all relations to the glory of God.  Seek the Lord and His face continually:—let this be the business of your life and strength, and let all things be subservient and in order to this!  You cannot find nor behold the face of God but in Christ; therefore labour to know God in Christ; which the Scripture makes to be the sum of all, even Life Eternal.  Because the true knowledge is not literal or speculative; ‘no,’ but inward; transforming the mind to it.  It’s uniting to, and participating of, the Divine Nature (Second Peter, i,4):

‘That by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’

“It’s such a knowledge as Paul speaks of (Philippians, 111. 8-10):

‘Yea, doubtless, and I count all tings but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.  For whom I have suffered the loss of all things; and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in Him,—not having my own righteousness which is of the Law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by Faith;—that I may know Him, and the power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings; being made conformable unto His Death.’

“How little of this knowledge is among us!  My weak prayers shall be for you.

“Take heed of an unactive vain spirit!  Recreate yourself with Sir Walter Raleigh’s History:  it’s a Body of History; and will add much more to your understanding than fragments of Story.—Intend [old word for “endeavour”—Carlisle] to understand the Estate I have settled:  It’s your concernment to know it all, and how it stands.  I have heretofore suffered much by too much trusting others.  I know my brother Mayor will be helpful to you in all this.

“You will think, perhaps, I need not advise you To love your Wife!  The Lord teach you how to do it;—or else it will be done ill-favouredly.  Though Marriage be no instituted Sacrament, yet where the undefiled be is, and love, this union aptly resembles ‘that of’ Christ and His Church.  If you can truly love your Wife, what ‘love’ doth Christ bear to His Church and every poor soul therein,—who ‘gave Himself’ for it and to it!— —Commend me to your Wife; tell her I entirely love her, and rejoice in the goodness of the Lord to her.  I wish her everyway fruitful.  I thank her for her loving Letter.

“I have presented my love to my Sister and Cousin Ann &c. in my Letter to my Brother Mayor.  I would not have him alter his affairs because of my debt.  My purse is as his:  my present thoughts are but to lodge such a sum for my two little Girls;—it’s in his hand as well as anywhere.  I shall not be wanting to accomodate him to his mind; I would not have him solicitous.—Dick, the Lord bless you every way.  I rest, your loving Father,

“Oliver Cromwell”

Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches:  With Elucidations, (London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 1894), Vol. II of V, pp. 254-256.

Eric Jon Phelps
By Eric Jon Phelps October 17, 2010 17:19 Updated
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