Oliver Cromwell: His Praise to God for God’s Routing of the Scots at Dunbar, 1650

Eric Jon Phelps
By Eric Jon Phelps October 21, 2010 17:14 Updated

Oliver Cromwell, Battle of Dunbar, Scotland, 1650

Oliver Cromwell, Battle of Dunbar, Scotland, 1650

The Battle of Dunbar is one of the most important battles in world history.  The entire English Reformation, indeed the very British Empire that was to take the Gospel of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, hung upon its outcome: had the Scots won, King Charles II would have been immediately restored to the English throne of the Stuarts—to the delight of the Jesuit Papacy!  For the Scottish Presbyterians had aligned themselves with this most wicked king who, upon the advice of his Jesuits, would “never keep faith with heretics.”  Cromwell, leading his English Puritan Army and Ironsides (his marvelous Horse that never lost a battle), refused any carnal alliance with the king for which reason they had been blessed by God on many fields of battle in both England and Ireland.  Cromwell is now at Dunbar outnumbered two-to-one, his army numbering nearly 11,000 while General Leslie’s forces are over 23,000.  Upon the interposition of the omnipotent Risen Son of God resulting in a martial error by Scottish General Leslie, Cromwell saw the blessed mistake and attacked early the following morning.  Subsequently, Leslie’s army was routed:  3,000 Scots were put to the sword and 10,000 were taken prisoner, while only 30 Englishmen lost their lives!  As a result of this signal victory due to God’s blessing upon the arms and intent of Cromwell’s Parliamentary New Model Army, our Man of God gave a full report to William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament on the 4th of September, 1650, the final portion reading with your Editor’s added emphasis in bold print:

“It hath now pleased God to bestow a mercy upon you, worthy of your knowledge, and of the utmost praise and thanks of all the fear and love His name; yea, the mercy is far above all praise.  Which that you may the better perceive, I shall take the boldness to tender unto you some circumstances accompanying this great business, which will manifest the greatness and seasonableness of this mercy. . . .

“The best of the Enemy’s horse being broken through and through in less than an hour’s dispute, their whole Army being put into confusion, it became a total rout; our men having the chase and execution of them near eight miles.  We believe that upon the place and near about it were about Three-thousand slain.  Prisoners taken: of their officers you have this enclosed List; of private soldiers near Ten-thousand.  The whole baggage and train taken, wherein was good store of match, powder and bullet; all their artillery, great and small,—thirty guns.  We are confident they have left behind them not less than Fifteen-thousand arms.  I have already brought in to me near Two-hundred colours, which I herewith send you. . . .

“Thus you have the prospect of one of the most signal mercies God hath done for England and His people, this War:—and now may it please you to give me the leave of a few words.  It is easy to say, The Lord hath done this.  It would do you good to see and hear our poor foot to go up and down making their boast of God.  But, Sir, it’s in your hands, and by these eminent mercies God puts it more into your hands, To give glory to Him; to improve your power, and His blessings, to His praise.  We that serve you beg of you not to own us,—but God alone.  We pray you own His people more and more; for they are the chariots and horsemen of Israel.  Disown yourselves;—but own your Authority; and improve it to curb the proud and the insolent, such as would disturb the tranquility of England, though under what specious pretences soever.  Relieve the oppressed, hear the groans of poor prisoners in England.  Be pleased to reform the abuses of all professions:—and if there be any one that makes many poor to make a few rich, that suits not a Commonwealth.  If He that strengthens your servants to fight, please to give you hearts to set upon these things, in order to His glory, and the glory of your Commonwealth,— ‘then’ besides the benefit England shall feel thereby, you shall shine forth to other Nations, who shall emulate the glory of such a pattern, and through the power of God turn in to the like!  [Indeed Oliver, nations are turned to the gospel and good government by the successful example of a Bible-honoring nation of people, not by the sword of an empire imposing socialist “democracy” around the world!]

“These are our desires [Cromwell speaking for the Army].  And that you may have liberty and opportunity to do these things, and not be hindered, we have been and shall be (by God’s assistance) willing to venture our lives;—and ‘will’ not desire you should be precipitated by importunities, from your care of safety and preservation; but that the doing of these good things may have their place amongst those which concern well-being, and so be wrought in their time and order.

“Since we came in Scotland, it has been our desire and longing to have avoided blood in this business; by reason that God hath a people here fearing His name, though deceived [as in America today!].  And to that end have we offered much love unto such, in the bowels of Christ; and concerning the truth of our hearts therein, have we appealed unto the Lord.  The Ministers of Scotland have hindered the passage of these things to the hearts of those to whom we intended them.  And now we hear, that not only the deceived people, but some of the Ministers are also fallen in this Battle.  This is the great hand of the Lord, and worthy of the consideration of all those who take into their hands the instruments of a foolish shepherd,—to wit, meddling with worldly policies, and mixtures of earthly power, to set up that which they call the Kingdom of Christ, which is neither it, nor, if it were it, would such means be found effectual to that end,—and neglect, or trust not to, the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit; which is alone powerful and able for the setting-up of that Kingdom; and, when trusted to, will be found effectually able to that end, and will also do it!  This is humbly offered for their sakes who have lately too much turned aside:  that they might return again to preach Jesus Christ, according to the simplicity of the Gospel;—and then no doubt they will discern and find your protection and encouragement.

“Beseeching you to pardon this length, I humbly take leave; and rest, Sir, your most obedient servant,

“Oliver Cromwell”

Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches: With Elucidations, (London: Chapman & Hall, Ltd., 1898), Vol. III of V, pp. 39, 44, 45-47.

Eric Jon Phelps
By Eric Jon Phelps October 21, 2010 17:14 Updated
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