Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

. LIFE OF RICHARD BARTER. 66 Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword To force our consciences, that Christ set free, And ride us with a classic hierarchy ?" It was such causes as these, rather than the simple efforts ofthe five dissenting brethren in the assembly, which kept the Presbyte- rian scheme ofchurch government " so longunexecuted in almost all parts of the land," and which "hindered the execution of it after all." Toward the close of Baxter's second year at Coventry, an im- portant change took place in the army. The earl of Essexhad heretofore been commander-in-chief for the parliament. But about this time, there begin to be dissatisfaction both with himand with the armies which he commanded. Men whohad looked into the tendency and probable results of the existing state of things, and who judged that the safest way was to make thorough work, and to conclude the war byvictory, saw that Essexand some other leaders in the army were of a different judgment. It appeared that the generals, even when putting the battle inarray against the king, were unwilling to conquer him ; and the complaint was made that, on some occasions, when an active pursuit might have finished the war, the king and his forces were suffered to escape. Yet Es- sex was a man ingreat esteem with the parliament and with the people, as well as with the army, and deservedly honored, both for his military qualities and for his noble integrity ofcharacter. And, indeed, there were many, who, fearing what might be attempted by the ambitious and the turbulent, desired a peace with the king on the basis of mutual accommodation, rather than a complete tri- umph over him, reducing him to unqualified submission. All this made it the more difficult for those who favored more decisive measures tobring about the changes which they desired. Other complaints were made against the army as then consti- tuted. "Though none could deny that the earl was a person of great honor, valor and sincerity, yet some did accuse the soldiers under him of being too like the king's soldiers in profaneness, lewd and vicious practices, and rudeness of carriage toward thecountry ; and it was withal urged that the revolt of" several officers, who, since the commencement of the war, had gone over to the king, "was a satisfying evidence that the irreligious sort of men were not to be much trusted, but might easily, by money, be hired to betray them."* At the same time, it appeared that Cromwell's troops, enlisted by him, and trained under his eye from the begin- ning of the war, and everywhere known as strictly religious men, had become the most efficient portion of the army, and were most "Narrative, Part I. p. 47. VOL. I. 9