Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

66: LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. to be depended on for discipline and order in the camp, and for valor in the field of battle. These things made the religious sort of men in parliament, in the army, and in the country, desirous of a thorough change in the organization of the army, "putting out the,loose sort of men, especially officers, and putting religious men in their steads." To effect so great a change without mutiny or serious dissatis- faction, was a problem not easily solved. All was accomplished, however, without any difficulty, by a single vote of parliament. An ordinance was framed, afterwards known as the "self -denying ordinance," by which all members of either house were excluded from almost every office, civil or military, during the war. For this measure so many reasons were alledged, that after a few days' debate, it passed without any formidable opposition. Nearly all the principal officers of the army immediately sent in their com- missions. Fairfax, ámar} ofgood military talents, and of great integrityof character, but without the ambition or the peculiar skill to be a leader in such times, was made commander-in-chief; and, at his request, Cromwell was exempted from the operation of the self-denying ordinance, and was made lieutenant-general. The master genius of Cromwell gave him a great ascendency over his nominal superior ; and the army was soon entirely re-organized under his supervision, and very much according to the wishes of the Independents, though Fairfax himselfwas a devoted Presby- terian. No sooner had the new-modeled army taken the field, than the effect of thesenew counsels and commands was evident. The first engagement of this army with the royal forces, was the decisive battle of Naseby. In this army, Baxter became a chaplain.. His views in enter- ing the army, and his employment and efforts while there, were highly characteristicof the man inall his peculiarities. His account, however, of Cromwell, and of the spirit which prevailed in the army, should be read with some allowance for the influence of pre- judices which, even in his old age, had not forsaken him, andof disappointments which, in all his latter years especially, he had much reason to remember. "Naseby being not far fromCoventry, where I was, and thenoise of the victory being loud in our ears, and I having two or three, that of old had been my intimate friends, in Cromwell's army, whom I had not seen for above two years, I was desirous to see whether they were dead or alive ; and so to Naseby field I went, two days after the fight, and thence by the army's quarters before Leicester, to seek my acquaintance. When I found them, I staid with them a night; and I understood the state of the army much better than ever I had done before. We that lived quietly in