Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

PART THIRD. FROM HIS RETURN TO KIDDERMINSTER TO THE YEAR 1660. THE personal history of Baxter is so closely connected with the history ofthe times in which he lived, that it seems necessary, in this place, briefly to review the progress of public events from the siege of Oxford, in the beginning of the year 1646, to the death of Cromwell, in September, 1658. After the battles and sieges by which all the south-western parts of England had been reduced under the power of the parliament, the victorious army, commanded by Fairfax and Cromwell, return- ed as soon as the spring opened, to put an end to the war by be- sieging the king in his head-quarters atOxford. On receiving this intelligence,and learning that the enemywas just at hand, Charles, with only two attendants, left the city by night, in disguise, and, fleeing to the north, threw himself into the hands of the Scottish army, then employed in the siege of Newark. : He was aware that the Scots, in their zeal for covenant uniformity, had begun to be disgusted with the dilatory proceedings of the English parlia- ment respecting the establishment of Presbyterianism as the only and divinely-authorized form of church government. He knew that they looked on the progress of Independency with equal alarm and abhorrence ; and his hope was that, by throwing him- self 'upon themwhose claims in relation to their own country he had fully satisfied, he might be able to break up their alliance with England. The Scottish generals, however, refused to enter into any separate treaty with him; and while they paid him scrupu- lously all the exterior respect due to majesty, he was in fact a prisoner rather than a sovereign. At their suggestion, which, in his circumstances, differed little from a command, he gave orders to the commanders at Oxford, and in all his other garrisons, to sur- render to the parliament; and thus the war was ended, the last of the royal garrisons being surrendered, a little less than four years from the day on which the king set up his standard at Notting- ham. Charles continued with the Scots eight months. The parlia- ment and the Scottish commissioners offered him terms of recon-