Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

80 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. ciliation, better than conquerors ordinarily impose upon the van- quished. His friends importunately urged him to accept those terms as the best provisionwhich he could possiblymake for him- self and for his partisans. But he was now infatuated with the visionary expectation ofdividing his enemies. He addressed him- self to the Scots, representing to them how probable it was that the Independentswould secure a toleration in spite of the provis- ions of the covenant, and proposing that, if Episcopacy might be continued in four of the dioceses of England, the Presbyterian discipline should be established in all the other parts of the king- dom, with the strictest enactments that could be devised against both Papists and sectarians. At the same time, he ,entered into a more private negotiation with the leaders of the army, who pro- posed to set him on his throne again, without his taking the cove- nant or renouncing the liturgy, if he would but secure, with the civil liberties of the people, a general toleration in religion. Had he, in this emergency, enlisted frankly on either side, he might have retrieved something of his fallen fortunes. But he had too much imbecility of character to decide in such circumstances; and while he lingered, hoping to set one party against the other, and to secure from their mutual collision the re- establishment of his entire authority, he suffered the opportunity to go by, without accepting the proposals of either. The Scots, after some nego- tiation with the English parliament, finding that they could make no agreement with the king, and that to retain his person in their hands would be attended with much loss and hazard, and with no probable advantage, surrendered him to the commissioners appoint- ed by parliament, by whom he was conducted to Holmby House, in Northamptonshire, theplace appointed for his residence. Meanwhile, as the disposition of the parliament towards a strict Presbyterian establishment, excluding all toleration, became more manifest, the dissatisfaction of the army increased; and they were gradually brought to the fixed resolution, that they would be heard on that point, and that their opinions should be regarded in all the measures which concerned their separate interests, or thatcommon religious liberty for which, they had been fighting. To this end they elected a council of officers, and a body of adjutators, or as- sistants, consisting of three or four from each regiment, represent- ing the common soldiers. These two councils held their sepa- rate sessions, like the two houses of parliament, and considered freely all the proposals and orders of the parliament in relation to the settlement of the kingdom, or the disposal of the army. By this organization, the army became a military republic, and ceased to be governed by the civil authority. Indeed, the nation was in a state in which hardly any rightful authority could be said to