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case may be that it is the providence of God that doth lead men in darkness. I must needs say I have had a great deal of experience of providence; and though such experience is no rule without or against the Word, yet it is a very good expounder of the Word in many cases.
Truly the providence of God has laid aside this title of king providentially de facto; and that not by sudden humor or passion ; but it hath been by issue of as great deliberation as ever was in a nation. It hath been by issue of ten or twelve years' civil war, wherein much blood hath been shed. I will not dispute the justice of it when it was done, nor need I tell you what my opinion was in the case were it de novo to be done. But if it is at all disputable, and a man come and find that God in His severity hath not only eradicated a whole family, and thrust them out of the land, for reasons best known to Himself, but also hath made the issue and close of that to be the very eradication of a name and title -! Which de facto is the case.
It was not done by me, nor by them that tendered me the governmeut I now act in; it was done by the Long Parliament,--that was it. And God hath seemed providential, not only in striking at the family, but at the name. And, as I said before, it is blotted out; it is a thing cast out by an Act of Parliament; it hath been kept out to this day. And as Jude saith in another case, speaking of abominable sins that should be in the latter times,—he doth further say, when he comes to exhort the saints, he tells them they should “hate even the garments spotted with the flesh.”
I beseech you think not I bring this as an argument to prove anything. God hath seemed so to deal with the person and the family that He blasted the very title. And you know when a man comes, a parte post, to reflect, and see this done, this title laid in the dust,-I confess I can come to no other conclusion. The like of this may make a strong impression upon such weak men as I am ;--and perhaps upon weaker men, if there be any such, it will make a stronger. I will not seek to set up that which Providence hath destroyed and laid in the dust; I would not build Jericho again, .
I have now no more to say. The truth is, I did indicate this to you as my conclusion at the first, when I told you what method I would speak to you in. I may say I cannot, with conveniency to myself, nor good to this service which I wish so well to, speak out all my arguments as to the safety of your proposal, as to its tendency to the effectual carrying out of this work. I say I do not think it fit to use all the thoughts I have in my mind as to that point of safety. But I shall pray to God Almighty that He will direct you to do what is according to His will. And this is the poor account I am able to give of myself in this thing.
OLIVER CROMWELL ADDRESSING PARLIAMENT
SHAKESPEARE READING HIS PLAY TO QUEEN ELIZABETH