THE ANSWER OF THE OFFICERS at WHITEHALL TO THE LETTER FROM THE Officers of the Parliaments Army in Scotland from Linlithgow, Oct. 22. WITH A RETURN OF THE GENERAL, and OFFCERS in Scotland, thereunto.

EDINBƲRGH, Printed by Christopher Higgins, in Harts Close, over against the Trone-Church, 1659.

The Answer of the Officers at Whitehall, to the Letter from the Officers of the Parliaments Army in Scotland, from Linlithgow, Octob. 22.

Dear Brethren, and Fellow Souldiers,

WE most heartily wish Grace and Truth to be multiplyed unto you, through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord; And also we desire the God and Father of all Grace, to add to your Faith, Vertue; and to Vertue, Knowledge; and to Knowledge, Temperance; and to Temperance, Godlinesse; and to Godlinesse, Brotherly-kindness; and to Brotherly-kindness, Charity.

Dear Brethren, We cannot but be deeply affected and afflicted in our own spirits, to consider of your dissatisfaction with us upon mista­ken grounds. You have known us these many years to be your faith­ful Brethren, that durst do dothing that is sinful; And we may affirm with plainness, honesty, and simplicity of heart, we have done nothing in the late Revolution, but that which the Providence of the most wise God prepared to our hands, and led us out unto, without so much as one half hours time to design or resolve to take that course we were necessitated unto; Since which most of such persons that were not clear in the present and sudden Action, have made their acknowledgement of their full satisfaction, and we are mutually reconciled, and they are received and rendered by us as affectionate Brethren; And from a more full Narrative of the providential Grounds, and gradual Steps that led us to that work, (yet with aking hearts) and as an Answer to your Queries, signed in your Name by William Clark Secretary, bearing date the 22 Instant: We refer you to a Book Intituled, The Armies Plea, And also, The Armies Declaration; relation thereunto being had, we hope will give you satifaction.

Loving Brethren, What have we done, that you are offended? We are not conscious, that any thing is acted by us upon the Publick Thea­ter, but that which we judge is acceptable to God; And what we have done hath proceeded from uprightness of heart, and for the glory of God, the good of his Interest, Cause and People in these Nations; No­thing less than these worthy ends could have caused us to adventure our All that is dear to us for your and their sakes; And after such a hazard, our Brethren to look shy upon us, yea such, with whom we have lived & conversed together, prayed, fought, & jeoparded our lives together, And witnesses together of the glory of the most high God, in the high [Page 4]places of the field; Yea, we, that are of one Society, of one Family and Houshold, that none hitherto (through the grace of God) could dis­unite us, now to be at a distance with us, is the greatest wound to us, which is unexpressable: If it had been from our Enemies, we could have born it; Oh but, they are the wounds of the house of our Friends. And all this arising without dealing brotherly with us, and without so much as sending to know the providential Grounds that led us to these Undertakings; And likewise your and our unhappiness hath been possibly by misinformations received by those who have corresponded with the principal occasioners of this Breach; However we are censured by you, we shall, we hope, carry Christianly and Brotherly towards you, and exercise our selves in the Doctrine of our Saviour, If any be overta­ken in a fault, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, knowing also we are subject to like temptations; And we ought to pity and pray for one another, and forgive one another, even as God for Christs sake hath for­given us; We hope the fear of God will guide you, so that you may do nothing to grieve Him and his little Flock, and rejoyce the common Enemy abroad and at home, nor give them advantages to make a prey of these poor Nations: What can you propound to your selves? If you are for good things, So are we; If for a Free-State and Commonwealth, So are we; If against a single Person, So are we; If for Reformation, So are we; If for Godliness, and the Nations to be exalted in Righteous­ness, So are we; Why do we differ in the form and way to it? Oh, dear friends, if you should precipitately engage into a War, and should con­quer your Brethren, Would not the consequence be a Conquest over your selves, and all the good People of the Land? And if they are gone, certainly (if you retain your old Principles) you would not desire to live long after them.

Precious Brethren, We commend unto you that place of Scripture, Josh. 1.14, 15. We shall with our bended knees implore the God of Heaven, and King of Saints, to guide you, and perswade you, as holy Noah said in another case, Gen. 9.27. God shall perswade Japhet to dwell in the tents of Shem. Finally, Brethren, Farewell, Be of good comfort, Let us be of one minde, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you and us; We remain

Your most affectionate Brethren and Fellow-Souldiers.

Dear Friends, We hope to hear, in your Answer to this, that all our dear Friends now in Bonds, are at Liberty, and that the Lord hath satisfied your heart to ac­quiesce in his present Dispensations, so as we may not expose each other to fur­ther Inconveniency.

A RETURN of the General and Officers in Scotland, to the ANSWER of the Officers at Whitehall.

Dear Brethren, and Fellow-Soldiers in the Lord,

IN the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, We return you our most hearty wishes and prayers, That Grace, and Truth, & Peace also, might be multiplied unto you, And that to your Faith, and your Vertue, and your Know­ledg, and your Temperance, and your Godliness, and your Brotherly kindness, and your Charity, might be added, Patience, and Meekness, and Humility, and Self-denial. Great are the thoughts of our hearts for the divsions in Reuben, and we are (as you express it) deeply affected and afflicted in our own Spirits, when we consider what cause we have to be dissatisfied with you, our dear Brethren; you, with whom we have lived and conversed together; with whom we have prayed, and sought, and jeoparded our lives together; with whom we have taken sweet Counsel, and walked together in the House of God as friends: But we cannot conceal from you, that our affection and affliction of Spirit is much increased by the Letter you sent us by Captain Deane, and by the Books you referred us to, in that Letter. We had before some small (indeed our only) hopes that there might be some mistake between us, but alas! we cannot but now think (since we find you have no more to say for your selvs) that our fears were but too true, and the causes of our dissatisfaction at your present actings but too just: We shall deal with you with that plain­ness, and freedom, and sincerity that becometh Brethren, for so we think it becometh us, to fulfill all righteousness; and so we think it expedient, both for you and us, that we may the sooner come to a right Understanding one of another.

We could not be satisfied that there was any such need of more Generall Officers (the first occasion of this unhappy difference) as that the Parliament should be pressed to it so unseasonably, and so just a Jealousie created in them, that there was a Design to set up a Single Person (of which they had but so late, and so sad experience) and we could not but think it sufficient for the security of the good In­terest, that the Army was united under one Head, the Parliament.

We were less satisfied, that after you declared your Satisfaction and Acquiescence in the Votes of the House, you should endeavour by a new way to wrest the Power out of their own hands, and to pro­secute the same Design; Thus making the Army a Corporation in a manner independent from the Civil Power, and creating to it an In­terest, distinct from that of the Peoples, by whom they hitherto have, and still must live, and for whom they are, by their Engagements and Duties bound to dy; and that, after you knew the Parliament had in effect disapproved your Petition, you should still endeavour to get more hands to it, which neither the Parliament, nor we our selves could look upon, any otherwise, than as a Design to force the Par­liament to grant what they had already in effect disapproved, if not to do that which you say was done at less than half an hour's warn­ing.

But then, that after the sad experience of so many Confusions and tossings, which these poor Nations had already felt by such actings as these, after the unhappy (and since acknowledged unlawful) former Interruption of that (by your selves called) famous long Parlia­ment, after the Confusions and Distractions of that little one of your own, and not of the Peoples choosing; after the occasion by them gi­ven to some of setting up, and the Necessity imposed on us of accepting a Single Person contrary to our former Engagements, and to our Inte­rests; after our late renewed Engagement, and our solemn and serious expressions of Repentance, That you should so soon return to your former Sin, and for the apparant Interest of nine or ten Persons (who how precious soever, yet cannot be worth the blood that may be shed in this quarrel) to put a new force upon the Parliament, and to destroy all Lawfull Authority in the three Nations, and to put them out of hopes of ever having any for the future, but what shall be at your dis­posals; and to do these things in the Name of the whole Army, there­by usurping a Power over your Brethren, to which you have no right, and involving us in the same guilt with You, in those Actings, against which we are bound to Protest before God and Man; This is that which lies the forest upon our Spirits; this is that which wounds us deepest.

This is that which must of Necessity make the three Nations slaves to the Army, The Armies of Scotland and Ireland, slaves to that of England, and that of England to nine or ten Persons; and perhaps [Page 7]in short time those nine or ten, to one Single One: The best effect it can have, must be that which you so much complain of, in the Armies Plea, Pag. 25.

That all the pious and good People of this Nation shall not enjoy a peaceable and quiet life in all Godlinesse and Honesty, but onely some part of them.

We cannot but in the Name of the Lord tell you that these Actings make us stink in the Nostrils of the good People, and cause the Name of God to be evil spoken of, and his Enemies to rejoyce.

And yet you say, Behold, what have we done? and tell us in many, but very general terms, what good things you are for: We like­wise are for good things, as well as you; We are for a free State and Commonwealth as well as you, We are against a Single Person as wel as you; We are for the Reformation as well as you; We are as well as you for Godliness, and the Nations to be exalted in Righte­ousness; if so be that you be indeed for these things, which you pretend, and that we differ not in the end, as well as in the way to it.

But how can you be for good things, as long as you do that which is evil? How can you be for a Free-State and Commonwealth, if, for the Interest of nine or ten Persons, You dissolve Parliaments? To what purpose is it to be against a Single Person, if you be for nine or ten? or for Reformation, if you return so soon to former Sins? Or, how can Godlinesse or Righteousnesse be Exalted, by violent and un­warrantable means?

Brethren, Our daily prayer to God is, That we may not be necessi­tated to a War with you; but, if we be, we must tell you, that we do not precipitate our selves, or run rashly, or inconsiderately into it; We have had time, sadly and seriously to consider the whole Mat­ter, and we must deal plainly with you, and tell you, that what you pretend, You had not half an hours time to deliberate about, We have expected from you some weeks; We could not but take notice that the occasion both of Calling and Interrupting this Parliament, was the making of General Officers.

How little desire we have of making a conquest over you, He knows who knows how little joy, we should take in it; If there were not something in the Quarrel that is dearer to us [...] ourlives, we should never undertake it.

And now, Brethren, as yet dear and precious in our eyes, we be­seech you for the mercies of Jesus Christ to lay these things to heart; and, as we have done with John. 1. ver. 14, 15. so to reflect seriously upon Josh. 7. ver. 19. and once more to take the shame to your selves, and to Repent with a Repentance not to be repented of. Consider whose bloud is to be shed on both sides, what Cause it is that lyes at stake, who they are that are like to reap the benefit of our Contenti­ons; Suffer not Self or Interest, nor desire of the things of this world, to entangle you again in the same snare out of which you have so lately escaped: Lay not up your Treasure in this world, But seek first the Kingdom of Heaven; Do not evil, because you think good may come of it.

Finally, Brethren, stand fast in that Liberty wherein Christ hath made you free, and be not extangled again with the Yoke of Bondage. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Amen.

Your most affectionate and afflictive Brethren and Fellow-Soldiers.
Dear Brethren,

WE intreat you, put not so hard a name upon the necessary and short restraint of our Brethren, as Bonds; We still own them and use them as Brethren; their Pay is still continued to them, and the Restraint put upon them, for their, and your, and our Security, and the Security of all Gods People, we hope will be very short, shorter than either you or we can expect: And take it not ill we acted any thing without first sending to you, We acted nothing but what was necessary to our present safety, and we immediately sent our Letters to you, which If they came not to your hands, it is not our faults. We have lately seat Commissioners, Men faithfull and approved, whom we hope you will treat as Brethren.

For the Right Honorable the Lord Fleetwood, and the rest of the Officers of that part of the Army at London.


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