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[ News-letter from Scotland. ] - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2 
The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, ed. C.H. Firth (Camden Society, 1894). 4 vols.
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[News-letter from Scotland.]
Seaton, 24 October, 1648.
Our cheifest worke heere is to keepe downe the rising and tumultous humoures of the malignant partee, that the Committee of Estates may act securely till their forces be compleated, and ’tis conceved they will keepe us heere starving the most part of this winter till their Parliament sitt, which will not bee before Januery next.
Heere is one misery: wee stay to preserve a generation of men who call themselves the well-affected partee, till they seate and settle themselves, and their owne ends and interest, but doe feare it will be heere, as it hath been in other Kingdomes (and is the great politique fashion) the pulling downe of one power and partie by our countenance, and the setting up of another that may be as bad or worse then the other. This is our hope: that partee that is now downe wee are sure was [not] good, this for (ought wee know) may bee good; Providence may bring thinges about beyond our feares, thoughts, expectations; what ever the issue be, this is our comfort, wee are in the prosecution of our duty in love and peace.
Time lately was that the great expectation was out of the North. God did great thinges there by a fewe, even to admiration; the scene is now alterd, and the great expectation is now upon the Treaty.
The generall evill designe is the same still, and is acted in the latter by the same principles, though not by the same persons as the former; and though I canot well give iudgment of the presentt premises there at this distance, yet in the generall I am confidente that hee that overcame that great power of the common visible enemy in the feild, will alsoe bring to nought the great policy of those secret enemies in Insula Vectis. The mistery of iniquity is now discovering, tumults rising, feares &c. appeares, but hee is securd that sees God in every thinge. A man may guesse the temper of this Kingdome by the temper of the Clergy, who are the ringleaders, ductores et seductores, they are the supreame power both ecclesiasticall and civill, their height of glory is but fleshly, formall; cheifly of a double intrest, Presbiteriall and royall, and these pretty equally mixt, and for ought I perceive were wee gonne there would be another tugg who should be the greater, little striving who shall bee the better; formality in the one is little better than royalty in the other. I see butt little knowledge in the mistery of godliness, tis all confined to a forme and that called jure divino; and those that live above that forme are as great enemies as those that live belowe it, for they are iudged to bee equally evill, though in a different sence, because they sitt not upon that forme. If there be a composure called happy, that happines for ought I knowe either will be (or will be endeavoured to be) confined and have its center onely in that forme, which will certainly will be cryed up by the Clergy of both Kingdomes, that is their interest; and the slavish, ignorant people will as certainly make it their conscience to observe their lawes, though it be to their owne losse and mischeiff. England I think, are more above this forme then Scotland, perhaps our being in the schoole with them, and having had a little better learning, may iussle them up a little higher, and by degrees they may take out a new lesson and advance. When once the light brakes forth in this Kingdome, (and I thinke the sunne is neare rising) it will warme and heale apace, butt the cloudes must be broken first, the foundation of this ould fabrick must be shaken; and when the poore, blind, dead people shall see the light and feel the warmth of the sun (sweete liberty) to redeeme them out of their present slavery, then the strugglings of Scotland wilbe as great as those of England, which hath overcome a few of those, but not yet gotten to the top of its glory.a
[a ]Part of this letter is printed in “The Moderate” for Oct. 31, Nov. 7, which has furnished me with one or two small corrections of the Clarke MS. copy. The Report on Lord Braye’s MSS. (Hist. MSS. Comm. 10th Report, pt. vi., pp. 168-173) contains a series of letters written by Thomas Margetts to John Browne, Esq., Clerk of the Parliament, which help to complete those amongst the Clarke Papers. They are dated: Brancepeth, Sept. 14, 1648; Belford, Sept. 20; Mordington, Sept. 26; Seaton, Oct. 3; Dalkeith, Oct. 10; Seaton, Oct. 17; Broxmouth, Nov. 1. The letter of Oct. 17, summarised in the Report, is printed in full in Rushworth, vii., 1305, but wrongly dated. The letter printed above is obviously also from Margetts. He was attached to Lambert throughout the campaign, and Lambert was now remaining in Scotland to protect the establishment of the new government.