Front Page Titles (by Subject) [ Oliver Cromwell to Lieut.-Col. Wilks. ] - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2
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[ Oliver Cromwell to Lieut.-Col. Wilks. ] - 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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[Oliver Cromwell to Lieut.-Col. Wilks.]
I received your lettre, and as to the parte which concernes the colleccion for Marlebroughb I shall speake with Major Hainesc thereaboute, by whom I expect to know what Colonell Read hath done thereuppon. The other parte of your lettera is full of very loving and kind expressions of the heartinesse of your affection to me, and of your tendernes and sensiblenes of the burden of my condicion; and truly it was to me very seasonable, because if I mistake not, my exercise of [that] litle faith and patience I haue was neuer greater; and were it not that I know whom I haue beleeued the comforts of all my friends would not support me, noe not one day. I can say this further to you, that if I looked for anything of helpe from men, or yet of kindnes, it would be from such as feare the Lord, for whom I haue been ready to lay downe my life, and I hope still am, but I haue not a few wounds from them; nor are they indeed, in this sad dispensation they are under (being diuided in opinion and too much in affection ready to fall fowle uppon one another, whilest the enemy to be sure unite to purpose to their common destruction), in a capacity to receiue much good or to minister good one to another, through want of communion in loue; soe that whosoever labours to walk with an euen foote between the severall interests of the people of God for healeing and accomodating theire differences is sure to have reproaches and anger from some of all soarts. And trulyb this is much of my portion at the present, soe unwilling are men to bee healed and attoned; and although it be thus with mee, yet the Lord will not let it bee alwayes soe. If I have innocency and integrity the Lord hath mercy and truth, and will owne it. If in these things I have made my selfe my ayme, and designed to bring affaires to this issue for my selfe, the Lord is ingaged to disowne mee; but if the worke bee the Lord’s, and that they are his purposes which hee hath purposed in his owne wisdome, he will make his owne councils stand; and therefore let men take heed least they bee found feighters against him, especially his owne people. I heare things are very troublesome through the discontent of some amongst you, who will quickly bee made manifest by theire fruites. And I am perswaded the Lord will not suffer his people alwayes to bee deceived by such pretenders and pretences to Righteousnesse and Justice, and care not how unjustly and unrightiously they walke, not to bring forth Righteousnesse and Justice, asa they pretend, but most abominable unrighteousnesse, wickednesse, impiety, and confusion upon all the world God hath wrought in the midst of us. I doe veryly suspect most guilty herein, because I finde men acting here vppon the same principles who have conceived to themselves alsoe greate hopes from the devisions and discontents amongst you, who have had such expectacions from some notable designe to bee acted in Scotland from some considerable person there, that they have formed theire worke here of like wickednesse and confusion to bee contemporary here; and truly it is thus they are exciting all discontented humours and persons to stir, and to goe into Armes, haueing framed their declaraccions wherin they have a singular compliance with the malignant partie, as theire declaracions will manifest, wherin they gratifie them beyond what euer was done for them, by which the cavalier partie is soe encouraged that they doe accompt this spirit, principle, and motions of these men, as the likelyest way to bring them into their former interest that ever yet they had, and of this we have a very full discouery. Besides we find that divers are very highly acting that interest, and are preparinge great quantities of armes to that purpose, of which through the goodnes of God we haue made a full discouery, and the busines is become soe naked and open, that indeed if all the people of God had one hearte and spirit, yet it would be all litle enough to man’sb iudgment to preserue the interest of the people of God. We have apprehended divers persons of quality who haue comissions from Charles Stuart and are possest of many armes to carry on their work, and in the discouery herof the Lord hath appeered very gratious to us. The Lord stablish, strengthen, and keepe your minds entire, and make his people of one heart, and giue them one lip; and I pray you shew your fidelitie in standing by and sticking to your honest Generall Geo. Monck, who is a simple hearted man, and as you have opportunitya exhort all to doe the same;b and let the honest officers be as diligent to make peace and keepe it there as wicked men who are the instruments of Satan are busie to bring in confusion. I commit you to the Lord and rest,
Your louing friend,
[b ]See Preface.
[c ]Or “Baynes.”
[a ]“Of your letter” omitted.
[a ]“and as.”
[a ]“At your own opportunitie.”
[c ]There are two copies of this letter in the Clarke MSS. One is headed “Letter to Lieut.-Col. Wilkes.” The variations in the two texts, when of any importance, are given in the notes. From its position amongst the other letters it should be dated between 14 and 18 January, 165.