Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1.: Reports of Observers - Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents
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1.: Reports of Observers - Arthur Sutherland Pigott Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents 
Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents, selected and edited with an Introduction A.S.P. Woodhouse, foreword by A.D. Lindsay (University of Chicago Press, 1951).
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Reports of Observers
Hugh Peter writes:1
[T]o return to your Army: . . . two things will commend them above any army I have known, viz., their unity, and activity. I have not known the least breach among them in the least to distract or retard your affairs, though their judgments may differ in many particulars. * * * I can say, your Army is under a blessed conduct, their counsels godly and faithful. More love I have not seen, which I believe may spring from this root: that through grace we make godliness our interest, and not opinion, the which we wish were the spirit of the kingdom though we prescribe to none. Many there be who lose a real interest to maintain a floating fancy. We could desire that the choler that we find in this city, yea that black choler (I had almost said that black-coat2 choler) were spent upon the ignorance and profaneness of the country. One thing there is most singular in this your Army: that whereas soldiers usually spend and make forfeiture even of the civility they bring into other armies; here men grow religious, and more spiritual-thriving than in any place of the kingdom, that I may a little change the old verse, and say, Multa fides pietasque vivis, quae haec castra sequntur. Yea, for myself, though I have been long a learner, and sometimes an unworthy teacher of others, yet have [I] more than an ordinary cause to bless God, for being a member of this Army, in reference to my spirituals.
Richard Baxter writes:3
The English Army, being . . . new modelled, was really in the hand of Oliver Cromwell, though seemingly under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax. * * *
We that lived quietly in Coventry did keep to our old principles, and thought all others had done so too except a very few inconsiderable persons. * * * And when the Court News-book told the world of the swarms of Anabaptists in our armies, we thought it had been a mere lie, because it was not so with us nor in any of the garrison or county forces about us. But when I came to the Army, among Cromwell’s soldiers, I found a new face of things, which I never dreamed of. I heard the plotting heads very hot upon that which intimated their intention to subvert both church and state. Independency and Anabaptistry were most prevalent; Antinomianism and Arminianism were equally distributed; and Thomas Moor’s followers (a weaver of Wisbitch and Lyn, of excellent parts) had made some shifts to join these two extremes together. Abundance of the common troopers, and many of the officers, I found to be honest, sober, orthodox men, and others tractable, ready to hear the truth, and of upright intentions. But a few proud, self-conceited, hot-headed sectaries had got into the highest places, and were Cromwell’s chief favourites, and by their very heat and activity bore down the rest, or carried them along with them, and were the soul of the Army though much fewer in number than the rest (being indeed not one to twenty throughout the Army; their strength being in the General’s and Whalley’s and Rich’s regiments of horse, and in the new-placed officers in many of the rest).
I perceived that they took the King for a tyrant and an enemy, and really intended absolutely to master him or ruin him; and that they thought, if they might fight against him, they might kill or conquer him; and if they might conquer, they were never more to trust him further than he was in their power. . . . They said, What were the Lords of England but William the Conqueror’s colonels, or the Barons but his majors, or the knights but his captains? They plainly showed me that they thought God’s providence would cast the trust of religion and the kingdom upon them as conquerors. They made nothing of all the most wise and godly in the armies and garrisons that were not of their way. Per fas aut nefas, by law or without it, they were resolved to take down not only bishops and liturgy and ceremonies, but all that did withstand their way. They were far from thinking of a moderate Episcopacy, or of any healing way between the Episcopal and the Presbyterians’. They most honoured the Separatists, Anabaptists, and Antinomians. But Cromwell and his Council took on them to join themselves to no party, but to be for the liberty of all. * * *
I found that many honest men of weak judgments and little acquaintance with such matters, had been seduced into a disputing vein, and made it too much of their religion to talk for this opinion and for that. Sometimes for state-democracy, and sometimes for church-democracy; sometimes against forms of prayer, and sometimes against infant baptism (which yet some of them did maintain); sometimes against set times of prayer, and against the tying of ourselves to any duty before the Spirit move us; and sometimes about free grace and free will, and all the points of Antinomianism and Arminianism. * * * But their most frequent and vehement disputes were for liberty of conscience, as they called it; that is, that the civil magistrate had nothing to do to determine of anything in matters of religion by constraint or restraint, but every man might not only hold, but preach and do, in matters of religion what he pleased; that the civil magistrate hath nothing to do but with civil things, to keep the peace, and protect the churches’ liberties, &c.
I found that one half almost of the religious party among them were such as were either orthodox or but very lightly touched with their mistakes; and almost another half were honest men that stepped further into the contending way than they could well get out of again, but with competent help might be recovered. But a few fiery, self-conceited men among them kindled the rest and made all the noise and bustle, and carried about the Army as they pleased. For the greatest part of the common soldiers, especially of the foot, were ignorant men of little religion, abundance of them such as had been taken prisoners, or turned out of garrisons under the King, and had been soldiers in his army. And these would do anything to please their officers, and were ready instruments for the seducers, especially in their great work which was to cry down the Covenant, to vilify all parish ministers, but especially the Scots and Presbyterians. For the most of the soldiers that I spoke with never took the Covenant because it tied them to defend the King’s person, and to extirpate heresy and schism.
Because I perceived that it was a few men that bore the bell, that did all the hurt among them, I . . . would be oft disputing with them in the hearing of the rest; and I found that they were men that had been in London, hatched up among the old Separatists, and had made it all the matter of their study and religion to rail against ministers and parish churches, and Presbyterians, and had little other knowledge, nor little discourse of anything about the heart or heaven, but were fierce with pride and self-conceitedness, and had gotten a very great conquest over their charity, both to the Episcopal and Presbyterians. Whereas many of those honest soldiers which were tainted but with some doubts about liberty of conscience or Independency, were men that would discourse of the points of sanctification and Christian experience very savourily.
But we so far prevailed in opening the folly of these revilers and self-conceited men, as that some of them became the laughing-stock of the soldiers before I left them; and when they preached (for great preachers they were) their weakness exposed them to contempt. A great part of the mischief they did among the soldiers was by pamphlets which they abundantly dispersed; such as R. Overton’s Martin Mar-Priest, and more of his, and some of J. Lilburne’s, who was one of them; and divers against the King, and against the ministry, and for liberty of conscience, &c. And soldiers being usually dispersed in their quarters, they had such books to read when they had none to contradict them.
Mr. Peter’s Message (1646), pp. 5-6. Similar testimony is borne by other chaplains: William Dell (The Building and Glory of the Truly Christian Church, 1646, ‘To the Reader’), and Joshua Sprigge (Anglia Rediviva, 1647, pp. 323-4).
 Reference to the Presbyterian clergy’s attacks on the Army’s heresies.
Reliquiae Baxterianae (1696), Part I, §§ 71, 73.