Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell

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Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The figure of Cromwell has emerged from the floating mists of time in many varied semblances, from blood-stained and hypocritical usurper up to transcendental hero and the liberator of mankind. The contradictions of his career all come over again in the fluctuations of his fame. He put a king to death, but then he broke up Parliament after Parliament. He led the way in the violent suppression of bishops, he trampled on Scottish Presbytery, and set up a state system of his own; yet he is the idol of voluntary congregations and the free churches. He had little comprehension of that government by discussion which is now counted the secret of liberty. No man that ever lived was less of a pattern for working those constitutional charters that are the favorite guarantees of public rights in our century. His rule was the rule of the sword. Yet his name stands first, half warrior, half saint, in the calendar of English-speaking democracy.

A foreign student has said that the effect that a written history is capable of producing is nowhere seen more strongly than in Clarendon's story of the Rebellion. The view of the event and of the most conspic-

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