BAILLIE, in one of his letters, dated
22nd April, 1651, says that Cromwell came to Hamilton on Friday late,
and to Glasgow on Saturday with the body of his army sooner than with
safety we could well have retired. On Sunday before noon he came
unexpectedly to the High Inner Church, where he quietly heard Mr. Robert
Ramsay preach a very good sermon pertinent to his case. In the afternoon
he came as unexpectedly to the High Outer Church, whero he heard Mr.
John Carstairs lecture, and Mr. James Durham preach, graciously and well
to the time, as could have been desired. Generally all who preached that
day in the town gave a fair enough testimony against the sectaries.
"That night some of the army were trying
if the ministers would be pleased of their own accord to confer with
their genera!. When none had shown any willingness, on Monday
a gentleman from Cromwell came to most of the brethren severally,
desiring, yea, requiring them and the rest orfthe ministry in town to
come and speak with their general. All of us did meet to advise, and
after sorne debate we were content all to go and hear what would be
said. When we came he spoke long and smoothly, showing the scandal
himself and others had taken at the doctrine they had heard preached,
especially that they were condemned-(1) as unjust invaders; (2) as
contemners, and tramplers under foot of the ordinances; (3) as
persecutors of the ministers of Ireland.
"That as they were unwilling to offend
us by a publict contradicting in tbe church, so they would be willing to
give them a reason when he craved it in private. We showed our
willingness to give a reason either for those three or what else was
excepted against in any of our sermons."
One of Cromwell's officers gives the
following account of this second visit to Glasgow, and of the conference
and discussion with the ministers, from which it appears that, like most
discussions, it ended in both parties being "of the same opinion still."
"We came hither on Saturday last, April
19th. The ministers and town's men generally stayed at home, and did not
quit their habitations as formerly. The ministers here have mostly
deserted from the proceedings beyond the water [at Perth], yet they are
equally dissatisfied with us. But though they preach against us in the
pulpit to our faces, yet we permit them without disturbance, as willing
to gain them by love. My Lord General sent to them to give us a friendly
Christian meeting, to discourse of those things which they rail against
us for; that so, if possible, all misunderstandings between us might be
taken away. Which accordingly they gave us, on Wednesday last. There was
no bitterness nor passion vented on either side; all was with moderation
and tenderness. My Lord General and Major-General Larnbert for the most
part maintained the discourse: and on their part Mr. James Guthry and
Mr. Patrick Gillespie. We know not what satisfaction they have received.
Sure I am there was no such weight in their arguments as might in the
least discourage us from what we have undertaken; the chief thingon
which they insisted being our invasion into Scotland."