anointed tyrant from the scaffold at Whitehall. It was the so-called schismatics, ranters, and levellers, the disputatious corporals and Anabaptist musketeers, the dread and abhorrence alike of prelate and presbyter, who, under the lead of Cromwell,
Ruined the great work of time,The Commonwealth was the work of the laity, the sturdy yeomanry and God-fearing commoners of England.
And cast the kingdoms old
Into another mould.
The news of the fight of Naseby reaching Coventry, Baxter, who had friends in the Parliamentary forces, wishing, as he says, to be assured of their safety, passed over to the stricken field, and spent a night with them. He was afflicted and confounded by the information which they gave him, that the victorious army was full of hot-headed schemers and levellers, who were against King and Church, prelacy and ritual, and who were for a free Commonwealth and freedom of religious belief and worship. He was appalled to find that the heresies of the Antinomians, Arminians, and Anabaptists had made sadder breaches in the ranks of Cromwell than the pikes of Jacob Astley, or the daggers of the roysterers who followed the mad charge of Rupert. Hastening back to Coventry, he called together his clerical brethren, and told them ‘the sad news of the corruption of the army.’ After much painful consideration of the matter, it was deemed best for Baxter to enter Cromwell's army, nominally as its chaplain, but really as the special representative of orthodoxy in politics and