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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Battle Of Dunbar

The Scots are my heroes. They are my people and I seek to be like them in many ways, but they are also human.

And humans are sinful.

After Charles II signed the Solemn League and Covenant, the Scots believed that he had reformed, so they crowned him as their king. Charles I, father of Charles II, had been executed for treason in 1649, and Great Britain was being ruled by the parliament. The English fully realized the danger of having another Stuart tyrant on the throne, so they tried to reason with the Scottish leadership, asking them to cease from supporting Charles Stuart II. After much remonstration with the Scottish people, who remained stubborn, Oliver Cromwell was placed at the head of the army and ordered to march for Scotland.

So often had the English army marched for the border in the cause of tyranny but this time they marched in the cause of freedom. D'aubigne writes, Cromwell's feelings, as he marched against Scotland, were different from those which had led him to Ireland. To him the people were brethren- brethren who had gone astray when they invited over the licentious Charles II.

Cromwell sent letter after letter to the Scottish commander, Lt. Gen. David Lesley, pleading with him to reconsider, but to no avail. The Scots were viewing this as merely another English invasion. On this day in 1650 the two Christian armies battled one another at Dunbar.

The English army had been retreating, luring the Scots army after it, until they came to rest at the town of Dunbar. Lesley, assuming that Cromwell would go out to sea, brought his men down from a strong position. Realizing the blunder, Cromwell used the morning darkness to position his men on the Scot's right flank. When the morning broke, he ordered the charge. The flank was broken, the other Scots lost heart, and the battle was quickly over.

Thus ended the saddest battle in the history of Christendom.

Cromwell later wrote to parliament:
Since we came in Scotland, it hath been our desire and longing to have avoided bloodshed in this business; by reason that God hath a people here fearing His name, though decieved. And to that end we have offered much love unto such, in the bowels of Christ; and concerning the truth of our hearts therein, have we appealed unto the Lord.

Because of this victory, Cromwell was able to free Britain from Stuart tyranny for the rest of his life. The Scots, after the Stuart's return to the throne, realized the folly of their actions, but they would have to live with the consequences.

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