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Cromwell was censured for “his deeds,” whatever they may have been,
in I621, and that he voluntarily acknowledged his offence—the wording
of the forged entry gives some countenance to this deduction—there
would at least be a coincidence of date between that of this second
entry and that of one in the diary of Sir Theodore Maycrne—the
fashionable physician of the day—who notes that Oliver Cromwell, who

visited him in September of that year, was valde /nelanc/zolicus. Even if

no heed whatever is to be paid to the St. .lohn’s register, Mayerne's
statement enables us approximately to date that time of mental struggle
which he passed through at some time in these years, and which was
at last brought to an end when the contemplation of his own unworthi-
ness yielded to the assurance of his Saviour-’s love. “ Whoever yet,” he
wrote long afterwards to his daughter Bridget, “tasted that the Lord
is gracious, without some sense of self, vanity and badness?" It was
a crisis in his life which, if he had been born in the Roman com-
munion, would probably have sent him—as it sent Luther—into a
monastery. Being what he was, a Puritan Englishman, it left him with
strong resolution to do his work in this world strenuously, and to help
others in things temporal, as he himself had been helped in things
spiritual.

English Puritanism, like other widely-spread influences, was complex
in its nature, leading to different results in different men. Intellectually
it was based on the Calvinistic theology, and many were led on by it
to the fiercest intolerance of all systems of thought and practice which
were unconformable thereto. Cromwell’s nature was too large, and his
character too strong, to allow him long to associate himself with the bigots
ofihis age. His Puritanism—if not as universally sympathetic as a
modern philosopher might wish—was moral rather than intellectual. No
doubt it rendered him impatient of the outward forms in which the
religious devotion of such contemporaries as George Herbert and Crashaw
found appropriate sustenance, but at the same time it held him back
from bowing down to the idol of the men of his own party—the

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