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affairs bodes rather enmity and discord, then a firm agreement of mind to defend and assist each other. And this solicitude has fixed itself so much the deeper in our thoughts, in regard there seems to appear some sparkles of jealousy between your Majesty and the king of Sweden ; at least that there is not that conjunction of affections, which our love and good-will in general toward the orthodox religion so importunately requires; your Majesty, perhaps, suspecting that the trade of your dominions will be prejudiced by the king of Sweden ; and on the other side, the king of Sweden being jealous, that by your means the war, which he now wages, is made more difficult, and that you oppose him in his contracting those alliances which he seeks. 'Tis not unknown to your Majesty, so eminent for your profound wisdom, how great the danger is that threatens the Protestant religion, should such suspicions long continue between two such potent monarchs ; more especially, which God avert, if any symptom of hostility should break forth. However it be, for our parts, as we have earnestly exhorted the king of Sweden, and the States of the United Provinces to peace, and moderate counsels (and are beyond expression glad to behold peace and concord renewed between them; for that the heads of that league are transmitted to us by their lordships, the states general) so we

thought it our duty, and chiefly becoming our friendship, not to conceal from your Majesty what our sentiments are concerning these matters, (more especially being so affectionately invited so to do by your Majesty's most friendly letters ; which we look upon, and embrace, as a most singular testimony of your good-will toward us,) but to lay before your eyes, how great a necessity Divine Providence has imposed upon us all, that profess the Protestant Religion, to study peace among ourselves, and that chiefly at this time, when our most embittered enemies seem to have on every side conspired our destruction. There's no necessity of calling to remembrance the valleys of Piemont still besmeared with the blood and slaughter of the miserable inhabitants; nor Austria, tormented at the same time with the emperor's decrees and proscriptions; nor the impetuous onsets of the popish upon the Protestant Switsers. Who can be ignorant, that the artifices and machinations of the Spaniards, for some years last past, have filled all these places with the confused and blended havock of fire and sword ? To which unfortunate pile of miseries, if once the reformed brethren should come to add their own dissentions among themselves, and more especially two such potent monarchs, the chiefest part of our strength, and among whom so large a provision of the Protestants security

and puissance lies stored and hoarded up against times of danger, most certainly the interests of the Protestants must go to ruine, and suffer a total and irrecoverable eclipse. On the other side, if peace continue firmly fixed between two such powerful neighbours, and the rest of the orthodox princes; if we would but make it our main study to abide in brotherly concord, there would be no cause, by God's assistance, to fear neither the force nor subtilty of our enemies; all whose endeavours, and laborious toils, our union alone would be able to dissipate and frustrate. Nor do we question, but that your Majesty, as you are freely willing, so your willingness will be constant in contributing your utmost assistance to procure this blessed peace. To which purpose, we shall be most ready to communicate, and join our counsels with your Majesty ; professing a real and cordial friendship, and not only determined inviolably to observe the amity so auspiciously contracted between us, but as God shall enable us, to bind our present alliance with a more strict and fraternal bond. In the mean time, the same eternal God grant all things prosperous and successful to your Majesty.

“Your Majesty's most closely united by Friendship,

Alliance and Good-will, OLIVER, Protector of the
Commonwealth of England, &c.

From our Court at Whitehall, December, 1656.”

“ OLIVER, Protector of the Commonwealth of

ENGLAND, &c. To the most Serene and illus-
trious Prince and Lord, the Lord WILLIAM,
Lantgrave of Hess, Prince of HEREFELDT,


“We had returned an answer to your letters, sent us now near a twelvemonth since, for which we beg your highnesses pardon, had not many, and those the most important affairs of the republick under our care, constrained us to this unwilling silence. For what letters could be more grateful to us, than those which are written from a most religious prince, descended from religious ancestors, in order to settle the peace of religion, and the harmony of the church? Which letters attribute to us the same inclinations, the same zeal to promote the peace of christendom, not only in your own, but in the opinion and judgment of almost all the christian world, and which we are most highly glad to find so universally ascribed to ourselves. And how far our endeavours have been signal formerly throughout these three kingdoms, and what we have effected by our exhortations, by our suffer

ings, by our conduct, but chiefly by Divine assistance, the greatest part of our people both well know, and are sensible of, in a deep tranquillity of their consciences. The same peace we have wished to the churches of Germany, whose dissentions have been too sharp, and of too too long endurance ;. and by our agent Dury, for many years in vain endeavouring the same reconciliation, we have cordially offered whatever might conduce on our part to the same purpose. We still persevere in the same determination, and wish the same fraternal charity one among another, to those churches. But how difficult a task it is to settle peace among those sons of peace, as they give out themselves to be, to our extream grief, we more then abundantly understand. For that the reformed, and those of the Augustan confession, should cement together in a communion of one church, is hardly ever to be expected: 'Tis impossible by force to prohibit either from defending their opinions, whether in private disputes, or by publick writings. For force can never consist with ecclesiastical tranquillity. This only were to be wished, that they who differ, would suffer themselves to be entreated, that they would disagree more civilly and with more moderation; and notwithstanding their disputes, love one another; not imbittered against each other as enemies, but as brethren, dissenting onely in

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