Dear Sir,

     Regarding Mr. Gellion’s disapproval of my comments on To Honour God, sent to me by Michael Haykin for review.

     I never review a book without doing the most minute research. This being a highly debatable subject, I re-consulted Cromwell’s writings, contemporary works of Anglicans, Presbyterians, Congregationalist and Baptists, Parliamentary documents and four major biographies. I also re-read Dr. Urwick’s brief biography of Howe, an avowed opponent of state-controlled religion whether Cromwellian or Stuart, and dipped into Howe’s six volumed works. The author-editor discussed the work with me on the friendliest terms per e-mail, and was most happy with the result as published and, indeed, asked me to do further work on behalf of Josuah Press.

     Mr. Gellion quotes Dr. Urwick’s (1846 not 1856) against me but one 19th century writer who had Howe as his subject, can hardly balance off the specific contemporary evidence I gave concerning Cromwell. Urwick’s opening words refer more to the state of the nation than to Cromwell’s character. But Mr. Gellion must read on. Urwick emphasises Howe’s deep disappointment at the spiritual state of the Cromwells and how he made a diplomatic retreat from his post as Cromwell’s chaplain. Urwick adds further facts to help us form a more balanced picture, including the most dubious elements who served in Cromwell’s supposedly ‘Model Army’.

     Mr. Gellion deplores Buchan’s findings, yet ignores the other biographers and contemporary writers quoted, especially Baxter and Calamy whom Urwick also used. These are mostly highly critical of Cromwell. This is why I strove to redress the balance, though Mr Gellion ignores my positive remarks concerning Cromwell, obviously finding me too impartial.

     Mr. Gellion informs us that the only people who ‘drew breath in hope’ after Cromwell’s death were “the profligates who peopled Charles II’s court.” It has slipped his notice that the sources on which Dr. Urwick bases his mini-biography were those very people who were against the Rebellion and who invited Charles II back to England. These included some of Britain’s greatest Puritans. Howe, himself, was very popular in Court circles and the close friend of high nobles, bishops and archbishops.

     Mr. Gellion’s letter ends with a sting indeed. Though he discards with disapproval my stalwart Protestant eye-witness evidence from the pens of Calamy and Baxter and the research of Son of the Manse, John Buchan, he quotes with approval the judgement of a fierce Romanist, Alexander Pope, and a practising Pantheist, William Wordsworth! In evaluating Church History, balance of judgement is a priority.

G. M. Ella, Mülheim