Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

attemptable, especially that of the town and castle of 
Gibraltar’ 1; alone among leaders of England he had 
at once a definite intention to create by strength of 
arm an English Empire overseas, and capacity to take 
practical steps towards effecting his purpose. Soldier, 
statesman, imperialist—what was the main driving 
force behind him and his plans ? There can only be 
one answer, that directly or indirectly, with or without 
self-deception, it was religion. In all things he re- 
solved and acted as being an instrument of God’s will, 
as personally responsible to the Almighty for himself 
together with the nation committed to his charge. 
When he shaped his policy against Spain, he was, like 
the Elizabethans before him, spurred on as fighting for 
the true Faith, as the champion of right against dark- 
ness, of spiritual freedom against the bondage of 
Romish superstition. 
Among later British statesmen perhaps the one 
who most nearly approached Cromwell in the extent 
to which religion penetrated his political views 
and coloured his foreign and colonial policy was 
Mt. Gladstone, as far removed from Cromwell in 
character and temperament as he was in time and cit- 
cumstance. No less than Cromwell he regarded him- 
self in all his words and works as an instrument of the 
Almighty, and both men alike, strong in will and 
discerning in intellect, inclined to see the finger of 
God pointing along the path which had already 
commended itself to them for mundane reasons. 
Before Cromwell entered on his Western design, 
the Long Parliament had, in 1651, passed ‘ an Act for 
Lt Letter of April 28, 1656. Carlyle, ## sup., Part IX, p. 159.

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