These are the notes Stephen took on Dr. Joe Morecraft's talk on Oliver Cromwell at the Chalcedon Conference. Book recommendations: The greatness of Oliver Cromwell (Collier books) The Great Christian Revolution
Cromwell was the greatest English man that ever lived. He created the English world of today. Many scholars of his time praised him, but now people despise him. We think that Cromwell and the Puritans did not like entertainment, but playwriting flourished under Cromwell. We cannot understand Cromwell without understanding Puritanism. When the reformation hit England, Puritanism was created. Puritanism was the idea of making England a Christian nation and changing the Anglicans to Christians. They were trying to clean England. When Cromwell heard of Charles' tyranny, he had no idea what he would do. He did not take up arms and fight till he heard about the slaughter of the puritans in Ireland. Cromwell would become one of the greatest generals ever.
Cromwell did something no one else had ever done. He made officers out of peasants. He saw value in the craftsmen. Cromwell's chaplain was the preacher of the church he had gone to. Cromwell was plagued all his life because the Puritan Scots still wanted a Stewart back on the throne. He knew he would have to stop these. If he did not, they would take over and place a Stewart on the throne, and all would be lost. Scholars charge Cromwell with attacking his subjects, but he did not. He fought with Ireland and Scotland only when they rebelled. Cromwell struck such a blow to Ireland that it never recovered. But he also did Ireland good. Before it was a desert, but afterwards it was cultivated. Cromwell fought Scotland when they tried to put Charles II on the throne.
Cromwell fought Scotland differently than he fought Ireland because they were Puritans. He fought them kindly. Cromwell went to churches with his army and listened to the preacher publicly curse him and his men, yet he did not attack the preacher. Cromwell wrote the first English written constitution. America took a lot from it in the founding. The catholics were afraid of his army. Once when the Catholics were persecuting Puritans in Ireland, he sent a letter to the pope and said that if the persecution did not stop he would burn Rome to the ground with his navy. The persecution stopped immediately. After Cromwell died his son took his place. His son was incapable of ruling. The leader of the army died shortly after Cromwell. Soon Charles II's followers took over and placed him on the throne.
My favorite speaker was Dr. Joe Morcraft because I thought he did the best job. Maybe it was because we heard him before. He used more scripture than the other speakers, although he was talking about a person.