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Bulstrode Whitelock

Notes & Transcripts

When Bulstrode Whitelock left as Oliver Cromwell’s ambassador to Sweeden in 1653, England was in shambles. A Civil war had lead to the execution of Charles 1, the former king. The result was a split between the army and the government that didn’t seem to be heading toward a resolution. Not only that, the Presbyterians and Cromwell’s Independents, two branches of the puritans were also in conflict. It’s difficult enough to represent your country in a foreign country, but it is impossible when you, as the ambassador, have no direction where it’s headed. The night before he left, Whitelock was nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof. He paced nervously back and forth, unable to rest. Finally a servant whose Christian advice he had come to trust said to him,

“Sir, may I ask you a question?”

“Certainly,” came the reply.

“ Sir, do you think that God took real good care of this world before you came along?”

Whitelock replied, “Absolutely.”

“And don’t you think that He will take real good care of it when you’re dead and gone?”

“Of course.” Whitelock said.

“Then, sir, if He took care of it before you came along and He’ll take care of it when you’re dead and gone, don’t you think you can trust Him to control it as well as long as you live?”

The question left Whitelock speechless. He went to bed and was soon fast asleep

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