A speech by Cromwell to MPs, responding to the ‘Humble Petition and Advice’, 3 April 1657
(W.C. Abbott (ed.), The writings and speeches of Oliver Cromwell, Vol. III, pp.445-46. Published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1947)
You have been devoted to the two greatest concerns that God has in the world.
[1.] One is religion,
and the protection of religious people, giving them all due and just freedom,
and declaring the truths of God, which you have done in part in this paper, and which you and I intend to do more fully after this.
and as to the freedom of men among us practising Godliness [religion] under a variety of forms, you have allowed that, which was never done before. ……
[2.] The other thing cared for is the civil liberty [freedom] and interest of the nation. Though it is, and I think ought to be, second to religion, yet it is the next best thing God has given men in this world. ……
You have shown your value and affection for me, as high as you could. More you could not do! I shall always keep a grateful memory of this in my heart, and I give the Parliament this, my grateful thanks.