The certainty of General Tilly's march with the army unto Saxony being come unto his Majesty, and that he was to join at Leipzig, with the forces were come to him from the upper circles of Germany, as also out of Italy; which being joined together, his resolution was to spoil the Duke's country, or to force him to turn Imperialist: which being understood by his Majesty, his Majesty very wisely resolved to prevent him in this, as he had done in his former intentions: And therefore with diligence, bringing together the whole strength of his horses, with two thousand dragoniers, he marched towards Rathenow, where Field Marshal Horne did lie, with a part of the army, to whom he gave orders to be in readiness, on his first advertisement, as also, he appointed General Banner, to recollect and bring up such forces as were levied in the Marks of Brandenburg, and to be in readiness at his Majesty's appointment for a march.
In like manner his Majesty did leave the care of commanding the leaguer at Werben to General Lieutenant Bautis, so far as concerned the command of the cavalry, and Sir John Hepburne was ordained to command, and to care for the foot, which being done, his Majesty continued his march towards the pass of Wittenberg, for to meet Field Marshal Arnham, who was appointed by the Duke of Saxony to treat with his Majesty, for confirming of the alliance and confederacy formerly treated betwixt his Majesty and the Duke, in time of the treaty, his Majesty being in hopes, of a happy conclusion, he did direct orders to the Field Marshal Horne, and to General Lieutenant Bawtis, to break up with both their forces of horse and foot, and to march towards Wittenberg. Likewise order was sent to Colonel Cagge to break up from Havelberg, with his regiment, and with Colonel Monro of Fowles his regiment, for to join both with the army, on their march (which continued orderly to the rendezvous appointed to meet with the Field Marshal being within four miles of Wittenberg, where we did come together, and immediately the Field Marshal did put the army in good order of battle, horse, foot and artillery; the baggage also was placed and directed to march apart from the army.
On Sunday the twenty eighth of August 1631, we continue our march towards Wittenberg, where a mile from the town we rejoiced at the sight of our master and leader, Gustavus the invincible, who with the party did join with us, and immediately he took the pains to bring that royal army in order of battle, where on the sudden, his Majesty's dexterity in command did appear to the great contentment of the whole army, and marching a while in battle order, having halted near the part, where our leaguer was appointed to be, we were commanded to encamp for that night on the field, as we stood in battle. The next morning, the leaguer being divided in several quarters, and our quarter-masters, and furriers, having made their right designation of every regiment's quarter, and having divided their quarters proportionally amongst the companies, they being ready, every brigade whose quarters were first designed, marched unto the leaguer, possessing themselves with their quarters, they begun orderly to place their colours and their watch; then every particular comradeship did strive, who could best provide themselves of convenient lodgings, where we were to rest for a week.
Lieutenant Colonel John Monro, being come before his colonel from Scotland with a company, he was made to march from Stettin to Werben, and from thence to Wittenberg, being then ordained to march with our regiment, with whom did come from Scotland, Robert Monro, Kilterne's son, out of love, to see his friends, who contracting a fever at Wittenberg, died there, and was honourably buried.
The fourteenth Observation.
HIS Majesty, like a wise and prudent general, we see would not stir from his leaguer at Werben, till first he was made certain by good intelligence, of his enemies' design, counsel and resolution, which being well known, his Majesty then resolved, by preventing of them, to make them unprofitable: and truly the discoverer of such, plots and counsels ought to be well rewarded, seeing by the discovery of our enemies' designs, we were made to resist his intended evil against us. Happy therefore are those intelligences that come in time, and there ought to be no delay used, in taking that counsel that cannot be praised, till the turn be done, and things once deliberated should be quickly done, and though he be a brave fellow, who doubts in advising, yet in action he ought to be confident, as Gustavus was, getting intelligence of the enemies' design with celerity, he took his horses and dragoniers with him, and leaving his foot and cannon, he advanced to the pass of Wittenberg, for to prevent Tilly, who was striving to make the Duke turn Imperialist; but Gustavus wisely taking the ball at the right rebound, he did turn the Duke, by God's providence, both soul and body good Swede. Where clearly we may see the Lord's powerful hand and providence in this, as in all human affairs, suffering things sometimes to take delays. Notwithstanding of man's instant urging, the Lord defers to his appointed time, that the glory may be given unto himself alone, and not to man's wit or policy. For as the rudder in a ship doth with a little motion govern all the ship: even so, God the director and governor of the world, doth move the whole, himself not stirring. And as there is one God in the heavens, that governs all the frame of the earth: so the Lord hath his substitutes on earth, whom he hath made above their fellows in judgment, and heroic virtues, yet he himself keeps the prerogative above them all in commanding them, to let us see, that all the event, and conclusions of kings' projects and intentions, be they never so powerful, avail nothing to the furtherance of their intentions, till they first acknowledge them to come from the fountain God, that distributes them again on his servants, when he pleaseth, that they may learn to glorify him, and not their own wit or policy, which is so much as nothing, till he consent. This God then, the author and doer of all things (and of this union and confederacy) that eternal (I say) and provident God-head, that governs the motions of the Heavens, the stars' variable courses, the elementary changes, all things above, and beneath the earth, ruling and governing, spreading, where he pleaseth his light beams from his eternity, and with a wink, piercing into the bowels of heaven, earth and sea, he doth not only go before them, but in them, seeing and knowing all, and governing them all, his will is so, that he converts our noisomeness unto health, and our sins being ill, he turns them unto our good: that eternal governor triumphs in the chariot of his providence, and if willingly we follow him, then freely, as his soldiers, if unwillingly, we must follow him, as captives and servants. We see then here by God's providence, the Duke was contented to join his army with the King's Majesty's army being come to Wittenberg, to go conjunctis viribus against their common enemy the house of Austria, and the Catholic league.
It had been good for Magdeburg this union had been sooner concluded, but the Lord would not have it, seeing their punishments, by General Tilly's army (their scourge) was decreed long before. But now the Duke of Saxony terrified by their example, thinks it better to prevent such another wound, by joining with his Majesty, being made wary by others' fall: for it is better late to thrive then never, and it is better to prevent evil, than to suffer; and it was better for the Duke of Saxony, to blush in time, then out of time to grow pale; for now being taken at the rebound, Tilly's army being at Leipzig, seeing his own house on fire to be relieved, he offers his service to his Majesty, damning himself, soul and body, if ever he will forsake his Majesty and his Crown, if then he would but help him to beat the enemy out of his country again: So that he, which could not be tied with one knot before, is now hard tied by four great points, which he was made to condescend unto, on his honour and credit, to have been kept unviolable. And his Majesty getting him once thus bound, the way to make him sure, was to make him fight, that having dipped his hands once in the blood of his enemies, he was not suddenly to be clensed, and this was the manner to tie him harder, than the custom was of old amongst the Germans, who were wont (when they entered in confederacy) to draw blood in a goblet of both their browes, and drink of it mutually, for the more strict observance of their fidelities to each others. But shortly after this confederacy was made, much German blood was drawn, and of other strangers' blood, to make the tie so much the harder, and before the tie was broke, his Majesty's blood was shed, to the perpetual disgrace of him, that after his Majesty's death, forgetting his honour and credit, did violate his confederacy made with the crown, as with the King our master, of never dying memory.