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that the greater part of the Protestant put in practice all her diplomatic arts to forces had returned to their homes, and detach the Hamiltons from the Congrethen advanced suddenly with her army gation, if possible, or to sow jealousy and to Edinburgh. Leith having declared cause dissension among them. Failing for the regent, and the castle of Edin- in these endeavours, she issued declaraburgh_being under the command of tions to the public, in which she strove Lord Erskine, who was unfavourable to to fix the charge of rebellion upon the the Protestants, they felt that they could Congregation generally, and, in particunot defend the town, and agreed to lar, accused Lord James Stewart and the evacuate it, on condition that the inhabi- Duke of Chatelherault of aiming severaltants should be left at liberty to use that ly at the crown. These insidious deform of worship which they should pre- clarations were met by counter-declarafer. The lords then retired to Stirling, tions, in which the accused parties vinditaking with them John Knox, and leav- cated themselves from these charges, and ing Willock in his place, who continued exposed the course of treachery and to preach in St. Giles' Church after the cruelty by which her conduct had been arrival of the regent.
all along characterised. This war of The King of France dying about this diplomacy, however, was not likely to time was succeeded by Mary's husband, lead to any satisfactory result; and the and thus the crowns of France and Scot- Protestant lords began to prepare for land seemed to be united, and the deep more decisive measures. They asscheme of the princes of Lorraine on the sembled in Edinburgh on the 21st of point of being realized. Letters were October 1559, in such numbers as to sent by the new king and queen to Lord form a convention of the estates of the James Stewart, for the purpose of detach- kingdom, and entered upon a formal deing him, if possible, from the Protestant liberation what ought to be done to resparty ; but he #remained firm to his faith cue the country from such a state of and covenant engagement. At the same civil dissension, and especially from the time, an additional supply of money and lawless, outrages committed by the troops were sent from France to the French troops in the queen-regent's queen-regent to enable her to crush and army. exterminate the Reformation in Scotland. In this convention of estates both Knox The hopes of the regent began to revive ; and Willock were requested to state their and she commenced fortifying Leith, sentiments respecting the duty of subjects both as commanding strength in an im- to their rulers in cases of oppression. portant position, and a port through Willock held that the power of rulers which she might readily at all times re- was limited both by reason and by Scripceive supplies from France into the very ture, and that they might be deprived of heart of the country. But though these it upon valid grounds; implying that he matters were favourable to the queen-re- thought the conduct of the queen-regent gent, there were others of a counter- had passed these limits, and given to her balancing character. The Earl of Ar- subjects these valid grounds. Knox asran, son to the former regent, the Duke sented to Willock's opinions, and added, of Chatelherault, returned at this time that the assembly might, with safe confrom France, having narrowly escaped sciences, act upon it, provided they atimprisonment on account of having extended to the three following points :pressed himself favourable to the Protes-“ First, that they did not suffer the mistant doctrines. After having held an conduct of the queen-regent to alienate interview with the Protestant lords at their affections from their due allegiance Stirling, this young nobleman went to to their sovereigns, Francis and Mary; Hamilton to his father, and succeeded in second, that they were not actuated in prevailing on him to quit the party of the measure by private hatred or envy the queen-regent, and join the Lords of of the queen-dowager, but by regard for the Congregation.
the safety of the commonwealth ; and, The accession of the Hamiltons to the third, that any sentence which they might Protestant party gave a new turn to af- at this time pronounce should not prefairs. The queen-regent immediately | clude her readmission to office, if she
afterwards discovered sorrow for her in M‘Crie's Life of Knox, where the conduct, and a disposition to submit to principles of civil and religious liberty the advice of the estates of the realm. are explained and defended with great After this, the whole assembly, having eloquence of language and power of severally delivered their opinions, did, by reasoning * a solemn deed, suspend the queen-dowa- This act, suspending the commission ger from her authority as regent of the of the queen-regent, was proclaimed in all kingdom, until the meeting of a free par- the chief towns throughout the kingdom, liament; and, at the same time, elected a and intimated formally to the regent hercouncil for the management of public self, summoning her at the same time to affairs during this interval.
dismiss the French troops from Leith, The conduct of Knox and Willock, in and yield the town. To this declaration giving their opinions on this very import- and summons, an answer, charging the ant matter, has been very often and very Protestants with rebellion, and uttering a severely censured. But those who have bold defiance of their power, was redone so have in general displayed either turned ; and hostilities immediately bean anxious desire to avail themselves of gan. But the success of the Protestant any opportunity of blackening the char- lords and their army was not equal to acter and aspersing the motives of the their hopes and the goodness of their Scottish reformer, or so little acquaintance cause. There arose, in fact, a division with the great principles of civil and re- among them, of a kind to which such ligious liberty, as to render their opinion enterprises as they were engaged in must of very slight value. Genuine Chris- always be exposed. The very essence tianity, instead of impairing the worth of the contest was of a strictly religious of man's natural and civil rights and character, and had been begun by men privileges, gives to them an infinitely whose sole object it was to rescue the increased importance, as the rights and pure and undefiled Christianity of the privileges of the freemen of the Lord; Bible from the gross corruptions of Porendering it absolutely impossible for a pery. Buts many had now joined the true Christian either to enslave others or early reformers from a variety of motives, to submit to be himself enslaved. And apart from those of religion ; and even let it be ever most gratefully remembered, those in whom religious motives predomthat to the Reformation we owe that true inated still retained so great an admixcivilization which not only strikes off the ture of selfish and worldly policy, as to fetters from the body, but cultivates also embarrass extremely the conduct of those the mind, which not only liberates men with whom they professed to act. A from civil, mental, and moral thraldom, double policy must always be an unsafe but also, at the same time, elevating them one. And, perhaps, there is nothing in the scale of existence, renders them which has ever done more evil to man worthy to be free. The mind of Knox than the debasing intermixture of worldly was too deeply imbued with these great motives in matters of a purely religious principles, and his heart too fearless, for and sacred character. But on this subject him to hesitate in giving a frank avowal we shall not further dwell at present, as of his sentiments, be the danger and the it will repeatedly meet us hereafter, and obloquy thereby to be encountered what in circumstances fitted to display its nathey inight; and yet, let it be observed, ture and bearing more clearly. that while he vindicated the right of sub- The accession of the Hamiltons and jects to protect themselves against unlaw- their adherents appeared to strengthen ful despotism, both in this and in other the Protestants very much; yet the diviinstances, he carefully guarded against sions which almost immediately sprung the opposite extreme, of encouraging sub- up proved more detrimental to their cause jects wantonly to violate the allegiance than their increase of numbers was benedue to their sovereigns. But instead of ficial. And as the Duke of Chatelhefarther attempting to vindicate Knox from rault, being the man of greatest rank the aspersions cast upon him by writers among them, was placed nominally at of a servile character, let us direct the at- their head, his timid and vacillating tention of the reader to a noble passage
M'Crie's Life of Knox, pp. 133-192.
character diffused its contagion among sistance of the Congregation. A short them, and rendered their councils unde- time before the Protestants retired from cided and their conduct irresolute. They Edinburgh, they were joined by Wilfailed in some encounters with the liam Maitland of Lethington, one of the French; and fresh supplies arriving at ablest statesmen of his time, who had Leith, they became so discouraged as to previously been secretary to the queenabandon the siege, and retreat to Stirling, regent
. Upon his arrival, Knox, who in a state of great dejection. They were had no relish for the intrigues of mere also deficient in money to pay and sup- politicians, immediately relinquished the port their forces, many of whom were of direct management of all diplomatic mata mercenary character, regarding little ters to Lethington, expressing great satison which side they fought, provided they faction at being relieved from duties so obtained pay, and were occasionally gra- uncongenial to his mind. Lethington was tified with pillage. Upon the retreat of sent to England to endeavour to procure the Lords of the Congregation, the French assistance; and it was finally resolved issued from Leith, took possession of that an English force should be sent to Edinburgh, with the exception of the Scotland to co-operate with the Protestcastle, which Lord Erskine continued to ant lords in expelling the French troops hold in a kind of armed neutrality, ad- out of the kingdom. A contract to that vanced to Stirling, pillaging the country effect was concluded at Berwick, between as they went, and crossed into Fifeshire, the Duke of Norfolk and the Scottish skirting the coast, and continuing their commissioners, on the 27th of February ravages as they proceeded towards St. 1560.* Andrews. *
[1560.] The war now assumed a more In this extremity the Protestants found determined aspect. The French troops, it necessary to apply more pressingly to being aware of the approach of the EngQueen Elizabeth for aid from England. lish, returned to Leith, and prepared to This had indeed been done some months defend it to the last extremities. Before before, when they became convinced that the arrival of the English forces, the hostilities must ensue; and the inter- queen-regent was allowed by Lord Ercourse with England had been conducted skine to enter into Edinburgh castle; chiefly by Knox and Henry Balnaves of thus withdrawing herself from being perHallhill, on the Scottish side, and Cecil sonally exposed to the dangers and horon the English. Knox apprized Cecil rors of a war which she herself had of the great popish league, devised by caused. Several sharp encounters took the princes of Lorraine, for the suppres- place between the besiegers and the besion of the Reformation throughout Eu- sieged; but as the English fleet had the rope, to which the dethronement of Eliz- command of the sea, no supplies could abeth was essential; and suggested a be transmitted from France to the garrigreat counter-league of Protestant pow- son of Leith, which was daily becoming ers, of which Elizabeth should be the weaker. The French court employed head. Cecil could appreciate the scheme; every art of policy to induce Elizabeth to but it was not so easy to induce Eliza- abandon the support of the Protestant beth to engage in it, requiring, as it ne- lords, and almost succeeded. But being cessarily did, great and immediate sacri- at length convinced that England's own fices and exertions for a remote, and security and best interests were involved what might appear a contingent, good. in the support of Scotland, she gave Assistance in money was sent, but with orders to prosecute the siege with the a sparing hand; and part of it was in- utmost vigour. The resolution of Elizatercepted, and fell into the possession of beth convinced the Court of France that the queen-regent. But now, when the it was in vain to prolong the contest. A Protestant cause appeared to be sinking treaty was therefore proposed between in Scotland, in consequence of the direct France and England, the basis of which aid received by the queen-regent from was, that the troops of both countries France, the English court perceived the should be withdrawn from Scotland, necessity of sending an army to the as- and ambassadors were appointed to meet
Knox, Spotswood, Buchanan.
in Edinburgh, to complete its arrange the records of its acts. When the cirment and ratification.
cumstances in which they were assemWhile the ambassadors were on their bled, and the affairs on which they were way to Scotland, the queen-regent, who called to deliberate, are taken into conhad been for some time declining in sideration, this must be regarded as the health, became seriously ill; and, send most important meeting of the estates of ing for some of the chief Lords of the the kingdom that had ever been held in Congregation, expressed her regret at the Scotland. It engrossed the attention of sufferings which the kingdom had en- the nation, and the eyes of Europe were dured. She also sent for John Willock, fixed on its proceedings. Although a and conferred with him for some time on great concourse of people resorted to Edreligious matters; but, after his depar- inburgh on that occasion, yet no tumult ture, received extreme unction, according or disturbance of the public peace occurto the rites of the Romish Church, and red. Many of the lords spiritual and expired, on the 9th Knox says, Spots- temporal who were attached to Popery wood says the 10th, of June 1560. absented themselves; but the chief pa
On the 16th of June the ambassadors trons of the old religion, as the archbishop arrived in Edinburgh, and began their of St. Andrews, and the bishops of Dumnegotiations. The death of the late queen- blane and Dunkeld, countenanced the dowager had removed one of the main ob- Assembly by their presence, and were stacles to peace; and the troubled state of allowed to act with freedom as lords of political matters in France tended to parliament. make the ambassadors of that country “The all-important business of relimore disposed to pacification than they gion was introduced by a petition premight otherwise have been. It proceeded, sented by a number of Protestants of difhowever, with the usual tardiness of state ferent ranks; in which, after rehearsing diplomacy, and was signed on the 7th of their former endeavours to procure the reJuly 1560. By this treaty it was pro- moval of the corruptions which had invided, that the French troops should be fected the Church, they requested parliaimmediately removed from Scotland ; that ment to use the power which Providence an amnesty should be granted to all who had now put into their hands for effecting had been engaged in the late resistance this great and urgent work. They craved to the queen-regent; that the principal three things in general; that the antigrievances of which they complained in christian doctrine maintained in the the civil administration should be re- Popish Church should be discarded; that dressed; that a free parliament should be means should be used to restore purity of held in the month of August next, to set- worship and primitive discipline; and tle the other affairs of the kingdom; and that the ecclesiastical revenues, which had that, during the absence of their sover- been engrossed by a corrupt and indolent eigns, the government should be admin- hierarchy, should be applied to the supistered by a council of twelve, all natives port of a pious and active niinistry, to the of the kingdom, to be partly chosen by promotion of learning, and to the relief Francis and Mary, and partly by the es of the poor. They declared, that they tates of the nation. On the 16th July the were ready to substantiate the justice of French army embarked at Leith, and the all their demands, and, in particular, to English troops began their march to their prove that those who arrogated to themown country; and on the 19th the Con- selves the name of clergy were destitute gregation assembled in St. Giles's Church, of all right to be accounted ministers of to return public thanks to God for the religion; and that, from the tyranny restoration of peace, and for the success which they had exercised, and their vaswhich had crowned their exertions. salage to the court of Roine, they could
The parliament, which had met for- not be safely tolerated, and 'far less inmally during the presence of the ambas- trusted with power, in a reformed comsadors on the 10th of July, adjourned monwealth.' until the 1st day of August, according to The attentive reader will mark, in the the treaty, both dates being specified in
M'Crie's Life of Knox, pp. 200, 201 ; Knox, pp. 237,
* Knox, Spotswood.
preceding outline of this petition, the liament required the reformed ministers statement of certain great principles to lay before them a summary of doctrine which he will have occasion subsequently which they could prove to be consonant to trace in active operation. He will with the Scriptures, and which they demark the request, not only for purity of sired to have established. The following worship, but also for primitive discipline, ministers were appointed to perform the -a point of vital importance in any task:- John Winram, John Spotswood, Church, but one which worldly-minded John Willock, John Douglas, John Row, men will always hate and oppose. He and John Knox; and in the course of will mark, also, that while our Scottish four days, they presented a Confession of reformers still wished ecclesiastical reve- Faith as the product of their joint labours, nues to be devoted to ecclesiastical, and and an expression of their unanimous not civil purposes, they did so, not for the judgment. It agreed with the Confessake of their own aggrandizement, but sions which had been published by other purely for the public good, purposing a reformed Churches. In the statement of threefold division and application of them, doctrinal tenets it is very clear and dis-one-third for the support of colleges tinct
, and eminently evangelical; but and schools, one-third for the support of though a very valuable and excellent
and the remaining third for the summary of Christian faith, it is perhaps support of the ministers of religion. No more coloured with the circumstances of other national Church ever. exhibited a the times than is necessary, and in some spirit at once so generous and self-deny- respects less specific and decided than is ing, and so wisely and nobly zealous in desirable. For an admirable outline of devising large and liberal schemes for it the reader may consult M'Crie's Life promoting the welfare of the kingdom of Knox; from which work we extract But such schemes were far too generous the following condensed account of its to find favour in the sight of the avari- ratification. cious nobility and gentry, and far too en- 66 The Confession was first read before lightened to be adequately understood, the Lords of Articles, and afterwards either by the men of that age, or even yet
, before the whole parliament. The Proof our own. Unfortunately for the public testant ministers attended in the house to welfare, in all ages and countries, men of defend it, if attacked, and to give satisthe world, judging others by themselves, faction to the members respecting any cannot understand, and will not believe, point which might appear dubious. Those the self-denying and generous spirit of who had objections to it were formally true religion, and therefore always regard required to state them. And the farther with jealousy every proposal made by consideration of it was adjourned to a the servants of Christ; and even the more subsequent day, that none might pretend manifestly self-denying and generous it that an undue advantage had been taken is, the more suspicious are they that it of him, or that a matter of such impormust contain some peculiarly deep de- tance had been concluded precipitately. sign. The applicability of these remarks On the 17th of August the parliament will soon be made evident.
resumed the subject, and previous to the When this petition was laid before par- vote, the Confession was again read, arliament, it soon became apparent that it ticle by article. The Earl of Athole, went much farther than many of the poli- and Lords Somerville and Borthwick, ticians were disposed to permit. Mait- were the only persons of the temporal land of Lethington had previously said, estate who voted in the negative, assignin reference to the discourses which ing this as their reason, 'We will believe Knox had preached from the book of as our forefathers believed. The bishHaggai, “We may now forget ourselves, ops spake nothing. After the vote esand bear the barrow to build the house tablishing the Confession of Faith, the of God." This scoffing comment showed Earl Marischal rose, and declared, that plainly enough what were his sentiments; the silence of the clergy had confirmed and there were but too many ready to him in his belief of the protestant docconcur with and support him. In answer trine; and he protested that if any of the to the first topics of the petition, the par- ecclesiastical estate should afterwards op