Volume Third - Book Twenty-fourth
James A. Wylie
A Voice from the Philadelphian Church Age
PROTESTANTISM IN SCOTLAND
KNOX'S FINAL RETURN TO SCOTLAND
The Priests Renew the Persecution — The Queen Regent openly Sides with them —
Demands of the Protestant Lords — Rejected — Preaching Forbidden — The Preachers
Summoned before the Queen — A Great Juncture — Arrival of John Knox —
Consternation of the Hierarchy — The Reformer of Scotland — Knox Outlawed —
Resolves to Appear with the Preachers before the Queen — The Queen's Perfidy —
Knox's Sermon at Perth — Destruction of the Gray Friars' and Black Friars'
Monasteries, etc. — The Queen Regent Marches against Perth — Commencement of the
It was now thirty years since the stake of Patrick
Hamilton had lighted Scotland into the path of Reformation. The progress of the
country had been slow, but now the goal was being neared, and events were
thickening. The two great parties into which Scotland was divided stood frowning
at each other: the crime of burning Mill on the one side, and "the oath to the
Majesty of Heaven" on the other, rendered conciliation hopeless, and nothing
remained but to bring the controversy between the two to a final issue.
The stake of Mill was meant to be the first of a series of martyrdoms by which
the Reformers were to be exterminated. Many causes contributed to the adoption
of a bolder policy on the part of the hierarchy. They could not hide from
themselves that the Reformation was advancing with rapid strides. The people
were deserting the mass; little companies of Protestants were forming in all the
leading towns, the Scriptures were being interpreted, and the Lord's Supper
dispensed according to the primitive order; many of the nobles were sheltering
Protestant preachers in their castles. It was clear that Scotland was going the
same road as Wittemberg and Geneva had gone; and it was equally clear that the
champions of the Papacy must strike at once and with decision, or surrender the
But what specially emboldened the hierarchy at this hour was the fact that the
queen regent had openly come over to their side. A daughter of the House of
Lorraine, she had always been with them at heart, but her ambition being to
secure the crown-matrimonial of Scotland for her son-in-law, Francis II, she had
poised herself, with almost the skill of a Catherine de Medici, between the
bishops and the lords of the Congregation. She needed the support of both to
carry her political objects. In October, 1558, the Parliament met; and the queen
regent, with the assistance of the Protestants, obtained from "the Estates" all
that she wished. It being no longer necessary to wear the mask, the queen now
openly sided with her natural party, the men of the sword and the stake. Hence
the courage which emboldened the priests to re-kindle the fires of persecution;
and hence, too, the rigor that now animated the Reformers. Disenchanted from a
spell that had kept them dubiously poised between the mass and the Gospel, they
now saw where they stood, and, shutting their ears to Mary's soft words, they
resolved to follow the policy alike demanded by their duty and their safety.
They assembled at Edinburgh, and agreed upon certain demands, which they were to
present by commissioners to the convention of the nobility and the council of
the clergy. The reforms asked for were three that it should be lawful to preach
and to dispense the Sacraments in the vulgar tongue; that bishops should be
admitted into their sees only with the consent of the barons of the diocese, and
priests with the consent of the parishioners; and that immoral and incapable
persons should be removed from the pastoral office. These demands were rejected,
the council having just concluded a secret treaty with the queen for the
forcible suppression of the Reformation.
No sooner had the Protestant nobles left Edinburgh than the regent issued
a proclamation prohibiting all persons from preaching or dispensing the
Sacraments without authority from the bishops.
The Reformed preachers disobeyed the proclamation. The queen, on learning this,
summoned them to appear before her at Stirling, on the 10th of May, and answer
to a charge of heresy and rebellion. There were only four preachers in Scotland,
namely, Paul Methven, John Christison, William Harlow, and John Willock. The
Earl of Glencairn and Sir Hugh Campbell, Sheriff of Ayr, waited on the queen to
remonstrate against this arbitrary proceeding. She haughtily replied that "in
spite of them all their preachers should be banished from Scotland." "What
then," they asked, "became of her oft-repeated promises to protect their
preachers?" Mary, not in the least disconcerted, replied that "it became not
subjects to burden their princes with promises further than they pleased to keep
them." "If so," replied Glencairn, "we on our side are free of our allegiance."
The queen's tone now fell, and she promised to think seriously over the further
prosecution of the affair. At that moment, news arrived that France and Spain
had concluded a peace, and formed a league for the suppression of the
Reformation by force of arms. Scotland would not be overlooked in the orthodox
crusade, and the regent already saw in the contemplated measures the occupation
of that country by French soldiers. She issued peremptory orders for putting the
four Protestant ministers upon their trial. It was a strange and startling
juncture. The blindness of the hierarchy in rejecting the very moderate reform
which the Protestants asked, the obstinacy of the queen in putting the preachers
upon their trial, and the league of the foreign potentates, which threatened to
make Scotland a mere dependency of France, all met at this moment, and
constituted a crisis of a trimly momentous character, but which above most
things helped on that very consummation towards which Scotland had been
struggling for upwards of thirty years.
There wanted yet one thing to complete this strange conjuncture of events. That
one thing was added, and the combination, so formidable and menacing till that
moment, was changed into one of good promise and happy augury to Protestantism.
While the queen and the bishops were concerting their measures in Edinburgh, and
a few days were to see the four preachers consigned to the same fate which had
overtaken Mill; while the Kings of Spain and France were combining their armies,
and meditating a great blow on the Continent, a certain ship had left the harbor
of Dieppe, and was voyaging northward with a fair wind, bound for the Scottish
shore, and on board that ship there was a Scotsman, in himself a greater power
than an army of 10,000 men. This ship carried John Knox, who, without human
pre-arrangement, was arriving in the very midst of his country's crisis.
Knox landed at Leith on the 2nd of May, 1559. The provincial council was still
sitting in the Monastery of the Gray Friars when, on the morning of the 3rd of
May, a messenger entering in haste announced that John Knox had arrived from
France, and had slept last night in Edinburgh. The news fell like a thunder-bolt
upon the members of council. They sat for some time speechless, looking into one
another's faces, and at last they broke up in confusion. Before Knox had uttered
a single word, or even shown himself in public, his very name had scattered
them. A messenger immediately set off with the unwelcome news to the queen, who
was at that time in Glasgow; and in a few days a royal proclamation declared
Knox a rebel and an outlaw.
I the proclamation accomplished nothing else, it made the fact of the
Reformer's presence known to all Scotland. The nation had now found what it
needed, a man able to lead it in the great war on which it was entering. His
devotion and zeal, now fully matured in the school of suffering; his sincerity
and uprightness; his magnanimity and courage; his skill in theological debate,
and his political insight, in which he excelled all living Scotsmen; the
confidence and hope with which he was able to inspire his fellow-countrymen; and
the terror in which the hierarchy stood of his very name, all marked him out as
the chosen instrument for his country's deliverance. He knew well how critical
the hour was, and how arduous his task would be. Religion and liberty were
within his country's grasp, and still it might miss them. The chances of failure
and of success seemed evenly poised; half the nobles were on the side of Rome;
all the Highlands, we may say, were Popish; there were the indifference, the
gross ignorance, the old murky superstition of the rural parts; these were the
forces bearing down the scale, and making the balance incline to defeat. On the
other side, a full half of the barons were on the side of the Reformation; but
it was only a few of them who could be thoroughly depended upon; the rest were
lukewarm or wavering, and not without an eye to the spoils that would be
gathered from the upbreak of a hierarchy owning half the wealth of the kingdom.
The most disinterested, and also the most steadfast, supporters of the
Reformation lay among the merchants and traders of the great towns the men who
loved the Gospel for its own sake, and who would stand by it at all hazards. So
evenly poised was the balance; a little thing might make it incline to the one
side or to the other; and what tremendous issues hung upon the turning of it!
Not an hour did Knox lose in beginning his work. The four preachers, as we have
already said, had been summoned to answer before the queen at Stirling. "The
hierarchy," said the lords of the Congregation, "hope to draw our pastors into
their net, and sacrifice them as they did Walter Mill. We will go with them, and
defend them." "And I too," said Knox, not daunted by the outlawry which had been
passed upon him, "shall accompany my brethren, and take part in what may await
them before the queen." But when the queen learned that Knox was on his way to
present himself before her, she deserted the Diet against the preachers, and
forbade them to appear; but with the characteristic perfidy of a Guise, when the
day fixed in the citation came, she ordered the summons to be called, and the
preachers to be outlawed for not appearing.
Then the news reached Perth that the men who had been forbidden to appear
before the queen, were outlawed for not appearing, indignation was added to the
surprise of the nobles and the townspeople. It chanced that on the same day Knox
preached against the mass and image-worship. The sermon was ended, and the
congregation had very quietly dispersed, when a priest, "to show his malapert
presumption," says Knox, "would open ane glorious tabernacle that stood upon the
high altar," and began to say mass. A boy standing near called out, "Idolatry! "
The priest repaid him with a blow: the youth retaliated by throwing a stone,
which, missing the priest, hit one of the images on the altar, and shivered it
in pieces. It was the sacking of Antwerp Cathedral over again, but on a smaller
scale. The loiterers in the church caught the excitement; they fell upon the
images, and the crash of one stone idol after another reechoed through the
edifice; the crucifixes, altars, and church ornaments shared the same fate. The
noise brought a stream of idlers from the street into the building, eager to
take part in the demolition. Mortified at finding the work finished before their
arrival, they bent their steps to the monasteries.
The tempest took the direction of the Gray Friars on the south of the
town, another rolled away towards the Black Friars in the opposite quarter, and
soon both monasteries were in ruins, their inmates being allowed to depart with
as much of their treasure as they were able to carry. Not yet had the storm
expended itself; it burst next over the abbey of the Charter House. This was a
sumptuous edifice, with pleasant gardens shaded by trees. But neither its
splendor, nor the fact that it had been founded by the first James, could
procure its exemption from the fury of the iconoclasts. It perished utterly.
This tempest burst out at the dinner hour, when the lords, the burghers, and the
Reformers were in their houses, and only idlers were abroad. Knox and the
magistrates, as soon as they were informed of what was going on, hastened to the
scene of destruction, but their utmost efforts could not stop it. They could
only stand and look on while stone cloister, painted oriel, wooden saint, and
fruit-tree, now clothed in the rich blossoms of early summer, fell beneath the
sturdy blows of the "rascal multitude." The monasteries contained stores of all
good things, which were divided amongst the poor; "no honest man,' says Knox,
"was enriched thereby the value of a groat."
It is to be remarked that in Perth, as in the other towns of Scotland, it
was upon the monasteries that the iconoclastic vengeance fell; the cathedrals
and churches were spared. The monasteries were in particularly evil repute among
the population as nests of idleness, gluttony, and sin. Dark tales of foul and
criminal deeds transacted within their walls were continually in circulation,
and the hoarded resentment of long years now burst out, and swept them away. The
spark that kindled the conflagration was not Knox's sermon, for few if any of
those rioters had heard it: Knox's hearers were in their own houses when the
affair began. The more immediate provocative was the wanton perfidy of the
queen, which more disgraced her than this violence did the mob; and the remoter
cause was the rejection of that moderate measure of Reformation which the lords
of the Congregation had asked for, protesting at the same time that they would
not be responsible for the irregularities and violences that might follow the
rejection of their suit.
Knox deplored the occurrence. Not that he mourned over idol slam, and nest of
lazy monk and moping nun rooted out, but he foresaw that the violence of the mob
would be made the crime of the Reformers. And so it happened; it gave the queen
the very pretext she had waited for. The citizens of Perth, with the lords of
the Congregation at their head, had, in her eye, risen in rebellion against her
government. Collecting an army from the neighboring counties, she set out to
chastise the rebels, and lay waste the city of Perth with fire and sword.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE REFORMATION IN SCOTLAND
Peace between the Queen and the Reformers — Consultation — The Lords of the
Congregation Resolve to Set up the Protestant Worship — Knox Preaches at St.
Andrews — His Sermon — St. Andrews Reformed — Glasgow, Edinburgh, etc., Follow —
Question of the Demolition of the Images and Monasteries — The Queen and her
Army at Leith — The Lords Evacuate Edinburgh — Knox Sets out on a Preaching Tour
— His Great Exertions — Scotland Roused — Negotiations with England — England
Aids Scotland — Establishment of the Reformation in Scotland.
When the queen regent arrived before Perth at the head of
8,000 men, she found the Reformers so well prepared to receive her that, instead
of offering them battle as she had intended, she agreeably surprised them with
overtures of peace. Although fully resolved to repel by arms an assault which
they deemed none the less illegal and murderous that it was led by the queen,
the lords of the Congregation joyfully accepted the olive-branch now held out to
them. "Cursed be he," said they, "that seeks effusion of blood, war, or
dissension. Give us liberty of conscience, and the free profession of the
and none in all the realm will be more loyal subjects than we."
Negotiations were opened between the regent and the Reformers, which terminated
amicably, and the strife ceased for the moment. The lords of the Congregation
disbanded their army of about 5,000, and the queen took peaceable possession of
the city of Perth, where her followers began to make preparations for mass, and
the altars having been overturned, their place was supplied by tables from the
taverns, which, remarks Knox, "were holy enough for that use."
The Reformers now met, and took a survey of their position, in order to
determine on the course to be adopted. They had lost thirty years waiting the
tardy approach of the reforms which the queen had promised them. Meanwhile the
genius, the learning, the zeal which would have powerfully aided in emancipating
the country from the sin and oppression under which it groaned, were perishing
at the stake. Duped by the queen, they had stood quietly by and witnessed these
irreparable sacrifices. The reform promised them was as far off as ever. Abbot,
bishop, and cowled monk were lifting up the head higher than before. A French
army had been brought into the country, and the independence and liberties of
Scotland were menaced.
This was all the Reformers had reaped by giving ear to the delusive words
of Mary of Guise. While other countries had established their Reformation
Scotland lingered on the threshold, and now it found itself in danger of losing
not only its Reformation, but its very nationality. The lords of the
Congregation, therefore, resolved to set up the Reformed worship at once in all
those places to which their authority extended, and where a majority of the
inhabitants were favorable to the design.
A commencement was to be made in the ecclesiastical metropolis of
Scotland. The Earl of Argyle and Lord James Stuart, Prior of St. Andrews,
arranged with Knox to meet in that city on an early day in June, and inaugurate
there the Protestant worship. The archbishop, apprised of Knox's coming,
hastened in from Falkland with 100 spears, and sent a message to him on Saturday
night, that if he dared to appear in the pulpit of the cathedral tomorrow, he
would cause his soldiers to shoot him dead. The lords, having consulted, agreed
that Knox should forego the idea of preaching. The resolution seemed a prudent
one. The dispositions of the townspeople were unknown; the lords had but few
retainers with them; the queen, with her French army, was not more than fifteen
miles off; and to preach might be to give the signal for bloodshed. Knox, who
felt that to abandon a great design when the moment for putting it in execution
had arrived, and retire before an angry threat, was to incur the loss of
prestige, and invite greater attacks in future, refused for one moment to
entertain the idea of not preaching. He said that when lying out in the Bay of
St. Andrews in former years, chained to the deck of a French galley, his eye had
lighted on the roof of the cathedral, which the sun's rays at that moment
illuminated, and he said in the hearing of some still alive, that he felt
assured that he should yet preach there before closing his career; and now when
God, contrary to the expectations of all men, had brought him back to this city,
he besought them not to hinder what was not only his cherished wish, but the
deep-rooted conviction of his heart. He desired neither the hand nor weapon of
man to defend him; He whose glory he sought would be his shield. "I only crave
audience," said he, "which, if it be denied here unto me at this time, I must
seek where I may have it."
The intrepidity of Knox saved the Reformation from the; brand of timidity
which the counsel of the lords, had it been followed, would have brought upon
it. It was a display of courage at the right time, and was rewarded with a
career of success. On the morrow Knox preached to perhaps the most influential
audience that the Scotland of that day could furnish; nobles, priests, and
townspeople crowding to hear him. Every part of the vast edifice was filled, and
not a finger was lifted, nor a word uttered, to stop him. He preached on the
cleansing of the Temple of old, picturing the crowd of buyers and sellers who
were busy trafficking in that holy place, when One entered, whose awful glance,
rather than the scourge of cords which he carried, smote with terror the unholy
crew, and drove them forth a panic-stricken crowd. The preacher then called up
before his hearers a yet greater crowd of traffickers, occupied in a yet
unholier merchandise, therewith defiling, with immeasurably greater pollutions
and abominations, the New Testament temple. As he described the corruptions
which had been introduced into the Church under the Papacy — the great crowd of
simonists, pardon-mongers, sellers of relics and charms, exorcists, and
traffickers in the bodies and souls of men, with the sin and shame and ruin that
followed — his eye began to burn, his words grew graphic and trenchant, the
tones of his righteous yet terrible reproof rung out louder and fiercer, and
rolled over the heads of the thousands gathered around him, till not a heart but
quaffed under the solemn denunciations. It seemed as if past ages were coming up
for trial; as if mitred abbots and bishops were leaving their marble tombs to
stand at the judgment-seat; as if the voices of Hamilton, and Wishart, and Mill
— nay, as if the voice of a yet Greater were making itself audible by the lips
of the preacher. The audience saw as they had never done before the
superstitions which had been practiced as religion, and felt the duty to comply
with the call which the Reformer urged on all, according to the station and
opportunity of each, to assist in removing these abominations out of the Church
of God before the fire of the Divine wrath should descend and consume what man
refused to put away. When he had ended, and sat down, it may be said that
Scotland was reformed.
Knox, though he did not possess the all-grasping, all-subduing intellect of
Calvin, nor the many-toned eloquence of Luther, which could so easily rise from
the humorous and playful to the pathetic and the sublime, yet, in concentrated
fiery energy, and in the capacity to kindle his hearers into indignation, and
rouse them to action, excelled both these Reformers. This one sermon in the
parish church of St. Andrews, followed as it was by a sermon in the same place
on the three consecutive days, cast the die, and determined that the Reformation
of Scotland should go forward. The magistrates and townspeople assembled, and
came to a unanimous resolution to set up the Reformed worship in the city. The
church was stripped of its images and pictures,
and the monasteries were pulled down. The example of St. Andrews was
quickly followed by many other places of the kingdom. The Protestant worship was
set up at Craft, at Cupar, at Lindores, at Linlithgow, at Scone, at Edinburgh
This was followed by the purgation of the churches, and the demolition of
the monasteries. The fabrics pulled down were mostly those in the service of the
monks, for it was the cowled portion of the Romish clergy whom the people held
in special detestation, knowing that they often did the dishonorable work of
spies at the same time that they scoured the country in quest of alms. A loud
wail was raised by the priests over the destruction of so much beautiful
architecture, and the echoes of that lamentation have come down to our day. But
in all righteously indignant mobs there is excess, and however much it may be
regretted that their zeal outran their discretion, their motives were good, and
the result they helped achieve was enduring peace, progress, and prosperity.
The peace between the queen regent and the Reformers, agreed upon at Perth, was
but short-lived. The queen, hearing of the demolition of images and monasteries
at St. Andrews, marched with her French soldiers to Cupar-Moor, and put herself
in order of battle. The tumult of a mob she held to be the rebellion of a
nation, and threatened to chastise it as such. But when the lords of the
Congregation advanced to meet her, she fled at their approach, and going round
by Stirling, took refuge in Edinburgh. On being followed by the forces of the
"Congregation," she quitted the capital, and marched to Dunbar. After a few
weeks, learning that the soldiers of the Reformers had mostly returned to their
homes, she set out with her foreign army for Leith, and took possession of it.
The lords of the Congregation now found themselves between two fires: the queen
threatened them on the one side, and the guns of the castle menaced them on the
other, and their new levies having left them, they were forced to conclude a
treaty by which they agreed to evacuate Edinburgh. The stipulation secured for
the citizens the right of worshipping after the Protestant form, and Willock was
left with them as their minister. Knox, who had preached in St. Giles's
Cathedral, and in the abbey church, had been chosen as pastor by the
inhabitants, but he was too obnoxious to Mary of Guise, to be left in her power,
and at the earnest request of the; lords of the Congregation he accompanied them
when they left the capital. On retiring from Edinburgh the Reformer set out on a
preaching-tour, which embraced all the towns of note, and almost all the shires
on the south of the Grampian chain.
From the time of his famous sermon in St. Andrews, Knox had been the soul of the
movement. The year that followed was one of incessant and Herculean labor. His
days were spent in preaching, his nights in writing letters, he roused the
country, and he kept it awake. his voice like a great trumpet rang through the
land, firing the lukewarm into zeal, and inspiriting the timid into courage.
When the friends of the Reformation quarreled, he reconciled and united them.
When they sank into despondency he rallied their spirits. He himself never
Cherishing a firm faith that his country's Reformation would be consummated, he
neither sank under labor, nor fell back before danger, nor paused in the efforts
he found it necessary every moment to put forth. He knew how precious the hours
were, and that if the golden opportunity were lost it would never return. He
appealed to the patriotism of the nobles and citizens. He told them what an
ignominious vassalage the Pope and the Continental Powers had prepared for them
and their sons, namely, that of hewers of wood and drawers of water to France.
He especially explained to them the nature of the Gospel, the pardon, the
purity, the peace it brings to individuals, the stable renown it confers on
kingdoms; he forecast to them the immense issues that hung upon the struggle. On
the one side stood religion, like an angel of light, beckoning Scotland onwards;
on the other stood the dark form of Popery, pulling the country back into
slavery. The crown was before it, the gulf behind it. Knox purposed that
Scotland should win and wear the crown.
The Reformer was declared an outlaw, and a price set upon his head; but the only
notice we find him deigning to take of this atrocity of the regent and her
advisers, was in a letter to his brother-in-law, in which with no nervous
trepidation whatever, but good-humoredly, he remarks that he "had need of a good
Not one time less did Knox preach, although he knew that some fanatic,
impelled by malignant hate, or the greed of gain, might any hour deprive him of
life. The rapidity of his movements, the fire he kindled wherever he came, the
light that burst out all over the land — north, south, east, and west —
confounded the hierarchy; unused to preach, unskilled in debate, and too corrupt
to think of reforming themselves, they could only meet the attack of Knox with
loud wailings or impotent threatenings.
A second line of action was forced upon Knox, and one that not only turned the
day in favor of the Reformation of Scotland, but ultimately proved a protection
to the liberties and religion of England. It was here that the knowledge he had
acquired abroad came to his help, and enabled him to originate a measure that
saved two kingdoms. Just the year before — that is, in 1558 — Spain and France,
as we have previously mentioned, had united their arms to effect the complete
and eternal extirpation of Protestantism. The plan of the great campaign — a
profounder secret then than now — had been penetrated by Calvin and Knox, who
were not only the greatest Reformers, but the greatest statesmen of the age, and
had a deeper insight into the politics of Europe than any other men then living.
The plan of that campaign was to occupy Scotland with French troops, reduce it
to entire dependency on the French crown, and from Scotland march a French army
into England. While France was assailing England on the north, Spain would
invade it on the south, put down the Government of Elizabeth, raise Mary Stuart
to her throne, and restore the Romish religion in both kingdoms. Knox opened a
correspondence with the great statesmen of Elizabeth, in which he explained to
them the designs of the Papal Powers, their purpose to occupy Scotland with
foreign troops, and having trampled out its religion and liberties, to strike
at. England through the side of Scotland. He showed them that the plan was being
actually carried out; that Mary of Guise was daily bringing French soldiers into
Scotland; that the raw levies of the Reformers would ultimately be worsted by
the disciplined troops of France, and that no more patriotic and enlightened
policy could England pursue than to send help to drive the French soldiers out
of the northern, country; for assuredly, if Scotland was put down, England could
not stand, encompassed as she then would be by hostile armies. Happily these
counsels were successful. The statesmen of Elizabeth, convinced that this was no
Scottish quarrel, but that the liberty of England hung upon it also, and that in
no more effectual way could they rear a rampart around their own Reformation
than by supporting that of Scotland, sent military aid to the lords of the
Congregation, and the result was that the French evacuated Scotland, and the
Scots became once more masters of their own country. Almost immediately
thereafter, Mary of Guise, the regent of the kingdom, was removed by death, and
the government passed into the hands of the Reformers. The way was now fully
open for the establishment of the Reformation. It is hardly possible to
over-estimate the impotence of the service which Knox rendered. It not only led
to the establishment of Protestantism in Scotland, and the perpetuation of it in
England; but, in view of the critical condition in which Europe then was, it may
indeed with justice be said that it saved the Reformation of Christendom.
The fifteen months which Knox had spent in Scotland had brought the
movement to its culminating point. The nation wag ready to throw off the Popish
yoke; and when the Estates of the Realm met on the 8th of August, 1560, they
simply gave expression to the nation's choice when they authoritatively decreed
the suppression of the Romish hierarchy and the adoption of the Protestant
faith. A short summary of Christian doctrine had been drawn up by Knox and his
and being read, article by article, in the Parliament, it was on the 17th
of August adopted by the Estates.
It is commonly known as the First Scots Confession.
Only three temporal lords voted in the negative, saying "that they would
believe as their fathers believed." The bishops, who had seats as temporal
lords, were silent.
On the 24th of August, Parliament abolished the Pope's jurisdiction; forbade,
under certain penalties,
the celebration of mass; and rescinded the laws in favor of the Romish
Church, and against the Protestant faith.
Thus speedily was the work consummated at last. There are supreme moments
in the life of nations, when their destiny is determined for ages. Such was the
moment that had now come to Scotland. On the 17th of August, 1560, the Scotland
of the Middle Ages passed away, and a New Scotland had birth — a Scotland
destined to be a sanctuary of religion, a temple of liberty, and a fountain of
justice, letters, and art. Intently had the issue been watched by the Churches
abroad, and when they learned that Scotland had placed itself on the side of
Protestant truth, these elder daughters of the Reformation welcomed, with songs
of joy, that country which had come, the last of the nations, to share with them
their glorious inheritance of liberty.
VOLUME THIRD- BOOK TWENTY-FOURTH-
McCrie, Life of Knox, vol. 1., pp. 251, 252. See their "Protestation,"
given to Parliament, in Laing, Knox, vol. 1., pp. 309-314.
McCrie, Life of Knox, vol. 1., p. 256.
Laing, Knox, vol, i., pp. 318, 319.
This site is now the burial-place of the city.
Laing, Knox, vol. 1., pp. 317-324.
VOLUME THIRD- BOOK TWENTY-FOURTH- CHAPTER
Laing, Knox, vol. 1., p. 342.
Memoirs of Sir James Melvil, p. 49; Edinburgh, 1735.
McCrie, Life of Knox, vol. 1., pp. 264, 265.
Laing, Knox, vol. 1., pp. 347-349.
Laing, Knox, 1. 350. McCrie, Life of Knox, i. 267.
McCrie, Life of Knox, vol. 1., p. 294, footnote.
See account of Knox's negotiations with the English Government in
McCrie's Life of Knox, vol. 1., pp. 283-294. See also Knox's letters to Cecil,
Sadler, and Queen Elizabeth, in Dr. David Laing's edition of Knox's Works, vol.
2., pp. 15-56, and footnotes; and Calderwood's History of the Kirk of Scotland,
vol. 1., pp. 490-497., Wodrow ed. 1842.
Laing, Knox, vol. 2., p. 92.
Act. Parl. Scot. Vol. 2., p. 534.
See copy of Confession in Laing, Knox, vol. 2., pp. 95-120; Calderwood,
History, vol. 2., pp. 17-35.
Death was decreed for the third offense, but the penalty was in no
instance inflicted. No Papist ever suffered death for his religion in Scotland.
Act. Parl. Scot., vol. 2., p. 534.