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decent subsistence. Mr. Taylor Innes points out that when, just before
Darnley's murder, Mary offered "a considerable sum for the maintenance of
the ministers," Knox and others said that, for their sustentation, they
"craved of the auditors the things that were necessary, as of duty the
pastors might justly crave of their flock. The General Assembly accepted
the Queen's gift, but only of necessity; it was by their flock that they
ought to be sustained. To take from others contrary to their will, whom
they serve not, they judge it not their duty, nor yet reasonable."

Among other things the preachers, who were left with a hard struggle for
bare existence, introduced a rule of honour scarcely known to the barons
and nobles, except to the bold Buccleuch who rejected an English pension
from Henry VIII., with a sympathetic explosion of strong language. The
preachers would not take gifts from England, even when offered by the
supporters of their own line of policy.

Knox's failure in his admirable attempt to secure the wealth of the old
Church for national purposes was, as it happened, the secular salvation
of the Kirk. Neither Catholicism nor Anglicanism could be fully
introduced while the barons and nobles held the tithes and lands of the
ancient Church. Possessing the wealth necessary to a Catholic or
Anglican establishment, they were resolutely determined to cling to it,
and oppose any Church except that which they starved. The bishops of
James I., Charles I., and Charles II. were detested by the nobles. Rarely
from them came any lordly gifts to learning and the Universities, while
from the honourably poor ministers such gifts could not come. The
Universities were founded by prelates of the old Church, doing their duty
with their wealth.

The arrangements for discipline were of the drastic nature which lingered
into the days of Burns and later. The results may be studied in the
records of Kirk Sessions; we have no reason to suppose that sexual
morality was at all improved, on the whole, by "discipline," though it
was easier to enforce "Sabbath observance." A graduated scale of
admonitions led up to excommunication, if the subject was refractory, and
to boycotting with civil penalties. The processes had no effect, or none
that is visible, in checking lawlessness, robbery, feuds, and
manslayings; and, after the Reformation, witchcraft increased to
monstrous proportions, at least executions of people accused of
witchcraft became very numerous, in spite of provision for sermons thrice
a week, and for weekly discussions of the Word.

The Book of Discipline, modelled on the Genevan scheme, and on that of
A'Lasco for his London congregation, rather reminds us of the "Laws" of
Plato. It was a well meant but impracticable ideal set before the
country, and was least successful where it best deserved success. It
certainly secured a thoroughly moral clergy, till, some twelve years
later, the nobles again thrust licentious and murderous cadets into the
best livings and the bastard bishoprics, before and during the Regency of
Morton. Their example did not affect the genuine ministers, frugal God-
fearing men.




CHAPTER XIV: KNOX AND QUEEN MARY, 1561


In discussing the Book of Discipline, that great constructive effort
towards the remaking of Scotland, we left Knox at the time of the death
of his first wife. On December 20, 1560, he was one of some six
ministers who, with more numerous lay representatives of districts, sat
in the first General Assembly. They selected some new preachers, and
decided that the church of Restalrig should be destroyed as a monument of
idolatry. A fragment of it is standing yet, enclosing tombs of the wild
Logans of Restalrig.

The Assembly passed an Act against lawless love, and invited the Estates
and Privy Council to "use sharp punishment" against some "idolaters,"
including Eglintoun, Cassilis, and Quentin Kennedy, Abbot of Crosraguel,
who disputed later against Knox, the Laird of Gala (a Scott) and others.

In January 1561 a Convention of nobles and lairds at Edinburgh perused
the Book of Discipline, and some signed it, platonically, while there was
a dispute between the preachers and certain Catholics, including Lesley,
later Bishop of Ross, an historian, but no better than a shifty and
dangerous partisan of Mary Stuart. The Lord James was selected as an
envoy to Mary, in France. He was bidden to refuse her even the private
performance of the rites of her faith, but declined to go to that
extremity; the question smouldered through five years. Randolph expected
"a mad world" on Mary's return; he was not disappointed.

Meanwhile the Catholic Earls of the North, of whom Huntly was the fickle
leader, with Bothwell, "come to work what mischief he can," are accused
by Knox of a design to seize Edinburgh, before the Parliament in May
1561. Nothing was done, but there was a very violent Robin Hood riot;
the magistrates were besieged and bullied, Knox declined to ask for the
pardon of the brawlers, and, after excursions and alarms, "the whole
multitude was excommunicate" until they appeased the Kirk. They may have
borne the spiritual censure very unconcernedly.

The Catholic Earls now sent Lesley to get Mary's ear before the Lord
James could reach her. Lesley arrived on April 14, with the offer to
raise 20,000 men, if Mary would land in Huntly's region. They would
restore the Mass in their bounds, and Mary would be convoyed by Captain
Cullen, a kinsman of Huntly, and already mentioned as the Captain of the
Guards after Riccio's murder.

It is said by Lesley that Mary had received, from the Regent, her mother,
a description of the nobles of Scotland. If so, she knew Huntly for the
ambitious traitor he was, a man peculiarly perfidious and self-seeking,
with a son who might be thrust on her as a husband, if once she were in
Huntly's hands. The Queen knew that he had forsaken her mother's cause;
knew, perhaps, of his old attempt to betray Scotland to England, and she
was aware that no northern Earl had raised his banner to defend the
Church. She, therefore, came to no agreement with Lesley, but confided
more in the Lord James, who arrived on the following day. Mary knew her
brother's character fairly well, and, if Lesley says with truth that he
now asked for, and was promised, the earldom of Moray, the omen was evil
for Huntly, who practically held the lands. {191a} A bargain, on this
showing, was initiated. Lord James was to have the earldom, and he got
it; Mary was to have his support.

Much has been said about Lord James's betrayal to Throckmorton of Mary's
intentions, as revealed by her to himself. But what Lord James said to
Throckmorton amounts to very little. I am not certain that, both in
Paris with Throckmorton, and in London with Elizabeth and Cecil, he did
not moot his plan for friendship between Mary and Elizabeth, and
Elizabeth's recognition of Mary's rights as her heir. {191b} Lord James
proposed all this to Elizabeth in a letter of August 6, 1561. {191c} He
had certainly discussed this admirable scheme with Lord Robert Dudley at
Court, in May 1561, on his return from France. {191d} Nothing could be
more statesmanlike and less treacherous.

Meanwhile (May 27, 1561) the brethren presented a supplication to the
Parliament, with clauses, which, if conceded, would have secured the
stipends of the preachers. The prayers were granted, in promise, and a
great deal of church wrecking was conscientiously done; the Lord James,
on his return, paid particular attention to idolatry in his hoped for
earldom, but the preachers were not better paid.

Meanwhile the Protestants looked forward to the Queen's arrival with
great searchings of heart. She had not ratified the treaty of Leith, but
already Cardinal Guise hoped that she and Elizabeth would live in
concord, and heard that Mary ceded all claims to the English throne in
return for Elizabeth's promise to declare her the heir, if she herself
died childless (August 21). {192}

Knox, who had not loved Mary of Guise, was not likely to think well of
her daughter. Mary, again, knew Knox as the chief agitator in the
tumults that embittered her mother's last year, and shortened her life.
In France she had threatened to deal with him severely, ignorant of his
power and her own weakness. She could not be aware that Knox had
suggested to Cecil opposition to her succession to the throne on the
ground of her sex. Knox uttered his forebodings of the Queen's future:
they were as veracious as if he had really been a prophet. But he was,
to an extent which can only be guessed, one of the causes of the
fulfilment of his own predictions. To attack publicly, from the pulpit,
the creed and conduct of a girl of spirit; to provoke cruel insults to
her priests whom she could not defend; was apt to cause, at last, in
great measure that wild revolt of temper which drove Mary to her doom.
Her health suffered frequently from the attempt to bear with a smiling
face such insults as no European princess, least of all Elizabeth, would
have endured for an hour. There is a limit to patience, and before Mary
passed that limit, Randolph and Lethington saw, and feebly deplored, the
amenities of the preacher whom men permitted to "rule the roast." "Ten
thousand swords" do not leap from their scabbards to protect either the
girl Mary Stuart or the woman Marie Antoinette.

Not that natural indignation was dead, but it ended in words. People
said, "The Queen's Mass and her priests will we maintain; this hand and
this rapier will fight in their defence." So men bragged, as Knox
reports, {193a} but when after Mary's arrival priests were beaten or
pilloried, not a hand stirred to defend them, not a rapier was drawn. The
Queen might be as safely as she was deeply insulted through her faith.
She was not at this time devoutly ardent in her creed, though she often
professed her resolution to abide in it. Gentleness might conceivably
have led her even to adopt the Anglican faith, or so it was deemed by
some observers, but insolence and outrage had another effect on her
temper.

Mary landed at Leith in a thick fog on August 19, 1561. She was now in a
country where she lay under sentence of death as an idolater. Her
continued existence was illegal. With her came Mary Seton, Mary Beaton,
Mary Livingstone, and Mary Fleming, the comrades of her childhood; and
her uncles, the Duc d'Aumale, Francis de Lorraine, and the noisy Marquis
d'Elboeuf. She was not very welcome. As late as August 9, Randolph
reports that her brother, Lord James, Lethington, and Morton "wish, as
you do, she might be stayed yet for a space, and if it were not for their
obedience sake, some of them care not though they never see her face."
{193b} None the less, on June 8 Lord James tells Mary that he had given
orders for her palace to be prepared by the end of July. He informs her
that "many" hope that she will never come home. Nothing is "so necessary
. . . as your Majesty's own presence"; and he hopes she will arrive
punctually. If she cannot come she should send her commission to some of
her Protestant advisers, by no means including the Archbishop of St.
Andrews (Hamilton), with whom he will never work. It is not easy to see
why Lord James should have wished that Mary "might be stayed," unless he
merely dreaded her arrival while Elizabeth was in a bad temper. His
letter to Elizabeth of August 6 is incompatible with treachery on his
part. "Mr. Knox is determined to abide the uttermost, and others will
not leave him till God have taken his life and theirs together." Of what
were these heroes afraid? A "familiar," a witch, of Lady Huntly's
predicted that the Queen would never arrive. "If false, I would she were
burned for a witch," adds honest Randolph. Lethington deemed his "own
danger not least." Two galleys full of ladies are not so alarming; did
these men, practically hinting that English ships should stop their
Queen, think that the Catholics in Scotland were too strong for them?

Not a noble was present to meet Mary when in the fog and filth of Leith
she touched Scottish soil, except her natural brother, Lord Robert. {194}
The rest soon gathered with faces of welcome. She met some Robin Hood
rioters who lay under the law, and pardoned these roisterers (with their
excommunication could she interfere?), because, says Knox, she was
instructed that they had acted "in despite of the religion." Their
festival had been forbidden under the older religion, as it happens, in
1555, and was again forbidden later by Mary herself.

All was mirth till Sunday, when the Queen's French priest celebrated Mass
in her own chapel before herself, her three uncles, and Montrose. The
godly called for the priest's blood, but Lord James kept the door, and
his brothers protected the priest. Disappointed of blood, "the godly
departed with great grief of heart," collecting in crowds round Holyrood
in the afternoon. Next day the Council proclaimed that, till the Estates
assembled and deliberated, no innovation should be made in the religion
"publicly and universally standing." The Queen's servants and others
from France must not be molested - on pain of death, the usual empty
threat. They were assaulted, and nobody was punished for the offence.
Arran alone made a protest, probably written by Knox. Who but Knox could
have written that the Mass is "much more abominable and odious in the
sight of God" than murder! Many an honest brother was conspicuously of
the opinion which Arran's protest assigned to Omnipotence. Next Sunday
Knox "thundered," and later regretted that "I did not that I might have
done" (caused an armed struggle?), . . . "for God had given unto me
credit with many, who would have put into execution God's judgments if I
would only have consented thereto." Mary might have gone the way of
Jezebel and Athaliah but for the mistaken lenity of Knox, who later
"asked God's mercy" for not being more vehement. In fact, he rather
worked "to slokin that fervency." {195} Let us hope that he is forgiven,
especially as Randolph reports him extremely vehement in the pulpit. His
repentance was publicly expressed shortly before the murder of Riccio.
(In December 1565, probably, when the Kirk ordered the week's fast that,
as it chanced, heralded Riccio's doom.) Privately to Cecil, on October
7, 1561, he uttered his regret that he had been so deficient in zeal.
Cecil had been recommending moderation. {196}

On August 26, Randolph, after describing the intimidation of the priest,
says "John Knox thundereth out of the pulpit, so that I fear nothing so
much as that one day he will mar all. He ruleth the roast, and of him
all men stand in fear." In public at least he did not allay the wrath of
the brethren.

On August 26, or on September 2, Knox had an interview with the Queen,
and made her weep. Randolph doubted whether this was from anger or from
grief. Knox gives Mary's observations in the briefest summary; his own
at great length, so that it is not easy to know how their reasoning
really sped. Her charges were his authorship of the "Monstrous Regiment
of Women"; that he caused great sedition and slaughter in England; and
that he was accused of doing what he did by necromancy. The rest is
summed up in "&c."

He stood to his guns about the "Monstrous Regiment," and generally took
the line that he merely preached against "the vanity of the papistical
religion" and the deceit, pride, and tyranny of "that Roman Antichrist."
If one wishes to convert a young princess, bred in the Catholic faith, it
is not judicious to begin by abusing the Pope. This too much resembles
the arbitrary and violent method of Peter in The Tale of a Tub (by Dr.
Jonathan Swift); such, however, was the method of Knox.

Mary asking if he denied her "just authority," Knox said that he was as
well content to live under her as Paul under Nero. This, again, can
hardly be called an agreeable historical parallel! Knox hoped that he
would not hurt her or her authority "so long as ye defile not your hands
with the blood of the saints of God," as if Mary was panting to
distinguish herself in that way. His hope was unfulfilled. No "saints"
suffered, but he ceased not to trouble.

Knox also said that if he had wanted "to trouble your estate because you
are a woman, I might have chosen a time more convenient for that purpose
than I can do now, when your own presence is in the realm." He _had_, in
fact, chosen the convenient time in his letter to Cecil, already quoted
(July 19, 1559), but he had not succeeded in his plan. He said that
nobody could _prove_ that the question of discarding Mary, on the ground
of her sex, "was at any time moved in public or in secret." Nobody could
_prove_ it, for nobody could publish his letter to Cecil. Probably he
had this in his mind. He did not say that the thing had not happened,
only that "he was assured that neither Protestant nor papist shall be
able to prove that any such question was at any time moved, either in
public or in secret." {197}

He denied that he had caused sedition in England, nor do we know what
Mary meant by this charge. His appeals, from abroad, to a Phinehas or
Jehu had not been answered. As to magic, he always preached against the
practice.

Mary then said that Knox persuaded the people to use religion not allowed
by their princes. He justified himself by biblical precedents, to which
she replied that Daniel and Abraham did not resort to the sword. They
had not the chance, he answered, adding that subjects might resist a
prince who exceeded his bounds, as sons may confine a maniac father.

The Queen was long silent, and then said, "I perceive my subjects shall
obey you and not me." Knox said that all should be subject unto God and
His Church; and Mary frankly replied, "I will defend the Church of Rome,
for I think that it is the true Church of God." She could not defend it!
Knox answered with his wonted urbanity, that the Church of Rome was a
harlot, addicted to "all kinds of fornication."

He was so accustomed to this sort of rhetoric that he did not deem it out
of place on this occasion. His admirers, familiar with his style, forget
its necessary effect on "a young princess unpersuaded," as Lethington put
it. Mary said that her conscience was otherwise minded, but Knox knew
that all consciences of "man or angel" were wrong which did not agree
with his own. The Queen had to confess that in argument as to the
unscriptural character of the Mass, he was "owre sair" for her. He said
that he wished she would "hear the matter reasoned to the end." She may
have desired that very thing: "Ye may get that sooner than ye believe,"
she said; but Knox expressed his disbelief that he would ever get it.
Papists would never argue except when "they were both judge and party."
Knox himself never answered Ninian Winzet, who, while printing his
polemic, was sought for by the police of the period, and just managed to
escape.

There was, however, a champion who, on November 19, challenged Knox and
the other preachers to a discussion, either orally or by interchange of
letters. This was Mary's own chaplain, Rene Benoit. Mary probably knew
that he was about to offer to meet "the most learned John Knox and other
most erudite men, called ministers"; it is thus that Rene addresses them
in his "Epistle" of November 19.

He implores them not to be led into heresy by love of popularity or of
wealth; neither of which advantages the preachers enjoyed, for they were
detested by loose livers, and were nearly starved. Benoit's little
challenge, or rather request for discussion, is a model of courtesy. Knox
did not meet him in argument, as far as we are aware; but in 1562,
Fergusson, minister of Dunfermline, replied in a tract full of
scurrility. One quite unmentionable word occurs, and "impudent lie,"
"impudent and shameless shavelings," "Baal's chaplains that eat at
Jezebel's table," "pestilent papistry," "abominable mass," "idol
Bishops," "we Christians and you Papists," and parallels between Benoit
and "an idolatrous priest of Bethel," between Mary and Jezebel are among
the amenities of this meek servant of Christ in Dunfermline.

Benoit presently returned to France, and later was confessor to Henri IV.
The discussion which Mary anticipated never occurred, though her champion
was ready. Knox does not refer to this affair in his "History," as far
as I am aware. {199} Was Rene the priest whom the brethren menaced and
occasionally assaulted?

Considering her chaplain's offer, it seems not unlikely that Mary was
ready to listen to reasoning, but to call the Pope "Antichrist," and the
Church "a harlot," is not argument. Knox ended his discourse by wishing
the Queen as blessed in Scotland as Deborah was in Israel. The mere fact
that Mary spoke with him "makes the Papists doubt what shall come of the
world," {200a} says Randolph; and indeed nobody knows what possibly might
have come, had Knox been sweetly reasonable. But he told his friends
that, if he was not mistaken, she had "a proud mind, a crafty wit, and an
indurate heart against God and His truth." She showed none of these
qualities in the conversation as described by himself; but her part in it
is mainly that of a listener who returns not railing with railing.

Knox was going about to destroy the scheme of les politiques, Randolph,
Lethington, and the Lord James. They desired peace and amity with
England, and the two Scots, at least, hoped to secure these as the
Cardinal Guise did, by Mary's renouncing all present claim to the English
throne, in return for recognition as heir, if Elizabeth died without
issue. Elizabeth, as we know her, would never have granted these terms,
but Mary's ministers, Lethington then in England, Lord James at home,
tried to hope. {200b} Lord James had heard Mary's outburst to Knox about
defending her own insulted Church, but he was not nervously afraid that
she would take to dipping her hands in the blood of the saints. Neither
he nor Lethington could revert to the old faith; they had pecuniary
reasons, as well as convictions, which made that impossible.

Lethington, returned to Edinburgh (October 25), spoke his mind to Cecil.
"The Queen behaves herself . . . as reasonably as we can require: if
anything be amiss the fault is rather in ourselves. You know the
vehemency of Mr. Knox's spirit which cannot be bridled, and yet doth
utter sometimes such sentences as cannot easily be digested by a weak
stomach. I would wish he should deal with her more gently, being a young
princess unpersuaded. . . . Surely in her comporting with him she
declares a wisdom far exceeding her age." {201a} Vituperation is not
argument, and gentleness is not unchristian. St. Paul did not revile the
gods of Felix and Festus.

But, prior to these utterances of October, the brethren had been baiting
Mary. On her public entry (which Knox misdates by a month) her idolatry
was rebuked by a pageant of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Huntly managed to
stop a burning in effigy of a priest at the Mass. They never could cease
from insulting the Queen in the tenderest point. The magistrates next
coupled "mess-mongers" with notorious drunkards and adulterers, "and such
filthy persons," in a proclamation, so the Provost and Bailies were
"warded" (Knox says) in the Tolbooth. Knox blamed Lethington and Lord
James, in a letter to Cecil; {201b} in his "History" he says, "God be
merciful to some of our own." {201c}

The Queen herself, as a Papist, was clearly insulted in the proclamation.
Moray and Lethington, the latter touched by her "readiness to hear," and
her gentleness in the face of Protestant brutalities; the former,
perhaps, lured by the hope of obtaining, as the price of his alliance,
the earldom of Moray, were by the end of October still attempting to
secure amity between her and Elizabeth, and to hope for the best, rather
than drive the Queen wild by eternal taunts and menaces. The preachers
denounced her rites at Hallowmass (All Saints), and a servant of her
brother, Lord Robert, beat a priest; but men actually doubted whether
subjects might interfere between the Queen and her religion. There was a
discussion on this point between the preachers and the nobles, and the
Church in Geneva (Calvin) was to be consulted. Knox offered to write,
but Lethington said that he would write, as much stood on the
"information"; that is, on the manner of stating the question. Lethington
did not know, and Knox does not tell us in his "History" that he had


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