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BO O K from the known character of the Princes of Lorrain,
so little scrupulous about the justice of the ends 1558. which they pursued, or of the means which they
employed. For the honour of human nature, how-
ing among all ranks of men.
upon the succession, opposed it with great zeal.
conferring the Crown Matrimonial on the Dauphin; B 0 0 K and with the fondest credulity trusted to the frail security of words and statutes, against the dangerous encroachments of powert.
The concurrence of the Protestants with the Continues Queen Regent, in promoting a measure so accepta- the Proble to France, while the Popish clergy, under the testants. influence of the Archbishop of St. Andrew's, opposed it with so much violence“, is one of those singular circumstances in the conduct of parties, for which this period is so remarkable. It may cribed, in some degree, to the dexterous management of the Queen, but chiefly to the moderation of those who favoured the Reformation. The Protestants were by this time almost equal to the Catholics, both in power and in number; and, conscious of their own strength, they submitted with impatience to that tyrannical authority with which the ancient laws armed the ecclesiastics against them. They longed to be exempted from this oppressive jurisdiction, and publicly to enjoy the liberty of profess. ing those opinions, and of exercising that worship, which so great a part of the nation deemed to be founded in truth and to be acceptable to the Deity. This indulgence, to which the whole weight of
+ The act of parliament is worded with the utmost care, with a view to guard against any breach of the order of succession. But the Duke, not relying on this alone, entered a solemn protestation to secure his own right. Keith, 76. It is plain that he suspected the French of having some intention to set aside his right of succession; and, indeed, if they had no design of that kind, the eagerness with which they urged their demand was childish.
u Melv. 47.
BO O K priestly authority was opposed, there were only two
ways of obtaining. Either violence must extort it 1558. from the reluctant hand of their sovereign, or by pru
dent compliances they might expect it from her fa-
Another circumstance contributed somewhat to
* See Book I.
y Lesly, 202,
bench?, which was entirely under the influence of B O ÓK the Archbishop of St. Andrew's, and which, by its numbers and authority, usually had great weight in the house, so as to render any opposition it could give at that time of little consequence.
The Earl of Argyll, and James Stewart Prior of St. Andrew's, one the most powerful, and the other the most popular leader of the Protestants, were appointed to carry the crown and other ensigns of royalty to the Dauphin. But from this they were diverted by the part they were called to act in a more interesting scene, which now begins to open.
Before we turn towards this, it is necessary to Elizabeth observe, that on the seventeenth of November, one to the thousand five hundred and fifty-eight, Mary of crown of
England. England finished her short and inglorious reign. Her sister Elizabeth took possession of the throne without opposition; and the Protestant religion was once more established by law in England. The accession of a Queen, who, under very difficult circumstances, had given strong indications of those eininent qualities, which, in the sequel, rendered her reign so illustrious, attracted the eyes of all Europe. Among the Scots, both parties observed her first motions with the utmost solicitude, as they easily foresaw that she would not remain long an indifferent spectator of their transactions.
Under many discouragements and much oppression, the Reformation advanced towards a full esta
z It appears from the rolls of this parliament, which Lesly calls a very full one, that only seven bishops and sixteen abbots were present.
BO O K blishment in Scotland. All the low country, the
most populous, and at that time the most warlike 1558. part of the kingdom, was deeply tinctured with the
Protestant opinions; and if the same impressions were not made in the more distant counties, it was owing to no want of the same dispositions among the people, but to the scarcity of preachers, whose most indefatigable zeal could not satisfy the avidity of those who desired their instructions. Among a people bred to arms, and as prompt as the Scots to act with violence; and in an age when religious passions had taken such strong possession of the human mind, and moved and agitated it with so much violence, the peaceable and regular demeanour of so numerous a party is astonishing. From the death of Mr. Patrick Hamilton, the first who suffered in Scotland for the Protestant religion, thirty years had elapsed, and during so long a period no violation of public order or tranquillity had proceeded from that sect*; and though roused and irritated by the most cruel excesses of ecclesiastical tyranny, they did in no instance transgress those bounds of duty which the law prescribes to subjects. Besides the prudence of their own leaders, and the protection which the Queen Regent, from political motives, afforded them, the moderation of the Archbishop of St. Andrew's encouraged this pacific disposition. That prelate, whose private life cotempo
a The murder of Cardinal Beatoun was occassioned by private revenge ; and being contrived and executed by sixteen persons only, cannot with justice be imputed to the whole Protestant party.