John Knox and the Reformation eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 293 pages of information about John Knox and the Reformation.

Apparently Arran did write to Calvin, anonymously, and dating from London, November 18, 1561.  The letter, really from Scotland, is in French.  The writer acknowledges the receipt, about August 20, of an encouraging epistle from Calvin.  He repeats Knox’s statements, in the main, and presses for a speedy reply.  He says that he goes seldom to Court, both on account of “that idol,” and because “sobriety and virtue” have been exiled. {203a} As Arran himself “is known to have had company of a good handsome wench, a merchant’s daughter,” which led to a riot with Bothwell, described by Randolph (December 27, 1561), his own “virtue and sobriety” are not conspicuous. {203b} He was in Edinburgh on November 15-19, and the London date of his anonymous letter is a blind. {203c}

It does not appear that Calvin replied to Knox, and to the anonymous correspondent, in whom I venture to detect Arran; or, if he answered, his letter was probably unfavourable to Knox, as we shall argue when the subject later presents itself.

Finally—­“the votes of the Lords prevailed against the ministers”; the Queen was allowed her Mass, but Lethington, a minister of the Queen, did not consult a foreigner as to the rights of her subjects against her creed.

The lenity of Lord James was of sudden growth.  At Stirling he and Argyll had gallantly caused the priests to leave the choir “with broken heads and bloody ears,” the Queen weeping.  So Randolph reported to Cecil (September 24).

Why her brother, foremost to insult Mary and her faith, unless Randolph errs, in September, took her part in a few weeks, we do not know.  At Perth, Mary was again offended, and suffered in health by reason of the pageants; “they did too plainly condemn the errors of the world. . . .  I hear she is troubled with such sudden passions after any great unkindness or grief of mind,” says Randolph.  She was seldom free from such godly chastisements.  At Perth, however, some one gave her a cross of five diamonds with pendant pearls.

Meanwhile the statesmen did not obey the Ministers as men ought to obey God:  a claim not easily granted by carnal politicians.

CHAPTER XV:  KNOX AND QUEEN MARY (continued), 1561-1564

Had Mary been a mere high-tempered and high-spirited girl, easily harmed in health by insults to herself and her creed, she might now have turned for support to Huntly, Cassilis, Montrose, and the other Earls who were Catholic or “unpersuaded.”  Her great-grandson, Charles II., when as young as she now was, did make the “Start”—­the schoolboy attempt to run away from the Presbyterians to the loyalists of the North.  But Mary had more self-control.

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John Knox and the Reformation from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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