John Knox and the Reformation eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about John Knox and the Reformation.

Mr. Froude is certainly not an advocate of Mary Stuart, rather he is conspicuously the reverse.  But he remarks that when she determined to marry Darnley, “divide Scotland,” and trust to her Catholic party, she did so because she was “weary of the mask which she had so long worn, and unable to endure any longer these wild insults to her creed and herself.” {223b} She had, in fact, given the policy of submission to “wild insults” rather more than a fair chance; she had, for a spirited girl, been almost incredibly long-suffering, when “barbarously baited,” as Charles I. described his own treatment by the preachers and the Covenanters.

CHAPTER XVI:  KNOX AND QUEEN MARY (continued):  1563-1564

The new year, 1563, found Knox purging the Kirk from that fallen brother, Paul Methuen.  This preacher had borne the burden and heat of the day in 1557-58, erecting, as we have seen, the first “reformed” Kirk, that of the Holy Virgin, in Dundee, and suffering some inconvenience, if no great danger, from the clergy of the religion whose sacred things he overthrew.  He does not appear to have been one of the more furious of the new apostles.  Contrasted with John Brabner, “a vehement man inculcating the law and pain thereof,” Paul is described as “a milder man, preaching the evangel of grace and remission of sins in the blood of Christ.” {224a}

Paul was at this time minister of Jedburgh.  He had “an ancient matron” to wife, recommended, perhaps, by her property, and she left him for two months with a servant maid.  Paul fell, but behaved not ill to the mother of his child, sending her “money and clothes at various times.”  Knox tried the case at Jedburgh; Paul was excommunicated, and fled the realm, sinking so low, it seems, as to take orders in the Church of England.  Later he returned—­probably he was now penniless—­“and prostrated himself before the whole brethren with weeping and howling.”  He was put to such shameful and continued acts of public penance up and down the country that any spirit which he had left awoke in him, and the Kirk knew him no more.  Thus “the world might see what difference there is between darkness and light.” {225a}

Knox presently had to record a scandal in a higher place, the capture and execution of the French minor poet, Chastelard, who, armed with sword and dagger, hid under the Queen’s bed in Holyrood; and invaded her room with great insolence at Burntisland as she was on her way to St. Andrews.  There he was tried, condemned, and executed in the market-place.  It seems fairly certain that Chastelard, who had joined the Queen with despatches during the expedition against Huntly, was a Huguenot.  The Catholic version, and Lethington’s version, of his adventure was that some intriguing Huguenot lady had set him on to sully Queen Mary’s character; other tales ran that he was to assassinate her, as part of a great Protestant conspiracy. {225b}

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