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from their own conduct that Knox endeavoured to shelter himself. Nor would it have been an easy matter for these counsellors to have found out a distinction by which they could censure him without condemning themselves. After a long hearing, he was unanimously acquitted. Sinclair, bishop of Ross, and president of the court of session, a zealous papist, heartily concurred with the other counsellors in this decision ; a remarkable fact, which shows the unsettled state of government in that age, the low condition to which regal authority was then sunk, and the impunity with which subjects might then invade those rights of the crown which are now held sacred.
In the future remonstrances of the clergy, they repeated their grievances with increasing vehemence, and Mary found it necessary to give more flattering promises. But, notwithstanding these declarations in their favour, they could not help harbouring many suspicions concerning Mary's designs against their religion. She had never once consented to hear any preacher of the reformed doctrine. She had abated nothing of her bigoted attachment to the Romish faith. The genius of that superstition, averse at all times from toleration, was in that age fierce and unrelenting. Mary had given her friends on the continent repeated assurances of her resolution to re-establish the catholic church. She had industriously avoided every opportunity of ratifying the acts of parliament 1560, in favour of the reformation. Even the protection which ever since her return she had afforded the protestant religion was merely temporary, and declared by her own proclamation to be of force only “till she should take some final order in the matter of religion.” The vigilant zeal of the preachers was inattentive to none of these circumstances. The coldness of their principal leaders, who were at this time entirely devoted to the court, added to their jealousies and fears. These they uttered to the people, in language which they esteemed suitable to the necessity of the times, and which the queen reckoned disrespectful and insolent. In a meeting of the general assembly, Maitland publicly accused Knox of teaching seditious doctrine concerning the rights of subjects to resist their sovereigns who trespass against the duty which they owe to the people. Knox was not backward to justify what he had taught. And upon this general doctrine of resistance, so just in its own nature, but so delicate in its application to particular cases, there ensued a debate, which admirably displays the talents and character of both the disputants; the acuteness of thc former, embellished with learning, but prone to subtlety; the vigorous understanding of the latter, delighting in bold sentiments and superior to all fear.
The reformation now began rapidly to acquire strength. In the assembly of the church in June 1565, several of the malecontent nobles were present, and seem to have had great influence on their decisions. The high strain in which the assembly addressed the queen, can be imputed only to those fears and jealousies with regard to religion which they endeavoured to infuse into the nation. The assembly complained with some bitterness of the stop which had been put to the progress of the reformation by the queen's arrival in Scotland ; they required not only the total suppression of the popish worship throughout the kingdom, but even in the queen's own chapel; and besides the legal establishment of the protestant religion, they demanded that Mary herself should publicly embrace it. The queen, after some deliberation, replied, that neither her conscience nor her interest would permit her to take such a step. The former would
for ever reproach her for a change which proceeded from no inward conviction; the latter would suffer by the offence which her apostacy must gies to the king of France, and her other allies on the continent.
Knox continued to support the cause of the rea formation till the day of his death, which happened in the sixty-seventh year of his age. Zeal, intrepidity, disinterestedness, were virtues which he possessed in an eminent degree. He was acquainted, too, with the learning cultivated in that age, and excelled in that species of eloquence which is calculated to rouse and to inflame. His maxims, however, were often too severe, and the impetuosity of his temper excessive. Rigid and uncomplying himself, he showed no indulgence to the infirmities of others. Regardless of the distinctions of rank and character, he uttered his admonitions with an acrimony and vehemence, more apt to irritate than to reclaim. This often betrayed him into indecent and undutiful expressions with respect to the queen's person and conduct. Those very qualities, however, which now render his character less amiable, fitted him to be the instrument of Providence for advancing the reformation among a fierce people, and enabled him to face dangers and to surmount opposition, from which a person of a more gentle spirit would have been apt to shrink back. By an unwearied application to study and to business, as well as by the frequency and fervour of his public discourses, he had worn out a constitution naturally strong. During a lingering illness he discovered the utmost fortitude, and met the approaches of death with a magnanimity inseparable from his character. He was constantly employed in acts of devotion, and comforted himself with those prospects of immortality, which not only preserve good men from
desponding, but fill them with exultation in their last moments. The earl of Morton, who was present at his funeral, pronounced his eulogium in a few words, the more honourable for Knox, as they came from one whom he had often censured with peculiar severity: “There lies he, who never feared the face of man.'
DU KE OF LENNO X
JAMES early discovered that excessive attachment to favourites which accompanied him through his whole life. This passion, which naturally arises from inexperience and youthful warmth of heart, was at his age far from being culpable; nor could it well be expected that the choice of the objects on whom he placed his affections should be made with great skill. The most considerable of them was Esme Stewart, a native of France, and son of a second brother of the earl of Lennox. He was distinguished by the title of Lord D’Aubignè, an estate in France, which descended to him from his ancestors, on whom it had been conferred in reward of their valour and services to the French crown. He arrived in Scotland about this time, on purpose to demand the estate and title of Lennox, to which he pretended a legal right. He was received at first by the king with the respect due to so near a relation. The gracefulness of his person, the elegance of his dress, and his courtly behaviour, made a great impression on James, who, even in his more mature years, was little able to resist these frivolous charms ; and his affection flowed with its usual rapidity and profusion. Within a few days after Stewart's appear. ance at court, he was created lord Aberbrothick, soon after earl, and then duke of Lennox, governor of Dunbarton castle, captain of the guard, first lord of the bedchamber, and lord high chamberlain. At the same time, and without any of the envy or interference which is usual among candidates for favour, captain James Stewart, the second son of lord Ochiltree, grew into great confidence. But notwithstanding this union, Lennox and captain Stewart were persons of very opposite characters. The former was naturally gentle, humane, candid; but unacquainted with the state of the country, and misled or misinformed by those whom he trusted ; not unworthy to be the companion of the young king in his amusements, but utterly disqualified for acting as a minister in directing his affairs. The latter was remarkable for all the vices which render a man formidable to his country, and a pernicious counsellor to his prince; nor did he possess any one virtue to counterbalance these vices, unless dexterity in conducting his own designs, and an enterprising courage, superior to the sense of danger, may pass by that name. Unrestrained by religion, regardless of decency, and undismayed by opposition, he aimed at objects seemingly unattainable ; but under a prince void of experience, and blind to all the defects of those who had gained his favour, his audacity was successful; and honours, wealth and power, were the reward of his crimes.
Captain Stewart being appointed tutor to the earl of Arran, soon after both the title and estate of his unhappy ward, to which he advanced some frivolous claim, were conferred upon him. No less profligate in private life than audacious in his pub. lic conduct, he afterwards drew the attention of his countrymen by his infamous marriage with the countess of March. Before he grew into favour