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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

The monasteries were also destroyed in Stirling

of the saints were destroyed;

and the outbreak spreading through the city directed itself against the monasteries and laid them too in ruins. How entirely different is Knox from Luther! The German reformer made all outward change depend on the gradual influence of doctrine, and did not wish to set himself in rebellious opposition to the public order under which he lived. The Scot called on men to destroy whatever contravened his religious ideas. The Lords of the Congregation, who became ever more numerous, declared themselves resolved to do all that God commands in Scripture, and destroy all that tended to dishonour his name. With these objects, and with their co-operation and connivance, the stormy movement once raised surged everywhere further over the country. The monasteries were also destroyed in Stirling, Glasgow, and S. Andrews; the abbeys of Melrose, Dunfermline, and Cambuskenneth fell: and the proud abbey of Scone, an incomparable monument of the hierarchic feeling of earlier ages, was, together with the bishop's palace, levelled to the ground. It may be that the popular fury went far beyond the original intentions of the leaders, but without doubt it was also part of their purpose, to make an end above all of the monasteries and abbeys, from which nothing but resistance could be expected.[200] It has been regarded even in our days as a measure of prudence, dictated by the circumstances, that they destroyed these monuments, which by their imposing size and the splendour of the service performed in
them would have always produced an impression adverse to the Reformation. On the other hand the cathedrals and parish churches were to be preserved, and after being cleansed from images were to be devoted to Protestant worship. Everywhere the church-unions, which were at once formed and organised on Protestant principles, gained the upper hand. The Mass ceased: the Prayer-book of King Edward VI took its place.

So the reformed Scotch Church put itself in possession, in a moment, of the greatest part of the country. It was from the beginning a self-governed establishment: it found support in the union of some lords, whose power likewise rested on independent rights: but it first gained free play when the French policy of the Regent alienated the nobility and the nation from her. On the one side now stood the princess and the clergy, on the other the lords and the preachers. As their proposals were rejected and preparations made to defend the hierarchic system with the power of the State, the opposition also similarly arose, claiming to have an original right: revolt broke out; the church system of the Romish hierarchy was overthrown and a Protestant one put in its place. In the history of Protestantism at large the year 1559 is among the most important. During the very days in which the revised Common Prayer-book was restored in England (so definitely putting an end to the Catholic religion of the realm), the monuments of Roman Catholicism in Scotland were broken in pieces, and the unrevised Common Prayer-book introduced into the churches. But yet how great was the difference! In the one country all was done under the guidance of a Queen to whom the nation adhered, in consequence of Parliamentary enactments, the ancient forms being preserved as far as possible: here the whole transaction was completed in opposition to the Regent, under the guidance of an aristocracy engaged in conflict with her, amidst very great tumult, while all that was ancient was set aside.

At the beginning of July the Scotch lords had become masters of the capital as well, and had reformed it according to their own views, with the most lively sympathy of the citizens. They were resolved to uphold the change of religion now effected, cost what it would, and hoped to do so in a peaceful manner. When Perth again opened her gates to the Regent after the first tumult, under the condition that she should punish no one, she promised at the same time to put off the adjustment of all questions in dispute to the next Parliament. There they intended to carry at once the recognition of the Reformation in its whole breadth, and the removal of the French. We perceive that it was their plan in that case to obey the Regent as before, and to unite the abbey-lands to the possessions of the crown. 'But if your Grace does not agree to this,' so runs the letter of a confederate, 'they are resolved to reject all union with you.'

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