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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

But as they had been overthrown


This

was indeed a different strife from the battle between Catholicism and Protestantism, which filled the rest of the world: but they had points of contact with one another, inasmuch as the reform of doctrine had almost everywhere put an end to episcopal government. And the larger conflict was constantly exercising fresh influence on the state of the question in Scotland.

When the Catholic party was on the point of becoming master of the young King, the Protestant lords, as has been mentioned above, gained possession of his person by the Raid of Ruthven. They were the champions of Presbyterianism in the Church; but as they had been overthrown, and overthrown moreover in consequence of the support which the King received from an ambassador friendly to the Guises, that form of government could not survive their fall. In the Parliament of 1584, which obeyed the wishes of the ruling powers, enactments distinctly opposed to it were passed. By these the constitution of the Three Estates united in Parliament was ratified. They forbade any one to attack the Estates either collectively or singly, and therefore to attack the bishops. No meeting in which resolutions should be taken about temporal or even about spiritual affairs was to be held without the King's approval: no jurisdiction was to be exercised which was not acknowledged by the King and the Estates. The judicial power of the King over all subjects and in all causes, and therefore even in spiritual

causes, was therein expressly confirmed.

At that time however Jesuits and Seminarists effected an entrance into Scotland as well as into other countries, and produced a great effect: Father Gordon especially, who belonged to one of the most distinguished families in the country, that of the Earls of Huntly, was exceedingly active; and for two months the King allowed his presence at court. Who could guarantee that the young prince would not be entirely carried away by this current when his chief counsellor, with whom the final decision mainly rested, belonged to the party of the Guises?[297] A great reward was offered to him: he was to be married to an archduchess; and at some future day, after the victory had been won, he was to be raised to the throne of England and Scotland. When we take into consideration that Melville, who set himself to oppose this influence, had spent ten years at Geneva and among the Huguenots, we see plainly how the struggles which distracted the continent threatened to invade Scotland as well.

_Alliance with England._

In this danger Queen Elizabeth, who for her own sake did not venture to allow matters to go so far, resolved to interfere more actively in the affairs of Scotland than she had hitherto done. It is not perfectly clear what share her government had in the return of the exiled Protestant lords, whose attack had compelled King James to allow the conviction for high treason of his former minister and favourite, who fled to France in consequence. But their return was certainly welcome to her; and she advised the King not to alienate the great men of his kingdom, that is to say the returned lords, from his own side. In the instructions to her ambassador it is expressly said that he should aim at withholding the King from any alliance with the League in France, which was then growing powerful. She had just determined to make open war upon the King of Spain, who guided all the proceedings of the League; what could be more important for her than to retain the King of one division of the island on her own side? For that object she need not require him to support the Presbyterians; his point of view was the same which she contended for in the Netherlands and in France, and very closely akin to her own.


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