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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

Fighting on the one hand against idolatry

of the degraded Queen, returning

from France, set up the mass but in her own family, the godly at that time gave plain signification, that they could not abide that 'the land which God had purged from idolatry, should in their eyes be polluted again. Shall that idol (say they) be suffered again to take place within this realm? It shall not.' The idolatrous priests should die the death according to God's law. And a proclamation being issued to protect the Queen's domestic servants that were papists, there was a protestation given forth presently, 'That if any of her servants should commit idolatry, say mass, participate therewith, or take the defence thereof, in that case this proclamation was not extended to them in that behalf, no more than if they commit murder; seeing the one is much more abominable in the sight of God than the other; but that it may be lawful to inflict upon them, the pains contained in God's word against idolaters, wherever they may be apprehended, without favour.' The words of John Knox upon the following Sabbath may be added, 'That one mass was more fearful unto him, than if ten thousand armed enemies were landed in any part of the realm, of purpose to suppress the whole religion: for (said he) in our God there is strength to resist and confound multitudes, if we unfeignedly depend upon him; but when we join hands with idolatry, it is no doubt but both God's amiable presence and comfortable defence will leave us, and what shall then become of us?' Yea, when it was voted in the General
Assembly, whether they might take the Queen's mass from her? many frankly affirmed, 'That as the mass is abominable, so it is just and right that it should be suppressed; and that in so doing, men did no more hurt to the Queen's Majesty, than they that should by force take from her a poisoned cup, when she was going to drink it.' Thus we have some specimen of the zeal of our fathers against idolatry. But in a little time court favours blunted it in many; and then had the servants of God a double battle, fighting on the one hand against idolatry, and the rest of the abominations maintained by the court. And upon the other hand, against the unfaithfulness of false brethren, and treachery of sycophants, who informed the court against the ministers, for their free and faithful preaching and warnings on all occasions; yet they sustained the brunt of all these assaults, and came off with honour. At length, to be short, in process of time, this Mary, a woman of a proud and crafty wit, and an obdured heart against God and his truth, infilled in the same steps of tyranny and treachery (but with greater aggravations) that her mother walked in, and was served according to her desert. For after that her darling David Rizzo, the Italian fidler, (whom most men then supposed, and do still suspect to be the father of King James, this man's grandfather; and some do think it not unlikely, that his successors have derived from this stock the Italian complexion and constitution both of body and mind, spare and swarthy, cruel and crafty) received his due rewards in her presence, by the King's consent and counsel; she conceived such contempt of, and indignation against the poor uxorious young King, Henry of Darnley, that she never rested till she and Bothwel contrived and executed his murder, and then she married that murdering adulterer, the said Earl of Bothwel: whereupon the Protestant Noblemen pursuing the murder, took her, and sent her prisoner to Lochleven, where they made her resign the government to her son James, then an infant, and afterwards she was beheaded by Elizabeth Queen of England. We see now by this deduction, what was the testimony of this period, and how in many things it confirms the heads of the present sufferings, which we may particularly remark.

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