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enormous soever ... so as at death the gates of hell shall be shut against thee, and the gates of Paradise shall be laid open to receive thee. . ."
It was in Oxford—then, as since, the cradle of so many political and religious movements—that the reforming movement originally began, and the individual who is named as leading the movement was John Wycliffe, who in the latter half of the fourteenth century attacked with no timid words the luxury, impurity, and ignorance of the clergy of the Church of England, and the no less scandalous lives of those who claimed the respect due to the religious life, but who rejected its piercing renunciations, and frequently lived in open sin. During the episcopate of Henry Wardlaw, we have seen the attempt to stamp out, by the extreme punishment of death by fire, the first discomforting symptoms of heretical or erroneous opinions, when Resby and Crawar, who taught strange doctrines, were burned. But the impetus given by severe opposition had taken effect: the earnest men, dying in agony, were not forgotten; and here and there throughout the country there were persons attracted and disturbed by the new opinions. These were called Lollards; and in the year 1494, thirty men and women residing within the deanery of Kyle and Cunningham, usually known as the Lollards of Kyle, were summoned by Archbishop Blackader to appear before King James 1v. and his council, and to give account of thirty-four heretical or erroneous opinions that they were accused of holding. Chief among these were the following:—That images are not to be kept, nor yit worshipped; that it is not lawfull to fight or to defend the Fayth; that Chryst ordainit no Priestis to consecrate; that after the Consecration in the Mes thair remaines Breid;
'Tetzel's Absolution; Seckendorf, Histor. Lutheran., p. 14.
that Teithes aucht not to be given to ecclesiastical men; that everie faythfull man or woman is a priest; that the Paip deceavis the Pepill by his bulls and his Indulgences; that the Mes profatis not the Saulls that are in Purgatorie; that the Paip exaltis himself against God, and above God; that the blessings of the bishops are of na valeu; that the Excommunication of the Kirk is not to be feared; that Priestis may have Wyffis; that treu Xtianes receave the Bodie of Jesus Christ everie day; that the Paip forgives not sin, but onelie God; that Fayth should not be given to Miracles; that we should not pray to the glorious Virgine Marie, but to God onelie; that we are na mair bound to pray in the Kirk than in uther places; that we are not bound to believe all that the Doctars of the Kirk have written; that such as worship the Sacramentis of the Kirk comitts Idolatrie; that the Paip is the Heid of the Kirk of the Antichrist; that the Paip and his Ministers ar Murtherers.1 On this occasion, from causes not clearly known, the Lollards escaped unpunished. In 1525, Parliament took the alarm, and passed an Act ' for eschewing of heresy,' prohibiting any' manner of person, that happens to arrive with their schip within ony part of this realme to bring with them ony books or works of Luther, his disciples or servandis.' A few years earlier, Patrick Hamilton, a youth related by birth to the royal family, went abroad to prosecute his studies. When in Germany he became acquainted with Martin Luther and Melanchthon, and embraced their opinions with the natural fervour of an enthusiastic young man. On his return to Scotland, he began to teach energetically the doctrines that had fascinated him, and, being brought before the ecclesiastical court, he was found guilty
1 The Historic of the Reformatioun, by John Knox, edit. Buchanan, pp. 2, 3
of affirming, publishing, and teaching several opinions more or less heretical, but that appear to have been the excited expression of an earnest heart, hankering after the halfhidden verity of justification by faith. On the last day of February 1528, the sentence of condemnation was pronounced by the primate, within the Metropolitan Church of St. Andrews, in presence of the Archbishop of Glasgow, the Bishops of Dunkeld, Brechin, and Dunblane. Patrick Hamilton, Commendator of the Abbey of Ferne, was deprived of all his dignities, orders, and benefices, and delivered over to the secular power. On the same day, he suffered death at the stake, in front of St. Salvator's College, enduring, with the heroism of a martyr, hours of torment that, in his own words, were 'bitter to the flesh, and fearful before men.'1 'Dwellers ourselves in the Britain of the nineteenth century, says a writer of the day,' as he asks us to attempt to picture to ourselves, 'ifthatindeed be possible for us, the condition of mind which is induced by the consciousness that one's efforts must almost inevitably end in death by fire,' and the terrible difficulty of deciding, 'whether this or that conviction was an article of faith worth dying for?' we ought surely to recognise the need of the deepest humility and charity in judging of any . . . who were subjected to such an ordeal as this.'2
1 Knox, p. 5.
8 Some Aspects of the Reformation, by J. G. Cazenove, p. 55.
'Poor little life that toddles half an hour,
W1th the exception of the Act' for eschewing of heresy,' Government, involved in countless and serious troubles, had allowed the new opinions to take their course. The secret of the Regent Albany's mismanagement of affairs and his unpopularity amongst the people he had been sent for to govern, is revealed in the fact that he was a Frenchman at heart. No ancient Leagues, however touching their appeals, and no fulfilment thereof in inglorious border raids on the Scotch side, and gifts of the newest-fashioned armour, or protracted visits of knights, whose requirements of bed and board were a heavy tax to their poor northern hosts, on the French— not even royal and noble intermarriages—had broken down the barrier between two natures essentially different, or had turned Scotchmen, weird, dour, canny, difficult to understand, difficult to win, into beings congenial to Frenchmen. It was the right policy to bear with patient growls the presence of the Lord High Admiral of France and his court; even French garrisons established in the greater fortresses might be supported; but when Albany went about 'the countrie to danton all reft theft and slauchter,'1 he found
1 PitscoUie, vol . ii. p. 256.
that the men he had to deal with would bear no rod of iron, and made sad complaint to the King of France that ' Scottismen war all allied with others, and . . . that everie ane of them took pairt with others so against him, that they thought him but ane stranger.'1
When the new Regency began, the Queen-mother went to England, and here, in 1515, she bore a daughter—the Lady Margaret Douglas. Meanwhile her party was weakening at home, and one of her strong supporters, the Lord Home, was executed at Edinburgh on some accusations which do not clearly appear. In the summer of 1517, Albany, whose heart was always in France, set off there, for a change of air and scene. During his absence, he left the Chevalier de la Bastie to act as Warden on the Scottish frontier. This office had belonged to Lord Home; and, eager to avenge his kinsman's execution, and at the same time to give vent to a great deal of bad feeling against the French, the fierce Sir David Home of Wedderburn waylaid De la Bastie near the castle of Dunbar. The Warden put spurs to his horse and flew, 'but being ane stranger, and not knawing the ground weill, he laired his hors in ane moss, and thair his enemies cam upon him, and slew and murthered him verrie unhonestlie, and cutted aff his head. . . .'2 Sir David then tied the Frenchman's head by its flowing and well-trimmed curls to his saddle-bow, and carried it home in savage exultation.
The afflictions of this long regency were heavily added to by the continual struggles of the Douglases, headed by the Earl of Angus, and the Hamiltons, who were related to the blood-royal, headed by the Earl of Arran; the mischievous interference of the Queen-mother when it suited her; and contests with England. On the 29th of April
1 Pitscottie, vol. ii. p. 298. s Ibid. p. 307.