Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

Tìo The HISTORY of the PURITANS. Chap. IV. 1aaen The reformation took place this year in Scotland, by the preaching of Elizabeth, Mr. yohn Knox, a bold and contagious Scots divine, who fhunned no danger, nor feared the face of any, man in the caufe of religion. He Scots refor- had been a preacher in England in king Edward's time, then an exile at nrarion Francfort, and at left one of the minifters of the Engle congregation at Geneva, from whence he arrived at Edinburgh, May 2d, r 5.0. being 45 years of age, and fettled at Perth, but was a fort of evangelift over the whole kingdom. He maintained this pofltion, That if kings andprinces refute to reform religion, inferior magfrates and the people being direeled and inflru5led in the truth, by their preachers, may lawfully reform within their own bounds themfelves; and if all or the far greatefl part be enlight- ened by the truth, they may make a publick reformation. Upon this prin- ciple, the Scots reformers humbly petitioned the queen dowager, regent for her daughter [Mary ] now in France, for liberty to affemble publickly or privately for prayer, for reading and explaining the holy fcriptures, and adminrflering the facraments of baptifm and the lord's-fupper in the vulgar tongue; and the latter in both kinds, according to Chrift's inflitu- tion. This reafonable petition being rejected, certain noblemen and barons formed an affociation, refolving to venture their lives and fortunes 4fciation of in this caufe; and they encouraged as many of the curates of the parifhes the reformed. within their diftri &s, as were willing to read the prayers and leffons in Englifh, but not to expound the fcriptures till God fhould difpofe the queen to grant them liberty. This being executed at Perth and the neighbouring parts, without difturbance, the affociation fpread, and was figned by great numbers even in the capital city of Edinburgh. Upon this they prefented another petition, reprefenting to the regent the un- feafonablenefs of her rigor againft the proteftants, confidering their num- bers; but the was deaf to all moderate councils. At the meeting of the parliament, the congregation or heads of the officiation prefented the re- gent, with fundry articles relating to liberty of confcience, to lay before the houfe, which the fuppreffed and would not fuffer to be debated; whereupon they drew up the following proteftation, and defired it might be recorded. " That fince they could not procure a reformation, agree- " ble to the word of God, from the government, that it might be law- " ful for them to follow the dictates of their confciences. That none that joined with them in the profeflion of the true faith fhould be " liable to any civil penalties, or incur any damages for fo doing. They " proteft, that if any tumults arife on the fcore of religion, the impu- " tation ought not to lie upon them who now humbly entreat for a re- " gular remedy ; and that in all other things they will be moft loyal " fubjeds." The regent acquainted the court of France with the fitua- tion of affairs, and received an order, to fuffer no other religion but the roman