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pies authorized him to make war upon the enemies of the prophet; hut human sympathy mollified the rigour of his enthusiasm, and, when his foes were suppliant, he often forgot the sternness of Islamism.
"He was fond of religious exercises and studies; but his mind was so much above the age in which he lived, that he never consulted soothsayers or astrologers.
"He had gained the throne by blood, artifice, and treachery; but, though ambitious, he was not tyrannical: he was mild in his government, and the friend and dispenser of justice. Eager for the possession, but indifferent to the display of power, he was simple in his manners, and unostentatious in deportment. He attempted the arts of conciliation and tuition, to change the religious sentiments of the Egyptian Fatemites; but the intolerant spirit of his religion would sometimes appear; the politician was lost in the zealot; and he inflicted punishment on those who presumed to question any of the dogmas of a Mussulman's creed.
"But I must refer you," said Mr. Wilmot, "to Mills's History of the Crusades, for further particulars of this eventful period: in the meanwhile, it is sufficient for me to say, that, before the expiration of the thirteenth century, the whole band of adventurers were driven from their Asiatic possessions. There were, in all, nine Crusades; in which, according to Voltaire, two millions of human beings perished."
"It was, indeed," remarked Mrs. Spencer, "a dreadful waste and effusion of human blood. One beneficial consequence arose, however, from these extravagant excursions, which was neither expected nor intended.
"It was impossible for men to travel through so many lands as the Crusaders did, without imparting some of the improvement or knowledge they had gained, to their respective countries, on their return. The spirit of commerce was by this means fostered and spread, the progress of navigation advanced, and useful information was circulated.
"Yes," answered Mr. Wilmot; "and evil was thus wisely overruled for good. But," added he, "I recollect that I have omitted to give my little cousins any account of the Reformation in Scotland; which, as it commenced in the reign of Edward the Sixth, and was concluded in that of Elizabeth, under the intrepid, and, it must be confessed, austere John Knox, could not, with propriety, be introduced before; especially, as it was not so much my design to interweave the history of individuals, in D 5
the sketch I have given, as to mark the progress of religion, from the first century to the age of Elizabeth.
"When popery was the established religion in Scotland, this eminent man, (who had been one of the chaplains of king Edward the Sixth,) narrowly escaped with his life, from cardinal Beaton, the archbishop of Glasgow, and bishop Hamilton; and he was afterwards cited before bishop Tunstall, for preaching against the mass; and was obliged to leave England, by the persecution of Protestants, which arose on queen Mary's accession to the throne. Returning, however, to Scotland, in 1559, just as a public prosecution was carrying on against the Protestants, who were about to be tried at Stirling, (through the treachery of the queen regent, who had promised them protection,) he did not hesitate to join their ranks, and share their dangers. By the most bold and intrepid conduct, he exposed the abuses of popery, and animated the nation against it, by every means in his power; in which he spared no labour, and dreaded no danger.
"He corresponded with Cecil, the able and faithful minister of queen Elizabeth; and by that means, was chiefly instrumental in establishing those negociations between 'the congregation' and the English, which terminated in the march of an English army into Scotland, under the orders of queen Elizaheth, to aid the Protestants, and to assist them against the persecutions of the queen regent.
"This army being joined by almost all the principal men of Scotland, proceeded with such vigour and success, that they obliged the French forces, who had been the principal support of the queen regent's tyranny, to evacuate the kingdom, and thus restored the parliament to its former independence. Of that body a great majority had embraced the Protestant religion; and, encouraged by the ardour and number of their friends, they improved every opportunity which occurred, of overthrowing the whole fabric of popery. They sanctioned the whole confession of faith, submitted to them by Knox and the other reformed ministers. They abolished the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts, and transferred the causes to the cognizance of the civil court; and they prohibited the exercise of religious worship, according to the rites of the Romish church.
"On the death of the queen regent, Mary, queen of Scots, arrived from France, and immediately established the popish service, in her own chapel, which, by her protection and countenance, was much frequented. Knox opposed this, as he did the other evidences, given by Mary, of her attachment to the Romish cause.
"An act of the queen's privy council having been proclaimed at Edinbugh, immediately on her arrival, forbidding any disturbance to be given to the mass, under pain of death, Knox openly declared against it, in his sermon, on the following Sunday; and on the marriage of the queen with Darnley, he not only preached another sermon, expressing his dislike to the alliance, on account of the religious principles avowed by the young nobleman; but when the latter went to hear him preach, he took occasion to speak his opinions, in terms certainly not the most gentle. Such plain and honest dealing as this, was not very likely to be palatable to a court, and he was accordingly silenced.
"By no means, however, deterred, he went on, in private, with the great work of reformation; and was one of the most active and successful instruments, in delivering Scotland from papal corruption, and priestly domination. He lived to preach against the awful massacre of the Protestants, in Paris, on St. Bartholo