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check the fury of the storm bursting over her by cautioning the clergy to avoid controversy with any one assailing either her purity or her proud pretensions. This advice, cunningly enough devised, as she well knew, is thought to have been all but universally observed. The only known exception now falls to be noticed as occurring in the experience of Quentin Kennedy, last Abbot of the rich foundation at Crossraguel, near Maybole, Ayrshire.
In the summer of 1562, when Knox was labouring in the West Country, denouncing Popery as Antichrist, Quentin Kennedy, with more bravery than discretion, stepped forward to dispute the point with the dauntless Reformer. The Abbot belonged to one of the first families in Scotland, his father being the famous Gilbert, second Earl of Cassillis, and his nephew, also Gilbert, third Earl, the pupil and patron of George Buchanan, who wrote one of his early satires against the Franciscans while residing with the young Earl at Cassillis. The Abbot's grandnephew was the rapacious and unscrupulous fourth Earl Gilbert, best known as “King of Carrick," but still nore notorious in the annals of violence for having roasted Quentin's successor in the Abbey lands, Allan Stewart, Commendator, before a fierce fire in the dark vault of Dunure Castle, for the purpose of extorting a grant of that property, as lying contiguous to his own estate. Abbot Quentin Kennedy also possessed what many of his brethren lacked: he was of blameless life, and something of a scholar. With but narrow notions of statecraft, and even little of that dialectic or theological skill which distinguished Knox, Abbot Kennedy was yet probably the foremost champion at the time Rome could have expected to appear in Scotland in her defence. His first appearance as a polemical writer was in 1558, four years before his encounter with Knox, when he published a short synopsis of Catholic belief, known still to collectors of curiosities as the “Compendious Tractive," showing “the nerrest and onlie way to establish the conscience of a Christian
in all matters which were in debate concerning faith and religion. This, as explained, was nothing else than implicit faith in the decision of the Church. When any point of religion was controverted, Scripture might be cited as a
witness, but holy mother Church was to be the judge. It was held to be sufficient for those who did not occupy the place of teachers that they had a general knowledge of the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer, according to the sense in which they were explained by the Church; while as to the Sacraments and all other secrets of Scripture every Christian man was to "stand in the judgment of his pastor." On the 30th August, according to M'Crie, Abbot Kennedy read in his chapel at Kirkoswald a number of articles respecting the mass, purgatory, praying to saints, and the use of images, which he said he would defend against any who challenged them; but in the meantime promised to declare his mind more fully respecting them on the following Sunday. Knox, who is presumed to have been living at the time with Lord Ochiltree (whose daughter became the Reformer's second wife), no way reluctant to accept the challenge, set out for the scene of controversy on the day indicated. In the morning he sent forward certain gentlemen who accompanied him to inform the Abbot of the purpose in view, and desiring him either to preach according to promise, or to attend a sermon to be delivered by the Reformer himself. The Abbot did not appear, but on coming down the pulpit stairs a letter from him was put into Knox's hand. This led to an epistolary correspondence almost as curious as the “ Disputation ” itself, but too lengthy for quotation or even further reference. Knox wished the debate to be conducted publicly in St. John's Church, Ayr. The Provost's house in Maybole was afterwards mutually agreed upon. “Ye sall," writes Knox, “be assured I sall keip day and place in Mayboill, according to my writing, and I haif my life, and my feit louse." The date was fixed to be September 28, at eight o'clock in the morning; forty persons to be admitted by each champion as witnesses, with “as many more as the house might goodly hold, at the sight of my Lord of Cassillis.” Notaries or scribes were also chosen on each side to record the papers which might be given in by the parties, and the arguments put forward. The particulars of the controversy were printed at the time in a now unique black-letter tract, entitled “Coppie of the Resoning
which was betwixt the Abbote of Crossraguell (Quentin Kennedy) and John Knox, in Mayboill, concerning the Masse, in the year of God a thousand five hundred three score and two yeires. Edinburgh (printed by]: Robert Lepraik, 1563.” A copy of this original, very rare black-letter pamphlet was discovered by Sir Alexander Boswell in the Auchinleck Library, and reprinted at Edinburgh in facsimile, 1812. Even this reprint is now a choice curiosity difficult to obtain.
The opening scene of the controversy was highly characteristic. When parties on each side were duly gathered together, Knox desired the Abbot to offer up public prayer; "whereat the Abbot was soir offended at the first; but when the said John wold in nowise be stayed, he and his gave audience, which being ended, the Abbote said, “Be my faith, it is weill said.'” The debate itself was entirely confined to the interpretation of that text in the Old Testament, where it is said that Melchisedec brought out bread and wine in presence of Abraham and his company; the Abbot asserting that those elements were brought out as an oblation to God; and Knox, that they were produced merely for the refreshment and consumption of the visitors, contending that the mysterious King of Salem was the figure of Christ in that he offered bread and wine unto God; so, continued the Abbot, it behoved Christ to offer in His Last Supper His own body and blood under the forms of bread and wine. The second day was again mostly taken up with Abbot Kennedy, who urged against Knox that Abraham and his company had a sufficiency of provision in the spoil taken during their late victorious engagement at Dan, and did not therefore need Melchisedec's bread and wine. When parties met on the third day the Abbot presented a paper, in which he stated certain other objections to the view taken of the text by Knox, who in turn pressed his opponent to produce proof for the final argument on which he intended to rest
The Abbot appeared indisposed to do this verbally, but put into Knox's hand a small book on the subject, presumed to have been, although Knox does not mention it distinctly, Kennedy's “Familiar Commune on the Mass,” printed the preceding year. By this time the audience expressed feelings of weariness. The gentlemen present had not been able to find suitable entertainment either for
themselves or retinue in Maybole, so that, remarks M‘Crie, had any person brought in wine there and then among them it is thought they would not have debated long concerning the purpose for which it was intended. Knox proposed that they should adjourn to Ayr, and there finish the dispute; but to this the Abbot objected. He expressed himself, however, as willing on some future occasion to proceed to Edinburgh for the purpose of renewing the debate, provided he could obtain the Queen's permission. Upon this the company dismissed, never again to have the privilege of listening to a debate in which Rome staked the issue on appeal to reason as distinguished from tradition and authority. The dispute was never resumed, although Knox writes of having applied to the Privy Council for the necessary permission. Abbot Kennedy died in August, 1564, and is mentioned by Dempster as having been canonised—“Aug. 22.-Monasterio Crucis regalis obitus Beati Quintini Kennedii Abbotis,” &c. The name, it is but right to say, does not appear in the Roman Calendar. Among the objects of interest in and around Maybole, and there are many—some to be afterwards referred to in these pages-not the least suggestive is the still existing fabric known as “The Provost's House," in which the singular encounter above described took place.
THE STORY OF GLENFRUIN.
It has been the fashion lately among historians who think lightly of James VI.
a statesman, to contrast to his disadvantage the famous Settlement, or Plantation, as it was called, of Ulster, with the disorder he permitted to exist at the same time along his own Highland line, better known, it has been argued, and even easier of access. This story of the
Raid or “Conflict” of Glenfruin, may be taken as at least one pregnant illustration of the difference in disposition prevailing among the quiet thrifty emigrants of the North of Ireland and the turbulent chieftains of Western Scotland, who despised alike the peace of their neighbour and the power of their Sovereign. The year 1603, memorable in British history from the Union of the Crowns, is especially conspicuous in this western part of the island by an encounter of unusual fierceness, even for these days, which took place between the Clangregor and the ancient family of Colquhoun of Luss.
That the Macgregors for many years prior to 1603 were considered a disorderly clan is not seriously disputed, except, it may be, among a few family enthusiasts whom the grace of Parliament in the reign of George III. permitted to resume their own
In 1563, their excesses had reached such a height that Queen Mary, by an Act of Privy Council, granted permission to several noblemen to pursue them with fire and sword, and prohibited the lieges from receiving or assisting them in any way whatever. In 1589 the murder of John Drummond in the forest of Glenartney—a murder attended with circumstances of appalling atrocity-again let loose the terrors of the law against the clan; but to so little purpose that in 1594 the Macgregors, along with the Macfarlanes of Arrochar, occupy the unenviable distinction of being the first-mentioned clans against whom the statute for the punishment of “theft, reiff, oppression, and sorning" was directed. It has been alleged that the extensive possessions held by the Macgregors in Perthshire and Argyllshire had been iniquitously wrested from them by the Earls of Argyll and Breadalbane, and that, therefore, the clan was justified in treating with contempt those laws from which they so often experienced severity, and never protection. But this allegation, even if correct, could have only a secondary bearing in their dispute with Colquhoun of Luss, as it is not even hinted that this family either shared in the plunder or abetted others in their attacks upon the Clangregor.
In order to strengthen their position, the Macgregors, about the close of