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How this struggle arose must first be briefly explained.

The struggle that ensued was a struggle for supremacy, viz.: as to who should have the last word, the King or the Kirk, in deciding the religion of the country.It was, therefore, perhaps no mere chance that made the Scottish nation, under the guidance of John Knox and later Andrew Melville, adopt that form of Protestantism which was, in its doctrine, farthest removed from Rome, to which their French regents adhered, and which in its theory of church government was most democratic.Presbyterianism meant the subordination of the State to the Kirk, as Melville plainly told James VI at Cupar in 1596, on the famous occasion when he seized his sovereign by the sleeve and called him " God's silly vassal".He first tried to draw together the two separate representative institutions in Scotland — the Parliament, representing the king and the nobility, and the General Assembly, representing the Kirk and the majority of the nation — by granting the clergy a vote in Parliament.Owing, however, to the hostility of clergy and nobility, the scheme fell through.

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