Facts about his early life are obscure, so obscure that his birth is listed as coming sometime between 1505 and 1514—even 1515—according to some researchers. The majority of reformed bodies, however, seem content to use 2014 as the 500th anniversary. So, as his life is celebrated, it would be useful to get a good, reliable, biography of John Knox and read it. If you know nothing about him, it will warm your heart and encourage your faith. If you are familiar with him, it will rekindle your love and respect for the man. Early life, 1505–1546 1514, John Knox is born just south of Edinburgh in Haddington to a well-to-do family. • 1528, As a teenager, Knox is troubled with the rest of Scotland over the treacherous execution at the stake of aristocratic reformer, Patrick Hamilton. • 1536, Ordination to the Roman priesthood following university studies. Knox tutors children of nobility. Marker in the street outside the Abbey of St. Andrews where Patrick Hamilton was martyred Embracing the Protestant Reformation, 1546–1547 • Scotland dominated by the Roman Church • Scots were called to worship statues and relics, but no one fed the souls of the people. • Half the land of Scotland owned by the Roman Church. • The Roman Church took in revenues 18 times more than what the crown received. • Bishops • Often took office through political appointment • Often held more than one bishopric, leading to absenteeism and lack of accountability • With the priests, bishops led openly immoral lives. Cardinal Beaton, who betrayed Hamilton, consorted with a stable of concubines who gave him 10 children. THE CASTLE FALLS… IS TAKEN Confinement in the French galleys,KNOX 1547–1549 PRISONER AND PUT TO WORK AS A GALLEY SLAVE. Exile in England, 1549–1554 The Bishop of Durham Westminster hall: home of parliament in the 1550s The Joys and Sorrows of Knox in Exile… Revolution and Cardinal Beaton and the clergy were meeting at endthatofmoment the regency, 1559–1560 to initiate reforms to the church because of pressures being brought by the Reformers: • No one could serve the church but a priest. • If the priest committed adultery, he lost 1/3 of his income and property (1st offense). • You could not turn your benefice over to your son (Beaton had 8). • When word reached them that Knox had arrived they quickly disbanded. Reformation in Scotland, 1560–1561 STIRLING CASTLE John Knox was committed to enduring whatever came for Christ’s sake. He said with the Apostle Paul… Romans 1:16 …I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the In 1972, Ian Murray gave a lecture on John Knox. Greek. He wrote: by saying, …my hope is to obtain such mercy, that if a sudden end be not made of all my miseries by final death, which to m e were no small advantage, that yet, by Him who never despised the sobs of the sore afflicted, I shall be so encouraged to fight, that England and Scotland shall both know, that I am ready to suffer more than either poverty or exile, for the profession of that doctrine, and that heavenly religion, whereof it hath pleased His merciful providence to make me, amongst others, a simple soldier and witness-bearer to men. He began that lecture • Finds Protestant congregations springing up with the support of the nobility. • Knox elected as minister of the church in Edinburgh. • …freeing the Protestants to establish Presbyterianism as the country’s official church. • 1560, Knox supervised the draft of the First Scottish Confession of Faith and Book of Discipline. • Knox stood before kings and queens (Mary Queen of Scots) in proclaiming the gospel and in condemning idolatry. • Knox’s legacy by the numbers: 750,000 Presbyterians in Scotland, 3 million in the United States, and millions more worldwide. Dear Brethren, be assured, that none other doctrine doth establish faith, nor make man humble and thankful unto God. And finally, thatannone other doctrine makes (a)put man As a servant of the Lord, he was evangelist. One biographer it this careful obey Godso, according his laid way, that Knox was nobody and would havetoremained until theto Lord onlylifted which claim to him and he saw the truth commandment, of the Gospel. Itbut wasthat thatdoctrine event that him (di)spoils all power virtue,and that out of obscurity and put him insothe way of man thoseofwho hated and the truth no portion opposed it. of his salvation consists within himself; to the end that the whole praise of our redemption may be referred to Christ Jesus alone; whom the Father, of very love, has given to death for the deliverance of his body, which is the Church, to the which He was appointed Head before the beginning of all times. KNOX …go on in your zeal and constancy; true zeal doth not cool, “I know not,” says he, “if ever so much piety and genius but the longer it burns the more were lodged in such a frail and weak body. Certain I fervent it will grow. If it shall am, that it will to find one in whom the gifts please God, thatbe by difficult your means ofthe the Holy Spirit shone light of the gospel shallsobebright to the comfort of the continued, you have the spared himself less in Churchand of that Scotland. None honour of being instrumental a mind; none was more enduring fatigues of bodyinand blessed Reformation, it shallthe be duties of the province intent on discharging useful and comfortable to assigned to him.” yourselves and your posterity. Smeton We have nothing, O Lord, that we may lay betwixt us and thy judgement but thyne only mercie, freely offred to us in thy deare Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, purchased to us by his death and passion. For if thou wilt enter in judgement with thy creatures, and keepe in minde our greivous synnes and offences, then can there no flesh escape condemnation. And, therefore, we most humbly beseeche thee, O Father of mercies, for Christ Jesus thy Sonnes sake, to take from us these stony hearts, who so long have heard as well thy mercies as severe judgements, and yet have not bene effectually moved with the same; and give unto us hearts mollified by thy Spirit, that may both conceive and kepe in mynde the reverence that is due unto thy Majestie . Looke, O Lord, unto thy chosen children labouring under the imperfections of the fleshe, and grant unto us that victorie that thou hast promised unto us by Jesus Christ thy Sonne, our onely Saviour, Mediator, and Lawgiver: To whome, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and praise, now and ever.