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John Knox
by A. Taylor Innes
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The day after Knox sickened he gave one of his servants twenty shillings above his fee, with the words, 'Thou wilt never get no more from me in this life.' Two days after, his mind wandered; and he wished to go to church 'to preach on the resurrection of Christ.' Next day he was better; and when two friends called he ordered a hogshead of wine to be pierced, and urged them to partake, for their host 'would not tarry until it was all drunk.' On Monday, the 17th, he asked the elders and deacons of his church, with the ministers of Edinburgh and Leith, to meet with him; and in solemn and affectionate words, nearly the same with those above quoted from his will, reviewed his ministry and took leave of them all. But here too trouble from his past awaited him. He had not long before accused from the pulpit Maitland of Lethington, now in the Castle, of having said that 'Heaven and hell are things I devised to fray bairns;' and Maitland's demand for evidence or apology was brought to him. Knox had never been able to bear contradiction, especially when he was somewhat in the wrong; and those who wish to acquire new virtues must not postpone them to their last hours. His defence was roundabout and ineffectual; and all were glad when he parted from these details of his long life-struggle, so that his friends, with tears, might take their last look of his worn and wearied face. The effort had been too much for him, and henceforth he never spoke but with great pain. Yet during the rest of the week he had many visitors. One after another the nobles in Edinburgh, Lords Boyd, Drumlanrig, Lindsay, Ruthven, Glencairn, and Morton (then about to be elected Regent) had interviews with him. Of Morton he demanded whether he had been privy to the murder of Darnley, and receiving an evasive assurance that he had not, he charged him to use his wealth and high place 'better in time to come than you have done in time past. If so ye do, God shall bless and honour you; but if ye do it not, God shall spoil you of these benefits, and your end shall be ignominy and shame.' When so many men pressed in, women, devout and honourable, were of course also present. One lady commenced to praise his works for God's cause: 'Tongue! tongue! lady,' he broke in; 'flesh of itself is overproud, and needs no means to esteem itself.' Gradually they all left, except his true friend Fairley of Braid. Knox turned to him: 'Every one bids me good-night; but when will you do it? I shall never be able to recompense you; but I commit you to One that is able to do it—to the Eternal God.' During the days that followed, his weakness reduced him to ejaculatory sentences of prayer. 'Come, Lord Jesus. Sweet Jesus, into Thy hands I commend my spirit' But Scotland was still on his heart; and as Napoleon in his last hours was heard to mutter tete d'armee, so Knox's attendants caught the words, 'Be merciful, O Lord, to Thy Church, which Thou hast redeemed. Give peace to this afflicted commonwealth. Raise up faithful pastors who will take charge of Thy Church. Grant us, Lord, the perfect hatred of sin, both by the evidences of Thy wrath and mercy.' Sometimes he was conscious of those around, and seemed to address them. 'O serve the Lord in fear, and death shall not be terrible to you. Nay, blessed shall death be to those who have felt the power of the death of the only begotten Son of God.'

On his last Sabbath a more remarkable scene occurred. He had been lying quiet during the afternoon, and suddenly exclaimed, 'If any be present let them come and see the work of God.' His friend, Johnston of Elphinstone, was summoned from the adjacent church, and on his arrival Knox burst out, 'I have been these two last nights in meditation on the troubled Church of God, the spouse of Jesus Christ, despised of the world, but precious in His sight. I have called to God for her, and have committed her to her head, Jesus Christ. I have been fighting against Satan, who is ever ready to assault. Yea, I have fought against spiritual wickedness in heavenly things, and have prevailed. I have been in heaven and have possession. I have tasted of the heavenly joys where presently I am.' Gradually this rapture of retrospection and assurance wore itself down, with the help of recitation by the dying man of the Creed and the Lord's Prayer—Knox pausing over the clause 'Our Father,' to ejaculate, 'Who can pronounce so holy words?'

Next day, Monday, 24 November, 1572, was his last on earth. His three most intimate friends sat by his bedside. Campbell of Kinyeancleugh asked him if he had any pain. 'It is no painful pain,' he said; 'but such a pain as shall soon, I trust, put an end to the battle.' To this friend he left in charge his wife, whom later of the day he asked to read him the fifteenth chapter to the Corinthians. When it was finished, 'Now for the last [time],' he said, 'I commend my soul, spirit, and body' (and as he spoke he touched three of his fingers) 'into Thy hands, O Lord.' Later of the day he called to his wife again, 'Go read where I cast my first anchor!' She turned to the seventeenth chapter of John, and followed it up with part of a sermon of Calvin on the Epistle to the Ephesians. It seems to have been after this that he fell into a moaning slumber. All watched around him. Suddenly he woke, and being asked why he sighed, said that he had been sustaining a last 'assault of Satan.' Often before had he tempted him with allurements, and urged him to despair. Now he had sought to make him feel as if he had merited heaven by his faithful ministry. 'But what have I that I have not received? Wherefore,[127] I give thanks to my God, through Jesus Christ, who hath been pleased to give me the victory; and I am persuaded that the tempter shall not again attack me, but that within a short time I shall, without any great pain of body or anguish of mind, exchange this mortal and miserable life for a blessed immortality through Jesus Christ.' During the hours which followed he lay quite still, and they delayed reading the evening prayer till past ten o'clock, thinking he was asleep. When it was finished, his physician asked him if he had heard the prayers. 'Would to God,' he answered, 'that you and all men had heard them as I have heard them; I praise God for that heavenly sound.' As eleven o'clock drew on he gave a deep sigh, and they heard the words, 'Now it is come.' His servant, Richard Bannatyne, drew near, and called upon him to think upon the comfortable promises of Christ which he had so often declared to others. Knox was already speechless, but his servant pleaded for one sign that he heard the words of peace. As if collecting his whole strength, he lifted up his right hand heavenwards, and sighing twice, peacefully expired.

* * * * *

Such a life had such a close.

[118] 'Works,' ii. 362.

[119] Sir Peter Young's letter to Beza, 13th Nov. 1579.—'Life of Knox,' by Hume Brown, ii. 323.

[120] That is, the Craig Dhu or Black Rock. So the Calton Crags were called, which now look green amid surrounding buildings, but which then were a dark and frowning patch in a semicircle of green hill that stretched from St Cuthberts to Holyrood.

[121] Slowly and warily.

[122] Armpit.

[123] Smite it into shivers.

[124] 'Autobiography and Diary,' p. 33.

[125] To grue = to thrill and shudder.

[126] 'Autobiography and Diary,' p. 26.

[127] It will be recognised that this sentence is translated from the Latin.



INDEX

Acts of Parliament, 24, 80, 99, 100, 114.

Affliction, Treatise on, 59.

Alnwick, Cupboard at, 55.

Alva, 137.

Anabaptists, 72, 102.

Anchor, Knox's first, 30, 37, 39, 47, 153.

Apostolic Order of Worship, 72.

Appellation, 77.

Appropriations, 21, 22.

Archbishop of St Andrews, 140, 141.

Argyll, Earl of, 130.

Aristocracy, Scottish, 20-22, 73, 77, 115.

Armenians, 68.

Arran, Earl of, 119.

Assembly, General, 107, 115, 140.

Assurance, 28, 29, 30.

Auditors bound to support, 112, 113.

Autobiography, 9, 12, 13, 28, 31, 53.

Balnaves, 36.

Band, 73, 74, 90, 139.

Bannatyne, Richard, 153.

Bartholomew, St, 146.

Beaton, David (Cardinal), 18, 24, 26, 38.

Beaton, James (Archbishop), 17.

Beggars' Warning, 82, 108.

Benefices, 107, 112.

Berwick, 49, 66.

Beza, 10.

Bible, 24, 30, 33, 72, 125.

Bishopric offered Knox, 49.

Bishops, The R.C., 93.

'Bishops and Kings,' 71.

Blast (against Women's Regimen), 120.

Books in Knox's Library, 145.

Borgia, 12.

Bothwell, 139, 140, 141.

Bothwellhaugh,

Bowes, Mrs, 53-61.

Bowes, Marjory, (Mrs Knox,) 49-51.

Bowes, Sir R., 50.

Brown, Dr Hume, 10, 21, 39, 68, 110, 144.

Browning, 57.

Buchanan, George, 19, 24.

Bullinger, 68.

Bunyan in Bedford, 55.

Burghs, 75.

Burton, J. Hill, 45.

Calvin, 30, 43, 51, 67, 68.

Campbell of Kinyeancleugh, 152.

Cannon-ball, 63.

Carlyle, 37, 38, 39, 46, 94.

Catechism Palatinate, 30.

Catholic system, 14-24, 23.

Call, Knox's, 28, 31, 32, Chap. II. (25-47).

Cecil, 87, 92, 143.

Ceremonies, 36.

Charities, 104.

Chatelherault, Duke of, 51.

Comfort, Knox's lack of, 53.

Commonalty, Letter to, 77, 78.

'Common Man, The,' 43, 48, 78, 94.

Compensations, 149.

'Conditions,' Knox's, 63.

Confession of 1560, 92-97, 117, 123.

Confession of Wishart (First Helvetic), 30, 36, 38, 97, 102, 103, 109.

Confession, Knox's personal, 28, 140.

Confessions, Change in, 97.

Confessions of Protestantism, 95, 101.

'Congregation, The,' 74.

Conscience, 86, 90, 124, 126, 135.

Constantine, 14.

Constitutionalism, 19, 137.

Consuetude, 55.

Conversion, Knox's, 9, 27, Chap. II. (25-47).

Convocation of Lieges, 135.

Coronation Oath, 100.

Coronation Sermon, 142.

Corpuscle, 147.

Council, General Church, 15-17, 18.

Council, Provincial Church, 84.

'Country, What I have been to my,' 143.

Creed (see Confession).

Crisis in life, Chap. II.

Crock, Le, 146.

Darnley, 41, 136, 138-141.

Death of Knox, 149-154.

'Deliberate Mind,' 27-31, 140.

Desertion, 59.

Dialogues with Queen Mary, 123-134.

Discipline, Book of, 106, 108, 109-115.

Dispensation for Bothwell's Marriage, 141.

Donations, 104.

Dow Craig, 147.

Dundee, 75.

Dyspepsia, 63.

Edinburgh, 61, 69, 86, 88, Chapter VII. (144-154).

Edinburgh, Treaty of, 91.

Ejectment, Summons of, 83, 84.

Eleazar Knox, 51.

Elizabeth, Queen, 82, 92, 119, 120, 131, 138.

Endowments, 20-22, 83, 104, 105, 111, 114.

England, 20, 21, 22, 24, 38, 41, 66, 67, 86, 141.

Establishment, 14, 23, 100.

Evangel, 28-31, 34, 39, 43, 44, 46, 69, 94, 148.

Excommunication, 100.

Face, Knox's, 146.

Fairley of Braid, 151.

'Familiarity,' never broken, 63.

'Fearfulness' of Knox, 33.

Fergus the First, 19.

France, 82, 117, 118, 143.

Francis II., 118.

Frankfort, 67.

Friars, The, 80, 83.

Galleys, 32, 65, 66.

Gallicanism, 15, 16, 17.

Geneva, 68.

Genius, Knox's, 45.

Gentlewoman's face, 127.

Gerson, Chancellor, 16.

Golden Rose, 128.

Granvelle, Cardinal, 128, 137.

Gravel, 63.

Haddington, 10, 12, 14, 19, 25.

Hamilton, Patrick, 18, 24, 29.

Hebrew, 145.

Helvetic (First) Confession, 30, 36, 38, 97, 102, 103, 109.

'History of Reformation,' 45, 140.

Hospitals, 83.

House, Knox's, 144, 145.

Humanism, 16, 20, 23.

Huntly, Earl of, 139, 145.

Idolatry, 40, 67, 77, 102, 103, 122.

Independence of Church, 94, 96, 98, 115.

'Indifferency,' 70, 71, 81, 86.

Individualism, 43, 56.

Induration, 126.

Infidelity, 56, 60, 95, 133.

Inner Life, Knox's, Chapters II. and III.

Intolerance, 14, 23, 24, 26, 32, 99-103.

Irrevocableness of Call, 33.

James V., 24.

Jesuit (Tyrie), 96.

Johnston of Elphinstone, 152.

Jurisdiction, 99, 100, 114.

Kirk of Field, 141.

Kirkaldy of Grange, 42, 142.

Laing, David, 26.

Lawson, James, 10, 11.

Leadership, Weight of, 34.

Legislation, 14, 24, Chap. V. (95-116).

Leith, 88, 147.

Lethington, 42, 89, 131, 135, 142, 150.

Letters of Knox (private), Chap, III.

Lindsay, Sir David, 31.

Lindsay, Lord, 93.

Locke, Mrs, 61-63.

Loire, 39, 65.

Longniddry, 26, 31.

Luther, 17, 18, 20, 36, 43.

M'Crie, Dr Thomas, 144.

M'Cunn, Mrs, 39.

Macphail, Dr Jas. C, 113.

'Magistrate, The,' 35, 36, 67, 68, 73, 77, 97, 103, 117, 120, 124.

Mair (see Major).

Maitland (see Lethington).

Major, John, 10, 15-19, 22.

Maries, The Four, 52, 63.

Marischal, The Earl, 93.

Marmion, 49.

'Marriage, My,' 133.

Marvels, 40-44.

Mary of Lorraine, Queen Regent, 69-71, 76, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 90, 91, 126.

Mary, Queen of Scots, 42, 52, 80, 82, Chap. VI. (117-143).

Mary, Queen of England, 82.

Mass, The, 67, 69, 99, 122, 127, 129.

'Meditation or Prayer,' 27-31.

Melancholy, Knox's, 63.

Melville, James, 148.

Mitchell, Dr A.F., 109.

Moray, Earl of, 51, 122, 131, 132, 137, 142.

Morton, Earl of, 33, 139, 151.

Movements, Leadership of, 34.

Nathaniel Knox, 51.

National Churches, 15-18.

'Need of all,' of Knox, 63.

Netherbow, 145, 147, 149.

Norham Castle, 48, 49.

Notary, 11.

Ochiltree, Lord, 52.

Organisation of Church, 35, 110, 115, 116.

Palatinate Catechism, 30.

Parentage of Knox, 10.

Paris, University of, 15-18.

Parishes, 20-22.

Parliament, 92, 94, 98, 138.

Pasquil, 70.

Patrimony of the Church, 106, 114, 115.

Patrimony of the Poor, 83, 107.

Persecution, 14, 23, 24, 26, 32, 35, 43, 57, 74, 76, 99-103.

Perth, 85.

Poor, The, 83, 106-108, 111, 115.

Pope, The, 11, 12, 15, 18, 22, 23, 99, 128.

Portraits, 10, 11.

Prayer-Book, English, 67.

Prayer, Treatise on, 66.

Preaching, 20, 41, 75, 86, 89, 94, 110, 132, 138, 142, 144, 145, 146, 148.

Predictions, 40-44.

Priest, Knox as, 11, 12, 13.

Principles, Fundamental, of Knox, 35, 36, 146.

Private Life, Chap. III.

'Prophesyings,' 110, 144.

Prophet, Knox as, 39-44.

'Proud Mind,' 126.

Puritanism of Knox, 26, 35, 36, 67, 68, 96.

Radicalism, 19, 103, 105, 110, 115, 124, 133, 135, 137.

Randolph (English Ambassador), 90, 92, 93, 103, 127, 128.

Ratification of Creed, 117.

'Reconciliation, Articles of,' 75.

Regimen of Women, 63, 120.

Regular Priests, 21, 22.

Renaissance, 20, 23.

Repentance, 58.

Reticence of Knox, 11, 12, 13.

Risks of the Reformation, 34, 35.

Rizzio, 136, 137, 139.

Rouen, 65.

Rough, John, 31, 32.

Ruthven, Lord, 130, 139.

Sacerdotalism, 14.

Sandilands, Sir James, 117.

Scholasticism, 14, 16, 18.

Schools in Scotland, 110, 111.

Scriptures, The, 24, 30, 35, 72, 125.

Secrets of God's Counsel, 42.

Self-torture, 58.

Shakespeare, Priests in, 11.

Simony, 22.

Sir John Knox, 11 (Note).

Spain, 129, 131, 132, 134, 136, 137.

St Andrews, 10, 26, 31, 65, 85, 142, 148.

St Giles, 144.

Statesman, Knox as, 45, 46, 110, 111, 114, 115.

Statutes, 24, 80, 99, 100, 114.

Stewart, Lord James (see Moray).

Stewart, Margaret (Mrs Knox), 52.

Stirling, 89, 142.

Sustentation, 112, 113.

Sword, The Civil, 124, 129.

Syllogism, 67, 103.

Sympathy of Knox, 13, 26, 53-64.

Testamentary Charities, 104.

Thomassin, 107.

Teinds, 21, 22, 105-108, 112-115.

Tithes (see Teinds).

Toleration, 14, 18, 23, 24, 35, 74, 76, 79, 80, 81, 86, 90, 91, 98-103, 112, 113, 114, 121, 126, 129.

Trent, Council of, 131.

Turing, or Trunk Close, 145.

'Use themselves Godly,' 75, 81, 129.

Vocation, Knox's, 28, 31, 32, Chap. II.

Wallace, Sir William, 19.

'Wholesome Counsel,' Letter of, 71, 72.

Will, Knox's, 42, 51, 148.

Willock, 91.

Window, 29, 47.

Wishart, George, 25, 26, 30, 36, 38, 97, 102, 109.

Women Friends, Chap. III.

Young, Sir Peter, 10, 146.



* * * * *



Transcriber's notes:

Obvious typographical and other printer errors and misspellings have been corrected. Archaic spellings have been retained.

Footnotes are placed at the end of the chapter in which they appear.

In the Index, page 1 as a reference for "Reticence of Knox" has been changed to page 11 since there is no page 1, but page 11 does refer to the subject of Knox's reticence.

Page 141, omitted in the Index as a reference for "Kirk of Field", has been added.

Omission in the Index of a page reference for "Bothwellhaugh" has been retained as there is no mention of "Bothwellhaugh" in the text.

The date 1563 on page 47 is a best guess since the final number of the date is completely unreadable due to an ink blot.

The names Campbell of Kinzencleuch and Kirkcaldy of Grange have been changed to Campbell of Kinyeancleugh and Kirkaldy of Grange in the Index to agree with spelling in the text.

THE END

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