« PreviousContinue »
a whatever the Lord gave me to say, without respect of
persons, was nothing but reverence to that GOD, who t called me by his grace, and made me the dispenser of “ his divine mysteries : Before whose tribunal I knew I « must cne day stand, to give account for my discharge a of that embassy and comnrission wherewith he had in"s vested me. Wherefore I profess, before GOD and his
holy angels, that I have never knowingly adulterated # his sacred word, held back any of his counsels from my
people, studied to please men, or give way to my own " or other corrupt affections or secular interest; but have « faithfully expended the talents committed to me, for « the good of the church over whom I was in the Lord. « To the truth of this, my conscience beareth testimony; « which is a comfort to me, notwithstanding the various ¢ slanders which some have made it their business to cast ipon me.
And do ye, my dearest brethren in the faith s and labour of Jesus, persist in the everlasting truths of " his gospel : Look diligently to the flocks, with whose “oversight GOD hath intrusted you; and which he hath
redeemed to himself by the blood of his Son. And “ do you, my brother Lawson, fight the good fight, and « finish the work of GOD, to which you are called, with « alacrity and faithfulness. May GOD shower down his es blessing from on high, upon you and your several charges « in this city! which, so long as they continue to hold
fast those doctrines of truth, which they have heard of i me, the gates of hell shall never be able to prevail 2“gainst. And beware of those, who have not only oppos« ed the royal government, but even forsaken the truth “ which they once professed : Against whom I denounce, “ that, unless they sincerely repent, and return to the good “ way which they have left, they shall one day miserably
perish in soul and body. I would say more ; but cank not, as I am scarce able to draw my breath.” With these words he dismissed then : And afterwards spoke in private to those who attended him, to admonish one Grange; on whom that judgment afterwards fell, which Knox had predicted. He was then visited by the chief nobility of the town, among whom was lord Morton, afterwards viceroy of the kingdom; as also by some godly ladies of the first quality : None of whom he suffered to depart, without a word of comfort or exhortation, as their separate cases required.
Perceiving death to approach nearer and nearer, he gave orders for his coffin to be made : After which, he burst
forth to this effect : « Lord Jesus, sweetest Saviour, into «thy hands I commend my spirit. Look, I beseech thee, “ with favour, upon this church which thou hast re« deemed, and restore peace to this afflicted common
wealth. Raise up pastors after thine own heart, who
may take care of thy church ; and grant that we may « learn, as well from the blessings as from the chastise“ ments of thy providence, to abhor sin, and love thee « with full purpose of heart.” Then, turning to those about him, he said, “ o wait on the Lord with fear, and “ death will not be terrible: Yea, blessed and holy will * their death be, who are interested in the death of the « Son of GOD.” Being asked, by an intimate friend, « whether he felt much pain ?" he replied, “ I cannot « look upon that as pain, which brings on the end of « mortality and trouble, and is the beginning of life.” Having then ordered those passages of Scripture, abovementioned, to be distinctly read to him, he repeated the Lord's prayer and the apostles' creed; enlarging, as he went on, most sweetly and spiritually, upon each of the separate petitions and articles, to the great comfort and edification of them that were by. Afterwards, lifting up his hands toward heaven, he cried out, “ To thee, Lord, * do I comunit myself. Thou knowest, how intense my * pains are ; but I do not complain : Yea, Lord, if such « be thy will concerning me, I could be content to bear " these pains for many years together : Only do thou có continue to enlighten my mind through Christ Jesus." He passed that night, with more ease and complacency, than usual; the fifteenth chapter of 1 Cor. being frequently read to him, at his own desire: Which being done, he would cry out, “ what sweet and heavenly « consolations docs my Lord afford me, from this blessed « chapter !" But, when one of his eyes grew blind, and his speech began to fail, he cried, faintly, “ Turn “ to the seventeenth of St John, and read it carefully; cs for there I cast my first anchor.” When that was read, he rested a little : But soon began to utter very heavy groans and deep sighs; so that the by-standers plainly perceived, he was grappling with some very great temptation. There were, at this time, present in the room, one John Johnson, a holy man, and Robert Campbell, a great friend to the gospel ; Mrs Knox, and others; who, observing his agonies, thought him to be in the pains of death. At length, however, contrary to their expectasion, he recovered, like one awaked from sleep: And,
being asked how he did, answered, “ Many have been “ my conflicts with Satan, in the course of my frail life, €6 and many
the assaults which I have sustained : But that « roaring lion never beset me, so furiously and forcibly, « as now. Often has he set my sins in array
before “ me; often has he tempted me to despair ; and often “ strove to ensnare me with the enticements of the world : “ But, I being enabled to hew his snares in pieces with “ the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of GOD, “ he was not able to prevail against me. But now he « has found out a new way. That crafty serpent has << endeavoured to persuade me, that, because I have faith. “ fully and successfully discharged my ministerial office, “ I am on that account deserving of eternal life and an « happy immortality. But GOD was. pleased to make « me triumphant over this temptation also, by power“ fully suggesting to my memory those texts, What hast “ thou, that thou didst not receive and, By the 6 GOD, I am what I am : And, Not I, but the grace of « GOD which was with me : And others, with which I « foiled the enemy, and quenched his fiery darts. I thank “ my GOD, therefore, through Christ, who has vouch. “ safed me the victory; and I have a certain persuasion « in my own breast, that Satan shall not be permitted to « return, or molest me any more, in my passage to glory : « But that I shall, without any pain of body, or agony “ of soul, sweetly and peacefully exchange this wretched « life for that blessed and immortal one, which is through “ Christ Jesus.” Then evening prayers were said; and being asked, whether he could hear them distinctly? he answered, “ Would to GOD you all heard with such ears, « and perceived with the same mind, as I am enabled to “ do! And now, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit !" Whereupon, certain symptoms of immediate death appearing, he was desired to give some sign, whereby they might know, that he died in the stedfast belief and enjoyment of those gospel truths, which he had taught when living ; and, likewise, of his comfortable assurance of a blissful immortality through Christ. On which, as if he had received fresh strength, he triumphantly lifted his hand toward heaven, and continued waving it, for a considerable time : And then quietly departed to the rest which reinaineth for the people of GOD, on November 24, 1572, about eleven o'clock at night.
He was interred on the twenty-sixth, in the kirk-yard of St Giles's, the corpse being attended by several lords
person to sit
who were then at Edinburgh, and particularly the earl of Morton, that day chosen regent, who, as soon as he was laid in the grave, said, “There lies a man, who in his « life never feared the face of a man, who hath been often • threatened with dag and dagger, but yet hath ended his
days in peace and honour. For he had GOD's provi
dence watching over him in a special manner, when his ( very life was sought.' The following among many other instances is very remarkable : It was his custom to sit at the table-head in his own house with his back to a window; yet, on a certain night he would neither sit there in his own chair, nor allow any
other in it; but sat-in another chair with his back to the table, when a bullet was shot in at the window purposely to kill him; but the conspirators missed him, and the bullet grazed on the chair in which he used to sit, and lighted on the candlestick, and made a hole in the foot of it, which is yet to be seen: And I am assured the identical chair is now in the hall of the trustets of the widow's scheme, in Edinburgh.
Mr Knox was twice married, first, to Margery Bowes, an Englishwoman, whose mother, Mrs Bowes, was a person of great knowledge and singular piety; by Margery he had two sons, Nathaniel and Eliezer, and one daughter, who was married to Mr Robert Pont, minister of St Cuthbert's in Edinburgh, and for some time lord of session. His sons were both educated at the university of Cambridge, and admitted of St John's College, December 2, 1572, presently after the death of their father. Nathaniel took his first degree in arts in the year 1576, and the following year was admitted fellow of the college. He proceeded master of arts in 1580, and died in that year. The second son, Eliezer, took the degree of batchelor of arts in 1577, was admitted fellow of his college, March 22, 1579, commenced master of arts in 1581, was appointed university-preacher in 1587-8, made vicar of Clacton-magna, May 17, 1587, and proceeded B. D. the following year. He died in the year 1591, and was buried in the chapel of St John's College.
For his second wife, Mr Knox married Margaret Stewart, daughter to Andrew lord Ochiltrie, a zealous promoter of the Reformation, and sister to James earl of Arran. This lady surviving Mr Knox, was afterwards married to Sir Andrew Ker of Foudonside. She brought Mr Knox three daughters, to whom, with their mother, in the year 1578, was granted the following pension ; viz. five Vol. II.
hundred marks in money, two chalders of wheat, síš cha!ders of bear. [barley] and four chalders of oats. This favour is said to be granted on account of Mr Knox's long and fruitful travels in the kirk, and for the education and support of his wife and children. One of these daughters was married to Mr John Welsh, minister at Air; and another to Mr James Fleming, also a minister, and grandfather by another wife to the excellent Mr Robert Fleming.
An account of his WRITINGS.
“l. A faithful Admonition to the true Professors of the Gospel of Christ within the kingdom of England, 1554. It was reprinted at the end of his history in 1644 and 1732. 2. A Letter to Mary, Q. Regent of Scotland, 1556. printed with additions in 1558; and again at the end of his history. 3. The Appellation of John Knox, from the cruel and unjust Sentence pronounced against him by the false Bishops and Clergy of Scotland ; with a Supplication and Exhortation to the Nobility, Estates, and Commonality of the same Realm, 1558; and again at the end of his history, where is subjoined, An Admonition to England and Scotland, to call them to Repentance, by Anthony Gilbie ; as also Mr Knox's Advertisement, concerning the Second Blast of the Trumpet. 4. The First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous Regiment of Women, 1558, 8vo. reprinted with his history in 1732, fol. 5. A brief Exhortation to England for the speedy embracing of Christ's Gospel, heretofore by the Tyranny of Mary suppressed and banished, 1559; and again, with his history in 1644 and 1732. 6. An Answer to a great Num. ber of blasphemous Cavillations written by an Anabaptist, and Adversary of GOD's eternal Predestination, by John Knox, Minister of GOD's Word in Scotland, Geneva, 1560. 7. The Confession of Faith, ratified by the Parliament of Scotland, 1560; as also the First Book of Discipline, the Form and Order for admitting Superintendants and Ministers, and of Excommunication and Fasting, all approved in the G. Assembly, were composed chiefly by our Author. 8. A Reply to the Abbot of Crosrag-well's [or Crossregal] Faith, or Catechism ; as also an Account of his Conference with that Abbot in 1562. A Sermon before the King [Henry Darnley] on Isaiah xxvi. 13–17. in 1566. 9. An Answer to a Letter written by James Tyria, a Jesuit, Edinburgh, 1563. Mr Knox's Answer was published in 1571. These were published in our Author's life-time."