Definitions for knox, john

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The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Knox, John

    the great Scottish Reformer, born at Giffordgate, Haddington, in 1505; studied at Glasgow University; took priest's orders; officiated as a priest, and did tutoring from 1530 to 1540; came under the influence of George Wishart, and avowed the Reformed faith; took refuge from persecution in St. Andrews Castle in 1547; was there summoned to lead on the movement; on the surrender of the castle was taken prisoner, and made a slave in a French galley for 19 months; liberated in 1549 at the intercession of Edward VI., came and assisted the Protestant cause in England; was offered preferments in the Church, but declined them; fled in 1553 to France, from the persecution of Bloody Mary; ministered at Frankfort and Geneva to the English refugees; returned to Scotland in 1555, but having married, went back next year to Geneva; was in absence, in 1557, condemned to be burned; published in 1558 his "First Blast against the Monstrous Regiment of Women"; returned to Scotland for good in 1559, and became minister in Edinburgh; saw in 1560 the jurisdiction of the Pope abolished in Scotland; had successive interviews with Queen Mary after her arrival at Leith in 1561; was tried for high-treason before the Privy Council, but acquitted in 1563; began his "History of the Reformation in Scotland" in 1566; preached in 1567 at James VI.'s coronation in Stirling; was in 1571 struck by apoplexy; died in Edinburgh on the 24th November 1572, aged 67, the Regent Morton pronouncing an éloge at his grave, "There lies one who never feared the face of man." Knox is pronounced by Carlyle to have been the one Scotchman to whom, "of all others, his country and the world owe a debt"; "In the history of Scotland," he says, "I can find properly but one epoch; we may say it contains nothing of world interest at all but this Reformation by Knox.... It is as yet a country without a soul ... the people now begin to live ... Scottish literature and thought, Scottish industry, James Watt, David Hume, Walter Scott (little as he dreamt of debt in that quarter), and Robert Burns, I find Knox and the Reformation acting on the heart's core of every one of these persons and phenomena; I find that without the Reformation they would not have been; or," he adds, "the Puritanism of England and of New England either"; and he sums up his message thus: "Let men know that they are men, created by God, responsible to God; who work in any meanest moment of time what will last through eternity. This great message," he adds, "Knox delivered with a man's voice and strength, and found a people to believe him."

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