Bits Of John Knox

John Knox (1514-1572) was a Scottish clergyman who played a pivotal role in England and Scotland during the Protestant Reformation. He is the author of the well-known “A Monstrous Regiment of Women” and is considered to be the founding father of the Presbyterian denomination. Below are a few examples of his written legacy.

“A man with God is always in the majority,”

“No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus holds. Other gods have been as devoutly worshipped; no other man has been so devoutly loved.”

“You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.”

“What comfort ought the remembrance of these signs be in our hearts! Jesus Christ hath fought our battle. He Himself hath taken us into His care and protection. However the devil my rage by temptations, be they spiritual or corporeal, he is not able to bereave us out of the hand of the Almighty Son of God.”

“By the brightness of God’s scriptures we are brought to the feeling of God’s wrath and anger, which our manifold offences we have justly provoked against ourselves; which revelation and conviction God sends not of a purpose to confound us, but of very love, by which He had concluded our salvation to stand in Jesus Christ.”

Let the whole Scriptures be read and diligently marked, and no sentence (rightly understood) shall be found, that affirmeth God to have chosen us in respect of our works, or because He foresaw that we should be faithful, holy, and just. But to the contrary, many places shall we find (yes, even so many as entreat of that matter) that plainly affirm that we are freely chosen according to the purpose of His good will, and that in Christ Jesus.”

“We presume not to define what number God shall save, and how many He shall justly condemn: but with reverence we refer judgement to Him who is the universal Creator; whose goodness and wisdom is such that He can do nothing but wisely; and whose judgement is so perfect, that His works are exempted from the judgement of all creatures.”

“That our God is eternal, incomprehensible, and immutable, so are His counsels constant, subject to no mutability nor change, constant, I say, in God Himself, howsoever things change to our apprehension.”

“But justly leaving the reprobate to themselves, and to Satan their father, they willingly follow, without all violence or compulsion on God’s part, iniquity and sin, and so finally the way of perdition, to which they are naturally inclined. But if yet that any will affirm that therefore God’s foreknowledge doth but idly behold what they will do, and that in his eternal purpose, counsel and will, he will one thing and they will another, so that their will prevail against His, he shall not escape the crime of horrible blasphemy.”

“Neither yet therefore doth it follow that His foreknowledge, prescience, will or power, doth take away the free will of His creatures, but in all wisdom and justice (however the contrary appears to our corrupted judgements) he uses them as best pleases His wisdom to bring to pass in time that which before all time He had decreed.”

“True it is that we be elected in Christ Jesus to be holy and to walk in good works which God hath prepared. But every reasonable man knoweth what difference there is betwixt the cause and the effect. Election, in which I include the free grace and favour of God, is the fountain from which springeth faith, and faith is the mother of all good works. But what foolishness were it therefore to reason: ‘My works are the cause of my faith, and my faith is the cause of my election’?”

“The chief end of man’s creation we have before declared to be the glory of
God, which if you can not see shine in the just condemnation of the reprobate,
accuse your blindness.”

“We do not imagine the faithful members of Christ’s body to be stocks and
stones insensible, without will or study of godliness, but we affirm that it is
God that worketh in us the good will and good thought, for of ourselves we are not sufficient to think one good thought.”

“God is omnipotent and compelled to suffer nothing which He hath not appointed in His eternal counsel: He is a Spirit and free from all such passions as creatures be subject to; for in His eternal Godhead there is neither patience subject to pain, neither yet sorrow annexed with anguish and grief. But when such passions be attributed to God, it is for the weakness of our understanding that the Holy Ghost doth subject Himself in language and tongue to our capacity.”

“And so is God’s justice rather accused than maintained by the foolishness of
your curious brains, saying, God permitteth many things which He would not. What vanity is this? Is it not a thing confessed amongst all that God’s power is omnipotent? Who then can compel Him to suffer that which He would not? And why doth He willingly suffer things which in His law He hath forbidden? I answer, for the manifestation of His own glory, which is more precious than the heavens and the earth and all things contained therein.”

Original Content: Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
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