On this day in 1554 John Knox published A Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God’s Truth In England

John Knox was a Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation. He had been exiled from Scotland and travelled to England where he worked within the Church of England during the reign of King Edward VI. With Mary taking the throne upon Edward’s death England was taken back to Catholicism and Knox fled to Geneva before returning to Scotland where he led the Reformation in Scotland.

On 20th July 1554 John Knox published a pamphlet entitled ‘A Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God’s Truth in England’ in which he attacks Queen Mary. In it he calls Mary ‘Bastard, bastard, incestuous bastard, Mary shall never reign over us.’

Knox goes on to attack the bishops who helped Mary gain the throne;

And to pass over the tyrants of old times, whom God has plagued, let us come to the tyrants who now are within the realm of England, whom God will not long spare. If Stephen Gardiner, Cuthbert Tonstall, and butcherly Bonner (false bishops of Winchester, Durham, and of London) had for their false doctrine and traitorous acts suffered death, when they justly deserved the same, then would errant Papists have alleged (as I and others have heard them do), that they were men reformable; that they were meet instruments for a commonwealth; that they were not so obstinate and malicious as they were judged; neither that they thirsted for the blood of any man. And of lady Mary, who has not heard that she was sober, merciful, and one that loved the commonwealth of England? Had she, I say, and such as now are of her pestilent council, been sent to hell before these days, then their iniquity and cruelty could have entered into the heart of woman, and into the heart of her that is called a virgin, that she would thirst for the blood of innocents, and of such as by just laws and faithful witnesses can never be proved to have offended by themselves?”

 

Knox continues to attack the Queen and the church and even attacks Mary’s forthcoming marriage to Philip of Spain;

But, O England, England! If you obstinately will return into Egypt: that is, if you contract marriage, confederacy, or league, with such princes as maintain and advance idolatry (such as the emperor, who is no less enemy unto Christ than ever was Nero): if for the pleasure and friendship (I say) of such princes, you return to your old abominations, before used under the Papistry, then assuredly, O England! you shall be plagued and brought to desolution, by means of those whose favours you seek, and by whom you are procured to fall from Christ, and to serve Antichrist.”

 

You can read the full text of Knox’s ‘A Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God’s Truth In England’ here; http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/faithadm.htm

John_Knox_statue,_HaddingtonStatue of John Knox

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