"With this (John Knox's) concern for purity of worship, it is no wonder that the Scottish Reformation was the most thorough among any of the Protestant nations" - Kevin Reed in the introduction to John Knox's True and False Worship: A Vindication of the Doctrine that the Sacrifice of the Mass is Idolatry, p. 14.
Knox's Call to the Ministry and First Public Debate (1547) with an editor's note by Kevin Reed ("The following extract is taken from Knox's First Book of the History of the Reformation within the Realm of Scotland: Containing the Manner and by What Persons the Light of Christ's Evangel hath been Manifested unto this Realm, After that Horrible and Universal Defection from the Truth, which has Come by the Means of that Roman Antichrist [Knox's Works, Vol. 1, pp. 185-201]. It contains the reformer's own account of his call to the ministry, and his first public debate with popish authorities," writes Kevin Reed. This debate illustrates that at "the outset of his public ministry, Knox gave expression to the regulative principle of worship. Knox built upon this theme throughout his writings. It is important to note this declaration of the principle appeared early in his career, prior to his extensive contacts with the continental reformers" [Reed]. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
A Vindication of the Doctrine that the Sacrifice of the Mass is Idolatry (1550) by John Knox
The Appellation from the Sentence Pronounced by the Bishops and Clergy: Addressed to the Nobility and Estates of Scotland (1558) by John Knox (Mason states that this Appeal "is the most important... of Knox's political writings," [in the Introduction to his compilation of Knox's political writings titled On Rebellion]. It shows in a conclusive manner that Knox wanted a CIVIL ESTABLISHMENT of the Reformed religion, which was careful to "disapprove, detest, oppose and remove all false worship and all monuments of idolatry" [cf. Westminster Larger Catechism #108]. It also clearly demonstrates that Knox believed in and promoted the continuing binding validity of the moral equity found in Old Testament case laws and the penal sanctions attached to them, including the death penalty.
A Treatise on Prayer, or, a Confession, and Declaration of Prayers Added Theretoby John Knox
A Brief Exhortation to England, for the Speedy Embracing of the Gospel Heretofore by the Tyranny of Mary Suppressed and Banished (1559 ) by John Knox ("In November 1558, Bloody Mary died, much to the relief of the entire Protestant world. Most of the Englishmen in Knox's congregation in Geneva made plans to return quickly to their native country. About this same time, Knox addressed a letter to the English nation, calling for national repentance over the recent apostasy during Mary's reign, and explaining the urgency of a thorough reformation. Some historians have reflected negatively on the vehemence of Knox's remarks. Perhaps they should peruse the long list of the martyrs named in the appendix to this work. Critics may then find a clue for understanding the reformer's zeal. Knox is discussing serious matters of life and death -- spiritual issues which affect us deeply in this life, and for eternity," notes Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
"I know not if ever so much piety and genius were lodged in such a frail and weak body. Certain I am, that it will be difficult to find one in whom the gifts of the Holy Spirit shone so bright to the comfort of the church." - George Smeaton as cited in Thomas M'Crie, The Life of John Knox, 1831, p. 272.
The Scottish Confession of Faith (1560) by John Knox and Others
The Daily Exercise of God's Most Holy and Sacred Word - John Knox on Family Worship (1557)
A Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God's Truth in England (1554)by John Knox ("After dispatching the Two Comfortable Epistles, Knox awaited further news on the Protestant cause in England. The information he received within the next few weeks was certainly discouraging. The government of Queen Mary conducted a crackdown against Protestants; faithful preachers [including Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley] were placed under arrest. Popish prelates were restored to the positions of highest authority: notably Edmund Bonner to the bishopric of London, Stephen Gardiner to his former see of Winchester, and Cuthbert Tonstall to Durham. Further, among the laity, many professing Protestants had begun to drift back to the Romish communion, partaking of the papal Mass. Some tried to cover their deeds with the explanation that their outward conformity to Romish rites did not necessitate their inward acceptance of the corruptions of Rome. Writing to his mother-in-law, on July 20th, Knox records with grief his knowledge that 'a great part, under pretence that they may keep faith secret in the heart, and yet do as idolaters do, begin now to fall before that idol.' Meanwhile, others were holding fast the good confession, refusing to submit to Romish idolatry. Secret meetings of Protestants were held throughout the land, as the true church went underground. Knox's previous letters were styled comfortable epistles; he now sees the need for a firmer admonition. While acknowledging the risk of persecution to the faithful, the reformer perceives a greater danger in compromising with idolatry. Government persecution may bring the disfavour of men, loss of personal goods and, in some cases, physical death; but idolatry brings down the wrath of God, resulting in grievous punishments, now and through eternity. Idolatry also invites a curse upon the posterity of the nation. In an intense pastoral appeal, Knox strongly admonishes his readers to avoid conforming to the Romish rites of worship. This treatise also has important ramifications respecting the duties of Christians confronted by political or ecclesiastical tyranny," writes Kevin Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
"... given the present state of religion in general, it is hard to imagine another author, living or dead, that could be considered as important as John Knox. John Knox is thought by many to have been the most biblically consistent and thoroughgoing of all the great Reformers of the sixteenth century." - Dr. Reg Barrow.
A Summary, According to the Holy Scriptures, of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper (1550) by John Knox ("This brief declaration, although a separate composition, was appended to Knox's Vindication of the Doctrine that the Sacrice of the Mass is Idolatry ," notes Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
The Order of Excommunication and Public Repentance (1569) was adopted by the church of Scotland in 1569. The text of this edition is based primarily upon the published edition in The Works of John Knox, edited by David Laing (Edinburgh: James Thin, 1895), vol. vi, pp. 447-70.
John Knox's complete six volume Works are contained on the Puritan Hard Drive
An Epistle to the Inhabitants of Newcastle and Berwick (1558) by John Knox ("During the "wicked days" of Mary's reign in England, many Protestants defected from the faith. Others displayed a compromising and timid disposition, which implied acquiescence to the evil deeds of the tyrants who ruled in civil and ecclesiastical matters. No doubt, the news from England was grievous to Knox, who never relinquished his concern for the people in Newcastle and Berwick, among whom he had previously ministered during the reign of Edward vi. With intense pastoral zeal, the reformer sent this epistle, calling upon the people to repent of their apostasy and diffidence, and urging them to defend the true religion in the face of adversity," notes Kevin Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
A Godly Letter of Warning or Admonition to the Faithful in London, Newcastle, and Berwick (1553) by John Knox ("The Godly Letter of Warning or Admonition is filled with urgency, in view of the spreading apostasy in England. Knox calls upon his readers to hold firm their profession of the Protestant faith. He admonishes them to flee from all practices of idolatry -- especially the Mass. Knox calls his people to separate from compromising associations with idolaters; the Lord's people must never condone false religion, or give the impression that corrupt worship is a matter of indifference. Toward the end of the treatise, the reformer makes a moving appeal to the people to consider the ramifications which their actions will have on their posterity. He also discusses the covenantal relationship between God and the church," notes Kevin Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
Letters to His Brethren, and the Lords Professing the Truth in Scotland (1557) by John Knox ("In December Knox sent a general letter to his brethren in Scotland, warning them to avoid the pernicious influences of the Anabaptists. He sent an additional letter to the nobility, exhorting them to undertake their duties to foster reform in Scotland. The reformer remained in France for several months, labouring among Protestants there. Then, early in 1558, he returned to Geneva," notes Kevin Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
"I found Knox to be a riveting author. His zeal and knowledge were extraordinary. The reformer's epistles burned with the fervor of a man writing from the front line of a battlefield. Here was a man entirely committed to serving Christ." - Kevin Reed, John Knox the Forgotten Reformer: Studies in the Theology of the Scottish Reformer, p. 9.
Letter Addressed to the Commonalty of Scotland (1558) by John Knox ("After writing letters to the queen regent and the nobility (see pages 437-532), Knox turns his attention to the ordinary citizens of Scotland. The reformer demonstrates that all men have a duty to heed the word of God, and to promote true religion within their homeland. Knox exhorts the commonalty to resist both civil and ecclesiastical tyranny," notes Kevin Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
Letter to the Queen Dowager, Regent of Scotland (Augmented Version) (1558) by John Knox ("This epistle is particularly interesting as it addresses the duty of magistrates to promote true religion. It reveals the prophetic spirit which was typical of much of the reformer's ministry," notes Kevin Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
A Letter of Wholesome Counsel, Addressed to His Brethren in Scotland (1556) by John Knox ("The importance of this letter was not overlooked by the reformer's biographer, Thomas M'Crie, who stated that it may be viewed "as an important document regarding the state of the Protestant church in Scotland previous to the establishment of the Reformation" (Life of Knox [Edinburgh, 1855], p. 95). On the whole, the epistle is a primer on how to sow the seeds of Reformation, in times when the church is in a low condition. Thus, this letter has great relevance for contemporary Christians who find themselves isolated from a regular (faithful) ministry and duly constituted reformed congregations," notes Kevin Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
A Notable and Comfortable Exposition upon Matthew IV, Concerning the Temptations of Christ in the Wilderness (1556) by John Knox ("Early in 1556, Knox journeyed to Scotland to help strengthen the budding cause of Reformation. He preached in houses and dispensed the Lord's Supper to those who had broken with the church of Rome. Knox returned to Geneva in September, undertaking pastoral duties within the English-speaking congregation there. Knox took his wife, Marjory, and her mother, Mrs. Bowes, back to Geneva with him. ... Since this Exposition was initially preached, before being written, it provides a rare glimpse of the reformer's pulpit ministry. The Exposition reveals another facet of Knox's eminent pastoral gifts," notes Kevin Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
An Exposition Upon the Sixth Psalm of David (1553) by John Knox (Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
Two Comfortable Epistles to His Afflicted Brethren in England (1554) by John Knox ("The two following epistles were written by Knox after his return to Dieppe, and are dated the 10th and 31st of May 1554." notes David Laing in an editor's note to Knox's Works, Vol. 3, p. 229. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
Answers to Some Questions Concerning Baptism, etc. (1556 ) by John Knox ("The advice which follows deals mainly with the subject of baptism. Among the questions Knox addresses are: Is Romish baptism valid? Should baptism be repeated in the case of those who were baptized in infancy according to the Romish order? The other queries concern unrelated subjects: Are the prohibitions of the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), respecting unclean foods still binding? How should tithes be collected and distributed?," notes Kevin Reed. Extracted from: Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises, and Expositions to the Year 1559.)
"And to be sure there is a power in unswerving conviction that inevitably arrests the attention of both men and nations. There is an almost indescribable appeal that attaches itself to uncompromising vision and principled passion. This fact was undoubtedly illustrated quite vividly all throughout the life and work of John Knox." - Thomas Carlyle
All FREE JOHN KNOX MP3s from Still Waters Revival Books
John Knox's First Interview with Queen Mary (1561)
The Life of Mr. JOHN KNOX taken from Biographia Scoticana by John Howie.
Life of John Knox by Thomas M'Crie D.D. (1847 edition) - Print edition available at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/K.htm under "KNOX, JOHN."
A Most Wholesome Counsel... touching the Daily Exercise of God's Most Holy and Sacred Word. By John Knox
A Confession and Declaration of Prayers. By John Knox
On the True Catholic Church: An Answer to a Letter of a Jesuit named Tyrie. By John Knox
The Execution of Servetus for Blasphemy, Heresy, & Obstinate Anabaptism, Defended. By John Knox
29 Propositions of Theodore Beza touching the Providence of God, translated by John Knox. By John Knox
Items Excerpted from John Knox's History of the Reformation
The First Covenant of Scotland. At Edinburgh, 1557. By John Knox
The Second Covenant of Scotland. At Perth, 1559. By John Knox
A Debate with Secretary Lethington on the Duty of Christian Subjects to Execute Judgement upon Criminal Magistrates. By John Knox
True and False Worship: A Vindication of the Doctrine that the Sacrifice of the Mass is Idolatry (1550, by John Knox) John Knox (From Knox's 6 Volume Works) FREE MP3 at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonid=4701164035 (OFFSITE)
Reformation, Revolution and Romanism (1558) by John Knox Previously titled "The Appellation... to the Scottish Nobility."
John Knox (From Knox's 6 Volume Works) FREE MP3 at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonid=1030075041 (OFFSITE)
Predestination Defended, in Answer to an Attack by an Anabaptist #8 by John Knox by John Knox (Calvinism and Predestination MP3 series, Romans 9:8-23) FREE MP3 at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonid=2804173814 (OFFSITE)
John Knox and James Stewart: Scotland's Two Sons of Oil by John Howie (from Scots Worthies)
John Howie - Book: SCOTS WORTHIES FREE MP3 at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonid=122501142339 (OFFSITE)
John Knox - His Life and Ministry by David Silversides
John Knox (Scottish Reformer, Reformation Leader, Presbyterian & Fiery Preacher) by Iain Murray (Banner of Truth)
John Knox: The Fiery Reformer of Scotland by Brian Borgman
John Knox and the Scottish Reformation (1st lecture) by Sherman Isbell
Life of John Knox by Sherman Isbell
John Knox, the Scottish Covenanters, & the Westminster Assembly 1/3 by Dr. C. Gregg Singer
John Knox, the Scottish Covenanters, & the Westminster Assembly 2/3 by Dr. C. Gregg Singer
John Knox, the Scottish Covenanters, & the Westminster Assembly 3/3 by Dr. C. Gregg Singer
John Knox (1514-1572) and the Battle - The Scottish Reformation 2006 (MP3) by Iain Murray
The Eschatology of Victory #12: From John Knox to the Synod of Dordt by Dr. Francis Nigel Lee
John Knox the Thundering Scottish Reformer by Richard Bennett
Life & Times of John Knox (part 1) Nick Needham (MP3)
Life & Times of John Knox (part 2) Nick Needham (MP3)
Life & Times of John Knox (part 3) Nick Needham (MP3)
A Defense of Covenanting by Greg Price
DEBATE on the Meaning of the Church in Reformation Thought by Greg Barrow
Covenants and Covenanting (1/7) Introduction To The Covenanted Third Reformation by Greg Price
Biographia Scoticana (14 of 21) or Scots Worthies by John Howie
The Scottish Reformer John Knox by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
The Fist of John Knox by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
John Knox by Dr. Alan Cairns
John Knox and John Calvin by Joe Morecraft
John Knox: A Christian Scotland (MP3) by Dr. Douglas Somerset
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
John Knox (books starting at 99 cents each)
The Works of John Knox 6 Volume Set
Life of Knox by Thomas M'Crie
On Justification by Faith Alone by John Knox
Against an Anabaptist: In Defense of Predestination by John Knox
An Admonition to Flee Idolatry, Romanism and All False Worship (1554) by John Knox
What to Do When There Is No Faithful Church in Your Area by John Knox
John Knox Debates God's Law, Idolatry and Civil Resistance in the General Assembly of 1564
Against Apostasy and Indifference (An Epistle to the Inhabitants of New Castle and Berwick, 1558) by John Knox
Against Romish Rites and Political and Ecclesiastical Tyranny, A Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God's Truth in England (1554) by John Knox
National Repentance and Reformation (A Brief Exhortation to England for the Speedy Embracing of the Gospel, 1559) by John Knox
John Knox's Only Written Sermon - A Sermon on Isaiah 23:13-21
Select Practical Writings of John Knox
Knox in the Hands of the Philistines (1903) by David Hay Fleming
An Answer to a Jesuit: The Marks of a True Church and Ministry: An Answer to a Letter Written by James Tyrie, A Scottish Jesuit, 1572 by John Knox
The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558) by John Knox
Biographia Scoticana by John Howie (inclused a biography of John Knox)
John Knox and the Church of England: His Work in Her Pulpit and His Influence Upon Her Liturgy, Articles, and Parties (1875) by Peter Lorimer
John Knox: A Biography 2 Volume Set (1895) by P. Hume Brown
John Knox by Taylor Innes
John Knox, Oliver Cromwell, God's Law and the Reformation of Civil Government by Dr. Reg Barrow
John Knox: His Ideas and Ideals by James Stalker
Leaders of the Reformation (1860) by William Cunningham
Sketches of the Covenanters (1913) by J. C. McFeeters
For Christ's Crown & Covenant: The Story of the Scottish Covenanters (DVD)
John Knox (Poster)
Kevin Reed on John Knox, Reformation Worship, the Regulative Principle of Worship and Christmas
From the outset of the Scottish Reformation, the discussion focused upon the nature of true worship. John Knox repeatedly confronted his papal adversaries by contending that true worship must be instituted by God. True worship is not derived from the innovations of men.
At the heart of Knox's argument is an appeal to Deuteronomy 4 and 12. These portions of scripture teach that it is unlawful to add to, or subtract from, the worship which God has instituted in his Word. Consequently, all religious ceremonies and institutions must have direct scriptural warrant if they are to be admitted as valid expressions of worship. This statement of the regulative principle of worship was a hallmark of the Scottish reformation.
Knox made his case for the regulative principle at the beginning of his ministry, before he had studied on the Continent. Knox condemned the false worship of Roman Catholicism. In a public debate against the Papists, Knox declared:
That God's word damns your ceremonies, it is evident; for the plain and straight commandment of God is, "Not that thing which appears good in thy eyes, shalt thou do to the Lord thy God, but what the Lord thy God has commanded thee, that do thou: add nothing to it; diminish nothing from it." Now unless that ye are able to prove that God has commanded your ceremonies, this his former commandment will damn both you and them.
With this understanding of worship, the Scottish Church cast out a multitude of the monuments of idolatry which were part of papal worship; graven images, the Mass, false sacraments, Romish liturgical ceremonies, and Roman bishops were all removed from the Church. Ecclesiastical holidays were also expelled from the Church of Scotland.
In 1560, Knox and several others drew up the First Book of Discipline. In this book, the First Head of Doctrine begins with a general statement on the nature of the gospel.
After the opening statement, an "explication" is given which asserts the sole authority of scripture as it relates to doctrine and worship. Note the firm condemnation of holidays, as incorporated in this remarkable document:
Lest upon this our generality ungodly men take occasion to cavil, this we add for explication. By preaching of the Evangel, we understand not only the Scriptures of the New Testament, but also of the Old; to wit, the Law, Prophets, and Histories, in which Christ Jesus is no less contained in figure, than we have him now expressed in verity. And, therefore, with the Apostle, we affirm that "all Scripture inspired of God is profitable to instruct, to reprove, and to exhort." In which Books of Old and New Testaments we affirm that all things necessary for the instruction of the Kirk, and to make the man of God perfect, are contained and sufficiently expressed.
By contrary Doctrine, we understand whatsoever men, by Laws, Councils, or Constitutions have imposed upon the consciences of men, without the expressed commandment of God's word: such as be vows of chastity, foreswearing of marriage, binding of men and women to several and disguised apparels, to the superstitious observation of fasting days, difference of meat for conscience sake, prayer for the dead; and keeping of holy days of certain Saints commanded by men, such as be all those that the Papists have invented, as the Feasts (as they term them) of Apostles, Martyrs, Virgins, of Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphany, Purification, and other fond feasts of our Lady. Which things, because in God's scriptures they neither have commandment nor assurance, we judge them utterly to be abolished from this Realm; affirming further, that the obstinate maintainers and teachers of such abominations ought not to escape the punishment of the Civil Magistrate.
- From the free online book:Christmas: An Historical Survey Regarding Its Origins and Opposition to It by Kevin Reed (emphases added).
John Knox's six volume Works are on the Puritan Hard Drive
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Reformation, Revolution and Romanism by John Knox (Free Online MP3) This is Knox's most important political writing and the clearest example of why Knox is sometimes called "Calvin with a sword."