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would have found nothing of consequence to object to. majesty's leave he would recapitulate the principal points he had insisted on; and for once the queen was obliged to listen to a protestant sermon. After repeating the substance of his discourse he looked round on the persons present and asked whether he had not given a faithful report. It being acknowledged by those of them who had heard the sermon that the report was faithful, the queen parted with Knox in a much gentler mood than when she received him. As he left the room in no way abashed, he overheard one of the popish attendants saying, "He is not afraid!" Regarding them with a sarcastic scowl, he exclaimed, "Why should the plesing face of a gentilwoman afray me? I have luiked in the faces of mony angry men and have not been affrayed above


In the summer of the following year the queen had another interview with Knox, in which, finding that he could not be moved by her authoritative expostulations, she adopted the more insiduous policy of treating him with seeming kindness and condescension, and at the close of the interview promising that she would act upon his advice with regard to certain matters affecting the religious condition of the country. The report which he gave to the people of the queen's sentiments operated in her majesty's favour,, and for some time he cherished the hope that her mind was becoming more inclined to the reformed religion. Her subsequent conduct dissipated the pleasing deception. By cunning maneuvering she persuaded the parliament, which assembled shortly afterwards, to pass measures dangerous in the highest degree to the interests of Protestantism, and prejudicial to the liberties of her subjects.

The last interview Knox had with the queen arose from his having, in one of his sermons, referred to the public rumour of her projected marriage with a popish husband, and predicting that if allowed to take place it would be the source of many grievous troubles to the nation. The intelligence having been conveyed to her majesty he was instantly summoned to the palace. He found her agitated with anger and grief. Never had prince been so handled (she exclaimed) as she was. She had borne with all his hard speeches, she had sought his favour by every means, she had offered him audience whenever he had pleased to admonish her of her faults; "And yet," said she, "I cannot be quit of you. I vow to be revenged." While uttering these words she burst into a flood of tears. After her passion had somewhat subsided, and she had composed herself, Knox proceeded to make his defence. said, her grace and he had at different times been engaged in controversy, but he never before perceived her to be offended with him. When it pleased God to deliver her from the bondage of error in which she had been brought up, he trusted that her



majesty would not find the freedom of his tongue offensive. Out of the pulpit he believed few people found occasion to complain of him; but there he was not his own master and was obliged to obey Him who commanded him to speak plainly and to flatter no flesh on the face of the earth. "But what have you to do with my marriage?" demanded the queen. The reformer was proceeding to state the extent of his commission when the queen interrupted him by repeating the question-" What have you to do with my marriage? and what are you in this Commonwealth?" "I am a subject born within the same, madam,” replied the reformer; albeit I be neither earl, lord, nor baron in it, yet has God made me a profitable member within the same. Yea, madam, to me it appertains to forewarn of such dangers as may hurt it if I foresee them, as much as it doth to any of the nobility; for both my conscience and vocation require plainness of me. And therefore, madam, to yourself I say that which I spake in public place: Whensoever the nobility of this realm shall consent that you be subject to a popish husband, they do as much as in them lieth to renounce Christ, to banish the truth from them, to betray the freedom of the realm, and perchance shall in the end do small comfort to yourself." The queen now began to sob and weep with great violence, the reformer remaining silent till she became composed. He then solemnly protested that he did not delight in the distress of any creature, that he could not see his own boys weep without pain, and that far less could he rejoice in the tears of her majesty; but that seeing he had given her no just cause of offence and had only discharged his duty, he was constrained to bear her majesty's tears rather than offend his conscience or betray the interests of the Commonwealth. These words enflamed her majesty still more, and she ordered Knox instantly to leave her presence.

Shortly after this the queen attempted to compass his ruin by instituting proceedings against him on a charge of high treason; but the grounds of the charge were so flimsy, and the defence he made was so triumphant, that he received an honourable acquittal by his judges. Unable to effect his destruction by legal process, assassins were employed to murder him privately. On one occasion a gun was fired into his study with such precision of aim that the ball would certainly have passed through his body had he been sitting in his ordinary place; but he happened at the moment to have removed to another part of the room, and so escaped the deadly missile. During the last year of his life the country was convulsed with civil war, owing to the profligacy and bigotry of the queen; but amidst all the commotions of the kingdom he steadily pursued the path of duty, watched over the interests of religion, guided the counsels of the Protestants, and though often menaced with violence, was graciously preserved from harm, and permitted

to die in peace. On his death-bed he maintained a humble, pious, and cheerful temper of mind, testifying to the last the truth of the doctrines which it had been the great business of his life to disseminate and defend, and enjoying their efficacy in his experience. At intervals such words as these dropped from his lips: "Sweet Jesus, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Be merciful, O Lord, to the church which thou has redeemed. Give peace to this afflicted Commonwealth. Grant us, Lord, a perfect hatred of sin. Thou knowest, O Lord, my troubles: I do not murmur against thee." On the last day of his life one of his friends asked him if he had any pain. "It is no painful pain," said he, "but such a pain as I trust shall soon put an end to the battle." After appearing as if he had been asleep a little he aroused himself and said, "I have formerly during my frail life sustained many contests and many assaults of satan, but at present he hath assailed me most fearfully, and put forth all his strength to devour and make an end of me at once. The cunning serpent hath endeavoured to persuade me that I have merited heaven and eternal blessedness by the faithful discharge of my ministry. But blessed be God who hath enabled me to beat down and quench this fiery dart, by suggesting to me such passages of Scripture as these What hast thou that thou hast not received? By the grace of God I am what I am. Not I, but the grace of God in me.' Upon this satan left me; and I am persuaded the tempter shall not again attack me, but within a short time I shall, without any great pain of body or anguish of mind, exchange this mortal and miserable life for a blessed immortality through Jesus Christ." Accordingly, after a few hours, and without a struggle, he breathed his last.


Knox was twice married; first to Margery Bowes, a lady with whom he became acquainted when settled as a preacher at Berwick, and, after her death, to a daughter of Lord Ochletree, one of the Protestant barons. As this lady was much younger than the reformer and also his superior in station, the Papists reported that he had won her affections by magic. Undoubtedly there must have been a magical influence operating, else the noble lady would never have consented to marry the low-born preacher; but there is no necessity of believing that the magic was of a devilish nature. Although Knox was neither earl, lord, nor baron, he was nevertheless the greatest man in Scotland; and despite the roughness of his manners and the sternness of his mien, he was withal a lovable man. Deep springs of tenderness oozed out from his craggy soul, enriching and beautifying his private life. And as to his age, there are some men who never grow old, who preserve their strength of intellect and freshness of feeling to the last. Knox was a man of this sort; and the daughter of Lord Ocheltree might truly and

sincerely love him, as I doubt not she did, without being induced thereto by the influence of infernal magic.

The extraordinary influence which Knox acquired over his countrymen is to be attributed, in the first place, to his popular eloquence. He was not a man of polished speech or studied elocution; but he had the faculty of penetrating the hearts and swaying the passions of his hearers. His words were fiery words -flashing light to the understanding, and conviction to the conscience. His eloquence was bold, fervid, vehement, bearing down and sweeping away all obstructions, and taking the minds of men by storm. Randolph, the English ambassador to the Scottish court, who was one of his constant hearers, says of him in a letter to the secretary, Cecil, "Where your honour exhorteth as to stoutness, I assure you the voice of one man is able in an hour to put more life in us than six hundred trumpets continually blustering in our ears." The following account of his appearance and preaching a short time before his death, given by an eye witness, is exceedingly striking:-"Of all the benefits I had that year," says James Melville, referring to the year 1571, "was the coming of that notable prophet and apostle of our nation, Mr. John Knox, to St. Andrews. I heard him teach there the prophecies of Daniel, that summer and the winter following. I had my pen and my little book, and took away such things as I could comprehend. In the opening up of his text he was moderate, the space of half an hour; but when he entered to application he made me so to thrill and tremble that I could not hold my pen to write. He was very weak. I saw him every day of his doctrine go slowly and warily, with a furring of marticks about his neck, a staff in the one hand and guid, godly Richard Bannatyne, holding up the other arm, from the abbey to the parish kirk; and by the said Richard and another servant, lifted up to the pulpit, where he behoved to lean at the first entry; but, ere he had done with his sermon, he was so active and vigorous that he was like to knock the pulpit to pieces and fly out of it."

But the influence which Knox exerted over his countrymen was sustained by other and more solid qualities. His mind was singulary acute, penetrating and sagacious; bold in conception and sound in judgment. The moral qualities which adorned his character were of the noblest type. Honest, outspoken, and sincere himself, he hated every appearance of dissimulation and hypocrisy in others. The constancy with which he maintained his convictions and carried out his purposes, set at defiance the threats of his enemies and the entreaties of his friends. Even his faults were allied to and reflected the lustre of his virtues. The severity with which he publicly rebuked the highest personages of the land, though strange, and perhaps offensive to us, was justified by the

In his interviews with the queen,

necessities and usages of the age. instead of being the ruffian which maudlin sentimentalists and flippant infidels have tried to show, he conducted himself with the greatest propriety. The only instance in which he is known to have recommended a line of policy at variance with uprightness, was occasioned by his profound anxieties for the prosperity of religion. The most of his coadjutors were at one time or other chargeable with serious inconsistencies, and many of them, overcome with the troubles they encountered, retired from the conflict; but, as Dr. M'Cree observes, "Knox never shrank from dangernever consulted his own ease or advantage-never entered into any compromise with the enemy-never was bribed or frightened into cowardly silence—but keeping his eye singly and steadily fixed on the advancement of religion and of liberty, supported throughout the character of the reformer of Scotland."

A. F.



THE HE question here proposed for discussion is undoubtedly of great importance to us, as a religious community, at the present time. This question, which was somewhat fully brought before the Conference of 1866, will, according to its decision, have to be laid before the Conference of 1867; and in order that the Connexion may have an opportunity of expressing its opinion, the subject will be submitted to our next March Quarterly Meetings, and through them to the ensuing district meetings.

The design of this paper is to assist in some humble degree our official brethren in coming to a right decision on this important question. We address ourselves in the following remarks to those who stand identified with Primitive Methodism, and have no reference whatever to the exceptional classes called paupers and criminals. The importance of education is admitted, but the question comes back-by whom must it be conducted? Where does

*In our November number for 1866, an article appeared advocating the propriety and necessity of our Church accepting State Grants for Education. The article we now publish takes the opposite ground. It is right and fair that both sides of this important question should be heard.-EDITOR.

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