King James Bible Adam Clarke Bible Commentary Martin Luther's Writings Wesley's Sermons and Commentary Neurosemantics Audio / Video Bible Evolution Cruncher Creation Science Vincent New Testament Word Studies KJV Audio Bible Family videogames Christian author Godrules.NET Main Page Add to Favorites Godrules.NET Main Page

Bad Advertisement?

Are you a Christian?

Online Store:
  • Visit Our Store



    TO HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW. He comes and shall not tarry, in whom is our comfort and final felicity. DEARLY BELOVED SISTER in Jesus, our Sovereign. Rejoice now, and be glad from the heart, for that which long the prophets of God have cried, appeareth now shortly to come to pass ¾ the elect of God to suffer, as they have done from the beginning. And why shall you rejoice therein?

    Because it is a sure seal and testimony of that word which we profess, to be the very true and infallible word of God, to the which, he who adheres, shall not be confounded ¾ and also, because our glory cannot be perfect, till first we taste of that cup which, albeit it be unpleasing to the flesh, yet is it most wholesome and profitable for us. The cause of these my words, is not sudden chance that newly is happened, but the perpetual and constant course of God’s true Word, from the first declaration thereof to the world.

    O miserable, unthankful, and most mischievous world! what shall be thy condemnation, when He that has so often gently provoked thee to obey his truth, shall come in his glory, to punish thy contempt? Who shall hide thee from the presence of that lion whom thou didst persecute in every age?

    What shall excuse thee, that so tyrannously hast shed the blood of such as faithfully labored to bring thee from blind ignorance and idolatry, when stubborn contemners shall cry, “Mountains, fall on us, and hide us from the presence of the Lord!” Dear Sister, we shall be placed in most security with the Lamb, in whose blood we are purged.

    My Lord of Westmoreland has written unto me this Wednesday, at six of the clock at night, immediately thereafter to repair unto him, as I will answer at my peril. I could not obtain license to remain the time of the sermon, upon the morrow. Blessed be God, who does ratify and confirm the truth of His Word from time to time, as our weakness shall require.

    Your adversary, Sister, doth labor, that you should doubt whether this be the Word of God or not. If there had never been testimonial of the undoubted truth thereof before these our ages, may not such things as we see daily come to pass, prove the verity thereof? Doth it not affirm, that it shall be preached, and yet contemned, and lightly regarded by many? that the true professors thereof shall be hated by father, mother, and wife, of the contrary religion? that the most faithful shall cruelly be persecuted?

    And cometh not all these things to pass in ourselves? Rejoice, Sister, for the same Word that fore-speaketh trouble, doth certify us of the glory subsequent. As for myself, albeit the extremity should now apprehend me, it is not come unlooked for. But alas! I fear that yet I am not ripe, nor able to glorify Christ by my death. But what lacketh now, God shall perform in the own time.

    Where God saith, “It repenteth me that I made Saul king,” he means not, that Saul at any time was a member of Christ’s body; but that he was a temporal officer, promoted of God, and yet most inobedient to his commandment; and therefore, that he would provide another to occupy his room: and that where he says, “I repent,” we must understand him to speak after the manner of men, attemperating himself to our understanding. For otherwise, God repenteth not; for before, his majesty knew the inobedience and rebellion of the wicked king. But, Sister, God the Father cannot repent, that he hath engrafted us members of Christ’s body; for that were to repent the honor of His own Son, yea, and his own good work in us.

    Abide patiently, and give no place to the temptations of the adversary. Let him shoot his darts in his despite; but say you in your heart, The Lord. is my defender, and therefore shall I not be confounded: dolor shall be but for a moment, but ever and ever shall we reign with Jesus our Lord; whose Holy Spirit be your comfort to the end. Be sure I will not forget you and your company, so long as mortal man may remember any earthly creature.

    Your brother, JOHN KNOX .

    From Newcastle, 1553. 2.


    DEARLY BELOVED SISTER, ¾ After hearty commendation: As I can call to mind, there rests nothing in your writings whereunto I have not answered, except God’s repentance that he made Saul king. For understanding whereof, you shall consider, that the Spirit of God must attemper and submit himself ofttimes to our weakness, and speak unto us who, by corruption, are made ignorant and rude, so that we may understand what he worketh by his incomprehensible wisdom and inscrutable providence; while that yet there is no such thing in our God, as the vocal words, and first sense appeareth unto us. As when David saith, Rebuke me not, O Lord, in thy hot displeasure ¾ and in the book of Exodus, “The Lord was angry with Moses.” And sundry other places of Scripture do attribute unto God not only such members as be in man, but also, such affections and unstable passions, which nevertheless are not in God, who always in himself remains stable, constant, holy, and just. And of that sort is that manner of speech, “It repenteth me that I have made Saul king.” That is, My justice is compelled to eject and throw down the rebellious king from that estate and dignity in which I have placed him; and so, shall I appear to repent my former work. The Scripture attributes to God such conditions, qualities, and affections, as his majesty appeareth to show in his works upon his creatures. As when He plagues the world, then says the Scripture, “God did it in his anger.” When he delivers such as long have suffered trouble, then says the Scripture, “God stretched out his hand” ¾ “God lifted up his eyes, his face, or countenance” ¾ and yet no such thing can be in the Godhead. And therefore, Sister, think not that God is changeable, and doth repent, albeit such appear; for so speaks the Scripture to instruct our infirmity. For before He appointed Saul to be king, his majesty knew his inobedience, and how he was to be abjected; neither did Saul please him in Jesus his Son, but always was reprobate, and never did embrace the promise of remission and reconciliation in the said promises, albeit the Lord did promote him to worldly dignity; which is no sure sign of God’s everlasting love and favor, seeing thereunto is placed as well the ungodly as godly.

    Then would you inquire, How shall we be assured of God’s favor that changeth not? By his own word, which assures us, that such as knowing and lamenting their own corruption and great infirmities, and that embrace the satisfaction which is by the redemption in Christ’s blood, are surely engrafted in Christ’s body, and therefore, shall never be separated nor rent from him: as witnesseth Himself, saying, “Forth of my hands can none reive.” Look further of this matter, in the other letter written unto you, at such time as many thought I never should write after to man. Heinous were the delations laid against me, and many are the lies that are made to the council. But God one day shall destroy all lying tongues, and shall deliver his servant from calamity. I look but a day or other to fall into their hands, for more and more rageth the members of the devil against me. This assault of Satan has been to his confusion, and to the glory of God; and therefore, Sister, cease not to praise God, and to call for my comfort, for great is the multitude of enemies whom, everyone, the Lord still conform.

    I intend not to depart from Newcastle before Easter. My daily labors must now increase, and therefore, spare me so much as you can. My old malady troubles me sore, and nothing is more contrarious to my flesh than writing.

    Think not that I weary to visit you; but unless my pain shall cease, I will altogether become unprofitable. Work, O Lord, even as pleaseth thy infinite goodness; and relax the troubles at thy own pleasure, of such as seek thy glory to shine. And I bid you heartily farewell in Christ, our sovereign. ¾ Your brother, JOHN KNOX.

    At Newcastle, the 23rd of March, 1553. 3.

    TO HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW. The Lord shall put an end to all troubles. DEARLY BELOVED SISTER in our Savior Jesus Christ, ¾ The manifold and general assaults of the devil raging against you, and troubling your rest, while you thirst and most earnestly desire to remain in Christ, doth certify unto me your very election, which the devil envies in all the chosen of God.

    And albeit his arts be subtle, and tormenting painfully, yet thereof followeth great commodity ¾ a hatred of yourself, who may not nor cannot resist as you would his temptations, and a continual desire of God’s support; which two are most acceptable sacrifices in God’s sight. Where the Adversary would persuade, that it maketh nothing what you think, because it shall not be imputed, there he is compelled to bear witness to the truth, but not of a true intent. Truly, neither thought nor deed shall be imputed unto you, for they are remitted in Christ’s blood. But therefore do you not rejoice in thoughts and works repugning to God’s express commandment; but do lament and mourn, that any such motion should remain in you; and desire to be made free from that corruption, by your champion, Christ. And so you shall be, as he has promised. Other things, as time will permit, I will most gladly fulfill. I laud and praise my God, asking from my heart, that such as have professed his Son Jesus, contemn not his admonitions to the end. Amen. ¾ Your brother in Christ Jesus, JOHN KNOX.

    From Carlisle, this Friday Afternoon, 1553. 4.

    TO HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW. There is no condemnation to such as be in Christ Jesus, to whom be all praise. DEARLY BELOVED SISTER, ¾ After most hearty commendation. In my conscience I judge, and by the Holy Spirit of my God am fully certified, that you are a member of Christ’s body, sore troubled and vexed presently, that the lusts and vain pleasures of the flesh mortified, you may shortly rest, and rise hereafter in honor and glory, whereto yet never attained mortal creature, but first they confessed themselves almost burnt in hell.

    Wherefore persevere. Albeit the battle be strong, yet the glory of your deliverance may be ascribed, and wholly given to God alone. I think it best you remain till the morrow, and so shall we commune at large at afternoon.

    This day, you know, to be the day of my study, and prayer unto God. Yet if your trouble be intolerable, or if you think my presence may relieve your pain, do as the Spirit shall move you; for you know, that I will be offended with nothing that you do in God’s name. And oh! how glad would I be to feed the hungry, and give medicine to the sick. Your messenger found me in bed, after a sore trouble, and most dolorous night; and so, dolor may complain to dolor, when we two meet. But the infinite goodness of God, who never despiseth the petitions of a sore troubled heart, shall at his good pleasure [remove these] pains that we presently suffer, and in place thereof, shall crown us with glory and immortality forever. But, dear Sister, I am even of mind with faithful Job, that most sore tormented, that my pain shall have no end in this life. The power of God may, against the purpose of my heart, alter such things as appear not to be altered, as he did unto Job; but dolor and pain, with sore anguish, cries the contrary. And this is more plain than ever I spake, to let you know, you have a fellow and companion in trouble. And thus, rest in Christ, for the head of the Serpent is already broken down, and he is stinging us upon the heel.

    In great haste. Your brother, JOHN KNOX.

    From Newcastle, 1553. 5.


    DEARLY BELOVED SISTER, ¾ In our Savior and only Mediator, Jesus, who is the first-begotten of the dead; the sole and sovereign prince, exalted above all powers and potentates whatsoever; that by him we may, now sore afflicted and punished in absence of our Bridegroom, receive immortality and glory, when he shall return to restore liberty to the sons of God; of which number are you and I, beloved Sister, whom the enemy doth trouble, not without permission of our heavenly Father, to further mortification of this wicked flesh. Be persuaded of the merciful presence of our Lord God and Father, for he doth not trouble you in sign of his wrath, absence, or not regarding of you. No, dear Sister, every son whom the Father loveth, he chasteneth. But not ever will He threaten; but from time to time he giveth, and shall give rest, as our utility shall require. Which thing may be unto your heart (as it is unto mine,) most comfortable remembrance, till that you may espy the providence of our God to be such, as his own word does witness: that is, that sometimes he does turn away his face apparently even from his elect, and then are they in anguish and care; but mercifully returns he unto them, and gives gladness and consolation; which albeit it remain but the twinkling of an eye, yet is it the arles-penny of his eternal presence. Resist, Sister, and continue.

    My brother hath communicated his whole heart with me, and I perceive the mighty operation of God: and so, let us be established in His infinite goodness, and most sure promises; whose omnipotent Spirit be your comfort forever.

    Your brother in Jesus Christ, JOHN KNOX. From Newcastle, 1553. 6.


    RIGHT DEARLY BELOVED SISTER in our Sovereign, Jesus Christ, ¾ Very dolor and anguish of heart will not suffer me at this instant to answer your letter: but to call for you I will not cease, and doubt not to obtain of God’s free mercy, your continuance in Christ. Faithful is He that has commanded us to pray one for another, promising that our petitions are acceptable, yea, and that we shall give life to such as sin not unto death. To sin to death is, to blaspheme the word of life, which once we have professed, and to fall back (not of fragility, but of hatred and contempt,) to such idolatry and abomination as the wicked maintain; whereof I am most surely persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that your heart shall never do. You are engrafted in the body, and by Him you shall be defended, but not without dolor; for it behooves every member of his body, to suffer with the Head. That false and lying spirit does according to his wicked and deceivable craft, when he would cause you believe that I know your rejection. No, false devil! he lies:

    I am even equally certified of your election in Christ, as I am that I myself preacheth Christ to be the only Savior, etc. I have more signs of your election than presently I can commit to writ.

    Your brother, JOHN KNOX.

    At Newcastle, in haste, 1553. 7.

    TO HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW. The Lord shall put end to all dolors at his good pleasure. RIGHT DEAR BELOVED MOTHER: after most hearty commendation, ¾ I have received your letter from your son, Mr. George, the piteous complaints whereof pierce and trouble my heart, having no comfort but that the truth of God assures me, that from the hands of Jesus Christ may none wave. For seeing that He is sent of God the Father, a triumphant victor, to conquer the kingdom, it should redound to his dishonor, if any should take the spoil from him. You have committed yourself to his protection, and have forsaken all savior but him alone. The knowledge of your sins does trouble and displease you? you know that his blood is a sufficient satisfaction for all believers therein. And albeit the Adversary would persuade you that you believe not, trust not his deceivable lies. You believe, and are also sorry, that more constantly you cannot believe, and therefore pray, “O Lord, increase my faith.” Our faith is not worthy of and for itself of remission of sins, and of the life everlasting. But Jesus Christ is all-sufficiency to us, whose Justice and Holiness we embrace and receive by faith; which never can be perfect in us but that his mercy will accept it, how faint and feeble that ever it be, for his own infinite goodness and promise’ sake.

    And therefore, abide patiently the Lord’s deliverance to the end, remembering that our Head is entered into his kingdom by troubles and dolors without number; yea, it may be said, that every hour was anguish and pain increasing in our Savior Jesus, from the hour that his majesty received our mortal nature, until the rendering up the spirit in the hands of his Father, after that most lamentably he had complained in these words, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” which words deeply considered by us, shall relieve a great part of our spiritual cross. For if so was the only Son entreated, and if it becomes the members to be like to the Head, why should we despair under such tribulations? He did not only suffer poverty, hunger, blasphemy, and death, but also he did taste the cup of God’s wrath against sin, not only to make full satisfaction for his chosen people, but also, that he might learn to be pitiful to such as are tempted.

    And therefore despair not, for your troubles be the infallible signs of your election in Christ’s blood, being engrafted in his body. As for the assaults of your enemy sometimes alluring you to idolatry, sometimes to other manifest iniquity, so that you obey him not, altogether there is no danger; but rather, the feeling of his continual assaults is the sign, that he hath not gotten victory over you, but that there is in you a spunk of faith, which your heavenly Father shall never suffer to be quenched nor put out, but will keep and increase the same for his promise’ sake.

    Dear Mother, ¾ so may and will I call you, not only for the tender affection I bear unto you in Christ, but also, for the motherly kindness you have shown unto me at all times since our first acquaintance ¾ albeit such things as I have desired (if so had pleased God,) and you and others have long desired, are never like to come to pass, yet shall you be sure that my love and care toward you shall never abate, so long as I can care for any earthly creature. You shall understand, that this 6th of November, I spake with Sir Robert Bowes in the matter you know, according to your request; whose disdainful, yea, despiteful words, have so pierced my heart, that my life is bitter unto me. I bear a good countenance with a sore troubled heart, while that he that ought to consider matters with a deep judgment, is become not only a despiser, but also a taunter of God’s messengers, (God be merciful unto him). Amongst others his most unpleasing words, while that I was about to have declared my part in the whole matter, he said, “Away with your rhetorical reasons! for I will not be persuaded with them.” God knows, I did use no rhetoric nor colored speech; but would have spoken the truth, and that in most simple manner. I am not a good orator in my own cause; but what he would not be content to hear of me, God shall declare to him one day to his displeasure, unless he repent. It is supposed, that all the matter comes by you and me. I pray God that your conscience were quiet and at peace, and I regard not what country consume this my wicked carcass; and were it not that no man’s unthankfulness shall move me (God supporting my infirmity) to cease to do profit unto Christ’s congregation, the days should be few that England should give me bread. And I fear, that when all is done, I shall be driven to that end; for I cannot abide the disdainful hatred of those of whom not only I thought that I might have craved kindness, but also, to whom God hath been by me more liberal than they are thankful. But so must men declare themselves. Afflictions trouble me at this present; but yet I doubt not to overcome, by Him who will not leave comfortless his afflicted to the end; whose omnipotent Spirit rest with you. Amen.

    By yours unfeigned in Christ, JOHN KNOX . 8.


    DEARLY BELOVED SISTER in our Savior, ¾ After the sight of your letter received from your husband upon Saturday, the 19th of this instant December, I partly was moved in my spirit, weighing with myself your continual trouble, which proceedeth from the infirmity and weakness of your soul, which ever thirsts for the presence of your Father’s mercy, that no mortal man can have at all times. Yea, Sister, the most perfect is ofttimes left without all sense and feeling thereof; and that, partly, because sin must needs be mortified day by day (and no fire so tries the gold, as that kind of cross tries our faith,) till it burn and consume in us not only the vain glory of the world, but also, that blind love we bear to ourselves. So that, in very deed, we hate and abhor ourselves, because we find neither constancy nor perfection in this our corrupted nature; and therefore are we compelled to sob and groan for deliverance, by Him who hath promised, and shall not deceive.

    This battle knoweth not the careless of the world, and therefore they live as brute beasts only, seeking such things as may please the flesh and appetites thereof, seldom beholding (alas, the more pity!) the end whereto man is created; ¾¾ not so much here to live, as it were, for a moment, in that which flesh reckons to be pleasure, as for to inherit the kingdom prepared for such as unfeignedly thirsting their salvation to stand in Christ, by the redemption which is by his blood, do suffer with him; as it is appointed by the providence of our Father, that the members shall be correspondent and like to the Head, who in anguish of extreme dolor cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Oh, words most dolorous, and voice most lamentable, to be heard proceed from the mouth of the Son of God!

    Consider, dear Sister, he was no debtor to sin nor death; and yet, this did he suffer, not only to make satisfaction to the justice of God, which we were never able to do; but also, to put us in comfort, that his suffering was not in vain, but even for our example, that in most extremity yet we shall look for deliverance, which we must needs receive, if we thirst for the same. Sister, albeit we hear not always God’s word notably crying unto us, to put us in memory, that all that is in earth is transitory, yet have we the hand of our Father, that suffers us not to slumber and sleep in wantonness, vain-glory, and fleshly pleasure. I know well, that the purpose of Satan is to slay and to destroy: but his counsels shall be confounded, as they were, in purchasing leave to trouble just Job.

    Upon Monday, I was with your daughter Bowes, who hath her heartily commended unto you, and unto our sister Marjory. She forgot none of your directions, but did declare unto me both your grief and her own, which I find both to proceed from one fountain. Praise be unto God, I left her in good comfort, referring thanks unto God for all his benefits. I was not, as yet I am, in good case to have traveled; for I had lain Thursday at night, and Friday all day, sore troubled in the gravel. I know the cause and original, but I cannot remedy; but He who willeth me to suffer, shall, at his pleasure. It will be after the twelfth day before I can be at Berwick, and almost I am determined not to come at all. You know the cause. God be more merciful unto them, than they are equitable to me in judgment. The testimony of my own conscience absolves me before His face, who looks not upon the person of man.

    With troubled heart and weak body, at Newcastle, this Tuesday, 22nd of December, 1553.

    Your brother, JOHN KNOX .

    I may not answer the places of Scripture, nor yet write the Exposition of the sixth Psalm, for every day of this week must I preach, if the wicked carcass will permit. 9.


    BELOVED SISTER, ¾ After my hearty commendation. Touching the Angel of God sent to wrestle with Jacob, the matter shall be most easy to understand, if you shall mark, in what estate standeth Jacob departed from Laban. He was to enter into his native land, but not without great danger of his life, seeing before him was Esau, who before had conspired his death. And albeit Jacob had a promise of God to be kept, and also a commandment to enter into the land, and not to fear, yet when he comes to the very point where danger appeareth, was sore afraid, fearing the coming of his brother Esau; as by gifts and rewards, by direction of his messengers, by dividing of his companies to avoid the uttermost of his brother’s hatred, evidently may be espied. This weakness and imbecility resting in all men (yet not imputed for sin in God’s elect,) the merciful providence of our God supports, as that his wisdom thinketh and judgeth to be expedient.

    And albeit he useth not one medicine to every patient, yet to every one of his chosen people giveth he at one time or other some sure and undoubted significations, that he knoweth their infirmity, taketh care for the same, and that he will not suffer them to perish forever, albeit the world and the devil rage most violently, to oppress and confound us that be most feeble and frail. And hereof have we an image most lively painted forth, in the wrestling of Jacob with the Angel. Jacob feared, that his brother Esau should vanquish and overcome him: God would witness the contrary, by that he made him able to resist, and prevail during the whole night, against an angel, a spiritual creature, who alone, by God’s power, is of greater puissance and might, than all earthly creatures.

    And thus would God speak to the heart of Jacob: O Jacob, why fearest thou man, who is but flesh, bones, and blood, seeing I have made thee able to withstand a spiritual creature? This night that thou hast endured in wrestling, signifieth unto thee, and unto God’s elect after thee, all time of transitory trouble, whereunto I have supported thee; not only to confirm thee in my promise, but also for comfort of such as shall hereafter suffer adversity, that my very Angel hath not prevailed against thee. And therefore will I now change thy name from Jacob, which signifieth a supplanter, deceiver, or one that is weak; which name was given to thee, in that thou in thy nativity apprehended the heel of thy brother, and did also, by counsel of thy mother, Rebecca, receive from thy father the benediction without his knowledge, which he provided for thy brother Esau. Which albeit it appeared to proceed from the counsel of the woman, meaning deceit, yet because I was author thereof, and moved her heart and mind thereto, now will I change that name, and thou shalt be called Israel, which signifies Strong by God. For by me you have ever been defended, and shall also be, to the end of this transitory battle; and so art thou victor not only of men, but also of gods, that is, of angels, spiritual creatures.

    By this paraphrase upon the last part of the text, you may espy what is meant by the wrestling of Jacob with the Angel all night, and what by the changing of Jacob’s name. The Angel touched the main or principal sinew of Jacob’s thigh, whereby he became crooked and did halt, to witness unto him, that it was not by his own power that so long he had resisted. The thigh, you know, is the principal part that sustains man to stand; and therefore, being maimed or crooked in that part, he is unable to wrestle.

    And yet (a matter greatly to be wondered,) Jacob would not suffer the Angel to depart, till he gave unto him the benediction, (a response before written;) and this was done at the spring of the morning. Hereby is signified, that our victory proceedeth not from our own strength, but from the goodness of Him who, by his Spirit, poureth into us understanding, will, sufficiency, and strength; for without him can we do nothing. And lest we should glory, as that some power resteth with us, (forever would the flesh rest in itself,) it is necessary that our thighs be touched, and we made crooked, that is, that all hope and comfort of the flesh be taken from us, that we may learn to depend upon the promises of our most faithful God.

    Let us :not despair, albeit all the strength not only within us, but also appearing in others, vanish and forsake us. Remember, Sister, that God never brought any excellent work to pass, till first man’s judgment was despaired thereof; and this his majesty doth, to notify his power to the sons of men. Abel cried not for vengeance upon Cain the murderer, till first his blood was cruelly shed; Joseph obtained not dominion and power, till first he suffered great trouble and imprisonment, and in the opinion of his father, was dead; Moses was not received in protection of Pharaoh’s daughter, till first he was exposed to the danger of the flood. And finally, Jesus Christ, our champion and head, did not obtain victory above all his enemies, so that after they might not trouble nor molest him anymore, fill first he suffered the vile death of the cross.

    And so, Sister, albeit we be dejected even to the ground, yet with Jacob, let us hold fast the angel, that is, the promises of our God; and no doubt, benediction shall follow in the spring of the morning, that is, after the cloudy storms of these dolorous nights, wherein we fight not only against flesh and blood, (and yet, that were a battle too strong for our puissance,) but also against spiritual wickedness in heavenly things; that is, sometimes against despair, which would call all God’s promises in doubt; and sometimes against confidence in one’s self, wherewith almost every living man is infected, albeit, alas! every man doth not espy it. It is a sin dangerous and odious in God’s sight; and happy are those that be entreated in the mercy of God, that they find no cause to rejoice in themselves! After long debate, Paul came to this knowledge, that when he found greatest weakness in himself, then did he glory, that the virtue and power of Jesus Christ might abide in him. Who earnestly can care for meat, yet feeleth not the pain of hunger? Who unfeignedly thirsts for drink, that sustains not the dolor of drought? And who with fervent heart can desire to be rid and delivered from the cares and dolors of this wicked flesh, yet tastes not the bitterness and anguishes thereof? And so, Sister, are troubles very profitable for God’s chosen people, as well to humble the proudness born with us, as to engender in us a thirst and desire of the life everlasting.

    Jacob thought he had seen God face to face, when he saw the Angel, and by him attained to so great knowledge; for he understood, by communing with him, what every point of his conflict meant, and wherefore he was made impotent of his thigh. And herein was not Jacob altogether deceived; for albeit he saw not the pure and very substance of God, as he is in his own essence, which, as God affirmeth to Moses, no man can see and live, that is, no living man (in his mortal life,) to see, perceive, and behold the naked substance of God, as his majesty is in his own beauty and glory, for that sight is reserved to the life everlasting, where and when we shall see as we are seen: and therein shall stand our great comfort and felicity: Albeit, I say, Jacob saw not God so, yet saw he the goodness of his God, the power of his God, and the merciful providence of his God, taking care for him, to deliver him from pursuit of his enemies whom so greatly he feared, and instructing him in such cases as appertained to his present comfort. And so, he saw God face to face; that is, he had a true and undoubted knowledge of God’s will, and present favor towards him; for that is to see God, as Jesus Christ answereth unto Philip, desiring to see the Father, “He that seeth me,” says Christ, “seeth the Father” ¾ that is, he that understandeth the cause why I am come into the world, and so believes in me (which is to see me by faith,) the same man seeth the Father; that is, understands and knows, that God the Father beareth an unfeigned favor toward him. Christ here meaneth not of any corporal sight, but of the eyes and sight of faith, which pierceth through the clouds of darkness, that is, through the wrath of God which our sins do deserve, to the brightness of the glory of our Father’s face, wherein we behold mercy and grace, in that he has given to us salvation and life in his only Son Jesus Christ. That our Savior meant not here of any corporal sight it is plain; for Judas and many other reprobates saw the same face and visage of Jesus Christ, yea, also his works and wondrous signs, that either Peter, or any other of the apostles saw in the mortal flesh. And yet, no reprobate saw and considered God the Father, merciful to their offenses in Jesus Christ. And so, the texts are not repugnant; for the text of Moses means, that no mortal creature in this life, for the dullness and infirmity of this corrupt nature, is able to behold the naked presence of God, as he is in his own substance and essence. And all other texts making mention that men have seen God, or spoken to God face to face, mean, that God reveals and notifies himself to such as he will, and in such form and similitude as his wisdom knows to be expedient for their infirmity. And thereby doth He instruct them of his counsel and godly will, as you may perceive, by his visions shown to Isaiah and Ezekiel, and other more prophets of God, whereof to write my other great labors permit not.

    The contents of your other letter received long ago, I bear not now in mind: but I know your letter to be in custody, and so, at some convenient leisure, after advisement with your doubts, I will do diligence to resolve them; or if you shall write the same doubts again, if possible I will answer them, before I go. Be fervent in reading, fervent in prayer, and merciful to the poor according to your power, and God shall put end to all dolors, when least is thought to the judgment of man. ¾ Your brother unfeigned, JOHN KNOX . 10.

    TO HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW. “Rise, Lord, stretch out thy hand: forget not the sobs of the oppressed.”

    Psalm 70. RIGHT DEARLY BELOVED MOTHER in our Savior, Jesus Christ, ¾ Now is our dolor appointed by God, and forespoken by his prophets, come upon us, as the dolor of a woman in the birth of her first child; and so is it come, as with your ears, both openly and privately, oftentimes you have had declared.

    When I remember your great infirmity, and the strong battle that externally you fight, and call to mind how small comfort you have on earth, I am compelled to sob and grieve to him that only may give strength, comfort, and consolation, without help of any creature, unto you in these most dolorous days. And good hope I have, that my petition shall not be repelled; but for Christ Jesus’ sake accepted and granted: albeit not in such sort as you and I gladly would, yet, I doubt not, but in such sort we shall obtain it, as his glory, and our everlasting comfort and profit requireth.

    It hath not been without the most special providence and favor of God, that these many days bypast, you have been grievously tempted, and sore assaulted, to revolt and turn back again to that abominable and blasphemous idolatry, which now, in God’s anger, is erected, before the uttermost of his plagues be poured forth upon the stubborn and inobedient, who never would delight in the truth of his word; and therefore, of his just judgments most justly has he given them over, according to their heart’s desire, to delight in lies, to their eternal damnation. In the days, I say, beloved mother, that no appearance there was that ever such abomination should have taken place so suddenly within this realm of England, you were tempted and assaulted to turn back again to idolatry. Which tempting spirit, God, our heavenly Father, permitted to trouble you, partly, for that he would have you exercised in the battle, before the great danger approached, lest perchance you might have been overthrown, if unprovidedly, both occasion and temptation at once had assaulted you ¾ and partly, that by continual repugnance, you might learn, how odious is all kind of idolatry in the sight of God. For Satan uses seldom to tempt, but in those things whereof he knows God most to be offended with; as pride, lust, covetousness, adultery, idolatry, and such like; the committers whereof, and continuers in the same, Paul pronounces to have no portion in the kingdom of God.

    This is my hope, beloved mother, that in your continual battle so far you have profited, that in this case, almost you need no admonition of me. But because it is my bound duty, not only by a common Christian spirit and tender love according to godliness, that we have had since our first acquaintance, to do the uttermost of my power for your comfort by pen, therefore will I write, because the bodies are now put asunder, to meet again at God’s pleasure, that which by mouth, and face to face you have heard. If man or angel shall labor to bring you back from the profession that once you have given, let them in that behalf be accursed. And in any part concerning your faith and religion obeyed of you, if any trouble you above measure, whether they be magistrates or carnal friends, they shall bear their just condemnation, unless they speedily repent. But whosoever it be that shall solicit or provoke you to that abominable idol, resist you all such boldly unto the end, learning of the Holy Ghost, not to defile the temple of God with idols, neither yet to give your bodily presence unto them: but obeying God more than man, avoid all appearance of iniquity.

    The necessity that all men have so to do (that willingly will not deceive themselves,) I remit, partly, to that which oft you have heard, and partly, to a general letter written by me in great anguish of heart to the congregations, of whom I hear say, a great part, under pretense that they may keep faith secret in the heart, and yet do as idolaters do, begin now to fall before that idol. But oh, alas! blind and deceived are they, as they shall know in the Lord’s visitation, which so assuredly as our God liveth, shall shortly apprehend these backsliders, amongst the midst of idolaters. With very grief of heart I write, Better it had been unto them, never to have known the truth, than so suddenly, to God’s great dishonor, to have returned to their vomit. God of his infinite mercy grant unto them speedy repentance; for if the sin sleep long, I fear it shall awake to their perpetual confusion.

    But now, mother, comfort you my heart. God grant you may, in this my great affliction and dolorous pilgrimage. Continue stoutly to the end, and bow you never before that idol, and so will the rest of worldly troubles be unto me more tolerable. With my own heart I oft commune, yea, and as it were comforting myself, I appear to triumph, that God shall never suffer you to fall in that rebuke. Sure I am, that both you would fear, and be ashamed, to commit that abomination in my presence, who am but a wretched man, subject to sin and misery like to yourself. But, oh, Mother! though no earthly creature should be offended with you, yet fear you the presence and offense of Him who, present in all places, searcheth the very heart and reins; whose indignation once kindled against the inobedient, (and no sin more inflameth his wrath than idolatry doth,) no creature in heaven nor in earth, that only is creature, is able to appease the same. And therefore, dear Mother, avoid and flee from it, even as from the death everlasting. Very love and careful solicitude, which God knoweth my heart taketh for you, compels me to double so ofttimes, and whereof a thing being uncertain, when God shall grant any opportunity to visit you again.

    But the Spirit of the Lord Jesus shall by his omnipotent and invincible power supply in you that which wanteth of worldly comfort, that the glory may be known to be our God’s alone, who for a time useth to comfort, sustain, and feed a creature by another; but in the end, he draws us (his own image,) to himself, that by him alone, without the help of all, we may live, joise, reign, and triumph, as he has promised, by Jesus Christ his Son.

    One thing will I not conceal from you, Mother, that neither are we free, nor yet in our hearts do we glorify God as our duty requireth, so long as that we have the carnal comfort and defense of creatures with us. The whole man in body and soul shall evidently prove this conclusion: for this body that liveth by meat, drink, clothing, and nourishment, we see it subject to infirmity, yea, to mutability and fine, as the final death of all men declareth. And the soul even of the very elect, living by the lively word of our heavenly Father, having a teacher that carries flesh, is always flowing and troubled with some fear; as in Christ’s apostles, and many others, most manifestly we are instructed. But when all earthly creature ceaseth, then shall the sufficiency of God’s Spirit work his own work.

    And therefore, beloved Mother, fear not the battle that you sustain, neither yet the infirmity that you find either in flesh or spirit. Only abstain from external iniquity, that you make not your members pertinents to sin, and your imperfections shall have no power to damn you; for Christ’s perfection is imputed to be yours, by faith which you have in his blood. Be assured, Mother, willingly I will not deceive you: if any such infirmity were damnable, long ago I would have showed you the truth. But no more nor God is displeased, albeit that sometimes the body be sick, and subject to diseases, and so, unable to do the calling; no more is he offended, albeit the soul in that case be diseased and sick. And as the natural father will not slay the body of his child, albeit through sickness it faint, and abhor comfortable meats, no more (and much less) will our heavenly Father slay our souls, albeit through spiritual infirmity, and weakness of our faith, sometimes we refuse the lively food of his comfortable promises. Where the contempt of God is by his grace removed, and a love of justice and of the life to come engrafted in the heart, there is the infallible seal and testimony of the Holy Ghost, who shall perform his own work in due season; for the power of God is known in our infirmity. And thus, commit I you to the protection of Him, who by grace has called you from darkness to light, by faith has purged your conscience and heart, and of his free mercy shall glorify you, according to his promise made unto them that obediently receive the message of life, in Christ Jesus our Lord; whose omnipotent Spirit rest with you forever.

    At Dieppe, the 20th of July, 1554, after I had visited Geneva and other parts, and returned to Dieppe, to learn the estate of England and Scotland.

    My own estate I cannot well declare; but God shall guide the footsteps of him that is wilsome, and will feed him in trouble, that never was greatly solicitous for the world. If any collection might be made among the faithful, it were no shame for me to receive that, which Paul refused not in the time of his trouble. But all I remit to His providence that ever careth for his own. Rest in Christ.

    Your Son with troubled heart, JOHN KNOX . 11.

    FROM SCOTLAND TO HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW. The ways of man are not in his own power.

    Albeit my journey toward Scotland, beloved Mother, was most contrarious to my own judgment, before I did enterprise the same, yet this day I praise God for them who were the cause external of my resort to these quarters; that is, I praise God in you, and for you, whom he made the instrument to draw me from the den of my own ease. You alone did draw me from the rest of quiet study, to contemplate and behold the fervent thirst of our brethren night and day sobbing and groaning for the bread of life. If I had not seen it with my eyes in my own country, I could not have believed it. I praised God when I was with you, perceiving that in midst of Sodom, God had more Lots than one, and more faithful daughters than two. But the fervency here doth far exceed all others that I have seen. And therefore you shall patiently bear, although I spend here yet some days; for depart I cannot, unto such time, as God quench their thirst a little. Yea, Mother, their fervency doth so ravish me, that I cannot but accuse and condemn my slothful coldness. God grant them their heart’s desire. And I pray you advertise of your estate, and of things that have occurred since your last writing. Comfort yourself in God’s promises, and be assured, that God stirs up more friends than we be ware of. My commendations to all in your company. I commit you to the protection of the Omnipotent. In great haste, the 4th of November, 1555. Your Son, JOHN KNOX. 12.


    BELOVED MOTHER, ¾ With my most hearty commendation in the Lord Jesus. Albeit I was fully purposed to have visited you before this time, yet hath God laid impediments which I could not avoid. They are such, as I doubt not are to his glory, and to the comfort of many here. The trumpet blew the old sound three days together, till private houses of indifferent burgesses could not contain the voice of it. God for Christ his Son’s sake grant me to be mindful that the sobs of my heart have not been in vain, nor neglected in the presence of his majesty. Oh! sweet were the death that should follow such forty days in Edinburgh, as here I have had three!

    Rejoice, Mother, the time of our deliverance approacheth; for as Satan rageth, so does the grace of the Holy Spirit abound, and daily giveth new testimonies of the everlasting love of our merciful Father. I can write no more to you at this present. The grace of the Lord Jesus rest with you. In haste, this Monday.

    Your Son, JOHN KNOX . 13.

    TO HIS SISTER IN EDINBURGH. The mighty comfort of the Holy Spirit for salutation.

    The unfeigned desire which you seemed to have, beloved Sister, to proceed in godliness, moveth me at this time, to put you in mind of that solemn profession which once you have made in my presence. The which were your chief principals: First, that salvation or life is none to be found without the body of our Lord Jesus; which once offered, and suffering the death, we, and all God’s elect children, do confess the only sacrifice acceptable in the sight of God the Father, for the offenses of all believers.

    By which sacrifice, are all the elect of God not only once redeemed, but also sanctified by the same, forever. All sacrifices for sin, other than the death of the immaculate lamb, Jesus, we did openly protest ourselves to abhor and detest. And last, all religion not grounded upon the word of God, we feared not to proclaim, abominable and wicked.

    Against this assertion, I know, that not only the devil in his own face, working within the sons of unbelief, shall strive and contend, as against that which is the subversion of his whole kingdom; but also, shall he clothe himself in an angel of light, and come to you under the color of friendship (as in another letter I have touched;) and shall allure and solicit you by persuasions of the natural man, that you need not be so strait and so severe, for God is merciful; and therefore, that you may bear with the time, for avoiding danger and displeasure both to yourself and to others. Yea, perchance he shall be so bold, that he shall object, that you tempt God, except that you do as others do, to keep yourself in safety. But to all these objections, beloved Sister, I can answer no otherwise, than our Master gave counsel and commandment to his disciples, in these words, “Be ye simple as doves, and prudent as serpents.” Before, he had spoken much of their trouble; and he was not ignorant, that by diverse ways they should be tempted. Sometimes, they should be provoked to defend themselves by the arm of man; and in that case, he commends unto them the simplicity of the dove, which can defend herself by no other means, from the assaults of ravenous fowls, but only by the swiftness of her wings. Sometimes, they should be tempted to obey wicked magistrates in things unlawful; and in that case he willed them to follow the prudence of the serpent, who doth stop her ears, when she beginneth to hear an instrument play, or any man sing, lest by the sweetness of the same, she should be brought asleep, and so, taken or slain. So willed Christ his disciples to shut up the ears of their mind, when that ever the world, by pleasing allurements, would persuade us to decline from God, by obedience given to iniquity.

    Be you assured, dear Sister, that all these persuasions are nothing else but sweet songs of the devil, to bring your soul asleep, to that intent that he may destroy it. True it is, that God is merciful; but ought we therefore to continue in sin, without repentance? If it be strait severity to flee and avoid idolatry, then is it foolishness to abstain from adultery, for they are both alike odious before God; yea, the one, in so far as it doth violate the first Table, is more abominable before him than the other. Danger is to be feared, I confess: but I wonder, that men, for fear of an uncertain danger, will jeopard to run into the inevitable and perpetual condemnation. The word of the living God, which was, is, and shall be sure and stable forever, promises damnation to idolaters, and unto such as for fear of temporal punishment, dare not abstain from idolatry. But the word of vain man doth threaten temporal death to such, as will not obey their wicked and detestable precepts. Now, let your wisdom judge which danger is greatest, most sure, and most to be feared. The word of God which pronounceth death perpetual to idolaters is irrevocable, and cannot be false; the word and wrath of man is vain and uncertain, like himself. He can perform nothing of his own cogitations: he has not, by himself, breath nor life to live the moment of an hour. How then shall he have power to hurt and molest the sons and daughters of the most high God, without his own permission and tolerance?

    No, Sister, there is no such thing to be feared; neither can abstaining from idolatry be called a tempting of God, but a humble obedience given to his commandment, which his majesty shall acknowledge, allow, and justify, when fearful shrinkers shall tremble and shake, before the Judge most incorrupt. And therefore, dear Sister, study you to please your heavenly Father, and he shall take care over you. He that hath preserved you in your mother’s womb, that hath sent you the light of his blessed Evangel, and hath covered the multitude of your sins with the mantle of his mercy, will not leave you comfortless, in your battle which you shall sustain for his truth’s sake. The God of comfort and consolation, who hath called from death Jesus our Lord, who by the blood of the eternal testament is the great Pastor of our souls, make you perfect in all good works, and establish you in the known verity of Jesus our Lord: whose omnipotent Spirit comfort and assist you, now and ever. ¾ Yours known, JOHN K.

    SINCLAIR . At Dieppe, the 8th of August, 1556. 14.

    TO HIS SISTER IN EDINBURGH. Grace, mercy, and peace, from God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, with the perpetual increase of the Holy Spirit for salutation.

    The chosen vessel of Christ Jesus, St. Paul, appointed to his ministry and preaching not by man, but by the imperial voice of the Son of God speaking unto him from heaven, ashamed not to confess, dearly beloved, that albeit he had an earnest zeal and desire to have visited the congregation of Thessalonica in their greatest necessity, that yet he was impeded by Satan of his journey and purpose.

    It may appear marvelous strange at the first sight, that Satan should have such power to impede such a good and godly work, which the people desired so earnestly. No congregation was more dear to him than that was, for that he had begotten them to Christ: after that he was afflicted, mocked, and rejected in many other places, that they notwithstanding received the word with such joy and gladness of the Holy Spirit, that they were an ensample to all the faithful in Macedonia and Achaia, for their faith, obedience, and constancy, was bruited and praised in far countries.

    This their promptness and ready obedience to receive Christ’s evangel, which then in many places was condemned as a pernicious and wicked doctrine, moved the apostle unfeignedly to love them. And moreover, shortly after his departure from them, Satan did raise up great trouble and sharp persecution against the faithful in that city, even by their own companions, friends, and countrymen, so that love called upon the one part for his presence, and their affliction on the other side required his assistance in that their sudden battle. And yet doth he confess, that Satan did impede him, after that he had attempted over again to have visited them.

    This, I say, may appear very strange at the first sight: but if we shall mark and consider, dear Sister, that God sometimes does humble his most faithful servants, disappointing them of their own enterprises, which they nevertheless have purposed for promoting of his glory, we shall cease to wonder; and begin to magnify the providence of our mighty God, who only disposeth the times, and alone knoweth the causes why he not in all times satisfies the desires in this mortal life, of his dearest children. Assuredly, Paul earnestly thirsted to have been with them in the time of their battle, to have confirmed them in the doctrine which before he had taught; and their estate, (as said is,) required his comfort, yea, in their hearts they did sore lament and bewail his absence. But the desires of neither party were granted when they most required: but the journey of the apostle was stopped by Satan, not in his own person, but by his supports, instruments of iniquity, who continually did labor to stop the course of the Evangel, and therefore, did oft lie in wait for the apostle, seeking his destruction, as the diligent reader of the Acts of the Apostles may easily understand. This impediment made unto him by such as did trouble him, did he call the work of Satan, saying, “I have purposed once and again to have visited you, but Satan has impeded me.” Not that Satan by himself, or the working in his obstinate soldiers, hath, or can have any power to impede the course of Christ’s evangel, or yet to withhold spiritual comfort from the afflicted, but in so far, as it is permitted to them and him by the permission of God, to trouble the elect for a time.

    Foolishness, presumption, and arrogance it were to me, to compare myself with that most excellent instrument of the Lord Jesus, in zeal towards the promoting of Christ’s glory, or yet, love towards the salvation and comfort of my brethren. No, alas! as my heart is corrupt, and the hypocrisy thereof in many thousand cases hid from myself, so is my zeal cold, and my love nothing, if it shall be tried by the right touch-stone. Only this dare I say, that sometimes (seldom, alas!) I feel a sob and groan, willing that Christ Jesus might openly be preached in my native country, with a certain desire that my ears might hear it, although it should be with the loss of this wretched life. And of very purpose to have visited you, did I leave this congregation here, and also, the family committed to my particular charge; but the cause of my stop do I not to this day clearly understand. I most suspect my own wickedness, who am not worthy of so great a joy and comfort, as to hear Christ Jesus truly preached, where my heart most thirsteth, by reason of my former unthankfulness, notwithstanding the former benefits which I cannot deny myself to have received from the hands of my God in greater abundance, than ever could have entered in my heart to have asked. But what hath been my inobedience to his Majesty, who yet hath promoted me, my own conscience is not ignorant. And therefore, I say, justly may my God not only deny unto me that which I most desire, but also, worthy am I to be deprived of all his gifts, unless his mercy shall shadow my offenses. And so, to punish my former unthankfulness, it may be, that my God most justly hath permitted Satan to put in my mind such cogitations, as did impede my journey toward you at this present. And they were these: I heard such troubles as appeared in that realm; I began to dispute with myself as followeth: Shall Christ, the author of peace, concord, and quietness, be preached where war is proclaimed, sedition engendered, and tumults appear to rise? Shall not his Evangel be accused, as the cause of all calamity which is like to follow? What comfort canst thou have, to see the one half of the people rise up against the other; yea, to jeopard the one, to murder and destroy the other? But above all, what joy shall it be to thy heart, to behold with thy eyes thy native country betrayed into the hands of strangers, which to no man’s judgment can be avoided, because that they who ought to defend it, and the liberty thereof, are so blind, dull, and obstinate, that they will not see their own destruction? These and more deep cogitations so did, and yet do trouble and move my wicked heart, that as I was without comfort, so was I almost without counsel, not only in that matter, but also in matters of smaller importance.

    I grant, that none of these dangers which are before expressed, are any sufficient cause or excuse, why that I should not hazard all for the manifestation of Christ’s glory; for if the apostles had looked to any of these, they should never have preached Christ; for all such troubles, and more grievous also, did ensue the publication of his Gospel. And it is forespoken, that so it must be also to the end of the world; for always must the reprobate, the children of this world, have some pretext of excuse, why that they reject the light which is offered. But therefore must not the messengers of God desist from their office. And therefore, I say, I know that no cogitations can excuse me before God; for my conscience beareth record, that the salvation of my brethren ought to be so dear unto me, that it ought to be sought with the hazard of all that is on earth. But, alas! as the wounded man, be he never so expert in physic or surgery, cannot suddenly mitigate his own pain and dolor, no more can I the fear and grief of my heart, although I am not altogether ignorant what is to be done.

    It may also be, that the doubts and cold writing of some brethren, did augment my dolor, and somewhat discourage me, that before was more than feeble; for Satan is so subtle, that he can make the very elect of God labor and travail for a time to stop the preaching of the Evangel. Which thing, because they do neither of hatred against Christ Jesus, nor of malice against the glory of his name, but either unwittingly, or else of some carnal affection and inconsiderate zeal, is not damned, but obtaineth pardon, and so, is suddenly removed, or else gently rebuked to repentance; as the foolish zeal of Peter, laboring to impede Christ’s death, in persuading him to be merciful to himself; and the request of the Virgin, his mother, calling him forth to speak with her, what time he was most diligent, instructing the people. I am certainly persuaded, that whatsoever my brethren did write, did proceed of love as well towards me, as towards the common action which before was intended: but yet, it may be, that Satan did either abuse (God so permitting, for causes known to his wisdom,) their simplicity and zeal, or else, my fear and weakness, so that for that time, my journey towards you was stayed.

    But nothing do I so much accuse as myself, and former iniquity: Desiring you, therefore, dear Sister, with all those that thirst the glory of Christ Jesus to be proclaimed among you, unfeignedly to call to God for me, that it would please him of his great mercy, and for Christ Jesus his Son’s sake, to bury the remembrance of my grievous sins, and so to rule my heart with his principal Spirit, that from henceforth I may so behave myself within his kirk, that my life be no slander to that doctrine which I profess. And I will not cease to call for you, and for the faithful in these quarters, that day by day ye may increase and grow in faith, zeal, love, and patience, strengthened by the mighty power of the Holy Ghost with such virtue and force, that no assaults of Satan, nor terrors of death, nor flattering promises of transitory life, move you from the stability of that which once ye have professed: but that constantly ye may continue to the end, leaving unto your posterity such testimony of your perfect faith, that in you they may have occasion to glorify God, in that it has pleased his godly majesty, by your patience, to minister and offer unto them the light of salvation.

    And if these things ye shall earnestly ask of God, to be granted unto you for the glory of his own name, and for the merits of his only well-beloved Son Jesus, then whatsoever shall become of my wretched carcass, I am most certainly persuaded, that the invincible power of Him who has commanded his Evangel to be preached to all realms and nations, shall perform that good work which he has began amongst you, to the praise and glory of his great mercy, and to your eternal comfort, by the means of our Lord Jesus; whose omnipotent Spirit rest with you now and ever.

    Salute heartily in my name, Mr. David Sinclair, with others of faithful acquaintance. Superfluous I thought it to write to everyone particularly; for I suppose that ye will not spare to communicate whatsoever ye receive, with such as may have profit or comfort thereby. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. ¾ From our town, the 16th of April, 1558. Your brother, JOHN SINCLAIR . 15.

    TO MRS. GUTHRIE, JANET HENDERSON. It is the Lord that giveth spirit to the feeble.

    Albeit I have no particular matter to write unto you, beloved Sister, other than I have expressed in my other writings, yet I could not refrain to write these few lines to you, in declaration of my remembrance of you. True it is, that I have many whom I bear in equal remembrance before God with you, to whom, at this present I write nothing; either for that I esteem them stronger than you be, and therefore they need the less my rude labors, or else, because they have not provoked me by their writing, to recompense their remembrance. My daily prayer shall be for you, that as God hath given his Spirit to assist you, and hath opened your eyes, so that you can discern betwixt the good and the evil, that so it will please his majesty to confirm in you the spirit of constancy to the end.

    The more that you feel your own weakness, the more able and apt a vessel you are to receive the grace of God, so that you once determine with yourself to die with Christ Jesus, rather than to refuse his known verity.

    Which albeit it appear bitter at the first sight, yet, when the necessity and fruit of it shall be considered, it shall be found pleasing, yea, and delectable.

    For statuted it is to all men once to die; but to few it is granted in so just an action, and with such honor, as to be Christ’s witness, yea, and to be made like unto himself. If we should earnestly consider the fruit that shall follow a transitory and a momentary pain, as St. Paul calleth the afflictions of this life, they should not so greatly affray us. The fruit is called Life everlasting, the Sight of God, and the Fullness of all joy. All these are promised for the suffering of a moment, if it be compared with time without end; and they are promised by Him who cannot deceive us. Alas, then, why fear we so greatly, as that there were no truth in God, or yet recompense for the battle, or travail of the just?

    If any object, that I follow not the counsel which I give to others, for my fleeing the country declareth my fear, I answer, I bind no man to my example, and that I trust to God, that I do not expressedly against the word which God uttereth by me. If the love of this life, or the fear of corporal death, caused me to deny the known verity, or to do anything in the eyes of men, which might seem for fear to favor idolatry, then woe unto me forever, for I were nothing but a traitor to Christ and his religion!

    But if my fear be so measured, that it compels me not to commit open iniquity, then do I nothing against my counsel, which is not mine, but the express commandment of Christ Jesus, commanding us to forsake ourselves, and to follow him.

    If we knew, I say, what comfort lyeth hid under the fearful cross of Christ, we would not be so slack to take up the same. If we knew that life is buried with Christ in his grave, we would not fear to go and seek him in the same. We praise and extol the martyrs and saints who by afflictions have overcome this world; and yet we having the same occasion offered, do fly from the battle, yea, and alas! do agree with our enemies, before the battle approach. Call earnestly and incessantly for the assistance of God’s Spirit, dear Sister, and determine with yourself to suffer with Christ Jesus, and then, shall you feel a comfort, according to the promise of Christ Jesus. My own motion and daily prayer is, not only that I may visit you, but also, that with joy I may end my battle amongst you. And assure yourself of that, that whenever a greater number among you shall call upon me, than now hath bound me to serve them, that by His grace, it shall not be the fear of corporal punishment, neither yet of the death temporal, that shall impede my coming unto you.

    I have written a large letter to the gentleman of my last acquaintance within that country, which partly came by your acquaintance and occasion; and I have joined it with these your letters, that by you it may come more surely to his hands. I pray you take pains in that behalf. The matter is such, that I would all should understand of it; therefore, do as you think expedient.

    Salute heartily my familiars. My mother and wife salute you. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ rest with you. ¾ From our town, the 10th of March, 1557. Your brother, JOHN SINCLAIR .


    God Rules.NET
    Search 80+ volumes of books at one time. Nave's Topical Bible Search Engine. Easton's Bible Dictionary Search Engine. Systematic Theology Search Engine.