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Pastoral Care Quotations

A Letter from John Knox

John Knox to his mother-in-law, 1553

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.

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3 replies on “A Letter from John Knox”

Yep, that John Knox was sure a harsh fellow, wasn’t he? (For those who can’t see my tongue, it is poking my cheek).

I’m sure his mother-in-law felt blessed to be called his sister. I’ve read other expressions of his tenderness too.

Hah, Vic, my thoughts exactly—behold the misogynistic John Knox. There’s a man who had no concern for the souls of women, indeed.

Some excerpts I’ve seen of Oliver Cromwell’s letters to his son-in-law, also with pastoral advice for him in dealing with (Cromwell’s) daughter, were simply devastating for my notions of the ostensible Puritan stoicism and devaluing of women.

I suspect that most people capable of writing “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women” are also capable of such beautiful tenderness. It takes a passionate person to be so gentle.

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