A Faythfull Admonition

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Introductory notes

John Knox (c.1514-1572), ordained deacon and priest in the late 1530s, is a well-known Protestant reformer. Published in the year Knox went into exile, A Faithful Admonition (1554) bemoaned the loss of English political independence through Mary Tudor's marriage to Philip of Spain, praying for a second Jehu, to overthrow this English “Jezebel”. The work may be seen as precursor to the better-known First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558) which went on to argue that female rule was unnatural, taking a radical stance in response to the burning of protestants during the Marian regime. In this selection, Knox recounts the Biblical story of the famine and siege of Samaria to comment on the political condition of England. He uses the narrative to argue that calamities and hardships are not only manifestations of God’s punishment but also of his subsequent mercy, so that mankind must not despair.

A FAYTH-
full admonition

made by Iohn Knox, unto the profes-
sours of Gods truthe in England, wher
by thou mayest learne howe God wyll
have his Churche exercised with
troubles, and how he defen-
deth it in the same.

Esaie. ix.
After all this shall not the Lordes
wrath ceasse, but yet shall
hys hande be stretched
out styll.


Ibidem.
Take hede that the Lorde roote
thee not out bothe heade and tayle
in one daye.

A FAYTH
full admonition

made by John Knox, unto the profes
sours of Gods truthe in England, wher
by thou mayest learne howe God wyll
have his Churche exercised with
troubles, and how he defen
deth it in the same.
Esaie. ix.
After all this shall not the Lordes
wrath ceasse, but yet shall
hys hande be stretched
out styll.
Ibidem.
Take hede that the Lorde roote
thee not out bothe heade and tayle
in one daye.

1554

1.

[Page 46]

What here chaunsed to Christe Jesus himself, that I myght prove to have chaunsed and dayly to chaun ce to the veritie of his blessed worde in al ages from the begynnynge.

For as Christe hymself in this their trouble, was judged and estemed by his disciples at the firste syght a spirite or phantastical body: so is the truth and syncere preachinge of his gloriouse gospel sent by God for mannes most comforte, delyveraunce from synn, and quietnesse of conscience, whan it is firste offered and truly preached, it is (I saye) no lesse but judged to be heresye and disceavable doctrine, sent by the devel to mannes destruccion.

The cause herof is the darke ignoraunce of God, which in every ag [...]syth the beginnyng so over whelmed the worlde, that sometymes Goddes veray electe were in lyke blyndnes and erroure with the reprobate: As Abraham was an idolatrare [Page 47] Moses was instructed [...] al the artes of the Egypcianes, Paule a provde Pharisey conjured agaynst Christe and his doctrine. And many in this same our age, whan the truth of God was offred unto them, were sore affrayed and cried agaynst it, only because the darke cloudes of ignoraunce had troubled them before. But this matter I omitte and let passe, til more opportunitie.

The chefe note that I wold have wel obscrue and marcke in this preposterous feare of the disci ples, is this:

The more nyghe deliverance and salvacyon approcheth, the more stronge and vehement is the temptacyon of the Churche of God. And the more nyghe that Goddes vengeaunce approacheth to the reprobate, the more provde, cruel and arrogant are they. Wherby it commonly commeth to passe, that the veray messyngers of lyfe are judged and deemed to be the authors of al mischefe. And this in many histories is evident. Whan God had appoynted to delyver the afflicted Israelites by the hand of Moses from the Tyranny [Page 48] of the Egypcians, and Moses was sente to the presence of Pharao for the same purpose, such was their affliccion and anguyshe by the crueltie which newly was exer cysed over them, that with open mouthes they cursed Moses (and no doute in their hertes they hated god who sent hym) alledgyng that Mo ses and Aaron was the hole cause of their last extreme trouble.

The lyfe is to be seen in the bose of Kynges, both under Eliseus and Esaias the Prophetes. For in the dayes of Joran sonne of Achab was Samaria beseged by the king of Syria. In which Samaria no doute (albeit the Kinge and the most multitude were wicked) ther was yet some membres of Goddes electe church which wer brought to such extreme famin, that not only thinges of smal price were sold beyond al measure: but also women agaynst nature were compelled to eat their owne children. In this same citie Eliseus the Prophete most commonly was conversant and dwelt, by whose counsel and commaundement no doute the citie was kepte, for it appeareth the [Page 49] [...]ynge to laye y [...]to hys charge, when he hearing the piteous complaint of the woman (who for longer had eaten her owne sonne) rent his clothes with a solemne other and vowe, that the head of Elizeus should not stand upon his body that daye. If Elize us had not ben of counsel that the cytie should have ben kept, why should the kynge more have fumed against him, then against other? But whe ther he was the author of the defendinge the citie, or not, al is one to my purpose, for before the delyveraunce, was the churche in suche extremitie, that the chiefe pastore of that tyme was sought to be killed by suche as shoulde have defended hym.

The lyke is redde of Ezechias, who defending his citie Jerusalem, and resisting provde Sennacheryb. No doute obeying the counsel of Esaias, at length was so oppressed with sorowe and shame, by the blasphemouse wordes of [...], that he had no other refuge, but in the Temple of the [...]orde (as a man desperate and wythout comforte) to open the disdaynfull letters sent unto hym by that hautye and provdety: [Page 50] aunte.

By these and many histories mo, it is moste evident, that ye more nigh salvacion and deliveraunce appro cheth, the more vehement is the temtacion and trouble.

This I writ to admonishe you, that albeit yet you shal se tribulacion so abounde, that nothing shal appere but extreme misery without al hope of comforte: that yet ye declyne not from God. And that albeit somtymes ye be moved to hate the messengers of lyfe, that therfore you shal not judge that God wyl never shewe mercy after. No dere brethren, as he hathe entreated other before you, so wil he do you.

God wyll suffer tribulacion and dolour abounde, that no maner of comforte shalbe seen in man to thentent, that when delyveraunce commeth, the glorie maye be his, whose onlye worde maye pacifie the tempestes moste vehement.

[...]e drowned Pharao and his ar [...]e scatered the great multitud of [...]enedab: And by his Aungel killed the hoost of Sennacherib. And so delyvered his afflicted when [Page 51] no thinge appeared to them but utter destruccion. So shal he do to you be loved brethren, ye paciently ye wil abyde his consolation and counsel. God open your eyes that ryghtly ye maye understande the meaning of my wrytinge. Amen.

But yet peradventure you won der not a lytle why God permitteth suche bloud thristye tyrauntes to molest and greve his chosen Church: I have recited some causes before, and yet mo I could recite, but at this tyme I wyl holde me content with one.

The justice of God is suche, that he wil not pow [...]e forth his extreme vengeaunce upon the reprobate, un to suche time as their iniquitie be so manifest, that their very flatterer [...] can Pharao was not de stroyed till his owne housholde servauntes and subjectes abho [...]red and condemned his stubburne disobe dience.

This is a selection from the original text

Keywords

abundance, cannibalism, eating, thirst

Source text

Title: A Faythfull Admonition

Author: John Knox

Publication date: 1554

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: England

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 15069 Physical description: [126] p. Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery Reel position: STC / 253:08

Digital edition

Original author(s): John Knox

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Tp, images: 28-30

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Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

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Genre: Britain > non-fiction prose > religion: sermons

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.

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