John Knox And The Reformation

Autor: Andrew Lang

Wydawnictwo: Jazzybee Verlag

This work of the well-known historian and man-of-letters, Mr. Andrew Lang, is not a biography at all; it is a controversial pamphlet of large size, the thesis of which is a quotation from ' The Diurnal' under the date of Knox's death: ' John Knox, minister, deceased, who had, as was alleged, the most part of the blame of all the sorrows of Scotland since the slaughter of the late Cardinal.' From the beginning to the end of his book, Mr. Lang employs all the resources of his literary art, irony, denunciation, special pleading, to discredit the great Reformer. He attributes to him the principles of a Macchiavelli, and a prudence that led him to shun dangers to himself however ready he might be to denounce others who showed like prudence. He accuses Knox of numberless misstatements in his History, extending even to the perversion of the facts of history to justify his acts and those of his party. On nearly every page is a fling at Knox, the following being an example: ' Knox, as to the doctrine of " killing no murder," was a man of his time. But Knox, in telling the story of a murder which he approves, unhappily displays a glee unbecoming a reformer of the Church of Him who blamed St. Peter for his recourse to the sword. The very essence of Christianity is cast to the winds when Knox utters his laughter over the murders or misfortunes of his opponents, yielding " to the strong propensity which he felt to indulge his vein of humour." Other good men rejoiced in the murder of an enemy, but Knox chuckled.' This is not fair play, though it be sharp writing. It is to be admitted that Mr. Lang carries us with him in many of his attacks upon the consistency and spirit of the Reformer, but he himself ' chuckles' overmuch, and allows far too little for the spirit of the time that shapes the character and thought of even its leaders and heroes.
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