Tuesday, August 16, 2011

John Knox finds a wife. I guess there's no more of these around?

"I have never once feared the devil, but I tremble every time I enter the pulpit."

” Mr. John Campbell, minister at Crairie,”‘ says Mr. Millar, ‘”told me this story of Mr. Knox’s marriage, so far as I mind it. John Knox, before the light of the Reformation broke up, travelled among several honest families in the west of Scotland who were converts to the protestant religion ; particularly he visited oft Stewart, Lord Ochiltree’s family, preaching the gospel privately to those who were willing to receive it. The lady and some of the family were converts ; her ladyship had a chamber, table, stool, and candlestick, for the prophet, and one night about supper, says to him, ‘ Mr. Knox, I think you are at a loss by want of a wife ;’ to which he said, ‘ Madam. I think nobody will take such a wanderer as I ;’ to which she replied, ‘ Sir, if that be your objection, I’ll make inquiry to find an answer ‘gainst our next meeting.’ The lady accordingly’ addressed herself to her eldest daughter, telling her she might be very happy if she could marry Mr. Knox, who would be a great reformer and a credit to the church ; but she despised the proposal, hoping her ladyship wished her better than to marry a poor wanderer. The lady addressed herself to her second daughter, who answered as the eldest. Then the lady spoke to her third daughter, about nineteen years of age, who very’ frankly said. ‘ Madam, I’1l be very willing to marry him, but I fear he will not take me;’ to which the lady replied, ‘If that be all your objection, I’ll soon get you an answer.’ Next night, at supper, the lady said to Mr. Knox, ‘Sir, I have been considering upon a wife to you, and find one very willing.’ To which Knox said, ‘ Who is it, madam and She answered, ‘ My young daughter sitting by you at table.’ Then, addressing himself to the young lady, he said, “My bird, are you willing to marry me” and She answered, ‘Yes, sir, only I fear you ’11 not be willing to take me.’ He said, “My bird, if you be willing to take me, you must take your venture of God’s providence, as I do. I go through the country sometimes on my foot, with a wallet on my arm, a shirt, a clean band, and a bible in it ; you may put some things in it for yourself and if I bid you take the wallet, you must do it, and go where I go, and lodge where I lodge.’ — ‘ Sir,’ .says .she, ‘I’ll do all this.’ — Will you be as good as your word?’ — ‘Yes, I will.’ Upon which, the marriage was concluded, and she lived happily with him, and had several children by him. She went with him to Geneva, and as he was ascending a hill, as there are many near that area, she got up to the top of it before him, and took the wallet on her arm, and, sat down, said, ‘ Now-. good man, am not I as good as my word?’ She afterward lived with him when he was minister at Edinburgh. I am told,” added Mr. Millar, ” that one of that Lady Ochiltree’s daughters, a sister of John Knox’s wife, was married Thomas Millar, of Temple, one” of my predecessors.” — Letters to Wodrow, vol xix., No. 197

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