Sunday, May 15

Give Me Scotland, or I Die!

John Knox appeared at the Church of the Blackfriars in Edinburgh to face charges of heresy on this day in 1556. The Catholic bishops had hoped to humble him. Instead he turned the tables and scored a stunning triumph. Humiliated, Regent Mary of Guise, the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, dismissed the summons, and Knox went out into the streets of Edinburgh to preach to jubilant crowds.

Later that night, Knox famously wrote Mary of Guise a winsome letter of thanks--and asked her to offer a decree of toleration for all Protestants throughout the land. Though she would initially treat the letter with contempt, she soon realized that in order for the Stuart monarch to survive, toleration had became a practical necessity.

Indeed, even though he was briefly forced into exile (this, for the third time), Knox and his reforming friends, had clearly gained the upper hand. Eventually, the spiritual renewal of the Reformation swept across Scotland, transforming the land.

His oft repeated prayer, "Give me Scotland, or I die," was gloriously answered.

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