Knox took zero credit for the powerful and gracious working of the Spirit of God in Scotland; his explanation of one of the greatest revivals in the history of the church? "God raised up simple men in great abundance." May he do so again!
After guiding my students up the cobble stones of the Royal Mile, we began with push ups in the rain on the steps of St Giles High Kirk (for a couple of tardy young gents, I at their side offering moral support and setting the pace--I never do this on my adult tours, trust me!). The push ups out of the way, I began orienting the young people to the one-time cathedral's Medieval roots, then Knox preaching here and Reformation revival, then Jenny Geddes and the Covenanters. Knox's totally unpretentious grave under parking stall 23, the Mercat Cross where Covenanters were martyred--some like David Haxton hanged, drawn, and quartered, then Greyfriars Abbey where the National Covenant was signed--in blood, then the stone momument to 18,000 Covenanter martyrs, next the prison where many Covenanters were crammed after the Battle of Bothwell Brig, then the Grassmarket at the West Bow where the gallows were kept busy, and lastly to the imposing ramparts of Edinburgh Castle. In all likelihood The Scots Confession 1560 was presented to parliament in the Great Hall after being crafted in only four days on nearby Cowgate Street at Magdalen Chapel (by Knox and four other Johns).
The Scots Confession was overwhelmingly approved as the best summation of the Bible's teaching. Later the Church of Scotland would adopt the Westminster Confession, a still more refined and careful encapsulating of what the Bible principally teaches. Confessions of faith are imminently biblical and essential bulwarks against the enemy's constant stratagem to corrupt the gospel little-by-little. Here is an excerpt from the SC on the so critical topic of sanctification and good works.
� "The cause of good works, we confess, is not our free will, but the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, who dwells in our hearts by true faith, brings forth such works as God has prepared for us to walk in... For as soon as the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, whom God's elect children receive by true faith, takes possession of the heart of any man, so soon does he regenerate and renew him, so that he begins to hate what before he loved, and to love what he hated before." (Dickinson, John Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland, 2 :263)
Make a mimgle mangle of grace here and the whole of reformational gospel and understanding of Scripture collapses, gets turned into haggis, the good news chopped up like sheep guts crammed in a sheep stomach and tied at both ends. And then consumed.