John Knox is famous for his preaching: by it he instigated a religious revolution in Scotland, and when the Protestants became dejected in the struggle, his preaching rallied them to victory. Yet of the hundreds of sermons he preached, only two were ever published.

In early 1500s Scotland, the Catholic church owned more than half the real estate and gathered an annual income of almost 18 times that of the crown.

Bishops and priests in pre-Reformation Scotland were often appointed for their political connections, and many displayed horrific morals: the Archbishop of St. Andrews, Cardinal Beaton, openly consorted with concubines and sired ten children.

Knox was once sentenced to slave labor, rowing in a French galley. Knox later spoke of the "torment. in the galleys, which brought forth sobs of my heart." During those 19 months, he contracted a kidney infection and stomach ulcers, ailments that vexed him the rest of his life.

While in exile in Geneva, Knox worked briefly with Miles Coverdale on the English translation called the Geneva Bible.

Scottish Reformers forbade the celebration of saints' days and even Christmas. They believed only the Lord's Day should be observed.

One of the most important ways the Reformation faith spread through Scotland was through "Privy Kirks," small groups that met for prayer and Bible study.

The First Book of Discipline, an outline of government for the Reformed Scottish church co-authored by Knox, proposed that every Scottish child receive elementary and high school education—an idea centuries ahead of its time.

When a Protestant leader first exhorted Knox to take up preaching, Knox was frightened and wept openly in confusion.

During the stormy year of 1559, when religious revolution swept Scotland, ...

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