Mystical and Religiously significant ceremonies without divine appointment are unlawful—Knox.

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Sale of EPC continues; see link below, this part one of six (see the NP Facebook page for the other parts).
§8. To these reasons which I have put in order against men’s significant ceremonies, I will add a pretty [fine] history before I go further.

When the Superior of the Abbey of St. Andrews was disputing with John Knox about the lawfulness of the ceremonies devised by the church,[1] to decor the sacraments and other service of God, Knox answered: The church ought to do nothing but in faith, and ought not to go before, but is bound to follow the voice of the true Pastor. The Superior replied, that every one of the ceremonies hath a godly signification, and therefore they both proceed from faith, and are done in faith. Knox replies: It is not enough that man invent a ceremony, and then give it a signification according to his pleasure; for so might the ceremonies of the Gentiles, and this day the ceremonies of Mahomet be maintained. But if that anything proceed from faith it must have the Word of God for the assurance, etc. The Superior answers: Will ye bind us so strait that we may do nothing without the express Word of God? What, and I ask drink? think ye that I sin? and yet I have not God’s Word for me.

Knox here tells him, first, that if he should either eat or drink without the assurance of God’s Word, he sinned; for saith not the apostle, speaking even of meat and drink, that the creatures are sanctified unto men by the Word and prayer? The word is this: all things are clean to the clean: Now let me hear thus much of your ceremonies, and I shall give you the argument.

But secondly, he tells him that he compared indiscreetly together profane things with holy; and that the question was not of meat and drink, wherein the kingdom of God consists not, but of matters of religion, and that we may not take the same freedom in the using of Christ’s sacraments that we may do in eating and drinking, because Moses commanded, All that the Lord thy God commanded thee to do, that do thou to the Lord thy God; add nothing to it, diminish nothing from it.[2] The Superior now says that he was dry, and thereupon desires the grey friar Arbugkill to follow the argument; but he was so pressed with the same that he was confounded in himself, and the Superior ashamed of him:

Dicite Io Pæan, et Io bis dicite Pæan.[3]


[1] . Knox, Hist. of the Church of Scotland, lib. 1, p. 157–159 [The First (second-third) Book of the History of the Reformation of Religion within the Realm of Scotland ({T. Vautrollier, 1587}); Cf. The Works of John Knox, ed. David Laing, volume 1 (1846; repr. New York: AMS Press, 1966) 195–200].

[2] . [“Not that thing that which appearis good in thy eis shalt thow do to the Lord thy God, but what the Lord thy God hes commanded thee, that do thow: add nothing to it; diminish nothing from.” Laing, 1.199. Cf. Deuteronomy 4:2.]

[3] . [Ovid, Artis Amatoriæ, book 2, line 1. “Say hip hurray, and twice say hip hurray!”]

See George Gillespie, A Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies (Naphtali Press, 2013), 232. On sale at Naphtali Press (this posting date, $22 postage paid, see other offers, USA only).

“Gillespie's famous book is a vitally important work in the history of the Scottish Reformation, but it is much more than simply that. It has abiding and profound value for all who are committed to knowing, applying, and following the Word of God on the proper worship of the church. With great insight and passion Gillespie pursues the freedom of the church from political interference and from ecclesiastical tyranny as well as the freedom of the individual Christian conscience from the burden of tradition.... This splendid edition makes Gillespie's demanding work more accessible to the modern reader and encourages careful reading of this vastly rewarding study.” W. Robert Godfrey.


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From the headline, I thought this was going to be about the grand Westminster Abbey funeral service for atheist Stephen Hawking this week.
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