With supreme self-confidence the St Andrews kirk-session declared on 31 May 1564:
Seing it hes pleased the gudnes of the Eternall, our God, of his meir mercy, to deliver and reduce us furth of the bondage and yok of Antecrist, to the lycht of the Ewangell of Jesus Crist be plenteows prechyng of the same; so that the face of ane perfyt reformed kyrk hes beyn seyn wythin this cite be the space of fyve yearis, the sacramentis deuly ministrat, all thingis done in the kyrk be comly ordor establesched, disciplyn used and resavit wythowtyn contempt or ony plane contradiccione of ony person’.
Poor John Knox felt a distinct sense of inferiority when he sat down to write the first book of his History of the Reformation in Scotland. Unlike his English friend John Foxe, he could not draw upon the stories of hundreds of martyrs and fit them into the complete history of the persecuted Church from its beginning until the present day. To make matters worse, Foxe would duplicate Knox’s labours by incorporating the stories of most of the Scottish martyrs into his 1570 edition of the Acts and Monuments. In his ambition to be both the historian and the martyrologist of the Scottish Reformation, Knox thought he faced an immediate and apparently overwhelming problem: that of a distinct shortage of martyrs. Yet he was quickly reassured once he began assembling the details of those who had vigorously opposed the ‘manifest abuses, superstition and idolatry’, which characterized the Catholic Church in Scodand before the Reformation. Martyrs soon began to appear before his eyes, and Knox consoled himself, ‘Albeit there be no great number, yet are they more than the Collector would have looked for at the beginning.’
Apocalyptic ideas lay at the very heart of British Protestant thought throughout the early modern period. They were held by thinkers from all sections of the theological spectrum within Britain, and formed part of the mainstream of the different reformed traditions found within the Tudor state and the kingdom of Scotland. Most British Protestants viewed their daily lives and the world in which they lived through the lens of apocalyptic thought. Its key themes helped create the new Protestant consciousness which emerged in the early modern period throughout the whole of the English-speaking world.
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Above the entrance doorway at Carnasserie Castle in mid-Argyll there is a finely carved panel containing the coat of arms of Archibald Campbell, fifth Earl of Argyll, and his first wife, Lady Jean Stewart. Along the foot of the panel, in the script employed in Gaelic manuscripts, there is a motto which reads: ‘DIA LE UA NDUIBH[N]E’ or ‘God be with Ó Duibhne.’ The designation Ó Duibhne referred to the fifth Earl of Argyll as chief of Clan Campbell. The inscription and its setting provide a perfect illustration of the different cultures and traditions which the fifth Earl combined in his personal and public life and permitted him to be both a Protestant earl and a godly Gael. The short Gaelic phrase of the motto was the first post-Reformation inscription within the Gaidhealtachd or Gaelic-speaking area, which covered the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
and Jesus ' the just but merciful Friend ' (p. 94) with whom Scots empathised on a humane level, Mary had a far wider range of roles-as divine mother, as God's chosen vessel, as a divine entity not quite linked but yet not quite separate from the Holy Trinity and, most strikingly, as 'virtual co-redeemer ' (p. 186) with Jesus in interceding with God on behalf of humanity. Interdisciplinarity is a central approach in the text, and the visual element of this is supported by a collection of high quality plates, which is well meshed with accompanying discussion throughout. One of the major successes of the book is the way in which it demonstrates the ordinariness of late medieval piety in Scotland, in both the day-today sense of ritual, liturgy and worship, and in terms of Scotland's location squarely within the realm of late medieval European Catholicism, right up to the seismic juncture of 1560.
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