image John Knox (1510-1572), leader of the Reformation in Scotland had a famous interview with Mary, Queen of Scots on August 26,1561 (the first of several).  The Queen had accused Knox of raising her subjects against her and that he spoke out against her authority.  She said that he was the cause of sedition and slaughter in England.

Queen Mary asked, “Think ye that subjects, having the power, may resist their princes?”  Knox answered that much like the Apostle Paul tolerated Nero so could he and this followers tolerate her rule so long as it was convenient, he then said:

If their princes exceed their bounds, Madam, no doubt they may be resisted, even by power. For there is neither greater honor, nor greater obedience, to be given to kings or princes, than God hath commanded to be given unto father and mother. But the father may be stricken with a frenzy, in which he would slay his children. If the children arise, join themselves together, apprehend the father, take the sword from him, bind his hands, and keep him in prison till his frenzy be overpast: think ye, Madam, that the children do any wrong? It is even so, Madam, with princes that would murder the children of God that are subjects unto them. Their blind zeal is nothing but a very mad frenzy, and therefore, to take the sword from them, to bind their hands, and to cast them into prison, till they be brought to a more sober mind, is no disobedience against princes, but just obedience, because it agreeth with the will of God.

Tradition then states that she was at a loss of words for about 15 minutes, which evidently was quite an accomplishment.

From History of the Reformation in Scotland, Volume 1 by John Knox (edited William Croft Dickinson, D.Lit.)

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