Scandinavia, Scotland and the Scriptures | Lineage | Broadcast 6


Here in Geneva the Reformer’s Wall commemorates the role
that this city played in the Protestant Reformation. The city became a refuge for many of the hunted reformers of Western Europe. John Knox from Scotland spent several years here and the Protestants of Holland and Spain and the Huguenots from France
all sought refuge here in this city, but then carried the gospel from here elsewhere. Indeed, this city has often been referred to as the Protestant Rome. [music] The city publicly accepted the Reformed faith on the 21st of May 1536 and whilst Farrell was a key player in
the Reformation here it was Calvin that would make this city
famous some have referred to Calvin as the international reformer such was his
influence beyond the boundaries of the city limits the central idea that Calvin developed
was that a consistent and coherent theological system could be derived and
defended on the basis of the Bible Calvin’s greatest legacy was arguably
not any doctrine but rather a demonstration of how the Bible could
serve as a foundation of a stable understanding of Christian belief and
structures another key thing that Calvin did for
this city was founding the University of Geneva in 1559 Calvin had a huge sway of
influence over the notable men and women of that time in the 1600s his influence
spread to England Scotland France Germany it was far-reaching in fact from
this city over 1700 preachers were sent out to France alone 1785 congregations
were formed in the country of France and the preachers that were trained here had
to secretly make their way over to France they used an underground network
system similar to the one used by the French during the resistance in world
war ii it would sneak across the border and they would make their way from house
to house until they reached their place of work in the country of France one of the greatest things to happen
here in Geneva was the publishing of the Geneva Bible the first English version
that had numbered verses in it the theme of the Reformation here in Geneva was
post tenebrous looks meaning after darkness light and truly a lesson we can
learn from the Reformation here was that when God’s Word is studied when it is
read it takes the darkness of our minds away and brings light may we study God’s
Word may we spend time in God’s Word that the
darkness of our minds may be removed by the light of God’s Word you the Reformation of the sixteenth century
was not limited to the powerhouses of Switzerland Germany France England and
Scotland but also in the Nordic countries of Scandinavia something
special would take place whilst the fires of martyrs were burning all across
England during the reign of bloody Queen Mary and the Protestants in France were
persecuted on numerous occasions in Sweden and Denmark the Reformation would
unfold much more peacefully and one could argue they had a greater
proportional impact in each respective country the story of the Scandinavian
Reformation is inextricably linked to Martin Luther and the Protestant bastion
of Wittenberg in the country of Denmark one of the
principal figures in the Reformation was a man named hands Towson like many
others he had grown up in a Catholic family and spent some of his early years
in a cloister he completed much of his education in Denmark where he was noted
for its understanding of Latin and Hebrew but he would also go on to study
in Cologne whilst there he came across some of Luther’s writings and in 1523 he
went to Germany where he met Martin Luther and became acquainted with the
new ideas that were being espoused he would spend 18 months studying there
with Luther after which he would return to Denmark where initially he kept it a
secret that he had been in Wittenberg however the good news of the gospel
cannot be hidden forever and it was only a matter of time before
his teachings were noted to be different from that of others he was soon expelled
from the cloister but this was perhaps the biggest mistake that his opponents
could make now they had no control over him and he was able to travel and preach
throughout the whole country causing a great revival he also translated the
Pentateuch into Danish and this was circulated widely Towson lived
faithfully here in Denmark for the rest of his life and his influence was key in
this whole country accepting the Reformed faith this church here in
Copenhagen was built and named after him in memory of the great influence he had
on the spiritual history of this nation around the same time as towson was
causing a revival in denmark the Petri brothers were having a similar impact
here in sweden the work in these two country shows that the disciples were
just as powerful and scholarly as the giants under which they study Oh left and Laurentiis Petri the sons of
a blacksmith in horrible both studied at the University of Wittenberg where they
were influenced by Luther and melanchthon Olaf completed his master’s
in 1519 and they both returned back to their homeland of Sweden they helped to
translate the Bible into Swedish and through their hard work at the diet of
masterís Sweden was declared Lutheran the first country to do so all laugh Petri was buried here in this
church which later became the National Cathedral supplanting the Uppsala
Cathedral a testament to the great work that he and his brother did while it might have been easier for the
Petri brothers or Towson to live study and work in a place like Wittenberg or
Geneva God had a better theme in store for them
their destiny was to return to their homeland and preach the gospel there
they knew the language the culture and the customs and they were able to do a
work there that others from elsewhere would not have been able to do whatever
work you do may you start with that which lies nearest whether it be your
home church which might be small humble and not so lively or maybe it’s your
home country but everyone is called to go to a faraway and distant land but we
can all start working for God right where we are may you follow God’s call
as these men did in years one by you the 16th century was populated by some
of the greatest minds in religious history Luther Calvin
swingley Knox Latimer Ridley Kremlin and sitting comfortably amongst this group
of luminaries was William Tyndale translator of the English Bible tinder
was born in Gloucestershire in 1494 in a small village called North nibbly marked
today by this monument overlooking the village he was educated at Oxford and completed
his BA in 1512 and his MA in 1515 before coming here to Cambridge University
where he met Dutch scholar Erasmus who was teaching Greek Tyndale wanted to
translate the Bible into English but no one in England was willing to undertake
such a daring task since 1408 the Oxford Commission had forbidden the translation
of the Bible into the English language even prohibiting its use in the training
curriculum for preachers coach Elias a notorious people theologian had this
perspective the New Testament translated into the language of the people is in
truth the food of death the fuel of sin the veil of malice the pretext of false
Liberty the protection of disobedience the corruption of discipline the
depravity of morals the termination of Concord the death of honesty the
wellspring of vices the disease of virtue the instigation of rebellion the
milk of pride the nourishment of contempt the death of peace the
destruction of charity the enemy of unity the murderer of truth immersed in such a climate Tyndale
encountered a learned friend who said we were better without God’s laws than the
Pope’s to which Tyndale responded I defy the Pope and all his laws if God spare
my life in many years I will cause a boy that drive at the plow shall know more
of the scriptures than thou doest forbidden to work in England Tyndale
travelled through Europe from Hamburg to Cologne to worms to Antwerp using the
Greek and Hebrew text to craft a masterpiece of the English language time
and time again the papacy tried to stop his work but the Lord watched over his
servant one account tells us how the Bishop of Durham seeking to hinder his
work brought all his Bibles but this milli provided him with the money he
needed to produce a larger number of better quality Bibles Tyndale contributed as much to the
scholarship of English literature as Shakespeare and Chaucer producing many
of the translations of the Bible that we use today in fact much of the King James
Bible produced 60 years later was taken almost verbatim from Tyndale’s Bible
phrases such as the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak Oh death where is
thy sting and Sikhi first all these came from William Tyndale today there are two
remaining copies of Tyndale’s Bible one of which is here in the British Library
purchased for 1 million pounds and accessible to view free of charge sadly tinder was betrayed by Henry
Phillips in Antwerp who feigned friendship in order to gain Tyndale’s
trust and betrayed him two guards as he was leaving his house he was taken to a
castle in the ward Belgium condemned as a heretic strangled
and burned to death in 1536 his last words were Lord opened the king of
England’s eyes within one year of his death a Bible was placed in every parish
church throughout the whole of England by order of the King the poignant
Christian song tells us martyrs blood stains each page they have died for this
faith hear them cry through the years or hear these words and hold them dear the
Word of God has come to us at such great cost may we not treat it flippantly
haphazardly but may we treasure it and commit to study and share God’s Word
each day you st. Andrews today is famous for two
things number one it’s the home of golf and number two it’s the town where
Prince William met Kate whilst he was studying at university but it’s the
spiritual history of this town that is most interesting and significant st.
Andrews was a town in the 1500s where the first Protestant Scottish martyr was
burned for his faith his name was Patrick Hamilton and he is remembered by
a spot with his initials on the ground but we fast forward to the Year 1538
when Cardinal David Beaton took over and made it his mission to catch a reformer
by the name of George Wishart and stamp out what he saw as the growing heresy in
Scotland at the time George was only a young man 25 years old and he stayed one
step ahead of the Cardinal and escaped and went to Cambridge University where
he met with Hugh Latimer and together they went on to Bristol he was only
there for about six months when he got into trouble again and had to flee the
city he went to Switzerland where he spent
three years travelling to various cities including Geneva and Zurich and he had
the chance to meet with John Calvin and bullinger where he was able to study and
crystallized his views on the gospel in 1542 he returned to the British Isles
and went to Cambridge where he taught at the University after teaching for one
year he then returned to Scotland where he began to preach the gospel in cities
around the country he went to Montrose to teach the book a
Roman and then he went to Dundee beaten followed him there but we shot hid from
him then he went to Perth to preach and then to err the archbishop followed him
but he could not catch him he then went back to Dundee and a priest by the name
of John whiten was sent to kill him but the crowd turned against him George
Wishart was much loved by his countrymen as he didn’t just preach but had a very
practical side to his ministry in one instance in the city of Dundee when the
plague broke out most people fled the city but George Wishart went into the
city so he could care for the sick and the suffering towards the end of his life he met John
Knox who was a young man at the time and would go on to be a great leader in his
own right in the Scottish Reformation he started out essentially as a
bodyguard for George Wishart carrying a two-handed sword with him as he traveled
around the country they built a strong bond as teacher and student until
finally Cardinal beaten with 500 soldiers captured George Wishart John
Knox wanted to follow George into captivity but was told to stay with the
word one is sufficient for sacrifice he was brought here to the castle and
put here in this C tower where he was imprisoned he was then tried and as he
was tried he answered all his accusations from the Bible they were not
satisfied and he was condemned to death outside the castle walls the initials G
W are imprinted on the ground marking the exact spot where George wisher gave
his life at the young age of 33 two things we learn from this man number
one in his ministry and life he was incredibly faithful and was ministering
to the sick and suffering as he traveled around the country number two we learn
about the power and importance of preaching how in two years as he
traveled around the country he caused great revival making a lasting change
and impression here in this country the thing that stands out to me the most
though is how young he was that he died at the age of 33 he was a teacher at
Cambridge at the age of 29 he gave his youth to God and God used him in a
powerful way God is calling for young people again
today young people who would give their talents and their gifts to him and allow
themselves to be used in a powerful way George Wishart was now dead but the
story was not over shortly after his death some of his friends gained entry
to the castle and took Cardinal beat and kept it they put him as a prisoner here
in the sea tower the same place where John Knox commented that many of God’s
children had been imprisoned for their faith some of cardinal Beaton’s friends then
try to dig a tunnel under the wall which can be seen to this day but they were
unsuccessful Cardinal Beaton was then killed and hung out the window of this
tower while they had the first protestant church service in scotland
here in saint andrews castle not everything the reformers did in the past
is to be imitated or was right ultimately we have to look to Jesus as
our example in all things john knox would later join these
believers and was here in the castle when he was captured by the french navy
along with some others he was sentenced to work as a galley slave and did this
for 19 months then he was released no one really knows why because it was not
normal custom to release a galley slave but providence must have been in his
favour he returned to Scotland but soon after he went to England where he spent
some time with Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury and then he also went to
berwick-upon-tweed where he preached and ministered there soon after marry a staunch Catholic came
to the throne in 1553 he left Britain and went to Europe where he settled for
several years in Switzerland he spent time with John Calvin and his powerful
reformer Alvin would have a huge impact on his life on his theology and on the
reforms that he would later lead here in the country of Scotland in 1559 he returned here to Scotland
this time for good and took over as the minister here in st. Giles Cathedral
becoming its first Protestant minister whilst here they abolished the mass and
repudiated people jurisdiction as well as preaching he was also
instrumental in writing some important documents there helped to frame the
church he along with five other men incidentally all named John wrote the
Scots confession of faith which explained what the Church believes and
the Book of Common order which replaced the prayer book and was officially
adopted by the church in 1560 despite the fact that he travelled
extensively throughout his life to different parts of Britain and Europe he
always maintained a deep passion for Scotland famously saying once give me
Scotland or I die he always kept in his mind his home country a place that had
been laid upon his heart I remember once as a young minister
being told your calling is where your burden lies maybe today you find
yourself in a place a town or a country that’s not the exact place that the Lord
has called you to minister stay faithful to him work where you are and pray that
the Lord would open doors to minister where your burden truly lies for John
Knox that was Scotland his homeland for you it may not be your hometown or your
home country but it may be a far-off foreign mission land wherever it is be
faithful to God and follow as he leaves you

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