Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Mr. Knight

Mr. Knight was of Pembroke college, Oxford, and one of the preachers to the university. He was a divine of good learning, great moderation, and genuine puritan pinciples. Having delivered a sermon on the Lord's day, April 15,1623, before the university, from 2 Kings, xlx. 9., he advanced this position, " That subordinate magistrates might lawfully make use of force, and defend themselves, the commonwealth, and the true religion, in the field, against the chief magistrate, within the cases and conditions following: 1. When the chief magistrate turns a tyrant. 2. Whenne forces his subjects to blasphemy or idolatry. 3. When any intolerable burdens or pressures are laid upon them. And, 4. When resistance is the only expedient to secure their lives, their fortunes, and the liberty of their consciences."* For this proposition in the sermon, Bishop Laud denominates it " a treasonable sermon."t The preacher was, therefore, sent for to court, and asked what authority he had for his assertion. He answered, that it was the opinion of Para?us on Rom. xiii.; but that his principal authority was King James himself, who was then affording assistance to the oppressed Kochellers against their prince. Upon this bold and unexpected answer, Mr. Knight was immediately committed to the Gatehouse; Paraeus's } Commentary was ordered to be burnt at Cambridge, Oxford, and Paul's cross, London ; his assertions were condemned as false and seditious ; and the university of Oxford, in full convocation, made the following decrees: " That it is not lawful to resist the sovereign by force of arms, either offensively or defensively, upon any pretence whatsoever: that all doctors, masters of arts, &c. within the university, shall subscribe to these decrees and censures: and that whosoever shall hereafter take any degree, shall first acknowledge the truth and justice of these censures by subscription to the same; and shall take his oath, that he doth from his heart not only condemn the said doctrine of Parous, but that he will neither preach, teach, nor maintain the same, or any of them, at any time in future."^ Thus all the graduates in this

* Neal'i Puritaoi, Voi. ii. p. 126. . + Prynne's Breviate of Laud, p. 3.

( t Pnrssus was highly celebrated for troe chriitlan piety, a most learned < professor of divioilyat Heidelberg, and rector of the unirersityot that

(place. lie was an admirable writer, a celebrated divioe, aod appointed by the elector palatine to attend the synod of Dort | but, on account of bis age and infirmities', be desired to be excused.—Fulkr'i Abel Stdivivui, p. 579,

580. —

S MS. Chronology, Voi. ii. p. 697. (26.)

university were bound down as slaves to their tyrannical oppressors, and required to swear, that they would never change their opinions. Was ever any thing more unreasonable? Yet such was the tyranny and barbarity of the times! But how long Mr. Knight remained in the Gatehouse, or what other punishment was inflicted upon him, we have not been able to learn.