Roberts Liardon tells us that after the disruption of Mary’s Mass, a proclamation was issued from the court that stated if anyone tried to hinder or hurt any part of royalty, the penalty would be death. The political heads attempted to reason with the Protestant nobles, asking why they wanted to chase Mary out of Scotland. They wanted the Protestants to give Mary a chance, because it seemed sure that she would eventually be swayed to believe as they did. The Protestants were assured that, when a large part of Mary’s relatives returned to France, they would be able to rule as they pleased.
Knox didn’t fall for it. He saw that the Protestants’ fervor was beginning to fade and that they were compromising their stand. The next Sunday, Knox preached with even greater force. He soundly denounced the Catholic idolatry that was attempting to invade them and, step by step, repeated the plagues that befell other nations that had tolerated it. He then gave his famous statement, “One Mass is more fearful to me than ten thousand armed enemies.”
He continued, “In our God there is strength to resist and confound multitudes if we unfeignedly depend upon Him, whereof heretofore we have had experience.” He asked, What would become of them all if the presence of God left them? What would be their defense? Prophetically, he added, “Alas, I fear that experience shall teach us, to the grief of many.”
Roberts Liardon tells us that although he saw the struggle and the grief in store for them, Knox never abandoned his fight or fell victim to a weakened spirit. He didn’t run, and he didn’t desert the cause. Knox didn’t give up, nor did he resign from the front lines to hide in the back. The battle was on and the sight of it gave Knox his reason for living.