Reformation Unfiltered

A few nights ago I listened to my friend Angus read some accounts of the Scottish Reformation from old books. One of the books [Fleming] was published in the 1600’s but Angus had a version from the 1800’s. He read accounts from that book and others of healings, raising from the dead, and a whole building shaking with the power of the Holy Spirit.

“No signs of life being forthcoming, ‘the physicians pronounced him stark dead’, but Welch ‘fell down before the pallet and cried to the Lord with all his might for the last time … till at length the dead youth opened his eyes and cried out to Mr Welch …” [link to short web version]

John Welch was the son-in-law of John Knox and possibly the one who said “Give me Scotland or I die”, rather than Knox

All very interesting for Angus, who was involved in some more recent charismatic movements. And also for me having only read later editions and the [edited?] Banner of Truth versions which, although very informative, somehow managed to leave the supernatural phenomena out of the story – giving the impression that all the Scottish Reformers did was pray, preach and get martyred. As knowledge increases on the earth, we are no longer satisfied with half-truths. I would rather have the whole story and add my own filters if i need to.

Related: Banner of Truth on supernatural, and on miracles

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Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • I would rather have the whole story as well, supernatural mystery and all. Thanks for taking the filters off. I wonder what other filters are still on out there…

  • But Andrew, we all know that the gifts of healing and such were only reserved for the Apostles. We’re not allowed to do such things today . . .
    ; )
    Thanks for sharing the Reformation story!

  • You know, I always hear way to cool stories that have come out of the British Isle’s. This is yet another one. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Thanks for posting this. The fact that there has been “editing” of this kind at all aggravates me. So many reformed/conservative communities of faith have been robbed of their own history, of the legitmacy, of the Spirit’s work with the word. I still say, though, that it was the reformed suspicion of teachings that end up making sections of scripture currently inapplicable that led me to reject arguments against the Spirit’s ongoing work. Thanks again; this kind of stuff needs to be more publicly known.

  • I have a banner of truth copy of ‘The Scots Worthies’ by John Howie. The editor decided not to remove the references to the supernatural events of the reformation.
    Amazing stuff.

  • You mean the Holy Spirit didn’t remain asleep and start his ‘last-days’ work on my side of the pond in the 19th century?!

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