The 1611 Authorized King James Version of the Bible
The Crowning Result of Tyndale's Sacrifice
JAMES I (1566-1625)
Elizabeth I, who had never married, left no heir. James was the son of another infamous Mary: the Catholic "Mary, Queen of Scots" (1542-1587). You can read about her in Great Controversy, pp 250-251. Although she feared John Knox, she would have liked nothing more than to strike him dead.
After his mother was imprisoned in London for sedition against her half-sister, Elizabeth, Queen of England, James came to the throne and was crowned James VI of Scotland (1567-1603).
The date was July 29, 1567, and James was rather young-only 13 months old. (Five months earlier, his father, Henry Stuart, Mary's second husband, had been killed by a bomb blast in his home.)
Twenty years later, his mother, Mary, was beheaded at the age of 44.
On the death of Elizabeth in 1603, James came to the throne of England, and was crowned James I (1603-1625).
The present writer has read historical studies, that James was a secret Catholic who, unable to openly slay Protestants, contented himself with harassing Christian minorities.
Other writers say he was a solid Protestant.
"James I came to the throne in 1603. His early life and training had made him a student of the Bible. He had even tried his hand at authorship, having written a paraphrase of the book of Revelation and translated some of the Psalms."-I.M. Price, Ancestry of Our English Bible, p. 468.
It is true that James did not provide a pleasant home for the most dedicated believers in Christ. It was for this reason that the Mayflower sailed to America in 1621, just ten years after the King James Bible was published.
But, if there was any doubt, one event surely helped James choose to unite with the Protestant side! It was a cheerful little attempt by the Catholics to blow him to pieces.
Here is the story of what happened:
Two years after James ascended the English throne, on October 26, 1605, an unsigned letter was delivered to the Lord Chamberlain, Monteagle, warning him to stay away from the much-delayed opening session of Parliament on November 5.
Puzzled, he wondered what this was all about. It was planned that the King, his entire royal family, and all the members of Parliament would be in Westminster Palace that day.
Monteagle took the brief note to the King's chief minister, Robert Cecil (first Earl of Salisbury), who woke James out of bed and showed it to him.
It so happened that four dedicated Roman Catholics (Thomas Winter, Thomas Percy, John Wright, and Guy Fawkes) led by another papist (Robert Catesby) had taken an oath to assassinate King James and everyone else in that immense building. Their pledge was sealed at a solemn communion service, served by the Jesuit priest, John Gerard.
The plan was simple enough: Blow up the building while the people were in it and, then, start an insurrection outside with arms smuggled in from Flanders. It was hoped that an open revolt would follow and all the Protestants would be slain.
But, somehow, the opening of Parliament kept being postponed. This worried the conspirators, and they counseled with two other Catholic priests.
One was Oswald Greenway, who they spoke with during confessional. The other was Henry Garnet, Provincial of the English Jesuits.
In the providence of God, it was only because of the repeated delays that they decided to warn a few pro-Catholic members of Parliament to stay away from the opening of Parliament on November 5, 1605.
Monteagle's note was one of them, sent to him by his Catholic relative, Francis Tresham.
The date of the note was October 26. The opening of Parliament was set for November 5. The government had only eight days in which to solve this mystery.
As soon as King James learned of the crisis, he immediately launched a major investigation. Day after day passed, and still no results.
Finally, on the evening of November 4, investigators were still at work. Parliament was scheduled to open the next morning, amid special ceremonies. Then, on the stroke of midnight, British security agents discovered the suspicious presence of Guy Fawkes standing outside the cellar door of Westminster Palace.
Who was this man? Why was he standing there at midnight?
Men had earlier looked through the cellar and found nothing. Now they searched it thoroughly-and discovered, hidden beneath a large pile of faggots and coal, and positioned beneath the very spot where James would be standing in only few hours-THIRTY-SIX barrels of gunpowder. When they searched Fawkes, they found in his pockets a tinder box and matches.
At 1 a.m., Fawkes was summoned to face the hurriedly awakened council in the king's bedchamber at Whitehall Palace.
Fawkes was emotionally unmoved, only expressing his regret that he had failed to blow the king and his Protestant followers all the way to the infernal place.
When the authorities went after Catesby, Percy, and Wright, they were met with gunfire, and the three fellow conspirators were slain.
This left Fawkes and three other collaborators to stand trial on January 27, 1606, and be hanged the same week in St. Paul's churchyard.
It was learned that the conspirators had secured a nearby house and spent 16 hours a day, for nearly a year, digging a tunnel from their basement to that of the Palace. But, arriving there, they found the foundation walls were nine feet thick.
So they went to another adjacent property and managed to gain access to the basement.
To this day, Britishers celebrate "Guy Fawkes Day," as a day they slew the Catholics who wanted to kill their king.
Why was Satan so anxious to destroy the king and Parliament? There was a special reason. On January 16-18, 1604, the sovereign had decided to have a large group of scholars begin work on a new translation of the Bible.
That project was just getting started when the Gunpowder Plot was discovered on the evening of November 4, 1605.
If the plot to kill all the Protestant leaders of the nation had succeeded, Satan would have succeeded in destroying the Authorized (King James) Bible.