Hugh Latimer (1485-1555), the English Reformer, often preached before Henry VIII, and on one occasion enraged the king with his boldness. So he was commanded to preach the following weekend and make an apology. On the next Sunday, after reading the text, he addressed himself as he began to preach:
“Hugh Latimer, do you know before whom you are this day to speak? To the high and mighty monarch, the king’s most excellent majesty, who can take away your life if you offend him; therefore, take heed that you speak not a word that may displease; but then consider well, Hugh, don’t you know from where you came? Who it was that sent you out with a message? You’re sent by the great and mighty God! Who is present everywhere, and who beholds all your ways, and is able to cast your soul into Hell. Therefore, take care that you deliver your message faithfully!”
Latimer then gave King Henry the very same sermon he had preached the week before – only with more passion and more urgency!
“To me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or by any human court . . . but the one who examines me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:3-4).
Speaking of Lions…Wasn’t it James I who was muttering an aside to one of his courtiers while John Knox was preaching to him. Knox stopped his sermon and said “When the lion in the forest roars, all the rest of the creatures remain silent – so when the Word of God is being spoken should all of His creatures remain silent.”