The Real John Knox
Today, unfortunately, John Knox is largely known not for his work on behalf of the church, but is a caricatured, fire-breathing prophet figure who wanted to persecute anyone who would not agree with him. Prophets are often misunderstood, maligned, or marginalized by those who are opposed to their work, and such is the case with Knox.
The writer Thomas Carlyle memorably captured the human side of Knox:
They go far wrong who think this Knox was a gloomy, spasmodic, shrieking fanatic. Not at all; he is one of the solidest men; a most shrewd, observing, quietly discerning man; an honest-hearted, brotherly man—brother to the high, brother also to the low: sincere in his sympathy with both; a cheery, social man with faces that loved him. An ill nature he decidedly had not. Kind, honest, affections dwelt in the much-enduring, hard-worn, ever-battling man. Close at hand, he was found to be no mean, acrid man, but at heart a healthful, strong sagacious man.
 Southern Presbyterian Review, July 1876, p. 442.