Knott, Edward

Knott, Edward an English Jesuit, whose true name was Matthias Wilson, and memorable for his controversy with Chillingworth, which called forth the famous book called The Religion of Protestants, was born at Pegsworth, near Morpeth, in Northumberland, in 1580. He was entered among the Jesuits in 1606, being already in priests' orders; and is represented in the Bibliotheca Patrum Societatis Jesu as a man of low stature, but of great abilities. He taught divinity a long time in the English college at Rome, and was a rigid observer of that discipline himself which he as rigidly exacted from others. He was then appointed sub-provincial of the province of England; and, after he had exercised that employment out of the kingdom, he was twice sent thither to perform the functions of his office. He was present, as provincial, at the general assembly of the orders of the Jesuits held at Rome in 1646. and was elected one of the definitors. He died at London January 4,1655-6. Knott was a great controversialist, and wrote largely, displaying in all his works great acuteness and learning. His first book was a little work entitled Chari il Mistaken (Lond. 1630), with the " want whereof Catholics are unjustly charged, for affirming, as they do with grief, that Protestancy, unrepented, destroys salvation," which was answered by Dr. Potter, provost of Queen's College, Oxford (in 1633), by a piece entitled Want of Charity justly charged on all such Romanists as dare, without truth or modesty, affirm that Protestancy destroyeth Salvation. To this Knott replied, under the title Mercy and Truth, or Charity maintained by Catholics (in 1634), which occasioned Chillingworth to publish The Religion of Protestants. SEE CHILLINGWORTH. Knott came to the defence in 1638, in a pamphlet entitled Christianity Maintained, and later in a work under the title of Infidelity Unmasked, etc. (Ghent, 1652, 4to). At this time, however, Chillingworth had been dead nine years, and in behalf of the noted deceased a reply was made by Thomas Smith, fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge (in 1653), in the preface to an English translation of Daille's Apology of the Reformed Churches. See Genesis Biog. Dict. 8:49 sq.; Wood, Athence Oxon. ; De Maizeaux, Life of Chillingworth. (J. H. W.)

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