Who were the leading English Reformers that were burned? What were their names, and what were the circumstances attending their deaths? These are questions which may very properly be asked, and questions to which I proceed at once to give an answer.
I am very sensible that I shall seem to many to go over old ground. But I am bold to say that it is ground which ought often to be gone over. I, for one, want the names of our martyred Reformers to be “household words” in every Protestant family throughout the land. I shall, therefore, make no apology for giving the names of the nine principal English martyrs in the chronological order of their deaths, and for supplying you with a few facts about each of them. Never, I believe, since Christ left the world, did Christian men ever meet a cruel death with such glorious faith, and hope, and patience, as these Marian martyrs. Never did dying men leave behind them such a rich store of noble sayings, sayings which deserve to be written in golden letters in our histories, and handed down to our children’s children.
(1) The first leading English Reformer who broke the ice and crossed the river, as a martyr in Mary’s reign, was John Rogers, a London minister, Vicar of St. Sepulchre’s, and Prebendary and Reader of Divinity at St. Paul’s. He was burned in Smithfield on Monday, the 4th of February, 1555. Rogers was born at Deritend, in the parish of Aston, near Birmingham. He was a man who, in one respect, had done more for the cause of Protestantism than any of his fellow-sufferers. In saying this I refer to the fact that he had assisted Tyndale and Coverdale in bringing out a most important version of the English Bible, a version commonly known as Matthews’ Bible. Indeed, he was condemned as “Rogers, alias Matthews.” This circumstance, in all human probability, made him a marked man, and was one cause why he was the first who was brought to the stake.
Rogers’ examination before Gardiner gives us the idea of his being a bold, thorough Protestant, who had fully made up his mind on all points of the Romish controversy, and was able to give a reason for his opinions. At any rate, he seems to have silenced and abashed his examiners even more than most of the martyrs did. But argument, of course, went for nothing. “Woe to be conquered!” If he had the word,
his enemies had the sword.*
On the morning of his martyrdom he was roused hastily in his cell in Newgate, and hardly allowed time to dress himself. He was then led forth to Smithfield on foot, within sight of the Church of St. Sepulchre, where he had preached, and through the streets of the parish where he had done the work of a pastor. By the wayside stood his wife and ten children (one baby) whom Bishop Bonner, in his diabolical cruelty, had flatly refused him leave to see in prison. He just saw them, but was hardly allowed to stop, and then walked on calmly to the stake, repeating the 51st Psalm. An immense crowd lined the street, and filled every available spot in Smithfield. Up to that day men could not tell how English Reformers would behave in the face of death, and could hardly believe that Prebendaries and Dignitaries would actually give their bodies to be burned for their religion. But when they saw John Rogers, the first martyr, walking steadily and unflinchingly into a fiery grave, the enthusiasm of the crowd knew no bounds. They rent the air with thunders of applause. Even Noailles, the French Ambassador, wrote horne a description of the scene, and said that Rogers went to death “as if he was walking to his wedding.” By God’s great mercy he died with comparative ease. And so the first Marian martyr passed away.
(2) The second leading Reformer who died for Christ’s truth in Mary’s reign was John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester. He was burned at Gloucester on Friday, the 9th of February, 1555.
Hooper was a Somersetshire man by birth. In many respects he was, perhaps, the noblest martyr of them all. Of all Edward the Sixth’s bishops, none has left behind him a higher reputation for personal holiness, and diligent preaching and working in his diocese. None, judging from his literary remains, had clearer and more Scriptural views on all points in theology. Some might say that Edward the Sixth’s Bishop of Gloucester was too Calvinistic; but he was not more so than the Thirty-nine Articles. Hooper was a far-sighted man, and saw the danger of leaving nest-eggs for Romanism in the Church of England. In his famous dispute with Cranmer and the other bishops about wearing Romish vestments at his consecration, it has been, I know, the fashion to condemn him as too stiff and unbending. I say boldly that the subsequent history of our Church makes it doubtful whether we ought not to reverse our verdict. The plain truth is, that in principle Hooper was right, and his opponents were wrong. A man like Hooper, firm, stern, not naturally genial, unbending and unsparing in his denunciation of sin, was sure to have many enemies. He was one of the first marked for destruction as soon as Popery was restored. He was summoned to London at a very early stage of the Marian persecution, and, after lingering eighteen months in prison, and going through the form of examination by Bonner, Gardiner, Tunstall, and Day, was degraded from his office, and sentenced to be burned as a heretic.
At first it was fully expected that he would suffer in Smithfield with Rogers. This plan, for some unknown reason, was given up, and to his great satisfaction Hooper was sent down to Gloucester and burnt in his own diocese, and in sight of his own cathedral. On his arrival there, he was received with every sign of sorrow and respect by a vast multitude, who went out on the Cirencester Road to meet him, and was lodged for the night in the house of a Mr. Ingram, which is still standing, and probably not much altered. There Sir Anthony Kingston, whom the good Bishop had been the means of converting from a sinful life, entreated him, with many tears, to spare himself, and urged him to remember that “Life was sweet, and death was bitter.” To this the noble
martyr returned this memorable reply, that “Eternal life was more sweet, and eternal death was more bitter.”
On the morning of his martyrdom he was led forth, walking, to the place of execution, where an immense crowd awaited him. It was market-day; and it was reckoned that nearly 7000 people were present. The stake was planted directly in front of the western gate of the
Cathedral-close, and within 100 yards of the deanery and the east front of the Cathedral. The exact spot is marked now by a beautiful memorial at the east end of the churchyard of St. Mary-de-Lode. The window over the gate, where Popish friars watched the Bishop’s dying agonies, stands unaltered to this day.
When Hooper arrived at this spot, he was allowed to pray, though strictly forbidden to speak to the people. And there he knelt down, and prayed a prayer which has been preserved and recorded by Foxe, and is of exquisitely touching character. Even then a box was put before him containing a full pardon, if he would only recant. His only answer was, “Away with it; if you love my soul, away with it!” He was then fastened to the stake by an iron round his waist, and fought his last fight with the king of terrors. Of all the martyrs, none perhaps, except Ridley, suffered more than Hooper did. Three times the faggots had to be lighted, because they would not burn properly. Three quarters of an hour the noble sufferer endured the mortal agony, as Foxe says, “neither moving. backward, forward, nor to any side,” but only praying, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me; Lord Jesus, receive my spirit;” and beating his breast with one hand till it was burned to a stump. And so the good Bishop of Gloucester passed away.
(3) The third leading Reformer who suffered in Mary’s reign was Rowland Taylor, Rector of Hadleigh, in Suffolk. He was burned on Aldham Common, close to his own parish, the same day that Hooper died at Gloucester, on Friday, the 9th February, 1555.
Rowland Taylor is one of whom we know little, except that he was a great friend of Cranmer, and a doctor of divinity and canon law. But that he was a man of high standing among the Reformers is evident, from his being ranked by his enemies with Hooper, Rogers, and Bradford; and that he was an exceedingly able and ready divine is clear from his examination, recorded by Foxe. Indeed, there is hardly any of the sufferers about whom the old Martyrologist has gathered together so many touching and striking things. One might think he was a personal friend.
Striking was the reply which he made to his friends at Hadleigh, who urged him to flee, as he might have done, when he was first summoned to appear in London before Gardiner:-
“What will ye have me to do? I am old, and have already lived too long to see these terrible and most wicked days. Fly you, and do as your conscience leadeth you. 1 am fully determined, with God’s grace, to go to this Bishop and tell him to his beard that he doth naught. 1 believe before God that I shall never be able to do for my God such good service as I may do now.” – Foxe’s “Acts and Monuments,” vol. iii. p. 138.
Striking were the replies which he made to Gardiner and his other examiners. None spoke more pithily, weightily, and powerfully than did this Suffolk incumbent.
Striking and deeply affecting was his last testament and legacy of advice to his wife, his family, and parishioners, though far too long to be inserted here, excepting the last sentence:-
“For God’s sake beware of Popery: for though it appear to have in it unity, yet the same is vanity and Antichristianity, and not in Christ’s faith and verity.” – Foxe’s “Acts and Monuments,” vol. iii. p. 144.
He was sent down from London to Hadleigh, to his great delight, to be burned before the eyes of his parishioners. When he got within two miles of Hadleigh, the Sheriff of Suffolk asked him how he felt. “God be praised, Master Sheriff,” was his reply, “never better. For now I am almost at home. I lack but just two stiles to go over, and I am even at my Father’s house.”
As he rode through the streets of the little town of Hadleigh, he found them lined with crowds of his parishioners, who had heard of his approach, and came out of their houses to greet him with many tears and lamentations. To them he only made one constant address, “I have preached to you God’s Word and truth, and am come this day to seal it with my blood.”
On coming to Aldham Common, where he was to suffer, they told him where he was. Then he said, – “Thank God, I am even at home.”
When he was stripped to his shirt and ready for the stake, he said, with a loud voice, – “Good people, I have taught you nothing but God’s Holy Word, and those lessons that I have taken out of the Bible; and I am come hither to seal it with my blood.” He would probably have said more, but, like all the other martyrs, he was strictly forbidden to speak, and even now was struck violently on the head for saying these few words. He then knelt down and prayed, a poor woman of the parish insisting, in spite of every effort to prevent her, in kneeling down with him. After this, he was chained to the stake, and repeating the 51st Psalm, and crying to God, “Merciful Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, receive my soul into Thy hands,” stood quietly amidst the flames without crying or moving, till one of the guards dashed out his brains with a halberd. And so this good old Suffolk incumbent passed away.
(4) The fourth leading Reformer who suffered in Mary’s reign was Robert Ferrar, Bishop of St. David’s, in Wales. He was burned at Carmarthen on Friday, the 30th March, 1555. Little is known of this good man beyond the fact that he was born at Halifax, and was the last Prior of Nostel, in Yorkshire, an office which he surrendered in 1540. He was also Chaplain to Archbishop Cranmer and to the Protector Somerset, and to this influence he owed his elevation to the Episcopal bench. He was first imprisoned for various trivial and ridiculous charges on temporal matters, in the latter days of Edward the Sixth, after the fall of the Protector Somerset, and afterwards was brought before Gardiner, with Hooper, Rogers, and Bradford, on the far more serious matter of his doctrine. The articles exhibited against him clearly show that in all questions of faith he was of one mind with his fellow-martyrs. Like Hooper and Taylor, he was condemned to be burned in the place where he was best known, and was sent down from London to Carmarthen. What happened there at his execution is related very briefly by Foxe, partly, no doubt, because of the great distance of Carmarthen from London in those pre-railway days; partly, perhaps, because most of those who saw Ferrar burned could speak nothing but Welsh. One single fact is recorded which shows the good Bishop’s courage and constancy in a striking light. He had told a friend before the day of execution that if he saw him once stir in the fire from the pain of his burning, he need not believe the doctrines he had taught. When the awful time came, he did not forget his promise, and, by God’s grace, he kept it well. He stood in the flames holding out his hands till they were burned to stumps, until a bystander in mercy struck him on the head, and put an end to his sufferings. And so the Welsh Bishop passed away.
(5) The fifth leading Reformer who suffered in Mary’s reign was John Bradford, Prebendary of St. Paul’s, and Chaplain to Bishop Ridley. He was burned in Smithfield on Monday, July the 1st, 1555, at the early age of thirty-five. Few of the English martyrs, perhaps, are better known than Bradford, and none certainly deserve better their reputation. Strype calls Bradford, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, the “four prime pillars” of the Reformed Church of England. He was by birth a Manchester man, and to the end of his life retained a strong interest in the district with which he was connected. At an early age his high talents commended him to the notice of men in high quarters, and . he was appointed one of the six royal chaplains who were sent about England to preach up the doctrines of the Reformation. Bradford’s commission was to preach in Lancashire and Cheshire, and he seems to have performed his duty with singular ability and success. He preached constantly in Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton, Bury, Wigan, Ashton, Stockport, Prestwich, Middleton, and Chester, with great benefit to the cause of Protestantism, and with great effect on men’s souls. The consequence was what might have been expected. Within a month of Queen Mary’s accession Bradford was in prison, and never left it until he was burned. His youth, his holiness, and his extraordinary reputation as a preacher, made him an object of great interest during his imprisonment, and immense efforts were made to pervert him from the Protestant faith. All these efforts, however, were in vain. As he lived, so he died.*
On the day of his execution he was led out from Newgate to Smithfield about nine o’clock in the morning, amid such a crowd of people as was never seen either before or after. A Mrs. Honeywood, who lived to the age of ninety-six, and died about 1620, remembered going to see him burned, and her shoes being trodden off by the crowd. Indeed, when he came to the stake the Sheriffs of London were so alarmed at the press that they would not allow him and his fellow-sufferer, Leaf, to pray as long as they wished. “Arise,” they said, “and make an end; for the press of the people is great.”
“At that word,” says Foxe, “they both stood up upon their feet, and then Master Bradford took a faggot in his hands and kissed it, and so likewise the stake.” When he came to the stake he held up his hands, and, looking up to heaven, said, “O England, England, repent thee of thy sins! Beware of idolatry; beware of false Antichrists! Take heed they do not deceive you!” After that he turned to the young man Leaf, who suffered with him, and said, “Be of good comfort, brother; for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night.” After that he spoke no more that man could hear, excepting that he embraced the reeds, and said, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth to eternal life, and few there be that find it.” “He embraced the flames,” says Fuller, “as a fresh gale of wind in a hot summer day.” And so, in the prime of life, he passed away.
(6, 7) The sixth and seventh leading Reformers who suffered in Mary’s reign were two whose names are familiar to every Englishman,
– Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, and Hugh Latimer, once Bishop of Worcester. They were both burned at Oxford, back to back, at one stake, on the 16th of October, 1555. Ridley was born at Willimondswike, in Northumberland, on the Borders. Latimer was born at Thurcaston, in Leicestershire. The history of these two great English Protestants is so well known to most people that I need not say much about it. Next to Cranmer, there can be little doubt that no two men did so much to bring about the establishment of the principles of the Reformation in England. Latimer, as an extraordinary popular preacher, and Ridley, as a learned man and an admirable manager of the Metropolitan diocese of London, have left behind them reputations which never have been passed. As a matter of course, they were among the first that Bonner and Gardiner struck at when Mary came to the throne, and were persecuted with relentless severity until their deaths.
How they were examined again and again by Commissioners about the great points in controversy between Protestants and Rome, – how they were shamefully baited, teased, and tortured by every kind of unfair and unreasonable dealing, – how they gallantly fought a good fight to the end, and never gave way for a moment to their adversaries, – all these are matters with which I need not trouble my readers. Are they not all fairly chronicled in the pages of good old Foxe? I will only mention a few circumstances connected with their deaths.
On the day of their martyrdom they were brought separately to the place of execution, which was at the end of Broad Street, Oxford, close to Balliol College. Ridley arrived on the ground first, and seeing Latimer come afterwards, ran to him and kissed him, saying, “Be of good heart, brother; for God will either assuage the fury of the flames, or else strengthen us to abide it.” They then prayed earnestly, and talked with one another, though no one could hear what they said. After this they had to listen to a sermon by a wretched renegade divine named Smith, and, being forbidden to make any answer, were commanded to make ready for death.
Ridley’s last words before the fire was lighted were these, -“Heavenly Father, I give Thee most hearty thanks that Thou hast called me to a profession of Thee even unto death. I beseech Thee, Lord God, have mercy on this realm of England, and deliver the same from all her enemies.” Latimer’s last words were like the blast of a trumpet, which rings even to this day, – “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day, by God’s grace, light such a candle in England as I trust shall never be put out.”
When the flames began to rise, Ridley cried out with a loud voice in Latin, “Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit: Lord, receive my spirit,” and afterwards repeated these last words in English. Latimer cried as vehemently on the other side of the stake, “Father of heaven, receive my soul.”
Latimer soon died. An old man, above eighty years of age, it took but little to set his spirit free from its earthly tenement. Ridley suffered long and painfully, from the bad management of the fire by those who attended the execution. At length, however, the flames reached a vital part of him, and he fell at Latimer’s feet, and was at rest. And so the two great Protestant bishops passed away. “They were lovely and beautiful in their lives, and in death they were not divided.”
(8) The eighth leading English Reformer who suffered in Mary’s reign was John Philpot, Archdeacon of Winchester. He was burned in Smithfield on Wednesday, December the 18th, 1555. Philpot is one of the martyrs of whom we know little comparatively, except that he was born at Compton, in Hampshire, was of a good family, and well connected, and had a very high reputation for learning. The mere fact that at the beginning of Mary’s reign he was one of the leading champions of Protestantism in the mock discussions which were held in Convocation, is sufficient to show that he was no common man. The relentless virulence with which he was persecuted by Gardiner is easily accounted for, when we remember that Gardiner, when he was deposed from his See in Edward VI’s time, was Bishop of Winchester, and would naturally regard his successor, Bishop Ponet, and all his officials, with intense hatred. A Popish bishop was not likely to spare a Protestant archdeacon.
The thirteen examinations of Philpot before the Popish bishops are given by Foxe at great length, and fill no less than one hundred and forty pages of one of the Parker Society volumes. The length to which they were protracted shows plainly how anxious his judges were to turn him from his principles. The skill with which the Archdeacon maintained his ground, alone and unaided, gives a most favourable impression of his learning, no less than of his courage and patience.
The night before his execution he received a message, while at supper in Newgate, to the effect that he was to be burned next day. He answered at once, “I am ready: God grant me strength and a joyful resurrection.” He then went into his bedroom, and thanked God that he was counted worthy to suffer for His truth.
The next morning, at eight o’clock, the Sheriffs called for him, and conducted him to Smithfield. The road was foul and muddy, as it was the depth of winter, and the officers took him up in their arms to carry him to the stake. Then he said, merrily, alluding to what he had probably seen at Rome, when travelling in his early days, “What, will you make me a Pope? I am content to go to my journey’s end on foot.”
When he came into Smithfield, he kneeled down and said, “I will pay my vows in thee, O Smithfield.” He then kissed the stake and said, “Shall I disdain to suffer at this stake, seeing my Redeemer did not refuse to suffer a most vile death on the cross for me?” After that, he meekly repeated the 106th, 107th, and 108th Psalms; and being chained to the stake, died very quietly. And so the good Archdeacon passed away.
(9) The ninth and last leading Reformer who suffered in Mary’s reign was Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was burned at Oxford, on the 21st of March, 1556. Cranmer was born at Aslockton, in Nottinghamshire. There is no name among the English martyrs so well known in history as his. There is none certainly in the list of our Reformers to whom the Church of England, on the whole, is so much indebted. He was only a mortal man, and had his weaknesses and infirmities, it must be admitted; but still, he was a great man, and a good man.
Cranmer, we must always remember, was brought prominently forward at a comparatively early period in the English Reformation, and was made Archbishop of Canterbury at a time when his views of religion were confessedly half-formed and imperfect. Whenever quotations from Cranmer’s writings are brought forward by the advocates of semi-Romanism in the Church of England, you should always ask carefully to what period of his life those quotations belong. In forming your estimate of Cranmer, do not forget his antecedents. He was a man who had the honesty to grope his way into fuller light, and to cast aside his early opinions and confess that he had changed his mind on many subjects. How few men have the courage to do this!
Cranmer maintained an unblemished reputation throughout the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI., although frequently placed in most delicate and difficult positions. Not a single man can be named in those days who passed through so much dirt, and yet came out of it so thoroughly undefiled.
Cranmer, beyond all doubt, laid the foundation of our present Prayer-book and Articles. Though not perhaps a brilliant man, he was a learned one, and a lover of learned men, and one who was always trying to improve everything around him. When I consider the immense difficulties he had to contend with, I often wonder that he accomplished what he did. Nothing, in fact, but his steady perseverance would have laid the foundation of our Formularies.
I say all these things in order to break the force of the great and undeniable fact that he was the only English Reformer who for a time showed the white feather, and for a time shrank from dying for the truth! I admit that he fell sadly. I do not pretend to extenuate his fall. It stands forth as an everlasting proof that the best of men are only men at the best. I only want my readers to remember that if Cranmer failed as no other Reformer in England failed, he also had done what certainly no other Reformer had done.
From the moment that Mary came to the English throne, Cranmer was marked for destruction. It is probable that there was no English divine whom the unhappy Queen regarded with such rancour and hatred. She never forgot that her mother’s divorce was brought about by Cranmer’s advice, and she never rested till he was burned.
Cranmer was imprisoned and examined just like Ridley and Latimer. Like them, he stood his ground firmly before the Commissioners. Like them, he had clearly the best of the argument in all points that were disputed. But, like them, of course, he was pronounced guilty of heresy, condemned, deposed, and sentenced to be burned.
And now comes the painful fact that in the last month of Cranmer’s life his courage failed him, and he was persuaded to sign a recantation of his Protestant opinions. Flattered and cajoled by subtle kindness, frightened at the prospect of so dreadful a death as burning, tempted and led away by the devil, Thomas Cranmer fell, and put his hand to a paper, in which he repudiated and renounced the principles of the Reformation, for which he had laboured so long.
Great was the sorrow of all true Protestants on hearing these tidings! Great was the triumphing and exultation of all Papists! Had they stopped here and set their noble victim at liberty, the name of Cranmer would probably have sunk and never risen again. But the Romish party, as God would have it, outwitted themselves. With fiendish cruelty they resolved to burn Cranmer, even after he had recanted. This, by God’s providence, was just the turning point for Cranmer’s reputation. Through the abounding grace of God he repented of his fall, and found mercy. Through the same abounding grace he resolved to die in the faith of the Reformation. And at last, through abounding grace, he witnessed such a bold confession in St. Mary’s, Oxford, that he confounded his enemies, filled his friends with thankfulness and praise, and left the world a triumphant martyr for Christ’s truth.
I need hardly remind you how, on the 21st March, the unhappy Archbishop was brought out, like Samson in the hands of the Philistines, to make sport for his enemies, and to be a gazingstock to the world in St. Mary’s Church, at Oxford. I need hardly remind you how, after Dr. Cole’s sermon he was invited to declare his faith, and was fully expected to acknowledge publicly his alteration of religion, and his adhesion to the Church of Rome. I need hardly remind you how, with intense mental suffering, the Archbishop addressed the assembly at great length, and at the close suddenly astounded his enemies by renouncing all his former recantations, declaring the Pope to be Antichrist, and rejecting the Popish doctrine of the Real Presence. Such a sight was certainly never seen by mortal eyes since the world began!
But then came the time of Cranmer’s triumph. With a light heart, and a clear conscience, he cheerfully allowed himself to be hurried to the stake amidst the frenzied outcries of his disappointed enemies. Boldly and undauntedly he stood up at the stake while the flames curled around him, steadily holding out his right hand in the fire, and saying, with reference to his having signed a recantation, “This unworthy right hand,” and steadily holding up his left hand towards heaven. Of all the martyrs, strange to say, none at the last moment showed more physical courage than Cranmer did. Nothing, in short, in all his life became him so well as the manner of his leaving it. Greatly he had sinned, but greatly he had repented. Like Peter he fell, but like Peter he rose again. And so passed away the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury.
I will not trust myself to make any comment on these painful and interesting histories. I have not time. I only wish my readers to believe that the half of these men’s stories have not been told them, and that the stories of scores of men and women less distinguished by position might easily be added to them, quite as painful and quite as interesting. But I will say boldly, that the men who were burned in this way were not men whose memories ought to be lightly passed over, or whose opinions ought to be lightly esteemed. Opinions for which “an army of martyrs” died ought not to be dismissed with scorn. To their Faithfulness we owe the existence of the Reformed Church of England. Her foundations were cemented with their blood. To their courage we owe, in a great measure, our English liberty. They taught the land that it was worth while to die for free thought. Happy is the land which has had such citizens! Happy is the Church which has had such Reformers! Honour be to those who at Smithfield, Oxford, Gloucester, Carmarthen, and Hadleigh have raised stones of remembrance and memorial to the martyrs!
*Extracted from Light From Old Times 1890.
*Rogers’ prophetical words in prison, addressed to Day, printer of Foxe’s “Acts and Monuments,” are well worth quoting: “Thou Shalt live to see the alteration of this religion, and the Gospel freely preached again. Therefore, have me commended to my brethren, as well in exile as here, and bid them be circumspect in displacing the Papists and putting good ministers into Churches, or else their end will be worse than ours” -Foxe, iii. p. 309 (1684 edition)
*Bradford seems to have had a very strong feeling about the causes for which God
permitted the Marian persecution. Writing to his mother from prison, he says: “Ye all know there never was more knowledge of God, and less godly living and true serving of God. – God, therefore, is now come, and because He will not damn us with the world -He punisheth us.” – Foxe, iii. p. 255.