Foxe's Book of Martyrs: Select Narratives (Oxford World's Classics)
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"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man: we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England, as, I trust, shall never be put out." Hugh Latimer's famous words of consolation to Nicholas Ridley as they are both about to be burnt alive for heresy come from John Foxe's magisterial Acts and Monuments, popularly known as the Book of Martyrs. This vast collection of unforgettable accounts of religious persecution exerted as great an influence on early modern England and New England as the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. It contains many stirring stories of the apprehension, interrogation, imprisonment, and execution of alleged heretics. Based on a new transcription of the last edition overseen by John Foxe, this new edition includes a full introduction to Foxe and his times, the religious conflicts, and the nature of martyrological narratives. The text is further enhanced by 21 of the original woodcut illustrations, glossaries of people, places, and words, a general index, and notes explaining allusions and identifying scriptural quotations.
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encourage any to the love of Christ, and sincere religion. Neither was [sic] his labours [in] vain, for he converted many of his fellows unto the knowledge of the Gospel, amongst which number was Thomas Arthur, and Master Hugh Latimer, which Latimer at that time was cross-keeper* at Cambridge, bringing it forth upon procession days. At the last, Bilney forsaking the University, went into many places, teaching and preaching, being associate with Arthur, which accompanied him from the University.
him directly in all things as I answered the quest before. Besides this my Lord Mayor laid one thing to my charge, which was never spoken of me, but of them: and that was, whether a mouse eating the host, received God or no? This question did I never ask, but indeed they asked it of me, whereunto I made them no answer but smiled. Anne Askew brought to the Lord Mayor. Then the bishop’s chancellor rebuked me and said, that I was much to blame for uttering the scriptures. For Saint Paul (he said)
solitariness and lamentation, who then perceiving his mind nothing to fantasize* that kind of life, (for so Saunders declared unto him) and perceiving also his whole purpose to be bent to the study of his book, and spiritual contemplation, like a good man, directed his letters incontinently unto his friends, and giving him his indenture, so set him free. And thus Lawrence Saunders being ravished with the love of learning, and especially with the reading of God’s word, tarried not long time in the
keeping yourself against another time when the church shall have great need of such diligent teachers, and godly pastors.’ Matthew 10. ‘Oh,’ (quoth Doctor Taylor), ‘what will ye have me to do? I am now old, and have already lived too long to see these terrible and most wicked days. Fly you, and do as your conscience leadeth you. I am fully determined (with God’s grace) to go to the bishop, and to his beard to tell him that he doth naught, God shall well hereafter raise up teachers of his
in answering again to the bishop: ‘My Lord,’ (said he), ‘as you being my friend have caused these my sayings to be written: so do you cause them to be read: and yet I will never go from them.’ The words of Thomas Haukes at his judgement. And then being exhorted by the bishop with many fair words, to return again to the bosom of the mother Church: ‘No, my Lord,’ (said he), ‘that will I not: for if I had an hundredth bodies, I would suffer them all to be torn in pieces, rather than I will abjure