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BR 45 .B74 V.5
British Reformers

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Bishop) of Gloucester and Worcester. Martyr, 1555.

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C^e l^cligiousl Cract ^octeti?,









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A Brief account of Dr. John Hooper I


Chap. I. Introduction 17

II. What Christ is 18

III. Of the Priesthood of Christ 20

IV. Of the authority of the Word of God 25

V. Of the intercession of Christ 32

VI. The third Office of Christ concerning his Priesthood is to
offer sacrifice unto God, and by the same to purge the
world from sin 47

VII. Of Justification 43

VIII. Of the Lord's supper 51

IX. Of Christ's OfSce of sanctifying those that believe in him 62
X. By this verity and truth, that " the gospel teaches we are
only to be sanctified in the blood of Christ," is confuted

the blasphemous pride of the bishop of Rome 63

XI. Of Christ as a King 68

XII. Of what man is. . , 75

XIII. The office (or duty) of a justified man 80


The Epistle addressed to king Edward VI. and his privy council 85
The first Sermon upon Jonah, made I9th March, 1550, before the

king and his honourable council 93

The second Sermon upon Jonah 105

The third Sermon upon Jonah Ill

The fourth Sermon upon Jonah 130

The fifth Sermon upon Jonah 146

The sixth Sermon upon Jonah 165

The seventh Sermon upon Jonah 181


Dedication 195

The confession and protestation of John Hooper's faith 199


Ijishop Hooper's articles and monitory letter to his clergy .... 220
A Homily to be read in the time of pestilence 223


An exposition of the twenty-third psalm 241

An exposition of the sixty-second psalm 290

An exposition of the seventy-third psalm 329

An exposition of the seventy-seventh psalm 354



Letter I. An exhortation to patience, sent to his wife 427

II. To certain godly persons, pi-ofessors and lovers of the
truth, as to the change of religion 437

III. ToW. P 440

IV. To Farrar, Taylor, Bradford, and Philpot 441

V. To certain godly persons, exhorting them to stick to the

truth 443

VI. To Master John Hall 445

VII. To his relievers and helpers in London 445

VIII. To the christian congregation 448

IX. To the faithful and lively members of Christ in London . . 454

X. An answer to a friend 456

XI. To Mrs. Ann Warcop 459

XII. To a godly widow 401

XH I. To one fallen from the truth 462

XIV. To Mrs. Wilkinson 464

XV. To a mrrchant of London 465

XVI. From BuUinger to Hooper 466

XVII. To BuUinger, written out of prison 470

XVIII. To John Hall and his wife 472

XIX. Respecting a godly company taken while at prayer, and

carried to prison 473

XX. To the prisoners in the counters 474

XXI. To certain of his friends 476

XXII. Concerning vain and false reports 478

XXIII. Extract of a letter to BuUinger, giving an account of his

conversion 480




Bishop of Gloucester, and Martyr, 1555.

John Hooper was born in Somersetshire, a. d. 1495, and
entered at Merton college, Oxford, in 1514. It is thought that
he afterwards became a Cistercian monk, but disliking the
monastic life, he returned to Oxford, where, by the study of the
scriptures, and the perusal of the writings of some of the con-
tinental reformers, he was induced to forsake the doctrines of
popery. In a letter written by him to BuUinger, an extract from
which has been preserved by Hottinger, he states, that some
works of Zuinglius, and Bullinger's commentaries on the epis-
tles of St. Paul, were principally instrumental to his conver-
sion ; these he studied day and night.

In the year 1539, when the act of the six articles was en-
forced, Hooper withdrew to the continent, and at Zurich was
kindly received by BuUinger. On the accession of king Edward
VI., Hooper, who had married while abroad, returned to
England with a desire to assist in the good work then going
forward. He had a presentiment of the times which followed ;
for on taking leave of BuUinger, when that reformer desired
him to write to his friends in Switzerland, and not to forget
them when raised to wealth and honours, Hooper assured him
of his affectionate remembrance, adding, " I will write to you
how it goeth with me. But the last news of all I shall not be
able to write ; for there (said he, taking Master BuUinger by
the hand) where I shaU take most pains, there shall you hear
of my being burned to ashes ; and that shaU be the last news,
which I shaU not be able to write unto you, but you shaJl hear
it of me."


2 Hooper.

He returned to England in 1548, and preached for some time
in London, often twice, and never less than once a day. Fox
says, *' In his sermons, according to his accustomed manner,
he corrected sin, and sharply inveighed against the iniquity of
the world, and the corrupt abuses of the church. The people
in great flocks and companies came daily to hear him, insomuch
that oftentimes when he was preaching, the church would be so
full that none could enter further than the doors. In his doc-
trine he was earnest, in tongue eloquent, in the scriptures per-
fect, in pains indefatigable."

In May, 1550, he was nominated to the bishopric of Glou-
cester, but was not consecrated till the following year. This
delay was occasioned by some differences relative to the habits
and oaths then used in the consecration of bishops.* During
his residence on the continent. Hooper had adopted stricter
views on these subjects than his brethren who remained at
home, and he objected to these things as tending to superstition.
Into the particulars of these differences it is unnecessary for us
to enter; it is sufficient to state, that although Ridley and
Cranmer were at variance with Hooper on these points, when
the day of trouble came, we find them united as brethren in
Christ. In justice to Ridley and Cranmer, it should also be
stated, that the laws then in force left them no choice as to the
course they should follow. The letter written by Ridley to
Hooper when they were both imprisoned for the truth, shows
that these things were then forgotten.

The diocese of Worcester was afterwards united to that of
Gloucester, and Hooper conducted himself in his charge in the
most exemplary manner. Fox says, " He employed his time
with such diligence, as to be a spectacle (or pattern) to all
bishops. So careful was he in his cure, that he left no pains
untaken, nor ways unsought, how to train up the flock of
Christ in the true word of salvation, continually labouring in
the same. No father in his household, no gardener in his

* Hooper's objection to the oath was because it required him to
swear by the saints ; to this he objected, and the expression was
struck out. With respect to the habits, a compromise was effected.
To these oaths and habits he had objected in his sermons on Jonah,
before the king ; and we find that in the second service-book, set
forth in 1551, an alteration for the better in these respects was
effected. See a note upon the Sermons on Jonah.

Life. 3

garden, nor husbandman in his vineyard, was more or better
occupied than he in his diocese amongst his flock, going about
his towns and villages, in teaching and preaching to the people
there. Although he bestowed the most part of his care upon
the public flock and congregation of Christ, for which, also, he
spent his blood ; yet there lacked no provision in him to bring
up his own children in learning and good manners ; so that you
could not discern whether he deserved more praise for his
fatherly usage at home, or for his bishoplike doings abroad.
For every where he kept one religion in one uniform doctrine
and integrity ; so that if you entered into the bishop's palace
you would suppose you had entered some church or temple-
In every comer there was some savour of virtue, good example,
honest conversation, and reading of holy scriptures. There
was not to be seen in his house any courtly roystering* or idle-
ness, no pomp at all, no dishonest word, no swearing could
there be heard. As for the revenues of his bishoprics, he
pursed nothing, but bestowed it in hospitality. Twice I was
at his house in Worcester, where in his common hall I saw a
table spread with good store of meat, and set full of beggars
and poor folk ; and I asking the servants what this meant, they
told me, that every day their lord and master's custom was to
have to dinner a certain number of the poor folk of the city by
course, who were served with wholesome meats ; and when they
were served, after having been examined by him or his de-
puties in the Lord's prayer, the articles of their faith, and ten
commandments, he himself sat down to dinner, and not before."
On the accession of queen Mary, bishop Hooper was one of
the first who were called before the council on account of their
religion, being summoned to appear on the 22nd of August,
1553. Bonner and Gardiner were especially violent against
him. As popery was not then restored by law, he was detained
on a false plea of his behig indebted to the queen. He has left
the following account of the cruel treatment he experienced in
the Fleet prison : — " The first of September, 1553, I was com-
mitted unto the Fleet from Richmond, to have the liberty of
the prison : and within six days after I paid for my liberty five
pounds sterling to the warden's fees ; who, immediately upon
the payment thereof, complained unto Stephen Gardiner, bishop

• Turbulent behaviour,
B 2

4 Hooper.

of Winchester, and so was I committed to close prison for one
quarter of a year, in the tower-chamber of the Fleet, and used
very extremely. Then, by tlie means of a good gentleman, I
had libei-ty to come down to dinner and supper, yet not suffered
to speak to any of my friends ; but as soon as dinner and sup-
per was done, to repair to my chamber again. Notwithstand-
ing, whilst I came down thus to dinner and supper, the warden
and his wife picked quarrels with me, and they complained un-
truly of me to their great friend, the bishop of Winchester.
After one quarter of a year, and somewhat more, Babington,
the warden, and his wife, fell out with me for the wicked mass,
and thereupon the warden resorted to the bishop of Winchester,
and obtained leave to put me into the wards, where I have con-
tinued a long time, having nothing appointed to me for my bed
but a little pad of straw, and a rotten covering, with a tick and
a few feathers therein, the chamber being vile and stinking,
until,J)y God's means, good people sent me bedding to lie in. Of
the one side of which prison is the sink and filth of the house ;
and on the other side, the town-ditch ; so that the stench of the
house hath infected me with sundry diseases. During which
time I have been sick, and the doors, bars, hasps, and chains,
being all closed, and made fast upon me, I have mourned,
called, and cried for help. But the warden, when he hath
known me many times ready to die, and when the poor men
of the wards have called to help me, hath commanded the doors
to be kept fast, and charged that none of his men should come
at me, saying, * Let him alone, it were a good riddance of him.'
And amongst many other times, he did thus the 18th of Octo-
ber, 1553, as many can witness. I paid always like a baron to
the said warden, as well in fees, as for my board, which was
twenty shillings a week, besides my man's table, until I was
wrongfully deprived of my bishopric, and since that I have
paid him as the best gentleman doth in his house ; yet hath he
used me worse, and more vilely than the veriest slave that ever
came to the hall commons. The said warden hath also im-
prisoned my man, William Downton, and stripped him of all
his clothes to search for letters, and could find none, but only a
little remembrance of good people's names, that gave me their
alms to relieve me in prison ; and to undo them also the said
warden delivered the same bill unto the said Stephen Gardiner,

Life. 5

God's enemy and mine. I have suffered imprisonment
almost eighteen months, my good hving, friends, and comforts
taken from me ; the queen owing me, by just account, eighty
pounds or more. She hath put me in prison, and gives nothing
to find me, neither is there suffered any to come to me, whereby
I might have relief. I am with a wicked man and woman, so
that I see no remedy, saving God's help, but that I shall be
cast away in prison* before I come to judgment. But I com-
mit my just cause to God, whose will be done, whether it be
by life or death."

Fox has given the particulars of bishop Hooper's examinations
before Gardiner and other popish bishops, in January, 1555.
He was condemned on three separate grounds : — first, for
maintaining the lawfulness of the marriage of the clergy ; se-
condly, for defending the scriptural doctrine respecting divorce
(Matt, xix.) ; thirdly, for denying the carnal presence of Christ
in the sacrament, and saying that the mass was an idol. After
his condemnation he was taken by night to Newgate, and de-
graded by bishop Bonner, and then ordered for execution.

The particulars of the last days of bishop Hooper's life are
minutely detailed by Fox. The simple and impressive account
must be given in his own words. It is, indeed, one of the most
affecting narratives in English history. He says, " On Monday
at night, being the 4th of February, 1555, bishop Hooper's
keeper gave him an intimation that he should be sent to Glou-
cester to suffer death, whereof he rejoiced veiy much, lifting
up his eyes and hands unto heaven, and praising God that he
saw it good to send him amongst the people over whom he was
pastor, there to confirm with his death the truth which he had
before taught them ; not doubting but the Lord would give him
strength to perform the same to his glory ; and immediately he
sent to his servant's house for his boots, spurs, and cloak, that
he might be in readiness to ride when he should be called.

" The next day following, about four o'clock in the morning,
before daylight, the keeper with others came to him and
searched him, and the bed wherein he lay, to see if he had writ-
ten any thing, and then he was led by the sheriffs of London
and their ofl&cers from Newgate to a place appointed, not far
from St. Dunstan's church in Fleet-street, where six of the
* Perish in prison.

6 Hooper.

queen's guard were appointed to receive him, and carry him to
Gloucester, there to be delivered unto the sheriffs, who with the
lord Shandois, master Wikes, and other commissioners, were
appointed to see execution done. The guard brought him to
the Angel,* where he broke his fast with them, eating his meat
at that time more liberally than he had used to do a good while
before. About the break of day he went to horse, and leapt
cheerfully on horseback without help, having a hood upon his
head under his hat that he should not be known, and so took his
journey joyfully towards Gloucester, and by the way the guard
always learned of him where he was accustomed to bait or
lodge, and ever carried him to another inn.

" Upon the Thursday following, he came to a town in his
diocese called Cirencester, about eleven o'clock, and there dined
at a woman's house who had always hated the truth, and spoken
all the evil she could of Master Hooper. This woman, per-
ceiving the cause of his coming, showed him all the friendship
she could, and lamented his case with tears, confessing that she
before had often reported, that if he were put to the trial, he
would not stand to his doctrine.

" After dinner he rode forwards, and came to Gloucester
about five o'clock ; and a mile without the town much people
were assembled, who cried and lamented his state ; so that one
of the guard rode hastily into the town, to require aid of the
mayer and sheriffs, fearing lest he should have been taken fi'om
them. The officers and their retinue repaired to the gate with
weapons, and commanded the people to keep their houses, but
there was no man that gave any signification of any such res-
cue and violence. So he was lodged at one Ingram's house in
Gloucester, and that night, as he had done all the way, he ate
his meat quietly, and slept his first sleep soundly. After his
first sleep he continued all that night in prayer until the morn-
ing, and then he desu-ed that he might go into the next cham-
ber, for the guard were also in the chamber where he lay, that
there being alone he might pray and talk with God : so that the
whole day, saving a little at meat, and when he talked at any
time with such as the guard allowed to speak with him, he em-
ployed in prayer.

" Amongst others that spake with him, Sir Anthony Kingston,

* The inn called the Angel, behind St. Clement's church, Strand.

Life, 7

knight, was one, who seeming in times past his very friend, was
then appointed by the queen's letters to be one of the commis-
sioners to see execution done upon him. Master Kingston being
brought into the chamber found him at prayer ; and as soon as
he saw Master Hooper, he burst forth in tears. Hooper at the
first knew him not. Then said Master Kingston, * Why, my
lord, do you not know me, an old friend of yours, Anthony
Kingston ?'

** H. Yes, Master Kingston, I do now know you well, and
am glad to see you in health, and do praise God for the same.

** K. But I am sorry to see you in this case ; for, as I under-
stand, you are come hither to die. But, alas ! consider that life
is sweet, and death is bitter. Therefore, seeing life may be had,
desire to live ; for life hereafter may do good.

" H. Indeed it is true, Master Kingston, I am come hither to
end this life, and to suffer death here, because I will not gain-
say the truth that I have taught amongst you in this diocese,
and elsewhere ; and I thank you for your friendly counsel,
although it be not so friendly as I could have wished it. True
it is. Master Kingston, that death is bitter, and life is sweet ;
but, alas ! consider that death to come is more bitter, and the
life to come is more sweet. Therefore, for the desire and love I
have to the one, and the terror and fear of the other, I do not so
much regard this death, nor esteem this life, but have settled
myself, through the strength of God's Holy Spirit, patiently to
pass through the torments and extremities of the fire now pre-
pared for me, rather than to deny the truth of his word, de-
siring you and others, in the mean time, to commend me to
God's mercy in your prayers.

" K. Well, my lord, then I perceive there is no remedy, and,
therefore, I will take my leave of you ; and I thank God that
ever I knew you, for God did appoint you to call me, being a
lost child ; and by your good instructions, whereas before I was
both an adulterer and a fornicator, God hath brought me to for-
sake and detest the same.

" H. If you have had the grace so to do, I do highly praise
God for it ; and if you have not, I pray God you may have it,
and that you may continually live in his fear.

"After these and many other words, the one took leave of
the other ; Master Kingston with bitter tears, Master Hooper

8 Hooper.

with tears also trickling down his cheeks. At which departure
Master Hooper told him, that all the troubles he had sustained
in prison had not caused him to utter so much sorrow.

" The same day in the afternoon, a blind boy, after long in-
tercession made to the guard, obtained license to be brought
unto Master Hooper's speech. The same boy not long before
had suffered imprisonment at Gloucester for confessing the
tiuth. Master Hooper, after he had examined him of his faith»
and the cause of his imprisonment, beheld him steadfastly, and
with tears in his eyes, said unto him, ' Ah, poor boy, God hath
taken from thee thy outward sight, for what consideration he
best knoweth ; but he hath o;iven thee another sight much more
precious, for he hath endued thy soul with the eye of knowledge
and faith. God give thee grace continually to pray unto him,
that thou lose not that sight, for then shouldest thou be blind
both in body and soul.'*

" After that another came to him, whom he knew to be a
very papist and a wicked man, who appeared to be sorry for
Master Hooper's trouble, saying, * Sir, I am sorry to see you

" * To see me ? why art thou sorry ?' said he.

'* • To see you,' saith the other, * in this case. For I hear
say you are come hither to die, for which I am sorry.'

" ' Be soiTy for thyself, man,' said Master Hooper, • and
lament thine own wickedness ; for I am well, I thank God, and
death to me, for Christ's sake, is welcome.'

"The same night he was committed by the guard, their
commission being then expired, unto the custody of the sheriffs
of Gloucester. The name of the one was Jenkins, the other
Bond, who with the mayor and aldermen repaired to Master
Hooper's lodgings, and at the first meeting saluted him, and
took him by the' hand. Unto whom Hooper spake on this
manner :

" ' Master mayor, I give most hearty thanks to you, and to
the rest of your brethren, that you have vouchsafed to take me
a prisoner and a condemned man by the hand ; whereby, to my
rejoicing, it is apparent that your old love and friendship

• The martyr's prayer for this poor blind boy was heard. His
name was Drowry, and he.was enabled to continue steadfast in the
truth. In May, 1556, he was burned.

Life. 9

towards me are not altogether extinguished : and I trust also
that all the things I have taught you in times past are not utterly
forgotten, when I was here, by the good king that is dead, ap-
pointed to be your bishop and pastor. For which true and sin-
cere doctrine, because I will not now account it falsehood and
heresy, as many other men do, I am sent hither, as I am sure
you know, by the queen's commandment, to die, and am come
where I taught it, to confirm it with my blood. And now,
master sheriffs, I understand by these good men, and my very
friends (meaning the guards), —at whose hands I have found as
much favour and gentleness by the way hitherward, as a pri-
soner could reasonably require, for the which I most heartily
thank them, — that I am committed to your custody, as unto them
that must see me brought to-morrow to the place of execution.
My request to you shall be only, that there may be a quick fire,
shortly to make an end, and in the mean time I will be as obe-
dient to you, as yourselves would wish. If you think I do
amiss in any thing, hold up your finger, and I have done. jFor
I am not come hither as one enforced or compelled to die ; for it
is well known I might have had my life ivith ivorldly gain ; but as
one willing to offer and give my life for the truth, rather than to
consent to the wicked papistical religion of the bishop of Rome,
received and set forth by the magistrates in England, to God's
high displeasure and dishonour ; and I trust, by God's grace,
to-morrow to die a faithful servant of God, and a true obedient
subject to the queen.'

** These and such like words in effect used Master Hooper to
the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen, whereat many of them
mourned and lamented. Notwithstanding, the two sheriffs
went aside to consult, and were determined to have lodged him
in the common jail of the town called Northgate, if the guard
had not made earnest intercession for him ; declaring how
quietly, mildly, and patiently he behaved himself in the way,
adding thereto, that any child might keep him well enough, and
that they themselves would rather take pains to watch with him,
than that he should be sent to the common prison. So it was
determined at length that he should still remain in Robert
Ingram's house ; and the sheriffs and the sergeants and other
officers appointed to watch with him that night themselves.
His desire was, that he might go that night to bed betimes,

10 Hooper.

saying, that he had many things to remember: and did so at
five of the clock, and slept one sleep soundly, and bestowed the
rest of the night in prayer. After he got up in the morning, he

Online LibraryJohn HooperWritings of the Dr. John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester .. (Volume 5) → online text (page 1 of 45)