Josiah Pratt.

The church historians of England : Reformation period (Volume 5) online

. (page 8 of 86)
Online LibraryJosiah PrattThe church historians of England : Reformation period (Volume 5) → online text (page 8 of 86)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

water!' mixtio salis et aqua- liat, in nomine Patris, et Filii, ct Spiritus Sancti.'

The like usage of making holy water was also used in Aldermary church,
where Dr. Crome was, and in ILtney-lane.

Against this objection thus Tolwine defended himself, saying, that he took
occasion so to do by the king's injunctions, which say, that ceremonies should be
used, all ignorance and sui)erstition set apart.
His Tc In the end, this Tolwine was forced to stand at Pa\d's cross, to recant his

raiit.i- doctrine and doings.

The same time also Robert Wisedom, ]iarish priest of St. Margaret's in
Lothbury, and Thomas Becon, were l)rought to Paul's cross, to recant and to
revoke their doctrine, and to bin-n their books.

Little Allhallows.
Sir George Parker, priest and parson of St. Pancras, and curate of Little

duke of


Allhallows, was noted, suspected, and convented before the ordinary, for ]i,:,,tij
certain books; especially for having ' Unio dissidentiuni,' &c. I'lli.

Sir John Byvch, priest of St. Botolph's Lane, was con)j)lained of by one » jT"
Master Wilson, for being a busy reasoner in certain opinons which agreed not 1541 '
witli the pope's church. '—

Alexander Seton, a Scottish man, and a worthy preacher, was denounced, ^p^^lt,^
detected, and presented, by three priests, of whom one was fellow of Whit-
tington College, called Riciiard Taylor ; another was John Smith ; the third
was John Himtingdon, who afterwards was converted to the same doctrine

This Seton was cliaplain to the duke of Suffolk, and hy him was Seton
made free denizen. In his sermon preached at St. Antholine's, his to ^h"'"
adversaries picked against him matter containing fifteen objections,
or rather cavillations, winch, for example, I thought here to exhibit
to the reader, to the intent that men may see, not only what true
doctrine Seton then preached, consonant to the Scriptures ; but also
what wrangling cavillers can do, in depraving Avhat is right, or in
wresting what is well meant, or in carping at what they understand
not, or in seeking out faults where none are ; as by these their sinister
cavillations may aj^pear.

Certain Places or Articles gathered out of Alexander Seton''s Sermons

by his Adversaries. A.idZd,,.

The sayings and words of Alexander Seton, spoken and preached by him in
his sermon, made the 1.3th day of November, at afternoon, in the parish church
of St. Antholine's in London : ' Paul saith. Of ourselves we can do nothing; 1
pray thee then where is tliy will? Art thou any better than Paid, James, Peter,
and all the apostles ? Hast thou any more grace than they 1 Tell me now, if thy
will be any thing or nothing : if it be any thing, tell me whether it be to do
good or ill? If thou say to do ill, I will grant thou hast a great deal. If thou
say to do good, I ask whether is more, somewhat or nothing? for Paul said, he
could do nothing, and I am sure thou hast no more grace than Paul and hi?

' Scripture speaketh of three things in man ; the first is will, the other two No will iu
are consent and deed. The first, that is will, God worketh without us, and ,"]f"j."|'f,„
beside us. The other two he worketh in us, and with us.' — And here he al- ,io .rood.
leged St. Augustine, to prove that we can will nothing that is good. Moreover
he said, ' Thou hast not one jot, no not one tittle, to do any good.'

' Thei-e is nothing in heaven or earth, creature or other, that can be any
mean towards our justification ; nor yet can nor may any man satisfy God the
Father for our sin, save only Christ, and the shedding of his blood.'

' He that preacheth that works do merit, or be any mean to our salvation, or
any part of our justification, preacheth a doctrine of the devil.'

' If any thing else, save only Christ, be any mean towards our justification,
til en did not Christ only justify us.'

' I say, that neither thy good works, nor any thing that thou canst do, can
be one jot or tittle towards thy justification. For if they be, then is not Christ
a full justifier; and that I will prove by a familiar example. Be it in case I
have two servants : the one is called John, and the other Robert; and I pro-
mise to send you such a day twenty pounds by John my servant, and at my
day I send you by John my servant, nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and
eleven pence three farthings, and there lacketh but one farthing, which Robert
doth bring thee, and so thou hast thy twenty pounds, every penny and fartliing :
yet will I ask, if I be true of my promise, or no; and thou maycst say, ' Nay.'
And why? ' Because I promised to send thee that whole twenty pounds by
John, and did not, for there lacked a farthing, v.'hieh Robert brought. Where-
fore I say, if thy works do merit or bring one little jot or tittle towards thy
justification, then is Christ false of his promise, who said that he would do all

VOI,. V. G G







The pa-
pists hely
the pro-
as tliough
tliey de-
nied good

liow tliey
be re-

One scripture I will bring you, which they cannot writhe, to prove that
Christ only was promised to be our only justifier, our only mean ; and that is
in the 22d of Genesis, where it is written, ' In thy seed shall all people be
blessed ;' meaning thereby only Christ: and he said not, 'in thy seeds,' nor,
' in the works of thy seeds.' 'Wherefore, all they that preach that works be any
part or mean toward our justification, do make God false of his promise.'

' They that ])reach that works do merit, do make works the tree, which are
but the fnuts of justice, wrought by him that is already a just man, who cannot
choose but bring forth good I'ruit.'

' I would ask a question, Mhcther he that worketh be a good man, or bad;
for lie must be one of them. If he be a good man, he cannot choose but bring
forth good fruits; if he be an ill man, lie can bring forth no fruit, but ill fruit;
for a good tree cannot bring forth ill fruit.'

' He that saith that works do merit any thing towards our salvation, doth
make works checkmate with Christ, and plucketh from Christ what is his, and
giveth it to works. Some will ask. Wherefore then should I do good works ?
I answer. Good works are to be done for no cause else, but onlj- for the glory
of God, and not that they do merit any thing at all. And he that saith that
good works are to be done for any other cause than for the glorj- of God only,
and will have them to merit, or be any mean towards our justification, I say,
he lieth, and believe him not.'

' He that can show me in any scripture, that works do merit, or be any mean
to our justification, for the first scripture I will (without any further judgment)
lose both mine ears ; for the second, my tongue ; and for tlie third, my neck.
For of this I dare say he cannot prove in all the whole Scripture one tittle.
Wherefore believe them not.'

' Men say that we deny good works, and fasting and prayer. They lie on
us: we deny nothing but popish works, and popish fasting, and popish prayer;
and he that preacheth that works do merit, or fasting doth merit, or prayer doth
merit, doth preach a popish doctrine.'

' If you ask me, when we will leave preaching only Christ : even when they
do leave to preach that works do merit, and sutler Christ to be a whole satisfier,
and only mean to our justification ; and, till then, we will not cease, in God's
cause, to set forth only Christ, to be a full, and perfect, and only satisfaction.'

' If you ask, if good works shall be rewarded, I say, yea, and with no less
than eternal glory, but for no merit that they deserve, for they deserve nothing;
but only because God hath promised, not for the merit of the work, but for his
promise' sake ; and he will not break his promise.'

Other Articles gatlicrcd out of Alexander Seton's Sermons.

'i'ouching reconciliation, spoken of by Dr. Smith, preaching in the forenoon
at Paul's ("ross, Alexander Scton, preaching at afternoon at St. Antholine's, and
reciting his sayings and Scriptures, reproved him for alleging this saying ;
' lU'i'onciliamini Deo ;' and englishing the same thus, ' Keconcile yourselves to
God:'' because it is there s})okcn passively, and not actively; so that there
should be nothing in man pertaining to reconciliation, but all in Ciod.

Also, reproving the said Dr. Smith, for that the said doctor said, that man, by
■his good works, miglit merit : which saying of Dr. Smith the said Alexander
Seton reproved in the jnilpit at St. Antholine's, the loth day of ISovembLr, in
the year of our Lord loll, as naughtily spoken.

Moreover the said Alexander Seton said, in the same place, that it was a
shame that any such preacher should be suliered so openly to preach such
erroneous doctrine as to say that works should merit ; adducing, ' Non sunt
condignae passioncs,'- &c. ; ' Kt post ijuam feciritis omnia,' &c.^

Finally Seton said, ' Peradvenlin-e ye will say the church hath detennined
this matter touching works. And 1 s-ay,' quoth he, ' that it is ccclesia malig-
nar.tinm, so determining any thing Jigainst Scripture."

To these prctcnsed ohjcctions of his adversaries he made his
answer again by writing, first denying many things there presented,

(\, 2 Cor V.20.

(2) Pom. viii. IS.

(3) Lukcxvii. 10.


taking upon his conscience, that he never spake divers of those words, ^'j-nry
and again many things that lie never meant to such end or purpose ;

as in the said register may appear. But all this notwithstanding, for A^- D.
all that he could say for liimself, the ordinary proceeded in his con- ^^
sistory judgment, ministering to him certain interrogatories (after
the popish coui-se) to the number of ten articles. The greatest
matter laid against him was, for preaching free justification by faith
in Christ Jesu ; against false confidence in good works ; and man's
free wiU. Also it was laid unto him, for affirming that private bearing a
masses, dirges, and other prayers, profited not the souls departed : ^^f,^;;* ^'
so that in the end, he, with Tolwine aforesaid, was caused to recant cross,
at PauFs Cross, a.d. 1541.

Add to these aforesaid, Dr. Taylor, parson of St. Peter's in Corn-
hill ; South, parish priest of Allhallows in Lombard-street ; Some, a
priest ; Giles, the king's beer-brewer, at the Red Lion in St. Kathe-
rine's ; Thomas Lancaster, priest : all which were imprisoned likewise,
for the six articles.

To be short, such a number out of all parishes in London, and The pri-
out of Calais and divers other quarters, were then apprehended, fuue to"
through the said inquisition, that all prisons in London were too '^'j^^'^ '^^"^I
little to hold them, insomuch that tliey were fain to lay them in the taken for
halls. At last, by the means of good lord Audeley, such pardon was articles.
obtained of the king, that the said lord Audeley, then lord chancellor, Jil!,Vc°^i'^
being content that one should be bound for another, they were all lor Amie-
discharged, being bound only to appear in the Star Chamber, the
next day after All-Souls, there to answer, if they were called ; but
neither was there any person called, neither did there any appear.

€\)t ^torp of 3io[)n porter, cruellp martgreD for reatiing tfje
3ibie in gaul'iS.

In the number of these beforenamed cometh the remembrance of
John Porter, who, in the same year (a.d. 1541), for reading the
Bible in Paul's church, was cruelly handled, and that unto death, as
you shall hear. It was declared in this history above, how Edmund
Bonner, bishop of London, in the days of the lord Cromwell, being then
ambassador at Paris, was a great doer in setting forward the printing
of the Bible in the great volume ; promising moreover, that he com-
would, for his part, have six of those Bibles set up in the church of ^y^^l^
St. Paul in London ; which, also, at his coming home, he no less ^j"?,'"''*
performed, according to the king's proclamation set forth for the churches.
same, whereof read before.

The Bibles thus standing in Paul's by the commandment of the
king, and the appointment of Bonner the bishop, many well-disposed
people used much to resort to the hearing thereof, especially when
they could get any that had an audible voice to read unto them,
misdoubtinij therein no danger toward them ; and no more there
was, so long as the days of Cromwell lasted. After he was gone, it
happened amongst divers and sundry godly-disposed persons, who
frequented there the reading of the aforesaid Bible, that one John
Porter used sometimes to be occupied in that godly exercise, to the

n. n 9.



ircnry ctlifving as well of Iiiiiisclt', as of others. This Porter was a freslj
young man, and of a big stature ; who, by diligent reading of the

A.D. Scrijiture, and by hearing of such sermons as then were preached by
them tliat were the setters-forth of God's truth, became very expert.
to!"' ^ ^^^^^ Bible then being set up, by Bonner''s commandment, upon
reader in divcrs pilhirs in PauFs church, fixed unto the same with chains for
at Paul's, 'i'^ "if-^n to read in them that would, great multitudes would resort
thither to hear this Porter, because he could read well, and had an
Bonner audible voicc. Jionner and his chaplains, being grieved withal (and
chapiafns ^hc world beginning then to frown upon the gospellers), sent for the
with'the '"^^oresaid Porter, and rebuked him very sharply for his reading. But
Bibles Porter answered him that he trusted he had done nothing contrary
they had to the law, neither contrary to his advertisements, which he had fixed
*"' "« ill pi'i»t over every Bible.

Appends. Bonner then laid unto his charge that he had made expositions
upon the text, and gathered great multitudes about him to make
tumults. He answered, he trusted that should not be proved by
^eM\o ^'^'"' ^^^-i iri fine, Bonner sent him to Newgate, where he was
NewRato miscrably fettered in irons, both legs and arms, with a collar of iron
nir. °" about his neck fastened to the wall in the dungeon ; being there so
cruelly handled, that he was compelled to send for a kinsman of his,
ter wal""^ whose name is also ]*orter, a man yet alive, and can testify that it is
alive true, and dwellcth yet without Newgate. He, seeing his kinsman in
writing this miserable case, entreated Jewet, then keei)er of Newgate, that
iiereof. ])c mjglit be released out of those cruel irons ; and so, through friend-
ship and money, had him np among other prisoners, who lay there
for felony and murder ; where Porter, being amongst them, hearing
and seeing their wickedness and blasphemy, exhorted them to amend-
ment of life, and gave unto them such instructions as he had learned
of the Scriptures ; for which his so doing he was complained on, and
so carried down, and laid in the lower dungeon of all, o]')presscd with
Cruel bolts and irons, where, within six or eight davs after, he was found

handling , . - ' O .' '

of Porter, dead.

His death It Is signified to US, by credible information, that the same night
tyrdonu' before lie was found dead, they that dwelt near to the same place of
the prison where Porter lay, did hear him piteously to groan, and make
a lamentable noise, where some suppose that he was put in certain
strait irons which be there in the house, called, " the devil on the
neck ;" being after an horrible sort devised ; straining and wrenching
the neck of a man Avitli his legs together, in such sort as the more he
stirreth in it, the straighter it presseth him ; so that within three or
four hours it breaketh and crusheth a man''s back and body in pieces :
in which devilish torment, whether John Porter was slain or no, it is
not certain. liut howsoever it was, this is known, that he was found
dead (as is aforesaid) in the dungeon, with such groaning and piteous
noise heard the night before in the said dungeon, as is declared.

'iD Bote of one Cljoma,^ ^ommcr^, impri.!SonetJ for tfje <i3o?ije[.

Thep-v- Amongst these Londoners thus troubled by the clergy, wc will
som-' "^ ^'^'1 '1^=^*^' (though a little out of place) another note of a merchant,
nicis. called 'I'lionias Somniers, who died in the tower of London, for con-



fcssing of the gospel ; which Thomas, being a very honest merchant iicnry

and wealthy, was sent for by the lord cardinal, and committed to the

tower, for that he had Luther's books (as they termed them) ; and A. D.
after great suit made for him to the said cardinal, his judgment ^^^^'
was, that he should ride from the Tower into Cheapside, carrying a
new boolc in his hand, and with books hanging round about him,
with three or four other merchants after the same order ; which Mas
done. And when Master Sommers should be set on a collier's nag,
as the rest of his fellow-prisoners were, a friend of his, called Master
Copland, brought him a very good gelding, fair dressed with bridle
and saddle ; and when the bishop's officers came to dress him with
books, as they had trimmed the others, and would have made holes
in his garment, to have thrust the strings of the books therein ;
" Nay," said Sommers, " I have always loved to go handsomely in
my apparel :"" and taking the books and opening them, he bound
them together by the strings, and cast them about his neck (the
leaves being all open) like a collar; and being on horseback, rode
foremost through the streets, till they came about the Standard in
Cheapside, where a great fire was made to burn their books in, and bumed in
a pillory set up there for four persons, in token that they had side.
deserved it.

In the mean time, by the way as they should come, it was
appointed that one should go before them with a basin, at the noise
whereof Master Sommers's horse, being a lofty gelding and fierce,
Avas in such a rage, that he who rung the basin, being afraid of him-
self, was fain to go alone a great space before that any horseman fol-
lowed after. At length, when they came to the fire, every of them
having a book in his hand, they were commanded to cast their books
into the fire. But when Master Sommers saw that his New Testa- The Pa-
ment should be burned, he threw it over the fire, which was seen by fi',e nI^w"
some of God's enemies, and brouoht to him arain, commandinij him Tf^ta-
to cast it into the fire, which he would not do, but cast it through
the fire ; which thing was done three times ; but at last a stander-by
took it up, and saved it from burning. But not long after, the said
Master Sommers was again cast into the Tower by the cardi- sommera
nal, through the cruelty of the bishops and their adherents, ^^i^"' "»
who, soon after, died in the said prison for the testimony of his xower.

What trouble and vexation happened amongst the godly brethren
in London for the Six Articles, hitherto we have discoursed : albeit
neither have I comprehended all who were molested through all the
parishes of London, nor again did this rigorous inquisition so cease
within the precincts of this city only, but also extended further to
Salisbury, Norfolk, Lincoln, and through all other shires and quarters
of the realm ; so that where any popish prelate most bare stroke,
there persecution most increased. The bishop of Lincoln, the same
time, was John Longland, and Dr. Draycot, his chancellor ; of whose
rigorous doings ye have heard enough and too much before. His
ready diligence in all popish quarrels, as it never lacked before, so
now, in the execution of these Six Articles, it was not far behind : in
whose diocese divers good men and women, especially about Buck-


Henry inirliaiTi aiiil Amersliani,' and quarters tliereabouts, ■were grievously

. (lisc^uiotcd, appearing yet in the register; as for instance:


^'^'^^- Elcnore Godfrey, of Great Marlow,

For laughing and speaking certain words against one Thomas Collard, wiio,
like a pope-lioly hypocrite, in the church of Marlow, used at mass-time
to crouch beliind the children ; and when the priest crossed his liead with tlie
saucer (as she termed it) he would ci'oss his head likewise. And for these words
she was convented before the bishop, and miserably vexed.

William Hart, of Great Brickhill,

For saying these words : ' Thinkest thou that God Almighty will abide over
a knave priest's head?'

Christoplier Erics, of Risborougli,

Because he did no reverence unto the sacrament, coming to the church ; and
for looking upon his book at the time of elevation ; and that he would not come
to see the elevation, &c. Item, as he was working upon a piece of fustian on
a holy-day, and being asked why he kept not tin; holy-day, he answered that
that was no work, and that it was better to do that, than to sit at the alehouse
drinking drunk.

William Fastendicli, of Woburn,

For speaking certain words against the sacrament of the altar, and because
he believed not that it was the very body of Christ.

William Garland, of West Wycombe.

William Garland, talking of extreme unction, said that those tilings were
godly signs, but there were but two sacraments, &c.

William Web, of the same Parisli,
Because he set tlie image of a headless bear in the tabernacle of St. Roke.

Cfjoma.iS 23crnatD anD %^mz$ .iHorton, JBartursS,
Also Master Barber, who recanted.

About the same time John Longiand, bishop of Lincoln, burned
two upon one day, the one named Thomas Hornard, and the other
James Morton; the one for teaching the Lord"'s Pravcr in I'higjish,
and the other for keeping the Epistle of St. James translated into

In Oxford also the same lime, or much thereabout, recanted one

Master Barber, master of arts of that university, a man excellently

learned ; who, being called up to Lambeth before the archbishoj)

'J'homas Cranmer, was in his examination so stout in the cause of

the sacrament, and so learnedly defended himself therein, that (as

it is credibly affirmed of them that yet be alive, and were present

thereat) neither Cranmer himself, nor all they could well answer

to his allegations brought out of Augustine; wherein he was so

There- promi)t and ripe of liimself, that the archbishop, with the residue of

J";*"',^JiJg" his company, were brought in great admiration of him. Notwitli-

aioxiord. standing, by compulsion of the time, and danger of the Six Articles,

(1) Ex Regist. Lincoln.



at last he relented, and, returning again to Oxford, was there caused ■'^'-'"•y
to recant. After which the good man long prospered not, but ~-^i—
More away.' A. D.


$£ mcrro anD pleasant Bacratton, toucfjins a fal^e fearful ' "
Slmagination of irice,


ST. Mary's church, at the recantation of master


* Hitherto,^ gentle reader, we have remembered a great number of
lamentable and bloody tragedies of such as have been slain through
extreme cruelty : now I will here set before thee again a merry and
comical spectacle, whereat thou maycst now laugh and refresh thyself,
which, forasmuch as it did necessarily accord with our present enter-
prise, I have not thought it good to pass it over with silence. For
(Jod hath oftentimes, by divers manifest means, deluded the craft and
subtlety of the bishops and their vain hypocrisy ; as, for example, in
Joan of Mentz, who, being a woman, and secretly dissimuling her
kind, ruled the bishopric of Rome ; but, by being delivered of a
child before her time, even in the midst of open procession, she
defiled tliat see, that the note or blot thereof will never be Aviped out
again. Besides that, hov/ great reproach and derision, even of
chiklren, was in that pompous and ridiculous ambassade of Thomas
Wolsey and Lawrence the cardinal, whereof we have before spoken.
And now again the divine Wisdom deluded the cruel toils of the
bishops ; for* this recantation of Master Barber aforesaid, in the
imiversity of Oxford, bringeth me in remembrance of another recan-
tation likewise, happening not long before in the said university,
which I thought here not to overpass.

There was one Master Malary, master of arts of Cambridge, Recanta-
scholar of Christ's College, who, for the like opinions to those above *'""''*'
rehearsed, holden contrary to the catholic determination of holy
mother church of Rome, that is, for the right truth of Christ's gospel,

Online LibraryJosiah PrattThe church historians of England : Reformation period (Volume 5) → online text (page 8 of 86)