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our faith, and give us never to be ashamed of his gospel ! That same request
winch I have made to my brother Thomas, I make also to you, desiring you,
by all means you can to accomplish my request, that my sureties might be
satisfied with that is mine own, to the contentation of my mind, which cannot
be quiet until they be discharged:"^ therefore I pray you help to purchase
quietness, that I might depart out of this world in peace. My dissolution I look

(l)Lukexxji. (2) Eccles. ii. (3) Psalm xxxv. (4) 2Tim. ii. (5)Rev.iv.

(0) This was for the lirst-fruits of his archdeaconry, whereof all the time of his iinprisonment he
had no commodity, and yet his sureties were compelled to pay the same.



696



GODI.Y LETTERS OF JOHN PHII.POT, MARTYR.



Mary.

A.D.
1555.



for daily ; l)iit the Lord knoweth how unworthy I am of so liigh an honour, as
to die for tlie testimony of his truth. Pray that God woidd vouchsafe to make
me worthy, as he hatli done, of long imprisonment, for the which his name be
praised for ever. Pray and look for the coming of the Lord, whose wrath is
great over us, and I will pray for you as long as I live.
The 9th of July, in the King's Bench.
Your own loving brother as well in faith as in body, John Philpot.



He com-

inondeth
their
fai til fill
zeal to
God's
word.

He ex-

horteth

them to

continue

and to

stand

last.



The vrord
of pati-
ence.



The fruit
that Com-
eth by
bearinp;of
the cross.



Anotlier Letter of Exhortation to certain godly Brethren.

The grace of Gcd the Father, and the peace of our Saviour Jesus Christ hio
eternal Son, and the consolation of the Holy Ghost our Comforter, strengthen
your hearts, and comfort your minds, that you may rejoice, and live in the
tnith of Christ's gospel to the end. Amen.

I do much rejoice, dearly beloved in the Lord, to hear of your constant faith
in the word of (iod, which you have so purely received ; who do not with the
worldlings decline from the purity thereof, albeit you sutler grief and trouble
thereby ; for the which I praise God most heartily : and the Lord of all strength,
who hath begun this good work in you, make it perfect to the end, as I doubt not
hut he will, for the faithfid zeal ye have to his truth and to his afflicted church.
Therefore that ye may the better stand and bear the brunt of many temptations,
wliich you are all like to be assaulted withal in these wicked and stormy days ; I
thought it good, as it is the duty of one christian man to exhort another in the
time of trouble, to put you in remembrance thereof, and to will you with the
wise man, to prepare yourselves to temptations ; and to beware that ye, which
yet do stand by the goodness of God, may not fall from your lively knowledge
and hope. It is an easy thing to begin to do well, but to continue out in well
doing, IS the only property of the children of God, and such as assuredly shall
be saved. For so saith our Saviour in his gospel : " Blessed are they that perse-
vere to the end."

Let not therefore this certainty of your salvation, ■ffhich is continuance in
the sincerity of faith, slide from you. Esteem it more than all the riches and
pleasures of this world, for it is the most acceptable treasure of eternal life.
This is that precious stone, for the which the wise merchantman, after the
gospel, doth sell all that he hath, and buyeth the same.' God, in the Apoca-
lypse, doth signify to the chiuxh, tliat there shall come a time of temptation
upon the whole world, to try the dwellers on the earth ;' from the danger of
which temptation all such shall be delivered as observe his word : which
word there is called the word of patience ; to give us to understand that we
must, be ready to suff'er all kind of injuries and slanders for the profession
thereof.

Therefore God commandeth us there to hold it fast, that no man might
bereave us of our crown of glory ; and St. Peter telleth us,' now we are afflicted
with divers assays, as it is need it should so be, that the trial of our faith, being
much more precious than gold that perisheth, and yet is tried by fire, might
redound to the laud, glory, and honour of Jesus Christ. St. Paul to the
Hebrews showeth us,'' that Christ our Saviour was in his humanity made perfect
by afflictions, that we, being called to perfection in him, might more willingly
sustain the troubles of the world, by the which God giveth all them that be
exercised in the same for his sake, his holiness. And in the twelfth chapter of
the said epistle is wi'itten, " My son, refuse not the correction of the Lord, nor
shrink when thou art rebuked of him : for the Lord doth chastise every son
whom he receiveth," etc. Christ, in the Gospel of St. John, biddeth his disciples
to look after afflictions, saying, " In the world ye shall have trouble, but in me
ye shall have joy."* And therefore in the midst of their trouble, in the twenty-
first of St. Luke he biddeth them look up and lift up their heads, " for your
redemption," saith he, " is at hand." And in the twenty-second, he saith to all
such as be afflicted for liim, " You are those that have abiden M'ith me in my
temptations, and therefore I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath
appointed for mc, to eat and drink upon my table in my kingdom."

Oh how glorious be the crosses of Christ, which bring the bearers of them
unto so blessed an end ! Shall we not be glad to be partakers of such shame



(1) Mntt. 3t.



(2) Ucv. iii.



(.'!) 1 ret. i.



(4) Ileb. ii.



(,■)) John ivi.



TO CERTAIN GODLY BIIETHREN. 697

as may bring us to so high a dignity? God open our eyes to see all things as Mary,
they be, and to judge u})rightly ! Then doubtless we would tiiink with Moses,



that it is better to be afflicted with the people of God, than to be counted the A. D.
king of Egypt's son. Then should we joyfully say with David, in all our ^^^^'
adversities and troubles, " It is good, O Lord, thou hast brought me low, to
the end I might learn thy righteousness." Therefore St. Paul would not
glory in any otlier thing of the world, but in the cross of Christ, and in other
his infirmities : we have the commandment of Christ, daily to take up his cross
and follow him. We haye the godly ensamples of all his apostles and holy
martyrs, which with great joy and exultation have suffered the loss of all lands, Tlie de-
goods, and life, for the hope of a better reward, which is laid up for all those ''|°!",^(j°^j
in heaven, that unfeignedly cleave to the gospel, and never be ashamed thereof, nothing

Great is the felicity of the world to the outward man, and very pleasant are compar-
the transitory delights thereof : but the rewards of the righteous after the word f,,g,^ ^jj^j
of God, doth incomparably excel them all, insomuch that St. Paul to the Romans are to
doth plainly affirm, that all the tribulations of this world cannot deserve that '^^me.
gloiy which shall be showed unto us.

Let us therefore, good brethren and sisters, be merry and glad in these Conside-
troublesome days, the which be sent of God to declare our faith, and to bring pt'o" ot
us to the end and fruition of that which we hope for. If we would enter into come."
the Lord's sanctuary, and behold what is prepared for us, we could not hut
desire the Lord to haste the day of our death, in the which we might set forth
by true confession his glory. Neither should we be afraid to meet our adver-
saries, which so earnestly seek our spoil and death, as Christ did Judas and that
wicked i-out which came to apprehend him, saying, " I am he whom ye seek."
It is commanded us by the gospel, not to fear them that kill the body, but to
fear God, who can cast both body and soul into hell-fire. So much we are
bound to observe this commandment as any other which God hath given us.
The Lord increase our faith, that we may fear God more than man ! The Lord
give us such love towards him and his truth, that we may be content to forsake
all and follow him ! Now will it appear what we love best ; for to that we love we
will stick. There is none worthy to be counted a Christian, except he can find The note
in his heart for Christ's sake, if the confession of his truth doth require it, to "^ a. true

renounce all which he hath, and follow him ; and in so doing he gaineth a bun- ,.

_ ^", How a

dred-fold more in this life (as our Saviour said to Peter), and hereafter is assured christian
of eternal life. Behold, I pray you, what he loseth which in this life receiveth mangain-
a hundred for one, with assurance of eternal life. O happy exchange ! Per- dred-ibl'r
chance your outward man will say. If I were sure of this great recompense in this
here, I could be glad to forsake all : but where is this hundred-fold in this life '''''•
to be found? Yes truly; for instead of the worldly riches which thou dost •'^ com-
forsake, which be but temporal, thou hast found the everlasting riches of heaven, between
which be glory, honour, and praise, both before God, angels, and men ; and for t'le loss
an earthly habitation, hast an eternal mansion with Christ in heaven ; for even 'J'i"at^om-
now thou art of the city and household of the saints with God,^ as it is verified ethhyfui-
in the fourth to the Philippians. For worldly peace, which can last but a while, ',?7'"5 ^^
tliou dost possess the peace oi God, wluch passetn all understandmg ; and tor
tlie loss of a few friends, thou art made a fellow of the innumerable com])any
of heaven, and a perpetual friend of all those that have died in the Lord, from
the beginning of the world. Is not this more than a hundred-fold? Is not the
})eace of God, which we in this world have through faithful imitation of Christ
(which the world cannot take from us), ten-thousand-fold more than those
tilings that most highly be esteemed in the world, without the peace of God? ^^.^^^
All the peace of the world is no peace, but mere anguish and a gnawing fury ^ (j,j„g
of hell : as of late God hath set example before our eyes, to teach us how incompa-
horrible an evil it is to forsake the peace of Christ's truth, which breedeth a ■^^'''^•
worm in conscience that never shall rest.

O that we would weigh this with indifferent balances ! ' Then should we not
be dismayed of this troublous time, neither sorrow after a worldly manner, for The lack
the loss which we are now like to sustain, as the weak faithless persons do, "* God's
which love their goods more than God, and the things visible above those which \\^^^ *
be invisible: but rather would heartily rejoice and be thankful, that it pleased most mi-
God to call us to be soldiers in his cause against the works of hypocrisy, and to serable.

(1) rhil. iv.



698 GODLY LETTERS OF JOHN PHILPOT, MARTVU.

Mary, make US like unto our Saviour Christ in suffering, whereby we may assure our-
" — selves of his eternal glory ; for blessed are tliey, saith Christ, that suffer perse-

A.U. cution for righteousness' sake. And as St. Paul witnesseth to Timothy, "If we
^^^^- die with Christ, we shall live with Christ : and if we deny him, he will deny us.'
O that we would enter into the veil of God's promises. Then should we,
with St. Paul to the Philippians, reject all, and count a\\ things but for dross,
so that we may gain Christ.^ God, which is the lightener of all darkness, and
putter away of all blindness, anoint our eyes with the true eye-salve, that we
might behold his glory and our eternal felicity, which is hidden with Christ, and
prepared for us that do abide in his testament : for blessed is that servant, whom
the master when he cometh (as Christ said) doth find faithful. Let us there-
fore watch and pray one for another, that we yield not in any point of our
religion to the antichristian synagogue, and that we be not overthrown of these
tem})tations. Stand therefore, and be no cowards in the cause of yoiu- salvation ;
for his Spirit that is in us, is stronger than he which in the world doth now rage
against us. Let us not put out the Spirit of God from us, by whose might we
shall overcome our enemies ; and then death sliall be as great a gain to us, as it
He ex- was to the blessed apostle St. Paul. Why then do ye mourn? why do ye weep?
t'ejOTful" ^^'^y ^^ y^ ^° careful, as though God hath forsaken you? He is never more
in affile- present with us than when we be in trouble, if we do not forsake him. We are
tions. jn hjg hands, and nobody can do us any injury or wrong without his good will
and pleasure. He hath commanded his angels to keep us, that we stumble not
at a stone without his divine providence. The devil cannot hurt any of us, and
much less any of his ministers, without the good will of our eternal Father.
Ueut aiui 'therefore let us be of good comfort, and continually give thanks unto God for
not to our estate, whatsoever it be ; for if we murmur against the same, we miumur
jiiuvmiir against God, who sendeth the same : which if we do, we kick but against the
tio'n. prick, and provoke more the wrath of God against us ; which, by patient suf-
fering, otherwise would sooner be turned into our favour through faithful prayer.
I beseech you with St. Paul, to give your bodies pure and holy sacrifices unto
God. He hath given us bodies to bestow unto his glory, and not after our own
concupiscence. If many years God hath suffered us to use our bodies, which
be his temples, after the lust of the flesh, in vain delights, not accoi-ding to his
glory ; is it not our duty in the latter end of our life, the more willingly to yield
unto God's glory our bodies, with all that we have, in demonstration of true
repentance of that we have evil spent before ? Cannot the example of the
blessed man Job horribly afflicted, cause us to say, " The Lord hatli given it,
the Lord hath taken it : blessed be the name of the Lord ! ^ Even as it hath
pleased the Lord, so is it come to pass." If we cast our whole care likewise
upon God, he will turn our misery into felicity, as well as he did to Job. God
tempteth us now, as he did our father Abraham, commanding him to slay his
son Isaac in sacrifice to him ; which Isaac by interpretation doth signify mirth
and joy ;* who by his obedience preserved Isaac unto long life, and offered in
How to his stead a ram that was tied by the horns in the brambles. Semblably we are
s.icn te ^jj commanded to sacrifice unto God our Isaac, which is our joy and consolation :
Isaac to the which if we be ready to do, as Abraham was, our joy shall not perish, but
God. liY-e^ and be increased, although our ram be sacrificed for our Isaac : which
doth signify that the pride and concupiscence of our flesh entangled through sin
with the cares of this stinging world, must be mortified for the preservation and
perfect augmentation of our mirth and joy, which is sealed up lor us in Christ,
^^eme- And to withstand these pi-esent temptations wherewithal we are now encnm-

r;4ainst bcred, ye cannot have a better remedy than to set ijefore your eyes how our
tin- temp- Saviour Christ overcame them in the desert, and to follow his ensam])le ; that
tilt- devil if *^'i6 devil himself, or any other by him, willeth you to make stones bread
and the (that is, to take such a worldly-wise way, that you may have your fair houses,
""■^ • lands and goods, to live on still), ye must say, that man liveth not only by

bread, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
ctirist's '^g^i'i) if the devil counselleth you to cast yourselves down to the earth, so as

tenipta- to revoke your sincere belief and godly conversation, and to be conformable to
ii'ivla- *^'^ learned men of the world, pretending that God will be well enough content
caiiy ap- herewith ; ye nmst answer that it is written, that a man sludl not tempt his
plied. Lord God.

(1) 2 Tim. ii. (2) I'liil. v (J) Jol) i. (4) Gen. xxii.



TO ROBERT HARRINGTON. 699

Further, if the devil offer you large promises of honour, dignity, and posses- Mary.
sions, so that ye will worship idols in his synagogue, ye must say, " Go behind "~

me, Satan, for it is otherwise written, that a man must worship his Lord God, fv/;'
and serve him only."

Finally, if your mother, brother, sister, wife, child, kinsman or friend, do
seek of you to do otherwise than the word of God hath taught you, ye must say
with Christ, that they are your mothers, brothers, sisters, wives, children, kins-
men, which do the will of God the Father. To the which will, the Lord for
his mercy conform us all unfeignedly to the end. Amen.

Yoiu' loving and faithful brother in Christ, in captivity.

John Philpot, Anno 1555.

To his Friend and faithful Brother in the Lord, Master Robert

.Harrington.

Gentle master Harrington, I cannot tell what condign tlianks I may give
luito God for you, in respect of the great gentleness and pain which you have
taken for the relief of me and of others our afflicted brethren in Christ. God
be praised for his mercy, whose loving providence we have seen towards us by
such faithfid stewards as you have been towards a great many. Blessed be
you of God, for the loving care which you have taken for his poor flock. God
hath reserved your reward of thanks in heaven, and therefore I go not about
to render you any, lest I might seem to judge that you looked for that here,
wliich is reserved to a better place. I thank God for that I have found by your
faithful and diligent industry, and God forgive me my unworthiness of so great
benefits. God give me grace to serve him faithfully, and to run out my race
with joy. Glorious is the course of the martyrs of Christ at this day. Never
had the elect of God a better time for their glory than this is. Now may they
be assured under the cross, that they are Christ's disciples for ever.

Me thinketh I see you desiring to be under the same. The flesh draweth
back, but the Spirit saith, it must be brought whither it would not.' Here is
the victory of the world : here is true faith and everlasting glory. Who is he
which desireth not to be found faithful to his master ? And now is the time
that every faithful servant of Christ hath just opportunity to show himself a
glorious soldier in the Lord's fight. Now do the Amalekites invade the true
Israelites, that the Israelites might with speed be glorified. I need not for
want of understanding to admonish you hereof, but as a willing soldier in
Christ, to exhort you so to run as you may get the victory, and that speedily
with us. A man that is bid to a glorious feast, wisheth his friend to go with
liim, and be partaker thereof. God doth call me most unworthy, among
others, to drink of the bride-cup of his Son, whereby we shall be made worthy
(as many of our brethren have been before us) to sit at the right hand and at Reward
the left hand of Christ. O what unspeakable condition is that ! May any f-^^^ \\^^
worldly thing stay us from the desire thereof? Since we seek the kingdom of price.
God, why do we not apprehend it, being so near oflPered vmto us ?

Let us approach near unto God, and God will draw near unto us. God draw Godly
us after him, tliat we may all run after the savour of his sweet ointments. Christ ™yj"'
anoint us, that we may be supplied in these evil days to run lightly unto the how to ba
glory of tlie Lord. Shame, imprisonment, loss of goods, and shedding of our used.
blood, be the just price which we must willingly bestow for the same. Where-
fore, dearly beloved in the Lord, let not the great charges keep you back from
buying this glory : for the reward is ten thousand fold greater than the price.

Since you have married a wife, whom God bless, I cannot excuse you from
this mart, but you must bring your wife for an usury to the Lord, whose plea-
sure is in godly yoke-feilows. I wish you to be as I am, except these horrible
bands, but yet most comfortable to the spirit, assuring you that we are made
worthy through Christ of the kingdom for the which we suffer. Praised be
the Lord for the affliction which we suffer, and he give us strength to continue
to the end !

Commend me to master Heath, and tell him that I would wish hina with
me, to prove how apt he is to carry the cross of Christ. I pray for his conti-
nuance in Christ, as for mine own : conmiend me to his wife, and to Mrs. Hall,

(1) John xxi.



700 GODLY LETTEHS of JOHN PHILPOT, MAUTYU.

Mary, certifying them that I am brought to the gates of hell, that I might never enter
into the same, but be raised up from hell to heaven, through the word that



A.T>. sanctifieth us. Commend me to master Elsing and his wife, and thank them
1555. that they remembered to provide me some ease in prison ; and tell them that
' though my lord's coal-house be but very black, yet it is more to be desired of

the faithful, than the queen's palace. God make her a joyful mother, and pre-
serve them both to the comfort of God's people. Thus for this time farewell,
dear brother. — Written in post-haste because of strait keeping.

This day I look to be called before the commissioners again. Pray, dear
brother, for the spirit of wisdom to remain with me. Commend me to your
wife, and I thank you both for your tokens. Your token I have sent to your
wife ; and my token unto you, is my faithful heart with this letter. Commend
me to all my friends, and tell them, I thank God I am cheerful in Christ,
wishing them to fear God more than man, and to learn to despise earnestly the
vanities of this world ; desiring you all to pray for me, that I may end my
journey with fidelity, Amen. John Philpot.

Here followetli another letter of master Pliilpot to the lady Vane :
which, because for the length, I could not wholly insert, I have ex-
cerpted certain specialties thereout as followeth.

The principal Spirit of God the Father, given unto us by Christ our merciful
Saviour, confirm, strengthen, and stablish you in the tiue knowledge of the
gospel, that your faithful heart, worshipful and dear sister in the Lord, may
attain and taste with all the saints, what is the height, the depth, the length,
and the breadth of the sweet cross of Christ, Amen.

O happy are you amongst all other women, that have found this precious
stone which is hidden in the gospel ; for the which we ought to sell all other
things, and to purchase the same. O happy woman, whose heart God hath
moved and enlarged to bo in the profession thereof. Others seek worldly
goods, honours, and delights ; but you seek with a good understanding to serve
God in spirit and verity. This is the gate that leadeth to heaven, this is your
portion for ever. By this you shall see God face to face (which sight is un-
speakable joy), by this shall ye see whatever your heart can desire ; by this ye
shall have a full sight of all the beautiful heavenly powers, and of all the celestial
paradise. By this shall you know them that you never knew, and be joyous
and glad with those which you have known here in God, world without end !
He be- Ah ! I lament the infidelity of England, that after so great light, is stepped into

waileth luiire darkness as^ain. The servant that knoweth his master's will, and doth

the state . in it -i • «ii iii ii

of Eng- It not, shall be beaten with many stripes. All ! great be the plagues that hang

i'>i'"i' ^^^^' England, yea though the gospel should be restored again. Happy shall that

prophe- person be whom the Lord shall take out of this world, not to see them. Ah !

sied to the great perjury which men have run into so wilfully against God, by re-

thoiHi ceiving antichrist again and his wicked laws, which do threaten a great ruin

the gospel uiito England. O that the Lord would turn his just judgments upon the authors

^'-' ^^\ of the truce-breakina; between God and us, that they misrht be brought low (as

stored • • , .

a'^ain. Nebuchadnezzar was), that his people might be delivered, and his glory

Good luck exalted. God grant that that good luck which you hope shortly to come upon
fore- the house of God, be a true prophecy, and not a well-wishing only. Ah, Lord!
rostorin'' ^^^^ away thy heavy hand from us, and stretch it out upon thine enemies (those
a!,Min the hypocrites) as thou hast begun, that they may be confounded. O let not the
fiuspel. weak perish for want of knowledge through our sin. Although thou kill us,
yet will we put our trust in thee.

Thus, dear heart, you teach me to pray with you in writing. God hear your
prayers, and give us the spirit of effectual prayer, to pour out our hearts con-
tinually together before God, that we may find mercy both for ourselves, and
for our afflicted brethren and sisters. I cannot but praise God in you, for that
jiiliful heart that taketh other folks' calamities to heart, as your own. Blessed



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