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K. Henry. 8. A Table of the Italian Martyrs. A Letter.


thrust downe, some lifted vp. Here is the mount Sion:
here I am already in heauen it selfe. Here standeth first
Christ Iesus in the fronte. About him stand the old fa-
thers, Prophetes, and Euangelistes, Apostles, and all
the seruaunts of God. Of whom some do embrace and
cherish me, some exhorte me, some open the Sacramēts
vnto me, some comfort me, other some singyng about
me. And how then shal I be thought to be alone, amōg
so many, and such as these be? The beholding of whom,
to me is both solace, and example. For here I see some
crucified, some slayne, some stoned, some cut a sunder &
quartered, some rosted, some broyled, some put in hoate
caulderns, some hauing their eyes bored through, some
their tongues cut out, some their skinne plucked ouer
their heades, some their handes & feete chopt of, some
put in kilnes and furnaces, some cast down headlong, &
giuen to the beastes, & foules of the ayre, to feede vpon.
It would aske a long tyme if I should recite all.
To be short, diuers I see, with diuers and sōdry tor-
mentes excruciate: yet notwithstanding, all lyuing, and
all safe. One plaister, one salue cureth all their woūdes:
which also giueth to me, strength and life: so that I su-
steine all these transitory anguyshes, & small afflictiōs,
with a quiet minde, hauyng a greater hope layd vp in
heauen. Neither do I feare myne aduersaries whiche
here persecute me and oppresse me: For he that dwelleth
in heauen shall laughe them to scorne, and the Lord shall
deride them. I feare not thousandes of people, which com-
passe me about. The Lord my God shall deliuer me, my
hope, my supporter, my cōforter, who exalteth vp my head.
He shall smite all them that stād agaynst me without cause,
and shall dashe the teeth & iawes of sinners a sunder: for
he onely is all blessednes and maiestie. The rebukes
for Christes cause make vs iocant: 
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1 Peter 4: 14

for so it is written: If
ye be rebuked and scorned for the name of Christ, happy be
you, for the glory, and the spirite of God resteth vpon you.
1. Pet. 4. Be you therefore certified, that our rebukes
whiche are layd vpon vs, redounde to the shame and
harme of the rebukers. In this world there is no man-
sion firme to me, and therfore I trauaile vp to the new
Hierusalem, which is in heauen, and which offereth it
self vnto me, without paying any fine or Income. Be-
holde I haue entred already in my iourney, where my
house stādeth for me prepared, and where I shall haue
riches, kinsfolkes, delites, honours neuer faylyng. 
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Ecclesiastes 1: 2

As
for these earthly thynges here present, they are transito-
rie shadowes, vanishyng vapors, and ruinous walles.
Brieflye, all is but very vanitie of vanities, where as
hope, and the substaunce of eternitie to come, are wan-
tyng: Which the mercifull goodnes of the Lorde hath
geuē, as companions, to accōpany me, & to comfort me:
and now do the same begyn to worke & to bryng forth
fruites in me. I haue trauailed hetherto, laboured and
swette early and late, watchyng day and night, & now
my trauailes begin to come to effecte. Dayes & houres
haue I bestowed vpon my studyes. Behold the true coū
tenaunce of God is sealed vppon me, the Lord hath geuen
myrth in my hart. And therefore in the same will I lay me
downe in peace and rest. Psal. 4. And who then shall dare
to blame this our age consumed, or say that our yeares
be cut of? what man can nowe cauil, that these our la-
bours are last, whiche haue folowed and found out the
Lord and maker of the world, and whiche haue chaun-
ged death with lyfe? 
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Psalms 16: 5

My portion is the Lorde (sayth my
soule) and therfore I will seke and waite for him. Now
then, if to dye in the Lord, be not to dye, but to liue most
ioyfully: where is this wretched worldly rebell, whiche
blameth vs of folly, for geuing awaye our lyues to
death? O how delectable is this death to me, to taste the
Lordes cup, whiche is an assured pledge of true salua-
tion? for so hath the Lord him selfe forewarned vs, say-
ing: 
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Matthew 10: 25

The same that they haue done to me, they will also do
vnto you.
Wherfore let the doltish world, with his blind world-
lyngs (who in the bright sunne shyne, yet go stumbling
in darknes, beyng as blynde as betles) cease thus vn-
wisely to carpe agaynst vs, for our rashe sufferyng, as
they count it. To whom thus we aunswere agayne
with the holy Apostle: 
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Romans 8: 16 and 38

That neither tribulation, nor an-
guishe, nor hunger, nor nakednes, nor ieopardy, nor perse-

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cutiō, nor sword, shalbe able euer to separate vs frō the loue
of Christ. We are slayne all the day long, we are made like
sheepe ordeined to the shambles. Rom. 8. Thus do we re-
sēble Christ our head, whiche sayd: 

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Matthew 10: 24

That the Disciple can
not be aboue his master, nor the seruaunt aboue his Lorde.
The same Lord also hath so commaunded: That euery
one shall take vp his Crosse, and folow him. Luc. 9. Re-
ioyce, reioyce (my deare brethren, & felow seruantes) &
be of good comfort, whē ye fall into sondry tentations.
Let your patience be perfect on all partes. For so is it
foreshewed vs before, & is written: 
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John 16: 2

That they which shal
kill you, shall thinke to do God good seruice. Thefore af-
flictions, & death be as tokens & Sacramentes of our
election, and lyfe to come. Let vs then be glad, and sing
to the Lord, when as we beyng cleare from all iust accu
sation, are persecuted and geuen to death. 
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1 Peter 3: 17

For better it
is, that we in doyng well, do suffer, if it so be the will of the
Lord, then doing euill. 1. Pet. 3. We haue for our example,
Christ & the Prophetes, which spake in þe name of the
Lord, whom the childrē of iniquitie did quelle and mur
der: and now we blesse and magnifie them, that then
suffered. Let vs be glad and ioyous in our innocencie,
and vprightnes. The Lord shall reward them that per
secute vs: let vs referre all reuengement to hym.
I am accused of foolishnes, for that I do not shrinke
from the true doctrine and knowledge of God, and
doe not rydde me selfe out of these troubles, when with
one worde, I may. O the blyndnes of man, which seeth
not the Sunne shining, neither remēbreth the Lordes
wordes. Consider therefore what he sayth: 
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Matthew 5: 14

You are the
light of the world: A Citie builded on the hill can not be
hyd: Neither do men light a candle, and put it vnder a bu-
shed, but vpon a candlesticke, that it may shyne, and gyue
light to thē in the house. 
Commentary  *  Close

Matthew 10: 18, 20, 32

And in an other place he sayth:
You shalbe led before kynges and rulers, feare ye not them,
whiche kill the body, but him which killeth both body and
soule. Who so euer shall confesse me before men, hym will
I also confesse before my father whiche is in heauen: And
he that denieth me before men, him will I also deny before
my heauenly father. Wherefore, seyng the wordes of the
Lord be so playne, how or by what authoritie will thys
wise counseller then approue this his counsaile, whiche
he doth geue? God forbid that I should relinquishe the
Commaundementes of God, and folow the counsailes
of men. For it is written: Blessed is the man that hath not
gone in the wayes of sinners, and hath not stand in the coun
sailes of the vngodly, and hath not sit in the chayre of pesti-
lence. Psal. 1. God forbyd that I should denye Christ,
where I ought to confesse him. I will not set more by
my lyfe, then by my soule: neither will I exchaunge
the lyfe to come, for this worlde here present. O
how foolishlye speaketh he, whiche here argueth me of
foolishnes?
Neither do I take it to be a thyng so vncomly or vn-
semyng for me not to obey in this matter, the requestes
of those so honorable, iust, prudent, vertuous, & noble
Senatours, whose desires (he sayth) were enough to
commaunde me. For so are we taught of the Apostles: 
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Acts 5: 29


That we ought to obeye God before men. After that we
haue serued and done our duety first vnto God, then
are we boūd next to obey the Potestates of this world:
whom I wishe to be perfect before the Lord. They are
honorable, but yet are they to be made more perfect in
þe Lord. They are iust, but yet Christ þe Seate of Iustice
is lackyng in them. They are wise, but where is in thē
the beginning of wisedome, that is, the feare of þe Lord?
They are called vertuous, but yet I wishe them more
absolute in Christian charite. They are good and grati-
ous: but yet I mysse in them the fundation of goodnes,
whiche is the Lord God, in whom dwelleth all good-
nes and grace. They are honorable, yet haue they not
receaued the Lord of glory, which is our Sauiour most
honorable and glorious. 
Commentary  *  Close

Psalm 2

Vnderstād you kinges, and learne
you that iudge the earth. Serue the Lord in feare, and re-
ioyce in him with tremblyng. Hearken to doctrine, and get
knowledge, lest you fall into Gods displeasure, and so pe-
rishe out of the way of righteousnes. What freat you, what
fume, you O gentles? O you people, what cast you in your
braynes the cogitations of vanitie? you kynges of the earth,

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