Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1579 [1579]

K. Edvvard. 6. M. Yonges letter to M. Cheke. W. Gardiner, Martyr.

Marginalia1551.
Nothyng to be worshipped that may be seene.
which we see wyth our eyes, and is lyfted vp betwene the Priests handes: he aunswered that nothing whych was visible and to be seene wyth the eye, is to be adored or worshipped, nor that Christ woulde be eleuated into any hygher or pulled downe into anye lower place, and that he can neyther be lyfted vp hygher, nor pulled down lower.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaThe Sacramēt not to be caryed about.Agayne, beyng asked what his iudgement was about the custome and maner in carying about the Sacrament in solemne pompes, processions and otherwyse: he sayd that he alwayes misliked and reproued that order: In so much that about. xvj. yeares agone openly in the pulpyt at Cambridge he spake agaynst that abuse and disalowed that ceremonye, shewing that Christ had expressed by playne and euident wordes a very fruitfull and right vse of thys sacrament, whē he sayd Take ye: (by which phrase quoth he, he doth expresse that he wyll gyue a gyft): Eate ye: (by which wordes he doth declare the proper vse and order of that hys precious gyft): This is my body: (wherby he doth euidently and playnlye shewe what by that gyft they should receiue and how royall and precious a gyfte he would giue them): and therefore he iudged such pompous and superstitious ostentations vtterly to bee condempned and taken away as playn mockeries and coūterfayte visars.

[Back to Top]

His iudgement also being asked about the commemoration of the dead, and the remembraunce of them in Orisons, whether he thought it profitable or no: he answered that it seemed to him to be no lesse profitable than religious and godly: and that might be wel proued out of the bookes Machabees. MarginaliaIn thys poynt the iudgement of Doctor Redman is not to be followed.The which bookes although Sainct Hierome adiudging as not authentike, thought good to be read in the Temples onely for the edifying of the church, & not for the assertion of opinions: yet with mee the opinion of the other wryters, to whome those bookes are allowed as Canons, preuayleth: which he in that point thinketh good to be read. 

Commentary  *  Close

Redman's belief in the merits of prayers for the dead seems to contradict the third point in the list Nowell compiled, which denied Purgatory. It also drew a sharp response from Foxe who, in a marginal note, observes that Redman's judgment on this point.

[Back to Top]

Being furthermore requyred to shew his mynde about trentall Masses and Masses of Scala cœli, 

Commentary  *  Close

These are both series of Requiem Masses, celebrated to mitigate the punishments inflicted on departed souls in Purgatory.

MarginaliaTrentall Masses disproued.hee shewed them that they were altogether vnprofitable, superstitious, and irreligious, flowing out of the fylthy and impure fountayne of superstition, not yelding the fruite which they promised to bryng forth. MarginaliaSacrifice of the Masse disproued.The sacrifice of the Supper of the Lord (the Eucharist I meane) that sacrifyce he said could not be offered for the sinnes of the quicke and the dead.

[Back to Top]

Finally, of hys own voluntary will, and no man (as farre as I can call to remembraunce) demaunding of hym, he shewed his opinion concerning Iustification by Christ. I lament (sayd he) and repent, beseching God forgiuenes for the same, that so seriously and earnestly I haue withstand this proposition: MarginaliaFayth only iustifieth.that onely fayth doth iustifye, but I alwayes feared that it should bee taken to the liberty of the flesh, and so should defile the innocency of lyfe which is in Christ. But that proposition: that onelye fayth doth iustify, is true (quoth hee) swete and full of spirituall comfort, if it bee truely taken and rightly vnderstanded. And when hee was demaunded what hee thought to be the true & very sense therof: I vnderstand (quoth he) that to be the liuely faith, which resteth in our only Sauiour Iesus Christ and imbraceth him: so that in our onely Sauiour Iesus Christ all the hope & trust of our saluation be surely fixed. And as concerning good workes (sayd he) they haue their crowne and merite, and are not destitute of their rewardes. MarginaliaWorkes do not merite saluation.Yet neuertheles they do not merite the kingdome of heauen. For no workes (sayd he) could purchase and obtayne that blessed, happy & euerlasting immortality: no nor yet those things which we do vnder grace by the motion of the holy Ghost. For that blessed and immortall glory is giuen and bestowed vpō vs mortall men, of the heauēly father for his Sonne our Sauiour Christes sake, as Saint Paule testifieth: The gift of God is eternall lyfe. 

Commentary  *  Close

Romans 6: 23.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaRom. 6.And these bee the resolutions which I heard him giue to the questions by Maister Nowel proposed. MarginaliaThe iudgement of D. Yonge about the of religion.From which hys sentence & iudgement so heard by me & of him vttered (as I remember) I neuer declyned or varyed. I besech our Lorde Iesus Christ to ceasse these troublous stormes wherwith the Church is tossed, & vouchesafe for hys holy name sake, tenderly to behold and looke vpon hys poore wrettched flocke so miserably scattered and dispersed, besechyng hym also of hys goodnes to preserue your worship. At London the thyrd of Nouember.

[Back to Top]
¶ Here foloweth the history no lesse lamenable then notable of William Gardiner an English man, sufferyng most constantly in Portyngale for the testimony of Gods truth.

MarginaliaAn. 1552.
The story of William Gardiner, most cruelly Martyred at Lishbone in Portugale.
COmmyng now to the yeare next folowyng. 1552 

Commentary  *  Close
William Gardiner

This account of William Gardiner's spectacular act of sacrilege was first printed in the Rerum (pp. 203-8). A faithful translation of it was printed in the first edition of the A&M and reprinted, without significant change, in all subsequent editions. The most surprising thing about this account, however, is not Gardiner's extraordinary actions, but the accuracy of Foxe's account of them. A comparison of Foxe's narrative with the records of the Portuguese Inquisition records of the case, show that Foxe's narrative of Gardiner's crime and punishment, despite occasional errors, was accurate in even small details. [The records of the case are printed in I. da Rosa Pereira, 'O Descato na Capela Real em 1552 e o processo do calvinista inglês peranto Ordinário de Lisboa', Anais da Academia Portuguesa da Historia 29 (1984), pp. 597-623. English translations of some of these documents are available in Thomas S. Freeman and Marcelo J. Borges, '"A grave and heinous incident against our holy Catholic Faith": Two Accounts of William Gardiner's Desecration of the Portuguese Royal Chapel in 1552', Historical Research 69 (1996), pp. 2-17]. Needless to say, Foxe did not have access to these records. Rather, the accuracy of Foxe's account was clearly due to an informant who was not only present at the event, but knew Gardiner well. Foxe identifies this informant as one Pendigrace. The fact that Foxe was able to obtain this account from a person with whom he had no known association and whilst he was in exile, speaks volumes about the network of associates that supplied Foxe with information for his work, both during Mary's reign and afterwards. Yet it should also be remembered that, for all of its accuracy, Foxe's account of Gardiner provides one of the rare examples of his inventing a speech and claiming that it actually took place.

[Back to Top]

Gardiner's case clearly caught Foxe's imagination, at least partly because of his constancy during excruciating torments. One of the rare woodcuts in the Acts and Monuments depicts Gardiner being raised and lowered into the fire (Rerum, p. 209). And Foxe wrote a poem - only printed in the Rerum - eulogizing Gardiner's fortitude and villifying his tormenters. In the A&M, Foxe made the reasons for his admiration clear. Gardiner's constancy and willingness to suffer for the Gospel made him a model for Christians to follow, if not in dying for Christ, than in living the Christian life.

[Back to Top]

Thomas S. Freeman

. we will somwhat steppe aside & borow a litle leaue, coastyng the Seas into Portyngale amongest the Popishe Merchauntes there, whether a certaine countreyman of ours doth call me, named William Gardiner, a man verely in my iudgement, not onely to be cōpared with the most principall and chief Martyrs of these our dayes, 
Commentary  *  Close

This is an astonishing claim and another indication of Foxe's admiration for Gardiner and his conviction that Gardiner was a model for all Christians.

but also such one, as the auncient Churches in the tyme of the first persecutions, can not shewe a more famous: whether we do behold the force of his fayth, his firme and stedfast constantnes, the inuincible strength of his spirite, or the cruell and horrible tormentes: the report onely and hearyng wherof, were enough to put any mā in horror or feare. Yet notwithstāding so farre it was of that the same did discourage hym, that it may bee doubted whether the payne of his body, or the courage of his minde were the greater, when as in deede both appeared to be very great.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaW. Gardiner comparable with the Martyrs in the primatiue Church.Wherefore, if any prayse or dignity amongest men, (as reason is) bee due vnto the Martyrs of Christ for their valiaunt actes, this one man amonges many, seemeth worthy to bee numbred and also to bee celebrate in the Church wyth Ignatius, Laurentius, Ciriatius, Grescentius, 

Commentary  *  Close

I.e., Cyriac and Crescentius. These along with Ignatius, Laurence and Gordian, were martyrs of the early Church. Foxe is developing his belief that Gardiner was fully the equal of the martyrs of the early Church.

and Gordianus. And if the Church of Christ do receceyue so great and manifolde benifits by these Martyrs, with whose bloode it is watred, by whose ashes it is enlarged, by whose constancye it is confirmed, by whose testimonye it is witnessed, and finally through whose agonies and victoryes the truth of the Gospell doth gloriously tryumph: let not vs then thynke it any great matter, to requyte them with our duety agayne, MarginaliaWhat duetie is to be geuē of Christians to the blessed Martyrs past.by committing them vnto memory, as a perpetuall token of our good will towardes them. Albeit, they them selues receyue no glory at our handes, and much lesse challenge the same: but referre it wholy vnto the Lord Christ, from whom it came whatsoeuer great or notable thyng there was in thē 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe is careful here to remind his readers that the saints were not intercessors between God and man.

. MarginaliaThe memory of Christes Martyrs not to be forgottē.Notwithstandyng, for so much as Christ him selfe is glorified in his Saintes, we cannot shewe our selues thankefull vnto him, except we also shew our selues duetifull vnto those, by whom his glory doth increase.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaHow it came to passe that the primatiue Church had yearely commemorations of Martyrs.Hereupon I thinke it came to passe, that þe auncient Christiās in þe tyme of þe first persecutiōs, thought good to celebrate yearely cōmemorations of þe Martyrdome of those holy men: MarginaliaSuperstition in honouring Martyrs.not so much to honor thē, as to glorifie God in his souldiours, vnto whom all glory & prayse doth worthely belong: MarginaliaWhat profite commeth by memory of Martyrs to vs.& moreouer, that we beyng instructed by their examples, might be the more prompt and ready in the policies of those warres, to stād more stoutly in battaile agaynst our aduersaries, & learne þe more easily to cōtemne & despise this world. For in cōsidering þe end & death of these mē, who wil greatly lōg or luste after this life, which is so many wayes miserable, through so many afflictiōs dolorous, through so many casualties ruinous, wherin cōsisteth so litle cōstācie & lesse safetie, beyng neuer free frō some hard calamitie one or other? 

Commentary  *  Close

This is the beginning of a long discourse by Foxe on how William Gardiner's constancy provided a model for Christians to follow in their daily lives, not in seeking martyrdom, but in resisting temptation and renouncing the pleasures of the flesh.

What good man would haue this world in reputation, wherein hee seeth so many good men so cruelly oppressed, MarginaliaThe world giueth quietnes to the wicked specially.and wherein no man can lyue in quietnes, except he be wicked? Wherfore I do not a litle marueile, that in this great slaughter of good men with so many spectacles & examples of cruell torment, Christians do yet lyue as it were drowned in the foolish desires of this world, MarginaliaGood mē most afflicted in thys world.seing dayly before their eyes so many holy and innocent men yeld vp theyr spirites vnder the handes of such tormentours, to lye in filthy prison, in bondes, darkenes, and teares, and in the end to be cōsumed with fire. We see so many Prophetes of God, euen Christ hym selfe the sonne of God, to be so cruelly and many wayes afflicted in this world, tormoy-

[Back to Top]
led,
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Find:
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
in:  
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield