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1258 [1257]

K. Hen. 8. Persecution in Scotland. George Wysehart, Martyr.

When he had saide these wordes, they were all dumme, thinkyng better to haue tenne Concubines, then one maryed wife.

Marginalia15. Article. 15 Thou false heretike and runnagate sayest, thou wylt not obey our General, nor Prouincial Councels.

MarginaliaAunswere. My Lords, what your general Councels are, I know not, I was neuer exercised in them: but to the pure worde of God I gaue my labors. Reade here your general Coūcels, or els geue me a booke wherin they are conteyned, that I may reade them. If that they agree with the worde of God, I wyl not disagree. MarginaliaThey rūne apase to sheede bloud. Then þe rauenyng wolues turned into woodnes, & said, Wherfore let we hym speake any further? Reade forth the rest of the articles, & stay not vpon thē. Among these cruel tygers ther was one false hypocrite, MarginaliaIohn Grayfinde Scot, an hastye butcher to hys slaughter. a seducer of þe people, called Ioh. Grayfinde Scot, standing behind Ioh. Lauders backe, hasting hym to reade the rest of þe Articles, & not to tary vpō his witty & godly answeares: For we may not abyde them, quoth he, no more then the deuyl may abide the signe of the Crosse, when it is named.

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Marginalia16. Article. 16 Thou heretike saiest, that it is vaine to builde to the honour of God, costly Churches, seing that God remaineth not in the Churches made by mens handes, nor yet God can be in so litle space, as betwixt the priestes hādes.

MarginaliaAunswere. My Lordes, Salomon 

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I Kings 8:27.

saith: If that the heauen of heauens can not comprehende thee, howe muche lesse this house, that I haue builded? Marginalia3. Reg. 8. And Iob 
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Job 11:8-9.

consenteth to the same sentence: Seeing that he is higher then the heauens, therfore what canst thou build vnto hym? MarginaliaIob. 11. He is deper then hel, then how shalt thou know hym? He is lōger then the earth, & brother then the sea. So that God cannot be comprehended into one place, because that he is infinite. These sayings notwithstanding. I said neuer that Churches should be destroyed. MarginaliaWherunto Churches should serue. But of þe contrarye I affirmed euer, that churches should be susteynned & vpholden, that the people shoulde be congregated into them, there to heare of God. And moreouer, where so euer is true preaching of the worde of God and the lawfull vse of the Sacramentes, vndoubtedly there is God hym selfe. So that both these sayinges are true together: God can not be comprehended into any place, and where soeuer there are two or three gathered in his name, there is he present in the middest of them. Then sayd he to his accuser, If you thinke any otherwise then I say, shewe forth your reasons before this auditorie. Then he without all reason being dumbe, and not aunsweryng one word, proceeded forth in his articles.

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Marginalia17. Article. 17 Thou false heretique contemnest fasting, and sayest, thou shouldest not fast.

MarginaliaAunswere.
True fasting he alloweth.
My Lords, I find that fasting is cōmended in the scripture: therefore I were a sclaunderer of the Gospell, if I contemned fasting. And not so only, but I haue learned by experience, that fasting is good for the health of the bodye: but God knoweth who fasteth the true fast.

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Marginalia18. Article. 18 Thou false heretik hast preached openly, saying that the soule of man shal sleepe to the latter day of iudgement, and shal not obtaine life immortal vntyl that day./

MarginaliaAunswere. God ful of mercy and goodnesse forgeue them that saye such things of me. I wote and know surely by the word of God, MarginaliaThe faythfull soule shall neuer sleepe. that he which hath begun to haue the fayth of Iesu Christ and beleueth firmely in hym, I know surely that the soule of that man shall neuer sleepe, but euer shall lyue an immortall life. The which lyfe from day to day is renued in grace and augmented: nor yet shal euer perish, or haue an ende, but euer immortall shall liue with Christ. To the which life all that beleue in hym shall come, and rest in eternal glory. Amen.

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When the Bishoppes with their complices had accused this innocent man in manner and fourme aforesayde, incontinently they condemned hym to be burnt as an heretike, not hauyng respecte to his godly answeares & true reasōs which he alleged, nor yet to their owne consciences, thinkyng veryly that they shoulde doo to God good sacrifice, conformable to the sayinges of saint Iohn 

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John 16:2.

: They shall excommunicate you: yea, and the tyme shall come, that he which kylleth you, shall thinke that he hath done to God good seruice. MarginaliaIohn. 16.

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¶ The prayer of maister George.

MarginaliaThe prayer of M. George Wysehart for the congregation of God. O Immortall God, how long shalt thou suffer the wodnes and great crudelitie of þe vngodly to exercise their furie vpon thy seruauntes which doo further thy worde in this worlde, seeing they desire to be contrary, that is, to choke & destroye thy true doctrine and veritie, by the whiche thou hast shewed thy selfe vnto the world, which was al drowned in blyndnesse and misknowledge of thy name. O Lord we knowe surely that thy true seruauntes muste needes suffer for thy names sake, persecution, affliction and trou bles in this present lyfe, whiche is but a shadowe, as thou haste shewed to vs by thy Prophetes and Apostles. But yet we desire thee hartily, that thou conserue, defende, and helpe thy congregation, whiche thou hast chosen before the beginnyng of the worlde, and geue them thy grace to heare thy woorde, and to be thy true seruauntes in this present lyfe.

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Then by and by they caused the common people to voyde away, whose desire was alwayes to heare that innocent man to speake. Then the sonnes of darkenes pronounced their sentence definitiue, not hauyng respect to the iudgement of God. When all this was done and said, the Cardinall caused his warders to passe againe with the meeke Lambe into the Castle, vntyll such tyme as the fire was made ready. When he was come into the Castle, then there came two Gray feendes, fryer Scot & his mate, saying, Sir ye must make your confession vnto vs. He answered and said, I wyl make no confession vnto you. Go fetch me yonder man that preached this day, and I wil make my confession vnto hym. Then they sent for the Suppriour 

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John Winram, who had preached earlier in the day and who was later to be Foxe's informant for much of his other Scottish material.

of the Abbey, who came to hym with al diligence. But what he said in this confession I can not shewe.

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When the fire was made readye, and the gallowes at the West part of the Castle nere the Priory, the Lorde Cardinall dreading that master George shoulde haue bene taken away by his freendes, commaunded to bende all the Ordinaunce of the Castle right against that part, and commaunded all his gunners to be ready and stand beside their gunnes, vnto such tyme as he were burned. Al this being done, they bounde Maister Georges handes behinde his backe, and leadde hym foorth with their souldiers from the Castle, to the place of their wicked execution. As he came forth of the Castle gate, there met him certaine beggers asking his almes for Gods sake. To whom he answered, MarginaliaM. Wisehart prayeth for the relief of the poore. I want my handes wherwith I should geue you almes: but the mercyfull Lorde, of his benignitie and aboundaunce of grace, that feedeth all men, vounchsafe to geue you necessaryes both vnto your bodyes and soules. Then afterward met hym two false feendes, I shoulde say Fryers, saying: Master George, pray to our Lady, that shee may be mediatrix for you to her sonne, To whom he answeared mekely: MarginaliaM. Wysehart aunswereth the Fryers tempting hym. Cease, tempt me not my brethren. After this he was lead to the fire with a rope about his necke, and a chaine of yron about his middle.

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When that he came to the fire, he sate downe vpon his knees, and rose againe, and thrise he sayd these wordes: O thou Saueour of the worlde haue mercy on me. Father of heauen, I commende my spirite into thy holy handes. Whē he had made this prayer, he turned him to the people & sayde these woordes:

MarginaliaThe wordes and exhortation of M. Wysehart at his death to the people. I beseeche you Christian brethren and sisters, that ye be not offended in the woorde of God for the affliction and tormentes, which ye see alreadye prepared for me. But I exhorte you that ye loue the worde of God, and suffer paciently and with a comfortable harte for the woordes sake, whiche is your vndoubted saluation and euerlastyng comforte.

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Moreouer, I pray you shewe my brethren and sisters, whiche haue heard me ofte before, that they cease not, nor leaue of the worde of God, which I taught vnto them, after the grace geuen vnto me, for no persecutions or troubles in this world, which lasteth not: and shew vnto them, that my doctrine was no wyues Fables after the constitutiōs made by men. And if I had taught mens doctrine, I had gotten great thankes by men. MarginaliaThe constāt patience of this good man. But for the wordes sake and true Euangel, which was geuen to my by the grace of God, I suffer this day by men, not sorowfully, but with a glad harte and minde. For this cause I was sente, that I should suffer this fire for Christes sake. Consider & behold my visage, ye shal not see me change my colour. This grym fire I feare not. And so I pray you for to doo, if that any persecution come vnto you for the wordes sake, and not to feare them that slay the body, and afterward haue no power to slaye the soule. Some haue sayde of me that I taught, that the soule of man should sleepe vntyl the last day. But I know surely, and my faith is such, that my soule shal sup with my saueour Christ this night, ere it be sixe houres: for whom I suffer this. MarginaliaM. George Wysehart prayeth for his enemies & forgeueth them. Then he prayed for them which accused hym, saying: I beseche thee (father of heauen) to forgeue thē that haue of any ignorance, or els of any euil mind, forged any lyes vpon me. I forgeue them with all my hart. I beseech Christ to forgeue them that haue condemned me to death this day ignorantly.

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And last of all he saide to the people on this maner: I beseeche you brethren and sisters, to exhorte your Prelates to the learnyng of the woorde of God, that they at the laste maye be ashamed to doo euyll and learne to do good. And if

they
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