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797 [773]

K. Hen. 7. A prayer against the Turkes, whether the P. or Turke be the greater Antichrist.

pha, their Seriphes, their Sultan, or Bassa, in what times they began, and how long, and in what order of yeres they reigned. Al which in thys present table manifestly to thine eye may appeare.

MarginaliaWhy the pope cannot preuaile against the Turkes.¶ Wherein this thou hast moreouer (gentle Reader) to cōsider, which is worthy the noting, how the B. or Rome all this season, frō the first beginning of the Turks reigne, hath not ceased from time to time continually, calling vpon Christen princes and subiectes, to take the crosse and to warre against the Turkes: wherupon so many great viages haue bene made to the holy lande, & so many battailes fought against the Turke and Soldan for winning þe holy crosse: and yet no luckie successe hath followed thereof hetherto, nor euer came it prosperously forward, whatsoeuer through the exciting of that Bishop, hath beene attempted against that great enemy of the Lorde: In somuch that the Christians haue lost not onely all that they had in Asia, but also vnneth are able to defende that little they haue in Europe, against his violence. What the cause is of thys harde lucke of the Byshops doings, it is hard for man to define. Let men muse as their minde leadeth, and as the Gospell sayth, he that hath eyes to see let him see. This is certaine, that as there hath lacked no care or diligence in the B. of Rome, to stirre men vp to that busines: so on the Princes behalfe there hath lacked no courage nor strength of men, no contribution of expenses, no supportation of charges, no furniture or abilement of warre: onely the blessyng of God semeth to haue lacked. The reason and cause wherofI would were so easy to be reformed, as it may be quickly construed. For what man beholding the life of vs Christians, wil greatly maruell, why þe Lord goeth not with our army to fight against the Turks? And if my verdit might here haue place, for me to adde my censure, there appeareth to me an other cause in this matter, yet greater then thys aforesaid: which to make plaine and euidēt in ful discourse of wordes, laisure nowe doth not permit. Briefly to touch what I conceiue, my opiniō is thys: that if the sincere doctrine of Christen faith deliuered & left vnto vs in the word of God, had not ben so corrupted in the church of Rome, or if the B. of Rome would yet reclame his impure idolatry, and prophanations, and admit Christe the Lambe of God to stande alone, without our vnpure additions, to be our onely Iustification, according to the free promise of Gods grace: I nothing doubt but the power of this faith grounding onely vpon Christ the sonne of God, had both framed our liues into a better disposition: and also soone would, or yet wil bring downe the pride of that proude Holofernes 

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Holofernes is the Assyrian general slain by the Jewish heroine Judith in the Apocryphal Old Testament book of Judith.

. MarginaliaGod offended with Idolatrie and wrong faith of the Christians.But otherwise, if the Bish. of Rome will not gently geue place to the milde voyce of Gods word, I thinke not contrary, but he shalbe compelled at last to giue place & roume to the Turke, whether he will or not. And yet notwythstanding, when both the Turk & the Pope shal do against it what they can,the trueth and grace of Gods Testament shall fructify & increase, by such meanes as the Lorde shall worke, which beginneth alredy (praise to the Lord) to come graciously and luckely forward in most places.

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¶ A Prayer against the Turkes. 
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This prayer is Foxe's composition.

MarginaliaA prayer against the Turkes.O Eternall Lorde God, father of our Lord Iesus Christ, creator and disposer of all things, iust, gracious, & wise only, in the name and reuerence of thy sonne Iesus, wee prostrate our selues, desiring thine omnipotent maiestie, to looke downe vppon these afflicted times of thy poore creatures and seruaunts: relieue thy Church, increase our faith, and confound our enemies: and as thou hast geuen thine onely begotten sonne vnto vs, promising with hym life to all that shall beleeue vpon his name: so encline the obedience of our faith to thy promises in him, that our hearts may be farre of from all other sinnefull additions and prophone inuentions, which are besides him, and not in him, grounded vpon thy will and promise. And graunt (we beseeche thee) to thy Church, more and more to see how terrible a thing it is, to set vp any other meanes or helpe of saluation, but onely in him, whome thou only hast sent and sealed. Reforme thy Church with perfecte doctrine and faithfull teachers, that we seeing our owne weakenesse, may put off our selues, and put on him without whom we can do nothing. So shall we stand strong, when nothing standeth in vs, but thy sonne alone, in whome thou art onely pleased. Renew in this thy Church againe, the decaied faith of thy sonne Iesus, which may plentifully bring footh in vs, not leaues onely, but frutes of Christian life: And forgeue our wretched Idolatry and blinde phantasies past, wherwith we haue prouoked manifold waies thy deserued indignation against vs: For our hearts haue bene full of Idoles, our temples full of Images, our wayes full of hypocrisie: thy Sacraments prophaned, and thy religion turned to superstition, because the lanterne of thy worde MarginaliaPsal. 119. went not before vs, therfore we haue stumbled. Miserably we haue walked hetherto, like sonnes not of Sara, but of Agar, MarginaliaGalat. 4. and therefore these Turkish Agarens haue risen vp against vs. Many hard and straight wayes we haue passed, MarginaliaSapien. 5.but the wayes of the Lorde we haue not founde. MarginaliaEsai. 55.Much cost we haue bestowed on bread that swageth no hunger, but that bread which onely feedeth and commeth freely, we haue not tasted. We haue sailed farre and nere in barkes of our owne building, but haue not kept within the Arke onely of thy promise, and therefore these floudes haue taken vs. MarginaliaGenes. 6. We haue prayed much, but not in thine appoynted temple, and therefore haue not bene heard. Wee haue plowed and tilled, but without thy haiffer, MarginaliaIndic 14. and therfore this vntidie ground of ours bringeth foorth so many weedes We do fish apace and that all night, but because we fish not on the right side of the boate, MarginaliaIoa. 22. in our fishing we catche neuer a sinne. Our buildings be full of good intentions & great deuotiōs, but because the groūd worke is not surely laid vpō the rocke MarginaliaLuke. 6. of thy promise, the East winde riseth and shaketh them all to shiuers. We walke and haue walked long after the precepts and doctrines of men, hauing a shew of wisedome, but not as holding the heade, where lieth all our strength, and therefore these Philistian Turkes haue hetherto so preuailed against vs. Briefly, all the partes and bones of the body be shaken out of place. Wherefore we beseeche thee (O Lorde) put to thy holy hand, and set them in the right ioynt againe. And finally, reduce this same thy mysticall body againe, to his perfect and naturall head, whych is thine onely sonne Iesus Christ, and none other. For him onely hast thou annoynted and appoynted. Neither is there any other head, that can minister strength and nutriment to this body, MarginaliaColoss. 2. but he alone: for asmuch as all other heades be sinnefull, and are not able to stande in thy sight, but make thys body rather worse then better. Onely this thy welbeloued and perfecte sonne is he, in whome onely dwelleth all our strength and fulnesse: him onely we confesse and knowledge. For whome, and with whome, wee beseeche thee (O Lorde God of hostes) graunt to thy Church strength and victory against the malicious fury of these Turkes, Saracens, Tartarians, againste Gog and Magog, and all the malignaunt rabble of Antichrist, enemies to thy sonne Iesus our Lord and Sauior. Preuent their deuises, ouerthrow their power, and dissolue their kingdome, that the kingdome of thy sonne so long oppressed, may recouer and flourish ouer all: and that they which wretchedly be fallen from thee, may happely be reduced againe into the solde of thy saluation, throughe Iesus Christe our only mediatour and most mercifull aduocate. Amen.

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MarginaliaAnno. 1500.IN this long digression 

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Persecution of Lollards

These accounts of Lollards executed or disciplined during the reign ofHenry VII were important to Foxe, as they helped him to demonstrate (to Foxe'ssatisfaction at least) that there was a True Church before Luther. (Foxe makes thispoint explicitly later). Yet Foxe had to rely on the co-operation ofothers to obtain this information. On one level, there were reports by individualinformants, some of whom were eyewitnesses to the events described, and some ofwhom were repeating what they had heard from others. Foxe based his account ofthe Lollards tried at Coventry in 1486 and 1488 on a transcription (possibly atranslation) of extracts in the register of John Hales, the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield; this was almost certainly sent to Foxe. And for information about other Lollards, Foxe also relied on chronicles and documents supplied tohim by antiquaries such as William Bowyer and William Cary.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

, wherin sufficiently hath bene described the grieuous and tedious persecution of the Saracens, & Turkes against the Christians, thou hast to vnderstand (good reader) and beholde the image of a terrible Antichrist euidently appearing both by his own doings, & also by the scriptures, prophecied & declared to vs before. MarginaliaA question whether is the greater Antichrist the turke or the Pope.Now in comparing the Turke with the pope, if a question be asked whether of them is the truer or greater Antichrist, it were easy to see and iudge, that the Turke is the more open and manfiest enemye agaynst Christe and hys Church. But if it be asked, whether of them two hath bene the more bloudy and pernitious aduersary to Christe and his members: or whether of them hath consumed and spilt more Christian bloud, he with sword, or this with fire and sword together, neither is it a light matter to discerne, neither is it my part here to discusse, which do onely write the history, and the Actes of them both. 
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This is yet another example of Foxe considering the 'persecution'of Christians as a basis for identifying them with Antichrist.

Wherfore after the story of the Turkes thus finished, nowe to reenter agayne there, whereas we left, in describing the domesticall troubles and persecutions here at home vnder the Byshopof Rome: after the burning of Babram MarginaliaBabram and an olde man Martirs. in Northfolke aboue declared. pag. 737. MarginaliaVide supra. pag. 737. I signified also of an other certaine aged man mētioned in an old written Chronicle borowed of one in þe tower, 
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Foxe obtained a manuscript copy of Ranulf Higden's Polychroniconfrom William Bowyer, the keeper of the Tower records from 1563-1570. Thismanuscript, with Foxe's annotations, is now College of Arms, Arundel MS 7.

intituled Polychron. (although I finde not his name in the saide Chronicle expressed) which suffered the paines of burning in Smithfielde, about the same time, which was the yere of our Lord. 1500. MarginaliaEx scripto Polychronicho.Ex Polycron.

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This aged father, I suppose, be hee of whome I finde mention made in certaine olde papers and recordes of W. Carye 

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This is one of a number of occasions when Foxe acknowledged hisdebt to William Cary, a London clothworker and antiquary. (On Cary and his manuscript collection, see Andrew G. Watson, 'Christopher and William Carye, Collectors of Monastic Manuscripts, and "John Carye"', The Library Fifth series,20 (1965), pp. 135-42). Foxe's purpose in stating his sources was to demonstrateto potential critics of his work that he had evidence to support his narrative.

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Citizen (all be it the day of the moneth doth a little differ) wherin is thus testified, that on the 20. day of Iuly. An. 1500. vpon the day of S. Margaret, there was an olde man burned in smithfield for an hereticke, 
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The execution of an unnamed old man at Smithfield is recorded in anumber of sources (e.g., The Great Chronicle of London, ed. A. H. Thomas andI. D. Thornley [London, 1938], p. 294 and Fabyan's Chronicle, ed. H. Ellis [London,1911], p. 687). None of the surviving sources supply the details of the man's attempted escape and injury, so it must be assumed that whatever the source that Cary supplied to Foxe was, it was subsequently lost.

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& the same person vpon the 10. day before he was burned, wold haue stolen out of the Lolardes tower, and so falling out of the tower, did fowly hurt him selfe: wherupon he was caried in a cart to his death, as he went to his burning.

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In the foresaid papers 

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No record of these trials survives, but the Milanese ambassador and aa number of contemporary chronicles mention the abjurations (J. A. F. Thomson, TheLater Lollards, 1412-1520 [Oxford, 1965], pp. 158-9).

of auncient recorde, is furthermore declared, how in the yere aboue prefixed, which was An. 1499. in the time of one Perseuell, many were taken

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