Marginalia1555. Iuly.shalbe ioy and holynes? Doth not the Scripture say that, MarginaliaPromises annexed to the crosse.they are happy that suffer for righteousnes sake, as you now do? that the glory and spirite of God is vpon them? that, as you are now made like vnto Christ in sufferyng, so shall you be made lyke hym in raignyng? Doth not the Scripture say that you are now goyng the hyghe and right way to heauen? that your sufferyng is Christes sufferyng? My dearely beloued, what greater commodities then these, can a godly hart desire?[Back to Top]
Therefore ye are commaunded to reioyce & be glad whē ye suffer, as now ye doe: for through the goodnesse of God, great shalbe your reward: Where? Forsooth on earth, first for your childrē: for now they are in Gods mere & immediate protection. Neuer was father so carefull for his children, as God is for yours presently. Gods blessyng whiche is more worth thē all the world, you leaue in deede to your children. Though all your prouidence for thē should be pulled away: yet God is not poore, he hath promised to prouide for them most fatherly. MarginaliaPsal. 55.Cast thy burthē vpō me (sayth he) and I will beare it. Do you therfore cast them & cōmēd them vnto God your father, & doubt not that he will dye in your det. He neuer yet was foūd vnfaithfull, & he will not now begin with you. MarginaliaPsal. 37.The good mās seede shall not goe a beggyng his bread: for he will shew mercy vpō thousādes of the posteritie of thē that feare him. MarginaliaCare of children to be left to Gods prouidence.Therfore as I sayd, Gods reward first vpō earth shall be felt by your children euen corporally, & so also vpon you if God see it more for your cōmodity, at the least inwardly you shall feele it by quietnes & comfort of consciēce: & secondly after this life, you shall finde it so plentifully, as the eye hath not seene, the eare hath not heard, the hart cannot conceiue how great & glorious Gods reward will be vppon your bodyes, much more vppon your soules. God open our eyes to see and fele this in deede. Then shall we thinke the crosse which is a meane hereto, to be commodious. Then shall we thanke God that he would chastice vs. Then shall we say with Dauid: happy am I that thou hast punished me, for before I went astray, but now I keepe thy lawes.[Back to Top]
Marginalia4. Thinges to be considered of all men that be vnder the crosse.This that we may do in deede my dearely beloued, let vs first know that our crosse commeth from God: Secondly, þt it cōmeth from God as a father, that is, to our weale and good. Therfore let vs thirdly call to mynde our sinnes and aske pardon. Wherto let vs fourthly looke for helpe certainely at Gods hand in his good tyme: helpe I say, such as shall make most to Gods glory, and to the comfort and commoditie of our soules and bodyes eternally. This if we certainely cōceiue, thē wil there issue out of vs harty thankes geuyng, which God requireth as a most precious sacrifice. That we may all through Christ offer this, let vs vse earnest prayer to our God and deare father, who blesse vs, keepe vs, and comfort vs vnder hys sweete crosse for euer. Amen. Amen.[Back to Top]
My deare hartes, if I could any way comfort you, you should be sure therof, though my life lay thereon, but now I must do as I may, because I can not as I would. Oh that it would please our deare father shortly to bryng vs where we should neuer depart, but enioy cōtinually the blessed fruition of his heauenly presence: pray, pray, that it may spedely come to passe, pray. To morrow I wyll send vnto you to knowe your estate, send me worde what are the chiefest thinges they charge you withall.
Bradford is asking them to let him know the most important items for which their gaolers were charging them. These would usually be freedom from chains, better rooms, better food, bedding and other necessities. Bradford is clearly planning to have money sent to them to meet these expenses. This money would have come from Bradford's protestant friends and supporters at liberty.[Back to Top]
By your brother in the Lord
This letter was first printed in Letters of the Martyrs, pp. 377-79. ECL 262, fo. 232r-v is a copy of this letter. The letter was written to Catherine Hall exhorting her to be constant as she was about to be examined by the authorities. What happened to John Hall is unclear. Also unclear is what happened to Catherine Hall, although she clearly survived her encounter with the authorities and died of natural causes a few days later.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaAn other letter of M. bradford to Mistres Hall.OVr most mercyful God and father through Christ Iesus our Lord and Sauiour, be mercyfull vnto vs, & make perfect the good he hath begon in vs vnto the end. Amen.
My deare Sister, reioyce in the Lord, reioyce: be glad (I say) be mery and thankefull, not onely because MarginaliaMath. 5.Christ so cōmaundeth vs, but also because our state wherin we are presently, requireth no lesse, for we are the Lordes witnesses. GOD the father hath vouched saffe to chose vs amongest many, to witnes and testifie, that Christ his sonne is kyng and that his word is true. Christ our Sauiour for his loues sake towardes vs, will haue vs to beare recorde that he is no vsurper nor deceiuer of the people, but Gods Ambassadour, Prophet: and Messias: so that of all dignities vppon earth this is the highest. Greater honour had not his Prophetes, Apostles nor dearest frendes, them to * MarginaliaThe blood of Martyrs standeth for the verity of Christ against the world and Sathan, who would suppresse the same. beare witnesse with Christ, as we now do. The world folowyng the counsell of their Syer Sathan, would gladly condemne Christ and his veritie: but loe the Lord hath chosen vs to be his champions, to let this. As stoute souldiours therfore let vs stand to our maister, who is with vs and standeth on our right hand that we shall not be much moued, if we hope and hang on his mercy: hee is so faythfull and true, that hee will neuer[Back to Top]
tempt vs further then he will make vs hable to beare.
Therfore be not carefull (for I heare say this daye you shalbe called foorth) what you shall aunswere.
Catherine Hall is being called forth for examination by the authorities. It is interesting that Bradford was keeping track of her situation from another prison. Were defeated or repulsed.
Catherine Hall is being called forth for examination by the authorities. It is interesting that Bradford was keeping track of her situation from another prison.
Were defeated or repulsed.
Therfore as I sayd, I say agayne, Deare Sister be not only not carefull for your aunsweryng, but also be ioyfull for your cause. Confesse Christ and bee not ashamed, and hee will confesse you and neuer bee ashamed of you. MarginaliaA blessed thing seing a man must needes dye, to dye for the Lord.Though losse of goodes and lyfe be like here to ensue: yet if Christe be true (as he is most true) it is otherwise in deede: For hee that loseth his life (sayth he) wynneth it, but he that saueth it, loseth it. Our sinnes haue deserued many deathes. Now if God deale so with vs, that hee will make our deserued death a demonstration of his grace, a testimoniall of his veritie, a confirmation of his people, and ouerthrow of his aduersaries: What great cause haue we to bee thankefull? Bee thankefull therefore good Syster, be thankefull, reioyce and be mery in the Lord, be stoute in his cause and quarell, bee not faynt harted, but runne out your race, and set your captaine Christ before your eyes. Behold howe greate your reward is. See the great glory and the eternitie of felicitie prepared for you. Striue and fight lawfully, that you may get the crowen. Runne to get the game: you are almost at your iourneys end. I doubt not, but our father will with vs send to you also, as he dyd to Marginalia4. Reg. 2.Hely, a fiery chariotte, to conuey vs into his kyngdome. Let vs therfore not be dismaide to leaue our cloke behynde vs, that is, our bodyes to ashes. God will one day restore them to vs like to the body of our Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ, whose commyng is now at hand: let vs looke for it and lift vp our heades, for our redemption draweth nigh. Amen. Amen. The Lorde of mercy graunt vs hys mercy, Amen. I pray you pray for me, and so desire my brethren which be with you. Gods peace be with vs al, Amen. Blessed be the dead that dye in the Lord: then howe much more they that dye for the Lord.[Back to Top]
Your brother in bondes.
This letter was first printed in Letters of the Martyrs, pp. 401-03. Bradford's correspondent wants to know if attending lesser services, such as matins, might be permissible. Bradford's answer is a decided 'no'.
MarginaliaA resolution of M. Bradford, whether a Christian absteyning from the Masse, may heare the popish Mattins or no.I Besech almighty God our heauenly father to be mercifull vnto vs, and to encrease in you, my good Sister, þe knowledge and loue of his truth, and at this presēt geue me grace so to wryte to you something of the same, as maye make to his glory, and our owne comfort and confirmation in hym through Christ our Lord Amen.[Back to Top]
Whether you may come with safe conscience to þe church nowe, that is, to the seruice vsed commonly, in parte, as at Mattins or at Euensong, or no, is your desire to haue mee to wryte something for your further stay. My dearely beloued, although your benefites towards me
Undoubtedly money and other necessities for surviving incarceration.
Bradford is saying that he would not be telling her something was not permissible unless it truly was intolerable.
MarginaliaThree lessons to be learned of euery Christian.First therfore go about to learne perfectly the fyrst lesson to be learned of all that professe Christ, that is, to deny your selfe, and in nothing to seeke your selfe.
Secondly, learne after this, to begin at the next lesson to it, whiche is to seeke God in all thinges you doe and leaue vndone.
Thirdly, knowe that then you seeke God, when in hys seruice you follow his word and not mans fantasies, custome, multitude. &c. and when with your brother you follow the rule of charitye, that is, to do as you woulde be done by. In these is a summe of all the counsell I can geue you, if that hereto I admonish you of þe seruice now vsed, which is not accordyng to gods woorde, but rather agaynst Gods word directly and in maner wholy, So that your goyng to the seruice, is a declaration that you haue not learned the first lesson, nor neuer can learne it so long as you go thether: therfore the second lesson you shall vtterly lose, if you cease not the seekyng your selfe, that is, if for company, custome, father or friend, life or goodes, you seeme to allow þt whiche God disaloweth. And this that you the better may perceiue, I purpose by Gods grace briefly to shew.[Back to Top]
First the Mattens and Euensong is in a tonge forbidden publickely to be vsed in the congregatiō that perceaueth