but patience. Better it is to suffer what cruelty they wyl put vnto vs, then to incurre Gods hygh indignation. Wherfore good my Lord be of good chere in the Lorde, with dewe consideration what he requireth of you, and what he doth promise you. Our commen enemy shal do no more then God will permyt hym. Marginalia1. Cor. 10.God is faythfull, which will not suffer vs to be tempted aboue our strength. &c. Be at a poynt what ye will stand vnto: sticke vnto that, and let thē both say and do what they list. They cā but kil the body, which otherwise is of it selfe mortall. Neyther yet shall they do that when they liste, but when God wyl suffer them, when the hour appoynted is come. To vse many wordes with them it shall be but in vayne, nowe that they haue a bloudy and deadly lawe prepared for them. But it is very requisit that ye geue a resonable accoumpt of your fayth, Marginalia1. peter. 3 if they wil quietly heare you: els ye knowe in a wicked place of iudgement a man may kepe silence, after the example of Christ. MarginaliaLuc. 23. Let them not deceiue you with their sophistical Sophismes and fallacies you know that false thynges maye haue more apparence of truth, then thinges that be moste true: therfore Paule geueth vs a watch woord.
A warning or admonition.
Nicholas Shaxton had resigned the bishopric of Salisbury in 1538 in protest at the Six Articles. He recanted his evangelical beliefs in 1548.
MarginaliaApo. 6.The number of the cryars vnder the aultar must nedes be fulfilled: if we be segregated therunto, happy be we. That is the greatest promotion that God geueth in this world, to be such Philippians to whom it is geuen, MarginaliaPhil. 1.not onely to beleue, but also to suffer. &c. But who is hable to do these thinges? Surely al our habilyty, all our sufficience is of God. He requireth, & promyseth. Let vs declare our obedience to hys wyll, whan it shalbe requisite, in the tyme of trouble, yea in the myddest of the fyre.[Back to Top]
When that numbre is fulfilled, which I wene shal be shortely, then haue at the papistes, Marginaliai. Thessa. 5whē they shall say peace, all thinges are safe, when Christ shall come to kepe his great Parliamēt to the redresse of al thinges that be amysse. But he shall not come as the papistes fayne hym, to hyde hymselfe, and to playe bo piep as it were, vnder a peace of bread: but be shal come gloriously, to the terrour and feare of all papistes: Marginaliai. Thes. 4.but to the greate consolation and comfort of al that wil heare suffer for hym. Comforte your selfes one another with these wordes.[Back to Top]
Lo syr, here haue I blotted your paper vainly, and played the foole egregiously: but so I thought better then to do your request at thys tyme. Pardon mee, and praye for mee: pray for mee I saye, pray for mee I say. For I am some time so fearefull, that I woulde creepe into a mouse hoale: some time good doth visit mee agayne with hys comfort. So he commeth and goeth, to teach me to fele & to knowe myne infirmyty, to thintēt to geue thankes to him that is worthy, least I shuld rob him of his duty, as[Back to Top]
many do, & almost al the world. Fare you wel.
What credence is to be geuen to papistes it may appeare by their racking, writhing, wringing, and monstrously iniuryng of Gods holy scripture, as appeareth in the Popes law. But I dwell here now in a schole of obliuiousnesse.
Latimer is saying that he is in prison and out of touch with these controversies.
None of these letters appeared in the Rerum, but this may have been due to the pressure on Foxe to finish the Rerum in time for the Frankfurt book fair in September 1559. (It is worth noting that Foxe printed one of Ridley's 'farewell' letters in November 1559, but he did not print it in the Rerum). In any case, out of the ten letters of Ridley's which Foxe printed - this does not count the two 'farewell' letters - six first appeared in the 1563 edition. The remaining four letters were first printed in the Letters of the Martyrs and added to the 1570 edition. These letters were reprinted in the 1576 and 1583 editions without change.[Back to Top]
Ridley was moved from the Tower to Oxford in March 1554; this letter was written after 8 May of that year. This letter was first printed in the 1563 edition, then in Letters of the Martyrs (pp. 58-60).
VVEll beloued in Christ our sauiour, we al with one hart wish you, with all those that loue God in deede and truthe, grace and health, and specially to our dearelye beloued companions, which are in christes cause, and the cause both of their brethren, and of theyr own saluation, to put their necke willynglye vnder the yoke of Christes crosse: how ioyful it was vnto vs al, the report of Doctor Tailour, and of his godly confession. &c.
This is a reference to the letter of 8 May 1554 sent by Rowland Taylor and other imprisoned protestants to Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer (see 1563, pp. 1001-03;1570, pp. 1640-41; 1576, pp. 1399-1400 and 1583, pp. 1469-71).
Edward Crome had been imprisoned in the Fleet since January 1554; he would recant and be released around February 1555. Edwin Sandys had been imprisoned since January 1553, but was released in the spring of 1554 and arrived in Antwerp in May. Laurence Saunders had been imprisoned since October 1553. Jean Veron had been imprisoned since August 1553; he would remain in prison throughout Mary's reign. Thomas Becon had been imprisoned in the Tower since August 1553, buthe was released on 24 March 1554 and fled to Stasbourg. John Rogers was placed under house arrest in July 1553 and committed to Newgate in January 1554.[Back to Top]
Oxford University paid for the maintenance of Ridley, Cranmer and Latimer. Ridley is saying that it was expensive for Oxford to pay for the upkeep of the three prisoners.