For we thinke it no true obedience, vnto the Queenes highnesse, or to any other Magistrate ordeined of God vnder her, to obey in thynges contrary to goddes worde, although the same bee neuer so straightlye charged in her graces name. The Bishop of Winchester hath truely taught in that poynt in his boke of true obedyence, that true obedience is in the lorde, and not against the Lord, as the Apostles aunswered before the counsayle at Ierusalem, commaunding no more to preache in the name of the Lorde Iesus.[Back to Top]
Iudge you (sayde they) whether it be ryghte in the sight of god, to heare you rather thē god. And agayne they sayde: we muste obey God rather then man. Wherfore we learne that true obedience is to obey God king of all kinges and Lorde of all Lordes: and for him, in him (& not against him and his worde) to obey the princes and magistrates of this world, who are not truly obeyed whan God is disobeyed, nor yet disobeyed, what God is faithfully obeyed. Tobias disobeyed not his king, although contrarye to his commaundement, and contrary to the vsage of all other, when they went to Dan and Bethell he went vnto Ierusalem, and worshipped in the temple of the Lorde. The thre yong men in Babilon, refusing king Nabuchodonosors commaundement, pleased God more, then the whole multitude that obeyed it. And Daniell, that prayed to the God of heauen, contrarye to king Darius commaundementes, beare a more true and faithfull heart to the king, then those wicked counsailours, that procured that wicked law, or those, that for feare of flattery obeyed it. Whiche two pestilences (feare and flattery haue euer destroyed true obedience to God and mā: whan wicked godles men (that care not yf the deuill were worshipped, so they maye gette and obteyne riches, promotions, dignities & worldly glory) turne to and fro, as euery wind bloweth: and weake and fraile menne fearing losse of goodes, punishment or death, doe outwardly in body that thing, that theyr heartes and conscyences inwardly abhorreth. And so outwardlye disboey God and in heart dissemble with man. Which dissimulation we thinke worthy hate of all men, and most vncomely for Christian men. Wherfore We humbly beseche the Quenes maiesty, with pitie and mercy to tender the lamentable suite of vs her poor subiectes, by this commaundemente sore hurte and wounded in oure consciences and driuen to manye miseries. And that, by the malicious attemptes of wycked menne, suffer great wronges and iniuries slaūders, losse of goodes, and bodily vexations We thinke not good, by any vnlawfull sturre or cōmotion, to seke remedy: but intende by Goodes grace, to obey her maiesty in all thinges, not against God and his holy worde. But vnto such vngodlye Byshoplyke commaundementes as are agaynst God, we aunswere with the Apostles: god must be obeyed rather then manne. If persecution shall ensue (whiche some threatē vs with) wee desire the heauenlye father accordinge to his promise to looke from heauen, to heare our crye, to iudge betwene vs and our aduersaries. And to geue vs fayth strength, and patience, to continue faithfull vnto the end, and to shorten these euill daies for his chosens sake. And so we faithfully beleue he will. Notwithstāding we trust the Quenes gracious and mercy-[Back to Top]
full heart, will not suffer such tiranny to be done against her poore innocent, faithfull and obedyent subiectes, that daily pray vnto god for her, whiche haue no remedy in this worlde, but to sue vnto her highnes, our most gracious and benigne soueraigne: whom we praye and beseche, for the deare bloude of Christ, to pitie our lamētable case and hurt of conscience, and to cal back al suche commaundements, as are against gods honoure, as the good king Darius, Ahasuerus Traianus, Theodosius, and diuers other haue done: and to permitte the holy word of god and true religion (sette forth by our most holye and innocent king Edwarde, a very sainct of god) to be restored againe vnto our Churches, to be frequented amongest vs. So shall we grow and increase in the knowledge of god and of Christ, in true repentaunce and amendement of lyfe: so shall we exhibite true obedience to our lawfull magistrates and al superiours ordeined of god: so shall loue and charitie (of late thorowe thys commaundement so decayed) be again restored, the honour of her regall estate the more confyrmed and established, and godlines and vertuous lyfe among her louing subiectes increased and maintained.[Back to Top]
And we most heartely pray you (right honorable Commissioners) to bee meanes vnto the Queenes highnesse, and to her honourable coūsayle, that this our humble suite may be fauourablye tendred, and graciously heard and graūted. And we shall not cease daye and nyghte, to praye vnto the heauenlye father, longe to preserue her grace, and all other Magistrates, in his feare and loue, and in prosperous peace and wealth, with longe lyfe and honor. Amen.[Back to Top]
¶ Youre poore suppliauntes, the louers of Christes true Relygyon in Norffolke and Suffolke.
One letter of Tyms' appeared out of sequence in the 1563 edition (pp. 1512-13). This letter was never reprinted and none of Tyms' letters were printed in the Letters of the Martyrs. All other letters of Tyms first appeared in the 1570 edition and were reprintedwithout change.
This letter, to a woman 'sustainer', was only printed in the 1563 edition. It is dated 7 September 1555.