to the gospell, and after your vocation the manyfest giftes of the spirite of God geuen vnto you, aboue many other of your condition, with godlines whiche beleueth and yeldeth to the authoritie of the Scriptures, and is zelous for the same? Seing you are goddes owne dearlynge, who can hurte you? Be not of a deiect mynde for these temptations, neyther make youre vnfayned frendes to bee more sorrowfull for you then nede dothe require. Since god hath willed you at youre Baptisme in Christe to bee Careles, why do you make your selfe carefull? Caste all your care on him: set the Lorde before your eyes alwaies. for he is on youre righte side that you shall not be moued. Behold the goodnes of god towarde me. I am careles, being fast closed in a payre of stockes, whiche pinche me for verye straitnes: and will you be carefull? I wyll not haue that vnsemely addition to your name. Be as your name pretendeth. For doubtelesse you haue none other cause but so to be. Praye I beseche you that I may be still careles in my carefull estate, as you haue to bee careles in youre easier condition. Be thankefull, & put awaye al care, & then I shalbe ioyful in my strayt present care. Commende me to all our brethren, and desire them to pray for me, that I maye ouercome my temptations. for the Deuill rageth agaynste me. I am put in the Stockes in a place alone, because I would not aunswer to suche articles, as they would charge me with all in a corner, at the Bishoppes appointment, and because I did not come to Masse, when the Bishoppe sent for me. I will lye all the dayes of my lyfe in the stockes (by goddes grace) rather then I wil cōsent to the wicked generation. Praise God and be ioyefull that it hathe pleased him to make vs worthy to suffer somwhat for his names sake. The Deuill must rage for tenne dayes. Commende me to maister F. and thanke hym for his lawe bookes: but lawe, neither equity will take any place among these bloudthirsty. I woulde for youre sake theyr vniust dealyng were noted vnto the Parliamente house, if it might auaile. God shorten these euill dayes. I haue aunswered the Bishoppe metelye plaine alreadye, and I sayde to him if hee will call me in open iudgemente, I will aunswere him as plainelye as he will require: otherwyse I haue refused, because I fear they wil condēne me in hugger mugger.[Back to Top]
The peace of god be with you my dere brother. I can write no more for lacke of lyght, and that I haue written I cannot read my selfe, and god knoweth it is writtē farre vneasily: I pray god you maie picke out some vnderstanding of my mind towards you. written in a Colehouse of darkenes, out of a paire of paineful stockes, by thine owne in Christ. Iohn Philpot.[Back to Top]
☞ Vnto this letter Iohn Careles aunswereth againe writing to maister Philpot, the copy of which his aunswer here followeth.
This letter was first printed in the 1563 edition and then reprinted in Letters of the Martyrs, pp. 229-34, and then reprinted in subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments. There are two partial copies of this letter among Foxe's papers: ECL 260, fo. 52r-v and ECL 262, fo. 58r. The letter was written shortly after 20 November 1555.[Back to Top]
A faythful frende is a strong defense. who so fyndeth suche a one, findeth a treasure.
A faythfull frende hathe no peere. the weighte of golde and siluer is not to be compared to the goodnes of his fayth.
A faythfull frende is a medicine of lyfe, and they that feare the Lorde shall fynde hym. Ecclesiast. 6.
THe Father of mercy and god of al consolatiō, comfort you with his eternall spirit (my most dere and faithfull louing frende, good mayster Philpot) as you haue coumforted me by the mighty operation of the same. The euerlasting god bee praysed therfore for euer. Amen.
Ah my deare hart and most louing brother, if I shoulde doe nothing els daye and nighte so long as the dayes of heauen dooe endure, but knele on my knees and reade Psalmes, I cā neuer be able to render vnto god cōdigne thanks, for his great mercy, fatherly kindnes, and most louing compassion extended vnto me most vyle sinnefull, wicked, and vnworthy wretche Oh that the Lorde would open my mouthe and geue me a thankefull heart, that from the bottome of the same might flowe his continuall praise. Oh that my sinnefull fleshe (whiche is the cause of my sorowe) wer cleane separated from me, that I might singe Psalmes of thankes geuing vnto the Lords name for euer: that with good Samuels mother I might continually record this noble verse following, the whiche by good experience I haue founde most true, praised bee my good god therefore.[Back to Top]
The Lord (saith the good woman) killeth and maketh aliue: he bringeth downe to hel and fetcheth vp againe. Praised be that Lorde for euer, yea, and praised be his name, for that he hath geuen me true experience, and liuelye felyng of the same: blessed be the Lord god, whose mercye endureth for euer, whiche hath not dealt with me according to my depe deserts, nor destroyed me in his displeasure, when I had iustlye deserued it. Oh what rewarde shall I geue agayne vnto the Lorde, for al the great benefites that he hath done for my soule? I will gladly receyue the cup of saluation at his hande, and will worship his name with prayer and with praise.[Back to Top]
Ah my deare hart, yea most deare vnto me in the Lorde, thinke not this soddeine chaunge in me to be some fickle phantasy of my foolish head (as in dede some other would surelye suspect it to be.) For doubtlesse it is the marueylous doing of the Lorde, most mercifull vnto me his vnworthy creature. God for his gret mercies sake geue me grace to be more thankfull vnto hym, then I heretofore haue bene, and keepe me that I neuer fall foorth of his fauour agayne. And nowe my deare brother, and most blessed messenger of the Lorde, whose beautifull feete haue brought muche gladde tidinges vnto my soule, what shall I dooe or say vnto you, in the leaste part to recompense the fatherlye affection and godly care that you continually kepe for me. Oh that god woulde geue me the spirite of feruente prayer, that I might yet that way supplye some litle part of my duety toward you. Ah my true louing frende, how soone did you laye asyde all other busines to make a sweete playster for my wounded conscience, yea, and that out of a painfull paire of stockes, which place must nedes be vneasy to write in. But god hath broughte you into a strait place, that you might sette my soule at liberty. Out of your pinching & painful seate you haue plentifully powred vppon me youre precious narde, the swete sauoure wherof hath greatly refreshed my tried soule.[Back to Top]
The Lorde likewise refresh you bothe bodye and soule, by powring the oyle of his gracious