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1620 [1558]

Quene Mary. A Letter of Lady Iane to her fathers Chaplaine M.H.

MarginaliaAn. 1554. February.time, and of a Protestant became a friende and defender of the Popes procedinges. At whose sodaine mutation and inconstant mutabilitie, this Christian Lady being not a lyttle agreued, and most of all lamenting the daungerous state of his soule in slyding so away for feare, from the way of truth, writeth her mynde vnto him in a sharpe and vehemēt letter: which as it appeareth to proceede of an earnest & zealous hart, so would God it might take such effecte with him, as to reduce him to repentaunce, & to take better hold agayn for the health and wealth of hys own soule. The copye of the letter is this as followeth.

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¶ An other Letter of the Lady Iane to M.H. late Chaplayne to the Duke of Suffolke her father, and then fallen from the truth of Gods most holy worde. 
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The evolving headings to this letter - from a letter to an unnamed 'learned man of late falne from the truth' (1563, p. 920) to a letter to 'M. H. late Chaplayne to the Duke of Suffolk' (1570, p. 1582; 1576, p. 1399) and finally a letter to 'M. Harding late Chaplayne to the Duke of Suffolk (1583, p. 1420), as well as the appearance of marginal notes in the edition of 1570 identifying Harding and describing his apostasy in detail, (see textual variant 204M and textual variant 205M) reflect Foxe's increasing desire to embarrass Thomas Harding (Jewel's adversary and a bitter critic of the Actes and Monuments.

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SO oft as I call to mind the dreadfull and feareful saying of God: MarginaliaLuke. 9.That he vvhich layeth hold vpō the plough and looketh backe, is not meete for the kingdome of heauen: and on the other side, the cōfortable wordes of our Sauiour Christ to all those that forsakyng them selues, do folow hym: MarginaliaA sharpe letter or exhortation of the Lady Iane to Mr. Harding. I can not but meruell at thee and lamēt thy case: which semedst sometyme to be þe liuely mēber of Christ, but now the deformed impe of the deuill, some tyme the beutifull temple of God, but now the stinking and filthy kenell of Sathan, sometyme the vnspotted spouse of Christ, but now the vnshamefast paramour of Antichrist, sometyme my faithfull brother, but now a straunger and Apostata, sometyme a stout Christen souldier, but now a cowardly rūneaway. Yea, when I consider these thinges, I can not but speake to thee, and crie out vpon thee, thou seede of Sathan, and not of Iuda, whom the deuill hath deceiued, the world hath begyled, and the desire of life subuerted, and made thee of a Christian an Infidell: wherfore hast thou taken the Testamēt of the Lord in thy mouth? Wherfore hast thou preached þe law and the will of God to others? MarginaliaThis man a little before K. Edward dyed, was heard openly in his Sermons in London to exhort the people with great vehemencie, after thys sorte: that if trouble came, they shoulde neuer shrinke from the true doctrine of the Gospell which they had receiued, but should take it rather for a triall sent of God to proue them whether they would abyde by it or no. All which to be true, they can testifie that heard him, and be yet aliue: who also foreseing the plague to come, were then much confirmed by his wordes.Wherfore hast thou instructed other to be strong in Christ, whē thou thy selfe doest now so shamefully shrinke, and so horribly abuse the Testament & law of the Lord? when thou thy selfe preachest, not to steale, yet most abhominably stealest, not from men but from God, & commityng most heinous sacrilege, robbest Christ thy Lord of his right mēbers thy body and thy soule, and chosest rather to lyue miserably with shame to the world, then to dye and gloriously with honour to reigne with Christ, in whom euen in death is lyfe? Why doest thou now shew thy self most weake, when in deede thou oughtest to be most stronge? The strength of a forte is not knowen before the assault: but thou yeldest thy holde before any battrie be made.

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>Oh wretched and vnhappy man, what art thou but dust and ashes? & wilt thou resist thy maker that fashioned thee and framed thee? Wilt thou now forsake hym that called thee from the custome gatheryng among the Romish Antichristians, to be an Ambassadour and messenger of his eternall worde? He that first framed thee, and since thy first creatiō and birth preserued thee, nourished and kept thee, yea and inspired thee with the spirite of knowledge (I can not say of grace) shall he not now possesse thee? Darest thou deliuer vp thy selfe to an other, being not thine own but his? How canst thou hauyng knowledge, or how darest thou neglect the law of the Lord, and folow the vayne traditions of men: and where as thou hast bene a publicke professour of his name, become now a defacer of his glory? Wilt thou refuse the true God, and worshyp the inuention of mā, the goldeu calfe, the whore of Babylon, the Romish Religion, the abominable Idol the most wicked Masse? wilt thou torment agayne, rent, and teare the most precious body of our Sauiour Christ with thy bodily and fleshly teeth? Wilt thou take vppon thee to offer vp any sacrifice vnto God for our sinnes, cōsidering that Christ offered vp him self (as Paul saith) vpon þe Crosse a liuely sacrifice once for all? Can neither þe punishmēt of the Israelites (which for theyr Idolatry they so oft receaued) nor þe terrible threatnynges of the Prophetes, nor the curses of Gods owne mouth feare thee to honour any other God then hym? Doest thou so regard him that spared not his deare and onely sonne for thee, so diminishyng, yea, vtterly extin-

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guishyng his glory that thou wilt attribute the prayse and honour due vnto him to the Idoles, which haue mouthes and speake not, eyes and see not, eares & heare not: which shalt perish with them that made them?

What sayth the Prophet Baruch, MarginaliaBaruch. 6. where he reciteth the Epistle of Ieremy written to the captiue Iewes? Did he not forewarne them that in Babylō they should see Gods of gold, siluer, wood, and stone borne vpon mens shoulders, to cast a feare before the heathen: But be not ye afrayd of them (sayth Ieremy) nor do as other do: But vvhen you see other vvorship them, say you in your hartes: it is thou (O Lord) that oughtest onely to be vvorshipped: for as for those Gods, the Carpenter framed them and polished them, yea, gilded be they, and layd ouer vvith siluer, and vayne things: and cānot speake. He sheweth more ouer, the abuse of their deckings, how the Priestes tooke of their ornamentes and apparelled their women withall: how one holdeth a scepter, an other a sword in his hand, and yet can they iudge in no matter, nor defend them selues, much lesse any other, from either battell or murther, nor yet from gnawyng of wormes, nor any other euill thyng. These, and such lyke wordes, speaketh Ieremy vnto thē, wherby he proueth thē to be but vayne thinges, & no Gods. And at last he concludeth thus: Confounded be they that vvorshyp them. They were warned by Ieremy, and thou as Ieremy hast warned other, and art warned thy selfe by many Scriptures in many places. God sayth: he is a ielous God, which will haue all honour, glory, and worship geuen to him onely. And Christ sayth in the fourth of Luke to Sathan which tempted him: euen to the same Sathan, the same Belzebub, the same deuill, which hath preuayled agaynst thee: MarginaliaMath. 4. It is written (sayth he) thou shalt honour the Lorde thy God, and hym onely shalt thou serue.

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>These and such like do prohibite thee and all Christians to worship any other God then whych was before all worldes, and layd the foūdations both of heauen and earth: and wilt thou honour a detestable Idol, inuented by Romish Popes, & the abominable Colledge of craftie Cardinals? Christ offred himselfe vp once for all, & wylt thou offer him vp again daily at thy pleasure? But thou wylt say, thou doest it for a MarginaliaGood entent.good intent. O sinke of sinne: Oh childe of perdition: doest thou dreame therein of a good entent, where thy conscience beareth thee wytnes of Gods threatned wrath against thee? How did Saule? who for that he disobeyed the word of the lord for a good intent, was throwen from his worldly and temporall kingdome. Shalt thou then that doest deface Gods honor and robbe him of hys right, enherite the eternall and heauenly kingdome? Wilt thou for a good intent dishonour God, offende thy brother, and daunger thy soule, wherefore Christ hath shedde hys most precious bloud? Wilt thou for a good intent plucke Christ out of heauen, and make his death voyde, and deface the triumph of his crosse by offering hym vp dayly? Wilt thou eyther for feare of death, or hope of lyfe, denye and refuse thy God, who enriched thy pouertie, healed thy infirmitie, & yelded to thee his victory, if thou couldest haue kept it? Doest thou not cōsider that the threed of thy lyfe hāgeth vpon him that made thee, who can (as his will is) eyther twine it harder to last the longer, or vntwine it agayne to breake it the sooner? Doest thou not then remember the saying of Dauid a notable king, to teach thee a miserable wretch, in his 104. Psalme, where hee sayth thus: MarginaliaPsal. 104. VVhen thou takest avvay thy spirite (oh Lord) from men, they die and are turned agayne to their dust: but vvhen thou lettest thy breath go forth, they shall be made, and thou shalt renue the face of the earth. Remember the saying of Christ in his Gospell. MarginaliaMath. 10. VVhoseuer seeketh to saue hys lyfe, shall lose it: but vvho soeuer vvyll lose hys lyfe for my sake, shall finde it. And in the same place: MarginaliaMath. 16. VVhosoeuer loueth father or mother aboue me, is not meete for me. He that vvyll follovv me, let him forsake him selfe and take vp his crosse and follovve me. What crosse? the crosse of infamye and shame, of miserye and pouertye, of affliction and persecution for his names sake. MarginaliaThe crosse for Christes sake. Let the oft falling of those heauenly showers pearce thy stony hart. Let the two edged sword of Gods holy worde shere asunder the sinowes of worldly respectes euen to the very marrowe of thy carnall hart, that thou mayest once againe forsake thy selfe and embrace Christ. And like as good subiectes wyll not refuse to hasard all in the defence of their earthly and temporall Gouernour, so flie not like a white liuered milkesop frō the standing where in thy chief captaine Christ hath set thee in array of thys life. MarginaliaPsal. 26. Viriliter age, confortetur cor tuum, sustine dominum. Fight māfully, come life, come death: þe quarel is Gods, and vndoubtedly the victory is ours.

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