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¶ In Martylogium Ioannis Foxi. 
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¶ On the Martyrology of John Foxe.

Laurence Humphrey.


John Wade, University of Sheffield

We marvel at the sad Iliad of learned Homer, which, although he was a blind man, he skilfully applied himself to compose. The fates of many men are bewailed in tragic style and sad audiences watch these unfold with wet cheeks. Certainly many things have to be grieved for, but many are the dreams of poets, and they interweave truth with fiction and what is proved with what is not legitimate. There are those who delight in the inventions of the false Legend which you can rightly call an Augean stable. While it tells of the life and death of Holy men, how does that leaden book make mistakes, how does it embellish, how does it invent? Now at last a new and real Golden Legend is coming to the fore: an outstanding Chronicle, a mournful history. The work commends its author, and so again the author adorns the work: at the same time each of these is free from gall. Look at the author: he is just, concise but full and clear in judgement, skill and faith. If you consider the matter, he is dealing with the deaths and murders of good men, and the cruel 'stigmata' of an undeserved cross. Let other people mock, let them revile, but while Zoilus perished long ago, he has now taught what it is to slander. Here you may learn, Reader, how full of fury is the tyranny of the Roman pig-sty and the horned flock: how the wolf always attacks innocent lambs: how it growls and devours the bones with its greedy jaws. Had it not been enough to burn the holy limbs of Christ? and is it not enough to destroy the living in the flames? Is it not sufficient to have condemned old men and boys and men in their prime, and not enough to have condemned women of every class? Why does it please, alas, to censure dead spirits with writings, and to say that Foxe's divines stink of dung heaps? Ah, you poor man, ah, you are stinging the tender little eyes of Christ, you are touching his pupil, whoever you are, so be wise. This is the progeny whose robe, having been washed in the blood of the lamb, shines completely white through Christ. How long does it (sc. the progeny) lament beneath the altar, Christ? Christ, come quickly. Christ, how long will you bear it? Your progeny is beyond weapons, and it preaches God. Its death was costly, but its life will be everlasting. Why are you raging, O furious Satan? Why are you hurling darts? Why do you enrage kings, and why do you tear the good to pieces? Executioners, prison, tortures and firebrands are in vain. The limbs together with the head reign in heaven. The world has consumed the bodies of the saints, but their souls have departed on high and Foxe has their names. Foxe has names to be celebrated throughout the whole world, names which cannot now be buried by any length of day. For Foxe will live with the Martyrs and their names will live with God and their noble lineage with their God. Christ, show a harbour for your people, check the waves, and let there be its rest for the buffeted ship. Let the earth not be wet with the blood of brothers after this: may Foxe not continue to write of martyrdoms. May you curtail the ruined times of a wicked life and may that deadly cup finally pass by. Most excellent father, may there be an end and may your kingdom come: glory be to you, to Christ and to the Spirit. Amen.

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Laurentius Humfredus.

TRistes Iliadas docti miramur Homeri:
Quas scite studuit texere τυφλὸς ἀνὴρ
Deflentur tragico multorum fata cothurno,
Hæc madidis spectant mæsta theatra genis.
Multa dolenda quidem, sed vatum somnia multa,
Fictis intexunt vera, probata nothis.
Sunt quos delectant vanæ commenta Legendæ
Quam stabulum Augiæ rite vocare queas.
Dum vitam & mortem Sanctorum narrat, vt errat?
Vt pingit, fingit, Plumbeus ille liber?
Aurea nunc tandem prodit, noua, vera Legenda:
Egregium Chronicon, lugubris historia.
Authorem commendat opus, sic rursus adornat
Author opus: simul hæc vtra felle carent.
Authorem specta: pius est, & tersus, & amplus,
Iudicio clarus, dexteritate, fide.
Si rem consyderas, casus, cædes bonorum
Tractat, & immeritæ stigmata sæua crucis.
Illudant alij, carpant, at zoilus olim
Dum perijt, quid sit rodere, iam docuit.
Hic discas Lector, quam sit furiosa tyrannis
Romanæ caulæ cornigeri gregis:
Vt lupus innocuos semper grassetur in agnos:
Vt fremat, at auidis faucibus ossa voret:
Nonne satis fuerat Christi pia membra cremare?
Et viuos flammis perdere, nonne satis?
Nonne satis damnasse senes, pueros, viros,
Fæmellas, omni ex ordine, nonne satis?
Cur iuuat, heu, Manes scriptis lacerare iacentes,
Et Diuos Foxi dicere stercoreos?
Ah miser, ah Cristi teneros compungis ocellos,
Pupillam tangis, quisquis es, ergo sape.
Hæc est progenies cuius stola lota cruore
Agni, per Christum candida tota nitet. MarginaliaApoc. 6.
Illa sub altari querulatur, Christe quous?
Christe veni propere, Christe quous feres?
Extra tela tua est, & prædicat illa Tonantem:
Mors pretiosa fuit, vita perennis erit.
Quid furis ô rabiose Sathan? quid spicula torques?
Quid reges acuis? quid lanias pios?
Frustra carnifices, carcer, tormenta, faces.
In Cœlo regnant membra caput simul.
Corpora sanctorum mundus consumpsit, in altum
Migrarunt animæ, nomina Foxus habet.
Nomina Foxus habet totum celebranda per orbem,
Nomina iam nullo contumulanda die.
Nam cum Martyribus Foxus, cum numine viuent
Nomina, cum suo stirps generosa deo. MarginaliaAd Christū precatio.
Monstra, Christe, tuis portum, compescito fluctus
Iactatæ naui sit sua, Christe, quies.
Sanguine Fraterno posthac ne terra madescat:
Ne pergat Foxus scribere Martyria.
Perdita decurtes sceleratæ tempora vitæ
Tandem mortiferus transeat iste calix.
Sit finis, veniat tuum, pater optime, regnum:
Sit tibi, sit Christo, Spiritui decus. Amen.

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¶ In Sanct. Martyrum historiam 
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¶ On the history of the Holy Martyrs

Abraham Hartwell


John Wade, University of Sheffield

Your eloquence, venerable Foxe, is needed not by the martyrs themselves but by us, not by heaven but by the world. By their calamities and death it was thought that the crowds whom you yourself now see degenerate had increased. By their story, believe me, as by fire the Gospel which is now cold will become hot. A thousand ages to come will strive to emulate the brave deeds of those of whose brave deeds they will read. And the many burnings and fires, the many deaths, tears, destructions, dangers and deaths, no length of time will remove, nor the evil enemy who brought them, even though with all Phlegethon he may wish it. The enemy who once raged will not twice be violent, since God refuses it. Let him twice roar: the Shepherd with the innocent flock will be carried off, the flock will fall and the shepherd, and the future hope of the flock. No lamb will remain in the shattered folds, no beast, O my God, with upright simplicity. All good things will be overcome and yield to all bad things: benign simplicity to deceit, and faith to perfidy, the holy choir of Evangelic virtues to the unjust, false, criminal and blood-stained. What they will do learn from what they have done: things to come are proved by things past. Unless there come from heaven your Clemency by whose finger the small are lifted up and the proud fall. And may you come, eternal one, powerful, unconquered, and triumphant: come as you did in Egypt or Babylon. Draco and Belus were not so great at Babylon, and their mad cults and foul superstition. And though the cruel deeds of Egypt will be read of, Egypt was not so savage and threatening. Nor is that enough: each of them grew into a single monster, and any hydra which was more savage than both. What will the trusty herald or master of the pen be able to do against them? What will the truth-begetting of the learned school be able to do? What the gentle martyr who se whole body is torn, what the book filled and blood-stained with the martyrs? The book which sings of violent things, of living witnesses on all sides, of doers still alive, and things recently done? To be sure, to show the nature of the church of the saints, and the character of the wolves gathered from Acheron. To teach, strengthen, and comfort the hearts of the pious, and unteach, overcome and torment the wicked. That the glory you have won, O my God, may stand forever, that the glory of your Son may be able to see with you. That posterity in both sorts, good and bad, may know of the trophies of holy blood not to be hidden. These words, venerable (Foxe), sought by you with so much labour, sought by so many prayers, drawn out by so many nights, sweated over by so many days, designed to please so many good men and overwhelm so many bad, designed to spread the praises of Christ not of men throughout the world, and deeds, I believe, such as but a few ages will produce. May the Almighty prosper these (words) for you and for us, to the perpetual praise and glory of God. Let Satan be envious, and Zoilus burst his side. Let lying Rome with its company detract through envy.

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Abrah. Hartwelus.

ELoguio, venerande, tuo non Μάρτυρες ipsi
Sed nos: non Cœlum, Foxe, sed orbis eget.

Illorum creuisse malis lætho putatum est
quos nunc ipse vides degenerare greges.
Illorum, crede, historia velut ignibus antè
calfiet quod nunc friget Euangelium.
Certabit ætas veniens millesima, quorum
fortia facta leget, fortia facta sequi.
Et calamo seruata tuo tot flagra, tot ignes,
funera tot, lachrimas, damna, pericla, necès,
Nulla dies tollet, non qui malus intulit hostis:
non quamuis omni cum Phlegetone velit.
Non, renuente deo, quondam qui sæuijt hostis,
non, renuente deo, bis violentus erit.
Bis fremat: innocuo rapietur cum grege Pastor.
grex cadet & pastor, spes futura gregis.
Nullus restabit laceris in ouilibus agnus,
nulla, deus, recta simplicitate pecus.
Omnia victa malis bona cedent omnibus: alma
simplicitas fuco, perfidiæ fides:
Iniusto, falso, scelerato, sanguineo
virtutum sacer Euangelidum chorus.
Quid facient disce ex factis: ventura probantur
Ni tua de cœlo veniat Clementia, cuius
tolluntur digito parua, superba cadunt.
Et venias æterne, potens, inuicte, triumphans:
sic, vt in Aegipto vel Babylone, veni.
Non tanti Babylone Draco Belus fuere,
cultus insani, & fœda superstitio.
Et licet Aegypti crudelia facta legentur,
Aegyptus non tam sœua minax fuit.
Vtra nec satis est, monstrum concreuit in vnum
& si qua ambabus tetrior hydra fuit.
Quid contra fidus præco, styliue magister?
doctæ quid poterunt veriparæà scholæ?
Quid mitis toto laniatus corpore Martyr?
Martyre quid plenus sanguifluus liber?
Qui truculenta liber, qui viuos vndi testes,
factores viuos, & modo gesta canit?
Scilicet vt monstret sanctorum Ecclesia qualis,
collecti quales ex Acheronte lupi.
Vt doceat, firmet, soletur corda piorum:
dedoceat, vincat, excrucietue malos.
Vt tibi parta, deus, stet semper gloria, nati
vt poßit tecum gloria stare tui:
Sanguinis vt sacri, non occultanda trophæa
vtra posteritas, sancta, maligna, sciat.
Hæc, venerande, tibi tanto quæsita labore,
tot votis optata, & tot vigilata modis,
Noctibus exantlata tot, & sudata diebus,
tot placitura bonis, obruitura malos,
Christi, non hominum, laudes sparsura per orbem
facta (credo) ætas qualia rara feret:
Hæc, oro, tibi Summipotens nobis secundet,
numinis in laudem perpetuum decus.
Inuideat Sathanas, & zoilus ilia rumpat.
obtrectet mendax cum grege Roma suo.

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¶ In idem Argumentum. Rob. R. 
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¶ On the same Subject. Robert Recorde

John Wade, University of Sheffield

Look, again a new commentary on mighty prophets: the glory is increased, and greater than it was before. Reader, you have the histories of the saints and the perfidious times of our age, and terrible crime. Certainly the work, however large the volume be, is worthy to be read by the pious multitude and approved by posterity. A greater work rises, I admit it: the letters of the wise are numerous, but the style is similar in weight and art. Believe me, length of days will ultimately read this narrative and look up to your genius, eloquent Foxe. But madness on the part of a crazed population does not allow this (these things). Ah me, neither does it endure or suffer learned men. The actor, sycophant, babbler, parasite, hypocrite, mime-player and wastrel are more attractive; the pimp and the papist please. You do not know how to flatter or to be silent about the truth, Foxe; and are you surprised that your writings have not found favour?

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EN iterum in magnos noua commentaria vates:
Auctius & plus est, q" fuit antè decus.
Sanctorum historias, & nostri perfida secli
Tempora lector habes, terrificum scelus.
Dignum certè opus est, quamuis sit grande volumen,
Quod pia turba legat, posteritas probet.
Surgit opus (fateor) maius: numerosa sophorum est
Littera, sed similis pondere & arte stylus.

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