Foxe's Book of Martyrs
The Martyrdom of John Webbe, George Roper, Gregory Parke, William Wiseman, James Gore, and John Philpot.
Next after the death of the two most worthy champions and standard bearers of Christ's army, Dr. Nicholas Ridley and master Hugh Latimer, followed three other stout and bold soldiers; that is to say, John Webb, gentleman, George Roper, and Gregory Parke. John Webbe was brought before the bishop of Dover and Nicholas Harpsfield, or some other deputed in their room, on the 16th of September, and there had propounded unto him such articles as were commonly ministered by Bonner to those of his jurisdiction. And being willed for that present to depart, and to deliberate with himself upon the matter against the next time of his appearance, he made answer that he would no otherwise say, by God's grace, than he had already said, which was this: "As touching the sacrament of Christ's body," said he, "I do believe it to be left unto his church (with thanks giving) in commemoration of his death and passion, until his coming again. So that it is left in remembrance of his body; and not by the words of consecration to be made his body really, substantially, and the same body that was born of the Virgin Mary--I utterly deny that."
After this, the 3rd day of October, the said John Webbe, and George Roper, and Gregory Parke, were brought all three together before the said judges; who there and then agreeing,a nd steadfastly allowing the former answer made before by master Webbe, were, by the bloody prelates, adjudged heretics; and, therefore, about the same month (or else in the latter end of November) they were together brought out of prison to the place of martyrdom; repeating certain psalms in their way. Arriving at the stake, and there fastened with a chain, they were burnt altogether in one fire at Canterbury, most patiently enduring their torments, and accounting themselves happy and blessed of the Lord that they were made worthy to suffer for his sake.
The 13th of December, 1555, in the Lollards' Tower, died William Wiseman, a clothworker of London, where he was in prison and bonds for the gospel and word of God. How and whereupon he deceased it is not fully certain. Some thought that either through famine or ill handling of some murdering papists he was made away; but the truth could not be ascertained. After his death the papists cast him out into the fields, as was their usual custom to such of the protestants as expired under their hands, commanding that no man should bury him. Notwithstanding their merciless commands, some good Tobits there were who buried him in the evening, as commonly they did all the rest thrown out in like manner, whom they were wont privily by night to cover; while many times the archers were in the field standing by, and singing psalms together at their burial. In the same month deceased also James Gore in the prison at Colchester, laid there in bonds for the right and truth of God's word.
Next followeth the constant martyrdom of master John Philpot, whose troubles have been, in part, related in the commencement of the reign of Mary. He was of a family highly respectable, his father being a knight, and was born in Hampshire. He was brought up at New College, Oxford, where he studied civil law and other branches of liberal education, particularly that of languages, and became a great proficient in the Hebrew. He was witty, courageous and zealous; ever careful to adorn his doctrine by his practice, and his learning is fully evinced by what he has left on record. Desirous of travelling he went over to Italy and places thereabouts, and coming upon a time from Venice to Padua, he was in danger, through a Franciscan friar's accompanying him in his journey, who, coming to Padua, sought to accuse him of heresy. At length returning into England, as the time permitted more boldness unto him in the days of king Edward, he had several conflicts with bishop Gardiner in the city of Winchester.
After that, having an advowson from the bishop, he was made archdeacon of Winchester, under Dr. Poinet, who then succeeded Gardiner in that bishopric, and here he continued during the reign of king Edward, to the great profit of those parts thereabouts. When that pious prince was taken away, and Mary succeeded, her study was wholly bent to alter the state of religion in England: and first, she caused a convocation of the prelated and learned men to be assembled for the accomplishment of her desire. In this convocation Mr. Philpot, according to his degree, with a few others, sustained the cause of the gospel against the adversary, for which, notwithstanding the liberty the house had promised before, he was called to account before the chancellor, then being his ordinary, by whom he was first examined, although that examination came not to hand. From thence again he was removed to bishop Bonner, and other commissioners, with whom he had divers conflicts, as may appear by an abstract of his examinations.
The first examination took place before the queen's commissioners, master Cholmley, master Roper, and Dr. Storey, and one of the Scribes of the Arches, at Newgate-Sessions' Hall, Oct. 2, 1555, which he thus relates:
Dr. Storey, before I was called into an inner parlour, where they sat, came out into the hall where I was, to view me among others that were there; and passing by me said, "Ha! master Philpot;" and in returning stayed against me, beholding me, and saying that I was well fed indeed.
Philpot. If I be fat, and in good liking, master doctor, it is no marvel, since I have been stalled up in prison this twelve months and a half, in a close corner. I am come to know wherefore you have sent for me.
Storey. We hear thou art a suspected person, and of heretical opinions.
Phil. I have been in prison thus long, only upon the occasion of disputation made in the convocation--house, and upon suspicion of setting forth the report thereof.
Storey. If thou wilt revoke the same, thou shalt be set at liberty, and do well; or else thou shalt be committed to the bishop of London.
Phil. I have already answered in this behalf to mine ordinary.
Storey. If thou answerest thus when thou comest before us anon, thou shalt hear more of our minds.
And when that he went into the parlour, and I within a little while after was called in, when Storey said to the scribe, "This man was archdeacon of Winchester, of Dr. Poinet's presentment."
Phil. I was archdeacon indeed, but none of his presentment; but by virtue of a former advowson, given by my lord chancellor than now is.
Storey. You may be assured that my lord chancellor would not make any such as he is archdeacon.
Roper. Come hither to me, Mr. Philpot. We hear that you are out of the catholic church, and have been a disturber of the same; out of which whoso is, he cannot be the child of salvation. Wherefore if you will come into the same, you shall be received and find favour.
Phil. I am come before your worshipful masterships at your appointment, understanding that you are magistrates authorised by the queen's majesty, whom I own and will do my due obedience unto the uttermost. Wherefore I desire to know what cause I have offended in, for which I am now called before you. And if I cannot be charged with any particular matter done contrary to the laws of this realm, I desire of you that I may have the benefit of a subject, and be delivered out of my wrongful imprisonment, where I have lain a year and a half, without any calling to answer before now, and my living taken from me without law.
Roper. Though we ave no particular matter to charge you withal yet we may, by our commission and by the law, drive you to answer to the suspicion of a slander going on you: and besides this, we have statutes to charge you herein withal.
Phil. If I have offended any statute, charge me therewithal; and suspicion thereof, and commit him to prison though there be no fault done. Storey. I perceive whereabout this man goeth: he is plain in Cardmaker's case, for he made the same allegations. But they will not serve thee; for thou art a heretic, and holdest against the blessed mass: how sayest thou to that? Thou deniest it, but I will prove thee a heretic. Whosoever hath held against the blessed mass is a heretic: but thou hast held against the same, therefore thou art a heretic.
Phil. That which I spake, and which you are able to charge me withal, was in the convocation, where, by the queen's will and her whole council, liberty was given to every man of the house to utter his conscience, and to speak his mind freely of such question in religion as there were propounded by the prolocutor; for which now I thought not to be molested and imprisoned as I have been, neither now to be compelled by you to answer for the same.
Storey. Thou shalt go to Lollards' Tower, and be handled there like a heretic as thou art, and answer to the same that thou there didst speak, and be judged by the bishop of London.
Phil. Sir, you know by the law, that I may have "Exceptionem fori;" and it is against all equity that I should be twice vexed for one cause, and that by such as by the law have nothing to do with me.
Roper. You cannot deny but that you spoke against the mass in the convocation-house.
Storey. Dost thou deny that which thou spakest there, or no?
Phil. I cannot deny that I have spoken there, and if by the law you may put me to death for it, I am here ready to suffer whatsoever I shall be judged unto.
Cholm. Play the wise gentleman and be conformable; and be not stubborn in your opinion, neither cast yourself away. I will be glad to do you good.
Phil. I desire you, sir, with the rest here, that I be not charged further at your hands that the law chargeth me,m for what I have done, since there was no law directly against that wherewith I am now charged. And you, Mr. Doctor, I trust, will shew me some friendship.
Storey. I tell thee, if thou wouldst be a good catholic I will spend my gown to do thee good; but I will be no friend to a heretic, as thou art, but will spend both my gown and my coat, but I will burn thee. How sayest thou to the sacrament of the altar? and since thou wilt not revoke that thou hast done, thou shalt be had into Lollards' Tower.
Phil. Sir, since you will needs shew me this extremity, and charge me with my conscience, I desire to see your commission, whether you have this authority so to do.
Storey. Shall we let every vile person see our commission? Let him lie in the Lollards' Tower; for I will sweep the King's-Bench, and all other prisons also, of these heresies.
Phil. You have power to transfer my body from place to place at your pleasure; but you have no power over my soul. And I pass not whither you commit me, for I cannot be worse entreated than I am.
Roper. Be content to be ruled, and show yourself a catholic man.
Phil. Sir, if I should speak otherwise than my conscience is, I should but dissemble with you: and why be you so earnest to have me shew myself a dissembler both to God and you, which I cannot do? If I do stand in anything against that, wherein any man is able to burthen me with one jot of the scripture, I shall be content to be counted no catholic man, or a heretic, as you please.
With that Storey rose up, saying, "Who shall be judge, I pray you? This man is like his fellow Woodman, which the other day would have nothing else but Scripture." And this is the beginning of this tragedy.
On the 24th of October, Philpot was again brought before the same commissioners, the which second examination is also condensed from his own narrative. At his coming, an acquaintance said to him, "God have mercy on you, for you are already condemned in this world; for Dr. Storey said that my lord chancellor had commanded to do you away." Philpot again desired to see their commission, which the scribe thereupon exhibited to Roper, and was about to open the same, when Dr. Cook, now added to their number, exclaimed, "No, what will ye do? he shall not see it!"
Phil. Then you do me wrong, to call me and vex me, not shewing your authority in this behalf.
Cook. If we do you wrong, complain of us: and in the mean time thou shalt lie in the Lollards' Tower.
Phil. Sir, I am a poor gentleman; therefore I trust that you will not commit me to so vile a place, being no heinous trespasser.
Cook. A heretic is no gentleman: for he is a gentleman that hath gentle conditions.
Phil. The offence cannot take away the state of a gentleman as long as he liveth, although he were a traitor: but I mean not to boast of my gentlemanship; but I will put it under my foot, since you do no more esteem it.
Storey. A gentleman, said he? he is a vile heretic knave: for a heretic is no gentleman. Let the keeper of the Lollards' Tower come in, and have him away.
Phil. Sir, if I were a dog, you could not appoint me a worse nor more vile place: but I must be content with whatsoever injury you do offer me. God give you a more merciful heart; you are very cruel upon one that hath never offended you. I pray you, Mr. Cholmley, shew me some friendship that I may not be carried to so vile a place.
Mr. Philpot proceeds with his narrative. "After this, I with four others was brought to the keeper's house in Paternoster-row, where we supped, and after supper I was called up to a chamber by a servant of the archdeacon of London, and that in his master's name, who offered me a bed for that night. I thanked him, and said, That it would be a grief to me to lie one night well, and the next night worse: wherefore I would begin as I was likely to continue, to take such part as my fellows do. And with that we were brought through Paternoster-row to my lord of London's coal-house; unto which was joined a little dark house, with a great pair of stocks, both for hand and foot; and there we found a minister of Essex, a married priest, a man of godly zeal, with one other poor man. The minister at my coming desired to speak with me, telling me that he greatly lamented his infirmity, for that through extremity of imprisonment he had been constrained by writing to yield to the bishop of London: whereupon he had been set at liberty, and afterward felt such a hell in his conscience, that he could scarce refrain destroying himself, and never could be at quiet until he went to the bishop's register, desiring to see his bill again; which as soon as he had received, he tore it in pieces, after which he was joyful as any man. When my lord of London understood this, he sent for him, and fell upon him like a lion, and buffeted him, so that he made his face black and blue; and plucked away a great piece of his beard.
"The second night of my imprisonment in this den, the bishop sent Mr. Johnson, his register, to me with a mess of meat, a good pot of drink, and some bread, saying that he had no knowledge before of my being here, for which he was sorry: therefore he had sent me and my fellows that meat, not knowing whether I would receive the same. I thanked God for his lordship's charity, that it pleased him to remember in all others; and that I would not refuse his beneficence, and there-with took the same unto my brethren.
"The register said--'My lord would know the cause of your being sent hither, and wondereth that he should be troubled with prisoners that are not of his own diocese.' On this I declared unto him the whole cause. After which he said, that my lord's will was, I should have any friendship I would desire, and so departed. In a little time one of my lord's gentlemen came for me; and brought me into his presence, where he sat at a table with three or four of his chaplains waiting upon him, and his register. He said freely--'Mr. Philpot, you are welcome; give me your hand. I am sorry for your trouble, and promise you that till within these two hours, I knew not of your being here. I pray you tell me the cause: for I promise you I know nothing thereof as yet, and marvel that other men will trouble me with their matters; but I must be obedient to my betters, and I fear men speak otherwise of me than I deserve.' I told him, that it was for the disputation in the convocation-house, for which I was against all right molested."
Bon. I marvel that you should be troubled for that, if there was no other cause. But peradventure you have maintained the same since, and some of your friends of late have asked, whether you do stand to the same, and you have said, yea; and for this you might be committed to prison.
Phil. If it shall please your lordship I am burdened no otherwise than I have told you, by the commissioners who sent me hither, because I would not recant the same.
Bon. A man may speak in the parliament-house, though it be a place of free speech, so as he may be imprisoned for it, as in case he speak words of high-treason against the king or queen; and so it might be that you spake otherwise than it became you of the church of Christ.
Phil. I spake nothing which was out of the articles which were called in question, and agreed upon to be disputed by the whole house, and by permission of the queen and council.
Bon. Why, may we dispute of our faith?--I think not, by the law.
Phil. indeed by the civil law I know it is not lawful, but by God's law we may reason thereof. For St. Peter saith--"Be ye ready to render account unto all men of the hope which is in you."
Bon. Indeed, St. Peter saith so. Why then, I ask of you, what your judgment is of the sacrament of the altar?
Phil. My lord, St. Ambrose saith, that the disputation of faith ought to be in the congregation, in the hearing of the people, and that I am not bound to render account thereof to every man privately, unless it be to edify. But now I cannot shew you my mind, but I must run upon the pikes in danger of my life for it. Wherefore, as the said doctor said unto Valentinian the emperor, so say I to your lordship:--"Take away the law, and I will reason with you." And yet if I come in open judgment, where I am bound by the law to answer, I trust I shall utter my conscience as freely as any that hath come before you.
Bon. I perceive you are learned, I would have such as you about me. But you must come and be of the church, for there is but one church.
Phil. God forbid I should be out of the church, I am sure I am within the same: for I know as I am taught by the scripture, that there is but one catholic church, one dove, one spouse, and one beloved congregation, out of which there is no salvation.
Bon. How is it then that you go out of the same, and walk not with us?
Phil. My lord, I am sure I am within the bounds of the church whereupon she is builded, which is the word of God.
Bon. You are not now of the same faith promised for you in your baptism.
Phil. Yes, I am; for I was baptized into the faith of Christ I now hold.
Bon. How can that be? there is but one faith.
Phil. I am assured of that by St. Paul, saying that there is but one God, one faith, and one baptism, of the which I am.
Bon. You were twenty years ago of another faith than you are now.
Phil. I was then of no faith, a neuter, a wicked liver, neither hot nor cold.
Bon. Why, do you not think that we have now the true faith?
Phil. I desire your lordship to hold me excused for answering at this time. I am sure that God's word thoroughly, with the primitive church, and all the ancient writers, do agree with this faith I am of.
Bon. Well, I promise you I mean you no hurt. I will not therefore burthen you with your conscience now; I marvel that you are so merry in prison as you are, singing and rejoicing, as the prophet saith, joying in your naughtiness. Methinks you do not well herein; you should rather lament and be sorry.
Phil. My lord, the mirth that we make is but in singing certain psalms, according as we are commanded by St. Paul, willing us to be merry in the Lord, singing together in hymns and psalms: and I trust your lordship cannot be displeased with that. We are, my lord, in a dark comfortless place, and therefore it behoveth us to be merry, lest, as Solomon saith, sorrowfulness eat up our heart.
Bon. I will trouble you no farther now. If I can do you any good I shall be glad. God be with you, good Mr. Philpot, and good night. Take him to the cellar, and let him drink a cup of wine.
The next examination was in the house of the archdeacon, and before the bishops of London, Bath, Worchester, and Gloucester.
Bon. Mr. Philpot, it hath pleased my lords to take pains here to-day, to dine with my poor archdeacon, and in the dinner-time it chanced us to have communication of you, and you were pitied here by many who knew you at New College in Oxford. And I also do pity your case, because you seem unto me by the talk I had with you the other night, to be learned: and therefore now I have sent for you to come before them, that it might not be said hereafter, that I had so many learned bishops at my house, and yet would not vouchsafe them to talk with you, and at my request they are content so to do. Now therefore utter your mind freely, and you shall with all favour be satisfied. I am sorry to see you lie in so evil a case as you may if you please.
Bath. My lords here have not sent for you to fawn upon you, but for charity sake to exhort you to come into the right catholic church.
Worces. Before he beginneth to speak, it is best that he call upon God for grace, and to pray that it might please God to open his heart, that he may conceive the truth.
With that Philpot fell upon his knees before them, and prayed on this manner: "Almighty God, who art the giver of all wisdom and understanding, I beseech thee of thine infinite goodness and mercy in Jesus Christ, to give me (most vile sinner in thy sight? the spirit of wisdom to speak and make answer in thy cause, that it may be to the satisfaction of the hearers before whom I stand, and also to my better understanding if I be deceived in any thing."
Bon. Nay, my lord of Worchester, you did not well to exhort him to make any prayer. For this is the thing they have a singular pride in, that they can often make their vain prayers, in which they glory much. For in this point they are much like to certain arrant heretics, of whom Pliny maketh mention, that did daily sing praise unto God before dawning of the day.
Phil. My lord, God make me all you here present such heretics as those were that sung those morning hymns: for they were right christians, with whom the tyrants of the world were offended.
Bon. Say on, Mr. Philpot; my lords will gladly hear you. Phil. I have, my lords, been these twelve months and a half in prison without any just cause, and my living is taken from me without any lawful order, and now I am brought unjustly from my own territory and ordinary, into another man's jurisdiction, I know not why. Wherefore, if your lordships can burden me with any evil done, I stand here before you to purge me of the same. And if no such thing may be justly laid to my charge, I desire to be released of this wrongful trouble.
Bon. There is none here that goeth about to trouble you, but to do you good, if we can. For I promise you, you were sent hither to me without my knowledge. Therefore speak your conscience without any fear.
Phil. My lords, it is not unknown to you, that the chief cause why you count me, and such as I am, for heretics, is because we be not at unity with your church. You say, that whatsoever is out of your church is damned: and we think verily on the other side, that if we depart from the true church, whereon we are grafted in God's word, we should stand in the state of damnation. Wherefore if your lordships can bring any better authority for your church than we can for ours, and prove by the scriptures that the church of Rome now is the true catholic church, as in all sermons, writings and arguments you uphold; and that all christian persons ought to be ruled by the same, under pain of damnation, and that the same church hath authority to interpret the scriptures as it seemeth good to her, and that all men are bound to follow such interpretations only; I shall be as conformable to the same church as you may desire, which otherwise I dare not. To this I will stand and refer all other controversies wherein I now am against you, and will put my hand thereto, if you mistrust my word.
Bon. I pray you, Mr. Philpot, what faith were you of twenty years ago? This man will have every year a new faith.
Phil. My lord, to tell you plain, I think I was of no faith: for I was then a wicked liver, and knew not God then as I ought to do, God forgive me. I have declared to you on my conscience what I then was and judge of myself. And what is that to the purpose of the thing I desire to be satisfied of you?
Cole. What will you say, if I can prove it was decreed by an universal council in Athanasius's time, that all the christian church should follows the determination of the church of Rome? But I do not now remember where.
Phil. If you, master doctor, can show me the same granted to the see of Rome by the authority of Scripture, I will gladly hearken thereto. But I think you are not able: for Athanasius was president of the Nicene council, and there was no such thing decreed. I desire to see the proof thereof.
Upon this master Harpsfield, the chancellor to the bishop of London, brought in a book of Ireneus, with certain leaves turned in, and laid it before the bishops to help them in their perplexity, if it might be; which after the bishops of Bath and Gloucester had read together, the latter gave me the book, and said--'Take the book, Mr. Philpot, and look upon that place, and there you may see how the church of Rome is to be followed of all men.' On this I took the book and read the place, after which I said it made nothing against me, but against Arians and other heretics, against when Ireneus wrote.
Worces. It is to be proved most manifestly by all ancient writers, that the see of Rome hath always followed the truth, and never was deceived until of late certain heretics had defaced the same.
Phil. Let that be proved, and I have done.
Worces. You are of such singularity and vain-glory you will not see it.
Phil. Ha, my lords, is it now time, think you, for me to follow singularity or vain-glory, since it is now upon danger of my life and death not in the true faith. I shall die everlastingly: and again I know, if I yet I had rather perish by your hands, than perish eternally. And at this time I have lost all my goods of this world, and lie in a coal-house where a man would not lay a dog.
Cole. Where are you able to prove that the church of Rome hath erred at any time? and by what history? Certain it is by Eusebius. that the church was established at Rome by Peter and Paul, and that Peter was bishop twenty-five years at Rome.
Phil. I know well that Eusebius so writeth: but if we compare that which St. Paul writeth to the Galatians, the contrary will manifestly appear, that he was not half so long there. He lived not past maketh mention of his abiding at Jerusalem after Christ's death more than thirteen years. And further, I am able to prove, both by Eusebius and other historiographers, that the church of Rome hath manifestly erred, and at this present doth err, because she agreeth not with that which they wrote. The primitive church did according to the gospel, and there needeth none other proof, but to compare the one with the other.
Bon. I may compare this man to a certain one I read of who fell into a desperation, and went into a wood to hang himself, and when he came there, he went viewing of every tree, and could find none on which he might vouchsafe to hang himself. But I will not apply this as I might. I pray you, master doctor, go forth with him.
Cole. My lord, there is one every side of me, some who are better able to answer him, and I love not to fall into disputation: for we now-a-days sustain shame and obloquy thereby of the people. I had rather shew my mind in writing.
Phil. And I had rather you should do so than otherwise, for then a man may better judge of your words, than by argument, and I beseech you so to do. If I were a rich man, I durst wager a hundred pounds that you shall not be able to shew what you have said, to be decreed by a general council in Athanasius's time. This I am sure of, that it was concluded by a general council in Africa, many years after, that none of Africa should appeal to Rome: which decree I am sure they would not have made, if by the scriptures and by an universal council it had not have made, if by the scriptures and by an universal council it had been decreed, that all men should follow the determination of the church of Rome. You say that they afterwards revoked that error: but I pray you shew me where. I have hitherto heart nothing from you to my satisfaction, but bare words without any authority.
Bon. What, I pray you, ought we to dispute with you of our faith? Justinian in the law hath a title, De fide Catholica, to the contrary.
Phil. I am certain the civil law hath such a constitution; but our faith must not depend upon the civil law. For as St. Ambrose saith, faith must not depend upon the civil law. For as St. Ambrose saith, Now the law, but the gospel hath gathered the church together.
Worces. Mr. Philpot, you have the spirit of pride wherewith you be led, which will not let you yield to the truth: leave it off for shame.
Phil. Sir, I am sure I have the spirit of faith, by which I speak at this present; neither am I ashamed to stand to my faith.
Glou. What, do you think yourself better learned than so many notable learned men as are here?
Phil. Elias alone had the truth, when there were four hundred priests against him.
Worces. Oh, you would be counted now for Elias! And yet I tell thee he was deceived: for he though there had been none good but himself; and yet he was deceived, for there were seven thousand besides him.
Phil. Yea, but he was not deceived in doctrine, as the other four hundred were.
Worces. Do you think the universal church may be deceived?
Phil. St. Paul to the Thessalonians prophesieth that there should come an universal departing from the faith in the latter days before the coming of Christ, saying, that "Christ shall not come, till there come a departing first."
Cole. Yea, I pray you, how take you the departing there in St. Paul? It is not meant of faith, but of the departing from the empire:
Phil. Marry indeed you, master doctor, put me in good remembrance of the meaning of St. Paul in that place, for "apostasia" is properly a departing from the faith, and thereof cometh "apostata," which properly signifieth one that departeth from his faith: and St. Paul in the same place after speaketh of the decay of the empire.
Cole. "Apostasia" doth not only signify a departing from the faith, but also from the empire, as I am able to show.
Phil. I never read it so taken; and when you shall be able to show it (as you say in words) I will believe it, and not before.
Worces. I am sorry that you should be against the Christian world.
Phil. The world commonly, and such as be called Christians; for the multitude have hated the truth, and been enemies to the same.
Glou. Why, Mr. Philpot, do you think that the universal church hath erred, and that you only are in the truth?
Phil. The church that you are of was never universal; for two parts of the world, which are Asia and Africa, never consented to the supremacy of the bishop of Rome, neither did they follow his decrees. It was said so by false report, after they of Asia and Africa were gone home, that in the Florentine council they did agree: but it was not so indeed, as the sequel of them all prove the contrary.
Glou. I pray you, by whom will you be judged in matters of controversy which happen daily?
Phil. By the word of God. For Christ saith in St. John, "The word that he spake, shall be judge in the latter day."
Glou. What if you take the word one way, and I another way, who shall be judge then?
Phil. The primitive church. I mean the doctors that wrote thereof.
Glou. What if you take the doctors in one sense, and I in another: who shall be judge then?
Phil. Then let that be taken which is most agreeable to God's word.
Worces. It is a wonder who he standeth with a few against a multitude.
Phil. We have almost as many as you: for we have Asia, Africa, Germany, Denmark, and a great part of France, and daily the number of the gospel doth increase: so that I am credibly informed that for this religion in the which I stand, and for the which I am like to die, a great multitude doth daily come out of France through persecution, that the cities of Germany be scarce able to receive them. And therefore your lordship may be sure the word of God will one day take place.
Worces. They were well occupied to bring you such news, and you have been well kept to have such resort unto you. Thou art the arrogantest fellow, and stoutest fond fellow, that ever I knew.
Phil. I pray your lordship to bear with my hasty speech: for it is part of my corrupt nature to speak somewhat hastily; but, for all that, I mean with humility to do my duty to your lordship.
Bon. Mr. Philpot, my lords will trouble you no further at this time, but you shall go whence you came, and have such favour as in the mean while I can shew you: and upon Wednesday next you shall be called upon again to be heard what you can say for the maintenance of your error.
Phil. My lord, my desire is to be satisfied of you in that I required; and your lordship shall find me as I have said.
Worces. God send you more grace.
Phil. And increase the same in you, and open your eyes, that you may see to maintain his truth, and his true church.
Then the bishops rose, and after consulting together, caused a writing to be made, in which I think my blood by them was bought and sold, and thereto they put their hands; after which I was carried to my coal-house again. Thus endeth the fourth part of this tragedy.
The fifth examination of John Philpot was before the bishops of London, Rochester, Coventry, St. Asaph, and one other, Dr. Storey, Curtop, Dr. Saverson, Dr. Pendleton, with divers others, in my lord of London's palace.
Bon. Master Philpot, come you hither. I have desired my lords here, and other learned men, to take some pains once again to do you good; and because I do mind to sit in judgment on you to-morrow, as I am commanded, yet I would you should have as much favour as I can shew you, if you will be anything conformable; therefore play the wise man, and be not singular in your own opinion, but be ruled by these learned men.
Phil. My lord, in that you say you will sit on me in judgment tomorrow, I am glad thereof: for I was promised by them which sent me unto you, that I should have been judged the next day after: but promise hath not been kept with me, to my farther grief. I took for none other but death at your hands, and I am as ready to yield my life in Christ's cause, as you are to require it.
St. Asaph. It is most evident that St. Peter did build the catholic church at Rome. And Christ said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church." Moreover the succession of bishops in the see of Rome can be proved from time to time, as it can be of none other place so well, which is a manifest probation of the catholic church as divers doctors do write.
Phil. That which you would have to be undoubted, is most uncertain and that by the authority which you allege of Christ, saying unto Peter, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;" unless you can prove that rock to signify Rome, as you would now make me falsely believe. And although you could prove the successions of bishops from Peter, yet this is not sufficient to prove Rome the catholic church, unless you can prove the profession of Peter's faith, whereupon the catholic church is guilty, to have continued in his successors at Rome and at this present to remain.
Bon. Are there any more churches than one catholic church? And I pray, tell me into what faith were you baptised?
Phil. I acknowledge one holy catholic and apostolic church, whereof I am a member, and am of that catholic faith of Christ whereinto I was baptised.
Coventry. I pray, can you tell what this word catholic doth signify?
Phil. Yes, I can, thank God. The catholic faith, or the catholic church, is not, as the people are taught, that which is most universal, or by most part of men received, whereby you infer our faith to hand upon the multitude; but I esteem the catholic church to be as St. Augustine defineth, "We judge the catholic faith, of that which hath been, is, and shall be." So that if you can be able to prove, that your faith and church hath been from the beginning taught, and is and shall be, then you may count yourselves catholic, otherwise not. Catholic is a Greek word, compounded of kata, which signifieth after, or according, and, a sum, or principal, or whole. So that catholic church, or catholic faith, is as much as to say, as the first, whole, sound, or chiefest faith.
Bon. Doth St. Augustine say so as he allegeth it? or doth he mean as he taketh the same? How say you, Mr. Curtop?
Curtop. Indeed my lord, St. Augustine hath such a saying, speaking against the Donatists, that the catholic faith ought to be esteemed of things in time past, and as they are practised according to the same, and ought to be through all ages, and not after a new manner, as the Donatists began to profess.
Phil. You have said well, Mr. Curtop, and after the meaning of St. Augustine, and to confirm that which I have said for the signification of catholic.
Cov. Let the book be seen, my lord.
Bon. I pray you, my lord, be content, or in good faith I will break even off, and let all alone. Do you think that the catholic church (until within these few years, in which a few upon singularity have swerved from the same) hath ever been in error?
Phil. I do not think that the catholic church can err in doctrine: but I require you to prove this church of Rome to be the catholic church.
Cur. I can prove that Ireneus (which was within a hundred years after Christ) came to Victor, then bishop of Rome, to ask his advice about the excommunication of certain heretics, which he would not have done, if he had not taken him to be supreme head.
Cove. Mark well this argument. How are you able to answer the same? Answer if you can.
Phil. It is soon answered, my lord, for that is of no force; neither doth this fact of Ireneus make any more for the supremacy of the bishop of Rome, than mine hath done, who have been at Rome, as well as he, and might have spoken with the pope if I had list; and yet I would none in England did favour his supremacy more than I.
St. Asaph. You are more to blame for that you favour the same no better, since all the catholic church have taken him to be the supreme head of the church, besides this good man Ireneus.
Phil. It is not likely Ireneus so took him, or the primitive church: for I am able to shew seven general councils after Ireneus's time, wherein he was never taken for supreme head.
Cov. This man will never be satisfied, say what we can. It is but folly to reason any more with him.
Phil. O, my lords, would you have me satisfied with nothing? Judge, I pray you, who hath better authority, he which bringeth the example of one man going to Rome, or I that by these many general councils am able to prove, that the pope was never so taken in many hundred years after Christ, as by Nicene, Ephesine, the first and second Chalcedon, Constantinoplitan, Carthaginese, Aquileia.
Cov. Why will you not admit the church of Rome to be the catholic church? Wherein doth it dissent?
Phil. It followeth not the primitive catholic church, neither agreeth with the same. It were too long to recite all, but two things I will name, supremacy and transubstantiation.
Saverson. I wonder you will stand so steadfast in your error to your own destruction.
Phil. I am sure we are in no error, by the promise of Christ made to the faithful once, which is, that he will give to his true church such a spirit of wisdom, that the adversaries thereof should never be able to resist. And by this I know we are of the truth, for that neither by reasoning, neither by writing, your synagogue of Rome is able to answer. Where is there one of you all that ever hath been able to answer any of the godly ministers of Germany? Which of you all, at this day, is able to answer Calvin's Institutions, who is minister of Geneva?
Saver. A godly minister indeed, a receiver of cut-purses and runagate traitors! And of late, I can tell you, there is such contention fallen between him and his own sects, that he was obliged to fly the town about predestination. I tell you truth, for I came by Geneva here.
Phil. I am sure you blaspheme him and that church where he is minister. It is your church's disputation, when you cannot answer men by learning, to oppress them with blasphemies and false reports. For in the matter of predestination he is in no other opinion than all the doctors of the church be, agreeing to the scriptures.
Saver. Men are able to answer him if they will. And I pray which of you has answered bishop Fisher's book?
Phil. Yes, Mr. Doctor, that book is answered, and answered again: you, if you like to seek what hath been written against him, may do so. Dr. Storey, you have done me great injury, and without law have straitly imprisoned me, more like a dog than a man. And besides this you have not kept promise with me, for you promised that I should be judged the next day after.
Storey. I am come now to keep promise with thee. Was there ever such a fantastical man as this is? These heretics be worse than brute beasts; for they will upon a vain singularity take upon them to be wiser than all men, being indeed very fools, not able to maintain that which of an arrogant obstinacy they do stand in. Phil, I am content to abide your railing judgment of me now. Say what you will, I am content, for I am under your feet to be trodden on as you like. God forgive it you; yet I am no heretic. Neither you nor any other shall be able to prove that I hold one jot against the word of God otherwise than a christian man ought.
Storey. The word of God, forsooth! It is but folly to reason with these heretics, for they are incurable and desperate. But yet I may reason with thee, not that I have any hope to win thee. Whom wilt thou appoint to judge of the word whereto thou standest?
Phil. Verily the word itself.
Storey. Do you not see the ignorance of this beastly heretic? he willeth the word to be judged of the word. Can the word speak? Let us hear what wise authority thou canst bring in?
Phil. It is the word of Christ in St. John, "The word which I have spoken, shall judge in the last day." If the word shall judge in the last day, how much more ought it to judge of our doings now? and I am sure I have my judge on my side, who will absolve and justify me in another world. Howsoever now it shall please you by authority unrighteously to judge of my and others, sure I am in another world to judge you.
Storey. Well, sir, you are like to go after your fathers, Latimer the sophister, and Ridley, who hand nothing to allege for myself but that he learned his heresy of Cranmer. But I dispatched them; and I tell thee that there never yet hath been one burnt, but I have spoken with him, and have been a cause of his dispatch.
Phil. You will have the more to answer for, Mr. Doctor, as you shall feel in another world, how much soever you now triumph.
Storey. I tell thee I will never be confessed thereof. And because I cannot now tarry, I pray one of you tell my lord, that my coming was to signify to his lordship that he must out of hand put this heretic away.
Phil. I thank you there-for with all my heart, and God forgive it you.
Storey. What, dost thou thank me? If I had thee in my study half an hour, I think I should make thee sing another song.
Phil. No, I stand upon too sure ground to be overcome by you now.
And thus they departed all away from me, until I was left alone. Afterwards with my keeper going to my coal-house, I met my lord of London, who spake unto me gently, saying, "Philpot, if there be any pleasure I may show you in my house, I pray you require it, and you shall have it."
Phil. My lord, the pleasure that I will require of your lordship is to hasten my judgment which is committed unto you, and so to dispatch me forth of this miserable world, unto my eternal rest.
And for all his fair speech I cannot attain hitherto, this fortnight's space, neither fire nor candle, nor good lodging. But it is good for a man to be brought low in this world, and to be counted amongst the vilest, that he may in time of reward receive exaltation and glory. Therefore praised be God that hath humbled me, and given me grace to be content therewithal.
The sixth examination of John Philpot took place on the 6th of November, before the lord Chamberlain, viscount Hereford, lords Rich, St. John, Windsor, and Chandos, sir John Bridges, lieutenant of the Tower, and two more, with the bishop of London and Dr. Chedsey.
Before that I was called afore the lords, and whiles they were in sitting down, the bishop of London whispered in mine ear, willing me to use myself before the lords of the queen's council prudently. And after that the lords were set, he placed himself at the end of the table; where I kneeling down, the lords commanded me to stand up, and the bishop spake to me thus:
"Master Philpot, I have heretofore both privately myself, and openly before the lords of the clergy, more times than once, caused you to be conversed with, to reform you of your errors, but I have not yet found you so tractable as I could wish: wherefore now I have desired these honourable lords of the temporality, and of the queen's majesty's council, who have taken pains with me this day, I thank them for it, to hear you and what you can say, that they may be judges whether I have sought all means to do you good or not: and I dare be bold to say in their behalf, that if you shew yourself conformable to the queen's proceedings, you shall find as much favour for your deliverance as you can wish. I speak not this to fawn upon you, but to bring you home unto the church. Now let them hear what you have to say."
Philpot. I thank God that I have this day such an honourable audience to declare my mind before. And I cannot but commend your lordship's equity in this behalf, which agreeth with the order of the primitive church; which was, if anybody had been suspected of heresy, as I am now, he should be called before the archbishop or bishop of the diocese where he was suspected, in the presence of others his fellow-bishops and learned elders, and in hearing of the laity: where, after the judgment of God's word declared, with the assent of other bishops and consent of the people, he was condemned to exile for a heretic, or absolved. The second point of that good order I have found at your lordship's hands already, in being called before you and your fellow bishops; and now I have the third sort of men, at whose hands I trust to find more righteousness in my cause than I have found with the clergy. God grant that I may have at last the judgment of God's word concerning the same."
Bonner. Mr. Philpot, I pray you ere you go any further, tell my lords here plainly, whether you were by me or by my procurement committed to prison or not, and whether I have shewn you any cruelty since you have been committed to my prison.
Phil. If it shall please your lordship to give me leave to declare forth my matter, I will touch that afterward.
Lord Rich. Answer first of all to my lord's two questions, and than proceed to the matter. How say you? Where you imprisoned by my lord or not? Can you find any fault since with his cruel using of you?
Phil. I cannot lay to my lord's charge the cause of my imprisonment, neither may I say that he hath used me cruelly; but rather for my part I may say, that I have found more gentleness at his hands than I did at my own ordinary's, for the time I have been within his prison, because he hath called me three or four times to mine answer, to which I was not called in a year and a half before.
Rich. Well, now go to your matter.
Phil. The matter is, that I am imprisoned for the disputations held by me in the convocation-house against the sacrament of the altar, which matter was not moved principally by me, but by the prolocutor, with the consent of the queen's majesty and of the whole house, and that house, being a member of the parliament-house, which ought to be a place of free speech for all men of the house, by the ancient and laudable custom of this realm. Wherefore I think myself to have sustained hitherto great injury for speaking my conscience freely in such a place as I might lawfully do it: and I desire your honourable lordships' judgment who are of the parliament, whether of right I ought to be impeached for the same, and sustain the loss of my living, and moreover of my life, as it is sought.
Rich. You are deceived herein, for the convocation-house is no part of the parliament-house.
Phil. My lord, I have always understood the contrary by such as are more expert men in things of this realm than I: and again, the title of every act leadeth me to think otherwise, which allegeth the agreement of the spiritualty and temporalty assembled together.
Rich. That is meant of the spiritual lords of the upper house. The convocation-house is called together by one writ of the summons of the parliament of an old custom: notwithstanding that house is no part of the parliament-house.
Phil. My lords, I must be contented to abide your judgment in this behalf.
Rich. We have told you the truth. And yet we would not that you should be troubled for anything that there was spoken, so that you having spoken amiss, do declare now that you are sorry for what you have said.
Bon. My lords, he hath spoken there manifest heresy, yea, and there stoutly maintained the same against the blessed sacrament of the altar, and would not allow the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the same: yet, my lords, God forbid that I should endeavour to shew him extremity for so doing, in case he will repent and revoke his wicked sayings; and if in faith he will so do, with your lordships' consent, he shall be released by and by; if he will not, he shall have the extremity of the law, and that shortly.
Chamberlain. My lord speaketh reasonably unto you. Take it whiles it is offered you.
Rich. How say you, will you acknowledge in the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ such a presence as the word of God doth allow and teach me.
Bon. A sacrament is the sign of a holy thing; so that there is both the sign, which is the accident (as the whiteness, roundness, and shape of bread,) and there is also the thing itself, as very Christ both God and man. But these heretics will have the sacrament to be but bare signs. How say you? declare unto my lords here whether you allow the thing itself in the sacrament, or no.
Phil. I do confess that in the Lord's supper there are in due respects both the sign and the thing signified, when it is duly administered after the institution of Christ. If I have not plainly declared my judgment unto you, it is because I cannot speak without the danger of my life.
Rich. There is none of us here who seek thy life, or mean to take any advantage of that thou shalt speak.
Phil. Although I mistrust not your lordships that be here of the temporalty; yet here is one that sitteth against me that will lay it to my charge even to death. Notwithstanding, seeing you require me to declare my mind of the presence of Christ in the sacrament, that ye may perceive I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, neither do maintain any opinion without probable and sufficient authority of Scripture, I will show you frankly my mind, whatsoever shall ensue unto me therefore. There are two things principally, by which the clergy at this day deceive the whole realm; that is the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, and the name of the catholic church: which they do both usurp, having indeed neither of them. And as touching their sacrament which they term of the altar, I say that it is not the sacrament of Christ neither in the same is there any manner of Christ's presence. Wherefore they deceive the queen, and you, the nobility of this realm, in making you to believe that to be a sacrament which is none, and cause you to commit manifest idolatry in worshipping that for God, which is no God. And in testimony of this to be true, besides manifest proof, which I am able to make, I will yield my life; which to do, if it were not upon sure ground, it were to my utter damnation. And where they take on them the name of the catholic church, they are nothing so, calling you from the true religion which was revealed and taught in king Edward's time, unto vain superstition. And this I will say for the trial hereof, that if they can prove themselves to be the catholic church, I will never be against their doings, but revoke all that I have said. And I shall desire you, my lords, to be a means for me to the queen's majesty, that I may be brought to the just trial hereof. Yea, I will not refuse to stand against any ten of the best of them in this realm: and if they be able to prove otherwise than I have said, I will here promise to recant whatsoever I have said, and consent to them in all points.
Rich. All heretics boast of the Spirit of God, and every one would have a church by himself; as Joan of Kent, and the Anabaptists. I had myself Joan of Kent a week in my house after the writ was out for her being burnt, where my lord of Canterbury and bishop Ridley resorted almost daily unto her: but she was so high in the Spirit that they could do nothing with her for all their learning. But she went wilfully into the fire, as you do now.
Phil. As for Joan of Kent she was a vain woman--I knew her well, and a heretic indeed, well worthy to be burnt, because she stood against one of the manifest articles of our faith, contrary to the Scriptures. And such vain spirits be soon known from the true Spirit of God and his church, for the same abideth within the limits of God's word, and will not go out if it.
Bon. I pray you, how will you join me these two scriptures together: "The Father is greater than I;" and, "I and the Father are one." Now show your cunning, and join these two scriptures by the word, if you can.
Phil. Yes, that I can right well. For we must understand that in Christ there be two natures, the divinity and humanity; and in respect of his humanity it is spoken of Christ, "The Father is greater than I." But in respect of his deity, he said again, "The Father and I are one." I have sufficient scripture for the proof of that I have said. For the first, it is written of Christ in the Psalms, "Thou hast made him a little lesser than angels." And the second scripture itself declareth, that notwithstanding Christ did abase himself in our human nature, yet he is still one in deity with the Father. And this Paul to the Hebrews doth more at large set forth.
Bon. How can that be, seeing St. Paul saith that "the letter killeth, but it is the spirit that giveth life?"
Phil. St. Paul meaneth not that the word of God written in itself killeth, which is the word of life, and faithful testimony of the Lord; but that the word is unprofitable, and killeth him that is void of the Spirit of God, although he be the wisest man of the world. And therefore Paul said that the gospel to some was a savour of life unto life, and to some other a savour of death unto death. Also an example hereof we have in John vi. of them who hearing the word of God without the Spirit were offended thereby: wherefore Christ said, "The flesh profiteth nothing; it is the Spirit that quickeneth."
Bon. You see, my lords, that this man will have his own mind; and will wilfully cast himself away. I am sorry for him.
Phil. The words that I have spoken are none of mine, but the gospel, whereon I ought to stand. And if you, my lord of London, can bring better authority for the faith you would draw me unto, than that which I stand upon, I will gladly hear the same, by you or by any other in this realm.
Rich. What country man be you? Are you of the Philpots of Hampshire?
Phil. Yea, my lord; I was sir P. Philpot's son of Hampshire.
Rich. He is my near kinsman; wherefore I am the more sorry for him.
Phil. I thank your lordship that it pleaseth you to challenge kindred of a poor prisoner.
Rich. In faith I would go a hundred miles on my bare feet, to do you good. You said even now, that you would desire to maintain your belief before ten of the best in the realm.--I dare be bold to procure for you of the queen's majesty that you shall have ten learned men to reason with you, and twenty or forty of the nobility to hear, so you will promise to abide their judgment. How say you, will you promise here afore my lords, so to do?
Phil. There are causes why I may not so do, unless I were sure they would judge according to the word of God.
Rich. O, I perceive you will have no man judge but yourself, and think yourself wiser than all the learned men in this realm.
Phil. My lord, I seek not to be mine own judge, but am willing to be judged by others, so that the order of judgment in matters of religion be kept as it was in the primitive church, which is, that God's will be his word was sought; and therefore both the spiritualty and temporalty were gathered together, and gave their consents and judgment, and such kind of judgment I will stand to.
Rich. I marvel why you do deny the express words of Christ in the sacrament, saying, "This is my body:" and yet you will continue to say it is not his body. Is not God omnipotent? And is not he able as well by his omnipotence to make it his body, as he was to make man flesh of a piece of clay? Did not he say, "This is my body which shall be betrayed for you!" And was not his very body betrayed for us? Therefore it must needs be his body.
Bon. My lord Rich, you have said wonderful well and learnedly. But you might have begun with him before also, in the sixth of John, where Christ promised to give his body in the sacrament of the altar, saying, "The bread which I will give is my flesh." How can you answer to that?
Phil. You may be soon answered: that saying of St. John is, that the humanity of Christ, which he took upon him for the redemption of man, is the bread of life whereby our souls and bodies are sustained to eternal life, of which the sacrament bread is a lifely representation, to all such as believe on this passion. And as Christ saith in the same sixth of John, "I am the bread that came down from Heaven;" but yet his is not material, neither natural bread: likewise the bread is his flesh, not natural or substantial, but by signification, and by grace in the sacrament.
And now to my lord Rich's argument. I do not deny the express words of Christ in the sacrament, "This is my body:" but I deny that they are naturally and corporeally to be taken: they must be taken spiritually, according to the express declaration of Christ, saying that the words of the sacrament which the Capernaumites took carnally, as they falsely imagine, not weighing what interpretation Christ hath made in this behalf, neither following the institution of Christ, neither the use of the apostles and of the primitive church.
Bon. What say you to the omnipotency of God? Is not he able to perform that which he spake, as my lord Rich hath very well said? I tell thee, that God by his omnipotency, may make himself to be this carpet if he will.
Phil. As concerning the omnipotency of God, I say, that God is able to do whatsoever he willeth; but he willeth nothing that is not agreeable to his word; that is blasphemy which my lord of London hath spoken, that God may become a carpet. For, God cannot do that which is contrary to his nature, and it is contrary to the nature of God to be a carpet. A carpet is a creature; and God is the creator; and the creator cannot be the creature: wherefore, unless you can declare by the word, that Christ is otherwise present with us than spiritually and sacramentally by grace, as he hath taught us, you pretend the omnipotency of God in vain.
Bon. Why, wilt thou not say that Christ is really present in the sacrament? Or do you deny it?
Phil. I deny not that Christ is really present in the sacrament to the receiver thereof according to Christ's institution. I mean by really present, present indeed.
Bon. Is God really present every where?
Phil. He is so. The prophet Isaiah saith that God filleth all places: and Christ saith that wheresoever there be two or three gathered together in his name, there is he in the midst of them. Not his humanity, but the Deity, according to that you demanded.
Rich. My lord of London, I pray you let Dr. Chedsey reason with him, and let us see how he can answer him, for I tell thee he is a learned man indeed, and one that I do credit before a great many of you, whose doctrine the queen's majesty and the whole realm doth well allow, therefore hear him.
Ched. You have of the scriptures the four evangelists for the probation of Christ's real presence to be in the sacrament after the words of consecration, with St. Paul to the Corinthians; which all say, "This is my body." They say not, as you would have me believe, this is not the body. But especially the 6th of John proveth this most manifestly, where Christ promised to give his body, which he performed in his last supper, as it appeareth by these words--"The bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
Phil. My lord Rich, with your leave I must needs interrupt him a little, because he speaketh open blasphemy against the death of Christ: for if that promise, brought in by St. John, was performed by Christ in his last supper, then he needed not to have died after he had given the sacrament.
Windsor. There were never any that denied the words of Christ as you do. Did he not say, "This is my body?"
Phil. My lord, I pray you be not deceived. We do not deny the words of Christ: but we say, these words are of none effect, being spoken otherwise than Christ did institute them in his last supper. For example: Christ biddeth the church to baptise in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. If a priest say these words over the water, and there be no child to be baptised, these words only pronounced do not make baptism. And again, baptism is only baptism to such as be baptised, and to one other standing by.
Lord Chamberlain. My lord, let me ask him one question. What kind of presence in the sacrament, when it is duly administered according to Christ's ordinance, do you allow?
Phil. If any come worthily to receive, then do I confess the presence of Christ wholly to be with all the fruits of his passion, unto the said worthy receiver, by the Spirit of God, and that Christ is thereby joined to him, and he to Christ.
Bon. My lords, take no heed of him, for he goeth about to deceive you. His similitude that he bringeth in of baptism, is nothing like to the sacrament of the altar. For if I should say to Sir John Bridges, being with me at supper, and having a fat capon, "Take, eat, this is a capon," although he eat not thereof, is it not a capon still? And likewise of a piece of beef, or of a cup of wine, if I say, "Drink, this is a cup of wine," is it not so, even when he drinketh not thereof?
Phil. My lord, your similitudes are too gross for so high mysteries as we have in hand. Like must be compared to like, and spiritual things with spiritual, and not spiritual things with corporeal things. The sacraments are to be considered according to the word which Christ spake of them, of which--"Take ye, and eat ye," be some of the chief concurrent to the making of the same, without which there can be no sacraments. And, therefore, the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ is called communion.
Bon. My lords, I am sorry I have troubled you so long with this obstinate man, with whom we can do no good; I will trouble you no longer now.
Thus endeth the sixth examination. The seventh took place on the chancellor of Lichfield, Dr. Chedsey, and master Dee, bachelor of divinity.
Bon. Sirrah, come hither. How chance you came no sooner? Is it well done of you to make master chancellor and me to tarry for you this hour? By the faith of my body, half an hour before mass, and half an hour even at mass, looking for your coming!
Phil. My lord, it is well known to you that I am a prisoner, and that the doors be shut upon me, and I cannot come when I please; but as soon as the doors of my prison were open, I came immediately.
Bon. We sent for thee to the intent that thou shouldst have come to mass. How say you, would you have come to mass or no, if the doors had been sooner opened?
Phil. My lord, that is another manner of question, which I need not answer, because I was confined till now.
Bon. Lo, master chancellor, I told you we should have a forward fellow of him; he will answer directly to nothing. I have had him before the spiritual lords and the temporal, thus he fareth still; yet he recokoneth himself better learned than all the realm. Yea, before the temporal lords the other day, he was so foolish as to challenge the best: he would make himself learned, and is a very ignorant fool indeed.
Phil. I reckon I answered your lordship before the lords plain enough; so that the lord chamberlain himself acknowledged that he was well answered.
Bon. Why answerest thou not directly, whether thou wouldst have gone to mass or not if thou hadst come in time?
Phil. Mine answer shall be thus, that if your lordship can prove your mass, whereunto you would have me to come, to be the true service of God, whereunto a christian ought to come, I will afterwards come with a good will.
Bon. Look, I pray you; the king and queen, and all the nobility of the realm do come to mass, and yet he will not. By my faith, thou art too well handled; thou shalt be worse handled hereafter, I warrant thee.
Phil. If to lie in a blind coal-house may be counted good handling, both without fire and candle, then may it be said I am well handled. Your lordship hath power to entreat my body as you list.
Bon. Thou art a very ignorant fool. Master chancellor, in good faith I have handled him and his fellows with as much gentleness as they can desire. I did let their friends come unto them to relieve them. And wot you what? the other day they had gotten themselves up into the top of the leads, with a number of apprentices, gazing abroad as though they had been at liberty. But I will cut off your resort: and as for the apprentices, they were as good not to come to you, if I take them.
Phil. My Lord, we have no such resort to us, as your lordship imagineth, and there come very few unto us. And of apprentices I know not one, neither have we any leads to walk on over our coal-house, that I know of: wherefore your lordship hath mistaken your mark.
Bon. Nay, now you think because my lord chancellor is gone, that we will burn no more; yes, I warrant thee, I will dispatch you shortly, unless you recant.
After much further discussion, my lord chancellor said to Dr. Chedsey, "Well, master doctor, you wee we can do no good in persuading of him. Let us minister the articles which my lord hath left us unto him. How say you, master Philpot, to these articles? Master Johnson, write his answers.
Phil. Master chancellor, you have no authority to inquire of me my belief in such articles as you go about, for I am not of my lord of London's diocese; and, to be brief with you, I will make no further answer herein than I have already to the bishop.
"Why then," said my lord chancellor, "let us go our ways, and let his keeper take him away." Thus endeth the seventh part of this tragedy.
The next day in the morning betimes, the bishop sent for master Philpot; and the day after, an hour before day, he sent for him again by the keeper.
Philpot. I wonder what my lord meaneth, that he sendeth for me thus early. I fear he will use some violence towards me, wherefore I pray you make this answer, that if he did send for me by an order of law, I will come and answer; otherwise, since I am not of his diocese, neither is he mine ordinary, I will not come, unless I be violently constrained.
The keeper went away to the bishop, and returned with tow others, saying I must come, whether I would or no; and therewith one of them took me with force by the arm, and I was led up into the bishop's gallery.
Bonner. What! thou wilt not come without thou be fetched and forced.
Phil. I am brought indeed, my lord, by violence unto you, and your cruelty is such, that I am afraid to come before you; I would your lordship would gently proceed against me by the law.
Bon. I am blamed by the lords the bishops, that I have not dispatched thee ere this; and am commanded to take a further order with thee; and in good faith if thou wilt not relent, I will make no further delay. Marry, if thou wilt yet be conformable, I will forgive thee all that is past, and thou shalt have no hurt for any thing that is already spoken or done.
Phil. My lord, I have answered you already in this behalf, what I will do.
Bon. Hadst thou not a pig brought thee the other day with a knife in it? Wherefore was it but to kill thyself? or, as it is told me, to kill me? But I fear thee not; I think I am able to tread thee under my feet do the best thou canst.
Phil. My lord, I cannot deny but that there was a knife in the pig that was brought me. But who put it in, or for what purpose, I know not, unless it were because he that sent the meat, thought I was without a knife. But other things your lordship needeth not to fear; for I was never without a knife, since I came to prison. And touching your own person, you shall life long if you should life till I go about to kill you; and I confess, by violence your lordship is able to overcome me.
Bon. I charge thee to answer to mine articles. Hold him a book. Thou shalt swear to answer truly to all such articles as I shall demand.
Phil. I refuse to swear in these causes before your lordship, because you are not mine ordinary.
Bon. I am thine ordinary, and here do pronounce by sentence peremptory, that I am thine ordinary, and that thou art of my diocese. And I make thee [taking one of his servants by the arm] to be my notary. And now hearken to my articles.
When he had read them, he monished me to make answer; and said to the keeper, "Fetch me his fellows, and I shall make them to be witnesses against him." In the meanwhile came in one of the sheriffs of London, whom the bishop placed by him, saying, "Master sheriff, I would you should understand how I do proceed against this man. You shall hear what articles this man doth maintain;" and so he read a rabblement of feigned articles: that I should deny baptism to be necessary to them that were born of Christian parents; that I denied fasting and prayer, and all other good deeds; and I maintained only bare faith to be sufficient to salvation, whatsoever a man did besides; and I maintained God to be the author of all sin and wickedness.
Phil. Hah, my lord! have you nothing of truth to charge me withal, but you must be fain to imagine these blasphemous lies against me! You might as well have said I had killed your father. The Scriptures say, "God will destroy all men that speak lies." And is not your lordship ashamed to say, before this gentleman, (who is unknown to me,) that I maintain what you have rehearsed? which if I did I were well worthy to be counted a heretic, and to be burnt to ashes. Before I answer you I will first know you to be my ordinary, and that you may lawfully charge me with such things.
Bon. Well, then, I will make thy fellows to be witnesses herein against thee: where are they? Come hither, sirs: you shall swear by the contents of that book, that you shall say the truth of all such articles as shall be demanded of you concerning this man here present, and take you heed of him that he doth not deceive you, as I am afraid he doth and strengtheneth you in your errors.
Prisoners. My lord, we will not swear, except we know whereto; we can accuse him of no evil, we have been but a while acquainted with him.
Phil. I wonder your lordship, knowing the law, will go about, contrary to the same, for your lordship doth take them to be heretics, and by the law a heretic cannot be a witness.
Bon. Yes, one heretic against another may be well enough. And, master sheriff, I will make one of them to be witness against another.
Prisoners. No, my lord.
Bon. No, you will not? I will make you swear, whether you will or no. I ween they be Anabaptists, master sheriff: they think it not lawful to swear before a judge.
Phil. We think it lawful to swear for a man judicially called, as we are not now, but in a blind corner.
Bon. Why, then, seeing you will not swear against your fellow, you shall swear for yourselves; and I do here in the presence of the sheriff object the same articles unto you, as I have done unto him, and require you, under pain of excommunication, to answer particularly unto every one of them when you shall be examined, as you shall be soon, by my register and some of my chaplains.
Prisoners. My lord, we will not accuse ourselves. If any man can lay any thing against us, we are here ready to answer thereto: otherwise we pray your lordship not to burthen us; for some of us are here before you, we know no just cause why.
Here Bonner turning to master sheriff, said, "I will trouble you no longer with these forward men." And so he rose up, and was going away, talking with the sheriff; when Philpot said, "Master sheriff, I pray you record how my lord proceedeth against us in corners without all order of law, having no just cause to lay against us." And after this we were all commanded to the stocks, in which we were confined the whole of the day, and only released at night by special and secret favour from the keeper.
The Sunday after, the bishop came into the coal-house at night, with the keeper, and viewed the house, saying that he was never there before: whereby a man may guess how he kept God's commandment in visiting the prisoners. Between eight and nine he sent for me.
Bon. Sir, I have great displeasure of the queen and council for keeping you so long, and letting you have so much liberty; and besides that, you strengthen the other prisoners in their errors, as I have laid wait for your doings, and am certified of you well enough: I will sequester you therefore from them, and you shall hurt them no more as you have done, and I will out of hand dispatch you as I am commanded unless you will be a conformable man.
Phil. My lord, you have my body in your custody, you may transport it whither you please, I am content. And I wish you would make as quick expedition in my judgment, as you say; I long for it: and as for conformity, I am ready to yield to all truth, if any can bring better than I.
Bon. Why, will you believe no man but yourself, whatsoever they say?
Phil. My belief must not hang upon men's saying, without sure authority of God's word, which if they can shew me, I will be pliant to the same; otherwise I cannot go from my certain faith to that which is uncertain.
Bon. Have you then the truth only? Are you the man of wisdom, and must it die with you?
Phil. My lord, I will speak my mind freely unto you, and upon no malice that I bear to you, before God. You have not the truth, neither are you of the church of God; but you persecute both the truth and the true church of God, for which cause you cannot prosper long.
You see God doth not prosper your doings according to your expectations: he hath of late shewed his just judgment against one of your greatest doers, who by report died miserably. I envy not the authority you are in. You that have learning, should know best how to rule. And seeing God hath restored you to your dignity and living again, use the same to God's glory, and to the setting forth of his true religion; otherwise it will not continue, do what you can.
Bon. That good man was punished for such as thou art. Where is the keeper? Come, let him have him to the place that is provided for him. Go your way before: keep all men from him, and narrowly search him: also let two of your men watch him.
"I afterwards passed through St. Paul's up to Lollards' Tower, and after that turned along the west-side of St. Paul's through the wall, and passing through sex or seven doors, came to my lodging through many straits; where I called to remembrance that strait is the way to heaven. And I was confined in a tower, right on the other side of Lollards' Tower, as high almost as the battlements of St. Paul's, eight feet in breadth, and thirteen in length, and almost over the prison where I was before, having a window opening towards the east, by which I could look over the tops of a great many houses, but saw no man passing into them. When I came to my place, the keeper took off my gown, searched me very narrowly, and took away a pen-case, ink-horn, girdle, and knife, but I had an inkling a little before I was called, of my removal, and thereupon made an errand to the stool, where I cast away many a friendly letter; but that which I had written of my last examination before, I thrust into my hose, thinking the next day to have made an end thereof, and with walking it was fallen down to my leg, which he by feeling soon found out, and asked what that was. I said, they were certain letters; and with that he was very busy to have them out.
"Then he went away, and as he was going, one of them that came with him, said, that I did not deliver the writing I had in my hose, but two other letters I had in my hand before. 'No did?' quoth he, 'I will go search him better:' the which I hearing, conveyed my examination I had written into another place near my bed, and took all the letters I had in my purse, and was tearing them when he cam again; and as he came I threw the same out of the window, saying that I heard what he said."
The eighth examination took place before the bishops of London and St. David's, master Mordant, and others, in the bishop's chapel. The ninth and tenth examinations were before Bonner and his chaplains. The eleventh was on St. Andrew's day, before the bishops of London, Durham, Chichester, and Bath, Dr. Chedsey, the prolocutor, and several others. The twelfth took place, on the 4th of December, before the bishops of London, Worcester, and Bangor. The thirteenth took place the day after, before the archbishop of York, and divers other bishops. To relate the whole of these would be tedious repetition of points already discussed. We therefore proceed to his fourteenth and final examination.
The bishop having sufficiently taken his pleasure with master Philpot in his private talks, and seeing his zealous, learned, and immutable constancy, thought it now high time to rid his hands of him; and therefore on the 13th, 14th, and 16th of December, sitting judicially in the consistory at Paul's, he caused him to be brought thither before him and others, as it seemeth more for order's sake than for any good affection to justice and right judgment. The bishop first speaking to master Philpot, said:
Bon. Master Philpot, amongst other things that were laid and objected unto you, these three things ye were especially charged and burdened withal. The first is, that you being fallen from the unity of Christ's catholic church, do refuse and will not come to be reconciled thereunto. The second is, that you have blasphemously spoken against the sacrifice of the mass, calling it idolatry. And that you have spoken against the sacrament of the altar, denying the real presence of Christ's body and blood to be in the same. According to the will and pleasure of the synod legative, ye have been oft by me invited and required to go from your said errors and heresies, and to return to the unity of the catholic church, which if ye will now willingly do, ye shall be mercifully and gladly received, charitably used, and have all the favor I can show you. And now, to tell you truth, it is assigned and appointed me to give sentence against you, if you stand herein, and will not return. Wherefore, if ye so refuse, I do ask of you whether you have any cause that you can shew why I now should not give sentence against you.
To this Mr. Philpot answered, "Under protestation, not to go from my appeal that I have made, and also not to consent to you as my competent judge, I say, respecting your first objection concerning the catholic church, I neither was nor am out of the same. And as to the sacrifice of the mass, and the sacrament of the altar, I never spoke against the same. And as concerning the pleasure of the synod, I say that these twenty years I have been brought up in the faith of the true catholic church, which is contrary to your church, whereunto you would have me come: and in that time I have been many times sworn both in the reign of king Henry VIII, and of Edward his son, against the usurped power of the bishop of Rome, which oath I am bound in my conscience to keep, because I must perform unto the Lord my vow. But if you, or any of the synod, can by God's word persuade me that my oath was unlawful, and that I am bound by his law to come to your church, I will gladly yield unto you, otherwise not."
Bonner, not able with all his learned doctors to accomplish this offered condition, had recourse as usual to promises and threats; to which Mr. Philpot answered--"You and others of your sort are hypocrites, and I wish all the world knew your hypocrisy, your tyranny, ignorance, and idolatry." On this the bishop for that time dismissed him, commanding that on Monday the 16th of the same month, he should again be brought there to have the definitive sentence of condemnation pronounced against him, if he then remained resolved.
The day being come, Mr. Philpot was accordingly presented before the bishops of London, Bath, Worcester, and Litchfield, when the former thus began. "My lords, my predecessor, when he went to give sentence against a heretic, used to make this prayer--Deus qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire, justitiae veritatisque tuae lumen ostendis, da cunctis qui christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere quae huic inimica sint nomini, et ea quae sint apta sectari per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. This example I will follow. And so he repeated it with a loud voice in Latin. Then Mr. Philpot said, "I wish you would speak in English, that all men might understand you: for St. Paul willeth that all things spoken in the congregation to edify, should be spoken in a tongue that all men might understand."
Whereupon the bishop did read it in English: and when he came to these words, "To refuse those things which are foes to his name," Philpot said, "Then they all must turn away from you; for you are enemies to that name, (meaning Christ's name;) and God save us from such hypocrites as would have things in a tongue that men cannot understand. I am sorry to see you sit in the place that you now sit in, pretending to execute justice, and to do nothing less but deceive all men in this realm." And turning to the people, he said, "Oh! all you gentlemen, beware of these men, (the bishops,) and all their doings, contrary to the primitive church. I would know of you, my lord, by what authority you proceed against me?"
Bon. Because I am bishop of London.
Phil. Well, then you are not my bishop, nor have I offended in your diocese: and, moreover, I have appealed from you, and therefore by your own law you ought not to proceed against me, especially being brought hither from another place by violence. Is it not enough, my lord, for you to worry your own sheep, but you must also meddle with those of other men?
Then the bishop delivered two books to Mr. Philpot, one of the civil, and the other of the canon law, out of which he would have proved that he had authority to proceed against him as he did. Mr. Philpot perusing them, and seeing the small and slender proof that was there alleged, said to the bishop--"I perceive that your law and divinity is all one; for you have knowledge in neither of them; and I wish you knew your own ignorance: but you dance in a net, and think that no man doth see you." Hereupon they had much talk: Bonner said, "Philpot, as concerning your objections against my jurisdiction, you shall understand that both the civil and canon laws make against you: and as for your appeal, it is not allowed in this case: for it is concluded in the law, that there is no appeal from a judge executing the sentence of the law." Mr. Philpot, undaunted by this speech, replied, "My lord, it appeareth by your interpretation of the law, that you have no knowledge therein, and that you do not understand the law; for if you did, you would not bring in that passage. You profess Christ, and maintain antichrist; you profess the gospel, and maintain superstition, and you are able to charge me with nothing. You are foes to all truth, and all your doings are full of idolatry, saving the article of the Trinity.
Whilst they were thus debating, there came thither Sir William Garret, then mayor of London, Sir Martin Bowes, and Thomas Leigh, then sheriff of the city, and sat down with the bishops in the consistory. No sooner were they seated than Bonner again addressed Mr. Philpot with the prayer, and again repeated the charge against him; after which he addressed him in a formal exhortation, which he had no sooner ended than Mr. Philpot turned himself to the lord-mayor, and said--"I am glad, my lord, now to stand before that authority, that hath defended the gospel and the truth of God's word: but I am sorry to see that that authority, which representeth the king and queen's persons, should now be changed, and be at the command of antichrist; and I am glad that God hath given me power to stand here this day, to declare and defend my faith, which is founded on Christ.
"As touching your first objection, I say, that I am of the catholic church, whereof I never was out, and that your church is the church of Rome, and so the Babylonian, and not the catholic church; of that church I am not. As touching your second objection, that I should speak against the sacrifice of the mass, I do say, that I have not spoken against the true sacrifice, but I have spoken against your private masses that you use in corners, which is blasphemy to the true sacrifice; for your daily sacrifice is reiterated blasphemy against Christ's death, and it is a lie of your own invention; and that abominable sacrifice which you set upon the altar, and use in your private masses, instead of the living sacrifice, is idolatry. And wherein you lay to my charge, that I deny the body and blood of Christ to be in the sacrament of the altar, I cannot tell what altar you mean, whether it be the altar of the cross, or the altar of stone: and if you call it the sacrament of the altar in respect of the altar of stone, then I deny your Christ, for it is a false one.
"And as touching your transubstantiation, I utterly deny it, for it was first brought in by a pope. As concerning your offer made from the synod, which is gathered together in antichrist's name; prove to me that you be of the catholic church, and I will follow you, and do as you would have me. But you are idolators, and traitors; for in your pulpits ye rail against good kings, as king Henry and king Edward his son, who have stood against the usurped power of the pope of Rome; against whom I have also taken an oath, which, if you can shew me by God's law that I have taken unjustly, I will then yield unto you: but I pray God turn the king and queen's heart from your church."
Here the bishop of Coventry began, saying: In our true catholic church are the apostles, evangelists, and martyrs; but before Martin Luther there was no apostle, evangelist, or martyr or your church.
Phil. Will you know the cause why? Christ did prophesy that in the latter days there should come false prophets and hypocrites, as you be.
Cov. Your church of Geneva is that which Christ prophesied of.
Phil. I allow the church of Geneva, and the doctrine of the same; for it is una, catholica, et apostolica, and doth follow the apostles' doctrine.
And after this they had great conference together; but when Bonner saw that by learning they were not able to convince master Philpot, he brought forth a knife and a bladder full of powder, and turning himself unto the mayor, said: "My lord, this man had a roasted pig brought to him, and this knife was put secretly between the skin and flesh thereof. And also this powder under pretence that it was good and comfortable for him to eat and drink; which powder was only to make ink to write withal. For when his keeper perceived it, he took it and brought it unto me: which when I saw I thought it had been gunpowder, and thereupon put fire to it, but it would not burn. Then I took it for poison, and so gave it to a dog, but it was not so. I then took a little water, and made as good ink as ever I did write withal. Therefore, my lord, you may understand what a naughty fellow this is."
Phil. Ah, my lord, have you nothing else to charge me withal, but these trifles, seeing I stand upon life and death? Doth the knife in the pig prove the church of Rome to be the catholic church? Doth the ink powder certify transubstantiation and purgatory?
Then the bishop brought forth a certain instrument, containing articles and questions, agreed upon both in Oxford and Cambridge. Also he exhibited two books in print: the one was a catechism composed in king Edward's days, in the year 1552, the other concerning the report of the disputation in the convocation-house, mention whereof is above expressed. Moreover he brought forth two letters, and laid them to Mr. Philpot's charge: the one was addressed to him by a friend, complaining of the bishop's ill usage of a young man named Bartlet Green; the other was a consolatory letter from Lady Vane. Besides these, was produced a memorial drawn up by Mr. Philpot to the queen and parliament, stating the irregularity of his being brought to bishop Bonner, he not being of his diocese; also complaining of the severity of his treatment. These various documents having been read, the bishop demanded of him, if the book intitled--"The true report of the disputation," were of his penning or not? To this Mr. Philpot answered in the affirmative.
The bishops growing weary, and not being able by any sufficient ground, either of God's word, or of the true ancient catholic fathers, to convince and overcome him, began with flattering speech to persuade him; promising, that if he would revoke his opinions, and return to their Romish and Babylonian church, he would not only be pardoned that which was past, but also they would, with all favour and cheerfulness of heart, receive him again as a true member thereof. But when Bonner found that it would take no effect, he demanded of Mr. Philpot, whether he had any just cause to allege why he should not condemn him as a heretic? In answer, he again disowned and denounced the papal church; and in the end the bishop, seeing his steadfastness in the truth, openly pronounced the sentence of condemnation against him. In the reading whereof, when he came to these words--"And you in obstinate, pernicious, and impenitent heretic," Mr. Philpot said--"I thank God that I am a heretic out of your cursed church; I am no heretic before God. But God bless you, and give you grace to repent your wicked doings; and let all men beware of your bloody church."
Moreover, while Bonner was about the midst of the sentence, the bishop of Bath pulled him by the sleeve, and said, "My lord, my lord, know of him first whether he will recant or not." Then Bonner said, "O let him alone," and so read forth the sentence. And when he had ended, he delivered him to the sheriffs; and so two officers brought him through the bishop's house into Paternoster-row, and there his servant met him, and when he saw him, he said, "Ah! dear master." Then Philpot said to his man, "Content thyself, I shall do well enough; for thou shalt see me again." The officers then thrust the servant away, and took the master to Newgate, where they delivered him to the keeper. Then his man strove to go in after him, and one of the officers said unto him, Hence, fellow, what wouldst thou have? And he said--"I would speak with my master." Mr. Philpot then turned about, and said to him--"Tomorrow thou shalt speak with me."
When the under keeper understood it to be his servant, he gave him leave to go in with him. And Mr. Philpot and his man were turned into a little chamber on the right hand, and there remained a short time, when Alexander, the chief keeper, came unto him; who said--"Ah, hast thou not done well to bring thyself hither?" The martyr replied--"I must be content, for it is God's appointment; and I shall desire you to let me have your gentle favour, for you and I have been of old acquaintance." The keeper now attempted to change his views. "If you will recant," said he, "I will shew you any pleasure I can." Mr. Philpot answered--"I will never recant that which I have spoken, whilst I have my life, for it is most certain truth, and in witness hereof I will seal it with my blood." Then Alexander said,--"This is the saying of the whole pack of you heretics." Whereupon he commanded him to be set upon the block, and as many irons to be put upon his legs as he could bear! Well might it be said to the keeper--"Is this thy kindness to a friend?"
Then the clerk told Alexander in his ear, that Mr. Philpot had given his man money. Alexander asked what money had his master given him? he answered, none: upon which Alexander determined to search him and seize it.
"Do with me as you like, and search me all you can," quoth his servant: "he hath given me a token or two to send to his friends, to his brothers and sisters. Then said Alexander unto Mr. Philpot, "Thou art a maintainer of heretics, thy man should have gone to some of thine affinity, but he shall be known well enough." "Nay," said Mr. Philpot, "I do send it to my friends; there he is, let him make answer to it. But, good Mr. Alexander, be so much my friend, that these irons may be taken off." Alexander said, "Give me my fees, and I will take them off; if not, thou shalt wear them still." Then said Philpot, "Sir, what is your fee?" He said four pound was his fees. "Ah," said Philpot, "I have not so much; I am but a poor man, and have been long a prisoner." "What wilt thou give me then?" asked Alexander. "Sir," said he, "I will give you twenty shillings, and that I will send my man for; or else I will lay down my gown to gage. For the time is not long, I am sure, that I shall be with you: for the bishop said I should be soon dispatched." Then said the gaoler, "What is that to me?" And with that he departed from him, and commanded him to be had into limbo.
Then one Witterence, steward of the house, took him on his back, and carried him down, his man knew not whither. Wherefore Mr. Philpot told his servant, to go to the sheriff, and shew him how he was used, and desire him to be good to him. So his servant went, and took another person with him. When they came to the sheriff, and shewed him how Mr. Philpot was treated in Newgate, he took his ring from off his finger, and delivered it to the person that came with Mr. Philpot's man, and bade him go unto Alexander, the keeper, and commanded him to take off his irons, and to handle him more gently, and to give his man again that which he had taken from him. They went to Alexander, and delivered their message from the sheriff. He took the ring and said--"Ah, I perceive that Mr. Sheriff is a bearer with him, and all such heretics as he is, therefore to-morrow I will shew it to his betters." He went however in to Mr. Philpot where he lay, and took off his irons, and gave him such things as he had before taken from his servant.
On Tuesday, the 17th of December, while he was at supper, there came a messenger from the sheriffs, and bade Mr. Philpot make ready, for the next day he should suffer, and be burned at the stake. Mr. Philpot answered--"I am ready; God grant me strength, and a joyful resurrection." And so he went into his chamber, and poured out his spirit unto the Lord God, giving him most hearty thanks, that he had made him worthy to suffer for his truth. In the morning the sheriffs came according to order, about eight o'clock, and calling for him, he most joyfully came down to them. And there his man met him, and said, "Dear master farewell." His master answered, "Serve God, and he will help thee." And so he went with the sheriffs to the place of execution; and when he was entering into Smithfield, the way was foul, and two officers took him up to bear him to the stake. Then he said merrily, "What, will you make me a pope? I am content to go to my journey's end on foot." But on entering into Smithfield, he kneeled down, and said, "I will pay my vows in thee, O Smithfield."
On arriving at the place of suffering, he kissed the stake, and said, "Shall I disdain to suffer at this stake, seeing my Redeemer did not refuse to suffer the most vile death upon the cross for me?" And then with as obedient heart he repeated the cvi. cvii. and cviii. Psalms: and when he had made an end of his prayers, he said to the officers, "What have you done for me?" And every one of them declared what they had done; and he gave to every one of them money. Then they bound him to the stake, and set fire unto that constant martyr, who on the 18th day of December, in the midst of the fiery flames, yielded his soul into the hands of Almighty God, and full like a lamb gave up his breath.
Thus hast thou, gentle reader, the life and doings of this learned and worthy soldier of the Lord, John Philpot; with the greater part of his examinations, first penned and written with his own hand, being marvelously preserved from the sight and hand of his enemies; who, by all manner of means, sought not only to stop him from all writing, but also to spoil and deprive him of that which he had written. For the which cause he was many times stripped and searched in the prison by his keeper: but yet so happily these his writings were conveyed and hid in places about him, or else his keeper's eyes so blinded, that, notwithstanding all this malicious purpose of the bishops, they are yet remaining and come to light.
There are also numerous letters extant of this excellent man's; but the limits of our work will not admit their insertion. The chief are addressed to the lady Vane, to his own sister, to his fellow-prisoner, to John Careless, to master Robert Harrington, and to certain godly brethren whose names do not appear. One addressed to a dear friend, prisoner with him at the same time in Newgate, and who afterwards died in the faith as this letter did persuade him, concludes with the following exhortation:--
"I beseech thee, dear brother in the gospel, follow the steps of the glorious in the primitive church, and of such as at this day follow the same; decline from them neither to the right hand nor to the left. Then shall death, be it ever so bitter, be more sweet than this life: then shall Christ, with all the heavenly Jerusalem, triumphantly embrace your spirit with unspeakable gladness and exultation, who in this earth was content to join your spirit with their spirits, according as it is commanded by the word, that the spirit of the prophets should be subject to the prophets. One thing ask with David ere you depart, and require the same, that you may dwell with a full accord in his house, for there are glory and worship: and so with Simeon in the temple embracing Christ, depart in peace: to which peace Christ bring both you and me, and all our loving brethren that love God in the unity of faith, by such ways as shall please him, to his glory. Let the bitter passion of Christ, which he suffered for your sake, and the horrible torments which the godly martyrs of Christ have endured before us, and also the inestimable reward of your life to come, which is hidden yet a little while from you with Christ, strengthen, comfort, and encourage you to the end of that glorious race which you are in, Amen.
"Your yoke-fellow in captivity for the verity of Christ's gospel, to let us live and die with you in the unity of faith--JOHN PHILPOT."
--Footnote marker f--BT 4 words "by report died miserably"
Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester; of whose miserable death, as well as evil life, a sketch is given of a preceding page.
--Footnote marker a--BT 4 words "spoke against the same"
Here either the registrar belieth Philpot, or else he meant as not offending the law, thereby to be accused; for his former examinations do declare that he spake against the sacrament.