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    PREFACES, [The two following Prefaces accompany a reprint of Bradford’s Sermon on Repentance, which has the following title: ‘The good old way, or an excellent and profitable treatise of Repentance, made by that precious man of God and faithful martyr of Jesus Christ, Mr John Bradford, in the year 1553. Now published with two prefaces, relating the life of the author, and the excellency of the work. — ‘Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’ Luke 13:5. ‘The times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men every where to repent.’ Acts 17:30. OXFORD, Printed by Leon. Lichfield, printer to the University, 1652.’

    The Prefaces are followed respectively by the signatures ‘H. W.’ and ‘R. H.’ in the edition of 1652: and they are referred to as being severally by Dr. Wilkinson and Dr. Harris, in the Preface to ‘Capel’s Remains,’ Lond. 1658, by Valentine Marshall.

    A copy also of Bradford’s ‘Sermon on Repentance,’ 1652, belonging to the editor, has the autograph of its former possessor, ‘Tho. Hall,’ on the title. T. Hall has written in full, after each Preface, the names, ‘Dr Henry Wilkinson,’ and ‘Dr Robert Harris.’

    Thomas Hall was rector of King’s Norton, ‘a lover of books and learning,’ ‘a plain and profitable preacher,’ and author of several works. He died 1665. — Wood, Athenae Oxon. Bliss. 3. 677-81.

    Dr. Henry Wilkinson was senior fellow of Magdalene College, and canon of Christ Church, Oxford: he was the author of several sermons, and died 1675. — Wood, Athenae Oxon. 3. 1038-40.

    There was another ‘Henry Wilkinson,’ a bachelor of divinity, and principal of Magdalene Hall, Oxford, who died 1690. — Id. ibid. 4:283-6.

    Robert Harris was rector of Hanwell in Oxfordshire, and in president of Trinity College, Oxford. His works were collected and published in 1654: he died at Oxford, 1658, aged 80. — Wood, Athenae Oxon. 3:458 — 60. Clarke, Lives of English Divines, p. 314 — 38, Lond. 1677.



    TO all faithful Mnasons, old disciples, and all those who desire and endeavor to walk in the good old gospel way of faith and repentance, “grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    It is a common proverb, that ‘good wine needs no ivy-bush:’ no more doth this good old wine, this excellent treatise of that saint of God Mr.

    Bradford, need any letters of commendation. Yet it will be requisite to speak something: and I hope it will be interpreted a deed of charity, if I interpose as an advocate for the truth of this orphan tract, whose father was a saint on earth, and now reigns as a glorious saint in heaven. The work is legitimate, transcribed after an exact copy; and it is suitable to the style, and savors of the author’s spirit. The many choice breathings in his letters, and this treatise, are all of a piece, good old gold, “more precious than that of Ophir.”

    Something I shall briefly speak of the author, and then of this tract. For the author, what his learning was is upon record: how solid and sinewous his disputations were with the popish prelates, Spanish friars, and others that visited him in prison; and how dexterously he managed all his disputations, with wisdom, judgment and zeal, you may read largely in Mr. Foxe’s Martyrology. He was a man of an acute wit, penetrating judgment, and had the approbation and advice of Martin Bucer to enter into the ministry.

    His piety was rare and eminent. As was the man, so was his communication, holy and useful. Whoso reads his spiritual breathings (I might almost call it a transcendent style) in his epistles, must needs confess that he was one of the holiest men that ever lived since the apostles’ time.

    Take a taste of him in these few characters:

    He was a zealous, plain, profitable preacher of God’s word. He knew how “to divide the word aright,” and “walk accordingly:” he had those two rare qualifications of a preacher, ojrqotomei~n kai< ojrqopodei~n . He was “a Boanerges, a son of thunder,” to impenitent obdurate sinners; but “a Barnabas, a son of consolation,” to the children of God. 2. He was of an humble self-denying spirit. I never read of any that had a meaner opinion of himself than he had. You shall find the subscription of his letters, Miserrimus peccator, [‘A most miserable sinner;’] ‘A very hypocrite, the most hard-hearted unthankful sinner, a very painted hypocrite, John Bradford: ‘ so cheap an esteem had he of himself. This humility is an adorning grace, next to the garment of Christ’s righteousness, none like to it: wherefore the apostle’s phrase is emphatical, 1 Peter 5., Thnhn ejgkombw>sasqe “Be ye clothed with humility;” let it be your uppermost garment. Cyprian saith: Fundamentum sanctitatis est humilitas: [“Humility is the groundwork of holiness.”] This holy man’s example is worthy of our imitation. 3. He was much acquainted with God, and enjoyed a holy communion and familiarity with him in prayer and meditation. He meditated much: and meditation is the spiritual digestion of the soul; it is a divine ruminating upon the word read or preached. When we meditate seriously on the promises, attributes, or such choice subjects, we are up in the mount with Moses, we soar aloft even to heaven, being carried by the wings of holy meditation. This meditation is an up-hill duty: Isaac, Moses, Paul, and other saints of God, have found sweet consolation flowing from it. And he joined prayer to meditation: he was frequently upon his knees; and he would not rise up, till he felt something coming in, some spiritual illapse darted upon his soul. His practice was suitable to Bernard’s resolution, Nunquam, Domine, discedam a te sine te: [“Never will I depart from thee, O Lord, without thee.”] He studied usually upon his knees, and prayed much in his study: and indeed he studies well who prays well. And he can take the most comfort of his study, who reaps the fruits of his pains as returns from his prayers. 4. He was of a melting tender heart. He wept much and mourned that he could not bring his dull heart to love Jesus Christ more. At table, as he sat at meat, he usually pulled his hat down before his eyes, and poured forth abundance of tears upon his trencher . He had a tender heart, bowels opened to the prisoners; he had a tender care both of their bodies and souls. When he was in prison, he visited frequently his fellow-prisoners; and spent much time in praying for them, exhorting of them, and contributing liberally out of his purse unto them.

    I need add no more; for what I can say is too little and beneath the author’s worth, “of whom the world was not worthy.” He lived a saint, and died a martyr.

    Now, for this work which I here present to the reader, I am assured that it is not spurious, but the genuine issue of this worthy author. Herein is handled the doctrine of Repentance, with many moving considerations thereunto. Perhaps his plain phrase may not suit this curious age, which is too too much given to affectation of words. Sed distinguenda sunt tempora: [‘But we should distinguish between times:’] those times were not used to set forth or garnish their dishes as now they are; yet the food is wholesome, plain, and profitable. And if our palates cannot relish such food, I fear there is some distemper in them, and it is our duty to pray for the removal thereof.

    I shall not make a panegyric on the treatise: the work will abundantly commend itself. Here is evangelical Repentance pressed home unto the conscience with many cogent convincing arguments. It was then spoken “in season;” and it is a doctrine that can never be pressed “out of season.”

    These are gospel days: “the kingdom of heaven is at hand:” and of all times gospel times are peculiar times of repentance. The Lord calls upon all ranks of men, magistrates, ministers, people: “Repent,” “repent.” Various dispensations call on us to repent: sometimes God speaks in the thunder of judgment, sometimes in the music of mercy: both by mercies and judgments we are called to repentance. The last words of this holy martyr were, REPENT, ENGLAND: and truly the words of a dying man should be much set by, especially of a dying saint, who bequeaths this legacy to England in his last breath.

    Now, whoever thou art that readest this book, and art hereby won to think on thy ways, and turn unto God, give God the glory, and look on it as a special hand of providence, in bringing this book to thy sight.

    I will not detain thee longer from reading this ensuing treatise. Read it, and read it again with prayer and meditation: and the Lord teach thee to profit by it. And so I commend thee to the grace of God, and bid thee heartily farewell, entreating thy prayers for him who in love to thy soul hath revived this Treatise, and remains Thy servant for Christ’s sake, H[ENRY] W[ILKINSON.] PREFACE BY DR. HARRIS.


    Being over-entreated to preface something to this piece, I crave a little patience, whilst I speak a little both to the work and workman.

    In the work there is first the matter, secondly the frame or composure, considerable. The subject matter is Repentance: and that is a thing which will never be out of season, till sin, which never is in season, be out of men’s hearts and lives. Some men indeed have thought (in temptation only, I hope) this a work (for some at least in these days) too legal, and below their gospel privileges. But if it be rightly stated and understood, it will be found a gospel both duty and privilege beyond the mercy of law, and never more seasonable than in times of grace; much pressed by the Lord of preachers and his forerunners, by his apostles and their successors down to our author’s time, who frequented no one doctrine or duty more.

    For the form and manner of handling this theme, we refer thereunto his method, his style or phrase. In the first we must allow a latitude to him, to others, according to each man’s gift and genius, so long as curiosity and confusion be avoided, and the capacity of the hearer considered. Much I know is written about the method of preaching: and it must be granted that nothing contributes more to the memory both of the speaker and hearer, than method doth. Howbeit, the rule holds that the greatest art is to dissemble art: and that preacher, who studies himself and his people most, usually speaks most to the heart, and to edification. A workman may fetch his stuff from another’s shop; but if he will make the suit fit, he must apply himself to the party concerned, and take measure of him: I mean this, a teacher must fetch all his materials from the word, but his application from the auditory: and herein this good man was his craft’s master.

    Nor will his method, I am confident, be quarreled by any true artist. He begins with a description of the term, of the thing; and that done, he casts it into the parts, vindicating them from false glosses and mistakes, and restoring them to their proper sense; and the way thus cleared, he bears down all before him with strength of argument and application, wherein lies the life of this, of any sermon.

    For his phrase, that is suited to the times wherein he lived, and to the matter that lies before him: and whilst it is so, it was not needful, either to alter a term, unless it were superannuated; or to add a word, unless it were to make up a gap where the copy seemed defective. It is confessed on all hands (his persecutors not gainsaying it), that the author was in those times a master of speech: but he had learned of his Master not to speak what he could speak, but what his hearers could hear: he knew that clearness of speech was the excellency of speech; and therefore resolved, with a good orator, to speak beneath himself rather than above his auditory, and with the nurse to speak broken words rather than obscure and doubtful. Otherwise his eloquence was confessedly great, that is, native, masculine, modest, in one, heavenly: for, if you mark him, he savors and breathes nothing but heaven; yea, he sparkles, thunders, lightens, pierces the soft, breaks only the stony heart.

    The blessing of God hath been signally eminent upon this land in her preachers, I had almost said beyond all lands since the Reformation: the Lord make us sensible of it, and really thankful for it, to the encouragement of all such. Amongst these I have, in my time, met with four mighty men upon this very argument, now all with God; for I forbear to instance in the living: the men are, John Bradford, John Udal, Arthur Dent, Dan.

    Dyke; and (if I might be pardoned for comparing dead men, which I do not practice towards the living) I should think that as Mr. Bradford is before them all in time, so not behind anyone of them in this way of preaching. He was of a most sweet, humble, and melting spirit, who (I know not how) will be in a man’s bosom ere he be aware, and willingly win him from himself to Christ.

    Many years are now passed since I first read this tract; and it is not to be stranged, if still I affect it. It is the first printed sermon that affected me to purpose: and I were to blame, if I should be unwilling to carve and convey it to others: which whilst I do, it is not to be expected that I should engage either for or against every punctilio in it. He shall show little ingenuity and less charity, who cannot look upon such a brother dissenting in some opinion or expression, without some abatement of affection or respect. It was the frequent profession of my ever honored predecessor: ‘Where I see most of Christ, there will I love most, whether the party be of my opinion or of a different judgment:’ so he, so I.

    But of the work enough: shall I speak a little of the workman? This blessed martyr, who beautified his sufferings with his meekness and humility, was doubtless one of a thousand; whether a better preacher or scholar, is to me a great question. After his conversion, his whole life was a continued sermon of repentance. In his addresses to the university, to the city, to his countrymen and kinsmen, he preached repentance: he lived repentance; and in his last farewell to this land he breathed out his last thus: “OENGLAND, ENGLAND,REPENT,REPENT OF THY SINS.”

    I am much ashamed when I read his works and life penned by many, and cannot without sad reflections upon myself consider how far our means, helps, opportunities, are beyond his times, and how infinitely I (to censure none but myself) fall short of him in the practice of godliness and power of exhortation. Truly if Luther’s three ingredients, first prayer, second meditation, third temptation, make up either preacher or Christian, you will find them all in him, who was a man of prayer, of meditation, of temptations; as his works speak him, and they found him who have made use of him in their temptations and desertions.

    The man who most, in my mind, resembled him in preaching, conference, prayer, temptation, every way, was the man whose society I sometimes enjoyed: this blessed man, now “with Christ,” hath often told me, that he himself (whose ability and dexterity in settling and satisfying troubled spirits was certainly great) hath been at one time so overwhelmed with temptations, and at another so becalmed into a flatness and listlessness of spirit, that he hath been enforced to adopt Mr. Bradford’s meditations, ejaculations and expressions, and to spread them before God as his own, upon this account, because Mr. Bradford had in his writings (as he thought) represented his case, said more for him, and done his errand better, than he could for himself.

    This passage I the rather publish, because upon this occasion I would stir up men of parts and experience to impart their experiences and sufficiencies in this kind whilst they live, as little knowing how many drooping and desponding souls their surviving works may help, when themselves “sleep in the dust.” It is a thing that long since I bewailed, that so little is this way done by able, orthodox, experienced casuists: but they who (for aught appears) know least of “the mystery of godliness,” and methods of Satan, undertake the work. I do not mean such as Gerson, Pari-siensis, Savonarola, etc. who speak as if they had met with something of God in their lives and consciences; but certain Jesuits and canonists, who resolve all into a blind and (upon the matter) an human credence, and show more wit than grace (as it was once said of a rabbin) in their resolves. There be not, I believe, more able men for case divinity and all practicals in the world, than in this nation, would they apply themselves accordingly. Some yet living have given undeniable proofs of their ability in this errand: I forbear to name them, because I would decline the suspicion of flattery. I may more freely speak of our Greenhams, Dods, Perkins, Ameses, Baineses, as also of our Randalls, Boltons, Balls, etc., who are now out of hearing, but not out of memory. O that others, behind them in time, but not in abilities, would take up the work where they left, and carry it on; at least, that that brother who owes so much to God for temptations, and can say, out of his observations, so much for God in the case of temptation and desertion, would at last perfect his Tract of Temptations, so happily begun.

    But I have made the porch too wide: I conclude where I began, with humble (and when I say humble, I say all) Mr. Bradford. I have had some other works of his: but war hath plundered me of many books. This piece a godly brother (who is never weary of doing good) hath recovered out of the dust, and once more made public. Under God, thank him, reader, if thou be the better for it: and better thou mayest be, if thou wilt lay down pride and prejudice, and take this up in humility; and with purpose of amendment read it, think on it, pray for a blessing: and, if thou findest little at first, read again, pray again, apply again; and I miss my aim, if thou dost not meet with more at last than it seemed to promise at first.

    I commend both it and thee to the blessing of the great God; and having answered the importunity of my friend in saying thus much, I rest.

    Thine in Christ, R[OBERT] H[ARRIS].

    PREFACE BY THOMAS LEVER FC323 TO THE MEDITATIONS, ETC., OF BRADFORD, 1567. FC324 God, of his eternal wisdom and providence, hath assigned unto every man such time, place, and continuance in this world, as by giving a taste of his goodness unto man in everything might and should best teach and move man to seek and find the fountain and head-spring of all goodness, which is even God himself. And this doth God, not for any lack or need that he hath of man; but for that of God’s goodness every man might receive liberally and freely, as God seeth expedient for their lack and necessity.

    Therefore in most expedient and best wise hath God ordained, that the taste of God’s goodness in this mortal life should make man more desirous of the fullness of the same in eternal life; and the perceiving of God’s goodness partly and covertly in his creatures should stir the mind of man more to see and enjoy God’s goodness openly and perfectly in God himself.

    Now seeing that man, having no goodness of his own, hath yet God’s goodness at all times in everything, by all means, thus offered unto him, he must needs either come with comfort freely to eternal life in God, if he proceed so far; or else worthily perish from God, if he turn, stay, and satisfy himself in anything or things, before he find, feel, and attain everlasting life in God.

    And thus staying and sticking fast in anything from God is damnable; yea, and the more near a man cometh to God, the more damnable it is then to stay and turn from God: as for example, evil is it for a man to stay and satisfy himself in worldly wealth, without any religion; and worse, in ceremonial religion of man’s invention, without any word of God; and worst of all is it, having also the word of God, to be without any true comfortable knowledge and love of God.

    And the beginning and cause of all such evil stays and turnings from God is the corrupt concupiscence and lust of our own hearts. And this corruption in man did begin and doth continue and increase by sin, shrinking from God’s will revealed by his word: as contrariwise the remedy and recovery of man is only in God, calling and drawing man from deserved misery unto free mercy by his word. For the word of God doth, by the law and commandments, declare unto man his own sinful misery, threatening the terrible wrath and vengeance of God due for the same: and by the gospel and promise of God in Christ is opened and offered the well-spring of mercy and grace, to heal all man’s sinful misery, and to call and draw man from wrath and damnation, deserved by sin in man, unto favor and salvation freely opened and offered unto man through Christ in God.

    Therefore every man should use such hearing, reading, and meditation of God’s word, as might make him to see, feel, and confess in himself sin and wretchedness, and in God mercy and grace, so as should most move the mind in prayer to desire and procure God’s mercy and grace, to deliver and preserve man from corruption and perdition in himself, unto sanctification and everlasting life in God.

    And for that every man cannot have all scriptures, and no man ought to be without the ten commandments, the articles of the belief, and the Lord’s prayer, to meditate in his mind; therefore the meditation of them should be in such sort, as we might best find and feel the sickness and danger of our sin by the commandments; then see the remedy and salve for sin, which is the goodness of God confessed in the articles of the belief; and so, as followeth in the Lord’s prayer, use the manner and form of desiring and joining the medicine and salve of God’s merciful goodness unto the sickness and sores of man’s sinful wretchedness.

    And so, using these three things to cause and increase in us daily repentance, faith, and prayer, we shall learn better how to use the word and works of God, so as we may thereby be brought with comfort more near unto him; and not by abusing them be staid and drawn further from him.

    For when as we recite, read, speak, or hear any portion of God’s word, without any desire, meditation or consideration of the meaning thereof to enter into our minds, then do we abuse “the letter which killeth,” refusing or neglecting “the Spirit which quickeneth: ” and that is no service by the which God is honored and pleased, but rather a taking of the name and word of God in vain, for the which man so doing deserveth to be plagued.

    And it can be nothing else but a grievous sin and plague, so to be delighted and deluded with the vain sound, number, and order of words, that a man cannot or will not taste of the most comfortable matter and meaning contained in the same words. For so do many men in outward vanities stay, stick, and turn from “worshipping of God in spirit and truth:” so do hypocrites “worship God with their lips, having their hearts far from him:” and so do people coming to hear God’s word, with the idols of men’s imaginations in their hearts, and evident offenses in their manners, desire and deserve such ministers and ministry of God’s word, as have an outward form and fashion of godliness in words and rites, with refusing and slandering of the same in minds and manners.

    But here note, that when there is any desire and diligence to have the mind moved and edified by the meaning of good words, that is profitable to man and acceptable to God. And where there is no regard to the meaning of good words, but a mere observation of outward fashion by custom or prescription, in speaking or hearing of good words, that is an ungodly abusing of those good words, yea, a dangerous taking of the name and word of God in the mouth, suffering Satan to feed and fill the heart with ignorance, negligence, superstition, and idolatry.

    It is a dangerous thing so to feed thy affections with worldly vanities and fleshly lusts, that thou canst not or wilt not feed upon the food of God’s word. And a more dangerous thing is it, in feeding upon God’s word, to feed upon the only outward “letter which killeth,” without any taste or desire of “the Spirit which quickeneth.”

    So, if the use of the benefits of God in other things do further thee unto the word of God, and the outward use of the letter of the word, unto the inward meaning and spirit of the same, then dost thou proceed aright and well, from death in thyself, unto life in God; not forsaking nor losing any goodness of God in anything, but thankfully embracing and using the goodness of God in everything, so as may allure, move, and draw thee most comfortably towards the fullness, pureness, and perfection of all goodness in God himself.

    And for example, practice, and trial of this, thou hast here Master Bradford’s Meditations upon the ten commandments, the articles of the Christian faith, and the Lord’s prayer; which being well used of thee will ready thee much unto the right understanding of God’s word, and to the right use of God’s works. And the well using of these is, when thy leisure is but little, yet in the meditation of the commandments to consider thy sinful misery; and in the confession of the faith to consider God’s merciful goodness; and in the Lord’s prayer to consider the best way to procure and apply God’s grace and mercy to heal and put away thy sinful misery: and when thou hast more leisure, thou mayest consider more of and in these three things, as the good example of godly Master Bradford will well teach thee.

    And my advice is, that when thou comest to the perusing of Bradford’s Meditations, then thou provide thee a quiet mind, time, and place, rather perusing one commandment, article, or petition, advisedly and well, than many with much haste and little consideration. So shalt thou find most sweetness in that thou readest, and best print and keep the effect and sum of it in thy memory, reading and considering one thing after another, as thou findest to thy time and capacity may best agree.

    And whereas there lacked a meditation upon the last commandment, I have added my endeavor to supply that lack. But considering how deeply and well Master Bradford hath handled the others, and that this last doth descend more deeply into man than the others, I beseech thee take in good part my willing diligence, albeit thou seest many things to be lacking in my meditation, to make it meet to be joined unto Master Bradford’s meditations, and more to teach thee duly to consider this commandment. THOMAS LEVER.

    MEDITATION ON THE TENTH COMMANDMENT, BY THOMAS LEVER, 1567. FC325 Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s House, Neither Shalt Thou Covet Thy Neighbor’s Wife, Nor His Man-Servant, Nor His Maid, Etc.

    Now dost thou, O most gracious God, instruct me how I should use my heart and mind towards my neighbor. And albeit, in the other commandments concerning words and deeds, there be also doctrine and charge concerning will and purpose, (as Christ doth expound and declare the commandments of not killing nor committing adultery to be observed or transgressed, not only by word and deed, but also by will and purpose;) yet by this commandment thou dost further teach and charge me how to use the first motions of the heart and mind, which be desires and devices, whereof by consent proceed wills, purposes, words and deeds.

    So that now by this commandment I am taught and forced with Paul to feel and confess, that “in me, that is to say, in my flesh, there is no goodness;” for, being not regenerate by thy “Spirit of grace,” I did neither feel nor find how that all the thoughts, imaginations, devices, and desires of the heart of man, be always only evil. But now, by thy “Spirit of grace” in regeneration, I regarding aright this commandment do not only know and confess that man conceived and born in sin cannot before regeneration do, say, or think anything that is good; but also being regenerate, and thereby having a will to do good, yet by this lust “the law of sin in his members” is ever tempted and allured, and many times drawn and brought to do evil.

    So that this thy law in forbidding lust, which is the corruption of heart and mind, word and deed, doth command “love of a pure heart, a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith,” which is the fountain and pure spring of all good thoughts, words and deeds. Therefore by this commandment I am forbidden such lust of anything, and commanded such love of my neighbor as should ever move and cause me not to desire, get, or keep any good thing to myself from my neighbor; but to will, give, communicate, and procure every good thing unto him.

    By reason whereof I have great cause to be thankful and praise thee, for that thou wouldest have me not to have and utter my own evil lusts to hurt, hinder or grieve others; but to have and use a pure love, to minister the gifts of thy good things unto mutual comfort and commodity, and commendation of me and of others.

    O gracious good God, great is thy love towards me, which dost not only restrain and keep the evils rising and beginning in many men’s hearts from hurting and destroying of me, but dost command all men, and causest very many, in thought, words, and deeds, to help, preserve, and prosper me.

    If this thy commandment were not, I see, as I should have done (and do in not restraining and forbearing my lusts) much worse to others than is happened; so should I have found and felt of others towards me. If we consider how all evil thoughts, murders and adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnessings, slanders, etc., do abundantly issue out of men’s hearts, causing all manner of misery and mischief to come amongst men; easily may we see a wonderful benefit and providence of thee for us in this commandment.

    But, O most gracious good God, as my unthankfulness, disobedience, and hypocrisy be wonderful great in everything, so do the same most exceedingly abound in and by these lusts that lie secretly lurking in my heart: for I do so negligently suffer them to live and lurk in me, that at every occasion of anything they are ready to arise, inflame, and corrupt my heart with covetousness, voluptuousness, pride, arrogancy, disdain, emulation, security, blind zeal, and many such other affections; and being discovered and reproved by this thy good law, they be not taken away and abolished, but through infirmity and corruption that is in me they increase sin and transgression. For I, finding thy law and commandment against my lusts, do feel them in me rebounding against this thy law with more strong rebellion: and so I of frailty (neither able to attain to the righteousness of thy law in fulfilling of it, nor to sustain and abide thy just severity for not fulfilling of it,) am carried away captive from thee and thy law to “the law of sin which is in my members.” “O miserable man that I am!” which now perceive, find, and feel that the pure goodness and just severity of thy law doth not reform and put away, but declare, imitate, augment, and condemn my corrupt sinful unthankfulness, disobedience, and hypocrisy.

    But yet thou, O most merciful Father, dost by thy law thus declare sin, and work in thine elect a feeling and fear of thy deserved wrath, that they thereby may be learned, moved, and forced to know, desire, and embrace “the end of thy law,” which is Christ thy Son our Savior. For even as a good surgeon doth first make bare and open a grievous corrupt sore thoroughly, that then he may lay thereto a good plaister to heal the same effectually; so dost thou, O good God, by thy law declare and open our sores, full of sinful corruption, to cleanse and heal the same by the salve and plaister of ‘Christ crucified.”

    Wherefore we beseech thee now, O most gracious God and merciful Father, cause us, in mindful meditation of thy law, to find, feel and confess the sore grievous disease of sin in every member and part of us, and especially in the very bottom of our hearts; so that in the light of thy gospel, by the eyes of faith, we may see, desire, and feel the medicine of thy mercies in “Christ crucified;” daily more and more cleansing and healing our sinful sores; changing our hard stony hearts into fleshy soft hearts; scouring and washing out of our hearts our corrupt concupiscences and lusts, to write into our hearts thy law of pure love; and mortifying in us “the old man of sin,” so that ever hereafter we may now not live in the flesh, but that “Christ may live in us,” unto thy glory, our comfort, and the good example of others.

    A PRAYER FOR THE FAITHFUL AFFLICTED IN FRANCE, FOR THE GOSPEL. [The following prayer is printed at the end of the ‘Godly Meditations of Bradford,’ Hall, 1562, on the reverse of the table of ‘faults escaped in the printing:’ and it now follows the text of that publication. There is not any ground for attributing it to Bradford.

    It was probably composed in the year 1562, when aid was afforded by England to the French Protestants against the Guisian faction.

    Vide Strype, Annals, 1. 1:428 — 4, 545; and ‘Liturgical Services of the reign of Elizabeth,’ p. 458 — 9, 476 — 7, Parker Soc.

    It was reprinted, with a few variations, in the ‘Christian Prayers,’ etc., collected by Bull, Powell, (see p. 118, note 1.) and Middleton 1570: vide Parker Soc. edition, p. 161 — 2, where it is entitled, ‘A Prayer for the afflicted and persecuted under the tyranny of antichrist.’] O merciful Father, who never dost forsake such as put their trust in thee, stretch forth thy mighty arm to the defense of our brethren and neighbors in France, who in their extreme necessity cry for comfort unto thee. Prevent the cruel device of Haman, stay the rage of Holophernes, break off the counsel of Ahithophel. Let not the wicked say, “Where is now their God?” Let thy afflicted flock feel present aid and relief from thee, O Lord; look down upon them with thy pitiful eye from thy holy habitation. Send terror and trembling among their enemies; make an end of their outrageous tyranny; beat back their boldness in suppressing thy truth, in destroying thy true servants, in defacing thy glory, and in setting up antichrist. Let them not thus proudly advance themselves against thee and against thy Christ: but let them understand and feel that against thee they fight. Preserve and defend “the vine which thy right hand hath planted;” and let all nations see the glory of “thine Anointed.” Amen.


    DEUS et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, quem nemo nisi ex tuo ipsius munere cognoscit, effice, ut ad alia ingentia tua erga me beneficia accedat hoc quoque maximum, quod generi hominum praestari potest, ut quemadmodum corpus somno consopitum excitasti, sic et animum a somno peccatorum et tenebris mundi hujus liberes; quodque ex somno ad vigiliam revocasti, post mortem reddas vitae: nam est somnus tibi, quae nobis mors.

    Oramus atque obsecramus te, ut per benignitatem tuam socium sit corpus in vita hac atque administrum pietatis animae; quo sit et in altera illa vita particeps beatitudinis sempiternae. Per Jesum Christum Filium tuum Dominum nostrum, per quem omnia nobis tribuis bona et salutaria. “Exsurge qui dormis, et surge a mortuis, et illuminabit te Christus.” Excursus ad meditandum.

    Revocanda in mentem laetitia illa et beatitas resurrectionis aeternae; tum clarissimum et splendidissimum illud mane, et lux nova corporum post tenebras; quae omnia plena sunt gaudiorum.


    Lux maxima et verissima, unde lux ista nascitur diei ac solis, quae illuminas omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum; Lux, cujus nulla est nox, nulla vespera, meridies clarus semper ac serenus, sine qua densissimae sunt tenebrae, per quam sunt omnia lucidissima; Mens et Sapientia tanti Patris, illustra mentem meam, ut tua tantum videam, caecus ad reliqua, et per tuas vias ingresso nihil praeterea mihi luceat, aut sit gratum. “Iliumina, Domine, oculos meos, ne unquam obdormiam in morte; ne quando dicat inimicus meus, Praevalui adversus eum.” Excursio contemplationis.

    Quanto potior lux animi, et praestabilior mentis oculus, quam corporis! quam convenit magis curare, ut acutius cernat mens, quam corpus! Oculum corporis bestiolae habent, mentis antem soli homines, et quidem sapientes.


    PRIMUS parens ex praeclara et praecellenti sublimitate devolvit se in coenum ignominiae et abyssum flagitiorum ac scelerum; surrexit, manu abs te, Christe, sublatus. Ita et nos, nisi abs te sustollamur, in perpetuum jacebimus. Christe, generis humani Patrone indulgentissime, ut grave hoc onus beneficio tuo erigis, ita et animos nostros ad cognitionem amoremque evehe tuae sublimitatis. Excursus ad meditandum.

    Quam acerbus casus Adas propter peccatum, tum etiam cujusque nostrum a fastigio gratiae Dei! Quantum beneficium Christi, cujus ope toties quotidie a casu surgimus!


    INDUE me, Christe, to ipso, homine secundo, qui per justitiam factus es Deo Patri tuo adjuratissimus, ad exuendas concupiscentias omnes, et crucifigendum regnum carnis. Tu nobis adversus frigus hoc mundi esto indumentum, quo foveamur: qui si absis, omnia fiunt protinus torpida, infirma, mortua; sin adsis, vivida, tuta, fortia, vigentia. Et ut corpus amiculo hoc circumdo, ita tu me totum, sed animum potissimum, te ipso vestias. Excursio.

    Quomodo incorporamur Christo! ille nos induit, et regit, et fovet, ut sub alis ejus servemur, et regnemus.


    DEUS et Domine Jesu Christe, tu scis, imo tu docuisti nos, quanta sit hominis imbecillitas, quam nihil possit absque tua ope. Si ipse sibi fidat et credat, necesse est ruat in mille exitia. Miserere, Pater, infirmitatis filii tui; adsis propitius et dexter, ut to illuminante vera bona videam, te hortante expetam, te ducente consequar. Mihi diffisus me cunctum tibi uni trado commendoque.


    INTER laqueos a daemone et ministro ejus mundo extentos gradiendum est mihi, et circumfero stimulos carnis meae.

    Duc me, certissime Dux, ac tuere a plagis atque insidiis, ut quaecunque occurrent, non pluris faciam quam ipsa sint: in te unum aspiciens ac intentus sic pergam, ut unumquicque eatenus a me sumatur, quatenus ad te referendum est. “Vias tuas demonstra mihi, et semitas tuas edoce me.” Egressio ad contemplandum.

    Quam vana est occupatio filiorum Adae, quam varie distinetur ac distinguitur! quomodo mentes suas ad cogitationem sui maximi boni tributas in tam diversa dissecant et dissipant, ut ejus quod primum et potissimum est obliviscatur, ut aliis sint offensio et Satan!


    PEREGRINATIO est haec vita nostra: a Domino discessimus, ad Dominum tendimus, sed inter voragines et praecipitia, quae malus ille hostis per viam fabricatus est nobis, peccato exoculatis.

    Porrige nobis manum, Christe, verus, certus, videns, amicus, et fidelis Dux. “Aperi oculos nostros,” illustra regiam illam viam, quam tu primus ingressus ex hac corruptibilitate vitae ad immortalitatem alterius munivisti.

    Tu es haec “via;” duc nos ad Patrem per te ipsum, ut omnes simus unum cum illo, sicut tu et ille estis. Altera.

    Misericors Pater, tu sanctis hominibus, qui puro et simplici corde tibi placent, mittis angelos custodes, a quibus ducantur, tanquam imbecillioribus filiis filios natu grandiores ac magis validos: omnes enim, et angelos et homines, paterno affectu complecteris. Ita Tobiae probi patris filio modestissimo, iter ingressuro, Raphaelem ministrum tuum misisti viae comitem. Nobis virtute quidem Tobiae longe inferioribus, sed bonitate tua confisis, mitte sanctum angelum tuum, qui nos et magno animo esse faciat, quoniam te fidimus, et per vias deducat tibi gratas. Digressio.

    Quomodo peregrinamur a patria, a domo, a nostra origine, nempe Deo! quam libenter immoramur et intricamur in peregrinatione, hoc est, in miseria, immemores bonorum!


    ADMIRANDUM mysterium operis tui, Fabricator et Rector mundi, ut cibis istis hominum et animantium vitas sustentes. Profecto non est in pane atque obsoniis ea potentia, sed in voluntate et verbo tuo, quo uno vivunt et consistunt omnia. Tum et illud quantum est, te in annos singulos sufficere, unde tot animantibus alendis sit satis! quod sanctus propheta tuus, in enarratione laudum tuarum, dixit, “spectare ad to omnia, ut tu des sibi escam in tempore opportuno: aperis tu manum tuam, et imples omne animal benedictione.” Haec sunt mirabilia omnipotentiae tuae opera.

    Rogamus te, Princeps et Pater munificentissime, ut qui vitam nostris corporibus subministras cibis per verbum tuum, animos quoque nostros gratia per idem verbum tuum vivifices, ut digni simus quos merito, tanquam pater carissimos filios, saluberrimis alimentis enutrias, donec ad perfectionem illam ventum sit Filii tui Jesu Christi, in qua “mortale hoc induet immortalitatem,” nec amplius alimoniae indigebimus, facti unum cum te ipso. Digressio animi.

    Quantae potentiae, condidisse nos; quantae sapientiae, tuerique ac conservare; quantae bonitatis, immerentes! Quam multa data nostris usibus; quam admirabile, sustentari illis vitam; quanto admirabilius, animae vitam ad immortalitatem propagare solo suo nutu!


    BENIGNISSIME munerum tuorum Distributor, qui donas bona omnia ad utendum, purus pura, sanctus sancta; fac adsit nobis auxilium tuum, ne prave abutamur iis, quae tu ad nostros rectos usus condidisti. Non to amemus, quia illa das; sed illa diligamus, quia veniunt abs te, et ad tempus sunt nobis necessaria revertentibus ad te. Sobrie, pure, moderate, sancte versemur inter tua dona, qui es talis; ne, quae tu largiris nobis tanquam medicinam vitae corporeae, nos in venenum convertamus mortis animae: quin potius recte ea sumendo, et animo grato, fiant nobis corpori ac animo salutaria. Eqressio.

    Ad usum data esse illa nobis, non ad abusum; ut prosint, non ut noceant; non nobis solis, sed aliis etiam per nos.


    CORPORALIBUS cibis corporalem vitam fulcis ruentem. Grande hoc opus; sed illud utilius et sanctius, quod gratia tua, Christe Jesu, mortem nostrarum animarum arcet. Multum quidem pro aevo hoc debemus tibi; et quoniam id muneribus tuis prorogas, habemus atque agimus tibi gratias: sed haec [vita] modo via est ad aeternam illam, quam obsecramus te per mortem tuam ut beneficio quoque tuo immortali beatitudine dones. Hic pro re temporaria gratias quidem agimus, sed temporarias, videlicet ut possumus: illic pro aeterna agemus aeternas. Rogamus te, ut huic voto annuas, qui vivis cum Patre et Spiritu sancto, Deus in aeternum.


    NIHIL est, Domine, tuae illi sanctae naturae similius, quam animus in tranquillitate compositus. Tu nos ex mundi tumultibus in quietem illam et pacem tuam vocasti, ceu ex tempestatibus in portum; pacem qualem dare mundus non valet, “quae omnem exuperat hominum sensum.”

    Domicilia nobis constituta sunt, in quae confugeremus ab injuria coeli, a saevitia belluarum, a fluctibus turbae, et mundi negotiis. Fiat, Pater indulgentissime, tuo maximo beneficio, ut in haec se recipiat corpus nostrum ab externis actionibus, quo sese animo praebeat morigerum, nec reluctetur, quominus hic se in quietem illam tuam altissimam extollat; nihil obstrepat, nihil obturbet; omnia sint per pacem illam tuam placida et tranquilla.

    Pax Christi huic domui, et omnibus habitantibus in ea. Excursio animi.

    Qualis et quam laetus erit reditus in domum illam sempiternam, quietissimam, beatissimam! Molestia omnis abest: si quid est hic laetum et jucundum, umbra est prae illis voluptatibus.


    MISEROS, quibus sol tuus occidit, Domine! ille sol, qui sanctis tuis nunquam occiduus est, meridianus semper, serenus, ac fulgens. Gravius nox etiam in meridie incubat illorum mentes, qui abs te discedunt: at iis, qui tecum versantur, nunquam non est dies lucidissima. Habet sol hic vices suas: tu, si te vere diligamus, non habes. Utinam obicem hunc peccati a nobis removeas, quo sit semper in nostris pectoribus dies! Digressio.

    Non dolere nos quod sol occidat, quia rediturum scimus: ita non dolendum discedere animam e corpore, quam scimus esse reversuram.


    MAGNAE ac densissimae animos nostros premunt tenebrae, nisi tua lux eas dispellat: fax est corporali mundo sol tuus, Artifex sapientissime; fax spiritali mundo sapientia tua, per quam animorum et corporum lux est orta.

    Post diem succedente nocte in remedium tenebrarum lucernas dedisti; post peccatum in remedium ignorantiae doctrinam tuam, quam ad nos Filius tuus nostri amantissimus detulit. Fac nos, Auctor et Magister totius veritatis, utraque luce ea cernere, quibus caligo mentium depellatur. “Signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui, Domine: dedisti laetitiam in corde meo.” “Lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum, et lumen semitis meis.” Excursio.

    Lucernas hujus noctis esse scientiam et sapientiam a Deo hominibus traditam, quibus ea cernant in hac corporum nocte, quae ipsis expediant: quantopere doctrinam hujusmodi optandam esse, et ubi contigerit, diligenter ac pie amplectendam.


    CORPUS hoc per peccatum fluxum et male cohaerens sensim dissolvetur, ac reddetur terrae de qua sumptum est: ibi erit finis vanitatis hujus, quam nos stultitia nostra nobis confinximus. Sic dissolve me, Pater mitissime, qui et compegisti, ut dissolvi me sentiam, et a quo victus fuerim recorder; et quo eundum mihi sit considerem, ne imparatus rapiar ad tribunal tuum. Excursio.

    Non ponimus vestes gravate, quas sumus recepturi transacta nocte: sic corpus, post hanc noctem curriculi seculorum resumendum, ne posuerimus inviti.


    PERACTO die, tradimus nos quieti [hac] nocte: sic, vita hac finita, quiescemus in morte. Nihil vitae similius quam quivis dies, nec morti quam somnus, nec sepulturae quam lectus. Fac, Domine, Praeses et Propugnator nostri, ut et nunc jacentes nos, ac nostri impotes, ab astu et incursibus crudelis hostis tueare; et tunc finito vitae curriculo magis adhuc invalidos, non meritis nostris, sed clementia tua ad te voces, ut tecum semper vivamus, aeternumque vigilemus. Nunc vero obdormiscamus in te: tu solus, tua illa bona ingentia, incredibilia, per visum nobis observentur, ut ne dormientes quidem a te absimus: quae somnia tum cubicule ipsum et corpora nostra pura conservent, tum animos exhilarent beata illa tua laetitia. “In pace in id ipsum obdormiam, et requiescam.” Excursio.

    Peracto tumultuoso hoc die, succedit nox, et quies, et lectus, et somnus dulcissimus, qui summos reges et infimos servos pares facit: sic post tumultus et tempestates vitae hujus, fidentibus Christo portum et quietem gratissimam esse paratam.


    Suscipe me tuendum, Jesu Christe, Praesidium nostrum. Fac ut sopito corpore animus in te meus vigilet, et felicem illam, laetissimamque caelestem vitam, laetus atque alacer contempletur, in qua tu es Princeps cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto; angeli vero et puri sanctique animi sunt cives ad aeternitatem beatissimi.

    A PRAYER COMPILED BY R. P. FC329 [See p. 242, note 1. — This Prayer follows the text of the Meditations of Bradford, printed by Copland, 1559, Bodleian Library, Oxford: see p. 222 — 3, above. It has also been compared with the reprints of that series, 1578, 1607, 1614. It was probably written in 1554, from the allusion to the marriage of queen Mary.

    The initials ‘R. P.’ might possibly stand for ‘Robert Pownall,’ who was in exile, 1557, and was ordained by Abp. Grindal in 1560. Vide ‘Original Letters,’ p. 170, Parker Soc.; and Strype, Grindal, p. 59.] OMOST omnipotent, magnificent, and glorious God, and Father of all consolation, we here assembled do not presume to present and prostrate ourselves before thy mercy-seat in the respect of our own worthiness and righteousness, which is altogether polluted and defiled; but in the merits, righteousness, and worthiness of thy only Son Jesus Christ, whom thou hast given unto us as a most pure and precious garment to cover our pollution and filthiness withal, to the end we might appear holy and justified in thy sight through him. Wherefore in the obedience of thy commandments, and in the confidence of thy promises contained in thy holy word, that thou shalt accept and grant our prayers presented unto thee in the favor of thy only Son our Savior Jesu Christ, either for ourselves or for the necessity of thy saints and congregation, we here congregated together do with one mouth and mind most humbly beseech thee, not only to pardon and forgive us all our sins, negligences, ignorances, and iniquities, ‘which we from time to time incessantly do commit against thy divine Majesty, in word, deed, and thought,’ (such is the infirmity of our corrupted nature;) but also that it would please thee, O benign Father, to be favorable and merciful unto thy poor afflicted church and congregation, dispersed throughout the whole world, which in these days of iniquity are oppressed, injured, despised, persecuted, and afflicted for the testimony of thy word and for the obedience of thy laws.

    And namely, O Lord and Father, we humbly beseech thee to extend thy mercy and favorable countenance upon all those that are imprisoned or condemned for the cause of thy gospel, whom thou hast chosen forth, and made worthy to glorify thy name; that either it may please thee to give them such constancy as thou hast given to thy saints and martyrs in time past, willingly to shed their blood for the testimony of thy word; or else mightily deliver them from the tyranny of their enemies, as thou deliveredst the condemned Daniel from the lions, and the persecuted Peter out of prison, to the exaltation of thy glory, and the rejoicing of thy church.

    Furthermore, most beneficial Father, we humbly beseech thee to stretch forth thy mighty arm into the protection and defense of all those that are exiled for the testimony of thy verity; (and that because they would not bend their backs and incline their necks under the yoke of antichrist, and be polluted with the execrable idolatries and blasphemous superstitions of the ungodly;) that it would please thee not only to feed them in strange countries, but also to prepare a resting-place for them, as thou hast done from time to time for thine elect in all ages, where as they may unite themselves together in the sincere ministration of thy holy word and sacraments, to their singular edification. And in due time restore them home again to their land, to celebrate thy praises, promote thy gospel, and edify thy desolate congregation.

    Consequently, O Lord, thou that hast said that thou “wilt not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax,” be merciful, we beseech thee, unto all those that through fear and weakness have denied thee by dissimulation and hypocrisy; that it may please thee to strengthen their “weak knees,” thou that art the strength of them that stand, and “lift up their feeble hands,” that their little smoke may increase into a great flame, and their “bruised reed” into a mighty oak, able to abide all the blustering blasts and stormy tempests of adversity; to the end that the ungodly do no longer triumph over their faith, which, as they think, they have utterly quenched and subdued. “Stir up thy strength” in them, O Lord, and behold them with that merciful eye wherewith thou beheldest Peter, that they, rising by repentance, may become the constant confessors of thy word, and the sanctified members of thy church; to the end, that when as by thy providence thou purposest to lay thy cross upon them, they do no more seek unlawful means to avoid the same, but most willingly to be contented with patience to take it up, and “follow thee,” in what sort soever it shall please thee to lay the same upon their shoulders, either by death, imprisonment, or exile; and that it will please thee “not to tempt them above their powers,” but give them grace utterly to despair of their own strength, and wholly to depend upon thy mercy.

    On the other side, O Lord God, thou “righteous Judge,” “let not the ungodly,” the enemies of thy truth, continually “triumph over us,” as they do at this day; let not “thine heritage” “become a reproach” and common laughing-stock unto the impudent and wicked papists, who by all possible means seek the utter destruction of thy “little flock,” in shedding the blood of thy saints for the testimony of thy word, seeking by most devilish and damnable practices to subvert thy truth. Confound them, O God, and all their wicked counsels, and “in the same pit they have digged for other let them be taken,” that it may be universally known, that “there is no counsel nor force that can prevail against the Lord” our God. Break, O Lord, the horns of those bloody “bulls of Basan;” pull down those high mountains that elevate themselves against thee; and root up the rotten race of the ungodly, to the end that, they being consumed in the fire of thine indignation, thine exiled church may in their own land find place of habitation.

    O Lord, deliver our land, which thou hast given us for a portion to possess in this life, from the invasion and subduing of strangers. Truth it is, we cannot deny but that our sins hath justly deserved this great plague, now imminent and approaching, even to be given over into the hands and subjection of that proud and beastly nation that neither know thee nor fear thee, and to serve them in a bodily captivity that have refused to serve thee in a spiritual liberty. Yet, Lord, forasmuch as we are assuredly persuaded by thy holy word, that thine anger doth not last forever towards those that earnestly repent, but in the stead of vengeance dost show mercy; we most penitently beseech thee to remove this thy great indignation bent towards us; and give not over our land, our cities, towns and castles, our goods, possessions and riches, our wives, children, and our own lives, into the subjection of strangers: but rather, O Lord, expel them our land, subvert their counsels, dissipate their devices, and deliver us from their tyranny, as thou deliveredst Samaria from that cruel Ben-hadad, Jerusalem from that blasphemous Sennacherib, and Betulia from that proud Holophernes.

    Give us, O Lord, such princes and rulers, such magistrates and governors, as will advance thy glory, erect up thy gospel, suppress idolatry, banish all papistry, and execute justice and equity. Water again, O Lord, thy vine of England with the moisture of thy holy word, lest it utterly perish and wither away. Build up again the decayed walls of thy ruined Jerusalem, thy congregation in this land, lest the ungodly do attribute our confusion not unto our sins (as the truth is), but unto our profession in religion.

    Remember, O Lord, that we are a parcel of thy portion, “thy flock,” the inheritors of thy kingdom, “the sheep of thy pasture,” and the members of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Deal with us therefore “according to the multitude of thy mercies,” that all nations, kindreds, and tongues may celebrate thy praises in the restoring of thy ruined church to perfection again; for it is thy work, O Lord, and not man’s, and from thee do we with patience attend the same, and not from the fleshly arm of man. And therefore to thee only is due all dominion, power, and thanksgiving, now in our days and evermore. Amen.

    INSTITUTIO DIVINA ET VERE CONSOLATORIA CONTRA VIM MORTIS, JOANNE BRADFORD ANGLO AUTHORE, EX VERNACULA LINGUA IN LATINUM SERMONEM CONVERSA. [Vide p. 331 et seq. above.] QUUM Dei auxilio fretus, meipsum non minus consolaudi gratia quam alios excitandi causa, statuissem aliquid de Morte scribere, (cujus in limine quamvis diu versatus sim, nunquam tamen juxta aliorum judicium tam prope ejus foribus adstiti quam nunc;) maxime certe necessarium mihi et utile videbatur te, mi Jesu, invocare, tuumque implorare auxilium, qui moriendo mortem deglutisti, vitamque ac immortalitatem in ejus locum substituisti, sicut per evangelium constat. Tu me vera ac indubitata fide imbue, qua statim a morte homines in aeternam vitam transeunt; ut factis, non autem nuda speculatione, aliquid nunc scribam de morte (quae extra te et in se ipsa formidabilis admodum et truculenta videtur) ad gloriam tui nominis, et ad meam ipsius in te consolationem, et ad omnes alios instruendos, ad quos haec mea oratio vel legenda vel audienda venerit.


    Quatuor morris genera sunt, primum vero naturale est, aliud spirituale, tertium temporale, quartum aeternum. De primo vero ac ultimo, qualia sunt, non est quod dicam. Secundum veto et tertium non ita fortasse rudi plebeculae, quorum gratia haec scribo, sunt manifesta.

    Per spiritualem itaque mortem talem intelligo, qua factum est ut, corpore vivente intereat tamen anima; cujus mentionem facit apostolus, cum dicat “viduam, quae in deliciis versatur, viventem quidem mortuam esse.”

    Videtis ergo quid mihi volo per ‘spiritualem mortem.’

    Quod ad ‘temporale mortis genus’ attinet, istiusmodi sentio, quo corpus et animi passiones ira mortificantur ut vivat spiritus. Hujus mortis mentionem facit apostolus, exhortans nos ut “mortificemus membra nostra.” [The following is the conclusion of the MS.] Item saepe cogita de articulo, carnis scilicet resurrectione, certus hoc corpus “resurrecturum in ultimo die,” quando “Dominus ad judicandum veniet,” et incorruptibile, immortale, gloriosum, spirituale, purum, et lucidum futurum esse, “instar gloriosi corporis” Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi. Nam is est “primitiae mortuorum;” et ut Deus” omnia est in omnibus,” sic tibi erit “in Christo.” Contemplare ergo statum tuum; tu enim eris “ut is est:” nam “ut imaginem terreni Adam induisti, sic imaginem coelestis indues.” Glorificato igitur Deum cum animo tum corpore.

    Exspectes igitur “hunc diem Domini,” et para tibi supellectilem copiosam scripturarum in illum diem, quam ego temporis angustia pressus omitto.

    Postremo obversetur tibi saepissime ‘vita aeterna,’ ad quam jam appulisti paene. Mors enim porta est quae transportat nos in illam terram, ubi affatim sunt omnia quae optes, imo omnia preciosissima longe antecellunt, siquidem illum “Deum videbimus facie ad faciem;” quod jam nulla ratione fieri potest, sed potius obvelandae sunt facies nostrum cum Moyse et Helia, donec “vultus” et anteriores partes Domini “praeterierunt.” Nunc “posteriora” illius contemplanda sunt, ut illum in verbo suo, in creaturis, et in facie Mediatoris nostri Jesu Christi intueamur: ast tum ipsum “vultum ejus contemplabimur,” et “cognoscemus ut cogniti sumus.”

    De his ergo saepissime cogitemus, ut fidem habeamus, ut volentes ac cupidi ad felicem mortis portum appellamus: quam exoptandam videtis, et non reformidandam omnibus, praesertim suis qui “in Christo” sunt, id est, his qui indubitate credunt; qui sic discernuntur ab his qui ore tantum se credere dicunt, si de die in diem moriantur, id est, si totis viribus enituntur corpus crucifigere, et per Spiritum Dei carnis concupiscentias mortificare; non quidem ut illis prorsus destituantur, sed “ne regnet in illis, id est, in mortali hoc corpore,” ut hoc pacto carnis et corporis illecebris inserviant, (cujus “servi” non sunt,) sed Deo potius ad justitiam, cujus servi sumus omnes, quandoquidem “nunc sub gratia sumus, et non sub lege;” ob quam quidem causam promisit Dominns “peccatum non regnaturum in nobis:” quod propter nominis sui gloriam, veritatem, potentiam, et misericordiam, in nobis perpetuo praestet et confirmet. Amen.

    A PREFACE BY BISHOP IRONSIDE, WHEN VICE-CHANCELLOR OF OXFORD, 1688. [This Preface accompanies a publication which has the following title: ‘An account of a disputation at Oxford, anno Dom. 1554; with a Treatise of the blessed sacrament; both written by Bishop Ridley, martyr. To which is added a letter written by Mr. John Bradford, never before printed. All taken out of an original manuscript. OXFORD, Printed at the Theatre, anno Dom. 1688.’

    This publication is not referred to in the ‘Catalogue of all the discourses published against Popery during the reign of James II. [228 in number] by members of the church of England... London, 1689.’

    Bishop Ironside, writer of this Preface, had been elected Warden of Wadham college, Oxford, 1665, and was Vice-Chancellor of that university, 1687 and 1688. He became Bishop of Bristol, 1689, and of Hereford, 1691; and died 1701, aged 69. — Wood, Athenae, Oxon. Bliss. 4:896 — 7. Godwin. De praesul. Angl. p. 497, ed.

    Richardson, Cantab. 1743.] There is no good Protestant but will be glad to meet with any relic, though never so small, (a finger or a tooth, if I may so speak,) of our blessed martyrs, especially such eminent ones as Bishop Ridley and Mr. Bradford: I mean, any of their writings that never yet were printed cannot but find a very hearty welcome amongst them; and such is a good part of what is now published.

    Bishop Ridley’s Treatise indeed hath been printed long since, and is in our libraries, and hath been again lately reprinted: but any account of the Disputation with him at Oxford, in Latin, I have not met with but in this manuscript; neither is the letter of Mr. Bradford’s, now published, in Foxe’s History.

    However there is no impartial reader will have reason to suspect either of them to be spurious: they are of the same spirit and temper, which we find from our histories to have animated and governed these great men: and what is now printed, I do assure the reader, is exactly according to the manuscripts I found in my father’s study presently upon his death, 1671.

    Our adversaries boast, the relics of their saints work miracles; (indeed as they have been, and, which is more, are still managed, they are full of wonders:) I hope these of ours will do some good, partly by showing the world how consonant the church of England is, and always hath been, to her principles, particularly in that concerning the presence in the eucharist; (in managing of which she always walked after the scripture phrase with great fear and reverence, and expressed herself in the interpretation with so much nicety and caution, as to have given occasion perhaps to have been misunderstood by some weak, or to be artificially misrepresented by some evil men, to I know not what purposes;) partly by setting before us examples, not only of suffering, if it be the will of God, but also of all good and dutiful behavior towards our superiors with meekness and fear; for whom we do and will always implore the throne of grace to support their authority over us, let the scepter held out be what it will.

    For these reasons I am content this manuscript be printed. GILB. IRONSIDE, VICE-CHAN.

    Wadham Coll.

    Oxford, Aug. the 10th, 88.


    ACTA die lunae vicesimo octavo die Januarii, anno Domini juxta computationem ecclesiae Anglicanae millesimo quingentesimo quinquagesimo quarto, in ecclesia parochiali Sancti Salvatoris, nuncupata Saynte Mary Overey, in burgo de Southwark.


    EISDEM die, hora, et loco productus fuit coram Domino Johannes Bradford, laicus, etc. Cui post exhortationem per Dominum factam, ut se reconciliaret et ad unitatem sanctae ecclesiae et catholicae fidei rediret, dictus Dominus Episcopus, quia videbat eundem Bradford pertinaciter in sententia persistentem, objecit articulum sequentem; videlicet, quod ipse Johannes Bradford, tam intra diocesim suam Wintoniae, quam aliis quamplurimis locis hujus regni, asseruit, dixit, praedicavit, et publicavit, et defendebat, sicque in praesenti asserit, dicit, credit, et defendit, quod in eucharistia sive altaris sacramento verum et naturale Christi corpus, ac verus et naturalis Christi sanguis, sub speciebus panis et vini vere non est; et quod ibi est materialis panis et materiale vinum tantum, absque veritate et praesentia corporis et sanguinis Christi. Cui articulo ipse Bradford respondendo dixit, That Christ is present in the sacrament when the sacrament is duly ministered; and that Christ is present in the sacrament by faith, to faith, and in faith, and none otherwise; and saith that Christ is not in the sacrament by transubstantiation; and saith that simply he believeth no transubstantiation; also that it is not the body of Christ but to him that receiveth it; and that an evil man doth not receive it in forma panis; and that after and before the receipt there is the substance of bread.

    Cui dictis perversis assertionibus inhaerenti Dominus assignavit ad comparendum crastina die in hoc loco inter horas 8 et 10 ante meridiem, ad videndum ulteriorem processum fieri. 30 Januarii.

    Eisdem die et loco comparuit personaliter dictus Johannes Bradford. Qui licet fuerit per Dominum Episcopum multis argumentis et rationibus suasus et exhortatus ut se reconciliaret et rediret ad ecclesiae catholicae unitatem, Episcopo tamen pertinaci ac indurato animo persistat, nec valuit ullis rationibus flecti aut persuaderi. Et ideo Dominus Episcopus visa ejus pertinaci induritia tulit etiam contra eum condemnationis sententiam definitivam, pronuntiando eum [pro] obstinato haeretico et excommunicato; et insequenter tradidit eum seculari manui, videlicet, dictis Vicecomitibus, etc. praesentibus de quibus in prioribus hujus diei actis habetur mentio.


    IN DEI NOMINE,AMEN. Nos Stephanus, permissione divina Wintoniensis Episcopus, judicialiter et pro tribunali sedentes; in quodam haereticae pravitatis negotio contra te Johannem Bradford laicum, coram nobis in judicio personaliter comparentem, et nobis super haeretica pravitate detectum, denunciatum, et delatum, ac in ea parte apud bonos et graves notorie et publice diffamatum, rite et legitime procedentes; auditis, visis, intellectis, rimaris, et matura deliberatione discussis et ponderatis dicti negotii meritis et circumstantiis; servatisque in omnibus et per omnia in eodem negotio de jure servandis, ac quomodo libet requisitis, Christi nomine invocato, ac ipsum solum Deum prae oculis nostris habentes: quia per acta inactitata, deducta, probata, confessata, et per te saepius coram nobis in eodem negotio recognita, asserta, et confirmata, comperimus et invenimus te, tum per confessiones tuas varias, tum per recognitiones tuas judiciales coram nobis judicialiter factas, errores, haereses, et falsas opiniones subscriptas, juri divino ac catholicae, universalis, et apostolicae ecclesiae determinationi obviantes, contrarias, et repugnantes, tenuisse, credidisse, affirmasse, praedicasse, et dogmatizasse, videlicet, that Christ is in the sacrament of the altar by and to faith, and none otherwise; also that in the sacrament of the altar is not the body of Christ, except it be taken, received, and eaten; also that transubstantiation is nothing: quos quidem errores, haereses, et falsas opiniones, juri divino ac catholicae, universalis, et apostolicae ecclesiae determinationi obviantes, contrarias, et repugnantes, coram nobis tam in judicio quam extra, animo obstinato, pertinaci, et indurato, arroganter, pertinaciter, scienter, et obstinate, asseruisti, tenuisti, affirmasti, dixisti, pariter et defendisti, atque te sic credere, asserere, tenere, affirmare, et dicere velle paribus obstinatia, malitia, et cordis caecitate, etiam prudens et sciens affirmasti: Idcirco nos Stephanus, Wintoniensis Episcopus, ordinarius et diocesanus antedictus, tam de venerabilium confratrum nostrorum Episcoporum praesentium et nobis assidentium consensu et assensu expressis, quam etiam de et cum consilio et judicio jurisperitorum et sacrarum literarum professorum, cum quibus communicavimus in hac parte, TE Johannem Bradford de meritis, culpis, obstinatiis et contumaciis, per improbas et sceleratas tuas obstinatias et pertinacias multipliciter contractis, incursis, et aggravatis in detestabili, horrendo, et impio haereticae pravitatis reatu et execrabili dogmate comprehensum fuisse et esse, atque hujusmodi scelerata et impia dogmata coram nobis saepe dixisse, asseruisse, atque scienter, voluntarie, et pertinaciter defendisse, et manutenuisse per varias tuas confessiones, assertiones, et recognitiones tuas judiciales, saepe coram nobis repetitas ita asseruisse, affirmasse, et credidisse, declaramus et pronuntiamus, teque in hac parte rite et legitime confessum fuisse et esse decernimus. Ideoque to Johannem Bradford antedictum, hujusmodi tuos errores, haereses, ac impias et damnatas opiniones refutare, retractare, recantare, et abjurare in forma ecclesiae approbata nolentem, sed obstinate et pertinaciter dictis tuis sceleratis haeresibus et execratis opinionibus inhaerentem, et ad unitatem sacrosanctae ecclesiae redire nolentem, praemissorum occasione, causa, et praetextu, haereticum obstinatum et pertinacem fuisse et esse cum animi dolore et cordis amaritudine etiam declaramus, pronuntiamus, et decernimus. Teque tanquam haereticum obstinatum et pertinacem exnunc judicio sive curiae seculari, ut membrum putridum, a corpore sacrosanctae ecclesiae resecatum, ad omnem juris effectum exinde sequi valentem, relinquendum et tradendum fore decernimus et declaramus, atque de facto relinquimus et tradimus, teque Johannem Bradford, haereticum obstinatum et pertinacem hujusmodi, majoris excommunicationis sententia praemissorum occasione innodatum et involutum, eaque ligatum fuisse et esse, sententialiter et diffinitive declaramus per hanc nostram sententiam finalem, quam in et contra to dolenter ferimus et promulgamus in his scriptis.

    Lecta, lata, et promulgata fuit haec sententia in Ecclesia parochiali Beatae Mariae Overy, alias nuncupata Sancti Salvatoris, in Burgo de Sowthwark, Wintoniae Diocesi, die Mercurii, tricesimo die Januarii, Anno Domini juxta cursum ecclesiae Anglorum, 1554, praesentibus testibus de quibus in actis illius diei fit mentio.


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