197. THE HISTORY OF ROBERT BARNES, THOMAS GARRET, AND WILLIAM JEROME, DIVINES.
Like as in foreign battles the chief point of victory consisteth in the safety of the general or captain, even so when the valiant standard-bearer and stay of the church of England, Thomas Cromwell I mean, was made away, pity it is to behold what miserable slaughter of good men and good women ensued thereupon, whereof we have now (Christ willing) to entreat. For Winchester, having now gotten his full purpose, and free swing to exercise his cruelty, wonder it was to see that Calydonian wild boar, or, as the Scripture speaketh, that extraordinary wild beast, what troubles he raised in the Lord's vineyard. And lest, by delays, he might lose the occasion presently offered, he straightways made his first assaults upon Robert Barnes, Thomas Garret, and William Jerome, whom, in the very same month, within two days after Cromwell's death, he caused to be put to execution; whose histories severally to comprehend, first of all we will somewhat speak of Barnes, doctor of divinity, whose particular story here followeth.
This Barnes, after he came from the university of Louvain, went to Cambridge, where he was made prior and master of the house of the Augustines. At that time the knowledge of good letters was scarcely entered into the university, all things being full of rudeness and barbarity, saving in very few, which were privy and secret: whereupon Barnes, having some feeling of better learning and authors, began in his house to read Terence, Plautus, and Cicero; so that what with his industry, pains, and labour, and with the help of Thomas Parnell, his scholar, whom he brought from Louvain with him, reading copia verborum et rerum, he caused the house shortly to flourish with good letters, and made a great part of the house learned, (who before were drowned in barbarous rudeness,) as Master Cambridge, Master Field, Master Coleman, Master Burley, Master Coverdale, with divers others of the university, that sojourned there for learning's sake. After these foundations laid, then did he read openly in the house Paul's Epistles, and put by Duns and Dorbel; and yet he was a questionary himself: and only because he would have Christ there taught, and his holy word, he turned their unsavoury problems and fruitless disputations to other better matter of the Holy Scripture; and thereby, in short space, he made divers good divines. The same order of disputation which he kept in his house, he observed likewise in the university abroad, when he should dispute with any man in the common schools. And the first man that answered Dr. Barnes in the Scriptures, was Master Stafford, for his form to be bachelor of divinity, which disputation was marvellous in the sight of the great blind doctors, and joyful to the godly-spirited.
Thus Barnes, what with his reading, disputation, and preaching, became famous and mighty in the Scriptures, preaching ever against bishops and hypocrites; and yet did not see his inward and outward idolatry, which he both taught and maintained, till that good Master Bilney with others (as is aforesaid, in the life of Master Bilney) converted him wholly unto Christ.
The first sermon that ever he preached of this truth, was the Sunday before Christmas day, at St. Edward's church, belonging to Trinity Hall in Cambridge, by the Peas Market, whose theme was the epistle of the same Sunday, Rejoice in the Lord; and so postilled the whole epistle, following the Scripture and Luther's Postil: and for that sermon he was immediately accused of heresy by two fellows of the King's Hall. Then the godly learned in Christ both of Pembroke Hall, St. John's, Peter House, Queen's College, the King's College, Gunwell Hall, and Benet College, showed themselves, and flocked together in open sight, both in the schools, and at open sermons at St. Mary's, and at the Augustines, and at other disputations; and then they conferred continually together.
The house that they resorted most commonly unto, was the White Horse, which, for despite of them, to bring God's word into contempt, was called Germany. This house especially was chosen because many of them of St. John's, the King's College, and the Queen's College, came in on the back side. At this time much trouble began to ensue. The adversaries of Dr. Barnes accused him, in the Regent House, before the vice-chancellor, where his articles were presented with him and received, he promising to make answer at the next convocation and so it was done. Then Dr. Nottoris, a rank enemy to Christ, moved Dr. Barnes to recant; but he refused so to do: which appeareth in his book that he made to King Henry the Eighth in English, confuting the judgment of Cardinal Wolsey, and the residue of the bishops papistical, and so, for the time, Barnes stood stedfast. And this tragedy continued in Cambridge, one preaching against another, in trying out of God's truth, until within six days of Shrovetide. Then, suddenly, was sent down to Cambridge a serjeant-at-arms, called Master Gibson, dwelling in St. Thomas Apostle's in London, who suddenly arrested Dr. Barnes openly in the convocation-house, to make all others afraid; and privily they had determined to make search for Luther's books, and all the Germans' works suddenly.
But good Dr. Farman, of the Queen's College, sent word incontinently thereof, to the chambers of those that were suspected, who were in number thirty persons. But, God be praised! they were conveyed away by that time that the serjeant-at-arms, the vice-chancellor, and the proctors, were at every man's chamber, going directly to the place where the books lay (whereby it was perceived that there were some privy spies amongst that small company); and that night they studied together, and give him his answer, which answer he carried with him to London the next morning, which was the Tuesday before Shrove Sunday, and came on the Wednesday to London, and lay at Master Parnell's house by the stocks.
In the morning he was carried by the serjeant-at-arms to Cardinal Wolsey, to Westminster, waiting there all day, and could not speak with him till night. Then, by reason of Dr. Gardiner, secretary to the cardinal, (of whose familiar acquaintance he had been before,) and Master Foxe, master of the Wards, he spake the same night with the cardinal in his chamber of estate, kneeling on his knees. Then said the cardinal to them, "Is this Dr. Barnes, your man that is accused of heresy?" "Yea, and please your Grace; and we trust you shall find him reformable, for he is both well learned and wise." "What! Master Doctor," said the cardinal; "had you not a sufficient scope in the Scriptures to teach the people, but that my golden shoes, my pole-axes, my pillars, my golden cushions, my crosses, did so sore offend you, that you must make us ridiculum caput amongst the people? We were jollily that day laughed to scorn. Verily it was a sermon more fit to be preached on a stage, than in a pulpit; for at the last you said, I wear a pair of red gloves, (I should say bloody gloves, quoth you,) that I should not be cold in the midst of my ceremonies." And Barnes answered, "I spake nothing but the truth out of the Scriptures, according to my conscience, and according to the old doctors."
And then did Barnes deliver him six sheets of paper written, to confirm and corroborate his sayings. The cardinal received them smiling on him, and saying, "We perceive then that you intend to stand to your articles, and to show your learning." "Yea," said Barnes, "that I do intend, by God's grace, with your Lordship's favour."
The cardinal answered, "Such as you are do bear us and the catholic church little favour. I will ask you a question: Whether do you think it more necessary that I should have all this royalty, because I represent the king's Majesty's person in all the high courts of this realm, to the terror and keeping down of all rebellious treasons, traitors, all the wicked and corrupt members of this commonwealth; or to be as simple as you would have us? to sell all these aforesaid things, and to give it to the poor, who shortly will cast it against the walls? and to pull away this majesty of a princely dignity, which is a terror to all the wicked, and to follow your counsel in this behalf?" He answered, "I think it necessary to be sold and given to the poor. For this is not comely for your calling, nor is the king's Majesty maintained by your pomp and poleaxes; but by God who saith, "Kings and their majesties reign and stand by me."
Then answered he, "Lo, Master Doctors! here is the learned wise man, that you told me of." Then they kneeled do and said, "We desire your Grace to be good unto him, for he will be reformable."
Then said be, "Stand you up! for your sakes, and the university, we will be good unto him.
How say you, Master Doctor; do you not know that I am Legatus de latere, and that I am able to dispense in all matters concerning religion within this realm, as much as the pope may? "He said, "I know it to be so."
"Will you then be ruled by us, and we will do all things for your honesty, and for the honesty of the university." He answered, "I thank your Grace for your good will; I will stick to the Holy Scripture, and to God's book, according to the simple talent that God hath lent me." "Well," said he, "thou shalt have thy learning tried to the uttermost, and thou shalt have the law."
Then Dr. Barnes required him that he might have justice with equity; and forthwith he should have gone to the Tower, but that Gardiner and Foxe became his sureties that night: and so he came home to Master Parnell's house again, and that night fell to writing again and slept not; Master Coverdale, Master Goodwin, and Master Field, being his writers. And in the morning he came to York Place, to Gardiner and Foxe, and by and by he was committed to the serjeant-at-arms, to bring him into the chapter-house at Westminster, before the bishops, and the abbot of Westminster, called Islip.
The same time when Dr. Barnes should appear before the cardinal, there were five Still-yard men to be examined for Luther's books and Lollardy; but, after they spied Barnes, they set the others aside, and asked the serjeant-at-arms what was his errand. He said, he had brought one Dr. Barnes to be examined of heresy: and presented both his articles and his accusers. Then immediately, after a little talk, they sware him, and laid his articles to him; who, like as he answered the cardinal before, so said he unto them. And then he offered the book of his probations unto them; who asked him whether he had another for himself, and he said, "Yea," showing it unto them: who then took it from him, and said they would have no leisure to dispute with him at that present, for other affairs of the king's Majesty, which they had to do; and therefore bade him stand aside. Then they called the Still-yard men again, one by one, and when they were examined, they called forth the Master of the Fleet, and they were committed all to the Fleet. Then they called Dr. Barnes again, and asked him whether he would subscribe to his articles or no; and he subscribed willingly: and then they committed him, and young Master Parnell, to the Fleet also, with the others. There they remained till Saturday in the morning, and the warden of the Fleet was commanded that no man should speak with him.
On the Saturday he came again before them into the chapter-house, and there, with the Still-yard men, remained till five o'clock at night; and after long disputations, threatenings, and scornings, about five o'clock at night they called him, to know whether he would abjure or burn. He was then in a great agony, and thought rather to burn than to abjure. But then was he sent again to have the counsel of Gardiner and Foxe, and they persuaded him rather to abjure than to burn, because (they said) he should do more in time to come; and with divers other persuasions, that were mighty in the sight of reason and foolish flesh. Upon that, kneeling upon his knees, he consented to abjure, and the abjuration put in his hand, he abjured as it was there written, and then he subscribed with his own hand; and yet they would scarcely receive him into the bosom of the church, as they termed it. Then they put him to an oath, and charged him to execute, do, and fulfil, all that they commanded him: and he promised so to do.
Then they commanded the warden of the Fleet to carry him and his fellows to the place from whence he came, and to be kept in close prison, and in the morning to provide five faggots, for Dr. Barnes and the four Still-yard men. The fifth Still-yard man was commanded to have a taper of five pounds weight to be provided for him, to offer to the rood of Northen, in Paul's; and all these things to be ready by eight o'clock in the morning; and that he, with all that he could make, with bills and glaves, and the knight-marshal, with all his tipstaves that he could make, should bring them to Paul's, and conduct them home again. In the morning they were all ready, by their hour appointed, in Paul's church, the church being so full that no man could get in. The cardinal had a scaffold made on the top of the stairs for himself, with six-and-thirty abbots, mitred priors, and bishops, and he, in his whole pomp, mitred, (which Barnes spake against,) sat there enthronised, his chaplains and spiritual doctors in gowns of damask and satin, and he himself in purple; even like a bloody antichrist. And there was a new pulpit erected on the top of the stairs also, for the bishop of Rochester to preach against Luther and Dr. Barnes; and great baskets full of books standing before them, within the rails, which were commanded, after the great fire was made before the rood of Northen, there to be burned; and these heretics, after the sermon, to go thrice about the fire, and to cast in their faggots. Now, while the sermon was a doing, Dr. Barnes and the Still-yard men were commanded to kneel down, and ask forgiveness of God, of the catholic church and of the cardinal's Grace: and, after that, he was commanded, at the end of the sermon, to declare, that he was more charitably handled than he deserved, or was worthy; his heresies were so horrible and so detestable. And once again he kneeled down on his knees, desiring of the people forgiveness and to pray for him. And so the cardinal departed under a canopy, with all his mitred men with him, till he came to the second gate of Paul's; and then he took his mule, and the mitred men came back again. Then these poor men, being commanded to come down from the stage, (whereon the sweepers use to stand when they sweep the church,) the bishops sat them down again, and commanded the knight-marshal and the warden of the Fleet, with their company, to carry them about the fire. And so were they brought to the bishops, and there, for absolution, kneeled down; where Rochester stood up and declared unto the people, how many days of pardon and forgiveness of sins they had, for being at that sermon; and there did he assoil Dr. Barnes with the others, and showed the people that they were received into the church again.
This done, the warden of the Fleet, and the knight-marshal, were commanded to have them to the Fleet again, and charged that they should have the liberty of the Fleet, as other prisoners had, and that their friends might resort unto them; and there to remain till the lord cardinal's pleasure was known.
After Barnes there, in the Fleet, had continued the space of half a year, at length being delivered, was committed to be free prisoner at the Austin Friars in London. When those caterpillars and bloody beasts had there undermined him, they complained again to their lord cardinal; whereupon he was removed to the Austin Friars of Northampton, there to be burned. Yet he himself understanding nothing thereof, but supposing still that he should there remain, and continue in free prison; at last one Master Horne, who had brought him up, and was his special friend, having intelligence of the writ which should shortly be sent down to burn him, gave him counsel to feign himself to be desperate; and that he should write a letter to the cardinal, and leave it on his table where he lay, and a paper by, to declare whither he was gone to drown himself; and to leave his clothes in the same place; and another letter to be left there, to the mayor of the town, to search for him in the water, because he had a letter written in parchment about his neck, closed in wax, for the cardinal, which should teach all men to beware by him.
Upon this, they were seven days in searching for him, but he was conveyed to London in a poor man's apparel; and so tarried not there, but took shipping, and went by long seas to Antwerp, and so to Luther; and there fell to study till he had made an answer to all the bishops of the realm, and had made a book entitled, Acta Romanorum Pontificum, and another book with a supplication to King Henry. Immediately it was told the cardinal, that he was drowned, and he said, Perit memoria ejus cum sonitu; but this did light upon himself shortly after, who wretchedly died at Leicester.
In the mean season Dr. Barnes was made strong in Christ, and got favour both with the learned in Christ, and with foreign princes in Germany, and was great with Luther, Melancthon, Pomeran, Justus Jonas, Hegendorphinus, and Ępinus, and with the duke of Saxony, and with the king of Denmark; which king of Denmark, in the time of More and Stokesley, sent him, with the Lubecks, as an ambassador to King Henry the Eighth. He lay with the Lubecks' chancellor, at the Still-yard.
Sir Thomas More, then chancellor, would fain have entrapped him, but the king would not let him, for Cromwell was his great friend. And ere he went, the Lubecks and he disputed with the bishops of this realm in defence of the truth; and so he departed again, without restraint, with the Lubecks. After his going again to Wittenberg, to the duke of Saxony, and to Luther, he remained there, to set forward his works in print that he had begun; from whence he returned again in the beginning of the reign of Queen Anne, as others did, and continued a faithful preacher in this city, being all her time well entertained and promoted. After that, he was sent ambassador by King Henry the Eighth to the duke of Cleves, for the marriage of the Lady Anne of Cleves, between the king and her, and well accepted in the ambassade, and in all his doings, until the time that Stephen Gardiner came out of France: but, after he came, neither religion prospered, nor the queen's Majesty, nor Cromwell, nor the preachers; who, after the marriage of the Lady Anne of Cleves, never ceased until he had grafted the marriage on another stock, by the occasion whereof he began his bloody broil.
For not long after, Dr. Barnes, with his brethren, were apprehended and carried before the king's Majesty to Hampton Court, and there he was examined; where the king's Majesty, seeking the means of his safety, to bring Winchester and him agreed, at Winchester's request granted him leave to go home with the bishop, to confer with him: and so he did. But, as it happened, they not agreeing, Gardiner and his co-partners sought, by all subtle means, how to entangle and to entrap them in further danger, which not long after was brought to pass; for, by certain complaints made to the king of them, they were enjoined to preach three sermons the next Easter following, at the Spittal;at the which sermons, besides other reporters which were thither sent, Stephen Gardiner also was there present, sitting with the mayor, either to bear record of their recantation, or else, as the Pharisees came to Christ, to trip them in their talk, if the had spoken any thing awry. When these three had thus preached their sermons, among whom Barnes preaching the first sermon, and seeing Stephen Gardiner there present, humbly desired him, in the face of all the audience, if he forgave him, to hold up his hand; and the said Gardiner thereupon held up his finger. Yet notwithstanding, shortly after, by means of the said reporters, they were sent for to Hampton Court; who from thence were carried to the Tower, by Sir John Gostwike. From thence they never came out till they came to their death, as, Christ willing, shall more hereafter appear.
Then the protestants went again beyond the seas; the priests were divorced from their wives; certain bishops were deposed from their bishoprics; and other good men denied Christ and bare faggots at Paul's Cross. Then immediately, without judgment, they were put to death, as it is manifest; but the death was in such form, that a papist and a protestant were laid upon one hurdle, to be drawn to Smithfield. This was Winchester's device, to colour his own tyranny, and to make the people doubtful what faith they should trust to.
At his death, Dr. Barnes gave great commendations to the king's Majesty, that he should fear God, and maintain religion, and keep marriage undefiled most honourably; and then declared his faith and his articles. Then they prayed together, and Barnes said to Master Priest, being sheriff, "Know ye wherefore I die, seeing I was never examined nor called to any judgment?" He answered, He knew nothing, but thus we are commanded. Then he took Master Sheriff by the hand, and said, "Bear me witness, and my brother, that we die christianly and charitably; and I pray you and all the people to pray for us: and if the dead may pray for the quick, we will pray for you." And so he, and the rest, forgave their enemies, and kissed one another, and stood hand in hand at the stake, praying continually until the fire came: and so rested in Christ Jesus.
And thus, hitherto, concerning the history of Barnes. Now let us, likewise, consider the story and doings of Thomas Garret.
"About the year of our Lord 1526, Master Garret, curate in Honey Lane, in London, came unto Oxford, and brought with him sundry books in Latin, treating of the Scripture, with the first part of Unio Dissidentium, and Tyndale's first translation of the New Testament in English; which books he sold to divers scholars in Oxford, whose names, for his accountable memory, belike, he wrote in a small book of accounts.
"After he had been there awhile, and had despatched those books, news came from London that he was searched for through all London, to be apprehended and taken as a heretic, and to be imprisoned for selling of those heretical books, (as they termed them,) because they spake against the usurped authority and erroneous doctrine of the bishop of Rome, and his no less impure and filthy synagogue. For it was not unknown to Cardinal Wolsey, and to the bishop of London, and to others of that ungodly generation, that Master Garret had a great number of those heretical books, as the world then accounted them; and that he was gone to Oxford, to make sale of them there, to such as he knew to be the lovers of the gospel. Wherefore they determined to make forthwith a privy search through all Oxford, to apprehend and imprison him, and to burn all and every his aforesaid books, and him too if they could: so burning hot was the charity of these holy fathers. But yet at that time, one of the aforesaid proctors, called Master Cole, of Magdalene College, who afterwards was cross-bearer unto Cardinal Wolsey, was well acquainted with Master Garret; and, therefore, he gave secret warning unto a friend or two of Master Garret's, of this privy search; and willed, therefore, that he should forthwith, as secretly as he could, depart out of Oxford: for if he were taken in the same search, no remedy but he should be forthwith sent up unto the cardinal, and so he should be committed unto the Tower.
"The Christmas before that time, I, Anthony Dalaber, then scholar of Alban's Hall, who had books of Master Garret, had been in my country in Dorsetshire, at Stalbridge, where I had a brother parson of that parish, who was very desirous to have a curate out of Oxford, and willed me, in any wise, to get him one there, if I could. This just occasion offered, it was thought good among the brethren, (for so did we not only call one another, but were indeed one to another,) that Master Garret, changing his name, should be sent forth with my letters into Dorsetshire to my brother, to serve him there for a time, until he might secretly convey himself from thence some whither over the sea. According hereunto I wrote my letters in all haste possible unto my brother, for Master Garret to be his curate, but not declaring what he was indeed; for my brother was a rank papist, and afterwards was the most mortal enemy that ever I had, for the gospel's sake.
"So the Wednesday, in the morning, before Shrovetide, Master Garret departed out of Oxford towards Dorsetshire, with my letters for his new service. How far he went, and by what occasion he so soon returned, I know not. But, the Friday next, in the night time, he came again to Radley's house, where he lay before, and so, after midnight, in the privy search which was then made for him, he was apprehended and taken there in his bed by the two proctors; and, on the Saturday, in the morning, was delivered unto one Dr. Cottisford, master of Lincoln College, then being commissary of the university, who kept him as prisoner in his own chamber. There was great joy and rejoicing among all the papists for his apprehension, and especially with Dr. London, warden of the New College, and Dr. Higdon, dean of Frideswide's, two arch-papists, who immediately sent their letters, in post-haste, unto the cardinal, to inform him of the apprehension of this notable heretic; for the which their doing, they were well assured to have great thanks. But of all this sudden hurly-burly was I utterly ignorant, so that I knew neither of Master Garret's so sudden return, neither that he was so taken; for after I had sent him out of Oxford with my letters, as before is said, the same week having taken a chamber in Gloucester College, for the purpose of studying the civil law, because the scholars in Alban's Hall were all sophisters, I removed all such poor stuff as I had, from thence unto Gloucester College; and there was I much busied in setting up in order, my bed, my books, and such things else as I had, so that I had no leisure to go forth any where those two days, Friday and Saturday. And having set up all my things handsomely in order the same day before noon, I determined to spend that whole afternoon, until even-song time, at Frideswide College, at my book in mine own study; and so shut my chamber door unto me, and my study door also, and took into my hand to read Francis Lambert, upon the Gospel of St. Luke, which book only I had then within there; all my other books written on the Scripture, of which I had a great number, as of Erasmus, of Luther, of colampadius, &c., I had yet left in my chamber at Alban's Hall, where I had made a very secret place to keep them safe in, because it was so dangerous to have any such books. And so, as I was diligently reading in the said book of Lambert upon Luke, suddenly one knocked at my chamber door very hard, which made me astonished, and yet I sat still, and would not speak; then he knocked again more hard, and yet I held my peace; and straightway he knocked yet again more fiercely, and then I thought this: peradventure it is somebody that hath need of me; and therefore I thought myself bound to do as I would be done unto: and so, laying my book aside, I came to the door, and opened it, and there was Master Garret as a man amazed, (whom I thought then to have been with my brother,) and one with him.
"As soon as he saw me, he said he was undone, for he was taken. Thus he spake unadvisedly, in the presence of a young man that came with him. When the young man was departed, I asked him what he was, and what acquaintance he had with him. He said, he knew him not; but he had been to seek a monk of his acquaintance in that college, who was not in his chamber; and thereupon desired his servant (not knowing my chamber, for that I was newly removed thither) to bring him to me; and so forth declared how he was returned and taken that night in the privy search, as ye have heard; and that now, when the commissary and all his company were gone to even-song, and had locked him alone in his chamber, he, hearing nobody stirring in the college, put back the bar of the lock with his finger, and so came straight unto Gloucester College, to speak with that monk, if he had been within, who had also bought books of him.
"Then said I unto him, 'Alas, Master Garret! by this your uncircumspect coming unto me, and speaking so before this young man, you have disclosed yourself, and utterly undone me.' I asked him, why he went not unto my brother, with my letters accordingly. He said, after that he was gone a day's journey and a half, he was so fearful, that his heart would no other but that he must needs return again unto Oxford; and so he came again on Friday at night, and then was taken as ye heard before: But now, with deep sighs and plenty of tears, he prayed me to help to convey him away; and so he cast off his hood and his gown, wherein he came unto me, and desired me to give him a coat with sleeves, if I had any; and told me that he would go into Wales, and thence convey himself into Germany, if he might. Then I put on him a sleeved coat of mine. He would also have had another manner of cap of me, but I had none but priest-like, such as his own was.
"Then kneeled we both down together upon our knees, and lifting up our hearts and hands to God, our heavenly Father, desired him, with plenty of tears, so to conduct and prosper him in his journey, that he might well escape the danger of all his enemies, to the glory of his holy name, if his good pleasure and will were. And then we embraced, and kissed the one the other, the tears so abundantly flowing out from both our eyes, that we all be-wet both our faces, and scarcely for sorrow could we speak one to another: and so he departed from me, appareled in my coat, being committed unto the tuition of our almighty and merciful Father.
"When he was gone down the stairs from my chamber, I straightways did shut my chamber door, and went into my study, and taking the New Testament in my hands, kneeled down on my knees, and with many a deep sigh and salt tear, I did, with much deliberation, read over the tenth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel; and when I had so done, with fervent prayer I did commit unto God that our dearly beloved brother Garret, earnestly beseeching him, in and for Jesus Christ's sake, his only begotten Son our Lord, that he would vouchsafe not only safely to conduct and keep our said dear brother from the hands of all his enemies; but also, that he would endue his tender and lately born little flock in Oxford with heavenly strength, by his Holy Spirit, that they might be well able thereby valiantly to withstand, to his glory, all their fierce enemies; and also might quietly, to their own salvation, with all godly patience bear Christ's heavy cross, which I now saw was presently to be laid on their young and weak backs, unable to bear so huge a burden, without the great help of his Holy Spirit.
"This done, I laid aside my book safe, folded up Master Garret's gown and hood, and laid them in my press among mine apparel; and so, having put on my short gown, shut up my study and chamber doors, and went toward Frideswide's to speak with that worthy martyr of God, Master Clark, and others, and to declare unto them what had happened that afternoon. But of purpose I went by St. Mary's church, to go first unto Corpus Christi College, to speak with Diet and Udal, my faithful brethren and fellows in the Lord there. But by chance I met by the way with a brother of ours, one Master Eden, fellow of Magdalene College, who, as soon as he saw me, came with a pitiful countenance unto me, saying, that we were all undone, for Master Garret was returned again to Oxford, taken the last night in the privy search, and was in prison with the commissary. I said, it was not so. He said, it was so. I told him, it could not be so, for I was sure he was gone. He answered me and said, 'I know he was gone with your letters, but he came again yesterday in the even, and was taken in his bed at Radley's, this night, in the privy search; for,' quoth he, 'I heard our proctor, Master Cole, say and declare the same this day in our college, to divers of the house: But I told him again, that I was well assured he was now gone, for I spake with him later than either the proctor or the commissary did and then I declared the whole matter unto him, how and when he came unto me, and how he went his way, willing him to declare the same unto our other brethren, whom he should meet withal, and to give God hearty thanks for this his wonderful deliverance, and to pray him, also, that he would grant him safely to pass away from all his enemies. And I told him that I was going unto Master Clark of Frideswide's, to declare unto him this matter; for I knew and thought verily, that he, and divers others there, were in great sorrow for this matter. Then I went straight to Frideswide's, and evensong was begun, and the dean and the other canons were there in their grey amices; they were almost at Magnificat before I came thither. I stood at the choir door and heard Master Taverner play, and others of the chapel there sing, with and among whom I myself was wont to sing also; but now my singing and music were turned into sighing and musing.
"As I thus and there stood, in cometh Dr. Cottisford, the commissary, as fast as ever he could go, bare-headed, as pale as ashes (I knew his grief well enough); and to the dean he goeth into the choir, where he was sitting in his stall, and talked with him very sorrowfully: what, I know not; but whereof, I might and did well and truly guess. I went aside from the choir door, to see and hear more. The commissary and dean came out of the choir wonderfully troubled, as it seemed. About the middle of the church met them Dr. London, puffing, blustering, and blowing, like a hungry and greedy lion seeking his prey. They talked together awhile, but the commissary was much blamed for keeping his prisoners so negligently, insomuch that he wept for sorrow. And it was known abroad that Master Garret was escaped, and gone out of the commissary's chamber at even-song time; but whither, no man could tell.
"These doctors departed, and sent abroad their servants and spies every where. Master Clark, about the middle of the compline, came forth of the choir: I followed him to his chamber, and declared what had happened that afternoon, of Master Garret's escape. He was glad, for he knew of his fore-taking. Then he sent for one Master Sumner, and for Master Bets, fellows and canons there. In the mean while he gave me a very godly exhortation, praying God to give me, and all the rest of our brethren, Prudentiam serpentinam et simplicitatem columbinam; for we should have shortly much need thereof, as he verily thought. When Master Sumner and Master Bets were come unto him, be caused me to declare again the whole matter to them two; and they were very glad that Master Garret was so delivered, trusting that he should escape all his enemies. Then, desiring them to tell unto our other brethren what had happened, (for there were divers other in that college,) I went to Corpus Christi College, to comfort our brethren there, being in like heaviness. When I came to Corpus Christi College I found together, in Sir Diet's chamber, tarrying and looking for me, Fitzjames, Diet, and Udal. They knew all the matter before by Master Eden, whom I had sent unto Fitzjames; but yet I declared the matter unto them again. And so I tarried there, and supped with them in that chamber, where they had provided meat and drink for us, before my coming: at which supper we were not very merry, considering our state and peril at hand. When we had ended our supper and committed our whole cause, with fervent sighs and hearty prayers, unto God our heavenly Father, Fitzjames would needs have me to lie that night with him, in my old lodging at Alban's Hall; and so I did. But small rest, and little sleep, took we both there that night.
On the Sunday, in the morning, I was up and ready by five o'clock; and as soon as I could get out at Alban's Hall door, I went straight towards Gloucester College to my chamber. It had rained that morning a good shower, and with my going I had all besprinkled my hose and shoes with mire. And when I was come unto Gloucester College, which was about six o'clock, I found the gates fast shut; whereat I did much marvel, for they were wont to be opened daily long before that time. Then did I walk up and down by the wall there a whole hour before the gates were opened. In the mean while, my musing head being full of forecasting cares, and my sorrowful heart flowing with doleful sighs, I fully determined in my conscience before God, that if I should chance to be taken and be examined, I would accuse no man, nor declare any thing further than I did already perceive was manifestly known before. And so, when the gate was opened, thinking to shift myself, and to put on a longer gown, I went in towards my chamber, and, going up the stairs, would have opened my door, but I could not in a long season do it; whereby I perceived that my lock had been meddled withal, and therewith was somewhat altered: yet, at last, with much ado, I opened the lock and went in. When I came in, I saw my bed all tossed and tumbled, my clothes in my press thrown down, and my study-door open; whereat I was much amazed, and thought verily that some search was made there that night for Master Garret, and that it was known of his being with me, by the monk's man that brought him to my chamber.
Now was there lying in the next chamber unto me a monk, who, as soon as he had heard me in the chamber, came to me, and told how Master Garret was sought for in my chamber that night, and what ado there was made by the commissary, and the two proctors, with bills and swords thrust through my bed-straw, and how every corner of my chamber was searched for Master Garret and albeit his gown and his hood lay there in my press with my clothes, yet they perceived them not. Then he told me he was commanded to bring me, as soon as I came in, unto the prior of the students, named Anthony Dunstan, a monk of Westminster. This so troubled me, that I forgot to make clean my hose and shoes, and to shift me into another gown; and therefore so all be-dirted as I was, and in my short gown, I went with him to the said prior's chamber, where I found the said prior standing, and looking for my coming. He asked me where I had been that night. I told him I lay at Alban's Hall, with my old bed-fellow Fitzjames; but he would not believe me. He asked me, if Master Garret were with me yesterday. I told him, Yea. Then he would know where he was, and wherefore he came unto me. I told him, I knew not where he was, except he were at Woodstock. For so (said I) he had showed me that he would go thither, because one of the keepers there, his friend, had promised him a piece of venison to make merry withal the Shrovetide; and that he would have borrowed a hat and a pair of high shoes of me, but I had none indeed to lend him. This tale I thought meetest, though it were nothing so. Then had he spied on my finger a big ring of silver, very well double gilt, with two letters A.D. engraved in it for my name: I suppose he thought it to be gold. He required to see it. I took it unto him. When he had it in his hand, he said it was his ring, for therein was his name: an A, for Anthony, and a D, for Dunstan. When I heard him so say, I wished in my heart to be as well delivered from and out of his company, as I was assured to be delivered from my ring for ever.
"Then he called for pen, ink, and paper, and commanded me to write when and how Garret came unto me, and where he was become. I had scarcely written three words, but the chief beadle, with two or three of the commissary's men, were come unto Master Prior, requiring him straightways to bring us away unto Lincoln College, to the commissary, and to Dr. London: whither when I was brought into the chapel, there I found Dr. Cottisford, commissary; Dr. Higdon, then dean of the cardinal's college; and Dr. London, warden of the New College, standing together at the altar in the chapel. When I was brought unto them, after salutations given and taken between them, they called for chairs and sat down, and called for me to come to them. And first they asked what my name was. I told them that my name was Anthony Dalaber. Then they also asked me how long I had been student in the university, and I told them almost three years. And they asked me what I studied I told them that I had read sophistry and logic in Alban's Hall, and now was removed unto Gloucester College, to study the civil law, which the aforesaid prior of the students affirmed to be true. Then they asked me whether I knew Master Garret, and how long I had known him. I told them I knew him well, and had known him almost a twelvemonth. They asked me, when he was with me. I told them yesterday at afternoon.
"Now by this time, while they had me in this talk, one came unto them who was sent for, with pen, ink, and paper; I trow it was the clerk of the university. As soon as he was come, there was a board and trestles, with a form for him to sit on, set between the doctors and me, and a great mass book laid before me; and I was commanded to lay my right hand on it, and to swear that I should truly answer unto such articles and interrogatories as I should be by them examined upon. I made danger of it a while at first, but afterwards, being persuaded by them, partly by fair words, and partly by great threats, I promised to do as they would have me; but in my heart meant nothing so to do. So I laid my hand on the book, and one of them gave me my oath, and, that done, commanded me to kiss the book. Then made they great courtesy between them, who should examine me, and minister interrogatories unto me. At the last, the rankest papistical Pharisee of them all, Dr. London, took upon him to do it.
"Then he asked me again, by my oath, where Master Garret was, and whither I had conveyed him. I told him, I had not conveyed him, nor yet wist where he was, nor whither he was gone, except he were gone to Woodstock, (as I had before said,) as he showed me he would. Then he asked me again, when he came to me, how he came to me, what and how long he talked with me, and whither he went from me. I told him he came to me about evensong time; and that one brought him unto my chamber door, whom I knew not; and that he told me he would go to Woodstock for some venison to make merry withal this Shrovetide; and that he would have borrowed a hat, and a pair of high shoes of me, but I had none such to lend him; and then he straight went his way from me, but whither I know not. All these my sayings the scribe wrote in a paper book.
"Then they earnestly required me to tell them whither I had conveyed him, for surely, they said, I brought him going some whither this morning; for that they might well perceive, by my foul shoes and dirty hosen, that I had travelled with him the most part of this night. I answered plainly, that I lay at Alban's Hall, with Sir Fitzjames, and that I had good witness thereof there. They asked me where I was at even-song. I told them, at Frideswide's, and that I saw first Master Commissary, and then Master Doctor London, come thither at that time unto Master Dean of Frideswide's; and that I saw them talking together in the church there. Dr. London and the dean threatened me, that if I would not tell the truth, where I had done him, or whither he was gone, I should surely be sent to the Tower of London, and there be racked, and put into Little-ease. But Master Commissary prayed me, with gentle words, to tell him where he was, that he might have him again, and he would be my very great friend, and deliver me out of trouble straightway. I told him I could not tell where he was, nor whither he was become. Thus they did occupy and toss me almost two hours in the chapel, sometimes with threatenings and foul words, and then with fair words and fair promises flattering me. Then was he that brought Master Garret unto my chamber brought before me, and caused to declare what Master Garret said unto me, at his coming to my chamber: but I said plainly, I heard him say no such thing; for I thought my nay to be as good as his yea, seeing it was to rid and deliver my godly brother out of trouble and peril of his life.
"At last, when they could get nothing of me whereby to hurt or accuse any man, or to know any thing of the which they sought, they all three together brought me up a long stairs into a great chamber over Master Commissary's chamber, wherein stood a great pair of very high stocks. Then Master Commissary asked me for my purse and girdle, took away my money and my knives, and then they put both my legs into the stocks, and so locked me fast in them; in which I sat, my feet being almost as high as my head; and so departed they, (I think to their abominable mass,) locking fast the chamber door, and leaving me alone.
"When they all were gone, then came unto my remembrance the worthy forewarning and godly declaration of that most constant martyr of God, Master John Clark, my father in Christ, who, well nigh two years before that, when I did earnestly desire him to grant me to be his scholar, and that I might go with him continually when and wheresoever he should teach or preach, (the which he did daily,) said unto me much after this sort, 'Dalaber! you desire you wot not what, and that which you are, I fear me, unable to take upon you: for though now my preaching be sweet and pleasant unto you, because there is yet no persecution laid on you for it, yet the time will come, and that peradventure shortly, if ye continue to live godly therein, that God will lay on you the cross of persecution, to try you withal, whether you can, as pure gold, abide the fire, or, as stubble and dross, be consumed therewith. For the Holy Ghost plainly affirmeth by St. Paul, Quod mines qui pie volunt vivere in Christo Jesu, persecutionem patientur. Yea, you shall be called and judged a heretic; you shall be abhorred of the world; your own friends and kinsfolk will forsake you, and also hate you; and you shall be cast into prison; and no man shall dare to help or comfort you; and you shall be accused and brought before the bishops, to your reproach and shame, to the great sorrow of all your faithful friends and kinsfolk. Then will ye wish ye had never known this doctrine; then will ye curse Clark, and wish that ye had never known him, because he hath brought you to all these troubles. Therefore, rather than that you should do this, leave off from meddling with this doctrine, and desire not to be, and continue, in my company.'
"At which his words I was so grieved, that I fell down on my knees at his feet, and with abundance of tears and sighs, even from the very bottom of my heart I earnestly besought him, that for the tender mercy of God, showed to us in our Lord Jesus Christ, he would not refuse me, but receive me into his company, as I had desired; saying that I trusted verily, that he which had begun this in me, would not forsake me, but give me grace to continue therein unto the end. When he heard me say so, he came to me, took me up in his arms, and kissed me, the tears trickling down from his eyes, and said unto me, 'The Lord Almighty grant you so to do, and from henceforth for ever take me for your father, and I will take you for my son in Christ.' Now were there at that time in Oxford divers graduates and scholars of sundry colleges and halls, whom God had called to the knowledge of his holy word, which all resorted unto Master Clark's disputations and lectures in divinity at all times as they might; and when they might not come conveniently, I was, by Master Clark, appointed to resort to every one of them weekly, and to know what doubts they had in any place of the Scripture; that by me, from him, they might have the true understanding of the same; which exercise did me much good and profit, to the understanding of the Holy Scriptures, which I most desired.
"This aforesaid forewarning and godly declaration (I say) of this most godly martyr of God Master Clark, coming to my remembrance, caused me, with deep sighs, to cry unto God from my heart, to assist me with his Holy Spirit, that I might be able patiently and quietly to bear and suffer whatsoever it should please him, of his fatherly love, to lay on me, to his glory, and the comfort of my dearly beloved brethren, whom I thought now to be in great fear and anguish, lest I would be an accuser of them all: for unto me they all were well known, and all their doings in that matter. But, God be blessed! I was fully bent never to accuse any of them, whatsoever should happen to me. Before dinner Master Cottisford came up to me, and requested me earnestly to tell him where Master Garret was, and, if I would so do, he promised me straightways to deliver me out of prison. But I told him I could not tell where he was: no more indeed I could. Then he departed to dinner, asking me if I would eat any meat: I told him, 'Yea, right gladly.' He said he would send me some. When he was gone, his servants asked me divers questions, which I do not now remember, and some of them spake me fair, and some threatened me, calling me heretic; and so departed, locking the door fast upon me."
Thus far Anthony Dalaber hath prosecuted this story, who, before the finishing, departed, A.D. 1562, in the diocese of Salisbury; the residue whereof, as we could gather it out of ancient and credible persons, so have we added here unto the same.
After this, Garret was apprehended and taken by Master Cole the proctor, or his men going westward, at a place called Hinxsey, a little beyond Oxford, and so, being brought back again, was committed to ward: that done, he was convented before the commissary, Dr. London, and Dr. Higdon, dean of Frideswide's, (now called Christ's College,) into St. Mary's church, where they, sitting in judgment, convicted him according to their law as a heretic, (as they said,) and afterwards compelled him to carry a faggot in open procession from St. Mary's church to Frideswide's, and Dalaber likewise with him; Garret having his red hood on his shoulders, like a master of arts. After that, they were sent to Osney, there to be kept in prison till further order was taken.
There were suspected, besides, a great number to be infected with heresy, as they called it, for having such books of God's truth as Garret sold unto them; as Master Clark, who died in his chamber, and could not be suffered to receive the communion, being in prison, and saying these words, Crede, et manducasti; Master Sumner, Master Bets, Taverner the musician, Radley, with others of Frideswide College; of Corpus Christi College, as Udal and Diet; with others of Magdalene College; one Eden, with others of Gloucester College; and two black monks, one of St. Augustine's of Canterbury, named Langport, the other of St. Edmund's Bury, monk, named John Salisbury; two white monks of Bernard College; two canons of St. Mary's College, one of them named Robert Ferrar, afterwards bishop of St. David's, and burned in Queen Mary's time. These two canons, because they had no place in the university with the others, went on the contrary side of the procession bareheaded, and a beadle before them, to be known from the others. Divers others there were, whose names I cannot remember, who were forced and constrained to forsake their colleges, and sought their friends. Against the procession time there was a great fire made upon the top of Carfax, whereinto all such as were in the said procession, either convicted or suspected of heresy, were commanded, in token of repentance and renouncing of their errors, every man to cast a book into the fire, as they passed by.
After this, Master Garret, flying from place to place, escaped their tyranny, until this present time that he was again apprehended, and burned with Dr. Barnes; with whom also William Jerome, some time vicar of Stepney, was likewise drawn into Smithfield, and there, together with them, constantly endured martyrdom in the fire. Now let us also add to these the story of Jerome.
The life and story of William Jerome, vicar of Stepney, and martyr of Christ.HE third companion which suffered with Barnes and Garret, was William Jerome, vicar of Stepney. This Jerome, being a diligent preacher of God's word, for the comfort and edification of the people, had preached divers and sundry sermons; wherein, to the intent to plant in the consciences of men the sincere truth of Christian religion, he laboured as much as time then served, to extirpate and weed out the roots of men's traditions, doctrines, dreams, and fantasies. In so doing it could not otherwise be but he must needs provoke much hatred against him amongst the adversaries of Christ's gospel.
It so happened, that the said Jerome, preaching at Paul's on the fourth Sunday in Lent last past, made there a sermon, wherein he recited and mentioned of Hagar and Sarah, declaring what these two signified: in process whereof he showed further how that Sarah and her child Isaac, and all they that were Isaac's, and born of the free woman Sarah, were freely justified: contrary, they that were born of Hagar, the bondwoman, were bound and under the law, and cannot be freely justified. In these words what was here spoken, but that which St. Paul himself uttereth and expoundeth in his Epistle to the Galatians, or what could here be gathered of any reasonable or indifferent hearer, but consonant to sound doctrine, and the vein of the gospel? Now see what rancour and malice, armed with crafty and subtle sophistry, can do. This sermon finished, it was not long but he was charged and convented before the king at Westminster, and there accused for erroneous doctrine.
Percase thou wilt muse, gentle reader! what erroneous doctrine here could be picked out. Note therefore, for thy learning; and he that listeth to study how to play the sycophant, let him here take example. The knot found in this rush was this: for that he preached erroneously at Paul's Cross, teaching the people that all that were born of Sarah were freely justified, speaking there absolutely, without any condition either of baptism, or of penance, &c. Who here doubteth, but if St. Paul himself had been at Paul's Cross, and had preached the same words to the Englishmen, which he wrote to the Galatians in this behalf, ipso facto, he had been apprehendedfor aheretic, for preaching against the sacrament of baptism and repentance?
Illustration -- Jerome Preaching
Furthermore it was objected against him touching matter against magistrates, and laws by them made. Whereunto he answered again and affirmed, (as he had before preached,) that no magistrate of himself could make any law or laws, private or otherwise, to bind the inferior people, unless it were by the power, authority, and commandment of his or their princes to him or them given, but only the prince. And moreover, to confirm the same he added, saying, that if the prince make laws consenting to God's laws, we are bound to obey them. And if he make laws repugnant to the laws of God, and be an evil and wicked prince, yet are we bound humbly to suffer him, and not violently to resist or grudge against him.
Also concerning his sermons, one Dr. Wilson entered into disputation with him, and defended, that good works justified before God, and were necessary and available to salvation. To whom Jerome answered again, that all works, whatsoever they were, were nothing worth, nor any part of salvation of themselves, but only referred to the mercy and love of God, which mercy and love of God direct the workers thereof; and yet it is at his mercy and goodness to accept them: which, to be true, Dr. Wilson neither could, nor did, deny.
And thus much concerning the several stories of these three good men. Now let us see the order of their martyrdom, joining them all together; what was the cause of their condemnation; and what were their protestations and words at their suffering.
Ye heard before, how Barnes, Jerome, and Garret, were caused to preach at Easter at the Spittal; the occasion whereof, as I find it reported by Stephen Gardiner writing against George Joye, I thought good here to discourse more at large.
Stephen Gardiner, hearing that the said Barnes, Jerome, and Garret should preach the Lent following, A.D. 1540, at Paul's Cross, to stop the course of their doctrine, sent his chaplain to the bishop of London, the Saturday before the first Sunday in Lent, to have a place for him to preach at Paul's; which to him was granted, and time appointed that he should preach the Sunday following, which should be on the morrow; which Sunday was appointed before for Barnes to occupy that room. Gardiner therefore, determining to declare the gospel of that Sunday containing the devil's three temptations, began amongst other things to note the abase of Scripture amongst some, as the devil abused it to Christ; and so, alluding to the temptation of the devil, wherein he alleged the Scripture against Christ, to cast himself downward, and that he should take no hurt, he inferred thereupon, saying:
"Now-a-days," quoth he, "the devil tempteth the world, and biddeth them to cast themselves backward. There is no 'forward' in the new teaching, but all backward. Now the devil teacheth, come back from fasting, come back from praying, come back from confession, come back from weeping for thy sins; and all is backward, insomuch that men must now learn to say their Pater-noster backward. For where we said, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; now it is, As thou forgavest our debts, so I will forgive my debtors; and so God must forgive first; and all, I say, is turned backward," &c.
Amongst other things, moreover, Gardiner noted "the devil's craft and shift in deceiving man; who, envying his felicity, and therefore coveting to have man idle, and void of good works, and to be led in that idleness with a vain hope to live merrily at his pleasure here, and yet to have heaven at the last, hath, for that purpose, procured out pardons from Rome, wherein heaven was sold for a little money; and to retail that merchandise, the devil used friars for his ministers. Now they be gone, with all their trumpery; but the devil is not yet gone, &c. And now that the devil perceiveth that it can no longer be borne to buy and sell heaven by the friars, he hath excogitated to offer heaven, without works for it, so freely, that men shall not need for heaven to work at all, whatsoever opportunity they have to work: marry! if they will have any higher place in heaven, God will leave no work unrewarded; but as to be in heaven needs no works at all, but only belief, only, only, and nothing else," &c.
This sermon of Stephen Gardiner finished, Dr. Barnes, who was put off from that Sunday, had his day appointed, which was the third Sunday next following, to make his sermon; who, taking the same text of the gospel which Gardiner had done before, was, on the contrary side, no less vehement in setting forward the true doctrine of Christian religion, than Winchester had been before in plucking men backward from truth to lies, from sincerity to hypocrisy, from religion to superstition, from Christ to antichrist. In the process of which sermon he proceeding, and calling out Stephen Gardiner by name to answer him, alluding in a pleasant allegory to a cock-fight; terming the said Gardiner to be a fighting cock, and himself to be another: but the garden cock (he said) lacketh good spurs: objecting moreover to the said Gardiner, and opposing him in his grammar rules; thus saying, that if he had answered him in the schools, so as he had there preached at the Cross, he would have given him six stripes: declaring furthermore what evil herbs this Gardiner had set in the garden of God's Scripture, &c.
Finally, with this sermon Gardiner was so tickled in the spleen, that he immediately went to the king to complain, showing how he, being a bishop and prelate of the realm, was handled and reviled at Paul's Cross.
Hereupon the king, giving too much ear to Gardiner's grief, was earnestly incensed against Barnes, and with many high words rebuked his doings in his privy closet; having with him the earl of Southampton, who was the Lord Wriothesley, and the master of the horse, who was Anthony Brown; also Dr. Cox, and Dr. Robinson. Unto whom when Barnes had submitted himself, "Nay," said the king, "yield thee not to me; I am a mortal man;" and therewith rising up and turning to the sacrament, and putting off his bonnet, said, "Yonder is the Master of us all, the author of truth: yield in truth to him, and that truth will I defend; and otherwise yield thee not unto me." Much ado there was, and great matter laid against Barnes. In conclusion this order was taken, that Barnes should go apart with Winchester, to confer and commune together of their doctrine, certain witnesses being thereunto appointed, to be as indifferent hearers, of whom one was Dr. Cox, the other was Dr. Robinson, with two others also to them assigned, who should be reporters to the king of the disputation; at the first entry of which talk, Gardiner, forgiving him (as he saith) all that was past, offered him the choice, whether he would answer or oppose; which was the Friday after that Barnes had preached.
The question between them propounded, by Gardiner's narration, was this: "Whether a man could do any thing good or acceptable before the grace of justification, or not?" This question arose upon a certain contention which had been between them before: for Barnes had affirmed, that albeit God requireth of us to forgive our neighbour, to obtain forgiveness of him; yet, he said, that God must forgive us first, before we forgive our neighbour; for else, to forgive our neighbour were sin, by the text which saith: All that is not of faith, is of sin, &c. Thus the matter being propounded, Gardiner, to prove the contrary, came forward with his arguments two or three: to the which arguments (saith Gardiner) Barnes could not answer, but desired to be spared that night, and the next morning he would answer his arguments. In the morning, Gardiner with the hearers being again assembled, Dr. Barnes, according to the appointment, was present, who then went about to assoil his arguments. To his solutions Gardiner again replied: and thus continued they in this altercation by the space of two hours. In the end of this cock-fight, Winchester thus concludeth this glorious tale, and croweth up the triumph; declaring how Barnes besought him to have pity on him, to forgive him, and to take him to be his scholar: whom then the said Winchester (as he himself confesseth) receiving, not as his scholar, but as his companion, offered to him a portion out of his living, to the sum of forty pounds a year, which if it be true, (as Stephen Gardiner himself reporteth,) why then doth this glorious cockatrice crow so much against Barnes afterwards, and cast him in the teeth, bearing all the world in hand that Barnes was his scholar? whereas he himself here refuseth Barnes to be his scholar, but receiveth him as his companion, fellow-like: but to the story.
This done, the king being advertised of the conclusion of this matter between Barnes and Winchester, was content that Barnes should repair to the bishop's house at London the Monday following: which he did, with a certain other companion joined unto him. Who he was, Winchester there doth not express, only he saith that it was neither Jerome nor Garret. In this next meeting between Barnes and the bishop, upon the aforesaid Monday, the said bishop studying to instruct Barnes, uttered to him certain articles or conclusions, to the number of ten, the effect whereof here followeth.
Winchester's articles against Barnes.
"I. The effect of Christ's passion hath a condition. The fulfilling of the condition diminisheth nothing the effect of Christ's passion.
"II. They that will enjoy the effect of Christ's passion must fulfil the condition.
"III. The fulfilling of the condition requireth first knowledge of the condition; which knowledge we have by faith.
"IV. Faith cometh of God, and this faith is a good gift; it is good and profitable to me; it is profitable to me to do well, and to exercise this faith: ergo, by the gift of God, I may do well before I am justified.
"V. Therefore I may do well by the gift of God before I am justified, towards the attainment of justification.
"VI. There is ever as much charity towards God as faith: and as faith increaseth, so doth charity increase.
"VII. To the attainment of justification are required faith and charity.
"VIII. Every thing is to be called freely done, whereof the beginning is free and set at liberty, without any cause of provocation.
"IX. Faith must be to me the assurance of the promises of God made in Christ, (if I fulfil the condition,) and love must accomplish the condition: whereupon followeth the attainment of the promise according to God's truth.
"X. A man being in deadly sin, may have grace to do the works of penance, whereby he may attain to his justification."
These articles, forasmuch as they be sufficiently answered and replied unto by George Joye, in his joinder and rejoinder against Winchester, I shall not need to cumber this work with any new ado therewith, but only refer the reader to the books aforesaid, where he may see matter enough to answer to these popish articles.
I told you before, how the king was contented that Barnes should resort to the house of the bishop of Winchester, to be trained and directed by the bishop: which Barnes then hearing the talk of the people, and having also conference with certain learned men, within two days after his coming to the bishop's house, waxed weary thereof, and so coming to the bishop signified unto him, that if he would take him as one that came to confer, he would come still, but else he would come no more; and so clean gave over the bishop.
This being known unto the king, through sinister complaints of popish sycophants, Barnes again was sent for, and convented before the king; who, being grievously incensed against him, enjoined both him, Jerome, and Garret, at the solemn Easter sermons at St. Mary Spittal, openly in writing to revoke the doctrine which they before had taught; at which sermon Stephen Gardiner also himself was present, to hear their recantation..
First Dr. Barnes, according to his promise made to the king, solemnly and formally began to make his recantation; which done, he, with much circumstance and obtestation, called upon the bishop, (as is above touched,) and, asking of him forgiveness, required him, in token of a grant, to hold up his hand, to the intent that he there openly declaring his charity before the world, the bishop also would declare his charity in like manner. Which when the bishop at first refused to do as he was required, Barnes again called for it, desiring him to show his charity, and to hold up his hand; which when he had done with much ado, wagging his finger a little, then Barnes, entering into his sermon, after his prayer made, beginneth the process of a matter, preaching contrary to that which before he had recanted; insomuch that the mayor, when the sermon was finished, sitting with the bishop of Winchester, asked him whether he should from the pulpit send him to ward, to be forthcoming for that his bold preaching, contrary to his recantation. The like also did Jerome, and Garret after him.
The king had before appointed certain to make report of the sermons. Besides them, there was one, who, writing to a friend of his in the court, in the favour of these preachers, declared how gaily they had all handled the matter, both to satisfy the recantation, and also in the same sermons to utter out the truth, that it might spread without let of the world. Wherefore, partly by these reporters, and partly by the negligent looking to this letter, which came to the Lord Cromwell's hands, saith Gardiner, Barnes with his other fellows, were apprehended, and committed to the Tower. Stephen Gardiner, in his aforesaid book against George Joye, would needs clear himself, that he was no party to nor cause of their casting into the Tower; and giveth this reason for him, for that he had then no access, nor had after, so long as Cromwell's time lasted, to the king's secret counsel: yet, notwithstanding, the said Gardiner cannot persuade us to the contrary,but that his privy complaining to the king, and his secret whisperings in his friend's ears, and his other workings by his factors about the king, was a great sparkle to set their faggots afire.
Thus then Barnes, Jerome, and Garret, being committed to the Tower after Easter, there remained till the thirtieth day of July, which was two days after the death of the Lord Cromwell. Then ensued process against them, by the king's council in the parliament, to the which process Gardiner confesseth himself that he was privy, amongst the rest. Whereupon all those three good saints of God, the thirtieth day of July, not coming to any answer, nor yet knowing any cause of their condemnation, without any public hearing were brought together from the Tower to Smithfield, where they, preparing themselves to the fire, had there at the stake divers and sundry exhortations: among whom Dr. Barnes first began with this protestation following:
"I am come hither to be burned as a heretic, and you shall hear my belief, whereby you shall perceive what erroneous opinions I hold. God I take to record, I never (to my knowledge) taught any erroneous doctrine, but only those things which Scripture led me unto; and that in my sermons I never maintained any error, neither moved nor gave occasion of any insurrection, although I have been slandered to preach that our Lady was but a saffron-bag, which I utterly protest before God that I never meant, nor preached it; but all my study and diligence hath been utterly to confound and confute all men of that doctrine, as are the Anabaptists, which deny that our Saviour Christ did take any flesh of the blessed Virgin Mary; which sects I detest and abhor. And in this place there have been burned some of them, whom I never favoured nor maintained; but with all diligence evermore did I study to set forth the glory of God, the obedience to our sovereign lord the king, and the true and sincere religion of Christ: and now hearken to my faith.
"I believe in the holy and blessed Trinity, three Persons and one God, that created and made all the world: and that this blessed Trinity, sent down the second person, Jesu Christ, into the womb of the most blessed and purest Virgin Mary. And here, bear me record, that I do utterly condemn that abominable and detestable opinion of the Anabaptists, which say that Christ took no flesh of the Virgin. For I believe, that without man's will or power he was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and took flesh of her, and that he suffered hunger, thirst, cold, and other passions of our body, sin excepted, according to the saying of St. Peter, He was made in all things like to his brethren, except sin. And I believe that this his death and passion was the sufficient ransom for the sin of all the world. And I believe that through his death he overcame sin, death, and hell; and that there is none other satisfaction unto the Father, but this his death and passion only; and that no work of man did deserve any thing of God, but only his passion, as touching our justification: for I know the best work that ever I did is impure and unperfect." [And with this he cast abroad his hands, and desired God to forgive him his trespasses.] For although perchance," said he, "you know nothing by me, yet do I confess, that my thoughts and cogitations be innumerable: wherefore I beseech thee, O Lord! not to enter into judgment with me, according to the saying of the prophet David, Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord: and in another place, Lord, if thou straitly mark our iniquities, who is able to abide thy judgment? Wherefore I trust in no good work that ever I did, but only in the death of Christ. I do not doubt but through him to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Take me not here that I speak against good works, for they are to be done; and verily they that do them not, shall never come into the kingdom of God. We must do them, because they are commanded us of God, to show and set forth our profession, not to deserve or merit; for that is only the death of Christ.
"I believe that there is a holy church, and a company of all them that do profess Christ; and that all that have suffered for and confessed his name be saints; and that all they do praise and laud God in heaven, more than I or any man's tongue can express: and that always I have spoken reverently, and praised them as much as Scripture willed me to do. And that our Lady, I say, was a virgin immaculate and undefiled, and that she is the most pure virgin that ever God created, and a vessel elect of God, of whom Christ should be born."
Then said Master Sheriff, "You have said well of her before." And, being afraid that Master Sheriff had been or should be aggrieved with any thing that he should say, he said,
"Master Sheriff, if I speak any thing that you will me not, do no more but beckon me with your hand, and I will straightway hold my peace; for I will not be disobedient in any thing, but will obey."
Then there was one that asked him his opinion of praying to saints. Then said he,
"Now of saints you shall hear my opinion. I have said before somewhat that I think of them: how that I believe they are in heaven with God, and that they are worthy of all the honour that Scripture willeth them to have. But, I say, throughout all Scripture we are not commanded to pray to any saints. Therefore I neither can nor will preach to you that saints ought to be prayed unto; for then should I preach unto you a doctrine of mine own head. Notwithstanding, whether they pray for us or no, that I refer to God. And if saints do pray for us, then I trust to pray for you within this half hour, Master Sheriff, and for every Christian man living in the faith of Christ, and dying in the same as a saint. Wherefore, if the dead may pray for the quick, I will surely pray for you."
"Well, have you any thing more to say?" Then spake he to Master Sheriff, and said, "Have ye any articles against me for the which I am condemned?" And the sheriff answered, "No." Then said he, "Is there here any man else that knoweth wherefore I die, or that by my preaching hath taken any error? Let them now speak, and I will make them answer." And no man answered. Then said he,
"Well! I am condemned by the law to die, and as I understand by an act of parliament; but wherefore, I cannot tell, but belike for heresy, for we are like to burn. But they that have been the occasion of it, I pray God forgive them, as I would be forgiven myself. And Dr. Stephen, bishop of Winchester that now is, if he have sought or wrought this my death either by word or deed, I pray God forgive him, as heartily, as freely, as charitably, and without feigning, as ever Christ forgave them that put him to death. And if any of the council, or any others, have sought or wrought it through malice or ignorance, I pray God forgive their ignorance, and illuminate their eyes that they may see, and ask mercy for it. I beseech you all, to pray for the king's Grace, as I have done ever since I was in prison, and do now, that God may give him prosperity, and that he may long reign among you; and after him that godly Prince Edward may so reign, that he may finish those things that his father hath begun. I have been reported a preacher of sedition and disobedience unto the king's Majesty; but here I say to you, that you are all bound by the commandment of God to obey your prince with all humility, and with all your heart, yea, not so much as in a look to show yourselves disobedient unto him; and that not only for fear of the sword, but also for conscience' sake before God. Yea, and I say further, if the king should command you any thing against God's law, if it be in your power to resist him, yet may you not do it."
Then spake he to the sheriff and said,
"Master Sheriff, I require you, on God's behalf, to have me commended unto the king's Grace, and to show him that I require of his Grace these five requests: first, that whereas his Grace hath received into his hands all the goods and substance of the abbeys:" -- Then the sheriff desired him to stop there. He answered, "Master Sheriff! I warrant you I will speak no harm; for I know it is well done that all such superstition be clean taken away, and the king's Grace hath well done in taking it away. But his Grace is made a whole king, and obeyed in his whole realm as a king, (which neither his father nor grandfather, neither his ancestors that reigned before him, ever had,) and that, through the preaching of us, and such other wretches as we are, who always have applied our whole studies, and given ourselves for the setting forth of the same; and this is now our reward. Well! it maketh no matter. Now he reigneth among you; I pray God long he may live and reign among you! Would to God it might please his Grace to bestow the said goods, or some of them, to the comfort of his poor subjects, who surely have great need of them.
"The second that I desire his Grace is, that he will see that matrimony be had in more reverence than it is; and that men, for every light cause invented, cast not off their wives, and live in adultery and fornication; and that those that be not married should not abominably live in whoredom, following the filthy lusts of the flesh.
"The third, that the abominable swearers may be punished and straitly looked upon; for the vengeance of God will come on them for their mischievous oaths."
Then desired he Master Pope to have him commended to Master Edgar, and to desire him, for the dear blood of Jesus Christ, that he would leave that abominable swearing which he used; for surely except he did forsake it, he would come to some mischievous end.
"The fourth request, that his Grace would set forth Christ's true religion, and seeing he hath begun, go forward, and make an end; for many things have been done, but much more is to do. And that it would please his Grace to look on God's word himself, for that it hath been obscured with many traditions invented of our own brains. Now," said he, "how many petitions have I spoken of?" And the people said, "Four." "Well," said he, "even these four be sufficient, which I desire you, that the king's Grace may be certified of; and say, that I most humbly desire him to look earnestly upon them; and that his Grace take heed that he be not deceived with false preachers and teachers, and evil counsel; for Christ saith, that such false prophets shall come in lambs' skins."
Then desired be all men to forgive him, and if he had said any evil at any time unadvisedly, whereby he had offended any man, or given any occasion of evil, that they would forgive it him, and amend that evil they took of him; and to bear him witness that he detested and abhorred all evil opinions and doctrines against the word of God, and that he died in the faith of Jesu Christ, by whom he doubted not but to be saved. And with those words he desired them all to pray for him, and then he turned him about, and put off his clothes, making him ready to the fire, patiently there to take his death, yielding his soul unto the hands of Almighty God.
The like confession made also Jerome and Garret, professing in like manner their belief, reciting all the articles of the Christian faith, briefly declaring their minds upon every article, as the time would suffer; whereby the people might understand that there was no cause nor error in their faith, wherefore justly they ought to be condemned: protesting moreover, that they denied nothing that was either in the Old or New Testament, set forth by their sovereign lord the king, whom they prayed the Lord long to continue amongst them, with his most dear son Prince Edward: which done, Jerome added this exhortation in few words following:
"I say unto you, good brethren! that God hath bought us all with no small price, neither with gold nor silver, nor other such things of small value, but with his most precious blood. Be not unthankful therefore to him again, but do as much as to Christian men belongeth, to fulfil his commandments, that is, Love your brethren. Love hurteth no man, love fulfilleth all things. If God hath sent thee plenty, help thy neighbour that hath need. Give him good counsel. If he lack, consider if thou wert in necessity, thou wouldst gladly be refreshed. And again, bear your cross with Christ. Consider what reproof, slander, and reproach he suffered of his enemies, and how patiently he suffered all things. Consider that all that Christ did was of his mere goodness, and not of our deserving. For if we could merit our own salvation, Christ would not have died for us. But for Adam's breaking of God's precepts we had been all lost, if Christ had not redeemed us again. And like as Adam broke the precepts, and was driven out of Paradise, so we, if we break God's commandments, shall have damnation, if we do not repent and ask mercy. Now, therefore, let all Christians put no trust nor confidence in their works, but in the blood of Christ, to whom I commit my soul to guide, beseeching you all to pray to God for me, and for my brethren here present with me, that our souls, leaving these wretched carcasses, may constantly depart in the true faith of Christ."
In much like sort Garret also, protesting and exhorting the people, after his confession made, ended his protestation in manner as followeth:
"I also detest, abhor, and refuse, all heresies and errors, and if, either by negligence or ignorance, I have taught or maintained any, I am sorry for it, and ask God mercy. Or if I have been too vehement or rash in preaching, whereby any person hath taken any offence, error, or evil opinion, I desire of him, and all other persons whom I have any way offended, forgiveness. Notwithstanding, to my remembrance I never preached wittingly or willingly any thing against God's holy word, or contrary to the true faith, to the maintenance of errors, heresies, or vicious living, but have always, for my little learning and wit, set forth the honour of God, and the right obedience to his laws, and also the king's accordingly: and if I could have done better, I would. Wherefore, Lord! if I have taken in hand to do that thing which I could not perfectly perform, I desire of thee pardon for my bold presumption. And I pray God send, the king's Grace good and godly counsel, to his glory, to the king's honour, and the increase of virtue in this his realm. And thus now I yield up my soul unto Almighty God. trusting and believing that he, of his infinite mercy, for his promise made in the blood of his Son, our most merciful Saviour Jesu Christ. will take it, and pardon me of all my sins, whereby I have most grievously. from my youth, offended his Majesty: wherefore I ask him mercy, desiring you all to pray with me and for me, that I may patiently suffer this pain, and die stedfastly in true faith, perfect hope, and charity."
Illustration -- Barnes, Garret and Jerome at the Stake
And so, after their prayer made, wherein most effectually they desired the Lord Jesus to be their comfort and consolation in this their affliction, and to establish them with perfect faith, constancy, and patience through the Holy Ghost, they, taking themselves by the hands, and kissing one another, quietly and humbly offered themselves to the hands of the tormentors; and so took their death both Christianly and constantly, with such patience as might well testify the goodness of their cause, and quiet of their conscience.
Wherein is to be noted how mightily the Lord worketh with his grace and fortitude in the hearts of his servants, especially in such as causeless suffer, with a guiltless conscience, for religion's sake, above others who suffer otherwise for their deserts. For whereas they which suffer as malefactors, commonly are wont to go heavy and pensive to their death; so the others, with heavenly alacrity and cheerfulness, do abide whatsoever it pleaseth the Lord to lay upon them: example whereof we have right well to note, not only in these three godly martyrs above mentioned, but also in the Lord Cromwell, who suffered but two days before, the same no less may appear; who, although he was brought to his death, attainted and condemned by the parliament, yet what a guiltless conscience he bare to his death, his Christian patience well declared; who, first calling for his breakfast, and cheerfully eating the same, and, after that, passing out of his prison down the hill within the Tower, and meeting there by the way the Lord Hungerford, going likewise to his execution, (who, for other matter, here not to be spoken of, was there also imprisoned,) and perceiving him to be all heavy and doleful, with cheerful countenance and comfortable words, asking why he was so heavy, he willed him to pluck up his heart, and to be of good comfort; "for," said he, "there is no cause for you to fear; for if you repent, and be heartily sorry for that you have done, there is for you mercy enough with the Lord, who, for Christ's sake, will forgive you; and therefore be not dismayed. And though the breakfast which we are going to be sharp, yet, trusting to the mercy of the Lord, we shall have a joyful dinner." And so went they together to the place of execution, and took their death patiently, July 28th, 1540.