337. JOHN HULLIER.
Next after these ensueth the martyrdom of John Hullier, minister, who, being first brought up in the school of Eton, was afterward scholar, and then conduct in the King's College, at Cambridge; who suffered under Dr. Thirleby, bishop of Ely, and his chancellor, for the sincere setting out of the light of God's gracious gospel revealed in these our days; in whose behalf this is to be lamented, that among so many fresh wits and stirring pens in that university, so little matter is left unto us touching the process of his judgment, and order of his suffering, who so innocently gave his life in such a cause among the midst of them. By certain letters which he himself left behind, it appeareth that he was zealous and earnest in that doctrine of truth, which every true Christian man ought to embrace. His martyrdom was about the second day of this present month of April.
John Hullier was brought up at Eton College; and after, according to the foundation of that house, for that he was ripe for the university, he was elected scholar in the King's College, where also, not tarrying full three years of probation before he was fellow of the college, he after a little season was one of the ten conducts in the King's College, which was anno 1539.
Then at length, in process of time, he came to be curate of Babraham, three miles from Cambridge, and so went afterward to Lynn; where he, having divers conflicts with the papists, was from thence carried to Ely, to Dr. Thirleby, then bishop there; who, after divers examinations, sent him to Cambridge castle, where he remained but a while. From thence he was conveyed to the town prison, commonly called the Tolbooth, lying there almost a quarter of a year, while at length he was cited to appear at Great St. Mary's on Palm Sunday eve, before divers doctors, both divines and lawyers, amongst whom was chiefest Dr. Shaxton; also Dr. Young, Dr. Segewick, Dr. Scot, Mitch, and others; where after examination had, for that he would not recant, he was first condemned, the sentence being read by Dr. Fuller.
Then consequently he was degraded after their popish manner, with scraping crown and hands. When they had degraded him, he said cheerfully, "This is the joyfullest day that ever I saw; and I thank you all, that ye have delivered and lightened me of all this paltry."
In the mean time, whilst it was doing, one standing by asked Hullier what book he had in his hand; who answered, "A Testament:" whereat this man in a rage took it and threw it violently from him. Then was he given over to the secular powers, Brasey being mayor, who, carrying him to prison again, took from him all his books, writings, and papers.
On Maundy-Thursday coming to the stake, he exhorted the people to pray for him, and after holding his peace, and praying to himself, one spake to him, saying, "The Lord strengthen thee:" whereat a sergeant, named Brisley, stayed and bade him hold his tongue, or else he should repent it. Nevertheless Hullier answered and said either thus or very like, (the effect was all one,) "Friend, I trust that as God hath hitherto begun, so also he will strengthen me, and finish his work upon me. I am bidden to a Maundy, whither I trust to go, and there to be shortly. God hath laid the foundation, as I by his aid will end it."
Illustration -- Hullier at the Stake
Then going to a stool, (prepared for him to sit on,) to have his hosen plucked off, he desired the people to pray for him again, and also to bear witness that he died in the right faith, and that he would seal it with his blood; certifying them, that he died in a just cause, and for the testimony of the verity and truth, and that there was no other rock but Jesus Christ to build upon, under whose banner he fought, and whose soldier be was; and yet speaking, he turned himself about toward the east, and exhorted the people there likewise.
Now it chanced on a bank to stand three arch-papists, George Boyes, Henry Barley, and Gray, all three of Trinity College. This Boyes was one of the proctors of the university that year; to whom Master Gray spake, saying, "Hear ye not, Master Proctor, what blasphemy this fellow uttereth? Surely it is evil done to suffer him." At whose words, this Boyes spake with a loud voice: "Master Mayor! what mean ye? If ye suffer him thus to talk at liberty, I tell ye the council shall hear of it, and we take you not to be the queen's friend. He is a pernicious person, and may do more harm than you wot of." Whereat simple Hullier, as meek as a lamb, taking the matter very patiently, made no answer, but made him ready, uttering his prayer. Which done, he went meekly himself to the stake, and with chains being bound, was beset with reed and wood, standing in a pitch-barrel; and the fire being set to, not marking the wind, it blew the flame to his back. Then he feeling it, began earnestly to call upon God. Nevertheless his friends, perceiving the fire to be ill-kindled, caused the sergeants to turn it, and fire it to that place where the wind might blow it to his face.
That done, there was a company of books which were cast into the fire; and by chance a communion-book fell between his hands, who received it joyfully, opened it, and read so long till the force of the flame and smoke caused him that he could see no more. And then he fell again to prayer, holding his hands up to heaven, and the book betwixt his arms next his heart, thanking God for sending him it. And at that time, the day being a very fair day and a hot, yet the wind was somewhat up, and it caused the fire to be the fiercer; and when all the people thought he had been dead, he suddenly uttered these words, "Lord Jesus! receive my spirit;" dying very meekly.
The place where he was burned, is called Jesus Green, not far from Jesus College. Seagar gave him certain gunpowder, but little to the purpose; for he was dead before it took fire. All the people prayed for him, and many a tear was shed for him; which the papists seeing, cried, "he was not to be prayed for; and being but a damned man, it could profit him nothing." Nevertheless they continued praying; whereat the papists fell into such a rage, that they menaced them with terrible threatenings to ward.
His flesh being consumed, his bones stood upright even as if they had been alive. Of the people, some took what they could get of him, as pieces of bones. One had his heart, the which was distributed so far as it would go; one took the scalp, and looked for the tongue, but it was consumed except the very root.-- One rounded him in the ear, and desired him to be constant to the end; at which he spake nothing, but showed a joyful countenance, and so continued both constant and joyful to the end.
A letter of John Hullier to the Christian congregation, exhorting them faithfully to abide in the doctrine of the Lord.
"It standeth now most in hand, O dear Christians, all them that look to be accounted of Christ's flock at the great and terrible day, when a separation shall be made of the sort that shall be received, from the others which shall be refused, faithfully in this time of great afflictions to hear our Master
Christ's voice, the only true Shepherd of our souls, which saith, Whosoever shall endure to the end shall be safe. For even now is that great trouble in hand (as here in England we may well see) that our Saviour Christ spake of so long before, which should follow the true and sincere preaching of his gospel. Therefore in this time we must needs either show that we be his faithful soldiers, and continue in his battle unto the end, putting on the armour of God, the buckler of faith, the breastplate of love, the helmet of hope and salvation, and the sword of his holy word, (which we have heard plentifully,) with all instance of supplication and prayer; or else, if we do not work and labour with these, we are apostates and false soldiers, shrinking most unthankfully from our gracious and sovereign Lord and Captain Christ, and leaning to Belial. For as he saith, plainly, Whosoever beareth not my cross and followeth me, he cannot be my disciple. And, No man can serve two masters; for either he must hate the one and love the other, or else he shall lean to the one and despise the other. The which thing the faithful prophet Elias signified, when he came to the people and said, Why halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him, or if Baal be he, then follow him.
"Now let us not think, but that the same was recorded in writing for our instruction, whom the ends of the world are come upon, as the apostle St. Paul saith, Whatsoever things are written aforehand, they are written for our learning. If Christ be that only good and true Shepherd that gave his life for us, then let us that bear his mark, and have our consciences sprinkled with his blood, follow altogether, for our salvation, his heavenly voice and calling, according to our profession and first promise. But if we shall not so do, certainly, (say what we can,) although we bear the name of Christ, yet we be none of his sheep indeed. For he saith very manifestly, My sheep hear my voice, and follow me; a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of a stranger.
"Therefore let every man take good heed in these perilous days, (whereof we have had so much warning aforehand,) that he be not beguiled by the goodly outward show and appearance, as Eve was of our old subtle enemy, whose craft and wiliness is so manifold and diverse, and so full of close windings, that if he cannot bring him directly and the plain straight way to consent to his suggestions, then he will allure him and wind him in by some other false ways, (as it were by a train,) that he shall not perceive it; to deceive him withal, and to steal from him that goodly victory of the incorruptible and eternal crown of glory, which no man else can have, but he that fighteth lawfully; as at this present day, if he cannot induce him thoroughly, as others do, to favour his devilish religion, and of good will and free heart to help to uphold the same, yet he will inveigle him to resort to his wicked and whorish school-house; and at the leastwise to be conversant and keep company with his congregation there, and to hold his peace and say nothing, whatsoever he think, so that he be not a diligent soldier and a good labourer on Christ's side, to further his kingdom; by that subtle means flattering him that he shall both save his life, and also his goods, and live in quiet. But if we look well on Christ's holy will and testament, we shall perceive that he came not to make any such peace upon earth, nor yet that he gave any such peace to his disciples; I leave peace with you, saith he, my peace I give you, not as the world giveth it, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor fearful. These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye should have peace. In the world ye shall have affliction; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. The servant is not greater than his Lord and Master. If they have persecuted me, they shall also persecute you. If any man come to me, and hateth not his own father and mother, wife, children, sisters, yea, and moreover his own life, it is not possible for him to be my disciple. Blessed be ye that now weep, for ye shall laugh; and woe be unto you that now laugh, for ye shall mourn and weep. He that will find his life shall lose it.
"Therefore the God of that true peace and comfort, preserve and keep us, that we never obey such a false flattering, which at length will pay us home once for all, bringing for temporal peace and quietness, everlasting trouble, vexation, and disquietness; for these vain and transitory goods, extreme loss and utter damage of the eternal treasure and inheritance; for this mortal life, deprivation of the most joyful life immortal; finally, the entrance into endless death most miserable, unmeasurable pain and torment both of body and soul.
"Now conferring these two schoolmasters together, let us consider the thing well, and determine with ourselves which way we ought to take, and not to take the common broad way which seemeth here most pleasant, and that the most part of the people take. Surely I judge it to be better, to go to school with our Master Christ, and to be under his ferula and rod, (although it seemeth sharp and grievous for a time,) that at the length we may he inheritors with him of everlasting joy, rather than to keep company with the devil's scholars, the adulterous generation, in his school that is all full of pleasure for a while; and at the end to be paid with the wages of continual burning in the most horrible lake, which burneth evermore with fire and brimstone without any end. What shall then these vain goods and temporal pleasures avail? Who shall then help when we cry incessantly, Woe, woe, alas, and weal away, for unmeasurable pain, grief, and sorrow? O let us therefore take heed betimes, and rather be content to take pains in this world for a time, that we may please God. Our Saviour Christ the true teacher saith, Every branch that bringeth not forth fruit in me, my Father will take away.
"It is also not written in vain, The children of the ungodly are abominable children; and so are they that keep company with the ungodly. What doth he else, I pray you, that resorteth to the ministration and service that is most repugnant and contrary to Christ's holy testament; there keeping still silence, and nothing reproving the same; but in the face of the world, by his very deed itself, declare himself to be of a false, fearful, dissembling, feigned, and unfaithful heart, and to have laid away from him the armour of light, discouraging as much as lieth in him all the residue of Christ's host, and giving a manifest offence to the weak, and also confirming, encouraging, and rejoicing the hearts of the adversaries in all their evil doing? By which example he doth show himself neither to love God, whom he seeth to be dishonoured and blasphemed of an antichristian minister, nor yet his neighbour, before whom he should rebuke the evil, as it is expressly commanded in God's holy law, where it is said, Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, that thou bear not sin for his sake. Wherefore let such a one never fantasy to deceive himself, that his name is registered in the book of life, to have the stipend of Christ's soldier, except he do the duty and perform the part of a faithful and right true soldier, as others have done before. For such fearfulness cometh not from God, as testifieth St. Paul, saying, God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love. Be not ashamed, saith he, to testify our Lord, but suffer adversity also with the gospel, through the power of God, which saved us, and called us with an holy calling.
"To be now fearful, when most need is that we should be of strong hearts, is utterly the rejecting of the fear of God, and plain unfaithfulness and disobedience to the express commandment of our Saviour Christ, which saith in his holy gospel, Fear not them that kill the body, &c.; for what faithfulness do we express towards him, when he saith thus to us? and yet we declare in our doings the very contrary, being ever fearful, even as the unbelieving Israelites, which unfaithfully feared God's enemies the heathen Canaanites, whereas he had oftentimes given them commandment by his true prophet Moses, to do the contrary; for the which cause, all the whole number of that sect were destroyed in process of time in the wilderness, and enjoyed not the pleasant land of promise; which was a bodily figure showed before, and now agreeing to the promise of the heavenly inheritance, which shall be given to none other, but only to all such as with love unfeigned be wholly bent, without any fear of man, to fulfil God's holy will and pleasure. But all they that pertain to the lively faith, to the winning of the soul, will faithfully stick to the commandment, trusting most firmly and faithfully that he that gave the same, will also give strength plentifully to perform it, even in the weakest vessels of all, even as we have heard and seen by many and divers examples; he only be praised there-for.
"St. Peter saith, Fear not though they seem terrible unto you, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. Only, saith St. Paul, let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ. Continue in one spirit, and in one soul; labouring as we do, to maintain the faith of the gospel, and in nothing fearing your adversaries, which is to them a token of damnation, and to you of salvation, and that of God; for unto you it is given, that not only ye should believe in Christ, but also suffer for his sake. Wherefore let us be right well assured, that we shall yield a most strait reckoning and account, if we transgress the said most wholesome precepts given us of our Master Christ, and of his apostles, and now, in this troublesome time, wherein the gospel is persecuted, show ourselves fearful soldiers; as it is manifestly declared in the Revelation of St. John, where it is written, That the fearful shall have their part with the unbelieving and abominable, in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Again, it is written in the same book for our warning, Because thou art betwixt both, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
"Now, therefore, good Christians, these true testimonies of God's lively word deeply considered and weighed, let us chiefly stand in awe of his most terrible judgments, and be not as they that presumptuously tempt him. Let him always be our fear and dread. He now chasteneth, he now nurtureth us for our profit, delighting in us even as a loving father in his beloved child, to make us perfect, and to have us to be partakers of his holiness. He now judgeth us, (not utterly taking away his everlasting love and mercy from us, as he doth from the malignant and wicked.) that we should not be condemned with the wicked world. But if we now refuse his most loving chastising, and follow the world, we must needs have our portion with the world. Wide is the gate, and broad is the way which leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; but strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. O how much better is it to go this narrow way with the people of Gad, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a time! In consideration whereof, let us, without any more slacking and further delays in this great warning by God's loving visitation, submit ourselves betimes under his mighty hand, that he may exalt us when the time is come.
"And thus I wholly commit you to him, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build further; beseeching you most heartily to pray for me, that I may be strong through the power of his might, and stand perfect in all things, being always prepared and ready, looking for the mercy of our Lord unto eternal rest; and I will pray for you, as I am most bound. So I trust he will graciously hear us for his promise' sake made unto all the faithful in his dearly beloved Son Christ, our alone Saviour, whose grace be with your spirit, most dear Christians, for ever. So be it.
"By your Christian brother, a prisoner of the Lord, JOHN HULLIER."
To the congregation of Christ's faithful followers.
"John Hullier, being of long time prisoner, and now openly judged to die for the testimony of the Lord Jesus, wisheth heartily to the whole congregation of God, the strength of his Holy Spirit, to their everlasting health both of body and soul.
"I now, most dear Christians, having the sweet comfort of God's saving health; and, being confirmed with his free Spirit, (be he only praised therefor,) am constrained in my conscience, thinking it my very duty to admonish you, as ye tender the salvation of your souls, by all manner of means to separate yourselves from the company of the pope's hirelings, considering what is said in the Revelation of St. John, by the angel of God, touching all men. The words be these; If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured into the cup of his wrath, and he shall be punished with fire and brimstone before the holy angels, and before the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up evermore. Mark well here, good Christians, who is this beast, and worshippers that shall be partakers of that unspeakable torment. The beast is none other but the carnal and fleshly kingdom of antichrist, the pope with his rabble of false prophets and ministers, as it is most manifest; which, to maintain their high titles, worldly promotions, and dignities, do with much cruelty, daily more and more set forth and establish their own traditions, decrees, decretals, contrary to God's holy ordinances, statutes, laws, and commandments, and wholly repugnant to his sincere and pure religion and true worshipping.
"Now, what do they else, but worship this beast and his image, who, after they had once already escaped from the filthiness of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, are yet again tangled therein and overcome, using dissimulation unfaithfully for fear of their displeasure, doing one thing outwardly, and thinking inwardly another; so having them in reverence under a cloak and colour, to whom they ought not so much as to say, God speed, and adjoining themselves to the malignant congregation, which they ought to abhor as a den of thieves and murderers, and as the brothel-house of most blasphemous fornicators; whose voices being contrary to Christ's voice, if they were of his flock, they would not know, but would flee from them; as he himself; being the good Shepherd of our souls, doth full well in his holy gospel testify. Again, what do they else, I pray you, but receive the beast's mark in their foreheads and in their hands, which do bear a fair face and countenance outwardly in supporting them as others do, being ashamed openly to confess Christ and his holy gospel? But this feignedness and dissimulation Christ and his gospel will in no wise allow; of whom it is said, Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with his holy angels. Therefore saith Almighty God by his prophet Malachi, Cursed be the dissemblers. Ye were once lightened, and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were become partakers of the Holy Ghost, and tasted of the word of God, and of the power of the world to come. And our Saviour Christ saith, No man that putteth his hand to the plough, and looketh back, is apt for the kingdom of God. Therefore St. John the apostle useth this for a manifest token, that the backsliding of the true preachers of God's word declareth evidently, that they be not of the number of them. For, saith he, They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us. Surely, so long as we use dissimulation, and do play on both hands, we are not in the light. For whatsoever is manifest, the same is light, as the elect vessel of God, St. Paul, witnesseth.
"Wherefore, good Christians, for God's most dear love, deceive not yourselves through your own wisdom, and through the wisdom of the world, which is foolishness before God; but certify and stay your own conscience with the sure truth and faithful word of God, and with the infallible testimonies of Holy Scripture. For although God's mercy is over all his works, yet it doth not extend but only to them that hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of hope unto the end, not being weary in well-doing, but rather waxing every day stronger and stronger in the inward man. Therefore in the Revelation of St. John, where it is entreated of the beast and his image, it is also said, Here is the sufferance of saints, and here are they that keep the commandments, and the faith of Jesus Christ. Whereby Almighty God Both show plainly, that he doth use those wicked men as instruments for a time, to try the patience and faith of his peculiar people, without the performance whereof we can have no part among the living; but as it is said in the same Revelation, The fearful shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
"But peradventure ye will object and say unto me, What shall we do? shall we cast ourselves headlong to death? I say not so. But this I say, that we are all bound (if ever we look to receive salvation at God's hand) in this case wholly to be obedient to his determinate counsel and foreknowledge, expressed by the gift of the Spirit in Holy Scripture; and then to cast all our care upon him, who worketh all in all for the best, unto them that love him; and thus he giveth commandment, saying, Come away from her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. Now who, hearing this terrible voice of God, which must needs be fulfilled, will not with all speed and diligence apply himself to do thereafter, except such as will presumptuously tempt him? And as touching such, the wise man saith, He that loveth peril and danger, shall perish therein. But they that be of the faith of Abraham, even as he did, so will they in all essays and trials be obedient to the heavenly voice, howsoever it seemeth contrary to their own natural will and carnal reason, according to the sure word of faith, which saith, Hope thou in the Lord, and keep his way; hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him. Let not thy jealousy move thee also to do evil. Come out from among them, and join not yourselves to their unlawful assemblies; yea, do not once show yourselves with the least part of your body to favour their wicked doings, but glorify God (as most right is) as well in your whole body outwardly, as inwardly in your spirit, or else you can do neither of both well; for your body Both belong to God as well as your spirit. At the dreadful day of judgment we shall all receive the works of our bodies, according to that we have done, whether it be good or bad.
"Therefore whatsoever we do, we may not bring the spirit in bondage to the body, but contrariwise we must subdue the body and the will of the flesh to the spirit, that the spirit may freely accomplish the will of God in all things; for otherwise, we shall never be partakers of his promise, with the true children of Abraham. For as St. Paul saith, They which are the children of the flesh, are not the children of God. If we shall live according to the flesh, we shall die. For to be carnally-minded is death; but to be spiritually-minded is life and peace; because that the fleshly mind is enmity to God; for it is not obedient to the law of God, neither can be. So then they that are in the flesh, cannot please God. Now choose you which way you will take; either the narrow way that leadeth unto life, which Christ himself, and his faithful followers, have gone through before; or else the broad pathway that leadeth to destruction, which the wicked worldlings take their pleasure in for a while. I for my part have now written this short admonition unto you of good will, (as God is my witness,) to exhort you to that way which at length you yourselves shall prove and find to be best, yea, and rejoice thereof. And I do not only write this, but I will also (with the assistance of God's grace) ratify and confirm and seal the same' with the effusion of my blood, when the full time shall be expired that he hath appointed, which (so far forth as I may judge) must needs be within these few days. Therefore I now bid you all most heartily farewell in the Lord, whose grace be with your spirit, Amen. Watch and pray, watch and pray, pray, pray. So be it.
Besides these letters, the said John Hullier left also a godly prayer.
A prayer of John Hullier.
"O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall speak forth thy praise," with Paternoster, the articles of his belief, and then to this prayer.
"O God Almighty, O most merciful God and heavenly Father, for whose love alone, as thou knowest, O Lord, I now relinquish and most willingly forsake my loving and well-beloved, yea, and my most lawful wife, my dear and lawfully begotten children, and all my friends, with all delights, pomps, and pleasures of the world, yea, and mine own life, being contented most gladly to leave them all; and now in thy trial, O good Lord, not to regard them, but joyfully to give my life, and to die for thee and thy gospel's sake, whom I most wholly love above all other. I beseech thee, of thy fatherly pity, with humble and content heart, now most chiefly to strengthen me with thy Holy Spirit, most merciful Lord; and at this present time, when most need is, to send down thine holy angel to comfort, assist, aid, and succour me; to prosper my journey, and safely to bring me through the strait gate and narrow way, into thy most joyful, heavenly, and everlasting rest; the which gate and way thy only begotten and dear Son, and our alone Saviour Jesus Christ, hath most victoriously, for our comfort, run through before, making passage and entrance only thereby to all others that constantly, with a quick and a lively faith, believe in him, that is, to all such as not only be professors of the gospel with their mouth, but also do here live according to the gospel, and be earnest followers of Christ, being made like and conformable to his image in faithfulness, in love, in sufferance, in goodness, in pureness, and in all godliness, honesty, and truth. Wherefore I now wholly submit myself to thee, O God, having trust and confidence in none other but in thee, O heavenly Father, and in the cross, passion, death, and bloodshedding of thy Son Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified in me, O Lord, and I to the world; hungering and thirsting for nothing else but the health and salvation of my soul, and to live with Christ, who is my life, my joy, my hope, and all my whole delight, solace, and treasure.
"The sight of this great fire shall seem ugly and terrible, O Lord; but let thy right hand and almighty power give now unto me sufficient ability and strength to sustain and abide it. O merciful Lord, keep my soul! O Lord, be merciful unto me; and speedily deliver me, O thou most mighty God and Maker of all things, and Ruler of all the kings of the earth! forasmuch as of thy most bountiful goodness thou hast now surely grafted in my heart to fear thee above all men, and only to put my whole trust and confidence in thy mercy. O heavenly Father, I now clearly before all this assembly of people, even from the very bottom of my heart, forgive all the world as I desire forgiveness at thy hand. O Lord, therefore now have mercy upon me, after thy great goodness; and according to the multitude of thy great mercy, do away, O Lord, all my sins and offences of my youth, O God, thou that art the God of my salvation. Yea, and from my hid and secret faults now thoroughly cleanse me, I most heartily beseech thee, good Lord, for Christ's most precious death and bloodshedding; for as for our merits and deservings, they be nothing before thee, O thou most just and righteous God. But yet, good Lord! the good works that thou halt appointed for us to walk in, we are most bound, for the sure confirmation of our faith, always to do to the uttermost of our power, under pain of damnation. Notwithstanding, O heavenly Father, when we have done all that we can do, yet are we unprofitable servants, doing but our duties, and must even then be fain to say, yea, even the best of us all, with the lowly and penitent publican, God be merciful to me a sinner, desiring mercy in thy sight through Christ for our justification and salvation. And therefore, for this mine own death's sake, good Lord, I challenge and claim no merit at all, but only thereby perform my most bounden duty and reasonable service for thee, upon confession and testimony of thy truth, rendering wholly to thy almighty name, O everlasting God, grace and thanks, of whom alone I received freely the gift to stand to the same unto this day. My strength do I ascribe unto thee, O God; for thou art my defence. Wherefore even now also, I beseech thee likewise, O heavenly Father, for thine infinite mercy and faithfulness' sake, make perfect my ways in thy paths, that my goings slide not; but that now I may depart hence, and end my course in thy peace.
"Pour down the perfect gift of patience upon me, O heavenly Father, which art the God of all humility and patience, even as thou knowest now, O Lord, to be most expedient for me; for into thy merciful defence I commend my whole spirit, soul, mind, [and body, desiring only thy goodness to direct and guide all my whole thought and mind,] so long as there remaineth any manner of life or breath within me, according to thy heavenly will and pleasure. And now, O good Lord, to do all that lieth in me, I lift up my heart, mind, and hands, unto thy heavenly throne of grace, crying and calling unto thee for help in this my distress and extreme trouble, as thou, O Lord, hast commanded me to do.
"Now, O most merciful Lord, according to thy most faithful and loving promise made therein, let thy great power and exceeding virtue be made perfect through mine infirmity and weakness, that I may this day most quietly, meekly, and stedfastly suffer death, and, with a constant and perfect faith, give a strong witness to the world, even as my Christian brethren have done before me, for thy word's sake, and for the most true and infallible testimony of thy dear Son Jesus Christ.
"O thou mighty God, that madest heaven and earth, the sea and all that therein is, of nothing; O thou mighty God, that safely broughtest the children of Israel, thy people, through the midst of the Red Sea, as it had been a most dry land; thou most mighty God, that didst send thine angel before them, to vanquish the great and terrible giants; thou that didst most gloriously deliver those three children out of the mighty burning oven; thou that stoppedst the mouths of the cruel and ramping lions, and didst wondrously deliver thy true servant Daniel, being cast into the midst of them; thou that always triest the people through the fire of affliction, even as the pure [and fine] gold is tried in the furnace, that they may be found laudable in thy sight; and yet of thy goodness, O Lord, wilt not suffer them to be tried above their strength; but, even in the midst of their temptation, O Lord, according to thy very faithfulness, makest a way that they may be able to bear it; for there is nothing wonderful unto thee; for thou, Lord, who didst strengthen the first martyr Stephen, being stoned to death for the true confession of thy Son Christ; thou most righteous God, who art rich in compassion and mercy towards all men that faithfully call upon thee; thou most gracious God -- God I say, that from the beginning always strengthenedst thy prophets, and all other thy faithful servants that ever have suffered before, for thy name's sake now vouchsafe, O Lord, I beseech thee, to extend thine accustomed goodness and mercy in comforting me, thy poor servant; regard thy truth, and defend thine own rightful cause, O Lord, that thy Son Christ may be magnified in my mortal and corruptible body.
"O God, I put no trust, at all in myself, but in thee alone, which mightily raisest the dead to life, to the declaring and setting forth of thine incorruptible and everlasting glory, to the commodity of thy congregation, and to their everlasting comfort in Christ. For in Christ, and by Christ, which is the author and finisher of our faith, I now give unto thee, as most worthy, O heavenly Father, all that whole praise, honour, and glory, for evermore, and world without end, in all things praising thy holy name. And to this, let all people, with one voice and godly consent together, only for the love of thee and thy truth's sake, say Amen. Now, heavenly Father, glorify thine own name.
"I remember what our Saviour Christ himself saith in the gospel, to the comfort of all his true and faithful servants; Ye are they which have biden with me in my temptation; and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed to me; that ye may be with me, and eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. Enter in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat; but strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it. What doth it profit a man, if he win all the whole world, and lose his own soul? Be ye ready, for the Son of man will come in such an hour as you think not. Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God. Whosoever denieth me before men, him will I deny before my Father which is in heaven. He that findeth his life, shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it. Every one that forsaketh house or land, brother or, sister, father or mother, wife or children, for my name's sake, shall receive a hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. I say with the godly man, Eleazar, that thou, O God, which hast the whole knowledge, knowest openly, that whereas I might be delivered from death, I suffer these sore pains of my body, but in my mind am well contented to suffer them, because I fear thee; and as for me, like as my brethren have done, I offer my body for thy truth's sake, calling upon God, that he will soon be merciful unto his people, yea, and by a showing forth his Almighty power may make their adversaries to know, that He only is to be feared above all the rulers of the world. It is better to suffer affliction as children of God, than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a while. It was said unto them that were under the altar, and were killed for the word of God, that they should rest from their labours for a little time or season, until the number of their fellows and brethren which should be killed as they were, were fulfilled. Blessed are the dead which die hereafter in the Lord: Amen. So saith the Spirit, that they rest from their labours! It is a true saying, If we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with him; if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he shall also deny us. I am sure that my Redeemer liveth, [and I shall be clothed again with this skin, and see God in my flesh; yea, I myself shall behold him, not with other eyes, but with these same eyes.] And I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Lord Jesu, receive my spirit. Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. My soul is joyful in the Lord, and I rejoice in his help. Amen.