Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 436. PROTESTANTISM RE-ESTABLISHED.

436. PROTESTANTISM RE-ESTABLISHED.

            About this time, at the beginning of the flourishing reign of Queen Elizabeth, was a parliament summoned and holden at Westminster, wherein was much debating about matters touching religion, and great study on both parties employed, the one to retain still, the other to impugn, the doctrine and faction which before, in Queen Mary's time, had been established. But especially here is to be noted, that though there lacked no industry on the papists' side, to hold fast that which they most cruelly from time to time had studied, and by all means practised to come by; yet, notwithstanding, such was the providence of God at that time, that for lack of the other bishops, whom the Lord had taken away by death a little before, the residue that there were left, could do the less; and in very need, God be praised there-for, did nothing at all, in effect: although yet, notwithstanding, there lacked in them neither will nor labour to do what they could, if their cruel ability there might have served. But, namely, amongst all others, not only the industrious courage of Dr. Story, but also his words in this parliament, are worthy to be known of posterity; who, like a stout and furious champion of the pope's side, to declare himself how lusty he was, and what he had and would do in his master's quarrel, shamed not openly, in the said parliament-house, to burst out into such an impudent sort of words, as was a wonder to all good ears to hear, and no less worthy of history. The sum of which his shameless talk was uttered to this effect:--

            "First, beginning with himself, he declared, that whereas he was noted commonly abroad, and much complained of, to have been a great doer, and a setter-forth of such religion, orders, and proceedings, as of his late sovereign that dead is, Queen Mary, were set forth in this realm, he denied nothing the same; protesting, moreover, that he therein had done nothing, but that both his conscience did lead him thereunto, and also his commission did as well then command him, as now also doth discharge him for the same, being no less ready now also to do the like, and more, in case he, by this queen, were authorized likewise, and commanded thereunto: 'wherefore, as I see,' saith he, 'nothing to be ashamed of, so less I see to be sorry for;' but rather said, that he was sorry for this, because he had done no more than he did, and that in executing those laws, they had not been more vehement and severe. Wherein he said there was no default in him, but in them, whom he both oft and earnestly had exhorted to the same, being therefore not a little grieved with them, for that they laboured only about the young and little sprigs and twigs, while they should have stricken at the root, and clean have rooted it out, &c. And concerning his persecuting and burning them, he denied not, but that he was once at the burning of an ear-wig (for so he termed it) at Uxbridge, where he tossed a faggot at his face, as he was singing psalms, and set a whin-bush of thorns under his feet, a little to prick him; with many other words of like effect. In the which words he named, moreover, Sir Philip Hobby, and another knight of Kent, with such other of the richer and higher degree, whom his counsel was to pluck at, and bring them under coram, wherein (said he) if they had followed my advice, then had they done well and wisely."

            This, or much like, was the effect of the shameless and tyrannical excuse of himself, more meet to speak with the voice of a beast, than a man.

            Although in this parliament some diversity there was of judgment and opinion between parties, yet, notwithstanding, through the merciful goodness of the Lord, the true cause of the gospel had the upper hand, the papists' hope was frustrate, and their rage abated, the order and proceedings of King Edward's time concerning religion were revived again, the supremacy of the pope abolished, the articles and bloody statutes of Queen Mary repealed; briefly, the furious fire-brands of cruel persecution, which had consumed so many poor men's bodies, were now extinct and quenched.

            Finally, the old bishops were deposed, for that they refused the oath in renouncing the pope, and not subscribing to the queen's just and lawful title: in whose rooms and places, first, for Cardinal Pole succeeded Dr. Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury. In the place of Heath succeeded Dr, Young. Instead of Bonner, Edmund Grindall was bishop of London. For Hopton, Thirlby, Tonstall, Pates, Christopherson, Petow, Cotes, Morgan, Voysey, White, Oglethorpe, &c., were placed Dr. John Parkhurst in Norwich, Dr. Coxe in Ely, Jewell in Salisbury, Pilkinton in Durham, Dr. Sands in Worcester, Master Downham in West-Chester, Bentham in Coventry and Lichfield, Davies in Si. David's, Alley in Exeter, Horne in Winchester, Scory in Hereford, Best in Carlisle, Bulling-ham in Lincoln, Scambler in Peterborough, Barkley in Bath, Guest in Rochester, Barlow in Chichester, &c.

 

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