451. A NOTE CONCERNING THE TROUBLE OF JULIUS PALMER, LATELY COME TO MY HANDS.
To his assured friend and brother in Christ, Master Perry, preacher at Beverstone.
"Master Perry, after my hearty commendations in the Lord Jesus Christ unto you and your wife, &c. Whereas you have written unto me for my help in stopping the malicious and envious mouth of Thomas Thackam, I would be as glad as any man to testify the truth, both for that I know of the shameless malice of the said party against the members of Christ, as also the godly and virtuous behaviour of Palmer, both before he was in prison, and after in prison, with the credit of that good and godly work of that history: but surely many things are out of my head, which I cannot as yet remember. And for those things I know, I write unto you. And first, as touching the friendship showed unto the Lady Vane, and his zeal therein uttered, truth it is that he received her into his house for money for a small space, in the which time they two did not well agree, for that she could not suffer his wickedness of words and gestures unreproved, but that his wife many times, being of more honesty, made the matter well again: but to be short, such was his friendship in the end towards that good lady, being out of his house, that she feared no man more for her life than him. And I being her man, she gave me great charge always to beware of him. As touching his friendship towards John Bolton in prison, I am sure he never found any, as they that used to visit him can somewhat say: except you account this friendship, that he, being bereft of his senses, Thackam wrought him to yield unto the papists, and as a right member of them became his surety, that he should be obedient unto them. And he, being burdened in conscience therewith, fled away unto Geneva: for the which flying Thackam had nothing said unto him, which showeth that he was their instrument. And this friendship to John Bolton: for Downer, I have heard no evil of him: for Gately, and Radley now vicar of St. Lawrence, and Bowyer a tanner, they three left no means unpractised to catch and persecute the members of Christ, as I myself can well prove.
"As touching Palmer, for that I many times frequented his company in his lodging, he would utter sometimes unto me the grief of his mind. Among other things once he told me, that for that he heard he was somewhat suspected with the woman of the house, he was much grieved withal, the which he uttered with many tears. I then counselling him to depart thence to avoid the occasion of offence, he said No, but the Lord should try him ere it were long: for, said he, Thackam hath let me his school, and now would have it again, and because I will not let him have it, this he hath brought upon me; but God forgive him! Afterward, being in prison, I talking with him at the grate, he showed me his judgment of the Scriptures, and delivered it unto me: what became of it, I know not now. He praised God highly for his estate, and then he said, he trusted it would appear whether Thackam had said of him well or not. And further he said, that now Thackam hath his will to have his school again: for if I would have yielded up the school, he would have sent me away. I never trusted him so well, said he, to communicate my mind unto him before witness, but sometimes alone; and therefore he hath devised a letter in my name, and brought it to light, to cause me to be examined of my conscience. This is as much as I can say at this time. Thus fare you well in the Lord, Amen. -- From Corsley, this eighteenth of May.
"Yours to command in Christ,
JOHN MOYER, minister.
"Have me commended, I pray you, to all my friends at Reading."
Another note of Julius Palmer.
Also being at Magdalene college about a month before he was burned, and reasoning against one Barwick, master of arts, sometime his familiar friend and old acquaintance in the said college; after much talk Barwick said unto him, "Well, Palmer, now thou talkest boldly and stoutly at thy pleasure; if thou wert brought to a stake, thou wouldst tell me another tale. Take heed, it is a hard matter to burn." Hereunto Palmer answered, "Indeed it is a hard matter for him to burn, that hath his soul linked to his body, as a thief's foot is tied in a pair of fetters. But if a man be once able, through God's help, to separate and divide the soul from the body, for him it is no harder thing to burn, than for me to eat this crumb of bread."