Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 218. ADAM WALLACE


Illustration -- West Bow, Edinburgh

            There was set, upon a scaffold made hard to the chancelary wall of the Black Friars' church in Edinburgh, on seats made thereupon, the lord governor. Above him, at his back, sat Master Gawin Hamilton, dean of Glasgow, representing the metropolitan pastor thereof. Upon a seat on his right hand sat the archbishop of St. Andrews. At his back, and aside somewhat, stood the official of Lothian. Next to the bishop of St. Andrews, the bishop of Dunblane, the bishop of Moray, the abbot of Dunfermline, the abbot of Glenluce, with other churchmen of lower estimation, as the official of St. Andrews, and other doctors of that nest and city; and at the other end of the seat sat Master Uchiltry. On his left hand sat the earl of Argyle, justice, with his deputy Sir John Campbell of Lundie under his feet. Next him the earl of Huntley. Then the earl of Angus, the bishop of Galloway, the prior of St. Andrews, the bishop of Orkney, the Lord Forbes, Dean John Winryme, sub-prior of St. Andrews; and behind the seats stood the whole senate, the clerk of the register, &c.

            At the further end of the chancelary wall, in the pulpit, was placed Master John Lauder, parson of Marbotle, accuser, clad in a surplice and red hood, and a great congregation of the whole people, in the body of the church, standing on the ground.

            After that, Sir John Ker, prebendary of St. Giles's church, was accused, convicted, and condemned, for the false making and giving forth of a sentence of divorce, (whereby he falsely divorced and parted a man and his lawful wife,) in the name of the dean of Restalrig, and certain other judges appointed by the holy father the pope. He granted the falsehood, and that never any such thing was done indeed, nor yet meant or moved by the aforesaid judges, and was agreed to be banished the realms of Scotland and England for his lifetime, and to lose his right hand, if he were found or apprehended therein after, and in the mean time to leave his benefices for ever, and they to be vacant.

            After that was brought in Adam Wallace, a simple poor man in appearance, conveyed by John of Cumnock, servant to the bishop of St. Andrews, and set in the midst of the scaffold, who was commanded to look to the accuser, who asked him what was his name. He answered, "Adam Wallace." The accuser said, that he had another name, which he granted, and said he was commonly called Fean. Then asked he where he was born? "Within two miles of Fayle," said he, "in Kyle." Then said the accuser, "I repent that ever such a poor man as you should put these noble lords to so great encumbrance this day by your vain speaking." "And I must speak," said he, "as God giveth me grace, and I believe I have said no evil to hurt any body." "Would God," said the accuser, "ye had never spoken; but you are brought forth for such horrible crimes of heresy, as never were imagined in this country before, and that shall be sufficiently proved, that ye cannot deny it; and I forethink that it should be heard for hurting of weak consciences. Now I will yea thee no more, and thou shalt hear the points that thou art accused of."

            Accuser.--"Adam Wallace, alias Fean: thou art openly delated and accused for preaching, saying, and teaching of the blasphemies and abominable heresies under written. In the first, thou hast said and taught that the bread and wine on the altar, after the words of consecration, are not the body and blood of Jesus Christ."

            He turned to the lord governor, and lords aforesaid, saying thus:

            Wallace.--"I never said nor taught any thing but that I found in this book, and writ, (having there a Bible at his belt in French, Dutch, and English,) which is the word of God: and if you will be content that the Lord God and his word be judge to me, and this his holy writ, here it is; and where I have said wrong, I shall take that punishment you shall put to me: for I never said any thing concerning this that I am accused of, but that which I found in this writ."

            "What didst thou say?" said the accuser.

            Wallace.--"I said that after our Lord Jesus Christ had eaten the paschal lamb in his latter supper with his apostles, and fulfilled the ceremonies of the old law, he instituted a new sacrament in remembrance of his death then to come. He took bread, he blessed, and brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, Take ye, eat ye: this is my body which shall be broken and given for you. And likewise the cup he blessed, and bade them drink all thereof, for that was the cup of the New Testament which should be shed for the forgiving of many. How oft ye do this, do it in my remembrance."

            Then said the bishop of St. Andrews and the official of Lothian, with the dean of Glasgow, and many other prelates, "We know this well enough." The earl of Huntley said, "Thou answerest not to that which is laid to thee; say either nay or yea thereto."

            Wallace.--"If ye will admit God and his word spoken by the mouth of his blessed Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, ye will admit that which I have said: for I have said and taught nothing but what the word, which is the trial and touchstone, saith; which ought to be judge to me, and to all the world."

            "Why," quoth the earl of Huntley, "hast thou not a judge good enough? and trowest thou that we know not God and his word? Answer to that is spoken to thee." And then they made the accuser speak the same thing over again. "Thou sayest," quoth the accuser, "and hast taught, that the bread and the wine in the sacrament of the altar, after the words of the consecration, are not the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ."

            Wallace.--"I never said more than the writ saith, nor yet more than I have said before. For I know well by St. Paul, when he saith, Whosoever eateth this bread, and drinketh of this cup unworthily, receiveth to himself damnation. And therefore, when I taught, (which was but seldom, and to them only which required and desired me,) I said, that if the sacrament of the altar were truly ministered, and used as the Son of the living God did institute it, where that was done, there was God himself by his divine power, by the which he is over all."

            The bishop of Orkney asked him, "Believest thou not," said he, "that the bread and wine in the sacrament of the altar, after the words of the consecration, is the very body of God; flesh, blood, and bone"

            Wallace.--"I wot not what that word consecration meaneth. I have not much Latin, but I believe that the Son of God was conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, and hath a natural body with hands, feet, and other members; and in the same body he walked up and down in the world, preached and taught, he suffered death under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; and that by his godly power he raised that same body again the third day: and the same body ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, which shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead.

            "And that this body is a natural body with hands and feet, and cannot be in two places at once, he showeth well himself; for which everlasting thanks be to him that maketh this matter clear. When the woman brake that ointment on him, answering to some of his disciples which grudged thereat, he said, The poor shall you always have with you, but me ye shall not have always: meaning of his natural body. And likewise at his ascension, said he to the same disciples that were fleshly, and would ever have had him remaining with them corporally, It is needful for you that I pass away, for if I pass not away, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, shall not come to you (meaning that his natural body behoved to be taken away from them): but be stout and be of good cheer, for I am with you unto the world's end.

            "And that the eating of his very flesh profited not, may well be known by his words which he spake in John vi., where, after he had said, Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye shall not have life in you; they murmuring thereat, he reproved them for their gross and flesh taking of his words, and said, What will ye think when ye see the Son of man ascend to the place that he came from? It is the Spirit that quickened:, the flesh profiteth nothing (to be eaten as they took it, and even so take ye it)"

            "It is a horrible heresy," said the bishop of Orkney. When Wallace began to speak again, and bade the lord governor judge if he had right by the writ, the accuser cried, Ad secundam. Nunc ad secundam, answered the archbishop of St. Andrews.

            Then was he bidden to hear the accuser, who propounded the second article, and said, "Thou saidst likewise, and openly didst teach, that the mass is very idolatry, and abominable in the sight of God."

            Wallace.--"I have read the Bible and the word of God in three tongues, and have understood them so far as God gave me grace, and yet never read I that word mass in it all: but I found," said be, "that the thing that was highest and most in estimation amongst men, and not in the word of God, was idolatry, and abominable in the sight of God. And I say, the mass is holden greatly in estimation, and high amongst men, and is not founded in the word; therefore, I said, it was idolatry, and abominable in the sight of God. But if any man will find it in the Scripture, and prove it by God's word, I will grant mine error, and that I have failed: otherwise not. And in that case I will submit me to all lawful correction and punishment."

            Ad tertiam, said the archbishop. Then said the accuser, "Thou hast said and openly taught, that the God which we worship, is but bread sown of corn, growing of the earth, baked of men s hands, and nothing else."

            Wallace.--"I worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three persons in one Godhead, which made and fashioned the heaven and earth, and all that is therein, of nought: but I know not which God you worship; and if you will show me whom you worship, I will show you what he is, as I can, by my judgment."

            "Believest thou not," said the accuser, "that the sacrament of the altar, after the words of the consecration, betwixt the priest's hands, is the very body and blood of the Son of God, and God himself?"

            Wallace.--"What the body of God is, and what kind of body he hath, I have showed you, so far as I have found in the Scripture."

            Then said the accuser, "Thou hast preached,said, and openly taught, divers and sundry other great errors and abominable heresies against all the seven sacraments, which, for shortness of time, I pretermit and overpass. Whether dost thou grant thy aforesaid articles that thou art accused of, or no? and thou shalt hear them shortly." And then repeated the accuser the three articles aforesaid shortly over, and asked him whether he granted or denied them?

            Wallace answered that which before he had said of his answers, and that he said nothing but agreeing to the holy word as he understood; so God judge him, and his own conscience accuse him: and thereby would he abide unto the time he were better instructed by Scripture, and the contrary proved, even to the death. And he said thus to the lord governor and other lords:

            Wallace.--"If you condemn me for holding by God's word, my innocent blood shall be required at your hands, when ye shall be brought before the judgment-seat of Christ, who is mighty to defend my innocent cause; before whom ye shall not deny it, nor yet be able to resist his wrath; to whom I refer the vengeance as it is written, Vengeance is mine, and I will reward."

            Then gave they forth sentence, and condemned him by the laws, and so left him to the secular power, in the hands of Sir John Campbell, justice-deputy, who delivered him to the provost of Edinburgh to ho burned on the Castle Hill, who incontinent made him to be put in the uppermost house in the town, with irons about his legs and neck, and gave charge to Sir Hugh Terry to keep the key of the said house, an ignorant minister and imp of Satan and of the bishops, who, by direction, sent to the poor man two Grey Friars to instruct him, with whom he would enter into no communing. Soon after that were sent in two Black Friars, an English friar, and another subtle sophister, called Arbuthnot, with the which English friar he would have reasoned and declared his faith by the Scriptures; who answered, he had no commission to enter into disputation with him: and so departed and left him.

            Then was sent to him a wordly wise man, and not ungodly in the understanding of the truth, the dean of Restalrig, who gave him Christian consolation, among the which he exhorted him to believe the reality of the sacrament after the consecration. But he would consent to nothing that had not evidence in the Holy Scripture, and so passed over that night in singing, and lauding God, to the ears of divers hearers, having learned the Psalter of David without book, to his consolation: for they had before spoiled him of his Bible, which always, till after he was condemned, was with him, wherever he went. After that Sir Hugh Terry knew that he had certain books to read and comfort his spirit, he came in a rage, and took the same from him, leaving him desolate (to his power) of all consolation, and gave divers ungodly and injurious provocations by his devilish venom, to have perverted him, a poor innocent, from the patience and hope he had in Christ his Saviour: but God suffered him not to be moved therewith, as plainly appeared to the hearers and seers for the time.

            So all the next morning abode this poor man in irons, and provision was commanded to be made for his burning against the next day; which day the lord governor, and all the principal both spiritual and temporal lords, departed from Edinburgh to their other business.

            After they were departed, came the dean of Restalrig to him again, and reasoned with him after his wit; who answered as before, He would say nothing concerning his faith, but as the Scripture testifieth, yea, though an angel came from heaven to persuade him to the same; saving that he confessed himself to have received good consolation of the said dean in other behalf, as becometh a Christian.

            Then after came in Sir Hugh Terry again, and examined him after his old manner, and said he would gar devils to come forth of him ere even. To whom he answered, "You should rather be a godly man to give me consolation in my case. 'When I knew you were come, I prayed God I might resist your temptations; which, I thank him, he hath made me able to do: therefore I pray you, let me alone in peace." Then he asked of one of the officers that stood by, "Is your fire making ready?" Who told him, it was. He answered, "As it pleaseth God; I am ready soon or late, as it shall please him." And then he spake to one faithful in that company, and bade him commend him to all the faithful, being sure to meet together with them in heaven. From that time, to his forthcoming to the fire, spake no man with him.

            At his forthcoming, the provost, with great menacing words, forbade him to speak to any man, or any to him; as belike he had commandment of his superiors. Coming from the town to the Castle Hill, the common people said, "God have mercy upon him." "And on you too," said he. Being beside the fire, he lifted up his eyes to heaven twice or thrice, and said to the people, "Let it not offend you that I suffer death this day for the truth's sake; for the disciple is not greater than his Master." Then was the provost angry that he spake. Then looked he to heaven again, and said, "They will not let me speak." The cord being about his neck, the fire was lighted, and so departed he to God constantly, and with good countenance, to our sights.


Previous Next