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Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 293. JOHN LEAF, BURNT WITH BRADFORD.


ith John Bradford was burnt one John Leaf, an apprentice to Humfrey Gawdy, tallow- chandler, of the parish of Christ-Church in London, of the age of nineteen years and above, born at Kirby Moorside, in the county of York; who, upon the Friday next before Palm Sunday, was committed to the Compter in Bread Street, by an alderman of London, who had rule and charge of that ward, or part of the city, where the said Leaf did dwell. After, he, coming to examination before Bonner, gave a firm and Christian testimony of his doctrine and profession, answering to such articles as were objected to him by the said bishop.

            First, as touching his belief and faith in the said sacrament of the altar, he answered, that after the words of consecration, spoken by the priest over the bread and wine, there was not the very true and natural body and blood of Christ in substance; and further did hold and believe, that the said sacrament of the altar, as it is now called, used, and believed in this realm of England, is idolatrous and abominable; and also said further, that he believed, that after the words of consecration spoken by the priest over the material bread and wine, there is not the selfsame substance of Christ's body and blood there contained; but bread and wine, as it was before: and further said, that he believed, that when the priest delivereth the said material bread and wine to the communicants, he delivereth but only material bread and wine; and the communicants do receive the same in remembrance of Christ's death and passion, and spiritually, in faith, they receive Christ's body and blood, but not under the forms of bread and wine: and also affirmed, that he believed auricular confession not to be necessary to be made unto a priest; for it is no point of soul-health -- neither that the priest hath any authority given him by the Scripture to absolve and remit any sin.

            Upon these his answers, and testimony of his faith, he, at that time being dismissed, was bid the Monday next, being the tenth of June, to appear again in the said place, there and then to hear the sentence of his condemnation; who so did: at what time the foresaid bishop, propounding the said articles again to him, as before, essaying by all manner of ways to revoke him to his own trade, that is, from truth to error, notwithstanding all his persuasions, threats, and promises, found him the same man still, so planted upon the sure rock of truth, that no words nor deeds of men could remove him.

            Then the bishop, after many words to and fro, at last asked him, if he had been Master Rogers's scholar? To whom the foresaid John Leaf answered again, granting him so to be, and that he the same John did believe in the doctrine of the said Rogers, and in the doctrine of Bishop Hooper, Cardmaker, and others of their opinion, who of late were burned for the testimony of Christ, and that he would die in that doctrine that they died for: and after other replications again of the bishop, moving him to return to the unity of the church, he, with a great courage of spirit, answered again in these words: "My Lord," quoth he, "you call mine opinion heresy: it is the true light of the word of God." And again, repeating the same, he professed that he would never forsake his staid and well-grounded opinion, while the breath should be in his body. Whereupon the bishop, being too weak either to refute his sentence or to remove his constancy, proceeded consequently to read the popish sentence of cruel condemnation: whereby this godly and constant young man, being committed to the secular power of the sheriffs there present, was then adjudged, and not long after suffered the same day with Master Bradford, confirming with his death that which he had spoken and professed in his life.


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