301. THOMAS IVESON, JOHN ALEWORTH AND JAMES ABBES.
Thomas Iveson, or Everson, apprehended with Dirick and others, and suffered at Chichester.
At Chichester, about the same month, was burned one Thomas Iveson, of Godstone, in the county of Surrey, carpenter; whose apprehension, examination, and condemnation, (forasmuch as it was at one time and in one form with Dirick Carver and John Launder,) I do here omit, referring the reader to their history and process before mentioned; saving only this his several confession and private answers made before Bishop Bonner at his last examination in the consistory, I thought not to pretermit, who, being examined upon the foresaid articles, answered as followeth.
"First, That he believed, that there is but one catholic, universal, and whole church of Christ through the whole world, which hath and holdeth the true faith, and all the necessary articles of Christian belief, and all the sacraments of Christ, with the true use and administration of the same.
"2. Item, That he is necessarily bounden to believe and give credit, in all the said faith, articles of the belief, religion, and the sacraments of Christ, and the administration of the same.
"3. Item, That that faith, religion, and administration of sacraments, which now is believed, used, taught, and set forth in this our Church of England, is not agreeing with the true faith of Christ, nor with the faith of the said catholic and universal church of Christ.
"4. Item, Concerning the sacrament of the altar, he believeth, that it is a very idol, and detestable before God, as it is now ministered.
"5. Item, That the mass is naught, and not of the institution of Christ; but that it is of man's invention. And being demanded whether any thing used in the mass be good, he said that he would answer no further.
"6. Item, That be had not received the sacrament of the altar, since it had been ministered as now it is in England, neither was confessed at any time within these seven years; nor hath he heard mass by the same space.
"7. That auricular confession is not necessary to be made to a priest; for that he cannot forgive, nor absolve him from sins.
"8. Item, Concerning the sacrament of baptism, that it is a sign and token of Christ, as circumcision was, and none otherwise; and he believeth that his sins are not washed away thereby, but his body only washed: for his sins be washed away only by Christ's blood.
"9. Item, That there be in the catholic church of Christ only two sacraments; that is to say, the sacrament of baptism, and the sacrament of the supper of the Lord, and no more; which are not rightly used at this present time in England, and therefore be unprofitable.
"10. Item, He believeth, that all the ceremonies now used in the Church of England, are vain, superfluous, superstitious, and naught."
Furthermore, the said Iveson being earnestly travailed withal to recant, said in this wise, "I would not recant and forsake my opinion and belief for all the goods in London. I do appeal to God's mercy, and will be none of your church, nor submit myself to the same: and that I have said, I will say again. And if there came an angel from heaven, to teach me any other doctrine than that which I am now in, I would not believe him." Which answer thus made, he was condemned as a heretic, and with the same persons was committed to the secular power, (as they term it,) and at the place above-mentioned was burned; persevering still in his constant faith unto the end.
In the latter end of this month of July, John Aleworth died in prison, at the town of Reading, being there in bonds for the cause and testimony of the truth of the Lord's gospel: whom, although the catholic prelates (according to their usual solemnity) did exclude out of their catholic burial, yet we see no cause why to exclude him out of the number of Christ's holy martyrs, and heirs of his holy kingdom.
James Abbes, a martyr of blessed memory, suffering for the true cause of Christ's gospel.
Among many that travailed in these troublesome days to keep a good conscience, there was one James Abbes, a young man, who through compulsion of the tyranny then used, was enforced to have his part with his brethren in wandering, and going from place to place, to avoid the peril of apprehending. But when time came, that the Lord had another work to do for him, he was caught by the hands of wicked men, and brought before the bishop of Norwich, Dr. Hopton; who, examining him of his religion, and charging him therewith very sore, both with threats and fair speech, at the last the said poor James did yield and relented to their naughty persuasions; although his conscience consented not thereto.
Now when he was dismissed, and should go from the bishop, the bishop calling him again, gave him a piece of money, either forty-pence or twenty-pence, whether I know not; which when the said James had received, and was gone from the bishop, his conscience began to throb, and inwardly to accuse his fact, how he had displeased the Lord by consenting to their beastly illusions: in which combat with himself, (being piteously vexed,) he went immediately to the bishop again, and there threw him his said money, which he had received at his hand, and said, it repented him that he ever gave his consent to their wicked persuasions, and that he gave his consent in taking of his money.
Now this being done, the bishop with his chaplains did labour afresh to win him again, but in vain: for the said James Abbes would not yield for any of them all, although he had played Peter before, through infirmity, but stood manfully in his Master's quarrel to the end, and abode the force of the fire, in the consuming of his body into ashes, which tyranny of burning was done in Bury, the second day of August, A. D. 1555.