Ex-Classics Home Page

Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 425. THOMAS ROSE.



The story of Thomas Rose, yet living, a preacher of the age of seventy-six years, of the town of Luton, and in the county of Bedford.

his Thomas Rose, a Devonshire man, was born in Exmouth, and being made priest in that country, was brought out of it by one Master Fabian, to Polstead, in Suffolk, where the said Master Fabian was parson; and in short time after, by his means, was placed in the town of Hadley, where he, first coming to some knowledge of the gospel, began first there to treat upon the creed; and thereupon to take occasion to inveigh against purgatory, praying to saints, and images, about the time that Master Latimer began first to preach at Cambridge, in the time of Bilney and Arthur, forty-seven years ago, or thereabout; insomuch that many embracing the truth of Christ's gospel, against the said purgatory and other points, and the number of them daily increasing, the adversaries began to stir against him, insomuch that Master Bale (who afterward became a godly zealous man) was then brought to preach against the said Thomas Rose, and so did. This notwithstanding, he continued still very vehemently against images; and the Lord so blessed his labours, that many began to devise how to deface and destroy them, and especially four men, whose names were Robert King, Robert Debnam, Nicholas Marsh, and Robert Gardner, which usually resorted to his sermons, and upon his preaching were so inflamed with zeal, that shortly after they adventured to destroy the rood of Dovercourt, which cost three of them their lives, as appeareth before. The three persons which suffered, and were hanged in chains, were offered their lives to have accused the said Thomas Rose, as of counsel with them; which refused so to do, and therefore suffered. The said Thomas Rose had the coat of the said rood brought unto him afterward, who burnt it. The rood was said to have done many great miracles, and great wonders wrought by him, and yet, being in the fire, could not help himself, but burned like a block, as in very deed he was. At this time there were two sore enemies in Hadley, Walter Clerk and John Clerk, two brethren : these complained to the council, that a hundred men were not able to fetch the said Thomas Rose out of Hadley, who then was, upon examination of his doctrine, committed to the commissary's keeping. And indeed such was the zeal of a number then in that town towards the truth, that they were much offended that their minister was so taken from them, and had therefore by force fetched him from the commissary, if certain wise men had not otherwise persuaded, which at length also, with more quiet, did set him in his office again; which thing so angered the two brethren, Walter Clerk and John Clerk, that they complained to the council, as is aforesaid; whereupon a serjeant-at-arms, named Cartwright, was sent from the council, who arrested the said Thomas Rose, and brought him before the council. Then his adversaries being called, they laid to his charge, that he was privy of the burning of the rood of Dovercourt; and upon this he was committed to prison in the bishop of Lincoln's house in Holborn -- Bishop Langley, the king's confessor; and there remained he in prison, from Shrovetide to Midsummer, very sore stocked till after Easter.

            The stocks were very high and great, so that day and night he did lie with his back on the ground, upon a little straw, with his heels so high, that by means the blood was fallen from his feet, his feet were almost without sense for a long time; and he herewith waxed very sick, insomuch that his keeper, pitying his estate, and hearing him cry sometimes, through the extremity of pain, went to the bishop, and told him that he would not keep him to die under his hand; and upon this he had some more ease and liberty. Now at this time his mother was come from Hadley to see him, but she might not be suffered to speak with the said Thomas Rose her son (such was their cruelty); but the bishop flattered her, and gave her a pair of pardon-beads, and bade her go home and pray, for she might not see him; which thing pierced the heart both of the mother and son, not a little. At this time also certain men of Hadley, very desirous to see him, travailed to speak with him, but might not be suffered, till at length they gave the keeper four shillings; and yet then might not speak to him, or see him, otherwise than through a grate. And thus continued he till Midsummer, in prison there.

            Then was he removed to Lambeth, in the first year of Dr. Cranmer's consecration, who used him much more courteously than ever the bishop of Lincoln did, and at length wrought his deliverance, and set him at liberty; but yet so, that he was bound not to come within twenty miles of Hadley. After this he came to London, and there preached the gospel half a year, till Hadley men, hearing thereof, laboured to have him to Hadley again, and indeed, by means of Sir John Rainsford, knight, obtained at the archbishop's hand to have him thither. Howbeit, by means one was placed in the cure at Hadley, he could not enjoy his office again there, but went to Stratford, three miles off, and there continued in preaching the word three years, till at length the adversaries procured an inhibition from the bishop of Norwich, to put him to silence. But a great number travailed to have him continue in preaching, and subscribed a supplication to the archbishop, with sevenscore hands, who, under their seals, also testified of his honest demeanour; so that the adversaries this way not prevailing, they indicted him at Bury in Suffolk, so that he was constrained to flee to London, and to use the aid of the Lord Audley, then lord chancellor, who removed the matter from them, and called it before him, and after certain examination of the matter, did set him free, and did send him by a token to the Lord Cromwell, then lord privy seal, for a licence from the king to preach: which thing obtained by the Lord Cromwell's means, (who hereupon also had admitted the said Thomas Rose his chaplain,) forthwith he was sent into Lincolnshire and to York.

            In the mean time such complaint was made to the duke of Norfolk, for that he preached against auricular confession, transubstantiation, and such other points contained in the Six Articles, (which then to have done, by law was death,) that the duke, in his own person, not only sought him at Norwich, but also beset all the havens for him, from Yarmouth to London; and, being lieutenant, commanded that whosoever could take the said Thomas Rose, should hang him on the next tree. Howbeit, the said Thomas Rose, at his coming home, having warning hereof by certain godly persons, was conveyed away, and passed over into Flanders, and so to Germany unto Zurich, where a time he remained with Master Bullinger; and afterward went to Basle, and there hosted with Master Grinĉus, till letters came that Master Dr. Barnes should be bishop of Norwich, and things should be reformed and he restored. But when he came into England again, it was nothing so, and therefore forthwith fled again beyond the seas, being so beset, as, if the mighty providence of God had not sent him, in a readiness to receive him, the selfsame man, boat, and boy, that before carried him over, it had not been possible for him to have escaped. But such was the goodness of God towards him, that he safely was conveyed, and lived at Arrow the space of three years, till at length, purposing to come over into England, about business that he had, he, his wife, and their child, (being but a year and three quarters old,) upon the sea, the ship being in great danger wherein they sailed, (for the mast being hewn down in that peril, they were carried whithersoever the waves tossed them,) they with divers others made a full account of death. Howbeit, at length they were taken prisoners, and carried into Dieppe in France, having all their stuff taken from them, and forty pounds in money. There they remained prisoners from Michaelmas till Hallowtide, in great heaviness, not knowing what would become of them, but depending only upon God's providence.

            It pleased God at the same time, that one Master Young, of the town of Rye, (who had heard him preach before,) came thither for the redeeming of certain Englishmen there taken prisoners. This Master Young, moved to see them in this case, much pitied them, and comforted them, and told them he would pay their ransom; and so he did, had them away, and brought them to Rye; and from thence by stealth came they to London. At length the honourable earl of Sussex, hearing of the said Thomas Rose, sent for him, his wife, and his child, and had them to his house at Attleborough, where they continued till at length it was blazed abroad, that the earl was a maintainer of such a man to read in his house, as had preached against the catholic faith (as they term it). The earl, being at the parliament, and hearing thereof, wrote a letter to warn him to make shift for himself, and to avoid: so that from thence he passed to London, making strait shift for a year there, and somewhat more, till the death of King Henry.

            After the king's death, he and others who, in the king's general pardon, were excepted, (and therefore dead men, if they had been taken whilst King Henry lived,) by certain of the council were set at liberty; and at length, after King Edward was crowned, were licensed to preach again by the king; who gave unto the said Thomas Rose the benefice of West Ham, by London. But at the death of that virtuous and noble prince, he was deprived of all, and so should also have been of his life, had not God appointed him friends, who received him in London secretly, as their teacher in the congregation, among whom, for the poor prisoners, at their assemblies forty-one a night oftentimes were gathered. And thus he continued amongst them, and with the Lady Vane, almost a year in the reign of Queen Mary. But although he oftentimes escaped secretly, whilst he read to the godly in sundry places of London, yet at length, through a Judas that betrayed them, he, with thirty-five that were with him, were taken in Bow Churchyard, at a shear-man's house, on New-year's day at night, being Tuesday. The residue being committed to prisons, the said Thomas Rose was had to the bishop of Winchester, Stephen Gardiner; but would not speak with him that night, but committed him to the Clink till Tuesday after.


The first examination of Thomas Rose, before Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, at St. Mary Overy's.

            On Thursday, being brought before the bishop of Winchester, at St. Mary Overy's, the said Thomas Rose spake as followeth.

            "It maketh me to marvel, my Lord," quoth he, "that I should be thus troubled for that which by the word of God hath been established, and by the laws of this realm allowed, and by your own writing so notably in your book; De Vera Obedientia, confirmed."

            Winchester.--"Ah, sirrah! hast thou gotten that?"

            Rose.--"Yea, my Lord, I thank God, and do confess myself much thereby confirmed: for as touching the doctrine of the supremacy, against the bishop of Rome's usurped authority, no man hath said further. And, as I remember, you confess in it, that when this truth was revealed unto you, you thought the scales to fall from your eyes."

            Winchester.--"Thou liest like a varlet; there is no such thing in my book, but I shall handle thee, and such as thou art, well enough. I have long looked for thee, and at length have caught thee. I will know who be thy maintainers, or else I will make thee a foot longer."

            Rose.--"My Lord, you shall do as much as pleaseth God, and no more; yet the law is in your hand: but I have God for my maintainer, and none other." At these words, one of his servants stepped forth, and said, "My Lord, I heard this man preach by Norwich, in Sir John Robster's house; and in his prayer he desired God to turn Queen Mary's heart, or else to take her out of the world; and this was in King Edward's time."

            Rose.--"My Lord, I made no such prayer, but next after the king I prayed for her after this sort, saying, 'Ye shall pray for my Lady Mary's Grace, that God will vouchsafe to endue her with his Spirit, that she graciously may perceive the mysteries contained within his holy laws; and so render unto him her heart purified with true faith, and true and loyal obedience to her sovereign lord and king, to the good ensample of the inferior subjects.' And this, my Lord, is already answered in mine own handwriting to the council." Unto this he said little, but turning his face to certain that were by him, "This is he," quoth the bishop, "that my Lord of Norwich told me, had begotten his maid with child."

            Rose.--"This is no heresy, my Lord, although it be a lie. Indeed certain wicked persons raised this report of me, for the hatred they bare to the doctrine which I preached; but for purgation of myself herein, I had no less than six of the council's hands, that there might be due and diligent examination for this matter in the country by men of worship appointed for that purpose, who can all testify, (I thank God,) that I am most clear from such wickedness; and indeed they have cleared me from it. And therefore I doubt not, but all good men will espy the mischievous device of mine adversaries, which (when other ways failed) by such sinister means went about to draw me into discredit and hatred. But God, which is the helper of the innocent, and searcher of men's hearts, hath and doth defend me, and hath laid open things that were hid, to their shame. One of the chief reporters of this, that I should so abuse myself, was one Master Clark, servant, and in some estimation, with the old lord treasurer of England, reputed and taken for a conjuror, who afterward, for his good demerits, hanged himself in the Tower."-- Then the bishop commanded that I should be carried to the Tower, and kept safely, where I did lie till it was the week before Whitsuntide; after which time I was twice called, when the bishop came to the Tower about other prisoners. Notwithstanding, the bishop had no great talk with me, but spake friendly. Howbeit, one Sir Richard Southwell, knight, still accused me for my prayer, and said I did put a difference betwixt Lady Mary and Lady Elizabeth, for that I prayed in King Edward's faith, and prayed that he would confirm Lady Elizabeth in that which was well begun in her. Unto this the bishop said little. But in the week before Pentecost, I was conveyed from the Tower to Norwich, there to be examined by the bishop and his clergy, as concerning my faith, the manner whereof here followeth.


The second examination of Thomas Rose, before the bishop of Norwich, Hopkins by name, in his own palace, in the presence of Sir W. Woodhouse, knight, Master Steward the chancellor, Dr. Barret, with divers others, the Wednesday in Whitsun-week, A.D. 1553.

            After I was presented by my keeper, the bishop immediately asked me what I was. I told him I had been a minister.

            Bishop.--"What is this to the purpose; were ye a friar or a priest?"

            Rose.--"Friar was I never; but a priest have I been, and beneficed by the king's Majesty."

            Bishop.--"Where were ye made priest?"

            Rose.--"In Exeter, in the county where I was born."

            hen the bishop required of me my letters of orders. I told him I knew not where they were become, for they were things of me not greatly regarded.

            Bishop.--"Well, you are sent to me to be examined; what say you, will you submit yourself to the order of the Church of England?"

            Rose.--"My Lord, I trust I am not out of the order of Christ's church in England, neither do I know myself an offender there-against."

            Bishop.--"What! yes, ye have here preached most damnable and devilish doctrine."

            Rose.--"Not so, my Lord. The doctrine by me here preached, was both true, sincere, and holy. But indeed the doctrine that is now set forth, is most wicked and damnable, yea, and that both against God's laws and man's. But as for the doctrine by me preached, it is grounded upon the word of God, set out also by the authority of two most mighty kings, with the consent of all the nobility and clergy of the same; so that I preached nothing but their lawful proceedings, having their lawful authority under their broad seals, for confirmation of the same, for which my doing ye cannot justly charge me. For why, since the law ceased, I have kept silence, so that the council which sent me unto you, have not charged me therewith. Wherefore ye do me open wrong, to burden me with that wherein I am free."

            Chancellor.--"What, sir? ye are very captious; answerest thou my Lord after such a sort?"

            "Sir," said I, "I answer for myself, and according to the truth: wherewith ye ought not to be offended, if ye be of God."

            Chancellor.--"Thou art an evil man. Wast thou not abjured before now?"

            Rose.--"No, ye untruly report me, and are in no wise able to prove that which ye have spoken: so that your words appear to proceed altogether of malice, which I have not deserved at your hands. But in this I well perceive ye are made an instrument to utter other men's malice, conceived of old."

            Chancellor.--"What say you to the real presence in the sacrament?"

            Rose.--"I wist right well ye were made an instrument to seek innocent blood: well, ye may have it, if God permit; it is present at hand, for I have not come hither to lie, but to die (if God see it good) in defence of that which I have said. Wherefore ye may begin when ye shall think good, for I have said nothing but the truth, and that which in those days was of all men allowed for truth, and against the which ye at that time durst not once whisper, although ye now brag never so much."

            "Well, father Rose," said the bishop, "whatsoever hath been done in times past, shall not now be called in question, so that ye now submit yourself. For not only you, but all the whole realm hath been out of the right way, both high and low, spiritual and temporal: but all, notwithstanding, have submitted themselves, and acknowledged their faith. Wherefore, if ye will be accounted for an Englishman, ye must likewise submit yourself."

            Rose.--"My Lord, I am an Englishman born, and do most humbly require of the Christian congregation of England, to be counted as a particular member of the same, and with all due reverence submit myself as in the form and manner following: That whatsoever law or laws shall be set forth in the same, for the establishment of Christ's true religion, and that according to the faith and doctrine of the holy patriarchs and prophets, Jesus Christ, and his holy apostles, with the faithful fathers of Christ's primitive church, I do not only hold it and believe it, but also most reverently obey it." At which my assertion, the bishop seemed to be greatly rejoiced, and said, "Well, then, we shall soon be at a point. But," said he, "you shall take this for no day of examination, but rather of communication, so that ye shall now depart and pause yourself, until we call for you again." And so ended our first meeting.


The third examination of Thomas Rose.

            On the Friday following, I was called again into Christ's-church within their Lady's chapel, (as they termed it,) where was gathered a great part of the whole city of Norwich. And after I was by my keeper presented, the bishop began with a great protestation; and after many words demanded of me, whether, according to my former promise, I would submit myself or no. I answered as before I had done, that according to my former protestation, I would most gladly obey. Then said the chancellor, (to utter his gentleness,) "I think you do but feign."

            "The fault then," said I, "shall be in yourself, and not in me. For if ye burden me with nothing but Scriptures, and the fathers of Christ's primitive church, then, as I said before, so I say again, I shall most gladly obey."

            Chancellor.--"Well then, seeing you challenge to be a member of the Church of England, your mother here, for a trial of obedience, provoketh you, as mothers are wont to allure you, to receive this little gift at her hand."

            "Forsooth," said I, "if she offer it me as received of God my Father, I shall gladly receive it, as from the hand of my very true and ghostly mother."

            Chancellor.--"What say you to ear-confession? Is it not a law ecclesiastical, and necessary for the Church of England?"

            Rose.--"Some ways it might be permitted, and some ways not; and that because it had not its original of God and his blessed word. And yet I deny not, but that a man, being troubled in his conscience, and resorting to a discreet, sober, and Christian learned man, for the quieting of his mind, might well be permitted. But to bind a man under pain of damnation, once every year, to number his sins into the ears of a filthy lecherous priest, is not of God, neither can be approved by his word."

            Bishop.--"Ah, sirrah! ye will admit nothing but Scripture, I see well."

            Rose.--"No truly, my Lord, I admit nothing but Scripture for the regiment of the soul: for why, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; and where the word of God is not, there ought no belief to be given. For whatsoever is not of faith is sin." And here they left off speaking any more of that matter.

            But then Master Chancellor began to whet his teeth at me, saying, "Yea, but you have preached, that the real, natural, and substantial presence of Christ is not in the sacrament of the altar: what say ye to that?"

            Rose.--"Verily, I say, that you are a bloody man, and seek to quench your thirst with the blood of an innocent; and therefore, to satisfy you in that behalf, I say verily unto you, that even so I have here preached. And although, contrary to law, you charge me with the same, yet will I in no wise deny it, though justly I might do it, but stand thereunto, even to seal it with my blood, desiring all that be here present, to testify the same, and believe it as the only truth."

            Bishop.--"I charge you all to believe it not."

            "Yea, but my Lord," said I, "if ye will needs have credence given you, you must bring God's word to maintain your sayings."

            Bishop.--"Why, doth not Christ say, This is my body? and can there be any plainer words spoken?"

            Rose.--"It is true, my Lord, the words be as plain as can be, and even so be these, where it is said, I am a door, a vine. And Christ is called a stone, a lion, and yet is he naturally none of these: for they be all figurative speeches, as both the Scriptures and fathers do sufficiently prove."

            At which my saying, the bishop would have had me stay, saying, I should have another day, wherein I might take better advisement.

            "Not so, my Lord," said I, "for I am at a full point with myself in that matter, and am right well able to prove both your transubstantiation, with the real presence, to be against the Scriptures and the ancient fathers of the primitive church. For Justin, which is one of the ancientest writers that ever wrote upon the sacraments, writeth in his second Apology, that the bread, water, and wine in the sacrament, are not to be taken as other meats and drinks, but be meats purposely ordained to give thanks unto God, and therefore be called eucharistia, and also have the names of the body and blood of Christ; and that it is not lawful for any man to eat and drink of them, but such as profess the religion of Christ, and live also according to their profession. And yet (saith he) the same bread and drink is changed into our flesh and blood, and nourisheth our bodies. By which saying it is evident that Justin meant, that the bread and wine remain still, or else they could not have been turned into our flesh and blood, and nourish our bodies." At which my saying they were not a little troubled, but enforced themselves to have denied the doctor, and would suffer me to speak no more, but straightway was I carried away unto my lodging. And so ended the second day of mine appearance, which was the Friday in Whitsunweek; and then was I appointed to appear again on the Monday following. Howbeit, upon what occasion I know not, it was deferred unto the Wednesday, which was Corpus-Christi even.


His talk with the earl of Sussex, Sir William Woodhouse, and the bishop's chaplains.

            "In the mean time the bishop sent two of his chaplains to me, with whom I had communication about the real presence: and after long reasoning to and fro, concerning this point, at length I drave them to this issue: whether they did confess that Christ, in the selfsame body which was conceived of the Virgin Mary, and wherein he suffered and rose again, doth, in the selfsame body, naturally, substantially, and really, sit at the right hand of God the Father, without return from thence, until the day of the general judgment, or not? Whereunto they answered, 'Yes, truly,' said they, 'we confess it, hold it, and believe it.' Then I again demanded of them, whether they did affirm, after the words pronounced by the minister, there to remain flesh, blood, bones, hair, nails, as is wont most grossly to be preached, or not? And they with great deliberation answered, that they did not only abhor the teaching of such gross doctrine, but also would detest themselves, if they should so think.

            "At which two principal points, wherein they fully confirmed my doctrine which I ever taught, I was not a little comforted and rejoiced, but marvellously encouraged. Whereupon I demanded again of them, what manner of body they then affirmed to be in the sacrament? 'Forsooth,' said they, 'not a visible, palpable, or circumscriptable body, for that is always at the Father's right hand: but in the sacrament it is invisible, and can neither be felt, seen, nor occupy any place, but is there by the omnipotency of God's word, they know not how. And for this they brought in St. Augustine, although of them not truly understood, yet would they admit none other sense than their own, but would take upon them to confirm it with Martin Luther, Melancthon, Bucer, and Calvin: so that I, perceiving their obstinacy in that behalf, gave them over for that time, and afterward talked with Dr. Barret, whom I also found of the same judgment in that behalf: 'for,' said he, 'if ye should dissent from the fathers of the primitive church in this behalf, of which St. Augustine is one, ye shall be counted to die out of the favour of God." Well, all this their obstinacy and blasphemous errors imprinted and deeply weighed in my mind, I gave them all over. And the more quietly to bring them to confess that openly, which they unto me had granted privately, I granted them according to the Scriptures, and my former protestation, a presence, although not as they supposed.

            "After all this, came there unto me the honourable earl of Sussex, and that gentle knight, Sir William Woodhouse, with great persuasions: unto whom I said, after long talk, that I would do all that I might, saving my conscience, which I would in no wise pollute; and no more I have, as knoweth God, by whom all men must be judged."


His last appearance before the bishop.

            "Now, to come to my last appearance, after I was before the bishop presented, he forthwith demanded of me, whether I were resolved, as he had heard say. To whom I answered, that even as always I had said before, even so I was now. Unto whom, by low bowing my knee, I gave my due reverence, and the rather for that the honourable earl of Sussex was there; wherewith some which would be counted great gospellers, were (contrary to all Christianity) sore offended. Then I said, that whatsoever laws were set forth for the establishment of Christ's true religion, and that according to the doctrine of Christ's holy apostles, and the faithful fathers of the primitive church, I did not only obey them, but must earnestly embrace and believe them. Yea, and yet, to the further blinding of their eyes, I said, that if any thing could justly be proved by God's holy word, by me heretofore preached or taught untruly, either for lack of learning, slide of tongue, or of ignorance; yet by better knowledge, when it shall justly be tried and examined by the same, I shall not refuse (the thing perfectly approved) to revoke the same: provided always, the word of God herein to be judge.

            "All this spake I (as God knoweth) to keep them from suspecting that which I went about, and that they should have none occasion to judge me of obstinacy. Then said I moreover, 'All you must of force confess, that the doctrine by me heretofore preached, had, besides the authority of God's eternal verity, the authority of two most noble and mighty princes, with the advice and counsel of all the nobility and clergy of the same, and that with great deliberation from time to time, with open disputations in both the universities, enacted also by parliament with the consent of the whole body and commons of the same, and that without any resistance or gainsaying established, as a religion most pure and perfect, most earnestly and sincerely preached by the principal bishops and doctors, and that before the king's Majesty's person. And I, as one being called to that office, did the like with all the rest, and, in the zeal of God and with a pure conscience, did set forth the same, as the only and absolute truth of God, and the just and most true proceedings of my sovereign lord and king. And I had then my head, at that present, even where it now standeth, betwixt mine ears, altogether applying the same, to apprehend with all diligence that which then was established and taught, as the only and absolute truth, and a thing unto me most desirable, and well liking, without any desire to hear the contrary, till now, through this my captivity, I am compelled to hear the contrary part speak, who are even here present, and which my Lord sent unto me.

            "'Of whom, after long disputations privately to and fro before this time had betwixt us, at length I have heard of them a contrary doctrine, which I never before had heard; and therefore must confess mine own ignorance in the same. For,' quoth I, 'after I had enforced these men here present,' (meaning the bishop's two chaplains,) 'to confess Jesus Christ's natural body, with his full complete members in due order and proportion of a perfect man's body, to be present at the right hand of God the Father, and that without return from thence, until the last judgment, and also that, after the words pronounced by the priest, there remaineth no such gross presence of flesh, blood, bones, hair, and nails, as was wont to be preached; but that, after I had demanded of them what manner of body they affirmed to be present, they said, A body invisible by the omnipotency of God's word, which neither can be felt nor seen, nor that hath any distinction of members, but such a body as occupieth no place, but is there they know not how. Necessity compelled me to confess mine ignorance in that behalf, although in very deed they perceived not my meaning therein, neither was it in my thought they should so do. For by this their confession, and my silence, afterward I perceived their horrible blasphemies.

            "And methought in this I had well discharged at that time my conscience, in causing them in open audience to confess the same; and so I granted a presence, but not as they supposed. For only I said, that Christ, after the words pronounced, is present in the lawful use and right distribution of his holy supper; which thing I never denied, or any godly man that ever I heard of. For, said I, Eusebius Emissenus, a man of singular fame and learning, about three hundred years after Christ's ascension, saith, that the conversion of the visible creatures of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, is like unto our conversion in baptism, where nothing is outwardly changed, but all the change is inwardly, by the mighty working of the Holy Ghost, which fashioneth and frameth Christ in the heart and mind of man, as by the example of Peter preaching to the people, by which he so pierced their consciences, that they openly, with most earnest repentance, confessed their sins, saying, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Repent, and be baptized every one of you, said Peter, in the name of Jesus Christ. So that at this sermon there were turned unto Christ three thousand persons; in whom Christ was so fashioned and framed, as that be did dwell in every one of them, and they in him. And after the like manner (said I) is Christ present in the lawful use and right distribution of his holy supper, and not otherwise. For although I said, according to the truth, that Christ dwelt in every one of these persons rehearsed, yet meant I nothing less, than that he in them should have a gross, carnal, or fleshly dwelling. And no more meant I (as God knoweth) him carnally or naturally to be in the sacrament, but according to the Scriptures, and my former protestation, that is, to the spiritual nourishment of all such as worthily come unto that holy supper, receiving it according to his holy institution.' And thus I ended; which the papists most maliciously and slanderously named a recantation; which I never meant, nor thought (as God knoweth).

            "Now, after I had thus concluded my speech, the:bishop, taking me by the hand, said, 'Father Rose, you may be a worthy instrument in God's church, and we will see to you at our coming home:' for he was about to take his journey in visitation of his diocese; and they feared much at this very time, lest Queen Mary should have miscarried in child-travail, which was looked for, being then accounted very great with child, so that they were not so fierce as they had been, and doubted very much of some stir, if I should have suffered; and therefore were glad to be rid of me, so that by any colourable means for their own discharge it might be: so, the night following, was I only committed to mine own lodging.

            "On the morrow, when the bishop was ready to ride forth in visitation, he called me before him, and perceiving that Sir William Woodhouse did bear me great favour, said, he was sorry for me and my expenses; and therefore wished that I were some where, where I might spend no more money, till his return. 'Why, my Lord,' quoth Sir William Woodhouse, 'he shall have meat, and drink, and lodging, with me, till you return again, seeing you now break up house.' And hereupon I went home with Sir William, that good knight, who most gently entertained me, and I had great liberty. Upon this, the papistical priests of the college of Christ's Church in Norwich, for that they saw me at liberty in Sir William's absence, (who also was then from home a fortnight,) blazed it abroad that Sir William was bounden for me in body and lands. At his coming home, therefore, I asked Sir William if he were so bounden for me; and he denied it. Then said I, 'Sir, but for the reverence I bear to you, I might have been a hundred miles from you ere this. But I trust now, sir, seeing you be not bound for me, I may go visit my friends.' 'Go where you will,' said Sir William; 'for,' quoth he, 'I told the bishop I would not be his jailer, but promised only meat, drink, and lodging for you.' Shortly after, upon the device of some friends, I was closely conveyed to a friend's house, where almost a month I was secretly kept, till rumours were over: for at the bishop's return, searching was for me; insomuch as all houses, where it was known I had been acquainted, were searched, and the ships at Yarmouth.

            "At length the bishop sent to a conjuror, to know of him which way I was gone; and he answered, that I was gone over a water, and in the keeping of a woman. And in very deed I was passed over a small water, and was hid by a blessed woman and godly woman, which lived in a poor cottage, the space of three weeks, till all the great heat was over.

            "Then was I conveyed to London, and from thence passed over the seas, where I lived till the death of Queen Mary, and till it had pleased God, for the comfort of his church, and restoring of all poor exiles and prisoners for his name's sake, to bless this realm with the government of our noble queen, whom God, to the glory of his own name, and the defence of his church, according to his good will and pleasure, long preserve and continue over us."


Previous Next