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alf out of the Bishops Registers who were the Doers thereof. This was an Appeal to the Sentes of Men, and a most evident Proof, that Popery cannot be the Religion of our merciful high Priest, who has Compassion on the Ignorant and those who are out of the Way; and who himself declared, That he came not to destroy Mens Lives buc to save them, and, that they who act otherwise do not know what Manner of Spirit they are of.
Of this great and laborious Work of this excellent Man, the Bishops and Clergy of the Church of England in their Convocation held 1571, about eight Years after its first Publication, gave this good Chasacter, that it is a full and perfect History, and ordered, “That every • Archbishop and Bishop, the Deans of Cathedral Churches, and Arch« deacons, should have in their Houses that compleat History which • is entitled, The Monuments of the Martyrs, and, that they should be • placed either in the Hall, or great Dining Room, that they may be
used or read by their Servants and Strangers.' This was observed fo late as Archbishop Tennison's Time, who had them laid in his Hall at Lambeth. They were also placed in Churches with Bishop Jewel's Works, to be read and perased by those who resorted thither to worship God, and for their own Instruction, to enable them to defend their Religion, or vindicate the § Reformation against the Affaults of Popish Books and Missionaries.
Archbishop Whitgift, who personally knew Mr Fox, Riled him, « That worthy Man who hath so well deserved of this Church of Eng• land;' and said of him, that he spoke as he thought, and was not • a Man who would be corrupted with Praise.' The learned and judicious Mr Camden gave much the same Character of him and his learned Work. (6) of the learned, says he, died, 1587, John Fox, an • Oxford Man, who with great Applause, and an unwearied Study of « Truth, compiled the Ecclesiastical History of England, first in Latin, • and afterwards more largely in English.
By * Writers of our own Time, who have perused and examined this Work, has the following excellent Character been given of it, that • Having compared it with the Records, they had never been able «00 discover any Errors or Prevarications, but the utmoft Fidelity • and Exa&tness; that he was a Man of Probity, learned and diligent, • and, that as many of the Slips or Mistakes which came to his Know• ledge he rectified himself.' Anthony Wood said of him, that he was • a Person of good natural Endowments, a sagacious Searcher" into • hiftorical Antiquity, incomparably charitable, of exemplary Life and • Converlation, but a severe Calvinist, and a very bitter Enemy in his 4 Writings against the Roman Catholic Party, exceeding the Rules of · Charity, as 'tis conceived by some. But this is different from exceeding the Rules of Truth.
However, it has happened to this good and honest Man, according to the Proverb, Veritas odium parit. The warm Men of the Roman Catholic Communion were highly provoked by it, and Father Parsons,
See Me Strype's Annals of the Reformation, Vol. I. p. 250, $C. (b) Hearne's Edition of Camden's Annals. Vol. II. p. 558. • Burnet, Strype, Collier and Nisboljen,
an English Jefuit, about 16 Years after Mr Fox's Death, wrote three violent Books against him and this Hiftory of his which he called A Treatise of three Converfions of England, to defame and expose it. The late Thomas Heurne called it, for a great part of it, (c) a Fardle of Lies Bue this was the Man whose Amor Veritatis of party Spleen, pashed bim to Aile the great and learned Dr John Wiclif, revera impius et rebellis, and J. Collier, egregius Hiftoricus et Veritatis Cultor. But fie Mr Bilson's Account of him 1731, and his ungrateful Treatment of Bp Kennet, who had been a Friend and a Father to him, in his Preface to Leland's Itinerary. Thro' bis Means Hearne was admitted of Edmund Hall, and was there used by him, more like a Son than a Pupil ; Hearne himself owned, that the Bihop had done for him many kind and friendly Ofices, and yet he Nily accused him, as a Man well known to be of no Candor, Fidelity or Veracity. This
was the Effect of learned Bigotry, or a little Knowledge without any Judgment and Manners.
Ingenuas didiciffe fideliter Artes, Emollit mores nec finit eje feros. If, faid a learned and judicious Man who had subscribed for Hearne's Edition of these Books, Mr Camden could have known, that bis Annals would have been printed with such a P.reface, he would certainly have suppressed it.
But a greater than he, the late Archbp Nicholson, observed in his Humour of criticising, That Mr Fox's haity Zeal against the Papifts, fur• nished him with a large Stock of Faith, and a Readiness to avouch any " thing that might effe&tually blacken them and their Religion.' A poor as well as wrong Character! For how is this confiftent with Fox's recti. fying himse'f as many of his Şlips or Mistakes as came to his Knowledge, which the Archbp owns he did ? However to prove this, 'cis added, that. One unlucky Tale of Fox's occasioned a great deal of Trouble ' to a Clergy man, who very innocently reporting from Fox, that one • Greenwood had by Perjury, taken off a Martyr in Q. Mary's Reiga, + and came afterwards to a shameful End, the said Greenwood was, it
seems, prelent at the Sermon, and brought an Adion of Scandal a-
Allizes at Bury before Sir Clement Higham againk one John Cooper of • Watham in the same County, to prove him guilty of treafonable Words
spoken agains Queen Mary, in the Harvest afier, as he was in his • Labour flaking up a Goffe of Corn, having his Health and fearing ng • Peril, fuddenly bis Bowels fell out of his Body, and immediately • most miserably he died.'
Serjeant Rolle in his Abridgment des plufieurs cafes, &c. Tit. A&tion fur case, reported, that in Fox's Book of Martyrs is an Account of one
Green (e) Dr Artbur Cbarlet, at that Time Master of University College in Oxford, assured Mr Strype, that t ey of the Univerfity, and himself in particular, were much offended at this injurious Character of the Acts and Monuments given by Hearne. Annals of the Reform. Vol. III. p. 504. But see Preface to Wulif'. Life p.v. 1723. 7 Cemens Higham Capitalis Bero de Scaccario 4, s. Phil. ee Marie ad 15 Eliz. Duigdale Chron. Series,
Greenwood of Suffolk who was reported to have perjared himself before • the Bishop of Norwich in testifying against a Martyr in Q Mary's • Reign, and, that after he came to his House, by the juft Judgment s of God, his Bowels rotted from his Belly for an exemplary Punish, ! ment of Perjury. One Prit being newly made Parson of the Parish • where Greenwood dwelt, and not well knowing his Parishioners, • preaching againt Perjury cited this story, and it chanced, that Green• wood was alive and at Church, and afterwards brought an A&tion on • the Case againt the Parson.'
Sir George Crooke Justice of the King's Bench, tells us in his Reports Part II. p. 91, that 27 Eliz. Coke cited this Cafe ; that Parson Pricke in a Sermon, recited a Story out of Fox's Martyrology, that one Greenwood, being a perjured Person, and a great Persecutor, had great Plagues inflicted upon him, and was killed by the Hand of God, whereas, in Truth, he never was so plagued, and was himself present at that Sermon; and he thereupon brought his A&tion upon the Case for calling him a perjured Person.
Anthony a Wood, the Antiquary, charged Mr Fox with committing a moft egregious Falfily in reporting, that one Grimwood of Higbem in Suffolk died in a miserable Manner for swearing and bearing false Witnels against one John Cooper of Watfam in the same County for which he loft his Life.
Whoever reads these Accounts, cannot, I think, but observe how much they vary from that given by Mr Fox and from one another. Mr Fox calls the Name of the Man who was perjured Grimwood ; whereas Rolle, Crooke and Nicholson call it Greenwood, Fox says the Name of the place where Grimwood lived was Hitcham, Wood calls it Hegbam; whereas Hitcham and Wattefoam are boch together or adjoining Parishes, and Higham is in the Hundred of Samford at a good Distance from Wattesam. Fox himself tells us, that Croper was accused of treasonable Words spoken by him against Q. Mary; Rolle, that Greenwood testified against a Martyr ; and Nicholson, that by Perjury he had taken off a Mariyr. Rolle likewise reports, that Greenwood swore failly before the Bishop of Norwich, and that this Judgment overtook him after he came to his House, from Norwich I suppose. Fox's Tale is, that Grimwood swore fallly before Sir Clement Higham at Bury at the Lent Affizes, and was seized in the open Field the following Harvest, or five or fix Months after: Nay the Accounts in the Law Books differ, Rolle calls the Name of the Parson who recited this Story in his Sermon,Pritte, and Crooke says it was Pricke. However, Mr (4) Strype has affured us, that Mr Roger Morris, a careful Esquirer after such Matters, told him, that this Relation of Grimwood's Judgment was true, that he had read it in a very authentic Paper, carrying so much Evidence with it, that he did not in the least misdoubt it, tho' it did not fall upon that Man who sued the Minister, but on another of the fame Chriftian and Surname, as was well known afterwards.
Mr Fox has intimated, that the great Complaint which the Papifts made of his Monuments of the Martyrs, was, that in them they were re
(d) Annals of the English Reformation, Vol. I. Chap. 21. p. 241.
presented as more cruel than they were ; that the Number of Martyni wa aggravated, and many reported to have died Martyrs who were then alive, to all which Mr Fox thus replied, “Would to God, that the • Cruelty of you Catholics had suffered all them to live of whole • death ye say now, that I do lie. Although I deny not but in that « Book of Afts and Monuments, containing luch Diversity of Matter, • fomething might overicape. Yet I have bestowed my poor Diligence, my Intent was to profit all Men to hurte none.'
About 1738 a new Writer of the English Anabaptifts, falfly and ignorantly accused Mr Fox of concealing what made against bis Reli egion or was a Disparagement to his a fartyrs.' This Reflexion on Mi Fox's want of Honeity, P:obicy and Integrity, is owing, it seems, to his nos mentioning any Engli k Anabaptists among the Martyrs. But in 1572, but 15 Years before his Death, he assured Q. Elizabeth, that he knew no body of the English who was any wife akin to the Madness of Anabaptism. The same was observed by Dr Tha. Falter three years after, that the English, as yet, were free from that Infection. The first Congregation of English Anabaptists was gathered by one John Smith at Leiden in Holland about 1600, who le} rebaptized himielf. And the first here in England was that mentioned by Dr Featly in Southwark A. D. 1624, and even these, so far as it appears, did not hold, that laying Men and Women on their Backs under Wa. ter with convenient Garments on them is an effential Part of the Sacrament of Baptism. It was not, it seems, till 1633, that the Englid Anabapiitts began to separate themselves from :he Barronists or Independents, and form distinct Societies of about 20 or 30 Men and Wo. men. Mr Cartwright called the Dutch Anabaptists a wicked Sea, and Ailed the Punishments which some of them received here in England 1535, 1538, a juf Recompence of their Demerits.
But, to prove, that Mr Fox did conceal what he thought would be a Disparagement to his Martyrs, he is charged with concealing some of Dr Wicif's Opinions ; and, to make the Reader ftare the more, it is added, that this was done for some Design not known. Thele Opinions are faid to be one of those 24 Articles condemned by the Council of the Herth-din, as IViclif called it, held 1382. and three of the 45 condemned by the Council of Constance. The one of those condemned 1382 is the sevent!, that God ought to obey the Devil, an O. pinion so bialphemous and nonsensical, that it is a wonder, that any Man in his Senses should be charged with it by those who had not loft or impaired their own. Accordingly it is obierved, that this Article is omitted bosh by William Il'odford and Thomas Walden..
As to Mr Fox's omitting three of the 45 Conclutions condemned by the Council of Constance, the Truth is, he has omitted 27. Thole which he mencions are only Articles 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, in all eighteen out of forty-fiva. But so far was his Deiign of doing this from being not known, that
(e) The Anataptists rebaptizing them[lves was no rare or uncommon thing. King Henry VIII's Proclamation 1534 represented the Dutch Anabaptifts as having of their own Presumption and Authority lalely roboplized themselves. silams thus de fcribes the German Anabapufis.--qui primo Infantes baptizare vetabant, cc perpfos rekap. zabani,
himself tells his Readers p. 103, edit. 1563 what it was in the following Words. Besides the Articles abovementioned, there were others allo gathered out of his Books 45 in all
, which his malicious Ad• versaries perverfly coilecting and maliciously expounding, did exhibite • up to the Councell of Constance; which to recite all, cho' it be not • here needful, yet to recité certaine of them as they stand in that • Counceli it shall not be unnecessary or superfluous.'
It is further objected to Mr Fox, that in relating the Errors of
which William Sawtri, the Protomartyr of the English Nation, was • accused by the Papists, he uses the same Partiality that he had done • before in Wiclif's Case; for of the ten Errors of which he was con• vi&ted by the Bishop of Norwich, he conceals the two last as may be • seen in the c) Scroll and Recantation.' Now here are the followjog Ignorances. i Sawtre was not the Protomartyr of the English Nation, or the first Enzish, Man who was put to the cruel Death of being burnt alive for pretended Heresy. Knighton tells us, that A. D. 1203 the 4th of K. John, almost 200 Years before Sawtre's Time, · Albigenfes hæretici venerunt in Angliam quorum aliqui comburebantur vivi.' Our learned Camden referr'd to this when he said, that in King John's Reign, Chriftians among us begin to act cruelly toward Christians by committing them to the Flames. A Chronicle of Lordon mentions an Albigensis burnt A. D. 1210, and Wikes's Chronicle and Bracton a Deacon apoftatizing to Judaism, who was first degraded and then burnt A. D. 1222. 2. Mr Fox has not concealed the two laft of the ten Errors obje ted to him by the Bp of Norwich, a bare Inspection of the (g) Process of the Convocation against him, which is faithfully translated into English by Mr Fox, will convince any one, that the two Articles were not the two laft of the ten exhibited to the Bp, but the 5th and 7ih. 3dly These two Articles were omitted by the Convocation, not concealed by Mr Fox. Not one of the ten has any Relation to Baptism. Is not this now a Proof, that this confident Writer never saw the A&s of Convocation, nor ever read Fox's Acts: Bat is this to act like those who have by Baptism put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and renounced the finful Lufts of the Fleih, Hatred, Variance, Emulations, Wrath, Strife, Sects, Envyings, and the hidden things of Dishonesty?
William Sawtre or Chatrys was parochial Chaplain or Curate of Sc Margaret of the Town of Lenum and Tylney in the Diocese of Norwich. In Apr. 1399 he appeared before Henry Bishop of the Diocese, and publickly he'd and asserted the ten following Conclusions.
(?) 1. He said, that he would not adore the Cross on which Christ fuffered, but Chrif only who suffered on the Cro's.
2. He (f) The Process of the Convocation files it a Schedul:. ré) Concilia Nlagne Britannie Vol. ill. p. 275. Go.
(b) Among abundance of other loftances of his Negligences and Ignorances, I beg leave here to take Notice of the following one, p. 300.
• Samuel Fijher obtained a parochial Living in Kent, the Living of Liddin Rumiy of sool. a Year. Now here are these Clur.ders. 1. Lil is in Romney Marih in Kent. 2. Fither was only Letturer of it, as appears by the Pariih Register 1643 Ocl.ber 15 Samuell the Sonne of Samueli Fisher
Lecturer, buried by the said Lecturer not according to order prescribed in the Broke of • Common Prayer.'' Jojbua Aisgill D. D. was at this time Vicar of Lydd, and fequentred for not taking the Covenant. Could Fisher by his Z al and Forwardness in complying with the Men then in Power have obtained this sequestration, very probably he would not have turned Anabapriji as he did the next Yeas, and Quaker some Years after.