Foxe's Book of Martyrs Volume 9 264 John Rogers

Foxe's Book of Martyrs Volume 9 264 John Rogers is in Foxe's Book of Martyrs Volume 9.

04 Feb 1555. The fourth of February suffered the constant martyr of God, Master John Rogers (age 50), concerning whose life, examinations, and suffering, here followeth in order set forth. And first touching his life and bringing up.

John Rogers, brought up in the university of Cambridge, where he profitably travailed in good learning, at length was chosen and called by the merchant adventurers to be their chaplain at Antwerp in Brabant, whom he served to their good contentation many years. It chanced him there to fall in company with that worthy servant and martyr of God William Tyndale, and with Miles Coverdale (age 67), who both, for the hatred they bare to popish superstition and idolatry, and love to true religion, had forsaken their native country. In conferring with them the Scriptures, he came to great knowledge in the gospel of God, insomuch that he cast off the heavy yoke of popery, perceiving it to be impure and filthy idolatry, and joined himself with them two in that painful and most profitable labour of translating the Bible into the English tongue, which is entitled, The Translation of Thomas Matthewe. He, knowing by the Scriptures, that unlawful vows may lawfully be broken, and that matrimony is both honest and honourable among all men, joined himself in lawful matrimony, and so went to Wittenberg in Saxony, where he, with much soberness of living, did not only greatly increase in all good and godly learning, but also so much profited in the knowledge of the Dutch tongue, that the charge of a congregation was orderly committed to his cure.

In which ministry he diligently and faithfully served many years, until such time as it pleased God, by the faithful travail of his chosen and dear servant, King Edward the Sixth, utterly to banish all popery forth of England, and to receive in true religion, setting God's gospel at liberty. He then, being orderly called, having both a conscience, and a ready good will to help forward the work of the Lord in his native country, left such honest and certain conditions as he had in Saxony, and came into England to preach the gospel, without certainty of any condition. In which office, after he had a space diligently and faithfully travailed, Nicholas Ridley, then bishop of London, gave him a prebend in the cathedral church of Paul; and the dean and the chapter chose him to be the reader of the divinity-lesson there; wherein he diligently travailed, until such time, as Queen Mary, obtaining the crown, banished the gospel and true religion, and brought in the antichrist of Rome, with his idolatry and superstition

After the queen was come to the Tower of London, he, being orderly called thereunto, made a godly and vehement sermon at Paul's Cross, confirming such true doctrine as he and others had there taught in King Edward's days, exhorting the people constantly to remain in the same, and to beware of all pestilent popery, idolatry, and superstition. The council, being then overmatched with popish and bloody bishops, called him to account for his sermon: to whom he made a stout, witty, and godly answer; and yet in such sort handled himself, that at that time he was clearly dismissed. But after that proclamation was set forth by the queen to prohibit true preaching, he was called again before the council; for the bishops thirsted after his blood. The council quarrelled with him concerning his doctrine, and in conclusion commanded him as prisoner to keep his own house; and so he did; although by flying, he might easily have escaped their cruel hands, and many things there were which might have moved him thereunto. He did see the recovery of religion in England, for that present, desperate; he knew he could not want a living in Germany; and he could not forget his wife and ten children, and to seek means to succour them. But all these things set apart, after he was called to answer in Christ's cause, he would not depart, but stoutly stood in defence of the same, and for the trial of that truth, was content to hazard his life.

Thus he remained in his own house as prisoner a long time, till at length, through the uncharitable procurement of Bonner (age 55), bishop of London, who could not abide such honest neighbours to dwell by him, he was removed from his own house to the prison called Newgate, where he was lodged among thieves and murderers for a great space; during which time, what business he had with the adversaries of Christ, all is not known, neither yet any certainty of his examinations, further than he himself did leave in writing; which God would not to be lost, but to remain for a perpetual testimony in the cause of God's truth, as here followeth recorded and testified by his own writing.

Description of the examination by Lord Chancellor Bishop Stephen Gardiner (age 72).

30 Jan 1555. The Sunday before he suffered, he drank to Master Hooper (age 60), being then underneath him, and bade them commend him unto him, and tell him, "There was never little fellow better would stick to a man, than he would stick to him; "presupposing they should both be burned together, although it happened otherwise; for Master Rogers was burnt alone. And thus much briefly concerning the life and such acts of Master Rogers, as I thought worthy noting.

1555 Protestant Executions

04 Feb 1555. Now when the time came, that he, being delivered to the sheriffs, should be brought out of Newgate [Map] to Smithfield [Map], the place of his execution, first came to him Master Woodroofe, one of the aforesaid sheriffs, and calling Master Rogers (age 50) unto him, asked him if he would revoke his abominable doctrine, and his evil opinion of the sacrament of the altar. Master Rogers (age 50) answered and said, "That which I have preached I will seal with my blood." "Then," quoth Master Woodroofe, "thou art a heretic." "That shall be known," quoth Rogers, "at the day of judgment." "Well," quoth Master Woodroofe, "I will never pray for thee." "But I will pray for you," quoth Master Rogers: and so was brought the same day, which was Monday the fourth of February, by the sheriffs towards Smithfield, saying the psalm Miserere by the way, all the people wonderfully rejoicing at his constancy, with great praises and thanks to God for the same. And there, in the presence of Master Rochester, comptroller of the queen's household, Sir Richard Southwell (age 52), both the sheriffs, and a wonderful number of people, the fire was put unto him; and when it had taken hold both upon his legs and shoulders, he, as one feeling no smart, washed his hands in the flame, as though it had been in cold water. And, after lifting up his hands unto heaven, not removing the same until such time as the devouring fire had consumed them - most mildly this happy martyr yielded up his spirit into the hands of his heavenly Father. A little before his burning at the stake, his pardon was brought, if he would have recanted, but he utterly refused. He was the first protomartyr of all the blessed company that suffered in Queen Mary's time, that gave the first adventure upon the fire. His wife and children, being eleven in number, and ten able to go, and one sucking on her breast, met him by the way as he went towards Smithfield. This sorrowful sight of his own flesh and blood could nothing move him; but that he constantly and cheerfully took his death, with wonderful patience, in the defence and quarrel of Christ's gospel.