Let us read facts standing out on the face of the globe. What has made Italy what she is? Popery.—What has made Mexico and the South American States what they are? Popery.—What has made Spain and Portugal what they are? Popery.—What has made Ireland what she is? Popery.—What makes Scotland, the United States, and our own beloved England, the powerful, prosperous countries that they are at present, and I pray God they may long continue? I answer in one word, Protestantism, —a free Bible and a Protestant ministry, and the principles of the Reformation. Let us think twice before we give ear to the specious arguments of liberalism falsely so called. Let us think twice before we help to bring back the reign of Popery.
(2) For another thing, I charge all loyal churchmen, and all who love pure Evangelical religion to stand together in these days of division, and not allow crotchets and scruples to keep them asunder. Let the friend of Liturgical Revision drop his favourite panacea for a little space, and put his shoulder to the work of maintaining the Gospel in the Church of England. Let the friend of Revivals not think it misspent time to give his aid in opposing Rome. If Popery once triumph, there will be no more liberty for revivals. We cannot afford to lose friends. Our ranks are already very thin. The Church of England demands of every Protestant and Evangelical Churchman, that he will do his duty.
Things look black in every direction, I freely admit. But there is no cause to despair. The day is not lost. There is yet time to win a battle. Come what will, let us not desert our position, or forsake the good old ship yet. Let us not please our enemies by spiking our guns, and marching out of our fortress without a battle. Rather let us stand to our guns, like good Bishop Hooper, and in God's strength show a bold front to the foe. The Church of England has done some good in days gone by, and the Church is still worth preserving. If we do go down in the struggle, let us go down with colours flying. But let us stand firm, like the gallant sentinel of Pompeii; let no man leave his post. My own mind is fully made up. I say the Church of England had better perish and go to pieces than forsake John Hooper's principles and tolerate the sacrifice of the Mass, and auricular confession.
The Following Letter Is Well Worth Reading.
"A Letter which Master Hooper did write out of Prison to certain of his Friends, three weeks before his cruel Burning at Gloucester.
"The grace of God be with you. Amen.
"I did write unto you of late, and told you what extremity the Parliament had concluded upon concerning religion, suppressing the truth, and setting forth the untruth, intending to cause all men by extremity to forswear themselves, and to take again for the head of the Church him that is neither head nor member of it, but a very enemy, as the Word of God and all ancient writers do record: and for lack of law and authority, they will use force and extremity, which have been the arguments to defend the Pope and Popery since this authority first began in the world. But now is the time of trial, to see whether we fear God or man. It was an easy thing to hold with Christ while the Prince and world held with Him; but now the world hateth Him, it is the true trial who be His. Wherefore, in the name and in the virtue, strength, and power of His Holy Spirit, prepare yourselves in any case to adversity and constancy. Let us not run away when it is most time to fight. Remember, none shall be crowned but such as fight manfully; and he that endureth to the end shall be saved. You must now turn all your cogitations from the peril yon see, and mark the felicity that followeth the peril,—either victory in this world of your enemies, or else a surrender of this life to inherit the everlasting kingdom. Beware of beholding too much the felicity or misery of this world; for the consideration and too earnest love or fear of either of them draweth from God. Wherefore think with yourselves, as touching the felicity of the world, it is good; but yet none otherwise than it standeth with the favour of God. It is to be kept; but yet so far forth, as by keeping of it we lose not God. It is good abiding and tarrying still among our friends here; but yet so, that we tarry not therewithal in God's displeasure, and hereafter dwell with the devils in fire everlasting. There is nothing under God but may be kept, so that God, being above all things we have, be not lost.
"Of adversity judge the same. Imprisonment is painful; but yet liberty upon evil conditions is more painful. The prisons stink, but yet not so much as sweet houses where the fear and true honour of God lacketh. I must be alone and solitary; it is better so to be, and have God with me, than to be in company with the wicked. Loss of goods is great; but loss of God's grace and favour is greater. ... It is better to make answer before the pomp and pride of wicked men than to stand naked in the sight of all heaven and earth before the just God at the latter day. I shall die by the hands of the cruel man: he is blessed that loseth this life, full of mortal miseries, and limleth the life full of eternal joys. It is pain and grief to depart from goods and friends ; but yet not so much as to depart from grace and heaven itself. Wherefore there is neither felicity nor adversity of this world that can appear to be great, if it be weighed with the joys or pains of the world to come.
"I can do no more but pray for you; do the same for me, for God's sake. For my part (I thank the heavenly Father), I have made mine accounts, and appointed myself unto the will of the heavenly Father; as He will, so I will, by His grace. For God's sake, as soon as ye can, send my poor wife and children some letter from you; and my letter also, which I sent of late to D. As it was told me, she never had letter from me, sithence the coming of M. S. unto her; the more to blame the messengers, for I have written divers times. The Lord comfort them, and provide for them ; for I am able to do nothing in worldly things. She is a godly and wise woman. If my meaning had been accomplished, she should have had necessary things; but what I meant God can perform, to whom I commend both her and you alL I am a precious jewel now, and daintily kept, never so daintily; for neither mine own man, nor any of the servants of the house, may come to me, but my keeper alone,—a simple, rude man, God knoweth; but I am nothing careful thereof. Fare you welL The 21st of January, 1555.