MARTYRDOM OF LATIMER AND RIDLEY
I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. (Psalm 78:2-4)
INTRODUCTION: BIBLE PROTESTANTISM HAS A GLORIOUS HISTORY. It is an epic story of a deadly struggle from under the heel of the Roman system to the glorious liberty of the sons of God. In our ecumenical and apostate age, this story needs to be retold that the battle may continue. This is the seventeenth of a number of posts (hence entitled: Protestant17) and is just another shot fired in this great battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. We are deliberately aiming at brevity, leaving it to other works (listed later) to satisfy any hunger for further information. These pages may therefore be viewed as tasty appetisers. May God give us the faith of these old Protestants who loved not their lives unto death and of whom, the world in its sin, was not worthy.
BISHOPS HUGH LATIMER (1485?-1555) AND NICHOLAS RIDLEY (1503?-1555)
Both men were burned together at the same stake on the October 16th 1555. Latimer said of his pre conversion days: "I was as obstinate a Papist as any was in England." He was led to Christ through the faithful witnessing of Bilney who himself was later martyred. Latimer said: "I learned more by his confession than before in many years. From that time forward I began to smell the word of God, and forsook the school doctors and such fooleries." Ridley came to Christ through the reading of a book on the sacraments and by personal conversation with Bishop Cranmer and Peter Martyr. Both men contended fervently for the Protestant faith. Ridley leaves the following record: "The See of Rome is the seat of Satan, and the bishop is the same, that maintaineth the abominations thereof, is Antichrist himself indeed: and for the same causes this See this day is the same that St John calls, in his Revelation, Babylon, or the whore of Babylon, and spiritual Sodom and Egypt, the mother of fornications and abominations on earth." At the stake, Latimer spoke the following words to his fellow martyr: "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." Both men then sealed their testimony with their blood.
* Spurgeon on the martyrdom of 'our Protestant forefathers' (Graphic)
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