Daily Reading for October 16 • Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, Bishops and Martyrs, 1555
Oh, dear brother, seeing the time is now come when it pleaseth the heavenly Father, for Christ our Saviour his sake, to call upon you, and to bid you come, happy are you that ever you were born, thus to be awake at the Lord’s calling. O dear brother, what meaneth this, that you are sent into your own native country? The wisdom and policy of the world may mean what they will; but I trust God will so order the matter finally by his fatherly providence, that some great occasion of God’s gracious goodness shall be plenteously poured abroad amongst his, our dear brethren in that country, by this your martyrdom. Where the martyrs for Christ’s sake shed their blood and lost their lives, oh what wondrous things hath Christ afterward wrought to his glory and confirmation of their doctrine! If it be not the place that sanctifieth the man, but the holy man doth by Christ sanctify the place, brother Bradford, then happy and holy shall be that place wherein thou shalt suffer, and shall be with thy ashes in Christ’s cause sprinkled over withal. All thy country may rejoice of thee, that ever it brought forth such a one, which would render his life again in His cause of whom he had received it.
Brother Bradford, so long as I shall understand that thou art in thy journey, by God’s grace I shall call upon our heavenly Father, for Christ’s sake, to set thee safely home: and then, good brother, speak you and pray for the remnant that are for to suffer for Christ’s sake, according to that thou then shalt know more clearly.
We do look now every day when we shall be called on, blessed on God! I ween, I am the weakest many ways of our company; and yet I thank our Lord God and heavenly Father by Christ, that since I heard of our dear brother Rogers’ departing and stout confession of Christ and his truth even unto the death, my heart (blessed be God!) so rejoiced of it, that since that time, I say, I never felt any lumpish heaviness in my heart, as I grant I have felt sometimes before. O good brother, blessed be God in thee, and blessed be the time that ever I knew thee. Farewell, farewell.
Your brother in Christ, N.R.
From a letter to John Bradford, prisoner in the King’s Bench, from Nicholas Ridley, quoted in Letters of Doctor Ridley; found at http://anglicanhistory.org/reformation/ps/ridley/letters1-21.pdf