Fox's Book of Martyrs: Dirick Carver, John Launder, Thomas Iveson, John Aleworth, James Abbes
|Illustration to Foxe's Book of Martyrs 1641 edition - Wikimedia|
Dirick Carver and John Launder.
The 22d of July, 1555, Dirick Carver, brewer, of Brighthelmstone, aged forty, was burnt at Lewes. And the day following John Launder, husbandman, aged twenty-five, of Godstone, Surry, was burnt at Stening.
Dirick Carver was a man whom the Lord had blessed as well with temporal riches as with his spiritual treasures. At his coming into the town of Lewes to be burnt, the people called to him, beseeching God to strengthen him in the faith of Jesus Christ; and, as he came to the stake, he knelt down, and prayed earnestly. Then his book was thrown into the barrel, and when he had stripped himself, he went into it. As soon as he was in, he took the book, and threw it among the people, upon which the sheriff commanded, in the name of the king and queen, on pain of death, to throw in the book again.—And immediately the holy martyr began to address the people. After he had prayed awhile, he said, "O Lord my God, thou hast written, he that will not forsake wife, children, house, and every thing that he hath, and take up thy cross and follow thee, is not worthy of thee!—but thou, Lord, knowest that I have forsaken all to come unto thee Lord have mercy upon me, for unto thee I commend my spirit! and my soul doth rejoice in thee!" These were the last words of this faithful servant of Christ before enduring the fire. And when the fire came to him, he cried, "O Lord have mercy upon me!" and sprang up in the fire, calling upon the name of Jesus, till he gave up the ghost.
Thomas Iveson, of Godstone, in the county of Surry, carpenter, was burnt about the same month at Chichester.
John Aleworth, who died in prison at Reading, July, 1555, had been imprisoned for the sake of the truth of the gospel.
James Abbes. This young man wandered about to escape apprehension, but was at last informed against, and brought before the bishop of Norwich, who influenced him to recant; to secure him further in apostasy, the bishop afterward gave him a piece of money; but the interference of Providence is here remarkable. This bribe lay so heavily upon his conscience, that he returned, threw back the money, and repented of his conduct. Like Peter, he was contrite, steadfast in the faith, and sealed it with his blood at Bury, August 2, 1555, praising and glorifying God.
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