The Martyrs ~ Oxford and Beyond

By After Conrad Grale – British Museum

Since today is Reformation Day I decided to share my photos from Oxford taken this past September of the Martyr’s Memorial and other history linked to the Martyrs. But first I’m linking to What is Reformation Day All About at Ligonier.org

On October 31, much of the culture will be focused on candy and things that go bump in the night. Protestants, however, have something far more significant to celebrate on October 31. It’s Reformation day, which commemorates what was perhaps the greatest move of God’s Spirit since the days of the Apostles. But what is the significance of Reformation Day, and how should we consider the events it commemorates?

To read more of this history click on the link above.

More about what Reformed means in primer form can be found here.

Where St. Giles’ becomes Magdalen Street in Oxford you can’t miss this memorial to the Oxford Martyrs.

Cranmer

Latimer

Ridley

Two men stood back to back at the stake.  As a large crowd watched, a heavy chain was passed around their waists to hold them fast.  A fagot was kindled.  At the sight of the flame, the older of the two men gave utterance to the noblest and shortest sermon he ever gave in his long life of preaching.  “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.”

These lines have become among the most famous lines in English church history.  The chain that bound Latimer and Ridley together on that morning of October 16, 1555, has continued to bind them together in the common mind.  Today, it is almost impossible to think of Latimer without also thinking of Ridley.

This is the spot on Broad Street where Ridley and Latimer were burned at the stake.

I came across this very thorough YouTube on the Oxford Martyrs.

The above explanation is posted in the University Church of St. Mary on the pillar mentioned below.

Archbishop Cranmer and Bishops Ridley and Latimer were twice tried for heresy in St. Mary’s church during Catholic Queen Mary’s attempt to reverse the Reformation. Ridley and Latimer were burned at the stake in 1555: Cranmer then recanted. In 1556 he was again brought to St. Mary’s: this pillar had been cut away to allow the building of a low platform from which he was to make his submission. At the last moment he withdrew his recantation. He walked away from the church to the fire with a firm step and smiling countenance, putting first into the flame the hand with which he had signed his recantation.

This next quote is from Drawing Near daily readings by John MacArthur ~ I have a friend who has a beautiful collection of rare Bibles. My favorite is one of the earliest printed copies, dating back to sixteenth-century England. The first time I held it in my hands I noticed that the top third of every page was covered with a dark stain. Tears filled my eyes when I realized it was from the blood of its original owner.

My friend explained that when Bloody Mary ruled England, she delighted in terrorizing Protestants and murdering as many as she could. Her soldiers would execute their victims through some bloody means, then take his or her Bible and dip it into the blood. Some of those Bibles have been preserved and are known as Martyrs’ Bibles. Scientists have confirmed that the dark stains on every page of my friend’s Bible are, indeed, human blood.

That same Bible is well worn from being studied. And many of its pages have water stains on them—perhaps from tears. Obviously it was someone’s most precious possession, and his or her blood is there to prove it. 

More and more we are finding importance in knowing the past history of the church.

HT: Discerning History

 

A Mighty Fortress is Our God ~ Hymn

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Words and Music: Martin Luther, 1529.

This song has been called the great­est hymn of the great­est man of the great­est per­i­od of Ger­man his­to­ry, and the Bat­tle Hymn of the Re­for­ma­tion. It was sung at the fun­er­al of Am­er­i­can pre­si­dent Dwight Ei­sen­how­er at the Na­tion­al Ca­thed­ral in Wash­ing­ton, DC, March 1969.

Happy Reformation Day!

Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation. An important day in history.

“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone” ~Martin Luther

Halloween happens to be on October 31st, also. For us Halloween is all about handing out candy to any little trick or treater who comes to our door.

Now that we live in the country the only little ones who come to our door are driven here by their parents. Addy and JJ will come by tonight to get a treat. They carved pumpkins last night and I borrowed this collage from Addy and JJ’s parents. Thank you!

It’s going to be a cold night to be out. Our Trick or Treeters better dress warmly.

I’ve got my red cape to keep me warm.

In other news we are very excited that on November 10th the MLS Cup final is going to be played on our home field for the first time! Our kids have traveled to Toronto in the past for other finals. Our kids get 4 tickets for the game and they have offered their soccer loving mother one of those tickets. Now I just have to figure out whether to drive (dependent on pass conditions) or fly to Seattle. Thanks for indulging me in my excitement and enjoyment of the game of soccer. Hmm, indulgences were a big part of the conversation in the talks that led to the Reformation so maybe my post is more cohesive than I thought.

Ice on my windshield on Wednesday morning. It will be nice when Dear’s shop has a roof on it so we can get my car back in the garage. The materials for building the shop are being stored in the garage where my car usually rests. We are still waiting on the company on some materials so that Dear can move ahead and raise the trusses and clear enough stuff out of the garage for my car to fit.

I’ll leave this random hodgepodge of a post with good true words from Martin Luther:

“Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God–
Naught else is worth believing.

Though all my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart
Whose Word cannot be broken.

I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever,
For, though all things shall pass away,
HIS WORD SHALL STAND FOREVER!”
― Martin Luther