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.
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.