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the priests. It would be too severe then (added she) to • burn them in both worlds. Since thcy are devoted to
endless misery hereafter, it is but justice to let them live I unmolested here.
Hitherto, Dr Fuller, and the Biographia Britannica, have been our chief guides in the present account of the truly apostolic Mr Fox, For what we have farther to add, we shall be principally indebted to the indefatigable Mr Clarke *. We have before observed, that while Mr Fox was in exile at Basil, during the prevalence of popery in England; he one day, in a sermon which he preached before his afflicted countrymen in that city, positively assured them, “ That the time was now come, for their safe and “ happy return home: And that he told them this com“ fortable news by express command from GOD.” See veral ministers, who were present took occasion afterwards to reprove him with a degree of asperity for publicly declaring, what they took to be, the premature flights of his own fancy and conjecture. But they soon altered their opinion, when authentic intelligence arrived, that Q. Mary the bloody was actually dead.
On his re-settlement here, he set himself to revise and enlarge his admirable MARTYYOLOGY. With prodigious pains and constant study, he finished that elaborate work in eleven years. For the sake of greater correctness, he never employed any amanuensis ; but wrote every line of this vast book with his own hand, and searched and transcribed all the records and original papers himself. But by such excessive toil, leaving no part of his time free from study, nor affording himself either the repose or relaxations which nature required ; his health was so reduced, and his person became so emaciated, and altered, that such of his friends and relations, as only conversed with him occasionally, could not recollect him at sight. Yet, though he grew daily more lean, withered, and exhausted, his hard studies went on as briskly as ever, nor would he be persuaded to lessen his accustomed labours. The Papists, foreseeing how extremely detrimental his history of their errors and crueities would prove to their cause, ex. erted their whole art and strength to lessen the reputation of his work. This malice of theirs was of signal service, both to Mr Fox himself, and to the church of GOD at large ; as it eventually made his book more intrinsically valuable, by inducing him to weigh, with the most exact
and and scrupulous attention, the certainty of the facts he recorded, and the validity of the authorities from whence he drew his informations.
* See the fift volume of his Marrow of the Ecclefiaftical Hiftory, p. 232, 383:
Having long served both the church and the world, by his ministry, by his pen, and by the unsullied lustre of a beneficent, useful, and holy life ; he comfortably resigned his soul to Christ on the eighteenth of April, 1587. The Lord had given him a foresight of his departure : And so fully persuaded was he, that the time was just at hand when he should quit the body, that (probably, to enjoy unmolested communion with GOD, and to have no worldly interruptions in his last hours) he purposely sent his two sons from home, though he loved them with great tenderness; and before they returned, his spirit, as he had foreseen would be the case, was flown to heaven. He was interred in the chancel of St Giles's, Cripplegate; of which parish he had been in the beginning of Q. Elizabeth's reign, for some time vicar.
Mr Strype says, that a very fair marble stone, fixed in the south wall of that chancel, was presently after erected to his memory, with the following inscription :
CHRISTO S. S.
Thaumaturgo admirabili : :
redivivos præstitit :
Non sine Lachrymis.
Fuller acquaints us, that Mr Fox foretold the destruction of, what was madly styled by the pope and Spaniards, the Invincible Armada. • The story, (says that historian) is = true, though Mr Fox survived not to see the perforcmance of his own prediction.--His dear friend, Dr • Laurence Humfrey, may be said to have died with him ; • (though his languishing life, lasted a year longer) 30
great < great was his grief, to be parted from his fellow-col« league, bred together in Oxford, and banished together
Among the graces, for which our Martyrologist was eminent, shone his extensive (some would almost term it, profuse) liberality to the poor. He was so bountiful to them while he lived, that he had no ready money to leave to them at his death. His love to his Saviour was such, that he could never refuse giving to any who asked him for relief, in the name of Jesus, or for Christ's sake. A friend once enquiring of him, ' whether he recollected a e certain poor man, whom he used to relieve ?' He answered, « Yes, I remember him well : And I willingly “ forget lords and ladies, to remember such as he.”
His ability in comforting afflicted consciences was very peculiar: No wonder, therefore, that his house was frequented by persons of all ranks, from noblemen down to the poorest of the flock; who were labouring under souldistresses.
His time was divided between study, preaching, praying, spiritual conference, and visiting the sick and af. flicted. His principal hours for intercourse with GOD in secret prayer were during the night season ; at which times of holy retirement, he has been heard to agonize with GOD, and to mingle his supplications with groanings which could not be uttered.
He was distinguished by a deep and settled contempt of earthly things: More especially, of pleasures, amusements, wealth, and honours. Hence, he abstracted himself, as much as he possibly could, from all friendship, society, and connection, with the great and noble of this world. The money, which was sometimes offered him by rich men, he accepted ; but the poor were as sure to have it, as ever he received it.
There have been macaronies in all ages. One of Mr Fox's sons had a great desire to travel beyond sea, from which his father could by no means dissuade him. After a tour of several years, he returned home, and presented himself to the good old man, in a fantastical outlandish habit. “Who are you, said Mr Fox.”- Sir, I am your « son Samuel! ---To which his reply was : “ O my son, « who has taught thee to make thyself so ridiculous ?” This reproof seems to have been attended with good effect : For the giddy youth proved, afterwards, a serious, devout, learned, and respectable man. In 1610, he wrote the life
of his father, prefixed to his Martyrology; and at length died, full of years and of good works *
A very singular incident, of which Mr John Fox himself was eye-witness, shall conclude this summary of his life and character. He it was, who had that memorable interview with Mrs Honeywood, mentioned by so many authors of that age. The concern of this pious lady, for the salvation of her soul, was so great; her doubts and fears, so very distressing; and her sorrow of mind, so grievous ; that she sunk into utter despair: Which had such an effect on her bodily health, as brought her to death's door, and kept her in a gradual consumption, for almost twenty years. In vain did physicians administer their medical assistances; for her disease, which originated from a spiritual cause, required a supernatural remedy. There was but ONE physician, whose power and skill could reach her case : even he, who healeth those that are broken in heart, and giveth medicine to heal their sickness-In vain did the ablest and most evangelical ministers preach to her the comforts of the gospel ; and labour to persuade her of the willingness and certainty, wherewith Christ receives every coming sinner. The Holy Spirit alone could preach to her heart, with efficacy; and he had not yet vouchsaled, in all those years, to rise upon her soul. At length Mr Fox was sent for : Who, on his arrival, found a most mournful family, and the mistress of it the deepest mourner among them all. The holy man prayed with her; and then reminded her of what the faithful GOD had promised, and of what Christ had done and suifered for her soul. But even this was to no purpose: For, still, she could not believe, that the gospel promises and the merits of Jesus belonged to her.--Mr Fox, not in the least discouraged, werit on; and, to the wonder of those about her, expressed himself to the following effect: “ You “ will not only recover of your bodily disease, but also " live to an exceeding great age; and, which is yet bet« ter, you are interested in Christ, and will go to heaven “ when you die.” Looking earnestly at him as he spake these words, she answered, with much emotion; · Imo posible! I shall as surely be damned, as this glass will
break;' and immediately dashed a Venice glass (which she was holding in her hand), with much force, against
* See more of him, in Strype's Annals, vol. iii. p. 505.-As also of Simeon, his youngest brother, ibid. p. 506. Mr Strype terms both thete turviving fons of Mr John Fox,' well-deserving men, bred up to learning, • and of note in their cimesi'
the wall. The glass fell, first, on a chest; and then, upon the ground : But was neither broken, nor so much as cracked *. The event proved, that Mr Fox did not prophesy by the spirit of error. Mrs Honeywood was then sixty years old; and lived, in much comfort aud felicity, till she was upwards of ninety, and could reckon above three hundred and sixty persons descended from herself.
His Wokks. Besides those already mentioned, he wrote « Syllogisticon admonitio ad Parliamentum. De lapsis per errorum in Ecclesiam restituendis. A Latin Translation of the Controversy between Archbishop Cranmer, and Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, about the eucharist. This our Author did at Basil, and there was only a part of it printed. De censura, seu excommunicatione Ecclesiastica, interpellatio ad Archiepiscopum Cantuariensem. London, 1551, in 8vo. A Sermon preached at St Paul's Cross on Good-Friday, upon the subject of Christ's Crucifixion, printed by John Day at London, 1570, in 4to. It was dedicated « to « all such as labour and be heavy laden in conscience, to « be read for their spiritual comfort." The text is, 2 Cor. v. 20, 21. and the sermon is divided into two parts, to which are subjoined, a Prayer made for the Church, and all the States there ; and a Postscript to the Papists. Mr Wood mentions an edition of this sermon at London, 1609, in 8vo. and a Latin translation of it entitled, De Christo Crucifixo : Conscio in Die Parascev. in 2 Cor. cap. v. ver. 20, 21. London 1571, in 4to. Mr Strype, who does not appear to have ever seen the editioni of this sermon in 1570, is mistaken in saying, that it was preached in 1578, and printed in 1585, unless reprinted in that year. His argument that it was preached about
• Fuller, in his Worthies of England (Kent, p. 86), says, that, though this circumstance was little short of miraculous, ftill Mrs Honeywood took no comfort from it; but, "continued a great time after, in her former dif. ( confolate condition, without any amendnient, until GOD, who findeth
our the fittest minutes for his own mercies, suddenly shot comfort, like • lightening, into her foul ; so that the led the remainder of her life in fri. " ritual gladnels. This the hersell' told to the reverend father, Thomas Mor« ton, Bishop of Durham, from whose mouch I have received this relation..• In the days of Q. Mary she used to visit the prisons, and to comfort and « relieve the conti flors therein. She was prefent at the burning of Mr • Bradford, in Smithfield, and refolved to fce the end of his suffering; • though, so great was the preis of the people, that her shocs were trodi den off, and the forced iherehy to go barefoot frem Smithfield to St • Martiri's, before she could furnith hertilf with a new pair for her money. · She died, the eleventh of May, 1620 ; in the ninety-third year of her • age, ard in the forty-fourth year of her widowhood.'