Monday, February 7, 2011

Executing the Chancellor’s Office

A blind boy, named Thomas Drowry, suffered martyrdom at Gloucester. Dr Williams, then chancellor of Gloucester, ministered unto the boy such articles as are accustomed in such cases:
Chancellor: ‘Dost thou not believe that after the words of consecration spoken by the priest, there remaineth the very real body of Christ in the sacrament of the altar?’
To whom the blind boy answered, ‘No, that I do not.’
Chancellor: ‘Then thou art a heretic, and shalt be burned. But who hath taught thee this heresy?’
Thomas: ‘You, master chancellor’
Chancellor: ‘Where, I pray thee?’
Thomas: ‘Even in yonder place;’ pointing towards the pulpit.
Chancellor: ‘When did I teach thee so?’
Thomas: ‘When you preached a sermon to all men as well as to me upon the sacrament. You said, the sacrament was to be received spiritually by faith and not carnally and really, as the papists have heretofore taught.’
Chancellor: ‘Then do as I have done, and thou shalt live as I do, and escape burning.’
Thomas: ‘Though you can so easily dispense with yourself, and mock with God, the world, and your conscience, yet will I not so do.’
Chancellor: ‘Then God have mercy upon thee; for I will read the condemnation sentence against thee.
Thomas: ‘God’s will be fulfilled.’
The registrar being herewith somewhat moved, stood up, and said to the chancellor:
Registrar: ‘Fie for shame, man! Will you read the sentence against him, and condemn yourself? Away, away, and substitute some other to give sentence and judgment.’
Chancellor: ‘No, registrar, I will obey the law, and give sentence myself, according to mine office.’Gloucester, 1556.
From Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe. WhitakerHouse, (1981 edition) pg 400 – 401.

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