"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." -- Romans 1:16


A Man For His Time – III

Hugh Latimer

“…And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourging’s, yea, moreover bonds and imprisonment:…” Hebrews 11:36

At the period of great darkness when the seal of weakness was stamped on the human intellect, where the dreams of superstitions has over taken the whole world, truth appeared as suddenly as the fabled Minerva, and more complete in her beauty, and symmetry, and majesty. The fullness of the times of error, whose proud halls were the abodes of ignorance and fanaticism, buried the truth beneath the accumulated weight of laborious ceremonies.

For years the absence of truth which the nations did not mourn, only to suffer its bitter consequences. The kings and the rulers of the earth have taken counsel against her, and spared no violence to crush her. The learned have joined the mighty in the attack, and the combined forces of wisdom and power have been consecrated to her resistance and overthrow.   She (the truth) watched the struggles of a soul conscious of its bondage, but ignorant whence its deliverance should come. Truth found such an one ministering at the altars of superstitions – enlightened him, and made him her own, she lighted her torch and brought him forth, and set him on one of the high places. And she sent him forth to join in the conflicts to which she was about to summon the nations.

One such a man was a man by the name Hugh Latimer. A great martyr of England; in who for the sake of the truth of the word of God was burned at the stake:    This old soldier of Christ, (known by many as bishop Hugh Latimer,) was the son of one of Hugh Latimer, of Thurkesson in the country Leicester, a husbandman of a good and wealthy estimation: where also he was born and brought up until he was four years of age, or thereabout: at which time his parents, having him as then left for their only son, with six daughters, seeing his ready, prompt, and sharp wit, purposed to train him up in erudition, and knowledge of good literature; wherein he so profited in his youth at the common schools of his own country, that at the age of fourteen years, he was sent to the University of Cambridge; where he entered into the study of divinity of that day; and was from principle a zealous observer of the Romish superstitions of the time.

In his oration when he commenced bachelor of divinity, he inveigled against the reformer Melanchthon, and openly declaimed against all the reformers of his day. But through the help of many friends, in explaining to him the ground work of his faith affected his conversion; so the persecutor of Christ became his zealous advocate. Once converted he became eager for the conversion of others, and commenced to be public preacher; and private instructor in the university.  His sermons were so pointed against the absurdity of praying in the Latin tongue, and withholding the oracles of salvation from the people who were to be saved by belief in them. He subsequently silenced several of the resident friars and heads of houses by his sever criticism and eloquent arguments. For his sermons against purgatory, the immaculacy of the Virgin, and the worship of images, he was cited to appear before Warham, archbishop of Canterbury, and John, bishop of London.

He was prohibited from preaching again in the churches of the university, notwithstanding which, he continued during three years to advocate openly the cause of Christ, and even his enemies confessed the power of the talents he possessed.  With many benevolent acts, which only served to excite the spleen of his adversaries, he as summoned before Cardinal Wolsey for heresy, but being a strenuous supporter of the king’s supremacy, in opposition to the Pope’s he was given protection from the king. Not long after that guided by Providence, he escaped the subtle nets of his persecutors, and at length through the powerful friends before mentioned, became bishop of Worcester, in which function he qualified or explained away most of the papal ceremonies he was for form’s sake under the necessity of complying with. He continued in this active and dignified employment some years.

Beginning afresh to set forth his plow he labored in the Lord’s harvest most fruitfully, discharging his talent as well in divers places of this realm, as before the king at the court. In the same place of the inward garden, which was before applied to lascivious and courtly pastimes, there he dispensed the fruitful Word of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, preaching there before the king and his whole court to the edification of many.  He preached fearlessly the word of God to the king and to the high men in the kings court exposing their licentious (promiscuous and unprincipled) way of life. Faithful unto death loyal to Christ above anything and anyone else! There was none else as his commander in chief but one Christ Jesus the Lord!

Once this incident happened: As he was preparing to preach, the subject he was going to speak was forbidden by the king ! When he got up to preach he saw the king and his dignitaries and entourages come right in and sat at the front pews of the church: “Latimer! Latimer, the king hears thee be careful what you say”  And he kept walking the up and down and finally, stopped at the pulpit and said, “Latimer, Latimer, the Lord hearth thee be careful what you say!”   and then preached that powerful sermon which was forbidden by the king to speak about! The king stepped forward and said to him; “God bless you Latimer! I love and respect a man that fears God more than a king!

After the king died he became a prisoner in the Tower until the coronation of Edward VI, when he was again called to the Lord’s harvest in Stamford, and many other places: he also preached at London in the convocation house, and before the young king; indeed he lectured twice every Sunday, regardless of his age( then above sixty-seven years.) Indefatigable in his private studies, he rose to them in winter and in summer at two O’clock in the morning. Latimer had a prophetic view by the strength of his mind, and some inward light from above what was to happen to the Church in Mary’s reign, asserting that he was doomed to suffer for the truth, and that Winchester, then in the Tower, was preserved for that purpose.

Soon after Queen Mary was proclaimed, a messenger was sent to summon Mr.Latimer to town, and thee is reason to believe it was wished that he should make his escape. Bishop Latimer coming up to London , through Smithfield was brought before the council, where he patiently bore all the mocks and taunts given him by the scornful papists. He was cast into the Tower, where he, being assisted with the heavenly grace of Christ, sustained imprisonment a long time, notwithstanding the cruel and unmerciful handling of the lordly papists, which taught then their kingdom will never fall; he showed himself not only patient, but also cheerful in and above all that which they could or would work against him. Yea, such a valiant spirit the Lord gave him, that he was able not only to despise the terribleness of prisons and torments, but also laugh to scorn the doing of his enemies.

After remaining a long time in the Tower, he was transferred to Oxford with Bishops Cranmer and Ridley. He remained imprisoned until October. During his time of imprisonment the principal objects of all his prayers were three – that he might stand faithful to the doctrine he had professed, that God would restore His Gospel to England once again, and preserve the Lady Elizabeth to be queen; all of which happened.  When he stood at the stake without the Bocardo gate, Oxford, with Dr. Ridely, and fire was putting to the pile of fagots, he raised his eyes benignantly towards heaven and said, “ God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.” His body was forcibly penetrated by the fire and the blood flowed abundantly from his heart to verify his constant desire that his heart’s blood might be shed in defense of the Gospel.

It was on the afternoon of the day when those faithful soldiers of Christ, Ridely and Latimer, perished, that Gardiner sat down with a joyful heart to dinner. This man who became bishop of Winchester and lord chancellor of England, was papastical monster; cruel and bigoted as he was, he served any cause. He declared the supremacy of the Pope when Queen Mary came to the crown, entered in to all the papastical views, and became a second time bishop of Winchester. It is conjectured it was his intention to have moved the sacrifice of Lady Elizabeth, but when he arrived at this point, it pleased God to remove him.   Yes, as  Gardiner sat down with a joyful heart to dinner. Scarcely had he taken a few mouthfuls, when he was sized with illness, and carried to his bed, where he lingered fifteen days in great torment, and burnt with devouring fever, that terminate in death !!

To be continued…

From The Staff of The Peoples Gospel Hour








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The Bible reveals two ways which people are following to get into heaven. One way, the true way, is God’s way. God’s way into heaven is the way of peace and truth and righteousness. It is the only way approved of God. This way centers in the Lord Jesus Christ who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). The Bible declares that there is another way. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).

There are so many popular ways today filled with lost multitudes all over the land, such as the way of morality, the way of respectability, the way of religion, the way of churchianity, the way of baptism, the way of christening, the way of confirmation, the way of penance, the way of confession, the way of “doing the best I can”, the way of self, the way of education, the way of philosophy, the way of false isms and cults that crowd the street. Little wonder then when we speak to people about the way of salvation, that so many have asked, “How can I know which is the true way? There are so many different ideas and so many religions.”

But there is ONE difference between God’s way of salvation and man’s way, and that difference is found in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. You will notice that man leaves Christ out of the center of his way. You will discover that the modern false cults and isms demote Christ to a mere man and add something to what He has already done for your salvation and mine. We become children of God through a supernatural birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus also said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7)

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