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Foxe's Book of Martyrs

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Description

"After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even in our own time it is still a living force. It is more than a record of persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well as a source of edification." James Miller Dodds English Prose

Foxe's Book of Martyrs is a history of the lives, sufferings and triumphant deaths of the early Christian and the protestant martyrs. One of the great English classics. Interesting as fiction, because it is written with both passion and tenderness, it tells the dramatic story of some of the most thrilling periods in Christian history. Reprinted here in its most complete form, it brings to life the days when "a noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid," "climbed the steep ascent of heaven, 'mid peril, toil, and pain." Covers the history of Christian persecutions under Nero up to the beginnings of American Foreign Missions (1800s).

About the Author(s)

John Foxe was born at Boston, in Lincolnshire, in 1517, where his parents are stated to have lived in respectable circumstances. Although deprived of his father at an early age; his mother soon married again and he remained under the parental roof. From an early display of talents and inclination to learning, his friends were induced to send him to Oxford.

During his residence at this place, he was distinguished for the excellence and acuteness of his intellect and he was chosen fellow of Magdalen College; which was accounted a great honor in the university, and seldom bestowed unless in cases of great distinction. It appears that the first display of his genius was in poetry; and that he composed some Latin comedies, which are still extant. But he soon directed his thoughts to a more serious subject, the study of the sacred Scriptures: to divinity, indeed, he applied himself with more fervency than circumspection, and discovered his partiality to the Reformation, which had then commenced. His altered opinions were eventually discovered and he was, by the sentence of the college convicted, condemned as a heretic, and expelled.

Rejected by his friends, he stayed with Sir Thomas Lucy, of Warwickshire, instructing his children for as long as he could. But the fear of the popish inquisitors hastened his departure; as they were not contented to pursue public offences, but began also to dive into the secrets of private families. He eventually retreated to his parentís home and kept himself concealed there for some time. He made a journey to London, in the latter part of the reign of Henry VIII. Here, being unknown, he was in much distress, and was even reduced to the danger of being starved to death, had not Providence interfered in his favor in the form of an invitation from the Duchess of Richmond to undertake the tuition of the children of the Earl of Surry who, together with his father, the Duke of Norfolk, was imprisoned in the Tower, by the jealousy and ingratitude of the king.

These halcyon days continued during the latter part of the reign of Henry VIII and the five years of the reign of Edward VI until Mary came to the crown, who, soon after her accession, gave all power into the hands of the papists. Mr. Foxe thus set out for Basle, where he found a number of English refugees, who had quitted their country to avoid the cruelty of the persecutors, with these he associated, and began to write his "History of the Acts and Monuments of the Church," which was first published in Latin at Basle in 1554, and in English in 1563.

In the meantime the reformed religion began again to flourish in England, and the popish faction much to decline, by the death of Queen Mary. On the accession of Elizabeth to the throne, Mr. Foxe returned to England and employed himself in revising and enlarging his admirable Martyrology. Although the recent recollection of the persecutions under Bloody Mary gave bitterness to his pen, it is singular to note that he was personally the most conciliatory of men, and that while he heartily disowned the Roman Church in which he was born, he was one of the first to attempt the concord of the Protestant brethren. In fact, he was a veritable apostle of toleration.

Mr. Foxe had joy in the fruits of his work while he was yet alive. It passed through four large editions before his decease, and it was ordered by the bishops to be placed in every cathedral church in England, where it was often found chained, as the Bible was in those days, to a lectern for the access of the people.

At length, having long served both the Church and the world by his ministry, by his pen, and by the unsullied luster of a benevolent, useful, and holy life, he meekly resigned his soul to Christ, on the eighteenth of April, 1587, being then in the seventieth year of his age. He was interred in the chancel of St. Giles', Cripplegate; of which parish he had been, in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, for some time vicar.

System Requirements

Installed size (unless otherwise indicated): Approximately 709.125 KB. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Requires iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later. Download size: 709.125 KB. Android Requires Android OS 2.2 or later. Download size: 709.125 KB. Windows Phone Requires Windows Phone 7.5 or later. Download size: 709.125 KB. Windows Store Download size: 709.125 KB. Windows PC Requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, or later. Download size: 716.625 KB. Mac OS X Download size: 709.125 KB. Windows Mobile Requires Pocket PC / Windows Mobile version 6.5 or earlier. Download size: 580.125 KB. Palm OS Requires Palm OS 5.0 or later. Download size: 689.875 KB.

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