Tuesday, January 13, 2009

tuesday martyr: john frith

John Frith was one of the first in England to preach against the ideas of transubstantiation (that Jesus is physically in the Lord's supper) and purgatory. He wrote a few books on the subjects and argued that neither were found in the Scriptures or among the early church fathers and that the monks of later years added them so that they could gain power of the people.

He wrote against a man named Thomas More and quickly found himself in trouble. He had, before this, been under surveillance for some time, but his writings against More caused the roman church to go after him with more diligence.

One of his supposed friends, William Holt, turned him over to More and Frith was taken to be tried and finally, burnt for his teachings. When the two archbishops came to take him, they wanted nothing more than to help him escape because they believed him to be a righteous man and knew that he would be killed for what he taught. Frith, however, said that it would do an injustice to God's truth to stand aside and not proclaim it before the council and the world, so he cheerfully went and was cheerful even in the flames of his fire. He called for the forgiveness of those who burned him and did not seem at all to be pained by the flames until he was finally consumed by them.

He died in 1533 and was a student of William Tyndale.

(Much of this was taken from a Puritan's Mind.


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