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Count me not dead

The final words of Rowland Taylor (1510–1555), Rector of Hadleigh, Marian martyr:

I say to my wife and to my children, The Lord gave you unto me, and the Lord hath taken me from you and you from me: blessed be the name of the Lord! I believe that they are blessed which die in the Lord. God careth for sparrows, and for the hairs of our heads. I have ever found Him more faithful and favourable than is any father or husband. Trust ye, therefore, in Him by the means of our dear Saviour Christ’s merits. Believe, love, fear, and obey Him: pray to Him, for He hath promised to help. Count me not dead, for I shall certainly live and never die. I go before, and you shall follow after, to our long home. . . . I have bequeathed you to the only Omnipotent.

I say to my dear friends of Hadleigh, and to all others which have heard me preach, that I depart hence with a quiet conscience as touching my doctrine, for the which I pray you thank God with me. For I have, after my little talent, declared to others those lessons that I gathered out of God’s Book, the blessed Bible. ‘Therefore, if I, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any other Gospel than that ye have received,’ God’s great curse be upon that preacher!

Beware, for God’s sake, that ye deny not God, neither decline from the word of faith, lest God decline from you, and so do ye everlastingly perish. For God’s sake beware of Popery, for though it appear to have in it unity, yet the same is vanity and anti-Christianity, and not in Christ’s faith and verity.

Beware of the sin against the Holy Ghost, now after such a light opened so plainly and simply, truly, thoroughly, and generally to all England.

The Lord grant all men His good and Holy Spirit, increase of His wisdom, contemning the wicked world, hearty desire to be with God, and the heavenly company; through Jesus Christ, our only Mediator, Advocate, Righteousness, Life, Sanctification, and Hope. Amen. Amen. Pray. Pray.

Rowland Taylor, departing hence in sure hope, without all doubting of eternal salvation. I thank God, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, my certain Saviour. Amen. 5th of February, anno 1555.

‘The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom then shall I fear? God is He that justifieth: who is he that can condemn?’ ‘In Thee, O Lord, have I trusted: let me never be confounded.’

—in J. C. Ryle, Light from Old Times (Banner of Truth, 2015), 116–117.


Posted 2017·05·18 by David Kjos
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