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November 2008

November 22, 2008

Here is another prayer from The Valley of Vision. I think this one has somehow struck me deeper than any other in the book. This confession both shames and encourages me: “I am not yet weaned from all created glory, honour, wisdom, and esteem of others, for I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do.” Here it is, a prayer that God would remove the dark guest who haunts me.


O Lord,

Bend my hands and cut them off, for I have often struck thee with a wayward will, when these fingers should embrace thee by faith.

I am not yet weaned from all created glory, honour, wisdom, and esteem of others, for I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do.

Let me not only speak the word sin, but see the thing itself.

Give me to view a discovered sinfulness, to know that though my sins are crucified they are never wholly mortified.

Hatred, malice, ill-will,vain-glory that hungers for and hunts after man’s approval and applause, all are crucified, forgiven, but they rise again in my sinful heart.

O my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness!
O my life-long damage and daily shame!
O my indwelling and besetting sins!
O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart!

Destroy, O God, the dark guest within whose hidden presence makes my life a hell.

Yet thou hast not left me here without grace; The cross still stands and meets my needs in the deepest straits of the soul.

I thank thee that my remembrance of it is like David’s sight of Goliath’s sword which preached forth thy deliverance.

The memory of my great sins, my many temptations, my falls, bring afresh into my mind the remembrance of thy great help, of thy support from heaven, of the great grace that saved such a wretch as I am.

There is no treasure so wonderful as that continuous experience of thy grace toward me which alone can subdue the risings of sin within:

Give me more of it.

November 21, 2008

Memorizing Scripture Together

The “Reading Classics Together” effort has taught me that blogs (even this blog) can offer a kind of excitement and accountability by community that helps me do things I wouldn’t otherwise have the discipline to do. And from what I hear, it works for some of you, too. Many of us would never have read Owens or Edwards or Pink if we had not had the crowd accountability we’ve found here. This has been the reason for the success of the “Reading Classics” program, I’m sure. Shared enthusiasm means that more than one person will be reading a particular book and shared accountability means that more people will continue reading a book. It has worked well!

Today I’d like to introduce a similar effort dealing with Scripture memorization. But just like “Reading Classics” isn’t quite an easy book club dealing with short, simple, modern books, I don’t think this “Memorizing Scripture” effort will be exclusively dedicated to memorizing short and isolated verses. Instead, I’d like to focus on longer passages—whole Psalms, poems, portions of prophecy and maybe, just maybe, entire books (Colossians, perhaps?).

Don’t freak out yet.

I have a terrible memory. Memorizing comes to me only with great effort so I will be—will need to be—moving through these passages at a reasonable pace. I do not intend to try to memorize Psalm 119 in a week (or a month, for that)! But over time I would like to challenge myself and others to commit to memory lengthy portions of the Bible. I am convinced that we can do it, if we do it together.

So here is what I propose. For those who are interested in working on only verses or short passages (still a good and noble goal) I will provide a weekly verse and will post it on this site every Sunday. This will coincide with the verse my church has committed to memorize that week. But I will also be progressively working on larger portions of Scripture and I’ll post these larger passages as well. That way you can commit to individual verses, larger passages, or both. In any case, you’ll be memorizing Scripture and that can only be a good thing!

I plan on sending out weekly emails (every Sunday) to remind you of the commitment and to tell you about the new verse. If you’d like to participate in the program, I ask as well that you sign up for these emails (though you certainly do not have to if you don’t want to). And then, beginning on Sunday, we’ll get memorizing Scripture together.

Are you in?





November 20, 2008

This Sunday I’ll be preaching on the topic of Creation in an evening series at my church. Our Sunday evening format allows for only short sermons and I am trying to distill the broad topic of Creation down to the most fundamental points. I have no intention of defending Creation against evolution or of refuting the various views among Christians that conflict with the position of my church’s leadership (though I am sure some of that will arise in the Q&A that follows the sermon). But as I was thinking about the subject of Creation, my mind was drawn to this article I read a couple of years ago. It argues that Christians can and should embrace evolution and lays out the reasons we can do so while remaining faithful to the Bible.

Scientific American is a popular science magazine with a monthly circulation approaching 700,000. Including foreign language editions, the circulation increases to over 1,000,000. First published in 1845, it is the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States. Quite needless to say, it is not a publication that is particularly friendly to creationism. In the October 2006 edition is a column by Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic, a magazine produced by The Skeptics Society, which “engages in scientific investigation and journalistic research to investigate claims made by scientists, historians, and controversial figures on a wide range of subjects.” His column is titled “Darwin on the Right: Why Christians and conservatives should accept evolution.” The column is a brief attempt to lay out six reasons that Christians should embrace evolution. I’d like to take a brief look at each of Shermer’s six points. He begins with statistics:

According to a 2005 Pew Research Center poll, 70 percent of evangelical Christians believe that living beings have always existed in their present form, compared with 32 percent of Protestants and 31 percent of Catholics. Politically, 60 percent of Republicans are creationists, whereas only 11 percent accept evolution, compared with 29 percent of Democrats who are creationists and 44 percent who accept evolution. A 2005 Harris Poll found that 63 percent of liberals but only 37 percent of conservatives believe that humans and apes have a common ancestry. What these figures confirm for us is that there are religious and political reasons for rejecting evolution. Can one be a conservative Christian and a Darwinian? Yes. Here’s how.

One immediate observation is that he makes a distinction between evangelicals Christians and Protestants, yet does not define these terms. In theory, every Protestant is evangelical and every evangelical is Protestant. So I am uncertain as to how we are to distinguish between these two. Regardless, we will press on.

1. Evolution fits well with good theology. Christians believe in an omniscient and omnipotent God. What difference does it make when God created the universe—10,000 years ago or 10,000,000,000 years ago? The glory of the creation commands reverence regardless of how many zeroes in the date. And what difference does it make how God created life—spoken word or natural forces? The grandeur of life’s complexity elicits awe regardless of what creative processes were employed. Christians (indeed, all faiths) should embrace modern science for what it has done to reveal the magnificence of the divine in a depth and detail unmatched by ancient texts.

I will be the first to affirm that the Bible is not a scientific text. Neither was it intended to be such. However, if we are to believe that the Bible is God’s word and that what God has spoken is true, we must also believe that what God says about science must be true. When God says that the world was created by His command, we must believe it to be so. Shermer asks, “what difference does it make how God created life—spoken word or natural forces?” The difference is that the Bible tells us God created the world by His spoken word. We are not able to believe in the Bible as God’s word and reject Scripture’s clear teaching that life was created from nothing and at God’s command. I agree that “Christians … should embrace modern science for what it has done to reveal the magnificence of the divine in a depth and detail unmatched by ancient texts.” But science has not proven evolution. It has not proven that the world was created in any way other than at God’s command. I embrace modern science, but only so far as it is compatible with Scripture and plain reason. Evolution does not fit with good theology, for evolution and Scripture are wholly incompatible. If we are to embrace evolution, it will be at the expense of the Bible.

2. Creationism is bad theology. The watchmaker God of intelligent-design creationism is delimited to being a garage tinkerer piecing together life out of available parts. This God is just a genetic engineer slightly more advanced than we are. An omniscient and omnipotent God must be above such humanlike constraints. As Protestant theologian Langdon Gilkey wrote, “The Christian idea, far from merely representing a primitive anthropomorphic projection of human art upon the cosmos, systematically repudiates all direct analogy from human art.” Calling God a watchmaker is belittling.

Calling God a watchmaker is clearly belittling, but I do not know of any Christians who believe that God fills this role. God is not a mere garage tinkerer who pieces life together from available parts. Rather, God is the one who not only created life as an idea, as a concept, but who created the available parts and who then assembled them in an orderly fashion. To suggest that God is only slightly more advanced than we are is to ignore the vast gaps that continue to exist in human knowledge. Humans may have been able to map the genome, but a great deal of work remains; an infinite amount of work. The more we conquer, the more we realize we still need to conquer. And one thing humans have never been able to do and will never be able to do is create life ex nihilo, from nothing. We may be able to arrange and rearrange the building blocks of life in some semblance of order, but we are not able to make something from nothing. That is the realm of God alone. Creationism is not bad theology, but is the theology of the Bible. It is not an optional doctrine, but something we must believe if we are to be men and women of the Bible.

3. Evolution explains original sin and the Christian model of human nature. As a social primate, we evolved within-group amity and between-group enmity. By nature, then, we are cooperative and competitive, altruistic and selfish, greedy and generous, peaceful and bellicose; in short, good and evil. Moral codes and a society based on the rule of law are necessary to accentuate the positive and attenuate the negative sides of our evolved nature.

This third point begins with a premise that is accepted only by evolutionists. As Christians we do not believe that humans evolved at all, but that we were deliberately placed on this earth and were made to rule it. To attempt to explain original sin through between-group enmity is to completely misrepresent original sin. Between-group enmity is unable to explain why it is that every human being, no matter his age, culture, race, or gender is sinful. It is unable to explain why we all do things that are wrong and why we all delight in doing wrong even to our within-group. It is unable to explain what is clearly spiritual. Evolution cannot explain original sin or the Christian model of human nature. It cannot explain the conscience, the soul, or sinful nature.

4. Evolution explains family values. The following characteristics are the foundation of families and societies and are shared by humans and other social mammals: attachment and bonding, cooperation and reciprocity, sympathy and empathy, conflict resolution, community concern and reputation anxiety, and response to group social norms. As a social primate species, we evolved morality to enhance the survival of both family and community. Subsequently, religions designed moral codes based on our evolved moral natures.

Attachment and bonding, cooperation and reciprocity, sympathy and empathy, conflict resolution, community concern and reputation anxiety, and response to group social norms” are all characteristics of families. However, all of these characteristics are as easily and even more easily explained by creation rather than evolution. Could God not have given us the desire to attach and bond? Could he not have made us sympathetic and make us desire to resolve conflicts amicably? Even a brief overview of the Bible will prove this to be true. To suggest that religions designed moral codes based upon moral natures is to put the cart before the horse, for is it not more likely that a moral code existed with God before creation was begun, and that our natures were created in a way consistent with this code? Is it not likely that God, whose moral nature included moral codes, designed us in His image and built that code into us? Is this not an explanation for the laws that seem so clearly to be written into the hearts of all humans? Evolution cannot explain family values and can certainly not explain more codes. A glance at the conflict over the right of homosexuals to marry will show the vast difference between an understanding of family as rooted in naturalistic evolution and of family rooted in God’s creative design.

5. Evolution accounts for specific Christian moral precepts. Much of Christian morality has to do with human relationships, most notably truth telling and marital fidelity, because the violation of these principles causes a severe breakdown in trust, which is the foundation of family and community. Evolution describes how we developed into pair-bonded primates and how adultery violates trust. Likewise, truth telling is vital for trust in our society, so lying is a sin.

Christian morality has to do primarily with imitating God who is true and who is faithful. The violation of these principles may case a severe breakdown in truth, but far worse, violation of these principles causes a growing rift between creature and Creator. Christian morality involves human relationships, but only secondarily to the relationship between God and man. Evolution may offer some description of how humans developed into pair-bonded primates and how adultery violates trust. But the Bible offers an answer that is far more clear and far more likely: God created marriage so that human beings could emulate the relationship of Jesus Christ to His people. Truth telling is vital for trust, but even more vital to maintain relationship between God and man. Lying is a sin because it makes a mockery of God who not only tells the truth, but is the very source of truth. Evolution absolutely cannot account for specific moral precepts in a way that is satisfying. And, ironically, evolution is the worldview that underlies the acceptance of non-traditional relationships such as homosexual marriage. Could it be that evolution can be used to explain anything?

6. Evolution explains conservative free-market economics. Charles Darwin’s “natural selection” is precisely parallel to Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.” Darwin showed how complex design and ecological balance were unintended consequences of competition among individual organisms. Smith showed how national wealth and social harmony were unintended consequences of competition among individual people. Nature’s economy mirrors society’s economy. Both are designed from the bottom up, not the top down.

This sixth point does not seem to fit with the rest of the list. While the other five have dealt with principles that are distinctly Christian, this one turns to free-market economics. Shermer may as well have said “Evolution explains the American obsession with team sports.” I know little of economics, free market or otherwise, so will leave this point as-is, except to point out that simply because two theories parallel one another does not make either true.

The article concludes with an exhortation and a passage from Scripture. “Because the theory of evolution provides a scientific foundation for the core values shared by most Christians and conservatives, it should be embraced. The senseless conflict between science and religion must end now, or else, as the Book of Proverbs (11:29) warned: ‘He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.’”

There does not need to be a conflict between science and religion. In a perfect world, there would be no conflict, and, indeed, when the world is remade there will be no conflict. What we see in this debate is not a competition between science and religion, but a conflict between worldviews. These worldviews are wholly incompatible. Michael Ruse, a well-known evolutionist, speaks truthfully when he says “evolution came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity…Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and is true of evolution still today.” Evolution is not mere science, but is religion dressed as science. Evolution, and the naturalism that lies behind it, is a full-blown worldview, and in reality, is a religious system that stands in direct opposition to Christianity. The true conflict, the conflict between evolution and creationism, is a conflict of truth and error, a conflict of God and man. Creationism embraces God as the Creator and Sustainer of the world; evolutionism rejects God replaces Him with time, chance and opportunity. The debate between creationism and evolutionism is by no means senseless, for it is a defense of the truth and a defense of the One who is Truth.

November 19, 2008

Last week I solicited questions from the readers of this site, looking for good ideas for future blog posts. I received almost 100 responses, many of which asked really good questions. In the coming weeks and months I will attempt to answer many of them. I begin today with this one: “How do you discern when to take something up with a person and when is it something to just let go (is it ever right to just “let it go”?).”

There are a couple of Scripture verses that seem especially and immediately applicable to this question. Proverbs 17:14 says, “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.” This tells me that there are some situations in which strife is unnecessary and even unhelpful. A couple of chapters later we read “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11). Put these verses together and we realize that we are not required by God to confront a person every time he or she offends us. In fact, there are times when we should not confront a person. And honestly, if every person I have offended confronted me every time I sin against them in some way, I would be an awfully busy guy. There are times when the best course of action is to leave our offenses between the offender and God.

So now the question before us is this: when do we confront and when do we overlook? I am going to follow, roughly at least, the logic Chris Brauns uses in his excellent book Unpacking Forgiveness (If you haven’t bought a copy of this book yet, you really ought to do so. It’s a wonderful guide for situations like this one).

1. Examine Yourself

Before you do anything else, you will want to examine yourself. You will want to see if there is some log in your eye that you have missed in all the fixation on the speck in your neighbor’s eye (Matthew 7:3-5). You will want to examine your motives to determine why it is that you may desire confrontation (or perhaps why you desire to avoid confrontation). Are you angry and seeking revenge? Do you harbor a grudge against the person and feel like you can only ease this burden by telling him of his offense against you? Will you only feel better after you inflict guilt upon him? As you focus on your own sin and on your motives, you may find that the desire to pursue confrontation fades in the light of God’s holiness and in the darkness of ungodly motives.

2. Examine Yourself Again: Are You Right?

You have now established that your motives are pure and that you are not overlooking a similar sin in your own life. Now you will want to examine yourself to ensure that you are right in this matter. Have you looked for Scriptural principles to determine if you have truly been sinned against? Is there clear violation of a Scriptural principle here, or are you dealing with a gray area? If you find that this is a gray area where there is no clear definition of right or wrong, it may well be best to simply put the matter aside.

3. Determine the Importance

If you have passed through the first two filters and still believe this is an issue worthy of confrontation, you will want to consider just how important a matter this is. Are we dealing here with a matter of preference or a matter of objective right and wrong? Is this an issue that will have long-term ramifications or something that will not much matter one way or the other? Are you making dogma out of personal preference? If, upon examination, you determine that this matter is not of great importance or that it is more about preference than anything else, just let it go.

4. Look for Patterns

There are times that we sin in a way that is out of character for us. For example, you may be consistently punctual but then, one day, show up late for an important meeting. In such a case it would probably not be worth my while addressing this offense. However, if you are constantly showing up late for even the most important meetings, this may be a matter I should address with you. It may still not be an area of sin (perhaps traffic is wildly unpredictable or you have a young child who is waking you up all night long, making it difficult for you to spring out of bed). Either way, we often do better to confront patterns of sin or offense than isolated incidents (though, obviously, with more egregious offenses we may need to confront them immediately).

5. Be Sensitive

Before approaching the person who has offended you, ensure that you are being sensitive to his or her unique situation. There may be stresses or strains in that person’s life that are causing him or her to act out in ways that are atypical. In such a situation you are not excusing the person’s sin but, rather, understanding that difficult times can cause even the finest Christian to act out in ways that are unusual for him. Adding the burden of confrontation may not be the wise or sensitive thing to do at that moment.

Whether or not you choose to confront may well also depend on your relationship to the person who has offended you. There are some relationships that are more likely to bring about good results. For example, only with great hesitation would I ever directly confront a woman and even then only if she was a good friend. However, I have friends who are eager and willing to hear of sin in their lives and who would appreciate such counsel or loving confrontation.

6. Seek Counsel

It may be valuable to seek the counsel of other mature Christians before pursuing confrontation. You will want to ensure that this is not simply an opportunity to gossip and vent, after which you will feel better and let the matter drop. But discreetly seeking wise counsel may be a very good way of “error-checking” your assessment of the previous four steps.

If, after such an assessment of your own heart, the offender, and the offense, you still feel confrontation is necessary, you will want to pursue forgiveness and reconciliation in the way Jesus outlines in Matthew 18.

However, far more often than not, I think you will find it is wise to let the matter go. And here you will need to release your pride and outrage. You will need to be willing to let the matter well and truly drop, not telling others about it and not letting it fill your mind and outrage your heart. It is the glory of a man to overlook an offense; it is a foolish and prideful man who feels every little offense is worthy of confrontation.

November 18, 2008

Reading Classics Together

I’m inviting you to read one of the classics of the Christian faith with me. Read on to find out more…

To this point the “Reading Classics Together” effort has gone very well, at least in my opinion. Every week we’ve tackled together just a short portion of one of the classic texts of the Christian faith. In this way we’ve read through J.C. Ryle’s Holiness, John Owen’s Overcoming Sin and Temptation, A.W. Pink’s The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross and Jonathan Edwards’ The Religious Affections. We’ve had hundreds of people participate by reading the books together and discussing them each week (though, inevitably, I think many more people begin each of the efforts than finish them and many more people read than comment!). All along we’ve been reading some great works—books many of us have always wished to read but books few of us have ever made time for. And now it is time to decide on the next classic we’ll read together.

Through the first four rounds we have bounced from a more modern work to a more ancient one. We’ve gone from Ryle to Owen, Pink to Edwards. Now that we’ve finished Edwards and have slogged through his brilliant but difficult Affections, we’re ready to move forward in time to try something a little easier. And the next classic we will tackle together is one that should prove a far easier challenge: C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. This is regarded as a classic apologetic work that stands, even 55 years later, as a superior introduction to the Christian faith. It is a book that has been so widely quoted that I’m quite convinced that many of us have read most of it in other works!

Here is my disclaimer in which I hope to head off the inevitable critiques. I think we’re all aware that C.S. Lewis held to the odd point of strange theology—unbiblical theology. So as we read this book we’ll be appreciating it for what it does so well, but we’ll also be ready to take note if and when what Lewis teaches does not accord with Scripture. The purpose of Reading Classics Together is not only to read books we agree with entirely, but to read books that have become Christian classics, whether for good reasons or bad! In this case I’m convinced there will be far more gold than dross.

Let’s count on beginning with the Preface and Foreword on December 4. That gives you just over two weeks to find a copy and read the first few pages. After December 4 we’ll proceed at a pretty good clip. The book has over 30 chapters but we’ll read several chapters a week (many of them are just a few pages long) and try to work through it quite quickly. But we’ll be sure to move at a reasonable pace so everyone can keep up, even through the holiday season.

Mere Christianity is very widely available. It has gone through many printings in both hardcover and softcover, can be found in e-book, audio book and, I think, even on YouTube. I’m sure you can also find free versions online, though I believe these (and the YouTube versions) would be unlicensed and therefore either illegal at worst or pseudo-legal at best. Just about every used bookstore will have a few copies in stock. So if you have a couple of dollars to your name, you’ll be able to join in the fun.

If you are going to participate, please just leave a comment so I can try to gauge interest. And then find a copy of the book and get reading!

Here are links to three of the places you may shop (and in each case feel free to hunt around the sites as they probably have it in multiple versions):

Monergism Books | Westminster Books | Amazon

November 17, 2008

A Visual History of the English BibleI wanted A Visual History of the English Bible to be a standout. A book that I spied in a catalog and knew I just needed to read, it deals with a topic I love and in a way that is fresh and compelling. Few readers of the English Bible really understand the history of their Bible and fewer still understand the countless sacrifices that were made to bring it to us. A book like this helps us understand even more what a treasure the Bible truly is and how blessed we are to have it available to us.

November 16, 2008

I have the privilege of preaching tonight on the topic of the Trinity. It seemed appropriate, then, that I would combine this topic with the prayers I often post on Sundays—prayers drawn from The Valley of Vision. This prayer is the first in the book and is known simply as “The Trinity.” What a great prayer it is.

Three in One, One in Three, God of my salvation,

Heavenly Father, blessed Son, eternal Spirit,

I adore thee as one Being, one Essence,
one God in three distinct Persons,
for bringing sinners to thy knowledge and to thy kingdom.

O Father, thou hast loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me;

O Jesus, thou hast loved me and assumed my nature,
shed thine own blood to wash away my sins,
wrought righteousness to cover my
 unworthiness;

O Holy Spirit, thou hast loved me and entered
my heart, implanted there eternal life,
revealed to me the glories of Jesus.

Three Persons and one God, I bless and praise thee,
for love so unmerited, so unspeakable,
so wondrous, so mighty to save the lost
and raise them to glory.

O Father, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast given me to Jesus, to be his sheep,
jewel, portion;

O Jesus, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast accepted, espoused, bound me;

O Holy Spirit, I thank thee that in fullness of
grace thou hast
exhibited Jesus as my salvation,
implanted faith within me,
subdued my stubborn heart,
made me one with him for ever.

O Father, thou art enthroned to hear my prayers,

O Jesus, thy hand is outstretched to take my
 petitions,

O Holy Spirit, thou art willing to help my
infirmities, to show me my need,
to supply words, to pray within me,
to strengthen me that I faint not in
 supplication.

O Triune God, who commandeth the universe,
thou hast commanded me to ask for those
things that concern thy kingdom and my soul.

Let me live and pray as one baptized into the
threefold Name.

November 15, 2008

Yesterday, while reading a book about the history of the English Bible, I came across the story of John Rogers, a Bible translator who worked first with Tyndale and then independently after Tyndale’s death. It’s a story I’ve read before and one that is so powerful. Rogers was eventually arrested, tried, and found guilty of heresies against the Roman Church and against the sacrament. Such heresy carried with it the penalty of death and Rogers was to become the first of many martyrs under the reign of Mary I (Bloody Mary). Here is how Foxe described his last moments.

When the time came that he should be brought out of Newgate to Smithfield, the place of his execution, Mr. Woodroofe, one of the sheriffs, first came to Mr. Rogers, and asked him if he would revoke his abominable doctrine, and the evil opinion of the Sacrament of the altar. Mr. Rogers answered, “That which I have preached I will seal with my blood.” Then Mr. Woodroofe said, “Thou art an heretic.” “That shall be known,” quoth Mr. Rogers, “at the Day of Judgment.” “Well,” said Mr. Woodroofe, “I will never pray for thee.” “But I will pray for you,” said Mr. Rogers; and so was brought the same day, the fourth of February, by the sheriffs, towards Smithfield, saying the Psalm Miserere by the way, all the people wonderfully rejoicing at his constancy; with great praises and thanks to God for the same. And there in the presence of Mr. Rochester, comptroller of the queen’s household, Sir Richard Southwell, both the sheriffs, and a great number of people, he was burnt to ashes, washing his hands in the flame as he was burning. A little before his burning, his pardon was brought, if he would have recanted; but he utterly refused it. He was the first martyr of all the blessed company that suffered in Queen Mary’s time that gave the first adventure upon the fire. His wife and children, being eleven in number, ten able to go, and one sucking at her breast, met him by the way, as he went towards Smithfield. This sorrowful sight of his own flesh and blood could nothing move him, but that he constantly and cheerfully took his death with wonderful patience, in the defence and quarrel of the Gospel of Christ.”