Daily Word of Grace # 124 (September 4, 2020)

Several years ago I had the privilege of spending a day wandering around Oxford, England.  There is literally an “X” on the spot in the middle of Broad Street where the Oxford Martyrs were burned at the stake.  Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were martyred there on October 16, 1555, and months later, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who wrote/compiled the first two English Prayer Books, was also martyred there on March 21, 1556.  In Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563) John Foxe recounted what happened after fire was set below Bishops Latimer and Ridley, who were together bound to the stake: “Master Latimer spake in this manner: ‘Be of good comfort , Master Ridley, and play the man.  We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.’  When Dr. Ridley saw the fire flaming up towards him, he cried with a wonderful loud voice, ‘Lord, Lord, receive my spirit.’  Master Latimer, crying as vehemently on the other side, ‘O Father of heaven, receive my soul!’ receive the flame as it were embracing of it.”  Bishop Latimer was exactly right, for indeed by God’s grace the light of the gospel of the unconditional love of God in Jesus Christ has never been put out, and never will be—for truly “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5).

Love and Prayers,