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“Imprisonment is painful, but liberty, on ill conditions, is worse. The prison stinks, yet not so much as the sweet houses where the fear of God is wanting. I must be alone and solitary; it is better so to be, and have God with me, than to be in bad company. The loss of goods is great, but the loss of grace and the favor of God is greater. I cannot tell how to answer before great men, and learned men; yet is it better to do that, than to stand naked before God’s tribunal. I shall die by the hands of cruel men; but he is blessed who loseth his life, and findeth life eternal. There is neither felicity nor adversity in the world that is great, if it be weighed with the joys and pains of the world to come.”

                                                – Reported to be from a letter Hooper penned in prison.

John Hooper was martyred this date, 2/9/1555.  Some time after receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Cambridge he was converted to Christ by the writings of the German reformers.  At one point he felt obliged to flee to France and was briefly associate Huguenots. Later he was associated with Bullinger (Zwingli’s successor).  He returned to England and under Edward VI, was made Bishop of Gloucester.

In the providence of God Edward died.  He was followed by Queen Mary and she as a Roman Catholic required Hooper’s death.  Thus the “Father of the Puritans” was burned at the stake in the 60th year of his life. He was born c. 1495, at Somersetshire, England.

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