HE fourth of February suffered the constant martyr of God, Master John Rogers,
concerning whose life, examinations, and suffering, here followeth in order set forth.
And first touching his life and bringing up.
John Rogers, brought up in the university of Cambridge, where he profitably travailed in
good learning, at length was chosen and called by the merchant adventurers to be their
chaplain at Antwerp in Brabant, whom he served to their good contentation many years.
It chanced him there to fall in company with that worthy servant and martyr of God
William Tyndale, and with Miles Coverdale, who both, for the hatred they bare to popish
superstition and idolatry, and love to true religion, had forsaken their native country. In
conferring with them the Scriptures, he came to great knowledge in the gospel of God,
insomuch that he cast off the heavy yoke of popery, perceiving it to be impure and filthy
idolatry, and joined himself with them two in that painful and most profitable labour of
translating the Bible into the English tongue, which is entitled, The Translation of
Thomas Matthewe. He, knowing by the Scriptures, that unlawful vows may lawfully
be broken, and that matrimony is both honest and honourable among all men, joined
himself in lawful matrimony, and so went to Wittenberg in Saxony, where he, with much
soberness of living, did not only greatly increase in all good and godly learning, but also so much profited in the knowledge of the Dutch tongue, that the charge of a congregation was orderly committed to his cure.
In which ministry he diligently and faithfully served many years, until such time as it pleased God, by the faithful travail of his chosen and dear servant, King Edward the Sixth, utterly to banish all popery forth of England, and to receive in true religion, setting God's gospel at liberty. He then, being orderly called, having both a conscience, and a ready good will to help forward the work of the Lord in his native country, left such honest and certain conditions as he had in Saxony, and came into England to preach the gospel, without certainty of any condition. In which office, after he had a space diligently and faithfully travailed, Nicholas Ridley, then bishop of London, gave him a
prebend in the cathedral church of Paul; and the dean and the chapter chose him to be the
reader of the divinity-lesson there; wherein he diligently travailed, until such time, as Queen
Mary, obtaining the crown, banished the gospel and true religion, and brought in the antichrist
of Rome, with his idolatry and superstition.
After the queen was come to the Tower of London, he, being orderly called thereunto, made a
godly and vehement sermon at Paul's Cross, confirming such true doctrine as he and others had
there taught in King Edward's days, exhorting the people constantly to remain in the same, and
to beware of all pestilent popery, idolatry, and superstition. The council, being then overmatched
with popish and bloody bishops, called him to account for his sermon: to whom he made a stout,
witty, and godly answer; and yet in such sort handled himself, that at that time he was clearly
dismissed. But after that proclamation was set forth by the queen to prohibit true preaching, he
was called again before the council; for the bishops thirsted after his blood. The council qnarrelled
with him concerning his doctrine, and in conclusion commanded him as prisoner to keep his own
house; and so he did; although by flying, he might easily have escaped their cruel hands, and
many things there were which might have moved him thereunto. He did see the recovery of religion in England, for that present, desperate; he knew he could not want a living in Germany; and he could not forget his wife and ten children, and to seek means to succour them. But all these things set apart, after he was called to answer in Christ's cause, he would not depart, but stoutly stood in defence of the same, and for the trial of that truth, was content to hazard his life.
Thus he remained in his own house as prisoner a long time, till at length, through the uncharitable procurement of Bonner, bishop of London, who could not abide such honest neighbours to dwell by him, he was removed from his own house to the prison called Newgate, where he was lodged among thieves and murderers for a great space; during which time, what business he had with the adversaries of Christ, all is not known, neither yet any certainty of his examinations, further than he himself did leave in writing; which God would not to be lost, but to remain for a perpetual testimony in the cause of God's truth, as here followeth recorded and testified by his own writing.