Acts and Monuments by John Foxe, popularly abridged as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, is a celebrated work of church history and martyrology, first published in English in 1563 by John Day. Published early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and only five years after the death of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary I, Foxe's Acts and Monuments was an affirmation of the Protestant Reformation in England during a period of religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Foxe's account of church history asserted a historical justification that was intended to establish the Church of England as a continuation of the true Christian church rather than as a modern innovation, and it contributed significantly to a nationalistic repudiation of the Roman Catholic Church. The sequence of the work, initially in five books, covered first early Christian martyrs, a brief history of the medieval church, including the Inquisitions, and a history of the Wycliffite or Lollard movement. It then dealt with the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, during which the dispute with Rome had led to the separation of the English Church from papal authority and the issuance of the Book of Common Prayer. The final book treated the reign of Queen Mary and the Marian Persecutions. (courtesy of wikipedia.com)
In 1563, John Foxe began a memorial of martyrs starting with Stephen, the first to die for the cause of Christ, and ending with the most recent martyrs of his day; those killed during Bloody Mary's reign. He knew that dangers lay in forgetting the martyrs, in being insensitive to their struggles. Martyrdom is not a thing of the past; every day the Christian church is persecuted in countries all over the world. More Christians were afflicted in the twentieth century then all the past centuries combined. If the Church is not reminded of the cost to follow Christ, she will die. Be vulnerable to the cries of the martyrs. Let their courage, their faith, their love, touch your life. This updated version includes reports on modern martyrs of the 20th and 21st century, a full color timeline of selected events and people for historical reference, and has been carefully edited into Modern American English for today's reader.
Published early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England, only five years after the death of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary, the work is an affirmation of the Protestant Reformation in England during the ongoing period of religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Since the English monarchs also asserted control over the Church in England, a change in rulers could change the legal status of religious practices. As a consequence, adherents of one religion risked judicial execution by the State depending on the attitudes of the rulers. During Mary's reign, common people of Christian faith were publicly burned at the stake in an attempt to eliminate dissension from Catholic doctrines. Foxe's account of Mary's reign and the martyrdoms that took place during it contributed very significantly to the belief in a distinction from the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope as a central aspect of English national identity. By compiling his record, Foxe intended to demonstrate a historical justification for the foundation of the Church of England as a contemporary embodiment of the true and faithful church, rather than as a newly established Christian denomination.
You’ll be inspired by the ultimate sacrifice of dozens of early followers of Jesus as recorded in the classic history Foxe’s Christian Martyrs. This sixteenth-century book, presented here in an abridged and updated edition, describes the faithful lives and untimely deaths of Christians from the early church era through the reign of Queen Elizabeth in England. Though man’s evil toward man is troubling, the martyrs’ God-given power to rise above their persecution is ultimately uplifting and inspiring. This is a book every Christian should be familiar with!
In 1563, John Foxe published an account of the life of Christian martyrs, beginning with Stephen, the first to die for the cause of Christ, and ending with the most recent martyrs of his day—Protestants killed during Bloody Mary's reign. He knew that dangers lay in forgetting the martyrs—in being insensitive to their struggles. They faced torture and death in their fight of faith, willing to stand for their beliefs and the Word of God regardless of the price. The faithfulness of such historical figures as John Wycliffe, John Huss, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and so many others has given us our rich Christian heritage. Their courage and dedication inspire us to live for Christ today.
'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.' Hugh Latimer's famous words of consolation to Nicholas Ridley as they are both about to be burnt alive for heresy come from John Foxe's magisterial Acts and Monuments, popularly known as the Book of Martyrs. This vast collection of unforgettable accounts of religious persecution exerted as great an influence on early modern England and New England as the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. It contains many stirring stories of the apprehension, interrogation, imprisonment, and execution of alleged heretics. The narratives not only attest to the fortitude of individuals who suffered for their faith not many years before the birth of Shakespeare, but they also constitute exciting tales filled with graphic details and verbal wit. This modernized selection also includes some of the famous woodcuts that illustrated the original text, as well as providing a comprehensive introduction to Foxe's life and times and the martyrology narrative. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.