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John Bradford
1510-1555

      John Bradford was born in 1510 and received a good education in a grammar school in Manchester. He was able to earn a good living serving under John Harrington, paymaster to the English forces during the wars of Henry the 8th. For a time he studied law but through the influence of a fellow student he was converted to Protestant Christian faith. Because of this he left the study of law and began his study of theology at Cambridge.

      Though he would only live seven more years he was often referred to as "holy Bradford" not in derision, but from respect to his unselfish service to God and those around him. In 1550, during the reign of Edward the 6th, he was ordained by Bishop Ridley to be a "roving chaplain". Following Edward's early death, England was ruled by Mary Tudor who was zealous to bring back the Roman Catholic religion and to discipline "heretics."

      Before Mary's reign was a month old John was arrested on a trivial charge and confined to the Tower of London, never to be a free man again. His time in prison was not wasted as he continued to preach to all that would listen and to write letters and treatises that would encourage fellow believers. During his two-year imprisonment he was cast for a time into a single cell with three fellow reformers, Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer. Their time together was spent encouraging one another and in careful study of the New Testament. All three were to become martyrs.

      Finally on January 31st, 1555 Bradford was brought to the notorious Newgate Prison to be burned at the stake as a heretic. Though the burning was scheduled for 4 AM, there was a great crowd, made up of many who admired Bradford, who had come to witness the execution. He was chained to the stake with another young martyr, John Leaf. After begging forgiveness of any he might have wronged and freely forgiving those who had wronged him, he turned to fellow-martyr, John Leaf, with these words, "Be of good comfort brother; for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night!"

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Biography Life of Master John Bradford
      Some Account of the Rev. John Bradford, Prebendary of St.Paul's, and Martyr, A.D. 1555. John Bradford was born at Manchester about the year 1510. His parents gave him a good education. He was a hard student from his youth, and his skill in accounts procured him employment under sir John Harrington, treasurer and paymaster of the English forces i ...read
LetterBrief Admonition written by John Bradford in the New Testament of a Friend
      Brief Admonition written by John Bradford in the New Testament of a Friend This book is called, The word of the Cross, because the cross always accompanies it: so that if you will be a student thereof, you must needs prepare yourself to that cross which you began to learn, before you learned your alphabet. And Christ requires it of every one tha ...read
ArticleDaily Meditations and Prayers
      The following meditations and prayers were written by Bradford to supersede the ones upon similar subjects in use among the papists and which are still found in many of their books of devotion. When you Awake out of your Sleep, Pray thus: O most dear Father of our Saviour Jesus Christ, whom none does know but by thy gift, grant that to the ...read
ArticleDaily Prayers of Master John Bradford
       A Confession of Sins and Prayer for the Mitigation of God's Wrath and Punishment for the same O Almighty God, King of all kings, and Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongs justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful unto them that truly repent; we confess that thou dost most justly punish us, for ...read
Book
Godly Meditations - Table of Contents
       Godly Meditations upon the Lord's Prayer, the Belief, and the Commandments, with other Comfortable Meditations, Prayers, and Exercises by the constant Martyr of God, John Bradford, in the Time of his Imprisonment To the Reader Here thou hast (good reader) such godly meditations prayers, and other exercises of that worthy witness of God, John ...read
Letter
Letters of John Bradford - Table of Contents
       Letters of Master John Bradford, written on Various Occasions Master John Bradford, a faithful Minister and pillar of Christ's Church, by whose great labours and diligence in preaching and planting the sincerity of the gospel, by whose most godly and innocent life, and by whose long and painful imprisonments for the maintenance of the truth, the ...read
Book
Sermons and Tracts - Table of Contents
       Sermons and Tracts by that Worthy Martyr of Christ, John Bradford To the Christian reader, John Bradford wishes the true knowledge and peace of Jesus Christ, our alone and all-sufficient Saviour. Great and heavy is God's anger against us, as the most grievous plague of the death of our late king (Edward VI, editor), (a prince the most peerles ...read
ArticleThe Flesh and the Spirit
       How the Words "Flesh" and "Spirit" are to be Understood in the Scriptures For your better understanding of the scriptures, especially of the new Testament; for the forearming you against errors, which, through the ignorance or diverse acception and taking of terms or words used and written of the holy apostles, might happen; and for your cons ...read
SermonThe Old Man and the New
      A man that is regenerate and "born of God," consisteth of two men (as a man may say), namely of "the old man," and of "the new man." "The old man" is like to a mighty giant, such a one as was Goliath; for his birth is now perfect. But "the new man" is like unto a little child, such a one as was David; for his birth is not perfect until the day of h ...read
ArticleThe Places of the Law & the Gospel
      Whosoever truly understandeth the division of the places of the Law and of the Gospel, gathered out of the holy scriptures, cannot by any man's doctrine be seduced from the truth, or read the scriptures but to edify both himself and others: whereas he that is ignorant of the same cannot, though he were a great doctor of divinity, and could rehearse ...read

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