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Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

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Monday 11 April 2011

'The Hurt of Hearing Mass'

The title comes from the writings of the Reformer John Bradford. He was arrested in August 1553 and imprisoned for a time in the tower of London before being moved to other prisons.

Almost two years later on 15th July 1555 at 9 am, John Bradford, aged around 45, along with John Leaf, aged just 19, were led out from Newgate prison to be executed at Smithfield market, situated near to where St Bartholomew's hospital now is in London. Another one of many Protestant martyrs who would rather die than countenance Romanism and the Mass. This was during the reign of 'bloody Queen Mary'. 

Among John Bradford’s final words at the stake were these: O England, England, repent!

Turning to the young man who was being put to death beside him he said: Be of good comfort, brother, for we shall have a happy supper with the Lord tonight

As the faggots burned around his feet he repeated the Saviour’s words: …strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

You can read a fuller account of his death in Foxe's Book of Martyrs. 

What a contrast between John Bradford's resolute stand for the truth and the sad compromise and betrayal we have witnessed this past week by Peter Robinson, Tom Elliott, Norman Hamilton [the moderator of the Irish Presbyterian Church] and many other Protestant politicians and ministers of religion. As reported in the Newsletter the weak, craven response of the Orange Order who has let it be known that they will not discipline members who have attended the Mass also stands in stark contrast to the courage of John Bradford. [Although I am informed that no such decision has been made or could be taken prior to a meeting of Grand Lodge.

I mention this man John Bradford because while in the tower of London he wrote a tract entitled: The hurt of hearing Mass', which sets forth why he would rather be burned at the stake than countenance the Mass. 

You can read the entire tract online here

Here is a synopsis of what he wrote.

He took for his text 1 Kings 18:21: How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.

In introducing his subject he makes mention of others who have written on this same subject. The margin lists the names of Calvin, Viret, Bullinger, & Hooper.

His proposition is: 

He proceeds to set forth twelve excuses people employ for attendance at the mass. Having outlined these twelve excuses he concludes that they are 'weak and vain'.

He discourses upon the origin of the Mass and the development of the title in church history showing that the Mass was not part of New Testament worship but a later development and corruption.

Next he writes about the evil of the Mass:

He first shows that the mass is a 'most subtle and pernicious enemy of Christ, against his priesthood and against his sacrifice'

Secondly he shows that the mass is not only a let [hindrance] but also a destruction of the true worshipping of God.

Thirdly he argues that the mass is not only beside Christ's institution and ordinance, but it is utterly against it and perverteth it horribly

He concludes this section by saying:

He next proceeds to show that the Mass violates the first, second, third and fourth commandments. He also argues that it breaks the commandments of the second table of the Moral law generally and particularly. 

Interspersed with his arguments there is the exhortation that people should be willing to die rather than attend the Mass:

The history he relates is of the people of God in Edessa in ancient time who were forewarned that all that attended the house of God that day would be slain. That day there was a greater attendance than normal. 

Having concluded considering how the Mass breaks all ten commandments he presents a further thirty-nine reasons for non-attendance at the Mass. 

He finishes his thesis by answering the twelve reasons people employ to excuse attending the Mass. 

It is worth remembering that this man, along with many others, was prepared to give his life at the stake rather than attend the Mass. Our religious liberties and freedoms were dearly bought. 

May God give us courage to be like them in the resolute stand for the truth and purity of the gospel. 


Anonymous said...

You appear to lead a very sad and insular life. Peter Robinson and Tom Elliott are obviously secure in their faith and able to attend a Catholic funeral as a sign of respect. You on the other hand seem insecure in your faith because you seem so obviously and unnecessarily threatened and that's sad.

Rev Brian McClung said...


I see that your convictions are so strong that you are afraid/ashamed to put your name to them. How very unscriptural, 1 Peter 3:15:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

The truth of the gospel is always under attack. This was the case even in the apostles' days. Paul spoke of the 'many' who corrupted the Word, 2 Cor 2:17: For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Some things never change. Who do you think the 'many' are today who do 'corrupt the word of God'? It can't be those who oppose attending the Mass for we are dismissed as an insignificant rabble. Would it any chance be the 'great and the good' who in their multitudes run after the unchristian system of Romanism.

Paul also spoke of the need to defend the gospel as well as preach it, Phil 1:7,17. What do you think the gospel needs defended from today? From whom does the gospel need defending? Would it any chance be those who corrupt it as Romanism does with her blasphemies of the Mass?

Who do you think Paul is referring to in 1 Tim 4:1-6?
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

Are you aware of anyone who forbids marriage today while professing to follow Christ at the same time? It wouldn't any chance be Romanism with her perverted system of celibacy.

Furthermore Paul states that to warn and make people aware of these things is being a faithful minister of Jesus Christ.

No Bible believing Christian can ever be accused of leading an insular life as they more than anyone live with a consciousness that we are not in this world for ever and one day we will stand before Jesus Christ as the Judge who shall do right.

It is much better to live in the light of that day than worry about the deluded opinions/calumny of people in this world.

Brian McClung