John Rogers – Sealed with blood

Paperback, 144pp, Day One Publishing, Ryelands Road, Leominster, HR6 8NZ, UK. Price £7.00, ISBN 978-1-84625-084-2.

This book is a further volume in the History Today series and charts the story of one of the first Protestant martyrs of Mary Tudor’s reign.

It is clear that TIM SHENTON has researched his book well. He traces the early life of John Rogers, his extensive involvement in the Matthew’s Bible, his appointments under Nicholas Ridley, and his work with other men prominent in the Reformation in England. Considerable space is given to Roger’s three examinations presided over by Stephen Gardiner and Edmund Bonner. These three form a fitting climax and unfold the doctrines that Rogers held dear. It may be difficult to appreciate what rays of light in the midst of Medieval darkness are shown by statements from Rogers such as: ‘I will find it first in the scripture and see it tried thereby’; ‘Christ cannot be corporally … in your sacrament’; ‘All the laws of men might not, nor could rule the word of God’.

But the benefit of this book is not its historical account but its challenge to the present generation. SHENTON prefaces the book with this telling question, ‘Could we … put away our lives of merriment to take that long and lonely walk to the scaffold or be willing to lay our heads on the guillotine block?’.

This is a book that is well worth reading. There may come a time when persecution returns to this land.


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