Benet, Thomas

Benet, Thomas an English martyr, was born at Cambridge, and was at the university made master of arts, and was thought by some to have been a priest. He was well learned, and of a godly disposition. In 1524, feeling disposed to go. where he could worship in more freedom, according as his conscience dictated, he went to Devonshire, where he took charge of a school and did much towards instructing the children in the knowledge of Christ and his works. In 1525 he removed to Exeter, and started a school there for children; his spare time he devoted to the study of the Scriptures. But, as every tree and herb has its due time to bring forth its fruit, so did it appear by this good man. He saw daily the glory of God blasphemed, idolatrous religion so embraced and maintained, and that most false usurped power of the bishop of Rome so extolled, that he was so grieved in conscience and troubled in spirit that he could not be quiet, but uttered his mind to a number of persons. At one time he wrote his view, which was that the pope was Antichrist, and that we should worship God, not saints, and tacked it upon the doors of the cathedral church of the city. These bills being found, there was a great ado made, and a great search was made for the heretic who dared do such a bold thing. After a long search he was found and taken to prison; afterwards tried and condemned to be burned, Jan. 15, 1531. The mild martyr, rejoicing that his end was so near, "as the sheep before the shearer" yielded himself with all humbleness to abide and suffer the cross of persecution. After he reached his place of execution, near Exeter. he made his most humble confession and prayer to Almighty God, and requested all the people to do as he had done. This done, he was tied to a stake and fire was set to him. See Fox, Acts and Mon., v, 18.

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