9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
John Bradford is ardent in his criticism of the Sacrifice of the Mass, but he kindly interjects a blunt prayer for ‘massers’ in the midst of his fiery words. This article is a bit difficult to read but worth the effort. It was written about a century before Bunyan fought the good fight.
John Bradford (1510–1555) was an English Reformer, prebendary of St. Paul’s, and martyr. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London for alleged crimes against Mary Tudor. He was burned at the stake on 1 July 1555. . .For a time whilst in the Tower, Bradford was put in a cell with three other reformers, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer. Their time was spent in careful study of the New Testament. . .Before the fire was lit, he [Bradford] begged forgiveness of any he had wronged, and offered forgiveness to those who had wronged him. ~ Wikipedia
Now, the mass being known to be the device and invention of man, I will briefly shew you that it is the most horrible and detestable device that ever the devil brought out by man.
First, the mass is a most subtle and pernicious enemy against Christ, and that double, namely, against his priesthood and against his sacrifice. His priesthood is an everlasting priesthood, and such an one as cannot go to another. But the mass utterly puts him out of place, as though he were dead forever; and so God is forsworn which said Christ should be “a priest for ever” (Psa. 110), and Paul lieth which affirmeth Christ to live, and to be “on the right hand” of the Father for us (Heb. 7), that by him “we may come to the throne of grace to find mercy to help us in our need” (Heb. 4): for, if these be true as they be most true, the mass priests are to be put down: for, if they be “of the order of Aaron,” then resume they that which Christ hath abolished; if they be “of the order of Melchisedec,” then be they Christ’s. Other orders of priests I read none, save that which all Christians be, to offer up themselves to God and other spiritual sacrifices by Christ, and the order of “priests of Baal,” whose successors indeed the massers be: for else if they were, as they would be taken, of the order of the apostles, then should they be ministers and not massers, preachers and not traitors, as they be both to God and his church: God amend them. . .
If ever antichrist had child or daughter, this mass is the most pestilent and pernicious: under the name of Christ it destroyeth Christ; under the title of God’s service it destroyeth God’s service; under the colour of the church it destroyeth the church. . .”