Martyr Monday: John Lambert (d. 1538)

“Will you choose to live or die? What do you say?”

The questioner was Henry VIII, the king of England, who had unrestrained power in the land. The “criminal” who stood before him, charged with heresy, was John Lambert, a Greek and Latin tutor.

Lambert audaciously challenged his pastor for delivering a sermon that didn’t agree with Scripture. Because of this, Lambert was brought before the archbishop of Canterbury and later before King Henry. Quoting from the Scriptures and explaining the original Greek, Lambert presented his case to an assembly of bishops, lawyers, justices, and peers. The two sides argued strenuously back and forth until Henry, bored with it, presented Lambert with a final choice: “After all the reasons and instructions of these knowledgeable men, are you now satisfied? Will you choose to live or die? What do you say?”

Lambert took a deep breath and answered confidently, “I commend my soul to the hands of God, but my body I give to your clemency.”

“You must die,” Henry answered scornfully, “for I will not be a patron to heretics.” Convicted of heresy, Lambert was burned at the stake. Lambert was unbowed in his slow, torturous death.  Ablaze, He lifted up his burning hands in worship, declaring, “None but Christ! None but Christ!”

Writing that your soul might say with John Lambert, “None but Christ”-


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