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- There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford.
- On seeing other prisoners being led to their execution as heretics to be burned at the stake, as quoted in Problems in the Relations of God and Man (1911) by Clement Charles Julian Webb, p. 107
- Paraphrased variant: There, but for the grace of God, go I.
- This paraphrase has become a proverbial expression, and one further paraphrased by Phil Ochs in his protest song "There But For Fortune" (1963): There but for fortune, go you or I. It also led to the sardonic expression "There, but for the grace of God, goes God" which has been variously attributed to Herman J. Mankiewicz, in reference to Orson Welles while he was directing Citizen Kane, and to Winston Churchill regarding Stafford Cripps.
The Writings of John Bradford (1848)
Sermon on Repentence
- The father is against the son, the brother against the brother: and, Lord, with what conscience!
O be thou merciful unto us, and in thine anger remember thy mercy; suffer thyself to be entreated; be reconciled unto us; nay, reconcile us unto thee. O thou God of justice, judge justly. O thou Son of God, which earnest to destroy the works of Satan, destroy his furors, now smoking, and almost set on fire in this realm. We have sinned; we have sinned: and therefore thou art angry. O be not angry for ever. Give us peace, peace, peace in the Lord. Set us to war against sin, against Satan, against our carnal desires; and give us the victory this way.
This victory we obtain by faith. This faith is not without repentance, as her gentleman usher before her: before her, I say, in discerning true faith from false faith, lip-faith, Englishmen's faith: for else it springs out of true faith.
- The life we have at this present is the gift of God, "in whom we live, move, and are:" and therefore is he called Jehovah. For the which life as we should be thankful, so we may not in any wise use it after our own fantasy, but to the end for the which it is given and lent us; that is, to the setting forth of God's praise and glory, by repentance, conversion, and obedience to his good will and holy laws: whereunto his long-suffering doth, as it were, even draw us, if our hearts by impenitency were not hardened. And there fore our life in the scripture is called a "walking:" for that as the body daily draweth more and more near his end, that is the earth, even so our soul draweth daily more and more near the death, that is salvation or damnation, heaven or hell.
- Summa, "the eye hath not seen, the ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man," that they shall then inherit and most surely enjoy; although here they be tormented, prisoned, burned, solicited of Satan, tempted of the flesh, and entangled with the world; wherethrough they are enforced to cry, "Thy kingdom come:" come, Lord.
- A Meditation on the Coming of Christ to Judgment, And of the Reward Both of the Faithful and Un-Faithful.