William Tyndale

By James J. Ellis

The Project Gutenberg eBook of William Tyndale, by James J. Ellis

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at
www.gutenberg.org. If you are not located in the United States, you
will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before
using this eBook.

Title: William Tyndale

Author: James J. Ellis

Release Date: May 25, 2023 [eBook #70856]

Language: English

Produced by: David E. Brown and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
             at https://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images
             generously made available by The Internet Archive)






  _Illustrated. Small Crown 8vo.
  Price Fifty Cents each._


  _In Preparation._


[Illustration: WILLIAM TYNDALE.]




  “Thou hast left behind
  Powers that will work for thee; earth, air, and skies,
  There’s not a breathing of the common wind
  That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
  Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
  And love, and man’s unconquerable mind.”

  2 & 3 BIBLE HOUSE.



“I have surveyed most of the learning found among the sons of men,”
said the learned Seldon, “but I can stay my soul upon none of them
but the Bible;” and precisely similar has been the experience of many

The Bible is in the Scripture declared to be that which the Holy Spirit
employs both in conversion and in sanctification; it is therefore
needful above all things that we should know our Bibles well. Nothing
can compensate for the want of this, and at the same time a spiritual
knowledge of the Scriptures will often atone for natural deficiencies,
both in mental equipment and in social position.

The man, therefore, who brings the Bible to bear efficiently upon the
hearts and lives of his fellow-creatures is the true servant of God;
what then shall be said in praise of William Tyndale?

Before his day such copies of Wycliffe’s Version as still survived
could only be consulted in secret; they were but few in number, and
the language in which they were written had become obsolete. Tyndale
conceived the bold idea of translating the Scriptures so that the
poorest might be able to obtain and to understand them.

For this noble object he lived and died, and Englishmen should never
forget that the priceless boon of an open Bible, which is the secret
source of our national liberties and success, was paid for by Tyndale
with his blood.

Tyndale does not regret the purchase now, for although duty exacts a
heavy fine, it more than repays those who give up all things that they
may possess her.




    AND THE MORNING STAR                                         1






    CHARACTER--AN EXILE FOR CONSCIENCE’ SAKE                    23



    DOES NOT DESTROY IT                                         30



    QUALIFICATIONS--HIS PUNGENT GLOSSES                         40



    ON THE PENTATEUCH                                           56



    LANGUAGE--PUBLIC OPINION WITH TYNDALE                       73



    PATHETIC APPEAL AND HIS NOBLE OFFER                         79



    OF LIFE                                                     87



    WEARY YEAR OF IMPRISONMENT--THE TRIUMPH                     98




  “How seldom, friend, a good, great man inherits
  Honour or wealth, with all his toil and pains!
  It sounds like stories from the land of spirits,
  If any man obtain that which he merits,
  Or any merit that which he obtains.”


  “Did you ever sit and look at a handsome or well-made man, and thank
  God from your heart for having allowed you such a privilege and

  “There is an inscrutability of truth which sometimes increases its
  power, while we wait with solemn reverence for the hour when it shall
  be fully revealed to us; and our faith, like the setting sun, may
  clothe celestial mysteries with a soft and rosy-coloured light, which
  makes them more suitable to our present existence.”--CHEEVER.


“I have long adopted an expedient which I have found of singular
service to me,” said Richard Cecil. “I have a shelf in my study for
tried authors, and one in my mind for tried principles and characters.

“When an author has stood a thorough examination and will bear to be
taken as a guide, I PUT HIM ON THE SHELF!

“When I have most fully made up my mind on a principle, I PUT IT ON THE

“When I have turned a character over and over on all sides, and seen it
through and through in all situations, I PUT IT ON THE SHELF!”

William Tyndale is a man whose character may be placed upon the shelf,
for he and his life have successfully endured the test of the ages
that have in turn examined him, and sometimes not with the kindest of
feelings. It is difficult for us to estimate adequately the magnitude
of his success, because the whole current of religious life has changed
since his time, and mainly because of what he accomplished. A great
writer has imagined what would occur if some morning every sentence of
the Scriptures were obliterated both from the printed page and from
the minds of men; he believes that _a blank Bible would mean a blank
world_, and that was largely the moral condition of things into which
Tyndale was born. There was no Bible, at least in circulation, and
therefore there were ignorance, tyranny, hopelessness, and discord. The
Reformation was not only a bringing-in of a new life beyond the grave,
it also gave fresh hope and meaning to the existence on this side of
death; so that commercial enterprise and national liberty are products
of that period.

Frith, in his amusing autobiography, tells us of a picture-dealer who
said of Dickens and his writings, “He couldn’t help writing ’em. He
deserves no credit for that. He a clever man! Let him go and sell a lot
of pictures to a man that don’t want ’em, as I have done lots of times;
that’s what I call being a clever man!”

The same has practically been long felt if not expressed about William
Tyndale, for it is only of late years that his supreme ability has been
admitted. Yet he was undoubtedly a great man; Foxe calls him “the true
servant and martyr of God, who, for his notable pains and travail, may
well be called the Apostle of England.” Tyndale is rightly so called,
for he, in spite of the Bishops, gave to the world a book which they
did not desire, and in so doing he did more for the English Reformation
than the King and Parliament combined.

Of the early days of this great man but very little is known. Foxe,
in his Life of William Tyndale, says that he “was born about the
borders of Wales, and brought up from a child in the University of
Oxford, where he, by long continuance, grew up and increased as well
in the knowledge of tongues and other liberal arts, as especially in
the knowledge of the Scriptures, _whereunto his mind was singularly
addicted_, insomuch that he, lying then in Magdalen Hall, read privily
to certain students and fellows of Magdalen College some parcel
of divinity; instructing them in the knowledge and truth of the
Scriptures. His manners also and conversation, being correspondent to
the same, were such that all they that knew him reputed and esteemed
him to be a man of most virtuous disposition and of life unspotted.
Thus he, in the University of Oxford, increasing more and more in
learning and proceeding in degrees of the schools, spying his time,
removed from thence to the University of Cambridge, where, after he had
likewise made his abode a certain space, being now further ripened in
the knowledge of God’s Word, leaving that University also, he resorted
to one Master Welch, a knight of Gloucestershire.” In these few lines
Foxe concentrates the history of several years, and these were years
of supreme interest and importance both to the man and to us. Nor has
subsequent research done very much to fill in this gap, although one or
two things are now clear to us.

It was for a long time believed that William Tyndale was a son of
Thomas Tyndale of Hunts Court, the manor-house of North Nibley, a
village in Gloucestershire. Accordingly a monument has been erected
upon Nibley Knoll (one of the Cotswold Hills) in his honour--a noble
column which is still conspicuous from far in that pleasant country.
But it has been shown that this could not have been, and that not to
the manor-house, but to a farmhouse, must we look for the birthplace of
our hero. At Melksham Court, in the parish of Stinchcombe, there had
long lived a family of Tyndales, who, it is said, had originally come
from the North of England. This was during the Wars of the Roses, and
in order to elude the proscription which in turn visited the adherents
of each house, these Tyndales assumed the name of Hutchins.

It is probable that these farmers, whose lands were principally
swamps that had been reclaimed from the Severn, were the ancestors of
William Tyndale. The Tyndales of North Nibley were, however, probably
relatives of these farmers. The precise date of William Tyndale’s birth
cannot be stated, but from the fact that, in his reply to Sir Thomas
More, Tyndale said, “These things to be even so M. More knoweth well
enough, for he understandeth the Greek, and he knew them long ere I
did,” it is inferred that More was at least some years the elder.
More was born in the year 1478 A.D., and therefore it is conjectured
that about 1480 was the date of Tyndale’s birth. Of Slymbridge, his
probable birthplace, Demaus says that it “was then, as now, wholly
engrossed in the production of cheese and butter; a quiet agricultural
parish, where life would flow on calmly as the great river that formed
its boundary. The dairymaid was the true annalist of Slymbridge; and
the only occurrence beyond drought which would distress the peaceful
population would be occasional predatory incursions of their lawless
neighbours from the Forest of Dean, which waved in hills of verdure
towards the west, as a picturesque counterbalance to the Cotswolds in
the east. Such a place one naturally associates with stagnant thought
and immemorial tradition.”[1]

One would have been thankful for an account of the home life of the
Tyndales, and especially for some information about the two parents. We
can imagine the grave, sober farmer given up to religious observances
like his neighbours, thinking grimly but silently of the evils which he
saw in the Churches around him; perhaps also with a tinge of Lollardism
as carefully concealed as might be. And the sober, diligent mother,
not wholly occupied with the pursuits of the farm, but thinking high
thoughts about God and life, that from time to time she communicated
to her sons. From what we know of their children, we must form a high
estimate of the parents.

Four sons, it would seem, formed the family group, and they were named
respectively Richard Tyndale (who succeeded to the farm), Edward
Tyndale, William the Martyr, and John Tyndale, a merchant in London.

It is a fact that the last named was fined for sending money to his
brother William when the latter was abroad, and for aiding him in the
circulation of the Scriptures, so that in all probability the brothers
were of one mind in religious opinions. One brother, Edward Tyndale,
was appointed receiver of the revenues of Berkley, which had been
left to the Crown in the year 1492, so that he at anyrate was fairly

Tyndale himself, in his “Obedience of a Christian Man,” to which
reference will be further made later on in this biography, makes the
following allusion to his own childhood:--“Except my memory fail me,
and that I have forgotten what I read when I was a child, thou shalt
find in the English Chronicle, how that King Adelstone (Athelstone)
caused the Holy Scripture to be translated into the tongue that then
was in England, and how prelates exhorted him thereto.”

We may therefore suppose that the child was taught at home in the
ancient records of the Kingdom, and perhaps his attention was called by
his father to the significant fact that then the Scriptures could not
be read by the people, whereas this had been permitted in earlier days.
It is singular that the boy should have noticed such a fact, and it
suggests that some one significantly indicated it to him. It is certain
that a strong sympathy for the opinions of Wycliffe and his followers
existed all through the West of England, and probably William Tyndale’s
father hinted to his sons what he did not dare to speak out to others.
And there were also here and there, men, in monasteries, vicarages, and
dwelling-houses, who were beginning to discern the coming dawn.

“Midnight being past,” says Fuller, “some early risers were beginning
to strike fire and enlighten themselves from the Scriptures.” And there
was indeed great need for them to do so, for the religious condition of
England was at that time lamentable.

As an example of the dissoluteness of the national manners, and
principally amongst the clergy, it is said of Mr. Edmund Loud, a
gentleman of rank in Huntingdonshire, that he “was disgusted at the
dissolute lives of the monks of Sawtry, an abbey in his neighbourhood,
and even ventured to chastise one of them who had insulted his
daughter. For this, and other circumstances, they determined to be
revenged; and he was waylaid and assaulted by six men, tenants of
the abbey. He defended himself with a billhook for some time, till a
constable came up and stopped the fray, and Mr. Loud was required to
give up his weapon. They then proceeded peaceably with the constable;
but, watching an opportunity, as Mr. Loud was crossing a stile, one
seized him by the arms, while another fractured his skull with the blow
of a club, and he died seven days afterwards. The murderers escaped,
and the influence of the Romish clergy prevented the matter being
properly followed up.”

Dr. Henry in his history of this period observes, however, that “there
was one vice, indeed, which the clergy most zealously endeavoured to
extirpate. This was what they called the damnable vice of heresy,
which consisted in reading the New Testament in English, the works of
Wickliff and Luther, and of others of that learning; in denying the
infallibility of the Pope, transubstantiation, purgatory, praying to
saints, worshipping images, &c. Notwithstanding the cruel punishments
that had been inflicted on those who entertained these opinions,
their number was still considerable, particularly in London, and
in Colchester, and in other parts of Essex. They called themselves
Brethren in Christ, and met together with great secrecy in one
another’s houses, to read the New Testament and other books, and to
converse upon religious subjects. Many of them were apprehended, and
brought before Cuthbert Tonstall, bishop of London, and Dr. Wharton,
his chancellor. But Bishop Tonstall, being a prelate of uncommon
learning and eloquence, and of great humanity, earnestly tried to
prevail upon them to renounce, or rather to dissemble, their opinions,
by which they escaped a painful death, but incurred the painful
reproaches of their minds.”

As a specimen of those who were brought before the tribunals, take
these cases:--

“Elizabeth Wightil deposed against her mistress, Alice Doly, that
speaking of John Hacher, a water-bearer in Coleman Street, London, she
said he was so very expert in the Gospels and the Lord’s Prayer in
English, that it did her good to hear him. She was also said to have
heretical books in her possession.

“Roger Hackman, of Oxfordshire, was accused for saying in the county of
Norfolk, ‘I will never look to be saved for any good deed that ever I
did, neither for any that I shall ever do, unless I have my salvation
by petition, as an outlaw pardoned by the king;’ adding, ‘that if he
might not have his salvation so, he thought he should be lost.’” If
such doctrine as this was condemned, we cannot wonder at hearing of
“certain heretical books called the Epistles and Gospels.”

The darkness was indeed thick, but happily the dawning was at hand.



  “Meek souls there are who little deem
  Their daily strife an Angel’s theme,
  Or that the rod they take so calm
  Shall prove in heaven a martyr’s palm.”


  “The voice of Nature never goes to the _heart_ until it blend with
  the voice of Scripture.”--PHILIP.

  “It is by celestial observation alone that terrestrial charts can be


At an early age William Tyndale was sent to Oxford, where he was
entered at Magdalen Hall. Here we can perhaps picture him from the
words of Thomas Lever, who in a sermon which was preached later
describes the University life of his day. With some modifications, it
may perhaps stand for Tyndale’s experience:--

“There are divers there which rise daily between four and five o’clock
in the morning, and from five until six o’clock use common prayer,
with an exhortation of God, and in a common chapel. From six until ten
o’clock they use either private study or common lectures. At ten of the
clock they go to dinner, whereat they be content with a greasy piece
of beef amongst four, having a few pottage made of the broth of the
same beef, with salt and oatmeal, and nothing else. After this slender
dinner, they be either teaching or learning until five of the clock in
the evening, when they have a supper not much better than their dinner.
Immediately after which they go either to reasoning in problems or unto
some other study, until it be nine or ten of the clock, and then, being
without fire, are fain to walk or run up and down half an hour, to get
a heat in their feet, when they go to bed.”

With some few modifications, this description may stand for the
student life of Tyndale, and it is certainly a picture of hard living
and of stern training. In the year 1512 William Tyndale received his
degree of B.A., and in 1515 he was licensed M.A. For some reason which
cannot very clearly be discovered, Tyndale afterwards left Oxford for
Cambridge, where Erasmus was at that time lecturing.

It has been pointed out by Demaus, in his admirable and exhaustive
biography, that Tyndale’s famous sentence was merely a re-echo of what
Erasmus had said long before. In the exhortation prefixed to one of his
works Erasmus wrote: “I totally dissent from those who are unwilling
that the Sacred Scriptures, translated into the vulgar tongue, should
be read by private individuals, as if Christ had taught such subtle
doctrines that they can with difficulty be understood by a very few
theologians, or as if the strength of the Christian religion lay in
men’s ignorance of it. The mysteries of kings it were perhaps better
to conceal, but Christ wishes His mysteries to be published as widely
as possible. I would wish even all women to read the Gospels and
the Epistles of St. Paul. And I wish they were translated into _all
languages of all people, that they might be read and known, not merely
by the Scotch and the Irish, but even by the Turks and the Saracens.
I wish that the husbandman may sing parts of them at his plough, that
the weaver may warble them at his shuttle, that the traveller may with
their narratives beguile the weariness of the way._”

These are indeed noble words, and one wishes that Erasmus had possessed
the courage of his convictions, but his selfishness, weakness, and love
of ease prevented him from braving the risks that Luther and Tyndale
incurred. He was like the courtier who advised Latimer to remain a
papist until “it pleased God to add to Latimer’s opinions converts
in such honest number” as to make profession of his belief safe and
respectable. Tyndale was of other and of harder material than Erasmus,
and therefore he obtained the success that he did. Withes may be useful
for making baskets, but heart of oak and iron are required for the
construction of warships. “In almost all plans of great enterprise,”
says John Foster, “a man must systematically dismiss at the entrance
every wish to stipulate with his destiny for his safety. He voluntarily
treads within the precincts of danger; and though it be possible he may
escape, _he ought to be prepared_ with the fortitude of _a self-devoted
victim_. This is the inevitable condition on which ... Reformers must
commence their career. Either they must allay their fire of enterprise,
or abide the liability to be exploded by it from the world.” Such was
William Tyndale; while the character of Erasmus is sketched in the
words in which the same writer describes the man without decision of
character: “He belongs to whatever can make capture of him. One thing
after another vindicates its right to him while he is trying to go on,
as twigs and chips floating near the edge of a river are intercepted by
every weed and whirled in every little eddy.”

At Cambridge, therefore, Tyndale remained, and there he not only began
“to smell the Word of God,” but he also made choice of his future
profession. During his course at the Universities, Tyndale had at least
one pupil to whom he made reference in his last letter to Fryth the
martyr. In the year 1521 Tyndale left Cambridge and went to live as
chaplain and tutor at the house of Sir John Walsh in Little Sodbury,
Gloucestershire. The mansion of this local magnate “is charmingly
situated on the south-western slope of the Cotswolds, and enjoys a
magnificent prospect over the richly wooded vale of the Severn, to the
distant hills of Wales. Though somewhat shorn of its former dignity,
and only in part inhabited, the house is still, in the main, intact;
time indeed has dealt gently with it, and has added to the beauties
of its graceful and varied architecture those mellowing touches which
delight the eye of the lover of the picturesque.”[2]

Here Tyndale lived for years, and in this quiet seclusion he had
sufficient leisure to reflect upon the matters which had previously
engaged his attention; it was here that he fully resolved to devote
himself to the great enterprise with which his name is inseparably
associated. For the intellectual revival that had set in all through
Europe had reached England also; and men no longer cared to waste their
time in discussing such puerilities as Erasmus states that in the
solemn disputations of the scholars were discussed. As, for example,
such questions as--“Whether the Pope can command angels?” “Whether he
be a mere man, or, as God, participates in both natures with Christ?”
“And whether he be not more merciful than Christ was, since we do not
read that Christ ever recalled any from the pains of purgatory?”

Old Foxe who obtained his information from an eye-witness, who is
believed by Demaus to have been Richard Webb, who was afterwards
servant to Latimer, speaks thus of Tyndale’s life in the old
manor-house: “Master Tyndale being in service with one Master Walsh, a
knight, who married a daughter of Sir Robert Poyntz, a knight dwelling
in Gloucestershire. The said Tyndale being school-master to the said
Master Walsh’s children, and being in good favour with his master,
sat most commonly at his own table. Which Master Walsh kept a good
ordinary commonly at his table, and there resorted unto him many times
sundry abbots, deans, archdeacons, with divers other doctors, and
great beneficed men; who there, together with Master Tyndale sitting
at the same table, did use many times to enter communication, and talk
of learned men, as of Luther and of Erasmus; also of divers other
controversies and questions upon the Scripture. Then Master Tyndale, as
he was learned and well practised in God’s matters, so he spared not
to show unto them simply and plainly his judgment in matters, as he
thought; and when they at any time did vary from Tyndale in opinions
and judgment, he would show them in the book, and lay plainly before
them the open and manifest places of the Scriptures, to confute their
errors and confirm his sayings. And thus continued they for a certain
season, reasoning and contending together divers and sundry times, till
at length they waxed weary, and bare a secret grudge in their hearts
against him.

“So upon a time,” continues Foxe, “some of these beneficed doctors
bid Master Walsh and the lady his wife at a supper or banquet, there
having among them talk at will without any gainsaying. The supper or
banquet being done, and Master Walsh and his lady being come home, they
called for Master Tyndale, and talked with him of such communication
as had been where they came from and of their opinions. Master Tyndale
thereunto made answer agreeable to the truth of God’s Word, and in
reproving of their false opinions. The Lady Walsh, being a stout woman,
and as Master Tyndale did report her to be wise, there being no more
but they three, Master Walsh, his wife, and Master Tyndale: ‘Well,’
said she, ‘there was such a doctor he may dispend two hundred pound by
the year; another one hundred pound; and another three hundred pound;
and what think ye, _were it reason that we should believe you before
them so great, learned, and beneficed men_?’ Master Tyndale, hearing
her, gave her no answer; nor after that had but small arguments against
such, for he perceived it would not help, in effect to the contrary.”

The character of the disputes may be inferred from the following
paragraph which has been compiled by D’Aubigné from Tyndale’s

“In the dining-room of the old hall a varied group was assembled
round the hospitable table. There were Sir John and Lady Walsh, a few
gentlemen of the neighbourhood, with several abbots, deans, monks, and
doctors in their respective costumes. Tyndale occupied the humblest
place, and generally kept Erasmus’ New Testament within reach, in
order to prove what he advanced. Numerous domestics were moving about
engaged in waiting on the guests; and at length the conversation, after
wandering a little, took a more precise direction. The priests grew
impatient when they saw the terrible volume appear. ‘Your Scriptures
only seem to make heretics,’ they exclaimed. ‘On the contrary,’ replied
Tyndale, ‘the source of heresies is pride; now, the Word of God strips
man of everything, and leaves him as bare as Job.’ ‘The Word of God!
Why, even we don’t understand your Word; how can the vulgar understand
it?’ ‘You don’t understand it,’ rejoined Tyndale, ‘because you look
into it only for foolish questions. Now, the Scriptures are a clue,
which we must follow without turning aside until we arrive at Christ,
for Christ is the end.’ ‘And I tell you,’ shouted out another priest,
‘that the Scriptures are a Dædalian labyrinth--a conjuring-book wherein
everybody finds what he wants.’ ‘Alas!’ replied Tyndale, ‘you read them
without Jesus Christ; that’s why they are an obscure book to you. What
do I say? A grave of briars; if thou loose thyself in one place thou
art caught in another.’ ‘No; it is we who give the Scriptures, and we
who explain them to you.’ ‘You set candles before images,’ replied
Tyndale; ‘and since you give them light, why don’t you give them food?
Why don’t you make their bellies hollow, and put victuals and drink
inside? To serve God by such mummeries is treating Him like a spoilt
child, whom you pacify with a toy, or you make him a horse out of a

It is no wonder that such discussions (for this picture is probably
a fair sample of many, that took place both in the hall of the
manor-house, and in the houses of the neighbouring clergy and gentry)
disturbed the minds of the knight and of his wife. As Tyndale could not
reply to the argument from wealth, he called in the aid of Erasmus, who
was then at the zenith of his fame. Some eleven years before, Erasmus
had written a book entitled “The Manual of a Christian Soldier.” This
work Tyndale translated and placed in the hands of Lady Walsh. The
opinions of Tyndale were, of course, despicable because he was poor,
but Erasmus was the pet of princes, and his words could not well be
disregarded. Erasmus in this book had condemned the follies of the
Church teachers of his day, and demanded, concerning those things
which pertain to faith, “Why, let them be expressed in the fewest
possible articles; those which pertain to good living, let them also be
expressed in few words, and so expressed that men may understand that
the yoke of Christ is easy and light, and not harsh; that they may see
that in the clergy they have found fathers and not tyrants; pastors,
not robbers; that they are invited to salvation, and not dragged to

“After they had read this book,” says Foxe, “these great prelates were
no more so often called to the house, nor when they came had the cheer
and countenance as they were wont to have, the which they did well
perceive, and also that it was by the means and incensing of Master
Tyndale, and at last they came no more there.”

Tyndale had converted the knight and his wife, but he had also made
for himself some implacable and restless enemies. He further increased
their hatred by preaching in the villages round about, and, as one
tradition asserts, even in Bristol. The priests inflamed one another
with hatred against him, and at length Tyndale was summoned before the
Chancellor of the diocese to answer for his conduct.

“When I came before the Chancellor, he threatened me grievously, and
reviled me, and rated me as though I had been a dog; and laid to my
charge whereof there could be none accused brought forth,” says Tyndale
himself of this trial.

But Tyndale was not the man to desist when once he had learned what
his duty was. He has chronicled the workings of his mind at this
period thus: “A thousand books had they lever (rather) to be put forth
against their abominable doings and doctrines than that the Scripture
should come to light ... which thing only moved me to translate the
New Testament. Because _I had perceived by experience_ how it was
impossible to establish the lay-people in any truth, except the
Scriptures were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother-tongue,
that they might see the process, order, and meaning of the text: for
else, whatsoever truth is taught them these enemies of all truth quench
it again.”

In his perplexity Tyndale sought for counsel and sympathy from “a
certain doctor that dwelt not far off, and had been an old Chancellor
before to a bishop. ‘Do you not know,’ said the ex-Chancellor, ‘that
the Pope is very antichrist, whom the Scripture speaketh of? But beware
what you say; for if you shall be perceived to be of that opinion, it
will cost you your life. I have been an officer of his, but I have
given it up, and I defy him and all his works.’”

Soon after this visit “Master Tyndale happened to be in the company of
a learned man, and in communing and disputing with him, drove him to
that issue that the learned man said, ‘We had better be without God’s
laws than the Pope’s.’ Master Tyndale hearing that, answered him, ‘I
defy the Pope and all his laws;’ and said, ‘IF GOD SPARE MY LIFE, ERE

These noble words were, of course, soon published through the district,
and they intensified the hatred of the priests still more against him.
Tyndale was quite willing to leave the neighbourhood, and he even
offered to settle in any English county if they would but permit
him to teach the children and to preach there. But seeing the peril
to which he had exposed his friends, and perhaps still more acutely
realising that his work could not be accomplished in Sodbury, Tyndale
took leave of his patron, and came up to London.



  “In haste the fancied bliss to gain,
    In the wrong path they go,
  Unmindful that it surely leads
    To everlasting woe.

  Thus for the world’s delusive charms
    They barter joys sublime,
  And forfeit an immortal crown
    For the frail wreaths of time.”

  “A man may be in as just possession of truth as of a city, and yet be
  forced to surrender.”--RELIGIO MEDICO.

  “There’s a strange mixture of wisdom and folly, of grace and
  impatience, of the sublime and the ridiculous, in most of the best
  men.”--DAVID DAVIES.


Tyndale came to London (probably about 1523) provided with a letter
of introduction to Sir Harry Guildford, the Controller of the Royal
Household, and a great favourite with the King. This, Tyndale trusted,
would also secure for him a favourable reception from Tunstal, the
Bishop of London, who was a friend of Erasmus and a patron of the new

At the time of Tyndale’s arrival in the metropolis, London was deeply
agitated about Wolsey’s tyranny; for the Cardinal had demanded from
Parliament a subsidy that amounted to a tax of four shillings in the
pound upon all property in England. When this was refused, as an utter
impossibility, Wolsey dismissed the Parliament. This summary proceeding
excited great indignation against the Cardinal, whose extravagance,
pride, and tyranny were in every mouth. Moreover, the books of Luther
were secretly in circulation among the people, and probably Tyndale
saw at least some of them. He was himself unconscious of the steps by
which he was being led to where alone he could effectually accomplish
his life-work of translating the Scriptures. Now Tyndale presented
his letter of introduction to Sir Harry Guildford, and freely stated
his purpose of rendering the Scriptures into English. As a proof of
his ability to perform this task, Tyndale submitted a translation of
Isocrates. “I should be pleased to become chaplain to the Bishop of
London; will you beg him to accept this trifle? Isocrates ought to be
an excellent recommendation to a scholar; will you please to add yours?”

“Sir Harry Guildford,” says Tyndale, “willed me to write an epistle
to my lord, and go to him myself; which I also did, and delivered my
epistle to a servant of his own, one William Hebilthwayte, a man
of mine own acquaintance.... But God (which knoweth what is within
hypocrites) saw that I was beguiled, and that that counsel was not
the next way to my purpose. And therefore he gat me no favour in my
lord’s sight, whereupon my lord answered me, his house was full, and
advised me to seek in London, where he said I could not lack a service.
And so in London I abode almost a year, and marked the course of the
world, and heard our praters (I would say preachers) how they boasted
themselves and their high authority; and beheld the pomps of our
prelates, and how busy they were, as they yet are, to set peace and
unity in the world, and saw things whereof I defer to speak at this
time, and understood at the last not only that there was no room in my
lord of London’s palace to translate the New Testament, but also that
there was no place to do it in all England, as experience doth now
openly declare.”

Thus were Tyndale’s hopes of patronage from the Bishop of London
utterly disappointed. But God had not deserted him, and He had already
provided a benefactor for His servant. Humphrey Monmouth, a wealthy
merchant of London, who resided in Barking (which was at that time
considered to be the extreme east end of London), happened to be in
St. Dunstan’s in the West when Tyndale preached there. Moved by one of
those inexplicable impulses which are really the influence of God’s
Spirit, Monmouth invited Tyndale to his house, and there he remained
for six months. His host thus speaks of the guest whose character he
thus had ample opportunity of studying: “He lived like a good priest,
as me thought. He studied most part of the day and of the night at his
book, and he would eat but sodden meat by his good will, nor drink but
small single beer. I never saw him wear linen about him in the space
he was with me. I did promise him ten pounds sterling to pray for my
father and mother, their souls, and all Christian souls; I did pay it
to him when he made his exchange at Hamboro’. Afterwards he got of some
other men ten pounds sterling more, the which he left with me.”

Sir Thomas More, although a bitter enemy to Tyndale, confessed that
“before he went over the sea, he was well known for a man of right
good living, studious, and well learned in Scripture, and looked and
preached holily.”

Of Sir Humphrey Monmouth, Latimer relates an anecdote that cannot,
though familiar, be well omitted here. When preaching before King
Edward, Latimer said that a friend of his “knew in London a great rich
merchant, which merchant had a very poor neighbour; yet, for all his
poverty, he loved him very well, and lent him money at his need, and
let him to come to his table whensoever he would. It was even at that
time when Doctor Colet was in trouble, and should have been burnt, if
God had not turned the King’s heart to the contrary. Now the rich
man began to be a Scripture man; he began to smell the Gospel: the
poor man was a papist still. It chanced on a time, when the rich man
talked of the Gospel, sitting at his table, where he reproved popery
and such kind of things, the poor man, being then present, took a great
displeasure against the rich man; insomuch that he would come no more
to his house, he would borrow no money of him, as he was wont to do
before-times; yea, and conceived such hatred and malice against him,
that he went and accused him before the Bishops. Now, the rich man,
not knowing any such displeasure, offered many times to talk with him,
and to set him at quiet; but it would not be: the poor man had such
a stomach, that he would not vouchsafe to speak with him; if he met
the rich man in the street, he would go out of his way. One time it
happened that he met him so in a narrow street, that he could not avoid
but come near him; yet for all that, this poor man had such a stomach
against the rich man, I say, that he was minded to go forward, and not
to speak with him. The rich man perceiving that, catcheth him by the
hand, and asked him, saying, ‘Neighbour, what is come into your heart,
to take such displeasure with me? What have I done against you? Tell
me, and I will be ready at all times to make you amends.’ Finally,
he spake so gently, so charitably, so lovingly and friendly, that it
wrought so in the poor man’s heart, that by-and-by he fell down upon
his knees and asked him forgiveness. The rich man forgave him, and so
took him again to his favour; and they loved as well as ever they did
afore. Many one would have said, ‘Set him in the stocks; let him have
bread of affliction and water of tribulation.’ But this man did not so.
And here you see an ensample of the practice of God’s words in such
sort, that the poor man, bearing great hatred and malice against the
rich man, was brought, through the lenity and meekness of the rich man,
from his error and wickedness to the knowledge of God’s Word. I would
you would consider this ensample well, and follow it.”

This tender-hearted man was also a great patron of men of letters,
and probably it was at his table that Tyndale was advised by some
unknown friend to go abroad. Upon the Continent he might reasonably
hope to complete his translation, and to print it without molestation.
Without knowing that he thereby doomed himself to exile which would
only terminate in his martyrdom, and yet not shrinking from the ordeal,
Tyndale left England in the month of May 1524, and sailed thence to
Hamburg. No one observed with interest the austere, nervous man as he
gazed for the last time upon his native land, but his voyage was of far
more importance to England, and to the world, than any event of the
period. Europe watched with mingled feelings Luther’s heroic stand,
and the German Reformer was never at any time of his life without
many friends who stood steadily beside him in his time of peril. With
the exception of Monmouth, who only with much difficulty saved himself
from death, Tyndale had no sympathy or helper at all; but, without
complaining of this isolation, he went forward with true national
persistence in the path of duty. He himself and his work were of such
a character that they could not be adequately appreciated then, but
long after Wolsey and his hat (to which the nobility bowed, and before
which candles were burned) are forgotten, the work of Tyndale will
be appreciated, and will exert a powerful influence in the lives of
millions through the eternity that is yet to come.



  “The Scriptures have a might and magnificence all their own;
  How comforting are its promises, how precious are its precepts!
  How wise and kind and pure and good its influence on the soul!
  How strong its hold upon the heart, its power within the mind!”


  “Stars are poor books, and oftentimes do miss;
  This book of stars lights to eternal bliss.”

  “To recollect a promise of the Bible, _this_ is substance! Nothing
  will do but the Bible. If I read authors and hear different opinions,
  I cannot say, ‘_This is_ truth!’ I cannot grasp it as substance; but


Hamburg, as a centre of commercial activity, afforded a singularly
good hiding-place for Tyndale, and it was also a most suitable port
from whence he could send the Bible when printed into England. It is
indeed, doubtful as to what his movements were; he may have remained
for a year in Hamburg, or, as some have supposed, Tyndale may have
left it upon a visit elsewhere. Monmouth says that after Tyndale left
England, “within a year he sent for his ten pounds to me from Hamburg,
and thither I sent it to him.” Foxe supplements this information by the
statement that, “on his first departing out of the realm, Tyndale took
his journey into the further parts of Germany, as into Saxony, where
he had conference with Luther and other learned men.” And Tyndale’s
great enemy, Sir Thomas More, said that “Tyndale, as soon as he got
him hence from England, got him to Luther straight;” and adds “that
at the time of his translation of the New Testament, Tyndale was with
Luther at Wittemberg, and the confederacy between him and Luther was
well known.” It seems, therefore, probable that almost immediately
after his landing at Hamburg, Tyndale made his way to Wittemberg. His
admiration of Luther would be a quite sufficient inducement to lead
him to take this step, and perhaps also his sense of loneliness and
desolation influenced him. Upon the exile himself the effect of the
visit must have been most beneficial. Demaus says: “For Tyndale thus to
come into contact with the strong, joyous faith of Luther, to hear his
lion voice echoing through the crowded University Church of Wittemberg,
or to listen to his wonderful table-talk as he sipped his beer in
friendly social intercourse, would be to have his whole soul inspired
with courage, bravely to do whatever duty God had called him to, and
to learn to repose with implicit confidence in the protection of the
Divine Master whom he served.”

Here, in Wittemberg, Tyndale, it would seem, obtained a companion, one
William Roye, who, however, proved to be a fickle, irrepressible bore,
a man who must have inflicted acute torture upon his companion. But
his help was a necessity if the Bible were to be speedily translated,
and Tyndale had no choice whatever; it must be either Roye or no
translation; and Tyndale suppressed all personal feeling in the matter.
Roye’s part in the translation was, of course, quite mechanical and
subordinate, but in the laborious physical work of transcribing Roye
was helpful to Tyndale.

“Imagination,” says Dr. Stoughton of the after-life of the two at
Cologne, “can picture the two men, influenced by far different motives,
at work in the far-famed city on the banks of the Rhine, in some
poor-looking house in an obscure street, while a priest or a pilgrim
passed under the windows on their way to the shrine of the Three Kings,
little dreaming of the kind of employment going on there, and of the
consequences to which it would lead.”

In the spring of 1525 Tyndale went to Hamburg, as we have seen, in
order to obtain the money that had been sent to him from London. From
Hamburg, Tyndale, accompanied by Roye, went to Cologne, and now the New
Testament which had been translated was put into the press. Tyndale
was prepared to venture upon an edition of six thousand copies, but
the printers were only willing to undertake half that number. The book
was to be an octavo, and for a time the enterprise prospered and all
went well. But a busybody, one John Cochlæus, who was at that time in
Cologne, by some means or another obtained a hint as to the possible
peril. He relates the incident with intense self-complacency, as if it
were something to boast of. He says:--

“Having become intimate and familiar with the Cologne printers, he
(Cochlæus) sometimes heard them confidently boast, when in their cups,
that, whether the King and Cardinal of England would or not, all
England would in a short time be Lutheran. He heard, also, that there
were two Englishmen lurking there, skilful in languages, and fluent,
whom, however, he never could see or converse with. Calling, therefore,
certain printers into his lodging, after they were heated with wine,
one of them, in more private discourse, discovered to him the secret
by which England was to be drawn over to the side of Luther, namely,
that three thousand copies of the Lutheran New Testament, translated
into the English language, were in the press, and already were advanced
as far as the letter K, _in ordine quarternionem_; that the expenses
were wholly supplied by English merchants, who were secretly to convey
the work, when printed, and to disperse it widely through all England,
before the King or the Cardinal could discover or prohibit it.

“Cochlæus being inwardly affected by fear and wonder, disguised his
grief, under the appearance of admiration. But another day considering
with himself the magnitude of the grievous danger, he cast in mind by
what method he might expeditiously obstruct these very wicked attempts.
He went, therefore, secretly, to Herman Rinck, a patrician of Cologne,
and military knight, familiar both with the Emperor and the King of
England, and a Councillor, and disclosed to him the whole affair, as,
by means of the wine, he had received it. He, that he might ascertain
all things more certainly, sent another person into the house where the
work was printing, according to the discovery of Cochlæus, and when he
had understood from him that the matter was even so, and that there was
great abundance of paper there, he went to the senate, and so brought
it about that the printer was interdicted from proceeding further in
that work. The two English apostates, snatching away with them the
quarto sheets printed, fled by ship going up the Rhine to Worms, where
the people were under the full rage of Lutheranism, that there, by
another printer, they might complete the work begun.”

Roye found a relief for his vexation in abusing Cochlæus, whom he

  “A little, praty, foolish poade,
    But although his stature be small,
    Yet men say he lacketh no gall,
  More venomous than any toad.”

Tyndale probably felt this hindrance to his work far more keenly than
Roye did, but he was not the man to descend to abuse. He probably
closed his lips with a firmer resolve than ever to persevere in spite
of all obstacles, and to thus avenge himself upon his adversaries.
At Worms it would appear that Tyndale laid aside the quarto edition
which had been so rudely interrupted, and that he there began to print
an octavo edition of the New Testament. About the spring of 1526 the
Testaments were not only ready, but they were in England, and they
began at once to be circulated. They there commanded a wholesale price
of thirteenpence per copy, and were retailed at about thirtypence
per volume. Of course, it must be remembered that the present value
of money is fifteen times more than it was at the period under

Not only had Cochlæus warned Henry and Wolsey of the intended act of
atrocity, but Lee, who was King Henry’s almoner, also wrote to England
to say what he had heard of Tyndale’s doings. He urged the King to
persecute these criminals to the utmost, and thus to preserve his
kingdom from danger. Henry required but little persuasion to become a
persecutor, but the Bishops were determined to make his obedience quite
sure. The Bishop of St. Asaph laid the matter before Wolsey, and he
called a council of prelates to advise as to what was to be done about
these dreadful books. Roye thus represents the discussion in a jingling
poem that he published:--

Two priests’ servants, named Watkyn and Jeffraye, are supposed to be
conversing about the Testaments, and they discourse thus:--

  “_Jef._ But nowe of Standisshe accusacion
          Brefly to make declaracion,
              Thus to the Cardinall he spake:
          ‘Pleaseth youre honourable Grace,
          Here is chaunsed a pitious cace,
              And to the Churche a grett lacke.
          The Gospell in oure Englisshe tonge,
          Of laye men to be red and songe,
              Is nowe hidder come to remayne.
          Which many heretykes shall make,
          Except youre Grace some waye take
              By youre authorite hym to restrayne.’

             *       *       *       *       *

  _Wat._  But what sayde the Cardinall here at?

  _Jef._  He spake the wordes of Pilat,
              Sayinge, ‘I fynde no fault therin.’
          Howe be it, the bisshops assembled,
          Amonge theym he examened,
          What was best to determyn?
          Then answered bisshop Cayphas,
              That a grett parte better it was
              The Gospell to be condemned;
          Lest their vices manyfolde
          Shulde be knowen of yonge and olde,
              Their estate to be contempned.
          The Cardinall then incontinent
          Agaynst the Gospell gave judgement,
              Saying to brenne he deserved.
          Wherto all the bisshoppis cryed,
          Answerynge, ‘It cannot be denyed
              He is worthy so to be served.’

             *       *       *       *       *

  _Jef._  They sett nott by the Gospell a flye:
          Diddest thou nott heare whatt villany
              They did vnto the Gospell?

  _Wat._  Why, did they agaynst hym conspyre?

  _Jef._  By my trothe they sett hym a fyre
            Openly in London cite.

  _Wat._  Who caused it so to be done?

  _Jef._  In sothe the Bisshoppe of London,
              With the Cardinallis authorite:
          Which at Paulis crosse ernestly
          Denounced it to be heresy
              That the Gospell shuld come to lyght;
          Callynge them heretikes execrable
          Whiche caused the Gospell venerable
              To come vnto laye mens syght.
          He declared there in his furiousnes,
          That he fownde erroures more and les
              Above thre thousande in the translacion.
          Howe be it when all cam to pas,
          I dare saye vnable he was
              Of one erroure to make probacion.”

Tunstal preached at St. Paul’s Cross at this burning of the Testament,
and yet the people read the book, which continued to be circulated in
spite of the priests. Tunstal thereupon further issued an injunction in
which he ordered all copies of the Testament to be surrendered to him
on pain of excommunication. But although the Archbishop of Canterbury
also issued a similar mandate, the books continued to be sold and
to be read, although in secret. Nay more, the printers of Antwerp,
encouraged by the enormous demand for Testaments that had arisen,
afterwards printed a large supply upon their own account, and, further,
succeeded in smuggling them into England. In sublime ignorance of the
law of supply and demand, the Bishops then resolved to purchase these
Testaments in order to destroy them. The aged Archbishop of Canterbury
expended a sum amounting to nearly £1000, at the present value of
money, for this purpose, but Tunstal is the chief hero of the incident.
Old Hall, the chronicler, relates the event, which, though it occurred
later, may be most conveniently referred to here:--

“It happened that one Packington, a merchant and mercer of London,
was in Antwerp, and this Packington was a man that highly favoured
Tyndale, but to the Bishop utterly showed himself to the contrary. The
Bishop commenced of the New Testaments, and how he would gladly buy
them. Packington said to the Bishop, ‘My lord, I know the Dutchmen and
strangers that have bought them of Tyndale and have them here to sell;
so that if it be your lordship’s pleasure to pay for them I will then
assure you to have every book of them that is printed and here unsold.’
The Bishop said, ‘Do your diligence and get them; and with all my heart
I will pay for them whatsoever they cost you.’ Packington came to
Tyndale and said, ‘William, I know thou art a poor man, and hast a heap
of New Testaments by thee for the which thou hast both endangered thy
friends and beggared thyself, and I have now gotten thee a merchant,
which with ready money shall despatch thee of all that thou hast.’
‘Who is the merchant?’ said Tyndale. ‘The Bishop of London.’ ‘Oh,
that is because he will burn them,’ said Tyndale. ‘Yea, marry,’ quoth
Packington. ‘I am the gladder,’ said Tyndale, ‘for these two benefits
shall come thereof; I shall get the money to bring myself out of debt,
and the whole world will cry out against the burning of God’s Word; and
the overplus of the money that shall remain to me shall make me more
studious to correct the said New Testament, and so newly print the same
once again, and I trust the second will much better like you than ever
the first.’ And so, forward went the bargain: the Bishop had the books,
Packington had the thanks, and Tyndale had the money.”

On 4th May 1530, therefore, at St. Paul’s Cross, in the Churchyard,
these Testaments were publicly burned. Burnet says: “This burning had
such a baleful appearance in it, being generally called a burning
of the Word of God, that people from thence concluded there must be
a visible contrariety between that book and the doctrines of those
who kindled it, by which both their prejudice against the clergy and
their desire of reading the New Testament were increased.” Men said
to one another that the book “was not only faultless, but very well
translated, and was devised to be burnt because men should not be able
to prove such faults as were at Paul’s Cross declared to have been
found in it were never found there indeed, but untruly surmised.”

Commenting in after-years upon the carping criticisms that were passed
on his work, Tyndale said: “There is not so much as one _i_ therein if
it lack a tittle over his head, but they have noted it, and number it
unto the ignorant people for an heresy.”



  “This Book, this Holy Book, in every line
  Marked with the seal of high Divinity,
  On every leaf bedewed with drops of love
  Divine and with the eternal heraldry
  And signature of God Almighty stamped
  From first to last; this ray of sacred light,
  This lamp from off the everlasting throne,
  Mercy took down, and in the night of time
  Stood casting in the dark her gracious bow,
  And ever more beseeching men with tears
  And earnest sighs to read, believe, and live.”



A few pages may perhaps be devoted to those who had preceded Tyndale in
the work of translation, but for all practical purposes, as it will be
seen, they were of no aid to the work of Tyndale.

As an example of the errors of translators a few specimens may be
subjoined, without any attempt at preserving the order of time.
Although of a later date, they indicate the difficulties that beset the
work and the dangers into which the unwary were liable to fall.

Among singular editions of the Scriptures there is one that was printed
in London in 1551, and which is called the Bug Bible because Ps. xci. 5
is printed, “Thou shalt not be afraid of the bugges by night.”

In 1561 an edition of the Bible was printed at Geneva; it is called
the Breeches Bible because of its translating Gen. ii. 7 thus: “They
sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves breeches.” But this was
also done by an edition printed in 1568, in which also Jer. viii. 22
is rendered, “Is there no treacle in Gilead?” This word treacle was
afterwards altered into rosin, and in 1611 rosin gave place to balm.

In one edition of the Bible which was printed in 1717, the first line
of Luke xx. is misprinted into “The parable of the vinegar” instead of
“The parable of the vineyard.”

It is evident that God left much to the learning and common-sense of
the men who translated the Scriptures, and yet He has so overruled
things, that, upon the whole, no serious mistake has long continued in
the Book of Truth. Yet, as an instance of the need of care, we are told
that Eliot, the apostle of the Indians, when translating the Scriptures
required the Indian word for lattice in Judges v. 28. He crossed his
fingers to represent a lattice and asked one and another what word
that meant. They told him, and he put it into his Bible. But when he
acquired more of the language he found that he had actually said, “The
mother of Sisera looked out of a window and cried through the eel
pots.” Now, as language constantly changes, there thence arises a need
for a continuous revision of the translation. In our English tongue,
for example, all-to once meant altogether or entirely; anon meant
immediately; bravery meant finery and not courage; carriage stood for
baggage or that which could be carried by the hand. As men constantly
change their speech, it is evident that we must vary the translation,
if it is to be the living voice of God to men.

The Scriptures probably reached England with the Roman army, and they
probably penetrated thence into Scotland. Of course, they were in
Latin. The earliest attempt to render this Latin Bible into Saxon was
that of Cædmon, a monk of Whitby, who lived about the seventh century.
His work was indeed more of a paraphrase than anything else. The same
may be said of what are called Alfred’s Dooms, which were a free
translation of the Ten Commandments by that King.

In the British Museum there is the celebrated Durham Book. It is most
beautifully written, and is also ornamented by curious portraits of the
evangelists and others. Among other stories that are related of this
book, it is said that the monks of Lindisfarne were once flying from
the Danes; their ship was upset and the Durham Book fell into the sea.
But through the merits of the patron saint, the tide ebbed out much
farther than usual, and the book was found three miles from the shore,
lying upon the sands, but unhurt by the waves! It was thereupon placed
in the inner lid of St. Cuthbert’s coffin, where it was afterwards
found when, in 1104, the monks settled at Durham and built the
Cathedral. This book is a Latin text, beneath which two hundred years
later an interesting Anglo-Saxon translation was added.

Of translations proper the earliest we know of is that of the Venerable
Bede, who died in 735. He was a monk of Jarrow, on the banks of the
Tyne, and there his shattered high-backed chair is still preserved.

He is said to have been one of the most learned men of his time; to
which fact we may attribute the legend that once while he was preaching
the stones cried out, “Amen, Venerable Bede!”

An eye-witness has left us an account of his closing days. The scribe
was writing the translation from the dictation of the dying man, when,
as he finished the last verse of the twentieth chapter, he exclaimed,
“There remains now only one chapter; but it seems difficult for you to
speak.” “It is easy,” said Bede; “take your pen, dip it in ink, and
write as fast as you can.” And he did so as rapidly as might be, for
life was ebbing fast from the venerable teacher. “Now, master, now,
only one sentence is wanting.” Bede repeated it. “It is finished,” said
the writer, laying aside his goose-quill. “It is finished,” said Bede.
“Lift up my head; let me sit in my cell, in the place where I have been
accustomed to pray; and now glory be to the Father, and the Son, and
the Holy Ghost.” And so he passed away! His work was done; other men
could copy his translation, and the Book that never dies could tell the
sweet story of old to men who were then unborn!

One is reminded of Moffat’s story after that he had rendered the Word
of God into the Sechwana tongue. When the heathen beheld the converts
reading the new book, they inquired “if their friends talked to the
book.” “No,” was the answer; “it talks to us; for it is the Word of
God.” “What, then,” was the astonished question, “does it speak?”
“Yes,” said the Christian, “it speaks to the heart.” It indeed became
a proverb among this African people that the Bible turned their hearts
inside out! This is its privilege and function; it speaks to the heart,
and it turns the heart inside out!

The Reformers were accustomed to point to the Anglo-Saxon versions as
an argument against the Church of Rome, who then permitted what she
afterwards forbade!

Sir Frederick Madden says, though, of several MSS. of Anglo-Saxon
Gospels that are still in existence, “None appear to give the version
in its original purity.”

“It is very remarkable,” says Dr. Stoughton, “that the Psalms have in
all ages drawn towards them the affections of devout minds, and have
been a true cardiphonia to mankind in general, so that in this fact we
have a satisfactory answer to objections brought against them in modern
times.” It is no wonder, therefore, that more attention was paid to
them than to other parts of the Sacred Book, just as a correct instinct
leads men now to bind up the Psalms with the Gospels.

We pass now to John Wycliffe, the morning star of the Reformation. It
is indeed difficult to estimate the magnitude of his wonderful work.
All men could see the evil of Romanism, but he alone saw the true
remedy, and that was the Book of God in the speech of the people!

He was born about 1320, in Yorkshire, and died at Lutterworth in 1384.
The carved oak pulpit in which he preached, the plain oak table upon
which he wrote, the rude oak chair in which he sat, the robe he used
to wear, are all preserved in the little town of Lutterworth, in the
church of St. Mary, on the bank of the river Swift. Of this church he
had been appointed rector by King Edward, as a reward for his services
as ambassador when he met the representative of the Pope at Bruges.
This was in 1374.

“One loves to picture this remarkable man pursuing his Biblical toils,
now in his Lutterworth rectory, then in his college at Oxford, working
in the winter nights by his lamp, and early in the summer’s morn as
the sun beamed through his window. We see him with his long grey beard
sometimes alone bending over the parchment manuscript, carefully
writing down some well-laboured rendering; and sometimes in company
with others who sympathised in his sentiments and loved to aid him in
his hallowed enterprise.”[3]

He is supposed to have commenced his work about 1378, and to have
finished it about 1380, though the latter date is by some assigned to
the New Testament alone. He began with a translation of the Book of
Revelation; then came the Gospels in English with a commentary, and the
other sacred books followed at unknown periods. This translation was
from the Latin Vulgate by Jerome. It was multiplied and widely read by
the people; preachers went up and down the country explaining it to the
crowds who attended them; it seemed, indeed, as if the Reformation were
to come in the fourteenth century instead of two hundred years later.
But, just as in spring we often see a frost nip off the plentiful
blossoms, so persecution put back the fair promise of fruit for a long

An attempt was made to destroy these translations of the Scripture, and
yet, in spite of the many which were then destroyed, nearly 170 MSS. of
this period remain to us.

After escaping the malice of his enemies, Wycliffe died at home.
“Admirable,” says Fuller, “that a hare so often hunted with so many
packs of dogs should die at last quietly sitting upon his form.” The
Council of Constance, in the next century, after burning Wycliffe’s
disciple Huss, ordered that Wycliffe’s bones should be disinterred
and burned, and with contemptible spite they further decreed that the
ashes were to be thrown into the river Swift. “Thus,” says Fuller,
“this brook hath conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn
into the narrow seas, they into the main ocean. And thus the ashes of
Wycliffe are the emblems of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all
the world over.” John Purvey or Purnay, who had lived with Wycliffe,
revised his master’s work. It was Purvey who first termed the Sacred
Book by its now familiar name of Bible.

This version had even a wider circulation than the first, and from its
influence arose the Lollard movement. This was both a religious and a
political revolution; it was an attempt to obtain reform both in the
Church and in the State. It was a movement of all ranks, even among
monks and nuns--alas! without success.

In 1408 a Convocation at Oxford enacted a law which forbade a
translation of Scriptures into English, and warned all persons against
reading such books under penalty of excommunication.

At this time a New Testament was worth £2, 16s. 8d., or about £45, 6s.
8d. of our money! At this period we are told that a decent, respectable
man could live well upon £5 per year. Writing was tedious, slow, liable
to error, and expensive, so that the number of copies were limited; but
about 1440 A.D., or sixty years after Wycliffe, the printing-press was
invented. One of the first books that were printed was a Latin Bible;
one of this edition was sold some years ago for £3400; another realised

In 1477 William Caxton brought this new art to England, and in
Westminster Abbey he printed books under the protection of King Edward

We have thus sketched briefly the history of the previous versions, and
have come in the order of time to Tyndale’s version of the Testament
which Tyndale translated under so many difficulties. F. W. Faber (a
Romanist) says:--“Who will say that the uncommon beauty and marvellous
English of the Protestant Bible is not one of the strongholds of heresy
in this country? It lives on the ear like music that can never be
forgotten, like the sound of church bells, which the convert hardly
knows how he can forego. Its felicities often seem to be almost things
rather than mere words. It is part of the national mind, and the
anchor of national seriousness. Nay, it is worshipped with a positive
idolatry, in extenuation of whose gross fanaticism its intrinsic beauty
pleads availingly with the man of letters and the scholar. The memory
of the dead passes into it. The potent traditions of childhood are
stereotyped in its phrases. The power of all the griefs and trials of
a man is hidden beneath its words. It is the representative of his best
moments; and all that there has been about him of soft, and gentle,
and pure, and penitent, and good, speaks to him for ever out of his
English Bible. It is his sacred thing, which doubt has never dimmed and
controversy never soiled. It has been to him all along as the silent,
but oh how intelligible! voice of his guardian angel; and in the length
and breadth of the land there is not a Protestant with one spark of
religiousness about him whose spiritual biography is not in his Saxon

To which may be added the testimony of the present Bishop of Durham,
who speaks of Tyndale’s work thus: “In rendering the sacred text,
he remained throughout faithful to the instincts of a scholar. From
first to last his style and his interpretation are his own; and in the
originality of Tyndale is included in a large measure the originality
of our English Version. For not only did Tyndale contribute to it
directly the substantial basis of half the Old Testament (in all
probability) and of the whole of the New, but he established a standard
of Biblical translation which others followed. It is even of less
moment that by far the greater part of his translation remains intact
in our present Bibles, than that his spirit animates the whole. He
toiled faithfully himself, and where he failed he left to those who
should come after the secret of success.... His influence decided that
our Bible should be popular, and not literary, speaking in a simple
dialect, and that so, by its simplicity, it should be endowed with

Mr. Froude’s testimony may perhaps be added here, not because it is
requisite, but as the historian’s tribute to a noble man: “Of the
translation itself, though since that time it has been many times
revised and altered, we may say that it is substantially the Bible with
which we are all familiar. The peculiar genius--if such a word may
be permitted--which breathes through it, the mingled tenderness and
majesty, the Saxon simplicity, the preternatural grandeur, unequalled,
unapproached in the attempted improvements of modern scholars, all are
here, and bear the impress of the mind of one man--William Tyndale.”

As an example of this identity we take a passage from Tyndale’s
version; the words in italics remain as Tyndale placed them in both the
Authorised and Revised Versions. The passage that we select is Matt.
xviii. 19-27:--

“_Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree_ in _earth_ in
_any_ manner _thing_ whatsoever _they shall_ desire, _it shall be_
given _them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are
gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them._

“_Then came Peter to him, and said_, Master, _how oft shall my brother_
trespass _against me and I_ shall _forgive him_? shall I forgive him
_seven times_? _Jesus_ said _unto him, I say not unto thee seven times,
but seventy times seven_ times. _Therefore is the Kingdom of Heaven
likened unto a certain King which would_ take account of _his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him which owed
him ten thousand talents: but_ when _he had_ nought _to pay_, the _lord
commanded him to be sold, and his wife and his children and all that he
had, and payment to be made. The servant fell down and_ besought _him
saying_, Sir, give _me_ respite, _and I will pay_ it every whit. Then
had _the Lord_ pity on the _servant_ and loosed _him and forgave him
the debt_.”

It has been estimated that there are not more than 350 words in the
whole book that are strange to us now, so that Tyndale may be justly
regarded as one of the builders of our language.

Of the quarto testaments which were completed at Worms, after the
hurried flight from Cologne, only one fragment remains, and that is
deposited in the British Museum. It consists of thirty-one leaves only,
and terminates at the 12th verse of the 22nd chapter of St. Matthew. It
was discovered in the year 1836 by a London bookseller bound up with a
tract by Æcolampadius. This fragment is all that remains of the three
thousand copies in quarto that were commenced at Cologne and completed
at Worms.

Of the three thousand octavo Testaments which, although commenced at
Worms, were issued probably before the quarto, one perfect copy is
preserved in the library of the Baptist College in Bristol. This
book was purchased for the Earl of Oxford about the year 1740, and he
rewarded the agent who discovered the treasure with a donation of ten
pounds, and an annuity of twenty pounds per year. This latter annuity
was paid for fourteen years, so that the total cost of the book to the
Earl was £290. At the death of the Earl of Oxford, his library was
purchased by Osborne, the bookseller, for less money than the bindings
had cost their collector. Osborne, in turn, sold the book for fifteen
shillings; then it came into the hands of Dr. Gifford, a Baptist
minister, who bequeathed it to the college in his native city. In the
same college, amongst many other Biblical treasures and curiosities,
is a copy of what is called the Droll-Error Tyndale. It is a handsome
volume, well printed upon good paper, but full of printers’ blunders.
Amongst them is that which has given a name to the edition; thus, 2
Cor. x., instead of “Let him that is such think on this wise,” the
printer has put “Let hym that is foche (long _s_) think on his wyfe.”
This book is supposed to be later in date than either the octavo or
quarto editions, but it may be perhaps most conveniently referred to

The spirit in which the work of translation was undertaken by Tyndale
appears in his prologue:--

“I have translated, brethren and sisters most dear and tenderly beloved
in Christ, the New Testament for your spiritual edifying, consolation,
and solace, exhorting instantly, and beseeching those that are better
seen in the tongues than I, and that have higher gifts of grace to
interpret the sense of Scripture and the meaning of the Spirit than I,
to consider and ponder my labour, and that with the spirit of meekness,
if they perceive in any places that I have not attained the very sense
of the tongue or meaning of the Scripture, or have not given the right
English word, that they put to their hands to amend it, remembering
that so is their duty to do. For we have not received the gifts of God
for ourselves only or for to hide them, but for to bestow them unto the
honouring of God and Christ, and edifying of the congregation which is
the body of Christ.”

Of Tyndale’s qualifications for his work there can be no doubt
whatever. Buschius, a distinguished German scholar, speaks of him as
“so skilled in seven languages, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish,
English, French, that whichever he spoke you would suppose it his
native tongue.”

The Greek text that he followed in his translation was, of course,
that which Erasmus had given to the world, and although Tyndale was
evidently more familiar with the second, he now and then uses the
third edition. At the same time, it has been shown by Demaus that, “as
he proceeded in his undertaking, Tyndale had before him the Vulgate,
the Latin version of Erasmus, and the German of Luther, and that, in
rendering from the original Greek, he carefully consulted all these
aids; but he did so not with the helpless imbecility of a mere tyro,
but with the conscious independence of an accomplished scholar.”

At the same time, it is but justice to bear in mind that some of the
alleged faults of our version are due to Tyndale. For example, the
manner in which he translates the same Greek word differently in the
same connection, and sometimes in the same verse, adds indeed to the
beauty, but it diminishes the force of the book.

But the most heinous offence in the eyes of the Papists, after his
translating the Scripture at all, was the putting of notes in the

Of these we select a few examples:--

“Whatsoever ye bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;” Tyndale says,
“Here _all_ bind and loose.” Beside the words, “If thine eye be single,
all thy body is full of light,” he writes, “The eye is single when a
man in all his deeds looketh but on the will of God, and looketh not
for land, honour, or any other reward in this world; neither ascribeth
heaven nor a higher room in the heaven unto his deeds: but accepteth
heaven as a thing purchased by the blood of Christ and worketh freely
for love’s sake only.”

“All good things cometh of the bountifulness, liberality, mercy,
promises, and truth of God by the deserving of Christ’s blood only.”

“He that hath,” he thus expounds. “Where the Word of God is understood,
there it multiplieth and maketh the people better; where it is not
understood, there it decreaseth and maketh the people worse.”

These notes, as we shall see, were subsequently omitted, but it is easy
to see that they were calculated to give serious offence to the Romish



  “Many are the sayings of the wise,
  Extolling patience as the truest fortitude,
  But with the afflicted in his pangs their sound
  Little prevails, ... unless he feel within
  Some source of consolation from above,
  Secret refreshings that repair his strength,
  And fainting spirits uphold.”


  “When such men use great plainness of speech we must not
  complain much, since they purchase it at a high price--THEIR


Tyndale, it is supposed, reached Worms after his hurried flight to
Cologne about October 1525, and there he remained for two years. Until
the following April or May, he would be fully occupied with the labour
which the issuing of the three thousand octavo and the three thousand
quarto Testaments from the press involved. Immediately that this was
accomplished, he parted cheerfully from his troublesome friend William

It has also been supposed that during his residence in Worms, Tyndale
gave himself to the study of Hebrew, as a qualification for his work of

In the year 1528 he left Worms for Marburg, which, under the rule of
Landgrave Philip, was one of the most eminent of the Protestant cities
of Germany. Here the work of the Reformation had been more thorough
than in any other part of the Empire, as the Landgrave himself was a
believer in Zwingle’s doctrine. Here Tyndale was both in safety, and
yet in the society of learned men, who were able to assist him in
his arduous enterprise. For the Landgrave had done his very utmost
to attract men of piety and letters to his capital, and the reformed
flocked to it as to a second metropolis of religion, and as next to
Wittemberg. Here Tyndale met with the heroic Patrick Hamilton and other
young men from Scotland, and here, also, he conversed with Barnes,
who was then a fugitive from the Papal persecution which still raged
in England. Sir Thomas More declared that Barnes then induced Tyndale
to abandon the Lutheran view of the Sacrament, and his testimony is
probably correct. In his Confutation he says:--

“Friar Barnes was of Zwinglia’s sect against the sacrament of the
altar, believing that it is nothing but bare bread. But Tyndale was
yet at that time not fully fallen so far in that point, but though he
were bad enough beside, he was yet not content with Friar Barnes for
holding of that heresy. But within a while after, as he that is falling
is soon put over, the Friar made the fool mad outright, and brought
him down into the deepest dungeon of that devilish heresy wherein he
sitteth now fast bounden in the chair of pestilence with the chain of

The diction and the spirit are certainly not to be commended, but Sir
Thomas More sometimes endeavoured to compensate for a bad cause by
virulent abuse. We shall have occasion to refer again to some of his
coarse expressions with regard to the Reformers, and, therefore, we
now only notice the fact that, while at Marburg, Tyndale adopted the
Zwinglian view of the Sacrament. But a better companion than Barnes now
came to comfort and sustain him; he was John Fryth, whom Tyndale called
“his own son in the faith.”

In him Tyndale found a man after his own heart, and the intercourse of
the two friends was probably a mutual joy.

About the time of Fryth’s arrival in Marburg, Tyndale issued a book
which created as great a sensation in England as his Testament had
done. This was the book which is generally known as “The Wicked
Mammon,” or more fully, “The Parable of the Wicked Mammon.” “The
Wicked Mammon” is really an exposition of the parable of the Unjust
Steward. Tyndale’s main purpose in the book, however, was to set forth
the cardinal doctrine of Justification by Faith, but in doing so he
naturally assailed the gross errors of Rome.

In his preface Tyndale boldly declares the Pope to be Antichrist, an
assertion which required much courage at the time, and said:--

“We had spied out Antichrist long ago if we had looked in the doctrine
of Christ and His apostles; where, because the least seeth himself
now to be sought for, he roareth and seeketh new holes to hide
himself in; and changeth himself into a thousand fashions with all
manner of vileness, falsehood, subtlety, and craft. Because that his
excommunications are come to light, he maketh it treason unto the
King to be acquainted with Christ. If Christ and they may not reign
together, one hope we have--that Christ shall live for ever. The old
Antichrists brought Christ unto Pilate, saying, ‘By our law He ought
to die;’ and when Pilate bade them judge Him after their law, they
answered, ‘It is not lawful for us to kill any man;’ which they did
to the intent that they which regarded not the shame of their false
communications should yet fear to confess Christ, because that the
temporal sword had condemned Him. They do all things of a good zeal,
they say; _they love you so well, that they had rather burn you than
that you should have fellowship with Christ_. They are jealous over
your armies, as saith St. Paul. They would divide you from Christ
and His Holy Testament, and join you to the Pope to believe in his
testament and promise.”

The New Testament had been issued without Tyndale’s name upon it,
but at length the secret of his authorship had leaked out. Now with
a sublime scorn both for the prelates and for their malice, Tyndale

“Some men will ask peradventure why I take the labour to make this
work, inasmuch as they will burn it, seeing they burnt the Gospel? I
answer, _In burning the New Testament they did none other thing than

Then Tyndale concludes his preface thus:--“Nevertheless, in translating
the New Testament I did my duty, and so do I now, and will do as much
more as God hath ordained me to do. And as I offered that to all men to
correct it whosoever could, even so I do this. Whosoever, therefore,
readeth this, compare it unto the Scriptures. If God’s Word bear
record unto it, and thou feelest in thine heart that it is so, be of
good comfort and give God thanks. If God’s Word condemn it, then hold
it accused, and so do with other doctrines; as Paul counselleth his
Galatians. Believe not every spirit suddenly, but judge them by the
Word of God, which is the trial of all doctrine, and lasteth for ever.

“That precious thing which must be in the heart ere a man can work
any good work,” says Tyndale, “is the Word of God which in the Gospel
preacheth, proffereth, and bringeth unto all that repent and believe
the favour of God in Christ. Whoso heareth the Word and believeth it,
the same is thereby righteous. Therefore it is called the Word of life,
the Word of grace, the Word of health, the Word of redemption, the Word
of forgiveness, and the Word of peace. For of what nature soever the
Word of God is, of the same nature must the hearts be which believe
thereon and cleave thereunto. Now is the Word living, pure, righteous,
and true; and even so maketh it the hearts of them that believe

Upon the duty of every man to help and to love his neighbour Tyndale is
very emphatic, and his teachings are beautifully illustrated by his own
self-denying life:--

“It is a wonderful love wherewith a man loveth himself. As glad as I
would be to receive pardon of mine own life (if I had deserved death),
so glad ought I to be to defend my neighbour’s life, without respect of
my life or my goods. A man ought neither to spare his goods, nor yet
himself, for his brother’s sake, after the example of Christ.”

He even goes so far as to say: “If thy neighbour need, and thou help
him not, being able, thou withholdest his duty from him, and art a
thief before God.... Every Christian man to another is Christ Himself,
and thy neighbour’s need hath as good right in thy goods as hath Christ
Himself, which is heir and lord of all. And look what thou owest to
Christ, that thou owest to thy neighbour’s need. To thy neighbour owest
thou thine heart, thyself, and all that thou hast and canst do.... Thus
is every man that needeth thine help thy father, mother, sister, and
brother in Christ; even as every man that doeth the will of the Father
is father, mother, sister, and brother unto Christ.”

Probably no Christian teacher in that age would have dared to have
written such words as the following; for the spirit of national
hostility was very strong, and the persecuting mania was terribly

“Moreover, if any be an infidel and a false Christian, and forsake his
household, his wife, children, and such as cannot help themselves, then
art thou bound, if thou have therewith, even as much as to thine own
household. And they have as good right in thy goods as thou thyself;
and if thou withdraw mercy from them, and hast wherewith to help them,
then art thou a thief. If thou show mercy, so doest thou thy duty and
art a faithful minister in the household of Christ; and of Christ shalt
thou have thy reward and thanks.”

Such doctrine was far in advance of the age, but it is interesting to
notice how thus, as in some other things, Tyndale was far ahead of his

Simultaneously with “The Wicked Mammon,” Tyndale issued another work,
which was almost of as much importance to the Reformation as was his
Bible. It is entitled “The Obedience of a Christian Man,” and is both
a defence of the Reformers from the charge of sedition, and also a
call to them to persist in the path of duty in spite of persecution.
“Adversity I receive at the hand of God is a wholesome medicine, though
it be somewhat bitter,” said Tyndale.

“O Peter, Peter!” he exclaims when speaking of the sins of the clergy,
“thou wast too long a fisher; thou wast never brought up at the Arches,
neither wast Master of the Rolls, nor yet Chancellor of England....
The parson sheareth, the vicar shaveth, the parish priest pilleth, the
friar scrapeth, and the pardoner pareth; we lack but a butcher to pull
the skin.”

He concludes with these noble words: “Remember that Christ is the end
of all things. He only is our resting-place, He is our peace. For as
there is no salvation in any other name, so there is no peace in any
other name. Thou shalt never have rest in thy soul, neither shall the
worm of conscience ever cease to gnaw thine heart, till thou come at
Christ; till thou hear the glad tidings, how that God for His sake
hath forgiven thee all freely. If thou trust in thy works, there is no
rest. Thou shalt think, I have not done enough.... If thou trust in
confession then shalt thou think, Have I told all?... Likewise in our
holy pardons and pilgrimages gettest thou no rest. As pertaining to
good deeds, therefore, do the best thou canst, and desire God to give
strength to do better daily; but in Christ put thy trust, and in the
pardon and promises that God hath made thee for His sake; and on that
rock build thine house and there dwell.”

Such words were well calculated to stimulate and to comfort the
persecuted, and it is, therefore, no wonder that they introduced
an element into English religious life that was most important and
unhappily infrequent before. Bilney, for example, had recanted, but
after suffering long and acute distress of mind, “he came at length to
some quiet of conscience, being fully resolved to give over his life
for the confession of that truth which before he had denounced. He took
his leave in Trinity Hall of certain of his friends, and said he would
go up to Jerusalem.... And so, setting forth on his journey toward
the celestial Jerusalem, he departed from thence to the anchoress in
Norwich, and there gave her a New Testament of Tyndale’s translation
and ‘The Obedience of a Christian Man,’ whereupon he was apprehended
and carried to prison, there to remain till the blind Bishop Nixe sent
up for a writ to burn him.”

Of Bainham, who was another who had abjured, Foxe says that he “was
never quiet in mind or conscience until the time he had uttered
his fall to all his acquaintance and asked God and all the world
forgiveness. And the next Sunday after he came to St. Austin’s with
the New Testament in his hand in English and ‘The Obedience of a
Christian Man’ in his bosom, and stood up there before all the people
in his pew, there declaring openly, with weeping tears, that he had
denied God. After this he was strengthened above the cruel death by
fire with remarkable courage.”

This book came into the hands of the King of England himself, and
Strype thus relates the incident: “Upon the Lady Anne Boleyn waited
a fair young gentlewoman named Mrs. Gaynsford; and in her service
was also retained Mr. George Zouch, father to Sir John Zouch. This
gentleman, of a comely, sweet person, was a suitor in way of marriage
to the said young lady; and, among other love-tricks, once he plucked
from her a book in English called Tyndale’s ‘Obedience,’ which the Lady
Anne had lent her to read. About which time the Cardinal had given
commandment to the prelates, and especially to Dr. Simpson, Dean of the
King’s Chapel, that they should keep a vigilant eye over all people
for such books that they come not abroad; that so, as much as might
be, they might not come to the King’s reading. But this which he most
feared fell out upon this occasion. For Mr. Zouch was so ravished with
the Spirit of God, speaking now as well in the heart of the reader as
first it did in the heart of the maker of the book, that he was never
well but when he was reading of that book. Mrs. Gaynsford wept because
she could not get the book from her wooer, and he was as ready to weep
to deliver it. But see the providence of God; Mr. Zouch, standing in
the chapel before Dr. Simpson, ever reading upon this book, and the
Dean, never having his eye off the book in the gentleman’s hand, called
to him, and then snatched the book out of his hand, asked his name, and
whose man he was. And the book he delivered to the Cardinal. In the
meantime the Lady Anne asketh her woman for the book. She on her knees
told all the circumstances. The Lady Anne showed herself not sorry nor
angry with either of the two. But said she, ‘Well, it shall be the
dearest book that ever the Dean or Cardinal took away.’ The noble woman
goes to the King, and upon her knees she desireth the King’s help for
her book. Upon the King’s token the book was restored. And now bringing
the book to him, she besought his Grace most tenderly to read it. The
King did so, and delighted in the book; for saith he, ‘_This book is
for me and all Kings to read._’ And in a little time the King, by the
help of this virtuous lady, had his eyes opened to the truth, to search
the truth, to advance God’s religion and glory, to abhor the pope’s
doctrine, his lies, his pomp and pride, to deliver his subjects out of
the Egyptian darkness, the Babylonian bonds, that the pope had brought
him and his subjects under.”

Wyatt repeats this story with some interesting variations, for he
says that Anne was “but newly come from the King, when the Cardinal
came in with the book in his hands to make complaints of certain
points in it that he knew the King would not like of. And withal to
take occasion with him against those that countenanced such books in
general, and especially women, and as might be thought with mind to go
farther against the Queen more directly, if he had perceived the King
agreeable to his meaning. But the King, that somewhat afore disliked
the Cardinal, finding the notes the Queen had made, all turned the more
to hasten his ruin which was also furthered on all sides.”

So that the Cardinal in reality digged a pit and then stumbled into it;
and Henry for once in his life read and admired the faithful setting
forth of truth! Alas that Tyndale’s own obedience should be unto death!
But so it proved to be with him.

In 1530 Tyndale left Marburg and returned once more to Hamburg. During
the same year he also published another book, which he entitled “The
Practice of Prelates.”

In this book occurs the famous similitude, which we here subjoin:--

“And to see how our holy father the pope came up, mark the ensample
of an ivy-tree: first it springeth out of the earth, and then awhile
creepeth along by the ground till it findeth a great tree; then it
joineth itself beneath alow into the body of the tree, and creepeth
up a little, and a little, fair and softly. And, at the beginning,
while it is yet thin and small, that the burthen is not perceived, it
seemeth glorious to garnish the tree in the winter, and to bear off the
tempests of the weather. But in the mean season it thrusteth roots into
the bark of the tree to hold fast withal, and ceaseth not to climb up
till it be at the top, and above all. And then it sendeth his branches
along by the branches of the tree, and overgroweth all, and waxeth
great, heavy, and thick; and sucketh the moisture so sore out of the
tree and his branches, that it choketh and stifleth them. And then the
foul stinking ivy waxeth mighty in the stump of the tree, and becometh
a seat and a nest for all unclean birds, and for blind owls which hawk
in the dark, and dare not come at the light.

“Even so the bishop of Rome, now called pope, at the beginning crope
along upon the earth, and every man trod upon him in this world. But
as soon as there came a Christian emperor, he joined himself into his
feet and kissed them, and crope up a little with begging, now this
privilege, now that; now this city, now that; to find poor people
withal, and the necessary ministers of God’s Word. And he entitled the
emperor with choosing the pope and other bishops, and promoted in the
spiritualty, not whom virtue and learning, but whom the favour of great
men, commendeth; to flatter, to get friends and defenders, withal.

“And the alms of the congregation, which was the food and patrimony
of the poor and necessary preachers, that he called St. Peter’s
patrimony, St. Peter’s rents, St. Peter’s lands, St. Peter’s right; to
cast a vain fear, and an heathenish superstitiousness into the hearts
of men, that no man should dare meddle whatsoever came once into their
hands, for fear of St. Peter, though they ministered it never so evil;
and that they which should think it none alms to give them any more
(because they had too much already) should yet give St. Peter somewhat
(as Nebuchadnezzar gave his god Baal), to purchase an advocate and
an intercessor of St. Peter, and that St. Peter should, at the first
knock, let them in.

“And thus, with flattering and feigning, and vain superstition, under
the name of St. Peter, he crept up and fastened his roots in the
heart of the emperor, and with his sword climbed up above all his
fellowships, and brought them under his feet. And as he subdued them
with the emperor’s sword, even so by subtilty and help of them (after
that they were sworn faithful) he climbed above the emperor, and
subdued him also, and made stoop unto his feet, and kiss them another
while. Yea, pope Cœlestinus crowned the emperor Henry the Fifth,
holding the crown between his feet. And when he had put the crown on,
he smote it off with his feet again, saying that he had might to make
emperors, and put them down again.

“And he made a constitution that no layman should meddle with their
matters, nor be in their councils, or wit what they did; and that
the pope only should call the council, and the empire should but
defend the pope, provided always that the council should be in one
of the pope’s towns, and where the pope’s power was greater than the
emperor’s; then, under a pretence of condemning some heresy, he called
a general council, where he made one a patriarch, another cardinal,
another legate, another primate, another archbishop, another bishop,
another dean, another archdeacon, and so forth, as we now see. And as
the pope played with the emperor, so did his branches, his members, the
bishops, play in every kingdom, dukedom, and lordship: inasmuch that
the very heirs of them, by whom they came up, hold now their lands of
them, and take them for their chief lords. And as the emperor is sworn
to the pope, even so every king is sworn to the bishops and prelates of
his realm; and they are the chiefest in all parliaments; yea, they and
their money, and they that be sworn to them, and come up by them, rule

“And thus the pope, the father of all hypocrites, hath with falsehood
and guile perverted the order of the world, and turned the roots of
the trees upward, and hath put down the kingdom of Christ, and set up
the kingdom of the devil, whose vicar he is; and hath put down the
ministers of Christ, and hath set up the ministers of Satan, disguised,
yet in names, and garments, like unto the angels of light and ministers
of righteousness. For Christ’s kingdom is not of the world; and the
pope’s kingdom is all the world.”

But Tyndale was not only active in his attack upon error; he was not
less indefatigable in promulgating truth. For on the 17th of January
in the same year, 1530, he issued from the press his translation of
the Pentateuch. The notes in the margin in this translation are even
more vigorous than those in the New Testament. Thus Tyndale says: “To
bless a man’s neighbour is to pray for him and to wish him good, and
not to wag two fingers over him.” “If we answer not our prelates, when
they be angry even as they would have it, we must to the fire without
redemption or forswear God.” Upon Exodus xxxiv. 20, “None shall appear
before Me empty,” Tyndale says, “That is a good text for the pope.”
To Balaam’s question, “How shall I curse when God hath not cursed?”
Tyndale notes, “The pope can tell how.”

Such words are not to be considered without due reflection as to the
circumstances under which they were written. Tyndale had been long an
exile, and he knew that plots had been again and again laid to entrap
him. Although for a time he might hope to elude his persecutors, he
well knew that eventually he must fall a victim to their cruelty,
as many others had done before him. And he believed himself to be
called of God for the purpose of combating the gigantic form of error
that, like Apollyon, “straddled right across” the King’s highway and
withstood the pilgrims in the way to the Celestial City. Yet, although
some may not approve of the notes, the counsel that is given in the
prologue to Genesis will be read by all spiritual Christians with
unqualified approval:--

“Though a man had a precious jewel and rich, yet if he wist not the
value thereof, nor wherefore it served, he were neither the better nor
richer of a straw. Even so, though we read the Scripture, and babble of
it never so much, yet if we know not the use of it, and wherefore it
was given, and what is therein to be sought, it profiteth us nothing at
all. It is not enough, therefore, to read and talk of it only, but we
must also desire God, day and night instantly, to open our eyes, and to
make us understand and feel wherefore the Scripture was given, that we
may apply the medicine of Scripture, every man to his own sores; unless
that we intend to be idle disputers and brawlers about vain words,
_ever gnawing upon the bitter bark without, and never attaining to the
sweet pith within_.”



  “Thou shouldst be living at this hour:
  England hath need of thee; ... we are selfish men.
  Oh! raise us up, return to us again,
  And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.”


  “Reformers are not distinguished for their politeness--Luther and
  Knox, to wit. They are men raised by God to arrest the current
  of regenerate times, and to challenge sins which have become
  conventional and respectable; and, therefore, to tear in tatters
  sickly civilities which conceal beneath them a hell of sin and


Tyndale, of course, was not suffered to continue his labours
unassailed, for no less an antagonist than Sir Thomas More entered
the lists against him. Whatever may be More’s claims to admiration,
it must ever be considered to be a foul blot upon his character that
he assailed Tyndale with low, scurrilous abuse. As early as the year
1728, Tunstal, the polished Bishop of London (who had previously so
unceremoniously rejected Tyndale’s offer of service), wrote to More
inviting him to undertake the task of stemming the tide of heretical
books which, in spite of his utmost endeavours, continued to flow into
England. “Forasmuch,” said the Bishop, “as you can play the Demosthenes
both in our native tongue and in Latin, and are wont to be a most
zealous defender of Catholic truth in every assault, you will never be
able to make a better use of any spare hours that you can redeem from
your occupation, than by publishing in our native tongue something that
will expose even to rude and simple people the crafty malice of the
heretics, and make them better prepared against those impious enemies
of the Church.” Copies of the books to which he was to reply were
forwarded to More, and the Chancellor was reminded of the example of
his monarch, who had won the title of Defender of the Faith by his book
against Luther. More readily complied with this request, and after a
year of study he published a large volume which specified Luther and
Tyndale as his chief objects of attack. The book is in the form of a
dialogue, which is, of course, a most convenient form of eluding an
awkward attack.

“Look on Tyndale,” says Sir Thomas More, “how in his wicked book of
‘Mammon,’ and after in his malicious book of ‘Obedience,’ he showed
himself so puffed up with the poison of pride, malice, and envy,
that it is more than marvel that the skin can hold together.... He
knoweth that all the fathers teach that there is the fire of purgatory,
which I marvel why he feareth so little, as if he be at a plain point
with himself to go straight to hell.” Anderson, in his “Annals of
the Bible,” in speaking of this attack of More’s says: “The English
language has never been so prostituted before Sir Thomas More took up
the pen.... No solitary selected expressions can convey an adequate
idea of the virulence, not to say the verbosity and fallacious
reasoning, of this writer;” and the majority of unbiassed readers
will probably endorse this severe verdict. Sir Thomas More’s book was
published in June 1529, and during the spring of 1531 Tyndale published
his reply to it--an answer which must be admitted by all impartial men
to effectually dispose of More and his flimsy attempts at reasoning.

The following extract from the section in which Tyndale treats of
ceremonies will furnish an example of his rugged, earnest method of
argument. He says: “How cometh it that a poor layman, having wife
and twenty children, and not able to maintain them, though all his
neighbours know his necessity, shall not get with begging for Christ’s
sake in a long summer’s day enough to maintain them two days honestly;
when if a disguised monster come, he shall, with an hour’s lying in
the pulpit, get enough to maintain thirty or forty sturdy lubbers a
month long, of which the weakest shall be as strong in the belly when
he cometh unto the manger, as the mightiest porter in the custom-house,
or the best courser that is in the King’s stable?... Who thinketh it
as good a deed to feed the poor as to stick up a candle before a post,
or as to sprinkle it with holy water?... As though God were better
pleased when I sprinkled myself with water, or set up a candle before
a block, than if I fed or clothed, or helped at his need, him whom He
so tenderly loveth that He gave His own Son unto the death for him,
and commandeth me to love him as myself.... Christ’s death purchased
grace for man’s soul, to repent of evil, and to believe in Christ for
remission of sins, and to love the law of God, and his neighbour as
himself. Which is the true worshipping of God in the spirit; and He
died not to purchase such honour for unsensible things, that man to his
dishonour should do them honourable service, and receive his salvation
of them.”

This is vigorous writing, and is well calculated to answer its purpose;
that is, of destroying the subtleties by means of which More and other
Romish advocates endeavoured to deceive and to beguile the unwary. So
keenly did the Papal party feel the importance of Tyndale’s book, that
More was compelled, in spite of all his many employments, to attempt
a rejoinder at once. This volume, upon which he lavished great pains,
More had to confess to be a failure; men did not read it and one does
not wonder at their reluctance. A specimen only will suffice of this
vaunted defence of the Papacy upon the part of gentle Thomas More; in
justice to Tyndale, this and similar passages should be remembered by
all admirers of the Chancellor:--

“This devilish drunken soul (Tyndale!) doth abominably blaspheme, and
calleth them (_i.e._, the schoolmen) liars and falsifiers of Scripture,
and maketh them no better than draff. But this drowsy drudge hath
drunken so deep in the devil’s dregs, that, unless he wake and repent
himself, the sinner, he may hap ere long to fall into the mashing fat,
and turn himself into draff, as of which the hogs of hell shall feed
upon, and fill their bellies thereof.”

Nothing can justify the employment of such language, and the offence
appears to be the more heinous when we remember that Tyndale was at
that time enduring poverty and exile, while More was enjoying the
emoluments of office and the favour of the King and Bishops! To call
such a man as Tyndale “a hell-hound, one of those that the devil
hath in his kennel,” can never be defended by any impartial reader,
and our sympathies must therefore be wholly given to Tyndale in the
controversy, as our judgment must also award the palm of victory to
him. To Tyndale the controversy was one not merely of life and death,
for he viewed the question in its eternal issues. One would not wonder
if he used somewhat strong language when he realised what the Papacy
is in itself, and what its treatment of men, even of its adherents,
means in degradation and defilement; but such scurrilous language as
More employs at once stains his own character, and also shows his keen
consciousness of having a bad case.



  “The fairest action of our human life
    Is scorning to avenge an injury;
  For who forgives without a further strife,
    His adversary’s heart to him doth tie.
  And ’tis a fairer conquest, truly said,
  To win the heart than overthrow the head.”

                                       --LADY CAREW.

  “Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the
  shadow of our burden behind us.”--DR. SMILES.

  “Scarcely can we fix our eyes upon a single passage in this wonderful
  Book which has not afforded comfort and instruction to thousands, and
  been met with tears of penitential sorrow, or grateful joy, drawn
  from eyes that will weep no more.”--DR. PAYSON.


In England, Thomas Cromwell, the hammerman, had succeeded Wolsey in the
supreme direction of affairs. So long as he possessed the King’s ear,
the Reformers were secure of at least one friend, and Henry himself
was prosperous and successful so long as he followed the guidance of
his great Minister.

Cromwell was a politician and not a Reformer, but all his instincts
were in favour of those who pleaded for an overthrow of the Papal
corruptions and tyranny. It is true that in pursuing his purpose
Cromwell now and then adopted measures that cannot be defended, but his
policy was, after all, that which, if pursued systematically instead
of spasmodically, would have secured the independence and prosperity
of the realm. Cromwell took Latimer into his favour, and endeavoured
to employ his preaching talents in the furtherance of his designs. He
now endeavoured to induce Tyndale to return home to England, hoping
possibly that the great translator would also co-operate with him in
working out his plans. Stephen Vaughan, one of the English envoys to
the Low Countries, was the messenger who was employed for this purpose;
and at Cromwell’s instance he wrote three letters to three different
places whence he supposed they might reach Tyndale.

This was in the year 1530; and the result of Vaughan’s inquiries into
the whereabouts and doings of the Reformer was a high appreciation on
his part both of Tyndale’s abilities and character. “The man is of
greater knowledge than the King’s Highness doth take him for,” wrote
Vaughan to Cromwell, “which well appeareth by his works. Would God he
were in England!”

Tyndale probably did not take the same view of the case as Vaughan,
for about this time his brother John in England was sentenced by the
Star Chamber to be exhibited in Cheapside upon horseback with his
face to the horse’s tail. John Tyndale was further compelled to pay
a considerable fine, and this punishment was inflicted because he
had sent money and letters to his brother William Tyndale, and had,
moreover, committed the further enormity of receiving and selling

Tyndale had means of obtaining information as to all these doings
in England, and he was therefore somewhat sceptical as to the good
faith of Vaughan. At last he consented to meet the English envoy, and
accordingly an interview took place between them “without the gates of
Antwerp, in a field lying nigh to the same. At our meeting, ‘Do you not
know me?’ said this Tyndale. ‘I do not well remember you,’ said I to
him. ‘My name is Tyndale,’ said he. ‘But, Tyndale,’ said I, ‘fortunate
be our meeting.’ Then said Tyndale, ‘Sir, I have been exceeding
desirous to speak with you--I am informed that the King’s Grace taketh
great displeasure with me for putting forth of certain books which I
lately made in these parts, but especially for the book named ‘The
Practice of Prelates,’ whereof I have no little marvel, considering
that in it I did but warn his Grace of the subtle demeanour of the
clergy of his realm towards his person, and of the shameful abuses by
them practised, not a little threatening the displeasure of his Grace
and weal of his realm; in which doing I showed and declared the heart
of a true subject, which sought the safeguard of his Royal person, and
weal of his commons, to the intent that his Grace, thereof warned,
might, in due time, prepare his remedies against the subtle dreams.
_If for my pains therein taken--if for my poverty--if for my exile out
of my natural country, and being absent from my friends--if for my
hunger, my thirst, my cold, the great danger wherewith I am everywhere
compassed--and finally, if for innumerable other hard and sharp
sicknesses which I endure, not yet feeling their asperity, by reason I
hoped with my labours to do honour to God, true service to my Prince,
and pleasure to his commons_--how is that his Grace, this considering,
may either by himself think, or by the persuasions of others be brought
to think, that in this doing I should not show a pure mind, a true and
incorrupt zeal, and affection to his Grace?

“‘Was there in me any such mind when I warned his Grace to beware of
his Cardinal, whose iniquity he shortly after proved? Doth this deserve
hatred? Again, may his Grace, being a Christian prince, be so unkind to
God, which hath commanded His Word to be spread throughout the world,
to give more faith to wicked persuasions of men, who, contrary to that
which Christ expressly commandeth in His Testament, dare say that it
is not lawful for the people to have the same in a tongue that they
understand; because the purity thereof should open men’s eyes to see
their wickedness? _As I now am, very death were more pleasant to me
than life, considering man’s nature to be such as can bear no truth._’”

At a second interview Tyndale went further, and said, “with water in
his eyes,” as Vaughan observed, “If it would stand with the King’s most
gracious pleasure to grant only a bare text of Scripture to be put
forth among his people, like as is put forth among the subjects of the
Emperor in these parts, and of other Christian princes, _be it of the
translation of what person soever shall please his Majesty_, I shall
immediately make faithful promise _never to write more, nor abide two
days_ in these parts after the same; but immediately to repair into his
realm, and there most humbly submit myself at the feet of his Royal
Majesty, _offering my body to suffer what pain or torture, yea, what
death his Grace will, so that this be obtained_. And till that time
I will abide the asperity of all chances, whatsoever shall come, and
endure my life, in as much pains as it is able to bear and suffer.”

A third time Vaughan met Tyndale, and again the envoy attempted in vain
to induce him to venture back into England. Tyndale knew Henry too
well to do so, and he was providentially kept from making this rash
experiment, for his work was not as yet finished.

It is somewhat difficult to believe, with Demaus, that King Henry was
quite honourable in approving or in permitting these negotiations.
The almost unanimous opinion of all, until quite recently, was, that
Henry was at least a consenting party to Tyndale’s murder. To a man
like Henry the life of Tyndale was but of little moment; and, from
his treatment of others, it is probable that, had Tyndale ventured to
return home, even with the promised security of the Royal word, he
would have suffered the fate that befell many good men about this time.
The rumours that reached Tyndale from time to time would make him chary
of trusting Henry’s promise; and at the very period that Vaughan was
endeavouring to persuade Tyndale to confide in the King, Tyndale knew
that a fierce persecution was racing in England against those who did
not believe and act in religious matters as the King and Convocation
were pleased to appoint.

For example, Tyndale would have heard that William Tracy, a
Gloucestershire gentleman, and a former friend of his, had just before
died, and that his will, instead of the usual invocation of Mary and of
the saints, began thus:--

“First, and before all other things, I commit myself to God and His
mercy; believing, without any doubt or mistrust, that by His grace,
and the merits of Jesus Christ, and by the virtue of His passion and
His resurrection, I have, and shall have, remission of all my sins,
and also resurrection of body and soul, according as it is written:
‘I believe that my Redeemer liveth, and that in the last day I shall
rise out of the earth, and in my flesh shall see my Saviour;’ this
my hope is laid up in my bosom. And, touching my soul, this faith is
sufficient, as I suppose, without any other man’s works or merits. My
confidence and belief is, that there is but one God, and one Mediator
between God and man, which is Jesus Christ; so that I take none in
heaven nor in earth to be mediator between me and God, but only Jesus
Christ. All others be but petitioners for receiving of grace, but none
are able to give influence of grace, and, therefore, I will not bestow
any part of my goods with an intent that any man should say or do
anything to help my soul, for therein I trust only in the promises of
Christ. And touching the distribution of my temporal goods, my purpose
is, by the grace of God, to bestow them to be accepted as the fruits
of faith, so that I do not suppose that my merit shall be by the good
bestowing of them, but my merit is the faith of Jesus Christ only, by
whom such works are good. And we should ever consider that true saying,
that a good work maketh not a good man, but a good man maketh a good
work; for faith maketh a man both good and righteous; ‘for a righteous
man liveth by faith, and whatsoever springeth not of faith is sin’”
(Rom. xiv.).

This will was condemned by Convocation as “proud, scandalous,
contradictory, impious, and heretical,” and it was decreed that Tracy’s
body should be exhumed and cast out of consecrated ground as a heretic.

This dishonour to the dead was not the only proof of active hostility
that the clergy and King manifested, for even the living were compelled
to feel their vengeance. No wonder is it, when he heard of such things
as the martyrdom of Bilney and of others, that Tyndale feared to return
to England, even if he had the guarantee of the King’s word. And yet
he declared that he was ready to do so if only the King would permit a
translation of the Scriptures to be circulated in England; to secure
this boon for his fellow-countrymen Tyndale was quite content to die.
Alas! the Bible was not to be as yet circulated in England.



  “A friend is worth all hazards we can run,
  Poor is the friendless master of a world.
  A world in purchase for a friend were gain.”


  “Be still, fond heart, nor ask thy fate to know;
    Face bravely what each God-sent moment brings;
  Above thee rules in love, through weal and woe,
    Guiding thy king and thee, the King of kings.”

                                  --CHARLES KINGSLEY.

  “It is not our business to stand before Scripture and admire it;
  but to stand within, that we may believe and obey it. In the way of
  inward communion and obedience only shall we see the beauty of its
  treasures.”--DR. ANGUS.


Vaughan, who during the interviews of which we have spoken had become
strongly attached to Tyndale, was recalled by Cromwell in 1532, and a
less scrupulous envoy was employed in his place. Sir Thomas Elyot, the
new tool of Henry’s policy, did not seek for a friendly interview with
Tyndale, as his predecessor had done; but, on the contrary, he sought
by all possible means to apprehend the exile. Whether this indicated
a change in the King’s intention toward Tyndale, or were merely an
unmasking of purposes which it had been deemed expedient to dissemble
while Vaughan was the envoy, the danger to Tyndale was equally as
great. “I gave many rewards,” Elyot wrote to Cromwell, “partly to
the Emperor’s servants to get knowledge, and partly to such as by
whose means I trusted to apprehend Tyndale, according to the King’s

Encompassed as he thus was with snares and perils, Tyndale, however,
did not desist from his heroic efforts. He eluded Elyot’s plots, and
successfully translated and published the Book of Jonah, and even
prefixed his initials to the preface, as he had not done with the New
Testament. So successful, however, were the efforts of the Papists to
suppress this book, that for a long time no copy of it was known to
be in existence; but in the year 1861 one was unexpectedly discovered
in an old library. The Book of Jonah furnished Tyndale with a theme
whereon he preached important truths to his fellow-countrymen. Nineveh
he made a parable of England; and, as did Jonah, Tyndale preached the
need of immediate repentance.

“Christ, to preach repentance,” he wrote, “is risen once more out of
His sepulchre, in which the pope had buried Him, and kept Him down
with his pillars and pole-axes and all disguisings of hypocrisy, with
guile, wiles, and falsehood, and with the sword of all princes, which
he had blinded with his false merchandise. And as I doubt not of the
ensamples that are past, so am I sure that great wrath will follow
except repentance turn it back again and cease it.”

Beside this translation of Jonah, Tyndale also issued an “Exposition
of the First Epistle of St. John” during the same year. From this
“Exposition” we extract the following passage:--

“Preaching of the doctrine which is light,” says Tyndale, “hath but
small effect to move the heart if the ensample of living do disagree....

“And that we worship saints for fear, lest they should be displeased
and angry with us, and plague us, or hurt us (as who is not afraid of
St. Lawrence? Who dare deny St. Anthony a fleece of wool, for fear of
his terrible fire or lest he send the pox among our sheep?), is heathen
image service, and clean against the first commandment, which is,
‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God.’ Now, God in the Hebrew
is called _El_, or _Elohim_ in the plural number; _i.e., strength or
might_. So that the commandment is: Hear, O Israel, He that is thy
power and might; thy sword and shield is but One; that is, there is
none of might to help or hurt thee, save One, which is altogether
thine, and at thy commandment, if thou wilt hear His voice. And all
other might in the world is borrowed of Him; and _He will lend no
might against thee, contrary to His promises_. Keep, therefore, His
commandments, and He shall keep thee; and if thou have broken them, and
He have lent of His power against thee, repent and come again unto thy
profession; and He will return again unto His mercy, _and fetch His
power home again, which He lent to vex thee_, because thou forsookest
Him and brakest His commandments. And fear no other creature; for false
fear is the cause of all idolatry.”

The dangers thickened so rapidly around Tyndale that, in order to elude
the restless vigilance of his powerful enemies, he left Antwerp for a
time, and wandered from city to city in Germany, homeless and possibly

Yet he was not idle, for even during this period of wandering he issued
his exposition of the Sermon on the Mount. The spirit and style of this
work may be estimated from the two following extracts, the one taken
from the Prologue, and the other from the exposition upon Matthew v.

“To believe in Christ’s blood for the remission of sin, and purchasing
of all good promises that help to the life to come, and to love the
law, and to long for the life to come, is the inward baptism of the
soul, the only baptism that availeth in the sight of Christ; the
only key also to bind and loose sinners; the touchstone to try all
doctrines; the lantern and light that scattereth and expelleth the
mist and darkness of all hypocrisy, and a preservative against all
error and heresy; the mother of good works; the earnest of everlasting
life, and title whereby we challenge our inheritance.”

With a terrible inner consciousness of his own lamentable condition,
the exile wrote: “True preaching is a salt that stirreth up
persecution, and an office that no man is meet for, save he that is
seasoned himself before with poverty in spirit, softness, meekness,
patience, mercifulness, pureness of heart, and hunger of righteousness,
and looking for persecution also; and hath his hope, comfort, and
solace in the blessing only, and in no worldly theory.”

About this time, also, a great sorrow fell upon Tyndale, for his
trusted friend, John Fryth, who had ventured into England, was there
apprehended and brought up for trial as a heretic. Tyndale had some
surmise as to his friend’s danger before the tidings of Fryth’s arrest
reached him. He had written a tender letter of counsel and warning,
in which he advised his friend to be prudent, and especially to avoid
controversy about the Sacrament.

“Wherefore,” said Tyndale, “cleave fast to the rock of the help of God,
and commit the end of all things to Him; and if God shall call you,
that you may then use the wisdom of the worldly so far as you perceive
the glory of God may come thereof, refuse it not; and ever among thrust
in that the Scripture may be in the mother-tongue, and learning set
up in the Universities. But and if aught be required contrary to the
glory of God and His Christ, then stand fast, and commit yourself
to God; and be not overcome of men’s persuasions” to abjure. After
professing his love for Fryth and his confidence in him, Tyndale says

  “I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord
  Jesus, to give a reckoning of our doings, _that I never altered one
  syllable of God’s Word against my conscience, nor would this day if
  all that is in the earth, whether it be pleasure, honour, or riches,
  might be given me_.

  “My soul is not faint, though my body is weary,” he says pathetically
  and touchingly. He concludes his letter with a sentence which
  exhibits his own feelings:--

  “He is our God, if we despair in ourselves and trust in Him; and His
  is the glory. Amen!”

                                                        WILLIAM TYNDALE.

  “I hope our redemption is nigh.”

Fryth’s bearing before his judges was princely. He confined his defence
to four principal themes, and these he conclusively argued so that
his accusers were silenced. They were:--“1. That the Pope’s opinion
respecting the Sacrament cannot be considered as an article of faith
necessary to be believed upon pain of damnation. 2. That, as Christ’s
natural body was in all respects like unto ours, sin only excepted,
there can be no reason why it should be in two or many places at once,
contrary to the nature of our body. 3. That we are not to understand
Christ’s words by what we may conceive to be the meaning of the words,
but by comparing one passage of Scripture with another. 4. That the
manner in which the Sacrament is administered by the priests is quite
different from that in which it was administered by Christ Himself.”

In the spirit of his friend Tyndale, is also Fryth’s vigorous and noble
reply to Sir Thomas More:--

“Until we see some means found by the which a reasonable Reformation
may be had, and sufficient instruction for the poor commoners, I assure
you I neither can nor will cease to speak. _For the Word of God boileth
in my body like a fervent fire_, and will needs have issue, _and
breaketh out when occasion is given_. But this hath been offered you,
is offered, and shall be offered: _Grant that the Word of God, I mean
the text of Scripture, may go abroad in our English tongue, as other
nations have it in their tongues, and my brother William Tyndale and I
have done, and will promise you to write no more. If you will not grant

Tyndale wrote a second letter to his noble friend, and in it he says:--

“Dearly beloved, be of good courage, and comfort your soul with the
hope of this high reward, and bear the image of Christ in your mortal
body, that it may, at His coming, be made like to His, immortal; and
follow the example of all your other dear brethren which chose to
suffer in hope of a better resurrection. Keep your conscience pure and
undefiled, and say against that, nothing. Stick at necessary things,
and remember the blasphemies of the enemies of Christ, saying, they
find none but will abjure rather than suffer the extremity. Moreover,
the death of them that come again after they have once denied, though
it be accepted with God and all that believe, yet it is not glorious:
for the hypocrites say he must needs die, denying helpeth not. But
might it have holpen, they would have denied five hundred times; but
seeing it would not help them, therefore of pure pride and mere malice
together, they speak with their mouths that their conscience knoweth to
IN YOU AND MAKE YOU STRONG; and that so strong that you shall feel no
pain, which should be to another present death, and His Spirit shall
speak in you, and teach you what to answer, according to His promise.

“Fear not threatening, therefore, neither be overcome of sweet words;
with which twain methods the hypocrites shall assail you. Neither let
the persuasions of worldly wisdom bear rule in your heart, not though
they be your friends that counsel.”

In a postscript Tyndale adds a sentence behind which there lies a
breaking heart striving to accept the will of God in heroic faith:--

“Sir, your wife is well content with the will of God, and would not for
her sake have the glory of God hindered.”

The glory of God was not hindered, for Fryth went to the stake, and
three years after his martyrdom, Tyndale was also called upon in like
manner to suffer for the truth.

Meanwhile Tyndale had quietly settled down at Antwerp, and Foxe has
given to us a picture of his life and doings there. The reader will
probably prefer to read the narrative in Foxe’s own words:--

“And here to end and conclude this history with a few notes touching
his private behaviour in diet, study, and especially his charitable
zeal and tender relieving of the poor. First, he was a man very frugal
and spare of body, a great student and earnest labourer, namely
[especially] in the setting forth of the Scriptures of God. He reserved
or hallowed to himself two days in the week, which he named his days
of pastime, and those days were Monday the first day in the week, and
Saturday the last day in the week. On the Monday he visited all such
poor men and women as were fled out of England by reason of persecution
into Antwerp; and those, well understanding their good exercises and
qualities, he did very liberally comfort and relieve; and in like
manner provided for the sick and diseased persons. On the Saturday
he walked round about the town in Antwerp, seeking out every corner
and hole where he suspected any poor person to dwell (as God knoweth
there are many); and where he found any to be well occupied, and yet
overburdened with children, or else were aged or weak, those also he
plentifully relieved. And thus he spent his two days of pastime, as
he called them. And truly his almose [alms] was very large and great;
and so it might well be, for his exhibition that he had yearly of the
English merchants was very much; and that for the most part he bestowed
upon the poor, as aforesaid. The rest of the days in the week he gave
him wholly to his book, wherein most diligently he travailed. When the
Sunday came, then went he to some one merchant’s chamber or other,
whither came many other merchants; and unto them would he read some one
parcel of Scripture, either out of the Old Testament or out of the New;
the which proceeded so fruitfully, sweetly, and gently from him (much
like to the writing of St. John the Evangelist), that it was a heavenly
comfort and joy to the audience to hear him read the Scriptures; and
in likewise after dinner he spent an hour in the aforesaid manner. He
was a man without any spot or blemish of rancour or malice, full of
mercy and compassion, so that no man living was able to reprove him of
any kind of sin or crime; albeit his righteousness and justification
depended not thereupon before God, but only upon the blood of Christ
and his faith upon the same, in which faith constantly he died, as is
said at Vilvorde, and now resteth with the glorious company of Christ’s
martyrs blessedly in the Lord, who be blessed in all His saints. Amen.”



  “He has outsoared the shadow of our night;
  Envy and calumny and hate and pain
  Can touch him not and torture not again;
  He is secure, and now can never mourn.”


  “He is strong that can bear another man’s weakness.”



Two years (1533-1535) were spent by Tyndale in Antwerp, and while
engaged in the manner that Foxe described in the paragraph which we
quoted in the last chapter, he was also employed in revising his New
Testament. The Bishop of Durham says of this second edition:--

“One of the few copies of this edition which have been preserved
is of touching interest. Among the men who had suffered for aiding
in the circulation of the earlier editions of the Testament was a
merchant-adventurer of Antwerp, Mr. Harman, who seems to have applied
to Queen Anne Boleyn for redress. The Queen listened to the plea which
was urged in his favour, and by her intervention he was restored to the
freedom and privileges of which he had been deprived. Tyndale could not
fail to hear of her good offices, and he acknowledged them by a royal
gift. He was at the time engaged in superintending the printing of his
revised New Testament, and of this he caused one copy to be struck off
on vellum and beautifully illuminated. No preface or dedication or name
mars the simple integrity of this copy. Only on the gilded edges in
faded red letters runs the simple title, _Anna Regina Angliæ_. The copy
was bequeathed to the British Museum by the Rev. C. M. Cracherode in

It was almost his last sacrifice for England, for in the year 1535
Tyndale was arrested. He had, during this last stay in Antwerp, resided
with Thomas Poyntz, an English merchant who had settled in that town.
This gave Tyndale protection against liability of arrest, so long as
he kept within the house of his patron and friend. From Poyntz, Foxe
obtained an account of Tyndale’s capture, and we subjoin it here:--

“William Tyndale, being in the town of Antwerp, had been lodged about
one whole year in the house of Thomas Poyntz, an Englishman. About
which time there came thither one out of England whose name was Henry
Philips, a comely fellow, like as he had been a gentleman, having a
servant with him; but wherefore he came, or for what purpose he was
sent thither, no man could tell.”

This man basely ingratiated himself into Tyndale’s favour, and although
Poyntz distrusted him, even he did not suspect that Philips was capable
of the baseness of betraying Tyndale to his death.

At length the time arrived when Philips’ arrangements for the capture
of Tyndale were completed, and when perhaps this Judas had received
the price of blood. It happened that Poyntz “went forth to a town
being eighteen miles from Antwerp, where he had business to do for the
space of a month or six weeks. And in the time of his absence Henry
Philips came again to Antwerp, to the house of Poyntz, and coming in
spake with his wife, asking her for Master Tyndale, and whether he
would dine there with him; saying, ‘What good meat shall we have?’ She
answered, ‘Such as the market will give.’ Then went he forth again
(as it is thought) to provide, and set the officers whom he brought
with him from Brussels in the street and about the door. Then about
noon he came again and went to Master Tyndale and desired him to lend
him forty shillings; ‘for,’ said he, ‘I lost my purse this morning,
coming over at the passage between this and Mechlin.’ So Tyndale took
him forty shillings, which was easy to be had of him, if he had it;
for in the wily subtleties of this world he was simple and inexpert.
Then said Philips, ‘Master Tyndale, you shall be my guest here this
day.’ ‘No,’ said Tyndale; ‘I go forth this day to dinner, and you
shall go with me, and be my guest, where you shall be welcome.’ So
when it was dinner-time Tyndale went forth with Philips, and at the
going forth of Poyntz’s house was a long narrow entry, so that two
could not go in afront. Master Tyndale would have put Philips before
him, but Philips would in no wise, but put Master Tyndale before, for
that he pretended to show great humility. So, Master Tyndale being
a man of no great stature, went before, and Philips, a tall comely
person, followed behind him; who had set officers on either side of
the door upon two seats, who, being there, might see who came in at
the entry; and coming through the same entry, Philips pointed with his
finger over Master Tyndale’s head down to him, that the officers who
sat at the door might see that it was he whom they should take, as the
officers that took Master Tyndale afterwards told Poyntz, and said to
Poyntz, when they had laid him in prison, that they pitied to see his
simplicity when they took him. Then they took him and brought him to
the Emperor’s attorney, or Procuror-General, where he dined. Then came
the Procuror-General to the house of Poyntz, and sent away all that was
there of Master Tyndale’s, as well his books as other things; and from
thence Tyndale was had to the castle of Filford (Vilvorde), eighteen
English miles from Antwerp, and there he remained until he was put to

Demaus assigns the 23rd or the 24th of May 1535 as the probable date
of Tyndale’s arrest. For more than a year the exile lingered in
confinement before he was put to death.

His friend Poyntz did not desert Tyndale in this calamity, but at
imminent risk of his own life he busied himself in fruitless efforts to
save the life of the man whom he had learned to love.

“Brother,” he says, writing to John Poyntz, a gentleman at the English
Court, “the knowledge that I have of this man causes me to write as my
conscience binds me; for the King’s Grace should have of him, at this
day, as high a treasure as of honour: one man living there is not that
has been of greater reputation.”

The efforts of Poyntz were alas useless, and he only brought himself
into peril by his advocacy on behalf of Tyndale. Poyntz was arrested,
and for four months he also was kept a prisoner. Indeed, had he not
contrived to escape, he would probably have shared the fate of his

The condemnation of Tyndale was already a foregone conclusion. The
formality of a trial was indeed observed in his case, but he himself
well knew that, with such enemies as his translation of the Scriptures
had made for him, there was but one issue to his imprisonment.

One solitary letter, written during the winter of 1535, and addressed
to the governor of the castle in which he was confined, has indeed
been preserved. We subjoin Demaus’ translation of it:--

  “I believe, right worshipful, that you are not ignorant of what has
  been determined concerning me (by the Council of Brabant); therefore
  I entreat your Lordship, and that by the Lord Jesus, that if I am to
  remain here (in Vilvorde) during the winter, you will request the
  Procureur to be kind enough to send me from my goods which he has in
  his possession a warmer cap, for I suffer extremely from cold in the
  head, being afflicted with a perpetual catarrh, which is considerably
  increased in the cell. A warmer coat also, for that which I have is
  very thin: also a piece of cloth to patch my leggings: my overcoat
  has been worn out; my shirts are also worn out. He has a woollen
  shirt of mine, if he will be kind enough to send it. I have also
  with him leggings of thicker cloth for putting on above; he also
  has warmer caps for wearing at night. I wish also his permission to
  have a candle in the evening, for it is wearisome to sit alone in
  the dark. But, above all, I entreat and beseech your clemency to
  be urgent with the Procureur that he may kindly permit me to have
  my Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Grammar, and Hebrew Dictionary, that I may
  spend my time with that study. And, in return, may you obtain your
  dearest wish, provided always it be consistent with the salvation of
  your soul. But if any other resolution has been come to concerning
  me, that I must remain during the whole winter, I shall be patient,
  abiding the will of God, to the glory of the Grace of my Lord Jesus
  Christ, whose Spirit, I pray, may ever direct your heart. Amen.

                                                            W. TYNDALE.”

Says Foxe: “At last, after much reasoning, where no reason would
serve, although he deserved no death, he was condemned by virtue of
the Emperor’s decree, made in the Assembly at Augsburg, and, upon the
same, brought forth to the place of execution, was there tied to the
stake, and then strangled first by the hangman, and afterwards with
fire consumed in the morning, at the town of Filford, 25th of October
A.D. 1536; crying thus at the stake with a fervent zeal and loud voice,
‘Lord! open the King of England’s eyes!’”

Concerning Tyndale himself Dr. Stoughton justly remarks: “Tyndale
was eminently a great man, great in mind and heart and enterprise.
His intellectual endowments were of an order to render him a match
in controversy with no less a personage than the illustrious Sir
Thomas More. The qualities of his heart were as remarkable as those
of his head. He combined a calm and steady heroism with a childlike
simplicity. No man was ever more free from duplicity, more full of
meekness, and at the same time more elevated in soul by a manly
courage. Ever as in his great Taskmaster’s eye, he pursued his labours
in obscurity and exile, reaping no earthly benefit whatever, and
looking for no reward but the smile of his Heavenly Father.”

Nothing need be added to these generous and just sentences, except that
Tyndale’s full merit will only be known and confessed when the secrets
of all hearts are opened. He professed himself to be ready to wait for
his reward until the great day of God, and then it will be seen that
William Tyndale has not been far behind the apostles of the Lamb:--

  “How our hearts burnt within us at the scene!
  Whence this brave bound o’er limits fixed to man?
  His God sustains him in the final hour!
  His final hour brings glory to his God!
  Sweet peace, and heavenly hope, and humble joy,
  Divinely beam in his exalted soul;
  Destruction gilds, and crowns him for the skies
  With incommunicable lustre bright.”





  [1] Demaus’ “William Tyndale, a Biography.”

  [2] Demaus.

  [3] History of the Bible.


  Italicized or underlined text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Archaic or variant spelling has been retained.


Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will
be renamed.

Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright
law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works,
so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the
United States without permission and without paying copyright
royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part
of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG™
concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark,
and may not be used if you charge for an eBook, except by following
the terms of the trademark license, including paying royalties for use
of the Project Gutenberg trademark. If you do not charge anything for
copies of this eBook, complying with the trademark license is very
easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation
of derivative works, reports, performances and research. Project
Gutenberg eBooks may be modified and printed and given away--you may
do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks not protected
by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the trademark
license, especially commercial redistribution.



To protect the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase “Project
Gutenberg”), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full
Project Gutenberg™ License available with this file or online at

Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg™
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or
destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in your
possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a
Project Gutenberg™ electronic work and you do not agree to be bound
by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the
person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph

1.B. “Project Gutenberg” is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works if you follow the terms of this
agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg™
electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation (“the
Foundation” or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection
of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works. Nearly all the individual
works in the collection are in the public domain in the United
States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the
United States and you are located in the United States, we do not
claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing,
displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as
all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope
that you will support the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting
free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg™
works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the
Project Gutenberg™ name associated with the work. You can easily
comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the
same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg™ License when
you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are
in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States,
check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this
agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing,
distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any
other Project Gutenberg™ work. The Foundation makes no
representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any
country other than the United States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other
immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg™ License must appear
prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg™ work (any work
on which the phrase “Project Gutenberg” appears, or with which the
phrase “Project Gutenberg” is associated) is accessed, displayed,
performed, viewed, copied or distributed:

  This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
  most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no
  restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it
  under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this
  eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org. If you are not located in the
  United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where
  you are located before using this eBook.

1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is
derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not
contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the
copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in
the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are
redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase “Project
Gutenberg” associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply
either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or
obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg™
trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any
additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms
will be linked to the Project Gutenberg™ License for all works
posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the
beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg™
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg™.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg™ License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including
any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access
to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg™ work in a format
other than “Plain Vanilla ASCII” or other format used in the official
version posted on the official Project Gutenberg™ website
(www.gutenberg.org), you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense
to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means
of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original “Plain
Vanilla ASCII” or other form. Any alternate format must include the
full Project Gutenberg™ License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg™ works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
provided that:

• You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
  the use of Project Gutenberg™ works calculated using the method
  you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed
  to the owner of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark, but he has
  agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid
  within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are
  legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty
  payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in
  Section 4, “Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg
  Literary Archive Foundation.”

• You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
  you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
  does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg™
  License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all
  copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue
  all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg™

• You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of
  any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
  electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of
  receipt of the work.

• You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
  distribution of Project Gutenberg™ works.

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project
Gutenberg™ electronic work or group of works on different terms than
are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing
from the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the manager of
the Project Gutenberg™ trademark. Contact the Foundation as set
forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project
Gutenberg™ collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg™
electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may
contain “Defects,” such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate
or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or
other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or
cannot be read by your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund” described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg™ trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg™ electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium
with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you
with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in
lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person
or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second
opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If
the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing
without further opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you “AS-IS”, WITH NO

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of
damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement
violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the
agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or
limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or
unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the
remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in
accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the
production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg™
electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses,
including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of
the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this
or any Project Gutenberg™ work, (b) alteration, modification, or
additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg™ work, and (c) any
Defect you cause.

Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg™

Project Gutenberg™ is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of
computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It
exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations
from people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg™'s
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg™ collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg™ and future
generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see
Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at

Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non-profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by
U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's business office is located at 809 North 1500 West,
Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up
to date contact information can be found at the Foundation's website
and official page at www.gutenberg.org/contact

Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg™ depends upon and cannot survive without
widespread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine-readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND
DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular
state visit www.gutenberg.org/donate

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To
donate, please visit: www.gutenberg.org/donate

Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg™ electronic works

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project
Gutenberg™ concept of a library of electronic works that could be
freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and
distributed Project Gutenberg™ eBooks with only a loose network of
volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg™ eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in
the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not
necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper

Most people start at our website which has the main PG search
facility: www.gutenberg.org

This website includes information about Project Gutenberg™,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.