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into the English tongue, which is Lollard minister," of this period : prohibited by the laws of our holy Thomas Man, who was burned Mother Church.”. These articles (1518) in Smithfield, Robert Cosin, prove that the heretics, at that early a martyr, and Henry Milder, burned period, held all the doctrines of the at Buckingham, were, it is said, Reformation : one of these is cu- preachers” among them. In the rious ;—“He says, that poor men year 1515 a great number were proand idiots have the truth of the secuted for various heresies—" for Holy Scriptures more than a thou- having certain English books, as sand prelates, and religious men, Wickliff's Wicket, the Gospels of and clerks of the school.” Doubt- St.John,the Epistles of Paul,James, less this was the fact; for “ the and Peter in English, an Expoknown men or just fast men”* reve- sition of the Apocalypse, a book of renced the Scriptures, while the Our Ladie's Mattins in English, and priests despised them ! A charge a book called The Prick of Conbrought against one Richard Butler, science.” “All these were detected, in the Bishop of London's court, for that they being together at Bruwill throw great light upon the godly ges's house at Burford were reading practices of these pious people:- together in the book of the Expo“Also we object to you, that divers sition of the Apocalypse, and comtimes, and especially upon a certain muned concerning the matter of night, about the space of three years opening the book with seven clasps," last past, in Robert Durdant's house &c. They were also charged with of Yuer-court, near unto Staines, reading the Lord's prayer in Engyou erroneously and damnably lish.* read in a great book of heresy of Dr. Colet, a famous evangelical the said Robert Durdant's, all that preacher in St. Paul's church, and sume night, certain chapters of the the founder of St. Paul's school for Evangelists in English, containing 153 boys, had translated the Lord's in them divers erroneous and dan- prayer, and this was much used by nable opinions and conclusions of the Lollards. One of the most heresy in the presence of the said annoying of their publications (atRobert Durdant, John Butler, Ro- tributed to William Thorpe, who, bert Carder, Jenkin Butler, William in 1407, it is supposed, died in King, and divers other persons sus-prison as a Wickliffite minister) is pected of heresy then being present, always found in the lists of proand hearing your said erroneous scribed heretical books, by the title lectures and opinions.” Amongst of “ The A, B, C, against the the charges exhibited on another Clergy." occasion, mention is made of a * In Dr. M Crie's Life of Knox, vol. i. certain little book of Scripture al- p. 240, notes, is said, in reference to the most worn for age,
monastic library at Locbleven in tbe twelfth
century, wbat will probably apply to all the [title] is not there expressed." libraries of the monasteries at that time :-
It is said, too, that these “known - They had the texts of the Gospels and the men” had “ an exposition of the Acts of the Apostles, an exposition of Gea
nesis, a collection of Lectures, and an intergospel in English :" congrega
pretation of Sayings. The catalogue of the tions” or conventicles" of these
Library at Stirling, in the sixteenth century, heretics are spoken of as existing contained a copy of the Gospels and Epistles at Newbury, Chesham, Amersham, in manuscript, most probably. in Latin.” Missenden, and other towns. Men- There can be no doubt such manoscripts tion is made of “ Thomas Bale, a monasteries, and it is highly probable that
were alsa in the libraries of the English So tbe Lollards were reproaclıfully called. some learned Wicklislite translated them " A wake ye ghostly persons! awake, awake, When Cardinal Wolsey founded
B oth priest, pope, bishop, and cardinal! Christchurch College at Oxford, he
picked” as many young men as E verywhere the mischief of you all,
he could find at both the UniverFar and pear, breaketh out very fast; sities“ of grave judgment and sharp God will needs be avenged at the last. wits” to be its first and principal How long have ye the world captived, In sore bondage of men's traditions?
students. Tyndale was
one of Kings and emperors ye have deprived,
these; but his reading the Scriptures Mach misery ye make in all religions. (cast, their conferring together upon Lewdly usarping their chief possessions: to the Fellows of the College, and
the Now yoar friends be almost at their later abuses of religion which had crept Of God sure to be avenged at the last. Poor people to oppress ye have no shame, into the church being reported to Q uaking for fear of your bloody tyranny: the Cardinal, they were accused Rightsul justice ye bare put ont of frame, of heresy, and cast into a prison, Seeking the last of your God, the belly, within a deep cave under the said Therefore I dare you boldly certify, V ery little tho' you be thereof agbast,
college, where their salt-fish were Y et God will be avenged at the last.” kept; so that, through the filthy
It was thought necessary to give stench thereof, they were all inthis brief sketch of the state of fected, and certain of them taking protestant feeling among our coun
their death in the same prison, trymen, to show that when William shortly upon the same being taken Tyndale was raised up as the re- out of the prison into their chambers, former of the church of Christ in there deceased.” One Mr. Clark, England, he found “a people pre- who died from this confinement, pared of the Lord” to appreciate was thirty-four; it is probable that his principles and to be improved Tyndale was about thirty-three by his labours.
years John Frith, another of This “ Apostle of England” was them, was very young. Of those born in the principality of Wales, who survived this cruel treatment probably about the year 1490; it were Richard Taverner, John Frith, is said of him, that « from a youth and our Tyndale. The former was his mind was singularly addicted restored because he was
a good to the Scriptures, wherein he ob- musician;" the next was proscribed tained a considerable degree of to a space ten miles round Oxford; knowledge.” From a child he was and, most likely, Tyndale was exeducated, in the University of Ox- pelled. It is certain that he left ford, in grammar, logic, and philo- Oxford, and went to Cambridge. sophy,- for the most part of his time It is not improbable that his in Mary's Hall. While at Oxford reason for going to Cambridge was he became a truly pious man, and to confer with those pious and wellhaving embraced the sentiments of instructed ministers, Bilney,Author, Wickliff, in opposition to the errors Latimer, Cranmer, and Coverdale, of the church of Rome, he used to the first four of whom died in the meet certain students of St. Mary's
flames. It is remarked by Fox, and some Fellows of Magdalen's, that, by Tyndale's going to Camto whom he, in private, “ read some bridge, he became ripened in the parcel of divinity instructing them knowledge of God's word.” in the truth of the Scriptures." Leaving Cambridge, he enter
ed the family of Welch, a into Englis's ; they were mostly written, and this circumstance, in connexion with the knight, who resided near Chipping prelates burning them, accounts fully for Sodbury in Gloucestershire,* in the none of them being preserved to our times.
# The house is still standing.
capacity of a private tutor. This Streets, St. Austin's-green, Bristol, being in the neighbourhood of and at other places about that city: Glastonbury, many of the monks and so moderate were his expectand friars of that monastery were ations, that he said " he should be in the habit of visiting the knight's content with ten pounds a year in hospitable mansion, Tyndale always any county in England, provided making one of the company. The he was not interrupted in teaching conversation sometimes turned on children and preaching the Gospel." learned men, such as Luther and Finding he could not escape the Erasmus, whom Tyndale always danger to which he had exposed vindicated from the aspersions of himself by offending the “spirituthe monks. They often had “con- ality of Glastonbury,” he resolved troversies and questions upon the to go to London. He was urged Scriptures,” and “when they did to this step from hearing of the vary,” says Fox, “he would show commendations bestowed by Erasthem in the book and lay plainly mus upon Tonstal, the Bishop.* before them the open and manifest He thought, what a happy man he places of the Soriptures, to confute should be, could he get into the emtheir errors and confirm his say-ployment of the bishop for the purings.”
pose, as he intended, of translating These popish champions attempt the Scriptures in his house. He ed to prejudice the worthy knight accordingly applied to the king's and his lady against their family comptroller, Sir Henry Guildford, tutor, and had nearly succeeded, presenting him with a Greek oration as they one day, after having dined of Isocrates, which he had transat the monastery, reproved his er- lated into English, and requested rors; but " Master Tyndale,” says Sir Henry to speak to the bishop Fox, "answering by Scriptures, in his favour.
Tonstal instantly maintained the truth and reproved refused, saying
« his house was their [the monks'] false opinions." filled; that he had more than he The monks, finding they could not could find; and he would advise get him removed from the family, him to seek abroad in London, and Welch and his wife having where he would be sure to find embraced the protestant opinions, employment.” Tyndale stayed in the "spirituality" soon withdrew London about a year, preaching at themselves !
St. Dunstan's church and other Tyndale, however, found such places; but growing more and more opposition raised against him, that disgusted with the pomp of the he left his situation and commenced prelates, and finding there was no a preacher of the Gospel. Some room either in the bishop's palace opinion may be formed, both of his or at any other place in the kingsentiments and intrepidity, by the dom, for him “to translate the New following reply to a spiritual” Testament;" a kind friend, too, doctor, who said, “ We had better at whose house he had found a be without God's laws than the lodging, Sir Humphrey Monmouth, Pope's.” “I defy the Pope,” said an alderman of the city, having Tyndale, “ and all bis laws; and engaged to remit bim ten pounds if God spare my life, ere many • Erasmus thus speaks of Tonstal :years, I will cause
a boy that
“ He ranks among the best learned of his driveth the plough to know more age, of pregnant judgment and great suavity of the Scriptures than you do."
of manners, yet without impeachment to the
graver habits wbich become bis cbaracter We find bim preaching in the public and station.”
per annum for his support, he re- The year 1526 witnessed the solved to leave the kingdom and completion of the English New to reside on the continent, for the Testament, printed at Antwerp; at purpose of executing his noble de- the end of it is an Address to the sign: "right well he perceived and Readers, in which he “ beseeches considered,” saith Fox, “ that this them that are learned christenly, only, or chiefly, was the cause of that the rudeness of the work, now all mischief in the church--that the at the first time offered, offend them Scriptures of God were hidden from not.” the people's eyes.” He accord- This modest appeal ought to ingly went to Germany, and tra- have disarmed criticism; as Fox velled into Saxony, where, for a remarks, “Wherefore, if any such time, he enjoyed the company of defect had been deserving correcLuther at Wirtemberg, and others tion, it had been the part of courof the German reformers; he then tesie and gentleness, for men of returned and settled at Antwerp, knowledge and judgment to have one of the Hanse-towns, where showed their learning therein, and there were a chartered company of to have redressed that which was English merchants.
to be amended. But the spiritual Before proceeding with the his fathers then of the clergy, being
may not be unsuitable not willing to have that book to to give a short description of Tyn prosper, cried out upon it, bearing dale. It is conjectured he was men in hand that there were a thouat this time (probably in 1524) sand heresies in it, and that it was about thirty-eight years of age; not to be corrected but utterly suphis patron, the worthy alderman, pressed. Some said it was not about four years after this, in his possible to translate the Scripture examination before Stokesley, Bi- into English; some that it was not shop of London, for heresy, said lawful for the lay people to have it of him that “ he lived six months in their mother tongue; some that in his house, where he lived like a it would make them all heretics ;good priest, studying both night and, to induce the temporal rulers and day: he would eat but sodden also unto their purpose, they made meat, with his good will, nor drink matter, and said it would make the but small single beer.” The next people to arise and rebel against description we have of him is the king !" from his own pen,
and may there- Tyndale also printed, about this fore be depended upon as a correct time, and sent over to England, portrait, making some allowance several considerable treatises, enfor his excessive modesty, which titled, “ The Obedience of the is a prominent feature of his cha- Christian Man," “ The wicked racter :-writing to his beloved Mainmon,” his “ Introduction to young brother, in 1533, John Frith, Paul's epistle to the Romans." These he says, “ But God hath made me with some of the works of Luther evil-favoured in this world, and and other German reformers, were without grace in the sight of men, all ordered to be called in and speechless and rude, dull and slow- suppressed, especially “ The New witted.” Fox seems to confirm Testament in the English tongue !" this, as being a true picture, " For This political proclamation is thus in the wily subtleties of the world signed by the Bishop of London :he was simple and inexpert." “ Given under our seal, the three
and twentieth of October, in the Coustantine, “I will tell you truly: fifth year of our consecration, anno it is the Bishop of London that hath 1526.”
holpen us, for he hath bestowed In order to suppress the New upon us a great deal of money for Testament completely, Tonstal, on New Testaments, to burn them, returning from a mission to the and that hath been, and yet is, our Pope, passed through Antwerp, only succour and comfort.” “Now, where meeting with an English by my troth," quoth Sir Thomas, merchant, he was informed that he " I think even the same, for so could buy up the whole of Tyn- much I told the bishop when he dale's New Testaments from the went about it!” Dutch merchants who had bought It was in May, 1526, that Tonthem of Tyndale: “Do your dili- stal caused the copies of the New gence,” saith Tonstal, gentle Testament to be burned, Johu TynMaster Packington; get them for dale, brother to the translator, being me, and I will pay for them what made to ride throughCheapside with soever they cost, for I intend to several copies tied about him. In burn and destroy them all at Paul's one of his books the next year, cross.”
Packington acquainted Tyndale, alluding to this, says, Tyndale with the matter; “and so, “ And mark, I pray you, what an upon compact made between them,” orator he (Fisher, Bishop of Rosays Fox, “the Bishop of London chester) is, and how vehemently he had the books, Packington had the persuadeth it. Martin Luther hath thanks, and Tyndale had the mo- burned the Pope's Decretals, a money!” The Dutch printers find- manifest sign, saith he, that he ing it a profitable concern, reprinted would have burned the Pope's hothe Testament, so that “ they came liness also if he had had him. A thick and threefold into England." like argument (which I suppose to The Bishop sent for Packington, be rather new) I make: Rochester (who, it should seem, lived in Lon- and his holy brethren have burned don); “ How cometh this, gentle Christ's testament, an evident sign Master Packington, that there are they would have burned Christ so many New Testaments abroad? himself also had they had him.” On You promised me that you would the 25th of May, the prelates came buy them all.” Packington replied, to the King in the Star-chamber, “ Surely I bought all that were to complaining that Tyndale's and be had; but I perceive they have Joy's translation was not correct, printed more since. I see it never and proposed to get the Bible prowill be better while they have type perly translated," so that the and presses, wherefore your Lord - people should not be ignorant of ship had better buy the type and the laws of God!" The King compresses too, and then you will be manded it to be done, but the presure.” Fox
says. “ At which an- lates paid no regard to it; and the swer the Bishop smiled, and so the people in consequence read and matter ended." Some time after, studied Tyndale's translation with Sir Thomas More, then chancellor, the greater avidity. having one George Constantine, It ought to be mentioned that, a reformed priest or friar, before in addition to his labours as him, desired' him, as he expected translator of the Scriptures, and the bis favour, to tell him who it was author of several evangelical treatthat supplied Tyndale with money ises, he was employed also as the at Antwerp? “My lord,” replied minister and elder of a congregation