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1271 [1271]

K. Henry. 8. The letters of William Tyndall to Iohn Fryth.

This chaunced the ix. day of May 

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9 May 1533.

.

Syr your wife is well cōtent with the will of God, & would not for her sake, haue the glory of God hindred 

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In other words, Frith's wife approves of his imminent martyrdom.

.

William Tyndall.

¶ An other notable and worthy Letter of Maister William Tyndall sent to the sayd Iohn Frith, vnder the name of Iacob.

¶ The grace of our Sauiour Iesus, his pacience, mekenes, humblenes, circumspection, and wisedome bee with your hart. Amen.

MarginaliaAn other letter of M. Tyndall.DEarely beloued brother Iacob, myne 

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Tyndale, in this letter, is urging Frith not to write on or debate issues on the theology of the Eucharist, for fear of opening divisions anong Protestants.

hartes desyre in our Sauiour Iesus is, that you arme your selfe with pacience, and bee colde, sober, wyse and circumspect, and that you keepe you alowe by the grounde, MarginaliaHigh questiōs to be auoyded.auoydyng hye questions that passe the common capacitie. But expounde the law truly, and open the vayle of Moses to condēpne all fleshe, MarginaliaAll deedes before they be iustified by fayth, are sinne.and proue all men sinners, and all dedes vnder the law, before mercy haue taken away the condempnation therof, to be sinne and dampnable: and then as a faithfull Minister, set abroth the mercy of our Lord Iesus, and let the wounded consciences drinke of the water of hym. And then shall your preachyng be with power, and not as the doctrine of the hypocrites: and the spirite of God shall worke with you, and all consciences shall beare recorde vnto you, and fele that it is so. MarginaliaPreaching the lawe of God, and mercy of Christ.And all doctrine that casteth a miste on those two, to shadow and hyde thē, I meane the law of God and mercy of Christ, that resiste you withal your power. MarginaliaSacramentes without significations to be refused.Sacramentes without signification, refuse. If they put significatiōs to them, receyue thē, if you see it may helpe, though it be not necessary.

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Of the presence of Christes body in the Sacrament, medle as litle as you can, that there appeare no diuision amōg vs. MarginaliaM. Tyndall here beareth with tyme.Barnes will be whote agaynst you. The Saxons 

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I.e., the Lutherans.

be sore on the affirmatiue, whether cōstant or obstinate, I omit it to God. Philippe Melancton is sayd to bee with the French kyng. There be in Antwerpe that say, they saw him come into Paris with an c. and l. horses, and that they spake with hym. If the Frenchmen receyue the worde of God, he will plant the Marginalia* By the affirmatiue hee meaneth the opinion which M. Luther and the Saxons do holde of the Sacramēt.* affirmatiue in them 
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In other words, if the French converted to Protestantism, the Lutherans would see that they still accepted the Real Presence of Chrst in the Sacrament.

. George Ioye would haue put forth a treatise of the matter, but I haue stopt hym as yet, what hee will do if hee get money, I wotte not 
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In other words, if George Joye received enough money to print a treatise on the Eucharist, he would do so.

. I beleue hee would make many reasons litle seruyng to the purpose. My mynde is, that nothyng bee put forth til we heare how you shal haue spedde. I would haue the ryght vse preached, and the presence to be an indifferēt thyng, MarginaliaM. Tyndall againe beareth with tyme.till the matter might be reasoned in peace at laysure, of both parties. If you be required, shewe the phrases of the Scripture, and let them talke what they will. For as to beleue that God is euery where, hurteth no man þt worshyppeth hym no where but within in the harte, in spirite and veritie: MarginaliaVbiquitie can not be proued.euen so to beleue that the body of Christ is euery where (though it can not be proued) hurteth no man that woorshyppeth hym no where saue in the fayth of hys Gospell 
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In his marginal note to this passage, Foxe is trying to emphasize that Tyndale's reluctance to discuss the Eucharist was only temporary.

. You perceiue my mynd: howbeit if God shewe you otherwise, it is free for you to do as he moueth you.

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I gessed long ago that God would send a dasyng into the heade of the spiritualtie, to catche them selues in their own subtiltie, and I trust it is come to passe. And now me thinketh I smell a counsaile to bee taken, litle for their profites in time to come. But you must vnderstand, that it is not of a pure harte and for loue of the truth, but to aduēge them selues, and to eate the Whores fleshe, MarginaliaEating the Whores flesh, is to spoyle the Popes church, onely for the pray & spoyle therof.& to sucke the mary of her bones. Wherfore cleaue fast to the rocke of the helpe of God, & cōmitte the end of all thinges to hym: and if God shall call you, MarginaliaWorldly wisedome so farre as it may serue to Gods glory, may be vsed.þt you may then vse the wisedome of þe worldly, as farre as you perceiue þe glory of God may come therof, refuse it not: & euer among, thrust in, þt the Scripture may be in the mother tōgue, and learnyng set vp in the Vniuersities. But and if ought be required cōtrary to the glory of God and hys Christ, thē stand fast, and cōmitte your selfe to God, and be not ouercome of mens persuasions, whiche happely shall say: we see no other way to bring in the truth.

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Brother Iacob, beloued in my hart, there lyueth not in whom I haue so good hope and trust, and in whom myne heart reioyseth and my soule comforteth her selfe, as in you: not the thousand part so much for your learnyng, and what other giftes els you haue, MarginaliaLow walking.as that you will crepe alow by the groūd, and walke in those things that the conscience may feele, and not in the imaginatiōs of the brayne: in feare and not in boldnes: in open necessary thynges, and not to pronounce or define of hyd se-cretes, or thynges that neither helpe or hynder whether they be so or no: in vnitie & not in seditious opinions: in so much that if you be sure you know, yet in things that may abyde laysure, you will deferre, or say (till other agree with you): me thinke the text requireth this sense or vnderstādyng: Yea and that if you be sure that your part be good, & an other hold the contrary, yet if it be a thyng that maketh no matter, you will laugh and let it passe, & referre the thyng to other men, and sticke you stifly and stubburnely in earnest and necessary things. And I trust you be persuaded euē so of me. MarginaliaThe vpright hādling in the translation of Maister TindallFor I cal God to recorde agaynst the day we shal appeare before our Lord Iesus, to geue a reckenyng of our doynges, that I neuer altered one syllable of Gods woorde agaynst my conscience, nor would this day if all that is in the earth, whether it be pleasure, honour or riches, might be geuen me. Moreouer I take God to recorde to my conscience, that I desire of God to my selfe in this world, no more then that without whiche I can not kepe hys lawes.

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Finallye, if there were in me any gifte that coulde helpe at hand, and ayde you if nede required: I promise you I would not be farre of, and cōmit the end to God: my soule is not faint, thoughe my body be wery. But God hath made me euill fauoured in this world, & without grace in the sight of mē, specheles and rude, dull and slowe wytted: your parte shalbe to supplye that lacketh in me, MarginaliaA low hart maketh a man hye with God.remembring, that as lowlines of harte shall make you hye with God, euē so mekenes of wordes shal make you sinke into the hartes of men. MarginaliaAuthoritie to the glory of age.
Meekenes to the glory of youth.
Nature geueth age authoritie, but mekenes is the glory of youth, and geueth them honour. Aboundaunce of loue maketh me excede in bablyng.

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Syr as concernyng Purgatory, and many other thynges, if you be demaunded, you may say, if you erre, the spiritualtie hath so led you, and that they haue taught you to beleue as you do. For they preached you all such thynges out of Gods word, & alleged a thousand textes, by reasō of which textes you beleued as they taught you. But now you finde thē lyers, and that the textes meane no such thynges, & therfore you cā beleue thē no longer, but are as you were before they taught you, & beleue no such thing: MarginaliaPurgatory hath no proufe by scripture.howbeit you are ready to beleue, if they haue any other way to proue it, for without profe you cā not beleue them, when you haue found them with so many lyes. &c. If you perceyue wherin we may helpe, other in beyng still, or doyng somewhat, let vs haue worde, and I will do myne vttermost.

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My Lord of Lōdon hath a seruaunt called Iohn Tisen with a redde beard, & a blacke reddedishe head, and was once my scholler, hee was seene in Antwerpe, but came not among the Englishmē: whether he is gone an Ambassadour secrete, I wotte not.

The mighty God of Iacob bee with you to supplant his enemyes, and geue you the fauour of Ioseph: and the wisedome, & the spirite of Stephen, be with your harte & with your mouth, and teach your lippes what they shall say, and how to aunswere to all thinges. He is our God if we despayre in our selues, and trust in him: and his is the glory. Amen.

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William Tyndall.
¶ I hope our redemption is nigh.

¶ This letter was written. an. 1533. in the moneth of Ianuarye. Which letter although it do pretende the name of Iacob, yet vnderstād (good reader) that it was written in very deede to Iohn Frith, as is aboue tolde thee. For the more profe and euidence wherof read Frithes booke of the Sacrament, and there thou shalt finde a certeine place of this Epistle repeted worde for worde, beginnyng thus 

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See The whole workes of W. Tyndale, John Frith and Doct. Barnes, ed. John Foxe (London, 1572), STC 24436, p. 118.

: I call God to recorde, agaynst the day, we shal appeare before our Lord Iesus to giue a rekenyng of our doynges, that I neuer altered one sillable of Gods word agaynst my cōscience &c. Which Epistle Iohn Frith him self witnesseth that hee receaued frō Tyndall, as in his testimonie aboue appeareth.

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¶ The death of the Lady Katherine and of Queene Anne. 
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Events of 1536-8

This section was added to, and changed significantly, between the 1563 and 1570 editions. The story of the 24 martyrs burned in Paris is attributed to a letter sent to Erasmus by Bartholomew Lani. However no such correspondent is mentioned by .S. Allen, Erasmi Epistolae and it does not appear in the later editions of Erasmus' correspondence either.

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The text of Henry's proclamation 'abolishing the usurped power' of the pope is replaced with the king's protestation against the proposed General Council. The proclamation had been printed in 1535 (A proclamation concerninge heresie (London: Thomas Berthelet - STC 7785) and would have been available to Foxe.

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Foxe's sources for the history of the early reformation in Scotland, which had already appeared in the Rerum (p. 121), are treated in Thomas S. Freeman, 'Fox, Winram and the Martyrs of the Scottish Reformation', Sixteenth Century Journal 27 (1996), pp. 23-46). Here, Freeman explains that Foxe had drawn on Bale's Catalogus and Boece's Scottorum Historia as his main sources. The latter had been translated into English by John Bellenden and published in Edinburgh around 1540. The stories of Queen Anne's last words and of the murder of Robert Packington are taken from Hall (fols 228 and 231).

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David Loades,Honorary Research Fellow,
University of Sheffield

Marginalia1536.
The death of Ladye Katherine, Princesse Dowager.
THe same yeare in which W. Tyndall was burned, which was the yeare of our Lorde. 1536. in the begynnyng of the yeare, fyrst dyed Ladye Katherine Princes Dowager in the moneth of Ianuary.

After whō the same yere also, in the moneth of May

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