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1270 [1270]

K. Henry. 8. The storye and letters of William Tyndall, Martyr.

the sword of the wrath of God may bee put vp agayne, whiche for that cause, no doubt, is most chiefly drawne.

MarginaliaThe thyrd peticion of Tyndall.Thyrdly, my petition is to his grace, to haue compassion on hys poore subiectes, that the realme vtterly perish not with the wicked counsayle of our pestilent Prelates. For if hys grace, whiche is but a man, should dye, the Lordes and commons not knowing who hath most ryght to enioy the crowne, the realme could not but stād in great daunger.

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MarginaliaThe 4. peticion of Tyndall.
Limitation of succession to the crowne.
My fourth sute and exhortation is to all the Lordes temporall of the realme, that they come and fall before the kynges grace, and humbly desire his maiestie, to suffer it to be tryed, who of right ought to succede: And if he or she fayle who next, and who thyrd. And let it be proclaymed openly: and let all the Lordes temporall bee sworne therto, and all the knyghtes and squyers and gentlemen, and the commons aboue xviij. yeares olde, that there be no strife for the succession. If they trye it by the sword, I promise them, I see no other likelyhode but it will cost the realme of England. &c. MarginaliaI pray God thys be not a prophecie agaynst England.

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MarginaliaThe fifte peticion of Maister Tyndall.Further, of all the subiectes of Englād this I craue, that they repent. For the cause of euill rulers is the sinne of the subiectes as testifieth the Scripture. And the cause of false preachers is, that the people haue no loue vnto the truth, sayth Paul in the 2. Chapter of the 2. Episte to the Thessalonians 

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1 Thess. 4:2.

. We be all sinners an hundred tymes greater then all that we suffer. Let vs therefore eche forgeue other, remēbryng þt greater sinners, the more well come, if we repent accordyng to þe similitude of þe riotous sonne 
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I.e., the prodigal son; see Luke 15:11-32.

Luke. xv. For Christ dyed for sinners and is theyr Sauiour, and hys bloud theyr treasure to pay for theyr synnes. He is that fatted calfe whiche is slayne to make them good cheare withall, if they will repent and come to their father agayne: and hys merites is the goodly rayment to couer the naked deformities of their synnes.

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Finallye, if the persecution of the kynges grace and of other temporall persons conspiryng with the spiritualtie, be of ignoraunce, I doubt not but that theyr eyes shalbe opened shortly and they shall see and repent, and God shall shewe them mercye. But if it be of a set malice agaynst the truth, and of a grounded hate agaynst the law of God, by the reason of a full consent they haue to synne and to walke in their old wayes of ignorauncye, whereunto beyng now past all repentaunce, they haue vtterly yelded them selues, to folow with full lust without brydle or snaffle, whiche is the sinne agaynst the holy Ghost: then ye shall see euen shortly, that God shall turne the point of the sworde wherewith they now shede Christes bloud, homeward to shede theyr own agayne, after all the examples of the Bible.

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These things thus discoursed pertainyng to the story and doinges of Tyndall, finally it remayneth to inferre certeine of his priuate letters & epistles, wherof amōg diuers other which haue not come to our hands, two speciall he wrote to Iohn Fryth, one properly vnder his owne name, an other vnder the name of Iacob, 

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In the 1563 edition, Foxe knew that the letter to 'Jacob' was written by Tyndale, but he did not know that 'Jacob' was an alias for John Frith. Foxe learned of this by the time the 1570 edition was

but in very deede was written and deliuered to Iohn Fryth, being prisoner then in the tower, as ye shall further vnderstād by the sequele hereafter. The copie and tenour of the epistles here followeth.

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¶ A Letter sent from M. Tyndall, vnto Maister Frith, beyng in the tower.

MarginaliaA letter of Maister Tyndall to M. Frith.THe grace and peace of God our father, and of Iesus Christ our Lord, be with you. Amen. Dearly beloued brother Iohn, I haue heard saie, how the hypocrites now that they haue ouercome that great busines which letted them, or at the least way, haue brought it at a stay, they returne to their old nature againe. The will of God be fulfilled, and that which he hath ordayned to bee ere the world was made, that come, and his glory reigne ouer all.

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Derely beloued, how euer the matter be, commit your selfe wholy and only vnto your most louing father, and most kinde Lorde, and feare not men that threate, nor trust men that speake faire: but trust him that is true of promise, and able to make his worde good. Your cause is Christs gospell, a light that must be fed with the bloud of faith. The lampe must be dressed and snuffed dayly, and that oyle poured in euery euening and morning, that þe light go not out. Though we be sinners, yet is þe cause right. MarginaliaPet. 2.If whē we be buffeted for well doing, we suffer paciētly and endure, that is acceptable to God 

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1 Peter 2: 20.

for to that ende weare called. For Christ also suffered for vs, leauing vs an example that we should followe his steppes, who did no sinne. Hereby haue we perceyued loue, that he layed downe hys life for vs: therfore we ought also to laye downe our lyues for the brethren 
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1 John 3: 16.

. Marginalia1. Iohn. 3. Reioyce and be glad, for great is your reward in heauen. 
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Matt. 5: 11-12.

MarginaliaMath. 5..For we suffer with hym that we may also be glorified wyth hym: MarginaliaRom. 8.who shall chaunge our vile bodye, that it may be fashioned like vnto hys glorious body, according to the workyng wherby he is able euen to subiecte all thinges vnto hym. 
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Romans 8: 13, Phil. 3: 21.

MarginaliaPhil. 3.

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MarginaliaBoldnes of spirit.Derely beloued, be of good courage, and comfort your soule with the hope of this hye rawarde, and beare the image ef Christ in your mortall body, that it may at hys comming be made like to his immortall: and follow the ensample of all your other deare brethren, which chose to suffer in hope of a better resurrection. MarginaliaWounde not conscience.Kepe your conscience pure and vndefiled, and say agaynst that nothyng. MarginaliaStanding vpon things necessary.Sticke at necessary thinges, & remēber the blasphemyes of þe enemyes of Christ, saying: they fynde none but that will abiure rather then suffer the extremitie. MarginaliaDeath after denying, euill spoken of by the aduersaries.Moreouer, the death of them that come agayne after they haue once denyed, though it be accepted with God and all that beleue, yet is it not glorious, for the hypocrites say, he must nedes dye, deniyng helpeth not: But might it haue holpen, they would haue denyed fyue hundreth tymes: but seyng it would not helpe them, therfore of pure pride and mere malice together, they speake with their mouthes, that their cōscience knoweth false. MarginaliaObedience to God.If you geue your selfe, cast your selfe, yelde your selfe, commit your selfe wholy and onely to your louyng father: then shall hys power be in you and make you stronge, and that so strong, that you shall feele no payne: which should be to an other present death: and hys spirite shall speake in you, and teache you what to aūswere, according to his promise. He shall set out hys truth by you wonderfully, and worke for you aboue al that your hart cā imagine: Yea, and you are not yet dead, thoughe the hypocrites all, with all they can make, haue sworne your death. Vna salus victis nullam sperare salutem: MarginaliaTo loke for no mans helpe, bringeth Gods helpe.
Constancie in standing.
Pacience in sufferyng.
To looke for no mans helpe, bryngeth the helpe of God to them that seme to be ouercome in þe eyes of the hypocrites: Yea it shall make God to cary you through thicke and thynne for hys truthes sake, in spite of all þe enemyes of hys truth. There falleth not an heare till hys houre be come: and when his houre is come, necessitie caryeth vs hence though we be not willyng. But if we be willyng, then haue we a reward and thanke.

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Feare not threatnyng therefore, neither be ouercome of sweete wordes: with whiche twaine the hypocrites shall assaile you. Neither let the persuasions or worldly wisedome beare rule in your hart: no, thoughe they be your frendes that coūsaile you. MarginaliaBilney.Let Bilney be a warnyng to you. Let not their visure beguile your eyes. Let not your bodye faint. MarginaliaPerseuerance to the ende.He that endureth to the end, shalbe saued. 

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Matt. 10: 22.

If the paine be aboue your strength, remēber: What soeuer ye shall aske in my name, I wil giue it you. MarginaliaMath. 21.And pray to your father in that name, & he will ease your payne, or shorten it. The Lord of peace, of hope, and of fayth, bee with you. Amen.

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William Tyndall.

MarginaliaTwo Martyrs at ANtwarpe.TWo haue suffred in Antwerpe, In die sanctæ Crucis, vnto the great glorye of the Gospell: MarginaliaFoure Martyrs in Flaunders, and one at S. Luke.foure at Ryselles in Flaunders, & at Luke hath there one at the least suffered, & all the same day. MarginaliaPersecution at Roan.At Roane in Fraūce they persecute. MarginaliaFiue doctors at Paris takē for the Gospel.And at Paris are v. Doctours taken for the Gospell. See, you are not alone: Be chearefull and remember that among the hard harted in England, there is a nomber reserued by grace: for whose sakes if nede bee, you must be ready to suffer. Sir if you may write, how short so euer it bee, forget it not, that we may know how it goeth with you, for our hartes ease. The Lord be yet agayne with you, with all hys plenteousnes, and fill you that you flowe ouer. Amen.

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If when you haue read this, you may send it to Adrian, doe I pray you, that hee may know how that our harte is with you.

George Ioye at Candlemas being at Barrowe, printed ij. leaues of Genesis in a great forme, and sent one Copy to the kyng, and an other to the new Queene, with a letter to N. for to deliuer them: and to purchase licence, that he myght so go throughe all the Bible. Out of that is sprong the noyse of the new Bible 

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This would be the New Testament of 1534.

: and out of that is the great seekyng for English bookes at all Printers and booke bynders in Antwerpe, and for an Englishe Priest that should Print.

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