Actes and Monumentes of the Church.
diuerse great beneficed men, as Abbots, Deanes, Archedeacons, and other diuerse doctors, and learned men. Amongest whome commonly was talke of learning, as well of Luther & Erasmus Roterodamus, as of opinions in the scripture. The saide Maister Tyndall being learned & which had bene a studēt of diuinitie in Cambridge, and hadde therein taken degree of schole, did many times therin shewe hys mynde and learnyng, wherein as those mē and Tyndall did varie in opinions and iudgementes, then maister Tyndall would shewe them on the booke the places, by open and manifest scripture, the whiche continued for a certaine season, diuerse and sondry tymes vntyll in the continuance thereof, those great beneficed doctors waxed weary and bare a secret grudge in their hartes against maister Tyndall. So vpon a tyme some of these beneficed doctors, had maister Welch and the Lady his wyfe, at a supper or banquet, there hauinge amonge them talke at wyll without any gainsaiyng, and the supper or banquet beyng done, and maister Welche and the Lady his wyfe, came home. They called for maister Tyndall, and talked with hym, of suche communication as hadde bene, where they came fro, and of their opinions. Maister Tyndall thereunto made aunswere agreable to the truthe of gods worde, and in reprouing of their false opiniōs. The Lady Welche being a stoute woman, & as maister Tyndal did reporte her to be wise, beyng there no more but they three, maister Welche his wyfe and maister Tyndall. Well sayde she, there was suche a doctor, he may dispende CC. pounde by the yeare, an other one hundred pounde, and an other three hundreth pounde, and what thynke ye, were it reason that we should beleue you before thē so great learned and beneficed men, Maister Tyndall hearyng her, gaue her no aunswere, nor after that, had but small argumentes against suche, for he perceiued it would not helpe in effect to the contrary. But then did he translate into Englyshe a booke called as I remember Enchiridion militis Christiani. The whiche being translated
This is, of course, Erasmus's celebrated Enchiridion. It is unlikely that Tyndale was the translator of the edition of this work printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1533 and if Tyndale did translate Erasmus's spiritual handbook, then his translation is now lost.
, deliuered to his maister and Lady. And after they hadde read that booke, those great prelates were no more so often called to the house, nor when they came, had the cheare nor countenance as they were wont to haue, the whiche they did well perceiue, and that it was by the meanes and incensing of maister Tyndall, and at the last came no more there. After that, when there was a sytting of the byshops comissarie or chauncelor: And warning was geuen to þe
priests to apeare, maister Tindal was also warned to be there. And whether he had knowledge by their threaning, or þt
he did suspect þt
thei would lay to his charge, it is not now perfitly in my mynde, but thus hetolde me, that he doubted their examinations, so that he in his going thetherwardes prayed in his minde hartely to God to strengthē him, to stande faste in the truthe of his worde, so he being there before them, they layde sore to his charge, sayng he was an heretike in Sophistry an heretike in Logike, an heretike in his diuinitie, and so continueth. But they sayde vnto hym, you beare your selfe boldely of the Gentlemen here in this countrey, but you shall be otherwyse talked with. Then maister Tyndal aunswered them. I am contente that you bryng me where you wyll into anye countrey within England, geuing me x. pound a yeare to lyue with. So you bynde me to nothing but to teache children and preache. Then had they nothing more to saye to hym, and thus he departed and went home to his maister agayne. There dwelt not far of an olde doctour that had bene Archechauncelour to a byshoppe, the whiche was of olde familiar acquaintaunce with maister Tyndal, who also fauoured him well, to whome maister Tyndall went and oped his mynde vpon diuerse questions of the scriptures, for he durst boldly open vnto hym his mynde. That auncient doctor saide, do you not knowe þt
the Pope is the very Antichrist, whiche the scripture speaketh of, but beware what ye saye, for if you shal be perceiued to be of that opinion, it will cost you your lyfe, and sayde, I haue bene an officer of his, but I haue geuen it vp and defie him and all his workes. And sone after Maister Tyndall happened to be in the companie of a learned man, and in cōmuning and disputing with him, droue him to that issue that the learned manne sayde, we were better be without Gods lawe, then the Popes: Maister Tyndall hearing that, answered hym, I defie the Pope and all his lawes, and sayde, if God spare my lyfe ere many yeares, I wyl cause a boye that dryueth þe
plough, shall knowe more of the scripture then thou doest. Shortly after þt
he required his maister maister Welche of his good wyl to depart frō hym, saying to hym, syr: I perceiue that I shal not be suffered to tary long here in this countrey, nor you shalbe able to kepe me out of their handes, and what displeasure you might haue therby is harde to knowe, for the whiche I should be ryght sory. So with the good wyl of his Maister he departed from hym to London, and there taried a whyle and preached. But it was not longe after but he departed out of the Realme into Germanie, and there put forthe certaine bookes of the olde Testament and the hole newe Testament, into the Englyshe tongue, with other diuerse bookes of his owne compiling, the whiche he sent frō thence into Englande, wherby sence thankes be geuē to God, the dore of lyght into the scriptures, hath and dailie is more & more opened[Back to Top]