William Tyndale -
Oh Lord, open the King of England's eyes!
I was born near Wales, and brought up from a
child in the University of Oxford. There I increased in the knowledge of
languages, and other liberal arts, as especially in the knowledge of the
Scriptures. I was addicted to the Scriptures; insomuch that I often privately
read to students, instructing them in the knowledge and truth of the Scriptures.
Later, I met Master Welch, a knight of Gloucestershire, and became schoolmaster
to his children, and over time was in good favor with him. Master Welch allowed
me to sit at their table, and often we talked of learned men, such as Luther and
of Erasmus; as well as many other questions about the Scripture.
I showed them simply and plainly when they at any time disagreed with the
Scriptures: I would lay plainly before them the Scriptures, confute their
errors, and confirm Godís sayings. And so we continued for a certain season,
reasoning and contending together for a time, until at length they became weary,
and bare a secret grudge in their hearts against me.
As this grew on, the priests of the country began to grudge and rail against me,
claiming my teachings were heresy; and accused me secretly to the chancellor. I
was brought before the chancellor, and he threatened and treated me like a dog
and charged me--with no accuser--but the priests of the country were there. But
I escaped returned to my master again.
There was a doctor who lived nearby, whose heart was open to the truth of the
Scriptures, and prophetically said to me, "Do you not know 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."
Not long after, I was with another doctor who said these blasphemous words, "We
were better to be without God's laws than the pope's." The grudge of the priests
increased against me, and they never ceased harassing me. I finally had to leave
Humphrey Mummuth, alderman of London, took me into his house, where I lived (as
Mummuth said) like a good priest, studying both night and day. I stayed in
London almost a year, observing the course of the world--especially the demeanor
of the preachers, how they boasted themselves, and set up their authority, who
greatly disliked me. Plus, there was no room in the house to translate the new
testament, and so I had to leave, again.
By God's providence I departed to Germany, where I considered that if the
Scripture were turned into common speech, that the poor people might read and
see the simple plain Word of God. I saw that it wasnít possible to establish the
lay people in any truth, except the Scriptures were so plainly laid before their
eyes in their mother tongue that they might see the meaning of the text for
themselves. Because whatever truth was taught to them, the enemies of the truth
would quench it with traditions of their own making, not founded in the
I considered this to be the source of all mischief in the Church: the Scriptures
of God were hidden from the people's eyes for so long the abominable doings and
idolatries maintained by the pharisaical clergy could not be seen for what it
For these and many other considerations I was stirred up by God to translate the
Scripture into my mother tongue, first setting to translate the New Testament,
which came forth in print about A.D. 1525. Cuthbert Tonstal, bishop of London,
and Sir Thomas More were mad with rage and planned to destroy my false erroneous
translation, as they called it.
Eventually, I was betrayed to the authorities, and arrested in Antwerp in 1535
and held in the castle of Vilvoorde near Brussels.
In prison, I was offered an advocate which I refused, saying that I would make
answer for myself. I preached to them who had me locked up, and those in the
Castle reported that if I were not a good Christian man, they knew not whom they
might take to be one.
I was tried on a charge of heresy in 1536 and condemned to the stake, despite
Thomas Cromwell's intercession on my behalf. I was strangled, but I regained
consciousness, and finally was burned alive on 6 October 1536. My final words
"Oh Lord, open the King of England's eyes!Ē
--bro. tim pickl
compiled Saturday May 5, 2007 A.D.
Return to Tim Pickl's Poetry Page
 Behold, how good and how
pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon
the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the
mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for
 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you
that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one
another in love;
 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope
of your calling;
 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in
 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of
the gift of Christ.
 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity
captive, and gave gifts unto men.
 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first
into the lower parts of the earth?
 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all
heavens, that he might fill all things.)
 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for
the edifying of the body of Christ:
 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the
knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature
of the fulness of Christ:
 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and
carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things,
which is the head, even Christ:
 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that
which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure
of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth
walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of
God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their
 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto
lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
 But ye have not so learned Christ;
 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the
truth is in Jesus:
 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man,
which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in
righteousness and true holiness.
 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his
neighbour: for we are members one of another.
 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
 Neither give place to the devil.
 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working
with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that
 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that
which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the
 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto
the day of redemption.
 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil
speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
 But wilt thou know, O vain
man, that faith without works is dead?
 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered
Isaac his son upon the altar?
 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith
 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God,
and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of
 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith
 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she
had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works
is dead also.