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mere necessity constrained him otherwise to do, for defence of truth against wilful blindness and subtle hypocrisy; as in the Practice of Prelates is notorious to be seen. Briefly, such was his modesty, zeal, charity, and painful travail, that he never sought for any thing less, than for himself: for nothing more, than for Christ's glory, and edification of others : for whose cause not only he bestowed his labours, but his life, and blood also. Wherefore not unrightly he might be then, as he is yet called, the apostle of England, as Paul calleth Epaphroditus, the apostle of the Philippians, for his singular care and affection towards them. For as the apostles in the primitive age first planted the church in truth of the Gospel: so the same truth being again decayed and defaced by enemies in this our latter time, there was none that travailed more earnestly in restoring of the same in this realm of England, than did William Tindal.
. With which William Tindal, no leso may be adjoined also John Frith and Dr. Barnes, both for that they, together with him, in one cause, and about one time, sustained the first brunt in this our latter age, and gave the first onset against the enemies : as also for the special gifts of fruitful erudition, and plentiful knowledge, wrought in them by God, and so by them left unto us in their writings. Wherefore, according to our promise in the book of Acts and Monuments, we thought good herein to spend a little diligence in collecting and setting abroad their books together, so many as could be found, to remain as perpetual lamps, shining in the Church of Christ, to give light to all posterity. And although the printer, herein taking great pains, could not peradventure. come by all (howbeit, I trust, there lack not many), yet the Lord be thanked for those which he hath got and here published unto us.' pp. xii. xiii..
Tindal was educated at Oxford, from whence be removed to Cambridge for further improvement in learning, "and especially in the knowledge of the Scriptures, whereunto his mind was singularly addicted.” He afterwards went to be private tutor at the house of one Welch, who is said to have been a knight of Gloucestershire: where his freedom of conversation on religious topics provoked the persecution of the clergy, to avoid whose malice he removed to London. But finding the temper of the times would not permit the accomplishment of his grand object, which was to print a translation of the Bible, he went abroad, and after conversing intimately with Luther and the heads of the reformation in Germany, printed his Bible, and sent it over with several other tracts from Antwerp. The Bishops however employed a person to trepan him from his retreat in that city, and by virtue of an imperial edict he was burnt, after a confinement of a year and a half.
The principal and most pernicious error, in the theology of the Romish church, regarded the subject of justification. Another connected with this, and productive of most mischievous effects, was the erroneous scale upon which the relative merit of works with respect to each other was calcu. lated. Pilgrimages, fasting, and almost every species of will
worship, were held in much higher estimation than that love of God and man which is the sum of all religion. Not only was justification in the sight of God made to depend on the merit of works, but it was held that a man might perform more than was necessary for this purpose. The surplus, called works of supererogation, were deposited with the Pope, together with the infinite merits of Christ, to be disposed of to whomsoever, and on what terms, he pleased. It is obvious, that here was the principal point of attack for the reformers, who were endeavouring to restore the pure religion of Christ, and to vindicate the law and the gospel from the delusive expositions and glosses of an interested Clergy. Men were not only fatally deceived with respect to the nature and attainment of eternal happiness through the merits of Cohrist, but the sale of indulgences, a consequence of these pestilent opinions, threatened by furnishing a continual supply of strength to the papal dominion to establish for ever this spiritual tyranny. To place the doctrine, of justification by faith, which Luther calls " articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiæ,” in a true light, was their primary object. The following extracts, from a treatise of Tindal's in answer to Sir Thomas More, will exhibit his sentiments on this subject. '
• Mark, therefore, the way toward justifying or forgiveness of sin, is the law. God causeth the law to be preached unto us, and writeth it in our hearts, and maketh us by good reasons feel that the law is good, and ought to be kept, and that they which keep it not are worthy to be damned, And on the other side, I feel that there is no power in me to keep the law, whereupon it would shortly follow that I should despair, if i were not shortly holpen. · But God, which hath begun to cure me, and liath laid that corrosive unto my sores, goeth forth in his cure, and setteth his Son Jesus before me and all his passions and death, and saith to me : this is my dear Son, and he hath prayed for thee, and hath suffered all this for thee, and for his sake I will forgive thee all that thou hast done against this good law, and I will heal thy flesh, and teach thee to keep this law, if thou wilt learn. And I will bear with thee, and take all aworth that thou doest, till thou canst do better. And in the mean season, notwithstanding thy weakness, I will yet love thee no less than I do the angels in heaven, so thou wilt be diligent to learn. And I will as sist thee, and keep thee, and defend thee, and be thy shield, and care for thee.' pp. 284, 285.
• Hereof ye see what faith it is that justifieth us. The faith in Christ's blood of a repenting heart toward the law, doth justify us only, and not all manner of faiths. Ye must understand, therefore, that ye may see to come out of More's blind maze, how that there be many faiths, and that all faiths are not one faith, though they are called with one general name. There is a story-faith without feeling in the heart, wherewith I may believe the whole story of the Bible, and yet not set mine heart earnestly thereto, taking it for the food of my soul, to learn to believe and trust God, to love him, 'dread him, ard fear him by the doctrine and examples thereof, but to seem learned and to know the story, to dispute and niake merchandise, after as we have examples enough. And the faith wherewith a man doth miracles, is another gift than the faith of a repenting heart to be sayed through Christ's blood, and the one no kin to the other, though M. More would have thein so appear. Neither is the devil's faith and the Pope's faith (wherewith they believe that there is a God, and that Christ is, and all the story of the Bible, and may yet stand with all wickedness and full consent to evil) kin unto the faith of them that hate evil, and repent of their misdeeds, and acknowledge their sirs, and are fled with full hope ånd trust of mercy unto the blood of Christ.' pp. 286, 287.
Our love and good works make not God 'first love us, and change him from hate to love, as the Turk, Jew, and vain Papist mean, but his love and deeds make us love, and change us from hate to love. For he loved us when we were evil, and his enemies, aś testitieth Paul in divers places, and chose us, to make us good; and to shew us love, and to draw us to him; that we should love again.
i The father loveth his child, when it hath no power to do good, and when it must be suffered to run after his own lusts without law, ani never loveth him better than then, to make him better, and to shew him love, to love again. If ye could see what is written in the first Epistle of John, though all the other scripture were laid apart, ye shoult see all this,
And le must understand, that we sometimes dispute forward, from the cause to the effect, and sometimes backward from the effect to the cause, and must beware that we are not therewith beguiled; we say, summer is come and therefore all is green, and dispute foru ard. For summet is the cause of the gréenness. We say, the trees are green, and therefore summer is come, and dispute backward from the effect to the cause. For the green trees make not summer, but inake summer known. So, we dispute backward ; the man doth good deeds and pra fitable unto his neighbour; he must therefore love God: he loveth God, he must therefore have a true faith and see mercy. i i Ard yei my works make not my love, nor my love mý faithr, ñor my faith God's mercy: but contrary, God's mercy maketh my faith, and my faith my love, and my love my works. And if the Pope could see mercy, and work of love to his neighbour, and not sell his works to God for heaven; after M. Morte's doctrine, we reeded not so subtle disfüting of faith.
* And wlien M. More allegeth Paul to the Coricthians; to prove that Faith may be without love, he proveth nothing, but juggleth only. He šáith, it is evident by the words of Paul, that a mun may have a faith to do miracles without love, and may give all his goods in "alms without love, ana give his body to burn for the name of Christ, and all without charity. Well, I will not stick with him: he may do so without charity and without faith thereto. Then a man may have fai:h without faith. Yea, verily, because there may be many differences of faith, as I have said, and not all faiths one fith, as M. More juggleth. We read in the works of St. Cyprian, that there were martyrs that suffered martyrdom for the name of Christ all the year long, and were tormented and healed again, and then brought forth afresh. Which martyrs behevéd, as ye do, that the pain of their martyrdom should be a deserving and mei it enough not only to deserve heaven for themselves, but to make satisfaction for the sins of other men thereto, and gave pardons of their merits, after the ensample
of the Popo's doctrine, and forgáve t've sins of other men, which had openly denied Christ, and wrote unto Cyprian, that he should receive those men that had den'ed Christ into the congregation again, at the satis. faction of their merits. For which pride Cyprian wrote to them, and called them the devil's martyrs, and hot God's. Those martyrs had a faith without faith. For had they believed that all mercy is given for Christ's blood-shedding, they would have sent other men thither, and vould have suffered their own martyrdom for love of their neighbour's only, to serve them and to testify the truth of God in our Siviour Jesu unto the world, to save at the least way some, that is to wit, the elect, for whose sake Paul suffered all things, and not to win heaven. If I work for a worldly purpose, I get no reward in heaven : even so, if I work for heaven or a higher place in heaven, I get there no reward. But I must do my work for the love of my neighbour, because he is my brother, and the price of Christ's blood, because Christ hath deserved it, and desireth it of me, and then my reward is great in heaven.' pp. 288, 290..
As he proceeds, he thus resolves the apparent contradiction between two of the Apostles.
. And when Paul saith, “faith only justifieth :” and James, “ that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only;" there is great dif.. ference between Paul's only, and James' only. For Paul's only is to be understood, that faith justifieth in the heart and before God, without help of works, yea, and ere I can work. For I must receive life through faith to work with, ere I can work. But James' only is this wise to be understood, that faith doth not so justify, tliat nothing justifieth sav faith. For deeds do justify also. But faith justifieth in the heart and before God, and the deeds before the world only, and make the other seen, as ye may see by the Scripture. - For Paul saith (Rom. iv.) ; « If Abraham have works, he hath whereof to rejoice, but not before God.” For if Abraham 'had received those promises of deserving, then had it been Abraham's praise and not God's, as thou mayst see in the text ; neither had God shewed Abraham mercy and grace, but had only given him his duty and deserving. But in that Abraham received all the mercy that was shewed him, freely through faith, out of the deservings of the seed that was promised him, as thou mayst see by Genesis and by the Gospel of John, where Christ testifieth, “ that Abraham saw his day and rejoiced,” and of that joy no doubt wrought, it is God's praise, and the glory of his inercy. And the same mayst thou see by James, when he saith, " Abraham offered his son, and so was the Scripture fulfilled, that Abraham believed, and it was reckoned him for righteousness, and he was thereby made God's friend."
How was it fulfilled ? Before God? Nay, it was fulfilled before God many years before, and he was God's friend many years before, even from the first appointment that was nrade between God and him. Abraham received promises of all mercy, and believed and trusted God, and went and wrought out of that faith. But it was fulfilled before us which cannot sente the heart, as James saith, “ I will shew thee my faith out of my worke;"*. and as the angel said to Abraham, “ Now I know that thou dreadest God." Not but that he knew it before, but for us spake he that, which can see nought in Abraham more than in other men, save by his works.
And what works meant James? verily, the works of mercy. As if a brother or a sister lack raiment or sustenance, and ye are not moved 10
compassion, nor feel their diseases, what faith have ye then? No faith (be sure that feeleth the mercy that is in Christ. For they that feel that, are merciful again and thankful. But look on the works of our spirituality, which will not only be justified with works before the world, but also before God. They have had all Christendom to rule this eight hundred years, and as they only be anointed in the head, so, have they only been king and emperor, and have had all power in their hands, and have been the doers only and the leaders of those shadows, that have had the name of princes, and have led them whither they would, and have breathed into their brains · what they listed. And they have wrought the world out of peace and unity, and every man out of his welfare, and are become alone well at ease, only free, only at liberty, only have all things, and only do nought therefore, only lay on other men's backs and bear nought themselves. And the good works of them that wrought out of faith, and gave their goods and lands to find the poor, them devour they also alone. And what works preach they? Only that are to them profitable, and whereby they reign in men's consciences, as God: to offer, to give to be prayed for, and to be delivered out of purgatory, and to redeem your sin of them, and to worship ceremonies, and to be shriven, and so forth.' pp. 292,-294.
He concludes his prologue to the Romans, in the following terms:
• Now go to, reader, and according to the order of Paul's writing, even 80 do thou. First, behold thyself diligently in the law of God, and see there thy just damnation. Secondarily, turn thine eyes to Christ, and see there the exceeding mercy of thy most kind and loving Father. Thirdly, remember that Christ made not this atonement that thou shouldst anger God again : neither died he for thy sins, that thou shouldst live still in them, neither cleansed he thee, that thou shouldst return (as a swine) unto thine old puddle again : but that thou shouldst be a new creature, and live a new life after the will of God, and not of the flesh. And be diligent, lest through thine own negligence and unthankfulness, thou lose this favour and mercy again. Farewell.' p. 72.
He every where shews an extensive acquaintance with scripture, great readiness in the application of parallel texts, and in bringing them to bear on the saine point. His expositions are derived from a consistent and comprehensive view of the Bible at large, not directed to the exaltation of one doctrine or duty above the rest. The report which he makes to his readers, is the same which a firm and lively faith conveyed to his own mind, a stedfast trust in the mercy of God through Christ, and the absolute necessity of that obedience which is its genuine result. As his sentiments are generally correct and simple, his statement is orthodox and perspicuous. He is not afraid of any scriptural doctrines because they have been abused by bad men, and his manner of exhibiting them is such that none but bad men would be disposed to abuse them. His agreement with the scriptures necessarily occasions a great coincidence with the episcopal reformers of the subsequent reign. He not only agrees in general with the articles, homiz