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III. Mr. Blunt says,-—"There was much justification for this (i. e. the buying up of the second edition by Archbishop Warham) in the 'prologues,' the 'glosses, and the false renderings of Tyndale's translation (the first alone occupying as. much space as the translation itself).”
With regard to the space occupied by the prologues, we will only observe that, had Mr. Blunt taken the trouble to examine any edition of Tyndale's New Testament containing the prologues, he could not have been guilty of the extravagant and preposterous assertion which we have just quoted.
As regards their contents, we can readily believe that, had Mr. Blunt read these prologues—which, as far as we have opportunity of judging, he has condemned unseen-he would have found but little which would have been in accordance with his own theological system, in the exposition which they contain of that Gospel which Tyndale had found to be the power of God unto his own salvation, and in order to the communication of which to others he was willing to spend and be spent, not counting his life dear unto himself, so that others might be partakers with him of that “like precious faith," the nature and results of which are set forth in the short extracts which follow from the prologue to the Epistle to the Romans :
“All our justifying then cometh of faith, and faith and the Spirit come of God, and not of us. When we say, faith bringeth the Spirit, it is not to be understood that faith deserveth the Spirit, or that the Spirit is not present in us before faith ; for the Spirit is ever in us, and faith is the gift and working of the Spirit, but through preaching the Spirit beginneth to work in us. And as by preaching the law he worketh the fear of God, so by preaching the glad tidings he worketh faith. And now when we believe and are come under the covenant of God, then are we sure of the Spirit by the promise of God, and then the Spirit accompanieth faith inseparably, and we begin to feel his working. And so faith certifieth us of the Spirit, and also bringeth the Spirit with her, unto the working of all other gifts of grace, and to the working out of the rest of our salvation, until we have altogether overcome sin, death, hell, and Satan, and are come unto the everlasting life of glory. And for this cause we say, Faith bringeth the Spirit.”'*
Again Tyndale describes the working of a living faith thus :
“But right faith is a thing wrought by the Holy Ghost in us, which changeth us, turneth us into a new nature, and begetteth us anew in God, and maketh us the sons of God, as thou readest in the first of John; and killeth the old Adam, and maketh us altogether new in the heart, mind, will, lust, and in all our affections and powers of the soul; the Holy Ghost ever accompanying her and ruling the heart. Faith is a lively thing, mighty in working,
* Tyndale's Doctrinal Treatises, pp. 488, 489 (Parker Society Edition). Vol. 68.-No. 379.
valiant, and strong, ever doing, ever fruitful; so that it is impossible that he who is endued therewith should not work always good works without ceasing. He asketh not whether good works are to be done or not, but hath done them already, ere mention be made of them; and is always doing, for such is his nature; for quick faith in his heart, and lively moving of the Spirit, drive him and stir him thereunto. Whosoever doth not good works is an unbelieving person, and faithless, and looketh round about him, groping after faith and good works, and wotteth not what faith or good works mean, though he babble never so many things of faith and good works."*
Once more Tyndale concludes this instructive prologue in the words which follow :
“Now go to, reader, and according to the order of Panl's writing, even so do thou. First, behold thyself diligently in the law of God, and see there thy just damnation. Secondly, 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 shouldest anger God again; neither died He for thy sins that thou shouldest live still in them; neither cleansed he thee that thou shouldest return, as a swine, unto thine old puddle again; but that thou shouldest 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.”+
In whatever light, however, these extracts may be regarded by Mr. Blunt, few of our readers will, we believe, discern in them “much justification” for the relentless animosity with which not only Warham and Tunstal, but also Wolsey, Mr. Blunt's “real leader of the Reformation," persecuted, as destroyers of the faith, those who were employed in the circulation of the purest English version of the New Testament then existing, even had that version been invariably accompanied by the prologues from which we have quoted. But whatever difference of opinion may exist upon the merit or demerit of Tyndale's Prologues, there can be none as regards the verdict which must be pronounced upon the fidelity of Mr. Blunt as an historian, when we assert, as an indisputable fact, that this socalled “second edition” of Tyndale's New Testament, the destruction of which Mr. Blunt justifies on the ground of the pernicious character of its contents, contained neither the Prologues nor the Glosses which have incurred so severe a condemnation. I
* Tyndale's Doctrinal Treatises, p. edition, Mr. Blunt's" Second Edition," 493 (Parker Society Edition).
contained neither the Prologues nor + Ibid. p. 510.
the Glosses. See Mr. Fry's Introduc. | It was the quarto edition, pro tion to his Facsimile Reprint of Tyn. bably that begun at Cologne, and dale's New Testament; also Anderson's which is described by Mr. Blunt as Annals, p. 39, and Westcott's History the “first,” which contained the Pro. of the English Bible, p. 40, note. logues and the Glosses. The octavo
IV. We have already alluded to Mr. Blunt's sweeping condemnation of Tyndale's version of the New Testament on another ground-viz., that of one omission which he thinks he has discovered in it. The words in which he prefers his accusation are as follows:
"In some editions of Tyndale's New Testament,” he says in a foot-note to p. 514, “there is what must be regarded as a wilful omission of the gravest possible character, for it appears in several editions, and has no shadow of justification in the Greek or Latin of the passage. It is in the printing of 1 Peter ü. 13, 14. .. .. . Here the words 'whether it be unto the king, as chief head,' which appear in other editions, are altogether left out. Such an error was quite enough justification for the suppression of Tyndale's translation.”
Assuming for the present the truth of Mr. Blunt's positive assertion,-an assertion apparently so well sustained that it might well be accepted by his readers,—we submit that, in the case of a man of such singular simplicity of heart and unfeigned reverence for the Scriptures, Tyndale's solemn protestation that he “never altered one syllable of God's Word against his conscience,” nor would so do “if all that is in the earth” were given him,* is entitled to belief; and consequently, that any deviations from the original text, which may be detected in this as in other early versions of the Scriptures, should, in the absence of direct evidence to the contrary, be regarded as undesigned, and not as intentional.# It so happens, however, that in this, as in the other cases to which we have had occasion to refer, the vindication of Tyndale is com. plete, and the responsibility incurred by a charge of "the utmost possible gravity,” for which some “shadow of justification" is all that the largest measure of charity can allow, must rest upon the head of Mr. Blunt. The editions to which Mr. Blunt appeals in support of this serious charge against Tyndale's version of the New Testament, are, in his own words, as follows:-“Edd. of 1531 and 1534, Douce B. 226, 237. Bodi. Lib.” It would hardly be believed, were we not prepared to state the facts on indisputable authority,
(1) That the former of these two Editions, so far from being proved to have been printed in 1531, bears no date, and is
* Quoted by Westcott, p. 66.
+ To any one at all acquainted with Tyndale's views on the obedience due to kings, the supposition that the omission in question, if proved, was intentional, is simply absurd, as the following quotations from “The Obedience of a Christian Man” will suf. fice to establish. “For it is written, 'Let every soul submit himself unto
the authority of the higher powers.'
thought to have been printed in or about 1542, i.e. six years after Tyndale's death.
(2) That the second of the Editions to which Mr. Blunt appeals, so far from being proved to have been printed in 1534, is, like the former, imperfect, and is believed to have been printed in or about 1549, i.e. thirteen years after Tyndale's death; and,
(3) That in Tyndale's own Editions of 1525 and 1534, the words in question are not omitted.
The only “shadow of justification” of which we are aware, in this instance, for Mr. Blunt's unfounded and, we must add, most unjustifiable charge, is that in some of the Editions of Tyndale's New Testament, published after his death, the words in question are omitted. We readily accord to Mr. Blunt that plea for mercy, to which the extenuating circumstances of habitual carelessness and of insuperable prejudice may be deemed to entitle him. We observe only, that even had the omission of the words in question been established, a more rash assertion than that of Mr. Blunt has never been advanced, and, unless sustained by other evidence than that which has been adduced, a more wanton accusation has never been preferred.
We have yet two more strictures to make on Mr. Blunt's account of the labours and the sufferings of Tyndale. His estimate of the value of the former is contained in the following words:"Tyndale was, in fact, thrusting himself forward as a translator for party purposes, and rather hindering than otherwise the progress of that Authorized Version, which alone was ever likely to win its way with a people naturally respecting authority.” (p. 547.)
It might be hard to decide whether these words betray more conspicuously the ignorance or the prejudice of the writer. The first impression of the reader would doubtless be that they owe their origin to the latter, but Mr. Blunt's previous assertion (p. 514), that “the Authorized Version of 1539” was “ a new translation," seems to entitle him to the full benefit of the former alternative; and his further assertion, that “it cannot reasonably be doubted that the divers excellent learned men' who made this translation from the Hebrew and Greek texts were those who had 'sent to Lambeth their parts corrected, in 1535,'” (p. 515), removes all remaining doubt upon the subject. We entirely absolve Mr. Blunt, therefore, from the charge of any wilful misrepresentation when he wrote these words. Nay more, as we should regret that one who takes so deep an interest in this subject should remain the victim of ignorance which a few moments would suffice to dispel, we will state for his information, that the most superficial comparison of the Edition of 1539, commonly known as the Great Bible,
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with the translations of Tyndale and of Coverdale, will remove from his mind every doubt respecting the “excellent learned men who made this translation;" and, if he should desire to be accurately acquainted with their respective shares in the work, we will add yet further, that the Edition of April 1539, was one revised by Coverdale from that of 1537, which was “made up of Tyndale's translation from Genesis to 2 Chronicles, and his revised New Testament of 1535, with the remainder of the Old Testament, including Jonah and the Apocrypha from Coverdale."*
It remains that we briefly notice Mr. Blunt's account of Tyndale's death. We have already seen that Mr. Blunt regards as an invention of “the popular imagination," the statement that Tyndale “was burned at the stake for daring to translate the New Testament into English ;” and he states yet more distinctly, for the benefit of his readers, that Tyndale's “ death had nothing to do with his translation of the New Testament."
Again, we are constrained to renew the enquiry, Are these statements the result of pure ignorance, or of insuperable prejudice? We incline, in this case, to the conclusion that it is to the influence of both these agencies, combined with an utter incapacity to appreciate Tyndale's noble and disinterested character, that we must ascribe Mr. Blunt's gross misrepresentation of the close of that illustrious man's career. Our limits will not permit us to detail the treacherous attempts of Wolsey, as well as of More, of Cromwell, and of Gardiner, to inveigle Tyndale ; and we can readily understand that, if Mr. Blunt has ever heard of them, he had reasons of sufficient strength for not communicating them to his readers. We can but direct those who may desire to examine this subject for themselves, to the deeply interesting pages of the late Mr. Christopher Anderson, in his “Annals of the English Bible,” to which we have already so frequently referred.
We are really curious, however, to discover on what ground Mr. Blunt regards Tyndale's martyrdom as an invention of the “popular imagination.”
If, as may be inferred from the emphatic manner in which we are assured that Tyndale had been strangled previously to the burning of his body (p. 547), death by fire be, in Mr.
" There is no evidence to show that Cranmer had any share in the preparation of the Great Bible.... The selection of Coverdale for the execution of the work, and Coverdale's correspondence, distinctly mark it as Cromwell's sole enterprise." (Westcott, p. 100.) Mr. Westcott gives at some length (pp. 221) the circumstantial
evidence upon which " the new translation" of Joshua, 2 Chron., is as. signed to Tyndale. The same writer observes, “And so it was that at last, by a strange irony, 'my Lord of London' authorised what was in a large part substantially the very work of Tyndale which he had before condemned and burnt." (Westcott, p. 101, 102.)