« السابقةمتابعة »
glish ; wisely concluding, that an appeal, grounded on that most sacred of all authorities, to the understanding and consciences of mankind, would prove the inost ef. feetual means of destroying the fatal influence of the Romish superstition. Numerous difficulties attending the prosecution of this design in England, he determined to 6x his residence for a time on the Continent, and accordingly, with the advice and concurrence of his friends, he set out for Germany. He first went into Sasouy, where he had several conferences with Luther, and then returning to the Netherlands, he resided chiefly at Antwerp, in the house of oue Thomas Poyntz, an Englishman. Here he entered upon the execution of his great undertaking, the translation of the New Testament into English, which was first printed at Antwerp, about the year 1527 ; he vext began with the Old, and finished the Pentateuch, prefixing discourses to each book, as he had done to those of his former work.
During his abode at Antwerp, he composed several other works, which being published, and afterwards sent over to England, proved of singular use in paving the way for the overthrow of popery in that kingdom Among these were the following, viz. The Obedience of a Christian Man; the Wicked Mammon; A Pathway to the Holy Seriptures; the Practice of Prelates; together with expositions of particular passages of Seripture, and answers to Sir Thomas More, and other writers who defended the established errors. A treatise which he drew up on the Sacrament, and against the Mass, he forbore to publish; thinking the times not yet ripe for so direct an attack on the prevailing idolatry.
In the mean time Bishop Tonstall passing through Antwerp, thought he could render no better service to the Catholie faith, than by procuring the destruction of Tyndale's Testament. An agent was accordingly en. gaged, who furnished the prelate with considerable numbers. But this bigoted proceeding on the part of Tonstall, however differently intended, proved instrumental, in the hand of Providence, for the advancement of the reformed religion. Tyndale bad for some time regretted the insufficiency of his finances to permit his correction of the errors generally attendant on a first edition, and he immediately employed, in printing a
second, the resources which he had procured by the unexpected sale of the first. Vast numbers of these amended copies were now poured into the English dominions, where they were read with avidity by all ranks of people, and rapidly disseminated the principles of the reformation. Alarmed at these effects, the clergy had recourse to their usual artifices, and under the auspices of Sir Thomas More, obtained an ediet prohibiting the circulation or perusal of the Scriptures, and some copies were even openly burnt in London. This proceeding gave universal umbrage; for independent of the indecency of the measure, it clearly developed the interested maxims which guided the policy of the Church of Rome.
When Tyndale had finished his translation of the Pentateuch, he took his passage (in 1589) to Hamburgh, with the intention of having it printed there. But being shipwrecked on the coast of Holland, he lost all his book's and manuscripts, and was consequently reduced to the neressity of beginning anew his laborious task. He did not allow himself to be diseouraged by his loss; but proceeded to Hamburgh, where he met with Coverdale, who assisted bim in accomplishing a second translation of the Books of Moses. During the time they were employed in this work, they were hospitably entertained by Margaret Van Emerson, a religious widow, whose name deserves to be had in remembranee.
With the exception of this interval, Tyndale remained in Flanders, incessantly occupied, both by his writings and conversation, in promoting the great truths of the reformed religion. His old enemies. the English clergy, felt the consequences of his exertions: they dreaded his integrity and abilities, and dissatisfied with the effect of their attempts to counteract him in England, directed their thoughts to the best means of putting an entire stop to his future labours. For this purpose, having secured the interest of Henry and his council, one Henry Phillips was handsomely providesl, and sent over to the Continent, where he established himself at Antwerp, and condncting his plads with great address, at length insinuated himself into the unsuspecting confidence of Tyndale, and under the mask of friendship betrayed him into the hands of his enemies. The contrivances of
Phillips were attended with circumstances of great perfidy; and the whole proceeding, both in its design and executiou, did justice to the cause for which it was undertaken. After bis arrest, he was conveyed to the castle of Fitford, eighteen miles from Antwerp, his papers were all seized, and measures were adopted by the Papists for obtaining his condemnation as a beretic. Nor were the friends of our Reformer, in this unexpected emergeney, Degligent of exertions for his enlargement. His catastrophe had interested all the patrons of the protestant cause in England, particularly the Lord Cromwell; the English merehants at Antwerp also employed all their influence in his favour; and Poyntz, who bore him an affectionate and sincere attachment, was the bearer of reiterated remonstrances to the court of Brussels. The Catholic interest, however, through their agent Philips, followed up their advantage with so much promptitude and address, that every application in Tyndale's behalf proved abortive; and he was at length, after a long examination by the Emperor's council at Augsburgh, condemned to die. He was first strangled by the hands of the common bangman, and afterwards burned, near Fitford castle, in 1536 While the executioner was tying him to the stake, he exclaimed, with a fervent and loud voice, “ Lord, open the King of England's eyes !” During his long imprisonment at Fitford, the power of his doctrine, and the purity of his life, are said to have converted the governor and his daughter, and part of his household, to the Protestant faith. Even ihe officers who conducted his arrest and prosecution, did not withhold the tribute due to his extraordinary piety and endowments; and the Emperor's Attorney General in particular, made this honourable acknowledgment respecting him, that he was, “ Homo doctus, pius, et bonus."
Thus fell this distinguished reformer and martyr, after a life eminently signalized by a variety of labours and sufferings in his Redeemer's serviee. He was powerfully animated by two of the noblest principles that can influence the human heart: a warm attachment to the service of Christ, and an anxious solicitude for the eternal welfare of his countrymen, His learning was ex. tensive and critical, while his conduct proves him to
have been endowed in a remarkable degree with the various graces of the Christian character. In a word, he seems to have amply merited the simple, but comprehensive title of the Apostle of the English."
ld contemplating the distinguished characters that have adorned the annals of the reformation, several considerations present themselves. Execrated and persecuted by one party; and their exertions, in many instances, but inadequately appreciated by the other; these illustrious worthies trod the path of glory which their great exemplar had sanctified, under the inost afflicting privations of social comfort, and in the face of persecution and death. Let us revere the genius of a religion which prompted and enabled the sacritice, and while we afford them the tribute of our admiration and gratitude, let us not forget the benefits we may indivi. dually derive from the adoption of the exalted principles upon which they acted.
EXERCISES OF A BIBLE CLASS.
**The following schedule of the recitations and familiar lecturing
at the first meeting of a BIBLE CLAss which uses the Reference Testament, we give in all the elegant simplicity in which it was communicated by our highly valued Correspondent.
BEING assembled for the purpose of receiving instruetion from the Scriptures, and needing the enlightening and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, let us unite
QUESTION 1. What does the word Bible, mean? It means the book : is used by way of distinction, and on this account, is the title of the Book of God.
2. How is the Bible divided ? Into the Old Testas ment, and the New.
3. What does the word Testament mean? It means a covenant.
4. Why is the Bible called the Testament? Because it contains the covenant of God for the salvation of his people.
5. Why is one part called the Old Testament, and the other the New? Because one part was given first, and reveals God's covenant more obscurely: the other was given last, and reveals it with greater clearness. 6. How is the Old T ament divided :
Into thirtynine books; called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, &c.
7. How did Christ speak of the Old Testament, as divided ? Into the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets.
8. What are the first five books of the Old Testament sometimes called ? The Pentateuch.
9. By whom were they written ? Moses.
10. At what time did Moses live? About 1500 years before Christ.
11. How long before Christ was the creation of the world : About 4000 years.
12. How long before Christ was the closing of the Old Testament? About 400 years.
13. How is the New Testament divided ? Into 27 books; called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, &c.
14. What a re the first four books sometimes called ? The Gospels.
15. What does the word Gospel, mean? Glad tidings.
16. What is meant by the authenticity of the Bible ? That it was written by the persons whose names it bears.
17. What is meant hy the genuineness of the Bible ? That it is a true History :- a statement of facts.
18. What is meant by the inspiration of the Bible ? That the Holy Ghost directed the writers what to write, and how to write it; in order that the Bible, as a rule of faith and practice, might be perfect. The Holy Ghost was the Director, and men were the instruments of committing it to writing of course the Author of this book is God. On this
account, it is called The word of God."
19. What are some of the evidences that the Bible is inspired ?
| The united conviction of good men.