Thursday, November 3, 2011

William Tyndale's final letter

"I believe, right worshipful, that you are not ignorant of what has been determined concerning me [by the Council of Brabant]; therefore I entreat your lordship and that by the Lord Jesus, that if I am to remain here [in Vilvorde] during the winter, you will request the Procureur  [public prosecutor] to be kind enough to send me from my goods which he has in his possession, 

  • a warmer cap, for I suffer extremely from cold in the head, being afflicted with a perpetual catarrh [ inflammation of a mucous membrane] , which is considerably increased in this cell. 
  • A warmer coat also, for that which I have is very thin: 
  • also a piece of cloth to patch my leggings:
  •  my overcoat is worn out; my shirts are also worn out. 
  • He has a woollen shirt of mine, if he will be kind enough to send it. 
  • I have also with him leggings of thicker cloth for putting on above;
  •  he also has warmer caps for wearing at night. 
  • I wish also his permission to have a lamp in the evening, for it is wearisome to sit alone in the dark.
 But above all, I entreat and beseech your clemency to be urgent with the Procureur that he may kindly permit me to have my 
  • Hebrew Bible, 
  • Hebrew Grammar,
  • and Hebrew Dictionary,
that I may spend my time with that study.

And in return, may you obtain your dearest wish, provided always it be consistent with the salvation of your soul,  but if, before the end of the winter, a different decision be reached concerning me, I shall be patient, abiding the will of God to the glory of the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, whose Spirit, I pray, may ever direct your heart. Amen."

Tittle Page Great Bible 1538-1540
Even in looking towards his own death William's last thought's were to souls of the men who was seeking to take his life. 

These are not the thoughts of a martyr. 

If the King of England would authorize an English edition of the Bible,  William  would come home, to cease his Bible translation, and live a quiet, private life. 

His last words, were a prayer to his Maker.  "God please open the eyes of the King of England".

He was martyred on or near 6 October 1536 in the castle of Vilvoorde near Brussels.  Within four years, at the Kings request,  four English editions were published based upon his work.