William Tyndale, Translator of the English Bible, is Strangled
On Friday, the 6th of October 1536, William Tyndale was led forth to die. Having been bound to the stake, he was first strangled, and his dead body then burned to ashes. His last words, uttered with fervent zeal, and in a loud voice, were these: "Lord, open the king of England's eyes!" Thus perished, a victim to priestcraft, the purest of England's patriots--the best and greatest man of his time.
There is no grander life in the whole annals of the Reformation than that of William Tyndale--none which comes nearer in its beautiful self-forgetfulness to His who "laid down His life for His sheep." Many a man has suffered in order that a great cause might conquer by means of himself. No such thought sullied the self-devotion of Tyndale. He issued his earlier editions of the New Testament without a name, "following the counsel of Christ which exhorteth men to do their good deeds secretly." "I assure you," said he to Vaughan, the envoy of the king, "if it would stand with the king's most gracious pleasure to grant a translation of the Scripture to be put forth among his people like as it is put forth among the subjects of the emperor here, be it the translation of whatsoever person he pleases, I shall immediately make faithful promises never to write more nor abide two days in these parts after the same, but immediately repair unto his realm, and there humbly submit myself at the feet of his royal majesty, offering my body to suffer what pain or torture, yea, what death his grace wills, so that this be obtained."
Poverty and distress and misrepresentation were his constant lot; imprisonment and death were ever staring him in the face; but "none of these things moved him, neither counted he his life dear unto him" for the accomplishment of the work which God had set him.
No higher honor could be given to any man than to be selected for such a work, and among all the heroes of the Reformation none worthier of the honor could be found than William Tyndale.
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