Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Through Faith They Still Speak (8/30/05)

"A thousand books had they lever to be put forth against their abominable doings and doctrine, than that the scripture should come to light. For as long as they may keep that down, they will so darken the right way with the mist of their sophistry, and so tangle them that either rebuke or despise their abominations, with arguments of philosophy, and with worldly similitudes and apparent reasons of natural wisdom, and with wresting the scripture unto their own purpose, clean contrary unto the process, order, and meaning of the text; and so delude them in descanting upon it with allegories, and amaze them, expounding it in many senses before the unlearned lay-people, (when it hath but one simple, literal sense, whose light the owls cannot abide,) that, though thou feel in thine heart, and art sure, how that all is false that they say, yet couldst thou not solve their subtle riddles. Which thing only moved me to translate, the new Testament. Because I had perceived by experience, how that it was impossible to establish the lay-people in any truth, except the scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother-tongue, that they might see the process, order, and meaning of the text: for else, whatsoever truth is taught them, these enemies of all truth quench it again, partly with the smoke of their bottomless pit, whereof thou readest in Apocalypse, chap. ix. (that is, with apparent reasons of sophistry, and traditions of their own making, founded without ground of scripture,) and partly in juggling with the text, expounding it in such a sense as is impossible to gather of the text" (William Tyndale, Reformation History Library [Albany, Oregon: AGES Software, 1998], Doctrinal Treatises, p. 354)