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THE FIRST PRINTED ENGLISH BIBLES.
but he perceived they had printed more since, and he could not see how they could be kept from doing that, unless his lordship would likewise buy the types and presses. About the same time, George Constantine, who was suspected of heresy, being examined by Sir Thomas More, and asked, by whom Tyndale, Roye, and others beyond sea, were furnished with money from hence, replied that it was the Bishop of London who had helped them, for he had bestowed a great deal of money among them upon New Testaments to burn them; and that had been, and yet was, their only succour and comfort. Unable to accomplish their design, the prelates vented their rage upon those who were suspected of heresy. The word of God, however, grew and multiplied; for the burning of it was looked upon among the people as a shocking profanation. As soon as Tyndale had finished the New Testament, he translated from Hebrew to English, the five books of Moses. But going by sea to Hamburgh to have it printed there, the vessel in which he was going was wrecked on the coast of Holland, so that he lost all his money, books, and writings, and he was forced to begin anew. How ever he came in another ship to Hamburgh, where, by his appointment, Miles Coverdale waited for him, and assisted him in translating the Pentateuch from Hebrew to English, from Easter to December, 1529, in the house of Mrs. Van Emmerson, widow. It was printed in 1530; and he afterwards made an English version of the prophecy of Jonah, with a large prologue, which was published in 1531; but he published no more books of the scripture then. If he translated any other books, when he was apprehended they fell into the hands of the officers-and the manuscripts would, no doubt, be destroyed. Of this first edition the industrious Mr. Wanley wrote the following memorandum in his copy of Wood's Athenæ; 'I never yet, notwithstanding all my searches, saw any copie of this edition.' The only copy of which we have heard that was preserved from the flames, was one in possession of the ingenious Joseph Ames. Tyndale acknowledged in his Preface to his subsequent edition that there were in this 'many fautes whyche lacke of helpe at the beginnyng and oversight did sow therein.' Therefore he set himself about looking over and correcting it again, though his second edition did not come out till 1534. But the Dutch printers, finding it a book in great request, published a new edition of it in 1527, 12mo; and about a year after, another, in a larger letter and
THE FIRST PRINTED ENGLISH BIBLES.
volume, with figures in the Revelations; in all about 5,000 copies, as has been already mentioned. The price of Tyndale's was seven or eight groat's apiece, but the Dutch sold theirs at the rate of thirteenpence each, or 300 for £16 5s. But the printers not understanding English, committed a great many faults. However they printed a third edition in 1529, which went off so well that this, as well as the former, were all sold before 1530; in which year they proceeded to a fourth edition of about 2,000, in a small volume and letter, more incorrect than the former, which, however, were soon all disposed of. And in 1534 the Dutch printed a fifth edition, which they got George Joye, a Bedfordshire man, Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, to correct. Tyndale's own second edition of his New Testament was imprinted at Antwerp, by Martin Emperour, Anno MDXXXİV., 8vo.'
In 1536 there came out another edition with this title, 'The Newe Testament yet once agayne corrected by Wm. Tyndale. Printed in the yere of oure Lorde God M.D. and XXXVI.,' in a broad 4to. And the same year another edition, printed very probably in Scotland, in a large 4to. Likewise one in a smaller 4to, and a smaller 8vo, and some others in 8vo, 12mo, and 18mo.
The English Translation of the Pentateuch, or Five Books of Moses, mentioned above to have been printed in 1530, is in a small 8vo volume, which seems to have been printed at several presses, as we may suppose the time would admit. Genesis and Numbers are in the Dutch letter, and contain, the one seventy-six leaves, and the other sixty-seven. Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, are printed in the Roman letter, with now and then a capital of the black letter intermixed, as was done in books printed about this time at Zurich. Exodus contains seventy-six leaves, Leviticus fifty-two, and Deuteronomy sixty-three. To every one of these books is prefixed a prologue; and at the end of Genesis, Exodus, Deuternomy, and at the beginning of Numbers, are tables expounding certain words. In the margin are some notes, and it is adorned with ten wood cuts. The first printed edition of the whole English Bible was in 1535, in folio. The translator and publisher was Miles Coverdale, afterwards Bishop of Exeter, who revised Tyndale's version, compared it with the originals, and supplied what had been untranslated by Tyndale. It was printed at Zurich, and was dedicated to King Henry VIII. And this was the Bible which, by Lord Thomas Cromwell's
THE FIRST PRINTED ENGLISH BIBLES.
injunction of September, 1536, was ordered to be laid in churches. The next year, 1537, whether it was that Archbishop Cranmer had a mind to have Tyndale's Prologues and Notes reprinted, which had been left out in Coverdale's edition, or that the printers thought such an edition would sell well, the Bible was printed at Paris with this title, 'The Byble, which is all the Holye Scripture, in which are contayned the Olde and Newe Testament trueleye and pureleye translated into Englyshe? By Thomas Matthewe.' This name of Matthewe is fictitious, the real author being the excellent John Rogers, the protomartyr under Queen Mary, who was afterwards burnt in Smithfield, Feb. 4, 1555. In this edition, from Genesis to the end of the Chronicles is Tyndale's translation, from thence to the end of the Apocrypha is Coverdale's, except the book of Jonah, which is Tyndale's, as is the whole New Testament. In 1538 a resolution was taken to revise this edition of Matthewe's, and to print it again without the prologues and annotations, at which great offence was pretended to be taken, as containing matters heretical, and very scandalous and defamatory. For this purpose Grafton and Whitchurch were employed, who, because there were at that time in France better printers and paper than could be had here in England, procured the king's letters to the French king, for liberty to print it at Paris. Accordingly they had the royal license for so doing, and had almost finished their design when, by an order of the Inquisition, dated December 17, 1538, the printers were forbidden, under canonical pains, to print the said English Bible, and being carried before the Inquisition, were charged with heresy. The English who were there to correct the press, and take care of the impression, were all forced to fly, and the impression, consisting of 2,500 books, was seized and confiscated. But by the encouragement of the Lord Cromwell, some of the English returned to Paris, and got the presses, letters, and printing servants, and brought them over to London, where they resumed the work, which was finished, and published in 1539, with this title "The Byble in Englyshe; that is to say, the content of all the Holy Scripture, bothe of the Olde and Newe Testament, truly translated after the veryte of the Hebrew and Greke texts, by the dylygent studye of dyverse excellent learned men expert in the aforesayed tonges.' Printed by Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch: folio. When it was finished, Lord Cromwell, Vicar General and Vicegerent over all the spirituality under
THE FIRST PRINTED ENGLISH BIBLES.
the king, enjoined (1540) that one Bible of the largest volume (meaning this edition) should be provided for every parish church at the joint charge of the parson and parishioners. For its very large size, this is usually denominated the Great Bible. The Psalms in the English liturgy are of this translation, with some few alterations. The new version was executed during the reign of Edward VI., though several editions were printed both of the Old and New Testaments. The translation of the Bible, revised by Coverdale, with prefaces added by Cranmer, was printed in England in 1539, and called Cranmer's Bible.' Tyndale's first edition of the New Testament, 1522, was bought by Dr. Gifford, and given by him to the Baptist Library, Bristol. That by Dr. Coombe, in the British Museum, is dated, 1534: Dr. Gifford gave twenty guineas for it.
In England several attempts had been made, in former times, to translate the Bible into the vulgar language, especially by Bede, a pious and learned monk, who died, A.D. 735, and by King Alfred, who died, A.D. 900. But the first complete English Translation was made by Wickliff, A.D. 1380: the first printed was by W. Tyndale. In the reign of Queen Mary some exiles at Geneva, among whom were Coverdale and John Knox, made a new translation, which was printed in 1560. This is called the Geneva Bible. This Bible contains marginal readings and annotations; the chapters divided into verses. Archbishop Parker engaged some learned men to make a new edition, which was published, 1568. This is called the Bishop's Bible. King James disliked the Geneva Bible on account of the notes: and when many objections were made to the Bishop's Bible at the Hampton Court Conference in 1630, the King, urged thereto by Bishop Reynolds, gave orders for a new translation; and forty-seven learned men engaged in the work, which was begun in 1607, and finished in 1611, with a very learned Preface of great value, and a most fulsome dedication to the King. This was printed, and all others falling into disuse, it remains the authorized version to this day."
These are some of the very interesting facts which have been gathered, with great pains, from various sources, respecting our first English Bibles-a little history which no Englishman, who loves the Word of God, would willingly let die.
POETRY. ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
OUR TRUE GUIDE.
WHAT is the world? a wildering maze,
All broad, and winding, and aslope,
Millions of pilgrims throng these roads,
Is there no guide to show that path?
The Bible need not stray;
Anecdotes and Selections.
TYNDALE.-ENGLAND Owes all she is and all she has to the Bible. Never would she have been what she is without the Word of God. How much, under Providence, do we owe of love and gratitude to the memory of that wonderful man who first conceived the mighty thought of translating and printing, in his own tongue, the Word of the living God. William Tyndale was that man. We know too little about him. He seems to have been a man of good family and a scholar. He saw nothing but popish darkness around him. The people were ignorant and their teachers were almost as ignorant as they. This was in the reign of Henry VIII. He resolved, by God's grace, to do something. Mr. Anderson, of Edinburgh, says, "But when this our native land was covered with all the gloom of superstition, with a darkness, both felt and feared in every corner, what a pressure must have lain upon the heart and conscience of only one man, glowing with ardour to dispel the clouds! For under this oppressive sense of obligation there appeared not a single individual who was capable of fully sympathizing with him in it, or sharing the load. When a great and