E’en such is time… An eBook journey into the 16th/17th centuries

  with his Prerogative of Parlia-
ments, 1628 ;  written 1618.


Even such is time, that takes on trust
    Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust ;
    Who, in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days ;
But from this earth, this grave, this dust
My God shall raise me up, I trust !


¶ So now the scripture is a light and sheweth vs the true waye/ both what to do/ and what to hope. And a defence from all erroure/ and a comforte in adversyte that we despayre not. and feareth vs in prosperyte that we synne not Seke therfore in the scripture as thou readest it first the law/ what god cõmaundeth vs to doo. And secundarylye the promyses/ which god promyseth vs ageyne/ namely in Christe Iesu oure lorde. Then seke ensamples/ firste of comforte/ how god purgeth all them that submitte them selves to walke in his wayes/ in the purgatorye of tribulatyon/ delyveringe them yet at the latter ende/ and never soferinge any of them to perysh/ that cleave faste to his promyses. And fynallye/ note the ensamples which are writen to feare the flesh that we synne not. That is/ how god suffereth the vngodlye and weked synners that resiste god and refuse to folow him/ to contynue in their wekednesse/ ever waxinge worse and worse vntyll their synne be so sore encreased and so abhomynable/ that if they shuld longer endure they wold corrupte the very electe. But for the electes sake god sendeth thẽ preachers. Neverthelesse they harden their hartes agenste the truth/ and god destroyeth thẽ vtterlye and begynneth the world a new.

¶ This comforte shalt thou evermore finde in the playne texte and literall sense. Nether is there any storye so homely/ so rude/ yee or so vyle (as it semeth outwarde) wherin is not exceadinge greate comforte. And when some which seme to them selves great clarkes saye: they wott not what moare profite is in many geftes of the scripture if they be read with out an allegorye/ then in a tale of robenhode/ saye thou: that they were wryten for oure consolacyon and comforte/ that we despayre not/ if soch like happen vnto vs. We be not holyer then Noe/ though he were once dronke. Nether bettter beloved then Iacob/ though his awne sonne defyled his bedde. We be not holyer then lot/ though his doughters thorow ignorance deceaved him/ nor paradventure holyer then those doughters. Nether are we holyer then David/ though he brake wedlocke and vppon the same commytted abhomynable murther. All those men have witnesse of the scripture that they pleased god and ware good men both before that those thinges chaunsed them and also after. Neverthelesse soch thinges happened them for oure ensampler not that we shuld contrafayte their evill/ but if whyle we fight with oure selves enforsynge to walke in the law of god (as they did) we yet fall likewise/ that we despayre not/ but come agayn, to the lawes of god and take better holde

¶ We read sens the tyme of Christes deeth/ of virgins that have bene brought vnto the comẽstues/ and theye defyled/ and of martyrs that haue bene bounde and hores haue abvsed their bodyes. Why? The iudgemẽtes of god are bottõlesse. Soch thinges chaunced partely for ensamples/ partely God thorow synne healeth synne Pryde can nether be healed nor yet appere but thorow soch horrible deades. Paraduenture they were of yepopes secte ãd reioysed fleshly/ thinkinge that heaven came by deades and not by Christ/ and that the outwarde dead iustyfyed them & made them holy and not the inward spirite receeved by fayth and the consent of the harte vnto the law of god.

¶ As thou readeste therfore thinke that every sillable pertayneth to thyne awne silf/ and sucke out the pithe of the scripture/ and arme thy silf ageynst all assaultes….

See Project Gutenberg. William Tyndale c. 1492 – 1536 (strangled and burnt at the stake).