This is a letter from Vaughan, the king’s agent, to his master and commissioner, King Henry Vlll himself, regarding one of the conversations that Vaughan had with Tyndale while he was trying to persuade the translator to return to England from Europe. Note the apparent respect that Vaughan had for Tyndale, and the apparent respect that Tyndale had for the king, albeit he had greater respect for the Scriptures.

I have again been in hand to persuade Tindal [a common spelling of the reformer’s name in that day]; and, to draw him rather to favor my persuasions, and not to think the same feigned, I showed him a clause contained in Master Cromwell’s letter, containing these words: “And notwithstanding the premises in this my letter contained, if it were possible by good and wholesome exhortation to reconcile and convert the said Tindal from the train and affection which he now is in, and to extirpate and take away the opinions and fantasies forcely rooted in him, I doubt not but the king’s highness would be much joyous of his conversion and amendment. And so, being converted, if then he would return into his realm, undoubtedly the king’s royal majesty is so inclined to mercy, pity and compassion that he refuseth none which he seeth to submit themselves to the obedience and good order of the world.”

In these words, I thought to be such sweetness and virtues as were able to pierce the hardest heart of the world, and as I thought, so it came to pass; for after sight thereof, I perceived the man to be exceedingly altered, and to take the same very near unto his heart, in such wise that water stood in his eyes, and he answered:

“What gracious words are these! I assure you,” said he, “if it would stand with the king’s most gracious pleasure ...

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