A letter written from prison by William Tyndale lay buried in the archives of the Council of Brabant in Belgium for some 300 years. The contents are heartbreaking.
“… I beg your Lordship, and that by the Lord Jesus, that if I am to remain here through the winter, you will request the commissary to have the kindness to send me, from the goods of mine which he has, a warmer cap, for I suffer greatly from cold in the head, and am afflicted by a perpetual catarrh, which is much increased in this cell. And I ask to be allowed to have a lamp in the evening; it is indeed wearisome sitting alone in the dark.
“But most of all I beg and beseech your clemency, to be urgent with the commissary, that he will kindly permit me to have the Hebrew Bible, the Hebrew grammar and Hebrew dictionary, that I may pass the time in that study … I will be patient, abiding the will of God, to the glory of the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ …”
Centuries before, while awaiting martyrdom in Rome, the apostle Paul had written to Timothy with the following urgent requests: “Be diligent to come to me quickly … Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments”(2 Timothy 4:13 2 Timothy 4:13The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when you come, bring with you, and the books, but especially the parchments.
American King James Version×). Paul’s urgent pleas would be eerily echoed by William Tyndale, also in prison and awaiting execution, 15 centuries later. GN