¶ Wherefore lay a side all maliciousness, and all guile, and dissimulation, and envy, and all backbiting: and as new born babes, desire that reasonable milk which is without corruption, that ye may be grown therin. If so be that ye have tasted how pleasant the Lord is, to whom ye come as unto a living stone disallowed of men, but elect of God and precious: and ye as living stones, are made a spiritual house, and an holy priesthood, for to offer up spiritual sacrifice, acceptable to God by Iesus Christ.
¶ Wherefore it is contained in the scripture: behold, I put in Sion an head corner stone, elect and precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Unto you therefore which believe is he precious: but unto them which believe not the same stone which the builders refused, is made the head stone in the corner, and a stone to stumble at, and a rock to offend them which stumble at the word, and believe not that where on they were set. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, and a peculiar people, that ye should shew the vertues of him that called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, which in time past were not a people, yet are now the people of God, which were not under mercy: but now have obtained mercy.
¶ Dearly beloved I beseech you as strangers, and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which fight against the soul, and see that ye have honest conversation among the gentiles, that they which backbite you as evil doers, may see your good works and praise God in the day of visitation.
¶ Submit yourselves unto all manner ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be unto the King as unto the chief head: other unto rulers, as unto them that are sent of him, for the punishment of evil doers: but for the laud of them that well do. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye should stop the mouths of ignorant men: as free, and not as though ye took liberty for a cloak of maliciousness: but even as the servants of God. See that ye honour all men. Love brotherly fellowship, fear God, honour the king.
¶ Servants obey your masters with all fear, not only if they be good and courteous: but also though they be froward. For it commeth of grace, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what praise is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye take it patiently? But and if when ye do well, ye suffer wrong and take it patiently, then is there thanke with God.
¶ Hereunto verily were ye called, for Christ also suffered for our sakes: leaving us an ensample that ye should follow his steps, which did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth: which when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he threatened not: but committed the cause to him that judgeth righteously, which his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we should be delivered from sin and should live in righteousness. By whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep which go astray: but are now returned unto the shepherd, and bishop of your souls.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526