¶ Brethren I would not that ye should be ignorant of this, how that our fathers were all under a cloud, and all passed thorow the sea, and were all baptised under Moses in the cloud and in the sea: and did all eat of one spiritual meat, and did all drink of one manner of spiritual drink. And they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, which rock was Christ. But in many of them had god no delight. For they were overthrown in the wilderness.
¶ These are examples to us that we should not lust after evil things, as they lusted. Neither be ye worshippers of images as were some of them according as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up again to play. Neither let us commit fornication as some of them committed fornication, and were destroyed in one day xxiij. thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye as some of them murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
¶ All these things happened upon them for ensamples, and were written to put us in remembrance, whom the ends of the world are come upon. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. There hath none other temptation taken you, but such as followeth the nature of man. God is faithful, which shall not suffer you to be tempted above your strength: but shall in the midst of the temptation make a way to escape out. Wherefore my dear beloved, flee from worshipping of idols.
¶ I speak as unto them which have discretion, judge ye what I say. Is not the cup of blessing which we bless, partaking of the blood of Christ? is not the bread which we break, partaking of the body of Christ? because that we (though we be many) yet are one bread, and one body in as much as we all are partakers of one bread. Behold Israhell which walketh carnally. Are not they which eat of the sacrifice, partakers of the altar?
¶ What say I then? that the image is anything? or that it which is offered to images is anything? Nay, but I say, that those things which the gentiles offer, they offer to devils, and not to god. And I would not that ye should have fellowship with the devils. Ye cannot drink of the cup of the Lord, and of the cup of the devils. Ye can not be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Other shall we provoke the Lord? other are we stronger then he? All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own profit: but let every man seek his neighbors wealth.
¶ Whatsoever is sold in the market, that eat, and ask no questions for conscience sake. For the earth is the Lord's, and all that therein is. If any of them which believe not bid you to a feast, and if ye be disposed to go, whatsoever is set before you eat, asking no question for conscience sake. but and if any man say unto you: this is dedicate unto idols, eat not of it for his sake that shewed it, and for hurting of conscience: the earth is the Lord's and all that therein is. Conscience I say, not thine: but the conscience of that other. Why should my liberty be judged of another man's conscience? For if I take my part with thanks: why am I evil spoken of for that thing wherefore I give thanks?
¶ Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the praise of God. See that ye give none occasion of evil, neither to the jewes, nor yet to the gentiles, neither to the congregation of god: even as I please all men in all things not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526