¶ I say then: hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For even I verily am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, and of the tribe of Benjamin, God hath not cast away his people which he knew before. Other wot ye not what the scripture saith by the mouth of Helias, how he spake to God against Israhel, saying: Lord they have killed thy prophets and digged down thine altars: and I am left only, and they seek my death. But what saith the answer of God to him again? I have reserved unto me seven thousand men which have not bowed their knees to baal. Even so at this time is there a remnant left thorow the election of grace. If it be of grace then is it not by the deserving of works. For then were faveour no more faveour. If it be by the deserving of works, then is there no faveour. For then were deserving no deserving.
¶ What then? Israhel hath not obtained that that he sought. No but yet the election hath obtained it. The remnant are blinded, according as it is written: God hath given them the spirit of unquietness: eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, even unto this day. And David saith: Let their table be made a snare to take them with all, and an occasion to fall, and a reward unto them. Let their eyes be blinded that they see not: and ever bow down their backs.
¶ I say then: Have they therefore stumbled that they should but fall only? God forbid: but thorow their fall is health happened unto the gentiles for to provoke them with all. Wherefore if the fall of them, be the riches of the world: and the minishing of them the riches of the gentiles: How much more should it be so if they all believed. I speak to you gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the gentiles I will magnify mine office that might provoke them which are my flesh: and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them, be the reconciling of the worlde: what shall the receiving of them be, but life again from death? For if one piece be holy, the whole heap is holy. And if the roote be holy, the branches are holy also.
¶ Though some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree art graft in among them, and made part taker of the roote, and fatness of the olive tree, boast not thyself against the branches. For if thou boast thyself, remember that thou bearest not the roote, but the roote thee. Thou wilt say then: the branches are broken off, that I might be graft in. Thou sayest well: because of unbelief they are broken off, and thou standest steadfast in faith. Be not high minded, but fear: seeing that God spared not the natural branches, lest haply he also spare not thee.
¶ Behold the kindness and rigorousness of God: on them which fell, rigorousness: but towards thee kindness, if thou continue in his kindness. Or else thou shalt be hewn off, and they if they bide not still in unbelief shall be grafted in again. For God is of power to graft them in again. For if thou wast cut out of a natural wild olive tree, and wast graffed contrary to nature in a true olive tree: how much more shall the natural branches be graffed in their own olive tree again.
¶ I would not that this secret should be hid from you my brethren (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits) that partly blindness is happened in Israhell, until the fullness of the gentiles be come in. And so all Israhell shall be saved. As it is written: There shall come out of Sion he that doth deliver, and shall turn away the ungodliness of Iacob. And this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospell, They are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are loved for the fathers' sakes.
¶ For verily the gifts and calling of God are such, that it cannot repent him of them, for look, as ye in time passed have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy thorow their unbelief: even so now have they not believed the mercy which is happened unto you, That they also may obtain mercy. God hath wrapped all nations in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all. O the deepness of the abundant wisdom and knowledge off God: how incomprehensible are his judgements, and his ways unsearchable. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who was his counsellor? other who hath given unto him first, that he might be recompensed again? For of him, and thorow him, and unto him are all things. To him be glory forever Amen.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526