Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Summers: the Lollard fundamentals

Wednesday, July 1, 2020
    Commemoration of John & Henry Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1813, 1873
Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees;
    then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding,
    and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
    for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
    and not toward selfish gain.
    —Psalm 119:33-36 (NIV)
    Reynold Pecock, Bishop of St. Asaph, [in The Repressor of Overmuch Blamings of the Clergy] tells us that the Lollards objected to image-worship, pilgrimages, the landed endowments of the Church, degrees of rank among the clergy, the authority of tradition, the monastic orders, the invocation of the saints (and every practice based on the doctrine of the transference of merit), the use of ornaments in Divine service, the mass (and the doctrine of sacramental grace generally), oaths, war, and capital punishment. We have here the outlines of a system approximating in some respects to modern Quakerism, and the likeness is enhanced by something like the doctrine of the “inward light.” Pecock ascribes to the “Bible-men” three fundamental principles, or “trowings,” as he calls them:
    1. That nothing is to be esteemed a law of God, unless it is founded on Scripture;
    2. That every Christian “meke in spirit” shall without fail understand the true sense of the Bible;
    3. That he should then heed no arguments of “clerks” to the contrary... Further on in the book he adds a fourth “trowing” of theirs—that the clergy were so blinded by self-interest that it was impossible for them to arrive at the true sense of Scripture.
    ... W. H. Summers, Our Lollard Ancestors, London: National Council of Evangelical Free Churches, 1904, p. 81-83 (see the book)
    See also Ps. 119:33-36; Gal. 5:19-23; Phil.2:3-4; Jas. 3:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:4-5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have moved mightily among Your people.
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