Saturday, December 31, 2022

Fuller: the emblem

Saturday, December 31, 2022
    Commemoration of John Wycliffe, Reformer, 1384
    [Jesus:] “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
    —Luke 12:11-12 (NIV)
    Hitherto the corpse of John Wickliffe had quietly slept in his grave, about one-and-forty years after his death, till his body was reduced to bones, and his bones almost to dust...
    But now, such the spleen of the Council of Constance [1415], as they not only cursed his memory, as dying an obstinate heretic, but ordered that his bones... to be taken out of the ground, and thrown far off from any Christian burial.
    In obedience hereunto, [the local bishop] sent his officers... to ungrave him accordingly. To Lutterworth they come, [1428] ... take what was left out of the grave, and burnt them to ashes, and cast them into Swift, a neighbouring brook running hard by. Thus this brook hath conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, they into the main ocean. And thus the ashes of Wickliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over.
    ... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), The Church History of Britain, v. I, London: Thomas Tegg and Son, 1837, p. 493 (see the book)
    See also Luke 12:11-12; Matt. 10:19-20; Mark 13:9-11; Luke 21:12-15; Acts 5:28-29
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your church praises You for the faith of our predecessors.
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