The Morning Star of the Reformation
John Wycliffe was a
Saxon, born in Hipswell, England. He earned degrees at Oxford
University and became a doctor of theology in 1372. After
serving as an envoy to France, representing England in a dispute with the Pope, he returned to England and published
writings against the secular power of the Papacy.
In spite of attempts by the Church to have Wycliffe
arrested and assassinated, he continued to write and to
preach. He maintained that no Pope nor council was infallible, and if their views contradicted the Bible, those views
were wrong. He taught that the clergy should not rule as
princes of the church, but should help the people and lead
them to Christ.
Finally prohibited by the Bishop of London from
preaching, Wycliffe confined himself to writing and translating the Bible from Latin to English. Thirty-one years after
his death, the Church ordered all his books burned, his bones
dug up and burned, and his ashes scattered on the Thames