Saturday, September 24, 2005

Voice From The Past

On Christians Contending For Their Faith by John Wycliffe

“All Christians should be the soldiers of Christ. But it is plain that many are charge­able with great neglect of this duty; being prevented by fear of the loss of temporal goods and worldly friendships, and apprehensive about life and fortune, from faithfully setting forth the cause of God, from standing manfully in its defense, and if need be, from suffering death in its be­half. From the like source comes that subterfuge of Satan, argued by some of our modern hypocrites, that it cannot be a duty now, as in the primitive church, to suffer mar­tyrdom, since in our time the great majority of men being believers, there are none to persecute Christ to the death in his members. But this is, without doubt, a device of Satan to shield sin. For the believer, in maintaining the law of Christ, should be prepared, as his soldier, to endure all things at the hands of the satraps of this world; de­claring boldly to Pope and Cardinals, to Bishops and Pre­lates, how unjustly, according to the teaching of the Gos­pel, they serve God in their offices, subjecting those committed to their care to great injury and peril, such as must bring on them speedy destruction. All this applies, indeed, to temporal lords, but not in so great a degree as to the clergy; for as the abomination of desolation begins with a perverted clergy, so the consolation begins with a converted clergy. Hence we Christians need not visit pagans to convert them, by enduring martyrdom in their behalf; we have only to declare with constancy the Word of God before Caesarean Prelates, and straightway the flower of martyrdom will be ready to our hand!” (The English Bible by H.C. Conant; p.58-59)

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