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Friday, August 18, 2017
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5/9/2009 Lessons from History: Luther’s Life In The Convent: WHEN his friends and townsmen learned on the morrow that Luther had taken the cowl, they were struck with stupefaction. That such a capable man should become a monk, seemed a national loss. Friends and university staff assembled at the gates of the monastery for two days hoping to dissuade him. The gate remained closed. What to him was worldly advantage? The one thing with him was how he might save his soul. Till a month had elapsed Luther saw no one. The rage of Luther’s father was great. “How can a son do right in disobeying the counsel of his parents?”
4/29/2009 Lessons from History: Luther Stumbles on a Bible: IN 1501, at eighteen, Luther entered the University of Erfurt. This seat of learning had been founded about a century before; it owed its rise to the patronage of the princely houses of Brunswick and Saxony. It was already one of the more famous schools of Central Europe.
4/7/2009 Lessons from History: Luther’s Early Years: From the fall of the Western Empire to the eleventh century, there intervened a period of unexampled torpor and darkness. Indeed a belief was generally entertained that the year one thousand would usher in the Day of Judgment. It was a mistake. The world’s best days were yet to come.
3/22/2009 Lessons from History: Pre Reformation Christendom under the Tiara: Any view of Christendom before the Reformation which ignores the relation of the Papacy to its vassal kingdoms overlooks Europe’s chief characteristic. This relation was that of dominancy. The papacy was, in a word, Europe’s chief, Europe’s ruler. The papacy taught her subject nations to see in the power seated upon the Seven Hills, the bond of their union, the fountain of their legislation, and the throne of their government.
3/9/2009 Caustic Comment: Rome’s Thinly Disguised Paganism: The current BBC series Around the World in 80 Faiths where Anglican priest Peter Owen Jones has presented scenes from 80 of the worlds religions really is of little interest to fundamentalist bible believing Christians except as a spur to redouble efforts to present the True Gospel whilst there is yet time.
3/7/2009 Lessons from History: Protestantism, the Holy Roman Empire, the Papacy and Islam: WE reach the sixteenth century. For a millennium the Great Ruler laid, in the midst of wars and ethnical revolutions, foundations for a new and more glorious edifice than anything before. Ancient society, enfeebled by slavery and polytheism could never bear the structure about to be erected. To understand, we must glance at the crisis threatening the constitution of Europe as the sixteenth century opened, which in turn allows us to understand the Reformation, a great movement just not possible before the century we speak of.
2/25/2009 Lessons from History: Wicliffe's Legacy in The Bohemian Reformation: Under God Ziska became a mighty general He developed a whole new style of warfare which again and again confounded the papal crusaders. In Tabor, south of Prague, where he is remembered by another fine statue in the town square, is a museum (at present closed for restoration) demonstrating his method. Nearby are catacombs used to confound the enemy in times of danger.
2/9/2009 Lessons from History: Commencement of the Hussite Wars: WENCESLAUS being dead, and the queen espousing the side of the Catholics, there was fresh tumult. But the reformation fired by Wicliffe and furthered by the martyrdoms of his Bohemian followers Huss and Jerome was to be unstoppable. Sanguinary fighting between the Romanists and the Hussites on the Charles Bridge and the sack of Monasteries further steeled papal devotee Emperor Sigismund.
1/31/2009 Lessons from History: The Start Of The Hussite Wars: When the time came for great moral and spiritual revival to sweep the world Wicliffe was raised up. Endued with the Holy Spirit, of which Councils and Popes vainly imagined they had the exclusive monopoly, Wicliffe received such deep insights into Scriptures that he was able to lay hold of the scheme of Free Salvation revealed in the Bible. He emancipated himself from the errors that had caused so many ages to miss the path which he now found anew . Further the clarity of his writings easily conveyed his understanding to others.
1/27/2009 Lessons from History: The Trial Of Jerome: On May 23rd, 1416, Jerome was taken to the cathedral church, where the Council had assembled to proceed with his cause. He had previously refused to answer his accusers in prison. The Priests, exceedingly fearing Jerome‘s eloquence, zealously limited his defences to a simple “Yes” or “No”. “What injustice! What cruelty!” exclaimed Jerome. “You have held me shut up three hundred and forty days in a frightful prison, in the midst of filth, stench, and the utmost want of everything. You then bring me here , and lending ear to my mortal enemies, you refuse to hear me. If you be really wise men, and the lights of the world, take care not to sin against justice. As for me, I am only a feeble mortal; my life is but of little importance; and when I exhort you not to deliver an unjust sentence, I speak less for myself than for you.”
12/26/2008 Lessons from History: The fall and rising again of Jerome of Prague: BEFORE advancing to the history of Jerome, let us glance back on the two great men, representatives of their epoch, who have passed before us, and note the relations in which they stand to each other. These relations are such that the two always come up together. The century that divides them is annihilated. Everywhere in the history – in the hall of the University of Prague, in the pulpit of the Bethlehem Chapel, in the council chamber of Constance – these two figures, Wicliffe and Huss, are seen standing side by side. Wicliffe is the master, and Huss the scholar.
12/22/2008 Lessons from History: Condemnation and Martyrdom of Huss: John Huss languished in prison contending with fetters, fetid air, and sickness, for about two months. On 6th of July, 1415 the hall of the Council saw the emperor, the princes, the deputies of the sovereigns, the patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, and priests and a vast concourse which the spectacle that day was to witness brought together. The Archbishop of Riga came to the prison to bring Huss to the Council. Mass was being celebrated as they arrived at the church door, and Huss was made to stay outside till it was finished, lest the mystery be profaned by a heretic, nay leader of heretics.
12/19/2008 Lessons from History: The Council of Constance: Pope John XXIII opened the eighth session (May 4th, 1415) of the Council of Constance, by promoting several dubious characters to a place in heaven. Then John Wicliffe was summoned from his rest, cited before the Council, and made answerable to it for his mortal writings. Forty-five propositions, previously culled from his publications, were condemned, and this sentence was fittingly followed by a decree consigning their author to the flames. Wicliffe himself being beyond their reach, his bones, pursuant to this sentence, were afterwards dug up and burned.
12/16/2008 Lessons from History: Preparations For The Council Of Constance: As John Huss studied the Bible he saw more clearly every day that “the Church” had departed from truth. This inspired him to write his treatise De Ecclesia (On the Church), a work stressing that the Church of Christ is truly a unity and Catholic in the right sense. The true one Catholic and Apostolic church is everywhere in communion with its invisible Head, the Lord Jesus Christ and so united. The exterior constitution of the papal hierarchy is erroneous.
10/23/2008 Lessons from History: Huss Commences His Battle With Rome: In 1404 two theologians, James and Conrad of Canterbury, influenced by Wicliffe, travelled from England to Prague. These Oxford graduates arranged public disputations to challenge the pope‘s primacy. With their hosts leave, they completed a mural in a corridor where they resided. On the one wall they portrayed the humble entrance of Christ into Jerusalem, “meek, and riding upon an ass”. On the other they displayed the more than royal magnificence of a Pontifical cavalcade.
10/2/2008 Lessons from History: Sunrise in the East: John Huss: To the ages that came after the Reformation, this was spring-time. Yet to earlier ages the Reformation was the awaited harvest. In Bohemia the plough is at work, and already the sowers have come forth and have begun to scatter the seed. In transferring ourselves to Bohemia we do not change our subject, although we change our country. It is the same great drama under another sky. Surely the winter is past, and the great spring time has come, when, in lands lying so widely apart, we see the flowers beginning to appear, and the fountains to gush forth.
9/11/2008 Lessons from History: Wicliffe’s Theological And Church System: Standing before the Bible, Wicliffe forgot all the teaching of man. For centuries the human mind had invented Systems, the doctors glosses, the Councils edicts and the Popes bulls. The structure looked imposing indeed. Wicliffe dug down through everything to the free grace of God in the matter of man’s salvation; in fact, he ascribed it entirely to grace. “Here we must know” says he, “the story of the old law... As a right looking on that adder of brass saved the people from the venom of serpents, so a right looking by full belief on Christ saveth His people. Christ died not for His own sins as thieves do for theirs, but as our Brother, who Himself might not sin, He died for the sins that others had done”.
9/8/2008 Lessons from History: Wicliffe appeals to Parliament, appears before Convocation, and before the Roman Curia by letter: THE Parliament met on the 19th November 1382. Wicliffe could now prosecute his appeal to the king against the sentence of the university court condemning his twelve propositions. But the prelates had been beforehand to fortify the state against all questioning of the tremendous mystery of transubstantiation.
9/5/2008 Lessons from History: Wicliffe and Transubstantiation: Did the Reformer now rest? He was old and sickly, and needed repose. His day had been a stormy one; sweet it were at its even-tide to taste a little quiet. But no. He panted, if it were possible and if God were willing, to see his country’s emancipation completed, and England a reformed land, before closing his eyes and descending into his grave.

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