Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER OF WYCLIFFE IN EXCUSE TO POPE URBAN VI. a - Tracts and Treatises of John de Wycliffe
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LETTER OF WYCLIFFE IN EXCUSE TO POPE URBAN VI. a - John Wyclife, Tracts and Treatises of John de Wycliffe 
Tracts and Treatises of John de Wycliffe, D.D. with Selections and Translations from his Manuscripts , and Latin Works. Edited for The Wycliffe Society, with an Introductory Memoir, by the Rev. Robert Vaughan, D.D. (London: Blackburn and Pardon, 1845).
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LETTER OF WYCLIFFE
I have joyfully to tell all true men the belief that I hold, and algaesb to the pope. For I suppose, that if any faith be rightful and given of God, the pope will gladly conserve it; and if my faith be error, the pope will wisely amend it. I suppose over this, that the Gospel of Christ be part of the corpsc of God’s law. For I believe that Jesus Christ, that gave in his own person this Gospel, is very God and very man, and by this it passes all other laws. I suppose over this, that the pope be most oblishid to the keeping of the Gospel among all men that live here. For the pope is highest vicar that Christ hath here in earth. For morenessd of Christ’s vicars is not measured by worldly moreness but by this,—that this vicar suese more Christ by virtuous living, for this teaches the Gospel. That this the sentence of Christ and of his Gospel I take as belief; that Christ for time that he walked here was most poor man of all, both in spirit and in haveing;f for Christ says that he had not thing for to rest his head on. And over this I take as belief, that no man schulde sue the pope, nor no saint that now is in heaven, but in alsmycheg as he suedh Christ: for James and John erred, and Peter and Paul sinned. Of this I take as wholesome counsel, that the pope leave his worldly lordship to worldly lords, as Christ gave him, and more speedily all his clerks to do so, for thus did Christ, and taught thus his disciples, till the fiend had blinded this world. And if I err in this sentence, I will meekly be amended, if by the death, it be skilful, for that I hope were good to me. And if I might travel in my own person, I would with God’s will go to the pope. But Christ has needed me to the contrary, and taught me more obeishea to God, than to man.b And I suppose of our pope that he will not be Antichrist, and reverse Christ in this working, to the contrary of Christ’s will. For if he summons against reason, by him or any of his, and pursue this unskilful summoning, he is an open Antichrist. And merciful intent exused not Peter that not Christ clepidc him Sathan: so blind intent and wicked counsel exuses not the pope here, but if he ask of true priests that they travel more than they may, ’tis not exused by reason of God that nor he is Antichrist. For our belief teaches us that our blessed God suffers us not to be tempted more than we may; how should a man ask such service? And therefore pray we to God for our pope Urban the Sixth, that his holy intent be not quenched by his enemies. And Christ, that may not lie, says that the enemies of a man be especially his homely emeinth,d and that this is sothe of men and fiends.
[a]Lewis, Ap. No. 23. Fox, Acts and Monuments, i. 581.
[b]This sentence points to the impaired health of the Reformer. He died two years later.