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1378 Wyclif bites back

Wyclif was not just going to sit back and accept condemnation by the Church. In John of Gaunt (a man who could spot a philosophy that would allow seculars to avoid paying taxes to the Church when he saw one) he had a staunch ally and patron. He started preaching sermons in response to his persecutors. It is all a bit whiney complaining that he has been slightly misquoted and his reasoning misinterpreted and misrepresented to the pope. He points the finger too - complaining that it is a certain “Tolstanus” and his whelps who have done this. Tolstanus is tantilisingly close to an anagram of Easton - but not quite close enough for comfort!

Et patet quam equivoce et turpiter laborant ydiote qui in doctorum absencia mordent ut canes scripta eorum que vix superficietenus intelligunt; utuntur autem infami medio ad hoc opus, scilicet mendacio et falsifacione scripture. Quidam autem canis niger mordet medio isto duplici aliorum scripta et specialiter in hoc quod scriba suus scripsit mendaciter alium doctorum priorum interpolatim dixisse quod omnis lex est Deus et cum hoc alibi quod quelibet creature habet propriam legem suam. Nec mirum si isti philosophi super scriptis absencium conglobant mendacia quia super verbis Christi mendaces Judei finxerunt similia sed plus probabiliter. Ubi enim Christus dixit "solvite templum hoc et in tribus diebus excitabo illud" reportaverunt hii viri mendaces ipsum dixisse "possum destruere templum hoc et in tribus diebus re-edificare" correspondenter dictus Tolstanus vel sui catuli dicuntur reportasse usque ad curiam Romanum sed nimis ydiotice, quia quosque nec hii nec illi intelligunt deo verba. Dixit enim quidam doctore catholice quod quilibet existens in gracia gratificante finaliter nedum habet ius ad rem sed ius in re super omnia bona Dei. Et libi blabucientes catuli loco istorum duorum verborum "gratificante finaliter" reportarunt usque as Romanum Curiam nimis ydiotice ista duo "gratifice et fideliter" et sic emerunt quod conclusio quam nescierunt construere foret tanquam heretica condempnata. Sic autem dicitur hic doctor facere proclomacionem mendacem quod ad destruccionem scole terminabit veritates catholicas tali dei. Et tamen magna pars fructus sequentis stat in ficcione mendaci super absentes simplices per ipsum et scribum suum composita. Iam enim non ext lacius cognoscens linguas quantum cunque stultus sentencia quin per illum modum posset horam scolasticam superflue occupare, sed ista preconizacio mendax indicat quod sit eiusdem scole et eiusdem secte plus sciolus, qui artem mendacii tamquam virtuosam Oxonii introduxit.

John Wyclif Sermones Volume III Sermon XXIV (ed Loserth)

 

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