Were The Wycliffites Seditious?

WycliffeYeamesLollards 01Wyclif Giving ‘The Poor Priests’ His Translation of the Bible

Some of the Catholics may tell you, that the followers of Wickliffe were a seditious people; that they threatened to overthrow the civil institutions of the country; that all law and order were set at defiance by them; and that this was the cause of their persecution. This is false in fact—it is historically false.

If the followers of Wickliffe, or Lollards, as they were called, were disturbers of the peace; if their lives were seditious, disorderly, and rebellious, why were they not indicted, under some statute of the realm, made and provided to take cognizance of such crimes? Why were they not even accused of such crimes? Was the meek, mild, and learned John Wickliffe, accused or indicted for disturbing the peace? Was it for disturbing the peace, that his venerable bones were disinterred thirty years after being deposited in the cold grave? Was it for disturbing the peace, and for riotous proceedings, his bones were subsequently burned, and their ashes thrown into the next river? Was it for disturbing the peace, the learned and brave Cobham was hung in iron chains, by the middle.

No such accusation has ever been brought against these great and good men, or against thousands who suffered with them. They were accused only of heresy. Papists were their accusers; Papists were their judges; and Papists were their executioners.

~William Hogan, Popery! As it Was and as it Is, Crusade Against the Albigenses

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