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church is ‘the congregation of all of those predestined to salvation’ ( 27i ). This definition, he suggests, underlies many of the diverse conceptions of the church that are found in scripture. It is this church, he goes on to suggest, that we should properly identify as the bride of Christ. The head of the church, we are told, is uniquely Christ himself, and its members are his limbs. Nobody can know for certain that he or she is among the predestinate, or even the foreknown (that is, those predestined to damnation), which meant that, for Wyclif, nobody could be sure

in John Wyclif
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assessment of Wyclif’s campaign for church reform in the late fourteenth century did much to secure his reputation among Protestant intellectuals in Reformation and post-Reformation England and Europe. Bishop Bale, who himself became a religious exile after the institution of the Act of the Six Articles in 1539, and then again under the punitive regime of Mary Tudor, clearly felt that Wyclif had prophetically anticipated the course of church history in his own day. 2 For him, the Oxford scholar was like the ‘the morning star’ shining out in the darkness of his times, an

in John Wyclif

seems to many, sin has the nature of an order just as good does, but in respect of punishment, since order and good, in respect of their consequences, are equivalent. Hence, congregations of men whose union is more orderly are called orders according to a certain exemplary excellence over their inferiors (as I have said elsewhere). Second, order is taken to be a position given to a designated cleric by God for ministering sacramentally, in different ways. And thus there are seven orders, namely, ostiary, candle-bearer, reader, exorcist

in John Wyclif