Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Romance of Redemption (Warren Gage's latest book)

Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”
(Genesis 24:58)
Reading: Genesis 24
Rebekah’s Story
It was not at all what she expected. The sun was setting already. Rebekah watched as the old man began to gather wood for a campfire. Rushing to help him, she quickly gathered even more than he did. As the old man, Abraham’s servant, kindled the fire to take away the nighttime chill, the travellers settled down to rest. It had been a long day.
“What have I done?” asked the girl quietly to herself. Rebekah sat on the ground watching the sparks from the campfire fly into the sky only to fall back to earth again. The sparks seemed to imitate the shooting stars in the heavens. “I have left my country and family. I have left my father’s house and all I have known to set out with this stranger to a far country. And now I am betrothed to his master’s son, a man I have never even met. Did I really agree to do all this?”
Just yesterday she had gone to the city well to bring water back to her family. When she arrived, she noticed the old man there, sitting by the well and seeming to be so helpless. He asked her for a drink, and she gladly gave him one. But while he was drinking, she noticed that he had come with ten thirsty camels. Ten camels. Ten to twenty gallons each, she quickly calculated. To draw water for them would take several hours of hard work. Still the Lord delights in gracious hospitality to strangers, she remembered. So she offered to draw water for the old man’s camels, too.
The man accepted. He watched in wonder as Rebekah drew water and went back and forth to fill the trough as the camels slowly quenched their thirst after so long a journey. As the hours went by, the old man said nothing, watching Rebekah draw bucket after bucket, not stopping until the work was done.
At last Rebekah finished, and all the camels were content. As she went to retrieve her own jar of water to take home, the man stopped her and asked, “Whose daughter are you?” Turning to face him she saw that he had golden rings and bracelets in his hands. As he handed these rich treasures to her, she said, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor and brother of Abraham, sons of Terah.” Upon hearing and recognizing the family names of Abraham’s brother, the man fell to his knees and lifted up his hands to give thanks to the Lord. Rebekah ran from the well to tell her family that a stranger had come who was a servant of Abraham. Her brother Laban ran to the well to welcome the stranger and to offer lodging for the night. As the servant entered the home, the family set before him a hastily prepared feast. But the old man would take nothing, he said, until he had related his purpose for coming. What an amazing story the old man would tell!
His master Abraham had sent him on this journey to Haran to seek a bride for his son and heir, Isaac. Having arrived at Haran, the old man had prayed to the Lord asking God to identify the bride He intended for the son of his master. As Rebekah listened, the old man told her family that he had asked the Lord to reveal the chosen bride by the sign of her generosity to a stranger—specifically, that she would offer a drink to the old man and then offer to draw for his camels, too. Rebekah trembled as she listened to him, for she knew that the old man was saying that the Lord God had chosen her to be the wife of Isaac, son of Abraham! The old man and all of her family looked at Rebekah to see her response. Would she agree? Would she consent to go with this man to a country she had never visited? Would she leave her home and loved ones for a man she had never even met? No one but the Lord could have arranged all of this, she thought. Every eye was upon her. What would she say? To the surprise of everyone, Rebekah spoke the simple words, “I will go.”
The servant, according to the custom, gave the bride’s family a great gift for her release. Among the gifts were treasures of gold and silver along with beautiful garments. And so, with hardly a moment to consider what she was doing, Rebekah had said her farewell and was off.
Now, as she sat upon the ground by this campfire, she knew she should try to rest, but sleep eluded her. “What will Isaac be like?” she pondered to herself. “Is he a kind man? His name means ‘laughter,’ ” she thought. “But what does that mean?” Strangely, she felt confidence in her decision. Still, she wondered about her new husband and what he was like. How odd, she thought, that not even having seen this man she loved him already! She was astonished that the Lord had chosen her for him, and that He had sent this stranger to call her to be Isaac’s wife.
The servant settled down at last by the fire, seemingly lost in his thoughts. Without wanting to disturb him, but unable to restrain herself any longer, Rebekah broke the silence of the wilderness and said, “Please tell me about the man I am to marry.”
The old man was looking away into the distance. But then turning to Rebekah, he began to speak.
“My daughter,” he smiled, “you have become part of a grand story far greater than you can imagine. It is the story of my master Abraham and God’s love for his Seed. Long ago God promised to give the world a Seed who would bring salvation to the earth. He promised that chosen Seed to Adam and Eve in the beginning, and now God has promised that this chosen Seed, so long expected, will come through the family of my master Abraham. You are highly favored, Rebekah, for God is with you and has chosen you to be the wife of Isaac and to be one of the mothers who will bring the Redeemer into the world!”
“How can this be?” asked Rebekah.
“Let me begin with the wonderful story of Isaac’s birth, announced by an angel to his mother and father before he was born. The Lord appeared to Abraham and promised him a son. Now the child’s conception was to be a miracle, for his mother was both barren and well beyond the age of child bearing. But the fulfillment of all God’s promises depended upon the birth of this son. God said that Abraham’s seed would number with the stars of the heavens and the sand of the seashore. God promised him that he would prevail over the gates of his enemies.
“Now in the fullness of time, Sarah gave birth to a son for Abraham, just as the Lord God had said. Isaac brought great joy to his father in his old age, and his father was well pleased with him.
“But as Isaac grew in wisdom and stature, one terrible day, God told Abraham to take his son, his only son, Isaac, whom he loved, and bring him to a mountain and offer him there upon an altar of sacrifice upon one of the hills as a whole burnt offering!” Rebekah’s heart began to race as the old man related the story.
“Abraham obeyed and prepared the wood. He also took the knife and the fire and brought his son to the mountain of Moriah, which God had appointed as the place of sacrifice. They arrived on the third day after God decreed Isaac’s death.
“When they came to the mountain God had chosen, Abraham placed the wood of the sacrifice upon the back of his son. Then they went on alone, Isaac carrying the burden of the wood of the sacrifice on his own back up the hill. As they went, Isaac noticed that Abraham had not provided a lamb for the sacrifice. Isaac asked Abraham, “Where is the lamb my father?” Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice, my son.” But when they came to the place, Abraham told Isaac that he was the sacrifice God required that day. Isaac hesitated. Would he permit his father to bind him and lay him down upon the wood to receive the piercing of the knife? Would he willingly submit his own will to the will of his father?
“Isaac chose to submit. He extended his hands to be bound and he lay down upon the wood of sacrifice to be pierced by the knife upon the altar. But as Abraham raised the knife to sacrifice his son, the angel of the Lord stopped him, and Isaac was spared. God revealed that He intended to provide another Lamb as the sacrifice. So on the third day, Isaac was released from the decree of death and restored to his father Abraham!”
“And so Rebekah,” the man continued tenderly, “to bring the joy of his son after he was delivered from death to completion, Abraham, knowing it is not good for a man to be alone, sent me to seek and find a bride worthy of his beloved son. And you, precious daughter, are that chosen one! You will be great Abraham’s daughter, and heir with Isaac of all of God’s covenant promises and blessings upon this family! Your Seed by this man will redeem the world, and He will triumph over the gates of all His enemies!”
Rebekah was unable to speak. She stared into the distance in utter silence. She lay back on her blanket and closed her eyes. All God’s promises were now hers. God, who had worked so mightily in Isaac’s life, had now begun a good work in her as well. And she knew the Lord would accomplish all His good pleasure through her. She was on her way to a far country. She would be the bride of a son of great blessing. She would share his inheritance and destiny. And her Seed by Abraham’s son would bring blessing to all the families of the earth, according to Abraham’s covenant promise!
Your Story
One of the most striking features of Genesis is that the longest narrative in the entire book is the story of Rebekah’s engagement to Isaac. Chapter 24 of Genesis accounts for no less than 67 verses in the English Bible. This fascinating story is filled with intricate detail. In fact, Moses devotes twice as much space to his report of this romance as he did to the immensely important account of the creation of the world. Why would he do this? Why would Moses dedicate so much space to the narrative of the engagement of Rebekah? Why give so much elaborate attention to the story of a romance?
There is a deep truth expressed in this remarkable allocation of a significant portion of the biblical text to a romantic tale. Creation, for all its magnificence, is merely the work of God’s “fingers” (Psa 8:3). Redemption, however, is the labor of God’s arm, and the travail of His soul (Isa 53:1, 11). The great picture of redemption in the Bible is the romance of an earthly bride chosen for the Son of heaven (Eph 5:23; Rev 21:2). The lives of Isaac and Rebekah are windows into this wondrous story.
As the servant recounted to Rebekah, Isaac was the beloved son of his father whose coming birth was announced by an angel of the Lord (Gen 18:1–15). His birth to a woman unable to conceive was truly miraculous (Gen 18:11). He was the son of promise, the one who would inherit the blessing of God given to his father’s family. But Isaac’s destiny to carry forward God’s covenant blessing on his family appeared to be in jeopardy when the Lord called upon Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice (Gen 22). Nevertheless, Isaac humbly submitted—even to the point of carrying the wood of his own sacrifice up Mount Moriah (which was later to be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem). As the Scripture declares, Isaac was delivered from death on the third day (Gen 22:4).
Must God not have ordained the events of Isaac’s life to point us to the coming Christ, who also was the beloved son of His Father and who was also called the Lamb of God? Jesus’ miraculous birth from a virgin’s womb was foretold before His conception by an angel, and He was the son of promise who would fulfill God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants. And yet one day this only Son, like Isaac, was called upon to give His life as a sacrifice. He humbly submitted to His Father’s will, carrying the wood of His own sacrifice up the hill of Calvary. But on the third day, He was delivered from death.
If Isaac is a type of Jesus, then certainly Rebekah is a type of the church, the bride of Christ. How did this romance come to be, and might we learn about our own calling from the providence that directed Rebekah to give herself in love to a man she had never seen? What might we learn about our destiny from a bride who was promised to a groom in a far country, and for whom she would have to leave everything?
First, we must recognize that the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah does not begin with the love of the couple, but with the father’s decision to secure a bride for his beloved son (Gen 24:3–4). Trusting in the providence of God’s covenant faithfulness, Abraham sent his servant away to a far country to secure a bride for Isaac. Once the servant had identified the chosen bride, a great price was paid to her family for her release (Gen 24:53). Although there was an overwhelming providence in the divine destiny that selected her, Rebekah was not deprived of the dignity of giving her consent (Gen 24:5–8, 55–58). She then left all her family to undertake a long pilgrimage to go to be with her betrothed in a land she would share with him as an inheritance (Gen 24:61). Such was the marriage custom in the ancient Near East, and so is the pattern of the gospel of grace. For our betrothal began with the sovereign choice of God the Father to secure a bride for His beloved Son. Once we were chosen, a great price was paid for our redemption. And we, like Rebekah, have been divinely called to leave everything behind in order to persevere through the pilgrimage of this life to our own wedding celebration in a promised country, which is to be our new inheritance and home forever.
We, as Christians, can surely understand the difficulty of Rebekah’s painful decision. When we are first confronted with the gospel message of salvation in Christ, we too can hesitate at the prospect. It seems madness to leave the life with which we have become comfortable and follow after One whom we have never met, who asks us to abandon all for Him! Yet like Rebekah, a peace settles over our souls, and we find that we long to give ourselves to this Man, knowing little about what our life with Him will be like. Jesus is the one Peter speaks of when he says, “whom having not seen you love” (1 Pet 1:8). But like Rebekah, we can rest in the providence of our God who sought us out and called us to His side. We can find comfort in the assurance that He will be faithful to complete the good work He has begun in us (Phil 1:6). We remember the promise of Jesus: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matt 19:29). His peace guards our hearts.
We, like Rebekah, are to marry the beloved Son of promise, and we are welcomed not only into His royal family, but to share His destiny to bless the nations. It is a glorious story, the eternal love story, of God’s love for His people and His desire to spread that love to all the families of the earth. He will have descendants, spiritual sons and daughters, who outnumber the sands of the sea and the stars of the sky, and we are part of this great multitude.
The same gospel question first spoken to Rebekah is asked of each of us: “Will you go with this man?” Like Rebekah, let us freely abandon all we have known to give our lives in love to the One for whom God has chosen us! For nothing in this world can compare to the glorious future that awaits those invited to the wedding of Christ and His bride. “Will you go with this man?” Freely, faithfully, with a heart fixed on absolute devotion to the One who has given His life for you, let your answer be Rebekah’s: “I will go!”[1]

[1] Gage, W. A. (2014). The Romance of Redemption: Biblical Types of the Bride of Christ (pp. 9–14). Fort Lauderdale: St. Andrews House.

"The Deceived Belief Must Be Genuine" (more from Greg Bahnsen's doctoral dissertation)

We have maintained that deceived people believe false propositions, and we have elaborated a basic characterization of belief. It will turn out on the analysis being developed here that self-deception actually involves two beliefs which are in conflict. This will be defended in chapter 4. What can be observed here, however, is that the conflict that exists within the self-deceiver can be adequately described as a conflict between two beliefs, and need not be portrayed as a conflict between knowledge and belief. That is, rather than saying that the self-deceiver knows one thing and believes contrary to it, it will be sufficient simply to say that the self-deceiver believes something and yet believes something contrary to it. The contrary belief in either case will be false. However, there is no need to maintain that the other belief to which it is contrary is true and held on good evidence; that is, there is no need to say that it is knowledge (a true belief held on good evidence) to which the false belief is contrary in self-deception. What the self-deceiver takes to be true (i.e., believes) need not actually be true. What is at issue is not whether the self-deceiver holds a false belief in conflict with a true one. It is equally appropriate in self-deception that the conflict be between a false belief and another false belief, for it is the conflict-state that constitutes the condition for self-deception. As long as the self-deceiver actually believes a proposition to be true, it can be objectively false and still serve to set up or generate a conflicting (and similarly false) belief. Our analysis of self-deception need not become complicated, then, with a mixture of knowledge and belief. A person can deceive himself about a belief which he holds whether or not that belief actually has good supporting reasons and turns out to be true or not. Those are extraneous matters here. The important thing is that the self-deceiver believe some proposition and then (falsely) believe something which is incompatible with it.1

1.  Greg L. Bahnsen, A Conditional Resolution of the Apparent Paradox of Self-Deception (USC Doctoral Dissertation [Philosophy], June 1978), p. 147-8. Underlines for emphasis are original. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

What Is Self-Deception? (Greg Bahnsen's Doctoral Dissertation)

"Self deception involves an indefensible belief about one's beliefs. That is, S perpetrates a deception on himself when, because of the distressing nature of some belief held by him, he is motivated to misconstrue the relevant evidence in a matter and comes to believe that he does not hold that belief, although he does. When he holds a belief that is discomforting, the self-deciever simultaneously brings himself to believe that he does not hold it, and toward the end of maintaining that unwarranted second-order belief he presses into service distorted and strained reasoning regarded the evidence which is adverse to his desires. He not only hides from himself his disapprobated belief, but when he purposely engages in self-deception he hides the hiding of that belief as well."1

1.  Greg L. Bahnsen, A Conditional Resolution of the Apparent Paradox of Self-Deception (USC Doctoral Dissertation [Philosophy], June 1978), p. 48 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

John Wycliffe's Defense of Scripture's Sufficiency: A Middle-to-Modern English Translation

I have never attempted a translation like this before, but I have always wanted to. Below, I have a copy of John Wycliffe's comments about the sufficiency of Scripture, but as far as I know, they're only available in Middle-English. Fortunately, for those who only have access to the Middle-English version, I have translated it below. 

Regarding the important subject of Scriptural sufficiency, there is not a whole lot of written material from John Wycliffe to work with. But I hope my own translation at least clarifies one important aspect of Wycliffe's argument, namely, that the sufficiency of Scripture is defended best against Christ's enemies when it is presupposed. Wycliffe writes:
The fend sekiþ many weyes to marre men in bileve, and to stoppe bodily þis, þat no bookis ben bileve. For ȝif þou spekist of the Bible, þanne seyen Antecristis clerkis, how provest þou þat it is holy wryt more thanne annother writen book? Here we seyen, as Crist seith, that kynrede of hordom sekiþ signes. And þerfore men moten use cautels, and axe hem questiouns aȝen, whether Crist lefte his gospellis here for to counforte his Chirche. And ȝif thei seyen that he dide, axe hem whiche ben þes gospels, and hem we clepyn holy wryt. And þus we axen of oþir partis þat trewe men clepyn hooly wryt. But, for Cristen men schulde speke pleynly to Antecrist, we seyen that hooly wryt is taken on þree maneres comynly. On the firste manere Crist him silf is clepid in the gospel holy wryt, whanne he seiþ þat þe writynge may noȝt be fordon þat þe Fadir haþ halwid and sent into the world. On the secounde manere holy wryt is clepid truþis þat ben conteyned and signyfied bi comyn biblis, and þes truþis may noȝt faile. On þe þridde maner holy wryt is clepid bookis þat ben writen and maad of enk and parchemyn. And þis speche is nouȝt so propre as the first and the secunde. But we taken of bileue þat þe secunde writ, of truþis writen in the book of lyf, is holy wryt, and God seiþ it, and þis we knowen by bileve. And as oure siȝt makeþ us certyn of þat þing þat we seen, so oure bileue makiþ us certyn þat þes trewþis ben holy wryt. ȝif holy wryt on the þridde manere be brent or cast in the see, holy writ on the secunde manere may noȝt faile, as Crist seiþ. In Dei nomine, Amen.1

Below is my translation (which might also be the only modern-english translation available today):
The Enemy seeks many ways to damage faithful men, and to stop this bodily, that no documents within are believed. For if you speak of the Bible, as the clerks against Christ say, "How do you prove that this Scripture is more holy than another written book?", here we say, as Christ has said, that "a generation of whoredom seeks [after] signs."2 And therefore men argue with caution, and often ask them questions, whether Christ preserved his gospels here for the comfort of his Church; and if they say that he did [preserve his gospels here for the comfort of his Church], ask them "Which are these gospels?," and  "Which ones do we call Holy Scripture?", and therefore we inquire of other divisive groups that [which] true men call Holy Scripture.  
But, for Christian men who should speak plainly to those against Christ, we see that Holy Scripture is commonly considered [sufficient] according to three manners:
On the first manner, Christ himself is called [thus] in the gospel of Holy Scripture, when he says that "the Scripture cannot be corrupted, that [which] the father has sanctified and sent into the world."3  
On the second manner, Holy Scripture is called "truths that are contained and signified by common books"; and this truth cannot fail.4
On the third manner, Holy Scripture is called "books that are written and made of ink and parchment"; and this description is not so special as the first and the second.5   
But we of faith consider that the second writing—of truths written in the book of life—is Holy Scripture, and God says it, and this we know by faith; and as our sight makes us certain of that thing that we have seen, so our faith makes us certain that these truths are Holy Scripture. If Holy Scripture on the third manner is burned or cast in the sea, Holy Scripture on the second manner cannot fail, as Christ said. 
In the name of God, Amen. 

1.  Wycliffe, J. (1871). Select English Works of John Wyclif. (T. Arnold, Ed.) (Vol. 3, pp. 186–187). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
2.  Matthew 12:39
3.  John 10:35-36. It's interesting that his first point presupposes that Jesus' words, however they have been preserved and passed down through the ages, are unquestionably authoritative. In John 10:35-36, Jesus is quoting the Scriptures in order to identify the unquestionable authority of the Father's words with his own words and actions. Therefore the words of Scripture are as authoritative as Jesus' words and actions, and vice-versa.
4.  By this I think Wycliffe means that the truth-claims within the Scriptures are validated by all sorts of external evidences, even those found in "common books" that are accepted and approved by scholars of his day.
5.  By this I think Wycliffe is describing the reliability of the manuscripts, and his argument is based on the well known fact that they were written down with ink and on parchment (as apposed to other, much less reliable, materials).

Saturday, May 17, 2014


[INQUIRY]  I pray you, now, to explain how it is that the bread remains bread after consecration, for many declare that if they had believed thus, they would never have observed the ceremony as they have done.

On a subject of this nature, we must attend to the words of Scripture, and give them absolute credence. And the words of Scripture tell us that this sacrament is the body of Christ, not that it will be, or that it is sacramentally a figure of the body of Christ. Accordingly we must, on this authority, admit, without reserve, that the bread, which is this sacrament, is veritably the body of Christ. But the simplest layman will see that it follows, that inasmuch as this bread is the body of Christ, it is therefore bread, and remains bread, and is at once both bread and the body of Christ. Again, the point may be illustrated by examples of the most palpable description. It is not necessary, but, on the contrary, repugnant to truth, that a man, when raised to the dignity of lordship or prelacy, should cease to be the same person. The man, or the same substance, would remain, in all respects, though in a certain degree elevated. So we must believe that this bread, by virtue of the sacramental words, becomes, by the consecration of the priest, veritably the body of Christ, and no more ceases to be bread, than humanity ceases, in the instance before supposed; for the nature of bread is not destroyed by this, but is exalted to a substance more honoured. Do we believe that John the Baptist, who was made by the word of Christ to be Elias, (Matt. 11) ceased to be John, or ceased to be anything which he was substantially before? In the same manner, accordingly, though the bread becometh the body of Christ, by virtue of his words, it need not cease to be bread. For it is bread substantially, after it has begun to be sacramentally the body of Christ For thus saith Christ, “This is my body,” and in consequence of these words, this must be admitted, like the assertion in the eleventh chapter of the gospel of Matthew, about the Baptist: “And if ye will receive it, this is Elias.” And Christ doth not, to avoid equivocation, contradict the Baptist, when he declares, “I am not Elias.” The one meaning that he was Elias figuratively, the other, that he was not Elias personally. And in the same manner it is merely a double meaning, and not a contradiction, in those who admit that this sacrament is not naturally the body of Christ, but that this same sacrament is Christ’s body figuratively.
Concerning the assertion made by some hardened heretics, that they would never have celebrated the ordinance had they believed this, it would, indeed, have been well for the church, and have contributed much to the honour of God, if such apostates had never consecrated their accident, for in so doing they blaspheme God in many ways, and make Him the author of falsehood. For the world God created they straightway destroy, inasmuch as they destroy what God ordained should be perpetual—primary matter—and introduce nothing new into the world, save the mendacious assertion, that it pertains to them to perform unheard of miracles, in which God himself certainly may have no share. In fact, according to their representations, they make a new world. What loss would it have been, then, if heretics, so foolish, had never celebrated an ordinance, the proper terms of which they so little understand, and who are so ignorant of the quiddity of the sacrament they observe and worship?
With regard to the points touching the truth of the belief, that this sacrament is bread, let heretics be on the watch, and summon up all their powers; for He who is called Truth, teaches us (Matt. 6) to pray that he would give us our daily, or supersubstantial bread. And according to Augustine, on this passage in our Lord’s sermon on the mount, by daily bread, Christ intends, among other happy significations, this venerable sacrament. Are we not, then, to believe, what would follow, viz. that if the sacrament for which we pray is our daily bread, then in the sacrament there must be bread? In the same manner the apostles recognised Christ with breaking of bread, as we are told in Luke 24. And Augustine, with the papal enactment, De Con. Dist. III. non omnes, tells us that this bread is this venerable sacrament. Or are we to doubt its following, that the apostles having known Christ in the breaking of this bread, therefore that seeming bread must have been bread? Our apostle, likewise, who takes his meaning from our Lord, calls this sacrament the bread which we break, as is manifest in 1 Cor. 10, and often again in the following chapter. Who then would venture to blaspheme God, by maintaining that so chosen a vessel could apply erroneous terms to the chief of the sacraments,—especially with the foreknowledge that heresies would take their rise from that very subject? It is impossible to believe that Paul would have been so careless of the church, the spouse of Christ, as so frequently to have called this sacrament bread, and not by its real name, had he known that it was not bread, but an accident without a subject; and when he was besides aware, by the gift of prophecy, of all the future heresies which men would entertain on the matter. Let these idiot heretics say, and bring sufficient reason to prove their statements, what this sacrament, which their falsehoods desecrate, really is, if not the holy bread. As was said above, Christ, who is the first Truth, saith, according to the testimonies of the four evangelists, that this bread is his body. What heretic ought not to blush, then, to deny that it is bread?
We are thus shut up, either to destroy the verity of Scripture, or to go along with the senses and the judgment of mankind, and admit that it is bread. Mice, and other creatures, are aware of this fact; for according to philosophers, they have the power of discerning what is good for them to eat. Oh, if believers in the Lord will look on, and see. Antichrist and his accomplices so strong as to have power to condemn and persecute even unto death, those sons of the church who thus yield their belief to the Gospel, yet certain I am, that though the truth of the Gospel may for a time be cast down in the streets, and be kept under in a measure by the threats of Antichrist, yet extinguished it cannot be, since he who is the Truth has said, that “heaven and earth shall pass away, but that his words shall not pass away!” Let the believer, then, rouse himself, and demand strictly from our heretics, what the nature of this venerable sacrament is, if it be not bread; since the language of the Gospel, the evidence of our senses, and arguments that have in their favour every probability, say, that so it is. For I am certain, that even heathens, who make their own gods, are perfectly aware of what they are in their own proper nature, though they pretend that a portion of divinity is bestowed upon them supernaturally by the highest God of all. The believer, therefore, hesitates not to affirm, that these heretics are more ignorant, not only than mice and other animals, but than pagans themselves; while on the other hand, our aforementioned conclusion, that this venerable sacrament is, in its own nature, veritable bread, and sacramentally Christ’s body, is shown to be the true one.[1]

[1] De Wycliffe, J. (1845). Tracts and Treatises of John de Wycliffe. (R. Vaughan, Ed.) (pp. 138–141). London: Blackburn and Pardon.