John Wycliffe T-Shirt | PURITAN Collection

Regular price $ 25.00
John Wycliffe has been called “The Morning Star of the Reformation.” The morning star is not actually a star, but the planet Venus, which appears before the sun rises and while darkness still dominates the horizon. The morning star is unmistakably visible.

In On the Truth of Sacred Scripture, Wycliffe called for the Bible to be translated into English. According to Roman Catholic law, translating the Bible into a vulgar, common language was a heresy punishable by death. It is almost impossible to imagine why a church would want to keep God’s word from people, unless that church wanted to hold power over the people. Wycliffe was more convinced of the power of the word of God than the power wielded by the papal office. Consequently, he and a group of colleagues committed themselves to making the word of God available.

Not only did the Bible need to be translated; it also had to be copied and distributed. This was before the printing press (invented in 1440), so copies had to be made painstakingly by hand. Despite the challenges, hundreds of the Bibles were produced and distributed to Wycliffe’s troop of pastors, who preached across England as the word of God made its way to the people. Wycliffe’s followers came to be called Lollards. They were enclaves of reform not only in England, but across Europe.

These efforts in translating, copying, and proclaiming the Bible in English were driven by a singular motive, expressed by Wycliffe this way: “It helps Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue which they know best.” In his final years, Wycliffe endured falling out of favor with the church and nobility in England. Of course, he had long ago fallen out of favor with the pope. Yet, Wycliffe declared, “I am ready to defend my convictions even unto death.” He remained convinced of the authority and centrality of Scripture and devoted to his life’s calling to help Christians study the Bible. Having suffered two strokes, John Wycliffe died on December 30, 1384.

In 1415, the Council of Constance, which condemned Jan Hus to death, declared Wycliffe a heretic. His bones were exhumed and burned and the ashes were put into the River Swift.

But the reforming efforts of Wycliffe could not be quenched by the flames or stopped by a council’s declarations. This Morning Star shone brightly against the horizon, signaling the soon coming of daylight.

- Excerpted from Stephen Nichols' article "The Morning Star of the Reformation"

• Printed on Bella + Canvas tees
• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton (heather colors contain polyester)
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz (142 g/m2)
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
• Side-seamed

Size guide

  XS S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL
Length (inches) 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
Width (inches) 16 ½ 18 20 22 24 26 28 30

Media Gratiae is an independent nonprofit (501c3) multimedia ministry based out of New Albany, Mississippi. Our desire is to produce film, print, and other media for the glory of Christ and for the good of His Church.

Media Gratiae (pronounced "GRAH - tee - ā") is Latin for "the Means of Grace."

Fallen man receives all the blessings of salvation out of the eternal fountain of the grace of God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ and through the operation of the Holy Spirit. While the Spirit can and does in some respects operate immediately on the soul of the sinner, He has seen fit to bind Himself largely to the use of certain means in the communication of divine grace. " (L. Berkhof)

In other words, Christ has fully accomplished the redemption that the Father planned, and now the Spirit is applying that grace in time to the lives of God’s people all around the world. God has appointed certain “means” to serve as the channels through which the Spirit applies that grace. The scope of the work Media Gratiae produces is meant to give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission by the use of those means.

We believe that the chief means of grace is God’s word. It alone has the promise of being the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:16). Paul tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. In doing so, he elevates the preached word of God to the foreground as the means by which God’s own voice is heard by sinners (Rom. 10:13-17). Paul's determination to preach Christ and Him crucified is understood in light of the fact that it is the voice of our Savior that brings dead men out of their tombs (John 5:25).

In Acts 2 we see that the early church not only gave themselves to the apostles' teaching and prayer, but also to fellowship with one another. In addition to the crucial fellowship we experience by being committed to a local body of believers, we can also experience something of "the communion of the saints" by making use of Christian Biography. In this way we can be helped by the example of those who have followed our Lord before us, and follow Paul's admonition to keep our eyes on those who walk according to the example we have in him.

Two lines from a hymn by John Berridge—one a statement, the other an earnest prayer—sum up the mission and hope of Media Gratiae:

The means of grace are in my hand,
The blessing is at God’s command
Who must the work fulfill;
And though I read, and watch and pray,
Yet here the Lord directs my way
And worketh all things still.

Prepare my tongue to pray and praise,
To speak of providential ways,
And heavenly truth unfold;
To strengthen well a feeble soul,
Correct the Wanton, rouse the dull,
And silence sinners bold.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 Matthew Robinson | Director, Media Gratiae