31st October is Reformation day. Usually when Reformation day is mentioned, Martin Luther automatically springs to mind.
However, it is important to remember the forerunners of Martin Luther, who paved the way for him, many of these people are now forgotten by the present generation.
You could argue that the stand taken by Wycliffe was a much more dangerous one than the stand Luther took, as England was gripped by the total darkness of Roman Catholicism at the time.
WHILE Wicliffe was struggling to break first of all his own fetters, and next the fetters of an enslaved nation, God was working in the high places of the earth for his preservation.
Every day the number of his enemies increased. The shield of John of Gaunt no longer covered his head. Soon not a friend would there be by his side, and he would be left naked and defenseless to the rage of his foes.
But He who said to the patriarch of old, “Fear not, I am thy shield,” protected his own chosen champion.
Wicliffe had ,offered inexpiable affront to Gregory; he had plucked England as a prey out of his very teeth; he had driven away his taxgatherers, who continually hovered like a flock of cormorants round the land.
But not content with clipping the talons of the Papacy and checking her rapacity in time to come, he was even now meditating how he might make her reckon for the past, and disgorge the wealth which by so many and so questionable means she had already devoured, and send forth abbot and monk as poor as were the apostles and first preachers.
This was not to be borne. For a hundredth part of this, how many men had ere this done expiation in the fire! No wonder that Wicliffe was marked out as the man to be struck down.
John Wycliffe The Morning Star Of The Reformation.
Psalm 68:11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.