South of Prague, and partly at Krakowitz in the immediate neighbourhood of the capital, occasionally giving a course of open-air preaching, but finding his chief employment in maintaining that copious correspondence of which some precious fragments still are extant, and in the composition of the treatise, De Ecclesia, which subsequently furnished most of the material for the capital charges brought against him, and was formerly considered the most important of his works, though it is mainly a transcript of Wycliffe's work of the same name.
For some years after Wycliffe's death his followers, the Lollards, continued to carry on his work; but they roused the effective opposition of the conservative clergy, and were subjected to a persecution which put an end to their public agitation.
They rapidly disappeared and, except in Bohemia, Wycliffe's teachings left no clearly traceable impressions.
Wycliffe's later attacks upon the papacy had been given point by the return of the popes to Rome in 1377 and the opening of the Great Schism which was to endure for forty years.
Wycliffe's ideas, conveyed to the continent, precipitated the outbreak of the Hussite storm in Bohemia.
The council of Constance thought to quell it by condemnation of Wycliffe's teaching and by the execution of John Huss (1415).
He afterwards became one of Wycliffe's most determined opponents.
To Bishop Fleming was entrusted the execution of the decree of the council for the exhumation and burning of Wycliffe's remains.
For the special purpose of training up disputants against Wycliffe's heresy.
It is, therefore, in all likelihood to the zeal of Wycliffe and his followers that we owe the two noble 1 4 th-century translations of the Bible which tradition has always associated with his name, and which are the earliest complete renderings that we possess of the Holy Scriptures into English.4 The first of these, the so-called Early Version, was probably completed about 1382, at all events before 1384, the year of Wycliffe's death.
Under such circumstances it would be folly to look upon them as anything but late productions, at all events later than the Early Version, and equal folly to assign these bulky volumes to the last two years of Wycliffe's 3 See Paues, op. cit.
The Old Testament of the Early Version was, according to the editors (Preface, p. xvii.), taken in hand by one of Wycliffe's coadjutors, Nicholas de Herford.
It is uncertain who the revisers were; John Purvey, the leader of the Lollard party after Wycliffe's death, is generally assumed to have taken a prominent part in the work, but the evidence of this is extremely slight (cf.
Law, The New Testament in Scots, being Purvey's Revision of Wycliffe's version turned into Scots by Murdoch Nisbet, c. 1520 (Scot.
He was a learned and eloquent controversialist, and a faithful adherent to Wycliffe's doctrine.
Whilst at Rome he issued several bulls to the archbishop of Canterbury, the king of England, and the university of Oxford, commanding an investigation of Wycliffe's doctrines.
With Wycliffe's religious opinions he had no sympathy.
In 1410 Jerome, who had incurred the hostility of the archbishop of Prague by his speeches in favour of Wycliffe's teaching, went to Ofen, where King Sigismund of Hungary resided, and, though a layman, preached before the king denouncing strongly the rapacity and immorality of the clergy.
He was accused of spreading Wycliffe's doctrines, and his general conduct at Oxford, Paris, Cologne, Prague and Ofen was censured.
The exhumation and burning of his body in 1428, when the ashes were cast into the Swift, gave rise to the saying that their distribution by the river to the ocean resembled that of Wycliffe's doctrines over the world.