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whole question very lengthily, and in conclusion he establishes this rule: Either the danger is one that threatens equally the lives of all, priests and laymen, or it does not threaten all. If the danger is common to all, then if all can escape to a safe spot, let them escape. But if it is not the life of all that is threatened, but either only that of all the priests or that of all the laymen: if only the laymen are in danger the priests need not fly, and the laymen can seek safety, for they are not shepherds. But if the lives of all priests are menaced, then may they not all fly, for they then would be hirelings, leaving their people without spiritual aid, that is without God's word and without baptism. . . . But if only one priest is in danger and the people can without him obtain spiritual aid, then that person may fly for future benefit, as the Apostle Paul fled from Damascus; thus also St. Athanasius fled when the emperor wished to kill him; and after he had fled he later rendered great service to the holy church against the heretics; for he made that profession of faith which we usually sing or recite at the first hour, and which begins with the words: “Whosoever will be saved.” But if the people should by the flight of a priest be deprived of the word of God and of baptism, then he must not fly; for if such a man fled from his flock, leaving it to the devil, he would be as a hireling, who loves his body more than the salvation of his fellowcreatures.' Thus did St. Augustine answer this question to this Honoratus. And I relying on the love of God and the advice of many whose heels I am not worthy to kiss and on this speech of St. Augustine, seeing that the people had sufficiently of God's word and spiritual aid, fled when they attempted to murder me. Then I returned and again preached, and then when a consultation concerning an agreement was held by wish of the king and with the consent of the people, I again fled. Then when the consultation did nothing to free the word of God (to allow the freedom of preaching) I again preached and they always stopped the (religious) services (because of the interdict), and this diabolical stopping caused great injury to the people as they (the priests) would neither christen nor bury the dead; and dreading this great disaster among the people I again fled. And I know not whether I did well or evilly like a
hireling nor whether these reasons will help me (to prove) that I was not a hireling."
This passage giving an interesting insight into the mind of Hus proves how earnestly and piously he weighed all arguments both in favour of his leaving Prague and of his remaining in that city. As already mentioned, Hus finally decided in favour of the former alternative. He determined to leave Prague for a short time. King Venceslas still hoped against hope that an agreement between the contending parties could be concluded, and he thought that the absence from Prague of Hus, who had incurred the deadly hatred of the rich parish priests, would facilitate a settlement. He therefore begged Hus to leave Prague for a short time, and the pious Queen Sophia, who had always continued to attend Hus's sermons in the Bethlehem chapel, probably used her influence for the same purpose. Hus was also moved by the sufferings of the people of Prague in consequence of the interdict which, now carried out with relentless severity, deprived them of all spiritual consolations. He therefore left Prague, probably in October 1412.1
The departure of Hus from Prague naturally caused great rejoicing among his enemies, who declared that he had been expelled from the city. The fanatical monk Stephen of Dolein in particular expressed great joy that "he who in spite of the prohibition had not ceased to preach and would not leave Prague, had now been driven away by the just judgment of God.” 2
The period in the life of Hus with which this and the fourth chapter deal, begins with his formal rupture with the clergy and
· The date of Hus's departure from Prague as well as those of his subsequent short visits to the city has caused much controversy among the modern historians of Bohemia-Palacky, Tomek, Dr. Loserth, have all suggested different dates. More recently Dr. Novak has also written on this subject, which is also thoroughly discussed by Dr. Vaclav Novotny, in a lengthy treatise published in the Vestnik kr. ceské spolecnosti nauk (Journal of the Bohemian Society of Science) for 1898. The date of Hus's departure given here is in accordance with Dr. Novotny.
• Dolein writes, addressing Hus : “ Vides, qui pro tempore a praedicatione et tua rebellione ordinarie prohibitus in loco illo cessare noluisti, jam justo Dei judicio inde cum confusione per inobedientiam ejectus, jam vagus et latitans, velis, nolis, silentio comprimeris et ori tuo magnalia eructanti digitum superponis." (Stephanus Dolanensis Antihussus, Pex Thesaurus Anecdotorum, T. iv. par. 2, p. 373.)
ends with his departure from Prague. The writings of this time, which Dr. Flajshans, whose services for the bibliography of Hus cannot be sufficiently praised, calls the polemical period, are not as valuable as those of the first period, to which at least one work of the highest value, the Super IV. Sententiarum, belongs. Still less can this period be compared to the following one, to which belong two of Hus's greatest Bohemian works, as well as his hitherto best known Latin book, the treatise De Ecclesia. With the exception of a few Bohemian sermons, all the writings belonging to this period are Latin. They are, as already mentioned, mainly of a polemical character. Of these polemical writings the treatise Contra Anglicum Joh. Stokes is interesting. It refers to the conflict between Hus and the English ecclesiastic, John Stokes, which took place at Prague and which has already been mentioned. Hus has in this treatise reproduced the contents of the speech against Stokes which he delivered at the university, Stokes had stated that whoever read the works of Wycliffe or studied them would in the course of time become a heretic, however good his disposition might be, and however firmly his faith might be grounded. The treatise is valuable as it indicates Hus's attitude with regard to Wycliffe, which was by no means one of blind and unreasoning admiration, as has been frequently affirmed. Hus declines to give a positive answer to the question whether Wycliffe was a heretic or not, but in view of the obscurity of the question he thinks it more charitable to adopt the more favourable view and to hope that Wycliffe obtained salvation.1
Perhaps of yet greater interest is another polemical treatise entitled Contra occultum adversarium. Though Hus does not give the name of his adversary, the person referred to is known to have been the Bohemian priest Marik or Mauritius de Praga, surnamed Rvacka. Marik has already been mentioned as having been employed by King Venceslas in negotiations for the purpose of
Ego autem non credo nec concedo quod Magister Joan Wicleff sit haereticus, sed nec nego; sed spero quod non est haereticus cum in occultis de proximo debeo meliorem partem eligere, unde spero quod Magister Joan Wicleff est de salvandis.” (Contra Anglicum Joh. Stokes, Nuremberg edition of Hus's Latin works, 1715, vol. i. p. 136.)
terminating the schism. He was a determined opponent of churchreform and secretly attended Hus's sermons, taking notes there concerning those points in which he believed that Hus's words were contrary to the teaching of the Church of Rome. Marik affixed to the pulpit of the Bethlehem chapel a written statement-given in full in Hus's treatise-in which he declared that Hus had by his last sermon attacked the law of God and the authority of the clergy. The principal grievances of Marik were, firstly, that Hus had interpreted the action of Christ who had driven the traders from the temple as signifying that He had granted to a lay king the right of ruling over the clergy, and, secondly, that Hus had stated that Christ had lamented over the destruction of Jerusalem principally because it had been caused by the sins of the clergy. In his treatise Hus maintained his theses though defining them in a manner somewhat different from that of Marik. The treatise Contra occultum adversarium is very difficult reading and its importance is not immediately obvious. Basing as usual his arguments on Scripture, Hus here maintains the power which the secular authorities should exercise over the church in a manner similar to that of Wycliffe and indeed of many earlier writers—as well as to that of the later reformers, of Luther in particular. The friends of Hus therefore strove, and strove successfully, to prevent this treatise from being brought to the knowledge of the Council of Constance.
The ecclesiastics of whom that assembly was mainly composed would of course deeply resent the theories contained in the treatise as encroaching on their rights, while they would not obtain for Hus the support of Sigismund, whose desire to annihilate the Bohemian reformer was founded on political motives. Hus's language in this treatise is very outspoken. He declares that it is the duty of kings and lords of the secular arm to restrain the wickedness of the clergy and extirpate the heresy of simony.2
1 See p. 92.
" Dixi quod Salvator noster ejiciens vendentes et ementes de templo dedit exemplum Regibus et Saccularis brachic Dominis quod vindicando Dei injuriam debent primum Cleri malitiam compescere et praesertim Symoniacae haeresis degotia extirpere.” (Contra occultum adçersarium, edition of 1715, vol. i. p. 169.)
HUS IN EXILE
COMPARED to the period of constant struggle, such as the years 1409 to 1412 had been to Hus, the time between October 1412, when he left Prague, and October 1414, when he started on his fateful journey to Constance, cannot be considered momentous. Still less can it be compared in interest to the period of Hus's residence in Constance, which comprises his imprisonment and sufferings there, and his death which has rendered him immortal. If these months during which Hus was mostly absent from Prague do not require as detailed an account as other periods of his life, most of his most prominent works were written at this time and will require careful notice.
It is not easy to ascertain with certainty where Hus wended his way when he left Prague. As was the case a century later when Luther sought refuge in the Wartburg, Hus and his friends thought it advisable that his dwelling-place should remain for a time unknown. It appears most probable that Hus went first to Southern Bohemia, and a very ancient tradition states that he visited Husinec, his birthplace, and preached there. In December Hus addressed to the citizens of Prague a letter in which he explained to them the reasons that induced him to leave Prague. He again referred to the passage from the Gospel of St. John (chapter x.), which has already been mentioned,' and defended his conduct by the example given by Jesus Christ.? A man so entirely guided by the dictates of his conscience as was Hus felt obliged to recur frequently to this question, and we find allusions to it in several of
1 See p. 151.
I“ Non igitur mirum est quod ego exemplo ejus (Christi) fugi, et quia quaeritant et colloquuntur sacerdotes similiterque alii, ubi sim ego." (Pragensibus, December 1412. Palacky, Documenta, pp. 46–47.)