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his works. It is certain that Hus at the beginning of his exile spent some time at the castle, or "tower" as it is called in Bohemian, of Kozi Hradek, the property of John the elder, Lord of Usti, one of the firmest upholders of the cause of church-reform,
Shortly after the departure of Hus from Prague, King Vesceslas resumed his well
meant attempts to re-establish religious concord in Bohemia. His task was not an easy one. The opponents of church-reform, considering the departure of Hus from Prague as a signal victory, became more exigent and more intransigent in consequence of that event. They continued to maintain that Hus had been expelled from Prague--a totally untrue statement that was repeated by the mendacious Michael de causis at Constance. The Estates of Bohemia met at Prague in December. Hus from his place of exile addressed a petition to the assembly, in which he complained of the persecution which he had suffered on the part of the parish priests of Prague and begged that the freedom of preaching should be maintained in the city. Hus's words did not fail to make a considerable impression on the members of this assembly, composed mainly of Bohemian nobles, many of whom shared their sovereign's objection to the extreme power and wealth of the clergy. It is but just to add that some of these men supported the cause of church-reform from higher motives and afterwards offered up their lives for it on the battlefields of the Hussite wars. The Estates advised the king to call together a synod of the Bohemian clergy which was to mediate between the contending parties. Venceslas gladly assented. He was, during all these protracted negotiations, guided by the wish to settle as far as possible within the country the differences that had broken out among the Bohemian clergy. It was endeavoured to exclude as far as possible the intervention of Pope John XXIII. The latter on February 2, 1413, at a meeting of the Roman clergy at the Lateran, which the pope considered to be a council, condemned as heretical all the writings of Wycliffe without exception.
The meeting of the Bohemian synod was, however, delayed by a new change in the person of the Archbishop of Prague.
Archbishop Albik, a wealthy and well-intentioned man, had, on the particular request of King Venceslas, consented to become Archbishop of Prague and had even, according to the evil custom then prevalent in Bohemia, paid a large sum for that honour. Albik soon tired of his new dignity and felt that it became ever more difficult to conform to the wishes both of King Venceslas and of Pope John, whose views were often directly contradictory. He therefore entered into an agreement with two other great dignitaries of the Bohemian Church, according to which they were on receipt of a considerable pecuniary remuneration to exchange their offices. Large presents were previously sent to Pope John XXIII., who on receipt of them gave his consent to the agreement. Albik resigned the archbishopric of Prague in favour of Conrad of Vechta, then Bishop of Olomouc (Olmütz). Conrad, a German of Westphalian origin, had been one of the favourites of King Vesceslas. Later in life, when Archbishop of Prague, he joined the Hussite Church and became the object of great opprobrium on the part of ultramontane writers. Tomek, whose strictly impartial attitude contrasts favourably with that of most historians of this period, writes: 1 " Archbishop Conrad was neither better nor worse than the great majority of those who held the prominent ecclesiastical offices in Bohemia in his time. Like the others, he only wished to acquire large worldly possessions as rapidly as possible." A contemporary chronicler, , writing of the accession of Conrad of Vechta, tells us: 2 "Conrad was an elderly and weak man. He pledged many of the towns and estates belonging to the archbishopric, and some are still in pawn. For himself, he kept only the Castle of Roudnice.” Albik, however, though anxious to abandon the difficult task of ruling the archbishopric of Prague, had no intention of foregoing altogether the ecclesiastical dignities which had come to him late in life. A further agreement, concluded at the same time, stipulated that the new archbishop should cede his bishopric of Olomouc to Venceslas of Burenic, provost of the Vysehrad, who was to give over his previous
1 Story of the Town of Prague, vol. iv. p. 140.
dignity to Albik, who was also given the titular rank of Archbishop of Caesarea.
Even at a period when simony was universal in Bohemia, this chaffering for the highest ecclesiastical dignities in the land became the subject of general talk and caused much scandal and indignation. It is in such occurrences in Bohemia itself, far more than in the influence of distant countries, that we must seek the origin of Hussitism as well as the enthusiasm which the ascetic teachings of Hus aroused in Bohemia. On the other hand, the more Hus spoke against the avarice and immorality of the Bohemian clergy, the greater became the hatred and the animosity of the unworthy priests. They considered it necessary to silence at any price so dangerous an enthusiast—and they eventually succeeded in doing
It was this ignoble traffic in ecclesiastical dignities which was the immediate motive of Hus's famous treatise, O svatokupectvi (On Simony), which will be mentioned presently. It was probably written at Prague, where Hus stayed secretly for a short time during the last weeks of the year 1412. He wished to confer there with his friends with regard to the attitude which the churchreformers should take up at the synod which was shortly to meet. On January 2, 1413, King Venceslas published a decree summoning the members of the synod to meet at Nemecky Brod (Deutsch Brod) on February 1. The reason why the meeting was not to take place at Prague appears to have been that Archbishop Albik, though he had resigned his dignity, still resided in the archiepiscopal palace. Albik, however, removed from his former residence before February 1, and the synod took place at the palace of the archbishops. Two statements were immediately laid before the assembly. One, which emanated from the party that favoured the existent state of affairs-it would be invidious to call it the conservative party-stated that the present discord had been caused by some priests who had disobeyed their superiors, and by those
1 A contemporary writer-quoted by Tomek-says: “ Mirabile cambium fecerunt! Sed utinam illud cambium esset sine simonia maxima."
who spread the heresies of Wycliffe. They therefore recommended that Wycliffe's heresies should be again denounced, and that the papal bull which decreed the destruction of the Bethlehem chapel should be carried out. They also demanded that Hus should be delivered up to the temporal authorities to receive condign punishment. An additional paper from the same source offered suggestions as to the steps to be taken to suppress all opposition to the Church of Rome, and also protested against Hus's visits to Prague, “be they manifest or secret." The church-reformers in their statement demanded that Hus should be allowed to appear before the synod in his own defence. If no one there was prepared to bring accusations against him, then those who had calumniated him should be called on to prove that, as they had previously stated, heresies were prevalent in Bohemia; should they be unable to do this, they were to be punished. Simultaneously the university also forwarded to the synod a document from the pen of the gifted Master Jacobellus which covered the same ground as the one mentioned before, but expressed more fully and more clearly the views of the Bohemian church-reformers. It began by stating the necessity of restoring peace in Bohemia and putting a stop to the disorders in the Bohemian Church. The king should therefore take determined measures to secure the re-establishment of peace and concord, to destroy the heresy of simony, adultery, fornication, concubinage, and the superfluity of worldly goods and temporal power among the clergy. The priests would thus be able to discharge more freely their sacerdotal duties and live according to the rules of the gospel; the laity also would in consequence fulfil more worthily its duties according to the decrees of Scripture. All customs obviously contrary to Christ's law which had been introduced among the Christian people should be extirpated everywhere—from the king downward to the meanest layman. With regard to Hus, the statement demanded that he should be confronted with his adversaries. Should it, after this confrontation, appear to be impossible to obtain both spiritual unity and worldly advantage, let at least peace and concord according to Christ's law be maintained in Bohemia, and
all be ordered to conform to it. Then would evil report and the accusation of heresy not harm the kingdom of Bohemia. If unfounded evil report did not harm the Son of God, neither would it harm the Bohemian kingdom. The puritanic note of this spirited declaration is very striking. We meet here with ideas such as that of the duty of rulers to suppress open sin that played a large part in the Hussite movement. The controversy continued, and both parties replied to the accusations raised against them by their opponents. The friends of church-reform denied again that Hus and his friends were guilty of heresy. They maintained that the real cause of the complaints against them was the fact that they had strongly denounced the vices prevalent among the Bohemian clergy. The party opposed to church-reform found a very energetic champion in John the iron, bishop of Litomysl, afterwards of Olomouc. He addressed to the new Archbishop Conrad a letter couched in very strong language, but which contained nothing that had not been previously stated. The bishop made no allusion to churchreform, but maintained that the pope alone could and should decide on all contentious questions of doctrine, and insisted on the blind obedience to their hierarchical superiors which was the duty of all priests. Hus was denounced in violent terms as one who shed the venom of his wickedness, heeding not the papal interdict, who falsely invoked in his favour decisions of the church that had never been published, that he might not be hindered by the teaching of the church which did not admit the " snarling of foxes and howling of wolves” which Hus mendaciously declared to be evangelical voices. As was inevitable under the circumstances, the synod soon separated without having arrived at any conclusion. Hus had again left Prague, probably at the time when the sittings of the synod began. He appears again to have been guided by the advice of the king, who well knew that his renewed preaching at the Bethlehem chapel had greatly irritated those who wished to
1 All the documents concerning the synod referred to above are published by Palacky, Documenta, pp. 472-504. It has here only been possible to note the most important points.