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tained in the treatise De Ecclesia as absolute and indisputable truths. He never asserted this, and when questioned on this subject at the Council of Constance, declared that he would withdraw whatever might be contrary to the true faith, if valid evidence from Scripture were placed before him. No such discussion was allowed to take place. The members of the council interrupted Hus with loud threats and cries and silenced him. The condemnation of Hus was for the council a foregone conclusion, and as the treatise De Ecclesia contained sentences of Wycliffe that had already been declared heretical, the treatise was the safest weapon to bring about the death of Hus.
The keynote of the treatise De Ecclesia is the theory of predestination, but as will have to be noted when dealing with the trial of Hus, it is not certain that his views differed widely from those of the Roman Church at the point of development which they had then attained. The theory of predestination had undoubtedly by both Wycliffe and Hus been adopted from St. Augustine. In some cases the views expressed by St. Augustine do not differ widely from those contained in Hus's treatise De Ecclesia. On the subject of predestination, as on almost all more important points, Hus was not allowed freely to express his views at Constance; but it is evident that he firmly believed that his views on this subject were not opposed to those of the Roman Church. He relied on his studies of the works of St. Augustine. A man of great humility and simplicity, he little thought that St. Augustine himself was little in favour with the churchmen of that day, who were statesmen, lawyers, warriors, anything but priests.a
* Compare the following passage from St. Augustine (De praedestinatione, 34): Electi sunt ante mundi constitutionem ea praedestinatione in qua Deus sua future facta praescivit; electi sunt autem de mundo ea vocatione, qua Deus id quod praedestinavit, implevit. Quos enim praedestinavit ipsos et vocavit illa scilicet vocatione secundum propositum non ergo alios, sed quos praedestinavit ipsos et vocavit nec alios sed quos praedestinavit, vocavit justificavit ipsos et glorificavit, illo utique fine, qui non habet finem."
2 This interesting subject into which I cannot enter is very clearly expounded by Dr. Harnack (Dogmengeschichte, iii. pp. 434-439). Dr. Harnack writes: Die Geschichte der Kirchenlehre im Abendlande ist eine vielfach verdeckte Geschichte des Kamfes gegen Augustin.”
The principal ideas contained in the treatise De Ecclesia may be briefly summarised thus: All men are divided into two classes, those who are either conditionally or unconditionally-predestined (predestinati) to eternal bliss, and those who are foreknown (presciti) to damnation. The mass of the predestinati form the true Holy Catholic Church, but the church as at present constituted includes the presciti as well as the predestinati. Of the true church Christ is the only head. As man He is “head of the church within it " (caput intrinsecum), as God He is its "head without " (caput extrinsecum). Christ is the true Roman pontiff, the high priest, and the bishop of souls. The apostles did not call themselves
Holy Father” or “ Head of the Church,” but servant of God and servant of the church. A change came with the “donation of Constantine." 1 Thenceforth the pope considered himself as head (capitaneus) of the church and Christ's vicar upon earth. It is not, however, certain that the pope is Christ's successor in this world. Only then is he Christ's representative and the successor of St. Peter, and only then are the cardinals successors of the apostles, when they follow the examples of faith, modesty, and love which St. Peter and the apostles gave. Many popes and cardinals have not done this, and indeed many saintly men, who never were popes, were truer successors of the apostles than, for instance, the present pope (John XXIII.). St. Augustine did more for the welfare of the church than many popes, and studied its doctrines more profoundly than any cardinal from the first to the last. If pope and cardinals give their attention to worldly affairs, if they scandalise the faithful by their ambition and avarice, then are they successors not of Christ, not of Peter, not of the apostles, but of Satan, of Antichrist, of Judas Iscariot. It is not certain that the pope is really the head of the church; he cannot even be sure that he is not a prescitus, and therefore no member of the true church at all. St. Peter erred even after he had been called by Christ. Pope Leo was a heretic and Pope Gregory (XII.) was
1 Hus of course believed in the authenticity of the “ donatio ” as did all mediæval writers before its exposure by Laurentius Valla.
but recently condemned by the Council of Pisa. It is a popular fallacy to imagine that a pope is necessary to rule the church. We must be thankful to God that He gave us His only son to rule over the church, and He would be able to direct it, even if there were no temporal pope, or if a woman occupied the papal throne.1 As with the pope and the cardinals, so with the prelates and the clergy generally. There is a double clergy, that of Christ, and that of Antichrist. The former live according to the law of God, the latter seek only worldly advantage. Not every priest is a saint, but every saint is a priest. Faithful Christians are, therefore, great in the church of God, but worldly prelates are among its lowest members, and may indeed, should they be presciti, not be members of the church at all.
Of the other Latin works that belong to this period, in which -as already mentioned-Hus's literary activity was greatest, only a few can be mentioned. Foremost among them, mainly because of its great historical interest, is Hus's Appeal from the Pope to Jesus Christ, to which I have already referred. To the haughty and worldly clergy of the time it appeared both absurd and insolent, and every mention of the document was at Constance received with jeers and derision. With the articles derived from Wycliffe's works, which Hus was, rightly or wrongly, stated to have accepted in their entirety, and the ludicrously untrue and wicked statement that Hus had declared that he was one of the persons of the divinity, the appeal was the document by which the council was mostly influenced when it pronounced sentence on Hus. This is a striking proof of the unacknowledged and perhaps unconscious scepticism' which prevailed among the rich prelates whose influence directed the deliberations at Constance. Hus's profound piety is evident in every line of his appeal. He confidently appeals to "the omnipotent God, the first and last
1 An allusion to the fable of Pope Joan.
Appellatio M. Joannis Hus a sententiis pontificis Romani ad Jesum Christum supremum Judicem ” (printed Hus Opera, 1715, vol. i. pp. 22–23, and more correctly Palacky, Documenta, pp. 464-466).
See p. 149.
refuge of the oppressed, the Lord who will preserve the truth in all eternity.” Hus then quotes the examples of Christ himself, St. Chrysostomus, Bishops Andrew of Prague and Robert of Lincoln as precedents for his direct appeal to God. He then begs all faithful in Christ, particularly the princes, barons, knights, citizens, and all other inhabitants of the Bohemian kingdom, to pity him, who had been unjustly struck down by excommunication on the instigation of his enemy, Michael de causis. Pope John XXIII. had decreed this punishment without even granting a hearing to Hus's representatives, a favour which should not even be refused to Jew, pagan, or heretic. Hus ends by again appealing to the “Lord Jesus Christ, the justest judge, who knows, protects, and rewards all men whose cause is just." Though one of Hus's shortest works, the Appeal is, because of its historical interest, one of the best known. We therefore possess very numerous manuscripts of the treatise, and it has been frequently printed and translated into Bohemian, German, English, and French.
The Appellatio dates from August 1412, and almost at the same time Hus first wrote a short treatise, which he afterwards submitted to the Council of Constance, and which in consequence has become known as his protest to the council.? Hus frequently refers in his other writings to this brief document, which is a short confession of faith. He repeatedly affirms in it that he is a faithful member of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the head and bridegroom of the holy church which he redeemed, and that he never had maintained and never would maintain any doctrine that was contrary to the truth, and that he was ready to lay down his life for the law of Christ.
Incessantly attacked as Hus was by opponents who were largely
ad Deum appello, committens sibi causam meam, salvatoris Jesu Christi sequens vestigia, sicut sanctus et magnus patriarcha Constantinopolitanus Joannes Chrysostomus a duplici episcoporum et clericorum concilio, et beati in spe episcopi, Andreas Pragensis et Robertus Linconiensis episcopus a papa ad supremum et justissimum judicem, qui nec timore concutitur, nec amore flectitur, nec munere curvatur, nec falsis decipitur testibus, injuriose oppressi humiliter et salubriter appellarunt.”
• Printed in Hus Opera, 1715, vol. i. p. 13, and Palacky, Documenta, p. 267.
influenced by personal and egotistical motives, he naturally became engaged in frequent polemics. This applies to this period also, though not so exclusively as to the previous one. Of the polemical works written between 1412 and 1414 I will only mention two. One of these is the treatise entitled Replica Contra Prædicatorem Plznensem (A reply to the Preacher of Plzen). It is very interesting as showing what outrageous pretensions the Bohemian clergy raised at this period. They explain to a great extent the stern disapproval and dislike of priests shown by many genuinely pious Bohemians at this time. The friends of Hus informed him that a preacher at Plzen had in his sermons raised strange—to a modern mind they appear blasphemous—claims on behalf of the clergy. The priest had stated, among other things, that the worst priest was better than the best layman, and that a priest when officiating was the father of God and the creator of God's body.2 Hus then drew attention to a book, entitled Stella Clericonum, which was then widely read by the clergy. The book contained even more outrageous statements than those mentioned before. Thus the superiority of priests over the Virgin Mary was affirmed.3 Hus indignantly repudiated these pretensions of the clergy, which he rightly stigmatised as being blasphemous. This little known polemical treatise to a great extent explains the strong opposition to the doctrine of transubstantiation which we find in the writings of many Bohemian church-reformers, though not in those of Hus. Though greatly disapproving of claims such as those mentioned above, Hus always accepted the doctrine of transubstantiation as taught by the Roman Church.
The only other polemical work of this period which I shall mention is Hus's Answer to the Writings of Stanislas. Stanislas of Znoymo had at the beginning of the Bohemian movement been a
1" Tertio praedicavit quod pessimus Sacerdos est melior optimo Laico." (Hus Opera, 1715, vol. i. p. 179.)
?" Articulus secundus ponit quod Sacerdos postquam officiat est pater Dei et creator corporis Dei.” (Hus Opera, 1715, vol. i. p. 181.)
3" Unde assumpto mendacio arguunt (the priests) sic: Si virgo Maria est beata, vel digna quia semel Christum genuit, beatior vel dignior est quilibet acerdos, qui eum saepe creavit, et potest creare quando vult.” (Ibid. p. 182.)