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insisted on the indebtedness of Hus to Wycliffe. He has undoubtedly proved this indebtedness, which has indeed at all times been known to those who have studied the writings both of Wycliffe and of Hus. Thus the treatise of Hus, De Ecclesia, is to a large extent founded on Wycliffe's work of the same name, and Professor Loserth has, in his work mentioned above, printed in parallel columns considerable passages from the two works that are almost identical. With all deference to so eminent a scholar as is Professor Loserth, it must be admitted that he has everywhere attempted to minimise the importance and independence of Hus and the Hussite movement. Thus Loserth—as did Hofler before him—lays great stress on the fact that the Hussites were frequently called Wycliflites by their enemies. He does not, however, mention that as the strength of the Bohemian movement in favour of church-reform was largely based on its connection with the national movement, it was an obvious stratagem of the Romanist party to exaggerate the dependence of the reform movement on foreign influences. We frequently meet with this tendency. Thus one of the manuscripts of a work of Matthew of Janov, one of the forerunners of Hus, formerly bore the inscription: Tractatus johannis Wiklefiz heretici. This inscription was afterwards erased and the name of the true author, Matthew of Janov, substituted.1 Professor Loserth has also placed Wycliffe on a higher pedestal than most of the English reforrners’ countrymen have done,” and he has certainly greatly underrated the learning of Hus. The comparison 1 Dr. Kybal’s edition of Janov's Regulae Veteris et Novi Testamenti, vol. i. p. r. ' It is interesting to compare with Loserth’s appreciation the words of the late Canon Bigg, who writes: " Wycliffe was a college don, the most famous teacher of his time at Oxford, though not of the first rank. His philosophy is not original and he appeals invariably to the head; there is no sentiment or pathos or unction about him, not a grain of amusement is to be extracted from his books, and we may reckon this a serious defect—not a grain of poetry, and this is more serious still. He had none of the qualities of a great preacher, or a great leader of the people, and as far as we can see, he never attempted to be either one or the other." (Canon Bigg, Wayside Sketches in Ecclesiastical History, p. 118.) I may here mention that though I have given a short notice of the early French and German opposition to Rome, I have
done nothing similar as regards England. The reason is very simple. Many English writers far more competent than I am have dealt with this subject.
between an enthusiast such as was Hus, impelled by fiery indignation to denounce the iniquities of the clergy of Bohemia and the oppression of his countrymen, and a learned, though somewhat arid scholar such as was Wycliffe, is indeed altogether meaningless. Hus believed that a thorough reform of the alien, immoral, and simoniac clergy of Bohemia was necessary; and there being no hope of obtaining the assent to such a reform from the corrupt popes of his time, he inevitably and, it may be added, reluctantly became an opponent of the Church of Rome. In the controversy which followed, Hus used as weapons many of the writings of divines anterior to his time. Among these writings the works of Wycliffe, often themselves founded on earlier theologians, occur very frequently. Often also Hus and Wycliffe have drawn from the same source. It is a great merit of Mr. Workman that he pointed out, in the introduction to his edition of the Letters of Hus, that the Bohemian reformer is indebted to Gratian’s Decretum almost as greatly as to the writings of Wycliffe. Both Hus and Wycliffe also depend largely on the teaching of St. Augustine, and one of the principal theories of both church-reformers, which describes the church as the community of all who believe in Christ, laymen as well as priests, is derived from the Defensor Pacis of Marsiglio of Padua.
It may be stated generally that the extreme importance of verbal exactitude in scholastic definitions—where even the slightest deviation from the accepted wording might have exposed the writer to the suspicion of heresy—rendered it customary among the theologians of the Middle Ages to copy word by word the statements of previous writers. It was equally customary with the theologians of that time to incorporate in their works without acknowledgment long passages and even treatises contained in the books of previous writers. Thus Gerson without acknowledgment included in his works a considerable part of the Declaratio comPemiiosa defectuum virorum ecclesiasticorum of Henry of Langenstein.1 Thus also Peter of Ailly incorporated a considerable portion
1 Schwab, johannes Gerson, p. 121.
of Occam’s Dialogus in one of his early works without mentioning his source.1 Many other similar cases could be mentioned.
The great authority of so eminent a scholar as Professor Loserth has induced other recent German writers, who possessed less learning though more racial hatred than he does, to vilify Hus and to exaggerate the importance attached to Wycliffe in Bohemia.2 These writers have particularly laid great stress on the supposed ignorance of Hus. This supposition can already be considered as obsolete in consequence of the recent studies of Bohemian writers, particularly of that talented and enthusiastic scholar, Professor Flajshans. The learned professor published recently an almost unknown work of Hus entitled Super IV. Sententiarum, a commentary on the sentences of Peter Lombard. The work, larger than any other book of Hus that is known, has great value and bears witness to the deep and extensive learning of the writer. In referring to this recent and important publication, Professor Loserth writes: 3 “ It can now be considered as certain that the former opinion of the literary work of Hus will be changed in many respects, and that it will be esteemed more highly than before.”
It has already been mentioned that the exaggeration of the undeniable influence of Wycliffe’s writings on those of Hus is no new matter. Hus himself frequently protested against the suggestion that he was responsible for all the statements made by Wycliffe, and shortly after the death of the Bohemian churchreformer a controversy on this subject arose. In a work attacking the extreme church-reformers or Taborites, John of Pribram, a Hussite divine who was probably a pupil of Janov, and who was an intimate friend of Hus, wrote: 1 “ It is well known to many that, when preaching, Master John Hus said that he would not defend any error of Wycliffe or of anyone else! He also preached: ‘ If Wycliffe is in heaven, may he pray to God for us; if he is in purgatory, may God help him; if he is in hell, the Lord be blessed.’ Also in Constance before his death, he (Hus) said openly before all: ‘ Why do you blame me because of Wycliffe? What concern is it of mine? For neither was Wycliffe a Bohemian, nor was he my father; he was an Englishman; therefore, if he wrote errors, let the English answer for them.’ And you can see by this speech that Master John Hus, as it were, rejected Wycliffe.” In this passage, too long to quote in its entirety, Master Pribram energetically protests against the description of the Hussites as Wycliffites. It is obvious from the statement of Master John of Pribram that the attitude of Hus and the Hussites with respect to the teaching of Wycliffe was by no means one of inept and unreasoning assent as has been stated by some recent German writers. As recent Bohemian scholars have truly maintained, the question of the correlation of the teaching of Wycliffe and that of Hus cannot be decided at present. Besides examining what part of the writings of Hus is derived from the writings of Wycliffe, it would be necessary to examine also thoroughly what other sources Hus used, and also what were the principal sources of the teaching of Wycliffe, which was by no means original. It is however questionable whether such a pedantic enterprise would be worth the great amount of research which it would require. No two men were more entirely different in all respects than were Wycliffe and Hus. Here, if ever, the time-worn saying that comparisons are odious may be considered as true.
' Tschackert, Peter van Ailly, p. 43.
' Professor Loserth is not himself free from this tendency. Thus, when referring to a passage of Hus’s De Ecclesia in which the Bohemian reformer refers to Bishop Grosseteste, Loserth mentions that the Prague libraries possessed many MSS. Of the writings of the Bishop of Lincoln, adding “ that they were probably obtained because Wyclifle frequently mentioned him," a conjecture for which Loserth does not give a tittle of evidence. Grosseteste's writings were much read and studied quite independently of Wycliffe.
* M ittheilungen des I nstituts fur oesterreichische Geschitschreibung, No. 26.
It has been necessary to refer here to the influence of Wycliffe on Hus, as some writers have endeavoured to prove that the Bohemian movement in favour of church-reform was an artificial one imported from foreign countries, and that there was in Bohemia, at the end of the fourteenth century, no genuine national feeling opposed to the Church of Rome.
1 In his Zivot Knezi Taborskych (Life of the priests of Tabor). The work is still unprinted. I quote from the extract published in the Vybor z. Literatury ceske (Selections from Bohemian Literature), part ii.
The reign -of Charles I. of Bohemia—better known as the Emperor Charles IV.-—raised Bohemia to a previously unknown degree of prosperity. The necessary consequence had been that the inhabitants of Bohemia, and particularly the citizens of Prague, had adopted a luxurious manner of life that had been quite unknown to their ancestors. The clergy greatly favoured by the king had acquired great riches, and, as mentioned previously, immorality, simony, and avarice prevailed among its members. Charles, a truly pious and enlightened Christian, by no means the bigot described by some historians, was deeply distressed by the state of the Bohemian clergy; and with the aid of his trusted councillor, Ernest of Pardubice, Archbishop of Prague, he endeavoured to stem the current of immorality and to bring about the much-needed reformation of the Bohemian clergy. But the deaths of the archbishop, in I364, and of Charles himself, in I 378, put a stop to their good work. Though the king had reached the age of sixty-two, there is little doubt that his life was shortened by the apprehension that the evil life of the priesthood would finally cause a revolution, and by the beginning of the schism which took place shortly before his death, and with which he rightly thought that his son, Venceslas, would be unable to cope.
The Bohemian movement in favour of church-reform becamein its later and better known period so entirely a national one that it is interesting to note that the first prominent church-refomier in Bohemia was a German. It did not escape the vigilance of Charles, ever mindful of the welfare of his Bohemian subjects, that Prague was very deficient in able preachers. The fame of Conrad Waldhauser, an Augustine monk who was preacher at the court of the Austrian dukes at Vienna, reached Charles, and he determined to secure his services for the city of Prague. After having previously obtained the permission of the Archbishop of Prague, Conrad proceeded to that'city in the year 1358; he had