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to Hus and which contained many errors concerning the sacrament. Nothing was known of this treatise, nor indeed whether it existed. Hus was able firmly and truthfully to declare that he was not the author of this treatise. These attacks by means of vague accusations and insinuations would probably have continued, had not one of the English members of the council exclaimed: Why are these irrelevant matters introduced, that do not concern the faith? He (Hus) thinks rightly concerning the sacrament of the altar, as we have heard."
The scholastic duel between Hus and Cardinal D'Ailly was the only occasion during the trial in which the conflict between nominalists and realists came to the fore. The absolute reck essness with which it was attempted to attribute to Hus ideas and statements which were quite alien to him prove the animosity of the nominalists against him. It was stated that Hus had said "that there were more than three persons in the trinity (sic) and that one of them was John Hus.” One of the nominalist writers formally brought this accusation against Hus.1 The nominalism of writers of this school led to practical, though prudently veiled, scepticism, which considered it possible to maintain every conceivable thesis with an appearance of truth. As no accusations against Hus could be truthfully proved, D'Ailly, cleverly availing himself of the statements of the informers, Palec and Michael, attacked Hus with the sophistry of the nominalist school.
It is, however, easy to exaggerate the influence of the well-worn controversy between nominalists and realists on the fate of Hus. Hus used scholastic dialectics as a skilful fencer uses his sword, to parry the attacks of an implacable enemy. His heart was elsewhere, and this his enemies well knew. An opulent and immoral clergy and a vicious and ambitious emperor were equally determined to bring to the stake the humble priest who had dared to praise poverty, virtue, and self-sacrifice.
1“ Hus concessit istam (thesin) quod Johannes Hus esset persona in divinis et quod plures essent personae in divinis quam tres." (Mansi, xxvii. p. 758.) This matter was formally brought before the council at its meeting on July 6.
After this controversy the judges began to summon further witnesses. They were mainly Bohemians whom, as has already been mentioned, the Bishop of Litomysl and his allies had brought from their country to bear witness against Hus. Many had come to Constance unwillingly, probably on receipt of a considerable bribe, and hardly knew what they were expected to testify. The principal purpose of these depositions was to prove the entire dependence of Hus on Wycliffe. As the writings of the English divine had some time previously been declared to be heretical, the identification of Hus with Wycliffe necessarily involved the condemnation of Hus. The latter indeed endeavoured to define the difference between his own views and those of Wycliffe on several subjects, but was now again interrupted by loud cries. He was, however, able to declare in words that I have already quoted, that he did not wish to preach or follow the erroneous teaching of Wycliffe or of any one else, that Wycliffe was not his father or indeed a Bohemian, and that if he had disseminated errors, it was the duty of the English to see to this. When the article referring to Hus's appeal to Jesus Christ was read out, it was received by the assembly with loud laughter and derision. On the whole, eight articles were read out on this day. Many contained distorted versions of remarks that Hus had made, often many years previously, when conversing with his friends at Prague. Words of praise of Wycliffe spoken by Hus were interpreted as implying his complete acceptation of all the tenets of the English divine. The trial or rather the reading out of the articles of accusation against Hus was then suspended, and it was decided that the proceedings should continue on the following day.
At the end of the sitting an incident occurred which pro both D'Ailly's great animosity against Hus, and the fear which he and the other opulent prelates entertained that Hus might yet escape unless it were possible to render him obnoxious to the temporal powers. Before the assembly separated, the Cardinal of Cambray made the following statement: 1 “When I was riding
1 Mladenovic, Relatio de M. J. Hus causa.
from Rome (to Constance), some prelates from Bohemia met me on the road, and when I asked them what news they had they answered: 'Most reverend father, we bring evil news; all the clergy is being despoiled of its prebends and possessions.'” Then, addressing Hus, the Cardinal of Cambray continued: “Magister John, when thou wert brought into the palace (of the bishop) and we asked thee how thou hadst come here, thou didst say that thou hadst come here of thy free will and that if thou hadst not wished to come, neither the King of Bohemia, nor the lord King of the Romans could have forced thee to come.” The master answered: "Yes, I said that I had come here of my free will, and that if I had not wished to come, there were so many and so great lords in the kingdom of Bohemia, who love me and to whose castles I could have retired concealing myself there, that neither that king nor this one could have forced me to come.” The cardinal shook his head, and, his face somewhat altered by indignation, said: "See, what audacity.” Then while the others murmured, Lord John of Chlum said: “He speaks the truth; what he says is true. I am but a poor knight in our kingdom, but I would keep him for a year, so that he could not be seized. Also are there many and great lords who love him, and who have strongholds in which they could protect him against both kings.” It is needless to point out that these remarks both on the part of Hus and of Lord John were most injudicious. They had said exactly what the astute cardinal had wished them to say. Sigismund, whose vanity was inordinate, wished to appear at Constance as an absolute emperor, and nothing could wound him more severely than this revelation of the weakness of the Luxemburg dynasty in Bohemia. Though D’Ailly was perhaps not aware of this, Sigismund was from the first determined to silence Hus permanently. His bitterness against the Bohemian church-reformer, however, no doubt now became greater. His parting words to Hus on leaving the refectory were therefore most ungracious. He strongly advised Hus to recant, declaring that he would grant no protection to a heretic; rather would he be the one to fire the stake to burn such an offender.
The third day of the trial, ultima audientia dicta, veriusque derisio, as Mladenovic writes, was the eighth of June. An enormous mass of evidence against Hus had been collected by Michael de causis and Stephen Palec, and a huge number of articles had to be read out. Twenty-six articles extracted from Hus's treatise De Ecclesia were first read to the assembly. They had previously been shown to Hus, and his replies had also been noted down. not difficult for the accusers to prove that Hus had spoken and written strongly against the administration and organisation of the Roman Church-such as they were in his day. This evil administration he had declared to be responsible for the terrible prevalence of simony and immorality among the clergy—a fact which even the most ardent opponent of church-reform could not deny. It was less easy to convict Hus of heretical statements with regard to matters of dogma, though the accusers were by no means scrupulous in their system of attack. Many statements contained in Hus's book had been altered and distorted to make them appear more invidious. The one point with regard to which the accusers of Hus had some foundation for their statement, that his teaching differed from that of the Roman Church, was the difficult and obscure question of predestination. Hus, indeed, maintained that his opinions were in accordance with those of St. Augustine, but the school of theologians which exercised most influence at the council was secretly, though not openly, antagonistic to many views of that saint. In Article 19 it was stated that Hus had said that “the nobles of the world should compel the priesthood to observe Christ's law." This was on the whole in accordance with Hus's views, but he pointed out that he had stated that the church 1 Mr. Wratislaw has well translated this by
" the last so-called hearing, or rather jeering.
2 It would lead too far to go into this matter. It may, however, to give but one example, be mentioned that Article 16 accused Hus of having declared that a Papa non quia Petri vicem tenet, sed quia magnam habet dotationem, ex eo est sanctissimus.” Hus's reply ran thus: . Verba mea hic mutilita sunt et corrupta. Sic enim scripsi: Non enim quia vices tenet Petri et quia habet magnam dotationem ex eo est sanctissimus, sed si Christum sequitur in humilitate, mansuetudine, patientia, labore et magno charitatis vinculo, tunc est sanctus.” (Von der Hardt, T. iv. P. 317.)
militant consisted of the priests, who should preserve the law purely, the nobles of the world, who should compel them to observe Christ's regulations, and the vulgar, who must, according to Christ's law, serve the other ranks. It did not escape D'Ailly, the most acute as well as the most learned of Hus's antagonists, that these views were likely to gain for Hus numerous adherents among the sovereigns and nobles, many of whom disapproved of the extreme opulence and power of the priesthood. D'Ailly determined again to denounce Hus as an enemy of the temporal authorities and, as will be seen almost immediately, succeeded in doing so. Article 21 again referred to Hus's appeal to Christ, a matter that evidently rankled in the minds of his opponents. The mention was again received with cries of derision.
When the reading of the first series of articles had ended, the Cardinal of Cambray remarked that yet more heretical statements could have been found in the treatise De Ecclesia. The next articles, seven in number, referred to statements contained in Hus's treatise entitled Responsio ad scripta Mag. Stephani Palec. The extracts, made, no doubt, by Palec himself, were in many cases falsified and distorted. Mladenovic, indeed, heads his account of these articles by the words: “ Articles extracted from the treatise against Master Stephen Palec (but rarely faithfully).” 1 The accusations are very similar to the preceding ones, and indeed to all the accusations made against Hus at the council. It was repeated that he had attacked the authority of the pope and the church, that he had taught the doctrine of predestination, and that he had stated that unworthy priests could not validly administer the sacrament. As regards the last-named point, it is sufficient to state that Hus had frequently, both by word and in writing, expressed the contrary view. The first of these articles gave rise to a somewhat prolonged discussion. The article accused Hus of having stated that “if the pope, a bishop, or a prelate was in the state of mortal sin, he was not pope, bishop, or prelate.” Hus's answer was certainly
1 “ Articuli extracti ex tractatu facto contra M. Stephanum Palec (sed rarus (sic) vere)."