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know which Bohemians 1 falsely accused me of many infamous deeds, how the whole council railed against me, and how I answered the questions that were addressed to me. I beg you also to pray for his Majesty the Roman and Bohemian king,2 and for his queen, and for the lords, that our beloved God may abide with them in His grace now, and afterwards guide them to eternal bliss.
“ I write this letter to you in prison and in fetters, expecting to-morrow the sentence of death, full of hope in God, resolved not to recede from the divine truth, nor to recant the errors which false witnesses have invented and attributed to me. How God has acted towards me, how he has been with me during all my troubles _that you will only know when by the grace of God we shall meet again in heaven. Of Master Jerome, my beloved comrade, I hear nothing except that he is in prison, as I am, expecting death and that because of his faith, which he bravely expounded to the Bohemians. It was those Bohemians who are our bitterest enemies who delivered us up for imprisonment to our other enemies. I beg you to pray to God for these men. I also beg you all, but especially the Praguers, to befriend the Bethlehem chapel, as long as God permits that the divine word be preached there. The devil has been greatly incensed against this spot, and has incited against it the parish priests and canons, knowing that his (the devil’s) kingdom is disturbed by the preaching at that spot. I hope that God will deign to preserve the chapel, and that others will preach and will obtain there greater success than was possible to an imperfect man such as I am. I also beg you to love each other, not to allow good men to be oppressed, and to grant to all that which is due to them. Written on Monday, the night before the feast of St. Vitus, after the feast of the good angels " (June IO).
Several of the letters of Hus, which follow this one in chronological order, refer to events in Bohemia which occurred after the master's departure, and which have already been mentioned here.3 The council, the majority of whose members were Italians, does not appear to have had much knowledge of the state of affairs in Bohemia; but since the deposition of Pope John, Sigismund had entirely assumed the direction of the assembly. Never deficient in vanity and presumption, he claimed to act fully as representative of the papacy up to the time that a new pontiff should have been elected.1 It was undoubtedly through his influence that the question of communion in the two kinds in Bohemia was brought before the council and there fully discussed. The theologians who were consulted, though not denying that communion in the two kinds had been instituted by .J_e_sus Christ, condemned its revival by Jacobellus in Bohemia.2 [lire matter was finally settled at a meeting of the council on June 15. A statement was read out by the Archbishop of Milan declaring that, “ Though Christ had at the Last Supper administered the venerated sacrament of communion in the two species of bread and wine, yet nevertheless the laudable authority of the holy canons and the approved custom of the church have established that communion should be administered only to those who are fasting. Similarly, though in the primitive church, the faithful received communion in the two kinds, yet it was afterwards decreed that priests only should receive communion in the two kinds, and the laymen in the species of bread only} As therefore this custom was wisely introduced by the church and the holy fathers, and has long been observed, it is to be considered as a law, which cannot be contested or changed except by the authority of the church. Therefore no priest shall, under penalty of excommunication, administer communion to the people in the two kinds. Those who have committed this offence shall, if they do penitence, be re-admitted into the bosom of the church. Those who harden their hearts and refuse to do penance shall be considered as heretics,
I The Bishop of Litomysl and his agents.
' King Venceslas, who to the end of his life claimed to be King of the Romans as well as King of Bohemia.
' See p. 216.
1 It is beyond the purpose of this book to examine whether Sigismund appointed bishops in Germany during the vacancy of the papal see; that he claimed the right to do so is certain.
’ " Hi (theologi) ergo post multos congressus et frequentes deliberationes
teste Gersone tandem sex conclusionibus formatis recente a Jacobello inter Bohemos resuscitatum Eucharistiae usum condemnarunt." (Von der Hardt,
T. iv. p. 331.)
and the aid of the secular arm shall be demanded for their punishment.” 1 The historical importance of this decree cannot be overrated. P_C_ommnnion_i_r_1_tl_1e_t_wg_1dnds_b_ecame the watchword of the Hussite Bohemian Church up to its extinction in 1629. In the place of a battle-flag the Bohemian priests carried a monstrance containing the sacrament—which it became customary to call the “ ark ” —before the troops when they engaged in battle.2 , The administration of communion in the two kinds was only introduced by Master Jacobellus of Stribroa after Hus had left Prague, and he does not appear at first to have given much attention to the matter. In the first letter, addressed to the “ Friends at Constance ” (it is undated, but belongs probably to the beginning of the year 1415), in which Hus refers to this subject, he expresses no positive opinion, but writes that Scripture and the custom of the primitive church appear favourable to utraquism. After the Roman Church had by the decree of June I5 established a new dogma with regard to a matter on which freedom of opinion had previously existed, Hus expressed himself more positively. On June 21 he addressed a letter on this subject to Gallus (in Bohemian, Havlik), preacher at the Bethlehem chapel. Havlik was one of those priests who opposed Jacobellus when he first established utraquism. Hus writes: “ Beloved brother Gallus, preacher of the word of Christ! lUclnot oppose the sacrament of the chalice of the Lord which Christ established through Himself and through His apostle; for no word of Scripture is opposed to it, only custom which, I ween, sprang from negligence; for we must not follow custom, but Christ’s example and the truth. Already has the council, alleging custom, condemned the use of the chalice at the communion of laymen as a heresy, and he who practis ' is to be punished as a heretic unless he comes to his right mieificonforms to the decree of the council). What wickedness! Behold, they condemn Christ’s enactment as heresy! I therefore beg thee in the name of God no longer to oppose Jacobellus, lest dissension arise among the faithful—a thing over which the devil would rejoice. Be then, dearest, prepared to suffer when administering communion in the two kinds. Cling bravely to Christ’s truth, reject unworthy fears, confirm the other brethren in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The arguments in favour of communion with the chalice thou wilt find in what I have written in Constance. Greet the faithful in Christ.”
‘ Abridged from Von der Hardt, T. iv. p. 334.
1 The fact that communion in the two kinds, " utraquism," as it was called, acquired so great an importance among the Hussites, induced the Bohemians to endeavour to connect Hus himself as closely as possible with its introduction. They would certainly have proved their case, could we believe in the authenticity of a letter which is included in most collections of the letters of Hus. In this letter Hus writes: “ Exhort all to profess their faith and to receive communion in the two kinds, that is the body and blood of Christ." The letter, which is undated and addressed, " Sacerdoti cuidam," is printed by Palacky also, but he strongly doubted its genuineness and believed that it was of later origin and belonged to the time when the Bohemians wished to prove that their great leader and martyr was entirely the originator of the doctrine on which they laid most stress. The letter is not found among the early MSS. of Hus but is included in the Nuremberg edition of his works. It is also possible that the letter is partly genuine and that the passage advocating utraquism was added later. Mr. Mares in his work, Listy H usovy (Letters of Hus), includes the letter and believes it to be a work of Hus. On the whole it is probable that the theory according to which Jacobellus was the originator of utraquism is the correct one.
" In German, Miess; that town being little known, German writers have often called Jacobellus “ of Meissen."
Several of Hus’s last Bohemian letters addressed “ to the faithful Bohemians ” (vernym Cechum) are of the highest interest. Following on the condemnation of utraquism decreed by the council on June 15, that assembly had on JunefigfpdecnecdathalJJJ-fiuii fritirlgs‘shpopld’ be burnt. This included Hus’s works written in his own language, which most of the members of the council were unable to understand. The informer Palec may have acted as translator, but it is more probable that he only submitted to the council extracts selected by him which afforded a sufficient pretext for the destruction of the books. Hus refers to this matter in several letters; in one dated June 24, and probably intended to be read to the congregation at Bethlehem, he writes: “ Beloved, I exhort you not to tremble or to be struck down by fear because they have condemned my books to be burnt. Remember that they burnt
the prophecies of Jeremiah, which God had ordered him to write; yet did they not escape that which he had prophesied; for after they had been burnt God commanded that they (the prophecies) should again be written down and more words added. This was done. He (Jeremiah), being in prison, dictated, and the saintly Baruch, his secretary, wrote down his words; as is written in Jeremiah, chapter xxxv. or IV. 1 Similarly is it written in the books of the Maccabees that the law of God was burnt and that they tortured those who possessed it. Then in the time of the New Testament they burnt the holy men, together with the books of God’s law. Thus the cardinals condemned the books of St. Gregory, which are named M oralia,2 and they would have burnt them all, had not God, through his (Gregory’s) one disciple, Peter, saved them. Also St. John Chrysostomus was condemned as a heretic by two councils of priests, but the gracious Lord God, after the death of St. John, revealed their falsehood. Having these things before your eyes, let not fear prevent you from reading my books, nor induce you to give them up to be burnt. Remember what our gracious Saviour said as a warning .(Matthew, chapter xxiv.) that before the day of judgment there will be great tribulation such as was not from the beginning of the world to this time, so that, were it possible, even the elect would be lead into error, but because of the elect these days will be shortened? Bearing this in your minds, dearest, persevere bravely, for I hope to God that the following 4 of Antichrist will fear you and leave you in peace, and that the Council of Constance will not come to Bohemia; for I believe that many who are at this council will die before they have extorted these books from you; many members of this council also will disperse like storks throughout the lands, and only when winter comes will they know what evil deeds they did in summer.
1As was already remarked by Mladenovic in a MS. note, the passage referred to by Hus is in Jeremiah, chap. xxxvi. Hus was not allowed a Bible in prison.
2 The book referred to is the Exposition of St. job or Moralia, by Pope Gregory 1., surnamed the “ Great " (590-604).
3 Here also Hus is obviously quoting from memory.
‘ In Bohemian, skola=school.