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that had been impossible to Waldhauser. In the autumn of the year 1363 he began preaching at Prague, first at the Church of St. Nicholas in the "small quarter ” and then at that of St. Giles in the old town. As had been the case with Waldhauser previously, Milic also was almost immediately confronted by the enmity of the mendicant friars. A man of an enthusiastic and even visionary nature, he carried out to the full the principle of apostolic poverty which he had imposed upon himself. He had given everything to the poor, and depended for his nourishment entirely on the gifts of pious women, and would accept only what was absolutely necessary to sustain life. His clothing was of the meanest description, and when he walked from one church to another-he often preached in different churches on one day in Latin, Bohemian, and German—the poverty of his appearance attracted attention. But when a new garment was offered to him, he answered in the words of Christ: " If one has two cloaks, let him give one to him who has none.” Similarly, “when Thomas the nobleman ". the person referred to is probably Thomas of Stitny-" said to one of the disciples of Milic: 'I see that master Milic keepeth nothing for himself; if he would but keep it for himself I would gladly give to him a good fur coat of fox skin,' ” Milic refused to accept the gift under this condition, and continued to walk through the streets of Prague in mean attire, even during the terrible cold of the Bohemian winters. Many other tales, often recalling St. Francis of Assisi, are told of Milic, whom the people soon began to revere as a saint. He acquired great influence over the more pious among the young priests, and it was no doubt for them that the Latin sermons mentioned above were preached.
The privations and fatigues which Milic underwent, not unnaturally produced a strong effect on an imaginative and somewhat visionary nature, such as was that of Milic. He believed that an inward spirit directed all his actions, and on the advice of this mysterious spirit, he for a time gave up preaching and resolved to become himself a mendicant friar, perhaps hoping thus to obtain
1 Tomek, History of the Town of Prague, vol. iii.
greater influence over the other friars. On the advice of his friends he soon abandoned this idea. His profound and constant study of Scripture led Milic, in his state of exaltation, on strange paths. He was impressed by the evils of his time, the corruption of the clergy, the dissolution of all social order in Germany and Italy. Anarchy caused by bands of freebooters, who pillaged Italy and afterwards Germany, produced so great and terrifying an impression on the public mind, that even the insane idea that the Emperor Charles encouraged these bands to continue their depredations found adherents. So hopelessly evil a state appeared to Milic to portend the approaching end of the world—an idea with which we meet frequently in the writings of all Bohemian reformersHus himself not excepted. The inward spirit which guided Milic drew his attention to the passage in St. Matthew's evangel which refers to Daniel's prophecy." Milic now began to study these prophecies with great attention, and obtained from them the conviction that the time when Antichrist would appear had already arrived. While under the influence of these studies, Milic, when preaching in the presence of the Emperor, pointed at him denouncing him as Antichrist. Though here also Charles showed that special forbearance to the Bohemian church reformers which has been overlooked by those who have described him as a bigot; it was impossible that so public an affront should pass unnoticed. Archbishop Vlasim who had, in 1364, succeeded to Ernest of Pardubice, caused Milic to be imprisoned, and he ordered Dean William of Lestkov, and “the learned Master Adalbert (the person referred to is in all probability Ranco) to examine the orthodoxy of the teaching of Milic. They declared that they found nothing heretical in it, and Master Adalbert in particular stated that he could not examine the truth of that which had evidently been said under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
Probably in consequence of this favourable decision, Milic was 1 Chap. xxiv. 15.
2 Novotny, Jan Milic. Dr. Novotny gives a curious account of the calculations-based on Daniel, chap. xii. v. 10–12—which led Milic to this conclusion.
soon released from prison. He resolved now to carry out a plan he had previously formed to visit Rome. Pope Urban V. was then expected there from Avignon. On Milic's arrival in Rome in the spring of the year 1367, the pope had not yet come there, and Milic, after waiting a month, decided to proceed to Avignon, hoping to meet him there. But before he started on his new journey, the inward spirit willed him to announce in a sermon the approaching appearance of Antichrist. Of this sermon, he affixed a copy on the gates of St. Peter's Church. He was arrested by order of the inquisition while praying within that church, and imprisoned in the monastery of Ara Coeli in the capital. It is probable that the mendicant friars in Bohemia had already denounced him in Rome, and when the news of his imprisonment reached Prague, they joyfully declared in their sermons that Milic would soon be burnt. While in prison, Milic employed his time in formulating his views on the appearance of Antichrist-a subject in which he was then entirely absorbed. It was at this time that he wrote his Prophecia et Revelatio de Antichristo. It was also while he was in prison that he wrote a long letter to Pope Urban V. The order of ideas in both writings is very similar; in both he denounces in burning and apocalyptic language the terrible depravity of the prelates, the monks, the nuns of his time. In both he also enlarges on the, to him, everpresent subject of the advent of Antichrist. Incidentally he also, in the Prophecia, explains the reasons that induced him to visit Rome. He writes that the inward spirit that guided him said, “Go and tell the supreme pontiff to bring back the church to the
1 The author of the Life of Milic, published in the works of Balbinus, writes of the return of Milic and his companion to Prague: “ Cum vero Pragam pervenissent quasi nova lux omnibus Christi fidelibus orta fuisset, ita gaudebant quia per Viros Religiosos mendicantes saepe in eorum praedicationibus undubant ubi dicebatur: Charissimi ecce jam Militius cremabitur. (Miscellanea Historica Regni Bohemiae, liber. iv.)
* This book must not be confounded with the treatise, De Anatomia Antichristi-printed in the Nuremberg edition of the works of Hus-which is not by Milic. The book has also been ascribed to Matthew of Janov. Recent research proves that it was written after the siege of Prague in 1420 by a Hussite who used the writings of Janov. (See Dr. Kybal, Matey 2. Janova, and the same writer's study in the Cesky Casopis Historicky (Bohemian Historical Yearbook), vol. xi.)
state of salvation." 1 In his letter to the pope he also strongly insists on the necessity of assembling a general council of the church in Rome.
On the arrival of Pope Urban in Rome, Milic was released from prison after he had had an interview with the Cardinal of Albano, and discussed his views with him. The cardinal appears to have acquired considerable influence over Milic. Thenceforth we find that the Bohemian preacher laid less stress on his views concerning the impending advent of Antichrist. The Cardinal of Albano treated him with great honour, received him in his house, and ordered those who had maligned him to beg his pardon. Milic then returned to Prague" without hindrance, comforted, and appeased.
, ” On his return to his country, he was as zealous for the welfare of his fellow men as before, but in his sermons as far as possible avoided to touch on matters of dogma. Like all Bohemian church-reformers, he strove rather to denounce the immorality, avarice, luxury, haughtiness of the Bohemian people, and ecclesiastics in particular, to inculcate the study of Scripture, to help the poor, humble, and oppressed, than to excel in scholastic definitions and theological sophistry. Milic, indeed, after his return from Rome became even more stringent in his asceticism and more enthusiastic in his attempts to aid the poor and suffering. He now abstained entirely from the use of meat and wine, allowed himself but a limited time for sleep, slept on a hard couch, and frequently used the rod for the chastisement of his body. The fame of the sanctity of Milic soon spread through Prague, though the mendicant friars and most of the parish-priests, who considered his saintly bearing a tacit
1“ Postremo incepi attendere, quomodo esset de statu et salute Christian
Et stans in hoc stupefactus audivi spiritum in me sic loquentum in corde. Vade et dic summo pontifici, qui ab hoc Spiritu sancto electus est, ut reducat ecclesiam in statum salutis, ut mittat angelos sive praedicatores cum tuba praedicationis et voce magna, ut tollant praedicta scandala de regno Dei sive de ecclesia, ut quia messis, id est consummatio saeculi venit jam eradicent zizania, id est haereticos et pseudoprophetas, ypocritas, beghardos et beginas et scismaticos, qui omnes per Gog et Magog significantur detegant. (Vestnik Kr. c. Spolecnosti Nauk (Journal of the Bohemian Learned Society, 1890). Mr. Mencik has here published for the first time Milic's prophecy and his letter to Pope Urban V.)
condemnation of their evil lives, continued his bitter enenlies. A certain number of friends now gathered round him, who sympathised with his labours and admired the sanctity of his life. Such men were Conrad Waldhauser, Adalbert Ranco, Thomas of Stitny, Matthew of Janov. Of these men formerly little was known but their names, and our present knowledge is almost entirely founded on researches made within the last twenty or thirty years. It is indeed probable that, even now, much information concerning the forerunners of Hus exists in unpublished MSS.
During the later years of his life, Milic lived almost entirely in Prague, though he again proceeded to Rome in 1369. Of the cause of this journey little is known, but we read that it was of short duration. His return was hastened by the news of the death of his old friend, Conrad Waldhauser. Kindly as ever, Milic considered it his duty to take on himself the liabilities of his friend that his creditors might not suffer. After this short absence, Milic began again to devote himself to works of charity and piety. He was indeed able to do this on a larger scale than before, as he became Conrad Waldhauser's successor as rector of the Tyn Church. He still refused to possess money or any but the most necessary worldly goods, and devoted all his revenues to pious works. Like many saintly men, he was deeply impressed by the pity of the fate of fallen women. His eloquent sermons had caused some of these women to repent, and Milic endeavoured to rescue them permanently. Enthusiast though he was, he was not devoid of capacity for business when it was the welfare of others, not his own, that was at stake. Aided by a few friends, he bought a house near the Church of St. Giles, and placed there the women whom he had rescued from the worst of slaveries. They were under the supervision of " Margaret of Moravia," a worthy and intelligent woman, who instructed them in needlework and household duties. Some then, under Milic's auspices, went into domestic service, others were sent home to their families, and a few married. By
* Novotny, Jan Milic.