Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents

From Here to Forever

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    Safe Conduct From the King

    In a letter to his friends he said: “My brethren, ... I am departing with a safe-conduct from the king to meet my numerous and mortal enemies. ... Jesus Christ suffered for His well-beloved; and therefore ought we to be astonished that He has left us His example? ... Therefore, beloved, if my death ought to contribute to His glory, pray that it may come quickly, and that He may enable me to support all my calamities with constancy. ... Let us pray to God ... that I may not suppress one tittle of the truth of the gospel, in order to leave my brethren an excellent example to follow.”3Bonnechose, vol. 1, pp. 147, 148.HF 65.2

    In another letter, Huss spoke with humility of his own errors, accusing himself “of having felt pleasure in wearing rich apparel and of having wasted hours in frivolous occupations.” He then added, “May the glory of God and the salvation of souls occupy thy mind, and not the possession of benefices and estates. Beware of adorning thy house more than thy soul; and, above all, give thy care to the spiritual edifice. Be pious and humble with the poor, and consume not thy substance in feasting.”4Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 148, 149.HF 65.3

    At Constance, Huss was granted full liberty. To the emperor's safe-conduct was added a personal assurance of protection by the pope. But, in violation of these repeated declarations, the Reformer was in a short time arrested by order of the pope and cardinals and thrust into a loathsome dungeon. Later he was transferred to a strong castle across the Rhine and there kept a prisoner. The pope was soon after committed to the same prison.5Ibid., vol. 1, p. 247. He had been proved guilty of the basest crimes, besides murder, simony, and adultery, “sins not fit to be named.” He was finally deprived of the tiara. The antipopes also were deposed, and a new pontiff chosen.HF 66.1

    Though the pope himself had been guilty of greater crimes than Huss had charged upon the priests, yet the same council which degraded the pontiff proceeded to crush the Reformer. The imprisonment of Huss excited great indignation in Bohemia. The emperor, loath to violate a safe-conduct, opposed the proceedings against him. But the enemies of the Reformer brought forward arguments to prove that “faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy, though they are furnished with safe-conducts from the emperor and kings.”6Jacques Lenfant, History of the Council of Constance, vol. 1, p. 516.HF 66.2

    Enfeebled by illness—the damp dungeon brought on a fever which nearly ended his life—Huss was at last brought before the council. Loaded with chains he stood in the presence of the emperor, whose good faith had been pledged to protect him. He firmly maintained the truth and uttered a solemn protest against the corruptions of the hierarchy. Required to choose whether he would recant his doctrines or suffer death, he accepted the martyr's fate.HF 66.3

    The grace of God sustained him. During the weeks of suffering before his final sentence, heaven's peace filled his soul. “I write this letter,” he said to a friend, “in my prison, and with my fettered hand, expecting my sentence of death tomorrow. ... When, with the assistance of Jesus Christ, we shall again meet in the delicious peace of the future life, you will learn how merciful God has shown Himself toward me, how effectually He has supported me in the midst of my temptations and trials.”7Bonnechose, vol. 2, p. 67.HF 66.4

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents