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    IN Wicklif’s lifetime the principles of truth which he proclaimed had permeated not only all England, but had spread far and wide through Europe. The center of the lodgment of these principles on the continent of Europe, was in the country of Bohemia, in the city of Prague. The wife of young King Richard II of England, was Anne, the daughter of the king of Bohemia, who was the emperor Charles IV. She read the Wicklif Bible, and recommended it to the high ones of the kingdom about her. The University of Oxford, the University of Prague, and the University of Paris, were at that time the three great universities of Europe. Anne of Bohemia, being English queen, formed a connecting link between Oxford and Prague: Bohemian youth came to Oxford to study, “and were there seized with enthusiasm for the doctrines of Wicklif;” and young English theologians went from Oxford to Prague, where they spread the truths which they had learned from Wicklif. It is certain that as early as 1381 the writings of Wicklif were owned and studied by professors in the University of Prague.ECE 630.1

    2. In Bohemia, moreover, the soil for the reception of the seeds of truth sown by Wicklif, was better prepared than in any other country in Europe. This preparation is worthy and important to be studied. A man of the name of Militz was archdeacon of the cathedral church in Prague, and also secretary and chancellor of the emperor Charles. IV. “He was distinguished for his untiring, pious zeal for the salvation of souls, for his self-sacrificing, disinterested charity.” In 1364 he began to preach to the people in the Bohemian language. “His novel and simple way of preaching met, at first, with but little favor. He was derided on account of his pronunciation, and his want of readiness in repeating certain liturgical forms and in announcing festivals. He had but a small number of hearers. His friends advised him to give up preaching, as he could accomplish nothing in that way. How many devout and learned men have failed as preachers! Why should he expend his energies to no purpose? But Militz replied: ‘If I can save but a single soul, it will satisfy me. The example of my Saviour teaches me this, who did not disdain to accept the one Canaanite woman.’ECE 630.2

    3. “As nothing could divert him from his purpose, so his fervent zeal was soon crowned with the happiest results. His sermons produced more effect every day. Many men and women were awakened to repentance under them, confessed their sins to him, and commenced a new Christian life. Usurers and others pursuing unlawful gains, renounced their old wicked courses. Many filled with disgust at the life of the world, withdrew from it into a rigid ascetic tendency. The results of his labors stimulated him to still greater activity. He preached twice every Sunday and holiday, and occasionally three, four, and even five times daily, in different churches; and his sermons, which were listened to with constantly increasing attention, lasted several hours. He had but little time, therefore, to prepare for them. He endeavored to gain strength for this duty in prayer. Other learned clergymen had to complain, that with their utmost exertion, they could not accomplish what Militz was enabled to do after an hour’s preparation. On finishing the labors of the day, when he returned home, weary and exhausted with so much preaching, he was surrounded and followed by multitudes, seeking spiritual consolation and advice, which he imparted to all with kindness and affection.”ECE 631.1

    4. “At an advanced period of his life he learned German, for the purpose of extending his labors also to the German population, and he now preached in this language as well as his own. To the students of the University of Prague, and to the learned, he preached in the Latin language; and was listened to by eager crowds. He had to lend his sermons for the students to copy; and thus they became multiplied. Matthias of Janow, his enthusiastic disciple, of whom we shall speak more particularly hereafter, says of him: ‘Having been a simple priest and secretary at the prince’s court, before his experience of this visitation by the spirit of Christ, he grew so rich in wisdom and all utterance of doctrine, that it was a light matter to him to preach five times in a day; namely, once in Latin, once in German, and then again in the Bohemian tongue, and this publicly, with mighty fervor and a powerful voice, and he constantly brought forth from his treasures things new and old.’ Great was the effect produced by the preaching of Militz, on the female sex in particular; many were induced by his sermons to lay aside their ornaments of pride. Through all Bohemia were to be found young maidens who owed to him their conversion, and presented patterns of true piety in their womanly virtues.ECE 631.2

    5. “Prague was then a seat of extreme depravation of manners. There was one quarter of the city devoted wholly to pleasure full of brothels,—’Little Venice,’ as it was called, and, in Bohemian, Benatky. Militz proposed to transform this seat of sin into a seat of Christian virtues. He commenced with little beginnings, and ended with great results. He succeeded at first in converting twenty licentious women. He got them to dwell in one house. He found devout women in good circumstances who were willing to look after them. He took unwearied pains himself in promoting their moral improvement. Some of them were married to husbands, others taken into the service of pious ladies. At length he succeeded in extending his labors to several hundreds. The houses of licentiousness were emptied. The place which they had occupied was partly given up by the emperor and the magistrates of the city to Militz for the promotion of his pious object, and other houses were purchased with money supplied by charitable contributions. He founded here a Magdalene hospital, with a chapel, in which there was preaching every day for the benefit of the new converts. ‘Little Venice,’ now converted into a seat of piety, obtained the name of ‘Little Jerusalem.’ECE 632.1

    6. “We see, in Militz, one of the leaders and founders of domestic missions,—an institution much needed in such an age. Matthias of Janow thus describes these labors of Melitz, by which Prague underwent so complete a change: ‘O, how many vices, conquered by him, had to give up the field! And if Militz had not come, and so much had not been accomplished by his voice thundering to the skies, we should, of a truth, have been as Sodom, and perished like Gomorrah. But now, by the grace of Christ, through the energy and pains of Militz, Sodom has been restored to her ancient worth; from being a Babylon, Prague is spiritually transformed, full of the word of Christ, and of the doctrine of salvation; for now, that the abominable, the open and public vices have been conquered, the Christian virtues find room to bud and blossom in many souls, and increase daily both in number and vigor.’ The same Matthias of Janow remarks of this extraordinary man: ‘I confess that I can not enumerate even the tenth part of what my own eyes saw, my own ears heard, and my hands handled, though I lived with him but a short time.’ECE 632.2

    7. “Militz sought to interpret the signs of the present, by comparing them with the prophecies of the Old Testament [Daniel especially], the last discourses of Christ [Matthew 24], and the prophetical intimations in the epistles of St. Paul [2 Thessalonians 2]. He saw the way preparing for a divine judgment on the corrupt Church; he foresaw a renovation of the Church, by which it was to be prepared for the second advent of Christ. The prophetic images which presented themselves in his visions, appeared to him as revelations of the Divine Spirit. From him as the source proceeded those prophetic ideas, which further developed afterward by his disciple Matthias of Janow, extended their influence also to John Huss.... Under the ‘abomination of desolation’ [Matthew 24] he finds signified corruption in all parts of the Church. The apostasy of the Jewish nation from divine truth appears to him an antitype of the fall of the secularized Church from evangelical truth. Antichrist, he supposes, is not still to come, but has already come.”—Neander. 1[Page 633] “History of the Christian Religion and Church,” Vol. v. sec. ii. part ii. All quotations in the following account as to Bohemia, are from this portion of Neander.ECE 633.1

    8. In 1367 Militz made a journey to Rome, especially to see Pope Urban V. There he nailed to the door of St. Peter’s the words: “Antichrist is now come, and sitteth in the Church.” He also published a notice that, on a certain day, he would stand at the entrance of St. Peter’s and address the people: “That he would announce the coming of antichrist, and would exhort the people to pray for the pope and the emperor, that they might be enabled so to order the affairs of the Church, in things spiritual and temporal, that the faithful might securely serve their Creator.” However, he was arrested by the Inquisition, was loaded with chains, and was given to the Franciscans to be kept in close confinement. But he took it all with such perfect meekness as to disarm his persecutors.ECE 633.2

    9. After he had been kept in prison some time, the inquisitors asked him what it was that he intended to preach at the entrance of St. Peter’s. He asked them to give him his Bible, which had been taken from him when he was arrested, with paper, pen, and ink, and he would write it all down. They granted his request, he wrote it out, and was allowed to read it “before a large assembly of prelates and learned men, in the church of St. Peter.” It made such an impression, even upon his keepers, that when he was taken back to prison, he was treated with less severity than he had formerly been. While thus in prison, after his discourse in St. Peter’s, he wrote a book, “On the Antichrist,” of which he says: “The author writes this, a prisoner and in chains, troubled in spirit, longing for the freedom of Christ’s Church, longing that Christ would speak the word, Let it be, and it shall be; and protesting that he has not kept that which was in his heart, but has spoken it out to the Church; and that he is prepared to hold fast to whatever the pope or the Church may lay on him.”ECE 634.1

    10. While Militz was thus in prison Pope Urban V arrived in Rome, from Avignon; and, most strange to tell, Militz was set free from prison, was received into the palace of a cardinal, had a favorable audience with the pope, and was allowed to return to Prague, to the exceeding joy of the people, whose exultation was the greater “because his enemies, the mendicants, had foretold the people from the pulpit, that he would perish at the stake.” Upon his arrival at Prague he immediately took up his work of preaching; and, to spread his message as widely as possible, “he set up a school for preachers: often being heard to say, ‘Would that all were prophets!’ When he had trained up an able young priest, he took pains himself to draw upon him the attention of the communities, pointing him out as one who would surpass his master, as one whom they should listen to with care.ECE 634.2

    11. “He founded an association composed of two or three hundred young men, all of whom resided under the same roof with himself, were trained under his influence and by his society. He copied the books which they were to study, and gave them devotional books to copy themselves, for the sake of multiplying them. All here was to be free; to flow spontaneously from the one animating spirit by which all were to be governed. An internal tie was all that held them together; no outward ward discipline or rule, no vow, no uniformity of dress. The disciples of Militz soon distinguished themselves by their serious, spiritual lives, and by their style of preaching. Hence they, too, like himself, were made butts of ridicule and persecution by the worldly minded clergy, whom the lives of these exemplary young men stung with shame and reproach.ECE 634.3

    12. “The beneficence of Militz was without bounds. Crowds of the poor were always to be seen collected before his doors. He gave all he had to help them; reserving nothing at all for himself; so that when everything else was gone, he sold his books, the very books which he used himself, and which he kept ready to lend to any that needed. When he had nothing more, he ran round among other clergymen and the rich, and collected contributions, never allowing himself to lose heart by any rude rebuff he might chance to receive from those whose charities he asked. Nothing was left him but the most indispensable articles of clothing; not even what was needful to protect him, in midwinter, from the inclemency of the season. A rich man had said: ‘Militz suffers so much from the cold, I would be glad to present him with a set of furs if I could only be sure that he would keep it.’ On hearing of it, Militz observed: ‘I am far from wishing to keep anything for myself alone; on that condition I could not accept the furs.’ He was often persecuted and stigmatized as a heretic; but his patience and gentleness never failed him for a moment; and he used to say: ‘Let me suffer ever so much persecution, when I bethink me of the fervent penitence of that poor woman—referring to one who had been converted by his means from a life of licentiousness and crime—the bitterest cup becomes sweet to me, for all I suffer is as nothing compared to the grief of that one woman.’”ECE 635.1

    13. Finally, his enemies, the mendicants, managed to gather from his sermons twelve articles which they claimed to be heretical, and sent them to the papacy at Avignon, to have them condemned as heresy by the pope, who, then, was Gregory XI. The pope sent a letter to the emperor Charles IV, saying:—ECE 635.2

    “We have recently learned from the report of several creditable persons, that a certain priest, Militz, formerly a canonical at Prague, under the garb of sanctity, but in the spirit of temerity and self-conceit, has taken upon himself the calling to preach, which does not belong to him, and has dared to teach openly in your dominions many errors, which are not only bad and rash, but also heretical and schismatic, extremely mischievous and dangerous to the faithful, especially the simple.”ECE 635.3

    14. “When the pope’s bull arrived at Prague, the archbishop was confounded. He caused Militz to be cited, and complained to him of his perplexity. Militz, however, remained perfectly tranquil in the consciousness of his innocence, and bid the archbishop take courage, as his conscience was clear. He placed his trust in God and the power of the truth; these would triumph over every assault. He went to Avignon in the year 1374; but died there while his cause was still pending.” In these same years of the great labors of Militz, his work was grandly seconded by Conrad of Waldhausen, who was charged by the papacy that “he set the people in commotion, beginning from Rome, the seat of the apostolic chair, in the year of the jubilee, and teaching through all Austria even to this city of Prague.”ECE 636.1

    15. As already indicated, Matthias of Janow was the disciple of Militz. He was not so thorough an evangelist as was Militz, but more of a scholar and a writer; though he also traveled much. He was confessor to the emperor Charles IV. Of his experience and conversion, he says: “Once my mind was encompassed by a thick wall; I thought of nothing but what delighted the eye and the ear, till it pleased the Lord Jesus to draw me as a brand from the burning. And while I, worst slave to my passions, was resisting Him in every way, he delivered me from the flames of Sodom, and brought me into the place of sorrow, of great adversities, and of much contempt. Then first I became poor and contrite; and searched with trembling the Word of God. I began to admire the truth in the Holy Scriptures, to see how, in all things, it must be exactly fulfilled; then first I began to wonder at the deep wiles of Satan, to see how he darkened the minds of all, even those who seemed to think themselves wisest. And the most pious Jesus elevated my mind, that I might understand men absorbed by vanity; and then, reading, I understood clearly the abomination of desolation, standing wide, high beyond measure, and firmly, in the holy place. And there entered me, that is, into my heart, a certain unusual, new, and powerful fire, but a very blessed fire, and which still continues to burn within me, and is kindled the more in proportion as I lift my soul in prayer to God and to our Lord Jesus Christ the Crucified; and it never abates nor leaves me, except when I forget the Lord Jesus Christ, and fail to observe the right discipline in eating and drinking; then I am enveloped in clouds, and unfitted for all good works, till, with my whole heart and with deep sorrow I return to Christ, the true Physician, the severe Judge, He who punishes all sin, even to idle words and foolish thoughts.”ECE 636.2

    16. Following the lead of Militz, Matthias was a thorough student of the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, and those of Jesus and Paul. His chief work is one in which is given his reflections on the history of his own times, with hints concerning the future, all “based on the rules of the Old and New Testaments, and on the prophetical elements which they contained.” “He portrays the utter corruption of the Church in all its parts, and explains the causes of it. Of this his work he says: “The Lord Jesus instructed me how to write all this which relates to the present condition of priests, that is, the carnal ones, and which throws light on the character of these times; but what the end is in which all this is to result, He only knows who set me to work. And He sent me His spirit who shoots the fire into my bones and into my heart, leaving me no rest, till I reveal the son of iniquity and of perdition, till I expose the hidden shame of the mother of harlots (the corrupt Church as symbolized in Revelation).”ECE 637.1

    17. Of the clergy he says: “They neglect Spiritual things: the least of all their concerns is the study of the Bible and the old Church teachers. They are men who know nothing of the spirit of Jesus the Crucified; who have never meditated day and night on the law of the Lord—carnal-minded priests. They are men who are not wholly devoted to the study of the Holy Scriptures, who have not been instructed in them from their youth; yet, for all this, they boldly stand forth as teachers, because perhaps they possess a certain gift of elocution; and they provide themselves with collections of sermons, postills for every day in the year, and so, without any further search into the Holy Scriptures, they hold forth those current homilies, preaching with great ostentation. They are people who know nothing about the Bible. Such persons do not preach from devotion, and from joy in the Divine Word, nor from zeal to edify the people; but because this is the business assigned to them, or because they are fond of making a display of their skill in speaking, or because they are hunting after popularity, and find gratification in being favored and honored by the people. So they have recourse to their collections of sermons, or put together fine words, and furnish out their discourses with stories, and with promises of large indulgences.”ECE 637.2

    18. He declares it to be “one of the cunning tricks of the archenemy to persuade men that antichrist is still to come, when, in truth, he is now present and so has been for a long time; but men are less on their guard against him, when they look for him as yet to come. Lest the abomination of desolation [Matthew 24:15] should be plainly manifest to men, he has invented the fiction of another abomination still to come, that the Church, plunged still deeper in error, may pay homage to the fearful abomination which is present, while she pictures to herself another which is still in the future. It is a common, everyday fact, that antichrists go forth in endless numbers, and still they are looking forward for some other and future antichrist. As to the person of antichrist, it is neither to be a Jew, nor a pagan; neither a Saracen, nor a worldly tyrant persecuting Christendom. All these have been already; hence they could not so easily deceive. Satan must invent some new method of attacking Christianity.”ECE 638.1

    19. Then he gives the following clear, plain, and direct description of antichrist, which no one can mistake: “He is and will be a man who opposes Christian truth and the Christian life in the way of deception. He is and will be the most wicked Christian, falsely styling himself by that name, assuming the highest station in the Church, and possessing the highest consideration, arrogating dominion over all ecclesiastics and laymen: one who, by the working of Satan, knows how to make subservient to his own ends and to his own will the corporations of the rich and wise in the entire Church: one who has the preponderance in honors and in riches, but who especially misappropriates the goods of Christ, the Holy Scriptures, the sacraments, and all that belongs to the hopes of religion, to his own aggrandizement and to the gratification of his own passions; deceitfully perverting spiritual things to carnal ends, and in a crafty and subtle manner employing what was designed for the salvation of a Christian people, as means to lead them astray from the truth and power of Christ.ECE 638.2

    20. “It is not to be imagined that antichrist will form a particular sect, or particular disciples and apostles. Nor will he come upon the Church preaching his own name, in the open and obvious manner with which Mohammed spread abroad his doctrines: that would be a tyranny too strikingly apparent, not at all fitted to deceive mankind. Antichrist must be more cunning than all that. His organs must stand forth in the name of Christ, and profess to be his ministers. He is thus to deceive men under the mask of Christianity. The multitude of carnal men, led on by the most subtle artifices of wicked spirits, have been brought to think that, in following fables, they are pursuing the right way; to believe that in persecuting Christ’s believers, or Christ and His power, they are persecuting antichrist and the false doctrines of his agents, just as it happened with those Jews and pagans who called Christ a deceiver, and put Him and His apostles to death, supposing that by so doing they did God service. Thus, too, the actual antichrists will dream of another antichrist to come.”ECE 639.1

    21. Having thus defined the actual antichrist in his own person, Matthias carries the thought outward from that, to the spirit of antichrist, as manifested in individuals. Writing on 1 John 4:3, which, according to the Latin Version that Matthias used, reads: “And every spirit that dissolves Jesus, is not from God. And this one is antichrist, concerning whom thou hast heard, because he cometh, and even now is already in the world,” Matthias says: “Every spirit who dissolves Christ, is antichrist. Jesus is all power, all wisdom, and all love. Every Christian, therefore, who from design, either in great or in small, in a part or in the whole, dissolves this, dissolves Jesus; for he destroys and dissolves God’s power, God’s wisdom and love; and so, in the mystical sense, he is antichrist. An antichrist is every evil spirit, who in any way, directly or indirectly, opposes himself to the Christian faith and Christian manners among Christians. Although Christ is eternal, and therefore all opposition to the divine being may be regarded as in a certain sense opposition to Christ, still, in the proper sense, there was no antichrist before the incarnation.”ECE 639.2

    22. On the falling away predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, he said that it had already been accomplished. And, further: “Faith is styled fides formata because it is made up of all the virtues. For it requires all other virtues in connection with itself, and is kept fresh and sound by every virtue. Hence it follows, that a falling away from the faith consists especially in the admission of every kind of sin, and the omission of every kind of virtue; and we see, on the whole, at the present day, in the time of antichrist, all the virtues neglected among Christian people. The destruction of antichrist and the multiplication of the true witnesses of Jesus Christ, are to take place in a gradual manner, beginning from the present time, till all shall be carried into fulfillment. The time has begun. Satan has been gradually working through antichrist as his instrument, for a long period of time, introducing evil under the appearance of good among the people of God, turning good customs into abuse, diffusing more widely, every day, his principal errors. While Satan has thus gradually introduced into the Church the mysteries of his antichrist, keeping his toils concealed; so, on the other hand, the Lord Christ, gradually manifesting himself in His beloved disciples, will at length, before the final judgment, reveal himself in a great multitude of preachers. The spiritual revelation of Christ, through his genuine organs; the spiritual annihilation of antichrist by the same, and a new illumination of the Church, are to prepare it for the last personal appearance of Christ, and are to precede that event.”ECE 640.1

    23. One reason of the corruption of the Church he declared to be “the overloading it with human ordinances, the excessive multiplication of ecclesiastical laws. No man can possibly invent laws suited to every contingency and relation. The Spirit of God alone can do this, who knows all things and holds them together. And inasmuch as this Spirit is present everywhere and to all men, the spirit of man also which is in himself, with the Spirit of Christ, alone knows what is in man.” In illustration of this, Matthias cites “The Ten Commandments, which are plain to every one, even the dullest of understanding, so that no man can pretend that he is embarrassed by them; and Jesus the Crucified, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God, has in a certain manner briefly summed them up in a single precept, requiring love to God and our neighbor: for love is the fulfillment of the law, and love is the perfect law of liberty.ECE 640.2

    24. “All other and multiplied laws of men are superfluous and inadequate. They ought not to be called traditions, but superstitions. No man can frame a law adapted to all times, and places, and circumstances, which is not contained in that one precept of love of God and our neighbor. Thus human laws are to be recognized only as such, and the commandments of God to remain in their dignity, and as such to be reverenced and obeyed. This the faithful apostle of Christ, who may well serve as an example to all disciples, has wonderfully illustrated in himself: for Paul (in 1 Corinthians 7) distinguishes what he says in his own name from what he makes known as a precept of the Lord. Mark with what discrimination and moderation he speaks to his flock, so as nowhere to impose a necessity and nowhere to inspire fear, except for the precepts and words of the Lord Jesus Christ. All rules are one. They proceed from one principle and aim at one end. They do not obtain their authority from themselves, nor are they observed in the Church of God on their own account; but they are inseparably included in the same holy law of Christ, which is inscribed by the Holy Spirit on the hearts of believers, which binds many widely separated nations in union with one another, and makes all dwell with one set of manners in the house of Jesus the Crucified.ECE 641.1

    25. “While the one commandment of Christ, and His one sacrifice, preserved in the Church, greatly promote unity; so, on the other hand, the multitudinous prescriptions of men burden and disturb the collective body of the Church of Christ. Unity among men can come only from the Word of God. A forced uniformity will of necessity produce nothing but divisions. The Holy Spirit and the Word are the only true rule for all that relates to man. Hence, therefore, the Father is the shaping principle from which all things proceed; the Son is the shaping principle toward which all things aim: the Holy Ghost is the principle in which all things repose: and yet there are not three rules or forms, but one. Hence, the highest rule, by which everything is to be tried, is Christ, that single rule, which is alone necessary and alone sufficient for all apostles and every man that cometh into the world, in all matters, in every place, and at all times: not only for men, but also for angels, because He is himself that truth and wisdom which work mightily from one end of being to the other. That which forms the unity of the Church, is the one God, one Lord, one Master, one religion, one law, one commandment. All Christians who possess the Spirit of Jesus the Crucified, and who are impelled by the same Spirit, and who alone have not departed from their God, are the one Church of Christ, His beautiful bride, His body: and they are not of this world, as Christ is not of this world, and therefore the world hates them.ECE 641.2

    26. “Men would attain to justification, and believe that they can obtain it by many labors, with much expense, in the performance even to satiety, of all the newly appointed ceremonies; and yet Christ is become to their hearts as one dead; they have nothing of His Spirit, they see and know Him not. Hence they perform all their isolated works according to the letter, and in a spirit of fear according to the law: but they know nothing of the true liberty, of the freedom, which is in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Hence they appear to be little, if at all, different from the scribes and Pharisees among the ancient people of the Jews, on whom our Lord Jesus Christ often denounced woe: and the apostle Paul has often reproached such persons with apostatizing from the Christian faith.ECE 642.1

    27. “All Holy Scripture, all Christian faith, proclaims, preaches, and confesses, that Jesus Christ the Crucified alone is the one Saviour, and the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth: that He alone is all power, all wisdom for every Christian; He himself the Alpha, the beginning and the end; and that every one who is longing and striving to be a just and virtuous man, must first of all, and immediately, put on Christ himself and His Spirit, because He is himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life. After Him alone, first of all, and with the whole heart, we should seek: begin to glorify Him, and to carry Him in our souls, who alone hath redeemed us at that great price, His precious blood. Those who, in their mistaken search after self-righteousness, separate faith from works, substitute in place of the genuine Christian morality, a morality which they have learned in the schools of ancient philosophy. And because they did not like to retain Christ crucified in their knowledge, the Son of God gave them over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28), to expend their efforts in building up their own righteousness. And they think they shall be able to attain to a virtuous life after the methods of Aristotle, of Plato, and the other philosophers, by their own efforts and virtuous habits.”ECE 642.2

    28. Of the great schism and anarchy of the papacy, Matthias of Janow said that it was but “a symptom of the distempered condition of the Church, and an admonition from God, designed to bring men to the consciousness of her corruption, and to awaken the longing for her regeneration. It never arose from any love which the cardinals had for Christ and His Church; but from their love of themselves and their love of the world. Nor does this schism tend ultimately to the injury of the Church, but rather a benefit; inasmuch as the kingdom of antichrist will thereby be more easily and more speedily destroyed. It is only the external appearance of the Church that can be affected by this schism: her essential being is raised above its influence. The body of the Omnipotent and altogether indivisible Jesus Christ, the community of saints, is not divided, neither indeed can be divided. It is self-love that is the cause of all the divisions of the Church, and of all her corruptions; and the restoration of Church unity and the reformation of the Church, can proceed only from the overcoming of that selfish element. The blissful unity of the Church can never be truly restored until men, governed by self-love, are removed entirely out of the way, and their places filled by those in vastly multiplied numbers, who overflow with zeal for the true unity of the Church: men who seek not their own, but the things of Jesus Christ.ECE 643.1

    29. “They who are apostles and preachers of antichrist, oppress the apostles, the wise men, and prophets of Christ: persecuting them in various ways, and boldly asserting that these ministers of Christ are heretics, hypocrites, and antichrists. And since many and mighty members of antichrist go forth in a countless variety of ways, they persecute the members of Christ who are few and weak, compelling them to go from one city to another, but driving them from the synagogues. Whenever one of the society of such Christians ventures to be somewhat more free of speech, to live more worthily of Christ than is common, he is directly called a Beghard, or by some other heretical name, or merely set down as a hypocrite or fool. If he do but in a small degree imitate his crucified Master, and confess His truth, he will experience at once a fierce persecution from some side of the thick body of antichrist. If thou dost not live just as they do, thou wilt be judged to be nothing else but a poor, superstitious creature or a false guide. How then can that man who sees that the truth stands thus, and judges correctly of individual facts, say or believe otherwise than that those times of antichrist are at hand? All that now remains for us is to desire and pray for reform by the destruction of antichrist himself; and to lift up our heads, for our redemption draweth nigh.”ECE 643.2

    30. Matthias of Janow died Nov. 29, 1394. As he was dying, he said to his sorrowing friends: “The rage of the enemies of the truth now prevails against us; but it will not be forever: there shall arise one from among the common people, without sword or authority, and against him they shall not be able to prevail.” 2[Page 644] Wylie’s “History of Protestantism,” book iii, chap. 1. par. 16.ECE 644.1

    31. Thus in the work of Militz, of Conrad of Waldhausen, and of Matthias of Janow, and their disciples, which had spread evangelical truth throughout Bohemia, was the soil prepared for the writings of Wicklif, which, as we have seen, from the year 1381 had been studied by professors in the University of Prague. And, in the University of Prague, in these same years of the work of Matthias of Janow, John Huss was a student, and also a student of the writings of Wicklif. In the year 1396 Huss received his master’s degree, and two years afterward, in 1398, began to lecture in the university; and he himself says that he began the reading of Wicklif’s writings before the year 1391.ECE 644.2

    32. Of his reading of the writings of Wicklif, Huss says: “I am drawn to him by the reputation he enjoys with the good, not the bad priests at the University of Oxford; and generally with the people, though not with the bad, covetous, pomp-loving, dissipated prelates and priests. I am attracted by his writings, in which he expends every effort to conduct all men back to the law of Christ, and especially the clergy, inviting them to let go the pomp and dominion of the world, and live with the apostles according to the life of Christ. I am attracted by the love which he had for the law of Christ, maintaining its truth and holding that not one jot or tittle of it could fail.” By the “law of Christ,” Huss ever means the Ten Commandments in the Spirit of Christ.ECE 644.3

    33. In 1398 a young knight of Bohemia, Jerome of Prague, returned from Oxford to Prague, bringing with him many of the writings of Wicklif not before known in Bohemia. These writings Jerome did his utmost “to circulate through the whole country, and among all ranks and conditions of people.” He himself not only devoutly believed but powerfully preached, the principles set forth in the writings of Wicklif; and, a few years later the abbot of Dola, in Bohemia, complained that “important men in Bohemia openly and secretly disseminate the Wicklifite doctrines;” and that “the writings of Wicklif are scattered over the whole world.”ECE 645.1

    34. There was in the city of Prague a chapel, “devoted particularly to the preaching of the gospel in the vulgar tongue, for the benefit of the people.” This chapel had been founded in 1391 by John of Milheim, a member of the royal council of Bohemia, and a merchant whose name was Crentz. The title deed of this foundation reads: “Had not Christ bequeathed to us the seed of God’s word and of holy preaching, we should have been like unto Sodom and Gomorrah. Christ moreover gave commission to His disciples, when He appeared to them, after His resurrection, to preach the Word, so as to preserve constantly in the world the living memory of himself. But since all Christ’s actions are doctrines to them that truly believe on Him, the founder has carefully considered that the city of Prague, though possessing many places consecrated to the worship of God and used for a variety of purposes connected with that worship, is still destitute of a place devoted especially to preaching. Preachers, particularly in the Bohemian tongue, are under the disagreeable necessity of strolling about for this purpose, to houses and corners. Therefore, the founder endows a chapel consecrated to the Innocents, and named ‘Bethlehem, or the House of Bread,’ for the use of the common people, that they may be refreshed with the bread of holy preaching. Over this church a preacher is to be placed as rector, whose special duty it shall be to hold forth on every Sunday and festival day, the Word of God, in the Bohemian tongue.”ECE 645.2

    35. In 1401 John Huss was appointed as rector of this chapel of “Bethlehem, or the House of Bread,” “to hold forth the word of God in the Bohemian tongue.” “His sermons, glowing with all that fervor of love from which they proceeded, and backed up by a pious, exemplary life, coupled with gentle and amiable manners, made a powerful impression.” Great crowds of people, including even the nobility, were drawn to the chapel by Huss’s preaching of the gospel. Queen Sophia chose Huss as her confessor. “A little community gathered around him, of warm and devoted friends; and a new Christian life started forth, from him, among the people. As a curer of souls to the lower class of the people, he became more intimately acquainted with the corrupting influence of a religion reduced entirely to a round of outward ceremonies, and of the superstition which gave countenance and support to immorality; and he was thus led to attack the sources of so much mischief; to dwell with increasing earnestness upon the essence of a practical Christianity, bringing forth its fruits from a principle seated in the heart; and to rebuke with emphatic severity the prevailing vices.”ECE 645.3

    36. “So long as he chiefly attacked the corruption among the laity, he was left unmolested.” But he could not confine himself to rebuking corruption amongst the laity, without greatly crippling his ministry; for to his admonitions they were wont to reply: “The priests preach against our unchastity and our other vices, and say nothing of their own unchastity and their own vices. Either this is no sin, or they are for monopolizing it for themselves. The priests behold the mote in our eyes, but not the beam in their own. Let them first cast out the beam in their own eyes; and then tell us that we should cast out the mote from ours. Why dost thou reprove us? The priests do the same. Why dost thou not reprove them? Is it, perchance, no sin in their case?”ECE 646.1

    37. To the faithful, Christian spirit of Huss, sin was sin, whether in layman or in priest; and he could recognize no distinction on account of position. But he no sooner called the priests to amendment of life, than he found himself seriously attacked. The corrupt clergy themselves had, with pleasure, listened to and approved Huss’s sermons when he had called the nobility, as well as the common people, to amendment of life; but when his preaching touched them, they resented it, and actually made complaint to the king against Huss. The king told them: “When Huss preached sharp discourses against the princes and lords, you complacently looked on; now your turn has come, and you must make the best of it.” Then they resorted to the charge that Huss was injuring the good name of the clergy, and was stirring up the laity to rebellion against the clergy, by openly attacking “before the people, in the Bohemian tongue, the vices of the clergy.”ECE 646.2

    38. To all this Huss answered: “I hope that, by the grace of God, I have never preached in an unbecoming manner. Against the vices of the clergy I have undoubtedly preached; and I hope that I shall preach against them before the council [the coming Council of Constance], not in any extravagant and irregular way, nor so as to show any disposition to injure their good name; but so as to restore their good name, and to give them occasion for correcting their faults. For he who from good motives, seeks to remove the vices from his neighbors, seeks most effectually to restore their good name. O, how much would it conduce to the good name of every one, if, whenever he heard his vices rebuked in a sermon, he would renounce them, and afterward, by a good life, secure to himself the praise of God and all holy men!”ECE 647.1

    39. May 28, 1403, a university meeting was held, before which there were laid, for examination and judgment, forty-five propositions ascribed to Wicklif. The propositions had been drawn forth by an opponent of the writings; and those who were best acquainted with the writings of Wicklif, declared in the meeting, that in these propositions Wicklif’s writings had been falsified. In the meeting Huss declared that he could not agree to the “unconditional condemnation of the propositions, though neither was he disposed to defend them all; for many of them had been interpolated by that master Hubner.” Further, “he could not join in any such condemnation, lest he should bring on himself the woes denounced on such as call evil good, and good evil.” Yet the professor who had been Huss’s teacher, actually stood forth as a defender of the whole forty-five of the propositions, even as they stood. The propositions were condemned by a large majority of the votes of the assembly.ECE 647.2

    40. Next, the Bohemian prelates laid before the pope in Rome complaints against the writings of Wicklif and those who used them. In 1405 Pope Innocent VII, in return, issued a bull addressed to the archbishop of Prague, directing him “to suppress and punish the Wicklifite heresies that were spreading in Bohemia.” The archbishop, in obedience to the pope, held a synod in Prague, in 1406, by which he published an ordinance threatening “ecclesiastical penalties against those who presumed to preach, assert, or discuss the Wicklifite errors.” Yet in the year 1407 Huss was chosen by the archbishop “to deliver the exhortatory discourse before his clergy, assembled at a synod of the diocese.” He chose for his text Ephesians 6:14: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” In his sermon he said: “The clergy ought to take the lead of all others in following Christ under the form of a servant, in meekness, humility, purity, and poverty. They ought literally to realize what Christ has said in the Sermon on the Mount, on loving our enemies, on bearing wrong. The thriving of Christian life in all others, must be conditioned on the fact that the clergy let their light shine before others, in the literal copying after Christ. It is in the falling away of the clergy from this, their true destination, that I find the cause of the corruptions in the rest of Christendom, the contemplation of which fills my soul more and more every day with heart sorrow.ECE 647.3

    41. “The clergy, as soldiers of Christ, should lead the order of battle in the spiritual conflict. But if they are unfit for the contest, the victory is seldom or never won; since they, betaking themselves to flight, or struck down and put into confusion, fill the next ranks of the army with despair or irresolution. If the clergy are struck down or slain, this will hinder the rest of the army from conquering the enemy; but if they treacherously enter into a league with the enemy, they will prepare the way for the enemy to vanquish, more easily and treacherously, the army of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the reason why, in our days, the Christian army is overcome by the flesh, the world, the devil, and pagans. Since it is essentially the clerical calling to set the example of following Christ, so when they exhibit the opposite of this in their lives, they are antichrists; and the true antichrist is already present in the corrupt clergy, whose life and doctrine stand in mutual contradiction. Many stand waiting for gifts by letters of fraternities, by far-sought indulgences, by fictitious relics, by painted images of saints.” These letters of fraternities were documents issued by certain spiritual societies, by which the recipients of the letters were adopted into the community of the merits of those societies. The attacking of these epistles was one of the special features of what was denounced as Wicklifism.ECE 648.1

    42. In 1408, at a great convocation of the university, the forty-five propositions extracted from Wicklif’s writings were again brought forth for unconditional condemnation. But on account of the opposition of Huss and other friends of the writings of Wicklif, this unconditional condemnation could not be carried through; and, therefore, it was decreed “that no one should presume to maintain any one of the forty-five propositions in their heretical, erroneous, or scandalous sense.” Until this time, every graduate of the University of Prague had been at liberty to lecture in the University of Prague, on any book of a teacher of the University of Prague, of Paris, or of Oxford. As Wicklif had been a teacher in Oxford, this liberty had been used by graduates of Prague, in lecturing upon Wicklif’s writings, in the university. But now, by this convocation “an ordinance was passed that for the future, no bachelor should hold public lectures on any one of the three tracts of Wicklif, entitled ‘The Dialogue,’ ‘The Trialogue,’ and the ‘De Eucharistia,’ and that no person should make any proposition relating to Wicklif’s books and doctrines, a subject of public disputation.”ECE 648.2

    43. In the same year several clergymen, accused of Wicklifite errors, were called for judicial examination before a consistory presided over by the archbishop’s assistant. At the trial the accused refused to take any oath “by the crucifix, the gospels, or the saints, because on oath could be taken on things created.” They did not refuse to take oath before God. But, because they would not take the Catholic oath upon the crucifix, the gospels, or the saints, this was held against them as an offense not less than that of the Wicklifite heresy. Huss, being present, defended the man, whose refusal to take this oath had raised the issue, because, without special reference to any right or wrong of the refusal in itself, he considered it proper to “honor the conscientiousness which refused to transfer to any created thing the honor due to God alone.” Huss’s plea was of no avail, however: the man was imprisoned for several days, and then banished from the diocese. This aroused Huss to address to the archbishop a letter of protest, in which he said: “What is this! That men stained with innocent blood, men guilty of every crime, shall be found walking abroad almost with impunity; while humble priests, who spend all their efforts to destroy sin, who fulfill their duties under your Church guidance in a good temper, never follow avarice, but give themselves for nothing to God’s service and the proclamation of His Word, are cast into dungeons as heretics, and must suffer banishment for preaching the gospel!”ECE 649.1

    44. It was now the time of the Council of Pisa. The archbishop of Prague, with his clergy, and the German party in the university, held to the obedience of Gregory XII, whom the council had declared deposed. Huss favored the council, because he believed in the principle of a council being superior to a pope. The king of Bohemia also stood with the council, in its efforts to correct the popes. This difference of view on the part of the king and his nobles, and the archbishop and his clergy, brought on controversy between the two parties. On the part of the clergy, fierce resistance was made to the king’s efforts to aid the Council of Pisa in correcting the papacy. Many of the clergy refused to continue Church services. From the party of the king, violent attacks were made on the archbishop and the clergy “partly as the king’s instruments, partly from private grudges eagerly sought to humble the prelates.”ECE 650.1

    45. In his sermons Huss declared himself in favor of the Council of Pisa, because “there was far more reason to expect something might be done for the reform of the Church” by the council than by either of the popes. The archbishop then published a notice, by which “all masters of the university who sided with the college of cardinals, and particularly Huss, were forbidden to exercise any priestly functions within the diocese.” Huss was charged with sowing discord and schism between the spiritual and secular powers, from which had arisen the persecution” of “the bishop and the clergy, and the plundering of their goods.” He was also charged with “stirring up the people against the clergy, the Bohemians against the Germans;” with “preaching disrespect to the Church and disregard to her power of punishing:” with having “styled Rome the seat of antichrist, and declaring every clergyman a heretic who demanded a fee for distributing the sacrament;” with having “openly praised Wicklif, and having expressed the wish that his soul might finally arrive where Wicklif’s soul was.” In response to this complaint the archbishop directed his inquisitor to inquire into the charges, and “at the same time, examine by virtue of what authority it is that sermons and divine worship are held in Bethlehem chapel.”ECE 650.2

    46. When the Council of Pisa had finished its labors by declaring Alexander V to be pope, the archbishop of Prague discontinued his resistance, and accepted the new pope; and immediately laid before him complaints of the spread of the Wicklifite heresy in his jurisdiction. In December, 1409, Pope Alexander V issued a bull, in which it was declared that he had “heard that the heresies of Wicklif, and especially his denial of the doctrine of transubstantiation, was spreading far and wide in Bohemia.” He called upon the archbishop to “employ vigorous measures for the suppression of these heresies. He should cause all the writings of Wicklif to be delivered up into his hands, appoint a committee of four doctors of theology and two doctors of canon law to examine the same, and proceed in conformity with the judgment they should give. All clergymen who refused to deliver up those writings, or who should defend Wicklifite heresy, the archbishop should cause to be arrested and deprived of their benefices, and in case of necessity the aid of the secular power should be called in. And as private chapels serve to spread errors among the people, sermons for the future should be preached, in Bohemia, only in cathedrals, parish and conventual churches, and prohibited in all private churches.”ECE 651.1

    47. To all in Prague it was evident that this bull in itself was more the writing of the archbishop of Prague than it was of Pope Alexander V; and it produced a great excitement in opposition to the archbishop. The king and the nobles stood with Huss. “The bull was declared to be in many ways a garbled and interpolated one, and therefore, of no force. Huss suggested suspicious against it, on this ground, and employed at first every lawful means in his power, under the circumstances of those times, to withhold obedience, while he showed all respect to the Roman Church.” He appealed from the pope “ill informed” to the pope “well informed.” The archbishop issued his prohibition of preaching in private chapels, which, from the beginning, was intended to stop Huss’s preaching in Bethlehem Chapel. But, since this was contrary to the legal provisions of the foundation of Bethlehem Chapel, Huss refused to obey it. At the same time the archbishop commanded that all the writings of Wicklif should be delivered up to him for examination within six days. Huss obeyed this command, saying that he was ready to condemn them himself whenever any error could be pointed out in them. The committee appointed to examine them condemned “The Dialogue,” “The Trialogue,” and some of his other writings, and ordered that they be all “committed to the flames, and thus be put out of the way of doing harm.”ECE 651.2

    48. “The very announcement of this sentence produced disturbances. At a convocation of the university, it was resolved to send in a petition to the king, that he would prevent the execution of such a sentence, on account of the extreme peril to which it would expose the peace of the university and of all Bohemia. The king promised the delegates of the university that he would comply with their request. The archbishop on hearing of this, hastened to get the start of the king; and on the next day, the sixteenth of June, 1410, repeated the proclamation of the above sentence on the writings of Wicklif. When the king learned of this, he caused the archbishop to be asked whether it was really his intention to burn the books. Zbynek [the archbishop] promised that he would do nothing against Wicklif’s writings without the king’s consent; and for this reason put off the execution of the sentence.ECE 652.1

    49. “But he was far from intending really to give up the execution of the sentence, in spite of all the remonstrances against such a proceeding: alleging in excuse of his conduct that the king had not expressly forbidden him to burn the books. On the sixteenth of July, 1410, having surrounded his palace with a watch, he actually caused two hundred volumes, among which were not only the writings of Wicklif, but also some of Militz’s and others, to be burned, without the slightest regard to rights of private property, as was afterwards remembered to his reproach. This step of the archbishop was the signal for great disturbances and violent controversies in Prague. Even blood was spilt. So great a movement in the minds of men could not be put down with force. The attempt to put it down by an act of arbitrary power, would have only led to still greater violence. The burning of the books had no other effect than to expose the archbishop to contempt and ridicule; and it was a great shock to his authority. Ribald and satirical songs, of which he was made the subject, were openly sung in the streets of Prague, to the purport: ‘The archbishop has yet to learn his A, B, C; he has caused books to be burned, without knowing what was in them.’ECE 652.2

    50. “Two contemporaries, belonging to the opposite parties, are agreed in stating that by this burning of his books the enthusiasm for Wicklif was increased rather than diminished. One was Huss’s zealous opponent, the abbot Stephen of Dola, who at the same time was blind enough to trace the origin of all the troubles to the disobedience of Huss. This writer cites, from the lips of one of Wicklif’s adherents, the following words: ‘The archbishop has burnt many famous writings of Wicklif; yet he has not been able to burn them all. For we have still quite a number left; and we are continually searching in all quarters for others to add to this number, and to supply the place of those lost. Let the archbishop again bid us deliver them up to him, and let him see whether we will obey him!’ The second is Huss himself, who says: ‘I call the burning of books a poor business. Such burning never yet removed a single sin from the hearts of men (if he who condemned could not prove anything), but has only destroyed many truths, many beautiful and fine thoughts, and multiplied among the people disturbances, enmities, suspicious, and murders.’”ECE 652.3

    51. When John XXIII succeeded Alexander V in the papacy, Huss renewed his appeal, addressing it to the new pope. In it he cited the Scripture rule that “in things necessary to salvation, one should obey God rather than man.” In his appeal Huss was joined by “many other masters and preachers.” But the high spiritual language employed in it “was little suited indeed to be understood or appreciated by the monster, John XXIII, and the court which he had gathered.”ECE 653.1

    52. About this time Huss received the conviction that he should die a martyr. Accordingly, from this time, all that he said or did was in conscious view of the stake. In this conviction, and as an answer to all that might be charged against him in time to come, he wrote: “From the earliest period of my studies until now, have I laid it down as a rule that whenever I heard a more correct opinion on any subject whatever advanced, I would, with joy and humility, give up my earlier opinion: being well aware that what we know is vastly less than what we do not know. In order that I may not make myself guilty, then, by my silence, forsaking the truth for a piece of bread or through fear of man, I avow it to be my purpose to defend the truth which God has enabled me to know, and especially the truth of the Holy Scriptures, even to death; since I know that the truth stands, and is forever mighty, and abides eternally; and with her there is no respect of persons. And if the fear of death should terrify me, still I hope in my God and in the assistance of the Holy Spirit, that the Lord himself will give me firmness. And if I have found favor in His sight, He will crown me with martyrdom. But what more glorious triumph is there than this? In citing His faithful to this victory, our Lord says: ‘Fear not them that kill the body.’ As it is necessary for men gifted with reason to hear, to speak, and to love the truth, and to guard carefully against everything that might thwart it; as the truth itself triumphs over everything and is mighty forever; who, but a fool, would venture to condemn or to affirm any article, especially in what pertains to faith and manners, until he has informed himself about the truth of it?”ECE 653.2

    53. Huss’s appeal to the pope was referred by the pope to a cardinal, for investigation. This cardinal confirmed the sentence which the archbishop of Prague had already pronounced against Huss; and cited Huss to appear at Bologna, where Pope John XXIII was then staying. But this aroused the earnest protests of all Huss’s friends, including even the king and the queen. The king himself, in behalf of Huss, wrote to the pope and the college of cardinals, praying them to put a stop to the whole process; to impose silence on the enemies of Huss; and to suppress the dispute concerning the books of Wicklif: since it was “evident that in Bohemia no man had fallen into error or heresy because of these writings.” As to Bethlehem chapel the king said: “It is our will, too, that Bethlehem chapel, which, for the glory of God and the saving good of the people, we have endowed with franchises for the preaching of the gospel, should stand, and should be confirmed in its privileges: so that its patrons may not be deprived of their rights of patronage, and that the loyal, devout, and beloved Master Huss may be established over this chapel and preach the Word of God in peace.” He further demanded of the pope that the citation of Huss to Bologna should be revoked; and that if anyone had anything to object to him, he should present his objections within the realm of Bohemia, and before the University of Prague or some other competent tribunal.ECE 654.1

    54. This communication the king sent to John XXIII by Doctor Nass and John Cardinalis, two prominent men of his kingdom. Cardinalis was a friend of Huss, Doctor Nass was a personal friend of John XXIII. They were commissioned by the king “to request the pope to send a legate to Bohemia at the king’s expense.” The king also wrote to the cardinal to whom had been committed Huss’s appeal, asking him to come to Prague and inform himself of the actual state of things by personal observation. He instructed Doctor Nass to inform the pope that nothing but his respect for the pope prevented him from bringing to condign punishment the archbishop of Prague, whom the king considered as the author of all these disturbances in his kingdom. With these two ambassadors of the king, Huss sent three procurators as his representatives and advocates in the case. When these ambassadors arrived at the court of the pope they found that the cardinal had already pronounced against Huss a sentence of excommunication, for “contumacy in not obeying the citation to appear at Bologna. Yet the ambassadors were heard with such respect that the pope took the case out of the hands of the cardinal to whom he had committed it, and appointed a new commission composed of several officials.ECE 654.2

    55. All this time the archbishop of Prague had been exerting himself to the utmost, through delegates at the court of the pope, to prevent any turn of the case in favor of Huss. He presented to the pope and the cardinals, horses, vases, costly rings, and other gifts in most lavish expenditure. By this or some other dark influence, Huss’s case was removed from the second commission to which it had been referred, and was committed again to a single cardinal “who, in spite of all remonstrances made by the procurators of Huss, kept the whole affair in suspense for a year and a half.” And, since the excommunication of Huss had not been revoked, the archbishop of Prague, taking advantage of this delay, without regard to Huss’s appeal or any of the accompanying proceedings, published as valid the excommunication that had been pronounced from the court of the pope. The rectors of two churches, however, refused to publish it to their congregation. Also, at the court of the pope, because they so diligently pressed their case, some of Huss’s procurators were imprisoned, and the others succeeded in reaching Prague.ECE 655.1

    56. Finally the cardinal to whom the case had been committed the last time, gave his decision, in which he confirmed the previous sentence; added to it a public declaration that Huss was a heresiarch; and put under interdict “the city where he resided.” Huss was in Prague; but the city of Prague was not named in the interdict. The interdict was upon “the city where he resided,” so as to apply to any city where he might be. The archbishop of Prague immediately placed the city of Prague under interdict. The king, on behalf of Huss, resisted the interdict. He punished the clergy that observed it, confiscated their property: “many of them fled the country.” By this time John XXIII, by his terrible life as pope, had so weakened his standing that the archbishop of Prague could not feel himself strong enough to carry on this war against Huss in the face of the attitude of the king. “The archbishop was forced, therefore, to the conviction, that, if he pushed matters to the extreme, he would only run the risk of losing all his authority in Bohemia: a result which would be inevitable, if sharper spiritual measures were continually resorted to, while yet every one of them was trifled with. Hence he was rather inclined, for the sake of saving his authority, and finally to give way to the efforts of the king and of the university for the restoration of peace, to offer his hand for reconciliation.”ECE 655.2

    57. For more than a year negotiations had been going on, to secure “peace” in Bohemia. The heads of the respective parties were the king and the archbishop of Prague. A committee of ten had been appointed to consider the best means of securing peace; and both sides had pledged themselves to submit to the decision of this committee. It was finally agreed that both the king and the archbishop should write to the pope, and that the archbishop should say to the pope that “no heresies existed in Bohemia.” Then a new inquiry was to be instituted; and if anything heretical were found, it should be severely punished. The archbishop, on his part, was to secure the pope’s consent that if any person belonging to the realm of Bohemia were under the ban, the pope should remove it. Both parties were to recall their representatives from the court of the pope, and accept the decision of the king. The archbishop was to dismiss the ban and raise the interdict: the king was to release such of the clergy as he had arrested for enforcing the interdict, and restore their salaries. The archbishop did actually write a letter to be sent to the pope “reporting that no heresies were propagated in Bohemia;” and requesting him to remove the excommunication which had been pronounced on Huss, and to revoke the citation which had been served on him.ECE 656.1

    58. Huss, on his part, presented a confession of faith, which was to be sent to the pope. In this confession he said: “To show due obedience to the Church of Jesus Christ and to its supreme head, I am ready to give to every man an account of the faith that is in me, and to confess with my whole heart that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, that His whole law is of such stable truth, that not one jot or tittle thereof can fail; next, that His Church is so firmly established on the firm rock, that the gates of hell can never prevail against it: and I am ready, trusting on my Lord Jesus Christ, to endure the punishment of a terrible death, sooner than consciously to say anything which would be contrary to the will of Christ and of His Church.”ECE 657.1

    59. The archbishop, however, failed to fulfill his part of the agreement. Although, as stated, he wrote a letter to the pope stating that no heresies were propagated in Bohemia, it seems that the letter was never sent. He informed the king that he must complain that what he called heresy was preached by many clergymen, and that he was not permitted to apply his ecclesiastical power of punishing to those who set forth erroneous doctrines; and that since “under these circumstances it would be impossible for him to maintain his authority in Bohemia, or to carry out his measures by force, he resolved, instead of fulfilling the terms of the agreement, to quit Bohemia, for the present, and to seek assistance from Wenzel’s brother, King Sigismund in Ofen.” But he died, September, 1411, before he could execute this purpose.ECE 657.2

    60. And now Pope John XXIII took a step which, in its results, vitiated all the results of the hard labor that had been performed to establish peace in Bohemia. In sending the insignia of office to the new archbishop of Prague, Pope John sent also, by his legate, a bull denouncing the king of Naples, who was protector of Pope Gregory XII, and proclaiming a crusade against him. The pope’s legate was to publish this bull in Prague. He did so “pronouncing in the most awful forms the curse of the ban on the pope’s enemy, King Ladislaus, of Naples, adherent of Gregory XII, as on a heretic, a schismatic, a man guilty of high treason against the majesty of God; and proclaiming a crusade for the destruction of his party, together with a bull granting full indulgence to all who took part in this crusade. All who personally bore arms in this crusade were promised, if they truly repented and confessed themselves (which, in this connection, surely could mean nothing but a mere form), the forgiveness of their sins, as fully as in partaking in any other crusade. Following the example of cupidity set up by Boniface IX, this bull offered the like indulgence to those also who would contribute as much in money as, in proportion to their means, they would have expended by actively engaging in this crusade for the space of a month.”ECE 657.3

    61. The legate, suspecting that Huss would oppose this bull, had the archbishop to summon Huss before him. Huss came, and the legate “demanded of him whether he would obey the apostolical mandates. Huss declared that he was ready, with all his heart, to obey the apostolical mandates. Then said the legate to the archbishop: ‘Do you see? The master is quite ready to obey the apostolical mandates.’ But Huss rejoined: ‘My lord, understand me well. I said I am ready, with all my heart, to fulfill the apostolical mandates; but I call apostolical mandates the doctrines of the apostles of Christ: and so far as the papal mandates agree with these, so far I will obey them willingly. But if I see anything in them at variance with these, I shall not obey, even though the stake were staring me in the face.’ “ECE 658.1

    62. Hitherto, on the subject of indulgences, Huss had opposed simply the abuses of them, which were practiced by those who vended them. But now he entered into the principles underlying indulgences. The forms of absolution which accompanied this bull that had been just now published, were such that the dean of the theological faculty of the university, Stephen Paletz, hitherto a close friend to Huss and to the truth which he preached, “directed the attention of Huss to the objectionable features in them, and declared to him that such things ought not to be approved,” because they contained “palpable errors.” Yet, when it came to the test, Paletz himself maintained the pope’s authority, against Huss, who attacked these indulgences. In the name of the theological faculty, Paletz offered the following resolution: “We do not take it upon us to raise objections against the lord apostolical or his letters; to pass any judgment whatever upon them; or to determine anything with regard to them: as we have no authority for it.”ECE 658.2

    63. “But Huss, in accordance with his principles, could not believe in any such blind obedience. Obedience to his Master, Christ, the observance of His doctrine, and the copying of His example, stood first in importance with him. This was the rule by which everything was to be examined, by which the limit of all obedience was determined; and this principle it was by occasion of which it was laid to his charge that, by making the commands of the superior dependent on the criticising judgment of his subjects, he relaxed the bonds of all civil and ecclesiastical order. Accordingly it was remarked, that by the course he pursued he would introduce the dangerous error that obedience might be refused to letters patent of popes, emperors, kings, and lords, if the truth and reasonableness of such letters could not be made clear to the understanding of the subjects. And who could calculate what disorders would spring up, all over the world, from this opinion! So he was called a revolutionist.ECE 658.3

    64. “His opponents believed, it is true, that men were bound to unconditional obedience to those in power only in that which was not absolutely wicked, or that which is in itself indifferent. But, to what extent was the phrase ‘that which is in itself indifferent’ to be stretched? As for Huss, he could not look upon that which the bull required as a thing indifferent; but only as a thing directly opposed to the law of Christ, and sinful. To obey, in this case, would be the same as to abandon his principle of obeying God rather than man. He then spoke for the last time, with his old friend Paletz, whom he next met as his fiercest enemy, preparing destruction for him at Constance. His last words to him, the words with which he must sunder the tie of friendship that had so long united them, were ...: ‘Paletz is my friend, truth is my friend: and both being my friends, it is my sacred duty to give the first honor to truth.’ECE 659.1

    65. “Neither his friend [Paletz] nor his teacher [Stanislaus of Znaim] could ever forgive Huss for presuming to stand forth against their authority, as well as the authority of the whole theological faculty, composed of eight doctors: for presuming to be more bold and more free-minded than themselves. Huss himself marks the critical moment which separated him forever from his former associates: ‘The sale of indulgences and the lifting of the standard of the cross against Christians, first cut me off from my old friends.’ Compelled to stand forth as an opponent to his old teacher Stanislaus of Znaim, he still never forgot his obligations to him as an instructor; as he says in the paper he wrote against him: ‘Though Stanislaus was my teacher, from whom in the discipline of the school, I learnt a great deal that is valuable, still I must answer him as the truth impels me to do, that the truth may be more apparent.’”ECE 659.2

    66. Huss now resolved publicly to discuss the subject of indulgences “before a numerous convocation of the university, where also his friend Jerome intended to appear.” Announcements were posted throughout the city of Prague, that this discussion should occur June 7, 1412. The day came, the convocation was held, Huss spoke. He himself left an account of what he said, the salient points of which shall here be given. He said: “I was moved to engage in this affair by a threefold interest: the glory of God, the advancement of holy Church, and my own conscience. Therefore, in relation to all that is now to be said, I call God, Almighty and Omniscient, to witness that I seek first of all things God’s glory and the good of the Church. To these objects every mature Christian is strictly bound by the command of the Lord; and for the good reason that every one should love Christ and His Church infinitely more than his bodily parents, temporal goods, his own honor, or himself. It is moreover my opinion that the glory of Christ and of His bride, the Church, consists particularly in the practical imitation of the life of Christ himself in this, that a man lay aside all inordinate affections and all human ordinances that would hinder or obstruct him in the pursuit of his object.ECE 660.1

    67. “I will never affirm anything contrary to the Holy Scriptures that contain Christ’s law, or against His will. And when I am taught by any member of the Church, or by any other creature whatsoever, that I have erred in my speech, I will openly and humbly retract it. Therefore, in order that I may proceed more safely I will place myself on the immovable foundation, the corner stone, which is the truth, the way, and the life, our Lord Jesus Christ. And I hold it fast, as the faith of the Church, that he who observes not the ordinance and the law which Christ established, and which He also taught and observed by himself and His apostles, does not follow the Lord Jesus Christ in the narrow way that leadeth to life; but goes in the broad way which leads the members of the devil to perdition.ECE 660.2

    68. “On this principle it is not permitted the faithful to approve these bulls. Nothing but what proceeds from love, can be approved by Christ; but assuredly neither the shedding of blood among Christians, nor the laying waste and impoverishing of countries, can have proceeded from love to Christ; nor can such an enterprise afford any opportunity for martyrdom. Indulgence denotes the pardon of sin; which is the work of God alone. Priestly absolution consists in this, that the priest in the sacrament declares the person confessing to him to be in such a state of contrition as fits him, if he were to die immediately, to enter, without passing through the fires of purgatory, into the heavenly mansions. And, the power of the priest, in the last extremity, is not so restricted that he may not promise, so far as God who reveals it to him permits, the pardon of sin. But, it would be too great a presumption to suppose that any vicar of Christ could rightfully attribute to himself such power of absolution, if God had never given him a special revelation on the subject: for otherwise he would be guilty of the sin of blasphemy.ECE 661.1

    69. “The sacrament of penance can avail nothing except on the presupposition of contrition. It is a foolish thing, therefore, for a priest not informed by divine revelation that penance or some other sacrament avails for the salvation of the individual, to whom it is administered, to bestow on him unconditional absolution. Hence the wise priests of Christ give only a conditional absolution: conditioned namely on the fact that the person confessing feels remorse for having sinned, is resolved to sin no more, trusts in God’s mercy, and is determined for the future to obey God’s commandments. Hence, every one who receives such indulgence, will actually enjoy it, just so far as he is fitted to do so by his relation to God. It is the duty of prelates to instruct the people in this truth, so that the laity may not spend their time and labor on that which can not profit them.ECE 661.2

    70. “It is neither permissible nor advantageous for a pope, or for any bishop or clerk whatsoever, to fight for worldly dominion or worldly wealth. This may be understood from the example of Christ, whose vicar the pope is; for Christ did not fight, nor did he command his disciples to fight: but forbade them. The pope ought not to contend for secular things. The safer way is to contend spiritually, not with the secular sword, but with prayer to Almighty God, to persuade the enemy to concord by negotiations, even though by such a course, which to men might seem like madness, one should in case of need suffer death. This rule St. Paul gives in Romans 12:19: would that the pope might humbly adopt this rule of St. Paul.ECE 661.3

    71. “The pope’s conduct is contrary to the example of Christ, who reprimanded His disciples for desiring to call down fire from heaven upon His enemies. Luke 9:54. O that the pope, then, would, like the apostles, who desired to avenge their Lord, have addressed himself to the Lord, and, with the cardinals, said to Him: ‘Lord, if it be thy will, we would call upon all, of both sexes, to combine for the destruction of Ladislaus and Gregory and their companions in guilt;’ and perhaps the Lord would have answered: ‘Ye know not what spirit ye are of, when ye seek to ruin so many souls of men by ban, sentence of condemnation, and destruction of life. Why do ye thus set at naught my example, I who forbade my disciples to be so cruelly zealous against those who crucified me, who prayed: “Father! Forgive them, they know not what they do”?’ If the pope, then, would subdue his enemies, let him follow the example of Christ, whose vicar he styles himself; let him pray for his enemies and the Church; let him say, ‘My kingdom is not of this world;’ let him show them kindness; let him bless those that curse him; for then will the Lord, according to His promise, give him a power of utterance and wisdom, which they will never be able to gainsay.ECE 662.1

    72. “But, it is objected in these days, that, ‘such literal imitation of Christ is confined to the evangelical counsels, designed for those who strive after Christian perfection—to the monks.’ All priests should aim at the highest perfection, because they are representatives of the apostles; and particularly so should the pope, who should exhibit in his conduct the highest degree of perfection, after the example of Christ and of Peter. All priests are bound to the same rule of perfection: certainly the priesthood is the summit of perfection in the militant Church. The precepts, therefore, that forbid contention for earthly things, concern all priests in general. The clergy should literally observe the precepts of the sermon on the mount; as for example, Matthew 5:40.ECE 662.2

    73. “Ignorance in these matters is no excuse for a priest; because they are commanded as persons ordained to act as presidents, judges, and teachers, to have knowledge of the law, and to explain it to those under them in all its several parts. This ignorance of Holy Scripture, being a guilty ignorance, renders the priests the more condemnable, as it is the mother of all other errors and vices among themselves and the people. Even the laity, if they follow the invitation of the bull, and by their contributions uphold the pope in things at variance with his calling, can not wholly excuse themselves by pleading ignorance, since it is ignorance which they might have avoided. In fact there is no such ignorance: on the contrary, they have knowledge enough, only it is asleep. For when they see priests attending spectacles, putting themselves on a par with the world, meddling in secular business, they directly murmur against them, in accordance with Catholic tradition; though these are trifles when compared with carrying on war and legal suits for earthly ends.ECE 662.3

    74. “Yet it is not even ignorance, but absolute indifference, which leads many to obey this bull, who say: ‘What matters it to us, whether the bull is a good or a bad one? We can eat and drink without disturbance if we are left to our peace; others may do what they please.’ Then there is a third class who obey from cowardice: men conversant with the Scriptures, who obey in opposition to their own consciences; who think of the bull in one way and speak openly of it in another. They tremble, who should yield to no fear of the world: tremble lest they should lose their temporal goods, the honor of the world, or their lives.”ECE 663.1

    75. The bull had put upon King Ladislaus and his adherents the curse of destruction to the third generation. To this Huss objected that it was “in contradiction to Ezekiel 18:20, wherein it calls Ladislaus and his adherents blasphemers and heretics, although this is not manifest from any trial to which he has been subjected; and although his subjects are included, poor weak people, men and women, acting under constraint.”ECE 663.2

    76. It will be remembered that the bull granted “full indulgence” to all who took part in the pope’s crusade; and that this indulgence was extended to those who, not going on the crusade, should contribute the amount of money that would have been spent if they had gone. This was cited by Huss. Then he repeated his definition of indulgence, that it “denotes the pardon of sin,” and concluded: “On this point he who is blind may judge whether pardon of sin is not bestowed for a consideration in money. Is not this true simony?”ECE 663.3

    77. Huss next quoted bodily from the bull the following passage:—ECE 664.1

    “By the apostolical power entrusted to me, I absolve thee from all the sins which, to God and to me thou hast truly confessed, and for which thou hast done penance. If, as thou art not able personally to take part in this enterprise, thou wilt act according to my direction and that of the other commissioners, in furnishing means and helps for this cause, and if thou hast done all according to thy ability, I bestow on thee the most perfect forgiveness of all thy sins, both from the guilt and the punishment of them, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”ECE 664.2

    78. Upon this he said: “It is one and the same thing to bestow the forgiveness of all sins, and to impart the Holy Ghost; both presuppose divine power. And for a sinful man to pretend to impart the Holy Ghost, is too enormous a presumption. Christ alone on whom the heavenly dove descended as a symbol of the Holy Ghost, can bestow the baptism of the Spirit. God grants the pardon of sin to none but those whom He has first rendered fit to receive it. Since then a Christian can render another person fit, no otherwise than by laboring for it by prayer or preaching, or by contributing to it through his own merits, it is evident that the being rendered fit for it by God, must precede forgiveness. It may be said that this is ‘but a conditional indulgence, given truly to the contrite, and therefore, to the elect.’ This is sophistical. In such case there would be no need of indulgence. So it might be said of any one, that ‘on the supposition that he were of the divine essence, he would be very God.”ECE 664.3

    79. He next noticed another “sophistical pretense: that ‘the pope’s real object is neither more nor less than this, to rule the Church of Christ in peace and tranquillity; but to secure this object, he must resist his adversaries.’” To which Huss answered: “The pope can not deceive God. God knows perfectly on what the pope’s heart is intent: his ruling aim, implicit or explicit. If he who should imitate the poverty of Christ, fights for worldly rule, he commits a grievous sin of which every man is an abettor who upholds him in so doing. If the pope really possesses a plenitude of power to bestow indulgence upon all, Christian charity requires no less of him than that he should show this kindness to all alike.”ECE 664.4

    80. Next Huss attacked the injurious effects produced by these indulgences: “The foolish man of wealth is betrayed into a false hope; the law of God is set at naught; the rude people give themselves up more freely to sin; grievous sins are thought lightly of; and, in general, the people are robbed of their property. Far be it, therefore, from the faithful to have anything to do with such indulgences! As to the common fund of all the good works in the Church, to be distributed by the pope, individuals share in this common fund only in proportion as they are qualified to share in it by their charity. But it is not in the power of the pope: it belongs to God alone, to determine the greater or less degree of charity in individuals; for to do this presupposes infinite power: it depends on the good pleasure of God. Therefore, it is not in the power of the pope to give any one a share in intercession by the community of holy Church; and consequently it is absurd for him to attribute any such power to himself, since the pope himself should, with David, humbly say, ‘Make me, O God, a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.’ In place of such an imparting of spiritual fellowship with all the good in the Church, let the Christian live a righteous life, following Christ his head in all virtue, and especially in humility and patience; and then let him rely on partaking of His merits, so far as God may grant it; and assuredly, if he thus perseveres unto the end, he will attain to the most complete forgiveness of his sins; and, as his life grows conformed to the example of Christ, in the same proportion will he share of His mercy and of the glory of the blessed.ECE 665.1

    81. “From the proclamations of the commissioners for granting indulgences, it is evident that their sole object is to extort money from the people. Not an instance is to be found in Scripture, of a holy man saying to any one: ‘I have forgiven thee thy sins; I absolve thee.’ Nor are any to be found who have absolved from punishment or guilt for a certain number of days. The theological faculty who say that ‘hundreds of years ago’ the holy fathers instituted indulgences, have taken good care not to express themselves more definitely, and to say: ‘a thousand years’ ‘two or three hundred,’ or any other particular number of centuries ago. Nor have they ventured to name any of these holy fathers. I will not allow that the sentence of the pope is an ultimate and definite one. Christ is the highest expounder of His own law, as well by His words as by His deeds; and He is ever with His faithful, according to His promise that He will be with them even unto the end of the world.ECE 665.2

    82. “I dispute the position that when the great mass of the clergy, monks, and the laity have approved of the papal bulls, it would be ‘foolish to contradict so large a majority.’ By the same sort of reasoning, anything might be justified, however wicked and vile, provided only that it were approved by the majority! and anything condemned, however true and good, only if sanctioned by a majority! In Jeremiah 8:10 it is written that every one, from the least even unto the greatest, was given to covetousness; from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealt falsely. According to this principle, it was folly in the prophet to contradict so vast a multitude! Therefore, it is the custom of wise men, whenever difficulties occur with regard to any truth, laying it open for discussion, to consider, first of all, what the faith of Holy Scripture teaches on the point in question; and, whatever can be so determined, that they hold fast as a matter of faith. But if Holy Scripture decides neither on one side nor the other, they let the subject alone, as one which does not concern them, and cease to dispute whether the truth lies on this side or that.”ECE 666.1

    83. After Huss had finished his discourse, “his friend Jerome came forward and delivered a glowing discourse, which kindled the greatest enthusiasm in the hearts of the youth. In the evening he was escorted home, in triumph, by large bodies of students. The excitement produced by the transactions of this day, spread further; and, as it usually happens when the impulse has been given to some great movement, however pure and unobjectionable at the outset, that it no longer stands in the power of those who began it, to control and keep it within bounds, but violent passions soon enter in and with their fierce burnings, vitiate the purity of the beginning; so it turned out on the present occasion.” Under the leadership of one of the king’s courtiers, “a mock procession was got up; the papal bulls, suspended from the necks of certain indecent women, were carried in the midst of a vast concourse of people, through the principal quarters of the city. The chariot conveying the women was surrounded by armed men of the party, vociferating, ‘To the stake with the letters of a heretic and rogue.’ In this way the bulls were finally conveyed to the Pranger, where a pile of fagots had been erected, upon which they were laid and burned.ECE 666.2

    84. “This was intended only as a parody on the burning of Wicklif’s books two years before.” Still, Huss plainly expressed his disapproval of such a course on the part of any who professed to be of his party, but whose life did not correspond with the doctrines they supported. Of course he was charged with the chief responsibility of it. But he said: “I hope, by the grace of God, that I am a Christian, departing in no respect from the faith, and that I should prefer to suffer a horrible death rather than to affirm anything contrary to the faith, or to transgress the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the same I hope also of many of my adherents, though I observe with deep pain that some of them are blameworthy in their morals. I should be sorry if any one of my party should brand his opponent as a heretic, or style him a Mohammedan, or ridicule or attack him in any other way that implied a disregard to the law of love.”ECE 667.1

    85. The king “summoned around him the lords of counsel and the elders of the communities of all the three towns, out of which the great capital had arisen, and directed them to forbid for the future all public insult of the pope, as well as all public resistance of the papal bulls, on pain of death; and to be vigilantly careful that all occasions of excitement on both sides should be avoided. This royal edict was proclaimed by a herald through the whole city, as a warning to all. It is probable, however, that the king, after all, was not so very solicitous that these measures should be rigorously executed in their whole extent; nor is it clear that he had power enough to enforce them. The getter-up of the mock procession against the bull, of which we have just spoken, still retained his relations with the king.ECE 667.2

    86. “Huss could not be prevented by any power on earth, from fulfilling his vocation as a preacher of the gospel; or from saying to his congregation whatever his duty as a preacher and curer of souls made it incumbent on him to say. He could not keep silent concerning the errors connected with the subject of indulgences: he must point out the great peril to which a reliance on indulgences, as he had already demonstrated in his public disputation, exposed the souls of the people. As yet Queen Sophia did not cease her attendance at the chapel of Huss; and this new contest could only serve to increase the number of his hearers and their enthusiasm. The large concourse of noblemen, knights, men and women of all ranks and conditions, who assembled around Huss, is described by his opponents; especially the thousand of pious women who were denominated Beguines—a nickname like the term Pietists in later times; and one which had been applied already to the followers of Militz. Now, when the hearts of the laity, of men who belonged to the class of industrious artisans, among whom Huss had many adherents, were seized by the power of truth in his sermons, and then going into the churches heard the sellers of indulgences preaching up with shameless effrontery the value of their spiritual merchandise, in direct outrage to the gospel truth they had listened to in Bethlehem chapel, nothing else was to be expected, especially in a state of so much excitement among the youth, than that violent scenes should ensue.”ECE 667.3

    87.The king’s courtier, the students, and the crowd whom they led, undoubtedly did foolishly, yet, to the utmost of all they did, harmlessly. But now the papal party took a step in which they did most wickedly. “A number of priests, distributed among the several parish churches, were engaged, on the 10th of July [1412], in publishing the papal bulls and inviting the people to purchase indulgences. On this occasion three young men belonging to the class of common artisans, by the name of John, Martin, and Stasek, stepping forward, cried out to one of these preachers, ‘Thou liest! Master Huss has taught us better than that. We know it is all false.’ After a while they were seized, conducted to the council house, and, on the next day, in pursuance of the royal edict, condemned to death. Huss, on being informed of this, felt it to be his duty to interpose and endeavor to save these young men, doomed to fall victims to the gospel truth which they had heard from his lips, and which burned in their hearts.ECE 668.1

    88. “Accompanied by two thousand students he repaired to the council house. He demanded a hearing for himself and some of his attendants. At length he was permitted to appear before the senate. He declared that he looked upon the fault of those young men as his own, and that he, therefore, much more than they deserved to die. They promised him that no blood should be shed, and bade him tranquilize the excited feelings of the others. Hoping that they would keep their word, he left the council house together with his followers. But some hours afterwards, when the multitude had, for the most part, dispersed, they ventured to proceed to the execution of the sentence. Resistance being apprehended from the Hussite party, the prisoners were conducted under a large escort of soldiers to the place of death, and, as in the meantime, the concourse of spectators running together in the highest state of excitement, increased every moment, they hurried the execution, and finished it even before arriving at the destined spot. But the adherents of Huss had no intention of resorting to violence. When the headsman, after his work was done, cried out, ‘Let him who does the like expect to suffer the same fate,’ many among the multitude exclaimed at once. ‘We are all ready to do the like; and to suffer the same.’ECE 668.2

    89. “This execution could have no other effect than to increase the excitement of feeling and the enthusiasm of the people for the cause of Huss. Those three young men would of course be regarded by the party they belonged to, as martyrs for the truth. It would be impossible to devise anything better calculated to promote any cause, bad or good, than to give it martyrs. Several, and in particular the so-called Beguines of this party, of whom we have spoken above, dipped their handkerchiefs in the blood of the victims, and treasured them up as precious relics. A woman who witnessed the execution, offered white linen to enshroud the dead bodies; and another individual who was present, Master von Jitzin, attached to the party of Huss, hastened with a company of students to convey the bodies to Bethlehem chapel. Borne thither as saints, with chanted hymns and loud songs, they were buried amid great solemnities, under the direction of Huss. This event gave new importance to Bethlehem chapel in the eyes of the party of Huss. They named it the chapel of the Three Saints.ECE 669.1

    90. “It is certain that Huss took a lively interest in the death of these young men. He thought they might justly be called martyrs for Christian truth, like others whose memory is preserved in the history of the Church. Nor was there anything in this which could justly subject him to the slightest reproach. Certainly by his sermons he contributed to nourish the enthusiasm with which the memory of these witnesses for the truth was cherished among the people. But as public rumor, in such times of commotion, is not wont to discriminate between the different agents, and the different shares taken by each in a transaction, but is inclined to lay the whole upon the shoulders of the one who happens to be the most important individual, so Huss soon came to be pointed out as the person who headed the procession at the burial of the three young men. This is reported by the abbot of Dola. Accordingly the blame of the whole affair is thrown upon Huss at the Council of Constance; but he could deny, with truth, that the procession had been got up at his instigation.ECE 669.2

    91. “But we may hear what Huss himself says concerning these witnesses of the truth, as his words are recorded in his book De Ecclesia, written at a somewhat later period. After citing the passage in Daniel 11:33 [“And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days,”], he remarks: ‘Experience gives us the right interpretation of these words,—since persons made learned by the grace of God, simple laymen and priests, many taught by the example of a good life, because they openly resisted the lying word of antichrist, have fallen under the edge of the sword; of which we have an example in those three laymen, John, Martin, and Stasek, who because they contradicted the lying disciples of antichrist, fell victims to the sword.’ Then, in allusion to what afterwards transpired in consequence of these commotions, he adds: ‘But others who gave up their lives for the truth, died the death of martyrs, or were imprisoned, and still have not denied the truth of Christ, priests, and laymen, and even women.’ECE 670.1

    92. “This first blood having been shed, the persecuting party thought it inexpedient to venture immediately upon any thing further. They perceived the danger of attempting to put a stop to these commotions by force. They had learned by experience to what a height the enthusiasm of the people had already mounted by the death of those three young men. Accordingly the other prisoners, who were now looking for nothing but martyrdom, were set at large. The conflict between the two parties, which had divided the university, since the dispute about the papal bulls relating to indulgence and a crusade, still went on, and grew more violent; the smaller party consisting of those who now declared themselves opposed to all Wicklifite doctrines and in favor of the whole system of papal absolutism, and the larger party, of those who espoused the cause of reform, at the head of whom stood Huss.ECE 670.2

    93. “The former had on their side all who were attached to the hierarchy; and they supposed they could reckon also on the help of King Wenceslaus, whom, in fact, they had joined on defending the bull, and who had issued the edict against its opponents. Those eight doctors, at whose head stood at that time, Paletz, as dean, believed they were entitled to represent themselves as constituting the theological faculty. They now united in condemning the forty-five articles of Wicklif, although some of them had before this defended those articles; and, hence, Huss calls them the cancrisantes. They declared to the prelates their agreement with them in the earlier resolutions against those articles; and, by a course which to Huss appeared retrograde, though to the advocates of hierarchy it could appear no otherwise than an advance, gave them the highest satisfaction. They next proceeded to condemn the forty-five articles in a solemn session.ECE 671.1

    94. “To these propositions they added six others,” as follows:—ECE 671.2

    “1. ‘That he is a heretic who judges otherwise than the Roman Church concerning the sacraments and the spiritual power of the keys.’ECE 671.3

    “2. ‘That in these days, to suppose that great antichrist is present and rules, who, according to the faith of the Church, and according to Holy Scripture, and the holy teachers, shall appear at the end of the world, is shown by experience to be a manifest error.’ECE 671.4

    “3. ‘To say that the ordinances of the holy fathers, and the praiseworthy customs in the Church, are not to be observed, because they are not contained in Holy Scripture, is an error.’ECE 671.5

    “4. ‘That the relics, the bones of the saints, the clothes and robes of the faithful, are not to be reverenced, is an error.’ECE 671.6

    “5. ‘That priests can not absolve from sins and forgive sins, when, as ministers of the Church, they bestow and apply the sacraments of penance, but that they only announce that the penitent is absolved, is an error.’ECE 671.7

    “6. ‘That the pope may not, where it becomes necessary, call upon the faithful or demand contributions of them for the defense of the Apostolic See, of the Roman Church and city, and for the coercion and subjection of opponents and enemies among Christians, while he bestows on the faithful who loyally come to the rescue, show true penitence, have confessed and are mortified, the full forgiveness of all sins, in an error.’”ECE 671.8

    95. These eight doctors “as the theological faculty” asked the magistracy of Prague to obtain the king’s consent that the “teaching and spreading abroad” of the forty-five articles of Wicklif, should be forbidden by a royal decree. They also declared that “certain preachers, on whose account violent insurrections, strifes, and divisions had sprung up among the people, ought to be silenced.” They said that “this was the way to restore peace among the people. A cunningly devised means, to be sure, putting an end to all strife, to allow only one party to speak, and enjoin absolute silence on the other. Such an edict was now to be procured from the king. The king granted but a part of the demand. He actually issued an edict forbidding the preaching of those doctrines on penalty of banishment from the land; at the same time, however, he caused the faculty to be told, that they had better employ themselves in refuting those doctrines, than in trying to effect the suppression of them by an edict of prohibition. But an edict of prohibition against the preaching of this or that individual, was a thing he would never consent to.”ECE 672.1

    96. In answer to the king the “theological faculty” said that it was impossible for them to refute those doctrines so long as Huss refused to lay before them in written form what he had to object to against the bulls. Then both Huss and his opponents of the faculty were summoned to appear before the king’s privy council; and there Huss first quoted John 18:20 “Jesus answered him [the high priest] I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.” Then he said: “I have spoken openly, and taught in the schools, and in the temple in Bethlehem, where masters, bachelors, students, and multitudes of the common people congregate, and nothing have I spoken in secret, by which I could be seeking to draw men away from the truth. At the same time, I am ready to comply with the demand of these doctors; provided that as I bind myself to suffer at the stake, in case I can be convicted of holding any erroneous doctrine, the eight doctors will also, on their part, collectively bind themselves to suffer in the same way on the same conditions.”ECE 672.2

    97. The doctors requested time for deliberation, and withdrew. Presently they returned and said that one of them would bind himself by this pledge, for all. But this Huss would not accept, because, said he, “they are all combined together against me, and I stand opposed to them without associates; this would not be fair.” But to this the doctors would not consent; and the privy council, seeing that there was no hope of agreement, as to arrangements for the consideration of the disputed points, dismissed them all, after admonition that they should try to make up the matter between themselves—“an admonition which in their present state of exasperated feelings, would pass unheeded; and which was intended, perhaps, simply to intimate that the council would have nothing more to do with the business.”ECE 672.3

    98. During the time of these occurrences in Prague, the pope had again taken Huss’s case out of the hands of the cardinal to whom it had last been committed, and had referred it to yet another cardinal, charging him to “employ the severest measures against the recusant.” And now Huss’s enemies in Prague, finding their power foiled there, sent away an agent to the pope, to report to the terrible John XXIII that Huss had opposed his bulls and indulgences, and was therefore, “a dangerous man, hostile to the papacy.” “The cardinal now pronounced sentence of excommunication on Huss, in the most terrible formulas. If he persisted twenty days in his disobedience to the pope, the ban was to be proclaimed against him in all the churches, on Sundays and festival days, with the ringing of all the bells and the extinguishing of all the tapers, and the same punishment should be extended to all who kept company with him. The interdict should be laid on every place that harbored him. By a second ordinance of the pope, the people of Prague were called upon to seize the person of Huss, and deliver him up to the archbishop of Prague, or to the bishop of Leitomysl, or to condemn and burn him according to the laws. Bethlehem chapel was to be destroyed from its foundation, that the heretics might no longer nestle there.”ECE 673.1

    99. The king now stood still, offering no prohibition to the publication of these ordinances against Huss; at the same time doing nothing to forward their execution. This, however was sufficient for the enemies of Huss. With the concurrence of the senators of the old city of Prague, they “assembled at the consecration festival of the church of Prague, October 2, under Bernhard Chotek, a Bohemian, as their leader, for the purpose of dispersing the congregation in Bethlehem chapel and getting possession of the person of Huss. But the firm resolution with which they were met by the congregation who gathered around Huss, induced them to abandon their plan. They returned back to the senate house, where it was resolved at least to carry into execution the pope’s command to destroy Bethlehem chapel. But when this resolution came to be known, such violent commotions arose, that it was found necessary to abandon this project also.”ECE 673.2

    100. On the part of Huss, his procurator, who had presented his case before the pope, published an argument to demonstrate that everything that had been done in the process against Huss, was invalid. Huss himself “caused to be engraved on the walls of Bethlehem chapel a few words, showing the invalidity of such an excommunication. And finally, when no other earthly remedy was left him, he appealed from the venality of the court of Rome, to the one incorruptible, just and infallible Judge, Jesus Christ. After describing what pains he had taken to obtain justice at the Roman chancery, he says: ‘But the Roman court, which cares not for the sheep without the wool, would never cease asking for money, therefore have I finally appealed from it to the most just Judge and High Priest over all.’ This appeal he published to his congregation from the pulpit of Bethlehem chapel.”ECE 674.1

    101. Yet this appeal was counted by his enemies in Prague, and by the papacy itself, as the highest-handed offense of all. “It is characteristic of the times that this act should be objected to him as a contemptuous trifling with the jurisdiction of the Church, as an insolent act of disobedience to the pope, and an overleaping of the regular order of ecclesiastical tribunals. The abbot of Dola says, in his invective against Huss, ‘Tell me, then, who accepted your appeal? From whom did you obtain a release from the jurisdiction of the subordinate authorities? You would not say from the laity, and your daughters the Beguines.’” The clergy of Prague gave full obedience to the pope, and published the excommunication and interdict with all the awesome ceremony possible. “From all the pulpits that published the ban against Huss; they strictly observed the interdict; no sacraments were administered; no ecclesiastical burial was permitted. Such a state of things would, as ever, provoke the most violent disturbances among the people.” The archbishop of Prague, worn out with the scheming, contention, and confusion, resigned at the close of the year 1412. His successor was “a zealous advocate of the hierarchy and more inclined to severe measures in support of it than his predecessor” had been.ECE 674.2

    102. The king now urged Huss that, in the interests of peace, he would leave Prague for a time. Huss consented; but still there was no peace, because the opposition would not have peace. They persisted in constantly stirring up the matter, tracing it always back to “the erroneous doctrines of Wicklif.” The king finding that the absence of Huss from Prague had not brought peace, approached the papal party, with the hope of obtaining it. There had already, before Christmas of 1412, assembled in Prague “the college of the ancient nobles of the land, for the purpose of advising about the restoration of peace and the rescue of the good name of the Bohemian people, in foreign lands.” It was now decided to assemble “a national synod” for this same purpose, before which the leaders of the two parties should appear. It was first arranged to hold this synod at a small city outside of Prague, so that Huss might be present. But it was finally held in Prague, and Huss could not be present. But he was represented by his procurator, who read Huss’s memorial. The theological faculty of the eight doctors was led by Stephen of Paletz and Stanislaus of Znaim, supported by Archbishop John the Iron of Leitomysl.ECE 675.1

    103. “The theological faculty traced all the schism to the defending of the forty-five erroneous doctrines of Wicklif, and insisted that the condemnation of them should be rigorously observed, and that the decision of the Church of Rome should be submitted to in every point. The Church in their view was the pope as head, and the college of cardinals as the body. Errors they found, especially in the widely spread doctrines about the power of the keys being vested in the Church; errors concerning the hierarchy; concerning the seven sacraments; concerning the veneration of relics: and concerning indulgence. They traced all these errors to one cause: that the party admitted no other authority than the sacred Scriptures, explained in their own sense and in contrariety with the doctrine of the Church and of entire Christendom. They regarded themselves, on the other hand, as the people, who alone were in possession of the truth, inasmuch as they agreed with the doctrine of the Roman Church and of entire Christendom. They required in all matters in themselves indifferent, among which were to be reckoned the late ordinances of the pope and the process against Huss, unconditional submission to the Roman Church. The disobedience of Huss and his party to the commands of their superiors passed, with them, for the greatest crime. The interdict should be strictly observed; the order forbidding Huss to preach should remain in full force. They maintained that, since the proceedings against Huss had been accepted by the collective body of the clergy of Prague, and they had submitted to them, therefore all should do the same, especially as they related only to things in themselves indifferent, forbade nothing good, and commanded nothing wrong; and it was not the business of the clergy of Prague to judge whether the ban pronounced on John Huss was a just or an unjust one. Severe punishment for publicly holding forth any of those things which they from their particular point of view called heresy, was required by them. Their proposals for peace, therefore, looked to nothing else than a total suppression of the other party and the triumph of their own.ECE 675.2

    104.“Huss, on the other hand, began by laying down the principle, that the sacred Scriptures alone should pass as a final authority; no obedience could be required to that which was at variance with their teaching. He said, in answer to the challenge of obedience to the interdict and ban: ‘It were the same as to argue that, because the judgment pronouncing Christ a traitor, an evildoer, and worthy of death, was approved by the collective body of the priests in Jerusalem, therefore that judgment must be acquiesced in.’ Looking at the matter from this point of view, he was conscious of no heresy himself, nor could he see any ground for asserting that heresies existed in Bohemia. He demanded, therefore, that they should return back to the earlier compact concluded under Archbishop Zbynek. He declared that he was ready to clear himself from the charge of heresy against any man, or else suffer at the stake; provided his accusers would also bind themselves under the same conditions. Every man who took it upon himself to accuse another of heresy, should be required to come forward and take this pledge. But if none could be found that were able to do so, then it should be proclaimed anew that heresy did not exist in Bohemia.”ECE 676.1

    105. To this committee, when they were assembled in regular session, “one of the most zealous friends of Huss, Master Jacobellus of Meis, submitted a resolution” to the effect that “if the matter now in question relates to the restoration of peace, it should first be settled what peace is meant, whether peace with the world, or with God. Peace with God depends on keeping the divine commandments. The origin of the strife is this: that the attempts of some to bring back that peace of God meet with such unholy and violent resistance on the part of others. Yet the peace of the world without Christian and divine peace, is as unstable as it is worthless. Let the king but give his thoughts to the peace of God first, and the other will follow of itself.”ECE 677.1

    106. Archbishop John the Iron approved the propositions of the papal party, and declared strongly against those of the party of Huss. He advised that all writings in the vulgar language of Bohemia, relating to religious subjects, writings that had contributed in a special manner to the spread of heresy, should be condemned, and the reading of them forbidden. The purpose, therefore, of the assembling of this synod, was not by any means accomplished: peace was no nearer than before; and the assembly broke up.ECE 677.2

    107 The king made yet another effort. He appointed a committee of four, which he “empowered to take every measure necessary for the restoration of concord and tranquillity. They carried it so far as to oblige the two parties to bind themselves under the penalty of a pecuniary forfeit and of banishment from the country, to abide by the decision of this committee.” But they no sooner attempted to formulate articles of agreement, than everything was confusion again. Their very first proposition was to be an expression of “the agreement of the two parties with the faith of the Church on the matter of the holy sacraments and the authority of the Church.” But to this Paletz objected that the cause which he and the faculty were defending, was the cause of the Church itself, and not the cause of a party. He said that the opposition was the party, while they were the Church; and that he “never could concede that he and his should be called a mere party.” Paletz then laid down his definition of the Church: “By the Church is to be understood the body of cardinals under the pope as their head.”ECE 677.3

    108. Huss’s representative yielded to the demand of the committee, that the party of Huss would agree with the Church, and would accept the decisions of the Church, “as every faithful Christian ought to accept and understand them.” Paletz and Znaim insisted that this was only a pretext under which to conceal discord and disobedience. For two days the question was debated. The third day Paletz and his company did not appear, and accused the committee of “weakness and partiality.” The king now held those who had thus protested against and hindered the compromise, to be “the promoters of schism, being unfaithful to the pledge under which they had engaged to submit to the decision of the committee; and he deprived them of their places, and banished them from the country.”ECE 677.4

    109. All this time Huss himself had peace, quietly spending his time in castles belonging to his friends, where he was ever gladly welcomed. There he spent his time in the study of the Scriptures, and reviewing the great questions that were in dispute. That question of, What is the Church, that had now been brought to a crisis by Paletz before this committee, was taken up and written upon by Huss in this period of retirement. This writing is entitled “Concerning the Church,” and is “the most important of all his works,” not only in itself, but from the further fact that it is “the one chiefly appealed to in conducting the process against him which brought him to the stake” at the Council of Constance. The principal points of this writing will be given.ECE 678.1

    110. “We must regard the clerical body as made up of two sects: the clergy of Christ, and those of antichrist. The Christian clergy lean on Christ as their leader, and on his law. The clergy of antichrist lean for the most part, or wholly on human laws and the laws of antichrist; and yet pretend to be the clergy of Christ and of the Church, so as to seduce the people by a more cunning hypocrisy. And two sects which are so directly opposed, must necessarily be governed by two opposite heads with their corresponding laws.ECE 678.2

    111. Quoting the words of Christ: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in the midst of them,” he says: “There, then, would be a true particular Church; and accordingly, where three or four are assembled, up to the whole number of the elect; and in this sense the term Church is often used in the New Testament. Thus all the righteous who now, in the archbishopric of Prague, live under the reign of Christ, and in particular the elect, are the true Church of Prague. We may well be amazed to see with what effrontery those who are most devoted to the world, who live most worldly and abominable lives, most distant from the walk with Christ, and who are most unfruitful in performing the counsels and commandments of Christ, with what fearless effrontery such persons assert, that they are heads, or eminent members of the Church, which is His bride.”ECE 678.3

    112. “Christ alone is the all-sufficient Head of the Church. The Church needs no other, and therein consists its unity. If a Christian in connection with Christ were the head of the universal Church, we should have to concede, that such a Christian was Christ himself; or that Christ was subordinate to him, and only a member of the Church. Therefore, the apostles never thought of being aught else than servants of that Head, and humble ministers of the Church, His bride; but no one of them ever thought of excepting himself and asserting that he was the head or the bridegroom of the Church. Christ is the all-sufficient Head of the Church; as He proved during three hundred years of the existence of the Church, and still longer, in which time the Church was most prosperous and happy. The law of Christ is the most effectual to decide and determine ecclesiastical affairs, since God Himself has given it for this purpose. Christ himself is the Rock which Peter professed, and on which Christ founded the Church; which, therefore, will come forth triumphant out of all her conflicts.ECE 679.1

    113. “The pope and the cardinals may be the most eminent portion of the Church in respect of dignity, yet only in case they follow more carefully the pattern of Christ and, laying aside pomp and the ambition of the primacy, serve in a more active and humble manner their mother, the Church. But proceeding in the opposite way, they become the abomination of desolation: a college opposed to the humble college of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why should not Christ, who, in the holy supper, grants to believers the privilege of participating in a sacramental and spiritual manner of himself,—why should not He be more present to the Church, than the pope, who, living at a distance of more than eight hundred miles from Bohemia, can not by himself act directly on the feelings and movements of the faithful in Bohemia, as it is incumbent on the head to do! It would be enough, then, to say that the pope is a representative of Christ; and it would be well for him, if he were a faithful servant, predestined to a participation in the glory of his Head,—Jesus Christ.ECE 679.2

    114. “The papacy, by which a visible head was given to the Church, derived its origin from the emperor Constantine; for, until the gift of Constantine, the pope was but a colleague of the other bishops. If the Almighty God could not give other true successors of the apostles than the pope and the cardinals, it would follow that the power of the emperor, a mere man, by whom the pope and the cardinals were instituted, had set limits to the power of God. Since, then, the Almighty God is able to take away the prerogatives of all those emperors, and to bring back His Church once more to the condition in which all the bishops shall be on the same level, as it was before the gift of Constantine, it is evident that he can give others besides the pope and the cardinals, to be true successors of the apostles, so as to serve the Church as the apostles served it.ECE 680.1

    115. “It is evident that the greatest errors and the greatest divisions have arisen by occasion of this [visible] head of the Church, and that they have gone on multiplying to this day. For, before such a head had been instituted by the emperor, the Church was constantly adding to her virtues; but after the appointing of such a head the evils have continually mounted higher. And there will be no end to all this, until this head, with its body, be brought back to the rule of the apostles. Christ can better govern His Church by His true disciples scattered through all the world, without such monsters of supreme heads. The theological faculty have called the pope ‘the secure, never-failing, and all-sufficient refuge for his Church.’ No created being can hold this place. This language can be applied only to Christ. He alone is the secure, unfailing, and all-sufficient refuge for His Church, to guide and enlighten it. ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’ John 15:5.ECE 680.2

    116. “It injures not the Church, but benefits it, that Christ is no longer present to it after a visible manner; since He himself says to His disciples, and, therefore, to all their successors (John 16:7): ‘It is good for you that I go away; for if I went not away, the Comforter would not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him unto you.’ It is evident from this, as the truth itself testifies, that it is a salutary thing for the Church militant that Christ should ascend from it to heaven, that so His longer protracted bodily and visible presence on earth might not be prejudicial to her. Therefore, the Church is sufficiently provided for in the invisible guidance, and should need no visible one by which she might be made dependent. Suppose, then, that the pope who walks visibly among men, were as good a teacher as that promised Spirit of Truth, for which one need not to run to Rome or Jerusalem, since he is everywhere present, in that He fills the world [even then such visible head would not be “good” for the Church]. Suppose also that the pope were as secure, unfailing, and all-sufficient a refuge for all the sons of the Church as that Holy Spirit; it would follow that you supposed a fourth person in the divine Trinity.ECE 680.3

    117. “This Spirit, in the absence of a visible pope, inspired prophets to predict the future bridegroom of the Church, strengthened the apostles to spread the gospel of Christ through all the world, led idolaters to the worship of one only God, and ceases not, even until now, to instruct the bride and all her sons, to make them certain of all things, and guide them in all things that are necessary for salvation. As the apostles and priests of Christ ably conducted the affairs of the Church in all things necessary to salvation, before the office of pope had yet been introduced, so they will do it again if it should happen, it is quite possible it may, that no pope should exist, until the day of judgment; for Christ is able to govern His Church, after the best manner, by His faithful presbyters, without a pope. The cardinals, occupied with worldly business, can not teach and guide, by sermons, in the articles of faith and the precepts of the Lord, the members of the universal Church and of our Lord Jesus Christ. But the poor and lowly priests of Christ, who have put away out of their hearts all ambition, and all ungodliness of the world, being themselves guided by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, teach and guide the sons of the Church, quickened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and give them certainty in the articles of faith and the precepts necessary to salvation. The Church has all that it needs in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and ought to require nothing else; nothing else can be a substitute for that.”ECE 681.1

    118. Stanislaus of Znaim had asserted that the Church could not have been left by Christ without a visible head; for it would have been leaving her in a condition of too great embarrassment. To this Huss answered: “Far be it from our hearts to utter a sentiment so heretical as this. For it directly contradicts the declarations of the gospel. How can the Church be embarrassed when she has the Bridegroom with her to the end of the world? when she has a sure consolation and an infallible promise, the promise of Christ’s own words, that if we ask the Father anything in His name, He will give it us? And whatever ye ask of the Bridegroom, He will do. From no pope can she obtain this.”ECE 681.2

    119. It is interesting to note that Militz, Matthias of Janow, and Huss all taught, that in the last days of antichrist and the Church, the power of working wonders to be seen with the eyes, would be manifested on the part of antichrist, rather than on the part of Christ. As stated by Huss, this view is as follows: “Antichrist will have the power of deceiving by wonders. 3[Page 682] 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13, 14; 16:13, 14. In the last times, miracles are to be retrenched. She [the Church of Christ] is to go about only in the form of a servant: she is to be tried by patience. 4[Page 682] See Matthew 24:13; Luke 21:19; Revelation 14:12. The lying wonders of the servants of antichrist are to serve for the trial of faith. 6[Page 682] Amos 8:12, By its own intrinsic power faith shall preserve itself in the elect, superior to all arts of deception. Prophecy is wrapt in obscurity; the gift of healing removed; the power of long, protracted fasting diminished; the word of doctrine silent; miracles are withheld. Not that divine providence utterly suspends these things; but they are not to be seen openly and in great variety, as in earlier times.ECE 682.1

    120. “All this, however, is so ordered by a wonderful arrangement of divine providence, that God’s mercy and justice may be revealed precisely in this way. For while the Church of Christ must, after the withdrawal of her miraculous gifts, appear in grater lowliness, and the righteous, who venerate her on account of the hope of heavenly good, not on account of visible signs, fail of their reward in this earthly life, there will on the other hand, be a more speedy manifestation of the temper of wicked, who, disdaining to follow after the invisible things which the Church promises, cling fast to visible signs.ECE 682.2

    121. “This servant form of the true Church, in which the power of the invisible Godlike is all that attracts, as contrasted with the abundance of lying wonders in the worldly Church of antichrist, appearing in visible glory, 7[Page 683] See “Great controversy” Vol.iv, chap 39, par. 31. serves as the means of separating the elect from the reprobate. The elect must pass through this trial in order to bring out their genuine character: the reprobate must be deceived according to the just judgment of God. Therefore, in these times, it is rather the servants of antichrist, than the servants of Christ, who will make themselves known by wonders. It is a greater miracle to confess the truth and practice righteousness, than to perform marvelous works to the outward senses. The priest or deacon who loves his enemies, despises riches, esteems as nothing the glory of this world, avoids entangling himself in worldly business, and patiently endures terrible threatenings, even persecutions for the gospel’s sake—such a priest or deacon performs miracles, and has the witness within him that he is a genuine disciple of Christ.”ECE 682.3

    122. The Council of Constance was drawing near; and since the great object of that council was declared to be “the reformation of the Church in its head and members,” Huss much desired to be there and to bear witness to the truth. But he knew that it was to risk his life. And now, on his own part, he wrote: “Relying on Christ, that Witness whom no multitude of witnesses can draw away from the truth, whom the Roman court can not terrify, whom no gift can corrupt and no power overcome, I will confess the gospel truth, so long as He himself gives me grace to do so. As to the advice of the faculty, with Christ’s help, I would not receive it, if I stood before a stake, which was ready prepared for my execution. And I hope that death will sooner remove me or the two who have deserted the truth (Stephen Paletz and Stanislaus of Znaim), either to heaven or to hell, than I shall be induced to adopt their opinions. For I knew them both as men who, in earlier times, truly confessed the truth as it is in Christ; but, overcome by fear, they have turned to flattering the pope, and to lies.ECE 683.1

    123. “If I can not make the truth free in all, I will at least not be an enemy to the truth, and will resist to the death all agreement with falsehood. Let the world flow on as the Lord permits it to flow! A good death is better than a bad life. One ought never to sin through fear of death. To end this life, by God’s grace, is to pass out of misery. The more knowledge of truth one gains, the harder he has to work. He who speaks the truth, breaks his own neck. He who fears death, loses the joy of living. Truth triumphs over all; he triumphs who dies for the truth; for no calamity can touch him, if no sin has dominion over him! Blessed are ye when men curse you, says the Truth. This is the foundation on which I build; this is the food for my spirit, recruiting it with fresh vigor to contend against all adversaries of the truth. As to the disgrace of the king and the realm, of what harm is it, if the king is good, and some at least of the inhabitants of the realm are good? Christ passed through the greatest reproach together with his chosen, to whom he said (John 16:2; Matthew 10:21, 22), Ye shall be delivered up by your parents and kinsmen; which is more than to be reproached by Stanislaus or Paletz.”ECE 683.2

    124. The rector of the University of Prague had written to Huss a letter of consolation. To this Huss answered: “Very thankfully do I accept this consolation, while I fasten on those passages of Scripture and rely on this, that if I am a righteous man, nothing can trouble me or induce me to swerve from the truth. And if I live and will live devoutly in Christ, then in the name of Christ must I suffer persecutions; for if it became Christ to suffer and so enter into His glory, it surely becomes us, poor creatures, to take up the cross and so follow Him in His sufferings. And I assure you that persecution would never trouble me, if my sins and the corruption of Christian people did not trouble me. For what harm could it do me to lose the riches of this world, which are but dross? What harm, to lose the favor of the world, which might lead me astray from the way of Christ? What harm to suffer reproach, which, if borne with patience, purifies and transfigures the children of God, so that they shine like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father? And finally, what harm, to have my poor life taken from me, which is death; if he who loses this, lays death aside, and finds the true life? But this is what they can not comprehend, who are blinded by pomp, honor, and avarice, and by whom some have been seduced from the truth through fear, where nothing was to be feared.ECE 684.1

    125. “As to my body, that I hope, by the Lord Jesus Christ, if mercy bestow the strength on me, to offer up, since I desire not to live longer in this miserable world, if I can not stir up myself and others, according to the will of God, to repentance. This I wish for you also; and I exhort you, in the Lord Jesus Christ, with all the companions of your board, that you be ready for the trial; for the prelude of antichrist must begin first, and then the contest will go on in right good earnest. And the goose [a play upon his name, Huss, which signifies goose] must flap her wings against the wings of behemoth, and against the tail which always conceals the abominations of antichrist. The Lord will reduce the tail and His prophets to nothing; i, e., the pope and his prophets, the masters, teachers, and jurists, who, under the hypocritical name of holiness, conceal the abominations of the beast. The papacy is the abomination of self-deification in the holy place. Woe then is me if I do not preach of that abomination, if I do not weep over it, write about it.”ECE 684.2

    126. In a letter to his people of Bethlehem chapel, he said: “Pray for those who preach God’s truth with grace, and pray also for me, that I may more richly write and preach against antichrist, and that God may lead me in the battle, when I am driven to the greatest strait, that so I may be able to maintain His own truth. For know, that I shrink not from giving up this poor body for God’s truth, when I feel assured that there is no want of the preaching of God’s word, but that daily the truth of the gospel is more widely spread. But I desire to live for their sakes to whom violence is done, and who need the preaching of God’s word that in this way the malice of antichrist may be discovered as a warning to the pious. I preach therefore in other places, ministering to whoever may be found there; since I know that God’s will is fulfilled in me, whether it be by a death hung over me by antichrist, or whether I die in sickness. And if I come to Prague, I am certain that my enemies will lie in wait for me and persecute you, they who do not serve God themselves and hinder others from serving him. But let us pray God for them, if peradventure there may be some elect ones among them, that they may be turned to the knowledge of the truth.”ECE 685.1

    127. In the preparations for the Council of Constance the emperor Sigismund was urged by leading churchmen to make the situation in Bohemia one of the particular matters to be considered in the council. To this he consented. And, in order to do this, it was essential that Huss should be at the council. King Wenceslaus of Bohemia was Emperor Sigismund’s brother. The emperor now “invited his brother, King Wenceslaus to send Huss to Constance; and promised to furnish Huss with a safe-conduct.” He instructed one of the two knights who were his messengers to the king, to inform Huss that he would make sufficient provision for his being heard before the council; and that if he did not submit to the decision of the council, he would send him back unharmed to Bohemia. This safe-conduct Huss did not receive until after his arrival at Constance. But, when he did receive it, it was so drawn that by it Huss was taken unconditionally under the protection of the emperor and the empire. It said, in so many words: “You shall let John Huss pass, stop, stay, and return, freely, without any hindrance whatever.”ECE 685.2

    128. Before starting for Constance, Huss made one more visit to Prague, August, 1414. There, by a public notice posted on all the church doors, he invited any man, who pleased, to convict him of heresy before the archbishop or before a synod to be convoked by the archbishop. But the synod informed him that they were too busy with other affairs of the kingdom, to be able to attend to his matter. He had them give him a certificate to that effect. He then secured an interview with the archbishop, at the close of which the archbishop “made out for him a declaration, stating that he found him guilty of no heresy; that he had nothing to lay against him, save only that he had remained so long under the ban; and had nothing to advise him save only that he should get the ban removed as soon as possible.” In addition to this he procured an investigation of his creed, under the direction of the pope’s inquisitor, and the inquisitor also “drew up a testimonial, certifying that he found nothing heretical in him.”ECE 686.1

    129. Before his departure from Prague, Huss wrote to the emperor, thanking him for the trouble which he had taken on his account. He said: “I will humbly trust my life on it, and under the safe-conduct of your protection, shall, with the permission of the Highest, appear at the next council at Constance.” He asked the emperor to arrange that he might have an opportunity publicly to confess his faith in the council; “for as I have taught nothing in secret, so I wish to be heard, to be examined, to preach, and, under help of the Divine Spirit, to answer all who are disposed to accuse me, not in secret, but publicly. And I hope I shall not be afraid to confess the Lord Christ, and, if it must be, to die for His law, which is the most true.” The emperor had promised to Huss that “his cause should be conducted to a happy issue;” for which Huss again thanked him for his kind intentions, and said: “Which, too, your majesty will perform to the honor of the King of kings.”ECE 686.2

    130. Several of Huss’s friends cautioned him against trusting too much to the emperor’s word. One of his congregation, a tailor, in bidding good-by, said: “God be with thee; for hardly, think I, wilt thou get back again unharmed, dearest Master John, and most steadfast in the truth! Not the king of Hungary, but the King of heaven reward thee with all good, for the good and true instruction that I have received from thee.” In a letter to his congregation, the day before he left Prague, Oct. 10, 1414, Huss said: “You know, my brethren, that I have now long instructed you in good faith, setting before you God’s word: not things remote from the faith in Christ, not false doctrines. For I have always sought, and will ever seek, so long as I live, your welfare. There will be more against me in the council of my enemies, than there were against our Saviour: first of the number of bishops and masters; next, of the princes of this world and Pharisees. But I hope in God, my Almighty Saviour, that on the ground of His own promise and in answer to your fervent prayers, He will bestow on me wisdom, and a skillful tongue, so as to be able to stand up against them. He will, too, bestow on me a spirit to despise persecutions, imprisonment, and death; for we see that Christ himself suffered for the sake of His chosen, giving us an example, that we should suffer all things for Him and for our salvation. He certainly can not perish, who believes on Him and perseveres in His truth.ECE 687.1

    131. “If my death can glorify His name, then may He hasten it, and give me grace to endure with good courage whatever evil may befall me. But if it is better for me that I should return to you, then let us beseech God for this, that I may come back to you from the council without wrong—that is, without detriment to His truth, so that we may from thenceforth be able to come to a purer knowledge of it, to destroy the doctrines of antichrist, and leave behind us a good example for our brethren. Perhaps you will never see me again in Prague; but if God should, in His mercy, bring me back to you again, I will with a more cheerful courage go on in the law of the Lord; but especially when we shall meet together in eternal glory. God is merciful and just, and gives peace to His own here, and beyond death. May He watch over you, who has cleansed us, His sheep, through His own holy and precious blood, which blood is the everlasting pledge of our salvation. And may He grant, that you may be enabled to fulfill His will, and having fulfilled it, attain to peace and eternal glory through our Lord Jesus Christ, with all who abide in His truth.”ECE 687.2

    132. Oct. 11, 1414, Huss departed for Constance, accompanied by the two knights, Wenzel of Duba, and John of Chlum, who were commissioned by the emperor to protect him from all injury. There were in the company also Chlum’s secretary, a sincere friend to Huss, and the priest John Cardinalis, delegate from the University of Prague to the council, also a sincere friend of Huss. All along the way, wherever he stopped, he would post up public notices in Bohemian, in Latin, and in German, offering to give to any one who wished to speak to him on the matter of his faith, an account of his religious convictions, and to prove that he was very far from cherishing anything like heresy.ECE 688.1

    133. In one little town through which they passed, the parish priest, with his assistants, visited him, drank to his health, conversed with him on matters of Christian faith, and avowed that he fully agreed with him, and declared he had always been his friend. At Nuremberg merchants passing through, had left the word that Huss was on his way and might soon be expected in the city. When he arrived, “large bodies of the people came out to meet him.” Before he had sat down to dinner, a parish priest sent a letter requesting an interview with him, which he granted. During dinner a note was handed to him, by Wenzel of Duba, stating that in consequence of the notice that had been posted up, “many citizens and masters wished to speak with him.” He left the table, met them, and “in the presence of the burgomaster and many citizens, he conversed about his doctrine till nightfall; and his hearers professed to be satisfied with him.”ECE 688.2

    134. “While Huss was disputing with certain persons in the little Suabian town of Bibrach, the noble knight, John of Chlum, took so lively an interest in this disputation, and spoke with so much warmth in favor of the doctrines of Huss, that he was taken for a doctor of theology; hence Huss was wont, afterwards in his letters, playfully to call him the doctor of Bibrach. Well aware of the great ignorance of the people in the things of religion, Huss was accustomed wherever he lodged to leave for his hosts on departing a copy of the Ten Commandments, or even to write them in the meal, as he had written them on the walls of Bethlehem chapel.”ECE 688.3

    135. Nov. 3, 1414, he arrived at Constance. He was there a month before anything was brought up with regard to his case. He wrote to a friend: “I would have found no friends in Constance if my adversaries from Bohemia had not taken pains to make me hated.” These adversaries were Michael de Causis, parish priest of Prague; and Paletz, the dean of the faculty of the University; and the pope’s legate, who had published the pope’s bulls and indulgences in Bohemia. The very next day after his arrival in Constance, De Causis had a notice “posted on all the churches, accusing him as the vilest heretic.” The emperor had not yet reached Constance; but Huss’s safe-conduct was given to him there, and the emperor sent him word of his satisfaction that he had started on this journey without waiting for the letter of safe-conduct.ECE 689.1

    136. Now. 28, 1414, toward noon, an embassy came to Huss, from the pope and the cardinals, to inform him that “it was now agreed to give him the hearing which he had so often demanded; and he was invited to follow the embassy into the pope’s palace. The knight of Chlum, who at once saw through the motives of the whole arrangement, rose with indignation and exclaimed: ‘Such a violation of the honor of the emperor and of the holy Roman Empire is not to be tolerated. The emperor has given his own word to Huss that he shall obtain a free hearing at the council. I myself, who have received it in charge to watch over the safety of Huss, am responsible for that charge, and bound to see that nothing is done against the emperor’s word. I can not permit this, and must protest against such a proceeding. The cardinals will do well to consider what they are about, and not suppose that they can be allowed to trifle with the honor of the emperor and of the empire.’ “ECE 689.2

    137. The bishop of Trent replied that they had “no bad intentions whatever. Everything shall be done in peace. We wish only to avoid making a stir.” Huss spoke up, saying, “I have not come here to appear before the pope and Roman court; but to appear before the whole assembled council, to give in their presence an account of my faith. Though they use force against me, still I have a firm hope in God’s grace, that they never will succeed in inducing me to fall from the truth.” Then Huss followed the embassy. “On the lower floor, he was met by the mistress of the house, who took leave of him in tears. Struck with a presentiment of death, and deeply moved, he bestowed on her his blessing. Mounting on horseback he proceeded with the embassy and the knight of Chlum to the court.ECE 689.3

    138. “The prelates, fearing a movement on the part of the people, had taken care that the city magistrates, who were completely subservient to the council, should place soldiers in the neighboring streets, so that if necessary, the step might be carried through by force. When Huss appeared before the chancery, the president of the college of cardinals said: ‘It is reported of you that you publicly teach many and grievous heresies, and have disseminated them in all Bohemia. This thing can not be allowed to go on so any longer; hence you have been sent for, with a view to learn from yourself how the matter stands.’ Huss replied: ‘Such is my mind. I would prefer to die rather than to teach one heresy, not to say many. And, the very reason for which I have come here is to make myself answerable to the council; and to recant if I can be convicted before it of holding any error.’ The cardinals expressed their satisfaction at the temper of mind here manifested by Huss. They then adjourned, leaving Huss and Chlum under the surveillance of the men-at-arms.ECE 690.1

    139. “About four o’clock in the afternoon they again assembled in chancery, and several Bohemians were also in attendance, both enemies and friends of Huss.” His enemies, especially Paletz and De Causis, did their utmost to prevent Huss from being set at liberty; and they succeeded. Then, when they were sure they had gained their point, they “burst into a loud murmur of applause, crying out insultingly to Huss: ‘Now we have you, nor shall you escape till you have paid the uttermost farthing!’” As evening drew on the intimation was conveyed to the knight of Chlum that he might retire to his lodgings: Huss must remain. “Filled with indignation,” Chlum made his way to the pope, “who happened to be still present in the assembly. He overwhelmed him with reproaches: that he had dared thus to trifle with the word of the emperor: that he had thus deceived him.” He held up to the pope “the inconsistency between his conduct and his promises.” For the pope had assured him and another Bohemian, his uncle, Henry of Latzenbock, that Huss should be safe. The pope replied that he had nothing to do with the imprisonment of Huss. He said the cardinals were responsible for the whole transaction; and “You know very well the terms on which I stand with them.” “The same night Huss was conducted to the house of a canonical priest in Constance, where he remained eight days under the surveillance of an armed guard. On the sixth of December he was conveyed to a Dominican cloister on the Rhine, and thrown into a narrow dungeon filled with pestiferous effluvia from a neighboring sink.ECE 690.2

    140. “The knight of Chlum did not cease to complain of the violation done to the emperor’s safe conduct. He immediately reported the whole proceeding to the emperor. The latter expressed his indignation at it, demanded that Huss should be set free, and threatened to break into the prison by force, if the doors were not voluntarily thrown open. December 24, Chlum, in the name of the emperor, publicly posted up a certificate, declaring in the most emphatic language that the pope had been false to his promise, that he had presumed to insult the authority of the emperor and the empire, by paying no regard whatever to the emperor’s demands. He declared that when the emperor himself should come to Constance, which might be the next day, it would be seen what his indignation was at learning of such a violation of his majesty.” But when the emperor arrived, a deputation of the council appeared before him, Jan. 1, 1415, and told him that “he ought not to interfere in transactions relative to matters of faith; and that the council must have its full liberty in the investigation of heresies.” And the emperor promised the council, by this deputation, that he would “allow them all liberty and never interpose his authority in these matters.”ECE 691.1

    141. Huss was now held a prisoner for seven months—Dec. 6, 1414, to July 6, 1415. The horrible condition of the dungeon into which he was first cast, soon caused him a severe sickness. Fearing that he might die, the pope sent to him “his own body physician; for it was not desired that he should die a natural death.” By the earnest intercession of his friends, Huss was removed from the filthy dungeon into which he was at first cast, to better and more airy rooms in the same building. He recovered from his first attack of sickness; but in about two months was again overtaken. But his keepers were for the most part very kind to him, and would take him out occasionally to walk about a little and enjoy pure air.ECE 691.2

    142. When, March 21, 1415, Pope John XXIII fled from Constance, all his officers and servants followed him. Among these were Huss’s keepers. Fearing that an attempt might be made to carry him off with the pope, Huss succeeded in getting a communication to the knight of Chlum, in which he requested the knight to ask the emperor either to appoint him new keepers, or set him at liberty. But the cardinals had their spies everywhere, and detected this, and prevented it by having the emperor deliver Huss “to the surveillance of the bishop of Constance, who at four o’clock the next morning had him removed in chains to the castle of Gottleben. In the castle of Gottleben the situation of Huss was changed much for the worse. His prison was a tower. In the daytime he was chained, yet so as to be able to move about: at night on his bed, he was chained by the hand to a post. Here he no longer experienced that mild treatment from his keepers, which mitigated the severity of his former imprisonment. His friends were not allowed to visit him. New attacks of disease, violent headaches, hemorrhages, colic, followed in consequence of his severe confinement.”ECE 692.1

    143. Yet before the end of March, to his Bohemian friends in Constance he wrote: “May the God of Mercy keep and confirm you in his grace, and give you constancy in Constance; for if we are constant, we shall witness God’s protection over us. Now for the first time I learn rightly to understand the psalter, rightly to pray, and rightly to represent to myself the sufferings of Christ and of the martyrs. For Isaiah says (28:19), ‘When brought into straits, we learn to hear’—; or, What does he know who has never struggled with temptation? Rejoice, all of you who are together in the Lord; greet one another, and seasonably prepare to partake worthily, before the Passover [the coming Easter], of the Lord’s body; of which privilege so far as regards the sacramental participation, I am for the present deprived; and so shall continue to be as long as it is God’s will. Nor ought I to wonder at this when the apostles of Christ and many other saints, in prisons and deserts, have in like manner been deprived of the same. I am well, as I hope in Jesus Christ, and shall find myself still better after death, if I keep the commandments of God to the end.”ECE 692.2

    144. In the month of June he was taken out of his oppressive dungeon at Gottleben, and was taken to Constance, and there imprisoned in a Franciscan convent. And the dungeon which he had occupied at Gottleben, was immediately filled with Pope John XXIII, who had been taken a prisoner, to be kept by the council. It is remarkable that the identical men assembled in council should deal with these two men John, Huss and John XXIII, who were so entirely at opposites in both character and position—seeking to reform them both: and should in a measure treat them exactly alike, so far as capture, imprisonment, condemnation, and deposition: though of course treating Huss far the worse. Than this what could possibly more clearly demonstrate their absolute deadness to all spiritual sense and moral distinctions!.ECE 693.1

    145. During this time which we have recorded, in which Huss was lying in chains, and sick, in doleful dungeons, he was also being put through the courses of theological torture by his persecutors of the council. First the pope appointed a committee of three, to examine him upon the charges and complaints entered by Paletz and De Causis. In the document appointing this committee, the pope, John XXIII (before his flight) named Huss as “a dangerous heretic, who was spreading aboard mischievous errors and had seduced many’;” and charged the committee to report to the council the result of their examination, in order that the council might pass “a definitive sentence on Huss in conformity thereto.” When brought before this committee, Huss first demanded a solicitor; but this was refused, because that “to a heretic no such privilege could be granted.” Then said Huss: “Well, then, let the Lord Jesus be my advocate, who also will soon be your judge.” Touching this action of the committee, a Parisian deputy remarked that “if Huss had been allowed an advocate [that is, one who would have held them strictly to technical canonical procedure] they would never have been able to convict him of heresy.”ECE 693.2

    146. Thus, without any assistance, in fetters, and under his severe sufferings, he was obliged to make his answers to the charges laid before the committee. He soon discovered that his enemies were using against him not only his public writings, and their own open charges, but intercepted letters, both of his own and of his friends; and even simple expressions used in familiar conversation with personal friends, away back before he was ever charged with any wrong: these past-time friends, when the test came, having deserted him, and being now engaged in distorting into heresy these innocent expressions. His old familiar friend Paletz was now his chief accuser and most bitter enemy. “He never spoke to Huss in the presence of the commission, but in the harshest language,—language calculated to arouse prejudice and suspicion,—such as that ‘since the time of Christ more dangerous heretics than Wicklif and Huss have not appeared.’ ‘All that ever attended his preaching are affected with the disposition to deny the doctrine of transubstantiation.’” He even “strenuously urged that all the adherents of Huss should be cited and forced to an abjuration of heresy.” But all that Huss would say of all this, was: “May God Almighty pardon him. Never in my whole life did I receive from any man harsher words of comfort than from Paletz. How, beyond all other wrong, it wounds the heart to see love converted into hate in one who has the wrong all on his own side!”ECE 693.3

    147. The instruction of the pope to the committee was that the council should give a definitive sentence when the committee should report. But Huss’s enemies were determined if possible that he should have no word before the council. The committee asked him to submit to the decision of twelve or thirteen masters who might be chosen; but he refused, and presented a written demand that he be allowed to present before the whole council an account of his faith. The committee then proceeded with their examination. Even the heaviest charges that they could lay against him were that he had hindered the effect of the crusade bull of the pope; that he had continued for so long a time under the ban, and still persisted in saying mass; and that he had appealed from the pope to Christ. When they read out before him this, to their mind, the most weighty of all the charges,—that he had appealed from the pope to Christ,—Huss reported afterward: “With joy and a smile on my lips, I acknowledged it to be mine.”ECE 694.1

    148. Afterward Huss was removed from the castle of Gottleben to the Franciscan convent, in a hall of the convent the council assembled June 5, 1415, “to investigate his affair, and to hear the man himself according as it had been promised him.” But, before Huss was brought in, his enemies read the charges against him, which had been approved by the committee; and the council was actually “on the point of making a beginning with the condemnation of these articles. But Peter of Mladenowic, secretary to the knight of Chlum, a man enthusiastically devoted to Huss, hastened to give information of it to the knight, his master, and to Wenzel of Duba. They speedily reported the case to the emperor, who at once sent the palgrave Louis and the burgrave Frederick of Nuremberg, to the council, directing them to tell the prelates, that before the appearance of Huss they should not take a step in his affair; and that they should in the first place lay all the erroneous articles which they found reason to charge against him, before the emperor, who would take pains to have them carefully and minutely examined by pious and learned men.”ECE 694.2

    149. The two knights presented to the council copies of the writings of Huss, from which the articles upon which they were accusing him, had been taken. When Huss was brought in, they asked him whether these writings were his. Huss answered: “Yes, and I am ready to retract every expression in them in which it can be shown that I am in error.” A single article was then read. But Huss began to defend it, quoting many passages of Scripture, and citing the doctrine of the Church, they exclaimed “that all this was nothing to the point”! Then, when Huss began again to speak, “he was interrupted, and not allowed to utter a syllable. A savage outcry arose against him on all sides. At length when Huss saw that it was of no use, that he could not be heard, he determined to remain silent. This silence was now interpreted as a confession that he was convicted. Finally, it grew to be too bad: the moderate men in the assembly could stand it no longer; and as it was impossible to restore order, it was thought best to dissolve the assembly, the 7th of June having been fixed upon as the time when Huss should have his second hearing.”ECE 695.1

    150. There were two more hearings which, in their manner of procedure, were but intensified repetitions of what has already been related. The emperor was present at both; but even his presence could not keep the persecutors to order. Thirty formal charges were drawn up against Huss. But it was unimportant whether there were thirty or none at all. They were determined from the beginning to condemn him, and whatever he might have said originally, or might say now, in explanation or defense, could not affect the result one way or the other. The plainest Christian truths most solemnly stated, were received with “shouts and laughter of derision.” For instance, Huss’s answer to the charge that he had appealed from the pope to Christ was: “This I openly maintain, before you all, that there is not a more just nor a more effectual appeal than the appeal to Christ. For, appeal means, according to law, nothing but this: in a case of oppression, from an inferior judge to invoke the aid of a higher one. And now what higher judge is there than Christ? Who can get at the truth of a cause in a more righteous and truthful manner than he? For he can not be deceived, neither can he err. Who can more easily afford help to the poor and oppressed?” But “this was language which the council could not understand; and it was received with laughter and scorn.”ECE 695.2

    151. The emperor himself took part in the proceedings against Huss. He demanded that Huss should submit to the authority of the council, because so many “credible witnesses” had testified against him. The emperor told him that if he would submit to the council for his own sake, and for the emperor’s brother, the king of Bohemia, and the whole Bohemian empire, “he should be dealt with by the council in a lenient manner, and let off with slight penance and satisfaction. But, if he would not submit to the authority of the council, then the leaders of the council would know what they had to do with him.” And, as for himself, the emperor declared that he would “sooner prepare the fagots for him with his own hands, than suffer him to go on any longer with the same obstinacy as before.” And, when the final hearing was ended, and Huss had been removed from the council, the emperor “made a proposition to the council declaring to them that Huss, as had been already clearly proved by many witnesses, had taught so many pernicious heresies, that he deserved, in his judgment, and for some of them singly, to perish at the stake;” and even though Huss should recant, “he never should be allowed to preach or to teach again, nor permitted to return to Bohemia.”ECE 696.1

    152. Next, persistent efforts were made to get Huss to recant. Forms of recantation were drawn up for him to accept and to publicly make. And they even drew up a sentence, defining what should be done with him if he should recant. It ran as follows:—ECE 696.2

    “Since it is evident on the ground of certain conjectures and outward signs, that Huss repents of the sins he has committed, and is disposed to return with upright heart to the truth of the Church, therefore the council grants with pleasure, that he may abjure and recant his heresies, and the heresies of Wicklif, as he voluntarily offers to do, and as he himself begs the council to release him from the ban which had been pronounced on him; so he is hereby released. But inasmuch as many disturbances and much scandal among the people have arisen from these heresies, and inasmuch as great danger has accrued to the Church by reason of his contempt of the power of the keys, therefore the council decrees, that he must be deposed from the priestly office, and from all other offices. The care of seeing to the execution of this decree is assigned to several bishops at the council, and Huss is condemned to imprisonment during life in some place appointed for that purpose.”ECE 697.1

    153. But John Huss had not lived for more than three years in the presence of the stake, now to recant; nor had he lived with Christ all these years, now to deny Him. Accordingly the decision of the council was that he should be degraded from the priesthood and delivered over to the secular arm. By the same council three hundred propositions extracted from the writings of Wicklif were likewise condemned, and sixty articles extracted from Wicklif’s works were added to the thirty from Huss’s works; all of which entered into the condemnation of Huss. Thus Wicklif’s work went steadily forward.ECE 697.2

    154. Through all these troubles and persecutions of Huss the two noble knights—Chlum, and Wenzel of Duba—stood by him, comforted him, and sustained him, especially the knight of Chlum. At one point in the trial it was charged against Huss by one of the council, in language spoken loudly, expressly that the emperor might hear: “When you were first brought before us I heard you say that if you had not proposed of your own accord to come to Constance, neither the emperor nor the king of Bohemia could have compelled you to come.” Huss answered, giving his true language, thus: “My language was this: If I had not been disposed to come here of my own accord, so many of the knights in Bohemia were my friends, that I might have easily remained at home in some safe place of concealment, so that I never could have been forced to come by the will of those two princes.”ECE 697.3

    155. To this “Cardinal d’Ailly exclaimed, in an angry tone: ‘Mark the impudence of the man!’” And when this spirit of anger was plainly spreading, “the noble knight of Chlum spoke out in confirmation of what Huss had said: ‘Compared with other knights, I have but little power in Bohemia; yet I could protect him, for a whole year, against all the power of these two sovereigns. How much more could be done by others, who are more powerful than I, and hold the stronger castles!’” And, when Huss’s last hearing was over, and “when Huss, worn down and completely exhausted, was led back to his prison, the noble-hearted knight of Chlum hastened to visit him, under the full influence of the impression made by his appearance and defense of himself, and, seizing his hand, pressed it in a way which must have told more than words. Huss himself describes the effect which this testimony of friendship, made at such a time, produced on his mind: ‘O, what joy did I feel, from the pressure of my lord John’s hand, which he was not ashamed to give me, the wretched outcast heretic, in my chains!’”ECE 698.1

    156. But more closely and more firmly than even the noble-hearted Knight John of Chlum, the Lord Jesus stood by him. One night in January, 1415, Huss dreamed that certain persons had resolved to destroy in the night all the pictures of Christ that were painted on the walls of Bethlehem chapel; and that, indeed, they did destroy them. But the next day he beheld many painters who were drawing more pictures, and more beautiful ones, than were there before, upon which Huss gazed in rapture. And when the painters had finished, they turned to the company of people who were looking on, and said: “Now let the bishops and priests come and destroy these pictures!” And a great multitude of people in Bethlehem joyed over it; and Huss rejoiced with them. And, in the midst of the laughter and the joy, he awoke.ECE 698.2

    157. Now there were no real pictures of Christ painted on the walls of Bethlehem chapel: there were only the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and precious verses of Scripture inscribed there. Huss wrote to the knight of Chlum, told him of his dream, and asked him to tell him what he thought it meant. The knight said: “The pictures of Christ painted on the wall of Bethlehem chapel is the life of Christ which we are to imitate: the immovable words of Holy Scripture, which are there inscribed, and His words which we are to follow. The enemies of the cross of Christ seek to destroy both, in the night, because the Sun of Righteousness has gone down to them by reason of their wicked lives; and they seek to bring both into oblivion among men. But at the morning dawn, when the Sun of Righteousness arises, the preachers restore both after a more glorious manner, proclaiming from the housetops that which has been said in the ear and is nearly forgotten. And from all this will proceed great joy to Christendom. And though the ‘goose’ is now brought down by sickness, and may next be laid a sacrifice on the altar, yet will she hereafter, awaking as it were from the sleep of this life, with Him who dwells in heaven, laugh and hold them in derision, who are the destroyers at once of Christ’s image and of Scripture. Nay, even in this present life, she will, with God’s help, still restore those pictures and those words of Scripture to the flock and her friends, with glowing zeal.”ECE 698.3

    158. Huss replied to the knight that he agreed with his explanation, and said: “I hope that the life of Christ which, by my preaching in Bethlehem, has been transcribed upon the hearts of men, and which they meant to destroy there, first by forbidding preaching in the chapels and in Bethlehem, next by tearing down Bethlehem itself—that this life of Christ will be better transcribed by a greater number of better preachers than I am, to the joy of the people who love the life of Christ over which I shall, as the doctor of Bibrach says, rejoice when I awake, that is, rise from the dead.” And this blessed work of renewing the image of Christ in men, he continued unto the end. For all the time that he was in the prisons, he continued to write and to distribute short tracts on the Ten Commandments, on the Lord’s Prayer, on the knowledge and love of God, and other kindred subjects.ECE 699.1

    159. Further, in his deep sufferings in the prison, and when moved in chains from prison to prison, Christ was with him all the time. In his dream he saw beforehand the flight of the pope; and in his dream also the knight of Chlum said to him: “The pope will also return.” Also, he says, “I dreamt of the imprisonment of Jerome, though not literally according to the fact [yet this also was strictly according to the fact, though the dream was before the fact; for Jerome was shortly afterwards imprisoned]. All the different prisons to which I have been conveyed have been represented beforehand to me in my dreams. There have often appeared to me serpents, with heads also on their tails; but they have never been able to bite me. I do not write this because I believe myself a prophet or wish to exalt myself; but to let you know that I have had temptations both of body and soul, and the greatest fear lest I might transgress the commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ.”ECE 699.2

    160. Then came the day, July 6, 1415, when the noble soul of John Huss was to be poured out in faithful witness for Christ. He was brought before the council. There he was placed upon a high stool, that all might see him. The bishop of Lodi preached a sermon from the words of Romans 6:6: “That the body of sin might be destroyed,” and closed with looking at the emperor, and pointing to Huss, with the exclamation: “Destroy this obstinate heretic!” The charge most emphasized against him was his appeal from the pope to Christ. But when this was read out in the council and unanimously condemned as heretical, Huss spoke: “O Christ! Whose word is, by this council, publicly condemned, I appeal to Thee anew. Thou who, when Thou was ill-treated by Thine enemies, didst appeal to Thy Father; Thy cause thou didst commit to that most righteous Judge; that we, following Thy example, may when oppressed by injustice, take refuge in Thee! When, after the long ceremony, the sentence was read to him, he fell upon his knees and prayed: “Lord Jesus! Forgive my enemies; as Thou knowest that I have been falsely accused by them, and that they have used against me false testimony and calumnies. Forgive them for the sake of Thy great mercy!” And even these words were received with laughter by many of the council.ECE 700.1

    161. Next he was caused to stand up and was clad with the priestly vestments; and the cup of the eucharist was put into his hand. “Through the whole of the transaction, the example of Christ stood distinctly before Huss, whose steps he was conscious of following in all the insults he had to endure. In this sense he interpreted many parts of the proceeding.” Having been fully robed in the priestly garments, he was called upon by the bishops to recant. “for his honor and his soul’s salvation.” Then, with tears in his eyes and in his voice, he spoke to the assembly: “These worshipful bishops require it of me to confess before you all that I have erred. If this were of such a nature that it could be done so as to involve only the disgrace of a single individual, they would more easily persuade me to it. But I now stand before the eyes of my God, without dishonoring whom, as well as meeting the condemnation of my own conscience, I can not do this. For I know that I have never taught anything of the kind that I have been falsely accused of teaching; but have always thought, written, and taught the contrary. With what face could I look to heaven, with what brow could I meet those who have heard my teaching, of whom the number is great, if by my fault it should happen that what hitherto they were most certainly assured of through me, should be made uncertain to them? Should I by my example destroy the peace of so many souls whom I have made familiar with the most settled testimonies of Scripture, and with the purest doctrines of the gospel, and thereby fortified against all the assaults of Satan? Far be it from me that I should value this my mortal body more highly than the salvation of those souls.”ECE 700.2

    162. Next, the cup was taken from his hand, with the words: “We take from thee condemned Judas the cup of salvation.” But Huss said: “But I trust in God, my Father, the Almighty, and my Lord Jesus Christ, for whose name I bear this, that He will not take from me the cup of His salvation.” A dispute arose among his persecutors “about the mode of removing his tonsure.” Speaking to the emperor, Huss said: “I am surprised when all are alike cruel, they can not agree among themselves about the mode of cruelty.” A cap painted all over with devils, and upon it the inscription “Arch-heretic,” was then placed on his head. And he said: “My Lord Jesus Christ wore, on my account, a crown of thorns; why should I not be willing, for His sake to wear this easier though shameful badge? I will do it, and gladly.” Then said the bishops: “Now we give over thy soul to the devil!” Raising his eyes to heaven, Huss said. “But I commend into Thy hands, Jesus Christ, my soul, by Thee redeemed.”ECE 701.1

    163. When he came to the place of execution, he kneeled and prayed, in the words of the Psalms, particularly the fifty-first, and thirty-first. He was heard often to repeat the words: “Into thy hands, Lord, I commit my spirit.” Laymen standing by were moved to remark: “What he may have done before, we know not; but now we see and hear him pray and speak most devoutly.” When called upon to take his place at the stake, he said: “Lord Jesus Christ! Stand by me, that by Thy help I may be enabled, with a strong and steadfast soul, to endure this cruel and shameful death, to which I have been condemned on account of the preaching of the holy gospel and Thy word.”ECE 701.2

    164. Then he was placed upon the faggots, and bound fast to the stake with a chain; to which he said:“I willingly wear these chains for Christ’s sake, who wore still more grievous ones.” Before the fire was lighted, the marshal of the empire rode up and called upon him, once more, to recant. He answered: “What error should I recant, when I am conscious of no error? For I know that what has been falsely brought against me, I never thought, much less have I ever preached. But the chief aim of my preaching was to teach men repentance and the forgiveness of sins according to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the expositions of the holy fathers. Therefore am I prepared to die with a joyful soul.” Then the fire was lighted, and Huss began in a clear voice to sing: “Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy upon me.” And, thus singing, his voice went out with his life, in the flames, in the death that is precious in the sight of the Lord. His ashes were cast into the Rhine.ECE 702.1

    165. Early in the year 1415, Jerome of Prague heard that “the imprisonment of Huss had taken place. He could not bear to leave his friend and fellow combatant alone in this crisis.” And he hastened to Constance. Shortly after the students’ escapade in burning the pope’s bull in Prague, Jerome had left Prague, and ever since had been traveling far through Europe, laboring “in countries the most diverse, to promote the cause of reform, and had displayed far greater zeal than the more practical Huss in diffusing the doctrines of Wicklif. In Bohemia and Moravia, he had extended his influence among all classes, at the courts of princes, in cathedral churches, in convents, even among the Carthusians, among people of both sexes, and among students at the universities.” He spoke with such exalted eloquence that Gerson, the chancellor of the University of Paris, captiously charged him with wanting to emulate the angels in eloquence. He produced “great commotions at several universities by his zeal in defending the doctrines of Wicklif, for example in Paris and Heidelberg.” The chancellor of the University of Paris had prepared to arrest him and bring him to trial there. But he learned of it in time to make his escape. Next, he went to Vienna, and there excited great interest. There he was arrested by the magistrates, but was set at liberty. He visited the king of Poland, and the duke of Lithuania. He preached in Cracow with such power that the bishop of Cracow declared that “such violent commotions had never been produced there by any individual since the memory of man.”ECE 702.2

    166. Early in the year 1415 Jerome returned to Prague; and there learned that Huss was in prison in Constance. April 4, 1415, Jerome arrived in Constance secretly. He soon found that he could not be heard, nor be safe there if his presence should be known; and he left the city and went to Ueberlingen, four miles from Constance. From there he wrote to the emperor and the cardinals, offering publicly to answer before any one to every charge of heresy that might be brought against him, if a safe conduct were granted him. But no safe conduct was given; and Huss’s experience with the emperor had demonstrated that the emperor Sigismund’s safe conduct was nothing of the kind.ECE 703.1

    167. He then caused to be fastened to the gate of the emperor’s palace on the doors of the principal churches, and on the residences of the cardinals and other eminent prelates, a notice in Bohemian, Latin, and German, stating that he was ready to defend himself in public before the council, against every accusation made against his faith; provided only that he were assured full liberty and security to come to Constance and leave it again. But neither could this be had. Then he procured from the Bohemian knights resident in Constance a certificate, sealed with their seals, to the effect that he could not obtain a hearing from the council; and, with this to serve as a vindication of himself to his friends, he started to return to Bohemia.ECE 703.2

    168. But still he was in doubt as to whether it was not his duty to go boldly to Constance rather than to return to Bohemia. Because of this, he traveled very slowly. And, his traveling so slowly, gave to his enemies a chance to waylay him and to capture him. He was conducted in chains to the council, May 23; and “appeared before a public convocation of the same body in the Franciscan convent.” In the council were “a number of eminent men from the Universities of Paris, Heidelberg, and Cologne.” who remembered him and his preaching in those places; and now were glad that they should be able to “triumph over the man who had once given them so much alarm.” Against all that was objected to him, and the many demands that he should recant, he replied that he held himself ready to recant as soon as he was taught anything better. But soon, “amid the noisy shouts was heard the cry,’Jerome must be burnt!’ He answered with coolness, ‘Well, if you wish my death, let it come, in God’s name!’”ECE 703.3

    169. After the prelates had retired from the assembly, Peter of Mladenowic, secretary to John of Chlum, came from Huss, to the window of Jerome’s room, with a message exhorting him to “stand fast by the truth, and not shrink even from dying for that truth for which he had so stoutly spoken.” Jerome replied: “I hope with the grace of God to remain faithful to the truth even unto death. We have talked a good deal about death: now we are to learn what it is.” In the night he was delivered to a guard, who took him to a tower “where he was bound to a stake, by his hands, feet, and neck, so that he could scarcely move his head.” There he was held two days, with nothing to eat but bread and water. His keepers conveyed to Peter of Mladenowic information of Jerome’s situation; and Peter brought to him sufficient food. Jerome’s hard treatment caused a violent attack of sickness. The knights of Bohemia and Moravia addressed the council in a letter, September 2, expressing their indignation at the death of Huss and the imprisonment of Jerome by the council.ECE 704.1

    170. The council had spent much time and effort to secure from Huss a recantation. This same thing they persistently followed up with Jerome. At last he accepted one of the forms of recantation which they presented; and by this their true disposition was revealed. For, by this acceptance of the recantation Jerome was entitled to his liberty. This was acknowledged by the commission to whom was committed the trial of his case; and the commission insisted on his liberation. Yet Paletz and De Causis led such a determined opposition that the commission resigned, and a new commission was appointed, by which Jerome was subjected to a new accusation and trial. But, after Jerome had endured for a time the inquisition of this new committee, he refused to submit any further, and demanded a public trial. This was allowed him; and May 23, 1416, he was brought before the whole council, where new articles of complaint were laid against him; upon which he obtained permission to answer there in the presence of the council. The council demanded that he should take an oath to speak the truth; but he refused, because he refused to “acknowledge the competency of the new tribunal, or the regularity of the new examination,” after having accepted the recantation which they themselves had dictated.ECE 704.2

    171. “On the twenty-third and the twenty-sixth of May he defended himself, from seven o’clock in the morning till one in the afternoon, against all accusations, one by one, unraveled in a connected discourse all the events in Prague in which he had taken a part, with such presence of mind, such eloquence, so much wit, as to excite universal admiration. Then, finally, he was allowed to speak of himself; and it was expected that he would only complain of the injustice of the new examination, appealing to the fact that he had done all that could be required of him, and close with demanding that the acquittal which had been put off so long should now be granted him. He actually commenced with something of this sort, describing the injustice of renewing the process against him, complaining of his new judges, and protesting against the competency of this new tribunal.ECE 705.1

    172. “But soon his discourse took a new turn altogether. In a dazzling strain of eloquence he brought up, one after another, those men who among pagans, Jews, and Christians, had fallen victims to false accusations, and particularly to priestly hatred. He spoke of Socrates, Seneca, Boethius, John the Baptist, Stephen, and, last of all, John Huss, enthusiastically dilating on the latter, as a man known to him only by his zeal for piety and truth; one who had drawn down upon himself the persecutions of a worldly-minded clergy only by the faithfulness with which he rebuked their corruption. He ended by declaring that there was no one of his sins he more painfully rued, than that of having suffered himself to be moved by the fear of death to acquiesce in the condemnation of that saintly confessor of the truth. He took back all he had said concerning Wicklif and Huss. He declared that he assuredly should not be the last of those who would fall victims to the cunning malignity of bad priests; and turning round to his judges he exclaimed: ‘I trust in God, my Creator, that one day, after this life, you shall see Jerome preceding you and summoning you all to judgment, and then you must render your account to God and to me, if you have proceeded against me wrongfully.’ECE 705.2

    173. “This last declaration of Jerome was his death warrant. But partly by his eloquence and presence of mind, contrasted with his emaciated looks, in which were depicted the marks of his long and severe imprisonment, he had excited so deep a sympathy in many, that they were anxious to save him; and partly, they were loath to excite to a still higher degree by this new martyrdom, the angry feelings of the Bohemians. A respite of forty days was therefore given him for reflection. Let us hear how an eyewitness, a man quite destitute of susceptibility to religious impressions, one of the restorers of ancient literature, Poggio, of Florence, the chosen orator of the council of Constance, expresses himself when speaking of the impression which this discourse of Jerome could not fail to make on all that heard it. He says, in a letter to his friend Aretino, or Leonard Bruno, of Merezzo: ‘He had for three hundred and forty days been pining away in a dark tower full of offensive effluvia. He had himself complained of the harsh severity of such confinement, saying that he, as became a steadfast man, did not murmur at being forced to endure such unworthy treatment, but that he could not help being astonished at the cruelty of men towards him. It was a place where he could not even see, much less read or write. I pass over the mental anguish which must have daily tortured him, and which was enough to destroy the power of memory itself within him. He cited so many learned and wise men as witnesses in behalf of his opinions, so many teachers of the Church, that they would have sufficed, if he had passed the whole of this time in all quietness in the study of wisdom. His voice was pleasant, clear, full-sounding, accompanied with a certain dignity; his gestures adapted to excite indignation or pity, which, however, he neither asked for, nor sought to obtain. He stood up fearlessly, undaunted, not merely contemning death, but even demanding it, so that one might look upon him as a second Cato. O, what a man! a man worthy of everlasting remembrance!’”ECE 706.1

    174. May 30, 1516, Jerome was formally condemned by the council, and delivered over “to the secular arm.” He was led to the identical spot where Huss’s life had been offered up. And there, as Huss had been, he was fastened to the stake and burned, his last audible words being: “Into thy hands, O God, I commit my spirit. Lord God, have pity on me, forgive me my sins, for thou knowest I have sincerely loved thy truth.” And when his voice could no longer be heard, it was seen, through the flames, that his lips were moving as in prayer. “The eyewitness, Poggio, then describes the impression which the martyrdom of Jerome made on him, though he found it impossible to comprehend what gave him the power so to die. ‘With cheerful looks he went readily and willingly to his death; he feared neither death, nor the fire and its torture. No stoic ever suffered death with so firm a soul, as that with which he seemed to demand it. Jerome endured the torments of the fire with more tranquillity than Socrates displayed in drinking his cup of hemlock.’”ECE 706.2

    175. When information of the execution of Huss reached Bohemia, the whole country was immediately a flame. Even the University of Prague took the lead in expressing indignation. It issued “a manifesto addressed to all Christendom, vindicating the memory of the man who had fallen a victim to the hatred of the priesthood and the perfidy of the emperor. His death was declared to be murder, and the fathers of Constance were styled ‘an assembly of the satraps of antichrist.’ Every day the flame of the popular indignation was burning more fiercely.... But deeper feelings were at work among the Bohemian people than those of anger. The faith which had produced so noble a martyr was compared with the faith which had immolated him, and the contrast was found to be in no wise to the advantage of the latter. The doctrines which Huss had taught were recalled to memory now that he was dead. The writings of Wicklif which had escaped the flames, were read and compared with such portions of Holy Writ as were accessible to the people; and the consequence was a very general acception of the evangelical doctrines. The new opinions struck their root deeper every day; and their adherents, who now began to be called Hussites, multiplied one might almost say, hourly. The execution of Jerome only added to the already mighty impulse; and “within four years from the death of Huss, the bulk of the nation had embraced the faith for which he died. His disciples included not a few of the higher nobility, many of the wealthy burghers of the towns, some of the inferior clergy, and the great majority of peasantry.”—Wylie. 8[Page 707] “History of Protestantism,” book iii, chap 13, pars. 1, 2, 4.ECE 707.1

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