Front Page Titles (by Subject) X.: To the College of Cardinals ( Without date: early in September 1411) - The Letters of John Hus
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X.: To the College of Cardinals ( Without date: early in September 1411) - Jan Huss, The Letters of John Hus 
The Letters of John Hus. With Introductions and Explanatory Notes by Herbert B. Workman and R. Martin Pope (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1904).
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To the College of Cardinals
Your humble servant in your commands with all reverence!
Most reverend fathers in Christ, who bear the likeness of the apostles: whereas you have been placed as chief luminaries to enlighten each quarter of the world, and whereas you have been placed in authority to take away the world’s crimes, to deliver souls from Satan’s jaws, and in Christ’s name to help the oppressed, I humbly flee to your protection, most reverend fathers, and fall at your feet. I am unable to bear the heavy burden that hath fallen upon your poor servant, and which I first brought upon myself at the time of the schism from Gregory XII. For then I strongly urged upon the princes, barons, and lords, in the interests of the unity of the Holy Mother Church, the duty of loyalty to the sacred College of Cardinals, and I steadfastly preached the same to clergy and people. Thereupon the very reverend father in Christ, Lord Zbinek, Archbishop of Prague, then the opponent of the sacred College of Cardinals, in a public notice affixed to the church doors and signed by himself, prohibited all the masters of the University of Prague who had sided with the College of Cardinals, and in particular myself, whom he named, from exercising all and sundry priestly functions in his diocese, alleging as a cause that the masters of the University of Prague, acting on wrong informamation, had withdrawn from the most holy father in Christ, Gregory XII., and from obedience to the Apostolic Seat. But as the issue proves the deed, it afterwards came out that at the close of the Council of Pisa he approved, under compulsion, by his own act, the secession of the masters.1 Here, then, is the primal source of the indictment and charge which have been laid against me! But seeing that the aforesaid sacred College of Cardinals pledged itself at that time to bestow many benefits on its supporters, I therefore recall the promise then made; and believing that it still holds good as a promise made by the pillars of the Church, I appeal on my bended knees to the kindness of your reverences that it may please you to give pious regard to a poor man like myself, and with your gracious assistance exempt me from the burden of a personal appearance and the other charges that are hanging upon such appearance.1 For I am innocent on those counts which my adversaries bring against me, the Lord Jesus Christ being my witness. I am prepared to face the noble University of Prague and all the prelates and all the people who have heard me, and to whom I now appeal: yea, and to give a full and clear account of the faith which I hold in my heart and profess by word and writing, even if the stake be lighted as I am heard.2 Concerning the above confession, the public instruments, together with the formal declaration of the University of Prague, will fully inform your most gracious reverences. Written, etc. (sic).
From the Death of Zbinek to the Exile of Hus
The death of Zbinek was not the end of strife, only its transference to new spheres. Henceforth for Hus there was no peace; but the constant struggle was not altogether the fault of his foes. In September 1411 Hus was engaged in a controversy with the Englishman, John Stokes, in defence of Wyclif. As, however, The Letters of Hus make no reference to this interesting if one-sided tournament, we pass it by (see Age of Hus, pp. 158 ff.).
In the autumn of this year we mark the commencement of the activity of Michael the Pleader. Michael Smradař of Deutsch Brod was at this time priest of St. Adalbert’s, Prague. Soon afterwards he entered the King’s service with a project for a reformed method of extracting gold from the diggings at Jilowy. According to his enemies, a tale endorsed by Mladenowic, he absconded with a part of the money; more probably, on achieving nothing, he deemed it wise to retire. He returned with the office of papal ‘procurator de, causis fidei,’ whence the name Michael de Causis, or the Pleader, by which he is usually known. His attack upon Hus came about in this wise. In the spring of 1411 Hus, who had once more been appointed the special preacher before the Synod, dared to defend in a sermon, by quotations from Wyclif’s De Officio Regis—to which for once he acknowledged his indebtedness—the harsh measures that Wenzel had taken against the clergy who sided with Zbinek. In a sermon to the people on All Saints’ Eve, he again denounced the vices, especially the avarice, of the priests, singling out certain scandals connected with masses for the dead. The clergy, led on by Michael, retorted by a lawsuit, to which Hus refers in the following appeal (infra, p. 59). We see how powerless at this time the clerical party were to restrain the Reformer in the Contra Occultum Adversarium (Mon. i. 135-43), a tract which Hus finished on February 10, 1412, and of which we shall hear again at Constance. In one of his sermons to the people, undaunted by the lawsuit of Michael, Hus had again dwelt on the vices of the clergy. ‘Immediately after dinner’ he had been answered from the pulpit by some one whose name Hus does not give us. In his reply to this unknown disputant, Hus maintained the right of the secular authorities to control and correct scandalous priests, a matter which Rome always regarded with the utmost jealousy. He further defended his constant attacks upon the lives of the clergy from the charge that by this means he was destroying their order and honour. About this time, certainly before the outbreak of the dispute over indulgences in the May of 1412, Hus was also engaged in a controversy with a certain preacher of Pilsen (Replica contra Prœdicatorem Plznensem, Mon. i. 144-8), of whose views Hus speaks at length in the latter part of Letter XII.
The following Appeal to the Supreme Court of Bohemia is without date. According to a marginal note in the MS. it was written ‘shortly before Christmas mccccxii.,’ a mistake for 1411. It is characteristic of Hus’s intense nationalism that it should have been written in Czech; a mark also of the practical drift of his reformation that he should dwell so strongly upon the duty of preaching. In part, of course, this last was an answer to the attempt of his enemies to silence him because of his excommunication.
[1 ]I.e., from Gregory. The reference is not to Leipzig.
[1 ]Comparitionum dependentibus gravaminibus—a compressed way of putting the negative, “the lack of such appearance when cited.”
[2 ]We may own with Palackẏ and Stephen of Dolein (Antihussus, p. 383 in Pez.; Thesaurus, vol. iv. part ii.), that Hus was a little too fond of these professions of willingness to die. See pp. 96, 119, and cf. Mon. i. 106a.