Front Page Titles (by Subject) XXI.: To the People of Prague ( Without date: December 1412) - The Letters of John Hus
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XXI.: To the People of Prague ( Without date: December 1412) - 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 People of Prague
Master John Hus, in hope a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, to all His lovers. May it please God the Father, blessed for ever, to grant unto you the forgiveness of sins, confirmation in that which is good, and eternal salvation hereafter.
Dear friends, the commemoration of our Lord’s Nativity is at hand. Therefore, cleanse the inward parts of your house1 from sins in so far as you are able. Diligently and thankfully listen to God’s word; give no heed to our carping critics who forbid you from attending the Bethlehem to listen to sermons.2 Formerly, however, they used to draw you away on my account. Now they are without a reason, but assert that I have taken to flight, which I did of my own will in order to stablish the word and example of Christ. His “word”—because He said: If they will not receive your word in one city, flee into another, and going forth out of that city shake off the dust from your feet3 as a testimony against them. And elsewhere He saith: When you are persecuted in one city, flee into another.4 Again, when they drove Him from their midst and sought to slay Him, He several times fled; and especially when they wished to take Him, John, tenth chapter, writes how he escaped out of their hands and went again beyond the Jordan into that place where John was baptising first, and there he abode.5 Also in chapter xiii.6 the same John writes that while they were devising to put Him to death He walked no more openly among the Jews, but he went into a country near the desert unto a city that is called Ephrem, and there he abode with his disciples. The Jews also sought for him,7and theydiscoursed one with another, standing in the temple: What think you, that he is not come to the festival day? And the chief princes of the priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment that if any man knew where he was he should point him out that he might be apprehended. This is how John writes.
It is not, therefore, wonderful that I followed His example in fleeing, and that the priests are inquiring and discoursing with one another and others in like manner, as to where I am. Besides, dear friends, if I have fled in accordance with Christ’s teaching, it is that I may not be an occasion of eternal damnation to the wicked and a cause of suffering and tribulation to the good, and also that madmen might not hinder the sacred work. But as for fleeing from the truth—why, I trust that the Lord will give me an opportunity of dying in the same truth.
You know that it behoved Christ to suffer,1 as He Himself testifies, at the time appointed to Him of His Father. Therefore, hold to it firmly that it shall be done as it pleases the Lord to work with me, so that if I shall be found worthy of death, it will please Him to call me to this; but if it shall please Him to prolong my preaching to His people, why, all these things are stored up2 in His power and will.
Perhaps they would be glad to see me in the city of Prague that those who are touched to the quick by holy preaching against greed, luxury, and pride might find excuse for neglecting the hours, the masses, and the other offices;3 but you who are zealous for God’s word, to which you are being conformed, would be glad in your love to see me a neighbour, so to speak, to you, for your good.1 In like manner I too would like to see you and preach God’s word to you, for it is in this that the other priests also ought to show their greatest earnestness. Woe to the priests who count the word of God as naught! Woe to those who are supposed to preach and do not preach! Woe to those who hinder from preaching and hearing! But praise be to those who hear the word and keep it, for it is Christ that gives to them His indulgences, saying: Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.2 May this blessedness and this hearing be granted to you by the good pleasure of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, eternally one God, blessed for ever. Amen.
[1 ]So P., H.; Mon., as usual, paraphrases.
[2 ]P., H.: ne super sermone in B. ambuletis. Paraphased in Mon., which throughout is valueless.
[3 ]Matt. x. 14.
[4 ]Matt. x. 24.
[5 ]John x. 39-40.
[6 ]Really John xi. 54. Hus is evidently quoting from memory.
[7 ]Inaccurately quoted from John xi. 56.
[1 ]Heb. ix. 26.
[2 ]Reposita sunt; smoothed in the Mon., as usual, into situm est.
[3 ]i.e., by resuming the interdict.
[1 ]Hus is evidently hinting at an intended secret visit. See supra, p. 85, and cf. p. 147.
[2 ]Luke xi. 28.