Front Page Titles (by Subject) XXX.: To the Same ( Without date: end of April ( ? ) 1413 1 ) - The Letters of John Hus
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XXX.: To the Same ( Without date: end of April ( ? ) 1413 1 ) - 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 Same
Worshipful lord rector, reverend father and master! I do not believe that the schism of the people can be lulled to sleep: for Christ’s prophecy must needs be fulfilled, Who came not to send peace, but a sword, to separate father from son and mother from daughter, etc.2 The prophecy of Paul also saith that the son of iniquity shall not be accomplished unless there came a schism first.3 As to the disgrace of the king and his kingdom,4 what matters it to us, if the king is good, and provided at least some of his subjects are good? Christ in His earthly course suffered deep disgrace along with His elect, to whom He said: They will put you out of the synagogues, and will slay some of you, thinking that they are doing a service to God.5And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake,6 you shall be delivered up by parents and kinsfolk. Now this is worse than to suffer at the hands of Stanislaus and Palecz! But as to my victory, it depends not on the world’s good report; for I know that he is conqueror, who is slain.
You know the subject-matter of the dispute: first, the condemnation of the articles; secondly, as you have heard, the robbery connected with the indulgences; and now a third objection has been added by the counsel of the Pharisees.1 In the first place, it is concerned with the point that my fellow-preachers and I are a pestiferous set of clerks, in error as to the sacraments; secondly, with the heretical dictum, “There cannot be found or given upon earth any other successors of that order than the Pope, who is head, and the College of Cardinals, which is the body of the Roman Church”; thirdly, with this point of the judgment, “The Pope is the head, while the College of Cardinals is the body, being clearly the true successors of the chief of the apostles”; and fourthly with this point, “The Apostolic Seat—that is, the Pope with the cardinals of the Roman Church and his prelates—must be obeyed in everything whatsoever, if what is purely good is not forbidden nor what is purely evil enjoined.” By God’s grace I trust I have never disseminated such gross errors, nor ever will do so! For what can be a greater exaltation of Antichrist above all we speak of as God—that is, above the deity and humanity of Christ—than to say that God cannot have any other successors in His Church than the Pope along with his cardinals? If they had laid it down that God cannot have worse people belonging to His Church than the Pope and the cardinals, they would have had greater evidence for their words. Methinks therefore that God from time to time by their inventions reveals to us Antichrist and his disciples. But He will give to us knowledge and a spirit of courage to wage war on all such deceivers!
In Letter XXXI. we are reminded of the connection of Hus with that stormy petrel of the Bohemian Reformation, Jerome of Prague. The incessant travels of this rich young noble would take us far afield. The results of his journey to Oxford we have already seen (p. 8). Wherever he went, his militant Wyclifism brought him into trouble with the authorities. In Paris, Gerson the Chancellor was taking measures for his arrest when he ‘secretly slipped away’; on a second visit to Oxford in 1407-8, he was charged with heresy, and only obtained his release through the intercession of Prague. Similar troubles and similar escapes attended his visits to Buda-Pesth (October 1410), to Lithuania (March 1411), and Cracow (March 1413).
This was not the first time that Jerome had met with opposition at Vienna. In September 1410 we hear of his preaching Lollardism in that newly founded University, and being excommunicated by the clergy of St. Stephen’s. But on September 12 he escaped, ‘like a sparrow from the net of the fowlers,’ to the castle of Bietow, in Moravia, which belonged to a friend of Hus. Whether Jerome had recently visited Vienna it is impossible to say, but on his arrival, in March 1413, at Cracow at the court of Ladislaus of Poland (Jagiello), he found letters of accusation from the University already awaiting him. Jerome, who had allowed his beard to grow in Lithuania, shaved, and presented his passports to Ladislaus, clothed in the red gown of his degree, but in a few days, at the instance of the clergy, was put over the frontier ‘that he might plough in his own country, for our soil seems too dry to receive his seed’ (Doc. 506).
Between the Czech University of Prague and the German University at Vienna, which owed its somewhat struggling existence to the jealousy of the Habsburgs, little love was lost at any time, nor was the rivalry lessened by Prague’s expulsion of the Germans. On the occasion of Jerome’s first trouble at Vienna, the University of Prague had at once petitioned the civil authorities for his protection (September 3, 1410). Now the new rector, Michael Malenicz, hastened to support the letter of Hus by a letter dated a week later (July 8, 1413), the similarity of whose language1 shows that it was inspired by Hus.
The text of this letter in Palackẏ and Höfler differs considerably; and, on the whole, the better readings will be found in Höfler (ii. 209). To some of the differences we draw attention in the notes.
[1 ]This letter should be compared with the Responsio ad Scripta Stanislai in Mon. i. 265 ff., some arguments of which Hus here condenses. Its date is evidently after the fruitless conference of April and before the banishment of Stanislaus or the election of the new rector; cf. inscription in MS. ‘Mo Xo protunc rectori.’
[2 ]Luke x. 34.
[3 ]2 Thess. ii. 3.
[4 ]By the rumour of heresy.
[5 ]John xvi. 2.
[6 ]Matt. x. 22.
[1 ]In consilio. Perhaps we should read in concilio, with a reference to the Synod.
[1 ]See Doc. 512.