Front Page Titles (by Subject) XXXV.: To Master Martin, his Disciple 2 ( Prague, beginning of October 1414) - The Letters of John Hus
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XXXV.: To Master Martin, his Disciple 2 ( Prague, beginning of October 1414) - 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 Master Martin, his Disciple2
Master Martin, dear brother in Christ, I entreat you in the Lord to fear God and keep His commandments, to flee the society of women and to be careful when hearing women’s confessions, that Satan may not deceive you by the hypocrisy of women; for Augustine saith: “Put not your trust in their sanctity: for the more earnest it is, the more wanton it is, and under the guise of piety the marrow of lust is secretly hidden.” Therefore beware that you lose not for ever the chastity which I trust you retain. Remember that I taught you from a child to serve Jesus Christ, and how gladly I would have taught you in one day, if I could, all that I knew. You know, too, that I abhorred the greed and the inordinate lives of the clergy; on which account by God’s grace I am suffering the persecution which is soon to do its worst with me; yet I am not afraid of being brought to confusion for the name of Jesus Christ. I beg you also with all my heart not to run after benefices; nevertheless if you should be called to a living, may your motive be the glory of God, the salvation of souls and hard work, not the possession of fine clothes and lands.1 But if you are made a rector, beware of having a young woman as cook and of building your house rather than your soul; see that you are a builder of a spiritual building, and to the poor be gracious and of a humble mind. Don’t spend your substance on feasts. I am afraid also if you don’t mend your ways by leaving off your fine unnecessary garments, you will receive evil at the Lord’s hands; as I, too, shall receive evil, poor wretch! who also wore such things, led astray by the evil habits of the men among whom I suffered hurt to my soul, contrary to God’s will, through my proud spirit. But as you have known full well my way of life and my preaching from your youth up, there is no need for me to write more to you on this score. But I beg you, by the mercy of Jesus Christ, not to follow me in any frivolity that you have seen in me. You know that, alas! before I became a priest, I was fond of chess and often played it, wasted my time, and through my playing was unfortunate enough to provoke myself and others to anger. For this sin and for the other innumerable sins that I have committed, I commend myself to your prayers for forgiveness to our dear Lord. Do not be slow to ask for His mercy that it may please Him to guide my life, and when I have overcome the evils of this present life, the world, the flesh, and the devil, to give me a place at least on the Judgment Day1 in the heavenly country.
Farewell in Christ Jesus with all who guard His law.2 You may keep, if you like, my grey cloak as a memento; but I think you are shy of grey, so give it to any one you prefer to have it. My white gown give to the rector. To my pupil George—I mean Girzik3 —give a guinea4 or my grey cloak, because he has been a faithful servant to me.
(The superscription is as follows.)
I beg you not to open this letter, unless you hear for certain that I am dead.
When Hus received Sigismund’s call to Constance, he was staying at the castle of Krakowec. This castle, not far from Prague, belonged to a friend of Hus, Henry Lefl of Lazan and Bechyne, whose name we shall meet with more than once in the letters. From this retreat Hus set off on October 11, under the escort of John of Chlum, Wenzel Duba, and Henry Lacembok. With these also rides John Cardinalis of Reinstein. The whole escort consisted of thirty mounted men and two carts, in one of which Hus rode with his books. Among the retinue we may note Peter Mladenowic, the secretary of Chlum, who has preserved for us the letters of these last months, to whom therefore the reader owes much gratitude.
Hus left Bohemia by the valley of the Mies. This was not the usual route over the Böhmerwald, which lay either north or south; but at Neustadt he would regain the more frequented highway. His route thence to Constance can easily be followed on a map. On arriving at Nuremberg Hus wrote the following most interesting letter to his friends at Prague. Hus, we might add, might reasonably expect a warm welcome at Nuremberg, which was at this time one of the head centres of that remarkable band of mystics, the Friends of God.
[2 ]That is, probably, one of the junior members of the University who had attached himself to Hus spiritually. (Cf. pp. 80, 235, 274.)
[1 ]Habitio scropharum vel prædiorum. I take scropharum to be a mistake for schofarum—i.e. (following the changes, usual in Hus, of f for b) schubarum, from schuba, a kind of Persian garment, on which see Ducange-Carpentier. Otherwise the word is inexplicable. One MS. reads ambitio for habitio—“the desire for fine clothes.”
[1 ]Saltem in die judicii—i.e., Hus does not expect to escape in his case the Retardation of the Beatific Vision.
[2 ]Legem. The usual word with Wyclif for what we should now call the gospel. So passim in the Letters of Hus.
[3 ]Vel Girzikoni. Cf. pp. 206, 236.
[4 ]Sexagena. Three Prague ‘sexagenæ’ of groats were worth twelve florins. Cf. the oath of the poor students in 1371 in Mon. Univ. Pragensis, i. pt. i. p. 47.