Front Page Titles (by Subject) LXIX.: To his Friends in Constance ( Without date: after June 18, 1415) - The Letters of John Hus
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LXIX.: To his Friends in Constance ( Without date: after June 18, 1415) - 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 his Friends in Constance
Most gracious lords, faithful zealots for the truth, my comforters in the truth, sent of God to my aid like angels! I cannot write fully of all the gratitude I feel for your constancy and the kindly offices you have shown to me a sinner, yet a servant in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ; but I pray that Jesus Christ Himself, our loving Creator, Redeemer, and Saviour, may reward you in this present life and grant to you Himself as the best recompense in that which is to come. Therefore I exhort you by His mercy to give heed to His gospel and especially to His most holy commands. My noble Baron Wenzel [Duba], take to yourself a wife,1 live holy in matrimony, and forsake the vanities of this world. And you, Baron John [Chlum], now that you have left the service of earthly kings,2 abide at home with your wife and children in the service of God; for you see how the wheel of the world’s vanity turns, now lifting a man up and anon setting him down, while it gives but a brief solace to the man it lifts up, for thereafter ensues the eternal punishment in fire and darkness.
You know now the manner of life of these spiritual folk, who assert that they are the true and evident vicars of Christ and His apostles, proclaiming themselves the Holy Church and the most Holy Council which cannot err; though indeed they did err when at the first they offered homage on bended knees to John XXIII., kissing his feet, and calling him most holy, when they knew he was ‘a shameful homicide, a Sodomite, a simoniac and a heretic,’ as indeed they afterwards phrased it in their condemnation of him.3 Now they have cut off the Church’s head, they have torn out the Church’s heart, they have drained the Church’s unfailing spring, they have made utterly to fail the all-sufficient unfailing refuge of the Church to which every Christian should flee. What becomes then of the opinion of Master Stanislaus of happy memory (God be merciful to him), of Palecz, and his fellow doctors, who laid down1 through Stanislaus that the Pope is the head of the Church, its all-sufficient ruler, its life-giving heart, its unfailing spring overflowing with authority, the channel by which all power descends to subordinates, the unfailing refuge which meets the needs of every Christian and to which every Christian should flee? Even now, believing Christendom exists without a Pope, that paragon of virtue! seeing that it has Christ Jesus as its Head to direct it best of all, Christ Jesus as its Heart to give life to it, the life of grace, Christ Jesus as its Fount, watering it with the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit, Christ Jesus as its Channel, wherein flows all the rivers of His graces, Christ Jesus as its all-satisfying and unfailing Refuge, to which in my misery I run back with the steadfast hope that He will not fail me in direction, in renewal, and succour, but will deliver me from my sins and this present evil world and reward me with unending joy.
Moreover, the Council has erred three times or more by making wrong extracts from my books, by rejecting some of the articles whose meaning they have wrested and confused, and finally by curtailing some of them in the last copy of the articles, as will be clear to all who see the books and articles in question.2 Therefore I plainly conclude along with yourselves, that not everything that the Council doth, saith, or pronounces is approved of Christ, the truthful Judge. Blessed then are those who keep the gospel, and recognise, flee, and reject the pomp, the avarice, the hypocrisy and the craft of Antichrist and his ministers, while they look with patience for the coming of the righteous Judge.
I beseech you by the tender mercies of Jesus Christ to flee all evil-living priests, but to love those that are good according to their works; and as much as lieth in you, together with all the faithful, suffer not the barons and lords to oppress them: it was for this that God did set you over others. I imagine there will arise a great persecution in Bohemia against those who faithfully serve God, unless God lay bare His arm through the secular lords whom He hath enlightened by His gospel more fully than the lords spiritual. What madness to condemn as error the gospel of Christ and that epistle of Paul which he saith he received not of man but of Christ,1 aye, and to condemn the very act of Christ with the acts of His holy apostles and the other saints! I mean the communion of the sacrament of the cup2 of our Lord, instituted for all adult3 believers. They actually call it an error that believing laymen should be permitted to drink of the Lord’s cup, and if any priest should give them the cup to drink, he is, forsooth, to be dubbed erroneous; and if he doth not cease the practice, he must be condemned as a heretic!4 St. Paul thus saith to all believers: As often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of our Lord until Hecome1 —that is, until the Judgment Day, when He will come; and lo! it is now said that the custom of the Roman Church is the very opposite of this!
In the following letter Hus defines more clearly than he had done for the “Father” his real difficulty in accepting the Council’s ‘basket’ of escape. The end of the letter shows the peace of soul in which Hus was now living. On the same day he wrote a letter to Hawlik, the priest of the Bethlehem, in which he defined very clearly his views as to the decree of the Council withholding the cup. Hawlik, it would seem, was one of those to whom Chlum had referred, who had been disturbed by the matter (p. 169), and had not hesitated to attack Jakoubek
(see p. 177).
[1 ]See p. 272, where we find that by June 29 Wenzel Duba had determined on marriage. This is another factor in settling the date as after June 15.
[2 ]Chlum, it would appear, had left Sigismund’s court, though the Latin might be construed as an exhortation to leave (cf. infra, p. 269).
[3 ]Hus is quoting the words of the condemnation; see Hardt, iv. 196-208, 228-55. For the value of these charges see my Age of Hus, App. C. John was deposed on May 29.
[1 ]March 1413; see Doc. 507 ff.
[2 ]See Doc. 225-33.
[1 ]Gal. i. 1.
[2 ]Cf. pp. 169, 177, 248.
[3 ]This word should be noted. The later Hussites in their enthusiasm for the Eucharist fell back upon the custom of infantile communion, and their demand in this matter formed one of the difficulties of the Council of Basel.
[4 ]See the Council’s decree (June 15, 1415) in Hardt, iv. 334.
[1 ]1 Cor. xi. 26.