Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 10, To the Hearers of the Word of God at Prague

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LETTER X.

 

[Huss, whilst reminding believers of all the benefits with which the Lord has loaded us in his first coming, elevates their souls to the expectation and hope of the second coming and final judgment.]

 

John Huss, servant of God, to all believers, peace and mercy from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Strengthen your hearts, dearly beloved, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is nigh. You know that Christ has come once already; ponder on it therefore, and fortify your hearts by grace, and by the trial of affliction. Reflect, dearly beloved, that the Son of God, himself God Eternal, became man, and humbled himself in order to help us. The immortal Physician came to heal our incurable sores: the all-powerful Lord came, not to trouble the dead, but to vivify the living, and redeem his elect from eternal death.

The King of the world, the Supreme Pontiff, came to accomplish, by his works, the law of God. He came into the world, not to rule over the world, but to give his life for the redemption of a great number. He came, not like a usurer, to swallow up the riches of the world, but to redeem, by his blood, those whom sin had sold to the devil. He came, omnipotent as he is, to suffer a bloody and ignominious death from the Pharisees under Pontius Pilate, in order to free us from the power of Satan. He came not to destroy the elect, but to save them; as he himself has said, “I have come that they may have life;” that they may have life here by his grace, and still more abundantly in eternity; that everlasting life, reserved for all the elect, which is unattainable to the proud, the luxurious, the avaricious, the violent, the ambitious, the intemperate, the effeminate—all, in fact, who are opposed to his words; but which shall be enjoyed by the elect alone, who listen to his law, who accomplish it by their works, and who suffer persecution.

Meditate, therefore, in your souls on these benefits which our Lord Jesus Christ has heaped on us by his first coming, and strengthen your hearts, dearly beloved, by grace and affliction; for the second coming of Jesus Christ is near, and, with it, the sentence of the Great Judge, in finitely wise, infinitely just, infinitely formidable, from whom neither the great nor the learned of this world can escape; whom they can neither move by favour nor by gifts; and with whom will come the just, the preachers of his Word, and all that have been unjustly persecuted in the world.

Nigh, then, draws the judgment of that severe and redoubtable Judge, whose regard the wicked will not venture to encounter; the judgment of Him at whose word all iniquity will be laid open: at his command the bodies of the evil-doers shall be delivered to the flames, and their souls shall dwell for all eternity with the devils, after having heard from the mouth of God that just and terrible sentence, “Depart to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Meditate, then, dearly beloved, on these two things the benefits of the Saviour at his first coming, and his justice and judgment at his second advent—and fortify your hearts by grace and the cross. And when you suffer, arouse yourselves; lift up your heads (that is to say, your minds), for your deliverance is nigh at hand,—your deliverance from every misery, and from the eternal damnation which we shall be saved from at the voice of that equitable Judge, who has said, “Come to me, blessed of my Father, receive the heavenly kingdom that is prepared for you.” Amen.