Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 21, Peter Maldoniewitz to John Huss

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For other English-language translations of this work, see Letter of John of Chlum to John Hus (1).



[Peter explains the dream to John Huss, according to the interpretation of John of Chlum, whom, in pleasantry, they used to call the Doctor of Bibrach; because, during John Huss’s stay in the imperial town of Bibrach, as John of Chlum frequently conferred with the priests and other lettered men, relative to the obedience due to the Pope, excommunication, and other similar matters, the report was disseminated in the town, that the nobleman, John of Chlum, had been created Doctor in Theology.]

Dearest friend, Be not in any respect uneasy respecting the public audience, for it occupies more attention than usual, as well as your affairs; and we hope, with the grace of God, that every thing will terminate happily. But trouble not your head with phantoms; forget them, and think only in what manner you may reply to the objections that will be made against you. And yet the word of truth, which cannot err, forbids you to meditate too much; for it declares, that when you are brought before men, it shall be suggested to you at the moment what you ought to say.

This is the explanation of your dream:—The image of Christ, painted on the walls of the chapel, is his life, which we ought to imitate; it is the same for the holy and ineffaceable Scripture which is represented on the same place, and which, towards the evening, the enemies of the cross endeavour to rub out, the sun withdrawing itself from them on account of the iniquities of their life; all these things, then, appear forgotten in the eyes of the world; but the next day, when the sun of justice shall have risen again, the preachers of Christ’s word will renew these same images, and will retrace them in a more brilliant manner, then preaching on the house-tops what was before only whispered in the ear, and, as it were, delivered up to oblivion. The result will be a great source of joy to believers; and although the humble bird,[2] at present placed on the altar, may be delivered up to suffering in putting off a feeble body; yet our firm hope is, that hereafter awakening, after this miserable life, as from a dream, it will live with Him who is in Heaven, and will laugh to scorn those impious persons, who endeavoured to destroy the image of Christ and the Holy Scriptures; and that at the last with the divine protection, he will again, in a more remarkable manner, retrace the latter, for his flock and his dear friends. This is the explanation given by the Doctor of Bibrach,[3] in comparing this dream with one of Daniel’s visions. ******* Your friends and faithful disciples are happy in receiving your letters. The Ambassador of the King of France has arrived to-day at Constance.

  1. Hist. et Monum. Johann. Huss, Epist., xiv.
  2. Auca, goose, the signification of Huss in Bohemia.
  3. Peter adds, “Correspondenter hunc locum visionis Danielis exponens conformiter illi; quo auca in mari natitans petræ inniti videbatur, quorum utrumque inconvulsam sustentaminis innuit firmitatem.