Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 22, Reply of John Huss to Peter
[He explains his dream himself, and comforts himself by the Holy Scriptures.]
I have received much consolation from what the Doctor of Bibrach has desired you to write to me; his explanation is in accordance with my own ideas. I forget neither this precept of Cato—“Disturb not thyself with dreams;” nor the order of God—“Pay not observance to visions;” and yet I hope that the life of Christ, which I imprinted at Bethlehem by his word in the hearts of my hearers, and which his enemies have endeavoured to destroy, by forbidding me to preach in that place, and by wishing to pull it down,—I hope, I say, that this same life shall be sketched hereafter far more effectively by preachers of greater eloquence than myself, to the great joy of the people who cling with all their might to the life of Christ; greatly shall I rejoice when I awake, as our Doctor expresses it,—that is to say, when I shall rise from the bosom of the dead!
And as to the Scripture printed on the walls of Bethlehem, and relative to which Paletz is so much irritated, declaring that I have abused the people about it, this same Paletz insists on its being destroyed; and in order to overwhelm me as much as possible, he has greeted me in a most dreadful manner, as I shall relate hereafter, with God’s permission.
With respect to what I ought to reply to the objections that may be brought against me, I rely on the Divine Saviour, to whom I have appealed—whom, in presence of the commissioners, I have chosen for my Judge and Advocate, declaring firmly, that “I selected for my advocate and judge the Lord Jesus, him who would soon judge us all.” I committed my cause to him, as he had confided his to his Father. It is he who has declared, as our doctoral lord of Bibrach remarks,—“Take no heed of what you shall say; for I will give you a wisdom and eloquence which your enemies will not be able to resist.”
Jerome has written:—“The Lord has said to us, Do not allow yourselves to be troubled; fear nothing; you shall march to the combat, but it is I who will fight; your mouth shall open, but it is I who will speak; you shall be betrayed by your relations, your friends, your brothers; and they will deliver you up to death. The injuries that we receive from the persons who are strangers to us are less cruel than others; our sufferings are so much the more bitter, that we expected more from those who inflicted them on us; for we suffer not only in our body, but also in our mind, from charity being destroyed.” This is what Jerome says; and as to me, my grief proceeds, above all, from Paletz.
Let the Doctor of Bibrach keep to himself alone what he has imparted to me, relative to my letters; for Christ has said,—“A man’s enemies are of his own household, and you shall be betrayed by your own relatives.”
Farewell! Be firm and constant all you that dwell in this city of Constance. Greet all my friends for me, but prudently, for fear the question be asked, How you know that I have sent them a greeting?
- Hist. et Monum. Johann. Huss, Epist. xlvi.
- The Latin text has the word cætera; but it is probable that dreams are meant.
- Habete constantiam in Constantia omnes qui simul estis.