Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 37, Profession of Faith

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LETTER XXXVII.[1]

 

(NOT ADDRESSED TO ANY BODY.)

 

[The authentic profession of faith, in which John Huss declares, with the assistance of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he will not abjure the truth which he has acknowledged, unless further enlightened by the Scriptures.]

 

My last and firm determination is, that I refuse to confess as erroneous the articles which have been truly extracted from my works, and that I refuse to abjure those which have been attributed to me by false witnesses; for to abjure implies that one has held erroneous opinions—it is, in fact, to reject them, and adopt others of a contrary tendency. God knows that I have never taught these errors, imputed to me by those who have retrenched from my works many truths and falsified them. Were I aware that, in the articles I confess to, there was one contrary to the truth, I would correct it, and most heartily strike it out. Nay, I would teach and preach the contrary. But, although some parts may be considered scandalous and erroneous by those who are displeased with such doctrines, yet I do not believe that there is a single passage which is opposed to the law of Christ or to the words of the holy apostles.

I detest and condemn all false interpretation imputed to my articles against my intention, submitting myself to the correction of our Divine Master, and confiding in his infinite mercy, that he himself may deign to wash me clean from such sins as I am ignorant of.[2] I return thanks to all the Bohemian Barons, and especially to King Wenceslaus, and to the Queen, my gracious Sovereign, that they have loved me, have acted piously towards me, and have worked ardently to procure my deliverance; I render thanks also to the Emperor Sigismund, for his good intentions in my favour; I render thanks to all those Nobles of Bohemia and Poland who have shewn themselves firm in defending the truth, and in endeavouring to break my chains; I desire the salvation of all, here below in grace, and afterwards in a glorious eternity.

May the God of all goodness bring you back into Bohemia with perfect health of body and soul, that, serving in this world, Christ, our Sovereign, you may attain eternal life!

You will salute for me all my friends, to whom I cannot write; if I saluted by name some, and not others, I should appear to except some persons; and those to whom I did not write would think I did not keep them in remembrance, or did not love them as I ought to do.

Written in prison, and in chains, the sixth day before the festival of St John the Baptist.

John Huss, in hope, servant of Christ.

 

 
  1. Hist. et Monum. Johann. Huss, Epist. xx.
  2. Quod ab occultis peccatis meis ipse me mundavit.