Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 48, John Huss to the University of Prague

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LETTER XLVIII.[1]

 

JOHN HUSS TO THE UNIVERSITY OF PRAGUE.

 

Honourable Masters, bachelors, and students, of the University of Prague, you whom I cherish in Christ Jesus, I exhort you all to love one another, to extirpate schism; to honour God above all things; in reminding yourselves how much I have always desired that the progress of our University should turn to the glory of God; how much I have bewailed your discords and your violence, and how I have always endeavoured to maintain united our illustrious nation. Remember also how much my life has been embittered by the outrages and blasphemies of some amongst those whom I most loved, and for whom I would willingly have exposed my life. And now they inflict on me a cruel death? May the Almighty God forgive them, for they know not what they do; and I pray with a sincere heart that he may spare them! My well beloved in Jesus Christ, dwell in the truth that you have known, which triumphs over all, and which increases in strength even unto eternity.

Know, also, that I have neither revoked nor abjured any article. The Council wished that I should acknowledge as false and erroneous all the articles extracted from my books. I have refused, unless they proved to me their falsehood by the Scriptures. If there is really some erroneous meaning in these articles I detest it, and refer its correction to our Lord Jesus Christ, who knows my sincerity, and is aware that my intention is not to maintain an error. And all of you likewise do I exhort, in the Lord, to detest every error that you may discover in my works; but in respecting that truth, which I have ever kept in view, pray for me, and support each other in the peace of God.

I, John Huss, in chains, and already on the verge of the present life, awaiting to-morrow a cruel death, which, I hope, will wash away my sins, not finding in myself any heresy, by the grace of God, confess with all my soul the truth in which I believe.

Written five days before the Festival of St Peter.

I conjure you to love Bethlehem, and to put Gallus in my place; for I think the Lord is with him. I recommend to you Peter de Maldoniewitz, my very faithful and courageous comforter.

 
  1. Hist. et Monum. Johann. Huss, Epist. xviii.