Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 8, To the inhabitants of Prague

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LETTER VIII.

 

TO THE INHABITANTS OF PRAGUE.

 

[Huss conjures them to remember his doctrines, and to cling to the Word of God.]

 

May God be with you! I conjure you, dearly-beloved, to attach yourselves to the cause of the Lord; for several endeavour to stifle the word, and take away from you the Gospel of Christ, which I have preached unto you, in order to turn men from their salvation. Reflect, in the second place, on the slights and outrages which your nation inflicts on you;— which hypocrites wickedly excite against you; think of the infamies and insults heaped upon you; in a word, support all things with joy and patience.


If Satan insults you, if Antichrist holds you in derision, he cannot harm you more than a dog tied-up, as long as you love the Word of God and defend it with all your power. Look at me! Satan has persecuted me for some years past, but he has not been able to do me any harm, because I trust in God. I will even say more, God strengthens in me every day joy and contentment. Remember also, that to deny a thing, is to abjure what one believes, be it the true faith or a heresy. If a man is a Christian, and if, through fear of death or persecution, and seduced by the wiles of the demon, he joins the sect of Jews and Pagans, and declares on oath that he does not wish to be a Christian, he denies the true faith. But if another has adopted a heresy; if, for example, he does not believe Jesus Christ to be God; if, in the end, he abjures this opinion, it cannot be said of him that he persists in his error. Acknowledging, therefore, how much he sins who denies the truth when he has once come to a knowledge of it, or who adheres to error or heresy, and esteeming more than all, the Word of God, let us celebrate his glory above all things, and live in charity with all men. Wrestle courageously against the imposture of Antichrist, having with you your Saviour, who strengthens you, and whom no one can vanquish. He will not forsake you, if you do not forsake him; but will bestow on all the faithful who believe in him, an eternal reward. I wrote these things, not being able to come to you in person—1415.