Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Second series

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SECOND SERIES.

 

LETTERS WRITTEN BY JOHN HUSS, AND OTHER PERSONS, AT THE PERIOD OF THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE.

 

The letters of this Second Series were all written in the nine months which elapsed between the departure of John Huss for the Council, in October 1414, and the last day of June 1415, which immediately preceded his execution. They form one of the most curious monuments of this celebrated period, and present an irrefragable testimony in favour of John, Huss against his judges. We perceive in the early ones, by the eagerness of the populations to flock to him on his passage, how great was already the authority of his name and doctrines in Germany. In reading those which come after, we are present at the grand scenes of the Council; and had we not the concluding ones before us, we should never perhaps know to what a degree this man, so intrepid arid so firm in his faith before God and men, was to the end filled with gratitude towards his benefactors, torn with solicitude for his flock, full of love toward his friends, and actuated by feelings of mercy towards his persecutors.

The letters of this series were collected without order of date by Peter Maldoniewitz, and were so published by Luther. We have classified them with great care, some from the indications given by Huss himself, and the rest in the order of the events which they narrate. Some letters of Huss’s friends have been included in the collection, and add to the interest of this correspondence, at once so dramatic and so truly Christian.[1]

 
  1. For the history of this period of Huss’s life, consult The Reformers before the Reformation, vol. ii., book iii.