The university of Prague maketh supplication to the king for saving of Wickliff's books.
Wickliff's books burned in Prague against the king's will.These men, by a general sentence, judged all those books worthy to be burned; which when the doctors, masters and scholars of the university heard report of, they, all together, with one consent and accord (none excepted but only they, who before were chosen by the archbishop to sit in judgment), determined to make supplication unto the king to stay the matter. The king, granting their request, sent by and by certain unto the archbishop to examine the matter. There he denied that he would decree any thing, as touching Wickliff's books, contrary unto the king's will and pleasure. Whereupon, albeit that he had determined to burn them the next day after, yet for fear of the king, the matter was passed over. In the mean time Wickliff's pope Alexander V. being dead, the archbishop, fearing lest the bull which he had received of the pope, would be no longer of any force or effect, privily calling unto him his adherents, and shutting the gates of his court round about him, being guarded with a number of armed soldiers, consumed and burned all Wickliff's books. Besides this great injury, the archbishop by means of his bull aforesaid, committed another no less intolerable; for he gave out commandment,A decree that no man should teach any more in chapels. that no man after that time, under pain of excommunication, should teach any more in chapels. Whereupon I did appeal unto the pope; who being dead, and the cause of my matter remaining undetermined, I appealed likewise unto his successor : before whom when, by the space of two years, I could not be admitted by my advocates to defend my cause, I appealed unto the high judge Christ.'
John Huss appeleth to the pope, and from the pope to Christ.When John Huss had spoken these words, it was demanded of him, whether he had received absolution of the pope or no? He answered, "no." Then again, whether it were lawful for him to appeal unto Christ or no? Whereunto John Huss answered: "Verily I do affirm here before you all, that there is no more just or effectual appeal, than that appeal which is made unto Christ, forasmuch as the law doth determine, Whether it be lawful to appeal to Christ or no.that to appeal, is no other thing than in a cause of grief or wrong done by an inferior judge, to implore and require aid and remedy at a higher judge's hand. Who is then a higher judge than Christ? Who, I say, can know or judge the matter more justly, or with more equity? when in him there is found no deceit, neither can he be deceived; or, who can better help the miserable and oppressed than he?The popish church derideth Christ. While John Huss, with a devout and sober countenance, was speaking and pronouncing those words, he was derided and mocked by all the whole council.Then was there rehearsed another article of his accusation in this manner; that John Huss, to confirm the heresy which he had taught the common and simple people out of Wickliff's books, said openly these words: "That at what time a great number of monks and friars, and other learned men were gathered together in England, in a certain church, to dispute against John Wickliff, and could by no means vanquish him, or give him the foil, suddenly the church door was broken open with lightning, so that with much ado Wickliff's enemies hardly escaped without hurt." Huss accused for trusting that Wickliff's sould is saved.He added moreover, that he wished his soul to be in the same place where John VVickliff's soul was. Whereunto John Huss answered, that a dozen years before any books of divinity of John Wickliff's were in Bohemia, he did see certain works of philosophy of his, which, he said, did marvellously delight and please him. And when he understood the good and godly life of the said Wickliff, he spake these words: "I trust," said he, "that