Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 12, To the Hearers of the Word of God at Prague
TO THE SAME.
[He celebrates the joys and blessings of our Lord's birth-day.]
My very dear brethren, Although I am separated from you in body, not being perhaps worthy to preach to you any longer the word of God, nevertheless, the love with which I yearn towards you constrains me to approach and address you in a few words. This is the day, dearly beloved, on which the angel of the Lord said to the shepherds—“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” And immediately, a multitude of the heavenly host were heard to cry out,—“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Knowing that, dearly-beloved, rejoice; for, this day a Child is born of inestimable price, a man-God, in order that glory may be to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men. Rejoice; for, this day is born for us a Mediator, that man may be reconciled with God, and that this peace may be spread over the earth. Rejoice; for, to us is born a Physician, to make sinners pure from sin, to deliver them from the power of Satan, to redeem them from eternal damnation, to impart to all a heavenly joy, that glory may be to God on high, and on earth peace, good-will toward men. Rejoice; for, to us is born a King, to fill us with joy; a High Priest, to pour on believers the Divine blessing; a Father, to adopt us as his children for all eternity. To us is born a well-beloved Brother, a Master in every kind of knowledge, a veritable Chief, a Judge of most perfect equity, that glory may be to God on high, and on earth peace, good-will toward men. Rejoice, sinners, for He who is born is the Son of God, the High Priest who absolves all that repent, in order that glory may be to God on high, and on earth peace, good-will toward men. Rejoice, for this day the holy bread, that is to say, God has made himself food for men, in order to satisfy, with His body, all that hunger. Rejoice; for, this day is born the Redeemer of the world, the Saviour of sinners. Rejoice; for, this day an immortal God is born, in order that mortal man may live for ever. Rejoice, for the Lord of the universe lay poor in a stable, in order that our poverty might be changed into riches. Rejoice, dearly-beloved, that the predictions of the prophets and of the saints have been fulfilled. Rejoice, for the omnipotent Father and the Son, abounding in wisdom and grace, are given to us, that glory may be to God on high, and on earth peace, good-will toward men. Rejoice, then, dearly-beloved, for the angel said—“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.” And what was that joy? That a Saviour was born who would deliver us from all our miseries, and free us from sin. The Son of God is given us, that great joy may be with us, and glory to God on high, and on earth peace, good-will toward men. Let us endeavour to insure that this Infant which is born to us may accord us that good-will, that peace, and that joy, which lasts for ever and ever. Amen.