Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 28, John Huss's Reply to Peter the Notary

For other English-language translations of this work, see Letter of Jan Hus to Peter Mladenowic (before 5 June 1415).


[Huss replies to Peter the notary, who had encouraged him to give proofs of constancy. This letter, says Luther, is a noble testimony in support of the saying of the Apostle Paul, that virtue will improve in affliction, and God brings forth fruits in us by temptation.]

May salvation come to thee from Jesus Christ! I dare not rashly say, with St Peter, since my fervour and courage are infinitely inferior to his, that “though all men shall be offended because of Christ, yet will I never be offended.”

Jesus Christ has never, in express terms, declared me to be blessed like Peter, and has not promised me such precious gifts. I maintain, at the same time, against several together, an attack more vigorous in its nature and more terrible. I, however, can declare, that, having placed my trust in Jesus Christ, I shall adhere to the truth, even unto death, with the aid of the saints and his own.

If the Lord John of Chlum suffers any loss on my account, do thou, my dear Peter, take thought to repair it when thou shalt have returned. Pay attention to the master of the mint, and his wife, who imprudently engaged themselves for me, and to all our other friends, known to the Curé, my disciple. If any horse remains still my property, it ought to come into the possession of Lord John, with the car.

As to thee, if Master Martin or Master Christian live, thou shalt receive from them a part of the sixty-four or seventy pieces of money; and I wish that this portion were larger. Bear in mind, however, that I do not pretend, by this money, to recompense thy ardent and unchangeable love for the truth, or the services that thou hast rendered me, and the consolations which thou hast lavished on me in my hours of difficulty. May God be thy great recompense for all these things, for I possess nothing that is worthy of thy acceptance. Should it be granted me to live at Prague; and if my return to that city is not impossible, I would share every thing with thee like a brother. I do not, however, form any wish to return thither, but inasmuch as it may be in accordance with the will of the Lord in heaven. I do not know to whom I can entrust the viatica which I still possess, and which I had bequeathed to Master Martin. Dispose of my books according to the directions that I sent to him, and choose for thyself from amongst them such of those written by Wycliffe as shall please thee. I am much alarmed for our brethren, who, I fear, will be persecuted, unless the Lord interpose in their favour; and I am apprehensive that many will be offended.

Salute, I pray thee, with a great affection, the Bohemian and Polish noblemen, and render thanks, in particular, to the Lords Wenceslaus de Duba and John de Chlum, who, I hope, will be present at the audience of the Council.

Farewell in Jesus Christ!

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