Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 6

For other English-language translations of this work, see Letter of Jan Hus to his Bohemian Friends (6 November 1414).


Know, my well-beloved friends, that I am well in every respect. I have arrived at Constance without any safe-conduct from the Pope. Pray, then, to God that he may grant me firmness; for many and redoubtable adversaries rise up here against me, excited especially by the seller of indulgences, the Deacon of Padua, and Michael Causis, who are unceasingly plotting against me. Nevertheless. I fear them not, being in hope that, after a great combat will come a great victory, and after the victory my reward, and the confusion of my persecutors.

The Pope will not put an end to the affair: “What, can I do?” says he; “it is you who are to act.” Two bishops, however, and a doctor, have conversed with John Lepka, that we might agree without noise. I conceive they are afraid that I should answer in public, but I hope I shall be permitted to do so when the Emperor is present.

We have been well received, and honourably treated in all the towns we have passed through, and we have published declarations[1] in Latin and German. In the imperial towns we held discussions with the masters. The Bishop of Lubeck, who preceded us, and was a night in advance of us, reported everywhere on the road that I was conducted in chains, in a cart; and told the people he kept aloof from me, because I seduced the minds of men. In consequence, whenever we approached a town, the crowd ran to meet as, as if to a show. But this false hood has turned to the confusion of my enemies, and the people rejoiced on learning the truth. Truly Jesus Christ is with me, like a valiant warrior, and I defy all the power of my enemies. Live purely, and pray fervently, that the God of mercy may assist me, and defend, through me, his Word.

Written on Saint Leonard's eve.

I think, should the Council be prolonged, I shall want for common necessaries: ask, therefore, for some assistance for me, but only under condition agreed on, from those whom you discover to be really my friends. Salute our brethren and sisters, and invite them to pray to God for me, since I am in need of it.

  1. Intimationes.