The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe/Volume 3/Another Letter of John Huss to the Faithful in Bohemia

For other English-language translations of this work, see Letter of Jan Hus to all the People of Bohemia.

Another Letter of John Huss to the Faithful in Bohemia.

John Huss, in hope, the servant of God, to all the faithful in Bohemia, who love the Lord, wisheth to stand and die in the grace of God, and at last to attain unto eternal life. Amen.

Ye that bear rule over others and be rich, and ye also that be poor, well-beloved and faithful in God, I beseech you, and admonish you all, that ye will be obedient unto God, make much of his word, and gladly hearing the same, will humbly perform that which ye hear. I beseech you stick fast to the verity of God's word, which I have written and preached unto you out of his law, and the sermons of his saints. Also I desire you if any man, either in public sermon, or in private talk, heard of me any thing, or have read any thing written by me which is against the verity of God, that he do not follow the same. Albeit I do not find my conscience guilty that I ever have spoken or written any such thing amongst you.

I desire you, moreover, if any man at any time have noted any levity either in my talk or in my conditions, that he do not follow the same; but pray to God for me, to pardon me that sin of lightness. I pray you that ye will love your priests and ministers, who be of honest behaviour, to prefer and honour them before others; namely, such priests as travail in the word of God. I pray you take heed to yourselves, and beware of malicious and deceitful men, and especially of those wicked priests of whom our Saviour doth speak: 'That they are under sheep's clothing, and inwardly are ravening wolves.' I pray such as be rulers and superiors, to behave themselves gently towards their poor inferiors, and to rule them justly. I beseech the citizens, that they will walk every man in his degree and vocation with an upright conscience. The artificers also I beseech, that they will exercise their occupations diligently, and use them with the fear of God. I beseech the servants, that they will serve their masters faithfully. And likewise the schoolmasters I beseech, that they, living honestly, will bring up their scholars virtuously, and teach them faithfully, first to learn to fear God; then, for the glory of God and the public utility of the commonwealth, and their own health, and not for avarice or worldly honour, to employ their minds to honest arts. I beseech the students of the university and all schools, in all honest things to obey their masters, and to follow them; and that with all diligence they will study to be profitable both to the setting forth of the glory of God, and to the soid's health, as well of themselves, as of other men. Together I beseech and pray you all, that you will yield most hearty thanks to the right honourable lords, the lord Wenceslaus de Duba, lord John de Clum, lord Henry Lumlovio, lord Vilem Zagecio, lord Nicholas, and other lords of Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland; that their diligence towards me may be grateful to all good men; A note for all noble men to mark and to follow.because that they, like valiant champions of God's truth, have oftentimes set themselves against the whole council for my deliverance, contending and standing against the same to the uttermost of their power; but especially lord Wenceslaus de Duba, and lord John de Clum. Whatsoever they shall report unto you, give credit unto them; for they were in the council when I there answered many. They know who they were of Bohemia, and how many false and slanderous things they brought in against me, and that council cried out against me, and how I also answered to all things whereof I was demanded. I beseech you, also, that ye will pray for the king of Romans, and for your king, and for his wife your queen, that God of his mercy would abide with them and with you, both now and henceforth in everlasting life. Amen!

This epistle I have written to you out of prison and in bonds, looking the next day after the writing hereof for the sentence of the council upon my death; having a full trust that He will not leave me, neither suffer me to deny his truth, and to revoke the errors, which false witnesses maliciously have devised against me. How mercifully the Lord God hath dealt with me, and was with me ill marvellous temptations, ye shall know, when hereafter, by the help of Christ, we shall all meet together in the joy of the world to come. As concerning Master Jerome, my dearly beloved brother and fellow, I hear no other but that he is remaining in strait bands, looking for death as I do; and that for the faith which he valiantly maintained amongst the Bohemians, our cruel enemies of Bohemia have given us into the power and hands of other enemies, and into bands. I beseech you pray to God for them.

Moreover, I beseech you, namely you of Prague, that ye will love the temple of Bethlehem, and provide, so long as God shall permit, that the word of God may be preached in the same. For, because of that place, the devil is angry, and against the same place he hath stirred up priests and canons, perceiving that in that place his kingdom should be disturbed and diminished. I trust in God that he will keep that holy church so long as it shall please him, and in the same shall give greater increase of his word by others, than he hath done by me, a weak vessel. I beseech you also, that ye will love one another, and withholding no man from the hearing of God's word, ye will provide and take care that good men be not oppressed by any force and violence.

Written at Constance, the year of our Lord, 1415.