The letters of John Hus/Jakoubek and the Trouble over the Cup; The Origin of the Matter; The Views of Hus

The letters written to Jakoubek to which Hus refers in the following letter are lost. Jakoubek (Jacobellus or Little James, so called from his stature), whose fuller name was Jakoubek ze Střibra of Mies, had taken his B.A. at Prague in 1393, his M.A. in 1397. He was therefore older than Hus, and from the first had been one of the leading spirits among the Reformers. He had succeeded Michael the Pleader as vicar of St. Adalbert’s. He had now become the leader of the Utraquists in the question of the cup. Two Waldensians from Dresden, Peter and Nicholas, ‘who were given to asking curious questions,’ had raised the matter, and on being expelled from the diocese had come to Prague. Here they had persuaded Jakoubek, in the summer of 1414, to return to the primitive custom of the Church. So at four churches in Prague, St. Michael’s, St. Nicholas’s, St. Adalbert’s, and St. Martin’s, the laymen once more partook of the communion under both species. But at the Bethlehem, under priest Hawlik, there seems to have been a protest against the innovation (p. 248, infra). As we have seen already (p. 169), this led to a division among the Reformers, and Chlum invoked the authority of Hus. Hitherto, Hus had taken little interest in the matter—in fact, in his De Cœna Domini, written at a later date, he still practically concedes the Roman position.[1] But his views were already undergoing a rapid change, and he soon committed himself decisively to the opinions of Jakoubek (infra, 245, p. 248). The lengthy discussions of the matter between Jakoubek and Andrew Brod have been preserved for us in Hardt (iii. 335–933), and prove Jakoubek to have been an acute and well-read debater.

  1. See Mon. i. 40d., last par.