The letters of John Hus/Letter 42, To John of Chlum

For other English-language translations of this work, see Letter of Jan Hus to John of Chlum (Noble and gracious lord, I am greatly comforted).

XLII. To John of Chlum

(Blackfriars, without date: February 1415)

Noble and gracious lord, I am greatly comforted. I beg you for God’s sake not to be weary of your long-continued and great efforts on my account: for the God of truth and the Lord of justice is standing by you to give you your reward.

These commissioners urged me persistently for several days to hand over my case to twelve or thirteen masters! I refused to submit myself to them. But after I had written with my own hand replies in reference to the forty-five articles of Wyclif, and to the others which are charged against me, I at once wrote out in the presence of the notaries and commissioners a protest expressing my desire to appear before the whole Council and give an account of the beliefs I hold.

The articles which they have extracted from my book De Ecclesia by false omissions and additions shall be brought to light by God’s grace, and also the reply which I wrote in prison, though I had not a single book to help me.[1]

A harder comforter in time of sickness I have never found in my life than Palecz!

All the clerks of the Pope’s household[2] and all my goalers treat me with much kindness. The Lord delivered Jonah from the whale’s belly, David from the lions’ den, the three children from the fiery furnace, Susannah from the accusation of false witnesses:[3] and He can deliver me, if expedient, for the glory of His name and for the preaching of His word. But if a death precious in the Lord’s sight shall fall to me, the Lord’s name be blessed. If I could only see the King once more along with our Bohemian friends, I should be comforted.

I have been much rejoiced at the news.[4] Surely the Lord hath comforted me. I was glad to hear of Henry Skopek’s health.[5] It is good of you to send me a Bible.[6] Don’t be distressed about me. For what profit hath it? Written in prison at midnight. Please reward that faithful friend of mine to whom I am specially indebted.[7]

  1. This answer to Hus is preserved for us in Doc. 204–24. It is remarkable for its full quotations of Scripture. Its other quotations are familar to us already in the De Ecclesia itself, and prove that Hus had a good verbal memory of his own work. Probably Hus did not reckon his ‘Bible’ (see below) as ‘a book.’
  2. Cameræ.
  3. Cf. p. 197.
  4. Possibly the news of th growing dissensions between John and the Council.
  5. P. 169, n. 2.
  6. See n. 1 above.
  7. Gaoler Robert.