The letters of John Hus/Letter 56, To Peter Mladenowic

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

LVI. To Peter Mladenowic

(Without date: June 6, 1415)

I dare not rashly say with St. Peter that I shall never be offended in Christ, although all should be offended,[1] seeing that I have incomparably less zeal and courage than he. For Christ has never plainly called me blessed like Peter,[2] nor has He promised me so many gifts: the attack too is fiercer, more bewildering, and carried on by more numerous foes. Therefore what I say is that, having hope in Christ Jesus, I intend, so long as I shall hear His message,[3] to cleave to the truth with your help and that of the saints, even unto death. If Baron John [of Chlum] incurs loss by reason of his expectations about myself, make it up to him, dear Peter, pending your return, so far as concerns the master of the Mint and his wife, who boldly pledged their credit,[4] and also as regards my other friends, known to the rector who read with me.[5] If I have a horse left with a car, it ought to go to Baron John. Master Martin, however, if he is alive—or, at any rate, Master Christian, in whom I have complete confidence[6]—will make you a payment from the four guineas—I wish I could say ten guineas! But no sum of money, be assured, can adequately repay your fervent, steadfast, loyal love of the truth and the kind offices and considerations you have shown me in my troubles. May God be your exceeding reward, for I have naught to reward you with. If I ever should live in Prague again, I should like you to share everything with me as freely as my own brother; but the possibility of my return to Prague depends entirely upon the grace of God. I desire it not, if it is not the will of our Father Who is in heaven. My travelling breviary,[7] which I bequeathed to Master Martin, will pass into the possession[8] of some one of the friends still with me. Dispose of my books according to the instructions I gave to Master Martin,[9] and accept any of Wyclif’s works you care to have. At present my chief distress is over our brethren, who, I imagine, will suffer persecution unless the Lord lay bare His arm; and I fear that many may be offended. Please, now as ever, give my affectionate greetings to all the Bohemian and Polish nobles, together with my thanks—and especially Baron Wenzel, etc., whom I desire to see present at the hearing of my case. Farewell in Christ Jesus.

  1. Matt. xxvi. 33.
  2. Matt. xvi. 17.
  3. Dum audivero formam, the exact sense of which seems doubtful.
  4. The master of the Mint from 1406–19 was Peter Swojšin Zmrzlík, whose wife, Anna of Frimburg, had much influence with Queen Sophia. It was at the house of this master of the Mint that the Bishop of Nazareth gave his famous certificate of orthodoxy to Hus (p. 143.) He was one of the arbitrators to whom the case of Hus was referred on July 6, 1411 (see p. 41), and in a popular song of 1418 (Doc. 692) is spoken of as one of the chief heretics.
  5. Plebanus meus scholarisi.e., Girzik. See p. 206 n.
  6. In spite of his apparent relapse. See p. 196 n. and 200, n. 1.
  7. Viaticus, a breviary adapted to the use of travellers.
  8. P.: cedet; perhaps read cedat.
  9. Cf. p. 151.