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not your confidence in princes of the earth," wrote he to his Bohemian friends. Sorely had he been deceived in his estimate of the character of Sigismund. He now acknowledged the more correct apprehensions of his friends. "Truly did they say that Sigismund would himself deliver me up to my adversaries ; he has done more, he has condemned me before them." 2
Thus by his firmness Huss forced the emperor to incur the disgrace of his own conduct, and, had he sought revenge for the violation of the imperial faith, he had it in denying him the power to rescue him from the funeral pile.
The most sanguine friends of Huss must by this time have become fully convinced that his doom was sealed. The firmness of his purpose was proof against all persuasions. His mind was fully made up to meet the result which appeared inevitable. His main anxiety now was to secure such an audience before the council as had been promised him by the emperor.8
It only remained for him to take a final leave of his earthly friends and interests. In letters of touching pathos he utters his farewell to those to whom he was bound by a mutual attachment. He wrote to Hawlik, his successor in Bethlehem chapel, urging him not to oppose the doctrine of the cup. He exhorted Christiann of Prachatitz to diligence in pastoral duty, and requested him to greet, in his name, Jacobel and the friends of truth. He admonished the members of the university to mutual love and
1 Epis. xxxv.
3 Ib. xxxv.
4 lb. xvi.
• Ib. xvii.
LETTERS TO INDIVIDUALS.
sobriety of conduct, stating to them also the reasons which forbade him to recant, while he prayed for his enemies that God would forgive them. He begged them to stand by Bethlehem chapel, and to appoint Gallus as his successor. To their love and confidence he recommended his faithful friend, Peter the Notary.1 To his benefactors he returns his hearty thanks, admonishing them to stand fast in their fidelity, and expressing his confidence that God would repay them for what they had done in his behalf. He expresses his apprehension that a severe persecution of the true servants of God in Bohemia would follow his death, unless God should make use of the civil power to prevent it.3
To his friends generally, whom he does not venture to name lest the unavoidable omission of some should give offence, he extends his salutations, declaring it his unshaken purpose not to recant, yet protesting his desire to be instructed that he might disavow any article which could be shown to be false. He expresses his sense of obligation to the king and queen, the barons and nobles of Bohemia and Moravia, and especially to the Bohemians in Constance, for their friendly offices, and their efforts to secure his liberation. From his own experience, he admonishes his friends not to put their trust in an arm of flesh. To Chlum (June 29) he addresses cheering words of the future glory with Christ, of those who suffer for him now. Of his different friends, including Martin, Peter the Notary, Duba, the family of Liderius, and others, he takes leave, in tender and
affecting words. He urges that care should be taken of his letters, and that they should be carried back to Bohemia, lest his friends should be implicated or brought into danger by means of them'. The lines. which he received from time to time from his friends, he immediately destroyed."
In the letter in which he narrates his sad interview with Paletz, he expresses his joyful assurance of the heavenly glory that shall crown his martyrdom, and his confidence in the strength which Christ alone can impart, praying for "a fearless spirit, a true faith, a firm hope, and perfect charity." He does not forget his nephews, (sons of his brother,) but directs that they should be placed in some secular calling, since he feared that if they were educated for the priesthood, they would not discharge its duties as they ought. He dissuades his friends generally from coming to him at Constance, for fear of the consequences; and the sight of Christiann, who had come in the vain hope of serving him, completely unmanned him, and melted him to tears. All the provision which he could make for the payment of his debts at Prague, was made, and in case it proved insufficient, he begged his creditors to forgive him for the sake of their common Master, Christ.
Disburdened of other cares, Huss was now anxious only for a final hearing before the council. He begged that the emperor might be present, and that he might himself have a place assigned him near the imperial presence. He requested also that the noble knights, Chlum, Duba, and Latzem bock, would take
1 Epis. xxvii.
2 Ib. xxxiv.
* Ib. xxviii.
HUSS ASKS A CONFESSOR.
good care to be present, to witness to his words, and prevent any false reports in regard to his statements from going abroad.1
In the prospect of the doom before him, Huss sought a confessor. Whom would he select? Scarcely could he wish for such a one as the council would appoint. He could value but lightly the absolution conferred by hands stained with simony and corruption. His conscience was void of offence, and at peace with God, and no superstitious reverence for the priesthood induced him to believe that his salvation was dependent on sacerdotal absolution. It was undoubtedly more with the desire of a full and free conference with his former friend, than from any other motive, that he sought the privilege of having a confessor granted him, and asked that Paletz might be appointed."
Nothing could more fully testify the humility and the forgiving spirit of Huss than this request. He felt that he had been wronged by those Bohemians who, before the council, had pursued him with unrelenting hostility. Among these Paletz had held the foremost rank, and he it was whom Huss, with a magnanimity unsurpassed, selected to hear his dying confession. Of him he had most to complain, and to him he had the most to forgive. "Alas!" said he, "the wounds which we receive from those persons in whom our soul has placed its hope, are the most cruel; for to the sufferings of the body are joined the pangs of betrayed friendship. In my case it is from Paletz that my most profound affliction pro
ceeds." Again he says, "Paletz is my greatest adversary; it is to him that I wish to confess myself.” This request of Huss was refused him, and in his place the bishops sent a monk, whom he speaks well of, and who, after having given him absolution, recommended to him to submit, but without absolutely commanding it.1
Paletz, moreover, who had previously been applied to, had refused. He recoiled from the painful task which the humility and magnanimity of Huss had imposed. He was, however, vanquished by the nobleness and generosity of the prisoner's conduct, and he determined to visit him in his cell.
When Huss saw him enter, he addressed him not in the language of reproach or passion, but in a mild and melancholy tone. "Paletz," said he, "I uttered some expressions before the council that were cal culated to offend you. Pardon me." This was undoubtedly the confession which he most desired to make. And now he had made it, and Paletz was his confessor. His persecutor was deeply affected, and entreated Huss to abjure, undoubtedly with the deepest sincerity; for he never seems to have apprehended that his prosecution would cost him the life of one that was once his friend, and whom he could never have ceased really to respect. "I conjure you," said he, "do not look to the shame of retracting, but only to the good that must result from it." "Is not the opprobrium," replied Huss, " of the condemnation and the punishment greater in the eyes of the world than that of the abjuration? How, then," asked
1 Epis. xxxi.