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Among the articles of pretended heresy, which this excellent man was arraigned and put to death for maintaining, were the following (e).
“ There is but one, holy, universal, or catholic church, which is the universal company of all the predestinate. I do confess,” said Huss, “ that this proposition is mine; and [it] is confirmed by St. Augustin upon St. John.
injustice of my accusations, how deformed with crimes I have been represented; how I have been oppressed by worthless witnesses and an unjust condemnation. Yet, O my God, let the mercy of thine, which no tongue can express, prevail with thee not to avenge my wrongs. The bishops, appointed by the council, stript him of his priestly garments, degraded him, and put a mitre of paper upon his head, on which devils were painted, with this inscription, Å ringleader of heretics. Our heroic martyr received this mock mitre with a gallant air of unconcern, that seemed to give him dignity, instead of disgrace. A serenity, a joy, a composure, appeared in his looks, which indicated that his soul had cut off many stages of tedious journey in her way to the point of eternal joy and peace. The bishops delivered Huss to the emperor, who put him into the bands of the duke of Bavaria. His books were burnt at the gate of the church, and he was led to the suburbs to be burnt alive. Vhen he came to the place of execution, he fell on his knees, sang portions of Psalms, looked stedfastly toward heaven, and repeated these words : Into thy hands, O Lord, do I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O most good and faithful God. When the chain was put about him at the stake, he said, with a smiling countenance, My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with an harder chain than this, for my sake; and why should I be ashamed of this old rusty one? When the faggots were piled up to his very neck, the duke of Bavaria was officious enough to desire him to abjure. No, said Huss ; I never preached any doctrine of an evil tendency; and what I taught with my lips, I now seal with my blood. He said to the executioner, Are you going to burn a goose ? In one century, you will have a swan, whom you can neither roast nor boil. If he were prophetic, he must have meant Luther, who had a swan for his arms.
The flames were then applied to the faggots ; when the martyr sang a hymn, with so loud and cheerful a voice, that he was heard through all the cracklings of the combustibles and the noise of the multitude.
At last, his voice was cut short, and he was consumed. The duke of Bavaria ordered the executioner to throw all the martyr's clothes into the flames : after which, his ashes were carefully collected, and cast into the Rhine."
(e) Fox's Acts and Monuments, vol. i. p. 693.
“ St. Paul was never any member of the devil, albeit that he committed and did certain acts like unto the acts of the malignant church” [i. e. St. Paul, prior to his conversion, acted like a reprobate, though he was secretly, and in reality, one of God's elect]. “ And likewise St. Peter, who fell into an horrible sin of perjury, and denial of his master; it was by the permission of God, that he ,might the more firmly and stedfastly rise again and be confirmed.” To this charge, Huss replied, “ I answer, according to St. Austin, that it is expedient that the elect and predestinate should sin and offend (f)."
“ No part or member of the church doth depart, or fall away, at any time, from the body : forsomuch as the charity of predestination, which is the bond and chain of the same, doth never fall.” Huss answers; “ This proposition is thus placed in my book: “ As the reprobate of the church proceed out of the same, and yet are not as parts or members of the same; forsomuch as no part or member of the same doth finally fall away: because that the charity of predestination, which is the bond and chain of the same, doth never fall away. This is proved by 1 Cor. xiii. and Rom. viii. All things turn to good, to them that love God: also, I am certain that neither death nor life can separate us from the charity and love of God, as it is more at large in the book.”
Another article, objected against him, was, his being of opinion that “the predestinate, although he be not in the state of grace according to present justice, yet is he always a member of the universal church.” He answers: “ Thus it is in the book,
(f) Let not the reader imagine, that I approve of the unguarded manner, in which Mr. Huss here expresses himself. I only give his answer faithfully, as I find it. His meaning, I doubt not, was this : that, by the incomprehensible alchymy of God's infinite wisdom, even moral evil itself shall be finally overruled to good.
about the beginning of the fifth chapter, where it is declared, that there be divers manners or sorts of being in the church: for there are some in the church, according to the mis-shapen faith; and other some according to predestination: as Christians predestinate, now in sin, shall return again unto grace.” The good man added : “ Predestination doth make a man a member of the universal church; the which [i. e. predestination] is a preparation of grace for the present, and of glory to come: and not any degree of” [outward] “dignity, neither election of man” [or, one man's designation of another to some office or station), “ neither any sensible sign” [i. e. predestination does not barely extend to the outward signs, or means of grace: but includes something more and higher] : * For the traitor Judas Iscariot, notwithstanding Christ's election” (or appointment of him to the apostleship), and the temporal graces which were given him for his office of apostleship, and that he was reputed and counted of men a true apostle of Jesus Christ; yet was be no true disciple, but a wolf covered in a sheep's skin, as St. Augustin saith.”
“A reprobate man is never a member of the holy church. I answer, it is in my book, with sufficient long probation out of the xxvi. Psalm, and out of the v. chapter to the Ephesians: and also by St. Bernard's saying, The church of Jesus Christ is more plainly and evidently his body, than the body which he delivered for us to death. I have also written, in the fifth chapter of my book, that the holy church” [i. e. the outward, visible church of professing Christians, here on earth] “is the barn of the Lord, in the which are both good and evil, predestinate and reprobate: the good being as the good corn, or grain ; and the evil, as the chaff. And thereunto is added the exposition of St. Austin.
“ Judas was never a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I answer, and I do confess the same. They came out from amongst us, but they were none of us. He knew from the beginning, who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And therefore I'say unto you, that none cometh unto me, except it be given him of my Father.”
Such were some of the allegations, brought against this holy man by the council of Constance; and such were his answers, when he stood on his public trial, as a lily among thorns, or as a sheep in the midst of wolves. How easy is it for me to write in defence of these'inestimable truths, which (through the goodness of divine providence) have now in our happy land, the sanction of national establishment! But with what invincible strength of grace was this adamantine saint endued, who bore his explicit, un. shaken testimony to the faith, in the presence and hearing of its worst foes, armed with all the terrific powers of this world!
Prior to his execution, Mr. Huss made his solemn appeal to God, from the judgment of the pope and council. In this appeal (g) (the whole of which would well repay the reader's perusal), be again repeats his assured faith in the doctrine of election; where he celebrates the willingness with which Christ vouchsafed, “By the most bitter and ignominious death, to redeem the children of God, chosen before the foundation of the world, from everlasting damnation."
Much farther proof might be given of Huss' Calvinism. Enough, however, has been produced. Yet will I request my reader's patient attention to the passage that follows. He was accused of having affirmed, that “Christ doth more love a predestinate man, being sinful, than any reprobate, in what
(9) See this Appeal, at full length, in Fox, u. s. p. 695, 696.
grace possible soever he be (h).” To which, his reply was: “My words are in the fourth chapter of my book, entitled, Of the Church. And it is evident, that God doth love the predestinate being sinful" [i. e. the elect, even prior to their conversion]; than any reprobate, in what (seeming] grace soever he be for the time : forasmuch as he [i. e. God] willeth that the predestinate shall have perpetual blessedness, and the reprobate to have eternal fire. The predestinate cannot fall from grace: for they have a certain, radical grace rooted in them, although they [may] be deprived of the abundant grace for a time (i)."
As to what he says above, concerning the love which God bears to the predestinate, even while sinful; though it be, perhaps, rather incautiously phrased, it still is, in effect, affirming no more than the apostle has affirmed before him: God, who is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he loved us even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. By grace ye are saved. Eph. ii. 4, 5.
It is very observable, that the popish council of Constance charged Huss with being a fatalist (k):
700. (0) Fox, ibid.
(k) See a curious tract, inserted into the Fasciculus Rerum fugiendarum et expetendarum, entitled, Rationes et Motiva ac Reprobationes Articulorum Wiclefi et sequacis ipsius Johannis Hus, in Concilio Constantiensi damnatorum. By perusing the
which the council of Constance there assign, for their rejection and condemnation of Huss and his doctrines, the reader will immediately see, from what magazine Arminianism pilfers its arguments. By way of specimen, take the following extract. The papists, in the above council, charged the martyr, and not untruly, with holding, that omnio de necessitate absolutâ eveniunt. On which position, they thus descant: Ista propositio est falsa et erronea : quia ex ipsa sequitur, l. superflua esse præcepta probibitiones, leges, consilia, et monitiones. 2. Sequitur, obliquitates, deformitates, et peccata tolli. Sequitur, 3. omnem actum laudabilem, virtuosum, meritorium, etiam præmium et liberum arbitrium, excludi. 4. Quia non laudamur, nec vituperamur, mere