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288 [288]

Actes and Monumentes Of the Church.

performe and do whatsoeuer the councel shall require of me. Marke sayde the byshops, howe obstinatly he doth perseuer in his errors, and when they had thus talked, they commaunded the kepers to cary him agayne vnto pryson, & so they retourned againe vnto the Emperour with their commission.

The next day after, whiche was saturday before the visitation, and the viii. daye after the feastes of the Apostles Peter and Paule, there was a generall session holden of the Princes and Lordes, both of the Ecclesiasticall and Tēporall estates in the headchurche of the citie of Constance, the Emperour Sigismonde being president in his imperial robes and habite, in the middest wherof there was made a certaine highe place being square aboue lyke a table, & harde by it there was a deske of woode, vpon the whiche the garmentes and vestimentes pertaining vnto pristhod were layde, for this cause that before Iohn Hus should be deliuered ouer vnto the ciuill power, he should be openly depriued and spoyled of his priestly ornamentes, whē Iohn Hus was brought thether, he fell downe vpon his knees before that same high place, & prayed a long tyme, on the meane whyle the byshop of Londie, went vp into the pulpet and made this Sermon folowyng.

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Execution of Hus

Interestingly, although Foxe has a fair amount to say in the Commentarii and in the Rerum about Hus, his first Latin martyrologies had very little to say about Hus's execution per se. This situation changed dramatically in the 1563 edition, as Foxe made full use of the magnificent two volume Johannis Hus et Hieronymi Pragensis confessorum Christi Historia et Monumenta, edited anonymously by Matthias Flacius and printed in Nuremburg in 1558. All of Foxe's account in 1563 of Hus's reaction to his condemnation, his degradation, Hus's execution, his behaviour and the crowd's reactions to it are taken from this work, even including the comparison of Hus to Hercules. (See Hus…Historia et Monumenta, I, fos. 28r-29r and 346v-347r). In the 1570 edition, Foxe repeated Johannes Cocleaus's speculation that the ultimate source of this account of Hus's martyrdom was Jan Prizibram; Foxe drew this from Johannes Cochlaeus, Historiae Hussitarum (Mainz, 1549), pp. 74-5. Foxe also added a letter from the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund (who was also the king of Bohemia) to the Bohemian nobles, absolving himself from any responsibility for Hus's execution. This letter is translated from Cochlaeus's Historia Hussitarum, pp. 156-7. The 1570 account of Hus's martyrdom was reprinted without change in subsequent editions of Foxe.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

¶ The Sermon which the bishop of Londie made before that sentence was geuen vpon Iohn Hus.

IN the name of the father the sonne and of the holy ghost. Trusting by humble inuocation vpon the diuine helpe and ayde. Moste noble Prince & most christian Emperour: And you moste excelent fathers, and reuerent Lordes. Byshops and Prelates also moste excellēt Doctors and Maisters, most famous and noble Dukes and high Countes honorable nobles and barons and all other men worthy of remembraunce. That the intent & purpose of my mynde, may the more playnely and euidētly appeare vnto this moste sacred congregation, I am first of all determined to intreate or speake of that which is read in the Epistle on the next Sonday, in the sixt chapiter to the Romains. That is to say let the body of sinne be destroyed, it appeareth by the authoritie of Aristotell in his boke intituled de Celo & mundo. How wicked daungerous and folishe a matter it semeth to be, not to withstande peruerse and wicked beginninges. For he saith, that a small error in the beginning is very great in the ende. It is very damnable and daungerous to haue erred, but more harde to be corrected or amended. Wher upon that worthy doctor saint Hierome in his boke vpō the exposition of the catholyke faith teacheth vs, how necessary a thing it is that heretikes and heresies should be suppressed euen at the firste beginning of them sayinge, thus, the rotten and dead fleshe is to be cut of from the body, least that the whole body do perysh and putrifie. For a scabbed shepe is to be put out of the fold, least the whole flocke be infected. And a litle fier is to be quenched least þe whole house be consumed and burned. MarginaliaWel prated maister persone.Arrius was first a sparke in Alexandria, who because he was not at the first quēched, he presumed and went about with his wicked and peruerse imaginations & fantasticall inuentions to spotte and defile the Catholyke faith, whiche is founded and establyshed by Christ defended with the victorious triumphes of so many Martyrs, and illuminate andset forth with the excellent doctrines and wrytinges of so many men, suche therfore must be resisted: such heretikes of necessitie must be suppressed and condemned, wherfore I haue truly propounded, as touching the punishement of euery suche obstinate heretike, that the bodye of synne is to be destroyed. whereupon it is to be considered according vnto the holye traditions of the fathers, that some synnes are aduerse and contrary vnto another. Other some are annexed or conioyned together: other some are as it were bowes and members of others. And some are as it were the rootes and head of others. Amonst all whiche those are to be counted the moste detestable, out of the whiche the moste, and worste, haue their originall & beginning. Wherfore albeit that all synnes and offences are to be abhorred of vs: yet those are specially to be eschewed whiche are the head and roote of the rest, for by how muche the peruersnesse of them is of moste force and power to hurte, with somuche the more spede and circumspection, ought they to be rooted out and extinguished with apt preseruatiues and remedies. forsomuche then as amongest all synnes none doth more appeare to be inueterate then the mischief of this moste execrable Schsme, therfore haue I right wel propounded that the body of synne should be destroyed. For by the long continuāce of this Schisme, great and moste cruell destruction is sprong vp amongst the faithful, and hath long continued abhominable deuisions of heresies are growen: Threteninges are increased and multiplied: The confusion of þe hole Clergie is growen thereupon, and the oprobries & sclaūders of the Christian people, are aboundātly sprong vp and increased. And truly it is no maruell, forsomuche as that moste detestable and execrable Schisme, is as it were a body and heape of dissolution of the true faythe of God, for what can be good or holy in that place where as suche a pestiferous Schisme hath rained so long a tyme. For as saint Bernarde sayeth like as in the vnitie and concorde of the faithfull, there is the habitation and dwellyng of the Lorde, so lykewyse in the Schisme and dissipation of the Christians, there is made the habitation & dwellyng of the deuill: is not Schisme and deuision the originall of all subuersion, the den of heresies, and the nourysher of all offences? for the knot of vnitie and peace beuig once troubled and broken, there is free passage made for al stryfe and debate. Couetousnes is vttered in othes for lucars sake, luste and wil is set at libertie, and al meanes opened vnto slaughter. All right and equitie is banished, the ecclesiasticall power is iniured, and the calamitie of this Schisme, bryngeth in all kynde of bondage, swordes and violence doth rule the laytie haue the dominion, concorde and vnitie are banished, and all prescripte rules of religion vtterly contemned and set at naught.

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Consider moste Gentle Lordes, how that during this moste pestiferous Schisme how many heresies haue appeared and shewed them selues, howe many heretikes haue scaped vnpunyshed, howe many churches haue ben spoyled and pulled downe, howe manie cities haue by oppressed and regions brought to ruyne, what confusion hath there happened in the clergie? What & how great destruction hath bene amongst the Christian people, I praye you marke howe the churche of God the spouse of Christ, and the mother of all faithfull, is contemned and despysed, for who doth reuerēce the keyes of the church, who feareth the censures or lawes, or who is it that doth defend the liberties thereof? But rather who is it, that doth not offend the same, or who doth not inuade it, or els what is he that dare not violently lay handes vpon the patrimonie or heritage of Iesus Christe? The goodes of the Clergie and of the power & the reliefe of Pylgrimes and straungers gotten together by the bloud of our Sauiour, and of many martyrs, are spoyled and taken away beholde the abhomination of the desolation brought vpō the churche of God, the destruction of the fayth, and the confusion of the Christian people, to the ruyne of the lordes flocke or folde, & all the whole company of our moste holy sauiour and redeamer. This losse is more greate or greuous then any whiche coulde happen vnto the martyrs of Christ, and this persecution muche more cruell then the persecution of any tyrauntes, for they did but only punyshe the bodies, but in this Schisme and deuision the soules are tormented. There the bloud of men was only shed, but in this case the true fayth is subuerted and ouerthrowen that persecution was saluatiō vnto many: but this schisme is destruction vnto all men. When the tyrauntes raged then the fayth did increase: but by this

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