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those of them, who had been inclined to have recourse to the sword, were gradually convinced, that patient faith and perseverance in prayer are the proper arms of a christian soldier. Never indeed was there a more striking instance of the inefficacy of carnal weapons in defending the church of Christ. The Bohemians had carried on war for thirteen years, often with great success, and always with undaunted courage and fortitude; and in the end, they gained only two privileges, merely of an external nature in the administration of the Lord's supper. With these the majority of the people remained content, and still adhered to the papal abominations, while the real christians were exposed as much as ever to the persecutions of the church of Rome, and were not only abandoned, but also cruelly treated by their brethren.
In the mean time the council of Bafil succeeded that of Constance. But the reader who has with me examined the motives which appear to have influenced the last mentioned council will not perhaps be disposed to take the same pains with that of Basil, which was conducted on a sinilar plan of secular intrigue and ambition. Among its other objects, the reduction of Bohemia to the papal fyftem was not forgotten; and Rokyzan, a Calixtine, was allured, by the hopes of the archbishopric of
Prague, to second the views of the papal party. He A. D. was elected archbishop in 1436, and laboured to 1436. induce the Bohemians to be content without the
cup, and in all other things to conform to the Romish doctrine and worship.
The genuine followers of Huss, were, however, not without hopes of engaging him to promote a more complete reformation. His sister's son, Gregory, who was in a great measure the founder
of the unity of the Huffite brethren, solicited "him in the most pressing manner to promote vital godliness. But Rokyzan, though he had light enough to approve of the pious intentions of his nephew, could not, through fear of losing his archiepiscopal dignity, be prevailed on to oppose the Romish corruptions; yet, he advised the Huffites, to edify one another in private, and gave them some good books for that purpose. He also obtained for them, permission to withdraw to the lordship of Lititz, on the confines of Silesia and Moravia, and there to regulate their plan of worship according to their own consciences.
About the year 1453, a number of Huffites A. D. repaired to Lititz; and chose Michael Bradazius for 1453. their minister. He with some assistants, under the direction of Gregory, held a conference in 1457, in A.D. which the plan of the Hussite church, or that of the 1457, united brethren was formed, idolatrous rites were prohibited, and a strictness of discipline, resembling that of the primitive christian church, was instituted. Discipline indeed, was a favourite object of this people; and if their attention to this subordinate circumItance had been connected with what is of much greater moment,-an accurate and luminous system of christian doctrine, - far more falutary consequences would have ensued. In this the Huffites were certainly defective, though by no mean fundamentally so; and hence, while they were pursuing a matter of inferior importance, they failed to promote the spirit of godliness in so great a degree as they had expected. The inward life and vigour of their church corresponded not with the purity of its external system, nor could distressed consciences find among them that comfort and liberty which are so necessary to propagate godliness to any great extent. Inone point, however, they provedchenifelves
the genuine followers of Chrift; they determined to
They were foon called to the exercise of that
now no remedy. Even George Podiebrad, who A. D. was elected king of Bohemia in 1458, and who 1458. had hitherto protected them, now confented to
persecute the united brethren.
They had hoped for fupport in Rokyzan, whose ministry had formerly been useful to their souls. With a degree of evangelical light, this man ftill followed the world, and lived in miserable grandeur, dearly purchased at the expence of a good conscience. The following is an extract of a letter, which the brethren wrote to him while they laboured under the imputations of promoting needless divisions. It will give the reader fome idea of their principles and spirit *. “Your sermons have been
highly * Joachim Camerarius de Ecclefiis in Bohemia et Moravia,
61. I have consulted this treatise, and made use of it as my guide in this chapter, in connection with Crantz's history of the brethren, published by La Trobe.
highly grateful and pleasant to us.
You earnestly exhorted us to flee from the horrible errors of anti christ, revealed in these last days. You taught us that the devil introduced the abuses of the facraments, and that men placed a false hope of salvation in them. You confirmed to us, from the writings of the Apostles and from the examples of the primitive church, the true doctrine of those divine inftitutions. Being distressed in our consciences, and distracted by the variety of opinions, which prevailed in the church, we were induced to follow your advice, which was to attend the ministry of Peter Chelezitius, whose discourses and writings gave us a clearer insight into christian truths, insomuch that when we saw that your life and practice were at variance with your doctrine, we were constrained to entertain doubts concerning your religious character. When we conversed with you on this occafion your answer was to this effect, “I know that your sentiments are true; but if I should patronize your cause, I must incur the same infamy and disgrace which you do.” Whence we understood, that you
would defert us, rather than relinquish the honours of the world. Having now no refuge but in God, we implored him to make known to us the mystery of his will. As a gracious Father, he hath looked upon our afflictions, and hath heard our prayers. Trusting in our God, we have aflemnbled ourselves in the unity of the faith by which we have been justified through Jesus Christ
, and of which we were made partakers in conformity to the image of his death, that we might be the heirs of eternal life. Do not imagine, that we have separated ourselves from you on account of certain rites and ceremonies instituted by men; but on account of evil and corrupt doctrine. For if we could, in connexion with you, have preserved the trụe faith in Jesus
Christ our Lord, we never should have made this separation."
Thus does it appear that the Huslite brethren were not mere schismatics, but properly reformed Protestants, who feparated from the church of Rome on account of the essentials of godliness, and because, in that church, they could not preserve the genuine faith of the gospel
, and purity of worship. And the constancy, with which they endured persecution, Thewed, that they had not received the grace of God in vain. For now they were declared unworthy of the common rights of subjects; and, in the depth of winter, were driven out of the cities and villages, with the forfeiture of all their effects. The sick were thrown into the
open fields, where many perished with cold and hunger. Various forts of torture were inflicted on the bre. thren: numbers were barbarously murdered ; and many died in the prisons.
During these melancholy scenes Gregory, the nephew of Rokyzan, was distinguished by his zeal, fortitude, and charity. To these virtues he added prudence and discretion, of which he gave a remarkable instance*. The governor of Prague apprehending danger to the brethren to be at hand, had the kindness to warn Gregory to withdraw from Prague, which he did accordingly yp. Some of the brethren were disgusted at this conduct, and boasted, that the rack was their breakfast; and the flames their dinner. Part, however, of these men failed on the trial, and recanted, to save their lives; though of
the * It is not easy to give a regular account of these tranfactions according to the order of time. There is, I find, some diversity in this respect, between the two authors whom I follow. But I retain the substance of the narrative, collected from both.
† Joachim Camer. p. 85.