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An Account Of The Persecutions In Bohemia Under The Papacy

The Roman pontiffs having usurped a power over several churches were
particularly severe on the Bohemians, which occasioned them to send two
ministers and four lay-brothers to Rome, in the year 977, to obtain
redress of the pope. After some delay, their request was granted, and
their grievances redressed. Two things in particular they were permitted
to do, viz. to have divine service performed in their own language, and
to give the cup to the laity in the sacrament.

The disputes, however, soon broke out again, the succeeding popes
exerting their whole power to impose on the minds of the Bohemians; and
the latter, with great spirit, aiming to preserve their religious

A. D. 1375, some zealous friends of the gospel applied to Charles, king
of Bohemia, to call an economical council, for an inquiry into the
abuses that had crept into the church, and to make a full and thorough
reformation. The king, not knowing how to proceed, sent to the pope for
directions how to act; but the pontiff was so incensed at this affair,
that his only reply was, severely punish those rash and profane
heretics. The monarch, accordingly banished every one who had been
concerned in the application, and, to oblige the pope, laid a great
number of additional restraints upon the religious liberties of the

The victims of persecution, however, were not so numerous in Bohemia,
until after the burning of John Huss and Jerom of Prague. These two
eminent reformers were condemned and executed at the instigation of the
pope and his emissaries, as the reader will perceive by the following
short sketch of their lives.

Next: John Huss

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