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.