Skip to main content
×
×
Home

John Rokycana—Church Reformer between Hus and Luther

  • Frederick G. Heymann (a1)
Extract

There are four men whom popular tradition, and the builders of Luther's monument in Worms, have grouped around the figure of the Wittenberg reformer as his greatest forerunners: Peter Waldo, Savonarola, Wyclyf and Hus. Luther himself considered only the last named as a man to whom he was indebted, and with whose teachings he could increasingly identify himself, at least after he wrote that famous letter to Spalatin in February 1520 in which he claimed, half-correctly, that he had always held the whole doctrine of Hus without having even been aware of it. But what, in the consciousness of present historiography, is the relation between the heritage of Hus, the whole vast movement called Hussitism, and the Lutheran reformation?

Copyright
References
Hide All

1. For this letter see Endera II, 344. The whole question of Luther's relationship to the Czech reformation, especially in the forms in which it had survived to the early 16th century, is discussed most clearly and most thoroughly in Thomson S. H.'s article “Luther and Bohemia,” Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, vol. 44, 1953, 160181.

2. “Georg von Böhmen, der Hussitenkönig,” Historische Zeitschrift V, 1861, on page 438, 439. The criticism here is directed against Palacký.

3. Ibidem, 468.

4. Zur Geschichte des Hussitentums, München 1874, page 12.

5. See Gottschick J., “Hus', Luther's und Zwingli's Lehre von der Kirche,” Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte vol. VII, 1886, 345394, 543616. The argumentation, Bomewhat suffering from only partial knowledge of the sources, nevertheless impressed Troeltsch; see his Soziallehren, German ed. of 1912, pp. 393, 398 and 403.

6. Loserth Johann, Hus und Wiclif. Zur Genesis der husitischen Lehre, 2nd edition, Munich 1925. For the refutation of Loserth's conclusions see among others Sedlák Jan, “Husův traktát ‘De Ecclesia’” in Studie a texty k náboženským dějinám českým, II, Olomouc 1915, 478 ff, and most recently Thomson S. H.'s introduction to his critical edition of Hus' De Ecclesia, Cambridge 1956, especially VII f, XXXII ff.

7. The literary echo of Hussitism in contemporary Europe and especially in Germany is treated in considerable detail in Kraus A.'s great work Husitství v literatuře, zejména německé, vol. I, Prague 1917 (Rozpravy české akademie, třida III, č. 45). For other forms of influence Haupt Herman's “Hussitische Propaganda in Deutschland,” (Raumer's Historisches Taschenbuch, Leipzig 1888) and his earlier book: Die religiösen Sekten in Franken vor der Reformation, Würzburg 1882) are still worth consulting; above all, however, Bartoš F. M., Husitství a cizina, Prague 1931.

8. See e.g. the introduction to Bartoš's F. M. recent publication “Dvě studie v husitských postilách,” Rozpravy československé akademie věd, vol. 65 No. 4, Prague 1955.

9. On Koranda see especially Krofta Kamil, “Václav Koranda mladší z Nové Plzně,” in Listy z náboženských dějin českých, Prague 1936, 240287.

10. The one exception is the Cambridge Medieval History, where Krofta's chapter contains at least a fair amount of information on Rokycana's part in the general course of Czech history (VIII, 79, 93–95, 106). But neither Schaff-Herzog nor the Encyclopedia of Beligion and Ethics so much as mention his name.

11. See his Catalogus testium veritatis, edition of 1608. Bokycana is mentioned a few times in Flacius' tale about the Hussite movement, but has no paragraph of his own as Jacobellus and Peter Payne and, in much more detail, žižka who, after all, was great only as a military and political, not as a religious, figure.

12. It seems that Palacký had intended to devote a special study to Rokycana but never got around to doing it. See Bartoš , Liter´rni činnost M. Jana Rokycany, M. Jana Příbrama, M. Petra Payna, Česká Akademie, Sbírka pramenů, skup. III, č 9. Prague 1928, p. 17. For Palacký's general evaluation see vol. IV, 1, 444–449, in the German edition of his “Geschichte von Böhmen.”

13. Fin de l'indépendance bohême, vol. I. Georges de Podiébrad, pp. 18ff.

14. Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder, Prague 1861, Vol. I, pp. 21 ff., 38 ff.

15. Goll Jaroslav, “Rokycanova Postilla,” Časopis musea českého, vol. 53, Prague 1879, 95 ff. 199 ff. (This journal is later quoted as ČČM.) See also the same author's article “Jednota bratrská v 15. století,' in the same journal vol. 58, 1884, pp. 38 ff.

16. The best bibliographical study on Rokycana is still Bartoš, op. cit. The author brought it more up to date in the bibliographic notes to his biographical sketch: “Rokycana,” in Světci a kacíři (Spisy Hus. čsl. ev. fak. bohosl., class A, No XI), Prague 1948, 222, 223. Of Rokycana's writings themselves one, his Latin tractate on the Sacraments, has always been available, as it was printed as an appendix by Cochlaeus in his Historia Hussitarum, Mainz 1549, pp. 442550. It is an early polemical work against Tabor, (written 1431), thus much less significant for his independent development than his later works. Similar polemical writings “against the Pikards” (i. e. the Bohemian Brethren) are printed especially in the second volume of Jaroslav Bidlo 's edition of the documents of the Unitas Fratrum (Akty Jednoty Bratrské, Prameny dějin moravských, part III. 2 vol., Brno 1915, 1923.) Several of his speeches and letters during the time of the Basel Council are to be found in the Monumenta conciliorum generalium saeculi XV, Concilium Basileense, ed. E. Birk and F. Palaeký, vol. I and II, Vienna 1857, 1873. Some other speeches and writings of the same period, in Mansi's Acta Concilii, especially vol. XXX, 262–306, and in Palacký , Urkundliche Beiträge zur Geschichte des Hussitenkrieges, Vol. II, Prague 1873, 399. Some later important letters in the same editor's Urkundliche Beiträge zur Geschichte Böhmens im Zeitalter Georgs von Podiebrad (Font. rer. Austr. part 2, vol. XX), Vienna 1860, and much more, including the important tractate “De existencia corporis Christi in sacramento altaris,” in Zd. Nejedlý 's Pramney k synod´m strany pražski atáborsk´, Prague 1900. (Some of this material in a more precise version in Bidlo, op. cit.). Of the great later works the Postilla was published by František šimek in a critical edition of over 2000 pp. (Sbirky pramenů ěského hnutí ná boženského ve stol. XIV a XV., vol. 16 and 17, Prague 1928, 1929.) Šimek also published Rokycana 's Trakl´t o přrijímání krve, the Czech version of an originally Latin written defense of the Chalice against the Catholics from 1465, in Věstník k. české spoleěnosti nauk, tř fil.-hist.-filol., 1940, II, Prague 1941, and important parts of his exegetic works on the gospels of St. Luke and St. John in a book of selected writings of Rokycana (M. Jan Rokycana, Obr´nce pravdy a zákona božího, výbor z kázáni etc.) Prague 1949 (later quoted as “Výbor”).

17. For the story of Rokycana's youth see Zdeněk Nejedlý, Mládí M. Jana z Rokycan, ččM 1899, 517–534. So far there exists, strangely, no attempt even in Czech at an adequate evaluation of R. 's life and work. Urbánek 's great work Věk Ppděbradsky´ (české dějiny, ed. Novotný, III, 3) deals thoroughly with his role in the general frame of Czech history, but not going beyond 1459 has remained a torso. Also in his more specific evaluation (III 673ff.) he had not yet been able to use the full text of the Czech Postilla (see ibid., p. 679).

18. See Goll, op. cit., 167ff.

19. There is no truly adequate treatment of Jacobellus, as the most recent publication about him (Borecký F., Mistr Jakoubek ze Stříbra, Prague 1945) is too summary and dwells too much on the surface to do justice to this great figure. For a short sketch in English on him, together with more literature, see Heymann F., John žižka and the Hussite Revolution, Princeton 1955, pp. 151 ff.

20. See Heymann, žižka, chapter 10.

21. For Jakoubek 's influence on želivský see Evžen Stein, žlivský jako náboženska osobnost, Věstnik k. české spoleěnosti nauk, tř. fil.-hist.-fil., Roěnik 1947 No. 1, Prague 1950, p. 22 ff. For the political collision between the two great religious leaders of Prague see Heymann, žižka, 307 ff. A strictly Marxian interpretation of Jakoubek 's turn toward a less radical attitude is givea by Macek J., Tábor v husitském revoluěním hnutí, vol. I, Prague 1956, pp. 192196.

22. See Prokeátkwm J.Rokycany M. Jana, Věstník k. č. spoleěností nauk 1927 No. VI, Prague 1928, p. 1.

23. See Sylvius Aeneas, Historia Bohemica, ch. 45, Pekař, žižka a jeho doba, IV, 161 (Prague 1933) and Heymann, žižka, 426 f.

24. See especially the first two volumes of the Documenta of the Council of Basel and Mansi 's Acta, both quoted above in note 16.

25. While in some minor details of facts or interpretation no longer quite up to-date, the best (and most dramatic) presentation in detail of the negotiations between the Czechs and the Council is still Palacky's. See his great work in the German edition (Geschichte von Böhmen) vol. III part 3, Prague 1854, 4152, 63107, 112129, 136152, 194202, 212222. There is, however, now an excellent short study, containing most of the essential facts, in Jacob's E. P. “The Bohemians at the Council of Basel” in Prague Essays, ed. Seton-Watson B. W., Oxford 1949, pp. 81123. Rokycana's rolethere is well described on pp. 87 f., 94 ff., and passim.

26. The official and complete text of the Compacts in Latin and Czech is contained in Archiv český III, 398–444. For the best analysis of the general and political significance of this peace document see Urbánek R. in Věk Poděbradský vol. I. Prague 1915, 88136.

27. See about this the important work by Urbánek R., Lipany a konec polních vojsk, Prague 1934.

28. See Palacký, op. cit. 181 f.

29. This is made very clear by Urbánek in Věk Poděbradský I, 120 ff.

30. Ibidem, 328, 329.

31. “Nicolai de Pelhrzimow Chronicon Taboritarum,” in Höfler's Geschieht-Schreiber der husitischen Bewegung in Böhmen II, Vienna 1865/1866 (Font, rer. Anstr. VII), 475820. On Payne see Heymann , žižka, 169, and later passim, with literature on p. 169, n.13.

32. See about this Bartoš , Literární činnost M. Jana Bokycany etc. p. 57.

33. Sources are: the report given by Nicholas of Pelhřimov, op. cit., (Höfler C., Geschichtschreiber, II, 747ff.) and Nejedlý , Prameny, 160 ff, there also an attempt at evaluation suffering from wrong premises (see later). The best and most detailed historical and interpretive treatment in Urbánek , Věk Podebradský I, 820861.

34. See Urb´nek, op. cit. II, 160–187.

35. Ibidem II, 231–299.

36. On the campaign against Tabor see Ibidem II, 663–678. Payne, incidentally, cannot be identified with Tabor quite as fully as the present sketch might indicate by its necessarily somewhat simplified presentation. See e. g. Bartoš F. M., “Z počátku Jednoty bratrské,” CCM vol. 95, Prague 1921, pp. 32 f.

37. See Nejedlý Z., “öeska missie Jana Kapistrana, ččM 1900, 57ff, 220ff, 334ff, Urbánek op. cit., II 552–559, and (for a view totally in defense of Capistrano and against the Hussites) Hofer Johannes, Johannes von Capestrano, Innsbruck 1936, 359432. All three contain full references to the sources.

38. This, however, was what the Greek negotiators—all enemies of the Union with Borne–would have wished to impose on Bohemia. See about this the careful study by Paulová M., “L'Empire Byzantin et les Tchèques,” in Byzantinpslavica, XIV, Prague 1953, pp. 158225.

39. For the immediate pre-history and history of the election see the recent publication O volbě Jiřího z Poděbrad za kráie českého (Prague 1958), containing all the source material edited and introduced by Urbánek.

40. The main source for Aeneas' meeting with George is the prelate's letter to Carvajal in Wolkan B., ed.: Der Briefwechsel des Eneas Sylvius III (Font. rer. austr. Part 2, vol. 68, Vienna 1918, pp. 2236).

41. See Carter's report (ed. Birk) in Monumenta Cone. Gen. Sec. XV. Concilium Basileense, vol. I. Vienna 1857, 462 ff., also Bartoš's remarks in his article on Rokycana in Světci a kacíři, Prague 1949, p. 207.

42. For the discussion of George's plans (and the role of his diplomatic councillor Martin Mair) see Urbánek , Husitský král, Prague 1927, pp. 163 ff. and Bachmann A., Böhmen und seine Nachbarländer unter Georg von Podiebrad, 1458–1461, Prague 1878, 59ff, 215ff.

43. The impression that Rokycana's attitude was one of the reasons for the persecution is maintained in the historiography of the Brethren all the way down to Müller's J. Th. great work (Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder, vol. I, Herrnhut 1922) even though Müller himself could not quote any facts for this impression (See there p. 73) and on p. 79 admits that “while he was not able to hinder the prosecution he has at least not helped it.” This indeed emerges clearly from the sources (e.g. Bidlo, op. cit. passim).

44. For the main socio-economic reasons of the baronial revolt, see e.g. Urbánek , Husitský král, 197 ff.

45. For Rokycana's part in the disputation, see his Traktát o přijímání krve, quoted above under n. 16. We shall have to return to it later, where it will be quoted as “Krev.”

46. This is most strikingly expressed in the great Utraquist manifesto of 1468, see Archiv český, Vol. 20, Prague 1902, pp. 557 ff.

47. See Raynaldus , Annales Eccl., ed. Mansi , vol. 29(10), Lucca 1753, pp. 502505.

48. This is exactly what was done by Zdeněk Nejedlý in his book “Prameny k synodám strany praèskáborské,” where (on page 26) he erroneously puts Bokycana's work “De quinque prioribus sacramentis” (printed under the title “De septem sacramentis” in the appendix to Cochlaeus' Historia Hussitarum, Mainz 1548, p. 442500) into the years 1441–1443 and therefrom concludes a development of Bokycana's ideas back to Catholicism. In reality the tractate, as Krofta has proved in his article“ K literární činnosti Příbrama J. a Bokycany J., (CCM. No. 77, Prague 1903, pp. 433 f.) dates from 1431, and was a defense of Utraquism against the still very powerful Taborite brotherhood. See also Bartoš, Literádrní ˇnnost M. Jana Rokyoany p. 23.

49. See about this Proksš, op. cit., p. 19.

50. There is, however, a considerable possibility that this influence came through Matthias of Janov and (or) Thomas štítný in both of whom the Franeiscanism was more apparent than in Rokycana's case. See about this Peschke Eduard, Die Theologie der Böhmischen Brüder in ihrer Frühzeit, Stuttgart, 1925/1940, Vol. I, pp. 34, 45 f., 63 f.

51. On this aspect and the various manuscripts see Hrubý H., české postilly, Prague 1901, 67ff.

52. See Hus De Ecciesia, ed. Thomson S. H., Cambridge 1956, pp. 16ff, 25ft.

53. The following quotes, especially when taken from the Czech Postilla (quoted as P.) are selective rather than exhaustive. See for Rokycana's views on predestination P. I, 692, 705, P. II, 60, 523ff, 571, 591, 604 and 612.

54. See Exegesis on StJohn , Výbor, 149, 150, and Simek F., Učeni M. Jane Rokycany (Rozpravy české akademie věd a umení, tř. III, č. 77) Prague 1938, p. 43. Simek's book is a very careful—the author is a philologist— attempt at abstracting Rokycana 's teachings in detail from the various sources to which it sticks quite closely, thereby however foregoing completely the chance (or rather the admittedly difficult task) of placing the reformer's thoughts into the framework of the historical and ideological trends and developments of the 15th century. (Later quoted as “Učení”)

55. Exeg. on StJohn , Výbor 160.

56. P. I. 763, P. II 456 ff, 780, Exeg. StJohn , Výbor 174.

57. P. I, 564, 731 ff.

58. P II 597 ff., 605. See also Šimek , Učení 121.

59. See e.g. Ritsehl O., Dogmengeschichte des Protestantismus, Leipzig 1912, II, 284 ff. and later passim.

60. See below the discussion of his fight against the magic formalities.

61. P. II 591.

62. Printed by Šimek in an appendix to his edition of the Postilla, II, 901–905.

63. P. I. 818, P. II, 422. See also the later discussion of the role of contrition in penitence.

64. P. II, 36, 52, 95, 99, 426 ff. 560 f, 94, Exeg. St. John, Výborr 156.

65. Exeg. StJohn , Výbor 156; see also Šmek , Učeni, p. 6 f.

66. P. I 367, 690, 697 f., 825; II 403 f, 637; Exeg. St. Luke, Výbor 114 ff.

67. P. II 733 ff.

68. When asked whether all people who took communion in one kind only were now in Hell, Rokycana evaded a clear answer, saying that these are God's judgments unknown to man. Yet he would, he says, never admit that man can be helped toward salvation by communion in one kind just as much as by both, and if on his death bed he should be put before the alternative of receiving it in one kind or not at all, he would prefer the latter, trusting that what priests had withheld would yet be granted to hint by God's mercy. (P. II 703) See further Krev 48 ff.

69. Among t h e Catholic accusations against King George figured very prominently the claim that in 1462 he had avowed before the whole Bohemian Diet that he did not believe salvation could be achieved without the Chalice. George emphatically denied having said this. See e.g. Markgraf H. ed., Scriptores rerum Sitesiacarum vol. VIII, Breslau 1873, p. 124, and Palaeký ed., Urkcundliche Beiträge zur Geschichte Böhmens im Zeitalter Georg 's von Podiebrad, Vienna 1860, p. 650.

70. Krcv 15 f, 21 ff. See also Šimek , Učení, 227 f.

71. Krev 40 f, P. II 776 if., 810.

72. On the more popular level (and in much more violent forms) this same two-front struggle had been fought by žižka. See the passage on the role of the Eucharist in his thinking in Heymann , žižka, pp. 211, 213, 445f.

73. See the bibliographical references on Hus 's teaching about transubstantiation (especially in the works of Sedlák, Novotý and Kybal) in Peschke, op. cit. I, 66, and especially Sedl´k, Studie a texty k náboženským dějinám českým, Olomouc 1914, 1915, I 450 ff., II165 ff.

74. See Sedlák J., Několik textu z doby husitské, Brno 1912, p. 15, as quoted by Peschke, op. cit., I, 71. The comparison, incidentally, is the very same used by Luther repeatedly in his explanations of the workings and essence of consubstantiation. It had been used earlier in the scholastic literature to explain the double nature of Christ, but as far as I am aware Jacobellus was the first one to make use of it in connection with the mystery of the Eucharist. It would be of some interest to discover how this idea then travelled from Jacobellus to Luther (asI have not heard of Luther's ever having read Jacobellus himself), if, indeed, this is not just a remarkable case of a parallel but independent development of thought.

75. See the Monumenta of the Council of Basel I, 846 f.

76. See e. g. P. II 609. The only passage in the critical edition of the Postillacontaining what seems a clear exposition of transubstantiation is probably not by Rokycana himself but an interpolation by one of his listeners or later copyists. It does not seem at all to be in his style and has long been suspected for this and other reasons. Simek, however, in taking notice of these objections, still considers it genuine. See P. II 771.

77. P. I 277f., 678f., 717ff.; II 281, 769. See also Müller Joseph Th., Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder, vol. I (Herrnhut 1922), p. 98.

78. See e. g. Rokycana's arguments as reported (with careful correctness, so it seems, despite his polemical intentions) by Lukas of Prague in his socalled Trialogus, in Bidlo, op. cit. II, 31. Note also the interpretation by Peschke, op. cit. I, 72 f.

79. This quote from P. I 722 f. The same idea expressed in similar though somewhat more general terms in P. I 668. For Rokycana's understanding of the ubiquity of God, occasionally taking forms turning to more mystical and even pantheistic ideas than could be considered generally characteristic for him, see Exeg. St. John, Výbor, 140 f. There is, incidentally, a strong parallel between the thesis of the ubiquity of Christ's body in the teachings of Rokycana and Chelčický, if F. M. Barton's very plausible suggestion is accepted that the Eucharistie tractate in question (Prague Chapter Code D 82) is an early work of Chelcicky's. (See Bartos , “K počátkům Petra Chelčického,” čˇM 1914, 27 ff., 150ff.) We may wonder why Peschke, who devoted considerable space to an analysis of this tractate, did not notice or at least not mention this close similarity either in his chapter on Chelcicky (especially I, 111 f.) or in his short chapter on Rokycana (I, 71, ff.). On the whole important question of the relation between Rokycana and Chelcicky see later. Por the very obvious parallel with the teaching of Luther against Zwingli cf.Köhler W., Das Marburger Rigionsgespräch, Leipzig 1929, pp. 26, 32 ff., 115, 135.

80. One of them—if Christ's body had been as large as a mountain it would yet have been eaten up long ago— (see Simek , Učceni 224 f.) seems to be a heritage from much older heretical movements, perhaps passed on through the Beghards or the Brethren of the Free Spirit. We find it quoted as an argument of the Cathari in Döllinger's Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters, Munich 1890, I, 198.

81. In šimek's presentation the topic occupies a long chapter of 30 pages. (Učení, 220–250).

82. See his Historia Hussitarum, appendix pp. 442 ff.

83. See the summary in Šimek's Učení, 215 ff.

84. P. I, 859, II, 554.

85. The highly interesting history of the Hussite struggle against the indulgences still awaits a full scale study. For a very summary sketch in a Western language see Paulus Nikolaus, Geschichte des Ablasses im Mittelalter, vol. III, Paderborn 1923, 516ff.

86. For the further role of the term “Good Will” in its influence on the Bohemian Brethren see later.

87. P. II, p. 910.

88. The section on purgatory, published by Šimek as one of the appendices (II 906–914), is earlier than the Postilla. The issue of purgatory became the object of an exchange of letters between Rokycana and Chelčický who strongly argued against its existence. Rokycana's own letter is not preserved and can only partially be reconstructed from Chelčický's answer This answer (really a lengthy tractate) is published in a critical edition by Cerny K.: “Rozpravy Chelčického v rkp. Pařižském,” in Listy filologické vol. 25, Prague 1898, pp. 259 ff., 384 ff., 453 ff. A partial translation into German in Goll's Quelle und Untersuchungen, II, 8296.

89. In the 70 Articles against him, lodged by Wenceslas of Krumlov. See Hrejsa F., Dějiny křestánství v Československu, vol. Ill, Prague 1948, p. 116.

90. Cochlaeus, op. cit., 485–490.

91. See perhaps best P.II, 564, clearly challenging the Catholic teaching that the administration of forgiveness had been quite fully entrusted by God to the Church and its servants, the clergy. In fighting this claim Rokycana could at least partly follow the lead given by Hus and Jacobellus (See e. g. for Huss his De Ecclesia, ed. Thomson, 76 ff., and for Hruby Jacobellus H., Ceské postilly, Prague 1901, p. 44). He thereby rebelled most sharply against Pope Martin's V bull “Inter cunctas” of February 1418, directed against the early Hussite teachings and emphasizing, among other matters, the indispensability of auricular confession and priestly absolution for forgiveness. (See Denzinger H., Enchiridion Symbolorum, 30th ed., Freiburg 1955, Nrs. 670, 671, p. 250.) Rokycana 's stand is, incidentally, in full agreement with the somewhat later teachings of Peter of Osma which were the object of Sixtus' IV bull “Licet ea” of 1479. See ibid. No. 724 ff, p. 270.)

92. P. I. 468, II, 358 f., 660 ff.

93. P. II 420, 455 ff., Bidlo op. cit. II, 264.

94. See De Ecclesia, ed. S. H. Thomson, 76 ff., and especially 81 ff.

95. P. I. 412, P. II, 435, 490 f, 656. See also Šimek, Uceni, 256 ff.

96. We can deduce this from his own testimony, Exegesis StJohn , Výbor, 169, as well as from the accusations of his enemies in the list of the 70 articles (Hrejsa, op. cit., III, 116.)

97. P. II, 301 ff., 607 ff.

98. Exeg. StJohn , Výbor p. 143, quoting the Venerable Bede.

99. P. I 793 ff., 805 ff., II 606 f.

100. P. II 627, 808. Rokycana attacks both those that want to worship her as they would worship God and Christ, and those that consider her as “just a woman like any other”; see P. II 754.

101. P. II 850 ff; see also Hus,op. cit. 8. Šimek gives a detailed and faithful picture of this part of Rokycana's teachings in Učení, 35 ff.

102. P. II 811 ff.

103. Rokycana here follows Jacobellus and Wyclyf more closely than Hus. See the sharp passages in the polemical tractate printed by Šimek in the appendix to vol. II of the Postilla, pp. 915–970, especially on 939 f. The use of the expression “Whore” (in Czech “nevěstka”) has a special word appeal because behind it is the idea of the true Church as the bride of Christ (in Czech “nevěsta,” of which “n” is a diminutive form). The whole habit of talking of Babylon and the Antichrist in relation to the Pope and Rome goes, indeed, much farther back in history, at least as far as some of the Joachite attacks in the late thirteenth century. See e.g. the article by Ruth Kestenberg - Gladstein “The Third Reich,” (touching also on the interesting question of the connections between Joachism and Hussitism) in Journal of The Warburg Institute vol. 18, London 1955, p. 249.

104. See Šimek 's very perceptive evaluation of this issue in his Učíeni, 71 ff.

105. P. II, 656, also Bidlo II, 258 ff.

106. Hrejsa, loc. cit.

107. E.g. De Ecclesia, ed. Thomson, p. 201.

108. P. II, 535.

109. See the convincing way in which this thought is summed up by šimek in his Učení p. 49.

110. “Et hoc utique sacramentum nemo potest conficere, nisi sacerdos, qui rite fuerit ordinatus“ see Denzinger, op. cit. No. 430, p. 200.

111. The actual correspondence in various places in Bidlo, op. cit. I. See also Muller, op. cit. I. 71, 81 f, 89. It is characteristic for his persistent misunderstanding of Rokycana 's position, especially in regard to the Brethren, when Müller writes (p. 71): “How wise and clever Rokycana might have been—he simply lacked the strength of character and the consuming and inspiring conviction to become a true church reformer (reformator).” In reality it was just his task as a “reformator” which required his remaining where he was—at the helm of the embattled Utraquist Church. See the much better understanding of Rokycana 's position (though somewhat clouded by over-emphasis of the political factor) in Pesehke op. cit. I., 69, second paragraph.

112. Until lately the access to Chečický and his works for those who do not read Czech has been quite limited. There is some literature in Russian (mainly the works of Jastrebov) and a good deal more in German, notably Goll's Quellen and Untersuchungen zer Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder, especially vol. II (Peter Chelčický und seine Lehre), Prague 1882, Müller's Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder (vol. I, 66 ff.), Carl Vogl's most enthusiastic, somewat dillettantish but nevertheless valuable Peter Cheltschizki, ein Prophet an der Wende der Zeiten, Zürich und Leipzig 1926, (by the same author also a rather free translation of Chelčieký 's main work Sit' viry as Das Netz des Gbanbens, Dachau 1924, in Czech, published by Smetanka, Prague 1912), furthermore Peschke's already quoted Thelogie der Böhmischen Brüder in ihrer Frühzeit with a good chapter about Chelčický, centered on his view of the Eucharist (part I, 105–191) and very- careful German translations of some of Chelčk's works in part II, Stuttgart 1940, 1–142). In English there was for a long time only the delightful sketch by Spinka: MatthewPeter Chelčiý, Spiritual Father of the Unitas Fratrum,” in vol. XII, (1943) of this journal, pp. 271 ff. Quite recently another valuable contribution has appeared: the chapter on Chelčícký in Brock's PeterThe Political and Social Doctrines of the Unity of Czech Brethren, S Gravenhage 1957, pp. 2569, understandably with only limited emphasis on the theological part of Che1čický 's thought. There as well as in Peschke, I, p. 107 will be found satisfactory bibliographical notices on the very considerable Czech literature. A more complete bibliography is: Petrů Eduard, Soupis díla Petra Chelˇického a literatury o něm, Prague 1957. About this, see Odlozilik's O. review in Speculum, 1958, p. 428 f

113. Some solid groundwork ha been laid for such a task by Bartoˇ's F. M. article “Chelčický a Rokycana” in Listy filologické, vol. 48, Prague 1921, pp. 3040, 118135. It will facilitate future work, which however, because of its need for the use of largely philological research methods, can hardly be undertaken outside Czechoslovakia. See also Vlček Jaroslav, Dějiny české literatury, new edition, Prague 1951, Vol. I, 163 ff.

114. Chelčický was well acquainted with a number of prominent clerics in both the Taborite and the Utraquist camp, and among those who helped him toward more knowledge of theological literature he names himself specially Martin Volyně, preacher at the famous Bethlehem Chapel. See his letter to Nicholas of Pelhřimov in Goll , Quellen und Untersuchungen II, 72.

115. Rokycana 's biblicism which, of course, he holds in agreement with the whole Hussite tradition, becomes perhaps most explicit in P. I, 691 f, and II, 227. About his preference for the Old over the New Testament see Šimek , Učení, 28 f. This preference, however, is never expressed in forms which would question the general character of the O. T. as part of the revealed truth of God, as is true in the case of Chelčický.

116. See in Rokycana's case especially P. I, 77 ff, II, 365, 370 ff.

117. For Rokycana' s socio-economic views and his antagonism to great wealth as a danger both to the general welfare and to the salvation of the soul of wealthy people see P. II, 174 ff, 210, 462, 483, 536, 581 ff, 614, 671. His views about monks and monasticism are summed up by Šimek , Učení 72 f.

118. His views on killing and the death penalty are expressed most eloquently in Exeg. StJohn , Výbor 166f. See also Urbánek, Věk Poděbradsý III, 726f. On Chelčický's views about it see Brock, op. cit. 53 ff. with bibliographical notes; on the issue of war ibid. 57 f. See also Goll , Quellen II, 47 ff.

119. See Rokycana P. II, 850 ff. Chelčický expressed his opposition to this view in a separate work: O trojin lidu, ed. R. Holinka, Prague 1940.

120. On Rokycana in this context see above, n. 117. On Chelčický see Brock, op. cit. 62 ff.

121. Brock (op. cit., 103–181) gives a most detailed, careful and valuable description of the development of the schism and the victory of the (Major) party which essentially buried the pure Christian anarchism as inherited from Chelčický and the early Brethren, but he does not refer to the fact that this new course is much more in agreement with Rokycana's heritage. This is not merely a matter of deduction. It is strongly suggested, among other things, by the facts that Wenceslas Koranda Jr., Rokycana's close friend, disciple and successor, tried to influence this development in the direction away from this anarchism (see his Manuaník, ed. Truthklař J., Prague 1888, also quoted by Broek, op. cit. p. 142); and that two other early leaders of the “Major Party,” John Táborský and Prokop of Hradec, were both products of Rokycana's education through the University and the Utraquist Church. It would even seem very likely that Prokop 's formula which temporarily served to bridge the schism, the theory of the “Good Will,” was derived directly from Rokycana (e.g. P. II, 197). About Táborký and Prokop see Brock, op. cit. 105, 109–111 and passim.

122. The main reason for it lay in the issue of the Eucharist where Lnkáš, at least temporarily, identified him. self completely with the TaboritePikart view against Rokycana 's and Chelčický 's view of the Real Presence. See Bidlo op. cit. II, 28 ff., and Peschke op. cit. part II, 220 ff. It is interesting to note that Luther, when presented with Lukáš and the Unitas's views in their final form of 1523, reacted rather mildly to it, in contrast to his well-known later attitude toward Zwingli, and that the Unity itself was very willing to tolerate, in the case of Luther, a Eucharistic theory that had been considered intolerable by Lukáš in the very similar form in which it had been presented by the Utraquists under Rokycana and Koranda. (See e.g. S. H. Thomson, op. cit. Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 1953, pp. 172–175).

123. Hrejsa, op. cit., III, 114 ff.

124. See e.g. J. Th. Müller, op. cit., I, 61.

* This study is the first result, in a limited field, of research in Czech history in the Poděbradian Era (1438–1471) which the author was permitted to pursue for two years— 1956–1958—at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and for which he is greatly indebted to its Director and to its School of Historical Studies.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
  • URL: /core/journals/church-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 3 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 55 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 16th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.