First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

This secession, the unfaithful Hussite folly, had its origin under King Wenceslaus of Bohemia in the fiftieth year of his age; and they pursued the Germans at this time in a gruesome manner with war and weapons. At first the Germans ruled the university of Prague, which was very distressing to the Bohemians, by nature a free and undisciplined people. An English nobleman came to Prague, bringing with him a number of John Wycliffe’s books, as a rare treasure from his homeland; and therein many questions were raised against the clergy. After he had absorbed a sufficiency of Wycliffe’s poison, he poured it forth among the burghers, and loaned the books chiefly to those antagonistic and hateful of the Germans. Among them arose one called John of the village of Huss, which means goose. He was a keen and loquacious man, who took delight in narrow arguments and strange pleasures. He eagerly adopted the teachings of Wycliffe; and with these he vexed and distressed the German masters in the hope that the Germans, thus discredited, would be dismissed from the school. But as this did not happen, they obtained an order from the king that the school at Prague be governed in the same manner and form as that of Paris. In this way the mastery of the school passed out of German control. For that reason, on a single day, the German masters and students to the number of 2,000 left Prague. In a short time 3,000 followed them, and established a public school at the city of Leipzig, three days journey from Prague. This school was confirmed by Pope Alexander who also granted it certain privileges. It was favored by the illustrious duke of Saxony and adorned with buildings. And thus the Bohemians governed this school according to their own wishes; and John Huss was its head. When he thought he had sufficiently won the confidence of the Bohemians he began publicly to pour forth the poison which he had secretly imbibed, and to make use of the books and teachings of Wycliffe, representing that the entire truth was contained therein. In his sermons he often said that upon his death he wished to go where Wycliffe’s soul had gone, for he had no doubt that Wycliffe was a good man and deserving of a place in heaven. But in his books, in the city of London, forty-four articles were found, that were condemned by the archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops and learned men; and Wycliffe’s corpse was disinterred and burned. Yet this John was followed by all those of the clergy who were notorious debtors and miscreants. And they seceded from the Christian faith and took up the Waldensian folly. The damned heretics hold that the Roman bishop and other bishops are on a par; that there is no purgatory; that prayers for the dead are in vain, and that such prayers are the invention of ecclesiastical greed; that the images of God and the saints should be dispensed with; that the mendicant clergy invented the devil; that the priests should be poor and live on alias alone; that auricular confessions are false, for it is sufficient that one confess his sins to God in his own chamber; that the ritual of the church is an idle ceremony; that a priest might bless the Holy Body of Christ anywhere; that observance of the seven days is an idle waste of time; that there is no advantage in the feasts established by the church; and also many other errors. Thereafter one Peter of the city of Dresden on the Elbe, in Meissen, poured forth and urged upon the people a new poison, and preached the Holy Sacrament in the form of wine; and he drew into the same errors one Jacobellus of Meissen, who stated that in the old books of Dionysius and Ciprian he had found the taking of the Holy Sacrament in the form of wine commended; and he publicly exhorted the people that they should not idly take the sacrament in the form of bread. And the heretics became attached to him, rejoicing that they had discovered an article founded on the authority of the Gospels. Thereafter various measures were undertaken, but without result until the Council of Constance. The Hussite heretics destroyed and burned many Christian cloisters and other houses of in various places. At this time there came forth at Prague another false priest, called John, of the Premonstratensian Order. He was a fanatic devotee of every evil, and no mean augmenter and supporter of the grovelling Hussite heresy and fallacious secession.