Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 5 (1887-1888)
Ms 38, 1887
The Witness of John Huss
This manuscript is published in entirety in 9MR 275-277.
God is infallible. God has spoken by Solomon that He “requireth that which is past.” Ecclesiastes 3:15. He “seeks again” that which is past (marginal reading). The body of Huss was consumed. The council had done all that they could do with the man whose only crime was that he could not accept as infallible the Council of Constance, and he could not let their voice stand above the voice of God in His Word. But God “seeks again that which is past” recalling all the proceedings whether of judgment or of mercy. He recalls all the doings of different ages and repeats them in the present generation. It is for this reason that there is such value in the registered experience of the believers of other days. The biography of the righteous is among the best treasures that the church can possess. We have the benefit of the accounts of the workings of the power of evil in contrast to the deeds of those who through many centuries were living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. This rich experience is bequeathed to us as a legacy of great value. When history shall be repeated, when the great men of earth will not come to the Bible for light and evidence and truth, when the commandments of men shall be exalted above the commandments of God, and when it shall be regarded a crime to obey God rather than the laws of men, then we shall not have to tread a path in which we have had but few examples of others who have gone before us. 5LtMs, Ms 38, 1887, par. 1
The Lord supported His faithful ones to the end. This should be an encouragement. It should give confidence to the righteous in all ages that the Lord is unchangeable. He will manifest for His people in this age His grace and His power as He has done in past ages. The declarations of God’s Word and the accuracy with which He has made them good in history combine to give us assurance and instruction of greatest value. Nothing can shake the pledge we have from God Himself, that with the Bible for our guide and present help, we shall have peace under all circumstances and an eternal weight of glory for our future reward. 5LtMs, Ms 38, 1887, par. 2
Here in the experience of Huss was a witness, a monument erected, calling the attention of the world to the promise: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10. Registered in the history of nations, John Huss lives. His godly works and steadfast faith, his pure life and conscientious following of the truth that was unfolded to him, these he would not yield even to be saved a cruel death. That triumphant death was witnessed by all heaven, by the whole universe. Satan bruised the heel of the seed of the woman, but in the act of Huss his head was bruised. In contrast to deeds of that council, uprooting truth and righteousness; in contrast to their cruelty to Huss, the martyr’s constancy, his faith, his example, has been reflecting its light down along the times for centuries. His example has been encouraging others to submit their souls and bodies to God alone, to exalt God alone and take the Scriptures as their guide. This will make them the light of the world. This will make them examples of faith and courage and steadfastness in truth. This will nerve them to suffer and to endure, gaining victories even in sorrow and in death. Those who follow John Huss’ example may expect the same mercies from the same God who braced and fortified him. Huss’ Christlike bearing under trials of suffering, contempt, abuse, and perjury caused joy among the angels and the friends of truth and righteousness. 5LtMs, Ms 38, 1887, par. 3
For the student of such history, the experience of others can become his experience through faith. The same wonders are wrought through prayer, the same mercies are obtained, the same promises realized, the same assistance from heaven communicated, the same victories achieved. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. The battlements of heaven are thronged with a great crowd of angels watching the conflict of man with the prince of darkness. They bend from the eminence and with intense interest watch to see if the child of God, harassed, perplexed, persecuted, denounced, defamed, and condemned as was the Master, will look to heaven for strength. Heaven waits our demand upon its resources. Will we cast away our false props and false theories? Will we reject the words and sayings of men and look to God through the one Mediator for grace, for strength and power? We will never look in vain. Angels are waiting as messengers to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation. They are close by every one who needs their help while fighting the good fight of faith. 5LtMs, Ms 38, 1887, par. 4