John Hus, born in a peasant’s home about 1373, worked his way through school and began teaching theology at the University of Prague. He was exposed to Wycliffe’s writings, and in 1402 when he was appointed preacher at Prague’s influential Bethlehem Chapel his powerful sermons about justification by faith stirred all Bohemia. Church officials grew alarmed by the ferment, and in 1414 Hus was summoned to Constance on charges of heresy. Though promised safe conduct, he was quickly arrested. On June 10, 1415, he wrote to his followers in Bohemia:

Master John Hus, a servant of God in hope, to all the faithful Bohemians who love and will love God, praying that God may grant them to live and die in his grace, and dwell forever in the heavenly joy. Amen. Faithful and beloved of God, lords, and ladies, rich and poor! I entreat you and exhort you to love God, to spread abroad his word, and to hear and observe it more willingly. I entreat you to hold fast the truth of God, which I have written and preached to you from the holy Scriptures. …

I write this letter to you in prison, bound with chains and expecting on the morrow the sentence of death, yet fully trusting in God that I shall not swerve from his truth nor swear denial of the errors, whereof I have been charged by false witnesses. What grace God hath shown me, and how he helps me in the midst of strange temptations, you will know when by his mercy we meet in joy in his presence. Of Master Jerome, my beloved friend, I hear nothing except that he too, like myself, is in a noisome prison waiting for death, and that on account of his faith which he showed so earnestly to the Bohemians. …

I entreat this too of you, that ye love one another, defend good men from violent oppression, and give everyone an opportunity of hearing the truth. I am writing this with the help of a good angel on Monday night before St. Vitus’s Day.

Twenty-six days later, John Hus died at the stake.

God blesses those people who are treated badly for doing right. They belong to the kingdom of heaven. God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:10-12a)

Robert J. Morgan, On This Day: 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997). June 10.


1821Joseph Tarkington joins the Methodist Church in Indiana. He became a Methodist circuit rider and the grandfather of the novelist Booth Tarkington.

1921 – Death in Chicago of American hymn writer Edwin O. Excell. Converted at a Methodist revival, Excell had turned his energies toward sacred music. For the rest of his life, he will be active in the publication of gospel songbooks and Sunday school conventions. Among his popular tunes are those to which we sing “Since I Have Been Redeemed,”, “I’ll Be A Sunbeam” and “Count Your Blessings.” His 1909 stanza selection and arrangement of Amazing Grace became the most widely used and familiar setting of that hymn by the second half of the twentieth century.

1953 – The East German Communist government announces that its attack on churches is over. It had tried repeatedly to force youth to renounce the Lutheran Junge Gemeinde [young people’s organizations], but hundreds had bravely remained in the church groups.

Accessed 09 June 2022.

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