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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

John Huss

  • [A reformer of the Church; born in Southern Bohemia, 1373; advocated at Prague the doctrines of Wycliffe; condemned the sale of indulgences, 1412; excommunicated the next year; cited before the council of Constance, and provided with a safe-conduct by the Emperor Sigismund, he adhered to his opinions, and was burned at the stake, July 6, 1415.]
  • You are now going to burn a goose; but in a century you will have a swan, whom you can neither roast nor boil.

  • At the stake, “Huss” signifying “goose” in Bohemian: he referred to Martin Luther, who followed him a century later, and had a swan for his arms.
  • The exclamation, “sancta simplicitas” (sacred simplicity), called forth from the dying reformer as he saw a child bringing up his stick in ignorant imitation of the servants of the council who were heaping the fagots around him, was first applied in the Latin continuation by Rufinus of “The History of the Church,” by Eusebius, to the victory of a simple confessor of the faith, over the hitherto invincible philosophers of the Arian faction.