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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Martyrs 22g: Diaz; Alfonso's crocodile tears; Chapter 6

      This continues from Part 22f (TOC in Part 1a, Diaz TOC in Part 22a) publishing the book of Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  —  Part 22g presents the further deceptions and plotting for Juan's assassination... and also Juan's dealings with other Lutherans in the year 1546, just after Luther's death.
Some highlighting added hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
Juan Diaz.
Alfonso's diabolical dissimulation.
Alfonso became sufficiently convinced of the steadfastness of his brother so that he now changed his tone, and behaved as if Juan's ideas and admonitions had touched his heart and softened it.  But Satan can also pretend to be transformed into an angel of light!  With a deep sigh, and with tears in his eyes he said, "Well, my dear brother, I now know quite well that you are based in the evangelical doctrine so well that even I am attracted to it.  Also, I see very well what a great blessing could arise from your confession for the whole Church, and especially our dear fatherland.  Therefore let us both with all possible diligence work that the pure doctrine of the Son of God is preached in all the world, and so finally come to our nation.
"And in addition you must truly use, dear brother, the gifts and mercies which God has lent to you before all our compatriots.  Here in Germany your pound is only buried uselessly; for since you do not understand the German language, so you'll be able to not do much here. For this purpose there are plenty of learned men in these lands who are well experienced in the true religion.  You can not return to Spain because currently the greatest tyranny rules there.  Therefore I ask you to go with me to Italy; because through this journey you can spread the glory of God and the evangelical doctrine the most.
"First, we will go to Trent, where many bishops and scholars have gathered that are not averse to the Gospel.  If you testify the truth to these, they will also without doubt declare themselves publicly for the same.  Now consider, dear brother, the infinite benefits if an entire Council would be gained through you to the truth; [page 167] otherwise this Council will only confirm the tyranny of some wicked men.  Then we will travel to Rome, Naples and other Italian cities where everywhere secretly is a great predisposition to pure truth. Finally, if you have won the whole of Italy, or at least the noblest, then the gospel will penetrate to Spain and so your dearest wish will come true.
"Do you now, dear brother, despise such a blessed work?  Do you mean, you would be born only to yourself alone?  Why would not you want to come to the aid of the weak, who are hovering in the middle between salvation and despair, between fear and hope, even with weeping eyes and hands lifted, demanding from you the knowledge of the pure doctrine?  Surely, you should not destroy the sighs and complaints of so many pious Christians in the wind, especially since you have now opportunity to such works.
"As for me, I will prove myself as a loyal brother and servant.  At my expense I will lead you to Italy where you will gain access to the nobles, and aid you as a faithful brother in all things.  And when you have done your ministry faithfully through God's grace and desire to return to Germany, I promise you on my oath that I will accompany you back there and provide you there a splendid maintenance: Only I ask you one thing, that you for the salvation of the Christian Church shall go to Italy, where so many Christians call you with a loud voice."
The honest Juan well liked this speech; for he thought it would be that his brother was in earnest.  The idea that he could be the tool to save many souls filled him with joy.  Therefore, he replied to his brother even more friendly than before: "He would be willing to promote the glory of the Lord Christ even with loss of his life for his person.  But because this plan is highly important and dangerous, he would only take the advice of the Evangelical divines still gathered in Regensburg.  What they would decide, he would do."  Alfonso pretended that he was satisfied.
Bernhard Ochino
Italian Lutheran (early)
So Juan wrote to the Lutheran theologians at Regensburg as well as to Bernard Ochino in Augsburg.  This Ochino, an Italian, was recently converted to the Lutheran Church [page 168] and was a preacher at Augsburg.  In Italy, where he was formerly General and Supreme Head of the Capuchins, he had been considered for the place of first preacher.  Emperor Charles V once said of him that this man could move stones to tears.
As Juan's letter was read at Regensburg, the Lutheran collocutors, i.e. the Colloquy councilors, voted unanimously against Alfonso's proposal.  The whole thing seemed to them so suspicious that several prophesied it would be seen as nothing else than the murder of innocent Juan. That is why they wrote it was the unanimous advice of all the brothers that he would give up that plan.  Likewise Ochino urgently warned against this by showing how hopeless such an undertaking in Italy was in former times.
It was very annoying to Alfonso that his plan had been foiled, but he did not give in and so devised a new cunning.  He wanted to at least entice his brother into the open field, the more convenient to murder him in a wilderness.  Therefore he besought him that he could accompany him to Augsburg, where they would again consider and discuss a trip to Italy with Bernard.
And this time the unsuspecting Juan was nearly in the trap.  There came unexpectedly Martin Bucer, Martin Frecht, preacher at Ulm, and Claudius Senarcle, Juan's friend, to Neuburg after completion of the fruitless colloquy at Regensburg.  Worried about the security of their friend, they prevented him from traveling to Augsburg, exhorting him to the greatest caution and deciding for him not to leave Neuburg sooner than  Alfonso.  Then they, believing after the manner of men, thought that the dear Juan was safe and all danger had vanished.  Alfonso decided on March 25 to leave alone.
On the eve of his departure, after dinner, Alfonso held another special conversation with Juan in which he exhorted him to persevere in the confession of the true religion.  He assured him how sorry he was that he would miss his further instruction in the truth after he had become more pious and better by the impulse of the Holy Spirit even in the short time of their being together.  He asked him not to forget him, but to write to him often, that he wanted to continue in [page 169] the work which God had begun in him.  Finally, he yet urged him to purchase a gown as a gift of brotherly love with the sum of 14 ducats.  Then they parted from each other with tears.
On the morning of the next day, Alfonso departed very early.  At the parting arose new weeping and wailing.  But only Juan's tears were sincere; the tears of Alfonso were crocodile tears, on which betrayal and destruction would follow on their heels.  But all others were heartily glad that this suspicious person who had not pleased them was finally gone.
Martin Bucer and Martin Frecht now believed there was no further danger.  Therefore they too, after their meal the same day, moved on.  Juan Diaz and Claudius Senarcle escorted them out of the city, and after they had consecrated each other with tears and wished much fortune and blessings, the two friends returned to Neuburg.
= = = = = = = = = = = =   Cont'd in Part 22h   = = = = = = = = = = = =
 I had to laugh as I read Pastor Fick use the term "crocodile tears" since I thought this term was American slang from later times.  But this term perfectly described Alfonso as he was preparing to murder his own brother... because of his Lutheran faith.
      To learn of Bernhard Ochino was an unexpected treat – a Lutheran who came from Italy, the country so ensnared in servitude to the Pope.  Unfortunately he may have later fallen into false teachings under Reformed influences, but Pastor Fick gives him a good name, at least in his early following of the Lutheran church.  —  In the next Part 22h is the last chapter of Fick's story of Juan Diaz.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Martyrs 22f: Diaz- Lutheran, mortal enemy; sin against Holy Ghost; "Halloween"; Chapter 5

      This continues from Part 22e (TOC in Part 1a, Diaz TOC in Part 22a) publishing the book of Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  —  Part 22f presents Fick's Chapter 5. —  Alfonso Diaz said it well to his brother Juan:
...the name of Lutheran would be the mortal enemy.
Peter Malvenda had early said that Diaz appeared as a monster when he came as a Lutheran.  That pretty much sums up the world's view of true Lutherans today... here and now... as the Savior said:
Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. – Matt. 10:22; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. – John 15:18
This is one of the so-called "hard sayings" of Jesus, and I remember it well as I came back to my old faith.  But all true Christians know in their heart that the world hates them because of their faith.  And we see Alfonso Diaz as the voice of the world to his brother – the Spanish Lutheran, Juan Diaz.  —  Following the confession of Juan Diaz to his papist brother Alfonso, it makes me laugh even more at today's LC-MS (their "here and now"), whose
  1. seminary provost calls the Bible a "plastic text" and 
  2. CPH General Editor says that "Vatican II brought substantive changes to the Pope's Church.  (of their books Study Bible and The Lutheran Difference)
Yes, today's LC-MS, you are a laughing-stock, a spectacle, to true Christians.
Some highlighting added hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
Juan Diaz.
Juan’s valiant courage of faith.
While they now carried on a friendly brotherly conversation with each other, Alfonso told his brother that he had come to bring him back again into the bosom of the holy Mother, the Church. He pointed out the great dangers which threatened him if he would persist in his teaching.  He represented to him how he would be reviled and hated by the most distinguished and respected men in the world, for all of whom the name of Lutheran would be a mortal enemy.  He also showed him how he thus violated all of his family and would plunge himself into all evils, prison, misery and excommunication, yes! death by fire or sword would receive.  And still many more such things were stated in order to make the heart of his brother waver.
But our dear martyr did not waver.  Although it brought sorrow to his heart that his brother judged so wrongly by making human danger and tyranny higher than the confession of the pure doctrine, he however kindly replied, "Dear brother! [page 164] I have not accepted that doctrine because of ignorance or of its own carnal conceit, but after serious examination and careful consideration.  And since I have explored its beginning and progress with diligence from the right fountain of divine Scripture, I freely confess publicly that it is truly the unanimous and eternally constant doctrine of all the holy Prophets and Apostles.  Therefore, I cannot reject such doctrine which I have recognised particularly by God's grace without great shame and vice.  So also through God’s grace a worldly danger is not to deter me from my Christian plans.  
"Consider, dear brother, if it befits a wise and intelligent man that he escapes transient misfortune and wants on the other hand to rush to eternal destruction.  So, indeed, is the sin against the Holy Ghost nothing other than when one denies the recognized truth and knowingly goes astray.  And this sin will never more be forgiven, neither here nor indeed in eternity.  That's why I have not minor, but great and important causes to persist in my resolution and confession.
"For you, dear brother, I wish with all my heart that you would make up your mind to use so much time and energy for the study of divine truth, as you have done so far in human affairs and quarrels.  And since I know how great is the mercy of our Heavenly Father, I do not doubt that God will also reveal to you the treasures of his heavenly truth that even you yourself, if you only would undertake such diligent work, could well recognize God's will from the Holy Scriptures.
"And would to God, dear brother, that I want to supply you such knowledge, be it also with my own blood!  For that, as the Son of God himself testifies, is truly eternal life, namely the living God, and He has sent Jesus Christ to surely recognize this.  So it is to be regretted in truth that people in such a highly important matter are so negligent and wicked, that they do not consider such wonderful pronouncements of God, which are kept for all men clear and sincere from heaven by the voice of the Eternal Majesty, so even not to consider nor take to heart, indeed to defiantly despise. [page 165]
"Will you now consider this matter without prejudice, so you will indeed find no other reason why we now are condemned by the wicked, yes! almost every day be consigned to death than this, that we have put all our hope in the living God, without which no man can be saved, and set nothing on man’s part.  Therefore, dear brother, learn first how our cause is constituted, then you will judge for yourself that it should not be abandoned for the sake of any earthly danger.  Truly, I for my part am determined by the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God, and certain that I can never more be deterred from the doctrine which I have recognized and have confessed."
However such brotherly images made no impression on the heart of Alfonso, who had nothing to do with the saving truth.  Because now he saw that Juan could not be shaken from his confession by fear of dangers, he tried to make him waver by the promise of great temporal advantages.  He promised he would leave him an annual income of 500 ducats, which he had previously drawn from the Roman Church, if Juan would go with him to Rome.  But God's grace had already so firmly held the heart of the dear Confessor that even this fiery arrow of the villain could not penetrate it.  He answered the tempter:
"Dear brother! I'm not as greedy as you might think.  Because if my sense stood to attain large goods and honours, then I would have to furnish my life completely different.  I esteem this for the highest honor, that I have recognized the right, pure and heavenly doctrine which the Lord has bestowed on me from his gratuitous goodness.  So also is my conscience, that knows of no vice to be guilty of, so very precious and valued than all the treasures in the world.
"Therefore, my dear brother, keep your income for yourself.  It's not to be discarded if you have it with a pious, God-fearing heart and hand.  However, if one does not do this, I do not know what use a lot of money and property are when one needs help and consolation most urgently in the end.  Therefore, dear brother, let us seek with all our heart that we collect the right treasures of true godliness in heaven [page 166] and study God's Word diligently and earnestly.  Because it does not leave those who have it, rather it relieves and mitigates the present cross that we bear in this world so full of tribulation, and also accompanies us into Heaven with its rich consolation."
= = = = = = = = = = = =   Cont'd in Part 22g   = = = = = = = = = = = =

      Why do you suppose there is such a time of year called "Halloween"?  I believe it is based on the popularization instigated by papists to obscure the celebration of Luther's Reformation – it is "celebrated" the same day as Reformation Day, October 31.  And the terrors, and horrors that ones attempt to portray and play with are actually their portrayal of the horrific Lutherans, monsters one and all.  So, Lutherans, do you now want to celebrate "Halloween" with them?
      Diaz echoes Luther, Walther, and Pieper in this chapter, as elsewhere, when he teaches
  1. Salvation is only from God, nothing on man's part (Objective)
  2. As salvation has been won for all men, so are God's pronouncements. (Universal)
... i.e. UOJ, Universal, Objective Justification.  —  In the next Part 22g is Chapter 6.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Martyrs 22e: Diaz- murder plot; Spain’s catechism; Chapter 4

      This continues from Part 22d (TOC in Part 1a, Diaz TOC in Part 22a) publishing the book of Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  —  Part 22d begins the details of the plot to kill Juan, but pauses to give excerpts of a Spaniard's Lutheran catechism.
Some highlighting added hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
Juan Diaz.
Chapter 4
Malvenda’s and Alfonso Diaz's cunning plan for murder.
In Malvenda’s soul this discussion had left behind a sting.  His pride was deeply hurt, his passions inflamed and he decided to avenge himself and destroy his evangelical compatriot at any cost.  He immediately wrote to the  imperial father-confessor, a Jacobin monk, that Juan Diaz, a Spaniard, as a friend and supporter of the Lutheran doctrine, could finally deceive Spain completely to the side of the Evangelicals in Regensburg.  Such damage must be met with a violent means.  
But as Diaz still remained undisturbed in Regensburg, Malvenda wrote once again and even more urgently to the imperial father confessor.  When the letter was received by him, the Spaniard Marquina, a Roman officer was present.  The latter, who knew Diaz well as an honest and pious man, defended him first and asked the father-confessor to do nothing until he had recovered more accurate news; since the vengeful Malvenda was not to be trusted.  Here, the father-confessor is to have said: "If Juan Diaz remained longer with the heretics, he would do great harm to the church of Rome.  Therefore, it would be absolutely necessary that either he be converted or destroyed."
Thus, while the Papists secretly advised the destruction of the dear Diaz, he had premonitions of his imminent death which came certainly from the Lord, so that he could prepare more earnestly to leave his life when it pleased God.  He [page 159] Therefore while still in Regensburg he made his will, wrote a confession of his faith and prepared to take leave of this world.
Soon after Marquina traveled to Rome and told the whole matter to the brother of our martyr, the doctor Alfonso Diaz, a lawyer in a spiritual tribunal who was a mad zealot for the papal faith.  His brother immediately went to a strong and unscrupulous man named Valdes, who had been an executioner in Rome, on the way to wash away the shame which, according to his opinion, Juan’s conversion to the gospel had added to the honor of his family and the Spanish name.
Meanwhile Juan Diaz, on the advice of his friends who knew the unforgiving, vengeful and criminal temperament of Malvenda, went to Neuburg an der Donau, partly to escape the impending snares, partly to conduct the urgent book printing of Martin Bucer. [this book?] In Neuburg he seemed safe; because the reigning Prince there, Count Palatine Otto Heinrich, had in the end followed the voice of his subjects, and following the admonitions of his own conviction, in 1542 declared publicly and firmly for the Evangelical - Lutheran doctrine and carried it with great zeal.
Christianae Religionis Summa
by Juan Diaz
Here the eager servant of Christ, Juan Diaz, wrote a short catechism of the Christian religion, printing and dedicating it to the Count Palatine Otto Heinrich. [Christianae Religionis Summa] Certainly you will, dear reader, listen more willingly of the following lovely words, as they are rarely heard from the lips of any Spanish Lutheran of the Gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ.  In it, he testified, among other things:  [Latin original pages here]
"To his eternal salvation comes man through knowledge of his sins, through knowledge of Christ and through a firm and abiding faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"The first stage to the health is that we know ourselves, how sick and weak we are.
"And we must reach the point where we despair of ourselves as being altogether spiritually dead. This happens to us when one indicates the original and innate sin and wickedness of our nature, from which all misery is poured out.  This [page 160] ruin of our nature worketh in us nothing other than misbelief, grumbling and rebelliousness against God, arrogance, greed, luxuriance and lust, together with all evil desires.  It leads us from all true godliness and keeps us trapped under the yoke of sin.  That is why God calls people's conscience before his tribunal, that they by the knowledge of their curse and the dreadful message of eternal death learn to fear God’s holy and righteous anger.  While man must now despair of all human help, so he should not harden himself in despair of God's judgment, but look around for the only true remedy, the Lord Christ.
"Then should one turn to the other stage of salvation. This happens, when he is comforted by the knowledge of Christ, that he recovers.  For an abased and humiliated man, nothing more is necessary than that he turn to the Lord Christ, that he may be redeemed by His grace from all his grief and misery.  Such a person only seeks help in Christ, that he recognizes for a high priest, by whom we are reconciled with His Father, that also owns His death as the sacrifice through which our sin is paid for, the judgments of God are satisfied, and true and perfect righteousness has been obtained. This love of God toward us, because He has sent us His only begotten Son, and laid upon Him all our sin is so great that no human heart can understand and grasp.
"And the sacrifice of Christ is so pleasing, powerful and worthy of such infinite merit in the sight of God, that the Lord God can or will not condemn us when we in truth believe in Christ.  Thus this sacrifice is so glorious that there can be no more condemnation for sin, nor more will to sin, where it is believed.  Finally the man seeks and finds only salvation in Christ, who does not separate himself from Christ, but recognizes that it is a pure and free gift of grace of Christ, whereby he is righteous before God.
"From such a stage man must then climb up to the third, that he now, after he has recognized the strength of the death and resurrection of Christ, rests and remains in the Lord Jesus by a firm [page 161] and continual faith; also he fixes firmly in his heart in the fact that the suffering, the death, the resurrection of Christ, indeed the whole Christ with all his gifts and inexpressible mercies in such manner is completely his property, that he certainly has in Him and by Him righteousness and everlasting life: Where one rightly finds and feels such, seizes relief from Christ with living faith, and from impulse of this faith is eager to cultivate for himself good works, that is not to say what arises for great comfort in the heart of believers, and how by-and-by trust in the Lord will be the longer, the more confirmed and multiplied.
"God has instituted the sacraments that they may be signs and means by which He may impart to us his grace and merit of his crucified Son for us.  And he wants us to thereby receive His highest mercies, forgiveness of sins, communion with Him and His Son, the right spirit and blessing for our whole life.  Also, we are in turn with these sacraments to confess Him, praise and sacrifice ourselves completely to Him and produce our own." —
Alfonso Diaz thus found his brother no longer in Regensburg and consulted with Malvenda to discover the whereabouts of Juan.  Malvenda is supposed to have said: "I want to see the day where I have seen Juan Diaz's body burned, if yet the soul would be healed hereby."   If this is true, as it is credible, then one can easily conclude from these diabolic words that he carries the principal guilt for the murder of the innocent Juan.
Malvenda and Alfonso Diaz now turned to Claudius Senarcle, Juan's friend, who had left Geneva at the same time with the latter, and needed a Spaniard of Malvenda’s household who pretended that there were important letters of the imperial court that would have to be ordered on Juan Diaz.  Senarcle became suspicious and denied knowing the whereabouts of the wanted; though he truly wanted to get the letters.  Soon after, the Spaniard came back and said a friend of Juan was at the inn to the crown who had letters from those of the imperial court; Senarcle may even come to the nobleman at the inn.
There Senarcle found a stately dressed Spanish nobleman, [page 162] Alfonso Diaz, who came violently towards him, to tell him but where he could meet his brother, whom he had to deliver letters and otherwise to discuss important matters.  Senarcle apologized with ignorance, but promised to make inquiries; then he shared what he had heard with the theologians Bucer and Brentius still present at the colloquy.  These were initially divided in their advice, but finally they decided Senarcle should specify the whereabouts of Juan so that one does not miss something that could be useful to his friend; but at the same time one had to warn him so that he may be on his guard if one is up to nothing good.
Accordingly Senarcle finally revealed to Alfonso Diaz that his brother was staying in Neuburg.  He gave double letters to the messenger and guide of Alfonso in the presence of his master, which could also probably be read by strangers without disadvantage, and more secret, in which Juan was warned to be wary before any adjustments.  He also ordered him to deliver these letters just to Juan Diaz himself, and gave him money so that he was all the more diligent.  And to remove all suspicion, he gave him a writing about all the acts of Regensburg colloquy, so that he should convey them to the secretary of the Duke Otto Heinrich.
As Senarcle said goodbye, Alfonso thanked him warmly and asked him: "If he held Juan and him dear, so he should not tell anyone, and especially not Malvenda, what was negotiated between them.  For he knew well that Malvenda was not minded the best against Juan."   But you, dear reader, think only of the treachery of this shameful betrayer.  Hardly had Senarcle moved away that Alfonso violently took from the messenger all his letters and writings, and went that hour to Malvenda.  Then they read everything and without doubt conceived their complete horrific plan.  So that however Juan would go more surely into the trap, they tore up the letters that would warn him.
The Lutheran theologians, however, had learned that Alfonso had gone back to Malvenda and had consulted with him.  As a result, their suspicions were confirmed, that one [page 163] had in mind an abominable act. Therefore, they sent a messenger to Juan Diaz to notify him of the impending danger, and to exhort him to the utmost vigilance.
Then Alfonso rode with his companion, the executioner, to Neuburg and gave his brother a letter from Malvenda, wherein the same exhorted him to obey Alfonso, who would only give him good advice.  At the same time, he promised him that if he would leave Germany where good people were only made restless, and would move to Italy, so he would cause the Imperial father-confessor to forgive all the past from him.
The unsuspecting Juan felt a great and heartfelt joy when he saw his brother again so unexpectedly after a long separation.  And when Alfonso pretended that he had therefore taken such a long and arduous journey to dissuade him from his error, so Juan was touched by the warm, though erratic love of his brother.  He received him in the most friendly way and did not know that he was (after the proverb) taking a snake in his bosom, who would soon insidiously shed his blood.
= = = = = = = = = = = =   Cont'd in Part 22f   = = = = = = = = = = = =

There were other evangelicals from Spain, but Hermann Fick could hardly contain himself as he exclaimed concerning Diaz's catechism written just before his death:
Certainly you will, dear reader, listen more willingly of the following lovely words, as they are rarely heard from the lips of any Spanish Lutheran of the Gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ.
Dear God!… how high Pastor Fick raised this Spanish Lutheran to the highest pedestal for all of Spain!  Will Spain listen?... will Spain not acknowledge that it is not completely immune to the pure Gospel?
Here is your national hero, your patriot  – Juan Diaz!  But the Papists murdered him… and you would rather serve the Pope?  —  In the next Part 22f is Chapter 5.