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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Martyrs 3: Peter Spengler ("Who knew?")

Peter Spengler

This continues from Part 2 (Table of Contents in Part 1a and Part 1b) publishing the book of Pastor Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Part 3 brings the story of the German Peter Spengler.  –  As I read these stories, I am reminded of Jesus' "hard saying":
Matt. 10:28 – Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Some highlighting added; hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
Peter Spengler. [2019-03-22 fix link]
"I will also boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(Spengler before his death.)
Master Peter Spengler was pastor to Schlatt, a village in Breisgau, and dean of the Breisach chapter, a learned, pious man, blameless in his life, wherefore he was beloved and dear to the bishop of Constance.  Even in his old age he continually learned.  For when God's glorious gospel did shine in the German nation by His grace, Spengler read with the greatest seriousness the evangelical writings including the interpretations of the holy Fathers.  Also he visited such places in which the truth was publicly preached.  [Page 10]
Often he would say: "Oh who yet could have thought that so many scholars, admirable people for so many years had erred from the purpose of the true doctrine and had put in so many terrible mistakes?  Indeed, who yet would have supposed that the Holy Scriptures would have been darkened and defiled through man’s trinkets, that by so few people the righteous way would have been understood?"  
He confessed of himself that he had never previously held the Gospel to be true.  For the same speaks much of cross and persecution; on the other hand, he saw that happiness was always gone from the priests, and that no one had charged anything against them even in a just cause without receiving the highest adversity.  But now that the power of the Gospel was shown in fact, then the cross and persecution were now in place and the enemies of the Word raved and raged most cruelly against the godly.
The dear Spengler now testified to the truth with determination.  For the love of marital chastity, he joined with his servant woman in holy matrimony.  He preached God's Word pure and clear, and openly showed his parishioners the atrocities and diverse idolatry of a tiresome papacy.  As often as he was Dean to the chapter of his fellow priest, he chastised them faithfully for the practice of proud resplendent clothes for themselves and their women to the offense of many, and exhorted them to turn such expense to good books.  It would be better, he said, to sell one’s coat than do without the Bible; because the present time required in the highest degree that one should diligently study the holy divine Scriptures day and night.
In 1525, the Peasants War raged throughout Germany, and a wild gang fell into the house of our Spengler.  What they found there, they stole or picked out like senseless animals.  As they withdrew, the pious man exhorted with tearful eyes: "Dear friends, I declare to you a certain downfall will finally come over you.  You apply and pray for the holy Gospel, and nevertheless you have neither in your mouth, nor in the heart some Gospel.  This is the devil's gospel, thereby one teaches to bring unrest to everyone, and to rob the neighbor what he has against God and all fairness, or but shreds and destroys it.  The true gospel of Christ teaches that one should do good to all people [Page 11] to escape turmoil and do not forswear."  But he earned only scorn and derision from the rough mob.
But because Spengler took up the Gospel with great zeal, he therefore was charged when referred to the bishop of Constance, and there took place the command to capture him.  In the middle of the dark night he was torn from his poor wife and children, seated with his hands bound upon a horse, and under cruel invectives and blasphemous words led to Freiburg.  There he was placed in a heavy prison, heavily tortured and embarrassingly interrogated.
After some time he was turned over to the government at Ensisheim and also by them charged that he was a Lutheran, he had and read Lutheran writings, was found with a Lutheran hymn in his pocket, he wanted to make his fellow priests Lutheran, etc.  Therefore he was condemned by the government, that he should be drowned.
As he was led to the place, a barefoot monk admonished him that he should desist from the Lutheran doctrine.  But the dear martyr asked to read to him some passages of consolation from the New Testament, which he did.  Thereby he gave all joyful response to those which came to him to comfort him.
But the priests and monks toiled incessantly with their hypocritical speeches to him, who was now in agony of death and inwardly cried to God the Lord with earnest prayers, also directing his thoughts into everlasting life.  Then he asked them that they would be silent, for he had daily confessed his sin to his Savior Jesus Christ and received the Absolution in which he had no doubt.
Then he spoke with kind words: "Today will I become an acceptable sacrifice to my Savior Jesus Christ.  I have indeed done nothing in this matter, by reason of which I have been condemned to death, that could displease the Lord.  God has given me peace of mind.  Those who thirst so after shedding innocent blood, they do well to watch out, what they do, who they offend.  Let that all people will direct the heart in truth and judge; for He says: Vengeance is mine, I will punish it. [ref. Deut. 32:35]
"I would soon throw away this skin but that it barely sticks to the legs (for he had a lean body and was nearly seventy years old).  I am well aware that I am a [Page 12] mortal man, a worm and unsteady [unbleiblich], also born to death. So I've long ago wished for death and sincerely desire to be dissolved and to be with the Lord Christ.  I have to die rather indebted for many and serious sins, so I have done and committed against my Lord and God. So also Christ, my Savior, the Cross has borne and died on the cross.  Therefore I will boast myself in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
But the wretched Papists could no longer tolerate the last confession of the blessed martyr.  Therefore, they waved to the executioner that he should throw down the pious old man from the scaffolding, on which he was bound in anticipation of death, into the water.  In the water, which at that time there was only a little, he had not moved for a long time; it was finally blood-red, no doubt as a sign that on the same day the blood of a just and innocent man was shed.
All who were present were astonished at it with a sad heart and steady sigh.  But they could not speak, because at that time everyone was handled quite cruelly and tyrannically.  This occurred in the year of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 1526.
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3. Spengler. Sources: Rabus thl. 5., pg. 155 and Crocius pg. 179.  Some have his death in 1525.
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A statement by Spengler struck me, for it had been a thought of mine as I came back to my old faith and considered Church History through the centuries.  Who would have thought...  Why did it happen...  Who knew...  :
"Who yet could have thought that so many scholars, admirable people for so many years had erred from the purpose of the true doctrine and had put in so many terrible mistakes?  Indeed, who yet would have supposed that the Holy Scriptures would have been darkened and defiled through man’s trinkets, that by so few people the righteous way would have been understood?"  
  • so many scholars... 
  • for so many years... 
  • had erred from the true doctrine... 
  • so many terrible mistakes... 
  • the Holy Scriptures darkened and defiled... 
  • so few people understood the righteous way?
It appears that modern theology has gone back to the religion of the "Medieval tradition", as the moderns suppose that they are way too smart to ever allow this to happen again...   Indeed, Spengler speaks to us today, "here and now"! —  In the next Part 4 is the Lutheran martyrer Johannes Heuglin.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Martyrs 2: Wolfgang Schuch (Nein! Nein!- No! No!)

Rabus' depiction, pg 143

      This continues from Part 1c (Table of Contents in Part 1a) publishing the book of Pastor Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In this Part 2, I bring the story of the German Wolfgang Schuch.  —  In this story, our dear Schuch speaks the phrase "Nein! Nein!".  There was another Lutheran who spoke those words about 400 years later – Franz Pieper.  Pieper did not speak these words as a martyr, but in earnest for the Norwegian Lutheran pastors (in America) who were thinking to give in to false teaching on the Doctrine of Election of Grace.  Many gave in to the false doctrine and by their action are partially responsible for today's sorry state of the ELCA.  Others (the Minority) stayed out and formed the Ev. Lutheran Synod (ELS).   Spiritually, the cases are the same, for Wolfgang Schuch and Franz Pieper were fighting for the same unbounded grace of God in Christ Jesus.
Some highlighting added; hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
Wolfgang Schuch. [2019-03-22 fix link]
"God will still not leave me even now in this last distress."
(Schuch before his end.)  
Wolfgang Schuch, a German by birth, was appointed as the pastor to St. Pildt (now Pölten or St. Hypolite), a town in Lorraine [France].  To these he preached the gospel with great earnestness and zeal, and praises them as “poor, obedient and willing people", and was eagerly received so that he stood in great honor and reputation among them.  Also the papal abuses were soon abolished, the fasting, the images, the dreadful business of the Mass and the perverse service of the Saints.
But the Papists were fiercely angered over this.  They brought action against our Schuch to the Duke of Lorraine, Anthony, as a seducer, scammer, insurgent and heretic, [Page 6] and delivered therein that the Duke threatened Schuch's congregation, to devastate their city with fire and sword.  In order to avert this calamity for his congregation, Schuch wrote a beautiful letter to the Duke, in which he frankly set apart the Evangelical-Lutheran doctrine, but also with all due deference.
He writes: "When I initially came in to this honored city, St. Hypolite, I have now and again found a roving people which erred like sheep that are without their shepherd, and quite corrupted by many and various horrors of error and superstition.  But I soon started without delay, as my office required, so I was commanded by the LORD, to bring the erring back on the right path, to warn them to repent of the past life, and said that the kingdom of God is near, and threatened that the axe is already laid to the root of the tree and will soon be cut down and thrown into the fire, so it is found barren otherwise, and that the time was at hand in which God's angels, that is the messengers of His Word, have been sent to remove all scandals from his kingdom.  I started at once, I say, like a good workman to pluck out all thorns and errors that gradually grew against the Lord and his Word, and have begun removing, ravaging and tearing everything that was raised high and firmly against the doctrine of God, and to plant trees that would bring fruits in their season, and to build an abode and dwelling that is not dwindled and earthly, but eternal in the heavens [2 Cor. 5:1] and would be builded upon the foundation of the saints and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, on whom all the building is joined together and grows into a holy temple of the Lord, to which we all need to be built into a tabernacle of God in the Holy Spirit. [Eph. 2:20-22]
"And thereby I speak understandably, so am I sent to your honored people to preach the gospel of God, which he had promised previously through his prophets in the Holy Scripture that concerns his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh.  But even He is the power of God for salvation of believers through which the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written: The just shall live by faith. [Rom. 1:17]  The righteousness of God by which we are justified before God, through faith in Jesus Christ for all those and all they that yet believe [Page 7] on him. [Rom. 3:22]  Because we are now justified freely by his grace, we are justified by faith in his blood, without the works of the law."
Then he warned against reliance on any of our own works and pointed to the Word of God, "which commands not from or to the same [our works but] His words to do, lest every one of us does what seemeth right to him, [Prov. 14:12]  and that we do not rely on our wisdom, for the wisdom of the flesh is death." [Rom. 8:6]   He also defended himself against the charge of sedition by testifying how he incessantly strove that everyone should submit to the authorities, as a divine order.  "There is nothing that makes a country peaceful and quiet except the Word of Christ, a peaceful king in which love is taught which is patient, it suffers and carries all."  At the same time, he declared himself against the "cursed freedom of the flesh," and asks the Duke earnestly and most cordially that he "not hinder the run of God's Word."
But this urgent letter was not considered, and the Duke remained with his purpose, to destroy the city of St. Pildt.  When the dear Wolfgang Schuch was told this, he himself went to Nancy, capital of Lorraine, to answer the Duke for his congregation and for himself against all false accusations.  He had only scarcely arrived there when he was thrown into prison where he was forced to remain for a long time.  But he persisted steadily in confessing the truth, and did not let himself soften, neither by threats, nor by promises, still by love for his wife and his children, of whom he had six or seven.
Now and again he was led into the Barefoot monastery where the monks and priests examined him. Presiding over this was a rough, outrageous, fat, unlearned monk named Bonaventura Revel, [?] the highest one of the Barefoot-Order, and confessor to the Duke.  But he knew nothing to put forward against Schuch other than insults and blasphemous words, calling him a heretic and devil.  The dear martyr did not scold again, but put him to shame by the power of the Word of God, and threatened him and his monastery brothers the terrible [Page 8] judgment of God. Furthermore they gnashed their teeth from grim malice, tore from him the Bible out of his hands like rabid dogs, and because it was too hard to disprove it, so they burned it with fire.
During his last interrogation, the Duke was present in person, but only so that they should not know him.  But because the martyr spoke only Latin, he did not understand, also on his gestures could not notice that he would be overcome or scared, so he decided: One must not dispute with him, but proceed to final judgment, because he had denied the holy Mass.  
The Papists registered 25 articles in which Schuch rejected the errors and abuses of the Roman Catholic Church and had confessed the truth.  It states among others: "Christ in the Mass is not a sacrifice.  The worthy partaking of the sacrament does not stand in remorse and satisfaction for the savorer, rather that he believeth that Jesus Christ is our pledge and redemption.  He also believes there is no other satisfaction, for the satisfaction of Christ's suffering.  Those who want to go to the Sacrament of the Body and Blood, should and must not be afraid because of the magnitude of their sins, but stand still.  Only faith justifies and without all work and merit he makes God his friend. The work of repentance to which we are called, is nothing else than slaying of ourselves (which is the old Adam), which there begins in baptism, and is entirely in death."  So, because the dear Schuch had testified nothing but the pure Bible teaching, that is why he was condemned to death by fire.
When it was announced his judgment, he broke into the words of Psalm 122:1:. "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."  On the way to the place he had to pass in front of the Franciscan monastery.  There Bonaventura [Revel] cried out to him, pointing him to the images of saints on the cloister door: "Behold, thou accursed heretic, honor God and His mother Mary, together with all the Saints"  Wolfgang Schuch rebuked him: O hypocrites and whited wall, our Lord will punish you, and bring to light this your trickery and knavery once and indeed soon."
Arriving at the place of execution, his books were first burned before his eyes.  Then he was asked if he would revoke [Page 9], so should his punishment be mitigated. But the faithful witness replied: No, no!  For the kind merciful God has stood by me all the time in my life, so will He not leave me, indeed also not now in this last distress in which I need His help and assistance the most."  Then he said with a joyful heart.: "Mandetur executioni sententia, i.e.: Let the judgment proceed," and went willingly on the pyre.  There he began in a loud voice to sing Psalm 51, so long until he could no longer go on against the smoke and fire. This happened on August 19 in the year 1525.
Due to his resistance and the brave confession of this learned and excellent martyr many pious hearts were built; however, the enemies of truth are shocked and benumbed over it.  Also soon after this martyrdom the judgment of God could be obviously seen, since the two most distinguished pursuers and condemners of blessed Wolfgang Schuch, namely the commander St. Antonii Viennensis and the abbot of the monastery Clari Loci, Auxiliary Bishop to Metz, miserably died a nasty, fast death.

2. Schuch. Sources: The Great Martyr Book and Church Histories, by Dr. Paul Crocius from 1682, page 173 and  Rabus Th. 5. page 143.  According to Rabus Schuch's death was on about June 21, 1525.  Dr. Löscher (hist. mot. Thl. 3. page 73) cites Wolfgang Schuch as a Lutheran.
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There are 2 threads running through these accounts of the Lutheran martyrs:
  1. the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification, and
  2. the absolute truth – infallible, inerrant, inspired – of the Holy Scriptures
Indeed it is the Lutheran Church that is the Bible Church, the Church built on the Holy Scriptures.  And the blood of the Lutheran martyrs testifies to this.  So when the Anabaptist-Mennonites praise the martyr Caspar Tauber, they testify against themselves that they left the Church of the Reformation, the Lutheran Church.  As Walther tells us: All Reformed sects... were first Lutheran!  —  In the next Part 3, Fick tells the story of the martyr Peter Spengler.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Martyrs 1c: Caspar Tauber (not Bonhoeffer)

Caspar Tauber

      This continues from Part 1b (Table of Contents in Part 1a and Part 1b) publishing the book of Pastor Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In this Part 1c, I begin with Fick's first martyr, Caspar Tauber.
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The following account of Caspar Tauber's martyrdom brings tears to the eyes as he continually puts the blame only with the false teachers and leaders, the papal bishop, priests and monks, and calls to those who were stirred up by them as "dearly beloved in Christ".  How could he do this?  He believed that they too had their sins paid for by Christ... that he was in reality no better than they were before God.  Caspar Tauber believed UOJ – that God was in Christ reconciling the world (Universal) to himself (Objective), not imputing their trespasses unto them (Justification). 2 Cor. 5:19.

To renew the memory of this dear Lutheran martyr, I present Hermann Fick's account of Caspar Tauber.  May the memory of this martyr be for the reader's mental health!
Some highlighting added; hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
Caspar Tauber. [2019-03-22 fix link]
"And if I still had eighty thousand souls, they would all be supplied today through my faith in God."
(Tauber against the Roman priests.)
Caspar Tauber was a highly respected, wealthy citizen of Vienna, Austria, and had a beautiful wife and several children.  He had everything that people highly desire.  But he left everything and denied himself; he took up his cross, and followed the Lord Jesus as a faithful disciple through shame, prison, sword and fire.
After he had championed Christian liberty often and much with words and works as a true Christian against the Antichrist, he was at last taken in solely by the Word of God in 1524.  When he had for some time patiently suffered imprisonment, the Bishop of Vienna, John of Revelles, and his assessors spent much time secretly in prison with him in order to prevent him from making his Christian separation. But in vain.  The blessed martyr chose the better part and stayed with the Word of God, fought gallantly and fearlessly, and persisted until the end.  As he was taught by the Spirit of God, he was persuaded neither by threats nor by flattery and sweet words to a defection from the Gospel.  [Page 2]
Then the servants of Antichrist tried other means. They printed a retraction that Tauber should read publicly.  In it they imputed to him out of malice the error that because Christ is a spirit, his true body and blood cannot be present in Lord’s Supper.  Furthermore in it is indicated that he said that he was both a priest, as an other ordained priest, that the keys of the church together belonged to all Christians, men and women.  Also he had rejected the intercession of the saints, purgatory, auricular confession, and the superstition that the things blest by the priest expelled the devil.  All this he should revoke and publicly renounce the Lutheran doctrine.
Now on the day appointed a high pulpit was erected in the churchyard of St. Stephen, which Tauber had to climb.  Beside him, on another pulpit, was the choral master, and around them was a considerable crowd in tense anticipation. Tauber alone remained quiet and patient in the deepest silence. Then spoke the choral master: "Tauber, you are conscious why our prince and lord, Lord Ferdinand, has put there to you to recant without doubt the articles that thus lie here before you; now then you would do enough and follow."
Then the devout Christian lifted his eyes towards heaven to God, and answered, "Dear beloved in Christ, God Almighty does not want people to be laid with heavy burdens, as He indicates in Matthew 23. Therefore is my plea to all you gathered here, and pray for the sake of God's love, to pray an Our Father, therewith the almighty everlasting God this, so to be in the right true Christian faith, to stay and remain steadfast, but these who are not illuminated, thus are yet enlightened in Christ Jesus our dear Lord."
But the choral master fell on his speech: "Tauber, you are not to preach but to recant what was previously stated."  With gentle heart he replied: "My lord, I have listened to you, so listen to me a little."  But the choral master angrily shouted: “You are not commanded to say such, but speak and read off what is set before you"  Then said Tauber to the people: “Dearly beloved, one  has sent me a writing that I should make a revocation, particularly the first article of the sacrament of the altar, which they have invented and set at their pleasure. [Page 3]  They scold me as a heretic and deceiver, and yet have not overcome me by the Holy Scriptures.  I appeal publicly here to the Holy Roman Empire, that they choose me as their judge.  I will then overcome by the Holy Scriptures, or be found unjust, so will I suffer over what set me right."  And again he said: "I testify here before everyone that I revoke absolutely nothing."  But he was ordered to descend, where he lamented, "My enemies have compassed me about, and I may never speak."  Then he was returned to prison, and the people followed him.
Then on September 10, the final judgment was made on Tauber.  Early in the morning at 7 clock he was placed before the court in the Augustinian monastery.  "Revoke, revoke, or you will die as a heretic!"  shouted the popish clergy to him.  But Tauber remained steadfast.  Whereupon the Official read in Latin the court’s judgment, declaring him to be a public damned heretic and condemned him to death.
But the martyr said to the assembled citizens: "Dear friends, I beg you, for God's sake, will ye be also my witnesses, not only here, but also by the almighty God, that they have so falsely and secretly condemned me; neither I, nor you, have all understood their words and actions. For this ye also well see that they have not presented any articles to me.  It would have been easy for me to answer, by God's grace, from divine Scriptures.  Unconquered, and even without a hearing, I must be condemned.
"If there were eighty thousand of their Doctors, so could or would they not get anything of me, because the Word of God is on my side.  In the dark have they played with me.  They are ashamed of their actions, so they hate the light.  On the Word will I persevere, die and be healed. They want to force me, and set me up with falsehoods which I have not spoken.  I have thought they should make heretics Christians, so they would make of me Christian from a heretic over my will and without all my confessions of a heretic. So God has taught me, so I must die."
Then he was led into the house of the executioners. When going in, he turned to the people with the words: "My dear brothers and merchants, write it in all the land, that the treatment of  [Page 4] Caspar Tauber was so unchristian, and that even a dishonest act was commited on him.  So you will be blessed of God."
But the anti-Christian mob was still not satisfied that they had damned innocent blood. They wanted to despise and blaspheme God and His chosen ones even higher. That is why the monks and priests spread the rumor, Tauber had given himself the executioners home with a bread knife three stitches, what he was going to die. [BTL- exact meaning unclear]  "Behold, said the impious ones, there is the gallant, Lutheran, Protestant people!  If they see that they are overcome, they despair, and bring themselves to life, on that they may not become the executioner’s part because they always scream but just now: "I want to burn; I want to be stoned to death; I want to be drowned."  [BTL- The thought appears to be that the monks/priests are saying the Lutheran martyr wants to save his life by a protest of death by beheading, a protest feigning a preference for death by burning, stoning, or drowning.  But see the refutation of this in 2nd to last paragraph.]
After such a long struggle God wanted to reveal his glory and Tauber's faith. Once again the tyrants tried to persuade him to revoke.  Many men and a great crowd gathered, eager to all learn if he would recant. But the pious Christian was not weaker but stronger and more joyful through so much pain and shame. He desired not to withdraw, but only to die.
On September 17, 1524 he won the martyr's crown.  Early in the morning at 6 o’clock he was taken to be executed on a cart.  Before him was a Roman Catholic priest who reproached him with a little board painted with a crucifix and the image of the Virgin Mary; behind him sat the executioner, beside him were seven servants of the mayor and four henchmen. So the train went secretly behind the town wall by the exchange gate out on the gravel.  Arriving at the place of execution, he went joyfully from the carriage and asked all those present that they should not be bad-tempered nor enemies towards those who would be so responsible for his death, for thus it would please God.
Then spoke the papal priest; "Tauber, will you not confess?"  The martyr replied: "Arise, my idleness, createth your cause.  I have confessed God, my heavenly Father."  The priest replied, "You should see to it that your soul is supplied." Tauber said, "I have already supplied my soul; and if I still had eighty thousand souls, they would all be supplied today through my faith in God."
Having said this, he looked up to heaven, and said, "O [Page 5] Lord Jesus Christ, you who have died for our sake and for us, I give Thee thanks that you chose me,  unworthy, and hast made me worthy to die for the sake of thy divine Word."  Then he made a cross with his right foot upon the earth and knelt down joyfully on it.
As now the executioner took off his red cap, the dear martyr spoke to him: "Dear Master, take it and carry it from me!" Then the executioner he tore the shirt of the neck Tauber however, very willing and eager to die, wound his hands one over the other, raised his eyes to heaven and said three times with a loud voice, and joyful, fervent heart. "Lord Jesus Christ, into your hands I commend my spirit."
And immediately his head fell, from which his body was dragged to a large pyre and burned.  Thus he fell asleep in the Lord.
1. Tauber. Sources: Histories of the holy chosen witnesses of God, confessors and martyrs, by Ludwig Rabus of Memmingen, Doctor of Holy Scripture, from the year 1557. Thl. 6, p.22. Caspar Tauber is cited by Luther as a martyr. Luthers Werke; Walch edition. vol.. 21 column 96.
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Dear God!  Would that thou wouldst grant me just one of the 80,000 souls that Tauber's faith would sustain.  Would that thou keep me by Thy Word as thou kept Tauber.  Wouldst thou ever keep the sign of Thy Cross in my heart, the cross that Tauber knelt on as he joyfully fell asleep in Thee. In Jesus precious name!  Amen!  Amen!
An approximation of the likely protocol of this beheading is shown >> here <<, with the shirt torn at the neck, and the sword drawn just before the beheading.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been called a "martyr", specifically in a "New York Times Bestseller" book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,  But I do not call Bonhoeffer a martyr, for it is well known that he was not put to death for his Christian faith, but rather for his involvement in the plot to kill Adolf Hitler.  Bonhoeffer was far from the Christian truth during much of his life, yet he had the word of truth in his mouth near the end of his life.  Some who criticize Bonhoeffer ignore this wonderful episode in an otherwise distressing life.  I will comment on this at another time but anyone who has read recent books on Bonhoeffer, including the current opus Strange Glory, will read of this event in the final chapters.  But I will read of the true martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the ones that Pastor C.J. Hermann Fick (and Luther and Walther) write about for truly edifying stories of Christian faith, even unto death.
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After reading Tauber's story and considering the question I posed in Part 1a, I think that it was C.F.W. Walther who encouraged Fick to write this book. — In the next Part 2, I will present Wolfgang Schuch.