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Monday, January 19, 2015

Martyrs 10: Two German Craftsmen—encore of Jan Hus

      This continues from Part 9 (Table of Contents in Part 1a and Part 1b) publishing the book of Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Part 10 is the account of "Two German Craftsmen".  It is the shortest story so far because even their names were unknown.  But that does not matter as they were Lutheran (i.e. Christian) martyrs... joyful even unto death in the Lord Jesus.  And so they are known... to the Lord.  And this story is now presented to be remembered today.
Some highlighting added hyperlinks added for reference.
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by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)

X.
"Lord Jesus Christ, you prayed in your bitter sufferings for your enemies, so therefore also we pray now for our enemies."
(The two martyrs on the pyre.)
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels," these promise the Lord Jesus in Rev. 3:5.  May therefore in the same way the names of these two faithful witnesses on earth be faded away and forgotten, what does it matter to them?  It is true that the Antichrist, the Roman Pontiff, discarded their names as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man, Luke 6:22, but what does it matter?  They are now looking forward with eternal joy unspeakable, that their names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20.
In 1528, when King Ferdinand I already reigned over Bohemia, there were in Prague two German craftsmen, one of which was an ironworker [Gürtler], the other a bottle maker.  They were charged by the monks to be Lutherans, and condemned by the people of Prague to the fire.  Their names are not preserved for us.  While being brought to the place of judgment, they brought to mind many passages of Holy Scripture, so that thereby many who heard them cried. [page 48]  
When they had been placed on the pyre, they comforted and encouraged each other.  The ironworker said to the other: "As the Lord Jesus suffered for us so very cruelly, let us also suffer this death, and rejoice that this grace happens to us, that we may suffer for the law."  Under “law” he understood the Word of God and especially the Gospel, which reveals to us the gracious will of God for our salvation.  The bottle maker answered: "I have not felt such joy on my wedding day, as I feel now."
And when the pyre was lit, they prayed with a loud voice, "Lord Jesus Christ, you prayed in your bitter sufferings for your enemies, so therefore we also pray now for our enemies.  Forgive the King, forgive the people of Prague, forgive the priests, what they are now doing illegally to us; for they know not what they do, and their hands are full of blood.  Dear people! pray for your king that God grants him to recognize His truth, for the bishops and priests tempt him."  After completion of this godly admonition, they passed away softly, on August 28, 1528.
Behold! these have been two dear martyrs as true Lutherans, that proved to be true Christians.  The same is also our goal. Let us sacrifice by God's grace with joy everything for the Lord and His Word, let us forgive our enemies from the bottom of our hearts.  And may we do all, so that the Lord confesses our names one day before his Father, and before His angels on the Day of Judgment. Amen.
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Annotations.
10. Two German Craftsmen. Source: Martyrologium Bohemicum or the Bohemian history of persecution from the year 849 to 1632 etc, translated by John Theophilus Elsner, Berlin 1766. Page 117.
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      Amen! dear Pastor Hermann Fick!... Amen!  May all true Lutherans today say "Amen!" with you.  —  And of the dear ironworker and bottle maker, your confession of faith is not forgotten, for your confession lives on in the hearts of the true Christian Church... even "here and now".  —  St. Paul says 
2 Cor. 5:16-17 – Henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
So though we may not know these "two German craftsmen" after the flesh, we as Christians do know them in the Spirit, for they were made "a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  —  Yes, Prague, it was your city where these two German craftsmen gave up their earthly lives in Jesus name... the same city where your dear Jan Hus gave his life a century earlier.
In the next Part 11a...

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