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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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Martyrs 22d: Diaz- The Spanish Luther?; Chapter 3

      This continues from Part 22c (TOC in Part 1a, Diaz TOC in Part 22a) publishing the book of Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  —  Part 22e contains Fick's third chapter and is the longest.  Many times as I translated this portion, I had to pause and give thanks to God for such a faithful Lutheran as this... Spaniard!  Dear God!... may this account of Juan Diaz serve to be a source of edification of the Spanish/Latin/Hispanic parts of the world.  In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen!
Some highlighting added hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
Juan Diaz.
Chapter 3
Magnificent confessions of the blessed Juan Diaz.
"Quiet and calmly, as Diaz said afterwards, I listened to the hypocritical speech of the wicked deceiver: and although I noticed easily where his deceitful words were going, so I answered him but much more modest than his wickedness deserved because I did not come to argue with a man who I knew had already lost all shame; and yet I could not help but respond, when it was of primary concern.  I confessed openly, that I decided for myself that I do not want to refuse, when it was necessary in the greatest and most serious matter on which our salvation would at all depend, to expose myself to all the dangers that could meet a man so that the purity of the heavenly doctrine would remain unchanged.  Indeed, I think it would be beautiful and glorious to leave even this life for a living testimony of the Christian religion, which I also longed to confirm with my blood."
"For what is the whole of human life in this earthly life other than an uninterrupted series of sheer misery when the knowledge of the true religion is absent, which alone gives us firm support and a certain comfort for the relief of earthly dangers?  And I think Malvenda, I have come so far by the grace of God in the school of the Holy Spirit, that I far prefer the eternal will of God, the truth of which has been explicitly revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures, to the rage and fury of the world and the respect of all people.  But I recognize that this is the eternal voice of the Son of God, who came from heaven unto all generations: whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father in heaven, Matth. 10:33.  Admittedly this is a sad threat but it was not pronounced by a mortal tyrant, but preached from the counsel of the highest divinity: and if you, as you hear it, do not seriously tremble, Malvenda, so at least I cannot hold you to be a human being, but must really believe that you have a heart of iron or stone.  You advise me that I should for the sake of temporal dangers, [page 152], even when they are ever so great but cannot be long lasting, discard the confession of Christian doctrine which contains the eternal salvation of all peoples.  But behold, how much more properly the Gentiles thought who are only illuminated by the light of nature, who not merely considered it necessary but also praiseworthy to suffer death for the altar and hearth, for the defense of the country, for the good of the state.  Even Demosthenes says emphatically: Life's border is death for all men. And as one may include himself in the guarding of his own house, still must the able man always undertake for himself to do everything by presenting the good hope.  But it is noble to endure what God sends."  I believe therefore, that every friend of true godliness must be disposed that he would earnestly and zealously seek to recognize in the Holy Scriptures God’s revealed eternal truth with God's clear voice, confessing such until the last breath, and faithfully serve God in his profession according to the Word once delivered, and meanwhile be neither held back by the dangers of this world nor by the fury of the tyrants from the truth once adopted and the course well begun.  Therefore, because I have resolved to do just this, so you're talking in vain, Malvenda, and searching in vain with your false reasons to deter myself and others from the true teachings of the Church of God, that you actually had to admit yourself.  But that you reproach me with the excommunication of the Roman Pope, so I much wonder that you so immoderately waste time and words, and want to seriously play in an entertaining thing.  For even the smallest child knows these days that these anathemas do not apply and are only made to secure the papal tyranny.  I do not now want to dispute with you about the power and authority of the Roman Pope, which was how little it deserves, I do not shake now, still want to limit their boundaries.  Let him, if he wants, usurp all the world’s goods and power to himself because of me, only that he leaves us just the heavenly doctrine pure and inviolate.  This is in fact without doubt shamefully mutilated by him as an enemy of Christ, stained in many ways and suppressed by the saddest bondage, not without the ruin of many souls.  Truly here we must seriously resist him and you and every defender of his impiety, so that the honor of God, which everyone should glorify on his part, [page 153] does not get neglected and seem darkened through us.  Hear therefore this from me in reply, that I am determined to prefer the express words of God, than to obey the tyranny of the Popes or the ungodly commandments of men.
"Furthermore, so that nothing is missing in order to fill out the parts of your deceitful speech, you, Malvenda, according to your opinion very aptly use the love for the fatherland and keep it in front of me.  If you had such fiery love for it as I do, yet you would not so surely live ambitiously preferring your belly and the vain lusts to your fatherland.  I want to say just nothing here about Spain, for whose destiny I rather mourn than may describe.  I earnestly rebuke you and all those who are in the same business of wickedness connected with you, that while the brightest light of the Gospel today has almost lit the whole world, you have not let penetrate even the weakest rays of this celestial splendor to Spain; and yet the salvation of the Son of God should become not less for this country than for the other people’s of the earth."
"I beg you, Malvenda, do not boast too much of the peace which Spain enjoys according to your judgments in rest and security: and do not blame the disputes of other countries.  For when for instance sometimes someone emerges among the great diversity of people and opinions, as it cannot happen otherwise in the treatment of the most important things, they nevertheless provide an opportunity to explore the truth, and through the work of pious and learned people, they serve for the clearer explanation of the heavenly doctrine, and to further spreading of the glory of God on earth.  Because what you think is peace, Malvenda, that is no peace, because it is connected with God's disgrace and obvious godlessness: or if you want to call it peace, so it is certainly perishable as the bloodiest civil war.  Although I love my country with all my heart, how guilty I am of this, and I long so much for its salvation, that if I could with my blood relieve it from so much wickedness in which it lies now, I would not hesitate to bring now this body as an offering for its redemption.  But the more intimate I love my country, the more I sigh from bottom of my soul, [page 154] so often I look at the miserable slavery in which it is held by totally ungodly men."
"There is an evil spirit in Spain, it keeps all in its power and has charmed it in part with grizzly superstition and idolatry, so that the enemies of God no longer need to fight for any bit of it.  But you're wrong, Malvenda, you're wrong if you do not believe that the torment of conscience which tears up the souls of individuals is for most a far more pernicious plague than if the whole kingdom was embroiled in a long civil war and was laid waste with fire and sword. For what kind of religion can there be where all the people must depend on the imagination of one or the other's insane monk? where one does not know the heavenly doctrine? where you can not hear the Word of God? where instead the reading of the Bible finds no place and is not allowed?
"You say in Spain there are no sects.  Look around in all corners of the empire, and consider seriously whether in Europe there is any other country that is plagued with so many sects, and has so much discord with each other?  There is such a swarm and such a variety of monks who follow different rules, swearing on human words, which form an incredible diversity of sects, as if the Christian religion was not enough for all, so that they themselves are beyond counting, and we surpass the other peoples of the world by far.  And so great is their tyranny and violence that in turn the kings and princes are even terrible.  But all over the world, to what use are they fattened like pigs in their monasteries? What do they do? What is the benefit they provide to the State?  Of course they do this, they fix their tyranny, be it by law or by lawlessness, they plunder the people under the pretext of religion, put them on the chastity of women, they secure impunity for all their crimes, they violate the honor of God, they spoil the purity of the heavenly doctrine and place before the poor people instead of the Word of God their trickery, their dreams to believe and worship.  And while they are tainted with so great a crime, they still want (May God have mercy!) to be held as the most holy and most perfect, while despising the other people compared to themselves as unholy and hardly worthy to be called Christians. [page 155]
"I suppose you will admit that such sectarians are the most harmful and that their sects are placed at the instigation of Satan in the Church of God for the destruction of the human race and the destruction of the Church of Christ.  If you turn your gaze from this to another side, then you find there also not a few fanatical spirits who daily contribute new sects: as there are the Illuminati, the Inigisten (he means the Jesuits, the students of Ignatius of Loyola), the Beater, the Magicians, the Lamier and endlessly many other monsters of the kind in which the human mind inevitably goes to ruin, when he does not look at God's Word as the safest rule of life and truth.
"He who knows so deep wounds of the Church and weeps, who seeks the truth, whoever desires to faithfully counsel the fatherland floating in such distress, indeed! who even gives his life in danger without hesitation, so that at least the purity of doctrine be restored, is according to your judgments against the love of the fatherland?  I ask you to your conscience, Malvenda. Consider yourself.  Descend into the depths of your heart.  You feel clearly that your conscience seriously testified to you that all was perfectly true of what I say.  You must also recognize that it is your duty to uncover these abominations which have already risen to the utmost and can no longer exist, and spread the pure holy doctrine which is given to us again by the grace of God.  But drunk with vain hope of any a miserable prey, you take your pleasure to deceive yourself, and do not want to remember nor understand how necessary was the reformation of the true doctrine in the Church of God. What, I ask, is the creature preferred to the Creator if not this?  The concern of all good princes  in fact, should be directed to all those barrel-like monks in Spain who are conveniently stuck in their nests, that they be led to battle against the Turks, that all idolatry thoroughly eradicated from the churches and Christian souls, and in their stead would be introduced the old and true doctrine of the Son of God, of which the world has strayed too far in the past few centuries.  
"But I am not ashamed of the gospel, which, as I know in truth, is the power of God, for the salvation of all who believe [Rom. 1:16]: and I will as long as I live, with clear [page 156] voice confess, and what I only reach in that doctrine, all I will gladly use according to the measure of my gifts and my profession to glorify the name of God and for the edification of His church.  But I'm not so presumptuous as to think that only I could see more than the rest: but truly what does not agree with the clear words of God, I think is a great impiety.  Then I do not follow my fancies, nor do I profess another fictitious doctrine manufactured in the minds of monks, but I confess the heavenly doctrine as written with the finger of the Heavenly Father from the prophets and apostles through the inspiration and blessing of the Holy Spirit and is sealed with the blood of the Son of God and many martyrs; which, I know, but true and salutary to the human race, and without which no creature may obtain salvation.
"However I approve so little of your advice Malvenda, that I am rather convinced that you have not given it without malice.  For I ask you, how could I expect mercy from a bloodthirsty and treacherous people whose intrigues and betrayals against innocent people are obvious, and their infamous crimes are too well known that they needed to be mentioned by me.  Therefore, keep your advice to yourself, Malvenda, that can not end well, because it is arisen evil from the beginning.  You yourself call the assistance of the father confessor, whose dignity you have made to worship as a heavenly deity, because you keep yourself necessary by them to satisfy your insatiable ambition, or at least to gain a prey.  Therefore if you want to hear again my opinion, which is much more reasonable than your fraudulent advice, then I swear to you, Malvenda, that you return to reason, fear the judgment of God which already seems to be approaching near, and that you rather direct all of your counsel, all your actions that are not in pursuit of the divine truth which is brought to light at this time by God, to the glorification of the honour of the divine name.”
"As I told him this, as Diaz reported later on, Malvenda could, though he grumbled to himself because he realized that what I said was all too true, but in no way was he persuaded to incline himself to the truth.  But [page 157] hardened in his previous malice, he replied that he was not yet satisfied in all things.  For he claimed that it was wrong to doubt the power of the Pope and to doubt the doctrine that was drawn up by the Roman Church to believe.  Indeed, he openly confessed that the Pope himself could not err as the Vicar of Christ.  On this word I was terrified, because it seemed to me far too absurd and so replied somewhat more harshly: ‘What insolence of man is this? or what madness it is, oh shame! a mortal man, defiled with many public and secret misdeeds exempted from sin, especially since the Scriptures conclude every creature is under sin in no uncertain terms? [Gal. 3:22]  Since, therefore, so many and so hideous evil works which are committed every day by the Pope together with his cardinals, and so many godless regulations that conflict with the express Words of God that are known to everyone: should maybe even a person be found of such a wicked disposition to claim that the Pope cannot err?"
On this Malvenda broke off after he excused the vices of the popes with all diligence, although he admitted that there were people of scurrilous conduct, and went on to the following.  He asked: Why had I come to Regensburg? I replied thus, which was true: I was sent by the charge of Strasbourg to join in this public colloquy my prayers with the prayers of the Church of Christ and to promote unity in the still disputed articles.   "Then you have come here in vain, said Malvenda.  For in this whole conversation nothing is settled at all.  Therefore if you want to contribute your part for the general good, you will have to travel to the church Council which the Pope has established for Trent, where the catholic dignitaries will come together and will, on his visit and conduct, use the highest diligence.”  
"When I heard thus how Malvenda outright stated that in the Regensburg talks nothing at all should happen, I easily saw that all of the advice of the papists was deceitful, and that there would be no harmony without prejudice to hope for the purity of religion.  So I said goodbye to Malvenda and had no more intention of yet to come together again with him. [page 158] So you have, concluded Diaz, my conversation with Malvenda that you wanted to know from me."
"This I Senarcle have so testified of what was heard from Diaz himself, and believe that it was recorded with all integrity: I have therein followed the thread of speech and narrative style which I heard from Diaz in everything, except that I have not achieved the seriousness of the issue and his power of expression.  And I have heard that what I was told not only from him, but found it also noted under other papers of Diaz from his own hand with diligence, which he proved in all things recorded."
= = = = = = = = = = = =   Cont'd in Part 22e  = = = = = = = = = = = =

Hermann Fick called this chapter a marvelous confession of Juan Diaz.  Dare I say this may even be an understatement?  For I believe that Diaz's immediate superior, Martin Bucer, may have even learned from his "companion" just how important the Lutheran doctrine is... it is a matter of spiritual life and death.  Dare I even say I hear a clear echo of Martin Luther... from this Spanish Luther?  —  In the next Part 22e, Chapter 4...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Martyrs 22c: Diaz- A monster!... a Lutheran; Chapter 2

Juan Diaz
      This continues from Part 22b (TOC in Part 1a, Diaz TOC in Part 22a) publishing the book of Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  —  Part 22c continues with the second of seven chapters on Juan Diaz, a Spanish Lutheran.  A Spaniard... a Lutheran?  I can still hardly believe this story...  but what takes the breath away is that Diaz was not a "token" Lutheran, but he was a Lutheran spokesman during the time of the Reformation!... a Spaniard!
      There is an article on Diaz in the German Wikipedia here.  It is typical in its attempts to strip him of his Lutheranism by associating Diaz with the "humanists".  But Luther was not a "humanist" in the sense that others like Erasmus were, he was a Lutheran... and so was Diaz.

Some highlighting added hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
Juan Diaz.
Chapter 2

How Malvenda tried to entice the dear Juan Diaz again to the papacy.
Some time later in 1546, Charles V called a Diet at Regensburg.  At this he organized [page 148] a colloquy between evangelical Lutherans and papal theologians, ostensibly to restore the disturbed religious unity, but actually only to gain time for his armaments against those behind the Augsburg Confession. The imperial city of Strasbourg sent to this colloquy, among others, their preacher Bucer, and he requested that his companion be our Diaz, whom he had grown to love equally for his learning, as well as his grace of manners and untiring zeal.
In Regensburg, Diaz met a compatriot whom he had already met in Paris, Peter Malvenda, a treacherous, conceited, arrogant man, who burned with hatred against the Evangelicals or Protestants, as the Lutherans were called at that time.  Although the same by no means sought harmony and peace, nevertheless he intended, together with some others on the Papal side, to carry on the conversation with the evangelical divines.  As soon as our Diaz came into his view, he was horrified, as if he had seen a great monster.  He crossed and blessed himself with the highest amazement, and finally said to him: "I thought I saw a ghost and I'm very scared to find you here in Germany, and moreover, among the Protestants, who are rejoicing over the defection of one Spaniard more than if they had converted ten thousand Germans or a large number of other nations."
Whereupon Malvenda asked him why he came to Germany, how long he had been there and whether he approved of Bucer's teaching.  Diaz replied politely and humbly that he was in Germany for about six months.  He had come there to get to know the improved religion.  For it must be the main concern of Christians to attain the true knowledge of God and his Holy and gracious will from his Word and to keep it.  One may not however judge the truth by the corrupt opinions of the human brain, but by the infallible guide of the divine Word.  That's why he had preferred in such an important matter to check everything with his own eyes, rather than believe the evil slanders of bad people.  As then a wise man well stands, and the Apostle Paul commands: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. [1 Thess. 5:21]  In such examination, he had convinced himself that the doctrine of the Evangelicals was in no way contrary to the doctrine of the orthodox ancient teachers and [page 149] Church Fathers.  With a good conscience he could therefore not revile nor discard these doctrines corresponding with the prophets and apostles, which he had sought for so long and sees now restored.  Then Malvenda answered by twisting his face into a kind of superstitious amazement: "Surely, six months in Germany come for a pious man not as mere months, but as whole years, indeed as like so many centuries before, so disgusting it is to live in Germany for those who love the unity with the Roman Church and honor its reputation.  At least I can honestly confess for myself that I age in Germany in six days as elsewhere in six full years, since these people now for twenty years hear no other doctrine and read no other books than that of their own teachers."
More noteworthy, however, is a long conversation held between Malvenda and Diaz, which instead was found later and which Senarcle wrote down from the mouth of Diaz.
Malvenda began: "I warned you the other day, Diaz, that you forsake this society in which you are now, and return again in obedience to the Roman Pontiff and the religion of our ancestors, according to your former manner.  I've decided to do the same again now.  But if you will not follow my faithful admonition, I foresee now already in spirit the dreadful dangers of body and soul which approach you.  Because you can be sure of this and I think you know it too well already, that all those who with knowledge and consent have fellowship with the Lutherans will be excommunicated by the Roman Pope. And they will be hit by a terrible excommunication so that no one other than the Roman Pope himself, the vicar of Christ, can free them of it.  However, this ban, which, as identified, is based on divine right, is not to be despised.  For the same emerged from Christ and the Apostle’s foundation, from there transferred to the Vicar of Christ and the successor of the Apostles, by which the supreme power judges to bind and loose, as one must believe, and now used according to divine order for punishment of the wicked.  But as you know, it is commanded by the God’s clearest word that one may neither eat nor speak with one excommunicated by the church, but that [page 150] one should hold him condemned as a cut-off member from the body of Christ and as a pernicious plague of the human race.  Further, when the concern for your life or the salvation of your soul should not quench you of your reprehensible resolution, yet would truly love for your country and the old religion of your ancestors, that we must fairly prefer to our life and happiness, hold you from your perishable opinion.  For what will the rest of the nations say, when they see of you alone would despise and deny the religion of your fatherland, its stability in the observation of all arrangements, whose loyalty and incorruptibility is admired by the remaining peoples, wherefore all who desire the preservation of the ancient religion of our ancestors, fix their eyes on our Spain, as a fortress of religion, or at least to focus their attention on a magnificent example of strength and courage.  Finally, it is insanity and a great madness that you believe you alone have in the doctrine of religion gained more light than so many thousands of people were able to see so many centuries. And even if it were true, so one did not have to proceed so riotously and not immediately, for the sake of the opinion of a few people, violate the well-ordered constitution of his country, nor yet disturb the peace of the state.  Therefore I beg you again that you care for your salvation, that you fear God's judgment, that you hearken unto the cry of your country, which does not complain just about you adding wrong to it, but cries with a loud voice and requests the recantation of that pernicious opinion.  But I urge you not only in this matter gently and amicably, but I promise you also, that you should not lack my help and service if you want to follow in this my advice which I hold useful and salutary for you.  Therefore, do not wait if you want to listen to me, until the Emperor comes to Regensburg, which perhaps could not happen without injury to you, but rather take yourself to him, prostrate yourself at the feet of his confessor at his court, a pious and wise man, and beg forgiveness for your crimes committed and for mercy." [page 151]
= = = = = = = = = = = =   Cont'd in Part 22d  = = = = = = = = = = = =

      The horror on Malvenda's face!... he thought he was seeing A MONSTER!... a Ghost!... but what Malvenda saw was a true Spanish Lutheran.  No Hollywood-Halloween movie could portray more terror than Malvenda had when he saw his old Spanish acquaintance at Regensburg... for the Lutherans.  The surprise I had when I first discovered this portion on Spanish martyrs pales in comparison with the shock of the Spaniard Malvenda!  As far as I have seen, no other commonly available history of Juan Diaz describes this detail like our dear author, Pastor Hermann Fick.
      A striking portion describes Diaz as one of the speakers for the Protestants, i.e. the Lutherans, after Luther's death during the Diet of Regensburg in 1546.  Ask yourself then – was Diaz a Lutheran... when he (so to speak) in part took the place of Martin Luther as the mouth of the Lutherans?  —  The German Wikipedia article on the Diet of Regensburg, 1546, does not mention Juan Diaz's name on the side of the evangelical Lutherans, but Hermann Fick does.  And we gain perhaps the deepest understanding of what happened theologically at this time of the Reformation by this history by Pastor Hermann Fick.  I wonder (without having studied this in detail) that Juan Diaz spoke more eloquently for the Lutherans than even Martin Bucer did, who later wavered on some points with the Reformed.  —  In the next Part 22d is Chapter 3...