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Monday, February 9, 2015

Martyrs 18: Johann Reichel-evangelical; w/o tears?

     This continues from Part 17 (Table of Contents in Part 1a and Part 1b) publishing the book of Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  —  Part 18 presents the essay on Johann Reichel.
Hermann Fick presents these accounts in living detail.  And as he writes of the martyr who...
...is painfully tortured and led to a bloody death, who can watch such an end without sadness and without tears?
Does the reader get the impression that Hermann Fick is the better distinguisher of "The Lutheran Difference" than today's writers for Concordia Publishing House's The Lutheran Difference? ... than Robert Kolb and his dry writings on the history of the writings on the Lutheran martyrs?  I wonder that there were tear stains on his manuscripts as Hermann Fick delivered them to the printer M. Niedner & Co..
Some highlighting added hyperlinks added for reference.
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by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
XVIII.
"They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.."
Daniel 12:3
When a teacher of the Gospel of God’s Word preaches purely and clearly and thereby points many to righteousness, so teaches every Christian by the anointing of the Holy Spirit to sincerely love and honor such a servant of God.  And if this servant, as a reward for the fact that he has saved many souls from the power of Satan through his preaching and brought them to saving faith in Jesus, is painfully tortured and led to a bloody death, who can watch such an end without sadness and without tears?
The city Striegau in Silesia [now Strzegom, Poland] was already in the year 1526 well disposed towards the evangelical Lutheran doctrine.  There Johann Reichel was the first evangelical teacher. From this brief account which tells us the story, we see that he was the dear Reichel who also won an entire city that was once lost in papal darkness for the Lord Jesus by his faithful witness.
But how did the Church of Rome, the great red harlot who is drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, thank this worthy servant of God?  Just so, as it does at all times where she has the power to do so. Since when King Ferdinand of Breslau [now Polish Wroclaw] came to Schweidnitz [now Polish Świdnica] to let his subject rendered homage to him, and on May 20, 1527 passed by Striegau, the blessed Reichel was charged by the papists as a heretic.  However, no great trial was given for him.  After Cantate Sunday the soldiers and the king’s people seized him.  With a quick departure, they tied him to horses, dragged him away, and hanged him before the city by the Jew’s Way on a wild pear tree which was blooming beautifully at that time.   The executioner [page 137] had him tied naked without a shirt and put him on a horse.  He had it ran under the tree, tied him to it, then chased the horse from under him which strangled him.  There he hung for several days, and when cutting the rope, is he to have bled as he was taken down in silence, after the whole royal train was past, and was buried.
Truly a sad spectacle!  On the side of bloodthirsty papists Royal power, glory and honor; on the other hand, on the part of the witness of Jesus, nothing but shame and contempt, a rope, torture, blood and death.  But how has this spectacle changed now!  While the murderers of Christians expect the horrible cesspool which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death,  Revelation 21:8., the most beautiful heavenly brilliance and the clearest starlight adorns the true evangelical Lutheran teacher.
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The location of this story leads one to discover that it was in the territory that Germany lost to Poland after World War II, and so the names of cities have since changed.  There is a lot of modern European history involved in this area, particularly after the Potsdam Conference and the Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50).  But the importance of modern history pales in comparison to the Church History surrounding Johann Reichel, for it was Reichel who won the city for the Gospel, the evangelical Lutheran doctrine.
==>> To the citizens of Strzegom, Poland, <<==
Is there any remembrance for the truly evangelical preacher who converted your city to the true faith – Johann Reichel – who was put to death by the blood thirsty red harlot, the Roman Catholic Church?... I see none at all in your city history web page.  But now, your martyr for the Gospel is publicized ... on my blog post, and his martyrdom is held up high over you.  Are there no citizens who are not immune to the Evangel, the Gospel?
In the next Part 19 is the history of Georg Winkler.

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