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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Martyrs 23c: San Roman – did not keep promise; "everyone will look at me"; Emperor Charles

      This continues from Part 23b (Table of Contents in Part 1a and Part 1b) publishing the book of Hermann Fick on the martyrs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. — Part 23c continues the story of Francisco San Roman, where he answered the charge that his manner was too stormy.  But the greatest charge against him?  
"You're a Lutheran!" the monks' charge against our Francisco.
      The last segment presented the Doctrine of the Call by Enzinas that is covered by the Lutheran Confessions such as in these portions – AC XIV; Ap.VI 28; XXVII 41, 49; Treatise 67.  I took this occasion to research this Doctrine of the Call a bit and found an essay by Dr. Robert Preus to be helpful for reference.  Of course C.F.W. Walther covers this doctrine in the book Church and Ministry.  —  But this history of San Roman is not about the doctrine of the Call, and we see that it should not be used against the imperatives that our Saviour presents to all Christians, not just the called ministers.

Some highlighting added; hyperlinks added for reference.
by C.J. Hermann Fick
(tr. by BackToLuther)
XXIII. (c)
As the excellent Enzinas reproached our San Roman with this Doctrine of the Call, which the Evangelical Lutheran Church has always recognized as theirs, [AC XIV; Ap.VI 28; XXVII 41, 49; Treatise 67; Robt. Preus essay here] he confessed that everything that he had said was the truth; but that he had acted a little too uncareful until now would not be to his blame, but primarily the blame of the monks.  He also vowed herein to reform and be more modest in the future. [page 180]  But he did not keep his promise, as Enzinas later learned from eyewitnesses and San Roman’s own companions.  For what is foretold by the Saviour: "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up," [Ps. 69:9; John 2:17] was also met in this faithful disciple.  His ardent zeal for the glory of God and the spread of His Kingdom would not let him rest.  And if he had gone too far according to our opinion, so it is also said: "For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.  For the love of Christ constraineth us;" 2 Cor. 5:13-14 [sic] and Ps. 4:4 [Luther; or KJV Ps. 4:3].: "Know that the LORD leadeth his saints miraculously."
After his departure from Enzinas, Francisco went straight to Regensburg, where the Emperor Charles V held a Diet [Diet of Regensburg 1541] at that time.  On the way he did not say a word to his companions what his plan was.  When he had but arrived in Regensburg, he went without delay to the Emperor and gave a long and rather defiant speech in which he publicly confessed that the pure doctrine of the divine Word was in Germany, but in Spain nothing but frightful darkness and damnable error prevailed.  That is why it deserves from the office of his imperial majesty that he should set up and promote the true worship of God and the Christian truth in his hereditary lands.  He also exhorted him to make peace in Germany, to abstain of all tyranny and help to diligently spread the pure doctrine of the Son of God in all places in the world, as his Majesty would be accountable.  He also showed him from the Scriptures that the Protestant German princes and states would have a better thing and a much truer religion than the Spaniards, who were completely blind and drowning in their idolatry.
The Emperor graciously listened to all this at first and even answered him in a friendly way, that this thing lay very close to his heart, indeed, that he was already in the process of working with all diligence to establish counsel with them.   Such kind reply made good hope for our Francisco; but it was soon weakened when he learned that the Spaniards had committed just at that time some awful actions of the most abominable tyranny on the Lutherans.  He therefore appeared for the second and third time before the Emperor, and exhorted him with great boldness and bravery, [page 181]  to graciously promote the work of religion.  The Emperor always gave him a friendly reply, to get rid of him.  But when he wanted to speak to the Emperor for the fourth time, the Spanish guard, full of fury [Uegestüm-sic?, Ungestüm], caught him and wanted to throw him into the Danube, while the Emperor prevented them and bade them to do nothing unfair to him, but interrogate and judge him under the laws of the empire.  Therefore they threw him into an underground prison, locked him in iron chains, and left him lying there until the Emperor set out on his expedition from Regensburg to Africa.  Then they took our Francisco and chained him together with other prisoners on a carriage.
And when one of his companions, who went with him from Leuven to Regensburg, saw him in this miserable condition, he marveled greatly and asked him what does this mean? why was he bound so hard and figured to be so shameful among the malefactors?  Then the dear Francisco raised his arm, as far as he could, showed him the chains with which he was bound, and said: "Do you see these iron bands and chains?" "Yes, replied the other, I see them, but not without great pain."  "But," said Francisco, "this band and iron, this prison that is disgraceful to the world, which I now wear and suffer for the honor and the confession of my Lord Christ's sake, I look for great honor and glory in the sight of God, yea! for a more glorious triumph, victory and glory, than you ever have seen at the Emperor's court.  Do you see my body everywhere bound with chains and sitting in such a disgraceful and shameful place?  But with God I am now in the greatest honor.  That I am not conscious of anything bad makes me now so merry, yes! the hope of the eternal joy and blessedness arouses in me a heavenly, inexpressible joy.  O how honored I am, this iron band and torture, which after a short time will be transformed into a beautiful crown on my head, adorned with beautiful precious stones, that I will stand before the face of God, and everyone will look at me.  Then the Emperor will distinguish and learn what was counsel or attacks from his courtiers.  Then our supposed spiritual monks will be seen for what they are, originators and causers of this condition, [page 182] as they raved and raged against the Son of God and his holy members.
"Meanwhile, dear brother, if you see well my hands and feet locked up, and my whole body bound about with iron chains, and thus chained to the cart so that I can not move: yet these bonds do not challenge me so hard that I should not be happy in my conscience.  For the Emperor can do nothing more than take the body; but my heart, courage and sense standeth and seeks only the eternal things, according to the citizenship and the Fatherland which is in heaven above.  I will rejoice and exult with God and all the dear saints in eternity.  Oh! how much have I wanted that I would be released from these bands and my soul delivered from my sinful body that I would right now come into this eternal homeland.  But I have good hope, [Heb. 6:19] that I have only a short time for these bands, that the crown of eternal blessedness and joy of God, the righteous Judge, would be added."
= = = = = = = = = =  concluded in Part 23d  = = = = = = = = = = = =

Yes! our dear Francisco, I see you up there in Heaven, by faith, as a shining star with the chains forged into a crown of glory... by faith, I see you...  and long to be with you there praising our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ!  Would to God that some Spanish Christian would use their talent to depict this image of Francisco's crown into a work of true art.

As I followed the responses of Emperor Charles, to see how deceitful he might have been with Francisco, I was struck by the fact that Charles seemed not the main instigator of the atrocities inflicted upon the Lutherans.  While the Spanish guards wanted to throw Francisco into the Danube, Charles restrained them.  Charles was acting similar to the way he did with Martin Luther, hesitant to directly reject the Lutheran teaching, only wanting to unify the papists and the "new" religion... the Lutherans.  The world will nevertheless point to Charles on the battlefield against the Lutheran princes, yet I see a marked difference between Charles and the other world leaders who were solidly behind the Pope.

BTW, what world leader today does not bow down to the Pope?  What theologian today (here and now) does NOT bow down to the Pope?  Hmmm... maybe we need another Charles today... to chasten us Lutherans?

If there is a lot of highlighted text in this segment, it is because our dear Francisco moved me to tears so many times...  Dear God! ... what an honor to bring this Spanish Lutheran's confession to the world!  —  In the last Part 23d, the conclusion of Fick's story of San Roman.

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