Dear friends in Christ,
We continue our survey of Church History from the book of Professor E.A.W. Krauss from our St. Louis seminary of a century ago. This month we continue our look at Martin Boos, a Roman Catholic priest who preached the same righteousness as another Martin—Martin Luther. As we read of his trials, we are reminded that the blessed Apostles also suffered on account of their preaching of Jesus, as did Jesus Himself. By this we are reminded that Jesus’ life is reflected in the life of His Church, a wonderful reminder that the Church is the body of Christ and a glorious commentary on Jesus’ words to Saul before he was St. Paul: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” [Acts 9.4].
42.4 Boos’ work in Bavaria [Part 2, conclusion]
[You might want to review last month’s installment] They were all released except for Boos. His verdict came down on 11 September 1797, but it read differently. “The Vicar General selected a sheet, had me to come forward into the middle and then pronounced my sentence with a loud voice and an angry countenance: I was sentenced to one year in the house of discipline. When it was read, though, I had a heavenly peace and ease, precisely as if it did not concern me,” Boos himself wrote. “But when the Vicar General had finished, my Adam sighed and said, ‘I submit myself to this verdict because I consider it as privilege.’ But the verdict was terribly difficult for me. I had hoped that my punishment would have ended but now is when it first began.”
When Boos complained about the severity of the verdict to his judges, it was reduced in so far as that he did not have to return to his prison; however he still had to remain a prisoner of the city. He was allowed to walk freely about the city, but not to leave it. He rented a small room, which seemed quite meager, and his meals were brought from across the street in an earthen pot, called a “Triangel” which the poor students and beggars used to use.
During his custody, which was similar to St. Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, Boos did not lack anything that would strengthen his faith. And he needed it, too. As Luther in the Wartburg had many trials as to whether the work that he had begun in 1517, was really God’s work, so also Boos was often plagued because his faith and his doctrine differed so much from the usual understanding and way of the people in the world and had found so much resistance. But the letters from his spiritual children whom he had begotten through the word of truth would often comfort and strengthen him mightily.
It turned out that he had a very special comfort when the Director of the Goegginger Corrections House, Kustos Hoffmann, had come to a saving knowledge of the Gospel through him.
During his city arrest Boos frequently went to one of the (second hand) booksellers in the market. In Augsburg they were called “book asses” because they walked about with many books which they had never read nor understand. Boos thumbed through several of his books and asked: “What kind of books are these?”
The second hand bookseller answered: “These are books like our saints have.”
“What kind of saints do you have?”
The bookseller, “Now, they are such people who do nothing but pray and sing spiritual songs, who do not take part in anything of the world; they are eccentrics who want to be better than other people. I don’t think anything of them. I think that they are hypocrites. A person cannot be that way. The likes of us must get on in the world.”
Then, Boos thought that this was curious; but what was behind it? I shall and must see what it is, he thought. He then asked where these saints lived. The book-ass then gladly told him. So Boos sought them out and found them to be happy, pious souls who built their salvation alone upon Jesus and lived blessed in faith and love of their Savior; they did not like the world but sought their honor in the disgrace of Christ. This is how Boos came into contact with the few Protestant “mystics or pietists” who had shown up in Augsburg at that time. And the blessing that he took from their fellowship more than repaid him for the many useless annoyances that he was exposed to.
Vicar General Nigg once told Boos that he was alone by himself too much and brooded too much over theological matters; he should distract himself more; he should go out among the people and in society. He ordered him to go to a pub or coffeehouse. Boos answered: “As your holiness commands: I will even obey this and make a visit.” He then went into such a place. But when he came through the doors, the innkeeper, who knew nothing of this, soon caught sight of him. She must have had more respect for him than the Vicar General seeing that he was no man for a pub and the pub no place for him. She immediately grabbed him by the arm and led him out saying: “Get out of here. You don’t belong here.” As he was led out, Boos left inwardly happy and laughing. He came and told the Vicar General that he followed his advice and that it did not turn out. Even Nigg couldn’t then keep from laughing and said, “Now, now, dear Boos. I see that nothing else can be done with you; you must be left to go your way. Do in God’s name what you consider right.”
Then Boos’ custody came to an end.
In January 1798 he gained his complete freedom and in February he was again sent out to care for souls.
Privately, his judges had become more lenient toward him, even stating to him personally that he was the best priest in the diocese. They sent him to Langeneifach to care for souls, yet not without making a certain priest, K.E. Koch, his spiritual supervisor.
Also in this new place Boos’ work was richly blessed. But after eight weeks there were again rumblings and the call again began: “What, the heretic is preaching again? Put him into the correctional house!”
The prince of Kempten and other prelates and deans who had accused him earlier were upset that the accused had already been released. They complained anew and in fact directly to the Elector and Bishop Clement Wenceslaus and vehemently demanded that Boos “again be seized and be locked up forever.”
But how could a person reach Boos now?
He was ordered never to greet those who were persecuted and like-minded to him and never even to write a word to them. But, having borne the same shame as he did, they wrote to him and asking him for comfort. How could Boos remain silent? Obeying God rather than man, he wrote, gladdening their faith and encouraging them to patience in their persecutions.
This letter of comfort was intercepted. It was forcibly taken from a man’s pocket and sent to Augsburg where it was then said: “He has written again and awakened the old heresies.”
Boos then left Langeneifach on 03 April and hurried to Augsburg. But before he presented himself before his “spiritual” judges, he went to a friend who in the meantime had been appointed to Augsburg and spent the night in the sacristy of the cathedral on three chairs because he did not accept the friend’s bed when he offered it to him. In the morning Boos asked his friend: “Should I present myself or flee?” They already heard what I have to say. What use is it to say the same old thing to them?”
His friend answered: “When they persecute you in this city, flee to another” [Mt. 10.23].
Then Boos immediately went and fled to Munich to a preacher named Winkelhofer, who had become dear to him, to ask him what he should do: if he should again go to the correctional house. “Don’t go there.” Winkelhofer said, “You were already there and know what it is like.” He hid him in his room for three weeks.
But because Boos could not stay hidden there any longer, he fled from one city to another, from one friend to another. No one dared to keep him too long. Yet whoever received him, even if only for a short time, confessed that he found a pearl in Boos. God worked during this flight working much good through him. He carried the divine word in the whole country, at one place awaking the spiritually sleeping and in another bringing the spiritual dead to life.
Many pastors that Boos’ friends had recommended to him were frightened when Boos stood before his door and refused to accept him; many an innkeeper, where he wanted to spend the night, took him by the arm and directed him in the furthest corner of the room and placed before him a mug without lid, like used to be done in times past to oppressors, who were not regarded as honorable.
Forced by necessity, Boos wanted to hire himself out to a farmer as a pig herder in a region of Bavaria where he was unknown. Fortunately his plan was frustrated. When he entered the farmer’s room to ask him most humbly, the farmer immediately greeted him as a clergyman, tipped his hat and approached him with respect to kiss his hand. Boos lost courage, thinking: You have already been betrayed and can no longer be known, as you want to be. This resulted in another conversation and instead of a herdsman Boos became the rescuer of his soul. Thus more was won than lost.
But finally, after Boos had wandered around even more, sometimes finding several days of rest and sometimes again having to flee, he presented himself to his judges in Augsburg on 09 December 1798 since he could no longer remain hidden. “Tired of idleness and hiding, I again threw myself into the hands of my enemies.”
Amazed that he gave himself up, they examined him on 13, 14, 29 and 31 December and asked him in particular about his friends with whom he stayed and with whom he had exchanged letters. Boos did not admit anything to his examiners about them because they were his benefactors. He could not have survived without them, and it was none of the examiners’ business. Fiskal, who asked the questions often became angry at this refusal to such a point that he no longer knew what he could do and soon did not ask any more questions.
When the hearings were concluded Boos remained that winter in Augsburg where he had four months of city arrest, again under the protection of Nigg.
Nigg often put a gold coin in his hand with the instruction that Fiskal should not be told. Nigg would have gladly rescued him but when he saw that those who had been persecuted and arrested would not get any peace in this diocese, Nigg himself advised Boos to leave so that he might be received in another diocese and if he could not find that he should apply for his discharge.
Boos followed this advice and by the recommendation of a well-known, sympathetic friend, received admission in the diocese of Linz in Upper Austria, whose bishop at that time was Joseph Anton Gall.
So Martin Boos, the outlawed preacher who preached the righteousness that avails before God, left on 29 or 30 April 1799, taking a raft and accompanied by the tears and well wishes of his brothers and friends in Christ. He traveled down the Lech River and the Danube toward his new goal.
To be continued
So far Professor Krauss
REMEMBER: THE CHURCH STILL NEEDS YOUR OFFERINGS EVEN WHEN YOU ARE AWAY ON SUMMER VACATION.
Good Afternoon Ladies,
This month we have a 5th Sunday so we are having a dinner after church on May 29th. We hope to see you there. It is pot-luck.
Our next meeting is changed to June 19th due to conflicts with the 12th. I hope you can make it then. God Bless and have a happy month, Carol, Pres.
A BIG thanks to all who purchased hygiene products and other gifts that added to our Christmas Shoebox project. The Credit Card of $250, that Thrivent contributed, has now been used and twenty-one boxes are filled to the brim!
Operation Christmas Child is a project of the Samaritan's Purse, Franklin Graham, President. The gifts we give are sent all over the globe and the organization asks that we include a donation of $7.00 in each box, to help with this world wide shipping. If each family gives just $1.00 a month up to and including Nov., this goal will be met. You will find a "bank" in the Narthex for your $1 gifts.
CATECHISM REVIEW: Beginning 29 May we will begin the review of Luther’s Small Catechism during the Sunday morning service. The catechism can never be studied enough. It has in simple form the basic teachings of the Christian faith. We target our review of the catechism during the Sundays after Trinity because this is the half of the Church Year we focus in on our Lord’s teaching [the first half of the Church year has as its focus the life of our Lord]. We encourage you to take your bulletin home with you each week and use that portion of the catechism that we reviewed on Sunday as part of your devotions in your home.
KEEP WATCH EACH MONTH IN YOUR BULLETIN FOR A NEW FEATURE:
FACES OF THE REFORMATION:
Open your average world history book, and you’ll find but a paragraph or two on the Reformation. The event appears a small drop on the timeline, but the Christian Church knows better.
Since the past is best explored through the people who lived it, meet 25 men and women passionate about the Reformation re-discovery of the Gospel—either for or against it. These iconic individuals used their unique vocations to create theological and cultural tidal waves beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing today. See how the gracious Word of the Lord had the final word in bringing the “it’s still all about Jesus” proclamation to the corners of Europe and beyond.
ON 25 JUNE WE CELEBRATE THE PRESENTATION OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION
About the Augsburg Confession
Part of the Book of Concord
The Augsburg Confession is one of the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord of 1580. This collection of confessional statements has been adopted by Lutherans worldwide as a true and faithful exposition of the Holy Scriptures. Thus, the Lutheran Confessions declare before all the world what we believe, teach, and confess to be the true and universal teachings of the Christian Church.
The Augsburg Confession
The Augsburg Confession is the chief confession of the Lutheran Church. With the Apology, its longer explanation, it is the first special Lutheran confession written and adopted as a testimony against the abuses that had crept into the teaching and practice of the church before the Reformation, and against the errors of the radical reformers such as Zwingli (and later Calvin) and the Anabaptists.
The Augsburg Confession was presented to Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire on Saturday, June 25, 1530, in Augsburg, Germany. Here the emperor had convened a "diet," or general assembly, of representatives of church and state to consider the Lutheran movement. In the Bishop's Palace, where Charles V was lodged, the Confession was read in German by Chancellor Dr. Christian Beyer. This fearless Lutheran layman read the Augsburg Confession so distinctly and loudly that also those who were gathered in the spacious courtyard of the palace could understand every word.
It was a large and august body which here heard a clear summary of what the Lutherans believed and confessed as the truth of God's Word. There were present all the electors, princes, bishops, representatives of the free cities, and foreign ambassadors connected with the empire. After the reading of the Augsburg Confession, the document was handed to the emperor in both a German and a Latin version.
Why the Augsburg Confession Was Written
For a long time prior to 1530, Charles V had been urged by the pope of Rome to suppress the Lutheran doctrine by force. But he was hindered in the persecution of the Lutherans by the Turks, who at that time threatened the Christian world, as well as by the French king, Francis I, and the double-crossing politics of the pope himself. All this happened, of course, by God's gracious ruling for the protection of the precious Gospel truths published as a result of the Lutheran Reformation.
The Augsburg Confession was written by Philip Melanchthon, Luther's famous fellow professor at Wittenberg. But it was based on articles of faith drawn up by Lutheran theologians, especially by Luther himself.
What the Augsburg Confession Teaches
The Augsburg Confession consists of 28 articles, of which some are short, while others are long. Of these, Articles 1-21 present the Lutheran doctrine. Articles 22-28 deal with the medieval abuses which the Lutherans had corrected. The Augsburg Confession considered only the most important matters that were in dispute at that time.
Its tone is friendly and conciliatory because at that time some Lutherans still believed that those who opposed the Reformation might be won for the truth of the Gospel, if only they would hear it clearly stated.
The Augsburg Confession stresses the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as the center of the Christian Faith. It gathers around this basic teaching of the Bible all other doctrines of the Christian Faith. In this respect, the Augsburg Confession is unique among Christian Confessions. It witnesses everywhere the glorious Christ, who died for us and rose again and who alone is the Savior of all men.
The Augsburg Confession, Pattern of Other Church Confessions
Because the Augsburg Confession is so excellent a presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its joyous message of free and full salvation for all men, its influence on Protestantism has been tremendous. The Augsburg Confession is still the outstanding Evangelical Confession, and it is regarded by all Lutherans as a creed that is truly biblical.
Adapted from "The Lutheran Confessions" by J.T. Mueller, Tract #10-193 from Concordia Tract Society, available from Concordia Publishing House. Copyright © Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
A Confessional Lutheran voice from Australia, Dr. John Kleinig: “An electric light globe cannot shine unless it remains connected with a power source. A tap cannot gush with water unless it receives water from a reservoir. A branch cannot produce fruit unless it is kept alive and nourished by a tree. So the church cannot do the work of God, unless in its worship it shares in God’s life and draws on his power to nourish its faith, hope and love. We have been chosen to share in the divine life of God so that he can use us to share his life with others. Yet our desire to carry out our mission we must never short-circuit God’s work by neglecting or diminishing our worship. Christians have been accused of being too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use. I would hold that unless we remain heavenly-minded and derive our life and strength from God himself in our worship we will ultimately be of no earthly use at all.”
Our adult summer Sunday morning Bible Study begins 05 June at 9.45. This year we will study Daniel. Daniel is twelve chapters long so we will try the impossible and cover one chapter a week. Needless to say this will not be our usual thorough study, but it will give us a nice overview of the book and, in particular, the prophecies about Jesus. This study dovetails nicely with our current study of Revelation and flows nicely from our study last summer on the Apocrypha. Please be sure to join us this summer.
IN HONOR OF FATHER’S DAY: DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FROM LUTHER:
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6. 4
Parents, even if they had done nothing else, may obtain blessedness in their children. When they properly bring them up to serve God, both of their hands are full of good works. What are the hungry, thirsty, naked, imprisoned, and sick strangers compared to the souls of your own children? With your children, God made an orphanage out of your house and set you as head over them so that they might learn to trust, believe, and fear God and to set their hope in Him, to honor His name, not to curse or swear, to mortify themselves with prayers, fastings, watches, works, to tend to the Divine Service and the word and to celebrate the Sabbath to Him, that they learn to despise temporal things, patiently endure misfortune and not fear death, not loving life, etc.
ALSO FOR FATHER’S DAY FROM LUTHER: “Fathers can do no better work and do nothing more valuable either for God, for Christendom, for all the world, for themselves, and for their children than to up their children well… For bringing up their children properly is their shortest road to heaven.”
“Now you tell me, when a father goes ahead and washes diapers or performs some other menial task for his child…God, with all His angels and creatures is smiling—not because that father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith.”
FROM OUR MISSOURI SYNOD:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son” (John 3:16). “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays his life down for the sheep” (John 10:11). Love means sacrifice. Sacrifice means a humbling of oneself for the good of another. And this is what the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us: Love means sacrifice.
We love our families. And we love them by sacrificing ourselves for them. We put their needs before our own. We sacrifice our own wants and desires for their good and for their needs.
We love our country. And we love it by pledging our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to defend her. We ask not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country. We make sacrifices for our country’s good and we do it because we love her.
We love our church. And we love our church by giving of ourselves, by sacrificing our time, talents, and treasures in service to it. We volunteer to teach Sunday School, VBS, and other various boards. We help out cleaning and fixing what needs to be cleaned and fixed at the church property. And we give a portion of the income God has given us, so that the lights will go on, and the heat and air conditioning may run; so that a pastor will preach to us both law and gospel and administer baptism and the Lord’s Supper; so that the Word will go forth into all the world through the missionaries we call and send out.
God has called us into these three spheres of family, country, and church. He puts the solitary into a home. No one is an island unto himself. Everyone is put into a family, a country, and a church. In these spheres, God cares for all our needs of body and soul. He employs other members of these spheres to ensure that we have everything we need for this body and life and for the next.
These callings place a claim upon us, a claim upon our presence, our prayers, our time, talents, and treasures. They give us a duty. That duty is to love. And love means sacrifice. And sacrifice means that we humble ourselves for the good of another.
So then, “let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:7–11). And love means sacrifice.
From the LCMS Foundation: Spiritual Foundations of Wealth and Want
Along the journey of our earthly lives, we gather, share, accumulate, and squander. We collect or conserve either wealth or want according to the foundation we build upon. While some live with the intent to produce wealth, others could care less if they died broke.
Within the body of believers, there exist these same differences. St. Paul encourages believers about this in the first letter to the Corinthians, chapters 3 and 4. God instructs us that, while we are His fellow workers, we are like different parts of a field or a building.
God wants us to take care in how we build our lives. Whatever the foundation we lay, our work will be revealed. Those who build on the Lord’s foundation will survive and a reward will be received. We are told that for those who don’t, their work is burned up, they will suffer loss. The Christian’s comfort is in knowing that we will be saved, but only by testing as through fire.
So the question is asked, “Who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”
God reminds us to remember that we are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in us. “God’s temple is holy, and we are that temple.” We manage wealth and want as baptized believers who live on the foundation of Christ.
Is it time to take a look at how you plan for the distributions of what you have received from Him and the management of want within your own life and family? Why not let us help with charitable and spiritual counsel? For more information, contact Robert Wirth, LCMS Foundation Gift Planner @ email@example.com or 716-863-4427.
Comments for this post have been disabled.