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Brohm, as well as many others. Of course they were ridiculed as obscurants, Pietists, fanatics, as well as hypocrites but they were inwardly joyful in their God and Savior. In the future all of them, who remained faithful, thought back on this time of their first love as the most blessed time of their entire life. At first there was no discussion in this group on the difference of the doctrine between the various churches since the faith which the precious book of the Bible had ignited in these disciples, was, of course, none other than the Lutheran.

Yet it did not remain. After some time, as they grew in knowledge, the question arose partly by itself, partly by the old candidate Kuehn, who was well grounded in doctrine : What faith are you? This certainly resulted in a sifting. Most soon recognized that it is none other than the Lutheran faith which God the Holy Spirit sealed in them as the true faith, which alone stood firm in trial, even before they knew which church it is the faith of.

There were only a few who left. The impression made on the young believers went deeper when Candidate Kuehn tried to lead the awakened group the same way that God had led him: He tried to convince us that our entire Christian faith could not rest on firm ground until we had found a great degree of repentance and true terrors of hell in hot struggles of repentance—like he did. The result of this was an overall change from a Christianity that was evangelical and joyful into one of law and gloom.

Arnd, Spener, A. Francke, Bogatzky, Fresenius, also J. Rambach—thus the writings of the Pietists.

Gospel Sermons: Volume 1

At this time Walther instructed both sons of an innkeeper. When one day he appeared at the house to give his lesson, the wife asked him whether he had already eaten. He did not want to appear unthankful, so he had to eat. In this house Jesus was all in all and his heavenly peace poured out upon all members of the family.

It was then in particular that the beloved who had fallen asleep carried me upon her motherly heart. Her mouth overflowed with evangelical words of comfort for me, not only whenever I crossed her threshold, but in fervent intercession she also wrestled with God day and night for me, the foreign youth. And behold! God heard her pleas: I finally came to peace in Christ, and now a bond of holy fellowship with Christ embraced us that nothing was able to tear apart until death. Oh, how I rejoice to be able to testify of this publicly here!

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But I rejoice even more when, before the throne of the Lamb and before all the angels and elect, I can thank her one day above with a perfect heart for what she once did for me, the least. Walther found another comforter and helper in his spiritual distress at that time—Pastor Martin Stephan, the later leader of the Saxon emigration. But when he had read it, it was for him nothing else than if he had suddenly been transferred out of hell into heaven. The tears of anguish and distress that had been cried so long then changed into tears of true heavenly joy.

At Easter Walther left the university. In September he passed his first exam in Leipzig pro licentia concionandi ; in his second pro candidatura. In the intervening years we only want to note that he spent them just like many others did—as a private tutor. He held this position with the Counselor Friedemann Loeber in Cahla in Altenburg, working faithfully and in blessing with his pupil. At the same time he was in steady correspondence with his like-minded university comrades, who as faithful preachers to some extent already got their first reprimands from the high church authorities and had their first experiences in the Gospel being a stumbling block and foolishness to the natural man, to the nobility as well as to the beggar.

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After he was called by the believing Minister of the State, Count von Einsiedel, to the pastorate in Braeunsdorf near Penig in Saxony Walther also had the same experiences. I refer the reader to it and only mention that it was especially these experiences in office that lead the Walther brothers and some of their university friends to think that they were conscience bound to take part in the emigration that Pastor M.

Stephan had already long announced as being imminent and to which he then gave the signal in But before I tell of the most necessary, I would like at least to express myself briefly about the leader of the emigration. I would never believe that Martin Stephan was a deliberate hypocrite the entire time that he was preacher of the Bohemian congregation in Dresden, that is, from Originally a journeyman linen weaver, he threw himself into the study of Holy Scripture in order to become a preacher.

He certainly did not acquire its philological knowledge and he had to be excused from the Latin exam. But it was no small matter that he was well read in the good edification literature of our church; in him this literature became flesh and blood in that he lived and moved in the theology that it expressed. But I cannot do this; You must do it by Your power. Now, bless. O Jesus, all who will read it….

If such read it who are already believers in you, so help that also by this reading their faith may grow and become very fruitful in a godly life. If deeply troubled and severely afflicted souls read it, give them the taste of the comfort that I hold before them from Your Word. If it is the erring who will seek truth in it, give them Your divine light that they receive the word of truth that I present with a willing heart and attain to the firm faith.

Should my witness get into the hands of the most miserable of my fellow man, namely into the hands of those who reject You and Your word, who seek their salvation in their unbelief, oh, so shake their hearts that they may well consider the warnings I have expressed, come to You and worship at Your feet and find grace before Your eyes! Whatever in this work is good, is Your gift.

The imperfections, though, are mine. Let this, my witness, become a living voice in many souls that calls them to You, and a bond that holds them to You.

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When I, early or late, wearied by my work of the day, seek from You, o my Salvation, my last and greatest rest, oh then, God of Peace, let me find this eternal rest before Your face, confess me before Your heavenly Father; then let me experience for my salvation what I preached here and fall asleep blessed in the faith in You that I here describe and confess!

Blessed be His name eternally! Reading the sermons of Martin Stephan, one finds them highly inspiring, edifying and instructive. All the wealth of Holy Scriptures is drawn together in order to meditate on and illuminate the individual text. After the theme and points of the sermon are announced, a short, fervent prayer usually follows. If these prayers were gathered together, they would, with only minor changes, make a wonderful prayer book. The outlines are simple and natural. All of the sermons have a characteristic of testimony.

Faithful sermon books from this period in which Rationalism still dominated are in general not very abundant; almost all of them have an unease in them that asks timidly, as it were, for indulgence for its existence. The main summary of his doctrine is: what Christ has done. Let us 1. Rightly consider this truth; 2. Take to heart how we must use it in our physical and spiritual worries.

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He was considered at the time to be a strict Lutheran. His favorite subject was Original Sin and the atoning death. He was serious about his orthodoxy. This is precisely my conviction, which is also founded on witnesses who heard Stephan through the years but who were not members of his congregation and his followers.

But this certainly does not hold true with C. Ferdinand W. Compare J. Koestering, Auswanderung der saechsischen Lutheraner in Jahre , St. Louis MO, , pg. Although mostly workers sought his book, so also a number of higher and lower officials, rare book mongers, occasionally teachers, pastors, councilors of consistories and quite a few noblemen, wanted to have his sermons in two, four, six and even more copies.

Michael in Vienna. Wherever people heard of him and his testimony of Christ, they were eager to hear more. And he did not let the strings of spiritual connection be broken. In spiritual questions hundreds turned to him like a spiritual father seeking counsel and comfort for their souls that their Rationalistic preachers had left empty. Regarding it as his duty, he had so many letters to answer at times that his Bohemian congregation in Dresden, which, of course, had the immediate claim on him, began to complain of neglect.

Yet, unfortunately, with that spiritual conceit and pride were also noticeably growing in him and those closest to him also suffered under his extreme brutal dogmatism in completely external, non-spiritual matters. In Saxony when complaints first began to be heard about his miserable family life and about the female followers who were often found in his company both during the day and also during nightly walks, it was not difficult, for him to quell the evil gossip that met him and his household disintegration; this was especially easy for him to do with those people who lived a ways away.

Nor did they believe that only great influence moved the king to dismiss the accusation of immoral behavior. Therefore I must have to experience so much disgrace and humiliation here. Whom God wants to make great, He humbles before, so that afterwards he does not extol himself. We are dealing with the life of C. He and his brother, together with Pastors E. Keyl, their brother in law, and G. Loeber, E. Buerger and various theology candidates were among those who seeing that it was impossible to preserve pure Lutheran Christianity in Germany, in good faith joined Stephan when he gave the order to set out for America in order to establish the church of the Lutheran confession in this land of political and religious freedom.

With heavy heart, C. Walther resigned his office on the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity in ; several families of his congregation moved with him. They assembled together in Bremen. Since there was no more room on the ship he was to travel on, the Amalia, he went on the Johann Georg. Of the five ships which were to bring the immigrants to New Orleans, the Amalia sunk. After the passengers of the four other ships had reached New Orleans and reunited, they traveled up the Mississippi and reached St. Louis on 19 February The members of the immigrant congregation who stayed behind in St.

Louis called Pastor Otto Hermann Walther as their pastor. The others settled in Perry County and divided themselves there into several small congregations which called the remaining immigrant pastors. Broehm and J. Buenger still considered establishing an institution for educating preachers and teachers.

Walther, Loeber and Keyl also joyfully agreed to the plan of the candidates and promised their active assistance. With Walther, they bought six acres of land in the Dresden colony and also saw that a log cabin was built for that purpose. They did the main work since the settlers struggled with great poverty. We, the undersigned, intend to establish an institution for instruction and education that especially distinguishes itself from the usual elementary schools by the following: that in addition to the common elementary subjects, it includes all classical learning that is necessary for a true Christian and scholarly education such as religion, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, French and English, history, geography, mathematics, physics, natural history, elements of philosophy, music, and drawing.

In the named disciplines, the pupils of our institution are to be so advanced that after the completion of a complete course of study they will be qualified for university studies. The esteemed parents who wish to enroll their children in our institution are requested to take closer notice of its plan and arrangement with Pastor O. Walther in St. The instruction shall begin, God willing, 01 October this year. The first students were: Hermann Buenger, Theod. Schubert, Fr. Biltz, J.

Mueller, Ch. Two and a half months before the society of emigrants had to publicize the following in the Anzeiger des Westens:. Several weeks ago the undersigned felt themselves compelled to oppose publicly on these pages the various evil rumors that had come here from Germany and that had also been spread here against the bishop at the time, Stephan. For both according to our own observation as well as according to the strict judicial investigations of this man, all accusations made against this man had remained completely unproven.

Thus we clung especially to his firm Lutheran confession and harbored no doubts of immigrating with him to America and publicly declaring our earned conviction of his innocence. Unfortunately, though, in most recent weeks we made a discovery that convinced us that we had been ignominiously deceived concerning that man. It filled our hearts with horror and shock. I am to obtain the grace of God, but on condition that I keep the Ten Commandments, that I have good works and many merits to show.

But that will never happen. I am not keeping the Ten Commandments, therefore no grace is extended to me. The result is that man can find no rest trusting in his good works. He would be glad to have a good conscience. He yearns for a good, cheerful, peaceful conscience and for real comfort.

He thirsts for contentment. That is the thirst of which Jesus speaks. It lasts until Christ comes and asks: Would you like to be at ease? Would you like to have rest and a good conscience? I advise you to come to Me. Dismiss Moses and no longer think of your own works.

Distinguish between Me and Moses. From Moses you have the thirst which you are suffering. He has done his part for you; he has discharged his office to you; he has put you in anguish and made you thirsty. I am a different Teacher: I will give you to drink and refresh you. A person who has not been put through this experience is a sound without meaning sine mente sonans , a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. But a preacher who has personally passed through this experience can really speak from the heart, and what he says will go into the hearts of his hearers.

It is a mere accident when some one is awakened from sin and converted by a preacher who is himself unconverted. Accordingly, when preparing to preach, the preacher must draw up a strategical plan in order to win his hearers for the kingdom of God. They will leave the church with an empty heart. For the Law and the Gospel must be kept apart the one from the other. Now I shall never again make up my mind to become godly; for I see that I cannot carry out my resolution. I shall never lie to God any more. Only until I had finished reading Mass. An hour later I was more evil than before.

This state of affairs goes on until a person is quite weary and is forced to say: I shall put away from me being godly according to Moses and the Law. This Preacher does not teach that you can love God or how you must act and live, but He tells you how you must become godly and be saved spite of the fact that you can not do as you should.

That preaching is wholly different from the teaching of the Law of Moses, which is concerned only with works. The Law says: Thou shalt not sin; go ahead and be godly; do this, do that. But Christ says: Thou art not godly, but I have been godly in thy place. Take from Me what I give thee, — thy sins are forgiven thee remissa sunt tibi peccata.

These two sermons must be preached and urged upon men at the same time.

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  4. But it is the Gospel alone that satisfies men, makes them cheerful, revives them, and comforts their consciences. Now, lest the preaching of the Gospel only produce lazy, frigid Christians, who imagine that they need not do good works, the Law says to the Old Adam: Sin not; be godly; shun that, do this, etc. But when the conscience feels these smitings and realizes that that the Law is not a mere cipher, man becomes terror-stricken.

    Then you must hear the teaching of the Gospel because you have sinned. Luther, when I was young, I should have spared by body considerably and should not have become a monk. But now that these truths are preached, the people of this godless world despise them. For they have not endured the sweat-bath through which I and others had to pass under the papacy.

    Not having felt the agony of conscience, they despise the Gospel. They have never thirsted, therefore they start all manner of sects and fanatical doings. It is a true saying: Dulcia non meminit, qui non gustavit amara He does not remember sweet things who has not tasted bitter things. He who has never been athirst has no taste. Thirst is a good hostler, and hunger is a good cook.

    But where there is no thirst, even the best drink is not relished. Otherwise men become sated and surfeited and lose all relish of the Gospel. If you meet with such people, pass them by; we are not preaching to them. In the manner here sketched by Luther the Law and Gospel must be proclaimed, without mingling one with the other.

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