Friday, August 28, 2009

Famous last words: Leopold Schneider (1528)

Leopold Schneider was beheaded as a pious witness of the suffering of Christ in Augsburg in 1528. He left the following admonition for the comfort and instruction of others:

"My God, I will praise Thee in my last hour; Thee who .art high above in heaven, I will praise Thee with heart and mouth, for Thou art worthy of it; strengthen my faith (Luke 17:5), now that I must go on this pilgrimage of suffering; remember me in mercy in the severe conflict. I commend my spirit into Thy hands (Luke 23:46); in Thee I rejoice. Christ, help me to stand in my sufferings. Heavenly Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Because I cannot forsake Thy Word, I am hated, and they seek to separate my body from the soul. Therefore I call upon Thee, O God, for gracious help; I trust in Thee, for I have no other comforter. That which is so clearly written, Mark 16:16; 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," can certainly not be contradicted by any one; hence it is to be heeded. O ye blind, why are you troubled and grieved because the command of Christ is observed? acquaint yourselves With the holy Scriptures, and you will find what Christ the Son of God has commanded us to do. I beseech you all, beloved brethren and sisters, that you would firmly trust in God, and let not my bitter death grieve you; 'for God will richly reward it; we must once take our leave of this vale of 'sorrow. The Scripture clearly declares, that he who would have laughing and joy here, shall hereafter mourn and weep: Luke 6:25; we must suffer here with patience; the Lord grant that it be done innocently. He that would here bring his gift to the altar; and remembers that his brother has aught against him, must leave his gift at the altar, and first go and be reconciled to his brother, and then come and offer his gift. Matt. 5:23, 24. Therefore, I beseech Thee, O God, graciously to forgive those who put me to death. I commend my spirit and soul into Thy hand, O God; deliver me out of all my distresses, and never turn away from me; deprive my flesh of all its power, that I may overcome and be victorious in Thee. Amen." Rev. 2:11.

(Source: Martyrs Mirror page 426)

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