Martin Boos, der Prediger der Gerechtigkeit, die vor Gott gilt

Goßner - Boos

Der bekannte Erweckungsprediger Johannes Evangelista Goßner hat 1826 die Autobiographie von Martin Boos postum unter dem Titel „Martin Boos, der Prediger der Gerechtigkeit, die vor Gott gilt“ herausgebracht. Sie ist sogar ins Englische übersetzt und 1836 unter dem Titel „Life and persecutions of Martin Boos: an Evangelical preacher of the Romish Church“ (bzw. 1848 von der London Religious Tract Society unter dem Titel „The life of Martin Boos, a Roman Catholic clergyman in Germany„) veröffentlicht worden. Im Vorwort der englischsprachigen Übersetzung finden sich pathetische Worte aus der Feder von Reverend C. Bridges. M.A., Vicar of Old Newton:

The following work, in its original form, is from the pen of Gossner, the estimable minister of the Bohemian church at Berlin. It brings before us one of the most interesting records of modern Church History—the existence of a body of Christians in the bosom of the Roman church, fully confessing, in their faith and practice, the grand fundamental principles of the Reformation.

To hear (as we have lately heard in our sister island) Romish priests protesting against their own church, may appear to some a new thing. But in reviewing this instructive history, it will be seen that for nearly the last fifty years, a bold and unflinching testimony has been borne by Protestant confessors in the communion of the church of Rome, even in the heart of Catholic Germany.

It was towards the close of the last century that many persons, chiefly in the kingdom of Bavaria, were awakened to a deep and serious concern for the salvation of their souls. Their consciences were powerfully awakened, but their minds very imperfectly enlightened in the simplicity of Christian truth. The narrative gives an affecting account of their laborious, but ineffectual mode of seeking rest for their souls. They prayed—they wept—they fasted —they strove. But they were not „crowned,“ because „they strove not lawfully.“ Self marred it all. These painful exercises were the grounds, on which they attempted to build their peace with God. „Their zeal was not according to knowledge; for they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, went about to establish their own righteousness.“ It was after the manner of the Jews, though in a far better spirit; a spirit not of proud opposition, but of groping darkness. They worked for life, not from life.

Yet it is according to the purpose of God, that those who conscientiously „do his will“ shall ultimately „know of his doctrine,“ and that those who sincerely, though blindly, „follow on to know the Lord, shall know him.“ Hence, these persons, being brought under a sense of their utter inability and unworthiness, were gradually led to the full reception of the gospel; and in the submission of their faith to the righteousness of God,—they found the blessing of inestimable price—the object of their hitherto fruitless search.

Foremost in their number was Martin Boos, the subject of the present Memoir. Born and nurtured up under the fostering care of Rome, and consecrated to her sacerdotal service—converted in a simple manner to the true knowledge of the Saviour—faithfully preaching his cross—persecuted by his own church „from city to city“—imprisoned, examined—condemned—restored; and at last banished from his flock and rom his country—worn out with outward trials—and at length finishing his course in the faith; —this is his history, full of interest and instruction. His natural character appears to have been marked by great sincerity and mental energy; while his exemplary observance of his religious duties procured to him, as to the Apostle of old, high estimation among his own body. The reception of the truth gave an impulse to his whole soul. It was impossible for him to hide the light under a bushel. He lifted it up in a widely extended sphere, and with a large measure of blessing. Even a company of the priests became obedient to the faith/ and endured with himself a living martyrdom in the profession of Christ. The fact that his biographer was one of the number will give increasing interest to the narrative, while his high character is the pledge of the veracity and impartiality of his statements.

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