Scripture Verse

The martyrs of Jesus. Revelation 17:6


Words: Mar­tin Lu­ther, 1523 (Ein Neu­es Lied Wir He­ben An). This Eng­lish ver­sion ap­peared in a trans­la­tion of D’Au­big­nés His­to­ry of the Re­for­ma­tion (Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia: 1843), where it was said to have been trans­lat­ed for that work by John A. Mes­sen­ger.

Music: Ib­stone Ma­ria Tid­de­man, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Mes­sen­ger or Tid­de­man (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Martin Luther

On June 23, 1523, two young Au­gus­tin­i­an monks, Hein­rich Voes and Joh­ann Esch, from An­twerp, had been, af­ter ex­am­in­a­tion by the Co­logne In­quis­i­tor, Ja­cob von Hog­stra­ten, and at the in­sti­ga­tion of the Lou­vain pro­fess­ors, con­demned to death and burnt at the stake in Brus­sels.

On re­ceipt of the news of this first mar­tyr­dom for the Ev­an­gel­i­cal cause Lu­ther’s spir­it was fired, and he wrote this spir­it­ed nar­ra­tive, end­ing with the pro­phet­ic words [trans­lat­ed by Richard Mas­sie, 1854]:

Summer is even at our door,
The winter now hath vanished,
The tender flowerets spring once more,
And He, who winter banished,
Will send a happy Summer.

Julian, p. 326


Flung to the heedless winds,
Or on the waters cast,
The martyrs’ ashes, watched,
Shall gathered be at last.

And from that scattered dust,
Around us and abroad,
Shall spring a plenteous seed,
Of witnesses for God.

The Father hath received,
Their latest living breath,
And vain is Satan’s boast,
Of victory in their death.

Still, still, though dead, they speak,
And, trumpet tongued, proclaim,
To many a wakening land,
The one availing name.