Klarenbach, Adolf

Klarenbach, Adolf a noted martyr of the Reformation, was born at the close of the 15th century, near the city of Lennep, in the duchy of Berg, and eagerly pursued his studies first at Munster, then at Cologne, under two instructors who afterwards became his inquisitors. He became master of a school at Munster in 1520, and sought to impart his new views of faith to his pupils. On this account he was driven successively from Munster, Wesel, Buderich, and Osnabrtick, followed sometimes by those who had come under his instruction. He became at last a preacher in his native region, boldly fulfilling his mission, notwithstanding the anxious remonstrances of his parents and the threats of the magistrates, and on finally leaving Lennep he addressed to the authorities of the city a defence from Scripture of his decidedly Lutheran position, declaring that, should they even take his life, " they could not take from him Christ, his everlasting life." At Cologne, in the spring of 1528, he undertook the defence of an old friend and colaborer, Klopreiss, and was himself thereupon imprisoned with his friend. He was heard before the civil. and later before the ecclesiastical court, in presence of his two former instructors, Arnold von Zongern and Johann von Venradt. Theodore Fabricius, who had himself suffered much in Cologne in behalf of the evangelical doctrine, made great efforts for Klarenbach's release. He succeeded in delivering Klopreiss, and there came an imperial requisition from Speier upon the city of Cologne to show cause why Klarenbach was detained. The city disregarded the subsequent judgment of the imperial court in the prisoner's favor, and said "it knew no supreme court, but only a dungeon court." Into the archbishop's dungeon Klarenbach was now thrown with others, especially Peter Flysteden. On the 4th of March, 1529, Klarenbach, exhorted to firmness and bravery by his friend Peter, was taken from the dungeon for final judgment before the inquisitors. The grand inquisitor, Kollin, solemnly admonished him to a definite retraction. No free address, notwithstanding the clamors of the spectators for it, was permitted him. After the example of Paul he appealed to the emperor, but the appeal was only set down as another strong evidence of heresy; sentence of death was pronounced on the 19th of March, and the city council determined upon its execution. Farther attempts were made during the subsequent months of his imprisonment to turn the martyr from his faith. "It will cost you your neck," it was said. " Here it is," replied he, bending his neck; " this you can have, but not your will with me." In the autumn a destructive pestilence visited Cologne, and the priests declared it a judgment of heaven upon heresy and the sin of forbearance with heretics. The 27th of September had come. Through an air-hole of the dungeon, the prisoners were asked if they still stood by their opinions. "As long as God will," replied Klarenbach. Efforts of his relatives at persuasion, and of the monks who accompanied them, were unavailing. Both the prisoners went forth courageously. Minute events in the passage of the procession, the contending sentiments which it awakened in the spectators, and the whole dramatic power of the scene, are depicted in a publication of that day entitled Alle Acta Adolphi Klar-enbach written professedly by an eye and ear witness. The prophecy uttered by Klarenbach on his way to the stake has met its fulfilment: "Oh Cologne, Cologne, how thou dost persecute the Word of God! a cloud is in the sky which will yet bring down a rain of righteousness." Herzog, Real-Encylopadie, vol. 19, s.v.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.