Pastor Robert Smith of CTS Fort Wayne has created a facebook account for Friedrich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken in an attempt to coordinate activities around FCD’s birth bicentennial on May 13.
You have to be logged into facebook to read the information presented, but it’s worth it .. the site is interesting reading. Two items caught my eye today:
I believe the only way to accomplish anything properly in the vineyard of the Lord, is exactly this, to place missionaries in smaller circuits. The General Synod should make an appeal someday to Lutheran congregations. It is certainly not right that two thousand churches and probably even more congregations cannot support more missionaries.
These mere excursions and skirmishes upon the territory of Satan, I fear, help basically very little. We have to gain a proper firm foothold and take the land away from the devil step by step and send advanced guards ahead of the occupied land. Since we are lacking champions of Christ here, I am thoroughly convinced that a proper appeal to the German brothers in Europe, particularly to the mission societies (for the consistories don’t always have the right sort of men available), would put enough warriors into our gaps.
Now, may the Lord help. One must only put the need upon Him in fervent prayer, or, as old Luther says, throw the beggar’s sack before His feet. Thus the church will surely be helped. Thank God that she at least has awakened and started to stir and to rub her eyes. She will then also one day look about herself and realize what has happened to her in her sleep. She will be ashamed from the inside to the outside. It is well that the Lord lives and reigns and does not sleep nor slumber, the faithful Shepherd of Israel.
Blessed Wyneken was very scrupulous about preaching. Of course, he had written down only a few sermons completely in Baltimore as well as in St. Louis, and, I suppose, never given one exactly as he had written it. But he prepared himself most conscientiously for the sermon, and only his own illness or necessary visits to the sick could prevent him from it.
Fear and anxiety about the sermon made him regularly ill every Saturday. He lost his appetite for food or drink then. He sighed and groaned then. He looked depressed and distressed then, he thought surely that he was sick then, and talked so fearfully that a stranger who did not yet know his ways, could have easily been mislead to fear a serious illness.
Until eleven, twelve o’clock at night, he sat and wrote after he had read Luther or other “ancients.” Now the sermon was half finished, but suddenly it is torn up and thrown into the wastepaper basket, for – it was wrong! The work begins anew. Perhaps the concept is rejected again, perhaps it finds favor. After midnight, the industrious man goes to bed to sleep fitfully a few hours. On Sunday morning, he is still “sick” and does not like to be disturbed. The sermon, the sermon presses on his conscience and mind. How is he to get through it this time! How is he to stand before God and the congregation!
Finally, he stands in the pulpit. He begins with a somewhat uncertain voice. He coughs. He makes a slip of the tongue. It seems as though he could find no words to express his thoughts. In addition, he makes a face as though he has given up all hope of getting into full swing this time. All of a sudden, however, powerful words drop from his mouth, for example: “All of us are over our ears in miserliness,” or: “All of our Christianity is mere hypocrisy, if we do not follow the example of Christ in our lives,” or: “Every Sunday, the Pharisee and the publican come to church” and now words flow from his mouth like a roaring stream over level plains and over jagged cliffs. Every trace of anxiety has disappeared. His eyes shine. Every muscle in his face, every movement of his hands, his entire bearing testifies that he speaks of a matter close to his heart, which he has experienced himself, which he wants to preach into the hearts of his listeners, for which he wants to win all of them! Everyone is aware of it. He is not reciting a sermon that is merely stuck in his head. He testifies of what he has himself experienced, what God’s Word has worked in his own heart.
He preaches the Law harshly, so that the sinner is dismayed, trembles introspectively and asks fearfully: “What is to become of me? I am lost!”
But then, he begins to teach about the grace of God in Christ Jesus. He demonstrates that all men are redeemed â€” that even the coarsest sinner should not despair. That the reconciled Father in Heaven can help everyone . He wants to help everyone. He describes the great love of God for the sinners. He depicts God’s desire to save everyone who is lost. He encourages to accept this mercy with believing hearts. He chides those who do not dare to seize the mercy. He entreats and implores to let themselves be reconciled with God. He does, in the best sense of the word, the work of an Evangelical preacher. He exhibited the heavenly treasures not only from afar. No, he brought them close. He laid them before the sinners and encourages them to grasp them confidently and cheerfully. Oh, many a man, quite many a man, has summoned up courage only after Wyneken’s sermon to fling himself with all his sins into God’s merciful arms and to take comfort in the full forgiveness for the sake of Christ’s righteousness.