George Wagner, Baptist Martyr
Posted by Pastor Szekely on May 10, 2007
George Wagner was apprehended at Munich, in Bavaria, on account of four articles of faith. First, that the priests cannot forgive men their sins; secondly, he did not believe that a man can bring God from heaven; thirdly, he did not believe that God, or Christ, is bodily in the bread that the priest places upon the altar; and fourthly, he held not the belief that water baptism saves men.
Because he would not retract his articles, he was put to great torture…so much so that the prince had great compassion on him, personally visiting him in prison and earnestly exhorting him to recant…if he would recant, the prince would call him his friend during his life. But Brother Wagner would not. Finally, his wife and child were brought into the prison and placed before him to move him to a recantation. However, he couldn’t be moved, but said that though his wife and child were indeed so dear to him, that the prince with his whole land could not purchase them from him, yet nevertheless he would not forsake the Lord his God. Finally, George Wagner was condemned to die by the flames.
When he was delivered over to the executioner and led into the middle of the city, this excellent man said, “This day will I confess my God to the glory of Christ Jesus, that such happiness is afforded me in the sight of all the world.” His face was not pale nor were his eyes distorted. With a smile playing on his lips he went to the fire, where the executioner bound him to the ladder and hung a bag of gunpowder around his neck. And when he had taken leave of a Christian brother, he was thrust into the fire, and calmly yielded up his spirit to Christ, February 8, 1527.
[Information gathered with gracious thanksgiving from J. Newton Brown’s book, Memorials of Baptist Martyrs]