Clarifications on the General Meeting held by the Synod of Buffalo by Johann An. A. Grabau
Pages 53 - 57

"things which were not sinful before the Fall [the original sin] but which were sinful now" and he introduced the proof in John 3,3: "What is born of the flesh, etc." Nothing was said to these youths about what the flesh is called in the Scripture, which is mentioned 5 times in the Epistles. Everything remained obscure and confusing! So many unnecessary words, which teach nothing and from which one gleaned neither understanding nor sense. Everything stupid and easy! This is not service to the word. This is not service to God. It was merely human, off-the-cuff assurance. The same thing on November 11th and 13th. Back and forth oratory, this thing and that, random ideas! Moral and countermoral — without a well established foundation in faith! The oratory strayed far from Holy Text! The same on October 28th. Only history! History! Proper passages chosen but hardly anything other than the words. Moral tales of what Christians should do; and this is the way it is, and this is so!

12.) Wednesday, December 14, 1864 - "God's Amity towards the Repentant Sinner," Isaiah 55, 6 - 9. Much oratory and loud noise and drawn-out moralizing — with thunderous fist pounding. What the search for God means to the sinner was not brought out. There was mere narration: He wishes to be sought out! And concerning the teaching: "A new heart also comes from sincerely rendered penance!" But there's nothing of the doctine in the text. The man doesn't study the text!

13.) The sermon of December 25, 1864 concerning Titus 2 went about in the same vain of phrasemaking. Only story-telling made from the words in the text delivered with great pathos. No divine truth and real proof was extracted for the benefit of faith.

14.) The same thing on February 2, 1865. No concept of what was Israel's consolation; merely the repetition of history with no understanding derived concerning what the appearance of the Savior meant. Just mere repeating: Look, just look! — No understanding on the enlightenment of the pagans, just rapping on the text and repeating of history, — and "if the Jews did not want Him, He would go to the pagans!" Word phrasing and repetition. No acknowledgement of what it is "to live in peace." Only repetition and orations without any enlightenment on the nature of things! Oh, what jabbering!

15.) The same on February 12, 1865 - Septuagesima Sunday. Everything scattered about! Nothing clarified. — Neither the "course" nor things known consciously or unconsciously — "eternal crown" — "everything contained within itself" — covering things up with much human oratory, nothing firmly placed before the eyes. Overshadowing with rhetoric, everything obscured. Veiled words, which should say important things, but which said nothing.

16.) February 19, Sexagesima Sunday. 2 Corinthians 11 and 12. "Paul's veritable praise of the people of Corinth." "Everything is ours" was brought forth from Corinthians as though "false teachers" had said it! Empty bantering! The driest, most pathetic voice and gestures as if the greatest things were being preached, pounding of the fist in an almost crippled manner! He quoted Paul, "I stand on good footing with the Lord, who is a Lord of the heavens and of the earth!" Further: Still no one achieved the understanding of Christ, which brings sanctity. So? Actor? 2. It is spiritless chatter. I think, "now spiritual gifts fade away from the church. Oh, woe are we!"

17.) March 8th - The Day of Repentance. Prayer: "Shatter us through your Words on the cross." Text: Zechariah 13, 7 - Jesus' true role as shepherd for the greatly-fallen youth.

18.) March 17th, Reminiscere. Catechisation. Question: One who fears God, what does he do? In what way does one serve the Lord Jesus? — Hochstetter begins thusly: "Paul admonished the Thessalonians not in his name but? — the boys answer, "In our name!" — Little more is asked about it! Only oratory and circuitous discourse.

Question: What are listed among good works? — No one answered. A lot of unnecessary words — then they should have said what good works were? They couldn't!

In half an hour only 7 to 10 questions. Many things drawn out in order to discuss so much! For example, if discourse is from the Will of God, Our Savior, then everything should be examined as to what God's Will is in the entire catechism and then dealt with extensively. Now since the young people could not answer many of these such unintelligible questions, they should have been primed and pumped as if they alone were responsible for the answers: "Oh, that is indeed bad for us!" etc. During the catechisation they should prime their own pumps! "They digress rather than advance." To our shame they must see that they do not know the catechism! But with such perverted handling of the matter and such blind questioning, whence shall come zeal and love for the holy catechism? With this erosion of all Christian service and in all this teaching they could not find where the questions and answers, to which he was referring, were in the catechism. Nine times during this catechisation he shouted, "you should shun this harlotry!" In between was the 6th Commandment: "and just how bad was that!" Most of it he had to answer himself.! After such excursions once again it means "God save us from this and that." And still sitting together in misery. And this should have meant" Don't you want to get out, don't you want to leave? The warning lost all power through the useless and contradictory wording. Neither teaching nor edification nor spiritual strengthening was educed.

19.)April 9, 1865, Palm Sunday. The highest form of phrase sermonizing ensued with totally false doctrine concerning the person of Christ, as stated above in section 1. Oh, my misfortune!

20.) April 17th - "Cornelius had not yet received the true forgiveness of sins." The extensive, this-way-and-that oratory, which was impossible to follow.

21.) April 23rd, Quinquagesime Sunday. Epistle: 1 John 5,4 and so on. Proposition: That Jesus is the Son of God." This is the foundation, power and victory of faith. Once again mere narration from passages in the Bible, nothing which demonstrated divine truth! As evidence it was brought out: the Spirit, the Water and the Blood; but how?? Nothing about it! Everything empty. *) [1.]

22.) May 21, 1865, Rogate Sunday. The Epistles are the activators of the Word. Prayer: You, oh God, have called to us from eternity. Lots of grass and straw in the sermon. Dead moralizing.

23.) June 7th, Third day of Pentecost. Sermon on Epistles Act 8. Quite false this Epistle with nothing declared about the confirmation of the new Christians in faith, rather about the ordination to the ministry. Entirely nothing other than deafening noise and filler.

24.) The same on the first day of Pentacost. "He has a plan for us", etc. and subsequently: there are so few apostles among us! (Are you listening?) Mere rhetorical things about faith. There weren't three parts to the sermon but fully twenty! Lots of loud, alien contingencies. A little of this, a little of that. It was torture for me *) [2.] to follow the discourse and attempt to find one divine thread within it! An unspeakable tangent, it was an obscuring of the Holy Text through to the 18th of June, the first Sunday after Trinity)*) [3.]

25.) November 19th. "Christ was not ascended into heaven with the body which had been bloodied and scarred on the cross but with the transfigured body!" (So?) The remainder was a veritable swarm of phrases. The same on January 14th,


[1.] *) Comment - Around this time I asked Rohr for advice in what I should do about this situation in regard to Hochstetter. He advised me to remain silent - it could create quite a stir in the congregation. So I remained silent in the hope of improvement. Soon thereafter Rohr declared after another sermon by Hochstetter, "that's mere phrasology!" However in the Fall of 1865 he secretly took Hochstetter aside in order to wage open warfare and he set him against me! When he was suspended, he acquited himself with the greatest of lies! Oh, pity him who has Rohr for a friend and advisor! But Rohr is not ashamed of himself for such conspiracy! His lies are sacred!! Return to text

[2.] *) And a great portion of the Christians experienced the same. Return to text

[3.] *) In the Summer of 1865 ensued my visitation trip out West, returning at the end of September. Return to text

concerning the marriage at Cana - for example, one should take this to mean that when Christ resides with them there must come an overabundance of treasures of gold and silver, or not? Who thinks that's so? — almost all the passages, which cited history were inappropriate - for example, hay dries up, the flesh withers. I see no preparation, no sincereity, no diligence. Only loud story-telling from the book; mere mentioning of matters of faith, never a proof which serves the Christian, and a strengthening of the divine truth for the listener seeking blessing. — it's as if one were standing in a large country garden and wanted to plant a bed but he couldn't stay in one place, so he ran all around the path and the perimeter and instead of attending to the bed all he did was talk about the weeds in the plot of land!! — (similarly in a sermon where there was thunderous banging on the pulpit lectern about 26 times, unfortunately such music will not build a church!) The catechication was just as miserable.

26.) February 4, 1866 - Sexagesima Sunday, 2 Corinthians 11,12. Paul's defense of his apostalic ministry *) [1.] Now amid those under his ministry Mr. Hochstetter accused me of false doctine! Very well!! —

After to the Accusations:

March 11th - Laetare Sunday, on the Epistle of Galations 4, 21 - 31 he preached: "If our gospel is obscured, it is obscured by those who are lost." This is what he will have known of his sermon, that it reveals itself as clear and bright and the fault lies only with us poor listeners who are the lost ones and our senses are befuddled. *) [2.] We would gladly attribute the fault as ours if Hochstetter would transform his obscure sermonizing into a clear, gospel-based one! Thus far however there remains prideful blindness in him, which he himself speaks of so freely. We however are guilty to the extent that our befuddled senses are lost to his clear sermonizing! Within this same sermon he preached of riotous freedom from the law of God, which stands in contradiction to the current formula taught and acknowledged in the "third application of divine law"as if we too were free of it! Yikes! Freedom! "Here," he said, "are the absolutely free children of God." Young and old servants to sin gladly hear this!

28.) March 25th - Palm Sunday and the Annunciation. Again witless false things! He wanted to present: 1. The great announcement of the Angel Gabriel and 2. the righteous faith of the Virgin Mary!

God sent His Word to Nazareth! (so? wasn't it already there?) This announcement was greatly important and celestial, not for the sake of the announcer, who was also a creature, but because it was the Word of God. But if this creature (the angel) did not come from heaven but rather a neighbor of Mary's had come, how would she known that the Word was from heaven? And most certainly from heaven for her?

Further: "She (Mary) did not deliberate on the angel's announcement; instead she accepted it!" Oh, what blindness! She did not deliberate upon it with pride, that would have been better! She deliberated in humility and responded to the angel: How can this come to be, and how can what you announce be true? And the angel answered: The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, etc. Furthermore "Her faith stood on the Word of God and it possessed the humility to follow!" But how did she know that this was "God's Word to her?" — By the fact that an angel came, who vouched for it by his being sent and assuring that it was God's Word to her as already given through Moses and the prophets. Isaiah 7, 14; 1 Moses 3, 15.

Furthermore: Gabriel delivers messages.


[1.]*) Not the slightest establishment of the facts. Idle word-making. Return to text

[2.] *) Comment - A Christian woman complained she was overcome with despondancy since she could understand absolutely nothing from Hochstetter's sermon! Others heard it more with scorn and to this day stay away from the church. Return to text

So? I think only God makes him do this!

Now this was further bound up with the references to the current contentious situation: "The faith (Mary's) hangs on the Word of God, for God's Word has within itself the power to sanctify men! Thus she sees that this is not empty wind, — it is self-fulfilling!" — If she believed it before the fact, she must have already known that it was not empty wind! How do we sing about it in the Credo? — and how should the Word to Mary (and to me) have power if it is not evinced beforehand (through the wondrous symbol of the angel), that it is the Word of God and a message for her? Thus God provided evidence of his own Word with a symbol from heaven so that we may hold on tightly to God's Word and believe in its sanctity.

Now this is easily proclaimed: "Faith depends upon God's Word," but certainly no one sees it when the words are obscured and covered up in human oratory; and when it is stated: "Faith comes from the sermon," there is certainly no such sermon which conjoins facts over gospel! Therein one no longer sees the gospel and no faith comes! And it is also true (as has been stated) that "the sacraments are visible signs of God — but not signs sufficient to validate the unintelligibility of an obscured sermon!

God is moved to pity by this blindness where spiritual pertinacity and arrogance prevail in he who thinks he is the master of such divine matters. It's nothing other than shame and indictment.! —

"This transformation into useless oratory" is a sad necessity when one must openly resort to it, — but it may serve as a warning to all of us that we seriously check ourselves from gossiping on the pulpit, fearful in the sight of God and notice in the listeners how we perceive ourselves as preachers, lest we be cheated out of the brilliant light of the gospel for decades!

Rohr as a Fool!
A Correspondence
The Teachings of Pastor Grabau;
J.R.J.- A.

That the direct call to the ministry of St. Paul may still stand firm.
(Acts of the Apostles 9, 1 - 22)

Thus my soul, parched and withered, will rush to the source of life that is the wonder of Jesus in the Eucharist; my confessor however has been miserably encumbered with being called a false prophet and enthusiast by Mr. von Rohr in Informatorium XVI, Numbers 6 and 7. Thus I am forced to go over in my mind whether it could be true for I cannot receive holy absolution and the sacraments for the fortification of my weak soul from an openly false prophet.

1.Now I first discover that Pastor Grabau has not fostered faith according to the prescripts of conversion but rather 1.) consolation, grace, healing; 2.) ordination, being filled with the Holy Spirit; 3.) holy baptism for the forgiveness of sins have been observed to be "outside the usual order."
a. As proof that St. Paul had the faith before Anainas came to him, Pastor Grabau established on the second Sunday "On his conversion, verses 3 - 9; see Acts 26, 13 - 19." I can still remember, "Raise up your eyes, for you are converted...through the faith in me," being brought forth in the sermon, which awakened the joyous heart in me. If it is true that Christ himself spoke these words to Paul on the journey (and the text still cannot be separated from John 10, 35;) then it follows that Paul himself must have also come to the faith. And when he says this himself in Verse 19 I was not in disbelief.
b. That this may be considered proper doctrine of faith on the grounds of God's Word, I acknowledge 1.) from Dr. Luther's Marginalia Glossary on Acts 9,5 - "In summary Paul was ordained without preparation"; in Verse 6 - "Paul, although he was ordained and enlightened without preparation,

was sent to Ananias so he could bear witness,etc." How could Paul have praised the enlightenment upon the unmediated divine concepts of His teachings in 1 Corinthians 11, 23 and Galatians 1, 12 and announced his divine ordination in Galatians 1,1 if he had first received the enlightenment and calling to the ministry mediatedly through Ananias?

2.) From B. Herberger's key book of epistle sermons - "He was called twice: Saul! Saul! the first is a voice of scorn...the other 'Saul!' a merciful voice of grace (and this was clarified in Hosea 11, 8 & 9 and Jeremiah 3, 12.) It is so for us to this day. First He lets us hear His lawgiver's voice and He frightens us so that we may do penance. Then comes His gospel-giving voice of comfort whereby He once more judges then absolves us...Saul asks two things: (1) Lord, who are you? (2) Lord, what do you want me to do? In these two questions stands the whole of Christendom: Lord, who are you? He questions the recognition of God's Being. Whoever knows how to answer these two questions is capable of attaining heaven and has achieved the highest state of wisdom. Jesus answers these two questions quite simply: 1. "I am Jesus," I am the Savior of the world. There is no other salvation and there is no other name given to man whereby he may become sanctified. Acts of the Apostles 4, 12. I am Jesus, who was born a true man for your sake, who suffered for you under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried etc. I am your benefactor, your physician, your salvation. II. Stand up and go etc.

3.) From Dan. Cramer's Bible Clarification: Concerning Acts 19,5. "Paul screamed and fell, was slain in the spirit; that he asked what he should do was a demonstration of the new obedience." (Comment: If according to Cramer's intent he already stood in the new obedience then he must have already had the faith as is likewise stated in the 12th Article of the Augsburg Confession.) — concerning Verse 9 - "Paul dined on the bread of heaven for these three days." Then it is plausible that the call of which he professed in 2 Corinthians 12, 2 was the time he received his enlightenment in the three days of heaven. He must have heard indescribable words and received them unmediatedly from the Lord Himself according to 1 Corinthians 11, 23 and not from man, Galatians 1,12. There is sufficient evidence of the apostolic ministry of St. Paul by which to contend that it was a calling without mediation."
c. St. Paul's faith may also be recognized in the words of text in which Ananias spoke to him in Acts 9, 13: The Lord has shown you the way." see 22, 14 - "to see the righteous one." Compare with Isaiah 53, 11; Jeremiah 23, 6; 4 Moses 21, 8; John 3, 14; Psalm 34, 6; Romans 4,5; see also 1, 17.

II. Secondly it is clear from the text whether he was already converted; that is, ready to repent, faithful and obedient and that he had already begun to receive God's command from Ananias.
1.) Comfort, grace, healing. Christ speaks in Acts 9, 11: "Thus see, he prays," as the Waim Bible sets forth, in order to receive forgiveness for his grievous sins when he was a blasphemer and a persecutor and a slanderer; 1 Timothy 1,13. Luther's Marginalia Glossary: "Afterwards he was not sent because he would be ordained but rather so that he would be made apparent." Each converted Christian is always in need of this comfort and fortification of faith. If one reads Brother Herberger's key book of sermons on Sexigesima Sunday, then one hears according to the introduction to the epistle that St. Paul was always in need of the comfort and the grace. Why else would Christians establish the Holy Eucharist?

2.) Ordination, being filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul was ordained three times; once by Christ Himself, see 26, 16 - "I hereby ordain you to be a servant and a witness."; the second time by Ananais, see 22: 14, 15. God has ordained will be His witness; the third time by the prophets and the teachers of Antioch, see 13, 1 - 3: "The Holy Spirit spoke: I take unto myself Barnabas and Saul." David was anointed three times: once by Samuel in accordance with God's unmediated command, 1 Samuel 16: 12, 13; the second time by the descendants of Juda - 2 Samuel 2: 4,3; the third time by all of Israel, see 5,3: Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Go on to Pages 58 - 60

Photocopy of the text provided by the Yale Divinity Library, New Haven, Ct.

Imaging and translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks,