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About a hundred years ago Coleridge wrote : 'f I can 
scarcely conceive a more delightful volume than might 
be made from Luther's letters, especially those from the 
Wartburg, if translated in the simple, idiomatic, hearty 
mother-tongue of the original." One's first impulse on 
reading those words is to search for this " delightful 
volume," but, though nearly a century has elapsed since 
Coleridge thus wrote, no such volume is to be found in 
present-day German, even in Germany. This treasure 
ought to be accessible to all classes. The reason why all 
classes have not had access to Luther's letters long ago 
is, that they have lain embedded, many of them in Latin, 
in the volumes of De Wette ; also in Old German, in the 
twenty-four huge volumes of Walch's edition of Luther's 
Works, published about 170 years ago ; and in the three 
volumes of Dr. Gottfried Schatze's German edition of 
Luther's hitherto unpublished letters, translated from the 
Latin in 1784. 

From the two latter sources De Wette culled most 
of the 2,324 letters published in 1826, in his first five 
volumes, which he dedicated to the Grand Duke Karl 
August, of Saxe- Weimar, Goethe's friend, in grateful re- 
membrance of the services rendered by the princes of the 
Saxon Ernestine line to the Reformation, and of the use 



he had been permitted to make of the treasures in the 
Grand Ducal hbrary in Weimar, De Wette gives the 
literary history of every letter, thus making them a 
Tagebuch of Luther's life. 

In the Preface to Dr. SchUtze's German edition of 
Luther's letters the translator says : " From different 
quarters a wish has been expressed to see Dr. Schiltze's 
unprinted letters in the hands of the German public, and 
I did not know how one could become better acquainted 
with the character of this Paul-like man than from his 
letters, in which his heart lies exposed, and which bring 
us so much in contact with the spirit of the Reformation ; 
and if, at times, they verge on vehemence, yet they never 
leave the reader unedified." The Latin edition is dedi- 
cated to Frederick V. of Denmark. In the Preface to 
Stroebel's Selected Letters — Nurnberg, 1780 — the author 
says : *' The more of Luther's letters I read, my respect 
for this wonderful man always increased, and most of 
them gave me such pleasure that I believed I would be 
conferring a favour on many of his admirers, especially 
among the laity, to whom his voluminous works were 
scarcely accessible, if I made them better acquainted with 
his noble and honest heart, thus inspiring his ungrateful 
children with more respect for him to whom they owe 
so much, and who, in every relation of life, appears as 
noble as he was amiable, although many who never read 
his works assert the opposite." 

Dr. Enders, in his splendid collection of Luther's 
" Briefwechsel," mostly in Latin — the first volume was 
published in 1884, and the tenth in 1903 — says that they 
are intended not only for the learned, but for a larger 
public who are interested in all Luther's letters. Dr. 
Enders derives most of those letters from De Wette, 
Walch, Aurifaber, Schatze, and Stroebel. 

Luther was the first classic writer of the German 


language, and his words, as Richter says, were half-battles; 
while according to Coleridge, his " miraculous and provi- 
dential translation of the Bible was the fundamental act 
of the construction of literary German." 

This busiest of men was the most indefatigable of letter- 
writers ; and in his letters all the events of those stormy 
times are mirrored, as well as the influences which de- 
veloped his own religious life. His letters are specially 
valuable because of his allusions to his herculean labours 
in the field of Bible translation. 

But his love for the Scriptures lightened the task. 
Referring specially to the Psalms, which occupied him 
so continuously through life, Luther said : " The Holy 
Scriptures were to believing souls what the meadow is to 
the animal, what the home is to man, the nest to the 
bird, the cleft of the rock to the sea-fowl, the stream to 
the fish." 

Busch, in prefacing Bismarck's Life, claims for his hero 
a hundred years hence a place alongside of Luther, and asks 
who would not now be glad to have fuller details of the 
Reformer in the great days and hours of his life ^ His 
letters abundantly supply these details, while at the same 
time they throw light on many a disputed point of 
Reformation history. 

In Luther's lifetime collections of his letters began to 
appear. The first, in 1530, contained four letters. In 
1546 Cruciger issued eight letters of consolation, and 
gradually these were increased. In 1556, Aurifaber, in 
Jena, with the Elector John Frederick, meditated issuing 

One is struck, in reading Luther's letters, by the great 
love which bound that Wittenberg circle together, ex- 
tending to far-away Nilrnberg, the home of Pirkheimer, 
Albrecht Diirer, Spengler, Link, and Osiander — to Strass- 
burg, where Capito, Bacer, and Matthew Zell, with his 


wife Katherine, that succourer of many, laboured ; and 
Luther is interested in all that concerns each. 

In Hering's Die Mystik Luthers, we see the fresh 
interest which entered Luther's life through Tauler's 
writings. His own dark hours had been a puzzle to him 
long before he made the acquaintance of the Mystics. 
" The just shall live by faith " had been his first comforter, 
but Tauler was his first human comforter. " Although 
unknown in the schools of theology, and therefore 
despised," Luther writes, " yet I have found more pure 
theology in his book than in all the scholastic teachers 
in all the universities put together." Finding an old 
book containing an outline of Tauler's theology, he edited 
it ; and a peculiar interest attaches to it, as the issue of 
Deutsche Theologie {^Theologia Germanicd) in 15 16 was 
Luther's first appearance in print. 

Another great joy to him was the accession of the 
Anhalt Princes to the Reformed faith. These three 
brothers were his warm friends ; and he sent them Nicolas 
Hausmann as their Court preacher. Max Muller says 
that in every crisis in their country's history the Anhalt 
Princes came to the front. 

With Luther " out of sight was not out of mind." 
When his good Elector had him carried off to the Wart- 
burg, after his grand appearance at Worms in 1521, he at 
once began writing to his anxious friends in Wittenberg. 
On May 12 he wrote to Melanchthon, Amsdorf, and 
Agricola. He surveys with deep pain the general state 
of the Church, and reproaches himself for not shedding 
tears over her wretched condition in the presence of Anti- 
christ. He admonishes Melanchthon to defend the walls 
of Jerusalem with the gifts God had given him ; and he 
would aid him through his prayers. He asks anxiously 
who is filling the pulpit where he was wont to preach ; 
and, along with these weighty matters, he does not torget 


his friend Agricola's domestic concerns, sending two golden 
gulden — one to the baby, another to buy wine for his wife. 

And his friends must send him his papers at once, 
so that he may resume his work, since not a moment 
could Junker Georg ^ lose in his seclusion except through 
frequent headaches ; for, even when following the chase, 
he spiritualised what he saw in the hunting-field. And 
when he left his " Patmos " he took with him his gift 
to the German people, the New Testament, in their 

Coleridge speaks of the great interest of the Wartburg 
letters ; but those from Coburg Castle are not a whit less 
interesting, especially those to Melanchthon, dated from 
the " Castle so full of evil spirits," in which he endeavours 
to encourage his friend. " The six months spent here," 
says a recent German writer, " might be called the mid- 
hour of his life. He is no longer the monk who sighs 
over his sins, nor the embarrassed peasant's son, who, 
dazzled by the august assembly at Worms, begs for a 
day's grace before answering for himself. He has been 
made strong by inward and outward storms which, how- 
ever, were powerless to rob him of his childlike innocence 
of heart and poetic freshness of feeling ; for he knows 
that the wondrous Christian experience with which God 
has honoured him is now the common property of hun- 
dreds of thousands. Hence he got through an amount 
of work which fills us with astonishment ; for, while 
holding in his hands the threads which set all the Evan- 
gelical princes and theologians in motion in Augsburg, he 
had leisure to be professor to his students, Veit Dietrich^ 
etc., seelsorger for those in affliction, bookmaker for his 
dear Germans, and the most loving of sons, husbands, 
and fathers." '^ 

* The name Luther assumed while in the Wartburg. 
2 Luther in Coburg Castle. 


On his arrival he wrote above the door of his room, 
"I shall not die, but live," from his beloved ii8th 
Psalm. Till his books arrived, he at once began writing 
to his friends, and in his first letter says : " We have 
reached our Sinai, which I shall turn into a Zion, and 
build three tabernacles — one to the Psalter, one to the 
Prophets, and one to i^sop." Luther intended recon- 
structing and purifying iEsop's Fables. " For where can 
one, outside the Bible, find a finer book of old world 
wisdom, from which so much instruction and warning 
how to act in everyday life towards all can be found?" 
asks Luther. 

Matthesius, in lecturing on Luther, quotes Jotham's 
fable of the trees wishing to appoint a king over them as 
a proof that the fable had not its origin in Phrygia or 
Greece, but was known to the Jews 3000 years before 
Christ. " What," he asks, " if Asaph, the writer of so many 
beautiful psalms, was the first to collect these fables, even 
as others did the Proverbs of Solomon ; for the two names, 
T^sop and Asaph, exactly correspond." Strange to say, 
Luther's MS. of JEsop now lies, without the beautiful 
Preface, in the Vatican library in Rome. This fragment 
is upon ten sheets of strong paper, along with the four 

But graver studies interrupted this pastime, although 
^sop often formed the subject of his table-talk. " His 
Popish adversaries did not disturb him greatly then. The 
weal of Christendom, which was threatened by the Turks, 
lay much nearer his heart. In the preceding year Turkey's 
tents were ranged before Vienna's gates, so that the dome 
of St. Stephen's ran a narrow chance of having her cross 
replaced by the crescent. Different Christian states looked 
with no unfriendly eye at the Porte's success, and so it is all 
the more touching to see how nobly the German Reformer 
almost forgot the dangers which assailed his own cause in 


his anxiety for a common Christianity — one would almost 
say humanity." ^ 

Luther's attitude towards Charles V. also showed his 
toleration. When the Emperor forbade Evangelical preach- 
ing during the Diet of Augsburg, Luther said : " The 
town belongs to him, so we must give way; " but happily 
the princes would not yield, Luther had always a great 
affection for the young Emperor. " He is pious and 
peaceable," he said, " and does not speak as much in a 
year as I do in one day." 

June 25 was a proud day for Luther, when the 
Augsburg Confession was read at the Diet. Although 
drawn out by Melanchthon, it is doubtful if it would 
ever have been finished had Luther's powerful letters, 
not restored his fainting powers. " God," he writes, 
" has placed you in a spot, which is neither to be found 
in your rhetoric nor your philosophy ; and this spot is 
called faith, where all you cannot see nor comprehend is 
to be found." 

The precious words of consolation which Luther 
scattered across his path came from a heart assailed by 
many a storm, for he knew his moments of weak faith 
came direct from Satan. It was in Coburg that he wrote 
that letter to his son Hans which has delighted the 
children of every age. 

When there his father died, and he wrote commending 
his sick father to Him who loved him better than he did, 
comforting him with the thought of " the exit from this 
world to God being shorter than the journey from Wit- 
tenberg to Mansfeld, for it only means an hour's sleep." 
Just then his wife sent him the picture of his little Lena. 
At first he could not make out who it was, but gradually 
recognised it, and thought it an excellent likeness. And 
as a husband Luther was no less loving. When once the ' 

' Luther in Coburg Castle. 


careful wife asked him to procure something for her, the 
busy man sent to Niirnberg for oranges, there being none 
in Wittenberg, for " why should he not be glad to do her 
bidding, for was she not dearer to him than the King of 
France or Venice ? " 

Particularly beautiful is Luther's letter to Chancellor 
Bruck, speaking of the stars in God's beautiful firmament 
being supported by no visible pillars. Luther's solitude 
was cheered by a visit from his future Elector, John 
Frederick, who gave him a gold ring, and asked him to 
accompany him home. But we shall anticipate no more 
of Luther's letters, except to say how touching are his 
allusions to his being " a feeble, worn-out old man, over- 
burdened with letter-writing, overwhelmed with work," 
as his life draws near to its close. 


We shall give a few details of his numerous corre- 
spondents, for it would fill volumes to tell all that is 
interesting of these distinguished men. We shall not 
enter into his relations with his three Electors, those 
remarkable men, the first of whom founded Wittenberg 
University in 1502, to which Luther was called in 1508 
through Staupitz, often called his spiritual father. Little 
did the good Frederick, with his great love of peace, 
dream that this modest High School, which was not to 
presume to vie with its accomplished sisters, Erfurt and 
Leipsic, and whose teachers were to be the monks in 
the Augustinian cloister, would one day set Germany 
ablaze and shake the Papal throne. Frederick never met 
Luther, wishing to remain unbiassed on the great religious 
questions agitating the Empire. The second, John the 
Steadfast, was his warm friend ; while the third, John 
Frederick, was his son in the faith, who, after Luther's 


death, went into exile, accompanied by Lukas Cranach, 
for the gospel's sake. 

Luther numbered kings and queens, princes and 
princesses, popes, painters, such as Albrecht Diirer, poets 
like Coban Hesse, and warriors, as well as eminent 
humanists and theologians, among his correspondents ; 
and he was as much interested in the smallest affairs ot 
the smallest people as in the fate of empires. 

Melanchthon ranks first among Luther's friends. 
Emil Frommel writes : " Even as our Saviour sent out 
His disciples two and two, so has He ever done in later 
ages. The son of the miner and that of the smith stand 
close together in God's kingdom. The one fetches the 
iron and coal out of the earth, the other polishes the 
weapons for warfare. Melanchthon was the great linguist 
of the Reformation. Luther glories in the ancient lan- 
guages being the sheath in which the Word of God was 

No one rejoiced in his great success as a lecturer more 
than Luther. " Perhaps I am Philip's forerunner," he 
writes, " the Elias to prepare the way for a greater, who 
will throw the servants of Israel and Ahab into confusion." 
Melanchthon said : "I would rather die than separate 
from Luther." When almost dead at Weimar in 1540 
it was Luther's prayers that raised him up. On February 
1 9, 1 546, Melanchthon, bathed in tears, announced Luther's 
death to the students : " And now," he cried," we are like 
the forsaken orphans of a beloved father." 

Spalatin may perhaps rank next in the portrait gallery 
of Luther's friends. They were of the same age, and 
studied in Erfurt together. Spalatin was Court chaplain to 
Frederick the Wise, and eventually preacher in Altenburg. 
Of the 2,324 letters in De Wette, 415 were to Spalatin. 
More letters were therefore written to him than to any 
other, for Luther told him everything. Spalatin, though 


gifted with greater natural talents and a more finished 
education, had less insight and self-reliance than Luther, 
and was therefore glad to follow his guidance. As he 
sat in the Council of Princes between Frederick and 
Luther, and understood both men, it is difficult to 
overestimate his services to the Reformation. Spalatin 
died in 1545. 

Justus Jonas may be placed next. He was born in 
1593. He took his doctor's degree in Erfurt, then 
studied law in Wittenberg, and was professor and provost 
there. Jonas translated and defended Luther's Ninety-five 
Theses. This v/as his first service to the Reformation. 
Jonas was an eloquent preacher, and on Sabbaths and Fast- 
days preached in the Stift's and Schloss churches. " What 
learning Wittenberg contains, Erfurt is frosty in compari- 
son," he wrote to Coban Hesse. Jonas was at the head 
of the second Visitation; and in 1533 presided over the 
creation of the first Evangelical doctors, Bugenhagen, 
Cruciger, etc., at which the Elector John Frederick, with 
his wife Sibylla, our Anne of Cleve's sister, were present. 
Later Jonas became superintendent in Halle. It was in 
Jonas's church (in whose arms Luther may be said to have 
died) that Luther's body lay over the Sabbath on the way 
from Eisleben. When announcing his death to the 
Elector, Jonas begged him to write a letter of consolation 
to Bugenhagen, for a great love bound all of them 
together. Melanchthon said: "Bugenhagen is a gram- 
matiker, I am a dialectician, Jonas is an orator, only 
Luther surpasses us all." After Luther's death Jonas 
was exiled, and died at Eisfeld, 1555. 

Bugenhagen comes next. Born 1485, he studied in 
Greifswald, and was won to the truth by Luther's Baby- 
lonian Captivity^ and came to Wittenberg in 1521 to be 
near his master. He became pastor of the Stadt Kirche, 
where Luther often preached for him when he was absent 


on the Visitations, Bugenhagen had the gift of church 
organisation, and introduced the Reformation into Ham- 
burg, Lubeck, Pomerania, and Denmark, where in 1537 
he crowned King Christian IV. and his Queen, like a true 
bishop, as Luther wrote. 

Next in order is the good pastor of Joachimsthal, 
Johann Matthesius, who was born in 1 504, and boarded for 
years with Luther, where he was received into the circle of 
his dearest friends. In 1526 he became acquainted with 
Luther's pamphlet on Good JVorks^ "from which," he says, 
" I learned the elements of Christianity." Matthesius wrote 
the tirst complete and reliable life of Luther, a series of 
Sabbath evening lectures to his Bible class in 1562-64, 
one of the most charming books of Reformation times. 
In Lecture VII. Matthesius gives an interesting account of 
his first sojourn in Wittenberg, which was cut short in 
1529 by the Marburg Conference. Although placed in a 
remote parish he knew all that was going on ; for, he had 
friends in the great Reformation centres, Nornberg, 
Strassburg, Regensburg, and even in Vienna. Melanch- 
thon often wrote asking him for news, for letters were 
then the newspapers. One may gather that Matthesius 
was a person of note ; for, over a hundred portraits of 
him still exist, two in the National Gallery in London. 
Matthesius died on October 8, 1565. 

Friedrich Myconius, the beloved Mecum of Luther's 
letters, eventually first Evangelical superintendent in Gotha, 
was born in 1591 at Lichtenfels. His spiritual experience 
as a monk closely resembled Luther's in Erfurt. In 1546 
he related, as fresh as if it had happened the day before, 
how the way of salvation had been so far revealed to him in 
the now famous dream of July 14, 15 10, on his first night 
in the Franciscan cloister in /Vnnaberg, which he entered 
solely to serve God perfectly. But 15 17 dawned before 
peace visited his soul. Little did the pious monk know, 


while groping after the light all these years, that another 
youth had already found the pearl of great price in the 
Augustinian cloister at Erfurt, and was to be the means 
of imparting it to multitudes. In 151 8 the news that 
Luther was to sleep in the Barefoot cloister penetrated to 
Myconius's cell in Weimar, but although under the same 
roof with him the poor priest was not to see him. Could 
he only have known how often he was to stand by Luther 
in days to come it might have stilled his aching heart. 
Myconius was at the Reformer's bedside, along with his 
Elector, when Luther lay at death's door in Schmalkalden, 
and, with Bugenhagen and Spalatin, accompanied him to 
Tambach, his " Peniel." 

In 1539 Myconius was in London arranging religious 
matters by invitation of Henry VIII,, who received the 
deputation warmly. But as months passed, the King's 
courtiers warned the Embassy of the King's duplicity, so 
negotiations were broken off. It was Luther's beautiful 
letter of consolation to Myconius, when he was at the 
gates of death, that was the means of raising him up. He 
survived Luther a few months. 

Von Amsdorf, Professor in Wittenberg, and later 
Bishop of Naumburg, one of Luther's most intimate 
friends, was the same age as Luther. He, with Caspar 
Cruciger, was the richest of the Reformers, the latter 
having a large house in Wittenberg and iron-works in 
Joachimsthal. Jonas once said at Luther's table : " God 
be praised that pious theologians can also become rich ! " 
" Ah ! " cried Luther, " we would all be rich enough in 
the riches of Christ, but, alas, we prize an earthly 
treasure more." 

Cruciger was professor in Wittenberg and preacher in 
the Schloss Kirche, and stood very close to Luther. He 
was the stenograph of the Reformation, writing many of 
Luther's sermons. Often when Luther was ill and the 


others away on the Visitations and at Diets, Cruciger was 
the only theologian in the town. In 1533 he was rector 
of the University for six months. Luther loved him for 
his learning, piety, and modesty. Cruciger was also the 
most versatile of the Reformers. He was always delicate, 
and died after an illness of three months in 1548. The 
day before he died Cruciger finished Luther's Last 
Words of David. Cruciger's daughter married Luther's 
son Johannes. 

Two of Luther's lifelong friends were Link, with 
whom he was at school in Magdeburg, and John Lange, 
Luther's fellow-student in Erfurt. In Lange's church in 
Erfurt, still standing, the first Evangelical sermon was 
preached. Some of Luther's most interesting letters in 
1 5 16-17 ^^*^ to Lange, in one of which he says that he is 
cloister preacher, inspector of Leitzkau fish-pond, daily 
lecturer in parish church, eleven times prior, expounder of 
St. Paul, lecturer on the Psalms, besides having most of 
his time taken up with letter-writing. But one has only 
to peruse Luther's letters in order to see the number of 
his correspondents. He numbered Albrecht Diarer and 
Erasmus, that monarch in the realm of letters, among 


In Luther's letters the Reformer too is to be seen in 
all his moods ; for, it has been truly said that Luther's heart 
is seen in his letters, which he did not dream would see the 
light of day, while his talents may be seen from his other 
works. But these letters do not hide his faultSj^as those 
to Herzog George, of whom he said he would enter 
Leipzig if it rained Herzog Georges nine days running, 
and to the Archbishop Albrecht of Mayence, the prime 
mover in the Indulgences, also to Charles V., testify, but 
these all belong to history. 


It Is interesting to note that Luther's unalterable 
opinion of the Turk, coincides with that of the Sultan's 
greatest foes in this twentieth century, and then, as now, 
His Sultanic Majesty tried to propitiate his distinguished 
foe, but with less success than he often meets with in this 
enlightened age. 

J From these letters may also be seen the two greatest 
blots on Luther's career : the part he took in the peasant 
insurrection and in the Landgrave Philip's double marriage.j 
But Luther's immense respect for constitutional authority, 
and his horror of insubordination, may partly explain the 
former, while the personal influence of his much loved 
Prince, who stood by him both at Worms and in the 
Augsburg days, may account for the latter ; but both 
errors bore bitter fruit in days to come. 

Luther's great breadth of view regarding ritual, vest- 
ments, etc., must interest many in the present day. But 
it will astonish them to see how immaterial he considered 
pictures, and candles burning on the altar, when com- 
pared with the pure preaching of the Word. The only 
advantage which he saw in these things was that they 
might arrest the attention of the illiterate, the weak- 
minded, and children, till their knowledge of Divine things 

The Swiss divines, when in Wittenberg in 1536, were 
horrified at these relics of Popery, and it required all 
Bugenhagen's assurances that no one now worshipped any 
picture, to pacify Bttcer and Capito, who, like our own 
John Knox, put away everything tainted with Popery, 
while Luther retained all not expressly forbidden In the 



Before closing, the translator must acknowledge the 
debt due to the marvellous facilities afforded by those 


splendid continental libraries, the Koenigliche in Berlin, 
the Grand Ducal in Weimar, and the Johanneum in 
Hamburg, where even a stranger, by finding a guarantor, 
may take home an armful of volumes for a month ; also 
for permission to consult Walch and De Wette in the 
Glasgow University Library, 

The translator would never have presumed to under- 
take what has proved an even more arduous task than 
she expected had there been a collection of Luther's letters 
in English, There is no such collection. The small 
volume of his Letters to Women is all that exists. The 
reader's kind indulgence is therefore claimed for all 

In the selection of the letters, those referred to in 
Koestlin's Life and Works of Luther and in the lives of 
many of his friends were used ; also an excellent collection 
of ninety-one letters by Dr. Buchwald published in 1898 
was consulted, as well as Dr. Theodore Kolde's excellent 
Life of Luther, published 1884, from which letters for 
insertion were selected. 

Of course the text-book all through has been De 
Wette. The letters have been rendered into the simplest 
English, as more in accordance with the original, and with 
Luther's ideas in general. The following anecdote may 
show the reason for such rendering : — Complimenting 
BOcer when in Wittenberg in 1536 on his fine sermon, 
Luther said : " And yet I am a better preacher than 
you ! " As Biicer cordially admitted this, Luther ex- 
plained : " I did not mean it so, for I know my weak- 
ness, and could not preach so learnedly, but when 1 
enter the pulpit, and see my audience before me, mostly 
ignorant peasants and Wends, I preach to them even as a 
mother feeds her babes with milk." " And thus," says 
Koestlin, " even in jest did Luther characterise his own 
preaching." A few very long letters had to be shortened 


to include some interesting ones which might otherwise 
have been excluded. De Wette's plan to make Luther's 
letters an autobiography of his life has been so far followed 
in this collection. De Wette's headings, with any in- 
teresting event bearing on the contents of the letter, are 
given in a head note. This has been done with a view to 
save the reader needless trouble, for even many highly 
educated people know little more of Luther's career than 
can be gathered from visiting Eisleben, Eisenach, Erfurt, 
Wittenberg, Worms, and Augsburg. 

Should these letters throw new light upon the life 
of the great Reformer and the Reformation, or impart 
a fresh interest to a future foreign tour, or cast a halo 
over less known haunts of the Reformer, such as Coburg, 
Weimar, Gotha, Jena, Schmalkalden, Mohra, Tambach, 
Grimma, Dessau, and Halle, so rich in memories of 
Luther and his friends, then they have not been translated 
in vain ; for, to Luther as much as to his spiritual guide, 
Tauler, do Goethe's words apply — 

The ground is hallowed where the good man treads. 
When centuries have rolled, his sons shall hear 
The deathless echo of his words and deeds. 

M. A. C. 



I. To John Braun, Vicar in Eisenach. April 22 



2. To John Braun, Vicar in Eisenach. March 17 


3. Augustinians in Erfurt. September 22 


4. George Spenlein, Augustinian in Memmingen. April 7 . 4 

5. George LeifFer, Augustinian in Erfurt. April 15 . . 6 

6. Johann Berckcn, Augustinian Prior in Mainz. May i . 7 

7. George Spalatin. June 8 . . . . .8 

8. Michael Dressel, Augustinian Prior, Neustadt. June 22 . 9 

9. John Lange, Prior at Erfurt. October 26 . . .10 


10. Christoph Scheurl, Niirnberg. January 17 

11. John Lange. March i 

12. Christoph Scheurl. May 6 

13. John Lange. May 18 

14. George Spalatin. No date 

15. Christoph Scheurl. September 11 

16. Archbishop Albrecht of Mayence. October 31 

17. George Spalatin. November 






1 8. Elector Frederick of Saxony, the Wise. November or 

December . . . . . .20 


19. George Spalatin. February 15 

20. Christoph Scheurl. March 5 

21. John Lange. March 21 

22. Johann von Staupitz. March 31 

23. Do. May 30 

24. Pope Leo X. May 30 

25. Wenzel Link. July 10 

26. George Spalatin. August 31 

27. Philip Melanchthon. October 11 

28. Andreas von Carlstadt. October 14 

29. Cardinal Thomas Cajetan. October 17 

30. Elector Frederick of Saxony. November 29 

31. John Reuchlin. December 14 . 


32. Elector Frederick the Wise. January 

33. Herzog George of Saxony. February 19 

34. Christoph Scheurl. February 20 . 

35. Pope Leo X. March 3 

36. Elector Frederick. March 13 

37. Elector Frederick the Wise. May 

38. MartinGlaser, Prior, Augustinian Cloister in Ranzau. May 30 

39. Thomas Fischer, Milau. August 26 . . . 


40. Emperor Charles V. January 1 5 . 

41. Elector Frederick of Saxony. February 

42. Herzog John of Saxony. March 29 

43. Nicolas von Amsdorf. June 23 

44. George Spalatin. July 10 . 

45. Herr Wittiger, Canon in Breslau. July 30 
■\/\(>. John Lange. August 18 . 

47. Hermann Ttilich, Professor in Wittenberg. October 6, but 
dated September 6, day of discussion with Von Miltitz 
(48. Pope Leo X. October 13 
49. George Spalatin. November 4 . 


50. John Lange. November 28 

51. George Spalatin. December 21 . 





52. Elector Frederick. January 25 

53. Johann von Staupitz. February 9 

54. Herzog John Frederick of Saxony. March 

55. John Langc. March 29 

56. George Spalatin. April 14 

57. Lukas Cranach. April 28 . 

58. Graf Albrecht of Mansfeld. May 3 
C S9- Philip Melanchthon. May 12 

60. Nicolas Amsdorf. May i 2 

61. Johann Agricola, Eisieben. May 

62. Philip Melanchthon. May 26 

63. Franz von Sickingen. June i 

64. George Spalatin. June 10 

65. Philip Melanchthon. July 13 

66. George Spalatin. August 15 
C67. Christians in Wittenberg. Possibly August 

68. Nicolas Gerbel, Strassburg. November i . 
C 69. Hans Luther, Luther's Father. November 21 

70. Archbishop Albrecht of Mayence. December 

71. Wittenbergers. Perhaps December 

72. John Lange. December 18 

73. Wenzel Link. December 20 














74. George Spalatin. January 17 

75. Elector Frederick. End of February or March 

76. Elector Frederick of Saxony. March 5 

77. Nicolas Gerbel. March 18 

78. John Lange. No date. March 28 

79. George Spalatin. March 30 

80. Do. April 14 

81. Town Council of Altenburg. April 17 

82. Gabriel Zwilling. April 17 

83. George Spalatin. May 10 

84. Wenzel Link. July 4 

85. George Spalatin. July 4 . 







86. George Spalatin. 

87. Do. 

88. Do. 

September 25 
October 4 
November 3 


89. Herzog George of Saxony. January 3 

90. Wenzel Link. April 8 . 

91. Nicolas Hausmann. May 24. 

92. Three Banished Young Ladies. June il 

93. Christians in Holland. July 

94. Bartime von Sternberg. September i 

95. Nicolas Gerbel. December 4 

96. George Spalatin. December 26 . 

97. Johann Hesse. No date . 


98. Lambert Thorn. January 19 

[/^ 99. George Briick. January 30 

100. George Spalatin. February 23 

lOi. Elector Frederick. March 23 

W02. Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam. April 

103. John CEcolampadius. April 

104. Jacob Strauss. April 25 . 

105. Nicolas Gerbel. May 6 . 

106. Wolfgang Capito. No date. May 25 

107. John CEcolampadius. June 20 

108. Hieronymus Baumgartner. October 12 

109. George Spalatin. November 30 . 

1 10. Katherine Schiitzin. December 17 

111. George Spalatin. No date 

112. Do. do. 




1^3. John Brismann, Konigsbcrg. January 11 . 

14. Abbot Friedrich of Nilrnberg. January 17 

115. Frederick Myconius. May 3 

116. Magistrates of Dantzic. May 5 . 

117. John Frederick of Saxony. May 15 

118. Elector John of Saxony. May 15 



119. John Ruhcl. May 15 . 

120. George Spalatin. June 16 

121. Leonhardt Koppe of Torgau. June i 7 or 13 

122. Johann von Doltzig. June 21 . 

123. King Her.ry VIII. of England. September i 

124. Elector John of Saxony. September 15 . 

125. Admonition to Niirnberg Printers. September 26 

126. Leonhardt Beier. October 8 . 

127. George Spalatin. November 11 . 

128. Elector John. November 30 

















Leonhardt Beier. January 9 

Elector John of Saxony. February 9 

Johann Agricola, Eisleben. February 18 

Frederick Myconius. March or April 

Johann Agricola. May 1 1 

Herzog John Frederick of Saxony. May 

Nicolas Hausmann. June 2 

Johann Riihel. June 8 

Johann Agricola. September 20 . 

Nicolas Hausmann. October 14 . 

Maria, Queen of Hungary. November i 

Elector John of Saxony. November 22 

Conrad Cordatus. November 28 








142. Johann Agricola. January i 

143. Nicolas Hausmann. January 10 

144. Eberhardt Brisger. February i 

145. Elsie von Kanitz. May 2 

146. Leonhardt Kaiser. May 20 

147. Nicolas Hausmann. July 13 

148. George Spalatin. August 15 

149. Nicolas Hausmann. August 19 

150. Do. September 2 

151. Gerhardt von Xantis. September 2 

152. Christians in Halle. September . 

153. Michael Stiefel. October 22 

154. Nicolas Amsdorf. November i 


159 / 



155. Justus Jonas. November 10 

156. Nicolas Hausmann. November 17 

157. Justus Jonas. November 29 

158. Johann Walther, Torgau. December 21 

159. Justus Jonas. December 29 


160. Gerhardt von Xantis. January 1 

161. Nicolas Hausmann. March 2 

162. Conrad Cordatus. March 6 

163. Leonhardt Beier. March 7 

164. George Spalatin. March 18 

165. Wenzel Link. March 28 

166. A Stranger. July 20 

167. Nicolas Amsdorf. July 31 

168. Nicolas Hausmann. August 5 

169. Elector John. September 3 

170. Johann Agricola. October 25 

171. George Spalatin. October 29 

172. George Briick. November 11 

173. Michael Stiefel. November 

174. Philip Melanchthon. November 30 

175. Margaretta N. December 5 


176. Nicolas von Amsdorf. February 12 

177. Nicolas Hausmann. February 15 

178. Do. March 3 

179. Nicolas von Amsdorf. March 21 

180. Do. March 29 

181. Nicolas Hausmann. March 31 

182. Nicolas von Amsdorf. May 4 

183. Wenzel Link, Pastor in Niirnberg. 

184. Elector John. May 12 . 

185. Wenzel Link. May 25 . 
I 86. Jacob Montanus, Herford. 
187. Landgrave Philip of Hesse. 
i88. Conrad Cordatus. July 14 

189. Nicolas Amsdorf. August 1 

190. Justus Jonas. August 17 . 


May 28 
June 23 



191. Elector John. August 17 .... 195 

192. John Brenz, in Schwabian Halle. August 29 . . 196 

193. Kathcrinc, Luther's Wife. October 4 . . . 196 

194. John Lange. October 28 .... 197 

195. Frederick Myconius. November 7 . . . 198 

196. Nicolas Hausmann. November 10 . . . 198 

197. Elector John. November 23 . . . . 199 

198. Dorothea Mackenroth, Luther's Sister. December 2 . 200 

199. Abbot Friedrich of Niirnbcrg. December 29 . . 200 


(^200. Hans Luther, his Sick Father. February 16 

201. Nicolas Hausmann. February 25 

202. Honourable Adam Adamus. March 3 

203. Nicolas Amsdorf. March 12 

204. Justus Jonas. March 14 . 

205. Nicolas Hausmann. April 2 

206. Do. April 18 

207. Wenzel Link. April 22 . 
C208. Philip Melanchthon. April 22 

209. Justus Jonas. April 22 

210. Katherine Luther and his Household. April 28 

211. Wenzel Link. May 8 

212. Philip Melanchthon. May 12 

213. Elector John the Steadfast. May 15 

214. Philip Melanchthon. May 15 

215. Elector John. May 20 

216. Philip Melanchthon. June 2 

217. Do. June 5 

218. Do. June 1 1 or 19 

219. Caspar von Teutleben. June 19 

220. Conrad Cordatus. June 19 

221. Hieronymus Weller. June 19 
(_ 222. His Son Hans. June 19 . 

223. Peter Weller. June 19 . 

224. Wenzel Link. June 27 . 

225. Philip Melanchthon. June 27 

226. Do. June 29 

227. Prince John Frederick. June 30 

228. Abbot Friedrich of Niirnberg. July 

229. Nicolas Hausmann. July 6 












210 . 













223 • 







230. Conrad Cordatus. July 6 

231. Justus Jonas. July 9 

232. Lazarus Spcngler. July . 

233. Justus Jonas. July 13 
234.. George Spalatin. July 13 

235. Johann Agricola. July 27 

236. Philip Melanchthon. July 31 

237. Justus Jonas. August 3 . 

238. George Briick. August 5 

239. Hieronymus Weller. August 10 

240. Katherine, Luther's Wife. August 14 

241. Do. August 15 

242. Friedrich of Nurnberg. August 22 

243. Philip Melanchthon. August 24 . 

244. Coban Hesse. August 

245. Justus Jonas. August 26 or 27 . 

246. Hans von Sternberg. August 27 . 

247. Katherine, Luther's Wife. September 15 

248. Philip Melanchthon. September 15 

249. Wenzel Link. September 20 

250. Philip Melanchthon. September 20 

251. Nicolas Hausmann. September 23 

252. Katherine, Luther's Wife. September 24 

253. Elector John. October 3 

254. Nicolas Amsdorf. October 31 

255. Do. November 2 

256. Wenzel Link. December i 

257. Elector John. December 12 






















258. Town Council of Gottingen. January 11 

259. Nicolas Hausmann. January 21 

260. John Gutel. January 22 

261. Martin Biicer. January 22 

262. Katherine Zell. January 24 

263. Nicolas Hausmann. February 2 

264. Rath of Gottingen. March i 

265. John GUtel. March 1 

266. Rath of Gottingen. March 28 

267. Nicolas Hausmann. May 14 

268. His Mother. May 20 












269. Conrad Cordatus. May 29 

270. Christians in Zwickau. June 21 

271. Michael Sticfcl. June or July 

272. Bernard von Dolen. July 13 

273. Elector John. August 14 

274. Nicolas Amsdorf. September 4 

275. Nicolas Hausmann. October 31 

276. Do. November 20 

277. Johann Bugenhagen. November 24 

278. Hans von Loser. December 16 . 

279. Nicolas Gerbcl, Strassburg. No date 





280. Martin Gorlitz, Brunswick. January 3 

281. Wenzel Link. January 3 

282. Elector John. February 12 

283. Katherine Luther. February 27 

284. Elector John. March 28 

285. Wenzel Link. April 22 or 23 

286. Nicolas Amsdorf. June 23 

287. Princes of Anhalt. June 

288. Some One Unknown. August 19 

289. King Frederick of Denmark. September 

290. Leipsic Banished Ones. October 4 

291. Nicolas Hausmann. November 6 

292. Jonas von Stockhausen. November 27 

293. Frau von Stockhausen. November 27 

294. Johann Bugenhagen. No date 




295. Nicolas Hausmann. January 2 

296. Von Loser. January 29 . 

297. Prince Joachim of Anhalt. March 28 

298. Wolf Wiedeman. April 27 

299. Frau Jorger. May 6 

300. George Spalatin. July 23 

301. Nicolas Hausmann. September 24 

302. Andreas Osiander, Niirnberg. October 

303. Wenzel Link. October 8 

304. Some One Unknown. May 13 

305. Desiderius Erasmus. No date 






306. Nicolas Amsdorf. January 3 

307. Nicolas Hausmann. February 8 . 

308. Elector John Frederick. March 1 1 

309. Frau Dorothea Jorger. April 27 . 

310. Prince Joachim of Anhalt. June 18 

311. Katherine, Luther's Wife. July 29 

312. Wolfgang Sieberger, Luther's Servant. No date 

313. Landgrave Philip of Hesse. October 17 . 

314. Nicolas Hausmann. November 17 

315. Justus Jonas. December 16 

316. Do. December 17 

317. Prince Joachim of Anhalt. December 17 

318. Eberhardt Brisger. December 20 

319. George Spalatin. December 








320. A Composer. January 18 

321. Johann Lonicer. February 8 

322. George Spalatin. February 24 . . 

323. Hieronymus Weller's Sister. March 7 

324. Augustine Himmel. April 5 

325. Wenzel Link. April 25 . 

326. Elector John Frederick. July 9 . 

327. Clergy in Augsburg. July 20 

328. Elector Albrecht of Mayence. July 31 . 

329. Elector John Frederick. August 17 

330. Justus Jonas. August 19 . 

331. Do. September 4 

332. Elector John Frederick, with Others. September 

333. Frau Jorger. September 12 

334. Gereon Seller, Augsburg. October 5 

335. Justus Jonas. October 28 

336. Do. November 10 









337. Veit Dietrich, January 14 

338. Elector John Frederick. January 25 

339. Nicolas Hausmann. March 11 




340. Wenzel Link. March 20 

341. Martin Bucer. March 25 

342. Elector John Frederick. March 28 

343. Vice-Chancellor Burkhardt. April 20 

344. Elector George of Brandenburg. May 29 

345. George Spalatin. June 10 

346. Nicolas Hausmann, September 20 

347. George Spalatin. September 24 . 

348. King of Denmark. December 2 . 

349. Chancellor Briick. December 9 . 

350. Anton Lauterbach. December 27 

351. Wolfgang Brauer. December 30 . 

352. Philip Melanchthon. No date . 






353. Elector John Frederick. January 3 

354. Justus Jonas. February I 

355. Do. February 9 

356. Do. February 14 

357. Katherine, Luther's Wife. February 27 

358. Philip Melanchthon. February 27 

359. George Spalatin. March 21 

360. Conrad Cordatus. May 12 

361. Johann Schreiner, Grimma. July 9 

362. Wolfgang Capito, Strassburg. July 9 

363. Coban Hesse. August i . 

364. Friedrlch Myconius, Gotha. July 27 

365. Town Council of Torgau. August 21 

366. Ambrosius Berndt. November 

367. Burghermaster and Council of Reformed 

December i . 

368. Martin Bucer. December 6 






369. Elector John Frederick. January 4 

370. Johann Agricola, Eisleben. January 6 

371. Franz Burkhardt. January 7 

372. Justus Jonas. February 6 

373. Nicolas Hausmann. March 27 . 

374. Justus Jonas. April 8 




375. Justus Jonas. May 12 . 

376. Bishop of Hereford, England. May 12 . 

377. Justus Jonas. May 21 . 

378. Anton Unruhe, Lawyer in Torgau. June 15 

379. Herzogin Elizabeth of Brunswick. September 4 

380. Jacob Probst. September 15 

381. Nicolas Specht, Bautzen. December 12 . 


382. Nicolas Amsdorf. January 1 1 

383. Circular Letter to Clergy. February 2 

384. Philip Melanchthon. March 26 . 

385. Elector John Frederick. April 9 . 

386. Martin Bucer. April 16 . 

387. King Gustavus L of Sweden. April 18 

388. Ursula Schneiderwein. June 4 

389. Wenzel Link. June 23 . 

390. Herzog Albrecht of Prussia. June 23 

391. Elector John Frederick. July 8 . 

392. Wenzel Link. October 26 

393. Elector John Frederick. November 4 

394. Anton Lauterbach. November 26 

395. His Sister Dorothea. December 2 

396. Elector Joachim of Brandenburg. December 4 

397. George Buchholzer, Provost in Berlin. December 4 


398. Chancellor Bruck. January 3 

399. Joachim IL of Brandenburg. January 7 . 

400. Elector John Frederick. January 18 

401. Justus Jonas, Pommer, and Philip Melanchthon. 

402. Anton Lauterbach. March 3 

403. Philip Melanchthon. April 8 

404. One Unknown. April 14 

405. Graf Albrecht of Mansfeld. May 24 

406. Anton Lauterbach. June 15 

407. John Lange. July 2 . 

408. Kathcrine, Luther's Wife. July z 

409. Do. July 16 

410. Do. July 26 

Feb. 26 


411. Caspar GUtel. September 3 

412. George Spalatin. November 10 . 

413. Anton Lautcrbach. November 27 

414. Philip Melanchthon. December 7 


• 392 

• 393 


415. Friedrich Myconius. January 9 . 

416. Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt. March 12 

417. Philip Melanchthon. April 12 

418. Do. April 21 

419. Caspar Cruciger. May i 

420. Justus Jonas. May 22 

421. Philip Melanchthon. June 25 

422. Elector John Frederick. August 3 

423. Do. August 4 

424. Electoral Princes, Frederick and John William. September 6 

425. Katherine, Luther's Wife. September i" 

426. Anton Lauterbach. September 25 

427. Justus Jonas. November 10 

428. Elector John Frederick. November 17 








429. Nicolas Amsdorf. January 6 

430. Princes of Anhalt. January 1 1 

431. Justus Jonas. February 6 

432. Anton Lauterbach. March 10 

433. Elector John Frederick. March 26 

434. George Spalatin. July 13 

435. Wenzel Link. July 25 

436. Justus Jonas. August 18 . 

437. Marcus CrOdel. August 26 

438. Do. September 6 

439. Justus Jonas. September 23 

440. Nicolas Amsdorf. October 29 

441. Justus Jonas. December 25 

442. His Son Hans Luther. December 27 





443. Chancellor Brilck. January 6 

444. Wenzel Link. January 20 



445. Justus Jonas. January 26 

446. Herr Pancratz, Dantzic. March 7 

447. Friedrich Myconius. April 4 

448. George Held. April 5 . 

449. Justus Jonas. May 4 

450. Eberhardt Brisger. August 30 

451. Christoph Froschaiier. August 31 

452. Veit Dietrich. November 7 

453. Nicolas Amsdorf. November 7 

454. George Spalatin. November 23 . 

455. Elector John Frederick. December 

456. Johann Matthesius, Joachim's Thai. 

457. Justus Jonas. December 16 

December 14 




458. Elector John Frederick. January 22 

459. George Spalatin. January 30 

460. Widowed Electress of Brandenburg. February 

461. Friedrich Myconius. February 23 

462. Electress Sibylla of Saxony. March 30 

463. King Christian of Denmark. April 12 

464. Nicolas Amsdorf. May 23 

465. Do. June 4 

466. Hieronymus Baumgartner's Wife. July 8 

467. Prince John of Anhalt. August 27 

468. Nicolas Amsdorf. August 27 

469. Elector John Frederick. November 8 

470. Anton Lauterbach. December 2 . 

471. Jacob Probst. December 5 

472. Written in Nicolas CEmler's Bible 

473. Nicolas Amsdorf. December 27 . 

474. Nicolas Mcdlcr. December 27 . 









Nicolas Amsdorf. January 9 
Elector Joachim II. of Brandenburg. 
Herzog Albrecht of Prussia. May 2 
Town Council of Halle. May 7 . 
Nicolas Amsdorf. June 3 
Andreas Osiander. June 3 
Nicolas Amsdorf June 15 

March 9 









Anton Lauterbach. July 5 

John Lange. July 14 . 

Nicolas Amsdorf. July 17 

Katherine, Luther's Wife. July 28 

Some One Unknown. August 8 . 

Prince George of Anhalt. August 9 

Town Council of Torgau. August 18 

Elector John Frederick of Saxony. November 

King Christian of Denmark. November 26 

Count Albrecht of Mansfeld. December 6 








Elector John Fred 

srick. J 

anuary 9 


Nicolas Amsdorf. 


1 1 


Jacob Probst. January 17 


Katherine, Luther 

s Wife. 

January 25 



February i 



February 6 



February 7 



February 10 



February 14 



47 » 

To John Braun, Vicar in Eisenach 

The first extant letter of Luther. He invites Braun to come 
to his ordination as priest in Erfurt. 

April 2 2, 1507. 

To the saintly and Right Reverend Priest in Christ, 
John Braun, vicar in Eisenach, my beloved friend in 
Christ, grace and peace in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

I would be afraid, best of friends, to trouble you with 
my letters and requests, did I not know from the many 
benefits you have showered upon me how kindly you feel 
towards me. Therefore I have no hesitation in address- 
ing you, confident that our mutual friendship will secure 
the favourable consideration of these lines. 

For seeing the holy God has, of His manifold good- 
ness, so highly exalted me, an unworthy sinner, and 
deemed me worthy to enter His service, then I must be 
grateful, and try, as far as I can, to fulfil the duties 
entrusted to me. 

My father has arranged that, with God's help, I shall 
be consecrated to the office of the priesthood on Sabbath 
four weeks. 

The day has been fixed to suit my father. Perhaps 
T may be presuming too much on your love, when I 
humbly beg for your presence also. I do not ask you 
to make this troublesome journey because of any services 
I may have rendered you, for I know of none, but 
because I experienced so much of your goodness when 
with you lately. You will then, perhaps, best beloved 
father, lord, and brother (the first title belongs to your 
age and office, the second to your merits, and the third 
to your order), if your clerical and domestic duties permit, 
honour me by standing by me with your dear presence 

I B 


and intercession, so that my offering may be acceptable 
in God's sight. 

And, lastly, 1 would remind you that you pass our 
cloister, and must not seek other quarters ! But one of 
our cells must content you. 

May you be preserved in Christ Jesus our Lord ! In 
our cloister at Erfurt. 

Martin of Mansfeld. 

I scarcely like to moot it, but if it were not beneath 
the dignity of their order, and did not give too much 
trouble, I would esteem the presence of the members of 
the College at my ordination at Erfurt a great honour. 

To John Braun 

Luther had been hurriedly summoned by Frederick the Wise, 
on the recommendation of Staupitz, to be Professor in Wittenberg 
in 1508 ; he apologises for not bidding adieu. 

March 17, 1509. 

To the saintly and Right Reverend Father in God, 
Herr John Braun, priest in Eisenach, my beloved lord 
and father. 

Greeting from Brother Martin Luther, the Augustinian 
monk 1 

Stop wondering, honoured father, that I stole secretly 
away from you as if no friendship existed between us, or 
as if I had been ungrateful enough to root out of my 
heart all remembrance of your great kindness to me, or 
let a rough north wind blow away my love for you. In- 
deed it is not so, although my actions may lead you to 
suppose this. 

I have certainly left — that I must confess, and yet I 
have not gone away, for the best part of me, at all times, 
remains with you. 

For although I have departed in body, I am ever with 
you in thought wherever you are, and I hope you will 
never feel differently towards me from what you do now. 


But to come to the point. In order to get quit of the 
dreadful idea that your love might perhaps begin to doubt 
my fidelity to you, I have torn myself away from my 
manifold occupations to write you, as it is so difficult to 
convey anything. And what do you think is my sole 
object in writing, but to send you my love, and ask you 
to have as much confidence in me as I have in you ! And 
although I cannot compare myself with you in anything 
good, still my love for you is very great, and having 
nothing else to bestow, I once more assure you of it. 
For I know your generous heart desires nothing from me, 
but that we may be one heart and soul in the Lord, even 
as our faith is one and the same in Him. But you must 
not be offended at my leaving so quietly, for my departure 
was so sudden that even those in the house scarcely 
knew, I always intended writing, but had no time. 
However, I felt very sorry not to see you. 

I am now, by God's command or permission, settled 
in Wittenberg, and very well, only the study of philo- 
sophy is most disagreeable to me ; for from the first I 
would have preferred theology, viz. the theology which 
goes to the kernel of the nut and touches the bone and 
the flesh. 

But God is God, and man often errs in his judgment. 
He is our God, who will guide us lovingly to all 
eternity. Kindly note all this, which has been written 
in the greatest haste. 

And when you have a messenger you will honour 
me with a line, and I shall do the same. With all 
good wishes from first to last, and credit me with what 
you would like to believe of me. Once more farewell. 

Martin Luther, 

Wittenberg. Augustinian. 

(Walch, V. 21, p. 514.) 


To THE Order of Augustinians in Erfurt 

Luther attains the height of his ambition, having been 
invited to accept the dignity of Doctor of Theology, which 
enabled him to expound the Holy Scriptures. 


September zz, 1512. 

Grace and peace, honoured and beloved fathers ! 
St. Luke's day is approaching, when I, in obedience to 
my superiors and highly esteemed Vicarius, am to be 
solemnly set apart to the dignity of Doctor of Theology 
— which I trust you have heard, through the honoured 
Prior in Wittenberg. 

I will not apologise for accepting it, or talk of my 
unworthiness, as if by my humility I were seeking my 
own glory. 

God knows, and my conscience also, whether I feel 
worthy of such almost fulsome expressions of honour. 

Therefore, I plead with you, for Christ's sake, to 
commend me to God with one accord, for you know, 
according to the rights of love, it is your duty to do 
so — that His holy will may be accomplished in me ; also, 
that you would, if possible, honour me, and show this 
respect to our order, to be present on the occasion. 
I would not ask you to take such a toilsome journey and 
incur so much expense had I not been deputed to do 
so by the honoured Prior, and also, I would consider it 
most unseemly not to let my Erfurt friends know the 
day of my promotion, and invite them to be present. 
Doubtless you will act as we hope and expect, and we 
shall remember the kindness with gratitude. May you 
prosper in the Lord, to whom all of us commit you and 
your brothers in prayer. 

Martin Luther, 

Wittenberg. Aiigustinian. 

(Walch, V. 21, p. 522.) 


To George Spenlein, Augustinian in Memmingen 

In this year began Luther's acquaintance with Tauler's works. 
This letter contains an exquisite passage on true righteousness. 

April 7, 1516. 

Grace and peace in God and the Lord Jesus Christ ! 
Dearest Brother George ! I write to let you know that 
I have realised two gulden and a half, for what I sold for 


you. One florin for the Brussels robe, half a florin for 
the Eisenach volume, and one for the cowl, etc. We 
cannot dispose of the rest, so have handed the money to 
the honoured Prior for you. Regarding the half-gulden 
you still owe him, you must see to the paying of it, or let 
him remit the debt. This will not be difficult, as the 
esteemed father is well disposed to you. Now 1 would 
like to know how it is with your soul, if it has at length 
learned to despise its own righteousness and seek comfort 
and joy in Christ's. 

For, at present, the temptation to rest in one's own 
works is very powerful, especially with those who long 
to be good and pious. They are ignorant of God's 
righteousness, which has been so richly bestowed on us 
in Christ without money and price, and try to do good 
of themselves, till they fancy they can appear before God 
adorned with every grace. But they never get thus far. 
You, yourself, when with us in Erfurt suff^ered from this 
illusion, or rather delusion, and I also was a martyr to it, 
and even yet I have not overcome it. Therefore, dear 
brother, learn Christ and Him crucified. Praise and laud 
His name, and despairing of self, say to Him, " Thou, 
Lord Jesus, art my righteousness, but I am Thy sin. 
Thou hast taken what is mine, and given me what is 
Thine. Thou hast assumed that which Thou wert not, 
and given me what I had not." 

Beware, my brother, at aiming at a purity which 
rebels against being classed with sinners. For Christ only 
dwells among sinners. For this He came from heaven, 
where He dwelt among saints, so that He might also 
sojourn with the sinful. Strive after such love, and thou 
wilt experience His sweetest consolation. For if by our 
own efforts we are to attain peace of conscience, why 
then did Christ die .? Therefore thou wilt only find 
peace in Him when thou despairest of self and thine own 
works. He, Himself, will teach thee how in receiving 
thee He makes thy sins His, and His righteousness 
thine. When thou believest this firmly (for he is damned 
who does not believe) then bear patiently with erring 
brothers, making their sins thine. If there be any good 


in thee, then receive ye one another, even as Christ 
received us, to the glory of God. " Let this mind be in 
you, which was also in Christ Jesus : who being in the 
form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with 
God." Be thou the same. If thou esteem thyself better 
than others, do not pride thyself on that, but be as one 
of them, bearing their burdens. For he is a pitiable saint 
who will not bear patiently with those worse than himself, 
and longs only for solitude, when he, through patience, 
prayer, and example, might be exercising a salutary 
influence over others. This is burying his Lord's talent, 
and not giving his fellow-servants their due. Therefore, 
be thou a lily or rose of Christ, knowing that thy walk 
must be among thorns. 

Only see that through impatience, hasty judgments, 
or secret pride, thou dost not thyself become a thorn ! 
" Christ's kingdom," says the psalmist, " subsists in the 
midst of its enemies." Why then rejoice in being sur- 
rounded only by faithful friends ? If He, thy Lord, had 
only lived among the good, or had died only for His 
friends, for whom then would He have died, or with 
whom could He have lived ? Remember this, brother, 
and pray for me. The Lord be with thee. Farewell, in 
the Lord ! Your brother, Martin Luther, 

(De Wette.) 


To George Leiffer 

Luther comforts a brother in Erfurt. 

April 15, 15 1 6. 

Salvation in the Lord, most cherished Brother. I hear 
that your brotherly love is deeply tried by manifold waves 
of temptation. But God, the Father of mercies and all con- 
solation, has placed over you the best of comforters and 
advisers. Father Bartholomew. Only see that you keep 
a tight hand over your thoughts, and make room for His 
word in your heart. 

For I know from my own experience, as well as from 


that of all troubled souls, that it is solely our own self- 
conceit which is at the root of all our disquietude. 

For our eye is a knave, and, alas, what misery he has 
caused me, and still plagues me to the utmost. The cross 
of Christ is distributed through the whole world, and each 
receives his portion. Therefore pray do not cast thy 
portion from thee, but cherish it as a precious relic, 
certainly not enshrined in a casket of gold or silver, but 
in a golden heart filled with loving charity. For, even 
as the wood of the cross is consecrated through coming in 
contact with the flesh and blood of Christ, so that hence- 
forth they are esteemed to be the costliest of relics, how 
much more will the injustice, persecution, and hatred of 
men, whether it be right or wrong, not through contact 
with His flesh, but through union with His loving heart 
and Divine will, which consecrates everything which is in 
touch with it, thereby transform the curse into a blessing, 
suffering into glory, and the cross into a crown of joy. 
Farewell, dearest friend and brother, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther, 

Wittenberg. Augustinian. 



Luther thanks him for his kindness to a fugitive monk. 

May I, 1516. 

Honoured and beloved Prior. I was sorry to hear 
that Baumgaertner, from our cloister in Dresden, who 
had fled in a hurried manner, and for good reason, had 
found refuge with you. I must thank you for receiv- 
ing him so kindly, so that the scandal might be put an 
end to. 

He is my lost sheep, who belongs to me, therefore I 
must try to restore the erring one, if God will. 

So, I beg you, by our common faith in Christ, and 
the order of St. Augustine, that you will either send him 
to Dresden or to Wittenberg, or lovingly try to per- 
suade him to return of his own free will. I shall receive 


him with open arms, if he come ; he need have no fear on 
account of having injured me. 

I know that offences will come, and it is no marvel 
when a man falls, but it is a miracle when he recovers 
himself and remains steadfast. 

Peter fell, so that he might know he was human. 
Even in the present day the cedars of Lebanon, whose 
branches almost reach heaven, fell. 

Yes, even an angel in heaven fell, which was indeed 
a marvel — and Adam fell in paradise. 

So, is it to be wondered at that the reed should bend 
before the storm, and the glimmering torch be extin- 
guished ? May the Lord Jesus enable you to perfect this 
good work. Amen, Farewell. From our cloister in 
Dresden. Martin Luther. 


To George Spalatin 

Jt/ne 8, I 516. 

Thanks for your good wishes, dear Spalatin. Through 
the grace of God I reached home in good health, at least 
bodily. God knows if also spiritually. All this I owe to 
your love. I got your letter from the brothers. You 
write that our Serene Prince wishes to make our esteemed 
Vicar-General (Staupitz) a bishop, and desires your co- 
operation. You are acting uprightly as a friend, but I 
would like that your entreaties with the honoured father 
were not so full of fire ; for I shall act differently, so that he 
who is being over-praised may hesitate in his purpose. Do 
you wonder at this ? Certainly not because I despise your 
counsel, but because love prompts the desire, consequently 
the judgment is in abeyance. " For true love," says 
Chrysostom, " seldom judges aright." I say this because 
you are swayed by the Prince's favour, and I do not wish 
the esteemed father to do what you urge to please the 
Prince. Your Prince is fascinated with much that appears 
lovely in his sight, which is far from pleasing to God. 

Frederick the Wise is very clever in worldly things. 


but in those pertaining to God and the salvation of souls 
I consider him sevenfold blind, even as your Pteffinger. 

I do not say this in a corner to malign them, but to 
their faces at every opportunity. Were I certain that 
your project came from God, then, would that you had a 
tongue of fire, and the Pater were pure stubble ! But 
remember that what you and the Prince are discussing 
secretly is known, for before I got your letter I heard that 
the esteemed father would be made Bishop of Kimsche. 

These happy times are long gone by when it was 
considered a grand thing to be a bishop, but now there 
can be no more miserable position, for it means leading a 
life of gluttony and debauchery such as that of Sodom 
and Rome. You see this when you compare the life and 
work of the old bishops with ours. 

How many are immersed in wars, while their homes 
have become a very hell of insatiable greed ! 

Notice how far this man is removed from such vices, 
so that when the time comes tor him to be lured into the 
terrible vortex of the Bishop's courts you will try to 
prevent the calamity. 

But enough of this ! If your petition really admits of 
no delay tell me at once, because the esteemed father 
does not return from Antwerp till autumn, so I must send 
a special messenger to Cologne, where he told us to forward 
his letters. Farewell in the Lord, and pray for us. From 
the cloister at Wittenberg. Martin Luther, 


To Michael Dressel 

Augustinian Prior in Neustadt, whom Luther deposed because 
he could not keep the peace with the brethren. 

June 22, 151 6. 

Salvation and peace ! But not such peace as is manifest 
to the natural man, but that which lies beneath the cross, 
viz. the peace which passeth all understanding. Thou art 
longing for peace, but in the wrong way ; for thou seekest 
it as the world gives it, and not as Christ does. Dost 


thou know, dear father, that in this matter God deals in 
a wondrous manner with His people, having placed His 
peace in the midst of dispeace, nay, in the very thick of 
temptation and dissensions. " Rule thou in the midst of 
thine enemies." Therefore it is not he whom no one 
disturbs who has peace — that is the world's peace, but he 
who is troubled on every side, and bears all quietly and 
joyfully. Thou sayest with Israel, *' Peace, peace, and 
there is no peace." Cry rather with Christ, " Cross, 
cross ! " And yet there is no cross. For, as soon as thou 
canst joyfully say, " Blessed cross, of all kinds of wood 
there is none like unto thee." Then, in that moment, 
the cross has ceased to be a cross. See, then, how 
graciously the Lord is leading thee to true peace in 
surrounding thee with so much of the cross. For he who 
seeks peace will find it. And the best way to seek it 
is, when affliction overtakes you, to receive it with joy, 
as a sacred relic, and cease searching vainly for a peace 
which commends itself to your lower nature. For God 
considers any such peace far inferior to His peace, which 
is inseparable from the cross and the troubles of this life. 
Farewell, and pray for me, dear father. May the Lord 
reign in you. 

Martin Luther, 

Wittenberg. Hear. 


To John Lange, Prior at Erfurt 

It was in Lange's church in Erfurt, still standing, where the 
first evangelical sermon was preached. 
Luther begins lecturing on Galatians. 

October 26, 1516. 

I would require two secretaries, for I do nothing almost 
all day but write letters, therefore if I repeat myself you 
will understand why it is. 

^ I am lecturer in the cloister, reader at meals, preach 
daily, and direct the students' studies, am the Prior's 
vicar (which means being vicar eleven times over), 
inspector of fish-ponds at Leitzkau, must espouse the 


Herzberg people's cause at Torgau, expounder of St. 
Paul and the Psalms, besides my letter-writing. Behold 
what a leisurely man I am, and in addition am plagued by 
the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. 

I sent several of the brethren you sent me to Magister 
Spangenberg, to take them away from this pestilential air. 
I felt much drawn to the two from Cologne, and having 
such a high opinion of their abilities, kept them with me, 
although at much expense. We support twenty- two 
priests, forty-two youths, etc., out of our poverty. But 
the Lord will provide. 

You write that you began to lecture on the Sentences 
yesterday. I shall begin to expound the Epistle to the 
Galatians to-morrow, although I fear that with the plague 
here I shall not be able to continue. It has already robbed 
us of two or three, but not in one day. The smith 
opposite lost a son, who was in good health yesterday, and 
the other is infected. Yes, indeed, here it is, and is 
beginning to rage with great vehemence especially among 
the youiig. You counsel me to flee for refuge to you. 
But why .'' 

The world will not come to an end although Brother 
Martin perish. But if the plague spread, I shall send the 
brothers out into the world. As for me, seeing I have 
been placed here, my vows of obedience demand that I 
remain till I am ordered elsewhere. Not that I have no 
fear of death, for I am not the Apostle Paul, but only his 
expounder, and I still hope the Lord will deliver me from 
this fear also. 

Farewell, and think of us. Amen. 

Martin Luther, 



On 31st October Luther nailed his ninety-five theses on the 
door of the Schloss Church in Wittenberg. He was impelled to 
this, through Tetzel's sale of Indulgences, at the instigation of 
the Archbishop of Mayence. 


To Christoph Scheurl 

This letter shows Luther's modesty. Scheurl espoused Luther's 
cause, though later he became estranged from it, when practising 
law in Niirnberg. 

"January 17, 1517. 

I have received your letter, my excellent Christoph, 
which was most agreeable, and yet displeasing to me. 
Why knit your brows over this ? What could please me 
more than to hear you praise our Staupitz, or rather the 
Lord Jesus, who dwells in our Vicar-General, so highly } 
Nothing could rejoice me more than to hear Christ's 
voice resounding through him, and bearing fruit. But, 
on the other hand, what could be more disagreeable than 
that you should strive for my friendship by loading me 
with praise .'' I will not be your friend, for my friendship 
can be no credit to you, if the proverb be true, " Friends 
must have all things in common." ^ Now, if what I 
have became yours, you would only be richer in sin, 
folly, and ignominy. For these are my possessions which 
you dignify by very fine names. Still, I know you mean 
to say, " It is not you, but Christ I admire in you " — to 
which I reply, " How can Christ who is pure righteous- 
ness dwell alongside sin } " And is not this the greatest 
pride when a man imagines himself to be the temple of 
Christ .f* Only an apostle dare boast of this. I wish you 
joy in the friendship of our Vicar-General, but do not 
drag yourself down through my friendship. No doubt 
our honoured father praises me everywhere, to my great 
grief and peril, saying it is Christ he lauds in me, and 
people try to make me believe this. 

Truly a hard demand ! The more of such eulogists 
one has, and the closer they cleave to us, the more hurtful 
they are. " A man's foes shall be they of his own house- 
hold," etc. For God's favour decreases as that of man 
increases. God will either be all or nothing. And the 
worst of it is, the more thou humblest thyself, and puttest 

' Taulcr's H'tgher Life. 


praise and favour from thee, the more do these pursue 
thee to thy great injury. Oh, how much are hatred and 
blame to be preferred to praise ! For hatred only injures 
us once, while love threatens us with double danger. I 
do not write thus to thee, best of all friends, because 
I scorn your noble heart, but because I have so little con- 
fidence in my own. You act like a true Christian who 
lightly esteems no one except himself. For all are not 
Christians who esteem others for their learning, virtue, 
piety, and renown (for the heathen do this also), but it 
is they who love the poor, needy, and sinful, who are 

The psalmist calls those blessed who receive, not the 
learned, wise, and pious, but the poor and needy. 

And, lastly, Christ declares that what is done to the 
least of His little ones is done to Him, when He might 
have said the opposite. But what is great in man's eyes 
is often despicable in God's sight. Now, if you would be 
my friend, do not cause me to be despised of God, by 
praising me both to myself and others. But if you can- 
not refrain from praising Christ in me, then mention His 
name, and not mine. 

Why should Christ's cause not have the stamp of His 
name upon it, or be branded with mine .? You see how 
eloquent I am ! So, be patient, my friend. From our 
cloister in Wittenberg. 

Martin Luther, 

(Schtltze.) of the Auguitinian Order. 


To John Lange 
About Erasmus. 

March i, 1517. 

I am at present reading our Erasmus, but my heart 
recoils more and more from him. But one thing I 
admire is, that he constantly and learnedly accuses not 
only the monks, but the priests, of a lazy, deep-rooted 

Only, I fear he does not spread Christ and God's 


grace sufficiently abroad, of which he knows very little. 
The human is to him of more importance than the divine. 
Although unwilling to judge him, I warn you not to 
read blindly what he writes. For we live in perilous 
times, and every one who is a good Hebrew and Greek 
scholar is not a true Christian ; even Dr. Hieronymus, 
with his five languages, cannot approach Augustine with 
his one tongue, although Erasmus views all this from a 
different standpoint. Those who ascribe something to 
man's freedom of will regard those things differently 
from those who know only God's free grace. From our 
desert Wittenberg. 

(Lindner's Selected Letters.) 

Martin Luther, 



To Christoph Scheurl 
Luther's modesty as to his own classical attainments. 

May 6, 1517. 

My greeting ! To begin with, best of friends, I must 
thank you for Staupitz's pamphlet, but I am quite ashamed 
that the honoured father should circulate my insignificant 
writings among you. 

Truly I did not write them for the cultured Narn- 
bergers, but for our rough Saxons, for whom religious 
instruction must be broken into infinite particles. 

Even were I to do my utmost, I never could furnish 
anything which would find favour with men so versed in 
classical literature, and how much less in your eyes, seeing 
my sole endeavour is to bring myself down to the capacity 
of the common people. Therefore, pray keep what I 
write from the learned ; and I took great pains, according 
to your instructions, to write a friendly letter to Eck, 
avoiding everything disagreeable. I do not know if he 
has received it. 

I send you these theses or propositions, and through 
you to Link, or to any one who may like such trifles. 

If I do not deceive myself ; they are not Ciceronian, 


but those of our Carlstadt, rather of St. Augustine, which 
are far more sublime and superior to those of Cicero, even 
as Augustine, or rather Christ, is exalted above Cicero. 

These propositions are a standing reproach to the 
ignorance of those who consider them paradoxes (very 
striking ones), rather than look, upon them as orthodox 
(that is, in accordance with the pure doctrine of the 
Church universal), not to speak of those who are shameless 
enough to malign them as errors, a class of people who 
neither read St. Paul's Epistles, or, at least, read them 
without comprehending them, thus leading themselves 
and others astray. 

To modest men who do not quite see through them 
they appear wonderful, and I regard them as fundamental 
truths in their primitive purity. 

Praise be to God who causes light to arise out of the 
darkness. I presume our father vicar is not with you. 
We hope he may come to us. Dr. Christian Reuter has 
departed this temporal life. May God give him eternal 
life. Amen. Amsdorf and all friends greet you. Fare- 
well. Martin Luther, 



To John Lange 

Luther boasts that true theology is flourishing in Wittenberg. 

May 18, 1 51 7. 

Our theology and that of St. Augustine, by the grace 
of God, is making rapid progress in our university. 
Aristotle is continuing to fall from his throne, and his 
end is only a matter of time ; and all object to hearing 
lectures on the text-books of the Sentences, and no one 
need expect an audience who does not expound this 
theology, viz. that of the Bible or St. Augustine, or some 
other of the honoured Church teachers. Farewell, and 
pray for me. Martin Luther. 

Master Christian Goldschmidt, who is here, sends 



To George Spalatin, at the Schloss 

Salvation ! See that you, with the father confessor 
and his friend, come about nine o'clock. If Herr Chris- 
topher, the ambassador, is with you, bring him also, for 
I have given orders to invite him. Farewell, but see that 
vou procure wine for us, as you are aware that you are 
coming from the court to the cloister, and not from the 
cloister to the court. Martin Luther. 


To Christoph Scheurl 

September 1 1, 1517. 

To my highly esteemed Herr Christoph Scheurl, my 
greeting. Although I have no pretext for writing to such 
an excellent man as you, still I think the fact of having 
recently acquired such a warm, upright friend is reason 
enough for doing so. And even should one, once in a 
while, have to complain of getting no letters, surely even 
this silence would merit a few jocular lines, and how much 
more a regular correspondence to maintain the friendship, 
not to say rivet it closer. Even the holy Hieronymus 
begged his friend that he would at least write to say he 
knew of nothing to write about. Therefore I determined 
to talk nonsense, rather than be silent. But, dear God, 
how seldom does this Brother Martin, who has been falsely 
called a great theologian, take up the pen without prating .? 
But it seems as if I would write a book instead of a letter. 
My object in addressing you was to show how highly I 
esteemed you, and not to cause you to express a similar 
opinion of me, but only to convince you that you might 
trust me as you would yourself. 

It just occurs to me, that in sending me the writings 
of our Vicar-General through Ulrich Pindar,^ I owed you 
two ducats ; I have partly sold them, and given some to 
the esteemed friends of this good man. 

1 Probably the famous professor of medicine, who flourished at Frederick's 
Court. — Translator. 


The money which I drew from those I sold I gave, 
according to your directions, to the poor, viz. to myself 
and my brother monks. P'or, upon God's dear earth, I 
know of no one poorer than myself. I now beg you to 
send me a gulden more of those writings, and I shall remit 
the money when I have sold them. There are still many 
who wish them. At the same time, I send you my singular 
propositions, which seem quite unreasonable to many. You 
can direct the attention of our learned and thoughtful 
Eck to them, so that I may know what faults he finds in 
them. All your friends here, of whom Herr Licentiate 
Amsdorf and Dr. Hieronymus are the dearest, send 
greetings, also Peter the Barber, whom you honour with 
your friendship. Farewell, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther, 

Wittenberg. Augustinian Cloister. 



To Albrecht of Mayence 

On this day Luther nailed the ninety-five theses on the door 
of the Schloss Kirche in Wittenberg, being the first time he 
opposed the Church authorities. 

October 31, 151 7. 

To the Right Reverend Father in Christ, Lord 
Albrecht, Archbishop of Magdeburg and Mayence, Mark- 
grave of Brandenburg, his esteemed lord and shepherd 
in Christ. The grace of God be with him. 

May your Electoral Highness graciously permit me, 
the least and most unworthy of men, to address you. 
The Lord Jesus is my witness that I have long hesitated, 
on account of my unworthiness, to carry out what I now 
boldly do, moved thereto by a sense of the duty I owe 
you, right reverend father. May your Grace look 
graciously on me, dust and ashes, and respond to my 
longing for your ecclesiastical approval. 

With your Electoral Highness's consent, the Papal 
Indulgence for the rebuilding of St. Peter's in Rome is 
being carried through the land. I do not complain so 
much of the loud cry of the preacher of Indulgences, 



which I have not heard, but regret the false meaning, 
which the simple folk attach to it, the poor souls believing 
that when they have purchased such letters they have 
secured their salvation, also, that the moment the money 
tingles in the box souls are delivered from purgatory, and 
that all sins will be forgiven through a letter of Indulgence, 
even that of reviling the blessed Mother of God, were 
any one blasphemous enough to do so. And, lastly, that 
through these Indulgences the man is freed from all 
penalties ! Ah, dear God ! Thus are those souls which 
have been committed to your care, dear father, being led 
in the paths of death, and for them you will be required 
to render an account. For the merits of no bishop can 
secure the salvation of the souls entrusted to him which 
is not always assured through the grace of God, the 
apostle admonishing us "to work out our own salvation 
with fear and trembling," and, that the way which leads to 
life is so narrow, that the Lord, through the prophets 
Amos and Zechariah, likens those who attain to eternal 
life to brands plucked from the burning, and above all, 
the Lord points to the difficulty of redemption. There- 
fore, I could be silent no longer. 

How then can you, through false promises of Indul- 
gences, which do not promote the salvation or sanctification 
of their souls, lead the people into carnal security, by 
declaring them free from the painful consequences of 
their wrong-doing with which the Church was wont to 
punish their sins ? 

For deeds of piety and love are infinitely better than 
Indulgences, and yet the bishops do not preach these so 
earnestly, although it is their principal duty to proclaim 
the love of Christ to their people. Christ has nowhere 
commanded Indulgences to be preached, but the Gospel. 
So to what danger does a bishop expose himself, who 
instead of having the Gospel proclaimed among the people, 
dooms it to silence, while the cry of Indulgences resounds 
through the land.'' Will Christ not say to them, "Ye 
strained at a gnat, and swallowed a camel " ? 

In addition, reverend father, it has gone abroad 
under your name, but doubtless without your knowledge. 


that this Indulgence is the priceless gift of God, whereby 
the man may be reconciled to God, and escape the fires of 
purgatory, and that those who purchase the Indulgences 
have no need of repentance. 

What else can I do, right reverend father, than beg 
your Serene Highness carefully to look into this matter, 
and do away with this little book of instructions, and 
command those preachers to adopt another style of preach- 
ing, else another may arise and refute them, by writing 
another book in answer to the previous one, to the con- 
fusion of your Serene Highness, the very idea of which 
alarms me greatly. I hope that your Serene Highness may 
graciously deign to accept the faithful service which your 
insignificant servant, with true devotion, would render you. 
The Lord keep you to all eternity. Amen. Wittenberg, 
the night before AH Saints' Day 1517. 

If agreeable to your Grace, perhaps you would glance 
at my enclosed theses, that you may see the opinion on 
the Indulgences is a very varied one, while those who 
proclaim them fancy they cannot be disputed. Your 
unworthy son, Martin Luther, 

Augustinian, set apart as Doctor of Sacred Theology. 
(De Wette.) 


To George Spalatin 

No-v ember 151 7. 

My greetings ! I had decided, dear Spalatin, to tell no 
one of the dialogue with Erasmus, my sole reason being 
that it was so delightful, so full of humour, so clever, and, 
I would almost say, woven together in such an Erasmus- 
like manner, that the reader is tempted to laugh and 
enjoy the failings in the Church of Christ, which ought 
rather to grieve all Christians, and be borne before the 
Lord in prayer. But seeing you plead so earnestly to see 
it, here it is, and after perusing it, return it to me. You 
write that the Prince has promised me a robe, so I would 
like to know to whom he has entrusted the matter. From 
our cloister. Brother Martin, 




To THE Elector Frederick of Saxony 

The founder of Wittenberg University, who did so much to 
protect the pure gospel, — upon a tax levied. 

Nonj ember or December 15 17. 

Most gracious and dear lord, Elector Frederick of 
Saxony. Some time ago I was promised, through Dr. Hers- 
felder, a new robe, so I now wish to remind your Grace of 
it. But I would beg, gracious lord, that if Pfeffinger is 
to arrange the matter, as he did before, he would do it in 
reality, for he is very good at spinning fine words, but 
these do not always produce good cloth. 

I have heard through Prior Lange at Erfurt that your 
Electoral Grace is displeased with our worthy Father 
Staupitz because of something he has written. So I 
called upon him when he came to see you at Torgau, and 
said I could not bear to think His Excellence was in dis- 
grace with your Grace. I soon found that no one had 
such a high place in his heart as the Elector of Saxony, 
and he does not know how he can have offended except 
by loving you too much. I pray your Grace would con- 
tinue to him your favour, even as he has ever been loyal 
to you. Thus I wish to prove my fidelity to you, to let 
you see I merit my Court dress. 

I have also heard that at the end of the present 
financial year your Grace purposes laying another and 
heavier tax upon us, so I beseech you do not despise a 
poor beggar's prayer, for my heart, as well as the hearts 
of many who love you dearly, are, because of the extra 
tax, very heavy, and it has robbed your Electoral Highness 
of much of your good name and favour among the 

God has endowed your Grace with great wisdom, so 
that no one sees farther in these matters than you ; but 
sometimes God wills it so that great wisdom may learn 
something from one with less, so that one may depend on 
God alone, who, it is to be hoped, may spare you to us 


for our good, and afterw'^rds preserve your soul unto life 
eternal. Amen. Your Electoral Highness's obedient 
chaplain, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 

Luther's first German letter ; his extant letters till this date 
are all in Latin. 


Luther at the General Assembly of Augustinian monks at 
Heidelberg, where he publicly defended his theses. Luther cited 
to appear at Rome, but the Elector arranged he should appear at 
Augsburg instead, before Cajetan. 


To George Spalatin 

Februaiy 15, 1518. 

About the motives which should accompany good 
works. Salvation ! What you write, or rather pre- 
scribe to me to do, that I am doing, most excellent 
Spalatin. And I thank the most Serene Prince, through 
you, for the princely piece of venison that he sent our new 
magister, and I have told them what an honour it is. But 
I am the one who is most delighted, for human nature 
loves a cheerful giver. 

You ask me two questions. The one, " If one wishes 
to sacrifice something, or do a good work, what ought to 
be his motive } " I answer briefly, a man must be 
animated in all he does by a feeling of despair as well as 
confidence. The despair appertains to thyself and thy 
work, but the joyous confidence is founded on God and 
His mercy. For the Spirit says, " The Lord taketh 
pleasure in them that fear him, and in those that hope in 
his mercy." The other question concerned the power of 
the Indulgence, and what it can accomplish. This matter 
is still doubtful, but I shall say privately to you and our 
friends that I consider present-day Indulgences as a deceiv- 
ing of souls, and of no use except as an encouragement 
to lazy Christians. And this is beyond dispute, my 
enemies and the whole Church being obliged to admit 


it is, viz. that alms and kindness towards one's neigh- 
bour are far higher than the Indulgences. 

Therefore, I admonish you to buy no Indulgences, as 
long as you have poor neighbours to whom you can give 
the Indulgence money. 

If you act otherwise, I am blameless ; the responsi- 
bility is yours. I firmly believe that those who neglect 
the poor and purchase Indulgences merit condemnation. 

I shall tell you a great cause of annoyance to me, viz. the 
busybodies have invented a new mode of attack, by circu- 
lating everywhere that our Serene Prince is at the bottom 
of all I do, as if he caused me to make the Archbishop of 
Magdeburg hated ! Dear one, advise me how to act, for 
I am deeply grieved that the Prince should come into ill- 
repute through me, and I fear being the cause of dispeace 
between such great princes. But I shall gladly permit the 
Prince to lead me into a disputation, or place me on my 
trial, if he would openly give me a safe-conduct, but I dis- 
like the innocent Prince being blamed on my account. 
They are truly perverse people who love the darkness 
and hate the light. 

They have traversed three lands to lay hold of John 
Reuchlin, and have dragged him hither against his will, 
while I am at the door, and pleading to be taken, and 
they leave me alone and whisper in corners that which 
they cannot defend. Farewell, and forgive me for making 
so many words about this, for I am talking to a friend. 
From our cloister. 

Martin Luther, 

(Both free and bound in the Lord.) 


To Christoph Scheurl 

Luther laments the spread of his theses. 

March 5, 1518. 

To the learned Herr Christoph Scheurl, my esteemed 
friend in Christ, my greeting ! I have received two letters 
from you, a Latin and a German one, my good Christoph, 


along with a present from that superior man, Albrecht 
Durer, and my Latin and German propositions. You 
wonder I did not tell you of them. But I did not wish 
to have them widely circulated. I only intended sub- 
mitting them to a few learned men for examination, and 
if they disapproved of them, to suppress them ; or make 
them known through their publications, in the event of 
their meeting with your approval. But now they are 
being spread abroad and translated everywhere, which I 
never could have credited, so that I regret having given 
birth to them — not that I am unwilling to proclaim the 
truth manfully, for there is nothing I more ardently 
desire, but because this way of instructing the people 
is of little avail. As yet I am still uncertain as to 
some points, and would have gone into others more 
particularly, leaving some out entirely, had I foreseen 
all this. 

From the rapid spread of the theses I gather what 
the greater part of the nation think of this kind of 
Indulgence, in spite of them having to disguise their 
opinions for fear of the Jews ; still I must have the proofs 
of my propositions in readiness, although I cannot publish 
them yet, having been delayed through the Bishop of 
Brandenburg — whose advice I asked — being so long in 
returning them. Yes, when the Lord grants me leisure, 
I purpose issuing a book on the use and misuse of the 
Indulgences, in order to suppress the before- mentioned 
points. I have no longer any doubt that the people are 
deceived, not through the Indulgences, but through their 
use. When I have finished these propositions I will send 
them to you. Meantime, pray remember me to Albrecht 
DQrer, that excellent man, and assure him of my con- 
tinued gratitude. But I expect both of you to discard 
your exalted opinion of me, and not to expect more from 
me than I can render, for I am nothing, and can do nothing, 
and am daily becoming more of a cipher. I wrote lately to 
Dr. John Eck, to you, and to all the others, but fear you 
have not received the letter. I am most anxious that the 
pamphlet of our highly esteemed vicar " Upon Love," 
which appeared the other day in Munich, and made such 


a sensation, should be reissued among you. For we all 
hunger and thirst after love. I commit you to God. 

Wittenberg. MaRTIN LutheR. 



To John Lange 

Luther complains of his opponents raging against him. 

March z\, 1518. 

The vendors of Indulgences are thundering at me 
from the pulpit, so that their stock of insulting epithets 
is exhausted. They tell the people that I shall be burned 
in fourteen days — another makes it a month. They are 
also issuing counter-propositions, so that I fear ere long 
they will burst with fury. I am advised not to go to 
Heidelberg, so that they may not accomplish through 
deceit and wiles what they are unable to achieve through 
force. But I shall render obedience, and come on foot, 
and, if God will, pass through Erfurt ; but do not wait for 
me, for I shall scarcely be able to start till the Wednesday 
after Quasimodo. 

Our Prince, who devotes much time to the study 
of this theology, and loves it, is a warm protector of 
Carlstadt and me, and will not permit me to be lured 
to Rome. 

They know this, and are furious at it. So that you 
may not have an exaggerated account of the burning of 
Tetzel's theses, I shall tell you the facts. The students, 
who are heartily sick of sophistical teaching and longing 
for the sacred Scriptures, are most favourable to me. 
Having heard that Tetzel, the originator of them, had 
sent a man from Halle, they immediately went and asked 
how he dared bring such things here. Some bought a 
few, while others robbed him of several, and burned the 
rest — about eight hundred copies — after proclaiming that 
the burning and funeral of Tetzel's answer to them 
would take place at the Market at two o'clock. And 
all this was done without the knowledge of the Prince, 
the Town Council, or any of us. We all think it very 
bad of our people treating the man so. I am innocent. 


but feel certain I get all the blame. It has caused much 

talk, especially among Tetzel's followers, who are naturally 

very angry. I do not know how it will all end, only it 

has placed me in a more perilous position. 

Martin Luther. 


To Staupitz, his Superior and Father in Christ Jesus. 

March 31, 1 5 18. 

My greeting ! Although overwhelmed by business, 
I feel constrained briefly to address my father in the 

To begin with, I am quite willing to admit that my 
name is in bad odour with very many. 

For these good folks assert that I despise psalters and 
other forms of prayer, nay, even good works themselves. 
But St. Paul himself was often treated in the same way, 
some accusing him of saying, " Let us do evil, that good 
may come." 

But I have kept firm to Tauler's theology and that 
other treatise which you had printed through our Auri- 
faber. I teach that man must trust solely in Christ 
Jesus — neither in prayer, merit, nor works, but hope for 
blessedness only through God's mercy. 

It is from this that these people extract poison and 
disseminate it everywhere, as you see. 

Only as it was neither good nor bad report which 
made me act so, therefore I take no notice of all this, 
although it is those things which bring down the hatred 
of the schoolmen about my neck. 

Because I prefer the mystical writings and the Bible 
to them, their wrath and jealousy are unbounded. I do 
not read the scholastics blindfolded, as they do, but 
ponder them. The apostle told us to prove all things, 
and hold to that which is good. I do not despise all 
theirs, neither consider it all good. But these creatures 
generally kindle a fire out of a spark, and make an 


elephant out of a flea. When it was permitted to a 
Thomas to stand out against the whole world, and a 
Scotus, Gabriel, and others to contradict him, and when, 
even among the scholastics, there are as many sects as 
there are heads, or rather every single head daily builds 
up a new system of divinity, why should I not have the 
same liberty ? 

But when God lifts up His hand no one can stay it, 
and when He rests no one can arouse Him. 

Farewell, and pray for me, and for the cause of divine 
truth wherever it may be hidden. 

Martin Luther. 



Luther begs his Vicar-General, who hated theological strife, 
to send his " Resolutiones " to Pope Leo X. 

May 30, 1518. 

I remember, reverend father, that among the many 
comforting words with which you consoled me, was that 
of Repentance — that word with which the Lord Jesus 
in such a marvellous manner was wont to strengthen His 
eople. I received your word as a voice from heaven. 
True repentance always begins with a longing after 
righteousness and God. This your word pierced me like 
a sharp arrow, and I, at once, began to compare the 
portions of Scripture which treat of repentance, and, 
behold, what a treat was in store for me — the words with 
that meaning crowding upon me, from all directions, so 
that this word, which up till now had been the bitterest 
in the Bible to me, sounded dearer and sweeter than any 
other. ( Here follows an exhaustive analysis of the Greek 
for repentance, which means a change of disposition — 
consequently not primarily of works, but a revolution of 

Then just as my heart was filled with such thoughts, 
there began to resound around us proclamations of 
Indulgences for the forgiveness of sins, but no exhortation 


to true spiritual conflict with sin. In short, not a word 
was heard of true repentance, but the Indulgence-mongers 
were bold enough to glorify and praise themselves, while 
hurling invectives against repentance. I had to listen to 
all this lauding of self in a way hitherto undreamt of, 
and certainly a most unimportant part of confession. In 
addition, they taught so many godless lies boldly, that 
whoever differed from them was at once denounced as a 
heretic, condemned to the flames, and counted worthy of 
eternal damnation. Not being able to check their mad- 
ness, I set myself modestly to throw doubts on their 
teaching, confident in the testimony borne by the doctors 
and the whole Church, who, from time immemorial, 
thought it better to repent than purchase Indulgences. 
Having discussed the matter openly, I unfortunately 
roused the opposition of all who are concerned about the 
dear gold, or shall I say, the dear souls .'' For these 
dear folk are wondrous cunning, and being unable to 
refute me, they declare the Pope's authority will be 
injured through my disputation. This is the trafiic, 
most esteemed father, which compels me with much 
personal danger to come to the front — I, who have 
ever loved obscurity, and would vastly prefer being a 
spectator of the lively game which these worthy and 
learned men are carrying on at present, than be the 
centre of observation and ridicule. 

But I see weeds grow up among cabbage, and black 
is placed alongside white, to make it more attractive. 
Therefore I beseech you to forward my poor " Resolu- 
tiones " to the good Pope Leo X., so that they may plead 
my cause with His Holiness against the wicked intrigues 
of evil-disposed persons. 

Not that I wish to lead you into danger, for I take 
the entire responsibility of all I do. May Christ judge 
whether I have said what is His, or my own, without 
whom even the Papal tongue can utter nothing, and 
in whose hand is the heart of kings. I expect to receive 
Christ's verdict through the Papal throne. For the rest, 
I can only answer the warnings of my friends with 
Reuchhn's words : " He who is poor need fear nothing, 


for he has nothing to lose." I have neither gold nor 
possessions, nor do I desire them. 

If I had a good reputation and honour, I am being 
robbed of them by Him who gave them. My useless 
body, weakened by many hardships, still remains. If 
they deprive me of this in God's service, they only 
render me poorer by an hour or two of life. My sweet 
Redeemer is sufficient for me. I shall praise Him all 
my life. May He keep you through all eternity, my 
dearest father. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Pope Leo X. 

Luther writes submissively to the Pope, in whose justice and 
love of truth he seems to have implicit confidence. 

May 30, 15 1 8. 

Martin Luther, Augustinian monk, desires everlasting 
salvation to the Most Holy Father, Leo X. 

I know, most holy father, that evil reports are 
being spread about me, some friends having vilified me 
to your Holiness, as if 1 were trying to belittle the power 
of the Keys and of the Supreme Pontiff, therefore I 
am being accused of being a heretic, a renegade, and a 
thousand other ill names are being hurled at me, enough 
to make my ears tingle and my eyes start in my head, 
but my one source of confidence is an innocent conscience. 
But all this is nothing new, for I am decorated with 
such marks of distinction in our own land, by those 
honourable and straightforward people who are them- 
selves afflicted with the worst of consciences. But, most 
holy father, I must hasten to the point, hoping your 
Holiness will graciously listen to me, for I am as awkward 
as a child. 

Some time ago the preaching of the apostolic jubilee 
of the Indulgences was begun, and soon made such head- 
way that these preachers thought they could say what 
they wished, under the shelter of your Holiness's name, 


alarming the people at such malicious, heretical lies being 
proclaimed to the derision of the spiritual powers. And, 
not satisfied with pouring out their venom, they have 
disseminated the little book in which their malicious lies 
are confirmed, binding the father confessors by oath 
to inculcate those lies upon their people. I shall not 
enlarge upon the disgraceful greed, which can never be 
satisfied, with which every syllable of this tiny book 
reeks. This is true, and no one can shut his eyes to the 
scandal, for it is manifest in the book. And they con- 
tinue to lead the people captive with their vain consolation, 
plucking, as the prophet Micah says, " their skin from ofF 
them, and their flesh from off their bones," while they 
wallow in abundance themselves. They use your Holi- 
ness's name to allay the uproar they cause, and threaten 
them with fire and sword, and the ignominy of being 
called heretics ; nay, one can scarcely believe the wiles 
they use to cause confusion among the people. Com- 
plaints are universal as to the greed of the priests, while 
the power of the Keys and the Pope is being evil spoken 
of in Germany. And when I heard of such things I 
burned with zeal for the honour of Christ, or, if some 
will have it so, the young blood within me boiled ; and 
yet I felt it did not behove me to do anything in the 
matter except to draw the attention of some prelates to 
the abuses. Some acted upon the hint, but others derided 
it, and interpreted it in various ways. For the dread ot 
your Holiness's name, and the threat of being placed 
under the ban, was all-powerful. At length I thought 
it best not to be harsh, but oppose them by throwing 
doubts upon their doctrines, preparatory to a disputation 
upon them. So I threw down the gauntlet to the learned 
by issuing my theses, and asking them to discuss them, 
either by word of mouth, or in writing, which is a well- 
known fact. 

From this, most holy father, has such a fire been 
kindled, that, to judge from the hue and cry, one would 
think the whole world had been set ablaze. 

And perhaps this is because I, through your 
Holiness's apostolic authority, am a doctor of theology, 


and they do not wish to admit that I am entitled, 
according to the usage of all universities in Christendom, 
openly to discuss, not only Indulgences, but many higher 
doctrines, such as Divine Power, Forgiveness, and Mercy. 

Now, what shall I do ? I cannot retract, and I see 
what jealousy and hatred I have roused through the 
explanation of my theses. Besides, I am most unwilling 
to leave my corner only to hear harsh judgments against 
myself, but also because I am a stupid dunderhead in 
this learned age, and too ignorant to deal with such 
weighty matters. For, in these golden times, when the 
number of the learned is daily increasing, and arts and 
sciences are flourishing, not to speak of the Greek and 
Hebrew tongues, so that even a Cicero were he now 
alive would creep into a corner, although he never feared 
light and publicity, sheer necessity alone drives me to 
cackle as a goose among swans. 

So, to reconcile my opponents if possible, and satisfy 
the expectations of many, I let in the light of day upon 
my thoughts, which you can see in my explanation of my 
propositions on Indulgences. 

I made them public that I might have the protection 
of your Holiness's name, and find refuge beneath the 
shadow of your wings. So all may see from this how I 
esteem the spiritual power, and honour the dignity of the 
Keys. For, if I were such as they say, and had not held 
a public discussion on the subject, which every doctor is 
entitled to do, then assuredly his Serene Highness 
Frederick, Elector of Saxony, who is an ardent lover of 
Christian and apostolic truth, would not have suffered 
such a dangerous person in his University of Wittenberg. 

And also, the beloved and learned doctors and magisters 
of our University, who cleave firmly to our religion, would 
certainly have expelled me from their midst. And is it 
not strange that my enemies not only try to convict me 
of sin and put me to shame, but also the Elector, and the 
whole University ? Therefore, most holy father, I pros- 
trate myself at your feet, placing myself and all I am and 
have at your disposal, to be dealt with as you see fit. 
My cause hangs on the will of your Holiness, by whose 


verdict I shall either save or lose my life. Come what 
may, I shall recognise the voice of your Holiness to be 
that of Christ, speaking through you. If I merit death, I 
do not refuse to die, for " the earth is the Lord's," and 
all that is therein, to whom be praise to all eternity ! 
Amen. May He preserve your Holiness to life eternal. 

Martin Luther, 


To Wen z EL Link 

Wenzelaus Link studied in Wittenberg, and was afterwards 
pastor in N urn berg. 

July 10, 1518. 

Our vicar, John Lange, says that Count Albrecht of 
Mansfeld has warned him not to let me leave here, as 
some great people have given orders that I should be 
suffocated or drowned. 

I am like Jeremiah, the man of strife, whom the 
Pharisees daily tormented with new doctrines, as they 
called them. But I have only taught the pure gospel, 
therefore I always knew that I would be a stumbling- 
block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks. But it 
would ill become me not to do all this for the Lord 
Jesus, who says to all His people, " I will shew him what 
great things he must suffer for my name's sake ! " 

The more they threaten, the more confident and 
joyful I become : my wife and child are provided for ; 
my land, house, and all I have are in order, and if they 
rob me of my good name, nothing remains but my miser- 
able body. 

From the beginning God's word is on this wise, that 
all who cleave to it must with the apostles be hourly pre- 
pared to suffer the loss of all things, nay, even to meet 
death itself. 

Were it not so, then it would be no word of Christ, 
for it has been made known and spread abroad, through 
the death of many, and will go on, being thus maintained 
and renewed through manifold deaths. 


For our Bridegroom is a blood-stained Bridegroom. 

Therefore pray that the Lord Jesus may strengthen 
the confidence of His faithful sinners. I preached the 
other day upon the tyranny of the officials and vicars, etc. 
The people marvelled that they had never heard anything 
of this before. We now wait to see what I shall have to 
endure on this account. I have lighted a new fire, but 
the word of truth does this also, the sign that shall be 
spoken against. I do not concern myself about the fault- 
finders. To Christ alone I shall defer in the ministry. 

Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Melanchthon was only twenty-one when sent by Reuchlin to 
teach Greek at the Elector's request. 

Aug. 31, 1518. 

To the learned George Spalatin, my faithful friend in 
Christ, salvation ! What you wrote of our Philip has all 
come to pass, and will also be verified in the future, as 
you know. The fourth day after his arrival he gave a 
learned and eloquent address, to the delight of all who 
heard him, so you need not laud him to us, for we have 
already formed the highest estimate of his person and 
intellect, and are most grateful to the Prince for confer- 
ring him upon us, and also for your services in the matter ; 
and see how skilfully you can praise him to the Prince. 

So long as he lives 1 desire no other teacher in Greek. 

I only fear that our coarse food will not suit his 
delicate constitution, as I hear he is getting too small a 
salary, so that the Leipsic people are already boasting that 
they will deprive us of him. For they wished him at 

I, and others, fear Herr Pfeffinger has been too faithful 
a steward, as usual, to his Electoral Highness, in giving 
Philip as little as possible. Therefore, dear Spalatin (1 
speak freely, for it is with my best friend I talk), see that 


you do not lightly esteem his youth and boyish appear- 
ance, for the man is worthy of all honour. And I do not 
wish that we and our University should do such a mean 
thing, thereby causing our detractors to speak evil of us. 
I send you my hurried opinion of the coarse and rude 
Sylvestrum (high official in the Pope's household), my 
sophistical opponent, for I scarcely deem him worth my 
attention. I thank God and you for protecting me and 
my cause. Farewell, and love me in Christ. 

Martin Luther. 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther at the Diet of Augsburg. Preached in Weimar before 
the Elector on the way thither. 

October 1 1 , 1 5 1 8 . 

Salvation ! There is nothing new here, only every 
one is talking of Dr. Luther who has lighted such a great 
fire. Show yourself a man, and teach the young people 
what is right, but I go hence to offer myself up for them 
and you, it God wills it. 

For I will rather die and be deprived of your dear 
society, hard as that would be for me to all eternity, than 
be the means of ruining the liberal studies and elegant 
learning, thus causing the enemy to triumph. Italy is, as 
Egypt was long ago, enveloped in thick darkness, being 
entirely ignorant of Christ and all that appertains to Him, 
and yet we must submit to them ruling over us, and 
teaching us in their own way both faith and morals. 
Thus does God manifest His wrath towards us in the 
lament of the prophet, " I will give children to be their 
princes, and babes shall rule over them." 

Farewell in the Lord, dear Philip, and turn away the 
wrath of God through your fervent and earnest prayers. 

Martin Luther. 




To Andreas von Carlstadt 

Carlstadt had never seen a Bible when he became Doctor of 
Theology in Wittenberg in 15 10. Later he destroyed the images 
in churches. 

October 14, 1518. 

May you have all good for time and blessedness here- 
after, esteemed Herr Doctor ! I am pressed for time, but 
shall write more again. My cause has assumed a very 
dismal aspect these three days, so that 1 have lost hope of 
returning to you, fully expecting to come under the ban. 

For the Legate ^ is determined I shall not hold a public 
disputation, refusing to argue with me alone, and declares 
he will not be my judge, but will treat me as a father. 
Nevertheless, the only words he will listen to from me 
are, " I recant, and confess I have erred," and I was un- 
willing to say those words. 

But the keenest discussion has been over these two 
articles : First, that I have said that the Indulgence is not 
the treasure {Schatz) of the merits of our dear Lord and 
Saviour Christ ; and the next, that the man who desires to 
approach the Lord's holy table must believe. 

After the Legate had dealt with these matters with a 
high hand, I have, through the intercession of many, got 
permission to answer in writing. 

And if harshly dealt with by the Legate I purpose 
publishing my answer to the two propositions, to let all 
see his ignorance and tactlessness. 

For many heretical and extraordinary ideas proceed 
from his standpoint regarding the two articles. 

Although he may be a so-called Thomist, he is a 
muddle - headed, obscure, and incapable theologian, or 
Christian, and as incapable as an ass of judging this 

So, seeing my affairs are in such jeopardy through 
having judges who are not only full of enmity and deceit, 
but unable to understand my cause, I may well tremble. 
Be this as it may, God the Lord lives and reigns, to whom 

' Cardinal Cajetan. 


I commit all, and have no doubt that help will come 
through the prayers of God-fearing people. On these I 
rely as firmly as if they were offered for me alone. There- 
fore, I shall either return to you uninjured, or seek refuge 
elsewhere ; so farewell. Continue steadfast, and exalt 
Christ with all confidence. 

I enjoy the favour of all men, except those who cleave 
to the Cardinal, who calls me his dear son, and tells my 
vicar that I have no better friend than he, and I know he 
would be highly pleased with me if I would only say, " I 
recant," but I shall not become a heretic, through the 
change of opinion by which I became a Christian. 1 
shall sooner die, be burned, banished, and persecuted. 

Farewell, dearest sir, and show my letter to our 
divines, Amsdorf, Philip, etc., so that they may pray 
for me, also for you. 

For your cause too is being discussed here, viz. faith 
in our Lord Jesus and in the grace of God. 

Martin Luther, 


To Cardinal Thomas Cajetan 

Staupitz and Link tried to allay the strife by getting Luther 
to yield, so Luther wrote this letter to see what abject humility 
would accomplish. 

October 17, 15 18. 

Highly esteemed in God the Father ! I approach you 
once more, not in person, but in writing. And you will 
graciously lend me your ear. 

Dr. Johann Staupitz has urged me to humble myself, 
and give up my own opinions, submitting them to the judg- 
ment of pious people whose characters are above suspicion, 
and he has so lauded your fatherly love, that I am con- 
vinced that you are anxious to do your utmost for me, 
and that I may commit myself to your loving care. 

I rejoice to hear all this from the messenger, for this 
man (Staupitz) is worthy of my confidence, for I know no 
one whom I would more gladly obey. 


My beloved brother, Dr. Wenzelaus Link, who 
studied with me, has also tried to influence me in the 
same way. 

I now confess, honoured father, that I have not been 
humble enough, and have been too vehement, not treating 
the superior Bishop with sufficient reverence. 

And although I had good cause for all this, I now 
confess I should have been more gentle, and treated His 
Eminence with more respect ; but it is done, and I admit 
that it is not always wise to answer a fool according to 
his folly, and thus become like him. 

I am very sorry for all this now, and plead for mercy, 
and will point out all this now and again to the people 
from the pulpit, as I have often done. 

And with God's help I shall henceforth be more care- 
ful how I speak. 

Yes, I am quite ready to think no more about this 
traffic in Indulgences, and when things have quieted down 
to return to my repose, but my opponents must also be 
compelled to keep silence, for it was they who began the 
whole disturbance, and caused me to interfere in the 
matter. Your Excellency's submissive son, 

Martin Luther, 



To THE Elector Frederick 

Luther left Augsburg October 20, and on November 28 
appealed from the Pontiff to a General Council. Even Luther's 
opponents admit this letter to be a masterpiece of eloquence. 

No--vi'f/il>er 2<), 1518. 

Most Serene and Gracious Lord ! I have received 
with great joy a pamphlet from my dear friend, George 
Spalatin, along with a copy ot the esteemed Cardinal's 
letter to you, which gives me an opportunity of explaining 
all the details of my case to your Electoral Highness. 

I merely humbly plead that your Grace would 
graciously listen to an insignificant, despised mendicant 


brother, and take my uncouth relation in good part. 
(Here follows a particular account of his dealings with 
the Legate in Augsburg.) Therefore I once more beseech 
your Electoral Highness not to believe those who declare 
that Brother Martin said what was not right, and taught 
what was wrong, without definite proof that this was the 

St. Peter erred even after he had received the Holy 
Ghost, so a cardinal can also err no matter how learned 
he may be. 

Therefore your Grace will, I hope, make it a point of 
conscience and honour that they do not send me to 
Rome, for this your Electoral Highness could not insist 
upon, let the man be what he may, for I would not be 
safe in Rome. If your Grace did this it would be betray- 
ing an innocent Christian's blood, and becoming my 
murderer. Even the Pope is not sure of his life for an 
hour. They have paper, pen, and ink in Rome, and 
notaries enough, so it would be easy to write down in 
what I have erred. It would cost much less to instruct 
me at a distance than to demand my presence, and make 
an end of me through their cunning and wiles. One 
thing vexes me greatly, and that is, that the Legate should 
sneeringly insinuate that I have acted as I have in reliance 
upon your Electoral Highness ; and some liars among 
ourselves falsely assert that I undertook the disputation 
on the Indulgences by your Grace's advice, when the fact 
is, that not even my dearest friends were aware of it, 
except the Cardinal of Mayence and the Bishop of 

For I admonished these two, whose office it was to 
prohibit the scandal, most humbly and respectfully in 
writing, before I let the disputation come to the light 
of day. 

But now that the Legate is trying to stain your Grace's 
honour and that of the noble house of Saxony, and bring 
it into bad repute with His Holiness, I will explain how 
they go about it. People nowadays believe firmly that 
Christ is buried, and cannot now speak even through an 
ass ; hence they imagine that His disciples and their 


followers will also be obliged to be silent, even should 
the stones cry out. 

Therefore, that no evil may befall your Serene High- 
ness, which I do not wish, I shall leave your Grace's land 
in God's name, and will go wherever the everlasting and 
merciful God directs, and shall submit to His divine will, 
letting Him do with me as He will. 

Herewith I bless and greet your Electoral Grace, in 
deep humility, committing you to the merciful God, and 
thanking you with all my heart for the benefits you have 
bestowed upon me. And wherever my dwelling-place 
may be, I shall never to all eternity forget your Grace's 
goodness to me, or cease to pray earnestly for your 
Highness's salvation and prosperity. At present I am 
full of joy and gratitude to God, that His dear Son counted 
a poor sinner like me worthy to suffer tribulation and 
persecution for His good and sacred cause. May He 
maintain your Electoral Grace to all eternity. Amen. 
Your Grace's unworthy chaplain, 

Martin Luther. 



To John Reuchlin 

The great German humanist, who was the first to spread the 
knowledge of Hebrew in Germany. 

December 14, 15 18. 

The Lord be with you, my valiant hero ! I praise 
the mercy of God, which dwells in you, my learned and 
esteemed sir, through which you have at length stopped 
the mouths of those who spoke against you. Certainly 
you are an instrument of Divine Providence, although you 
may not know it. 

But those who have the cause of sacred learning at 
heart have for long earnestly desired one such as you, 
and God's purposes were very different from what your 
actions would have led people to suppose they were. I 
was one of those who greatly desired to be with you, but 
the opportunity never presented itself. Still I have been 
ever with you, with my wishes and prayers, but what was 


not possible for the young comrade has been granted in 
rich measure to his successor. 

I am now being attacked by the Behemoth, who are 
anxious to avenge upon me the disgrace they have suffered 
at your hands. Doubtless I am forced to encounter them 
with much feebler weapons of wit and learning, but with 
as much courage and delight as you. They will have no 
dealings with me, so determined are they only to use force 
against me. 

But Christ lives, and I can lose nothing ; for I have 
nothing. However, the horns of these animals have 
rather lost effect through your courage. For God has 
achieved this through you — that the lord of the Sophists 
has found that the righteousness of God must be met 
with gentleness, so that Germany, through the teaching of 
the Holy Scriptures, which, alas, for so many hundred 
years has been smothered and suppressed, has again begun 
to breathe. But it is presumptuous of me discussing 
matters so confidentially with such as you. Jt is because 
I am so devoted to you — both for yourself and your 
books. It was Philip Melanchthon, whom I am proud 
to call my dearest friend, who persuaded me to write, 
saying you would not take it amiss, however poor the 
production might be. So blame him if you do not per- 
ceive that it is written to prove my devotion to you. 
Farewell, my much honoured master. 

Martin Luther, 

Wittenberg. Aiigustinian. 


Leo the X. now sent his chamberlain, Karl von Miltitz, 
to gain over Luther, and they met in Spalatin's house in Alten- 
burg. His Holiness also sent the "Golden Rose" to the Elector 
Frederick by Miltitz, who persuaded Luther to write a conciliatory 
letter to the Pope. 


To THE Elector Frederick 

Luther narrates negotiations with von Miltitz, whom the Pope 
had sent to convert this son of Satan. 


January 1519. 

Most Serene High-born Prince, Most Gracious Lord. 
It is really too bad that your Electoral Highness should 
have so much annoyance through being involved with 
my affairs ; but seeing necessity and God have willed it 
so, I beseech you graciously to take it in good part. 
Herr Karl von Miltitz pointed out yesterday the dis- 
grace and disturbance which have accrued to the Roman 
Church through me, and I have offered to do all I can to 
atone for it. So I beg you to ponder the matter, as I 
wish to do something. 

To begin with, I shall do nothing more in the affair, 
and let it, so to speak, bleed to death (if the other party 
are also silent), for, if my writings had been allowed to 
circulate freely, the whole thing would have died a natural 
death long ere now, for all are sick of it. So see to it, 
for if this precaution be neglected, the matter may assume 
alarming proportions, and disgrace ensue. For my 
weapons are ready. Therefore I deem it best that there 
should be a truce. 

In the second place, I shall write His Holiness, and 
submit humbly to him, confessing that in the past I have 
been too vehement, although I did not intend to injure 
the Church, but only to show the true reason of my 
opposition, in combating, as a faithful son of the Church, 
the blasphemous teaching which has occasioned so much 
mischief, and aroused the general indignation against the 
Roman See. 

In addition, I shall issue a pamphlet exhorting the 
people to cleave to the Roman Church, and be obedient 
and respectful, and not consider this writing as tending to 
disgrace the Holy Roman Church, but rather to exalt her ; 
and I shall also admit that I expressed the truth in a too 
vehement manner, and perhaps at an inopportune time. 
In the fourth place, Magister Spalatin has proposed that 
the matter be referred to the verdict of the Archbishop 
of Salzburg, along with other learned people, whose re- 
putation is above suspicion, while I keep to my appeal. 
But I fear the Pope will not put up with a judge, and I, 
too, will not submit to the Pope's verdict. 


So, if the first means fail, then the result will be, that 
the Pope will draw up the conditions, and I shall supply 
the glossary thereto. This would not be good. 

I have also talked it over with Karl von Miltitz, who 
does not think this would suffice, yet does not demand a 
revocation, but wishes all to express an opinion on the 
question under discussion. 

If your Grace thinks I can do anything more, will 
you graciously tell me how to act ^ I shall gladly do or 
suffer anything that I may not again have to enter the 
arena of conflict. For nothing will come of the revoca- 
tion. Your Electoral Highness's obedient chaplain, 

Martin Luther. 


To Herzog George of Saxony 

The vehement enemv of Luther and the Reformation, which 
seemed to him like revolution. 

February 19, 1519. 

My poor prayers are ever at the service of your Royal 
Highness, Most Serene High-born Prince, Most Gracious 
Lord ! The worthy Dr. John Eck ^ writes that he has 
besought your Grace, graciously to permit a disputation 
in Leipsic, in your Grace's University there, with the 
excellent Carlstadt.^ But seeing Dr. Eck professes to 
desire the disputation with Dr. Carlstadt, whose opinions 
he has scarcely attacked, while he has combated my 
doctrines with all his might, I shall appear myself in 
defence of my propositions, or to receive instructions in 
the better way. 

Therefore, I humbly request your Grace, out of love 
for the truth, to allow this disputation. 

For the highly esteemed gentlemen of the University 
have just written me, that they have promised Dr. John 
Eck (which I had heard) to refuse my request. 

They accuse me of having made known that a dispu- 
tation was to be held before I received your Grace's 

* Professor in Ingolstadt. 2 Professor in Wittenberg. 


permission thereto, but my excuse must be, that I hoped 
I would not be denied what Dr. Eck was boasting had 
been already granted to him, 

I plead that your Grace will graciously forgive my 

May God mercifully spare and uphold your Highness. 

Amen. Your Electoral Grace's obedient chaplain, 

Martin Luther. 


To Christoph Scheurl 

February 20, 15 19. 

My greeting ! I often reproach myself, my excellent 
Herr Doctor, for writing so seldom, having received so 
many kind messages from you. But my excuse must 
again be the mass of work which weighs me down. 

Up till now our Eck has been able to restrain his 
wrath against me, but now he is letting it have full scope. 

God alone, who is in the midst of the gods, knows 
what will be the outcome of this conduct. Neither Eck 
nor I am working for ourselves alone. It seems to me 
as if all this proceeded solely from the will of God. I 
often say that up till now it has only been child's play. 

But from henceforth I must proceed in earnest against 
the Roman pontiff and Romish pride. 

I commend to you, most warmly and in all unselfish- 
ness, Udalrich, our Pindar, that excellent and learned 
man. You will try to help him, seeing he is your com- 
patriot, and speak highly of him to your counsellors — 
perhaps they may deem him worthy of some assistance. 

We hear that the Suabian league is rebelling against 
the Duke of Wurtemburg. Melancholy outlook ! 

May God not rebuke us in His wrath, but chasten us 
according to His tender mercy. Amen ! Greet all our 
friends. I herewith commend you to God. 

Martin Luther, 

WiTTENBERc;. /lugustiniiin. 




To Pope Leo X. 

Luther's conciliatory letter to the Pope. 

March 3, i 5 19. 

Most Holy Father. Necessity once more compels 
me, the most unworthy and despicable creature upon 
earth, to address your Holiness. Therefore, would you, 
in Christ's stead, graciously bend your fatherly ear to 
the petition of me, your poor sheep. The esteemed 
Herr Karl von Miltitz, your Holiness's treasurer, has been 
here, and complained bitterly to the Elector Frederick, in 
your Holiness's name, of my insolence towards the Roman 
Church and your Holiness, and demanded a recantation 
from me. 

When I heard this I felt aggrieved that all my efforts 
to do honour to the Roman Church had been so misre- 
presented, and considered foolhardiness and deliberate 
malice by the Head of the Church. 

But what shall I do, most holy father } I am quite 
at sea, being unable to bear the weight of your Holiness's 
wrath or to escape from it. I am asked to recant and 
withdraw my theses. If by so doing I could accomplish 
the end desired, I would not hesitate a moment. 

But my writings have become far too widely known, 
and taken root in too many hearts — beyond my highest 
expectations — now to be summarily withdrawn. Nay, 
our German nation, with its cultured and learned men, in 
the bloom of an intellectual reawakening, understands this 
question so thoroughly that, on this account, I must avoid 
even the appearance of recantation, much as I honour and 
esteem the Roman Church in other respects. For such a 
recantation would only bring it into still worse repute, and 
make every one speak against it. 

It is those, O holy father, who have done the greatest 
injury to the Church in Germany, and whom I have striven 
to oppose — those who, by their foolish preaching and 
their insatiable greed, have brought your name into bad 
odour, sullying the sanctity of the sacred chair, and making 


it an offence ; and it is they who, in revenge for my having 
rendered their godless endeavours abortive, accuse me to 
your Holiness as the originator of their plots. Now, holy 
father, I declare before God that I have never had the 
slightest wish to attack the power of the Roman Church 
or your Holiness in any way, or even to injure it through 
cunning. Yes, I declare openly, that there is nothing in 
heaven or on earth which can come before the power of this 
Church, except Jesus Christ alone — Lord over all. There- 
fore do not believe those malicious slanderers who speak 
otherwise of Luther. I also gladly promise to let the 
question of Indulgences drop and be silent, if my opponents 
restrain their boastful, empty talk. In addition, I shall 
publish a pamphlet exhorting the people to honour the 
Holy Church, and not ascribe such foolish misdeeds to 
her, or imitate my own severity, in which I have gone too 
far towards her, and by so doing I trust these divisions 
may be healed. For this one thing I desired, that the 
Roman Church, our mother,^ should not be sullied through 
the greed of strangers, nor the people led into error, being 
taught to regard love as of less importance than the 
Indulgences. All else, seeing it neither helps nor injures, 
I regard of less importance. 

If I can do anything more in the matter I am willing 
to do it. May the Lord Christ preserve your Holiness 
to all eternity. Martin Luther, 



To THE Elector Frederick of Saxony 
Luther excuses himself for his discussion with Eck. 

March 13, 15 19. 

My poor prayers are always at the service of your 
Grace, Most Serene High-born Prince, Most Gracious 

God knows that I was most anxious that the game 

^ Luther still professes to be a son of the Church, whose yoke he soon after 
throws off. 


should be at an end. So eager was I for this, that I kept my 
agreement, even after your Electoral Highness's chaplain, 
Herr Magister Spalatin, forwarded some points to me, at 
the instigation of the Pope's commissioner, Herr Karl 
von Miltitz, and I left Herr Sylvester Prierat's reply 
unanswered, although there was much in it which would 
have been a good pretext for breaking my resolution ; but 
I refrained from doing so, even against the advice of my 
friends — therefore our agreement made at Altenburg has 
not been broken — that I would be silent, if my opponents 
would also be silent, and this Herr Karl knows. 

But now that Dr. Eck thus attacks me without any 
provocation, seeking not only to disgrace me, but the 
whole University of Wittenberg, it is not right that I 
should disregard such cunningly devised assaults, and 
permit the truth to be held in derision. For, should my 
mouth be bound, while every one else is free to speak, 
your Electoral Highness can well believe that I shall expose 
myself to all manner of attacks from those who might 
otherwise not have presumed to raise their eyes towards 
me. I am still inclined to follow your Grace's counsel 
and be silent, if others will do the same, for I have other 
things to occupy me, and find no pleasure in such dis- 

But if this be not possible, I beg your Grace not to be 
displeased with me, for my conscience will not allow me 
to leave the truth in the lurch. For although in my 
disputation with Eck I shall have to dispute the assertion 
that the Church of Rome is superior to all others, I shall 
do so with the reservation of full submission and 
obedience to the Holy See. May God graciously spare 
your Electoral Highness. Amen. Your Electoral 
Highness's most humble chaplain, 

Martin Luther, 



To THE Elector Frederick the Wise 

Luther begs to be allowed to build an addition to the cloister, 
and pleads for two cowls. 


May 1519. 

Most Gracious Lord. We are compelled to build an 
addition to our cloister. We humbly begged the coun- 
cillors to do this, but have received no answer. 

Therefore we pray that your Grace will graciously 
grant our request. I also beseech your Electoral Grace to 
present me at the Leipsic Fair with a white and a black 

Your Grace owes me the black cowl, and I humbly 
plead for the white one. For two or three years ago 
your Highness promised me one, and I have never 
received it, although Pfeffinger agreed to it, but perhaps 
he has been deterred by other matters, or has delayed 
doing so, as people say he is very unwilling to spend 
money. At any rate I had to procure one, so up till 
now your Grace's promise remains unfulfilled. Li my 
present need I now humbly beg for one — if the Psalter ^ 
merits a black cowl, and if the Apostle ^ be worthy of a 
white one. Please let me have it, but do not depend 
again on Pfeffinger giving it. — Your Electoral Grace's 
obedient chaplain, Martin Luther, 

Augustinian at If^itteiiberg. 

To Martin Glaser, Prior in Augustinian Cloister 


Luther tells his friend of his proposed disputation with Eck 
over the Pope's supremacy, which lasted from June 25 till July 
15. In June Charles V. was elected Emperor of Germany. 

May 30, 1519. 

To my beloved friend in the Lord. You, above all, 
have a good right to marvel, nay, to be offended, most 
honoured father, that up till now I have not sent you a 
single line. Although I am not without excuse for thus 
acting, I shall rather confess my fault. Concerning your 
horse, I hope, through the mediation of our esteemed 
vicar, you will have mercy on me. For, without doubt, 

' Expounded by Luther, and liedicated lo the Elector. 
^ Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Gulatians. 


you presented it to God, and not to me. I was delighted 
to hear from our vicar that we are soon to have the 
pleasure of seeing you here again. I fancy you have 
already heard of my proposed disputation at Leipsic, and 
other things as well. I am lecturing upon the Psalms for 
the second time, and with good results. The town is 
crowded with students, and Rome is longing for my 
downfall ; while I laugh at their malice. 1 hear that the 
paper Martin has been publicly burned there, and openly 
cursed and condemned. I anticipate their wrath. 

The Epistle to the Galatians is now actually in the 
press — you will see it in a few days. In other respects we 
are peaceful and contented here, and not so badly off as 
formerly. Our Heldt looks after things well, but only 
kitchen matters, for he is always much concerned as to 
what he is to eat and drink, and will continue so. I have 

read what you wrote me about the tattler M , but I 

am used to the sting of envy. The whole world seems to 
be in motion, both physically and morally, and what the 
outcome will be God alone knows. I predict murders 
and wars. God have mercy on us. Farewell, and pray 
for me. Martin Luther. 

(Schiltze, V. i.) 


To Thomas Fischer, Preacher in Milau 
Luther says how despisers of the gospel should be treated. 

August 26, 1519. 

Grace and peace to my beloved brother in the Lord ! 
Regarding what you have written to me, my dear man of 
God, about these godless scorners — this is my opinion. 
Even as no one can be compelled to accept the gospel, 
so no magistrate must suffer any one to traduce it, but, if 
any one do so, the magistrate must have him up and 
admonish him, and hear his reasons for acting as he does. 
If he can give none, then he must be bound over to 
silence, so that the seeds of dissension may not be sown. 
For whoever will speak against it must do so openly — 


the magistrate being called upon to put down all private 
disputes with all his authority. This is how we do in 
Wittenberg, and counsel others to do the same. From 
this you will see that the magistracy dare not tolerate 
what you speak of in the community. For it is nothing 
short of a secret scandal. Therefore call them out to the 
light of day, so that they may either justify themselves or 
be vanquished. 

Along with the Decalogue and the Catechism, incul- 
cate civil {burgerliche) and domestic virtues, and these 
ought most frequently to be the subject topics of preach- 
ing, and the people be compelled to attend, so that they 
may be instructed as to the duties of a subject and social 
life, whether they approve of the gospel or not, to pre- 
vent them becoming a stone of stumbling to others, by 
deliberately setting at naught political laws. For if they 
live in a community they must learn the laws of the same 
and obey them, even against their will. And they must 
do this, not only on account of their possessions, but for 
the sake of their family. Christ, who will sustain you, 
will teach you all else. Martin Luther. 



This year Luther issued the three great Reformation treatises : 
I. "To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation." II. 
" On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church." III. "Concern- 
ing Christian Liberty," or "The Freedom of a Christian Man." 


To THE Emperor Charles V. 

Luther places himself under Charles's protection as being the 
defender of truth and righteousness. 

Januiiry 15, 1520. 

Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ ! Doubt- 
less every one marvels, most gracious Emperor, that I 
presume to write your Imperial Majesty. For what is so 
unusual as that the King of kings and Lord of lords 


should be addressed by the meanest of men ? But who- 
ever can estimate the enormous importance of this subject, 
which so intimately concerns the divine verities, will not 

For, if it be worthy of being brought before the 
throne of His Majesty, how much more before that of an 
earthly prince ; for even as earthly princes are an emblem 
of the heavenly, so it becomes them to follow their great 
example : viz. to look from their heights upon the lowly 
of the earth, and " raise the poor out of the dust, and lift 
the beggar from the dunghill." 

Therefore, I, poor miserable creature, throw myself at 
your Imperial Majesty's feet as the most unworthy being 
who ever brought forward a matter of such importance. 

Several small books I wrote drew down the envy and 
hatred of many great people, instead of their gratitude, 
which I merit : (i) Because against my will I had to come 
forward, although I had no desire to write anything, had 
not my opponents, through guile and force, compelled me 
to do so. For I wish I could have remained hidden in 
my corner. (2) As my conscience and many pious people 
can testify, I only brought forward the gospel in opposition 
to the illusions or delusions of human traditions. And 
for so doing, I have suffered for three years, without 
cessation, all the malice which my adversaries could heap 
upon me. It was of no avail that I pled for mercy and 
promised henceforth to be silent. No attention was paid 
to my efforts after peace, and my urgent request to be 
better instructed was not listened to. 

The one thing they insisted upon was, that I, with 
the whole gospel, should be extinguished. Therefore 
seeing all my labour lost, I appealed to the example of St. 
Athanasius, to see if perhaps God might not, through 
your Imperial Majesty, support His cause. Hence, O 
lord, prince of the kings of the earth, I fall humbly at 
your Serene Majesty's feet, begging you will not take me, 
but the cause of divine truth (for which cause only God 
has put the sword into your hand) under the shadow of 
your wings, protecting me till I have either won or lost 
the cause. 


Should I then be declared a heretic I ask for no pro- 
tection, and only plead that neither the truth nor the lie 
be condemned unheard. For this is only due to your 
Imperial throne. This will adorn your Majesty's em- 
pire ! It will consecrate your century, and cause its 
memory never to be forgotten, if your Sacred Majesty do 
not permit the wicked to swallow up him who is holier 
than they, nor let men, as the prophet says, " become as 
the fishes of the sea — as the creeping things that have no 
ruler over them ! " 

I herewith commend myself to you, hoping for all 
that is good from your Sacred Majesty, whom may the 
Lord Jesus preserve to us, and highly exalt to the ever- 
lasting honour of His gospel. Amen. Your Imperial 
Majesty's devoted servant, Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector Frederick of Saxony 

Luther dedicates a little book of consolation to the Elector, 
for the comfort of believers under disappointment. 

Februaiy 1520. 

Most Serene Lord. Our beloved Saviour has com- 
manded us to visit the sick, liberate the prisoner, and 
perform works of mercy towards our neighbour, even as 
our Lord Himself set the example of marvellous love, in 
descending from the Almighty Father's bosom, to share 
our captivity, and take our sins and weaknesses upon 

Whoever despises this most blessed type and com- 
mand will at the last day hear the words, " Go into 
everlasting fire : I was sick, and ye did not visit me." 

This is my apology for compiling this small book, so 
that I may not be accused of ingratitude in being unable 
to recognise my Lord Jesus' image, in the illness with 
which your Electoral Highness has been smitten by my 
Lord God, and I cannot pretend not to hear God's voice 
from the person of your Grace, which says, " I am sick." 


For when a Christian is ill, it is not he alone who 
suffers, but Christ our Saviour, in whom the Christian 
man lives. As Christ Himself says, " What you have done 
unto the least of my disciples ye have done unto me." 
And although this command of Christ refers to the whole 
human brotherhood — still, it is specially applicable to our 
brothers in the faith, and above all, must be exercised 
towards our friends and relatives. 

Besides, it is incumbent upon me, with all your Grace's 
subjects, to sympathise in all your afflictions, as our head 
on whom all our prosperity depends. 

But I, who for many reasons am entitled to look upon 
you as my protector, could, in my poverty, find nothing 
worthy of your acceptance, till my dearest friend, George 
Spalatin, put it into my head to prepare you a little book 
of spiritual consolation drawn from the Holy Scriptures. 

Therefore I present this booklet {Tafel) to your 
Grace, which is divided into fourteen chapters. It is 
not a tablet of silver, but a spiritual one, not to be placed 
in the churches, but in the heart. 

The first part consists of seven meditations upon evil, 
trial, and disappointment ; the second part also contains 
seven meditations — upon prosperity and things pertaining 

May your Electoral Grace, with your usual princely 
benignity, graciously receive this my little treatise. And 
I humbly commend myself to you. Your Electoral 
Grace's humble servant, 

Martin Luther. 


To Herzog John of Saxony 

Encouraged by the Elector's gracious acceptance of his little 
book, Luther dedicated his large German treatise, Sermon on 
Good JVorks^ to his brother Prince John. 

March 29, 1520. 

Most Serene High-born Prince, Gracious Sir. My 
humble service and poor prayers are ever at your Grace's 


For long I have wished to show my devotion to your 
Grace by offering you some of my spiritual wares ; but 
always thought them too insignificant for your Highness's 
acceptance. But seeing my gracious lord, Frederick, 
Herzog of Saxony, and Marshal of the Holy Roman 
Empire, etc., your Grace's brother, received my little 
book so graciously, I presume once more on the royal 
blood, trusting you will not disdain my humble offering, 
which I consider the most important of all my small books 
— such a commotion having arisen on the great question 
of good works, through which more deception is being 
practised and more simple people are being led astray than 
by any other means. 

And our Lord Jesus has commanded us to " beware 
of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, 
but inwardly they are ravening wolves," 

Although I know that many despise my poverty, and 
say I only make little books and sermons for the unlearned 
laity, I am not upset by this. Would to God that I had 
devoted my whole life to the improvement of one layman 
— I would have thanked God, and let my books perish. 
I leave others to judge if writing many large books is a 
science, and tends to the improvement of Christendom. 
If I desired to write large books, perhaps with the Divine 
help I could do so, with better results than they could 
imitate me in writing a little treatise. If we cannot all 
be poets, we would all like to be judges. Gladly do I 
leave the honour of accomplishing great things to others, 
and am not ashamed of writing and preaching German for 
the unlearned, although not very qualified to do so. And 
it seems to me that if we had done this hitherto 
Christendom would have derived no little advantage 
therefrom, much more than it has reaped from the large 
books and learned discussions in the universities. Besides, 
I have neither asked nor compelled any one to read my 

I have served the people freely with what God has 
given me, and whoever does not care for this can read 
something else, which would not distress me greatly. 
For it is more than enough if some of the laity, in- 


eluding those of high rank, demean themselves to read my 
sermons. And if for no other reason, this is sufficient, that 
your Grace appreciates such httle books, being anxious to 
know more about good works and faith, and it behoves 
me to be as useful as possible to you in this matter. 

Therefore, I humbly beg your Highness will graciously 
accept my good intentions, till, if God give me the time, 
I shall publish an exposition of faith in German. On this 
occasion I have tried to show how faith must be exercised 
in all good works, and how it is the best work of all. 

Again, if God will, I shall discuss the question of 
faith, and how we should daily pray and practise the 
same. I herewith commend myself to your Grace. 
Your Grace's obedient chaplain, 

Martin Luther, 

Wittenberg. Augustinian. 


To Nicolas von Amsdorf 

Luther's friend Amsdorf was Professor in Wittenberg, and 
later Bishop of Naumburg. 

June 23, 1520. 

The grace and peace of God ! Honoured dear sir. 
The time to be silent is past, and the time to speak has 
come, as we read in Ecclesiastes. I have put together 
some observations, as we agreed upon, to place before the 
Christian nobility, to see if God will help the Church 
through the laity, seeing the clergy, whose duty it is, 
have become indifferent. I send this to your Excellence 
for approval, and, if need be, correction. I know that 
I, poor despised creature, will be accused of presump- 
tion in haranguing such exalted people upon such weighty 
matters, as if there were no other than Dr. Martin Luther 
to espouse the cause of Christianity and give advice to 
such learned men. Perhaps it was decreed I should one 
day commit a folly in the eyes of God and the world, and 
this is the time I have chosen, and if I succeed, I may at 
length become Court fool, for I must verify the saying, 
" A monk must be present at whatever is being done in 


the world." More than once a fool has uttered wise 
sayings, and wise people have often talked foolishly, as 
St. Paul says, " Whoever will be wise in this world, let 
him become a fool." So, seeing I am not only a fool, but 
a sworn doctor of divinity, I am happy to fulfil my oath 
in this foolish fashion. 

Please apologise to those of ordinary understanding 
for me, for I do not know how to gain the favour of the 
intellectual, which I was wont long ago to desire so 
eagerly, but which I now despise. 

God help us not to seek our own, but solely His 
glory. Amen. In Augustinian cloister. 

Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Luther heard from von Schaumburg that one hundred Fran- 
conian knights were ready to defend him. 

July 10, 1520. 

I herewith send the letter of the Franconian knight, 
Sylvester von Schaumburg, and should like it alluded to 
in the Prince's letter to Cardinal St. Georgio, so that they 
may know, that although they banish me from Witten- 
berg with their ban they will only make bad worse. 

For, even in Bohemia, there are people who will 
protect me, if I am exiled, against the enemy's thunder- 
bolts. And then with such protection I might attack 
the Papacy still more vehemently than I can from my 
theological chair in the Prince's domain. Unless God 
prevent, this will happen. So let them know that the 
reason I have not yet attacked them is solely due to my 
great respect for the Prince and the interests of the 
students in the University. 

For me the die is cast, and I despise Rome's dis- 
pleasure as much as her favour. I shall never be recon- 
ciled to her, let her condemn or burn me as she will ! 
But if I can get a fire I shall publicly burn the whole 
Papal code, this serpentine piece of treachery, and make 
an end of the humility I have hitherto displayed in vain, 


so that the enemies of the gospel may no longer vaunt 
themselves on account of it. 

The more I think of the Cardinal's letter the more I 
despise those who, through cowardice and an evil con- 
science, breathe out defiance with their last breath, trying 
to hide their ignorance through violence. But the Lord, 
who knows I am a wicked sinner, will conduct His cause 
through me, or some one else. Martin Luther. 



To Herr Wittiger, Canon in Breslau 

July 30, 1520. 

At first I had no intention of writing you, most 
excellent sir, as Herr Schleupper, our common friend, 
could tell you everything better than L For he knows 
all that is going on, only he insisted I should send a line, 
so I obey. A great many pamphlets are being issued 
against me in Germany and Italy, but it does not put 
me about, for they are written by the most stupid of the 
stupid, who affront themselves through their work. I am 
pretty well in body and mind, only I should like to sin 
less, and yet I sin more and more every day. 

The faction of the Dominicans are now keeping quiet, 
for they were forbidden writing against me, but their 
place has been filled by the Bishop of Bavaria. 

If they overcome, they do so through coarseness and 
audacity. I never read such stuff, for they do not mind 
whether they win or lose. How sad for the people who 
have such wolves set over them ! But the Lord sees it, in 
whom may you find refuge. Martin Luther. 



To John Lange 

Staupitz, Lange, and Link all begged Luther to suppress his 
dangerous book, i'o the German Nobility^ but it was already in the 


August 18, 1520. 

If my little book, that you, my father, name a 
trumpet (Posaune), is really so fierce, I leave you and 
others to judge. No doubt it is vehement and fearless, 
but it pleases many, and is not displeasing to our Court ! 
I am no judge in this matter. Perhaps I am the fore- 
runner of our Philip, whose way I am sent to prepare. 

We firmly believe here that the Papacy is the personi- 
fication of Antichrist's throne, and feel we are justified in 
resisting their deceptions and wiles for the sake of the 
salvation of souls. I declare that I only owe the Pope 
the obedience due to Antichrist. 

Philip is marrying Catherine Crappin, and I am 
blamed for promoting it. I did it for his good, and do 
not let the outcry disturb me. May God give His blessing. 

I hate men's sins, and abhor the child of destruction, 
with all his kingdom of sin and hypocrisy. Farewell in 
the Lord. Martin Luther. 



To Hermann Tulich, Professor in Wittenberg 

Luther dedicates his treatise on the Babylonian Captivity to 

October 6, 1520. 

Whether 1 will or not 1 am becoming more learned 
daily, as the esteemed doctors, time about, insist upon 
my taking up the cudgels. Two years ago I wrote 
on the Indulgences, and now that the book is out I 
regret it. 

For then I was steeped in superstition, and though i 
the Indulgence not to be despised, as I saw so many 
enlightened men take it. 

But later, thanks to Sylvester and his comrades, I saw 
the Indulgence was only pure deception of the Papal 
flatterers through which faith in God was destroyed. 

Therefore 1 would like the printers, and those who 
have read the little book, to destroy it, and read instead 
what I have written on this subject. Eck and Emser 


opened my eyes as to the Pope's sovereignty ; for although 
at first I maintained his right to the human title, I now 
see that the Papacy is the kingdom of Babylon, and the 
tyranny of Nimrod, the mighty hunter. I must now go 
and lecture on giving the sacramental cup to the laity, 
and deny the seven sacraments, retaining only three — 
Baptism, Repentance, and the Lord's Supper, in all 
which the Roman Court has imposed a miserable cap- 
tivity upon the Church, The Indulgence is sheer tyranny 
of the Roman flatterers. Martin Luther. 


To Pope Leo X 

Luther had seen the Papal bull condemning him. He sent 
the book on the Frccdotn of a Christian Man to the Pope. 

October I 3, 1520. 

To the Most Holy Father in God, Leo X., Pope in 
Rome, all blessedness in Christ Jesus our Lord ! In 
consequence of the disputes in which I have been 
embroiled for three years, through some worthless men, 
I have had occasion to look towards you, as it is thought 
you are the cause of this dissension. For although I 
have been driven by some of our godless flatterers to 
appeal from your Holiness's judgment to a general 
Christian Council, still I have never been so alienated 
from you that I did not pray earnestly for the welfare 
of the Roman See. And I declare I am not aware of 
ever having spoken of you except with great respect. 
I have called you Daniel in Babylon, and any one can 
tell you how I stood up for your innocence against your 
defamer, Prierias. Your good name has been far too 
highly lauded by eminent men everywhere, to make it 
possible for any one to attack it, however high he may 
be, so I am not fool enough to belittle him whom every 
one praises. No doubt I have eagerly attacked my 
opponents for their unchristian teaching ; and in this I 
have Christ's example, who speaks of His enemies as 


serpents, " Ye fools and blind " ; and St. Paul says, 
" Children of the devil, full of all subtilty and all mis- 
chief," and some false prophets he names " dogs " and 
*' deceivers," etc. 

Were any fastidious people nowadays to hear such 
language they would say, " No one was so bitter as the 
Apostle Paul," And who are more so than* the prophets ? — 
Jeremiah cursing the man who doeth the work of the 
Lord deceitfully. 

Therefore, most holy father Leo, pray accept my 
apology, and be assured I never attacked your person, 
although I confess to having spoken against the Roman 
See, the Court of Rome, which not even thyself can deny, 
that it has been a very Sodom, Gomorrha, and Babylon, 
and is, so far as I can see, in a hopeless state. 

Meantime, thou sittest, most holy father, like a sheep 
among wolves, and like Daniel in the lions' den, and 
Ezekiel among scorpions. What canst thou do against 
such like .'' And even if there be three or four pious and 
learned Cardinals, what are they among so many ? God's 
wrath lies upon the Court of Rome, for it will not submit 
to a General Council, nor to counsel or reform, so what 
was predicted of her mother may be fulfilled in her, 
" We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed," 
etc. It should be thy work, and that of the Cardinals, to 
put an end to this miserable state of things ; but the 
malady defies the remedies, the horse and carriage pay no 
heed to the driver. I have ever regretted, thou pious 
Leo, that thou shouldst now be Pope, when thou wert 
worthy of better times. The Roman See is not worthy 
of thee — the Evil Spirit should be Pope, who rules more 
than thou in this Babel. Oh that thou wert free, and 
could live from thy paternal inheritance ! Such a post 
should be reserved for Judas Iscariot and such like, whom 
God has cast away. The Roman Court surpasses that of 
Turkey in wickedness. Once it was a gate of heaven, 
now it is the very jaws of hell. This is why I have 
attacked it so mercilessly, most holy Leo ! 

And my efforts not having been vain, the Evil Spirit 
raised up John Eck, a special enemy of the truth, and 


persuaded him to draw me unawares into a disputation 
at Leipsic, about a word I dropped as to the Papacy — 
and all under the pretext of disputing with Dr. Carlstadt. 
And then at Augsburg, when Cajetan, to whom I com- 
mitted my cause, dealt so unjustly with me, and after him 
came Karl von Miltitz, also sent by your Holiness, who, 
after much running to and fro, tried to arrange matters, 
and it is at his request, and at that of the Augustinian 
fathers, who will not believe the cause is lost, if the 
holy father Leo would stretch out his hand to help, 
that I now write to your Holiness. I long for peace 
that 1 may have quiet to devote to better studies. I 
now plead that a limit may be set to the flatterers, the 
enemies of all peace. It is needless to ask me to retract, 
for I will not, nor can I suffer any interference with my 
expositions of Scripture ; because the Word of God must 
not be bound. If this be conceded I am ready to do and 
suffer anything. Therefore, most holy father, do not 
listen to the sweet music of those who tell thee thou art 
not a mere man, but a mixture of God and man, who has 
everything at his disposal. 

This is not the case. Thou art not lord over all. 
For a Pope in whose heart Christ does not reign, 
instead of being Christ's vicegerent — is Antichrist. 
Perhaps it is presumptuous of me to try to teach so 
exalted a personage, but I do it from pure love and a 
sense of duty, for my neighbour's good, and in this I 
follow St. Bernard's example, when he gave his book to 
Pope Eugene — a book every Pope should read. 

In conclusion, and not to come empty handed before 
your Holiness, I bring a little book, which came out with 
the sanction of your name, in the fervent hope that it 
might be the beginning of better times, and to let your 
Holiness see the sort of profitable work I love to pursue, 
if your flatterers would give me leisure. It is a tiny book 
{The Freedom of a Christian Man) in respect of paper, 
but it contains the whole kernel of a Christian life. I am 
poor, and have nothing else by which I can show my 
devotion to your Holiness, but thou requirest only spiritual 
wares for your higher welfare. I herewith commend 


myself to your Holiness, and may Jesus keep you to all 
eternity. Amen. 

Luther does not sign this, his third letter to the Pope, evidently 
not wishing the consideration due to an Augustinian monk to be 
taken into account. 


To George Spalatin 

Luther rejoices that Spalatin at length sees one cannot rely on 
man. The Pope's Bull reached Wittenberg on October 11. 

No'vember ^ 1520. 

Salvation ! I wonder how it is, my dear Spalatin, that 
you do not get my letters, for I have written twice and 
got no answer. I am glad you now see that the Germans' 
hopes are in vain, and that you are learning not to trust 
in princes, and are disregarding the world's judgment 
whether it praises or condemns my cause. If the gospel 
could be promoted or maintained by worldly powers 
God would not have committed it to fishermen. 

No, my dear Spalatin, it is not the work of the princes 
and high priests of this world to protect the Word of God 
— therefore I crave no one's protection, for they would 
rather require to help one another against the Lord and 
His Christ. 

But I am sorry for those who have heard and known 
God's Word, for they cannot, without risking everlasting 
perdition, deny or forsake the same, and it is much to be 
feared that many, with ourselves, may be found among 
them — therefore let us pray for courage. 

It is very hard to be of a different opinion from all 
the bishops and princes, but it is the only way to avoid 
God's wrath and hell. 

I would, if you did not so press me, commit the 
whole business to God, so that He might arrange matters 
according to the counsel of His will. 

Do what the Spirit bids you, and farewell. 

Martin Luther, 

W iVT K N B E RG . Au);ustinia n . 


To John Lange 

Luther determined to stand by his appeal from an ill-informed 
to a better-instructed Pope, in spite of Herzog George. 

Nouember z?,, 1520. 

To the honoured John Lange, Doctor of the Holy 
Scriptures in Erfurt, my friend in the Lord. 

My greeting ! We rejoice over our Prince's return, 
and I beseech you, honoured father, to pray for our cause. 
Herzog George is foolish — very mad. We duly expect 
thunder and lightning from that quarter. I am deter- 
mined to stand by the appeal. I see troublous times 
ahead. May God direct all well ! We have read your 
Prince's learned and judicious answer to the Papal dele- 
gates, Aleander and Marinus, from which we see they 
have achieved nothing in that quarter. I shall send them 
to you soon. This Aleander has been mercilessly attacked 
in a witty lampoon because of his many vices. My writ- 
ings have been burned in Cologne and Louvain. 

Farewell in the Lord. Our father vicar has set off for 
Strenberg, under the escort of the lay brother Johannes. 

Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

The Emperor wrote to the Elector, asking him to bring Luther 
with him to Worms, to be judged by learned men. On loth 
December Luther burned the Pope's Bull at the Elster gate, 
Wittenberg, in presence of hundreds of students, who flung Eck 
and Emser's works into the flames, and then sang the " Te Deum." 

December 21, 1520. 

You ask what I shall do if the Emperor demands my 
presence. If I am summoned, I declare I shall be borne 
thither sick, if I am not well enough to go, for if the 
Emperor call me, doubtless it is God's call. 

But if they use force towards me, which is probable, 
for they will not summon me in order to be enlightened, 
then the cause must be committed to God, who still reigns 


— to Him ;Who upheld the three youths in the king of 
Babylon's fiery furnace. But if He will not deliver me, 
then my head is of no importance compared to the 
shameful death which was meted out to Christ. For, 
in a matter such as this, neither danger nor prosperity 
must be considered, — for we must only see that the 
gospel is not turned into ridicule by the godless through 
our conduct — or that our opponents should be able to 
boast that we had not the heart to confess, nor the 
courage to shed our blood, for the doctrines we taught. 
May the merciful Jesus guard us from such cowardice, 
and them from such boasting. 

We cannot know whether our life or death may be 
most beneficial to the gospel. You know that the truth 
of God is a rock of offence set for the fall and rising 
again of many in Israel. We have only to pray God 
that Charles's reign may not be desecrated through the 
shedding of my blood, or any one else's, and as I have 
often said, I would rather perish in Papal hands than 
have him and his entangled in this matter. I know the 
misfortunes that befell the Emperor Sigismund through 
Huss's murder. He never after had any prosperity — 
dying without children — and his name blotted out, while 
his consort Barbara became a reproach among queens. But 
if it be decreed that I am to be delivered, not only to the 
high priests, but to the heathen, the will of the Lord be 
done. Amen. 

This is my opinion and counsel. You can fancy any- 
thing of me but flight or recantation. I shall not flee, 
and much less recant, if the Lord Jesus give me the power 
thereto. For I could do neither without danger to holiness 
and the welfare of many souls. Farewell, and be strong 
in the Lord. Wittenberg, on St. Thomas the Martyr's 
day, as many believe. Martin Luther. 


This is the year of Luther's grand appearance at Worms, after 
which the Elector had him spirited away to the Wartbiirg, where 
he began his greatest work, the translation of the Bible. 



To THE Elector Frederick of Saxony 

January 25, 152 i. 

Most Gracious Lord and Patron, Most Serene 
Prince ! My poor prayers and most humble service 
are ever at your Grace's disposal. Having been informed, 
through your Highness, of the opinions and intentions of 
His Roman, Imperial, and Spanish Majesty regarding my 
affairs, I offer His Majesty and your Electoral Grace my 
most humble thanks, and rejoice that His Majesty W\\\ 
espouse the cause which, if God will, is that of God, a 
universal Christendom, and of the whole German nation, 
and not that of a single man, much less mine. Therefore 
I am still ready to do or leave undone all that is consist- 
ent with the glory of God and a Christian's honour, or 
whatever the Holy Scriptures command. So I humbly 
beseech your Grace to beg His Majesty to provide me 
with a safe-conduct against all violence, and to command 
that the matter may get a judicial hearing before learned 
Christian men, lay and clerical, whose characters are above 
suspicion, and who are well grounded in the Bible, know- 
ing how to distinguish divine from human laws, and that 
these men may be forbidden to proceed against me till it 
has been proved that I have acted wrong. And as a 
worldly head of a sacred Christendom is to preside over 
this Assembly, my opponents the Papists must meantime 
cease raging against me in such an unchristian manner, 
laying snares for my honour and life, before I am refuted 
or even tried. So, although hitherto my anxiety has 
been mainly to save the honour of the gospel rather than 
my unworthy self, I hope I shall henceforth be excused if 
I use means for my own protection, as well as for the 
safety of the Divine Word. To enable me to do this, I 
look confidently to the protection of the Emperor and 
your Electoral Highness. 

For I am ready, whenever I get a safe-conduct, to 
appear at the Diet of Worms before learned, pious, and 
upright judges, so that all may see I have not acted 


thoughtlessly, or sought worldly honour or my own 
advantage, but obeyed conscience, as a humble teacher of 
the Holy Scriptures, to the praise of God, and for the 
salvation of a common Christianity, the good of the 
German natioti, and the deliverance of a united Christen- 
dom out of an abyss of tyrannical narrowness and 
blasphemy against the Most High. 

That your Electoral Highness, along with His Imperial 
Majesty, may extend a loving, watchful eye over the 
troubled condition of Christendom, is ever my earnest 
prayer, as is only the duty of a poor humble chaplain and 
subject. At Wittenberg. On the day of St. Paul's con- 
version. Your Electoral Grace's obedient chaplain, 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To John Staupitz 

The Pope accused Staupitz to the Archbishop of Salzburg 
of being an adherent of Luther, and Staupitz agreed to submit 
to the Archbishop's verdict. 

February 9, 1 5 2 1 . 

I rejoice that you have been assailed by Pope Leo X., 
and can now let the world see how the cross which you 
have so often preached to others may be borne. For I 
do not desire that wolf to derive more satisfaction from 
your too complaisant answer than he should receive, else 
he would fancy that you have repudiated me and mine 
when you suffer him to be umpire. Therefore, if you 
love Christ, may this letter lead you to recant, tor all you 
have preached and taught up till now of the mercy of 
God is condemned in this Bull. 

And it appears to me that as you are well aware of 
this, you cannot, without insulting Christ, appoint one 
of His opponents as judge — one whom you see emptying 
the vials of his wrath against the word of grace, — for it 
was your duty to rebuke him for such godlessness. 

This is no time for cowardice, but for raising the 
alarm when we see our Lord Jesus slandered and con- 


Hence, as you admonish me to humility, so much the 
more would 1 exhort you to pride. For, you are far too 
humble, while I am too proud. This is a serious matter. 

When we see the beloved Saviour, who gave Himself 
for us, being held up to derision everywhere, ought we 
not to fight for Him, and offer up our necks for Him ? 

My dear father. The danger is greater than many 
suppose. The gospel begins thus : " Whosoever there- 
fore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also 
before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever 
shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my 
Father which is in heaven." 

I would not be ashamed of being accused of any vices, 
or being called an enemy of the Pope, if no one can 
accuse me of keeping a godless silence when the Lord 
cries : " I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there 
was no man that would know me : refuge failed me ; no 
man cared for my soul " (Ps. cxHi. 4). For I hope, 
through the power of such a testimony, to be purified 
from all my sins. And this is why I have so joyfully 
showed the horns against this Roman idol and true Anti- 
christ. For the Word of God is not one of peace, but 
of the sword ! Behold the simple teaching the wise ! I 
write this in all good faith to you ; for I much fear that 
you will hover in suspense between Christ and the Pope, 
although they are at open defiance with each other. But 
let us pray that the Lord Jesus may destroy this child of 
perdition with the breath of His mouth ! So if you do 
not follow now, let me go on alone. If God will, I shall 
not be silent as to this monstrosity. 

Your declension has indeed vexed me not a little, and 
showed me another Staupitz than he who was wont to 
preach free grace and the cross. Had you acted thus 
before you knew of this Bull and Christ's reproach, it 
would not have grieved me so. Von Hutten and many 
others write boldly on my behalf, and songs are being 
daily produced which will certainly not be cause of 
rejoicing to that Babel. Our Prince is not only acting 
judiciously and believingly, but is also steadfast. Philip ^ 

' Melanchthon. 



sends greeting, and wishes you a greater and more 
joyous spirit. Please greet Dr. Ludwig the physician, who 
has written very learnedly to me. I had not time to 
write him, for I have to superintend three printing-presses, 
all alone. Farewell in the Lord, and pray for me. Your 
son, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Herzog John Frederick, afterwards Elector 

March lo, 1521. 

To the Serene High-born Prince, John Frederick of 
Saxony, Gracious Lord. I have received your Serene 
Highness's gracious letter, with its comforting contents, 
with great pleasure. 

As I have been so long hindered through my 
opponents' attacks in expounding the " Magnificat," I 
now take the opportunity of sending these few lines with 
the little book. 

I need not enlarge upon the causes of the delay, which 
I acknowledge with shame, for it might wound the tender 
susceptibilities of your Highness, whose heart is inclined 
to all that is good, for the furtherance of which may God 
grant His grace. How important it is that so great a 
prince, upon whom the welfare of so many depends, 
should be graciously directed of God, for how much 
mischief may one left to himself do ! 

For although the hearts of all men are in God's hands, 
it is not without cause, we are told, that the king's heart 
is in the hand of the Lord as the rivers of water, He 
turneth it whithersoever He will. 

The actions of other men mostly affect only them- 
selves, at most bringing joy or sorrow to a limited 
number, but lords are set over us who are intended to 
be useful or prejudicial to a larger or smaller number of 
people according to the size of their land. 

Hence God-fearing princes are called "angels of 
God" (i Sam. xxix. 9) in the Bible — nay, even "gods" (Ps. 


Ixxxii. 6). On the other hand, wicked princes are called 
"roaring lions" (Zeph. iii. 3), "dragons" (Jer. li, 34), which 
God Himself numbers among His four plagues : pesti- 
lence, famine, war, noisome beasts (Ezek. xiv. 13-19). 

Therefore it is most necessary that all rulers should 
fear God, seeing they do not require to fear men, and 
should recognise His works, and walk circumspectly, as St. 
Paul says. Now, I know nothing in the Bible so well 
adapted for the instruction of the kings and rulers of the 
earth, as well as for all, than this sacred song of the holy 
Mother of God. It sings so sweetly of the fear of the 
Lord, and of His great power, and of His mode of dealing 
with high and low. Let others delight in worldly songs, 
but let princes and lords listen to this pure maiden sing- 
ing her spiritual, pure, and salutary song. 

It is not inappropriate that this grand hymn should be 
daily sung in all the churches at vespers, and should fre- 
quently at other times be substituted for other hymns. 

May this tender Mother of God have imparted to me 
of her spirit, so that I may be able to expound in a 
practical manner her song, from which your princely 
Grace, and all of us, may derive assistance to lead a praise- 
worthy life, and afterwards to all eternity praise and sing 
this everlasting " Magnificat." So help us God. Amen. 
I herewith humbly commend myself to your princely 
Grace, begging your Highness will graciously accept my 
poor effort. Your Electoral Grace's humble chaplain, 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To John Lange 

Luther promises to visit him at Erfurt. 

March 29, 1521. 

My greeting ! Next Wednesday or Thursday I shall 
visit you, most honoured father, on my way to Worms, 
with my spiritual escort Ehrenbold — if nothing prevents 
my coming to Erfurt. Be sure to meet me on my way 
from Eisenach. Thanks for the ducats you sent. You 


see from the enclosed treatise how I have welcomed my 
ass Emser. Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Spalatin was so alarmed at Luther's temerity, that when near 
Worms he sent a messenger to him to remind him of Huss's 
fate. Luther sent him back to say that he would come to Worms 
if there were as many devils there as tiles on the house-tops. 

April 14, 1 5 2 1 . 

Health ! We come, my dear Spalatin, although Satan 
has tried to prevent me through illness. For the whole 
way from Eisenach to here I have been very weak, and 
am still much weaker than I ever felt before. 

But I also perceive that the Emperor Charles's man- 
date has been printed in order to fill me with fear. But 
Christ lives ! and we shall enter Worms in defiance of the 
gates of hell and all the powers of the air ! 

When once there we shall see what is to be done, and 
Satan need not puff himself up, for we have every intention 
of frightening and despising him. So get a lodging ready 
for me. Farewell. Martin Luther. 



To LuKAS Cranach 

The celebrated painter, and warm friend of the Reformation, 
who accompanied his Elector, John Frederick, into banishment, 
and died at Weimar, in 1553. 

April 28, 1 52 I. 

To the excellent Meister Lukas Cranach, painter in 
Wittenberg. My dear co-sponsor and friend, I commend 
you to God. 

I shall submit to being hidden away, and as yet 
do not know where. I would have preferred being put to 
death by the tyrants, especially by the furious Herzog 


George, but was obliged to follow the advice of friends, 
and wait my time. 

They did not expect me to go to Worms, and you all 
know how they kept faith with me, as to the conduct, 
demanding that my writings should be delivered up. 

I imagined His Imperial Majesty would have 
assembled many doctors, who would have overcome me 
in a straightforward manner, but they only cried, " Are 
the books yours .^" "Yes." "Will you retract them 
or not .'' " " No." " Then get away." Oh, we blind 
Germans ! How childishly we act — imitating the Romans 
in such a pitiful way.^ 

Greet your dear wife, my co-sponsor, and say I hope 
she is well. The Jews must sing, Jo, Jo, Jo.^ Easter 
day will come to us also, and then we shall sing " Halle- 

But we must first suffer a little. " A little while and 
ye shall not see me," says Christ, " and again a little while 
and ye shall see me." I hope that it shall be even so now. 
But God's will is the very best, and may it happen here, 
even as in heaven. Amen. 

Greet Meister Christian (the goldsmith) and his wife, 
and thank the Town Council for the conveyance to Worms. 

If Licenciate Feldkirche ^ is no table, ask x-lmsdorf to 
preach. He will gladly do so. I commend you to God, 
and may He keep your hearts in peace in Christ, in 
presence of the Romish wolves with their followers. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 


LVIII ,^. 

To Graf Albrecht of Mansfeld 

Luther relates proceedings at Worms. 

May 3, 152 1. 

Most Gracious Lord. Herr Rudolph von Watzdorf 
(the Count's steward) begged me to send a private account, 

1 Luther left Worms secretly on April 26. 

- Luther alludes to their joy at Christ's death on Good Friday. 

^ A canon in the Schloss Church in Wittenberg. 


of what happened to me at Worms. To begin with, they 
did not expect me to appear, for although I had a safe-con- 
duct 1 was condemned before I was tried, and asked if I 
would disown my books. You know my answer. His 
Majesty, indignant, wrote with his own hand, ordering the 
States to proceed against me, as was seemly for a Christian 
Emperor and Defender of the Faith to act to a hardened 

I was admonished by some magnates of the realm to 
submit my books to the Emperor and Diet, and was then 
summoned before the Bishop of Treves, Elector Joachim, 

The Electo.- of Baden gave me a most ingenious 
admonition, saying they did not intend disputing with me, 
but would just admonish me in a brotherly way, begging 
me to consider what confusion had arisen through me, and 
that I should honour the powers that be, and yield in much 
— even although the authorities may at times have erred, 
and such like. I said I was willing to submit my books, 
not only to His Majesty, but to the least of his subjects, 
provided nothing should be decreed against the gospel, 
and also that I had never taught any one to despise the 
authorities, and was not attacking Pope or Council for 
their evil lives, but for false doctrine. For where false 
doctrine is, there obedience has no sway. 

I pointed out the article condemned in Constance : 
" There is only one universal Church, which is the com- 
pany of the elect." This being an article of our faith, I 
would not have condemned it. We say, " We believe in 
one holy Christian Church." 

We must avoid offence in works, but cannot in 
doctrine, for God's Word is ever an offence to the great, 
the wise ; and the saints, even as Christ Himself was 
made of God, a sign which was spoken against. 

Therefore my Lord of Treves, in despair, summoned 
Dr. Hieronymus Behns, Amsdorf, and myself. It was a 
miserable disputation, their sarcastic allusions missing their 
aim entirely. I said the Christian must judge for himself, 
even as he must live and die for himself, and that the 
Pope was not umpire in spiritual things — God's Word 


being the property of all believers, as St. Paul says, and 
so we parted. 

Once more Dr. Peutingcr wished mc to submit my 
books to His Majesty, for I ought to believe they would 
come to a Christian conclusion. When hard pressed, I 
asked the Chancellor if they would counsel me to trust 
the Emperor and others, as they had already condemned 
me and burned my books. Afterwards my Lord of Treves 
sent for me alone ; for all through His Grace was more 
than gracious, and brought up the old topic, but I knew 
no other answer, and he dismissed me. 

Then a count came with His Majesty's Chancellor, as 
notary, and bade me leave Worms, with a safe-conduct 
of twenty-one days, and His Majesty would treat me as 
seemed good to him. I thanked His Majesty, and said, 
" It has happened as the Lord willed. His name be 
praised ! " I was forbidden to preach or write on my 
journey, and promised all, except to let God's Word be 

And thus we parted. I am now in Eisenach — but 
watch ! They will accuse me of preaching at Hersfeld 
and Eisenach. For they take it literally. I commend 
myself to your Grace. Your Excellency's chaplain, 

Martin Luther. 

Hastily written in Eisenach 

on the day of the Holy Cross, 1521. 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther writes from the Wartburg. 

Maj 12, 1 52 1. 

All hail ! And you, my Philip, what are you about 
meantime ,? Are you praying that my enforced seclusion 
may draw down some great thing to the glory of God, and 
therefore I wish to know if you approve of it. I feared it 
might look as if I were fleeing from the conflict, but I 
thought it best to give in to those who had arranged it 
thus. I long earnestly to encounter my enemies and 
vanquish them in the strife. 


While sitting here, I ponder all day long on the state 
of the Churches as represented in the 88th Psalm. " Why- 
hast Thou made all men in vain?" What a dreadful 
picture of the wrath of God is the cursed kingdom of the 
Romish Antichrist ; and I lament my hard-heartedness, 
that I do not weep rivers over the destruction of the 
daughters of my people. Is there no one who will arise 
and plead with God, or become a wall for the defence of 
the house of Israel, in those last days of the wrath of God ? 
Therefore be up and doing, ye servants {Diener) of the 
Word, and build up the walls and towers of Jerusalem 
till they close round about you. You know your calling 
and gifts. I pray earnestly for you, if my prayers may 
avail (which I hope they may). Do the same for me, and 
let us share this burden. 

We are still alone upon the field. When they are 
done with me they will seek you. 

Spalatin writes that a terrible Edict ^ has been issued, 
making it a matter of conscience for every one to search 
out my writings to destroy them. The Dresden ^ 
Rehoboam rejoices, and is eager to promote such doings. 

The Emperor has also been instigated to write to the 
King of Denmark not to favour the Lutheran heresy, and 
my enemies now chant, " When will he be destroyed, and 
his name perish ^ " Hartmann von Kronenberg has re- 
nounced his pay of 200 ducats, and told the Emperor that 
he will serve him no longer. I believe this Edict will 
have no effect, except with the above-mentioned Rehoboam, 
and with your neighbour who is afflicted with a great 
love of honour, God lives and reigns to all eternity. 
Amen. God has visited me with great bodily suffering. 
I have not slept all night, and had no rest. Pray for me, 
as this evil will become unbearable if it go on increasing 
as it has hitherto done. 

The Cardinal of Salzburg accompanied Ferdinand, 
the fourth day after our return, to his bride at Inns- 

It is said Ferdinand was not greatly pleased with his 

1 That signed by the Emperor at Worms. 
2 Herzog George, Luther's enemy. 


convoy, and neither was the Emperor, Spalatin writes. 
Write particularly how things are going on with you. 
And may you be happy with your wife. In the region of 
the birds. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 6.) 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Amsdorf accompanied Luther to Schloss Altenstein, near 
Waltershausen, where an armed force captured him. 

Mav 12, 1 52 1. 

Health ! Grace be with you ! I wrote you all a few 
days ago, dear Amsdorf, but I listened to counsel, and 
tore up what I had written, as it was not considered safe 
to send letters. I have now written about the books and 
sheets to Dr. Hieronymus, and am also writing to the 
Prior about them in this letter. 

You will order what is necessary. God is trying me 
sorely, but pray for me, because I always pray for you, 
that God would strengthen your heart. Therefore be of 
good cheer and proclaim the Word of God with joy, as 
often as you have the chance. Tell me about your 
journey, and what you heard at Erfurt. Philip has 
Spalatin's letter to me. On the day I was torn from you, 
I reached here at 11 at night, tired and weary, in the 
garb of a knight. 

Here I sit, a free man among the bondmen. Beware 
of the Rehoboam ^ in Dresden, and the Benhadad ^ in 
Damascus, your neighbour. For a terrible Edict has 
been issued against us, but the Lord will laugh at them ! 
May you prosper in the Lord. Greet all our friends. In 
the region of the air. Martin Luther. 



To JoHANN Agricola, Eisleben 

Luther asks his friend who lived with him in Wittenberg how 
the gospel was progressing there. 

* On the margin is Herzog George. * Elector of Brandenburg. 


Mav 12, 1 52 1. 

Health ! Although I believe that all I have written 
to Philip and the others has fallen into your hands, still I 
seem to feel that since my departure my friends have 
almost become strangers to me, which God forbid ! So I 
write direct to yourself. Accept my best love, and 
meditate on these words, " The servant is not greater 
than his Lord." Greet all your relations and your wife 
from me. The Lord be gracious to her. 

I am a wonderful prisoner, for I sit willingly, and yet 
against my will here — with good-will, because it is the 
will of the Lord ; against my will, because I long to be 
free, in order to defend the gospel, although not worthy 
of this honour. Wittenberg is hated by its neighbours, 
but the Lord will laugh her enemies to scorn. Write 
about the preaching, and what part each takes, so that I 
may know what to hope or fear regarding the gospel. 
But you that have been called to preach to the children, 
see that you do it faithfully, and bear what God lays 
upon you. May you and yours prosper ! In the abode 
of the birds. Martin Luther. 



To Philip Melanchthon 

A comprehensive letter. 

May 26, 1 52 1. 

Dear Philip — I forget what I wrote in my sealed 
letter, so will just answer yours. I am unwilling to answer 
Jacob Latomo, for I prefer peaceful studies, and it is most 
annoying to have to reply to such a prolix and ill-written 

I intended to expound the Epistles and Gospels in 
German, but you have not sent me the postils, which are 
now in print. I send you the psalm which was sung to- 
day at our great feast, which, if the press is empty, you 
can print, for I worked at it just to occupy my time as I 
had no books, or give it to good friends and Christian 
Aurifaber to read, or place it in Amsdorf's hands. I 


do not grudge Dr. Lupino a blessed exit out of this life, 
in which, would to God, we did not live. Still I feel his 
loss deeply, and think of Isaiah's words, " The righteous 
perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart." 

Our CEcolampadius has been before us with the Sermon 
on Confession, having written a bold treatise on that sub- 
ject, which will be a fresh trial to Antichrist and his crew. 
I fancied Spalatin would have sent it to you, or I should 
have done so, with von Hutten's letters to the Bishops and 
Cardinals at Worms. I shall, if possible, supplement it 
with something in German. 1 am surprised that the new 
husband in Cambray has so fearlessly stepped into the 
fray. May God mix some pleasure in his bitter cup. 
Whv have you not sent me your Method of Teaching 
{Lehrart) now that it is printed '^. I wish to know who 
fills my pulpit oftenest, and if Amsdorf is still sleepy and 
idle ^ May God maintain and increase the progress of 
learning ! Amen. Do not be anxious about me, for I 
am very well, but my weak faith still torments me. My 
withdrawal from the scene of conflict is of no great 
moment ; for, although glad to be excluded from the heavy 
responsibility connected with God's Word, yet for the 
honour of that Word we would rather burn amid fiery 
coals, than rot solitary and half-alive, if it were God's will. 

We have often talked of faith and hope, so let us try 
for once to put our theory into practice, seeing God has 
brought it all about, and not we ourselves. If I perish it 
will be no loss to the gospel, for you far surpass me, and 
as Elisha was endued with a double portion of Elijah's 
spirit after his ascension, so may you be enabled to follow 
on. Amen ! 

Do not be troubled in spirit ; but sing the Lord's song 
in the night, as we are commanded, and I shall join in. 
Let us only be concerned about the Word. If any man 
be ignorant, let him be ignorant ! If any man perish, let 
him perish ! But we must see that no one can lay the 
fault at our door. Let the Leipsic people boast ; this is 
their hour. We must go out from our land, and our 
kindred, and sojourn for a time in a strange land. I still 
hope to come to you again ; but if the Pope seize all who 


agree with me, then Germany will raise a hue and cry. 
And the more he attempts this, the sooner will he and his 
perish, and I reappear. God rouses many hearts, even 
those of the populace, so it is not likely this business can 
be frustrated by force, or, if they try to do so, it will 
become ten times as powerful as before. 

Marner is silent. What the he-goat (Emser) will do, 
I know not, but I do not believe that you will write. 
You would be led astray, which would be the bitterest 
news I could hear. So long as you and Amsdorf, etc. are 
there, there is no lack of shepherds. Do not anger God 
by speaking thus, and make us appear ungrateful. Would 
that all, even cathedrals, had a fourth part of the teachers 
of the Word that you have. So thank God for enlightening 
you. I have expended many words on you. 

The Cardinal of Mayence has a hundred sworn 
enemies, and Dr. Schifer is very ill with fever. Some say 
he is dead. A bishop who was very hostile to me at 
Worms has come to grief. I have no other news, for I 
am a hermit, a very monk without cowl and robe ; you 
would see a knight and scarcely recognise me. 

Tell Amsdorf that the pastor in Hirschfeld (Feld- 
kirche), an upright man, has also married, so it is not you 
alone who have a newly married provost. I fear that the 
provost in Cambray may be dismissed, and now that there 
may be other mouths to fill it would be serious. If he 
can only believe that the Lord, the universal Shepherd, 
still lives, who will not suffer even a bird to starve. 

Greet and admonish him, and I shall do the same, 
so that all may rejoice together. By doing so you will 
do me a favour, and it will be a joy to God, and a 
grief to the devil and his followers. 

Your despondency is my greatest trial, your joy is 
mine also ; so live at peace in the Lord, to whom 1 hope 
you commit me even as I do you. 

Maintain the Church of Christ over which the Holy 
Ghost has made you bishops, but not gods. 

Give all my friends my love, of whom there are many. 
You need not greet M. Eisleben, or the fat Flemmischen, 
for I am writing them. But remember Johann Scherd- 


fegeru, Peter Suaven, and all the church in your house, 
Henricus Zcuphen, and all the brothers. 

I have written to the Prior. Also greet M. Lucano 
and Christianum, Dr. Eschhausen, and whoever occurs to 
you. Just look at this miserable paper which I have 
to use. Once more farewell ! 

In the region of the birds who sing beautifully on 
the trees, praising God night and day, with all their 
might. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 79.) 


To Franz von Sickingen 
Luther dedicates his treatise on Confession to this knight. 

Juyie I, 1 52 1. 

The grace of God and peace in Christ be with you ! 
We read, worshipful sir, in Joshua, how God led the 
children of Israel into the promised land of Canaan, over- 
throwing thirty-one kings with their towns, and no town 
save Gibeon was humble enough to sue for peace. In 
Joshua, iith chap., it is written — "There was not a city 
that made peace with Israel, save Gibeon : all other they 
took in battle. For it was of the Lord to harden their 
hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that 
he might destroy them utterly," etc. The historian 
seemed to wish to set them up as an example to our 
Papist-Bishops, and other spiritual tyrants, who now see 
that the people are tired of their ways, the light of the 
gospel having exposed their doings. And yet they will 
not humble themselves to seek peace, and thus at last 
they perish. They blame me, and yet they must know 
how I have often begged for peace, and offered to answer 
any questions, and even went to a second Imperial Diet, 
but all has been of no avail. 

In order not to be idle in my Patmos, I have written 
an Apocalypse, which I shall send to prove my gratitude 
to you. It is a sermon on Confession. In the next 
fasting time I shall issue a book of instructions for young 


communicants, begging our spiritual Junkers and tyrants 
to permit those simple creatures to enjoy it in peace, and 
showing them how their tyranny has almost put an end 
to confession. . . . 

But they will not listen to reason — well — well ! I 
have seen more bubbles than they — and even once — a 
dreadful smoke, which threatened to obscure the sun, but 
the smoke has vanished long ago, and the sun still shines. 
I shall continue to declare the truth fearlessly. Neither 
of us is yet over the mountain, but I have one advantage, 
I am single. 

God make the truth victorious. I commend Ulrich 
von Hutten and Martin Bucer to your Worship. Given 
in my Patmos. Martin Luther. 


To George Spalatin 
Luther sends Spalatin some writings to be printed. 

June 10, 1521. 

All hail ! I have not only received your long 
epistle, dear Spalatin, but that of CEcolampadius, and now 
send you the " Magnificat " complete, with the pamphlet 
on Confession dedicated to Franz von Sickingen, which 
I should like printed first. The 21st Psalm is off" to the 
printers. See if no alterations be necessary, for I do not 
yet know if I shall annex the 119th Psalm to something 
else, but I shall decide when I hear what you all think. 
I must also answer Latomus of Louvain, who makes so 
much of his lord the Pope. 

I marvel greatly at CEcolampadius, not because he is 
pleased with what I do, but that he is so full of joy, and 
so bright and Christ-like. God maintain and strengthen 
him. I am at one and the same time both idle and very 
busy. I study Greek and Hebrew, and write without 
ceasing. My present host entertains me much better than 
I deserve. 

The illness from which I suffered in Worms is worse, 
so that I almost despair of recovery. The Lord tries me 


sorely, so that I may never be without the cross. His 
name be praised. Amen ! 

I am surprised that the Imperial Edict has never been 
made public. It is said here that Schifer is dead, and has 
left a million gulden to Dr. Carola. He would indeed be 
a bold Christian who would not dread such a mountain of 

I have not replied to the young Prince's letter, seeing 
my abode is to be kept secret, so I must not betray it by 
constant writing. 

Pray earnestly for me, as I need nothing else. I have 
everything in abundance. It is nothing to me how the 
world treats me. I am here at peace. Farewell in the 
Lord, and greet all who ought to be greeted. From the 
isle of Patmos. Henricus Nescius. 

(Walch, 74.) 


To Philip Melanckthon 
Luther blames his friend for missing him so much. 

July 13, 1521. 

I am displeased with your letter for two reasons : (i) 
Because you do not bear the cross patiently, yielding to 
your emotions, as is your wont ; (2) That you ascribe so 
much to me, as if I alone could look after God's concerns, 
for here I sit, careless and idle, consumed by my fleshly 
desires. Instead of being ardent in spirit I am the prey 
of sinful appetites — laziness and love of sleep. For eight 
days I have neither prayed nor studied, through fleshly 
temptations. If I do not improve I shall go to 
Erfurt and consult the physicians, for I can endure my 
malady no longer. And even God seems to tempt me, 
by making me wish to escape from this wilderness. I 
shall not answer Emser ; ask Amsdorf to do it, if he is 
not too good for such filth. I shall put your apology for 
the Parisian asses with all their drivel into German, with 
annotations. I wish you could issue CEcolampadius's book 
on Confession in German to annoy the Papists. I am 


also putting the Gospels into German, and when enough 
are ready shall send them to the press. When things 
are going so well with you I am not needed. Why do 
you not spare yourself.'* I warn you always of this, but 
you remain deaf. As to the lawfulness of the sword, I 
abide by my opinion. You expect me to quote a Gospel 
command on the subject. I agree with you that no such 
command or precept is to be found in the Bible. It would 
not be seemly that it should ; for the Gospel is a law unto 
the free, and has nothing to do with the rights of the 
sword, although such a right is not forbidden, but rather 
praised, which does not apply to anything merely per- 
mitted. For outward ceremonies are neither commanded 
nor commended in the Gospel, even as too great careful- 
ness about earthly things is not considered justifiable. 
For the Gospel lays down no hard and fast rule in this 
matter, for its domain is the spirit, and not the letter. 
But are they therefore not to be used.'' Do not the 
necessities of this life rather justify their use.'' Were all 
Christians — such ideas would be very well. If the sword 
were sheathed, how long would the Church stand in the 
world, for neither life nor goods would be safe. But what 
do you make of Abraham, David, and the saints under the 
old dispensation, using the sword.'' And they were good 
men. . . . And strange to say, it is not forbidden in the 
Gospel, but the believing soldiers who asked John for 
counsel were rather confirmed in its lawfulness, I fear, 
dear Philip, I reap more satisfaction from what I have 
written to you than you will derive from it. There is no 
passage in Scripture where we are commanded to despise 
those in authority, but rather to honour and pray for 
them. I wish Amsdorf much happiness upon becoming 
rich, but it would bring him even more happiness should 
he prove willing to yield up an apostle. 

You have already enough, and I do not see why you 
long so for me, or why my services are so necessary to you. 

You lecture (lese^)y Amsdorf lectures, and Jonas also. 
Dear one ! Do you wish the kingdom of God to be pro- 
claimed to you alone ? Must the gospel not be preached 
to others ? 



Will your Antioch not contribute a Silas, Paul, or 
Barnabas to help the Spirit's work. ? I tell you plainly, 
that although I love to be with you, I would settle in 
Erfurt, Cologne, or wherever God might graciously open 
a door for me, to proclaim the Word. One must not 
think of oneself, for the harvest is great. 

I know nothing of my return. You know with whom 
that rests. 

Spalatin writes that the Prince commands a part of 
the Confession to be kept intact, at which I am much 

Pray do not regulate your actions by the will of the 
Court, which I have hitherto done. 

The half would not have been accomplished had T 
always listened to such counsel. They are only human 
like ourselves. 

I shall make Spalatin speak out. 

Such complaisance encourages our opponents and 
shows our cowardice. My best wishes for your health. 
This letter has long been finished, but he who promised 
to take it has forgotten. All of you pray for me. For 
I shall be immersed in sin in this solitude. From my 
desert. Martin Luther, 

August 1711 an. 
(Walch, V. 15. 7 5-) 


To George Spalatin 

Luther relates his experiences at a hunt. 

August 15, 1 521. 

I have received the third sheet of Confession^ dear 
Spalatin, Philip sending it along with the first ; but the 
printing is execrable. Would that I had sent nothing 
German. See he does not print my German postils, but 
rather returns what I have sent you, and I shall get them 
done elsewhere. For why should I work so hard only to 
have things turned out in so slovenly a manner.^ I should 
not like the Epistles, etc., to be so sinned against, so shall 
send no more at present, although I have ten large sheets 



ready, and till these shameless money-makers, the printers, 
cease looking solely to their own interest, no more shall 
be sent. Philip has sent me three sheets of Latomus, 
,^with which I am much pleased. I wish Carlstadt would 
|write in a more polished way against celibacy, for I fear 
Ijhe will affront us. If he were only better adapted for the 
^praiseworthy work he has undertaken ; for our opponents 
slander the very best that can be written, so we must be 
careful not to bring discredit on the Word, for we are a 
spectacle unto the world, as St. Paul teaches. 
J Perhaps I am mixing myself in things that do not 
j concern me ; but what can be more dangerous than to 
! incite people to matrimony ^ I would like the question 
of matrimony left free according to Christ's command, 
but I am powerless in the matter. Do not trouble your- 
self as to my bearing my exile patiently. It is all one to me 
where I am, if I am not a burden to these people, but I 
fancy I live here at the expense of the Prince, or I should 
not remain an hour longer if I thought I were consuming 
this good man's substance, although he supplies my wants 
abundantly. Try to shed light on this, for he always 
declares it comes out of the Prince's pocket. I am so 
constituted that I worry incessantly for fear of burdening 
any one. 

I followed the chase for two days last week, to get 
a taste of the pleasures which fine gentlemen love so 
well. We caught two hares and a few poor roes. Truly 
a worthy occupation for idle people ! Amid the nets and 
the dogs I pondered over theological matters. I could 
not but feel sad at the deep mysteries which lay concealed 
beneath the gay scene. For, does not the devil with his 
dogs, those godless teachers, bishops, etc., thus pursue 
and take captive innocent creatures — those poor believing 
souls ; but worse is still to come. I had managed to save 
a poor hare, and hid it under my coat, but the dogs dis- 
covered it, and bit its leg through the coat, and choked 
it, so we found it dead. Thus do the Pope and Satan, 
despite my efforts, try to ruin saved souls. I have had 
enough of this kind of hunting, and think it finer to slay 
bears and wolves, and godless creatures such as these. 


See that at Court you learn to hunt for souls, so that 
one day you may find yourself in Paradise — a piece of 
game which it gave Christ, the best huntsman, much 
trouble to catch and keep. 

I have changed my mind and send the rest of the 
postils. But let them be printed on good paper, with 
Lotter's letters, for it will be a large book, and I'll spread 
it over the four quarters of the year, so that it may not be 
too heavy. 

But it must not be as I wish, but as you can arrange 
there. Let the MS. be returned to me. I know what 
Satan is after, 

I wonder if my " Magnificat " will ever be ready. 
Farewell, and pray for me. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 15. 73.) 


To THE Christians in Wittenberg 
With this letter Luther sends an exposition of the 37th Psalm. 

Possibly in August. 

To the poor little company of Christians at Witten- 
berg, Dr. Martin Luther sends grace and peace from God 
the Father and Jesus Christ. 

St. Paul, who preached in many places, and now sat as 
a prisoner in Rome, never ceased to pray for those who 
had been converted through his means, and to comfort 
them by his writings, to which his Epistles bear ample 
testimony. Following his examp)]e, I cannot refrain from 
anxiety on your behalf (seeing it is partly through me, 
poor creature, that it has been revealed to you) that wolves 
may follow me into the sheepfold. And although, by the 
grace of God, many have taken my place, which might 
make such anxiety unnecessary, yet I cannot overcome it. 

We are not worthy (I especially, alas) to suffer any- 
thing for the truth, let alone having hatred, shame, re- 
proach, envy, and all manner of ignominy heaped upon 
us by the Papists, Had God not withstood them, those 
bloodthirsty murderers of souls would have swallowed us 


up quick, and torn us with their teeth. Till now they 
have merely called us Wycliffites, Hussites, heretics, 
venting their wrath upon us by calling us evil names, and 
attacking our Christian profession. But let them do it, 
dear friends. He is above — the Judge of all ! We may 
rejoice that so far we have never dreaded the light, as 
they do — even as an evil conscience trembles before a law 
court. It must be a great trial to them that I have three 
times appeared before my enemies to testify of our faith : 
First at Augsburg, before the Cardinal ; then at Leipsic, 
before those who would gladly have extinguished us, and 
yet their rage and cunning were of no avail ; and now at 
Worms, where bishops and doctors did their best to get 
me to recant. But God enabled me to resist the efforts of 
princes and dignitaries, so that I withstood all their power. 

Had it been otherwise, I should have been ashamed 
of my German land, allowing the Papal tyrants thus to 
befool us. But we all know that the devil was at the 
bottom of it. Now, I do not boast of these three appear- 
ances, as if the glory were ours ; but to acknowledge the 
grace of God in order to trust Him at all times. 

And, as I do not pretend to be St. Paul, who out of 
the abundant riches of his spirit could comfort his 
spiritual children, I have taken it upon me to put into 
German the 37 th Psalm, which is full of consolation, 
and send it to you, it being so suited to our circum- 
stances, for it exhorts us to " cease from anger, and 
forsake wrath," assuring us " that yet a little while, and 
the wicked shall not be." Certainly our enemies resemble 
those who are rebuked in this Psalm, and we are comforted. 
For we, who by God's grace cleave to the Scriptures, are 
those who are feared and hated by those who blaspheme 
the truth. But let them ! Had they been worthy of 
the truth they would long ago have been converted 
through my numerous writings. 

I teach them ; they revile me. I pray for them ; they 
despise my prayers. I scold them ; they scorn me. What 
more can I do ? for Christ says, " As he delighted not in 
blessing, so let it be far from him ; he clothed himself with 
cursing like as with a garment." What does not belong 


to heaven, no one can take into it, although he tore it 
into pieces. But that which is destined to get in shall 
enter, in spite of the efforts of the whole army of devils 
to prevent it. But we must pray for the poor little 
company who are being led astray by them, that they 
may be delivered out of the claws of the murderer of 
souls at Rome, and of his apostles. I commit you to 
God, and may your faith and confidence be graciously 
preserved in Christ Jesus. Amen. Amen. 

(Exposition of 37th Psalm follows.) 

I send you this Psalm, dear friends, for your consola- 
tion and instruction, according to St. Paul's precept, 
" Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual 
songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the 
Lord ; " " Giving thanks always for all things," etc. I 
send this for the benefit of those who are weak in the 
faith ; for, as to the strong ones among you, I would 
rather learn from them. Therefore take comfort and 
remain steadfast. Do not be alarmed through the raging 
of the godless ; for, God be praised, we have beaten them 
so far that they can only rage, which shows they are 
ignorant of divine things ; and the longer they act thus 
the blinder they become, and display their folly all the 
more. ... I commend you to God. Pray for me. I do 
not concern myself about my enforced absence from you. 
By God's grace I am as courageous as ever. Be of good 
cheer, and fear no one. The grace of God be with you. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 


Luther congratulates him on his marriage. 

November i , 1521. 

Grace in Christ ! Your letter, dearest Gerbel, written 
before Ascension, only reached me at Michaelmas, and this 
is All Saints' Day. When will it reach you .'' Perhaps 
before next Ascension Day, or the Greek Kalends — 
never. You see the cause of my silence. I risk much 
in writing. Attribute all to the hidden will of God. I 


hope you have already received an answer from others to 
your anxious inquiries as to my condition. 

I have withdrawn from our common cause by the 
advice of good friends — very unwilHngly, it is true, and 
uncertain as to whether I had acted rightly towards God. 
For my part, I fancied one was bound to sacrifice his neck 
in the universal fray. 

But this was not desired, so I was borne off by horse- 
men, in the disguise of a knight, on my way from Mohra, 
and placed in a secure spot, in feigned imprisonment, 
where I am treated royally. But believe me, in this 
solitude, with nothing to do, I am the prey of a thousand 
devils. It is much easier to fight a devil in the flesh (men) 
than evil spirits in heavenly things (or under heaven). I often 
fall, but the right hand of the Most High raises me again. 

So, willingly as I would strive for freedom, I shall 
remain where God has placed me. It is not safe to send 
you my writings, therefore I have written to Spalatin to 
arrange this. 

Meantime I have written a treatise against Antichrist, 
also one on Confession in German, and have sent it as a 
letter of consolation, with an exposition of the 37th 
Psalm, to the Church in Wittenberg. 

Philip has issued a pamphlet against the Parisians 
which I have translated into German. This too is printed. 

I am writing a German Exposition of the Epistles and 
Gospels, which will be printed all through the year. 

I have also a public castigation of the Cardinal of 
Mayence ready because of the Indulgences, which he has 
once more erected in Halle ; and in addition, a disquisition 
on the gospel of the ten lepers : all in German. 

I am born for my Germans, whom I desire to serve. 
I should like to write openly against the universities, but 
as yet have decided upon nothing. 

I have made up my mind not to expound Matthew. 

I had begun to lecture upon both Testaments in a 
popular manner in Wittenberg, and had reached the 32nd 
chapter of Genesis, and in the Gospels had got to the 
voice of John the Baptist. At this point my voice was 
quenched. Now that is all you wished to know. 


Give my best love to your dear one, and I hope that 
she may love you dearly, and that you too may love 

It is good that your former state of celibacy, with all ; 
its accompanying evils, has been replaced by marriage. 

Endure all that this condition of God's appointment 
brings with it, and thank God. I am daily gaining more 
insight into the godless lives of the unmarried of both 
sexes, so that nothing sounds worse to me than the 1 
words monk, nun, priest, for I regard a married life of | 
deep poverty as paradise in comparison. Greet Brunsfels, 
Caspar Urzigereum, and all Evangelicals from me. From 
my hermitage. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. ..) 


To Hans Luther 

Luther tells his father that he is now free from his monkish 
vows, and sends him his book on the Fow. 

No'-vember 21, 1521. 

To his dear father, Hans Luther, from Martin Luther, 
his son. 

My reason for dedicating this book to you was not 
to honour your name before the world, thus disobeying 
St. Paul's admonition, not to seek honour after the flesh, 
but to explain its contents. 

It is almost sixteen years since I took the monk's 
vows without your knowledge or consent. You feared 
the weakness of my flesh, for I was a young fellow (^Blut) 
of 22 (I use Augustine's word) and full of fire, and you 
know the monkish life is fatal to many, and you were 
anxious to arrange a rich marriage for me. And for long 
this fear and anxiety made you deaf to those who begged 
you to be reconciled to me, and to give God your dearest 
and best. But at last you gave way, although you did 
not lay aside your care ; for, I well remember telling you 
I was called through a terrible apparition from heaven, so 
that, when face to face with death, I made the vow, and 
you exclaimed, " God grant it was not an apparition of 
the Evil One that startled you." The words sank into my 


heart as if God had uttered them, but I hardened my 
heart against it, till you exclaimed, " Hast thou never 
heard that one should obey his parents ? " In spite of 
this most powerful word I ever heard out of a human 
mouth, I persevered in my own righteousness, and despised 
you as being only a man. 

But were you then unaware that God's command must 
be obeyed first of all? Had you been able, would you 
not then have exercised your paternal prerogative, and 
dragged me from beneath the cowl ? Had I known, I 
would have suffered a thousand deaths rather than have 
acted as I did. For my vow was not worth such decep- 
tion. . . . But God, whose mercy is boundless, has brought 
about great good through my errors and sins. Wouldst 
thou not rather have lost a hundred sons than not have 
beheld such marvellous blessing ? Satan must always have 
foreseen this, for he has poured out the whole vials of his 
fury upon me. . . . 

But God willed that I might learn the wisdom of the 
high schools and the sanctity of the cloisters for myself. . . . 

Dear father, do you ask me to renounce monkish 
orders ? But — God has been before you, and has brought 
me out Himself . . . and has placed me, as thou seest, 
not in the miserable, blasphemous service of monachism, 
but in the true divine worship, for no one can doubt that 
I serve God's Word. Parental authority must yield before 
this divine service ; for, " whoever loves father or mother 
I more than me is not worthy of me," says Christ. Not 
that parental authority ceases with this ; but where Christ's 
authority clashes with that of parent's, the latter must give 

Therefore I send you this book, from which you will 
see how miraculously Christ has redeemed me from my 
monkish vows, and endowed me with such freedom, that 
although I am the servant of all men, I am subject to Him 
alone. For He is my sole Bishop, Abbot, Prior, Lord, 
Father, Master ! I know no other. I trust He has 
deprived you of your son, so that, through me. He may 
help the sons of many others, and prevent you rejoicing 
alone. I know you will do no more in this matter. 


Although the Pope should assassinate me, and cast me 
into hell, he cannot raise me up again to slay me once 
more. For should he condemn me, and burn me, my 
heart and will shall still stand out against his absolution. 
I hope the great day is approaching when the kingdom 
of wickedness will be cast down and destroyed. Would 
to God we were considered worthy to be burned by the 
Pope, that our blood might cry out for vengeance, and 
thereby hasten his end. 

But, if not worthy to testify with our blood, let us 
cry to Him alone, and plead for mercy, so that through 
our life and voice we may bear witness that Jesus alone 
is our Lord and God — blessed to all eternity. Amen. 
In Whom may you be blessed, dear father — and the 
mother — thy Margaret, along with our whole connection 
— all of whom I greet in Christ Jesus. From the 
wilderness. Martin Luther. 


To Archbishop Albrecht of Mayence 

Out of deference to Spalatin and the Court, Luther had kept 
back his book against the idol at Halle, but now tries to stop the 

December \, 1 5 2 i . 

My services are ever at your disposal, esteemed lord ! 
Doubtless your Electoral Grace remembers that I wrote 
you twice in Latin. First when those lying Indulgences 
were issued, under your Grace's name (Oct. 31, 1517), 
warning you against those corrupt, money-loving preachers, 
and their heretical books. And although I could have 
traced the whole uproar to your having given your sanc- 
tion to the publication of these books, still I have spared 
your Grace, and the House of Brandenburg, fancying your 
Highness did it out of ignorance, led astray by false 
flatterers, whom I attacked as you know. But my faithful 
admonition was turned into ridicule, and my services repaid 
with ingratitude instead of thanks. 

The other occasion (Feb. 4, 1520), I humbly begged 
to be instructed by your Grace, in answer to which 1 


received an unkind, unbishop-like answer, referring me to 
a higher tribunal for instruction. Although these two 
letters produced no effect, I send a third warning, in 
German, to see if this perhaps uncalled-for petition may 
avail. Your Grace has again set up the idol at Halle, 
which robs poor simple Christians both of their money 
and their souls. Perhaps you fancy you are safe because 
I am out of the way, and that His Majesty will extinguish 
the monk. I do not object ; but shall do what Christian 
love demands, and pay no attention to the gates of hell — 
not to speak of the popes, cardinals, and bishops. I shall 
not hold my peace when the Bishop of Mayence declares 
it is not seemly to instruct a poor monk who begs to be 
enlightened, and at the same time knows how to deal v/ith 
money. The dishonour is not mine, but must be sought 
elsewhere. Therefore, I humbly request that your Grace 
would prove yourself to be a bishop, and not a wolf, per- 
mitting the poor flock to be robbed. You know that the 
Indulgence is sheer knavery, and that Christ alone ought 
to be preached to the people. Your Electoral Highness 
must remember out of what a tiny spark this great fire 
arose — the whole world fancying that one poor beggar 
was too insignificant for the Pope to meddle with, God 
still lives, and no one need doubt that He can overcome the 
Bishop of Mayence, whose end no one can foresee. . . . 

Therefore I openly declare that unless the Indulgence 
is done away with, I must publicly attack your Grace, as 
well as the Pope — tracing Tetzel's former excesses to the 
Archbishop of Mayence, and letting the world see the 
difference between a bishop and a wolf. If I be despised 
another will appear who will despise the despisers, as Isaiah 
says. And it is time to rebuke the evil-doers, that offences 
may be driven from the kingdom of God. 

I also beg your Grace to leave the married priests in 
peace, and not rob them of what God has given them, else 
a cry will arise that the bishops should first take the beam 
out of their own eyes, etc. So I beg your Grace to take 
care, and permit me to keep silence, for I have no pleasure 
in your Highness's shame and disgrace ; but if you are 
not, then I, and all Christians, must stand up for the glory 


of God, even although a Cardinal should be plunged in 
disgrace. 1 expect your Grace's aiiswer within fourteen 

If not, then my book against the idol in Halle will 
appear ; and if your Grace's counsellors should try to 
prevent its circulation I shall use means to hinder this. 
May God endow your Electoral Highness with grace to 
do the right. From my desert. Your Electoral Grace's 
obedient Martin Luther. 


A fragment. Probably written after Luther had been in 
Wittenberg. He disapproves of their wav of reforming abuses. 

Perhaps December 1 5 2 1 . 

I cannot always be with you. Every one must die for 
himself, and look forward to the pangs of departure alone, 
for no one can counsel or help. I shall not be with you, 
nor you with me. Whoever is then able to overcome 
sin, hell, and the devil is blessed — whoever cannot do so 
is accursed. But no one is able to do so unless during 
life he has learned to appropriate and practise the consola- 
tions and maxims of the gospel against sin. The soul 
only takes with it what it has received in the world, and 
nothing more. No one can resist the devil until he has 
come to a knowledge of Christ, and knows that it was 
specially for him Christ died, because God desired his 
salvation. In that case that soul must become blessed, 
although all the devils were dead against it. We were 
all born sinners, and ruined through Adam's fall, so that 
we can do nothing but sin, being in bondage, and " are 
by nature the children of wrath, even as others." 

These innovations have been accompanied by attacks 
on the mass, pictures, and the sacrament, and other lawless 
proceedings, which destroy faith and love, thereby wound- 
ing the tenderest feelings of many pious people, which is 
surely the devil's work. 

' It arrived December 2 1 ; a conciliatory letter. 


Doubtless it would be a very good thing were such 
changes made, were it generally desired, and no one 

But this will never be the case. We cannot all be so 
learned as Carlstadt, therefore we must give in to the 
weak, else those who are strong will run into all excesses, 
and the weak who cannot keep up with you will perish. 
God has been very gracious to you in Wittenberg, giving 
you the pure Word, so you shoul d ha ve pa tience with those 
who never heard it, or where is your love .? 

We have many brothers and sisters in Leipsic, Meissen, 
and elsewhere, and these we must take to heaven with us. 
Although Herzog George, etc., are very angry with us at 
present, still we must bear with them, and hope for the 
best. They may become better than we. 

You have gone about the business in a way of which 
I cannot approve, using your fis ts^ and if this happen again 
I shall not take your part. You began without me, so 
carry it on without me. What you have done is wrong, 
no matter how many Carlstadts approve of it. 

You have injured the consciences of many who have 
taken the sacrament, and attacked it, tearing down pictures, 
and eating eggs and meat. You are to blame for this, 
and yet you consider yourselves Christians, and better than 

Believe me, I know the devil well, and he is at the 
root of all this, and has led you to attack the sacrament, 
etc., so that he might injure God's Word, and meantime 
faith and love are forgotten. 

Now we shall examine the nature of the things which 
have been done in my absence. There are things which 
God has commanded, and these must be kept, for no 
man, be he pope or bishop, has power to alter them. 
Other things God has left free to us, such as eating, drink- 
ing, marrying, etc. God has not forbidden these. Popes 
and bishops have tried to deprive us of this freedom, by 
setting up priests and monks, to whom marriage is for- 
bidden, appointing fast days, and suppressing true fasting, 
thereby leading many to the devil, of whom St. Paul says, 
" In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, 


giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. . . . 
forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from 
meats," etc. 

For no magistracy nor any man has power to change 
the Word of God, therefore anything popes or bishops 
may ordain is of no account whatever. 

Still, one must not insist upon these free things being 
carried out to the letter. When the Pope says, " Thou 
shalt not eat meat or eggs on Fridays," then it is a sin 
to do so ; but if it be anything vital, you must resist, 
saying, " How shall I eat, for you have forbidden what 
God permits ? " Deal thus with the obstinate, but be kind 
to the weak, feeding those who are young in the faith 
with milk, even as a new-born babe is fed on milk to 
begin with, afterwards getting soup, bread, and cheese. 
And it is the same with weak Christians. Leave your 
neighbour alone till he too becomes strong, and thy equal. 
When St. Paul was with the Jews he suited himself 
to them, and when with the Gentiles he lived as a 
Gentile. In these open questions act according to the 

If a sick person cannot eat fish, then he gets meat. 
If Rome permits this for money, I may do it when neces- 
sary without payment. It is the same with marriages 
and such like. But the kingdom of heaven does not 
consist in eating and drinking. St. Paul says, " If meat 
make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the 
world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." So, 
no one must go against God's Word — whether he be 
Pope, Bishop, Emperor, or Prince. Listen to this simile. 
The sun has great brilliancy and heat. Its brilliancy 
neither Emperor nor King can avert, so the Word of God 
can no one hinder ; but one can escape from the hot rays 
of the sun into the shade, and this is what love does when 
it yields to its neighbour. 

I would do even as much for my enemies (in the hope 
of their conversion) and for the weak, and would think 
nothing of wearing this cowl if it would do them any 
good. Martin Luther. 



To John Lange, Augustinian 

The first intimation Luther gives of putting the New Testa- 
ment into German. 

December i8, 1521. 

I do not approve of the stormy breaking up, for you 
might all have parted in peace and friendship. You who 
propose attending the Imperial Diet, see that you defend 
the gospel. 

I shall remain here in seclusion till Easter, and write 
postils, and translate the New Testament into German, 
which so many people are anxious to have. I hear you 
also are occupied therewith. Go on with what you have 
begun. Would to God that every town had its inter- 
preter, and that this book could be had in every language, 
and dwell in the hearts and hands of all. You will get all 
the rest of the news from the Wittenbergers. I am, God 
be praised, sound in body and well cared for, but much 
tried by sins and temptations. Pray for me, and go on 
prospering. From the wilderness. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 15. 82.) 


To Wenzel Link, Nurnberg 

Concerning monastic vows. 

December 20, 1 5 2 1 . 

Grace and peace ! Most excellent Wenzel, I am 
delighted that my answer to the Catherinas pleased you, 
for I value the verdict of an upright man. 

But remember, whoever starts with good premises 
cannot repudiate the conclusions to which they lead, and 
the results you now see in this cloister. 

For if it be contrary to the gospel that one sin in 
the use of meats, etc., what would become of vows, 
cloisters, kingdoms, etc. .'' Whose obedience would you 
compel } Whom would you recall, after quitting the 
cloister ^ Whom would you accuse as a disturber of 


the peace, when you are bound over to teach that such 
freedom or Hcense is no sin ? You perhaps ask my 
advice in this matter, and I tell you that you do not 
require my counsel. 

For I know you will undertake nothing, nor permit 
anything that is in opposition to the gospel, although all 
the cloisters should be destroyed. 

I am indeed deeply displeased at the stormy upheaval 
of which I have heard. For they should agree to let 
them leave in peace, but perhaps this may be the punish- 
ment of unrighteous vows, wickedly cast aside, so that 
what was bound together through an evil unanimity 
might be abruptly severed. 

But to recall them does not seem to me expedient, 
even although they have not acted wisely. And I do not 
believe you can forbid it. 

But if there are some still who wish to leave the 
cloister, it would be best not to retain this chapter 
(capital), and following the example of Cyrus, give those 
who wish to leave their freedom through a public edict, 
without expelling any, or forcing any to remain. 

But meanwhile you will continue to share the govern- 
ment of this Babel with Jeremiah. For I should like the 
dress and usages of the order to be retained. I see no 
other way, for I do not wish to represent a lawless body, 
or to be a ringleader of unrighteousness. If you read 
my pamphlet on the Vow you will find my opinions. 

I was in Wittenberg, but did not dare enter the cloister. 

You must help us, for the times and God's cause 
demand this. I must admit that unheard-of things are 
happening, but it is against our will. 

This is clear as the sun to me. In addition, you have 
Philip Melanchthon, and others, whom you can easily 
ask for counsel. For we would like if you retained the 
capital (chapter) at Wittenberg. 

Where our dearest Father Staupitz is I do not know. 
But I hear he is at the Court of the Salzburg god. 

I compassionate the excellent man ; still you may give 
him my love. For, from my writings, he must already 
have seen who I am and what I am doing. 


I am busy at the Church postils and the German 
translation of the Bible. Farewell. From the wilderness. 

Martin Luther. 

(ScliDtze, V. 1.) 


Pope Leo X. died. The German Hadrian succeeded. 
Luther returned to Wittenberg, March 7, and preached against 
image-breaking, etc. 


To George Spalatin 
Luther informs him why he was about to leave his Patmos. 

January 17, i 522. 

Health ! I have received all, my Spalatin, even the 
packet, although rather late. It is not because of the 
Zwickau prophets I have come, nor will they influence 
me in the least. But I do not wish our people to put 
them in prison. 

Rumours have been set afloat as to the Eulenbergers 
regarding innovations in the Lord's Supper. I was so 
angry that I determined to go to Wittenberg and see for 
myself, but I am daily hearing far more important things. 

Therefore, if God will, I shall soon return, if not to 
Wittenberg, certainly elsewhere, or wander about. 

I do not wish the Prince to be anxious about me, 
although I wish he had my faith, or I his power. If so, 
doubtless he would, without bloodshed, extinguish the 
smoking firebrands. 

The unhappy Herzog George acts in this matter, even 
as He who is terrible in His judgments towards the 
children of men has determined. He cannot see that 
his rancour against this party is pure hatred. May the 
Lord have mercy on him, if he be worthy of it. 

See that our Prince does not soil his hands with the 
blood of the Zwickau prophets. Farewell, and pray for 
me. Neither the Bishop's nor Capito's letters please me, 
because of their duplicity. I have written to Faber that 
I know his spirit. I grieve over the destruction of the 


pictures, because I became surety for their preservation. 
From the wilderness. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. xi., Appendix 104.) 


To THE Elector Frederick 
Luther admonishes the Elector to steadfastness and patience. 

End of February or March. 

To my Most Gracious Lord Frederick, in my own 
hand. Grace and prosperity from God the Father 
to the new relic ! Such is my greeting to you, most 
gracious lord, instead of sending you my sympathy. 
Your Electoral Highness has for long been trying to 
procure sacred relics from all lands, but God has now 
granted your desire, and without money or trouble has 
furnished you with a cross, fully equipped with nails, 
spears, and scourges. 

Once more, I repeat, prosperity from God to the new 
relic. Do not let your Highness fear, but stretch out 
your arms cheerfully, and let the nails be firmly inserted ; 
nay, give thanks and be joyful, for thus must it be with 
all who love God's Word — they must put up with the 
rage of Annas and Caiaphas, and remember that Judas, 
too, was an apostle, and Satan appeared among the 
children of God. 

Your Grace must only be wise and prudent, and not 
judge according to human wisdom, nor with respect of 
persons. . . . And above all, do not despair, for Satan has 
not accomplished what he meant to do. If your Grace 
would only believe a fool like me ; for I am too well 
acquainted with such like assaults of Satan to fear them, 
and that vexes him greatly. As yet it is all pretence. 
Let the world raise a hue and cry, let those who fall, 
fall — even if it be St. Peter and the apostles — they will 
reappear on the third day when Christ rises from the 

For 2 Cor. vi. must be fulfilled in us, " As chastened 
and not killed." Your Electoral Highness will take this 



in good part ; for, in my great haste, the pen has run away 
with me, and I have no more time, for I am anxious to 
be there myself, if God will. Your Electoral Grace must 
not trouble with my affairs. Your Electoral Highness's 
humble servant, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Elector Frederick of Saxony 

Written in Borna on the way to Wittenberg, in answer to a 
letter from the Elector, trying to dissuade Luther from coming. 
His courage is displayed. 

March 5, 1522. 

To the Serene High-born Prince Frederick, Elector of 
Saxony, etc. Grace and peace ! Most gracious lord. 
Your Electoral Grace's writing and kind remembrance 
reached me on Friday evening, the night before I began 
my journey. That your Electoral Highness had the best 
intentions towards me is manifest. And this is my 
answer. Most gracious lord, I herewith desire to 
make it known that I have not received the gospel from 
men, but from heaven, through our Lord Jesus Christ, so 
that I may well (which I shall henceforth do) glory in 
being able to style myself a servant and evangelist. That 
I desired to be cited before a human tribunal to have my 
cause tried was not because I had any doubts as to its 
truth, but solely because I wished to allure others. But 
now that I see my great humility only serves to abase the 
gospel, and that Satan is ready to occupy the place I vacate, 
even if it be only by a hand-breadth, my conscience com- 
pels me to act differently. I have done sufficient for your 
Grace this year in remaining in my forced seclusion. For 
the devil knows it was not done out of fear. He saw 
into my heart, when I came into Worms, that although 
I had known there were as many devils ready to spring 
upon me as there were tiles on the house-roofs, I would 
joyfully have sprung into their midst. 

Now Herzog George is far from being equal to one 
devil, especially seeing the Father has, out of His loving- 
kindness, made us, through the gospel, joyous lords over 


all the devils and death itself, and has permitted us to 
call him beloved Father. Your Grace can see for yourself 
that it would be the greatest insult one could pay to such 
a Father not to trust Him entirely, showing that we are 
lords over Herzog George's wrath. Were things in 
Leipsic as they are in Wittenberg, I would nevertheless 
ride in, even if it were to rain Herzog Georges for nine 
days, and each was nine times more vehement than this 
one is. He looks upon my Lord Jesus as a man of straw. 
But I confess I have often wept and prayed for Herzog 
George that God would enlighten him. And I shall once 
more weep and pray for him, and then never again. 

And I beseech your Electoral Highness to help me to 
pray that we may be able to avert the judgment which is 
hanging over him continually. 

I write all this to let your Grace see that I come to 
Wittenberg under higher protection than that of the 
Elector, and I have not the slightest intention of asking 
your Electoral Highness's help. For I consider I am 
more able to protect your Grace than you are to protect 
me ; and, what is more, if I knew that your gracious 
Highness could and would protect me I would not come. 

In this matter God alone must manage without any 
human intervention. Therefore he whose faith is greatest 
will receive the most protection. So, as I see your faith is 
very weak, I cannot regard you as the man who could 
either protect or save me. And seeing your Grace wishes 
to know how to act, as you seem to fancy you have done 
too little, I would respectfully inform you that you have 
already done too much, and must now do nothing at all. 
For God will not suffer your Electoral Highness's or my 
worrying and activities. He wishes it to be left to Him, 
to Him and no other, so let your Grace act accordingly. 

If your Electoral Highness believes this, then he will 
be in security and peace ; if not, I do and must allow 
your Electoral Grace to be tormented by care, which is 
the portion of all who do not believe. 

Therefore, seeing I decline to follow your Grace, then 
you are innocent in God's sight if I am taken prisoner or 
killed. Your Electoral Highness shall henceforth act thus 


regarding your duty towards me as Elector. You must 
render obedience to the powers that be, and sustain the 
authority of His Imperial Majesty with all your might, as 
is only seemly for a member of the Empire, and not oppose 
the authorities in the event of their imprisoning or slaying 
me. For no one must oppose the authorities except He 
who has instituted them ; for it is rebellion against God. 

But I hope they will be sensible, and recognise that 
your Electoral Highness is born in a higher cradle, and 
should not be expected to wield the rod upon yourself. 

If your Grace abide by the Electoral safe-conduct, then 
you have done enough to show your obedience. For 
Christ has not taught me to be a Christian to the injury 
of others. 

But should they command your Grace to lay hands on 
me yourself, then I shall say what to do. 

I shall protect you from injury to body, soul, and 
estate because of my affairs, whether your Grace believes 
it or not. 

I herewith commit you to the mercy of God, and 
shall discuss things when necessary. I have written this 
hurriedly, so that your Grace may not be upset by my 
arrival ; for I must rather be a comfort to every one than 
occasion of injury if I wish to be a true Christian, 

I am dealing with a very different man from Herzog 
George, with one who knows me well, and whom I do 
not know at all badly. Were your Grace only to believe 
he would see the glory of God, but as he has not yet 
believed, he has seen nothing. To God be love and praise 
to all eternity. Amen. Given at Borna by my escort. 
Your Electoral Grace's obedient servant, 

Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas Gerbel 
Luther's touching letter to the pious lawyer in Strassburg. 

March i8, 1522. 

I take it for granted, my beloved Gerbel, that you got 
my letter from the desert through Philip, but although 
you have not answered it, I cannot let your good clerk 


return without a few lines from me, to send you my love 
and beg for your prayers. P'or Satan rages as well as those 
about me, and threatens me with death and hell, and tries 
to destroy my flock. Therefore I cast myself alive amidst 
the fury of Emperor and Pope to try to drive the wolf 
from the fold, and my only protection is from above, while 
I dwell among my enemies, who can destroy me any hour. 
But Christ is Lord over all, the Father having put all 
things under His feet, even the wrath of Emperor and 
devils. If He wishes me to be killed let them do it in 
His name ; but if not, who then can destroy me ? 

Cleave to the gospel with fervent prayer, for Satan 
wishes to root out the gospel and deluge Germany in its 
own blood. 

And he will do it, for no one is ready to stand as a 
wall towards God for the house of Israel, and because of 
our deep ingratitude in proclaiming the gospel only in 
words, not sweetened by love. So let all pray earnestly, 
for danger is ahead, and the devil means to assail us 
with incredible cunning and all his might. May you be 
happy with your beloved wife, and greet all our friends. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 15. 659.) 


To John Lange 

March 28, 1522. 

Greeting ! Without doubt you did not leave the 
cloister without good reasons for doing so, although I wish 
you had risen above all reasons. Not that I dispute your 
right to do so, but because I do not wish to give our 
opponents occasion for slandering us, even as St. Paul 
preached the gospel in Achaia without being chargeable 
to any man, thus retaining his apostolic freedom, etc. But 
I remind you of all this too late. When I have time I 
shall write to the Church in Erfurt, although you and 
yours far surpass us in knowledge of the Word. But 
the power of the Word is either very faint or quite latent 
within us, else we should not be so cold, hardened, bold, 
quarrelsome, and drunken. In short, the old tokens of 


Christian love are not visible, St. Paul's words being 
inverted, " We have the kingdom of God in words, but 
not in power." I cannot come to you, for it is not right 
to tempt God by needlessly running into danger, especi- 
ally as I have enough here; being attacked through the 
Papal and Imperial Edict, and enjoy as much freedom as 
the birds of the air, whose only protection is God Almighty. 
I see that many of our monks leave the cloister for the 
same reason they enter it, viz. to indulge their sensual 
appetites, through which Satan brings the gospel into evil 
repute. But they are idle creatures, so are better to go to 
ruin without the cowl than beneath it. Greet all friends, 
for I do not know who may be with you just now. Carry 
our cause and the life of our Elector to the Lord in prayer, 
else I fear he may not be able to hold out long. And if 
this our head were away, there might be an end to the 
salvation which God may give to our Syria, 

Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Luther wishes names of precious stones. 

March 30, 1522. 

All hail ! I send you the letter you were expecting, 
my Spalatin. I cannot remember what I wrote to Herzog 
John Frederick, except that I advised him not to intro- 
duce innovations unless it could be done without giving 
offence to the weak, and that all must be done in love. I 
wrote the same to Herzog Karl. 

I have not only translated the Gospel of St. John in 
my Patmos, but the whole of the New Testament, and 
Philip and I are now busy correcting it, and, with God's 
help, it will be a splendid work. Meantime we need your 
help, to find out proper words, therefore be ready to supply 
us with the common terms for some things we require, 
but not those used at Court, for this book is to be written 
in the ^irnplp<^f language that all may understand \t ; and 
so tHatTmay begin at once, send the names of the precious 
stones mentioned in Rev, chap, xxi., and would that you 


could get permission from Court to let us have the loan 
of some to see what they are like. 

I am busy with a treatise upon the gospel method of 
receiving the sacrament, and although it is a most trouble- 
some piece of work, yet I am not afraid. Christ lives, and 
for His sake one must not only be a sweet savour in them 
that are saved, as well as in them that perish, but also be 
willing to be slain for Him. Farewell, and greet all at 
Court. Martin Luther. 


(Walch, V. 15. 83.) 


To George Spalatin 
Luther sends letters from the Low Countries about good works. 

April 14, 1522. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I herewith send you 
what Jacob, the Prior of Antwerp, who was delivered by a 
miracle, and is now with us, brought me from the Nether- 
lands. I have received the New Testament up to St. 
John's last sermon, with other things. 

I fancy Amsdorf has answered your inquiries as to 
good works ; for one single passage lights up the whole. 
An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit. For as the 
fruit can never make a tree good, so works can never 
make a man pious. On the contrary, according to the 
tree, so is necessarily the fruit ; thus it is after the man is 
pious that good works follow, not that they make him 
good, but they prove that he is good. So what the Bible 
says concerning good works must be thus understood, that 
the man does not become good thereby, but that they 
testify he is good. Therefore, at the last day Christ will 
cite good works in proof that those who practised them 
were pious. Farewell, and pray for me. There is nothing 
new here except the Chancellor of Baden's booklet against 
me, because I exposed him for twisting my meaning to the 
Bishop of Trier, as you are aware. 

Martin Luther. 


(Walch, V. 15, Appendix 89.) 




OF Altenburg 

Luther recommends Gabriel Z willing (Didymus), formerly 
Augustinian monk in Wittenberg, as preacher in Altenburg. 

April 17, 1522. 

Most excellent Gentlemen and Friends. The grace 
and peace of God and my most willing service be with 
you ! Honoured sirs. I was glad to receive your letters 
about a pastor, and to see how eagerly you long for the 
Word of God. Therefore I am most willing, and con- 
sider it my duty to give you any assistance and counsel 
I can. 

There is one called Gabriel, now in Dueben, who is 
considered an excellent preacher with much experience, 
so I would advise you to take him. No doubt some feel 
a slight aversion to him, because he left the order, and 
now goes about in the dress of an ordinary priest, but it 
was well that he should come out, so that many might 
have the benefit of his ministration, to the edification of 
their souls. If you do not feel shy of him on this 
account, then I do not know how I can advise you 
better. And I have written him to place himself at 
your disposal, so that you may see him and judge for 
yourselves. But if you are not pleased, there are still 
two secular [wehliche) priests here, capable men ; so if 
your Excellencies let me know, I shall help you to get 
one or other of them. Were it possible I would rather 
come to you myself, to satisfy your ardent longings, than 
see you at a loss. But if you get Gabriel you have no 
need of me. I herewith commit you to the grace of 
God, who can enrich you with faith and love through 
His Holy Word. 

Martin Luther. 


(De Wette.) 



To Gabriel Zwilling 
Luther advises him to accept the call to Altenburg. 

April 17, 1522. 

Grace and mercy from God our Father and the 
Lord Jesus Christ ! 

The Town Council of Altenburg asked me to recom- 
mend an Evangelical pastor to them ; so if you are chosen, 
accept the call, looking upon it as a call from God. For 
I have recommended you to them. 

So I plead in the name of the Lord Jesus, who through 
me and Philip calls you to accept it. Go thither in 
peace, and may you be a blessing to many thousands. 
But see that you behave in a circumspect manner, going 
about in an orderly priest's dress ; and for the sake of 
the weak, do away with that broad angular monstrosity 
of a hat, remembering that you are sent to those who 
must still be fed with milk — till they are freed from the 
meshes of the Pope ; and this you cannot achieve without 
the Word, as I have often told you, and which you will 
see in the last small book I have issued. 

The Father desires to draw people to Himself 
through Christ, not to coerce them through ordinances 
of ours. One must first instil in them a hatred of all 
godless ways. Then godlessness will fall away of itself, 
without compulsion. A love and longing for purity must 
first be implanted — then piety will follow, and the 
kingdom of heaven will suffer violence, and the violent 
will take it by force. The Lord give you wisdom and 
understanding, that you may be a worthy servant of His 
Son, and may He bless you in the proclamation of His 
Word. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 15. 666.) 



To George Spalatin 
Luther sends him a specimen of his translation of the Bible. 

May 10, 1522. 

All hail ! I send you the beginning of our Bible, but 
on no account let it be printed. I am expecting the 
precious stones, which we shall take the greatest care of 
and faithfully return. Also pray ask Bernard Hirsfeld 
to petition His Electoral Highness to persuade his 
Chancellor to remit a certain sum, which our Prior is 
due upon a valuable possession, and for which I am 
security, till we can pay it. And there has been no 
remission of interest. And now that it is not customary 
to beg (for the cloister), we are 300 florins a year poorer. 
Here there is nothing but love and friendship. May all 
prosper with you, and send a favourable answer. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 1 5. 84.) 


To Wenzel Link 
Luther presses Link to take up his abode in Wittenberg. 

July 4, 1522. 

Grace and peace ! You must either, dearest father, 
be able to give a good reason for keeping away from us, 
or you must hate our society. For why sit there ? Both 
north and south are shut up to you, so there is no place 
where you can be more secure or better cared for than 
with us. Or does the reputation of our order frighten 
you, and do you fear association with us banished ones, 
in case of offending those who seem born to seek cause 
of offence in Christ ? 

But come speedily, for God's sake, so that we may 
enlist you in the Lord's service. We are waiting for you ; 
see that you do not turn us into ridicule. We wish your 


advice on many necessary matters connected with our 
faith, to promote the general weal. Farewell in Christ. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 805.) 


To George Spalatin 
Luther is busy translating the New Testament. 

July 4, 1522. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I hope, dear Spalatin, 
that you have received the Gospel of St. Mark and the 
Epistle to the Romans, with letters from good friends. 
The Gospel of St. Luke and the two Epistles to the 
Corinthians will soon be finished. I must reply to the 
growling lion who cal ls_ himself K ing of England^. The 
ignoranceTHe^book displays is not to be wondered at in 
a royal author, but the bitterness and lies are gigantic. 
How Satan rages ! But I shall embitter him more. 

The Picardy people sent to ask my advice as to their 
faith. I object to their obscure way of expressing them- 
selves, instead of using biblical phrases. And they 
under-estimate infant baptism, while using it, and also 
rebaptize some who come from us, and teach the seven 
sacraments. As to their celibate priesthood, I am pleased 
in so far that they let every one do as he sees fit. 

But pure doctrine is a rare thing. Whether they 
highly esteem faith and works 1 do not know, but am 
doubtful of it. I do not think them wrong about the 
Lord's Supper, unless they use deceptive words, as they 
do with Baptism. 

Farewell, and pray for me. I do wish you would 
try to have Philip set free from teaching grammar, and 
devote himself to theological lectures. It is highly 
improper, as I have written, that he should earn one 
hundred gold gulden with grammar lessons, while he 
is giving two valuable theological lectures. We have 
teachers enough who can give grammar lessons as well 
as Philip, who are being deprived of the work. May 
God root out all false teachers, so that the money may 


be better spent. I highly commend this Niirnberg Prior 
to you. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 15, Appendix 91.) 


To George Spalatin 
Luther sends a book for his host in the Wartburg. 

September 25, 1522. 

Grace and peace ! I beg of you to send this copy of 
my book to the John in the region of the birds, viz. 
to my host, as I wished him to have it before more 

For I am really angry at the Lotter ^ business, and 
am not yet on speaking terms v^^ith him. 

You will see what our Wenzel writes. 

I ardently desire that the Prince would only attend 
to his own affairs, and leave me to manage Satan and his 
hosts. As I have already written, the heaven will not 
fall although I fall. If His Grace does not believe this, 
I do, and am sure of it. 

But why make so many words .'' Who does not see 
that through this present work of God He has turned 
their threats into ridicule ^ He who has done this will 
do so to the end. The whole business is conducted at 
my risk, and will continue to be so conducted. Farewell, 
and pray for me. Greet our friends. I am just starting 
for Leipsic, because I have been so often entreated to 
come. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 15. 28.) 


To George Spalatin 
Luther recommends a poor man. 

October 4, I 522. 

Grace and peace ! 1 found your letter when I 
returned, dear Spalatin, but the dog had bitten a piece 

' His printer. Sec p. 83. 


out of it upon the table, so that I could not make out 
the words about the Lord's inheritance. 

But the other part about the Lord's kingdom and 
righteousness runs thus : " The kingdom of God is the 
Church of Christ, which must be ruled through the Word 
of God." "The kingdom of God is righteousness and 
peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." "The kingdom of 
God is within you." The righteousness of God is faith. 
For in the Greek one reads clearly, "The kingdom of God 
and his righteousness." So let us seek first the kingdom 
of God, so that the knowledge of Christ may be spread 
abroad, and all worldly things will be added thereto, for 
the labourer is worthy of his hire. 

I would like you to help this man according to 
your ability, for he seems poor and needy. Johannes 
Pomeranus ^ is to be married shortly, and we beg you 
to speak a good word for him, that he may be supplied 
with game for the occasion, not only on his own 
account, for certainly he is worthy of it, but because of 
us, his guests, as to whom you are able to judge whether 
we deserve it or not. So try to procure some, so that 
others may see that we are held in some estimation at 
Court, and may inspire them with hope for the future. 

Something definite will soon be announced as to his 
lectures.^ For you know yourself that he is a stranger 
and poor, for which reason he should receive more, and 
will certainly repay it in the future. Of that I am 
certain. Farewell. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 29. 810.) 


To George Spalatin 

Luther announces that he preached publicly in Weimar and 
Erfurt, and will publish an exposition of Hosea ii.^ 

November 3, 1522. 

I have no notes of what I preached in Weimar and 
Erfurt, and do not require to write them, for you know 

' Bugenhagen. 

2 At first Bugenhagen lectured for nothing in his own house. 

3 Not to be found. 


all already, because 1 have taught nothing but faith and love 
there — except that I was asked in Weimar to make public 
what I had once preached about the kingdom of God 
and worldly authorities. It has been printed and dedicated 
to Prince John. 

The passage Hosea ii. 19, "I will betroth thee unto 
me in righteousness," etc., contains simply this — that we 
shall one day become the brides of the gracious, merciful, 
forgiving, and justifying God — not through works, but 
by the gospel. 

As to Lengmann and Pomeranus, we shall do what 
we can. 

In the translation of the Old Testament I have reached 
the third book of Moses (Leviticus). For it is incredible 
how I have been hindered by letter-writing, business 
matters, company, and many other things. Now I shall 
shut myself up at home, and hurry, so as to have Moses 
in the press by January. For we shall publish it separately, 
and afterwards the historic books, and lastly the prophets. 
For the size and the price of the books compel us to 
issue them piecemeal. Pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 15, Appendix.) 


Pope Hadrian died. Reformation progresses. The first 
martyrs, Heinrich Voes and Johann Esch, burned at Brussels. 
Birth year of the German hymn. 


To Herzog George of Saxony 

Herzog George asked Luther if he really wrote to von Kron- 
berg. Luther admitted he did. 

Jcuiuary 3, 1523. 

Cease fuming against God and His Christ, on account 
of what I have done, most ungracious Prince ! 

I have received your ungracious document, along with 


my letter to von Kronberg, and have paid particular 
attention to tho part of which you complain, as injuring 
your soul, honour, and good name. As you wish to 
know the meaning I attach to my words, I answer, that 
it is all one to me how your ungracious Highness may 
take them. 

For, however I may act or speak against your un- 
gracious Grace, whether secretly or openly, I consider 
I am entitled to do so, and mean to maintain the right. 

For were you really in earnest, and did not tell so 
many lies as to injuring your soul, honour, and good name, 
you would not slander and persecute the truth so shame- 
fully as you do. And this is not the first time that you 
have maligned me, so that I have more cause to complain 
of you. But I am silent as to all this, for Christ com- 
mands me to be kind to my enemies, and hitherto you 
have had my poor prayers and service, and if that be 
treating you with contempt then I can do no more, nor 
shall I be frightened by any water bubble. But if my 
Lord Jesus will. He can enlighten the heart of your 
most ungracious Highness, and turn you into a gracious 
and kind Prince towards me. Martin Luther. 


To Wenzel Link 

Luther promises to come to his wedding. 

April 8, 1523. 

Grace and peace ! I, Philip, the Provost, Dr. Hierony- 
mus, Pommer, our Prior, and Jacob, and also James, 
will certainly come to your wedding, if the Lord will. 
Carlstadt is from home, but Hieronymus, Trappe, and 
Meister Lukas will also come. Whether the wives of the 
Provost and Hieronymus may accompany them is un- 
certain. I heard yesterday that nine nuns have left cloister 
Nimpschau, their prison, among whom are the two 
Sessatzers, and the Staupitz. May you prosper with your 
bride. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 15, Appendix 113.) 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

Hausmann, like Bugenhagen, had the gift of Church organisa- 
tion, and insisted on the inseparable connection between doctrine 
and life. He died when preaching his first sermon in Freiberg in 
1538. Deeply mourned by Luther. 

May 24, 1523. 

Grace and peace ! This man returns to you, and 
brings as much as I could spare, but insisted upon having 
a letter to you. Do then as Christ teaches. As to the 
rest I am well in body, but outwardly so occupied with 
business, that my soul is well-nigh quenched for want of 
time to attend to it. 

Pray that I may not be swallowed up by fleshly con- 
cerns. Greet all our companions in the faith, and may 
you prosper in the Lord. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 845.) 


To Three Banished Young Ladies 

Luther comforts the three Freiberg young ladies who had been 
banished from Court for reading his books. 

June 18, 1523. 

To the honoured and virtuous Hanna von Draschwitz, 
Milia von Olsnitz, and Ursula von Feilitzin, my special 
friends in Christ. Grace and peace ! Honoured ladies. 
Herr Nicolas von Amsdorf has told me of your disgrace 
because of my books, and begged me to write you a letter 
of consolation. But although I do not like writing to 
people I do not know, and you do not need comfort 
from me, still I could not refuse his request. First, I beg 
you, as a friend, to let your hearts rest in peace, and not 
wish evil to those who have brought this upon you, but 
" being reviled bless," as St. Paul says. And Christ says, 
" Bless them that curse you," etc., so do the same, seeing 
you are illumined by the grace of God, and they are 
blinded and are injuring their own souls by running 
against God, not seeing how they are destroying them- 


selves, when they fancy they are injuring you. Only wait 
and let Christ manage matters. He will abundantly 
requite your reproach, and raise you even higher than 
you desire, if you commit your cause entirely to Him. 
And even if your conscience tell you that you are in fault, 
you must not despair on that account. For it is a precious 
sign that God has so soon led you to repentance. And 
reflect that if even you wished to injure them, you could 
accomplish nothing. For it is a sacred matter for which 
you suffer, which God will permit no one but Himself to 
revenge. " He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of 
his eye," He says. I fancy that miserable blinded creature, 
Dr. Wolf Stehlin, is master there, but he will become 
entangled in a way he does not dream of in other matters. 
So act thus, my dear sisters, and the peace of God shall be 
with you. Amen ! And take my letter in good part. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Christians in Holland, Brabant, 
AND Flanders 

Luther's first poetical effusion was in honour of the two martyrs 
Heinrich Voes and Johann Esch, Augustine monks, 

July 1523. 

Praise to the Father of mercies for permitting us anew 
to see His marvellous light, which has been hidden from 
us because of our sins. But the time has again come for 
the voice of the turtle to be heard in our land, and the 
flowers to appear on the earth. What a joy it is, dear 
ones, that you should yield us this great delight ! For 
to you it has been given, not only to confess Christ, but 
to be the first to endure shame, imprisonment, and reproach 
for His name's sake, and now you have proved the strength 
of your faith by sealing your testimony with your blood. 
And also that Christ's two precious gems, Heinrich and 
Johann in Brussels, should have held their lives of so little 
account as to yield them up to His honour. 

Oh, how shamefully were these two souls slain, but 
how gloriously shall they reappear with Christ, and judge 



them by whom they have been unrighteously slaughtered. 
What pleasure the angels had in these two souls ! How 
eagerly the fire freed them from this sinful life to open 
the door into everlasting glory ! God be praised to all 
eternity that we have lived to see holy martyrs. 

We up here have not yet been esteemed worthy to 
become such a precious offering to Christ, although many 
of us have not been without persecution, and are still 
enduring it. 

Therefore, well beloved, let us be joyful in Christ, 
and render thanks for this great miracle which He has 
begun to work among us. Pray for us, and for one 
another, that we may reach out a helping hand to each 
other, and let all cleave with one mind to Christ our 
Head, who will strengthen you with His grace, and perfect 
you to the honour of His holy name, to whom be praise 
from all of us, to all eternity. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 


To Bartime von Sternberg 

A peculiarly beautiful letter. 

September i, 1523. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Most gracious sir. Vincent 
Wernsdorfer has persuaded me, a stranger, to write 
expressing my Christian sympathy with you in your trial. 
Therefore I trust your Excellency will graciously appreciate 
the motives which prompt me. He tells me how, since 
the departure of your dear consort to God, you have 
constantly occupied yourself with good works, particularly 
masses, vigils, etc., for the repose of her soul, thereby 
showing your love and loyalty to one who, through her 
life, certainly merited it ; and he begged me to write you 
— a request I could not refuse, as it was meant for your 
Excellency's good. 

You must recall Job's words, " The Lord gave, 
and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the 
Lord ! " Thus must you sing to your loving God, who 
first bestowed such a faithful wife upon you, and has now 


removed her. She was His before He gave her, and she is 
still His, even as we all are — now that He has taken her. 

Therefore, although this is a great grief, that He has 
recalled His own, still the heart can find sweeter con- 
solation in His most perfect will than in all His gifts — 
so to fulfil His will is something higher than to possess 
the best and noblest wife. Although one cannot feel this 
to be so, still faith does perceive it. 

Therefore may God give you grace to be joyful, and 
acquiesce in the rich exchange you have made, having 
now, instead of a tender loving wife, the will of a tender 
loving God — and God Himself in addition. 

Oh how blessed would we be if we could go on, 
making such exchanges with God ! And we could do 
this if we understood how. For God meets us daily, 
but we are not ready to welcome Him. And I would 
beg of you, gracious sir, to cease from masses, vigils, and 
' daily prayers for her soul. It is sufficient if your Ex- 
cellency pray once or twice for her, for we are told that 
if we believe we shall receive what we pray for. Other- 
wise, if we always ask for one thing, it is a sign we do 
not believe God, and thus anger Him more through un- 
believing prayer. 

But I particularly beg you would leave off the vigils 
and masses for the soul, for it is most displeasing to God, 
there being neither reality nor faith in them, but a mere 

Oh, people must pray otherwise if they wish anything 
from God. God ridicules such vigils — primarily, because 
God did not institute the mass for the dead, but as a 
sacrament for the living, and it is a dreadful thing for 
man to presume, without God's permission, to turn a 
sacrament for the living into a sacrifice for the dead. 
Beware of becoming a partner in this terrible error, which 
the priests and monks have instituted for the sake of their 

For a Christian must do nothinor that God has not 


commanded, and there is no command as to such masses 
and vigils, but it is solely their own invention, which 
brings in money, without helping either living or dead. 


Your Excellency can inform yourself as to all these 
things by applying to the before-mentioned Wernsdorfer, 
who has a deep interest in you, impelling me to write 
you. . . . 

May Christ illuminate and strengthen you in Christian 
faith and love towards your neighbours. Your Excel- 
lency's obedient Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Gerbel 

Luther asks if Francis Lambert would be likely to find a living 
in Strassburg. 

December 4, 1523. 

Grace and peace ! Although this letter may be useless, 
my beloved Gerbel, I must write, as I heard you were in 
Strassburg at present. We have a Frenchman with us 
just now, Francis Lambert, who was a preacher among 
the apostolic Minorites, as they call them, and he has 
taken a wife here, and thinks he would be better off 
nearer France, and will not be advised, being so full of 
his own affairs. 

I believe there are many with you not too prosperous, 
who feel more inclined to come here, than we have people 
wishing to go to you. But if I am to have any peace I 
must do him this favour. 

Therefore pray say if there is any prospect of him 
earning sufficient to live upon. He is already pretty well 
versed in the Bible, although not up to our Barnabas and 
Paul. He hopes later to put my writings into French 
in order to make money on French soil. 

Our Prince often presents him with silver money, and 
this year he has fleeced him of forty ducats. 

If you do not reply, neither of us shall have any peace. 

So you can see what I suffer from such people who, 
through me, become a burden to my good friends. 

May you live prosperously with your wife. 

Martin Luther. 


(Walch, a 10.) 



To George Sf'alatin 

Luther expresses dislike of the famous or infamous Thomas 

December zd, 1523. 

I begged the official of Alt-Stadt to beware of Munzer's 
spirit of prophecy. What has happened meantime I do 
not know, but I cannot endure such a spirit, whoever the 
man may be. He lauds my doctrine, and yet tries to tear 
it to bits. Then he talks and prays in such an insipid 
manner, using such unscriptural expressions, that any one 
would fancy he was mad or drunken. He insists upon 
an interview with me, and boasts beyond measure. I 
therefore begged the official to arrange a meeting with 
him, to discuss his teaching. I do not know if he will 
manage it. We are not of such a spirit that he need fear 
having his teaching put to the test. Farewell, and pray 
for me. Martin Luther. 




To JoHANN Hesse 

Luther approves of Hesse's Latin paraphrasing of Ecclesiastes. 
This, the real birth-year of Church hymnary, mostly founded on 
the Psalms. 

{No date.'] 

Grace and peace ! Accept my greeting, thou preacher 
of Ecclesiastes, but see that you and he preach the same 
thing. For I too will hear his voice in you, and certainly 
read it. So send us your Commentary upon this book. It 
is desirable that it should be translated into the mother 
tongue ; therefore I take the opportunity of admonishing 
you to this, in advance, that when the spirit moves you to 
the work you may let me know at once. I saw the man 
you sent me. It is no new thing, that many should wish 
to make the gospel a source of profit. In was so in St. 
Paul's days, and how much more in ours ! Freedom is 


regarded as a cloak for evil. But there is One who will 
speedily judge them. Farewell, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 



First German Hymn-Book appeared. Peasants' War. Luther 
more distressed by this, and the disturbances caused in Wittenberg 
by the fanatics, than by Charles V. declaring that the Edict of 
Worms should be enforced. 


To Lambert Thorn 

The Augustinian monk, Thorn, suffered a martyr's death in 
the Netherlands. 

January 19, 1524. 

Grace and peace ! Christ, who is with you, my dear 
brother, bears witness within me that you need no comfort 
from me. For He suffers, and is glorified ; He is captive 
and reigns ; He suffers violence, and yet triumphs both in 
and with you, having made you just and holy, through 
the knowledge of Himself, which is hidden from the 
world, but which He has so richly bestowed upon you. 

Thereby you are not only strengthened inwardly by 
His Spirit in your affliction, but by the example of the 
two brothers, Heinrich and Johann. Both you and they 
have been a great comfort to me, and a sweet savour to 
all Christendom, and a glorious ornament to the gospel 
of Christ. Who knows why the Lord did not permit 
you to perish with them } Perhaps He spared you that 
He might do some mighty work through you. This 
encourages me much, that the faithful Saviour has not 
only permitted me to come to the knowledge of His 
truth, but has allowed me to see His grace flourishing so 
gloriously in you three. 

I might deem this a misfortune, for it was I who first 
brought this teaching — for confessing which these two were 
burned, and you now sit in captivity — to the light of day. 
I fear I shall not be counted worthy to suffer such tribu- 
lation as you three for Christ's sake. Nevertheless, I 
shall comfort myself thus — that your bonds are my bonds, 


your prison my prison, and your fire my fire. In addition, 
I shall preach, and openly confess, before the godless world, 
princes and angels, the Word for which these two were 
burned and you sit in captivity, and because of which I 
both suffer and rejoice with you. But the Lord Jesus, 
who has begun the good work in you, will perform it 
until the day of His glorious appearing. But pray for 
me, as I do for you, and remember you do not suffer 
alone, but He who says, " I will be with him in trouble ; 
he shall call upon me, and I will answer him : I will set 
him on high, because he hath known my name," suffers 
with you. Only wait upon Him who has said, " In the 
world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I 
have overcome the world." Do not dispute with Satan, 
but turn your eyes to the Lord. Be firmly rooted upon 
the pure faith, and never doubt that we shall be justified 
and sanctified through the precious blood of Christ, the 
spotless Lamb of God. Our works can as little make the 
man righteous, as they can be mistaken for Christ's blood 
— neither can they condemn us or lay sin to our charge. 
God be praised, in our Elector's land we have peace. 

The Duke of Bavaria and the Bishop of Trier cause 
many to be slain, and banish some. There are other 
bishops and princes who are not bloodhounds, although 
they worry their people through threats, and do them much 
injury. So Christ is again despised of the people, whose 
member you now are, through the holy calling of our 
Father in heaven, and may He perfect this call in you, 
to His honour and glory. Amen. 

All our people greet you, especially Jacob Praepositus, 
and the brethren from Antwerp, etc. They commend 
themselves to your prayers. Martin Luther. 



To George Bruck, Chancellor of Saxony 
A marriage case. Luther complains of the unruly Carlstadt. 

Jiiiiuarv 30, 1524. 

Grace and peace ! Most excellent Herr Chancellor. 
M. Wolfgang has told me of the sad separation case. 


The man accuses his wife of" wicked desertion, declaring he 
can prove he is blameless. But he has not done so as yet, 
so one must act according to Matt, xviii., as the man has 
hitherto been too modest to prove his wife's guilt in her 
presence, or bring forward the testimony of the whole 
town that she left her husband without cause. For it is 
not right to condemn her unheard, or without having con- 
victed her of guilt. 

It seems i^gidius of Erfurt only heard part of the 
matter, and then gave his opinion, which is even more 
contrary to the gospel than to law. In the next place, 
best of men, pray submit the following to your Prince at 
my request. Carlstadt has set up a printing - press at 
Jena in order to print what he pleases, desiring to indulge 
his weakness for teaching where he is not wanted, and 
maintaining a persistent silence where he has a call to 
act. Although this cannot do much injury to our minis- 
terium, still it is apt to bring dishonour upon our Prince 
and University, as both have promised that nothing should 
be published without censorship by proper parties. 

Seeing the Prince and we have kept the bargain, Carl- 
stadt and his adherents cannot be allowed in the Prince's 
land to emancipate themselves from all authority. Would 
the Prince, therefore, order him to send any work to any 
censor he pleases, or suppress his undertaking, so that we 
may not come into bad odour through breaking our pro- 
mise .^ Farewell in the Lord, and give my respects to the 
Prince. Martin Luther. 


To George Sfalatin 

The first evangelical hymn-book appeared this spring in Witten- 
berg, containing eight hymns — four bv Luther. " Aus tiefer Noth 
schrei ich zu Dir " (Ps. 130) was in this collection. 

Februan 23, 1524. 

Grace and peace ! I write, dear Spalatin, only because 
I wished to write you. For you are sitting at Norn- 
berg as still as if you were in Rome, so that we do not 


know whether you may not all be sound asleep, some- 
where. I got a letter from you long ago, but now all is 
so quiet that we do not know whether to expect a Pope 
or a Diet. 

But by Easter we expect that the princes will be so 
stirred up by their priests and father confessors that as a 
worthy way of celebrating the sacrament of the Lord Jesus 
they will begin a fresh persecution of the gospel. 

I am waiting to hear if you have put some of the 
Psalms into metre as I suggested. Everything goes well 

The translation of Job gives us immense trouble on 
account of its exalted language, which seems to suffer even 
more, under our attempts to translate it, than Job did 
under the consolations of his friends, and seems to prefer 
to lie among the ashes. 

Evidently the author never wished it to be translated. 

Meanwhile this hinders the printing of the third part of 

the Bible. Do write and let us know what is going on in 

the world. May all go well with you, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 
(Walch, 210. 886.) 


To THE Elector Frederick of Saxony 

Luther wishes Melanchthon to be set apart to expound the Holy 

March 23, 1524. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Most Serene High-born 
Prince, etc. Doubtless your Grace knows that by the 
grace of God we have many promising youths among 
us, from distant lands, all thirsting for the Word of God, 
while enduring many hardships, some living merely on 
bread and water. Now I have been urging M. Philip to 
lecture on the Holy Scriptures, because he is so much better 
qualified to do so than I. For although I would gladly 
do it, it would necessitate my giving up the translation 
of the Bible into German. But whenever we plead with 
him to do so — the whole University desiring it — he defends 
himself thus, that he was appointed and is paid by your 


Grace to teach Greek, and must do so. Therefore I am 
requested by all to beg your Electoral Grace, for the sake 
of the dear young people, and for the furtherance of 
God's Word, to see if it be not possible to have his salary 
directed for the exposition of the Holy Scriptures, as 
there are many young people qualified to teach Greek ; 
and it is not seemly that his time should be taken up with 
elementary teaching, while higher work, which might 
produce much fruit, and could not be repaid with money, 
be left undone. Would we had more who were thus 
fitted to lecture, for, alas, there are enough who think 
themselves able, and occupy the place of others, because 
they happen to be there. 

But the time will come, as was formerly the case, when 
such work, no matter how unwillingly, must be left 
undone for the want of the right people to do it. 

Hence we must now train people while we can, and 
do our utmost for our successors, and if it be your Grace's 
good pleasure, I beg you to bind over the said Philip to 
lecture on the Bible, even if he require a larger salary to 
do so. I commend your Electoral Grace to the tender 
mercies of God. Amen. Your Grace's obedient servant, 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Erasmus of Rotterdam 

Luther turns lovingly to Erasmus, and forgives him tor his 
want of courage in espousing his cause. 

April 1 524. 

Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ ! I have 
remained silent long enough, dear Herr Erasmus, waiting 
till you, as the greater and elder, should break the silence, 
but having waited so long in vain, charity impels me to 
take up my pen. 

I do not reproach you for having kept aloof from us, 
knowing you did not wish to complicate the cause you 
were maintaining against my enemies the Papists. And I 
even have not taken it greatly amiss, that in order to con- 
ciliate the favour of some, or instigate the fury of others, 


you have issued pamphlets in which you attack us with a 
bitterness we did not expect from you. F"or we perceive 
that you have not been endued by God with such stead- 
fastness and courage that you can confidently go forward 
with us to combat this monstrosity — hence we do not 
expect what is beyond your ability to render. But we 
have borne your weakness patiently, and highly appreci- 
ated your gifts. 

For the whole world must confess that it is through 
you there has been such a revival in letters, through which 
people have got access to the Bible in its purity, and that 
you possess great and glorious talents, for which we must 
ever be grateful. Hence I have never wished you to 
mingle in our affairs, to the detriment of your gifts ; for 
although your common sense and eloquence might accom- 
plish much, still, if you do not heartily enter into it, it is 
better that you should only serve God with the talent 
committed to you. But I fear our enemies might persuade 
you to condemn our doctrine, and then we would have to 
contradict you to the face. We have hitherto prevented 
some entering into conflict with you through their writ- 
ings, therefore I wished that Hutten's challenge had not 
appeared, and still less your Schwamm,^ which, without 
doubt, you have learned for yourself. How easy it is to 
talk of modesty, and blame Luther for want of it ; and, on 
the other hand, how difficult, nay, impossible it is to act 
accordingly, except through a special gift of the Spirit. 
If I, who am easily moved to wrath, have often in the 
heat of the moment written too bitingly [beizend), I have 
only done it to stubborn people. And I can testify that 
my tenderness towards the godless, no matter how unjust 
and stupid they may be, has not only the testimony of my 
own conscience, but has been experienced by many. Up 
till now I have held my pen in check, in spite of your 
conduct towards me, and have also written to friends, that 
I would restrain myself till you attacked me openly. 

For although you were not of us, and rejected some 
of the principal points pertaining to everlasting blessed- 
ness, or hypocritically refused to give your opinion on the 

' Erasmus's defence against von Hutten's challenge. 



matter, still I shall not accuse you of obstinacy. What 
am I to do ? The business is a bad one on both sides. 
If I be mediator, I would ask these people to give up 
assailing you, and permit you, at your advanced age, to fall 
asleep in peace in the Lord. They would do this if they 
considered your weakness and the magnitude of the 
question at stake, which is far above your head. 

But you, too, dear Erasmus, must remember their 
weakness, and not practise your powers of sarcasm on 
them, and where you cannot or dare not espouse our 
opinions, then leave them alone, patiently awaiting the 
success of your cause. I say all this, excellent Herr 
Erasmus, to prove my earnest wish that the Lord may 
give you a mind worthy of your great name, and if He 
delay doing this, I beg of you only to be a spectator of 
our tragedy, and not unite with our opponents, nor write 
against me, seeing I shall not publish anything against 
you. As to those who complain of suffering because of 
Luther, remember they are men, even as you and I, upon 
whom we should have compassion, bearing one another's 
burdens. There has been more than enough backbiting, 
so we must see that we are not devoured one of another. 

This would be a most pitiable spectacle, as on neither 
side is any one really at heart an enemy of the gospel of 
Christ. Take my child-like simplicity in good part, and 
may you prosper in the Lord. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 



Luther expresses satisfaction at the decision of the Council at 
Basle against the Bishop's vicar. 

April I 524. 

Grace and peace ! I have nothing to write, dear 
brother, except to greet you, and commend myself to 
your prayers. 

Joachim, our trusted friend, will tell you everything. 

I do not know whether Phihp will come to us with 
the accused, whom I should like to see. 


I have written Erasmus, expressing a desire for peace 
and unity, so that this melancholy spectacle may come to 
an end, and you will do your best to achieve this. 

We have had enough of disputing, and both of us 
have lost our tempers, so it is high time that Christ should 
come to the rescue, and compel Satan to make way for 
the Holy Ghost. 

The decision of the Council and magistrates of Basle 
against the Bishop's vicar has delighted me beyond 
measure. And pray for me. Farewell in the Lord. 

Martin Luther. 


To Jacob Strauss, Preacher in Eisenach 
Luther now begins to interest himself in education. 

April 25, 1524. 

Grace and peace ! You must not imagine, best of 
men, that I have not the highest opinion of you ; for, I 
know, through the glorious power of the gospel, that we 
have been raised above everything else. ... I beseech 
you to lay to heart the instruction of the young ; for the 
gospel is threatened with untold evils through neglecting 
this duty. It is one of the most important duties. Greet 
Schalb and Schultetus in my name. I would have written 
them, but it is incredible how 1 am overwhelmed with all 
sorts of work, scarcely being able to overtake my corre- 
spondence, not to mention other things. The globe 
seems to rest on my head, so that I wish either to die 
or be borne away from the world, in order not to be 
quite annihilated. Greet your wife and child, and smile 
sweetly upon them in my name. 

Bear with your weak health, as is seemly, seeing you 
are in God's hand. Pray for poor me, and farewell. 
St. Mark's Day, without celebrations or procession. 

Martin Luther, 




To Nicolas Gerbel 
Luther rejoices that the gospel is dominant in Strassburg. 

May 6, 1524. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! Although I have 
nothing to say, dear Gerbel, I could not let the messenger 
leave vi^ithout sending love to the brethren in the Lord, 
and commending myself to your prayers. 

For I hear that the Word of God prevails v/ith you. 
With us, the more hindrances that are put in its way the 
more it spreads. It has now reached Magdeburg and 
Bremen, and will soon be in Brunswick, I hope, as Prince 
Henry, who was once its bitter enemy, is now a changed 
man. Satan has founded another sect among us, who are 
neither acknowledged by the Papists nor by our own 
people. They boast that they are animated by celestial 
spirits, and are independent of the witness of the Spirit 
within them. 

From this we may perceive that our word is the Word 
of God, for it suffers not only from violence, but from 
fresh heresies. May God grant you and your loved ones 
health. Greet all in the Lord. Martin Luther. 


(Walch, 210.) 


To Wolfgang Capito 

Luther denies that BUcer and he are not friendly, etc. Capito 
was Praepositus in St. Thomas's Church, Strassburg. 

May 25, 1524. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! If you and Bocer did 
not so persistently declare that some people said your 
actions were condemned by us, and that we differed 
entirely in opinion from you, I would attribute this to 
your weakness and jealousy on account of our silence ; 
for the letter which the brothers brought three days ago 
declared the same thing. 

But seeing Christ reigns in you, you have nothing to 


fear, although our opinions might differ from yours, or 
that we should despise those you hold. 

Still, it is almost unbearable for me to hear that our 
differences have been the topic of conversation, especially 
when such perfect unanimity of spirit reigns among us. 
This is specially trying to me, for I gladly conceal and 
overlook, as much as I can, any difference of opinion 
among ourselves ; hence how much less dare I put up 
with these suspicions which are thrown upon our Chris- 
tianity and spiritual peace .'' Therefore, if I were not 
so much occupied, I would, through the public press, 
expose such lies, and prove that in the things pertaining 
to Christ we are at one. 

I am delighted to hear of the marriages of the priests, i 
monks, and nuns among you ; and that the former arej 
now husbands in defiance of Satan, and am pleased when 
they get livings. What more shall I say ? Am sorry I 
have heard nothing further of you. Go on and prosper, 
for all bear witness to your wonderful teaching ; the people 
being struck down under it amid the enemies of the King. 

I think, hitherto, too much consideration has been 
allowed for the weak ; so, as they are daily becoming 
more hardened, one must speak plainly to them. 

For some day I shall cast aside the cowl, which I have 
hitherto worn, to strengthen the weak, and turn the Pope 
into ridicule. They are blind leaders of the blind. 

I believe the report of our dissensions has arisen out 
of my letters to you translated into German. It is enough 
to terrify me from writing when they are immediately 
borne away to the printers against my will ; for among 
close friends one writes more confidentially than it would 
be advisable to spread abroad. 

But then you were a different man, and a courtier, 

while now you are Christ's freeman, and a servant of the 

gospel, and belonging to me, and I to you. Greet M. 

Bucer from me in Christ, with his dear wife and children, 

and all the recently made husbands, especially Hedio. 

Our Church greets you. Grace be with you. 

Martin Luther. 


P.S. — Please apologise to Bocer and the others for not 
answering their letters. I shall write when I have time. 

(Walch, V. 21. 900.) 


Luther praises him for having quitted the monkish life. 

yune 20, 1524. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I beg you, dearest 
CEcolampadius, not to ascribe my not writing to you 
to ingratitude or sloth ; for I have not heard from you 
since you quitted your order, and fancied that since Christ 
had strengthened your heart through the power of the 
Spirit, you had overcome your superstitious conscience, 
and were now too great to write me, or need a letter 
from me. Truly, I highly approve of the praiseworthy 
step you have taken, and Philip never ceases speaking of 
you, and rejoices that you keep him in remembrance. 

May the Lord strengthen you in your great undertak- 
ing — the exposition of Isaiah — although I know Erasmus 
takes no pleasure therein. But do not let his displeasure 
disturb you. He has performed the task to which he 
was called — he has reinstated the ancient languages, thus 
defrauding godless learning of their crowds of admirers. 
Perhaps, like Moses, he will die in the land of Moab, 
for he is powerless to guide men to those higher studies 
which lead to divine blessedness. I rejoiced when he 
ceased expounding the Scriptures ; for he was not equal 
to the task. He has done enough in exposing the evils 
of the Church, but cannot remedy them, or point the way 
to the promised land. Take my prolixity in good part. 

I know you do not need my consolation, for Christ 
will not forsake you. Pray for me, for I am so occupied 
with outward things that my health is in as great danger 
of being injured as my spirit. Phe monks and nuns who 
have left their cloisters rob mc of many hours, for I am 
expected to find homes for them all, etc. Farewell, dear 


CEcolampadius. The grace of Christ be with you ! Greet 
all who are of one mind with us. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1 1 66.) 



A young patrician, who studied at Wittenberg. 

October 12, 1524. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I must ask your 

services, dear Hieronymus, on behalf of this poor young 

man, Gregorius Keser. He wishes to settle, and asked 

me to introduce him to some one in Nurnberg, Although 

I could not give him much hope, for I know every place 

is full, still I bade him God-speed, in God's name, who 

feeds the ravens. Moreover, if you intend marrying 

Katherine von Bora, make haste before she is given to 

some one else, for C. Glatz, pastor in Orlamunde, is 

ready waiting. She has not yet got over her love for 

you. I wish that you two were married. Farewell. 

Martin Luther. 
(Walch, V. 21. 917.) 


To George Spalatin 

Luther dissuades Spalatin from leaving the Court, and resigning 
his post, unless he wishes to marry. 

November 30, 1524. 

Grace and peace ! As you ask my advice as to leaving 
Court, dear Spalatin, I would say : You have perhaps 
cause to do so, but unless you have some other reason for 
giving up your post, the wrongdoing of others does not 
justify your doing it, if it be not the idea of marriage,^ 
which is driving you away ; and I can think of nothing 
else, especially as you are so at home at Court, and so 
useful to many princes ; and if some one else got your 
situation, how much he would have to learn ! And even 
if your wish were accomplished, it would be long before 

^ Spalatin married the following year. 



the Prince could have the same confidence in any other, 
you having been so long with him. 

Therefore remain, leaving only to marry. I fancy 
you are substituting another reason for the true one, but 
I see no object in this, for it must become public when it 
takes place. You can thank Argula von Staupitz ^ for 
what she writes about marrying. I cannot wonder at 
people gossiping about me when they do it about others. 
But tell her from me that I am in the hands of the Lord, 
as His creature, whose heart He can turn whither He will. 

But according to my present frame of mind I have 
no intention of marrying, not that I am insensible to the 
emotions of the flesh, being neither wood nor stone, but 
because I have no desire to, and daily expect to die a 
heretic's death. However, I shall not limit the power of 
the Lord working in me, nor depend on the stability ot 
my own heart. But I hope He will soon take me away. 
Farewell, and pray for me, Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21.) 



To Katherine Schutzin 

Luther congratulates this excellent lady on her marriage to 
e famous preacher, Matthew Zell, in Strassburg. 

December 17, 1524. 

To the virtuous Katherine Schutzin, my dear sister in 
Christ, Strassburg, Grace and peace ! 

My dear friend. I wish you joy in having so richly 
received the grace of God, so that you not only behold 
His kingdom (which is hidden from so many), but that 
He has given you such a husband, from whom you can 
learn all that is good, I wish you grace and strength to 
enjoy this good gift with gratitude till that day comes 
when we shall all meet and rejoice together, if God will. 
Pray for me, and greet your lord Herr Matthew Zell 
from me. I commit you to God. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 

' A warm friend of the Reformation. 



To George Spalatin 
Luther again begs him to help him with Church hymns. 


Grace and peace ! I wish to follow the example of 
the prophets and Church fathers, and compose German 
Psalms for the people ; that is, spiritual songs, so that the 
Word of God may dwell among them through the hymn. 

Therefore, we are seeking poets everywhere. Hence, 
you being such a master of the German tongue and so 
eloquent, I beg you to lend a hand here, and turn one 
of these Psalms into a hymn, according to this pattern. 

But avoid Court terms, to enable the common people 
to understand the words, which must flow smoothly, and 
the language be pure. But free scope is allowed, and if 
one understand his work, he can express himself as he 
will. I have not this gift, and would not be pleased with 
my own work. 

Therefore I shall search if a Heman, an Asaph, or a 
Jeduthum can be found anywhere. 

I shall also ask Johann Dolzig, he being rich in words 
and eloquent ; so you will do your part when you have 
leisure. Meantime, you have my seven Penitential Psalms, 
with the exposition thereupon, from which you can gather 
their meaning ; or, if you prefer me to point out the 
Psalms you should take, the first might be, " Lord, rebuke 
me not in thine anger," "Lord, hear my prayer," the 

And John Dolzig might paraphrase, " Happy is the 
man," for I have already translated " Aus tiefer Noth " 
(130th Psalm). But if these be too difficult, take " Re- 
joice in the Lord," 33rd Psalm, or Psalm 103. Write 
which I shall leave for you. 

May you prosper in the Lord. 

Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Luther sends specimen of new edition of the New Testa- 
ment, and begs for an income for Bugenhagen. 


Grace and peace ! Here you have the whole of the 
New Testament for yourself and the Elector, except the 
preface to the Romans, which will be ready to-morrow. 

I also send a copy to the young Prince (John Frederick), 
which you may praise to your heart's content. 

Lukas Cranach and Christian counsel this. I fancy 
Wolfgang Stein has already sent one for the old Prince 

And I hope you will undertake to persuade the Elector 
to bestow one of the bursaries, or stipends, on Johann 
Pomeranus, which was so badly bestowed upon the sophist ; 
for, next to Philip, he is the first theological lecturer in 
the town, indeed, in the whole world. I am most anxious 
to keep him here, for it is said — and it is true — they wish 
to have him in Erfurt, and who knows how long I may 
be allowed to remain ! More of this again. Farewell, 
and pray for me. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 466.) 


In this year Frederick the Wise died in the bosom of the 
Roman Catholic Church. John the Steadfast was a warm friend 
to Luther. Luther finishes lecturing on Deuteronomy. Luther 
married in June. Peasant revolt. 


To John Brismann, Konigsberg 

Luther sent Brismann to Konigsberg to promote the Reforma- 
tion in Prussia, which he did. 

'January 1 1, i 525. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! It is the letter-carrier's 
fault, my Brismann, that you have not heard from me, 
and I almost lost this chance also. 


Carlstadt, who is quite given over to the devil, rages 
against me, having issued various writings full of poison. 
He, with his followers, denies that the body and blood of 
Christ are present in the Sacrament. I am ready to confute 
him, although through artifice, as he has led many astray 
in different places. 

I shall answer Erasmus as soon as I have leisure. 

That Amand has forsaken our party does not grieve 
me ; perhaps I am rather glad, as he seems to be animated 
with Carlstadt's spirit. Our Henry von Zutphen, the 
Bremen evangelist, was hanged and burned with cruel 
fanaticism in Dietmarschen. These prophets' turbulent 
doings prevent me getting on with my Deuteronomy. 

All else pursues its everyday course. We have re- 
ceived the highly esteemed Peter Weller with joy. 

Thomas Munzer is meandering about, uncertain where 
to settle. He made a dangerous disturbance in Miihl- 
hausen. The prophets are increasing steadily, a trial for 
true believers. The Papists rejoice over our differences, 
but God will expose Carlstadt in His own time. 

For it seems as if Carlstadt despaired of becoming a 
partaker of Christ's kingdom, and has cast himself away, 
in order to plunge many others into destruction, and with 
a great following hurry on to hell, which he has been 
actually heard to declare. 

Pray for me, and remember me with the highest 
esteem to Herr Bishop. I am much occupied, and over 
and above am a prisoner through a burning abscess on 
the thigh. 

Perhaps you do not yet know that Anna Graswitzinn 
von Sausselitz, with three others, Barbara Beckenberg, 
Catherine Taubenheim, and Margaretha Zirstorf, have 
escaped from their prison. The first of these remained 
here, and married Hans Scheidewind. 

She desires me to send you her compliments. Herzog 
George himself undertook to visit the cloister, and seeing the 
abominable excesses, at once banished the brothers, fathers, 
bridegrooms, or rather relations of those noble ladies, from 
the place. Farewell. Martin Luther. 




To THE Abbot Friedrich of Nurnberg 
Luther congratulates him on his marriage. 

January 17, 1525. 

Grace and peace ! I have delayed wishing you happi- 
ness on your marriage, esteemed sir, and am sure you 
believed I had cause for this, and I had. I have been ill, 
and had books to publish, letters to write, friends to help, 
etc., and, in addition, the things most nearly concerning 
the house and Church — not to speak of the worries caused 
by Satan and my enemies. 

But I have remembered you in my prayers, and 
rejoiced over your happiness, and trust you may receive 
much blessing in this estate ordained of God, and there- 
fore see clearly that it has been instituted by Him who 
will maintain it to His own glory. 

For where were the kingdoms and rulers of the world 

when Adam and the patriarchs lived simply as married 

men .'' For how many kingdoms have come and gone 

since then, and marriage continues over all .'' 

I Therefore, thank God for bestowing this privilege upon 

lyou, and conducting you out of the stormy billows into 

jthe haven, and from the world into Paradise. In such 

ia relation there may be trouble in the flesh at times, as 

iSt. Paul says, but there is consolation of the spirit, and, as 

iSolomon says, he will receive joy from the Lord. 

And why are the powers that be so averse to marriage ? 
Is it not because they dread the troubles which may ensue '^. 
The world is cowardly enough to avoid it for that reason, 
but by and by they will most surely experience that evil 
in themselves which they always considered peculiar to 

May Christ give us a better spirit, and enable us to 
overcome tribulation, disregarding drawbacks, because of 
the many benefits it brings with it. 

Many so love a little glory or worldly advantage that 
they are insensible to the countless evils of celibacy. 

They resemble the soldier who is so prodigal of his life, 


yet prizes a golden gulden more than his temporal and 
spiritual welfare. 

So let us enjoy present blessings, that when misfortune 
comes we may consider it a blessing in disguise. 

My pen runs away with me when I extol God's works. 

May the Lord bless you, and ever remember me in 

Give my kindest regards to your Frederika, but in 
Latin ; the rest she will understand for herself. Written 
in great haste at supper, so forgive me if I have eaten too 
much, or been too prolix. . . . Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21.) 

To Frederick Myconius in Gotha 

This letter acted like the dew of the morning on his friend. 

^^y 3, '525- 

Grace and peace in Christ, who has said, " In the world 
ye shall have tribulation ; but in me ye shall have peace. 
Be of good cheer ; I have overcome the world." 

I write this to you, dear Frederick, as one stranger to 
another, because I would gladly share with you all the 
consolation I enjoy in Christ. 

So, seeing that Christ has overcome the world, then all 
which is done, except by Him, is mere outward show ; 
and the victory is His alone, and His will be the glory, 
when the world with all its pomp has passed away. 

No one who believes in Christ can really doubt this. 

I pray Him to counsel you with His Spirit, and 
strengthen you and yours by His Almighty power. 

Persevere, dear Frederick, in the Lord. Greet and 
admonish my Basil in the Lord. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 496.) 


To the Magistrates of Dantzic 

So early as 1518 the new teaching was proclaimed in Dantzic, 
and Johannes Knade, preacher in the Marien Church, married 


that year. Luther wrote of the " wondrous things Christ had 
done in Dantzic " in 1521. 

Maj' 5, 1525. 

Grace and peace through Christ our Saviour ! Honoured 
dear sirs and friends. In accordance with your request I 
have done my best to send you an able preacher. But it 
was not to be that you were to have Johann Pomeranus, 
for whom you asked, and whom I would have gladly sent 
to you. 

But our congregation here would not part with him, 
wishing to retain such as he to train others who may do 
good service in other towns. 

So I send M. Michael Hanlein, an excellent and 
learned man, whose equal I do not know, and hope that 
you will cherish him, and like him the better the longer 
you know him. I commend him to your tender care and 
wisdom, seeing that he leaves us to go into a strange land. 

And I hope you will attend to his bodily comforts in 
a Christian manner, as Christ and St. Paul so often in- 
culcate, " They which minister about holy things live of 
the things of the temple," and "They which preach the 
gospel should live of the gospel." 

I beseech you also, my dear sirs and friends, do and 
suffer everything in order to preserve peace among your- 
selves, and to prevent fanatics getting in among you, 
who, alas, have done much mischief among us in North 
Germany, as your Excellencies may perhaps have heard. 

If there be anything to alter or destroy, such as 
pictures, or whatever it may be, see that it take place 
through an order from the Council, and do not let the 
mob attack them, which has happened elsewhere, and 
which has led to the magistracy being held in contempt, 
whom God commands to be feared and honoured. 

But in particular, see that you are not taught to bear 
rule according to the law of Moses, and still less according 
to the gospel, which is a spiritual law, and must be kept 
entirely apart from a worldly government, and proclaimed 
through the mouths of the preachers. 

And no one must be coerced in spiritual matters, each 
exercising his own free will as to what he shall believe ; 


for, it is not the sword which must bear rule here, but the 
spirit of God. I have discussed all these matters with 
your pastor, Herr Michael, who will instruct you, and 
whom you must obey. I commend you to God, who will 
strengthen and prosper you, to His praise and honour. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To John Frederick of Saxony, called the 

Letter of consolation on the death of his uncle, Frederick 
the Wise. 

May 15, 1525. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I must try to console 
your Grace when the Almighty has so tried us ; for we 
have not only lost peace in the land, but also our head, of 
whom we stand greatly in need at present. God is 
wonderful in His working, sending at once misfortune, and 
then removing it, so that we may strengthen ourselves in 
Him, singing with Christ in the Psalter, " I am desolate 
and afflicted." But we must remain steadfast. It is 
impossible the old Adam should not suffer through all 
this, being too weak to bear the trial, but the inner man 
finds comfort in God's words that He is nigh unto those 
that are of a broken heart. There can be no other con- 
solation than God's Word, which bids us trust and call 
upon Him in all our affliction: "Call upon me in the 
day of trouble, and I will deliver thee," etc. ; and again, 
" I will be with him in trouble ; I will deliver and honour 
him," and such like sweet loving words, of which the 
Psalms are full. 

And, indeed, our Prince's death has nothing mournful 
in it in itself, for it seems as if God had taken him away, 
like King Josiah, from the evil in the world, because he 
ruled in a peaceable, quiet way, deserving his name 
" Friedrich " (peace). 

And one rejoices when such peace-loving souls are not 
forced to live on amid such confusion, which would grieve 
us more than to see his last days passed amid war. 


Still it is a great affliction, and we hope God will 
abundantly compensate us for the great loss. Amen. 

I have tried to prove my devotion in this letter, 
although I believe your Grace is too firmly rooted in 
Christ to need any encouragement from me, and I pray 
as time passes there may be even less need of it. I here- 
with commend myself to your Grace. 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector John of Saxony, surnamed 
THE Steadfast 

The first German Prince who died in the Evangelical faith. 

Ma)' 15, 1525. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Serene Prince. If able 
to write at all I have good cause to do so, seeing the 
Almighty has taken our gracious lord, your Grace's 
brother, from us in such trying times, leaving us to 
mourn his loss, which falls heaviest upon you, so that 
with the Psalmist you may exclaim, " Innumerable evils 
have compassed me about : they are more than the hairs 
of my head ; therefore my heart faileth me." 

But God is faithful, and does not let His wrath rest on 
those who trust in Him, but inspires them with courage, 
enabling them again to exclaim with the Psalmist, " The 
Lord hath chastened me sore : but he hath not given me 
over unto death " ; and once more, " Many are the 
afflictions of the righteous : but the Lord delivereth him 
out of them all." And Christ Himself says : " In the 
world ye shall have tribulation : but be of good cheer ; I 
have overcome the world." 

This is the school in which God chastens His people, 
and teaches them to trust Him, so that their confidence 
may not always hover on the tongue, but in the heart. 

Your Electoral Grace is most surely in this school also, 
and doubtless God has removed the head in order that He 
Himself may take His place, and teach you to derive 
strength and consolation solely from His goodness and 


power, which is far above all human love and consolation. 
I have hurriedly written all this to comfort you. May 
you graciously receive it, and delight yourself more and 
more in the Psalter and the Holy Scriptures, which are 
full of all sorts of consolation. I herewith commit you to 
God. Your Electoral Grace's obedient, 

Martin Luther. 

To John RChel 

Luther's brother-in-law^ a lawyer in Mansfeld. The peasant 
insurrection endangered the Reformation more than anything else 
had ever done. About the Elector's death. 

May 15, 1525. 

To the learned John Rahel, my good, kind brother- 
in-law. God's grace and peace ! I thank you, dear sir, 
for your last news, which I was glad to hear, especially 
about Munzer. I should like to hear how he was taken 
prisoner, and how he behaved, for it is well to know how 
such haughty spirits act. That the poor creature should 
be so treated is pitiable. But what can we do ? and it is 
God's will that fear should be instilled into the people. 
If this were not done, then Satan would do even more 
mischief. The one misfortune is preferable to the other. 
It is the judgment of God. He who takes the sword 
shall perish by the sword. So it is a consolation that this 
spirit should be made manifest, to let the peasants see how 
badly they have acted, and perhaps they may cease plotting 
and improve. Do not take all this so to heart, for it may 
be for the good of many souls, who, through fear, may 

My gracious lord, the Elector, died between five and 
six on the day I left you, just as they were desolating 
Osterhausen. He passed quietly away, retaining his 
senses to the last, having partaken of the sacrament in 
both forms, but without extreme unction. His funeral 
was a most imposing sight, although we performed no 
masses or vigils over him. Some stones were found in 
his lungs, and three elsewhere, which was strange So he 


really died of stone. He did not know much about the 
insurrection ; but wrote to his brother, Prince John, that 
he must use every means to pacify the people before he 
resorted to arms. 

His was a Christ-like and blessed death. 

The signs of his death were a rainbow which Philip 
and I saw one night last winter over the Lochau, and a 
child was born here in Wittenberg without a head. 

I herewith commit you to God, and greet your vine 
{Hansrehen) with her fruit {Trauben). Also comfort 
Christofel Meinhardt, and beg him to suffer the will of 
God, which can only promote our highest welfare, 
although we are not yet aware of it. Now is the time to 
keep quiet and let God act, and soon we shall see peace. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Luther's marriage had really taken place on 13th June. He 
now invites Spalatin to the wedding feast. 

June 16. 

Grace and peace ! Do not forget, dear Spalatin, that 
my marriage will be on Wednesday, and the great banquet 
at mid-day. Therefore see that the game does not 
arrive too late, but let us have it in time, by to-morrow 
evening, if possible. 

For I wish the whole entertainment to be over in one 
day. I write this to you, for L. Koppe did not gather 
from my letter that you were not in the same position. 
Farewell. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 2 1 .) 


To Leonhardt Koppe of Torgau 

It was Koppe who rescued the nine nuns from the cloister 
near Grimma, among whom was Katherine von Bora. 

June 17, 1525. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I wish you to read this 
very depressing letter, honoured sir, to see if you know 


of no one who could help in this matter, for it is too 
much to expect one in your high position to do so. If 
you know of none, then return the letter, so that I may 
seek help elsewhere, for I am quite unhappy about the 
two children. 

Most worthy Father Prior, you know what has 
happened to me, viz. that the nun that with God's help 
you carried off from the nunnery two years ago is never- 
theless returning to the cloister, not this time, however, 
to take the veil, but as the honoured wife of Dr. Luther, 
who, up till now, has lived alone in the old empty 
monastery of St. Augustine at Wittenberg. So pray come 
to my home-coming, which is on the Tuesday after St. 
John's festival, but without any wedding present. 

Martin Luther. 


Invitation to feast and request for game which the Elector 
sent through Spalatin. 

June 21, 1525. 

To the excellent Johann Doltzig. My gracious lord 
and good friend ! 

Doubtless the outcry has reached your ears that I have 
actually ventured to enter the married state. 

Although my change of condition seems very strange 
to myself, being as yet scarcely able to believe it, still the 
fact is attested by so many honoured witnesses that I must 
believe it to be true, and in order to put the seal of 
certainty upon it, I am giving a collation next Tuesday, 
and expect my father and mother and other good friends 
(Link of Altenburg, Amsdorf of Magdeburg, Riihel from 
ThUringen, Mailer from Mansfeld, Koppe from Torgau, 
Spalatin, etc. etc.). Therefore I beg of you, in a friendly 
manner, if it be not burdensome to you, to see that we 
are supplied with game, and to be present yourself, to 
help to imprint with joy the seal upon the transaction, 
and all that appertaineth thereto. I herewith commit you 
to God. Amen. Martin Luther. 



To King Henry VIII. of England 

This letter was written by request of the fugitive King 
Christian of Denmark. 

September i, 1525. 

Grace and peace in Christ our Lord ! Most Serene 
King. Although I might well fear to write your Majesty, 
having deeply offended you through my little book 
hurriedly written at the instigation of people unfriendly 
to your Royal Highness, still I am impelled to do so by 
your natural goodness of heart, which I hear daily praised, 
and also knowing that your Majesty, being aware he is 
mortal, will not keep an undying enmity, and over and 
above, I am informed by trustworthy people that the little 
book against me, so far beneath the dignity of the King 
of England, issued under your Majesty's name, was not 
really written by you, as those crafty sophists dare affirm. 
They surely do not know the danger of thus dishonouring 
your royal name, and bringing into notice that monstrosity, 
hated of both God and man, the Cardinal of Eborack, 
the destroyer of your Majesty's kingdom. And through 
shame I can scarcely raise my eyes towards you for having 
been swayed by such wicked people against so mighty a 
potentate, compared to whom I am a very worm. 

Further, contemptible as I am, still I am prompted to 
write, because your Majesty was well disposed to the 
gospel to begin with, which news was a very evangelium 
to my heart, that is, tidings of great joy. 

Therefore, I throw myself at your Majesty's feet with 
my writings, entreating forgiveness for the sake of Christ's 
sufferings, and to be told how I have offended you, even 
as Christ commanded us to forgive one another. And in 
the next place, if your Majesty be agreeable, I shall issue 
another book to the honour of your name in contradiction 
of the last. 

For, although I am a mere nobody compared to your 
Majesty, still I feel it would be no injury to the gospel, 


nor to the glory of God, were I to write on gospel 
subjects to His Royal Grace of England. 

God grant that He may perfect in you the good work 
He has begun, so that you may obey the gospel with all 
your heart, and shut your ears to those poisonous tongues 
and soft-spoken hypocrites who decry Luther as a heretic. 
But rather say, *' What ill can Luther teach when he only 
maintains that we attain to everlasting blessedness through 
faith in the Son of God, who suffered, died, and rose 
again for us, as the Gospels and apostles' writings testify ^ " 
For this is the corner-stone of my doctrine, after which I 
teach brotherly love and obedience to the powers that be, 
and crucifixion of the flesh, as Christ taught. So what is 
wrong in such doctrines ? One must wait and listen, and 
then judge. Why should I be condemned without being 
refuted ? I would also punish the tyranny of the bishops, 
who twist the articles of our Christian faith, meantime 
striving after dividends, pomp, sensuality — nay, even 
kingdoms, principalities, etc., — so that no one can wonder 
that even the common man sees and condemns it. Let 
them repent, that they may not be hated and punished. 

Your Majesty must see for yourself how many Princes 
in Germany, as well as town councils, and highly intellectual 
people, are unwilling, God be praised, to permit the gospel 
doctrines which I have brought to light to be condemned. 
Would to God that Christ may class you among this 
number. Is it any wonder that the Emperor and some 
Princes rage against me .^ (Ps. ii. 2). 

Is it not almost a miracle when a king or prince loves 
the gospel ^ Oh, how I long to be able to rejoice over 
such a miracle in your Majesty ! Would that God, 
before whom I write this, would endue my words with 
power, so that the King of England may, ere long, 
become a devoted disciple of the Lord Christ and a con- 
fessor of the gospel, and also Luther's most gracious lord. 
Amen. If it please your Majesty, I await a favourable 
answer. Your Majesty's obedient, 

Martin Luther. 




To THE Elector John of Saxony 
Luther begs the Elector to espouse the cause of the University. 

September 15, 1525. 

To my most gracious lord, etc. Grace and peace in 
Christ ! Although I with others have entire confidence in 
your Electoral Grace's gracious promise regarding our 
University, yet v/e cannot but see how its tulfilment is 
being hindered through many needful things, especially 
the Diet, therefore 1 would humbly beg you to send 
either Doltzig or some one else, or give directions in 
writing that matters here should be inquired into — for 
many classes have gone down, while others are unpaid — 
the teachers having gone away, so that it will soon be 
impossible to keep those going that remain. For the 
treasury is empty, hence longer delay will be fatal, I felt 
I could not keep your Grace in ignorance of all this. I 
believe the University intends writing your Grace itself. 
I commit you to God. Your Grace's obedient, 

Martin Luther. 


An Admonition to the Printers in Ncrnberg 

September 26, 1525. 

Grace and peace ! What is all this, dear sirs, that 
one should openly rob and steal what belongs to the 
other, thus ruining one another .? Have you now 
become street robbers and thieves ? Or do you really 
imagine that God will bless and cause you to prosper 
through such knavery ^ I have gone on with the postils 
up till Easter, when they were secretly abstracted from 
the printing-press by the compositor, who maintains 
himself by the sweat of our brow, and who himself con- 
veyed my writings to your most estimable town, where 
they were hurriedly printed and sold before the whole 
was finished, to the great detriment of all concerned. 
But I would even have put up with all this injury, had 


they not treated my books as they did — printing them 
so hurriedly and falsely — that when they reach my hands 
I scarcely know them to be mine. Some bits are left out, 
here they are displaced, there falsified, and other parts not 
corrected. And they have learned the art of writing 
Wittenberg on the top of some which have never seen 
Wittenberg. This is downright knavery. So let every 
one beware of the postils for the six Sabbaths, and let 
them sink into oblivion, for I do not acknowledge them 
as mine. Therefore take warning, my dear printers, who 
thus steal and rob. Other towns on the Rhine — Strass- 
burg, etc., do not do this ; and even if they did, it would 
not harm us so ; for their publications do not reach us 
in the same way as yours do, being so much nearer. 
For you know what St. Paul says to the Thessalonians: 
" That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in 
any matter, because that the Lord is the avenger of all 
such." One day you will experience this. Should not 
a Christian out of brotherly love wait for a month or two 
before he copies his work ? We have put up with this 
till it has become unbearable, and has prevented us going 
on with the printing of the prophets, as we do not wish 
to see them spoiled, so greed and envy are delaying the 
spread of the Divine Word, and the fault lies at your 
door. Indulge your greed as much as you will, till we 
Germans are called brutes, but pray do not do so in the 
name of God. The judgment will most surely descend. 
May better times soon come. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 


To Leonhardt Beier 

Luther asks Beier's intercession for a daughter. 

October 8, 1525. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Among the other maidens 
who lately escaped from the cloister, and who are staying 
with me, is a certain Gertrude von Mylen, whose mother 
or grandmother lives beside you in Goben, to whom she 
writes by this messenger. Now it is your duty to 



admonish her to receive her daughter or grand-daughter, 
or if she refuse to do so, I shall see to her trousseau, 
which might perhaps afterwards offend her. Farewell, 
and pray for me. Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Four young noblemen, who blamed Luther for their sister's 
escape from their convent, were lying in wait to murder him. 

No-u ember ii, 1525. 

Dear Spalatin — Gladly would I be present at your 
wedding to rejoice with you, but a hindrance has come 
in the way, which I cannot overcome, viz. the tears of 
my wife, who believes you would be deeply grieved were 
my life imperilled. She has a presentiment that my life 
is in danger, having dreamed last night that murderers 
were looking out for me on the way, I think this not 
unlikely, since I hear that the rescue of the Freiberg 
nuns has roused the wrath of the nobles in Herzog 
George's lands. 

Although well aware that, wherever I may be, I am 
under the Almighty's protection, without whom not a 
hair of my head can be injured, still I am full of pity for 
my dear Kathie, who would be half-dead with anxiety 
before I returned. So do not grieve that I cannot be 
with you on the occasion of your wedding. May God's 
grace and blessing rest on you. Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector John 

Luther, at the Elector's request, gives his opinion as to how 
the Church livings should be visited and maintained. 

No-vemher 10, 1525. 

God's grace and peace in Christ ! Most Serene Fligh- 
born Prince. Your Electoral Grace has replied to my letter 
as to a general visitation of the Church livings. Now, 


I never meant that all the funds for their support should 
come out of your Grace's treasury ; but being asked for 
my opinion, I humbly venture to suggest that you should 
order all the churches in your dominions to be visited ; 
and where the people desire Evangelical preachers, and 
the funds are unable to maintain them, let them receive so 
much yearly, either from the town council or elsewhere. 

For when the people desire pastors, it is your Grace's 
duty to see they reward them ; for " the workman is 
worthy of his hire," as the Gospels say. This visitation 
might be arranged by your Grace dividing your domains 
into five parts, and sending two visitors either from the 
nobility or the officials to each part, to examine those 
livings, and find out what is necessary for the pastors ; 
and then arrange that so much of the yearly taxation be 
set aside to augment their incomes. But if this were too 
much trouble and expense to your Grace, then you could 
summon the citizens of certain towns and discuss the 
matter. Only do what seems best in your eyes. 

Also, one must consider the old pastors, and where 
these are pious men, and not disinclined to the gospel, 
they may be allowed to read the Gospels, along with the 
postils, themselves to the people (when they are not 
qualified to preach), thus ministering instruction to their 
flocks, so that they may be obliged to maintain them ; 
for it would be wrong to eject those who have been long 
in office, who are friendly to the gospel, without com- 
pensation. I have taken the liberty of pointing out those 
things at you Electoral Grace's request. I commit you to 
God. Amen. Your Electoral Grace's humble servant, 

Martin Luther. 



At the Diet of Speyer the Evangelical Princes ranged them- 
selves for the first time as adherents of the new doctrines, and it 
was agreed that "in religious matters each State shall live, govern, 
and behave itself as it shall answer to God and His Imperial 
Majesty." Spalatin and Agricola preached regularly before the 
Elector in his own house at Speyer. 



To Leonhardt Beier 

Concerning Gertrude von Mylen. 

'January 9, 1526. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I am delighted and 
approve highly of your intention to marry Gertrude von 
Mylen, if God gives her to you. You have my best 
wishes for your success. I prefer her in many ways to 
her companions. Therefore I comply with your request 
to write her mother. May the Lord give His blessing. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 



To the Elector John of Saxony 

About Melanchthon's salary. 

Fehriiary 9, 1526. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Serene High-born Prince, 
Most Gracious Lord. In the reorganisation of the 
University your Grace ordered that Melanchthon should 
have 200 gulden a year as salary. Now the man 
{NLenscJi) objects to accept so much when he cannot 
undertake with a clear conscience to expound the Scriptures 
daily. It is useless my speaking to him, for he declares 
your Grace expects him to lecture regularly. Therefore 
I humbly beg you to let him know that you will be 
satisfied if he help with the theological lectures and 
disputations as before, even should it be only once a 
week. For even should your Grace present him with this 
salary for a year or two, he is well worthy of it. For he 
expounded the Scriptures with great success for about 
two years without any salary, and perhaps to his injury. 

I am most anxious to have the Bible spread abroad 
here, for it is being eagerly inquired after from all 
directions. I herewith commend you to God. 

Martin Luther. 



Teacher in Eisleben, died as Court preacher in Berlin 1556. 
CEcolampadius and Zwingli refuted. Queen of 13cnmark's 

February i 8, 1526. 

Grace and peace ! Although I have really nothing 
to write about, still I wish to greet you and your wife, 
dear Agricola ; for you must now know what you asked 
about in your letter, viz, fresh heresies. May God 
convert them ! 

For the most learned men in Swabia have written 
against CEcolampadius and Zwingli, and the book has 
been printed here. I fear they will not be pleased now 
with what they were so proud of before. The one 
heresy has given rise to five different sects, all of whom 
believe the same thing ; but for different reasons, they will 
soon disappear. 

Queen Elizabeth — the consort of the King of Den- 
mark — has passed away, as King Christian himself has 
written. But she departed joyful in the faith, after 
receiving the Holy Communion in a truly Christian 
fashion, in spite of the efforts to make her return to 
the Papal faith. But Christ evidently wished to have a 
queen in heaven for once. 

Pray remember the royal children's tutor (Hof- 
meister) in your prayers, and greet your Elsie and all 
belonging to you. My Kathie also respectfully greets 
you all, and always holds you in esteem. Wishing you 
the best of health. Martin Luther. 



To Frederick Myconius of Gotha 

In June of this year an Evangelical alliance was signed in 
Torgau, the Elector John and his heir being present. 


March or April 1526. 

Grace and peace ! As Oswald your vice-burgher- 
master is always travelling back and forward to you, dear 
Frederick, I wished to send you my love. For I am full 
of joy when I hear of your well-being, and that the Word 
of God is taking effect among you. Thank God we are 
well, but I commend myself to your prayers that Christ 
may not suffer us to be overcome of temptation. 

You will perceive how Satan is at present raging 
among the Catholic priests, and we hear the godless 
bishops are conspiring together, and Philip writes that in 
Jena they are threatening me with war. 

Therefore, exhort the people to be steadfast in the 
faith, and pray earnestly to God to overcome the Wicked 
One, so that peace may be maintained. From what I hear 
I see plainly that it is necessary to be constantly in prayer, 
for Satan is up to some mischief. 

Therefore, pray call the people's attention to this very 
weighty matter to convince them that they are in the 
greatest danger ; being suspended between unsheathed 
swords and the fury of Satan. 

May you be sustained through the grace and power of 
God. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21.) 



May II, 1526. 

To my brother in the Lord, John Grickel, in Eisleben. 

Grace and peace ! I send you this crystal goblet 
mounted with tin before it gets another owner, for my 
Kathie has a great fancy for it. I am pleased with your 
estimate of Erasmus, and still more with that of the head 
of your educational establishment. Thus, even in those 
trying times one hears something cheering. 

Your Wenall, the schoolmaster, will soon start from 
Halle to you. I have written him enclosing your letter. 
Invite him to your house, for you know he merits this. 


Tell your Elizabeth, if she does not already know it, 
that Dr. Drache is now married, and that Syrus has come 
here with similar intentions. May you keep well, and 
pray for me. Martin Luther. 


To Herzog John Frederick of Saxony 

Petition for retired pastor. 

Maj 14, 1526. 

Grace and peace ! Serene High-born Prince, Most 
Gracious Lord. The bearer of this letter, Herr Bigand, 
gave up the living of Waltershausen to the Council, as the 
result of an arrangement with your Grace that he should 
receive thirty florins yearly from the church funds. Now, 
it seems he does not get this money ; probably because 
the Council cannot get it out of the living. But your 
Grace will learn the true reason. Meantime, the poor old 
man must run to and fro for his maintenance. So, as he 
is my schoolmaster, it is my duty to render him all 
honour, therefore I humbly plead that you will not permit 
him to lie out of the money, but will graciously help him 
to get it, to prevent him going abegging in his old age. 
I herewith commit you to God. Amen. Your Grace's 
obedient servant, Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

About a teacher. Luther busy with Habbakuk. 

June 2, 1526. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! The maiden, Hanna, 
who was here has returned to her people, so the school is 
vacant. Perhaps she did not feel equal to the duties, so 
left. But at present we know of no one so well educated 
and fit for the post. 

Philip would have brought the Prophet Habbakuk 
with him, but it will not be ready for eight days. There 
is nothing new at present except that our town is being 


fortified, although we know of no enemy. My wife, 
Jonas, and the rector (Cruciger) greet you, as well as the 
others. My Kathie is devoted to your memory on 
account of the handsome glass you sent her. Farewell, 
dearest Nicolas. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21.) 


Luther announces the birth of his son. 

June 8, 1526. 

Grace and peace ! I herewith send you the Psalter, 
dear Herr Doctor and Brother-in-law, and shall proceed 
with the Psalms with all my might. 

Will you say to M. Eisleben (Agricola) from me that 
my dear Kathie presented me with a Hans Luther yester- 
day at two o'clock, and then he will not marvel that I 
send this message, for at this time of day he will know 
what it is to have sons. Greet your dear wife from me, 
and Eisleben's Elsie. I herewith commit you to God. 
Amen. I must stop, for the sick Kathie is calling for me. 

Martin Luther. 


To JoHANN Agricola 

The Diet of Speyer closed 27th August, where the foundations 
of the German Evangelical Church were laid. 

September 20, 1526. 

Grace and peace ! I write you, my excellent Johannes, 
merely to say I have nothing special to write about, as 
Philip, a living epistle, is with you. I was glad he went to 
let the people see of how much importance such things are, 
and that we are looking after these in earnest. God grant 
that your olive branches may thrive. Greet Elsie and 
your superiors, as well as inferiors, also your Anna and 

Do let us have some more of those berries, for my 
Kathie likes them greatly, also Frau Eber. Give my 
respects to Count Albrecht if you have the opportunity. 


Greet Dr. Johann Riihel and his wife, Conrad the scribe, 

and Johann Diirer. 

I now thank the last for the fur coat ! I have just 

received it. It is far too expensive. I shall write him. 

Farewell to all in the Lord. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

About his literary work. 

October 14, i 526. 

Grace and peace ! I have nothing new, dear Nicolas, 
to send you, for the little book about war is not through 
the press yet. I intend beginning Zechariah after Hab- 
bakuk and Jonah are finished. 

Ecclesiastes gives us an immense deal of trouble, just 
as if he did not wish to be read, and yet was compelled to 
submit. It has been much too long in obscurity. You 
are right in saying the world is going to ruin. 

But I hope the day of the coming of the Great 
God is approaching, for we hear only of fires, murders, 
and fury over all. May all go well with you, and pray 
for me. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21.) 


To Maria, Queen of Hungary 

Sister of Charles V. Her husband fell fighting against the 
Turks in August. Luther dedicated Psalms 37, 62, 94, and 109 
to her. 

November i, 1526. 

To Her Serene Highness Frau Maria, born Queen of 
Spain, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia. My most 
gracious lady ! Grace and comfort from God our Father 
and the Lord Jesus Christ ! Most gracious queen. I 
determined, at the instigation of some pious people, to 
dedicate those four Psalms to your Majesty as an exhorta- 
tion, joyfully, to maintain and further God's Holy Word 


in Hungary ; for I received the good news that your Royal 
Highness was inclined towards the gospel, but that 
godless bishops, who have all the power in Hungary, 
tried to hinder it spreading and turn you away from it. 
Also, that they have shed innocent blood,^ and set them- 
selves in array against the truth of God. 

But seeing, alas, that the matter has taken another turn 
through the providence of God, and the Turk has caused 
so much misery by slaying that noble young monarch 
King Ludwig, your Majesty's beloved husband, I now 
regard things otherwise. Had the bishops allowed the 
gospel to spread, all the world would have declared that 
these evils came upon Hungary because of the Lutheran 
heresy, and what a scandal that would have been ! We 
shall see whom they will now blame, for God has merci- 
fully prevented such an accusation being made. St. Paul 
writes that the Holy Scriptures were written for our 
learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the 
Spirit, might have hope, so I have published these Psalms 
to comfort your Royal Highness (with such comfort as 
God pleases to give) in this great and sudden affliction 
with which the Almighty God has seen fit to visit you, 
not in anger, as we have every right to hope, but as a 
chastisement so that your Royal Highness may learn to 
trust only in the true Father which is in heaven, and to 
be comforted by the one Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, who is 
also our Brother, nay, our very flesh and blood, and to 
find your delights with your true companions the dear 
angels who ever surround and care for us. 

For although it was a bitter trial for your Royal 
Highness to be left so early a widow, and robbed of your 
dear husband, still there is much consolation to be found 
in the Scriptures, particularly in the Psalms ; and the 
Father and the Son will show you abundantly where ever- 
lasting life lies hidden. 

And truly, to whomsoever it is given to see and feel 
the Father's love towards us in the Scriptures can easily 
endure all the misery which may be in the world, while 
whoever does not really feel this can never be truly joyful, 

* A bookseller in Pcsth was burned with his books in 1524. 


although he may be revelling in all its pleasures and 

No such affliction can overtake any one so great as 
what God endured in seeing His beloved Son rewarded for 
all the miracles and good deeds He did to sinful man by 
being maligned, scorned, and at last subjected to the most 
shameful death on the cross. 

Each thinks his own cross the heaviest, and takes it 
more to heart than the cross of Christ, even although He 
had endured ten crosses. This may be because we are 
not so patient as God is, therefore a much smaller cross is 
infinitely more painful to us than Christ's cross. 

But the Father of all mercies and the God of all 
consolation will comfort your Royal Highness in His Son 
Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost, so that you 
may soon forget your present misery or be able to 
bear it bravely. Amen. At Wittenberg at the first 
winter moon. Your Majesty's obedient servant, 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Elector John of Saxony 

The church visitation. 

November 22, 1526. 

Grace and peace ! Most Serene High-born Prince. 
For long I have asked nothing of your Grace, so the 
requests have accumulated, therefore your Grace must 
have patience with those I proffer. The complaints of 
the clergy everywhere have reached a climax. The farmer 
will give nothing, and there is so much ingratitude 
among the people for the Word of God that there is no 
doubt He will send a plague ^ among us. And if I could 
reconcile it with my conscience, I would prevent them 
getting a pastor at all, and let them live like swine, as they 
are doing. 

There is neither fear of God nor discipline because of 
the Papal ban, and every one does as he likes. 

But as we are commanded, especially those in authority, 

^ The plague came the next year. 


to look after the poor children, and train them in the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord, it is necessary to 
have teachers and preachers. 

If old people do not wish these they can always go to 
the devil. But when the youth are neglected it is the 
fault of the authorities, and the land will be filled with 
lawless people, who not only disobey God's commands, 
but bring us all into dire distress. 

But now that the Papal rule is at an end in your 
Serene Highness's land, and all the cloisters have reverted 
to you as the head, then these bring obligations with 
them — the setting of them in order — duties which devolve 
on you, and which no one else should take up. 

Having discussed all this with your Grace's Chan- 
cellor and Herr Nicolas, we think it will be necessary 
that you, being appointed of God for such a purpose, 
arrange for four persons to visit all the country — two 
who understand business matters, land and interest 
(^Zinzen), and two who understand teaching and preach- 
ing — so that they, by your Serene tlighness's command, 
may establish and see to the maintenance of schools and 
Church livings. Where any town or village is able, 
then your Grace can compel them to maintain churches, 
manses, and schools. 

If they are not willing to do so for the sake of their 
future well-being, then your Electoral Highness, as 
guardian of the youth and all who require it, is quite 
justified in compelling them to do it, even as the law 
obliges people to make bridges, roads, etc., for the public 

Now, the most necessary of all is to educate those who 
come after us and are to bear rule. 

Should this press too heavily on the people, then there 
are the cloister possessions, which were founded mainly 
for this purpose, and still can be appropriated for the 
common weal. For, your Electoral Highness can well 
imagine the outcry which would through time arise were 
the schools and benefices to be permitted to run waste 
while the nobility were appropriating the riches of the 
cloisters, which, it is said, some are already doing. 


So, as your Electoral Grace is deriving no advantage 
from such goods, and as they were instituted to maintain 
the public service of God, they should, first of all, be 
applied to this purpose. 

Then with what remains your Grace could supply the 
needs of the land and the poor. 

And another point. Dr. Carlstadt has begged me to 
write to your Highness to ask if he might be allowed to 
live in Kemberg ; for, he cannot exist any longer in the 
villages, on account of the wickedness of the peasants, as you 
can read in his pamphlets, and also learn from Hans von 
Grafendorf, and yet he shrinks from writing to you himself. 

Although almost one of ourselves, he has not com- 
plained openly as yet. I beg, if it seem good to your 
Electoral Highness, to ask the provost of Kemberg to look 
after him. Although I know your Grace has already 
done enough to create much talk on the subject, yet I 
would earnestly entreat you to permit this also. God 
will requite it all the more richly. He will see to his 
soul and body, and we should do good to His people. 
The grace of God be with us. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Conrad Cordatus, Pastor in Austria 

Cordatus now entered into the circle of Luther's most intimate 


November 28, 1526. 

Grace and peace ! You write me truly wondrous 
things of your Liegnitz friends — of the power of the 
spirit and of the flesh in that place, where the one part of 
the people seem to love intellectual pursuits, while the 
others live after the flesh. 

The greatest evil here is lukewarmness, indifference, 
against which we must constantly strive. Who knows if 
God has not turned it upside down with you, so that 
when the gospel has been warmly received at first it cools 
down through time, while here, on the contrary, and at 
variance with all precedent, it is embraced coldly to begin 


with, and then slowly gathers strength, till at last it bursts 
forth in flame. 

God grant this people may resemble that son who at 
the beginning refused to go into the vineyard, and after- 
wards repented and went. He will be preferred to him 
who at first promised to go and afterwards did not. 

So go on your way unweariedly, and the^Lord will be 

with you, and do not be afraid of those highly enlightened 

spirits (in their own eyes). Nothing is more foolish in 

God's sight than such self-deception. May the Lord 

Christ ever be with you. Write as often as you can. 

Your letters will always be welcome, partly because they 

testify to the uprightness of your heart, which is so much 

needed by your people as well as ours, and partly because 

they contain so much information calculated to satisfy our 

curiosity. I herewith commit you to God. 

Martin Luther. 


This was the year of the first church visitation in Electoral 
Saxony. Plague in Wittenberg. Sack of Rome. 



January i, 1527. 

Grace and peace ! Kathie, my wife and commander, 
ordered me to thank you for the cloth you sent, but such 
a costly gift is not seemly for poor people like us. It is 
just as it should be, that Elizabeth should enter your 
Elizabeth's service. God grant that she may be truly 
obedient. We are all well, and amusing ourselves by 
beautifying Wittenberg, so that it may have a uniform 
appearance, while we are becoming lamentably indifferent 
to the Word of God. I am at present preparing to attack 
the fanatics abroad. 

Pray to God for me that He may crush Satan. 
Otherwise there is nothing new here. May you and yours 
prosper. All here greet you. 

Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

The Elector accedes to church visitation. 

"January lo, 1527. 

Grace and peace in Christ, dear Nicolas ! I have no 
news, except that the Elector wishes the church visitation 
begun at once. And after the churches are put on a 
good footing we can settle the question of excommunica- 
tion {Bami). It would be impossible to do that now, 
when all is in confusion. Zechariah is in the press, and 
the book is daily growing under my hand. 

I am also attacking the Sacramentarians. 

Pray Christ to guide my pen so as to refute Satan 
successfully. I am greatly rejoiced over your testimony 
that you are untainted by such rubbish. But I never 
doubted you. I am grieved that that estimable man 
QEcolampadius has fallen into the mire through such 
childish nonsensical ideas. Satan urges him on. May 
God save him ! Urbanus Rhegrius also inclines the same 
way, or has fallen in. May God preserve His own ! 

You will have heard that the Emperor has been success- 
ful in Italy. The Pope is beset on all hands, so that he 
may be demolished, for his hour has come, although per- 
secution is rife, and many are being burned. My Kathie 
greets you respectfully. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, vol. 21. 1527.) 


To Eberhardt Brisger 

February 1, 1527. 

Grace and peace ! You ask me, my worthy Eberhard, 
to send you eight gulden ; but where am I to get them .'' 
You know the state of my finances, and this year alone 
I have contracted loo gulden of debt through my wretched 
management. I have pledged in one quarter three goblets 
for 50 gulden. The Lord who thus punishes my folly 
will again draw me out of the net. In addition, Lukas 
(Cranach) and Christian will take no more such pledges 


from me, for they know they will either receive nothing 
or I be ruined. At length I pressed a fourth goblet upon 
them for 12 gulden, which they lent me, upon my word 
of mouth, to give to the fat Hermann. How could I let 
myself be so drained, and plunge my small belongings in 
such debt ? 

NoWjit would not be giving my own, but other people's 
money as alms. So no one can say I am mean or greedy 
seeing I have been so lavish to others. 

Now I shall arrange thus. I shall talk it over with 
them, and perhaps satisfy them, and if I can lay hands 
on more money I would not hesitate to advance it. And, 
lastly, I would like to visit you myself, and talk over 
matters with you, and see your glebe. Why not let 
your empty house ? It would have brought in a bit of 
money. Farewell. Yours, Martin Luther. 



To Elsie von Kanitz 

The visitation of the churches and schools began in February. 
Melanchthon, Schurf, and two nobles were sent to the Wittenberg 

May 2, 1527. 

To the honourable and virtuous maiden, Elsie von 
Kanitz. My dearest friend in Christ ! 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I have written your dear 
aunt, Hanna von Plausig, to let you come to me for a 
time, as I could employ you in teaching young girls, and 
thus set an example which others might follow. You 
would live in my house and eat at my table, so you 
would be safe and free from all care ; therefore pray 

I hear the Evil One is tormenting you with evil 
thoughts. Oh, dear young lady, do not let that trouble 
you, for those who suffer from the devil here will not be 
troubled with him above ; so this is a good sign. Christ 
also had to endure the same, and many holy prophets and 
apostles, as the Psalms plainly show. Therefore take 
comfort, and gladly suffer the Father's rod. He will 


deliver you in His own time. When you come I shall 
discuss the subject fully with you. 

I commit you to God. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Leonhardt Kaiser 
Who was imprisoned and finally burned for his religion. 

May 20, 1527. 

To the esteemed dear brother in Christ, the faithful 
servant and prisoner of Christ, Leonhardt Kaiser. 

Grace and peace ! That your old man should be a 
prisoner, dear Herr Leonhardt, is the will of Christ your 
Saviour, who gave Himself up for you and your sins into 
the hands of the godless, so that He might redeem you 
with His blood, and make you His brother and co-heir of 
eternal life. 

We are in deep sorrow on your account, and pray 
earnestly that you may be set free, not so much for your 
sake as for the benefit of many and the honour of God, 
if it be His will. 

But if it be the will of Heaven that you should not be 
free, still you are free in spirit. Only see that you are 
strong, and constantly overcome the weakness of the 
flesh, patiently bearing with it in the strength of Christ, 
who is with you in your cell, and will stand by you in all 
your affliction, as He has promised : " I will be with him 
in trouble." 

Hence you must confidently call upon Him in prayer, 
sustaining yourself with Psalms of consolation amid Satan's 
fury, so that you may be strengthened of the Lord, and 
not succumb too readily to the teeth of Behemoth (Job 
xl. 15). For you know he cannot injure you if you cry 
to Christ, whose presence and power are over all. 

As St. Paul says, " If God be for us, who can be 
against us .'' " and He will help all who are tempted. 
Therefore, my beloved brother, be strong in the Lord and 
in the power of His might, so that you may recognise, 



endure, Jove, and praise out of a full heart the fatherly 
will of God, whether free or not. 

To enable you to do this, the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ will work in you, according to the riches of 
His glory, who is the Father of all mercies and the God 
of all consolation. Amen. I herewith commit you to 
God ; also pray for us. Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

In July, Melanchthon, Myconius, and Menius of Erfurt, 
with three lawyers, began church visitation in Thllringia. 

July 13, 1527- 

To the esteemed Nicolas Hausmann of Zwickau. 

Grace and peace ! The church visitation has begun 
in earnest. Eight days ago Herr Hieronymus and 
Magister Philip set off. May the Lord guide them. 

Rome has been devastated in the most merciless 
manner. Christ has so overruled it that the Emperor, 
who, because of the Pope, persecuted Luther, should now 
be obliged to overthrow the Pope on Luther's account. 

So all things have been made subservient to the welfare 
of God's people against the adversary, I have no other 

My Kilthie and my Hans greet you. Farewell in the 
Lord. I have had a terrible attack of giddiness, so that 
I can neither read nor write. Martin Luthkr. 



To George Spalatin 

In this visitation the Elector legally established the office of 
superintendent, to keep an eye on the efficiency of the clergy. 

Atiguit 15, 1527. 

I am glad to hear you are again well, and thank God 


for this. Pray that I may be kept in health, if it be the 
will of God our Saviour. 

The Prince sent me the report of the visitation to see 
if it was worth printing. It is all right, if they only stick 
to what is arranged. The plague is certainly here, but it 
is not bad. However, the people are so terrified that 
they are running away in every direction. 

I have never seen Satan so successful. The more he 
can frighten them the happier he is ; and that he has 
scattered our University is a great joy to him. But only 
eighteen have died. In the fishers' quarter no one has 
died of it, but all are buried there. To-day we have 

buried 's wife, who died yesterday, almost in my 

arms. This is the first death in the middle of the town. 
The other eighteen are round about the Elster Gate. 
Among them was Barbara, your Eberhardt's daughter, 
who was marriageable, and John Kronenberg's daughter. 
Hans Luft has recovered, and many others get better if 
they take medicine. But many are so excited they will 
do nothing, and die defiantly. Justus Jonas has lost his 
son Johannes. He, with his household, has gone to his 
fatherland, but I remain here, as the people are in 
desperation. So Pommer and 1 are here alone with the 
chaplain, but Christ is with us, who will overcome the 
old murderous serpent, who brought sin into the world, 
even although he may bruise our heel. Pray for us, and 
may God protect you. Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

August 19, 1527. 

The visitation will not be allowed to drop, dear 
Nicolas, so let us be of good cheer. We hope the plague 
may soon be over. It plagues us in manifold ways, 
especially me, weakening my faith and loading me with 
care. The pest has been three times in the house. The 
little son has been eight days ill, and is only kept alive 
by liquids ; but now he is recovering. For many months 
I have suffered from faithlessness. Pray that our faith 


may not fail. My Kilthie sends money for linen. I do 
not wish to trouble you. Pommer, who comforts me in 
my solitude, as the plague took the chaplain's wife away, 
greets you warmly. Kathie also commends herself to 
your prayers. Farewell, beloved brother. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 605.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 
Luther rejoices over his friend's recovery. 

September 2, 1527. 

Accept my greeting, for I have really nothing to 
write. But I would thank my Lord Jesus, my excellent 
Llausmann, that He has restored you to us. Praised be 
His name to all eternity for doing this ! Amen. 

I hope that the visitors will, after a short rest, go on 
with their work. Meantime comfort yourself in patience. 
At the same time pray for us, so that the Lord may 
remove the epidemic and gather again the scattered ones, 
that His Word may be spread abroad more and more. 
God grant this. I commit you to Him. 

Martin Luther. 



To Gerhardt Xantis 

Luther expresses joy over his friends' intercession for him, on 
account of the absence of his helpers in Jena. 

Septtniber 2, 1527. 

To my honoured brother in Christ, Gerhardt Xantis. 

Grace and peace ! I'he other day I wrote to Mon- 
tanus, and not to you. Now I write to you, and not to 
Montanus, for I perceive you are one heart and soul in 
the Lord. Therefore show him this letter, and thank 
him on my behalf for being so constantly remembered in 

All of us, and especially myself, stand much in need 


of such intercession, and 1 rejoice that such pious men 
feel so deeply interested in me. 

The Commentary upon Zechariah, which was half 
finished, has been delayed because of my health. The 
Prophets, which we had begun to translate into German, 
have again been obliged to hang their harps, through the 
dispersion of our colleagues by the plague. 

Let our Jacob know this, that he may pray more 
earnestly for us, that Christ, our Physician, may allay the 
fear, not so much of the frequent deaths, as of a most 
infectious disease, so that our people may again return 
and our work be resumed. It is Satan himself who has 
spread these evil reports and fears to impede the gospel, 
but Christ will, in answer to your prayers, tread him 
under our feet. God grant this. 

Our wives are full of joy, and thank you for your 
present, and good heart. Melanchthon unites in thanking 
you with me. 

The High School ^ has been removed to Jena. 
Pommer and his wife greet you warmly, and also mine. 
And I greet you warmly, and promise, with God's help, 
to do what you prescribe. And yet one more greeting 
from my son. 

I herewith commit you to God. 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Christians in Halle 

Hallc long shut to the Reforinatioti, because of Herzog 
George, although in 1527 their Evangelical preacher, George 
Winkler, was murdered by order of the Archbishop of Mayence. 

September 1527. 

To the dear friends of Christ in Halle. Grace and 
peace in Christ our Saviour ! Amen. 

Dear sirs and friends — I have long intended writing you 
a letter of admonition and consolation under the trials with 
which Satan has visited you, through the murder of that 

' University. 


good man, Magister George, thus robbing you of a faith- 
ful pastor, who declared to you the Word of life. But 
one thing after another has prevented me, especially my 
weak health, and although not yet well I can delay no 

But although unable to derive any comfort from such 
an untoward event, still it would be wrong to allow such 
a perfidious murder to be passed over in silence, and let 
such blood rot in the earth instead of bearing witness to 
God's Holy Word. 

Therefore I shall help it to cry to Heaven, in order 
that so much as in us lies, such a murder may never be 
forgotten till God the merciful Father and righteous Judge 
hears the cry, as He heard that of righteous Abel's blood, 
and executes justice upon the murderer. 

And God grant that Magister George's blood may be 
a divine seed, which although sown in the earth by the 
hands of Satan and his members, may bring forth seed an 
hundredfold, so that instead of the murdered George a 
hundred other faithful preachers may arise, who will injure 
Satan a thousand times more than the one man has done ; 
and because he would neither suffer nor listen to the one 
he will be obliged to suffer and listen to many others, even 
as happened to the Pope through Huss's blood, whom he 
would not permit to exist quietly in a corner, but must 
now hear its cries over the whole world, till it has reached 
Rome itself, and there seems no prospect of its being 
silenced. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Michael Stiefel 

About Leonhardt Kaiser's death. 

October 22, 1527. 

Grace and peace ! I have received the history of 
Leonhardt Kaiser, but meantime his cousin has sent me 
all his writings in his own hand. I shall have them printed 
at once. 

Pray earnestly that Christ may not forsake me, for I 
am driven almost mad by the assaults of Satan's angels. 


Miserable creature that I am ! How unlike Leon- 
hardt ! I preach the gospel with many words, but he is 
a powerful doer of the Word. Oh that I were counted 
worthy to be endued, not with the double but with the 
half of his spirit, so that I might be able to overcome 
Satan and quit this life. God be praised that amid so 
much evil He has granted us poor miserable creatures a 
glorious glimpse of His loving-kindness as a token that 
He has not forsaken us. 

Pray for me, my brother Michael, and may Christ grant 
that we too may be followers of Leonhardt. He is not 
called a king, but a kaiser, for he has overcome him whose 
power is so great that no one on earth can be compared 
to him. 

In addition, he is not only a priest, but a true bishop, 
nay pope, who has offered up his body as a sacrifice well 
pleasing to the Holy God. Also, he is rightly named 
Leonhardt, that is, lion-heart, for he has proved himself to 
be a strong and fearless lion. All that this name signified 
was foreseen when he received it. He is the first of his 
race who has so consecrated the name. 

Give your dear wife my thanks, and my little 
prattling Hans must send his respects to you. I and 
my Kathie hope that she may live happily with her child 
in Christ. 

Pommer greets you warmly. Farewell in Christ. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 597.) 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

A letter full of complaints. 

No-v ember i, 1527. 

Grace and peace ! Dear Amsdorf — It seems to be 
God's will that I who up till now was wont to comfort 
you all, now need it greatly myself. Meantime my sole 
petition is that you will help me to pray that Christ 
may perfect His gracious will in me ; so that I may be well 
pleasing in His sight, and never be ungrateful to Him, 


after having up till now zealously preached His gospel 
and honoured His name, although often having grieved 
Him with my sins. Satan begs that a Job may be delivered 
into his hands, but Christ bids him spare his life. And to 
me He says, " I am thy salvation," which makes me sure 
that He will not for ever be wroth over my sins. I should 
like to answer the Sacramentarians, but if I do not get 
stronger I cannot. 

My house has been turned into a hospital. Augustine's 
Hanna had the plague inwardly, but is now better. 
Margaret Mochim alarmed us with a sore and other bad 
symptoms. I am also very anxious about my Kathie at 
present. My Hans has been three days ill, and eats 
nothing. Some say it is the teeth, and both seem in 

The wife of George, the chaplain, is also ill of the 
plague, and her condition is perilous. May Jesus be 
gracious to her. So there are fightings without and fears 

Truly, the Lord is trying us sorely. Our one con- 
solation is, and with this we can defy Satan, that we have 
God's Word, through which believing souls can be saved, 
although He consumes the bodies. We send greeting to 
the brethren and yourself, and beg you to pray for us that 
we may patiently endure God's chastening hand, and with- 
stand Satan's power and cunning, both in life and death. 
Wittenberg, All Saints' Day. In tenth year of the over- 
throw of the Indulgence, to whose memory we are drinking 
a toast, and to both our healths. Martin Luther. 


To Justus Jonas 

A sad letter. Jonas in Nordhausen during the plague. 

November lo, 1527. 

Grace and peace in God our Saviour ! Thanks, dear 
Jonas, that you pray for us, and sometimes write. 

I hope you got yesterday's letter. I have not read 
Erasmus's writings nor those of the Sacramentarians, except 


something by Zwingli. They only do right in trampling 
a miserable creature like me under foot, thereby following 
Judas's example, and making me utter my complaints to 
my Lord Jesus of being persecuted on all sides, and 
having to bear God's indignation for having sinned against 
Him. The Pope, Emperor, Bishops, and the whole world 
attack me ; and as if this were not enough, my very 
brethren plague me, nay, even my sins, death, and the 
devil with his angels, rage without measure. 

So then what would become of me were Christ to 
forsake me because of whom all these are my enemies .'' 
But He will not desert me, poor miserable sinner, for I 
esteem myself the least of all men. 

Would that Erasmus and the Sacramentarians experi- 
enced for one quarter of an hour the sorrows of my heart, 
then I would declare they were truly converted. But now 
my enemies are mighty, and heap anguish on him whom 
the Lord chastens. 

But enough of this, so that I may not seem impatient 
under God's rod, who chastens and heals, kills and makes 
alive again. 

Let His holy and perfect will be praised now and for 
ever ! Were we of the world it would love its own. I 
am also very anxious about my wife. 

The Lord has done great things for me, so I must 
suffer great things. May Christ be my rock and my 
strength. Amen. 

My Hans can send no greeting in his sickness, but 
begs for your prayers. For twelve days he has lived 
only on fluids. He now begins to eat a little. The 
child would gladly play as he used to do, but is 
not able. 

Margaret Mochim's abscess was opened yesterday, and 
she is now a little better. I do not wish Rome to be 
burned ; that would be a marvellous sign. Would to 
God that we could meet again in our homes, and work at 
Ecclesiastes, so that it may be issued before we die. I 
commend myself to your prayers. We Wittenberg people 
are hated of all, and they are terrified on account of the 
pest. As the Psalm says, *' We are a byword among the 


heathen, a shaking of the head among the people," but we 
hope a joy and crown of the angels and saints. 

Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

Luther thanks him for comfort received. 

November 17, 1527. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! May our Lord Christ 
one day, dear Nicolas, comfort you with the comfort you 
have given me. But I, poor sinner, thank my Lord that 
up till now He has not permitted Satan to do as he 
pleased with me, although he has tried with all his might 
and cunning to do so. 

Pray that Christ may overcome him and his onslaught 
upon me. I do not believe that it is one devil that is 
attacking me, but that the very prince of devils has risen 
against me, so great is his power of assailing me with 
Scripture, so that my own knowledge of the Bible does 
not suffice for my protection if I were not strengthened 
by words of Scripture out of the mouths of my friends. 

This is why I ask so earnestly for your prayers ; and if 
ever you are in the same position, the sport of the devil, 
you will understand my request. May Christ be with 
you. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1069.) 


To Justus Jonas 

Luther longs for his friend's return. 

No<vember 29, 1527. 

Grace and peace ! That you are so earnest in your 
prayers for me, dear Jonas, is a very great boon to me, 
poor tortured creature. I also pray much for you that 
Christ may take pity on you, for I hear vou suffer from 

I would counsel you to return to us, for Christ be 
praised, the plague has abated, and our townspeople are 
beginning to marry and live in security. Your quarters 


since 's death are now quite purified up to the Pfarr 

church and the market. May the Lord guide you to 
what is well pleasing to Him and good for yourself. 

Greet your Kiithie and Justelchen. Augustine's wife 
is better. If only Margaretta Mochim would recover, 
but now we have hope. She has been some weeks ill, and 
can scarcely hear or speak. 

P.S. — Your house, which is now clean, I have lent to 
the other chaplain's wife and family, for she was so 
distressed over the death of her friend, the chaplain's wife, 
that it was the only way to comfort her, but the two 
husbands sleep here in the manse. I hope you will excuse 
us making so free with your belongings, but I promised 
that if the plague attack any of them they shall at once be 
brought back here. 

Meanwhile may Christ give you a house in Nord- 
hausen, as we in our dire need had to take yours. 

Our Brunoni's little son will not live over the day, for 
death has marked the orphan for his own. Farewell in 
Christ. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1072.) 



Walther was three weeks in Luther's house helping to arrange 
the Church music, the Reformer himself composing the melodies 
for the German hymns, to Walther's amazement. Luther said 
Virgil had taught him this. 

December 21, 1527. 

Grace and peace ! From this letter you will see, my 
Walther, that I answered your last, as I wished to offer 
you help and counsel. The messenger should have fetched 
this letter early in the morning, as you write, but how can 
I know where they spend the night, or run after them ^ 
It is their custom, when they have given the letters to my 
servants, to disappear, as if carried away by the wind, and 
they do not reappear. Therefore I write once more, as 
you request. I herewith commit you to God. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

Luther expects the return of the University from Jena. 

December 29, 1527. 

Grace and peace ! I marvel much, my Jonas, that 
you have not yet returned, seeing the plague is gone. 

You might at least have paid us one visit in our 
affliction — of course, at our expense. 

The people who had fled are now returning in shoals 
— indeed, the whole of the citizens. 

To-morrow the Town Council will also be here, and we 
expect the University shortly, as Magister Philip writes. 
God has manifested His love towards us in a marvellous 
manner, letting us perceive that our earnest prayers are 
acceptable in His sight, although we ourselves are sinners. 

Margaretta Mochim is restored from the jaws of 
death, for we had given up hope, as she could neither 
hear nor understand. Otherwise we are all well. 

My Kathie, with the little baby Elizabeth, is well, and 
sends you greetings, but is longing to see you all here 
again in good health. 

I am well in body, also in mind, so long as my Lord 
Christ upholds me, and the slender thread by which He 
keeps hold of me, and I of Him, is not snapt asunder. 

But Satan has tried to drag me down with powerful 
cart ropes and ships' cords into the abyss, but the weak 
Christ has overcome as yet, through your prayers, and 
struggles bravely for the victory ! 

Go on and cause the weak Christ within me to become 
strong through your prayers, that He in His weakness 
may defy the might and insolence of the devil. Revenge 
me on him, and turn his pride into shame, which I have 
exposed through the discovery of his arts and cunning. 

We are all one in Christ. May you prosper much in 
Him ! Greet all your people, and return speedily. 

Martin Luther. 




To Gerhardt Xantis 

The second visitation of the churches began in October — 
Spalatin, Melanchthon, Luther, Jonas, Myconius, taking part. 
The following year the Elector ordered Luther to remain at 
home, as Wittenberg lost one hundred students through his 
and Melanchthon's absence. 

'January i, 1528. 

Grace and peace ! I received your last letter of con- 
solation with much joy, my Gerhardt. Many thanks. 
May Christ comfort you for this. No doubt this tempta- 
tion, which has afflicted me from my youth up, is very 
great, but I could not have believed that it should so have 
gained the upper hand. Nevertheless, up till now Christ 
has always conquered. I commend myself to your prayers 
and those of the brethren. I have helped others, but 
cannot help myself. 

Praise to my Christ, who, amid poverty, murmuring 
against God, and even in death, will gather us together 
into His kingdom. 

Meantime we know, that firmly as we may trust His 
Word and work, these will not justify us. We are ever 
faithless, although we may boast of having led a Christian 
life in this world, in spite of its accompanying trials. But 
one thing is certain, Christ is our life and righteousness, 
and it is hidden in God. (How difficult, how alien to 
the flesh, is it to comprehend this.) I am glad I now 
understand St. Peter's allusions to being partakers of 
Christ's sufferings, which are the portion of our brethren 
in this world ; but as life draws to a close they become 
more bitter. Greet Montanus and all the brothers. 

Martin Luther, 




To Nicolas Hausmann 

The little book on the Visitation. 

March 2, 1528. 

Grace and peace ! The book on the Visitation is not 
finished, for the printers ran short of paper, but it will 
soon be ready. I am delighted to hear your good opinion 
of Herr Paul, Abbot of Sagan, and that he sent you 
such an honest answer. May we with one heart and 
mouth praise the Father to all eternity. Amen ! 

There is nothing new here, except the terrible threats 
of the priests, who hope much from the Regensburg Diet. 
Pray earnestly with your people for the Princes of Germany, 
that God may endue them with grace, so that they need 
not always require to come together at such great expense, 
and in vain, but may desire peace and righteousness, as 
is seemly. 

We have had so many diets lately, and see no results, 
because God has forsaken us ; while the devil hinders all 
that is good. Farewell, and greet Paul your evangelist in 
the Lord, with all the brethren. Martin Luther. 


To Conrad Cordatus 

Luther invites his friend to Wittenberg, as he thinks he cannot 
be happy in King Ferdinand's land. 

MarcJi 6, 1528. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! Dearest Cordatus — I 
have known for long that you had left Austria, and were 
living on the estate of GlOck in Silesia, waiting to be 
recalled by that noble lady in the Riesengebirge, who 
promised to send for you, but I fancy will not do so. 

If you are not comfortable there, do not hesitate to 
hasten to me, or wherever you would like to go. If it 
should ever occur to the lady to recall you, she can find 
you as easily with us as anywhere else, and I thought you 
could have more congenial society here than among people 


so unlike yourself. For my part, I have no hesitation in 
begging you to set aside the lady's promises and begin 
work in the Lord's vineyard. So come with your wife 
and sister till Christ arranges something else. 

The Papists, triumphant through Ferdinand's mandate, 
are waxing bold, and probably will not grant the gospel's 
servants any authority in these lands ; and why should 
you buoy yourself with vain hopes ? It is now three 
months since the plague left Wittenberg, God be praised ! 
I hope you have read my treatise against the Anabaptists. 
I flatter myself that I have rescued some from their errors. 
The rest you will hear from our Rorar, Christ's faithful 
servant. The grace of God be with you ! 

Martin Luther. 


To Leonhardt Beier 

Luther invites him to Wittenberg. 

March 7, 1528. 

Grace and peace ! When Satan rages, my Leonhardt, 
he is only acting in accordance with his office and name. 
For, as the Scriptures say, nothing else is to be expected 
from him. But be steadfast, and struggle and pray against 
him in spirit and in deed. 

There is One who is mighty, and He dwells within us. 
To God be honour and glory. If you be driven away, 
a refuge is waiting for you here, and all that the Lord has 
given us is at your service. For many {Kxultanten) who 
have to flee from Ferdinand's kingdom settle among us, 
who at least resemble Christ in His poverty. I commend 
myself to your prayers and those of your friends. Fare- 
well in the Lord. Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Luther announces his arrival in Borna. 

March 18, 1528. 

Grace and peace ! I have this moment arrived in 
Borna, dear Spalatin, almost frozen, and starving of 


hunger. What a dreadful journey we have had, but we 
have done it in two days, having crawled rather than 
travelled, for we were determined to sup with you to-night. 
I write this in order that you may excuse us to the Prince. 
For, the letter demanding our presence only arrived the 
other night, and we hurried as much as we could, but the 
roads, wind, and cold hindered us. 

So, if God will, we shall breakfast with you to-morrow. 

Pommer and Jonas are my travelling companions, as 
they did not wish me to go alone. May you prosper in 
the Lord ! Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1094..) 


To Wenzel Link 

Luther sends books, and tells of the Electress of Brandenburg's 

March 28, 15 28. 

Grace and peace ! I have given Johann Hoffmann 
copies to distribute among you, against the Sacrament- 
arians. God grant that they bring forth much fruit, for 
I have resolved to stop writing against them, for they do 
not understand logic, so it is impossible to bring them to 
reason or convince them that they have been refuted. 

The Electress has, with the help of her brother the 
King of Denmark, fled from Berlin Schloss to our Prince 
here, her uncle ; for it is said the Elector intended walling 
her up on account of her having partaken of the sacra- 
ment in both kinds. Pray for our Prince. The pious 
and good-hearted man is much plagued, and deserves the 
help of our prayers. May you prosper with wife and 
child! Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 109S.) 


To A Stranger 

Consolation to one doubting his election to eternal life. 

'July 20, 1528. 

Dear sir and friend — I wish you above all the grace 


and mercy of God through his Son Jesus, our sole Saviour. 
Some days ago, my brother, Caspar Cruciger, doctor of 
the Holy Scriptures, informed me that you were afflicted 
with strange thoughts as to God's omniscience, and had 
become quite perplexed, so that it was feared you might 
take your own life (which may God Almighty prevent). 

You find difficulty in believing that the Almighty 
knew from all eternity who should be saved, whether they 
were already dead, alive, or as yet unborn. Now, all 
must admit this, for He knows all things, and nothing 
is hidden from Him who counts the stars in the heavens, 
the leaves of the trees, nay, even the hairs of men's heads, 
from all which you seem to fancy you may do what you 
will, good or evil, for if God has ordained whether you shall 
be saved or not (which is true) your thoughts are more 
taken up with damnation than salvation, and you sink 
into despair and become a prey to despondency. So I, 
as my Lord Christ's servant, send this letter of consola- 
tion to let you know God's thoughts towards you, whether 
you be destined to blessedness or perdition. 

Although the Almighty knows everything, and no one 
can go against the decrees of His will, still it is His earnest 
desire, nay command, decreed from all eternity, that all 
men should be partakers of everlasting joy, as is clearly 
seen from Ezekiel xviii. 23 — 

" Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should 
die .'' saith the Lord ; and not that he should return 
from his ways, and live ? " 

Seeing He desires the salvation of sinners, who swarm 
beneath heaven's lofty vault, why will you with your 
foolish thoughts prompted by Satan separate yourself 
from them, thereby cutting yourself off from the grace 
of God .'' " For as the heaven is high above the earth, so 
great is His mercy toward them that fear Him," and cry 
for help. For He is rich toward all who call upon Him. 
But it is only strong faith which can drive away such 
despairing thoughts as in Rom. iii. 22, "Even the 
righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, 
unto all and upon all them that believe." Mark these 
words: unio a//, and upon all. If not among that 



number, at least you can reckon yourself among the 
sinners, which is a greater reason that you should pray 
and be certain of the answer should God delay coming 
speedily to your help ; for He will never forsake those 
who call upon Him, nor fail to drive away your despair- 
ing doubts which are the fiery darts of the devil and his 
emissaries. Why wander in false ways when so good and 
straight a path is before you, and the Father cries, " This 
is my beloved Son ! " Listen to His counsel ! And even 
although in your despair you were so hardened as not to 
hear God's voice, you cannot overlook that of the Son, 
who stands across the path which all must tread, crying in 
trumpet-like tones, " Come unto me, all ye that labour 
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." He not 
only uses the word " come," but " all." No one is 
excluded, no matter how wicked he be. So, seeing all 
may come, do you run with them, leap and spring, and 
do not remain among those lost crowds. 

Further, He says " to me ! " who knows every foot of 
the way, and will not let thy foot slide. Why wander 
aimlessly about .? But who are to come } The weary 
and heavy laden ! And what kind of company would 
that be } I do not know Messrs. Weary and Heavy 
Laden. They ought to have high-sounding names, such as 
burgher-master, and such like — these master minds, who 
love to grovel in God's Word with their human reason, 
like the sow in a turnip field ! Not at all. It is he who 
is weary and heavy laden, borne down with sad thoughts 
direct from the Evil One, who is called, — the man who 
does not know to what hand to turn, and is ready to sink 
into despair. So that is why He says " heavy laden," as if 
He had known our burdens, and wished to help us to 
bear them, nay, even relieve us of them entirely. 

And consider that God Almighty created and elected 
us, not to damnation, but to everlasting life, even as the 
angels in the first sermon proclaimed to the shepherds on 
the field : " Glory to God in the highest, and on earth 
peace, good will toward men ! " And it was inner, not 
bodily peace they meant. It was not from those who 
injured them, but from the world, the flesh, and the 


devil, they were to be delivered. Hence one can see 
from the Scriptures how great is God's mercy, and these 
and such like thoughts can enable him to form an opinion 
as to God's foreseeing, and then there is no occasion for 
a man to torture himself, nor would it avail even were he 
to worry his flesh from his bones. 

What business is it of yours that God causes the dear 
sun to shine over good and bad, over arid and green ? 
God has ordained that the sun should endue the moisture 
of the ground with its vital powers, thus causing the roots 
and branches of the trees to fructify and yield fruit. 
And if a dried-up tree should nevertheless remain im- 
pervious to the rays of the sun, still the tree is not so 
much at fault as the soil which is marshy. For " good 
ground, good corn," as the proverb says. Thus, where 
the preaching is good and full of consolation, there are 
sure to be tender consciences and joyful hearts. There- 
fore as you cannot hinder the natural sun, which is a tiny 
spark compared to the starry firmament, — the smallest star 
being larger than the whole world, — from spreading her 
rays abroad, still less can you limit God's grace, being 
fathomless, having neither beginning nor end. Dear 
one, do not reckon so close with God. Fancy if the 
Son of God had asked the high priests and Levites at 
the crucifixion if He should receive the malefactor into 
Heaven, what would they have said ? Doubtless the 
answer would have been : "If thieves and murderers 
desire to enter Heaven we do not object," and might have 
added, " If he belong to Paradise we should not have 
hung him upon a gallows, and it is as likely he will enver 
Heaven as that you are God." 

Thus speaks a scornful world and man's reason. 

How well Christ answered His disciples who asked, as 
John lay asleep on His bosom, " What shall this man do ? " 
" If 1 will that he tarry till I come, what is that to 
thee ? " as if to warn him not to fall. " Let every one 
sweep before his own door, and then we shall be saved ! " 
This would prevent much heart-burning as to what God 
in the eternal counsel of His will has decreed concerning 
those who should be saved or lost. He who will not 


accept a certainty for an uncertainty will at length come 
away empty-handed, besides being the object of ridicule. 
He who will not be counselled in time and despises God's 
Word will fall a prey to a raging devil as sure as God is 
God. If things went with us according to our thoughts, 
prompted by the flesh and the devil, we should all be 
given over to death, therefore we have the word of 
promise : " Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 
thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But 
go thou thy vv^ay till the end be ; for thou shalt rest, and 
stand in thy lot at the end of the days." 

If we persevere to the end we may console ourselves 
that devilish thoughts shall be expelled, and we may raise 
our hearts in faith to God, and be certain that we have 
received forgiveness of sins, and shall be, nay, are justified, 
according to Christ's promise, by faith of Jesus Christ, as 
St. Paul testifies in Gal. iii. 22. 

That is when we are cast down, and every path seems 
shut up to us, we shall once more stand erect in faith, 
resting on God's promises of Christ, or in Christ. Amen. 

Martin Luther, 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Invitation to Mary Mochim's marriage. 

July 31, 1528. 

Grace and peace ! We have betrothed Mary Mochim 
to Herr Georgio, and the marriage takes place on St. 
Lawrence's Day, As we think this is a good opportunity 
for you to visit us, we plead with you to come, when, if 
God will, we shall have a joyous wedding feast. As to 
the rest — pi"^y ^o Christ for us in whom your soul 
flourishes. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1116.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

Luther thanks him in his boy's name for toys. 

August 5, 1528. 

Grace and peace ! My Hanschen thanks you, dear 
Nicolas, for the beautiful toys, which he is very proud of. 


I purpose writing about the Turkish war. My little 
daughter Elizabeth has been taken away from me, leaving 
me almost in womanly sorrow, so deeply am I grieved. 

I never dreamt that a father's heart could have been so 
soft towards his children. 

Pray to God for me, and may you prosper in Him ! 


P.S. — As to the Freybergerin, the escaped nun, being 
carried away, I have my own thoughts, so let it rest. 

(VValch, V. 21. ij-zS.) 


To THE Elector John 

Request to appoint M. Stiefel as pastor in Lochau. 

September 3, 152S. 

To the Most Serene High-born Prince, Elector John. 
Grace and peace ! Most gracious lord ! M. Franciscus, 
the pastor in Lochau, has fallen asleep in God, and the 

people have asked to be appointed. But I have 

referred them to your Grace, as I have nothing to do 
with that. 

Now, 1 am most anxious to retain Michael Stiefel in 
the land, for he is pious and well acquainted with the 
Scriptures, and a good preacher. So, if it please your 
Highness, we all think he should meantime be settled in 
Lochau, till perhaps another turn up, for the good man is 
quite unhappy in case he is a burden to me (he is here 
just now, but I can scarcely prevent him leaving). I am 
most anxious to have pious learned people about us, for 
we lose so many such. 

Were he to become pastor in Lochau we would try 
to get him to help the poor widow with her two children, 
she being left in great poverty, perhaps by marrying her, 
but if not — God's will be done. I relate all this to your 
Electoral Highness and beg a favourable answer. But it 
occurs to me that you know M. Stiefel, who travelled with 
us to Weimar ; you presented him with five gulden. May 
Christ ever be with you ! Amen. Your Grace's obedient 
(Walch, V. 21. 260.) Martin Luther. 


Melanchthoii in Thilringia on the visitation. 

October 25, 1528. 

Grace and peace ! Philip is absent on the visitation, 
so we are deprived of his counsel in seeking a school- 

But I shall consult Milich and George Major to see if 
one can be sent at once, although I am told that Veit was 
with you before, whom meantime you could have again. 
Within eight days we shall tell you what we have 

I am just starting for Lochau to marry M. Stiefel to 
the widow of the Bishop of Lochau, and to introduce him 
to his new charge. One thing always seems to come upon 
the top of another. I could not keep the man (Merisch) 
with me, for he was far too modest, fancying he was a 
burden to me, so preferred living anyhow elsewhere, thus 
compelling me at length to let him go. He herewith 
sends you by me some letters inviting you to his marriage. 
I fear they are a little late, but dispose of them as quickly 
as possible. Farewell to your Hans Albert and the other 
branches of your vine. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1 124.) 


To George Spalatin 
Luther comforts him over calumnies caused by his marriage. 

October 29, 1528. 

You must not vex yourself over the outcry your 
marriage has caused, but rather rejoice ; for it is a con- 
dition which has God's approval, and is lauded by the 
angels, and held in honour of all saints. In addition it 
has this seal, that it is distinguished by the cross being 
vilified by devils and false brethren, to which every word 
and work of God are subjected. 


Therefore regard the priestly utterances as so many 
precious stones which blacken you in the world's eyes, 
but make you all-glorious in the eyes of a pure God, and 
comfort yourself that the world is not esteemed worthy 
to perceive the glory of such a work of God as you are 
permitted to see. Let the world with its princes indulge 
in their foolish, presumptuous judgments and blasphemies. 
The wicked must be rooted out, so as not to see the 
glory of God. I have no doubt the priests are hurrying 
you into Bethaven, but be that us it may, you have 
received the office of the visitation, and have a gracious 
Lord who will not suffer you to want the necessaries of 
life. May the Lord Jesus strengthen you by His Spirit 1 
Amen. Martin Luther. 



To Chancellor BrOck 

Petition for longer leave for Bugenhagen. 

No-v ember 1 1, 1528. 

Grace and peace ! Honoured and learned Herr 
Doctor ! A messenger has just arrived from the Town 
Council of Hamburg to ask permission from my gracious 
lord that Herr Johann Pommer may be allowed to 
remain longer there, as the enclosed documents testify. 
Although I had written to the good man not to worry 
as to overstaying his leave, if God's work required it 
(for our lord has no desire to hinder the Word of God, 
if Bugenhagen's presence can further it), but the good 
man had no peace till our gracious lord himself assured 
him of it. Therefore, pray procure a writing from my 
lord, asking him to return as soon as he can, without 
imperilling God's work through his haste, but empowering 
him to defer his return if necessary. Your Excellency 
will know how to manage it, and send it by this messenger. 
I commit you to God. Your Excellency's obedient 

Martin Luther. 

{Dc Wette.) 



To Michael Stiefel 

Luther rejoices in his friend's happiness. 

November 1528. 

Grace and peace ! I am delighted, dear Michael, that 
you are so pleased with your wife and her children, and 
that she loves you. May God maintain this unity ! Will 
you say to the overseer that it is impossible for me to 
come to his marriage, as I have not a free hour that day. 
I expected we would have been in Schweritz then, and 
could sacrifice half a day in his honour, but the business 
connected with the church visitation has increased so 
enormously that all our plans have been upset. So please 
apologise for me. Greet your Eve with the olive branches 
committed to your care. The evening I got your letter. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1341.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 
Luther sends letters to his friend, who is on the visitation. 

November -^o, 1528. 

Grace and peace ! I send you, as well as Lukas 
Cranach, letters which have lain long here. 

The Chancellor will tell you the rest. Say to Lukas 
that gloves and a black cap were sent with the other 
things from Augsburg. If any of the letters tell you for 
whom they are, let them write. For we have received 
all our things, but did not wish to open any of the letters. 

To-day I am again a prey to the tempter. Do pray 
in such times of sifting for me as I do for you, that my 
faith may not tail. We have paid all due honour to the 
Chancellor. Your family and ourselves are all well. 
My Kathie greets you respectfully, and longs for your 
return. May Christ be with you ! Amen. I trust all 
our folks who are with you may keep well. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21 . 1339) 



To Marc; AR ETTA N. 

Consolation on the death of her husband. 

Dece tuber 5, i 528. 

Grace and peace in Christ Jesus ! Honoured and 
virtuous lady ! Having heard from your son of the great 
trial with which you have been visited, viz. the death of 
your husband, I am moved out of Christian love to/ 
write this letter of consolation to you. ' 

P'irst, you must take comfort that in the hard conflict 
which beset your lord (Herr), the Lord Jesus at length 
gained the victory, and that your husband at last passed 
away full of trust and confidence in the Lord, which I 
was delighted to hear. 

For even thus did Christ Himself struggle in the 
garden and rise again from the dead. 

It is even possible that your husband inflicted an 
injury upon himself, for the devil has power over the 
members of the body, and may have forcibly guided his 
hand against his will. For if he had done it willingly, 
it is unlikely he would have come again to himself and 
turned to Christ with such ample confession of sin. 
How often does the devil break arm, neck, back, and 
all the limbs ^ He can gain the mastery over all the 
members, therefore be satisfied in God, and rank yourself 
among those of whom Christ says, " Blessed are they 
that mourn : for they shall be comforted ! " 

All the saints must sing Psalm xliv. : " For thy 
sake we are killed all the day long ; we are counted as 
sheep for the slaughter." There must be suffering and 
misfortune if we are to partake of the consolation. 

Therefore thank God for His great mercy in not 
suffering your husband to linger in conflict and despair, 
as is the case with so many, but he was by God's grace 
delivered and at length restored to the Christian faith, 
and numbered among those of whom it is said: "Blessed 
are they who die in the Lord." And " He that believeth 
on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." 


May God the Father comfort and strengthen you 
with such words in Christ Jesus ! Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(From Luther's Letters to fVomen.) 


In this year the Diet at Speyer was held, also the Conference 
at Marburg, between the German and Swiss divines, on the 
question of the Lord's Supper. Luther's Larger and Shorter 
Catechisms appeared simultaneously. 


To Nicolas von Amsdorf 

February \i, i 529. 

That you are pleased with my little book against 
Herzog George is a great pleasure to me. For all are 
down upon me, forgetting how he has treated me, and act 
towards him as if he were innocent. I shall not show 
them your letter, or they would class you with me. 
Henceforth I shall not answer the tyrant, as he asks me 
to let him alone in future. Much is being said here 
about Ferdinand's tyranny and extortion. Pray that God 
may strengthen me that I may not be left in Satan's hand. 
The Lord Jesus maintain and bless you ! Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

February 15, n;2 9. 

I am delighted that the church visitation has come to 
such a happy end among you. May other church matters 
soon be arranged. We sing the Litany both in Latin 
and German here. Perhaps a printed form may soon be 
issued. Then the days of humiliation, the ban, and the 
other liturgical arrangements connected with our con- 
gregations will follow. This is enough to begin with. 

I have been suffering from giddiness, not to mention 
what I endure from Satan's emissaries. Pray that God 


may strengthen me. I shall never again answer Herzog 

My sermon against the Turks would have been 
printed long ago had not the first printed sheets been 
lost through the servant's carelessness. My Kathie greets 
you, also Jonas and Philip. We fear Pommer will not 
return before Ascension. Christ be with you ! Amen. 

Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

Luther complains of temptations. 

March 3, 1 529. 

Grace and peace ! The Catechism is not ready, but it 
will soon be, my Hausmann, also the sermon against the 
Turks. But in spite of my soul being well, I am always 
ill, so dreadfully does Satan plague me by preventing me 
studying, for I must have society to hinder him attacking 
me in my solitude. Pray for me. Now that your Paul 
has been dismissed as Spalatin wrote, you must be 
thinking of a successor. If you have none in view, 
I think Cordatus would be the most suitable. He is an 
excellent and learned man, and a staunch confessor of his 
faith. Farewell, and pray for the impending Diet. 

Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas von Amsdorf 

Luther sends a letter inviting him to Holstein. 

March 21, 1529. 

Grace and peace ! From this letter you will see 
what the Herzog wishes regarding you. But as I do not 
think it would be Christian-like to tear you away from 
Magdeburg so soon, it would be better to serve him 

Show this document to Stein and Klotz in the Council, 
and let them see you may accept, which may bring them 


to reason, and cause them to do something for the schools. 
Do let them think you are in earnest. And if they plead 
with you to remain do not be too easily persuaded to do 
so. For I am still doubtful whether your departure 
would grieve them. You will know that Langefeld has 
been called away, and that Marcus Scharrte in Hesse 
is dead. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1 152.) 


To Nicolas von Amsdorf 

At Diet of Speyer the Elector and Princes protested against the 
Edict against the Lutherans, hence the word Protestant. 

March 29, 1 529. 

Grace and peace ! I am pleased that you proved 
Stein thus, and have found neither him nor others wanting. 
Now that I have a pretext I shall write, and earnestly 
exhort them to promote learning. Go on as you are 
doing, and help the good work as much as you can. I'he 
bridegroom Bruno has asked me to invite you to his 
wedding on Thursday. The bride (Gersa von Krosse) 
will come to my house on Tuesday, or rather to my 
wife's. So arm yourself, not with sword of steel, but 
with gold and silver,^ for you shall not escape without a 
present. No news from Speyer, but you hear everything. 
Farewell in Christ, Pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas Hausmann 
Cordaius, Hausmann's assistant, brought this letter. 

March 31, 1529. 
Herewith, behold the sharer in your ministerial cares 
and helper in your work, Herr Licentiate Cordatus, an 
estimable man. I hope he will help you, and do much 
good in your parish. Although ignorant people may not 
be satisfied at first they will appreciate his worth after- 

* Amsdorf w as rich . 


wards. May Christ comfort you in all your tribulations ! 
It is a miracle that we are not swallowed up of the devil 
in our impotence. I'hose who have eyes to see must 
behold in us one of God's greatest works, that we insigni- 
ficant creatures have been enabled to withstand so many 
powerful enemies and remain steadfast. Outwardly we 
are much harassed, and inwardly Satan takes up his abode 
among the children of God. But it is only a reigning 
Christ who can triumph over us weak ones, and will at 
length give us a glorious deliverance on the great day. 
God grant it. Christ will teach and confirm it out of 
Cordatus's mouth. Farewell, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas von Amsdorf 

A marriage case. 

May 4, 1529. 

This is what I should recommend. Do not believe this 
faithless bridegroom. I agree with you to send him back, 
either to prove that he has never promised (which he is 
trying to do), or to take the bride, or remain unmarried.! 
I have told him this. 

But if matters be as you say, then he must not marry 
for a punishment, unless he marries her. 

We know nothing definite as to the Reichstag. We 
daily expect Philip Melanchthon. I can scarcely lecture 
because of my cough. Yesterday and to-day I expounded 
Isaiah, but was very hoarse. Pray for us. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21.) 


To Wenzel Link 

Thanks for a gift, etc. 

May 6, 1529. 

Grace in Christ ! The watch, dear Wenzel, has 
arrived all right. But it is either weary with its journey 
or not accustomed to its new owner, for it has stopped. 


However, with time, it appears inclined to run. I thank 
you warmly for it, but, being a poor man, can make no 
return. For the books which came out lately you must 
already have, and they are of such a nature that they 
cannot be called gifts. They are only old things brought 
out afresh. 

God has given me a little daughter Magdalena, and 
the mother is very well. 

The Diet is at an end, and almost without result, 
except that the persecutors of Christ, the tyrants of souls, 
could not vent their fury on us as they desired, and we 
could expect no more from God. 

There is talk of a Council, but it will be fruitless. 
There is a Venetian here just now, and he says that in the 
last French war against the Pope there were eight hundred 
Turks, of whom three hundred were uninjured, and being 
tired of the war returned home, I thought you did not 
know these dreadful things, as you took no notice of 
them. Soon midnight will come, when the cry will be 
heard, " Behold, the Bridegroom cometh ; go ye out to 
meet Him." Pray for me. Greet our friends. 

Martin Luther. 


To THE Elector John 
Luther begs the Elector to recall Bugenhagen from Hamburg. 

Mqy 12, 1529. 

Grace and peace ! Serene High-born Prince. Herr 
John Pommer has written from Hamburg that he has 
arranged to return, but the people are holding him so fast 
that he cannot get away, and he says they intend writing 
your Grace to let him remain always. I have written 
him to resist such action, and hope they will not thus 
requite our goodness in lending him to them. So he now 
writes, begging that your Electoral Grace would write 
demanding his presence in Wittenberg, to prove his 
hurrying home is not his own wish. Therefore we 
humbly request your Grace would furnish us with such a 


document to forward, with those from the University, 
ordering his return, for the classes have lain long enough 
waste, especially as, God be praised, students are daily 
arriving, principally from Saxony, so Bugenhagen cannot 
be longer spared. Your Grace will know how to act in the 
matter. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 276.) 


To Wenzel Link 

May 25, 1529. 

I commend to you this Scotchman, my Wenzel, who 
has been banished from his fatherland because of the 
gospel. He begged me to write you, hoping he might 
get some assistance. He seems of good family, and well 
grounded in scholastic theology. 

Could he speak German we could find plenty for him 
to do, and, despite our poverty, have kept him with us, 
but he has reasons for wishing to try his fortune elsewhere. 

In Philip's absence, and during my illness, I translated 
the book of Wisdom (Proverbs), which Philip had taken 
in hand. It is in the press. That which Leo Judais of 
Zurich has translated is miserable in the extreme.^ Fare- 
well, and pray for me. Martin Luther. 



To Jacob Montanus, Preacher in Herford 

About Erasmus of Rotterdam. 

May 28, 1529. 

Grace and peace ! I am well aware, my Jacob, of all 
you tell me of Erasmus, who rages against us. 

I gathered as much from his writings, for in them he 
displays the soreness of the wound he has received. But 
I despise him, and do not consider the creature worthy of 
any other reply, and should I write shall only refer to 
Erasmus in the third person, and doing this more to con- 
demn his opinions than to refute them, for he is a thought- 

' Perhaps under Zwingli's supervision. 


less " Indifrerentist," who ridicules all religion in his Lucian 

fashion, and is only in earnest when he wishes to gratify 

his revenge. We are all well here, thanks to your prayers. 

Thanks for the present — a proof of your good feeling. 

I shall send you my latest works. Farewell in Christ, 

and continue praying for me. Martin Luther. 



To Landgrave Philip of Hesse 

Luther agrees to a Conference with CEcolampadius and 

June 23, 1529. 

Grace and peace ! Serene Prince, Most Gracious Lord ! 
I have received your Grace's invitation to Marburg to the 
disputation with CEcolampadius and the other Swiss 
divines, to see if we cannot see eye to eye regarding the 
sacrament. Although I have little hope of this, still your 
Grace's anxiety for unity and peace is most laudable, and I 
am willing to co-operate in such vain and for us perhaps 
dangerous efforts, for the other party must not have the 
glory of outstripping me (if God will) in the desire for 
unity. I beseech you to learn if they feel inclined to 
yield their opinions, to prevent the evil becoming worse. 
It seems as if they were trying, through your Grace's zeal, 
afterwards to boast that they had moved great princes to 
interfere to prove that they wished peace while we were 
its enemies. 

God grant I am no prophet, but if they were really in 
earnest they do not need such mighty princes to represent 
them ; for, God be praised, we are not such worthless 

They might have written us long ago, saying how they 
wished peace, or could still do so, for I cannot yield to 
them, being convinced our cause is right and theirs wrong. 
Therefore pray consider whether this Marburg conference 
will do good or harm ; for if they do not yield we shall 
part without fruit, and our meeting, as well as your 
Grace's outlay and trouble, have been in vain. And then 
they will boast, and load us with reproach, as is their wont. 


so things would be worse than ever. Regarding your 
Grace's tears that bloodshed would ensue from such discord, 
you know that whatever happens we are innocent, and 
God will bring our innocence to the light of day. If this 
spirit of union should result in bloodshed, such action is in 
accordance with its nature, as was seen in Franz von 
Sickingen, Carlstadt, and Munzer ; and there, too, we were 
blameless. I write all this to prove how ready I am to 
serve you. May Christ tread Satan under our feet ! 
Amen. Your Grace's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Conrad Cordatus 
Luther says the gospel messenger must suffer persecution. 

July 14, 1529. 

Grace and peace ! Be strong in Christ, my Cordatus, 
in order to put up with those ungrateful people in 
Zwickau. Do not think of changing your post. This is 
a more testing temptation than any you have had. The 
world is the enemy of God and His Word. It is there- 
fore a miracle if among God's enemies any are friendly to 
His children. The world loves its own, so we may know 
that we are not of this world when she hates and despises 
us. Hence you have merely to put up with an incarnate 
devil, who, through the flesh, his sluggish tool, harasses 
and enervates you, but cannot, much as he wishes, injure 
you. But resist him with all your might. Therefore you 
act in a brotherly way in comforting me so lovingly and 
wishing me all good. Continue so to do and pray, as I 
do for you, that we may be set free, and till that day 
comes, bring forth fruit in patience. God grant this ! 
Greet your beloved other half in the Lord. 

Martin Luther. 





To Nicolas Amsdorf 

I.uther hears that Amsdorf is not satisfied with his post. 

August I, I 5:9. 

Grace and peace ! Although you have not complained 
to me, my Amsdorf, I hear how little you have benefited 
from the promotion you have received from the Prince. 
But be steadfast. The Lord will make an end of the 
trouble. The Court is the devil's seat. If things do not 
improve I shall support you by word and deed, so that vou 
may leave Zwickau, and shake its dust from off vour feet 
— vou and Cordatus also. 

I shidl consider Paul's af^'airs ; meantime put up with 
all, showing vourselves men among those troublesome 
people. You did not leave Cellarius's notes on Isaiah 
here. I searched evervwhere, and found nothing. Perhaps 
he will pass your way and visit you. Pray to Christ for 
me, a poor sinner. K-:ithie sends friendly greeting. 

Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

On the death of Alelanchthon's son. 

August 17, 15:9. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Dear Jonas — Last Sabbath 
God the Lord took away from our Philip one of his 
children, called George ; so you can imagine how much 
we have to do in trying to comfort this tender-hearted 
and emotional man. He is grieving too much over the 
loss, not being used to such trials. Pray that the Lord 
may comfort him, and then, in your best rhetoric, write 
him a letter of consolation. You know how important it 
is for us that he should be spared in health. We are all 
sick and sad in his sickness and sadness. I can think of 
nothing but him, except the most intimate concerns of 
my daily life. 


But the God of the humble and afflicted will not allow 
him to be vanquished, although he is still very weak. 

I shall write of other things when the grief is a little 

Farewell in the Lord, and greet your fellow-bishops 
respectfully in the Lord. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Elector John of Saxony 

Luther sends thanks for present of garments. 

August 17, 1529. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Most Serene High-born 
Prince, Most Gracious Lord ! I have delayed long in 
returning thanks for the garments your Grace has so 
kindly sent me. 

But I humbly beg you not to believe people who try 
to make your Electoral Grace think I am in want. I 
have, alas, more than I can reconcile it with my con- 
science, especially from your Electoral Highness, to accept. 
And as a preacher it is not seemly for me to have superfluity. 
Therefore I sometimes tremble because of your Grace's 
generosity towards me, in case 1 may be found in this life 
among those to whom Christ says, " Woe to you rich : for 
you have your reward here." 

But to use common language, I have no desire to be 
burdensome to your Grace, for you have so much to give 
away that I know you have little over, and the purse may 
be rent asunder if so many demands be made upon it. 

It was superfluous sending the leather-coloured cloth, 
but I feel much indebted to your Grace for it, and I 
shall wear the black coat in honour of your munificence, 
although too costly for me ; and were it not your Grace's 
gift I would never appear in such a garment. Therefore, 
I beseech your Grace to wait till I myself complain and 
beg, so that your kindness may not make me shy of asking 
favours for others who are much more worthy of your 

For your Grace loads me with too many benefits. 


Christ will graciously reimburse you for all this. I pray 
for this with my whole heart. Amen. Your Grace's 
humble servant, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To John Brenz, in Schwabian Halle 

Luther praises his exposition of Amos, etc. 

August 29, 1529. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I perused your Amos, 
my esteemed and learned Brentius. Far be it from me to 
suggest any alterations, for I cannot set up as a master in 
the divine writings. 

I only wish to be a learner in that school. The friend 
to whom you entrusted its publication intentionally delayed 
it, fearing attacks from the printers. But it shall be 
printed, if he'll listen to me. 

Concerning the Hesse Conference, of which you write, 
and to which you are summoned, you are right. Nothing 
good is likely to ensue from such a hole-and-corner coming- 
together of the Churches of God. Therefore I beg of 
you not to appear, and, if you have not promised to go, 
remain away. At first we absolutely refused, but as this 
young Hessian Alexander so worried our Princes, we had 
to promise, but persisted it would result in no good, and 
only make matters worse. But he stuck to his point, so 
we yielded ; if he would also invite some talented Papists, 
who could bear witness against these boasters and remark- 
able saints who are to be there ! Although I long to see 
you, I shall rather forgo the pleasure than enjoy it to the 
detriment of the cause. May Christ build you up to His 
own glory ! Amen. Pray for me, a sinner. 

Martin Luther. 



To HIS Wife 

In September Zwingli, with the Greek professor in Zurich, 
started for Marburg, Bilcer, Hedio, CEcolampadius, etc., joining 


them in Strassburg. On September 30, Luther, Melanchthon, 
Jonas, Cruciger and Myconius, Osiander, Brenz, etc., also came. 

October 4, 1529. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Dear Kathie — Our 
friendly conference at Marburg is almost ended, and we 
have agreed upon nearly all points, except that our 
opponents maintain that only the bread and wine are 
present in the sacrament, although admitting Christ's 
spiritual presence in the elements. To-day the Landgrave 
is making every effort to unite us, or at least to make us 
consider each other brethren and members of Christ's 
body. He is doing his best to accomplish this. But 
although we object to be brethren, we wish to live at 
peace and on good terms. I fancy we shall set out 
to-morrow or next day, and go to your gracious lord in 
Vogtland, whither His Electoral Grace has summoned us. 

Say to Herr Pommer that Zwingli's argument was the 
best : " Corpus non potest esse sine loco, ergo Christi 
corpus non est in pane " ; that of Qicolampadius was : 
*' Sacramentum est signum corporis Christi." 

I consider God has blinded them, that they cannot 
achieve anything good. I have much to do, and the 
messenger waits. Good -night to all, and pray for us. 
We are all well and lively, and living like princes. Kiss 
Lenchen and Hanschen for me. Your obedient servant, 

Martin Luther. 

P.S. — They are all quite excited over the sweating 
sickness.^ Fifty were seized yesterday, of whom two 
have died. 

(De Wette.) 


To John Lange 

October 2S, 1529. 

Grace in Christ ! I commend Magister Wolfgang to 
your love, my Lange, so that if possible you may help 
him to a situation. He is a good man, and well up in the 
sciences, and thoroughly grounded in our faith, so is well 

* English sickness. 


fitted to be pastor, secretary, or teacher. You know how 
the Turks destroyed Vienna, and then fled In their despair 
from Germany, which we regarded as a miracle of God. 

Only we dear Germans slumber on. Farewell in 
Christ, and give your little son, as well as his mother, 
many kisses as a greeting. Martin Luther. 

To Frederick Myconius, at Gotha 

Luther wishes to hear of John Hilten in Eisenach. 

No-v ember 7, 1529. 

Grace and peace ! Your letters, my Frederick, were 
most welcome, being full of brotherly love, and also a 
proof of your kindness in finding out what I wished. 

I expect your promised letter shortly. You will 
already know all about the Turks. God fought for us, 
driving them away through a marvellous fright. We must 
beg God to be our wall, and send His angels to help us. 
We cannot sufficiently laud your faith, in praying against 
the Turks and the gates of hell, with your congregation. 
God hear you in our day of trouble ; even as the angel 
could not destroy Sodom because of one Lot, so may it 
be with us on account of the many pious people here. 
Amen. There is nothing new here. Philip is from home, 
or he would have written. He and Amsdorf are honour- 
ing the marriage of Herr Trutleben in Freyberg with 
their presence. Many greetings from my Kathie, the 
head of the house. Greet your wife, who may be your 
lord as well, and our hostess, and Basilius, and your 
justiciary, and may you prosper greatly in Christ ! 

Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

About the Turkish war, etc. 

NoTjemher 10, 1529. 

Grace and peace ! Be strong in the Lord, my dear 
Nicolas, and do not be afraid of the Turks. Christ lives, 


and the Prophet Daniel (which Philip and Jonas are at 
present publishing), so we hope he will not be able to 
subdue Germany, although he is punishing us for our 
neglect of the gospel. For it is really a miracle that the 
Turk has vanished from his camp, leading people to believe 
that the day of judgment is at hand, when Gog the I'urk 
and Magog the Pope, the political- -and the spiritual 
opponents of_ C hrist^ will both be overthrown. I wish 
you much happiness on being ridiculed as a pietist, and 
that you are deemed worthy of Satan's hatred, who can 
only injure you by stirring up poisonous tongues against 
you. Laugh at his impotence, for you cannot wound him 
more than by being invulnerable to his sting. I wish the 
bride Christina joy, and when looking for a wife I trust 
you will be as fortunate ; but if you have no desire, and ' 
can do without one, you will be far happier, and I shall 
wish you joy all the same. Not that I would malign 
matrimony — that God-appointed institution — but because 
you are free from manifold troubles and household cares ; 
to this I wish you joy. May Christ teach you and keep 
you well, and cause you to pray for me ! Farewell in 
Him. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1374.) 


To THE Elector John 

Request to have Emser's New Testament suppressed. 

Rostock became Evangelical in 1527 through the earnest 
preaching of Sliiter, the Rostock reformer, who was poisoned 
in 1532. 

No'v ember 23, 1529. 

To the Serene High-born Prince, the Elector John of 
Saxony. Grace and peace in Christ ! Some prominent 
citizens of Lubeck have written informing us that some 
Lollards have caused Emser's New Testament to be printed 
in Rostock, in Saxon, through which they fear much 
mischief may be done, and have begged me to request 
your Grace to petition the Herzog of Mecklenburg- 
Schwerin, for God's honour and the good of souls, to 
forbid its publication. 


For although I have nothing against the Emser Testa- 
ment, whose contents the rascals have wickedly stolen 
from me (for it is precisely my text, with a few harmless 
alterations), yet since he has reissued it, so scandalously 
mangled with his annotations, and accompanied by a 
glossary which prevents it bearing any fruit, but rather 
does harm, I beseech your Electoral Grace graciously to 
present this petition to the highly esteemed Herzog 
Heinrich, and let us have the answer by the messenger 
who brings this, for as much as in us lies we must defend 
ourselves against the devil. May Christ our Lord be 
with your Grace to all eternity ! Amen. Your Electoral 
Highness's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Dorothea Mackenrod, Luther's Sister 

Luther promises a gospel sermon. 

Decetnber 2, 1529. 

Dear Sister — I see from your letter to me how 
earnestly your heavily laden conscience longs for an Evan- 
gelical sermon of consolation, and, if possible, in your 
own church in Rossla. 

I am delighted to hear this, and have made up my 
mind, in God, to come to you on the approaching Christ- 
mas Eve, and to preach, with God's help, the first gospel 
sermon at Rossla and upper Rossla as a memorial. Greet 
your husband and the little Margaretta, to whom I shall 
bring something with me. I commit you to God. 

Martin Luther. 


(Date doubtful, as it is improbable no 
gospel sermon had been preached 
there so late as 1529.) 


To Friedrich, Abbot in Ncrnberg 

December 29, 1529. 

To the much honoured in Christ, Herr Friedrich, 
superintendent in St. CEgidius, Nornberg, mv superior 
in the Lord. 


Grace and peace in Christ ! I have nothing, and yet 
a very great deal to write to you, my honoured friend in 
Christ. Concerning myself I have nothing, except to 
commend myself to your sacred prayers, but in regard to 
the bridegroom, your fellow-citizen, that most excellent 
young man, Conrad Mauser, I have a great deal. 
Doubtless your large heart will know that were I to write 
a letter at all commensurate with the greatness of this 
burning love which has been kindled in the bridegroom's 
heart, perhaps the whole world could not contain it. But 
I am only joking in order to gain your sympathy for 
Mauser's marriage. For he desires through you to gain 
his parents' consent to his happy union. 

This will certainly be accomplished if you can make 
the father see that his son has really chosen a pretty and, 
what is even better, a capable and virtuous maiden, and 
I would add Christian, if the value of the term had not 
sunk in the estimation of the people through its indis- 
criminate use, although it is not so with us. 

And the bride's father is not nearly so badly off as 
the most of the burghers are here, but is a member of the 
Town Council and well-to-do — in short, a most honour- 
able man, who looks well to the ways of his household, 
and has a most industrious wife, who is universally loved 
because of her amiability. 

You will have the goodness to bring all this to the 
knowledge of Mauser's father when you have the oppor- 
tunity, so that he may not grieve his son, but cause him 
to rejoice through his consent, without which he will not 

It is much to be desired that the father, to show his 
approval, should appear at the wedding. And we are 
most anxious to have your presence also, but we fear to 
present an impossible request to you. May the kindness 
of your heart prompt you to do what is right in your 
eyes, and may you prosper in Christ ! Amen. 

Martin Luther. 




Diet of Augsburg held. The Elector started for Augsburg, 
April 3, with a brilliant retinue. Luther was left at Coburg. 
Charles V. made his grand entry into Augsburg, June 15. The 
Augsburg Confession read on June 25, and the Roman Catholic 
Confutation of the same was presented August 3. Melanchthon 
prepared the "Apology" of the Augsburg Confession, a noble 
and learned document, which the Emperor refused to receive till 
many alterations were made upon it. 


To HIS Sick Father, Hans Luther 

February i6, 1530. 

To my dear father, Hans Luther, burgher of 
Mansfeld. Grace and peace ! My brother Jacob has 
written saying how ill you are. I am very anxious 
about you, as things seem so black everywhere just 
now. For although God has hitherto blessed you with 
good health, still your advanced age fills me with concern. 
1 would have come to you had I not been dissuaded from 
tempting God by running into temptation, for you know 
how interested both lords and all are in my welfare. It 
would be a great joy to us if my mother and you would 
come here. My Kathie and all ask this with tears ; and 
we would nurse you tenderly. I have sent Cyriac to see 
if you are able. For I should like to be near you, and, 
in obedience to the Fifth Commandment, cherish you 
with child-like kindness to show my gratitude to God and 
you. Meantime I pray God to keep you through His 
Spirit, so that you may discern the teaching of His Son, 
who has called you out of the blackness of error to 
preserve you to Christ's joyous appearing. For He has 
set this seal to your faith, that He has brought much 
shame, contempt, and enmity upon you for my sake. 

For, these are the true signs of our likeness to Christ, 
for as St. Paul says, " If we suffer, we shall also reign 
with Him," So remember in your weakness that we 
have an Advocate with the Father who died to take away 


our sins, and now sits with the angels, waiting for us, so that 
when our hour comes to leave the world we need not fear 
being lost, His power over death and sin being so complete. 

He who cannot lie has said, " Ask, and ye shall 
receive." And the Psalms are full of such precious 
promises, especially the 91st., which is so suited for sick 
people. I write thus because of your illness, and as we 
do not know the hour ... so that I may be a partaker 
of your faith, conflict, and consolation, and gratitude to 
God for His Holy Word, which He has so abundantly 
bestowed on us at this time. If it be His Divine Will not 
to transplant you at once to that better life, but let you 
remain a little longer with us for the help of others, then 
He will give you grace to accept your lot in an obedient 

For this life is truly a vale of tears, where the longer' 
one remains the more wickedness and misery one sees ; and 
this never ceases till the hour of our departure sounds and 
we fall asleep in Jesus, till He comes and gives us a joyful 
awaking. Amen ! I herewith commit you to Him who 
loves you better than you do yourself, having paid the 
penalty of your sins with His blood, so that you need have 
no anxiety. Leave Him to see to everything. He will 
do all well, and has already done so in a far higher degree 
than we can imagine. 

May this dear Saviour be with you, and we shall 
shortly meet again with Christ, as the departure from this 
world is a much smaller thing with God than if I said 
farewell to you in Mansfeld to come here, or if you bade 
adieu to me in Wittenberg to return to Mansfeld. It is 
only a case of one short hour's sleep, and then all will be 

I hope your pastors render you faithful service in such 
matters, so that my chatter may not be needed, but I 
could not refrain from apologising for my bodily absence, 
which is a great trial to me. My Kathie, Hanschen, 
Lenchen, Muhme Lene, all salute you and pray for you. 
Give my love to my dear mother and all the relations. 
Your dear son, Martin Luther. 




To Nicolas Hausmann 
Luther speaks of his Biblical work, etc. 

February 25, 1530. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Your last letter, dear 
Hausmann, was a great pleasure to me because of that 
noble simplicity of spirit which characterises all you write, 
as well as being an expression of your hearty good-will 
towards myself. Please draw out once more a list of 
what your church requires. For it must always be before 
me, as I cannot burden my memory with it, so that when 
I have leisure and the opportunity I might fulfil your 
desires. My mind being so occupied with my daily 
concerns, it is forgotten, and time passes without your 
wishes being attended to. 

We are busy with the publication of Daniel, as a 
consolation in those latter days. We have also under- 
taken Jeremiah and the rest of the prophets. 

We shall offer the New Testament for sale at the 
approaching Fair {Messe) in Frankfort, and in such a 
way as to create fresh alarm among the Papists. 

For we have written a long preface to the Apocalypse, 
and furnished it with notes. 

Continue to pray for us. My Kathie sends friendly 
greetings. Martin Luther. 

(Schatze, from Aurifaber's unprinted collection.) 

To THE Honourable Adam Adamus 

March 5, 1530. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I am delighted with 
your zeal as to the true teaching of the sacrament, and 
read your treatise. Perhaps your ideas on . . . are a 
little sharp, but what of that when nothing will convince 
them ? When I have time I shall write on the 6th chapter 
of John ; and is it strange if I sometimes write vehemently.'' 


Were you in my place, perhaps you would be more violent. 
Every man is differently constituted, hence the impres- 
sions which outward things make on him vary. There 
has been no discussion among you, so you only see things 
from afar, but " opportunity makes the man," as the 
proverb says. 

That our Marburg Conference should have ofi^ended 
many is no wonder, for the other party would not let 
themselves be instructed. 

The Zwinglians have been convicted of so many 
errors, even according to their own showing, that it is 
provoking one article should have prevented them 
agreeing with us. But can we force the vanquished to 
a confession ? For Christ, in spite of having often con- 
victed the Pharisees and Sadducees of sin, could never 
get them to confess their faults. Your best plan is not 
to listen to such people, who always look for off'ences, 
while they studiously avoid having an open eye for what 
is good, and from which they might profit. I dislike 
coming in contact with such people, who always find 
something to calumniate. 

I commit you to God ; pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 

P.S. — I have written to the Prince of Liegnitz, but 
have little hope of arranging anything through letters. 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

This letter accompanied Amsdorf 's defence of Luther against 

March 12, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! I return your notes on Erasmus, as 
you request. I was struck by your remark that Erasmus 
had long ago declared before Luther that faith without 
good works justified a man, but that he said later, this 
was how he understood the Mosaic law. If Erasmus really 
said this I know not, but I know you were always very 
sure of what you asserted, that you might not play into 


the hands of our enemies. Now be brave, for Agramus 
is writing in defence of Erasmus. But likely it may end 
as Eck's defence of the Pope did. If the fools kept 
silence it would be better for Erasmus, but God sends 
him such champions in His wrath. If spared I shall comb 
their locks for them in a way they will feel. I have still 
weapons in my armoury which they have not. May you 
prosper in the Lord Jesus, who lives not only during 
Erasmus's life, but to all eternity ! Amen. 

Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

Regarding the coming Diet. 

March 14, 1530. 

All hail! The Elector has written to you, Pomeranus, 
Philip, and me, to leave everything and arrange by next 
Sunday all that is needful for the Imperial Diet. 

For the Emperor Charles will, according to his 
proclamation, be at Augsburg himself to try to come to 
an amicable settlement. Therefore to-day and to- 
morrow we three shall work as hard as we can in your 
absence (on the visitation). 

Nevertheless enough will remain for you to do to 
justify you in leaving your college work and joining us 
to-morrow. For we must hurry. God grant that all 
may redound to His glory ! Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. 795.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

The theologians tried to prevent the Elector going to 
Augsburg, but he said, "I too shall confess my Lord Christ 

along with you." 

April 2, 1530. 

Leonhardt has brought me the book you have 
written. I shall discuss it with my friends, for I admit 
that were Christ's history and deeds to be reproduced 
before the children in a dramatic form it might interest 


the young and win their love. I accompany the Prince 
to Coburg with Phihp and Jonas till we know the course 
of events at Augsburg. 

Meantime, you with your congregation must pray 
earnestly for this Diet, also for me. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. 1792.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

April 18, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! Cordatus will have told you that 
we are still in Coburg, and do not know when we may 
go further. For we heard yesterday that the Emperor 
keeps Easter at Mantua, and that the Papists are trying 
to prevent the Reichstag, fearing what might be decreed 
against them there. 

And the Pope is angry at the Emperor, who wishes to 
hear both sides, interfering in spiritual matters. 

His Holiness intended him only to be his executioner 
against the heretics, and restore his authority. For the 
Papists' sole wish is that we should be condemned and 
they reinstalled in their former position ; and thus they 
shall perish ! The Prince has ordered me to remain at 
Coburg, while the others go to the Diet. Florence has 
neither been taken nor reconciled to the Pope, a grief to 
His Holiness ; for those inside declared for the Emperor 
therefore those outside would not proceed against them, 
but raised the blockade. You see what our prayers can 

The Turk promises peace next year, but threatens to 
return to Germany, and even bring Tartars with him. 
But God's Word and our prayers shall fight against them. 
Farewell, and pray for me. Martin Luther. 


Fragment of Letter to Wenzel Link 

April 22, 1530. 

So far we are sitting quietly in Coburg, knowing 
nothing certain about the Reichstag or the Emperor's 


You will perhaps have more reliable news than we 
have. Although my good friends may follow the Elector 
to Augsburg, he is determined that I shall remain. You 
will meet Philip, Jonas, Eisleben,^ and Spalatin there, and 
learn from them if the Diet still goes on. 

Martin Luther. 



To Philip Melanchthon 

April 22, 1530. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! We have at last reached 
our Sinai, my dear Herr Philip, but out of this Sinai we 
shall make a Zion and build three tabernacles : one to 
the Psalter, one to the Prophets, and one to j^sop. But 
time is needed for this. This is a most agreeable spot, 
most suitable for study, only I miss you greatly. 

I get quite excited when I think of the Turks and 
Mahomed, and of the diabolic fury which they vent on 
our bodies and souls. But at such times I shall pray 
fervently till He who dwells in Heaven shall hear my 
petition. I see you are much distressed at the sight of 
those cowled monks who seem quite at home. But it is 
our fate to be spectators of the fierce onslaughts of these 
two realms and remain steadfast ; and this onslaught is a 
sign and harbinger of our redemption. I pray that you 
may have refreshing sleep, and keep your soul free from 
care and from the fiery darts of the Evil One. Amen. I 
write this to while away my idle time, as my box with 
papers, etc., has not arrived. I have not seen the castle 
steward yet. 

Meanwhile I want for nothing necessary to a solitary 
being. The great building which projects from the 
castle has been placed entirely at my disposal, and the 
keys of all the rooms have been put into my hands. 
There are over thirty men in the castle, among whom 
are twelve watchmen and two warders for the towers. 
But why write all this .'' only I have nothing else to write. 
Greet Dr. Caspar Cruciger and Magister Spalatin from me. 

' Agricola. 


I shall greet Eisleben and Adler through Dr. Jonas. 
From the region of the birds. Martin Luther. 

(VValch, V. :6. 2827.) 


To Justus Jonas 

Luther writes about the birds which enliven his solitude, 
although Veit Dietrich and his nephew were with him. 

April 22, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! At last we are sitting here up 
amongst the clouds, in the kingdom of the birds, whose 
harsh tones, all screaming together, produce a very Babel, 
the daws or ravens having taken up their quarters before 
our eyes, forming a forest in front of us. 

I can assure you there was a shrieking. It goes on from 
four in the morning far into tlie night, so that I believe there 
is no other place where so many birds gather as here. 

And not one is silent for a moment, old and young, 
mothers with daughters, singing a song of praise. 

Perhaps they sing thus sweetly to lull us to sleep, which 
God grant we may enjoy to-night. The daw is to my 
mind a most useful bird. I fancy they signify a whole 
army of sophists, etc., who have assembled from the ends 
of the earth so that I may profit by their wisdom, enjoy 
their delicious song, and rejoice in their useful services in 
both the secular and spiritual realm. At present the 
nightingale is not to be heard, although its forerunner 
and imitator, the cuckoo, is raising its exquisite voice. 

I am scarce of news, but rather send a jocular letter 
than none, especially as the daws fill heaven and earth with 
their melody. The Lord be with you ! Let us pray for 
each other, for we need it urgently. Greet all friends. 
Farewell, from the kingdom of the daws. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. 2126.) 

To HIS Wife and Household 

April 28, 1530. 

Grace and peace, my dear Kathie, sirs, and friends ! 


I have received all your letters telling me how you get 
along. I must now inform you that I, Magister Veit, and 
Cyriac are not to be at the Diet, although we have one 
here. For there is a thicket just under our window like 
a small forest, where the daws and crows hold their diet, 
and such a running to and fro, and screaming night and 
day, that I often wonder they are not hoarse. 

As yet I have not seen their emperor, but the courtiers 
are always prancing about dressed simply in black, with 
grey eyes, and all sing the same melody. They pay no 
heed to castle or hall ; for their salon is vaulted by the 
beautiful canopy of heaven, while their feet rest on the 
broad fields with their green carpet and trees, the walls of 
their house reaching to the ends of the earth. They are 
independent of horses and carriages, for they have feathered 
wheels by which they escape the sportsmen's bullets. I 
fancy they have come together to have a mighty onslaught 
on corn, barley, wheat, etc. Many a knight will win his 
laurels here. 

So here we sit, watching the gay life of song led by 
princes, etc., preparatory to a vigorous attack on the 

I always fancy it is the Sophists and Papists I see before 
me, so that I may hear their lovely voices and their 
sermons, and see for myself what a useful kind of people 
these are who consume all the fruits of the earth, and then 
strut about in their grand clothing to while away the time. 

To-day we heard the first nightingale. The weather 
has been splendid. I commit you to God ; see well to 
the house. From the Diet of malt Turks. 

Martin Luther. 

To Wenzel Link 

Luther writes about his work. 

M^y 8, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! You accuse me, dear Wenzel, of 
silence, even of indifference, and blame me, although you 


have had four living epistles from me, besides the letter 
about John Ernest. So I have good cause for putting 
you in the wrong, for volumes would not answer my four 
epistles. Otherwise I have complete repose and enjoy 
every luxury here, and have begun translating the re- 
maining Prophets, having finished Jeremiah. Perhaps I 
shall issue some Psalms with an exposition so as not to 
be idle. 

I also propose translating ALsop's Fables for the 
German children. So I now see How~tonll up the time, 
although I should prefer being with you. But I am 
pleased with what God wills. Certainly, I would have 
been more useful at home, through teaching and counsel, 
but I dared not withstand the call. 

There is nothing new at Wittenberg except that Dr. 
Pommer writes that the Lilbeck and Ltlneberg people 
are embracing the gospel, and that the preaching there is 
most earnest and faithful. God be praised ! 

I fear God may pour out the phials of His wrath on 
North Germany, as I hear of nothing but murders and 
contempt of God and His Word. Pray for me, as I do 
for you. For the Turk is not arming himself for nothing. 

From the diet of the daws, which is being held 
here. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. 2829.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther complains of headache, probably from overwork. 

May 12, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! Dear Herr Philip — On May 8 
I began to answer your letter from NQrnberg, but was 
prevented finishing it. 

I have sent my admonition to the clergy to Witten- 

Besides, I have translated the two chapters in Ezekiel, 
concerning Gog, with a preface. I then began translating 
the Prophets, intending to have them finished by Ascen- 
sion, along with iEsop, and would have managed it, so 



smoothly did the work proceed, when, alas, suddenly the 
outward man collapsed, unable to sustain the fervour of 
the inner renewed man. 

I felt a loud buzzing and roaring, like thunder, in my 
head, and had I not stopped at once I would have fainted, 
and was useless for two days. 

The machine will do no more, my head having 
dwindled into a short chapter, which by degrees will 
shrink into a tiny paragraph, and then into a single 

This is why I sit in idleness, but the noise in my head 
is subsiding through medicine. This accounts for the 
delay. The day your NUrnberg letter came I had a 
Satanic embassy with me, and, to make matters worse, I 
vi^as quite alone, neither Veit nor Cyriac being here, so 
Satan remained so far master of the field, compelling me 
to seek society. 

I impatiently await the time when I shall behold the 
almost sublime majesty of this spirit. 

So much for our own little concerns, while weighty 
events are taking place. 

You say that Eck along with are beginning a 

conflict. What are they about in the Reichstag .'' The 
coarse asses palaver about important affairs in our churches. 
We hope their downfall shall be hastened thereby. 

Magister Joachim has sent me dried figs and raisins, 
and writes me in Greek ! When better I shall reply in 
Turkish, to let him have something to read which he 
cannot understand. Why should he write to me in Greek ? 
Shall write more again in case of tasking my head now. 
Let us pray for each other. 

I must write to the Electoral Prince about the Land- 
grave, as you advise, and also to the Elector. The Lord 
be with you. 

Take care of your health, and do not injure your 
head, as I have done. I shall request our friends to 
try to prevent you overstepping the limitations which 
your health demands ; spare yourself, so that you may 
not be a self-murderer, and then declare that God 
willed it so. 


One can serve God in repose, and there is no better 
way of serving Him. This is why He insists on the 
Sabbath being strictly kept. Now do not throw this 
counsel to the winds. It is God's Word I write you. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. 2830.) 


To THE Elector John the Steadfast of Saxony 

Concerning Evangelical preaching in Augsburg. It was here 
the Elector won the name of " Steadfast " through refusing to 
allow Evangelical preaching to be suppressed. 

Maj 15, 1530. 

Most Serene High-born Prince ! I have read Philip's 
Apology, with which I am delighted, and do not think 
it can be improved, or require any alteration ; and it 
would be unseemly for me to try to do so, for I could 
not word it so softly and sweetly. 

May Christ our Lord grant that it may bring forth 
much fruit, as we hope and pray. Amen. 

As to the question whether, if His Imperial Majesty 
forbids the Evangelical preaching, you should submit, my 
opinion is still the same. The Emperor is our lord, the 
town and all being his, so that as no one should disobey you 
in your own town of Torgau, neither should it be done in 
Augsburg. No doubt it would be well if he were humbly 
asked not to forbid the preaching without hearing it, but 
to send some one to hear how they preach before con- 
demning it. Certainly His Majesty should not forbid the 
pure preaching of the Word, as nothing seditious is being 
proclaimed. If this do not avail, then might must stand 
for right. We have done our best, and are blameless. I 
have humbly tried to answer the question. May the 
Lord mercifully support you through His Holy Spirit ! 
Your Electoral Grace's obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 



To Philip Melanchthon 
Luther begs him to tell Justus Jonas of his child's death. 

May 15, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! I ordered this letter to be given to 
you, for I knew of no other way of letting Justus Jonas 
hear of his son's death. 

Communicate it to him very gently. His wife and 
famulus certainly prepared him for it. My people wrote 
that they stood over his death-bed, and he died of the 
same illness which so lately deprived him of his first 

The child was always sickly. I shall delay writing in 
case of increasing his sorrow. I am tormented on all 
sides, but we shall not let our courage sink. This is our 
hour of sorrow, but, like the woman who rejoiced when 
her son was born, we too shall look forward to a joyful 
time. So let us bid adieu to our foolish lamenting ; for 
our cause, prayers, and hopes rest with Him who is faith- 
ful to His promises. Speak comfortably to the man who, 
in the world's eyes, is bowed down with sorrow, causing it 
to rejoice in our affliction. The Lord be with you ! 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector John of Saxony 

The Elector would not permit the preaching to be stopped. 

May 20, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! Most Serene Prince ! I have 
delayed answering your most gracious letter from Augs- 
burg, with all its news and admonitions not to let the 
time hang on my hands. It is most kind of you troubling 
about me, and here we are most anxious about your Serene 
Highness, and pray constantly for you. I do not find 
the days long. We live like lords, and this last week 
seems hardly three days. 


But your Grace is at present in a most tiresome spot. 
Your Highness is certainly enduring all this trouble, 
expense, danger, and ennui solely for God's sake, as no 
one can find any fault with you except on account of the 
pure Word of God, for all know you to be a blameless, 
pious, and quiet Prince. And it proves that God loves 
you dearly, seeing He considers you worthy to suffer so 
much enmity for conscience' sake. For God's friendship 
is more precious than that of the whole world put 

Besides, the merciful God is displaying His loving-kind- 
ness in making His Word so fruitful in your Grace's land. 

For there is a greater number of excellent pastors and 
preachers therein than in any other land, who teach the 
truth, thus helping to preserve peace. 

The young people, too, are so well instructed in 
Scripture and Catechism that I feel quite touched when 1 
see young boys and girls praying and talking more of 
God and Christ than they ever could do in all the 
cloisters and schools of bygone days. 

Truly your Grace's land is a beautiful land for such 
young people, and God has, so to speak, erected this 
paradise in your Grace's lap as a special token of His 
favour, placing them under your protection that you may 
be their gardener. For God, whose bread all your sub- 
jects eat, wishes you to care for them, even as if God 
Himself were your Electoral Highness's daily guest. 

One sees the injury young people receive at the hands 
of godless princes, who, out of this paradise of God, make 
idle, sinful servants of the devil. For with all their 
wealth God does not think them worthy to spread His 
work, or even give a cup of cold water — nay, they had 
nothing better to give the Saviour on the cross than 
vinegar and gall to drink. 

In conclusion, your Electoral Grace has ever had the 
earnest prayers of all Christians in your lands especially, 
and we know our prayers will be heard, because what we 
ask is good. 

Oh that the young people may join, and with their 
innocent petitions commend you, as their dear father, to 


the merciful God ! Your Grace will graciously accept 
this letter, for God knows I speak the truth and do not 
dissemble. I am sorry that Satan is grieving your heart. 
He is a doleful, disagreeable spirit, who cannot bear to 
see any one happy, especially in God, so how much less will 
he suffer your Electoral Highness to be of good courage, 
for he knows how many depend on you for edification 
through the living Word in your domains ! 

So we must stand by you with our prayers and love, 
for when you are joyous, then we live ; but when you 
sorrow, then we are sick. 

But our dear Saviour will send the Holy Ghost, the 
true Comforter, who will protect your Grace against the 
poisoned darts of this sour, bitter spirit. Amen. Your 
Electoral Grace's obedient Martin Luther. 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther speaks of the pilgrimage to Coburg. 

June 2, 1530. 

Yesterday Hans Reinecke from Mansfeld and George 
Romer were with me, and to-day Argula von Staufen. 

Now that so many are finding their way here, I intend 
either not to let it be known I am at home or go out for 
the day, so that people may think I have left. Pray try 
to prevent people coming here. I write in Johannine 
haste, for I shall remain hidden. They say the bishops 
will succeed in postponing the Reichstag till, at least, the 
provisions are all consumed, compelling the people to 
return home. 

The Emperor is using every device to prevent the 
Elector of Treves coming to the Diet. Farewell. 

Martin Luther. 


To Philip Melanchthon 
Luther speaks of his father's death. 

June 5, 1530. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! In my last I complained, 


my Philip, of you returning a messenger empty handed 
to me, and two have come since — Appel, and now the 
driver with the Coburg game. And so many of you 
there who have usually a mania for writing ! I do not 
know if it be carelessness, or if you are displeased with 
me, for you know in my solitude how I long for letters, 
as in a dry and parched land. 

We hear the Emperor has ordered the Augsburg 
people to dismiss the hired soldiers and remove the 

Argula von Staufen told me of the magnificent recep- 
tion the Elector of Bavaria gave the Emperor in Munich, 
there being plays and entertainments in his honour. 
From Nurnberg I hear the Papists wish to prevent him 
visiting Augsburg. 

If this be true, then it shows God's hatred towards 
them in not answering our prayers for them. Hans 
Reinecke writes that my beloved father, old Hans Luther, 
died at one on Sabbath morning. 

This death has cast me into deep grief, not only 
because he was my father, but because it was through his 
deep love to me that my Creator endowed me with all I 
am and have, and although consoled to learn that he fell 
asleep softly in Christ Jesus, strong in faith, yet his loss 
has caused a deep wound in my heart. 

Thus are the righteous taken away from the evil to 
come and enter into rest. I am now heir to the name, 
being the eldest Luther in the family, so it beseemeth me 
to follow him into Christ's kingdom, who gave him unto 
us. I am too sad to write more to-day, and it is only 
right to mourn such a father, who by the sweat of his 
brow made me what I am. 

But I rejoiced that he lived to behold the light of the 
truth. Amen. Greet all our friends. 

Martin Luther. 




To Philip Melanchthon 
Luther again blames his friends for not writing. 

'June 11,1 530. 

Grace and peace ! I now see that you have all entered 
into a compact to torture us by your silence. But I here- 
with announce that we shall now vie with you in your 
silence, although possibly that will not disturb you. 

I must praise the Wittenberg people, who, although as 
busy as you, have written thrice before you sluggards 
wrote once. 

I have received letters of condolence from every 
quarter, on my father's death. If you wish, you can 
hear the particulars from Michael Coelin's letter, 

I lay down the pen, so that my constant writing may 
not drive you into a more persistent silence. 

Greet our people. The grace of God be with you ! 
Amen. My wife writes that the Elbe is dry, for no rain 
has fallen. Much water, many adventures. Farewell. 

Martin Luther. 



To Caspar von Teutleben 

Von Teutleben was a brother-in-law of Amsdorf, and managed 
the Elector's business in Rome. 

June 19, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! Esteemed and deeply learned 
Doctor and good Friend — I was delighted to hear that your 
Sophie and you are well. I have nothing new to write, 
for our silent Junkers send no letters from Augsburg, 
which annoys me greatly. And I know your brother- 
in-law, my good friend Herr Nicolas Amsdorf, would 
be indignant if he knew they had become so taciturn, 
especially at this time. He can be their judge. 

From hearsay I learn that Venice has sent several 
thousand gulden to the Emperor, and Florence offered him 


five tons of gold, which cannot be accepted, as the Pope 
has promised to supply him with all that is needful, and 
the French, with their " par ma foi," have done the same — 
truly a good joke ; but who would rely on such promises ? 
But I have heard from Dr. Martin Luther himself 
that even were Venice, the Pope, and Francis loyal to 
the Emperor, and not each thinking of his own advantage, 
still they are three different beings in one person, each of 
whom has an inconceivable hatred against His Imperial 
Majesty, meanwhile deceiving him, through hypocrisy 
and lies, till they either perish themselves, or drag that 
pious, noble youth into difficulty and distress. For " par 
ma foi " cannot forget the defeat at Pavia, and the Pope, 
being an Italian, and a Florentine to boot, and a child of 
the devil, cannot forget the disgrace of the plunder of 
Rome, no matter how cheerful he tries to appear ; and as 
for the Venetians — they are only Venetians — and excuse 
their wrath under the pretext of revenging Maximilian's 
death. May God help the pious Charles, who is truly a 
sheep among wolves ! Amen. Greet your dear Sophie 
from me. I commend you to God. From the desert. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 

To Conrad Cordatus 

On June 15 Charles entered Augsburg, the Elector of Saxony 
bearing the sword before him. 

June 19, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! I write, dear Conrad, to show you 
I have not forgotten my promise. For I sit here, and 
there is little hope of my being called to the Reichstag ; 
but, should I go, I shall let you know. 

Your dear vicar (colleague), Herr Hausmann, tells me 
that you are determined to go, but I question if it would 
be expedient, as your work would suffer ; and it is still 
doubtful if the religious question would be dealt with, 
and if it is, whether it may not be in secret, as the Emperor 
has forbidden a public discussion. We hear no news, as 
our Augsburg friends never write ; but it seems certain 


that the Emperor entered the town on June 15. May 
Christ give His blessing thereto ! Let us pray without 
ceasing. The Lord Jesus still lives and reigns. By the 
grace of God and your petitions I am pretty well, although 
Satan troubles me with a buzzing in my ears, but in spite 
of this I have put Jeremiah into German. Now I shall 
begin Ezekiel, but first of all must send a few things for 
our poor printers, among them my " Confitemini," which I 
shall finish in two days. Greet my dearest Herr Haus- 
mann, and say I shall answer his letter very soon. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. 2833.) 



Luther thanks him for looking after his son. 

June 19, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! I have received two letters from 
you, my beloved Hieronymus, two charming letters, the 
second of which was the most delightful, in which you 
speak of my son Hans as his pedagogue, and he your 
diligent pupil. 

God grant I may some day be able to requite you for 
this. May Christ make up for my shortcomings ! 

Magister Veit tells me that at times you are a prey to 
a spirit of melancholy — a temptation which is most pre- 
judicial to the young. The Scripture says : " A broken 
spirit drieth the bones." And the Holy Spirit, in various 
parts of the Bible, bids us try to banish these forebodings. 
In Ecclesiastes we read, " Rejoice, O young man, in thy 
youth ; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy 
youth." " Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart," etc. 

A joyful heart is life to a man, and an unceasing 
fountain of health, and prolongs his years. Many have 
allowed themselves to be consumed of grief, and it has 
been of no avail. But be sure that these black thoughts 
proceed from the devil, for God is not a God of sadness, 
but of consolation and joy. Is not joy in the Lord real 
life .'' So drive away such thoughts. The struggle is 
hard to begin with, but it gradually becomes easier ; and 


it is common to all the saints, but they struggle and 
achieve the victory. The great secret in this conflict is 
to disregard these thoughts and despise their hissings as 
if they were a flock of geese, and pass by. Remember the 
Israelites, who overcame the fiery serpents by directing 
their gaze to the brazen serpent. This is certain victory 
in this conflict. 

Therefore beware, my Jerome, of letting them lodge 
in thy heart. A wise man, in reply to one sorely tempted, 
said : " You cannot prevent birds fleeing over your head, 
but you can hinder them building in your hair." God 
takes no pleasure in such sorrow. Sorrow over our sins 
is very different. It is a sweet sorrow, in view of forgive- 
ness ; but that which proceeds from the devil has no 
promises annexed. It is of no avail. 

When I return we shall discuss this. Greet your 
brother, to whom I have begun a letter, but the messenger 
waits. May Christ comfort and cheer you ! I commend 
you to your pupils. Martin Luther. 


To HIS Son Hans 

'June 19, 1530. 

Grace and peace in Christ be with thee, my dear little 
son ! I am very pleased to see you so diligent, and also 
praying. Continue to do so, my child, and when I return 
I shall bring you something from the great Fair (Messe). 
I know a beautiful garden, where there are many children 
with golden robes. They pick up the rosy-cheeked apples, 
pears, plums, etc., from under the trees, sing, jump, and 
rejoice all day long. They have also pretty ponies with 
golden reins and silver saddles. I asked whose garden it 
was, and to whom the children belonged. The man said, 
" These are the children who love to pray and learn their 
lessons." I then said, '* Dear sir, I also have a son, 
Hanschen Luther ; might not he too come into the garden 
and eat the beautiful fruit, and ride upon these pretty 
ponies, and play with those children ? " " If he loves 


prayer and is good," said the man, " he can, and Lippus 
and Jost ; ^ and they shall get whistles and drums, and all 
sorts of musical instruments, and dance, and shoot with 
little cross-bows." And he showed me a lovely lawn, all 
ready for dancing, where whistles, flutes, etc., hung. But 
it was early, and the children not having breakfasted, I 
could not wait for the dancing, so I said to the man, 
" Dear sir, I must hurry away and write all this to my 
dear little son Hans, and tell him to pray and be good, 
that he may come into this garden ; but he has an Aunt 
Lene," whom he must bring also." " That he can," said 
the man ; " write him to do so." Therefore, dear little 
sonny, learn your lessons and pray, and tell Lippus and 
Jost to do so too, and then you will all get into the 
garden together. I commend you to God, and give 
Aunt Lene a kiss from me. Thy dear father, 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wctte.) 


To Peter Weller 

June 19, 1530. 

As the messenger has delayed his departure for an 
hour, I shall greet you by letter, although we have no 
reliable news of the Augsburg proceedings. First of all, 
accept my best thanks for you and your brother staying 
in my country house to protect my family, who are 
delighted to have such protection. 

1 only hope I may some day be able to repay the 
service. For myself I am pretty well, although I suffered 
from — not a buzzing, but a roll of thunder in my head, 
and cannot think whence it came. 

Our heroes at the Diet are running about helter-skelter, 
or rather driving about in carnages, steering through the 
air with their rudders. They enter the arena of conflict 
early, then give us a truce during the day, and with the 
sound of the trombone proclaim their victory in our ears, 

' The sons of Mclanchtlion ami Jonas. 
'-^ Katherine von Bora's aunt, who lived with them. 


while they plunder, steal, and devour everything, being 
at war with the fruits of the ground. 

At night they return home and snore peacefully till 
morning. Lately we made a raid into their palaces to 
catch a glimpse of the splendour of their realm, startling 
them greatly, for they fancied we had come to frustrate 
their plans and cunning Court devices. What terrified 
cries ensued ! When we saw how frightened these Achilleses 
and Hectors were, we waved our hats in the air. We had 
seen enough, and were more than pleased to have turned 
them into ridicule, for even our presence terrified them. 
But this is all a joke, although it might serve as an 
allegorical picture, or a sign that these daws, nay, these 
harpies, tremble before God's Word, or, to put it 
otherwise, that the noble lords at Augsburg whimper like 
children and Papists. Greet George von Grumbach from 
me. From my solitude. Martin Luther. 


To Wenzel Link 

Luther sends letters to his friend. 

June 27, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! The messenger who appeared 
scarcely gave me time to write to our people in Augsburg. 
But he begged so for letters that we send you those received 
from Wittenberg. Please see that our Augsburg friends 
get them. 

I fancy you can easily do this, as you have so much 
communication with that town. The exposition of the 
Psalm " Confitemini " is being sent to the Wittenberg 
printers, with an exegesis which is a disappointment to 
me because of its length. Meanwhile greet Dr. Spengler, 
Abbot Michael, Joachim, Coban Hesse, Osiander, from 
me. If you can procure from your good friends three- 
score {Schock) oranges for my Catherine, I shall gladly 
pay for them, as there are none in Wittenberg. 

May you and yours prosper, and be in health. From 
my quiet solitude. Martin Luther. 


To Philip Melanchthon 

One of those remarkable letters by which Luther tried to 
cheer his friend. 

June 27, 1530. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! In Christ, I say, and not 
in the world. Amen ! As to the Apologia being the 
cause of your silence, of that I shall speak again, dear 

From the bottom of my heart I am inimical to those 
worrying cares which are taking the very heart out of 
you and gaining the upper hand. It is not the magnitude 
of the cause, but the weakness of our-^aith which is at 
fault ; for things were much worse in John Huss's days 
than in ours. And even were the gospel in as great 
danger now as then, is not He who has begun the good 
work greater than the work itself, for it is not our affair? 
Why then make a martyr of yourself.'' If the cause be 
not a righteous one, then let us repudiate it ; but if it be, 
why make God a liar in not believing His wonderful 
promises, when He commands us to be of good cheer 
and cast all our care upon Him, for He shall sustain 
us .'' " The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon 
Him," etc. Do you think He throws such words to the 
winds } It is your philosophy, not your theology, which 
is such a torment to you, and it torments your friend 
Joachim in the very same way, just as if by your useless 
forebodings you could achieve anything. What more can 
the devil do than slay us } I plead with you, for God's 
sake, to fight against yourself, for you are your own 
greatest enemy, and furnish the devil with weapons against 

Christ has died for sin once for all, but for righteous- 
ness and truth He will not die, but will live and reign. 
Why then worry, seeing He is at the helm } He who has 
been our Father will also be the Father of our children. 

I pray earnestly for you, but am only sorry that you 
should court sorrow as eagerly as the leech does blood, 


thus nullifying my prayers. As for me (whether it pro- 
ceed from God's Spirit or from stupidity, my Lord Jesus 
knows) I do not torment myself about such matters. God 
can raise the dead, and He can also maintain His cause, 
although it looks ready to fall ; and He can even raise it 
up again if it has fallen. If we do not lend our assistance 
towards its maintenance, others will ; and if we do not 
console ourselves with the promises, who then can give us 
consolation in the world .'' More of this again, although 
I may only be carrying water to the sea. May Christ 
comfort, strengthen, and teach you by His Spirit. 

If I hear you are still desponding I shall scarcely be 
able to prevent myself hurrying to you to see how dreadful 
it is to be in the fangs of the devil, as the Scripture says, 
" Wilt thou play with him as with a bird ? " 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. 1062.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther tries to cheer his friend after hearing the joyful news 
of the public reading of Melanchthon's Apology. 

June 29, 1530. 

Grace and peace, dear Herr Philip ! I have read the 
beautiful speech in which you apologise for your silence, 
and meanwhile I have sent two letters satisfactorily explain- 
ing my not writing. To-day your letter came, full of 
unmerited reproaches, as if by my silence I had increased 
your work, danger, and tears. Do you really imagine 
that I am sitting in a garden of roses and not sharing your 
cares ^ Would to God that I could indulge in tears. 
Had your letters not come the evening they did, I would 
have sent a messenger at my own expense to find out 
whether you were dead or alive. Herr Veit can testify to 
this. I have received your Apology, and wonder at your 
asking how far one may yield to the Papists. For my 
part 1 think too much has been conceded. If they do not 
accept it, what more can we do.'' 

I ponder this business night and day, looking at it 
from all sides, searching the Scriptures, and the longer I 
contemplate it the more I am convinced of the sure 



foundation on which our teaching rests, and therefore am 
becoming more courageous, so that, if God will, not a word 
shall be withdrawn, come what may. I am pretty well, 
for I fancy through all your prayers the spirit which has 
been tormenting me is beginning to give way, but I feel 
very languid. 

We might arrive at great honour if we only denied 
Christ, but " we must through much tribulation enter into 
the kingdom of God." 

I am not pleased that you say you have followed me, 
as you regarded me as the principal adviser in this matter. 
I will not be regarded as such. 

Is not this business yours as much as mine ? And I 
shall allow no one to lay the responsibility on me, but if it 
be mine alone I shall act for myself. 

I tried to comfort you in my last letter. God grant 
it may be a life-giving epistle, and not a dead letter. 
What more can I do ? You are torturing yourself over 
the issue of the event because you cannot comprehend it ; 
but if you could comprehend it I would not like to be a 
partner in the concern, much less its author. 

For God has placed it in a spot which is not to be 
found in your rhetoric nor your philosophy. This spot is 
called faith, and includes all one does not see or under- 
stand, and whoever tries to understand all this receives 
tribulation and tears as his reward, as you know. 

The Lord has said " He would dwell in the thick 
darkness," and " He made darkness His secret place." 
Whoever wishes something different can try to find it. 
Had Moses waited till he understood how Israel could 
elude Pharaoh's armies, they might have been in Egypt 

May God so increase your faith that the devil and 
the whole world may be powerless against you. Let us 
comfort ourselves with the faith of others if we have none 
ourselves. For some have faith, else there would be no 
Church on earth ; and Christ would have ceased to dwell 
with us. For if we are not the Church, or a part of it, 
where is it .'' Are the Dukes of Bavaria, or the Pope, or 
the Sultan the .Church ? If we have not God's Word, 


who then has it ? I pray without ceasing that Christ may 
be with you. Amen ! 

After sealing this I find I have not answered your 
question very fully as to how much should be conceded to 
the adversary. But you do not say definitely what they 
expect from us. 

I am as ready as ever to grant them everything if they 
only leave us a free gospel, but I cannot give up the gospel. 
What else can I say .^ Martin Luther. 


To THE Electoral Prince John Frederick 

Luther inspires him with courage. 

June 30, 1530. 

To the Serene High-born Prince, Herr Johannes 
Friedrich, Duke of Saxony. Grace and peace in Christ, 
m^ost gracious Lord ! Your Grace sees with his own eyes 
what kind of lord the devil is, who leads captive through 
his wily ways so many great people. Although I know that 
your Highness is well armed (thank God) against his 
wicked devices, yet I, in my anxiety for you, write humbly 
to beg you not to worry over the wicked onslaughts of 
your nearest blood relations. For when the devil is 
powerless to do more, he makes the heart heavy through 
our friends' persecution. 

The 37th Psalm is an excellent medicine against such 
trials. It exposes the malice of Satan's emissaries, who 
unceasingly try to provoke us to an impatient word, act, or 
gesture, so that thereby he may accuse us of disobedience 
and rebellion. But it is written, " If God be for us, who can 
be against us.'' " And we must put up with the knavery 
of wicked people and " overcome evil with good." 

No doubt the Emperor is a pious man and worthy of 
all honour, but what can one man do against so many 
devils if God do not give him His powerful help .'' I 
am sorry that your Highness's blood relations behave so 
disgracefully ; but I must have patience, else I would be 
wishing all manner of evil. How much worse then must 
it be for your Grace ^ But for God's and the dear 


Emperor's sake be patient, and pray for the miserable 
creatures who have not yet conquered. If I err in saying 
your Grace has suffered through your friends' malice, it is 
a great joy to me, and you will forgive me, as I said it out 
of the goodness of my heart, for as I sit here I think " so- 
and-so will feel this," and make him unhappy, "and another 
that," for I attribute all wickedness to the devil. I 
commit your Princely Highness to God. Amen. Given 
at Coburg. Your Princely Highness's devoted servant, 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 

To THE Abbot Friedrich of Nurnberg 

In 1525 Friedrich made over his cloister possessions to the 
poor. Learned men often dedicated their books to him, as Luther 
did his commentary of the 11 8th Psalm. 

July I, T530. 

To the esteemed Herr Friedrich, Abbot at St. Ilgen, 
Nilrnberg. Grace and peace in Christ our Lord and 
Saviour ! Dear sir and patron, I wish to show my grati- 
tude for your love and favour to me, but as the world 
goes I am only a poor beggar. And although I had much 
I would scarcely presume to send anything to such as you. 
So having searched my possessions, which are my riches, 
I have selected my dear psalm, the lovely Confitemini, and 
have committed my thoughts on it to paper as I sit idle 
in my desert, because at times I must rest my head and 
stop my great work of putting the prophets into German, 
which I hope to finish shortly. I present and dedicate 
these thoughts to you, for I have nothing better. Although 
some may consider it a useless medley, I know there is 
nothing evil in it, for it is the psalm which I love. 
Although the Psalter and Holy Scriptures are all dear to 
me, being my only consolation and life, still I am specially 
attached to this psalm. For it has helped me out of many 
a sore trouble when the help of emperor, kings, learned 
men, saints, etc., was of no avail. And it is dearer than 
any riches or honour that Pope, Turk, or Emperor, or all 


the world could bestow on me ; indeed, 1 would not 
exchange it for them all put together. But should any 
one deem it strange that I boast of this psalm being mine, 
which is the property of the whole world, let him know 
that what no one seems specially taken up with is my 
own. But Christ is also mine, and is still the Christ of all 
the saints ; and would to God the whole world would 
claim this psalm as I do, and then there would arise such 
a friendly rivalry, to which no unanimity or love could be 
for a moment compared. But, alas ! there are few who 
could say to anv portion of the Bible or to a psalm, 
" Thou art my favourite book " or " My own dear psalm." 

And it is truly sad that the Holy Scriptures are so 
despised, even of those whose office it is to expound them. 
All other things, art, books, etc., occupy people night and 
day ; and they never weary of the trouble, while the 
Scriptures are left lying as if they were of no use. And 
when people do them the honour of reading them, how 
quickly they get through them. There is no book upon 
earth which is so easily mastered by all as the Holy Bible. 
And they are really the words of life, not written for 
speculation, but to be acted on in life. But why com- 
plain, tor no one pays any attention. 

May Christ our Lord help us through His Spirit to 
honour His gracious word. Amen. I herewith commend 
myself to your prayers. From the desert. 

Martin Luther, 

(Dc Wette.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

On June 25 the Augsburg Confession was publicly read by 
Chancellor Bruck in Latin, and by Christian Beyer in German, 
before the Emperor, Elector John Ernest of Liineburg, Philip of 
Hesse, etc. The Latin copy was handed to the Emperor with 
these words, "This Confession can withstand the very gates of 

July 6, 1530. 

Grace and peace, much-loved man ! Our Llorning 
will tell you more minutely what is taking place at Augs- 
burg and here than I can. After coming here, Dr. Jonas 


wrote telling me that our Confession, which our Philip 
drew up, was read by Dr. Christian Beyer before his 
Imperial Majesty and the Princes and Bishops of the 
Roman Empire in the Emperor's palace. The Elector 
of Saxony, Margrave George of Brandenburg, John 
Frederick the Younger, Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt, 
the towns of NQrnberg and ReOtlingen, etc., all signed 
the Confession. 

The Imperial party is now debating whether they 
shall answer it or not. Many bishops wish peace, and 
pay no attention to Eck's and his friends' proposals. 
One bishop said at a private gathering, " It is only the 
truth — we cannot deny that." 

The Archbishop of Mayence is much praised for his 
love of peace ; and Duke Henry of Brunswick said to 
Philip, whom he invited to dine with him in an easy 
way, that he could not deny the articles of the bread and 
wine in the sacrament, the marriage of the priests, etc. 
And we hear that no one at the Diet was kinder and more 
moderate than the Emperor, who entertained our princes 
sumptuously and paid them every attention. Philip 
writes, one cannot express the great love every one feels 
towards the Emperor. God grant that, as the first 
Emperor was the worst of Emperors, this last may be 
the best. Let us only go on praying. For the power of 
our prayers is being manifestly displayed at present. Tell 
Cordatus and the others this, for it is their due. The 
Lord be with you. Greet all friends. 

Mari'in Lufhlr. 

(Walch, V. 16. 1048.) 

To Conrad Cordatus, Preacher at Zwickau 

The reading of the Confession. 

"July 6, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! You have here, my dear Cordatus, 
a living and a dead letter, viz. Horning's and my letter to 
your Bishop,^ from which you will learn all I know about 

' Haiisinann. 


the Diet. Jonas was present during the two hours' 
reading of the Confession, and watched its effect upon the 
countenances of those present, the details of which he has 
promised to give me verbally. 

The enemies tried to prevent the Emperor accepting it 
and having it read. Of course it was not read before the 
populace ; this they were determined to prevent, and did 
prevent ; but it was afterwards read before the Emperor 
and the States of the Empire. I rejoice to have lived to 
see the day when Christ was proclaimed by so many dear 
confessors, in such a distinguished assembly, through the 
reading of this glorious Confession, thus verifying the 
words of Scripture, " I will speak of thy testimonies also 
before kings." Yes, and what follows will also be fulfilled, 
"and will not be ashamed." "For whosoever shall 
confess Me before men," says He who cannot lie, " him 
also will I confess before My Father which is in heaven." 
Of other matters you will have heard, for an account of 
the Emperor's grand entry into Augsburg has been printed. 
I see plainly that God answers prayer (Ps. Ixii.). The 
whole world proclaims the fact. So pray on, particularly 
for the dear young Emperor, so loved by both God and 
man ; and do not forget our gracious Elector and patient 
cross-bearer, and our Philip, who burdens himself with 
all sorts of cares. If I am called, you may rely on me 
sending for you. The Lord be with you. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

To Justus Jonas 
Luther thinks peace will ensue through the Diet. 

July 9, I 5 30. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! We have received many 
letters from you, dear Jonas, and this is our sixth after 
our long silence. Your letters are a great pleasure to us. 
Things are now being put on a proper basis, and we 
expect a satisfactory conclusion, while the enemy dreads 
the opposite. There can never be entire unanimity in 


doctrine. For how can one reconcile Christ and Belial ? 
Perhaps the marriage of the priests and the Sacrament in 
both kinds may be left an open question, but this is after all 
only a " perhaps." Still, I hope that the religious question 
may be deferred, and meantime a world-wide peace be 
established. If by Christ's blessing this be achieved, then 
much has been accomplished at this Diet. 

First, and greatest of all, Christ has been publicly 
proclaimed through our glorious Confession, so that the 
great ones of the earth cannot boast that we have fled and 
were afraid to confess our faith. Only I grudge you the 
privilege of being present at the reading of this grand 
Confession. For it has been my lot, even as it was that 
of our great warriors at Vienna last year ; they had no 
share in defending it against the Turks, so none ot the 
honour of the victory was theirs. 

Nevertheless I am well pleased that my Vienna has 
been defended by others. How can we hope for good 
from the Emperor, as he is surrounded by numberless 
devils ? Christ lives, and does not sit at the Emperor's, 
but at God's right hand, else we would have been lost long 
ago. Would that Philip, when his faith fails, could share 
this, my belief. But perhaps it is Augsburg alone which 
is disputing about there being a right hand ot God, so 
that we may be forced to believe that Christ has, through 
the Sacramentarians, been cast down from God's right 
hand, and that the Papists have given another rendering 
of David's psalm. If this be so, we know nothing of it 
at Coburg. So, dear Jonas, tell me if this be the case, for 
then I shall seek another Christ, and compose another 
psalm whose every line will not mock me. But a truce 
to this blasphemous jesting. May you believe that Christ 
is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. If He have lost 
the title in Augsburg, He has lost it neither in heaven 
nor on earth. Amen. From the wilderness. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. 1098.) 



To Lazarus Spengler 

Luther explains the device on his seal. 

July 1530. 

Grace and peace ! Honoured dear sir and friend — As 
you wished to know the real meaning of my seal, I shall 
write my thoughts on my coat-of-arms as indicative of 
my theology. 

The first thing is a cross, black on a red heart, to 
remind me that the blood of the Crucified One makes the 
man blessed. Whoever believes this is justified. Now, 
although it be a black cross and inflicts pain, it does not 
kill, but rather makes alive. Such a heart is placed on a 
white rose, to show that faith yields joy, consolation, and 
peace, and not the peace and joy of the world ; and that 
is why the rose is white and not red. 

For white is the colour of the angels and the spirits. 
This rose should be placed on a field tinted with the hues 
of heaven, to signify that the joy and faith of the world 
to come have already begun to bloom here below, and 
through hope we are even now in possession of that 
which is only manifest to the eye of faith. And on 
such a field there is also a golden ring, to show that the 
bliss of heaven endures for ever, and that its joys and 
possessions are far above all earthly pleasures, even as gold 
is the most precious of metals. May Christ, our dear 
Lord, be with your spirit till it attain to this lite. From 
the wilderness of Coburg. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Justus Jonas 

Luther admonishes him to steadfastness. 

July 13, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! Dear Dr. Jonas — I sit here plan- 
ning and sighing for you, now that things are coming to 
a climax, but hope for the best. Only let us not be 


timid, for that would only make them prouder. I am 
sure they think you will yield, if they stand by what the 
Emperor commands. But it is manifest that the Emperor 
is only reeling to and fro. So if you remain steadfast 
they will change their opinion. Let us insist upon them 
giving us back Leonhardt Kaiser and others, whom they 
made away with in so disgraceful a manner. Let them 
restore to us the many souls which were led astray 
through their false teaching, and return to us the pos- 
sessions they deprived us of through their letters of 
Indulgence and other modes of deceit. Let them again 
bestow upon us the honour of God, which they so shame- 
fully vilified, and the purity of the Church, which they 
have so soiled. But who can narrate all ? I am not sorry 
that God has so left them to their foolish devices that they 
are not ashamed to bring forward such matters. 

He who permitted them to do so will continue to help 
us. I comfort myself thus. But perhaps you consider 
these old news (Old German Theiding). May the Lord 
Jesus, our Life and Salvation, be with you. This is my 
hope. From the wilderness. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. 1 10 1.) 


To George Spalatin 

Luther expects no good from the Emperor. 

July 13, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! I also believe, dear Spalatin, that 
the Emperor is a good, pious man, which you always said 
he was. But I have no hope of him favouring our cause, 
even if he would like to. For what can one man do 
against so many devils .'' 

Therefore, the Lord alone must be our refuge, for 
He loves to comfort the desponding and help those who 
are forsaken of the whole world. But I wish to know 
what has happened since I last heard from you. For I 
suppose things will now be settled, and you are not only 
condemned, but the enemy is heaping insults and con- 
tempt upon you. For the opponents are boasting of their 


triumph at Augsburg, and despise and laugh at us. 
*' But be of good cheer," says Christ, " I have overcome 
the world." He who dwells in heaven will laugh at them. 
I am sure this will be the case. We cannot look for help 
unless we have been forsaken. We have assumed the 
office and duties of those of whom it is written, " Ye will 
be hated of all men for My sake," and yet we are sur- 
prised when we are subjected to such hatred. 

If we are unwilling to have this promise verified in 
ourselves, we ought not to have taken this office upon us, or 
should have seen that such a prophecy never was uttered. 
But now it is too late to reap favour and thanks. ... I am 
quite pleased that Herzog George should behave thus. 
God will reward him according to his actions. May the 
Lord comfort and strengthen you all. From the wilder- 
ness of Coburg. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, \'. 16. 21 34.) 


To John Agricola, Eisleben 

The Emperor was indignant at the Elector's steadfastness, 
and refused to confirm him in his Electorate and ratify his son's 
engagement to Sybylla of Cleves. 

July 27, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! That our opponents load us with 
terms of reproach and are trying to get the Emperor to 
buckle on his armour against us is a sure sign that they 
feel they will be defeated. For it is an old device of 
Satan that when he is beaten by the truth he diverts 
people's attention to secondary matters, so preventing 
them attending to the main thing. He did this with his 
emissary, Eck, at Leipsic, in regard to Carlstadt, and in 
many other cases. 

Let us therefore cleave to our cause and not yield. 

Now these gaping fools, as I call them, must admit, 
but will not, that I exalted the authority of the Emperor 
and the worldly powers at the time they were vilifying 
them, and hurling bans at them, oppressing kingdoms and 
monarchs with their curse, as St. Peter prophesied. 


Now their folly is manifest. But it is God who is 
befooling them. My Staupitz was wont to say, *' When 
God wishes to torture any one He first shuts their eyes." 
I am sure their eyes are shut, for I regard them as devils 

No more senseless demand has ever been made than 
that everything should remain as it was and their ideas 
be accepted, while ours are cast aside, especially as they 
themselves admit that we are right in many respects. 
For this is tantamount to expecting that our Apology^ 
which even they praised, should be disavowed by us before 
the whole world. Truly this manifest vengeance of God 
on His enemies affords me no little consolation. 

May the Lord Jesus guide you through His Holy 
Spirit. God grant this. From the wilderness. 

Martin Luther. 



To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther's ill-health and Satan's assaults enabled him to sympa- 
thise with others in their dark hours. 

July 31, 1530. 

My dear brother, grace and peace in our Lord ! 

Although I have nothing to say, I did not wish the 
man who brought the game to return without letters. 

I believe you have all wrestled manfully with the 
devil this week, and I presume this is why Weller's and 
Schosser's messenger has not returned from you. In 
spirit I am very near you. But I am sure this much- 
maligned Christ is even nearer. Therefore I cry earnestly 
to Him to stand by you. God grant you may not desert 
our cause. For I know the adversaries try to draw away 
the timid and desponding. 

Do not be anxious about me, for it is no organic disease 
from which I suffer, so I scoff at Satan's angel who buffets 
me so severely. If I cannot read and write I can still 
meditate and pray ; also sleep, plav, and sing. Only do 
not worry unduly, Philip, over a cause which is not in 


your hand, but in the hand of Him who is greater than 
the Prince of this world, and from whom no one can rend 
us, so that we may verify His Word. " It is vain for 
you to rise up early, to sit up late, ... to eat the bread of 
sorrows, for He gives it to His friends sleeping, or in 
sleep " (Luther's version). 

Cast your care upon God, who raises the dead and 
heals the broken in heart. The God of all consolation, 
into whose hands I commit you all, has chosen us to 
spread abroad His honour and glory. From the castle so 
full of devils, but where, nevertheless, Christ reigns in the 
midst of His enemies. Farewell. 

Martin Luther. 

(SchQtze and 
Walch, V. 16. 1067.) 


To Justus Jonas 

Luther admonishes his friend to industry at Augsburg. 

August 3, 1530. 

I send my nephew Cyriac to you, my excellent Jonas, 
to seek Hans von Irene in Augsburg. Help him to find 

I could not permit the young man to return, w^hen so 
near, without getting a glimpse of the pomp there, so that 
he might be able to tell about it, the Germans being so 
slow at writing history. P. Weller told me how much 
time you have at present. " Then why does he not write 
an exposition of the Psalm, ' Blessed are all ' ? " " I do 
not know," he said. 

But what are you about ^ Make use of your head 
while you can, before you are afflicted with stone and 
unable to work. I too have much leisure, but my head 
prevents my using it. Hitherto I have overlooked your 
shortcomings in this respect because you write me often, 
for which I am most grateful. I still expect the exposi- 
tion. Do not presume to leave Augsburg empty-handed. 

I am busy with the 117th Psalm, "Praise the Lord, 
all ye nations." It will be a channel for my eloquence, as 
I had to stop translating the prophets. I only finished 


Hosea, and for this had to seize every fragment of time 
and every bright moment. The difficulty of translating 
Ezekiel stopped me. 

The attacks of Bucer and his friends please me, for, 
as I have said, they who dishonour the Son of God will be 
brought to shame. If you hear anything more of Carl- 
stadt tell me. The Lord be with you. Amen. 

From the desert, where the daws have long ago 
finished their diet before you had well begun your 
negotiations. Martin Luther. 



To George Bruck, 
Chancellor to the Elector of Saxony 

Myconius said that Brtick was more learned in the Scriptures 
than all the theological doctors, although only a lawyer. 

August 5, 1530. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Highly esteemed lord and 
sir — I have written several times to you and others, as if I 
fancied I experienced more of God's help and consolation 
than was afforded to his Electoral Grace. But I was 
impelled to do this through the depression into which 
some of our friends had sunk, as if God had forgotten 
them. But He cannot do so unless He forget Himself 
first. " Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she 
should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? 
Yea, she may forget, yet will I not forget thee." *' Behold, 
I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands." 

Lately, I saw two wonders. First, as I looked out of 
the window I saw the stars shining in God's beautifully 
vaulted heavens, and yet there were no visible pillars 
supporting this firmament, and still the heavens fell not. 
Now there are always some who search for those pillars 
to grasp them, and, failing in their quest, they go about in 
fear and trembling, as if the heaven must fall because 
they cannot grasp the said pillars. If they could, then all 
would be right, they fancy. 


Second, I beheld great clouds hovering over us, borne 
down by their great weight, like unto a mighty ocean, and 
yet I saw no foundation upon which they rested and no 
shore which bounded them, and still they did not fall, but, 
greeting us stiffly, fled on apace. But when they had 
vanished, a rainbow feebly lit up earth and sky, till it too 
disappeared like a mist among the clouds, making us fear 
as much for the foundation as for the water -charged 
clouds above. But in very deed this almost invisible mist 
supported the heavily charged clouds and protected us. 

So there are some who pay more attention to, and are 
more afraid of the waters and the dark clouds than give 
heed to the tiny bow of promise. They would like to 
feel the fine mist, and because they cannot they fear a 
second flood. 

I write in this jocular way to your Excellence, and yet 
it is no jest, for I am much pleased to hear how courageous 
you are, and what a deep interest you take in all that con- 
cerns us. I hoped we would have been able at least to 
maintain worldly peace, but God's thoughts are far above 
our thoughts, and this is well, for St. Paul says He hears 
us, and does above all we can ask for. Were He to hear 
us when we plead that the Emperor might grant peace, 
then it might redound to the Emperor's honour, and not 
to God's. So He Himself will procure peace, so that He 
alone may have the glory. 

These bloody men have not done half the mischief 
they intended, and have not yet reached their homes. 

Our rainbow is weak and faint, but we shall see who 
conquers. Your Excellency will pardon my garrulity, 
and comfort Magister Philip and the others. Christ will 
comfort and support our most gracious lord, to Whom be 
praise to all eternity. Amen. I commend your Excellency 
to His loving faithfulness. From the desert. 

Martin Luther. 



Refutation of Augsburg Confession, read August 3. Charles 
insisted on the Princes agreeing with every word, for he would 
have no schism. Philip of Hesse responded by secretly quitting 

August \o, I 530. 

If in my forgetful ness I should repeat myself about 
melancholy, you will forgive me, for our temptations are 
common to all, and doubtless you suffer for me even as I 
do for you. 

We are persecuted for Christ's sake, but let us honour 
Him by bearing each other's burdens. Do not worry over 
what you suffer, such a spirit being fatal to Christian joy. 
God has no pleasure in self-torture. So, seeing such 
despondency displeases Him, we should bear Satan's 
onslaughts patiently, trusting in God. True, it is not 
always easy to shake off such thoughts, but if we cast 
all our care upon Him they will not gain the mastery. 
The Lord Jesus, that unconquerable Conqueror, will help 
you. From my solitude. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 121 1.) 


To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

August 14, I 530. 

Grace and peace in Christ, my dear Kilthie ! 

The messenger has scarcely a second to wait, but I must 
send you a line, fell Pommer and the others that I shall 
soon write. No news from Augsburg, but expect letters 
hourly. It is reported that our answer to the Refutation 
will be read publicly, but they refuse us a copy of it, to 
enable us to answer it. 

If they are so afraid of the light, our people will not 
remain long. Since St. Lawrence's Day I have been 
almost well, having had no buzzing in my head, which 
enables me to do my writing, for till lately I was much 
plagued with these noises. Greet everybody and every- 
thing. More again. God be with you. Amen. Pray 


confidently, for your prayers will be answered and God 
will help. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

August 15, I 530. 

To my dearest Kathie Luther at Wittenberg. 

Grace and peace in Christ, my dear Kathie ! After 
closing your letter, I received letters from Augsburg, so 
I detained the messenger to let him take them with him. 

You will see things remain much the same in Augs- 
burg as I described them lately. Let Peter Weller and 
Herr Pommer read them to you. May God graciously 
continue to help, as He has hitherto done. I can write 
no more at present as the messenger is impatient. Greet 
our dear Sack and Hans Luther, with his tutor, to whom 
I shall write shortly. Greet Aunt Lene, and all the 
rest. W"e are eating ripe grapes although we have had 
much rain this month. God be with you all. Amen. 
From the desert. Martin Luther. 

P.S. — I am much annoyed at the printer's delay in 
sending the proofs. I wished to send away copies, so 
hope they will soon be ready. 

(De Wette.) 


To Friedrich, Abbot at Nurnberg 

Luther sends him his dedication of the 11 8th Psalm. 

August 22, 1530. 

Most honoured and highly esteemed Abbot in Christ — 
I hereby send the psalm Confitemini, which has appeared 
with your name. It is the only way in which I can 
acknowledge your kindness. But I fear that having 
your name alongside my execrated name may draw 
down as much hatred upon you as association with your 
honoured name increases my influence. Should this be 



so, I beg your forgiveness for having done it in the 
innocence of my heart solely to please you, and I am sure 
you'll forgive me with your usual amiability. They have 
only sent me these two copies from Wittenberg — the other 
I am sending to Coban Hesse ; I would have liked to 
send copies to those excellent men — Spengler and Link. 
Meantime I have committed them to our flying messenger 
without even reading them, and have not kept one. 
May the Lord Jesus, our salvation, keep you till His day. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1 2 14.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Reports rrom Augsburg reach Luther. 

August 24, I 530. 

Grace and peace ! I fancy you know ere this, dear 
Philip, of the new commission of fourteen men at 
Augsburg, you and Eck being the principal, and Spalatin, 
the scribe, which I almost wonder at. And what is more, 
the Pope, after the raising of the siege of Florence, was 
surrounded in St. Engelsberg, Rome, by the Roman 
army. We poor hermits have nothing to do but write 
the news to you orators, who resemble the frogs on the 
island of Seriphos. 

I enclose the treatise on the schools — a real Lutheran 
document, whose prolixity even its author cannot deny. 
It is my nature. The little book about the Keys has the 
same fault. God willing, I shall next write on justifica- 
tion. I hear the plague is in Wittenberg, the Leipsic 
students having brought it. Four have died, and two 
houses are shut up. No one except Lufft wrote me 
about it — not even my wife. The Captain and the 
young Prince Hans Ernest are still there, so you need 
not be anxious. The Lord, who sent you to Augsburg, 
make you great and glorious there ! I am again troubled 
with hoarseness, and fear a return of my old malady, 
but perhaps it is only an onslaught of Satan, but if Christ 
conquers let Luther perish. Are Cyriac and Caspar 


Mailer with you ? They left here three weeks ago and 
have never written. From the wilderness. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16, 2837.) 



Luther sends translation of the 11 8th Psalm. 

August I 530. 

Grace and peace ! I send my promised psalm, 
excellent Hesse, in the form into which my pen has 
transformed it, or deformed it. I received yours along 
with the letter, which I read daily. I do not expect you 
to be as much delighted with mine as I am with yours, 
although it is the same psalm. For I never would 
compare myself to such a poet. For you are the king 
of poets, and the poet of kings ; or rather the royal poet, 
and poetical king, who makes the royal poet talk so 
beautifully in a strange tongue. Accept my thanks for 
giving me such pleasure. Out of a fat sophist I have 
turned into a sordid theologian ; and besides this despicable 
store of theology I have nothing. Accept this instead 
of a present, and greet your queen and princes tenderly 
from me, also Wenzel. I shall not write him now, as 
last night I had such pain in a tooth that I am quite 
limp to-day. May the Lord guide and maintain you. 
From the desert. Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 
The Emperor uses artifice to unite the two parties. 

August 26 or 27, 1530. 

I got a sight of our people's opinion concerning our 
affairs, but what I wrote Philip I write to you, that for 
Christ's honour and to please me you would believe that 
Campegius is a perfect devil. 

I have been much upset through our opponents* 
propositions. As sure as I live this is a trick of 


Campegius and the Pope, who first tried by threats 
to ruin our cause, and now by artifice. You have 
resisted force and withstood the Emperor's imposing entry 
into Augsburg ! And now you must put up with the 
tricks of those cowled monks which the Rhine conveyed 
to Speyer, and their arrival is closely associated with this 
talk of unity of doctrine. 

This is the whole secret. But He who enabled you 
to withstand violent measures will strengthen you to 
overcome feebler. But more of this to Philip and the 
Elector. Be valiant and concede nothing which cannot 
be proved from Scripture. The Lord Jesus be with 
you. Amen. From my hermitage. 

Martin Luther. 


To Hans von Sternberg 

Luther dedicates the new edition of the 117th Psalm to the 
caretaker at Coburg Castle. 

August 27, I 530. 

Grace and peace in Christ our Lord ! Most excellent 
and honourable sir and friend — I lately brought out 
a little book on the 117th Psalm, but did it hastily and 
issued it with no dedication,^ so I have again placed it 
in the oven to have it better fired, that it might bring 
forth more fruit. For the Holy Scriptures are well 
worthy of being adorned and made the best of, so that 
they may win as many admirers as they have enemies. I 
wish it to go out under your name, so that it may receive 
more consideration from certain parties, who know that 
there are many excellent people among the nobility. 

For the majority of the upper classes are acting so 
disgracefully that they are a stone of stumbling to the 
common man, making him fancy that all the nobility 
is corrupt. 

And it is most disastrous that the masses should 
despise and lightly esteem those who bear rule in the 

' Hloss uiul nackt. 


world. It is certain to bear evil fruit whenever the 
devil has time to stir up mischief, as in the Monster 
disturbances and the Peasant Rising (1525). 

We have the clergy's example before our eyes, who 
lived so securely and shamefully that they were despised 
of all, never dreaming they should sink into such con- 
tempt. But this has happened, and we must see that 
they never again are held in the same esteem. The 
nobility are following their example, and will inherit the 
lot of the clergy. To prevent such ideas taking possession 
of the people, it is good that those who deserve it should 
be praised. For God always arranges that there should 
be some excellent people in high positions so that He 
may not have made His people in vain, even should there 
only be one Lot in Sodom. . . . Therefore as God has 
endowed you with great love to His Holy Word and to 
all virtue, I could not refrain from lauding His grace in 
you (for it is God's grace and not your merits), to see 
if perchance your example might not move some of the 
reckless nobility to act worthy of their pedigree and not 
in such a boorish manner. It is the bounden duty of 
those who desire to rule in the world that they set an 
honourable and virtuous example to those beneath them. 
God demands this. I trust your heart may have as much 
pleasure in this and such-like little books as those who 
make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem have. Not that I 
despise such a pilgrimage, for I would gladly make the 
journey, and now that it is too late, I listen and read 
eagerly about it, as I did lately, only we have not a very 
high opinion of such pilgrimages. 

And it might happen to me as it did at Rome, 
when I was such a bigot as to rush through all the 
churches and cloisters beheving all the lies they told. 
I said one or two masses at Rome, and it was actually a 
grief to me that my father and mother still lived, so 
gladly would I have delivered them from purgatory 
through good works, masses, and prayers, etc. 

There is a saying in Rome, "Blessed is the mother 
whose son holds a mass on the Saturday of St. John's ! " 
How gladly would I have made my mother blessed ! 


But the church was so full that I could not get in, and 
I ate a kippered herring instead. Well, well, this we 
did, for we knew no better, and the Papal chair did not 
punish such monstrous lies. But God be praised that 
we have the gospels, psalms, and other sacred writings 
from which we may draw refreshment with profit and 
bliss, and visit the true promised land — the real Jerusalem 
— nay, the very paradise and kingdom of heaven, and not 
by means of the graves of the saints, but may wander at 
will through their hearts, thoughts, and spirits. I herewith 
commit you and yours to God, and forgive my garrulity, 
for it is a joy to me to see pious nobility, as there is 
such an outcry against them. God help us all. Amen. 
Your obedient, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

September 15, 1530. 

To my beloved housewife, Katherine Luther, at 

Grace and peace in Christ, my dear Kathie ! The 
messenger is so hurried that I can only write a note, 
but I hope to come soon myself, for we have letters from 
Augsburg saying matters have been discussed, and they 
are only waiting for the Emperor's decision. 

But it is thought it will be postponed to a future 
council, for the Bishops of Mayence and Augsburg are so 
decided that the Count Palatine of Treves and Cologne 
will not consent to dissension or war. The others are 
indignant and try to stir up the Emperor. God's will be 
done, if only the Diet were at an end. We have done 
and conceded enough. The Papists will not yield a 
hair-breadth, but one will come who will compel them 
to do so. 

I wonder why Hans Weiss has not printed the psalm 
(117). I never thought he was so particular as to refuse 
a second edition, for it is a choice specimen. Send it at 


once to George Rhau.^ If the pamphlet on the Keys 
pleases Herr Pommer and Cruciger, let it be printed. 
I cannot understand who told you I was ill, when you 
see the books that I write. I have translated all the 
prophets except Ezekiel, which occupies me at present, 
also a treatise on the Sacrament, not to speak of letter- 
writing, etc. I have no time to write more. Greet all 
and everything. I have a lovely large sugar book for 
Hanschen Luther ; Cyriac ^ brought it from NOrnberg 
out of the beautiful garden. I commit you to God and 
pray. Regarding Polner,^ act as Pommer and Weller 
advise. From the wilderness. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

On September 14, Prince John Frederick visited Luther in 
Coburg Castle. 

September 15, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! Yesterday the Electoral Prince 
and Graf Albrecht appeared unexpectedly on their way 
home. I was glad they had escaped from the turmoil, 
and hope that you, too, may soon be free. You have 
done enough. It is now time for the Lord to work, and 
He will do it. Only be of good cheer and trust Him. 
I am angry, and yet glad, that Eck and our opponents 
make this wicked accusation against us that in declaring the 
necessity of enjoying the sacrament in both kinds we are 
condemning the whole Church and the Emperor himself. 
These miserable creatures have no resource left them but 
to flee to the Emperor in their distress and flatter him to 
his face. Well, let them misuse the Emperor's name as 
they will, so that they may draw down upon themselves the 
wrath of Him who in heaven is preparing His bows and 
arrows against them. This is how the Turks talk, and 
yet we must not fancy that such a mighty people shall all 
be damned. Were this so, what article of our faith could 

1 Another printer. '^ His nephew. •' Another nephew. 


we maintain were it dependent on the mob? But why 
discuss this in a letter ? 

Only remember, my Philip, that you are one of those 
who are called Lots in Sodom, whose righteous souls are 
vexed day and night with the filthy communications of 
the wicked. But what follows ? The Lord knows how 
to deliver the godly out of temptation. You have con- 
fessed Christ, you have pled for peace, you have obeyed the 
Emperor, been loaded with shame, and have not requited 
evil for evil ; in short, you have conducted the sacred 
work devolving on you in a way becoming a saint. You 
have gone long enough with downcast head, and I would 
now bid you raise your eyes towards heaven as a true 
member of Christ. 

I long for your return, that I may wipe the perspira- 
tion from you after this hot bath. To-day my head was 
very bad. The winds howling round the castle just now 
must have their playground in my head. The Prince 
gave me a gold ring, which fell from my finger, as if to 
show that I am not born to wear gold, upon which I said, 
" Thou art a worm and no man." Eck or Faber should 
have had it, for lead or a cord round the neck is more 
seemly for me. He wished to take me home with him, 
but I said I must wait for you. 

I pray and hope you may be of good courage, and not 
distress yourself needlessly over the unpromising aspect of 
present events, nor be afraid, for you know the whole 
matter rests in the hands of Him who in a moment can 
cover the heavens with clouds, and then suddenly make 
the sun shine brightly, and delights so to do, into whose 
bosom I, poor sinner of sinners, commend you poor 
sinners, although I deny being a defender of sin. Greet 
our brethren in the Lord. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

P.S. — You must not believe there is an infectious 
disease in Wittenberg. All goes well there, God be 

(SchUtze and Walch, v. 16. 2838.) 



To Wenzel Link 

Luther defends Melanchthon against Baumgiirtner and Osiander, 
who complained he was too yielding in the union negotiations. 
The Elector's lawyers would have given way for the sake of 
brotherly love, but the Elector was firm, saying it was not a case 
for Christian love. 

Septemhei- 20, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! Be angry and sin not. I have 
read your heavy accusation against my Philip, dear Link, 
and had I not learned from our people's letters from 
Augsburg last Saturday that they had committed our cause 
to the Emperor I would have been much shocked. 

I trust you now know that our business bears quite a 
different aspect from what it did then. If it were not so, 
I would write sharp letters to them, which Spangenberg 
would forward. 

But I have already let it be understood that I was not 
inclined to approve of such articles and conditions. I 
fancy they now see for themselves that these are dis- 
graceful church - robbing conditions with which our 
opponents, those bold, impudent gentlemen, try to mock 
our weak little party. But Christ, who has permitted 
them to become so blinded and hardened as not to believe 
the gospel, is thus preparing them for the Red Sea ! 

They are on the brink of irremediable ruin, and must 
perish, for they will have it so. The Lord be with us ! 
Therefore lay aside your wrath. Philip is still negotiating 
some points, but nothing is yet arranged. 

But I believe Christ has used such false appearances to 
mock our revilers, by filling them with false joy and hope, 
and making them believe we would give way, and then they 
would conquer. 

But afterwards they would see they were only being 
befooled. I am certain that, without my consent, theirs 
is useless. And even were I to consent to such godless 
monstrosities, the whole Church and the gospel teaching 


would be against it. Pray for me, and farewell in the Lord. 
Greet your Eve and the children. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 16. I 541.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

September zo, 1530. 

To the learned Philip Melanchthon, servant of the 

Grace and peace in Christ ! You could not credit, 
my Philip, what a swarm of verbal and written com- 
plaints I received after I got your letter, and very specially 
concerning yourself. I tell you this most unwillingly, for 
I am tenderly solicitous not to grieve you in the slightest, 
for you should receive only consolation from me, who 
ought to help you to bear your burden. And hitherto I 
have always tried to do so. But now I have our people's 
letters and the other party to contend with. 

I defend myself thus. At first our Augsburg friends 
sent me very different accounts. 

But I am determined rather to believe you than others, 
and hope you will conceal nothing pertaining to the cause 
from me. 

For I am convinced that you will concede nothing 
which could injure the confession and the gospel. 

But to begin with, it is not necessary to explain 
explicitly what the gospel and our confession really are ! 

But we must abide by our old agreement — to concede 
everything in the interests of peace which is not at 
variance with the gospel and our recent confession. I 
have no fear for the good cause, but dreaded force and 
cunning on your account. 

Pray write, via NQrnberg, all that has happened since 
I got your last letter. For the tragic letters of our people 
would make us fancy that our affairs have assumed a 
serious aspect. The night before last some one mumbled 
something like this before the Prince at supper, but I said, 
with assumed indifference, that no one had written me 
about it. So I long for letters. Give me a true account 
to stop their mouths. They pay no attention to me. 


May the Lord guide and maintain you. Amen. From 
the desert. Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

Luther relates the course of negotiations since the Prince left. 

September 2-^, '530. 

Grace and peace ! As you wish to hear all that has 
taken place in Augsburg since the Prince's departure, dear 
Nicolas, I shall briefly relate everything. 

You know that certain umpires have been chosen to 
deliberate over unity of doctrine and peace, and Herr 
Philip is among them. But as they could not agree they 
again referred the matter to the Emperor, and now await 
his decision, although in the last letter they said the way 
was being paved for an agreement. 

In our former peace negotiations our opponents 
demanded we should permit private masses, retain both 
canons with the glossary, and the word sacrifice, etc., and 
call it an open question whether one takes the sacrament 
under both kinds or not, and allow the married monks to 
leave their wives and return to the cloister, and cease 
being considered married men. If we concede these, then 
they will tolerate the sacrament in both kinds, and acknow- 
ledge the wives for the sake of the children till a future 
council. You here see Satan's presumption, dear Nicolas, 
in making such disgraceful proposals to those whom he 
leads captive at his will. 

But our people have not yielded, although they have 
offered to restore the jurisdiction to the bishops if they will 
permit the preaching, and do away with the abuses and 
some of the fast days. But nothing has yet been done. 
As I write, letters have come from the dear Elector saying , 
the Emperor permits him to leave to-day. The Emperor ' 
Charles is a Christian who seeks to establish peace and 
unity, but whether he may be able to do so I know not, as 
he is surrounded by so many masked devils (devils in 
disguise). Farewell. Martin Luther. 


(Walch, V. 2 1. i2i6.) 



To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

September ij^, 1530. 

Grace and peace in Christ, my dear Kathie ! I hope, 
by God's grace, we shall be with you in fourteen days, 
although I fear our cause will not remain uncondemned. 
Efforts are being made towards this end. They will have 
difficulty in forcing the monks and nuns to return to the 

Still has written ; he hopes all will end peace- 
fully in Augsburg when they disperse. It would be a 
mercy if God granted this, for the Turk is determined to 
be at us. 

I herewith commit you to God. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 


To THE Elector John 

On bidding the Elector adieu at Augsburg the Emperor said : 
" Ohm, Ohm, I did not expect this of you ! " And it was 
most courageous to oppose Charles V., whom twenty kingdoms 

October 3, i 530. 

To the High-born Elector John. Grace and peace, 
most gracious Lord ! I am delighted that your Electoral 
Highness is emerging from the Augsburg hell, and 
although the eye of man may be displeased with this, still 
we hope that God may finish the work He has begun in 
us, and strengthen us more and more. You are in God's 
hands, even as we are, and our enemies cannot hurt a hair 
of our heads except God wills it. I have committed the 
matter to the Lord, who has begun it, and will complete 
it, I fully believe. 

It is beyond man's power to bestow such a gospel 
{hehre)^ so I shall watch to see who dare defy God in 
these things, for " bloody and deceitful men shall not Jive 
out half their days." They may threaten, but to carry 
out is not in their own power. May your Electoral Grace 
be strong in the spirit of joy and steadfastness. Amen. 


Also, seeing I have kept house at Coburg for half a 
year, I must mention some drawbacks, but do not wish to 
burden your Grace therewith, but feel it my duty to make 
them known, as an order from you to the officials would 
be sufficient to rectify them. I heard of them through 
subordinates, but have seen them myself, and all details 
can be had from Herr von Sternberg and the keeper 
(Kasnier), both of whom privately complained to me, 
being much distressed over it, and yet were powerless to 
make any change. They enumerate defects in enclosed 
paper,' and humbly plead that your Grace would issue 
orders which cannot be disregarded. Your Electoral 
Highness's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Luther was now in Wittenberg. He preached before the 
Elector in Torgau on the first Sunday after his return. 

October 31, i 530. 

Your accusing me of not writing, most excellent 
Amsdorf, justifies me in retaliating upon you for your 
continuous silence. For although knowing how solitary 
I was, you did not send me a line of consolation, but 
heaped injury upon injury by persisting in the said silence. 
And now you accuse me of a neglect which is not mine, 
but yours. 

I wonder if you have, perhaps, meanwhile become 
Archbishop of Magdeburg and Primate of Germany, that 
you have so easily forgotten poor me, and administer 
rebukes in such a high-handed fashion. 

For I do not think you should blame me for calling 
him of Mainz Reverend, unless you thought you were 
thereby being deprived of your lawful title. For I only 
used the word in Court fashion, even as one says " Gracious 
Sirs " when perhaps speaking to raging devils. But you 
have given me one pleasure in expressing yourself pleased 
with my last publication. I could issue nothing more 
because of my health, and can scarcely revise it, it being 

1 Not found. 


written by stealth, and much against the wish of my disease, 
and its progress at the printer's is as slow. More of this 
when you come to visit us, which I hope you will do, so 
that we may have delightful converse before departing 
this life. For I feel symptoms of approaching age. 
May the Lord be graciously with you in truth. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Account of the Emperor's coronation at Bologna. 

Nouember z, 1530. 

Grace and peace ! Our people will have told you 
about our Emperor, for it is a long story. But this is 
certain. He intends coming to Germany soon, and it is 
expected he will be very indignant against us if the Turk 
does not bring him to another way of thinking, as was the 
case at Vienna, where he compelled the proudest Dukes of 
Bavaria to write humbly to the heretical princes for help. 
For the Turk is only putting off his time in Hungary, 
being determined to return to Germany in spring. 

One of our ambassadors was here, who was sent by 
our Princes to the Emperor, and taken captive by him. 
He told of the pomp with which the Pope received his 
Majesty at Bologna, where he has been crowned. After 
the Emperor had kissed the Pope's feet his Holiness 
said : " Your Majesty must forgive me, but I dislike 
having my feet kissed, but the ancient ceremonial demands 

The Emperor then knelt, and the Pope kissed him re- 
peatedly on the cheek, after which his whole retinue was 
admitted to kiss the Papal feet. 

Four thousand ducats were scattered among the people. 
Charles honoured the Pope with a purse containing four 
thousand pieces of gold, with his own and his brother's 
likenesses. They were called presentation gulden. The 
canons may triumph now, for they will soon perish, while 


for the disciples it is a time of sorrow. The joy will soon 
come to an end. Let us only pray, and the gates of hell 
will not prevail. Martin Luther. 



To Wenzel Link 

Charles V. tried to get his brother Ferdinand chosen as 
Roman king, having bribed five Electors with large sums which 
he procured from the Fuggers. The Elector John summoned 
the Princes to a conference at Schmalkalden. 

December i, i 530. 

To the esteemed Wenzel Link, preacher in Nornberg. 
There are no news here, for you know more of what is 
taking place in Coburg than we. We hear of floods in 
Antwerp and Flanders. If it be true, then it is an evil 
omen against both their Majesties — the Papal as well as 
the Imperial. For these are signs through which Christ 
is preparing for coming to judgment. The end of the 
world is drawing nigh, while the reign of the saints begins 
to dawn. Pray that my faith may increase. In body I 
am pretty well, except that I am. afflicted with a discharge in 
the teeth and neck. Greet all our people, Osiander and 
the Abbot Dominic, Spengler, and our Veit. For I cannot 
write them all. For I am not only Luther, but Pommer 
and Dome Provost, and Moses and Jethro, and what 
not ! Yes, all in all ! But truly the more numerous the 
objects which distract his attention, the less capable does 
he become of managing even one. 

Pommer's work in Lilbeck is most successful, but 
Satan gives him much trouble through a maiden who is 
possessed. The devil tries wonderful ways of attacking 
people, which you will find in the enclosed letters, which 
you can read and return. Greet your wife and child from 
me. My Kathie greets you. Martin Luther. 


P.S. — Pray send enclosed to Strassburg, and have it 
put into dear Nicolas Gerbel's hands. 



To THE Elector John 

Luther advises the Elector to vote for Ferdinand as Roman 

December 12, i 530. 

Grace and peace, Most Serene High-born Prince, Most 
Gracious Lord ! My dear friend Dr. Bruck has, at your 
Grace's request, secretly asked my opinion as to the elec- 
tion of a Roman Emperor, as His Majesty wished your 
opinion on this matter. Although my mean worldly 
position should preclude my mixing in such high matters, 
about which I cannot advise, not being sufficiently acquainted 
with all the circumstances, still I shall communicate my 
thoughts to your Grace. First, I think that it is most 
desirable that, in the choice of a king, your Grace should, 
in God's name, vote, and for this reason : If you refuse to 
vote, then they might have a pretext for depriving you of 
your Electorate. On the other hand, if you do vote, then 
you would be confirmed in the tenure of your Electorate, 
and thus their cunning devices to deprive you of your 
lands would be frustrated, even as God defeated their 
wickedness at Augsburg when they fancied your Grace 
dared not appear, and then they would have had a pretext 
for condemning your Electoral Highness. So again their 
wiles will be foiled, and you will retain your lands with all 
the more glory. You may rest assured that it is no sin 
to choose an enemy of the gospel in a worldly sense as 
Emperor, as you cannot prevent it, and then your Grace 
must obey the King. 

And again, should your Highness refuse to vote, the 
choice might fall on Herzog George, or such another, 
and then the title might descend to his heirs, and cause 
unending jealousy and dissension. Therefore, should your 
Grace, through refusing to vote, burden your conscience 
with so many evil consequences, it would be a great grief 
to me, and perhaps most offensive to God. 

It would be better to vote, trusting in God, who is able 
to shape the future far better than we, and your Electoral 


Grace can always cleave to the gospel in spite of King 
Ferdinand, as happened under the Emperor, and besides 
God can arrange the future for the benefit of those who 
believe in Him. 

And I should not like your Grace's confidence in God, 
which shone so gloriously in Augsburg, to suffer injury 
through fear of the future, especially as we have no Scrip- 
ture warrant or necessity for acting thus, and which might 
be our ruin. 

The third reason is, were you not to vote, then the 
kingdom is torn asunder and Germany divided, through 
which war may ensue, for one party will not yield to the 
other unless coerced through war. God knows these are 
no light matters, but may He help us not to make them 

The future is not at man's disposal, as an old History 
tells us, and when God is not at the helm, things turn out 
very differently from what one expects. If the Pope and 
Emperor did not get their own way at Augsburg, hence- 
forth they will certainly fail, as they trust their own 
wisdom. Only let us cleave to God, and not to an 
uncertain future, as they did. 

The Landgrave of Hesse has caused himself to be 
inscribed as a citizen of Zurich, which is no cause of 
rejoicing to me, and if God do not prevent, a great war 
may ensue, in which the error of the sacrament may be 
defended and we be blamed, a calamity which may Christ 
avert. For the Swiss have not yet retracted, but maintain 
their error. AivXcOrd God, I am far tOQ^jnuch^-of a 
child for these worldly affairs ! I shall pray God to 
protect and guide you graciously, as He has hitherto 
done ; or should anything untoward happen, that He may 
provide a way of escape. Amen. 

Your Electoral Grace will take my unintelligible 
prating in good part. I speak as I understand, but desire 
that your Grace's conscience may be clear, for it would be 
my greatest trial should it run into danger. I herewith 
commit you to the grace of God. Your Electoral High- 
ness's devoted Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 



In consequence of Ferdinand's election as King of Rome, and 
the news that Charles V. was collecting troops in Brabant, the 
Schmalkald league was formed by Hesse and Saxony, with the 
support of King Frederick of Denmark, for the protection of 


To THE Town Council of GOttingen 

Luther sends them a preacher. 

January 1 1, 1531. 

To the honoured Mayor and Council of Gottingen. 
Grace and peace in Christ ! I herewith send the preacher 
of whom I wrote lately, Herr Birnstiel, and although he 
may not be master of the Saxon tongue, still I trust he 
may please, as in Brunswick the North German dialect 
satisfies them in the pulpit. The other licentiate, Basilius, 
will soon follow. He cannot sell his glebe, implements, 
and cattle so hurriedly, hence the delay. The clergy are 
becoming scarce (^dunne) here. The harvest is great and 
the labourers few, so they must be treated accordingly. 
I trust your Excellencies will find them learned and capable 
men. Herr Basil speaks both good Saxon and North 
German, so I confidently recommend them. Pray provide 
them with money for the journey. Meantime I bade 
them borrow. God grant they may bring forth much 
fruit, to the honour of His name and your salvation. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 


(De Wette.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

About the Sacramentarians (Zwinglians). 

January 21, i 531. 

Honoured in the Lord, grace and peace ! It is 
hardly necessary for me to write, as Jonas, a living epistle, 
is starting for you. From him you can hear what is 
taking place here and elsewhere. The Sacramentarians 


are most anxious to communicate with us, and are con- 
ceding some things and adopting a milder tone. We shall 
pray that the harmony may be complete. Pommer 
is working diligently, but Satan buffets him through a 
maiden who is possessed. Jonas, this Demosthenes, will 
enlarge upon all this with his usual eloquence. I wonder 
that Bernard is not back. Write him to return imme- 
diately, for the living of Sebastian- Rotteritz is waiting 
for him. It is near Leisling, and I think will suit him. 
If not, I shall seek something else. Tell him he will not 
eat me into the poorhouse in three or four weeks ; so 
manage this for me. We are reissuing the German 
Psalter because of the enemy's aspersions. Christ, who 
has begun the work, will finish it, to His honour and our 
salvation. My wife and household greet you respectfully. 
Yours obediently, Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1377.) 


To John GDtel, Preacher in Gottingen 

Luther introduces the bearer of this letter to his future 

January 22, 1531. 

Here, excellent brother, is one of the promised 
preachers, Hans Birnstiel ; the second will follow when 
he has sold his farm and belongings. I beseech you, 
further Christ's cause, and introduce no innovations into 
the services, if in accordance with your views. For the 
common man gladly seizes any such pretext for damaging 
God's Word. For although such ceremonials do not v 
promote holiness, still they arrest the attention of coarser \ 
natures. I speak chiefly of the rites connected with the > 
mass, altars, etc., and of vestments, torches, and such-like 
trifles, which can be retained, if not already done away 
with, as in Wittenberg. 

If so, restore them gradually, but let God's Word 
have the first place, so that no one's conscience may be 
offended. For they are useful for children and feeble 
folks, who must be considered. But you have reached 


the highest degree of perfection, for love and unity reign 
among you. May the Lord continue this ; and pray for 
me. Martin Luther. 



To Martin Bocer, Preacher in Strassburg 

Concerning the Lord's Supper. 

January 22, 1531. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! We read your confession 
of faith, and highly approve of it, and thank God that we 
are so far at least agreed that the body and blood are 
really in the Lord's Supper, and given as food to the 
soul. But why maintain that Zwingli and CEcolampadius 
are of the same opinion } 

If we say that Christ's body is really offered as food 
to the soul, and that it is no contradiction to assert He is 
as much offered to a Christless soul, although it cannot at 
once perceive it, even as the sunlight illuminates the eyes 
of the blind as well as of those who see, I wonder you should 
be loath to admit that we outwardly put the body into 
the mouths of the godless as well as of the pious. For 
admitting that all are allowed to partake of it, then it 
cannot be denied that the body is present in several places 
at once. If this opinion does not yet prevail among you, 
then the negotiations must be stopped, awaiting further en- 
lightenment from God. I cannot recede from this position, 
and if you do not feel that this idea lies in Christ's words, 
then how can there be an enduring union between us 
unless I am wiUing to sow the seeds of still greater 
dissensions in our congregations, thus causing a split 
which will prevent any unanimity. 

Therefore, I beseech you, let us not ratify such a false 
agreement, which will cause all manner of offences, but 
leave the matter to God, and seek meantime to maintain 
this understanding that both parties admit that the body 
of Christ is really present in the sacrament, and partaken 
of inwardly by behevers. For were we to do more than 
this, your people who partake of the sacrament with us, 
and ours who do so with you, would necessarily receive it 


in opposition to what they believe, thus betraying the 
faith of those who do not know of the compact, or be 
guilty of open sacrilege towards them who are aware of 
it, and whether this would be to edification or Christ-like 
you know yourself. So let us be satisfied with this empty 
union, rather than a closer one, which would end in a 
more tragic separation, and produce all kinds of dis- 

Would that I could convince you of what I told you in 
Coburg, that I desire greatly to heal this rupture, even 
should it cost three lives, for unanimity is necessary for 
us, and our dissensions have injured the gospel, so that I 
believe all the gates of hell, the papacy, and the Turk, 
along with the world and the flesh, could not do us so 
much harm if we were only of one mind. Were it 
possible, how gladly would I give my hand towards this 
end ! 

I expected great things from the Coburg discussions, 
but my hopes have not yet been fulfilled. May the Lord 
Jesus enlighten and draw us together through a real 
union ! I pray for this. I commit you to God. 

Martin Luther. 



To Katherine Zell, Matthew Zell's Wife 
This letter shows Luther's relation to the Strassburg people. 

January 24, 1531. 

To the virtuous lady, the wife of Matthew Zell, in 
Strassburg. I have not yet answered your letter, my 
good friend, which I received some time ago, thinking it 
premature to discuss matters, but seeing (God be praised) 
that the situation is slightly altered, I now write to beg 
you to do everything, with your husband and others, for 
the maintenance of peace and unanimity (if God will). 
For you know that love must go before everything, except 
God, who is over all, even above love itself. W^herev^er 
God and His Word dwell, there love will have the upper 
hand next to God. Such a high concern is too much for 


us to manage alone. It must be committed to God in 
earnest prayer, for it is God's concern, not ours. We are 
impotent. Pray, pray, and let Him bear the burden. I 
commit you to God. Remember me to your dear 
husband. Martin Luther. 

Luther's Letters to JVomen. 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

About the Strassburg people. 

February 2, 1531. 

There is nothing new, dear Nicolas, to tell you. The 
Strassburgers have gone over to the Swiss, and will oppose 
the Emperor Karl. I have been a true prophet, for I 
always said that the Sacramentarians were filled with a 
spirit of secret sedition. If God do not prevent, a new 
Manzer may arise among them, to their own hurt, and they 
will be punished because of their contempt for the gospel. 

There is a rumour that the Turks are approaching, 
and another that Charles is returning to Spain. The 
Papists are quite alarmed, and yet will not search their 
own hearts. 

England is embracing the Reformation, and the King 
looks at it through his fingers. The Cardinal, who was 
worshipped as a demigod in England, nay, over half 
Europe, has been condemned to lifelong captivity. In 
France and Spain God's Word is also looking up. The 
Sacramentarians hate us more than ever since the 
Marburg Conference, and are sorry we have not been 
caught in their net. Pray for me. Farewell. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1238.) 


To THE Town Council of Gottingen 
Luther announces that the two preachers refuse to come. 

March 1, 1531. 

To the wise Mayor and Council in Gottingen. 
Gracious sirs and good friends, grace and peace in 


Christ ! 1 have had your form of church service printed, 
as you see. The reason for the Licentiate Basilius not 
coming you will gather from his letter. I do not come 
well out of this business in having raised the poor man's 
hopes, and then having to leave him sitting. My 
simplicity, or rather folly, is to blame for not first 
inquiring into all the circumstances. But it is not my 
first mistake, and will not be my last. 

God grant that henceforth you may first be sure of 
your cause, and above all unanimous, before embarking 
on a similar proceeding. I herewith commit you to God. 

Martin Luther. 

(Dc Wette.) 


To John Gutel, Preacher in Gottingen 

Luther complains of the people's meanness. 

March i, 1531. 

Grace and peace ! I have had your Church Service 
printed, dear Giitel, and wrote a preface for it, and dedicated 
it to the heads of your congregation. See that it bears 
fruit. It will fare badly with your people if they reject 
any more servants of the Church. I have great difficulty 
in finding serviceable people, for in Wittenberg the 
scarcity is very great. 

Formerly thousands were squandered on useless 
creatures who were deceivers in addition ; now they will 
scarcely expend one hundred gulden on a pastor 
{Seelsorger). Therefore I will take nothing more to do 
with them. They fancy we must be proud of them, 
and that they cannot be wanted. 

I cannot answer your inquiries as to whether one may 
dispense the Holy Sacrament without tonsure and priestly 
consecration. For if they are not in earnest there, I 
would prefer you to let it alone. But otherwise you 
should openly ordain them before the altar with prayer 
and the laying on of the hands of the other servants of 
the Word, thus empowering them to dispense the sacra- 
ment. Excuse those hasty lines. I see so much in- 
gratitude that I am unwilling to advise or have anything 


to do with those Israelites who are satiated with the 
manna. Remain steadfast in Christ. 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Town Council of Gottingen 

March 28, 1531. 

Grace and peace, honoured sirs ! The licentiate of 
whom you wrote is now beyond your reach, having been 
called to Goslar. As I told you, such people are scarce 
and precious, and will become more so, and I know of no 
one sufficiently versed in the Saxon tongue to suit you at 
present. But I have discussed it with your messenger, 
and he will try, with a letter from me, to arrange matters 
with one Cyriac at Cothen, who till now has preached 
at Zerbst. If he'll accept I'll promote the call. I 
commit you to God. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 
Luther mourns over the ingratitude of the Zwickau people. 

May 14, 1 5 3 1 . 

Grace and peace ! I write a few lines in the greatest 
haste, to beg you to come here as soon as you can. You 
would be the most welcome of guests. Do not distress 
yourself over your people's ingratitude. I am glad we 
have this opportunity of despising them. You must not 
resign your living, but under the pretext of visiting me 
leave them in order to see the issue of events. More by 
word of mouth. Do not worry your neighbours through 
your annoyance. It is not your fault. Meanwhile, 
rejoice in being reviled for the truth and blamed by these 
ungrateful, people. The Lord be with you ! Greet 
Cordatus politely from me. Martin Luther. 




To HIS Mother 

Letter of consolation in her last illness. 

May 20, 1531. 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ ! Amen, 

My dearly loved mother, I have heard of your illness 
from my brother Jacob, and am much grieved that I 
cannot be with you in person, but am with you in spirit, 
along with the others. 

Although I trust your heart has for long been richly 
supplied with the comforts of God's Word, and with 
preachers and comforters, still I shall contribute my mite 
thereto, as is the duty of a child to his mother. 

First, dear mother, you know well that your sickness is 
a proof of God's fatherly love, and that the uplifted rod 
is a small punishment compared to that with which the 
godless are visited, nay, even that which He brings upon 
many of His dear children, one beaten, the other burned, 
and so on, so that all must cry, " For Thy sake we are 
killed all the day long." Therefore, all such suffering 
ought to be received as a mark of God's favour, seeing it 
is a mere trifle compared to that of His dear Son, our Lord 
Jesus, which He endured for us. 

And you, dear mother, know the foundation of your 
blessedness, Christ Jesus, the corner-stone, who will never 
fail us, for He is the Saviour of all who in their deep 
need call upon His name. He says, " Be of good cheer ; I 
have overcome the world." And now that death and sin 
have been overcome, we may be full of joy, and when sin 
frightens us we may say, " I will not listen to thy alarms, 
but to my Saviour's word of consolation, ' Be of good 
cheer.' This is my stay ; upon it I will depend. It 
will not deceive me." St. Paul also glories in it, defying 
the fear of death, exclaiming, " Death is swallowed up in 

Occupy your heart, dear mother, solely with such 
thoughts, and be thankful that God has brought you to 
the knowledge of these things, not leaving you to trust in 


your own works and regard our Saviour as a cruel judge 
and tyrant, from whom we must flee to Mary and the 
saints for the comfort He only can give. But we now 
know the fathomless mercy of our Heavenly Father, and 
that Jesus is our Mediator and Bishop, daily interceding 
for us in God's presence so that all who call upon Him 
may partake of His consolation, for He bare our sins on 
the tree, so we may boldly approach Him, calling Him by 
the sweet name of Saviour and Comforter, the true Bishop 
of our souls. Therefore, joyfully thank the Lord for such 
tokens of His grace. He who has begun the good work 
will graciously finish it. For we are powerless to help 
ourselves. We cannot conquer sin, death, and the devil 
by our own works, but there is One who can, and who 
says, " Be of good cheer ; I have overcome the world." 
And again, " Because I live, ye shall live also ; and your 
joy no man taketh from you." The God of all consola- 
tion grant you a firm, joyful faith, so that you may 
overcome this, and all other distress, and at last experience 
the truth of these words, " I have overcome the world." 
I commend you, body and soul, to His mercy. Amen. 
All your children pray for you, also my Kathie. Some 
weep, others eat and say, " The grandmother is very ill." 
May the grace of God be with us all. Amen. Your 
dear son, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Conrad Cordatus 
Luther wishes Cordatus to visit the Eisleben living. 

Mav 29, 1531 . 

Grace and peace ! I am delighted with your call to 
Eisleben, my native town, for then you will be an 
antagonist of Wicelius, towards whom you have a 
righteous hatred. But you should first go and inquire 
into everything, and if you are pleased, then you need not 
regret leaving that terrible hole. That God's will be 
done is my sole desire. There you would perhaps breathe 
a purer atmosphere, which is cleansed by the furnaces 


burning night and day, and not, as in Zwickau, inhale 
such damp fumes. You know the proverb, " Imagination 
often makes things appear real." I thank God you feel a 
little better. But lay aside these fancies, which have 
made you think you had many serious illnesses. I have 
often to contend with these fancied ailments also, for our 
adversary the devil winds himself about us, not only to 
devour our souls, but to martyr our bodies with torment- 
ing thoughts. Knowing well that the health of our soul 
depends very much on that of the body — *' a merry heart 
doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the 
bones " — I can talk beautifully to you, but do not follow 
my own counsel. Farewell in the Lord. 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Christians in Zwickau 

Letter of consolation. 

June 21, 1531. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I know well, God be 
praised, that many among you are deeply grieved that 
your two preachers are being so badly treated. Truly 
they have learned the gospel wrong when they act thus 
towards their pastors. But it must ever be so that God 
and His servants are treated thus, outwardly through 
tyranny, inwardly by false brethren and ungrateful people. 
My advice is, let the creatures muddle themselves with 
drink while you possess your souls in patience. They are 
God's enemies, and so God is their enemy, and it is 
punishment enough for them to have so powerful an 
enemy, whom they at present despise, but who will in His 
own time let them feel His wrath. As for you, remain 
true to the doctrine you have embraced, and wait on the 
ministrations of your faithful pastor and the sacraments 
till you see what the Prince will do. 

Go to St. Katherine's to service and for the sacrament, 
or put up with the preacher in the Pfarr Kirche, as it 
suits. Listen to them in so far as their preaching is pure. 


and partake of the sacrament without scruple, for the 
Word and sacrament is, and remains, a God-like thing. 
But do not praise or acquiesce in their shameful doings. 
For, seeing they are installed, it is not your place to 
remove them publicly from office or to avoid them till the 
Prince issues his decree. I commit you to God, that He 
may strengthen you in this and all tribulation. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Michael Stiefel 

Luther announces a visit at the cherry season. 

June or 'July. 

Grace and peace ! Many greetings, dear Michael. 
I know of nothing to write about, so, in case of burdening 
you, do not write, but wished to send you this greeting as 
a letter, and to announce that, if God will, we shall shortly 
pay a visit to your cherries, with a number of cherry- 
loving boys. Farewell in the Lord. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1238.) 


To Bernard von Dolen 

Concerning the marriage of this preacher. 

July 13, 1531. 

Grace and peace ! My Kathie greets you, dear 
Bernard. She orders me to write you. What you write 
of the carelessness of the preachers and the contempt of 
the peasants is only too true. Here patience is not only 
salutary but indispensable. I laud your resolution to 
marry, but see that the manse is first built, so that you 
may occupy it alone with your wife. For it is an insuffer-l 
able thing to lodge in some one else's house with a wife. J 
I know the maiden, Hanna Zetzschin, well, and trust she 
is an upright and estimable person. I also know that she 
has been well brought up, for she learned housekeeping 


under a strict disciplinarian, and had a great deal to do 
and put up with. Still you must not rely on my judgment 
or that of any one else, but must see her for yourself in | 
favourable surroundings. For there is nothing special in 
her personal appearance, it being rather ordinary, if you 
wish good looks. Farewell in the Lord, and pray for me. 
As yet we are, God be praised, all well. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 11. 1233.) 


To THE Elector John of Saxony 

The Turks threatened war. The Emperor consented to peace 
negotiations being opened in Frankfort in June, but the Elector 
was emphatic as to purity of doctrine being maintained, which 
was secured by the Schmalkald league to the Protestants. 

August 14, 1 5 3 1 . 

Grace and peace, Most Serene High-born Prince, most 
gracious Lord ! The learned Dr. BrDck gave me your 
greeting, with the request that I would pray for your 
Electoral Grace, I humbly thank you for the greeting, 
and for all the unmerited favours you have showered upon 
me. But it is my duty to pray for your Grace, and I 
have always done so both in the pulpit and secretly in my 
closet, and shall continue to do so as long as I live, for it 
would be a sin if I gave it up, knowing how much you 
have to endure, both outwardly and inwardly, and how 
heavy your burden is. But the great and gracious God, 
who has counted you worthy to suffer so much for His 
Word, and to bear so many burdens connected with the 
State, will not forsake you, for He has said, " Cast thy 
burden on the Lord, and he will sustain thee," which He 
has hitherto so marvellously done, especially in regard to 
the late Diet. I shall also faithfully serve your dear son, 
Herzog Ernest. May Christ guard you on your proposed 
journey, and for ever ! Amen. Your Electoral Grace's 
obedient Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Luther introduces Barnes to Amsdorf. 

September 4, i 5 3 1 . 

Grace and peace ! I commend to you this English- 
man, Herr Dr. Anton, my Amsdorf, for he passes your 
way on his journey to Labeck. You can hear of us from 
him. Simon Hafritz is here, and I do not know in what 
nest to place this bird, for you gentlemen of the Treasury 
have endowed his numerous family scantily. But Luther 
has a broad back, and will bear this burden also. Thanks 
for supplying the wants of the others you sent back here. 
The Lord be with you, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Hausmann 
Luther invites his afflicted friend to visit him. 

October 31, i 5 3 1 . 

Grace and peace in Christ, who dwells above all the 
Zwickau disturbances 1 Yes, my excellent friend,' the 
reason I have not written sooner to comfort you is as 
much due to the difficulty of sending letters as to the 
multiplicity of my concerns. I am sorry that you will not 
return to me, as I like so much to have you with me. 
Once more I plead with you to return. You would be 
no burden to me, but a true source of consolation and 
help. I shall have a room prepared for you and arrange 
everything. What distresses me most is the ingratitude 
of the Zwickau people in withholding from you what is 
your due after you have exhausted your means and 
strength in their service, which devotion they rewarded 
by giving you less and less every year. Christ will deliver 
you from them, and requite them as they deserve. And 
this same Lord, our hope and crown, our life and peace, 


will encourage and rejoice your heart, and enable you to 
despise their poisonous backbiting. 

It is an honour to be hated of the godless. The grace 
of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit be with you. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 

(SchQtze and Walch, v. 21. 1398.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

No'uember zo, 1531. 

Grace and peace, dearest friend ! The other day I 
again wrote begging you to come to me, but as you have 
not replied I fear you have not got the letter. Therefore 
I once more plead with you to come at once. An empty 
room is waiting for you. Have no hesitation in coming, 
for you will be a comfort to me, and would to God you 
could spend your whole life with me. It would be easy 
to entertain you, and a good opportunity of refusing those 
ungrateful people their request, which otherwise could not 
be denied them. This Pastor Biichholz will tell you what 
I mean ; but come speedily. Do not trouble about money. 
Farewell in Christ. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1399.) 


No-uember z\, 1531- 

Grace and peace 1 We expect your return as soon 
as your wife's health will permit. We have served the 
Ltlbeck people sufficiently, especially through you, whose 
absence is now becoming unbearable to us. For I am 
oppressed with work and often sick, and the Church's 
money matters suffer, as I cannot attend to them. Do 
you know that the devil has just sent a wolf, a Zwinglian, 
to your people in Brunswick } And now that Campanus 
is entering the fold of this wolf, I know not whether God 
is punishing our town's ingratitude or trying our patience 
to the utmost. You can write them on the subject, or 
speak of it to the magistrate on your way home. 


I fear this spark, will light a fire with many. But One 
has said to Christ, " Sit thou at my right hand ! " and 
" Thou art my Son ! " If He lies, then we can worship 
Campanus and his God. Amen. The Lord has bestowed 
a Martin upon me through my Kathie. Things go well 
with us, except that the farmers, who are very well off 
this year, are causing very bad times through their greed, 
as a token of gratitude for the gospel, it is said, which 
has freed them from so much evil. Greet your Eve and 
Sarah in the name of me and mine. 

Martin Luther. 



To Hans Loeser, Hereditary Marshal of Saxony 
Luther sends him an exposition of the 147th Psalm. 

December 16, 1 5 3 1 . 

Grace and peace, honoured dear sir and friend ! 
When I was with you lately you did me the great honour 
to take me with you to the hunt to try if the dizziness 
and weakness in my head might not be dispelled through 
bodily exercise. 

As I sat in the carriage I undertook a spiritual chase, 
and expounded the 147th Psalm (Lauda Jerusalem), which 
became to me the most delightful hunting-ground where 
the noblest game was to be found. Having brought it 
home and worked it up, I wished you to see it, so that I 
might not secretly retain, to the injury of my conscience, 
a possession which I acquired upon your ground. There- 
fore I send it to you, it being your property, and keep it 
entire for me. For such game is wonderfully adapted for 
distribution among friends, for each receives the whole, 
and no one is defrauded. Favour me by accepting it, for 
I am ready to serve your Grace. I herewith commit you 
to God, with your dear house vine and olive branches. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Gerbel, Doctor of Laws in Strassburg 

No date. 

I can only write a few lines, my Gerbel, because 
Satan's onslaughts are daily becoming worse. I shall 
gladly help the Count Hohenlohe with letters to Court. 
We are firmly convinced that Ferdinand will not make 
war on Hesse this year, for he is rather afraid of him, and 
could do nothing. All of us marvel at God's wondrous 
acts, and thank Him for having turned into derision the 
terrible threats at the Diet of Augsburg, so that we may 
enjoy peace, for all thought that a terrible war would 
break out in Germany this summer. But God is letting 
us see that He has the hearts of kings and all men in His 
hands. I commit you to God, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 



In this year Luther's good friend John the Steadfast passed 
away, and was succeeded by John Frederick, The Protestants 
also united with Charles V. to protect themselves against the 
Turks, who were happily defeated. The Reformation spread 
rapidly, and the Protestants were promised a council to arrange 
religious matters. 


To Martin GOrlitz, Superintendent in Brunswick. 

January 3, 1532. 

Grace and peace ! 1 have already written to you, my 
Martin, that I thought of calling you elsewhere. I now 
do so in the name of the Lord. So set yourself free 
as soon as you can. You are expected at the living of 
Kalen near Jena, which is without a pastor at present. 
If this do not please you, then we shall exchange it for 
that of Belger, or some other. Excuse my brevity, but 
I have much to do. Perhaps Brunswick is unworthy of 
the pure word, and wishes to imitate Muhlhausen and 



Zurich. God forbid. Amen. Carlstadt has succeeded 
Zwingli in Zurich, whom they now declare to be one 
of Christ's martyrs, that they may fill up the measure 
of their iniquities. May you prosper in Christ. 

Martin Luther. 



To Wenzel Link 

Luther had heard with much concern of a misunderstanding 
among the preachers in Niirnberg. 

"January 3, 1532. 

Grace and peace in the Lord Jesus ! I have not 
written to you for long, my Wenzel, and, considering 
how much I have to do, my letters are not necessary to 
you. Still it was your duty, seeing you have more leisure 
than I, to write oftener to me. I only hope that the 
little rumour I have heard is not true, that there is some 
misunderstanding among you servants of the gospel at 
NUrnberg, a calamity almost sadder than any other I 
could hear of. Therefore I beseech you, for I know the 
uprightness of your heart, help me to combat this evil 
and to keep watch over these unruly spirits who are not 
satisfied with stirring up strife on earth, but would gladly 
shoot their fiery darts even against the saints and God's 
kingdom, which we are — to lead us astray. If it be 
Osiander who does not approve of our views of baptism, 
we shall have patience and not irritate him, even as he 
must have patience with us and not provoke us till Christ 
unravels this knot. 

We are now seeing God's judgments for the second 
time — first on Munzer and now on Zwingli. I prophesied 
that God would not long suffer such blasphemies, calling 
us cannibals, blood-drinkers, and other horrible names. 
They have brought it upon themselves. Do you cleave 
to the Augsburg Confession. You do not give me any 
reliable information about Carlstadt, and I wonder at the 
story remaining so long secret and then reaching us in 
such a roundabout way, so that we are not certain as 


to its truth. Philip says that if God does not lay hold 
of Carlstadt through his wondrous power and wisdom, 
He will never be able to do so by ordinary means, so 
manifold are the resources of this monstrosity. But the 
proverb, " He who stirs up strife will himself perish 
thereby," shall be verified in him. Greet Lazarus 
Spengler and all our people in a friendly way from me. 
May you and yours prosper in Christ. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector John 

The Elector John made over the cloister buildings and garden 
in Wittenberg to Luther in his last illness. 

February 12, 1532. 

Grace and peace. High-born Prince and Gracious 
Lord ! Dr. Brack has shown me the articles which are 
to be arranged by the Electors of Mayence and Pfalz — 
in view of a treaty between the Princes and the Emperor, 
and I have given my opinion as to the form in which 
they might be accepted. Feeling certain that God has 
answered our prayer by granting peace, I could not 
refrain from presenting my humble petition to your Grace. 
For I fear the article about the King will give you ample 
cause for anxiety. 

But, seeing that your virtuous opposition to his un- 
righteous election is known over the whole world, I 
would humbly beseech you, for the honour of God, to 
let said articles pass and not hinder peace. For even 
if it came to war, and that war were successful, peace 
must at last be concluded, and the terms after all the 
damage done might be much harder than now. Also, 
your Grace must see how firmly the towns and con- 
federations are holding together, their magnanimity being 
a marvel to all ; but only let the parties come into 
collision — then this unanimity will vanish like water — 
and neither citizen nor town will risk life and property 
for the sake of a prince. It is true if God sends human 
aid it is well, but to depend on this never prospers. But 


now that the Emperor — the authority of God's appointing 
— commands that peace should be concluded, this should 
be regarded as if God were holding out His gracious 
hand to us, and we must not let Him do so in vain. 
It is easy for an ordinary person to look forward to war, 
for he has little to lose and can crawl easier out of the 
mire than the Prince he has perhaps drawn into it. But 
I am becoming too worldly wise and garrulous, but it is 
my anxiety for my dear sovereign Prince which prompts 
me.^ However, I believe your Grace will manage better 
than I fear, and I shall cry earnestly to God for you, 
for it is He who must begin, carry on, and perfect any- 
thing good. Man's thoughts are only foolishness. Your 
Electoral Grace's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To HIS Wife 

From Torgau, where Luther is detained by the Elector's 

February 27, 1532. 

To my beloved wife Katherine. God greets you in 
Christ. I hope if Dr. BrQck gets leave for me that I shall 
accompany him home to-morrow or the day after. Pray 
God to bring us back fresh and well. I sleep six or seven 
hours running, and afterwards two or three. I am sure 
it is owing to the beer. But in the morning before I have 
eaten anything, I am fit for nothing, as in Wittenberg. 
Dr. Caspar ^ says that our gracious lord's foot is not 
mortifying further. But no prisoner on the ladder in 
the tower suffers as much from Hans Stockmeister as 
does his Grace from the surgeons. His whole body is 
as sound as a fish, but the devil has his foot in his grip. 
Pray, go on praying ! For God has begun to hear us. 

As Johannes^ is leaving, honour demands that I shall 
give him an honourable discharge. For you know how 
faithfully he has served us, and how humbly he has 

1 Ferdlnanci's election as King of Rome and administrator of the Kingdom 
in Charles's absence. 

* Cruciger. ^ His man-servant. 


behaved in accordance with the gospel, having put up 
with everything, so do not let him want for anything, 
for it would be well- pleasing to God. There is little 
available, but I would gladly give him ten gulden if I had 
them — but under five you must not let him go, for his 
clothing is scanty. Pray give him more if you can. 
The town treasury would honour itself by giving him 
something, seeing I kept him for the use of their churches. 
But as they will ; let nothing be wanting on our part ; look 
round to see where you can get anything. God will 
requite it ; that I know. Amen, Kiss little Hans, and 
bid him, Lenchen, and Tante Lene pray for the dear 
Prince and me. I can find nothing here, although it 
is the Fair, for the children, so provide something, if I 
bring nothing special. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Elector John of Saxony 
Luther wishes him joy on his partial recovery. 

March 28, 1532. 

Grace and peace. Most Serene Prince, etc. I have 
received your Electoral Highness's joyful letter with great 
delight, and thank God who has not despised our prayers, 
and has so graciously restored your Grace's health. We 
can well believe all that your Electoral Highness writes 
of the strange things he has experienced in this illness. 
But God, who is a God of life, of consolation, of health 
and of joy, will continue and perfect what He has begun, 
in opposition to the devil, who is the god of death, of 
mourning, and of sickness, and will compel him to stop 
his attacks. Amen. 

We pray earnestly that your Grace shall want for 
nothing, either here or there, although you must eat a 
little wormwood and bite a sour apple. Pray take these 
awkward lines in good part, for my head is still in 
subjection to the enemy of all good and health, who at 
times promenades through my brains, so that I can 


neither read nor write. May Christ, our consolation 
and joy, be with you to all eternity. Amen. Your 
Grace's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To N. ZiNK 

Luther comforts him on his son's death. 

April 22, 1 532. 

Grace and peace ! Dear friend, you will now have 
heard of your son's death — who was studying here. He 
was seized with serious illness, and although everything 
was done for him, the disease got the upper hand and 
bore him away to our Lord Jesus, He was very dear 
to all of us, especially to me (for he shortened many an 
evening for me by singing treble in my house), and in 
addition he was quiet and well behaved, and a diligent 
student ; so his death was a great grief to us, for we 
would gladly have retained him ; but he was even dearer 
to God, who desired to have him. So it is only natural 
his fate should ajffect you and your dear wife, seeing it 
has grieved me so. Still rather thank God for giving 
you such an amiable pious son, upon whom all your 
trouble and expense were so well bestowed. But comfort 
yourselves with the thought of his falling asleep with such 
a testimony of his faith on his lips, which was a marvel 
to us, so that there is as little doubt that he is with God, 
his true father, as that the Christian religion is true. 
And be grateful that he like so many others did not 
come to an untimely end, and even had he lived, your 
means could have helped him to nothing higher than a 
profession of some kind. And now he is in the place 
he would not exchange for the whole world. So take 
comfort that he is not lost but only sent on before to 
be kept in everlasting bUss ; therefore " we must not 
sorrow as those which have no hope." 

Magister Veit Dietrich will comfort you with a few 
of the beautiful sayings he uttered before his death. 
But my love for the pious boy causes me to send you 


these lines. I commit vou to Christ, our Lord and 
Comforter. Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

"Jime 23, 1532. 

Grace and peace ! My not writing you, dear Amsdorf, 
was caused by the state of my head, but in answer to 
your prayers it is now getting better. I am sorry to 
hear that you have been ill. May Christ restore and 
preserve you to us for long. 1 do not know what to 
hope for regarding the peace negotiations between the 
Emperor and us in religious matters. Our folks wrote 
that the Turk was advancing with an enormous army 
on Germany to attack Ferdinand and Charles. 

The Pope is French, and he and the King of France 
refuse help against the Turks. Behold this money, which 
the Popes have been collecting from the Indulgences 
for so many centuries, to use against the Turks. It is 
said that the Emperor will appeal to the German princes 
for the promised help, so the Diet and peace negotiations 
may soon be ended. Carlstadt has gone to Friesland to 
seek a fresh hiding-place, having only got the post of 
land overseer in Switzerland of which he had more than 
enough here. May the Lord do what is well-pleasing 
in His eyes, to whom I commend you. 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Princes Johann and Joachim of Anhalt 

Luther rejoiced in the accession of the Anhalt Princes to the 
Evangelical faith in 1532. He sent them Hausmann as Court 

May or June 1532. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, Most Serene High-born 
Princes and Gracious Lords. That pious man, Nicolas 
Hausmann, comes to your Highnesses as Court preacher.^ 

' In Dessau. 


I humbly commend him to you. He is an excellent man 
of the highest character, and a faithful expounder of God's 
Word, which he loves with his whole heart. May Christ 
cause him to bring forth much fruit. Amen. I do not 
doubt you will cherish him. I commit you to God, and 
if my poor prayers are of any avail, they are ever offered 
on your Graces' behalf. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1242.) 


To Some One Unknown 

On July 25 the Emperor and Ferdinand most unwillingly 
signed a religious truce, knowing it would strengthen heresy, so 
the Elector succeeded in having the Protestant Church recognised 
for the first time. 

August 19, 1532. 

Grace and peace, honoured friend ! Herr Christoph 
Stroebel and Herr Nicolas Hausmann have told me how 
God has not only blessed you in temporal things, but what 
is a thousand times better, has quickened you spiritually 
with love for the gospel, which I am delighted to hear, and 
pray God to strengthen and maintain you in this gracious 
condition till His appearing. For these are dangerous 
times, owing to seditious persons, false doctrines, and 
teachers. These mischievous persons creep about every- 
where, and Satan does the same, trying to overthrow our 
faith ; and at all times our reason blindly struggles against 
the truth, annoyed that our cause rests solely in God's 
power and strength. I can only write a few lines now, 
for we are all in deep grief at the departure of the pious 
Prince from this vale of tears. 

I commend you to the grace of God our Saviour, and 
beseech you to help poor Christoph Stroebel in any way 
you can, which Christ will requite as done to Himself, 
and I shall thank you when told of it. 

Martin Luther. 


(De Wette.) 



To King Frederick of Denmark. 
Luther pleads for the captive King Christian of Denmark. 

September z8, 1532. 

Grace and peace in Christ our Lord, who died for our 
sins, and rose again for our life ! Your Majesty must 
perceive how God is the true and gracious Judge, seeing 
you always wished to be at peace with your cousin, King 
Christian, and God has ever given you the victory over 
him, for which you warmly thanked God, as well as used 
the victory in a God-fearing way ; still, I am moved by 
the misery and the complaints of my gracious Lord, King 
Christian, and the fear of your proceeding against the 
captive, thereby damaging his faith in God, humbly to 
plead that your Majesty may follow Christ's example and 
have mercy on your captive cousin. For Christ died for 
His enemies, while we are only expected to show them 

For had he been taken prisoner in battle, instead of 
after he had thrown himself upon your mercy, you would 
doubtless have treated him in a cousinly manner. How 
much more now, seeing he has resigned all and yielded 
himself up, like the prodigal son, to you as his father .? 
We must all plead for mercy from God, therefore your 
Majesty will do a glorious service in God's sight by 
treating the poor prisoner graciously ; and such an act 
will be a source of consolation to you on your deathbed 
and a well-spring of joy in heaven, besides bringing you 
honour and glory on earth. For it is a noble work when 
great persons act nobly in high affairs, and is an example 
to all the world as well as a joy to the saints in heaven, 
and well-pleasing to the Divine Majesty. So act thus, as 
a fruit of your faith and a thank-offering to God, and for 
the prisoner's consolation, and a delight to us all. And 
at last your Majesty will confess with gratitude how 
grieved you would have been had you done otherwise. 
May Christ endue your Majesty with His Spirit to act 
according to His good pleasure in everything. And pray 


take this presumptuous letter in good part, for thus does 
God command us to be solicitous for others. Your 
Majesty's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Leipsic People, who were Banished for 
THE Gospel 

October 4, 1532. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Nowhere else is peace to 
be found till the Lord comes and overthrows the arch- 
enemy of peace. Wolf Breunlein ^ has shown me your 
petition to Herzog George, with which I am much 
pleased ; also, that you have lighted two torches to the 
devil," for this will bring great confusion on that stubborn 
head. If you cannot procure a certificate of your upright 
walk from him, still you have achieved much, seeing both 
God and the world, also Herzog George's adherents, 
testify that you suffer all this because of him, and solely 
for Christ's sake, for all know that you are being persecuted 
because the Emperor has granted peace to the Lutherans, 
which is a great grief to the miserable creature. But 
stand fast ! Christ begins to reign, and will put an end 
to the drama. Here no one will taunt you with being 
banished, or hinder your business, for our gracious Lord 
stands firm by the Confession (Augsburg). 

Therefore, pray speak only good words to the mad- 
cap, and forgive nothing — even as you have so well ex- 
pressed matters in the petition. If it help, good ; if not, 
it will do no harm, but rather further your cause in God's 
sight, who will soon make short work with the devil and 
his followers. It is written, " The Lord hath respect unto 
the lowly, but knoweth the proud afar off." So take 
comfort, dear friends ! He only can appreciate what is 
sweet who has tasted the bitter. 

Before attaining to glory, the heart must suffer deeply. 
" Ante gloriam conteritur cor." May God the Father 

' A Leipsic bookseller. ^ Herzog George. 


strengthen you through His own Spirit in Christ, and 
not in Herzog George. For Christ lives — Hcrzog George 
dies. This is certain, and will soon be proved. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 
Luther congratulates him on his settlement in Dessau. 

No'Tjember 6, 1532. 

Grace and peace ! I have allowed this letter to lie 
so long, dearest Hausmann, hoping to get it sent away 
any hour, but Aurelius always said he had no reliable 
messenger, till in my absence the ink-bottle was spilt over 
it, as you see. Pray forgive this. For the rest, thank 
Christ who permitted you to reach your destination in 
good health, and receive a gracious reception from the 
Prince. Thank him from me, not so much for the wild 
boar as for his love to God's Word, which is a remark- 
able trait in this great hero. Commend me to God in 
your prayers, and afterwards to this excellent Prince. 

I have invited Justus Jonas, Philip, Pommer, and 
Cruciger to dine with me as you wished, to celebrate the 
birthday of St. Martin, of Martin the son, and Martin the 
father. Would that you, too, could be present. There is 
nothing new here, except that, by the Prince's command, the 
church visitation will begin anew, and Justus Jonas is one 
of those chosen. Afterwards the sequestration will be set 
about in earnest, and I fear it will be too stringent. May 
our dear Lord cause it all to turn out for good. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1400.) 


To Jonas von Stockhausen 
Luther counsels him how to combat his satiety of life. 

November 27, 1532. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Dear sir and friend — Good 


friends have informed me that you are afflicted with weari- 
ness of life, and longing for death. Oh, dear friend, it is 
high time for you to mistrust your own thoughts, and 
listen to others who have overcome such temptations — 
nay, put your ear close to our mouths, and let our words 
sink into your heart, and God will comfort and strengthen 
you thereby. First, you know one must obey God's will, 
for He has given you life, and as yet does not will your 
death ; so you must submit your thoughts to the said 
Divine will. 

Our Lord Christ had much that was bitter in His life, 
but He would not lay it down without His Father's will, 
retaining it as long as He could, saying, " My hour is not 
yet come." And Elias, Jonas, and other prophets cried 
for death, through their sufferings, even cursing the day 
of their birth, and yet they were compelled to live on and 
put up with this weariness till their hour came. 

Therefore, pluck up heart, and bid defiance to yourself, 
exclaiming, " My good fellow, when thou art so unwilling 
to live, then thou must live in spite of thyself, for God 
wills it so and I also. Throw your devilish thoughts 
into the abyss of hell, with their dying and death, for they 
are of no avail here, and grind your teeth together, deter- 
mined to repulse those which have found refuge in your 
head, making you as stubborn as the worst of peasants, or 
a woman — nay, even harder, for they are not made of cast- 
iron ! 

If you thus struggle against yourself, God will 
assuredly help, and our prayers, with those of all pious 
Christians, will do the rest. 

I herewith commit you to our dear Lord, the only 
Saviour, Christ Jesus, who will retain the mastery in your 
heart against the devil, and cause us all to rejoice in the 
marvellous help accorded to you, for which we hope and 
pray, as He has commanded and promised. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 


(De Wette.) 



To Frau von Stockhausen 
Luther writes regarding her husband's depression of spirits. 

Noz>ember zj, 1532. 

Grace and peace in Christ, honoured, virtuous lady ! I 
have written a hurried letter of consolation to your husband. 
The devil is your enemy, and that of your husband, be- 
cause you love his enemy Christ. This is how he avenges 
himself on you, but Christ says, " Because I have chosen 
you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." 

The suffering of his saints is very precious before God. 
In my haste I can write little now. 

But beware of leaving the man a moment alone, or 
leaving anything in his way, in case he do himself an injury. 

Solitude is sheer poison for him, and that is why the 
devil drives him to it. 

But if he were entertained with all sorts of stories and 
news, perhaps even with those which might turn out to be 
false, or with fables about the Turks, Tartars, and such 
like, to make him laugh, and then immediately after quote 
comforting passages of Scripture to him, all this would do 
him no harm. 

But whatever you do, see that he is not left solitary, 
in case he sink into meditation. 

Never mind although he is angry at such conduct, 
look as if you were sorry, and be a little cross. 

Accept these hasty lines. Christ, who causes your 
heartfelt sorrow, will help you as He did lately. 

Only be steadfast, for you are the apple of His eye, 
and whoever touches it touches Him. Amen. 

Wittenberg. MaRTIN LutheR. 

(De Wette.) 


Luther approves of his intention to republish some of 
Athanasius's writings, especially that upon the Trinity. 

{No date.) 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Your intention, most 


excellent of men, to reissue some of Athanasius's writings 
upon the Trinity has my warm approval. Among these 
I enjoyed immensely that which was held before an approv- 
ing judge, under Constantine the Great, viz. the disputation 
between Athanasius and Arius. The very thought of the 
delight with which 1 devoured it as a young monk, when 
it was put in my hands by my spiritual director in Erfurt, 
doubtless a true Christian, even beneath the accursed cowl, 
is to this day one of my pleasantest recollections ; and yet 
this was only a personal pleasure for my special benefit. 
But what you propose is something much greater. I 
behold Christ's spirit working in and through you in 
desiring to preserve and defend those doctrinal articles 
concerning the Trinity in their purity in the church of 
God, for whose maintenance that saintly man Athanasius 
did not shrink from drawing down upon himself all the 
demons in hell, in the world, and the whole kingdom 
of God. 

Your resolution is therefore, most excellent Pommer, 
salutary and good in this depraved age, when all our 
articles of faith are being assailed by the emissaries of 
Satan, especially those on the Trinity, which certain 
sceptics and epicureans are beginning audaciously to scofF 
at ; and they are ably assisted, not only by these Italian 
grammarians or rhetoricians, which they think they 
are, but by certain Italian -German serpents, who by 
word of mouth and in their writing scatter broadcast the 
bad seed, whereby they excite the admiration of their 
own followers and boast of their success. 

But these Devils, or Epicureans, or Sceptics, or Lucians, 
or whatever kind of adventurers, Italian or German, they 
may be, are nowhere when brought into the presence of 
Him who said to our servant Jesus Christ, " Thou art my 
Son " ; and again, " Sit thou at my right hand." Let us 
await the laurels these giants will carry away with them 
from those seemingly glorious assaults upon God. Such a 
gigantic war is nothing new ; an Euseladus or a Typhiius 
has nevertheless been overthrown once in a century, while 
our servant Jesus Christ has nothing else to do but over- 
throw these giants, and will not cease doing so till at last, 



as Israel says, the seed and the root shall along with the 
branches be rooted up, and all the giants destroyed. We 
daily look for this, and pray that it may soon take place. 
Amen. The grace of God be with you. 

Martin Luther. 



In this year John Frederick spent fourteen days in Wittenberg, 
Luther preaching daily before him. On June 18, Bugenhagen, 
Cruciger, and Apius of Hamburg were made doctors of theology. 
The Elector, with his wife Sybilla, and his brother, Herzog Franz of 
Luneburg, and Magnus of Mecklenburg, etc., were present at the 
disputation. The Englishman, Dr. Robert Barnes, and the Scot, 
Alesius, along with Melanchthon, took part. Dr. Jonas presided, 
and afterwards the Elector entertained them at the Castle. 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

Luther, Melanchthon, and Cruciger had visited the Anhalt 
Princes in November at Worlitz. Luther found them well 
versed in the Scriptures, and in his own writings, as well as in 
those of Zwingli and GEcolampadius. At table they conversed on 
the Bible. 

"January 2, 1533. 

Grace and peace ! Three times, most cherished friend, 
the opportunity of writing you has, much against my will, 
been snatched from me. 

I have been overwhelmed with writing, as the books 
and prefaces, which will appear at this Leipsic Fair {^Messe)^ 
will testify. Therefore I beseech you to forgive my 
delay. My love to you is and ever remains unchangeable, 
although I may not always be able to give expression to 
it, but I am ever at your service. 

So, as I was finished with the books early this morning, 
I wrote the letters which had to be sent to Leipsic and 
Narnberg this evening ; and now that these also are 
despatched, I shall devote my leisure to write fully to 


you, and to my gracious lord, Prince George, Primate of 
Magdeburg, to atone for my seeming neglect. 

I wish you much joy on your restoration to health. 
May Christ maintain you in good health, so that you may 
pray for me. My last sermon at Worlitz is printed, and 
I enclose it. 

I fancy you have all my latest books, for I know 
Magister George's ^ zeal in such matters. It is said here 
that Christ has stricken the shrieker in Leipsic in the 
pulpit amid his blasphemy. A canon in Hamburg who 
opposed the gospel committed suicide, and a Sacramentarian 
plunged into a well, and while they tried to rescue him 
he lay down on his back in the shallow water, and was 
drowned. His last words resembled those of Judas, " I 
have led many astray, therefore I have no hope." Thus, 
O Lord, must thine enemies perish ! Give my respects 
to your good and upright Prince, to whom, when I have 
leisure, I shall write a friendly letter. My Kathie greets 
you respectfully, and hopes you will pray for her. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1402, and SchQtze.) 


To Hans von Loser 

Luther asks him to be sponsor for his son. 

January 29, 1533. 

Most excellent honoured sir and co-sponsor — I entreat 
you for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ that you would 
humble yourself for God's sake and for that of my young 
son, whom God has bestowed upon me to-night through 
my dear Kathie, and come to my help, so that he may be 
translated from the old Adam to the new birth in Christ 
Jesus, through the holy sacrament of baptism, and thus 
become a member of the Christian Church, so that perhaps 
God may in him raise a fresh enemy of the Pope and the 
Turk. I wish him christened about vesper time," so that 
he may not remain a heathen any longer, setting my mind 
at ease. Your Excellence will agree to this, and help to 

I Gfor-c Held. 
'^ Paul died 1593 in Leipsic. He was a lawyer. 


perfect the offering to the praise of God. I shall ever be 
ready to requite the obligation. I commit you and yours 
to God. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Joachim, Prince of Anhalt 

Luther exhorts the Prince to cleave to the gospel, despite the 
efforts of great Princes to detach him from it. 

March 28, 1533. 

Grace and peace in Christ, Most Serene High-born 
Prince ! Your Court preacher, Herr Nicolas Hausmann, 
has told me of your heartfelt leanings towards the gospel, 
and how hard it is for you to be faithful to it, not only 
from long habit, but on account of several powerful Princes 
writing to try and detach you from it. 

It is no doubt true that two such things as these, old 
habits and the persuasion of great people, have influenced 
more deeply-rooted Christians than your gracious High- 
ness is yet ; but we must learn through time, if we cannot 
do so at once, that Christ is above all these, and that 
God the Father will have Him honoured over all. A 
council or pope may have the Holy Ghost, and through it 
achieve much, but Christ has no devil. So I pray God 
to teach your Grace this one thing, that Christ and His 
Word are higher, greater, and more to be relied upon than 
a hundred thousand fathers, councils, and popes, for the 
Bible classes them ail under the name of sinners and lost 
sheep. Therefore be bold, and not fear earth's potentates, 
for Christ is greater than all devils, and more to be feared 
than Princes. I commend you to His mercy. Your 
Grace's obedient servant, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Wolf Wiedeman 

Herzog George of Saxony was incensed at a letter of Luther's 
to his Leipsic adherents, and he asked the Burghermaster to 
inquire if he acknowledged it. 

April 27, 1533. 

To the highly respected Burghermaster of Leipsic, 



my good friend. I am ready to oblige you in any way, 
dear sir. I have received your letter, and understand its 
object, and in reply to your petition I present a counter- 
interrogation. Who bade you write such a letter to 
me ? Was it the clerical gentleman at Cologne, or the 
assassin at Dresden, or your junker, Herzog George.? 
When you tell me this you shall receive an answer, printed 
and full of matter, if God will. Eor 1 am ready to serve 
you. Martin Luther, 

(De Wette.) 


To Frau Jorger 

Frau Jorger was the first lady who gave 500 gulden to Luther 
for bursaries for poor students. 

May 6, 1533. 

Honoured, virtuous lady ! Your letter concerning the 
500 gulden, which should have reached Leipsic at Easter, 
came too late. But I have sent your petition to Martin 
Seldener to NUrnberg through Lazarus Spengler, begging 
him to promote the matter through a written document 
and send it to NUrnberg, although I should have pre- 
ferred, as I wrote you, that you had done this yourself, 
which would have been your safest plan ; for I saw from 
your letter that you wished such alms to be given direct to 
poor students rather than have it invested, and I hope you 
will continue in this mind. Never mind because a preacher 
is making you anxious about your son, as Herr Michael 
tells me, threatening him with law. Let them go to law 
if they will. It is no concern of yours. The law will 
decide between them, so do not burden your conscience 
with it. I herewith commit you and yours to God. 
Your obedient, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To George Spalatin 

July 23, 1533. 

Grace and peace ! Your M. Brisger again returns to 
you. Would to God that we had been able to entertain 
him as he deserved in Wittenberg, but as he is poor, he 
will have sympathy with us. There is nothing new here, 
for you must have seen my little book against Herzog 
George long ago. Kind regards to Brisger and you. 
Pray for me. Farewell in haste. 

Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

About Hausmann's health and a pamphlet. 

September 24, 1533. 

Your illness, dear brother, is a great grief to me. 
May Christ stand by you, and not only restore you to 
health, but enable you to bear your illness patiently. For 
He loves you because you are suffering for Him and 
proclaim His word. 

Be strong, and despise him who hates you and hates 
Him whom you preach, Jesus Christ. By God's help, I 
am so occupied that I could not send you a line by 
Aurelius this morning. Herzog George has issued a 
pamphlet which certainly does honour to his talents and 
character. But God be thanked, who thereby lets every 
one get a glimpse of his foolish heart, and truly he has 
merited this through his constant persecution of the Word. 
He has now become his own accuser and judge, proclaim- 
ing himself to the world as a liar and traducer of the 

For our own sakes, not for his, we shall answer him 
in'a dignified manner. Pray for us. 

My Kathie, who holds you in affectionate remembrance, 
greets you. You must give my respectful greetings to 


your noble and highly-esteemed Princes, whose reputation, 
through the grace of God, is daily increasing, being a 
sweet savour to all. 

The Lord be with you. Written while your Weller 
is conducting the music during supper. 

Martin Luther. 



To Andreas Osiander 

Dissensions still continue among the Niirnberg clergv, 
especially between Osiander and Link. 

October 8, 1533. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I read your former 
epistle, and also that to the NUrnberg magistrate, my 
excellent brother in Christ, as well as the letters and 
pamphlets of the other party, and Christ knows what a 
martyrdom these divisions and scandals are to me. But 
from what I can gather from these writings, it seems as if 
no one would yield. And why ^ If no one will admit 
being convinced by the other party, will you quarrel 
through all eternity, to the grief of all pious souls } But 
if it be a matter of conscience with you, then you merit for- 
giveness. Still, if the other side also cannot violate their 
convictions, then they too must be treated with forbear- 
ance. So let there be mutual forgiveness, and each bear 
the other's burden, according to the law of Christ, and 
thus the misunderstanding will be cleared away, and the 
question cease to be publicly discussed, and so, through 
time, it will die a natural death. 

Meantime, cleave to your own opinions, and do not 
be disturbed by the continuance of public absolution in 
your congregation. Let the others also keep to their own 
opinions about absolution till time softens the feelings 
and the former unity is re-established, and then a decision 
can be arrived at without bitterness. At present, with 
the stronf feeling, nothing good can be achieved, and 
these dissensions might easily cause a beam to be made 
out of the mote, and a great disturbance ensue, which 


would rejoice Satan and his followers, and be very difficult 
to allay, 

I fancy your common-sense and learning, my friend, 
could advance good reasons for so acting. Still there are 
points on both sides with which I am far from pleased. 

We are human, and our flesh can easily lead us astray 
when one will not listen to the other, being filled with 
self-conceit. Therefore, I beseech you, through Christ, 
as I see no other way of ending the dispute, suppress and 
mutually beware of opening the vexed subject, and do not, 
on any account, bring it forward publicly. If y»u d« 
this, which is certainly according to the mind of Christ, 
then He will give the desired peace. 

I know that you too are aware of this, my friend, and 
how very near my heart it lies that the manifold gifts 
with which God has endowed you may be glorified. How 
otherwise would I have given myself so much trouble in 
this matter ^ Therefore, do not despise my candid way 
of speaking, my brother in the Lord, and strive to extin- 
guish this spark, to prevent it bursting into a flame which 
will consume us along with you. May our comforter, 
Jesus Christ, direct your hearts into His love and patience ! 

Martin Luther, 



To Wenzel Link 

Upon the same subject. 

October 8, 1533. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! We shall write to your 
magistrate concerning the dispute about public absolution, 
my Wenzel, and I have also written to Osiander. 

Now I beseech you and your colleagues not to shut 
the eyes of your brotherly compassion upon those who 
have such opinions, but treat them as sick persons, not 
turning them into ridicule, so that the tiny spark may not 
burst into a flame, but tactfully try to reclaim them from 
their errors. One must ponder well how to redeem the 
soul ot this brother. 


1 could not have believed (but pray do not spread 
this) that this man could have had so many strange 
opinions, and could have strayed so far from our doctrine. 
But, as I say, if we irritate him further wt would only 
cause greater offence, and fresh disturbances would ensue 
which it is better to avoid. If you are satisfied with our 
counsel, we trust that this business may, through time, 
quiet down, and he meantime draw nearer to us. 

We lose nothing through forbearance, while, if he do 
not repent, he will only injure himself through his 

May the Lord smooth all these disturbances. 

I commit you to Him, my brother. Greet Dr. Thomas 
Venatorius, and I hope he will not be displeased because 
the publication of his theses has been so long delayed. 
We have reasons for this, waiting tor this dark cloud to 
pass away. Martin Luther. 

Dr. Pommer and I beg you not to show this letter to 
any one except Spengler. 



To Some One Unknown 

Luther directs a pastor how to treat despisers of the sacra- 

May 13. 

We threaten those who despise the services of the 
sanctuary and neglect to partake of the Lord's Supper, 
with our Prince's wrath, and with being denounced as 
blasphemers of God. Then, if they do not improve, the 
pastors must instruct them for a month or longer, to try 
to make them see their error. But if found to be quite 
hardened, then they must be expelled from the congrega- 
tion and avoided as heathen. The Holy Scripture 
(Titus iii. lo-ii) is explicit on this point regarding the 
ban. If the general remedy is ineffectual, then you can 
write again regarding the matter. 

Martin Luther. 



Concerning Desiderius Erasmus 

In Luther's course of instruction to his children and to all 
Evangelical Christians for 1533. 

{No date.) 

An enemy of all religions and a special opponent of 
Christ, a perfect example and copy of Epicureus and 
Lucian. I, Martin Luther, write this with my own 
hand to my dearest son, Johannes, and through thee to 
all the children of the Holy Church of Christ. 


In this year Luther's great work, begun on the Wartburg, 
was finished, and issued in six parts, under the title "Biblia, the 
whole Sacred Scriptures. Martin Luther. Wittenberg, 1534." 
The Reformation introduced into Wurtemburg by Philip of 
Hesse, and into Pomerania through Dukes Barnim and Philip, 
the latter marrying John Frederick's sister. 

Bugenhagen compiled Confession of Faith in Low German 
dialect for Pomerania, a precious relic of Reformation times. 

To Nicolas Amsdorf 
Luther dissuades him from going to Nllrnberg. 

January 3, 1534. 

Grace and peace ! Why complain so vehemently, my 
Amsdorf, about my not answering your letters, and fear 
you have offended me ? You should rather have argued 
thus : " Had I erred, he would certainly have written, 
pointing out my mistake. His not writing proves that 
all was right, and there was no hurry to answer, especially 
as I was an ailing and worried man." This is written in 
the brotherly spirit of our old and tried friendship in 
Christ. I fear to advise as to the Provostship in NUrn- 
berg. For I might err, and yet not err, and I dread 
greatly that this call would not suit the open-hearted 
Amsdorf, who takes the direct path to the object he has 


in view, and that you might soon regret the step. But I 
may be wrong. Only I fear our friend might be deprived 
of his repose and launched into unrest and storms. 

You are a clever man, and will weigh what is most 
conducive to your peace. On the other hand, I see that 
the wind has changed, and the princes and towns are most 
anxious to get eloquent preachers, if only to vie with and 
boast of to others. I am curious to hear your opinion of 
my pamphlet on private mass. It is said that I have 
offended many good and weak consciences. My Kathie 
sends greetings. I commend you to Christ, 

Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas Hausmann 
Hausmann invited by the Prince of Anhalt to preach before him. 

February 8, 1534.. 

Grace and peace ! Magister George Held asked me, 
in your name, to let you know how you should preach on 
baptism, as the Archbishop of Mayence and his brother 
are to be present. 

First of all, handle the doctrine in an amicable spirit, 
not trying to refute the opposite party, so that this God- 
forgotten oppressor may not fancy the sermon was intended 
to embitter them. And then enlarge on baptism, even as 
the Papists themselves would have to do, but never name 
them, to avoid occasion for reproach, giving a simple 
exposition of the subject. 

The prerogatives of baptism are these. The sacred 
water is administered according to God's Word, and is 
not of man's invention — that it is a fresh covenant between 
God and the nations, to their everlasting salvation, and 
is God's work, and therefore cannot be sulHed by any sin 
on the part of the dispenser. 

That there is one baptism, which must be appropriated 
through faith to be efficacious, and dare not be repeated, 
except through a blasphemous denial of the first ceremony, 
cannot be denied. It must accompany us through Hfe, 
adorning the walk with the fruits of faith, thus surpassing 


all vows and works of any kind, even preceding obedience 
to parents and guardians. 

It has been glorified by the appearing of the Father in 
the voice from heaven, of the Son in human form, and of 
the Holy Ghost in the shape of a dove, all having been 
embodied in the words — " In the name of the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost." The words, " This is my 
Son ! " I handle thus : That the Son has been offered us 
by the Father, and glorified as Lord of all and Bishop of 
souls, in whom all is well-pleasing to Him, and without 
whom nothing is of any avail which we do. He alone is 
King, because the Son is the heir of all things. Herr 
George will tell you the rest. Sunday. 

Martin Luther. 


To THE Elector John Frederick 

Petition for a house for a preacher. 

March ii, i 534. 

Grace and peace in Christ, Most Serene High-born 
Prince ! Magister Leonhardt (Beier), pastor at Zwickau, 
has just been here, begging me to intercede with 
your Grace to let him have one of the priests' houses in 
Zwickau, which is or will soon be empty, for his wife and 
child, whom he cannot leave any longer behind him, as in 
these rimes it is impossible to gather anything, and one is 
glad to live from hand to mouth. His good friends at 
Court having promised to help him all they can, if I would 
only write for them, I gladly bear testimony, as he has 
grown up under me, that he is worthy of this favour. 
And such houses must be cleared out, so I humbly plead, 
if it be not burdensome to your Grace, that you would 
give him one of them. He is one of the most pious of 
the clergy. I am as sure of it as it is possible to judge. 
Your Electoral Grace will act in a gracious manner. May 
Christ strengthen and direct you. Your Grace's humble 
servant, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 



To Frau Dorothea JOrger 

April 27, 1534. 

Grace and peace, honoured, virtuous lady ! I wish 
to tell you that your money has been well expended, and 
many poor have been assisted, so that I cannot doubt that 
God, who prompted you to do this, is openly showing His 
pleasure in your thank-offering, 

I could not have believed that in this little town and 
university there were so many talented and pious youths 
who, year in and year out, lived on bread and water, en- 
during frost and cold, so that they might study the Holy 
Scriptures. To many of these your bursaries have been 
a great boon. I have already given away the half, and 
received receipts for the money, and proofs that it has 
been bestowed on honest fellows. I gave Andres the 
most, first ten gulden, then another ten ; and the others, 
two, three, and four gulden, and all are delighted and 
grateful. May Christ be with you and yours ! Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

To Joachim, Prince of Anhalt 

Luther wishes the Prince a speedy recovery from his 

yune 18, 1534. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, in addition to consola- 
tion and strength of body from Christ Jesus our Saviour, 
most gracious lord ! As Magister Hausmann is again 
returning to your Grace, I send a line with him, although 
I might have nothing to write except good evening. For 
I hope betterness will soon set in, although it is long in 
coming. I still repeat my poor paternoster, but always 
think, having myself been so weak and help having been 
sent, and often more than I have asked for, that with 
you it will be the same. 

Of course I speak of spiritual consolation, for no 


earthly comfort is of any avail unless it promote this, as 
David says in the 57th Psalm, " Awake up, my glory ; 
awake, psaltery and harp." And all the saints made them- 
selves joyful with psalms and violin-playing. Therefore, I 
rejoice that Herr Nicolas Hausmann comes to you now, for 
he will gladden your heart with Christian converse, singing, 
and cheerful intercourse. I pray for your Grace's salvation 
and happiness, and that they may tend to the restoration 
of your health and the overthrow of the tempter. Amen. 
I shall also come myself, although I lie down and die by 
the way, when I can tear myself free from the fangs of 
the printers. I commit your Grace to God. Amen. 

(De Wette.) MaRTIN LuTHER. 


To Katherine Luther 

Luther visited the Elector, from whom he got a warm welcome 
at Torgau. They talked of many lands and times, till they should 
reach the better land. 

July 29, 1534. 

Grace and peace, dear Kathie ! I do not know 
what to write you, for Herr Philip and the others are 
returning home. I must remain longer here on account 
of the pious Prince. 

You must wonder how long I am likely to stay, 
or rather how long you will get quit of me. I fancy 
Franciscus will set me free, even as I have set him free, 
but not so speedily. Yesterday I had to take a nasty 
drink, and I do not like what is not good. I keep 
thinking what good wine and beer I have at home, as 
well as a beautiful wife, or shall I say lord } And you 
would do well to send me over my whole cellar of wine 
and a bottle of thy beer, or else I shall not be back before 
the new beer is ready. I herewith commit you to God 
along with our young folks and all the servants. Amen. 
Thy loving Martin Luther. 




To Wolfgang Sieberger, Luther's Weak-Minded 


Complaint of the birds in the Wittenberg wood to Luther. 

{No date.) 

To our good and kind Dr. Martin Luther, preacher 
in Wittenberg. We thrushes, blackbirds, linnets, gold- 
finches, along with other well-disposed birds who are 
spending the summer at Wittenberg, desire to let you 
know that we are told on good authority that your 
servant, Wolfgang Sieberger, out of the great hatred he 
bears to us, has bought some old rotten nets to set up a 
fowling-ground for finches, and not only for our dear 
friends and finches, but in order to deprive us of the 
liberty of flying in the air and picking up grains of corn, 
and also to make an attempt upon our lives, although we 
have not deserved such a punishment at his hands. 

Thus we poor birds humbly beseech you to prevent 
him carrying out his intentions, or if that be impossible, 
compel him to scatter corn for us in the evening, and 
forbid him rising before eight in the morning to visit the 
fowling-ground, and by doing this we shall ever be 
grateful to you, as it will enable us to take the route 
through Wittenberg. But if he continue his wicked 
attacks upon our lives, then we shall pray God to restrain 
him, and supply him with frogs, locusts, and snails instead 
of us, and visit him with mice, lice, fleas, and bugs in the 
nights, so that nothing may interfere with our freedom of 

Why does he not vent his wrath on the sparrows, 
magpies, crows, mice, and rats which inflict so much 
injury on man, stealing the corn from the barns, which 
we never do, for we only pick up little fragments and 
single grains of corn, which we requite a hundredfold by 
swallowing flies, gnats, and other insects .? 

We put our case before you in a common-sense way, 
to see if we are not cruelly treated in having so many 
snares laid for us. 


But we trust God will allow us to escape from his 
foul rotten nets this autumn. Given in our celestial 
retreat among the trees under our common seal and 

" Behold the fowls of the air : for they sow not, neither 
do they reap, nor gather into barns ; yet your heavenly 
Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than 


To Landgrave Philip of Hesse 

Luther expresses himself willing to yield in relation to the 
doctrine of sacrament. 

October 17, 1534. 

Grace and peace, Most Serene Prince ! I have received 
your letter, begging that I should take the doctrine 
of the sacrament into Christian consideration, so that 
an enduring concord might ensue between us and the 
Swiss. Now your Grace knows how anxious I have 
always been for unity, having been much tried by such 
dissension, knowing how injurious it is to Christ's 
kingdom, and that the Pope would have been humbled 
long ago had your Grace managed to carry through the 
much -desired negotiations with BQcer and his friends. 
And even yet I am ready to concede all that I can with a 
clear conscience, but I fancy that even among the foreign 
(Swiss) preachers there are few who adhere to Bucer, 
and both parties will perhaps later decry both one and 
the other. 

Nothing could be dearer to my heart than an 
enduring concord, but if its foundation be brittle and 
precarious, then peace is at an end. Pray do not with- 
hold any counsel your Grace can give. If I can do 
anything against the murderers and bloodhounds, the 
Papists, who always boast that they have overcome the 
Christians, nothing shall be wanting in my poor prayers, 
efforts, speech, and pen. May Christ our Lord strengthen 
your Highness to do His will in His holy Church, to the 


discomfiture and wrath of the Papists. Amen. Amen i 
Your Serene Highness's obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

Letter of congratulation. 

November 17, 1534. 

To my brother, Herr N. Hausmann, grace and peace ! 
We are almost beside ourselves with joy at God's good- 
ness in bestowing a son and heir upon the best of princes. 

Pray give him our warmest congratulations, and 
assure him that we pray that God, who has given him 
this blessing, may perfect it to His honour and for the 
welfare of the land. God grant this. There is nothing 
new in regard to the new king in Monster and his 
apostles, whom he sent to Susat, of whom eight have been 

In North Germany there seems a movement against 
the Imperial ban, which the Supreme Court is about to 
declare against the Zwinglian towns. 

I trust they are not aiming at us. Christ reigns and 
cares for us. Amen. I commit you to Him, and pray 
for me too. Tuesday after St. Martin's Day. 

Martin Luther. 


To Justus Jonas 
Luther wishes to discuss peace proposals with the Zwinglians. 

December 16, 1534. 

Grace and peace to you, dear Jonas, but death to your 
stone, through the power of Christ. I am most anxious 
to have a talk with you and others before Herr Philip 
sets out, only you cannot come to me, nor I to you. 
What I draw up to-morrow shall be written down, and I 
shall retain a copy to show you and the others. For in 
this 1 shall not act alone, although I fear no agreement 
can be arrived at between them and us. 


Philip also says he will not take up this work on his 
own responsibility. It is too great for even two or three 
of our most prominent men to accomplish, so it seems as 
if our Philip's journey would be fruitless. I stick to my 
conviction even should the globe burst about my head. 
Therefore come to me as soon as you can. I commit 
you to God. Martin Luther. 


To Justus Jonas 

Luther announces the birth of a daughter. 

December 17, 1534. 

I wish you happiness, my Jonas, on your ailment 
having left you, and I hope it may never return. Amen. 
I must inform you that at twelve o'clock to-day my third 
daughter was born. 

Prince Joachim of Anhalt was to be sponsor, but the 
weather may prevent his coming. I wish you could be at 
the feast, if your health permit. Magister George will have 
informed you ot my opinion, which I communicated to 
Philip. The more I ponder upon it, the greater is my 
distrust of this very doubtful union, for they are so divided 
among themselves. They wTote me that the Herzog of 
Wurtemburg thinks so highly of Schnepf ^ and Blaurer. 
If this be so, what can be expected from this part of North 
Germany } Martin Luther. 



To Prince Joachim of Anhalt 
Luther retains his Roman Catholic views on baptism. 

December 17, 1534. 

Grace and peace. Most Serene High-born Prince, 
most gracious Lord ! The Almighty God has just be- 
stowed a daughter on me through my dear Kathie. Now, 
as your Grace promised to stand sponsor on this occasion, 

^ Schnept and Blaurer, two Reformed theologians of WOrtemburg, who had 
leanings towards Luther's views of the sacrament. 


I plead that for Christ's sake you would not disdain per- 
forming the Christian office of helping the poor little 
heathen out of her sinful state by nature into the most 
blessed new birth, thus becoming her spiritual father 
through the sacred waters of baptism. 

And the weather being so cold, I should like to spare 
you the risk, if you could send some one instead from 
Dessau or elsewhere. 

M. Philip and M, Franciscus are not at home. Your 
Grace knows how to perform your good pleasure. God 
will requite the service. I should like the baptism to take 
place to-morrow. May God be with your Grace ! Your 
gracious Highness's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Eberhardt Brisger 
A house was offered to Luther for purchase. 

December 20, 1534. 

What shall I write to you about the selling of your 
house, my Eberhardt ? For you know that in such trans- 
actions I am a very novice, and you have many around 
you who can advise you much better than I, not to speak 
of yourself, who know so much of such matters. 

I can only say that I shall not as yet reply to your 
offer, although 1 do not wish to boast of my poverty, but 
cannot refrain from saying that it would be impossible for 
me to bring together even the half of that sum. 

I make a great appearance with the treasures entrusted 
to me, but I should not like you or any one else to be in 
my place (Hciul). Therefore you will not find a pur- 
chaser in me, even if you offered it a hundred times. 
But I would suggest Bruno to you, and if my opinion has 
any weight, I would like you to sell it to him for four 
hundred and forty gulden, which 1 hear is the valuation. 

Why should you wish to drive such a hard bargain 
with your good brother, seeing the Lord has blessed you 
with this bit of property, a fact you should remember in 


all your dealings? The Lord can requite you if you 
believe He was and is your Creator according to the flesh. 
Why worry needlessly about your children's future ? 
Christ, who has ever cared for us, will provide abundantly 
for those who trust Him. Doubtless I have many cares 
for those belonging to me, as I have much less than you, 
but I am aware that my cares are fruitless. Therefore I 
commit them to Him who has hitherto supplied my wants 
so abundantly, and will continue so to do if I be worthy 
of it, or take those away for whom I worry so needlessly, 
if He do not see fit to provide for them. May the Lord 
teach you that all our anxiety will neither increase nor 
lessen the necessities of life ! Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

The Torgau people wished to have their excellent preachers 
dismissed, under the pretext that they were not heard in church. 

December 153+. 

Grace and peace ! We learn from your letter to Jonas, 
my excellent Spalatin, that they are pressing you and the 
other superintendents to remove the pastors in Torgau 
because their voices are too weak to fill the churches. 
This is not the first time we have heard this old song, 
especially as they hear Wolfgang Fuss when he preaches. 
But do not let yourself be talked over, my Spalatin, into 
making such a doubtful alteration solely because of the 
single recommendation of voice, which would offend many. 

For if we once began to permit the people to dismiss 
their pastors whenever they felt inclined, how long would 
we retain our pastors ^ Take yourself, for example. 
Would you allow yourself to be set aside merely on 
account of your voice or health .'' Gabriel and the other 
clergy in Torgau possess so many other good qualities 
that they not only cast Magister Wolfgang's voice into 
the shade, but eclipse his other properties. 

Therefore pray spare us this trial, which we feel would 



deeply insult us. It would not be easy anywhere to find 
such superior men as those in Torgau, and it would be a 
disgrace to us, merely because of their weak voices, to 
exchange such excellence for what is so much worse, 
especially when they do so much good by their faithful 
teaching and reading of the Scriptures. The others 
through their loud tones tickle the ears of the mob, but 
really do less good, or only benefit themselves. The Lord 
be with you, my Spalatin. Martin Luther. 



The Conference at Cassel took place in January between 
Melanchthon and Biicer, etc. The Pope sent his legate, Vergerius, 
to confer with Luther about a Council. Thirteen years later 
Vergerius became Protestant, gave up his bishopric, and took 
refuge with Herzog Christopher of Wurtemburg, where he 
circulated the Bible. In December the Elector John Frederick 
renewed the treaty with the Evangelical Princes at Schmalkalden 
for ten years, even England and France sending their repre- 


To A Composer 

January i8, 1535. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Certainly, my dear, good 
friend, I have been slow in thanking you for the song 
you sent and the Vorsdorf apples. But Hieronymus is 
my witness how often I intended writing, but could get 
no one to take a letter. Therefore I beg you to forgive 
me, for I know you wish me well from your heart, and I 
feel the same towards you, although it is not always easy 
to express it. We sing as well as we can at table, and 
continue afterwards. If we make some mistakes it is not 
our fault, but that of our skill, which is still very limited, 
even after going over the air three or four times. But 
Virgil sings we are not all alike, and we would rather 
sing it correctly than incorrectly. And even if composers 
make it first-class, our ideas transcend even that, so we 
hope you will not take offence if we do our best. My 


Kathie trusts you will not take this joking amiss, and she 
sends you kindly greetings. I herewith commend you to 
God. Martin Luthlr. 

(De Wctte.) 


To JoHANN Lonicer, Diligent Servant of the Lord 
IN Marburg 

Luther begs him not to be impatient to have a change of 

February 8, 1535. 

Grace and peace ! I see all your motives, my Lonicer, 
but I cannot approve of your being overcome of the first 
or even second onslaught of Satan, making you desire a 
change of residence. 

Satan cannot be vanquished through any such change, 
for he is a spirit which roams everywhere ; still, if you 
were to get a call soon you would be justified in leaving. 
Our Junkers are almost all, if not enemies, at least open 
despisers of the Word and its servants, and Christ has 
suffered it thus far, but when He appears in the full glory 
of His power they will have to atone for this. I know of 
nothing new except that there are rumours of a future 
council at which religious matters will be settled. 

What may be arranged God only knows, to whom I 
commend you, with your house vine and olive branches. 

Martin Luther. 

P.S. — This youth Emmer, the bearer of these lines, 
is house tutor to Dr. Jonas's sons, and wishes to become 
acquainted with other celebrated men on his journey. 


To George Spalatin 
Luther begs him to find another place for a certain Strubel. 

February 24, 1535. 

Grace and peace in Christ, dear Spalatin ! You are a 
good, kind man ; therefore I beseech you to find a good 


post for Christopher Strobel when you can. He is an 
excellent man, as you know, and cannot live in the swamps 
here without injury to his health, being used to mountain 
air. Neither our meats nor drinks suit him, and we must 
not be angry with him on this account, for who knows 
how long any of us may be spared in Wittenberg with 
such strange meat and drink ? With you the air is better, 
and you live nearer the birds in the heavens, whereas we 
are too near the fish of the sea, or rather the abysses of 
the earth ; hence we have worse food. I wish I could help 
Herr Hausmann from such a low-lying place to better 
air, for it is not good that his declining years should be 
spent amid the smells which abound in this place. So do 
help me. Greet your wife and olive branches from me, 
and pray for me. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1265.) 


Concerning the Sacrament. 

March 7, 1535. 

The grace of God and peace of Christ, honoured and 
virtuous lady ! Your brother has told me how earnestly 
you desire to enjoy the much- prized sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper in both kinds, and wish to know if it may 
be privately partaken of in your own house. And although 
this was usual in the Papacy, I cannot advise it for the 
sake of the example to others. For through time every 
one might so take advantage of the permission, that at 
length the churches would be empty, instead of being the 
meeting-place of all, where they make a public profession 
of their faith. But if you are set upon it, and like to risk 
it, your conscience approving, then do it in God's name, 
to whom I commit you with mv poor prayers. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wctte.) 



To Augustine Himmel 

Luther begs for a small house for his servant. 

^/'•'^5, '535- 

Grace and peace ! You may have heard, my good 
Himmel, that our Serene Prince, who hitherto divided 
the allowance between Dr. Andreas and my Wolf, has, of 
his own free will, bestowed it solely on the latter. I hope 
it has been officially signed by your Court official. If not, 
we shall send you a tully attested copy of the Prince's 
decree, with his seal. Therefore, pray lift the whole 
pension, as you have always done, and send it to him 
here. My Wolf will be most grateful to you, and send 
a little acknowledgment, so that you may not watch over 
Christ's grave unrequited. I should like a little house to 
be bought for my good Wolf, into which he might retire 
atter my death, as he has a weak arm, and needs a roof of 
his own, so that he may not have to seek refuge in an 
institution, poor and forsaken. It is not necessary for me 
to urge you, as you know the man. May you and yours 
prosper. Pray that I may have a happy transit out of 
this world. My strength is failing. 

Martin Luther. 



To Wenzel Link 
Luther tries to dissuade his friend from coming to Wittenberg. 

April 2s, 1535- 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Your letter, dearest, did 
not depress me so much as you expected, especially as I 
saw trom it that, although Christ was letting you be led 
into temptation. He had not forsaken you. 1 am grieved 
to hear that the old tragedy is beginning anew, but if you 
would only believe that this misunderstanding is not caused 
so much by you as through the tattling of a third party, 
incited by Satan, you would easily be enabled to set aside 
the annoyance thus caused. 


Perhaps Christ is punishing us for our sluggishness in 
this way for not besieging Him with our prayers. Truly 
He never slumbers, even when we sink into deep sleep. 
You cannot think how much we have to endure from the 
insolence and intrigues of the Junkers and rabble, so that 
I am sure that were you here you would have more to 
endure from the many than you have there from the 
calumnies of a single man, I am certain that the Papacy 
is the devil's kingdom, which God in His anger has sent 
upon the world ; and what kingdom could be more in 
unison with the world, for the world wills to have the 
devil for its god ? Once it seemed to be the duty of the 
Bishops to suppress this tyranny, but the means used were 
too violent. For in humbling this abomination the 
Christian Church would speedily have been extinguished. 
Now this fiiry is again raising her head, but there is no 
lack of courageous men who could take those tyrants 
captive in the very chains they have forged around the 
Popes. Only I do not wander in the counsel of these 
people, but cleave to those who fear God, for our kingdom 
is above. 

I write this to you to show how my heart beats in 
unison with yours, and to beg you not to leave your con- 
gregation. Think of St. Paul's words to Titus : " For 
this cause left I thee in Crete," to proclaim the Word to 
God's elect and elsewhere, all for the sake of the elect. 
Let this be your aim. You are a servant of God's chosen 
ones, and the target of the reprobate. If we only could 
render good service to the elect and the least of Christ's 
servants ! Oh that you could endure to the end, dear 
Wenzel ! And although there is no man on God's earth 
I would rather have near me than you, not only because 
of our old brotherly friendship, but because I ever found 
in you a comforter, a man full of faith in God, whom I 
would like to have by my side in my dying hour, still 
I would rather sacrifice myself than see your congregation 
suffer. Who knows what advantages God is preparing 
for you through this trial ? Let us only pray and arm 
ourselves in patience. You ask our Prince's opinion of 
your proposal. What if 1 came, or rather fled, to you ? 


He is the best of Princes ; but excepting him, there is no 
one who would not suspect me. From this you may see 
what a zeal there is for God's Word in the world. 
Meantime sing this psalm, " Wait upon the Lord." Ah, 
it cannot be otherwise ! We must elbow our way through 
glory and shame, through reproach and error, through 
evil and good, through — and ever through — devils and 
angels, to that only One who alone is good. Therefore 
I beseech you, dear brother, listen to no one, but com- 
mune solely with liim alone. All others, although they 
may be the best of men, have more sense of justice than 
endurance. For we are all human, and the flesh combats 
the spirit on the battle-ground. But if it gets the length 
of defying you to your face, and openly showing their 
hatred to you, then it will be time to think of other 
remedies. God help us 1 How strong God permits the 
devil to be, and us so weak ! Do not be offended with 
me, and consider that God is perhaps proving us, and that 
it is not perhaps a blessed thing to trust in man, even if 
he be a prince, while it is shameful for a Christian to fear 
men. May Christ, our life, salvation, and glory, be with 
you and all belonging to us. God grant it. Sunday 
cantate. Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector John Frederick 

Fear of the plague drove the University staff to Jena. 

7«^ 9. 1535- 
Grace and peace in Christ, with my poor paternoster, 
Most Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord ! Dr. 
Brack has shown me your Electoral Highness's gracious 
request, occasioned by the flight of so many here, who 
are in mortal dread of death, and I humbly thank you for 
your solicitude and offer, of which I shall gladly avail 
myself when necessary. But my weather-cock, on whom 
I implicitly rely, is the overseer {^Landvogt) Hans Metsch, 
who has a marvellous hawk's nose for the pestilence, and 
would smell it even were it hidden five ells below ground. 


Doubtless a house or two is infected, but the atmosphere 
is not yet poisoned. For since Tuesday there has neither 
been a corpse nor a sick person. But as the dog-days are 
at hand and the young boys are frightened, I have allowed 
them to go out walking, to tranquillise their minds till we 
see how things turn out. But I notice that the young 
folks like to hear this outcry about the pestilence, for 
some are tired of sitting on the hard benches ; some think 
they get cramp from the books, while others declare scurvy 
is secreted among the pens and paper. And there are 
those who devour their mothers' letters, which makes them 
home-sick and long for the fatherland, and perhaps there 
are many more weaknesses than I am able to recount. 
If parents and guardians do not try to stem the tide of 
these evils, perhaps we shall not be able to get pastors and 
schoolmasters, till at length swine and dogs will be the 
best animals remaining to us, towards which end the 
Papists are steadily working. But may Christ our Lord 
endue your Electoral Grace, as He has hitherto done, 
along with the Christian authorities, with grace and mercy, 
to His honour and the annoyance of Satan, so that you 
may know what stringent remedies to apply to this sick- 
ness. Your Electoral Grace's obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 

P.S. — I humbly beg your Grace not to forget my 
poor Hieronymus Weller. 


To THE Clergy in Augsburg 

The Augsburg people sent an embassy to Wittenberg to prove 
their desire for unanimity in the matter of the sacrament. 

Jidv 20, 1535. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I would like you to learn 
with what pleasure I received your letter, dear brethren, 
from the living letters, viz. your Dr. Gereon Seller and 
Caspar Huber, rather than from these dead letters, for 
nothing has been a greater joy to me in the course of 


the Reformation than to see an end ot the lamentable 
division, and at length to hope for an entire agreement. 
Herr Gereon tells me, and your letter forces me to 
believe this, so that my wound, viz. my distrust, is so far 
healed that not even a scar remains. Therefore I beseech 
you, through Christ, who has begun such a work in you, 
to persevere in this fruit of the Spirit. Doubtless you will 
manifest such heartfelt Christian love towards us, which 
shall be responded to on our part with true love and 
fidelity, and lay nothing upon us which we cannot joyfully 
accept. When this concord is ratified, I shall sing with 
tears, '* Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in 
peace ! " For I shall leave peace to the Church, God's 
house, and the punishment of the devil, etc. May Christ 
perfect this work among you, so that my joy may be full, 
and I may look forward, after so many crosses, to a joyful 
dying hour. Amen. Pray for me, as I pray for you. 

Martin Luther. 


To THE Elector Albrecht, Archbishop of Mayence 

The Elector threatened Ludwig Rabe for having spoken at 
Luther's table of the unjust fate of Hans Schanz. 

Jufy 31, 1535- 
Repentance and forgiveness of sins. Most High-born 
Prince and gracious Lord ! I address this letter to you, 
not in the hope that anything advantageous will come of 
it, but to relieve my conscience before God and the world, 
in case my silence should be construed into acquiescence 
of the injustice perpetrated. Ludwig Rabe allowed me to 
read the letter in which your Grace threatens and forbids 
him again speaking of the glorified Hans Schanz. As he 
is my boarder and sits at my table, I can testify, and 
doubtless your Highness is also aware, that this is not true, 
so I can only conclude that your Grace is stabbing me 
through a fence, being angry at what good people hear 
talked of ; for I can testify that Ludwig Rabe sits at my 
table like a maiden, and often speaks more good of his 


line Archbishop than 1 can take in, and does not run 
about the town, but sits quietly in his room. Besides, the 
whole town was ringing with Schanz's misfortune before 
Ludwig and I heard of it, and we could hardly credit that 
Hans Schanz should be hanged in such a shameful manner 
by his dearest lord. Neither Ludwig nor I invented this 
tale, and the Cardinal's name was held up to execration 
without our aid. As it is now thought that the accusa- 
tion is aimed at me, I now beg of you to leave my table 
and house guest unmolested, for I shall rather believe 
what honest people say of Schanz than listen to what your 
gracious or ungracious Highness (it is all one) should 
assert. For I do not sit here at your Grace's will that I 
should shut the mouths and punish the lies of those who 
speak well of Hans Schanz and evil of his Cardinal, and 
I trust your Grace will not hurry me off so swiftly to the 
gallows as you did Hans ! I shall always express my 
opinion freely, and repeat any gossip I may hear of your 
Grace to good friends, even as I am compelled to put up 
with your Grace's conduct towards me. For although I 
do not believe what is said of Hans Schanz and in favour 
of his Cardinal (although as yet I have heard nothing of 
the kind), still I shall be pardoned for such sins without 
any indulgences from your Grace. And should your 
Grace hang all those who not only in this but in other 
things speak despitefuUy of your Grace, there would not 
be rope enough in Germany to do it, not to speak of 
many who would not so easily permit themselves to be 
hanged, and thus some would needs remain unhanged by 
the doughty Cardinal ; and even the hanging of many 
would not suppress the outcry. And I believe (and no 
cardinal hangman shall forbid this, for thoughts are not 
taxable) that had Hans Schanz been tried outside Halle 
he would have remained unhanged, which is the general 
opinion. Perhaps they may still sing this song where 
your Grace has not the power to hang the people. I 
further believe that had Ludwig been seized in Halle, as 
you tried to seize him in Leipsic, he would have been 
hanged long ago, and then he would have had to be silent 
about Hans. Should your Electoral Grace wish to know 


how long such an outcry has existed in German lands 
against you, 1 must inform you it began about fifteen 
years ago, dating from the indulgences, and all against so 
holy a man. If you wish to get rid of this evil reputa- 
tion forbid the outcry in other places besides Halle, 
especially that regarding the Pope's ban, which finds 
little favour with the merchants, and these seldom allude 
to Hans Schanz's business. For being forcibly prevented 
speaking of him at Halle does not injure his cause, but 
the Cardinal's conduct does, even as the cry of Magister 
George Winkler's blood (of which I wrote your Grace) 
becomes, with time, the longer, the louder, and I believe 
it will never be stilled till it is avenged. This is the last 
letter which I shall write to your Grace, even as the 
Prophet Elijah wrote to King Jehoram to justify himself", 
for I look for no improvement, even as little as did Elijah 
from his Jehoram. 

I must console myself with the thought that your 
august Holiness cannot hang every one who wishes you 
evil (although it would be possible to hang all who wish 
you well), but permit our Lord God to let the ring hang 
on the doors of His Church, and allow some to live, till 
the real tormentor {^Henker) attacks yourself. Amen. 

Martin Luther, 

Wittenberg. Preacher at IVittenberg. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Elector John Frederick 

Luther begs the Elector to allow Melanchthon to go to France, 
whither the King invited him, and other matters regarding his 

August 17, 1535. 

Grace and peace with my paternoster, Most Serene 
High-born Prince, most gracious Lord ! I most respect- 
fully beg of you, in God's name, to allow Philip to go 
to France. I am moved to make this request because of 
the pitiful appeal I have received from some honoured 
and pious people who have narrowly escaped the flames, 
and it was Philip who, with infinite trouble, induced 


the King to make an end of the butchery and burning. 
Therefore, if these people are deprived of their consola- 
tion, then the bloodhounds may begin their bloody work 
afresh, so I do not see how Herr Philip can, with a 
clear conscience, desert them in their deep need, and rob 
them of their much-needed consolation, especially as it 
might make the King and those about him very mis- 
trustful of all of us, for he has graciously written himself 
requesting Philip's presence, besides sending a messenger. 
Your princely Grace will, by the grace of God, permit 
Philip to leave for three months. Who knows what 
God may mean to do, whose thoughts are at all times 
higher and better than ours ! P or my part, I should 
be very sorry were so many pious hearts deprived of 
the comfort lor which they so touchingly and so con- 
fidently cry and wait. And one could not wonder if 
they and many others thought badly of us. There- 
tore I plead once more that your Electoral Grace 
would most graciously grant Philip's request. We pray 
daily to God for your Electoral Highness, and by our 
diligent labour try to promote your cause. May God 
lead and strengthen your Highness by His Holy Spirit to 
do His good and gracious will ! Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Justus Jonas 

Luther contradicts the report of epidemic in Wittenberg. 

August 19, 1535. 

Grace and peace ! I wish you joy on your recovery, 
my excellent Jonas. The report of an infectious disease 
here is most unfounded. But Heaven seems to will it that 
the devil should succeed in separating us at least bodily, 
and who knows by what means. Philip has been called 
to France by the King, and he would gladly have gone, 
but the Elector would not permit it. He then went off 
in rather a bad humour to Jena. We had a small gather- 
ing of doctors on the Feast of the Holy Cross, and a 


disputation on the preceding Saturday. We received a 
stag at niv request from our gracious Prince. Bugenhagen 
was laid hold of on his way home, and you also will soon 
come, and the whole Jena University, if it can be called 
the Jena High School, which is really that of Wittenberg. 
Our town is quite desolate, but we are in good health and 
spirits, except for one thing-the beer is finished all over 
the town. It is well for me that I have still some in my 
cellar. The other citizens have none. What is being 
brewed is new, and is being consumed warm from the 
pans, so the brewers who can are forced to brew. My 
Kathie greets you and yours. My boy Hans Luther 
would have answered your Justus, but having scented the 
old Jonas in the letter, he could not, on account of the 
press of writing, answer through the elder Luther. But 
he will write ere long, as well as his years permit. Once 
more farewell. Martin Luther. 


P.S. — I would gladly assist Bernard, but cannot with 
my own means, God having laid the duty upon me of 
providing for a numerous family, and, besides, I have 
many debts. I cannot help wondering why so strong a 
man, with such a healthy wife, should be in such deep 
poverty, and an alms here and there is of little avail, and 
to help with alms people who could earn something 
becomes impossible at length. Give me a hint how I may 
help them, for 1 would gladly do anything for the good 
man, seeing he is a guest in the Church of the Gentiles 
and a member of the Jewish Church. I commend voii to 


To Justus Jonas 

On September 14, Hieronymus Weller, who had been called to 
Freiberg, and Nicolas Medlar, chaplain to the Electress of Branden- 
burg, then living in Wittenberg, were made doctors of divinity. 
Jocular invitation to banquet. 

September 4, 1535. 

Grace and peace ! I hope you have received the letters 
and disputations, with the directions, sent from a very 


incompetent person, to teach you what to say at the 
ceremony of conferring doctors' degrees ; and now our 
head cook, Kathie, begs you will, with this thaler, send 
us birds and what you can find in your region of the 
air, which creatures God has appointed for man's use. 
But send us no ravens, but sparrows in any number, and 
if you lay out any more it shall be refunded to you ; and 
if you can get a hare, or shoot anything for nothing, or 
purchase some vegetables, then send these also, for the 
principal thing is that you all get something to eat, for one 
must not depend on beer alone, of which my Kathie has 
brewed fourteen tuns, in which she has put thirty-two 
bushels of malt to suit my taste. She hopes it may be 
good ; you will judge for yourself when you taste it. 
There is no other news, except that the Emperor is carry- 
ing everything before him in Africa. But Herzog George 
and the Bishop of Halle have issued an order to their 
people to fast three days a week for the Emperor and 
receive the sacrament in one kind, so that things may 
improve even more. So if the Emperor Karl should 
conquer Constantinople, which God grant he may, then it 
will be these things and not God who has done it. But 
Christ lives, so let us rejoice even amid the rage of devils 
and men, enjoying the good things of life, till they come 
to a miserable end, especially if you confer your delightful 
society upon us, with your captives, who, under the sway 
of the head cook, will be consigned to the captivity of the 
pot. My Kathie and all greet you respectfully. 

Farewell in the Lord. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1430.) 


To THE Elector John Frederick, in Conjunction 
WITH Others 

Request for a private audience for the Englishman Barnes, 

September \z, 1535. 

Grace and peace with our poor paternoster, Most 
Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord 1 His 


Majesty the King of England's messenger, Dr. Antonius, 
has begged me to request your Grace to grant him a 
private interview, for he does not wish his business to be 
known till he knows how he stands. As your Electoral 
Highness knows the man, and we believe he brings good 
tidings, we humbly pray that he may have a hearing. 
And besides, he has managed matters very well in regard 
to M. Philip's promise to the King, and has achieved 
much in making the King so anxious to have him, and so 
unwilling that he should go to France ; and also in send- 
ing such a stately escort, with such a hostage, for a 
guarantee. So we beg your Grace, if not before, then 
immediately after your journey to Austria, to receive him. 
Who knows what God, whose wisdom is higher and His 
will better than ours, may achieve. So if M. Philip, 
who is invited in such a splendid manner, cannot fulfil his 
promise, it will be a great grief to him, especially as he 
has always been overburdened with work, melancholy, and 
temptations, and needs no additional sorrow. Your 
Electoral Grace will know how to act in a orracious manner. 
Christ our Lord be with you to all eternity. Amen. 
Your Electoral Grace's humble 

Martin Luther, 
Justus Jonas, 
Caspar Cruciger, 
John Pommer. 

(De Wette.) 


To Frau Jorger 

Concerning an Evangelical service in her house. 

September 12, 1535. 

Grace and peace in Christ with my poor paternoster, 
honoured and dear lady ! I have seen Herr Andres, and 
received your letter, and thank you for your present, 
especially the small groschen, which I would like to know 
if it were good, for it looks so new it might be counterfeit. 
Herr Andres also tells me that you are anxious to know 


if you might, with a good conscience, have preaching in 
your house (as your pastor has no objections), solely for 
your own people, and no outsiders belonging to the 

If your pastor permit it, then you may have it till it is 
forbidden you, for you are not expected to please every 
one, although eventually you may be compelled to give 
way to the powers that be. Each one in things like these 
takes the responsibility upon himself. And do not mind 
although the preacher may not have been consecrated by 
a bishop, for it is not to the office of preacher he is set 
apart, but rather to the practice of private mass, and such 
priests are Baals and Jeroboams. Whoever is called is 
consecrated, and may preach to those who have called 
him ; that is our Lord's consecration and ordination, and 
is a right honourable one. My housewife sends her kind 
regards to you all. 

I commit you to God, Amen, At Wittenberg, 
Sunday. Martin Luther, 

(De Wette.) 


To Gereon Seiler, Doctor of Medicine in Augsburg 

Luther wrote seven letters on this day, although very weak at 
this time. 

October 5, 1535. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Your letter, my excellent 
Herr Doctor, was a great joy to me, not only for itself, 
but because so many dear travellers accompanied it, whom 
I received as emissaries of good tidings of peace and 
salvation with every respect and delight. Christ, who 
laid the foundation of this unanimity, will perfect His 
work. Amen. At your request I communicate to all 
the brethren, with every expression of esteem, my heart- 
felt satisfaction at the renewed efforts for union. You 
can discuss my proposal for meeting together with vour 
party, and communicate your decision to me, so that I 
may let the Prince and all our people know. 

Herr Melanchthon has, for many weighty reasons, 
given up his proposed journey to PVance. For we have 


been informed of the faithlessness of the French from 

many distinguished men. But I am sorry for this people 

who groan under so hard a yoke. Would that I could 

give them the help for which they plead. Perhaps if they 

fled they might find a home elsewhere. May Christ have 

mercy on them, and deliver them, and afflict those who 

oppress them. Amen. I commend myself to you, my 

most esteemed Herr Doctor in the Lord, who, I pray, 

may guide and maintain you and yours to all eternity. 

Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 
Various topics. 

October 28, 1535. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Eight days ago Dr. 
Christian Baume departed this life. M. Philip writes that 
he caught fever on a journey, and the phlegm descended 
from the head to the chest. I enclose M. Philip's letter. 
BrOck is not in Prague, Philip declares. As yet we hear 
nothing of the Austrian journey. Last Sabbath the plague 
carried away Schadewald, the best citizen in the town, 
but since that all is quiet. I have catarrh, at times 
accompanied by a cough. Many students have returned. 
1 have no other news. I should like to know where the 
Pope's Ambassador is, for there seems to be a mystery in 
regard to the whole council. Greet your flesh and blood 
from me, and pray for me. 1 am at present occupied 
with Simon and Judas, and the preparation of the thesis 
against secret mass ; further, with i Cor. chap. 13, and 
also with some other passages where the doctrine of 
justification is to be found. My Kathie, who rides, 
drives, sows her fields, buys cattle, and turns them out on 
the meadows, and brews, sends you her kind regards. 
Over and above, she has a bet of fifty florins that she will 
read the whole Bible by Easter. So she is in earnest. 
She has begun the fifth Book of Moses. 

Martin Luther. 





To Justus Jonas 
Luther's interview with the Papal legate Vergerius. 

No-vember lo, 1535. 

Grace and peace ! I thank you for the hare and the 
birds, my dearest Jonas. I had much to write about, but 
I am very tired, and the topics are too numerous even to 
touch upon with my arrears of work. The Papal legate 
once more appeared among us in Wittenberg. He is 
now with the Margrave. One would fancy the man flies 
rather than rides. He invited Bugenhagen and me to 
breakfast, because the day before I had forbidden the sacra- 
ment {Nachtmahl) in the bath. I ate with him in the castle, 
but as to the conversation, no human soul could repeat it. 
All through the repast I was not only Luther, but 
represented the Englishman Barnes, whom he also invited, 
but such language as he used towards you ! But more by 
word of mouth. 

The Frankfort people write me complaining that the 
Archbishop of Mayence purposes forcing mass and the 
other Papal rites upon them. How necessary is it for me 
to have you all here ! Instead I must act alone, decide 
everything, and all because of the plague, at which the 
devil laughs heartily, being delighted that he has succeeded 
in scattering us all solely because of a few deaths. 

But God will defend and uphold His word. I here- 
with send you the letter of Herr Augustine, pastor at 
Colditz, from which you can catch a glimpse of this very 
fine Epicurean sect, but can also perceive that God knows 
how to revenge contempt of His name. You need have 
no doubt that our Prince has arrived safe in Prague. 
Melanchthon has written thrice that Dr. Bri^ck is in Jena. 
Perhaps it is Bleikardt who accompanied the Prince, and 
it is only a mistake in the name. For as BrQck had been 
ill, Bleikardt went instead of him on this journey. My 
Kathie greets you and yours. She is going on steadily 


with her Bible reading. But all the disturbance with that 
woman robbed her of eight days' time. 

Concerning your proposed transaction about the linen, 
she says you can easily guess what she would do in such 
a critical case, especially when she was so anxious to go 
on with her reading, and yet so afraid of losing this 
chance. My greetings to all your family. St. Martin's 
evening. Martin Luther. 



The English Embassy sent by Henry VIII. still lingered in 
Wittenberg, and in May Biicer, Capito, Myconius, etc., also 
arrived, and the disputes concerning the sacrament were happily 
arranged, preachers of the one communion being accepted by the 
other, and both parties partook of the Lord's Supper together. 
On June 2 the Pope issued a Bull summoning a council for the 
following year, for the furtherance of peace, by extirpating heresy. 
Charles sent his Vice-Chancellor Held to Schmallcalden to gain 
over the Protestants, but he did not succeed. 


To Veit Dietrich, Preacher in NCrnberg 

Congratulations upon his marriage. 

"January 14, 1536. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! We rejoice greatly, my 
Dietrich, over the welcome news of your marriage, and 
wish you much happiness. And yet not too much, so 
that should your bliss exceed the ordinary lot of husbands, 
you may not turn St. Paul into a liar, who snarls at us 
happy and complacent married men, and taunts us with 
the words, "Such shall have trouble in the flesh." If 
this should happen, and you find St. Paul has been nearer 
the truth than you desire, then show yourself to be a man 
who can bear with the faults of a wife, giving honour 
unto the wife, as St. Peter commands. Rather keep the 
little queen in a good humour than be always looking for 
righteous cause of anger against her. Still, you must not 
let yourself be treated any way. But why should I choose 


such an inopportune moment as that of the burning time 
of first love to instruct you, especially as I know you 
could guide a hundred women, among whom your wife 
is only first novitiate ! I wish you even more heartily 
happiness to your new call to your church post. I pray 
you not to depart from the form of doctrine which you 
imbibed here in no sparing quantities. I impressed upon 
Dr. Hieronymus Weller to tell you not to be overcome 
by that national weakness called self-conceit in German, 
although it may sometimes tickle you. You know how 
we have been worried by those who were afflicted with it 
and deserted us. Therefore, greet your wife from me, 
and say she must exert herself with all her heart to pre- 
vent you succumbing to that dangerous and fascinating 
rival called self-pleasing. She must come first, and be the 
receptacle of your love. You understand what I wish. 

My wife wishes you much joy in your wedded life as 
well as in your new post. Pray for us. 

.,, Martin Luther. 




To THE Elector John Frederick 

Luther thanks him for his present. Discussion with English 

January 25, 1536. 

To the Serene High-born Prince, John Frederick, 
Elector of Saxony. Grace and peace in Christ and my 
poor paternoster ! The castellan at Schwenitz has told 
me of your Electoral Highness's present of six eimers of 
wine, for which accept my most humble thanks, as well as 
for the wild boar, although I am most unwilling to be 
burdensome to your Grace, who has already enough to do 
in giving and in bearing the burdens of others. 

I hoped to get rid of the English Embassy in three days, 
but they have no intention of leaving for a long time. 

I have far more weighty matters to deal with, and 
have often done as much in four weeks, whereas they have 
quarrelled for twelve years over this single point, and they 


will never, in accordance with their present attitude, either 
advance or retreat unless God wills it. And as the expense 
is too great for your Grace to bear alone, as they them- 
selves admit, they are anxious to support themselves. 
Your Grace will know in this case also what is best. 

And I would respectfully inform your Highness that 
the Strassburg and Augsburg people have appealed to me 
to fix a time for us to hold the consultation. I wished 
first to consult your Grace as to the answer I shall give 
them, for this " Concord " cannot be concluded till we 
have discussed it thoroughly among ourselves ; and they 
write that many wish to come, among whom would be 
some quarrelsome people, who would spoil all ; so I 
respectfully beg you to fix a place for the gathering, for 
they are willing to go anywhere except to Coburg and its 
vicinity, where they would have to submit to the foreign 
rule of the bishops ; otherwise, no spot in Hesse or in 
your Grace's lands would be too remote for them. 

I herewith commit you to the dear God. Amen. 
Your Electoral Grace's obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Nicolas Hausmann 

Luther writes of Herzog Philip of Pomerania's marriage at 
Torgau to the Elector's sister. 

March 1 1, 1536. 

Grace and peace in Christ, beloved brother ! I highly 
commend to you the bearer of this letter, who hopes to 
get a school with you, and wished me to recommend him. 
I am the more willing to do this as he has a testimonial 
from Count Hoya in Westphalia addressed to me, to 
remove suspicion. So if you require any such person, do 
your utmost for him. There is nothing new here except 
that I purpose publishing a pamphlet against the crocodile 
in Halle. I wrote to him, calling him the dragon and 
the devil's cardinal. Pray that Christ, who has begun to 
pour out judgment upon him, may finish the work, 


especially as he will not cease persecuting those who at 
length shall attain to the grace of God. 

I can tell you nothing about the wedding at Torgau 
except that it went off splendidly. 

I gave the bride and bridegroom to each other in the 
evening, and in the morning Dr. Pommer pronounced the 
blessing upon them (as I was seized with giddiness and 
could not). Everything was done as is prescribed in the 
Catechism, for the Prince wished it so. This royal bride- 
groom is a fine accomplished young man, most temperate 
and modest, so that I am charmed with his appearance, 
manners, and behaviour. May Christ maintain and bestow 
every blessing upon him, to the furtherance of all that is 
good in him. Amen. My Kathie greets you respect- 
fully. Farewell in the Lord, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 


To Wenzel Link 
Luther asks for German songs. Jocular letter. 

March 20, 1536. 

Grace and peace in Christ, dear Wenzel ! As it is 
some hundreds of years since I either spoke or wrote 
Latin, I almost fear I have forgotten what I knew, and 
probably you are in the same condition ; so I hope such 
fears will justify any mistakes I make, without any good 
or evil works, for you are a gracious lord towards such 
offenders, even as you desire similar sins to be leniently 
treated by your friends. 

I had nothing to write about, but did not wish Frau 
Detzelin with her daughter to leave without letters. 

I should have liked to send some mountains of gold, but 
in late years our Elbe has overflowed and taken all the gold 
sand with it, leaving only gravel and sand behind, some 
of which has got a lodgment in Justus Jonas's body. I 
must always joke whether sick or well, weak or strong, 
a sinner and yet justified, well-nigh dead and yet alive in 
Christ. As you are seated amid gold and silver streams, 


send me not poetical dreams but songs, which will give 
me great pleasure. You understand. 

I wish to talk German, my gracious Herr Wenzel, if 
it be not too difficult or too tiresome, too high flown or 
too deep. I beg of you to ask a boy to collect all German 
pictures, rhymes, songs, books, etc., which have been 
painted, composed, and printed by your German poets 
and printers this year, for I have a reason for asking this. 
We can make Latin books here ourselves, but we are 
busy learning to write German books, which we hope to 
make so good that every one shall be pleased with them. 
Farewell in Christ. Pray for me. The Lord be with you 
and yours. Greet all our people. 

Martin Luther. 


Luther writes to his Honoured Brother in 
Christ, Martin Bucer 

Concerning the Congress. 

March 25, 1536. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I must write shortly to 
you, dear Herr Brother, because for fourteen days I have 
been prostrate with a dreadful cough, and have hardly 
begun to recover. As to our Congress^ this is our opinion. 

Our Elector has chosen Eisenach as the place of meet- 
ing, being close to Hesse. Julius Menius is superintendent 
there. The fourth Sabbath after Easter seems to me the 
most convenient. Discuss it with your friends and let 
me know. Were the third or any other more convenient 
for you, we have no objections. Only let Brentius, 
Schnepf, and any one else you wish to have, hear through 

I shall inform Osiander and the other NOrnberg 
people, but leave you to inform the South Germans, May 
you prosper in Christ ; pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 19. 2526.) 



To THE Elector John Frederick 

Luther was tired of the discussions with the EngHsh. In 
March, Henry VIII. repHed to the Schmalkalden document, saying 
he could only agree to it if the Augsburg Confession and the Apologia 
were toned down. John Frederick replied that if he would not 
admit pure doctrine into his kingdom, it was no use concluding a 
treaty with him. 

March 28, 1536. 

Grace and peace, Most Serene Lord ! We have 
received your Grace's directions in regard to the English, 
and will give the articles of agreement to the Vice- 
Chancellor, Franciscus, from which you may see how 
far we have got. But as they do not know if their King 
may be pleased with them, especially the last four, we 
have first announced the matter to him, leaving a loop- 
hole for escape. If His Majesty accept the conditions, 
the alliance shall be ratified, for the articles harmonise 
with our teaching, and afterwards, if desired, an embassy 
may be sent to explain things more fully to the King. 

But if His Majesty will not accept, or wishes alterations 
in these articles, then we cannot for his sake launch our 
Church into fresh trouble when we have scarcely got it 
into smooth waters. 

Your Electoral Highness can from all this draw your 
own conclusions as to the royal marriage question, or say 
if it would not be as well for us to defend ourselves in as 
far as we have approved of it. 

In Herzog George's affair our people have acted most 
imprudently, which has incensed me greatly. But your 
Grace has a good conscience, having offered to drop all 
enmity ; God will not forget it. But this quarrelsome, 
revengeful man continues bloodthirsty and longs for 
murder, so that one day " his mischief shall return upon 
his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down 
upon his own pate." 

But the best of it is, he cannot even join in prayer 
with those who cleave to him, for he does not need prayer, 
so proud is he ; while, God be praised, we can pray, for 


we seek peace and forgiveness, which God will grant if we 
humbly confess our sins and seek His glory. May our 
dear Lord strengthen your Electoral Highness's heart 
against the devil's threats and sour looks. Your Electoral 
Highness's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wettc.) 

P.S. — Dr. Caspar Cruciger begs me to ask your 
Electoral Highness graciously to grant him the use of 
Schloss Eulenburg for his marriage, as he knows of no 
other place to celebrate it, as it cannot be at Leipsic or 
Wittenberg. Your Electoral Grace will know how to act 
graciously. For one must help in such matters. 


To Vice-Chancellor Burkharut 

About agreement with the English. 

April 20, 1536. 

My opinion is, dear Herr Chancellor, that as my lord 
wishes to know how far we may give way to the English 
King regarding those articles, that we cannot concede more. 
If they wish to have the articles expressed in other language 
I do not object, but I shall permit no alterations in the 
matter of faith and teaching, otherwise we might rather 
have seen eye to eye with Pope and Emperor at Augsburg, 
and even now it would be disgraceful to concede more 
to the King than we would do to Emperor and Pope. 
No doubt people should have patience, for in England 
things connected with doctrine cannot so speedily be put 
into practice ; still, the principal articles must not be 
changed or given up. The ceremonials are temporary 
things, which will arrange themselves through time with 
the help of sensible rulers, so it is useless disputing or 
worrying over them till the right foundation is laid. But 
if the alliance with the King is to be entered into, although 
the King does not agree with us as to all the articles, then 
I shall leave it to the dear lords, along with my gracious 
lord, for it is a worldly matter ; still I consider it to be a 


great danger to unite outwardly where the people are not 
of one mind. But I do not wish my opinion to stand in 
the way, for God knows how to turn the thoughts of the 
pious as well as of the enemy and of all men to good 
account when He desires to be gracious. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Margrave George of Brandenburg 

As Luther was too weak to go to Eisenach, Capito, Bucer, 
and Myconius went to Wittenberg, May 21. Myconius 
relates that Luther preached on Ascension Day, " Go ye into all 
the world and preach," etc. — a glorious sermon. On the 25th the 
form of the Concord was signed by all in the lodging of Christian 
Goldschmied's widow, and on Sabbath, 28th, Biicer, Capito, etc., 
partook of the Sacrament with the Wittenberg people. 

May 29, 1536. 

Grace and peace in Christ, Most Serene High-born 
Prince, most gracious Lord ! I have received two 
gracious communications from your Grace. The first, 
informing me that God had called away your gracious 
father, Count Frederick, was very pleasing to me ; for I 
saw in what high honour you held him, seeing you 
announced it to so insignificant a person as myself, for 
it was known how highly you esteemed your illustrious 
father in his lifetime. 

The other, asking about the students studying here, 
many of whom your Grace supports, I can only say things 
are going on well, the loitering about the streets and the 
noise at nights not being, God be praised, so bad as of 
yore. But your Electoral Grace may depend on me 
letting you know if any one distinguishes himself in this 
way, and sending him home, as I have done more than 
once. But I often am not told of things done in secret, 
although they are diligently spread abroad. Your Electoral 
Grace will be kept informed of all that is taking place 
here concerning the Sacrament, by the princes, lords, and 
preachers who have anything to do with the matter, for 


without such knowledge nothing can be satisfactorily 
concluded. But they have already given way thus far 
that they will faithfully maintain and teach our Confession 
and Apology. Still, we have discussed article by article 
with them, so that no danger may lurk in corners and we 
may have a proper Concord. We shall send all this to 
your Grace, for as you are at one with us as to the 
Confession, therefore you will desire all the others to be 
present, or wish them to know how such a Concord is 
concluded. You will do your utmost with the preachers, 
so that old matters may not be raked up, thus scaring the 
timid away. I consider they are in earnest, and if not, 
the accepted apology will be their punishment. It is of 
no importance whether they condemn the Papal pro- 
cessions and ciborium, which we too have not retained. 
I commend you to God, and will shortly write again. 
Your Grace's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wettc.) 


To George Spalatin 

June 10, 1536. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! This K. Zimmermann, 
who has either been banished or fled, begs us to find a 
situation for him. But as poor people come here from all 
quarters, there is no vacant post, so he has begged for an 
introduction to you. I hereby warmly commend him, 
as he is a native of Altenburg. We have nothing new 
to relate, except that a terrible tragedy has taken place in 
England. About your Asmodi (house-devil) I shall write 
as soon as I can. Meantime may Christ enable you to 
bear with her patiently. Greet your dear wife, and tell 
her we think most kindly of her, and hope she will bear 
the motherly or rather step-motherly reproots patiently. 
Things will be sure to come right at last ; and those who 
have calumniated her will be covered with confusion. 
May you prosper in Christ with all who belong to you. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1272.) 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

Luther wishes him to leave Dessau. 

September 20, 1536. 

To the learned Doctor Nicolas Hausmann, servant 
of Christ at Dessau. 

Grace and peace, dearest brother in Christ ! Only a 
few words, for you always know what is going on here, 
as news reaches your court sooner than we get them. 
The two Margraves have fallen away from the gospel. 

If you did not know this, now you are aware of it ; 
and I know not what evil thing may be smouldering 
among us. I am still of the same mind regarding you. 
I purpose inviting you to become an inmate of my house, 
so that you may have some rest and quiet. Your 
brother has promised to maintain you in my house, for 
I see it is impossible for you to remain where you are. 
Dr. Hieronymus Weller is very happy, having left to 
occupy his own house close by. This is a great pleasure 
to me. 

The Emperor has not been so fortunate as we expected. 
It is said the famine has deprived him of five thousand 
officers — brave men — such as the Margrave Frederick, 
Caspar von Fronsberg, and I know not who else. The 
Council seems to me only a sham, although I hear 
Herzog George is writing a book against the Bishops. 

Our Alesius writes from England that the new Queen, 
Jane, is an enemy of the gospel, and will shortly be 
crowned. Things appear now quite different in that 
kingdom, so that Antonius is obliged to remain hidden 
and keep silence. The King continues to despise the 
Pope ; and it has been determined, with the consent of this 
whole kingdom, that no one shall start for the Diet 
till the King consents to it being held, which will never 
take place. 

So long as the King is against it, the Diet is a myth, 
or at least it will not be held at the appointed time ; 
and when that has once gone by, who will vouch for 


another time being fixed ? The world is full of knavery. 
Farewell in Christ, and pray for me, my brother ; I need 
it greatly. Greet your noble Prince from me. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 2 1. 1536.) 


To George Spalatin 

Luther complains of want of benevolence. 

September 24, 1536. 

To the highly esteemed George Spalatin, shepherd 
and Bishop of the Church at Altenburg, my beloved in 
the Lord. Grace and peace in Christ ! I beg of you, 
dearest Spalatin, that as soon as Brisger returns, you 
will arrange with him to help this poor person, Elsie von 
Reinsberg, and see that no one treats her harshly or speaks 
unkindly to her. For who knows in what insignificant 
person we may have the opportunity of honouring 
the Lord Jesus. I fear greatly that at length we shall 
be deprived of the Word of God, because of our horrible 
ingratitude and our neglect of it. Almost all the churches 
think, " We shall steer clear of the poor and send them 
to Wittenberg," and this we are daily experiencing. No 
one is willing to do good and help the poor. Farewell, 
and pray for me. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1275.) 


To THE King of Denmark 

Luther approves of Bishops being driven away. 

December 2, 1536. 

Grace and peace in Christ our Lord, and my poor 
paternoster, Most Serene High-born Prince, most gracious 
King ! I have received your Majesty's letter, and am 
much pleased that you have extirpated the Bishops (who 
are always persecuting God's Word and intriguing in 
worldly matters), and I shall reply to your Majesty's 
epistle to the best of my ability. But I most humbly 


beg your Majesty to reserve sufficient funds out of the 
Church property belonging to the Crown for the benefit 
of the churches and pastors. For if everything be 
dispersed how are the preachers to be maintained ? Per- 
haps this admonition is not necessary, for doubtless your 
Majesty will act in a Christian manner ; but there are so 
many among us who wish to grasp everything, and if God 
had not given us such pious Princes, who conscientiously 
see to the welfare of their subjects, many churches and 
parishes would lie waste. 

So if Satan should try to wrest some of the Church 
funds in your lands through his emissaries, may God 
cause your Majesty to remember the needs of the Church, 
whose office it is to proclaim the Word of God, through 
which your subjects, both now and in future, may learn 
the way to everlasting bliss, and how to escape eternal 
condemnation, for all this is contained in the Word of God. 
May Christ, our dear Lord, be with your Majesty now 
and for ever. Amen. Your Majesty's obedient servant, 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Chancellor BrDck 

The Archbishop's complaints of Luther. 

December 9, 1536. 

To the learned Dr. Bruck, Chancellor to the Elector 
of Saxony. Grace and peace in Christ ! After you 
told me that you had been ordered by my most gracious 
lord, at the instigation of the Elector of Brandenburg 
and his cousins, to ask me as to the proposed pamphlet 
against the Archbishop of Mayence, I beg to say (although 
I believe the good Princes mean well, and I wish them 
every prosperity) that I informed Their Royal Highnesses 
by word of mouth, both here and at Torgau, that I would 
rather they tried to improve their cousin the Cardinal, 
and prevent him casting contempt on the Lord Jesus 
Christ and tormenting poor people, which would be more 
salutary than worrying over what I write. 

And I am convinced that 1 cannot be convicted of 


insulting a whole race when I am forced to tell the truth 
to a knave ; and if the house of Brandenburg feels itself 
insulted through what I have written of the Cardinal, it 
would be more seemly if they felt the honour of their 
house injured through his conduct, and punished him 
themselves, instead of leaving it to me to do. 

It is really something quite new to defend one who 
does evil, and persecute those who punish it. The 
tribe of Judah was the highest and noblest of the whole 
human family, and yet it did not feel itself insulted when 
King Ahab was punished by the prophet Elijah, even as 
prophets punished many kings. And there is no race so 
good that it has not at times an unworthy member. How 
would it be if judges, nay, even princes and lords, were 
to be called traducers because they justly condemned 
one of good family to be beheaded or hanged .'' Every 
thief would then have cause to say that he was being 
ignominiously treated because he was to be hanged. Yes, 
but, my dear fellow, why steal ? Oh, dear sir, are you not, 
with all your wisdom, accusing me thus ? In conclusion, 
kings and princes are subject to God, who first uses gentle 
means to reclaim them, even when they are very wicked. 
When these are of no avail, then God punishes them 
through His wrath. If they mock the first punishment, 
they must weep to all eternity over the second. If I do 
the Cardinal injustice, 1 sit here under an Elector of 
Saxony to be judged. 

Please accept this hasty summary of the matter. If 
I had time I could, by the grace of God, do it better. 
But I shall justify myself to the Cardinal himself. For 
he must be laughing in his sleeve at the whole affair. 
I commend you to God. Amen. Your obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Anton Lauterbach 

Lauterbach worried in his pastoral office. 

December 27, 1536. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Act thus, my dear Anton ; 


be strong in silence and in hope, and so you will over- 
come in Christ this sophistical grammarian. Through 
silence one can do much in self-defence in such cases, till 
we can set you free and place you elsewhere, as we hope 
to do. 

Meanwhile it is much more dignified to put up with 
the injustice than to act. The right asserts itself at the 
end. As to the excellent Johannes, you have quite upset 
me. I hear he is imprisoned in Castle Leuchtenberg, from 
where that letter was written. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 2 1. 1452) 


To Wolfgang Brauer, Pastor at Jessen 

On private communion. 

December 30, 1536. 

Grace and peace in Christ, worthy Herr Pastor ! 
Regarding the question which your good friend at Lintz, 
Sigmund Haugreuter, wished to be laid before me, this is 
my answer, that it is not the duty of himself and house- 
hold to communicate thus, having no call or command to 
do so, although his tyrannical superior refuses to administer 
the sacrament, in spite of it being his duty to do so. For 
he can be saved through believing the Word. 

It might become a great scandal were the sacrament of 
the Lord's Supper handed about in the different houses, 
and in the long run do much harm, causing divisions and 
creating sects ; for nowadays people are so strange and the 
devil so mad. For the early Christians in Acts did not 
specially partake of the sacrament in their own houses, 
but all came together to do so, and even had they done 
it, such an example does not now hold good, even as it 
is not customary now to have all possessions in common, 
as was the case then, for now the gospel is proclaimed 
along with the sacraments. But it is only proper that 
the head of the house should teach God's Word to those 
under him, for God has commanded us to instruct our 
children and servants. But the sacrament and confession 


should be administered by His professing servants, because 
Christ says it was instituted in memory of Himself, which 
is, in St. Paul's words, to show the Lord's death till He 
come ; and at the same time he condemns those who wish 
to partake of it alone without tarrying for one another. 
And no one can baptize himself. For these sacraments 
belong to the Church, and must not be mixed up with 
the duties devolving on the head of a house. So although 
there is nothing specially said on this subject in the Bible, 
it must not be lightly undertaken without special directions 
from God, for no good would ensue. You may say this, 
dear pastor, to your friend from me. I commit you to 
God. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther, Amsdorf, Agricola, and Spalatin had now finished the 
articles for the future Diet by the Elector's command. 

{No date.) 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! As Dr. Anton himself 
is coming to you, I have nothing special to relate of our 
life and doings. See that you prove a good friend as well 
as combatant to both emissaries, for the honour of their 
King and also of our Prince. I am glad that Dr. Anton 
is at length free from the courts of justice. For my part 
I already fear the worst, as the other ambassador is linger- 
ing too long. For people's patience might easily be 
exhausted, considering what sort of gentlemen these highly 
esteemed Cardinals are, for they as well as the Popes are 
deceivers, thieves, robbers, nay, very devils in the flesh. 
Would that there were more kings of England to slay 
them ! For the Ambassador, Paul Vergerius, said to me 
here, "Ha! the King of England causes the Cardinals and 
Bishops to be murdered. But . . .," etc. He then made 
a movement with the hands, growling and threatening the 
King with evils such as no potentate has ever endured, 
certainly not expressed in so many words, but with com- 
pressed lips. They are rascals through and through, even 
to the heart's core. God make you believe this. 


Priest Albrecht in Halle has taken away the Abbot's 
staff at Zinna and the Monstrance hi Jutterbock with 
other vessels, with all due ceremony, leaving behind the 
written and sealed certificates testifying they were once there. 
The staff and the Monstrance will bring in great sums. 
He is in very deed worthy of the rank of Cardinal, 
one who in cunning might successfully vie with and 
speedily surpass all other Cardinals if the reins were only 
left in his hands. For even thus they plundered the 
churches and stole altar trappings, mass money, and precious 
stones in Rome and over Italy, and they continue to do so. 
You perhaps fancy when you read Cicero that Verres and 
Dionysius were greedy vultures. But nowadays one highly 
esteemed Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church is possessed 
by a hundred Verreses and a thousand Dionysiuses, not 
only in heart, but he openly perpetrates such rascality, as 
these deeds testify. 

We look for your return, and if an unpleasant rumour 
reaches you, pay no attention to it. We hope that even if 
an epidemic should spread abroad we shall have moderately 
pure air for our little bit of sky. Things would look 
otherwise if it were really an epidemic. Everywhere on 
the face of this earth men are liable to decay. We 
cannot all remain alive here upon earth or we would never 
reach yonder. My wife sends you greetings, and often 
thinks of you. Beware that you do not make me jealous, 
in case I might revenge myself upon you in a similar 
manner. Farewell in the Lord, and greet Caspar Cruciger 
and all our people, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 



The Protestants held their congress in Schmalkalden in February 
1537, where Luther was very ill. It was resolved to restate the 
articles of the Augsburg Confession, which was considered too 
mild for the times, and for this it was not Melanchthon's smooth 
pen which was called into requisition, but that of Luther. This 
was the origin of the so-called Schmalkaldischen articles, which 
were an elucidation and supplement of the Augsburg Confession, 
and strengthened the Evangelicals in tlieir faith. 



To THE Elector John Frederick. 

Luther sends the articles to the Prince. 

January 3, 1537. 

Grace and peace in Christ, and my poor paternoster, 
Most Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord ! By 
command of your Grace I arranged with Herr Nicolas 
Amsdorf, M. Eisleben, and M, Spalatin (for Menius and 
Myconius were too far away), who were here about St. 
Innocent's Day, to revise the articles as you wished, but 
on account of my weakness, caused by Satan, I am sure, 
were several days over them instead of one, as I hoped. 
These being confirmed and signed by them, I now send 
to your Grace by our good friend, M. George Spalatin. 
We all humbly plead, as some regard us with suspicion, 
fancying we wish to imperil you princes and lords with 
your lands through our reckless projects, that your Grace 
would rebuke them, for we would rather run any risk 
than endanger your Grace's lands and those of other lords. 
Therefore your Grace will know how far such articles may 
be accepted by them, for we do not wish them to be 
burdensome to any, for each must be left free to adopt 
them or not as he pleases. 

1 herewith commit your Grace to the dear God. 
Your Grace's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Justus Jonas 

Written on the way to Schmalkalden. Luther left Wittenberg 
January 31, staying in Torgau, Grimma, Altenburg, Weimar 
(where he preached February 4), Arnstadt, and Waltershausen. 

February i, 1537. 

Grace and peace ! Although I fear this letter may be 
late, still I shall write to say I firmly hope you have been 
free from your pain up till now, and thus my prayers 
have been answered. A report has got abroad that His 
Holiness the Bishop of Aix is on the way from Niirnberg 


to our Princes. This was written direct from Coburg to 
the Princes, who replied that should he come he must be 
sent straight to Schmalkalden. So if he really come he is 
expected there. Yes, if he really come ! And if he do, 
doubtless it is not from fear, but to try to get help for the 

Turks, otherwise For what are we Lutherans but 

lambs who are being led to the slaughter whenever that 
destroyer requires their help ? We shall see. The Em- 
peror's Chancellor, Dr. Matthias Held, shall also be present. 
Perhaps this convention may be more numerous than was 
thought. God grant it may be an authorised council ! A 
canon who has resigned his canonry and taken a wife is 
here from Zeitz ; a handsome man, who swears by all that 
is sacred that far more learned men will be there than at 
the Mantua Church Congress, if it ever takes place. I 
write this for your consolation. I know how anxious you 
are. Farewell, and visit my people, and also Bugenhagen's 
Rome with his little "Quiriten." We are all well and in 
good spirits, and have been sumptuously entertained in 
the castles of Altenburg and Grimma. 

We fancied we should have slept at our old Pylades' ^ 
and Theseus's." Therefore, according to our custom, we 
announced ourselves through some verses. I enclose 
mine, and Philip, our Homer, also sends his. Altenburg, 
two o'clock in the night. Martin Luther. 


To Justus Jonas 

Luther preached before the Princes when he arrived in 

February 9, 1537. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I write while I have 
leisure, for soon we shall have enough to cio, and there is 
no chance of our separating before Sabbath Latare, so 
sorely are we pressed by people and work. Many believe 
that not even at the Mantua Congress will more learned 
men congregate. Yes, doubtless more mules, asses, and 

' Mclancluhon ? 2 Spalatin. 


even horses, whose riders are greater asses than themselves, 
will assemble there, as it is written (according to Peter 
Balbinus's interpretation), " Be ye not as the horse or the 
mule, who have no understanding." Yesterday the Land- 
grave and the Herzog of Wurtemburg entered in great 
state. To-day the Princes are having a private conference 
while I write. 

Yesterday Spalatin preached, and I to-day, before the 
Princes in the town church, which is so enormous that our 
voices sounded like a shrew-mouse to the people. The air 
is good, and we are well seen to. You must regret not 
seeing so many great men, and being seen by them. Yester- 
day I suffered greatly, but shall be content if the pain 
disappear as easily as formerly, and not torture me more. 
I wish you the same happiness. The Papal legate went 
from Weimar to Halle to the Cardinal. Perhaps he w^as 
annoyed not to get speaking to the Princes. He has not 
appeared here. It is no matter although the Papal pride 
be turned into gall. I have nothing else to write about. 
Greet Dr. Hans Agricola from me with his Grinkel. I 
fancy the boxes with the powders and packets which were 
among the luggage belong to him. He must let us know, 
in case we appropriate other people's possessions. I am 
sure you could easily find messengers to send by the help 
of the steward, if it please His Excellency. Greet your 
wife and children from me. Martin Luther. 

P.S. — Pray with Caspar Cruciger for us, and make 
others do so also. 



To Justus Jonas 

Luther was very ill. The Prince sent for the Erfurt physician, 

George Sturtz. 

February 14, 1537. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Yesterday I wrote you, 
Valentine's Eve, and to-day I again write on St. Valentine's 
Day itself. 

St. Valentine has turned the invalid into a convalescent. 



But not the St. Valentine, the god of frail humanity, but 
the one sole Valentine, who heals all who trust in Him. 
Hence I hope by His grace at length to be made whole. 

We are already here eight days doing nothing. All 
are sick of the place and of this idleness, and long to 
depart. The Princes and towns are occupied with entirely 
different matters from what we imagined, and do not ask 
us to join. May the Lord Jesus bless their deliberations. 
Dr. Benedict and Dr. Bleikardt have become the Pope's 
enemies. Ah, how mercilessly they torture him through his 
own decrees ! More by word of mouth. The Emperor's 
ambassador arrived last night. To-day we shall perhaps 
hear Dr. Held. 

We are beggars here. We eat the bread of the Land- 
grave and the Herzog of Wurtemburg (for these have the 
best bakers), and we drink wine with the Nurnbergers. 
We receive meat and fish from Court. But you know 
from experience that the firm, heavy bread is a seed for 
stone. Perhaps I shall learn this also, for the bread both 
at Court and in town is the same. They have also excellent 
trout, but they boil them in the same water with other 
fish, and serve them up in the soup ! Oh, what food ! 
Therefore I beg the cooks to deliver them alive, and I 
then have them prepared by the Nilrnberg cooks. Certainly 
it is the express command of the Princes that we should be 
supplied with everything, and that all should be delicately 
cooked, but it is consumed and spoiled by tradesmen and 
servants, as is the way at Court. I have nothing else 
to write about. Farewell, and pray for us. 

Martin Luther. 



To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

Luther was seriously ill. Myconius, the Elector, Melanchthon, 
and Spalatin prayed earnestly at his bedside, and he was taken in 
a royal carriage to Tambach with Bugenhagen. 

February 27, 1537. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Meantime you must hire 
horses, dear Kathie, for what you require, for my gracious 


lord will keep your horses, and send Herr Philip home 
with them. I left Schmalkalden yesterday and drove 

hither in 's own carriage. I was very ill in Schmal- 

kalden, not three days well ; could neither sleep, eat, nor 
drink. In short, I was almost dead, and commended you 
with the children to God and to my dear Lord, never 
expecting to see you again. If God had not had mercy 
upon me, I would have been in my grave. But the 
earnest prayers and tears of so many people have effected 
what medicine was powerless to do, and last night I got 
relief, and feel as if I had been born anew. 

Therefore let the dear children, with Tante Lene, 
thank God, the faithful Father, without whom this father 
would certainly have been lost. The pious Prince sent 
messengers flying in all directions for help, but it was of 
no avail. 

Your remedy was useless. Verily God has done 
wondrous things for me this night, and will continue to 
do this through the prayers of pious people. I write all 
this to you, because my most gracious lord ordered you to 
be sent for, fancying I would die on the road, and wished 
you to see me ; but now it is not necessary, so you can 
remain at home, for God Himself has abundantly helped 
me, and I can look forward to a joyful home-coming. To- 
day we are in Gotha.^ I have written you four times, and 
wonder that nothing has reached you. 

Martin Luther. 

(Dc Wette.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther calls Tambach his Peniel, for there the Lord delivered 
him from his sore distress, for the time at least. 

February 27, 1537. 

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercy and all consolation, who saw your 
prayers and tears, and in the second watch of the night, 
my dearest Philip, contrary to all expectation, gave the 
deliverance which had been so long looked for in vain. 

* This letter was written at night. 


... I send you the news at once. Let my beloved 
lord and the others know. For I know how gladly they 
would have helped me. I am now prepared for whatever 
God may send, be it life or death, because I am now out 
of the pit and have reached our own land ; therefore I 
feel impelled to write those hurried letters. The rest you 
will hear from the messenger Tipontius, who was so 
elated that he wished to flee to you at once. Thank, 
with me, the Father of all grace, that the dear God may 
perfect His work, that through this experience we may 
learn to pray and look for help from heaven. May God 
protect you all, and crush Satan under His feet along with 
all the monstrosities of the Roman Court. Amen. At 
half-past two in the night in Tambach,^ the spot where I 
was delivered, for this is my Peniel, where the Lord 
appeared to me. Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Luther writes from Wittenberg on his recovery. 

March 21, 1537. 

To the highly esteemed Herr George Spalatin, Arch- 
bishop of Meissen. Grace and peace in Christ ! At last 
I write you, dear Spalatin, having for many days observed 
Sabbatical repose with my pen. I now begin to eat and 
drink, although my legs can scarcely carry my body. I 
have lost more strength than I could have believed, 
but with rest and warm compresses 1 hope to regain 
it. My Kathie greets you respectfully, and regrets that 
she brought nothing for your dear daughters, but is 
having little books bound to send as a remembrance, 
hoping you will take the will for the deed. She is always 
extolling your benevolence. May you prosper in Christ, 
and pray for us. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 2 1. 1276.) 

' Written on morning of 27th. 



To Conrad Cordatus 

About Cordatus's call to Eisleben. 

Ma}> 12, 1537. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I am very pleased at 
your call to my fatherland, my Cordatus, for there 
you will be an ever-present combatant against W., whom 
you abhor with a just and righteous hatred. If it please 
you, and you can leave Nimmern without regret, then 
what God has ordained and what I desire will take place. 
The air may be better than on marshy soil, for it is 
purified through furnaces burning night and day. I 
thank God that you are better, but pray curb your 
suspicions, or they will cause future illnesses. Get rid 
of such ideas, as I also must do, for our enemy the devil 
goes about trying not only to destroy the soul, but to 
weaken the body through such thoughts, for he knows 
that the state of the soul depends in great measure on the 
condition of the body, for a mournful spirit consumes 
the flesh and the bones, while a merry heart makes a 
joyful old age. I tell you all this although I do not like 
to appear to teach you. Farewell in the Lord, 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 2 1. 1455.) 



Luther was angry at the nobles expecting too much from 
the clergy. 

7"^ 9> '537- 

To the worthy Herr Magister Johann Schreiner, 
pastor and superintendent at Grimma, my gracious friend. 

Grace and peace in Christ, dear magister and 
pastor ! Say to the nobility, which Spalatin refuses to do, 
that one cannot have the clergy exactly as they wish, and 
they should thank God for the pure word, which they 
now hear out of one book, when they think of past times 
under the Pope and the nonsense they had to listen to 


and pay dearly for. How can the nobles expect to pro- 
cure Dr. Martins and Philips for such a beggarly service .'' 
If nothing short of St. Augustines and St. Ambrosiuses 
will satisfy, then let them supply them themselves. When 
a pastor pleases the Lord Jesus and is faithful to Him, 
then a nobleman, who is certainly of much less importance, 
ought also to be pleased with him. A prince rejoices 
when he has three outstanding and competent nobles in 
his government, and exercises patience with the less 
gifted who fill up the gaps. But they expect to have 
the best of everything, forgetting they are far from that 
themselves, and have no desire to be. 

You must arrange these matters yourselves, for we 
are overwhelmed with business from every country, so 
that we have no rest. This letter may be read by princes 
and lords, or wherever you desire. I have no objections. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Wolfgang Capito, Doctor of the Holy 
Scriptures, and Faithful Servant of the 
Church in Strassburg. 

July 9, 1537. 

My beloved brother in Christ, grace and peace in 
Christ ! I intended answering your letter, dear Capito, 
and sending it through the Frenchmen to whom you 
introduced me, but they may perhaps tell you what they 
have seen and heard themselves. It is a great effort to 
me to arrange the different parts of my books ; indeed I 
would rather see them destroyed, for I scarcely care to 
own any of them, except that on the bondage of the will ^ 
and the Catechism. But I have remitted the matter to 
Cruciger, who will see if anything can be done. I heard 
that you would help also, but at the same time I prayed 
that the Lord Jesus would not permit you to work in vain. 
I have heard about the Augsburg devil, but we shall 
look to Him who began his work. He will appear at 

1 Vovi ^eknechteten IVillen. 


the right time and not tarry. For I am convinced that 
you and Bucer are acting honestly, and all who speak or 
write to me think the same. My Katherine thanks 
you for the gold ring, and I have never seen her more 
annoyed than when she found it was either stolen or lost 
through her own carelessness (which I hardly believe, 
although I always cast it up to her), for I assured her that 
this present was sent as an omen that your church was at 
one with ours, and this is a great sorrow to the poor 
woman. I write thus to you to let you see our hearts are 
set on unity. May Christ Himself conclude the matter. 

But one thing I must add, do not send anything else 
to my wife, in case of aggravating her sorrow. For 
Christ is sufficient for both parties. Greet all belonging 
to you warmly, and bid them think the best of us, as we 
do of them. May the Lord Jesus set His seal on this 
desire, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be 
glory to all eternity. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1278.) 


To CoBAN Hesse 

Luther thanks him for Latin translation of Psalter. 

August I, 1537. 

To the celebrated poet of our day, the honoured 
Coban Hesse, my beloved brother in the Lord. 

Grace and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ, dear 
Coban ! I have received your Psalter, cherished brother 
in the Lord, and have read it with great delight, and will 
always read it, so much do I prize the labour you have 
expended on the book which is so dear to me. And I 
thank you from the heart for enabling me to see this 
beautiful and sacred poetry which was so loved by the 
Hebrews, in the Latin tongue. For I laud and admire 
the industry of those who by translation, explanation, or 
other means try to elucidate this exquisite poetry, although 
all may not be alike fitted for the task, for we cannot all 
do everything. Therefore I praise your work with all 


my heart, for perhaps you are the only one sufficiently 
acquainted with the Latin tongue who could have trans- 
lated this highly spiritual poetry. 

You have given ample evidence in this work that you 
are possessed of the true poetic spirit, which is Heaven's 
gift, and which has been more abundantly bestowed upon 
you than upon others ; for no other poet has known how 
to reproduce this royal poet as you have done, and you 
never could have done it, even with your ability, had 
you not been impregnated with the spirit of the whole. 
But such emotions of the heart do not spring from 
nature, nor from the ordinary poetic gift, but are certainly 
a gift of the Spirit and an impulse from heaven. There- 
fore I wish you not only much happiness, but praise my 
Lord Jesus that He has through His Spirit qualified you 
for this divine work, which will be specially useful to the 
young, who may reap not only culture and poetry from 
this poem, but also spiritual knowledge, through the 
assistance of a faithful teacher. For I confess to being 
much more touched and swayed by such poetic effusions 
than by the spoken word, even were it out of the mouth 
of a Demosthenes or a Cicero. So if I experience this with 
minor poems, how much more must the contents of the 
Psalms move me, a book which I have studied from my 
youth, and which, thank God, has never failed to delight 
and benefit me. For although I would never despise 
the gifts of others, yet I venture to assert in holy joy 
that I would not, for the thrones and kingdoms of the 
world, exchange the delight I have experienced in the 
Psalms through the Holy Ghost. For I have none of 
the foolish humility which would deny God's gifts to me. 
In myself I have truly enough to make me humble, 
but I must rejoice in God as I do in my German Psalter, 
and now much more in your Coban one, but all to the 
praise and glory of God to all eternity. May you abide 
in Him for ever. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1280.) 



To Friedrich Myconius, Preacher in Gotha 

Congratulations. Luther makes jocular allusion to Myconius 
refusing him burial in Gotha, where he took so ill on his journey 
from Schmalkalden to Wittenberg. 

July 27, J537- 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I rejoice with you, dear 
Friedrich, that God has at length given you a Fritz. 
Having seven daughters, I can quite believe you are 
delighted to have a son. So once more I wish you 
happiness, and pray that he may continue healthy, and be 
endowed with even richer gifts than his father. Amen. 
I laud your determination not to let me be buried within 
your bishopric (Gotha), although since then I have often 
lamented it. For now that my life has been prolonged, 
I see things I would not have seen had I been at rest in 
God, or in Gotha, But He who has put all things under 
His feet will also overcome this insignificant evil. 

Even as the angels are round about those who believe, 
so those who have eyes to see find themselves surrounded 
by much good. My Kathie greets you, and wishes you 
much happiness over the birth of your son, and advises 
you strongly that all the milk that can be spared should 
be kept for the little son till he can take other food, and 
that your wife should be made to take very good care of 
herself. But as a husband you know all this yourself, 
although my Kathie seems to have doubts on the subject. 
Farewell in the Lord. Martin Luther. 


To THE Council at Torgau 

Request for ground for a house for their pastor. 

August 21, 1537. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! Honoured and prudent 
gentlemen and friends, I have often spoken with your 
pastor as to his way of living, and what he can leave to 


his wife and children. He said he was quite contented, 
although his Elsie would like a little house, which is only 
reasonable. There is no house to be had, so they showed 
me a piece of ground upon which they thought of building 
one, next to the sexton's. Now I lay this matter before 
my most gracious friends, thinking it would only be 
praiseworthy (seeing it is in your power) to show your 
gratitude to your faithful pastor, who has served you four- 
teen years, by providing him with what he requires, which 
it is usual for the citizens to do. So I would request you 
in a friendly manner either to present him or help him to 
procure such a piece of ground, which may be lying 
neglected. By so doing you will thereby give a proof of 
your love to the Word and its servants, which, alas, too 
seldom receive any token of favour. I am sure you will 
act in a Christian manner in this matter. I herewith 
commend you to God. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Ambrosius Berndt 

Berndt, an M.A. of Wittenberg, a widower, who afterwards 
married Luther's orphan niece. 

Nonj ember 1537. 

You are aware, dear magister, that God's mercy is 
much greater than our misfortunes. Although, as you 
observe, you have good cause to mourn, yet it is only a 
little vinegar mixed with your good sugar. For your 
wife it is far better, for she has passed away, and now 
lives in Christ. Would to God I too were that length ! 
I would not long to return here. 

Your suffering is only temporal, viz. the natural 
longing for your dear one. Although your wife is dead, 
she has left pleasant memories behind her, the memory of 
a pious, loving, obedient inmate of your house. You must 
comfort yourself with such thoughts, and let it be seen, 
by not forgetting her, that you were an affectionate 
husband. You are a good dialectician, and teach it to 
others, so now you have an opportunity of practising the 


same, and letting your friends see it being exemplified in 
your present behaviour. When you compare your mis- 
fortune with that of others, you will perceive that your 
wife's death is not in itself a circumstance to be deplored, 
except as it affects the deepest feelings of your heart, which 
is ever the case when people are deprived of parents, 
children, and such-like. One would do well to recall what 
the Emperor Maximilian said in trying to comfort his son 
Philip over the loss of a faithful, brave, and pious man 
who fell in battle : " Dear Phihp, you must accustom 
yourself to such trials, for you will still lose many who are 
dear to you." So Christians must do the same ; there is 
no other way. Martin Luther. 


Reformed Swiss Towns 

Luther expresses his joy at the Swiss joining the Wittenberger 

December i, 1537. 

Grace and peace in Christ, our Lord and Saviour, 
honoured and dear sirs and friends ! I have delayed far 
too long in answering your letter, which I received at 
Schmalkalden. But I hope you will excuse the delay, for 
I know you are well aware how much rests upon my 
shoulders daily, especially now that I am old and weak ; 
and I have had to tear myself away from friends and 
business to steal the time to write this. 

I have again read your letter, and am highly pleased 
to see that all former sharpness and suspicions have been 
lulled to rest, and that you are really in earnest as to 
joining the Wittenberg Concord and doing your best 
to promote it. The God and Father of all unity and 
love will doubtless complete the good work w^hich He has 
graciously begun, as it is written in Prov. xvi. 7 : " When 
a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies 
to be at peace with him." 

It is evident, and cannot be otherwise, that such great 


dissension as has existed between us cannot be healed all 
at once without leaving rents and scars behind it. For 
with you, as well as with us, there must be some who are 
suspicious of such Concord. But if we are in earnest on 
both sides, and make up our minds to adhere to it, the 
dear God and Father will grant His grace, so that others 
may through time give way, and the troubled waters will 
again be at rest. 

Therefore, I beseech you, set limits to those among you 
who are raising a hue and cry against the Concord, and 
see to it that competent people are appointed to teach the 
people the significance of this matter, so that it may not 
be hindered. Even as we here, both in our writings and 
sermons, avoid doing anything to inflame the people 
against you in case of doing injury to the Concord, which 
we are most anxious to see become an accomplished fact, 
and have vowed to God to make an end of the fighting 
and disputing, of which we have had more than enough 
without any good results being achieved. 

And I would once more humbly plead, as before, that 
you would believe that I mean what I say, and shall do 
my uttermost for the furtherance of the bond. God is 
my witness that I shall do this. For these dissensions 
have helped neither me nor any one else, but have done 
much harm. 

Excuse the short answer I must make to your letter, 
for my head is daily burdened with business, not to speak 
of thoughts, so I cannot write and discuss matters with 
every one as if I had nothing else to do. I herewith 
commit you, with all belonging to you, to the Father of 
mercies and all consolation. May He grant to both parties 
of us His Holy Spirit, so that our hearts may dissolve in 
Christian love, and all the scum and rust of devilish human 
wickedness and suspicion may be swept away, to the praise 
and honour of His holy name, and to the salvation of 
many souls and the destruction of the devil and the Pope, 
with their followers. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 



To Martin BOcer 

Luther encloses this letter to the Swiss, and tells of Bugen- 
hagen's work in Copenhagen, where he acquired a warm friend 
in Herzog Albrecht of Prussia. 

December 6, 1537. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! At last, dear Bilcer, I 
have answered the letter of the Swiss which you gave me 
at Schmalkalden. Excuse the delay to them as best you 
can, for you know, besides the sloth of age, how the care 
of our Church rests upon me, as well as many hateful 
matters, I send you a copy of the letter, so that you may 
have the rudder to steer the ship. I have referred every- 
thing to you and Capito, else I would have had no reason 
for writing so lovingly as I have done ; for you two have 
made it difficult for me to do so, as you told me my letter 
might reach the hands of some who were opposed to the 
Concord. But you will settle everything according to the 
gift that has been given you. I have at least written 
openly and honestly. 

I do not approve so highly of the Latin Confession of 
the Swiss as of the German one of the towns, especially in 
the article of the sacrament of the altar. The other is 
well enough as the times go. Greet the honoured Herr 
Dr. Capito from me, and all your people. Pommer is still 
in Denmark, and by the blessing of God is progressing 
favourably with his undertaking. He has crowned the 
King and Queen like a real bishop. He has also established 
a school, etc. Farewell in the Lord. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1284.) 


The Imperial Chancellor Held, perceiving the Protestants' 
zeal, thought it time for the Catholic Princes to act, so he 
managed to get Albrecht of Mayence, the Archbishop of Salz- 
burg, the Dukes of Bavaria and Brunswick, Herzog George of 
Saxony, with the Emperor and his brother, to sign a treaty at 
Niirnberg to protect one another. The Protestants received the 

2 A 


Margrave of Brandenburg, Henry of Saxony, and the King of 
Denmark into their bond. Luther published his Schmalkaldischen 
Articles in this year. 


To THE Elector John Frederick 

John Karg, who was later convicted of heresy, arrested on 
suspicion of false doctrine. 

January 4, 1538. 

Fo the Serene High-born Prince John Frederick, Elector 
of Saxony. Grace and peace in Christ, Most Serene 
Prince ! By your Grace's orders I at once sought an 
interview with Magister George Karg in the sacristy, and 
spoke very sharply to him, in the presence of Jonas, 
Cruciger, and Phihp, concerning the note. At first 
he tried to deny he had written it, but when it was 
found proven we ordered him to send us his opinion in 
few words, which he promised to do. As we were dis- 
cussing matters an official appeared to take him to the 
castle and place him in security by your Grace's command, 
but upon our own responsibility we caused him to be taken 
to his lodgings. But soon after the bailiff immured him 
in the castle, which we are now glad of on our own account. 
But as Magister Karg did not write yesterday, I sent the 
two chaplains to him, in my name, to demand the promised 
document. At first they were refused admittance, and 
no one was allowed to see him without an order from 
your Grace ; but the bailiff changed his mind and sent for 
them, and they induced him to send me the enclosed. At 
his own request I went to him to-day myself, with Dr. 
Jonas, and talked with him, and found that the priest 
(Pfaff), of whom he spoke in the document, was the true 
knave, and that he had been unjustly treated. I am very 
angry that they let him away from Freiberg, for it put the 
poor young fellow up to discuss matters in a way I never 
heard of before ; but seeing he allowed us to point out his 
mistake to-day, and confessed he had been twice led astray, 
we hope that he will be truly converted. For he is an 
inexperienced youth, and perhaps at first objected to our 
persons, and then to our doctrine. It has always been so 


with those who differed from us. They first disparaged 
ourselves, and then plotted against our doctrine. But in 
order not to make light of this peculiar assault of Satan, 
I shall not as yet ask your Electoral Grace to set him free 
till we have sifted the matter thoroughly, for I have some 
strange thoughts about certain people who are perhaps 
innocent. But your Grace will know best how to conduct 
things in a princely manner. The devil is in earnest, and 
sends his servants (among whom was certainly the Freiberg 
priest) among us, who creep in ungreeted by us. I com- 
mend you to God. Amen. Your Electoral Grace's 
obedient servant, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Magister John Agricola in Eisleben 

Agricola abused Luther's permission to lecture by disseminat- 
ing his Antinomian errors ; Luther withdrew the permission. 

"January 6, 1538. 

My greeting ! I announced to the school rector, my 
Agricola, that you should discontinue the theological 
lectures which, at your request, I permitted you to deliver, 
and that henceforth you should entirely renounce theology. 
I communicate this decision to yourself in the present 
letter, so that you may know that in future you must 
receive permission from the University to hold such 
lectures. What you may say against us behind our backs 
I neither can nor will prevent, but be upon your guard. 
Pray and humble yourself beneath the mighty hand of 
God. Martin Luther. 



To Franz Burkhardt 

Disputations with the Antinomians. 

January 7, 1538. 

To the well-born Herr Franz Burkhardt^, Saxon Chan- 
cellor. Grace and peace in Christ ! As you write that 


no one has sent you my thesis contained in the third and 
fourth disputation against the Antinomians, I forward them 
to you, for you say you have got the two previous ones ; and 
I am astonished that no one has as yet sent you this trifle, 
especially as everything else is at once transmitted to Court, 
not even the news of the slightest flea-bite being forgotten. 
Next Saturday I shall hold the next disputation, and 
again listen to those Antinomians, if they desire it. All 
the stories from Freiberg concerning Jacob agree so well 
that I am forced to believe them, but with deep grief. I 
shall not as yet say anything to the Prince about Meister 
Karg, as he may be reformed, for he receives correction 
greedily, a sign of a man who has been misled. He in- 
dulges in odd fancies which have no foundation. But 
more of this again. May you and yours prosper in the 
Lord. Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

Luther defends himself for not writing. 

February 6, 1538. 

You do well, my Jonas, in writing so often to me. 
But it would be even better if you showed consideration 
for my negligence. It does not proceed from laziness, 
but because, as you are aware, letter-writing, like the com- 
position of poetry, can only be indulged in with a light 
heart. My brain is often so worn out with thinking that 
I neither can nor dare write anything. But Christ the 
conqueror lives, who has robbed the powers of these 
northern regions of their might, to whom be honour to all 
eternity. I commend you to Him ; pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Hausmann 

Luther speaks of his health and politics. 

March 27, 1538. 

Grace and peace in Christ I I herewith send the two 


pamphlets against the Jews, and the Cardinals' proposals 
for the reformation of the Church. Dr. Jonas has gone 
instead of me to Brunswick, as I could not risk the 
journey on account of my health. 

I have no news that you have not long known, viz. 
that there is no peace between the Emperor and the 
French. The Venetians are in a dilemma on account of 
the Sultan. He has blocked up their fleet, so that they 
cannot get out to the open sea. 

If the Emperor and the Italian Princes do not come to 
their aid they will again be compelled to make a treaty 
with the Sultan. 

May God forgive our sins and hasten the day of 
redemption. God grant this. Farewell in Christ, and 
pray for me. Greet Meister Peter. 

Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

Dr. Jonas represented Luther at Brunswick. 

April 8, 1538. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I shall not try to emulate 
you, dear Jonas, in letter-writing, for you far surpass me 
in genius and rhetoric, as well as in inherited gifts ; and 
you have more to write about, for you are in the midst of 
heroes and heroic deeds ; for, I verily believe the armies 
of Troy and Greece would only have been bands of 
cowards had they not been inflamed to heroic deeds 
through the glorious poetry of Homer. We, for our 
part, confess Christ in quietness and in hope, and often 
far too feebly, for Magister Philip and I, especially, have 
been overwhelmed with cares and business of every kind, 
so that I, a worn-out old man, would prefer wandering 
in the garden (which is the old man's joy) to behold 
God's wondrous works, as manifest in trees, shrubs, 
flowers, and birds. This is the recreation I most dearly 
love, but of which I am deprived, through the sins of my 
youth, by being burdened with so many troublesome and 
fruitless occupations. Magister Johannes from Saxony, 


my present messmate, will tell you all you wish to know. 
In your house all are well. Herr Philip's daughter, 
Hanna, with her husband and child, have arrived from 
the Halloren. Her husband is delighted to be able to 
partake of the sacrament here. I hope this tragedy may 
yet end well, so that we may boast it has been a tragic 
comedy. May Christ grant this. Say to Myconius I 
shall not answer his two letters, and that I envy him his 
leisure, and only wish that a healthy, strong, handsome 
young man such as he were only thought worthy to have 
a taste of my leisure. Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

The Princes of Anhalt had offered to send a carriage to 
Wittenberg to take Luther to the country for a rest. 

Mav 12, 1538. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! The Serene Princes of 
Anhalt asked me to fix a day on which I might be con- 
veyed to Coswick or WOrlitz. Having no messenger I 
have not yet answered, and could not in one word. 
Perhaps you, as a living and eloquent Pericles, may tell 
them that on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and 
Wednesday I shall be fully occupied preaching and read- 
ing lectures, as you and Pommer are absent, and Agricola 
has been dismissed, not to speak of the numberless minor 
matters which constantly surround me. Therefore I must 
almost steal the time to bestow on the Princes, so Thurs- 
day after Cantate will be most convenient for me, and I 
can start on Wednesday after the sermon, and arrive that 
night, either in Worlitz or Coswick, for the place is 
nothing to me, only the time. I can then remain all 
Thursday, returning on Friday for the Saturday. After 
Vocem Jucunditatis I shall have no more time, for I must 
rest the entire week except Friday. If it be necessary to 
write the Princes, I shall do so to-morrow or next day. 
In your house all is as you left it, except that the little 


Sophie is rather feverish, but in no danger ; and little 
Martin and Paul have begun to shiver, but the weather 
is very warm here. My Kathie greets you. Greet the 
Princes respectfully from me. More about the Emperor 
and Turks when I write direct to the Princes. 

Martin Luther. 



To Edward, Bishop of Hereford, 
IN England 

Peace being in prospect between Charles V. and Francis, Henry 
VIII. wished to unite with the German Protestants, so, at his 
request, the Elector sent Burkhardt and Myconius of Gotha to 
London, where they were warmly welcomed by the King. 

May 12, 1538. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! As our good friends 
and ambassadors were being despatched on a journey to 
your exalted King, I could not refrain from giving them 
letters to you, not wishing to appear forgetful in your 
eyes ; for, besides having had the pleasure of making your 
acquaintance when in Wittenberg, you have since then done 
me a great service in giving me counsel regarding my 
enemy Calculus, a kindness which I can never forget. 
We often talk of you, especially as, with so many changes 
in your kingdom, you either cannot write, or the letters 
have gone astray, with which possibility we try to console 
ourselves, for we feared that this persistent silence was a 
sign of something having happened to retard the progress 
of the gospel ; for, some actually assert that your King, led 
astray by Papal wiles, meditates a reconciliation with the 
Pope. Between hope and fear, we have been praying 
that Satan might be crushed under your feet. As yet we 
are ignorant of the state of the gospel among you. But 
we hope, with the return of our embassy, to receive a 
joyful evangelium and to hear a veritable gospel of your 
English Church. Regarding the position of Church and 
State in our Germany, you can hear all the details from our 


people. May the Lord Jesus endue you with more of His 
gifts and grace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen. 
My Kathie sends her greetings to your Eminence. 
May you prosper in Christ, and accept my respectful 
compliments. Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

In reference to a letter of May 12. 

Miiy 21, 1538. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I am amazed that my 
letter was so long in reaching you, or that you were so 
dilatory in answering it. I am willing to do whatever is 
most convenient for the Princes. I hope I may be able to 
appear on the appointed day, and at the place fixed, of 
which I am doubtful, owing to the state of my health and 
the assaults of Satan ; but by the power of Christ I may 
get a respite. The reports we have heard about the 
Turk are, alas, too true. We hear the cry of blood and 
the voice of the oppressed against Germany. Ferdinand's 
hands are stained with blood, as he listens to the 
blasphemies of the Pope and the assaults on the truth. 
Who will have mercy on those who provoke God and 
knowingly worship lies ^ But Christ will remember His 
poor people, and at length manifest His power upon the 
proud enemy, the cruel Mahomed. God grant it. Greet 
the Most Serene Princes. I shall inform you by word of 
mouth of the future preacher in Zerbst. I have noted 
down several topics of conversation. I can determine 
nothing in regard to Weller. In your house all are well, 
except that your Lieschen is not yet free from fever. 
These paroxysms are not peculiar to this quarter and 
season only. May you prosper in the Lord, and pray 
for me. Martin Luther. 




To Anton Unruhe, Lawyer in Torgau 
Luther thanks him for procuring justice for a poor woman. 

June 15, 1538. 

Grace and peace in Christ, dear wise sir and friend ! 

Timetc Dominum^ erudimini^ judices terrae. This should 

be the daily motto of the judge, and I believe it is yours, 

for all who know you testify that you are a pious, 

Christian judge. I must thank you for helping Margaretha 

Doroten in preventing the noble Hans from depriving her 

of all she has. You know that Dr. Martin is not only 

theologian and defender of the faith, but defender of the 

rights of the poor, v/ho flee to him from every quarter 

seeking help and letters to the magistrates, so that he 

would have enough to do with only this. But Dr. Martin 

serves the poor gladly, as you also do, for you fear God, 

love Jesus Christ, and search the Scriptures daily. The 

Lord Jesus will one day reward you for this. But was it 

not enough to prove your love to me by granting my 

request without presenting me with a cask of Torgau beer 

of your own brewing } 1 am unworthy of your kindness, 

for although I know you are not poor, God having given 

you abundance, still I would rather you had given it to 

your poor people, whose united prayers would have 

brought down a richer blessing upon you than that of 

poor Martin alone. But I must thank you for the token 

of goodwill. And may God reward you. 

Wittenberg. MarTIN Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To the Herzogin Elizabeth of Brunswick 

Elizabeth was the daughter of Joachim I. of Brandenburg. She 
visited Luther with her mother, who had fled from her husband. 

September 4, 1538. 

Grace and peace in Christ, Most Serene High-born 
Princess, most gracious Lady ! I and my dear Kathie 
thank your Grace for the cheese. The present is most 


welcome although it were much smaller, and proves that 
you are well inclined to God's Holy Word. We pray that 
the Father of all mercies may, through His dear Son, 
richly endow and maintain you with His Holy Spirit till 
the day of our everlasting redemption. We are ever your 
Grace's devoted servants. Amen. I herewith send your 
Royal Highness some slips of mulberry and fig trees, the 
only rare things I have at present. Your Princely 
Hiffhness's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Jacob Probst, Pastor in Bremen 

Luther recommends a poor preacher. 

September 15, 1538. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I seldom write to you, 
dear Jacob, and do not answer your letters as you perhaps 
wish, but I know you do not take it ill, for you are aware 
how I am borne down by heaps of business, work, years, 
and temptations ; and I also think you do not stand in 
need of my letters, for God has endowed you so richly 
that you are able to rule and comfort both yourself and 
others in this evil world, which is so full of ingratitude 
and contempt of God's Word. 

But enough of this ! There are two upright and 
learned men here from Lower Saxony, but we are very 
poor ourselves, and are overrun with troops of the 
destitute, whom it is impossible for us to maintain, how- 
ever willing. But as they cannot be of much use here, 
on account of the language, Herr Philip thinks we should 
send one to you, on the chance of a vacant church, so as 
to prevent them being idle, especially as you are rich, and 
your superfluity could be turned to good account in 
relieving their poverty. But if the people about you are 
too ungrateful to support him till he gets a living, then 
send him back to us, and we shall share what we have 
with him. 

The latest news is that I, an old man, so laden with 


work and so weary, am becoming daily younger, because 
new sects are constantly rising against me, to combat which 
the energy of youth is required. If we had no other proof 
that we were called and chosen of God and possessed 
His Word, this alone would be sufficient — that we had 
to put up with so many sects, who are always brewing 
some mischief, some of whom proceed from ourselves, 
not to speak of our spiritual conflict with the Pope and 
the devil, and our friends' scorn of the Divine Word ; 
but we are not better than the apostles and prophets, nor 
than our Lord Himself. 

It is constantly being reported that the Emperor of 
the French and the Venetians have united their fleets 
against the Turks, and that they are very successful at 
sea against the arch-foe. May God graciously hear the 
prayers of the Christians. 

My Kathie and your godchild, my daughter, greet you, 
for the latter of whom I hope you will provide a good 
pious husband after my death. I write nothing about 
myself, except to beg that you will pray for me, that the 
Lord may deliver me from the attacks of Satan's angels, 
and, if it be His will, grant me a peaceful exit from this 
wretched world. The Lord be with you. Greet your 
dear wife from me and my Kathie. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1285.) 


To Nicolas Specht, Rector of the School 
AT Bautzen 

Luther wishes him joy on his marriage. 

December 12, 1538. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I wish you and your 
bride all that is good, my Herr Nicolas, and pray the 
Lord that He may be with you with His grace, and 
preserve you to all eternity. 

As I cannot come to your wedding myself, on account 
of my health, and still more on account of my work, I 
send you through Anton a remembrance, no doubt a 


small and insignificant one, but the portrait of the saintly 
John Huss, which I hope you will appreciate, not solely 
because of the thing itself, but for the sake of the feelings 
which prompted me to send it, as 1 wish you well from 
the bottom of my heart. May you be happy in Christ. 

Martin Luther. 


Charles V., after making peace with Francis I., summoned 
the Evangelical and Roman Catholic theologians to Frankfort in 
February to try to find a basis of agreement. Calvin joined the 
Council, where he met John Frederick of Saxony, Philip of Hesse, 
etc. He had delightful intercourse with Melanchthon, in whom 
Farel and he found an important ally. Herzog George of Saxony 
died this year, and Luther had the pleasure of establishing the 
Reformation in Leipsic under his brother Henry. The question 
of Philip of Hesse's double marriage also came up, and he succeeded 
in so far gaining the Reformers' consent thereto, to the grief of 
the Elector, that Biicer and Melanchthon witnessed the ceremony 
in Rothenburg on the Fulda, March 4, 1540. Joachim of 
Brandenburg, whose mother was Luther's intimate friend, intro- 
duced the Reformation into his Electorate this year. 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Luther sends some new exegetical writings. 

January n, 1539. 

Grace and peace ! I have really nothing to say, dear 
Amsdorf, but could not let the messenger depart without 
a letter. Much is being said about the Emperor's arrival. 
It is amusing to hear the Papacy, that great martyr, boast- 
ing in her perilous position of her deliverer. Aleander, 
not a cheese merchant, like the monks, but a trafficker in 
kings, is running about taking kings captive. May God 
render his attempts abortive. Amen. 

I herewith send the annotations on St. Matthew, a 
mutilated piece of work, which the printers have very 
properly printed on torn and stained paper. 

I send it to you because you always say that you 


never get anything sent you. I also send you a copy of 
the exposition of the Song of Solomon. You will perceive 
that it has been hastily written out by our people, or that 
I have added notes in a slipshod manner. But our 
brethren snatch away everything from under our hands. 
Farewell in the Lord, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 2 I. 1464.) 


Circular Letter to all the Clergy in Christ 
. who love the Gospel 

February 2, 1539. 

We have been so led astray lately by reports of the 
Turks' approach, that we scarcely know what to believe. 
And in case God's wrath should be nearer than we think, 
and we should be surprised by the Turk, when, like the 
wolf, we have become so accustomed to the outcry that 
we feel secure, let us arm ourselves through prayer, 
pleading with God to keep the house and prevent such 
a visitation, and forgive our great and manifold sins, to 
the glory of His holy name. 

The Papists have long intended to ruin our German 
lands, and their rage increases ; and they are blinded 
enough to forget that, although able to set a thing agoing, 
it may not be in their pov/er to stop it, and they them- 
selves may perish in the general destruction. Were such 
a fearful war to break out, Germany might be ruined. 
But as the sins of both parties have waxed great — theirs 
through lying, blasphemy, murder, and persecuting 
innocent blood — ours through neglect of God's Word, 
ingratitude, and avarice, I fear much that God will visit 
us and our land with one or both of these scourges. 

So I beg the clergy faithfully to admonish their people, 
holding up before them these two plagues, for this is no 
jesting matter ; and I dislike playing the part of a prophet, 
for what I predict usually comes to pass. Let us pray 
earnestly that God may graciously visit us with some other 
scourge, pestilence, or whatever it may be, so that our 


rulers may be spared to us, so that we may not suddenly 
be attacked by the Turks, or, what would be worse, 
through the devil fall out among ourselves and devour 
one another. For the devil never sleeps, and the Turk 
never fails to use an opportunity, and the Papists never 
rest, so their bloodthirstiness will never be quenched. 
As no human power can restrain these bloodhounds, God 
Himself must do so, as He has hitherto done ; so be pious 
and pray that God may not withdraw His protecting hand, 
and let us receive the penalty both parties merit for their 
heavy sins. The Papists do not pray, so let us do so, and 
have the assurance our prayers are heard, even as we have 
hitherto experienced what great things our prayers have 
achieved. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Melanchthon at the Conference at Frankfort with the Elector 
and Myconius, met the delegates of the Emperor and Ferdinand. 
On April 19 an agreement was signed. Luther thanked God in 
the church in Wittenberg on Sabbath for again granting peace. 

March 26, 1539. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I am afraid this letter will not 
find you in Frankfort ; for, from your last letter, I gathered 
you were longing to get away, and besides, 1 have almost 
given up hope of a general peace ensuing. Still, let the 
issue be what it will, I do not yet despair of our prayers 
being answered, and that Christ will, although contrary to 
a certain rumour, cause the aspect of matters at Schmal- 
kalden and your own dream to be realised, in spite of our 
having grieved God in many ways, and very specially 
through ingratitude and contempt of His Word. 

And further, our farmers without cause seem deter- 
mined to starve us to death. The malignity of our corn- 
dealers in concealing the grain has already driven most of 
our students away. Is there no police to preserve order 
in the land 1 You know the prevailing anarchy, which 
opens the door for the most unbridled lawlessness, which 
through time it may be impossible to stem. But my 


greatest sorrow is to see the beautiful university being 
gradually dispersed. May Christ crush Satan ! Your 
family is well. 

Dr. Jonas is again prostrate with his old malady. 1 
commend you to Christ. Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector John Frederick of Saxony 

Luther asks the Elector's aid in the unexpected famine. A 
" corner " had been created in grain, 

April ^, 1539. 

Grace and peace in Christ, and my poor paternoster, 
Most Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord ! This 
land has been visited by a sudden famine, so that we are 
compelled to seek help and counsel from your Grace, as 
the lord and father of the land. Doubtless your Electoral 
Highness knows the exact amount of the provisions in the 
town. But at present Wittenberg is obliged to supply 
the small towns of Kemberg and Schmiedeberg with bread, 
so that the provost declares more bread is taken out of 
the town than is eaten in it. And some believe that the 
scarcity does not proceed so much from lack of corn as 
from the greed and wickedness of the rich Junkers. This 
is giving rise to much talk, but I shall not enlarge on this. 
It was even said that N. N. was heard to say that he will 
not sell a grain of corn till he received a gulden for the 
bushel, and that is why the corn is being sent out of the 
land. But the Elbe is also to blame in preventing the 
corn being ground, as the mill has to stand idle because 
of high waters. It is a small affliction, but may become 
very great if your Electoral Grace do not help and advise. 

Therefore we all beseech your gracious Highness not 
only to give prompt assistance in our present need, but to 
pass a law preventing the nobility from trading in corn, 
thereby practising usury in such a shameless manner, to 
the detriment of your Grace's land and people. They are 
rich enough without this, and it is not necessary for them, 
solely through greed, to slay the poor by starvation. 


But your Electoral Grace will know how to act in the 
matter in a princely manner. I herewith commend you 
to the dear Lord Christ. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Martin BDcer, Superintendent of Strassburg 


Luther wishes to be kept informed of the spread of the gospel. 

April 1 6, 1539. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I think, dear Bucer, 
that you must see you cannot expect so many letters from 
me. For you have more leisure and fewer years, not to 
speak of the work with which I am hourly overwhelmed. 
Therefore I answer all your letters at once, for I flatter 
myself that ours is a genuine friendship, free from com- 
pulsion, and I trust that it is the same with all your 
co-workers, to whom I send my kindest regards. I am 
always delighted to hear of matters pertaining to the 
crucified Word. The prophecy of St. Peter is being ful- 
filled, " They shall utterly perish in their own corruptions." 

And now they are again breathing out threatenings 
against us, and boast not without effect. God will render 
their counsels of no avail, as He has hitherto done, although 
our sins, ingratitude, and coldness will draw down heavy 
penalties. Already the winds and waters have been so 
tempestuous that the oldest men have never seen the like. 
Our Crato wished me to preface our postils, but as I 
have forgotten my Latin, having used German so long, I 
wished him to apply to you, which I now also do. 

Regarding the King of England, I fear he will deceive 
your hopes. The English here often complain of their 
King, and laud the freedom we enjoy. May God guide 
his and the hearts of all other kings to His glory. We 
may believe the reports of the Emperor having had no 
luck since he allied himself to the God-forsaken Pope. 
Now we are blamed for everything. 


Greet Herren John Sturm and John Calvin warmly 
from me, whose writings I read with great pleasure. 

I wish that Saloder could be persuaded that God is also 
the Creator of the human race outside Italy, but it is 
impossible to plant this conviction in the heart of Italians, 
whose sole feelings in regard to others is that of proud 
superiority. I commend you to God. 

Martin Luther. 



To King Gustavus I. of Sweden 

The King asks Luther for a tutor for his son, whom he after- 
wards made his confidant, and raised to a high post. 

April 18, 1539. 

Grace and peace, Most Serene Lord and King ! Herr 
Nicolas, your Majesty's excellent ambassador, tells me he 
received orders to provide a good tutor for your Majesty's 
young Prince. This was a great joy to me, for I thereby 
perceived God had endued your Majesty with a great love 
of piety and learning, fitting you to set an example to 
others. For it is necessary for kings to be either by 
nature more ingenious than others, or to attain to this 
by thorough training, so that they may see with their 
own eves instead of trusting to others' opinion. 

May Christ cause your Majesty's work to permeate 
the whole realm, especially the cathedrals, so that schools 
may be opened for training young people for the ministry 
and service of the Church in connection with them ; for 
this is the chief and highest duty devolving upon kings 
who love the gospel, and your Majesty has the reputation, 
beyond all others, of loving righteousness. And we pray 
God to rule your Majesty's heart through His Spirit. 

By the grace of God, most capable instructors have 
been selected for the Prince. Herr Norman is a man of 
blameless life, modest, upright, and learned, fully fitted to 
be the Prince's instructor, and I warmly commend him to 
your Majesty. Michael Agricola accompanies him as 
travelling companion. He was born in your Majesty's 

2 B 


dominions, and although young in years is very learned and 
sensible and of pleasing manners, and may achieve much 
good in your Majesty's lands. I pray that Christ may 
have much fruit through this man, whom I hope your 
Majesty will appoint to an office. May God through His 
Holy Spirit richly bless all your Royal Highness's delibera- 
tions and undertakings. Amen. Your Majesty's devoted 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1290.) 


To Ursula Schneiderwein 

Luther begs her to consent to her son marrying a Witten- 

June \, 1539. 

To the honoured and virtuous Frau Ursula Schneider- 
wein, citizen of Stolberg. Grace and peace in Christ, my 
gracious good friend ! I have already written you concern- 
ing your son John, who has fallen in love with an excellent 
maiden, and I hoped for a favourable answer ; but no 
attention having been paid to your son's request, I am 
constrained to write again, for I do not wish him to lose 
heart and sink into despair. But as he loves the girl so 
dearly, and she is quite his equal in station, besides being a 
gentle, quiet creature, I think you ought to be satisfied that 
he has shown his child-like obedience in humbling himself 
to ask your consent to the marriage, as Samson did ; and 
now do your part, as a loving mother, by giving your 
consent thereto. For although we have written that 
children should not become engaged without their parents' 
consent, still parents should not hinder their children from 
marrying those they love. The son must not bring a 
daughter to his parents against their will, but the father 
must not force a wife upon his son. They must both 
give way, else the son's wife becomes the father's daughter 
against his will. And who knows what happiness God 
may grant him through this maiden, a happiness which he 
might never experience otherwise, because the good damsel, 
who is in his own position, might in her distress utter an 


evil {b'dse) prayer. In short, I trust you will not with- 
hold your consent any longer, so that the good fellow may 
be at rest. I could wait no longer for your letter, but 
thought it my duty to write again. But pray do not tell 
your son of this letter till all is settled, in case he should 
become too confident and bold ; for, I love him on account 
of his virtues, and would not wish him to be badly advised. 
Therefore, do you also act like a mother, and help him 
out of his martyrdom, so that he may not fall into despair. 
I herewith commend you to God. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Wenzel Link at Nornberg 

About presents, and Herzog George, who died April 17, 
having outlived all his family. 

June 23, 1539. 

Grace and peace ! Knowing how plentiful the gold 
guldens are with you, I am all the more delighted that the 
little gift I sent your wife through Herr Stromer should 
have accomplished its object, and appeased your wrath, 
and stopped your threats. Your long harangue was 
certainly of no avail ; still we must excuse you, just as if 
you had been justified in complaining of my silence. 

So we might daily listen to similar declamations here, 
and they do as little good as the gold gulden with you, 
only furnishing us with material for mirth. At the same 
time you order me or my Kathie to say what we wish in 
return. If you are determined to send something, let it be 
a lamp, but not a common one, such as we used as monks, 
but one upon which two or three candles could be placed ; 
and let it be strong enough to stand all the knocks it may 
receive in cleaning, or when it is thrown downstairs, or 
even only sent on in advance ; or, better still, if you could 
find one which does not require cleaning (for you know 
the ways and love of ease of the servants of the day), then 
it would be secure against the ill-treatment of the maids 
when they are in the sulks or have a fit of laziness. There 
is nothing new here that you do not already know. I 


had solemnly declared that Herzog George was not entirely 
vicious and God-forsaken. Certainly he was far from 
being as wicked as that monstrosity in Mainz. God 
will perfect what He has begun if we only persevere in 
prayer. Truly the end is near. May the Lord Christ 
receive our souls in peace, and thus shall be fulfilled what 
is written, "The righteous shall be taken away from the 
evil to come." Greet all your people and ours. 

Martin Luther. 


To Herzog Albrecht of Prussia 

Another allusion to Herzog George's death. 

June 23, 1539. 

Grace and peace in Christ, Serene High-born Prince, 
most gracious Lord ! Although I have nothing particular 
to write about, I must thank your Electoral Grace for so 
kindly inquiring about my health through your ambassador, 
and thank you for your solicitude in order not to appear 
ungrateful or rude for your Grace's constant concern as to 
my welfare. There is nothing new here except that God 
has achieved a marvellous work in the death of Herzog 
George of Saxony ; for, had not God extended His protect- 
ing hand, Germany would have been plunged in misery. 
But now God has given peace, and slain the wicked man 
with his evil designs, although this striking manifestation 
of God's wrath has not converted him of Mainz and other 
bishops, whose utter ruin no entreaties or calamities can 
prevent. Ferdinand and the Bavarians are now beginning 
to persecute the gospel in earnest, otherwise things look 
peaceful in Germany ; but everything has been very dear, 
although we have now the prospect of a plentiful crop of 
corn and fruit. God be praised for this, and may He 
make us grateful. I herewith commit you to the dear 
God. Amen. Your Grace's obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wctte.) 



To THE Elector John Frederick 
Luther complains of his German Bible being pirated in Leipsic. 

July 8, 1539. 

Grace and peace in Christ, and my poor paternoster, 
Most Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord! 
That wicked rascal Wolrab at Leipsic (a most unscrupulous 
man, who ruined a splendid business as well as himself and 
family), who has hitherto been foremost in printing all the 
calumnies against us, has taken it into his head to plunder 
our German Bible, thereby taking the bread out of the 
mouths of our printers. Your Electoral Grace knows 
how hard it is that the rascal should be allowed to use our 
labour for his own advantage, especially after having pro- 
fited by the publication of all manner of writings against 
us. I would therefore humbly request that your Grace 
would prevent Wolrab committing this great evil, and 
reaping such great advantages at the expense of your 
Electoral Highness's own subjects. And what particularly 
annoys me is that the blasphemer and pirate should have 
the chance of so misusing my hard labour, and perhaps 
turning it into ridicule at the same time. For what he 
merits at God's hands and ours I shall leave God to 
requite for his scandalous publications against us. For it 
would be no hardship, seeing the Leipsic printers have so 
long enriched themselves through these, should they for a 
time be prevented from doing so further, and bringing our 
printers to ruin. For it is easy to see that the markets 
being all held in Leipsic, they can sell thousands of copies 
easier there than our folks can sell one hundred. Your 
Electoral Grace will be able to devise a princely way out 
of this dilemma. I commit you to the dear God. Your 
Electoral Grace's obedient Martin Luther 

(De Wette.) 



To Wenzel Link 
Luther writes concerning Link's call to Leipsic. 

October 26, 1539. 

Grace and peace ! I have received the lamp, my 
excellent Wenzel, and thank you for it. You have 
interpreted my silence aright, viz. that I would have 
written had the messenger come for letters. Certainly 
I do not wish you to give up your present post to go to 
Leipsic, where they are not as yet agreed about whom 
they wish, or as to how the servants of Christ are to be 
maintained. Although the common man is well inclined, 
the upper classes still retain their old dislike to any- 
thing pertaining to Wittenberg. 

Herzog George is not yet defunct in spirit, and it is 
uncertain if he will ever die. I detest this Sodom, a 
sink of vice, but one must stretch out a helping hand, if 
it were only to rescue one Lot. Enough is being done 
for the people of the town, and thus far the gospel is 
spreading most satisfactorily. 

A kind of epidemic is beginning to rage among us. 
As yet the town is not affected, only one or two houses 
having been visited. But it has now attacked the third 
house, after no death having taken place for eight days. 
And this is Dr. Sebald's house, whose wife died to-night, 
and he too is in great danger. But the terror occasioned 
by the visitation is the worst plague of all. Neither 
bathers nor nurses are to be had. I am certain the devil 
has entered into the people, filling them with such 
disgraceful terror that brother forsakes brother, and the 
son the parents. Doubtless this is the punishment for 
the contempt of the gospel and their consuming greed. 
I have brought the Sebald's four children into my house. 
Good God ! what a fearful outcry is being raised against 
me. Pray for us with your congregation, and farewell 
in the Lord. 

Martin Luther. 




To THE Elector John Frederick 

After Herzog George's death his brother, Herzog Henry, 
invited Luther, Melanchthon, Jonas, Cruciger, and Myconius to 
come and further the work in Leipsic. They did so, the two 
latter remaining for a time. Eventually Cruciger's daughter 
married Luther's son Johannes. 

Nouember ^, 1539. 

Grace and peace in Christ, Most Serene High-born 
Prince, most gracious Lord ! The Leipsic Town Council 
h:is written us begging that Dr. Cruciger may remain, 
which he has promised to do should we consent, so the 
Council hopes your Electoral Grace will grant their desire 
at my request. We wrote saying we could neither 
promote nor hinder the matter, so it now lies with your 
Highness to decide. But as Dr. Caspar knew no other 
way of protecting himself against this people's persistent 
importunity than by referring them to us, he writes 
that he would far rather be here ; and we are certain he 
could be far more useful here, as there are many more 
who, by the grace of God, have been trained in our 
schools who are waiting to be sent out to all lands than 
there are, or will be, for many a long day in Leipsic. 
Therefore, feeling sure that Dr. Caspar cannot accomplish 
as much in Leipsic as in Wittenberg, we think it a pity 
he should leave so much undone here and achieve so 
little there, and that little could be as well done by some 
one not nearly so important ; and our university must 
not be left destitute, especially as I have arranged that 
Dr. Caspar should fill my place in the theological depart- 
ment after my death. I therefore humbly request (for it 
all rests with your Electoral Grace) that you will not 
permit Dr. Caspar to leave Wittenberg, for who knows 
what God may do shortly. Your Electoral Highness 
will graciously excuse my expressing my opinion thus 
freely on this subject. I herewith commit you to the 
dear God. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 



To Anton Lauterbach 

Concerning private communion. 

Nouember 26, 1539. 

To Anton Lauterbach, Bishop at Pirna. Grace 
and peace ! As to administering the sacrament to 
the sick, dear Anton, you can read that for yourself in 
our Church Service, which you know so well. For my 
part I wish private communion were completely done 
away with everywhere, and that the people should be told 
in the preaching to communicate three or four times a 
year, to partake of the consolations of the gospel, and 
fall asleep whenever God calls them. For this administra- 
tion of the sacrament will, with time, become impossible, 
especially during the plague. And it is not seemly that 
the Church should serve the people with the communion 
as a servant waits upon her master, especially those who 
have so long despised it, and then demand it at the end 
from her, whom they have never served. 

But till this matter is settled, do the best you can. 
Meantime only dispense it to the sick people, but let it 
thoroughly be understood that it will not continue. 
For we must soon come to an arrangement in this matter. 

Wittenberg. MaRTIN LuTHER. 

P.S. — Kathie wishes the carved house door made 
according to the measurements sent. The master will 
take the length and breadth himself. She wishes no 
other door. Do the best you can. 

(Walch, 21. 1 193). 


To HIS Sister Dorothea 

Luther announces he will preach at Rossla. 

December 2, 1539.' 

To Frau Dorothea, Herr Balthaser Mackenrothen's 
beloved wife, at Rossla. 

• Date disputed, as it seems unlikely the jjospel should never have been 
preached in this Saxon village. In 1526 or 1527 an earnest Catholic priest 
preached the gospel in Lower Rossla, so 1526 is a more probable date. 


Dear Sister — I see from your letter how earnestly 

your burdened conscience longs for a gospel sermon of 

consolation, and that you wish to hear for once such a 

sermon in your Rossla church. I am delighted to hear 

this, and have now resolved — God granting me life and 

health — to be with you on Christmas Eve, when I shall, 

with God's help, preach the first Evangelical sermon at 

Rossla as a remembrance for you all. Greet your 

husband and the little Margaretta, for whom I shall bring 

something. I commit you to God. 

At Eisleben. MaRTIN LuTHER. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Elector Joachim of Brandenburg 

Luther gives his opinion of the Church Constitution compiled 
by Buchholzer on the introduction ot the Reformation into 
Brandenburg in 1539. 

Decetnber 4, i 539. 

Grace and peace in Christ, and my poor paternoster. 
Most Serene and High-born Prince, most gracious Lord ! 
I have received your Electoral Highness's embassy 
with great pleasure, and thank the Father of all grace, 
and pray earnestly that the dear God may graciously 
perfect His good work in you to His honour and glory. 
For Satan v/ill try to hinder the good work, which he has 
already attempted with us. I am delighted with your 
Electoral Highness's preface to the aforesaid document, 
but there is one point I object to, viz. about processions, 
extreme unction, and the sacrament, upon which I have 
given my opinion to your Grace's messengers. To carry 
the sacrament in one kind in the procession is only mock- 
ing God, for, as you know, it is only a half — indeed no 
sacrament. But should it be carried about in both kinds, 
that is still worse, and will give the Papists occasion for 
ridicule. So I humbly request that, as your Electoral 
Highness has so far defied the devil in these grand 
articles, you would let those minor matters rest, so that 
the devil may not make a laughing-stock of the whole 
Reformation. We might permit extreme unction and 



taking the sacrament to the sick, if not done according to 
Papal usage. Seeing your Electoral Highness lays so much 
stress on these matters, I would humbly suggest that 
although they may be retained for a time, they should 
not be embodied in the tenets of the Reformation and 
printed. For, as the preface declares, it is a Reformation 
grounded on the Bible, and on the usages of the purified 
Church. For from early times the Church usages became 
most corrupt. For Christ did not make anointing with 
oil a sacrament, nor do St. James's words apply to the 
present day. For in those days the sick were often cured 
through a miracle and the earnest prayer of faith, as we 
see in James and Mark vi. The carrying of the sacra- 
ment to the sick, although continued, must not be 
imperative or put in print. For it is of human institution, 
and not God's command, so it can be retained till a better 
way is found. Also that the sacrament must be taken 
from the altar in the mass, and not put in the ciborium. 
I have told the rest to your embassy. I herewith com- 
mend you to the dear faithful Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and pray for you. Your Electoral Highness's 
obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To George Buchholzer, Provost in Berlin 

On the same subject. To this day the white surplice is often 
worn in the Nicola! and Marien churches, the oldest in Berlin. 

December 4, i 539. 

To the esteemed Herr Georgio Buchholzer, my 
dear brother in Christ, grace and peace through Christ ! 
Dear Herr Provost — I cannot write much because of the 
weakness of my head. You will see from the letters what 
we think of the form of Church government of your 
Elector, my most gracious lord. In regard to the things 
of which you complain, the cowl and surplice in the 
procession on feast days, and the walking round the 
churchyard on Sundays and at Easter, etc. etc., this is 
my advice : If your lord, the Margrave and Elector, 


allows you to preach the gospel of Christ purely, without 
man's additions, and permits the sacraments of Baptism 
and the Lord's Supper according to Christ's appoint- 
ment, and does not insist upon the worshipping of the 
saints as mediators and intercessors, and the carrying 
of the host in the procession, nor upon daily masses for 
the dead, nor holy water nor responses and songs, Latin 
and German in the processions, then in God's name go 
round with them, carrying a silver or gold cross, and 
cowl or surplice of velvet, silk, or linen. And if one of 
these be not enough, then put on three, as did Aaron, the 
High Priest, each one more beautiful than another, from 
which church vestments in the Papacy are named Ornata. 
And if your lord the Elector be not satisfied with one 
procession, then go round seven times, as Joshua went 
round Jericho with the children of Israel blowing trumpets, 
and if your lord has any desire let him go on in front, 
springing and dancing with harps and cymbals, drums and 
bells, as did David when they brought the ark of the Lord 
up to Jerusalem. I have no objections to that. For such 
things, if not abused, neither add to nor take from the 
gospel, but they must never be regarded as necessary nor 
made a matter of conscience. As to the elevation of the 
elements in the Mass, this too is an open question when 
nothing is added thereto, so in God's name raise them as 
long as you like. We in Wittenberg had good reasons 
for making an end of the custom — reasons which may not 
exist in Berlin. And we shall not again begin it, for it 
is a free thing and not ordered by God, for God's 
command alone is necessary. Your lord's messengers 
will give you all further news. God, the Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, whose servant you are, will support 
you by His Spirit, and see that His name be glorified, 
His kingdom come, and His will be done. For this I 
pray daily. Thursday after St. Andrew's Day. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 



A Congress of Evangelical Princes was held in Schmallcalden 
in March, to which the Elector, Melanchthon, Bugenhagen, Jonas, 
and Cruciger went. Melanchthon was present at Landgrave 
Philip's marriage on March 4. The Emperor arranged a con- 
ference of Roman Catholic and Protestant Princes in Hagenau. 
Melanchthon dangerously ill on his way thither. Protestants at 
Hagenau would not listen to the proposed union between the 
conflicting parties, so another conference was held at Worms in 
October. Calvin, then resident in Strassburg, was present at 
both conferences. 


To Chancellor BrCck 
Luther wishes the Prince to remedy a crying scandal.^ 

January 3, 1540. 

Grace and peace ! I hoped, dear sir, to have had you 
with us at the feast, so instead must send you a petition, 
begging you to plead with my gracious lord that he would 
forbid the nobility acting as they do towards those for 
whom they stand bail in his lands. It is a disgrace that 
such oppression and robbery should be permitted in the 
public inns under princely protection, where the nobles 
behave so abominably, devouring all that comes in their 
way. It is said that four nobles, through riotous living 
in the inns, have squeezed 300 gulden out of Martin List 
for a debt of 30 florins. How much better would it have 
been had each given a few florins and set poor Martin 
free ! What devil has given such power to the nobility 
to plunder thus } If the Princes do not punish this, 
God will surely punish them, along with us. I think 
of publishing a pamphlet on the matter, and addressing it 
to the Princes. But my writing is of little use if you do 
not diligently prevent this from your exalted position. 
In how many ways can the devil injure us } If the Turk 
do not swallow us up, or the pestilence sweep us away, 
or the Emperor consume us, then we devour and ruin one 

1 When debtors did not pay, it was the custom for those who stood bail to 
live in the inns till the debt was paid at the debtor's expense. 


another through greed and usury. God have mercy on 
us, and if not, then may the day of judgment dawn. 
Amen. I commit you to God. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(De VVette.) 


To Joachim II. of Brandenburg 

Petition to permit export of purchased corn. 

January 7, 1540. 

To the Most Serene High-born Prince Joachim, 
Elector of Brandenburg. 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, most 
gracious Elector and lord ! We humbly desire to let 
your Grace know that the church here did its utmost 
during the great scarcity to buy corn for the poor, and 
those deputed to do this had to visit many places. But 
when at length the excellent Dietrich von Rochau had 
secured 2 1 Wispel (Medlar) for our church and the poor, he 
was given to understand that your Grace would graciously 
permit it to be taken out of your land. Although we 
now know that your Electoral Highness has interdicted this 
on account of the exigences of your own domains, yet we 
venture humbly to plead that this statute may be modified, 
or perhaps entirely set aside, in regard to your nearest 
neighbours for the sake of the poor in their dire need, 
even as Joseph, in the great famine in the East, distributed 
corn not only to the Egyptians, but to those of other 
lands. And Solomon says that people shall curse him 
who withholdeth corn, but blessings shall be upon the 
head of him that selleth it, which saying all should call to 
remembrance at this time, and act upon it, so that God 
may bless us by giving us once more a plentiful year, and 
by feeding His poor abundantly ; for, we are told that God 
giveth to the beast his food and to the young ravens 
which cry. So we must pray earnestly that God may 
have pity on the poor, and for their sakes send an abund- 
ant harvest. Therefore we trust your Electoral Grace 
may show yourself graciously disposed towards the poor 



in those dear times, and grant the petition we are com- 
pelled to present, viz. that permission may be granted to 
Dietrich von Rochau to export the corn he has purchased. 
God will surely reward this according to His promise. 
And we shall earnestly beseech God to prosper and bless 
your Electoral Highness. Your Electoral Grace's obedient 

Martinus Luther. 

Justus Jonas. 

Johannes Pommeranus. 

Philippus Melanchthon. 

(De Wette.) 


To the Elector John Frederick of Saxony 
Topics to be discussed at Schmallcalden sent to the Elector. 

January 18, 1540. 

Grace and peace in Christ, and my poor paternoster ! 
We herewith send your Electoral Grace our opinions, by 
which we shall abide. For things have come to a 
desperate pass with the Papists, even as with their god, 
the devil. They sin knowingly against the truth, viz. 
the Holy Ghost, so one can neither hope nor pray for 
them. ... I would gladly go to Eisenach with our people 
on their way to Schmalkalden, but I do not see that I 
would be of any use. It would only cause fruitless 
trouble and expense ; but I am ready to do what your 
Grace wishes, although it would matter little if I closed 
my eyes once for all and never again beheld the world in 
its blasphemous fury. God be praised, surely Philip 
and Dr. Jonas are quite capable of dealing with these 
things. I did not think it necessary to call the members 
of the league (Schmalkaldischen) together again, for 
matters might have been satisfactorily arranged otherwise. 
Hoping my advice will meet with your Grace's approval, 
I herewith commit you to the dear God. Amen. Your 
Electoral Grace's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 




February 26, 154.0. 

This is the second letter I have written you, and did 
I not hope that your answer was on its way hither, I 
would be very angry at your long silence, for it seems as 
if you had been long enough away to be back again. We 
hear the Diet has been postponed, therefore some of your 
folks have been expecting you for two days. God be 
praised, all are well here, only your daughter, my Philip, 
gave us a fright, as she seemed very ill for some hours. 
For Fama, this sorceress, grows as it spreads. We had 
two days' sunshine, and then the bad weather returned, 
but the Elbe is getting smaller. It is well I did not 
accompany you, for I got no sleep last night from pain in 
the muscles of the arm between the shoulder and the 
elbow. I do not know what it can be, for it does not 
pain me even if I strike it. I fancy it is the tooth of the 
serpent, which will not let me bend the arm. I often 
think of Hans Reinecke, who, before his death, com- 
plained of numbness in the arm. Nevertheless, if wanted, 
I shall appear among you, for otherwise I feel pretty well, 
and my Kathie's appetite is returning, and she is creeping 
round the tables and chairs with her hands. May you 
prosper in the Lord ; pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 



To Anton Lauterbach, Superintendent in Pirna 
The great indifference to the good cause at Dresden. 

March 3, 1540. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! I see clearly, my Anton, 
the astounding indifference which prevails at the Court of 
Dresden to the cause of God and man. Pride and greed 
seem to reign there. The old Prince can do little, and the 


young ones are powerless. May God Himself govern His 
churches till He finds good instruments to do it. There is 
nothing new here, except the mad pamphlet of Mezentius 
against the allied Princes. The Turk is making gigantic 
preparations, but we dine and amuse ourselves neverthe- 
less. The Emperor, PVancis, and Ferdinand are banquet- 
ing in Flanders. One must pray that the day of God's 
glorious appearing may soon dawn. Yea, come Lord 
Jesus ! Amen. My Kathie has recovered in the most 
marvellous manner from the jaws of death, and is now 
learning to walk. It is manifestly the work of God. 
She sends kind greetings to you and your Agnes and 
Elizabeth. Farewell, and pray for us, as we do for vou. 

Martin Luther. 



To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther excuses the Emperor's indecision, 

April S, 1 540. 

Grace and peace ! You write, dear Philip, that the 
Emperor has promised a private conference, and I wonder 
much what it signifies. I believe he does not know him- 
self what to undertake. His heart must have many 
secret recesses, being placed among so many vipers, which 
makes it impossible for him to satisfy either party. 1 
often think what I would do were I in the hands of such 
people. One must pray to God for him. It is truly a 
marvellous miracle that God has restrained the Emperor's 
hand for so long, although the bishops and cardinals have 
been embittering and stirring him up against us, and for 
this we ought to thank God, 13ut whatever aspect 
matters may assume, we can achieve all through prayer. 
This alone is the almighty queen of human destiny. 
Therewith we can accomplish everything, and thus main- 
tain what already exists, amend what is defective, patiently 
put up with the inevitable, overcome what is evil, and 
preserve all that is good. But the Papists, those despic- 
able creatures, know not what prayer can achieve. For 


they cannot repent, having stained their hands with 
Christ's blood. For although we poor sinners are still 
living in the sinful flesh, still we are pure from blood, and 
hate those bloody men and the god of blood who has 
them in bondage. I have received your letters, and hope 
you will receive some. Greet all our people, and say 
their households are well. We pray for you, and believe 
we shall be heard. I wish you were home. Your 
obedient Martin Luther. 


To One Unknown 

In Social Germany in Luther's Time we learn that the 
recipient of this letter was Nicolas Sastrow, who, because of the 
Bruser- Leveling lawsuit, had for many years absented himself from 
the communion table. 

April 14, 1540. 

Your dear son, Magister Johannes, after expressing 
his sorrow at your having kept away so long from the 
holy communion, which absence is a bad example, re- 
quested me to rescue you from that dangerous path. 
Not one hour of our lives really belongs to ourselves. 
His filial solicitude, therefore, induced me to send you 
these lines. Let me, therefore, exhort you in a Christian, 
brotherly fashion, as is my duty, to change your mind, 
and consider that God's Son, whose sufferings were so 
much greater, forgave His executioners. Remember that, 
at your last hour, you will have to forgive, even as a thiet 
on the gallows forgives. Await the decision of the court, 
before which your suit is pending, but never forget that 
nothing should prevent you participating in the Holy 
Supper. Were it otherwise, I myself and our Princes 
would require to keep away from the Lord's Supper till 
our differences with the Papists were settled. Leave the 
lawyers to arrange matters, and meantime appease your 
conscience thus, saying : " It is the judges' place to decide 
who is right, so meanwhile I forgive those who have 
wronged me, and shall partake of the Holy Communion." 
Thus you do not approach the table unworthily, for, con- 

2 c 


sidering yourself wronged, you have appealed to the law, 
and are willing to abide by its decision. Nothing can be 
more simple. Pray take this admonition, prompted by 
your son, in a friendly spirit. I commit you to God. 
Amen. Martin Luther. 

To Graf Albrecht or Albert von Mansfeld 

Luther intercedes for his brother-in-law. 

May 24, 1540. 

Grace and peace in Christ, most gracious lord ! It 
is long since I asked for anything, but in case the high- 
way of intercession should become overgrown with grass, 
I now approach you, humbly begging your Grace to listen 
to me, so that I may not be suspected of having incurred 
your displeasure, which I do not think I have deserved. 
Lately I was at Court, where I do not care to go, and, 
among other things, I heard that your Grace was treating 
the proprietors of the smelting-houses very harshly, who 
do not deserve this at your hands, and that, in conse- 
quence, the earldom might forfeit its prosperity ; and 
much was being said on the subject which I do not think 
it right to conceal from you. I then asked how it affected 
my relations, and I was told that my brother-in-law, 
Mackerode, feared he would be reduced to beggary. 
"God cannot desire that," I said, "for they have nothing 
but the furnace they inherited, so I shall write my lord on 
the subject" ; for, my brother-in-law has not written to me 
about it, only it occurred to me at Court that I once 
called him in jest a dross-driver instead of a furnace- 
master (^Schlackentreiber for Schlackenherren')^ at which 
he laughed, and said the time might not be far distant 
when such would be the case, and went away. 

Therefore I plead, most gracious lord, that you will 
grant my petition, and prove a gracious lord to the good 
Mackerode and his heirs, especially as your Grace must see 
that so great and rich a lord can gain nothing through the 
poverty of good people, but would most surely draw down 


God's wrath upon him, to whom it is a very small matter 
to make the rich poor and the poor rich. I do not plead 
for justice (as I neither know nor wish to know the rights of 
the case), but for your favour, for your Grace also needs 
God's favour and protection. For if we insist too much 
on our rights regarding our neighbours, without leaving 
room for mercy, then God will act in the same manner 
towards us, and mercy will be obscured. I hope my lord 
will see from this letter that I truly love my sovereign 
Prince, and have his welfare at heart, therefore dislike 
hearing anything to his disadvantage, or be silent when 
I fear God may pour out His wrath upon him. I beg for 
a gracious answer. I commit you to God. Amen. Your 
Grace's most obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Anton Lauterbach 

Luther asks help for a preacher with a bad wife. 

June I J, 15+0. 

Grace and peace ! George Schaumer, for whom you 
have got a church, asks a letter of introduction to you. 
But he has a very bad wife. If she remains here, and 
does not follow her husband, as she threatens to do, we 
shall give her a bath in the Elbe, or dignify her with an 
admonition. Should she really follow, you will treat her 
as befits your office, most decidedly, thus coming to the 
man's help. And should she run away, all the better, for 
he will get rid of the godless woman. See to it that she 
does not injure the gospel nor unfit her husband for the 
pulpit. Here nothing is talked of except the strange 
story of the Landgrave, which some excuse, others deny, 
while some give it a quite different aspect. The sister of 
the Landgrave, the Princess of Rochlitz, is much blamed ; 
but time will declare it. Farewell, and pray for us, and 
let your church plead the cause of the gospel, now being 
discussed at Hagenau, and for M. Philip, who has been 
sent into the midst of the enemy, that God may give His 
angels charge over him, and keep him in all his ways. 


Amen. He set off very sad and depressed. May the 
Lord comfort him. My wife sends greetings. The 
Bible for Magister Latomus ^ is waiting, but I have no 
one to take it to him. Farewell. 

Martin Luther. 



To John Lange 

Luther promises to bring Melanchthon on a visit. Melanchthon 
nearly died at Weimar on the way to Hagenau, and was restored 
mainly through Luther's presence and prayers. 

July 2, 1540. 

Grace and peace ! Now then look for us, dear Lange, 
either on Sunday or Monday. For it has been arranged 
that we should sup at Erfurt, if God will. Philip comes 
with us. We travel straight to Hagenau to see perhaps 
for the last time that terrible Behemoth with which I have 
had to deal, more or less, for twenty years, and over which 
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, which they 
cannot understand till the awful conclusion of the Psalm 
is fulfilled in them. " They shall perish when His wrath 
is kindled but a little," because they do not pay homage 
to the Son. Amen. So let it be ! They deserved what 
they have got. Farewell, and pray for us. Philip is 
rather low after his severe illness. He was almost dead. 
Through a miracle of God he now lives. Farewell. 

Martin Luther. 



To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

Written on the way to Eisenach to meet the Elector and 
Landgrave Philip to discuss the latter's double marriage. 

July 2, 1540. 

Grace and peace, my dear Kathie ! I wish you to 
know that I am well. I eat like a Bohemian and drink 
like a German, for which God be thanked. Amen. 

' Professor in Louvain. 


The reason for this is that Philip was verily dead, 
and, like Lazarus, has been raised from the dead. God, 
the dear Father, hears our prayers. This we can under- 
stand, although often we do not believe it. I have written 
to Dr. Pommer that the Count of Schwarzburg wishes a 
pastor for Greussen, so you might, like a clever lady 
and doctoress, confer with Herr George Major and M. 
Ambrosio, to see which of the three whom I mentioned 
to Pommer could be persuaded to go. It is not a bad 
living, but do you be clever and make it better. I have 
received the children's letters with that of Baccalarien 
(who is no child), but nothing from your Grace, therefore 
I trust you will answer the four letters all at once with 
your gracious hand. I herewith send the silver apple to 
Paul, the gift of your hand, which, as I said before, you 
must divide among the children, and ask how many 
cherries and apples they would take for it, and pay them 
in ready money, and keep the stem. Say to our dear 
boarders, particularly Dr. Schiefer, with my love, that 
I hope they will look after everything connected with 
churches, schools, and house, and wherever necessary. 
Also I trust M. Major and M. Ambrosio will be a 
comfort to you in the house. And, God willing, we shall 
leave Weimar on Sunday for Eisenach, and bring Philip 
with us. I commit you to God. Say to Wolf that he 
must attend to the mulberries, and not idle his time away, 
and draw the wine away at the proper time. Let all be 
joyful and pray. Amen. 

Martin Luther, thy Well-beloved. 


To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

Luther in Eisenach. The Elector would not allow him to go 
to Hagenau, but sent Cruciger and Myconius. Calvin was also 

July 16, 1540. 

Grace and peace, dear Kathie ! Your Grace must 
know that, God be praised, we are here fresh and well, 
eat like the Bohemians, drink like the Germans, but in 


moderation, and are full of joy. For our gracious lord of 
Magdeburg, Bishop Amsdorf, is our neighbour at table. 
Our only news is that Caspar (Cruciger), Menius, and 
Myconius have left Hagenau for Strassburg to pass the 
time. M. Philip is again all right. God be praised. 
Say to my dear Dr. Schiefer ^ that his King Ferdinand 
will have an outcry raised against him, as he seems to wish 
the Turk to stand sponsor to the Evangelical Princes. 
I hope this may not be true. It would be too gross. 
Write and say if you got all I sent you, such as the ninety 
florins I sent through Wolf Paermann. I commit you to 
God. Let the children pray. The heat and drought 
here are almost unbearable, day and night. The Bishop 
of Magdeburg sends you his compliments. 

Thy beloved Martin Luther. 

To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

July 26, 1540. 

To the wealthy lady of Zulsdorf, Frau Doctoress 
Katherine. Luther, wandering in spirit in Zulsdorf ! 
God willing, we shall start for Wittenberg to-morrow. 
The Hagenau conference has turned out a farce, all the 
worry, trouble, and expense being in vain ; 'Still, if we have 
done nothing more, we have drawn Herr Philip out of 
hell, and shall bring him home with joy, as it were out 
of the grave. Amen. The devil is very busy. More 
than a thousand acres of wood belonging to my gracious 
lord has been set on fire in the Thiiringian Forest, and 
to-day we hear that the wood near Werder has begun to 
burn, and no water can extinguish it. This will make 
wood very dear. Pray, and ask all to pray against Satan, 
who not only assails soul and body, but fiercely assaults 
our possessions and our honour. Christ will come from 
heaven and kindle a fire against Satan and his emissaries. 
Amen. Being uncertain where you are I do not write of 
other things. Greet our children, boarders, and all. 
Thy beloved Martin Luther. 

' Once tutor to Kinjr F'crdinand's sons. 



To Caspar Gutel 

Epidemic in Wittenberg. Agricola invited to Berlin by the 
Elector Joachim. He became Court preacher there. 

September 3, 1540. 

Grace and peace, honoured Herr Doctor and Pastor ! 
Although I am overwhelmed with work, being a frail old 
man, still I am doing duty for Pastor Johann Pommer, 
who is ill. Nearly all are ill here, including Dr. Jonas 
and Dr. Cruciger. In my house alone ten are lying 
dangerously ill. This fever produces wonderful effects. 
Epilepsy seizes many, but carries few away. M. GrickeP 
is doing the praiseworthy work of law and image-breaker. 
He slipped away secretly to the Margrave, thus abusing 
the Prince's confidence. The tree is known by its fruits. 
The faithless, abandoned man will indulge his wrath by 
telling all manner of lies against me there. May you 
prosper in the Lord. Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 

Luther's wife wishes Spalatin's mediation regarding a present 
of wood. 

No--vember 10, 1540. 

Grace and peace ! That which my wife talked to you 
about when you were here lately, she is most anxious 
should be granted. She begs you to hand the addressed 
letter to your Prince's functionary, and arrange that she 
should receive good and useful wood, particularly stems 
of oak, so that one may not (as often happens) have cause 
to regret receiving the Prince's present because of the 
officials' niggardliness, sending useless wood. 

God desires that all of us, especially the servants of 
the Word, may be maintained in a liberal manner. 

So let the treasurer know that she would like the 

' Agricola. 


branches, not the brushwood, but the thicker stems which 
belong to the officials, and these she would gladly purchase 
from the treasurer. 

She wishes them for the fireplaces in her new property 
of Zulsdorf. 

But you know far more of these matters than I, there- 
fore you will faithfully discharge this commission. 

We shall pay what is requisite, so that the new 
proprietress may have her kingdom suitably equipped. 
Farewell. I enclose the new pamphlet against the 
Brunswick people. There is nothing new here, not even 
any news from Worms. 

Once more may you and yours prosper ! 

Martin Luther. 



To Anton Lauterbach 

The conference of Roman Catholic and Protestant delegates 
which discussed Church union at Worms was as barren of results 
as that of Hagenau had been. Calvin was present there also. 

No-uember 27, 15+0. 

Grace and peace ! My wife had left for her new 
possession before your letter came, so I must thank you, 
my Anton, instead for the cheese. But I am not greatly 
enamoured of that kind of cheese, being pleased with our 
own simple cheese, made of the commonest material, so 
you need not take so much trouble on our behalt. 

It is sufficient that we enjoy your goodwill, of which 
we can take advantage when necessary, and do so perhaps 
too often. 

We have heard no more from Worms, except that a 
great number of learned people from France, Spain, and 
Germany have met, and Philip writes that tor no other 
Papal council have such extensive preparations been 
made. What may further take place God knows. If 
the Emperor means honestly, as we presume he does, this 
gathering, without being dignified by the name of Council, 
may turn out to be a true provincial Council, under the 
appellation of a special Conference, so that the Pope may 


not feel insulted at the name of Council failing. He has 
meanwhile appointed the Bishop of Valitra (Thomas 
Campegius) as his legate, whom our people will neither 
acknowledge as judge nor as president, even were the Pope 
himself present, for they have been forbidden so to do. 
Let us pray, pray ! And let all pray. For it appears as 
if a great crisis were imminent. 

May all go well with you and yours. Written in 
great haste, and overwhelmed with work. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1474.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther had little hope of a happy termination to the Worms 
Conference. He was busy revising the Bible, but was often 
interrupted by illness, from which he suffered during this winter. 

December 7, i 540. 

Grace and peace ! I was sorry, my Philip, to hear you 
had not received my letters. But you are not ignorant of 
the Court and its ways, nor yet of Satan. I fully believed 
that you had altogether four letters written with my own 
hand since you went to Worms, only, on account of my 
indolence and my advancing years, they were all addressed 
to you to save trouble. 

Your last letter came to hand yesterday, which con- 
tained an account of Granvelle's speech, also of the articles 
you were asked to supply, which seem most Christian, and 
not difficult to accede to ; and, last of all, our answer. I 
had great delight over the folly of the devil, or rather in 
Christ's mighty power, which forced these people to under- 
take so foolish a cause. If I ever indulged any hope as 
to the result of this conference, for which such vast pre- 
parations were made, such hopes have now completely 
vanished. What should be done } Everything that those 
who seem possessed of the devil do, assuming to them- 
selves a majesty — nay, seeking to surround themselves with 
an almost angelic glitter — will only precipitate their fall. 
But He will give you His Spirit, as He has promised, 


for it is not you who speak. We are praying here, and 
hope the conference will melt into water for them. 

We have received the Imperial proclamation, and have 
ordered it to be printed, that the world may learn the 
Emperor's will. At the first glance I really thought it was 
forged in order to complicate this discussion. But it is 
more injurious to Satan himself than to us. For he must 
feel that nothing has been invented, but that everything 
is true which has been said against him. 

Come, Lord Jesus ! Amen. For Thine enemies 
tremble before the breath of Thy nostrils. Hasten Thy 
glorious appearing. Amen. Here they will not cease 
punishing the incendiaries. And, by the grace of God, 
Hans von Wolfenbilttel is more and more hated. You 
need have no anxiety regarding your household, for all 
are well. We send you the printed confession of the 
Englishman, Robert Barnes. May the Lord bring you 
back speedily and in good health. For you will never 
achieve anything there, no matter how strong you may be 
in Christ Jesus. For out of that wilderness and abyss 
you cannot make fruitful soil. Let it remain a wilderness. 
In Christ we can accomplish all, and do even greater 
things than He does, but in the devil we can do nothing. 
Therefore we leave him alone. 

I hope that you and Caspar ^ have run your eye over 
the New Testament. We ventured to send Job, the 
Psalms, the Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, 
Isaiah, and Jeremiah to the printer without you. You 
will scarcely find any of Ezekiel, for, as you are aware, I 
turned ill over him just as I had begun it, and perhaps this 
will happen again if you do not speedily return. 

Farewell, and greet all our people. My wife Kathie 
sends friendly greetings. She is brewing Wittenberg beer 
with which to regale you on your return. The Lord be 
with you ! Amen. Martin Luther. 


* Ciuciger. 



The discussion at Worms began on January 14, 1541. Eclcand 
Melanchthon represented the two parties, but the Emperor, who 
stood urgently in need of help against the Turks, broke it up in 
four days. It was resumed, April 27, at Regensburg. Melanch- 
thon, Cruciger, BUcer, and J. Pistorius represented the Protestants. 
The Pope despatched Cardinal Contarini as his legate — a superior 
man ; but all efforts to come to an agreement proved abortive, 
and the Regensburg Interim was rejected. 

The Reformation was now making rapid progress in Halle, 
which was near Albrecht of Mayence's favourite residence Mag- 
deburg. Dr. Jonas had been preaching there, and had introduced 
the sacrament under both forms among the laity. It was here, 
too, that Winkler had preached, whose blood, Luther often said, 
cried to heaven for vengeance. 


To Friedrich Myconius 

Myconius had just returned from Leipsic. He had been 
overworked, and wrote to Luther, his dearest friend on earth, in 
his weakness. This is Luther's answer. Long after, Myconius 
wrote that the effect of this letter was magical. Myconius 
survived Luther and was a comfort to many. 

January 9, 1 54.1. 

To the honoured Friedrich, Bishop of the Church 
in Gotha and of the Thuringian Churches, my beloved 
brother. Grace and peace in Christ ! I have received 
your letter, my dear Herr Friedrich, in vi^hich you 
say you are sick unto death, or, to express it in a more 
Christian manner, sick unto Hfe. Although it is a great 
joy to me that you are able to look forward so peacefully 
and fearlessly to death, which, according to the Scriptures, 
is not a death, but a sweet sleep to the saints — nay, that 
you have a great longing to depart and be with Christ, in 
which frame of mind we believers should always be not 
only upon a sick-bed, but in perfect health, as beseemeth 
Christians who have been made alive again with Christ, 
and placed with Him in heavenly places, who will be the 
Judge of the angels, till all that remains to be done is the 


1 541 

drawing aside of the veil of separation and of the dark 
world. Although it is a great joy to hear all this, still I 
beg and plead with the Lord Jesus, our Life, Salvation, and 
Health, that He will not permit this misfortune to overtake 
me, that I should live to see you get in advance of me by 
the veil being pushed aside and you entering into rest, 
leaving me behind in an evil world, the prey of wild beasts 
and devils, from whom I have suffered enough for over 
twenty years, to merit being released before all of you, and 
allowed to fall asleep in the Lord. Therefore I plead that 
the dear God would smite me with illness instead of you, 
and command me to lay aside this weary, worn-out frame, 
which can henceforth benefit no one. I earnestly admonish 
you to join us in imploring the dear God, for the good of 
His Church and the discomfiture of Satan, to maintain 
you in life. For Christ, our Life, also sees what manner 
of persons and gifts His Church now and then requires. 

After waiting five weeks we have received letters from 
Worms, some of which George Rorer will send you. 
God be praised our party is doing everything in a wise, 
straightforward way, while our opponents are acting 
foolishly and childishly, full of cunning and lies, from 
which we may gather that Satan, seeing the approach of 
dawn, wriggles into a thousand corners, seeking refuge in 
subterfuge and lies, but all in vain, for glory, power, and 
victory belong to the Lamb who was slain and rose again. 
We hope our people may soon return from Worms. 
May all go well with you, my dear Friedrich, and may 
the Lord not permit me to hear that you are dead, but 
allow you to survive me. 

This shall be my petition, this is my desire, and my 
will shall be done. Amen. For my will seeks the honour 
of the Divine name, and not my own honour and pleasure. 
Once more farewell in the Lord. We pray earnestly for 
you. My Kathie greets you, she, like all of us, being 
much distressed at your illness. 

Martin Luther. 




To Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt 

Luther wishes him joy on representing the Elector at 

March 12, i 541. 

To his Serene Highness Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt. 
Grace and peace in Christ our Lord ! I was delighted 
to hear that your Grace requested our prayers on your 
journey, and doubt not that He who put this desire in 
your heart will grant it. For King Solomon's prayer was 
well pleusing to God, in that he asked for wisdom, and 
not for riches and such-like, and God granted his desire, 
and gave him all other things in addition. So we, too, 
shall hover in spirit in Regensburg, and Christ, as is His 
wont, shall reign among His enemies. For, unworthy as 
we may be of such a cause, it must be a good and righteous 
one, for it is God's own cause, and not ours. Is He then 
likely to forsake it } For God cannot be the losing party, 
so at length we shall conquer with Him. These words 
are ever true : " W^hosoever, therefore, shall confess Me 
before men, him will I confess also," etc. ; so in this 
promise we shall trust. I thank your Grace for the goblet, 
and commit you to the dear God, whose legate you now 
are. May He give you the heart to know this, and then 
you will be full of joy. For it has always been my comfort 
that the cause I conduct is not my own, but God's, who 
has angels enough to uphold me ; or if they forsake me 
here, they will look far better after me up there. Amen. 
Your obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Philip Melanchthon 

Philip Melanchthon met with an accident on his way to 
Regensburg, and wrote very dejectedly to Luther. 

April 12, I 541. 

Grace and peace ! My dear Philip — We received your 
letter, and although very sorry to hear of your right arm 


being broken, we shall not believe it to be an evil omen 
either for you or me. Our cause cannot be the sport of 
chance, but is under the guidance of God, and not under 
our control. The Word flees and prayer becomes more 
earnest, while hope endures and faith at length conquers, 
so that if we were not flesh we could sleep in peace, 
pondering Moses' words : " The Lord shall fight for you, 
and ye shall hold your peace." For although we might 
act with all vigilance, still all would be in vain if God did 
not fight for us. All is well in your home, so do not 
worry, for God is near. Let Henry (the Eighth), the 
Bishops, nay, even the Turks and the devil incarnate, do 
what they will, we are the children of the Kingdom ; and 
although scorned by the said Henry, we look for the 
appearing of the slain Saviour, whom we highly honour. 
F'arewell, and pray for us, as we do for you. 

Martin Luther. 

To Philip Melanchthon 

Luther warns his friend against poison. 

April 21, I 541. 

Grace and peace ! To-day, April 21, I received your 
letters, dearest Philip — fourteen in all — with the joyful 
tidings of the Emperor's friendly sentiments. May God 
perfect what He has begun. I have always forgotten to 
remind you to be on your guard at banquets. Dreadful 
stories are going about regarding poisoners. It was dis- 
covered that the medicine in Erfurt and also the season- 
ings were poisoned. In Altenburg twelve persons at one 
table swallowed poison contained in the difi^erent dishes, 
and died therefrom. The devil also sends his poison- 
mixers to Jena and elsewhere. I wonder that the great 
are not more on their guard against Satan. 

Through the grace of God all goes well here. Dr. 
Jonas preached in Halle during Easter, much to the 
annoyance of the Castle, but with the approbation of the 
Prince and the Town Council. I am still busy with the 


books of Moses, and at the same time a martyr to a dis- 
charge in the ears, at the one moment contemplating life, 
and at the next death. The will of the Lord be done 
Amen. Martin Luther. 



To Caspar Cruciger, Doctor of Theology 

On April 28 the so-called Regensburg Interim was at length 
placed before the Evangelicals, but not accepted. The Elector 
urged no half-measures in religious matters, and said even if Dr. 
Martin would give in, " which, God forbid, we shall not." 

May I, I 541. 

Grace and peace ! I see from the fifteen articles which 
you have just sent me what Satan is attempting. But he 
may turn and twist as he will, his slippery nature has led 
him into captivity. Only continue to act as Christ's 

To-day we heard good news of the Emperor, which, I 
fancy, reached me through a letter from the Prince of 
Anhalt to our people. The Emperor summoned both sets 
of theologians into his chamber, and exhorted them to put 
aside all thought of their princes and all party spirit, and, 
looking to God alone, seek for the truth only and the 
welfare of the Churches and State. May God strengthen 
this sacred work. Amen. 

I cannot write more. My hearing is gradually return- 
ing, but the head is still useless and inflated with all sorts 
of stormy winds, like the spirits incarcerated in Aeolus's 
hell. Christ lives, even as we live, amid death. Mean- 
time I can sleep as usual and take nourishment. Perhaps 
Satan is in his bath for a time. Dr. Jonas has been preach- 
ing Christ in Halle for over three weeks with great 
blessing, and with the approbation of the people and the 
Mayor, although to the dissatisfaction of some. 

The Mayor continues steadfast in spite of the fury of 
the monks and priests. What I write to you is meant for 
Philip also. All are well at home. May you prosper in 
the Lord. Amen. Martin Luther. 




To Justus Jonas 

Respecting affairs in Halle, and the revision of the New 

May 22, 1 54T. 

Grace and peace ! I always expect consideration from 
you, whether I am long in answering your letters or not. 

My health is not such that I can read or write for an 
hour without injury. I have often tried to, being so 
anxious to write. Whatever my malady may have been, 
it was most severe. My hearing has not entirely returned, 
but God will do as seemeth good to Him, and I feel 
rather better. Regarding the Burgraviate, you say you 
had letters from Court, But the Prince is too prudent to 
interfere in Halle, as it is beyond his jurisdiction, except 
in the matter of the Burgraviate ; and who would advise 
him to do so, especially as we teach that each must 
attend to the things devolving on him ^ And it is no 
small victory that the gates of hell, by the mere virtue of 
the aforesaid title and the shadow thereof, should be com- 
pelled to endure your presence, Jonas, the enemy of 
Satan and the Cardinal, in their midst. 

Let us thank God for this ! Say to those timid ones 
to be at ease as to the alienation of their title. God, who 
calls into being what does not exist, will make this insigni- 
ficant title great, for He makes all out of nothing. I 
shall be delighted to do what you ask, as I consider it my 
duty to pray for the Church at Halle, and even for 
Balthaser himself. We all wish that the Lord would 
make him alive. 

In future do not expect such long letters from me, for 
to-morrow 1 begin to revise the New Testament. The 
publishers, our lords, insist upon this, for I bear about 
with me in my sickness the marks of the wounds of those 
gentlemen, the publishers. The Lord be with you, my 
beloved. Greet our friends in Christ. 

Martin Luther. 




To Philip Melanchthon 

On June 9 Prince John of Anhalt, Alesius, etc., appeared 
before Luther by command of the Elector of Brandenburg, at the 
instigation of the Emperor, to induce him to permit the disputed 
articles to remain and an agreement to be made, but Luther was 
as steadfast as Melanchthon, 

June 25, I 54 1. 

Grace and peace ! I shall anticipate your letter, which 
I daily, nay hourly, expect to receive, and rehearse what 
happened in Regensburg, viz. that you were summoned 
before the Emperor, who proposed that you should do your 
utmost at the conference for the restoration of unity. In 
a Latin harangue you declared you would do your best, 
but felt yourself powerless for so difficult a task. 

But Eck, as is his habit, cried out, " Most Gracious 
Emperor, I shall maintain that our party is right, and 
that the Pope is the head of the Church ! " This is all 
that happened. 

P'rom Cruciger's last letter to Magister George I saw 
that you and he are to meet the day after to-morrow. I 
rejoice that Mayence ^ shall be extinguished. There is 
a great outcry here over the rumour that 5,000 Turks 
have been killed at Ofen. I have no more news. 

I again begin to hear by degrees, although my dead 
ear still sometimes refuses to perform its functions, and 
the discharge in my head and the phlegm cause me much 
uneasiness, but I always was, and shall ever remain, a 
rheumatic man, a martyr to all sorts of catarrh. My 
Kathie greets you respectfully. Love to all our friends. 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector John Frederick 

About the Greek chair and assistance for Melanchthon. 

Auguit 3, 1541. 

Grace and peace in Christ, Serene High-born Prince, 
most gracious Lord ! It is not easy to fill the vacant 

' The Archbishop. 

2 D 


chair, and the gentlemen of the University say they would 
rather give it to M. Veit, not because M. Sachse is not 
worthy of it, but because M. Veit is older, and has done 
more for education here than any one except M. Philip. 
Now all this is true, and M. Holstein (Sachse) did not 
ask for the chair, not wishing to push himself forward 
before M. Veit, and he would have been satisfied with M. 
Fach's post, which I asked for him at first. 

It is an unfortunate business, as your Grace will soon 

But you tell me that Philip will not give up the Greek 
class, for he is eager to serve the University, so that the 
salary for the Greek chair will revert to the University, 
and thus save the salary, your Grace having given him a 
hundred florins additional on the new foundation. 

M. Philip is so just and modest that he will not 
accept this addition unless he teach Greek, so that your 
Grace and the University may not be burdened with this 
money on his behalf. So it now depends on your Electoral 
Grace distinctly saying if M. Philip may, with a good 
conscience, appropriate the hundred florins although he 
should cease to teach Greek, but should continue to lecture 
upon the Greek authors. 

It appears to me he has done enough hard work those 
twenty years to entitle him to a little rest, seeing there 
are, God be praised, young M.A.'s who can teach Greek 
and look after the classes. For your Grace knows well 
what a Famulus Communis he is in this University, for all 
Christendom is indebted to him ; and, thank God, he and 
his followers are now more feared by the Papists than any 
of the other scholars. 

Your Grace will know how to arrange all this, for 
your Electoral Highness must be head rector, pastor, and 
director in these lands. 

I herewith commit you to God. Amen. Your 
obedient Martin Luther. 

(Dc Wette.) 



To THE Elector John Frederick 

By the Regensburg Interim the Emperor hoped to prevent the 
Protestants attacking Romish doctrines, but the Protestants 
rejected it, and eventually the Pope declared against tolerance. 

August 4, I 541. 

Grace and peace, Most Serene High-born Prince ! I 
perfectly understand what your Electoral Grace has 
written me concerning the pamphlet ^ which is at present in 
the press ; and it was not my intention that it should 
appear without a preface and with no delay. Whether 
those who issued it meant well in their conceited ignorance 
in doing so or not, the devil's wicked malice has foiled 
their efforts ; for, nothing more injurious has been under- 
taken against us since our gospel began to spread, and it 
seems as if God, by a miraculous exercise of power, pre- 
vented the Papists accepting it at the Diet. The reason 
we were so long in taking up the matter was that 
Philip was on his way home, so now, by his and Dr. 
Caspar's advice, we have decided to print it ; and the 
printers, in the hope of a preface from me, have taken it 
in hand, and although, to begin with, I decided to add no 
notes, now, if God spare me, I shall interlard it with as 
many annotations as I can, for the devil has deserved it. 

I herewith commit you to the dear God. Amen. 
Your Electoral Grace's obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To the Electoral Princes, Frederick 
AND John William 

Luther rejoices over the Princes' progress in learning, etc. 

September 6, 1541. 

Grace and peace. Most Gracious Serene Princes ! I 
was delighted to receive your Highnesses' letters, from 

' Regensburg Interim. 


which I saw what a good and solid foundation you are 
laying both in the sciences and religion ; and I thank God, 
through Christ His Son, who has begun such a glorious 
work in such exalted personages, and beseech Him to 
perfect the work He has begun. And we must all ask 
this with our whole hearts, for we know that your Electoral 
Highnesses are being trained to conduct the highest and 
most weighty matters in the State as well as in the Church. 
For the Evil One is ever going about with his wily artifices 
trying to lay countless traps for you, especially in your 
own home, through false friends and courtiers, even as we 
read happened to King David and every good prince. 
Hence the poet's fable of Atlas supporting the heavens, 
and St. Christopher carrying the whole hemisphere on his 
shoulders, while he only bore the child Jesus. Your 
Highnesses' father has doubtless often experienced this. 
And even although a good prince possesses genius, power, 
energy, piety, and spiritual wisdom, still he constantly 
stands in need of the persevering humble prayers of those 
about him, that God, despite the power of Satan, may give 
him the victory. I commend your Highnesses to the 
protection of this good God for ever and ever. Keep me 
always in your gracious remembrance. My son shall 
write again, as he has no time at present. I did not wish 
to send the messenger back empty handed. 

Martin Luther. 



To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

Luther desires his wife to return from Zulsdorf. 

Srpttvuher i 8, i 541. 

Grace and peace, dear Kathie ! I am sending Urban 
to you, to prevent you being alarmed through a rumour 
of the Turks coming in your direction. I marvel much 
that you never write or send any orders, for you are 
aware that we are not without anxiety on your account, 
because Mainz ' and many of the nobility in Meissen 

' The Archbishop ot Mayencc. 


are our sworn enemies. So sell, and arrange everything 
you can and come home, for it seems to me as if God were 
about to visit us with the rod of His wrath. I herewith 
commit you to God. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wctte.) 


To Anton Lauterbach 
Luther wishes him to execute a commission for him, etc. 

September 25, 1541. 

Grace and peace ! How often you have asked me for 
the measurements, my dear, and how often I have been 
almost sending the size of the bath } But we were always 
waiting for some one to urge us on, and no one did so, 
therefore it has remained undone. But I now enclose the 
plan, which you will carry out to the best of your ability, 
in accordance with your voluntary promise. I do not 
wish to burden you. I was delighted to hear that your 
oppressors are being gradually humbled ; so I trust things 
will improve. We have good hopes of Pistorius, the 
former Chancellor. For they say he spoke frankly out 
at Regensburg, and in the end admitted that one thing 
puzzled him much, viz. how Christ could be High Priest 
to all eternity when He was succeeded by Peter, who was 
followed by the Pope, and then succeeded by a fresh 
pontiff. If these things once begin to dawn upon him, 
then the light of day will speedily burst upon him. 

I hear you have bad news of the Turks, and you say 
the truth that our insufferable Turks, and the usurers, 
and the mighty of the earth, are also in a dilemma. I 
have no other news. Pray for us, as we do for you. 
Greet your Agnes and Lischen. My Kathie also greets 
you. I commit you to God. Martin Luther. 




To Justus Jonas 

Theological doctor and first faithful missionary at Halle. 

November lo, 154.1. 

Grace and peace ! I have received the two fat — nay, 
right fat, Martinmas geese — nay, the very fattest I ever 
received. Accept my thanks for them. Heigho ! how 
is it that you have such superfluity } Have you per- 
haps in Halle an Ethiopian banquet or Hallo's table .'' 
But more of this again. 

You ask for news of the Turks. I have none. It is 
currently reported that the Emperor Charles has taken 
by storm a haven called Specus from Barbarossa, and there 
is another rumour (which I fear is the true one) that 
Andreas Doria has lost all the Imperial troops fighting 
against the said Barbarossa. God have mercy on us ! I 
am afraid that all our efforts against the Turks will be 
fruitless so long as we harbour these tyrants, these raging 
Turks — greed, usury, and the excesses of the nobles — 
with tyranny and godlessness, even going the length of 
indulging in diabolic contempt of the Divine Word, and 
casting into ridicule the blood shed for us in our in- 
gratitude. What will it avail us, although we succeed 
in banishing those Turks after the flesh, so long as we 
permit these spiritual Turks to occupy a place at our 
firesides, whose mad fury has made Germany a more arid 
waste in God's eyes than anything the Turks could have 
accomplished, even as God repented having made man on 
the earth, at the very moment the human race seemed 
fairest (Gen. vi.), because of the wickedness of the children 
of men, the imagination of whose hearts was only evil 
continually } 

It is even the same to-day. The earth is destroyed 
through incurable vice, and will perish in the last fiery 
judgment. Wolff Heinze, as I wrote, has not sent any 
message about his present of a Bible, which lies by me. 
Remind him. Farewell. St. Martin's Eve. 

Martin Luther. 




To THE Elector John Frederick 
Luther begs for a post for his wife's brother. 

November 17, 1541. 

Grace and peace, and my poor paternoster, Most 
Serene High-born Prince, gracious Lord ! Lately I gave 
my dear brother-in-law a letter to you, which he lost, so I 
must write again, and if the other be found, and if in every 
word it does not agree with this, you will graciously point 
out the difference, for I keep no copies of my letters. 
The matter is this. I humbly beg your Grace to provide 
him with a post, however small. He is faithful and pious, 
that I know, also active and industrious ; but he has not 
enough to keep himself and child in a proper manner. 
He was superintendent of a convent in Leipsic, and 
although they tried to injure him, his accounts were found 
correct, and his enemies' mouths were shut. I made them 
admit this. They wished to add what belonged to the 
nuns, as they used to do. Perhaps he suffered on my 
account, as Dr. Pistorius was again in power, and might 
remember the book of stolen letters. But your Electoral 
Grace will deal kindly with Hans, and give him a com- 
forting answer. Your Grace's obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wettc.) 


The Bishop of Naumburg died in 1541, and the town being 
Evangelical, the Elector appointed Nicolas Amsdorf, rejecting 
the Cathedral clergy's choice, Julius Pflug, in spite of Luther's 
remonstrances and the opposition of Charles V. 

On January 18 the Elector, with Amsdorf, Luther, and 
Melanchthon, his brother John Ernest, Herzog Ernest of Bruns- 
wick, and a stately retinue, entered Naumburg, and on the 20th 
the new bishop was consecrated. The Reformation in Halle now 
made rapid progress under Dr. Jonas. War broke out in Germany. 
Ferdinand asked help against the Turks, but the Schmalkaldischen 
Princes refused, unless an abiding peace were secured. Luther's 
daughter JVlagdalena died this year, to Luther's deep grief. 



To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Medler, Superintendent in Naumburg, was created Doctor of 
Theology in Wittenberg, where he acted as chaplain to the 
fugitive consort of the Elector of Brandenburg. 

January 6, 1542. 

To the honoured Herr Bishop Nicolas Amsdorf at 
Naumburg. Grace and peace ! I am very angry at 
Medier's high-handed conduct, my excellent Bishop. 
Were I in your position I should act in the opposite 
manner and enforce silence and conciliation towards him 
till the approaching church visitation, when it will be 
decided who is patron. Meantime it would be imprudent 
forcibly to deprive the possessor of his rights, and even 
more, to coerce him into resigning them. 

This is how we acted in our church visitation. Those 
who would not be persuaded to resign the old privileges 
we permitted to abide by their decision. So the Junkers 
continued to give away the livings as before, without 
consulting the Princes of the Church. If Medler has 
placed that potter under the ban, then, as their upper 
shepherd, exhort them to acquiesce, and admonish Medler 
to conciliatory measures. Medler must not be permitted 
to treat you as a mere shadow, seeing you are responsible 
for the Naumburg community, which has been entrusted 
to you. Should it be necessary, I would write him sharply 
for needlessly breaking the peace. Meantime be steadfast 
and long-suffering. Although he will never be able to 
achieve anything contrary to God's will, yet you have 
managed to extract this devil's claw, which will bring 
forth fruit. May you prosper in the Lord. I have a 
dreadful headache, therefore write you to-day. 

Martin Luther. 





January 1 1, 1542. 

Grace and peace in Christ, Most Serene High-born 
Princes, gracious Lords ! Although most unwilling to 
be burdensome to you, still I must beg that your Serene 
Highnesses would, if at all possible, send some game, for I 
have to help a young relative who lives with us into the 
holy and divinely appointed state of matrimony. 

For there is little of that sort of thing to be had here, 
for the officials, and courtiers especially, have eaten up 
everything, so that neither fowls nor any other sort of 
game are to be had, and I have to satisfy my hunger with 
sausage and liver, etc. 

I have never thanked your Highnesses for the pork, but 
now do so, although I expressed my warm thanks by word 
of mouth for the gift. For I have constantly experienced 
your Graces' manifold kindnesses towards my unworthy 
self; and, had the said pig arrived after the engagement, 
it would have been set aside for the marriage, and you 
would not have been troubled now. But you will 
graciously take my begging in good part. The wedding 
day is the Monday after St. Paul's Conversion, or January 
30. I herewith commit you to the dear God. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

To Justus Jonas 
Luther blames the letter-carriers for carelessness. 

February 6, 1542. 

Grace and peace ! I repeat what I said to our excellent 
Herr Kilian, that you need expect no more letters from 
me unless you arrange that your messengers take the trouble 
to wait for an answer to yours. For they deliver them in 
such a manner, or rather toss them to the first one who 
comes in their wav, as if they were pressed with business, 


or had to strangle the Turks in the interim. If you do 
not see to this, then depend upon it, it is impossible for 
me to answer. 

You know that I am too poor to send a special 
messenger to you, and too busy to be always asking who 
is going to Halle. So much for your last four, if not 
more letters. Herr Kilian was a most welcome guest, 
and would have been more so had he remained as an 
inmate of my house ; but he was in such haste that I pled 
in vain. But the union of hearts is the most delightful of 
banquets, no matter how far apart people may be in the 
body. The communion of saints is the Church. Fare- 
well, and pray for me. The Lord be with you. Amen. 

We all send warm greetings to your dear wife, who 
has enriched your house with so many olive branches. I 
would like to hear if Carlstadt died repentant. His poor 
wife is to be here at Easter, and then we shall hear all. 
Once more I commend you to God. Amen. 

P.S. — The plague has deprived Bilcer of his wife and 
son, and also of his daughters. You are aware that many 
learned men are absent. The friend from Basel who told 
me of Carlstadt's death told me a wonderful story about 
him : that people were spitting on his grave and at his 
house, but it is not right to speak evil of the dead. 

We hear by way of Hungary that the Sultan's eldest 
son has broken away from his father and is stirring up 
war in Syria, because the father wishes to give the king- 
dom to the younger brother. Eck has written a foolish 
pamphlet against the Regensburg proceedings, pouring 
out the vials of his wrath against Bilcer, although he 
vilifies others as well. Martin Luther. 



To Anton Lauterbach 

Letter of consolation. 

March lo, 1542. 

Grace and peace ! Wait upon the Lord and act like 
a man, my dear Anton. Were there no such thing as 


temptation to try Christian faith, what would become of 
so many over-confident, lazy, and self-indulgent Christians? 
Most certainly just what has befallen the Papacy. Now, 
as temptation serves as myrrh, aloes, rhubarb, and a 
counter-irritant to the fleshly sins of the Christian's body 
of death, therefore it ought not to be lightly esteemed, 
and we must be on our guard against wilfully choosing our 
afflictions, but must accept those which God sees fit to 
visit us with, and which will be most salutary for us, no 
matter how heavy they may be. 

Therefore be steadfast, and consider that when we 
have to endure temptation, as is only right, we ought 
gladly to endure those that are meted out to us rather 
than risk being visited with severer trials, such as fire and 
sword, which the Papists would gladly inflict upon us. 
And do not worry about your mother because she prefers 
living in Stolpe, under Papal rule, rather than at Pirna. 
Pray always for her, and you have done enough. The 
Bishop of Cologne is beginning to reform abuses in his 
diocese. We have heard nothing new of the Turk, nor of 
our preparations. The Emperor has issued an Edict in the 
Netherlands forbidding the persecution of the Lutherans. 
After a two years' pause the Bible gradually slipped into 
France among other books. When Parliament, the monks, 
and sophists heard this, they were so furious that they 
burned fifty of them ; but the populace were so enraged, 
that the King, fearing an insurrection, gave way. In 
much haste, and pray I may have a happy release. 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector John Frederick 
Luther thanks the Prince for a legal decision in his favour. 

March 26, 1542. 

Grace and peace in Christ, and my poor paternoster, 
most gracious lord ! I must discharge my debt to you, 
for it is long since I wrote you, and thank you for the 
verdict in connection with my Kathie. We are much 


pleased with it, for your goodness will do much to 
promote peace and harmony. Next, I must thank you 
for the wine, although it is quite a superfluous gift. 

In the third place, we have let the rector and the 
university know that your Grace does not wish me to be 
taxed upon my house and goods, but that its valuation 
should be taken, for which I render my humble thanks. 
But I deem it right to let you know my thoughts on 
the subject, and plead for them your gracious considera- 

I would gladly estimate, if I could, the value of the 
great cloister house, but I fear that after my death my 
Kathie or the children might dispute the assessment, seeing 
I have always had difficulty in keeping it in repair with 
glass, iron, etc. Hearing that the house might through 
time be used for military purposes, I purchased Hans 
Brun's house for my Kathie and the children for 400 
florins and 20 for repairs, but have only paid 120 which 
1 owe, therefore I can hardly estimate it, seeing it is bonded 
up to its value. 

But I humbly beg your Grace to let me value the rest, 
viz. the garden for 500 florins, the court with the garden 
90, and a small garden 20 florins. I would gladly be an 
example to others and pay my mite towards the Turkish 
war expenses, for many give grudgingly. I do not wish 
them to be envious of Dr. Martinus, because he does not 
need to give. And who knows if God would not be as 
pleased with our ofl^ering as He was with that of the poor 
widow ; and I wish to be among those who would injure 
the Turk. For were I not too old and frail I should like 
to be among the warriors. Nevertheless, our prayers have 
long been with those on the field, for I fear our Germans 
have been too foolhardy, having, to begin with, underrated 
the enemy, who is by no means to be despised, having all 
the devils in hell on his side ; and if God with His angels 
does not become reconciled to us, I place little dependence 
upon our might or our preparations, I herewith commit 
you to the dear God, Amen, And I hope your Electoral 
Grace will not be offended because I delayed in answering, 
for at present I am busy trying to put Mahommed into 


German, which prevented me thinking of anything else. 
Your Electoral Grace's obedient 

Martin Luther. 


To George Spalatin 
Luther still anxious to receive the Prince's present. 

July 13, 1542. 

Although I do not trouble myself much about food, 
which concerns only myself, yet as a married man and 
a debtor to my household, who, if he provide not for 
those of his own household, is worse than an infidel, as 
St. Paul declares, I pray to you to see that I am not again 
cheated out of the Prince's gift, which I value highly. 
You know those birds of prey who see to themselves, and 
let neighbourly love go to the wall. I fear few of those 
stems are to be had in this quarter, hence their eagerness. 
I wish to retain those purchased by my orders, whether 
firs or oaks, instead of those which have been sold, if they 
can be kept uninjured till I require them. 

Farewell in the Lord. In haste. Loaded with business. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1 31 7.) 


To Wenzel Link at NCrnberg 

About Bibles being delayed, etc. 

July 25, 1542. 

Health and blessing in the Lord ! You are annoyed, 
dear Doctor, about the Bibles being so long of reaching you, 
but I told you how overwhelmed our bookbinders are with 
work. Thus it is that many cannot receive their copies 
in less than six months. I gave three to bind, and it was 
with the utmost difficulty I got one of them out of their 
hands a month ago ; the others I do not expect to see 
before Michaelmas. Great people all send theirs here to 
be bound, and naturally they precede us. One must not 


be offended with these people, but consider the advantages 
they reap from the press of business. However, you shall 
soon receive your two copies. 

Concerning your Genesis I can promise nothing, for 
the publishers object to large works, because they know 
from experience that if they do not sell it is a great loss 
to them. If a preface from me can be of any service to 
you, why plead for it, as you know I am always ready. 
You would have been wiser to give your work to Socerius 
or some one in Central Germany, as I wrote you, for these 
do nothing at all, so I am indignant seeing good paper, 
beautiful lettering, and hard work bestowed on such con- 
taminating writings. Bucer and such-like, who ought not 
to write, do so constantly. You understand. I commend 
you to God. Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

Luther advises that St. Moritz in Halle, which the Elector 
Albrecht had shut up, should be opened for Evangelical service. 

August 18, 1542. 

Grace and peace ! My dear Herr Jonas, why hesitate 
as to opening the third church ^ The time has come to 
which we looked forward when your burghermaster and 
syndic, Dr. Kilian, were here. The Son of God, who has 
hitherto been trampled under foot, has at length been 
glorified among His enemies, having won such a victory 
as neither we nor His enemies could have believed possible. 
Christ has been openly manifested ; and although I have 
no desire that the Mayence monster should fall a victim 
to God's wrath and eternal perdition, still I rejoice that 
the old knave has lived to see the confusion and irrevoc- 
able failure of his diabolic projects. Praise be to God, 
who is judge upon the earth, and destroys the work of the 
godless, so that bloody and deceitful men shall not live 
out half their days. Let him now weep as he deserves, and 
await his punishment for having rejoiced in wickedness 


and all that is against God, as well as in all that is God- 
like. Do join with us in thanking Him with loud voice, 
for He has showed us wondrous things to His own glory, 
and has not despised the sighs of the destitute, but has 
heard their cries. Thus, Lord, shall thine enemies perish. 
Amen. Martinus Luther. 

Johannes Pommeranus. 

Caspar Cruciger. 

Philippus Melanchthon. 

(De Wctte.) 

To Marcus CrOdel, Schoolmaster in Torgau 
Luther wishes his son educated at a public school. 

August 26, I 54.2. 

Grace and peace ! I send you my son Hans, as we 
arranged, my dear Marcus, so that he may be instructed 
in grammar and music along with the other boys, and at 
the same time I hope you will attend to his manners and 
morals. I am committing a great trust to you in the Lord. 
I shall never grudge the outlay, and you will report his 
progress and let me know what should be done with him. 
I send Florian, one of his schoolmates, with him, for it is 
important that boys should have others to vie with. But 
you must be more strict with the latter, and if you can, 
board him with a burgher ; if not, send him back. God 
bless your efforts. If they succeed, then I shall, if spared, 
send the other two boys ; for in future we shall not easily 
find such unwearied instructors, especially in the languages, 
and such strict disciplinarians as you. Therefore, one 
must seize the opportunity, for time flies, and competent 
teachers disappear even more quickly. For more advanced 
studies they would be better here. Farewell in the Lord, 
and say to Hans Walter that I pray for his welfare, and 
commit my little son to his care in music. I can train 
theologians, but wish my children to have grammar and 
music. So once more farewell, and greet Gabriel and his 


family. And for the third time I wish you continued 
prosperity. Martin Luther. 



To Marcus Crodel 
Luther sends for his son to see his dying sister. 

September 6, 1542. 

Grace and peace, my dear Marcus ! I beg of you to 
conceal from my son John what I now write. My daughter 
Magdalene is nearing her end, and will soon depart to her 
true Father in heaven unless God see fit to spare her. She 
longs so to see her brother that I send a carriage to fetch 
him. They loved one another tenderly, so perhaps a sight 
of him will revive her. I do my best, so that my fatherly 
heart may not afterwards be torn by remorse. Desire him 
therefore, without telling him why, to return at once. I 
shall send him back as soon as she has either fallen asleep 
in the Lord or been restored to health. Farewell in the 
Lord. Say to him we must have something private to 
communicate. All here are otherwise well. 

Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

Luther tries to convince Jonas of the Elector Albrecht's 

September 23, 1542. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I abide by my opinion, 
my Jonas, that the Mayence Satan will never alienate the 
Burgraviate of Halle, especially at such a price, and with 
the stipulation that the gospel should have free course 
there. Whatever this son of perdition says and does is pure 
deceit and lies. You remember that I often said that the 
sun had never looked down upon anything so crafty upon 
God's earth as this man. He turns our Prince into 
ridicule, even as he makes fun of every one. Therefore, 
I consider that you Halle people are being needlessly 


alarmed through false rumours ; and this monster delights 
in beholding the misery of the wretched, whether the 
torment be real or fanciful. At your request I have 
earnestly admonished your son to obey his father, and 
such a father, reminding him how grateful he should feel 
to God for letting him enjoy such a blessing till he is 
nearing the years of maturity, one who can counsel and 
help him in the slippery paths of youth, in a world so full 
of the machinations of the devil. He promised to follow 
your advice and that of his teachers. 

I fancy that you have heard that my beloved Magdalene 
has been reborn into Christ's everlasting Kingdom. 
Although my wife and I ought to rejoice on account of 
her happy end, still the tenderness of the father's heart is 
so great that we cannot think of it without sobs and sighs, 
which tear asunder the heart. For the image of this most 
obedient and tenderly loving daughter ever hovers before 
our eyes, with everything she said and did in life as well as 
in death, that even the death of Christ (and what are all 
deaths compared to that.'') is almost powerless to obliterate 
the memory. 

Therefore thank God for us. For has He not honoured 
us greatly in glorifying our child ? You know how affec- 
tionate and sensible she was, nay, how charming. Christ 
be praised for choosing her, and calling her away, and 
glorifying her. I pray God that I and all of us may have 
such a death, nay, such a life. This is my one petition to 
the Father of all consolation and mercy. In Him may 
you and yours prosper. Amen. Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Amsdorf 
Reply to letter of consolation on Magdalene's death. 

October 29, 1542. 

Grace and peace ! Many thanks, most excellent friend, 
for trying to console me on my dearest daughter's death. 
I loved her not only because she was my flesh, but for her 
placid and gentle spirit and her dutifulness to me. But 

2 E 


now I rejoice that she is sleeping sweetly in her Heavenly 
Father's home till that day. Alas, for the days in which 
we live ! And they are daily becoming worse. I pray that 
we and all dear to us may be granted such a blessed hour 
of departure as was her lot. 1 would call this really sleep- 
ing in the Lord, not experiencing one pang of fear. This 
is the time of which Isaiah speaks, " The righteous is taken 
away from the evil to come ; they shall rest in their beds, 
each one walking in his uprightness," just as when one 
gathers the wheat into the barn, and commits the chaff to 
the flames, a punishment the world has deserved for her 
ingratitude. Truly it is a Sodom. I should like to write 
you oftener, but you write so seldom. I agree with you 
as to the reports about Heinz's judgments and threats. 
Your Meissen people are become a byword through this 
man at Merseburg, where they portray themselves as so 
courageous and us so timid. The war prospects give good 
reason for fear. I never thought we could achieve any- 
thing against the Turks except squander our money and 
reap ridicule. What could God accomplish with such 
tools ? So we must pray without ceasing that He would 
overcome this monstrosity, even as He did with the Papacy, 
with all its abominations. Did you get my letter asking 
for a post for Dr. Hieronymus Weller, who complains 
of the indifference of the Freiberg people to the Divine 
Word .'' But as things are not yet settled with you, this 
request may come at an inopportune time. 

Comfort yourself in the Lord and be steadfast, for you 
are Christ's servant, who called you to this post, even if 
you merely remain quietly in your place, preventing the 
devil occupying it, although you should do nothing m.ore 
all your life. 

And thus how much more are you His servants when 
you are not only not idle, but maintain a constant conflict, 
and purify the people from sin through the Word of 
God. I commit you to God. My Kiithie greets you, 
although she often breathes a sigh over the memory of 
her beloved and obedient daughter. 

Martin Luther. 




To Justus Jonas 

Luther tries to comfort his friend on the death of his 
amiabte wife. 

December 25, 1542. 

Grace and peace in Christ, who is our salvation and 
consolation, my dear Jonas ! I have been so thoroughly 
prostrated by this unexpected calamity that I do not 
know what to write. We have all lost in her the dearest 
of triends. Her bright presence, her eye so full of trust, 
all drew forth our love, especially as we knew that she 
shared both our joys and sorrows as if they had been her 
own. A bitter parting in very deed, for I hoped that 
after I was gone she would have been the best of 
comforters for those I left behind. The deep longing 
after one so distinguished by piety, propriety, and ami- 
ability makes me weep. Therefore I can easily imagine 
your feelings. Temporal consolation is of no avail here. 
One must look solely to the unseen and eternal. She is 
our precursor into the regions beyond, where we shall all 
be gathered on our dismissal from this vale of tears and 
this corrupt world. Amen. 

Mourn, therefore, as you have good cause to do, but 
at the same time comfort yourself with the thought of 
the common lot of humanity. Although according to the 
flesh the parting has been very bitter, nevertheless we 
shall be reunited in the life beyond, and enjoy the 
sweetest communion with the departed, as well as with 
Him who loved us so, that He purchased our life through 
His own blood and death. It is very true that God's 
mercy is better than life. What does it matter though 
we should suffer a little here, when there v/e shall partake 
of joy unutterable ^ Oh, what a gulf separates those 
Turks, Jews, and, still worse, those Papists, Cardinals 
Heinz and Mainz, from this glory ! Would they could 
weep now, so that they may not mourn eternally ! For we, 
after mourning a little while, shall enter into joy, whither 
your Kathie and my Magdalena have gone, and are now 


beckoning us to follow. For who is not weary of the 
abominations of our time, or rather of this hell, which 
pains spirit and eye day and night ? I am too grieved on 
your account to write more. My wife was thunderstruck 
when she heard the news, for she and your wife were as 
one soul. We pray God to give you temporal corl^ola- 
tion. For you have good cause to rejoice when you 
know your pious wife has been snatched from your side 
to enjoy everlasting life in heaven. And of this you 
cannot doubt, as she fell asleep in Jesus _ with so many 
pious expressions of her faith in Him. Thus also 
slumbered my little daughter, which is my great and 
only consolation. God, who has tried you, will comfort 
you now and for ever. Amen. Martin Luther. 



To HIS Son Hans Luther 

Luther begs him to moderate his grief. 

December 25, 1542. 

Grace and peace, my dearest Hans ! I and thy 
mother and all the household are well. Do endeavour 
manfully to conquer thy tears, that thou mayst not add 
to thy mother's distress, for she is only too prone to grieve. 
Obey God, who, through us, desires you to work where 
you are, and then thou wilt easily overcome your weak- 
ness. Thy mother cannot write, and does not think it 
necessary to repeat what she said to you, viz. that you 
can come home if things go badly with you, but she 
meant if you were ill. If this happen, let us know at 
once. Otherwise she hopes you will cease this lamenta- 
tion, and pick up heart and go quietly on with your 
studies. May all go well with you in the Lord. Thy 
Father, Martin Luther. 



Luther had done away with the elevation of the sacramental 
elements in the Schloss Church in 1542, and Bugenhagen had 
done the same in the Stadt Church, Biicer and Melanchthon 
were in Cologne, promoting the Reformation there. In June the 
Protestants met in Schmalkalden, and received the King of Sweden 
into their bond. A new version of the Bible was published, and 
Matthesius gives a glimpse of those engaged in the laborious 
work of supervision in Luther's house. Melanchthon, that master 
of Greek, was there, with Cruciger, so well versed in Hebrew 
and Greek as well as in Chaldean, along with Bugenhagen with 
his intimate knowledge of the Vulgate. And Justus Jonas and 
Aurogallus, Professor of Hebrew, were also present, while George 
Rorcr acted as corrector. Other learned guests from afar often 
lent their aid. 


To Chancellor Bruck 

About the elevation of elements in the sacrament. 

January 6, 1543. 

Grace and peace in Christ, esteemed, deeply learned 
dear sir ! Your son brought me your letters yesterday, 
but my head has not been in a state to look at them, 1 
know Dr. Stephen of Hof well, and that he has long 
wished for a change, but I knew of nothing good enough 
or better than he now has ; but so long as the Prince will 
put up with him, I do not advise him to flee, for this 
scurrilous poem is too trifling to make him play into the 
devil's hands through flight or despondency. For his 
servants go about murdering and plaguing the poor 
people, and he must be willing to suffer with his brethren ; 
tor, he who will not suffer with Christ and His saints 
takes the part of the devils and their angels, and he will 
hear the angels in heaven laugh at him. 

Concerning the elevation of the elements in the sacra- 
ment, I shall await Philip's return. These godless cere- 
monies are giving us much more trouble than greater and 
more essential matters, as they have always done. I doubt 
if it be wise to publish anything on the subject. I fear 
we shall never agree in all the churches concerning forms 


of church service, even as it v/as impossible to do so in 
the Papacy. For although we arrange this or that here, 
others will not be led by us. Even the Apostles them- 
selves found it equally difficult with their rites, so had to 
leave each free as to eating, dressing, and behaving him- 
self. But more of this when I have considered the 
matter. I commit you to God. Amen. 

I beg you sometimes to plead with God that I may 
have a tranquil departure. I am quite overworked and 
exhausted, and the head is useless. I crave grace and 
mercy, and these I have received, and shall receive in- 
creasingly. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Wenzel Link 

Luther justifies himself. The Venetians complain of sacra- 
mental disputes, and Luther blames the Zwinglians. 

January 20, 1543. 

Grace and peace ! You complain, dear one, that I do 
not answer your letters, and said you had not enclosed 
your annotations on Moses because we scholars looked 
down on such crude work. It is not very good taste to 
fling such an accusation in any man's face. You must 
know that I have less leisure than you. I, feeble, worn- 
out old man, am without such things, overburdened with 
letter-writing, and am longing for my last hour in order 
to rest from work. I can see no other end of this ever- 
lasting writing and tempestuous life. And how could 
you fancy I despised your work when I accompanied my 
remarks with a laborious preface } That I have not 
thanked you, proceeds merely from weariness of writing, 
which may be pardoned in an old exhausted man over- 
whelmed with work. 

I now send you my lectures on the first forty-one 
chapters of Genesis, through Mr. George R5rer,who also has 
his hands full, and is himself the servant of the printer's 
servants. He is not to blame if they please you as little 
as they do me. They have too many words for my taste, 
and more stress might have been laid on such an im- 


portant subject. I have nearly finished the first book of 
Moses, being at chapter 45th. May the Lord enable me 
to finish the work, or take me away from this transient, 
sinful life ! Join me in praying for this. 

I had a glimpse of the Pope's letter to the Emperor, 
and of the Bull of the Council of Trent, which opens on 
Sunday Latare. May the Lord Christ once more defeat 
those godless scoffers ! I am much pleased with Osiander's 
pamphlet against the Zwinglian rascals. Spalatin still 
lives, but is so weak that he often cannot taste food. 
The Lord keep him. He is an excellent man. My 
Kathie thanks you for the quinsy juice, and I for the 
poetess you sent, and for your kind offer to serve me, 
which you best can do by praying that I may have a happy 
exit out of this world. I am worn out and fit for nothing. 
May you and yours prosper in the Lord. Amen. 
,c 1 .,, N Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

Letter of sympathy. 

January a 6, 1543. 

Grace and peace ! I have had such severe headaches, 
dear Jonas, that I could neither read nor write, so I have 
not yet read your translation. I can easily believe that 
your recent loss is daily becoming harder to bear ; and now 
that you are recovering from your prostration the longing 
for communion with the best of women is reviving within 
you. But the unalterable must be overcome through 
patience, God Himself, the great Healer, will heal this 
wound also. Our only news is that the Elector of 
Brandenburg is in very bad odour because of the war he 
is waging in Hungary. And Ferdinand himself is not 
much better spoken of. From all I hear the most dis- 
graceful treachery is at the root of the whole enterprise ; 
and may God Himself prevent worse evils. Oh, the mad 
rage of the devil ! The messenger is in haste, so I must 
close. More again. I commit you to God. 

,c , .. V Martin Luther. 




To Herr Pancratz, Preacher at Dantzic 
Luther rejoices at the spread of the gospel in Dantzic. 

March 7, 1543. 

I devoured your letters with the greatest delight, 
rejoicing to hear of the wonderful progress the Word of 
God is making in Dantzic. May the Lord perfect His 
work, which He began through you ! You say the king ^ 
and bishops have forbidden the sacrament to the people, 
for which they are longing. If they had sufficient faith 
and courage to do God's will, in preference to that of 
man, then I would advise them to risk partaking of it. 
Any magistrate who is not opposed to the rite could find 
excuses for them with the king. He could say it was not 
his duty to interfere in church matters or introduce 
innovations, or, in other words, to teach God knowledge. 
For when the king forbade preaching in Dantzic there 
existed another state of matters there, serious disturbances 
being rife among the citizens. Now that they are at one, 
having received the greater, viz. the Word of God, why 
should they be forbidden accepting the lesser } For, in an 
exigency, one can do without the sacrament, but not 
without the Divine Word. But should things be other- 
wise now, that outweighs the reasons for this participation 
in the sacrament. Nevertheless do not desist from preach- 
ing the Word or forsake the church, but steadfastly 
proclaim the doctrine of the sacraments. So, if they 
cannot have the ordinance now, let believers still long 
earnestly for it, and comfort themselves through their 
faith in it, till the Lord hear their earnest prayer, and 
strengthen them to confess their faith openly, and enter 
into the full enjoyment of the sacrament. 

The main point has already been achieved when the 
administration of the church has been reformed. 

May the Lord strengthen you and all your believing 
ones with His Holy Spirit, that you may have courage 

1 Of Poland. 


to bring matters to a happy conclusion. God grant 

this. Martin Luther. 



To Friedrich Myconius 

Luther pleads for a deposed pastor. 

April ^, !543. 

Grace and peace ! The bearer, Conrad, who declares, 
my excellent Myconius, that you deposed him from his 
charge at Ersnod, insisted I should write you. He 
complains that after long years of work he is plunged 
into poverty with five children depending on him. To 
get rid of him I send him back to you, pleading you 
will listen to him and help him to the utmost, so that he 
may not perish of hunger. I am not reflecting on you 
in the slightest, having always had the highest opinion 
of you. But I could not turn a deaf ear to his misery. 

I shall be truly delighted if you are once more restored 
to health; and I pray God to spare you. When I was so 
often at the gates of death this year, I felt as if I were 
suffocated by the burdens of the world. May the Lord 
grant me a blessed release and hasten that glorious day. 
May it be soon — very soon, Amen — so that the world 
may cease to rage against His Name and Word. God 
grant this. Martin Luther. 


To George Held, Counsellor to Prince Joachim 
OF Anhalt, whose Clergy condemned Sacred 

April 5, 1543. 

Grace and peace ! Our Joachim has asked my opinion 
as to sacred plays founded upon Holy Scripture, which 
some of our clergy disapprove of. In few words I shall 
tell you what I think. All are commanded to make 
known the Word of God in some way or other, not only 
by words but by pictures — carved work, writings, psalms, 
hymns, and musical instruments ; as the Psalm says : 


" Praise the Lord with harp," etc. ; and Moses says : 
" Thou shall bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and 
they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes : and write 
them upon the posts of thy house." Moses wishes God's 
Word to be ever before men's eyes, and this cannot be 
more easily attained than by means of such plays, which 
are at the same time serious and modest and free from 
the jugglery which tainted them in Papal times. Such 
plays have often more influence over the people than 
public preaching. In South Germany, where Evangelical 
preaching is forbidden, many have been led to receive the 
gospel through such representations of the law and gospel. 
When given with a desire to further the progress of 
truth, and represented in a serious and modest manner, 
they are by no means to be condemned. May you 
prosper with your excellent Princes, whom I hope God 
will long spare to you for the sake of His Church. 

Martin Luther. 

To Justus Jonas 

Concerning his friend's second marriage. 

Maj' 4, 15+3. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I have no intention, 
my excellent Jonas, of standing in the way of your 
marriage, or of anything pertaining to your prosperity, 
but would rather try to promote both. I only pleaded 
for delay in my last letter, and this solely because of the 
calumnies of the enemy and of those who try to blacken 
our actions ; and although such scandal does not injure 
us, still, as Cato says, it is a heavy burden to bear without 
any cause. Still, if you feel yourself strong enough to 
rise above the ill-will of the devil and his friends, then 
go on in God's name and do not dream of delay. Give 
up every dream of shutting people's mouths and of 
winning their favour. You need not hesitate because of 
our Prince ; he spoke very kindly of you lately. Still 
I wish you to stir up as little malice in our opponents as 
possible. I have heard your bride highly praised. God 


grant she may possess the many virtues of your Kathie — 
nay, surpass her whose memory is sacred. May the 
children and stepmother love each other dearly, and may 
she make up for the loss of the best of mothers. 

Martin Luther. 



To Eberhardt Brisger 
Luther pleads for one behind in his payments. 

August 30, 1543. 

Grace and peace! I can quite believe that you require 
your money. On the other hand, I also see that with the 
good Bruno, I know not how, nothing seems to succeed. 
He requires assistance from all quarters. The farmers are 
so greedy that they grudge their pastors a bit of bread. 
I therefore plead with you — especially as you can do 
without your money with little injury to yourself — to have 
patience with Bruno. We are planning, if possible, to 
have him transferred to a richer living. I would not 
trouble you with this request did I not think you could 
do me this favour without damaging yourself. 

Concerning Spalatin, I also beg you, as far as you can, 
to be patient with this, in other respects, so good and 
excellent man. So as Satan once upon a time appeared 
among the children of God — nay, even among the angels 
in heaven — what wonder then if he mixes among us to sift 
and winnow us .'' And with Spalatin old age is beginning 
to tell upon him, and especially the want of the repose which 
he enjoyed under three Princes. Therefore he must be 
treated with the consideration due to an experienced man, 
and not as a novice who can be twisted like a branch. 
Old stems can be broken but not bent ; and old dogs 
cannot be bridled. So in order to live in peace, patience 
is necessary. This is merely a reminder. You know 
best yourself what to do. I herewith commend you to 
God. Martin Luther. 




To Christoph FroschaOer, Printer at Zurich 

August 31, 1543. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, honoured and good 
friend ! I have received the present of the Bible which 
you sent by your manager, and I thank you for it. But 
seeing it is the work of your preachers, with whom neither 
I nor the Church of God can have any communion, I am 
sorry that their labour should be in vain. They have 
been sufficiently warned to quit their errors and not 
take the poor people to hell with them. But admonition 
is useless, therefore they must go their own way, but 
never again send me any of their work. I shall be no 
partaker of their damnation or damnable doctrines, but 
pray and teach against them to my end. May God 
convert them and help the poor churches to get rid of 
such false, seductive preachers. Amen. Although at 
present they laugh at all this, one day they shall weep 
when they find themselves sharers of Zwingli's fate, 
whom they follow. May God preserve you and all 
blameless hearts from their spirit. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 


To Veit Dietrich 
Luther requests his friend to prosecute his Biblical work. 

No-z' ember 7, 1543. 

Grace and peace ! Magister Rorer, who has the 
mastery over me, ordered me to write to you, mv dear 
Dietrich. Perhaps I might have paid no attention to 
my master's command, being rather incensed against him, 
had he not used all his eloquence to convince me that it 
was necessary to spur you on to continue your labours 
on my first book of Moses. Perhaps I might have 
resisted him with a flow of rhetoric, had I not at length 
been mollified by the dialectic commonplaces : " When a 


beginning has once been made, it is disgraceful to retreat, 
in case Moses himself should upbraid us in that well- 
known proverb, ' Rather do not allow the guest into 
the house than throw him out of the window.' " You 
also could chant such-like phrases from the Greek. I 
must confess to not being at all pleased with my works. 
How much is wanting that ought to be found in them .? 
But I comfort myself with St. Paul's words : " Who is 
sufficient for these things ? " If we refused to open our 
mouths till we felt qualified to do so, then Christ would 
never be preached. But it is well for us that out of the 
mouths of babes He prepareth strength, and through 
Moses' stammering lips, or, as it is in the original, through 
him who was slow of speech, he demolished the land of 
Egypt and the Canaanites ; and by means of unlearned 
apostles transformed the face of the globe. So give 
ample satisfaction to my master, M. Rorer. How can 
I be gracious to you if you are unjust to him .'' Pray 
for me. I commit you to God. 

Martin Luther. 



To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Luther regrets that his health has prevented him visiting his 

No--vemher 7, 15+3. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I am quite indignant 
at myself, my honoured Bishop, that I have so often been 
prevented visiting you. Yesterday everything was packed 
tor setting off, and then something came between to 
prevent me. It seems as if God permitted Satan to 
hinder it. Therefore, if God will, I shall hurry to your 
arms on the first favourable opportunity without making 
previous plans. For I am anxious to see you once again 
before I die. My head has been a good deal better, and 
although the physicians have made a wound in my foot, 
that would not have prevented my journey. They did 
it to try to heal my head, but as yet without result. I 
fear my disease is old age, along with overwork and 


many conflicts, and, above all, the assaults of Satan. 
Medical science is powerless against all these. Meantime 
I let them do as they will, in case they look upon me as 
my own enemy, or fancy I think them in error. My 
head is again beginning to ache with no apparent cause. 
I believe it is the devil. I write all this to let you know 
how I long to come to you as soon as God permits. 

I have no news, and no desire to hear any. The world 
is the world, has ever been the world, and will remain the 
world, which knows nothing of Christ, and has no desire 
to. For the unspeakable neglect of the Word and the 
inexpressible sighs of the pious are palpable signs that 
the world is hastening to destruction, and that our 
redemption is near. Amen. God grant it. Amen. 

It was thus before the flood with the world, and before 
the destruction of Sodom, and before the Babylonian 
captivity, and before Jerusalem's fall, and the devastation 
of Rome, and the calamities in Greece and Hungary ; and 
it will be, and now is, before Germany's downfall. They 
will not hear, therefore they must be made to feel. I 
should like to discuss those matters more fully with you 
for our mutual comfort. Still we must sing with Jeremiah: 
" We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed." 
Farewell in the Lord, who is our salvation, and who 
will bless us to all eternity. From the heart of 

Martin Luther. 



To George Spalatin 
Luther promises to write a preface to a book of Spalatin's. 

No-t' ember 23, 1543. 

To the highly esteemed Herr George Spalatin, Bishop 
of Meissen, faithful shepherd at Altenburg, my superior 
in the Lord. Grace and peace ! Your little book pleases 
me greatly, dear Spalatin, except the allusion to the con- 
ventual life of the nun, against which I shall warn the 
readers in the preface, or if you prefer to do this yourself, 


you can have it back. Besides I do not like to cut jokes 
in prefacing other people's books ; thus it shall be printed 
at once. 

My Kathie begs that if my people require your 
counsel or help, you will give it unhesitatingly. For she 
sends her horses and carts to fetch the remaining pieces 
of wood while the weather and roads are good. She 
says the eleven were hewn, but twenty-four belonging to 
her still remain to be hewn. She will procure whatever 
may be necessary for the work. May you and your wife 
prosper in the Lord. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1326.) 


To THE Elector John Frederick 
Concerning the Hebrew Chair in Wittenberg. 

December 3, i 543. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, and my poor paternoster, 
Most Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord ! 
The Hebrew Chair is now vacant through the death of 
Aurogallus, and as some may be applying for it, I would 
most humbly beg your Electoral Grace to bestow it upon 
M. Lucas Edenberger, not only because he has difficulty 
in maintaining himself in these times, but because he is 
well known to your Grace and all of us as a faithful and 
industrious man, and zealous for the purity of the faith, 
all of which are very necessary for one who is to teach 
Hebrew. For there are many Hebrew scholars who are 
more Rabbinical than Christian, and yet the fact is, 
whoever does not see Christ in the Old Testament and in 
the Hebrew tongue sees nothing and talks like the blind 
about colour. Now M. Lucas is a thorough theologian 
and well qualified to teach Hebrew, and has served your 
Grace. Now who knows or has proved those recently 
arrived here .'' Your Electoral Highness will graciously 
grant my humble request, asked with good cause and 
from no wrong motive. I commend you to God, who 
will help you and all pious princes and lords in these 


difficult times, when Satan is so full of evil devices. 
Amen. Your Electoral Highness's humble 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To JoHANN Matthesius OF Joachim's Thal 

Luther's former boarder, who wrote the first Life of Luther, 
given in a series of lectures to a Bible Class. 

December 14, 1543. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! M. Caspar ^ writes me 
that you are much disquieted over the tyranny of this 
most wretched King Ferdinand, who has decided to 
banish all married pastors from his dominions. I should 
be surprised if the Bohemians consented to this mad act. 
Still, they may do so. But what would be the result } 
Are Ferdinand's the only lands in the world .? Has 
Christ no other land which would gladly receive His grace ^ 
And will not He who casts down kings forsake Ferdi- 
nand's kingdom as the land of His wrath .^ Why fear 
nightmares ^ Rather be full of confidence in God's 
strength. Despise this water-bubble, who does not know 
whether he may be a king or a worm to-morrow. But 
we shall reign with Christ to all eternity, while he shall 
burn in hell with the devil. I herewith commit you to 
God. Martin Luther. 



To Justus Jonas 

Luther receives a copy of the Bull condemning him in Rome 
twentv-five years before. 

December 16, 1543. 

Grace and peace ! I received your letter, my Jonas, 
with the enclosed copy of the Bull in which Luther was 
condemned twenty-five years ago. You know what, 
since then, has been written, spoken, and attempted in 
every way to accomplish our destruction. And what do 

^ Cruciger. 


they still leave untried ? This fury against us is, as the 
Scripture says, everlasting, like that eternal fire which will 
never cease, and which awaits them. For even in hell 
they will not stop maligning God's Son. Praise be to 
God, who has separated us from their society through Llis 
holy calling. Concerning the progress of the war, about 
which you write us, we only know that the Emperor put 
the French to flight, avoiding a battle. He is probably 
imitating the cunning of the Turks, who weary out the 
enemy, refusing to fight unless compelled to ; meanwhile 
the expense incurred disgusts and tires us out. 

Did you hear that the Emperor said to the Herzog of 
Julich : " I have paid more money for your generals than 
for the whole war." And the Prince of Nassau Orange 
said to his uncle : " Ah, dear uncle, what will you gain 
from the Emperor ^ Your officers have cost him more 
money than all the war." What will be the outcome of 
all this treachery on the part of princes and kings ? War 
is now carried on with money, not with arms. The 
soldiers are paid by their princes, and receive presents from 
the enemy. Through such valour was Luxemburg taken, 
the French general paying 20,000 ducats to the Emperor's 
mercenaries to deliver up the town and pretend they were 
conquered. It is also said that Andrea von Doria con- 
cluded a secret understanding with Barbarossa at sea, 
saying : " Are we among friends ? Why should we 
destroy one another ? Thy as well as my lord will still 
remain Emperor I " Truly a heroic way of bleeding kings, 
princes, and peoples ! What will be left for the poor 
man if we have to satisfy these insatiable demands } We 
shall soon feel this diabolic greed in our pockets. And 
lastly, it is reported that the Turks have massacred three 
thousand citizens and old men and also pastors in Stuhl- 
weissenburg, so that their corpses were heaped over the 
town walls. Satan is becoming afraid, and rages, because 
his time is short. Mav the Lord protect His own, or 
enable them through His joyful spirit to mock at his 
wrath, whether they may be preserved or destroyed. 

It is said that the Emperor intends to reinstate the 
Herzog of Brunswick, but through what means I know 

% F 


not. Let us pray for our princes. For I doubt not, if 
a war broke out, that our Centaur en would do as the 
jQlich people did — after they had squeezed everything out 
of our princes, they would sell them for money. Money, 
only money ! This is the maxim of those in power. 
They will sacrifice nothing for the Fatherland. They 
only wish to enrich themselves, and under the pretext, or 
by means of the opportunity which war affords, swallow 
up everything. " Devour " in the devil's name ; hell will 
give you enough of this. Come, Lord Jesus, and hear 
the sighs of Thy Church ! Hasten Thy appearing, for the 
evils are coming to a height. I have written this in order 
to write something. Farewell, and teach your church to 
hasten the day of the Lord through their prayers. God 
will listen to the sighing for the day of redemption. All 
the signs foretell this. Your own 

Martin Luther. 



The Diet of Speyer met on February 20. The Elector came 
with a brilliant retinue, and was received with great respect bv 
Charles V., who required help against the French, as Ferdinand 
did against the Turk. The Protestants tried to gain favourable 
terms for themselves. The question of secret marriage engage- 
ments came up this year. The worry this caused, and the renewed 
disputes on the Sacrament with the Swiss, made Luther ill. He 
said he would leave Wittenberg, but by his birthday Melanchthon 
wrote joyfully to Dietrich that he, Cruciger, Bugenhagen, Jonas, 
etc., had dined with him, and lovingly discussed Church matters. 


To THE Elector John Frederick 

The Wittenberg lawyers ratify Caspar Beier's secret marriage 

Januarv 22, 15+4. 

Grace and peace and my poor paternoster ! I humbly 
desire to inform your Grace that secret engagements are 
again common here. Many young people are here from 


many lands, so that the maidens have become very bold, 
and pursue the students into their rooms, offering them 
their love ; and I hear some parents are ordering their 
sons home, declaring that we hang vi'omen about their 
necks, depriving them of their sons, and thus give this fine 
school of learning a bad name. I fancied your Grace had 
ordered secret engagements to be done away with. So, 
as I sat securely here, I was shocked by a verdict of our 
Consistorium upon a private engagement. Therefore I 
was moved to preach a powerful sermon against them 
on the following Sabbath, saying we must adhere to the 
old paths, which from time immemorial have been incul- 
cated in the Holy Scriptures and among the heathen, as 
well as among ourselves, viz. that parents shall dispose 
of their children without any previous engagement, 
which is an invention of the Pope, at the devil's instiga- 
tion, to undermine the God-given authority of the parents, 
robbing them of their children, to their deep grief, instead 
of said children honouring them according to God's com- 
mand. This would have happened to Philip and his wife 
had I not preached this sermon. 

They would have pined for their son, who had been 
led astray by evil companions till he secretly and solemnly 
engaged himself, and I had difficulty in setting him free. 
I also recall the case of Herzog Philip with his son Ernest 
and Starstedel's daughter, of which your Grace knows, 
and something similar nearly happened in my house. 
Now, as these secret vows are certainly the work of the 
devil and the Papacy to undermine God's command to 
prevent them entering into a happy marriage, I shall not 
suffer this church of Christ, of which I am pastor, and of 
which I must render account to God, the Holy Ghost, to 
tolerate them. I have proclaimed from the pulpit that 
a child cannot become engaged himself; and that if he 
do, it is no engagement, and a father must not acquiesce 
therein, now that we know what is the origin of all this 
misery. Therefore I humbly request that your Grace 
would once more, for God's sake, exercise your authority 
with the princely powers against Pope and devil, so that 
we may be in a better position to drive out of our church 


this devil, the secret oath, so that poor parents may be 
able to train and retain their children in security. 

Therefore I plead that Caspar Beier, who has appealed 
from the Consistorium to your Grace, should be set free 
before you leave for the Diet, for it has been a slov/ pro- 
cess. I could have arranged it in a day, but they have 
been at it since Whitsuntide, and have merely discovered 
a private vow and the weak will of the father, who 
declares that he never wished it should take place, but 
they seemed determined not to understand. Certainly 
the son in his four years' engagement neither asked his 
parents' consent nor that of the maiden's parents, which is 
unusual when young men are in love ; but let the vow 
fall into abeyance till the maiden's people appeal to 
the father. 

Still all this is nothing so long as the poisoned vow, the 
oath, remains unrefuted. Your Electoral Grace will act 
wisely, for in this insignificant work your Grace will be 
doing a glorious service to God and to many others, 
besides affording consolation to all parents and preventing 
numberless dangers to many souls. May the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost, to whom be praise to all eternity, help 
your Electoral Grace in all such matters. Amen. Your 
Electoral Grace's humble servant, 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To George Spalatin 
Luther accounts for delay in printing a little book, etc. 

January 30, 1544. 

Grace and peace ! You sometimes write in an annoyed 
tone, dear Spalatin, as if you did not know where your 
little book was. I do not take your love towards the 
fruit of your humour {witz) in bad part, seeing you joke 
about your love for me. But I must inform you that the 
book is in the hands of the printers. But the press is so 
full that it cannot be finished as quickly as you wish. 
You perhaps do not know how we are driven, but I may 


tell you that never in my life have I had more worry in 
connection with the gospel than in the year upon which 
we have entered. For I have a very hard battle with the 
lawyers over secret engagements. And it is from those 
whom I regarded as the truest friends of the gospel that 
I have had most opposition. Is that not enough to annoy 
me, dear Spalatin ? Therefore, have patience with my 
remissness, if that is what you mean. For if I did not 
love you dearly, I would not be writing you now with so 
much to worry me. But your little book shall be seen to 
as far as I can, for I like it well. Farewell, and pray for 
the church — that is, ourselves. Our enemies in our midst 
do more harm than outward foes, like Judas among the 
apostles. But the crucified triumphs and the crucifiers 
perish. Greet your dear wife. My Kathie sends you 
those roots, which you may not have, and I think them a 
very good remedy against stone. It has helped me and 
many others. Once more farewell, and be assured I do 
not despise your book. You are my oldest and best 
friend, and would be the last to be lightly esteemed by 
me, and I wished to explain to you all my worries, and if 
I may apparently sometimes be found wanting in regard 
to what is due to you, still you are very dear to me, and 
will always remain so. Again farewell in the Lord. 

Martin Luther. 

(VValch, 21. 1329.) 


To THE Widowed Electress of Brandenburg 
Luther thanks her for sending a pastor to Brettin. 

February lo, 1544. 

To the Serene High-born Princess Frau Elizabeth of 
the royal line of Denmark. Grace and peace ! I was 
delighted to see from your Grace's letter that you are 
willing to appoint M. Johannes Faber to a living in 
Brettin. Your Electoral Highness has thereby done a 
good work, and as they know him there, I hope they will 
accept him out of gratitude, and that he will bring forth 
fruit, and God give His blessing thereto. It is ever my 


duty, and I am only too willing to serve your Grace. 
May the dear God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ 
be with your Electoral Highness at all times. Amen. 

Martin Luther, 

(De Wette.) 


To Friedrich Myconius 

This letter shows Luther's opinion of the combatant at 

February 23, 1544. 

Grace and peace ! Forgive a short letter, dear Fried- 
rich, More again when I have more leisure. Yours, 
telling me that you were faithfully fulfilling the duties of 
your office in reconciling Morlin with the Arnstadt people, 
gave me the greatest pleasure. For this misunderstanding 
placed me most awkwardly at a time when unanimity and 
prayer are so necessary. Do not trouble consulting me, 
for I am quite satisfied with your mediation. Whomso- 
ever you forgive is forgiven by me. I quite believe some 
preachers are too ready to flare up, but I also know 
that in towns there are many despotic people, and very 
many nobles who torment their pastors. More of this 
again. I wish you were stronger, but when you feel you 
cannot speak, I beseech you think of your health. It is 
better that you should live, even if half dumb, than die 
with a clear voice. You can, even if half dead, serve the 
Church through your counsel and position. And you 
must see how necessary are the old and tried combatants 
for Christ, that through them the growing and still 
tender generations, who are one day to fill our place, may 
receive strength. For although the Holy Spirit does not 
need our help, still it was not for no purpose that He 
called us to office, but to make us His tools to carry out 
His designs. Farewell in the Lord, and pray for me. 

Martin Luther. 

(Myconius's Life, by Lcdderhosc.) 



To THE Electress Sibylla of Saxony 
Luther comforts her under her husband's absence at Speyer. 

March 30, 1544. 

To the Serene High-born Princess and Lady, etc. My 
most gracious lady, grace and peace ! I would most 
humbly thank your Electoral Grace for asking so par- 
ticularly after my health and about my wife and children, 
and also for all your good wishes. God be thanked that 
things are much better with us than we deserve. 

That my head should at times be good for nothing is 
not to be wondered at. Old age brings many ailments 
with it. The pitcher that goes long to the well breaks at 
last. I have lived long enough. God grant me a peaceful 
end, so that the useless, moth-eaten carcase may come 
under ground to its people, and the worms not be done 
out of their due. Just watch. I have seen the best I 
shall ever see upon earth, for it looks as if evil times were 
at hand. God help His own ! Amen. That your Royal 
Highness finds herself very solitary in the absence of her 
husband I can easily understand, but seeing it is necessary 
for the good of Christianity, we must patiently submit to 
the Divine Will. And with others we have our dear God's 
Word, which comforts and sustains us in this life, and 
promises us blessedness in the life to come. And we have 
also prayer, which (as your Grace writes) we know is well 
pleasing to God, and will be heard at the right time. 
Two such unspeakable gems neither devil, Turk, nor Pope 
can have, and thus they are poorer than any beggar upon 
earth. For these great blessings we must thank God, the 
Father of all mercies in Christ Jesus, His dear Son, that 
He has given us such a costly treasure, and called us 
through His grace, unworthy as we are, to such an in- 
heritance, so that we may not only be able to endure 
patiently the passing evils of this blinded, miserable world, 
but may have compassion on those exalted heads who have 
not been considered worthy to partake of such grace. 
May God yet enlighten them, so that they also may, with 


us, see, know, and understand it. Amen. My Kathie 
offers her poor paternoster on your behalf, and humbly 
thanks your Electoral Grace for so kindly thinking of her. 
I herewith commit you to the dear God. Amen. Your 
Royal Highness's obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 

To King Christian of Denmark 

Luther requests Peutinger's removal from Sweden. 

April 12, I 544. 

To the Mighty Serene High-born Prince Christian of 
Denmark, Holstein, etc. Grace and peace and my poor 
paternoster, mighty and gracious king ! The poor for- 
saken wife, Katherine Peutinger, has asked me to write 
your Majesty about this matter. There is a wicked 
scoundrel with the King of Sweden who calls himself Dr. 
Peutinger, and through his lies and arts is now Chancellor, 
and I hear lives like a lord. This same rascal is a furrier's 
son at Frankfort-on-Main, is no doctor, and has wandered 
through the land practising all sorts of knavery, among 
which is this, that he married Frau Katherine, of good 
family, living with her openly, and deserted her some years 
ago, leaving her destitute. Over and above, he boasts 
that he has been divorced from her (which is not true) 
through Dr. Luther and M. PhiHp, and has married 
another — of the Kockeritz family — who is now with him 
in Sweden. Now His Majesty has been written to on the 
subject, and I also have written him, but the fellow knows 
how to make away with letters. Therefore the only 
hope of reaching His Majesty of Sweden is through your 
Majesty. Hence it is my most humble request that you 
would perform this work of mercy, and graciously see to 
it that those letters come into the hands of the King of 
Sweden, for no one doubts that did His Swedish Majesty 
know the truth concerning this rascal, he would see that 
he got justice. May your Majesty graciously take this, 
my humble petition, in good part. I could not refuse to 
write you, for the matter is notorious, both land and people 


being able to vouch for its truth, and the poor wife has 
almost to beg her bread of penury from her friends. I 
herewith commit you to the dear God. Amen. Your 
Majesty's obedient servant, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Luther purposes visiting Amsdorf. 

Maj 23, 1544. 

Grace and peace ! It is not necessary, most esteemed 
father in the Lord, to send an escort to meet me. I 
intend travelling over our Prince's lands by Grimma and 
Borna. When I leave Borna (close to my villa Zulsdorf) 
for Zeitz I shall let you know. I purposed leaving the 
Monday after Exaudi, but as there is to be a creation of 
doctors that week I must alter my plans. But I shall 
start as secretly as possible the Wednesday after Ascension 
if my health, years, and time permit. Farewell, and pray 
that nothing may prevent my longed-for journey. I am 
telling no one, and do you the same. I once more commit 
you to God. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. I 536.) 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Journey deferred. 

June 4, I 544. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I was resolved to be 
in Leipsic to-day, whence I would have written regarding 
the escort, as I never dreamed of being sent to Dibon. 
I purposed travelling to Leipsic in one day. If my letter 
which Dr. BrDck handed to the Prince's messenger has 
not arrived, I must inform you that the Prince himself 
will be in Zeitz in fifteen days, when Dr. BrUck and I 
shall meet you. 

Dr. Briick has told me this by the Prince's desire, so 
we must obey him, else the Prince might fancy we slighted 
his wishes. I hope this may hasten rather than delay my 


journey, so you must have patience. Dr. Briick thinks it 
unsafe to travel at present, as the peasants are again seized 
with a fresh paroxysm of rage against the Prince, and it is 
feared they intend assaulting him, so we must not tempt 
God. May Christ prosper our meeting. Farewell. Late 
on evening I received your letter. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, V. 21. 1625.) 

Luther comforts her under her husband's imprisonment. 

July 8, 1544. 

Grace and peace in our dear Saviour, honoured and 
virtuous lady ! God, who hears my sighs, knows how I 
grieve over your misfortunes. Yes, all feel deeply for the 
good man who has fallen into the hands of the enemy. 
May God hear our prayers and those of all pious hearts. 
For many supplications are ascending for him, and such 
prayers are always answered, being agreeable to God. 
Meantime let us comfort ourselves with the Divine assur- 
ance that He will never forsake His own. The Psalms 
are full of this, and we know that our Hausherr is strong 
in the faith that is in Christ Jesus, being adorned with 
many lovely fruits of the same. Therefore it is impossible 
that God should cast him from His presence, having called 
him through His sacred Word, so He will ever keep him 
under His protection. He is the same God who has pro- 
tected him all his life long till this misfortune befell him, 
and remains the same, although for a little He may appear 
otherwise to try our faith and patience. He said in John, 
" Ye shall weep and lament," etc. And our sufferings are 
nothing in comparison to those of His dear Son. We 
would not be true Christians if we did not suffer with 
Christ. The devil and his angels, who now rejoice over 
our misfortunes, will one day have to howl and weep, 
while ours will be the glorious assurance that " all things 
work together for good to those who love God." There- 
fore, dear lady, suffer and be patient, for you do not suffer 


alone. Many godly hearts sympathise with you, who will 
fulfil Matt. XXV. 43 : " In prison, and ye visited me." 
Yes, truly, thousands of us visit dear Baumgartner in 
captivity — that is, we cry unto the Lord, who is taken 
captive in His member, that He would deliver him, and let 
us all rejoice with you. May the same Lord Jesus comfort 
and strengthen your heart, through His Spirit, in a patient 
endurance to a blessed conclusion of this misfortune and all 
misfortunes, to whom be praise and honour and glory to 
all eternity. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Prince John of Anhalt 
Luther just home from Zeitz, weak and weary. 

August ij, 1544. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, Most Serene High-born 
Prince, most gracious Lord ! I would gladly come to 
Bernburg, but have just returned from Zeitz, so tired of 
driving that I can neither walk nor stand, and scarcely 
even sit, from which I augur the speedy approach of 
death. May God graciously help. Therefore I must 
keep quiet and rest till I improve, whether through life 
or death, as God wills it. May our dear Lord Jesus 
impart to my gracious Prince George ^ the rich spirit of 
grace to rule his bishopric, for there has been much to do, 
and the work has been much neglected by the former 
Bishops. But He who has begun will perfect the work. 
Amen. Commending you to the dear God. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

To Nicolas Amsdorf 

A letter of thanks. 

August 27, 1544. 

Honoured Father in the Lord — In the first place 
make my excuses to your steward. I was most anxious 

' Luther, on August 2, 1545, ordained Prince George to the bishopric of 



for him to return when we reached Borna, and still more 
so when we came to Eulenburg, for then I was almost at 
my own door, but he persisted in accompanying me to 
Wittenberg. And I must accuse you also of having borne 
the whole expenses of the journey, so that I have not 
spent a farthing. And your episcopal possessions are not 
as yet so great that you can afford to be so lavish. In 
addition you have, unknown to me, put a silver cup and 
spoon, as did the patriarch Jacob's host, thereby almost 
making me the thief of your belongings against my will, 
perhaps wishing to follow Joseph's example, who caused 
his cup to be placed in his brother Benjamin's sack. But 
you are aware how ill it befits me, a poor divine, born and 
living in a small place, to drink out of gold or silver, thus 
giving cause of offence to many of the enemies of the 
Word among ourselves. Should I become lifted up thereby, 
I shall blame your injudicious prodigality. Thank you 
very warmly for your kindness, and if the prayers of an 
old sinner have any power, they shall not be wanting on 
your behalf, although it is my duty to remember you at 
all times, without any presents, according to the Divine 
command and the extreme need of all of us. Farewell 
in the Lord, and may He guide your steps and prosper 
the work of your hands to the benefit of many. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 



To THE Elector John Frederick 
Luther wishes Dr. Jonas to be left at Halle. 

November 8, i 544. 

Grace and peace and my poor paternoster, Most 
Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord 1 My dear 
friend Dr. Jonas is here and has told me all, so I give him 
this letter, with my humble opinion of the matter. In 
the first place, the lectureship must be filled up at once, as 
was arranged, and no one can presume to interfere with 
the manner in which your Grace does it. But as Dr. Jonas 
cannot, without injury to the church at Halle, be removed, 


it is advisable to let him remain there, as the wicked 
worm in Mayence still lives, who must be kept in constant 
uneasiness so long as Jonas is there, who deprives him of 
his adherents and annoys him more than he likes. This 
is how the matter stands, if your Electoral Grace will only 
permit him to remain at Halle, giving him for eight or 
nine years 140 florins yearly. My dear Dr. BrQck has 
also written about this to your Grace, and Dr. Jonas will 
give you the letter, so if it be settled that he be set 
free from his chair, your Grace will graciously grant 
him the said number of florins for these years. He will 
always be ready to obey any call hither, as member of the 
Theological Faculty, not only in the service of your Grace, 
but of the whole University, for he does not wish to be 
loosed from the University here, and Halle would gladly 
fall in with this arrangement. Therefore I humbly request 
your Grace to accede to this, for he is now one of the 
oldest members (Dieners) both in church and schools, and 
is worthy of this, and far more, and who knows how God 
will requite it. His children are growing up, and there is 
much to consider. Your Grace will know how to act in 
a gracious and Christian manner. 1 commend you to the 
dear God. Saturday. Your Electoral Grace's humble 
servant, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Anton Lauterbach 

Luther complains of overwork and old age. 

December 2, 15+4. 

You are always urging me to write a little book upon 
Church Discipline, but you do not say where I am to 
find leisure and strength to do so, now that I am an 
old and worn-out man. And I am burdened with letter- 
writing without end ; besides, I promised the young 
princes a sermon upon drunkenness. I have promised 
others to write upon secret engagements and against the 
Sacramentarians ; while again some demand I should 
leave everything else alone and write a commentary upon 


the whole Bible, while meantime, with so many importuni- 
ties, I do nothing. 

I fancied that I, a used-up old man, would not have been 
grudged a little quiet and peace before I fell asleep. But 
thus I am pressed on all sides to lead a life of worry. 
But I shall do what 1 can, and the rest must be left 
undone. Many thanks for all your kind feelings towards 
me. May you prosper in the Lord, and pray for me, as 
I do for you all. I am sorry to hear that Dr. Daniel 
(Gresser) is thinking of leaving the flock at Dresden. 
May the Lord do what pleaseth Him. Greet your dearest 
wife from me. Martin Luther. 



To Jacob Probst 

Luther complains of bad times, and speaks of his daughter's 

December 5, 1544. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I shall write you very 
shortly, my dear Probst, to let you hear from me in case 
you might fancy I had forgotten you or did not esteem 
you. I am weary, tired, and chilled ; in short, an old 
man who is of no more use. I have run my race, and 
nothing now remains but that I should be gathered to my 
fathers, and the worms and corruption receive their prey. 
I have lived long enough, if this be life. Pray for me 
that the hour of my departure may be well pleasing to God 
and salutary for me. 

The Emperor and the whole kingdom does not con- 
cern me, except that I commend them to God in prayer. 

It appears to me as if the world itself were approach- 
ing its end, and, as the Psalm says, waxing old like a 
garment that is soon to be renewed. Amen. The Princes 
are no longer inspired with the courage and virtues of 
heroes, but are filled with godless hatred and discord, 
greed and selfishness. The State can no longer boast of 
possessing men, and its head and members resemble those 
described by Isaiah in the third chapter of his prophecies. 


So there is nothing good to hope for, except that the day 
of our great God and our redemption should speedily 

My daughter Margaretha thanks you for your gift. 
She, along with all her brothers, took measles, but the 
latter are well long ago, while she has been combating 
an attack of fever for ten weeks, and it is still doubtful 
whether she may recover. I shall not rebel against God 
if He take her to Himself, away from this devilish world, 
from which may He soon release me and mine. I long 
for this every day, and to see an end of the fury of Satan 
and his followers. 

Farewell in the Lord Jesus Christ. A greeting to 
you and yours from my Kathie and all our folks. 

Martin Luther. 



Written in Nicolas CEmler's Bible 

To my good old friend, Nicolas CEmler, who more 
than once carried me in his arms to and from school, 
neither of us then being aware that one brother-in-law 
carried another. Anno 1544. Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Luther promises to visit him again. 

Decejnber zj, •544- 

Grace and peace, most worthy Bishop in Christ ! I 
write this letter to Dr. Medler about the theological 
lectureship, of which you kindly reminded me, and I 
fancy you will find it easier to send it to him than I, as at 
present there is a scarcity of messengers. Moreover, I 
have firmly decided, if at all possible, to come to you at 
the Leipsic Fair, for head and feet are pretty well just now 
considering my years. 

Through the grace of God I have preached twice 


during the Feast without any difficulty, far beyond my 
hopes and the hopes of others. 

We hear of all sorts of dangers which are to be 
dreaded from the peasants, who have become bolder 
through the Emperor's successes, and think they can 
achieve something even against the will of the Prince. 
But should I not be able to come to Leipsic, could you tell 
me where we could meet — either in the Eulenburg Castle 
(which we can easily get from the Herzog), or at Herr 
Theodore von Schopfeldt's in Wiltow, between Leipsic 
and Dibon, or if you know a more suitable spot tell me .'' 

I should like to see Leipsic again, but perhaps, for 
certain reasons, you do not care to go there. 

Our meeting could easily be arranged somewhere in 
our neighbourhood. I write to you early, as, if my 
journey be prevented, which I would not like, another 
place could be arranged. Farewell, dearest brother in 
Christ and most honoured Bishop, because of your great 
services to the Church. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1535.) 


To Nicolas Medler 

Luther offers his friend a post. 

December 27, 1544. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I do not at present, 
dear Medler, most honoured sir, comfort you under your 
heavy cross, with which the Lord has crucified you. But 
the Lord and Saviour is good and kind. You know this 
well, and tell others that our Heavenly Father, whose 
goodness is infinite, and whose will is always the best, 
although the flesh and reason cannot see it, is only chastising 
us, that we may learn how good and loving the Lord is. 
And this can never be learned aright unless the flesh be 
lacerated in every way, so that the spirit may be driven to 
sigh and long to see the Lord in the land of the living. 

This is God's way of teaching, but it is to be hoped it 
may not be much needed by you. And now I have 
something to tell you. The highly esteemed and much 


loved of God and man, Nicolas Amsdorf, bishop, has 
written me that there is a theological lectureship vacant in 
Naumburg, which he desires you to fill. 

Therefore I beg of you, if possible, at once to accept 
the post, for your reputation merits it, or to answer by 
return, that I may appoint some one else. 

I write very briefly, as I have much to do, for it is 
only a few days since I was raised from the dead. I have 
preached twice since, with no difficulty, which has been a 
wonder to many. May you and yours prosper, and be 
assured that all of us have been plunged in almost as deep 
grief as yourself over the loss of your dear son of such 
high promise. 

But he has been taken away from the evil so that he 
might not become corrupted. God's ways are other than 
ours, and at all times far better. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1340.) 


The Diet of Worms was held during this year. Charles V. 
was present, but none of the Wittenberg theologians. Spalatin 
died January 16. First part of Luther's book, Against the Papacy 
in Rome^ Founded by the Devil^ appeared. Lukas Cranach at once 
issued a series of woodcuts, turning the Pope into ridicule. The 
Zurich divines issued a treatise on the sacrament. Luther, in 
reading Calvin's pamphlet on the subject, said the author must 
be a learned and pious man, and if CEcolampadius and Zwingli 
had so expressed themselves, no discussion would have arisen. 
Luther was a great sufferer this y^^r, and this may be why he 
took a gloomy view of life and left Wittenberg, intending never 
to return, and telling his wife to sell their house. Dr. Bruck tried 
to console the Elector by saying the house-selling might be a slow 
process. The Elector wrote Luther a beautiful letter, still extant, 
lamenting that he had not let him know his intention, in order that 
he might at least have supplied him with money for the journey. 
Luther was softened at once, and returned with Melanchthon and 
Bugenhagen, who had been sent by the University to bring him 
back. In November Luther concluded his ten years' course of 
lectures on Genesis, saying, " May our Lord God send some one 
after me to expound them better. I can do no more, for I am 
weak. Pray God to grant me a blessed release." 

2 G 



To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Projected visitation in Naumburg. 

January 9, 1545. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! The Lord bless you out 
of Zion, and grant you your heart's desire, honoured father 
in Christ. Go on in the name of the Lord, attending 
thoroughly to the duties of your office, and doing the 
work of a bishop, to which you are called, by at least visit- 
ing the churches under your jurisdiction, over which you 
have full authority. The Lord be with you. When 
this or that " centaur " objects to you holding a visitation, 
then you are not to blame, but as the Gospel teaches, 
shake the dust from off your feet over them. I shall alter 
the preface to the book on Visitation, but it will take time. 
As soon as the printers return from the fair (Messe) I 
shall arrange with Johann Luft and the booksellers to set 
to work. Later it may be found that some alterations 
must be made because of the Naumburg bishopric consti- 
tution, and of the dissimilarity of the circumstances. It 
was after the visitation our people first issued the visitors' 
Book on the Visitation. And it will be no great hardship 
for the clergy themselves although they do not get copies 
at once. 

I have seen the Pope's Bull, and consider it a farce. 
They say at Court that the Pope has brought a singular 
monstrosity into the world, and that he will soon openly 
worship the Sultan, and even the devil, before he will 
improve matters, or act according to the Word of God. 
We have had abundant proof of this already. But the 
Lord Jesus, who slays His enemy by the Word of His 
mouth, will overthrow him through the splendour of His 
appearing. Still I shall never cease to portray this Bestie 
to the life, if I live long enough to do so. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. I 537.) 



To THE Elector Joachim II. of Brandenburg 

Warning against the Jews and petition for the sons of 
Buchholzer, Provost of Berlin. 

March 9, 1 545. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, and my poor prayers, 
Most Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord ! The 
highly esteemed Elerr George Buchholzer, Provost in 
Berlin, gave me your gracious greeting, and wonders that 
I have not written you. He tells me also that you wish 
me to write against the double-dealers. Many thanks for 
your gracious greeting. But your Grace must not impute 
my not writing to any unwillingness to do so ; for, I have 
no ill-feeling to any one on earth, and I pray daily for you 
princes and lords, as St. Paul inculcates in i Tim. chap. ii. 
For I see how trying it is to be a ruler in those 
scandalous times when there is so much treachery among 
those in power ; and the Court devil is such a powerful 
lord, who causes so much dissension among kings and 
princes. Hence I had no cause to write your Grace, so 
you must not ascribe it to ill-feeling, I have often said 
and preached that I have no ill-will even to the Archbishop 
of Mayence, not wishing him even an hour of my catarrh, 
although I make furious onslaughts on him, as I do not 
like to see him hurrying on to hell, as if he feared he 
might arrive too late if he went at an ordinary pace. But 
warning is vain there. I fear your Grace may fall a prey 
to some of the Jews' tricks, but as you have such con- 
fidence in them, I know no credence will be given to my 
warning. Therefore I pray God to protect your Grace and 
the young Margrave from their wiles, that your trust may 
not be betrayed, to our great sorrow. I am glad that the 
Provost is so severe on those Jews, which is a proof of his 
loyalty to your Grace ; and I encourage him to continue in 
the path he has chosen, for this practising of alchemy is a 
disgraceful deception, for all know money cannot be made 
by such sophistry. 

Herr George has also asked me to request your 


Grace graciously to grant a bursary to his two sons for 
the prosecution of their theological studies, for it would 
be a pity should they be forced to give them up. In 
short, your Grace must not consider me an enemy ; but I 
cannot believe that your Grace really imagines that the 
Jews are dealing uprightly with you, and the alchemists 
are certainly befooling you, that they may gain all, and 
your Grace nothing. I herewith commit you, with the 
young Princes, to the dear God. Your obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Herzog Albrecht of Prussia 

Luther introduces the son of an East Prussian Grand Ducal 
Counsellor to the Herzog. Von Kunheim's son, George, married 
Luther's daughter, Margaretta, in 1555, and took her to East 
Prussia, where she and her children He buried in her husband's 
burying-ground of Muhlhausen, 12 miles from Konigsberg. 

May 2, 1545. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, Most Serene High- 
born Prince ! Albrecht von Kunheim has requested me to 
write to your Electoral Highness. Although I had 
nothing special to say, I seize this opportunity to do so 
in introducing Albrecht von Kunheim to you. Although I 
have nothing new to communicate I know your Grace has 
always great patience with my letters. One says the Turk 
is approaching, another that he will remain outside. But 
one thing is certain, neither Emperor, King, nor Princes 
make any preparations. The Emperor is beginning to 
persecute the gospel vehemently in the Netherlands. May 
God avert his wrath. Amen. The Bishop of Cologne 
remains steadfast by the grace of God. The Count 
Palatine Frederick has embraced the gospel with us, and 
the Electress has publicly partaken of the sacrament with 
us, this Easter, in both forms. To God be the praise and 
glory, and may He strengthen them all. Amen. The 
Papal monstrosity continues to mock the Emperor and 
empire with the promise of a council, which has again 


been deferred till Michaelmas ; but it is said in Ferrara 
that it will be a very long time till then, and for once 
these liars have spoken the truth, for a council is a thing 
they will never suffer to all eternity. I herewith commit 
you to the dear God. Amen. I also commend this von 
Kunheim to your Grace as a most superior young man, 
who was highlv thought of in Wittenberg. Your Electoral 
Highness's obedient Martin Luthhr. 

(De Wette.) 


To THE Town Council of Halle 

Luther's celebrated letter to the Halle Town Council, in which 
he admonishes them to persevere in their zeal for, and loyalty to 
the gospel. 

May 7, 1 545. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, honoured and circum- 
spect gentlemen and good friends ! I have talked 
over your affairs with my dear friend, Dr. Jonas, and I 
was delighted to hear from him that the church in Halle 
is increasing and flourishing, through the blessing of the 
Holy Ghost ; that the people behave well ; and that the 
teachers are united among themselves, being of one heart 
and mouth, while the Council is favourable to the gospel. 
May the merciful Father of all joy and harmony graciously 
maintain this blessing among you, and perfect the work 
He has begun in you against that day. 

It is a very precious thing when a town can, with one 
accord, sing " Behold, how good and how pleasant it is 
for brethren to dwell together in unity ! " For I daily see 
how very rare such a gift is, both in town and country. 
Therefore I could not refrain from expressing to you my 
joy, and also admonishing you, as St. Paul did the 
Thessalonians, to continue as you are doing, and not be 
weary in well-doing, but ever increase in strength. For 
we know Satan is against us, as he cannot bear to see 
God's work prosper, but goes about seeking whom he 
may devour. So we must watch and pray, that we may 


not be surprised by him. For we are not ignorant of his 
devices, and how he carried them out upon Moritzburg 
and at Aschenburg; and just now he has blessed, or rather 
cursed, two nuns (God will redeem their souls). All this 
proves the mischief he is anxious to do. Therefore I 
have pled earnestly with my dear Dr. Jonas, that he 
would try to keep church, council, preachers, and schools 
closely united, so that through earnest prayer you may 
withstand the devil, and prevent him doing further 
mischief, which Dr. Jonas has up till now faithfully done. 
I hereby commit preachers, sacristans, and schools to your 
Christian love, especially Dr. Jonas, from whom we were 
most unwilling to part. I especially, for I would gladly 
always have him beside me. We daily experience how 
precious such faithful, pure preachers are. They are very 
dear to God Himself, who says " the labourers are few." 
Therefore He commands them to be treated with double 
honour, and acknowledged as a peculiar gift of God, 
with which He honours the world, as the 68th Psalm 
sings, " Thou hast received gifts for men, . . . that the 
Lord might dwell among them." And it is no small gift 
that God has given you the heart to call such men, and 
love, cherish, and honour them. 

In many places such men would be lightly esteemed, 
and be obliged to go elsewhere, nay, even be compelled 
to flee. Afterwards, when too late, they see what they 
have done, and think of the proverb, " I know what I 
have, but do not know what I may get." 

It is easy to make a change, but to improve matters is 
always dubious. May the Father of our dear Lord Jesus 
Christ strengthen you against the wickedness of Satan, 
and preserve you from his cunning devices, and at length 
give you ease and relief from the insidious attacks of flesh 
and blood. Amen. Your Excellencies' obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 



To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Luther writes about a peculiar kind of fox, and concerning the 
conduct of the authorities of Niirnberg. 

June 3, 1545. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, honoured father In 
Christ ! I have communicated your opinion of this 
prodigy among foxes to those conversant with the hunt, 
and they, to begin with, said it could not be true. But 
when they saw your letter, they were greatly astonished, 
and all agreed in saying that the fox is sly enough not to 
harm the spot where he has his lair, and adduced as a 
proof of this that when they make their nest {nisteln) in 
the moat round the town, they do no injury. 

I do not know what all this portends, except it be that 
a mighty change, for which we long and pray, is imminent. 
Amen. I am not concerning myself about the Reichstag 
and councils. I believe in nothing, I hope for nothing, 
and think of nothing. All is vanity of vanities. The 
Niirnberg people have taken a certain nobleman prisoner 
in order to procure the release of their Baumgartner. If 
God do not step into the breach, this seems to be a spark 
sent to kindle a great fire in the future, for the punish- 
ment of the German lands. But God will remove us 
before then. There is no justice and no government in 
the land, which is, in very deed, only the dregs and end 
of the kingdom. 

Your nephew George has showed me the painting of 
the Pope. But Meister Lukas is a coarse artist. He 
might have spared the female sex for the sake of God's 
creatures and our mothers. Otherwise he might have 
painted the Pope more worthily, that is, representing him 
in a more diabolic form. But you can judge better in 
the Lord. Farewell in Christ. 

Martin Luther. 

P.S. — The Emperor has ordered the Augsburg people 
again to restore the Cardinal and the principal bishops, 
along with the clergy and the Papal ceremonies. But they 
will defend themselves by force of arms if necessary. The 


priests do not desire peace, nor do they even wish to enjoy 
their own in peace. 

(Walch, V. 21.) 


To Andreas Osiander, Preacher in NOrnberg 

A letter of consolation. 

June 3, 15+5. 

Grace and peace in Christ, who is our consolation and 
our very own, even as we are His, "for whether we live 
or die," as St. Paul says, " we are the Lord's." We have 
heard, my excellent Osiander, that you have again been 
visited by a cross, and a twofold cross, through the deaths 
of your dear wife and beloved daughter. I, too, know 
from the death of my dearest child how great must be 
your grief. I often marvel that I am unable to forget 
the loss of my Lenchen, although I know she is in the 
regions above, in the new life, saved and redeemed, and 
that God has thereby given me a true token of His love 
in having, during my life, taken my flesh and blood to His 
Fatherly heart. But this love of which I speak is only 
natural love, which, although good and natural, must still 
be crucified with us, so that the gracious will of God may 
be done. For which cause His dear Son, through whom 
and by whom all things exist, freely gave His life, unto the 
death. I write all this to testify that we are partakers in 
your trial, even as God has made you true and faithful 
participants of our faith and doctrine. Thus you must 
yield up your Isaac as a burnt-offering, for a sweet savour 
to God ; not your daughter nor your wife, for these live 
and are happy in the Lord, but that natural strong and 
imperious love which asserts itself too powerfully in us. 
Farewell, and believe that we love you. 

Martin Luther. 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Luther wrote this letter while in great suffering. 

June 15, .545. 
Many thanks, my honoured father, for the present of 


wine. I neither slept nor rested the whole of last night, 
the pain caused by Satan's executioner was so intense. 
Hence I am good for nothing to-day, and the pain has 
not yet gone ; for, this thorn in my flesh still lies concealed 
in my body, but not without letting itself be felt. I do 
not know when I shall get rid of it, for I abhor this agony. 
Nevertheless, if it be the will of the good God that I 
should depart amid such pain. He will give grace to bear 
it, and if not to pass away pleasantly, still to die cheerfully. 

Enough of this. If I live I shall see that the painter, 
Lukas Cranach, exchanges this indecent painting for a 
more becoming one. 

I had commenced the second part of the book against 
the Papacy, and also the pamphlet against the Sacramen- 
tarians when, behold, I am seized by my illness. Would 
to God that the Pope and all the Cardinals had a taste 
of what I suffer, so that they may learn that they are 
human. Farewell in Christ. Your devoted 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1546.) 


To Anton Lauterbach 

Luther desires him to inquire about a youth who was wooing 
his niece in Wittenberg. 

July 5, I545- 

My beloved brother in the Lord, there is a certain 
youth here, my Anton, who calls himself Ernest Peuchter, 
from beyond Dresden. This individual has made up to 
the widow of Ambrosius Bernardi, my niece Magdalena, 
and has won her with grand-sounding words, so that it 
looks as if under the pretext of marriage he was after her 
little bit of money. Since hearing this I have been very 
uneasy, for it seems to me as if this unknown and very 
young fellow (under twenty) is preparing a pitfall for me ; 
for, without consulting us, or producing a testimonial from 
his parents or guardians, he is trying to delude the poor 
foolish woman. Therefore, I beseech you, find out about 
his parents and guardians, and what are their means, and 


especially if they know what he is after. For he may have 
written that he has the run of my house and my consent. 
Tell them this is a lie, for we shall oppose it with all our 
might. For this proposal would suit neither the one nor 
the other ; and I would like the parents to recall their son 
before I am driven to harder measures, for my office will 
not permit that he, without his parents' knowledge, should 
enter the married state in this church, much less with my 
niece, as years ago I condemned the lawyers in a similar 
case. Therefore write me minutely. For I shall prevent 
this marriage under the pretext that up till now he has 
not got his father's consent, and thereby sets my authority 
at naught. And thus I shall elude the devil, who wishes 
to make me and my church a laughing-stock. Farewell, 
and do as I wish. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1548.) 


To John Lance 

Luther writes respecting private engagements, and the 
partaking of the sacrament. 

July 14, 1545. 

My best beloved Lange, grace and peace in Christ ! 
I am very much pleased with your views on private 
engagements, not only because you are on our side, but 
because your university,^ which is in high repute, shares our 
opinions, which must be a trial to the Papists, who were 
not aware of the side your school took, and may now fancy 
others are of the same way of thinking. Be courageous 
for the truth, for this is the path to heaven. 

Regarding the other question you are right. Those 
who aspire to be Christians should confess, at least once in 
the year, that they belong to Christ, although all through 
life they should do so. But they who excuse themselves 
by saying they feel no need of it, thereby show they have 
conceived a nausea of the grace of God and of the heavenly 
manna, being spiritually dead, and are longing for the foods 
of Egypt, and therefore cannot be considered Christians any 

I Erturt. 


longer. Those again who as a pretext for not communi- 
cating adduce the prolonged war, these also cannot be 
exonerated, because at any moment they may become the 
prey of death ; and what would they then do in the face 
of death ? Would war and disputes not be placed in the 
background ? For the soul meantime cannot be left without 
faith, without Christ, and without the Word ; therefore 
such pretexts as war, etc., would not hold valid then. 
Thus they deny Christ and the faith, for through war and 
disputes all these things are hindered. I also have had 
much dissension with the Papists, as well as with the 
lawyers here, for a year past, and have appealed to the 
Elector, but this has not prevented me, nay, it has rather 
caused me, to partake oftener of the sacrament. You 
have now my opinion. 

But you, with your gifts, know much better how to 
act in this matter than I, May you be blessed in Christ, 
and pray for me, a dying sack of worms ! 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 

Luther writes about a gathering of ecclesiastics at Trent and 

an embassy to the Sultan. 

July 17, 1545. 

Grace and peace in the Lord ! I am not at all disquieted, 
most honoured in Christ, at what has taken place. All say 
no attention must be paid to dreams, and the Scriptures 
teach this also, unless one be a prophet (Numbers chap. xii.). 
But this sacristan is no prophet, and I saw the Prince's 
statue in wood in Lukas's house before it was erected in 
Torgau. It is no wonder it fell, but rather a marvel that 
it has stood so long. Every one said it would fall next 
day, even without wind, so badly was it put together. 

They write from Trent that twenty- three bishops 
and three cardinals are there, and are so idle that they 
know not what to do. The Bishop of Mayence, the knave 
of knaves, has sent an under-bishop, along with a certain 
African, there. I know not whether he means to ridicule 
them or us by this laughable embassy, such a great man 


to send such people to so many distinguished men. But 
the Council is worthy of such an abortion. Their courage 
will ooze away when God's wrath descends upon them. 
Now listen to this. The Pope, the Emperor, Francis, and 
Ferdinand have sent a gorgeous embassy to the Sultan 
laden with precious gifts to sue for peace, and the best of 
it is each has discarded his paternal costume and donned 
long coats such as the Turks wear, in order not to be an 
offence in his eyes. It is said they sailed from Venice on 
June 21. 

These are the people who hitherto decried the Turk 
as the enemy of Christianity, and under this pretext 
extorted money and roused their lands against the Turks. 

And the Roman Satan has, through no end of devices, 
robbed the people through indulgences and exhausted 
the world. Oh, can these be Christians ? Nay, they 
are rather the devil's demons. I hope this is a joyful 
sign of the end of the world. So long as they worship 
the Turk we shall pray to the true God, who will hear us 
and humiliate the Turk, along with themselves, through 
His glorious appearing. Amen. Your most devoted 

Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1551.) 


To Katherine, Luther's Wife (from Leipsic) 

Luther writes asking his wife to sell his house, and retire to 

Jit/v 28, 1545. 

Grace and peace, dear Kilthie ! Hans will give you 
all the details of our journey ; but as I am not yet sure 
whether I shall not keep him with me, then Dr. Caspar 
Cruciger and Ferdinand will give you all the particulars. 
Ernest von Schonfeldt entertained us most hospitably at 
Lobnetz, and Hainz Scherle still more royally at Leipsic. 
I would gladly arrange not to return to Wittenberg. My 
heart is so cooled towards the place that I do not care to 
live there any longer, so I would like you to sell garden, 
land, house, and courtyard ; and then I shall restore the 
large house to my most gracious lord, and it would be 
your best plan to retire to Zulsdorf while I am in life, and 


could help you to improve the property with my income. 
For I trust my most gracious lord would continue my 
salary for at least one year of my closing life. For after 
my death the four elements will not suffer you to remain 
in Wittenberg; therefore it would be better to do during 
my life what would be necessary afterwards. Perhaps the 
powers at Wittenberg may eventually find themselves 
seized not with St, Vitus's dance, nor with St. John's, but 
with the beggar's dance, now that they are permitting the 
wives and maidens to expose their necks and shoulders 
before and behind, and no one forbids it, thereby bringing 
the Word of God into derision. 

Only to get away and clear of this Sodom ! I have 
heard more in the country of the proceedings in Wittenberg 
than there ; hence I am weary of the town, and shall not 
return, God helping me. 

The day after to-morrow I drive to Merseburg, where 
Prince George has warmly urged me to come. Therefore 
I shall wander hither and thither, and rather eat the bread 
of penury than make my last days miserable through the 
disorderly proceedings at Wittenberg, with the loss of all 
my hard work. Do as you like about letting Dr. Pommer 
and Magister Philip know of this, and if Dr. Pommer 
herewith pronounces a blessing on Wittenberg I have no 
objection, for I cannot control my indignation and grief 
any longer. I herewith commit you to God. Amen. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Some One Unknown 

Caution against worrying over the doctrine of election. Luther 
ordained Prince George of Anhalt as Bishop of Merseburg on 
August 2, and preached there and at Halle, where his colleagues 

overtook him. 

August 8, 1545. 

My dear friend N. tells me that at times you are 
tempted to doubt the decrees of God's eternal providence, 
and requested me to write you on the subject. No doubt 
this is a severe temptation, but we must remember that 


we are forbidden to inquire into such mysteries. For 
what God desires to keep secret we must not wish to 
know ; because this was the apple, the eating of which 
brought death to Adam and Eve, with all their posterity. 
Even as murder, theft, and swearing are sins, so it is also 
sinful to try to investigate such matters, and the devil is 
at the root of this, as he is of all other sins. 

On the other hand, God has given us His Son Jesus 
Christ, whom we should make our example, daily meditat- 
ing on Him, which will cause God's decrees to assume a 
most lovely aspect in our eyes. For without Christ every- 
thing is vanity, death, and the devil ; but with Him all is 
pure peace and joy. For if a man is constantly tormenting 
himself as to the decrees of Providence, he only reaps 
anxious forebodings. Therefore eschew such thoughts as 
coming from the serpent in paradise, and instead look at 
Christ. May God preserve you. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Prince George of Anhalt 

Letter of consolation. 

August ^, 1545. 

Grace and peace in Christ, who is our sole consolation 
and Saviour ! Most Serene High-born Prince — I have been 
informed of the serious accident which has befallen your 
Grace's consort, for which I am deeply grieved. May 
Christ cause it to conduce to our release from such troubles. 
But her ladyship must remember that she is still here below 
with all the saints, in this valley of tribulation, and has not 
yet attained to our eternal Fatherland, which we hope to 
reach. Therefore we cannot expect to be better off than 
our brethren in the world, who sail in the same ship 
with us, who suffer at the hands of the devil from the 
winds and the storms. We have no cause of offence 
against him if he be the means of making us cleave closer 
to Christ. Your Grace must not be too timid to do 
this. We have a God who can arrange everything better 
than we can conceive, and give far more than we could 


ever dream of. Let us commit ourselves to Him, putting 
our affairs into the hands of Him vv^ho careth for us, as 
St. Peter admonishes. And David, too, tells us to commit 
our way unto the Lord ; and if we do not do this then our 
cares are in vain, for our fruitless worrying only prevents 
God from caring for us. May my dear Lord Jesus com- 
fort and' strengthen your Grace through His Holy Spirit 
to do and to suffer His holy will. Amen. I offer my 
poor paternoster on your behalf, and wish you and my 
gracious lord, Prince Joachim, all that is good, and thank 
both of you for the game. Martin Luther. 

(De Wettc.) 


To THE Town Council of Torgau 

Luther sends a petition on behalf of their pastor, Gabriel 

August 1 8, 1545. 

To the honoured and wise citizens and Council of 
Torgau. My gracious lords and friends, grace and peace 
in the Lord ! Your pastor, M. Gabriel, has begged me to 
present this petition for him. He having received a present 
of one cask of beer from the honoured Council, and having 
purchased two in addition, and being obliged to purchase 
a fourth, we desire that the fourth should also be a gift. 
Although I am sure he could have got this without my 
intervention, he wished me to intercede for him. As the 
honoured town and Council know how long and faithfully 
he has served, and has enlarged his house without any 
special assistance, I beg of you to present him with the 
fourth cask of beer also. For he is one who should receive 
twofold honour, as St. Paul inculcates. I would not ask 
this did I not know it could be easily granted. I am ever 
ready to help the Council in any way. I herewith commit 
you to the dear God. Martin Luther. 

P.S. — I fancy I have thanked the honoured Council 
(for in the multitude of my thoughts and business I forget) 
for the present of the cask of beer. If not, I now do so 
most warmly, for it was excellent. 



To THE Elector John Frederick of Saxony 

Luther returns thanks for generous presents. 

No'vember 8, 15+5. 

Grace and peace and my poor paternoster, Most 
Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord ! Early this 
morning I received your Grace's handsome present, viz. a 
half cart of Suptitzer, the same of Gornberger,^ four 
pitchers of Jena wine, in addition to three score carps and 
a hundredweight of pike — beautiful fish. It is far too 
much to send all at once. One of them would have been 
enough. Well, I render your Grace my most respectful 
thanks. Our Lord God will recompense your Highness. 
I do not know how to merit all the favours which your 
Grace daily so richly bestows upon me. But I shall do 
the best I can, according to my poor ability. I herewith 
commit you to the dear God. Amen. Your Grace's 
obedient Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To King Christian of Denmark 

Luther recommends a certain George Stur. 

November 26, 1545. 

Grace and peace in the Lord, and my poor paternoster, 
Most Serene High-born Prince, most gracious King! 
Magister George Stur, a native of the principality of Schles- 
wig, begged me to write you after receiving your Majesty's 
promise of a stipendium, part of which money he has 
received, and pleads that your Majesty would graciously 
remember him and complete the matter. For he has a 
very good name here, being pious and honest, a diligent 
student, and one from whom we expect much ; there- 
fore I could not refuse his request for a recommendation 
to you. Therefore I humbly plead that your Majesty 
would graciously keep him in remembrance, which would 
be a good work, well pleasing to God, who gives richly, 
' Different kinds of wine. 


and requites all that is done for Him. To Him I recom- 
mend your Majesty, along with the young Princes, land, 
and people, with the whole Government. Amen. Your 
devoted Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 

P.S. — I have received your Majesty's gracious gift of 
50 thalers through Dr. Pommer, and send my warmest 
thanks for it. May God reward you abundantly here and 


To Count Albrecht of Mansfeld 

Kostlin, in Luther's LiJ}^ says that Lutlier and Melanchthon 
spent Christmas in the Castle of Mansfeld, but Luther had to 
hurrv home on account of Melanchthon's poor state of health. 
Luther preached in Halle on their way back. 

Decern f'er 6, 1545. 

To the high and noble lord, Herr Albrecht, my 
gracious and dear lord. Grace and peace in the Lord, 
and my poor paternoster ! Once more I intended being 
with you next Monday, as I previously announced, but I 
have this moment received a note from Graf Philip and 
Graf Hans George, in which, to my great joy, they 
graciously answered my last communication by requesting 
me to fix a day after the Leipsic Fair. 

So once more I must remain here instead of spending 
Christmas at Mansfeld, as I intended. As they so politely 
request, I shall come after the Leipsic Fair to Mansfeld, 
leaving you two parties to name a day yourselves, and to 
say whom you wish to accompany me and to have with 
you. But I must have a margin of eight days, because 
there is so much to do, so that I may lie down joyfully in 
my coffin after I have seen my dear Lords reconciled to 
each other, and again one heart and one soul. I do not 
doubt but that your lordships will fulfil your promise and 
be glad to see these dissensions at an end. I herewith 
commit you to the dear God. Your obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(Dc Wettc.) 

2 H 



Luther's last year. Diet of Regensburg opened in January. 
The Emperor conceded this to humour the Protestants till he was 
ready to compel them to submit to the Council's decrees. 
Luther's last undertaking was to reconcile the Counts of Alans- 
feld. He preached for the last time on February 14 at Eisleben. 
On 17th he signed a paper, and the Counts begged him to rest. 
At supper he was very bright, discussing death and everlasting 
life. After supper he was much oppressed, and Aurifaber fetched 
Countess Albrecht, who tried remedies. He slept till one, when 
Dr. Jonas tried to persuade him that the cold sweat he complained 
of was salutary. "No," he replied, "it is the cold sweat of 
death." He prayed constantly, and said three times in Latin, 
"God so loved the world," and Ps. Ixviii. 20, committing his 
spirit into God's hands. He died before three, in presence of 
Dr. Jonas, Colius, Aurifaber, and his two sons. 


To THE Elector John Frederick 
Luther wishes Melanchthon to remain in Wittenberg. 

January 9, 1546. 

Grace and peace in Christ, and my poor paternoster, 
Most Serene High-born Prince, most gracious Lord ! I 
ask respectfully whether it be necessary to send M. Philip 
to the present vain and fruitless discussion at Regensburg. 
For they have no man on their side who is worth any- 
thing, and Dr. Major is more than sufficient for all that is 
needed, even should he only be able to say " Yes " or 
" No " to what is being enacted. What would be done 
were Philip dead or ill, as he really is, so that I truly 
rejoice that I got him home alive from Mansfeld ? ^ 
Hence he must now be spared, for he is of more use 
lying in bed here than at the Diet. He is willing to risk 
his life if it be desired, but who would counsel that .'* It 
would be a tempting of Providence. The young doctors 
must come to the front, for when we are gone they must 
proclaim the Word. As Dr. Major and others are able to 

* A conclusive proof that they spent Christmas in Schloss Mansfeld. 


preach and teach, it will be easy for them to dispute with 
such sophists, for they have daily to combat and withstand 
the devil himself. I respectfully write this for your 
Electoral Grace's consideration. May the Lord Christ 
make you act in accordance with his Divine will. Amen. 
Your Electoral Grace's obedient 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wctte.) 


To Nicolas Amsdorf 
Concerning the dispensing of unconsecrated wafers. 

January 1 1, 1546. 

Grace and peace in Christ ! As Dr. Cruciger and 
Dr. Major are absent, Pommer and I must answer you. 
First. It is not heedlessness, but rightdown wickedness 
of that curate to declare that consecrated and unconse- 
crated wafers {Hostien) are the same. Let him go to 
his Zwinglians. It is not necessary that a man who is 
not one of us should be kept in prison, whose word, and 
even oath, cannot be believed. Further, he who has 
partaken of an unconsecrated wafer has not sinned ; for his 
faith has saved him, because he believed that he received 
the true sacrament, and trusted in God's Word, just as 
he who believes is baptized, although he who baptizes him 
plays with the ordinance, or uses some other fluid for the 
purpose. But we need not discuss this so minutely, in 
case of inflaming unenlightened consciences. It is enough 
that all is possible to him who believes. Regarding 
adulterated wafers, it would be well to burn them, 
although really not necessary, because they are no 
sacrament except in their actual use. Even as baptismal 
water, except in its application in the rite, is no sacrament, 
even so Christ in this sacrament only operates on those 
who eat and believe. But on account of the scandal, the 
vicar has done well to burn it. M. Philip left for Torgau 
yesterday. The Prince wishes to send him to the Regens- 
burg Conference, from which I have tried to dissuade him 
with all my might, as Philip is too ill to be sent on such a 

2 H 2 


useless errand, where we shall only be made a fool of, and 
time and money be wasted. They think we are asses 
who do not understand their coarse jokes, which is only 
less foolish than the laughable wisdom of the Meissen 
folk. Farewell in the Lord. Martin Luther. 

(Walch, 21. 1560.) 


To Jacob Probst, Preacher in Bremen 

On this day Luther preached for the last time in Wittenberg, 
warning the people against the lovely syren, the devil's bride, 
Reason [Vernunft). 

January 17, 1546. 

Grace and peace ! I, old, weary, lazy, worn-out, cold, 
chilly, and, over and above, one-eyed man, now write you. 
And when I flattered myself that, half-dead as I am, I 
might be left in peace, it looks as if I had neither written 
nor done anything heretofore, so overburdened am I now 
with writing and talking. But Christ, who is all in all, 
is almighty, to whom be praise to all eternity. Amen. 

1 am delighted with what you tell me about the 
impertinent and bold way the Swiss write about me, con- 
demning me as the most miserable slave of reason. For 
this is exactly what I wished when I wrote the pamphlet 
which has so enraged them — that they should openly avow 
themselves my enemies. I have achieved this, and, as I 
say, 1 am glad. I, the most despicable of men, am more 
than satisfied to be a partaker of the blessedness of the 
Psalm, " Blessed is the man who does not wander in the 
counsel of the Sacramentarians, nor standeth in the way of 
the Zwinglians, nor sitteth where the Zurich people sit." 
You now have my opinion. You beseech me to pray for 
you, which I do, and I also ask you to do the same for 
me ; and, as I have no doubt of the efficacy of your 
petitions, I am convinced you have as little of mine, and 
if I depart before you, which I desire, I shall draw you 
after me. And if you pass away before me, then you will 
do the same for me. For we believe in one God, and 
wait with all the saints for our Saviour's appearing. 


I intend, God helping me, to write against the 
Louvain people. For I am more indignant at the sense- 
less asses than it is seemly for such a theologian as I 
am to be, and an old man to boot. Nevertheless, 
Satan's partisans must be encountered, even should I 
expend my last breath upon them. Farewell, and 
remember that you are not only one of my oldest and 
best friends, but that I love you for Christ's sake, whom 
we both teach and love. Amen. 

We are sinners, but He is our righteousness, who 
lives to all eternity. Amen. We all greet you and 
yours with much respect. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Katkerine, Luther's Wife 

Luther arrived in Halle on the 25th with his three sons, their 
tutor, and a servant. He preached there next day on St. Paul's 

"January 25, 1546. 

To my kind and dear Kiithie Luther at Wittenberg. 
Grace and peace in the Lord, dear Kathie ! We reached 
Halle to-day at eight o'clock, but could not go on to 
Eisleben ; for, we encountered a great Anabaptist, with huge 
water-billows and great blocks of ice, covering the land, 
and threatening us with a rebaptism. Neither could we 
return on account of the Mulda ; therefore we have to 
remain quietly at Halle between the two rivers. Not 
that we have any desire to drink the water, for we regale 
ourselves with good Torgau beer and Rhine wine, and let 
the Saale rage at its will. We did not risk embarking on 
the river, as we and our servants and the ferryman were 
much afraid, and we did not wish to tempt God. For 
the devil is enraged against us, and he dwells in the water 
floods ; and it is better to evade him than afterwards to 
complain of him ; besides, it is needless to delight the 
Pope and his emissaries through our death. I could not 
have believed the Saale could have made such a boiling 


noise, bursting over the paved stones, etc. No more at 
present. Pray for us and be pious. 

I believe, had you been here, you would have advised 
us to do exactly what we have done, and so for once we 
should have followed your counsel. I commend you to 
God. Amen. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

A jocular letter. On January 28 Luther left Halle, accompanied 
by Dr. Jonas. A stately cavalcade welcomed him into the Mans- 
feld land. He preached on Sunday, January 31, in Eisleben. 

February i, 1546. 

To my dearly beloved housewife, Katherine Luther, 
owner of Zulsdorf and the SaUmarket, and whatever 
else she may be. Grace and peace in Christ, and my 
old, poor (and as I am aware), weak love to thee ! 
Dear Kathie, I became extremely weak when I was 
close to Eisleben, but it was my own fault. However, 
hadst thou been there, thou wouldst have said that 
either the Jews or their God were at the bottom of 
it. For we had to pass through a village close to 
Eisleben where many Jews lived, and perhaps they blew 
upon me, for there is no doubt that at the village a 
strong wind blew in at the back of the carriage, pene- 
trating through my doctor's hat, threatening to turn my 
brain into ice. 

When the principal matters are arranged, I must 
endeavour to banish the Jews. Count Albrecht does not 
like them, and has tried to expose them, but as yet no 
one has meddled with them. If God will, I shall help 
Count Albrecht, and speak about them from this pulpit. 
I drink Naumburg beer, which you praised so highly at 
Mansfeld, and it agrees with me excellently. 

Thy sons left Mansfeld the day before yesterday, as 
Hans von Jene seemed determined to have them with him. 
I do not know what they are about. If it is cold they may 


help us. But now that it is mild they must do or 
suffer what they will. 1 herewith commend you and 
all at home' to God, and greet all the boarders. Vigilia 
purificationis . 

Martin Luther, thy old Lover. 

(De Wette.) 


To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

On the same day Luther wrote to Melanchthoii, who was 
left at home because of his health. About riches being called 

February 6, 1546. 

To the deeply learned lady, Katherine Luther, my 
gracious consort at Wittenberg, grace and peace ! Dear 
Kathie — We sit here in martyrdom, longing to be away, 
but I fancy that cannot be for eight days. Ask M. Philip 
to correct his exposition, for he does not seem to under- 
stand why the Lord calls riches thorns. This is the 
school in which to learn that. But it is disagreeable to 
me that the thorns should always be threatened with fire 
in the Scriptures ; therefore I should be the more patient 
in order, with God's help, to be able to achieve something 
good. Thy sons are still at Mansfeld. We have enough 
to eat and drink, and would otherwise have a very good 
time if this troublesome business were only at an end. 
It seems as if the devil were mocking us, but God will 
requite him with the same. Amen. Pray for us. The 
messenger is impatient. Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Katherine, Luther's Wife 
Luther jokes over his wife's anxiety about him. 

February 7, 1546. 

To my dear wife, Katherine Luther, doctoress and 
self-tormentor at Wittenberg, my gracious lady. Grace 
and peace in the Lord ! 

Do thou read, dear Kathie, the Gospel of St. John 


and the little catechism of which you once said, " This 
book tells all about me " ? For thou must needs assume 
the cares of thy God, as if He were not Almighty, and 
could not create ten Dr. Martins if the old one were 
suffocated in the Saale or in the stove, or . . , Leave 
me in peace with thy cares 1 I have a better Protector 
than thou and all the angels. He it is who lay in the 
manger and was fondled on a maiden's breast, but was 
at the same time seated on the right hand of God, the 
Almighty Father, Therefore be at rest. Amen ! I 
think that hell and the whole world must at present be 
free from devils, who, perhaps because of me, have all 
now gathered in Eisleben, to such a pass things seem to 
have come here. It is said that at Ritzdorf, close to 
Eisleben, where the wind blew so fiercely upon me, four 
hundred Jews walk and ride out and in. Count Albrecht, 
who owns all the land round Eisleben, has refused his 
protection to the Jews. There are often as many as fifty 
in one house here, as I wrote to you. Still no one 
will injure them. The Countess of Mansfeld, widow of 
Solms, is looked upon as their protector. I do not know 
if all this be true, but I have given my opinion pretty 
freely on the subject to-day, whether it will help or not. 
Pray, pray, pray, and thus help us to right matters. 
To-day I felt inclined to mount my carriage and set off, 
but my anxiety as to my Fatherland held me back. 
I have now become a lawyer (Jurist), but that will lead 
to nothing. It would have been better had they allowed 
me to remain a divine. If spared, 1 should like to 
appear among them as a hobgoblin, so that I, through 
the grace of God, might set bounds to their pride. They 
try to pose as God, but they would be wise to retreat in 
time before their Godhead is changed into a devil, as 
happened to Lucifer, who could not remain in heaven on 
account of his pride. Well, well, the will of the Lord 
be done ! Let M. Philip read this letter, for I have not 
time to write to him, so you may comfort yourself that 
I love you dearly, since, as you know, I always write when 
I can, and he will understand this, having a wife himself 
We live well here, and the Council sends me for 


every meal about a hogshead of good Rhine wine. Some- 
times I drink it with my friends. The Naumburg beer 
is also very good. The devil has ruined all the beer 
in the land with pitch, which causes the phlegm to 
accumulate in my breast, and with you he has destroyed 
the wine with brimstone. But here the wine is pure, 
except what is made in the district. And know that all 
the letters thou hast written have arrived, and to-day 
I have received those you wrote last Friday along with 
M. Philip's, so that you may not be angry. Thy beloved 
lord, Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


To Katherine, Luther's Wife 

Luther again teases his wife as to her useless worrying over 
him, and the narrow escape they had made. He says that he is 
well, but longs to return. 

February lo, 1546. 

To the saintly, anxious lady, Katherine Luther, , 
owner of Zulsdorf, at Wittenberg, my gracious dear wife. 
Grace and peace in Christ 1 Most saintly lady doctoress, 
we thank you kindly for your great care for us, which 
prevented you sleeping, for since you began to be so 
anxious we were nearly consumed by a fire in our inn 
just outside my room door ; and yesterday, doubtless on 
account of your anxiety, a stone fell upon our heads and 
almost crushed us as in a mouse-trap ; and over and 
above, in our own private room, lime and mortar came 
down for two days, and when the masons came — after 
only touching the stone with two fingers — it fell, and was 
as large as a large pillow, and two hand-breadths wide. 
We had to thank your anxious care for all this, but 
happily the dear, holy angels guarded us also. I fear if 
you do not cease being anxious, the earth may at last 
swallow us up and the elements pursue us. Is it thus thou 
hast learnt the catechism and the Faith .? Pray and leave 
it to God to care for us, as He has promised in the 55th 
Psalm and many other places, " Cast thy burden on the 


Lord, and He shall sustain thee," Thank God we are 
fresh and well, except that we are getting tired of the 
whole business, and nothing would satisfy Dr. Jonas but 
to have a sore leg also, having knocked it against a chest ; 
so great is the power of human envy, that he would not 
permit me to be the sole possessor of a lame leg. I here- 
with commit you to God. We would gladly be free and 
set out on our homeward journey, if God permitted it. 
Amen. Amen. Amen. Your obedient servant, 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 

To Luther's Wife, Katherine 

Luther's last letter to his wife is preserved in the room in 
which he died in Eisleben. He preached for the last time on 
Matthew xi. 25, exhorting the people to cleave to the Lord and 
Master, who calls the weak and weary to Himself; "I could 
say much more, but am weak, so will leave it alone," he con- 
cluded. Luther died on February 18. 

February 14, 1546. 

To my dear, kind wife, Katherine Luther, at Witten- 
berg. Grace and peace in the Lord ! Dear Kathie — We 
hope to return home this week, if God will. God has 
richly manifested His grace towards us here, for the 
lords, through their Council, have arranged everything, 
except two or three things, one of which is that the two 
brothers. Counts Gebhardt and Albrecht, should again 
become brothers, which I shall try to accomplish to-day, 
through inviting them to be my guests — so that they 
may converse with one another, for till now they have 
been dumb, embittering each other with letters. 

In other respects the young gentlemen have been 
very happy, riding out together on sledges with the 
tingling of fools' bells, the young ladies accompanying 
them, all joking and in high spirits. Count Gebhardt's 
son being among the number. 

From this one may see that God is the hearer of prayer. 

I send you some trout, which the Countess Albrecht 
has sent me. She is delighted with the reconcihation. 


Thy sons are still at Mansfeld. Jacob Luther will see 
well to them. We are provided with meat and drink Hke 
lords, and have every attention paid us — indeed too much, 
so that we might forget you at Wittenberg. I am very 

But Dr. Jonas's leg has been very bad, holes appearing 
in the skin, but God will help. You may show this to 
Magister Phihp, Dr. Pommer, and Dr. Cruciger ! It is 
reported here that Dr. Martin has been snatched away 
by the devil. The report comes from Leipsic and 
Magdeburg. It is the invention of these wiseacres, your 

Some declare that the Emperor is thirty miles from 
here, at Soest in Westphalia ; others that the French 
are enlisting recruits, and the Landgrave also. 

But let us say and sing, that we shall wait and see 
what God will do. I commend you to God. 

Martin Luther. 

(De Wette.) 


Absolution, papal, 89 

Adanius, Afiam, letter to, re the Sacra- 
ment, 204 

Against the Papacy in Rome, found'^d by 
the De-vil, 449, 457 

Agricola, John, of Eisleben, letters to, 73, 
149, 150, 152, 158, 182, 235 ; his 
Antinomianism denounced by Luther, 

355' 39» 
Albrecht, Archbishop of Mayence, letters 
to, 17, 89, 313; elsewhere, 11, 322, 
335, etc. 
Albrecht, Count, of Mansfeld, letters to, 
69 {re proceedings at Worms), 386 
(interceding for his brother - in - law, 
Mackerode) ; elsewhere, 31 

Aleander, papal Legate, 61, 364 

Alliance, Evangelical, 149 

Altenberg, letter to Burgomaster and 
Town Council of, recommending 
preachers, 104 

Amand, defection of, 133 

Amsdorf, Nicolas von, at first Professor 
in Wittenberg, later Bishop of Nauni- 
burg, letters to, 53, 73, 167, 180, 186, 
187, 188, 189, 194, 205, 253, 254, 
270, 279, 295, 364, 417, 429, 441, 
443. 450. 455> 456, 459. 467; else- 
where mentioned, 102, 112 j made a 
Bishop, 408 

Anhalt, Princes of, letter to, 279 ; Prince 
Joachim of, letters to, 289, 299, 303 ; 
letter to Wolfgang of, 397 

Antinomians, 356 

Aristotle, neglect of the study of, 15 

Athanasius, 286 

Augsburg, Confession of, 229, 230, 240, 
338 ; Diet of (a.d. 1518), 33, 59 ; Diet 
of (a.d. 1530), 202, 206, 219, 246; 
letter to the clergy in, 312 

Augustine, St., 14, 15 

Augustinians in Erfurt, letter to Order of, 

Baptism, 296, 304, 337 
Barbara, Sigismund's Queen, 62 
Baumgartner, Jerome, letter to, 129 (ad- 
vising him to marry Kathcrine von 

Bora); elsewhere, 455; letter to wife 

of, re her husband's imprisonment, 442 

Beier, Leonhardt, letters to, 145, 148, 175 

Bercken, Johann, Augustinian Prior in 

Mainz, letter to, 7 
Berndt, Ambrose, letter to, 350 (consoling 

him on his wife's death) 
Beyer, Christian, reads Confession of 
Augsburg in German before the Emperor, 
229, 230 
Birds, complaint of the, a jocular reproof 
to Wolfgang Sieberger, Luther's half- 
witted servant, 300 
Bishops, consecration by, 320 ; alleged 

immorality of Roman Catholic, 9, 91 
Bora, Katherine von, at first a nun, 
afterwards wife of Luther, letters to, 
196, 209, 240, 241, 246, 252, 276, 
299, 342, 388, 389, 390, 460, 469, 
470, 471 ; elsewhere mentioned, 129, 
140, 321 
Brandenburg, Elector Joachim IL of, letters 
to» 377, 381, 451 ; George, Margrave 
of, 330; widowed Electress of, 437 
Brauer, Wolfgang, pastor at Jessen, letter 

to, 336 (on private communion) 
Braun, John, vicar in Eisenach, letters 

to, I, 2 
Brenz, John, letter to, 196 (praising his 

exposition of Amos) 
Brisger, Eberhardt, letters to, 159, 304, 

Brismann, John, letter to, 132 
Briick, George, Chancellor of Saxony, 
letters to, 119, 183, 238, 334, 380, 
421 ; elsewhere, 229 
Brunswick, Herzogin Elizabeth of, letter 

to, 361 
Bucer, Martin, preacher in Strassburg, 

letters to, 260, 327, 353, 368 
Buchholzer, George, Provost in Berlin, 
letter to, 378 (on the constitution of 
the Church) ; elsewhere, 451 
Bugenhagen, also called Johannes Pom- 
eranus, also Pommer, .letters to, 271, 
285; elsewhere, 109, 112, 132, 185, 
287 ; promotes Reformation in Copen- 
hagen, 353 




Bull, papal, 60, 61, 4^52 

Burkhardt, Franz, letters to, 329, 355 ; 

sent to London on a mission, 359 
Bursaries, 298 

Cajetan, Cardinal, letter to, 35 ; else- 
where, 21, 34, 59 
Calvin, John, 364, 369, 449 
Campegius, papal Legate, 243 
Capito Wolfgang, letters to, 126, 346 
Carlstadt, Andreas Bodenstein of, letter to, 
34 ; death of, 410 j elsewhere, 41, 92, 
119, 120, 133, 157, 272, 279 
Cassel, conference at, 306 
Celibacy, condemnation of, Sj, 92, 134 
Ceremonial ritualistic, 259, 329, 379 
Charles V., Emperor, letter to, 48 ; else- 
where, 46, 62, 118, 202, 219, 240, 
254, 258, 273, 280, 384 
Christ Jesus, sovereignty of, 65 
Chrysostom, quoted on true love, 8 
Churches, Protestant, maintenance and 
endowment of, 147, 334 ; visitation of, 
H7. 155. 158, iS9> 160, 173, 283 
Clergy, Protestant, letter to, 365 
Cloister, alleged immorality of, 102, 133 ; 

desertion of, 128 
Coburg, 209, 222 
Communion, private, 336, 376 
Conrad Mauser, 201 
Cordatus, Conrad, letters to, 157, 174, 

187, 193, 219, 230, 266, 345 
Cranach, Lulcas, letter to, 68 j elsewhere, 

Crodel, Marcus, schoolmaster in Torgau, 

415, 416 
Cross of Christ, true significance of, 7 
Cruciger, Caspar, letter to, 399 

Dantzic, Magistrates of, letter to, 135 
Denmark, King Christian of, letter to, re 
rascality of Chancellor Peutinger, 440 ; 
letter to, recommending George Stur, 
464 J King Frederick of, letter to, 281 
Dietrich, Veit, letters to, 323, 428 
Dignitaries, Church, rapacity of, 338 
Dolen, Bernard von, letter to, 268 ; else- 
where, 317 
Doltzig, Johannes von. Chancellor, letter 

to, 141 
Dressel, Michael, Augustinian prior in 

Ncustadt, letter to, 9 
Duties, civic, a subject of pulpit discourse, 

Eck, John, professor in Ingolstadt, 14, 17, 
23, 41,42,45, 46, 56, 58, 212, 235, 
247, 401, 410 

Edcnbcrger, his fitness for the Hebrew 
chair in Wittenberg, 431 

Education, views on, 369, 415 

Election, divine, doctrine of, 177, 461 

Emser, 56, 61 (works burned), 76, 79, 

Engagements, secret, validity and propriety 

of, 435. 437 
England, progress of Reformation in, 262 
Erasmus, Desiderius, letter desiring recon- 
ciliation, 122 J elsewhere, 13, 125, 128, 
192, 206, 295 
Esch, Johann, martyr, 113, 118 

Ferdinand, King, 256, 258, 280, 432 {re 
married pastors) 

Fischer, Thomas, preacher in Milau, letter 
to,^ 47 

Forgiveness, 385 

Frankfort, Council of, 364, 366 

Frederick, Elector of Saxony, letters to, 
20 (first extant letter of Luther's in 
German), 36, 39, 44, 45, 50, 6J, 98, 
121 ; elsewhere, 8, 21, 30, 39, 132, 

137, 139 

Friedrich, Abbot in Niirnberg, letters to, 
134, 200, 228, 241 

Froschaiier Christoph, letter to, denoun- 
cing the Zwinglians, 428 

Gerbel, Nicolas, letters to, 85, 100, 116, 

126, 273 
Glaser, Martin, Augustinian prior of 

Ranzau, letter to, 46 
Gorlitz, Martin, letter to, 273 
Gottingen, Town Council of, letters to, 

recommending preachers, 258, 262, 264 
Giitel, Caspar, letter to, 391 
Gtitel, John, letters to, 259, 263 

Hagenau, Conference of, 390 

Halle, letter to Christians of, 165; letter 

to Town Council of, 453 ; idol at, 90 ; 

progress of Reformation at, 395, 399, 

400, 414 
H'anlein, Michael, pastor, sent by Luther 

to Dantzic, 136 
Hausmann, Nicolas, letters to, 112, 151, 

153, 159, 162, 163, 164, 170, 174, 180, 

186, 187, 188, 198,204,206,207,229, 

251, 258, 262, 264, 270, 271, 283, 289, 

297, 30-, 325, 332, 356 
Health, connection between bodily and 

mental, 267 
Held, George, letter to, re preformance of 

miracle plays, 425 
Henry VIIL, King of England, letter to, 

142; elsewhere, 262, 328, 329, 332, 

337, 359, 368 
Hereford, Bishop Edward of, letter to, 

Hesse, Coban, letters to, 243, 347 
Hesse, Johann, letter to, 117 
Hesse, Philip, Landgrave of, letters to, 

192, 301 ; elsewhere, 197, 240, 257 
Hininicl, Augustine, letter to, 309 



Holland, Brabant, ami Flanders, letter to 

Christians in, 1 1 3 
Huss, John, martyr, 364 
Hyninary, first German, 118, 120 
Hymns, 131 

Indulgences, 1 1, 17, 18, 2 1, 22, 24, 26, 28, 
30, 34, 44, 56, 86, 89, 90, 168, 279 

Job, translation of, 121 

Jonas, Justus, letters to, 168, 170, 172, 
194, 206, 209, 231, 233, 237, 243, 303, 
316, 317, 321, 322, 339, 340, 341, 356, 
357, 358, 360, 400, 406, 409, 414,416, 
419, 423, 426, 432 ; death of his first 
wife, 419, 423 J his second marriage, 

JJJrger, Frau, letters to, re bursaries for 
students, 290, 298 j re an Evangelical 
service in her house, 319 

Kaiser, Leonhardt, letter to, 161 j death 

of, 167, 234 
Kanitz, Elsie von, letter to, 160 
Karg, George, arrested on suspicion of 

false doctrine, 354 
Koppe, Leonhardt, of Torgau, letter to, 


Ladies, letter to Three Banished, 112 

Laity, 52 

Lambert, Francis, 116 

Lange, John, prior at Erfurt, letters to, 
10, 13, 15, 24, 55, 61, 67, 94, lOI, 
197, 388, 458 J elsewhere, 20, 31 

Lauterbach, Anton, letters to, 335 [re 
pastoral worries), 376 {re private com- 
munion), 383 {re indifferentism at 
Dresden), 392 {re Conference at Worms 
regarding unity), 405 {re plan for a 
bath), 411 {re his worries), 445 {re 
Luther's increasing infirmities), 457 {re 
a doubtful match) 

LeifJ'er, George, letter to, 6 

Leipsic, Reformation begun in, 375 

Leo X., Pope, letters to, 28, 43, 57 5 
elsewhere, 26, 39 ; death of, 96 

Letter-writing, 356 

Link, Wenzel, letters to, 31, 94, 106, 176, 
189, 191, 207, 2IO, 223, 249, 255, 274, 
278, 293, 309,326,371, 374,413,422; 
marriage of, iii; death of his son 
at Wittenberg, 278 ; elsewhere, 14, 36, 
55. 108 

Loeser,Hans, Hereditary Marshal of Saxony, 
letters to, 272, 288 

Lord's Table, 34 

Luther, Hans (pater), letters to, 87, 202 ; 
death of, 217 

Luther, Hans (filius), letters to, 221, 420 

Luther, Magdalena, daughter, birth of, 
190 ; death of, 416 ; character of, 417 

Luther, Martin (a.d. 1483- 11546), con- 
secrated as priest in Erfurt, 1 ; appointed 
by Elector Frederick to be professor in 
Wittenberg, 2; made Doctor of Theology, 
4 ; lectures on Galatians, 10, 1 1, 46, 
47 ; theses, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21, 23, 30 ; 
modesty about his attainments, 14 ; his 
" Dialogue with Erasmus," 19 ; his 
poverty, 17 j first extant letter in 
German, 21 ; defends his theses at 
Hei<ielberg, 2i ; cited to appear at 
Rome, 21; his " Resolutiones," 26; 
appears at Diet of Augsburg, 33 ; leaves 
Augsburg, 36 ; final breach with Rome, 
54 ; burns Papal Bull at Wittenberg, 
61 ; his writings burned at Cologne and 
Louvain, 6i ; at Diet of Worms, 62 ; 
his exposition of Magnificat, 67 ; his 
journey to Worms, 68 ; proceedings at 
Diet of Worms, 70 ; his confinement 
in the Wartburg, 71, 73 ; treatise on 
Confession, 77, 78 ; his illness at Wart- 
burg, 79 ; translation of Bible begun in 
the Wartburg, 80 ; at a hunt, and his 
moralisings thereon, 81, 272; explains 
how he was spirited away to Wartburg, 
86 ; announces to his father his freedom 
from the monastic vow, 87 ; denounces 
the idol at Halle, 90 ; denounces reform- 
ing abuses of the Wittenbergers and 
Eulenbergers, 92, 97 ; leaves the Wart- 
burg, 96 ; completion of translation of 
New Testament, 103 (but see p. 107) ; 
treatise on Lord's Supper contemplated, 
103; first poetical effort, 113; begins 
to interest himself in education, 125 ; 
sends completed New Testament to 
Spalatin, 132 ; his marriage to Katherine 
von Bora, 140 ; views as to mainten- 
ance and visitation of Churches, 146 ; 
birth of his son Hans, 152 ; busily 
engaged translating Old Testament, 152; 
controversy on Sacrament of Lord's 
Supper, 159 ; musical ability, 171, 306 ; 
his so-called visitations of Satan, 172, 
187, 236, 363 ; death of his daughter 
Elizabeth, 181 ; illness from giddiness 
and headaches, 186, 212, 220, 222, 248, 
272, 277, 326, 423, 430 ; birth of his 
daughter Magdalena, 190 ; translates 
Book of Proverbs, 191 ; sets out for 
Conference at Marburg, 197 j left 
behind at Coburg for safety, 202, 207 ; 
proposes translation of ^sop for Ger- 
man children, 208 ; death of his father, 
217; Jeremiah translated, 220; trans- 
lation of ii8th Psalm (Confitemini), 
223 ; translation of 117th Psalm, 237 ; 
device of his seal explained, 233 ; refers 
to his unregenerate days when at Rome, 
245 ; his busy life at Coburg during Diet 
of Augsburg, 247 ; visited by Elector 


John Frederick at Coburg, 248; counsels 
Elector John to vote for Ferdinand as 
King of the Romans, 256 ; his views 
on ritualistic ceremonials, 259, 379 ; 
complains of the stinginess of the people, 
263 5 birth of his son Martin, 272 j 
reminiscences of his enthusiasm as a 
student, 286 ; birth of his son Paul, 
288 ; his views on baptism, 296 ; his 
fearlessness well shown in an outspoken 
letter to Archbishop of Mayence, 313 ; 
praises his wife's usefulness, 321 j his 
love for joking, 326 ; his desire to 
create a German literature, 327 ; his 
consideration for the poor and the help- 
less, 309, 333, 361, 362, 425 ; praises 
abolition of bishops, 333 ; recommends 
state endowment of Church to King of 
Denmark, 334 ; sets out for Diet of 
Schmalkalden, 339 ; illness at Schmal- 
kalden, 343 ; his love of the Psalms, 
348 ; his love of nature, 357 j St. 
Matthew annotated, 364 ; exposition 
of Song of Solomon, 365 ; complains 
to Elector John Frederick of unfair 
trading in grain during a famine, 367 ; 
denounces piratical printing of his Bible 
in Leipsic, 373 ; his views on private 
communion, 336, 376 5 illness of his 
wife, 384 ; revises translation of Bible, 
394, 400, 422 ; provision for his wife in 
case of his death, 412 ; education of his 
son Marcus, 415 j death of his daughter 
Lena, 4165 abolishes elevation of the 
host, 422 ; journey to Leipsic, 460 ; 
proposes to retire from Wittenberg, 460 ; 
preaches for last time in Wittenberg, 
468 ; 'preaches at Halle and calls Reason 
the devil's bride, 468 ; hostile attitude 
of Luther to Zwinglians, 468 ; hostile 
attitude of Luther to the Jews in Ger- 
many, 451, 470, 472 ; reconciliation of 
the Counts of Mansfeld — Luther's last 
service, 466, 474 ; his death, 466 
Luther, mother of Martin, letter to, 265 

Mackenrod, Dorothea, sister of Luther, 

letters to, 200, 376 
Magistrates, power of, with regard to 

despisers of the Gospel, 47 
Magnificat, 66, 78 
Mansfeld, Counts of, reconciliation of, 

466, 474 
Marburg, Conference at, 186, 192, 196,205 
Maria, Oneen of Hungary, sister of Emperor 

Charles, letter to, 153 
Marinus, papal Legate, 61 
Mass, secret, theses against, 320 
Masses for the dead, 1 1 5, 245 
Matthesius, Johann, of Joachim's Thai, 

letter to, 432 
Maximilian, Emperor (ijuotcil), 351 

Meat on Fridays, eating of, 93 

Medler, Nicolas, letter to, 449 

Melanchthon, Philip, letters to, 33, 71, 
74, 79, 184, 208, 212, 214, 216, 218, 
224, 225, 236, 242, 247, 250, 337, 

343. 366, 384, 393. 397. 39^, 401 5 
sent to University of Wittenberg to 
teach Greek, 32 ; persuades Luther to 
write John Reuchlin, 39 ; marriage to 
Katherine Crappin, 56 ; eminence as a 
lecturer, 132 j salary of, 148 ; visits the 
Churches, 160, 162, 182 ; death of son, 
194 ; his Apology (read at Diet of 
Augsburg), 213, 225 J invited to France, 
316 ; illness of, 388 ; at Conference of 
Worms, 394 J his work at Wittenberg 
University, 402 ; illness at Mansfeld 
during Christmas 1545., 446; elsewhere, 
95, 107, 122, 315, etc. 
Miltitz, Karl von, 39, 43, 45, 59 
Miracle plays, defence of, 425 
Monachism, 88 

Montanus, Jacob, letter to, 191 
Munzer, Thomas, 117, 133, 139, 274 
Myconius, Frederick, letters to, 135, 
149, 198, 238, 349, 395, 425 ; sent 
to London on an embassy, 359; at 
Frankfort, 366; elsewhere, 162, etc. 

Nobility, greed of the, 380 

" Nobility of the German Nation, to the 

Christian," 48, 55 
Niirnberg, treaty of, 353 

CEcolampadius, letters to, 124, 128, 149, 
159, 197; treatise on Confession, 79, 
192, 260; elsewhere, 78, etc. 

CEmler, Nicolas, 447 

" On the Babylonian Captivity of Church," 
48, 56 

Osiander, letters to, 293, 456 (consoling 
him on the death of his wife and 

Pancratz, letter to, re spread of the Gospel 
in Dantzic, 424 

" Papacy, against the, in Rome, founded 
by the Devil," 449, 457 

Papacy, the, 56, 57, 310, 364 

Parents, authority of, re marriage en- 
gagements, 43 5 

Patmos, i.e. the Wartburg, 96 

Peutinger, Chancellor of Sweden, rascality 
of, 440 

Peutinger, Dr., 71 

Pfeffinger, steward to Elector of Saxony, 
stingy character of, 9, 32, 46 

Pilgrimages, 245 

Pindar, Ulrich, 16, 42 

Plague, at Wittenburg, prevalence of, 11, 
I 58, 163, 168, 242, 31 1 

Pope, authority of, 27, 46, 70 



Prayer, 231, 384 

Prierias, 57 

Priests, marriage of, 90, 92, 127, 134 

Printers, knavery of, 144 

Printing, piratical, 373 

Probst, Jacob, letters to, 362, 446 

Protestant, origin of the word, 188 

Prussia, Herzog Albrecht of, letters to, 

374, 452 
Psalm xxxvii., 84 ; cxvii., 244, 246 ■ 

cxviii., called the Confitemini Psalm, 

223, 228, 241 ; cxlvii., 272 
Purgatory, 245 
Purposes of God, inscrutability of, 179 

Reformation, principles of, grounded on 

the Scriptures, 378 
Regensburg, Diet of, 466 ; the Interim of, 

399, 40», 403 
Region of the air, i.e. the Wartburg, 

73, etc. 
Renaissance, 30, 123 
Repentance, doctrine of, 26 
Reuchlin, John, letter to, 38 ; elsewhere, 

22, 27 (quoted), 32 
Righteousness, doctrine of, 5 
Rome, sack of, 158, 162 
Riihel, John, letters to, 139, 152 

Sacraments, the seven, 57 ; Sacrament 
of the Lord's Supper {see also Com- 
munion and Lord's Supper), ceremonies 
of, 421; participation of, by the 
people, 424, 458 J elsewhere, 377, 378 ; 
Sacramentarians, i.e. Zwinglians, 259, 
262, 274, 288, 302, 423 

Sastrow, Nicolas, 385 

Saxony, Elector Frederick of, 20, 21, 30, 

36, 39, 44, 50, 63, 98, 121 

Saxony, Elector John of, letters to, 138, 
144, 146, 148, 155, 181, 190, 194, 
195, 213, 214, 252, 256, 269, 275, 
277 ; death of, 273, 280 

Saxony, Elector John Frederick of, letters 
to, 137, 151, 227, 297, 311, 318, 324, 
328, 339, 354, 367, 373, 375, 382, 
402, 403, 407, 411, 431, 434, 445, 
464, 466 J elsewhere, 248, 287, 315 

Saxony, Herzog George of, letters to, 41, 
110 ; elsewhere, 61, 69, 73, 92, 96, 98, 
99, 133, 165, 186, 256, 282, 289, 291, 
328 ; death of, 372 

Saxony, Herzog John Frederick of, letter 
to, 151 

Saxony, Herzog John of, letters to, 51, 
66, 137, 151 

Saxony, Electress Sibylla of, letter to, 
439 {re the Elector's absence at Speyer) 

Schaumburg, Sylvester von, 54 

Scheurl, Christoph, letters to, i2, 14, 16, 
22, 42 

Schmalkalden, Conference of, in 1530., 

255 ; Congress of Protestants at (i 537), 
338, 340 J articles of, 338, 354 
Schneiderwein, Ursula, letter to, 370 
Schoolmen, 25 
Schreiner, Johann, pastor at Grimma, 

letter to, 345 
Schatzin, Katherine, letter to, 130 
See, wicked state of the Roman, 58 
Seller, Gereon, doctor of medicine in 

Augsburg, letter to, 320 
Self-conceit of the Germans, 324 
Servant-maids, character of, 371 
Seymour, Jane, Queen of Henry VUI., 332 
Sick, consolation of the, 50 
Sickingen, Franz von, letter to, 77 
Sieberger, Wolfgang (Luther's half-witted 
servant), letter to, 300 ; elsewhere, 
309, 389 
Sigismund, Emperor, 62 
Spalatin, George, letters to, 8, 16, 19, 21, 
32, 54, 60, 61, 68, 78, 81, 96, 102, 103, 
106, 107, 108, 109, 117, 120, 129, 
130, 132, 140, 146, 162, 175, 182, 
234, 291, 305, 307, 331, 333, 344, 
392, 413, 430, 436 ; elsewhere, 40, 
45, 72, 81, 89 ; illness of Spalatin, 
424 J old age of, 427 
Specht, Nicolas, letter to, 363 
Spengler, Lazarus, letter to, 233 
Spenlein, George, Augustinian in Mem- 

mingen, letter to, 4 
Speyer, Diet of, 147, 152, 186, 188, 434, 

Staupitz, Johann von, letters to, 25, 26, 
64; elsewhere, 8, 12, 14, 20, 35, 55, 

95, 236 
Sternberg, Bartime von, letters to, 114, 

Sternberg, Hans von, letter to, 244 
Stiefel, Michael, letters to, 166, 184, 268 
Stockhausen, Frau von, letter to, 285 
Stockhausen, Jonas von, letter to, 283 
Strauss, Jacob, preacher in Eisenach, letter 

to, 125 
Siudents of Wittenberg, 312, 435 
Suabian League, revolt of, 42 
Supper, Lord's, Sacrament of {sei also 

Sacrament), 96, 103, 159, 168, 176, 

186, 192, 197, 204, 247, 257, 260, 

308, 312, 336, 376 
Sweden, Gustavus I., King of, letter, 369 

Tauler, Johann, 4, 25 

Tetzel, John, sale of indulgences by, 1 1 ; 

burning of his theses by the students of 

Wittenberg, 24 
Teutleben, Caspar von, letter to, 218 
" The Freedom of a Christian Man," 48, 

Theology, state of, at Wittenberg, 15 
Thorn, Lambert, letter of consolation to, 



Trent, Council of, 459 

Treves, Elector of, 216 

Trier, Bishop of, 119 

" To the Christian Nobility of the German 

Nation," 48, 56 
Torgau, letters to Town Council of, 349, 

Tulich, Hermann, professor in Wittenberg, 

Turks, invasion of Germany by the, ig8, 

Unction, extreme, 378 
Unity, importance of, 261 
Unruhe, Anton, lawyer in Torgau, letter 
to, 361 

Voes, Heinrich, martyr, no, 113 
Vows, monastic, 94 

Wafers, consecrated and unconsecrated, 

Walther, Johann, letter to, 171 
War, methods of, 433; Peasants', 118, 

132, 139' 245 . 
Wartburg (sometimes also called in the 

letters " region of the air," " the 

wilderness," "the hermitage"), 71, 87, 

89, etc. 
Weller, Jerome, letters to, 220, 240 ; 

sister of, letter to, 308 j elsewhere, 317, 

Weller, Peter, letter to, 222 
Wernsdorfer, Vincent, 114 
Wiedeman, Wolf, letter to, Burgomaster of 

Leipsic, 289 
Winklar, George, martyr, 166, 315 
Wittenberg, to the Christians in, letters of 

exhortation, 83, 91 ; Congress of, 327 ; 

Concord of, 330, 351 ; English Embassy 

at, 323, 324, 328 ; students of, 312, 435 
Wittiger, Canon of Breslau, letter to, 55 
Wolsey, Cardinal, 262 
Word of God, 93 
Works, good, 5, 21, 51, 103, 245 
Worms, Diet of, 62, 70 j Edict of, 72, 73, 

118 J Conference at, 392, 395 

Xantis, Gerhardt, letters to, 164, 173 

Zell, Katherine, wife of Matthew Zell, 

letter to, 261 
Zell, Matthew, 130 
Zulsdorf, 390, 404, 460 
Zutphen, Henry von, martyrdom of, 133 
Zwickau, letter to the Christians in, 267 ; 

conduct of the Christians there, 271 
Zwilling, Gabriel, letter to, 105 
Zvvingli, 149, 192, 197, 260, 274, 428 
Zwinglians, see Sacramentarians, 259, 262, 

274, 288, 302, 423 


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Lulher, Martin 

The letters of Martin Luther 

BR 331 .E5 C8 1908 
Luther, Martin, 1483-1546. 
The letters of Martin Luther