Saturday, June 24, 2006

#1924-To Johann, Georg and Joachim, Princes of Anhalt

To the highly-renown and worthy Princes, Herrs Johann, Georg and Joachim of Anhalt, Grafs of Ascanien, Lords in Bernburg, brothers who in body and spirit are closely bound,his most gracious Lords.
grace and peace in Christ"! I have heard, high-renown and worthy Princes, that finally with the co-work of the Spirit of Christ in your lands there has been undertaken a departure from the abuses in religion and the happy practice of Christian communion has begun although not without great danger as we know the great Princes are advising the
contrary and treatening. I, at least, though I am nothing, only wish to be in Christ and to be aparticipant among those who fear Him,-I say, with joy in God and thanks to the LOrd, Who has such great strength of Spirit and what is more granted three brothers one -like-minded strenth and, to be sure, set these brothers in a high position amidst greater dangers than others who are private-people,as in my case,whose faith and constancy do not have such great dangers and reasons for fear. However, Christ though thought of as a weak king is truly and forever an Almighty King who does this work; thus He acts,lives, and speaks for Himself and also in His members. And if He appears to be brought down to the ground, He arises as the Morning Star and He said to Paul: "My strength is made known in weakness," and thus when He becomes weak it is for the purpose of being stronger. This is His way of living,dealing and ruling. "It will never be any other way." Although our Princes at the last Diet at Augsburg were completely devoured and appeared to be cast down they immediately were made living and freed so much so that they accomplished a change in the Emperor's disposition and they see and may rejoice that the hope and efforts of the Roman Pope has come entirely to ridicule. Foremostly, renown Princes, may He who began His work in your hearts, bring the same to completion; thus it is with the beginning of all things which are of God that they are weak but the fruits inconquerable. The roots of all trees in the beginning are thin threads or rather coagualated milk and nevertheless they bring forth planks and trunks from which a great mass of houses, ships and works are built. Of our own origin it is said in the book of Job (10:10) that it is a coagualtion of milk but nevetheless from this thickened milk comes finally the most powerful kings on earth who (as Paul also says) will be the judge of angels on that Day for which we wait. Thus the entire created nature begins in a weak way and is brought to completion in power. On the contrary what men begin starts with power. Moab confidently had more pride than power as the Prophet said; Christ however has greater strength than pride. "Be comforted", He says,"I have overcome the world." And again:"I live and you also will live." This same LOrd protect,preserve,and strengthen your hearts who not only according to blood are tightly bound but also according to spirit. To His glory and the salvation of many people, Amen. 1532/ E.F.G's compliant Martin Luther.
NOTES: The Ascanien line had some great names but appeared to be dwindling at Luther's time though I think the great Catherine was a later descendant.Job 10:10:"Hast Thou not poured me out like milk and curdled me like cheese?"

No comments: