Sunday, July 23, 2006

#1950b-To Frau Dorothea Joerger

To the noble, virtuous Frau Dorothea Joerger,widow in Keppach,my favored, good friend.
Grace and peace in Christ. Nobel,virtuous Frau! As you have recently and at another time written about the 500 Gulden which you have set aside to the glory of God I have provided your first writing to certain trustworthy people from Nuernberg in Linz and to increase the credibility have sent along your handwriting. What has happened meantime I do not know. One does not know whether those in Linz accept money or gold. Whether we should send again your writing in vain or send it to Nuernberg to the city-syndico Mgr.Lazarus Spengler who would invest it in Nuernberg or elsewhere I am certain. My good advice is that there should not be a single distribution but annually and dedicate it for the help of two students in theology. However, everything is according to your good pleasure. Herewith be to God commended,Amen. On New Year's Day 1533.
I am sending to you herewith a notice or form, as Mgr.Michael Stiefel reports that you should
have. May the same be taken in a good way. Your willing one D. Martinus Luther.

A notice or form of a Christian testament for the noble Frau Dorothea Joerger,widow.
In the Name of our LOrd Jesus Christ, Amen. I Dorothea Joerger,surviving widow of the late Herr Wolfgang Joerger,knight, do set and place my Testament or Last Will in the confession of my faith and to the witness of my life and manner in general as follows:
Firstly, I confess and also (with God's help and grace) want to continue to believe in God the Father Creator of heaven and earth and on Jesus etc.,up to the end (usque in finem). Through this faith may dear LOrd Jesus has graciously taught me so that I know that only through His blood and death am I saved from sin, death and hell and not through my merit or work can pay for the slightest sin and the more I have done to be free from sin and gain release the more I have angered God and despised His Son. And I am very sorry that I have been so long and deeply involved in my own work righteousness and other sins and blaspheming my LOrd Jesus Christ being blinded and deceived and yet I am glad and thank Him from the bottom of my heart for eternity that He has freed mefrom so many great errors in which I was stuck saved and enlightened me and daily protects me from the false sects and spirits. And I have received from Him two signs or assurances of such forgiveness of sins and salvation from death the two seals or marriage (with Christ?) vows, baptism in my youth and in addition the holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood so that I am certain and must not doubt that He is my gracious God and that I am in favor before Him through His dear Son, our LOrd,and not through my merit and good work since I from the heart condemn and renounce from the heart and in earnestness the Anabaptist and Enthusiast blasphemy against these two holy Sacraments together with every error which strives against my faith or which will strive against it in the future since such faith is that of all the saints and the faith of the entire Christendom and I believe with them and they with me and all are through the same faith holy and blessed with me and I with them and there is no other Name and faith wherein one can be holy and blessed but apart from this faith everything is sin and condemned no matter what it is called or whether it wants to appear to be holy. In this faith I commend my soul and spirit into the hands of my LOrd Jesus Christ and pray in my heart that He will strengthen and preserve me steadfast and unblemished until His Day and grant me to continue now this confession and afterward to depart this vale of tears and come to my end in the same and to this end help me, my LOrd and Savior Jesus Christ Who with the Father and Holy Spirit is praised and blessed ,the one and only God in eternity,Amen.
Secondly,I commend, permit and establish, inasmuch as is appropriate to my motherly office, the same Gospel and faith to my dear children with which God has graciously a blessed (us) and plead and admonish them with all motherly faithfulness (in that I am also gladly entrusted by God to them as my spiritual children)that they should above all things seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness remaining firm in the Gospel and constant and the same further and increase from the heart both in themselves with their little people and wherever they can protect them so that Mammon is not dearer to them than to be partakers and satisfied with the dear holy blood of Christ since everything is eternally cursed and damned which robs us of the blessing which the Blood of Christ pours out on us through His Holy Gospel.
Thirdly, ( I plead and admonish) according to the same motherly duty that they continue in brotherly love and unity and not be complaining of one another, in disharmony, or motivated by disfavor but each occasion to the same whether brought about by words or works they would quiet down and overcome with love and patience since God, Who does not lie, says that brotherly love and unity is the greatest treasure on earth and He will grant happiness and salvation through the same as He promises in Psalm 133. There is no good or empire that is not finally destroyed where brothers are disunited as Christ Himself says that a kingdom divided against itself goes to the ground. Again there is no good so slight that it grows and increases when one lives in harmony. This is the reason that God promises in the above mentioned Psalm blessing,happiness and salvation where brothers live in unity. On the other hand
He also brings about a pure curse,unhappiness, and destruction where there is disunity,arrogance and pride among one another.
Fourthly, although my dear daughter has consented to give to my dear son the motherly property since I while living have control over it is my will and decision(so as to avoid future reasons of impatience and disunity as much as possible)that the same motherly property be equally divided. Doctor Martinus" Handwriting.

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