Sunday, October 22, 2006

#2004-ML to the preachers in Erfurt in collaboration wiht Melanchton and Jonas

Doctissimis et fidelissimis Christi Praeconibus, Dn.Jo. Lango, Doctori,et Dn.M.Petro et
reliquis Evangeliii ministris Erfurdiae, amicis et fratribus in Christ charissimis. (To the highly-scholarly and very faithful Heralds of Christ, Herr Joh.Lang,Doctor and Herr M. Petro and the rest of the servants of the Gospel in Erfurt, his very friends and brothers in Christ.
Grace and the peace of God in Christ. Honor-worthy,scholarly,worthy, specially favored Herrs and Friends! Upon your writing in which you confidentially gave us your opinion and also upon the oral report of Mr. Aegidius about the content of your writing and instructions further reported we have conferred, to the extent that God granted grace in our haste,and pondered this matter and want you to know, since you confidentially pleaded for and asked for advice and consideration,that in no way do we regard it as good or advise that it should happen that you should be removed in part or totally from your position. You should not make any mistake about de vocatione (of vocation) which Mr. Aegidius indicates troubles you. Your Vocation has been made under oath with the knowledge of the Magistry,Council and Guardians who have ratified it and agreed to handle as something, if it is necessary, to verify and to assure you, if it is denied out of hate by the opposition as is being done now, that it is certainly valid before God and your conscience should be freed and secure. Or equally if the Papal party of the Council or the hostes Evangelii (the enemies of the Gospel) now deny or assail your Vocation that is not the entire counsel of the congregation but only several who are opposed to the Gospel. Nevertheless your Calling was public, not hidden,and did not happen secretly. Nonetheless you are the right shepherds of the flock of Christ which loves your doctrine and preaching and recognizes the voice of the True Shepherd Christ in you and follows the same. We set forth a hypothetical that should a godless father have 30 or 40 children who are all eleti (chosen) and Christian, lambs of God and sheep, that if the father by jure divino quarti praecepti (by divine right under the fourth commandment)(with authority over them)by the magistry of his office would deny them the Gospel they could elect contrary to his will a preacher and shepherd; although this comparison is not completely appropriate. Up to now the Magistry has not forbidden you to preach although there are part of them who are of the Papists who persecute you through all sorts of accusations and evil perfidy and are happy to do you harm; also your compensation is sparse and narrowly enough extended and also yet the dear LOrd in you is despised and entirely permitted to suffer hunger,misery and need. See, dear brothers and herrs, what an evil world there is presently and that there is such a despising of pious and faithful parish-heads and preachers that is so general that it gives the hateful and horrible appearance of the last time and the final anger and wrath of Satan that is equally terrifying to see and hear. However, dear Herrs, it was true in apostolic times and thereafter that there was soon very evil adders and enemies; Christ, however, and the Gospel remained.
For this reason, dear herrs and brother, we have your situation and present tribulation in a heartfelt empathy and you and your church in Erfurt will find us willing to be comforting and helpful in whatever way we can. You, so far, have had God's grace and strengthening patience and also suffered for the Gospel: continue to have patience for yet a year or a little more time. God the LOrd will strengthen you with rich, divine consolation against everything which you, for the sake of the Gospel, and we with you and many others suffer. God will give the unthankful and your persecutors their unremitting and certain proper reward. You know wherewith the Apostle comforts. Deus est Deus non solum tristitiae,tentationis, afflictionis, sed etiam Deus consolationis, gloriae, pacis etc. Haec est victoria, inquit Johannes, quae vicit mundum, h.e. haec omnia, tot et tanta mala satanica et pericula et scandal
infinita, fides nostra (i John 5:4). Christum, quem non videmus, diligimus et exspectamus; adversarii oderunt Christum et nos. ( God is not only a God of sorrow,temptation, trouble,but also a God of consolation,glory,peace etc. "This is the victory", says John, (I John 5:4) , "which has overcome the world", that is, everything of so many Satanic evils and dangers and countless offenses,"our faith". Christ, whom we do not see, we love and expect; the opponents hate Christ and us.)

What concerns the schism in doctrine we want with faithful zeal to remind, at an opportune time , our gracious Lord, the Elector of Saxony, of the matter so E.C.F.G. takes cognizance without neglecting anything so that it does not have the appearance of something evil which you are reporting. E.C.F.G. will ,without doubt, the unsaved barefoot monk's doctrine and the Papal worship service not savor very much. Interim valete in Domino (meanwhile be it well with you in the LOrd.) Wittenberg 3 after Michael's (Tuesday after Michael's -Sept. 30. MDXXXIII. Mart. Luther,Philipp Melanchton, Justus Jonas,D.
NOTE: The Barefoot monk is D. KLing. Erfurt is the home of ML's alma mater. Lang is a classical scholar. Aegedius os Aegedius Melcher.

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