Monday, October 30, 2006

#2006-To Andreas Osiander

Grace and peace in Christ Jesus Who is our true peace! I read your previous letter as well your recent writing which was delivered by your Council (Nuernberg), dearest brother in the LOrd. I have read the letters and writing of the other party and Christ, Who is my glory, is my witness as to how much this your division pains me in this miserable time of offenses and hatefulness by which we are overwhelmed completely and laid low. As much as I can understand from all your writings that they have not done enough for you nor you done enough for them. What now? What may it be then for you if both parties are of a mind that neither can be won over by the other should you continue to quarrel forever and continue to bite one another without end to the great offense of so many and blessed people? Then you do this - namely ,that you who cannot yield to them because of the conviction of your conscience be worthy of forgiveness and they likewise who are convicted in their conscience are worthy of forgiveness-therefore let this forgiveness happen to one another and bear one another's burdens according to the law of Christ and in this way nullify this division in that both sides in the future be silent in public over this matter until in time it dimisnishes of itself. Meanwhile may you hold firm to your opiinion and not be troubled as previously by the practice of public absolution; and, on the other hand, may they continue to hold their opinion and, as before , use this absolution until after the tempers are quieted and the previous peace firmed up, there can be an appropriate determination of this matter without impetus to the tempers You cannot in such great excitement of tempers order or establish anything good and it can easily happen that you will make a plank out of a splinter if you continue to permit your strifefulness. Likely also you all will bring about a great unrest among you to the joy of Satan and his own which afterward might be very difficult to lay aside. You appear to me, to be sure, on account of your special endowments and scholarship, able to dispute many things skillfully but yet there on both sides people who for me are not up to it. We are men and can be easily deceived by our flesh if we do not listen to one another and soften our attitudes. What follows as a consequence you know well enough. Therefore I plead with you for the sake of Christ, as it now appears your strife can have no other end or degree, that you henceforth let this upsetting question fall and you step back from the war with each other as I have advised above and that you let the matter be unchanged and be silent about it in public and emphasize what bpth in common teach. If you follow this advice, which I hold to be the counsel of Christ, He will give the grace and glory of the wished-for peace. I confidently believe that you believe how highly I place you in my temperment which is worthy of the gifts of God you have otherwise I would not so earnestly and from time to time deal with this matter. For this reason you would not despise my faithful heart toward you, my dear brother in our common LOrd, and labor with me that this spark among you be dampened so that it does not grow into a fire-storm through which we might at the same time be taken over by. Our LOrd, our Consolation, Christ Jesus rule and bless your hearts in His love and patience,Amen.On 8 October Anno 1533. Your Martin Luther.
NOTE: This is the same date as the previous letter to the Nuernberg Council.

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