Tuesday, November 21, 2006

#2018-To Leonhard Beier in Zwickau

Leonhard Beier,pastor in Zwickau,Heil and peace.

Concerning your matter, my dear Leonhard, I do not want to make any legal pronouncement but consult with the Herr Doctors. Meanwhile you will experience as we have that the women should refrain from now on from such Baptisms because those who are not yet born cannot be born again. Such births one must commend to God by prayer. Otherwise it will finally follow that in order to avoid danger all children in the mothers' bodies must be baptized by water poured over the body of the preganant as often as danger is feared; or as a certain woman at the time of the plague when the time of delivery was near drank the baptismal water to avoid the danger. However, I am postponing judging your case since the lad is already grown until we can give a consensus answer. For this reason, if the parents fear the danger of death you should counsel them to be of good courage. The soul is saved, and the right baptism is longed for (however the earlier baptism may have been constituted),even if he has not received it from us because he is not responsible for lacking it; yes, he confidently has the same by faith. Now we must be careful about offense whether the baptism should be permitted. Although I might alone make the determination, I do not want to make it solitarily for the sake of the public perception. The conditional baptism which in these cases when the Papacy ruled we have already long rejected, and not only in these cases but also in the cases of foundlings (abandoned children?-Findelkindern). Be it right well with you in the LOrd. On the day of St. Nicolaus [6 December) 1533.Mart.Luther.
NOTE: Not sure about the translation on the earlier baptism:"whatever its nature" may be better but likely a conditional baptism,right?
Has ML made peace with Zwickau?

No comments: