Saturday, December 30, 2006

#2031-To the Abbess in Herford, Anna von Limburg, in collaboration with Melanchton

To the honorable, well-born Domina, Anna, woman of Limburg, Abbess of the free, noble Stift in Herford, our gracious Domina.
Grace and peace thourgh our LOrd Jesus Christ, Honor-worthy, well-born Domina! After Your Grace complained that several in the jurisidiction of E.W. have dared to sieze money and other goods (Gerectigkeit=justice) for themselves: E.G. should know that I Doctor Martinus have at all times written the greatest zeal and have taught that one should maintain the distinction of Authority and that no one should appeal to outside authority and that no one should appropriate interest (money) or the like from others. Therfore we do not consider that of which E.G. writes as just; also we heartily desire that those who exercise for force should consider that the Gospel is dishonored and hated by such dealing and for which every pious Christian is justly sorry. On this account we have written Doctor Johann Dreger that he should not be a participant in such use of force and injustice but should admonish and enlighten in Christian love those who use force as he is obligated to do as preacher. That Your Grace desires our writing to the Council we do not consider to be fruitful as we do not know how it stands with the Church-ordinances in Herford. Nevertheless we plead with E.G. that what concerns the needed appointment of church-offices would due to the circumstances of this time would be patient and not in every case press for her rights because E.G. knows yet that in many places in the churches the personnel and the support of them is badly cared for. Where such physical alterations are needed in the churches we plead that E.G. would be mindful of the common good and that which serves for peace; that several, however, should intend, without the consent of your authority, to build the city walls with the church's property we do not consider just. May God preserve E.G.
at all times. The 11 Fl., which E.G. sent here, we are returning and we remain willing to serve E.G. Dated at Wittenberg on Thursday the 15th of January Anno 1534. Martinus Luther. Philippus Melanchton.
Note: Walch has "Dreyer" for Dreger. On Anna see below. As noted previously. Some of the Abbesses were given secular authority by the Emperor. "E.G." = "Your Grace".

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