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".

Friday, December 29, 2006

1520-65 Princess-Abbess Anna II von Limburg-Stirum of Herford and Gerresheim (Germany)She had been Koadjutorin 1515-20, and was the first to be appointed Princess of the Empire of the territory in 1523 and 7 years later she introduced the reformation in her principality, whereafter Herford became a secular protestant Stift. She was daughter of Count Adolf von Limburg and Elisabeth von Reichenstein One sister, Agnes, was Abbess of Freckenhorst and Metelen, (d.1570) and another, Katharina, was Abbess of Borghorst (d.1572). Anna resigned and lived another 20 years before her death in 1585.

The Young Jesus Among The Doctors

1520-65 Princess-Abbess Anna II von Limburg of Herford and Gerresheim (Germany)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

#2030-To the Elector, Johann Friedrich of Saxony

To the illustrious, high-born Prince and Lord, Lord Johann Friedrich, Duke in Saxony,arch-marschall of the Roman Empire and Elector, Landgraf in Thuringia and Markgraf in Meissen,my most gracious Lord.

Grace and peace in Christ. Illustrious, high-born Prince, most gracious Lord! Nickel Sack has made a written complaint to me(wherein he desires counsel)which motivates me to write to E.C.F.G. and although I do not wish to interfere in such matters as I do not know what is right and what is not nor do I desire to know: yet I did not know how to refuse him because he is so greatly concerned and takes it deeply to heart. Most say that he is in the right. However, may E.C.F.G. graciously take my writing for the best since I request nothing more than I want E.C.F.G. to go no farther.of which I do not doubt,than you would through divine grace and without any urging love you the right and administer it except that I would like to see the good man's petition satisified and disposed of. I commend herewith the same matter to E.C.F.G.'s gracious
consideration. Christ, our LOrd, strengthen and direct E.C.F.G.'s heart and mind to the glory of His Name forever,Amen. E.C.F.G.'s subject, Mart.Luther.

NOTE:Sounds like Sack threw the sack down at the door of ML.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Rubens: Last Supper

#2029-To Niclolaus von Amsdorf

Grace and peace! What is it, my dear Amsdorf, that you with such great effort struggle with quarreling thatso many letters of yours are not answered and you imagine and set forth that it is likely your fault but rather you should think: If I have sinned,he would have answered and pointed out the wrong; now that he replies nothing that is a sign that everything stands well. Now I am fully of the opinion that there is no necessity of a letter from me when at the same time I am so busy, sick and afflicted. Yet, this is for our long-time and firm brotherhood in Christ.

In reference to the offered position of Probst in Nuernberg I do not venture to advise since my spirit can err or also not err. If, however, my soul has an inclination and what my impression and inclination is that this position is not for the free and upright Amsdorf that he should simply and forthrightly adopt as I might fear that he will regret this the acceptance of this positiion. This city has its own way to which not all agree. Yet, as I have said, I could be mistaken. I continue to nurture that; might yet our friend who sits in peace and rest,might be taken hold of by disturbances and floods as the proverb says:(Proverbs 17:1)"Better is a little bread with contentement than a house full of wealth." You are a wise man and can consider what is the best and most acceptable. I see this mistake increasing among the Princes and Cities that they seek preachers who are truly babblers and can likewise strive and boast."That is the devil in the world", or rather the world itself. In conrete (concreto)or abstractly (in abstracto), I wish to know what you think of may book "On the Corner-masses (Winkelmeesse) is. Many are blaming me that pious and weak consciences are harmed thereby. My Kaethe greets you respectfully. Be it right well with you in Christ. On the 3rd of January Anno 1534. Your Martin Luther.
NOTE: Will Amsdorf leave Magdeburg for Nuerberg, "the eyes and ears of the world", according to ML?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

#2028-Conrad Ottinger, Pastor in the Old City of Cassel to ML

(The Fulda River divides Cassel (Kassel); one side is the old city and the other the new.)
Revered, celebrated,Herr Doctor! I have no doubt that also to you in these perilous times many cries have come about our gracious Prince and Lord, Philip, Landgraf in Hesse etc.,that he is in preparation for war and your Worthiness (ML) might have received reports that F.G. (Philip) has something against the Imperial Maj. (Magesty)(or something else reported in misunderstanding or lack of knowledge may have been said) but F.G. as much as I can ascertain is not of such resolution or opinion but since King Ferdinand is not to continue to receive the Dukedom as a beneifice, which the Elector does not deny but publicly acknowledges the reservation of these lands to the lands of Wuertenberg as proper, thus recently the high-born Prince and Lord, Duke Ulrich of Wuertenberg has appealed to the Imperial Majesty and his majesty's brother about the superior right and justice for several years and continues to do so but without any recognition and since King Ferdinand cannot legally come to such a hereditary land so our F.G. and Lord thinks that Duke Ulrich, the illustrious and high-born Prince and Lord, nach Inhalt and all justice before God and the Imperial Majesty should be helped to be inducted and placed and,as far as I know,F.G. has no other intention either against the Imperial Majesty nor his brother and the selection of Ferdinand as King of the Romans, but only in this matter mentioned above. And that also his F.G. (his princely grace) is not a hanger-on of any schism or sect such as the Anabaptists or any other Way and of this Your Worthiness should be completely and certainly assured and confidentl. Thus I want Your Worthiness, by the command of His Princely Grace, not to be kept from a good opinion of F.G. as you might be by the crooked dealings which others report to you against F.G. and consider them to be excessive. E.W.'s (Your Willing), Conradus Ottinger, Pastor in the Old City of Casse.
NOTE: The first sentence is about 200 words long. That's a long one for a pastor or even the Princely Courts.
I think that King of the Romans means King of Bohemia and some surrounding lands.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

This One Is Definitely Cool

Sermon On The Mount. Work by an anonymous artist from the Montbéliard convent.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

#2027-To Augustin Himmel, Pastor in Colditz

To the highly venerable brother in Christ, M.Augustin Himmel(Coelo), the faithful pastor in Colditz.

Grace and peace! There is a kind of strife occurring because of the Diaconat in Leisnig; since however D.Jonas is absent and we do not know about the whole case and that you being so nearly situated might. We, Philipp and I, request that you deal with your Ambrosius so that he supports the Diaconat in Colditz. We think that the man is not displeased with you and he may indicate to the pastor in Leisnig or the Council that he will remain in Colditz and if he does this the Leisnigers will choose Antoninus.
This should be urged since his parents with this hope have sold their house in Freiberg and are determined to move to Leisnig. One must show consideration to these good people and demonstrate some good pleasure since they in this time have determined for the sake of the doctrine of the Gospel, as it were, to go out of their fatherland into exile. Your affability is known to us and for this reason we hope that you will gladly take this matter over and earnestly pursue it and carry it through so that the Diaconat in Leisnig will be turned over to Antoninus. If Ambrosius wants something of a profitable position we will gladly help him at our opportunity. I especially request that you carry out this matter for this very good man who has forsaken the better land for the Gospel of Christ and put himself under the ban. Be it right well with you. Your Mart. Luther.
NOTES: No date for this lette but thought to be in 1533 as Melanchton had earlier written to Spalatin about Ambrosius desiring a position.
The baptismal name of Himmel was Heinrich and his cloister-name was Augustinus.
Antoninus is Antoninus Lauterbach a well known name in LCMS circles.

Colditz Escape Glider

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The Colditz Cock Prison Escape Glider

Toward the end of WW.II there were some English prisoners of War kept in the Colditz castle. They designed and built a glider hidden in the attic of one of the buildings in the castle. The idea was to fly two men across the town and land on the other side of a nearby river This was supposed to give the two enough of a lead to avoid the prison guards.
The war was winding down and Allied command told all prisoners to stop trying to escape as they were being summarily shot when re-captured. It was obvious who was going to win the war by then so it was only a matter of time before the prisoners would be rescued.

Friday, December 08, 2006

#2025-To Johann Hess and Ambrosius Moiban in Breslau

To the renown men,the Herr Doctors of holy theology, Johann Hess and Ambrosius Moiban,Bishops of the church in Breslau, his brothers in Christ.

Grace and peace in Christ! How can I,worthy men, answer anything other to your letter than what I previously published in my pamphlet namely: if the engagement in this case is such that the relatives, the superiors as well as the Prince pronounce it good and nad nothing opposes it and only on account of the stubborness of the father, whom I (as I see from the reports) just recently came forward likely because someone or another dissuaded about this marriage and consequently the same is to be disregarded and up to the maiden to decide. In such case one posits that the father is not acting as father, who otherwise would be recognized, but as a tyrant neglecting the daughter or rather hindering her happiness although he puts foremost the riches of the other prospective groom. Thus in marriage love,not wealth,(if everthing else is honorable),must be given the preference, just as the parents of Samson for the sake of the glory of the people consented to the love of their son. "One cannot force her to marriage, one should allow for her love, yet there may be counsel given" that because of the constant living with each other vexation may arise which the daughter may appeal to the fact that she was forced. This remains our
opinion. Anno 1533. Your Martin Luther,D.
NOTES: ML's little book: "Von Ehesachen" (on marriage) is in Vol.X of the St. Louis Edition,p.754.
Some pastors know of tyrannical fathers and mothers?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

#2024-to Nicolaus Amsdorf

Grace and peace in the LOrd! Because your brother-in-law, D.Teutleben (Titleben) has summoned you, I must also add my spur and plead that you might also visit us because I am continually ill and need to fear it might suddenly happen that we might see our last meal. I am writing this in the presence of your relatives, your sister and her husband. Be it well with you you in the LOrd. Anno 1533. Your Martin Luther.

Monday, December 04, 2006


#2022-To Leonhard Beier

Those who despise all godliness and do not participate in communion we are accustomed to frighten with the reputation and most-illustrious name of the Prince, and to threaten them with the ban and punishment as blasphemers. So then if they do not straighten up we have ordered the pastors to instruct them for a month longer teaching and rebuking; finally if they are hardened ,to exclude them from the congregation (coetu) and to avoid them as heathen. There is a clear passage on excommunication in the Scripture. You can, if they are not , through the customary salutary-means (HEILMITTEL), not saved write again about this matter. 1533. Martin Luter,D.

@021-To Nicolaus Hausmann in Dessau

To the highly venerable man in Christ, Herr Nicolaus Hausmann, Magister,in Dessau, the very faithful servant of Christ.
Grace and peace in the LOrd! I believe that you have heard everything, my dear Hausmann, God has wonderfully done for us, namely, the peace between the Princes, peace with the Erfurters and all of this toward the favor and praiseworthiness of the good name of our Prince; thanks be to God,Amen. I hope that now there is a snow-capped mountain glistening and shining in your heart after so many clouds and fogs.

Besides I have attached the untameable rage and cries with a new sort of booklet,"On the Winkelmasses", as you wanted. You may if your little king (reguli=the Prince of Anhalt)is surprised say to him: Luther put to the test the wisdom and power of the Papists; if they can give justification of their doctrine, they will win; if they cannot what will they do when in death throes this and beyond this also yet feel the arguments of the devil? Then one must thoroughly strive for the conscience to be certain and secure in all things. Since if one doubt remains everything else cannot be made secure. For this reason the Word of God can be confidently be distinguished from the words of men. The Day of the LOrd will make manifest what is wood,hay, straw and equally what is gold, silver and precious stones [ 1 Cor.3:12ff.]The certainty of the truth is sought in this article; if the Papists can provide this, I will praise them; if they cannot provide the same, it will reveal completely the anti-Christ in all his horror. To sum up, if someone should assail you about this my book or with what I have elsewhere written against the Papists, you should briefly say: Luther acknowledges the battle which he recently had with the devil and pleads (as the words plainly state) with the Papists about absolution. Who can give the same is blessed: he ceases to be outraged or allege something dissonant, but gives an answer; if something is alleged which is not pertinent that is not to contradict the demonstration of proofs. Otherwise Luther could also (as he also has concerns)cite such non-pertinent things but he realizes that that is not sufficient. For this reason he confesses to and desires the wisdom of the Papists, those insolent judges of God and of men. Be it right well with you in Christ and pray for me. My lordess mistress) greets you. Midweek after Lucis [17 Dec.) 1533. Your Martin Luther,D.
NOTES: The strife between the Elector of Saxony and Duke Georg of ducal Saxony over ML's writings was settled in Grimma on Nov.18.
ML is teasing the Papists.