Saturday, January 13, 2007

#2035-To Nicholaus Hausmann in Dessau

To the highly-respectable man in Christ,Herr Nicolaus Hausmann, the faithful and clear servant of the Word in Dessau, his Superior.

Grace and peace in Christ! M. Georg Held, in your name, dearest Hausmann, has requested that I might illustrate to you what you should preach concerning Baptism especially since your Prince has required this and since the Bishop in Mainz and his brother et al are to be the audience. Though you do not in this matter require my help very much since by God's grace you are rich in the Spirit and at the same time also M. Georg has likely sent to you what I these days have preached in four sermons concerning Baptism; yet the poor must serve and thus also I want to serve you with my labor.

First, may I advise you to deal with the opposing doctrine without strife and rebuttal so that the God-descecrating tyrants do not think that you are preaching in order to incite them. Therefore make it clear that Baptism also appears to be taught in no different way than the Papists although they teach it very coldly. Nevertheless I wouldn't have you name them so that they appear to be shamed but that you deal with the matter very simply as is appropriate. The glories of Baptism are these:

It is a divine water that is given through the Word of God and from His command and not any little discovery of man; it is a new covenant of God with all men for eternal salvation; it is a work of God, not of men, and for this it is not corrupted by the sins of those who misuse it.

It is a one-time thing and cannnot be repeated without a blasphemous condemnation of the first Baptism and if this, likewise, is not a work of God which is beneficial if it is not received and held fast by faith.

It should be adorned outwardly with the fruits of faith in all of life; it is more exalted than all vows and works which otherwise have happened or may happen and also above obedience to parents and authorities.

It is honored by the appearance of the Father by a voice, by the Son in manhood, and by the Holy Spirit as a dove; this appearance is now included in these words: "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

This verse: "This is my beloved Son" and so on I have dealt with in this way: the Son is commended to us and declared to be the LOrd of all and the Bishop of souls in Whom all are well-pleasing, and withot Whom nothing is that we do; He alone is the King, because the Son is the Heir of all things; He alone is the Bishop because in Him everyone is acceptable. M. Georg will say the rest. On the Sunday Sexagesima (8 Feb.) Anno 1534. Your Martin Luther,D.

NOTE: Looks like the Bishop of Mainz was given notice as to the true and ultimate Bishop.
Hausmann, long in Zwickau, is now in Dessau. ML used to address Hausmann as the Bishop of Zwickau. "My superior" probably refers to Hausmann relative to ML in the Augustinian Order,
don't you think?

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