Sunday, January 14, 2007

#2036-To Leonhard Beier

Grace and Peace! How could I answer you differently, my dear Leonhard, than what we teach here and publicly do in this matter which you ask about? This has not simply come before us once. We do not permit the women to baptize a member, which is partially brought forth or the head which naturally appears at the opening but admonish them they commend this fruit to God, who is not in our hands but in God's as that also is in God's living for many months in the mother's body (as John the Baptist) before birth. How might the fruit, if we would avoid the danger , also be baptized through the pouring of water on the belly (umbilicum) of the mother or similarly over a cloth in which the child is enclosed! For this reason the child which is not yet born be commended to God. This is nothing which we learned from Aristotle and afterward from St. Augustine; that is, that the soul permeates every member, since Augustine, in holy matters, did not appeal to this philosophy. We must follow the Word of God. Namely, the born-again must be already born so we are not as those who St. Emerantina, the mother of St. Anna adored and reversed (retro) things and undertook to baptize the belly of a bride or virgin in the hope of a future fruit which would be sown in that body. I have said this with multiple words. You carry out that this child, who was neither born or nor baptized, be publicly baptized. It would be something else if he were already born and then baptized. Then also it might have been brought to the pastor in the church and its baptism by the witness of the women and through prayer and the laying on of hands be ratified. Be it well with you in Christ. On the Saturday in Albis (21 Feb.) 1534. Your Martin Luther.
NOTE: On Emerentina see above.
The Sunday after Easter was called Dominca in Albis. But what about Sabbatho in Albis? Is 21 February right?

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