Thursday, August 23, 2007

#2127-To Benedict (Guebe ? Baworinsky?), Archpresbyter of the Bohemian Brethren

(Threefold problem with this letter: the date, addressee, and the text. Too complicated for me to discuss but looks like as to the latter the Latin has come from either a German or Bohemian text.)

Grace and peace in Christ.Highly honorable mann, Herr Beenedict! We, M.Philippus and I, very carefully listened to these two brothers sent by you. And they will, in turn, report to you that it has exceedingly pleased us that you have laid out in the right way the faith regarding the Sacrament and the Word so that I was several times moved ,that thus interpreted ,to avow in the matter itself and the opinion satifies me sufficiently that I see no discrepancy although different words are used by us. Thus (as one says) it is vain to fight over names when in the matter itself there is unanimity. Also that by you the baptism of little children is rightly used makes us very happy. So when both Sacraments are rightly upheld everything else can be easily regulated as the brothers will elaborate. Therefore you have no reason to doubt that so long as you and we are of single mind that we will deal with you in upright love toward you in everything; and should there be a deficiency in one part or another (as in this life there are no perfect saints) we want to bear with one another in Christian patience. It is completely (uberfluessig) enough for the Holy Catholic Church if they are of one mind in faith and doctrine; necessity requires that there be differences in customs and usages. So the Apostles teach and write thus and Christ Himself orders the brothers to forgive if they be and remain only in Christ and we insist in fact on the difference between doctrine and life in the strongest way. Doctrine makes either a Christian or an heretic, life makes either a holy or an unholy people. The unholy should be rebuked or excluded , however (as Paul teaches) first admonished as brothers and not immediately cast out. Be it right well with you in Christ and pray for us as we pray for you. On Jubilate Sunday (18 April) Anno 1535. Your Martin Luther,D.

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