Saturday, January 12, 2008

#2190-To the Preachers in Frankfurt

To the highly-resepctable and worthy men, the faithful servants of the church in Frankfurt, in the LOrd his very dear brothers.

Grace and peace in Christ! I ahve received your letter and your writing which you have delivered to the Council, worthy men. What I should say I am uncertain up to this day as well as to the circumstance of your church and to the will of the Council. I thought that Cellarius was expelled and Dionysius dismissed and I saw that you all were not yet united: my uncertainty is so great that I cannot as the decision-judge amongst you nothing ascertain. In fact your admonishment to the Council which is very strong will accomplish the same result as I understand your from your letters.
What should I advise whether they (as you say) might not perform what you teach? Let them do what they can or want to therefore. I have the suspicion in reference to many,also in other places, who after the Gospel is lost and the church-servants expelled nevertheless want to know how to preserve the desired freedom of the Gospel.That is, the world wants to be papistic (papistare) and Epicurish while despising of the religions of every people.The Papists scorn the Pope himself through the Gospel except they give the appearance, as it were, with others in mind,that they honor the Pope , as it were, in a mask-play of the theatre. Again they despise the Gospel and, to be sure, under a different appearance: but I purchased a house, I have taken a wife, I cannot come. What can one do here except to let the impure remanin impure and those who err and let the deceivers be angry?"They want it to be so."Deal faithfully, and rescue, as Jude says, those you can, as it were, out of the fire; those whom you cannot let burn and don't be troubled about the same. What more can you do unless you also want to be torn apart?You cannot bring the whole lot to Christ but only the first fruits and a Remnant or the external part of the ear as Amos (Ch.2:12) says.Be it right well with you in Christ and if it pleases you, write once again of the situation of your church; but if it does not please you, it will not vex me because I have not set my hope for the Gospel on Frankfurt. Given in Wittenburg on the 10th day of November,Anno 1535. Your Martin Luther,D.
NOTE: This is a second letter of ML on his 52nd birthday.
Evidently,"I bought a house etc., I cannot come..." is a reference to the refusals in Christ's parable of the great feast refusals.
I could not make out or find the reference in Amos. The Editors say 2:12.Amos 3:12 does read:"Thus says the Lord; as a shepherd takes out of the mouth of a lion two legs,or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out who dwell in Samaria..." Guess we caught a misprint?

No comments: