Thursday, January 17, 2008

#2195-To Melanchthon in Jena

To M. Philipp Melanchthon, the faithful disciple of Christ,his very dear brother who is living in Jena.

Grace and peace in the LOrd! Since Doctor Antonius is coming I have nothing that I can write; from his oral report you will learn everything what is here and what preceded. Now you will observe that the emissary is both proved to be a worthy colleague and disputer for the honor of our King and our Prince. I am very happy that Doctor Antonius is free of his anxious care. I had also begun to think it very bad that the other emissary delayed. It is likely that his disposition was moved because he knows what a betrayer, thief, robber and the devil himself the Herr Cardinal, the Pope and their emissaries are. Would to God they had more kings of England who would murder them! With these words the Legate, Paul Vergerius answered me here: Hem! "I know" the King of England killed the Cardinals and the Bishops, however etc.Then he threaten the King with the moving of the hands, and knashing of the teeth with terrible things like the Emperor had previously suffered ,to be sure, not with open words but as he bit his lips. "There is a scoundrel in the skin, yes in the heart". The LOrd grant that you also believe this. "Pfaff Albrecht in Halle took away the Abbot's staff in Zinna and the Monstranzens in Juterbock with many other vessels" with with the greatest of devotion while putting down sealed letters from him in their place. One says that that shepherd staff (pedum) of the Abbot and the Monstranz amounted to a large sum. It is truly worthy that he has become Cardinal since with his gifts he can compete with all the Cardinals and will shortly overtake them if he is allowed. Now also in Rome they have stripped, also in Italy, in all the churches the altars,masses, revenues, and jewels and nevertheless require with all severity the Masses and all the worship services (cultus) of the Church. You think that Verres and Dionysius did something awesome, if you believe Cicero ,but now one highly-honorable Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church has become an hundred Verres, a thousand Dionysius not only in heart but does so publicly and unashamed in obvious works. "How do the Lords and Princes permit this" ,they who with their transgressions are afflicting the church with rape! We are waiting for you to come back and if a rumor comes to you bear it and set it aside. We hope that even if there should be some sort of epidemic (instead of this scythian heaven) nevertheless to have pure air. "It must be otherwise signalled if it is the Pest; everywhere men are born and die. "We all must not continue to live on this earth otherwise we will not come over there." My lord Kaethe greets you respectfully and often thinks about you and you see to it that you do not stir me to jealousy since you have one as I who can be vengeful. Be it right well with you in the LOrd and greet Lord Caspar Cruciger and pray for me. Anno 1536 (1535). Your Martin Luther.

NOTES: Ever since Jonas and Melanchthon left Wittenberg with the students because of the plague ML has been trying to convince them and everyone that it hasn't been as bad a rumored.
The year ends and a new one begins for ML in December.
Editors think Antonius was anxious over the delay in the arrival of another emissary.
As always I do not often understand the use of quotation marks in these letters.
Will check on Cicero's evaluation of Verres and Dionysius.

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