Wednesday, March 05, 2008

#2212-To Anton Lauterbach in Lieisnig

To the highly-revered man, Herr Anton Lauterbach, the faithful servant of the Church in Leisnig, his very dear brother.
Grace and peace in Christ! " Ach, my Anton, have patience, it will soon be better. As to the other, on the aborted birth (Fehlgeburten=abortis) and the dying at child-birthing these are my thoughts." Firstly on those who die in giving birth (Kindbetterinnen) there is no doubt that they are saved if they die in faith since they die in their God-created responsibility for their generation and thus faith in their work is active,yes,in the cross is found to be completed so that it is confident for the day of judgment or rather awaits comfort. For this reason we must admonish the women that they greatest care apply to bare the fruit even if they must die in baring the fruit. Since some are rather inclined to care for their life rather than the fruit in that they fear death and (want to) escape the pains.

Secondly, on the fruit which either dies in the mother's womb or in being born this is my opinion: this sign of God's wrath, to be sure, is not to be despised on account of unbelieving and evil men who when they know there is nothing to be gained do that which it is too horrible to think about. Therfore with the hard and non-comprehending people make this misfortune (however, in private)great in order that any future presumption is avoided, about which the world has plenty enough, so that perhaps on account of the same God permits the same so that they should be afraid. However, because this commonly befalls the blessed (to the dismay and offense of the godless) we must assume that it is for the testing of our faith. For this reason, if the women are blessed they should commend this to the goodness of God who is much better than anyone can think. Thus He has not bound Himself to any Sacrament so that He could do nothing apart from the Sacraments as He ,apart from the law, has made many (also kings) without the law made blessed, namely, Job,Naaman,the King of Assyria,Babylon and Egypt. Still, He has not on this account wanted that His will should be publicly despised rather kept with the punishment of the curse. So I hope that these little ones who without their guilt have been deprived of baptism and if there was no despising of a public ordinance that the good and very merciful God has good in mind for them but that He,because of the evil of the world,does not want it proclaimed or permit it to be believed so that there is not a despising of all things which He has commanded occuring. Thus we see that there is much that is commanded because of the evil of the world but which He regards clearly as nothing
for the sake of His blessed people. Thus the Spirit works everything for the best. By the perverted He is perverted. Therefore I request that you do not teach this my opinion publicly which particularly belongs to the conscience of the godly. The great crowd of people would right away take this as a certain law which it can securely follow so that they could either kill or neglect the fruit with knowledge and willfulness. Therfore be silent over this matter in public and comfort the good consciences in private. Since God has not revealed to us nothing of what He will do with the little ones who are not baptized but has reserved them to His mercy but that publicly the Word and Sacrament should be insisted upon; "that we should let be". He is not unrighteous. Be it right well with you. Greet Agnes, your flesh. 1536 the Tuesday after Dorothea (8 feb.) Your Martin Luther,D.

No comments: