Saturday, March 15, 2008

#2218-To Wenceslaus Link in Nuernberg

To the highly-renown and highly-honored man, Wenceslaus Link, Theologian and Servant of Christ, his brother in the LOrd!
(Luther is joking with W.Link,his good friend-Editor)
"Grace and peace in Christ!" Because it is now already some life-times since "that I have not written nor spoken Latin",good Wencelaus, I fear that I might not also know my ancient Latin,--except that you, I believe, my have suffered a similar danger;for this reason I hope that my faith will justify me before you apart from evil and good works because you are a gracious God toward such a great sinner as you would have one do to you in similar sins,Amen.

There is nothing that I might write to you only that I did not want to send these very honor-worthy Evangel-women, namely Frau Detzelin (Detzelinam) and her daughters,away without a letter. I would also have sent several mountains of gold except that often in these years our Elbe overflows and carries away all the gold sand with it and leaves behind stones and gravel some atoms of which remain in the side of Jonas (Jonas had gall or kidney stones) although he is yet an extraordinary enemy of Epicurus who disputed about atoms. However, I joke, sick and healthy,weak and strong, a sinner and a righteous one, recently dead and living in Christ.You, there under streams of gold and silver, I plead, do not send me dreams (somnia) but poetic seeds (semina) which please me very much. Do you not understand it?

"I want to speak German, my gracious Herr Wenzel. If it is not too difficult for you,nor too much,or too long,or too far, or too high, or too deep and the like etc., I request that you would have some lad assemble all the German pictures,rhymes,songs, books, Meister-songs this year which are painted,poetic,made,printed by your German poets,form-cutters,or printers since I have reason why I like to have them. Latin books we can make here by ourselves; we are earnestly learning here to write German books and hope to make them very good and already have done though it pleases no one." Be it well with you in Christ and pray for me. The LOrd be with you and all your flesh, and greet all of ours. Monday after Oculi (20 March) 1536. D.Mart.Luther,"a Doctor like yourself".

NOTES: Link (1483-1547) born the same year as Luther and died the year after Luther.
Headed the Wittenberg faculty in 1512. Succeeded Staupitz as vicar-general of the German Augustinians.(Gleaned from Luther Cylcopedia)
Luther still knew a little Latin. Note the play on somnia and semina.
ML evidently referring to the atomic theory propounded by Democritus.

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