Sunday, May 18, 2008

#2246-To Heinrich, Duke in Saxony

Grace and peace in Christ. Illustrious, high-born Prince, gracious Lord!A citizen of Freiburg named Matthes Lother has done the wrong thing with words against our doctrine and that of Pope etc.Thereupon I severly admonished the citizens, who had indicated the same to me by writing, that they should see to it that he be forbidden to do this. Thereupon (I hear) that EFG has proceeded against him with great vigor so that he is fearful for his life and must flee which I was not unhappy to hear this about EFG. Now he comes to me and pleads, with the intercessions of many good people, that I should write to EFG on his behalf that EFG would mitigate the punishment so that he does not have to sell his possessions and live with his wife and child outside the land. I am thinkg it would be better if EFG would extend for a long time his stay in prison for his punishment and near his wife and child being duty bound and if he should again undertake this immediately the head would be neglected (verwahrlost=defenceless?)Such lads when they are with similar ones made the fire (Feuer or Fewer) worse than if they are kept in the land and made responsible there as my most gracious Lord, the Elector ordered for Carlstadt and several others. EFG will know well how to consider everything since I scarcely know how one should stop these people. If they are permitted to stay they do not stop their assaults; if they are chased away they make it ten times worse. If, however, this Matthes is sincere as he has made known in humble confession it would be better if were kept in the land under responsibility than if outside the land he becomes desperate and brings about greater unhappiness. Herewith be commended to God, Amen. Midweek in Pentecost (7June)1536. EFG's willing Martinus Luther.

NOTE:This sounds similar to what the Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia describes as the procedures of Philipp von Hesse with the Anabaptists.
This seems a clumsy translation but maybe someone can improve upon it. Maybe they are under obligation (Pflicht) to cease and desist.

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