Saturday, May 31, 2008

#2253-To Wolfgang Loech and Peter Thun (Thym),Citizens of Zwickau

G.(grace) u.(und) peace in Christ! Honorable,dear good friends! Regarding your writing on the marriage case,as you present it, it is my advice that the man, husband to the deranged woman is not responsible to marry the woman he has made pregnant before the death of the wife because there was no engagement. Howevr, there is this. He might well be responsible to legitimize her and restore her honor because she was humiliated and ruined by him as the Scripture says except for the friendship or link be too near according to the spiritual law. You could by your authority require that they should suffer such marriage it is then my advice that they could legitmately remain with one another.Such a link (relation?) is not forbidden by God or imperial law, but on account of willful,evil people is not to be allowed as a right although in such cases after the fact, as here happened, it may be permitted and suffered. But if the woman has not been made weak one should not suffer it on account of the people. Because it has happened one can let it beif the authority is satisfied and no one's conscience may be shunned because imperial law permits it. Herewith be commended to God,Amen. Tuesday after Vitus (20 June)1536 Martinus Luther,D.

NOTE: Editors say Burkhardt explains that shortly after the marriage Wolf Hayn of Zweinitz has wife became insane and Wolf impregnated his brother's granddaughter. The court decided that they could marry and live together only outside of the electoral lands.

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