Saturday, July 05, 2008

#2258a-To Johann,Georg,and Joachim of Anhalt

(On a marriage case -Ed.)
To the illustrious, high-born Princes and Lords, Herr Johann and Georg and Joachim,brothers,Princes in Anhalt,Grafs in Ascanien and Lord in Bernburg, my gracious Lords.

Gratiam and peace in Christ. Illustrious, high-born Prince, gracious Lords!It is true that the marriage case written about by EFG has just in recent days come before me and I said that such a degree (of relationship between parties) is neither forbidden by divine nor by imperial law and they should seek with EFG whether it can be obtained and they may travel to there. Since the Emperor has subjected his law to the Papal law so it is up to each authority whether they want to follow the imperial law or let the imperial law remain under the Papal as the Emperor does. Therefore it depends upon EFG what they want to do herein or permit. I am glad to proceed this way (since I am anti-papal): if the cases have come to ad copulam carnis (physical relations?) I advise that one punishes civiliter (civily)to make others timid (?) and afterward permit them to be together; however, to make a public right out of that I cannot yet support because people become too wild and in the name of Christian liberty want to do whatever they desire. I have written much about such matters for the sake of a bound conscience (which God has aroused in me)and not for the sake of wild, raw,gross,fleshly,obstinate people. If EFG now wants and for the sake of those who might come afterward this marriage may be permitted for them but yet others must not make a right or example out of this. It may well be that there will people come who might well be indulged and therefore it is not to be condemned or sanctioned. It lies am prudenti magistratui, qui aequitatem spectet, condiseratis circumstantiis locorum, personarum, tempus, necesstatem etc. (it rests with the prudence of the magistrates,who follow equity considering circumstances at hand,persons, time, necessity, etc.) Herewith be commended to God,Amen. Vigil of Magdalene (21 July) 1536.EFGs' willing Martinus Luther.
NOTE: My Latin is not too good or polished but think it might be acceptable in this case. Let me know, you Latinos.
Lately alot has made a ML letter to Joachim counseling him as Joachim was down in the dumps thinking he had betrayed and crucified. Am remembering a Christmas article in the Lutheran Witness of 2007. Just saw something also in a Methodist publication. Think that Luther letter to Joachim was in 1535 but I don't remember running across it or maybe it was letter of encouragement without mentioning the exact complaint. What do you remember?

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