Thursday, July 10, 2008

#2261- Luther,in collaboration with other theologians, to Leonhard Beier in Zwickau

Since our Gospel and Doctrine stresses forcefully that the two regimens,worldly and spiritual,should well be distinguished, yes, are not to be mingled only unless the highest necessity or trouble of the persons forces it. That is, if there are persons at the administrative site (Rathaus) and city-regime, and on the other hand, where there are persons caring for the pastor office and church, one should not seize or fall into the office of the other but each should be permitted to be commended to his own conscience as St. Peter teaches we should not alienorum curatores vel inspectores (guardians or inspectors of others) be; from the beginning Christ separated the two offices and also experience teaches very well that there can be no peace where the Council or City wants to rule in the Church and the example of the Papacy teaches that well; accordingly we plead and admonish you, Mr. Parish-head, and Magister Leonhard, good friend, that you hold to this firmly in Zwickau as the Visitation Articles and the Electoral Recess has concluded.The devil is not ceremonious and the flesh and blood is not good and the people in this dangerous time are wondering and curious many of whom do not seek peace and unity but what desire and imagination require. Accordingly, because there can be no peace and unity abide when there Caplan (assistants), school-masters,and church-servants are put in church-offices without the knowledge and consent of the parish-head in that they defy and knock with the Council while everywhere support is found against the parish-heads: thus you should concede to the example and insist that they place nor tolerate any Caplan,School-master,or chuch-servant without your knowledge (if it is being considered) and consent; as we here in Wittenberg do according to the express voice of the Visitation that the parish-head without the knowledge and counsel of the worldly regiment can be accepted or refused which also, as far as we know,all other cities do
where the Visitors (otherwise none can be received) have visited. Worldly regiments have enough to do and don't need to be burdened with unnecessary regimens. It would also be an annoying prospect for Zwickau to be ashamed to follow the example of Wittenberg and other cities because it is according to the Visitation-ordinance and it makes no sense not to yield to such general orders but rather leads to division and destruction of the church. We should thank God that a few of our churches in similar order are constituted and practice; and God will grant no happiness to those who such order and unity destroy and for the sake of their own desire for glory and pretension without any necessity. God help and strengthen us all in the right faith and unfeigned love,Amen. Monday after St. Magdalene (24 July) anno Domini 1536.Martinus Luther,D. Johannes Bugenhagen,D. Georgius Spalatinus

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