Monday, November 02, 2009

#2305-Melanchthon to Luther,Jonas,Bugenhagen and Cruciger

To the highly-renown men: Lord Doctor Luther,D.Justus Jonas and the head Pastor of the church in Wittenberg and D.Cruciger, his highly honorable teachers.

Heil! Highly-renown and dear men of my heart! I hear that Cordatus has here put forth a great dream-play(?) over several of my words in which, it is said, that I falsely have put forth on the teaching of works. I am moved by this report to respond as soon as possible although I am plagued with other difficult concerns at this time. I have never learned nor have I ever taught anything other than what you commonly teach especially concerning this controversy. But from the start I saw that many, especially
from elsewhere, this sentence: We are justified only through faith, that along with this opinion: WE are through this have a new essence (novitate) or by the infusion of gifts made righteous (that is to say, not only through faith) so it was necessary for me in the Apology that the reckoning only out of grace to put forth and to say several things explicitly.Thereupon, as you know, several questions arose: If only we are accepted by mercy whereto is the new obedience demanded? The Scriptures have it. I never once questioned your judgment not even once to Amsdorf. And I have never at any time had something different in my eye than to declare very specifically what you teach because I know that many have inept opinions about such great things.And that the youth have a very definite way is necessary in addition to many dialectic words.
Also I have never concealed that I want, as much as I can, say that good works are
praiseworthy but I have never adorned them with false praise. I clearly say that they are neither a reward nor meritorious toward everlasting life. And I am not so untaught that I do know what signifies a necessary cause (causa sine qua non). I pray therefore for the sake of Christ that what I have taught with great effort and not on purpose to propose any deviation.
Never have I wanted to deviate from your opinion but when there is suspicion or condemnation by certain men burdening me and I fear estrangement from good will I wish I might go somewhere else in the world. I know several have taught terribly about me whom I would be happy to forgive. And this I want to complain to you about rather than to others. I would not be the originator of any sort of division among us. And I love each and honor them in my heart. And I want the common matter very much. And if my labors and my not insignificant care in each matter of responsibilty are not verified it is in vain that I speak of this matter. However , I hope that my good intentions will eventually be known. And I have never avoided admonition and well intended persuasion. There are manifold gifts. I am claiming nothing and have brought forth nothing new. I have put together for you as much as I am able and put it as clearly as I can.

I hear that yet another complaint has been raised on account of the position of the Pedagogue. Herr Caspar knows how very much and inistently I have pleaded that the choice should be postponed. That they did not want this and ordered me to in accordance with my responsibility to put forth fitting elders I have named four: Freder,Wendelin, Holstein and Marcellus however I said that these two, namely Holstein and Marcellus,are to be preferred above the rest. I have also said that Holstein should in the forefront because he is a Saxon and must receive consideration by this nation.Thereupon it goes to a vote. I have not voiced anything more. Also in my letters conscerning Holstein stating that he is a Saxon it was because it was their displeasure and all wanted to disregard this. Therfore I am in this matter without any fault. I also know, having heard it from Marcellus, that you would like to depart from this narrow position to another. He has never once desired it and leaves the decision entirely up to you. These necessary matters I have intended to describe so that my silence would not arouse, I know not of what sort, a suspicion. And i espically wish to be pure before you. Be it right well and happy with you. On the day of All Saints (1 Nov.)
I am not delighted with this writing and don't want it copied so pardon that. Philppus.

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