Thursday, November 19, 2009

#2307-Conrad Cordatus to Luther
(Another letter to Doctor Mart. Luth.on account of the words of which D.Joh. Bug. Preached on 8 (sic) November.

Grace of God through Christ! Although already for fourteen days I was motivated to write to you because of a certain man who then (and perhaps now) maintained: regarding the causa sine qua non one may dispute yet I believe that I might fear what he says: Don’t go too far! (NE quid nimis!) Yet, in this week, he appears to be hostile to sine qua non has openily from the pulpit said that there are certain people in this school (the U of Wittenberg) who think there is a schism although there is no division over the substance but only on the words, I think it necessary I write this to you so that you, honorable father,that you in no way consent to these people be lenient in this case of faith while we should in every matter be merciful to the neighbor but regarding the faith be righteous and unyielding. Further, while I speak in opposition to Cruciger and others who appear to favor sine qua non yet I confidently oppose these preachers re: whether a dispute in words does not divide the whole body? Thus I will ask them which of those expressions (termini) which are only words (termini) without being indicative of substance?
Then he wants to speak of the Chimaere ( Myth monster) and of the Stag-buck and similar monstrosities related in words as also void of causa sine qua non which also the godless Sophists from their empty heads at first declared likewise the expression and the substance (as their golden calf) imagined in their heads and no grammarians had questions about and never spoke about. I never once had questioned or regarded as true that a schism in such words was not a harmful division. And was not the schism between the Nominalists and Realists a great and harmful split? Then also they declare: One may disagree!
Is it not proper to fight against the schism regarding words? However, how fine it is that against the grammatical expression ( yes, the substance of the expression itself) they want to defend by grammar itself. Thus the conclusion (connexionem) of their syllogism we will answer from the Word of God and confidently oppose them with the help of Christ and His Spirit and with words brought together without art. What would that substance sine qua non answer when we with this word of Christ oppose it (John 14:26) : “The Spirit will remind you of all that I have taught you.?” Or has Christ anywhere spoken of the matter of sine qua non? However, that I should cease burdening you with my writing I say: that that and similar expressions be damned and remain damned in the theology of Christ, Amen.

And whoever maintains that there is no schism in substance established he might see to what he is doing or also believe those manufactured (fabris) new words.

Be it well with you and be strong in the Lord in the power of His strength, and that you in no way permit anyone to move you and you, worthy Doctor, know the consequences if you only in the case of the Sacramentarians had diverted. So also (you know) what a fortuante proceeding the matter had (as several wanted) when the Concord only be sent to them written. Again, be it well with you and your entire house; be strong through the Spirit of Christ and He also the peace with me which was only a short time previously be brought about again by His grace. From Niemeck on the third day of the month of November.Conr.Cordatus

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