Sunday, April 25, 2010

#2333-Elector Johann Friedrich to Luther

To begin with, our greetings and gracious intent. Worthy, dear devout one! We have your writing together with the Articles which you, together with the other theologians, your brothers in office have put together and have received them from M.Spalatin and say thanks to God the Almighty and our LOrd Christ that He has given you health and provided you with strength to complete such Articles so Christianly,pure and clear and also that He has given you grace that harmoniously,Christianly, and brotherly, and friendly arrived at them and received also your industry and labor so therein good has been Christendom in general toward gracious pleasusre and thanks and find that in nothing your courage has changed from what you always have taught,preached and written consistently resting and building on our LOrd Christ so that the gates of hell cannot destroy and also will remain before the Pope, Council, and those who adhere to them. The Almighty God grant us all through our LOrd Christ grace that we in constant, truthful faith may abide and never through human fear or favor turn away from them. We can well know that there are others who speak of the same and similar divine dealings who in neglect of the Holy Gospel purely and plainly preached in and written will bring forth strife,danger and burdens.However, these people who question and His alone-saving Word and burden themselves thereby it is well to consider what they lose and not to make too much of it since they are living under the Papacy or the Turk when they only have peace,rest,and days from their Mammon and from time to time might scratch up more . We know however, praise God, that the matters, as you have brought out from God’s Word, we confess along with you, that these are divine matters ,not human, and should be confessed before the world and not denied, and we should not partake with them because of frightful speech so that if we do not confess Him before the world He will not confess us before His heavenly Father. Therefore it is the situation that with the placing of these Articles that no one can overthrow divine truth and they also are so clearly and understandable we as lay people, praise God , as with the previous Augsburg Confession which we held to be right, Christian and we understand and know to hold to no other further counsel so after we have read the Articles through a second time we take them to be godly,Christian and right and want also the same to confess before a Council, also before the whole world and also where it is possible publicly and freely confessed and will confess and we pray to God that He will give grace to our brothers and also us and our descendants that we constantly and without wavering prevail and may abide.

Concerning the venture and what comes for our land,people and also other persons we bring before God who has said that the hairs of our head are all numbered and we cannot lose them without His divine will: He will also make and order the course on behalf of our brother, us and our children,also the land and people according to His divine will as we place it before His will since He has chosen us to be Princes. If it His will He will support us therein well however if it is not His well it helps not to be anxious about danger as He will as it pleases Him make it well and we commend it to your prayer and those of other Christians.

That we so vehemently oppose the Pope does not concern us in the least. That we should for the sake of good opinion and for the sake of peace , as M.Philippus proposes, let one be a Lord who is over our Bishops, Pastors, Preachers, to do His bidding sets us on a course burdensome because He will yet not rest nor his successors until he has destroyed and rooted out us and our descendants because God’s Word has freed and saved us so that proposal is not beneficial.
Should we in our wisdom having been freed from the Babylonian Captivity by God it would be tempting God if we were again to venture somethin so filled with danger would bring us from God to a destiny that, without doubt, could have avoided. We have not wanted to keep from our gracious regard for your writing and we hope that our God will grant you grace, strength and health that you may make the trip with us to Smalkald and these other matters following He will help to bring to a good end. Dated, Saturday after the Three Kings (Jan.7) 1537 to D.Luther

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