Thursday, March 03, 2011

#2348-ML's First Will-1537

(The superscription of this document in Vol. 21b of the St.Louis Edition,pg.2157-58, has this from Bugenhagen): "Confession and Testament of our highly-honorable father,D.Luther in Gotha in the night when he had no hope in the decrease of his bodily strength and that he would live before day. By me Pomeranus only. Since others were not permitted." He wrote this, with his own hand, on the day after the Octave after Easter,Apr.9,1537. Bugenhagen wrote this that the Prince might see it. The Prince had sent for Kette to ride to Schmalkalden as it was thought that Luther might die due to a severe blockage of the bladder. ML was there to confer with other church leaders and secular leaders how to proceed in relations to the Emperor and Pope. Wonderfully, Luther was relieved on Feb.27, 1537 and was headed back to Wittenberg and composed this on the way back at Gotha on the 28 of February 1537 after writing to Melancthon and Kette telling of his relief and telling Kette to ride back to Wittenberg and he would see her there. )

"I know, God be praised, that I have done right in storming the Papacy with God's Word. Since it was blasphemy etc. of God, of Christ and of the Gospels."
Pray for me my very dear Philipp (Philippulum), Jonas, and Cruciger that you may forgive me what I ever only have sinned against you.
Comfort my Kaethe, that she may bear it, she was with me for twelve joyful years. She not only served me as wife but also as a servant. God will repay her! You, however, will care for her and the children so much as there is concern.
Speak a greeting to the Lord Diacone of our church for me. "The pious citizens of Wittenberg have often served me".
Say to the Elector and my Lord Landgraf in my name, that they should not be disturbed because of this and similar outcries of the opponents:"You rob the spiritual goods" etc. since they do not rob as certain other people. Since I see that they demonstrate concern with these goods as religion requires. If beyond this something fortuitous comes who should presume to have it before them? This is due to the Princes not to the papal villains. Command them in my name that in confidence in God that they do everything confidently for the cause of the Gospel whatever the Holy Spirit inspires them to do; I do not prescribe to the manner and way. The merciful God strengthen them that they remain in the true doctrine and say thanks for that they have been freed from the anti-christ. I have, in prayer, earnestly commended them and hope that He will preserve them that they do not again give the papal godlessness any place. Since they also are after all sinners in many matters and not pure in everything and for this the opponents will reproach them and likely accuse, so should they yet on the goodness of the LOrd trust. This is nothing in comparison with the godlessness, the blasphemies, the hatefulness, the murderous deeds etc. of the anti-christian opponents from whom the divine mercifulness has freed them. Therefore they should be strong and continue in the Name of the LOrd.
I am now ready to die, if the LOrd wills. I might however live till Pentecost so that I may accuse even harder this Roman beast and his kingdom before the world yet. This I will do, if I live; I will have no need of any spurs. Others who come after me will deal much rougher with that beast although I will deal roughly with some things if I live.
Herewith I commend my soul to the Father and my LOrd Jesus Christ,Whom I preached and confessed on earth.

N.B. When the Germans speak of the Lord God they print "HErr" and of princes and nobles etc."Herr" so I refer to God as "LOrd".

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