Wednesday, March 23, 2011

#2353-To Duke Barnim of Pomerania in collaboration with Bugenhagen

Grace and peace of God through Christ, our LOrd. Illustrious,high-born Prince, gracious lord! Upon EFG's writing to us, as it was at length, that M.Paulus of Rohda was by us urged from E.G.' lands to take up service at another place, which EFG was not willing for previous given reasons, and which we the above named M.Paulus be allowed such permission ,with gracious pleas, the cause and burden be taken from him: we want EFG not to regard the report as truthful that we the above named M.Paulus either advised nor otherwise supported that he should go from the lands of EFG but that before this time, over several years ,he should stay there with earnest admonishments that he should remain at Stettin so that the doctrine of the Gospels should not go under, also rebellion and other burdens which could otherwise result would be averted that he up to now had given honor to the Gospel and benefited the city Stettin as being of good will.
Although he oftentimes complained of his trouble and need that would make it difficult for him to remain by them in poverty and danger while the Gospel is yet persecuted and especially because he wanted yet to install good ordinances in the church and after they now have been made also executed and followed so they would be working and might happen, should still remain and also said that after he with Schulden verhaftet, his trouble to improve; he however hoped thereto in vain, and that finally he was forced since he often listened, he must betake himself to another place, which we did know what to recommend since because we have no other place it is not difficult to remain but in poverty,danger and disrespect.Because now everything which M.Paulus brought forward was not considered, he finally, without our knowing about it, before he sent to EFG at Schmalkalden openly desired permission and acceptance and declined to further serve the city of Stettin and that according to Christ had good cause amidst such disrespect. Thereafter when an honorable delegation from the city of Lueneberg was sent which during our absence from Wittenberg traveled to Schmalkalden and from the above named city wegen us requested that they be provided with a superintendent to care for them which they also had requested four years but we previously did not have such a person ; and after M.Paulus at Schmalkalden presented to his need, and we know, as also EFG in his writing gave witness of him that he had sufficiently in his office had done godly and christianly in the matter so that the blame was not him that he should leave Stettin and we also had no other person to indicate to those of Luneberg although we were not happy that he must leave the city of Stettin: we yet let it happen after that he is now free that should be assigned to the city of Luneberg as we to them have also notified; we want to humbly remind EFG that with great understanding well consider how one could excuse that after the poor man M.Paulus serve so faithfully also in the persecution of the Gospel being in great danger,poverty and misery, and in earnestness,counsel, and help against rebellion and other bad-counse (Unrath) to peace and unity, andto EFG and authority behaved in obedience as EFG knows better himself. That he should for such loyal service and endeavor should now by EFG so entangled that he may not turn away from EFG's lands and should be guilty and to suffer such misery not only as to sustenance but also a burdened conscience and not a trace for betterment by any of yours and this forever: EFG can well consider that not a slightest handworker would go to EFG's lands to say nothing of a foreign preacher would want anymore to come to Pommerania.
Now the good M.Paulus has not broken any law that he should be held there against his will. EFG should also graciously have regard to us since we know that EFG had no bad opinion; May EFG also consider that such preachers would stay in your lands only if would be supported so that they may remain.Beyond this EFG should herein consider that EFG was never obligated to reward M.Paulus with service or money except for the city of it is unlikely that they might give him permission, if they would want to, and he must continually be restless and sit on the spring and should not again have power to attain permission from them whenever he has need. That, however, EFG, desires us to release from the service is not for us to do; also it is not for us to change such acceptance which he made in our presence before an honorable delegation; to which we neither advised him nor ordered, except that we heard that he had received permission from the city of Stettin and was now free to betake himself and we saw he was inclined to Luneberg we had to permit and that he so desired then he could better himself and such we on his behalf have written to the Council of Luneberg. If, however, M.Paulus, with improvement in the situation, as EFG and the city Stettin offer, would be willing to stay with them and EFG or the city of Stettin from city of Luneberg obtain +knowledge that they would release M.Paulus from his acceptance: we would not oppose that and indeed we would be happy and heartily want the city and the entire land of EFG provided with good preachers. And we are in this case and recognize our responsibility to serve EFG and others to best of our ability for the furtherance of the Gospel. Thus EFG should completely see that our final opinion, in service to EFG and the city of Stettin, that we would be happy to see M.Paulus to stay there, to the extent, as said, that he would endure it; if also the city of Luneberg releases him his acceptance we will earnestly turn our efforts to provide them with another Superintendent although for the previous four years that was not able to do. What M.Paulus, for his own person, has in mind we however, cannot know since he has not written and therefore we put it up to him what he would do. Summing up, we leave this EFG's great understanding that if M.Paulus is willing to stay whether it be regarding as necessary either by EFG or the city of Stettin, or the Prince of Luneberg that this matter would require the use of a Mediatorwhich the city of Luneberg may support so that we the consent have sought the consent of those from Luneberg and that of M.Paulus, not been brittle, so that the self-same city might complain against us that what we have agreed to we have not kept. Herewith we commend EFG to God's grace and we are always will and ready to serve EFG. Dated at Wittenberg on the Friday after Pascha (6 April) Anno 1537. EFG's willing Martinus Luther,D., and submissively Johannes Bugenhagen Pommer,D,

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