TO CHRISTOPH SCHEURL September 11, 1517.
To my highly esteemed Herr Christoph Scheurl, my greeting. Although I have no pretext for writing to such an excellent man as you, still I think the fact of having recently acquired such a warm, upright friend is reason enough for doing so. And even should one, once in a while, have to complain of getting no letters, surely even this silence would merit a few jocular lines, and how much more a regular correspondence to maintain the friendship, not to say rivet it closer. Even the holy
Hieronymus begged his friend that he would at least write to say he knew of nothing to write about. Therefore I determined to talk nonsense, rather than be silent. But, dear God, how seldom does this Brother Martin, who has been falsely called a great theologian, take up the pen without prating? But it seems as if I would write a book instead of a letter. My object in addressing you was to show how highly I esteemed you, and not to cause you to express a similar opinion of me, but only to convince you that you might trust me as you would yourself. It just occurs to me, that in sending me the writings of our Vicar-General through Ulrich Pindar, I owed you two ducats; I have partly sold them, and given some to the esteemed friends of this good man. The money which I drew from those I sold
I gave, according to your directions, to the poor, viz. to myself and my brother monks. For, upon God’s dear earth, I know of no one poorer than myself. I now beg you to send me a gulden more of those writings, and I shall remit the money when I have sold them. There are still many who wish them. At the same time, I send you my singular propositions, which seem quite unreasonable to
many. You can direct the attention of our learned and thoughtful Eck to them, so that I may know what faults he finds in them. All your friends here, of whom Herr Licentiate Amsdorf and Dr. Hieronymus are the dearest, send greetings, also Peter the Barber, whom you honor with your friendship. Farewell, and pray for me.
MARTIN LUTHER, Augustinian Cloister. Wittenberg. (Schutze.)