TO GABRIEL ZWILLING

Luther advises him to accept the call to Altenburg. April 17, 1522.

Grace and mercy from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Town Council of Altenburg asked me to recommend an Evangelical pastor to them; so if you are chosen, accept the call, looking upon it as a call from God. For I have recommended you to them.

So I plead in the name of the Lord Jesus, who through me and Philip calls you to accept it. Go thither in peace, and may you be a blessing to many thousands. But see that you behave in a circumspect manner, going about in an orderly priest’s dress; and for the sake of the weak, do away with that broad angular monstrosity of a hat, remembering that you are sent to those who must still be fed with milk-till they are freed from the meshes of the Pope; and this you cannot achieve without the Word,

as I have often told you, and which you will see in the last small book I have issued. The Father desires to draw people to Himself through Christ, not to coerce them through ordinances of ours. One must first instill in them a hatred of all godless ways. Then godlessness will fall away of itself, without compulsion. A love and longing for purity must first be implanted-then piety will follow, and the kingdom of heaven will suffer violence, and the violent will take it by force. The Lord give you wisdom and understanding, that you may be a worthy servant of His Son, and may He bless you in the proclamation of His Word. Amen.

MARTIN LUTHER .

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