TO GEORGE SPALATIN
The first evangelical hymn-book appeared this spring in Wittenberg, containing eight hymns — four by
Luther. “Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu Dir” (Psalm 130) was in this collection. February 23, 1521.
Grace and peace! I write, dear Spalatin, only because I wished to write you. For you are sitting at Nurnberg as still as if you were in Rome, so that we do not know whether you may not all be sound asleep, somewhere. I got a letter from you long ago, but now all is so quiet that we do not know whether to expect a Pope or a Diet. But by Easter we expect that the princes will be so stirred up by their priests and father confessors that as a worthy way of celebrating the sacrament of the Lord Jesus they will begin a fresh persecution of the gospel. I am waiting to hear if you have put some of the Psalms into metre as I suggested. Everything goes well here. The translation of Job gives us immense trouble on account of its exalted language, which seems to suffer even more, under our attempts to translate it, than Job did under the consolations of his friends, and seems to prefer to lie among the ashes. Evidently the author never wished it to be translated. Meanwhile this hinders the printing of the third part of the Bible. Do write and let us know what is going on in the world. May all go well with you, and pray for me.
MARTIN LUTHER .