TO JOHANN BERCKEN, AUG. PRIOR IN MAINE

Luther thanks him for his kindness to a fugitive monk. May 1, 1516.

Honored and beloved Prior. I was sorry to hear that Baumgaertner, from our cloister in Dresden, who had fled in a hurried manner, and for good reason, had found refuge with you. I must thank you for receiving him so kindly, so that the scandal might be put an end to. He is my lost sheep, who belongs to me, therefore I must try to restore the erring one, if God will. So, I beg you, by our common faith

in Christ, and the order of St. Augustine, that you will either send him to Dresden or to Wittenberg, or lovingly try to persuade him to return of his own free will. I shall receive him with open arms, if he come; he need have no fear on account of having injured me. I know that offenses will come, and it is no marvel when a man falls, but it is a miracle when he recovers himself and remains steadfast. Peter fell, so that he might know he was human. Even in the present day the cedars of Lebanon, whose branches almost reach heaven, fell. Yes, even an angel in heaven fell, which was indeed a marvel — and Adam fell in paradise. So, is it to be wondered at that the reed should bend before the storm, and the glimmering torch be extinguished? May the Lord Jesus enable you to perfect this good work. Amen.

Farewell. From our cloister in Dresden. MARTIN LUTHER.

0:00
0:00