TO LAMBERT THORN

The Augustinian monk, Thorn, suffered a martyr’s death in the Netherlands. January 19, 1524.

Grace and peace! Christ, who is with you, my dear brother, bears witness within me that you need no comfort from me. For He suffers, and is glorified; He is captive and reigns; He suffers violence, and

yet triumphs both in and with you, having made you just and holy, through the knowledge of Himself, which is hidden from the world, but which He has so richly bestowed upon you. Thereby you are not only strengthened inwardly by His Spirit in your affliction, but by the example of the two brothers, Heinrich and Johann. Both you and they have been a great comfort to me, and a sweet savour to all Christendom, and a glorious ornament to the gospel of Christ. Who knows why the Lord did not permit you to perish with them? Perhaps He spared you that He might do some mighty work through you.

This encourages me much, that the faithful Saviour has not only permitted me to come to the knowledge of His truth, but has allowed me to see His grace flourishing so gloriously in you three. I might deem this a misfortune, for it was I who first brought this teaching — for confessing which

these two were burned, and you now sit in captivity — to the light of day. I fear I shall not be counted worthy to suffer such tribulation as you three for Christ’s sake. Nevertheless, I shall comfort myself thus — that your bonds are my bonds, your prison my prison, and your fire my fire. In addition, I

shall preach, and openly confess, before the godless world, princes and angels, the Word for which these two were burned and you sit in captivity, and because of which I both suffer and rejoice with you. But the Lord Jesus, who has begun the good work in you, will perform it until the day of His glorious appearing. But pray for me, as I do for you, and remember you do not suffer alone, but He who says, “I will be with him in trouble; he shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name,” suffers with you. Only wait upon Him who has said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Do not dispute with Satan, but turn your eyes to the Lord. Be firmly rooted upon the pure faith, and never doubt that we shall be justified and sanctified through the precious blood of Christ, the spotless Lamb of God. Our works can as little make the man righteous, as they can be mistaken for Christ’s blood — neither can they condemn us or lay sin to our charge. God be praised, in our Elector’s land we have peace.

The Duke of Bavaria and the Bishop of Trier cause many to be slain, and banish some. There are other bishops and princes who are not bloodhounds, although they worry their people through threats, and do them much injury. So Christ is again despised of the people, whose member you now are, through the holy calling of our Father in heaven, and may He perfect this call in you, to His honor and glory. Amen.

All our people greet you, especially Jacob Praepositus, and the brethren from Antwerp, etc. They commend themselves to your prayers.

MARTIN LUTHER .

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