TO MICHAEL DRESSEL
Augustinian Prior in Neustadt, whom Luther deposed because he could not keep the peace with the brethren.
June 22, 1516.
Salvation and peace! But not such peace as is manifest to the natural man, but that which lies beneath the cross, viz. the peace which passeth all understanding. Thou art longing for peace, but in the wrong way; for thou seekest it as the world gives it, and not as Christ does. Dost thou know, dear father, that in this matter God deals in a wondrous manner with His people, having placed His peace in the midst of dispeace, nay, in the very thick of temptation and dissensions. “Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” Therefore it is not he whom no one disturbs who has peace — that is the world’s peace, but he who is troubled on every side, and bears all quietly and joyfully. Thou sayest with Israel, “Peace, peace, and there is no peace.” Cry rather with Christ, “Cross, cross!” And yet there is
no cross. For, as soon as thou canst joyfully say, “Blessed cross, of all kinds of wood there is none like unto thee.” Then, in that moment, the cross has ceased to be a cross. See, then, how graciously the Lord is leading thee to true peace in surrounding thee with so much of the cross. For he who seeks peace will find it. And the best way to seek it is, when affliction overtakes you, to receive it with joy, as a sacred relic, and cease searching vainly for a peace which commends itself to your lower nature. For God considers any such peace far inferior to His peace, which is inseparable from the cross and
the troubles of this life. Farewell, and pray for me, dear father. May the Lord reign in you. MARTIN LUTHER, Vicar. Wittenberg.