TO PHILIP MELANCHTHON
Luther writes from the Wartburg. May 12, 1521.
All hail! And you, my Philip, what are you about meantime? Are you praying that my enforced seclusion may draw down some great thing to the glory of God, and therefore I wish to know if you approve of it. I feared it might look as if I were fleeing from the conflict, but I thought it best to give in to those who had arranged it thus. I long earnestly to encounter my enemies and vanquish them in the strife. While sitting here, I ponder all day long on the state of the Churches as represented in the
88th Psalm. “Why hast Thou made all men in vain?” What a dreadful picture of the wrath of God is the cursed kingdom of the Romish Antichrist; and I lament my hard-heartedness, that I do not weep rivers over the destruction of the daughters of my people. Is there no one who will arise and plead
with God, or become a wall for the defence of the house of Israel, in those last days of the wrath of God? Therefore be up and doing, ye servants (Dieher) of the Word, and build up the walls and towers of Jerusalem till they close round about you. You know your calling and gifts. I pray earnestly for you, if my prayers may avail (which I hope they may). Do the same for me, and let us share this burden. We are still alone upon the field. When they are done with me they will seek you. Spalatin writes that a terrible Edict has been issued, making it a matter of conscience for every one to search out my writings to destroy them. The Dresden Rehoboam rejoices, and is eager to promote such doings.
The Emperor has also been instigated to write to the King of Denmark not to favor the Lutheran heresy, and my enemies now chant, “When will he be destroyed, and his name perish?” Hartmann von Kronenberg has renounced his pay of 200 ducats, and told the Emperor that he will serve him no longer. I believe this Edict will have no effect, except with the abovementioned Rehoboam, and with your neighbor who is afflicted with a great love of honor. God lives and reigns to all eternity. Amen. God has visited me with great bodily suffering. I have not slept all night, and had no rest.
Pray for me, as this evil will become unbearable if it go on increasing as it has hitherto done. The Cardinal of Salzburg accompanied Ferdinand, the fourth day after our return, to his bride at Innsbruck. It is said Ferdinand was not greatly pleased with his convoy, and neither was the Emperor, Spalatin writes. Write particularly how things are going on with you. And may you be happy with your wife. In the region of the birds.
MARTIN LUTHER . (Walch.)