TO THE ELECTOR FREDERICK

Luther admonishes the Elector to steadfastness and patience. End of February or March.

To my Most Gracious Lord Frederick, in my own hand. Grace and prosperity from God the Father to the new relic! Such is my greeting to you, most gracious lord, instead of sending you my sympathy. Your Electoral Highness has for long been trying to procure sacred relics from all lands, but God has now granted your desire, and without money or trouble has furnished you with a cross, fully equipped with nails, spears, and scourges. Once more, I repeat, prosperity from God to the new relic. Do not let your Highness fear, but stretch out your arms cheerfully, and let the nails be firmly inserted; nay,

give thanks and be joyful, for thus must it be with all who love God’s Word — they must put up with the rage of Annas and Caiaphas, and remember that Judas, too, was an apostle, and Satan appeared among the children of God. Your Grace must only be wise and prudent, and not judge according to human wisdom, nor with respect of persons…. And above all, do not despair, for Satan has not accomplished what he meant to do. If your Grace would only believe a fool like me; for I am too well acquainted with such like assaults of Satan to fear them, and that vexes him greatly. As yet it is all pretense. Let the world raise a hue and cry, let those who fall, fall —even if it be St. Peter and the apostles — they will reappear on the third day when Christ rises from the dead. For 2 Corinthians 6 must be fulfilled in us, “As chastened and not killed.” Your Electoral Highness will take this in good part; for, in my great haste, the pen has run away with me, and I have no more time, for I am anxious to be there myself, if God will. Your Electoral Grace must not trouble with my affairs. Your Electoral Highness’s humble servant, MARTIN LUTHER . (De Wette.)

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