TO THE ELECTOR JOHN OF SAXONY, SURNAMED THE STEADFAST
The first German Prince who died in the Evangelical faith. May 15, Grace and peace in Christ! Serene Prince. If able to write at all I have good cause to do so, seeing the Almighty’ has taken our gracious lord, your Grace’s brother, from us in such trying times, leaving us to mourn his loss, which falls heaviest upon you, so that with the Psalmist you may exclaim, “Innumerable” evils have compassed me about: they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart faileth me.” But God is faithful, and does not let His wrath rest on those who trust in Him, but inspires them with courage, enabling them again to exclaim with the Psalmist, “The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death”; and once more, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” And Christ Himself says: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but
be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” This is the school in which God chastens His people, and teaches them to trust Him, so that their confidence may not always hover on the tongue, but in the heart. Your Electoral Grace is most surely in this school also, and doubtless God has removed the head in order that He Himself may take His place, and teach you to derive strength and consolation solely from His goodness and power, which is far above all human love and consolation. I have hurriedly written all this to comfort you. May you graciously receive it, and delight yourself more and more in the Psalter and the Holy Scriptures, which are full of all sorts of consolation. I herewith commit you to God.
Your Electoral Grace’s obedient, MARTIN LUTHER .