TO WENZEL

Wenzelaus Link studied in Wittenberg, and was afterwards pastor in Nurnberg. July 10, 1518.

Our vicar, John Lange, says that Count Albrecht of Mansfeld has warned him not to let me leave here, as some great people have given orders that I should be suffocated or drowned.

I am like Jeremiah, the man of strife, whom the Pharisees daily tormented with new doctrines, as they called them. But I have only taught the pure gospel, therefore I always knew that I would be a stumbling-block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks. But it would ill become me not to do all

this for the Lord Jesus, who says to all His people, “I will shew him what great things he must suffer for my name’s sake!” The more they threaten, the more confident and joyful I become: my wife and child are provided for; my land, house, and all I have are in order, and if they rob me of my good name, nothing remains but my miserable body. From the beginning God’s word is on this wise, that all who cleave to it must with the apostles be hourly prepared to suffer the loss of all things, nay, even to meet death itself.

Were it not so, then it would be no word of Christ, for it has been made known and spread abroad, through the death of many, and will go on, being thus maintained and renewed through manifold deaths. For our Bridegroom is a blood-stained Bridegroom. Therefore pray that the Lord Jesus may strengthen the confidence of His faithful sinners. I preached the other day upon the tyranny of the officials and vicars, etc. The people marveled that they had never heard anything of this before. We now wait to see what I shall have to endure on this account. I have lighted a new fire, but the word of truth does this also, the sign that shall be spoken against. I do not concern myself about the faultfinders

To Christ alone I shall defer in the ministry. MARTIN LUTHER. Wittenberg.

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