Page:The letters of Martin Luther.djvu/144

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LXXXI

TO THE BURGHERMASTER AND TOWN COUNCIL OF ALTENBURG

Luther recommends Gabriel Zwilling (Didymus), formerly Augustinian monk in Wittenberg, as preacher in Altenburg.

April 17, 1522.

Most excellent Gentlemen and Friends. The grace and peace of God and my most willing service be with you! Honored sirs. I was glad to receive your letters about a pastor, and to see how eagerly you long for the Word of God. Therefore I am most willing, and consider it my duty to give you any assistance and counsel I can.

There is one called Gabriel, now in Dueben, who is considered an excellent preacher with much experience, so I would advise you to take him. No doubt some feel a slight aversion to him, because he left the order, and now goes about in the dress of an ordinary priest, but it was well that he should come out, so that many might have the benefit of his ministration, to the edification of their souls. If you do not feel shy of him on this account, then I do not know how I can advise you better. And I have written him to place himself at your disposal, so that you may see him and judge for yourselves. But if you are not pleased, there are still two secular (weltliche) priests here, capable men; so if your Excellencies let me know, I shall help you to get one or other of them. Were it possible I would rather come to you myself, to satisfy your ardent longings, than see you at a loss.

But if you get Gabriel you have no need of me. I herewith commit you to the grace of God, who can enrich you with faith and love through His Holy Word. MARTIN LUTHER . WITTENBERG. (De Wette.)