for, it is not the sword which must bear rule here, but the spirit of God. I have discussed all these matters with your pastor, Herr Michael, who will instruct you, and whom you must obey. I commend you to God, who will strengthen and prosper you, to His praise and honor. MARTIN LUTHER .
TO JOHN FREDERICK OF SAXONY, CALLED THE MAGNANIMOUS
Letter of consolation on the death of his uncle, Frederick the Wise.
May 15, 1525.
Grace and peace in Christ! I must try to console your Grace when the Almighty has so tried us; for we have not only lost peace in the land, but also our head, of whom we stand greatly in need at present. God is wonderful in His working, sending at once misfortune, and then removing it, so that we may strengthen ourselves in Him, singing with Christ in the Psalter, “I am desolate and afflicted.” But we must remain steadfast. It is impossible the old Adam should not suffer through all this, being too weak to bear the trial, but the inner man finds comfort in God’s words that He is nigh unto those that are of a broken heart. There can be no other consolation than God’s Word, which bids us trust and call upon Him in all our affliction: “Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee,” etc.; and again, “I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver and honor him,” and such like sweet loving words, of which the Psalms are full.
And, indeed, our Prince’s death has nothing mournful in it in itself, for it seems as if God had taken him away, like King Josiah, from the evil in the world, because he ruled in a peaceable, quiet way, deserving his name “Friedrich” (peace).
And one rejoices when such peace-loving souls are not forced to live on amid such confusion, which would grieve us more than to see his last days passed amid war.