Page:The letters of Martin Luther.djvu/297

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Grace can always cleave to the gospel in spite of King Ferdinand, as happened under the Emperor, and besides God can arrange the future for the benefit of those who believe in Him.

And I should not like your Grace’s confidence in God, which shone so gloriously in Augsburg, to suffer injury through fear of the future, especially as we have no Scripture warrant or necessity for acting thus, and which might be our ruin.

The third reason is, were you not to vote, then the kingdom is torn asunder and Germany divided, through which war may ensue, for one party will not yield to the other unless coerced through war. God knows these are no light matters, but may He help us not to make them harder.

The future is not at man’s disposal, as an old History tells us, and when God is not at the helm, things turn out very differently from what one expects. If the Pope and Emperor did not get their own way at Augsburg, henceforth they will certainly fail, as they trust their own wisdom. Only let us cleave to God, and not to an uncertain future, as they did.

The Landgrave of Hesse has caused himself to be inscribed as a citizen of Zurich, which is no cause of rejoicing to me, and if God do not prevent, a great war may ensue, in which the error of the sacrament may be defended and we be blamed, a calamity which may Christ avert. For the Swiss have not yet retracted, but maintain their error. Ah, Lord God, I am far too much of a child for these worldly affairs! I shall pray God to protect and guide you graciously, as He has hitherto done; or should anything untoward happen, that He may provide a way of escape. Amen.

Your Electoral Grace will take my unintelligible prating in good part. I speak as I understand, but desire that your Grace’s conscience may be clear, for it would be my greatest trial should it run into danger. I herewith commit you to the grace of God. Your Electoral Highness’s devoted MARTIN LUTHER . (De Wette.)