Page:The letters of Martin Luther.djvu/299

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are most anxious to communicate with us, and are conceding some things and adopting a milder tone. We shall pray that the harmony may be complete.

Pommer is working diligently, but Satan buffets him through a maiden who is possessed. Jonas, this Demosthenes, will enlarge upon all this with his usual eloquence. I wonder that Bernard is not back. Write him to return immediately, for the living of Sebastian-Rotteritz is waiting for him. It is near Leisling, and I think will suit him. If not, I shall seek something else.

Tell him he will not eat me into the poorhouse in three or four weeks; so manage this for me. We are reissuing the German Psalter because of the enemy’s aspersions. Christ, who has begun the work, will finish it, to His honor and our salvation. My wife and household greet you respectfully.

Yours obediently,MARTIN LUTHER . (Walch, 5:21. 1377.)

CCLX

TO JOHN GUTEL, PREACHER IN GOTTINGEN

Luther introduces the bearer of this letter to his future colleagues.

January 22, 1531.

Here, excellent brother, is one of the promised preachers, Hans Birnstiel; the second will follow when he has sold his farm and belongings. I beseech you, further Christ’s cause, and introduce no innovations into the services, if in accordance with your views. For the common man gladly seizes any such pretext for damaging God’s Word. For although such ceremonials do not promote holiness, still they arrest the attention of coarser natures. I speak chiefly of the rites connected with the mass, altars, etc., and of vestments, torches, and such-like trifles, which can be retained, if not already done away with, as in Wittenberg.

If so, restore them gradually, but let God’s Word have the first place, so that no one’s conscience may be offended. For they are useful for children and feeble folks, who must be considered. But you have reached