TRANSLATED AND ARRANGED BY THE AUTHOR OF “CHRONICLES OF THE SCHONBERGCOTTA FAMILY.”
Euer Seben ift eine Ritterichaft.”
EGO ex intimo corde peto mihi et omnibus meis dari similem transitus horam, cum tanta fide, placida quiete, hoc est, obdormire in Domino, mortem non videre neque quotare, neque ullo pilo sentire pavorem. An Arnsdorf Luther’s Briefe, 5:502.
Caro hic nihil habet solatii, ad spiritem eundem est, quod felici percursor nos praecessit ad cum qui nos omnes vocavit * * Nos contristatos excipiet inencurrabilis laetitia, ad quam tua Ketha et mea Magdalena cum multis aliis nos praeccesserunt et quotidie nos, ut sequamur, vocant, portantur, alliciunt. An JustusJonas, 5:518. FROM my inmost heart crave that to me and all mine may be given a like hour of departure, with so great faith and such placid calm, that is truly to fall asleep in the Lord; not to see nor to tastedeath, nor in the least degree to feel his terrors.
We, here, for a little while in sorrow shall at last be received into that unutterable joy to which thy Ketha and my Magdalene, with many others have gone before us, and to which, every day, they call, exhort, and tenderly allure us, that we may follow.
LUTHER’ S Prose is a halfbattle; few deeds are equal to his words. “Look up to this evergreen Oak and its branches; to this Tower, which, if not always a lighthouse, was always a churchtower with its alarmbells and its friendly peals. “Every brave life appears to us out of the past not so brave as it really was, for the forms of terror with which it fought are overthrown. Against the manyarmed Future threatening from its clouds, only the great soul has courage; every one can be courageous towards the spentout, disclothed Past. Luther stood in the midst of the electric tempests which he had enkindled, and for us cleared and unfolded them into pure air.”
JEAN PAUL FRIEDRICH RICHTER.
I did greatly long to see some ancient godly man’s experience who had writ some hundreds of years before I was born for those who had writ in our days, I thought, had only writ that which others had felt, or else had through the strength of their wits and parts studied to answer such objections as they perceived others were perplexed with, without going themselves down into the deep. Well, after many such longings in my mind, the God in whose hands are all our days and ways, did cast into my hand one day a book of Martin Luther. It was his Commentary on the Galatians; it also was so old that it was ready to fall piece from piece, if I did but turn it over. Then I was pleased much that such an old book had fallen into my hands; the which, when I had but a little way perused, I found my condition, in his experience, so largely and profoundly handled, as if this book had been written out of my heart. This made me marvel; for this man, I thought, could not know anything of the state of Christians now, but must thus write of the experience of former days. This, therefore, I must let fall before all men, I do prefer this book of Martin Luther on the Galatians, excepting the Holy Bible, before all the books that ever I have seen as most fit for a wounded conscience.