BLTC Press Titles


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Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


Luther's letters to women

by Martin Luther

Excerpt:

To the virtuous lady, Katherine Schutzin, my dear sister and friend in Christ, at Strasburg.

Grace and peace in Christ. My love, I give you joy that God has so abundantly given you his grace, that you not only perceive and apprehend his kingdom (which is hidden from so many), but also bestow yourself upon a man to whom you may always give ear, and from whom, daily and unceasingly, you may learn what is good; and I wish you grace and strength to continue grateful for the same till that day when, God willing, we shall all see each other and rejoice.

No more now. Pray to God for me, and give my greeting to your lord, Herr Matthia Zell. Herewith, God be with you.

Martinus Luther.

Sunday evening, after Service,
1524.

LETTER VI.

To Maria Queen of Hungary.
November 1, 1526.

Maria, sister of the Emperor Charles V., lost her husband, King Louis II. of Hungary, fighting against the Turks in the battle of Mohacz. She knew Luther's doctrines, and promoted their diffusion. The Psalms of Comfort which Luther dedicated to her were the 37th, 62d, 94th, and 109th.i

To her most august Highness and high-born Lady Frau Maria, born Queen of Spain, &c, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, my most gracious lady.

Grace and comfort from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Most gracious Lady and Queen, I had undertaken, by the recommendation of some pious people, to der dicate to your Queenly Majesty the accompanying four Psalms, as an exhortation that you should cheerfully and vigorously continue

1 Walch, v. 1.

d to advance the Holy Word of God in Hungary, because the good tidings came to me that your Queenly Majesty was inclined toward the Gospel, but that you were much hindered and thwarted by the Godless Bishops, who are powerful in Hungary, and are said to have most of the land there; so that they have caused some innocent blood to be spilt, and terrible violence done against the truth of God. But now, alas ! affairs have changed, through God's power and providence; the Turks having brought great sorrow and misery on your Queenly Majesty, by slaying your beloved husband, the noble young King Ludwig. I therefore am necessitated to change what I had purposed writing. Now, had the Bishop allowed the Gospel to spread, all the world would have cried out that this great misfortune had come to Hungary on account of the Lutheran heresy, which would have been a blasphemy. To whatever now they choose to give the blame, they may see, as I do, that God has hindered any reason from arising for such blasphemy.

As St. Paul writes to the Romans, that the Holy Scriptures are for our consolation, and to teach us patience, I have on that account proceeded to forward these same Psalms to console your Queenly Majesty—so far as God permits us consolation—in this great and sudden misfortune and misery with which the Almighty God has visited at this time your Queenly Majesty,—not from anger or displeasure, as we may justly hope, but as trial and chastisement; that your Queenly Majesty may learn to trust alone in the true Father, who is in heaven, and comfort yourself with the true Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, who is also our Brother—nay, our flesh and blood; and enjoy yourself with the true friends and true associates, the dear angels, who are around, and take care of us. For although that death is so bitter to your Queenly Majesty (and justly so), making you so early a widow, and robbing you of a dear husband, yet again the Scriptures, especially the Psalms, give much good comfort, and show abundantly the sweet-loving Father and Son, in whom lie concealed certain and eternal life.

And, indeed, whoever can arrive so far as to see and feel the love of the Father towards us, as shown in the Scriptures, can also easily bear all the misfortunes that may happen to him on earth. On the other hand, whoever does not feel this, cannot be truly happy, even though he floated in the midst of all the pleasures and enjoyments of the world. Indeed, no man can experience such great misfortune as God the Father Himself experienced, in that his dearest Child was spit upon, cursed, and put to the most shameful death upon the cross, in return for all his wonders and loving deeds; nevertheless, every one thinks his own misfortune the greatest, and lays it more to heart than the crucifixion of Christ, though He had been crucified ten times over. This is because we are not so strong in patience as God is; therefore smaller crosses cause us more woe than the cross of Christ. But may the Father of mercy and God of all comfort console your Queenly Majesty, in his Son Jesus Christ, by his Holy Spirit, that you may soon forget this misery, or be enabled to bear it manfully. Amen. Your Queenly Majesty's bumble servant,


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