1. Martin Luther to his Wife
[Marburg] October 4, 1529
To my kind, dear Master Katharina Luther, Doctor, Preacher in Wittenberg
Grace and peace in Christ, dear Master Käth! Know that our friendly colloquy in Marburg has ended, and we have agreed on nearly all points, except that our opponents vainly insist that only bread is present in the Lord’s Supper, though they acknowledge the spiritual presence of Christ therein. Today, the landgrave [Philip I of Hesse] is endeavoring [to determine] whether we could become united, or, if we remained divided, whether we could at least consider each other brethren and members of Christ. The landgrave is working very hard at this. But while we do not wish to be brethren and members, we do want peace and good will. I reckon that tomorrow, or the day after, we shall set out and journey to Your Gracious Lord in Schleit in Vogtland, whither His Electoral Grace has summoned us.
Tell Mr. Pommer that best arguments were those of [Ulrich] Zwingli, that corpus non potest esse sine loco, ergo Christi corpus non est in pane [the body cannot be without place, therefore the body of Christ is not in the bread], and those of [Johannes] Oecolampadius, that Sacramentum est signum corporis Christi [the sacrament is the sign of the body of Christ]. I reckon that God has blinded them so that they have nothing more to put forward. I still have much to do, and the messenger is in a hurry. Bid good night to all and pray for us! We are all still well and healthy and are living like princes. Kiss Lenchen and Hänschen for me! On the day of St. Francis, 1529.
Your willing servant
p.s. John Brenz, Andrew Osiander, Doctor Stephen of Augsburg have also come here.
People here are mad with fear of the [English] sweating plague. Yesterday about fifty people fell ill, one or two of whom have died.
Source of original German text: “Luther an seine Frau. [Marburg,] 4. Oktober 1529,” in D. Martin Luthers Werke. Weimarer Ausgabe (Sonderedition). Part 3: Briefwechsel. Vol. 5, pp. 153-54.
Translation: Thomas Dunlap