Bible, Bishop of Passau, cherubim, clemency, confession, consolation, doctrine, Elector John of Saxony, execution, garlands, Georg Lemberger, Hans Lufft, heresies, Leonhard Kaiser, letter, Lutheran, Martin Luther, martyrdom, papacy, printer, purgatory, Raab, sacraments, saints, Wittenberg, woodcut
“Also mein allerliebster bruder, sterck dich ynn dem Hern und sey gestrost ynn seiner mechtigen krafft, auff das du erkennest, tragest, liebest, und lobest aus gutwilligem hertzen, den veterlichen willen Gottes. Du werdest ledig odder nicht. Das du aber solches vermogest zu ehren seines heyligen Evangelii, das wolle ynn dir wircken der Vater unsers Herrn Jhesu Christi, nach dem reichtumb seiner herlichen gnaden, der ein Vater ist der barmhertzickeit und ein Gott alles trosts.” — Martin Luther
So, my beloved brother, strengthen yourself in the Lord and be confident in His mighty strength so that you recognize, carry, love, and praise with a glad heart the fatherly will of God. You will be free or not. Because you had the ability to honor his holy gospel, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ will produce in you, after the wealth of his glorious grace, the understanding that He is a merciful Father and a God of consolation. — Loose translation by Jon Bingham
Von er Lenhard Keiser ynn Byern vmb des Euangelij…
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Wittemberg: Hans Lufft, 1528
Leonhard Kaiser (1480-1527) studied at Wittenberg. He spread Martin Luther’s message through letters and books that he sent to friends. While visiting his dying father in Raab (Upper Austria), in 1527, he was arrested, imprisoned and interrogated. Kaiser had been openly preaching Lutheran doctrine. Charges against him included teaching justification through faith alone and other heresies; including his disapproval of confession and other sacraments, freedom of will, purgatory, the invocation of saints and the power of the papacy.
While Kaiser was in prison, Luther sent him a letter of consolation. Kaiser was burned at the stake in Bavaria on August 16, 1527.
This volume contains Luther’s letter to Kaiser, and a preface and conclusion by Luther; and a letter from Elector John of Saxony to the Bishop of Passau appealing for clemency on Kaiser’s behalf. The author of the account of the martyrdom itself is unknown. Kaiser’s execution quickly became infamous. This text was reprinted nine times in quick succession.
The printer, Hans Lufft, printed the first complete edition of Luther’s Bible.
A woodcut title border by Georg Lemberger contains architectural elements, garlands, and cherubim.