To Elsie, My Dear Friend in Christ (Luther)

Here’s a great Reformation resource: Luther’s Letters to Women. It was originally translated by Georgiana Malcom and published in 1865. It contains quite a few letters Luther wrote to his wife Katherine and other female Christian friends of his. These letters are not just a window into the Reformer’s historical context, life, and thought, they are also devotional in many ways. Below is a letter from Luther to Else von Kanitz, whom he calls “the honorable and virtuous maiden,” his “dear friend in Christ”:

Grace and peace in Christ Jesus. Honourable and virtuous maiden Else, I have written to propose to your dear aunt Hanna von Plausig to send you to me for a time; for I have thought of making use of you, to instruct young girls, and that, in beginning such work, you may be an example to others. You shall be in my house and at my table, so that you may be exempt from dangers and cares; so I pray you not to refuse me.

I hear that you are tempted with grievous thoughts by the Evil One. O dear maiden, do not let such things frighten you; for those who suffer from the devil here will not do so hereafter: it is a good sign. Christ also suffered thus, and many holy Prophets and Apostles, as is truly shown in the Psalter. Therefore be comforted, and bear willingly this rod from your Father; He will deliver you from it in his good time. When you come, I will speak to you further thereof. Herewith, God be with you. Amen. (At Wittenberg, 1527)

Luther, Martin, and K. Zimmermann. Luther’s Letters to Women. Edited by Karl Zimmermann. Translated by Georgiana Malcolm. London: Chapman and Hall, 1865. p 23-24.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

2 thoughts on “To Elsie, My Dear Friend in Christ (Luther)”

  1. Great stuf . Chritian letter writing / e mails have degenerated to happy holidays LORD come quickly amen fred lenten


  2. Letter writing /emails has amongst Christians degenerated to happy holledays Iwrote a few wishes to families and friends Wishing them the LORDS BLESSINGs One response was Hope we have a better year n next year. No more D V All i can say is LORD COME QUICKLY fred lenten


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