2 AUTOGRAPH. Melachthon, Ph. /S.Boetius./ Virtual Book Fair 106


Description: Unpublished letter from Philipp Melanchthon

Autograph letter, signed, from Philipp Melanchthon to Sebastian Boetius].

[Wittenberg], Easter [14 April 1555]. Folio (19.5 x 32 cm). In Latin. [2] pp.

Autograph letter in Latin, signed by Melanchthon to the Protestant theologian Sebastian Boetius in Halle, to recommend the young priest Christian Hertwig junior. Boetius (1515-73), who had studied under Luther and Melanchthon at Wittenberg, succeeded Justus Jonas as superintendent of Halle and founded the famous Marienbibliothek, still in existence.
In his letter, Melanchthon reminds his former student that their minds often run in the same channel, as their letters show, and describes the role of the ideal pastor. He recommends Hertwig for such a position, both on the strength of his doctrines and on that of his moral fibre: "S[alutem] d[ico] reverendo vir & cariss[imo] frater. Memini antea in quada[m] ad te epistola hac uti similitudine, de qua sepe cogito. Ut in navi remiges, amisso gubernatore, cuius cernere signa & cora[m] audire ma[n]data potera[n]t, necesse est sua sponte maiore cura concordia[m] tutti et co[n]silia co[n]ferre. Sic nos oportet co[n]iu[n]ctiores esse, cu[m] principes cura ecclesiar[um] paru[m] adficiantur, ac insu[m]eamur summu[m] gubernatore[m] filii dei qui non deerit nobis invocantib[us] ipsu[m]. Spes facta est huic Christiano Hertwik nato ex pastore ecclesia vicina oppido Hertzberg, prafectu[m] vestru[m] ei commendatu[rum] esse ecclesia[m] qua[n]da[m]. Quare te oro ut p[er]fecto eu[m] co[m]me[n]des, sed ita ut tu quoq[ue] consideres doctrina[m] & mores huius iuvenis. Vides quale sit seculu[m] in hac circumstantia [?]. Ideo qua[n]tu[m] potes vicinis ecclesiis consulito. De sale tibi gratia[m] habeo, et si nollem te sumptus fecisse mea causa. Sed benevolentia tua delector. Mitto pagellas, quia alia nu[n]c no[n] erant ad manu[m] [...]".
Christian Hertwig (born in Buckau ca. 1530, died before October 1574) was probably the elder of two sons of the like-named former Augustinian monk C. Hertwig (c. 1495-1562), who left his order in 1526 and was recommended to the Elector by Justus Jonas and Luther in 1531. Christian the younger studied at Wittenberg for a year before teaching the gospel in Brandenburg. Twice Melanchthon interceded on his behalf: on 25 March 1555, three weeks before the present, apparently unsuccessful letter to Boetius, he provided Hertwig with a personal letter of recommendation, quoting Georg Buchholzer's praise for the young man and appealing to anyone in a position to help to provide him with an office (Corpus Reformatorum VIII, no. 5757).

Slightly browned; traces of folds. In fine condition.
Koehler, Epistolae quaedam Phil. Melanthonis (1802), 37 note x; Melanchthons Briefwechsel (ed. H. Scheible), vol. VII, p. 295, no. 7449; De Wette/Seidemann, Dr. Martin Luthers Briefe VI (1856), 646.
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