READ and consider carefully the words which I speak, ye learned, who appear to be distinguished in mind and doctrine above others. I have added this my little German work for the celebration of the rite of Baptism. For I am not well able to promote this cause in Latin, and if able, am unwilling that this, my labor, should perish in the hands of the few, but desire that it may become known to every christian and yield the greater advantage. That there are, in this work, no interpolations of Scripture, nor satires, nor falsehoods, judge for yourselves. Moreover I know it is not the spirit of a christian to lead in any way deceitfully, especially in an affair so serious. Indeed the christian does not know deceit. It becomes the evangelical teacher to set before himself nothing except these most illustrious precepts of the evangelist - such as faith, charity, patience, life, gentleness, peace, mildness, truth, moderation, and finally to so live that no one is able with justice to thrust against him any taint of baseness, that he may teach not only by word, but also by example, following the teachings of Paul who says, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway," 1 Cor. 9:27. And elsewhere, "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers," "they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ," 1 Pet. 2:12; 3:16. For in the midst of these things it behooves one to repress such ignorance and stupidities, lest that saying of the Savior be turned against us which says, "Cast out first the beam out of thine own eye," Luke 6:42. For how can I induce others to become christians when I myself am not a christian.

Read therefore, and if anything be found in this work that has not the flavor of evangelical purity and spirit, I am confounded, not you. For I have written from a sense of pious affection, not that I may injure any one, but for the benefit of all men. Nevertheless, such are my thanks from you for this my kindness toward you, that I know it is not enough except I, with my sanctified Leader, having indeed received Christ as my reward, endure all evil, ignominy and tortures. No wonder. They indeed do not spare me while I seek the truth and declare openly the offered sacrifice, when almost all teachers of righteousness, who were from the beginning, have yielded to death in the same way. This is indeed gratitude, when the world displays its subjection to God. Would that in very truth they were christians who persuade themselves that they are christians. May grace abound with all the diligent through our Lord Jesus Christ, with sincerity.

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