|"From the wilderness of Koburg Castle
8 July 1530
Honorable, kind, dear Sir and Friend!
Grace and Peace in Christ!
Since you ask whether my seal has
come out correctly, I shall answer most amiably and tell you of
those thoughts which now come to my mind about my seal as a symbol
of my theology. There is first to be a cross, black, and placed in
a heart, which should be of its natural color (red), to put me in
mind that faith in Christ crucified saved us. For if one believes
from the heart, he will be justified. ["For it is by believing in
your heart that you are made right God, and it is by confessing with
your mouth that you are saved." --Romans 10:10] Even though it is a
black cross, which mortifies and which also should hurt us, yet it
leaves the heart in its natural color and does not ruin
nature...that is, the cross does not kill, but keeps man alive. For
the just shall live by faith, by faith in the Savior. ["This Good
News tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is
accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say,
'It is through faith that a righteous person has life.'" --Romans
Such a heart is to be in the midst of
a white rose, to symbolize that faith gives joy, comfort, and
peace. In a word, it places the believer into a white joyful rose,
for this faith does not give peace and joy as the world gives. ["I
am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace
I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled
or afraid." --John 14:27] Therefore, the rose is to be white, not
red, for white is the color of the spirits and of all angels.
["..an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the
stone and sat on it. His face shone like lightening, and his
clothing was as white as snow." --Matthew 28:2b-3 and "She saw two
white-robed angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where
the body of Jesus had been lying." --John 20:12]
This rose, moreover, is fixed in a
sky-blue field, symbolizing that such joy in the Spirit and in faith
is a beginning of the future heavenly joy. It is already a part of
faith, and is grasped through hope, even though not yet manifest.
And around this field is a golden
ring, to signify that such bliss in heaven is endless, and more
precious than all joys and goods, just as gold is the most valuable
and precious metal.
May Christ, our dear Lord, be with
your spirit until the life to come. Amen."
[Luther's Works - American
Edition - Volume 49, pp. 356-359]