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John the Constant

(the Steadfast; 1468–1532). B. Meissen, Ger.; brother of Frederick* III (“the Wise”); father of John* Frederick; received scholarly educ.; knight; elector Saxony 1525; early partisan of M. Luther.* After pub. of Luther's NT 1522, John read the Bible daily. Luther preached at his court in Weimar October 1522 and wrote for him the treatise Von weltlicher Obrigkeit 1523. John was tolerant toward T. Münzer* and A. R. B. v. Karlstadt,* did not interfere with abolition of the Corpus* Christi procession, and permitted Prot. observance of the Lord's Supper. After becoming elector he refused to make common cause against Luths. with his cousin, George* the Bearded. Issued a directive on August 16, 1525, making Ernestine Saxony evangelical. Signed treaty with Philip* of Hesse February 27, 1526 (see Gotha Covenant), and led Luth. party at 1526 Diet of Speyer*; approved ch. visitations suggested by N. Hausmann*; at 1529 Diet of Speyer* he defended the ev. interpretation of the recess of the 1526 diet and protested with others the resolution of the RC majority; at the 1530 Augsburg Diet (see Lutheran Confessions, A) he took a heroic stand against Charles* V; led Schmalkaldic* League 1531. His motto: Verbum Dei manet in aeternum (Lat. “The Word of God abides forever”). See also Pack, Otto von; Visitations, Church. WGT

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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