A rough translation of the final paragraph of “Ein Abfall” (A Defection), C.F.W. Walther’s commentary in “Der Lutheraner” concerning the taking leave of Eduard Preuß from the Evangelical Lutheran Church to the Roman Catholic Church in 1871. Translation by DMJ.
You ask, dear reader, whether we regret to have accepted the unfortunate Preuß and trusted him as long as we could? We answer: No, we do not regret it. The Christian way is that they let their love be easily betrayed, but never their faith. It is true: mistrustful, suspicious dispositions in experience usually win their case because men are so evil; but that is why the mistrustful are not on solid ground. Love, as long as it can, believes the best of the neighbor. We therefore have only one desire: that God, Whose door of grace always remains open in this life, have mercy on the one deeply fallen and remove him, if not sooner, even in the hour of death, from the idol that he now worships and calls Mary, and be brought around again, and may be delivered as a brand from the fire, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our only Mediator, to Whom be all praise and glory in time and eternity. Amen.