Luther's Prayer for Melancthon

ON a certain occasion a message was sent to Luther to inform him that Melancthon was dying.  He at once hastened to his sick bed, and found him presenting the usual premonitory symptoms of death. He mournfully bent over him; and, sobbing, gave utterance to a sorrowful exclamation.  It roused Melancthon from his stupor - he looked into the face of Luther, and said, "O, Luther, is this you? Why don't you let me depart in peace?" "We can't spare you yet, Philip," was the reply. And turning round, he threw himself upon his knees, and wrestled with God for his recovery for upwards of an hour.  He went from his knees to the bed, and took his friend by the hand. Again he said, "Dear Luther, why don't you let me depart in peace?" "No, no, Philip, we cannot spare you yet," was the reply. He then ordered some soup, and when pressed to take it he declined, again saying, "Dear Luther, why will you not let me go home and be at rest?" "We cannot spare you yet, Philip," was the reply. He then added, "Philip, take this soup, or I will excommunicate you." He took the soup; he commenced to grow better; he soon regained his wonted health, and labored, for years afterwards, in the cause of the Reformation. And when Luther returned home, he said to his wife with joy, "God gave me my brother Melancthon back in direct answer to prayer." - Sel.