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In "The estate of marriage" (1522) Luther removed marriage as a Christian sacrament but elevated its position in German society by advocating it as preferable to celibacy. This change was consistent with his teachings that lay people were in no way inferior to the clergy. Luther spoke of marriage as a temporal institution instituted by God in which both sexes should be treated with respect and the duties of child-rearing should be joyfully accepted. He loosened the restrictions on marriage, including allowing marriage between Christians and non-Christians, and allowed divorce in situations involving adultery, although he called on Christians to forgive.<ref>Scott Hendrix, "Luther on Marriage." ''Lutheran Quarterly'' 2000 14(3): 335-350.</ref>
Documentation exists that asserts that Luther counselled Philip the Landgrave of Hesse, while his current wife was unwilling to consent to a divorce, to commit [[bigamy]], adultery, which Philip willingly fulfilled on the "secret advice of a confessor" which he won from Luther, who said afterward that he did not know that the future bride of bigamy had already been chosen by Philip.<ref>[https://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc09/htm/ii.xxxvi.htm Philip of Hesse (ccel.org)] ''scroll down to'' 5. Bigamous Marriage.</ref> There is also irrefutable documentation, which Lutheran historians confirm, that Luther stated without clarification or any discernable context that Christ first became an adulterer at the well with the woman; again, with Magdalen; again, with the adulteress (John 8:1-11), whom He dismissed so lightly—thus the righteous Christ must first become also an adulterer before He died.<ref>[https://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2016/02/luther-christ-was-adulterer.html Luther: Christ was an Adulterer (beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com)]</ref> Some Catholics argue that Luther was blaspheming against God and believed that Christ actually was an adulterer, though he may have just been insisting that Christ bore the punishment for them when he died, as all three had been prostitutes.<ref>Wolfmueller, Bryan. (December 4, 2019). [https://wolfmueller.co/did-martin-luther-claim-that-jesus-was-an-adulterer/ Did Martin Luther claim that Jesus was an adulterer?]</ref> This view is held by Protestant defenders of Luther.
In Luther's later years, his health, precarious even as a monk, gradually declined. He suffered from constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, dizziness, ringing in his ears, an ulcer on his leg, kidney stones, heart problems, and bouts of depression (battles with the Devil, he called them). Nevertheless, he kept on writing to the end, with 360 published works from 1516 to 1530, and another 184 before his death in 1546.