(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Selections from the Table Talk of Martin Luther"

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Selections from the Table Talk of Martin Luther
by Martin Luther

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing
this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.

This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project
Gutenberg file.  Please do not remove it.  Do not change or edit the
header without written permission.

Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the
eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file.  Included is
important information about your specific rights and restrictions in
how the file may be used.  You can also find out about how to make a
donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.


**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**

**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**

*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****


Title: Selections from the Table Talk of Martin Luther

Author: Martin Luther

Release Date: February, 2006  [EBook #9841]
[This file was first posted on October 23, 2003]

Edition: 10

Language: English

Character set encoding: US-ASCII

*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, TABLE TALK OF MARTIN LUTHER ***




This etext was prepared by Les Bowler, St. Ives, Dorset.




SELECTIONS FROM THE TABLE TALK OF MARTIN LUTHER.




TRANSLATED BY CAPTAIN HENRY BELL.




CONTENTS.

Introduction by Professor Henry Morley.
The testimony of Jo. Aurifaber, Doctor in Divinity.
Captain Henry Bell's narrative.
A copy of the order from the House of Commons.
Selections from Table-Talk:-
      Of God's Word.
      Of God's Works.
      Of the Nature of the World.
      Of the Lord Christ.
      Of Sin and of Free-will.
      Of the Catechism.
      Of the Law and the Gospel.
      Of Prayer.
      Of the Confession and Constancy of the Doctrine.
      Of Imperial Diets.



INTRODUCTION.



Martin Luther died on the 18th of February, 1546, and the first
publication of his "Table Talk"-Tischreden-by his friend, Johann
Goldschmid (Aurifaber), was in 1566, in a substantial folio.  The
talk of Luther was arranged, according to its topics, into eighty
chapters, each with a minute index of contents.  The whole work in a
complete octavo edition, published at Stuttgart and Leipzig in 1836,
occupies 1,390 closely printed pages, equivalent to 2,780 pages, or
full fourteen volumes, of this Library.

The nearest approach to a complete and ungarbled translation into
English was that of Captain Henry Bell, made in the reign of Charles
the First, under the circumstances set forth by himself; but even
that was not complete.  Other English versions have subjected
Luther's opinions to serious manipulation, nothing being added, but
anything being taken away that did not chance to agree with the
editor's digestion.  Even the folio of Captain Bell's translation,
from which these Selections have been printed, has been prepared for
reprint by some preceding editor, whose pen has been busy in
revision of the passages he did mean to reprint.  In these
Selections every paragraph stands unabridged, exactly as it was
translated by Captain Bell; and there has been no other purpose
governing the choice of matter than a resolve to make it as true a
presentment as possible of Luther's mind and character.  At least
one other volume of Selections from the Table-Talk of Martin Luther
will be given in this Library.

Johann Goldschmid, the Aurifaber, and thereby true worker in gold,
who first gave Luther's Table-Talk to the world, was born in 1519.
He was a disciple of Luther, thirty-six years younger than his
master.  Luther was born at Eisleben in 1483, and his father, a poor
miner, presently settled at Mansfeld, the town in which Goldschmid
afterwards was born.  Johann Goldschmid was sent by Count Albrecht
of Mansfeld, in 1537, to the University of Wittenberg, where Luther
had been made, in 1508, Professor of Philosophy, and where, on the
31st of October, 1517, he had nailed his ninety-five propositions
against indulgences to the church door at the castle.  Luther had
completed his translation of the Bible three years before Johann
Goldschmid went to Wittenberg.  In 1540 Goldschmid was recalled from
the University to act as tutor to Count Albrecht's children.  In
1544 Goldschmid was army chaplain with the troops from Mansfeld in
the French war; but in 1545 he was sent back to Wittenberg for
special study of theology.  It was then that he attached himself to
Luther as his famulus and house-companion during the closing months
of Luther's life, began already to collect from surrounding friends
passages of his vigorous "Table Talk," and remained with Luther till
the last, having been present at his death in Eisleben in 1546.  He
then proceeded steadily with the collection of Luther's sayings and
opinions expressed among his friends.  He was army chaplain among
the soldiers of Johann Friedrich, of Saxony; he spent half a year
also in a Saxon prison.  He became, in 1551, court preacher at
Weimar; but in 1562 was deprived of his office, and then devoted
himself to the forming of an Eisleben edition of those works of
Luther, which had not already been collected.  In 1566 he was called
to a pastorate at Erfurt, where he had many more troubles before his
death.  Aurifaber died on the 18th of November, 1575.
                              H. M.



THE TESTIMONY OF JO. AURIFABER, DOCTOR IN DIVINITY, CONCERNING
LUTHER'S DIVINE DISCOURSES.



And whereas hitherto I have caused certain tomes of the Books,
Sermons, Writings, and Missives of Luther to be printed at Eisleben,
so have I also now finished this tome of his Discourses, and have
ordered the same to be printed, which at the first were collected
together out of the Manuscripts of these Divine Discourses, which
that Reverend Father Anthony Lauterbach himself noted and wrote out
of the holy mouth of Luther, and afterwards the same by me were
collected into sure and certain Loci Communes, or Common-places, and
distributed.

And whereas I, Joannes Aurifaber, in the years 1545 and 1546, before
the death of that most famous Divine, Luther, was much with and
about him, and with all diligence writ and noted down many most
excellent Histories and Acts, and other most necessary and useful
things which he related:  I have therefore set in order and brought
the same also into this tome.

Now, forasmuch as very excellent declaration is made in this tome of
all the Articles and chief points of Christian Religion, Doctrine,
and Faith; and also therein are found necessary Rules, Questions and
Answers, many fair Histories, all sorts of Learnings, Comforts,
Advices, Prophecies, Warnings, and Admonitions:  I have therefore
thought it a thing fitting to dedicate the same to your Highnesses,
Graces, Honours and Worships, etc., as special favourers,
protectors, and defenders of the Doctrines which God, through
Luther, hath cleared again, to the end that by diligent reading
therein, you may be president, and give good examples to others, to
your subjects, citizens, etc., diligently to love, to read, to
affect the same, and to make good use thereof, as being fragments
that fell from Luther's Table, and therewith may help to still, to
slake, and to satisfy the spiritual hunger and thirst of the soul.
For these most profitable Discourses of Luther, containing such high
spiritual things, we should in nowise suffer to be lost, but
worthily esteem thereof, whereout all manner of learning, joy, and
comfort may be had and received.
               DR. AURIFABER, in his Preface to the Book.

Given at Eisleben, July 7th, 1569.



CAPTAIN HENRY BELL'S NARRATIVE:



OR,

RELATION OF THE MIRACULOUS PRESERVING OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER'S BOOK,
ENTITLED "COLLOQUIA MENSALIA," OR, "HIS DIVINE DISCOURSES AT HIS
TABLE," HELD WITH DIVERS LEARNED MEN AND PIOUS DIVINES; SUCH AS WERE
PHILIP MELANCTHON, CASPARUS CRUCIGER, JUSTUS JONAS, PAULUS EBERUS,
VITUS DIETERICUS, JOANNES BUGENHAGEN, JOANNES FORSTERUS, AND OTHERS:

CONTAINING

Divers Discourses touching Religion, and other Main Points of
Doctrine; as also many notable Histories, and all sorts of Learning,
Comforts, Advices, Prophecies, Admonitions, Directions, and
Instructions; and how the same Book was, by God's Providence,
discovered lying under the Ground, where it had lain hid Fifty-two
Years; and was a few years since sent over to the said Captain Henry
Bell, and by him translated out of the High German into the English
Tongue.

"I, CAPTAIN HENRY BELL, do hereby declare, both to the present age,
and also to posterity, that being employed beyond the seas in state
affairs divers years together, both by King James, and also by the
late King Charles, in Germany, I did hear and understand, in all
places, great bewailing and lamentation made, by reason of the
destroying and burning of above fourscore thousand of Martin
Luther's books, entitled His Last Divine Discourses.

"For after such time as God stirred up the spirit of Martin Luther
to detect the corruptions and abuses of Popery, and to preach
Christ, and clearly to set forth the simplicity of the Gospel, many
Kings, Princes, and States, Imperial Cities, and Hans-Towns fell
from the Popish Religion, and became Protestants, as their
posterities still are, and remain to this very day.

"And for the further advancement of the great work of Reformation
then begun, the aforesaid Princes and the rest did then order that
the said Divine Discourses of Luther should forthwith be printed;
and that every parish should have and receive one of the aforesaid
printed books into every Church throughout all their principalities
and dominions, to be chained up, for the common people to read
therein.

"Upon which divine work, or Discourses, the Reformation, begun
before in Germany, was wonderfully promoted and increased, and
spread both here in England and other countries besides.

"But afterwards it so fell out that the Pope then living, viz.
Gregory XIII., understanding what great hurt and prejudice he and
his Popish religion had already received, by reason of the said
Luther's Divine Discourses, and also fearing that the same might
bring further contempt and mischief upon himself and upon the Popish
Church, he therefore, to prevent the same, did fiercely stir up and
instigate the Emperor then in being, viz. Rudolphus II., to make an
Edict throughout the whole Empire, that all the aforesaid printed
books should be burned; and also that it should be death for any
person to have or keep a copy thereof, but also to burn the same:
which Edict was speedily put in execution accordingly, insomuch that
not one of all the said printed books, nor so much as any one copy
of the same, could be found out nor heard of in any place.

"Yet it pleased God that, anno 1626, a German gentleman, named
Casparus Van Sparr, with whom, in the time of my staying in Germany
about King James's business, I became very familiarly known and
acquainted, having occasion to build upon the old foundation of a
house, wherein his grandfather dwelt at that time when the said
Edict was published in Germany for the burning of the aforesaid
books; and digging deep into the ground, under the said old
foundation, one of the said original books was there happily found,
lying in a deep obscure hole, being wrapped in a strong linen cloth,
which was waxed all over with beeswax, within and without; whereby
the book was preserved fair, without any blemish.

"And at the same time Ferdinandus II. being Emperor in Germany, who
was a severe enemy and persecutor of the Protestant religion, the
aforesaid gentleman and grandchild to him that had hidden the said
books in that obscure hole, fearing that if the said Emperor should
get knowledge that one of the said books was yet forthcoming, and in
his custody, whereby not only himself might be brought into trouble,
but also the book in danger to be destroyed, as all the rest were so
long before; and also calling me to mind, and knowing that I had the
High Dutch Tongue very perfect, did send the said original book over
hither into England unto me; and therewith did write unto me a
letter, wherein he related the passages of the preserving and
finding out the said book.

"And also he earnestly moved me in his letter, that for the
advancement of God's glory, and of Christ's Church, I would take the
pains to translate the said book, to the end that that most
excellent divine work of Luther might be brought again to light.

"Whereupon I took the said book before me, and many times began to
translate the same, but always I was hindered therein, being called
upon about other business, insomuch that by no possible means I
could remain by that work.  Then, about six weeks after I had
received the said book, it fell out that I being in bed with my wife
one night, between twelve and one of the clock, she being asleep,
but myself yet awake, there appeared unto me an ancient man,
standing at my bedside, arrayed all in white, having a long and
broad white beard hanging down to his girdle-stead, who, taking me
by my right ear, spake these words following unto me:-'Sirrah! will
not you take time to translate that book which is sent unto you out
of Germany?  I will shortly provide for you both place and time to
do it;' and then he vanished away out of my sight.

"Whereupon, being much thereby affrighted, I fell into an extreme
sweat, insomuch that my wife awaking, and finding me all over wet,
she asked me what I ailed.  I told her what I had seen and heard;
but I never did heed nor regard visions nor dreams; and so the same
fell soon out of my mind.

"Then about a fortnight after I had seen that vision, on a Sunday, I
went to Whitehall to hear the sermon, after which ended I returned
to my lodging, which was then in King Street, at Westminster, and
sitting down to dinner with my wife, two Messengers were sent from
the whole Council-board, with a warrant to carry me to the keeper of
the Gatehouse, Westminster, there to be safely kept until further
order from the Lords of the Council, which was done without showing
me any cause {1} at all wherefore I was committed.  Upon which said
warrant I was kept there ten whole years close prisoner, where I
spent five years thereof about the translating of the said book;
insomuch as I found the words very true which the old man, in the
aforesaid vision, did say unto me:  'I will shortly provide for you
both place and time to translate it.'

"Then, after I had finished the said translation in the prison, the
late Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Laud, understanding that I had
translated such a book, called Martin Luther's Divine Discourses,
sent unto me his chaplain, Dr. Bray, into the prison, with this
Message following:-

"'Captain BELL,
   "'My Lord Grace of Canterbury hath sent me unto you, to tell you
that his Grace hath understood that you have translated a book of
Luther's, touching which book his Grace, many years before, did hear
of the burning of so many thousands in Germany by the then Emperor.
His Grace therefore doth desire you, that you would send unto him
the said original book in Dutch, and also your translation; which,
after his Grace hath perused, shall be returned safely unto you.'

"Whereupon I told Dr. Bray that I had taken a great deal of pains in
translating the said book, and was very loth to part with it out of
my hands, and therefore I desired him to excuse me to his Grace,
that I could not part from it; with which answer he at that time
returned again to his master.

"But the next day after he sent him unto me again, and bade him tell
me that, upon his honour, the book should be as safe in his custody,
if not safer than in mine own; for he would lock it up in his own
cabinet, to the end no man might come unto it, but only himself.
Thereupon I, knowing it would be a thing bootless for me to refuse
the sending of them, by reason he was then of such great power that
he would have them, nolens volens, I sent them both unto him.  Then,
after he had kept them in his custody two months, and had daily read
therein, he sent the said Doctor unto me, to tell me that I had
performed a work worthy of eternal memory, and that he had never
read a more excellent divine work; yet saying that some things
therein were fitting to be left out; and desired me not to think
long that he did not return them unto me so soon again.  The reason
was because that the more he did read therein, the more desire he
had to go on therewith; and so, presenting me with ten livres in
gold, he returned back again.

"After which, when he had them in his custody one whole year, and
that I understood he had perused it all over, then I sent unto his
Grace, and humbly desired that his Grace would be pleased to return
me my books again.  Whereupon he sent me word by the said Dr. Bray,
that he had not as yet perused them so thoroughly over as he desired
to do; then I stayed yet a year longer before I sent to him again.

"In which time I heard for certain that it was concluded by the King
and Council that a Parliament should forthwith be called; at which
news I did much rejoice.  And then I sent unto his Grace an humble
petition, and therein desired the returning of my book again;
otherwise I told him I should be enforced to make it known, and to
complain of him to the Parliament, which was then coming on.
Whereupon he sent unto me again safely both the said original book
and my translation, and caused his Chaplain, the said Doctor, to
tell me that he would make it known unto his Majesty what an
excellent piece of work I had translated, and that he would procure
an order from his Majesty to have the said translation printed, and
to be dispersed throughout the whole kingdom, as it was in Germany,
and as he had heard thereof; and thereupon he presented me again
with forty livres in gold.

"And presently after I was set at liberty by warrant from the whole
House of Lords, according to his Majesty's direction in that behalf;
but shortly afterwards the Archbishop fell into his troubles, and
was by the Parliament sent unto the Tower, and afterwards beheaded;
insomuch that I could never since hear anything touching the
printing of my book.

"The House of Commons having then notice that I had translated the
aforesaid book, they sent for me, and did appoint a Committee to see
it and the translation, and diligently to make inquiry whether the
translation did agree with the original or no; whereupon they
desired me to bring the same before them, sitting then in the
Treasury Chamber.  And Sir Edward Dering, being Chairman, said unto
me that he was acquainted with a learned minister beneficed in
Essex, who had lived long in England, but was born in High Germany,
in the Palatinate, named Mr. Paul Amiraut, whom the Committee
sending for, desired him to take both the original and my
translation into his custody, and diligently to compare them
together, and to make report unto the said Committee whether he
found that I had rightly and truly translated it according to the
original:  which report he made accordingly, and they, being
satisfied therein, referred it to two of the Assembly, Mr. Charles
Herle and Mr. Edward Corbet, desiring them diligently to peruse the
same, and to make report unto them if they thought it fitting to be
printed and published.

"Whereupon they made report, dated the 10th of November, 1646, that
they found it to be an excellent Divine Work, worthy the light and
publishing, especially in regard that Luther, in the said
Discourses, did revoke his opinion, which he formerly held, touching
Consubstantiation in the Sacrament.  Whereupon the House of Commons,
the 24th of February, 1646, did give order for the printing thereof.

"Thus, having been lately desired to set down in writing the
relation of the passages above-said concerning the said book, as
well for the satisfaction of judicious and godly Christians, as for
the conservation of the perpetual memory of God's extraordinary
providence in the miraculous preservation of the aforesaid Divine
Discourses, and now bringing them again to light:  I have done the
same according to the plain truth thereof, not doubting but they
will prove a notable advantage of God's glory, and the good and
edification of the whole Church, and an unspeakable consolation of
every particular member of the same.
      "Given under my hand the 3rd day of July, 1650.
                           "HENRY BELL."



A COPY OF THE ORDER FROM THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
                           24th February, 1646.



WHEREAS Captain Henry Bell hath strangely discovered and found a
Book of Martin Luther's, called his Divine Discourses, which was for
a long time very marvellously preserved in Germany:  the which book
the said Henry Bell, at his great costs and pains, hath translated
into the English out of the German Tongue, which Translation and
substance thereof is approved by Reverend Divines of the Assembly,
as appears by a Certificate under their hands:

It is Ordered and Ordained by the Lords and Commons assembled in
Parliament, that the said Henry Bell shall have the sole disposal
and benefit of Printing the said Book translated into English by him
as aforesaid, for the space of fourteen years, to commence from the
date hereof.  And that none do Print or Re-print the same but such
as shall be licensed by the said Captain by Authority under his
hand.
                              HENRY ELSYNG.
(Vera Copia.)




LUTHER'S TABLE-TALK.




OF GOD'S WORD.



Of the Word of God; or the Holy Scriptures contained in the Bible.

The Bible, or Holy Scripture, said Luther, is like a fair and
spacious orchard, wherein all sorts of trees do grow, from which we
may pluck divers kinds of fruits; for in the Bible we have rich and
precious comforts, learnings, admonitions, warnings, promises, and
threatenings, etc.  There is not a tree in this orchard on which I
have not knocked, and have shaken at least a couple of apples or
pears from the same.


Proofs that the Bible is the Word of God.

That the Bible is the Word of God, said Luther, the same I prove as
followeth.  All things that have been and now are in the world, also
how it now goeth and standeth in the world, the same was written
altogether particularly at the beginning, in the First Book of Moses
concerning the Creation.  And even as God made and created it, even
so it was, even so it is, and even so doth it stand to this present
day.  And although King Alexander the Great, the kingdom of Egypt,
the empire of Babel, the Persian, Grecian, and Roman Monarchs, the
Emperors Julius and Augustus, most fiercely did rage and swell
against this Book, utterly to suppress and destroy the same, yet
notwithstanding, they could prevail nothing; they are all gone and
vanished; but this Book, from time to time, hath remained, and will
remain unremoved, in full and ample manner, as it was written at the
first.  But who kept and preserved it from such great and raging
power; or, Who defendeth it still?  Truly, said Luther, no human
creature, but only and alone God himself, who is the right Master
thereof; and it is a great wonder that it hath been so long kept and
preserved, for the devil and the world are great enemies unto it.
The devil doubtless hath destroyed many good books in the Church, as
he hath rooted out and slain many saints, concerning whom we have
now no knowledge.  But, no thanks unto him, the Bible he was fain to
leave unmeddled with.  In like manner Baptism, the Sacrament, and
the Office of Preaching have remained among us against the power of
many tyrants and heretics that have opposed the same.  These our
Lord God hath kept and maintained by his special strength.  Homer,
Virgil, and suchlike are profitable and ancient books; but, in
comparison of the Bible, they are nothing to be regarded.


By whom and at what Times the Bible was translated.

Two hundred and forty-one years before the humanity of Christ, the
Five Books of Moses, and the Prophets, were translated out of the
Hebrew into the Greek tongue by the Septuagint Interpreters, the
seventy doctors or learned men then at Jerusalem, in the time of
Eleazar the High-priest, at the request of Ptolemeus Philadelphus,
King of Egypt, which King allowed great charges and expenses for the
translating of the same.

Then, one hundred and twenty-four years after the birth of Christ,
his death and passion, the Old Testament was translated out of
Hebrew into Greek by a Jew, named Aquila (being converted to the
Christian faith), in the time of Hadrian the Emperor.

Fifty and three years after this Aquila, the Bible was also
translated by Theodosius.

In the three-and-thirtieth year after Theodosius, it was translated
by Symmachus, under the Emperor Severus.

Eight years after Symmachus, the Bible was also translated by one
whose name is unknown, and the same is called the Fifth Translation.

Afterwards the Bible was translated by Hieronymus (who first amended
and corrected the Seventy Interpreters) out of Hebrew into the Latin
tongue, which translation we use to this day in the Church.  And
truly, said Luther, he did enough for one man.  Nulla enim privata
persona tantum efficere potuisset.  But he had not done amiss if he
had taken one or two learned men to his translation besides himself,
for then the Holy Ghost would more powerfully have been discerned,
according to Christ's saying, "Where two or three be gathered
together in my name, there will I be in the midst of them."  And,
indeed, said Luther, translators or interpreters ought not to be
alone, for good and apt words do not always fall to one single man.
And so long as the Bible was in the Church of the Gentiles, it was
never yet in such perfection, that it could have been read so
exactly and significantly without stop, as we have prepared the same
here at Wittemberg, and, God be praised, have translated it out of
Hebrew into the High German tongue.


Of the Differences between the Bible and other Books.

The Holy Scripture, or the Bible, said Luther, is full of divine
gifts and virtues.  The books of the Heathen taught nothing of
Faith, Hope, and Love; nay, they knew nothing at all of the same;
their books aimed only at that which was present, at that which,
with natural wit and understanding, a human creature was able to
comprehend and take hold of; but to trust in God and hope in the
Lord, nothing was written thereof in their books.  In the Psalms and
in Job we may see and find how those two books do treat and handle
of Faith, of Hope, of Patience, and Prayer.

To be short, the Holy Scripture, said Luther, is the best and
highest book of God, full of comfort in all manner of trials and
temptations; for it teacheth of Faith, Hope, and Love far otherwise
than by human reason and understanding can be comprehended.  And in
times of troubles and vexations, it teacheth how these virtues
should light and shine; it teacheth, also, that after this poor and
miserable life there is another which is eternal and everlasting.


What we ought chiefly to seek for in the Bible, and how we ought to
study and learn the Holy Scriptures.

The chief lesson and study in Divinity, said Luther, is well and
rightly to learn to know Christ, for he is therein very friendly and
familiarly pictured unto us.  From hence St. Peter saith, "Grow up
in the knowledge of Christ;" and Christ himself also teacheth that
we should learn to know him only out of the Scriptures, where he
saith, "Search the Scriptures, for they do testify of me."

We ought not, said Luther, to measure, censure, and understand the
Scriptures according to our own natural sense and reason, but we
ought diligently by prayer to meditate therein, and to search after
the same.  The devil and temptations also do give occasion unto us
somewhat to learn and understand the Scriptures by experience and
practice.  Without trials and temptations we should never understand
anything thereof; no, not although we diligently read and heard the
same.  The Holy Ghost must be the only master and tutor to teach us
therein, and let youth and scholars not be ashamed to learn of this
tutor.  When I find myself in temptation, then I quickly lay hold
and fasten on some text in the Bible which Christ Jesus layeth
before me, namely, THAT HE DIED FOR ME, from whence I have and
receive comfort.


That we should diligently read the Texts of the Bible, and stay
ourselves upon it as the only true Foundation.

Whoso layeth a good foundation, and is a substantial Text-man, that
is, he that is well grounded in the Text, the same hath whereupon he
surely may keep footing, and runneth not lightly into error.  And
truly, said Luther, the same is most necessary for a Divine; for
with the texts and grounds of the Holy Scriptures I dazzled,
astonished, and overcame all my adversaries; for they approach
dreamingly and lazily; they teach and write according to their
natural sense, reason, and understanding, and they think the Holy
Scripture is a slight and a simple thing; like the Pharisee, who
thought a business soon done when our Saviour Christ said unto him,
"Do that, and thou shalt live."  The sectaries and seducing spirits
understand nothing in the Scriptures; but with their fickle,
inconstant, and uncertain books which they have devised, they run
themselves into error.

Whoso is armed with the Text, the same is a right pastor; and my
best advice and counsel is, said Luther, that we draw water out of
the true fountain, that is, diligently to read in the Bible.  He is
a learned Divine that is well grounded in the Text; for one text and
sentence out of the Bible is of far more esteem and value than many
writings and glosses, which neither are strong, sound, nor armour of
proof.  As when I have that text before me of St. Paul, where he
saith, "All the creatures of God are good, if they be received with
thanksgiving."  This text showeth that what God hath made is good.
Now, eating, drinking, marrying, etc., are of God's making,
therefore they are good.  But the glosses of the Primitive Fathers
are against this text, for St. Bernard, Basil, Dominicus,
Hieronymus, and others have written far otherwise of the same.  But
I prefer the Text before them all, and it is far more to be esteemed
of than all their glosses; yet, notwithstanding, in Popedom the
glosses of the Fathers were of higher regard than the bright and
clear text of the Bible, through which great wrong oftentimes is
done to the Holy Scriptures; for the good Fathers, as Ambrose,
Basil, and Gregory, have ofttimes written very cold things touching
the Divine word.


That the Bible is the Head of all Arts.

Let us not lose the Bible, said Luther, but with all diligence and
in God's fear read and preach the same; for if that remaineth,
flourisheth, and be taught, then all is safe.  She is the head and
empress of all faculties and arts.  If Divinity falleth, then
whatsoever remaineth besides is nothing worth.


Of the Art of the School Divines in the Bible.

The art of the School Divines, said Luther, with their speculations
in the Holy Scriptures, are merely vain and human reasonings, spun
out of their own natural wit and understanding, of which I have read
much in Bonaventura, but he had almost made me deaf.  I fain would
have learned and understood out of that book how God and my sinful
soul had been reconciled together; but of that there was nothing to
be found therein.  They talk much of the union of the will and
understanding, but all is mere phantasy and folly.  The right and
true speculation is this:  "Believe in Christ; do what thou oughtest
to do in thy vocation," etc.  This is the only practice in Divinity.
Also, Mystica Theologia Dionysii is a mere fable, and a lie, like to
Plato's Fables.  Omnia sunt non ens, et omnia sunt ens-All is
something, and all is nothing; and so he leaveth all hanging in
frivolous and idle sort.

True and upright Divinity consisteth in the practice, use, and
exercise; her foundation is Christ; she taketh hold by faith on his
passion, death, and resurrection.  All those, said Luther, that
concur not with us, and have not this doctrine before their eyes,
the same do feign unto themselves but only a speculated Divinity,
according to their carnal sense and reason, and according as they
use to censure in temporal causes; for no man can divert them from
these opinions, namely, "Whoso doth good works, and liveth an honest
and civil kind of life, the same is an upright Christian, and he is
well and safe;" but they are therein far deceived; for this is the
truth indeed, "Whoso feareth God and trusteth in him, the same most
surely will be well and safe at last."

Therefore, said Luther, these speculating Divines belong directly to
the devil in hell.  They follow their own opinions, and what with
their five senses they are able to comprehend; and such is also
Origen's divinity.  But David is of another mind; he acknowledgeth
his sins, and saith, "Miserere mei Domini," God be merciful to me a
sinner.  At the hands of these sophisticated Divines, God can
scarcely obtain that he is God alone; much less can he find this
favour of them, that they should allow only him to be good and just;
nay, very hardly will they yield that he is an immortal God.


The Depths of the Bible.

The wise of the world, and the great ones, said Luther, understand
not God's Word; but God hath revealed it to the poor contemned
simple people, as our Saviour Christ witnesseth, where he saith, "I
thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast
hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them
unto babes," etc.; from whence St. Gregory says well and rightly,
that the Holy Scripture is like a water, wherein an "elephant
swimmeth, but a little sheep goeth therein upon his feet."

I remember a Fable, said Luther, which fitteth very well for these
times, and for this purpose, discoursed of before.  A Lion, said he,
making a great feast, invited all the beasts thereunto, and with
them also he invited swine.  Now, as all manner and sorts of
dainties were brought and set before the guests, the swine demanded
if Brewer's grains might be had for them.  Even so, in these days it
is with our Epicures; we Preachers bring and set before them in the
Church the most dainty and costly dishes, as Everlasting Salvation,
Remission of Sins, and God's Grace; but they, like swine, cast up
their snouts, and root after Dollars, Crowns, and Ducats; and,
indeed, said Luther, "what should a cow do with nutmegs?"  She would
rather content herself with oat-straw.

When we have God's Word pure and clear, then we are secure, we are
negligent and regard it not, we think it will always so remain; we
do not watch and pray against the devil, who is ready to tear the
Word out of our hearts.  It goeth with us as with travellers, who,
so long as they are on the right way, are secure and careless; but
when they go astray into woods or by-ways, then they are careful
which way to take, whether this or that way be the right:  even so
are we secure by the pure doctrine of the Gospel; we are sleepy and
negligent; we stand not in God's fear, nor defend ourselves with
prayer against the devil.  But those that entertain errors are
highly busied, yea, they are very careful and diligent how to keep
and maintain the same.


Of the future Want of upright and true Preachers of God's Word.

In a short time, said Luther, will be such want of upright Preachers
and Ministers, that people would be glad to scratch out of the earth
these good and godly Teachers now living, if they might but get
them; then they will see what they have done in molesting and
contemning the Preachers and Ministers of God's Word.  Of Physicians
and Lawyers there are enough, if not too many, to serve the world;
but a country hath need of two hundred Ministers where one Lawyer is
sufficient.  My most gracious Lord, said Luther, the Prince Elector
of Saxony, hath enough of twenty Lawyers in all his territories, but
he must have near six thousand Preachers and Ministers.


That People, out of mere Wilfulness, do set themselves against God's
Word.

Had I known, said Luther, when I first began to write, what I now
see and find, namely, that people had been such enemies to God's
Word, and so fiercely had set themselves against the same, truly I
had held my peace; for I never should have been so courageous as to
have fallen upon the Pope, and to have angered him, and almost the
whole Christian world with him.  I thought at first that people had
sinned ignorantly, and out of human weakness, and not of set purpose
and wittingly to endeavour to suppress God's Word; but it pleased
God to lead me on in the mouth of the cannon, like a bar-horse that
hath his eyes blinded, and seeth not who runneth upon him.  Even so
was I, as it were, tugged by my hair to the office of preaching; but
had I then known what now I know, ten horses should scarce have
drawn me to it.  Moses and Jeremiah also complained that they were
deceived.


Of the Archbishop of Mentz, one of the Spiritual Princes Electors,
his Censure of the Bible.

Anno 1530, at the Imperial Assembly at Augsburg, Albertus, Bishop of
Mentz, by chance had got into his hands the Bible, and for the space
of four hours he continued reading therein; at last, one of his
Council on a sudden came into his bed-chamber unto him, who, seeing
the Bible in the Bishop's hand, was much amazed thereat, and said
unto him, "what doth your Highness with that book?"  The Archbishop
thereupon answered him, and said, "I know not what this book is, but
sure I am, all that is written therein is quite against us."


That the Bible is hated of the Worldly-wise and of the Sophists.

Doctor Ussinger, an Austin Friar, with me in the Monastery at
Erfurt, said once unto me, as he saw that I diligently read and
affected the Bible, "Brother Martin, what is the Bible?  Let us,"
said he, "read the ancient Teachers and Fathers, for they have
sucked the juice and truth out of the Bible.  The Bible is the cause
of all dissension and rebellion."

This, said Luther, is the censure of the world concerning God's
Word; therefore we must let them run on their course towards that
place which is prepared for them.


Of the Errors which the Sectaries do hold concerning the Word of
God.

Bullinger said once in my hearing, said Luther, that he was earnest
against the sectaries, as contemners of God's Word, and also against
those who attributed too much to the literal Word; for, said he,
such do sin against God and his almighty power, as the Jews did in
naming the ark "God."  But, said he, whoso holdeth a mean between
both, the same is taught what is the right use of the Word and
Sacraments.

Whereupon, said Luther, I answered him and said, "Bullinger, you
err:  you know neither yourself nor what you hold; I mark well your
tricks and fallacies.  Zuinglius and OEcolampadius likewise
proceeded too far in this your ungodly meaning; but when Brentius
withstood them, they then lessened their opinions, alleging they did
not reject the literal Word, but only condemned certain gross
abuses.  By this your error," said Luther to Bullinger, "you cut in
sunder and separate the Word and the Spirit; you separate those that
preach and teach the Word from God who worketh the same; you also
separate thereby the Ministers that baptize from God who commandeth
it; and you think that the Holy Ghost is given and worketh without
the Word; which Word, you say, is an external sign and mark that
findeth the Spirit, which already and before possesseth the heart.
Insomuch, according to your falsities, that if the Word findeth not
the Spirit, but an ungodly person, then it is not God's Word;
whereby you define and hold the Word, not according to God who
speaketh it, but according as people do entertain and receive it.
You will only grant that such is God's Word which purifieth and
bringeth peace and life; but seeing it worketh not in the ungodly,
therefore it is not God's Word.  You teach that the outward Word is
like an object or a picture, which signifieth and presenteth
something; you measure the use thereof only according to the matter,
like as a human creature speaketh for himself; you will not yield
that God's Word is an instrument through which the Holy Ghost
worketh and accomplisheth his work, and prepareth a beginning to
righteousness or justification.  In these errors are you drowned, so
that you neither see nor understand yourselves.

"A man might vex himself to death against the devil, who, in the
Papists, is such an enemy to God's Word.  The devil seeth and
feeleth that the external Word and preaching in the Church doth him
great prejudice, therefore he rageth and worketh these errors
against the same; but I hope God ere long will look into it, and
will strike down the devil with these seducers.

"A true Christian," said Luther, "must hold for certain, and must
say, That Word which is delivered and preached to the wicked, to the
dissemblers, and to the ungodly, is even as well God's Word as that
which is preached to the good and godly upright Christians.  As
also, the true Christian Church is among sinners, where good and bad
are mingled together.  And that Word, whether it produceth fruit or
not, is nevertheless God's strength, which saveth all that believe
thereon.  And again, it will also judge the ungodly, as St. John
saith in chap. v., otherwise they might plead a good excuse before
God, that they neither ought to be nor could be condemned; for then
they might truly allege that they have not had God's Word, and so
consequently could not receive the same.  But," said Luther, "I say,
teach and acknowledge that the Preacher's words, his absolutions,
and the sacraments, are not his words nor works, but they are God's
words, works, cleansing, absolving, binding, etc.; we are but only
the instruments, fellow-workers, or God's assistants, through whom
God worketh and finisheth his work.  We," said Luther to Bullinger,
"will not endure these your metaphysical and philosophical
distinctions and differences, which merely are spun and hammered out
of human and natural sense and reason.  You say, It is a man that
preacheth, that reproveth, that absolveth, comforteth, etc., and
that the Holy Ghost worketh; you say, likewise, the Minister
baptiseth, absolveth, and administereth the sacraments, but it is
God that cleanseth the hearts, and forgiveth sins, etc.  Oh, no,"
said Luther, "but I conclude thus:  God himself preacheth,
threateneth, reproveth, affrighteth, comforteth, absolveth,
administereth the sacraments, etc.  As our Saviour Christ saith,
'Whoso heareth you, heareth me; and what ye loose on earth shall be
loosed in heaven,' etc.  Likewise, 'It is not you that speak, but
the spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.'"

"I am sure and certain," said Luther, "when I go up to the pulpit,
or to the cathedral, to preach or read, that it is not my word which
I speak, but my tongue is the pen of a ready writer, as the Psalmist
saith.  God speaketh in the Prophets and men of God, as St. Peter in
his Epistle saith:  'The holy men of God spake as they were moved by
the Holy Ghost.'  Therefore we must not separate nor part God and
man according to our natural reason and understanding.  In like
manner, every hearer must conclude and say, I hear not St. Paul, St.
Peter, or a man speak; but I hear God himself speak, baptize,
absolve, excommunicate, and administer the holy sacrament of the
Lord's Supper, etc."

Bullinger, attentively hearkening to this discourse of that holy
man, Luther, fell down flat on his face to the ground, and uttered
these words following:  "Oh, happy be the time that brought me
hither to hear the divine discourse of this man of God" (Martin
Luther), "a chosen vessel of the Lord to declare his truth!  And now
I abjure and utterly renounce these my former errors, finding them
convinced and beaten down through God's infallible Word which out of
his divine mouth" (Martin Luther), "hath touched my heart, and won
me to his glory."  After he had uttered these words lying on the
ground, he arose and clasped his arms about Luther's neck, both of
them shedding joyful tears.

Ah, God! said Luther at that time, what an unspeakable comfort a
poor, weak, and sorrowful conscience might have and receive, if it
could but believe that such words and comforts were the words and
comforts of God himself, as in truth they are; therefore we
conclude, short and round, that God through the Word worketh, which
is an instrument whereby we are instructed to know him in heart, as
by this present and happy example of the conversion of this our
loving brother, Bullinger, we apparently see and find.

But whereas, said Luther, the Word produceth not fruit everywhere
alike, but worketh severally, the same is God's judgment, and his
secret will, which from us is hid; we ought not to desire to know
it.  For "the wind bloweth where it listeth," as Christ saith; we
must not grabble nor search after the same.

If, said Luther, I were addicted to God's Word at all times alike,
and always had such love and desire thereunto as sometimes I have,
then should I account myself the most blessed man on earth.  But the
loving Apostle St. Paul failed also thereof, as he complains with
sighs of heart, saying, "I see another law in my members, warring
against the law of my mind," etc.  Should the Word be false because
it bringeth not always fruit?  Truly this art of determining and
knowing the Word hath been in great danger from the beginning of the
world, and hath endured much:  few people there are that can hit it,
except God, through his Holy Spirit, teacheth it them in their
hearts.  The Sectaries understand not the strength of God's Word.  I
do wonder, said Luther, that they do write and teach so much of
God's Word, seeing they so little regard the same.

Ferdinand, Prince Elector of Saxony, used to say he had well
discerned that nothing could be propounded by human reason and
understanding, were it never so wise, cunning, or sharp, but that a
man, even out of the selfsame proposition, might be able to confute
and overthrow it; but God's Word only stood fast and sure, like a
mighty wall which neither can be battered nor beaten down.


Which are the best Preachers and the best Hearers.

I, said Luther, esteem those to be the best Preachers which teach
the common people and youth most plainly and simply, without
subtlety, screwed words, or enlargements.  Christ taught the people
by plain and simple parables.  In like manner, those are the best
Hearers that willingly do hear and believe God's Word simply and
plainly, and although they be weak in faith, yet so long as they
doubt not of the doctrine they are to be holpen forward; for God can
and will bear with weakness if it be but acknowledged, and that we
creep again to the Cross and pray to God for grace, and amend
ourselves.

David saith, "I hate them that imagine evil things, but thy law do I
love," and will show therewith that we ought diligently to regard
the strength of the Word of God, and not to contemn it, as the
enthusiasts do, for God will deal with us by such means, and by the
same will also work in us.  Therefore the ancient Fathers say well
touching this point, namely, that we ought not to look to the person
baptizing or ministering the Sacrament, but we must look to God's
Word.

Our Lord God electeth from hearts, to whom he revealeth his Word,
and therewithal he giveth them mouths to speak it; preserveth and
maintaineth it, not by sword, but through his Divine Power.


That we ought to direct all our Actions and Lives according to God's
Word.

God, said Luther, hath his measuring-lines, and his canons, which
are called the Ten Commandments; they are written in our flesh and
blood.  The contents of them is:  "What thou wouldest have done to
thyself, the same thou oughtest also to do to another."  For God
presseth upon that point, and saith, "Such measure as thou metest,
the same shall be measured to thee again."  With this measuring-
line, or measure, hath God marked the whole world.  They that live
and do thereafter, well it is with them, for God doth richly reward
them in this life; and a Turk or a Heathen may as well be partaker
of such rewards as a Christian.


Where God's Word is loved, there dwelleth God.

Upon these words of Christ, "If a man loveth me, he will keep my
Word, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and
make our abode with him," I say thus, said Luther:  Heaven and
earth, the castles and palaces of all Emperors, Kings, and Princes,
are no way sufficient to make a dwelling-place for God; yet, in a
silly human creature that keepeth his Word he will dwell.  Isaiah
calleth heaven his "seat," and earth his "footstool," but not his
dwelling; therefore, when we long to seek after God, we shall be
sure to find him with them that hear and keep his Word, as Christ
saith, "He that keepeth my Word, I will come and dwell with him."

A man could not speak more simply and childishly than Christ spake,
and yet he confounded therewith all the wisdom of the worldly-wise.
To speak in such a manner, said Luther, is not in sublimi, sed
humili genere:  if I should teach a child, I would teach him in this
sort:  "He that loves me, will keep my Word."  Here we see that
Christ saith not, Abstain from flesh, from marrying, from
housekeeping, etc., as the Papists teach, for that were even to
invite the devil and all his fellows to a feast.


That true and upright Christians are ready to suffer Death and all
manner of Torments for the Gospel's sake, but Hypocrites do shun the
Cross.

Not long since, said Luther, I invited to my table, at Wittemberg,
an Hungarian Divine, named Matthias de Vai, who told me that, as he
came first to be a Preacher in Hungary, he chanced to fall out with
a Papistical Priest.  Now, he was complained of by that Priest to a
Friar that was brother to the Vaivoda, or Governor of Buda, and they
were both summoned to appear before him.  The one much accusing the
other, insomuch that the Friar could not reconcile nor take up the
controversy between them, at last, and after long debate, the Friar
said, "I know a way soon to discover the truth of this cause," and
commanded that two barrels of gunpowder should be set in the midst
of the market-place at Buda, and said unto the parties, "He that
will maintain his Doctrine to be right, and the true Word of God,
let him sit upon one of these barrels, and I will give fire unto it,
and he that remaineth living and unburned, his Doctrine is right."
Then Matthias de Vai leaped presently upon one of the barrels and
sat himself down thereon; but the Papist Priest would not up to the
other barrel, but slunk away.  Then the Friar said, "Now I see and
know that the Faith and Doctrine of Matthias de Vai is the right,
and that our Papistical Religion is false."  And thereupon he
punished and fined the Papist, with his assistants, for wronging De
Vai, in four thousand Hungarian ducats, and compelled him for a
certain time to maintain one hundred soldiers at his own charge; but
he licensed Matthias de Vai openly to preach the Gospel.  The Friar
himself, recanting his religion, was converted and became a
Protestant; whereupon Luther said, Never yet would any Papist burn
for religion, but our people go with joy to the fire, as heretofore
hath been well seen on the holy Martyrs.


By what God preserveth his Word.

God will keep his Word, said Luther, through the writing-pen upon
earth; the Divines are the heads or quills of the pens, but the
Lawyers are the stumps.  If, now, the world will not keep the heads
and quills-that is, if they will not hear the Divines-then they must
keep the stumps-that is, they must hear the Lawyers, who will teach
them manners.


That in Causes of Religion we must not judge according to human
Wisdom, but according to God's Word.

When the Pope and Emperor, said Luther, cited me to appear at Worms,
Anno Domini 1521, at the Imperial Assembly, they pressed and
earnestly advised me to refer the determining of my cause to his
Imperial Majesty; but I answered the three spiritual Electors,
Maintz, Tryer, and Cologne, and said, "I will rather surrender up to
his Majesty his letters of safe-conduct which he hath given me than
to put this cause to the determining of any human creature
whatsoever."  Whereupon my master, the Prince Elector of Saxony,
said also unto them, "Truly no man could offer more."  But as they
still insisted and urged me touching that point, I said, I did not
dare to presume, without great danger of running myself into God's
wrath, and of the loss of my soul's health, to refer this Cause,
which is none of mine, but God's Cause, to the censure of earthly
counsel; for the same, before all ages, hath been had in
consultation, hath been determined, censured, concluded, and
confirmed by the great Council in Heaven, to be and remain the
infallible, most certain and true Word of the High Majesty of God;
and therefore altogether needless, yea, most presumptuous now it
were, either to receive or to deliver it to the determination and
censure of human and natural sense, wit, and wisdom, which is
subject to nothing more than to error, especially in and concerning
God's Word and divine matters.  And I told them flat and plain, I
would rather expose myself to endure all the torments that this
world, flesh, and the devil were able to devise and prepare than to
give my consent thereunto.


That in former Times it was dangerous studying the Holy Scriptures.

In times past, as also in part of our time, said Luther, it was
dangerous studying, when divinity and all good arts were contemned;
and when fine, expert, and prompt wits were plagued with sophistry.
Aristotle, the Heathen, was held in such repute and honour, that
whoso undervalued or contradicted him was held, at Cologne, for the
greatest heretic; whereas they themselves understood not Aristotle.
The Sophists did much more darken Aristotle than illustrate him;
like as that Friar did, who wasted two whole hours in a sermon about
Christ's Passion, and concerning this question:  Utrum quantitas
realiter distincta sit a substantia-whether the quantity in itself
were divided from the substance?  He showed this example, and said,
"My head might well creep through, but the bigness of my head could
not;" insomuch that, like an idiot, he divided the head from the
bigness thereof.  A silly grammarian might easily have solved the
same, and said, The bigness of the head, that is, the big or great
head.

With such and the like fopperies were petty brains troubled, said
Luther, and were instructed neither in good arts nor in divinity.
Antipho, Chusa, Bovillus, and others were likewise miserably
molested and plagued about bringing a thing which was round into
four square, and to compare a straight line with a crooked.  But we,
God be praised, have now happy times; and it were to be wished that
the youth made good use thereof, and spent their studying diligently
in such arts as at this time are green, and flourish.


That the Jews have better Teachers and Writers of the Holy
Scriptures than the Gentiles.

When I read in the Psalter, said Luther, I do much admire that David
had such a spirit.  Oh, what high enlightened people were among the
Jews!  This David was a married man; he was a king, a soldier, and a
preacher; he was busy in temporal affairs, yet nevertheless he wrote
such an excellent surpassing book.  The New Testament was written
also by men that were Jews, and the Apostles themselves were Jews:
God would signify thereby that we should adore his Word, we should
preciously esteem thereof, reverence, and love the same.  We
Gentiles have no book that ruleth in the Church, therefore we are
not comparable to the Jews; from hence it is that St. Paul maketh a
very fine distinction or difference between Sarah and Hagar, and the
two sons, Isaac and Ishmael.  Hagar was also a wife, but nothing
near like Sarah; therefore it is a great pride, presumption, and
wilfulness of the Pope, in that he, being but a human creature, will
presume, without Scripture, to set himself against the Scripture,
and will exalt himself above the same.


Of Luther's Complaint of the Multitude of Books.

The multitude of books, said Luther, is much to be lamented; no
measure nor end is held in writing; every one will write books; some
out of ambition to purchase praise thereby, and to raise them names;
others for the sake of lucre and gain, and by that means further
much evil.  Therefore the Bible, by so many comments and books, will
be buried and obscured, so that the Text will be nothing regarded.
I could wish that all my books were buried nine ells deep in the
ground, for evil example's sake, in that every one will imitate me
with writing many books, thereby to purchase praise.  But Christ
died not for the sake of our ambition and vain-glory, but he died
only to the end that his name might be sanctified.


That God's Word will not be truly understood without Trials and
Temptations.

I, said Luther, did not learn my divinity at one only time, but I
was constrained to search deeper and deeper, to which my temptations
brought me; for no man, without trials and temptations, can attain
to the true understanding of the Holy Scriptures.  St. Paul had a
devil that beat him with fists, and with temptations drove him
diligently to study the Holy Scripture.  I, said Luther, had
cleaving and hanging on my neck the Pope, the Universities, all the
deep-learned, and with them the devil himself; these hunted me into
the Bible, where I diligently read, and thereby, God be praised, at
length I attained to the true understanding of the same.  Without
such a devil, we are but only speculators of divinity, and according
to our vain reasoning we dream that so-and-so it must be, as the
Monks and Friars in monasteries do.  The Holy Scripture of itself is
certain and true enough; but God grant me the grace that I may catch
hold on the right use thereof; for when Satan disputeth with me in
this sort, namely, whether God be gracious unto me or no? then I
must not meet him with this text:  "Whoso loveth God with all his
heart, with all his soul, and with all his strength, the same shall
inherit the kingdom of God;" for then the devil presently objecteth,
and hitteth me in the teeth, and saith, "Thou hast not loved God
with all thy heart," etc., which, indeed, is true, and my own
conscience therein witnesseth against me; but at such a time I must
arm myself and encounter him with this text, namely:  "That Jesus
Christ died for me, and through him I have a gracious God and
Father; Christ hath made an atonement for me," as St. Paul saith,
"He is of God given unto us for wisdom, for righteousness, for
holiness, and for redemption."

Tyrants, sectaries, seducers, and heretics do nothing else but drive
us into the Bible, to make us read more diligently therein, and with
more fervency to sharpen our prayers.


Of the Advice of the Bishop of Salzburg, how to qualify the
Controversy between the Protestants and Papists, propounded to
Luther shortly before his Death; touching which, Luther discoursed
as followeth:

At the Imperial Assembly at Augsburg, in the year 1530, the Bishop
of Salzburg said unto me, "Four ways and means there are to make a
reconciliation or union between us and you Protestants.  One is,
that ye yield unto us.  To that you say you cannot.  The second is,
that we yield unto you; but that we will not do.  The third is, that
the one party, by force, should be compelled to yield to the other;
but thereupon a great combustion and tumult might be raised.
Therefore the fourth way or means were to be applauded and used,
namely, that now being here assembled together, the one party should
strive to thrust out the other, and that party which shall have the
advantage, and be the stronger, the same should put the other party
into a bag and expel them."  Whereupon I, said Luther, answered him
and said, "This, indeed, were a very substantial course to settle
unity and peace, wonderful wisely considered of, found out and
expounded by such a holy and Christian-like Bishop as you are."  And
thereupon I took letters out of my pocket, which shortly before I
had received from Rome, and gave the same to the Bishop to read,
which letter related a pretty passage that fell out there five weeks
before, between some Cardinals and the Pope's Fool, written as
followeth:-

The said Cardinals had been in serious consultation how, and by what
means, the Protestants in Germany might be convinced touching their
error, and suppressed; but they saw the difficulty of it, in that
the Protestants, in their books and writings, powerfully against the
Papists, cited the sacred Scripture, and especially they opposed and
withstood them with the doctrine of St. Paul, which were great
blocks in the Papists' way, insomuch that they found it a business
not so easily to be accomplished.  Then said the Fool unto the
Cardinals, "I know how to give you herein an advice, whereby you
easily may be rid and quitted of St. Paul, that his doctrines shall
not be approved of; as thus:  The Pope," said the Fool, "hath power
to make Saints; therefore let St. Paul be taken out of the number of
the Apostles, and preferred to be a Saint, as then his dicta, or
sayings, which are against you, shall no more be held for
apostolical."  "This and your proposition," said Luther to the
Bishop, "are of equal value."



OF GOD'S WORKS.



That human Sense and Reason cannot comprehend nor understand God's
Works.

In all things, and in the least creatures, yea, also in their
members, God's almighty power and great wonderful works do clearly
shine.  For what man, how powerful, wise, and holy soever, can make
out of one fig, a fig-tree or another fig? or, out of one cherry-
stone, can make a cherry or a cherry-tree? or what man can know how
God createth and preserveth all things and maketh them grow?

And truly we find and see printed the Holy Trinity in all good arts
and creatures, as the almighty power of God the Father, the wisdom
of God the Son, and the goodness of God the Holy Ghost.  Neither can
we conceive or know how the apple of the eye doth see, or how
understanding words are spoken distinctly and plainly when only the
tongue is moved and stirred in the mouth, all which are natural
things, as we daily see and act.  How then should we be able to
comprehend or understand the secret counsel of God's Majesty, or
search it out with our sense, wit, reason, or understanding?


That no Man understands God's Works.

No man, said Luther, is able to imagine, much less to understand,
what God hath done, and still doth without ceasing.  Although we
laboured and sweated blood to write but only three lines in such
manner as St. John did write, yet were we never able to perform it.
What, then, should we any way admire or wonder at our wisdom?  I,
for my part, said Luther, will be a fool, and will yield myself
captive.

When one asked where God was before Heaven was created, St. Austin
made answer thereunto and said, He was in himself.  And as another,
said Luther, asked me the same question, I said, He was building
Hell for such idle, presumptuous, fluttering spirits and
inquisitors.  After he had created all things, he was everywhere,
and yet he was nowhere; for I cannot fasten nor take hold of him
without the Word.  But he will be found there where he hath bound
himself to be.  The Jews found him at Jerusalem by the Throne of
Grace (Exodus xxv.).  We find him in the Word and Faith, in Baptism
and Sacraments; but in his Majesty he is nowhere to be found.

It was a special grace in the Old Testament, when God bound himself
to a certain place where he would be found, namely, in that place
where the Tabernacle was, towards which they prayed; as first in
Shiloh and Shechem, afterwards at Gibeon, and lastly at Jerusalem in
the Temple.

The Greeks and Heathens in after-times, said Luther, did imitate the
same, and did build temples for their idols in certain places, as at
Ephesus for Diana, at Delphos for Apollo, etc.  For where God built
a church, there the devil would also build a chapel.  They imitated
the Jews also in this, namely, that as the most holy was dark and
had no light, even so and after the same manner did they make their
places dark where the devil made answer, as at Delphos and
elsewhere.  In such sort is the devil always God's ape.

But, said Luther, whereas the most holy must be dark, the same did
signify that the Kingdom of Christ no other way was to be taken hold
of and fastened, but only by the Word and by Faith.


That the Superfluity of temporal Wealth doth hinder the Faith.

God, said Luther, could be rich soon and easily if he would be more
provident, and would deny us the use of his creatures.  If he would
but keep back the sun, that it should not shine, or lock up the air,
detain the water, or quench out the fire-ah! then would we willingly
give all our money and wealth to have the use of his creatures
again.

But seeing God so liberally heapeth his gifts upon us, we therefore
will claim them as by right, in despite of him, and let him deny
them us if he dare.  Therefore the unspeakable multitude of his
innumerable benefits do hinder and darken the faith of the
believers, much more of the ungodly.


That God doth purchase nothing but Unthankfulness with his Benefits.

God giveth sun and moon, said Luther, stars and elements, fire and
water, air and earth, and all creatures; body and soul, and all
manner of maintenance, of fruits, grain, corn, wine, and all that is
profitable for the preserving of this temporal life; and, moreover,
he giveth unto us his all-saving Word, yea, himself he giveth unto
us.

But, said Luther, what getteth God thereby?  Truly nothing else than
that he is wickedly blasphemed; yea, that his only Son is pitifully
scorned, contemned, and hanged on the gallows; his servants plagued,
banished, persecuted and slain.  This is the thanks that he hath for
his Grace, for creating, for redeeming, sanctifying, nourishing, and
for preserving us:  such a seed, fruit, and godly child is the
world.  Oh, woe be to it!


Of God's Power in our Weakness.

God, said Luther, placeth his highest office very wonderfully; he
commits it to preachers that are poor sinners and beggars, who do
utter and teach it, and very weakly do thereafter, or live according
to the same.

Thus goeth it always with God's power in our weakness; for when he
is weakest in us, then is he strongest.


Howsoever God dealeth with us, it is always unacceptable.

How, said Luther, should God deal with us?  Good days we cannot
bear, evil we cannot endure.  Giveth he riches unto us? then are we
proud, so that no man can live by us in peace; nay, we will be
carried upon hands and shoulders, and will be adored as gods.
Giveth he poverty unto us? then are we dismayed, we are impatient,
and murmur against him.  Therefore nothing were better for us than
soon to be conveyed to the last dance, and covered with shovels.


Of the acknowledging of Nature.

Adam had no need of books, said Luther, for he had the Book of
Nature; and all the Patriarchs and Prophets, Christ and his
Apostles, do cite much out of that book; as, touching the sorrows of
women bearing children, of the fellowship and community of the
members of man's body, as St. Paul relateth such parables, and saith
that one member cannot miss another:  if the eyes did not see,
whither then would the feet go? how would they stumble and fall?  If
the hands did not fasten and take hold, how then should we eat?  If
the feet went not, where then would the hands get anything?  Only
the maw, that lazy drone, lies in the midst of the body, and is
fatted like a swine.  This parable, said Luther, teacheth us that
mankind should love one another; as also the Greeks' pictures do
teach concerning two men, the one lame and the other blind, who
showed kindness the one to the other, as much as in them lay.  The
lame guided the blind in the way, which else he neither knew nor
saw, and the blind carried the lame, that else could not go; so that
they both were helped and came forward.


Of God's Goodness, if we could but trust unto him.

Once, towards evening, came flying into Luther's garden two birds,
and made a nest therein, but they were oftentimes scared away by
those that passed by.  Then said Luther, O ye loving pretty birds!
fly not away; I am heartily well contented with you, if ye could but
trust unto me.  Even so it is with us:  we neither can trust in God,
who, notwithstanding, showeth and wisheth us all goodness.


That God made all Things for Mankind.

God's power is great, said Luther, who holdeth and nourisheth the
whole world, and maintaineth it; and it is a hard article where we
say and acknowledge, "I believe in God the Father."  He hath created
all things sufficiently for us.  All the seas are our cellars, all
woods are our huntings; the earth is full of silver and gold, and of
innumerable fruits, which are created all for our sakes, and the
earth is a corn-house and a larder for us, etc.


That God's creatures are used, or rather abused, for the most part
by the Ungodly.

The wicked and ungodly, said Luther, do enjoy and use the most part
of God's creatures; for the tyrants have the greatest power, lands,
and people in the world; the usurers have the money; the farmers
have eggs, butter, corn, barley, oats, apples, pears, etc.; but good
and godly Christians must suffer, be persecuted, must sit in
dungeons where they can see neither sun nor moon, must be thrust out
into poverty, must be banished, and plagued, etc.  But certainly it
must be better one day; it cannot always so remain; let us have but
patience, and steadfastly remain by the pure doctrine, and,
notwithstanding all this misery, let us not fall away from the same.


That God, and not Money, preserves the World.

God only, said Luther, and not money and wealth, maintains and
preserves the world; for riches and much money do make proud and
lazy people:  as at Venice, where the richest people are, a horrible
dearth fell among them in our memory, so that they were driven to
call upon the Turks for help, who sent twenty-four galleys laden
with corn, all which, as they almost were arrived, went down into
the sea and sank before their eyes.

Therefore, said Luther, great wealth and money cannot still the
hunger, but rather occasioneth more dearth; for where rich people
are, there it is always dear, and things are at high rates.
Moreover, money maketh no man right merry, but much more pensive and
full of sorrow; for they are thorns which do prick people, as Christ
calls riches; yet is the world so mad that they will set thereupon
all their joy and felicity.


That God's corporeal Gifts are but little regarded.

One evening, Luther saw cattle going in the fields, in a pasture,
and said:  Behold, there go our preachers, our milk-bearers, butter-
bearers, cheese and wool-bearers, which do daily preach unto us the
faith towards God, that we should trust in him, as in our loving
Father; he careth for us, and will maintain and nourish us.


That God nourisheth all the Beasts.

No man, said Luther, can account the great charges which God is at
only in maintaining the birds and such creatures, which in a manner
are nothing or little worth.  I am persuaded, said he, that it
costeth God yearly more to maintain only the sparrows than the
yearly revenue of the French King amounteth unto.  What then shall
we say of all the rest of his creatures?


That God is skilful in all Manner of Trades.

God, said Luther, is skilful in all occupations and trades, in a
most perfect and excellent manner; for, like a skilful tailor, he
makes such a coat for the stag, which he wears nine hundred years
together, and of itself it is not torn; also, like a good shoemaker,
he gives him shoes on his feet, that last longer than the stag
himself, etc.

God gives this world, with all his works, to those people who, as he
knows before, will anger, contemn, and blaspheme him.  What, then,
may we think, will he give to those that through faith are
justified, and do know that they, so justified, shall live and
remain with him everlastingly?


That God will be praised in all Languages.

"All that hath breath, praise the Lord," saith the Psalm; thence it
followeth that in all and every language, speeches, and tongues we
should preach and praise the Lord.  Why then, said Luther, have the
Pope and the Emperor forbidden to sing and pray in the German
tongue?


That God is willing we should make use of his Creatures.

Our loving Lord God is willing that we eat, drink, and be merry, and
make use of his creatures, for therefore he hath created them.  He
will not have that we should complain, as if he had not given
sufficient, or that he could not maintain our poor carcases; only
that we do acknowledge him for our God, and thank him for his gifts.


That God fills the Bellies of the Ungodly, but he gives the Kingdom
of Heaven to the Good and Godly.

We believe, said Luther, that God will give to us no better things
than he giveth to the rich ungodly wretches in this world, to whom
he gives an overplus, and the fill of good wine, money, wealth,
power, honour, and all things that they would have or can desire.
But the best wealth and treasure, which they do not desire, he
denies them, namely, himself.  But he that hath not God, let him
have else what he will, so is he, notwithstanding, more miserable
than was Lazarus, that lay at the rich man's gate and was starved to
death.  But it will go even so with them as it went with the
glutton, that they everlastingly must hunger and want, and shall not
have in all their power so much as the least drop of water, etc.

If, then, said Luther, the almighty and liberal God in such wise
doth heap blessings upon his worst enemies and blasphemers, with all
manner of temporal goods and wealth, and gives to some also
kingdoms, principalities, etc., then may we, that are his children,
easily conceive what he will give unto us, who, for his sake must
suffer-yea, what he hath already given us.  He hath given unto us
his only-begotten Son, and with him hath bestowed all things upon
us, so that through him we are God's children, and also heirs of his
celestial treasure, and are co-heirs with Christ according to hope.


Court Cards.

God regards ungodly great Potentates, Kings, and Princes even as
children regard playing at cards.  While they play, and have good
cards, they hold them in their hands; then, afterwards, when they
have bad cards, they are weary of them, and throw them under the
bench.  Just so doth God with great Potentates.  While they are in
the government, and rule well, he holds them for good; but so soon
as they do exceed, and govern ill, then he throws them down from
their seat, as Mary sings, and there he lets them lie.  Ut Regem
Danioe.

The Queen of Denmark, that was sister to the Emperor Charles and
King Ferdinand, died at that time when her husband, King Christian,
was taken prisoner, who was kept in prison twenty years.  And his
son, who was the only heir of the kingdom, and was in the Court of
the Emperor, died also at the Imperial Diet held at Ratisbon the
same year, 1541.  God hath taken up and gathered together a fine and
glorious game at cards, all of mighty Potentates, as Emperors,
Kings, Princes, etc.; they scuffle and fight one with another;
touching which, said Luther, I could show many examples done in our
time, etc.

"The Pope," said Melancthon, "for the space of these certain hundred
years, hath been held for the principal Head of all Christendom.
When he did but wink or hold up one finger, so must the Emperors,
Kings, and Princes have humbled themselves and feared; insomuch that
he was Lord of all Lords, King of all Kings on earth; yea, he was an
earthly god.  But now comes Almighty God, throws down the Pope, and
wins that great king with the ace (Luther), and there he lies.  This
is God's government, as Mary sings in her Magnificat:  Deposuit
potentes-He puts down the mighty from their seat, etc.

"If I were rich," said Melancthon, "I would have artificially made
me a game at cards, and a chess-board all of gold and silver, in a
remembrance of God's game at cards, which are all great and mighty
Emperors, Kings, and Princes, where he always thrusteth one out
through another.  N. is the four of diamonds, the Pope is the six of
diamonds, the Turk is the eight of diamonds, the Emperor is the king
in the game.

"At last comes our Lord God, divides the game, beats the Pope with
Luther (he is the ace).  But the Pope is not yet quite dead; Christ
hath begun to slay him with the spirit of his mouth, so that he is
dead in the hearts of believing Christians.  I hope it is almost
come so far that, in less than two hundred years, God will quite
make an end of him, and of that antichristian idolatry, by his
glorious coming."


Whoso from his Heart can humble himself before God, he hath gained.

Whoso can earnestly humble himself from his heart before God, he
hath gained.  For God can do nothing but to be merciful towards them
that humble themselves.  For if God should always be stern and
angry, so should I, said Luther, be afraid of him as of the
executioner.  And seeing that I must stand in fear of the Pope, of
the Emperor, of the Papistical Bishops, and of other tyrants, which
are God's enemies, to whom then should I fly and take my refuge, if
I should also be afraid of God?


That God preserves Nurture and Discipline.

God's works and actions will be where good nurture and discipline is
maintained, especially in wars, where a good government is settled;
otherwise it goeth strangely, dissolutely, and ill, as in this time
we see too well.

When God will confound the wisdom of the wise, he makes them first
mad and furious in their proceedings, as he dealt with the Popish
Princes and Bishops at the Imperial Diet held at Augsburg.

Let the adversaries rage and swell their fills, said Luther, and as
long as they can.  God hath set the sea her bounds; he suffers the
same to beat and rage with her waves, as if they would over-run,
cover, and drown everything; yet, notwithstanding, they must not
pass the shore and banks, although God keeps the waters in their
compass, not with iron, but with weak walls of sand.  This discourse
Luther held at that time when letters were written unto him from the
Assembly at Frankfort, concerning the Papists, with their practices
and exploits, intending to fall upon the Protestants in all parts.

The second Psalm, said Luther, is one of the best Psalms.  I love
that Psalm with my heart.  It strikes and slashes valiantly amongst
the Kings, Princes, Counsellors, Judges, etc.  If it be true what
this Psalm saith, then are the allegations of the Papists stark
lies.  If I were as our Lord God, and had committed the government
to my son, as he hath done to his Son, and that these angry
gentlemen were so disobedient as they now are, I would, said Luther,
throw the world into a lump.

Mary, the poor child-maid of Nazareth, also combateth with these
great Kings, Princes, etc., as she sings, "He hath put down the
mighty from their seat," etc.  No doubt, said Luther, she had an
excellent undaunted voice.  I, for my part, dare not sing so.  The
tyrants say, "Let us break their bonds asunder."  What that is, said
he, present experience teacheth us; for we see how they drown, how
they hang, burn, behead, strangle, banish, and torture; and all this
they do in despite of God.  "But he sits above in heaven, and
laugheth them to scorn."  If, said Luther, God would be pleased to
give me a little time and space, that I might expound a couple of
small Psalms, I would bestir myself so boldly that, Samson-like, I
would take all the Papists away with me.


By reason of our stiff-necked Hardness, God must be both harsh and
good too.

I was, said Luther, very lately sharply reprimanded and taxed by a
Popish flattering Courtier, a Priest, because with such passion I
had written, and so vehemently had reproved the people.  But I
answered him and said, "Our Lord God must first send a sharp pouring
shower, with thunder and lightning, and afterwards cause it mildly
to rain, as then it wetteth finely through.  In like manner, a
willow or a hazel wand I can easily cut with my trencher-knife, but
for a hard oak a man must have and use axes, bills, and such-like,
and all little enough to fell and to cleave it."


What that is, God is nothing, and yet he is all Things.

Plato, the Heathen, disputed of God, that God is nothing, and yet he
is all things; him followed Dr. Eck, and the Sophists, who
understood nothing thereof, as their words do show, which no man
could understand.  But, said Luther, we must understand and speak of
it in this manner:  God is incomprehensible and invisible, therefore
what may be seen and comprehended, that is not God.  And thus a man
may speak also in another manner and wise:  As God is either visible
or invisible; visible he is in his Word and Works, but where his
Word and Works are not, there a man should not desire to have him,
for he will be found nowhere else than where he hath revealed
himself.  But these and such-like will find and take hold of him
with their speculations, so that instead of God they take hold of
the devil, and find him, for he will be also a god.  But I do truly
admonish and warn every one that they abstain from such
speculations, and not to flutter too high, but remain by the manger,
and by the swaddling-clothes wherein Christ doth lie (in the Holy
Scriptures), "in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead
bodily," as St. Paul saith (Col. ii.).  There a man cannot fail of
God, but finds and hits upon him most certainly.  I would willingly
that this rule might be observed after my death, namely:  Human
comfort and Divine comfort are of two sorts:  human comfort
consisteth in external visible help, which a man may see, hold, and
feel; but Divine comfort consisteth only in words and promises,
where there is neither seeing, hearing, nor feeling.


That Children are God's special Blessings and Creatures.

Dr. Jonas, inviting Luther to a dinner, had caused a bough, with
ripe cherries, to be hung up over the table where they dined, in
remembrance of the creation, thereby to put his guests in mind to
praise the glorious God in his blessing and creating such fruits,
etc.  But Luther asked him why he did not rather remember the same
by his children that were the fruit of his body.  For, said he, they
surpass and are far more excelling creatures of God than all the
fruits of trees.  By them we see God's Power, Wisdom, and Art, who
hath made them all out of nothing, hath given them in one year life
and all members, so exquisitely hath created and will maintain and
preserve them.  Yet, notwithstanding, we do not much regard it; nay,
we are in such gifts of God blind and covetous, as commonly it
falleth out that people when they have got children grow worse and
more covetous; they rake and rend all they can, to the end enough
may be left for their children.  They do not know that before a
child comes to the world, and is born, it hath its lot; and already
is ordained and determined what and how much it shall have, and what
shall be thereout.  In the state of matrimony we learn and find that
begetting and bearing of children stands and consists not in our
wills and pleasures, for the parents can neither see nor know
whether they be fruitful or no, nor whether God will give them a son
or a daughter.  All this is done without our ordaining, thinking, or
foreknowledge.  My father and mother did not think that they should
have brought a superintendent into the world; it is only God's
Creation which we cannot rightly understand nor conceive.  I
believe, said Luther, that in the life to come we shall have nothing
else to do than to meditate of our Creator, and of his celestial
creatures, and wonder at the same.



OF THE NATURE OF THE WORLD.



Of the World, and of the Manner thereof.

The world, said Luther, will neither have nor hold God for God, nor
the devil for the devil.  And if a man were left to himself, and
should be suffered to do after his own kind and nature, then would
he willingly throw our Lord God out at the window; for the world
regards God nothing at all, as the Psalm saith, Dixit impius in
corde suo, non est Deus.  On the contrary, the god of the world is
riches, pleasure, and pride, wherewith they abuse all the creatures
and gifts of God.

The Monks and Friars, in times past, boasted much of their
contemning of the world, and they made use of that speech of St.
Paul (Rom. xii.), "Be not conformed to this world;" from whence they
would touch no money, as if it were against God to make use of
riches, money, and wealth; whereas St. Paul and the whole Scriptures
forbid but only the abuse of heart, wicked lust, desire, and
inclination; as there is ambition, incontinency, revenge, etc.,
which lusts do hang on the world; yea, they altogether flow and
flourish.


Of the Manner of People in Eating.

We have the nature and manner of all wild beasts in eating.  The
wolves eat sheep; we also.  The foxes eat hens, geese, etc.; we
also.  The hawks and kites eat fowl and birds; we also.  Pikes do
eat other fish; we also.  With oxen, horse, and kine, we also eat
sallets, grass, etc.


The Unthankfulness of Husbandmen and Farmers.

The husbandmen and rich farmers, said Luther, are not worthy of so
many benefits and fruits which the earth doth bear and bring unto
them.  I give more thanks to our Lord God for one tree or bush than
all rich farmers and husbandmen do for their large and fruitful
grounds.  Yet, said he, we must except some husbandmen, as Adam,
Noah, Abraham, and Isaac, who went out to see their grounds, to the
end they might remember God's gifts in his creatures.  (Gen. xxiv.)

The world will have night owls, said Luther, that is, sectaries,
seducers, and unbelievers, about whom the birds do fly; that is, the
world wonders at them, entertains them with great honour, and gives
them money and wealth enough.


The Gospel discovereth the Wickedness of Mankind.

As the cold, said Luther, is always greater and more piercing in
winter when the days begin to lengthen, and when the sun draws near
unto us, for that maketh the cold thicker, and presseth it together:
just so the wickedness of mankind is greater, that is, more visible,
and breaks out when the Gospel is preached; for the Holy Ghost
reproveth the world of sin, which the world neither can nor will
endure.


The World's Unthankfulness towards the Servants of God.

He must be of a high and great spirit that undertaketh to serve the
people both in body and soul, and nevertheless must suffer the
utmost danger and highest unthankfulness.  Therefore Christ said to
Peter, Simon, etc., "Lovest thou me?" and repeated it three times
together.  Afterwards he said, "Feed my sheep," as if he would say,
"Wilt thou be an upright Minister and a Shepherd? then love must
only do it; thy love to me must do the deed, otherwise it is
impossible."  For who can endure unthankfulness? to study away his
wealth and health, and afterwards to lay himself open to the highest
danger and unthankfulness of the wicked world?  Therefore he saith,
"It is very needful that thou lovest me."

The Pope and Turk, said Luther, have thoroughly revenged our cause,
and have done to the world a great deal of right, as by scourging
experience they have thoroughly been taught, for so the world will
have it.  Upright and true servants of God they will not endure,
nay, they murder them, therefore they must have such fellows, yea,
and moreover, they must maintain and hold them in great honour and
esteem, and yet nevertheless must by them be cursed and deceived.


The World must have stern and fierce Rulers.

The world, said Luther, cannot be without such stern Governors, by
whom they must be ruled.  King Ferdinand, with his Popish tyranny,
is even a fine liquorish bit for the world; therefore said God,
through the Prophet Samuel, to his people of Israel that prayed for
a King, He would give them a King, but this shall be his rule:  "He
will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots,
and to be his horsemen, and will take your daughters to be cooks,"
etc.  As Ferdinand, the Prince Elector of Saxony, returned home from
the election of the Emperor Charles at Cologne, he asked me how I
liked the news, that they had elected Charles, King of Spain, to be
Roman Emperor.  I answered him and said, "The ravens must have a
kite."


The World's highest Wisdom.

The highest wisdom of the world is, said Luther, to trouble
themselves with temporal, earthly, and vanishing things; and as it
happeneth and falleth out with those things, they say, "Non putaram"
(I had not thought it).  For faith is a certain and a sure
expectation of that which a man hopeth for, and maketh no doubt of
that which he seeth not, as the Epistle to the Hebrews saith:  Faith
looks to that which is to come, and not to that which is already
present.  Therefore a true Christian doth not say, "Non putaram" (I
had not thought it); but he is most certain that the beloved Cross
is near at hand, and will surely come upon him; therefore he is not
afraid when it goeth evil with him, and he is tormented.  But the
world, and those that live securely in the world, cannot brook
misfortunes; they go on continually leaping and dancing in pleasure
and delight, like the rich Glutton in the Gospel.  He could not
spare the scraps to poor Lazarus, but Lazarus belonged to Christ,
and he took his part.


The Language and Doings of the World.

Albertus, Bishop of Mentz, had a physician attending on his person
who was a Protestant, and therefore the less in the Bishop's favour;
the same, being covetous and puffed up with ambition, recanted his
religion and fell to Popery, uttering these words:  "I will, for
awhile, set Christ behind the door, until I be grown rich, and then
I will take him to me again."  Such and the like blasphemous words
do deserve the highest punishments, as befell that wicked
dissembling wretch, for the same night he was found in his bed in a
most fearful manner, with his tongue torn out of his mouth, as black
as a coal, and his neck wrung in twain.  Myself, said Luther, at
that time coming from Frankfort to Mentz, was an eye-witness of that
just judgment of God.  If, said he, a man could bring to pass, and
at his pleasure could set God behind the door, and take him again
when he listed, then was God his prisoner.  They were words of a
damned Epicure, and so accordingly he was rewarded.


Luther's Comparison of the World.

The world seems to me like unto a decayed house.  David and the
Prophets are the spars; Christ is the main pillar in the midst that
supporteth all.


The World seeketh Immortality with their Pride.

Whereas all people do feel and acknowledge, yea, do see, that they
must die and vanish away, every one therefore seeketh here on earth
immortality, that he may be had in everlasting remembrance.
Sometimes great Princes and Kings sought it by causing great columns
of marble stone and exceedingly high pyramids, buildings, and
pillars four square to be erected, as at this time they do with
building great churches, costly and glorious palaces and castles,
etc.  Soldiers do look and hunt after great praise and honour by
overcoming and obtaining famous victories.  The learned seek an
everlasting name in writing books, as in our time is to be seen.
With these and such-like, people do think to be immortal.  But on
the true, everlasting, and incorruptible honour and eternity of God,
no man thinketh nor looketh after the same.  Ah! we are poor, silly,
and miserable people!


What is to be considered in the executing of Offices.

If, said Luther, the great pains and labour which I take sprang not
from love and for the sake of him that died for me, the world could
not give me money enough to write only one book, or to translate the
Bible.  I desire not to be rewarded and paid of the world for my
book; the world is too poor and simple to give me satisfaction.  I
have not desired the value of one penny of my master the Prince
Elector of Saxony, so long as I have been in this place.  The whole
world is nothing else but a turned-about Decalogus, or the Ten
Commandments backwards, a wizard, and a picture of the devil.  All
contemners of God, all blasphemers, all disobedient; whoredom,
pride, theft, murder, etc., are now almost ripe for the slaughter;
neither is the devil idle, with Turk and Pope, heresies and other
erroneous sects.  Every man draws the Christian liberty only to
carnal excess, as if now they had free liberty and power to do what
they list; therefore the kingdom of the devil and Pope is the best
government for the world, for therewith they will be governed with
strict laws and rights, with superstition, unbelief, etc.

The world grows worse through the doctrine of God's Grace and
preaching of the Gospel; for when they hear that after this life
there is another, they are well enough content with this life, and
that God should keep the other to himself; if they may have here but
only good days, honour, and wealth, that is all they care for or
desire.

At the time of my being in Rome, said Luther, there died a Cardinal
very rich, and left behind him great store of money; shortly before
his death he made his will, and laid it in a chest where the money
was.  After his death the chest was opened, and therein, by the
money, was found lying a bull, written on parchment, with these
words:

   Dum potui, rapui; rapiatis, quando potestis.
(I extorted and oppressed as long as I was able; while ye have
power, get what you can.)

Oh! said Luther, how finely, think you, must this Cardinal have
departed and died?


The World is full of Dissemblers and Blasphemers:  How many Sorts
there be.

Luther discoursing, in the presence of the Prince Elector of Saxony
and other Princes, of the many sorts and differences of wicked
persons, said:  Colax, Sycophanta, Cacoethes; these sins and
blasphemies are almost alike the one to the other, only that they go
one after another, as a man going up the stairs and steps ascends
from one to another.

Colax, in my opinion, is he that in Terence they name Gnatho, an
ear-scratcher, a dissembler, a trencher-licker, one that talketh for
his belly's sake, and is altogether a man-pleaser.  This is a sin of
mankind, whose intent is to get all they can though others are hurt
thereby.

Sycophanta is such a dissembler, traitor, and backbiter that would
earn a grey coat.  This sin is nearer allied to the devil than to
mankind.  Gnatho acts his part in the comedies, but Sycophanta in
the tragedies.  Phormio, in Terence, is a very honest person,
nothing, or very little, stained with the other two vices.

Cacoethes is a wicked villain, that wittingly and wilfully prepareth
mischief.


Of the Wealth and Treasure of the World.

The Fuggars {2} of Augsburg, on a sudden, said Luther, are able to
levy one hundred tons of gold (one ton of gold is one hundred
thousand rix dollars, making, in English money, two-and-twenty
thousand pounds sterling, and more), which neither the Emperor nor
King of Spain is able to perform.  One of the Fuggars, after his
death, left eighty tons of gold.  The Fuggars and the money-changers
in Augsburg lent the Emperor at one time eight-and-twenty tons of
gold for the maintaining of his wars before Padua.

The Cardinal of Brixen, who died at Rome very rich, left no great
sum of ready money behind him, but only there was found in his
sleeve a little note of a finger's length.  This note was brought to
Pope Julius, who presently imagined it was a note of money, and
therefore sent for the Fuggars' factor that was then at Rome, and
asked him if he knew that writing.  The factor said, "Yea, it was
the debt which the Fuggars did owe to that Cardinal, which was the
sum of forty hundred thousand rix dollars."  The Pope asked him how
soon he could pay that sum of money.  He answered and said, "Every
day, or, if need required, at an hour's warning."  Then the Pope
called for the Ambassadors of France and England, and asked them if
either of their Kings, in one hour's space, were able to satisfy and
pay forty tons of gold.  They answered, "No."  "Then," said the
Pope, "one citizen of Augsburg can do it."  And the Pope got all
that money.  One of the Fuggars being warned by the Senate of
Augsburg to bring in and to pay his taxation, said, "I know not how
much I have, nor how rich I am, therefore I cannot be taxed;" for he
had his money out in the whole world-in Turkey, in Greece, at
Alexandria, in France, Portugal, England, Poland, and everywhere,
yet he was willing to pay his tax of that which he had in Augsburg.


Covetousness is a Sign of Death; we must not rely on Money and
Wealth.

Whoso hath money, said Luther, and depends thereon, as is usual, it
neither proceeds nor prospers well with that person.  The richest
monarchs have had bad fortune, and lamentably have been destroyed
and slain in the wars; on the contrary, poor and unable people, that
have had but small store of money, have overcome and had great
fortune and victory.  As Emperor Maximilian overcame the Venetians,
and continued wars ten years with them, who were exceedingly rich
and powerful.  Therefore we ought not to trust in money and wealth,
nor to depend thereon.  I hear, said Luther, that the Prince
Elector, George, begins to be covetous, which is a sign of his death
very shortly.  When I saw Dr. Goad begin to count his puddings
hanging in the chimney, I told him he would not live long, which
fell out accordingly; and when I begin to trouble myself about
brewing, malting, and cooking, etc., then shall not I drive it long,
but soon die.


The Popes' Covetousness.

The covetousness of the Popes has exceeded all others', therefore,
said Luther, the devil made choice of Rome to be his habitation; for
which cause the ancients have said, "Rome is a den of covetousness,
a root of all wickedness."  I have also read in a very old book this
verse following:

      Versus Amor, Mundi Caput est, et Bestia Terrae.

That is (when the word Amor is turned and read backward, then it is
Roma), Rome, the head of the world, a beast that sucketh out and
devoureth all lands.  Truly at Rome is an abominable trading with
covetousness, for all is raked to their hands without preaching or
church-service, but only with superstition, idolatry, and with
selling their good works to the poor ignorant lay-people for money;
therefore St. Peter describeth such covetousness with express and
clear words when he saith, "They have an heart exercised with
covetous practices."  I am persuaded a man cannot acknowledge the
disease of covetousness unless he knoweth Rome; for the deceits and
jugglings in other parts are nothing in comparison of those at Rome;
therefore, anno 1521, at the Imperial Diet held at Worms, the State
of the whole Empire made supplication against such covetousness, and
desired that his Imperial Majesty would be pleased to suppress the
same.

At that time, said Luther, my book was presented to the German
nobility, which Dr. Wick showed unto me.  Then the Gospel began to
go on well, but the Pope's power, together with the Antinomians,
gave it a great blow, and yet, notwithstanding, through God's
Providence, it was thereby furthered.

The Pope's power was above all Kings and Emperors, which power I
opposed with my little book; and therewith also I assaulted the Bull
on the Pope, and, by God's assistance, overthrew it.  I did not
write that book on purpose against the Pope, but only against the
abuses of Popedom; yet nevertheless it startled them quickly, for
their consciences accused them.


Princes do draw and tear Spiritual Livings unto them.

The proverb is, said Luther, "Priests' livings are catching
livings," and that "Priests' goods never prosper."  This we know to
be true by experience, for such as have drawn spiritual livings unto
them are grown poor thereby, and become beggars, therefore this
Fable I like very well:

There was an Eagle that made amity and friendship with the Fox; they
agreed to dwell peaceably together.  Now when the Fox expected from
the Eagle all manner of good offices and turns, he brought his young
ones and laid them under the tree on which the Eagle had his nest
and young ones; but the friendship between them lasted not long, for
so soon as the Eagle wanted meat for his young (the Fox being out of
the way), he flew down and took the young Foxes and carried them
into his nest, and therewith fed his young Eagles.  When, therefore,
the old Fox returned, and saw that his young were taken away, he
made his complaint to the great god Jupiter, desiring that he would
revenge and punish that injury of Jus violati hospitii.  Not long
after, as the Eagle again wanted meat to feed his young, he saw that
on a place in the field they sacrificed to Jupiter.  The Eagle flew
thither, and quickly snatched away a piece of roast from the altar
and brought the same to his young, and flew again to fetch more; but
it happened that a hot coal hung to one of the pieces; the same,
falling into the Eagle's nest, set it on fire; the young Eagles, not
able to fly, were burned with the nest and fell to the ground.  Even
so it usually fareth with those that rake and rend spiritual livings
unto them, which are given to the maintaining of God's honour and
service; such at last must lose their nests, that is, they must be
left destitute of their temporal goods and livings, and besides,
must sustain hurt of body and soul.  Spiritual livings have in them
the nature of Eagle's feathers, for when they are laid to other
feathers they devour the same.  Even so, when men will mingle
spiritual livings (per fas aut nefas) with other goods, so must the
same likewise be consumed, insomuch that at last nothing will be
left.

I have seen a pretty dog, at Lintz, in Austria that was taught to go
with a hand-basket to the butcher's shambles for meat; now, when
other dogs came about him, and would take the meat out of the
basket, he set it down, bit and fought lustily with the other dogs;
but when he saw they would be too strong for him, then he himself
would snatch out the first piece of meat, lest he should lose all.
Even so doth now our Emperor Charles, who, after he hath a long time
defended the spiritual livings, and seeth that every Prince taketh
and raketh the monasteries unto himself, doth also now take
possession of bishoprics, as newly he hath snatched to himself the
bishoprics of Utrich and Luttich, to the end he may get also partem
de tunica Christi.


A fearful Example of Covetousness.

A covetous farmer, well known at Erfurt, said Luther, carried his
corn to sell there in the market; but holding it at too dear a rate,
no man would buy of him nor give him his price; he being thereby
moved to anger, said, "I will not sell it cheaper, but will rather
carry it home again and give it to the mice."  As he came home
therewith, an innumerable number of mice and rats flocked about his
house and devoured up all his corn.  And the next day following,
going out to see his grounds, which were newly sown, he found that
all the seed was eaten up, and no hurt at all done upon the grounds
belonging to his neighbours.  This certainly, said Luther, was a
just punishment from God, and a token of his wrath against the
unthankful world.


Wealth is the least Gift of God.

Riches, said Luther, is the smallest thing on earth, and the least
gift that God hath bestowed on mankind.  What is it in comparison of
God's Word? yea, what is it to be compared with corporeal gifts, as
beauty, health, etc.? nay, what is it to the gifts of the mind, as
understanding, art, wisdom, etc.?  Yet are men so eager after it
that no labour, travel, nor danger is regarded in the getting of
riches; there is in it neither Materialis, formalis, efficiens et
finalis causa, nor anything else that is good; therefore our Lord
God commonly giveth riches to such from whom he withholds all
Spiritual good.


Giving to the Poor that truly stand in need of our Help.

St. John saith, "He that hath this world's goods, and seeth his
brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from
him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"  And Christ saith, "He
that desireth of thee, give to him;" that is, to him that hath need
and is in want.  He saith not to every idle, lazy, and wasteful
companion, which commonly are the greatest beggars, to whom although
one gave much and often, yet were they nothing helped thereby.  In
this town, said Luther, no men are in greater want than the students
and scholars.  The poverty here indeed is great, but idleness and
laziness are far greater.  A man can scarcely get a poor body to
work for money, and yet they will all beg.  There is, said he, no
good government.  Though I were able, yet I would not give to those
idle beggars, for the more one helpeth and giveth them, the more and
oftener they come.  I will not cut my bread away from my wife and
children, and give it to such; but when one is truly poor, to him I
will give with all my heart, according to my ability.  And no man
should forget that Scripture which saith, "He that hath two coats,
let him part with one," etc.; for the Holy Scripture, in naming a
coat, meaneth all manner of apparel that one hath need of, according
to his state and calling, as well for credit as for necessity.  As,
also, by "the daily bread" is understood all maintenance necessary
for the body, therefore "a coat," in Scripture, is signified to be
all usual apparel.


The World will always have new Things.

Before I translated the New Testament out of the Greek, said Luther,
every one longed after it, to read therein, but when it was done
their longing lasted scarce four weeks.  Then they desired the Books
of Moses; when I had translated those, they had enough thereof in a
short time.  After that they would have the Psalter; of the same
they were soon weary; when it was translated, then they desired
other books.

In like manner, said he, will it be with the Book of Ecclesiasticus,
which they now long for, and about which I have taken great pains in
the translating thereof.  All are acceptable, so long and until our
giddy brains be satisfied; afterwards they let them lie, and seek
after new things; therefore in the end there must come errors among
us.



OF THE LORD CHRIST.



That Christ warreth with great Potentates.

On the 18th of August, 1535, Luther, receiving letters from
Frankfort relating to the great preparations of the Emperor against
the Protestants, said:  Our Saviour Christ will not wage wars with
beggars, but with great and powerful Kings and Princes, as it is
written, "Kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel
together against the Lord, and against his anointed."  Well, on,
said Luther, they will find their counsels altogether vain and
frivolous, for Christ shall win the field.  We see also how the
Prophets contended and strove with Kings, as the Kings of Babel and
Assyria, etc.  In like manner Daniel, one of the chief Prophets,
wrestled and strove with Kings, and they again resisted the
Prophets.  All those Kings are gone, and lie in the ashes, but
Christ remaineth, still, and will remain a King for ever.


That it doth not follow because Christ did this and that, therefore
we must also do the same.

At this time, said Luther, there are those that allege Christ by
force drove the buyers and sellers out of the temple; therefore we
also may use the like power against the Popish bishops and enemies
of God's Word, as Muntzer and other seducers, in the time of the
common rebellion, anno 1525.  Christ did many things which we
neither may nor can do after him.  He went upon the water, he fasted
forty days and forty nights, he raised Lazarus from death after he
had lain four days in the grave, etc.  Such and the like must we
leave undone.  Much less will Christ have that we by force should
set against the enemies of the truth, but he commanded the contrary,
"Love your enemies, pray for them that vex and persecute you," etc.
But we ought to follow him in such works where he hath annexed an
open command, as, "Be merciful, as your Father is merciful;"
likewise, "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and
humble in heart," etc., also, "He that will follow me, let him deny
himself, take up his cross and follow me."


That the weak in Faith do also belong to the Kingdom of Christ.

The weak in faith, said Luther, do also belong to the kingdom of
Christ, otherwise the Lord would not have said to Peter, "Strengthen
thy brethren," Luke xxii.; and Rom. xiv., "Receive the weak in
faith;" also 1 Thess. v., "Comfort the feeble-minded, support the
weak."  If the weak in faith should not belong to Christ, where then
would the Apostles have been, whom the Lord oftentimes (also after
his resurrection, Mark xvi.) reproved because of their unbelief?


That Christ is the only Physician against Death, whom
notwithstanding very few do desire.

A cup of water, said Luther, if a man can have no better, is good to
quench the thirst.  A morsel of bread stilleth the hunger, and he
that hath need seeketh earnestly thereafter.  So Christ is the best,
surest, and only physic against the most fearful enemy of mankind,
the devil, but they believe it not with their hearts.  If they knew
a physician who lived above one hundred miles off, that could
prevent or drive away temporal death, oh, how diligently would he be
sent for!  No money nor cost would be spared.  Hence it appears how
abominably human nature is spoiled and blinded; yet,
notwithstanding, the small and little heap do stick fast to the true
Physician, and by this art do learn that which the holy old Simeon
well knew, from whence he joyfully sang, "Lord, now lettest thou thy
servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,"
etc., therefore death became his sleep; but from whence came his
great joy?  Because that with spiritual and corporeal eyes he saw
the Saviour of the world-he saw the true Physician against sin and
death.  Therefore it is a great trouble to behold how desirous a
thirsty body is of drink, or one that is hungry of food, whereas a
cup of water, a morsel of bread, can still hunger and thirst no
longer than two or three hours, but no man, or very few, are
desirous, or do long after the most precious Physician, although he
lovingly calleth and allureth all to come unto him, and saith, "He
that is athirst, let him come to me and drink" (John vii.); so, "He
that believeth in me, from his body shall flow streams of living
water."


Of the Temple of all the Gods (except Christ), at Rome, called
Pantheon.

In the year 606, Emperor Phocas, the murderer of that good and godly
Emperor Mauritius, and the first erector of the Pope's primacy, gave
this temple Pantheon to Pope Boniface the Third, to make thereof
what he pleased.  He gave it another name, and instead of All-Idols
he named it the Church of All-Saints; he did not number Christ among
them, from whom all saints have their sanctity, but erected a new
idolatry, the Invocation of Saints.

In my chronicle, said Luther, I expound the name of Bonifacius thus:
Bonifacius is a Popish name, that is, a good form, fashion, or show,
for under the colour of a good form and show he acted all manner of
mischief against God and man.

As I was at Rome, said Luther, I saw this church; it had no windows,
but only a round hole on the top, which gave some light.  It was
vaulted high, and had pillars of marble stone so thick that two of
us could scarcely fathom one about.  Above, on the vault, were
portrayed all the gods of the heathen, Jupiter, Neptune, Mars,
Venus, and how else they are called.  These gods were at a union, to
the end they might fool and deceive the whole world; but Christ they
cannot endure, for he hath whipped them out.  Now are the Popes
come, and have driven Christ away again; but who knoweth how long it
will continue?


That the World knoweth not Christ, nor those that are his.

Even as Christ is now invisible and unknown to the world, so are we
Christians also invisible and unknown therein.  "Your life," saith
St. Paul (Coloss. iii.), "is hid with Christ in God."  Therefore,
said Luther, the world knoweth us not, much less do they see Christ
in us.  And John the Apostle saith, "Behold, what love the Father
hath showed unto us, that we shall be called God's children" (1 John
iii).  Therefore we and the world are easily parted; they care
nothing for us, so we care less for them; yea, through Christ the
world is crucified unto us, and we to the world.  Let them go with
their wealth, and leave us to our minds and manners.

When we have our sweet and loving Saviour Christ, then we are rich
and happy more than enough, we care nothing for their state, honour,
and wealth.  But we often lose our Saviour Christ, and little think
that he is in us, and we in him; that he is ours, and we are his.
And although he hideth himself from us, as we think, in the time of
need for a moment, yet are we comforted in his promise, where he
saith, "I am daily with you to the world's end;" the same is our
best and richest treasure.


Of the Name Jesus Christ.

I know nothing of Jesus Christ, said Luther, but only his name; I
neither have heard nor seen him corporeally; yet notwithstanding I
have, God be praised, learned so much out of the Scriptures that I
am well and thoroughly satisfied; therefore, I desire neither to see
nor to hear him corporeally.  And besides this, when I was left and
forsaken of all men, in my highest weakness, in trembling and in
fear of death, when I was persecuted of the wicked world, then I
oftentimes felt most evidently the divine power which this name
(Christ Jesus) communicated unto me; this name (Christ Jesus)
oftentimes delivered me when I was in the midst of death, and made
me alive again.  It comforted me in the greatest despair, and
particularly at the Imperial Assembly at Augsburg, anno 1530, when I
was forsaken of every man; insomuch that, by God's grace, I will
live and die for that name.

And rather than I will yield, or through silence endure that Erasmus
Roterodamus, or any other whosoever he be, should too nearly touch
my Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus with his ungodly false doctrine,
how fairly coloured soever it be trimmed or garnished, I say I will
rather die; yea, it should be more tolerable for me, with wife and
children, to undergo all plagues and torments, and at last to die
the most shameful death, than that I should give way thereunto.


That Christ and the Pope are set on, the one against the other.

I, said Luther, have set Christ and the Pope together by the ears,
therefore I trouble myself no further; and although I come between
the door and the hinges and be squeezed, it is no matter, though I
go to the ground; yet notwithstanding Christ will go through with
it.


Of the Pre-eminence of God's Word.

Christ once appeared visible here on earth, and showed his glory,
and, according to the divine counsel and purpose of God, he finished
the work of redemption and the deliverance of mankind.  I do not
desire that he should come once more, neither would I that he should
send an angel unto me; and although an angel should come and appear
before mine eyes from heaven, yet would I not believe him; for I
have of my Saviour Christ Jesus bond and seal; that is, I have his
Word and Spirit; thereon I do depend, and desire no new revelations.
And, said Luther, the more steadfastly to confirm me in the same
resolution, and to remain by God's Word, and not to give credit to
any visions or revelations, I shall relate the following
circumstance:- I being on Good Friday last in my inner chamber, in
fervent prayer, contemplating with myself how Christ my Saviour hung
on the Cross, how he suffered and died for our sins, there suddenly
appeared upon the wall a bright shining vision, and a glorious form
of our Saviour Christ, with the five wounds, steadfastly looking
upon me, as if it had been Christ himself corporeally.  Now, at the
first sight, I thought it had been some good Revelation:  yet I
recollected that surely it must needs be the juggling of the devil,
for Christ appeareth unto us in his word, and in a meaner and more
humble form; therefore I spake to the vision in this manner:
"Avoid, thou confounded devil; I know no other Christ than he who
was crucified, and who in his Word is pictured unto me."  Whereupon
the image vanished.


That Christ is the Health and Wisdom of the Faithful.

Alas! said Luther, what is our wit and wisdom? for before we
understand anything as we ought, we lie down and die; therefore the
devil hath good striving with us.  When one is thirty years old, so
hath he as yet Stultitias carnales; yea, also Stultitias
spirituales; yet it is much to be admired that, in such our
imbecility and weakness, we achieve and accomplish so much and such
great matters; but it is God that giveth it.  God gave to Alexander
the Great, Sapientiam et fortunam, Wisdom and good success; yet,
notwithstanding, he calleth him, in the Prophet Jeremiah, Juvenem, a
youth, where he saith, "Quis excitabit juvenem" (A young raw milksop
boy shall perform it:  he shall come and turn the city Tyrus upside-
down).  But yet Alexander could not leave off his foolishness, for
oftentimes he swilled himself drunk, and in his drunkenness he
stabbed his best and worthiest friends; yea, afterwards he drank
himself to death at Babel.  Neither was Solomon above twenty years
old when he was made King, but he was well instructed by Nathan, and
desired wisdom, which was pleasing to God, as the text saith.  But
now chests full of money are desired.  "Oh!" say we now, "if I had
but money, then I would do so-and-so."



OF SINS AND OF FREE-WILL.



Of the Fall of the Ungodly, and how they are surprised in their
Ungodliness and False Doctrine.

Our Lord God, said Luther, suffereth the ungodly to be surprised and
taken captive in very slight and small things, when they think not
of it, when they are most secure, and live in delight and pleasure,
in springing and leaping for joy.  In such a manner was the Pope
surprised by me, in and about his indulgences and pardons, which was
altogether a slight thing.  The Venetians, likewise, were taken
napping by Emperor Maximilian.

That which falleth in Heaven is devilish, but that which stumbleth
on earth is human.


Of the Acknowledgment of Sins.

It can be hurtful to none, said Luther, to acknowledge and confess
their sins.  Have we done this or that sin, what then?  Let us
freely in God's name acknowledge the same, and not deny it; let us
not be ashamed to confess, but let us from our hearts say, "O Lord
God! I am such-and-such a sinner," etc.

And although thou hadst not committed this or that sin, yet
nevertheless thou art an ungodly creature; and if thou hast not done
that sin which another hath done, so hath he not committed that sin
which thou hast done; therefore cry quittance one with another.  It
is even as one said that had young wolves to sell; he was asked
which of them was the best.  He answered and said, "If one be good,
then they are all good; they are like one another."  If, said
Luther, thou hast been a murderer, an adulterer, or a drunkard,
etc., so have I been a blasphemer of God, because for the space of
fifteen years together I was a Friar, and have blasphemed God with
celebrating that abominable idol the Mass.  It had been better for
me that I had been a partaker of other great wickednesses instead of
the same; but what is done cannot be undone; he that hath stolen,
let him henceforward steal no more.


What our Free-will doth effect.

I, said Luther, oftentimes have been directly resolved to live
uprightly, and to lead a true godly life, and to set everything
aside that would let or hinder; but it was far from being put in
execution, even as it was with Peter, when he swore he would lay
down his life for Christ.

I will not lie nor dissemble before my God, but will freely confess
I am not able to effect that good which I do intend, but must expect
the happy hour when God shall be pleased to meet me with his grace.



OF THE CATECHISM.



Of the Virtues and Vices ooncerning the Ten Commandments.

The Decalogus, that is, the Ten Commandments of God, are a looking-
glass, and a brief sum of all virtues and doctrines, both how we
ought to behave towards God and also towards our neighbour, that is,
towards all mankind.

There never was at any time written a more excellent, complete, nor
compendious book of virtues.

The duty of the First and Second Commandment is to fear God, to love
and to trust in him; the contrary is sin and vice, an ungodly life,
contemning of God, hatred, despair, etc.

The duty of the Third Commandment is to acknowledge and to preach
the doctrine of God's Word; the contrary is blaspheming of God, to
be silent and not to confess the truth when need requireth.

The duty of the Fourth Commandment is the external service of God,
as the preaching of God's Word, hearing, reading, and meditating on
the same, to the end we may make proof of our faith; the contrary is
the despising of God's Word and the outward service of God, as the
Holy Sacraments.

The duty of the Fifth Commandment is obedience towards parents,
tutors, and magistrates in those things which are not against God;
the contrary is disobedience and rebellion.

The duty of the Sixth Commandment is meekness, not to be desirous of
revenge, not to bear malice; against this is tyranny, rage, hatred,
envy, etc.

The duty of the Seventh Commandment is continency and chastity;
against the same is lasciviousness, immodest behaviour, adultery,
etc.

The duty of the Eighth Commandment is to do good, to give and lend
willingly, to be liberal; the contrary is covetousness, stealing,
usury, fraud, and to wrong in trading and dealing.

The duty of the Ninth Commandment is to love the truth, not to
backbite and slander, to speak well of all men; the contrary is
lying, backbiting, and to speak evil of another.

The duty of the Tenth Commandment is righteousness, to let every one
possess his own; the contrary is to be miserable and unjust.

The duty of this Commandment is to be without all covetous desires
in the heart, to be content with that which one hath; against that
are the lustings of the heart.  St. Paul saith the end of the
Commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good
conscience, and of faith unfeigned.



BRIEF SENTENCES OF THE CATECHISM, ACCORDING AS LUTHER USED TO TEACH
AND INSTRUCT HIS FAMILY AT HOME.



Of the Ten Commandments of God.

As the Faith is, so is also God.

God stayeth not quite away, though he stayeth long.

Despair maketh Priests and Friars.

God careth and provideth for us, but we must labour.

God will have the heart only and alone.

Idolatry is the imagination of the heart.

God giveth by creatures.

God's Word placeth before our eyes the world, to the end we may see
what a fine spark it is.

God's Word is our sanctification, and maketh everything happy.

Works of obedience must highly be regarded.

All that govern are called Fathers.

Shepherds of Souls are worthy of double honour.

Magistrates belong not to the fifth Commandment.

Wrath is forbidden in every man, except in the magistrates.

All occasions of death are forbidden.

Matrimony proceedeth freely in every state and calling.

Matrimony is necessary and commanded.

Matrimony forbidden and disallowed is against God's command.

Matrimony is a blessed state, and pleasing to God.

To steal is what one taketh unjustly.

Unfaithfulness is also stealing.

Thieving is the most common trade in the world.

Great thieves go scot-free, as the Pope and his crew.

Falseness and covetousness prosper not.

Backbiting is meddling with God's judgment.

Censuring, and to speak evil behind one's back, belongeth only to
the magistrates.

We must censure and reprove no man behind his back.

We must judge charitably in everything.

There are no good works without the Ten Commandments.

To fear God, and to trust in him, is the fulfilling of all the
Commandments.

The first Commandment driveth on all the rest.


Of the Creed.

The Creed teacheth to know God, and what a God we have.

In all cases we must make use of faith.

God giveth himself unto us with all creatures.

We must always drive on the article of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Ghost bringeth Christ home unto us; he must reveal him.

Where the Holy Ghost preacheth not, there is no Church.

The works of the Holy Ghost are wrought continually.


Of the Lord's Prayer.

To pray is to call upon God in all need, which is made precious
through God's command, and necessity stirreth up earnest and devout
prayers, which are our weapons against the devil.

The devil, the world, and our flesh is against God's Will.

The devil hindereth and destroyeth the daily bread and all the gifts
of God.

God careth for our bodies daily.

No man can live in the world without sin.

No man can bring his own righteousness before God.

We must forgive, as God forgiveth us.

To forgive our neighbour, assureth us fully that God hath forgiven
us.

We are tempted three manner of ways-of the devil, of the world, and
of our flesh.

Temptations serve against the secureness of our flesh.

Temptations are not overcome through our own strength.

The devil would hinder all that we pray for.

The devil goeth about to bring us into all manner of need.


Of Baptism.

Faith is annexed to Baptism.

Faith must have before it some external thing.

Faith maketh the person worthy.

Baptism is not our work, but God's.

Baptism is right, although no man believeth.

No man must build upon his faith.

Unbelief weakeneth not God's Word.


Of the Lord's Supper.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is of God's ordaining.

The Word maketh a Sacrament.

Christ in the Sacrament is spiritual food for the soul.

Remission of sins is obtained only through the Word.

Faith receiveth the forgiveness of sins.

The Sacrament consisteth not in our worthiness.

Faith and human understanding are one against another.

Faith dependeth on the Word.

As we hold of Christ, even so we have him.

Faith is a Christian's treasure.

The Gospel is the power of God.


Good Works.

Good works are nameless.

A Christian's work standeth for the good of the neighbour.

Faith in Christ destroyeth sin.

The Holy Scriptures only give comfort, they forbid not good works.

Christ is a general good.

Christians do pray for and desire the last Day of Judgment.

The Church heareth none but Christ.

Christ is of a mean estate and small repute.

In adversities we should show ourselves like men, and pluck up good
spirits.

Our whole life should be manly; we should fear God and put our trust
in him.

Faith maketh us Christ's heritage.

We should aim at celestial honour, and not regard the contemning of
men.

Christ spareth us out of mere grace through the Word.

The Gospel is altogether joyful.

Grace condemneth all people's own righteousness.

Salvation is purchased and given unto us without our deserts.

Regeneration is the work only of the Holy Ghost.

Human reason cannot comprehend nor understand the goodness and
benefits of God.

Good works are the seals and proofs of faith; for, even as a letter
must have a seal to strengthen the same, even so faith must have
good works.

Faith hath regard to the Word, and not to the Preacher.

The Preacher and the Word are two Persons.

This natural life is a little piece of the life everlasting.

Own imaginations and conceits spoil all things.

The Gospel cometh of God, it showeth Christ, and requireth Faith.

The Gospel is a light in the world, which lighteneth mankind, and
maketh children of God.

False Preachers are worse than deflowerers of virgins.

Righteousness is obtained through faith, and not through works.
Works make faith strong.

A Preacher is made good through temptations.

A Prince is venison in heaven.

A person must be good before his works can be good.

We must not be dejected, but believe and pray.

No State or Calling is of any value to make one good before God.

Faith endureth no human traditions in the conscience.

The Saints oftentimes erred like men.

We must distinguish offices from the persons.

We hate punishment, but we love sin.

God preserveth the sanctified, yea, even in the midst of errors.

No great Saint lived without errors.

A Christian's life consisteth of three points-of faith, love, and
the cross.

We command a Christian in nothing, he is only admonished.

We must curb ourselves in our own wills and minds.

All revenge among Christians is taken away; they must grow up and
increase in the fruits of the spirit, among which love is the
greatest, for she goeth about with the people.

Human reason comprehendeth not, nor understandeth that Christ is our
brother.

Christ is given unto us that believe with all his benefits and
works.

Christ cometh unto us by preaching, so that he is in the midst of
us.

Without the Cross we cannot attain to glory.

The Gospel cannot be truly preached without offence and tumult.

The Holy Ghost maketh one not instantly complete, but he must grow
and increase.

We lose nothing by the Gospel, therefore we should venture thereupon
all we have.

To believe the Gospel, delivereth from sins.

Works belong to the neighbour, faith to God.

Those that censure and judge others, condemn themselves.

Such as is the Faith, such is also the benefit.

To doubt is sin and everlasting death.

We know Christ when he himself is a schoolmaster in our hearts, and
breaketh bread unto us.

God's Word kindleth Faith in the heart.

Faith is to build certainly on God's mercy.

Christ requireth no seeming godliness, no hypocrisy nor dissembling,
but the godliness of the heart.

We are saved merely by grace and mercy, if we trust thereupon, but
God must alter our hearts.

The Law is nothing but a looking-glass.

Christ carrieth us upon his back before his Father.

Love regardeth not unthankfulness.



OF THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL.



That we ought to beware of Sophistry.

If, said Luther, we diligently mark the world and the course
thereof, we shall find that it is governed merely by weenings or
conceits, Mundus regitur opinionibus.  Therefore sophistry,
hypocrisy, and tyranny do rule and have the government in the world.

The upright, pure, and clear Divine Word must be their handmaid, and
be by them controlled; this the world will have.  Therefore let us
beware of sophistry, which consisteth not only in a double tongue,
in doubtful and screwed words, which may be construed any way, but
also it blossometh, and flourisheth in all arts and vocations; it
will likewise have room and place in religion; it hath usurped and
got a fine painted colour, under the name of holy writ.

Nothing is more pernicious or hurtful than Sophistry; every one
knoweth it not; moreover, we are by nature prone and willing to
believe lies rather than the truth.  Few people do know what an evil
sophistry is.  Plato, the Heathen writer, made thereof a wonderful
definition.  For my part, said Luther, I compare it with a lie,
which is like to a snowball, the longer it is rolled the greater it
becomes.

Therefore I do not approve of such persons as do pervert everything,
do under-value and find fault with other men's opinions, although
they be good and sound; I like not such brains which can dispute on
both sides, and yet conclude nothing certain.  Such sophistications,
said Luther, are nothing but crafty and subtle inventions and
contrivances to cozen and deceive people.

But I like and love an honest and a well-affected mind, that seeketh
after truth simply and plainly, not to go about with phantasies and
cheating tricks.


Whether we should preach only of God's Grace and Mercy, or not.

Philip Melancthon demanded of Luther whether the opinion of Calixtus
were to be approved of, namely, that the Gospel of God's Grace ought
to be continually preached.  For thereby, doubtless, said
Melancthon, people would grow worse and worse.  Luther answered him
and said:  We must preach Gratiam, notwithstanding, because Christ
hath commanded it.  And although we long and often preach of grace,
yet when people are at the point of death they know but little
thereof.  Nevertheless we must also drive on with the Ten
Commandments in due time and place.

The ungodly, said Luther, out of the Gospel do suck only a carnal
freedom, and become worse thereby; therefore not the Gospel, but the
Law belongeth to them.  Even as when my little son John offendeth:
if then I should not whip him, but call him to the table unto me,
and give him sugar and plums, thereby, indeed, I should make him
worse, yea, should quite spoil him.

The Gospel is like a fresh, mild, and cool air in the extreme heat
of summer, that is, a solace and comfort in the anguish of the
conscience.  But as this heat proceedeth from the rays of the sun,
so likewise the terrifying of the conscience must proceed from the
preaching of the Law, to the end we may know that we have offended
against the Laws of God.

Now, said Luther, when the mind is refreshed and quickened again by
the cool air of the Gospel, then we must not be idle, lie down and
sleep; that is, when our consciences are settled in peace, quieted
and comforted through God's spirit, then we must show also and prove
our faith by such good works which God hath commanded.  But so long
as we live in this vale of misery, we shall be plagued and vexed
with flies, with beetles, and with vermin, etc., that is, with the
devil, with the world, and with our own flesh; yet we must press
through, and not suffer ourselves to recoil.


Against the Opposers of the Law.

I do much condemn, said Luther, the Antinomians, who, void of all
shame, reject the doctrine of the Law, whereas the same is both
necessary and profitable.  But they see not the effect, the need,
and the fruit thereof.  St. Austin did picture the strength, the
office and operation of the Law, by a very fit similitude, namely,
that it discovereth our sins, and God's wrath against sin, and
placeth them in our sight; for the Law is not in fault, but our evil
and wicked nature, even as a heap of lime is still and quiet until
water be poured thereon, but then it beginneth to smoke and to burn,
not that it is the fault of the water, but it is the nature and kind
of the lime, which will not endure water; but if oil be poured upon
it, then it lieth still and burneth not.  Even so it is with the Law
and Gospel.  It is an exceedingly fair similitude.


Of the Children's Faith.

The little children, said Luther, do stand on the best terms with
God Almighty concerning their lives and faith.  We old doting fools
do torment ourselves and have sorrow of heart with our disputings,
touching the Word, whether it be true or not:  "How can it be
possible?" etc.  But the children with simple pure faith do hold the
same to be certain and true, without all doubting.

Now, if we intend to be saved, we must, according to their example,
give ourselves only to the Word.  But the wicked and crafty spirit,
before we be aware, can, master-like, draw the same away from us, by
presenting new dealings and business to keep us in action.
Therefore best it were for us soon to die, and to be covered over
with shovels.

The loving children do live innocently, they know of no sins, they
are without malice, wrath, covetousness, and unbelief, etc.
Therefore they are merry and possess a good conscience; they fear no
danger, whether wars, pestilence, or death.

They will take an apple rather than a crown; what they hear
concerning Christ, of the life to come, etc., the same do they
believe simply and plainly, and prattle joyfully thereof.  From
whence Christ speaketh unto us old ones earnestly to follow their
examples, where he saith, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom
of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."  For the
children believe aright, and Christ loveth them with their childish
sports.  On the contrary, he is an enemy to the wisdom of the world
(Matt. xi.).


Of an Example of Faith in the Time of Dearth.

At Eisleben, said Luther, I was well acquainted with a godly matron,
who, in the time of the last dearth, with two children, had suffered
extreme want and need.  Now, when she had spent all her provision,
and had nothing more to live upon, she trimmed herself with her
children, and went towards a well or fountain to drink.  In her
going she prayed that God would be pleased to preserve and keep her
in that fierce time of dearth.  Upon the way a man met her,
questioned and disputed with her whether she thought to get
something to eat at the fountain.  She said, "Yea, why not? for all
things are possible to God and easy to be done; he that fed the
great multitude of the people of Israel forty years with manna in
the wilderness, he can also preserve me and mine with drinking of
water."  Now, as she remained steadfast in that mind, the man said
unto her, "Behold! seeing thou art so confident in faith, go home,
and thou shalt find three bushels of meal," etc.  And according to
the man's word, so she found it.


That Faith is the only Rule in Divinity.

There is but one only rule and article in divinity.  He that knoweth
not well the same is no divine:  namely, upright faith and
confidence in Christ.  Out of this article all the others do flow
and issue forth, and without this article the others are nothing.
The devil, said Luther, hath opposed this article from the beginning
of the world, and would long since willingly have rooted it out, and
instead thereof have laughed in his fist.  Sorrowful, broken,
tormented, and vexed hearts, said Luther, do well relish this
article, and they only understand the same.


Of the Consequences of Faith.

Believest thou? then thou wilt speak boldly.  Speakest thou boldly?
then thou must suffer.  Sufferest thou? then thou shalt be
comforted.  For, said Luther, faith, the confession thereof, and the
cross do follow one after another.


That the Enemies of the Gospel must bear Witness to the Doctrine of
Faith, that thereby we only are justified before God.

John Frederick, Prince Elector of Saxony, told me himself, said
Luther, that as Prince John, the eldest son of Prince George, was
near the time of his death, he desired to receive the communion
under both kinds.  But when his father was informed thereof, he
caused an Austin Friar to be called to his son, to give him good
instructions for his soul's health, and to advise him to receive the
Sacrament sub una specie, or under one kind, and that he should tell
his son he was the same Friar who was privately acquainted with
Martin Luther, and was very conversant with him; and, the better to
make the Prince believe him, the Friar said that Luther himself
lately had advised certain persons to receive the communion under
one kind.  Now, when this good and godly Prince was thus pitifully
induced to give credit to the Friar's false information, he then
received the communion under one kind.

But when the Prince, his father, saw that his son drew near to his
last gasp, and must needs die, then he comforted his son with the
article of justification by faith in Christ, and put him in mind to
have regard only to the Saviour of the world, and utterly to forget
all his own works and deserts, and also that he should banish out of
his heart the invocating of the saints.

Now, when the son in his conscience felt great solace and comfort by
these his father's admonitions, he asked his father why he did not
cause the same comfortable doctrine to be preached openly through
all his countries.  His father answered and said, "Loving child, we
must say thus only to those that are dying, and not to the sound and
healthful."

Whereupon, said Luther, I told the Prince Elector that his Highness
might perfectly discern how wilfully our adversaries do oppose the
known truth.  Albert, Bishop of Mentz, and Prince George do know and
confess that our doctrine is according to God's Word, and yet,
because it proceedeth not from the Pope, they refuse it; but their
own consciences do strike them down to the ground, therefore, said
Luther, I fear them not.


Of the Love towards the Neighbour.

The love towards the neighbour, said Luther, must be like a pure and
chaste love between bride and bridegroom, where all faults are
connived at, covered, and borne with, and only their virtues
regarded.

Respecting ceremonies and ordinances, the kingdom of love must have
the precedency and govern, and not tyranny.  It must be a willing
love, and not a halter love; it must altogether be directed and
construed for the good and profit of the neighbour; and the greater
he be that doth govern, the more, said Luther, he ought to serve
according to love.


Of that Sentence, "Give, and it shall be given unto you."

This is a true speech which maketh people poor and rich; it is that
which maintaineth my house.  I ought not to boast, said Luther, but
I well know what I give in the year.  If my gracious lord and
master, the Prince Elector, should give a gentleman two thousand
guilders, yet he should hardly maintain my housekeeping one year,
and I have but three hundred guilders pension per annum; yet God
giveth sufficient and blesseth it.

There is in Austria a monastery which in former time was very rich,
and remained rich so long as it willingly gave to the poor; but when
it ceased in giving, then it became poor, and is so to this day.  It
fell out that, not long since, a poor man came thither and desired
alms, which was denied.  The poor man demanded the cause why they
refused to give for God's sake.  The porter belonging to the
monastery answered and said, "We are become poor;" whereupon the
poor man said, "The cause of your poverty is this:  ye have had in
this monastery two brethren; the one ye have thrust out, and the
other is gone secretly away of himself.  For after the one brother,
'Give' (Date), was put out and cashiered, so hath the other brother,
'So shall be given' (Dabitur), also lost himself."

And indeed the world is bound to help the neighbour three manner of
ways-with giving, lending, and selling.  But no man giveth, but
robbeth, scrapeth, and draweth all to himself; would willingly take
and steal, but give nothing; neither will any man lend but upon
usury.  No man selleth but he over-reacheth his neigbbour, therefore
Dabitur is gone, and our Lord God will bless no more so richly.
Beloved, said Luther, he that intendeth to have anything, the same
must also give; a liberal hand was never in want nor empty.


That giving must be done with a free Heart, without expecting a
Requital.

In an evening, Luther, walking abroad to take the air, gave alms to
the poor.  Doctor Jonas, being with him, gave also something, and
said, "Who knoweth whether God will give it me again or no?"
Whereat Luther, smiling, answered him and said, "You speak as if God
had not given you this which you have now given to the poor.  We
must give freely and willingly."


Of the expounding of the Prophet Isaiah's Speech:  "In Quietness and
in Confidence shall be your Strength."

This sentence was expounded by Luther in this way:  If thou
intendest to vanquish the greatest, the most abominable and
wickedest enemy, who is able to do thee mischief both in body and
soul, and against whom thou preparest all sorts of weapons, but
canst not overcome, then know that there is a sweet and loving
physical herb which serveth for the same, and that herb is named
Patientia.

But thou wilt say, "How may I attain to this physic?"  Answer-Take
unto thee faith, who saith; "No creature can do me mischief without
the will of God."  Now, in case thou receivest hurt and mischief by
thine enemy, the same is done by the sweet and gracious will of God,
in such sort that the enemy hurteth himself a thousand times more.
From hence floweth unto me, a Christian, the love which saith, "I
will, instead of the evil which mine enemy doth unto me, do him all
the good I can; I will heap coals of fire upon his head."  This,
said Luther, is the Christian armour and weapon, wherewith to beat
and overcome those enemies that seem to be like huge mountains.  In
a word, love teacheth to suffer and endure all things.


Of Comfort against Envy.

A certain honest and God-fearing man at Wittemberg lately told me,
said Luther, he lived peaceably with every one, hurt no man, but was
still and quiet; yet notwithstanding, said he, many people were
enemies unto him.  I comforted him in this manner, and said:  Arm
yourself with patience, and give them no cause of envy.  I pray,
what cause do we give the devil?  What aileth him to be so great an
enemy unto us? but only because he hath not that which God hath.  I
know none other cause of his vehement hatred towards us.  Therefore
when God giveth thee to eat, then eat; when he causeth thee to fast,
have patience; giveth he honour, take it; hurt or shame, endure it;
casteth he thee into prison, murmur not; will he make thee a lord,
follow him:  casteth he thee down again, so care thou not for it,
nor regard it.


That Patience is necessary in every Particular.

I, said Luther, must have patience with the Pope; I must have
patience with heretics and seducers; I must have patience with the
roaring courtiers; I must have patience with my servants:  I must
have patience with Kate my wife; to conclude, the patiences are so
many, that my whole life is nothing but patience.  The Prophet
Isaiah saith, "In being silent and hoping consisteth our strength;"
that is, have patience under sufferings:  hope, and despair not.



OF PRAYER.



What Power Prayer hath.

No human creature can believe, said Luther, how powerful prayer is,
and what is it able to effect, but only those that have learned it
by experience.

It is a great matter when in extreme need, as then one can take hold
on prayer.  I know, as often as I have earnestly prayed, that I have
been richly heard, and have obtained more than I prayed for; indeed,
God sometimes deferred, but notwithstanding he came.

Ecclesiasticus saith, "The prayer of a good and godly Christian
availeth more to health, than the physician's physic."

O how great and upright and godly Christian's prayer is! how
powerful with God; that a poor human creature should speak with
God's high majesty in heaven, and not be affrighted, but, on the
contrary, knoweth that God smileth upon him for Christ's sake, his
dearly beloved Son.  The heart and conscience, in this act of
praying, must not fly and recoil backwards by reason of our sins and
unworthiness, and must not stand in doubt, nor be scared away.  We
must not do, said Luther, as the Bavarian did, who with great
devotion called upon St. Leonard, an idol, set up in a church in
Bavaria, behind which idol stood one who answered the Bavarian and
said, "Fie on thee, Bavarian"; and in that sort oftentimes was
repulsed, and could not be heard:  at last, the Bavarian went away,
and said, "Fie on thee, Leonard."

But when we pray, we must not let it come to, fie upon thee; but
must certainly hold, conclude, and believe, that we are already
heard in that for which we pray with faith in Christ.  Therefore the
ancients finely described prayer, namely, that it is, Ascensus
mentis ad Deum, a climbing up of the heart unto God, that is,
lifteth itself up, crieth and sigheth to God:  neither I myself,
said Luther, nor any other that I know, have rightly understood the
definition of this Ascensus.  Indeed, we have boasted and talked
much of the climbing up of the heart; but we failed in Syntaxi, we
could not bring thereunto the word Deum; nay, we flew from God, we
were afraid to draw near unto him, and to pray through Christ, in
whom the strength of prayer wholly consisteth; we always prayed in
Popedom conditionaliter, conditionally, and therefore uncertainly.

But let us pray in heart, and also with our lips; for prayer, by our
loving God, supporteth the world; otherwise, without prayer, it
would stand in a far more lamentable state.


Of the Power of Prayer, and of the Lord's Prayer.

Our Saviour Christ, said Luther, most excellently, and with very few
words, comprehended, in the Lord's Prayer, all things both needful
and necessary; but without trouble, trials, and vexations, prayer
cannot rightly be made.  Therefore God saith, "Call on me in the
time of trouble," etc., without trouble it is only a cold prattling,
and goeth not from the heart; the common saying is "Need teacheth to
pray."  And although the Papists say that God well understandeth all
the words of those that pray, yet St. Bernard is far of another
opinion, where he saith, "God heareth not the words of one that
prayeth, unless he that prayeth heareth them first himself."  The
Pope is a mere tormentor of the conscience.  The assembly of his
greased and religious crew in praying was altogether like the
croaking of frogs, which edified nothing at all.  It was mere
sophistry, and deceiving, fruitless, and unprofitable.

Prayer is a strong wall, and a fort of the church; it is a godly
Christian's weapon, which no man knoweth nor findeth, but only he
who hath the spirit of grace and of prayer.

The three first petitions in our Lord's prayer do comprehend such
great and celestial things, that no heart is able to search them
out.  The fourth petition containeth the whole policy and economy,
or the temporal and house-government, and all things necessary for
this life.  The fifth prayer striveth and fighteth against our own
evil consciences, against original and actual sins, which trouble
the same, etc.  Truly they were penned by wisdom itself; none but
God could have done the like.

We cannot pray without faith in Christ the Mediator.  The Turks, the
Jews, and the ungodly may rehearse and speak the words of prayer
after one, but they cannot pray.  And although the Apostles were
taught this prayer by Christ, and prayed often, yet they prayed not
as they should have prayed:  for Christ saith, "Hitherto ye have not
prayed in my name;" whereas, doubtless, they had prayed much, and
spoken the words.  But when the Holy Ghost came, then they prayed
aright in the name of Christ.  If praying and reading of prayer be
but only a bare work, as the Papists hold it to be, then the
righteousness of the law is nothing worth.  The upright prayer of a
godly Christian is a strong hedge, as God himself saith, "And I
sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge, and stand
in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but
I found none," etc.  Therefore, said Luther, when others do
blaspheme, let us pray.  David saith, "He doth the will of them that
fear Him, and heareth their prayers."


That we must daily go on in Praying.

I, said Luther, have every day enough to do to pray.  And when I lay
me down to rest, I pray the Lord's Prayer, and afterwards take hold
on two or three sentences out of the Bible, and so betake myself to
sleep, then I am well satisfied.


That Preachers ought to join their Prayers together.

Dr. Aepinus, Superintendent of Hambrough, coming to Wittemberg to
speak with Luther, who, after his dispatch, and at his taking leave,
said, I commend myself and our church at Hambrough to your prayers.
Luther answered him, and said, Loving Aepine, the cause is not ours,
but God's:  let us join our prayers together, as then the cause will
be holpen.  I will pray against the Pope and the Turk as long as I
live:  and I like it well that you take such course at Hambrough,
earnestly to pray against Mahomet and the Pope.


Of the Power of Prayer.

God always giveth more than we pray for; when we truly pray for a
piece of bread, so giveth God a whole acre of land.  When my wife,
said Luther, was sick, I prayed to God that she might live, so he
not only granted that request, but also therewith he hath given us a
goodly farm at Zolfdorf, and hath blessed us with a fruitful year.
At that time my wife said unto me, Sir! how is it, that in Popedom
they pray so often with great vehemence, but we are very cold and
careless in praying?  I answered her, the devil driveth on his
servants continually; they are diligent, and take great pains in
their false worshipping, but we, indeed, are ice cold therein, and
negligent.


Of Luther's Prayer for a gracious Rain.

In the year 1532, throughout all Germany was a great drought, the
corn in the fields in a lamentable way began to wither.  On the
ninth of June the same year, Luther called together the whole
assembly into the church, and directed his prayer, with deep sighs,
to God in the manner following:  "O Lord, behold our prayers for thy
promise sake; we have prayed, and our hearts have sighed, but the
covetousness of the rich farmers doth hinder and hem in thy
blessing; for seeing that through thy gospel they are unbridled,
they think it free for them to live and do what they please; they
now fear neither death nor hell, but say, 'I believe, therefore I
shall be saved;' they become haughty spiteful Mammonists, and
accursed covetous cut-throats, that suck out land and people.
Moreover, also, the usurers among the gentry in every place deal
wickedly, insomuch, as it seemeth, thou, O God, wilt now visit us,
together with them, with the rod; yet, nevertheless, thou hast still
means whereby to maintain those that are thine, although thou
sufferest no rain to fall among the ungodly."

After he had said thus, he lifted up his eyes towards heaven, and
said, "Lord God, thou hast through the mouth of thy servant David
said, 'The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon him faithfully; he
doth the will of those that fear him, and heareth their prayers, and
helpeth them in their distress.'  How is it, Lord, that thou givest
no rain, seeing we have cried and prayed so long unto thee?  'Thy
will be done,' O Lord! we know that although thou givest not rain,
yet, notwithstanding, thou wilt give us something better, a still, a
quiet, and a peaceable life.  Now we pray, O Lord, from the bottom
of our hearts.  If thou, O Lord, wilt not be pleased to hear and
give us rain, then the ungodly will say, Christ thy only Son is a
liar.  For he saith, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye
pray the Father in my name, the same he will give unto you,' etc.
Insomuch that they will give thy Son the lie.  I know, O Lord, that
we do cry unto thee from our hearts, with yearning and sighing, why
then dost thou not hear us?"  Now, even the same day, and within the
space of half an hour after the people went from church, it began to
rain so sweet and mildly, which continued for a whole fortnight, so
that the grounds thereby were changed and refreshed in a most
miraculous manner.  This happened June 9, 1532.


Of Papistical Prayer.

The praying in Popedom, is a mere tormenting of the consciences, it
is only a prating and tongue threshing, no praying, but a work of
obedience.  From thence proceeded a confused sea-full of Horas
Canonicas, the howling and babbling in cells and monasteries, where
they read and sang the psalms and collects without all spiritual
devotion, insomuch that they neither understood the words,
sentences, nor the meaning.

In what manner, and how I tormented myself, said Luther, with those
Horis Canonicis before the Gospel came, which, by reason of many
businesses I often intermitted, I am not able to express.  On the
Saturdays I used to lock myself up in my cell, and accomplish what
the whole week I had neglected.  But at last I was troubled with so
many affairs, that I was fain oftentimes to omit also my Saturday's
devotions.  At length, when I saw that Amsdorff and others derided
such manner of devotion, then I quite left it off.

It was a great torment, from which we are now delivered by the
Gospel.  Although, said Luther, I had done no more but only freed
people from that torment, yet they might well give me thanks for it.
Innumerable laws and works were taught and imposed upon people
without the spirit, as in the book, Rationale Divinorum, many
abominable things are written.


To Pray for Peace.

Luther receiving a letter written unto him, from the Imperial
Assembly, by Philip Melancthon, after the reading of it, he said,
What Philip Melancthon writeth hath hands and feet, hath authority
and gravity, it is of weight, contained in a few words, as always I
have found by his letters.  But, I perceive, we must have wars; for
the Papists would willingly go on, but they want a good stomach,
neither may we endure the case to stand upon these terms.  Let it
therefore proceed in nomine Domini; I will commit all things to God,
and will be Crito in the play.  I will pray that God would convert
our adversaries.  We have a good cause on our side.  Who would not
fight and venture body and blood, pro Sacris, for the Holidom, which
is God's Word?  And, besides, the temporal laws and statutes of
policy do also concur and agree with our proceedings; for we always
have desired and called for peace, but our Princes are provoked and
drawn to defend themselves and their subjects, and of necessity must
resist their power; our adversaries will not suffer us to live in
peace.  This letter, said Luther, was written ten days since; by
this time it is concluded what shall be done.  The everlasting
merciful God give His grace thereunto!  Let us watch and pray, for
Satan sleepeth not.


Of Temporal Peace.

Worldly and outward peace is one of the highest gifts of God; but we
abuse it too much; every one liveth after his own will and pleasure,
against God and the Magistrate.  Oh, how soundly will our gentry and
farmers, in Germany, pay for this before one hundred and fifty years
come to an end, as already they have done in Hungary and in Austria;
but afterwards God will restore them again, and beat down Popedom.
Let us not cease to pray.


Of Unity and Concord.

Through concord small things and wealth do increase, as the Heathen
said; but dissension is dangerous and hurtful, especially in
schools, in professions, high arts, and in the professors thereof,
wherein the one ought to reach the hand to the other-should kiss and
embrace each other.  But when we bite and devour one another, then
let us take heed lest we be swallowed up together.  Therefore let us
pray and strive; for the word of faith, and the prayers of the just,
are the most powerful weapons; moreover, God himself sendeth his
holy angels round about them that fear him.  We ought valiantly to
fight, for we are under a Lord of Hosts, and a Prince of War;
therefore with one hand we must build, and in the other hand take
the sword-that is, we must both teach and resist.

It is now time to watch, for we are the mark they shoot at; our
adversaries intend to make a confederacy with the Turk; they aim at
us, we must venture it; for Antichrist will war and get the victory
against the saints of God, as Daniel saith.  We, said Luther, stand
outwardly in the greatest danger, by reason of treachery and
treason; the Papists endeavour with money to grease and corrupt our
captains and officers.  An ass laden with money may do anything, as
Cornelius Tacitus writeth of us Germans; we have taught them to take
money; there is neither fidelity nor truth on earth.


Of the Power of Prayer.

The prayer of the heart, said Luther, and the sighs of the poor and
oppressed, do make such an alarum and cry in heaven, that God and
all the angels must hear the same.  O, our Lord God hath a sharp
listening ear.


Of the Sighing of the Heart.

When Moses, with the children of Israel, came to the Red Sea, then
he cried with trembling and quaking, yet he opened not his mouth,
neither was his voice heard on earth by the people:  doubtless, said
Luther, he cried and sighed in his heart, and said, "Ah, Lord God!
what course shall I now take?  Which way shall I now turn myself?
How am I come to this strait?  No help nor counsel can save us:
before us is the sea; behind us are our enemies the Egyptians; on
both sides high and huge mountains; I am the cause that all this
people shall now be destroyed," etc.  Then answered God, and said,
"Wherefore criest thou unto me?"  As if God should say, "What an
alarum, a shrieking, and a loud crying dost thou make, that the
whole heavens must ring therewith!" etc.  But, alas! said Luther, we
read such examples as dead letters; human reason is not able to
search this passage out.  The way through the Red Sea is full as
broad, and wider far (if not further than Wittenberg lieth from
Coburg, that is thirty Dutch miles, 120 English at least:  doubtless
the people were constrained in the night season to rest, to bait and
eat therein; for six hundred thousand men, besides women and
children, would require a good time to pass through, although they
went one hundred and fifty in rank and file.


God's hearing Prayer.

It is impossible that God should not hear the prayers which with
faith are made in Christ, although God giveth not according to the
measure, manner, and time which we dictate unto him; he will not be
tied.  In such sort dealt God with the mother of St. Austin.  She
prayed to God that her son Austin might be converted, but, as yet,
it would not be; then she ran to the learned, entreating them to
persuade and advise him thereunto.  At last, she propounded unto him
a marriage with a Christian virgin, that thereby he might be drawn
back, and brought to the Christian faith; but all would not do as
yet.  But when our Lord God came thereto, he came to purpose, and
made of him such an Austin, that he became a great light to the
Church.  St. James saith, "Pray one for another, for the prayer of
the righteous availeth much," etc.  Prayer, said Luther, is a
powerful thing; for God hath bound and tied himself thereunto.
Christ taught the Lord's Prayer according to the manner of the Jews-
that is, he directed it only to the Father; whereas they that pray
in the same manner, are heard for the Son's sake.  This was done
because Christ would not be praised before his death.


Of the Power of Prayer.

As the King of Persia, said Luther, laid siege to the city Nasili,
the bishop that was therein saw that he was too weak (by man's help)
to defend the city against so mighty a king; wherefore he went upon
the wall, lifted up his hands to Heaven, and prayed, in the sight of
his enemies.  Whereupon immediately the eyes of the horses in the
whole army in such sort were pestered with an innumerable multitude
of flies stinging them, that with their riders they ran away, and so
raised the siege, whereby the city was preserved.  In such a manner
could God divert the wicked enterprises of the Papists against us,
if we would diligently pray.


That a True Christian Prayeth Always.

The prayers of upright Christians are without ceasing; though they
pray not always with their mouth, yet their hearts do pray
continually, sleeping and waking; for the sigh of a true Christian
is a prayer.  As the Psalm saith, "Because of the deep sighing of
the poor, I will up, saith the Lord," etc.  In like manner a true
Christian always carrieth the cross, though he feeleth it not
always.


Of the Strength of the Lord's Prayer.

The Lord's Prayer, said Luther, bindeth the People together, and
knitteth them one to another, insomuch that one prayeth for another,
and together one with another; and it is so strong and powerful that
it even driveth away the fear of death.



OF THE CONFESSION AND CONSTANCY OF THE DOCTRINE.



The word and article of justification (how we are justified and
saved before God) expelleth and overcometh all sorrow, all
perplexities, misfortunes, and adversities; and without this article
there is neither help nor advice.

We read in the histories of the Church, said Luther, that Julian the
Emperor forced his servants and soldiers to deny Christ; but when
many of them refused to do the same, he caused them to be executed
with the sword, and they went joyfully to their deaths.  Among them
was a proper youth, for whom earnest intercession was made, that he
might be the first to die.  But Julian commanded to release him, in
order to try whether he would remain constant or no.  Now, when he
kneeled down and offered his neck to the block, the executioner was
charged not to strike, but to let him rise again.  Then the youth
stood up, and said, "Ah, sweet Jesu! am I not worthy to suffer for
thy sake?"  These were words of a great faith, which overcometh the
fear of death.

When governors and rulers are enemies to God's Word, then our duty
is to depart, to sell and forsake all we have, to fly from one place
to another, as Christ commandeth.  We must make and prepare no
uproars nor tumults by reason of the Gospel, but we must suffer all
things.


What Christ Requireth of us.

Christ requireth nothing more of us, than that we should confess
him, and speak freely and undauntedly of him.  But here thou wilt
say, "Yea, if I do so, then I shall be struck on the lips."  Christ
answereth thereunto, and saith, "Call upon me in the time of
trouble, so I will hear thee, and thou shalt praise me."  And "He
shall call upon me, and I will hear him, yea, I am with him in
trouble, I will deliver him, and bring him to honour," etc.

There is no lighter nor more easy work on earth than the upright and
true service of God, to do what God commandeth in his Word; we
should only believe and speak, but then certain it is that we shall
suffer and be humbled with persecutions; but Christ hath promised to
be with us, and to help us.


That every Christian is Bound to Confess Christ.

Every Christian, especially those in offices, should always be ready
(when need requireth) boldly to stand up and confess his Saviour
Christ, to maintain his faith and always be armed against the world,
the sectaries, the devil, and what else he were able to produce.
But no man will do this, except he be so sure of his doctrine and
religion, that, although I myself should play the fool, and should
recant and deny this my doctrine and religion, which God forbid, he
notwithstanding would not yield, but say, if Luther, or an angel
from heaven, should teach otherwise, "Let him be accursed."



OF IMPERIAL DIETS.



Of Imperial Diets and Assemblies in Causes of Religion.

In the year 1518, the 9th of July, when I, said Luther, was cited
and summoned, I came and appeared:  Frederick Prince Elector of
Saxony having appointed me a great and strong convoy and safe-
conduct.  I was warned in any case not to have conversation with the
Italians, nor to repose any trust or confidence in them.  I was
three whole days in Augsburg without the Emperor's safe-conduct.  In
the mean time, an Italian came unto me, and carried me to the
Cardinal Cajetan; and by the way he earnestly persuaded me to revoke
and recant; I should, said he, need to speak but only one word
before the Cardinal, namely, Revoco, and then the Cardinal would
recommend me to the Pope's favour so that with honour I might return
safely again to my master, the Prince Elector.  After three days the
Bishop of Trier came, who, in the Emperor's name, showed and
declared to the Cardinal my safe-conduct.  Then I went unto him in
all humility, fell down first upon my knees; secondly, all along
upon the ground; thirdly, when I had remained awhile so lying, then
the Cardinal three times bade me arise; whereupon I stood up.  This
pleased him well, hoping I would consider, and better bethink
myself.

The next day, when I came before him again, and would revoke nothing
at all, then he said unto me, "What? thinkest thou that the Pope
careth for Germany? or dost thou think that the Princes will raise
arms and armies to maintain and defend thee?  Oh, no; where wilt
thou remain in safety?"  I said, Under Heaven.  After this the Pope
humbled himself, and wrote to our church, yea, he wrote even to the
Prince Elector's chaplain, and to one of his counsellors, Spalatine
and Pfeffinger, that they would surrender me into his hands, and
procure that his pleasure and command might be put in execution.
And the Pope wrote also to the Prince Elector himself after the
following manner:

"Although, as touching my person, thou art to me unknown, yet I have
seen thy father, Prince Ernestus, at Rome, who was altogether an
obedient son to the Church; he visited and frequented our religion
with great devotion, and held the same in highest honour.  I wish
and would that thy illustrious serenity would also tread in his
footsteps," etc.

But the Prince Elector well marked the Pope's unaccustomed humility,
and his evil conscience; he was also acquainted with the power and
operation of the Holy Scriptures.  Therefore he remained where he
was, and returned thanks to the Pope for his affection towards him.

My books, said Luther, in a short time went, yea, flew throughout
Europe; therefore the Prince Elector was confirmed and strengthened,
insomuch that he utterly refused to execute the Pope's commands, but
subjected himself under the acknowledgment of the Scriptures.

If the Cardinal had handled me with more discretion at Augsburg, and
had dealt kindly with me when I fell at his feet, then it had never
come thus far; for at that time I saw very few of the Pope's errors
which now I see.  Had he been silent, so had I lightly held my
peace.  The style and custom of the Romish court in dark and
confused cases, was this:  that the Pope said, We by papal power do
take these causes unto us; we quench them out and destroy them.  I
am persuaded that the Pope willingly would give three Cardinals, on
condition that it were still in that vessel wherein it was before he
began to meddle with me.


Of Luther's Journey and Proceedings at the Imperial Diet at Worms,
Anno 1520.

On Tuesday in the Passion week, said Luther, I was cited by the
herald to appear at the Diet; he brought with him a safe-conduct
from the Emperor, and many other Princes, but the safe-conduct was
soon broken, even the next day (Wednesday), at Worms, where I was
condemned, and my books burned.  Now, when I came to Erfurt, I
received intelligence that I was cast and condemned at Worms, yea,
and that in all cities and places thereabout it was published and
spread abroad; insomuch that the herald asked me, whether I meant to
go to Worms, or no?

Although I was somewhat astonished at the news, yet I answered the
herald, and said, although in Worms there were as many devils as
there are tiles on the houses, yet, God willing, I will go thither.

When I came to Oppenheim, in the Palatinate, not far from Worms,
Bucer came unto me, and dissuaded me from entering into the town;
for, said he, Sglapian, the Emperor's confessor, had been with him,
and had entreated him to warn me not to go thither, for I should be
burned; but rather that I should go to a gentleman there near at
hand, Francis Von Sickingen, and remain with him, who willingly
would receive and entertain me.  This plot the wicked wretches, said
Luther, had devised against me, to the end I should not appear; for
if I had contracted the time, and staid away three days, then my
safe-conduct had been expired, and then they would have locked the
town-gates, and without hearing, I should have been condemned and
made away.  But I went on in all simplicity, and when I saw the
city, I wrote presently to Spalatine, and gave him notice of my
coming, and desired to know where I should be lodged.  Then they all
wondered at my coming, which was so far from their expectation; for
they verily thought I would have stayed away, as scared through
their threatenings.  There were two worthy gentlemen (John Von
Hirschfeld, and St. John Schott), who received me by the Prince
Elector's command, and brought me to their lodging.

No Prince came unto me, but only Earls and gentlemen, who earnestly
looked upon me, and who had exhibited four hundred articles to his
Imperial Majesty against those of the spirituality, and desired a
redress and a removing of those their grievances, otherwise they
themselves should be constrained to remedy the same; from all which
grievances they are now delivered through the Gospel, which I (God
be praised) have brought again to light.  The Pope at that time
wrote to the Emperor, that he should not perform the safe-conduct;
for which end all the Bishops also pressed the Emperor; but the
Princes and States of the Empire would not consent thereunto:  for
they alleged that a great tumult thereupon would arise.  I received
of them a great deal of courtesy, insomuch that the Papists were
more afraid of me than I was of them.

For the Landgrave of Hesse (being then but a young Prince) desired
that I might be heard, and he said openly unto me, "Sir, is your
cause just and upright, then I beseech God to assist you."  Now
being in Worms, I wrote to Sglapian, and desired him to make a step
unto me, but he would not.  Then being called, I appeared in the
Senate House before the Council and State of the whole Empire, where
the Emperor, and the Princes Electors in person were assembled.

Then Dr. Eck (the Bishop of Trier's fiscal) began, and said unto me,
"Martin, thou art called hither to give answer, whether thou
acknowledgest these writings to be thy books or no?"  (The books lay
on a table which he showed unto me.)  I answered and said, "I
believe they be mine."  But Hierome Schurfe presently thereupon
said, "Let the titles of them be read."  Now when the same were
read, then I said, "Yea, they are mine."  Then he said, "Will you
revoke them?"  I answered and said, "Most gracious Lord and Emperor,
some of my books are books of controversies, wherein I touch my
adversaries:  some, on the contrary, are books of doctrine; the same
I neither can nor will revoke.  But if in case I have in my books of
controversies been too violent against any man, then I am content
therein to be better directed, and for that end I desire respite of
time."  Then they gave me one day and one night.  The next day I was
cited by the Bishops and others, who were appointed to deal with me
touching my revocation.  Then I said, "God's Word is not my word,
therefore I know not how to give it away; but in whatsoever is
therein, besides the same, I will show obedience."  Then Marquis
Joachim said unto me "Sir Martin, so far as I understand, you are
content to be instructed, excepting only what may concern the Holy
Writ."  I said, "Yea;" then they pressed me to refer the cause to
His Imperial Majesty; I said, I durst not presume so to do.  Then
they said, "Do you not think that we are also Christians, who with
all care and diligence would finish and end such causes?  You ought
to put so much trust and confidence in us, that we would conclude
uprightly."  To that I answered and said, "I dare not trust you so
far, that you should conclude against yourselves, who even now have
cast and condemned me, being under safe-conduct; yet, nevertheless,
that ye may see what I will do, I will yield up into your hands my
safe-conduct, and do with me what ye please."  Then all the Princes
said, "Truly, he offereth enough, if not too much."  Afterwards they
said, "Yield unto us yet in some articles."  I said, "In God's name,
such articles as concern not the Holy Scriptures I will not stand
against."  Presently hereupon, two Bishops went to the Emperor, and
showed him that I had revoked.  Then the Emperor sent another Bishop
unto me, to know if I had referred the cause to him, and to the
Empire.  I said, I had neither done it, nor intended so to do.  In
this sort, said Luther, did I alone resist so many, insomuch that my
Doctor, and divers others of my friends, were much offended and
vexed by reason of my constancy; yea, some of them said, if I had
referred the articles to their consideration, they would have
yielded, and given way to those articles which in the council at
Costnitz had been condemned.  Then came Cocleus upon me, and said,
"Sir Martin, if you will yield up your safe-conduct, then I will
enter into dispute with you."  I, for my part, said Luther, in my
simplicity, would have accepted thereof.  But Hieronimus Schurfe
earnestly entreated me not to do the same, and in derision and
scorn, answered Cocleus and said, "O brave offer, if a man were so
foolish as to entertain it!"

Then came a Doctor unto me, belonging to the Marquis of Baden,
essaying, with a strain of high-carried words, to move me,
admonished me, and said:  "Truly, Sir Martin, you are bound to do
much, and to yield for the sake of fraternal love, and to the end
that peace and tranquillity among the people may be preserved, lest
tumults and insurrections should be occasioned and raised.  Besides,
it were also greatly befitting you to show obedience to the Imperial
Majesty, and diligently to beware of causing offences in the world;
therefore I would advise you to revoke."  Whereupon, said Luther, I
said:  "For the sake of brotherly love and amity I could and would
do much, so far as it were not against the faith and honour of
Christ."  When all these had made their vain assaults, then the
Chancellor of Trier said unto me, "Martin Luther, you are
disobedient to the Imperial Majesty; therefore you have leave and
licence to depart again with your safe-conduct."  In this sort I
again departed from Worms with a great deal of gentleness and
courtesy, to the wondering of the whole Christian world, insomuch
that the Papists wished they had left me at home.  After my
departure, that abominable edict of proscribing was put in execution
at Worms, which gave occasion to every man to revenge himself upon
his enemies, under the name and title of Protestant heresy.  But the
tyrants, not long after, were constrained to recall the same again.


Of the Imperial Diet at Augsburg, Anno 1530.

The Imperial Diet held at Augsburg, 1530, is worthy of all praise;
for then and from thence came the Gospel among the people in other
countries, contrary to the wills and expectations both of Emperor
and Pope; therefore, said Luther, what hath been spent there should
be grievous to no man.  God appointed the Imperial Diet at Augsburg,
to the end the Gospel should be spread further abroad and planted.
They over-climbed themselves at Augsburg, for the Papists openly
approved there of our doctrine.  Before that Diet was held, the
Papists had made the Emperor believe that our doctrine was
altogether frivolous; and when he came to the Diet, he should see
that they would put us all to silence, insomuch that none of us
should be able to speak a word in defence of our religion; but it
fell out far otherwise; for we openly and freely confessed the
Gospel before the Emperor and the whole Empire.  And at that Diet we
confounded our adversaries in the highest degree.  The Imperial Diet
at Augsburg was invaluable, by reason of the Confession of Faith,
and of God's Word, which on our part was there performed:  for there
the adversaries were constrained to confess that our Confession was
upright and true.


Of the Confession and Apology which at Augsburg was exhibited to the
emperor.

The Emperor, said Luther, censured understandingly and discreetly,
and carried himself princely in this cause of religion; he found our
Confession to be far otherwise than the Papists had informed him-
namely, that we were most ungodly people, and led most wicked and
detestable kind of lives; and that we taught against the first and
second tables of the Ten Commandments of God.  For this cause, the
Emperor sent our Confession and Apology to all the universities; his
council also delivered their opinions, and said:  "In case their
doctrine were against the holy Christian faith, then they thought
fitting that His Imperial Majesty should seek to suppress it with
all his power.  But if it be only against ceremonies and abuses (as
now it appeareth to be) then to refer it to the consideration and
censure of learned people," etc.  This, said Luther, was good and
wise counsel.

Dr. Eck confessed openly, and said:  "The Protestants cannot be
confuted and opposed out of Holy Scriptures."  Therefore the Bishop
of Mainz said unto him, "Oh, how finely our learned Divines do
defend us and our doctrine!"  "The Bishop of Mainz," said Luther,
"holdeth our doctrine to be upright and true, but he only courteth
the Pope, otherwise long before this time he would have played
strange pranks with his Holiness."


Of the Strength and Profit of the Confession and Apology of
Augsburg.

God's Word is powerful; the more it is persecuted the more and
further it spreadeth itself abroad.  Behold the Imperial Diet at
Augsburg, which doubtless is the last trumpet before the dreadful
Day of Judgment.  How raged the world there against the Word!  Oh,
said Luther, how were we there fain to pray the Pope and Papists,
that they would be pleased to permit and suffer Christ to live
quietly in heaven!  There our doctrine broke through into the light
in such sort, that by the Emperor's strict command the same was sent
to all Kings, Princes, and Universities.  This our Doctrine
forthwith enlightened many excellent people, dispersed here and
there in Princes' courts, among whom some of God were chosen to take
hold on this our doctrine, like unto tinder, and afterwards kindled
the same also in others.

Our Apology and Confession with great honour came to light; the
Papists' confutations are kept in darkness, and do stink.  Oh, said
Luther, how willingly would I that their confutations might appear
to the world; then I would set upon that old torn and tattered skin,
and in such sort would baste it, that the flitches thereof should
fly about here and there; but they shun the light.  This time
twelvemonths no man would have given a farthing for the Protestants,
so sure the ungodly Papists were of us.  For, said Luther, when my
most gracious Lord and master, the Prince Elector of Saxony, before
other Princes came to the Diet, the Papists marvelled much thereat,
for they verily believed that he would not have appeared, by reason
(as they imagined) his cause was too bad and foul to be brought
before the light.  But what fell out?  Even this, that in their
greatest security they were overwhelmed with the greatest fear and
affrightments.  Because the Prince Elector, like an upright Prince,
appeared so early at Augsburg, then the other Popish princes swiftly
posted away from Augsburg to Innsbruck, where they held serious
counsel with Prince George and the Marquis of Baden, all of them
wondering what the Prince Elector's so early approach to the Diet
should mean, insomuch that the Emperor himself thereat was
astonished, and doubted whether he might come and go in safety or
not.  Whereupon the princes were constrained to promise, that they
would set up body, goods, and blood by the Emperor, the one offering
to maintain 6,000 horse, another so many thousands of foot-soldiers,
etc., to the end His Majesty might be the better secured.  There was
a wonder among wonders to be seen, in that God struck with fear and
cowardliness the enemies of the truth.  And although at that time
the Prince Elector of Saxony was alone, and but only the hundredth
sheep, while the others were ninety-and-nine, yet, notwithstanding,
it so fell out that they all trembled and were afraid.  Now when
they came to the point, and began to take the business in hand, then
there appeared but a very small heap that stood by God's Word.

But, said Luther, we brought with us a strong and mighty King, a
King above all Emperors and Kings, namely, Christ Jesus, the
powerful Word of God.  Then all the Papists cried out, and said,
"Oh, it is insufferable that so small and silly a heap should set
themselves against the Imperial power."  But, said Luther, the Lord
of Hosts frustrateth the councils of Princes.  Pilate had power to
put our blessed Saviour to death, but willingly he would not; Annas
and Caiaphas willingly would have done it, but could not.

The Emperor, for his own part, is good and honest; but the Popish
Bishops and Cardinals are undoubtedly knaves.  And forasmuch as the
Emperor now refuseth to bathe his hands in innocent blood, therefore
the frantic Princes do bestir themselves, do scorn and contemn the
good Emperor in the highest degree.  The Pope also for anger is
ready to burst in pieces, because the Diet, in this sort, without
shedding of blood, should be dissolved; therefore he sendeth the
sword to the Duke of Bavaria, to proceed therewith, and intendeth to
take the crown from the Emperor's head, and to set it upon the head
of Bavaria; but he shall not accomplish it.  In this manner ordered
God the business, that Kings, Princes, yea, and the Pope himself,
fell from the Emperor, and that we joined with him, which was a
great wonder of God's providence, in that he whom the devil intended
to use against us, even the same, God taketh, maketh and useth for
us.  Oh, wonder, said Luther, above all wonders!


Of the Assembly of the Princes at Brunswick, 1531.

When the Princes (professing the Augustinian Confession) held an
assembly at Brunswick, then Luther received three letters, wherein
was shown that the Prince Elector of Saxony journeyed five days
through the Marquisate of Brandenburg, whereas Prince Henry of
Brunswick would neither give him convoy nor permit him to go through
his country.  But the Prince Elector of Brandenburg, in his country,
gave him princely entertainment in every place, and many went out of
Brunswick to meet and to receive him.  But the Landgrave of Hessen
went on the other side, through Goslar, without a convoy.
Christianus, King of Denmark, the second day of the assembly,
delivered up the Confession of his Faith, and was held and esteemed
a second David.  Whereupon Luther said, God of his mercy assist him
for the sanctifying of his name.  But, said he, the pride of the
Duke of Brunswick may easily redound to his own hurt and prejudice,
who, contrary to all law and equity, denied a safe convoy to one of
his best and truest friends.  Moses likewise desired a safe convoy
to the King of the Amorites; but being denied, he thereby took
occasion to raise war against him.  The Lord of Heaven grant us
peace.  The same day other letters came to Luther from Brunswick,
showing that the King of Denmark in person, the Ambassadors of
England and France, and of many Imperial cities, were arrived there,
among whom, some carried themselves very strangely towards those of
the Protestant League.  Luther said, under the name and colour of
the Gospel, they seek their own particular advantages, but in the
least danger they are afraid.  These politic and terrestrial leagues
and unions have no hand nor share in the Gospel:  God alone
preserveth and defendeth the same in times of persecution.  Let us
put trust and confidence in him, and with him; let us erect and
establish an everlasting league, for the world is the world, and
will remain the world.


Of the Convention and Assembly of the Protestant State at Frankfort-
on-the-Main, 1539.

God, of his infinite mercy, said Luther, assist them at Frankfort-
on-the-Main, that they may Christian-like consult and conclude, to
the end that God's honour, the good and profit of the commonwealth
may be furthered.  Indeed, it is a very small assembly; it hath a
strange aspect to be held in an Imperial city; but forasmuch as they
are thereunto constrained by the adversaries, they must be content.

The Papists, void of shame, do unwisely undertake to possess
themselves of the cities, and by fraud to draw thereunto their
adherents; then they make show of keeping peace, but in the meantime
they contrive how to separate and confuse the whole body, and of the
members to make a massacre; they secretly fall upon Hamburg, upon
Minden, and Frankfort.  They might more wisely go to work, if by
open wars they assailed us.  At Augsburg they openly condemned us;
and if those of our party had not been patient, it had presently
gone on at that time.  Anno 1539, the 16th of February, Luther
commanded public prayers to be made for the day at Frankfort, that
peace might be confirmed.  For if the Landgrave be incensed, then
all resistance will be in vain.  The Landgrave neither provoketh nor
giveth occasion to wars; but, on the contrary, when he is provoked,
he still seeketh peace; whereas, notwithstanding, he is better
furnished and provided for wars than his adversary is, by 2,000
horse, for Hessen and Saxon are horsemen; when they are set in the
saddle, they are then not so easily hoisted out again.  As for the
high-country horsemen, they, said Luther, are dancing gentlemen.
God preserve the Landgrave; for a valiant man and Prince is of great
importance.  Augustus Caesar was wont to say, "I would rather be in
an army of stags, where a lion is general, than to be in an army of
lions where a stag is general."

The 25th of February, Luther prayed again with great devotion for
peace, and for the day at Frankfort, that through civil wars (which
are most hurtful), the religion, policy, and God's Word might not be
sophisticated and torn in pieces.  Wars are pleasing to those that
have had no trial or experience of them; God bless us from wars.



Footnotes:

{1}  Whatsoever was pretended, yet the true cause of the Captain's
commitment was because he was urgent with the Lord Treasurer for his
Arrears; which, amounting to a great sum, he was not willing to pay;
and to be freed from his clamours he clapped him up into prison.

{2}  The name of a rich family.




*** END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, TABLE TALK OF MARTIN LUTHER ***

This file should be named tlhr10.txt or tlhr10.zip
Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks get a new NUMBER, tlhr11.txt
VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, tlhr10a.txt

Project Gutenberg eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the US
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we usually do not
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

We are now trying to release all our eBooks one year in advance
of the official release dates, leaving time for better editing.
Please be encouraged to tell us about any error or corrections,
even years after the official publication date.

Please note neither this listing nor its contents are final til
midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement.
The official release date of all Project Gutenberg eBooks is at
Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month.  A
preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, comment
and editing by those who wish to do so.

Most people start at our Web sites at:
http://gutenberg.net or
http://promo.net/pg

These Web sites include award-winning information about Project
Gutenberg, including how to donate, how to help produce our new
eBooks, and how to subscribe to our email newsletter (free!).


Those of you who want to download any eBook before announcement
can get to them as follows, and just download by date.  This is
also a good way to get them instantly upon announcement, as the
indexes our cataloguers produce obviously take a while after an
announcement goes out in the Project Gutenberg Newsletter.

http://www.ibiblio.org/gutenberg/etext05 or
ftp://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/etext05

Or /etext04, 03, 02, 01, 00, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 92,
91 or 90

Just search by the first five letters of the filename you want,
as it appears in our Newsletters.


Information about Project Gutenberg (one page)

We produce about two million dollars for each hour we work.  The
time it takes us, a rather conservative estimate, is fifty hours
to get any eBook selected, entered, proofread, edited, copyright
searched and analyzed, the copyright letters written, etc.   Our
projected audience is one hundred million readers.  If the value
per text is nominally estimated at one dollar then we produce $2
million dollars per hour in 2002 as we release over 100 new text
files per month:  1240 more eBooks in 2001 for a total of 4000+
We are already on our way to trying for 2000 more eBooks in 2002
If they reach just 1-2% of the world's population then the total
will reach over half a trillion eBooks given away by year's end.

The Goal of Project Gutenberg is to Give Away 1 Trillion eBooks!
This is ten thousand titles each to one hundred million readers,
which is only about 4% of the present number of computer users.

Here is the briefest record of our progress (* means estimated):

eBooks Year Month

    1  1971 July
   10  1991 January
  100  1994 January
 1000  1997 August
 1500  1998 October
 2000  1999 December
 2500  2000 December
 3000  2001 November
 4000  2001 October/November
 6000  2002 December*
 9000  2003 November*
10000  2004 January*


The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation has been created
to secure a future for Project Gutenberg into the next millennium.

We need your donations more than ever!

As of February, 2002, contributions are being solicited from people
and organizations in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut,
Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South
Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West
Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

We have filed in all 50 states now, but these are the only ones
that have responded.

As the requirements for other states are met, additions to this list
will be made and fund raising will begin in the additional states.
Please feel free to ask to check the status of your state.

In answer to various questions we have received on this:

We are constantly working on finishing the paperwork to legally
request donations in all 50 states.  If your state is not listed and
you would like to know if we have added it since the list you have,
just ask.

While we cannot solicit donations from people in states where we are
not yet registered, we know of no prohibition against accepting
donations from donors in these states who approach us with an offer to
donate.

International donations are accepted, but we don't know ANYTHING about
how to make them tax-deductible, or even if they CAN be made
deductible, and don't have the staff to handle it even if there are
ways.

Donations by check or money order may be sent to:

 PROJECT GUTENBERG LITERARY ARCHIVE FOUNDATION
 809 North 1500 West
 Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Contact us if you want to arrange for a wire transfer or payment
method other than by check or money order.

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation has been approved by
the US Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization with EIN
[Employee Identification Number] 64-622154.  Donations are
tax-deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law.  As fund-raising
requirements for other states are met, additions to this list will be
made and fund-raising will begin in the additional states.

We need your donations more than ever!

You can get up to date donation information online at:

http://www.gutenberg.net/donation.html


***

If you can't reach Project Gutenberg,
you can always email directly to:

Michael S. Hart <hart@pobox.com>

Prof. Hart will answer or forward your message.

We would prefer to send you information by email.


**The Legal Small Print**


(Three Pages)

***START**THE SMALL PRINT!**FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN EBOOKS**START***
Why is this "Small Print!" statement here? You know: lawyers.
They tell us you might sue us if there is something wrong with
your copy of this eBook, even if you got it for free from
someone other than us, and even if what's wrong is not our
fault. So, among other things, this "Small Print!" statement
disclaims most of our liability to you. It also tells you how
you may distribute copies of this eBook if you want to.

*BEFORE!* YOU USE OR READ THIS EBOOK
By using or reading any part of this PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
eBook, you indicate that you understand, agree to and accept
this "Small Print!" statement. If you do not, you can receive
a refund of the money (if any) you paid for this eBook by
sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the person
you got it from. If you received this eBook on a physical
medium (such as a disk), you must return it with your request.

ABOUT PROJECT GUTENBERG-TM EBOOKS
This PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm eBook, like most PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm eBooks,
is a "public domain" work distributed by Professor Michael S. Hart
through the Project Gutenberg Association (the "Project").
Among other things, this means that no one owns a United States copyright
on or for this work, so the Project (and you!) can copy and
distribute it in the United States without permission and
without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth
below, apply if you wish to copy and distribute this eBook
under the "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark.

Please do not use the "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark to market
any commercial products without permission.

To create these eBooks, the Project expends considerable
efforts to identify, transcribe and proofread public domain
works. Despite these efforts, the Project's eBooks and any
medium they may be on may contain "Defects". Among other
things, Defects may take the form of incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged
disk or other eBook medium, a computer virus, or computer
codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.

LIMITED WARRANTY; DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES
But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below,
[1] Michael Hart and the Foundation (and any other party you may
receive this eBook from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm eBook) disclaims
all liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including
legal fees, and [2] YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE OR
UNDER STRICT LIABILITY, OR FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY OR CONTRACT,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE
OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

If you discover a Defect in this eBook within 90 days of
receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any)
you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that
time to the person you received it from. If you received it
on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and
such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement
copy. If you received it electronically, such person may
choose to alternatively give you a second opportunity to
receive it electronically.

THIS EBOOK IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS". NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE TO YOU AS
TO THE EBOOK OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE ON, INCLUDING BUT NOT
LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or
the exclusion or limitation of consequential damages, so the
above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you, and you
may have other legal rights.

INDEMNITY
You will indemnify and hold Michael Hart, the Foundation,
and its trustees and agents, and any volunteers associated
with the production and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm
texts harmless, from all liability, cost and expense, including
legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the
following that you do or cause:  [1] distribution of this eBook,
[2] alteration, modification, or addition to the eBook,
or [3] any Defect.

DISTRIBUTION UNDER "PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm"
You may distribute copies of this eBook electronically, or by
disk, book or any other medium if you either delete this
"Small Print!" and all other references to Project Gutenberg,
or:

[1]  Only give exact copies of it.  Among other things, this
     requires that you do not remove, alter or modify the
     eBook or this "small print!" statement.  You may however,
     if you wish, distribute this eBook in machine readable
     binary, compressed, mark-up, or proprietary form,
     including any form resulting from conversion by word
     processing or hypertext software, but only so long as
     *EITHER*:

     [*]  The eBook, when displayed, is clearly readable, and
          does *not* contain characters other than those
          intended by the author of the work, although tilde
          (~), asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may
          be used to convey punctuation intended by the
          author, and additional characters may be used to
          indicate hypertext links; OR

     [*]  The eBook may be readily converted by the reader at
          no expense into plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent
          form by the program that displays the eBook (as is
          the case, for instance, with most word processors);
          OR

     [*]  You provide, or agree to also provide on request at
          no additional cost, fee or expense, a copy of the
          eBook in its original plain ASCII form (or in EBCDIC
          or other equivalent proprietary form).

[2]  Honor the eBook refund and replacement provisions of this
     "Small Print!" statement.

[3]  Pay a trademark license fee to the Foundation of 20% of the
     gross profits you derive calculated using the method you
     already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  If you
     don't derive profits, no royalty is due.  Royalties are
     payable to "Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation"
     the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were
     legally required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent
     periodic) tax return.  Please contact us beforehand to
     let us know your plans and to work out the details.

WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO?
Project Gutenberg is dedicated to increasing the number of
public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed
in machine readable form.

The Project gratefully accepts contributions of money, time,
public domain materials, or royalty free copyright licenses.
Money should be paid to the:
"Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

If you are interested in contributing scanning equipment or
software or other items, please contact Michael Hart at:
hart@pobox.com

[Portions of this eBook's header and trailer may be reprinted only
when distributed free of all fees.  Copyright (C) 2001, 2002 by
Michael S. Hart.  Project Gutenberg is a TradeMark and may not be
used in any sales of Project Gutenberg eBooks or other materials be
they hardware or software or any other related product without
express permission.]

*END THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN EBOOKS*Ver.02/11/02*END*