;cr> TABLE TALK Companions for a Quirt $our. i. A COMPANION TO THE LORD S TABLK. II. PRIVATE THOUGHTS ON RELIGION. III. A\ INFALLIBLE WAY TO CONTENTMENT. IV. LUTHER S TABLE TALK. Companions for a wet $our. LUTHER S TABLE TALK. EXTRACTS SELECTED BY DR. MACAU LAY, Editor flf " The Leisure Hcnr." THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY : 56, PATERNOSTER Row; 65, ST. PAUL S CHURCHYAKD ; AND 164, PICCADILLY. "Luther s mind was literally world-wide; his eyes were for ever observant of what was round him. . \. . Being one of the most copious of talkers, he enabled his friends to preserve the most extra ordinary mon-um&nt of his acquirements and cf his intellectual vigour. On reading the Table Talk cf Luther; one ceases to wonder how this single man could change the face of Europe." J. A. FROUDE. PREFACE. THE history of the book known to us as " Luther s Table Talk " is briefly this : Anthony Lauterbach, a friend and formerly a pupil of Luther at Wittenberg, was in the habit of noting down the doctor s familiar dis courses with Philip Melanchthon, Justus Jonas, John Bugenhagen, and others. In the pictorial life of the Reformer by Gustav Konig, one of the pictures presents Luther in his garden with his family and several guests, while Lauterbach is busily taking notes even of the informal talk of this time of recreation. This accords with 5 preface. the tradition as to the real historical origin cf this biographical record. In 1569, Doctor John Aurifaber having ob tained these manuscript notes of Anthony Lauterbach, added many other discourses, and, arranging the whole under certain Loci Com munes, or Common Places, published them at Eisleben. In his preface, after making refer ence to the manuscript notes, he says : " And whereas I, Johannes 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." The book had wide circulation, and was deemed to have so great influence in supporting the cause of the Reformation, that the Pope, Gregory XIII., induced the Emperor Rudolf II. 6 IJwfarc. to issue an edict that all copies should be burned, and that it should -be death for any person to possess a copy. In consequence of this edict being carried out with great rigour, the work became excessively scarce. But in the year 1626, Captain Henry Bell, when on a mission on some State business for King James I., obtained from a German gentleman a copy which was said to have been wonderfully preserved, and accidentally dis covered in making some alteration in his house. The edict still being in force, the possessor was glad to allow this copy to go to England, where Captain Bell translated it. The book had a singular history before it saw the light. Archbishop Laud heard of it, and desired to see both the original and the transla tion. After retaining them for two years, he sent the books with a message through his chaplain, and fifty livres in gold, promising to obtain an order from King Charles for the 7 printing of the work. When the Archbishop fell into his troubles nothing more was heard of this order; but the House of Commons, having notice of the translation, sent for Captain Bell to appear before a Committee, sitting in the Treasury Chamber. Sir Edward Deering, being chairman, said he knew a learned German, then beneficed in Essex, Mr. Paul Amiraut, to whom he would like the work to be referred. The report being favourable, the Committee then referred the translation to two members of the Assembly of Divines then sitting at Westminster Edward Corbet, of Merton College, Oxford, and Charles Herle (who was President or Prolocutor after Dr. Twisse). These divines made report that they found it an excellent work, whereupon the House of Commons, on the 24th February, 1646, gave order that it should be printed. A second edition appeared in 1791, with a preface by John R viand, of Northampton, and a life of Luther by Dr. John Gottlieb Burck- hardt, Minister of the German Lutheran Church at the Savoy, London. It was published by subscription, in forty-five numbers, at 6d. each, appearing weekly, the whole forming a large folio of 502 pages, with xxiv. pages of prefatory matter. A reprint forms one of Bohn s series of volumes. Cur selection of extracts is made from the second edition. The title-page infoims us that in addition to the original notes there are " all sorts of comforts, advices, prophecies, admoni tions, directions, and instructions." Dr. Auri- faber knew that there was a great demand for everything connected with Luther, and he in cluded in his book much that is of slight value, and much that ought never to have been put on iccord. Some of the subjects also have lost their interest for modern readers, such as those which relate to the petty potentates and the wars of the time, the temporal power of the 9 IJrefare. papacy, and "the Turks," who then formed a real menace to Christendom. There is also much repetition even on questions of more permanent interest, so that a brief selection from the large volume seems sufficient to pre sent the real opinions and words of Luther concerning points most important to the Chris tian Church. And the reader will agree with Dr. Aurifaber, who says, "These most profitable discourses of Luther, containing such high spiritual things, we should in no wise suffer to be lost, but worthily esteem thereof, whereout all manner of learning, joy, and comfort may be had and received." 10 LIST OF SUBJECTS. FACE The Bible above all Books 17 How to Study and Know the Bible ... 18 The Certainty of God s Word 19 Boldness from God s Word 21 God known in Christ 22 Joy and Fear 24. Divine and Human Science 24 Want of Trust in God s good Will ... 25 To be left of God is the greatest Judgment 26 The Hope of a Better Life 26 God s Punishment on Nations 27 Sacrifices Pleasing to God 29 Three Sorts of People 30 Love to Christ sustaining in Service ... 31 1 1 Hist of Subjects. PAG a The Show and Form of the World and the Church 32 On Helping the Poor 33 Of Jeroboam s Calves 34 Of Idolatry . . 35 Whereby the Godhead of Christ is known . 36 That Christ is God and Man 37 Christ the Mediator 38 The Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ 39 The Knowledge of Christ 4.1 Mistrust of Christ 42 The Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life 43 Forgiveness of Sins 45 That Man s Thoughts are wholly Evil . . 45 Concerning Free - Will (in regard to Spiritual Good) before Conversion . . 47 Of Free-Will in Conversion 48 Limits of Human Will 50 Teaching the Young 51 12 Hist of .Subjects. PAGE Earnest Preaching 51 The Little Catechism 52 The Law and the Gospel 53 The Law Viewed as having Power to Save 55 Of Antinomians 56 Of the Fulfilling of the Law 58 Childlike Faith .... .. 59 Of God s Justice and Righteousness ... 61 Abraham s Faith 62 The Word of God the Basis of Faith . . 63 Justification by Faith 64 When Good Works are Pleasing to God . 65 Prayer without Ceasing 66 The Elector John of Saxony 66 Providential Deliverance 67 Elevation of the Sacrament 68 The Cause of the Sacrament 70 Is Rome the Mother Church? 71 Qualities of a Good Preacher 71 A World-pleasing Preacher 73 13 ILtst of Subjects. TAGK Discrimination in Preaching 73 The Pope s Three Crowns ....... 74 The Pope is Antichrist 75 Will-Worship and False Religion .... 75 Of Purgatory 77 The Bible and the Works of the Fathers . 77 About a General Council 78 Charles V. at Augsburg 79 The Fathers concerning Faith 80 Respect for the Fathers 8 1 St. Augustine and St. Jerome 83 John Huss 84 Tempted of the Devil 85 Conflict with the Devil 86 Cheerfulness amidst Trouble 87 Defence against Melancholy 89 A True Believer must have Trouble ... 90 Letter to a Father Mourning for a Son Lost 92 Troubles about Predestination and Election 94 14 ILtst of .Subjects. Monastic Life 95 False Brethren ... - 96 Life a Voyage 97 Prayer as a Father . 98 The Lord Ruleth 98 Henry VIII 99 The Augsburg Confession 99 A Downcast Man 100 Legends of Saints 101 A Good General 102 Paris University in the Sixteenth Century. 102 Jews and Christians 103 Music 106 Singing to be taught in all Schools . . . 107 Lawyers and Divines 107 Pilate s Character and Conduct 108 Wealth is the Least Gift of God 109 The Sacrifice of the Mass no Faith and Work 1 1 r The Future Life m ILtst of Subjects. PAGE Good Princes 112 The Best Preachers and Hearers .... 113 Luther s Divinity School 114 Unsearchableness of God s Works .... 115 Useless Questionings 116 The Wisdom of the World 118 Men s Love of Novelty 119 Christ the Only Physician for Death ... 119 Man Unable to Distinguish between the Law and the Gospel 121 How we are made Good before Christ . . 122 Patience I2 2 One of Luther s Sayings 123 The Amaranthus a Symbol of the Church 123 The True Preacher 125 Christian Pilgrimages 125 Allegories 127 Thankfulness 128 16 ftitljtr s fcable Calh. The Bible above all Books. The Holy Scripture, or the Bible, 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 is the best and highest book of God, full of comfort in all manner of trials and temptations ; for it teacheth B 17 Eutfjcr s Cable Calk. 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. How to Study and Know the Bible.--The chief lesson and study in Divinity 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 i/p 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 vu\ We ought not to measure, censure, and under stand the Scriptures according to our own natural sense and reason, but we ought dili gently by prayer to meditate therein, and to search after the same. The devil and tempta tions also do give occasion unto us -somewhat to learn and understand the Scriptures by experience and practice. Without trials and 18 ILutfjcr s Cable Calfc. temptations we should never understand any thing 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. The Certainty of God s Word. Above all things let us be sure that the doctrine which we teach is God s Word ; for when we be sure of that, then we may build thereupon and know that this cause shall and must remain ; the devil shall not be able to overthrow it, much less shall the world be able to root it out, how fiercely soever they rage against the same. I, God be praised, do surely know that the doctrine which I teach is God s Word, and have now hunted from my heart all other doctrines and faiths, by what name soever, which I see do not concur with God s Word, and now I have overcome those heavy tempta- B 2 19 flutter s Cable SMfc. tions which sometimes tormented me in this manner ; namely, Art thou (thought I) the only man that hath God s Word pure and clear, and all others fail therein? In such sort doth Satan vex and assault us under the name and title of God s Church ; yea (saith he) that doctrine which the Christian Church so many years hitherto hath held and established for right, wilt thou presume to reject and overthrow the same with thy new doctrine ? A man must be able bodily to affirm and say, I know for certain that the same which I teach is the only Word of the high Majesty of God in heaven, His final conclusion and everlasting unchangeable Truth, and whatsoever concur- reth and agreeth not with this doctrine, the same is altogether false, and spun by the devil. I have before me God s Word which cannot fail, nor can the gates of hell prevail against it ; thereby will I remain although the whole world were against me. And withal I have this com fort, that God saith : I will give thee people and hearers that shall receive it, cast thy care upon me ; I will defend thee, only remain thou stout and steadfast by my Word. 20 ILtttfjrr s Cable Calfe. Boldness from God s Word. When the devil findeth me idle, and that I do not think of God s Word, then he scrupleth my conscience, as if I taught not right, but had occasioned a confusion in the government, and with my doctrine had raised much offence and rebellion. But when I get hold on God s word, then have I won the game, then I resist the devil, and say thus : I know, and out of God s W 7 ord am sure, that this doctrine is not mine, but the doctrine of the Son of God. Then I think thus with myself : What careth God for the whole world, though it were ten times as big again? He hath set His Son to be King, and hath set Him so fast in His kingdom, that He neither can nor will be removed ; for God Himself saith : This my Son shall ye hear. And in Psalm ii. he saith : Be ivise now therefore, O ye kings ; be instructed, ye judges of the earth; serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye fierisli from the way, &c. Jf His wrath be kindled, &c. That is : Will ye combine yourselves against the Son ; so shall ye with all your kingdoms, principalities, governments, rights, orders, laws, powers, forts, treasure, and wealth, be utterly 21 llutfjcr g Cable Calfc. consumed and brought to nothing, like as hath happened to the kingdom of the Jews and others. Let us in any case be sure and certain of our cause. St. Paul boasteth of himself, and saith thus : / am an apostle and servant of Jesus Christ, and a teacher of the Gentiles. No car nal-minded man is able to understand this kind of boasting, which at that time was as needful and necessary for St Paul as an article of faith. God known in Christ. If thou wilt be sure and certain of thy conscience and salvation, then abstain from speculating and searching to know and to seek God the Lord, as well what His essence is, as also His will, according to thine own sense, reason, and carnal mind ; for without his Word, and His Son Christ, He will not be found. But thou must learn to take hold on God by such means as He is expressed by in Holy Scriptures, concerning which St. Paul saith : For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of pt caching to save them 22 Eutfjcr s Cable Calk. that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom ; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness ; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Therefore begin them to seek God there where Christ Himself began ; namely, where He was conceived in the womb of His mother, the Virgin Mary, where He lay in the manger of Bethlehem sucking on His mother s breasts. For He came down from heaven, was born a natural human creature, He walked with us mankind on earth, He preached, wrought miracles, suffered, was crucified, and died, rose again from the dead, only for this end, that He might place Himself in such manner before our corporeal eyes, thereby to draw the eyes of our hearts, that is, all our senses, cogitations, and meditations, unto Him ; and so to debar us from a presumptuous specu lating and searching out the Majesty of God in heaven. But through His Word He causeth to be offered unto us such things as are necessary for our knowledge to salvation. lltttfjer s Cable Calk. Joy and Fear. I would fain see one that could make these two agree together, to be joyful and to be afraid. I cannot behave myself in that manner towards God ; but my little son Hans can show himself so towards me ; for when I sit in my study and write, or do some thing else, then my boy sings me a song ; and when he will be too loud, then I check him a little ; yet nevertheless he singeth on, but with a more mild and softer voice, and somewhat with fear and reverence. Even so will God likewise have us to do, that we should always rejoice in Him, yet with fear and reverence towards God. Divine and Human Science. God only, through His Word, instructed! the heart, to the end it may come to the serious acknowledgment of itself, and to know how wicked it is, and spoiled ; yea, that it is at enmity with God, as St. Paul witnesseth. Afterwards God leadeth a man so far, that he cometh also to the knowledge of God, and how he may be freed from sin, and after this miserable vanishing Avorld, how he may obtain a life that is everlasting. On the 24 Etttfjrr s Cable Calft. contrary, human sense and reason, with all her wisdom, is able to bring it no further than to instruct and direct people how to live a civil kind of life ; how to behave and carry them selves in this vanishing world ; also, how to govern, to keep house, to build, and how they may be instructed in other good arts : such things are taught and learned in philosophy, and out of heathenish books, and no more. But how they should learn to know God, and His dear Son Christ Jesus, and to be saved, the same teacheth the Holy Ghost only through God s Word ; for philosophy understandeth nothing in divine matters. Want of Trust in God s Good Will. 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 con tented 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. 25 3Lutf) s Cable Calk. To be left of God is the greatest Judgment. No greater anger than when God is silent, and talketh not with us, but suffereth us to go on in our sinful works, and to do all things according to our own lusts and pleasures. Ah, God ! punish, we pray thee, with pesti lence, with famine, and with what evil sicknesses else may be on earth ; but be not silent, Lord, towards us. The Hope of a Better Life. If there were no hope of the resurrection of the dead, nor of another and better world, after this short and miserable life, wherefore then doth God offer Himself that He will be our God, that He will give us all that is necessary and healthful for us, and in the end will deliver us out of all trouble both temporal and spiritual ? To what purpose is it that we hear His Word and believe in Him? What are we the better when we cry and sigh to Him in our anguish and need, that we wait with patience upon His comfort and salvation, upon His grace and benefits which He shows in Christ ? Why do we praise and thank Him for the same ? Why are we daily in 26 Etttfjrr s Cable Calk. danger, and suffer ourselves to be persecuted and slain for the sake of Christ s Word, which we teach and hold for our greatest treasure, and do acknowledge it before the wicked world ! But forasmuch as the everlasting merciful God, only through His Word and Sacraments, talketh and dealeth with us (all other creatures excluded), not of temporal things which pertain to this vanishing life, all which in the begin ning He hath provided richly for us, but where we shall remain when we depart from hence, and giveth unto us His Son for a Saviour, who delivereth us from sin and death, and hath pur chased for us everlasting righteousness, life, and salvation ; that we believe in Him, and at His commandment are baptized, &c. Therefore it is most certain that we do not die away like the beasts that have no understanding ; but so many of us that do sleep in Christ, shall through Him be raised again to life everlasting at the last day ; but the ungodly to everlasting shame and destruction. God s Punishment on Nations. When God is angry with us, and delivereth us into the 27 Eutfjcr s Cable Calfc. hands of our enemies, that through them He punisheth our sins and vices ; and sendeth upon us pestilences, plagues, famine, &c. Yet, nevertheless, so long as He speaks with us through His Word, it is a certain sign of His grace and favour towards us ; for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth. But (said Luther) when people are secure, they hear indeed the Word, but it goeth in at one ear, and out at the other ; they prate much thereof, but no amend ment of life, nor fruits of the faith do follow ; as we see, alas ! before our eyes, every one will be a true Christian and an upright Protestant, and yet wicked covetousness, usury, and other sins go on in full flourish and sway. And when God, through good and godly teachers and preachers, doth threaten us, and we will not turn and repent, &c., it is then a certain sign, that God will shortly take from us His Word and pure doctrine, and will leave us in the darkness of our hearts to walk in our own counsels, as Christ threatened the Jews, and took from them the Kingdom of God, and gave it to others that brought forth their fruits. In this sort it falls out, that kingdoms, countries, and people for the same cause are utterly wasted and destroyed 28 Eutfjer s Cable STalfc. Therefore it amazeth me, and I do fear that Germany in a short time will be visited, and horribly punished, by reason of the great un- thankfulness in contemning and blaspheming of God s Word. God can have long patience when the people are wicked ; but when they contemn His Word, and persecute the same, then hath patience an end, and the last punish ment is at hand, as with the Jews, Greeks, Romans, and others. Sacrifices Pleasing to God. The Scriptures (said Luther) do show two manner of sacrifices that are acceptable to God, the first is called a sacrifice of Thanks or Praise. When we teach and preach God s Word purely ; when we hear and receive it with faith ; when we acknowledge the same, and do everything that tendeth to the spreading of it abroad, and thank God from our hearts for the unspeakable benefits which through the same are laid before us, and bestowed upon us in Christ ; when we praise and glorify Him, &c. Hereof the 5oth Psalm saith, Offer unto God thanksgiving. Also, He that offer eth thanks praiscth Me, And Psalm 29 ILtttljer s Cable Calfc. cxviii. Thank the Lord, for He is gracious, because His mercy endureth for ever. And Psalm ciii. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me praise His Holy Name. Praise the Lord, O my so it I, and forget not all His benefits. Secondly, when a sorrowful and troubled heart in all manner of temptations hath his refuge in God, calls upon Him in true and up right faith, seeks help by Him, and waits patiently upon Him, Psalm cxviii. In my trouble I called upon tJie Lord, and He heard me at large. Psalm xxxiv. Tlie Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart, and ivill save such as be of an liumble spirit. And Psalm li. The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit ; a broken and contrite heart, O God, shall Thou not despise. And Psalm 1. Call upon Me in the time of need, so "will I deliver thce, and thnu shalt praise Me. With such sacrifices God is well pleased. Three Sorts of People. There are three degrees of people s natures. The first, are the great and common sort, that live securely with out remorse of conscience ; they acknowledge 30 ILutfjrr s Cable Calfc. not their corrupted manners and natures ; they are not sensible of God s wrath against their sins, are careless thereof. The second sort, are those which through the law are scared, do feel God s anger, and fly from Him ; do strive and wrestle with despair, as Saul did, &c. The third sort, are they that do acknowledge their sins, and God s wrath due unto them for the same ; do feel themselves to be conceived and born in sin, and therefore deserve everlastingly to be damned and lost ; but, notwithstanding, they attentively hearken to the sound "of the Gospel ; that God, merely out of grace, for the sake of Jesus Christ, forgiveth sins, who hath satisfied the Father for us ; they do receive and believe it, and so are justified before God, and afterwards also they show the fruits of their faith by all manner of good works, which God hath commanded. The other two sorts of people go the wrong way. Love to Christ sustaining in Service. He must be of a high and great spirit that under- taketh to serve the people both in body and soul, and nevertheless must suffer the utmost ILutfjer s 2Tafale Calk. danger, and highest unthankfulness. There fore Christ said to Peter, Simon, &c., Lovest thott Me ? and repeats 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 give away his wealth and health, and after wards 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 Show and Form of the World and the Church. The world, to look upon, is like a Paradise ; but on the contrary the Church of God, and of the Lord Christ, which hath the clear and pure doctrine, and holdeth fast there by, is evil-favoured and ugly in the eye of the world ; but before, and in the sight of God, she is dear and precious, costly, and highly esteemed. Aaron appeared gloriously in the temple in his rich attire ; therefore we must not regard 32 ILutfyet s Cable STalfu what the world censureth of us, nor trouble our selves how they esteem of us. For, what do I care that the popish princes, nobility, citizens, and commons do hold and esteem of me as of dirt and nothing worth ? I will in due time, and in the day to come, regard and esteem of them as little. It is in us comfort sufficient to be pleasing to the good and godly. On Helping the Poor. St. John saith, Me that hath this world s goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth tip his bowels of compassion from him, how divelleth 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 is far greater : a man can scarcely get a poor body to work for money, and yet they will all beg : there is no c 33 ILutycr s Cable good government : though I were able, yet I would not give to those idle beggars ; for the more one helpeth and givcth 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 Scrip ture which saith, He that hath two coats, let him part with one, &c., for in the Holy Scripture 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 main tenance necessary for the body ; therefore a coat, in Scripture, is signified to be all usual apparel. Of Jeroboam s Calves.- -These calves of Jeroboam remain always in the world, and will remain to the last day : not that any man maketh or causeth calves to be made like Jeroboam s. But upon whatsoever a man doth depend or trust (God set aside), the same maketh to himself calves, as Jeroboam did ; that is, 34 Calk. he maketh other and strange gods which he honoureth and worshippeth instead of the only true, living, and eternal God, who only can and will help and comfort in all need. In like manner also, all such as rely and depend upon their arts, wisdom, strength, own sanctity, riches, honour, power, connection, ordinance?, or any thing, under what title or name soever (on which the world buildeth and boasteth), the same (I say) do make and worship these calves, as Jeroboam did. For they trust in, and depend on vanishing creatures, which is merely wor shipping of idols, and is idolatry. Of Idolatry. Idolatry is plainly this : When things are not done and taken in hand according to God s Word, and as the same doth describe and teach us. For when a man will serve God, he must not look upon that which he doth, nor upon the work, but he must look how it ought to be done, whether God hath commanded it or no : Seeing (as Samuel saith) that God hath more pleasure in obedience, than in burnt-sacri fice. Therefore whoso hearkeneth not to God s voice, the same is an idolater, [although he c 2 35 Eutfjcr s able JTalft. performed the highest and most heavy service of God. As the nature and manner of idolatry is, it maketh not choice of that which is esteemed easy and light, but of that which is great and heavy. This have we seen in the friars and monks, who, almost every day, have devised new worshippings of God ; but forasmuch that God in His Word hath not commanded the same, it is therefore altogether idolatry. More over and besides, all blaspheming, contemning of God s Word, covetousness, wrong, force, un just judgments and censures, and the like, are mere idolatry ; for what service of God soever a human creature doth erect and set up without God s Word and command, the same is idolatry, as the Scripture saith. Whereby the Godhead of Christ is known. The Holy Scripture (especially St. Paul) every where ascribeth even that unto Christ, which He giveth to the Father, namely, the divine almighty power ; so that He can give grace, and peace of conscience, forgiveness of sins, life, victory over sin, death, and the devil. Now, unless St. Paul would rob God of His honour 36 Eutfjet s Cable 2Talft. and would give it to another that is not God, he dared not to ascribe such properties and attributes unto Christ, if He were not true God ; and God Himself saith, Isa. xlii.,/ will not give My glory to another. And, indeed, no man can give that to another which he hath not himself ; but, seeing Christ giveth grace and peace, the Holy Ghost also, and redeemeth from the power of the devil, of sin and death ; so is it most sure, that He hath an endless, an immeasurable almighty power equal with the Father. Christ bringeth also peace, but not as the Apostles brought, namely, through preaching ; but He giveth it as a Creator, as His own proper creature. The Father createth and giveth life, grace, and peace ; and even so giveth the Son the same gifts. Now, to give grace, peace, everlasting life, forgiveness of sins, to justify, to save, to deliver from death and hell, surely these are not the works of any creature, but of the sole Majesty of God, and such things the angels themselves can neither create nor give. That Christ is God and Man. That Christ is God and Man, the same is above human 37 s Cable Calk. sense, reason, and understanding. For when we are to bring the two Natures in Christ (the Divine and Human) into one person, then human wit, wisdom, sense, reason, and under standing do startle, and say, How can this be ? I understand it not. O (said Luther) no thanks unto thee for this confession ; for it is not written to that end and purpose, that thou shouldest understand and comprehend it with thy natural sense, wit, and wisdom, but thou must yield thyself captive and believe the Word of the Gospel through the operation of the Holy Ghost, and give God the honour, that He is true. Christ saith, John xvi., Matthew xxi., and Mark xi., Whatsoever ye shall ask the P ather in My name, that will He give unto you Here Christ speaketh, as, that He hath all in His hand and power, to give every thing which a man prayeth unto Him for in faith. Christ the Mediator. There is but one God, saith St. Paul, and one Mediator between God and man; namely, the man Jesus Christ, who gave Himself a ransom for all. Therefore, let no man think to draw near unto God, or to 38 Eutfjtv s Cable obtain grace of Him, without this Mediator, High-priest and Advocate. Hebrews v. and I John ii. Now if He be an intercessor for us to God, then doth it follow for certain that we arc sinners, and are lost ; and we cannot through our good works, civil kind of life, virtues, de serts, sanctity, neither through the works of the law, appease God s wrath, nor obtain forgive ness of sins. Likewise, through this one little word, Mediator before God, all merits of saints, our own good works and righteousness, are quite rejected and condemned, so that through the same no human creature can be justified before God. Moreover, we see thereby how fierce and intolerable God s anger is against sins, seeing that by none other sacrifice and offering they could be appeased and stilled, but only through the precious blood of the Son of God. The Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ. We should not take the whole world in ex change for this knowledge that we know that Christ is Christ, that He is our only Saviour, 39 3Lutf>er s our High-priest, our Lord and King. This I did not know so long as I lived a friar in the monasteries. Now although the case should so fall out, that we should lose our lives for the sake of the truth, yet Christ liveth, and if He liveth, then shall we live also; for His promise standeth fast, and will for ever so remain firm against the gates of hell. Now Christ whom we preach is God ; therefore the whole world in comparison of this Christ, is nothing at all. All the wise of the world do scoff and scorn us Christians, that we with such fervency do take Christ s cause in hand, but at last their scoffing and scorning will fall into their own bosoms. The chief study in divinity is, that we learn to know Christ aright : therefore saith St. Peter, Grow up in the knowledge of Jesus Christ; namely, that He is the most merciful, the most just and wise : and, said he, if I might leave behind me but only this lesson, which with great diligence I have driven and taught ; namely, that people would beware and take good heed of speculations, and instead thereof would comprehend and take hold on Christ only, in the most plain and simple manner ; 40 Eutfjcr s 2TabIe JTalfc. then I should think myself happy, and that I had accomplished much. The Knowledge of Christ. The righteous ness of works will not submit nor stand proof, much less will this prevail in trials and in agonies ; nay, will produce anguish of heart to those that depend thereon. There is nothing on earth that maketh people sure of the forgive ness of their sins, and that they are not im puted to them, but only an application of Christ, through which we receive comfort, and strength of faith, in all anguish and sorrows of death. Without this knowledge of Christ I am not able to endure my conscience, neither am I quieted by my own works, or by the righteous ness of God s laws, much less have I any com fort by my sanctity, which out of my own devotion and good opinion make choice of ; yea, the devil, through one sin, hunteth me in such sort, that I oftentimes think the world is too narrow for me, only the knowledge of Christ lifteth me up, and setteth my conscience in peace. Eutfjrr s Cable Calk. Mistrust of Christ. It is a pity that we make our sins so great and heavy, and at the same time forget our Saviour Christ Jesus, who gave Himself an offering for our sins. St. Paul knoweth how to comfort and cheer up such, he beateth out the barrel s head at once, and saith flatly : We must not regard the threatenings of the law, nor rely upon the works of the law, but only upon Christ, who is our wisdom, righteous ness, sanctification and redemption, and richly giveth supply to them that need. I fail herein, and it maketh me full of sorrow : for it is a bewitching of the devil, that we put more confidence and trust in human creatures than in God. I do expect more goodness from Kate my wife, from Philip Melanchthon, and from other friends, than from my sweet and blessed Saviour Christ Jesus ; and yet I know for certain, that neither they, nor any other person on earth, will or can suffer that for me which He hath suffered ; why then should I be afraid of Him ? This my foolish weakness grieveth me very much. We plainly see in the Gospel, how mild and gentle He showeth Himself towards His disciples ; how familiar and friendly He passeth 42 ILutfyrr s over their weakness, their presumption, yea, their foolishness, &c. He checketh their unbelief, and in all gentleness admonisheth them. More over, the Scripture (which is most sure) saith, Blessed are they that put their trust in Him. Fie on our unbelieving hearts, that we should be afraid of this man, who is more loving, friendly, gentle, and compassionate towards us than are our kindred, our brethren and sisters ; yea, than parents themselves are towards their own children. The Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life. It is witnessed by Holy Scripture, and the Symbolum of Nice out of Holy Scripture teacheth, that the Holy Ghost is He that maketh alive, and together with the Father and the Son is worshipped, and with them is honoured. Therefore the Holy Ghost, of necessity, must be true and everlasting God with the Father and the Son in one only essence. For if He were not true and everlasting God, then could not be attributed and given unto Him the divine power and honour, that He maketh alive, and that together with the Father and the Son, He 43 flutter s Cable Calft. is worshipped and glorified, touching which point the fathers powerfully did set themselves against the heretics, and out of Holy Scripture stoutly maintained the same. The Holy Ghost is God everlasting, as we acknowledge and believe in our Christian faith. Our Saviour Christ giveth unto Him sundry names and titles : First, He calleth Him a Re prover, Who reproveth the world of sin, &c. Secondly, a Comforter. Thirdly, a Spirit of Truth. Fourthly, that He proceedeth from the Father ; in each particular it appears that He is true and eternal God with the Father and the Son. Fifthly, that He witnesseth of Christ, and of none other; without this witness of the Holy Ghost concerning Christ, there is no true nor constant comfort. Therefore (said Luther) it resteth all on this, that we take sure hold on the text, and say, I believe in Jesus Christ, who died for me ; and I know that the Holy Ghost (who is called and is a Witness and a Com forter) doth preach and witness (in Christen dom) of none, but only of Christ, therewith to Strengthen and comfort all sad and sorrowful -hearts. Thereon will I also remain, and will depend upon none other for comfort. 44 ILu tfjrr s Cable Calft. Forgiveness of Sins. God forgiveth sins merely out of grace for Christ s sake ; but we must not abuse the grace of God. God hath given signs and tokens enough, that our sins shall be forgiven ; namely, the Preaching of the Gospel, Baptism, the Lord s Supper, and the Holy Ghost into our hearts. Now it is also needful that we evidence by our works that we have received the forgive ness of sins, by each forgiving the faults of his brother. There is no comparison between God s remitting of sins, and that of ours. For what are one hundred pence, in comparison of ten thousand pounds (as Christ saith) ? Nothing at all. And although we deserve nothing by our forgiving, yet we must forgive, that thereby we may prove and give testimony, that we from God have received forgiveness of our sins. That Man s Thoughts are wholly Evil. We must well and diligently weigh the words which the Holy Ghost speaketh through Moses, for He saith not slightly, The thoughts of man are evil, but, Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is evil continually : insomuch, that 45 ILutfjer s Cable what a man is able to conceive with his thoughts with his understanding and free-will with highest diligence, the same is evil, and not once or twice, &c., but it is evil continually ; that is, always from time to time : and without the Holy Ghost, man s reason, his will and understanding, is without the knowledge of God ; and to be without the knowledge of God, is nothing else than to be ungodly, to walk in darkness, and to hold that for best which is directly worst. But (said Luther) I speak only of that which is good in divine things and according to the Holy Scripture ; for in this case we must make a difference between that which is temporal and that which is spiritual, between policy and divinity ; for God doth also allow of the govern ment of the ungodly, and doth reward their vir tues, yet only so far as belongeth to this temporal life ; for man s will and understanding con- ceiveth that to be good which is external and tempora yea also, it taketh the same to be not only good, but the best and chiefest good. But when we divines deal about free-will, we demand what man s free-will is able to accom plish in divine and spiritual matters, not in out ward and emporal affairs : and we do directly 46 g Eable Calk. conclude, That man, without the Holy Ghost, is altogether wicked before God, although he were decked up and trimmed with all the virtues of the heathen, and had all their works. There are indeed (said Luther) fair and glorious examples in the histories of- the heathens touching many virtues ; that they were fine and temperate, and lived chaste lives ; they were bountiful, they loved their country, parents, wives, and children ; they were men of courage, and behaved themselves courteous and friendly. But I say that the very ideas of mankind concerning God, concerning the true worship ping of God, and concerning God s will, are altogether stark blind and darkness. For the light of human wisdom, reason, and under standing (which alone is given to man), com- prehendeth only what is good and profitable outwardly. Concerning Free-Will (in regard to Spirit ual Good) before Conversion. This is my absolute opinion : he that will maintain and defend man s free-will, that it is able to do or work any thing in spiritual causes (be they 47 Eutfycr s afcle Calk. never so small), the same hath denied Christ. This I have always maintained in my writings, especially in those which I wrote against Eras mus of Rotterdam (one of the principal learned men in the whole world) ; and thereby will I remain, for I know it to be the truth ; and though all the world should be against it, and otherwise conclude, yet the decree of the Divine Majesty must stand fast against the gates of hell. I confess that mankind hath a free-will, but it is to milk kine, to build houses, &c., and no further : for so long as a man is at ease and in safety, and is in no want, so long he thinketh he hath a free-will which is able to do some thing ; but when want and need appeareth, so that there is neither meat, drink, nor money, where is then free-will ? It is utterly lost, and cannot stand when it cometh to the pinch. But faith only standeth fast and sure, and seeketh Christ. Ot Free-Will in Conversion. Some new divines do allege, That the Holy Ghost worketh not in those that do resist Him, but only in such Etttfjer s STable as are willing and give consent thereto, whereby it appeareth, that free-will is also a cause and helper of faith ; whereupon it followeth, That faith alone justifieth not, nor that the Holy Ghost alone worketh through the Word, but that our will doth something therein. But I say it is not so ; the will of mankind worketh nothing at all in his conversion and justification ; Non cst effiriens causa Justifica- tionis, sed materialis tantum. It is the matter on which the Holy Ghost worketh (as a potter maketh a pot out of clay) ; even in those that resist and are averse, as in St. Paul. But after that the Holy Ghost hath wrought in the wills of such resistants and averse parties, then He also maketh and prepareth that the will is willing, and, as it were, consenting thereunto. They say and allege further, That the example of St. Paul s conversion is a particular and special work of God ; therefore the same cannot be brought in for a general rule, as if it should be so with all others. I answer, Even like as St. Paul was converted, even just so are all others converted ; for we all resist God, but the Holy Ghost draweth the will of mankind in His time, when He pleaseth, through the Word. D 49 Etitijrr s Cable Calft. Limits of Human Will. -True it is, and I do allow (said Luther) that man s natural strength, in some measure, is yet unspoiled. But in what measure ? Answer. A man (though he be alto gether drowned in ungodliness, and is become the devil s own) hath a free-will and power in domestic and temporal government ; also to rule a ship, and to fulfil such and the like affairs which God hath made subject to man, such natural strength and abilities are not taken from man (although God must be also present therein with His almighty power), but are rather con firmed by God s Word. But the mischief is (said Luther) that the sophists will bring these abilities into the spiritual kingdom. And it may be, that they have found some such stuff in the good fathers ; for the Romanists (who understood less than horses and mules), brought them into these spiritual matters, with which they mingled spiritual and temporal things together. Therefore, it belongeth to us to cleanse the Church from such error as they have brought in, and to lay aside such offences, and clear them out of the way. We can permit such sentences to be right, so 50 .ILutfjct s Cafctc far as they pertain to this temporal and worldly kingdom. But when they bring them into the spiritual kingdom, where we have to deal with God and conscience, then we flatly say, No. For in us there is nothing pure and good ; but whatsoever we are and have, the same is alto gether drowned in sin. All that is in our wills is evil ; and all that is in our understanding is blindness and error. Teaching the Young. The public sermons do very little edify children, who observe and learn but little thereby : but it is more needful that they be taught and well instructed with diligence in schools, and at home that they be orderly heard and examined what they have learned; that way profiteth much: indeed, the same is very wearisome, but is very necessary. Earnest Preaching. When I preach in this place, I sink myself deeply down. I regard neither Doctores nor Magistros, of which are here in the church above forty ; but I have an eye to the multitude of young people, children and servants, of which are more than two thou sand. I preach to those, and direct myself to D 2 51 Eutffer s Cable them that have need thereof. Will not the rest hear me ? The door standeth open unto them, they may be gone. I see that the ambition of preachers grovveth and increaseth, the same will do the greatest mischief in the Church, and will produce great disquietness and discord ; they will please the worldly wife, and in the mean time neglect the simple and common multitude. The Little Catechism. So much could not be collected out of the books of the fathers as (by God s grace) is now taught out of the Little Catechism. Truly there have been great darknesses in former times : Andrew Carlstadt was promoted a doctor in divinity eight years before he read in the Bible. At that time (said Luther) I only read in the Bible at Erfurt, in the monastery : and God then wonderfully wrought (contrary to all human expectation) so that I was constrained to depart from Erfurt, and was called to Wittenburg, where I became such a friar, as that (next under God) I gave the devil, the Pope of Rome, such a blow, as no emperor, king, or potentate could have given him the like ; yet it was not I, but God by me, His poor, weak, and unworthy instrument. 52 flutter s 2TabIe STalfc. The Law and the Gospel. It is no small matter that we should rightly understand what the law is, whereto it serveth, and what is its proper work and office. We do not reject the law and the works thereof, but we confirm and erect the same, and do teach that we ought to do good works ; and we also affirm that the law is very good and profitable, yet so far, that we give him his right, and suffer him to remain within his bounds, that is, by his own proper work and office ; namely, first, that thereby out ward sins be withstood and hindered. Secondly, that inward and spiritual sins may be discovered, confessed, and acknowledged. Therefore the law is a light which lighteth, it openeth and maketh visible, not God s grace and mercy, nor doth it display unto us the righteousness whereby we obtain everlasting life and salvation : oh, no ! in no wise : but the law openeth and displayeth unto us our sins, our weakness, death, God s wrath and judgment. But the light of the Gospel is far another manner of light ; the same enlighteneth the affrighted, broken, sorrowful, and contrite hearts ; it reviveth, comforteth, and refresheth them. For it declareth, that God is merciful to 53 ILufljcr a able Calft. unworthy condemned sinners for the sake of Christ, and that a blessing thereby is presented unto them that believe ; that is, grace, remission of sins, righteousness, and everlasting life. When in this way we distinguish the law and the Gospel, then we attribute and give to each his right work and offices. Therefore, I pray and truly admonish all the lovers of godliness and pure religion (especially those who in time are to be teachers of others), that with highest diligence they would learn this article, which I much fear, after our time, will be darkened again, if not altogether extinguished. We must also drive on with the Ten Com mandments in due time and place. The ungodly (said Luther) out of the Gospel do suck only carnal freedom, and become worse thereby ; therefore not the Gospel, but the law belongeth to them. Even as when my little son Hans 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. 54 Eutljrr s ablc Oft. 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 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. The Law Viewed as having Power to Save. The cause that St. Paul now and then speaketh so scornfully of the law is, not that we should contemn the law, no, in no wise, but would rather that we should esteem and hold it precious. But where he teacheth how we become justi fied before God, it was necessary for him so to speak ; for it is far another thing when we dispute, how we may be justified before God, than when we deal about the law : when we are in hand with the righteousness that justifieth 55 ILufljer a Cable Calk. before God, then we cannot too much disdain nor undervalue the law. The reason is this, that the conscience must have regard and look to nothing else, but only to Christ ; for which cause we must with all diligence endeavour to remove Moses with his law far from us, and out of our sight, when we intend to stand justified before God, and neither to receive nor to entertain any thing, but only the promise in Christ. Of Antinomians. Anno 1541, certain pro positions were brought to Luther as he sat at dinner, importing, that the law might not be preached in the Church, because we were not justified thereby. At the sight whereof, he was moved to anger, and said, Such seducers do come already among our people, while we yet live, what will be done when we are gone ? Let us (said he) give Philip Melanchthon the honour due unto him ; for he teacheth exceed ing well and plainly of the right difference, use, and profit of the law and gospel, and I teach directly also the same, and have thoroughly handled that point in the Epistle to the Gala- 56 ILutfjer g Cable 2Talfc. tians. When the law is cast out of the Church then there is no more acknowledging of sin in the world. For the Gospel reproveth not sin, that being the office of the law, which spiritually describeth and revealeth sin as the transgression of the law. Such speculators are Pestes Ecclesiarum, the plagues of the Church ; they have no certain nor true knowledge of the divine Word. They do even like those that argue in this sort, the fulfilling of the law is love ; therefore we have no law. But these poor ignorant people have no regard to the imperfection of this grace, that it is altogether weak in this our flesh, and that we must daily fight against this weakness, through the Holy Spirit, and that this weakness (while we live) must be under the law. I do much condemn the Antinomians, who, void of all shame, reject the doctrine of the law, whereas the same is both necessary and profit able. 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 57 Eutfjcr g Obit (Calfc. 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. Of the Fulfilling of the Law. St. Paul saith, What the lain could not do, in that it wax weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, &c. That is, Christ is the sum of all, He is the right, and pure meaning and contents of the law. Whoso hath Christ, the same hath rightly fulfilled the law. But to take away the law altogether (whereas it sticketh in nature, and is written in our hearts, and born in us), the same is a thing impossible and against God. And whereas the law of nature is somewhat darker, and speaketh only of works ; therefore Moses and the Holy Ghost do more clearly declare and expound it, 53 Jlutfjtr s STable Calft. and, / specie, do show the same, by nominating those works which God will have us to do, and to leave undone. From hence Christ also saith, / am not come to destroy the law. Carnal people would willingly give that person royal enter tainment which could bring that to pass, and could make it good, that Moses through Christ, is quite taken away. Oh, then we should quickly see what a fine kind of life there would be in the world ! But, God forbid, and keep us from such errors, and suffer us not to live to see the same. The cause that I at the first so harshly spake and wrote against the law was this ; the Chris tian Church was grievously burdened with manifold superstitions and false believings, and Christ was altogether darkened and buried. Therefore I was desirous (through the grace of God, and the Word of the Gospel) to deliver good and godly hearts from such tormenting of consciences ; but I never rejected the law. Childlike Faith. He that can say, I am a child of God through Christ, who is my righ teousness, and despaireth not, although he be 59 Eutfjet s Cable Calk. deficient in good works (as it always faileth us therein), he believeth rightly. But grace is so great that it amazeth a human creature, and is very difficult to be believed. Insomuch that faith giveth the honour to God, that He can and will perform what He promiseth, namely, that He maketh sinners righteous. Rom. iv. It is an exceeding hard matter to believe that God is merciful unto us for the sake of Christ. Oh ! man s heart is too strait and narrow to entertain the same, neither can it easily take hold thereof. When I was a young man (said Luther), and at Eisleben, I went with the rest in procession on the day of Corpus Chrtsti, and had on me my priest s attire ; it happened that I was in such sort affrighted before the sacrament, which Dr. Staupitz carried, that my sweat brake out, being in so great an anguish that I thought I should have fallen down dead. Now when the procession was ended, I confessed and opened my grief to Dr. Staupitz ; he said, Oh, your thoughts are not Christ s. These words I re ceived with joy, and they were very comfortable unto me. But is it not to be lamented that we are so 60 ILuHjrr * STablc fcalfc. wavering and weak in faith ? Christ giveth Himself unto us with all that He is and hath ; He offereth unto us His celestial everlasting wealth, as His grace, remission of sins, eternal righteousness, life and salvation ; He nameth us His brethren and co-heirs ; yet, nevertheless, we are in time of necessity affrighted and do fly from Him, when we have most need of His help and comfort. The little children do stand on the best terms with God Almighty concerning their lives and faith. We old doating fools do torment our selves and have sorrow of heart with our dis- putings touching the Word, whether it be true or not : How can it be possible ? &c. But the children with simple pure faith do hold the same to be certain and true, without all doubting. Of God s Justice and Righteousness. These words (said Luther), God s justice and righteousness, heretofore were like horrible thunder-claps in my conscience ; I was sorely affrighted at hearing of them, and thought, If God be just, then surely He will punish, &c. 61 .Eutijer g ablc (Talft. But -when I began more diligently to consider of the words, then came to my mind this sentence of Habak. ii., The jttst liveth by his faith. Also, The righteousness which is accept able before God, is revealed without the law. Then I presently thought, if the just should live by faith, and that the righteousness which is acceptable before God shall save all those that believe, then surely those words will not terrify poor sinners and sorrowful consciences, but rather will comfort them. In such wise was I refreshed and strengthened, and was assured that God s righteousness is not that wherewith He punisheth as a stern judge, but wherewith He justifieth and saveth sinners which do repent. This I received only of the Holy Ghost. Abraham s Faith. When Abraham (said Luther) shall rise again at the last day, then he will chide us by reason of our unbelief, and will say, I had not the hundredth part of the promises which ye have, and yet I believed. This example of Abraham exceedeth all human natural reason, in that he overcame the paternal 62 Eutfjcr s Cable love wliich he bare -towards his only son Isaac (in whom the promises were, that his seed should multiply as the stars of heaven, and as the sand on the sea-shore), and disregarding all, was more obedient to God, and against the law of nature would have sacrificed and slaughtered his son. What for the space of three days he felt in his breast ; how his heart yearned and panted ; what pauses and trials he had, the .same is not to be expressed. The Word of God the Basis of Faith. The foundation upon which the faith is built, is the Word of God ; whoso hath the same pure is able to stand steadfast, and to get the victory in the combat against the gates of hell. But whoso is not certain of his doctrine and faith, and yet will dispute thereof, the same hath lost. A preacher, yea, every Christian, should and must be certain and sure of his religion and doctrine, and not build upon human thinkings, but must be sure of the cause. St. Paul calleth the .same plerophoria, to the end it may over come all trials and vexations, and may also be .63 Eutfjer s Cable Calft. able to answer the devil and all his angels (yea, also God Himself) without wavering ; for in divine causes we must not go upon uncertainties, but upon sure grounds. Justification by Faith. The article of justi fication and of the remission of sins is the most principal and precious article, very comfortable, and to which Satan is an utter enemy. There fore St. Paul very valiantly triumpheth in grace ; he is continually speaking of grace, grace upon grace, therewith to spite the devil ; for the devil by no means would suffer Christ to rule and govern ; but Christ will rule and gover.n (said Luther), maugre the devil in hell, and all his instruments on earth ; as St. John in his Epistle saith, He that is in you is greater than he which is in the world. The majesty of the glory of the article of justification (said Luther) is altogether unknown to human wit and wisdom, seeing that by nature we are more inclined to attain to the righteous ness of works, than to the bare mercy of God, which is given for nothing, and presented unto us by grace for the sake of Christ. 64 Hutfjct s When Good Works are Pleasing to God. True it is, good works are well pleasing to God, of those which have remission of their sins through faith in Christ, the same also have their reward. But when the heart dependeth and trusteth thereupon, and thinketh thereby to have a gracious God, then, instead of good works, they are in the sight of God stark naught ; for confi dence and trusting must look only on God s mercy in Christ. We must not balance our works with grace, oh, no ! but they must be done, as in obedience ; for we are bound to make this concession to God (who is so good, so gracious, and so merciful a Father) : When we have done all that -we ought to do, yet we are unprofitable servants. A righteous person doth good works unforced and willingly to God s honour, who hath com manded them to be done, and to the good and profit of the neighbour ; for such a person can not choose, but must do good works voluntarily ; like as a good tree which by nature bringeth forth good fruit. ILtttfjrr s Cable STalfc. Prayer without Ceasing. 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 sigliing of the poor, I will up, saith the Lord, &c. In like manner a true Christian always carrieth the cross, though he feeleth it not always. The Elector John of Saxony. In the year 1530, the Emperor, Charles V., summoned a Diet at Augsburg, intending to bring the dif ferences in religion to an agreement ; he at that time, tried all crafty means to draw the said prince elector from the confession of the Gospel ; but the prince (disregarding all flat tering friendships, malice, and threatenings), would not yield, no, not the breadth of an hair, from the true religion and Word of God, though he was compassed with many eminent dangers ; but, on the contrary, he cheered up and com forted his learned divines (which he brought with him to the Diet), as Philip Melanchthon, Justus Jonas, George Spalatin, and John Agri- 66 ILutfjrr s Cable Calk. cola ; and charged those of his council to tell his divines, That they should deal uprightly to the honour and praise of God, and that they should regard neither his person, his countries, nor people. Therefore this prince elector held constantly over God s Word, with an excelling princely courage ; for, if he had wavered, then all his council would have let go hands and feet, and have forsaken the Gospel. Providential Deliverance. In the year 1539, the Papists secretly practised, by warlike pre parations, utterly to destroy the Protestant state in Germany. For Charles the Emperor (under colour to treat upon articles of peace), ordered an assembly to meet at Frankfort on the Main. To which assembly came John Frederick, Prince Elector of Saxony ; Frederick, Prince Elector Palatine ; Joachim, Prince Elector Brandenburg ; Philip, Landgrave of Hessen, and other princes. The emperor sent thither his councillors, to lead the Protestants by the nose ; for secretly he had fixed twenty-nine thousand choice soldiers about Bremen, and Luneburg, which on a sudden should E 2 67 Eutfjcr s JZTable JTalfc. have fallen upon the Protestants. But the Elector of Saxony and Landgrave Philip (by God s care and providence) drew that army to their side, insomuch that even those which should have been employed for the rooting out of the Gospel, were sent by God to fight for maintaining and establishing of the same. At that time (said Luther) died at Frankfort that arch-enemy to the Gospel, George, Prince of Saxony, which great link being by God torn from the chain, all preparations of war ceased. Thanks be to Thee, everlasting God, in that Thou wakest, when we sleep. Let us therefore pray, and say, Domine, dissipa Gentes, quce bella volunt. Elevation of the Sacrament. The elevation of the sacrament (said Luther) was taken out of the Old Testament ; for the Jews observed two points, the one called thrutna, the other trumpha. Thruma was this : When they took an offering out of a basket, and lifted it up above them (like as they now lift up the oblate), and showed the same to our Lord God, after which they either burned or ate it. Trumpha 63 ILutfjcr s STable Ealfe. was an oftering which they lifted not up above them, but showed it towards the four corners of the world, like as the Papists in the mass do make crosses, and other apish toys, towards the four corners of the world. When Luther first began to celebrate mass in Popedom, and to make such crossings, he said, " how am I plagued with the mass, and especially with the crossings," which he never could hit right. Ah, Lord God ! we were in those times poor plagued people, and yet it was nothing but mere idolatry. They terrified some in such sort with the words of consecration (especially those that were good and godly, and meant seriously), that they trembled and quaked at the pro nouncing of these words, Hoc est corpus meum, for they were to pronounce them, sine ulla hccsitatione : he that stammered, or left out but one word, committed a great sin. Moreover, the words were to be spoken without any strange cogitations, in such sort, that only he must hear them that spake them, and none of the people standing by. Such an honest friar (said Luther) was I fifteen years together; the. Lord of His mercy forgive me. The elevation is utterly to be rejected, by reason of the adoring thereof. 69 Exitfjrr s Table JTalk. Some churches have seen that we have put down the elevation, and have followed us therein, which giveth us great satisfaction. The Cause of the Sacrament. The opera tive cause (said Luther) of this sacrament, is the word and institution of Christ, who ordained it. The substance is bread and wine ; they prefigure the true body and blood of Christ, which is spiritually received by faith ; the final cause of instituting the same, is the benefit and the fruit, the strengthening of our faith, not doubting that Christ s body and blood was given and shed for us, and that our sins by Christ s death certainly are forgiven. Now these graces and benefits we have obtained, in that He is our Saviour, not a stern and angry Judge ; our Redeemer and Deliverer, not an accuser nor a bailiff that hath taken us prisoners. For though in Adam we are altogether sinners and guilty of everlasting death, and condemned, but now, by the blood of Christ, we are justified, re deemed, and sanctified ; therefore let us take hold of this by faith. 70 ILutljrr E Is Rome the Mother Church? I much marvel (said Luther) that the Pope boasteth, and extolleth his church at Rome to be the chiefest, whereas the church at Jerusalem is the mother ; for there the doctrine was first revealed, and set forth by Christ the Son of God Himself, and His Apostles. After the same was the church at Antioch, from whence the Christians have their name. Thirdly was the church at Alexandria ; the Romish was the fourth ; and the churches of the Galatians, of the Corinthians, Ephesians, of the Philippians, &c. were also before the Romish. Is it so great a matter that St. Peter was at Rome ? (which hitherto never hath been, nor ever will, nor can be proved), whereas our blessed Saviour Christ Himself was at Jerusalem, where all the articles of our Christian faith were made ; where St. James received his orders, and was bishop, and where the pillars of the Church had their seat. Qualities of a Good Preacher. A good preacher (said Luther) should have these pro perties and virtues : First, to teach orderly. Secondly, he should have a ready wit. Thirdly, 71 Cable Calfc. he should be eloquent. Fourthly, He should have a good voice. Fifthly, a good memory. Sixthly, he should know when to make an end. Seventhly, he should be sure of his doctrine. Eighthly, he should venture and engage body and blood, wealth and honour by the Word. Ninthly, he should suffer himself to be mocked and jeered of every one. A preacher (said Luther) should be a logician, and a rhetorician, that is, he must be able to teach, and to admonish ; when he preacheth touching an article, so must he first distinguish it, what it is properly called. Secondly, he must define, describe, and show what it is. Thirdly, he must produce sentences out of the Scriptures, therewith to prove* and strengthen it. Fourthly, he must with examples explain and declare it. Fifthly, he must adorn it with simi litudes ; and lastly, he must admonish and rouse up the lazy, earnestly reprove the disobedient, false doctrine, and the authors thereof; yet so that it proceedeth not out of malice and envy, but only God s honour, the profit and saving health of the people. 72 Hutfjcr s Rafale Calfc. A World-pleasing Preacher. First, he must be learned. Secondly, he must have a fine deliveiy. Thirdly, he must have neat and polite words. Fourthly, he must be a proper person, whom women and maids may love. Fifthly, he must not take but give money. Sixthly, he must preach such things as people willingly hear. Discrimination in Preaching. A preacher most necessarily must know how to make a right difference between sinners ; namely, the impenitent and secure, &c., and the sorrowful and penitent ; otherwise the whole Scripture is locked up. As Dr. Amsdorf began to preach before the princes at Schmalcalden, with great earnestness he said : The Gospel belongeth to the poor and sorrowful, and not to you princes, great persons, and courtiers, that live in con tinual joy and delight, in secureness, void of all tribulation. We should make the hearers prone and willing to hear the sequel of our sermons ; what a change will follow upon the regenerate. This spiritual doctrine of the Gospel troubleth 73 Euttjer s Cable Calk. and tormenteth even the good and godly ; and respecting old people, they have also need of the preaching of the law. As we see how diligently St. Paul in his Epistles treats of the law ; he insisteth that they which are become children by grace and faith in Christ, should show themselves thankful towards God and be obedient unto Him, and resist the sins which are yet struggling within us : as where he saith, crucify the flesh, and mortify the deeds of the body ; and, Cod forbid that ye should now live in sin. For we see that not only the law maketh hypocrites, but also the doctrine of grace. Therefore let us mark this difference well be tween penitent and impenitent sinners. The Pope s Three Crowns. The Pope hath three crowns : the first is directly against God, for he condemneth religion. The second is against the emperor, for he rejecteth temporal government. The third is against the common people, for he condemneth the state and condi tion of the house government, forbiddeth the priests and other his shavelings the state of matrimony and house-keeping. 74 3Lutf)rr s The Pope is Antichrist. Hereby it plainly appeareth that the Pope is the right Antichrist, for those that transgress his statutes are more severely punished than they which offend against God s laws and Word. In such sort the Pope exalteth himself over and above God. Therefore he is properly called the Anti christ, in that he sitteth in the temple and church of God, and exalteth himself over all that is called God, and that is worshipped. The Turk is not the Antichrist, for he sitteth not in God s Church ; he is a wicked beast, for out of God s Church is no Antichrist, but the Pope sitteth in the Holy Church, and taketh upon him the honour and worshipping which is due to God only ; therefore the Pope is the right Antichrist. Will-Worship and False Religion. All manner of religion, let it have never so great a name and lustre of holiness, when people will serve God without His Word and command, is nothing else but plain idolatry ; and the more holy and spiritual such a religion seemeth to be, the more hurtful and venomous it is ; for it 75 Eutfjcr s Cable Calk. leadeth people away from the faith of Christ, and maketh them to rely and depend upon their own strength, works, and righteousness. In like manner, all kinds of orders, fastings, prayers, hairy shirts, the holiest works of the Capuchins (which in Popedom are held to be the most holy of all), are altogether works of the flesh ; for they hold that they are holy, and shall be saved, not through Christ (whom they behold and fear as a severe and angry Judge), but through the rules of their Order. No man (said Luther) can make the Papists believe that the private mass is the greatest blaspheming of God and the highest idolatry upon earth ; the like to which abomination hath never been in Christendom since the time of the Apostles : for they therein are blinded and hardened, therefore all their understanding and knowledge of God, and of all divine matters, is perverted and erroneous. They hold that to be the most upright and greatest service of God which, in truth, is the greatest and most abomi nable idolatry. And again, they hold that for idolatry which in truth is the upright and most acceptable service of God ; as the acknowledg ing of Christ, and believing in Him. 76 3Lutf)cr s Cable Calft. Of Purgatory. God hath in His Word laid before us two ways ; one, which by faith leadeth to salvation ; the other, by unbelief to damna tion. As for purgatory, no place in Scripture maketh mention thereof, neither must we any way allow thereof; for it darkeneth and undervalueth the grace, the benefits, and the merits of our blessed sweet Saviour Christ Jesus. The bounds of purgatory extend not beyond this world ; for here in this life the upright, good, and godly Christians are well and soundly scoured and purged. The Bible and the Works of the Fathers. When God s Word is by the Fathers expounded, construed, and glossed, then, in my judgment, it is even like to one who straineth milk through a coal-sack, which must needs spoil and make the milk black ; even so likewise God s Word of itself is sufficiently pure, clean, bright, and clear. But through the doctrines, books, and writings of the fathers it is very sorely darkened, falsified, and spoiled. 77 ILutfjcr s Cable Calft. About a General Council. Anno 1533, Paulus Vergerius, the pope s legate, came to Wittenburg to cite Luther to the Council ; Luther said unto him, I will be there, God willing ; but ye papists (said he) labour in vain, ye strangle yourselves with your exploits and devices ; for although ye hold a council, yet ye treat nothing of wholesome doctrine, nothing of the sacraments, nothing of faith, which only justifieth and saveth, nothing of good works, which God hath commanded, and nothing of an honest kind of life and godly conversation ; but ye only treat of ridiculous and childish toys, namely, what long gowns and garments the spiritual persons shall wear, how broad the girdles must be, how big and broad their bald crowns must be shorn, how and after what sort friars and nuns must be reformed and more strictly kept ; ye treat also of the differences of meat and drink, and such like foolish fopperies. When Luther had ended this his speech, the pope s legate turned himself from Luther to wards his adjuncts, which were joined in commission with him, and said, Truly this man hitteth the nail right on the head concerning the whole principal dealings and proceedings. 78 ILutfjrr s Cable Olft. When the legate had taken his leave of Luther, and was gone, then Luther continued his dis course and said : Ah, loving Lord God ! the papists despair of their enterprises, practices, and councils, for they see and feel that Germany (which now, God be praised, hath her eyes opened, and is enlightened through the Gospel) will henceforward do no more what formerly, through superstition and idolatry, it hath been bewitched and befooled to do and suffer ; Ger many will now no more be cozened and deceived, neither by Imperial Diets, nor with councils, be they never so wise and crafty. Charles V. at Augsburg. 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 79 SLutfjer s Cable Calk. 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. O wonder above all wonders ! The Fathers concerning Faith. Behold what great darkness is in the books of the Fathers concerning faith ; for if the article of justification be darkened, then is it impossible to smother the grossest errors of mankind. St. Jerome, indeed, wrote upon Matthew, upon the Epistles to the Galatians and Titus ; but, alas ! very coldly. Ambrose wrote six books upon the First Book of Moses ; but they are very slender. Austin wrote nothing to the purpose concerning faith ; for he was first roused up and made a man by the Pelagians, when he strove against them. The Fathers, indeed, So ILutfjrr s Cable STalft. taught well and finely, but they could not openly deliver it, because they had no combating nor striving : I can find no exposition upon the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, wherein any thing is showed and taught pure and up rightly. O (said Luther), what a happy time have we now, in regard to the purity of the doctrine ; but, alas ! we little esteem it. The loving Fathers taught better than they wrote. After the Fathers came the pope, and fell in with his mischievous traditions and human ordinances, and (like a breaking water-cloud and deluge) overflowed the Church, snared the consciences touching eating of meats, touching friars hoods, masses, touching his dirty laws and decrees, insomuch as daily and continually he brought abominable errors into the Church of Christ. Respect for the Fathers. Although it be- cometh not me to censure the Fathers (I being in comparison of them a little worm and of no repute) ; yet, notwithstanding, the more I read their books, the more I find myself offended ; for they were but men, and (to speak the truth) F 81 fLutfrfr 8 Cable Calfc. with their repute and authority they did under value and suppress the books and writings of the sacred Apostles of Christ. From whence the papists were not ashamed to say, What is the Scripture ? We must read the holy Fathers and teachers, for they drew and sucked the honey out of the Scripture. As if God s Word were not to be understood and conceived by none but by themselves ! Ah ! The Fathers were but men as we are, therefore we must well consider what they say ; we must look to their lips. From hence Austin laboured wonderfully, who had stumbled and offended through human traditions, yet never theless he was strong and powerful in the Holy Scriptures, and had a fine judgment and under standing in causes : he was sharpened by those heretics the Pelagians ; he affected the state of matrimony, spake well of good bishops (who then were ministers), but those times vexed and offended him much : if he now were living, he would, doubtless, be enraged to see and hear the abominations of the pope, in boasting of St. Peter s patrimony and inheritance ; the same St. Austin would not endure. To con clude : Faithful Christians should hear only the 82 Matter s Cable legation or embassage of our blessed Saviour Christ, and hearken to what He saith. St. Augustine and St. Jerome. Among all the writings of the Fathers, I took most delight to read St. Austin s works ; but since the time that (by God s grace) I understood St. Paul, I could esteem nothing of any Father whatsoever ; they are all of very small value. At the first I willingly read Austin, but when the door of St. Paul was opened unto me (insomuch that I knew what was the righteousness of faith), then had I done with Austin. The best and chiefest sentences in Austin are these : Sins are forgiven (saith he), not that they are no more present, but in that they are not imputed. Likewise he saith, The law as then is fulfilled, when that is pardoned which is not fulfilled nor performed Hieronymus (said Luther) should not be numbered among the teachers of the Church, for he was an heretic ; yet nevertheless I believe that he is saved through faith in Christ. He speaketh nothing of Christ, but only carrieth the name in his mouth. I know none among F 2 83 Eutljrr s STablc Calk. the teachers whom I hate like Hieronymus ; for he writeth only of fasting, of victual, of virginity, &c. He teacheth nothing neither of faith, nor of hope, neither of love, nor of the works of faith. Truly I would not willingly have entertained- him for my chaplain. John Huss. Truly he was an honest and a learned man, as is to be seen in his book of the Church, which I love exceedingly well ; indeed there was in him a Christian s weakness ; yet, nevertheless, God s power raiseth him up again, The continual combat of the flesh and spirit in Huss is sweet and delightful to behold. Every man s witness standeth and will remain, showing that Jerome of Prague was an elo quent, but Huss a very learned man. He accomplished more than the whole world was able to do, but innocently was condemned. From that time popedom by degrees began to fall. Constance, since the death of Huss, has grown a miserable poor city, insomuch that I do believe God s punishment struck it, in regard the citizens therein armed themselves, led and conveyed that holy man, Huss, to the fire. In Eutljrr s Cable STalfc. Huss the Holy Ghost was powerful, who so joyfully and constantly held over God s Word against so many people and nations ; namely, against Germany, Italy, Spain, England, and France, which were assembled together in the Council at Constance, against whose assaults, cries, and alarms he only stood, was constrained to bear them, and thereupon was burned to ashes. Even so (said Luther) shall I (God willing) be more secure in death than in life. Tempted of the Devil. I (said Luther) am a Doctor of Holy Scripture, and for many years have preached Christ ; yet, to this day, I am not able to put Satan off, nor to drive him away from me, as willingly as I would ; neither am I able so to comprehend Christ and to take hold on Him, as in Holy Scripture He is placed be fore me ; but the devil continually seeketh how to put another Christ into my mind. Yet, never theless, we ought to render humble thanks to Almighty God, who hitherto hath preserved us by His Holy Word, through faith and by prayer, so that we know how to walk before Him in humility and fear, and not to depend or presume on our own wisdom, righteousness, strength, and power, but to cheer and comfort ourselves in Christ, who is always more than sufficiently strong and powerful ; and although we be weak and faint, yet we continually vanquish and over come through His power and strength in us poor, weak, and feeble creatures. For this may His Holy Name be blessed and magnified for evermore. Amen. Conflict wfth the Devil. It is almost in credible (said Luther) that God commandeth us (weak flesh and blood) to enter combat with the devil, and to strive and fight with so powerful a spirit as he is, and hath given into our hands no other weapon, but only His Word, which by faith we take hold on, and therewith we beat and overcome him ; the same must needs grieve and vex that great and powerful enemy. But in such combating, it is very difficult and heavy, especially in that we know the devil to be the devil ; for no man is able with words to express, much less to believe, how that maledicted majesty can disguise and transform itself into an angel of light. Eutfycr s Cable 2Talfc. Therefore, if thou intendest to resist Satan, then look that thou be well armed and weaponed with God s Word, and with prayer. For if thou art secure, and without God s Word, then the devil is near thee, and lieth upon thee ; thou hast no way to resist him, but only and alone through God s Word and prayer. For he can not endure those blows of defence ; otherwise, though thou givest him once his dispatch, and turnest him away, yet he will quickly return again, especially if thou art secure, and thinkest that now all is safe. Cheerfulness amidst Trouble. When tribu lations approach, then (said Luther) excommu nicate them in the name of Christ Jesus, and say, God hath forbidden me to receive that coin, because it is minted by the devil ; there fore we reject it, as being prohibited. When heavy temptations come upon thee, then expel them by what means thou best mayest ; talk with good friends of such things as thou takest delight in. But here a man may say, Without due consideration, nothing that is good can be effected. Hereunto I answer, We 87 r s Cable Calfc. must make a difference of cogitatiorfs. Those of the understanding do produce no melancholy, but the cogitations of the will cause sadness ; as, when one is grieved at a thing ; or when one doth sigh and complain, those are melancholy and sad cogitations, but the understanding is not melancholy. When I write against the pope, I am not melancholy ; for then 1 labour with the brains and understanding ; then I write with joy of heart ; insomuch, that not long since Dr. Reisenpusch said unto me, I much marvel that you can be so merry ; if the case were mine, it would go near to kill me. Whereupon I answered him, and said, Neither the pope, nor all his shaven retinue, can make me sad : for I know that they are Christ s enemies , therefore I fight against him with joyful courage. Since the time that Silvester wrote against me, and in his book gave himself this title, The Master of the Holy Palace, and that I saw the bigot wrote such stuff as constrained me thereat to laugh and jest ; I say, since that time, I scorned him, his master the pope, and all his popish crew. 88 "ILutljrt s JTablc Calfc. Defence against Melancholy. As I said before, so I say still, That all heaviness of mind and melancholy cometh of the devil ; for he is the lord of death (Hebrews ii.), especially when a man is possessed with such thoughts as, that God is not gracious unto him ; or, that God will have no mercy upon him, &c. There fore whosoever thou art, that art possessed with such heavy thoughts, know for certain, that the same is a work and driving of the devil : for God hath sent His Son into the world, not to affright but to comfort sinners. From hence these and the like sentences are oftentimes ex pressed in Holy Scripture ; Rejoice: be joyful in the Lord. Be not afraid. Be not discouraged. Be of good comfort, I have overcome the world. Therefore in such tribulations thou oughtest to be of good courage, and to think, that hence forward thou art not the child of an human creature, but of God through faith in Christ, in whose name thou art baptised ; therefore the spear of death cannot enter into thee ; he hath no right unto thee, much less can he hurt or prejudice thee, for he is everlastingly swallowed up through Christ. It is better for a Christian (said Luther) to 3Lutfjrr s Obit be sorrowful than to be secure, as the people of the world be. Well is he (saith the wise man, Prov. xxviii.) that standeth always in fear ; yet so, that he knoweth he hath in heaven a gracious God, for Christ s sake, as the Psalm saith, The Lord s delight is in them that fear Him, dn d put their trust in His mercy. No man ought to lay a cross upon himself, or to make choice of a tribulation (as is done in popedom) : but if a cross or tribulation cometh upon him, then let him suffer it patiently, and know that it is good and profitable for him. Therefore I hope that our loving Lord God will graciously help us, and put an end to our tribulations. In the meantime let us cheer up ourselves in patience, and let us with joy and comfort keep in mind what St. Paul saith, Through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of heaven. And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution. A True Believer must have Trouble. A true Christian (said Luther) should be a joyful creature ; and although we must suffer many 90 Eutfjcr s STablc plagues and tribulations outwardly and inwardly, both of the world and the devil, let it go on, let us not be dismayed, but call upon God and have patience ; He is a help in time of need ; He will not leave us comfortless, nor let us die in tribu lations, for they are good and necessary for us, to the end God s strength, in our weakness, may be the stronger. Let us behold how, and in what manner the holy patriarchs, the prophets, and apostles were dejected and discouraged. How then should we go scotfree, that are poor, miserable, and weak worms ? The Lord our God is a God of the humble and perplexed hearts which are in need, in tribulation, and in danger, in whom He showeth His power ; for if we were strong, then should we be proud and haughty. God cannot show His power, nor make proof thereof, but only in our weakness : He will not quench the glimmer ing flax, neither will He break in pieces the bruised reed. God loveth tribulations, and He also hateth them ; He loveth them, when we thereby are stirred up to pray, and to trust in God ; again, He hateth them, when by reason thereof we grow faint and dismayed. Therefore, when we 91 l/utljcr s Cable are well, then let us sing to God a. Psalm and praise Him ; but if we be not well and merry, then let us call upon God, and pray ; for the Lord hath pleasure in them that fear Him, and wait upon His mercy. Letter to a Father Mourning for a Son Lost. Although it be nowhere forbidden in Holy Scripture to mourn and to be grieved for the death of a godly child or friend (for we have many examples of the godly, who have bewailed the death of their children and friends), yet notwithstanding, there ought to be a measure in sorrowing and mourning. Therefore, loving Doctor, you do well in mourning and lamenting for the death of your son. But let not the same exceed the measure of a Christian, in refusing to be comforted. I would have you, first, to consider, that God gave that son unto you, and took him from you again. Secondly, I would wish you to follow the example of that just and godly man, Job, who when he had lost all his children, all his wealth and substance, at last said, Have we received good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil f The Lord 92 Eutfjrt s Cable gave, find the Lord hath taken away, Messed be the name of the Lord, &c. He rightly considered, that both good and evil cometh of the Lord ; even so do you like wise, then you shall see that you have much greater gifts and benefits left of God unto you, than the evil which you now feel. But you look now only upon the evil, namely, that your son is dead ; and, in the meantime, you forget the glorious treasury of God, namely, that He hath given unto you the knowledge of His Word, also a good and peaceable conscience, which alone should overweigh all evil which may happen unto you ; why then do you plague and torment yourself with the death of your son ? But in case the loss be great and heavy, yet it is no new thing, you are not alone in that case. He liveth now with Christ ; oh ! would to God that I had finished my course ; I would not wish myself here again. Your suffering is only a corporal cross. You are a good logician, and you teach others that art ; make use thereo. yourself at this time ; put the same in practice, define, divide, separate and conclude, learn to distinguish that which is spiritual, and to sepa rate the same from that which is corporal. 93 ILutfjtt s Cable Calk It was a fine speech of Maximilian, the Emperor, wherewith he comforted King Philip, his son, who deeply bewailed the death of a godly, a faithful, and an honest able man that was slain in a battle. His words were these : Loving Philip ! Thou must accustom thyself to these misfortunes ; thou shalt lose yet many of those whom thou lovest. Troubles about Predestination and Election. Concerning predestination, it is best to begin below at Christ, as then we both hear and find the Father ; for all those that have begun at the top have broke their necks. I have been well and thoroughly plagued and tormented with such cogitations of predestination ; I would needs know how God intended to deal with me, &c. But at last, God be praised, I clean left them ; I took hold again of God s revealed Word ; higher I was not able to bring it, for no human creature can ever search out the celestial will of God ; the same God hideth for the sake of the devil, to the end the crafty spirit may be deceived and put to confuston : the revealed will of God the devil hath learned of us ; but 94 3Lutfjer s Cable GTalft, God reserveth His secret will to Himself, and concealeth the same. It is sufficient for us to learn and know Christ in His humanity, in which the Father hath revealed Himself. But we, like fools, will gabble and search after God s secrets ; therefore such as thereupon plunge themselves into despair are rightly served. Monastic Life. St. Bernard was the best friar, whom I love above all the rest ; yet he dared to say, It were a sign of damnation, if one remained not in the monastery. St. Bernard lived in dangerous times under the Emperors Henry the Fourth and Fifth, under Emperor Conrad, and Lotharius ; he was an experienced friar, but he gave an evil example. The friars, espe cially the Minorites and Franciscans, had the best and easiest days through hypocrisy ; they touched no money, yet they were the richest, and lived in great quietness. The evil friar s life began betimes, when people under the colour of piety abandoned temporal dealing : this was and is very hateful, and produced much loathing ; but the estate and calling of a true Christian (which God ordained and founded) 95 3Ltttfjcr s Cable Calk. consisteth of three hierarchies, namely, in domestic, in temporal, and church govern ment. Austin, who although he lived in the good and acceptable time, yet he was deceived through the crowning of monastery nuns and virgins ; and although he gave them leave to marry, yet he said they did unright in marrying, and sinned against God. Afterwards when the time of wrath and blindness came, and the truth was hunted away, and lying got the upper hand, then the generation of poor women was contemned under the colour of great holiness, which in truth was mere hypocrisy. But Christ with one sentence confuteth all their arguments ; namely, God created them male and female. False Brethren. The greatest and fiercest strife which Christians have, is with false brethren. If a false brother would openly confess and say, I am a Pilate, a Herod, a Caiaphas, or an Annas, that is, if he would put off the name of a believing Christian, and profess himself an open enemy to Christ, then we would with patience suffer and endure 96 ILwtfjtr s all the evil that such a one were able to work against us. But insomuch that they will carry the name of Christians, the same we neither may, can, nor will endure, in that they speak and act what belongeth not to Christians. Life a Voyage. Our life (said Luther) is like unto the sailing of a ship ; for like as the mariners in the ship have before them a port or haven, towards which they direct their course, and where they shall be secure from all danger ; even so the promise of everlasting life is made unto-us ; that we in the same, as in a safe port, or haven, should rest calmly and secure. But seeing the ship wherein we are is weak ; and the winds and waves do beat into and upon us, as though they would overwhelm us, therefore we have truly need of an understanding and expe rienced pilot, who with his counsel and advice might rule and govern the ship, that it run not on a rock, or utterly sink and go down. Such a pilot is our blessed Saviour Christ Jesus. 97 ILutfjer s Cable Prayer as a Father. Loving Heavenly Father, forasmuch as Thou hast placed me in the honour of Thy Name and office, and wilt also have me to be named and honoured a father, grant me grace, and bless me, that I may rule and main tain my loving wife, children and servants, divinely and Christian- like. Give me wisdom and strength well to govern and to bring them up j give also unto them good hearts and wills to follow Thy doctrine and to be obedient. Amen. The Lord Ruleth. Potentates and princes in these days (said Luther), when they take in hand an enterprise, do not pray before they begin ; but they make to themselves this account and reckoning, three times three makes nine, twice seven is fourteen, this faileth not, &c. ; that is, in this manner must the business surely take effect ; therefore our Lord God saith unto them, For whom then do ye hold me, for a cypher ? Do I sit here above in vain, and to no purpose ? You shall therefore know, that I will turn your accounts quite contrary, and will make them all false reckoning. Eutfjcr s Arabic Ealft. Henry VIII. I am lately informed that Henry, King of England, is fallen from the Gospel again, hath commanded upon pain of death that the people shall receive the sacra ment only under one kind, and that spiritual persons, friars and nuns, shall perform their vows, and tear in pieces their marriages, whereas before he had done quite the contrary. At this the .papists will jeer, and boast : indeed it is a great offence, but let it go : that king is still the old Hintz, as in my first book I pictured him ; he will surely find his judge ; I never liked his resolutions, in that he would kill the pope s body, but preserve his soul ; that is, his false doctrine. The king was always unconstant and of a wavering mind. The Augsburg Confession. As Emperor Charles read our confession at Augsburg, he openly spake these words : I would wish this doctrine were taught throughout the whole world. Likewise said Prince George, I know very well that many abuses are in the Church ; if the same were by the pope abolished, then I would willingly entertain and receive this G 2 99 Eutfjer s Cable doctrine ; but I will not receive it of a runaway friar, meaning me. If (said Prince George) God caused His Word to be preached through great potentates and princes, then we would entertain it. Yea (said Luther), standeth the case so ? But God thought it more fitting to make use of poor fishermen, of Peter, of Andrew, &c. God had need of Amos the shepherd, He will none of your approbations. At the Imperial Diet at Augsburg, Emperor Charles had eight-and-thirty chancellors attending on him. A Downcast Man. Luther, at Wittenberg, discerning a very melancholy man (whom for merly he well knew), said unto him, Ah ! human creature, what doest thou ? Hast thou nothing else in hand but to think of thy sins, on death, and damnation ? Turn thine eyes quickly away, and look hither to this man Christ, of whom it is written, He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, borh of the Virgin Mary, suffered, died, buried, descended into hell, the third day arose again from the dead, and ascended itp into heaven, &c. Wherefore doest thou think that all this was done ? Verily it was that thou shouldest comfort 100 Eutfjer s able Calfc. thyself against death and sin ; therefore forbear, be not afraid, neither do thou faint, for truly thou hast no cause : for Christ suffered death for thee, and prevailed for thy comfort and defence, and for that cause He sitteth at the right hand of God His Heavenly Father to deliver thee. Legends of Saints. Few of the legends are pure ; the legends of the martyrs are least suspected, as they who proved their faith, and sealed the same with their blood. The legends of the friars, especially of the hermits, which dwell all alone from people, called anchorites, are abominable ; for they have many strange, horrible, and lying miracles and fooleries, touching wonderful moderation, chastity, and nurture. I hold much of those saints which are not particularly known, which do live after a public way like other people, without hypo crisy ; they boast not, neither do they permit themselves to be noted. 101 Eutfjer s liable Calk. A Good General. A valiant and brave soldier seeketh rather to preserve one citizen and man, than to destroy a thousand enemies, as Scipio the Roman general said. Therefore an upright soldier beginneth a war not lightly without urgent cause. Upright and true soldiers and captains make not many words ; they are discreet, they discourse not much, for they have seen people ; when they speak, then the deed is therewith. Paris University in the Sixteenth Century. Paris in France is the most famous and sur passing school, wherein are above twenty thousand students. The divines have the most pleasant place in the city, a particular street ; at both ends are strong gates, called the Sor- bona ; named, as I take it, of the Sorbis apples that grow on the Dead Sea, which on the outside are very fair to behold, but within they are full of ashes. Even so is the University at Paris, where a multitude of scholars are, but she is the mother of many errors. When they dispute, then they cry confusedly among themselves like drunken country clowns at a May-game, Latin, 1 02 Eutfjcr s Cable Calk. Italian, and French, one through another. Afterwards they stamp with their feet, to the end silence may be kept. No man may be made a doctor in divinity except he hath studied ten years in their unprofitable sophistry. The respondent must sit a whole day, from six in the morning until six at night, and attend the disputation ; must answer every one. When they publicly promoted doctors of divinity at Burges in France, they gave to each of them a fish angle, therewith to catch people. Jews and Christians. The Jews (said Luther) must be encountered with strong arguments, as where Jeremiah speaketh touching Christ, Be hold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth, in His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUS NESS. This argument the Jews are not able to solve ; and forasmuch as they refuse to grant that this sentence is not spoken of Christ, 103 ILutfjcv s Cable Calk. therefore of necessity they must give and show unto us another king descended from David, who should govern so long as the sun and moon endure, as the promises of the prophets do sound. The poor blind and hardened Jews do boast of the righteousness of the law, whereas they are not able to fulfil the same ; yea, such is their zeal for the law, they really blaspheme God, for out of the Land of Promise they were not to observe the law. To conclude, inasmuch as the Jews have been forsaken now above fifteen hundred years, a nation without govern ment, without laws, without prophets, and without temple. This argument they are not able to solve, it striketh them to the ground like a thunder-clap ; they are able to shew none other reason nor cause for the same than their sins. Two Rabbis of the Jews (said Luther), named Schamaria and Jacob, came to me at Witten berg, desiring of me letters of safe conduct, which I granted unto them. With the same they were well pleased, only they earnestly besought me, that I would leave out the word Tola, that is, Jesus " crucified " ; for they cannot forbear, but must needs blaspheme the name 104 Hutrjcv s Cable Calfe. Jesus ; they exceedingly hate that song which we used to sing in the Church, Christ is risen from the dead. They said, It is most wonderful that so many thousands of innocent people have been slaughtered, touching whom there is no mention made, only Jesus, the crucified, must always be remembered ; His death cannot be forgotten. Another Jew repaired unto me at Wittenberg (said Luther), and told me, he was very desirous to be baptised, and made a Christian, and said, he would first go to Rome to see the chiefest head of Christendom. From this his intention, myself, Philip Melanchthon, and other divines, laboured to frustrate and hinder in the strongest measure : for we feared, when he should behold the offences and knaveries at Rome, that he might thereby be scared from Christendom. But the Jew went to Rome, and when he had sufficiently seen abominable things acted there, he returned unto us again, desiring to be baptised, and said, now I will willingly worship the God of the Christians, for He is a patient God. Can He endure and suffer such wicked ness and villainy at Rome, so can He suffer and endure all the vices and knaveries in the world. 105 3Lutfjet s 2Tablc Calft. Music. Music is one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God, to which Satan is a bitter enemy, therewith many tribulations and evil cogitations are hunted away. It is one of the best arts, the notes give life to the text ; it expelleth melancholy, as we see on King Saul. Kings and princes ought to preserve and main tain music, for great potentates and rulers ought to protect good and liberal arts and laws ; and although private people have desire thereunto and love the same, yet their ability cannot pre serve and maintain it. We read in the Bible, that the good and godly kings maintained and paid singers. Music is the best solace for a sad and sorrowful mind, through which the heart is refreshed and settled again in peace, as is said by Virgil, Tu Calamos inflare leves, ego dicere -versus : Sing thou the notes, I will sing the text. Music is a half discipline and school mistress, that maketh people more gentle and meek, more modest and understanding. The base and evil fiddlers and minstrels serve thereto, so that we see and hear how fine an art music is ; for white can never be better known, than when black is held against it. 1 06 Singing to be taught in all Schools. We must of necessity maintain music in schools ; a schoolmaster ought to have skill in music, otherwise I would not regard him ; neither should we ordain young fellows to the office of preaching, except they have been well exercised and practised in the school of music. Music is a fair gift of God, and near allied to divinity ; I would not for a great matter be destitute of the small skill in music which I have. The youth ought to be brought up and accustomed to this art, for it maketh fine and expert people. Lawyers and Divines. Ye Lawyers take heed that ye tread not us divines under your feet ; if ye do, then be assured that we will sting your heels. If I intended to study but two years in the laws, I would be better learned therein than Dr. Jeronymus Schurf; for I would dis course touching causes, as in truth they are and ought to be understood of themselves either uprightly or unjustly ; but he contesteth only about words, he goeth not upon the ground to speak of the plain truth, but he resteth upon a 107 Eutfjer s Rafale Calfe. Quos, which he may screw every way : they talk much, and make many words, but without understanding. Dr. Schurf may justly be called Dr. Quos. The doctrine of the lawyers is nothing but merely a Nisi, that is, unless this or that; Nisi must be in every case ; but divinity goeth not about with Nisi, but it is certain, and hath a constant and sure ground which neither faileth nor deceiveth. Lawyers have need of the help and assistance of divines, but we have no need at all in divinity of their voice and part-taking. Pilate s Character and Conduct. Pilate held stiffly over the Roman laws and rights ; he would not that the innocent (and such as were not openly convicted in an offence) should be exe cuted and slain without hearing of the cause ; therefore he propounded all manner of civil conditions, to the end he might have released Christ ; but when they threatened him with the Emperor s disfavour, then he was dazzled, and forsook the Imperial laws ; thought, it is but the loss of one man, who is both poor, and there- - 1 08 ILutljcr s Cable Calk. withal contemned ; no man taketh His part ; what hurt can I receive by His death ? Better it is that one man die, than that the whole nation be against me. Dr. Mathesius and Pommer debated about this question, Why Pilate scourged Christ, and said, What is truth ? For the one alleged, that Pilate did it out of compassion ; but the other said, It was done out of tyranny and contempt. Whereupon Luther said, Pilate was a worldly man : he scourged Christ out of great compas sion, to the end that thereby he might still the insatiable wrath and raging of the Jews. And in that he said to Christ, What is truth ? He would therewith give us to understand thus much, as if he had said, What wilt Thou dispute concerning truth, in these wicked times ? Truth is here of no value, &c. But Thou must think upon some other trick, and upon the lawyer s quiddits, as then happily Thou mayest be released. Wealth is the Least Gift of God. Riches is the smallest thing on earth, and the least gift that God hath bestowed on mankind. What is it in 109 ILutfjer s Rafale Calk. comparison of God s Word ? yea, what is it to be compared with corporal gifts ; as beauty, health, &c. ? nay, what is it to the gifts of the mind ; as understanding, art, wisdom, &c. ? Yet are men so eager after it, that no labour, travel, nor danger is regarded in getting of riches. There is in it neither Materialis, for- malis, efficiens, et finalis causa, nor any thing else that is good ; therefore our Lord God com monly giveth riches to such from whom He withholds all spiritual good. The Sacrifice of the Mass. The Papists at the Imperial assembly dealt with us through threatenings ; they would force us to consent that the Mass was a sacrificing of the life, to the end they might help themselves only with this word, sacrificing, as a cloak of their shame. I would permit the Mass to be a sacrifice of praise, if again they would yield and allow, that not only the priest, but also every communicant which received, did offer thanksgiving unto God. The Mass ought to be abolished, chiefly for 110 ILutfyer s Cable Calfe. two reasons : first, it is a divine blaspheming of God ; secondly, a political sin, namely, a deceit, and a theft. Faith and Work. We must teach of good works, yet always so that the article of justifica tion remain pure and unfalsified, namely, that faith only in Christ justifieth and saveth. For Christ neither can nor will endure any beside Himself, He will have the bride alone, He is full of jealousy. If He should teach thus, and say, If thou believest, thou shalt be saved, whatsoever thou doest ; that were stark naught ; for faith is either false and feigned, or although it be upright, yet it is eclipsed, when people wittingly and wilfully sin against God s command. And the Holy Spirit, which is given to the faithful, de- parteth through evil works, done against the conscience, as the example of David sufficiently witnesseth. The Future Life. As lately I lay very sick (said Luther) and so sorely sick that I thought I should have left this world, many cogitations and in 3Lutf)er s Cable Calfc. musings I had in my weakness. Ah ! thought I, What may that eternity be ? What joys may it have ? &c. Nevertheless, I know for certain, that the same eternity is already ours ; through Christ it is given and prepared for us, if we can but believe. There it shall be opened and revealed ; here we shall not know when a new, or a second creation of the world shall be, seeing we understand not the first creation, which He made for us, without any of our counsel. Therefore ought we justly to give Him the honour, and to leave to His divine power and goodness the new creation of the life to come, and not to presume to search or speculate out the same. Good Princes. When a country has a good prince over it, all goes well. Without a good prince things go backwards like a crab, and councillors, however many, will not mend them. A great soldier is the man ; he has not many words ; he knows what men are, and holds his tongue ;. but when he does speak, he acts also. A real hero does not go about his work with 112 ILutfjct s able Calfc. vain imaginations. He is moved by God Almighty, and does what he undertakes to do. So Alexander conquered Persia, and Julius Caesar established the Roman Empire. The Book of Judges shows what God can do by a single man, and what happens when God does not provide a man. Certain ages seem more fruitful in great men than others When I was a boy there were many. The Emperor Maximilian in Germany, Sigis- mund in Poland, Ladislaus in Hungary, Ferdi nand, Emperor Charles s grandfather, in Spain pious, wise, noble princes. There were good bishops too, who would have been with us had they been alive now. There was a Bishop of Wurzburg who used to say, when he saw a rogue, " To the cloister with you ! Thou art useless to God or man." He meant that in the cloister were only hogs and gluttons, who did nothing but eat, and drink, and sleep, and were of no more profit than as many rats. The Best Preachers and Hearers. I esteem those to be the best preachers which teach the common people and youth most plainly and Eutljrr g Cable Talk. simply, without subtilty, 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. Luther s Divinity School. I did not learri my divinity at one only time, but I was con strained to search deeper and deeper, to which my temptations brought me ; for no man, with out 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 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, wherein I diligently read, and thereby, God be 114 ILutijcr s praised, at length I attained to the true under standing of the same. 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 liis heart, with all his so2il, 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, &c. ; 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. Unsearchableness of God s Works. All the Works of God are unsearchable and unspeak able ; no human sense can find them out, only H 2 115 ILtttljEt s able Calft. Faith takes hold thereof without human power or addition. No human creature can take hold or know God in His Majesty, and therefore hath He set Himself down in the simplest manner, and was made Man, yea, was made sin, death, and weakness. He was simple indeed, and mean enough when He took upon Him the quality of a servant, as St. Paul saith to the Philippians. But who can believe it ? We think that the Turkish Emperor is much more mighty, Eras mus Rotterdamus much more learned, a friar far more good and godly than God Himself is. Useless Questionings. When one asked, Where God was before heaven was created ? St. Austin made answer thereunto and said, He was in Himself. And as another asked me the same question, I said, He was building of 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 116 Etttljcr s Cablr Olfc. 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 Silo and Sichem, afterwards at Gibeon, and lastly at Jerusalem in the Temple. The Greeks and Heathens in after times did imitate the same, and did build temples for their idols in certain places, as at Ephesus for Diana, at Delphi for Apollo, &c. 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 holiest 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 Delphi, and elsewhere. In such sort is the devil always God s ape. But whereas the most holiest 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. 117 ILutfjcr s Oblc Calfc. The Wisdom of the World. The highest wisdom of the world is 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 putardm, 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 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. 118 ILutljcr s Cable Calk. Men s Love of Novelty, Before I translated the New Testament out of the Greek, 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 will it be with the Book of Ecclesiasticus, which they now long for, and about which I have taken great pains in trans lating 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. Christ the Only Physician for Death, A cup of water, 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 119 Eutfjer s 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 abominable 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, &c. Therefore death became his sleep ; but from whence came his great joy? Because that with spiritual and corporal 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. 120 Eufljtr s JTabIe Calft. Man Unable to Distinguish between the Law and the Gospel, Never yet was that man found on earth that could make a right differ ence between the Law and the Gospel. We flatter ourselves that so soon as we have heard a sermon upon that subject, we understand it thoroughly ; but therein we deceive ourselves, the Holy Ghost only can teach this art. I thought so myself, that I had it at my ringer s end, seeing I had written so much concerning the same ; but truly I found I had far to seek therein, even at such times when I stood most in need, and when the devil began to lecture me. But when by his many assaults I gained better experience touching his devices and temptations, then (thanks be to God) I jeered him with his own arguments, even to his teeth, with unspeakable joy and comfort to my troubled conscience. The Law and the Gospel are the chief articles in the Church of God : through the Law, God will keep off and affright the ungodly, the rude people and sinners from blaspheming ; He will also thereby teach the proud hypocrites, and the invocators of saints, in that they have written superfluously of the overplus of works, &c. 121 ILutfjcr s Cable But the Gospel comforteth the sad and sorrow ful conscience, &c. It comforteth all those of whom the Prophet Isaiah speaketh, where he saith, Be of good comfort, for I do forgive you your sins. What could God do more for us ? How we are made good before Christ. A Capuchin friar saith, Wear a grey coat and a hood, wear a halter about thee, and put clogs on thy feet. A preaching friar saith, Put on a black hood. A Papist saith, Do this or that work, hear mass, pray, fast, give alms, &c. But a true Christian saith, I am made good, right eous, and saved only by faith in Christ, without any of my works or deserts. Now compare these together, and judge which may be the true righteousness. Patience. Patience is the best virtue, which in Holy Writ is highly praised and extolled by the Holy Ghost. And howsoever the philoso phers and learned heathen do also much exalt and applaud it ; yet they cannot possess the same, nor attain to it without the will and assist- 122 ILutfjer s Cable ITalft. ance of God ; for they neither know nor under stand any thing certain thereof. Epictetus, the sage and understanding Grecian heathen, said very well, Suffer and abstain ; as also the Hebrews say with good words, Believe not all thou hearest. Speak not all thou knouicst, Do not all thou canst. One of Luther s sayings. In luctu gaudium : In mourning joy. In gaudio luctus: In joy mourning. Gaudendum in Domino: Joyful in the Lord. Lugendum in nobis : Mourning in ourselves. The Amaranthus a symbol of the Church. Amaranthus is a flower that groweth in August ; it is more a stalk than a flower, it is easily broken off, and groweth in joyful and pleasant sort ; when all other flowers are gone and decayed, then this (being sprinkled with water) becometh fair and green again ; insomuch 123 Eutfyrr s Cable Calk. that in winter they use to make garlands thereof. It is called Amaranthus from hence, that it neither withereth nor decayeth. I know nothing more like unto the Church than this flower Amaranthus (called with us in Germany, Thousand fair). For although the Church doth bathe her garment in the blood of the Lamb, and is coloured over with red ; yet nevertheless she is more fair, comely, and beau tiful than any state and assembly upon the face of the earth. Moreover, the Church suffereth herself willingly to be plucked and broken off, that is, she is loving, patient, and obedient to Christ her bridegroom in the cross ; she groweth and increaseth again fair, joyfully, and pleasant, that is, she gaineth the greatest fruit and profit thereby ; she learneth to know God aright, to call upon Him, freely and undauntedly, to confess His word and doctrine, and produceth many fair and glorious virtues. At last, the body and stalk remaineth whole and sound, and cannot be rooted out, although raging and swelling be made against some of her members, and the same torn away. For like as Amaranthus never withereth nor 124 ILutfjrr s Cable STalfc, decayeth : even so, the Church can never be destroyed nor rooted out. The True Preacher, An upright, a godly and true preacher should direct his preaching to the poor, simple sort of people, like a mother that stilleth her child, dandleth, and playeth with it, presenteth it with milk out of her breasts, needeth neither malmsey nor muscadine to give it. In such sort should also preachers carry themselves, should teach and preach plainly, that the simple and un learned may conceive, comprehend, and keep it. But when they come to me, to Melanchthon, to Dr. Pommer, &c., then let them show their cunning, how learned they be, they shall be well put to their trumps ; for to sprinkle out Hebrew, Greek, and Latin in their public sermons, the same favoureth merely of pride, which agreeth neither with time nor place, nor is it pertinent. To conclude, such preachers are untimely ripeless saints. Christian Pilgrimages, In Popedom they went on pilgrimage to the dead saints ; they 125 Eutfjrt a Cable Oft. went towards Rome, towards Jerusalem, Com- postella, and to St. James, to make satisfaction and payment for their sins. But now we might act and perform upright, good, and godly pilgri mages, which are pleasing to God in faith ; namely, diligently to read the Prophets, the Psalms, the Gospel, &c. As then we should not wander through the cities of dead saints, but through our hearty contemplations to God, that is, to visit the right and true land of promise, and paradise of everlasting life. A certain prince in Germany, well known to myself, went to Compostella, in Spain, where St. James, the brother of the Evan gelist and Apostle St. John, should lie buried. Now as this Prince made his confession to a Barefoot friar, who was an honest man, he asked the Prince if he were a German ? The Prince answered, Yea. Then the friar said, O loving child, why seekest thou so far for that, which thou hast much better and more precious in Germany ? for I have seen and read the writings of an Austin friar touching indulgences and pardons for sins, wherein he powerfully concludeth, that the true pardons and remissions of sins do only consist in the merits and 126 Enfljrr 8 Katie Calls. sufferings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. O loving child, said the friar, remain thereby, and permit not thyself to be otherwise per suaded. I purpose shortly, God willing, to leave this ungodly life, to repair into Germany, and to join myself to the same Austin friar. Allegories. When I was a friar I was a master in spiritual significations, then I was altogether in my allegories ; but afterwards, when through the Epistles to the Romans, I came a little to the knowledge of Christ, I saw that allegories were vain, not what were signi fied by Christ, but who and what He is. Before that time I allegorised and spiritually signified every particular thing. But afterwards I con sidered the histories, how difficult and heavy a matter it was that Gideon fought with the enemy in that manner as the Scripture showeth ; those were no allegories, nor spiritual signifi cations : but the Holy Ghost saith, Faith only, with three hundred men, beat so great a multitude of the enemies. St. Jerome and Origen (God forgive them) were the means that allegories were held in such esteem. 127 SLutfjer s Cable Calfc. Thankfulness. The most acceptable service that we can do and show unto God, and which He only desireth of us, is, that He is praised of us ; but He is not praised, except He be first loved ; He is not loved, unless He be first bounti ful, and doth well ; He doth well when He is gracious ; gracious He is when He forgives sins. Now (said Luther), who are those that do love Him? They that are the small flock of the faithful, that do acknowledge such graces, and do know that through Christ they have forgive ness for their sins, &c. But the children of this world do not trouble themselves herewith ; they serve their idol, that wicked and cursed Mammon, but in the end he will evil reward them. THE END. London . R. Clay, Sons, and Taylor, Printers.