« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
High Priest, we desire to join ours, and to entreat thee
that we used to hear Luther also put
, that his peaceful soul, about the sixty-third year
from his mortal body.
“That these are works of great merit, all good' men
which give a summary of the divine doctrines contained in them, and instruct the reader in the kind of language which is there used; so that the honest and good heart, may draw the firmest testimonies of the true doctrine from the very fountains.-For it was the great aim of Luther, not to let any rest in his own writings, but to lead the minds of all to the fountain head. He would have us all to hear the voice of God. He wished to see, by that voice, the fire of genuine faith and calling upon God kindled in men, that God might be worshipped in truth, and that many might be made heirs of eternal life.
“ This anxious desire of his, therefore, and these his labours, it becomes us to spread abroad with grateful hearts: and taking him for an example, to remember that it behoves each of us to strive to adorn, according to his ability, the church of God. For to these two ends especially the whole of our life, its studies and designs, should be directed.---First, to promote the glory of God. And secondly, to profit his church.—Concerning the former, St. Paul says, “ Do all to the glory of God." Concerning the latter, it is said in the 122d Psalm,
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” To which exhortation, there is added, in the same verse, a most sweet promise, “They shall prosper that love thee.” These commands and promises from above, invite all to receive the true doctrine of the church, to love the ministers of the Gospel, and wholesome teachers, and to unite in desires and devoted endeavours to spread abroad the doctrine of truth, and to promote the concord of the true church of God.-Reader, farewell. Wirtemberg, June 1, 1546."
He following extract, is the conclusion of Luther's letter which accompanied his Treatise on Christian Liberty to Leo X., Pope of Rome; for whom the Treatise was expressly written.
-"In a word, put no confidence in those who exalt
may, perhaps, be deemed insolent for presuming
which will not suffer me to pay regard either to the dig-
“ Finally: That I might not come before you empty,
published under the sanction of your name, as an auspicious sign of peace to be established, and of good hope to be realized. In which little work, you may have a taste of those things in which I delight to be engaged; and in which I might be engaged to much greater profit than I now am, if I were not hindered by those impious flatterers around you, as I have hitherto been.
The Treatise is insignificant if you look at its bulk, but if you consider its contents, you will, if I mistake not, find it to be a summary of the Christian life comprised in a narrow compass. As I am but a poor man, I have nothing else wherewith to present you. Nor will you need any thing else, but the gift of the Spirit to understand it. This offering, therefore, together with myself, I commend to your paternity and holiness: whom, may the Lord Jesus preserve unto eternal life.Amen!
“ Wirtemberg, April 1526."
Christian faith, has appeared to many an easy matter : of whom, not a few have classed it among the moral virtues, nay, have made it merely a sort of attendant on virtue. And this they have done, because they have never proved what it is in their own experience, nor internally tasted its power. Whereas, no one can truly describe it himself, nor really understand it when truly described, unless he has at some time, under the fiery trial of pressing conflicts, tasted the spirit of it in his on soul. And he who has really tasted this, even in the smallest degree, can never write of it, speak of it, think of it, nor hear of it enough: for it is, as Christ calls it, “ a living fountain springing up into everlasting life," As to myself
, though I may not boast of an abundant stock of this grace, (for I deeply feel my straitened deficiency,) yet I do trust, that out of the great and various tribulations under which I have been exercised, I have gotten of faith a certain drachm : and that I can therefore treat of it, if not more eloquently, yet certainly more substantially, than any of those learned and subtle ones have hitherto done, in all their laboured disputations : who, after they had done, knew not what they themselves had written upon the subject. But in order to open up this matter the more plainly to simple souls, (since it is for them only I write,) I lay down at the outset these TWO PROPOSITIOns concerning the bondage and liberty of the Spirit