German Theologian, Founder of the Protestant Reformation
German Theologian, Founder of the Protestant Reformation
When some people say, as they do, that when we preach faith alone good works are forbidden, it is as if I were to say to a sick man, If you had health you would have the full use of all your limbs, but without health the works of all your limbs are nothing, and from this he wanted to infer that I had forbidden the works of his limbs. Whereas on the contrary I meant that the health must first be there to work all the works of all his limbs. In the same way faith must be the master-workman and captain in all the works, or they are nothing at all.
You have quite dampened by spirit and eagerness, and left me exhausted before I could strike a blow. There are two reasons for this: first, your cleverness in treating the subject with such remarkable and consistent moderation as to make it impossible for me to be angry with you; and secondly, the luck or chance or fate by which you say nothing on this important subject that has not been said before.
When the devil comes at night to worry me, this is what I say to him: ?Devil, I have to sleep now. That is God?s commandment, for us to work by day and sleep at night.? If he keeps on nagging me and trots out my sins, then I answer: ?Sweet devil, I know the whole list. But I have done even more sin which is not on your list. Write there also that I have shit in my breeches. Hang it around your neck and wipe your mouth on it.? Then, if he won?t cease to accuse me of sins, I say in contempt: ?Holy Satan, pray for me.?
You see then, that Diatribe truly possesses a free choice in her handling of Scriptures, so that words of one and the same type are for her obliged to prove endeavor in one place and freedom in another, exactly as she pleases.
When we are inclined to boast of our position [as Christians] we should remember that we are but Gentiles, while the Jews are of the lineage of Christ. We are aliens and in-laws; they are blood relatives, cousins, and brothers of our Lord. Therefore, if one is to boast of flesh and blood the Jews are actually nearer to Christ than we are.
You see, however, which is called the Court of Rome, and which neither you nor any man can deny to be more corrupt than any Babylon or Sodom, and quite, as I believe, of a lost, desperate and hopeless impiety.
Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.
You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the word which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you.
Where God builds a church, the devil builds a chapel.
Where temporal government or law alone prevails, there sheer hypocrisy is inevitable, even though the commandments be God's very own. For without the Holy Spirit in the heart no one becomes truly righteous, no matter how fine the works he does. On the other hand, where the spiritual government alone prevails over land and people, there wickedness is given free rein and the door is open for all manner of rascality, for the world as a whole cannot receive or comprehend it.
Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.
Where, then, is our orator running off to, who was going to speak about a palm, but talks of nothing but a gourd? It started as a wine jar, why does it end as a water jug?
Who loves not woman, wine, and song remains a fool his whole life long.
Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!
Whoever teaches differently from what I have taught, or whoever condemns me therein, he condemns God and must remain a child of hell.
When God wants to speak and deal with us, he does not avail himself of an angel but of parents, of the pastor, or of our neighbor.
Why do you rant and brag with such a spate of words, as if you wanted to overwhelm me with a sort of tempest and deluge of oratory-which nevertheless falls with the greater force on your own head, while my ark rides aloft in safety?
When God's righteousness is mentioned in the gospel, it is God's action of declaring righteous the unrighteous sinner who has faith in Jesus Christ. The righteousness by which a person is justified (declared righteous) is not his own but that of another, Christ.
With reference to the elect we might distinguish between three classes. First, there are those who are satisfied with God?s will, as it is, and do not murmur against God, but rather believe that they are elected. They do not want to be damned. Secondly, there are those who submit to God?s will and are satisfied with it in their hearts. At least they desire to be satisfied, if God does not wish to save, but reject them. Thirdly, there are those who really are ready to be condemned if God should will this. These are cleansed most of all of their own will and carnal wisdom. And these experience the truth of Canticles 8:6: Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death. Such love is always joined with cross and tribulation, for without it the soul becomes lax, and does not seek after God, nor thirst after God, who is the Fountain of Life.
When I am angry I can pray well and preach well.
With such and the like fopperies were petty brains troubled.
When it comes to faith, what a living, creative, active, powerful thing it is. It cannot do other than good at all times. It never waits to ask whether there is some good work to do, rather, before the question is raised, it has done the deed, and keeps on doing it
Women and girls begin to bare themselves behind and in front, and there is nobody to punish and hold in check, and besides, God?s word is mocked.
When schools flourish, all flourishes.
You have as much laughter as you have faith.