The history of the life and acts of Luther (1547-8)
Prepared by Dr. Steve Sohmer 1996.
|1HISTORIA / DE VITA ET ACTIS / REVERENDISS.
VIRI D.MART. / Lutheri, verae
Theologiae Doctoris, bo= / na fide conscrip= / ta, a / PHILIPPO MELANTHONE. /
|HISTORY OF THE LIFE AND ACTS OF THE REVEREND MAN DR. MARTIN / Luther,
Doctor of Theology, / a bona fide document / by Philip Melancthon.
|2 ADIECTA SUNT A IOANNE POL= / licario Carmina
quaedam de beneficiis / quae Deus
per Lutherum / orbi terrarum / contulit. / ITEM DISTICHA ALIQUOTDE / Actis
LUTHERI, quae simul anno= / rum numerum compre= / hendunt. / M.D.XLVIII
by John Policarius Carmina on account of the (?) blessings which God through
Luther bestowed upon the whole world. Including several distichs on the Acts
of Luther, which were recounted in this same year. 1548.
|3 PRAEFATIO IOAN. POL.
REVERENDISS. / ATQUE ILLUSTRISSIMO PRINCI= / pi, ac Domino, Domino Georgio,
Principi ad An= / halt, Ascaniae Comiti, Dominoq; Berneburgensi, / In causis
vero Spiritualibus Administra= / tori Marburgensi, & Ecclesiae /
Magdeburgensis Prae= / posito =
|Gratiam & pacem in Christo Deo & / salvatore nostro.|
|MAGNUS ERAT LUCTUS, ingentes querelae, multae lachrimae in universa
Cicero pater patriae pulsus, cogeretur exulare. Occupavit tame iste luctus non
quosius, non seditiosos Catilinas, non furibundos Antronios, hisq; similes
sclerators & ulcera urbis, sed pacificos & moderators, & qui amabant
aequitate(m), & quibus grata erat Reipub. tranquillitas, ita no(n) dubito,
etiam adhuc hodie Lutheri mortem tristem & accerbamesse, semperq; futuram, et
si non omnibus, tamen viris bonis
|Imprimis autem illis, quibus Relligio chara est, et qui afficiuntur
Ecclesiae Christi, quae sub hoc Doctore satis florens, tuta, ac munita fuit.
Nunc vero quoniam sublatus est, quid interea evenrit, magno cum luctu,
multisq; lachrimis hucusq; vidimus, ac quotidie videmus, necdum scimus, quid
adhuc sit sperandum de furoribus quorundam, quos Lutherus vi sua atq;
|Ego certe aliquid magni metuo, name cum colligo
eventus priorum temporum, comperio occasum tantorum virorum raro non exitialem
fuisse. Sed nobis consolatio certa ac firma proposita est, videlicet Oratio &
promissiones Dei, Precabimur [sic] itaq; Deum parentem nostru(m), ut adhuc
extrudat alios operarios in messem suam, qui pergant illustrare gloriam
gratiae suae, & regni Jhesu Christi, ad promovendam ac perficiendam salutem
|Et rogabimus Patrem, in nomine unigenti Filii sui Jesu
Christi Domini nostri, ut Ecclesiam suam, & hoc hospitiolum fidelium suorum,
quod apud nos verbo suo, per Lutherum aedificavit, regat, gubernet &
conservet, ad gloriam nominis sui, Amen. Ipse recepit se futurum nobiscum,
usq; ad consumationem foeculi, & dixit, non relinquamuos (sic) orphanos. Haec
cum vera sunt, &
maxime consolatoria piis mentibus, interim tamen dolendum est, quoties videmus
Ecclesiam eius modi Doctoribus orbari, quando experimur haec organa & vasa
(sic) gratiae occumbere, hominesq; tantis donis praeditos, e conspectu atq;
consuetudine nostra eripi, num enim mortui laudabunt Dominum?
|Ego igitur, ut me quoq; ob haec incomooda angi ostenderem, aliquid
congessi, in laudem huisu maximi nostri Theologi. Adieci quoq; Vitam eius,
sicuti eam reperi perscriptam a D.Philippo nostro, una cum Actis
Vuormatiensibus (sic), non sine certo ac gravi consilio, quae omnia, ut spero,
Ecclesiae non erunt ingrata. Ea nunc tibi ampliss. & illustriss. Princeps
ascribo atq; dedico, & obsecro C.T. ut aequi boniq; faciat.
|Ut autem hoc
libello C.T. compellerem, commovit me, primum, similitudo officorum, quae tu &
Lutherus habuistis aequalia, nam sustinet C.T. quoq; quemadmodum paulo (sic)
ante Lutherus, gubernationem Eccesiae (sic) quae functio profecto est valde
difficilis, & plena laboris, ex periculosissima, his nostris confusis ac
turbulentis temporibus, praesertim ubi improborum & audacisum hominum est
infita licentia. Deinde commo=
vit me & hoc, quod sciebam C.T. a Luthero unice semper & amatam & veneratam
fuisse, ideovisus sum ego mihi bene pieq; & rem C.T. gratam facere, si
amicissimi apud amicissimum uniis quoq; a morte mentionem facerem.
illustriss. Princeps, C.T. ut hoc scriptum magni facere velit, propter pia
fata Lutheri, cuisu negocium hic agitur, in cuius gratiam scio C.T. hoc mihi
denagare non posse. Bene vale Illustriss. Princeps, & Deus opt. max. C.T.
nobis in hoc ministerio diu servet incolumem, Amen, Datum Vucisenselsii, 20.
Octobris, Anno 1547.
|12 Tuae ampli. deditiss.
M. Ioannes Pollicarius Cygnaeus apud Vueisenfelsenses Verbi Dei Minister.
|13 Spem nobis fecerat Reverendus vir Martinus
Lutherus, et curriculum se vitae suae, et certaminum occasiones narraturum
esse, quod fecisset, nisi x hac mortali vita, ad aeternam Dei et Ecclesiae
coelestis consuetudinem evocatus
|Reverend Martin Luther gave us hope that he would relate the course
life and the occasions of his struggles, and he would have done so if he had
not been called from this mortal life into the everlasting converse of God and
the heavenly Church.
|14 Utilis autem esset et privatae ipsius
vitae consideratio luculenter scripta, plena enim fuit Exemplorum, quae
ad confirmandam pietatem in bonis mentibus profutura essent, et occasionum
recitatio, quae posteritatem de multis rebus commonefacere posset, deinde
et calumnias refutaret eorum, qui vel incitatum a principibus viris aut
aliis, ut labefactaret Episcoporum
dignitatem, vel privata ispum cupiditate inflammatum, servitutis Monasticae vincula rupisse fingunt.
|Both a lucidly written contemplation of his own private life would have been useful, for it was full of Lessons which would have been useful in strengthening the piety in good minds, as well as a recitation of events which he could have made known to posterity about many things, next he would have refuted the slanders of those who, either incited by leading men or others, invent that he destroyed the dignity of the Bishops, or that, he himself inflamed by private lust, broke the bonds of Monastic servitude.|
|15 (Aiii.v) Haec prodesset ab ipso integre et copiose exposita et commemorata esse. Etsi enim Malevoli vulgate illud obiecturi erant, autos hauton aulei, tamen et in ipso tantum gravitatis fuisse scimus, ut optima fide Historiam recitaturus fuerit.||He would have published these things, wholly and copiously set forth
and commemorated by himself. For even if Evilwishers were to reproach with
that common saying, He himself blows his own pipe, nevertheless we know
there was so much seriousness in him that he would have related the Account
|16 Et multi boni et sapientes viri adhuc
vivunt, quibus cum sciret seriem
harum rerum notam esse, fuisset ridiculum, aliam historiam, ut fit interdum in
poematis, comminisci. Sed quia editionem talis historiae fatalis ipsius dies
antevertit, nos iisdem de rebus ea, quae partim ex ipso audivimus, partim ipse
vidimus, bona fide recitaturi sumus.
|And many good wise men are still living, to whom it would have been
ridiculous for another account to be mixed in, as sometimes happens in
poems, since he knew they were aware of the order of these events. But
because his day of death turned aside the edition of so important an account, we shall recite in good faith about the same matters those things which partly
we heard from the man himself, partly those which we ourselves saw.
|17 Vetus familia est, et late propagata mediocrium hominum, cognomine Luther, in ditione inclytorum Comitum Manssfeldensium. Parentes vero Martini Lutheri primum in oppido Issleben, ubi Martinus Lutherus natus est, domicilium habuerunt, deinde migragrunt in oppidum Manssfeldt, ubi pater Iohannes Lutherus et Magistratus gessit, et propter intergritatem omnibus bonis viris carissimus fuit.||There is an old family, with many descendants of middle-class (?) men,
name Luther, in the district of the famed Companions of Mansfield. The parents
of Martin Luther first made their home in the town of Eisleben, where Martin
Luther was born, then they moved to the town of Mansfield, where his father,
Johannes Luther, acted as Magistrate and was most cherished by all good men
because of his integrity.
|18 In matre Margarita, coniuge Iohannis
Lutheri, cum coeterae erant virtutes
honestae Matronae (Av.r) convenientes, tum vero praecipue lucebant pudicitia, timor Dei, et invocatio,
intuebanturque, in eam coeterae honestae mulieres, ut in exemplar virtutum.
|In his mother Margarita, the wife of Johannes Luther, since all the
virtues of an honest Matron were seen coming together -- modesty, fear of God,
and prayer especially shown forth -- the other honest women looked to her as
an example of virtues.
|19 Haec mihi aliquoties interroganti de
tempore, quo Filius natus est, respondit,
diem et horam se certo meminisse, sed de anno dubitare. Affirmabat autem natum esse die decimo Novembris, nocte post horam undecimam, ac nomen Martini attributum infanti, quo dies proximus, quo infans per Baptismum Ecclesiae Dei insertus est, Martino dicatus fuisset.
|She answered me as I asked several times about the time
of her Son's birth that she remembered the day and hour exactly, but she was
uncertain of the year. However she affirmed that he was born the night of 10
November after eleven o'clock, and the name Martin was given to the infant, because the next day, on which the infant was brought into the Church of God
through Baptism, had been dedicated to Martin.
|20 Sed frater eius Iacobus, vir honestus et integer, opinionem familiae de aetate fratris hanc fuisse dicebat, natum esse Anno a natali Christi 1483.||But his brother Jacob, an
honest and upright man, said the family believed that the year of his birth
was A.D. 1483.
|21 Postquam aetas doctrinae capax fuit,
parentes filium Martinum ad agnitionem et
timorem Dei, et ad aliarium virtutum officia domestica institutione diligenter adsuesecerunt, et ut est consuetudo honestorum hominum, curaverunt ut literas disceret, gestavitque in ludum literarium adhuc parvulum Georgii Aemilii pater, qui cum adhuc vivat, testis huius narrationis esse potest.
|After he was at the age capable of learning, his parents had diligently
accustomed their son Martin to the knowledge and fear of God and to the duties
of the other virtues by domestic instruction, and as is the custom of honest
men, they saw to it that he learned to read, and his father brought him, even
as a quite young boy, to the elementary school of George Aemilius, who can be
a witness to this story because he is still living.
|22 Florebant autem eo tempore Scholae Grammaticae
in Saxonibus urbibus mediocriter, quare (Av.v) cum Martinus ingressus esset
annum quartum deimum, una cum Iohanne Reinec(?), cuius postea virtus fuit
excelles, et virtute parta auctoritas in his
Regionibus magna, Magdeburga missus est, fuitque mutua benevolentia inter hos duos Lutherum et Reinecumsem per eximia, seu ab aliquo naturae consensu, seu ab illa puerilium studiorum societate orta, nec tamen diutius anno mansit
|At that time, however, Grammar Schools in Saxon towns were not that
good, so when Martin reached his fourteenth year, he was sent to Magdeburg
Johannes Reinec, whose virtue was later so outstanding that he had great authority in these Regions. There was exceptional mutual kindness between these two, Luther and Reineck, whether by some concord of nature or whether rising from that companionship of boyhood studies; nevertheless, Luther did not remain in Magdeburg longer than a year.
|23 Deinde in schola Isennacensi quadriennio audivit Praeceptorem rectius et dexterius tradentem Grammaticen, quam alibi tradebatur, Nam huius ingenium memini a Luthero laudari.||Next in the school at Eisenach he studied for four years with a Praeceptor
taught Grammar more correctly and skillfully than others; for I remember
Luther praised his intelligence.
|24 In eam autem urbem missus est, quod
mater in iis
locis honesta et veteri familia nata fuerat: hic absolvit grammaticum studium, cumque et vis ingenii acerrima esset, et imprimis ad eloquentiam idonea, celeriter aequalibus suis praecurret, et verbis et copia sermonis in loquendo,
et in scribenda soluta oratione, et in Versibus coeteros adolescentes, qui una discebant, facile vicit.
|He was sent to that city because his mother had been born of an honest and old family in those parts; here he completed grammatical study, and since the power of his intelligence was the most keen, and especially suited for eloquence, he quickly surpassed his coevals, and easily conquered the rest of the youths who were learning at the same time in speaking with both words and fluency of diction, and in writing prose and Verses.|
|25 Degustata igitur literarum dulcedine,
natura flagrans cupiditate discendi,
appetit Academiam, tanquam fontem omnium doctrinarum.
|Therefore, having tasted the sweetness of literature, by nature burning
the desire for learning, he sought out the Academy, as the source of all
|26 Et omnes artes ordine
percipere tanta vis ingenii potuisset, si Docto= (Avi.r) res idoneos invenisset, et fortassis ad leniendam vehemantiam naturae mitiora
studia Philosophiae, et cura formandae orationis profuissent.
|So great a power of intelligence would have been able to grasp all
the arts in order, if he had found suitable Doctors, and perhaps both the
gentler studies of Philosophy and attention in forming speech would have
benefitted in softening the vehemence of his nature.
|27 Sed incidit
Erfordiae in eius aetatis Dialecticen satis spinosam, quam cum sagacitate
ingenii praeceptionum causas et fontes melius quam coeteri perspiceret, cito
|But at Erfurt he
encountered the Dialectic crabbed enough for his age and he quickly seized it,
since by the sagacity of his intelligence he grasped the causes and sources of
the precepts better than the rest of the boys.
|28 Cumque mens avida doctrinae, plura et
meliora requireret, legit ipse plaerque
veterum Latinorum scriptorum monumenta, Ciceronis, Virgilii, Livii et aliorum.
Haec legebat, non ut pueri, verba tantum excerpentes, sed ut humanae vitae
doctrinam, aut imagines, Quare et consilia horum scriptorum et sententias
proprius aspiciebat, et ut erat memoria fideli et firma, plaeraque ei lecta et
audita, in conspectu et ob oculos erant. Sic igitur in iuventute eminebat, ut
toti (sic?) Academiae Lutheri ingenium admirationi esset.
|And since his mind was eager for learning, he sought more and better
and he himself read the many writings of the ancient Latin writers, Cicero,
Vergil, Livy and others. He read these, not as boys do, picking out the words
only , but, as it were (?), the teaching of human life, or, since he looked at
the counsels and sayings of these men more closely, and as he had a faithful
and firm memory and read and heard many authors, the images were in sight and
before his eyes. Thus he was therefore outstanding among the youth, so that
Luther's intelligence was a thing of wonder to the whole (?) Academy.
|29 Ornatus igitur gradu Magisterii Philosophici,
cum natus esset annum vicesimum, de consilio propinquorum, qui hanc tantam
vim ingenii et facundiam iudicabant
in lucem et ad Rempublicam educendam esse, inchoat iuris studium.
|Decorated therefore with the degree Master of Philosophy at the age
on the advice of his relatives, who judged that so great a power of
intelligence and fluency should be brought forth into the light and for the
Republic, he began the study of law.
|30 Sed brevi post, cum natus esset annum unum et vicesimum, subito praeter parentum (Avi.v) et propinquorum opinionem, venit ad Collegium Monachorum Augustinianorum Erphordiae, seque recipi petit.||But a short time later, when he was twenty-one, suddenly, against the
opinion of his parents and relatives, he went to the College of Augustinian
Monks at Erphord, and sought to be
|31 Receptus, iam non solum acerrimo studio
doctrinam Ecclesiae discit, sed etiam summa disciplinae severitate se ipse
regit, et omnibus exercitiis lectionum, disputationum, ieiuniorum, precum
omnes longe superat. Erat autem natura, quod saepe miratus sum, in corpore nec
parvo nec imbecilli, valde modici cibi et potus, vidi continuis quatuor
diebus, cum quidem recte valeret, prorsus nihil edentem aut bibentem, vidi
saepe alias multis diebus quotidie exiguo pane et halece contentum esse.
|He was admitted, soon he learned the teaching of the Church not only
by the most intense study, but he himself also gained self-mastery by the
greatest severity of discipline, and he far surpassed the others in all
the exercises of readings, disputes, fasts, and prayers. He was however
something I often marvelled at, in a body neither small nor feeble, strong (?) from a modicum of bread and drink; I saw him on four consecutive days, even though he was completely strong, neither eat nor drink a thing the entire time; I often saw that other times on many days he was content with a tiny bit of bread and fish (sauce?) per day.
|32 Occasio autem ingrediendi illud vitae
genus, quod pietati et studiis doctrinae
de Deo existimavit esse convenientius, haec fuit, ut ipse narrabat, et ut multi norunt. Saepe eum cogitantem attentius de ira Dei, aut de mirandis
poenarum exemplis, subito tanti terrores concutiebant, ut paene exanimaretur.
|This was the occasion of his starting in on that manner of life which
he reckoned more suitable for piety and studies of the doctrine about God,
as he himself told and many know. Often great terrors so suddenly terrified
he thought more intently on the anger of God or the awesome examples of punishments that he was almost put out of his mind.
|33 Ac vidi ipse, cum in quadam doctrinae disputatione propter intentionem consternatus, in vicino cubiculo se in lectum collocavit, ubi hanc sententiam crebro repetitam miscuit invocationi, conclusit omnes sub peccatum, ut omnium misereatur. Hos terrores seu primum, seu acerrimos sensit eo anno, cum sodalem, nesaoquo(?) casu interfectum, amisisset.||And I myself saw him, when
he was overcome by tension in a certain debate about doctrine, go to bed in
the neighboring cell, where he repeatedly mixed that recalled idea with a prayer, he rounded off everything under sin, so that he would be forgiven for all. He felt those terrors either from the beginning, or most sharply in that year because he lost his companion who was killed by some (?) accident.
|34 (Avii.r) Non igitur paupertas, sed studium pietatis eum in illud viae monasticae genus induxit, in quo etsi doctrinam in scholis usitatam quotidie discebat, et Sententiarios legebat, et in Disputationibus publicis labyrinthos aliis inextricabiles, diserte multis admirantibus explicabat, tamen quia in eo vitae genere non famam ingenii, sed alimenta pietatis quaerebat, haec studia tanquam parergatractabat, et facile arripiebat illas scholasticas methodos.||Therefore not poverty but eagerness for virtue led him into this mode of monastic life, in which even if he daily learned the customary learning in the schools, and read the Sententarii, and in public Debates eloquently explained to amazed crowds labyrinths inexplicable to others, nevertheless because he sought the nutriments of piety in that type of life, not the renown of his intelligence, he put his hand to these studies as if they were a side interest, and he easily grasped those scholastic methods.|
|35 Interea fontes doctrinae caelestis avide
legebat ipse, scilicet scripta Propheticae et Apostolica, ut mentem suam
de Dei voluntate erudiret, et firmis testimoniis
aleret timorem et fidem. Hoc studium ut magis expeterat, illis suis doloribus
et pavoribus movebatur.
|Meanwhile he himself
avidly read the sources of heavenly doctrine, i.e. the writings of the Prophets and the Apostles, in order to educate his mind about the will of God, and by faithful witnesses nourish his fear and faith. He was moved by his own sorrows and fears to seek after this endeavor more.
|36 Et senis cuiusdam sermonibus in Augustiniano
Collegio Erphordiae saepe se confirmatum esse narrabat, cui cum consternationes
suas exponeret, audivit eum de fide multa disserentem, seque deductum aiebat
ad Symbolum, in quo dicitur,
Credo remissionem peccatorum.
|And he told that he was often encouraged by the conversations of a
certain old man in the Augustinian College at Erphord, to whom when he
set forth his
worries. He heard the old man discuss much about faith, and he said that he
was lead to the Creed, in which it is said, I believe in the forgiveness of
|37 Hunc Articulum sic ille interpraetatus
solum in genere credendum esse, aliquibus remitti, ut et Daemones credunt,
Davidi aut Petro remitti, Sed mandatum Dei esse, ut singuli homines remitti
nobis peccata credamus.
|That old man had interpreted this Article so that it should be believed not only in general, i.e. forgiven by some persons or others, as they believe Demons are forgiven by David or Peter, but that is was a commandment of God that we believe that the sins of individual men are forgiven by us.|
|38 Et hanc interpraetati= (Avii.v) onem
confirmatam dicebat Bernardi dicto, monstra(?) tumque locum in concione
de Annunciatione, ubi haec sunt verba, Sed adde ut credas et hoc, quod
per ipsum peccata TIBI donantur, Hoc est testimonium, quod perhibet Spiritus
Sanctus in corde tuo, dicens, Dimissa sunt tibi peccata tua. Sic enim
arbitratur Apostolus, Gratis iustificari hominem per fidem.
|And he said that this interpretation was confirmed by a saying of Bernard,
then he pointed(?) to a place in his sermon on the Annunciation, where there
are these words, But in addition that you might believe also this, that sins
are given TO YOU individually, this is the testimony, which the Holy Spirit bestows in your heart, saying, Your sins are forgiven by you. For the Apostle thinks thus, that man is gratuitously justified through faith.
|39 Hac se voce non solum confirmatum esse
Lutherus dicebat, sed commonefactum
etiam de tota Pauli sententia, qui toties inculcat hoc dictum, Fide iustificamur. De quo, cum multorum expositiones legisset, tunc et ex huius
sermonibus, et suae mentis consolatione animadvertisse, interpraetationum, quae tunc in manibus erant, vanitatem.
|Luther said he was not only strengthened by this statement, but even
reminded of the whole passage of Paul, who so often hammers home this saying, that we are justified by Faith. About which, since he had read the explications of many, <he said> that then he regarded the falsity of current interpretations from the conversations of that man and the calming of his own mind.
|40 Paulatim legenti et conferenti dicta
exempla in Prophetis et Apostolis recitata, et in quotidiana invocatione
excitanti fidem, plus lucis accessit.
|Little by little, as he read and compared the sayings and lessons recorded in the Prophets and Apostles, and as he kindled his faith in daily prayer, he approached more illumination.|
|41 Tunc et Augustini libros legere coepit,
ubi et in Psalmorum enarratione, et in
libro de Spiritu et litera, multas perspicuas sententias reperit, quae
confirmabant hanc de fide doctrinam, et consolationem, quae in ipsius pectore
|Then he also began to read the works of Augustine, where he found many
statements, in both the Commentary on the Psalms and the On the Holy Spirit
and the Letters, which confirmed this doctrine concerning faith, and he found consolation, which had burned in his own heart (?).
|42 Nec tamen prorsus reliquit Sententiarios,
(Avii.r) Cammeracensem paene ad verbum memoriter recitare poterat. Diu multumque legit scripta Occam, huius acumen anteferebat Thomae et Scoto.
|Nor nevertheless did he
completely abandon the Sententiarii, he had been able to recite Gabriel and
Cammera by memory almost word for word. He read for a long time and thoroughly the writings of Occam, whose perspicacity he preferred to Thomas and Scotus.
|43 Diligenter et
Gersonem legerat, Sed omnia Augustini momumenta et saepe legerat, et optime
|He also carefully read Gerson, but he often read all the works of Augustine,
and remembered them the best.
|44 Hoc acerrimum studium inchoavit Erphordiae,
in cuius urbis Collegio
Augustiniano commoratus est annos quatuor.
|He began this most intense study at Erfurt, where he stayed for four
the Augustinian College.
|45 Eo autem tempore, quia Reverendus vir
Stupicius, qui exordia Academiae
Vuittebergensis adiuverat, studium Theologicum in recenti Academia excitare
cupiebat, cum ingenium et eruditionem Lutheri confiderasset, traducit eum
Vuittebeagam, Anno1508 cum iam ageret annum vicesimum sextum.
|At this time, because Reverend Stupicius, who had helped the beginnings
of the Academy of Witteberg, was eager to stimulate the study of Theology
in the new Academy, since he had had confidence in Luther's intelligence
and learning, he
brought him to Witteberg, in 1508 when Luther was already twenty-six.
|46 Hic inter quotidiana exercitia Scholae
et concionum, magis etiam lucere eius ingenium coepit. Cumque eum attente
audirent viri sapientes, Doctor Martinus Mellerstadius et alii, saepe dixit
Mellerstadius, tantam esse vim ingenii in hoc viro, ut plane praesagiret
mutaturum esse vulgare doctrinae genus, quod
tunc in Scholis unicum tradebatur.
|Here, amidst the daily exercises of the School and the lecture, his
began to shine even more. And since wise men, Doctor Martin Mellrstadt and others, would listen to him attentively, Mellerstadt often said, that there was so great a power of intelligence in that man, that he plainly foresaw that he would change the common form of learning, which was the only one being transmitted in the Schools at that time.
|47 Hic primum Dialecticen et Physicen Aristot= (Avii.v) ilis enarravit, Interea tamen suum illud studium legendi scripta Theologica non omittens. Post triennium Romam profectus, propter Monachorum controversias, cum eodem anno reversus esset, usitato more scholarum, Duce Saxoniae Electore Friderico praebente sumptus, ornatus est gradu Doctorum, ut usitate loquimur.||Here he first commented on Dialectic and Aristotle's Physics, yet all the while not dropping that eagerness of his for reading Theological writings. After three years he set out for Rome, on account of debates of Monks, when he returned that same year, in the usual manner of scholars, with Freidrich Duke Elector of Saxony offering money, he was adorned with the rank of Doctor, as we customarily say.|
|48 Audierat enim concionantem, et vim ingenii,
orationis, ac rerum bonitatem expositarum in concionibus, admiratus fuerat. Et
ut quadam quasi maturitate iuditii videas gradum ei Doctorum attributum esse,
scias fuisse eum annum aetatis Lutheri tricesimum. Ipse narrabat sibi admodum
defugienti et recusanti mandatum esse a Staupicio, ut hoc gradu ornari se
sineret, eumque per iocum dixisse, multum negociorum Deo iam in Ecclesia fore,
ad quae ipsius usurus esset opera. Cui voci, etsi ioco tunc emissa est, tamen
eventus respondit, ut multa praecedunt mutationes praesagia.
|For he had heard Luther debating, and had marvelled at the power of
his intelligence, the powers of his speech, and excellence of his explications
of matters in debates. And so that you might see that the rank of
Doctor was conferred on him as if for a certain maturity of judgement, you
should know that this was the thirtieth year of Luther's life. He himself used to tell that Staupicius ordered him, as he was completely running away and refusing, to let himself be adorned with this rank, and that Staupicius jokingly said that there would be a great deal of works for God in the Church already, which he would use for his own works.To which statement, even if it was at that time uttered as a joke, nevertheless the outcome responded that many premonitions precede changes.
|49 Postea enarrare Epistolam Ad Romanos
coepit, deinde Psalmos, haec scripta sic
illustravit, ut post longam et obscuram noctem, nova doctrinae lux oriri
videretur, omnium piorum et prudentum iudicio. Hic monstravit Legis et
Evangelii discrimen, hic refutavit errorem, qui tunc in Scholis et concionibus
regnabat, (Bi.r) qui docet, mereri homines remissionem peccatorum propriis operibus, et homines
coram Deo iustos esse disciplina, ut Pharisaei docuerunt.
|Afterwards he began to comment on the Epistle to the Romans, next the
he so illuminated these writings that, as light after a long, dark night, so
new doctrine seemed to appear, by the judgement of all pious and prudent men.
Here he pointed out the essential point of the Law and the Evangelists, there
he refuted the error, which held sway at that time in the Schools and in
debates, which taught that men merited forgiveness of sins by their own works,
and that men were justified before God by instruction, as the Pharisees
|50 Revocavit igitur Lutherus hominum mentes
ad filium Dei, et ut Baptista,
monstravit agnum Dei, qui tulit peccata nostra, ostendit gratis propter Filium
Dei remitti peccata, et quidem oportere id beneficium fide accipi. Illustravit et coeteras partes doctrinae Ecclesiasticae.
|Accordingly Luther called the minds of men back to the son of God, and, like the Baptist, he showed that the lamb of God, who took away our sins, freely offers sins to be forgiven on account of the Son of God, and therefore this favor ought to be accepted by faith. He also explained other parts of Ecclesiastical doctrine.|
|51 Haec ei exordia rerum optimarum magnam autoritatem circumdederunt, praesertim cum mores congruerent cum oratione docentis, videreturque oratio non in labris nasci, sed in pectore. Haec vitae admiratio magnas efficit inclinationes in animis auditorum, ut Veteres etiam dixerunt, [Greek] schedon, hýs eipein kuriýtatum echei pisin to Óthos.||These beginnings of the greatest things put great authority around
especially since the morals of the one teaching matched up with his speech,
and his speech seemed born not on his lips, but in his heart. This admiration
of his life produced great changes in the minds of his audience, so that as
even the Ancients said, His character was, almost, so to speak, the strongest
|52 Qua re cum postea quosdam receptos ritus
mutaret, honesti viri, qui eum norant, minus vehementer adversati sunt, eique propter autoritatem, quam et rerum bonarum illustratione, et sanctitiate morum antea pepererat, in iis sententiis adsenserunt, quibus magno cum dolore
videbant orbem terrarum distrahi.
|Wherefore, when he later on changed certain accepted rites, honest
who knew him were less vehemently opposed, and, in those statements in which
they saw, with great sadness, the world torn apart, they gave assent to him on account of his authority, which he had previously acquired by the illustration of good things and by the sanctity of his morals.
|53 Nec Lutherus tunc in ritibus quidque
mutabat, imo tetricus disciplinae custos
inter suos erat, nec (Bi.v) miscuerat aliquid opinionum horridiorum. Sed illam communem et prorsus
necessariam doctrinam omnibus magis magisque illustrabat, de paenitentia, de
remissione peccatorum, de fide, de veris consolationibus in cruce.
|Neither did Luther back then change anything in rites -- rather he was a severe guardian of discipline -- nor had he mixed anything of rough opinions (?). But he was more and more explaining that universal and absolutely necessary doctrine to all, about penitance, the remission of sins, faith, and the true consolations in the cross.|
|54 Huius doctrinae dulcedine pii omnes
valde capiebantur, Et eruditis gratum erat,
quasi ex tenebris, carcere, squalore educi Christum, Prophetas, Apostolos,
conspici discrimen Legis, et Evangelii, promissionum Legis, et promissionis
Evangelicae, Philosophiae et Evangelii, quod certe non extabat in Thoma, Scoto
et similibus, Iustitiae spiritualis et rerum politicarum.
|By the sweetness of this pious doctrine all were strongly won, and
what was pleasing to the learned, as if Christ, the Prophets, and Apostles
were lead out of darkness, jail, and squalor, the essential point of the
Law, and the Evangelists, the promises of the Law, and
the promises of the Gospel, of Philosophy and the Evangelists, became apparent, <and> something certainly not found in Thomas, Scotus and others
like them, the essential point of spiritual Justice and political affairs.
|55 Accedebat huc, quod Erasmi scriptis
iam invitata erant iuventutis studia ad
Latinae et Graecae linguae cognitionem, Quare monstrato iam dulciore doctrinae genere, multi bonis et liberis ingeniis praediti, abhorrere a barbarica et
Sophistica doctrina Monachorum incipiebant.
|He approached the understanding of Latin and Greek, to which place
the studies of his youth had already been invited by the writings of Erasmus,
wherefore, since the sweeter type of his doctrine had been shown, many
men endowed with good and free minds, began to abhor the barbaric and Sophistical
|56 Ipse etiam Lutherus Graecae et Hebraicae
linguae studiis se dedere coepit, ut
cognita sermonis proprietate et phrasi, et hausta ex fontibus doctrina,
dexterius iudicare posset.
|Luther himself began to give himself to the studies of Greek and Hebrew,
that having learned the peculiar quality of the language and the diction, the
doctrine having been drawn from the sources, he might be able to judge more
|57 (Bii.r) In hoc cursu cum esset Lutherus,
circumferuntur venales Indulgentiae in his
regionibus a Tecelio Dominicano, impudentissimo Sycophanta, cuius impiis et
nefariis concionibus irritatus Lutherus, studio pietatis ardens, edidit Propositiones de Indulgentiis, quae in primo Tomomonumentorum eius extant, et has publice Templo, quod Arci Vuiteberdensi contiguum est, affixit pridie festi omnium Sanctorum, Anno 1517.
|When Luther was in this course of study, venal Indulgences were circulated
in these regions by Tecelius the Dominican, a most shameless Deceiver.
angered by Tecelius' impious and execrable debates and, burning with the eagerness of piety, published Propositions concerning Indulgences, which are extant in the first volume of his writings, and he publicly attached these to
the Temple, which is next to Witteberg Castle, on the day before the feast of all Saints, 1517.
|58 Hic Tecelius nihil sui dissimilis, ac
sperans etiam gratiam se apud Romanum Pontificem initurum esse, suum Senatum
convocat, Monachos aliquot et Theologos Sophistica sua utcumque leviter
tinctos, hos componere aliquid iubet adversus Lutherum. Ipse interea, ne
esset [Greek] kýphon prosýpon, non iam Conciones, sed fulmina
in Lutherum torquet, vociferatur ubique hunc Haereticum igni perdendum
esse, Propositiones etiam
Lutheri et Concionem de Indulgentiis publice coniicit in flammas.
|This Tecelius, true to his character, and also hoping he would obtain
favor before the Roman Pontiff, calls his Senate, a few Monks and
Theologians lightly imbued in some way or other with his own Sophistry, and
orders them to cobble something together against Luther. Meanwhile Tecelius
himself, so that he would not be a silent actor, brandishes not just Public
Debates, but thunderbolts, he cries aloud everywhere that this Heretic must be
condemned to fire, he even publicly hurls Luther's Propositions and Debate
concerning Indulgences into flames.
|59 Hi furores Tecelii et eius Satellitum imponunt necessitatem Luthero de rebus iisdem copiosius disserendi, et tuendae veritatis.||These ravings of Tecelius and his Henchmen
place the necessity on Luther of more expansively discussing these matters and
of preserving the truth.
|60 Haec initia fuerunt huius controversiae,
in qua Lutherus nihil adhuc suspicans aut somnians de
(B.ii.v ) futura mutatione rituum, ne quidem ipsas Indulgentias prorsus
abiiciebat, sed tantum moderationem flagitabat.
|These were the beginings of this controversy, in which Luther, as yet
suspecting or dreaming nothing about the future change of rites, was not
at all completely throwing out indulgences themselves, but only urging
|61 Quare falso eum calumniantur, qui a
plausibili causa exorsum dicunt, ut postea mutaret Rempublicam et vel sibi
vel aliis potentiam quaereret. Ac tantum abest, ut ab aulicis subornatus aut
incitatus sit, sicut scripsit Dux Brunsuuicensis, ut doluerit etiam Dux
Fridericus moveri certamina, longe prospiciens, quanquam exordium esset de re plausibili, tamen paulatim latius vagaturam esse hanc flammam, ut de Lite apud
Homerum dicitur, Parva metu primo, mox sese attollit in auras.
|Wherefore they falsely accuse him, who say that he began for a praiseworthy
reason, so that afterwards he could change the State and seek psower either
for himself or for others.
And he was so removed, that suborned and incited by princes, just as the Duke
of Brunsweig (?) wrote that even Duke Friedrich, looking far ahead, lamented
that struggles were set in motion, although the beginning was from a
praiseworthy matter, nevertheless little by little this flame would wander
wider, as is said in Homer about the Quarrel, From small fear at first, soon
it lifted itself into the upper air.
|62 Cum unus omnium nostrae aetatis Principum
Fridericus et tranquillitatis publicae amantissismus fuerit, et minime
[Greek] pleonektikos, maximeque
solitus sit referre consilia ad communem salutem orbis terrarum, ut ex multis
rebus intellegi potest, nec incitator Luthero, nec adplausor fuit, suumque
dolorem saepe significavit, quem assidue circumtulit, metuens discordias
|Since Friedrich was the one Prince of our era both the most fond of
tranquillity, and the least greedy, and he was especially accustomed to set
forth plans for the common well-being of the world, ? from many matters it can
be seen <that> he was neither an instigator nor an applauder of Luther, and he
often made known his own grief, which he continually proclaimed, fearing
|63 Sed vir sapiens, et non tantum prophana
iudicia sequens, quae tenera initia
omnium mutationum celerrime opprimi iubent, Sed etiam normam di= (Biii.r) vinam in consilium adhibens, quae iubet audiri Evangelium, et vetat agnitae
veritati adversari, ac blasphemiam vocat horribiliter damnata a Deo,
pertinaciam veritati adversantem, fecit, quod multi alii pii et sapientes
fecerunt, Deo cessit, studiose legit ea quae scribantur, et ea quae iudicacit vera esse, delere non voluit.
|But, not only following profane judgements, which bid that the gentle
beginnings of all changes be most quickly suppressed, but also employing
the divine precept in decision, which bids the Gospel to be heard, and
which forbids opposing the known truth, and calls blasphemy horribly damned
condemned by God, a stubborn adversary to the truth, the wise man did what
many other pious and learned men did, he yielded to God, and carefully read
those things which were written, and those which he judged to be true, he did
not want to do away with.
|64 Scio etiam saepe eum sciscitatum de
rebus ipsis eruditorum et sapientum
sententias, et in eo Conventu, quem in urbe Agrippina Colonia egit Imperator Carolus V post coronationem, Erasmum Roterodamum, amanter orasse, ut libere diceret, num errare Lutherum in iis controversiis iudicaret, de quibus praecipue disseruisset.
|For I know that he often ascertained the opinions of the erudite and
about these very matters, and in that Convention, that Emperor Charles V held
in the city Agrippina Colonia after his coronation, affectionately bade
Erasmus of Rotterdam to freely say if he reckoned Luther was wrong in these
controversies about which he had especially discoursed.
|65 Ibi Erasmus plane dixit, recte sentire
lenitatem se in eo desiderare. Qua de re gravissime postea Dux Fridericus ad Lutherum scribens, valde eum hortatus est, ut styli asperitatem moderaretur.
|Then Erasmus clearly
said that he thought Luther was correct, but that he looked for mildness in
the man.Wherefore Duke Friedrich afterward writing to Luther with the
greatest seriousness strongly encouraged him to lighten the harshness of his
|66 Constat etiam Lutherum Cardinali Caietano promissurum fuisse silentium, si adversariis etiam silentium indiceretur. Qua ex re perspicue intelligi potest, tunc quidem nondum eum docuisse, alia se deinceps moturum esse certamina, sed tranquillitatis (Biii.v) cupidum fuisse, sed paulatim ad alias materias pertractum esse, undique lacessentibus eum indoctis Scriptoribus.||It is agreed that Luther would have promised Cardinal Cajetan that
he would be silent, if he had also enjoined silence on his opponents. From
which thing it is clearly able to be seen that indeed at that time he had
not yet shown that
he would in turn set other struggles in motion, but he was desirous of tranquillity, but little by little he was dragged into other subjects, with the uneducated challenging him on all sides with the Scriptures.
|67 Secutae sunt igitur Disputationes, De
discrimine legum divinarum et
humarnarum, de tetra prophanatione Coenae Domini, in venditione et
applicatione eius pro aliis. Hic explicanda tota Sacrificii ratio fuit, et ostendendus usus Sacramentorum. Cumque iam audirent homines pii in Monasteriis, fugienda esse Idola, discedere ex impia servitute coeperunt.
|Therefore the Debates followed, Concerning the essential point of divine
human laws, concerning the abominable profanation of the Supper of the Lord in
its sale and application for others (cf. applicatio, p.58) (i.e. offering masses for other people). Here the entire theory of Sacrifice was set forth and the use of the Sacraments was shown. And when pious men in the Monasteries heard that Idols must be fled, they began to depart from their impious
|68 Addidit igitur lutherus ad explicationem doctrinae de poenitentia, de remissione peccatorum, de fide, de Indulgentiis, Deinde et has materias, discrimen legum divinarum et humanarum, et doctrinam de usu Coenae Domini, et aliorum Sacramentorum, et de Votis. Et haec fuerunt praecipua certamina. Quaestionem de Romani Episcopi potestate Eccius movit, non aliam ob causam, nisi ut accenderet Pontificis et Regum odia adversus eum.||Therefore Luther added to the explanation of the doctrines on penance,
remission of sins, faith, and Indulgences, also these topics: the essential
point of the divine and human laws, the doctrine on the use of the Supper of
the Lord and the other Sacraments, and concerning Prayers. And these were the
principal points of contention. Eccius proposed an investigation of the power of the Roman Bishop, for no other reason than to fire up the enmities of the
Pontiff and the Kings against Luther.
|69 Symbola vero Apostolicum, Nicenum, et
Athanasianum purissime retinuit, Deinde in ritibus et traditionibus humanis
quid et cur mutandum su satis (sic)
copiose in multis scriptis exponit, Et quid (Biiii.r) retineri voluerit, et quam formam doctrinae et administrationis Sacramentorum probaverit, liquet ex Confessione, quam Dux Saxoniae Elector Iohannes, et princeps Philippus Landgravius Cattorum etc. in Conventu Augustano Imp. Carolo
V. Anno 1530 exhibuerunt.
|He kept the Apostolic, Nicenean, and Athanasian Creed <as the> most
pure (?), next he fully explained in many writings what and why should
be changed in human rites and traditions, and it is clear what he wanted
to be kept and what form of doctrine and administration of the Sacraments
he approved of from the Confession which Johannes Duke Elector of Saxony
and prince Philip Landgraf of
the Catti (?) and others presented in the Augustinian Convent to Emperor
Charles V in 1530.
|70 Liquet idem ex ipsis Ecclesiae ritibus
in hac urbe,
et ex Doctrina, quae sonat in Ecclesia nostra, cuius summa in Confessione
perspicue comprehensa est. Quod ideo recito, ut non solum considerent pii, quos errores taxaverit, quae Idola sustulerit Lutherus, sed etiam sciant complexum esse universam doctrinam Ecclesiae necessariam, et puritatem in ritibus restituisse, et piis Exempla instaurandarum Ecclesiarum monstrasse. Ac utile est, posteritatem scire, quid probaverit Lutherus.
|The same is clear from the very rites of the Church in this city, and
from the Doctrine which sounds forth in our Church, whose principal matter
is manifestly expressed in the Confession. I therefore make mention of
the Confession again not only for the pious to contemplate which errors Luther reproached and the Idols he removed, but also so that they might understand that it embraces a universal, necessary doctrine of the Church, that he restored purity in the rites, and that he taught Examples for renewing the
Church to the pious. And it is useful for posterity to know what Luther
|71 Illud commemorare hoc loco nolo, qui
primi publice praebuerint utramque partem
Coenae Domini, qui primi omiserint privatas Missas, ubi deserta primum sint
Monasteria. Nam Lutherus de his materiis ante Conventum, qui fuit in urbe
Vangionum Anno 1521 tantum pauca disputaverat. Ritus non mutavit ipse, sed eo absente Carolostadius et alii ritus mutarunt: cumque quaedam tumultuosious
fecisset Carolostadius, rediens Lutherus, quid probaret aut non probaret,
aeditis suae sententiae perspicuis testimoniis, declaravit.
|I do not want to recollect in this place those who first publicly offered
either part of the Lord's Supper, those who first ceased saying private
Masses when the Monasteries were first abandoned. For Luther had discussed
only a few things about these matters before the Synod which was in the
city Vangionum (?) in 1521. He himself did not change the rites, but when
he was not there, Carolostadt and others changed the rites: and since Carolostadt
things more tumultously, when Luther returned, he declared what he approved or disapproved (aeditis?) with clear testimonies of his opinion.
|72 (Biiii.v) Scimus politicos viros vehementer
detestari omnes mutationes, et
fatendum est, discordiis etiam propter iustissimas causa motis, in hac tristi
confusione vitae humanae semper aliquid mali misaeri. Sed tamen in Ecclesia
necesse est anteferri mandatum Dei omnibus rebus humanis.
|We know that political men vehemently detest all changes, and it must
admitted that even when upheavals are set into motion by the most just causes, something evil is to be lamented in this sad disorder of human life. But
nevertheless in the Church it is necessary that the command of God is to be
preferred to all human things.
|73 Aeternus Pater hanc
vocem de Filio edidit: Hic est Filius meus dilectus, hunc audite, Et minitatur
aeternam iram blasphemis, hoc est iis, qui agnitam veritatem delere conantur,
Quare pium et necessarium officium fuit Lutheri, praesertim cum Eccleiam Dei doceret, taxare perniciosos errores, quos homines Epicurei etiam nova
impudentia cumulabant, et auditores recte docenti assentiri necesse fuit. Si
vero mutatio odiosa est, si in discordia multa sunt incommoda, ut esse multa,
magno cum dolore cernimus, culpa est tum illorum, qui initio errores
sparserunt, tum horum, qui nunc eos dyabolico odio tuentur.
|The Eternal Father said this statement about his Son: This is my beloved
Son, listen ye to this man, and he threatens everlasting wrath against
blasphemers, that is, against those who endeavor to obliterate the known
truth, Wherefore Luther's pious and necessary duty was, especially since
he taught the Church of God, to reproach destructive errors which Epicureans
were heaping up with even new shamelessness, and it was necessary for those
who heard to give assent to the one correctly teaching. If
truly change is hateful, if there are many discomforts in upheaval, as we see
with great sadness that there are, the blame is on those who in the beginning
spread the errors, as well on the men who now defend those errors with a
|74 Haec non modo eo commemoro, ut Lutherum
et eius auditores defendam, sed etiam ut piae mentes hoc tempore et ad
posteritatem cogitent, qualis sit et semper
fuerit verae Ecclesiae Dei gubernatio, quomodo Deus sibi voce Evangelii aeternam Ecclesiam ex hac massa peccati, hoc est, ex magna homi= (Bv.r) num colluuie excerpat, inter quos lucet Evangelium, ut scintilla in tenebris.
|I recall these things not only to defend Luther and his followers,
but also so
that pious minds might ponder at this point in time and hereafter what is and
always was the government of the true Church of God, how God through the word
of the Gospel selects the eternal Church for himself out of that mass of sin,
that is from the great dregs of men, among whom the Gospel shines forth like a
spark in the darkness.
|75 Ut Pharisaeorum tempore tamen Zacharias,
Elisabeth, Maria, et alii multi verae
doctrinae custodes fuerunt, Ita etiam ante haec tempora multi fuerunt, recte
invocantes Deum, alii magis alii minus perspicue tenentes Evangelii doctrinam. Talis fuit et ille Senex, de quo dixi, qui Lutherum conflictantem pavoribus
saepe erexit, eique aliquo modo monstrator fuit doctrinae et fide.
|Just as in the time of the Pharisees nevertheless
Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, and many others were guardians of the true
doctrine, So even before these times there were many, who, duly calling upon
God, were more clearly keeping the doctrine of the Gospel, others less so. Such was also that Old Man, about whom I spoke, who often encouraged Luther as
he was contending with fears, and who, in another way, was a teacher to him in
doctrine and faith.
|76 Ita ut servet Deus deinceps in multis lucem Evangelii, ardentibus votis precemur, Sicut Esaias pro suis auditoribus precatur, Obsigna legem in discipulis meis. Deinde haec commemoratio ostendit, fucatas superstitiones non esse durabiles, Sed evelli divinitus. Haec cum sit causa mutationum, cavendum est, ne errores in Ecclesia doceantur.||Just as we should pray God with fervent voices to
successively save the light of the Gospel in many men, so Isaiah prays for
those his followers, Seal the law in my disciples. This remembrance then shows
that counterfeit superstitions are not lasting but are rooted out by divine
providence. Since this is the reason for the changes, care must be taken that
errors are not taught in the Church.
|77 Sed redeo ad Lutherum, ut initio sine privata cupiditate in hanc causam ingressus est, ita etsi fuit natura ardens et iracunda, tamen semper sui muneris memor, tantum docendo proeliatus est, ac vetuit arma sumi, sapienterque distinxit officia toto genere diversa, Episcopi docentis Ecclesiam Dei, et Magistratuum, qui gladio cohercent certorum locorum multitudinem.||But I return to Luther, just as he entered upon this cause without
lust, so, even if his nature was ardent and irascible, nevertheless he was
ever mindful of his own function -- he only battled by teaching and avoided
taking up arms, and he wisely distinguished from the whole kind the
conflicting duties of a Bishop teaching the Church of God and of Magistrates,
who restrain the multitude of other places by the sword.
|78 (Bv.v ) Quare cum aliquoties Diabolus,
qui scandalis dissipare Ecclesiam et contumelia Deum afficere studet, et
ut est [Greek] epichairekakos, voluptatem capit ex hominum miserorum erroribus
et exitio, inflammasset seditiosa ingenia ad
excitandos tumultus, ut Monetarium et similes, acerrime illos furores
damnavit, et dignitatem ac vincula omnia politici ordinis non solum ornavit, sed etiam munivit.
|Wherefore since at different times the Devil, who is eager to destroy
the Church with temptations and to insult God, and as he is The evil one
showing malignant joy, takes pleasure from the sins and downfall of pitiable
<and> has inflammed factious natures to foment disturbances, as also those
similar to Minters (?), he most vehemently condemned those ragings, and he not
only adorned the dignity and all the bonds of the political order but also
|79 Cum autem apud me cogito, quam multi
magni viri in Ecclesia saepe in hac re hallucinati sint, plane statuo,
non sola humana diligentia, sed etiam divina luce pectus eius gubernatum
fuisse, ut intra sui muneris
metas tam constanter manserit.
|When however I ponder how many great men in the Church have often
wandered in mind in this matter, I am of the distinct opinion that his heart
was governed by not only human earnestness but also by a divine light, because
he stayed so firmly within the boundaries of his office (Or, "so that he
|80 Execrabatur igitur non solum huius aetatis seditiosos Doctores, Monetarium, et Anabaptistas sed etiam eos Episcopos Romae, qui audacissime impudentissimeque Decretis conditis affirmarunt, Petro non tantum Evangelii docendi munus mandatum esse, sed etiam Imperia politica tradita esse.||Accordingly he cursed not only the factious Doctors, Minters, and Anabaptists
of this age but also those Bishops of Rome, who most boldly and shamelessly
asseverate in the Decrees they had written that not only was the duty of
teaching the Gospel enjoined on Peter but Imperial politics were even handed over to him.
|81 Denique erat hortator omnibus, ut quae
Dei sunt Deo darent, quae Caesaris
Caesari, id est, ut vera paenitentia, verae doctrinae agnitione et propagatione, vera invocatione, et bonae conscientiae offi= (Bvi.r) ciis Deum colerent. Suae vero politiae quisque in omnibus civilibus officiis reverenter propter Deum obtemperaret.
|Accordingly he was an exhorter to all to give to God the things of
Caesar the things of Caesar, that is, to worship God with true penance, with the recognition and propagation of true doctrine, with true prayer, and with the responsibilites of a good conscience. Indeed let each man respectfully obey his own state in all civil duties on account of God.
|82 Ac talis quidem Lutherus ipse fuit,
quae Dei sunt Deo dedit, recte docuit, Deum recte invocavit, habuit et
alias virtutes necessarias in homine, qui placet Deo, Deinde in politica
consuetudine constantissime vitavit omnia seditiosa consilia. Has virtutes
tanta esse iudico decora, ut alia maiora in hac vita expeti non possint.
|And Luther himself
was in fact of such a kind: he gave to God the things of God, he taught properly, he called on God properly, he had also the other necessary virtues in a man which are pleasing to God, Finally in political custom he most
consistently avoided all factious plans. I judge that these virtues were so
seemly that other greater one are not able to be wished for in this life.
|83 Et quanquam ipsius viri virtus etiam
laude digna est, qui Dei donis reverenter
usus est, tamen praecipue Deo gratias agi necesse est, quod per eum restituit
nobis Evangelii lucem, et ipsius doctrinae memoria retinenda et propaganda
est. Nec moveor clamoribus Epicureorum aut Hypocritarum, qui aut rident aut damnant manifestam veritatem, sed vere statuo consensum perpetuum esse
Catholicae Ecclesiae Dei hanc ipsam doctrinae vocem, quae sonat in Ecclesiis
nostris, et huius doctrinae agnitione necessario regendam esse invocationem et vitam.
|And although the virtue of the man himself who reverently used the
God is praiseworthy, nevertheless it is especially necessary to give thanks to
God, because through him He restored the light of the Gospel to us and the memory of its doctrine was preserved and propagated. Nor am I disturbed by the
shouts of Epicureans or Hypocrites who either laugh at or curse evident truth,
but I declare as true that this very doctrine which sounds out in our Churches
is the uninterrupted concord of the Universal Church of God and that prayer and life are governed by the requisite admission of this doctrine.
|84 Denique hanc ipsam esse doctrinam, de
qua Filius Dei inquit, Si quis diligit me, sermonem meum servabit, et Pater
meus diliget eum, et veniemus ad eum, et mansionem apud eum faciemus. Loquor
enim de summa Doctrinae, ut in
Ecclesiis nostris a piis (Bvi.v) et eruditis intelligitur et explicatur.
|Accordingly <I say> that this is the very doctrine about which the
Son of God
says, If any man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him and build a dwelling in his house. For I am speaking
of the highest Doctrine as it is understood and explained in our Churches by the pious and learned.
|85 Nam etiamsi alii magis alii minus proprie
et concinne interdum aliquid explicant, aut alius alio horridius
interdum loquitur, tamen de rebus in summa inter pios et eruditos consensus
|For even if some men at times explain something more properly and elegantly
while other men explain less so, or one man speaks
sometimes more unpolished than another, nevertheless there is harmony among
the pious and educated about matters of the greatest importance.
|86 Ac mihi saepe multumque cogitanti, de
omnium temporum doctrina, inde usque ab Apostolis, post primam puritatem
secutae videntur mutationes doctrinae insignes quatuor. Origenica aetas,
etsi aliqui fuerunt recte sentientes,
qualem fuisse Methodium arbitror, qui deliramenta Originis improbavit, tamen
in animis multitudinis inflexit Evangelium ad Philosophiam, hoc est, offudit hanc persuasionem, mediocrem rationis disciplinam mereri remissionem peccatorum, et esse iusticiam de qua diceretur: Iustus ex fide sua vivet.
|And as I often think hard about the doctrine of all times<handed
down> by the Apostles uninterruptedly from that time, after
the initial purity four prominent changes of doctrine seemed to have followed. The age of Origen, even if there were some men or other thinking rightly, I
think that Methodius, who condemned the ravings of Origen, was the sort of
man, nevertheless in the hearts of the multitude he turned the Gospel to
Philosophy, that is, he spread this persuasion, that the moderate instruction
of reason obtains the remission of sins and that it is justice about which was
said: The just man will live from his own faith.
|87 Haec aetas pene totum amisit discrimen Legis et Evangelii, et sermonem Apostolicum dedidicit, Non enim retinuit nativam significationem vocabulo ex literae, spiritus, iusticiae, fidei. Et amissa verborum proprietate, quae rerum notae sunt, alias confingi res necesse est. Ex his seminibus ortus est Pelagii error, qui late vagatus est. Itaque cum Apostoli puram doctrinam seu limpidos et saluberrimos fontes Ecclesiae dedissent, multum infudit caeni Origines.||This age almost completely
lost the essential point of the Law and the Gospel and gave up the Apostolic
teaching, For it did not keep the natural meaning in the words "letter," "spirit," "justice," "faith." And having lost the peculiar nature of words which are the signs of things, it is necessary to fabricate other things. Pelagius' error, which spread widely, arose from these seeds. And since the
Apostles had given the pure doctrine, or, the pellucid and most health-giving sources of the Church, he filled the Beginnings (?) with a great deal of mud.
|88 (Bvii.r) Huius aetatis errores ut emendarentur,
saltem aliqua ex parte, Augustinum Deus excitavit, hic mediocriter fontes
repurgavit, ne dubito, si hic Iudex esset controversiarum huius aetatis,
habituros nos cum prorsus [Greek] homopsÓphon. Certe de remissione
gratuita, de iusticia fidei, de usu Sacramentorum, de
adiaphoris expresse nobiscum sentit.
|So that the errors of this age would be corrected from at least some
part, God roused up Augustine, this man moderately cleaned the sources
again, nor do I
doubt, if this man would have been the Judge of the disputes of this age, that
we would be reckoned straightaway by the same vote. He clearly thought
precisely as we do about the gratuitous remission of sins, justification by faith, the use of the Sacraments, and the indifferent things.
|89 Etsi autem alibi magis, alibi minus
diserte seu proprie exponit quod vult, tamen si Lector candorem et
dexteritatem in iudicando ad eum adferet, sentire eum nobiscum agnoscit. Quod
enim adversarii nostri interdum sententias ex eo decerptas, contra nos citant,
et ad patres magno clamore provocant, id non faciunt veritatis et antiquitatis
studio, sed sycophantice praesentibus Idolis autoritatem veterum praetexunt, quibus haec Idola postremae aetatis adhuc ignota erant.
|However even if here he explained more eloquently or properly what
he wanted, there less so, nevertheless if the Reader would bring brilliancy
and skill in judging to him, he perceives that he thinks as we do. For
the fact that our adversaries sometimes cite Augustine against us after
having picked out sayings from him,
and that they make an appeal to the fathers with a great shout, does not mean
they do this out ofeagerness for the truth and antiquity, but they deceitfully manufacture the authority of the ancients with the Idols before them, those Idols which had been unknown until a later age.
|90 Sed semina superstitionum tamen in illa
Patrum aetate extitisse adparet. Ideo
et de votis quaedam constituit Augustinus, etsi de his quoque minus horride
loquitur quam caeteri. Semper autem aliquid ineptiarum singulis etiam bonis aspergunt contagia suae aetatis, quia ut patriae, ita praesentibus ritibus
favemus, quibus innutriti sumus, verissimumque illud est Euripidis, [Greek]
pan suntrophon gluku.
|But nevertheless it is certain that the seeds ofsuperstitions existed
in that age of the Fathers. On that account Augustine decided certain things
about prayers, even if he spoke less uncouthly about these than others
did. However the pollutions of one's own age always sprinkle some of the
follies with even individuals goods, because just as we are well disposed
to our country, so to to the rites at hand on which we were brought up,
and that saying of Euripides
is absolutely correct, Everything familiar is pleasant.
|91 Utinam vero (Bvii.v) omnes qui Ausustinum
sequi se iactitant, perpetuam sententiam, et ut ita
dicam, pectus Augustini referrent, non tantum mutila dicta calumniose detorquerent ad suas opiniones.
|Would that all those who boast that they follow Augustine actually return to the uninterrupted idea, and, if I may put it this way, the heart of Augustine, and not merely deceitfully twist mutilated sayings into their own beliefs.|
|92 Ac restituta lux Augustini scriptis, posteritati profuit, Nam deinde Prosper, Maximus, Hugo, et aliqui similes, qui studia gubernarunt, usque ad Bernardi aetatem, propemodum Augustini normam sequuntur. Interea tamen crescentibus Imperiis et opibus Episcoporum, secuta est velut Gygantum aetas, prophani homines et indocti regnarunt in Ecclesia, quorum aliqui aulae Romanae artibus aut forensi doctrina exculti fuerunt.||And light having been restored to the writings of Augustine, it benefited
posterity, For thereafter Prosper, Maximus, Hugo, and those similar who direct
studies, even to the age of Bernard, follow almost the rule of Augustine. Meanwhile nevertheless the Empires and wealth of the Bishops were growing, and
just as the age of the Titans followed, profane and uneducated men reign in
the Church, some of whom had been refined in the arts of the Roman court or in
the doctrine of the law court.
|93 Exorti sunt igitur Dominicani, et Franciscani,
qui cum viderent luxum et opes Episcoporum, et prophanos mores detestarentur,
modestiorem vitam instituerunt, seque quasi disciplinae carceribus incluserunt.
Sed primum inscitia superstitiones auxit, Deinde cum viderent hominum studia
in Scholis ad solam forensem doctrinam converti, quod Romae iam lites multis
et opes, ipsi revocare homines ad Theologica studia conati sunt, sed consilium defuit. Albertus et similes, qui dediti fuerant Aristotelis doctrinae,
transformare Ecclesiae doctrinam in philosophiam coeperunt.
|So Dominicans and Franciscans arose, who, when they saw the luxury
and wealth of the Bishops, loathed profane morals, set up a simpler way
of life and shut themselves up as if in the jails of discipline. But at
first their inexperience increased the superstitions, then, when they saw
that the studies of the men in the Schools were turned solely toward forensic
doctrine, because already at Rome lawsuits were increasing the power and
wealth for many, they themselves endeavored to call men back to Theological
studies but they lacked a plan. Albert and those like him who had given
themselves over to the
doctrine of Aristotle began to transform the doctrine of the Church into philosophy.
|94 Et haec quarta aetas, (Bviii.r) non
tantum coenum, sed insuper venena, id est, opiniones probantes manifesta
Idola in fontes Evangelicos infudit, Tantum labyrinthorum et falsarum
opinionum est in Thoma, Scoto et similibus, ut semper saniores Theologi desideraverint aliud genus doctrinae planius et purius.
|And these four ages poured not only mud but moveover poisons into the
Gospel sources by approving ideas -- plain Idols -- and there is so great
a labyrinth and false opinions in Thomas, Scotus and those similar that
sounder Theologians ever desiderated another simpler and purer kind of doctrine.
|95 Nec sine insigni impudentia dici potest,
non fuisse opus eius doctrinae mutatione, cum manifestum sit, magnam partem
Sophismatum in illis
disputationibus ne ab iis quidem intelligi, qui in eo doctrinae genere consenuerunt.
|Nor can it be said without remarkable shamelessness that there was
no need for
the change of this doctrine, since it was evident that the great part of the Sophisms in those public debates were in no way grasped by those who grew old in that kind of doctrine.
|96 Deinde aperte confirmantur eidýlomaniai,
ubi docent applicationes Sacrificii ex opere operato, ubi statuarum invocationes
excusant, ubi negant gratis peccata remitti fide, ubi ex Ceremoniis humanis
carnificinam faciunt conscientiarum, denique multa sunt alia magis tetra et
dusphÓma, quae cogitans toto corpore cohorresco.
|Then the idolmania is openly confirmed, when they teach the attachings
(efficaciousness of works; applicationes; cf. p.35) of
Sacrifice from work, when they excuse the invocations of statues, when they deny that sins are gratuitously forgiven by faith, when out of human Ceremonies they make those (?) of good conscience into an executioner, and finally there are many other things more loathsome and blasphemous, which, when I think about them, I shudder with my whole body.
|97 Gratias igitur agamus Deo aeterno Patri Domini nostri Ihesn Christi, qui Martini Lutheri ministerio ex fontibus Evangelicis rursus eiici coenum et venena voluit, et Ecclesiae puram doctrinam restituit, qua de re cogitantes omnes pios toto orbe terrarum coniungere vota et gemitus decet, ac petere ardentibus pectoribus, ut Deus confirmet hoc (Bviii.v) quod operatus est in nobis, propter templum sanctum suum.||Therefore we give thanks to God the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus
who wanted the dirt and poisons to be driven out again from the Gospel sources by his minister Martin Luther, and he restored the pure doctrine of the Church, wherefore it is proper for all pious thinking men in the whole world to join prayers and lamentations together and to beg with burning hearts that
God strengthen that which he has done among us on account of his holy temple.
|98 Tua est haec vox et
promissio, vive et vere Deus, aeterne Pater Domini nostri Ihesu Christi, conditor omnium rerum et Ecclesiae, propter nomen meum miserebor vestri, propter me, Propter me faciam ut non blasphemer. Te oro toto pectore, ut propter gloriam tuam et Filii tui semper tibi inter nos quoque Ecclesiam
aeternam voce Evangelii tui colligas, et propter Filium tuum Dominum nostrum
Ihesum Christum, crucifixum pro nobis et resuscitatum, [Greek] MesitÓn kai hiketÓn, nostra pectora Spiritu sancto regas, ut te vere invocemus, et officia tibi placentia praestemus.
|This is your word and promise, o living and true God, the etenal Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, creator of all things and of the Church, On account
of my name I shall pity ye, on account of me, On account of me I shall
reproached. I pray You with my whole heart on account of your glory and the glory of your Son always to unite to you the eternal Church also among us by
the word of your Gospel, and on account of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ
crucified for us and resurrected, intercessor and suppliant, and to guide our
hearts by the holy Spirit, so that we may truly call upon you and fulfill the duties pleasing to you.
|99 Rege etiam studia doctrinae, et guberna
ac serva has politias et earum
disciplinam, quae sunt hospitia tuae Ecclesiae et studiorum, Cum ideo genus
humanum condideris, ut ab hominibus agnoscaris et invoceris, quare et
illustribus testimoniis te patefecisti, non sinas deleri haec agmina, in quibus doctrina tua sonat.
|Guide also the studies of doctrine and govern and preserve these governments
and their order, which are the homes of your Church and disciples, since you
created the human race for this reason so that you be known and invoked by
men, wherefore you also made yourself known by brilliant witnesses, may you
not allow these battles in which your doctrine sounds forth to be destroyed.
|100 Cumque Filius tuus Dominus noster
Ihesus Christus aditurus agonem suum precatus sit pro nobis: Pater, sanctifica
veritate, Sermo tuus est veritas. Ad huius nostri Sacerdotis praecationem
nostra vota adiungimus, et petimus una cum ipso, (Ci.r)
ut tua doctrina semper luceat in genere humano, et nos gubernet. Haec quotidie
praecantem et Lutherum audiebamus, et inter haec vota anima eius ex mortali
copore placide evocata est, cum iam ageret annum sexagesimum tertium.
|And since your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, as he was about to undergo his trial, prayed for us: Father, sanctify them in truth, your Word is truth. We join our prayers to the plea of this our Priest and we beg together with him that your doctrine may ever shine out in the human race, and that he govern us. We heard Luther also daily praying these, and during these prayers his soul was calmly called from his mortal body, when he had already completed his sixty-third year.|
|101 Habet posteritas multa monumenta et
doctrinae et pietatis ipsius. Edidit
scripta [Greek] didaskalika, in quibus doctrinam complexus est salutarem, et
necessariam hominibus, erudientem bonas mentes de poenitentia, de fide, et
veris fructibus fidei, de usu Sacramentorum, de discrimine Legis et Evangelii,
de discrimine Evangelii et Philosophiae, de dignitate politici ordinis,
denique de praecipuis Articulis doctrinae, quam in Ecclesia extare necesse est.
|Posterity has many monuments of the man's doctrine and piety. He published
Teachings in which he embraced the saving doctrine and the necessity for
instructing good minds about penance, faith, the true fruits of faith, the use
of the Sacraments, the essential point of the Law and the Gospel, the honor of
the political order, and finally the principal Articles of doctrine which must
of necessity be present in the Church.
|102 Deinde addidit [Greek] elengtika, in quibus refutavit multos errores perniciosos hominibus. Edidit et [Greek] ExÓngktika, id est, enarrationes plurimas in Prophetica et Apostolica scripta, quo in genere etiam inimici fatentur, eum superare omnium enarrationes, quae extant.||Next he added Cross-examinations in
which he refuted many destructive errors among men. He published Interpretations as well, that is, many commentaries on the Prophetic and Apostolic writings, in which genre even his opponents admit that he surpassed the commentaries of all men which are extant.
|103 Haec merita esse magna omnes piae
mentes intelligunt, sed profecto utilitate et labore aequat haec opera,
interpraetatio veteris et novi Testamenti, in qua tanta est perspicuitas,
ut vice Commentarii esse (Ci.v) possit ipsa germanica lectio, Quae tamen
non est nuda, sed habet adiunctas
eruditissimas annotationes, et singularum partium argumenta, quae et summam
doctrinae coelestis monstrant, et de genere sermonis erudiunt Lectorem, ut ex ipsis fontibus bonae mentes firma testimonia doctrinae sumere possint.
|All pious minds see that these merits are great, but indeed he equaled
works in usefulness and labor, the translation of the old and new Testament,
in which there is such great clearness that instead of a Commentary the very
German reading itself is able to exist, which is not however bare but has the
most learned notes added to it, and the arguments of individual sections which
teach the most important part of the heavenly doctrine and which educate the
Reader about the kind of style, so that from the very sources themselves good
minds would be able to take solid witnesses of doctrine for use.
|104 Volebat enim Lutherus non detinere in suis scriptis, sed ad fontes deducere omnium mentes. Ipsam vocem Dei audire nos voluit, hac voluit in multis accendi veram fidem et invocationem, ut Deus vere celebraretur, et multi fierent haeredes vitae aeternae.||For Luther did not want to detain them in his own writings but to lead forth the minds of all to the sources. He wanted us to hear the word of God itself, and by this way he wanted true faith and prayer to be kindled in many, so that God be truly worshipped and many men be made inheritors of everlasting life.|
|105 Hanc voluntatem et hos tantos labores
et grata mente praedicare decet, et exempli causa meminisse, ut nos quoque
pro suo quisque modo ornare Ecclesiam
studeat. Nam ad hos duos fines praecipue tota vita, et omnia vitae studia et consilia referenda sunt, Primum, ut Dei gloriam illustremus: Deinde, ut Ecclesiae prosimus. De quorum altero dicit Paulus, Omnia ad gloriam Dei facite.
|It is fitting to publish with thankful mind this purpose and these
so great labors and to remember them for the sake of an exampleso that
each of us also for our own sake will be eager to adorn the Church. For
the whole of life and all the studies and plans of life must be especially
referred to these two ends, First so that we embellish the glory of God:
Next that we benefit the
Church. About the one of which Paul says, Do ye all for the glory of God.
|106 De altero Psalmus CXXII Rogate quae
ad pacem sunt Ierusalem. Et additur dulcissima promissio in eodem versu,
Eos qui diligunt Ecclesiam faelices et beatos fore. Haec coelestia mandata
et hae promissiones invitent omnes, ut Ecclesiae doctrinam recte discant,
ament ministros Evangelii, et
salutares Doctores, et conferant studium et operam ad verae doctrinae propagationem, et ad verae Ecclesiae concordiam tuendam.
|About the other Psalm 122, Ask ye peace for Jerusalem. And the most
promise is added in the same verse, Those who love the Church will be happy
and blessed. May these heavenly commands and these promises invite all men to correctly learn the doctrine of the Church, may they love the ministers of the
Gospel and the beneficial Doctors, and may they bring eagerness and dedication
to spreading the true doctrine and to preserving the harmony of the true
|file: /pub/resources/text/wittenberg/melan: lifeb-01.txt||file: /pub/resources/text/wittenberg/melan: lifec-01.txt|