He desires, at the same time, to express his great obligations to Dr.Wace, who carefully compared his translation with the original work, and whose suggestions have been of great service to him. Grignon, to whose generous assistance and accurate scholarship the editors feel greatly indebted.But no adequate attempt has yet been made to let him speak for himself to Englishmen by his greatest and most characteristic writings.Tags: Essay Rubric Middle SchoolIs There A Website Where Pay Someone To Do My Papers?Essay Writing My Favourite SportBusiness Plan Template EntrepreneurInternational Finance AssignmentResearch Paper On Alcoholism And FamilyEssay Part Time Students
This is an 1883 collection of Luther’s major works which helped begin the reformation in Europe: the “95 Theses”, his “Address to the Nobility of the German Nation”, “Concerning Christian Liberty”, and the “Babylonish Captivity of the Church”. This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. purpose and plan of this publication, which has been prompted by the celebration of the fourth centenary of Luther’s birth, is explained in the Introductory Essay.
My colleague, in the Essay which follows this, has dealt with the political course of the Reformation during his career; and in the present remarks an endeavour will simply be made to indicate the nature and the bearings of the central principles of the Reformer’s life and work, as exhibited in the accompanying translations.
It is by no mere accident of controversy that the Ninty-five Theses mark the starting-point of Luther’s career as a reformer.
In the Appeal to the German Nobility he first asserted those rights of the laity, and of the temporal power, without the admission of which no reformation would have been practicable, and he then denounced with burning moral indignation the numerous and intolerable abuses which were upheld by Roman authority.
In the third Treatise, on the Babylonish Captivity of the Church, he applied the same cardinal principles to the elaborate Sacramental system of the Church of Rome, sweeping away by means of them the superstitions with which the original institutions of Christ had been overlaid, and thus releasing men’s consciences from a vast network of ceremonial bondage.The Treatise on Christian Liberty has indeed been previously translated, though not of late years.But from an examination of the catalogue in the British Museum, it would appear that no English translation is accessible, even if any has yet been published, of the Address to the German Nobility or of the Treatise on the Babylonish Captivity of the Church.The rest of the Reformation, it is not too much to say, was but the application of the principles vindicated in these three works.They were applied in different countries with varying wisdom and moderation; but nothing essential was added to them.Those convictions had been slowly, and even reluctantly, admitted; but they had gradually accumulated in intense force in Luther’s mind and conscience; and when “the time for speech had come” they burst forth in a kind of volcanic eruption.Their maturity is proved by the completeness and thoroughness with which the questions at issue are treated.Luther felt, as he says at the commencement of his Address to the German Nobility, that “the time for silence had passed, and the time for speech had come.” He evidently apprehended that reconciliation between himself and the Court of Rome was impossible; and he appears to have made up his mind to clear his conscience, whatever the cost.Accordingly in these three works he spoke out with a full heart, and with the consciousness that his life was in his hand, the convictions which had been forced on him by the conduct of the Papacy and of the Papal theologians.An insight into the deepest theological principles is combined with the keenest apprehension of practical details.In the Treatise on Christian Liberty we have the most vivid of all embodiments of that life of Faith to which the Reformer recalled the Church and which was the mainspring of the Reformation.