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life ; he will drive out serpents ; he will throw
out the lazy who come into the houses, and
say evil things under the pretense of right-
eousness, and so are like poisonous serpents.
You will see how children can withstand them
with the truth of God, and drive them away.
If a believer drinks anything deadly it will
not hurt him: this deadly drink is the false
doctrines of the lazy, from whom, as you con-

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THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

tend with them, a little comes also to you.
But he who stands unharmed in the faith,
cries to you: See that you do good; seek
God's glory, not your own. He that does that
is of the truth, and remains unharmed. The
Lord says further of the faithful : They shall
lay their hands on the sick and shall heal
them. The hands are the works, and the good
lay such hands on the weak that they may
support them when they totter. Do I not
teach you according to the Gospel? Why do
you hesitate and go not into the service of
the Lord? Do you ask me still what you
ought to do? I will, in conclusion, tell you.
Look to Christ and you will find that all
He says concerns faith. Ask the apostle; he
speaks of nothing else than of faith. If you
have the ground of all, if you have faith, you
will always do what is good. Without faith
man always falls into sin. You must seek
faith in order to be good, or else your faith
will become false. Christ commanded His
disciples to preach the Gospel to all the world,
and your wise men call a man a little world,
a microcosm. So then preach to yourself,
man, woman, and child. Three parts
the world has in you also. Preach first of
all to your knowledge, and say to it: If you
draw near this truth, you will have much
faith; wherefore do you hesitate to use it?
To your will, say : Thou seest that everything
passes away; therefore love not the world,

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SAVONAROLA



love Christ. Thereupon turn to the second
part of your world, and say to it: Be thank-
ful, O my memory, for the mercies God has
shown thee, that thou thinkest not of the
things of this world but of the mercy of
thy creation, and thy redemption throuirh the
blood of the Son of God. Then go to the
third part, to thy imagination, and proclaim
to it: Set nothing before my eyes but my
death, bring nothing before me but the
Crucified, embrace Him, fly to Him. Then
go through all the cities of thy world and
preach to them. First say to thine eyes:
Look not on vanity. To thy ears say:
Listen not to the words of the lazy, but
only to the words of Jesus. To thy tongue
say: Speak no more evil. For thy tongue
is as a great rock that rolls from the summit
of a mountain, and at first falls slov/ly, then
ever faster and more furiously. It begins
with gentle murmuring, then it utters small
sins, and then greater, until it finally breaks
forth in open blasphemy. To thy palate
say: It is necessary that we do a little pen-
ance. In all thy senses be clean, and turn
to the Lord, for He it is who will give you
correction and purity. To thy hands say:
Do good and give alms; and let thy feet go
in the good way. Our reformation has begun
in the Spirit of God, if you take it to heart
that each one has to preach to himself. Then
will we in the name of Jesus drive out the



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THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

devils of temptation. Yes, call upon Jesus
as often as temptation approaches: call upon
Him a hundred times and believe firmly, and
the temptation will depart. Then will we
speak with new tongues; we will speak with
God. We shall drive away serpents; the en-
ticement of the senses are these serpents. If
we drink anything deadly it will not hurt
us ; if anger and lust arise in us, at the name
of Jesus they will have to give way. "We shall
lay our hands upon the sick and heal them;
with good deeds shall we strengthen the weak
soul. If thou feelest thy weakness, flee to
God, and He will strengthen; therefore He
is thy only refuge. He is thy Savior and thy
Lord, who went into the heavens to prepare
a place for thee, and to wait thee there. What
do you intend to do? Go and follow Jesus,
who is praised from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen.



112



LUTHER

THE METHOD AND FRUITS OF JUS-
TIFICATION



1—8



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Martin Luther_, leader of the Refor-
mation, was born at Eisleben in 1483,
and died there 1546. His rugged charac-
ter and powerful intellect, combined with
a strong physique, made him a natural
orator, so that it was said "his words
were half battles."

Of his own method of preaching he
once remarked :

"When I ascend the pulpit I see no
heads, but imagine those that are before
me to be all blocks. When I preach I sink
myself deeply down ; I regard neither doc-
tors nor masters, of which there are in the
church above forty. But I have an eye to
the multitude of young people, children,
and servants, of which there are more
than two thousand. I preach to them.
When he preaches on any article a man
must first distinguish it, then define, de-
scribe, and show what it is; thirdly, he
must produce sentences from the Scripture
to prove and to strengthen it ; fourthly, he
must explain it by examples; fifthly, he
must adorn it with similitudes; and
lastly, he must admonish and arouse the
indolent, correct the disobedient, and re-
prove the authors of false doctrine."



LUTHER

1483—1546

THE METHOD AND FRUITS OF JUS-
TIFICATION

Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child,
difereth nothing from a servant, though he he Lord
of all; but is under tutors and governors until the
time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we
were children, were in bondage under the elements of
the world: but when the fullness of the time was
come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made
under the law, to redeem them that were under the
law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And
because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of
His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, and
if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. — Gal.
iv., 1-7.

THIS text touches the very pith of Paul's
chief doctrine. The cause why it is
well understood but by few is, not
that it is so obscure and difficult, but because
there is so little knowledge of faith left in
the world; without which it is not possible
to understand Paul, who everywhere treats
of faith with such earnestness and force. I
must, therefore, speak in such a manner that

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THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

this text will appear plain; and that I may
more conveniently illustrate it, I will speak
a few words by way of preface.

First, therefore, we must understand the
doctrine in which good works are set forth,
far different from that which treats of jus-
tification; as there is a great difference be-
tween the substance and its working; between
man and his work. Justification pertains to
man, and not to works ; for man is either jus-
tified and saved, or judged and condemned,
and not works. Neither is it a controversy
among the godly, that man is not justified
by works, but righteousness must come from
some other source than from his own works:
for Moses, writing of Abel, says, "The Lord
had respect unto Abel, and to his offering."
First, He had respect to Abel himself, then
to his offering ; because Abel was first counted
righteous and acceptable to God, and then
for his sake his offering was accepted also, and
not he because of his offering. Again, God
had no respect to Cain, and therefore neither
to his offering: therefore thou seest that re-
gard is had first to the worker, then to the
work.

From this it is plainly gathered that no
work can be acceptable to God, unless he
which worketh it was first accepted by Him:
and again, that no work is disallowed of Him
unless the author thereof be disallowed before.
I think these remarks will be sufficient con-

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LUTHER



eerning this matter at present, by which it
is easy to understand that there are two sorts
of works, those before justification and those
after it; and that these last are good works
indeed, but the former only appear to be
good. Hereof cometh such disagreement be-
tween God and those counterfeit holy ones;
for this cause nature and reason rise and rage
against the Holy Ghost; this is that of which
almost the whole Scripture treats. The Lord
in His Word defines all works that go before
justification to be evil, and of no importance,
and requires that man before all things be
justified. Again, He pronounces all men
which are unregenerate, and have that nature
which they received of their parents un-
changed, to be righteous and wicked, accord-
ing to that saying "all men are liars," that
is, unable to perform their duty, and to do
those things which they ought to do; and
"Every imagination of the thoughts of his
heart are only evil continually"; whereby he
is able to do nothing that is good, for the
fountain of his actions, which is his heart,
is corrupted. If he do w^orks which outwardly
seem good, they are no better than the offering
of Cain.

Here again comes forth reason, our rev-
erend mistress, seeming to be marvelously
wise, but who indeed is unwise and blind,
gainsaying her God, and reproving Him of
lying; being furnished with her follies and

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THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

feeble honor, to wit, the light of nature, free
will, the strength of nature; also with the
books of the heathen and the doctrines of
men, contending that the works of a man
not justified are good works, and not like
those of Cain, yea, and so good that he that
worketh them is justified by them; that God
will have respect, first to the works, then to
the worker. Such doctrine now bears the
sway everywhere in schools, colleges, monas-
teries wherein no other saints than Cain was,
have rule and authority. Now from this error
comes another: they which attribute so much
to works, and do not accordingly esteem the
worker, and sound justification, go so far
that they ascribe all merit and righteousness
to works done before justification, making
-no account of faith, alleging that which
James saith, that without works faith is
dead. This sentence of the apostle they do
not rightly understand; making but little
account of faith, they always stick to
works, whereby they think to merit exceed-
ingly, and are persuaded that for their work's
sake they shall obtain the favor of God: by
this means they continually disagree with
God, showing themselves to be the posterity
of Cain. God hath respect unto man, then
unto the works of man; God alloweth the
work for the sake of him that worketh, these
require that for the work's sake the worker
may be crowned.

118



LUTHER



But here, perhaps, thou wilt say, what
is needful to be done? By what means shall
I become righteous and acceptable to God?
How shall I attain to this perfect justifica-
tion ? Those the gospel answers, teaching that
it is necessary that thou hear Christ, and re-
pose thyself wholly on Him, denying thyself
and distrusting thine own strength; by this
means thou shalt be changed from Cain to
Abel, and being thyself acceptable, shalt offer
acceptable gifts to the Lord. It is faith that
justifies thee, thou being endued therewith;
the Lord remitteth all thy sins by the media-
tion of Christ His Son, in whom this faith
believeth and trusteth. ^Moreover, He giveth
unto such a faith His Spirit, which changes
the man and makes him anew, giving him
another reason and another will. Such a
one worketh nothing but good works. "Where-
fore nothing is required unto justification but
to hear Jesus Christ our Savior, and to be-
lieve in Him. Howbeit these are not the
works of nature, but of grace.

He, therefore, that endeavors to attain to
these things by works shutteth the way to
the gospel, to faith, grace, Christ, God, and
all things that help unto salvation. Again,
nothing is necessary in order to accomplish
good works but justification; and he that
hath attained it performs good works, and
not any other. Hereof it sufficiently appears
that the beginning, the things following, and

119



THE WORLD»S GREAT SERMONS

the order of man's salvation are after this
sort; first of all it is required that thou hear
the Word of God ; next that thou believe ; then
that thou work; and so at last become saved
and happy. He that changes this order,
witliout doubt is not of God. Paul also de-
scribes this, saying, "Whosoever shall call
upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on Him in whom
they have not believed? and, how shall they
believe in Him of whom they have not heard ?
and, how shall they hear without a preacher?
and, how shall they preach except they be
sent?"

Christ teaches us to pray the Lord of the
harvest to send forth laborers into His
harvest; that is, sincere preachers. When
we hear these preach the true Word of God,
we may believe; which faith justifies a man,
and makes him godly indeed, so that he now
calls upon God in the spirit of holiness, and
works nothing but that which is good, and
thus becomes a saved man. Thus he that
believeth shall be saved; but he that worketh
without faith is condemned; as Christ saith,
he that doth not believe shall be condemned,
from which no works shall deliver him. Some
say, I will now endeavor to become honest.
It is meet surely that we study to lead an
honest life, and to do good works. But if
one ask them how we may apply ourselves
unto honesty, and by what means we may

120



LUTHER



attain it, they answer, that we must fast,
pray, frequent temples, avoid sins, etc.
Whereby one becomes a Carthusian monk,
another chooses some other order of monks,
and another is consecrated a priest; some
torment their flesh by wearing hair-cloth,
others scourge their bodies with whips,
others afflict themselves in a different manner ;
but these are of Cain's progeny, and their
works are no better than his; for they con-
tinue the same that they were before, ungodly,
and without justification: there is a change
made of outward works only, of apparel, of
place, etc.

They scarce think of faith, they presume
only on such works as seem good to them-
selves, thinking by them to get to heaven.
But Christ said, ''Enter in at the strait
gate, for I say unto you, many seek to enter
in, and can not." Why is this? because
they know not what this narrow gate is; for
it is faith, which altogether annihilates or
makes a man appear as nothing in his own
eyes, and requires him not to trust in his own
works, but to depend upon the grace of God,
and be prepared to leave and suffer all things.
Those holy ones of Cain's progeny think their
good works are the narrow gate; and are not,
therefore, extenuated or made less, whereby
they might enter.

When we begin to preach of faith to those
that believe altogether in works, they laugh

121



THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

and hiss at us, and say, "Dost thou count us
as Turks and heathens, whom it behooves
now first to learn faith? is there such a com-
pany of priests, monks, and nuns, and is
not faith known? who knoweth not what he
ought to believe? even sinners know that."
Being after this sort animated and stirred
up, they think themselves abundantly en-
dued with faith, and that the rest is now
to be finished and made perfect by works.
They make so small and slender account of
faith, because they are ignorant what faith
is, and that it alone doth justify. They call
it faith, believing those things which they
have heard of Christ; this kind of faith the
devils also have, and yet they are not jus-
tified. But this ought rather to be called an
opinion of men. To believe those things to
be true which are preached of Christ is not
sufficient to constitute thee a Christian, but
thou must not doubt that thou art of the num-
ber of them unto whom all the benefits of
Christ are given and exhibited ; which he that
believes must plainly confess, that he is holy,
godly, righteous, the son of God, and certain
of salvation ; and that by no merit of his own,
but by the mere mercy of God poured forth
upon him for Christ 's sake : which he believes
to be so rich and plentiful, as indeed it is,
that altho he be as it were drowned in
sin, he is notwithstanding made holy, and
become the son of God.

122



LUTHER



Wherefore, take heed that thou nothing
doubt that thou art the son of God, and there-
fore made righteous by His grace ; let all fear
and care be done away. However, thou must
fear and tremble that thou mayest persevere
in this way unto the end; but thou must not
do this as tho it consisted in thy own strength,
for righteousness and salvation are of grace,
whereunto only thou must trust. But when
thou knowest that it is of grace alone, and
that thy faith also is the gift of God, thou
shalt have cause to fear, lest some temptation
violently move thee from this faith.

Every one by faith is certain of this sal-
vation; but we ought to have care and fear
that we stand and persevere, trusting in the
Lord, and not in our own strength. When
those of the race of Cain hear faith treated
of in this manner, they marvel at our mad-
ness, as it seems to them. God turn us from
this way, say they, that we should affirm our-
selves holy and godly; far be this arrogance
and rashness from us: we are miserable sin-
ners; we should be mad, if we should arro-
gate holiness to ourselves. Thus they mock
at true faith, and count such doctrine as this
execrable error; and thus try to extinguish
the Gospel. These are they that deny the
faith of Christ, and persecute it throughout
the whole world; of whom Paul speaks: **In
the latter times many shall depart from the
faith," etc., for we see by these means that

123



THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

true faith lies everywhere opprest; it is
not preached, but commonly disallowed and
condemned.

The pope, bishops, colleges, monasteries,
and universities have more than five hundred
years persecuted it with one mind and con-
sent most obstinately, which has been the
means of driving many to hell. If any ob-
ject against the admiration, or rather the
mad senselessness of these men, if w^e count
ourselves even holy, trusting the goodness of
God to justify us, or as David prayed, "Pre-
serve Thou me, O Lord, for I am holy," or
as Paul saith, "The Spirit of God beareth
witness with our spirit that we are the chil-
dren of God"; they answer that the prophet
and apostle would not teach us in these words,
or give us an example which we should fol-
low, but that they, being particularly and
specially enlightened, received such revelation
of themselves. In this way they misrepresent
the Scripture, which affirms that they are
holy, saying that such doctrine is not writ-
ten for us, but that it is rather peculiar mir-
acles, which do not belong to all. This forged
imagination we account of as having come
from their sickly brain. Again, they believe
that they shall be made righteous and holy
by their own works, and that because of them
God will give them salvation and eternal
blessedness.

In the opinion of these men it is a Chris-

124



LUTHER



tian duty to think that we shall be righteous
and sacred because of our works; but to be-
lieve that these things are given by the grace
of God, they condemn as heretical; attribu-
ting that to their own works which they do
not attribute to the grace of God. They that
are endued with true faith, and rest upon
the grace of the Lord, rejoice with holy joy,
and apply themselves with pleasure to good
works, not such as those of Cain's progeny
do, as feigned prayers, fasting, base and filthy
apparel, and such like trifles, but to true and
good works whereby their neighbors are
profited.

Perhaps some godly man may think, if the
matter be so, and our work do not save us,
to what end are so many precepts given us,
and why doth God require that they be
obeyed? The present text of the apostle will
give a solution of this question, and upon
this occasion we will give an exposition there-
of. The Galatians being taught of Paul the
faith of Christ, but afterward seduced by
false apostles, thought that our salvation must
be finished and made perfect by the works
of the law ; and that faith alone doth not suf-
fice. These Paul calls back again from works
unto faith with great diligence ; plainly prov-
ing that the works of the law, which go be-
fore faith, make us only servants, and are of
no importance toward godliness and salva-
tion ; but that faith makes us the sons of God,

125



THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

and from thence good works without con-
straint forthwith plentifully flow.

But here we must observe the words of the
apostle; he calls him a servant that is occu-
pied in works without faith, of which we
have already treated at large; but he calls
him a son which is righteous by faith alone.
The reason is this, altho the servant apply
himself to good works, yet he does it not with
the same mind as doth the son ; that is, with
a mind free, willing, and certain that the
inheritance and all the good things of the
Father are his ; but does it as he that is hired
in another man's house, who hopes not that
the inheritance shall come to him. The works
indeed of the son and the servant are alike j
and almost the same in outward appearance;
but their minds differ exceedingly: as Christ
saith, ''The servant abideth not in the house
forever, but the son abideth ever."

Those of Cain's progeny want the faith of
sons, which they confess themselves; for they
think it most absurd, and wicked arrogancy,
to affirm themselves to be the sons of God,
and holy; therefore as they believe, even so
are they counted before God; they neither
become holy nor the sons of God, nevertheless
are they exercised with the works of the law ;
wherefore they are and remain servants for-
ever. They receive no reward except tem-
poral things; such as quietness of life, abun-
dance of goods, dignity, honor, etc., which

126



LUTHER



we see to be common among the followers of
popish religion. But this is their reward, for
they are servants, and not sons; wherefore
in death they shall be separated from all good
things, neither shall any portion of the eter-
nal inheritance be theirs, who in this life
would believe nothing thereof. We perceive,
therefore, that servants and sons are not un-
like in works, but in mind and faith they have
no resemblance.

The apostle endeavors here to prove that
the law with all the works thereof makes us
but mere servants, if we have not faith in
Christ; for this alone make us sons of God.
It is the word of grace followed by the Holy
Ghost, as is shown in many places, where
we read of the Holy Ghost falling on
Cornelius and his family while hearing the
preaching of Peter. Paul teaches that no
man is justified before God by the works
of the law; for sin only cometh by the
law. He that trusts in works condemns
faith as the most pernicious arrogancy and
error of all others. Here thou seest plainly
that such a man is not righteous, being
destitute of .that faith and belief which
is necessary to make him acceptable before
God and His Son; yea, he is an enemy to
this faith, and therefore to righteousness also.
Thus it is easy to understand that which Paul
saith, that no man is justified before God by
the works of the law.

127



THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

The worker must be justified before God
before he can work any good thing. Men
judge the worker by the works; God judges
the works by the worker. The first precept
requires us to acknowledge and worship one
God, that is, to trust Him alone, which is the
true faith whereby we become the sons of God.
Thou canst not be delivered from the evil of
unbelief by thine own power, nor by the
power of the law; wherefore all thy works
which thou doest to satisfy the law can be
nothing but works of the law; of far less
importance than to be able to justify thee
before God, who counteth them righteous only
who truly believe in Him; for they that
acknowledge Him the true God are His sons,
and do truly fulfil the law. If thou shouldst
even kill thyself by working, thy heart can
not obtain this faith thereby, for thy works
are even a hindrance to it, and cause thee
to persecute it.

He that studieth to fulfil the law without
faith is afflicted for the devil's sake; and
continues a persecutor both of faith and the
law, until he come to himself, and cease to
trust in his own works; he then gives glory
to God, who justifies the ungodly, and
acknowledges himself to be nothing, and sighs
for the grace of God, of which he knows that


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