by Fr. William Most
(The first two items were checked in standard editions of
Luther's works directly. The 5 items beneath are cited from P. F.
O'Hare, (Tan, Rockford, 1987 ). O'Hare
seems to have worked carefully, and gives exact references for
everything. Yet it is important to check things against the
standard editions. The last five items have not yet been checked,
hard to find a copy of De Wette).
1. , August 1, 1521 (American Edition,
, vol. 48, pp. 281-82, edited by H. Lehmann,
Fortress, 1963): "If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a
true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear
a true [p. 282] and not a fictitious sin. God does not save
people who are only fictitious sinners. "(emphasis added).
2. : "Pecca fortiter, sed crede
fortius" In the light of the standard version of the first item
above, we render: "Sin boldly (or bravely) but believe still more
boldly (or bravely)."
1."We must remove the Decalogue [ten commandments] out of sight
and heart."(De Wette, 4, 188- cited in P. F. O'Hare, , Rockford, 1987, p. 311 -De Wette was a protestant
scholar who collected the most significant sayings of Luther in
2."They are fools who attempt to overcome temptations [to lust]
by fasting, prayer and chastisement. For such temptations and
immoral attacks are easily overcome when there are plenty of
maidens and women" (Cited from O'Hare p. 311).
3."I sit here in idleness and pray, alas, little, and sigh not
for the Church of God. Much more am I consumed by the fires of my
unbridled flesh. In a word, I who should burn of the spirit, am
consumed by the flesh, and by lasciviousness" (De Wette 2. 22.
cited in O'Hare p. 3l4.
4."I burn with a thousand flames in my unsubdued flesh: I feel
myself carried on with rage towards women that approaches
madness. I who ought to be fervent in spirit, am only fervent in
impurity." ( cited in O'Hare p. 315).
5. On Nov. 25, 1521 he wrote to the Augustinians in Wittenberg:
"With how much pain and labor did I scarcely justify my
conscience that I alone should proceed against the Pope, hold him
for Antichrist, and the bishops for his apostles. How often did
my heart punish me and reproach me with this strong argument:"Art
thou alone wise? Could all the others err and have erred for a
long time? How if thou errest and leadest into error so many
people who would all be damned forever?" (, 2. 107,
cited in O'Hare p. 195).