The following extract, is the conclusion of Luther's letter 'which accompanied his Treatise on. Christian Liberty to Leo X., Pope of Rome; for whom the Treatise was expressly written.

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-“In a word, put no confidence in those who exalt you, but rather in those who would humble you. For this is the way of God's judgments" He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek.” Behold how much the successors of Christ are unlike himself! And yet, they desire to be accounted his vicars. : And I greatly fear that very many of them will be found to be his vicars in an awful reality. For a vicar is one who takes the place of a potentate when he is absent. And if the Pope rule and govem when Christ is absent, that is, not dwelling in his heart, what is such an one, but a vicar of Christ! And what is such a church, but a confused multitude without Christ? And what is such a vicar, but ANTICHRIST!

'I may, perhaps, be deemed insolent for presuming to teach a potentate so mighty: from whom, (as those deadly pests of flatterers around you arrogantly vaunt;) all thrones and seats of judgment should fetch their definitive decision and sentence.-But I follow the example of St. Bernard, in his book to Eugenius “On Consideration;" which every Pope ought to know by heart. Nor do I thus address you so much from a desire of becoming your teacher, as from a duty of that

duty of that pure and faithful concern, which makes me fear for my friends when all things seem secure and safe around them, and


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which will not suffer me to pay regard either to the dignity or humility of their station, intent only upon the consideration of their danger and their benefit. Wherefore, when I see you tossed to and fro in tumult at Rome as upon a sea of perils, with destruction threatening you on every side, and involved in that state of surrounding misery, that you stand in need of the least service from the meanest of your brethren, I do not think it will be an absurd intrusion if I forget, for a moment, your greatness, while I perform an office of charity. I cannot descend to adulation in a matter so momentous and perilous in which, if you do not consider me to be your

greatest, and yet most subservient, friend—there is one that seeketh and judgeth!

* Finally: That I might not come before you empty, I bring with me this little Treatise, published under the sanction of your name, as an auspicious sign of peace to be established, and of good hope to be realized. In which little work, you may have a taste of those things in which I delight to be engaged; and in which I might be engaged to much greater profit than I now am, if I were not hindered by those impious flatterers around you, as I have hithertó been.—The Treatise is insignificant if you look at its bulk, but if you consider its contents, you will, if I mistake not, find it to be a summary of the Christian life comprised in a narrow compass. As I am but a poor man, I have nothing else wherewith to present you. Nor will you need any thing else, but the gift of the Spirit to understand it. This offering, therefore, together with myself, I commend to your paternity and holiness: whom, may the Lord Jesus preserve unto eternal life. Amen!"

Wirtemberg, April 1526."



Christian faith, has appeared to many an easy matter : of whom, not a few have classed it among the moral virtues, nay, have made it merely a sort of attendant on virtue. And this they have done, because they have never proved what it is in their own experience, nor internally tasted its power. Whereas, no one can truly describe it himself, nor really understand it when truly described, unless he has at some time, under the fiery trial of pressing conflicts, tasted the spirit of it in his own soul. And he who has really tasted this, even in the smallest degree, can never write of it, speak of it, think of it, nor hear of it enough: for it is, as Christ calls it,

a living fountain springing up into everlasting life,” John iv.

As to myself, though I may not boast of an abundant stock of this grace, (for I deeply feel my straitened deficiency,) yet I do trust, that out of the great and various tribulations under which I have been exercised, I have gotten of faith a certain drachm : and that I can therefore treat of it, if not more eloquently, yet certainly more substantially, than any of those learned and subtle ones have hitherto done, in all their laboured disputations : who, after they had done, knew not what they themselves had written upon the subject. But in order to open up this matter the more plainly to simple souls, (since it is for them only I write,) I lay down at the outset these TWO PROPOSITIONs concerning the bondage and liberty of the Spirit

I. The Christian man is a most free lord of all, sub

ject to none. II. The Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all

, subject to all. Though these two things may seem to be contradictions, yet when they shall be found to harmonize, they will sweetly make for our present purpose. Both these propositions then are of Paul himself, who saith, 1 Cor. ix., “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all.” Again, Rom. xiii. “ Owe no man any thing, but to love one another.” For the nature of love is, to be dutiful and affectionately obedient unto the object beloved. Thus Christ, though Lord of all, was yet“ made of a woman, made under the law;" at the same time free, and a servant; at the same time, in the form of God, and in the form of a servant, Gal. iv.

But let us at the beginning, enter into these things more deeply and fully.--Man, then, consists of two natures, spiritual and corporal. In respect of his spiritual nature, which we term the soul, he is called the spiritual, the inner, the new man. In respect of his corporal nature, which we term the flesh, he is called the carnal, the outward, the old man ; concerning which the apostle saith, 2 Cor. iv. “Though our outward man perish, our inward man is renewed day by day.” And hence, from this diversity, contrary things are spoken in the scriptures concerning the same man: because these two men are at continual war with each other, from the flesh lusting against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, Gal. v.

PROPOSITION I. We consider then, FIRST, the inward man, with the intent of seeing in what way he can become justified, free, and a true Christian : that is, a spiritual, and inward new man. And it is evident, that no external thing whatever, be its nature or denomination what it may, can be of any avail unto this Christian righteousness and

liberty; nor, on the other hand, be of any avail to cause unrighteousness or bondage : of which you may at once be persuaded by the following demonstration.

For, what can it avail unto the liberty of the soul, if the body be in health, vigour, and vivacity? If it eat, drink, and do what it list? The most abandoned' slaves to all sin enjoy these things to the full.—On the other hand, how can a soul in liberty be brought into bondage by ill-health, or captivity, or hunger, or thirst, or any external evil? Those who most fear God, and enjoy the purest conscience and the most perfect freedom, are afflicted with these things to the utmost.-None of these external things, therefore, reach to the liberty or bondage of the soul.

So also, it can avail nothing unto this liberty, if the body be adorned with holy robes after the manner of priests; if it be continually in holy places and occupied in holy duties; if it pray, fast, and abstain from certain meats; if it perform every holy exercise that is wrought,

; or can be wrought by the body. Something far beyond all this is necessary unto the righteousness and liberty of the soul! For all the things just mentioned may be performed by any, even the most wicked, nor would they, after all, be any more than hypocrites !—On the other hand, it cannot injure the liberty of the soul, if the body be clothed in common garments, and continue in common places; if it eat, and drink as do others; if it never pray aloud; if it do none of all those services which, we have just observed, may be done by hypocrites. .

In a word, to reject all things :--neither speculations, meditations, nor the greatest devotional efforts of which the human mind is capable, avail any thing. One thing, and that only can effect the life, the righteousness, and the liberty of a Christian—and that is, the most holy Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ : as he saith John xi., “ I am the resurrection and the life, he that be

. lieveth in me shall never die.” Again, John viii., “ If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” And again, Matt. iv., “ Man shall not live by bread alone,

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