95 Theses Essay

95 Theses Essay-80
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.

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.The rest of the Reformation, it is not too much to say, was but the application of the principles vindicated in these three works.

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Monks and Schoolmen performed prodigies of self-denial and self-sacrifice, in order to realise in themselves, and to impose as far as possible on the world at large, the laws of perfection which the Church held before their vision.

The glorious cathedrals which arose in the best period of the Middle Ages are but the visible types of those splendid structures of ideal virtues, which a monk like St. Thomas Aquinas, piled up by laborious thought and painful asceticism.

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.

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.But no adequate attempt has yet been made to let him speak for himself to Englishmen by his greatest and most characteristic writings.The three works which, together with the 95 Theses, are included in this volume, are well known in Germany as the or “The Three Great Reformation Treatises” of Luther; but they seem never yet to have been brought in this character before the English public.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.Yet, as is well understood in Germany, it is in these that the whole genius of the Reformer appears in its most complete and energetic form.They are bound together in the closest dramatic unity.The Theses, and the two Treatises, “On Christian Liberty,” and “On the Babylonish Captivity of the Church,” have been translated from the original Latin Text, as given in the Frankfort Edition, by the Rev. present publication is offered as a contribution to the due celebration in this country of the fourth Centenary of Luther’s birth.Much has been written about him, and the general history of his life and work is being sketched by able pens.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.


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