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For to lie and to kill, and to destroy body and soul eternally, that is wherein his papal government really consists, as I have very clearly shown in many books. For they cannot and will not concede us even the least point in one of these articles. Of this we should be certain, and animate ourselves with [be forewarned and made firm in] the hope that Christ, our Lord, has attacked His adversary, and he will press the attack home [pursue and destroy him] both by His Spirit and coming.

Therefore we ought not here to kiss his feet, or to say: The Lord rebuke thee , O Satan. Concerning the following articles we may [will be able to] treat with learned and reasonable men, or among ourselves. The Pope and his [the Papal] government do not care much about these. For with them conscience is nothing, but money, [glory] honors, power are [to them] everything.

This is called original or capital sin. For if this teaching were right [approved], then Christ has died in vain, since there is in man no defect nor sin for which he should have died; or He would have died only for the body, not for the soul, inasmuch as the soul is [entirely] sound, and the body only is subject to death. But all this miscarried on account of the wickedness which sin has wrought in man. Therefore, wherever they can escape [if they were not restrained by] punishment, they [would] do more against the Law than before.

These, then, are the rude and wicked [unbridled and secure] men, who do evil wherever they [notice that they] have the opportunity.


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In this way he becomes terrified, is humbled, desponds, despairs, and anxiously desires aid, but sees no escape; he begins to be an enemy of [enraged at] God, and to murmur, etc. The Law worketh wrath. Sin is increased by the Law. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. All the world is guilty before God. No man is righteous before Him.

And Christ says, John The Holy Ghost will reprove the world of sin. This is the hammer, as Jeremiah Is not My Word like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? This is not activa contritio or manufactured repentance, but passiva contritio [torture of conscience], true sorrow of heart, suffering and sensation of death. You are all of no account, whether you be manifest sinners or saints [in your own opinion]; you all must become different and do otherwise than you now are and are doing [no matter what sort of people you are], whether you are as great, wise, powerful, and holy as you may.

Here no one is [righteous, holy], godly, etc. Repent and believe the Gospel , i. And John, preceding Him, is called a preacher of repentance, however, for the remission of sins, i. Thus also Christ Himself says, Luke Through sin the Law killeth. For, as has been shown above, they do not believe aright concerning original sin, but say that the natural powers of man have remained [entirely] unimpaired and incorrupt; that reason can teach aright, and the will can in accordance therewith do aright [perform those things which are taught]; that God certainly bestows His grace when a man does as much as is in him, according to his free will.

If man truly repent, [feel remorse,] confess, render satisfaction, he thereby would have merited forgiveness, and paid for his sins before God [atoned for his sins and obtained a plenary redemption]. Thus in repentance they instructed men to repose confidence in their own works. Prolong O God , my life , until I shall make satisfaction for my sins and amend my life. And with this intention we became priests and monks, that we might array ourselves against sin. Since no one could remember all his sins especially as committed through an entire year , they inserted this provision, namely, that if an unknown sin should be remembered later [if the remembrance of a concealed sin should perhaps return], this also must be repented of and confessed, etc.

Meanwhile they were [the person was] commended to the grace of God. He who could not have contrition, at least ought to have attrition, which I may call half a contrition or the beginning of contrition; for they have themselves understood neither of these terms nor do they understand them now, as little as I. Such attrition was reckoned as contrition when a person went to confession.

When one would reply Yes for who, save the devil himself, would here say No? Here they cited the example of St.

But if it be [clearly] viewed in the light, this contrition is a manufactured and fictitious thought [or imagination], derived from man's own powers, without faith and without the knowledge of Christ. And in it the poor sinner, when he reflected upon his own lust and desire for revenge, would sometimes [perhaps] have laughed rather than wept [either laughed or wept, rather than to think of something else], except such as either had been truly struck by [the lightning of] the Law, or had been vainly vexed by the devil with a sorrowful spirit.

Otherwise [with the exception of these persons] such contrition was certainly mere hypocrisy, and did not mortify the lust for sins [flames of sin]; for they had to grieve, while they would rather have continued to sin, if it had been free to them. Every one had [was enjoined] to enumerate all his sins which is an impossible thing. This was a great torment.

From such as he had forgotten [But if any one had forgotten some sins] he would be absolved on the condition that, if they would occur to him, he must still confess them. In this way he could never know whether he had made a sufficiently pure confession [perfectly and correctly], or when confessing would ever have an end. Yet he was pointed to his own works, and comforted thus: The more fully [sincerely and frankly] one confesses, and the more he humiliates himself and debases himself before the priest, the sooner and better he renders satisfaction for his sins; for such humility certainly would earn grace before God.

What torture, rascality, and idolatry such confession has produced is more than can be related. For no man could know how much to render for a single sin, not to say how much for all. Here they have resorted to the device of imposing a small satisfaction, which could indeed be rendered, as five Paternosters, a day's fast, etc. But this confidence was impossible. For, although any one had done penance in that way for a hundred years, he would still not have known whether he had finished his penance. That meant forever to do penance and never to come to repentance. But he reserved to himself alone the power to remit the entire satisfaction.

He called this the remission of all punishment and guilt. Then the people came running, because every one would fain have been freed from this grievous, unbearable burden. This meant to find [dig up] and raise the treasures of the earth. Immediately the Pope pressed still further, and multiplied the golden years one upon another.

But the more he devoured money, the wider grew his maw. Later, therefore, he issued them [those golden years of his] by his legates [everywhere] to the countries, until all churches and houses were full of the Golden Year. For although the Pope taught men to depend upon, and trust in, these indulgences [for salvation], yet he rendered the [whole] matter again uncertain. For in his bulls he declares: Whoever would share in the indulgences or a Golden Year must be contrite, and have confessed, and pay money.

The Smalcald Articles

Now, we have heard above that this contrition and confession are with them uncertain and hypocrisy. Likewise, also no one knew what soul was in purgatory, and if some were therein, no one knew which had properly repented and confessed. Thus he took the precious money [the Pope snatched up the holy pence], and comforted them meanwhile with [led them to confidence in] his power and indulgence, and [then again led them away from that and] directed them again to their uncertain work.

This is indeed true, and seals, letters, and instances [that this happened] are at hand. For of what would they repent, since they had not indulged wicked thoughts? What would they confess [concerning words not uttered], since they had avoided words? For what should they render satisfaction, since they were so guiltless of any deed that they could even sell their superfluous righteousness to other poor sinners? Such saints were also the Pharisees and scribes in the time of Christ.

Why, we have repented! The latter [the rest] say: We need no repentance. Repent ye, both of you, for ye are false penitents; so are these [the rest] false saints [or hypocrites], and all of you on either side need the forgiveness of sins, because neither of you know what true sin is not to say anything about your duty to repent of it and shun it. For no one of you is good; you are full of unbelief, stupidity, and ignorance of God and God's will. For here He is present of whose fulness have all we received , and grace for grace , John 1: Therefore, if you wish to repent, repent aright; your penance will not accomplish anything [is nothing].

And you hypocrites, who do not need repentance, you serpents' brood, who has assured you that you will escape the wrath to come? There is none righteous , there is none that understandeth , there is none that seeketh after God , there is none that doeth good , no not one; they are all gone out of the way; they are together become unprofitable.

God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. For it does not debate what is or is not sin, but hurls everything on a heap, and says: All in us is nothing but sin [affirms that, with respect to us, all is simply sin and there is nothing in us that is not sin and guilt ]. What is the use of [For why do we wish] investigating, dividing, or distinguishing a long time? For this reason, too, this contrition is not [doubtful or] uncertain.

For there is nothing left with which we can think of any good thing to pay for sin, but there is only a sure despairing concerning all that we are, think, speak, or do [all hope must be cast aside in respect of everything], etc. For he who confesses that all in him is nothing but sin comprehends all sins, excludes none, forgets none.

By this [preaching of] repentance we dash to the ground the Pope and everything that is built upon our good works. For all is built upon a rotten and vain foundation, which is called a good work or law, even though no good work is there, but only wicked works, and no one does the Law as Christ, John 7: Therefore the building [that is raised upon it] is nothing but falsehood and hypocrisy, even [in the part] where it is most holy and beautiful. This gift daily cleanses and sweeps out the remaining sins, and works so as to render man truly pure and holy. I have had before me [seen and heard] many such insane men, and I fear that in some such a devil is still remaining [hiding and dwelling].

For the Holy Ghost does not permit sin to have dominion, to gain the upper hand so as to be accomplished, but represses and restrains it so that it must not do what it wishes. But if it does what it wishes, the Holy Ghost and faith are [certainly] not present. John says, 1 John 3: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin , And yet it is also the truth when the same St. If we say that we have no sin , we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

We will now return to the Gospel, which not merely in one way gives us counsel and aid against sin; for God is superabundantly rich [and liberal] in His grace [and goodness]. First, through the spoken Word by which the forgiveness of sins is preached [He commands to be preached] in the whole world; which is the peculiar office of the Gospel. Thirdly, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar. Fourthly, through the power of the keys, and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren, Matt.

Where two or three are gathered together , etc. Let the Word come to the element , and it becomes a Sacrament.

The Smalcald Articles by Martin Luther

For they belong to the promised redemption made through Christ, and the Church should administer it [Baptism and the announcement of that promise] to them. Of the Sacrament of the Altar. For it is in perfect agreement with Holy Scriptures that there is, and remains, bread, as Paul himself calls it, 1 Cor.

The bread which we break. Let him so eat of that bread. Who can understand his errors? Paul himself complains that with the flesh he serves the law of sin. Enter not into judgment with Thy servant; for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified.

The Smalcald Articles by Martin Luther - Free Ebook

For as long as we are in the flesh, we shall not lie when we say: I see another law in my members , etc. For since private absolution originates in the Office of the Keys, it should not be despised [neglected], but greatly and highly esteemed [of the greatest worth], as [also] all other offices of the Christian Church. Why [then] do not they also omit their own sermons and writings, until the Spirit Himself come to men, without their writings and before them, as they boast that He has come into them without the preaching of the Scriptures?

But of these matters there is not time now to dispute at greater length; we have elsewhere sufficiently urged this subject. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved , even though they are at first unbelieving, and receive the Spirit and Baptism ten years afterwards. Peter had to reveal to him that the Messiah in whom, as one that was to come, he had hitherto believed now had come, lest his faith concerning the coming Messiah hold him captive among the hardened and unbelieving Jews, but know that he was now to be saved by the present Messiah, and must not, with the [rabble of the] Jews deny nor persecute Him.

For God wished to appear even to Moses through the burning bush and spoken Word; and no prophet neither Elijah nor Elisha, received the Spirit without the Ten Commandments [or spoken Word]. The prophecy came not by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Without the outward Word, however, they were not holy, much less would the Holy Ghost have moved them to speak when they still were unholy [or profane]; for they were holy, says he, since the Holy Ghost spake through them.

The greater excommunication, as the Pope calls it, we regard only as a civil penalty, and it does not concern us ministers of the Church. But the lesser, that is, the true Christian excommunication, consists in this, that manifest and obstinate sinners are not admitted to the Sacrament and other communion of the Church until they amend their lives and avoid sin.

Luther's call to the Church to return to the teachings of the Bible led to the formation of new traditions within Christianity and to the Co Martin Luther was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. Luther's call to the Church to return to the teachings of the Bible led to the formation of new traditions within Christianity and to the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic reaction to these movements.

His contributions to Western civilization went beyond the life of the Christian Church. His translations of the Bible helped to develop a standard version of the German language and added several principles to the art of translation.

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His hymns inspired the development of congregational singing in Christianity. Three of his best known works were published in Paperback , 48 pages. Published January 16th by Dodo Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Smalcald Articles , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Smalcald Articles.

Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Insightful into Luther's main objections to the Roman Catholic Church of his day. These articles are written in a fairly straight forward style without a lot of color commentary and insultery. The main topics are: There are a total of 15 articles, tackling differences these Reformers had with the Roman See.

The ending has a long list of signers, w Insightful into Luther's main objections to the Roman Catholic Church of his day.

The Smalcald Articles 1537

The ending has a long list of signers, which adds an interesting element to this document, since many of them were unknown to me and most likely to everyone else. Jan 15, John Yelverton rated it really liked it. Martin Luther releases, basically, a statement of faith in an effort to make sure that his position is truthfully heard should a church council ever be called in an attempt to reunify the Roman Catholics and the Protestants.

Yet, Luther addresses his issues with the papacy in his usual bombastic way which pretty much precludes this ever happening. There are many excellent points that are made, but the constant use of clauses and parenthetical phrases make for some clunky and frustrating reading. As Luther notes in his brief introduction these articles laid out "what we could accept or yield, and what we could not. The Council never happened and the league never adopted the The Smalcald Articles as an official statement of faith because of Luther's strident, I would even say enthusiastic, attacks on some core matters of Catholic faith, especially the office of the Pope.

The Smalcald Articles were incorporated into the Book of Concord and are considered traditional standard Lutheran doctrine. The Smalcald Articles are a lively presentation of the basics of Lutheranism. In reality, one would get the same information if you read Martin Luther's Small Catechism but it would not be presented in Luther's best argumentative style.

Luther often knew no restraint when it came to arguing the points of Christian faith. He follows his arguments to their logical conclusions and is quite ruthless, devastatingly effective and fantastically politically incorrect Aug 19, Tiffany rated it it was amazing. This book gave me a good view into the mind of Martin Luther and considering that this basically the first thing I've read by him I found it very insightful.

Luther was a man that knew what he believed and stuck to them. Prior to reading this book I thought that Lutheranism was just a branch off of the Catholic church that the they, while having obvious differences, didn't think badly of the Catholic church. And while this is probably true for most Lutherans, Martin Luther made his thoughts extr This book gave me a good view into the mind of Martin Luther and considering that this basically the first thing I've read by him I found it very insightful.

And while this is probably true for most Lutherans, Martin Luther made his thoughts extremely clear in these articles. He goes as far to say that the Pope is the antichrist and the devil's play toy. He obviously had very harsh views about the Catholic church and their ways of doing things. Ultimately I didn't find anything I disagreed with in these articles. It is fairly short and was easy to get through. I continue to believe that Luther was of very strong Biblical doctrine and had a very strong conviction about his beliefs. Overall, I really liked reading this and it will probably spur me to read more from Martin Luther in the future.

Sep 12, Katy rated it really liked it. Love learning about my faith. Gary rated it liked it Jan 09, Nancy Almodovar rated it it was amazing Feb 17, Stephen Ardent rated it it was amazing Oct 01, Gabriel rated it liked it Dec 26, Ann Werner rated it liked it Jun 22,