“The true Christian religion is incarnational and thus does not begin at the top, as all other religions do; it begins at the bottom. You must run directly to the manger and the mother’s womb, embrace the Infant and Virgin’s Child in your arms and look at Him – born, being nursed, growing up, going about in human society, teaching, dying, rising again, ascending above all the heavens, and having authority over all things.” – Martin Luther
“If I profess with loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except that little point which the world and the Devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” – Luther
“As to myself, I openly confess that I should not wish ‘Free-will’ to be granted me, even if it could be so, nor anything else to be left in my own hands, whereby I might endeavor something towards my own salvation. And that, not merely because in so many opposing dangers, and so many assaulting devils, I could not stand and hold it fast (in which state no man could be saved, seeing that one devil is stronger than all men), but because even though there were no dangers, no conflicts, no devils, I should be compelled to labour under a continual uncertainty, and to beat the air only. Nor would my conscience, even if I should live and work to all eternity, ever come to a settled certainty, how much it ought to do in order to satisfy God. For whatever work should be done, there would still remain a scrupling, whether or not it pleased God, or whether He required any thing more; as is proved in the experience of all justiciaries, and as I myself learned to my bitter cost through so many years of my own experience.
But now, since God has put my salvation out of the way of my will, and has taken it under His own, and has promised to save me, not according to my working or manner of life, but according to His own grace and mercy, I rest fully assured and persuaded that He is faithful, and will not lie, and moreover great and powerful, so that no devils, no adversities can destroy Him, or pluck me out of His hand. ‘No one (saith He) shall pluck them out of My hand, because My Father which gave them Me is greater than all.’ (John x. 27-28). Hence it is certain that in this way, if all are not saved, yet some, yea, many shall be saved; whereas by the power of ‘Free-will’ no one whatever could be saved, but all must perish together. And moreover, we are certain and persuaded that in this way we please God, not from the merit of our own works, but from the favor of His mercy promised unto us; and that if we work less, or work badly, He does not impute it unto us, but, as a Father, pardons us and makes us better. This is the glorying which all the saints have in their God!”
– Luther, The Bondage of the Will (p. 254)
“… the greatest and only consolation of Christians in their adversities, is the knowing that God lies not, but does all things immutably, and that His will cannot be resisted, changed, or hindered.” – Luther, The Bondage of the Will
Martin Luther writing to Erasmus in Bondage of the Will:
… your book is, in my estimation, so mean and vile, that I greatly feel for you for having defiled your most beautiful and ingenious language with such vile trash; and I feel an indignation against the matter also, that such unworthy stuff should be borne about in ornaments of eloquence so rare; which is as if rubbish, or dung, should be carried in vessels of gold and silver.
Gotta love it. Luther may be called many things, but a mincer of words? Not on your life.