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LCMS
The Large Catechism
By Martin Luther
Contents:
Introduction
Preface
The Ten Commandments
The Apostles Creed
The Our Father
Baptism
The Sacrament

The Ten Commandments


First Commandment
Second Commandment
Third Commandment
Fourth Commandment
Fifth Commandment
Sixth Commandment
Seventh Commandment
Eighth Commandment
Ninth/Tenth Commandment
Conclusion

The Creed
The First Article
The Second Article
The Third Article

The Our Father


The
The
The
The
The
The
The

First Petition
Second Petition
Third Petition
Fourth Petition
Fifth Petition
Sixth Petition
Seventh, Last, Petition

Baptism
Infant Baptism

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The Sacrament of the Altar

Introduction

AChristian,Profitable,andNecessaryPreface,andFaithful,EarnestExhortationofDr.
MartinLuthertoAllChristians,butEspeciallytoAllPastorsandPreachers,thatThey
ShouldDailyExerciseThemselvesintheCatechism,whichisaShortSummaryand,Epitome
oftheEntireHolyScriptures,andthatTheyMayAlwaysTeachtheSame.

1]WehavenoslightreasonsfortreatingtheCatechismsoconstantly[insermons]andfor
bothdesiringandbeseechingotherstoteachit,sinceweseetooursorrowthatmany
pastorsandpreachersareverynegligentinthis,andslightboththeirofficeandthisteaching;
somefromgreatandhighart(givingtheirmind,astheyimagine,tomuchhighermatters],
butothersfromsheerlazinessandcarefortheirpaunches,assumingnootherrelationtothis
businessthaniftheywerepastorsandpreachers,fortheirbellies'sake,andhadnothingto
dobut,to[spendand]consumetheiremolumentsaslongastheylive,astheyhavebeen
accustomedtodounderthePapacy.

2]Andalthoughtheyhavenoweverythingthattheyaretopreachandteachplacedbefore
themsoabundantly,clearly,andeasily,insomany[excellentand]helpfulbooks,andthe
trueSermonesperseloquentes,Dormisecure,ParatosetThesauros,astheywerecalledin
formertimes;yettheyarenotsogodlyandhonestastobuythesebooks,orevenwhenthey
havethem,tolookatthemorreadthem.Alas!theyarealtogethershamefulgluttonsand
servantsoftheirownbellieswhooughttobemoreproperlyswineherdsanddogtenders
thancaretakersofsoulsandpastors.

3]Andnowthattheyaredeliveredfromtheunprofitableandburdensomebabblingofthe
SevenCanonicalHours,oh,that,insteadthereof,theywouldonly,morning,noon,and
evening,readapageortwointheCatechism,thePrayerbook,theNewTestament,or
elsewhereintheBible,andpraytheLord'sPrayerforthemselvesandtheirparishioners,so
thattheymightrender,inreturn,honorandthankstotheGospel,bywhichtheyhavebeen
deliveredfromburdensandtroublessomanifold,andmightfeelalittleshamebecauselike
pigsanddogstheyretainnomoreoftheGospelthansuchalazy,pernicious,shameful,
carnalliberty!4]For,alas!asitis,thecommonpeopleregardtheGospelaltogethertoo
lightly,andweaccomplishnothingextraordinaryeventhoughweusealldiligence.What,
then,willbeachievedifweshallbenegligentandlazyaswewereunderthePapacy?

5]Tothisthereisaddedtheshamefulviceandsecretinfectionofsecurityandsatiety,thatis,
thatmanyregardtheCatechismasapoor,meanteaching,whichtheycanreadthroughat
onetime,andthenimmediatelyknowit,throwthebookintoacorner,andbeashamed,asit
were,toreadinitagain.

6]Yea,evenamongthenobilitytheremaybefoundsomeloutsandscrimps,whodeclare
thatthereisnolongeranyneedeitherofpastorsorpreachers;thatwehaveeverythingin
books,andeveryonecaneasilylearnitbyhimself;andsotheyarecontenttoletthe
parishesdecayandbecomedesolate,andpastorsandpreacherstosufferdistressand

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hungeraplenty,justasitbecomescrazyGermanstodo.ForweGermanshavesuch
disgracefulpeople,andmustendurethem.

7]ButformyselfIsaythis:Iamalsoadoctorandpreacher,yea,aslearnedandexperienced
asallthosemaybewhohavesuchpresumptionandsecurity;yetIdoasachildwhoisbeing
taughttheCatechism,andevermorning,andwheneverIhavetime,Ireadandsay,wordfor
word,theTenCommandments,theCreed,theLord'sPrayer,thePsalms,etc.AndImuststill
readandstudydaily,andyetIcannotmasteritasIwish,8]butmustremainachildandpupil
oftheCatechism,andamgladsotoremain.Andyetthesedelicate,fastidiousfellowswould
withonereadingpromptlybedoctorsabovealldoctors,knoweverythingandbeinneedof
nothing.Well,this,too,isindeedasuresignthattheydespiseboththeirofficeandthesouls
ofthepeople,yea,evenGodandHisWord.Theydonothavetofall,theyarealreadyfallen
alltoohorribly;theywouldneedtobecomechildren,andbegintolearntheiralphabet,
whichtheyimaginethattheyhavelongsinceoutgrown.

9]ThereforeIbegsuchlazypaunchesorpresumptuoussaintstobepersuadedandbelieve
forGod'ssakethattheyareverily,verily!notsolearnedorsuchgreatdoctorsasthey
imagine;andnevertopresumethattheyhavefinishedlearningthis[thepartsofthe
Catechism],orknowitwellenoughinallpoints,eventhoughtheythinkthattheyknowit
eversowell.Forthoughtheyshouldknowandunderstanditperfectly(which,however,is
impossibleinthislife),yettherearemanifoldbenefitsandfruitsstilltobeobtained,ifitbe
dailyreadandpractisedinthoughtandspeech;namely,thattheHolyGhostispresentin
suchreadingandrepetitionandmeditation,andbestowsevernewandmorelightand
devoutness,sothatitisdailyrelishedandappreciatedbetter,asChristpromises,Matt.18,
20:WheretwoorthreearegatheredtogetherinMyname,thereamIinthemidstofthem.

10]Besides,itisanexceedinglyeffectualhelpagainstthedevil,theworld,andthefleshand
allevilthoughtstobeoccupiedwiththeWordofGod,andtospeakofit,andmeditateupon
it,sothattheFirstPsalmdeclaresthoseblessedwhomeditateupontheLawofGoddayand
night.Undoubtedly,youwillnotstartastrongerincenseorotherfumigationagainstthedevil
thanbybeingengageduponGod'scommandmentsandwords,andspeaking,singing,or
thinkingofthem.Forthisisindeedthetrueholywaterandholysignfromwhichheflees,and
bywhichhemaybedrivenaway.

11]Now,forthisreasonaloneyououghtgladlytoread,speak,thinkandtreatofthese
things,ifyouhadnootherprofitandfruitfromthemthanthatbydoingsoyoucandrive
awaythedevilandevilthoughts.ForhecannothearorendureGod'sWord;andGod'sWord
isnotlikesomeothersillyprattle,asthataboutDietrichofBerne,etc.,butasSt.Paulsays,
Rom.1,16,thepowerofGod.Yea,indeed,thepowerofGodwhichgivesthedevilburning
pain,andstrengthens,comforts,andhelpsusbeyondmeasure.

12]Andwhatneedisthereofmanywords?IfIweretorecountalltheprofitandfruitwhich
God'sWordproduces,whencewouldIgetenoughpaperandtime?Thedeviliscalledthe
masterofathousandarts.ButwhatshallwecallGod'sWord,whichdrivesawayandbrings
tonaughtthismasterofathousandartswithallhisartsandpower?Itmustindeedbethe
masterofmorethanahundredthousandarts.13]Andshallwefrivolouslydespisesuch
power,profit,strength,andfruitwe,especially,whoclaimtobepastorsandpreachers?If
so,weshouldnotonlyhavenothinggivenustoeat,butbedrivenout,beingbaitedwith
dogs,andpeltedwithdung,becausewenotonlyneedallthiseverydayasweneedourdaily
bread,butmustalsodailyuseitagainstthedailyandunabatedattacksandlurkingofthe

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devil,themasterofathousandarts.

14]AndifthiswerenotsufficienttoadmonishustoreadtheCatechismdaily,yetweshould
feelsufficientlyconstrainedbythecommandofGodalone,whosolemnlyenjoinsinDeut.6,
6ffthatweshouldalwaysmeditateuponHisprecepts,sitting,walking,standing,lyingdown,
andrising,andhavethembeforeoureyesandinourhandsasaconstantmarkandsign.
DoubtlessHedidnotsosolemnlyrequireandenjointhiswithoutapurpose;butbecauseHe
knowsourdangerandneed,aswellastheconstantandfuriousassaultsandtemptationsof
devils,Hewishestowarn,equip,andpreserveusagainstthem,aswithagoodarmoragainst
theirfierydartsandwithgoodmedicineagainsttheirevilinfectionandsuggestion.

15]Oh,whatmad,senselessfoolsarewethat,whilewemusteverliveanddwellamongsuch
mightyenemiesasthedevilsare,weneverthelessdespiseourweaponsanddefense,andare
toolazytolookatorthinkofthem!

16]Andwhatelsearesuchsupercilious,presumptuoussaints,whoareunwillingtoreadand
studytheCatechismdaily,doingthanesteemingthemselvesmuchmorelearnedthanGod
HimselfwithallHissaints,angels,[patriarchs],prophets,apostles,andallChristians?For
inasmuchasGodHimselfisnotashamedtoteachthesethingsdaily,asknowingnothing
bettertoteach,andalwayskeepsteachingthesamething,anddoesnottakeupanything
newordifferent,andallthesaintsknownothingbetterordifferenttolearn,andcannot
finishlearningthis,arewenotthefinestofallfellowstoimagine,ifwehaveoncereador
heardit,thatweknowitall,andhavenofurtherneedtoreadandlearn,butcanfinish
learninginonehourwhatGodHimselfcannotfinishteaching,althoughHeisengagedin
teachingitfromthebeginningtotheendoftheworld,andallprophets,togetherwithall
saints,havebeenoccupiedwithlearningit,andhaveeverremainedpupils,andmust
continuetobesuch?

17]ForitneedsmustbethatwhoeverknowstheTenCommandmentsperfectlymustknow
alltheScriptures,sothat,inallaffairsandcases,hecanadvise,help,comfort,judge,and
decidebothspiritualandtemporalmatters,andisqualifiedtositinjudgmentuponall
doctrines,estates,spirits,laws,andwhateverelseisintheworld.Andwhat,indeed,isthe
entirePsalterbutthoughtsandexercisesupontheFirstCommandment?18]NowIknowofa
truththatsuchlazypaunchesandpresumptuousspiritsdonotunderstandasinglepsalm,
muchlesstheentireHolyScriptures;andyettheypretendtoknowanddespisethe
Catechism,whichisacompendandbriefsummaryofalltheHolyScriptures.

19]ThereforeIagainimploreallChristians,especiallypastorsandpreachers,nottobe
doctorstoosoon,andimaginethattheyknoweverything(forimaginationandcloth
unshrunk[andfalseweights]fallfarshortofthemeasure),butthattheydailyexercise
themselveswellinthesestudiesandconstantlytreatthem;moreover,thattheyguardwith
allcareanddiligenceagainstthepoisonousinfectionofsuchsecurityandvainimagination,
butsteadilykeeponreading,teaching,learning,pondering,andmeditating,anddonotcease
untiltheyhavemadeatestandaresurethattheyhavetaughtthedeviltodeath,andhave
becomemorelearnedthanGodHimselfandallHissaints.

20]Iftheymanifestsuchdiligence,thenIwillpromisethem,andtheyshallalsoperceive,
whatfruittheywillobtain,andwhatexcellentmenGodwillmakeofthem,sothatindue
timetheythemselveswillacknowledgethatthelongerandthemoretheystudythe
Catechism,thelesstheyknowofit,andthemoretheyfindyettolearn;andthenonly,as

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hungryandthirstyones,willtheytrulyrelishthatwhichnowtheycannotendure,becauseof
greatabundanceandsatiety.TothisendmayGodgrantHisgrace!Amen.

Backtotop

Short Preface of Dr. Martin Luther


1]Thissermonisdesignedandundertakenthatitmightbeaninstructionforchildrenand
thesimpleminded.HenceofolditwascalledinGreekCatechism,i.e.,instructionfor
children,2]whateveryChristianmustneedsknow,sothathewhodoesnotknowthiscould
notbenumberedwiththeChristiansnorbeadmittedtoanySacrament,justasamechanic
whodoesnotunderstandtherulesandcustomsofhistradeisexpelledandconsidered
incapable.3]Thereforewemusthavetheyounglearnthepartswhichbelongtothe
Catechismorinstructionforchildrenwellandfluentlyanddiligentlyexercisethemselvesin
themandkeepthemoccupiedwiththem.

4]Thereforeitisthedutyofeveryfatherofafamilytoquestionandexaminehischildren
andservantsatleastonceaweekandtoascertainwhattheyknowofit,orarelearning,and,
iftheydonotknowit,tokeepthemfaithfullyatit.5]ForIwellrememberthetime,indeed,
evennowitisadailyoccurrencethatonefindsrude,oldpersonswhoknewnothingandstill
knownothingofthesethings,andwho,nevertheless,gotoBaptismandtheLord'sSupper,
anduseeverythingbelongingtoChristians,notwithstandingthatthosewhocometothe
Lord'sSupperoughttoknowmoreandhaveafullerunderstandingofallChristiandoctrine
thanchildrenandnewscholars.6]However,forthecommonpeoplewearesatisfiedwith
thethreeparts,whichhaveremainedinChristendomfromofold,thoughlittleofithasbeen
taughtandtreatedcorrectlyuntilbothyoungandold,whoarecalledandwishtobe
Christians,arewelltrainedinthemandfamiliarwiththem.Thesearethefollowing:

First.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.

1]1.ThoushalthavenoothergodsbeforeMe.
2]2.ThoushaltnottakethenameoftheLord,thyGod,invain[fortheLordwillnotholdhim
guiltlessthattakethHisnameinvain].
3]3.Thoushaltsanctifytheholyday.[RemembertheSabbathdaytokeepitholy.]
4]4.Thoushalthonorthyfatherandmother[thatthoumayestlivelongupontheearth].
5]5.Thoushaltnotkill.
6]6.Thoushaltnotcommitadultery.
7]7.Thoushaltnotsteal.
8]8.Thoushaltnotbearfalsewitnessagainstthyneighbor.
9]9.Thoushaltnotcovetthyneighbor'shouse.
10]10.Thoushaltnotcovetthyneighbor'swife,norhismanservant,norhismaidservant,
norhiscattle[ox,norhisass],noranythingthatishis.

Secondly.
THE CHIEF ARTICLES OF OUR FAITH.

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11]1.IbelieveinGodtheFatherAlmighty,Makerofheavenandearth.
12]2.AndinJesusChrist,HisonlySon,ourLord;whowasconceivedbytheHolyGhost,born
oftheVirginMary;sufferedunderPontiusPilate,wascrucified,deadandburied;He
descendedintohell;thethirddayHeroseagainfromthedead;Heascendedintoheaven,
andsittethontherighthandofGodtheFatherAlmighty;fromthenceHeshallcometojudge
thequickandthedead.
13]3.IbelieveintheHolyGhost,theholyChristianChurch,thecommunionofsaints,the
forgivenessofsins,theresurrectionofthebody,andthelifeeverlasting.Amen.

14] Thirdly.
THE PRAYER, OR "OUR FATHER," WHICH CHRIST TAUGHT.

OurFatherwhoartinheaven.
1.HallowedbeThyname.
2.Thykingdomcome.
3.Thywillbedoneonearthasitisinheaven.
4.Giveusthisdayourdailybread.
5.Andforgiveusourtrespassesasweforgivethosewhotrespassagainstus.
6.Andleadusnotintotemptation.
7.Butdeliverusfromevil.[ForThineisthekingdomandthepowerandtheglory,forever
andever.]Amen.

15]Thesearethemostnecessarypartswhichoneshouldfirstlearntorepeatwordforword,
16]andwhichourchildrenshouldbeaccustomedtorecitedailywhentheyariseinthe
morning,whentheysitdowntotheirmeals,andwhentheyretireatnight;anduntilthey
repeatthem,theyshouldbegivenneitherfoodnordrink.

17]Likewiseeveryheadofahouseholdisobligedtodothesamewithrespecttohis
domestics,manservantsandmaidservants,andnottokeeptheminhishouseiftheydonot
knowthesethingsandareunwillingtolearnthem.18]Forapersonwhoissorudeand
unrulyastobeunwillingtolearnthesethingsisnottobetolerated;forinthesethreeparts
everythingthatwehaveintheScripturesiscomprehendedinshort,plain,andsimpleterms.
19]FortheholyFathersorapostles(whoevertheywere)havethusembracedinasummary
thedoctrine,life,wisdom,andartofChristians,ofwhichtheyspeakandtreat,andwith
whichtheyareoccupied.

20]Now,whenthesethreepartsareapprehended,itbehoovesapersonalsotoknowwhat
tosayconcerningourSacraments,whichChristHimselfinstituted,Baptismandtheholybody
andbloodofChrist,namely,thetextwhichMatthew28,19ffandMark16,15frecordatthe
closeoftheirGospelswhenChristsaidfarewelltoHisdisciplesandsentthemforth.

21] OF BAPTISM.

Goyeandteachallnations,baptizingtheminthenameoftheFather,andoftheSon,andof
theHolyGhost.Hethatbelievethandisbaptizedshallbesaved;buthethatbelievethnot
shallbedamned.

22]SomuchissufficientforasimplepersontoknowfromtheScripturesconcerning

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Baptism.Inlikemanner,also,concerningtheotherSacrament,inshort,simplewords,
namely,thetextofSt.Paul[1Cor.11,23f].

OF THE SACRAMENT.

23]OurLordJesusChrist,thesamenightinwhichHewasbetrayed,tookbread;andwhen
Hehadgiventhanks,Hebrakeit,andgaveittoHisdisciplesandsaid,Take,eat;thisis,My
body,whichisgivenforyou:thisdoinremembranceofMe.

AfterthesamemanneralsoHetookthecup,whenHehadsupped,gavethanks,andgaveit
tothem,saying,Drinkyeallofit;thiscupisthenewtestamentinMyblood,whichisshedfor
youfortheremissionofsins:thisdoye,asoftasyedrinkit,inremembranceofMe.

24]Thuswouldhave,inall,fivepartsoftheentireChristiandoctrinewhichshouldbe
constantlytreatedandrequired[ofchildren],andheardrecitedwordforword.Foryoumust
notrelyuponitthattheyoungpeoplewilllearnandretainthesethingsfromthesermon
alone.25]Whenthesepartshavebeenwelllearned,youmay,asasupplementandtofortify
them,laybeforethemalsosomepsalmsorhymns,whichhavebeencomposedonthese
parts,andthusleadtheyoungintotheScriptures,andmakedailyprogresstherein.

26]However,itisnotenoughforthemtocomprehendandrecitethesepartsaccordingto
thewordsonly,buttheyoungpeopleshouldalsobemadetoattendthepreaching,
especiallyduringthetimewhichisdevotedtotheCatechism,thattheymayhearit
explained,andmaylearntounderstandwhateverypartcontains,soastobeabletoreciteit
astheyhaveheardit,and,whenasked,maygiveacorrectanswer,sothatthepreachingmay
notbewithoutprofitandfruit.27]Forthereasonwhyweexercisesuchdiligencein
preachingtheCatechismsooftenisthatitmaybeinculcatedonouryouth,notinahighand
subtilemanner,butbrieflyandwiththegreatestsimplicity,soastoenterthemindreadily
andbefixedinthememory.

28]Thereforeweshallnowtakeuptheabovementionedarticlesonebyoneandinthe
plainestmannerpossiblesayaboutthemasmuchasisnecessary.

Backtotop

Large Catechism
Part First: The Ten Commandments
The First Commandment.
ThoushalthavenoothergodsbeforeMe.

1]Thatis:Thoushalthave[andworship]MealoneasthyGod.Whatistheforceofthis,and
howisittobeunderstood?Whatdoesitmeantohaveagod?or,whatisGod?2]Answer:A
godmeansthatfromwhichwearetoexpectallgoodandtowhichwearetotakerefugein
alldistress,sothattohaveaGodisnothingelsethantotrustandbelieveHimfromthe
[whole]heart;asIhaveoftensaidthattheconfidenceandfaithoftheheartalonemakeboth

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Godandanidol.3]Ifyourfaithandtrustberight,thenisyourgodalsotrue;and,onthe
otherhand,ifyourtrustbefalseandwrong,thenyouhavenotthetrueGod;forthesetwo
belongtogether,faithandGod.Thatnow,Isay,uponwhichyousetyourheartandputyour
trustisproperlyyourgod.

4]Thereforeitistheintentofthiscommandmenttorequiretruefaithandtrustoftheheart
whichsettlesupontheonlytrueGod,andclingstoHimalone.Thatisasmuchastosay:"See
toitthatyouletMealonebeyourGod,andneverseekanother,"i.e.:Whateveryoulackof
goodthings,expectitofMe,andlooktoMeforit,andwheneveryousuffermisfortuneand
distress,creepandclingtoMe.I,yes,I,willgiveyouenoughandhelpyououtofeveryneed;
onlyletnotyourheartcleavetoorrestinanyother.

5]ThisImustunfoldsomewhatmoreplainly,thatitmaybeunderstoodandperceivedby
ordinaryexamplesofthecontrary.ManyaonethinksthathehasGodandeverythingin
abundancewhenhehasmoneyand,possessions;hetrustsinthemandboastsofthemwith
suchfirmnessandassuranceastocarefornoone.6]Lo,suchamanalsohasagod,
Mammonbyname,i.e.,moneyandpossessions,onwhichhesetsallhisheart,andwhichis
alsothemostcommonidolonearth.7]Hewhohasmoneyandpossessionsfeelssecure,and
isjoyfulandundismayedasthoughheweresittinginthemidstofParadise.8]Ontheother
hand,hewhohasnonedoubtsandisdespondent,asthoughheknewofnoGod.9]Forvery
fewaretobefoundwhoareofgoodcheer,andwhoneithermournnorcomplainifthey
havenotMammon.This[careanddesireformoney]sticksandclingstoournature,evento
thegrave.

10]So,too,whoevertrustsandboaststhathepossessesgreatskill,prudence,power,favor,
friendship,andhonorhasalsoagod,butnotthistrueandonlyGod.Thisappearsagainwhen
younoticehowpresumptuous,secure,andproudpeoplearebecauseofsuchpossessions,
andhowdespondentwhentheynolongerexistorarewithdrawn.ThereforeIrepeatthatthe
chiefexplanationofthispointisthattohaveagodistohavesomethinginwhichtheheart
entirelytrusts.

11]Besides,considerwhat,inourblindness,wehavehithertobeenpractisinganddoing
underthePapacy.Ifanyonehadtoothache,hefastedandhonoredSt.Apollonia[macerated
hisfleshbyvoluntaryfastingtothehonorofSt.Apollonia];ifhewasafraidoffire,hechose
St.Lawrenceashishelperinneed;ifhedreadedpestilence,hemadeavowtoSt.Sebastian
orRochio,andacountlessnumberofsuchabominations,whereeveryoneselectedhisown
saint,worshipedhim,andcalledforhelptohimindistress.12]Herebelongthosealso,as,e.
g.,sorcerersandmagicians,whoseidolatryismostgross,andwhomakeacovenantwiththe
devil,inorderthathemaygivethemplentyofmoneyorhelptheminloveaffairs,preserve
theircattle,restoretothemlostpossessions,etc.Foralltheseplacetheirheartandtrust
elsewherethaninthetrueGod,lookfornothinggoodtoHimnorseekitfromHim.

13]Thusyoucaneasilyunderstandwhatandhowmuchthiscommandmentrequires,
namely,thatman'sentireheartandallhisconfidencebeplacedinGodalone,andinnoone
else.FortohaveGod,youcaneasilyperceive,isnottolayholdofHimwithourhandsorto
putHiminabag[asmoney],ortolockHiminachest[assilvervessels].14]Buttoapprehend
HimmeanswhentheheartlaysholdofHimandclingstoHim.15]ButtoclingtoHimwith
theheartisnothingelsethantotrustinHimentirely.ForthisreasonHewishestoturnus
awayfromeverythingelsethatexistsoutsideofHim,andtodrawustoHimself,namely,
becauseHeistheonlyeternalgood.AsthoughHewouldsay;Whateveryouhaveheretofore

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soughtofthesaints,orforwhatever[things]youhavetrustedinMammonoranythingelse,
expectitallofMe,andregardMeastheonewhowillhelpyouandpouroutuponyourichly
allgoodthings.

16]Lo,hereyouhavethemeaningofthetruehonorandworshipofGod,whichpleasesGod,
andwhichHecommandsunderpenaltyofeternalwrath,namely,thattheheartknowno
othercomfortorconfidencethaninHim,anddonotsufferitselftobetornfromHim,but,
forHim,riskanddisregardeverythinguponearth.17]Ontheotherhand,youcaneasilysee
andjudgehowtheworldpractisesonlyfalseworshipandidolatry.Fornopeoplehasever
beensoreprobateasnottoinstituteandobservesomedivineworship;everyonehassetup
ashisspecialgodwhateverhelookedtoforblessings,help,andcomfort.

18]Thus,forexample,theheathenwhoputtheirtrustinpoweranddominionelevated
Jupiterasthesupremegod;theothers,whowerebentuponriches,happiness,orpleasure,
andalifeofease,Hercules,Mercury,Venus,orothers;womenwithchild,DianaorLucina,
andsoon;thuseveryonemadethathisgodtowhichhisheartwasinclined,sothatevenin
themindoftheheathentohaveagodmeanstotrustandbelieve.19]Buttheirerroristhis,
thattheirtrustisfalseandwrong;foritisnotplacedintheonlyGod,besideswhomthereis
trulynoGodinheavenoruponearth.20]Thereforetheheathenreallymaketheirself
inventednotionsanddreamsofGodanidol,andputtheirtrustinthatwhichisaltogether
nothing.21]Thusitiswithallidolatry;foritconsistsnotmerelyinerectinganimageand
worshipingit,butratherintheheart,whichstandsgapingatsomethingelse,andseekshelp
andconsolationfromcreatures,saints,ordevils,andneithercaresforGod,norlookstoHim
forsomuchgoodastobelievethatHeiswillingtohelp,neitherbelievesthatwhatevergood
itexperiencescomesfromGod.

22]Besides,thereisalsoafalseworshipandextremeidolatry,whichwehavehitherto
practised,andisstillprevalentintheworld,uponwhichalsoallecclesiasticalordersare
founded,andwhichconcernstheconsciencealone,thatseeksinitsownworkshelp,
consolation,andsalvation,presumestowrestheavenfromGod,andreckonshowmany
bequestsithasmade,howoftenithasfasted,celebratedMass,etc.Uponsuchthingsit
depends,andofthemboasts,asthoughunwillingtoreceiveanythingfromGodasagift,but
desiresitselftoearnormerititsuperabundantly,justasthoughHemustserveusandwere
ourdebtor,andweHisliegelords.23]WhatisthisbutreducingGodtoanidol,yea,[afig
imageor]anapplegod,andelevatingandregardingourselvesasGod?Butthisisslightlytoo
subtile,andisnotforyoungpupils.

24]Butletthisbesaidtothesimple,thattheymaywellnoteandrememberthemeaningof
thiscommandment,namely,thatwearetotrustinGodalone,andlooktoHimandexpect
fromHimnaughtbutgood,asfromonewhogivesusbody,life,food,drink,nourishment,
health,protection,peace,andallnecessariesofbothtemporalandeternalthings.liealso
preservesusfrommisfortune,andifanyevilbefallus,deliversandrescuesus,sothatitis
Godalone(ashasbeensufficientlysaid)fromwhomwereceiveallgood,andbywhom25]
wearedeliveredfromallevil.Hencealso,Ithink,weGermansfromancienttimescallGod
(moreelegantlyandappropriatelythananyotherlanguage)bythatnamefromtheword
Good,asbeinganeternalfountainwhichgushesforthabundantlynothingbutwhatisgood,
andfromwhichflowsforthallthatisandiscalledgood.

26]Foreventhoughotherwiseweexperiencemuchgoodfrommen,stillwhateverwe
receivebyHiscommandorarrangementisallreceivedfromGod.Forourparents,andall

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rulers,andeveryonebesideswithrespecttohisneighbor,havereceivedfromGodthe
commandthattheyshoulddousallmannerofgood,sothatwereceivetheseblessingsnot
fromthem,but,throughthem,fromGod.Forcreaturesareonlythehands,channels,and
meanswherebyGodgivesallthings,asHegivestothemotherbreastsandmilktoofferto
herchild,andcornandallmannerofproducefromtheearthfornourishment,noneofwhich
blessingscouldbeproducedbyanycreatureofitself.

27]ThereforenomanshouldpresumetotakeorgiveanythingexceptasGodhas
commanded,inorderthatitmaybeacknowledgedasGod'sgift,andthanksmaybe
renderedHimforit,asthiscommandmentrequires.Onthisaccountalsothesemeansof
receivinggoodgiftsthroughcreaturesarenottoberejected,neithershouldwein
presumptionseekotherwaysandmeansthanGodhascommanded.Forthatwouldnotbe
receivingfromGod,butseekingofourselves.

28]Leteveryone,then,seetoitthatheesteemthiscommandmentgreatandhighaboveall
things,anddonotregarditasajoke.Askandexamineyourheartdiligently,andyouwillfind
whetheritcleavestoGodaloneornot.IfyouhaveaheartthatcanexpectofHimnothing
butwhatisgood,especiallyinwantanddistress,andthat,moreover,renouncesand
forsakeseverythingthatisnotGod,thenyouhavetheonlytrueGod.If,onthecontrary,it
cleavestoanythingelse,ofwhichitexpectsmoregoodandhelpthanofGod,anddoesnot
takerefugeinHim,butinadversityfleesfromHim,thenyouhaveanidol,anothergod.

29]InorderthatitmaybeseenthatGodwillnothavethiscommandmentthrowntothe
winds,butwillmoststrictlyenforceit,Hehasattachedtoitfirstaterriblethreat,andthena
beautiful,comfortingpromisewhichisalsotobeurgedandimpresseduponyoungpeople,
thattheymaytakeittoheartandretainit:

[ExpositionoftheAppendixtotheFirstCommandment.]
30]ForIamtheLord,thyGod,strongandjealous,visitingtheiniquityofthefathersuponthe
childrenuntothethirdandfourthgenerationofthemthathateMe;andshowingmercyunto
thousandsofthemthatloveMeandkeepMycommandments.

31]Althoughthesewordsrelatetoallthecommandments(asweshallhereafterlearn),yet
theyarejoinedtothischiefcommandmentbecauseitisoffirstimportancethatmenhavea
righthead;forwheretheheadisright,thewholelifemustberight,andviceversa.32]Learn,
therefore,fromthesewordshowangryGodiswiththosewhotrustinanythingbutHim,and
again,howgoodandgraciousHeistothosewhotrustandbelieveinHimalonewiththe
wholeheart;sothatHisangerdoesnotceaseuntilthefourthgeneration,while,ontheother
hand,Hisblessingandgoodnessextendtomanythousands,33]lestyouliveinsuchsecurity
andcommityourselftochance,asmenofbrutalheart,whothinkthatitmakesnogreat
difference[howtheylive].34]HeisaGodwhowillnotleaveitunavengedifmenturnfrom
Him,andwillnotceasetobeangryuntilthefourthgeneration,evenuntiltheyareutterly
exterminated.ThereforeHeistobefeared,andnottobedespised.

35]Hehasalsodemonstratedthisinallhistory,astheScripturesabundantlyshowanddaily
experiencestillteaches.ForfromthebeginningHehasutterlyextirpatedallidolatry,and,on
accountofit,bothheathenandJews;evenasatthepresentdayHeoverthrowsallfalse
worship,sothatallwhoremainthereinmustfinallyperish.36]Therefore,althoughproud,
powerful,andrichworldlings[SardanapalusesandPhalarides,whosurpasseventhePersians
inwealth]arenowtobefound,whoboastdefiantlyoftheirMammon,withutterdisregard

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whetherGodisangryatorsmilesonthem,anddaretowithstandHiswrath,yettheyshall
notsucceed,butbeforetheyareaware,theyshallbewrecked,withallinwhichtheytrusted;
asallothershaveperishedwhohavethoughtthemselvesmoresecureorpowerful.

37]AndjustbecauseofsuchhardenedheadswhoimaginebecauseGodconnivesandallows
themtorestinsecurity,thatHeeitherisentirelyignorantorcaresnothingaboutsuch
matters,Hemustdealasmashingblowandpunishthem,sothatHecannotforgetitunto
children'schildren;sothateveryonemaytakenoteandseethatthisisnojoketoHim.38]
FortheyarethosewhomHemeanswhenHesays:WhohateMe,i.e.,thosewhopersistin
theirdefianceandpride;whateverispreachedorsaidtothem,theywillnotlisten;when
theyarereproved,inorderthattheymaylearntoknowthemselvesandamendbeforethe
punishmentbegins,theybecomemadandfoolishsoastofairlymeritwrath,asnowwesee
dailyinbishopsandprinces.

39]Butterribleasarethesethreatenings,somuchthemorepowerfulistheconsolationin
thepromise,thatthosewhoclingtoGodaloneshouldbesurethatHewillshowthemmercy,
thatis,showthempuregoodnessandblessing,notonlyforthemselves,butalsototheir
childrenandchildren'schildren,eventothethousandthgenerationandbeyondthat.40]
ThisoughtcertainlytomoveandimpelustoriskourheartsinallconfidencewithGod,ifwe
wishalltemporalandeternalgood,sincetheSupremeMajestymakessuchsublimeoffers
andpresentssuchcordialinducementsandsuchrichpromises.

41]Thereforeleteveryoneseriouslytakethistoheart,lestitberegardedasthoughaman
hadspokenit.Fortoyouitisaquestioneitherofeternalblessing,happiness,andsalvation,
orofeternalwrath,misery,andwoe.WhatmorewouldyouhaveordesirethanthatHeso
kindlypromisestobeyourswitheveryblessing,andtoprotectandhelpyouinallneed?

42]But,alas!hereisthefailure,thattheworldbelievesnothingofthis,norregardsitas
God'sWordbecauseitseesthatthosewhotrustinGodandnotinMammonsuffercareand
want,andthedevilopposesandresiststhem,thattheyhaveneithermoney,favor,nor
honor,and,besides,canscarcelysupportlife;while,ontheotherhand,thosewhoserve
Mammonhavepower,favor,honor,possessions,andeverycomfortintheeyesoftheworld.
Forthisreason,thesewordsmustbegraspedasbeingdirectedagainstsuchappearances;
andwemustconsiderthattheydonotlieordeceive,butmustcometrue.

43]Reflectforyourselformakeinquiryandtellme:Thosewhohaveemployedalltheircare
anddiligencetoaccumulategreatpossessionsandwealth,whathavetheyfinallyattained?
Youwillfindthattheyhavewastedtheirtoilandlabor,oreventhoughtheyhaveamassed
greattreasures,theyhavebeendispersedandscattered,sothattheythemselveshavenever
foundhappinessintheirwealth,andafterwardsitneverreached
thethirdgeneration.

44]Instancesofthisyouwillfindaplentyinallhistories,alsointhememoryofagedand
experiencedpeople.Onlyobserveandponderthem.

45]Saulwasagreatking,chosenofGod,andagodlyman;butwhenhewasestablishedon
histhrone,andlethisheartdeclinefromGod,andputhistrustinhiscrownandpower,he
hadtoperishwithallthathehad,sothatnoneevenofhischildrenremained.

46]David,ontheotherhand,wasapoor,despisedman,hunteddownandchased,sothathe

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nowherefeltsecureofhislife;yethehadtoremaininspiteofSaul,andbecomeking.For
thesewordshadtoabideandcometrue,sinceGodcannotlieordeceive.Onlyletnotthe
devilandtheworlddeceiveyouwiththeirshow,whichindeedremainsforatime,butfinally
isnothing.

47]Letus,then,learnwelltheFirstCommandment,thatwemayseehowGodwilltolerate
nopresumptionnoranytrustinanyotherobject,andhowHerequiresnothinghigherofus
thanconfidencefromtheheartforeverythinggood,sothatwemayproceedrightand
straightforwardandusealltheblessingswhichGodgivesnofartherthanasashoemaker
useshisneedle,awl,andthreadforwork,andthenlaysthemaside,orasatravelerusesan
inn,andfood,andhisbedonlyfortemporalnecessity,eachoneinhisstation,accordingto
God'sorder,andwithoutallowinganyofthesethingstobeourlordoridol.48]Letthis
sufficewithrespecttotheFirstCommandment,whichwehavehadtoexplainatlength,
sinceitisofchiefimportance,because,asbeforesaid,wheretheheartisrightlydisposed
towardGodandthiscommandmentisobserved,alltheothersfollow.

Backtotop

The Second Commandment.

49]ThoushaltnottakethenameoftheLord,thyGod,invain.

50]AstheFirstCommandmenthasinstructedtheheartandtaught[thebasisof]faith,sothis
commandmentleadsusforthanddirectsthemouthandtonguetoGod.Forthefirstobjects
thatspringfromtheheartandmanifestthemselvesarewords.Now,asIhavetaughtabove
howtoanswerthequestion,whatitistohaveagod,soyoumustlearntocomprehend
simplythemeaningofthisandallthecommandments,andtoapplyittoyourself.

51]If,then,itbeasked:HowdoyouunderstandtheSecondCommandment,orwhatis
meantbytakinginvain,ormisusingGod'sname?answerbrieflythus:ItismisusingGod's
namewhenwecallupontheLordGod,nomatterinwhatway,forpurposesoffalsehoodor
wrongofanykind.Thereforethiscommandmentenjoinsthismuch,thatGod'snamemust
notbeappealedtofalsely,ortakenuponthelips,whiletheheartknowswellenough,or
shouldknow,differently;asamongthosewhotakeoathsincourt,whereonesideliesagainst
theother.52]ForGod'snamecannotbemisusedworsethanforthesupportoffalsehood
anddeceit.LetthisremaintheexactGermanandsimplestmeaningofthiscommandment.

53]FromthiseveryonecanreadilyinferwhenandinhowmanywaysGod'snameis
misused,althoughitisimpossibletoenumerateallitsmisuses.Yet,totellitinafewwords,
allmisuseofthedivinenameoccurs,first,inworldlybusinessandinmatterswhichconcern
money,possessions,honor,whetheritbepubliclyincourt,inthemarket,orwhereverelse
menmakefalseoathsinGod'sname,orpledgetheirsoulsinanymatter.Andthisis
especiallyprevalentinmarriageaffairs,wheretwogoandsecretlybetroththemselvestoone
another,andafterwardabjure[theirplightedtroth].

54]But,thegreatestabuseoccursinspiritualmatters,whichpertaintotheconscience,when
falsepreachersriseupandoffertheirlyingvanitiesasGod'sWord.

55]Behold,allthisisdeckingone'sselfoutwithGod'sname,ormakingaprettyshow,or

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claimingtoberight,whetheritoccuringross,worldlybusinessorinsublime,subtilematters
offaithanddoctrine.Andamongliarsbelongalsoblasphemers,notalonetheverygross,
wellknowntoeveryone,whodisgraceGod'snamewithoutfear(thesearenotforus,butfor
thehangmantodiscipline);butalsothosewhopubliclytraducethetruthandGod'sWord
andconsignittothedevil.Ofthisthereisnoneednowtospeakfurther.

56]Here,then,letuslearnandtaketoheartthegreatimportanceofthiscommandment,
thatwithalldiligencewemayguardagainstanddreadeverymisuseoftheholyname,asthe
greatestsinthatcanbeoutwardlycommitted.Fortolieanddeceiveisinitselfagreatsin,
butisgreatlyaggravatedwhenweattempttojustifyit,andseektoconfirmitbyinvokingthe
nameofGodandusingitasacloakforshame,sothatfromasinglelieadoublelie,nay,
manifoldlies,result.

57]Forthisreason,too,Godhasaddedasolemnthreattothiscommandment,towit:For
theLordwillnotholdhimguiltlessthattakethHisnameinvain.Thatis:Itshallnotbe
condonedtoanyonenorpassunpunished.ForaslittleasHewillleaveitunavengedifany
oneturnhisheartfromHim,aslittlewillHesufferHisnametobeemployedfordressingupa
lie.58]Now,alas!itisacommoncalamityinalltheworldthatthereareasfewwhoarenot
usingthenameofGodforpurposesoflyingandallwickednessastherearethosewhowith
theirhearttrustaloneinGod.

59]Forbynatureweallhavewithinusthisbeautifulvirtue,towit,thatwhoeverhas
committedawrongwouldliketocoverupandadornhisdisgrace,sothatnoonemayseeit
orknowit;andnooneissoboldastoboasttoalltheworldofthewickednesshehas
perpetrated;allwishtoactbystealthandwithoutanyonebeingawareofwhattheydo.
Then,ifanyonebearraigned,thenameofGodisdraggedintotheaffairandmustmakethe
villainylooklikegodliness,andtheshamelikehonor.Thisisthecommoncourseoftheworld,
which,likeagreatdeluge,hasfloodedalllands.60]Hencewehavealsoasourrewardwhat
weseekanddeserve:pestilences,wars,famines,conflagrations,floods,waywardwives,
children,servants,andallsortsofdefilement.Whenceelseshouldsomuchmiserycome?It
isstillagreatmercythattheearthbearsandsupportsus.

61]Therefore,aboveallthings,ouryoungpeopleshouldhavethiscommandmentearnestly
enforceduponthem,andtheyshouldbetrainedtoholdthisandtheFirstCommandmentin
highregard;andwhenevertheytransgress,wemustatoncebeafterthemwiththerod,and
holdthecommandmentbeforethem,andconstantlyinculcateit,soastobringthemupnot
onlywithpunishment,butalsointhereverenceandfearofGod.

62]ThusyounowunderstandwhatitistotakeGod'snameinvain,thatis(torecapitulate
briefly),eithersimplyforpurposesoffalsehood,andtoallegeGod'snameforsomethingthat
isnotso,ortocurse,swear,conjure,and,inshort,topractisewhateverwickednessonemay.

63]Besidesthisyoumustalsoknowhowtousethename[ofGod]aright.Forwhensaying:
ThoushaltnottakethenameoftheLord,thyGod,invain,Hegivesustounderstandatthe
sametimethatitistobeusedproperly.Forithasbeenrevealedandgiventousforthevery
purposethatitmaybeofconstantuseandprofit.64]Henceitisanaturalinference,since
usingtheholynameforfalsehoodorwickednessishereforbidden,thatweare,ontheother
hand,commandedtoemployitfortruthandforallgood,aswhenoneswearstrulywhere
thereisneedanditisdemanded.Soalsowhenthereisrightteaching,andwhenthenameis
invokedintroubleorpraisedandthankedinprosperity,etc.;allofwhichiscomprehended

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summarilyandcommandedinthepassagePs.50,15:CalluponMeinthedayoftrouble;I
willdeliverthee,andthoushaltglorifyMe.Forallthisisbringingitintotheserviceoftruth,
andusingitinablessedway,andthusHisnameishallowed,asweprayintheLord'sPrayer.

65]Thusyouhavethesumoftheentirecommandmentexplained.Andwiththis
understandingthequestionwithwhichmanyteachershavetroubledthemselveshasbeen
easilysolved,towit,whyswearingisprohibitedintheGospel,andyetChrist,St.Paul,and
othersaintsoftenswore.66]Theexplanationisbrieflythis:Wearenottoswearinsupport
ofevil,thatis,offalsehood,andwherethereisnoneedoruse;butforthesupportofgood
andtheadvantageofourneighborweshouldswear.Foritisatrulygoodwork,bywhichGod
ispraised,truthandrightareestablished,falsehoodisrefuted,peaceismadeamongmen,
obedienceisrendered,andquarrelsaresettled.ForinthiswayGodHimselfinterposesand
separatesbetweenrightandwrong,goodandevil.67]Ifonepartswearsfalsely,hehashis
sentencethatheshallnotescapepunishment,andthoughitbedeferredalongtime,heshall
notsucceed;sothatallthathemaygaintherebywillslipoutofhishands,andhewillnever
enjoyit;68]asIhaveseeninthecaseofmanywhoperjuredthemselvesintheirmarriage
vows,thattheyhaveneverhadahappyhourorahealthfulday,andthusperishedmiserably
inbody,soul,andpossessions.

69]ThereforeIadviseandexhortasbeforethatbymeansofwarningandthreatening,
restraintandpunishment,thechildrenbetrainedbetimestoshunfalsehood,andespecially
toavoidtheuseofGod'snameinitssupport.Forwheretheyareallowedtodoatheyplease,
nogoodwillresult,asisevennowevidentthattheworldisworsethanithaseverbeen,and
thatthereisnogovernment,noobedience,nofidelity,nofaith,butonlydaring,unbridled
men,whomnoteachingorreproofhelps;allofwhichisGod'swrathandpunishmentfor
suchwantoncontemptofthiscommandment.

70]Ontheotherhand,theyshouldbeconstantlyurgedandincitedtohonorGod'sname,
andtohaveitalwaysupontheirlipsineverythingthatmayhappentothemorcometotheir
notice.ForthatisthetruehonorofHisname,tolooktoitandimploreitforallconsolation,
sothat(aswehaveheardabove)firsttheheartbyfaithgivesGodthehonordueHim,and
afterwardsthelipsbyconfession.

71]Thisisalsoablessedandusefulhabitandveryeffectualagainstthedevil,whoisever
aboutus,andliesinwaittobringusintosinandshame,calamityandtrouble,butwhois
veryloathtohearGod'sname,andcannotremainlongwhereitisutteredandcalledupon
fromtheheart.And,indeed,manyaterribleandshockingcalamitywouldbefallusif,byour
callinguponHisname,Goddidnotpreserveus.72]Ihavemyselftriedit,andlearnedby
experiencethatoftensuddengreatcalamitywasimmediatelyavertedandremovedduring
suchinvocation.Tovexthedevil,Isay,weshouldalwayshavethisholynameinourmouth,
sothathemaynotbeabletoinjureusashewishes.

73]Forthisenditisalsoofservicethatweformthehabitofdailycommendingourselvesto
God,withsoulandbody,wife,children,servants,andallthatwehave,againsteveryneed
thatmayoccur;whencealsotheblessingandthanksgivingatmeals,andotherprayers,
morningandevening,haveoriginatedandremaininuse.74]Likewisethepracticeof
childrentocrossthemselveswhenanythingmonstrousorterribleisseenorheard,andto
exclaim:"LordGod,protectus!""Help,dearLordJesus!"etc.Thus,too,ifanyonemeetswith
unexpectedgoodfortune,howevertrivial,thathesay:"Godbepraisedandthanked;this
Godhasbestowedonme!"etc.,asformerlythechildrenwereaccustomedtofastandpray

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toSt.Nicholasandothersaints.ThiswouldbemorepleasingandacceptabletoGodthanall
monasticismandCarthusiansanctity.

75]Behold,thuswemighttrainouryouth,inachildlikewayandplayfullyinthefearand
honorofGod,sothattheFirstandSecondCommandmentsmightbewellobservedandin
constantpractise,Thensomegoodmighttakeroot,springupandbearfruit,andmengrow
upwhom76]anentirelandmightrelishandenjoy.Moreover,thiswouldbethetruewayto
bringupchildrenwellaslongastheycanbecometrainedwithkindnessanddelight.Forwhat
mustbeenforcedwithrodsandblowsonlywillnotdevelopintoagoodbreed,andatbest
theywillremaingodlyundersuchtreatmentnolongerthanwhiletherodisupontheirback.

77]Butthis[manneroftraining]sospreadsitsrootsintheheartthattheyfearGodmore
thanrodsandclubs.ThisIsaywithsuchsimplicityforthesakeoftheyoung,thatitmay
penetratetheirminds.Forsincewearepreachingtochildren,wemustalsoprattlewith
them.Thuswehavepreventedtheabuseandhavetaughttherightuseofthedivinename,
whichshouldconsistnotonlyinwords,butalsoinpractiseandlife,sothatwemayknow
thatGodiswellpleasedwiththis,andwillasrichlyrewarditasHewillterriblypunishthe
abuse.

Backtotop

The Third Commandment.


78]Thoushaltsanctifytheholyday.[RemembertheSabbathdaytokeepitholy.]

79]Thewordholyday(Feiertag)isrenderedfromtheHebrewwordsabbathwhichproperly
signifiestorest,thatis,toabstainfromlabor.Henceweareaccustomedtosay,Feierabend
machen[thatis,toceaseworking],orheiligenAbendgeben[sanctifytheSabbath].80]Now,
intheOldTestament,Godseparatedtheseventhday,andappointeditforrest,and
commandedthatitshouldberegardedasholyaboveallothers.Asregardsthisexternal
observance,thiscommandmentwasgiventotheJewsalone,thattheyshouldabstainfrom
toilsomework,andrest,sothatbothmanandbeastmightrecuperate,andnotbeweakened
byunremittinglabor.Althoughtheyafterwardsrestrictedthistooclosely,andgrosslyabused
it,sothattheytraducedandcouldnotendureinChristthoseworkswhichtheythemselves
wereaccustomedtodoonthatday,aswereadintheGospel;justasthoughthe
commandmentwerefulfilledbydoingnoexternal,[manual]workwhatever,which,however,
wasnotthemeaning,but,asweshallhear,thattheysanctifytheholydayordayofrest.

82]Thiscommandment,therefore,accordingtoitsgrosssense,doesnotconcernus
Christians;foritisaltogetheranexternalmatter,likeotherordinancesoftheOldTestament,
whichwereattachedtoparticularcustoms,persons,times,andplaces,andnowhavebeen
madefreethroughChrist.

83]ButtograspaChristianmeaningforthesimpleastowhatGodrequiresinthis
commandment,notethatwekeepholydaysnotforthesakeofintelligentandlearned
Christians(fortheyhavenoneedofit[holydays]),butfirstofallforbodilycausesand
necessities,whichnatureteachesandrequires;forthecommonpeople,manservants
andmaidservants,whohavebeenattendingtotheirworkandtradethewholeweek,that
foradaytheymayretireinordertorestandberefreshed.

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84]Secondly,andmostespecially,thatonsuchdayofrest(sincewecangetnoother
opportunity)freedomandtimebetakentoattenddivineservice,sothatwecometogether
tohearandtreatofGod'sWord,andthentopraiseGod,tosingandpray.

85]However,this,Isay,isnotsorestrictedtoanytime,aswiththeJews,thatitmustbejust
onthisorthatday;forinitselfnoonedayisbetterthananother;butthisshouldindeedbe
donedaily;however,sincethemassescannotgivesuchattendance,theremustbeatleast
onedayintheweeksetapart.ButsincefromofoldSunday[theLord'sDay]hasbeen
appointedforthispurpose,wealsoshouldcontinuethesame,inorderthateverythingbe
doneinharmoniousorder,andnoonecreatedisorderbyunnecessaryinnovation.

86]Thereforethisisthesimplemeaningofthecommandment:sinceholidaysareobserved
anyhow,suchobservanceshouldbedevotedtohearingGod'sWord,sothatthespecial
functionofthisdayshouldbetheministryoftheWordfortheyoungandthemassofpoor
people;yetthattherestingbenotsostrictlyinterpretedastoforbidanyotherincidental
workthatcannotbeavoided.

87]Accordingly,whenasked,Whatismeantbythecommandment:Thoushaltsanctifythe
holyday?answer:Tosanctifytheholydayisthesameastokeepitholy.Butwhatismeant
bykeepingitholy?Nothingelsethantobeoccupiedinholywords,works,andlife.Forthe
dayneedsnosanctificationforitself;forinitselfithasbeencreatedholy[fromthebeginning
ofthecreationitwassanctifiedbyitsCreator].ButGoddesiresittobeholytoyou.
Thereforeitbecomesholyorunholyonyouraccount,accordingasyouareoccupiedonthe
samewiththingsthatareholyorunholy.

88]How,then,doessuchsanctificationtakeplace?Notinthismanner,that[withfolded
hands]wesitbehindthestoveanddonorough[external]work,ordeckourselveswitha
wreathandputonourbestclothes,but(ashasbeensaid)thatweoccupyourselveswith
God'sWord,andexerciseourselvestherein.

89]And,indeedweChristiansoughtalwaystokeepsuchaholyday,andbeoccupiedwith
nothingbutholythings,i.e.,dailybeengageduponGod'sWord,andcarryitinourheartsand
uponourlips.But(ashasbeensaid)sincewedonotatalltimeshaveleisure,wemust
devoteseveralhoursaweekforthesakeoftheyoung,oratleastadayforthesakeofthe
entiremultitude,tobeingconcernedaboutthisalone,andespeciallyurgetheTen
Commandments,theCreed,andtheLord'sPrayer,andthusdirectourwholelifeandbeing
accordingtoGod'sWord.90]Atwhatevertime,then,thisisbeingobservedandpractised,
thereatrueholydayisbeingkept;otherwiseitshallnotbecalledaChristians'holyday.For,
indeed,nonChristianscanalsoceasefromworkandbeidle,justastheentireswarmofour
ecclesiastics,whostanddailyinthechurches,singing,andringingbellsbutkeepingnoholy
dayholy,becausetheyneitherpreachnorpractiseGod'sWord,butteachandlivecontrary
toit.

91]FortheWordofGodisthesanctuaryaboveallsanctuaries,yea,theonlyonewhichwe
Christiansknowandhave.Forthoughwehadthebonesofallthesaintsorallholyand
consecratedgarmentsuponaheap,stillthatwouldhelpusnothing;forallthatisadead
thingwhichcansanctifynobody.ButGod'sWordisthetreasurewhichsanctifieseverything,
andbywhichevenallthesaintsthemselvesweresanctified.Atwhateverhour,then,God's
Wordistaught,preached,heard,readormeditatedupon,theretheperson,day,andwork

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aresanctifiedthereby,notbecauseoftheexternalwork,butbecauseoftheWord,which
makessaintsofusall.92]ThereforeIconstantlysaythatallourlifeandworkmustbe
orderedaccordingtoGod'sWord,ifitistobeGodpleasingorholy.Wherethisisdone,this
commandmentisinforceandbeingfulfilled.

93]Onthecontrary,anyobservanceorworkthatispractisedwithoutGod'sWordisunholy
beforeGod,nomatterhowbrilliantlyitmayshine,eventhoughitbecoveredwithrelics,
suchasthefictitiousspiritualorders,whichknownothingofGod'sWordandseekholinessin
theirownworks.

94]Note,therefore,thattheforceandpowerofthiscommandmentliesnotintheresting,
butinthesanctifying,sothattothisdaybelongsaspecialholyexercise.Forotherworksand
occupationsarenotproperlycalledholyexercises,unlessthemanhimselfbefirstholy.But
hereaworkistobedonebywhichmanishimselfmadeholy,whichisdone(aswehave
heard)alonethroughGod'sWord.Forthis,then,fixedplaces,times,persons,andtheentire
externalorderofworshiphavebeencreatedandappointed,sothatitmaybepubliclyin
operation.

95]Since,therefore,somuchdependsuponGod'sWordthatwithoutitnoholydaycanbe
sanctified,wemustknowthatGodinsistsuponastrictobservanceofthiscommandment,
andwillpunishallwhodespiseHisWordandarenotwillingtohearandlearnit,especiallyat
thetimeappointedforthepurpose.

96]Thereforenotonlythosesinagainstthiscommandmentwhogrosslymisuseand
desecratetheholyday,asthosewhoonaccountoftheirgreedorfrivolityneglecttohear
God'sWordorlieintavernsandaredeaddrunklikeswine;butalsothatothercrowd,who
listentoGod'sWordastoanyothertrifle,andonlyfromcustomcometopreaching,andgo
awayagain,andattheendoftheyearknowaslittleofitasatthebeginning.97]Forhitherto
theopinionprevailedthatyouhadproperlyhallowedSundaywhenyouhadheardamassor
theGospelread;butnoonecaredforGod'sWord,asalsonoonetaughtit.Now,whilewe
haveGod'sWord,weneverthelessdonotcorrecttheabuse;wesufferourselvestobe
preachedtoandadmonished,butwelistenwithoutseriousnessandcare.

98]Know,therefore,thatyoumustbeconcernednotonlyabouthearing,butalsoabout
learningandretainingitinmemory,anddonotthinkthatitisoptionalwithyouorofno
greatimportance,butthatitisGod'scommandment,whowillrequireofyouhowyouhave
heard,learned,andhonoredHisWord.

99]Likewisethosefastidiousspiritsaretobereprovedwho,whentheyhaveheardasermon
ortwo,findittediousanddull,thinkingthattheyknowallthatwellenough,andneedno
moreinstruction.Forjustthatisthesinwhichhasbeenhithertoreckonedamongmortal
sins,andiscalledajkhdia,i.e.,torpororsatiety,amalignant,dangerousplaguewithwhich
thedevilbewitchesanddeceivestheheartsofmany,thathemaysurpriseusandsecretly
withdrawGod'sWordfromus.

100]Forletmetellyouthis,eventhoughyouknowitperfectlyandbealreadymasterinall
things,stillyouaredailyinthedominionofthedevil,whoceasesneitherdaynornightto
stealunawaresuponyou,tokindleinyourheartunbeliefandwickedthoughtsagainstthe
foregoingandallthecommandments.ThereforeyoumustalwayshaveGod'sWordinyour
heart,uponyourlips,andinyourears.Butwheretheheartisidle,andtheWorddoesnot

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sound,hebreaksinandhasdonethedamagebeforeweareaware.101]Ontheotherhand,
suchistheefficacyoftheWord,wheneveritisseriouslycontemplated,heard,andused,that
itisboundnevertobewithoutfruit,butalwaysawakensnewunderstanding,pleasure,and
devoutness,andproducesapureheartandpurethoughts.Forthesewordsarenot
inoperativeordead,butcreative,livingwords.102]Andeventhoughnootherinterestor
necessityimpelus,yetthisoughttourgeeveryonethereunto,becausetherebythedevilis
puttoRightanddrivenaway,and,besides,thiscommandmentisfulfilled,and[thisexercise
intheWord]ismorepleasingtoGodthananyworkofhypocrisy,howeverbrilliant.

Backtotop

The Fourth Commandment.


103]Thusfarwehavelearnedthefirstthreecommandments,whichrelatetoGod.First,that
withourwholeheartwetrustinHim,andfearandloveHimthroughoutallourlife.Secondly,
thatwedonotmisuseHisholynameinthesupportoffalsehoodoranybadwork,but
employittothepraiseofGodandtheprofitandsalvationofourneighborandourselves.
Thirdly,thatonholidaysandwhenatrestwediligentlytreatandurgeGod'sWord,sothatall
ouractionsandourentirelifebeorderedaccordingtoit.Nowfollowtheotherseven,which
relatetoourneighbor,amongwhichthefirstandgreatestis:

104]Thoushalthonorthyfatherandthymother.

105]TothisestateoffatherhoodandmotherhoodGodhasgiventhespecialdistinction
aboveallestatesthatarebeneathitthatHenotsimplycommandsustoloveourparents,but
tohonorthem.Forwithrespecttobrothers,sisters,andourneighborsingeneralHe
commandsnothinghigherthanthatwelovethem,sothatHeseparatesanddistinguishes
fatherandmotheraboveallotherpersonsuponearth,andplacesthematHisside.106]For
itisafarhigherthingtohonorthantoloveone,inasmuchasitcomprehendsnotonlylove,
butalsomodesty,humility,anddeferenceastoamajestytherehidden,107]andrequires
notonlythattheybeaddressedkindlyandwithreverence,but,mostofall,thatbothinheart
andwiththebodywesoactastoshowthatweesteemthemveryhighly,andthat,nextto
God,weregardthemastheveryhighest.Foronewhomwearetohonorfromtheheartwe
musttrulyregardashighandgreat.

108]Wemust,therefore,impressitupontheyoungthattheyshouldregardtheirparentsas
inGod'sstead,andrememberthathoweverlowly,poor,frail,andqueertheymaybe,
neverthelesstheyarefatherandmothergiventhembyGod.Theyarenottobedeprivedof
theirhonorbecauseoftheirconductortheirfailings.Thereforewearenottoregardtheir
persons,howtheymaybe,butthewillofGodwhohasthuscreatedandordained.Inother
respectsweare,indeed,allalikeintheeyesofGod;butamongustheremustnecessarilybe
suchinequalityandordereddifference,andthereforeGodcommandsittobeobserved,that
youobeymeasyourfather,andthatIhavethesupremacy.

109]Learn,therefore,first,whatisthehonortowardsparentsrequiredbythis
commandment,towit,thattheybeheldindistinctionandesteemaboveallthings,asthe
mostprecioustreasureonearth.110]Furthermore,thatalsoinourwordsweobserve
modestytowardthem,donotaccostthemroughly,haughtily,anddefiantly,butyieldto
themandbesilent,eventhoughtheygotoofar.111]Thirdly,thatweshowthemsuchhonor

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alsobyworks,thatis,withourbodyandpossessions,thatweservethem,helpthem,and
provideforthemwhentheyareold,sick,infirm,orpoor,andallthatnotonlygladly,butwith
humilityandreverence,asdoingitbeforeGod.Forhewhoknowshowtoregardtheminhis
heartwillnotallowthemtosufferwantorhunger,butwillplacethemabovehimandathis
side,andwillsharewiththemwhateverhehasandpossesses.

112]Secondly,noticehowgreat,good,andholyaworkishereassignedchildren,whichis,
alas!Utterlyneglectedanddisregarded,andnooneperceivesthatGodhascommandedit,
orthatitisaholy,divineWordanddoctrine.Forifithadbeenregardedassuch,everyone
couldhaveinferredthattheymustbeholymenwholiveaccordingtothesewords.Thus
therewouldhavebeennoneedofinventingmonasticismnorspiritualorders,buteverychild
wouldhaveabidedbythiscommandment,andcouldhavedirectedhisconsciencetoGod
andsaid:"IfIamtodogoodandholyworks,Iknowofnonebetterthantorenderallhonor
andobediencetomyparents,becauseGodhasHimselfcommandedit.113]ForwhatGod
commandsmustbemuchandfarnoblerthaneverythingthatwemaydeviseourselves;and
sincethereisnohigherorbetterteachertobefoundthanGod,therecanbenobetter
doctrine,indeed,thanHegivesforth.Now,Heteachesfullywhatweshoulddoifwewishto
performtrulygoodworks;andbycommandingthem,HeshowsthattheypleaseHim.If,
then,itisGodwhocommandsthis,andwhoknowsnothowtoappointanythingbetter,Iwill
neverimproveuponit."

114]Behold,inthismannerwewouldhavehadagodlychildproperlytaught,rearedintrue
blessedness,andkeptathomeinobediencetohisparentsandintheirservice,sothatmen
shouldhavehadblessingandjoyfromthespectacle.However,God'scommandmentwasnot
permittedtobethus[withsuchcareanddiligence]commended,buthadtobeneglectedand
trampledunderfoot,sothatachildcouldnotlayittoheart,andmeanwhilegaped[likea
pantingwolf]atthedeviceswhichwesetup,withoutonce[consultingor]givingreverence
toGod.

115]Letus,therefore,learnatlast,forGod'ssake,that,placingallotherthingsoutofsight,
ouryouthslookfirsttothiscommandment,iftheywishtoserveGodwithtrulygoodworks,
thattheydowhatispleasingtotheirfathersandmothers,ortothosetowhomtheymaybe
subjectintheirstead.Foreverychildthatknowsanddoesthishas,inthefirstplace,this
greatconsolationinhisheart,thathecanjoyfullysayandboast(inspiteofandagainstall
whoareoccupiedwithworksoftheirownchoice):"Behold,thisworkiswellpleasingtomy
Godinheaven,thatIknowforcertain."116]Letthemallcometogetherwiththeirmany
great,distressing,anddifficultworksandmaketheirboast;wewillseewhethertheycan
showonethatisgreaterandnoblerthanobediencetofatherandmother,towhomGodhas
appointedandcommandedobediencenexttoHisownmajesty;sothatifGod'sWordand
willareinforceandbeingaccomplished,nothingshallbeesteemedhigherthanthewilland
wordofparents;yetsothatit,too,issubordinatedtoobediencetowardGodandisnot
opposedtotheprecedingcommandments.

117]ThereforeyoushouldbeheartilygladandthankGodthatHehaschosenyouandmade
youworthytodoaworksopreciousandpleasingtoHim.Onlyseethat,althoughitbe
regardedasthemosthumbleanddespised,youesteemitgreatandprecious,notonaccount
ofourworthiness,butbecauseitiscomprehendedin,andcontrolledby,thejeweland
sanctuary,namely,theWordandcommandmentofGod.118]Oh,whatahighpricewould
allCarthusians,monks,andnunspay,ifinalltheirreligiousdoingstheycouldbringinto
God'spresenceasingleworkdonebyvirtueofHiscommandment,andbeablebeforeHis

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facetosaywithjoyfulheart:"NowIknowthatthisworkiswellpleasingtoThee."Wherewill
thesepoorwretchedpersonshidewheninthesightofGodandalltheworldtheyshallblush
withshamebeforeayoungchildwhohaslivedaccordingtothiscommandment,andshall
havetoconfessthatwiththeirwholelifetheyarenotworthytogiveitadrinkofwater?119]
AnditservesthemrightfortheirdevilishperversionintreadingGod'scommandmentunder
footthattheymustvainlytormentthemselveswithworksoftheirowndevice,and,in
addition,havescornandlossfortheirreward.

120]Shouldnottheheart,then,leapandmeltforjoywhengoingtoworkanddoingwhatis
commanded,saying:Lo,thisisbetterthanallholinessoftheCarthusians,eventhoughthey
killthemselvesfastingandprayingupontheirkneeswithoutceasing?Forhereyouhavea
suretextandadivinetestimonythatHehasenjoinedthis;butconcerningtheotherHedid
notcommandaword.Butthisistheplightandmiserableblindnessoftheworldthatnoone
believesthesethings;tosuchanextentthedevilhasdeceiveduswithfalseholinessandthe
glamourofourownworks.

121]ThereforeIwouldbeveryglad(Isayitagain)ifmenwouldopentheireyesandears,
andtakethistoheart,lestsometimewemayagainbeledastrayfromthepureWordofGod
tothelyingvanitiesofthedevil.Then,too,allwouldbewell;forparentswouldhavemore
joy,love,friendship,andconcordintheirhouses;thusthechildrencouldcaptivatetheir
parents'hearts.122]Ontheotherhand,whentheyareobstinate,andwillnotdowhatthey
oughtuntilarodislaidupontheirback,theyangerbothGodandtheirparents,whereby
theydeprivethemselvesofthistreasureandjoyofconscience,andlayupforthemselves
onlymisfortune.123]Therefore,aseveryonecomplains,thecourseoftheworldnowissuch
thatbothyoungandoldarealtogetherdissoluteandbeyondcontrol,havenoreverencenor
senseofhonor,donothingexceptastheyaredriventoitbyblows,andperpetratewhat
wronganddetractiontheycanbehindeachother'sback;thereforeGodalsopunishesthem,
thattheysinkintoallkindsoffilthandmisery.124]Asarule,theparents,too,are
themselvesstupidandignorant;onefooltrains[teaches]another,andastheyhavelived,so
livetheirchildrenafterthem.

125]This,now,Isayshouldbethefirstandmostimportantconsiderationtourgeustothe
observanceofthiscommandment;onwhichaccount,evenifwehadnofatherandmother,
weoughttowishthatGodwouldsetupwoodandstonebeforeus,whomwemightcall
fatherandmother.Howmuchmore,sinceHehasgivenuslivingparents,shouldwerejoice
toshowthemhonorandobedience,becauseweknowitissohighlypleasingtotheDivine
Majestyandtoallangels,andvexesalldevils,andis,besides,126]thehighestworkwhich
wecando,afterthesublimedivineworshipcomprehendedinthepreviouscommandments;
sothatgivingofalmsandeveryothergoodworktowardourneighborarenotequaltothis.
ForGodhasassignedthisestatethehighestplace,yea,hassetitupinHisownstead,upon
earth.ThiswillandpleasureofGodoughttobeasufficientreasonandincentivetoustodo
whatwecanwithgoodwillandpleasure.

127]Besidesthis,itisourdutybeforetheworldtobegratefulforbenefitsandeverygood
whichwehaveofourparents.128]Buthereagainthedevilrulesintheworld,sothatthe
childrenforgettheirparents,asweallforgetGod,andnooneconsidershowGodnourishes,
protects,anddefendsus,andbestowssomuchgoodonbodyandsoul;especiallywhenan
evilhourcomes,weareangryandgrumblewithimpatience,andallthegoodwhichwehave
receivedthroughoutourlifeiswipedout[fromourmemory].Justsowedoalsowithour
parents,andthereisnochildthatunderstandsandconsidersthis[whattheparentshave

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enduredwhilenourishingandfosteringhim],excepttheHolyGhostgranthimthisgrace.

129]Godknowsverywellthisperversenessoftheworld;thereforeHeadmonishesandurges
bycommandmentsthateveryoneconsiderwhathisparentshavedoneforhim,andhewill
findthathehasfromthembodyandlife,moreover,thathehasbeenfedandrearedwhen
otherwisehewouldhaveperishedahundredtimesinhisownfilth.130]Thereforeitisatrue
andgoodsayingofoldandwisemen:Deo,parentibusetmagistrisnonpotestsatisgratiae
rependi,thatis,ToGod,toparents,andtoteacherswecanneverrendersufficientgratitude
andcompensation.Hethatregardsandconsidersthiswillindeedwithoutcompulsiondoall
honortohisparents,andbearthemuponhishandsasthosethroughwhomGodhasdone
himallgood.

131]Overandaboveallthis,anothergreatreasonthatshouldinciteusthemore[to
obediencetothiscommandment]isthatGodattachestothiscommandmentatemporal
promiseandsays:ThatthoumayestlivelonguponthelandwhichtheLord,thyGod,giveth
thee.

132]HereyoucanseeyourselfhowmuchGodisinearnestinrespecttothiscommandment,
inasmuchasHenotonlydeclaresthatitiswellpleasingtoHim,andthatHehasjoyand
delighttherein;butalsothatitshallbeforoutprosperityandpromoteourhighestgood;so
thatwemayhaveapleasantandagreeablelife,furnishedwitheverygoodthing.133]
ThereforealsoSt.Paulgreatlyemphasizesthesameandrejoicesinitwhenhesays,Eph.6,2.
3:Thisisthefirstcommandmentwithpromise:Thatitmaybewellwiththee,andthou
mayestlivelongontheearth.Foralthoughtherestalsohavetheirpromisescontainedin
them,yetinnoneisitsoplainlyandexplicitlystated.

134]Here,then,youhavethefruitandthereward,thatwhoeverobservesthis
commandmentshallhavehappydays,fortune,andprosperity;andontheotherhand,the
punishment,thatwhoeverisdisobedientshallthesoonerperish,andneverenjoylife.Forto
havelonglifeinthesenseoftheScripturesisnotonlytobecomeold,buttohaveeverything
whichbelongstolonglife,suchashealth,wife,andchildren,livelihood,peace,good
government,etc.,withoutwhichthislifecanneitherbeenjoyedincheerfulnessnorlong
endure.135]If,therefore,youwillnotobeyfatherandmotherandsubmittotheirdiscipline,
thenobeythehangman;ifyouwillnotobeyhim,thensubmittotheskeletonman,i.e.,
death[deaththeallsubduer,theteacherofwickedchildren].136]ForonthisGodinsists
peremptorily:EitherifyouobeyHim,renderingloveandservice,Hewillrewardyou
abundantlywithallgood,orifyouoffendHim,Hewillsenduponyoubothdeathandthe
hangman.

137]Whencecomesomanyknavesthatmustdailybehanged,beheaded,brokenuponthe
wheel,butfromdisobedience[toparents],becausetheywillnotsubmittodisciplinein
kindness,sothat,bythepunishmentofGod,theybringitaboutthatwebeholdtheir
misfortuneandgrief?Foritseldomhappensthatsuchperversepeopledieanaturalortimely
death.

Butthegodlyandobedienthavethisblessing,thattheylivelonginpleasantquietness,and
seetheirchildren'schildren(assaidabove)tothethirdandfourthgeneration.

138]Thusexperiencealsoteaches,thatwheretherearehonorable,oldfamilieswhofare
wellandhavemanychildren,theyowetheirorigintothefact,tobesure,thatsomeofthem

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werebroughtupwellandwereregardfuloftheirparents.Ontheotherhand,itiswrittenof
thewicked,Ps.109,13:Lethisposteritybecutoff;andinthegenerationfollowinglettheir
namebeblottedout.139]ThereforeheedwellhowgreatathinginGod'ssightobedienceis,
sinceHesohighlyesteemsit,issohighlypleasedwithit,andrewardsitsorichly,andbesides
enforcespunishmentsorigorouslyonthosewhoactcontrariwise.

140]AllthisIsaythatitmaybewellimpressedupontheyoung.Fornoonebelieveshow
necessarythiscommandmentis,althoughithasnotbeenesteemedandtaughthitherto
underthepapacy.Thesearesimpleandeasywords,andeverybodythinksheknewthem
afore;thereforemenpassthemlightlyby,aregapingafterothermatters,anddonotseeand
believethatGodissogreatlyoffendediftheybedisregarded,northatonedoesaworkso
wellpleasingandpreciousifhefollowsthem.

141]Inthiscommandmentbelongsafurtherstatementregardingallkindsofobedienceto
personsinauthoritywhohavetocommandandtogovern.Forallauthorityflowsandis
propagatedfromtheauthorityofparents.Forwhereafatherisunablealonetoeducatehis
[rebelliousandirritable]child,heemploysaschoolmastertoinstructhim;ifhebetooweak,
heenliststheaidofhisfriendsandneighbors;ifhedepartsthislife,hedelegatesandconfers
hisauthorityandgovernmentuponotherswhoareappointedforthepurpose.142]Likewise,
hemusthavedomestics,manservantsandmaidservants,underhimselfforthe
managementofthehousehold,sothatallwhomwecallmastersareintheplaceofparents
andmustderivetheirpowerandauthoritytogovernfromthem.Hencealsotheyareall
calledfathersintheScriptures,asthosewhointheirgovernmentperformthefunctionsofa
father,andshouldhaveapaternalhearttowardtheirsubordinates.Asalsofromantiquity
theRomansandothernationscalledthemastersandmistressesofthehouseholdpatreset
matresfamiliae,thatis,housefathersandhousemothers.Soalsotheycalledtheirnational
rulersandoverlordspatrespatriae,thatis,fathersoftheentirecountry,foragreatshameto
uswhowouldbeChristiansthatwedonotlikewisecallthemso,or,atleast,donotesteem
andhonorthemassuch.

143]Now,whatachildowestofatherandmother,thesameoweallwhoareembracedin
thehousehold.Thereforemanservantsandmaidservantsshouldbecarefulnotonlytobe
obedienttotheirmastersandmistresses,butalsotohonorthemastheirownfathersand
mothers,andtodoeverythingwhichtheyknowisexpectedofthem,notfromcompulsion
andwithreluctance,butwithpleasureandjoyforthecausejustmentioned,namely,thatit
isGod'scommandandispleasingtoHimaboveallotherworks.144]Thereforetheyought
rathertopaywagesinadditionandbegladthattheymayobtainmastersandmistressesto
havesuchjoyfulconsciencesandtoknowhowtheymaydotrulygoldenworks;amatter
whichhashithertobeenneglectedanddespised,when,instead,everybodyran,inthedevil's
name,intoconventsortopilgrimagesandindulgences,withloss[oftimeandmoney]and
withanevilconscience.

145]Ifthistruth,then,couldbeimpresseduponthepoorpeople,aservantgirlwouldleap
andpraiseandthankGod;andwithhertidyworkforwhichshereceivessupportandwages
shewouldacquiresuchatreasureasallthatareesteemedthegreatestsaintshavenot
obtained.Isitnotanexcellentboasttoknowandsaythat,ifyouperformyourdailydomestic
task,thisisbetterthanallthesanctityandasceticlifeofmonks?146]Andyouhavethe
promise,inaddition,thatyoushallprosperinallgoodandfarewell.Howcanyouleada
moreblessedorholierlifeasfarasyourworksareconcerned?147]ForinthesightofGod
faithiswhatreallyrendersapersonholy,andaloneservesHim,buttheworksareforthe

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serviceofman.148]Thereyouhaveeverythinggood,protectionanddefenseintheLord,a
joyfulconscienceandagraciousGodbesides,whowillrewardyouahundredfold,sothatyou
areevenanoblemanifyoubeonlypiousandobedient.Butifnot,youhave,inthefirstplace,
nothingbutthewrathanddispleasureofGod,nopeaceofheart,andafterwardsallmanner
ofplaguesandmisfortunes.

149]Whoeverwillnotbeinfluencedbythisandinclinedtogodlinesswehandovertothe
hangmanandtotheskeletonman.Thereforeleteveryonewhoallowshimselftobeadvised
rememberthatGodisnotmakingsport,andknowthatitisGodwhospeakswithyouand
demandsobedience.IfyouobeyHim,youareHisdearchild;butifyoudespisetodoit,then
takeshame,misery,andgriefforyourreward.

150]Thesamealsoistobesaidofobediencetocivilgovernment,which(aswehavesaid)is
allembracedintheestateoffatherhoodandextendsfarthestofallrelations.Forherethe
fatherisnotoneofasinglefamily,butofasmanypeopleashehastenants,citizens,or
subjects.Forthroughthem,asthroughourparents,Godgivestousfood,houseandhome,
protectionandsecurity.Therefore,sincetheybearsuchnameandtitlewithallhonorastheir
highestdignity,itisourdutytohonorthemandtoesteemthemgreatasthedearest
treasureandthemostpreciousjeweluponearth.

151]He,now,whoisobedienthere,iswillingandreadytoserve,andcheerfullydoesallthat
pertainstohonor,knowsthatheispleasingGodandthathewillreceivejoyandhappiness
forhisreward.Ifhewillnotdoitinlove,butdespisesandresists[authority]orrebels,lethim
alsoknow,ontheotherhand,thatheshallhavenofavornorblessing,andwherehethinks
togainaflorinthereby,hewillelsewherelosetentimesasmuch,orbecomeavictimtothe
hangman,perishbywar,pestilence,andfamine,orexperiencenogoodinhischildren,and
beobligedtosufferinjury,injustice,andviolenceatthehandsofhisservants,neighbors,or
strangersandtyrants;sothatwhatweseekanddeserveispaidbackandcomeshometous.

152]IfwewouldeversufferourselvestobepersuadedthatsuchworksarepleasingtoGod
andhavesorichareward,wewouldbeestablishedinaltogetherabundantpossessionsand
havewhatourheartdesires.ButbecausethewordandcommandofGodaresolightly
esteemed,asthoughsomebabblerhadspokenit,letusseewhetheryouarethemanto
opposeHim.Howdifficult,doyouthink,itwillbeforHimtorecompenseyou!Thereforeyou
wouldcertainlylivemuchbetterwiththedivinefavor,peace,andhappinessthanwithHis
displeasureandmisfortune.154]Why,thinkyou,istheworldnowsofullofunfaithfulness,
disgrace,calamity,andmurder,butbecauseeveryonedesirestobehisownmasterandfree
fromtheemperor,tocarenothingforanyone,anddowhatpleaseshim?ThereforeGod
punishesoneknavebyanother,sothat,whenyoudefraudanddespiseyourmaster,another
comesanddealsinlikemannerwithyou,yea,inyourhouseholdyoumustsuffertentimes
morefromwife,children,orservants.

155]Indeed,wefeelourmisfortune,wemurmurandcomplainofunfaithfulness,violence,
andinjustice,butwillnotseethatweourselvesareknaveswhohavefullydeservedthis
punishment,andyetarenottherebyreformed.Wewillhavenofavorandhappiness,
thereforeitisbutfairthatwehavenothingbutmisfortunewithoutmercy.156]Theremust
stillbesomewhereuponearthsomegodlypeoplebecauseGodcontinuestograntusso
muchgood!Onourownaccountweshouldnothaveafarthinginthehousenorastrawin
thefield.157]AllthisIhavebeenobligedtourgewithsomanywords,inhopethatsomeone
maytakeittoheart,thatwemayberelievedoftheblindnessandmiseryinwhichweare

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steepedsodeeply,andmaytrulyunderstandtheWordandwillofGod,andearnestlyaccept
it.Forthencewewouldlearnhowwecouldhavejoy,happiness,andsalvationenough,both
temporalandeternal.

158]Thuswehavetwokindsoffatherspresentedinthiscommandment,fathersinblood
andfathersinoffice,orthosetowhombelongsthecareofthefamily,andthosetowhom
belongsthecareofthecountry.Besidesthesethereareyetspiritualfathers;notlikethosein
thePapacy,whohaveindeedhadthemselvescalledthus,buthaveperformednofunctionof
thepaternaloffice.Forthoseonlyarecalledspiritualfatherswhogovernandguideusbythe
WordofGod;159]asSt.Paulboastshisfatherhood1Cor.4,15,wherehesays:InChrist
JesusIhavebegottenyouthroughtheGospel.Now,160]sincetheyarefatherstheyare
entitledtotheirhonor,evenaboveallothers.Buthereitisbestowedleast;fortheway
whichtheworldknowsforhonoringthemistodrivethemoutofthecountryandtogrudge
themapieceofbread,and,inshort,theymustbe(assaysSt.Paul,1Cor.4,13)asthefilthof
theworldandeverybody'srefuseandfootrag.

161]Yetthereisneedthatthisalsobeurgeduponthepopulace,thatthosewhowouldbe
ChristiansareunderobligationinthesightOfGodtoesteemthemworthyofdoublehonor
whoministertotheirsouls,thattheydealwellwiththemandprovideforthem.Forthat,
Godiswillingtoaddtoyousufficientblessingandwillnotletyoucometowant.162]Butin
thismattereveryonerefusesandresists,andallareafraidthattheywillperishfrombodily
want,andcannotnowsupportonerespectablepreacher,whereformerlytheyfilledtenfat
paunches.163]InthiswealsodeservethatGoddepriveusofHisWordandblessing,and
againallowpreachersofliestoarisetoleadustothedevil,and,inaddition,todrainour
sweatandblood.

164]ButthosewhokeepinsightGod'swillandcommandmenthavethepromisethat
everythingwhichtheybestowupontemporalandspiritualfathers,andwhatevertheydoto
honorthem,shallberichlyrecompensedtothem,sothattheyshallhave,notbread,
clothing,andmoneyforayearortwo,butlonglife,support,andpeace,andshallbe
eternallyrichandblessed.165]Thereforeonlydowhatisyourduty,andletGodtakecare
howHeistosupportyouandprovideforyousufficiently.SinceHehaspromisedit,andhas
neveryetlied,Hewillnotbefoundlyingtoyou.

166]Thisoughtindeedtoencourageus,andgiveusheartsthatwouldmeltinpleasureand
lovetowardthosetowhomweowehonor,sothatwewouldraiseourhandsandjoyfully
thankGodwhohasgivenussuchpromises,forwhichweoughttoruntotheendsofthe
world[totheremotestpartsofIndia].Foralthoughthewholeworldshouldcombine,itcould
notaddanhourtoourlifeorgiveusasinglegrainfromtheearth.ButGodwishestogive
youallexceedingabundantlyaccordingtoyourheart'sdesire.Hewhodespisesandcaststhis
tothewindsisnotworthyevertohearawordofGod.Thishasnowbeenstatedmorethan
enoughforallwhobelongunderthiscommandment.

167]Inaddition,itwouldbewelltopreachtotheparentsalso,andsuchasbeartheiroffice,
astohowtheyshoulddeportthemselvestowardthosewhoarecommittedtothemfortheir
government.ForalthoughthisisnotexpressedintheTenCommandments,itisnevertheless
abundantlyenjoinedinmanyplacesintheScripture.AndGoddesirestohaveitembracedin
thiscommandmentwhenHespeaksoffatherandmother.168]ForHedoesnotwishtohave
inthisofficeandgovernmentknavesandtyrants;nordoesHeassigntothemthishonor,that
is,powerandauthoritytogovern,thattheyshouldhavethemselvesworshiped;butthey

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shouldconsiderthattheyareunderobligationsofobediencetoGod;andthat,firstofall,
theyshouldearnestlyandfaithfullydischargetheiroffice,notonlytosupportandprovidefor
thebodilynecessitiesoftheirchildren,servants,subjects,etc.,but,mostofall,totrainthem
tothehonorandpraiseofGod.169]Thereforedonotthinkthatthisislefttoyourpleasure
andarbitrarywill,butthatitisastrictcommandandinjunctionofGod,towhomalsoyou
mustgiveaccountforit.

170]Buthereagainthesadplightarisesthatnooneperceivesorheedsthis,andallliveonas
thoughGodgaveuschildrenforourpleasureoramusement,andservantsthatweshould
employthemlikeacoworass,onlyforwork,orasthoughwewereonlytogratifyour
wantonnesswithoursubjects,ignoringthem,asthoughitwerenoconcernofourswhatthey
learnorhowtheylive;171]andnooneiswillingtoseethatthisisthecommandofthe
SupremeMajesty,whowillmoststrictlycallustoaccountandpunishusforit;northatthere
issogreatneedtobesoseriouslyconcernedabouttheyoung.172]Forifwewishtohave
excellentandaptpersonsbothforcivilandecclesiasticalgovernment,wemustspareno
diligence,time,orcostinteachingandeducatingourchildren,thattheymayserveGodand
theworld,173]andwemustnotthinkonlyhowwemayamassmoneyandpossessionsfor
them.ForGodcanindeedwithoutussupportandmakethemrich,asHedailydoes.Butfor
thispurposeHehasgivenuschildren,andissuedthiscommandthatweshouldtrainand
governthemaccordingtoHiswill,elseHewouldhavenoneedoffatherandmother.Let
everyoneknow,therefore,thatitishisduty,onperiloflosingthedivinefavor,tobringup
hischildrenaboveallthingsinthefearandknowledgeofGod,andiftheyaretalented,have
themlearnandstudysomething,174]thattheymaybeemployedforwhateverneedthereis
[tohavetheminstructedandtrainedinaliberaleducation,thatmenmaybeabletohave
theiraidingovernmentandinwhateverisnecessary].

175]Ifthatweredone,Godwouldalsorichlyblessusandgiveusgracetotrainmenby
whomlandandpeoplemightbeimproved,andlikewisewelleducatedcitizens,chasteand
domesticwives,whoafterwardswouldreargodlychildrenandservants.176]Hereconsider
nowwhatdeadlyinjuryyouaredoingifyoubenegligentandfailonyourparttobringup
yourchildtousefulnessandpiety,andhowyoubringuponyourselfallsinandwrath,thus
earninghellbyyourownchildren,eventhoughyoubeotherwisepiousandholy.177]And
becausethisisdisregarded,Godsofearfullypunishestheworldthatthereisnodiscipline,
government,orpeace,ofwhichweallcomplain,butdonotseethatitisourfault;foraswe
trainthem,wehavespoiledanddisobedientchildrenandsubjects.Letthisbesufficient
exhortation;fortodrawthisoutatlengthbelongstoanothertime.

Backtotop

The Fifth Commandment.


179]Thoushaltnotkill.

180]Wehavenowcompletedboththespiritualandthetemporalgovernment,thatis,the
divineandthepaternalauthorityandobedience.Butherenowwegoforthfromourhouse
amongourneighborstolearnhowweshouldlivewithoneanother,everyonehimself
towardhisneighbor.181]ThereforeGodandgovernmentarenotincludedinthis
commandment,noristhepowertokill,whichtheyhave,takenaway.ForGodhasdelegated
Hisauthoritytopunishevildoerstothegovernmentinsteadofparents,whoaforetime(as

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wereadinMoses)wererequiredtobringtheirownchildrentojudgmentandsentencethem
todeath.Therefore,whatishereforbiddenisforbiddentotheindividualinhisrelationto
anyoneelse,andnottothegovernment.

182]Nowthiscommandmentiseasyenough,andhasbeenoftentreated,becausewehearit
annuallyintheGospelofSt.Matthew,5,21ff,whereChristHimselfexplainsandsumsitup,
namely,thatwemustnotkill,neitherwithhand,heart,mouth,signs,gestures,help,nor
counsel.Thereforeitishereforbiddentoeveryonetobeangry,exceptthose(aswesaid)
whoareintheplaceofGod,thatis,parentsandthegovernment.ForitisproperforGodand
foreveryonewhoisinadivineestatetobeangry,toreproveandpunish,namely,on
accountofthoseverypersonswhotransgressthisandtheothercommandments.

183]ButthecauseandneedofthiscommandmentisthatGodwellknowsthattheworldis
evil,andthatthislifehasmuchunhappiness;thereforeHehasplacedthisandtheother
commandmentsbetweenthegoodandtheevil.Now,astherearemanyassaultsuponall
commandments,soithappensalsointhiscommandmentthatwemustliveamongmany
peoplewhodousharm,sothatwehavecausetobehostiletothem.

184]Aswhenyourneighborseesthatyouhaveabetterhouseandhome[alargerfamilyand
morefertilefields],greaterpossessionsandfortunefromGodthanhe,heissulky,envies
you,andspeaksnogoodofyou.

Thusbythedevil'sincitementyouwillgetmanyenemieswhocannotbeartoseeyouhave
anygood,eitherbodilyorspiritual.Whenweseesuchpeople,ourhearts,inturn,wouldrage
andbleedandtakevengeance.Thentherearisecursingandblows,fromwhichfollowfinally
miseryandmurder.Here,now,Godlikeakindfatherstepsinaheadofus,interposesand
wishestohavethequarrelsettled,thatnomisfortunecomeofit,noronedestroyanother.
Andbriefly,Hewouldherebyprotect,setfree,andkeepinpeaceeveryoneagainstthecrime
andviolenceofeveryoneelse;andwouldhavethiscommandmentplacedasawall,fortress,
andrefugeaboutourneighbor,thatwedohimnohurtnorharminhisbody.

186]Thusthiscommandmentaimsatthis,thatnooneoffendhisneighboronaccountofany
evildeed,eventhoughhehavefullydeservedit.Forwheremurderisforbidden,allcause
alsoisforbiddenwhencemurdermayoriginate.Formanyaone,althoughhedoesnotkill,
yetcursesanduttersawish,whichwouldstopapersonfromrunningfarifitweretostrike
himintheneck[makesimprecations,whichiffulfilledwithrespecttoanyone,hewouldnot
livelong].187]Now,sincethisinheresineveryonebynatureanditisacommonpractise
thatnooneiswillingtosufferatthehandsofanother,Godwishestoremovetherootand
sourcebywhichtheheartisembitteredagainstourneighbor,andtoaccustomuseverto
keepinviewthiscommandment,alwaystocontemplateourselvesinitasinamirror,to
regardthewillofGod,andwithheartyconfidenceandinvocationofHisnametocommitto
Himthewrongwhichwesuffer.Thusweshallsufferourenemiestorageandbeangry,doing
whattheycan,andwelearntocalmourwrath,andtohaveapatient,gentleheart,especially
towardthosewhogiveuscausetobeangry,thatis,ourenemies.

188]Thereforetheentiresumofwhatitmeansnottokillistobeimpressedmostexplicitly
uponthesimpleminded.Inthefirstplace,thatweharmnoone,first,withourhandorby
deed.Then,thatwedonotemployourtonguetoinstigateorcounselthereto.Further,that
weneitherusenorassenttoanykindofmeansormethodswherebyanyonemaybeinjured.
Andfinally,thattheheartbenotilldisposedtowardanyone,norfromangerandhatred

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wishhimill,sothatbodyandsoulmaybeinnocentinregardtoeveryone,butespecially
thosewhowishyouevilorinflictsuchuponyou.Fortodoeviltoonewhowishesanddoes
yougoodisnothuman,butdiabolical.

189]Secondly,underthiscommandmentnotonlyheisguiltywhodoeseviltohisneighbor,
buthealsowhocandohimgood,prevent,resistevil,defendandsavehim,sothatnobodily
harmorhurthappentohim,andyetdoesnotdoit.190]If,therefore,yousendawayone
thatisnakedwhenyoucouldclothehim,youhavecausedhimtofreezetodeath;ifyousee
onesufferhungeranddonotgivehimfood,youhavecausedhimtostarve.Soalso,ifyou
seeanyoneinnocentlysentencedtodeathorinlikedistress,anddonotsavehim,although
youknowwaysandmeanstodoso,youhavekilledhim.Anditwillnotavailyoutomakethe
pretextthatyoudidnotaffordanyhelp,counsel,oraidthereto,foryouhavewithheldyour
lovefromhimanddeprivedhimofthebenefitwherebyhislifewouldhavebeensaved.

191]ThereforeGodalsorightlycallsallthosemurdererswhodonotaffordcounselandhelp
indistressanddangerofbodyandlife,andwillpassamostterriblesentenceuponthemin
thelastday,asChristHimselfhasannouncedwhenHeshallsay,Matt.25,42f:Iwasan
hungred,andyegaveMenomeat;Iwasthirsty,andyegaveMenodrink;Iwasastranger,
andyetookMenotin;naked,andyeclothedMenot;sickandinprison,andyevisitedMe
not.Thatis:YouwouldhavesufferedMeandMinetodieofhunger,thirst,andcold,would
havesufferedthewildbeaststotearustopieces,orleftustorotinprisonorperishin
distress.Whatelseisthatbuttoreproachthem192]asmurderersandbloodhounds?For
althoughyouhavenotactuallydoneallthis,youhavenevertheless,sofarasyouwere
concerned,sufferedhimtopineandperishinmisfortune.

ItisjustasifIsawsomeonenavigatingandlaboringindeepwater[andstrugglingagainst
adversewinds]oronefallenintofire,andcouldextendtohimthehandtopullhimoutand
savehim,andyetrefusedtodoit.WhatelsewouldIappear,evenintheeyesoftheworld,
thanasamurdererandacriminal?

193]ThereforeitisGod'sultimatepurposethatwesufferharmtobefallnoman,butshow
himallgoodandlove;194]and,aswehavesaid,itisspeciallydirectedtowardthosewhoare
ourenemies.Fortodogoodtoourfriendsisbutanordinaryheathenvirtue,asChristsays
Matt.5,46.

195]HerewehaveagaintheWordofGodwherebyHewouldencourageandurgeustotrue
nobleandsublimeworks,asgentleness,patience,and,inshort,loveandkindnesstoour
enemies,andwouldeverremindustoreflectupontheFirstCommandment,thatHeisour
God,thatis,thatHewillhelp,assist,andprotectus,inorderthatHemaythusquenchthe
desireofrevengeinus.

196]Thisweoughttopractiseandinculcate,andwewouldhaveourhandsfulldoinggood
works.197]Butthiswouldnotbepreachingformonks;itwouldgreatlydetractfromthe
religiousestate,andinfringeuponthesanctityofCarthusians,andwouldevenberegarded
asforbiddinggoodworksandclearingtheconvents.Forinthiswisetheordinarystateof
Christianswouldbeconsideredjustasworthy,andevenworthier,andeverybodywouldsee
howtheymockanddeludetheworldwithafalse,hypocriticalshowofholiness,because
theyhavegiventhisandothercommandmentstothewinds,andhaveesteemedthem
unnecessary,asthoughtheywerenotcommandments,butmerecounsels;andhaveatthe
sametimeshamelesslyproclaimedandboastedtheirhypocriticalestateandworksasthe

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mostperfectlife,inorderthattheymightleadapleasant,easylife,withoutthecrossand
withoutpatience,forwhichreason,too,theyhaveresortedtothecloisters,sothatthey
mightnotbeobligedtosufferanywrongfromanyoneortodohimanygood.198]Butknow
nowthatthesearethetrue,holy,andgodlyworks,inwhich,withalltheangels,Herejoices,
incomparisonwithwhichallhumanholinessisbutstenchandfilth,and,besides,deserves
nothingbutwrathanddamnation.

Backtotop

The Sixth Commandment.


199]Thoushaltnotcommitadultery.

200]Thesecommandmentsnow[thatfollow]areeasilyunderstoodfrom[theexplanation
of]thepreceding;fortheyarealltotheeffectthatwe[becarefulto]avoiddoinganykindof
injurytoourneighbor.Buttheyarearrangedinfine[elegant]order.Inthefirstplace,they
treatofhisownperson.Thentheyproceedtothepersonnearesthim,ortheclosest
possessionnextafterhisbody,namely,hiswife,whoisonefleshandbloodwithhim,sothat
wecannotinflictahigherinjuryuponhiminanygoodthatishis.Thereforeitisexplicitly
forbiddenheretobringanydisgraceuponhiminrespecttohiswife.201]Anditreallyaims
atadultery,becauseamongtheJewsitwasordainedandcommandedthateveryonemust
bemarried.Thereforealsotheyoungwereearlyprovidedfor[married],sothatthevirgin
statewasheldinsmallesteem,neitherwerepublicprostitutionandlewdnesstolerated(as
now).Thereforeadulterywasthemostcommonformofunchastityamongthem.

202]Butbecauseamongusthereissuchashamefulmessandtheverydregsofallviceand
lewdness,thiscommandmentisdirectedalsoagainstallmannerofunchastity,whateverit
maybecalled;203]andnotonlyistheexternalactforbidden,butalsoeverykindofcause,
incitement,andmeans,sothattheheart,thelips,andthewholebodymaybechasteand
affordnoopportunity,help,orpersuasiontoinchastity.204]Andnotonlythis,butthatwe
alsomakeresistance,affordprotectionandrescuewhereverthereisdangerandneed;and
again,thatwegivehelpandcounsel,soastomaintainourneighbor'shonor.Forwhenever
youomitthiswhenyoucouldmakeresistance,orconniveatitasifitdidnotconcernyou,
youareastrulyguiltyastheoneperpetratingthedeed.205]Thus,tostateitinthebriefest
manner,thereisrequiredthismuch,thateveryonebothlivechastelyhimselfandhelphis
neighbordothesame,sothatGodbythiscommandmentwishestohedgeroundaboutand
protect[aswitharampart]everyspousethatnoonetrespassagainstthem.

206]Butsincethiscommandmentisaimeddirectlyatthestateofmatrimonyandgives
occasiontospeakofthesame,youmustwellunderstandandmark,first,howgloriouslyGod
honorsandextolsthisestate,inasmuchasbyHiscommandmentHebothsanctionsand
guardsit.HehassanctioneditaboveintheFourthCommandment:Honorthyfatherandthy
mother;buthereHehas(aswesaid)hedgeditaboutandprotectedit.207]ThereforeHe
alsowishesustohonorit,andtomaintainandconductitasadivineandblessedestate;
because,inthefirstplace,Hehasinstituteditbeforeallothers,andthereforecreatedman
andwomanseparately(asisevident),notforlewdness,butthattheyshould[legitimately]
livetogether,befruitful,begetchildren,andnourishandtrainthemtothehonorofGod.

208]ThereforeGodhasalsomostrichlyblessedthisestateaboveallothers,and,inaddition,

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hasbestowedonitandwrappedupiniteverythingintheworld,totheendthatthisestate
mightbewellandrichlyprovidedfor.Marriedlifeisthereforenojestorpresumption;butit
isanexcellentthingandamatterofdivineseriousness.Foritisofthehighestimportanceto
HimthatpersonsberaisedwhomayservetheworldandpromotetheknowledgeofGod,
godlyliving,andallvirtues,tofightagainstwickednessandthedevil.

209]ThereforeIhavealwaystaughtthatthisestateshouldnotbedespisednorheldin
disrepute,asisdonebytheblindworldandourfalseecclesiastics,butthatitberegarded
accordingtoGod'sWord,bywhichitisadornedandsanctified,sothatitisnotonlyplaced
onanequalitywithotherestates,butthatitprecedesandsurpassesthemall,whetherthey
bethatofemperor,princes,bishops,orwhoevertheyplease.Forbothecclesiasticalandcivil
estatesmusthumblethemselvesandallbefoundinthisestate,asweshallhear.210]
Thereforeitisnotapeculiarestate,butthemostcommonandnoblestestate,which
pervadesallChristendom,yeawhichextendsthroughalltheworld.

211]Inthesecondplace,youmustknowalsothatitisnotonlyanhonorable,butalsoa
necessarystate,anditissolemnlycommandedbyGodthat,ingeneral,inallconditions,men
andwomen,whowerecreatedforit,shallbefoundinthisestate;yetwithsomeexceptions
(althoughfew)whomGodhasespeciallyexcepted,sothattheyarenotfitforthemarried
estate,orwhomHehasreleasedbyahigh,supernaturalgiftthattheycanmaintainchastity
withoutthisestate.212]Forwherenaturehasitscourse,asitisimplantedbyGod,itisnot
possibletoremainchastewithoutmarriage.Forfleshandbloodremainfleshandblood,and
thenaturalinclinationandexcitementhavetheircoursewithoutletorhindrance,as
everybodyseesandfeels.Inorder,therefore,thatitmaybethemoreeasyinsomedegreeto
avoidinchastity,Godhascommandedtheestateofmatrimony,thateveryonemayhavehis
properportionandbesatisfiedtherewith;althoughGod'sgracebesidesisrequiredinorder
thattheheartalsomaybepure.

213]Fromthisyouseehowthispopishrabble,priests,monks,andnuns,resistGod'sorder
andcommandment,inasmuchastheydespiseandforbidmatrimony,andpresumeandvow
tomaintainperpetualchastity,and,besides,deceivethesimplemindedwithlyingwordsand
appearances[impostures].214]Fornoonehassolittleloveandinclinationtochastityasjust
thosewhobecauseofgreatsanctityavoidmarriage,andeitherindulgeinopenand
shamelessprostitution,orsecretlydoevenworse,sothatonedarenotspeakofit,ashas,
alas!beenlearnedtoofully.215]And,inshort,eventhoughtheyabstainfromtheact,their
heartsaresofullofunchastethoughtsandevilluststhatthereisacontinualburningand
secretsuffering,whichcanbeavoidedinthemarriedlife.216]Thereforeallvowsofchastity
outofthemarriedstatearecondemnedbythiscommandment,andfreepermissionis
granted,yea,eventhecommandisgiven,toallpoorensnaredconscienceswhichhavebeen
deceivedbytheirmonasticvowstoabandontheunchastestateandenterthemarriedlife,
consideringthatevenifthemonasticlifeweregodly,itwouldneverthelessnotbeintheir
powertomaintainchastity,andiftheyremaininit,theymustonlysinmoreandmore
againstthiscommandment.

217]Now,Ispeakofthisinorderthattheyoungmaybesoguidedthattheyconceivealiking
forthemarriedestate,andknowthatitisablessedestateandpleasingtoGod.Forinthis
waywemightinthecourseoftimebringitaboutthatmarriedlifeberestoredtohonor,and
thattheremightbelessofthefilthy,dissolute,disorderlydoingswhichnowrunriotthe
worldoverinopenprostitutionandothershamefulvicesarisingfromdisregardofmarried
life.218]Thereforeitisthedutyofparentsandthegovernmenttoseetoitthatouryouthbe

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broughtuptodisciplineandrespectability,andwhentheyhavecometoyearsofmaturity,to
provideforthem[tohavethemmarried]inthefearofGodandhonorably;Hewouldnotfail
toaddHisblessingandgrace,sothatmenwouldhavejoyandhappinessfromthesame.

219]Letmenowsayinconclusionthatthiscommandmentdemandsnotonlythateveryone
livechastelyinthought,word,anddeedinhiscondition,thatis,especiallyintheestateof
matrimony,butalsothateveryoneloveandesteemthespousegivenhimbyGod.Forwhere
conjugalchastityistobemaintained,manandwifemustbyallmeanslivetogetherinlove
andharmony,thatonemaycherishtheotherfromtheheartandwithentirefidelity.Forthat
isoneoftheprincipalpointswhichenkindleloveanddesireofchastity,sothat,wherethisis
found,chastitywillfollowasamatterofcoursewithoutanycommand.220]Thereforealso
St.Paulsodiligentlyexhortshusbandandwifetoloveandhonoroneanother.221]Hereyou
haveagainaprecious,yea,manyandgreatgoodworks,ofwhichyoucanjoyfullyboast,
againstallecclesiasticalestates,chosenwithoutGod'sWordandcommandment.

Backtotop

The Seventh Commandment.


222]Thoushaltnotsteal.

223]Afteryourpersonandspousetemporalpropertycomesnext.ThatalsoGodwishesto
haveprotected,andHehascommandedthatnooneshallsubtractfrom,orcurtail,his
neighbor'spossessions.224]Fortostealisnothingelsethantogetpossessionofanother's
propertywrongfully,whichbrieflycomprehendsallkindsofadvantageinallsortsoftradeto
thedisadvantageofourneighbor.Now,thisisindeedquiteawidespreadandcommonvice,
butsolittleregardedandobservedthatitexceedsallmeasure,sothatifallwhoarethieves,
andyetdonotwishtobecalledsuch,weretobehangedongallows,theworldwouldsoon
bedevastated,andtherewouldbealackbothofexecutionersandgallows.For,aswehave
justsaid,tostealistosignifynotonlytoemptyourneighbor'scofferandpockets,buttobe
graspinginthemarket,inallstores,booths,wineandbeercellars,workshops,and,inshort,
whereverthereistradingortakingandgivingofmoneyformerchandiseorlabor.

225]As,forinstance,toexplainthissomewhatgrosslyforthecommonpeople,thatitmaybe
seenhowgodlyweare:Whenamanservantormaidservantdoesnotservefaithfullyinthe
house,anddoesdamage,orallowsittobedonewhenitcouldbeprevented,orotherwise
ruinsandneglectsthegoodsentrustedtohim,fromindolence,idleness,ormalice,tothe
spiteandvexationofmasterandmistress,andinwhateverwaythiscanbedonepurposely
(forIdonotspeakofwhathappensfromoversightandagainstone'swill),youcaninayear
abscondthirty,fortyflorins,whichifanotherhadtakensecretlyorcarriedaway,hewouldbe
hangedwiththerope.Buthereyou[whileconsciousofsuchagreattheft]mayevenbid
defianceandbecomeinsolent,andnoonedarecallyouathief.

226]ThesameIsayalsoofmechanics,workmen,anddaylaborers,whoallfollowtheir
wantonnotions,andneverknowenoughwaystooverchargepeople,whiletheyarelazyand
unfaithfulintheirwork.Allthesearefarworsethansneakthieves,againstwhomwecan
guardwithlocksandbolts,orwho,ifapprehended,aretreatedinsuchamannerthatthey
willnotdothesameagain.Butagainstthesenoonecanguard,noonedareevenlookawry
atthemoraccusethemoftheft,sothatonewouldtentimesratherlosefromhispurse.For

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herearemyneighbors,goodfriends,myownservants,fromwhomIexpectgood[every
faithfulanddiligentservice],whodefraudmefirstofall.

227]Furthermore,inthemarketandincommontradelikewise,thispractiseisinfullswing
andforcetothegreatestextent,whereoneopenlydefraudsanotherwithbadmerchandise,
falsemeasures,weights,coins,andbynimblenessandqueerfinancesordexteroustricks
takesadvantageofhim;likewise,whenoneoverchargesapersoninatradeandwantonly
drivesahardbargain,skinsanddistresseshim.Andwhocanrecountorthinkofallthese
things?228]Tosumup,thisisthecommonestcraftandthelargestguildonearth,andifwe
regardtheworldthroughoutallconditionsoflife,itisnothingelsethanavast,widestall,full
ofgreatthieves.

229]Thereforetheyarealsocalledswivelchairrobbers,landandhighwayrobbers,notpick
locksandsneakthieveswhosnatchawaythereadycash,butwhositonthechair[athome]
andarestyledgreatnoblemen,andhonorable,piouscitizens,andyetrobandstealundera
goodpretext.

230]Yes,herewemightbesilentaboutthetriflingindividualthievesifweweretoattackthe
great,powerfularchthieveswithwhomlordsandprinceskeepcompany,whodailyplunder
notonlyacityortwo,butallGermany.Yea,whereshouldweplacetheheadandsupreme
protectorofallthieves,theHolyChairatRomewithallitsretinue,whichhasgrabbedby
theftthewealthofalltheworld,andholdsittothisday?

231]Thisis,inshort,thecourseoftheworld:whoevercanstealandrobopenlygoesfree
andsecure,unmolestedbyanyone,andevendemandsthathebehonored.Meanwhilethe
littlesneakthieves,whohaveoncetrespassed,mustbeartheshameandpunishmentto
rendertheformergodlyandhonorable.ButletthemknowthatinthesightofGodtheyare
thegreatestthieves,andthatHewillpunishthemastheyareworthyanddeserve.

232]Now,sincethiscommandmentissofarreaching[andcomprehensive],asjustindicated,
itisnecessarytourgeitwellandtoexplainittothecommonpeople,nottoletthemgoonin
theirwantonnessandsecurity,butalwaystoplacebeforetheireyesthewrathofGod,and
inculcatethesame.ForwehavetopreachthisnottoChristians,butchieflytoknavesand
scoundrels,towhomitwouldhemorefittingforjudges,jailers,orMasterHannes[the
executioner]topreach.233]Thereforeleteveryoneknowthatitishisduty,attheriskof
God'sdispleasure,notonlytodonoinjurytohisneighbor,nortodeprivehimofgain,norto
perpetrateanyactofunfaithfulnessormaliceinanybargainortrade,butfaithfullyto
preservehispropertyforhim,tosecureandpromotehisadvantage,especiallywhenone
acceptsmoney,wages,andone'slivelihoodforsuchservice.

234]Henowwhowantonlydespisesthismayindeedpassalongandescapethehangman,
butheshallnotescapethewrathandpunishmentofGod;andwhenhehaslongpractised
hisdefianceandarrogance,heshallyetremainatrampandbeggar,and,inaddition,haveall
plaguesandmisfortune.235]Nowyouaregoingyourway[whereveryourheart'spleasure
callsyou]whileyououghttopreservethepropertyofyourmasterandmistress,forwhich
serviceyoufillyourcropandmaw,takeyourwageslikeathief,havepeopletreatyouasa
nobleman;fortherearemanythatareeveninsolenttowardstheirmastersandmistresses,
andareunwillingtodothemafavororservicebywhichtoprotectthemfromloss.

236]Butreflectwhatyouwillgainwhen,havingcomeintoyourownpropertyandbeingset

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upinyourhome(towhichGodwillhelpwithallmisfortunes),it[yourperfidy]willbobup
againandcomehometoyou,andyouwillfindthatwhereyouhavecheatedordoneinjury
tothevalueofonemite,youwillhavetopaythirtyagain.

237]Suchshallbethelotalsoofmechanicsanddaylaborersofwhomwearenowobligedto
hearandsuffersuchintolerablemaliciousness,asthoughtheywerenoblemeninanother's
possessions,andeveryonewereobligedtogivethemwhattheydemand.238]Justletthem
continuepractisingtheirexactionsaslongastheycan;butGodwillnotforgetHis
commandment,andwillrewardthemaccordingastheyhaveserved,andwillhangthem,not
uponagreengallows,butuponadryone,sothatalltheirlifetheyshallneitherprospernor
accumulateanything.239]Andindeed,iftherewereawellorderedgovernmentintheland,
suchwantonnessmightsoonbecheckedandprevented,aswasthecustominancienttimes
amongtheRomans,wheresuchcharacterswerepromptlyseizedbythepateinawaythat
otherstookwarning.

240]Nomoreshallalltherestprosperwhochangetheopenfreemarketintoacarrionpitof
extortionandadenofrobbery,wherethepooraredailyovercharged,newburdensandhigh
pricesareimposed,andeveryoneusesthemarketaccordingtohiscaprice,andiseven
defiantandbragsasthoughitwerehisfairprivilegeandrighttosellhisgoodsforashigha
priceasheplease,andnoonehadarighttosayawordagainstit.241]Wewillindeedlook
onandletthesepeopleskin,pinch,andhoard,242]butwewilltrustinGod,whowill,
however,dothisofHisownaccord,that,afteryouhavebeenskinningandscrapingfora
longtime,Hewillpronouncesuchablessingonyourgainsthatyourgraininthegarner,your
beerinthecellar,yourcattleinthestallsshallperish;yea,whereyouhavecheatedand
overchargedanyonetotheamountofaflorin,yourentirepileshallbeconsumedwithrust,
sothatyoushallneverenjoyit.

243]Andindeed,weseeandexperiencethisbeingfulfilleddailybeforeoureyes,thatno
stolenordishonestlyacquiredpossessionthrives.Howmanytherearewhorakeandscrape
dayandnight,andyetgrownotafarthingricher!Andthoughtheygathermuch,theymust
suffersomanyplaguesandmisfortunesthattheycannotrelishitwithcheerfulnessnor
transmitittotheirchildren.244]Butasnoonemindsit,andwegoonasthoughitdidnot
concernus,Godmustvisitusinadifferentwayandteachusmannersbyimposingone
taxationafteranother,orbilletingatroopofsoldiersuponus,whoinonehouremptyour
coffersandpurses,anddonotquitaslongaswehaveafarthingleft,andinaddition,byway
ofthanks,burnanddevastatehouseandhome,andoutrageandkillwifeandchildren.

245]And,inshort,ifyoustealmuch,dependuponitthatagainasmuchwillbestolenfrom
you;andliewhorobsandacquireswithviolenceandwrongwillsubmittoonewhoshalldeal
afterthesamefashionwithhim.ForGodismasterofthisart,thatsinceeveryonerobsand
stealsfromtheother,Hepunishesonethiefbymeansofanother.Elsewhereshouldwefind
enoughgallowsandropes?

246]Now,whoeveriswillingtobeinstructed,lethimknowthatthisisthecommandmentof
God,andthatitmustnotbetreatedasajest.Foralthoughyoudespiseus,defraud,steal,
androb,wewillindeedmanagetoendureyourhaughtiness,suffer,and,accordingtothe
Lord'sPrayer,forgiveandshowpity;forweknowthatthegodlyshallneverthelesshave
enough,andyouinjureyourselfmorethananother.

247]Butbewareofthis:Whenthepoormancomestoyou(ofwhomtherearesomanynow)

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whomustbuywiththepennyofhisdailywagesandliveuponit,andyouareharshtohim,as
thougheveryonelivedbyyourfavor,andyouskinandscrapetothebone,and,besides,with
prideandhaughtinessturnhimofftowhomyououghttogivefornothing,hewillgoaway
wretchedandsorrowful,andsincehecancomplaintonoone,hewillcryandcalltoheaven,
thenbeware(Isayagain)asofthedevilhimself.Forsuchgroaningandcallingwillbenojest,
butwillhaveaweightthatwillprovetooheavyforyouandalltheworld.Foritwillreach
Himwhotakescareofthepoorsorrowfulhearts,andwillnotallowthemtogounavenged.
Butifyoudespisethisandbecomedefiant,seewhomyouhavebroughtuponyou:ifyou
succeedandprosper,youmaybeforealltheworldcallGodandmealiar.

248]Wehaveexhorted,warned,andprotestedenough;hewhowillnotheedorbelieveit
maygoonuntilhelearnsthisbyexperience.Yetitmustbeimpressedupontheyoungthat
theymaybecarefulnottofollowtheoldlawlesscrowd,butkeeptheireyesfixeduponGod's
commandment,lestHiswrathandpunishmentcomeuponthemtoo.249]Itbehoovesusto
donomorethantoinstructandreprovewithGod'sWord;buttochecksuchopen
wantonnessthereisneedoftheprincesandgovernment,whothemselveswouldhaveeyes
andthecouragetoestablishandmaintainorderinallmanneroftradeandcommerce,lest
thepoorbeburdenedandoppressednortheythemselvesbeloadedwithothermen'ssins.

250]Letthissufficeasanexplanationofwhatstealingis,thatitbenottakentoonarrowly,
butmadetoextendasfaraswehavetodowithourneighbors.Andbriefly,inasummary,as
intheformercommandments,itisherewithforbidden,inthefirstplace,todoourneighbor
anyinjuryorwrong(inwhatevermannersupposable,bycurtailing,forestalling,and
withholdinghispossessionsandproperty),oreventoconsentorallowsuchathing,butto
interposeandpreventit.251]And,ontheotherhand,itiscommandedthatweadvanceand
improvehispossessions,andincasehesufferswant,thatwehelp,communicate,andlend
bothtofriendsandfoes.

252]Whoevernowseeksanddesiresgoodworkswillfindheremorethanenoughsuchas
areheartilyacceptableandpleasingtoGod,andinadditionarefavoredandcrownedwith
excellentblessings,thatwearetoberichlycompensatedforallthatwedoforourneighbor's
goodandfromfriendship;asKingSolomonalsoteachesProv.19,17:Hethathathpityupon
thepoorlendethuntotheLord;andthatwhichhehathgivenwillHepayhimagain.Here,
then,youhave253]arichLord,whoiscertainlysufficientforyou,andwhowillnotsuffer
youtocomeshortinanythingortowant;thusyoucanwithajoyfulconscienceenjoya
hundredtimesmorethanyoucouldscrapetogetherwithunfaithfulnessandwrong.Now,
whoeverdoesnotdesiretheblessingwillfindwrathandmisfortuneenough.

Backtotop

The Eighth Commandment.


254]Thoushaltnotbearfalsewitnessagainstthyneighbor.

255]Overandaboveourownbody,spouse,andtemporalpossessions,wehaveyetanother
treasure,namely,honorandgoodreport[theillustrioustestimonyofanuprightand
unsulliednameandreputation],withwhichwecannotdispense.Foritisintolerabletolive
amongmeninopenshameandgeneralcontempt.256]ThereforeGodwishesthe
reputation,goodname,anduprightcharacterofourneighbortobetakenawayor

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diminishedaslittleashismoneyandpossessions,thateveryonemaystandinhisintegrity
beforewife,children,servants,andneighbors.257]Andinthefirstplace,wetakethe
plainestmeaningofthiscommandmentaccordingtothewords(Thoushaltnotbearfalse
witness),aspertainingtothepubliccourtsofjustice,whereapoorinnocentmanisaccused
andoppressedbyfalsewitnessesinordertobepunishedinhisbody,property,orhonor.

258]Now,thisappearsasifitwereoflittleconcerntousatpresent;butwiththeJewsitwas
quiteacommonandordinarymatter.Forthepeoplewereorganizedunderanexcellentand
regulargovernment;andwherethereisstillsuchagovernment,instancesofthissinwillnot
bewanting.Thecauseofitisthatwherejudges,burgomasters,princes,orothersinauthority
sitinjudgment,thingsneverfailtogoaccordingtothecourseoftheworld;namely,mendo
notliketooffendanybody,flatter,andspeaktogainfavor,money,prospects,orfriendship;
andinconsequenceapoormanandhiscausemustbeoppressed,denouncedaswrong,and
sufferpunishment.Anditisacommoncalamityintheworldthatincourtsofjusticethere
seldompresidegodlymen.

259]Fortobeajudgerequiresaboveallthingsagodlyman,andnotonlyagodly,butalsoa
wise,modest,yea,abraveandholdman;likewise,tobeawitnessrequiresafearlessand
especiallyagodlyman.Forapersonwhoistojudgeallmattersrightlyandcarrythem
throughwithhisdecisionwilloftenoffendgoodfriends,relatives,neighbors,andtherich
andpowerful,whocangreatlyserveorinjurehim.Thereforehemustbequiteblind,havehis
eyesandearsclosed,neitherseenorhear,butgostraightforwardineverythingthatcomes
beforehim,anddecideaccordingly.

260]Thereforethiscommandmentisgivenfirstofallthateveryoneshallhelphisneighbor
tosecurehisrights,andnotallowthemtobehinderedortwisted,butshallpromoteand
strictlymaintainthem,nomatterwhetherhebejudgeorwitness,andletitpertainto
whatsoeveritwill.261]Andespeciallyisagoalsetuphereforourjuriststhattheybecareful
todealtrulyanduprightlywitheverycase,allowingrighttoremainright,and,ontheother
hand,notpervertinganything[bytheirtricksandtechnicalpointsturningblackintowhite
andmakingwrongouttoberight],norglossingitoverorkeepingsilentconcerningit,
irrespectiveofaperson'smoney,possession,honor,orpower.Thisisonepartandthe
plainestsenseofthiscommandmentconcerningallthattakesplaceincourt.

262]Next,itextendsverymuchfurther,ifwearetoapplyittospiritualjurisdictionor
administration;hereitisacommonoccurrencethateveryonebearsfalsewitnessagainsthis
neighbor.ForwherevertherearegodlypreachersandChristians,theymustbearthe
sentencebeforetheworldthattheyarecalledheretics,apostates,yea,seditiousand
desperatelywickedmiscreants.Besides,theWordofGodmustsufferinthemostshameful
andmaliciousmanner,beingpersecuted,blasphemed,contradicted,perverted,andfalsely
citedandinterpreted.Butletthispass;foritisthewayoftheblindworldthatshecondemns
andpersecutesthetruthandthechildrenofGod,andyetesteemsitnosin.

263]Inthethirdplace,whatconcernsusall,thiscommandmentforbidsallsinsofthetongue
wherebywemayinjureorapproachtoocloselytoourneighbor.Fortobearfalsewitnessis
nothingelsethanaworkofthetongue.Now,whateverisdonewiththetongueagainsta
fellowmanGodwouldhaveprohibited,whetheritbefalsepreacherswiththeirdoctrineand
blasphemy,falsejudgesandwitnesseswiththeirverdict,oroutsideofcourtbylyingandevil
speaking.264]Herebelongsparticularlythedetestable,shamefulviceofspeakingbehinda
person'sbackandslandering,towhichthedevilspursuson,andofwhichtherewouldbe

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muchtobesaid.Foritisacommonevilplaguethateveryoneprefershearingeviltohearing
goodofhisneighbor;andalthoughweourselvesaresobadthatwecannotsufferthatany
oneshouldsayanythingbadaboutus,buteveryonewouldmuchratherthatalltheworld
shouldspeakofhimintermsofgold,yetwecannotbearthatthebestisspokenabout
others.

Therefore,toavoidthisviceweshouldnotethat265]nooneisallowedpubliclytojudgeand
reprovehisneighbor,althoughhemayseehimsin,unlesshehaveacommandtojudgeand
toreprove.266]Forthereisagreatdifferencebetweenthesetwothings,judgingsinand
knowingsin.Youmayindeedknowit,butyouarenottojudgeit.Icanindeedseeandhear
thatmyneighborsins,butIhavenocommandtoreportittoothers.Now,ifIrushin,judging
andpassingsentence,Ifallintoasinwhichisgreaterthanhis.Butifyouknowit,donothing
elsethanturnyourearsintoagraveandcoverit,untilyouareappointedtobejudgeandto
punishbyvirtueofyouroffice.

267]Those,then,arecalledslandererswhoarenotcontentwithknowingathing,but
proceedtoassumejurisdiction,andwhentheyknowaslightoffenseofanother,carryitinto
everycorner,andaredelightedandtickledthattheycanstirupanother'sdispleasure
[baseness],asswinerollthemselvesinthedirtandrootinitwiththesnout.268]Thisis
nothingelsethanmeddlingwiththejudgmentandofficeofGod,andpronouncingsentence
andpunishmentwiththemostsevereverdict.Fornojudgecanpunishtoahigherdegreenor
gofartherthantosay:"Heisathief,amurderer,atraitor,"etc.Therefore,whoever
presumestosaythesameofhisneighborgoesjustasfarastheemperorandall
governments.Foralthoughyoudonotwieldthesword,youemployyourpoisonoustongue
totheshameandhurtofyourneighbor.

269]Godthereforewouldhaveitprohibited,thatanyonespeakevilofanothereventhough
hebeguilty,andthelatterknowitrightwell;muchlessifhedonotknowit,andhaveitonly
fromhearsay.Butyousay:270]ShallInotsayitifitbethetruth?Answer:Whydoyounot
makeaccusationtoregularjudges?Ah,Icannotproveitpublicly,andhenceImightbe
silencedandturnedawayinaharshmanner[incurthepenaltyofafalseaccusation]."Ah,
indeed,doyousmelltheroast?"Ifyoudonottrustyourselftostandbeforetheproper
authoritiesandtomakeanswer,thenholdyourtongue.Butifyouknowit,knowitfor
yourselfandnotforanother.Forifyoutellittoothers,althoughitbetrue,youwillappearas
aliar,becauseyoucannotproveit,andyouare,besides,actinglikeaknave.Forweought
nevertodepriveanyoneofhishonororgoodnameunlessitbefirsttakenawayfromhim
publicly.

271]Falsewitness,then,iseverythingwhichcannotbeproperlyproved.272]Therefore,
whatisnotmanifestuponsufficientevidencenooneshallmakepublicordeclarefortruth;
and,inshort,whateverissecretshouldbeallowedtoremainsecret,or,atanyrate,should
besecretlyreproved,asweshallhear.273]Therefore,ifyouencounteranidletonguewhich
betraysandslanderssomeone,contradictsuchaonepromptlytohisface,thathemay
blush;thusmanyaonewillholdhistonguewhoelsewouldbringsomepoormanintobad
repute,fromwhichhewouldnoteasilyextricatehimself.Forhonorandagoodnameare
easilytakenaway,butnoteasilyrestored.

274]Thusyouseethatitissummarilyforbiddentospeakanyevilofourneighbor,however,
thecivilgovernment,preachers,fatherandmotherexcepted,ontheunderstandingthatthis
commandmentdoesnotalloweviltogounpunished.Now,asaccordingtotheFifth

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Commandmentnooneistobeinjuredinbody,andyetMasterHannes[theexecutioner]is
excepted,whobyvirtueofhisofficedoeshisneighbornogood,butonlyevilandharm,and
neverthelessdoesnotsinagainstGod'scommandment,becauseGodhasonHisownaccount
institutedthatoffice;forHehasreservedpunishmentforHisowngoodpleasure,asHe
threatensintheFirstCommandment,justsoalso,althoughnoonehasarightinhisown
persontojudgeandcondemnanybody,yetiftheytowhoseofficeitbelongsfailtodoit,
theysinaswellashewhowoulddosoofhisownaccord,withoutsuchoffice.Forhere
necessityrequiresonetospeakoftheevil,toprefercharges,toinvestigateandtestify;275]
anditisnotdifferentfromthecaseofaphysicianwhoissometimescompelledtoexamine
andhandlethepatientwhomheistocureinsecretparts.Justsogovernments,fatherand
mother,brothersandsisters,andothergoodfriends,areunderobligationtoeachotherto
reproveevilwhereveritisneedfulandprofitable.

276]ButthetruewayinthismatterwouldbetoobservetheorderaccordingtotheGospel,
Matt.18,15,whereChristsays:Ifthybrothershalltrespassagainstthee,goandtellhimhis
faultbetweentheeandhimalone.Hereyouhaveapreciousandexcellentteachingfor
governingwellthetongue,whichistobecarefullyobservedagainstthisdetestablemisuse.
Letthis,then,beyourrule,thatyoudonottooreadilyspreadevilconcerningyourneighbor
andslanderhimtoothers,butadmonishhimprivatelythathemayamend[hislife].Likewise,
also,ifsomeonereporttoyouwhatthisorthatonehasdone,teachhim,too,togoand
admonishhimpersonally,ifhehaveseenithimself;butifnot,thatheholdhistongue.

277]Thesameyoucanlearnalsofromthedailygovernmentofthehousehold.Forwhenthe
masterofthehouseseesthattheservantdoesnotdowhatheought,headmonisheshim
personally.Butifheweresofoolishastolettheservantsitathome,andwentonthestreets
tocomplainofhimtohisneighbors,hewouldnodoubtbetold:"Youfool,whatdoesthat
concernus?278]Whydoyounottellittohim?"Behold,thatwouldbeactingquite
brotherly,sothattheevilwouldbestayed,andyourneighborwouldretainhishonor.As
Christalsosaysinthesameplace:Ifhehearthee,thouhastgainedthybrother.Thenyou
havedoneagreatandexcellentwork;fordoyouthinkitisalittlemattertogainabrother?
Letallmonksandholyordersstepforth,withalltheirworksmeltedtogetherintoonemass,
andseeiftheycanboastthattheyhavegainedabrother.

279]Further,Christteaches:Butifhewillnothearthee,thentakewiththeeoneortwo
more,thatinthemouthoftwoorthreewitnesseseverywordmaybeestablished.Sohe
whomitconcernsisalwaystobetreatedwithpersonally,andnottobespokenofwithout
hisknowledge.280]Butifthatdonotavail,thenbringitpubliclybeforethecommunity,
whetherbeforethecivilortheecclesiasticaltribunal.Forthenyoudonotstandalone,but
youhavethosewitnesseswithyoubywhomyoucanconvicttheguiltyone,relyingonwhom
thejudgecanpronouncesentenceandpunish.Thisistherightandregularcoursefor
checkingandreformingawickedperson.281]Butifwegossipaboutanotherinallcorners,
andstirthefilth,noonewillbereformed,andafterwardswhenwearetostandupandbear
witness,wedenyhavingsaidso.282]Thereforeitwouldservesuchtonguesrightiftheiritch
forslanderwereseverelypunished,asawarningtoothers.283]Ifyouwereactingforyour
neighbor'sreformationorfromloveofthetruth,youwouldnotsneakaboutsecretlynor
shunthedayandthelight.

284]Allthishasbeensaidregardingsecretsins.Butwherethesinisquitepublicsothatthe
judgeandeverybodyknowit,youcanwithoutanysinavoidhimandlethimgo,becausehe
hasbroughthimselfintodisgrace,andyoumayalsopubliclytestifyconcerninghim.Forwhen

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amatterispublicinthelightofday,therecanbenoslanderingorfalsejudgingortestifying;
as,whenwenowreprovethePopewithhisdoctrine,whichispubliclysetforthinbooksand
proclaimedinalltheworld.Forwherethesinispublic,thereproofalsomustbepublic,that
everyonemaylearntoguardagainstit.

285]Thuswehavenowthesumandgeneralunderstandingofthiscommandment,towit,
thatnoonedoanyinjurywiththetonguetohisneighbor,whetherfriendorfoe,norspeak
evilofhim,nomatterwhetheritbetrueorfalse,unlessitbedonebycommandmentorfor
hisreformation,butthateveryoneemployhistongueandmakeitserveforthebestofevery
oneelse,tocoveruphisneighbor'ssinsandinfirmities,excusethem,palliateandgarnish
themwithhisownreputation.286]ThechiefreasonforthisshouldbetheonewhichChrist
allegesintheGospel,inwhichHecomprehendsallcommandmentsrespectingourneighbor,
Matt.7,12:Whatsoeveryewouldthatmenshoulddotoyou,doyeevensotothem.

287]Evennatureteachesthesamethinginourownbodies,asSt.Paulsays,1Cor.12,22:
Muchmore,thosemembersofthebodywhichseemtobemorefeeblearenecessary;and
thosemembersofthebodywhichwethinktobelesshonorable,uponthesewebestowmore
abundanthonor;andouruncomelypartshavemoreabundantcomeliness.Noonecovershis
face,eyes,nose,andmouth,forthey,beinginthemselvesthemosthonorablemembers
whichwehave,donotrequireit.Butthemostinfirmmembers,ofwhichweareashamed,
wecoverwithalldiligence;hands,eyes,andthewholebodymusthelptocoverandconceal
them.288]Thusalsoamongourselvesshouldweadornwhateverblemishesandinfirmities
wefindinourneighbor,andserveandhelphimtopromotehishonortothebestofour
ability,and,ontheotherhand,preventwhatevermaybediscreditabletohim.289]Anditis
especiallyanexcellentandnoblevirtueforonealwaystoexplainadvantageouslyandputthe
bestconstructionuponallhemayhearofhisneighbor(ifitbenotnotoriouslyevil),oratany
ratetocondoneitoverandagainstthepoisonoustonguesthatarebusywherevertheycan
pryoutanddiscoversomethingtoblameinaneighbor,andthatexplainandpervertitinthe
worstway;asisdonenowespeciallywiththepreciousWordofGodanditspreachers.

290]Therearecomprehendedthereforeinthiscommandmentquiteamultitudeofgood
workswhichpleaseGodmosthighly,andbringabundantgoodandblessing,ifonlytheblind
worldandthefalsesaintswouldrecognizethem.Forthereisnothingonorinentireman
whichcandobothgreaterandmoreextensivegoodorharminspiritualandintemporal
mattersthanthetongue,thoughitistheleastandfeeblestmember.

Backtotop

The Ninth and Tenth Commandments.

292]Thoushaltnotcovetthyneighbor'shouse.Thoushaltnotcovetthyneighbor'swife,nor
hismanservant,norhismaidservant,norhiscattle,noranythingthatishis.

293]ThesetwocommandmentsaregivenquiteexclusivelytotheJews;nevertheless,inpart
theyalsoconcernus.Fortheydonotinterpretthemasreferringtounchastityortheft,
becausethesearesufficientlyforbiddenabove.Theyalsothoughtthattheyhadkeptall
thosewhentheyhaddoneornotdonetheexternalact.ThereforeGodhasaddedthesetwo
commandmentsinorderthatitbeesteemedassinandforbiddentodesireorinanywayto
aimatgettingourneighbor'swifeorpossessions;294]andespeciallybecauseunderthe

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Jewishgovernmentmanservantsandmaidservantswerenotfreeasnowtoserveforwages
aslongastheypleased,butweretheirmaster'spropertywiththeirbodyandalltheyhad,as
cattleandotherpossessions.295]Moreover,everymanhadpoweroverhiswifetoputher
awaypubliclybygivingherabillofdivorce,andtotakeanother.Thereforetheywerein
constantdangeramongeachotherthatifonetookafancytoanother'swife,hemightallege
anyreasonbothtodismisshisownwifeandtoestrangetheother'swifefromhim,thathe
mightobtainherunderpretextofright.Thatwasnotconsideredasinnordisgracewith
them;aslittleasnowwithhiredhelp,whenaproprietordismisseshismanservantormaid
servant,ortakesanother'sservantsfromhiminanyway.

296]Therefore(Isay)theythusinterpretedthesecommandments,andthatrightly(although
theirscopereachessomewhatfartherandhigher),thatnoonethinkorpurposetoobtain
whatbelongstoanother,suchashiswife,servants,houseandestate,land,meadows,cattle,
evenwithashowofrightorbyasubterfuge,yetwithinjurytohisneighbor.Forabove,inthe
SeventhCommandment,theviceisforbiddenwhereonewreststohimselfthepossessionsof
others,orwithholdsthemfromhisneighbor,whichhecannotdobyright.Buthereitisalso
forbiddentoalienateanythingfromyourneighbor,eventhoughyoucoulddosowithhonor
intheeyesoftheworld,sothatnoonecouldaccuseorblameyouasthoughyouhad
obtaineditwrongfully.

297]Forwearesoinclinedbynaturethatnoonedesirestoseeanotherhaveasmuchas
himself,andeachoneacquiresasmuchashecan;theothermayfareasbesthecan.298]
Andyetwepretendtobegodly,knowhowtoadornourselvesmostfinelyandconcealour
rascality,resorttoandinventadroitdevicesanddeceitfulartifices(suchasnowaredaily
mostingeniouslycontrived)asthoughtheywerederivedfromthelawcodes;yea,weeven
dareimpertinentlytorefertoit,andboastofit,andwillnothaveitcalledrascality,but
shrewdnessandcaution.299]Inthislawyersandjuristsassist,whotwistandstretchthelaw
tosuitittotheircause,stresswordsandusethemforasubterfuge,irrespectiveofequityor
theirneighbor'snecessity.And,inshort,whoeveristhemostexpertandcunninginthese
affairsfindsmosthelpinlaw,astheythemselvessay:Vigilantibusiurasubveniunt[thatis,
Thelawsfavorthewatchful].

300]Thislastcommandmentthereforeisgivennotforroguesintheeyesoftheworld,but
justforthemostpious,whowishtobepraisedandbecalledhonestanduprightpeople,
sincetheyhavenotoffendedagainsttheformercommandments,asespeciallytheJews
claimedtobe,andevennowmanygreatnoblemen,gentlemen,andprinces.Fortheother
commonmassesbelongyetfartherdown,undertheSeventhCommandment,asthosewho
arenotmuchconcernedwhethertheyacquiretheirpossessionswithhonorandright.

301]Now,thisoccursmostfrequentlyincasesthatarebroughtintocourt,whereitisthe
purposetogetsomethingfromourneighborandtoforcehimoutofhisown.As(togive
examples),whenpeoplequarrelandwrangleaboutalargeinheritance,realestate,etc.,they
availthemselvesof,andresortto,whateverhastheappearanceofright,sodressingand
adorningeverythingthatthelawmustfavortheirside,andtheykeepthepropertywithsuch
titlethatnoonecanmakecomplaintorlayclaimthereto.302]Inlikemanner,ifanyone
desiretohaveacastle,city,duchy,oranyothergreatthing,hepractisessomuch
financieringthroughrelationships,andbyanymeanshecan,thattheotherisjudicially
deprivedofit,anditisadjudicatedtohim,andconfirmedwithdeedandsealanddeclaredto
havebeenacquiredbyprincelytitleandhonestly.

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303]Likewisealsoincommontradewhereonedexterouslyslipssomethingoutofanother's
hand,sothathemustlookafterit,orsurprisesanddefraudshiminamatterinwhichhesees
advantageandbenefitforhimself,sothatthelatter,perhapsonaccountofdistressordebt,
cannotregainorredeemitwithoutinjury,andtheformergainsthehalforevenmore;and
yetthismustnotbeconsideredasacquiredbyfraudorstolen,buthonestlybought.Here
theysay:Firstcome,firstserved,andeveryonemustlooktohisowninterest,letanotherget
whathecan.304]Andwhocanbesosmartastothinkofallthewaysinwhichonecanget
manythingsintohispossessionbysuchspeciouspretexts?Thistheworlddoesnotconsider
wrong[norisitpunishedbylaws],andwillnotseethattheneighboristherebyplacedata
disadvantage,andmustsacrificewhathecannotsparewithoutinjury.Yetthereisnoone
whowishesthistobedonetohim;fromwhichwecaneasilyperceivethatsuchdevicesand
pretextsarefalse.

305]Thusitwasdoneformerlyalsowithrespecttowives:theyknewsuchdevicesthatifone
werepleasedwithanotherwoman,hepersonallyorthroughothers(asthereweremany
waysandmeanstobeinvented)causedherhusbandtoconceiveadispleasuretowardher,
orhadherresisthimandsoconductherselfthathewasobligedtodismissherandleaveher
totheother.ThatsortofthingundoubtedlyprevailedmuchundertheLaw,asalsoweread
intheGospelofKingHerodthathetookhisbrother'swifewhilehewasyetliving,andyet
wishedtobethoughtanhonorable,piousman,asSt.Markalsotestifiesofhim.306]But
suchanexample,Itrust,willnotoccuramongus,becauseintheNewTestamentthosewho
aremarriedareforbiddentobedivorced,exceptinsuchacasewhereone[shrewdly]by
somestratagemtakesawayarichbridefromanother.Butitisnotararethingwithusthat
oneestrangesoralienatesanother'smanservantormaidservant,orenticesthemawayby
flatteringwords.

307]Inwhateverwaysuchthingshappen,wemustknowthatGoddoesnotwishthatyou
depriveyourneighborofanythingthatbelongstohim,sothathesufferthelossandyou
gratifyyouravaricewithit,evenifyoucouldkeepithonorablybeforetheworld;foritisa
secretandinsidiousimpositionpractisedunderthehat,aswesay,thatitmaynotbe
observed.Foralthoughyougoyourwayasifyouhaddonenooneanywrong,youhave
neverthelessinjuredyourneighbor;andifitisnotcalledstealingandcheating,yetitiscalled
covetingyourneighbor'sproperty,thatis,aimingatpossessionofit,enticingitawayfrom
himwithouthiswill,andbeingunwillingtoseehimenjoywhatGodhasgrantedhim.308]
Andalthoughthejudgeandeveryonemustleaveyouinpossessionofit,yetGodwillnot
leaveyoutherein:forHeseesthedeceitfulheartandthemaliceoftheworld,whichissure
totakeanellinadditionwhereeveryouyieldtoherafinger'sbreadth,andatlengthpublic
wrongandviolencefollow.

309]Thereforeweallowthesecommandmentstoremainintheirordinarymeaning,thatitis
commanded,first,thatwedonotdesireourneighbor'sdamage,norevenassist,norgive
occasionforit,butgladlywishandleavehimwhathehas,and,besides,advanceand
preserveforhimwhatmaybeforhisprofitandservice,asweshouldwishtobetreated.
310]Thusthesecommandmentsareespeciallydirectedagainstenvyandmiserableavarice,
Godwishingtoremoveallcausesandsourceswhenceariseseverythingbywhichwedo
injurytoourneighbor,andthereforeHeexpressesitinplainwords:Thoushaltnotcovet,
etc.ForHewouldespeciallyhavetheheartpure,althoughweshallneverattaintothatas
longaswelivehere;sothatthiscommandmentwillremain,likealltherest,onethatwill
constantlyaccuseusandshowhowgodlyweareinthesightofGod!

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Conclusion of the Ten Commandments.


311]ThuswehavetheTenCommandments,acompendofdivinedoctrine,astowhatweare
todoinorderthatourwholelifemaybepleasingtoGod,andthetruefountainandchannel
fromandinwhicheverythingmustariseandflowthatistobeagoodwork,sothatoutside
oftheTenCommandmentsnoworkorthingcanbegoodorpleasingtoGod,howevergreat
orpreciousitbeintheeyesoftheworld.312]Letusseenowwhatourgreatsaintscanboast
oftheirspiritualordersandtheirgreatandgrievousworkswhichtheyhaveinventedandset
up,whiletheyletthesepass,asthoughtheywerefartooinsignificant,orhadlongagobeen
perfectlyfulfilled.

313]Iamofopinion,indeed,thathereonewillfindhishandsfull,[andwillhaveenough]to
dotoobservethese,namely,meekness,patience,andlovetowardsenemies,chastity,
kindness,etc.,andwhatsuchvirtuesimply.Butsuchworksarenotofvalueandmakeno
displayintheeyesoftheworld;fortheyarenotpeculiarandconceitedworks,andrestricted
toparticulartimes,places,rites,andcustoms,butarecommon,everydaydomesticworks
whichoneneighborcanpractisetowardanother;thereforetheyarenotofhighesteem.

314]Buttheotherworkscausepeopletoopentheireyesandearswide,andmenaidtothis
effectbythegreatdisplay,expense,andmagnificentbuildingswithwhichtheyadornthem,
sothateverythingshinesandglitters.Theretheywaftincense,theysingandringbells,they
lighttapersandcandles,sothatnothingelsecanbeseenorheard.Forwhenaprieststands
thereinasurpliceembroideredwithgilt,oralaymancontinuesalldayuponhiskneesin
church,thatisregardedasamostpreciousworkwhichnoonecansufficientlypraise.But
whenapoorgirltendsalittlechildandfaithfullydoeswhatsheistold,thatisconsidered
nothing;forelsewhatshouldmonksandnunsseekintheircloisters?

315]Butsee,isnotthatacursedpresumptionofthosedesperatesaintswhodaretoinventa
higherandbetterlifeandestatethantheTenCommandmentsteach,pretending(aswehave
said)thatthisisanordinarylifeforthecommonman,butthattheirsisforsaintsandperfect
ones?316]Andthemiserableblindpeopledonotseethatnomancangetsofarastokeep
oneoftheTenCommandmentsasitshouldbekept,butboththeApostles'Creedandthe
Lord'sPrayermustcometoouraid(asweshallhear),bywhichthat[powerandstrengthto
keepthecommandments]issoughtandprayedforandreceivedcontinually.Thereforeall
theirboastingamountstoasmuchasifIboastedandsaid:Tobesure,Ihavenotapennyto
makepaymentwith,butIconfidentlyundertaketopaytenflorins.

317]AllthisIsayandurgeinorderthatmenmightbecomeridofthesadmisusewhichhas
takensuchdeeprootandstillcleavestoeverybody,andinallestatesuponearthbecome
usedtolookinghitheronly,andtobeingconcernedaboutthesematters.Foritwillbealong
timebeforetheywillproduceadoctrineorestatesequaltotheTenCommandments,
becausetheyaresohighthatnoonecanattaintothembyhumanpower;andwhoeverdoes
attaintothemisaheavenly,angelicman,faraboveallholinessoftheworld.318]Only
occupyyourselfwiththem,andtryyourbest,applyallpowerandability,andyouwillfindso
muchtodothatyouwillneitherseeknoresteemanyotherworkorholiness.

319]LetthisbesufficientconcerningthefirstpartofthecommonChristiandoctrine,both
forteachingandurgingwhatisnecessary.Inconclusion,however,wemustrepeatthetext
whichbelongshere,ofwhichwehavetreatedalreadyintheFirstCommandment,inorder
thatwemaylearnwhatpainsGodrequirestotheendwemaylearntoinculcateandpractise

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theTenCommandments:

320]ForItheLord,thyGod,amajealousGod,visitingtheiniquityofthefathersuponthe
childrenuntothethirdandfourthgenerationofthemthathateMe,andshowingmercyunto
thousandsofthemthatloveMeandkeepMycommandments.

321]Although(aswehaveheardabove)thisappendixwasprimarilyattachedtotheFirst
Commandment,itwasnevertheless[wecannotdenythatitwas]laiddownforthesakeofall
thecommandments,asallofthemaretobereferredanddirectedtoit.ThereforeIhavesaid
thatthis,too,shouldbepresentedtoandinculcatedupontheyoung,thattheymaylearn
andrememberit,inordertoseewhatistourgeandcompelustokeeptheseTen
Commandments.Anditistoberegardedasthoughthispartwerespeciallyaddedtoeach,so
thatitinheresin,andpervades,themall.

322]Now,thereiscomprehendedinthesewords(assaidbefore)bothanangrywordof
threateningandafriendlypromisetoterrifyandwarnus,and,moreover,toinduceand
encourageustoreceiveandhighlyesteemHisWordasamatterofdivineearnestness,
becauseHeHimselfdeclareshowmuchHeisconcernedaboutit,andhowrigidlyHewill
enforceit,namely,thatHewillhorriblyandterriblypunishallwhodespiseandtransgressHis
commandments;323]andagain,howrichlyHewillreward,bless,anddoallgoodtothose
whoholdtheminhighesteem,andgladlydoandliveaccordingtothem.ThusHedemands
thatallourworksproceedfromaheartwhichfearsandregardsGodalone,andfromsuch
fearavoidseverythingthatiscontrarytoHiswill,lestitshouldmoveHimtowrath;and,on
theotherhand,alsotrustsinHimaloneandfromlovetoHimdoesallHewishes,becausehe
speakstousasfriendlyasafather,andoffersusallgraceandeverygood.

324]Justthisisalsothemeaningandtrueinterpretationofthefirstandchief
commandment,fromwhichalltheothersmustflowandproceed,sothatthisword:Thou
shalthavenoothergodsbeforeMe,initssimplestmeaningstatesnothingelsethanthis
demand:Thoushaltfear,love,andtrustinMeasthineonlytrueGod.Forwherethereisa
heartthusdisposedtowardsGod,thesamehasfulfilledthisandalltheother
commandments.Ontheotherhand,whoeverfearsandlovesanythingelseinheavenand
uponearthwillkeepneitherthisnorany.325]ThustheentireScriptureshaveeverywhere
preachedandinculcatedthiscommandment,aimingalwaysatthesetwothings:fearofGod
andtrustinHim.AndespeciallytheprophetDavidthroughoutthePsalms,aswhenhesays
[Ps.147,11]:TheLordtakethpleasureinthemthatfearHim,inthosethathopeinHismercy.
Asiftheentirecommandmentwereexplainedbyoneverse,asmuchastosay:TheLord
takethpleasureinthosewhohavenoothergods.

326]ThustheFirstCommandmentistoshineandimpartitssplendortoalltheothers.
Thereforeyoumustletthisdeclarationrunthroughallthecommandments,likeahoopina
wreath,joiningtheendtothebeginningandholdingthemalltogether,thatitbecontinually
repeatedandnotforgotten;as,namely,intheSecondCommandment,thatwefearGodand
donottakeHisnameinvainforcursing,lying,deceiving,andothermodesofleadingmen
astray,orrascality,butmakeproperandgooduseofitbycallinguponHiminprayer,praise,
andthanksgiving,derivedfromloveandtrustaccordingtotheFirstCommandment.Inlike
mannersuchfear,love,andtrustistourgeandforceusnottodespiseHisWord,butgladly
tolearn,hear,andesteemitholy,andhonorit.

327]Thuscontinuingthroughallthefollowingcommandmentstowardsourneighbor

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likewise,everythingistoproceedbyvirtueoftheFirstCommandment,towit,thatwehonor
fatherandmother,masters,andallinauthority,andbesubjectandobedienttothem,noton
theirownaccount,butforGod'ssake.Foryouarenottoregardorfearfatherormother,or
fromloveofthemdooromitanything.ButseetothatwhichGodwouldhaveyoudo,and
whatHewillquitesurelydemandofyou;ifyouomitthat,youhaveanangryJudge,butin
thecontrarycaseagraciousFather.

328]Again,thatyoudoyourneighbornoharm,injury,orviolence,norinanywiseencroach
uponhimastouchinghisbody,wife,property,honor,orrights,asallthesethingsare
commandedintheirorder,eventhoughyouhaveopportunityandcausetodosoandno
manwouldreproveyou;butthatyoudogoodtoallmen,helpthem,andpromotetheir
interest,howsoeverandwhereveryoucan,purelyfromloveofGodandinordertoplease
Him,intheconfidencethatHewillabundantlyrewardyouforeverything.329]Thusyousee
howtheFirstCommandmentisthechiefsourceandfountainheadwhichflowsintoallthe
rest,andagain,allreturntothatanddependuponit,sothatbeginningandendarefastened
andboundtoeachother.

330]This(Isay)itisprofitableandnecessaryalwaystoteachtotheyoungpeople,to
admonishthemandtoremindthemofit,thattheymaybebroughtupnotonlywithblows
andcompulsion,likecattle,butinthefearandreverenceofGod.Forwherethisis
consideredandlaidtoheartthatthesethingsarenothumantrifles,butthecommandments
oftheDivineMajesty,whoinsistsuponthemwithsuchearnestness,isangrywith,and
punishesthosewhodespisethem,and,ontheotherhand,abundantlyrewardsthosewho
keepthem,therewillbeaspontaneousimpulseandadesiregladlytodothewillofGod.
331]ThereforeitisnotinvainthatitiscommandedintheOldTestamenttowritetheTen
Commandmentsonallwallsandcorners,yes,evenonthegarments,notforthesakeof
merelyhavingthemwrittenintheseplacesandmakingashowofthem,asdidtheJews,but
thatwemighthaveoureyesconstantlyfixeduponthem,andhavethemalwaysinour
memory,andthatwemightpractisetheminallouractionsandways,332]andeveryone
makethemhisdailyexerciseinallcases,ineverybusinessandtransaction,asthoughthey
werewrittenineveryplacewhereverhewouldlook,yea,whereverhewalksorstands.Thus
therewouldbeoccasionenough,bothathomeinourownhouseandabroadwithour
neighbors,topractisetheTenCommandments,thatnooneneedrunfarforthem.

333]FromthisitagainappearshowhighlytheseTenCommandmentsaretobeexaltedand
extolledaboveallestates,commandments,andworkswhicharetaughtandpractisedaside
fromthem.Forherewecanboastandsay:Letallthewiseandsaintsstepforthandproduce,
iftheycan,a[single]worklikethesecommandments,uponwhichGodinsistswithsuch
earnestness,andwhichHeenjoinswithHisgreatestwrathandpunishment,and,be.sides,
addssuchgloriouspromisesthatHewillpouroutuponusallgoodthingsandblessings.
Thereforetheyshouldbetaughtaboveallothers,andbeesteemedpreciousanddear,asthe
highesttreasuregivenbyGod.

Backtotop

Large Catechism
Part Second: Of the Creed.
1]ThusfarwehaveheardthefirstpartofChristiandoctrine,inwhichwehaveseenallthat

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Godwishesustodoortoleaveundone.Now,thereproperlyfollowstheCreed,whichsets
forthtouseverythingthatwemustexpectandreceivefromGod,and,tostateitquite
briefly,teachesustoknowHimfully.2]Andthisisintendedtohelpusdothatwhich
accordingtotheTenCommandmentsweoughttodo.For(assaidabove)theyaresetsohigh
thatallhumanabilityisfartoofeebleandweakto[attaintoor]keepthem.Thereforeitisas
necessarytolearnthispartastheformerinorderthatwemayknowhowtoattainthereto,
whenceandwherebytoobtainsuchpower.3]Forifwecouldbyourownpowerskeepthe
TenCommandmentsastheyaretobekept,wewouldneednothingfurther,neitherthe
CreednortheLord'sPrayer.4]Butbeforeweexplainthisadvantageandnecessityofthe
Creed,itissufficientatfirstforthesimplemindedthattheylearntocomprehendand
understandtheCreeditself.

5]Inthefirstplace,theCreedhashithertobeendividedintotwelvearticles,although,ifall
pointswhicharewrittenintheScripturesandwhichbelongtotheCreedweretobedistinctly
setforth,therewouldbefarmorearticles,norcouldtheyallbeclearlyexpressedinsofew
words.6]Butthatitmaybemosteasilyandclearlyunderstoodasitistobetaughtto
children,weshallbrieflysumuptheentireCreedinthreechiefarticles,accordingtothe
threepersonsintheGodhead,towhomeverythingthatwebelieveisrelated,sothatthe
FirstArticle,ofGodtheFather,explainsCreation,theSecondArticle,oftheSon,Redemption,
andtheThird,oftheHolyGhost,Sanctification.7]JustasthoughtheCreedwerebriefly
comprehendedinsomanywords:IbelieveinGodtheFather,whohascreatedme;Ibelieve
inGodtheSon,whohasredeemedme;IbelieveintheHolyGhost,whosanctifiesme.One
Godandonefaith,butthreepersons,thereforealsothreearticlesorconfessions.8]Letus
brieflyrunoverthewords.

Backtotop

Article I.
9]IbelieveinGodtheFatherAlmighty,Makerofheavenandearth.

10]Thisportraysandsetsforthmostbrieflywhatistheessence,will,activity,andworkof
GodtheFather.ForsincetheTenCommandmentshavetaughtthatwearetohavenotmore
thanoneGod,thequestionmightbeasked,WhatkindofapersonisGod?WhatdoesHedo?
Howcanwepraise,orportrayanddescribeHim,thatHemaybeknown?Now,thatistaught
inthisandinthefollowingarticle,sothattheCreedisnothingelsethantheanswerand
confessionofChristiansarrangedwithrespecttotheFirstCommandment.Asifyouwereto
askalittlechild:11]Mydear,whatsortofaGodhaveyou?WhatdoyouknowofHim?he
couldsay:ThisismyGod:first,theFather,whohascreatedheavenandearth;besidesthis
onlyOneIregardnothingelseasGod;forthereisnooneelsewhocouldcreateheavenand
earth.

12]Butforthelearned,andthosewhoaresomewhatadvanced[haveacquiredsome
Scripturalknowledge],thesethreearticlesmayallbeexpandedanddividedintoasmany
partsastherearewords.Butnowforyoungscholarsletitsufficetoindicatethemost
necessarypoints,namely,aswehavesaid,thatthisarticlereferstotheCreation:thatwe
emphasizethewords:Creatorofheavenandearth.13]Butwhatistheforceofthis,orwhat
doyoumeanbythesewords:IbelieveinGod,theFatherAlmighty,Maker,etc.?Answer:This
iswhatImeanandbelieve,thatIamacreatureofGod;thatis,thatHehasgivenand

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constantlypreservestomemybody,soul,andlife,membersgreatandsmall,allmysenses,
reason,andunderstanding,andsoon,foodanddrink,clothingandsupport,wifeand
children,domestics,houseandhome,etc.14]Besides,Hecausesallcreaturestoservefor
theusesandnecessitiesoflifesun,moon,andstarsinthefirmament,dayandnight,air,fire,
water,earth,andwhateveritbearsandproduces,birdsandfishesbeasts,grain,andallkinds
ofproduce,15]andwhateverelsethereisofbodilyandtemporalgoods,goodgovernment,
peace,security.16]Thuswelearnfromthisarticlethatnoneofushasofhimself,norcan
preserve,hislifenoranythingthatishereenumeratedorcanbeenumerated,howeversmall
andunimportantathingitmightbe,foralliscomprehendedinthewordCreator.

17]Moreover,wealsoconfessthatGodtheFatherhasnotonlygivenusallthatwehaveand
seebeforeoureyes,butdailypreservesanddefendsusagainstallevilandmisfortune,averts
allsortsofdangerandcalamity;andthatHedoesallthisoutofpureloveandgoodness,
withoutourmerit,asabenevolentFather,whocaresforusthatnoevilbefallus.18]Butto
speakmoreofthisbelongsintheothertwopartsofthisarticle,wherewesay:Father
Almighty.

19]Now,sinceallthatwepossess,and,moreover,whatever,inaddition,isinheavenand
upontheearth,isdailygiven,preserved,andkeptforusbyGod,itisreadilyinferredand
concludedthatitisourdutytolove,praise,andthankHimforitwithoutceasing,and,in
short,toserveHimwithallthesethings,asHedemandsandhasenjoinedintheTen
Commandments.

20]Herewecouldsaymuchifweweretoexpatiate,howfewtherearethatbelievethis
article.Forweallpassoverit,hearitandsayit,butneitherseenorconsiderwhatthewords
teachus.21]Forifwebelieveditwiththeheart,wewouldalsoactaccordingly,andnotstalk
aboutproudly,actdefiantly,andboastasthoughwehadlife,riches,power,andhonor,etc.,
ofourselves,sothatothersmustfearandserveus,asisthepractiseofthewretched,
perverseworld,whichisdrownedinblindness,andabusesallthegoodthingsandgiftsof
Godonlyforitsownpride,avarice,lust,andluxury,andneveronceregardsGod,soasto
thankHimoracknowledgeHimasLordandCreator.

22]Therefore,thisarticleoughttohumbleandterrifyusall,ifwebelievedit.Forwesindaily
witheyes,ears,hands,bodyandsoul,moneyandpossessions,andwitheverythingwehave,
especiallythosewhoevenfightagainsttheWordofGod.YetChristianshavethisadvantage,
thattheyacknowledgethemselvesindutyboundtoserveGodforallthesethings,andtobe
obedienttoHim[whichtheworldknowsnothowtodo].

23]Weought,therefore,dailytopractisethisarticle,impressituponourmind,andto
rememberitinallthatmeetsoureyes,andinallgoodthatfallstoourlot,andwhereverwe
escapefromcalamityordanger,thatitisGodwhogivesanddoesallthesethings,that
thereinwesenseandseeHisPaternalheartandhistranscendentlovetowardus.Thereby
theheartwouldbewarmedandkindledtobethankful,andtoemployallsuchgoodthingsto
thehonorandpraiseofGod.

24]Thuswehavemostbrieflypresentedthemeaningofthisarticle,asmuchasisatfirst
necessaryforthemostsimpletolearn,bothastowhatwehaveandreceivefromGod,and
whatweoweinreturn,whichisamostexcellentknowledge,butafargreatertreasure.For
hereweseehowtheFatherhasgivenHimselftous,togetherwithallcreatures,andhas
mostrichlyprovidedforusinthislife,besidesthatHehasoverwhelmeduswith

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unspeakable,eternaltreasuresbyHisSonandtheHolyGhost,asweshallhear.

Backtotop

Article II.
25]AndinJesusChrist,HisonlySon,ourLord,whowasconceivedbytheHolyGhost,bornof
theVirginMary;sufferedunderPontiusPilate,wascrucified,dead,andburied;He
descendedintohell;thethirddayHeroseagainfromthedead;Heascendedintoheaven,
andsittethontherighthandofGodtheFatherAlmighty;fromthenceHeshallcometojudge
thequickandthedead.

26]HerewelearntoknowtheSecondPersonoftheGodhead,sothatweseewhatwehave
fromGodoverandabovethetemporalgoodsaforementioned;namely,howHehits
completelypouredforthHimselfandwithheldnothingfromusthatHehasnotgivenus.
Now,thisarticleisveryrichandbroad;butinordertoexpounditalsobrieflyandina
childlikewayweshalltakeuponewordandsumupinthattheentirearticle,namely(aswe
havesaid),thatwemayherelearnhowwehavebeenredeemed;andweshallbasethison
thesewords:InJesusChrist,ourLord.

27]Ifnowyouareasked,WhatdoyoubelieveintheSecondArticleofJesusChrist?answer
briefly:IbelievethatJesusChrist,trueSonofGod,hasbecomemyLord.Butwhatisitto
becomeLord?Itisthis,thatHehasredeemedmefromsin,fromthedevil,fromdeath,and
allevil.ForbeforeIhadnoLordnorKing,butwascaptiveunderthepowerofthedevil,
condemnedtodeath,enmeshedinsinandblindness.

28]ForwhenwehadbeencreatedbyGodtheFather,andhadreceivedfromHimallmanner
ofgood,thedevilcameandledusintodisobedience,sin,death,andallevil,sothatwefell
underHiswrathanddispleasureandweredoomedtoeternaldamnation,aswehadmerited
anddeserved.29]Therewasnocounsel,help,orcomfortuntilthisonlyandeternalSonof
GodinHisunfathomablegoodnesshadcompassionuponourmiseryandwretchedness,and
camefromheaventohelpus.30]Thosetyrantsandjailers,then,areallexpellednow,andin
theirplacehascomeJesusChrist,Lordoflife,righteousness,everyblessing,andsalvation,
andhasdelivereduspoorlostmenfromthejawsofhell,haswonus,madeusfree,and
broughtusagainintothefavorandgraceoftheFather,andhastakenusasHisownproperty
underHisshelterandprotection,thatHemaygovernusbyHisrighteousness,wisdom,
power,life,andblessedness.

31]Letthis,then,bethesumofthisarticlethatthelittlewordLordsignifiessimplyasmuch
asRedeemer,i.e.,HewhohasbroughtusfromSatantoGod,fromdeathtolife,fromsinto
righteousness,andwhopreservesusinthesame.Butallthepointswhichfollowinorderin
thisarticleservenootherendthantoexplainandexpressthisredemption,howand
wherebyitwasaccomplished,thatis,howmuchitcostHim,andwhatHespentandrisked
thatHemightwinusandbringusunderHisdominion,namely,thatHebecameman,
conceivedandbornwithout[anystainof]sin,oftheHolyGhostandoftheVirginMary,that
Hemightovercomesin;moreover,thatHesuffered,diedandwasburied,thatHemight
makesatisfactionformeandpaywhatIowe,notwithsilvernorgold,butwithHisown
preciousblood.Andallthis,inordertobecomemyLord;forHedidnoneofthesefor
Himself,norhadHeanyneedofit.AndafterthatHeroseagainfromthedead,swallowedup

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anddevoureddeath,andfinallyascendedintoheavenandassumedthegovernmentatthe
Father'srighthand,sothatthedevilandallpowersmustbesubjecttoHimandlieatHis
feet,untilfinally,atthelastday,Hewillcompletelypartandseparateusfromthewicked
world,thedevil,death,sin,etc.

32]Buttoexplainallthesesinglepointsseparatelybelongsnottobriefsermonsforchildren,
butrathertotheamplersermonsthatextendthroughouttheentireyear,especiallyatthose
timeswhichareappointedforthepurposeoftreatingatlengthofeacharticleofthebirth,
sufferings,resurrection,ascensionofChrist,etc.

33]Ay,theentireGospelwhichwepreachisbasedonthis,thatweproperlyunderstandthis
articleasthatuponwhichoursalvationandallourhappinessrest,andwhichissorichand
comprehensivethatwenevercanlearnitfully.

Backtotop

Article III.
34]IbelieveintheHolyGhost;theholyChristianChurch,thecommunionofsaints;the
forgivenessofsins;theresurrectionofthebody;andthelifeeverlasting.Amen.

35]Thisarticle(asIhavesaid)IcannotrelatebetterthantoSanctification,thatthroughthe
sametheHolyGhost,withHisoffice,isdeclaredanddepicted,namely,thatHemakesholy.
ThereforewemusttakeourstanduponthewordHolyGhost,becauseitissopreciseand
comprehensivethatwecannotfindanother.36]Forthereare,besides,manykindsofspirits
mentionedintheHolyScriptures,as,thespiritofman,heavenlyspirits,andevilspirits.But
theSpiritofGodaloneiscalledHolyGhost,thatis,Hewhohassanctifiedandstillsanctifies
us.ForastheFatheriscalledCreator,theSonRedeemer,sotheHolyGhost,fromHiswork,
mustbecalledSanctifier,orOnethatmakesholy.37]Buthowissuchsanctifyingdone?
Answer:JustastheSonobtainsdominion,wherebyHewinsus,throughHisbirth,death,
resurrection,etc.,soalsotheHolyGhosteffectsoursanctificationbythefollowingparts,
namely,bythecommunionofsaintsortheChristianChurch,theforgivenessofsins,the
resurrectionofthebody,andthelifeeverlasting;thatis,HefirstleadsusintoHisholy
congregation,andplacesusinthebosomoftheChurch,wherebyHepreachestousand
bringsustoChrist.

38]ForneitheryounorIcouldeverknowanythingofChrist,orbelieveonHim,andobtain
HimforourLord,unlessitwereofferedtousandgrantedtoourheartsbytheHolyGhost
throughthepreachingoftheGospel.Theworkisdoneandaccomplished;forChristhas
acquiredandgainedthetreasureforusbyHissuffering,death,resurrection,etc.Butifthe
workremainedconcealedsothatnooneknewofit,thenitwouldbeinvainandlost.That
thistreasure,therefore,mightnotlieburied,butbeappropriatedandenjoyed,Godhas
causedtheWordtogoforthandbeproclaimed,inwhichHegivestheHolyGhosttobring
thistreasurehomeandappropriateittous.39]Thereforesanctifyingisnothingelsethan
bringingustoChristtoreceivethisgood,towhichwecouldnotattainofourselves.

40]Learn,then,tounderstandthisarticlemostclearly.Ifyouareasked:Whatdoyoumean
bythewords:IbelieveintheHolyGhost?youcananswer:IbelievethattheHolyGhost
makesmeholy,asHisnameimplies.41]ButwherebydoesHeaccomplishthis,orwhatare

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Hismethodandmeanstothisend?Answer:BytheChristianChurch,theforgivenessofsins,
theresurrectionofthebody,andthelifeeverlasting.42]For,inthefirstplace,Hehasa
peculiarcongregationintheworld,whichisthemotherthatbegetsandbearseveryChristian
throughtheWordofGod,whichHerevealsandpreaches,[andthroughwhich]Heillumines
andenkindleshearts,thattheyunderstand,acceptit,clingtoit,andpersevereinit.

43]ForwhereHedoesnotcauseittobepreachedandmadealiveintheheart,sothatitis
understood,itislost,aswasthecaseunderthePapacy,wherefaithwasentirelyputunder
thebench,andnoonerecognizedChristashisLordortheHolyGhostashisSanctifier,that
is,noonebelievedthatChristisourLordinthesensethatHehasacquiredthistreasurefor
us,withoutourworksandmerit,andmadeusacceptabletotheFather.What,then,was
lacking?44]This,thattheHolyGhostwasnottheretorevealitandcauseittobepreached;
butmenandevilspiritswerethere,whotaughtustoobtaingraceandbesavedbyour
works.45]ThereforeitisnotaChristianChurcheither;forwhereChristisnotpreached,
thereisnoHolyGhostwhocreates,calls,andgatherstheChristianChurch,withoutwhichno
onecancometoChristtheLord.46]Letthissufficeconcerningthesumofthisarticle.But
becausethepartswhicharehereenumeratedarenotquitecleartothesimple,weshallrun
overthemalso.

47]TheCreeddenominatestheholyChristianChurch,communionemsanctorum,a
communionofsaints;forbothexpressions,takentogether,areidentical.Butformerlythe
one[thesecond]expressionwasnotthere,andithasbeenpoorlyandunintelligibly
translatedintoGermaneineGemeinschaftderHeiligen,acommunionofsaints.Ifitistobe
renderedplainly,itmustbeexpressedquitedifferentlyintheGermanidiom;fortheword
ecclesiaproperlymeansinGermaneineVersammlung,anassembly.48]Butweare
accustomedtothewordchurch,bywhichthesimpledonotunderstandanassembled
multitude,buttheconsecratedhouseorbuilding,althoughthehouseoughtnottobecalled
achurch,exceptonlyforthereasonthatthemultitudeassemblesthere.Forwewho
assembletheremakeandchooseforourselvesaparticularplace,andgiveanametothe
houseaccordingtotheassembly.

ThusthewordKirche(church)meansreallynothingelsethanacommonassembly,andisnot
Germanbyidiom,butGreek(asisalsothewordecclesia);forintheirownlanguagetheycall
itkyria,asinLatinitiscalledcuria.ThereforeingenuineGerman,inourmothertongue,it
oughttobecalledaChristiancongregationorassembly(einechristlicheGemeindeoder
Sammlung),or,bestofallandmostclearly,holyChristendom(eineheiligeChristenheit).

49]Soalsothewordcommunio,whichisadded,oughtnottoberenderedcommunion
(Gemeinschaft),butcongregation(Gemeinde).Anditisnothingelsethananinterpretationor
explanationbywhichsomeonemeanttoexplainwhattheChristianChurchis.Thisour
people,whounderstoodneitherLatinnorGerman,haverenderedGemeinschaftderHeiligen
(communionofsaints),althoughnoGermanlanguagespeaksthus,norunderstandsitthus.
ButtospeakcorrectGerman,itoughttobeeineGemeindederHeiligen(acongregationof
saints),thatis,acongregationmadeuppurelyofsaints,or,tospeakyetmoreplainly,eine
heiligeGemeinde,aholycongregation.50]IsaythisinorderthatthewordsGemeinschaft
derHeiligen(communionofsaints)maybeunderstood,becausetheexpressionhasbecome
soestablishedbycustomthatitcannotwellbeeradicated,anditistreatedalmostasheresy
ifoneshouldattempttochangeaword.

51]Butthisisthemeaningandsubstanceofthisaddition:Ibelievethatthereisuponeartha

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littleholygroupandcongregationofpuresaints,underonehead,evenChrist,called
togetherbytheHolyGhostinonefaith,onemind,andunderstanding,withmanifoldgifts,
yetagreeinginlove,withoutsectsorschisms.52]Iamalsoapartandmemberofthesame,
asharerandjointownerofallthegoodsitpossesses,broughttoitandincorporatedintoit
bytheHolyGhostbyhavingheardandcontinuingtoheartheWordofGod,whichisthe
beginningofenteringit.Forformerly,beforewehadattainedtothis,wewerealtogetherof
thedevil,knowingnothingofGodandofChrist.53]Thus,untilthelastday,theHolyGhost
abideswiththeholycongregationorChristendom,bymeansofwhichHefetchesustoChrist
andwhichHeemploystoteachandpreachtoustheWord,wherebyHeworksandpromotes
sanctification,causingit[thiscommunity]dailytogrowandbecomestronginthefaithand
itsfruitswhichHeproduces.

54]WefurtherbelievethatinthisChristianChurchwehaveforgivenessofsin,whichis
wroughtthroughtheholySacramentsandAbsolution,moreover,throughallmannerof
consolatorypromisesoftheentireGospel.Therefore,whateveristobepreachedconcerning
theSacramentsbelongshere,and,inshort,thewholeGospelandalltheofficesof
Christianity,whichalsomustbepreachedandtaughtwithoutceasing.Foralthoughthegrace
ofGodissecuredthroughChrist,andsanctificationiswroughtbytheHolyGhostthroughthe
WordofGodintheunityoftheChristianChurch,yetonaccountofourfleshwhichwebear
aboutwithusweareneverwithoutsin.

55]Everything,therefore,intheChristianChurchisorderedtotheendthatweshalldaily
obtaintherenothingbuttheforgivenessofsinthroughtheWordandsigns,tocomfortand
encourageourconsciencesaslongaswelivehere.Thus,althoughwehavesins,the[graceof
the]HolyGhostdoesnotallowthemtoinjureus,becauseweareintheChristianChurch,
wherethereisnothingbut[continuous,uninterrupted]forgivenessofsin,bothinthatGod
forgivesus,andinthatweforgive,bearwith,andhelpeachother.

56]ButoutsideofthisChristianChurch,wheretheGospelisnot,thereisnoforgiveness,as
alsotherecanbenoholiness[sanctification].Thereforeallwhoseekandwishtomerit
holiness[sanctification],notthroughtheGospelandforgivenessofsin,butbytheirworks,
haveexpelledandseveredthemselves[fromthisChurch].

57]Meanwhile,however,whilesanctificationhasbegunandisgrowingdaily,weexpectthat
ourfleshwillbedestroyedandburiedwithallitsuncleanness,andwillcomeforthgloriously,
andarisetoentireandperfectholinessinaneweternallife.58]Fornowweareonlyhalf
pureandholy,sothattheHolyGhosthasever[somereasonwhy]tocontinueHisworkinus
throughtheWord,anddailytodispenseforgiveness,untilweattaintothatlifewherethere
willbenomoreforgiveness,butonlyperfectlypureandholypeople,fullofgodlinessand
righteousness,removedandfreefromsin,death,andallevil,inanew,immortal,and
glorifiedbody.

59]Behold,allthisistobetheofficeandworkoftheHolyGhost,thatHebeginanddaily
increaseholinessuponearthbymeansofthesetwothings,theChristianChurchandthe
forgivenessofsin.ButinourdissolutionHewillaccomplishitaltogetherinaninstant,and
willforeverpreserveusthereinbythelasttwoparts.

60]ButthetermAuferstehungdesFleisches(resurrectionoftheflesh)hereemployedisnot
accordingtogoodGermanidiom.ForwhenweGermanshearthewordFleisch(flesh),we
thinknofartherthanoftheshambles.ButingoodGermanidiomwewouldsayAuferstehung

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desLeibes,orLeichnams(resurrectionofthebody).However,itisnotamatterofmuch
moment,ifweonlyunderstandthewordsaright.

61]This,now,isthearticlewhichmusteverbeandremaininoperation.Forcreationwe
havereceived;redemption,too,isfinishedButtheHolyGhostcarriesonHisworkwithout
ceasingtothelastday.AndforthatpurposeHehasappointedacongregationuponearthby
whichHespeaksanddoeseverything.62]ForHehasnotyetbroughttogetherallHis
ChristianChurchnordispensedforgiveness.ThereforewebelieveinHimwhothroughthe
WorddailybringsusintothefellowshipofthisChristianChurch,andthroughthesameWord
andtheforgivenessofsinsbestows,increases,andstrengthensfaith,inorderthatwhenHe
hasaccomplisheditall,andweabidetherein,anddietotheworldandtoallevil,Hemay
finallymakeusperfectlyandforeverholy;whichnowweexpectinfaiththroughtheWord.

63]Behold,hereyouhavetheentiredivineessence,will,andworkdepictedmostexquisitely
inquiteshortandyetrichwords,whereinconsistsallourwisdom,whichsurpassesand
exceedsthewisdom,mind,andreasonofallmen.Foralthoughthewholeworldwithall
diligencehasendeavoredtoascertainwhatGodis,whatHehasinmindanddoes,yethas
sheneverbeenabletoattainto[theknowledgeandunderstandingof]anyofthesethings.
64]Butherewehaveeverythinginrichestmeasure;forhereinallthreearticlesHehas
HimselfrevealedandopenedthedeepestabyssofhispaternalheartandofHispure
unutterablelove.ForHehascreatedusforthisveryobject,thatHemightredeemand
sanctifyus;andinadditiontogivingandimpartingtouseverythinginheavenandupon
earth,HehasgiventousevenHisSonandtheHolyGhost,bywhomtobringustoHimself.
65]For(asexplainedabove)wecouldneverattaintotheknowledgeofthegraceandfavor
oftheFatherexceptthroughtheLordChrist,whoisamirrorofthepaternalheart,outsideof
whomweseenothingbutanangryandterribleJudge.ButofChristwecouldknownothing
either,unlessithadbeenrevealedbytheHolyGhost.

66]ThesearticlesoftheCreed,therefore,divideandseparateusChristiansfromallother
peopleuponearth.ForalloutsideofChristianity,whetherheathen,Turks,Jews,orfalse
Christiansandhypocrites,althoughtheybelievein,andworship,onlyonetrueGod,yetknow
notwhatHismindtowardsthemis,andcannotexpectanyloveorblessingfromHim;
thereforetheyabideineternalwrathanddamnation.FortheyhavenottheLordChrist,and,
besides,arenotilluminedandfavoredbyanygiftsoftheHolyGhost.

67]FromthisyouperceivethattheCreedisadoctrinequitedifferentfromtheTen
Commandments;forthelatterteachesindeedwhatweoughttodo,buttheformertells
whatGoddoesforusandgivestous.Moreover,apartfromthis,theTenCommandments
arewrittenintheheartsofallmen;theCreed,however,nohumanwisdomcancomprehend,
butitmustbetaughtbytheHolyGhostalone.68]Thelatterdoctrine[oftheLaw],therefore,
makesnoChristian,forthewrathanddispleasureofGodabideuponusstill,becausewe
cannotkeepwhatGoddemandsofus;butthis[namely,thedoctrineoffaith]bringspure
grace,andmakesusgodlyandacceptabletoGod.69]Forbythisknowledgeweobtainlove
anddelightinallthecommandmentsofGod,becausehereweseethatGodgivesHimself
entiretous,withallthatHehasandisabletodo,toaidanddirectusinkeepingtheTen
CommandmentstheFather,allcreatures;theSon,Hisentirework;andtheHolyGhost,all
Hisgifts.

70]LetthissufficeconcerningtheCreedtolayafoundationforthesimple,thattheymaynot
beburdened,sothat,iftheyunderstandthesubstanceofit,theythemselvesmayafterwards

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strivetoacquiremore,andtorefertothesepartswhatevertheylearnintheScriptures,and
mayevergrowandincreaseinricherunderstanding.Foraslongaswelivehere,weshall
dailyhaveenoughtodotopreachandtolearnthis.

Backtotop

Large Catechism
Part Third: Of Prayer.

1]Wehavenowheardwhatwemustdoandbelieve,inwhichthingsthebestandhappiest
lifeconsists.Nowfollowsthethirdpart,howweoughttopray.2]Forsinceweareso
situatedthatnomancanperfectlykeeptheTenCommandments,eventhoughhehave
beguntobelieve,andsincethedevilwithallhispower,togetherwiththeworldandourown
flesh,resistsourendeavors,nothingissonecessaryasthatweshouldcontinuallyresortto
theearofGod,calluponHim,andpraytoHim,thatHewouldgive,preserve,andincreasein
usfaithandthefulfilmentoftheTenCommandments,andthatHewouldremoveeverything
thatisinourwayandopposesustherein.3]Butthatwemightknowwhatandhowtopray,
ourLordChristhasHimselftaughtusboththemodeandthewords,asweshallsee.

4]ButbeforeweexplaintheLord'sPrayerpartbypart,itismostnecessaryfirsttoexhort
andincitepeopletoprayer,asChristandtheapostlesalsohavedone.5]Andthefirstmatter
istoknowthatitisourdutytopraybecauseofGod'scommandment.Forthusweheardin
theSecondCommandment:ThoushaltnottakethenameoftheLord,thyGod,invain,that
wearethererequiredtopraisethatholyname,andcalluponitineveryneed,ortopray.For
tocalluponthenameofGodisnothingelsethantopray.6]Prayeristhereforeasstrictly
andearnestlycommandedasallothercommandments:tohavenootherGod,nottokill,not
tosteal,etc.Letnoonethinkthatitisallthesamewhetherheprayornot,asvulgarpeople
do,whogropeinsuchdelusionandask,WhyshouldIpray?WhoknowswhetherGodheeds
orwillhearmyprayer?IfIdonotpray,someoneelsewill.Andthustheyfallintothehabitof
neverpraying,andframeapretext,asthoughwetaughtthatthereisnodutyorneedof
prayer,becausewerejectfalseandhypocriticalprayers.

7]Butthisistrueindeedthatsuchprayersashavebeenofferedhithertowhenmenwere
babblingandbawlinginthechurcheswerenoprayers.Forsuchexternalmatters,whenthey
areproperlyobserved,maybeagoodexerciseforyoungchildren,scholars,andsimple
persons,andmaybecalledsingingorreading,butnotreallypraying.8]Butpraying,asthe
SecondCommandmentteaches,istocalluponGodineveryneed.ThisHerequiresofus,and
hasnotleftittoourchoice.ButitisourdutyandobligationtoprayifwewouldbeChristians,
asmuchasitisourdutyandobligationtoobeyourparentsandthegovernment;forby
callinguponitandprayingthenameofGodishonoredandprofitablyemployed.9]Thisyou
mustnoteaboveallthings,thattherebyyoumaysilenceandrepelsuchthoughtsaswould
keepanddeterusfromprayer.Forjustasitwouldbeidleforasontosaytohisfather,"Of
whatadvantageismyobedience?IwillgoanddowhatIcan;itisallthesame;"butthere
standsthecommandment,Thoushaltandmustdoit,soalsohereitisnotlefttomywillto
doitorleaveitundone,butprayershallandmustbeofferedattheriskofGod'swrathand
displeasure.

10]Thisisthereforetobeunderstoodandnotedbeforeeverythingelse,inorderthat
therebywemaysilenceandrepelthethoughtswhichwouldkeepanddeterusfrompraying,

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asthoughitwerenotofmuchconsequenceifwedonotpray,orasthoughitwere
commandedthosewhoareholierandinbetterfavorwithGodthanwe;as,indeed,the
humanheartisbynaturesodespondentthatitalwaysfleesfromGodandimaginesthatHe
doesnotwishordesireourprayer,becausewearesinnersandhavemeritednothingbut
wrath.11]Againstsuchthoughts(Isay)weshouldregardthiscommandmentandturnto
God,thatwemaynotbysuchdisobedienceexciteHisangerstillmore.Forbythis
commandmentHegivesusplainlytounderstandthatHewillnotcastusfromHimnorchase
usaway,althoughwearesinners,butratherdrawustoHimself,sothatwemighthumble
ourselvesbeforeHim,bewailthismiseryandplightofours,andprayforgraceandhelp.
ThereforewereadintheScripturesthatHeisangryalsowiththosewhoweresmittenfor
theirsin,becausetheydidnotreturntoHimandbytheirprayersassuageHiswrathandseek
Hisgrace.

12]Now,fromthefactthatitissosolemnlycommandedtopray,youaretoconcludeand
think,thatnooneshouldbyanymeansdespisehisprayer,butrathersetgreatstorebyit,
13]andalwaysseekanillustrationfromtheothercommandments.Achildshouldbyno
meansdespisehisobediencetofatherandmother,butshouldalwaysthink:Thisworkisa
workofobedience,andwhatIdoIdowithnootherintentionthanthatImaywalkinthe
obedienceandcommandmentofGod,onwhichIcansettleandstandfirm,andesteemita
greatthing,notonaccountofmyworthiness,butonaccountofthecommandment.Sohere
also,whatandforwhatweprayweshouldregardasdemandedbyGodanddonein
obediencetoHim,andshouldreflectthus:Onmyaccountitwouldamounttonothing;butit
shallavail,forthereasonthatGodhascommandedit.Thereforeeverybody,nomatterwhat
hehastosayinprayer,shouldalwayscomebeforeGodinobediencetothiscommandment.

14]Wepray,therefore,andexhorteveryonemostdiligentlytotakethistoheartandbyno
meanstodespiseourprayer.Forhithertoithasbeentaughtthusinthedevil'snamethatno
oneregardedthesethings,andmensupposedittobesufficienttohavedonethework,
whetherGodwouldhearitornot.Butthatisstakingprayeronarisk,andmurmuringitata
venture;andthereforeitisalostprayer.15]Forweallowsuchthoughtsasthesetoleadus
astrayanddeterus:Iamnotholyorworthyenough;ifIwereasgodlyandholyasSt.Peter
orSt.Paul,thenIwouldpray.Butputsuchthoughtsfaraway,forjustthesame
commandmentwhichappliedtoSt.Paulappliesalsotome;andtheSecondCommandment
isgivenasmuchonmyaccountasonhisaccount,sothathecanboastofnobetterorholier
commandment.

16]Thereforeyoushouldsay:Myprayerisasprecious,holy,andpleasingtoGodasthatof
St.Paulorofthemostholysaints.Thisisthereason:ForIwillgladlygrantthatheisholierin
hisperson,butnotonaccountofthecommandment;sinceGoddoesnotregardprayeron
accountoftheperson,butonaccountofHiswordandobediencethereto.Foronthe
commandmentonwhichallthesaintsresttheirprayerI,too,restmine.Moreover,Iprayfor
thesamethingforwhichtheyallprayandeverhaveprayed;besides,Ihavejustasgreata
needofitasthosegreatsaints,yea,evenagreateronethanthey.

17]Letthisbethefirstandmostimportantpoint,thatallourprayersmustbebasedandrest
uponobediencetoGod,irrespectiveofourperson,whetherwebesinnersorsaints,worthy
orunworthy.18]AndwemustknowthatGodwillnothaveittreatedasajest,butbeangry,
andpunishallwhodonotpray,assurelyasHepunishesallotherdisobedience;next,thatHe
willnotsufferourprayerstobeinvainorlost.ForifHedidnotintendtoansweryourprayer,
Hewouldnotbidyouprayandaddsuchaseverecommandmenttoit.

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19]Inthesecondplace,weshouldbethemoreurgedandincitedtopraybecauseGodhas
alsoaddedapromise,anddeclaredthatitshallsurelybedonetousaswepray,asHesays
Ps.50,15:CalluponMeinthedayoftrouble:Iwilldeliverthee.AndChristintheGospelofSt.
Matthew,7,7:Ask,anditshallbegivenyou.Foreveryonethataskethreceiveth.20]Such
promisesoughtcertainlytoencourageandkindleourheartstopraywithpleasureand
delight,sinceHetestifieswithHis[own]wordthatourprayerisheartilypleasingtoHim,
moreover,thatitshallassuredlybeheardandgranted,inorderthatwemaynotdespiseitor
thinklightlyofit,andprayataventure.

21]ThisyoucanholduptoHimandsay:HereIcome,dearFather,andpray,notofmyown
purposenoruponmyownworthiness,butatThycommandmentandpromise,whichcannot
failordeceiveme.Whoever,therefore,doesnotbelievethispromisemustknowagainthat
heexcitesGodtoangerasapersonwhomosthighlydishonorsHimandreproachesHimwith
falsehood.

22]Besidesthis,weshouldbeincitedanddrawntoprayerbecauseinadditiontothis
commandmentandpromiseGodanticipatesus,andHimselfarrangesthewordsandformof
prayerforus,andplacesthemuponourlipsastohowandwhatweshouldpray,thatwe
mayseehowheartilyHepitiesusinourdistress,andmayneverdoubtthatsuchprayeris
pleasingtoHimandshallcertainlybeanswered;which[theLord'sPrayer]isagreat
advantageindeedoverallotherprayersthatwemightcomposeourselves.23]Forinthem
theconsciencewouldeverbeindoubtandsay:Ihaveprayed,butwhoknowshowitpleases
Him,orwhetherIhavehitupontherightproportionsandform?Hencethereisnonobler
prayertobefounduponearththantheLord'sPrayerwhichwedailypray,becauseithasthis
excellenttestimony,thatGodlovestohearit,whichweoughtnottosurrenderforallthe
richesoftheworld.

24]Andithasbeenprescribedalsoforthisreasonthatweshouldseeandconsiderthe
distresswhichoughttourgeandcompelustopraywithoutceasing.Forwhoeverwouldpray
musthavesomethingtopresent,state,andnamewhichhedesires;ifnot,itcannotbecalled
aprayer.

25]Thereforewehaverightlyrejectedtheprayersofmonksandpriests,whohowlandgrowl
dayandnightlikefiends;butnoneofthemthinkofprayingforahair'sbreadthofanything.
Andifwewouldassembleallthechurches,togetherwithallecclesiastics,theywouldbe
obligedtoconfessthattheyhaveneverfromtheheartprayedforevenadropofwine.For
noneofthemhaseverpurposedtoprayfromobediencetoGodandfaithinHispromise,nor
hasanyoneregardedanydistress,but(whentheyhaddonetheirbest)theythoughtno
furtherthanthis,todoagoodwork,wherebytheymightrepayGod,asbeingunwillingto
takeanythingfromHim,butwishingonlytogiveHimsomething.

26]Butwherethereistobeatrueprayer,theremustbeearnestness.Menmustfeeltheir
distress,andsuchdistressaspressesthemandcompelsthemtocallandcryout;thenprayer
willbemadespontaneously,asitoughttobe,andmenwillrequirenoteachinghowto
prepareforitandtoattaintotheproperdevotion.27]Butthedistresswhichoughtto
concernusmost,bothasregardsourselvesandeveryone,youwillfindabundantlysetforth
intheLord'sPrayer.Thereforeitistoservealsotoremindusofthesame,thatwe
contemplateitandlayittoheart,lestwebecomeremissinprayer.Forweallhaveenough
thatwelack,butthegreatwantisthatwedonotfeelnorseeit.ThereforeGodalsorequires

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thatyoulamentandpleadsuchnecessitiesandwants,notbecauseHedoesnotknowthem,
butthatyoumaykindleyourhearttostrongerandgreaterdesires,andmakewideandopen
yourcloaktoreceivemuch.

28]Therefore,everyoneofusshouldaccustomhimselffromhisyouthdailytoprayforallhis
wants,wheneverheissensibleofanythingaffectinghisinterestsorthatofotherpeople
amongwhomhemaylive,asforpreachers,thegovernment,neighbors,domestics,and
always(aswehavesaid)toholduptoGodHiscommandmentandpromise,knowingthatHe
willnothavethemdisregarded.29]ThisIsaybecauseIwouldliketoseethesethings
broughthomeagaintothepeoplethattheymightlearntopraytruly,andnotgoabout
coldlyandindifferently,wherebytheybecomedailymoreunfitforprayer;whichisjustwhat
thedevildesires,andforwhatheworkswithallhispowers.Forheiswellawarewhat
damageandharmitdoeshimwhenprayerisinproperpractise.

30]Forthiswemustknow,thatallourshelterandprotectionrestinprayeralone.Forweare
fartoofeebletocopewiththedevilandallhispowerandadherentsthatsetthemselves
againstus,andtheymighteasilycrushusundertheirfeet.Thereforewemustconsiderand
takeupthoseweaponswithwhich31]Christiansmustbearmedinordertostandagainstthe
devil.Forwhatdoyouthinkhashithertoaccomplishedsuchgreatthings,hascheckedor
quelledthecounsels,purposes,murder,andriotofourenemies,wherebythedevilthought
tocrushus,togetherwiththeGospel,exceptthattheprayerofafewgodlymenintervened
likeawallofirononourside?Theyshouldelsehavewitnessedafardifferenttragedy,
namely,howthedevilwouldhavedestroyedallGermanyinitsownblood.Butnowtheymay
confidentlyderideitandmakeamockofit;however,weshallneverthelessbeamatchboth
forthemselvesandthedevilbyprayeralone,ifweonlyperseverediligentlyandnotbecome
slack.32]ForwheneveragodlyChristianprays:DearFather,letThywillbedone,Godspeaks
fromonhighandsays:Yes,dearchild,itshallbeso,inspiteofthedevilandalltheworld.

33]Letthisbesaidasanexhortation,thatmenmaylearn,firstofall,toesteemprayeras
somethinggreatandprecious,andtomakeaproperdistinctionbetweenbabblingand
prayingforsomething.Forwebynomeansrejectprayer,butthebare,uselesshowlingand
murmuringwereject,asChristHimselfalsorejectsandprohibitslongpalavers.34]Nowwe
shallmostbrieflyandclearlytreatoftheLord'sPrayer.Herethereiscomprehendedinseven
successivearticles,orpetitions,everyneedwhichneverceasestorelatetous,andeachso
greatthatitoughttoconstrainustokeepprayingitallourlives.

Backtotop

The First Petition.

35]HallowedbeThyname.

36]Thisis,indeed,somewhatobscure,andnotexpressedingoodGerman,forinour
mothertonguewewouldsay:HeavenlyFather,helpthatbyallmeansThynamemaybe
holy.37]ButwhatisittopraythatHisnamemaybeholy?Isitnotholyalready?Answer:
Yes,itisalwaysholyinitsnature,butinouruseitisnotholy.ForGod'snamewasgivenus
whenwebecameChristiansandwerebaptized,sothatwearecalledchildrenofGodand
havetheSacraments,bywhichHesoincorporatesusinHimselfthateverythingwhichis
God'smustserveforouruse.

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38]Herenowthegreatneedexistsforwhichweoughttobemostconcerned,thatthisname
haveitsproperhonor,beesteemedholyandsublimeasthegreatesttreasureandsanctuary
thatwehave;andthatasgodlychildrenwepraythatthenameofGod,whichisalreadyholy
inheaven,mayalsobeandremainholywithusuponearthandinalltheworld.

39]Buthowdoesitbecomeholyamongus?Answer,asplainlyasitcanbesaid:Whenboth
ourdoctrineandlifearegodlyandChristian.ForsinceinthisprayerwecallGodourFather,it
isourdutyalwaystodeportanddemeanourselvesasgodlychildren,thatHemaynot
receiveshame,buthonorandpraisefromus.

40]NowthenameofGodisprofanedbyuseitherinwordsorinworks.(Forwhateverwedo
upontheearthmustbeeitherwordsorworks,speechoract.)41]Inthefirstplace,then,itis
profanedwhenmenpreach,teach,andspeakinthenameofGodwhatisfalseand
misleading,sothatHisnamemustservetoadornandtofindamarketforfalsehood.Thatis,
indeed,thegreatestprofanationanddishonorofthedivinename.Furthermore,alsowhen
men,byswearing,cursing,conjuring,etc.,grosslyabusetheholynameasacloakfortheir
shame.Inthesecondplace,alsobyanopenlywickedlifeandworks,whenthosewhoare
calledChristiansandthepeopleofGodareadulterers,drunkards,misers,envious,and
slanderers.42]HereagainmustthenameofGodcometoshameandbeprofanedbecause
ofus.43]Forjustasitisashameanddisgracetoanaturalfathertohaveabad,perverse
childthatopposeshiminwordsanddeeds,sothatonitsaccounthesufferscontemptand
reproach,44]soalsoitbringsdishonoruponGodifwewhoarecalledbyHisnameandhave
allmannerofgoodsfromHimteach,speak,andliveinanyothermannerexceptasgodlyand
heavenlychildren,sothatpeoplesayofusthatwemustbenotGod's,butthedevil's
children.

45]ThusyouseethatinthispetitionweprayjustforthatwhichGoddemandsintheSecond
Commandment;namely,thatHisnamebenottakeninvaintoswear,curse,lie,deceive,etc.,
butbeusefullyemployedtothepraiseandhonorofGod.Forwhoeveremploysthenameof
Godforanysortofwrongprofanesanddesecratesthisholyname,asaforetimeachurchwas
considereddesecratedwhenamurderoranyothercrimehadbeencommittedinit,orwhen
apyxorrelicwasdesecrated,asbeingholyinthemselves,yetbecomeunholyinuse.46]
Thusthispointiseasyandclearifonlythelanguageisunderstood,thattohallowisthesame
asinouridiomtopraise,magnify,andhonorbothinwordanddeed.

47]Here,now,learnhowgreatneedthereisofsuchprayer.Forbecauseweseehowfullthe
worldisofsectsandfalseteachers,whoallweartheholynameasacoverandshamfortheir
doctrinesofdevils,weoughtbyallmeanstopraywithoutceasing,andtocryandcallupon
Godagainstallsuchaspreachandbelievefalselyandwhateveropposesandpersecutesour
Gospelandpuredoctrine,andwouldsuppressit,asbishopstyrants,enthusiasts,etc.
LikewisealsoforourselveswhohavetheWordofGod,butarenotthankfulforit,norliveas
weoughtaccordingtothesame.48]Ifnowyouprayforthiswithyourheart,youcanbesure
thatitpleasesGod;forHewillnothearanythingmoredeartoHimthanthatHishonorand
praiseisexaltedaboveeverythingelse,andHisWordistaughtinitspurityandisesteemed
preciousanddear.

Backtotop

Page55of78

The Second Petition.


Thykingdomcome.
49]AsweprayedintheFirstPetitionconcerningthehonorandnameofGodthatHewould
preventtheworldfromadorningitsliesandwickednesswithit,butcauseittobeesteemed
sublimeandholybothindoctrineandlife,sothatHemaybepraisedandmagnifiedinus,so
herewepraythatHiskingdomalsomaycome.50]ButjustasthenameofGodisinitself
holy,andweprayneverthelessthatitbeholyamongus,soalsoHiskingdomcomesofitself,
withoutourprayer,yetweprayneverthelessthatitmaycometous,thatis,prevailamong
usandwithus,sothatwemaybeapartofthoseamongwhomHisnameishallowedandHis
kingdomprospers.

51]ButwhatisthekingdomofGod?Answer:Nothingelsethanwhatwelearnedinthe
Creed,thatGodsentHisSonJesusChrist,ourLord,intotheworldtoredeemanddeliverus
fromthepowerofthedevil,andtobringustoHimself,andtogovernusasaKingof
righteousness,life,andsalvationagainstsin,death,andanevilconscience,forwhichendHe
hasalsobestowedHisHolyGhost,whoistobringthesethingshometousbyHisholyWord,
andtoillumineandstrengthenusinthefaithbyHispower.

52]Thereforeweprayhereinthefirstplacethatthismaybecomeeffectivewithus,andthat
HisnamebesopraisedthroughtheholyWordofGodandaChristianlifethatbothwewho
haveaccepteditmayabideanddailygrowtherein,andthatitmaygainapprobationand
adherenceamongotherpeopleandproceedwithpowerthroughouttheworld,thatmany
mayfindentranceintotheKingdomofGrace,bemadepartakersofredemption,beingled
theretobytheHolyGhost,inorderthatthuswemayalltogetherremainforeverintheone
kingdomnowbegun.

53]ForthecomingofGod'sKingdomtousoccursintwoways;first,hereintimethroughthe
Wordandfaith;andsecondly,ineternityforeverthroughrevelation.Nowweprayforboth
thesethings,thatitmaycometothosewhoarenotyetinit,and,bydailyincrease,touswho
havereceivedthesame,andhereafterineternallife.54]Allthisisnothingelsethansaying:
DearFather,wepray,giveusfirstThyWord,thattheGospelbepreachedproperly
throughouttheworld;andsecondly,thatitbereceivedinfaith,andworkandliveinus,so
thatthroughtheWordandthepoweroftheHolyGhostThykingdommayprevailamongus,
andthekingdomofthedevilbeputdown,thathemayhavenorightorpoweroverus,until
atlastitshallbeutterlydestroyed,andsin,death,andhellshallbeexterminated,thatwe
mayliveforeverinperfectrighteousnessandblessedness.

55]Fromthisyouperceivethatweprayherenotforacrustofbreadoratemporal,
perishablegood,butforaneternalinestimabletreasureandeverythingthatGodHimself
possesses;whichisfartoogreatforanyhumanhearttothinkofdesiringifHehadnot
Himselfcommandedustoprayforthesame.56]ButbecauseHeisGod,Healsoclaimsthe
honorofgivingmuchmoreandmoreabundantlythananyonecancomprehend,likean
eternal,unfailingfountain,which,themoreitpoursforthandoverflows,themoreit
continuestogive,andHedesiresnothingmoreearnestlyofusthanthatweaskmuchand
greatthingsofHim,andagainisangryifwedonotaskandprayconfidently.

57]Forjustaswhentherichestandmostmightyemperorwouldbidapoorbeggarask
whateverhemightdesire,andwerereadytogivegreatimperialpresents,andthefoolwould
begonlyforadishofgruel,hewouldberightlyconsideredarogueandascoundrel,who

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treatedthecommandofhisimperialmajestyasajestandsport,andwasnotworthyof
comingintohispresence:soalsoitisagreatreproachanddishonortoGodifwe,towhom
Heoffersandpledgessomanyunspeakabletreasures,despisethesame,orhavenotthe
confidencetoreceivethem,butscarcelyventuretoprayforapieceofbread.

58]AllthisisthefaultoftheshamefulunbeliefwhichdoesnotlooktoGodforasmuchgood
aswillsatisfythestomach,muchlessexpectswithoutdoubtsucheternaltreasuresofGod.
Thereforewemuststrengthenourselvesagainstit,andletthisbeourfirstprayer;then,
indeed,weshallhaveallelseinabundance,asChristteaches[Matt.6,33]:Seekyefirstthe
kingdomofGodandHisrighteousness,andallthesethingsshallbeaddeduntoyou.Forhow
couldHeallowustosufferwantandtobestraitenedintemporalthingswhenHepromises
thatwhichiseternalandimperishable?

Backtotop

The Third Petition.


59]Thywillbedoneonearthasitisinheaven.

60]ThusfarwehaveprayedthatGod'snamebehonoredbyus,andthatHiskingdomprevail
amongus;inwhichtwopointsiscomprehendedallthatpertainstothehonorofGodandto
oursalvation,thatwereceiveasourownGodandallHisriches.Butnowaneedjustasgreat
arises,namely,thatwefirmlykeepthem,anddonotsufferourselvestobetorntherefrom.
61]Forasinagoodgovernmentitisnotonlynecessarythattherebethosewhobuildand
governwell,butalsothosewhomakedefense,affordprotectionandmaintainitfirmly,so
herelikewise,althoughwehaveprayedforthegreatestneed,fortheGospel,faith,andthe
HolyGhost,thatHemaygovernusandredeemusfromthepowerofthedevil,wemustalso
praythatHiswillbedone.Fortherewillbehappeningsquitestrangeifwearetoabide
therein,asweshallhavetosuffermanythrustsandblowsonthataccountfromeverything
thatventurestoopposeandpreventthefulfilmentofthetwopetitionsthatprecede.

62]Fornoonebelieveshowthedevilopposesandresiststhem,andcannotsufferthatany
oneteachorbelievearight.Andithurtshimbeyondmeasuretosufferhisliesand
abominations,thathavebeenhonoredunderthemostspeciouspretextsofthedivinename,
tobeexposed,andtobedisgracedhimself,and,besides,bedrivenoutoftheheart,and
suffersuchabreachtobemadeinhiskingdom.Thereforehechafesandragesasafierce
enemywithallhispowerandmight,andmarshalsallhissubjects,and,inaddition,enliststhe
worldandourownfleshashisallies.63]Forourfleshisinitselfindolentandinclinedtoevil,
eventhoughwehaveacceptedandbelievetheWordofGod.Theworld,however,is
perverseandwicked;thisheincitesagainstus,fansandstirsthefire,thathemayhinderand
driveusback,causeustofall,andagainbringusunderhispower.64]Suchisallhiswill,
mind,andthought,forwhichhestrivesdayandnight,andneverrestsamoment,employing
allarts,wiles,ways,andmeanswhicheverhecaninvent.

65]IfwewouldbeChristians,therefore,wemustsurelyexpectandreckonuponhavingthe
devilwithallhisangelsandtheworldasourenemieswhowillbringeverypossible
misfortuneandgriefuponus.ForwheretheWordofGodispreached,accepted,orbelieved,
andproducesfruit,theretheholycrosscannotbewanting.Andletnoonethinkthatheshall
havepeace;buthemustriskwhateverhehasuponearthpossessions,honor,houseand

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estate,wifeandchildren,bodyandlife.66]Now,thishurtsourfleshandtheoldAdam;for
thetestistobesteadfastandtosufferwithpatienceinwhateverwayweareassailed,andto
letgowhateveristakenfromus.

67]Hencethereisjustasgreatneed,asinalltheothers,thatwepraywithoutceasing:"Dear
Father,Thywillbedone,notthewillofthedevilandofourenemies,norofanythingthat
wouldpersecuteandsuppressThyholyWordorhinderThykingdom;andgrantthatwemay
bearwithpatienceandovercomewhateveristobeenduredonthataccount,lestourpoor
fleshyieldorfallawayfromweaknessorsluggishness."

68]Behold,thuswehaveinthesethreepetitions,inthesimplestmanner,theneedwhich
relatestoGodHimself,yetallforoursakes.Forwhateverweprayconcernsonlyus,namely,
aswehavesaid,thatwhatmustbedoneanywaywithoutus,mayalsobedoneinus.Foras
HisnamemustbehallowedandHiskingdomcomewithoutourprayer,soalsoHiswillmust
bedoneandsucceed,althoughthedevilwithallhisadherentsraiseagreattumult,areangry
andrageagainstit,andundertaketoexterminatetheGospelutterly.Butforourownsakes
wemustpraythatevenagainsttheirfuryHiswillbedonewithouthindrancealsoamongus,
thattheymaynotbeabletoaccomplishanythingandweremainfirmagainstallviolenceand
persecution,andsubmittosuchwillofGod.

69]Suchprayer,then,istobeourprotectionanddefensenow,istorepelandputdownall
thatthedevil,Pope,bishops,tyrants,andhereticscapdoagainstourGospel.Letthemall
rageandattempttheirutmost,anddeliberateandresolvehowtheymaysuppressand
exterminateus,thattheirwillandcounselmayprevail:overandagainstthisoneortwo
Christianswiththispetitionaloneshallbeourwallagainstwhichtheyshallrunanddash
themselvestopieces.70]Thisconsolationandconfidencewehave,thatthewillandpurpose
ofthedevilandofallourenemiesshallandmustfailandcometonaught,howeverproud,
secure,andpowerfultheyknowthemselvestobe.Foriftheirwillwerenotbrokenand
hindered,thekingdomofGodcouldnotabideonearth
norHisnamebehallowed.

Backtotop

The Fourth Petition.


71]Giveusthisdayourdailybread.

72]Here,now,weconsiderthepoorbreadbasket,thenecessariesofourbodyandofthe
temporallife.Itisabriefandsimpleword,butithasaverywidescope.Forwhenyou
mentionandprayfordailybread,youprayforeverythingthatisnecessaryinordertohave
andenjoydailybreadand,ontheotherhand,againsteverythingwhichinterfereswithit.
Thereforeyoumustopenwideandextendyourthoughtsnotonlytotheovenortheflour
bin,buttothedistantfieldandtheentireland,whichbearsandbringstousdailybreadand
everysortofsustenance.ForifGoddidnotcauseittogrow,andblessandpreserveitinthe
field,wecouldnevertakebreadfromtheovenorhaveanytosetuponthetable.

73]Tocompriseitbriefly,thispetitionincludeseverythingthatbelongstoourentirelifein
theworld,becauseonthataccountalonedoweneeddailybread.Nowforourlifeitisnot
onlynecessarythatourbodyhavefoodandcoveringandothernecessaries,butalsothatwe

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spendourdaysinpeaceandquietamongthepeoplewithwhomweliveandhave
intercourseindailybusinessandconversationandallsortsofdoings,inshort,whatever
pertainsbothtothedomesticandtotheneighborlyorcivilrelationandgovernment.For
wherethesetwothingsarehindered[interceptedanddisturbed]thattheydonotprosperas
theyought,thenecessariesoflifealsoareimpeded,sothatultimatelylifecannotbe
maintained.74]Andthereis,indeed,thegreatestneedtoprayfortemporalauthorityand
government,asthatbywhichmostofallGodpreservestousourdailybreadandallthe
comfortsofthislife.ForthoughwehavereceivedofGodallgoodthingsinabundance,we
arenotabletoretainanyofthemorusetheminsecurityandhappiness,ifHedidnotgiveus
apermanentandpeacefulgovernment.Forwheretherearedissension,strife,andwar,there
thedailybreadisalreadytakenaway,oratleastchecked.

75]Thereforeitwouldbeverypropertoplaceinthecoatofarmsofeverypiousprincea
loafofbreadinsteadofalion,orawreathofrue,ortostampituponthecoin,toremind
boththemandtheirsubjectsthatbytheirofficewehaveprotectionandpeace,andthat
withoutthemwecouldnotcatandretainourdailybread.Thereforetheyarealsoworthyof
allhonor,thatwegivetothemfortheirofficewhatweoughtandcan,astothosethrough
whomweenjoyinpeaceandquietnesswhatwehave,becauseotherwisewewouldnotkeep
afarthing;andthat,inaddition,wealsoprayforthemthatthroughthemGodmaybestow
onusthemoreblessingandgood.

76]Letthisbeaverybriefexplanationandsketch,showinghowfarthispetitionextends
throughallconditionsonearth.Ofthisanyonemightindeedmakealongprayer,andwith
manywordsenumerateallthethingsthatareincludedtherein,asthatweprayGodtogiveus
foodanddrink,clothing,house,andhome,andhealthofbody;alsothatHecausethegrain
andfruitsofthefieldtogrowandmaturewell;furthermore,thatHehelpusathome
towardsgoodhousekeeping,thatHegiveandpreservetousagodlywife,children,and
servants,thatHecauseourwork,trade,orwhateverweareengagedintoprosperand
succeed,favoruswithfaithfulneighborsandgoodfriends,etc.77]Likewise,thatHegiveto
emperors,kings,andallestates,andespeciallytotherulersofourcountryandtoall
counselors,magistrates,andofficers,wisdom,strength,andsuccessthattheymaygovern
wellandvanquishtheTurksandallenemies;tosubjectsandthecommonpeople,obedience,
peace,andharmonyintheirlifewithoneanother;78]andontheotherhand,thatHewould
preserveusfromallsortsofcalamitytobodyandlivelihood,aslightning,hail,fire,flood,
poison,pestilence,cattleplague,warandbloodshed,famine,destructivebeasts,wicked
men,etc.79]Allthisitiswelltoimpressuponthesimple,namely,thatthesethingscome
fromGod,andmustbeprayedforbyus.

80]Butthispetitionisespeciallydirectedalsoagainstourchiefenemy,thedevil.Forallhis
thoughtanddesireistodepriveusofallthatwehavefromGod,ortohinderit;andheisnot
satisfiedtoobstructanddestroyspiritualgovernmentinleadingsoulsastraybyhisliesand
bringingthemunderhispower,buthealsopreventsandhindersthestabilityofall
governmentandhonorable,peaceablerelationsonearth.Therehecausessomuch
contention,murder,sedition,andwar,alsolightningandhailtodestroygrainandcattle,to
poisontheair,etc.81]Inshort,heissorrythatanyonehasamorselofbreadfromGodand
eatsitinpeace;andifitwereinhispower,andourprayer(nexttoGod)didnotpreventhim,
wewouldnotkeepastrawinthefield,afarthinginthehouse,yea,notevenourlifeforan
hour,especiallythosewhohavetheWordofGodandwouldliketobeChristians.

82]Behold,thusGodwishestoindicatetoushowHecaresforusinallourneed,and

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faithfullyprovidesalsoforourtemporalsupport.83]AndalthoughHeabundantlygrantsand
preservesthesethingseventothewickedandknaves,yetHewishesthatweprayforthem,
inorderthatwemayrecognizethatwereceivethemfromHishand,andmayfeelHis
paternalgoodnesstowardustherein.ForwhenHewithdrawsHishand,nothingcanprosper
norbemaintainedintheend,as,indeed,wedailyseeandexperience.84]Howmuchtrouble
thereisnowintheworldonlyonaccountofbadcoin,yea,onaccountofdailyoppression
andraisingofpricesincommontrade,bargainingandlaboronthepartofthosewho
wantonlyoppressthepooranddeprivethemoftheirdailybread!Thiswemustsuffer
indeed;butletthemtakecarethattheydonotlosethecommonintercession,andbeware
lestthispetitionintheLord'sPrayerbeagainstthem.

Backtotop

The Fifth Petition.


85]Andforgiveusourtrespasses,asweforgivethosewhotrespassagainstus.

86]Thispartnowrelatestoourpoormiserablelife,which,althoughwehaveandbelievethe
WordofGod,anddoandsubmittoHiswill,andaresupportedbyHisgiftsandblessings,is
neverthelessnotwithoutsin.Forwestillstumbledailyandtransgressbecauseweliveinthe
worldamongmenwhodousmuchharmandgiveuscauseforimpatience,anger,revenge,
etc.87]Besides,wehaveSatanatourback,whosetsuponusoneveryside,andfights(aswe
haveheard)againstalltheforegoingpetitions,sothatitisnotpossiblealwaystostandfirm
insuchapersistentconflict.

88]ThereforethereishereagaingreatneedtocalluponGodandtopray:DearFather,
forgiveusourtrespasses.NotasthoughHedidnotforgivesinwithoutandevenbeforeour
prayer(forHehasgivenustheGospel,inwhichispureforgivenessbeforeweprayedorever
thoughtaboutit).Butthisistotheintentthatwemayrecognizeandacceptsuchforgiveness.
89]Forsincethefleshinwhichwedailyliveisofsuchanaturethatitneithertrustsnor
believesGod,andiseveractiveinevillustsanddevices,sothatwesindailyinwordand
deed,bycommissionandomission,bywhichtheconscienceisthrownintounrest,sothatit
isafraidofthewrathanddispleasureofGod,andthuslosesthecomfortandconfidence
derivedfromtheGospel;thereforeitisceaselesslynecessarythatwerunhitherandobtain
consolationtocomforttheconscienceagain.

90]ButthisshouldserveGod'spurposeofbreakingourprideandkeepingushumble.Forin
caseanyoneshouldboastofhisgodlinessanddespiseothers,Godhasreservedthis
prerogativetoHimself,thatthepersonistoconsiderhimselfandplacethisprayerbeforehis
eyes,andhewillfindthatheisnobetterthanothers,andthatinthepresenceofGodall
mustlowertheirplumes,andbegladthattheycanattainforgiveness.91]Andletnoone
thinkthataslongasweliveherehecanreachsuchapositionthathewillnotneedsuch
forgiveness.Inshort,ifGoddoesnotforgivewithoutceasing,wearelost.

92]ItisthereforetheintentofthispetitionthatGodwouldnotregardoursinsandholdup
touswhatwedailydeserve,butwoulddealgraciouslywithus,andforgive,asHehas
promised,andthusgrantusajoyfulandconfidentconsciencetostandbeforeHiminprayer.
ForwheretheheartisnotinrightrelationtowardsGod,norcantakesuchconfidence,itwill
nevermoreventuretopray.Butsuchaconfidentandjoyfulheartcanspringfromnothing

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elsethanthe[certain]knowledgeoftheforgivenessofsin.

93]Butthereishereattachedanecessary,yetconsolatoryaddition:Asweforgive.Hehas
promisedthatweshallbesurethateverythingisforgivenandpardoned,yetinthemanner
thatwealsoforgiveourneighbor.94]ForjustaswedailysinmuchagainstGod,andyetHe
forgiveseverythingthroughgrace,sowe,too,musteverforgiveourneighborwhodoesus
injury,violence,andwrong,showsmalicetowardus,etc.95]If,therefore,youdonot
forgive,thendonotthinkthatGodforgivesyou;butifyouforgive,youhavethisconsolation
andassurance,thatyouareforgiveninheaven,notonaccountofyourforgiving,forGod
forgivesfreelyandwithoutcondition,outofpuregrace,becauseHehassopromised,asthe
Gospelteaches,butinorderthatHemaysetthisupforourconfirmationandassurancefora
signalongsideofthepromisewhichaccordswiththisprayer,Luke6,37:Forgive,andyeshall
beforgiven.ThereforeChristalsorepeatsitsoonaftertheLord'sPrayer,andsays,Matt.6,
14:Forifyeforgivementheirtrespasses,yourheavenlyFatherwillalsoforgiveyou,etc.

97]Thissignisthereforeattachedtothispetition,that,whenwepray,werememberthe
promiseandreflectthus:DearFather,forthisreasonIcomeandprayTheetoforgiveme,
notthatIcanmakesatisfaction,orcanmeritanythingbymyworks,butbecauseThouhast
promisedandattachedthesealtheretothatIshouldbeassureasthoughIhadabsolution
pronouncedbyThyself.98]ForasmuchasBaptismandtheLord'sSupper,appointedas
externalsigns,effect,somuchalsothissigncaneffecttoconfirmourconsciencesandcause
themtorejoice.Anditisespeciallygivenforthispurpose,thatwemightuseandpractiseit
everyhour,asathingthatwehavewithusatalltimes.

Backtotop

The Sixth Petition.


99]Andleadusnotintotemptation.

100]Wehavenowheardenoughwhattoilandlaborisrequiredtoretainallthatforwhich
wepray,andtoperseveretherein,which,however,isnotachievedwithoutinfirmitiesand
stumbling.Besides,althoughwehavereceivedforgivenessandagoodconscienceandare
entirelyacquitted,yetisourlifeofsuchanaturethatonestandstodayandtomorrowfalls.
Therefore,eventhoughwebegodlynowandstandbeforeGodwithagoodconscience,we
mustprayagainthatHewouldnotsufferustorelapseandyieldtotrialsandtemptations.

101]Temptation,however,or(asourSaxonsinoldentimesusedtocallit)Bekoerunge,isof
threekinds,namely,oftheflesh,oftheworld,andofthedevil.102]Forinthefleshwedwell
andcarrytheoldAdamaboutourneck,whoexertshimselfandincitesusdailytoinchastity,
laziness,gluttonyanddrunkenness,avariceanddeception,todefraudourneighborandto
overchargehim,and,inshort,toallmannerofevillustswhichcleavetousbynature,andto
whichweareincitedbythesociety,exampleandwhatwehearandseeofotherpeople,
whichoftenwoundandinflameevenaninnocentheart.

103]Nextcomestheworld,whichoffendsusinwordanddeed,andimpelsustoanger,and
impatience.Inshort,thereisnothingbuthatredandenvy,enmity,violenceandwrong,
unfaithfulness,vengeance,cursing,raillery,slander,prideandhaughtiness,withsuperfluous
finery,honor,fame,andpower,wherenooneiswillingtobetheleast,buteveryonedesires

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tositattheheadandtobeseenbeforeall.

104]Thencomesthedevil,incitingandprovokinginalldirections,butespeciallyagitating
mattersthatconcerntheconscienceandspiritualaffairs,namely,toinduceustodespiseand
disregardboththeWordandworksofGod,totearusawayfromfaith,hope,andlove,and
bringusintomisbelief,falsesecurity,andobduracy,or,ontheotherhand,todespair,denial
ofGod,blasphemy,andinnumerableothershockingthings.Theseareindeedsnaresand
nets,yea,realfierydartswhichareshotmostvenomouslyintotheheart,notbyfleshand
blood,butbythedevil.

105]Greatandgrievous,indeed,arethesedangersandtemptationswhicheveryChristian
mustbear,eventhougheachonewerealonebyhimself,sothateveryhourthatwearein
thisvilelifewhereweareattackedonallsides,chasedandhunteddown,wearemovedto
cryoutandtopraythatGodwouldnotsufferustobecomewearyandfaintandtorelapse
intosin,shame,andunbelief.Forotherwiseitisimpossibletoovercomeeventheleast
temptation.

106]This,then,isleadingusnotintotemptation,towit,whenHegivesuspowerand
strengthtoresist,thetemptation,however,notbeingtakenawayorremoved.Forwhilewe
liveinthefleshandhavethedevilaboutus,noonecanescapetemptationandallurements;
anditcannotbeotherwisethanthatwemustenduretrials,yea,beengulfedinthem;butwe
prayforthis,thatwemaynotfallandbedrownedinthem.

107]Tofeeltemptationisthereforeafardifferentthingfromconsentingoryieldingtoit.We
mustallfeelit,althoughnotallinthesamemanner,butsomeinagreaterdegreeandmore
severelythanothers;as,theyoungsufferespeciallyfromtheflesh,afterwards,theythat
attaintomiddlelifeandoldage,fromtheworld,butotherswhoareoccupiedwithspiritual
matters,thatis,strongChristians,fromthedevil.108]Butsuchfeeling,aslongasitisagainst
ourwillandwewouldratherberidofit,canharmnoone.Forifwedidnotfeelit,itcould
notbecalledatemptation.Buttoconsenttheretoiswhenwegiveitthereinsanddonot
resistorprayagainstit.

109]ThereforeweChristiansmustbearmedanddailyexpecttobeincessantlyattacked,in
orderthatnoonemaygooninsecurityandheedlessly,asthoughthedevilwerefarfromus,
butatalltimesexpectandparryhisblows.ForthoughIamnowchaste,patient,kind,andin
firmfaith,thedevilwillthisveryhoursendsuchanarrowintomyheartthatIcanscarcely
stand.Forheisanenemythatneverdesistsnorbecomestired,sothatwhenonetemptation
ceases,therealwaysariseothersandfreshones.

110]Accordingly,thereisnohelporcomfortexcepttorunhitherandtotakeholdofthe
Lord'sPrayer,andthusspeaktoGodfromtheheart:DearFather,Thouhastbiddenmepray;
letmenotrelapsebecauseoftemptations.Thenyouwillseethattheymustdesist,and
finallyacknowledgethemselvesconquered.111]Elseifyouventuretohelpyourselfbyyour
ownthoughtsandcounsel,youwillonlymakethematterworseandgivethedevilmore
space.Forhehasaserpent'shead,whichifitgainanopeningintowhichhecanslip,the
wholebodywillfollowwithoutcheck.Butprayercanpreventhimanddrivehimback.

Backtotop

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The Seventh Petition.


112]Butdeliverusfromevil.Amen.

113]IntheGreektextthispetitionreadsthus:DeliverorpreserveusfromtheEvilOne,or
theMaliciousOne;anditlooksasifHewerespeakingofthedevil,asthoughHewould
comprehendeverythinginone,sothattheentiresubstanceofallourprayerisdirected
againstourchiefenemy.Foritishewhohindersamonguseverythingthatweprayfor:the
nameorhonorofGod,God'skingdomandwill,ourdailybread,acheerfulgoodconscience,
etc.114]Thereforewefinallysumitallupandsay:DearFather,pray,helpthatweberidof
allthesecalamities.115]Butthereisneverthelessalsoincludedwhateverevilmayhappento
usunderthedevil'skingdompoverty,shame,death,and,inshort,alltheagonizingmisery
andheartacheofwhichthereissuchanunnumberedmultitudeontheearth.Forsincethe
devilisnotonlyaliar,butalsoamurderer,heconstantlyseeksourlife,andwreakshisanger
wheneverhecanafflictourbodieswithmisfortuneandharm.Henceitcomesthatheoften
breaksmen'snecksordrivesthemtoinsanity,drownssome,andincitesmanytocommit
suicide,andtomanyotherterriblecalamities.116]Thereforethereisnothingforustodo
uponearthbuttoprayagainstthisarchenemywithoutceasing.ForunlessGodpreservedus,
wewouldnotbesafefromhimevenforanhour.

117]HenceyouseeagainhowGodwishesustopraytoHimalsoforallthethingswhich
affectourbodilyinterests,sothatweseekandexpecthelpnowhereelseexceptinHim.118]
ButthismatterHehasputlast;forifwearetobepreservedanddeliveredfromallevil,the
nameofGodmustfirstbehallowedinus,Hiskingdommustbewithus,andHiswillbedone.
AfterthatHewillfinallypreserveusfromsinandshame,and,besides,fromeverythingthat
mayhurtorinjureus.

119]ThusGodhasbrieflyplacedbeforeusallthedistresswhichmayevercomeuponus,so
thatwemighthavenoexcusewhateverfornotpraying.Butalldependsuponthis,thatwe
learnalsotosayAmen,thatis,thatwedonotdoubtthatourprayerissurelyheard,and
[whatwepray]shallbedone.Forthisisnothingelsethanthewordofundoubtingfaith,
whichdoesnotprayataventure,butknowsthatGoddoesnotlietohim,sinceHehas
promisedtograntit.120]Therefore,wherethereisnosuchfaith,therecannotbetrue
prayereither.

121]Itis,therefore,aperniciousdelusionofthosewhoprayinsuchamannerthattheydare
notfromtheheartsayyeaandpositivelyconcludethatGodhearsthem,butremainindoubt
andsay,HowshouldIbesoboldastoboastthatGodhearsmyprayer?ForIambutapoor
sinner,etc.

122]Thereasonforthisis,theyregardnotthepromiseofGod,buttheirownworkand
worthiness,wherebytheydespiseGodandreproachHimwithlying,andthereforethey
receivenothing.123]AsSt.James1,6says:Butlethimaskinfaith,nothingwavering;forhe
thatwaverethislikeawaveofthesea,drivenwiththewindandtossed.Forletnotthatman
thinkthatheshallreceiveanythingoftheLord.124]Behold,suchimportanceGodattaches
tothefactthatwearesurewedonotprayinvain,andthatwedonotinanywaydespiseour
prayer.

Backtotop

Page63of78

Large Catechism
Parth Fourth: Of Baptism.
1]WehavenowfinishedthethreechiefpartsofthecommonChristiandoctrine.Besides
thesewehaveyettospeakofourtwoSacramentsinstitutedbyChrist,ofwhichalsoevery
Christianoughttohaveatleastanordinary,briefinstruction,becausewithoutthemthere
canbenoChristian;although,alas!hithertonoinstructionconcerningthemhasbeengiven.
2]But,inthefirstplace,wetakeupBaptism,bywhichwearefirstreceivedintotheChristian
Church.However,inorderthatitmaybereadilyunderstood,wewilltreatofitinanorderly
manner,andkeeponlytothatwhichitisnecessaryforustoknow.Forhowitistobe
maintainedanddefendedagainsthereticsandsectswewillcommendtothelearned.

3]Inthefirstplace,wemustaboveallthingsknowwellthewordsuponwhichBaptismis
founded,andtowhicheverythingrefersthatistobesaidonthesubject,namely,wherethe
LordChristspeaksinMatthew28,19:

4]Goyethereforeandteachallnations,baptizingtheminthenameoftheFather,andofthe
Son,andoftheHolyGhost.

LikewiseinSt.Mark16,16:5]Hethatbelievethandisbaptizedshallbesaved;buthethat
believethnotshallbedamned.

6]Inthesewordsyoumustnote,inthefirstplace,thatherestandGod'scommandmentand
institution,lestwedoubtthatBaptismisdivine,notdevisednorinventedbymen.Foras
trulyasIcansay,NomanhasspuntheTenCommandments,theCreed,andtheLord'sPrayer
outofhishead,buttheyarerevealedandgivenbyGodHimself,soalsoIcanboastthat
Baptismisnohumantrifle,butinstitutedbyGodHimself,moreover,thatitismostsolemnly
andstrictlycommandedthatwemustbebaptizedorwecannotbesaved,lestanyone
regarditasatriflingmatter,likeputtingonanewredcoat.7]Foritisofthegreatest
importancethatweesteemBaptism8]excellent,glorious,andexalted,forwhichwecontend
andfightchiefly,becausetheworldisnowsofullofsectsclamoringthatBaptismisan
externalthing,andthatexternalthingsareofnobenefit.Butletitbeeversomuchan
externalthing,herestandGod'sWordandcommandwhichinstitute,establish,andconfirm
Baptism.ButwhatGodinstitutesandcommandscannotbeavain,butmustbeamost
preciousthing,thoughinappearanceitwereoflessvaluethanastraw.9]Ifhithertopeople
couldconsideritagreatthingwhenthePopewithhislettersandbullsdispensedindulgences
andconfirmedaltarsandchurches,solelybecauseofthelettersandseals,weoughtto
esteemBaptismmuchmorehighlyandmoreprecious,becauseGodhascommandedit,and,
besides,itisperformedinHisname.Forthesearethewords,Goye,baptize;however,notin
yourname,butinthenameofGod.

10]FortobebaptizedinthenameofGodistobebaptizednotbymen,butbyGodHimself.
Therefore,althoughitisperformedbyhumanhands,itisneverthelesstrulyGod'sownwork.
Fromthisfacteveryonemayhimselfreadilyinferthatitisafarhigherworkthananywork
performedbyamanorasaint.ForwhatworkgreaterthantheworkofGodcanwedo?

11]Butherethedevilisbusytodeludeuswithfalseappearances,andleadusawayfrontthe
workofGodtoourownworks.Forthereisamuchmoresplendidappearancewhena
Carthusiandoesmanygreatanddifficultworks;andweallthinkmuchmoreofthatwhichwe
doandmeritourselves.12]ButtheScripturesteachthus:Eventhoughwecollectinone

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masstheworksofallthemonks,howeversplendidlytheymayshine,theywouldnotbeas
nobleandgoodasifGodshouldpickupastraw.Why?Becausethepersonisnoblerand
better.Here,then,wemustnotestimatethepersonaccordingtotheworks,buttheworks
accordingtotheperson,fromwhomtheymustderivetheirnobility.13]Butinsanereason
willnotregardthis,andbecauseBaptismdoesnotshineliketheworkswhichwedo,itisto
beesteemedasnothing.

14]Fromthisnowlearnaproperunderstandingofthesubject,andhowtoanswerthe
questionwhatBaptismis,namelythus,thatitisnotmereordinarywater,butwater
comprehendedinGod'sWordandcommand,andsanctifiedthereby,sothatitisnothingelse
thanadivinewater;notthatthewaterinitselfisnoblerthanotherwater,butthatGod's
Wordandcommandareadded.

15]Thereforeitispurewickednessandblasphemyofthedevilthatnowournewspirits,to
mockatBaptism,omitfromitGod'sWordandinstitution,andlookuponitinnootherway
thanaswaterwhichistakenfromthewell,andthenblatherandsay:Howisahandfulof
watertohelpthesoul?16]Aye,myfriend,whodoesnotknowthatwateriswateriftearing
thingsasunderiswhatweareafter?ButhowdareyouthusinterferewithGod'sorder,and
tearawaythemostprecioustreasurewithwhichGodhasconnectedandenclosedit,and
whichHewillnothaveseparated?ForthekernelinthewaterisGod'sWordorcommand
andthenameofGod,whichisatreasuregreaterandnoblerthanheavenandearth.

17]Comprehendthedifference,then,thatBaptismisquiteanotherthingthanallother
water;notonaccountofthenaturalqualitybutbecausesomethingmorenobleishere
added;forGodHimselfstakesHishonor,Hispowerandmightonit.Thereforeitisnotonly
naturalwater,butadivine,heavenly,holy,andblessedwater,andinwhateverotherterms
wecanpraiseit,allonaccountoftheWord,whichisaheavenly,holyWord,thatnoone
cansufficientlyextol,forithas,andisabletodo,allthatGodisandcando[sinceithasall
thevirtueandpowerofGodcomprisedinit].18]Hencealsoitderivesitsessenceasa
Sacrament,asSt.Augustinealsotaught:Accedatverbumadelementumetfitsacramentum.
Thatis,whentheWordisjoinedtotheelementornaturalsubstance,itbecomesa
Sacrament,thatis,aholyanddivinematterandsign.

19]ThereforewealwaysteachthattheSacramentsandallexternalthingswhichGodordains
andinstitutesshouldnotberegardedaccordingtothecoarse,externalmask,asweregard
theshellofanut,butastheWordofGodisincludedtherein.20]Forthuswealsospeakof
theparentalestateandofcivilgovernment.Ifweproposetoregardtheminasfarasthey
havenoses,eyes,skin,andhair,fleshandbones,theylooklikeTurksandheathen,andsome
onemightstartupandsay:WhyshouldIesteemthemmorethanothers?Butbecausethe
commandmentisadded:Honorthyfatherandthymother,Ibeholdadifferentman,adorned
andclothedwiththemajestyandgloryofGod.Thecommandment(Isay)isthechainofgold
abouthisneck,yea,thecrownuponhishead,whichshowstomehowandwhyonemust
honorthisfleshandblood.

21]Thus,andmuchmoreeven,youmusthonorBaptismandesteemitgloriousonaccount
oftheWord,sinceHeHimselfhashonoreditbothbywordsanddeeds;moreover,confirmed
itwithmiraclesfromheaven.Fordoyouthinkitwasajestthat,whenChristwasbaptized,
theheavenswereopenedandtheHolyGhostdescendedvisibly,andeverythingwasdivine
gloryandmajesty?

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22]ThereforeIexhortagainthatthesetwo,thewaterandtheWord,bynomeansbe
separatedfromoneanotherandparted.ForiftheWordisseparatedfromit,thewateristhe
sameasthatwithwhichtheservantcooks'andmayindeedbecalledabathkeeper's
baptism.Butwhenitisadded,asGodhasordained,itisaSacrament,andiscalledChrist
baptism.Letthisbethefirstpart,regardingtheessenceanddignityoftheholySacrament.

23]Inthesecondplace,sinceweknownowwhatBaptismis,andhowitistoberegarded,
wemustalsolearnwhyandforwhatpurposeitisinstituted,thatis,whatitprofits,gives,
andworks.AndthisalsowecannotdiscernbetterthanfromthewordsofChristabove
quoted:Hethatbelievethandisbaptizedshallbesaved.24]Thereforestateitmostsimply
thus,thatthepower,work,profit,fruit,andendofBaptismisthis,namely,tosave.Forno
oneisbaptizedinorderthathemaybecomeaprince,but,asthewordsdeclare,thathebe
saved.25]Buttobesaved,weknow,isnothingelsethantobedeliveredfromsin,death,and
thedevil,andtoenterintothekingdomofChrist,andtolivewithHimforever.

26]HereyouseeagainhowhighlyandpreciousweshouldesteemBaptism,becauseinitwe
obtainsuchanunspeakabletreasure,whichalsoindicatessufficientlythatitcannotbe
ordinarymerewater.Formerewatercouldnotdosuchathing,buttheWorddoesit,and(as
saidabove)thefactthatthenameofGodiscomprehendedtherein.27]Butwherethename
ofGodis,theremustbealsolifeandsalvation,thatitmayindeedbecalledadivine,blessed,
fruitful,andgraciouswater;forbytheWordsuchpowerisimpartedtoBaptismthatitisa
laverofregeneration,asSt.Paulalsocallsit,Titus3,5.

28]Butasourwouldbewise,newspiritsassertthatfaithalonesaves,andthatworksand
externalthingsavailnothing,weanswer:Itistrue,indeed,thatnothinginusisofanyavail
butfaith,asweshallhearstillfurther.29]Buttheseblindguidesareunwillingtoseethis,
namely,thatfaithmusthavesomethingwhichitbelieves,thatis,ofwhichittakeshold,and
uponwhichitstandsandrests.Thusfaithclingstothewater,andbelievesthatitisBaptism,
inwhichthereispuresalvationandlife;notthroughthewater(aswehavesufficiently
stated),butthroughthefactthatitisembodiedintheWordandinstitutionofGod,andthe
nameofGodinheresinit.Now,ifIbelievethis,whatelseisitthanbelievinginGodasinHim
whohasgivenandplantedHisWordintothisordinance,andproposestousthisexternal
thingwhereinwemayapprehendsuchatreasure?

30]Now,theyaresomadastoseparatefaith,andthattowhichfaithclingsandisbound,
thoughitbesomethingexternal.Yea,itshallandmustbesomethingexternal,thatitmaybe
apprehendedbythesenses,andunderstoodandtherebybebroughtintotheheart,as
indeedtheentireGospelisanexternal,verbalpreaching.Inshort,whatGoddoesandworks
inusHeproposestoworkthroughsuchexternalordinances.Wherever,therefore,He
speaks,yea,inwhicheverdirectionorbywhatevermeansHespeaks,thitherfaithmustlook,
andtothatitmusthold.

31]Nowherewehavethewords:Hethatbelievethandisbaptizedshallbesaved.Towhat
elsedotheyreferthantoBaptism,thatis,tothewatercomprehendedinGod'sordinance?
HenceitfollowsthatwhoeverrejectsBaptismrejectstheWordofGod,faith;andChrist,who
directsusthitherandbindsustoBaptism.

32]Inthethirdplace,sincewehavelearnedthegreatbenefitandpowerofBaptism,letus
seefurtherwhoisthepersonthatreceiveswhatBaptismgivesandprofits.33]Thisisagain
mostbeautifullyandclearlyexpressedinthewords:Hethatbelievethandisbaptizedshallbe

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saved.Thatis,faithalonemakesthepersonworthytoreceiveprofitablythesaving,divine
water.For,sincetheseblessingsareherepresentedandpromisedinthewordsinandwith
thewater,theycannotbereceivedinanyotherwaythanbybelievingthemwiththeheart.
34]Withoutfaithitprofitsnothing,notwithstandingitisinitselfadivinesuperabundant
treasure.Thereforethissingleword(Hethatbelieveth)effectsthismuchthatitexcludesand
repelsallworkswhichwecando,intheopinionthatweobtainandmeritsalvationbythem.
Foritisdeterminedthatwhateverisnotfaithavailsnothingnorreceivesanything.

35]Butiftheysay,astheyareaccustomed:StillBaptismisitselfawork,andyousayworks
areofnoavailforsalvation;what,then,becomesoffaith?Answer:Yes,ourworks,indeed,
availnothingforsalvation;Baptism,however,isnotourwork,butGod's(for,aswasstated,
youmustputChristbaptismfarawayfromabathkeeper'sbaptism).God'sworks,however,
aresavingandnecessaryforsalvation,anddonotexclude,butdemand,faith;forwithout
faiththeycouldnotbeapprehended.36]Forbysufferingthewatertobepoureduponyou,
youhavenotyetreceivedBaptisminsuchamannerthatitbenefitsyouanything;butit
becomesbeneficialtoyouifyouhaveyourselfbaptizedwiththethoughtthatthisis
accordingtoGod'scommandandordinance,andbesidesinGod'sname,inorderthatyou
mayreceiveinthewaterthepromisedsalvation.Now,thisthefistcannotdo,northebody;
buttheheartmustbelieveit.

37]Thusyouseeplainlythatthereisherenoworkdonebyus,butatreasurewhichHegives
us,andwhichfaithapprehends;justastheLordJesusChristuponthecrossisnotawork,but
atreasurecomprehendedintheWord,andofferedtousandreceivedbyfaith.Therefore
theydousviolencebyexclaimingagainstusasthoughwepreachagainstfaith;whilewe
aloneinsistuponitasbeingofsuchnecessitythatwithoutitnothingcanbereceivednor
enjoyed.

38]ThuswehavethesethreepartswhichitisnecessarytoknowconcerningthisSacrament,
especiallythattheordinanceofGodistobeheldinallhonor,whichalonewouldbe
sufficient,thoughitbeanentirelyexternalthing,likethecommandment,Honorthyfather
andthymother,whichreferstobodilyfleshandblood.Thereinweregardnotthefleshand
blood,butthecommandmentofGodinwhichtheyarecomprehended,andonaccountof
whichthefleshiscalledfatherandmother;soalso,thoughwehadnomorethanthese
words,Goyeandbaptize,etc.,itwouldbenecessaryforustoacceptanddoitasthe
ordinanceofGod.39]NowthereisherenotonlyGod'scommandmentandinjunction,but
alsothepromise,onaccountofwhichitisstillfarmoregloriousthanwhateverelseGodhas
commandedandordained,andis,inshort,sofullofconsolationandgracethatheavenand
earthcannotcomprehendit.40]Butitrequiresskilltobelievethis,forthetreasureisnot
wanting,butthisiswantingthatmenapprehenditandholditfirmly.

41]ThereforeeveryChristianhasenoughinBaptismtolearnandtopractiseallhislife;forhe
hasalwaysenoughtodotobelievefirmlywhatitpromisesandbrings:victoryoverdeathand
thedevil,forgivenessofsin,thegraceofGod,theentireChrist,andtheHolyGhostwithHis
gifts.42]Inshort,itissotranscendentthatiftimidnaturecouldrealizeit,itmightwelldoubt
whetheritcouldbetrue.43]Forconsider,ifthereweresomewhereaphysicianwho
understoodtheartofsavingmenfromdying,or,eventhoughtheydied,ofrestoringthem
speedilytolife,sothattheywouldthereafterliveforever,howtheworldwouldpourin
moneylikesnowandrain,sothatbecauseofthethrongoftherichnoonecouldfindaccess!
ButhereinBaptismthereisbroughtfreetoeveryone'sdoorsuchatreasureandmedicineas
utterlydestroysdeathandpreservesallmenalive.

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44]ThuswemustregardBaptismandmakeitprofitabletoourselves,thatwhenoursinsand
conscienceoppressus,westrengthenourselvesandtakecomfortandsay:NeverthelessIam
baptized;butifIambaptized,itispromisedmethatIshallbesavedandhaveeternallife,
bothinsoulandbody.45]ForthatisthereasonwhythesetwothingsaredoneinBaptism,
namely,thatthebody,whichcanapprehendnothingbutthewater,issprinkled,and,in
addition,thewordisspokenforthesoultoapprehend.46]Now,sinceboth,thewaterand
theWord,areoneBaptism,thereforebodyandsoulmustbesavedandliveforever:thesoul
throughtheWordwhichitbelieves,butthebodybecauseitisunitedwiththesoulandalso
apprehendsBaptismasitisabletoapprehendit.Wehave,therefore,nogreaterjewelin
bodyandsoul,forbyitwearemadeholyandaresaved,whichnootherkindoflife,nowork
uponearth,canattain.

Letthissufficerespectingthenature,blessing,anduseofBaptism,foritanswersthepresent
purpose.

Backtotop

Of Infant Baptism.
47]Hereaquestionoccursbywhichthedevil,throughhissects,confusestheworld,namely,
OfInfantBaptism,whetherchildrenalsobelieve,andarejustlybaptized.Concerningthiswe
saybriefly:48]Letthesimpledismissthisquestionfromtheirminds,andreferittothe
learned.Butifyouwishtoanswer,49]thenanswerthus:ThattheBaptismofinfantsis
pleasingtoChristissufficientlyprovedfromHisownwork,namely,thatGodsanctifiesmany
ofthemwhohavebeenthusbaptized,andhasgiventhemtheHolyGhost;andthatthereare
yetmanyeventodayinwhomweperceivethattheyhavetheHolyGhostbothbecauseof
theirdoctrineand
life;asitisalsogiventousbythegraceofGodthatwecanexplaintheScripturesandcome
totheknowledgeofChrist,whichisimpossiblewithouttheHolyGhost.50]ButifGoddidnot
acceptthebaptismofinfants,HewouldnotgivetheHolyGhostnoranyofHisgiftstoanyof
them;inshort,duringthislongtimeuntothisdaynomanuponearthcouldhavebeena
Christian.Now,sinceGodconfirmsBaptismbythegiftsofHisHolyGhost,asisplainly
perceptibleinsomeofthechurchfathers,asSt.Bernard,Gerson,JohnHus,andothers,who
werebaptizedininfancy,andsincetheholyChristianChurchcannotperishuntiltheendof
theworld,theymustacknowledgethatsuchinfantbaptismispleasingtoGod.ForHecan
neverbeopposedtoHimself,orsupportfalsehoodandwickedness,orforitspromotion
impartHisgraceandSpirit.51]Thisisindeedthebestandstrongestproofforthesimple
mindedandunlearned.Fortheyshallnottakefromusoroverthrowthisarticle:Ibelievea
holyChristianChurch,thecommunionofsaints.

52]Further,wesaythatwearenotsomuchconcernedtoknowwhethertheperson
baptizedbelievesornot;foronthataccountBaptismdoesnotbecomeinvalid;but
everythingdependsupontheWordandcommandofGod.53]Thisnowisperhapssomewhat
acute,butitrestsentirelyuponwhatIhavesaid,thatBaptismisnothingelsethanwaterand
theWordofGodinandwitheachother,thatis,whentheWordisaddedtothewater,
Baptismisvalid,eventhoughfaithbewanting.FormyfaithdoesnotmakeBaptism,but
receivesit.Now,Baptismdoesnotbecomeinvalideventhoughitbewronglyreceivedor
employed;sinceitisnotbound(asstated)toourfaith,buttotheWord.

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54]ForeventhoughaJewshouldtodaycomedishonestlyandwithevilpurpose,andwe
shouldbaptizehiminallgoodfaith,wemustsaythathisbaptismisneverthelessgenuine.
ForhereisthewatertogetherwiththeWordofGod,eventhoughhedoesnotreceiveitas
heshould,justasthosewhounworthilygototheSacramentreceivethetrueSacrament,
eventhoughtheydonotbelieve.

55]Thusyouseethattheobjectionofthesectariansisvain.For(aswehavesaid)even
thoughinfantsdidnotbelieve,which,however,isnotthecase,yettheirbaptismasnow
shownwouldbevalid,andnooneshouldrebaptizethem;justasnothingisdetractedfrom
theSacramentthoughsomeoneapproachitwithevilpurpose,andhecouldnotbeallowed
onaccountofhisabusetotakeitasecondtimetheselfsamehour,asthoughhehadnot
receivedthetrueSacramentatfirst;forthatwouldmeantoblasphemeandprofanethe
Sacramentintheworstmanner.HowdarewethinkthatGod'sWordandordinanceshould
bewrongandinvalidbecausewemakeawronguseofit?

56]ThereforeIsay,ifyoudidnotbelievethenbelievenowandsaythus:Thebaptismindeed
wasright,butI,alas!didnotreceiveitaright.ForImyselfalso,andallwhoarebaptized,
mustspeakthusbeforeGod:Icomehitherinmyfaithandinthatofothers,yetIcannotrest
inthis,thatIbelieve,andthatmanypeopleprayforme;butinthisIrest,thatitisThyWord
andcommand.JustasIgototheSacramenttrustingnotinmyfaith,butintheWordof
Christ;whetherIamstrongorweak,thatIcommittoGod.ButthisIknow,thatHebidsme
go,eatanddrink,etc.,andgivesmeHisbodyandblood;thatwillnotdeceivemeorprove
falsetome.

57]Thuswedoalsoininfantbaptism.Webringthechildintheconvictionandhopethatit
believes,andwepraythatGodmaygrantitfaith;butwedonotbaptizeituponthat,but
solelyuponthecommandofGod.Whyso?BecauseweknowthatGoddoesnotlie.Iandmy
neighborand,inshort,allmen,mayerranddeceive,buttheWordofGodcannoterr.

58]Thereforetheyarepresumptuous,clumsymindsthatdrawsuchinferencesand
conclusionsasthese:Wherethereisnotthetruefaith,therealsocanbenotrueBaptism.
JustasifIwouldinfer:IfIdonotbelieve,thenChristisnothing;orthus:IfIamnotobedient,
thenfather,mother,andgovernmentarenothing.Isthatacorrectconclusion,that
wheneveranyonedoesnotdowhatheought,thethinginitselfshallbenothingandofno
value?59]Mydear,justinverttheargumentandratherdrawthisinference:Forthisvery
reasonBaptismissomethingandisright,becauseithasbeenwronglyreceived.Forifitwere
notrightandtrueinitself,itcouldnotbemisusednorsinnedagainst.Thesayingis:Abusus
nontollit,sedconfirmatsubstantiam,Abusedoesnotdestroytheessence,butconfirmsit.
Forgoldisnotthelessgoldthoughaharlotwearitinsinandshame.

60]ThereforeletitbedecidedthatBaptismalwaysremainstrue,retainsitsfullessence,
eventhoughasinglepersonshouldbebaptized,andhe,inaddition,shouldnotbelievetruly.
ForGod'sordinanceandWordcannotbemadevariableorbealteredbymen.61]Butthese
people,thefanatics,aresoblindedthattheydonotseetheWordandcommandofGod,and
regardBaptismandthemagistratesonlyastheyregardwaterinthebrookorinpots,oras
anyotherman;andbecausetheydonotseefaithnorobedience,theyconcludethattheyare
toberegardedasinvalid.62]Herelurksaconcealedseditiousdevil,whowouldliketotear
thecrownfromtheheadofauthorityandthentrampleitunderfoot,and,inaddition,
pervertandbringtonaughtalltheworksandordinancesofGod.63]Thereforewemustbe

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watchfulandwellarmed,andnotallowourselvestobedirectednorturnedawayfromthe
Word,inorderthatwemaynotregardBaptismasamereemptysign,asthefanaticsdream.

64]Lastly,wemustalsoknowwhatBaptismsignifies,andwhyGodhasordainedjustsuch
externalsignandceremonyfortheSacramentbywhichwearefirstreceivedintothe
ChristianChurch.65]Buttheactorceremonyisthis,thatwearesunkunderthewater,
whichpassesoverus,andafterwardsaredrawnoutagain.Thesetwoparts,tobesunkunder
thewateranddrawnoutagain,signifythepowerandoperationofBaptism,whichisnothing
elsethanputtingtodeaththeoldAdam,andafterthattheresurrectionofthenewman,
bothofwhichmusttakeplaceinusallourlives,sothatatrulyChristianlifeisnothingelse
thanadailybaptism,oncebegunandevertobecontinued.Forthismustbepractised
withoutceasing,thatweeverkeeppurgingawaywhateverisoftheoldAdam,andthatthat
whichbelongstothenewmancomeforth.66]Butwhatistheoldman?Itisthatwhichis
borninusfromAdam,angry,hateful,envious,unchaste,stingy,lazy,haughty,yea,
unbelieving,infectedwithallvices,andhavingbynaturenothinggoodinit.67]Now,when
wearecomeintothekingdomofChrist,thesethingsmustdailydecrease,thatthelongerwe
livewebecomemoregentle,morepatient,moremeek,andeverwithdrawmoreandmore
fromunbelief,avarice,hatred,envy,haughtiness.

68]ThisisthetrueuseofBaptismamongChristians,assignifiedbybaptizingwithwater.
Wherethis,therefore,isnotpractised,buttheoldmanisleftunbridled,soastocontinually
becomestronger,thatisnotusingBaptism,butstrivingagainstBaptism.69]Forthosewho
arewithoutChristcannotbutdailybecomeworse,accordingtotheproverbwhichexpresses
thetruth,"Worseandworsethelonger,theworse."70]Ifayearagoonewasproudand
avaricious,thenheismuchprouderandmoreavariciousthisyear,sothatthevicegrowsand
increaseswithhimfromhisyouthup.Ayoungchildhasnospecialvice;butwhenitgrows
up,itbecomesunchasteandimpure,andwhenitreachesmaturity,realvicesbegintoprevail
thelonger,themore.

71]Thereforetheoldmangoesunrestrainedinhisnatureifheisnotcheckedand
suppressedbythepowerofBaptism.Ontheotherhand,wheremenhavebecome
Christians,hedailydecreasesuntilhefinallyperishes.ThatistrulytobeburiedinBaptism,
anddailytocomeforthagain.72]Thereforetheexternalsignisappointednotonlyfora
powerfuleffect,butalsoforasignification.73]Where,therefore,faithflourisheswithits
fruits,thereithasnoemptysignification,butthework[ofmortifyingtheflesh]accompanies
it;butwherefaithiswanting,itremainsamereunfruitfulsign.

74]AndhereyouseethatBaptism,bothinitspowerandsignification,comprehendsalsothe
thirdSacrament,whichhasbeencalledrepentance,75]asitisreallynothingelsethan
Baptism.Forwhatelseisrepentancebutanearnestattackupontheoldman[thathislusts
berestrained]andenteringuponanewlife?Therefore,ifyouliveinrepentance,youwalkin
Baptism,whichnotonlysignifiessuchanewlife,butalsoproduces,begins,andexercisesit.
76]Forthereinaregivengrace,theSpirit,andpowertosuppresstheoldman,sothatthe
newmanmaycomeforthandbecomestrong.

77]ThereforeourBaptismabidesforever;andeventhoughsomeoneshouldfallfromitand
sin,neverthelesswealwayshaveaccessthereto,thatwemayagainsubduetheoldman.78]
Butweneednotagainbesprinkledwithwater;forthoughwewereputunderthewatera
hundredtimes,itwouldneverthelessbeonlyoneBaptism,althoughtheoperationand
significationcontinueandremain.79]Repentance,therefore,isnothingelsethanareturn

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andapproachtoBaptism,thatwerepeatandpractisewhatwebeganbefore,but
abandoned.

80]ThisIsaylestwefallintotheopinioninwhichwewereforalongtime,imaginingthatour
Baptismissomethingpast,whichwecannolongeruseafterwehavefallenagainintosin.
Thereasonis,thatitisregardedonlyaccordingtotheexternalactonceperformed[and
completed].81]AndthisarosefromthefactthatSt.Jeromewrotethatrepentanceisthe
secondplankbywhichwemustswimforthandcrossoveraftertheshipisbroken,onwhich
westepandarecarriedacrosswhenwecomeintotheChristianChurch.82]Therebytheuse
ofBaptismhasbeenabolishedsothatitcanprofitusnolonger.Thereforethestatementis
notcorrect,oratanyratenotrightlyunderstood.Fortheshipneverbreaks,because(aswe
havesaid)itistheordinanceofGod,andnotaworkofours;butithappens,indeed,thatwe
slipandfalloutoftheship.Yetifanyonefallout,lethimseetoitthatheswimupandcling
toittillheagaincomeintoitandliveinit,ashehadformerlybegun.

83]Thusitappearswhatagreat,excellentthingBaptismis,whichdeliversusfromthejaws
ofthedevilandmakesusGod'sown,suppressesandtakesawaysin,andthendaily
strengthensthenewman;andisandremainseverefficaciousuntilwepassfromthisestate
ofmiserytoeternalglory.

84]ForthisreasonleteveryoneesteemhisBaptismasadailydressinwhichheistowalk
constantly,thathemayeverbefoundinthefaithanditsfruits,thathesuppresstheoldman
andgrowupinthenew.85]ForifwewouldbeChristians,wemustpractisethework
wherebyweareChristians.86]Butifanyonefallawayfromit,lethimagaincomeintoit.For
justasChrist,theMercyseat,doesnotrecedefromusorforbidustocometoHimagain,
eventhoughwesin,soallHistreasureandgiftsalsoremain.If,therefore,wehaveoncein
Baptismobtainedforgivenessofsin,itwillremaineveryday,aslongaswelive,thatis,as
longaswecarrytheoldmanaboutourneck.

Backtotop

Large Catechsim
Part Fifth: Of the Sacrament of the Altar.

1]InthesamemanneraswehaveheardregardingHolyBaptism,wemustspeakalso
concerningtheotherSacrament,namely,thesethreepoints:Whatisit?Whatareits
benefits?and,Whoistoreceiveit?Andalltheseareestablishedbythewordsbywhich
Christhasinstitutedit,2]andwhicheveryonewhodesirestobeaChristianandgotothe
Sacramentshouldknow.Foritisnotourintentiontoadmittoitandtoadministerittothose
whoknownotwhattheyseek,orwhytheycome.Thewords,however,arethese:

3]OurLordJesusChrist,thesamenightinwhichHewasbetrayed,tookbread;andwhenHe
hadgiventhanks,Hebrakeit,andgaveittoHisdisciples,andsaid,Take,eat;thisisMybody,
whichisgivenforyou:thisdoinremembranceofMe.

AfterthesamemanneralsoHetookthecupwhenHehadsupped,gavethanks,andgaveit
tothem,saying,Drinkyeallofit;thiscupisthenewtestamentinMyblood,whichisshedfor
youfortheremissionofsins:thisdoye,asoftasyedrinkit,inremembranceofMe.

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4]Herealsowedonotwishtoenterintocontroversyandcontendwiththetraducersand
blasphemersofthisSacrament,buttolearnfirst(aswedidregardingBaptism)whatisofthe
greatestimportance,namely,thatthechiefpointistheWordandordinanceorcommandof
God.Forithasnotbeeninventednorintroducedbyanyman,butwithoutanyone'scounsel
anddeliberationithasbeeninstitutedbyChrist.5]Therefore,justastheTen
Commandments,theLord'sPrayer,andtheCreedretaintheirnatureandworth,although
youneverkeep,pray,orbelievethem,soalsodoesthisvenerableSacramentremain
undisturbed,sothatnothingisdetractedortakenfromit,eventhoughweemployand
dispenseitunworthily.6]WhatdoyouthinkGodcaresaboutwhatwedoorbelieve,sothat
onthataccountHeshouldsufferHisordinancetobechanged?Why,inallworldlymatters
everythingremainsasGodhascreatedandorderedit,nomatterhowweemployoruseit.
7]Thismustalwaysbeurged,fortherebythepratingofnearlyallthefanaticalspiritscanbe
repelled.FortheyregardtheSacraments,asidefromtheWordofGod,assomethingthatwe
do.

8]Now,whatistheSacramentoftheAltar?

Answer:ItisthetruebodyandbloodofourLordJesusChrist,inandunderthebreadand
winewhichweChristiansarecommandedbytheWordofChristtoeatandtodrink.9]Andas
wehavesaidofBaptismthatitisnotsimplewater,soherealsowesaytheSacramentis
breadandwine,butnotmerebreadandwine,suchasareordinarilyservedatthetable,but
breadandwinecomprehendedin,andconnectedwith,theWordofGod.

10]ItistheWord(Isay)whichmakesanddistinguishesthisSacrament,sothatitisnotmere
breadandwine,butis,andiscalled,thebodyandbloodofChrist.Foritissaid:Accedat
verbumadelementum,etfitsacramentum.IftheWordbejoinedtotheelement,itbecomes
aSacrament.ThissayingofSt.Augustineissoproperlyandsowellputthathehasscarcely
saidanythingbetter.TheWordmustmakeaSacramentoftheelement,elseitremainsa
mereelement.11]Now,itisnotthewordorordinanceofaprinceoremperor,butofthe
sublimeMajesty,atwhosefeetallcreaturesshouldfall,andaffirmitisasHesays,andaccept
itwithallreverence,fear,andhumility.

12]WiththisWordyoucanstrengthenyourconscienceandsay:Ifahundredthousand
devils,togetherwithallfanatics,shouldrushforward,crying,Howcanbreadandwinebethe
bodyandbloodofChrist?etc.,Iknowthatallspiritsandscholarstogetherarenotaswiseas
istheDivineMajestyinHislittlefinger.13]NowherestandstheWordofChrist:Take,eat;
thisisMybody;Drinkyeallofit;thisisthenewtestamentinMyblood,etc.Hereweabide,
andwouldliketoseethosewhowillconstitutethemselvesHismasters,andmakeitdifferent
fromwhatHehasspoken.Itistrue,indeed,thatifyoutakeawaytheWordorregardit
withoutthewords,youhavenothingbutmerebreadandwine.14]Butifthewordsremain
withthem,astheyshallandmust,then,invirtueofthesame,itistrulythebodyandblood
ofChrist.ForasthelipsofChristsayandspeak,soitis,asHecanneverlieordeceive.

15]Henceitiseasytoreplytoallmannerofquestionsaboutwhichmenaretroubledatthe
presenttime,suchasthisone:Whetherevenawickedpriestcanministerat,anddispense,
theSacrament,andwhateverotherquestionslikethistheremaybe.16]Forherewe
concludeandsay:EventhoughaknavetakesordistributestheSacrament,hereceivesthe
trueSacrament,thatis,thetruebodyandbloodofChrist,justastrulyashewho[receives
or]administersitinthemostworthymanner.Foritisnotfoundedupontheholinessofmen,
butupontheWordofGod.Andasnosaintuponearth,yea,noangelinheaven,canmake

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breadandwinetobethebodyandbloodofChrist,soalsocannoonechangeoralterit,even
thoughitbemisused.17]FortheWordbywhichitbecameaSacramentandwasinstituted
doesnotbecomefalsebecauseofthepersonorhisunbelief.ForHedoesnotsay:Ifyou
believeorareworthy,youreceiveMybodyandblood,but:Take,eatanddrink;thisisMy
bodyandblood.Likewise:Dothis(namely,whatInowdo,institute,give,andbidyoutake).
18]Thatisasmuchastosay,Nomatterwhetheryouareworthyorunworthy,youhavehere
Hisbodyandbloodbyvirtueofthesewordswhichareaddedtothebreadandwine.19]Only
noteandrememberthiswell;foruponthesewordsrestallourfoundation,protection,and
defenseagainstallerrorsanddeceptionthathaveevercomeormayyetcome.

20]ThuswehavebrieflythefirstpointwhichrelatestotheessenceofthisSacrament.Now
examinefurthertheefficacyandbenefitsonaccountofwhichreallytheSacramentwas
instituted;whichisalsoitsmostnecessarypart,thatwemayknowwhatweshouldseekand
obtainthere.21]Nowthisisplainandclearfromthewordsjustmentioned:ThisisMybody
andblood,givenandshedforyou,fortheremissionofsins.22]Brieflythatisasmuchasto
say:ForthisreasonwegototheSacramentbecausetherewereceivesuchatreasurebyand
inwhichweobtainforgivenessofsins.Whyso?Becausethewordsstandhereandgiveus
this;foronthisaccountHebidsmeeatanddrink,thatitmaybemyownandmaybenefit
me,asasurepledgeandtoken,yea,theverysametreasurethatisappointedformeagainst
mysins,death,andeverycalamity.

23]Onthisaccountitisindeedcalledafoodofsouls,whichnourishesandstrengthensthe
newman.ForbyBaptismwearefirstbornanew;but(aswesaidbefore)therestillremains,
besides,theoldviciousnatureoffleshandbloodinman,andtherearesomanyhindrances
andtemptationsofthedevilandoftheworldthatweoftenbecomewearyandfaint,and
sometimesalsostumble.

24]Thereforeitisgivenforadailypastureandsustenance,thatfaithmayrefreshand
strengthenitselfsoasnottofallbackinsuchabattle,butbecomeeverstrongerand
stronger.25]Forthenewlifemustbesoregulatedthatitcontinuallyincreaseandprogress;
26]butitmustsuffermuchopposition.Forthedevilissuchafuriousenemythatwhenhe
seesthatweopposehimandattacktheoldman,andthathecannottoppleusoverbyforce,
heprowlsandmovesaboutonallsides,triesalldevices,anddoesnotdesist,untilhefinally
weariesus,sothatweeitherrenounceourfaithoryieldhandsandfeetandbecomelistless
orimpatient.27]Nowtothisendtheconsolationisheregivenwhentheheartfeelsthatthe
burdenisbecomingtooheavy,thatitmayhereobtainnewpowerandrefreshment.

28]Buthereourwisespiritscontortthemselveswiththeirgreatartandwisdom,cryingout
andbawling:Howcanbreadandwineforgivesinsorstrengthenfaith?Althoughtheyhear
andknowthatwedonotsaythisofbreadandwine,becauseinitselfbreadisbread,butof
suchbreadandwineasisthebodyandbloodofChrist,andhasthewordsattachedtoit.
That,wesay,isverilythetreasure,andnothingelse,throughwhichsuchforgivenessis
obtained.29]Nowtheonlywayinwhichitisconveyedandappropriatedtousisinthe
words(Givenandshedforyou).Forhereinyouhavebothtruths,thatitisthebodyandblood
ofChrist,andthatitisyoursasatreasureandgift.30]NowthebodyofChristcanneverbe
anunfruitful,vainthing,thateffectsorprofitsnothing.Yet,howevergreatisthetreasurein
itself,itmustbecomprehendedintheWordandadministeredtous,elseweshouldneverbe
abletoknoworseekit.

31]ThereforealsoitisvaintalkwhentheysaythatthebodyandbloodofChristarenot

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givenandshedforusintheLord'sSupper,hencewecouldnothaveforgivenessofsinsinthe
Sacrament.Foralthoughtheworkisaccomplishedandtheforgivenessofsinsacquiredon
thecross,yetitcannotcometousinanyotherwaythanthroughtheWord.Forwhatwould
weotherwiseknowaboutit,thatsuchathingwasaccomplishedorwastobegivenusifit
werenotpresentedbypreachingortheoralWord?Whencedotheyknowofit,orhowcan
theyapprehendandappropriatetothemselvestheforgiveness,excepttheylayholdofand
believetheScripturesandtheGospel?32]ButnowtheentireGospelandthearticleofthe
Creed:IbelieveaholyChristianChurch,theforgivenessofsin,etc.,arebytheWord
embodiedinthisSacramentandpresentedtous.Why,then,shouldweallowthistreasureto
betornfromtheSacramentwhentheymustconfessthatthesearetheverywordswhichwe
heareverywhereintheGospel,andtheycannotsaythatthesewordsintheSacramentare
ofnouse,aslittleastheydaresaythattheentireGospelorWordofGod,apartfromthe
Sacrament,isofnouse?

33]ThuswehavetheentireSacrament,bothastowhatitisinitselfandastowhatitbrings
andprofits.Nowwemustalsoseewhoisthepersonthatreceivesthispowerandbenefit.
Thatisansweredbriefly,aswesaidaboveofBaptismandoftenelsewhere:Whoeverbelieves
ithaswhatthewordsdeclareandbring.Fortheyarenotspokenorproclaimedtostoneand
wood,buttothosewhohearthem,towhomHesays:34]Takeandeat,etc.AndbecauseHe
offersandpromisesforgivenessofsin,itcannotbereceivedotherwisethanbyfaith.This
faithHeHimselfdemandsintheWordwhenHesays:Givenandshedforyou.AsifHesaid:
ForthisreasonIgiveit,andbidyoueatanddrink,thatyoumayclaimitasyoursandenjoyit.
35]Whoevernowacceptsthesewords,andbelievesthatwhattheydeclareistrue,hasit.
Butwhoeverdoesnotbelieveithasnothing,asheallowsittobeofferedtohiminvain,and
refusestoenjoysuchasavinggood.Thetreasure,indeed,isopenedandplacedatevery
one'sdoor,yea,uponhistable,butitisnecessarythatyoualsoclaimit,andconfidentlyview
itasthewordssuggesttoyou36]This,now,istheentireChristianpreparationforreceiving
thisSacramentworthily.Forsincethistreasureisentirelypresentedinthewords,itcannot
beapprehendedandappropriatedinanyotherwaythanwiththeheart.Forsuchagiftand
eternaltreasurecannotbeseizedwiththefist.37]Fastingandprayer,etc.,mayindeedbean
externalpreparationanddisciplineforchildren,thatthebodymaykeepandbearitself
modestlyandreverentlytowardsthebodyandbloodofChrist;yetwhatisgiveninandwith
itthebodycannotseizeandappropriate.Butthisisdonebythefaithoftheheart,which
discernsthistreasureanddesiresit.38]Thismaysufficeforwhatisnecessaryasageneral
instructionrespectingthisSacrament;forwhatisfurthertobesaidofitbelongstoanother
time.

39]Inconclusion,sincewehavenowthetrueunderstandinganddoctrineoftheSacrament,
thereisindeedneedofsomeadmonitionandexhortation,thatmenmaynotletsogreata
treasurewhichisdailyadministeredanddistributedamongChristianspassbyunheeded,
thatis,thatthosewhowouldbeChristiansmakereadytoreceivethisvenerableSacrament
often.40]Forweseethatmenseemwearyandlazywithrespecttoit;andthereisagreat
multitudeofsuchasheartheGospel,and,becausethenonsenseofthePopehasbeen
abolished,andwearefreedfromhislawsandcoercion,goone,two,threeyears,oreven
longerwithouttheSacrament,asthoughtheyweresuchstrongChristiansthattheyhaveno
needofit;41]andsomeallowthemselvestobepreventedanddeterredbythepretensethat
wehavetaughtthatnooneshouldapproachitexceptthosewhofeelhungerandthirst,
whichurgethemtoit.Somepretendthatitisamatteroflibertyandnotnecessary,andthat
itissufficienttobelievewithoutit;andthusforthemostparttheygosofarthatthey
becomequitebrutish,andfinallydespiseboththeSacramentandtheWordofGod.

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42]Now,itistrue,aswehavesaid,thatnooneshouldbyanymeansbecoercedor
compelled,lestweinstituteanewmurderingofsouls.Nevertheless,itmustbeknownthat
suchpeopleasdeprivethemselvesof,andwithdrawfrom,theSacramentsolongatimeare
nottobeconsideredChristians.ForChristhasnotinstitutedittobetreatedasashow,but
hascommandedHisChristianstoeatanddrinkit,andtherebyrememberHim.

43]And,indeed,thosewhoaretrueChristiansandesteemtheSacramentpreciousandholy
willurgeandimpelthemselvesuntoit.Yetthatthesimplemindedandtheweakwhoalso
wouldliketobeChristiansbethemoreincitedtoconsiderthecauseandneedwhichought
toimpelthem,wewilltreatsomewhatofthispoint.44]Forasinothermatterspertainingto
faith,love,andpatience,itisnotenoughtoteachandinstructonly,butthereisneedalsoof
dailyexhortation,soherealsothereisneedofcontinuingtopreachthatmenmaynot
becomewearyanddisgusted,sinceweknowandfeelhowthedevilalwaysopposesthisand
everyChristianexercise,anddrivesanddeterstherefromasmuchashecan.

45]Andwehave,inthefirstplace,thecleartextintheverywordsofChrist:Dothisin
remembranceofMe.Thesearebiddingandcommandingwordsbywhichallwhowouldbe
ChristiansareenjoinedtopartakeofthisSacrament.Therefore,whoeverwouldbeadisciple
ofChrist,withwhomHeherespeaks,mustalsoconsiderandobservethis,notfrom
compulsion,asbeingforcedbymen,butinobediencetotheLordJesusChrist,andtoplease
Him.46]However,ifyousay:Butthewordsareadded,Asoftasyedoit;thereHecompels
noone,butleavesittoourfreechoice,answer:47]Thatistrue,yetitisnotwrittenthatwe
shouldneverdoso.Yea,justbecauseHespeaksthewords,Asoftasyedoit,itis
neverthelessimpliedthatweshoulddoitoften;anditisaddedforthereasonthatHewishes
tohavetheSacramentfree,notlimitedtospecialtimes,likethePassoveroftheJews,which
theywereobligedtoeatonlyonceayear,andthatjustuponthefourteenthdayofthefirst
fullmoonintheevening,andwhichtheymustnotvaryaday.AsifHewouldsaybythese
words:IinstituteaPassoverorSupperforyouwhichyoushallenjoynotonlyonceayear,
justuponthisevening,butoften,whenandwhereyouwill,accordingtoeveryone's
opportunityandnecessity,boundtonoplaceorappointedtime;48]althoughthePope
afterwardspervertedit,andagainmadeaJewishfeastofit.

49]Thus,youperceive,itisnotleftfreeinthesensethatwemaydespiseit.ForthatIcall
despisingitifoneallowsolongatimetoelapseandwithnothingtohinderhimyetnever
feelsadesireforit.ifyouwishsuchliberty,youmayjustaswellhavethelibertytobeno
Christian,andneitherhavetobelievenorpray;fortheoneisjustasmuchthecommandof
Christastheother.ButifyouwishtobeaChristian,youmustfromtimetotimerender
satisfactionandobediencetothiscommandment.50]Forthiscommandmentoughteverto
moveyoutoexamineyourselfandtothink:See,whatsortofaChristianIam!IfIwereone,I
wouldcertainlyhavesomelittlelongingforthatwhichmyLordhascommanded[me]todo.

51]And,indeed,sinceweactsuchstrangerstoit,itiseasilyseenwhatsortofChristianswe
wereunderthePapacy,namely,thatwewentfrommerecompulsionandfearofhuman
commandments,withoutinclinationandlove,andneverregardedthecommandmentof
Christ.52]Butweneitherforcenorcompelanyone;norneedanyonedoittoserveor
pleaseus.Butthisshouldinduceandconstrainyoubyitself,thatHedesiresitandthatitis
pleasingtoHim.Youmustnotsuffermentocoerceyouuntofaithoranygoodwork.Weare
doingnomorethantosayandexhortyouastowhatyououghttodo,notforoursake,but
foryourownsake.Heinvitesandalluresyou;ifyoudespiseit,youmustanswerforit

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yourself.

53]Now,thisistobethefirstpoint,especiallyforthosewhoarecoldandindifferent,that
theymayreflectuponandrousethemselves.Forthisiscertainlytrue,asIhavefoundinmy
ownexperience,andaseveryonewillfindinhisowncase,thatifapersonthuswithdraw
fromthisSacrament,hewilldailybecomemoreandmorecallousandcold,andwillatlast
disregarditaltogether.54]Toavoidthis,wemust,indeed,examineheartandconscience,
andactlikeapersonwhodesirestoberightwithGod.Now,themorethisisdone,themore
willtheheartbewarmedandenkindled,thatitmaynotbecomeentirelycold.

55]Butifyousay:HowifIfeelthatIamnotprepared?Answer:Thatisalsomyscruple,
especiallyfromtheoldwayunderthePope,inwhichapersontorturedhimselftobeso
perfectlypurethatGodcouldnotfindtheleastblemishinus.Onthisaccountwebecameso
timidthateveryonewasinstantlythrownintoconsternationandsaidtohimself:Alas!you
areunworthy!56]Forthennatureandreasonbegintoreckonourunworthinessin
comparisonwiththegreatandpreciousgood;andthenitappearslikeadarklanternin
contrastwiththebrightsun,orasfilthincomparisonwithpreciousstones.Becausenature
andreasonseethis,theyrefusetoapproachandtarryuntiltheyareprepared,solongthat
oneweektrailsanother,andonehalfyeartheother.57]Butifyouaretoregardhowgood
andpureyouare,andlabortohavenocompunctions,youmustneverapproach.

58]Wemust,therefore,makeadistinctionhereamongmen.Forthosewhoarewantonand
dissolutemustbetoldtostayaway;fortheyarenotpreparedtoreceiveforgivenessofsin,
sincetheydonotdesireitanddonotwishtobegodly.59]Buttheothers,whoarenotsuch
callousandwickedpeople,anddesiretobegodly,mustnotabsentthemselves,eventhough
otherwisetheybefeebleandfullofinfirmities,asSt.Hilaryalsohassaid:Ifanyonehavenot
committedsinforwhichhecanrightlybeputoutofthecongregationandesteemedasno
Christian,heoughtnotstayawayfromtheSacrament,lesthemaydeprivehimselfoflife.60]
Fornoonewillmakesuchprogressthathewillnotretainmanydailyinfirmitiesinfleshand
blood.

61]ThereforesuchpeoplemustlearnthatitisthehighestarttoknowthatourSacrament
doesnotdependuponourworthiness.Forwearenotbaptizedbecauseweareworthyand
holy,nordowegotoconfessionbecausewearepureandwithoutsin,butthecontrary,
becausewearepoormiserablemen,andjustbecauseweareunworthy;unlessitbesome
onewhodesiresnograceandabsolutionnorintendstoreform.

62]Butwhoeverwouldgladlyobtaingraceandconsolationshouldimpelhimself,andallow
noonetofrightenhimaway,butsay:I,indeed,wouldliketobeworthy;butIcome,not
uponanyworthiness,butuponThyWord,becauseThouhastcommandedit,asonewho
wouldgladlybeThydisciple,nomatterwhatbecomesofmyworthiness.63]Butthisis
difficult;forwealwayshavethisobstacleandhindrancetoencounter,thatwelookmore
uponourselvesthanupontheWordandlipsofChrist.Fornaturedesiressotoactthatitcan
standandrestfirmlyonitself,otherwiseitrefusestomaketheapproach.Letthissuffice
concerningthefirstpoint.

64]Inthesecondplace,thereisbesidesthiscommandalsoapromise,asweheardabove,
whichoughtmoststronglytoinciteandencourageus.Forherestandthekindandprecious
words:ThisisMybody,givenforyou.ThisisMyblood,shedforyou,fortheremissionofsins.
65]Thesewords,Ihavesaid,arenotpreachedtowoodandstone,buttomeandyou;else

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HemightjustaswellbesilentandnotinstituteaSacrament.Thereforeconsider,andput
yourselfintothisYou,thatHemaynotspeaktoyouinvain.

66]ForhereHeofferstoustheentiretreasurewhichHehasbroughtforusfromheaven,
andtowhichHeinvitesusalsoinotherplaceswiththegreatestkindness,aswhenHesaysin
St.Matthew11,28:ComeuntoMe,allyethatlaborandareheavyladen,andIwillgiveyou
rest.67]NowitissurelyasinandashamethatHesocordiallyandfaithfullysummonsand
exhortsustoourhighestandgreatestgood,andweactsodistantlywithregardtoit,and
permitsolongatimetopass[withoutpartakingoftheSacrament]thatwegrowquitecold
andhardened,sothatwehavenoinclinationorloveforit.68]Wemustneverregardthe
Sacramentassomethinginjuriousfromwhichwehadbetterflee,butasapure,wholesome,
comfortingremedyimpartingsalvationandcomfort,whichwillcureyouandgiveyoulife
bothinsoulandbody.Forwherethesoulhasrecovered,thebodyalsoisrelieved.Why,
then,isitthatweactasifitwereapoison,theeatingofwhichwouldbringdeath?

69]Tobesure,itistruethatthosewhodespiseitandliveinanunchristianmannerreceiveit
totheirhurtanddamnation;fornothingshallbegoodorwholesometothem,justaswitha
sickpersonwhofromcapriceeatsanddrinkswhatisforbiddenhimbythephysician.70]But
thosewhoaresensibleoftheirweakness,desiretoberidofitandlongforhelp,should
regardanduseitonlyasapreciousantidoteagainstthepoisonwhichtheyhaveinthem.For
hereintheSacramentyouaretoreceivefromthelipsofChristforgivenessofsin,which
containsandbringswithitthegraceofGodandtheSpiritwithallHisgifts,protection,
shelter,andpoweragainstdeathandthedevilandallmisfortune.

71]Thusyouhave,onthepartofGod,boththecommandandthepromiseoftheLordJesus
Christ.Besidesthis,onyourpart,yourowndistresswhichisaboutyourneck,andbecauseof
whichthiscommand,invitation,andpromisearegiven,oughttoimpelyou.ForHeHimself
says:Theythatbewhole,neednotaphysician,buttheythatbesick;thatis,thosewhoare
wearyandheavyladenwiththeirsins,withthefearofdeath,temptationsofthefleshandof
thedevil.72]If,therefore,youareheavyladenandfeelyourweakness,thengojoyfullyto
thisSacramentandobtainrefreshment,consolation,andstrength.73]Forifyouwouldwait
untilyouareridofsuchburdens,thatyoumightcometotheSacramentpureandworthy,
youmustforeverstayaway.ForinthatcaseHepronouncessentenceandsays:74]Ifyouare
pureandgodly,youhavenoneedofMe,andI,inturn,noneofthee.Thereforethosealone
arecalledunworthywhoneitherfeeltheirinfirmitiesnorwishtobeconsideredsinners.

75]Butifyousay:What,then,shallIdoifIcannotfeelsuchdistressorexperiencehunger
andthirstfortheSacrament?Answer:Forthosewhoaresomindedthattheydonotrealize
theirconditionIknownobettercounselthanthattheyputtheirhandintotheirbosomto
ascertainwhethertheyalsohavefleshandblood.Andifyoufindthattobethecase,thengo,
foryourgood,toSt.Paul'sEpistletotheGalatians,andhearwhatsortofafruityourfleshis:
Nowtheworksoftheflesh(hesays[Gal.5,19ff])aremanifest,whicharethese:Adultery,
fornication,uncleanness,lasciviousness,idolatry,witchcraft,hatred,variance,emulations,
wrath,strife,seditions,heresies,envyings,murders,drunkenness,revelings,andsuchlike.

76]Therefore,ifyoucannotfeelit,atleastbelievetheScriptures;theywillnotlietoyou,and
theyknowyourfleshbetterthanyouyourself.Yea,St.PaulfurtherconcludesinRom.7,18:I
knowthatinme,thatis,inmyflesh,dwellethnogoodthing.IfSt.Paulmayspeakthusofhis
flesh,wedonotproposetobebetternormoreholy.77]Butthatwedonotfeelitissomuch
theworse;foritisasignthatthereisaleprousfleshwhichfeelsnothing,andyet[the

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leprosy]ragesandkeepsspreading.78]Yet,aswehavesaid,ifyouarequitedeadtoall
sensibility,stillbelievetheScriptures,whichpronouncesentenceuponyou.And,inshort,the
lessyoufeelyoursinsandinfirmities,themorereasonhaveyoutogototheSacramentto
seekhelpandaremedy.

79]Inthesecondplace,lookaboutyouandseewhetheryouarealsointheworld,orifyou
donotknowit,askyourneighborsaboutit.Ifyouareintheworld,donotthinkthatthere
willbelackofsinsandmisery.Foronlybegintoactasthoughyouwouldbegodlyandadhere
totheGospel,andseewhethernoonewillbecomeyourenemy,and,moreover,doyou
harm,wrong,andviolence,andlikewisegiveyoucauseforsinandvice.Ifyouhavenot
experiencedit,thenlettheScripturestellyou,whicheverywheregivethispraiseand
testimonytotheworld.80]Besidesthis,youwillalsohavethedevilaboutyou,whomyou
willnotentirelytreadunderfoot,becauseourLordChristHimselfcouldnotentirelyavoid
him.Now,whatisthedevil?81]NothingelsethanwhattheScripturescallhim,aliarand
murderer.Aliar,toleadtheheartastrayfromtheWordofGod,andtoblindit,thatyou
cannotfeelyourdistressorcometoChrist.Amurderer,whocannotbeartoseeyouliveone
singlehour.82]Ifyoucouldseehowmanyknives,darts,andarrowsareeverymomentaimed
atyou,youwouldbegladtocometotheSacramentasoftenaspossible.Butthereisno
reasonwhywewalksosecurelyandheedlessly,exceptthatweneitherthinknorbelievethat
weareintheflesh,andinthiswickedworldorinthekingdomofthedevil.

83]Therefore,trythisandpractiseitwell,anddobutexamineyourself,orlookaboutyoua
little,andonlykeeptotheScriptures.Ifeventhenyoustillfeelnothing,youhavesomuch
themoremiserytolamentbothtoGodandtoyourbrother.Thentakeadviceandhave
othersprayforyou,anddonotdesistuntilthestoneberemovedfromyourheart.84]Then,
indeed,thedistresswillnotfailtobecomemanifest,andyouwillfindthatyouhavesunk
twiceasdeepasanyotherpoorsinner,andaremuchmoreinneedoftheSacramentagainst
themiserywhichunfortunatelyyoudonotsee,sothat,withthegraceofGod,youmayfeel
itmoreandbecomethemorehungryfortheSacrament,especiallysincethedevilplieshis
forceagainstyou,andliesinwaitforyouwithoutceasingtoseizeanddestroyyou,souland
body,sothatyouarenotsafefromhimonehour.Howsooncanhehavebroughtyou
suddenlyintomiseryanddistresswhenyouleastexpectit!

85]Letthis,then,besaidforexhortation,notonlyforthoseofuswhoareoldandgrown,
butalsofortheyoungpeople,whooughttobebroughtupintheChristiandoctrineand
understanding.FortherebytheTenCommandments,theCreed,andtheLord'sPrayermight
bethemoreeasilyinculcatedtoouryouth,sothattheywouldreceivethemwithpleasure
andearnestness,andthuswouldpractisethemfromtheiryouthandaccustomthemselvesto
them.86]Fortheoldarenowwellnighdonefor,sothattheseandotherthingscannotbe
attained,unlesswetrainthepeoplewhoaretocomeafterusandsucceedusinouroffice
andwork,inorderthattheyalsomaybringuptheirchildrensuccessfully,thattheWordof
GodandtheChristianChurchmaybepreserved.87]Thereforeleteveryfatherofafamily
knowthatitishisduty,bytheinjunctionandcommandofGod,toteachthesethingstohis
children,orhavethemlearnwhattheyoughttoknow.Forsincetheyarebaptizedand
receivedintotheChristianChurch,theyshouldalsoenjoythiscommunionoftheSacrament,
inorderthattheymayserveusandbeusefultous;fortheymustallindeedhelpusto
believe,love,pray,andfightagainstthedevil.

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TheLutheranChurchMissouriSynod
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