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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Luther
 
        Great God, what do I see and hear!
  The end of things created!
The Judge of mankind doth appear
  On clouds of glory seated!
The trumpet sounds; the graves restore
The dead which they contained before;
  Prepare, my soul, to meet Him!
  1
        Put thou thy trust in God;
  In duty’s path go on;
Fix on His word thy steadfast eye;
  So shall thy work be done.
  2
        Though in midst of life we be
Snares of death surround us.
  3
  A preacher should have the skill to teach the unlearned simply, roundly, and plainly; for teaching is of more importance than exhorting.  4
  A single little word can strike him dead.  5
  A wicked tyrant is better than a wicked war.  6
  Against the flying ball no valor avails.  7
  Albert Dürer, the famous painter, used to say he had no pleasure in pictures that were painted with many colors, but in those which were painted with a choice simplicity. So it is with me as to sermons.  8
  All which happens in the whole world happens through hope. No husbandman would sow a grain of corn if he did not hope it would spring up and bring forth the ear. How much more are we helped on by hope in the way to eternal life!  9
  At the last, when we die, we have the dear angels for our escort on the way. They who can grasp the whole world in their hands can surely also guard our souls, that they make that last journey safely.  10
  Christian life consists in faith and charity.  11
  Count it one of the highest virtues upon earth to educate faithfully the children of others, which so few, and scarcely any, do by their own.  12
  Earth has nothing more tender than a woman’s heart when it is the abode of piety.  13
  Every evening brings us nearer God.  14
  Every great book is an action, and every great action is a book.  15
  Faith, like light, should ever be simple and unbending; while love, like warmth, should beam forth on every side, and bend to every necessity of our brethren.  16
  For, where God built a church there the devil would also build a chapel. They imitated the Jews also in this, namely, that as the Most Holiest was dark, and had no light, even so and after the same manner did they make their shrines dark where the devil made answer. Thus is the devil ever God’s ape.  17
  God has set the type of marriage everywhere throughout the creation. Each creature seeks its perfection in another. The very heavens and earth picture it to us.  18
  God writes the gospel, not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.  19
  God’s love gives in such a way that it flows from a Father’s heart, the well-spring of all good. The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious; as among ourselves we say of even a trifling gift, “It comes from a hand we love,” and look not so much at the gift as at the heart.  20
 
 
  Great people and champions are special gifts of God, whom He gives and preserves; they do their work, and achieve great actions, not with vain imaginations, or cold and sleepy cogitations, but by motion of God.  21
  He who receives a sacrament does not perform a good work; he receives a benefit. In the mass we give Christ nothing; we only receive from Him.  22
  Here I stand; I can do no otherwise. God help me. Amen.  23
  Human reason is like a drunken man on horseback; set it up on one side, and it tumbles over on the other.  24
  I always loved music; whoso has skill in this art, is of a good temperament, fitted for all things. We must teach music in schools. A schoolmaster ought to have skill in music, or I would not regard him; neither should we ordain young men as preachers, unless they have been well exercised in music.  25
  I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, self.  26
  I never work better than when I am inspired by anger. When I am angry I can write, pray, and preach well; for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understanding sharpened, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.  27
  I would not have preachers torment their hearers, and detain them with long and tedious preaching.  28
  I would rather obey than work miracles.  29
  In His death He is a sacrifice, satisfying for our sins; in the resurrection, a conqueror; in the ascension, a king; in the intercession, a high priest.  30
  It was with good reason that God commanded through Moses that the vineyard and harvest were not to be gleaned to the last grape or grain; but something to be left for the poor. For covetousness is never to be satisfied; the more it has, the more it wants. Such insatiable ones injure themselves, and transform God’s blessings into evil.  31
  Let all your preaching be in the most simple and plainest manner; look not to the prince, but to the plain, simple, gross, unlearned people, of which cloth the prince also himself is made. If I, in my preaching, should have regard to Philip Melancthon and other learned doctors, then should I do but little good. I preach in the simplest manner to the unskillful, and that giveth content to all. Hebrew, Greek and Latin I spare until we learned ones come together.  32
  Lord God, I thank Thee that Thou hast been pleased to make me a poor and indigent man upon earth. I have neither house nor land nor money, to leave behind me. Thou hast given me wife and children, whom I now restore to Thee. Lord, nourish, teach, and preserve them as Thou hast me.  33
  Men must have righteous principles in the first place, and then they will not fail to perform virtuous actions.  34
  Merit is a work for the sake of which Christ gives rewards. But no such work is to be found, for Christ gives by promise. Just as if a prince should say to me, “Come to me in my castle, and I will give you a hundred florins.” I do a work, certainly, in going to the castle, but the gift is not given me as the reward of my work in going, but because the prince promised it to me.  35
  Music is a discipline, and a mistress of order and good manners; she makes the people milder and gentler, more moral and more reasonable.  36
  Music is one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God, to which Satan is a bitter enemy; for it removes from the heart the weight of sorrow, and the fascination of evil thoughts.  37
  Music is the art of the prophets, the only art that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.  38
  Next to theology I give to music the highest place and honor. And we see how David and all the saints have wrought their godly thoughts into verse, rhyme, and song.  39
  Nothing good comes of violence.  40
  Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time.  41
  Peace, if possible, but the truth at any rate.  42
  Prayer is a powerful thing; for God has bound and tied himself thereunto.  43
  Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian’s weapon, which no man knows or finds but only he who has the spirit of grace and of prayer.  44
  “Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him.” In Hebrew, “Be silent to God, and let him mould thee.” Keep still, and He will mould thee to the right shape.  45
  Riches are the pettiest and least worthy gifts which God can give a man. What are they to God’s word? Yea, to bodily gifts, such as beauty and health, or to the gifts of the mind, such as understanding, skill, wisdom? Yet men toil for them day and night, and take no rest. Therefore our Lord God commonly gives riches to foolish people to whom He gives nothing else.  46
  Riches, understanding, beauty, are fair gifts of God.  47
  Sin is essentially a departure from God.  48
  Singing has nothing to do with the affairs of this world: it is not for the law. Singers are merry, and free from sorrows and cares.  49
  Some plague the people with too long sermons: for the faculty of listening is a tender thing, and soon becomes weary and satiated.  50
  Tell your master that if there were as many devils at Worms as tiles on its roofs, I would enter.  51
  The believing man hath the Holy Ghost; and where the Holy Ghost dwelleth, He will not suffer a man to be idle, but stirreth him up to all exercises of piety and godliness, and of true religion, to the love of God, to the patient suffering of afflictions, to prayer, to thanksgiving, and the exercise of charity towards all men.  52
  The church converteth the whole world by blood and prayer.  53
  The defects of a preacher are soon spied. Let a preacher be endued with ten virtues, and have but one fault, that one fault will eclipse and darken all his virtues and gifts, so evil is the world in these times.  54
  The Devil has a great advantage against us inasmuch as he has a strong bastion and bulwark against us in our own flesh and blood.  55
  The fewer words, the better prayer.  56
  The god of this world is riches, pleasure and pride, wherewith it abuses all the creatures and gifts of God.  57
  The hair is the finest ornament women have. Of old, virgins used to wear it loose, except when they were in mourning.  58
  The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious.  59
  The human heart is like a millstone in a mill: when you put wheat under it, it turns and grinds and bruises the wheat to flour; if you put no wheat, it still grinds on, but then ’tis itself it grinds and wears away.  60
  The law discovers the disease. The gospel gives the remedy.  61
  The prosperity of a country depends, not on the abundance of its revenues, nor on the strength of its fortifications, nor on the beauty of its public buildings; but it consists in the number of its cultivated citizens, in its men of education, enlightenment and character.  62
  The slender capacity of man’s heart cannot comprehend, much less utter, that unsearchable depth and burning zeal of God’s love towards us.  63
  The sweetness of the gospel lies mostly in pronouns, as me, my, thy. “Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” “Christ Jesus my Lord.” “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.”  64
  There is no gown or garment that worse becomes a woman than when she will be wise.  65
  Those who love music are gentle and honest in their tempers. I always loved music, and would not, for a great matter, be without the little skill which I possess in the art.  66
  War is one of the greatest plagues than can afflict humanity: it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge, in fact, is preferable to it. Famine and pestilence become as nothing in comparison with it.  67
  We believe that the very beginning and end of salvation and the sum of Christianity, consists of faith in Christ, who by His blood alone, and not by any works of ours, has put away sin, and destroyed the power of death.  68
  Wealth is the smallest thing on earth, the least gift that God has bestowed on mankind.  69
  What is our death but a night’s sleep? For as through sleep all weariness and faintness pass away and cease, and the powers of the spirit come back again, so that in the morning we arise fresh and strong and joyous; so at the Last Day we shall rise again as if we had only slept a night, and shall be fresh and strong.  70
  When Eve was brought unto Adam, he became filled with the Holy Spirit, and gave her the most sanctified, the most glorious of appellations. He called her Eva—that is to say, the Mother of All. He did not style her wife, but simply mother—mother of all living creatures. In this consists the glory and the most precious ornament of woman.  71
 
 
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