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Friday, March 28, 2014

LDJ–1859/1880-Part 10 (pages 27-29)—Monster of uncertainty; Foundation outside ourselves

This continues from the previous Part 9 presenting a new translation of C.F.W. Walther's seminal essay in 1859 (see Part 1 for Table of Contents).  In this Part 10, Walther finishes his section § 4 and begins section § 5 on the great error of the papal church. —  This LDJ essay was first delivered in 1859 and was printed not only in the Proceedings of the Western District of 1859, but also in a series of articles in the Der Lutheraner magazine, beginning in August of that year (Vol. 16), which had the following heading for each issue:
Der Lutheraner, September 1859
edited by C.F.W. Walther
Rev. 14:6-7




God's Word and 
Luther's Doctrine Pure 
Shall To Eternity Endure



Note: the 1880 reprint book is now officially on Google Books --> here.
Underlining follows Walther's emphasis in original.
Hypertext links have been copiously added for reference to original sources and on several subjects.
Highlighting is mine.
= = = = = = = = = = = =  Part 10: Pages 27-29 (1880)  = = = = = = = = = = = =
(cont'd from Part 9)
The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.
[by C.F.W. Walther]

These prophetic words of Luther had gone deep into the heart of [Martin] Chemnitz. He thus writes:  “We must devote far more effort to retaining the genuine meaning and apostolic purity of the doctrine of justification, to handing it on to our posterity, and to preventing its being torn away from us or being adul­terated by sophistic trickery or fraud. With the aid of God we can prevail more easily because we "have inherited the labors of others," John 4:38, For it was a labor far greater than those of Hercules to rescue the true light from the unspeakably dense darkness and the putrid filth and cesspools of the Antichrist and to restore the apostolic purity to the fountains of Israel.  Nor could it have been done if the Holy Spirit had not led the way in kindling the light of the Word. Therefore it would be shameful and ungodly cowardice on our part if these teachings, which as a result of such great labor and the marvelous blessing of God have in this article been handed down and shown to us from the foundations of the prophets and apostles, were to be lost to us because of negligence in learning and cold formality in teaching, or that we would allow even a grain of it to be taken from us in controversy.  Nor must we think that with this great light we need not fear the shadows. For we have this treasure not in iron or brass vessels but in earthen ones, 2 Cor. 4:7, and the road on which we walk has many stumbling blocks where we may easily fall in our weakness. I am often horrified that Luther with some kind of foreboding often repeated this statement in his commentaries on Galatians and Genesis:  [Essays1-38]After my death this doctrine will again be brought into obscurity.’" (Loc. theol. II, 201.; 1615 edition, pg 216;  Loci Theologici, 1989 edition, J.A.O. Preus translation - Locus [XIII] Justification, Introductory Remarks,  [see page 443 w/ highlighted section]) [Endnote D] [1880-28]
§ 5
The papal church not only falsifies the article of justification, but also condemns and curses the same.
So it is called, e.g., in the chief symbol of the papists, in the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, in the sixth session:  “Justification .. . is not only a remission of sins but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man through the voluntary [W1859-26] reception of the grace and the gifts. .. . The single formal cause is the justice of God, not that by which He Himself is just, but that by which He makes us just, that, namely, with which we being endowed by Him, are ‘renewed in the spirit of the mind,’ and not only are we reputed but we are truly called and are just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure, which the Holy Ghost distributes to everyone as He wills, and according to each one’s disposition and cooperation. For though no one can be just except he to whom the merits of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ are communicated, yet this takes place in that justification of the sinner, when by the merit of the most holy passion, ‘the charity of God is poured forth’ by the Holy Ghost in the hearts of those who are justified and inheres in them; whence man through Jesus Christ, in whom He is ingrafted, receives in that justification, together with the remission of sins, all these infused at the same time, namely, faith, hope and charity. For faith, unless hope and charity be added to it, neither unites man perfectly with Christ nor makes him a living member of His body....  For as no pious [1880-29] person ought to doubt the mercy of God, the merit of Christ and the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments, so each one, when he considers himself and his own weakness and indisposition, may have fear and apprehension concerning his own grace, since no one can know with the certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to error, that he has obtained the grace of God.” (Translation from Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, by H. J. Schroeder, B. Herder Book Co., 1941, pp. 33-35 with Walther’s emphases) (*) [W1859-27]  
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*) Luther writes concerning this teaching of the papacy:  “Even if everything else in the papacy were proper and good, as it however is not, yet the fact that they teach the people to doubt (Latin: “monster of uncertainty”) God’s grace and will would be such a tremendously injurious error that it is unspeakable. ... Therefore we should thank God to all eternity that we have been freed from that heresy of doubt [in Latin “monster of uncertainty”] and that we can indeed know and confess that, as St. Paul says, ‘The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered’ [Rom. 8:26]. And this is our firm foundation. The Gospel calls us not to look to our good works or perfection, but to look to God, who makes the promise; again, to Christ, who completed and brought to light what had been promised long ago. Against this the pope tells us not to look to God who makes the promise, nor to Christ, who is our Mediator and High Priest, but to our works and merits; there cannot otherwise follow than one is made uncertain whether God is truly gracious, and finally to despair.  For [then] the matter is based on our own good works, merits, and righteousness, etc. But if it is based on God’s promise and Christ, the true and immovable Rock, then is one certain of the matter and confident and joyful in the Holy Spirit, for it rests on God, who is true and can neither lie nor deceive. Because so He says, ‘Behold, I give my own Son into death, that by His blood he might have redeemed thee from sins and death.’; there I cannot in this matter be uncertain, unless I were totally to deny God. This is the basis by which we know for sure and can prove that our theology or teaching is correct and certain, namely, that it does not let us rest on our own actions for a foundation nor to build on it but rather leads us away from our own [works] and sets us on another fortress foundation (Grundveste), which is outside ourselves, so that we do not rely on our own powers, conscience, feelings, person, or work, but on what is outside of us, that is, on God’s promise and truth, on Christ, who sits at the right hand of God and is our Righteousness, which the devil cannot knock down or take from us.  The pope and his mob know and understand nothing of this. That is why he denies and blasphemes so horribly with his mob, gives us the notion that no one can know, not even those who are pious and wise, whether he be in a state of grace or of disgrace with God.” (On Gal. 4:6, Walch W1 VIII, 2419-2420, paragrs 101-103; StL Ed. 9, , paragrs. 101-103 ; Weimar Ed. 40I, 588-589 – “Monster of uncertainty” phrase here- monstro incertitudinis;  [cf. Am. Ed. 26, 386-387]) [Endnote E] [1880-30]
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[W1859-27][1880-30] [Continuing Walther’s quotation from the Canons and Decrees:]
“But no one, however much justified, should consider himself exempt from the observance of the commandments;
= = = = = cont'd in next Part 11 = = = = = = = 
Above we hear the Second Martin, that is Martin Chemnitz, speak with a true Lutheran heart as he expressed his horror at Luther's prediction of the downfall of the (Lutheran) Doctrine of Justification.  Our modern world is presenting that same spiritually horrible situation.  Ah, but today's world (and the devil) are hard at work telling us that things aren't so bad...  it's OK to relax a bit on the truth of the Gospel... for the sake of "peace and unity"... for the sake of "love and charity"... isn't it?

In the next Part 11...

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