Luther Quote of the Day

1. Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. I have not yet seen this psalm expounded by anyone in a prophetic sense, nor is there anyone who has kept the sequence and order of exposition in it without doing violence to and twisting the verses and words. I think this comes about because they did not seek first the prophetic, that is, the literal sense, which is the foundation of the rest, the master and light, the author and fountain and origin; but perhaps more so because the sense is hidden and speaks very much in the inward spirit, whence its cause and motivation, why the psalmist has spoken and arranged it in such a way and not otherwise, cannot be seen by those who do not have the same motives. For no one understands another in spiritual writings unless he savors and possesses the same spirit. But we, having now called upon the arm of the Lord, will examine the prophecy. This will be easier than to hunt for the moral dispositions one by one. They are in any case “the ways of a man in youth,” of which we are utterly ignorant (Prov. 30:18–19). Youth, I say, which is the soul itself, devoted in spirit, or spiritual through Scripture. In both it is the incomprehensible way of Christ, that is, holy inclinations, how many, when, in what manner, and to what extent they might be on the way. Therefore I believe that the Holy Spirit has reserved the full moral understanding of this psalm to Himself.

Therefore the prophet looks with spiritual eyes at the law of Moses and sees hidden and enclosed in it the law of faith, the Gospel of grace, and the invisible things promised, like the kernel under the shell or the treasure under the ground, as the Lord says: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field” (Matt. 13:44), that is, in the toilsome letter, which is the “bread of anxious toil” (Ps. 127:2). He asks that this secret be removed and this hidden thing be brought forth into the light, speaking throughout the psalm in a relative way and speaking and distinguishing by way of comparison between the old and the new law.

Ps 119

Luther’s works, vol. 11: First Lectures 2
Psalms 76-126
p 414-415


Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

If thou shrinkest from giving up life because thy experience of it has been sweet, at any rate there is no need to be in any alarm about death if thou hast no knowledge that it is evil. Thy dread of it is the proof that thou art aware of its evil. Thou wouldst never think it evil—thou wouldst have no fear of it at all—if thou wert not sure that after it there is something to make it evil, and so a thing of terror.

The Soul’s Testimony
ch. iv

Luther Quote of the Day

2. Judea was made His sanctuary, Israel His dominion. The word “sanctification” [in the Latin text] is here taken in the sense of sanctuary, or temple, and the meaning is that Judea is Christ’s sanctuary, or church, over which He Himself has been made priest and bishop. This is His episcopate, priesthood, diocese, church, and sanctuary. And His “dominion,” that is, His kingdom, principality, power is Israel. He is both priest and king. And we are His kingdom and priesthood, as Ex. 19:5–6 says: “You shall be My peculiar possession, a kingdom of priests”; and 1 Peter 2:9: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood.” Hence also the pontiffs are called kings, Ps. 68:12 “The kings of powers, of the beloved, of the beloved”; Ps. 2:2: “The kings of the earth set themselves.” Consequently, because Judea is the sanctuary, He Himself is called King of the Jews and Melchizedek, that is, king of righteousness (Ps. 110:4). He describes what kind of kingdom this is, namely, a priestly, that is, spiritual, one, which priests should rule. Therefore it is a holy and not a secular kingdom, as he says below in Ps. 115:16: “The heaven of heaven is the Lord’s, but the earth He has given to the children of men.” Again, he says “sanctuary” before “dominion,” because true dominion is acquired through holiness, as Ps. 93:1 says: “The Lord reigns, he is clothed with beauty,” and, thus clothed with beauty, “He is clothed with strength, etc.”

Ps 114

Luther’s works, vol. 11: First Lectures 2
Psalms 76-126
p 393-394

Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

If you look around the Protestant bodies, you will find such glorious titles as “Disciples of Christ,” “Church of God,” “Christians,” worn as the distinctive cognomen of recent, relatively small, heretical or fanatical bodies, who have largely denounced all sectarianism, for the purpose of building up new sects of the extremist sectarianism, and who reject the testimony of ages and the confessions of Christendom, for the purpose of putting in their place the private opinion of some pretentious heresiarch of the hour. The latest assaults upon the old-fashioned denominationalism are made, every now and then, by some new church, the statistics and leading features of which are somewhat as follows: ministers one; members, intermittent from the sexton up to a moderate crowd, according as the subject of the sermon advertised on Saturday takes or does not take the fancy of those who spend the Lord’s day in hunting lions; churches, one (over, if not in, a beer saloon;) creed, every man believes what he chooses; terms of membership, every one who feels like it shall belong till he chooses to leave. This uncompromising body, which looks forward to this speedy overthrow of all Christendom because all Christendom rests on human creeds, is styled “Church of Everlasting Gospel,” “Pure Bible Christian Church,” or something of the kind.

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p 115-116

Luther Quote of the Day

He is a merciful and gracious Lord. These two are often found joined together in the psalms, as is Ps. 86:15; 103:8, and in this one and the next one, Ps. 112:4. Lyra offers this explanation: “Merciful” (misericors) deals with the inner attitude, “gracious” (miserator) with the outward result. But I do not like this, since also “merciful” is not spoken of except because of its result.

First, they can be distinguished thus: “Merciful” because of justifying grace, “gracious” because of guilt forgiven. Although our smart disputers define these two as being identical, Scripture nevertheless distinguishes them, as in Rom. 4:25: “He died for our sins and rose again for our justification.” Second and better: “Merciful” because of the grace by which He removes every misery of the soul because of sins, and “gracious” because of the punishment of sin, namely, the most unfortunate evil of the conscience, against the twofold evil, namely, of guilt and of punishment.

Third and best: “Merciful” because of the salvation of the whole soul and the blessings of His mercy upon the soul, but “gracious” in that He turns even the external ills of the body into good for the soul, as has been said. First they harmed the soul and increased sin in the soul, but now they not only do not harm the soul to which He has become merciful through grace but are very much to its advantage. Therefore these are the wonderful works of Him who has pity, who only fills us with good things, so that not only the good things are good and well for us, but even whatever evils there are [so that thus nothing is in vain for the saints, but all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28). Thus Jesus Christ is grace and peace]. Fourth: because it is said in Rev. 3:17: “You do not know that you are wretched and miserable,” it seems that he is wretched because he does not have mercy himself, and miserable because he cannot have mercy on others either, but is only miserable. But the Lord is neither wretched nor miserable, indeed, pitying the wretched and making the miserable one able to have mercy on others, so that He is not only rich toward His own, but also abounding, causing them also to make others rich.

Psalm 111

Luther’s works, vol. 11: First Lectures 2
Psalms 76-126
p 378-379