Thus neither marriage nor other good things should be condemned because of certain faults, but we should look at their final cause: In marriage this is the procreation of children, in government it is the preservation of peace. In a government the formal cause—that is, the laws—may be wicked. The efficient cause—that is, a tyrant, for this is what I call him—may also be wicked. Still it should be evaluated on the basis of the more powerful cause, namely, the final cause, and the others should be ignored. So it is in marriage. If the efficient cause—the married people themselves—is evil, and if the material is wicked, these wicked causes should be tolerated in order to save procreation, this most beautiful and admirable work of God. But we have said this in passing; now I return to the assignment.
This excellent exposition of the Fifty-first Psalm by the
Reverend Father Dr. Martin Luther has been published for the
glory of Christ and the good of the church
Luther’s works, vol. 12: