Luther’s final words

Luther_graveDr. Martin Luther died on the the 18th February 1546. Here’s what he wrote in Eisleben: “Virgil’s shepherd poems cannot be understood, except by one who has been a shepherd for five years. Virgil’s poetry about agriculture cannot be understood, except by one who has been a farmhand for five years. Cicero’s letters cannot be understood, except by one who has participated and lived within a large community for 25 years. The Holy Scriptures do not have a satisfactory taste for me or anyone else, unless he has spent 100 years ruling a community as the prophets Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the Apostles. Don’t tempt the divine Odysee, rather worship her signs. We are beggars, that is true! (Die Hirtengedichte Vergils kann niemand verstehen, er sei denn fünf Jahre Hirte gewesen. Die Vergilschen Dichtungen über die Landwirtschaft kann niemand verstehen, er sei denn fünf Jahre Ackermann gewesen. Die Briefe Ciceros kann niemand verstehen, er habe denn 25 Jahre in einem großen Gemeinwesen sich bewegt. Die Heilige Schrift meine niemand genügsam geschmeckt zu haben, er habe denn hundert Jahre lang mit Propheten wie Elias und Elisa, Johannes dem Täufer, Christus und den Aposteln die Gemeinden regiert. Versuche nicht diese göttliche Aeneis, sondern neige dich tief anbetend vor ihren Spuren! Wir sind Bettler, das ist wahr; WA 48, S. 421)

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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