Luther on The sacraments

872G Martin Luther 1483-1546

Vermanung zum Sacrament des Leibs vnd Bluts vnsers Herrn


Wittemberg : [ Joseph Klug],1530 (Colophon: Gedruckt zu wittemberg durch Joseph Klug. M.D. XXX)                                                Sold

Quarto A-H4 third printing same year as First printing. This copy is bound in modern vellum binding. The title from this copy suffers from weak (worn?) printing? {last year Emma Huber and Henrike La hnemannat at Oxford, MT 2015/16 did a “Show and Tell Session in the Taylorian Institute” compairing two versions of this book with the “Extra Task: Try to sort prints with the same title woodcut by their wear & tear marks” So I’m willing to make a guess that the type for this was wearing out fast.

At the end of the year 1519, Luther still maintained the doctrine of transubstantiation intact. In his Ein Sermon von dem hocwurdigen Sakrament des heiligen wahren Leichnams Christi und von den Bruderschaften, he teaches that there is a change of the substance of the bread and wine but emphasizes that it is symbolical of our union with the spiritual body of Christ. Luther on the body and Blood of our lord, ,held that “It is not the doctrine of transubstantiation which is to be believed, but simply that Christ really is present at the Eucharist. this of course was first formally addressed in the Babylonian Captivity pamphlet of 1520, In his “On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church” (published on 6 October 1520) Luther wrote:Therefore it is an absurd and unheard-of juggling with words, to understand “bread” to mean “the form, or accidents of bread,” and “wine” to mean “the form, or accidents of wine.” Why do they not also understand all other things to mean their forms, or accidents? Even if this might be done with all other things, it would yet not be right thus to emasculate the words of God and arbitrarily to empty them of their meaning.Moreover, the Church had the true faith for more than twelve hundred years, during which time the holy Fathers never once mentioned this transubstantiation — certainly, a monstrous word for a monstrous idea — until the pseudo-philosophy of Aristotle became rampant in the Church these last three hundred years. During these centuries many other things have been wrongly defined, for example, that the Divine essence neither is begotten nor begets, that the soul is the substantial form of the human body, and the like assertions, which are made without reason or sense, as the Cardinal of Cambray himself admitsIn his 1523 treatise The Adoration of the Sacrament, he defended adoration of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.Here1530 in we get a more final point of view : explicitly reject transubstantiation believing that the bread and wine remain fully bread and fully wine while also being truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Luther instead emphasize the sacramental union and believes that within the Eucharistic celebration the body and blood of Jesus Christ are objectively present “in, with, and under the forms” of bread and wine There is great stress on Jesus’ instructions to “take and eat”, and “take and drink”, holding that this is the proper, divinely ordained use of the sacrament, and, while giving it due reverence, scrupulously avoid any actions that might indicate or lead to superstition or unworthy fear of the sacrament.

see: Burckhardt Neunheuser, “Transsubstantiation.” Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, vol. 10, cols. 311-14.

Benzing, Lutherbibliographie; 2829: Kuczynski, A. Thesaurus,; 3358


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Healing of nobleman’s son at Capernaum

869G Martin Luther 1483-1546

Eyn Sermon vber Das Euangelium Johan. 4. Es war ein konigischer des son lag kranck zu Capernaum etc.


(Hans Lufft)., Wyttem. (Wittenberg)., 1523 [Printer from Benzing]           Sold

Quarto A-B4 (B4 blank) First Edition Bound in modern wrappers.

First edition of a sermon preached November 9, 1522, on John 4:46ff. (Healing of nobleman’s son at Capernaum). Here we have an example, in which you see how imperfect faith increases, even when we do not cease to pray. When we are delivered from temptation, our faith is increased, to the end that we may more strongly withstand future temptations and persecutions. A beautiful example of faith is presented in this Gospel, exhibiting, as it does, the nature and character of faith, namely, that it is to increase and become perfect; and it portrays faith in a way as to show that it is not a quiet and idle, but a living, restless thing, that either retrogrades or advances, lives and moves; and where this does not occur, faith does notexist, but only a lifeless notion of the heart concerning God. For true, living faith, which the Holy Spirit pours into the heart, cannot be inactive. This I say for the purpose that no one may be sure, even if he has attained faith, that he now has everything; with this it shall not stop, for it is not sufficient to begin, but one must constantly grow and increase, and continue learning to know God better.

Benzing, Lutherbibliographie; 1497.