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A Treatise on Good Works - Martin Luther

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A treatise on Good Works
together with the
Letter of Dedication
by Dr. Martin Luther, 1520


1. The Occasion of the Work. -- Luther did not impose himself as
reformer upon the Church. In the course of a conscientious
performance of the duties of his office, to which he had been
regularly and divinely called, and without any urging on his
part, he attained to this position by inward necessity. In 1515
he received his appointment as the standing substitute for the
sickly city pastor, Simon Heinse, from the city council of
Wittenberg. Before this time he was obliged to preach only
occasionally in the convent, apart from his activity as teacher
in the University and convent. Through this appointment he was
in duty bound, by divine and human right, to lead and direct the
congregation at Wittenberg on the true way to life, and it would
have been a denial of the knowledge of salvation which God had
led him to acquire, by way of ardent inner struggles, if he had
led the congregation on any other way than the one God had
revealed to him in His Word. He could not deny before the
congregation which had been intrusted to his care, what up to
this time he had taught with ever increasing clearness in his
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