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THE MOST CELEBRATED
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL,
AND PRINCIPAL LEADER IN THE
(NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED IN THE UNITED STATES.)
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED,
A BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
OF HIS LIFE.
S. & D. A. FORBES, PRINTERS,
No. 29 Gold-Street.
IN offering this selection of Sermons to the public, the publishers have not been governed by Sectarian principles, but have selected Sermons upon various subjects, that the reader may understand the general doctrine held forth by this eminent divine. When we consider the mental darkness which enveloped the world in the days of Luther, under Popish superstition and idolatary, and that he was the first who attempted to emancipate the human intellect from more than "Egyptian darkness," the reader will undoubtedly censure lightly any defects that may appear in his discourses; considering his great object to have been, the removal of that servile yoke of Papistry under which nations were groaning, and of bringing mankind into the liberty of the gospel.
Luther's Sermons, after having been translated, were published in the year 1581, and re-published in 1649. In consequence of the imperfection of the English language, when these Sermons were formerly published, it was found necessary to revise them, and correct the language; but in so doing, particular care has been taken to preserve precisely the original meaning.
Southern District of New-York, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the seventh day of January, A. D. 1831, in the fifty-fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, S & D. A. Forbes, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
"A selection of the most celebrated Sermons of Martin Luther, minister of the gospel, and principal leader in the Protestant Reformation. (Never before published in the United States.) To which is prefixed, a biographical history of his life."
In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled," an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned." And also to an act, entitled, "an act, supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
FRED. J. BETTS,
Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.
MARTIN LUTHER, D. D.
DESCRIPTION OF THE
EXTRACTED FROM THE WRITINGS OF J. G. BURCKHARDT, D. D.
BEFORE we give an account of Luther's life and character, some general observations will be made on the state of the christian church before his time. What Isaias said of the state of the world before the advent of the Messiah, that darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people, may be equally applied to the darkness of ignorance, idolatry and superstition, eclipsing the light of the gospel, many hundred years after our Lord's ascension. (The state of the church, in the centuries preceding the reformation, was indeed deplorable.)
Since the time of Constantine, who declared in favour of christianity, introducing the distinctions of the state and civil government into the discipline of the church, there had been a perpetual contention for supremacy or superiority between the bishops of Constantinople and Rome; till in the ninth century, the Eastern or Greek church was entirely separated from that of the West; and the pope of Rome, in the eleventh century, established his authority so prejudicial both to church and state.