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From Luther’s Commentary upon Galatians (edition of 1644) a - Arthur Sutherland Pigott Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents 
Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents, selected and edited with an Introduction A.S.P. Woodhouse, foreword by A.D. Lindsay (University of Chicago Press, 1951).
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From Luther’s Commentary upon Galatians (edition of 1644)a
 For there be divers sorts of righteousness. There is a political or civil righteousness, which emperors, princes of the world, philosophers, and lawyers deal withal. There is also a ceremonial righteousness, which the traditions of men do teach. * * * Besides these, there is another righteousness, which is called the righteousness of the Law, or of the Ten Commandments, which Moses teacheth. This do we also teach after the doctrine of faith. There is yet another righteousness, which is above all these: to wit, the righteousness of faith or Christian righteousness, the which we must diligently discern from the other afore rehearsed. * * * But this most excellent righteousness, of faith I mean, which God through Christ, without works, imputeth unto us, is neither political nor ceremonial, nor the righteousness of God’s Law, nor consisteth in works, but is clean contrary; that is to say, a mere passive righteousness, as the other above is active. For in this we work nothing, we render nothing unto God, but only we receive and suffer another to work in us—that is to say, God. Therefore it seemeth good unto me to call this righteousness of faith or Christian righteousness, the passive righteousness. * * *
The world understandeth not this doctrine, and therefore it neither will nor can abide it, but condemneth it as heretical and wicked. It braggeth of free will, of the light of reason, of the soundness of the powers and qualities of nature, and of good works as means whereby it could deserve and attain grace and peace, that is to say, forgiveness of sins and a quiet conscience. But it is impossible that the conscience should be quiet and joyful unless it have peace through grace, that is to say, through the forgiveness of sins promised in Christ. * * *
But because they mingle the Law with the Gospel they must needs be perverters of the Gospel. For either Christ must remain and the Law perish, or the Law must remain and Christ perish. For Christ and the Law can by no means agree and reign together in the conscience. Where the righteousness of the Law ruleth, there cannot the righteousness of Grace rule. And again, where the righteousness of Grace reigneth, there cannot the righteousness of the Law reign; for one of them must needs give place unto the other. * * *
 Neither do we seek the favour of men by our doctrine. For we teach that all men are wicked by nature, and the children of wrath. We condemn man’s free will, his strength, wisdom and righteousness, and all religions of man’s own devising. And to be short, we say that there is nothing in us that is able to deserve grace and the forgiveness of sins: but we preach, that we obtain this grace by the free mercy of God only for Christ’s sake. * * * This is not to preach for the favour of men out of the world. For the world can abide nothing less than to hear his wisdom, righteousness, religion, and power condemned. * * *
 For we must diligently mark this distinction, that in matters of divinity we must speak far otherwise than in matters of policy. In matters of policy (as I have said) God will have us to honour and reverence these outward veils or persons as his instruments, by whom he governeth and preserveth the world. But when the question is as touching religion, conscience, the fear of God, faith, and the service of God, we must not fear these outward persons, we must put no trust in them, look for no comfort from them, or hope for deliverance by them either corporally or spiritually. * * *
For in the cause of religion and the word of God, there must be no respect of persons. But in matters of policy we must have regard to the person; for otherwise there must needs follow a contempt of all reverence and order. In this world God will have an order, a reverence and a difference of persons. For else the child, the servant, the subject would say: I am a Christian as well as my father, my schoolmaster, my master, my prince; why then should I reverence him? Before God then there is no respect of persons, neither of Grecian nor of Jew, but all are one in Christ, although not so before the world. * * *
But be it far from us that we should here humble ourselves, since they would take from us our glory, even God himself that hath created us and given us all things, and Jesus Christ who hath redeemed us with his blood. Let this be then the conclusion of all together, that we will suffer our goods to be taken away, our name, our life, and all that we have; but the Gospel, our Faith, Jesus Christ, we will never suffer to be wrested from us. And cursed be that humility which here abaseth and submitteth itself. Nay rather let every Christian man here be proud and spare not, except he will deny Christ. * * *
 Whoso then can rightly judge between the Law and the Gospel, let him thank God, and know that he is a right divine. * * * Now the way to discern the one from the other, is to place the Gospel in heaven and the Law on the earth: to call the righteousness of the Gospel heavenly, and the righteousness of the Law earthly, and to put as great difference between the righteousness of the Gospel and of the Law, as God hath made between heaven and earth, between light and darkness, between day and night. * * * Wherefore if the question be concerning the matter of faith or conscience, let us utterly exclude the Law and leave it on the earth. * * * Contrariwise, in civil policy obedience to the Law must be severely required. There, nothing must be known as concerning the Gospel, conscience, grace, remission of sins, heavenly righteousness, or Christ himself; but Moses only with the Law and the works thereof. If we mark well this distinction, neither the one nor the other shall pass his bounds, but the Law shall abide without heaven, that is, without the heart and conscience, and contrariwise the liberty of the Gospel shall abide without the earth, that is to say, without the body and members thereof. * * *
[5. Gal. 2. 21: For if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ died in vain.]
Paul, here disputing of righteousness, hath no civil matter in hand, that is, he speaketh not of civil righteousness (which God, notwithstanding, alloweth and requireth, and giveth rewards thereunto accordingly; which also reason is able in some part to perform); but he entreateth here of the righteousness that availeth before God, whereby we are delivered from the Law, sin, death and all evils, and are made partakers of grace, righteousness, and everlasting life, and finally are now become lords of heaven and earth, and of all other creatures. This righteousness neither man’s law neither the Law of God is able to perform. * * *
 The first use then of the Law is to bridle the wicked: For the devil reigneth throughout the whole world, and enforceth men to all kinds of horrible wickedness. Therefore God hath ordained magistrates, parents, ministers, laws, bonds, and all civil ordinances, that if they can do no more, yet at least they may bind the devil’s hands, that he rage not in his bondslaves after his own lust. * * * This civil restraint is very necessary and appointed of God, as well for public peace as also for the preservation of all things, but especially lest the course of the Gospel should be hindered by the tumults and seditions of wicked, outrageous, and proud men. But Paul entreateth not here of this civil use and office of the Law. It is indeed very necessary, but it justifieth not. * * *
Another use of the Law is divine and spiritual, which is (as Paul saith) to increase transgressions; that is to say, to reveal unto a man his sin, his blindness, his misery, his impiety, ignorance, hatred, and contempt of God, death, hell, the judgment and deserved wrath of God. Of this use the Apostle entreateth notably in the seventh to the Romans. * * *
 The school doctors, speaking of the abolishment of the Law, say that the Judicial and the Ceremonial Laws are pernicious and deadly since the coming of Christ, and therefore they are abolished; but not the Moral Law. These blind doctors knew not what they said. But if thou wilt speak of the abolishment of the Law, talk of it as it is in his own proper use and office, and as it is spiritually taken; and comprehend withal the whole Law, making no distinction at all between the Judicial, Ceremonial, and Moral Law. For when Paul saith that we are delivered from the curse of the Law by Christ, he speaketh of the whole Law, and principally of the Moral Law, which only accuseth, curseth and condemneth the conscience, which the other two do not. Wherefore we say that the Moral Law or the Law of the Ten Commandments hath no power to accuse and terrify the conscience in which Jesus Christ reigneth by his grace, for he hath abolished the power thereof. * * *
There is also another abolishment of the Law which is outward: to wit, that the politic laws of Moses do nothing belong unto us. Wherefore we ought not to call them back again, nor superstitiously bind ourselves unto them, as some went about to do in times past, being ignorant of this liberty. Now although the Gospel make us not subject to the judicial laws of Moses, yet notwithstanding it doth not exempt us from the obedience of all politic laws, but maketh us subject in this corporal life to the laws of that government wherein we live, that is to say, it commandeth every one to obey his magistrate and laws, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake (1 Pet. 2; Rom. 13). * * *
[8. Gal. 4. 31: Then, brethren, we are not children of the servant, but of the woman.]
Whereupon he taketh occasion to reason of Christian liberty; the knowledge whereof is very necessary, for the Pope hath in a manner quite overthrown it, and made the Church subject to man’s traditions and ceremonies, and to a most miserable and filthy bondage. That liberty which is purchased by Christ, is unto us at this day a most strong fort and munition whereby we may defend ourselves against the tyranny of the Pope. Wherefore we must diligently consider this doctrine of Christian liberty, as well to confirm the doctrine of justification, as also to raise up and comfort weak consciences against so many troubles and offences, which our adversaries do impute unto the Gospel. Now Christian liberty is a very spiritual thing which the carnal man doth not understand. * * * It seemeth to reason that it is a matter of small importance. * * *
[Gal. 5. 2: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.]
In what liberty? Not in that wherewith the Emperor hath made us free, but in that wherewith Christ hath made us free. * * * This is also a liberty, but it is a civil liberty. . . . Moreover, there is a fleshly, or rather a devilish liberty, whereby the devil chiefly reigneth throughout the whole world. For they that enjoy this liberty obey neither God nor laws, but do what they list. This liberty the people seek and embrace at this day; and so do the sectaries, which will be at liberty in their opinions and in all their doings, to the end they may teach and do whatsoever they dream to be good and sound, without reprehension. These stand in that liberty wherein the devil hath made them free. But we speak not here of this liberty, albeit the whole world seeketh no other liberty. Neither do we speak of the civil liberty, but of a far other manner of liberty which the devil hateth and resisteth with all his power.
This is that liberty whereby Christ hath made us free: not from an earthly bondage . . . but from God’s everlasting wrath. And where is this done? In the conscience. There resteth our liberty, and goeth no farther. For Christ hath made us free, not civilly, nor carnally, but divinely; that is to say, we are made free in such sort that our conscience is now free and quiet, not fearing the wrath of God to come. This is that true and inestimable liberty, to the excellency and majesty whereof if we compare the other, they are but as one drop of water in respect of the whole sea. * * *
To the end . . . that Christians should not abuse this liberty (as I have said) the Apostle layeth a yoke and a bondage upon their flesh by the law of mutual love. Wherefore let the godly remember that in conscience before God they be free from the curse of the Law, from sin and from death, for Christ’s sake; but as touching the body they are servants and must serve one another through charity, according to this commandment of Paul: Let every man therefore endeavour to do his duty diligently in his calling, and to help his neighbour to the uttermost of his power. This is it which Paul here requireth of us: Serve ye one another through love. Which words do not set the Christians at liberty, but shut them under bondage as touching the flesh.
[221. (a)]A Commentarie of Master Doctor Martin Luther upon the Epistle of S. Paul to the Galathians. * * * London, Printed by George Miller . . . 1644 (4th edition of a translation first issued in 1575). Marginal gloss omitted; numbers in square brackets supplied.