Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Luther Quote That Wasn't

"If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point."

Here's an interesting overview of this quote:  The Luther Quote That Wasn't. See also: The Apocryphal Martin Luther.


Carl Vehse said...

A note on a historical error - later corrected:

In the blog, "The Luther Quote That Wasn't (and its Connection to Rundle Mall in Adelaide)," an excerpt is provided from a fictional diary, in a novel, Chronicles of the Schoenberg-Cotta Family written by Elizabeth Rundle Charles. That excerpt from a section called "Fritz's Story" contains the Elizabeth's Charles' statement at the beginning of this thread, which has been misattributed to Martin Luther.

As also noted in the blog, the date of that diary section of "Fritz's Story" is April 2, 1526, as seen on page 274 from Elizabeth Charles' Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta family (New York:T. Nelson and Sons, 1864).

However, in that novel's section, Fritz's story discusses Martin Luther's excommunication and the subsequent burning of his documents and attacks on Luther's followers, including the brief imprisonment of Fritz (Friedrich Cotta). After Fritz's release from prison (p. 280):

"When I reached this castle of Ebernburg, I found the whole of its inhabitants in a ferment about the summoning of Dr. Luther to Wroms."

Martin Luther was excommunicated on January 3, 1521. Charles V commenced the Diet of Worms on January 28, 1521, and Martin Luther was summoned to appear, which he did on April 16-18, 1521.

Furthermore the next diary section (p. 281) in "Fritz's Story" is dated April 30, 1521, in which Fritz describes Luther's appearance at the Diet of Worms.

The 1526 date on page 274 in the 1864 edition of Charles' book appears to be a mistake, which also appeared on page 319 from the Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family (New York:M.W. Dodd, 1865).

However, the date appears to be have been corrected on page 274 from a later edition of the book, Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family (London:T. Nelson and Sons, Paternoster Row, 1871), which gives the date of April 2, 1521.

James Swan said...

I actually found a copy of the book in a junk store a few months ago (I realize it's online). I've yet to crack it open.

I'm not sure of the date of my copy. P. 274 is part of Eva's Story. Page 280 is part of Else's story.

The page you hyper link to (p. 274) is my page 232. The date I have is April 2, 1526.

Carl Vehse said...

From another website, there is Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family (New York: M.W. Dodd, 1865), with the date of April 2, 1526, given on page 344.

The edition of Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family (New York:Dodd, Mean & Co. 1868) has the the date of April 2, 1526, on p. 319.

The edition of Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family (London:T. Nelson and Sons, 1901) has the the date of April 2, 1521 on p. 274.

There are other editions which have other publication dates listed but are not available to view individual pages.