Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Debate on Indulgences

Dr. James White recently debated Roman Catholic Peter D. Williams on Indulgences.  Another one of the lay Roman apologists "who do the heavy lifting" (Matthew Schultz rightly wrote).

"The refrain of lay Catholic apologists is that Protestants must submit to the Magisterium. Yet if the primary lens of theological inquiry is authority, why is so much of the heavy lifting done by Catholic laypersons?"  (Matthew Schultz) 

Addendum: (June 30, 2018)   The debate goes to the nature of the gospel in the way Protestants and Roman Catholics disagree with each other, and they also touched on issues like purgatory, church history, Semi-Pelagianism, Augustine, Gottschalk, the development of doctrine, the wrath of God, Penal Substitutionary Atonement, and Sola Scriptura and the Canon. Rich in content.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Why Stay Protestant? by Matthew Schultz

A very good overview of the issues that touches on other areas in life (social, arts, music, aesthetics, etc.) that apologists and theologians usually don't mention in this whole issue of Roman Catholicism vs. Protestantism.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Calvin's Geneva: A High Percentage of Illegitimate Children, Abandoned Infants, Forced Marriages, and Sentences of Death

A person going by the moniker "Clement Li" contends John Calvin was "a serial killer, mass murderer and a terrorist." Here's an example of one of the facts entered as supporting evidence:
In Geneva,there was little distinction between religion and morality. The existing records of the Council for this period reveal a high percentage of illegitimate children, abandoned infants, forced marriages, and sentences of death. 
This is but one fact among many (part of a cumulative case line of reasoning). The assumption appears to be that Calvin's presence in Geneva was so negative, it resulted in illegitimate children, abandoned infants, forced marriages, and the final coup de grâce, death.

"Clement Li" thinks facts like these demonstrate John Calvin was "a psychopath." Subsequently, "Calvinist followers" should "pick up a book and do a little research on their spiritual leader they would know that they’re following the beliefs of a serial killer, mass murderer and a terrorist." Those "Calvinist followers" may be "decent people," but, says Li,  "I don’t think Calvinists are Christian."

I did not locate any information as to exactly who this person is. Ironically, the phrase "Clement Li" has an entry in the online Urban Dictionary,  "Clement Li: One who exaggerates all things to the highest degree. Exaggeration cannot pass this point, because it is at max." I mention this at the outset because perhaps this person's written corpus is intended to be farcical (if so, the spirit of Andy Kaufman lives on).

Well then, let's pick up the book this fact is said to come from and do a little research as directed. We'll see with this quote, finding the exact genesis of these facts is not an easy task. We'll see also, the "high percentage" aspect was a later addition.

Documentation for the quote is provided: Will Durant, The Reformation, pp. 472-476  (a few links are also provided, but are not relevant to this specific quote). There's a blatant irony to this documentation. "Clement Li" didn't actually put this documentation together, but rather plagiarized it word-for-word from another web-page. In fact, every historical tidbit (in the exact order) that "Clement Li" put forth in the blog entry was plagiarized from another web page. The blatant irony, therefore, is that Calvinists are being directed to pick up a book and do a little research by someone who didn't bother to pick up a book and do a little research.

The quote (or at least part of it) is found in Durant's book on page 476. Durant first cites an eyewitness account in favor of Genevan society:
Cursing and swearing, unchastity, sacrilege, adultery, and impure living, such as prevail in many places where I have lived, are here unknown. There are no pimps and harlots. The people do not know what rouge is, and they are all clad in seemly fashion. Games of chance are not customary. Benevolence is so great that the poor need not beg. The people admonish one another in brotherly fashion, as Christ prescribes. Lawsuits are banished from the city, nor is there any simony, murder, or party spirit, but only peace and charity. On the other hand, there are no organs here, no voice of bells, no showy songs, no burning candles or lamps [in the churches], no relics, pictures, statues, canopies, or splendid robes, no farces or cold ceremonies. The churches are quite free from idolatry.
 Durant counters this positive presentation by saying,
The extant records of the Council for this period do not quite agree with this report: they reveal a high percentage of illegitimate children, abandoned infants, forced marriages, and sentences of death. (47) Calvin's son-in-law and his stepdaughter were among those condemned for adultery.(48)
(47) Beard, The Reformation, 252; Muir, John Knox, 108.
(48) Smith, Reformation, 174-
For the "extant records of the Council for this period," Durant does not directly cite the extant records of the Council for this period. Rather, he first cites Charles Beard, The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century (1885), p. 252. There isn't anything specific to verify the "high percentage of illegitimate children, abandoned infants, forced marriages, and sentences of death" on this page,  other than a footnote which sort of says the same thing:

Beard's footnote is citing a biography of Calvin, Paul Henry, Das Leben Johann Calvins des grossen Reformators, Volume 2, p. 78, not the extant records. The English translation of this page from Henry's text can be found here. When one consults Henry, this author is not relying on the extant records, but is rather summarizing a comment from the preface (xv) of Jacques Augustin Galiffe Notices généalogiques sur les familles Genevoises vol. III (Genealogical Notices of Genevan Families) (this footnote is not found in the English translation of Henry).  That text says,

This comment from Galiffe is also not providing statistics from the extant records. Galiffe is saying he could build a negative case against Calvin and the success of Geneva, mentioning some of the key phrases found in Durant's quote. Galiffe says,
To those who imagine that Calvin did nothing but good, I could produce our registers, covered with records of illegitimate children, which were exposed in all parts of the town and country; hideous trials for obscenity; wills, in which fathers and mothers accuse their children not only of errors but of crimes; agreements before notaries between young women and their lovers, in which the latter, even in the presence of the parents of their paramours, make them an allowance for the education of their illegitimate offspring; I could instance multitudes of forced marriages, in which the delinquents were conducted from the prison to the church; mothers who abandoned their children to the hospital, whilst they themselves lived in abundance with a second husband; bundles of law-suits between brothers; heaps of secret negotiations; men and women burnt for witchcraft; sentences of death in frightful numbers; and all these things among the generation nourished by the mystic manna of Calvin. [link]
The next source referenced is Edwin Muir, John Knox, Portrait of a Calvinist, 108. This appears to be the source Durant used for "sentences of death." The author states, "Yet, between the years 1542 and 1546, fifty-eight people were executed in it and seventy-six banished... In sixty years one hundred and fifty heretics were burnt in Geneva." Durant again is citing a biography, not the extant records. Muir also says the following, without any documentation;
The severity of this rule, which made Geneva the admiration of the faithful and earned for it the name of ‘The City of God,’ had the disadvantage of making new crimes spring up wherever an old one was eradicated. Vice concealed itself and throve underground; in spite of the magistrates’ watchfulness there was an inexplicably large number of illegitimate children whom their horrified mothers were forced by terror to expose in the streets; while through fear or sycophancy many people added to the general tyranny: fathers and mothers accused their children not of minor offences merely, but of crimes, and informers were everywhere. 
I suspect Muir's source for these words was also Galiffe. His work was popular among those that were against Calvinism. For instance, Jean M. Vincent Audin, a Roman Catholic author, quotes from the same pages here. Audin states, "M. Galiffe, who intends to die in the bosom of Protestantism will be believed, at least! Behold how he already, with the whole energy of his soul, rejects all communion with that mean, bastard, intolerant reformation which Calvin sought to impose on his fellow citizens!"

Audin may be wrong about "the bosom of Protestantism." This source claims Galiffe converted to Roman Catholicism. Interestingly, while Paul Henry (sympathetic to Calvin)  utilizes Galiffe, elsewhere in his biography of Calvin he alludes to him as a tainted source against Calvin. Others say likewise. This source includes his work on Calvin with those whose interpretation "is replete with unhistorical orientation."

I know Durant is considered a fine historian. Look though at the trail that had to be followed. Durant cited Beard. Beard cited Henry. Henry cited Galiffe. Most of Durant's comment originated from Galiffe, and Galiffe was not actually providing evidence from the extant records to prove his point. In Durant's second reference (Muir), no actual proof or documentation is put forth.  

One thing also to notice is a comparison of Durant's version with all the suspected original source, Galiffe. Durant says the extant records "reveal a high percentage." He may have taken this from Muir who says, "inexplicably large number." I suspect Muir also used Galiffe's comment. Galiffe though uses neither description. 

Neither source cited by Durant had definitive proof for to solidify Durant's assertions. Neither cites the extant records when making their specific points. Sure, they allude to the Genevan records in their respective books, but not at the specific places Durant cited them. While certainly Calvin had influence in Geneva, how is it possible to prove that the "high percentage of illegitimate children, abandoned infants, forced marriages and sentences of death" were the necessary and direct result of Calvin? Simply because Durant wrote it (he simply did the equivalent of a cut-and-paste from other sources, some hostile sources) doesn't make it true.   

If, according to "Clemet Li" the mere presence of John Calvin resulted in high percentage of illegitimate children, abandoned infants, forced marriages and sentences of death, the burden of proof falls on the person making the assertion, to prove a necessary connection.  Quoting attributes of Genevan society (via Durant) and linking them necessarily to Calvin is not good history. The error is known as the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. The reasoning is "Because Calvin was in Geneva, therefore all these things happened." Well, maybe some of the things were the direct influence of Calvin, maybe they were not.  If it was Calvin's influence in Geneva that produced all of those unfortunate things, then so be it. However, I would need to see a bit more proof. Certainly Calvin had influence in Geneva. Certainly Calvin believed in capital punishment. Certainly Calvin was concerned about the morality of Geneva. Certainly Calvin believed in maintaining Genevan laws. To blame him though for illegitimate children, abandoned infants, forced marriages...  these are charges that require more than, "this historian said this... this historian said that..."

Friday, June 01, 2018

Luther: The Devil Can So Completely Assume the Human Form...'Tis Only the Devil in the Shape of a Woman

Here are a few Martin Luther quotes that appeared on the CARM discussion boards. Luther is said to have believed humans are engaging in sex with devil and producing offspring:
“The Devil can so completely assume the human form, when he wants to deceive us, that we may well lie with what seems to be a woman, of real flesh and blood, and yet all the while ’tis only the Devil in the shape of a woman. ‘Tis the same with women, who may think that a man is in bed with them, yet ’tis only the Devil; and…the result of this connection is oftentimes an imp of darkness, half mortal, half devil….”
“How often have not the demons called ‘Nix’ drawn women and girls into the water, and there had commerce with them, with fearful consequences.” 
Why would someone post these quotes? They appear to have been posted by someone with sympathies to the Mormon church in response to a Lutheran participant. A Lutheran applied 2 Tim. 3:3-4 to Mormonism, saying her members prefer "myths to the truth."  The Mormon then prefaced these Luther quotes by saying,
Before you throw too many more rocks through your glass house in a vain attempt to hit the house next door, a question for you: Are you expecting people to believe that people in YOUR church didn't refer the following myths as the truth? I mean, antis whose own church's founder taught that men and women often have sex with the devil and produce half-human, half-demon children-----isn't that a textbook case of rocks from a glass house, or of criticizing a mote in someone else's eye while the accuser has a phone-pole-sized log in her own eye?????
The argument here is that Lutherans should not criticize Mormon beliefs as myths or tales if in fact the originator of Lutheranism (Martin Luther) believed in myths as well. The argument appears to be that since Luther believed in mythical changelings having sex with humans and producing offspring, there's no basis to criticize anything similarly strange in Mormonism. The argument though doesn't follow: the "myths" being referred to in Mormonism are those found in their books of divine revelation. Luther's "myth" holds no such divine pedigree. Search through the official documents of the Lutheran church, and one will not find doctrinal approval for changelings, Nixes, or half-human-half-demon children. 

What though of these quotes? Did Martin Luther really write the words cited above? Did he really believe that the devil was masquerading as human and producing offspring? Let's take a look at these Luther quotes to determine their authenticity.

No documentation was provided, but the same person posted the quotes here also claiming, "As quoted by John Mark Ministries." I found two web-pages from John Mark Ministries using these quotes. The first page, Quotes From Luther (2003) appears to have been written by the founder of JMM, Rowland Croucher (but I'm not entirely sure). What's interesting is that Croucher(?) listed a number of undocumented Luther quotes taken from someone who had posted them on an open newsgroup. Croucher(?) determined the quotes probably came via this page, from a person that said he "didn't keep track of the exact citations" because he compiled them for his own "amusement." Croucher(?) then goes on to defend Luther, saying at one point, "...we see that these quotes were not collected out of serious or honest interest, but merely for someone’s careless amusement. Thus, the sincerity and reasonableness of both the compilers of the quotes page and the users of these quotes is called into question."  The second JMM page is simply entitled, Martin Luther (2005). This page also contains a number of "shock" undocumented Luther quotes that appear to have been originally posted by someone going by the moniker,"Mark T." The page simply ends with this vague comment, "Despite the previous posts which discredit Martin Luther, all the good that he did for the Christian faith in the first half of the 1500’s. must be remembered." No documentation is provided for the quotes in question from this other web page.

There are a number of books using forms of this quote (example #1, example #2, example #3, example #4, example #5). Based on the form of the quotes and their usage, I suspect they originally came from the English version of  Jules Michelet's nineteenth-century book, The Life of Luther Written By Himself. This book quotes Luther saying,
"The devil can so completely assume the human form, when he wants to deceive us, that we may very well lie with what seems to us a woman, of real flesh and blood, and yet all the while 'tis only the devil in the shape of a woman: Satan, according to St. Paul, has great power over the children of unrighteousness. 'Tis the same with women, who may think it is a man in bed with them, yet 'tis only the devil; and when it is considered that the result of this connexion it oftentimes an imp of darkness, half mortal, half devil, such cases are peculiarly horrible and appalling. How often have not the demons called Nix, drawn women and girls into the water, and there had commerce with them, with like fearful consequences. The devil, too, sometimes steals human children; it is not unfrequent for him to carry away infants within the first six weeks after their birth, and to substitute in their place imps, called in Latin supposititii, and by the Saxons kilkropff. 
The English version of Michelet does not document this material. In this section, of the sparse documentation given, most of it points to the Tischreden (Table Talk). I suspect Michelet took this quote from one of the earliest published version of the Table Talk, Tischreden oder Colloquia Doct. Mart. Luthers (1566). Elsewhere in the book (French also), Michelet mentions "Tischreden (Table Talk) (Frankfort, 1568)." Here is the 1568 edition. These early editions were put together by someone who knew Luther,  John Aurifaber. LW points out "In this form the Table Talk became widely known" (LW 54, Introduction), so it would make sense that this was the version used by Michelet.  On page 213 of the 1568 edition, the following appears to be the text Michelet drew from:

The same text is found on page 300 in the 1566 edition; the 1570 edition has a clearer scan (see page 272), see also Sämtliche Werke, Volume 60, 37-39, and WATR 3, 517-518.

Almost the entirety of this version of the Table Talk was translated into English by Captain Henry Bell (1652): Dris Martini Lutheri Colloquia Mensalia: Or, Dr Martin Luther's Divine Discourses at His Table, etc. The page in question can be found here (minus the first paragraph). Bell's version of the Table Talk was republished as a two-volume set in the nineteenth century with updated English, but this section was curiously left out (it should fall on pages 128-129). A revised English version of this section though was published in 1827: Table Talk: Or, Selections from the Ana. Containing Extracts from the Different Collections of Ana, French, English, Italian, and German. With Bibliographical Notices. The statement can be found here (also leaving out the first paragraph), and is reproduced below.

The Table Talk was not written by Luther. It's a compilation of remarks Luther is purported to have stated.  I'm not sure Aurifaber actually heard Luther make the comments in question. Aurifaber did not have a lot of personally recorded remarks of Luther's. To publish his edition of the Tischreden, he relied heavily on the notes of others, particularly Anthony Lauterbach's redactions  (see Smith's discussion here). WATR 3, 515-516 (3676) includes a Latin / German entry that has similar characteristics to that presented by Aurifaber, but the source is "Math. L" and also includes a possible date: November or December, 1537. Aurifaber did not begin recording remarks he heard Luther utter until 1545. It is possible though Luther made the same sort of comments twice (if he made them at all), yet Aurifaber's version was heavily redacted and edited. This section appears more like polished narrative.    

Both Aurifaber's version and the parallel statement found in WATR 3 (3676) have been popular because of the strange story the entry relays, a version of the Mélusine myth / or succubus story. The paragraph from Aurifaber (left out of the English translations) specifically says "wie denn die Melusine zu Lucelburg auch ein solcher succubus oder Teufel gewesen ist." That story forms the first part of the Table Talk comment below. A comparison of the collected Mélusine myths though show that the Table Talk version has significant differences, making the comparison seem forced. The majority of the Mélusine stories I found typically denote her as hiding her serpent form. In the Table Talk story, the woman is deceased, but appears to returns to life, then disappears after a particular set of words are spoken.  The similarity appears to be that the Mélusine was considered to be a type of demonic succubus, as was the deceased woman. 

A Gentleman had a fair young wife which died, and was also buried. Not long after, the Gentleman and his servant lying together in one chamber, his dead wife in the night time approached into the chamber, and leaned herself upon the Gentleman's bed, like as if she had been desirous to speak with him. The servant (seeing the same two or three nights one after another) asked his master, whether he knew, that every night a woman, in white apparel, came unto his bed? The Gentleman said. No: I sleep soundly (said he) and see nothing. When night approached, the Gentleman, considering the same, lay waking in bed. Then the woman appeared unto him, and came hard to his bed-side. The Gentleman demanded who she was? She answered, I am your wife. He said. My wife is dead and buried. She said. True: by reason of your swearing and sins I died; but if you would take me again, and would also abstain from swearing one particular oath, which commonly you use, then would I be your wife again. He said, I am content to perform what you desire. Whereupon his dead wife remained with him, ruled his house, lay with him, ate and drank with him, and had children together. Now it fell out, that on a time the Gentleman had guests, and his wife after supper was to fetch out of his chest some banqueting stuff: she staying somewhat long, her husband (forgetting himself) was moved thereby to swear his accustomed oath; whereupon the woman vanished that instant. Now seeing she returned not again, they went up into the chamber to see what was become of her. There they found the gown which she wore, half lying within the chest, and half without; but she was never seen afterwards. This did the Devil, (said Luther) he can transform himself into the shape of a man or woman.
The Prince Elector of Saxony (John Frederick,) having received advertisement of this strange accident, sent thereupon presently unto me (said Luther,) to have my opinion what I held of that woman, and of the children which were begotten of these two persons? Whereupon I wrote to his Highness, that in my opinion, neither that woman, nor those children, were right human creatures, but devils; for the devil casteth before the eyes a blaze, or a mist, and so deceiveth the people; insomuch that one thinketh he lieth by a right woman, and yet is no such matter; for, as St Paul saith, the devil is strong by the children of unbelief. But inasmuch as children, or devils, are conceived in such sort, the same are very horrible and fearful examples, in that Satan can plague and so torment people, as to beget children. Like unto this is it also with that which they call the Nix, in the water, who draweth people unto him, as maids and virgins, of whom he begetteth (devils) children. The devil can also steal children away, (as sometimes children within the space of six weeks after their birth are lost,) and other children, called Supposititii, or Changelings, laid in their places. Of the Saxons they are called Killcrops.
There is a tedious fact about the first quote worth mentioning. From an examination of Aurifaber's German text, the English Table Talk translations, and Michelet's original French version,  it appears the English translator of Michelet, William Hazlitt,  took some liberties with the French text by adding a sentence. The French text reads,
Le diable peut se changer en homme ou en femme pour tromper, de telle manière qu'on croit être couché avec une femme en chair et en os, et qu'il n'en est rien; car, suivant le mot de saint Paul, le diable est bien fort avec les fils de l'impiété. Comme il en résulte souvent des enfans ou des diables, ces exemples sont effrayans et horribles. C'est ainsi que ce qu'on appelle le nix, attire dans l'eau les vierges ou les femmes pour créer des diablotins. Le diable peut aussi dérober des enfans; quelquefois dans les six premières semaines de leur naissance, il enlève à leur mère ces pauvres créatures pour en substituer à leur place d'autres, nommés supposititii, et par les Saxons, kilkropff.
The English translator (Hazlitt) appears to have added, "'Tis the same with women, who may think it is a man in bed with them, yet 'tis only the devil." This addition does no actual harm to the gist of the French text (Hazlitt does say he added to Michelet's work), but this sentence is also not found in Aurifaber's German account.  In regard to the overall account, Aurifaber's version of the Table Talk was already heavily edited and pieced together (see Smith's explanation of this redacted version), so Hazlitt has added yet another layer to an already suspect narrative. Interestingly, Hazlitt included the Mélusine tale / Succubus Myth in his English version of the Table Talk, minus Luther's comments (see Addendum #1 below).

There is another tedious problem. I see some ambiguity as to whose story it actually is. The German text states, "Doctor Martin Luther sagte, „daß er selbs von H. Johanns Friederich, Kurfürsten zu Sachsen, eine Historien geHort hätte." Bell's translation states, "In Germanie (faid Luther) was heretofore a Noble Familie, which were born of a succubus, and fell out thus..." Hazlitt states, "Dr. Luther said he had heard from the elector of Saxony, John Frederic, that a powerful family in Germany was descended from the devil, the founder having been born of a succubus. He added this story..." Is the story from John Frederick or Luther?

I've actually been through some of these quotes previously (2013), probably because of comments from the same Mormon-leaning CARM participant. In 2013, one of the sources being used was the Internet article, Changelings An Essay by D. L. Ashliman, 1997. This author stated,  "Luther was very much a product of his own times with respect to superstitious beliefs and practices." This should come as no surprise. For instance, a "Nix" appears to be a type of water-demon, something a German boy would learn about as a child. Luther held to a lot of odd beliefs that were part of the medieval culture in which he lived. 

Is it possible Luther made the comments reported in the Table Talk? Yes, but the version in the Table Talk appears heavily edited to form a compelling account woven together with a folk tale (especially when compared to WATR 3, 3676). While Luther may have had medieval views like those found in Aurifaber's Tischreden account, it's interesting to see the caution Luther had in interpreting the "sons of God" and the Nephilim of Genesis 6. This would be the perfect opportunity to speculate on beings from the spiritual realm cohabiting humans.  Luther refers to the "sons of God" being those who "fell away from the worship and Word of God and became entirely worldly, with the result that they corrupted not only the church but also the state and the home" (LW 2:32). The "giants" that were born were "arrogant men who usurped both the government and the priesthood" (Ibid.). They were giants in the sense of being "not men of huge mass of body, as in the passage in Numbers, but unruly and mischievous men, the way the poets depict the Cyclopes, who fear neither God nor men but pursue only their own desires and rely on their own power and strength" (LW 2:34). There is also a contrast with "the true sons of God, namely, Noah with his children" (LW 2:37).

As I've looked at this, the majority of proof for Luther's view relies solely on the Table TalkThe Table Talk is not something Luther wrote, it's statements Luther is purported to have said. Often, the contexts do not say enough to establish Luther's dogmatic lifelong opinion on a particular subject. Luther does make passing comments about changelings elsewhere (LW 47:254, 260, and LW 24:92-93). To simply demonstrate the incongruity with the second-hand nature of the Table Talk and more legitimate texts from Luther, note the following. In the quotes under scrutiny, the union of devil and human is said to produce "an imp of darkness, half mortal, half devil…." Elsewhere though,  Luther denies the Devil can beget human children. In his exposition of Genesis 6, Luther stated:
Moses simply calls the sons of the patriarchs, to whom the promise of the Seed was given, "sons of God"; they were the true church. When they yielded to the seductions of the Cainite church, they also proceeded to gratify the desires of the flesh and to take wives from the Cainite race, likewise concubines, as many as they wanted and whomever they chose. Lamech and Noah observed this with grief; and for this reason, perhaps, they married rather late (LW 2:10).
Here, too, the Jews come up with a variety of foolish ideas. They describe the sons of God as incubi from which that notorious and ungodly race was begotten; they further maintain that the sons of God are given this name because of their spiritual nature. The less extreme among them, on the other hand, prove these foolish ideas to be false and describe the 'sons of God' as the sons of the mighty. Lyra neatly disposes also of this idea by pointing out that the punishment of the Flood was not a punishment upon the mighty alone, but upon all flesh, just as the punishment of the Last Day will be.
So far as incubi and succubi are concerned, I do not deny, but believe, that the devil may happen to be either a succubus or an incubus; for I have heard many relate their very own experiences. Augustine, too, declares that he heard the same sort of story from trustworthy people whom he felt compelled to believe. It delights Satan if he can delude us by taking on the appearance either of a young man or of a woman. But that anything can be born from the union of a devil and a human being is simply untrue. Such an assertion is sometimes made about hideous infants that resemble demons very much. I have seen some of these. But I am convinced either that these were deformed, but not begotten, by the devil, or that they are actual devils with flesh that they have either counterfeited or stolen from somewhere else. If with God's permission the devil can take possession of an entire human being and change his disposition, what would be so remarkable about his misshaping the body and bringing about the birth of either blind or crippled children?" (LW 2:10-11) (alternate English text).
Addendum #1: William Hazlitt's Table Talk Version of the Succubus Myth
Dr. Luther said he had heard from the elector of Saxony, John Frederic, that a powerful family in Germany was descended from the devil, the founder having been born of a succubus. He added this story: A gentleman had a young and beautiful wife, who, dying, was buried. Shortly afterwards, this gentleman and one of his servants sleeping in the same chamber, the wife, who was dead, came at night, bent over the bed of the gentleman, as though she were conversing with him, and, after awhile, went away again. The servant, having twice observed this circumstance, asked his master whether he knew that, every night, a woman, clothed in white, stood by his bed-side. The master replied, that he had slept soundly, and had observed nothing of the sort. The next night, he took care to remain awake. The woman came, and he asked her who she was, and what she wanted. She answered, that she was his wife. He returned: my wife is dead and buried. She answered, she had died by reason of his sins, but that if he would receive her again, she would return to him in life. He said, if it were possible, he should be well content. She told him he must undertake not to swear, as he was wont to do; for that if he ever did so, she should once more die, and permanently quit him. He promised this, and the dead woman, returning to seeming life, dwelt with him, ate, drank, and slept with him, and had children by him. One day that he had guests, his wife went to fetch some cakes from an adjoining apartment, and remained a long time absent. The gentleman grew impatient, and broke out into his old oaths. The wife not returning, the gentleman, with his friends, went to seek her, but she had disappeared; only, the clothes she had worn lay on the floor. She was never again seen. (link)