April 18, 1518

Luther and companions arrive in Würzburg, about 260 miles from Wittenberg and 100 miles from Heidelberg.[1] The next day Luther writes to George Spalatin: Quotation 1: Greeting. We arrived finally at Würzburg yesterday [Sunday], dear Spalatin, and the same evening presented the letters of our illustrious Elector. . . . The reverend lord bishop himself, [2] when…

April 14, 1518

In the evening, Luther and his companions arrive at Coburg, having walked more than 160 miles (about half way to Heidelberg) in 4 days. The next morning, he writes to George Spalatin, expressing his regret that they had not accepted the Elector's offer of horse-drawn transport. Quotation 1: Greeting. Dear Spalatin, I expect you have heard from…

April 11, 1518

Luther sets out (on foot) from Wittenberg for Heidelberg (more than 300 miles) to attend the General Chapter of the Augustinian Hermits.[1] As one of two district vicars of the German Augustinians, Luther would normally have attended the triennial meeting. However, in this case, he had been summoned by Vicar General Staupitz at the direction of Gabriel della Volta, the…

March 31, 1518

Luther writes to John von Staupitz, Vicar General of the German Augustinians, his superior and father in Christ, and reflects on the increasing hostility toward his critique of church practices. Quotation: Greeting. Dear Father in the Lord, I am so busy that I must write briefly. First, I know perfectly well that my name is…

Late March, 1518 (Part 4)

Luther preaches and publishes a Sermon on Repentance (Sermo de poenitentia) before Easter. Quotation: ... Secondly, you must not trust that you are absolved because of your contrition (for then you trust in yourself and your works, that is, you surrender yourself in the worst way), but because of the word of Christ who said…

Late March, 1518 (Part 3)

Luther preaches and publishes a Sermon on Repentance (Sermo de poenitentia) before Easter. Quotation: Corollary 1: True contrition is not from us, but from the grace of God.  Therefore we must, despairing of ourselves, take refuge in his mercy. Corollary 2: Repentence begins in contrition but it does not cease through the entire life until…

Late March, 1518 (Part 2)

Luther preaches and publishes a Sermon on Repentance (Sermo de poenitentia) before Easter. Quotation: ... They commonly say that repentance which is realized in love causes sins to be forgiven. I do not know whether all those who so frequently say this actually understand it. But I do know that it is most incomprehensible and…

Late March, 1518 (Part 1)

Luther preaches and publishes a Sermon on Repentance (Sermo de poenitentia) before Easter.[1] Quotation: You must consider very carefully how much you love righteousness and how much you hate sin. Indeed, you must be more careful, even applying the utmost diligence, to how you will lead your future life, however much you may give up…

March 28, 1518 (Palm Sunday)

Luther preaches a sermon On Two Kinds of Righteousness [1] on the Epistle lesson for Palm Sunday, Philippians 2:5-6. Quotation: Dear Brothers! "have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped” [Phil. 2:5–6]. There…

March 26, 1518

Prof. Martin Luther concludes his lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews. This series of lectures, normally Mondays and Fridays at noon, had begun on Apr 21, 1517.  It is noteworthy that, although the controversy initiated by the 95 Theses is swirling about him, Luther does not mention indulgences in these lectures. Quotation: Hebrews 10:19-22a. Therefore, brothers,…