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God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ," i Cor. xv. Who then conquered these two? Our righteousness ? Our life? No! It was Christ rising again from the dead, condemning sin and death, freely giving us his righteousness, freely putting his merits to our account, and laying his hand upon us.-It is thus that we are in safety, that we fulfil the law, and are the". conquerors of sin and death : for which, be honour, praise, and thanksgiving unto God for ever and ever, Amen!

This then is our last View: under which, we are raised not only above our evil things, but above our good things : and we who before lay under evils procured by the sin of another and increased by our own sins, now sit resting in the blessings of another and procured by another's labour. We sit resting, I say, in that righteousness of Christ whereby he is righteous, because we cleave unto it by faith : by the which righteousness he pleaseth God, and, as a Mediator, intercedes for us, making himself wholly ours as the best of priests and the best of advocates. As therefore it is impossible that Christ should not please God by his righteousness; so it is equally impossible that we should not please God by our faith whereby we cleave unto that righteousness. Whence it is seen, that the Christian is omnipotent, the lord of all things, the possessor of all things, able to effect all things, and wholly without sin. And if he still have sins, yet, they cannot hurt him, for they are forgiven him for the sake of the all-conquering and sindrowning righteousness of Christ on which his faith is stayed ; firmly believing, that Christ is to him what we have just described him as being. For he that does not believe is deaf to all that has been said, knows not Christ, nor understands the benefits of him, nor how to make use of him.

Wherefore this View only, without any other, may, if truly entered into, anoint us with such consolation as to constrain us, not only to cease from grieving at our evils, but also to glory in our tribulations from the fulness of the joy which we have in Christ, and to feel nothing of those evils at all. In which glorying, may

Christ the Lord our God himself instruct us; who is blessed for ever, Amen!

With these few thoughts of mine, most illustrious Prince, which are the best testimony of my willingness to serve you that my poverty will allow me to give, I commend myself to your Highness ; being ready to serve you in greater things, whenever power shall be given me according to the desire of my spirit. For I shall ever be a debtor to every neighbour, and especially to your most illustrious Highness : whom, may our Lord Jesus Christ long preserve among us, and at last by a happy end take unto himself. Amen! Your most illustrious Highness'

devoted servant,


This treatise I wrote, at the beginning of my

ministerial career, to that most excellent Prince, Frederic Duke of Saxony, when he was dangerously sick; and many wished it to be published. But, from going through various publications, it was so corrupted and mutilated, that I found many words wanting ; nor could I myself tell what those words were when the treatise was first written. I have, however, restored the substance of the sentences, and made them what I believe they were at the first. But I have not even now altered and pruned them as I might have done. Because in this treatise I wish to make my “profiting appear,” and to gratify the gainsayers, that they might have an opportunity of venting their malice. For it is enough for me, if I please Christ my Lord and his saints. And, that I am hated by the devil and his scales, I rejoice from my very heart and give thanks unto God.

Page 127, line 5, for THIRRINGS read THURINGA.
ibid. line 6, MISNIE


Martin Luther





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I could not, godly reader, avoid commending this work to thee, (which without doubt is of itself acceptable,) the more especially on this account, because, it was the last of the doctrinal writings of the author, Martin Luther of pious memory; and because it was the last labour of that most learned translator, and most holy man, Caspar Cruciger.—Thus, it seems as if the very

title and matter of the work, “ The last words of David,” brought with them the signal for death, which came both upon the author and the translator immediately after the work was finished.

With regard to Luther, indeed, the event followed the signal somewhat later. He died on the 18th of February 1546, the third year after this work was published. But, with respect to Cruciger, his death followed immediately upon his finishing the translation. For although he was exceedingly ill for many months, and debilitated in body from most excruciating pains in his intestines, yet, he still persevered in his version of this work, and finished the greater part of it during his illness, and revised and corrected it when finished. And this is wonderful to us in two respects : first, that his life should be spared so long, when all the powers of his body were destroyed and exhausted by the violence of the disease: (the faculties of his senses and mind excepted, which remained in all their acuteness and per

* The original was written by Luther in German, and translated from the German into Latin by Cruciger. It is from the Latin that the present translation is derived.

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