About the Reformer
Upon his return from the Wartburg, Luther completed his translation of the New Testament, and the gospel was soon after given to the people of Germany in their own language. This translation was received with great joy by all who loved the truth; but it was scornfully rejected by those who chose human traditions and the commandments of men.
The priests were alarmed at the thought that the common people would now be able to discuss with them the precepts of God’s word, and that their own ignorance would thus be exposed. The weapons of their carnal reasoning were powerless against the sword of the Spirit. Rome summoned all her authority to prevent the circulation of the Scriptures; but decrees, anathemas, and tortures were alike in vain. The more she condemned and prohibited the Bible, the greater was the anxiety of the people to know what it really taught. All who could read were eager to study the word of God for themselves. They carried it about with them, and read and reread, and could not be satisfied until they had committed large portions to memory. Seeing the favor with which the New Testament was received, Luther immediately began the translation of the Old, and published it in parts as fast as completed.
Luther’s writings were welcomed alike in city and in hamlet. “What Luther and his friends composed, others circulated. Monks, convinced of the unlawfulness of monastic obligations, desirous of exchanging a long life of slothfulness for one of active exertion, but too ignorant to proclaim the word of God, traveled through the provinces, visiting hamlets and cottages, where they sold the books of Luther and his friends. Germany soon swarmed with these bold colporteurs.” (D’Aubigne, b. 9, ch. 11.)
These writings were studied with deep interest by rich and poor, the learned and the ignorant. At night the teachers of the village schools read them aloud to little groups gathered at the fireside. With every effort some souls would be convicted of the truth and, receiving the word with gladness, would in their turn tell the good news to others.
—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy
Pulling It Together
The brethren then and now say that God is ever willing to bring good from bad; yet he is more desirous to bring good from good. A stand for the truth is always best. Do the right thing: stand for the truth. Deliver the Good News of the Christ to all. Hand out gospel literature; speak the word fearlessly; teach correct doctrine. The Holy Spirit is even now preparing hearts to hear your message.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers