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PREFACE

BY

HENRY ATHERTON,

Minister of Grove Chapel, Camberwell, S. E.
AND
General Secretary of The Sovereign Grace Union.

THIS excellent work of that eminent servant of God, Martin Luther — one of the noble Reformers is acknowledged to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest of Luther’s productions. Luther himself considered it his best publication.

I had purposed writing a short account of each of the Opponents — Erasmus and Luther — who come before us in the book, and of the controversy, but from lack of time owing to many calls, and wishing to get the volume into the hands of lovers of Luther as soon as possible, I had to forego this privilege.

I believe I have succeeded in producing the best English edition of this Masterpiece of Luther that has been published. Cole’s translation has been used with slight alterations from Vaughan.

My task has been a difficult one, especially as I am ignorant of the German Language. Luther’s Scriptural quotations are of course in the German Tongue, and as he often seemed to quote them from memory and as no references to verses, and sometimes none to chapters are given, and sometimes the wrong name of the Book is given, English Concordances have been of very little help to me, and often no use at all; yet I trust this edition will prove a success in spite of my handicaps.

Although Luther used certain words that I should not employ, yet I have adhered faithfully to his own phraseology as translated by Cole. Luther speaks for himself.

This book is most needful at the present day. The teachings of many so-called Protestants are more in accordance with the Dogmas of the Papists, or the ideas of Erasmus, than with the Principles of the Reformers; they are more in harmony with the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent than with any Protestant or Reformed Confessions of Faith.

If the Lord should be pleased to open the eyes and understanding of some of these so-called Protestants to whom I have referred — through the perusal of this work of the great Reformer — Luther — enabling them to see that they are at present believing and teaching awful delusions contrary to the Word of God, and the Protestant Reformed Religion, and causing them to return to The Old Paths, the labours of “THE SOVEREIGN GRACE UNION” will not have been in vain.

The labour involved in the preparation of this work for publication in its present form has been enjoyable, although it has often been carried out in much pain, and sometimes during sleepless nights. I rejoice in being able to issue it, and do earnestly pray that the Lord will bless it to the Ingathering of His Elect, and to the maintenance of His Cause and Truth in the days in which our lot has been cast.

Grove Chapel Parsonage,
Camberwell Grove, S.E.S.
 June, 1931.

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