When Martin Luther died his close friend, and leader of the Protestant Reformation, Philip Melanchthon, delivered a powerful eulogy. In his tribute, Melanchthon addresses Luther’s well-known brashness and harshness of tone. Indeed, it was no secret that Luther, for all his education, wasn’t one for refinement. In fact, his wife, Katharina, often chided him as being “too raw”. But during a time when preaching the Gospel could mean having your tongue cut out, it seems to me Luther was just the man for the hour.
Here’s Melanchthon giving glory to God alone for the life of a man who, for all his problems, was key to preserving a Gospel of grace for generations to come.
“Some by no means evil-minded persons, however, express a suspicion that Luther manifested too much asperity. I will not affirm the reverse, but only quote the language of Erasmus, “God has sent in this latter age a violent physician on account of the magnitude of the existing disorders,” fulfilling by such a dispensation the divine message to Jeremiah, “Behold I have put My words in thy mouth. See I have this day set thee over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root out and pull down, and to destroy and throw down, to build and to plant.” Nor does God govern His church according to the counsels of men, nor choose to employ instruments like theirs to promote His purposes. But it is usual for inferior minds to dislike those of a more ardent character.”
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. – Psalms 115:3 (NIV)
Online Source: On the Death of Luther by Philip Melanchthon
Click here to read some of the things that Luther actually said!